Updated on October 3, 2015
Three 21st Century Diseases that your Doctor will not be able to Adequately Treat
About 10 years ago, I was having massive cramping episodes where I would double over in pain for an hour or so. It seemed to be a random occurrence (although as I look back now I bet it wasn’t). I also was constipated, but since this seemed to be a constant state for me I didn’t really think that was part if it. After a colonoscopy, just to make sure there wasn’t anything the Doctor could actually treat; I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS – C (for, you guessed it, constipation). I asked what causes this? The doctor replied we are not really sure. Well what can I do about it? The response – eat more fiber.
My interpretation of this event – the Doctor had no idea what this was, there was no pill, and the Doctor didn’t have time to deal with it. So I was on my own to fix it.
Doctor’s are trained to make a diagnosis and treat the symptoms. And thankfully they are here for those things that they are good at, traumas and acute issues. My niece has had her share of injuries so I know she is glad to have Doctors around! Chronic issues are just not something that a doctor is good at treating.
So what did I do – I ate more fiber. But also, I did some digging on my own. Thank you Internet. At that time, fake sugars (things like aspartame, saccharin, Splenda) were definitely being tied to digestive issues, plus carbonated beverages and caffeine. I figured I would stop putting those things in my body and it helped. The massive cramping didn’t come as frequently, but still the constipation continued. I figured that was as good as it was going to get. I thought maybe it was dairy, so what did I do, switch to soy. That was probably worst thing I did to my body. I’ll tackle the issues with soy in different blog.
IBS has been one of the diagnoses used to capture a variety of 21st century diseases. The main cause of these diseases – Industrial Agriculture. We are putting toxic substances produced by our current agricultural practices in our bodies daily. These are the items you find in the middle aisles of the grocery story. Diane Sanfilippo calls these items “franken foods”. In addition, there are toxic materials hiding in items that look like real food too, pesticides in non-organic produce and unhealthy meat from sick animals.
I’ve highlighted below two digestive issues that are a result of poor diets, as well as, a syndrome that is a result of both diet and current lifestyles. At the end, I highlight some resources for more information on these issues and the Paleo diet.
SIBO is an abnormality in the gut microflora that is characterized by an over growth in bacteria or yeast in the small intestine. This usually leads to leaky gut in which the membrane of your intestine allows toxins to move from the intestine into the blood. Antibiotic use and/or eating animals treated with antibiotics, along with diet, is usually one of the culprits for this condition.
Why is this a problem? A large part of our immune system lies within the microflora in our gut.
Treating this condition usually requires a lifestyle change that includes diet and potentially supplements that help get the microflora balance back in check. Avoiding foods that are hard to digest: grains and legumes. In addition, removing refined foods, sugar and alcohol from the diet.
Chronic Candida Infections
Another type of gut microflora problem, natural yeast that is present in our system grows out of control and gets into the bloodstream. The most common causes of candida overgrowth are again antibiotic use, diet, alcohol, and chronic use of NSAID pain relievers (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). What are these you might ask? Drugs like Ibuprofen, aspirin and Aleve. Constipation is associated with this particular gut dysbiosis. (Hmm…) Same fixes as SIBO.
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
Another term for this particular syndrome is Non-Addison’s hypoadrenia. It is a deficiency in the functioning of the adrenal glands. These are the glands that are responsible for secreting steroid hormones that allows you to “fight or flight” from the saber-toothed tiger that’s about to eat you. Our everyday stresses have replaced that tiger. Too much of the physical, emotional, environmental or psychological stress can deplete your adrenals causing a depletion of the hormones that are secreted, particularly cortisol. Cortisol contributes to digestion, immune system responses and sleep patterns. It also works with adrenaline to create short-term memories. And if you haven’t guessed by now, poor diet contributes to the adrenals not being able to respond to stress. Interestingly, respiratory infections usually contribute to adrenal fatigue. Diet, lifestyle changes and supplements that support the adrenals (such as vitamin C) are the key components to healing this condition.