Some things are pretty danged boring, even if they’re important to know. Chocolate isn’t. I recommend eating chocolate while reading this post.
I’ve read a few good books on the digestive system. The latest one that I really like is called “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” by Natasha Campbell-McBride. This is the kind of book that’ll kind of make your head spin if you haven’t done a lot of nutrition research. It kind of takes everything you’ve learned about a healthy diet and turns it upside down.
Despite that, it makes sense.
It argues that folks on the autistic spectrum as well as folks with ADD/ADHD, depression and schizophrenia all have problems with bad gut flora, which causes toxins to poison their brain. Throw in the overuse of antibiotics and it leads to even more gut flora issues, because parents pass along their gut flora to their children.
I haven’t talked much about my mom yet, but she has spent her life chronically anxious and depressed. She had symptoms of fibromyalgia as well, though she was never diagnosed, and ended up constantly catching colds. She decided the way to avoid chronic sinus infections was to get her doctor to prescribe 3 days of antibiotics each time she got sick (which was around once a month). She wound up with early onset Alzheimers and I don’t think it was coincidental.
What I think is this: good digestion allows us to get all the nutrients we need to repair and rejuvenate our bodies. If we don’t eat healthy food and if we get poor gut flora passed along to us, it prevents our ability to repair ourselves. We then have no safety net to prevent our genetic dispositions towards problems such as fibromyalgia, m.s., Parkinsons, Alzheimers, lupus, osteoarthritis, etc. from starting to develop.
I think if we had healthy eating habits, enough sleep, got regular exercise and had good digestion, we’d be able to avoid these types of illnesses.
Part of what makes us have problems with digestion is that once digestion heads south, our bile is no longer as good at breaking down food. I take a supplement with every meal now, in order to change that. Here’s a good article on what digestive enzymes do for you.
I’m also being really good about taking my daily probiotic. I’m also trying to cut back on carbohydrates, to try to starve out the bad guys in my gut. Someday I may try the GAPS diet on myself. Wish me luck:-)