Luckily, I don’t suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Colitis. I can relate to the pain, since I’ve been Lactose intolerant since my late teenage years. That was long before they even knew about the condition or devised a method of dealing with it. At 19, I was misdiagnosed as having Colitis and advised to drink milk.
Living a VLCHF lifestyle for almost 10 years has had a myriad of impacts on my health. I’ve related most in this Blog.The only stomach/bowel issue that I’ve identified is that I no longer need to take antacids. I don’t even have a bottle in the house.
Why am I mentioning this?
A friend went on the VLCHF diet about 2+ months ago. She did it for various reasons. She has reported back to me that she’s lost 20+/- pounds and if for no other reason is sticking with the program.
But one fact has stood out. She suffers from reoccurring bouts of Colitis. She has been very surprised that her insides have been quiet. Shocked is a better word.
I went digging.
I don’t believe it is only from reducing the amount of carbs in her diet. I believe it is from the reality of limiting one of the main sources of carbs – grains.
A number of health conditions have been associated with changes of bowel flora, including multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, acid reflux and esophagitis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and food allergies. Funny thing: Each and every one of these conditions has also been associated with grain consumption, especially consumption of wheat, rye, and barley.
Davis MD, William. Wheat Belly Total Health: The Ultimate Grain-Free Health and Weight-Loss Life Plan (Kindle Locations 1407-1410). Rodale Books. Kindle Edition.
We can not ignore the impact of sugar and refined grains which have become prevalent in our diet. The studies of various native societies as sugar and refined grains replaced their original diet and led to the the emergence of “Western Diseases” – the diseases we know so well and all suffer from.
Burkitt and Trowell based their provisional list of Western diseases on their surveys of hospital inpatient records worldwide, on the existing medical literature, and on the suggestions of the thirty-four physician-researchers from five continents who contributed to the book Western Diseases: Their Emergence and Prevention. They called it a “provisional list” because they acknowledged that such a pioneering effort was likely to contain errors, and because other diseases already appeared likely to be added to it— including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and autoimmune disorders— but the evidence for those potential additions was not yet sufficient. The list was a much-expanded version of the diseases that Peter Cleave and George Campbell had called “saccharine diseases” in the 1950s, implying that refined grains and sugars were to blame (Burkitt and Trowell credited Cleave with being a guiding light in their work), and that Yudkin was discussing and referring to in 1963 as “diseases of civilization,” which was the more commonly used term at the time.
Taubes, Gary. The Case Against Sugar (Kindle Locations 3741-3749). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
No matter in what direction you point your finger – eating a VLCHF diet has a multitude of positive health effects – as long as you don’t undermine it by (over) eating highly processed “fake” low carb foods.