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    Hello, My name is Angela. I have battled with an autoimmune disease for a number of years. This battle has thrust into a pursuit of knowledge on health and nutrition. I know that what I put into my body directly affects how I feel. I have gone through a slow process of eliminating the key poisons that exacerbate my symptoms--gluten, dairy, sugar, gmo, artificial anything as well as incorporated high quality supplements for many many months. To my dismay, my symptoms have only continued to get worse.

    Recently I stumbled across an article about "zero carb" eating--removing all plant foods from the diet and read about and even talked with several people who have been living solely on meat and water for 1,2,5,8 and 18 years!....And....they feel amazing and are in great shape. What?!?!?!?!? This flies completely in the face of everything I have learned about balanced nutrition. After reading several medical and scientific articles, this way of eating seemed legitimate, at least for a temporary amount of time so, I decided to give it a try. 3 weeks in, I felt renewed mental and physical energy, my cravings for sugar were gone, my muscle aches were diminishing and my skin was improving. However, my digestive tract took a turn for the worse during that third week and I ended up in severe pain in my abdomen and sides and went to the ER. My bowels were completely plugged which had been a chronic issue for the whole year prior. Quadruple doses of laxatives killed my stomach but cleared me out.

    I have great respect for the knowledge I have learned from Joel and Josh over the years. I love the Biotrust products. I don't know if I want to stick to only eating meat forever so...I am feeling distraught. Any thoughts???

  2. #2
    Hi Angela,

    Welcome to the BioTrust Community! Thank you so much for joining us here and for sharing some details about yourself. It is truly an honor and privilege to get to know you better. I really feel for you, Angela. I can sense the feelings of distress, and I can only imagine what you must feel. I want to assure you that you're not alone on this journey, and we'll be here for you every step of the way to guide you and support you.

    With that being said, our products and the information that we provide are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical conditions. Because we are neither doctors nor do we know your entire medical history, it's important that you first consult your physician before starting any nutrition, exercise, or supplementation programs. Please do not adjust any prescription medications without proper approval.

    What's really cool is that you're already very in tune with your body and you're making direct connections between what you eat and how you feel. This is incredibly important, and perhaps we can build on this. Along these lines, it sounds like you've been able to perhaps identify certain types of foods that may be more problematic for you than others. For instance, in the following post, I shared some guidelines with another Community Member on how she might go about identifying food sensitivities (i.e., determining if specific foods are "good" or "bad" for her):

    Identifying food sensitivities

    Indeed, food sensitivities—defined as a negative physiological reaction to a food—can lead to a wide range of symptoms (some acute, some chronic and appearing long after the culprit food is ingested):

    • Autoimmune flare-ups (e.g., joint pain/inflammation, thyroiditis)
    • Skin inflammation (e.g., eczema, acne, hives)
    • Respiratory inflammation (e.g., mucus, sniffles, sinusitis)
    • GI irritation (e.g., constipation, diarrhea, cramping)
    • Gas, bloating, flatulence
    • Headaches, migraines
    • Mood issues, depression, brain fog
    • Menstrual cycle disruptions

    With that in mind, it may also be helpful to have an idea of "probable suspects." This is not to say that everyone will have a problem with all of these foods (or any of these foods). However, some of the most common triggers include:

    • Grains (e.g., wheat)
    • Dairy
    • Soy
    • Shellfish
    • FODMAP-containing foods
    • Nightshades
    • Histamine-containing foods
    • Food additives, preservatives, and coloring (e.g., MSG)
    • Processed sugar, artificial sweeteners
    • Tree nuts, peanuts

    As you can see, even some otherwise "healthy," "good" foods (e.g., certain FODMAP-containing foods, nightshades, certain histamine-containing foods) can be "bad" for some people. While consuming a diet of whole, minimally-processed foods is generally a step in the right direction, a more personalized approach may be necessary in specific situations like this. With that said, a good place to start is where you are right now and begin with a food journal to make evidence-based decisions. In other words, knowing common triggers and symptoms, you may be able to identify and eliminate suspect foods. The following food journal is very helpful:

    Food and Feelings Journal

    Another important area to consider is the gut microbiome. In the GI tract, commensal bacteria (i.e., friendly bacteria, probiotics):

    • Help digest and absorb nutrients
    • Produce nutrients (e.g., B & K vitamins, short-chain fatty acids)
    • Keep the system moving
    • Keep pathogenic bacteria from settling and growing
    • Help metabolize medications and phytonutrients
    • Synthesize polyamines
    • Produce coagulation and growth factors
    • Produce anti-inflammatory cytokines and down-regulate pro-inflammatory cytokines
    • Regulate secretion and use of instestinal mucus
    • Help regulate blood flow to internal organs
    • Help regulate the immune system

    In fact, building and maintaining a healthy gut flora is critical to digestive system health and function, overall health, immune system function, mental health and wellbeing, metabolism and weight management, respiratory (i.e., lungs) and integumentary (i.e., skin) systems, and more. Symptoms of a disrupted bacterial flora include:

    • Poor digestion (e.g., GERD, ulcers)
    • Poor intenstinal motility (e.g., constipation, diarrhea)
    • Nutrient deficiencies, malabsorption
    • Mood disorders
    • Poor clearance of medications and hormones (e.g., estrogen dominance)
    • Lowered immunity
    • Skin problems

    For all of these reasons, it's often highly recommended that folks supplement with a probiotic, which I would generally consider a "foundational" supplement. If you can tolerate fermented foods (e.g., yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.), then these can also help fortify the gut microbiome as they contain beneficial bacteria.

    Digestive enzymes may also be a critical piece of the puzzle. In some instances (e.g., lactose intolerance, sensitivities to certain FODMAP-containing foods, histamine intolerances), the food sensitivity can result from an insufficiency of the appropriate enzymes required to break down the nutrients. For example, lactose intolerance occurs when the body doesn't produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which is necessary to break down lactose into its constituent building blocks (e.g., galactose, glucose). When the sugar lactose goes undigested, it's fermented by the bacteria in the large intestine, resulting in gases (e.g., belching, flatulence) and/or pulling water into the colon (e.g., bloating).

    I hope that this is a helpful start, Angela. I know that you might feel alone and distraught with all of this, but I want you to know that we'll be here for you, and we'll do everything that we can to help.
    Tim Skwiat, MEd., CSCS, Pn2
    Director of Nutrition and Exercise
    BioTRUST Nutrition: We are THE premium, natural nutrition brand committed to integrity, excellence, and giving back.

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