Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leaky gut

One of the things that bothered me the most about being diagnosed with lupus (and there were many) was the total lack of answers to the question "why?" Why was my body attacking itself?

Mainstream medicine usually blames genetics, although there really hasn't been much in the way of proof that this disease is genetic. In fact, few diseases are purely genetic in origin. Besides, that whole "it's genetic" thing never rang true to me. I knew in my gut there was more to the picture. And speaking of gut, today's topic is. just that: leaky gut.

20 years after my diagnosis, the mindset is finally starting to shift because no one has been able to definitively prove a genetic cause. Now doctors are saying that autoimmune diseases are "multi-causal" (caused by several or many precipitating factors). Oh, good. Now we know why I got sick... lots of reasons. Glad we cleared that up.

No wonder I went elsewhere to find better answers. As I've spoken to and worked with alternative medicine practitioners over the last 20 years, one theory that has come up repeatedly is Leaky Gut Syndrome. Holes in the gut, or a permeable gut, allow partially undigested food to leak out into your bloodstream, causing the the body to form antibodies in an... oh, look AUTOIMMUNE response. I'm listening.

What causes the gut to start leaking?
1) Use of antibiotics. Our gut is made up of healthy (and unhealthy) bacteria. When we take an antibiotic, it kills everything- the good and bad guys. The good bacteria are what help us digest our food. But now they are gone. So food is leaking out undigested. On top of the absence of good guys, we also now have an overgrowth of bad guys- candida (yeast), which is small amounts is normal. When allowed to overgrow because there are no good bacteria to maintain balance, candida causes a host of problems, including many symptoms that sound a lot like lupus. 

2) stress

3) nicotine

4)other drugs: chemo, NSAIDs (advil, etc.), birth control, antacids, steroids (yes- if you didn't come into lupus with a leaky gut, you'll have one by the time they are done treating you!)

5) alcohol, excess sugar, soda, caffeine, processed foods

6) Various parasites, bacteria, mold and mycotoxins

7) nutritional deficiencies

8) food allergies

9) diseases such as Crohn's where the immune system is attacking the gut.

10) Overconsumption of grains. If you look at cows that eat grains instead of grass, they live much shorter, much more unhealthy miserable lives (see the movie "King Corn"). If you want to get a cow fat really fast, instead of letting her graze for grass, lock her in a stall and feed her corn. Sound pretty much like a day in the life of most Americans- sitting at a desk hunched over a computer, eating something probably made from corn or wheat. Those cows not only have a higher percentage of body fat, but are also very unhealthy and live much shorter lives than their ancestors. (Again, sound familiar?). Look, I love a big fat yeast roll as much as the next guy- I truly do. cake, cookies, donuts, pasta, pizza, yes. Love them all. But even gluten free, they are still grains, and eating too many grains and not enough plants is going to literally tear you up inside. And I mean "literally" not in the way most people use that word, like "really," but I mean literally as in "the literal sense of the word"- actual tears in your intestines. Hard to believe a soft, chewy pretzel could tear anything, but it can and does.

What do you think- Does it ring true to you? 

 This whole "leaky gut" theory sounded like a lot of hokum the first time I heard it, but the more I read and the more I do things to repair my gut, the more I believe it... in my gut...

*** If you or someone you know would like to live healthier, happier, freer life, e mail me for a free one-hour consultation - I am a holistic health coach! Talk to someone who has been there and is living well now. You've got nothing to lose, and everything to gain! Start living your best life. ***

Carla Ulbrich, The Singing Patient and Health Coach

www.singingpatientwellness.com - health coaching- visit this site to get a free e book on nutrition! 
www.youtube.com/user/carlaulbrich- funny medical songs


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Many virtues of Junk Food

Junk food:
  • tasty
  • addictive
  • cheap
  • convenient
  • lasts forever on a shelf

Healthy food:
  • blah-tasting
  • have to force myself to eat it
  • costs more
  • requires effort to prepare
  • have to go out of my way to find healthy food, in stores and restaurants and at parties (usually have to bring my own healthy food to a party)
  • goes bad in a matter of days in the fridge (or on the counter)
  • worst of all, requires me to eat my own cooking. And anyone who's ever eaten my cooking (few have done so and lived to tell the tale) knows what cruel and unusual punishment this is.

I think I've made my case. Junk food is the better choice.

Oh wait. I forgot about this part:

Junk food causes:
  • migraines
  • candida overgrowth
  • diabetes
  • ADHD
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • inflammation
  • etc.

health food:
  • sticks in your teeth. Spinach, broccoli, beans, they all stick in your teeth. Ew!
Seems pretty clear, doesn't it? Junk food wins, hands down.

On a completely unrelated note, here's the word of the day:

fa·ce·tious [fuh-see-shuhs]

1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark.
2. amusing; humorous.
3. lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous: a facetious person.

Carla Ulbrich, The Singing Patient and Health Coach

www.singingpatientwellness.com - health coaching- visit this site to get a free e book on nutrition! 
www.youtube.com/user/carlaulbrich- funny medical songs

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gum, part 2: chew on this!

I posted recently about giving up chewing gum a while back because I couldn't find any that didn't have nutrasweet. And nutrasweet, for me, is poison, causing migraines and other nervous system issues. Having it in the form of gum is like having a slow IV drip of poison all day long (because I tend to chew a piece of gum for a couple hours, then swap it for a new piece and chomp on that for a while).

Mind you, even without the nutrasweet, I don't advocate chewing gum all day long, because it can cause TMJ (jaw problems), but I do like to have some gum on plane trips, and I do like to have a piece of gum when I want something sweet, but don't want to send my blood sugar all over the place with a big dessert. And I'm not really one to give up easily.

Rather than give up gum for all of time, I did some research. Once upon a time (when we were kids), no gum had nutrasweet. And since there are warnings on all foods with nutrasweet, I figured there must be some alternatives out there for those phenylketonurics for whom consuming nutrasweet could mean having a seizure. If the food industry has alternatives for those eating sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and meat-free, I figured there must be something for nutrasweet-free out there, even if it's just a company who never changed from using sugar.

Here's what I found:

Spry gum, made with xylitol. I like the cinnamon, but of course that's my favorite gum flavor regardless of the sweetener.

SteviaDent. made with stevia. Haven't tried this yet.

Glee Gum, either with sugar (and no artificial ingredients!) or xylitol.

So, I have gum again. Chew responsibly don't get TMJ just because you can!

Happy New Year and happy chewing~

Carla Ulbrich, The Singing Patient

www.bestpossibleme.com - health coaching- visit this site to get a free e book on nutrition! 
www.youtube.com/user/carlaulbrich- funny medical songs