Leisa Wheeler, naturopath, health and healing mentor, and fatigue specialist, is the founder and director of Embracing Health, a business dedicated to bringing you health information that can change your life. Leisa’s passions include many areas of health – from food as medicine and nutrition, to physical fitness and detoxification; from emotional release work to spiritual healing; these varied interests shaping her belief in the value of integrated healing on all levels; physical, emotional and spiritual.
Don’t you just love it when the mainstream media points out the dangers of things like eating fruits and vegetables, or doing risky health practices such as juicing? Honestly, I wonder where they come up with these articles sometimes and I cringe at the thought of people reading them and believing the ridiculous information they contain. One such article doing the rounds at the moment is this one: “Juicing is a health risk, say experts: How NutriBullet smoothies could leave you feeling like you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome“.
When I stopped laughing and read the article, I realised they were serious.
The article states: “Dr Hoare said: ‘We have seen quite a few patients that come complaining of irritable bowel syndrome, things like bloating and diarrhoea, and eat a lot of very healthy foods. ‘If you juice you get the large amount of sugars delivered to the gut quite quickly, quicker than they would do otherwise, and that can actually cause quite a lot of bloating and diarrhoea. ‘We have certainly seen patients that think they have IBS but it’s actually just their diet. We never used to have this. I think there has been an increase in people who are having symptoms related to healthy eating.’”
There are so many things wrong with this article, that I hardly know where to start, but the over-riding premise that it is an increase in healthy eating that is leading to gut symptoms is quite ludicrous. So many times we see natural medicine called out in the media for not being “scientific”, yet when it suits doctors to make completely false and misleading statements with no scientific evidence whatsoever, it is printed in the media as gospel. Double standards anyone?
The premise of the article is that there are people suffering with an inability to digest the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables, causing IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) type symptoms, and therefore they should avoid making juices or smoothies with fresh fruits and vegetables so as to not experience bloating, gas, diarrhoea or pain. They state that certain people suffer with FODMAPs (an inability to breakdown and digest certain types of sugars) and therefore need to avoid these sugars to manage their symptoms. The Monash University has developed a Low FODMAP dietary program that reduces foods in the diet that contain high amounts of these rapidly absorbed natural sugars as a way of managing IBS, and it certainly works well for symptom management – but is not a cure.
Like any illness that is not a genetic fault present at birth, the health issues have developed during a person’s lifetime, so therefore the question that needs to be asked is “What has changed in the person’s bowel ecology, to result in an inability to breakdown and absorb natural sugars?” This is the question that is completely missing from the above article and to me, is the fundamental question that needs to be asked to enable a person to recover their health and their ability to digest food properly. If a person was able to digest natural sugars throughout most of their life, but then suddenly develops IBS upon eating healthy foods – why is the automatic response by the medical profession to blame the healthy foods, rather than the environment the foods are going into?
In my research I have found that close to 50% of IBS patients suffer with a pathogenic infection of the parasite Blastocystis hominis. This is a parasite that burrows into the lining of the digestive system, feeding on the blood supply and depleting the body of iron and zinc. It creates waste products in the bowel that can cause irritation, inflammation and allergy, it interferes with good bacteria levels, and creates dysbiosis in the bowel which leads to poor digestive function.
We also have a huge number of assaults upon our digestive systems today – from the use of antibiotics and other medications which compromise the delicate good bacteria in our gut – to chlorinated water, eating processed food full of chemicals, stress, allergens and pathogens such as fungi, yeast, bad bacteria and parasites. Not to mention the chronic poor digestion that most of the population suffer from, resulting in the use of antacid medication and laxatives by the millions. Maybe it is a combination of some or all of these issues that are leading to poor digestive capacity, rather than “an increase in symptoms related to healthy eating”.
When our digestive system is functioning well, we should be able to eat and digest any natural foods without any type of bloating, discomfort, gas, constipation or diarrhoea. Any symptoms of this nature indicate an imbalance in the ecology of the digestive system that needs investigation and correction. Certainly, while the gut is being healed, eating foods that cause less discomfort is common sense – but to adopt a restrictive diet as a way of managing symptoms that are purely a sign of an imbalance in what should be a natural and healthy function, just does not make sense.
For anyone wanting to investigate their own digestive symptoms and to find out if there are any underlying imbalances in their bowel that could be causing problems, I recommend the Complete Digestive Stool Analysis which will investigate the following areas:
- Digestion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins at a macro and microscopic level
- Assesses stomach acid levels, liver function and pancreatic function
- Evaluates the toxicity levels in the bowel from stagnation
- Evaluates the pH level and general ecology of the bowel
- Evaluates short chain fatty acids which help keep the bowel healthy
- Searches for blood, pus, mucus and white blood cells in the stool
- Cultures the stool for pathogens such as bad bacteria, fungi and parasites
- Evaluates good bacteria levels and measure the four main strains of probiotics
If you order this test with me, I will not only send you out a twenty page report analysing and interpreting your results, I will follow up with a fifteen minute phone consultation to ensure that you understand all the findings in the report and are confident in the protocol to correct them. Go to http://www.digestionhealthreport.com for more information about the test and how to order it online.
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