Many of us are aware of good nutrition principles, but we find that after a while our basic nutrition plan does not seem to improve our poor health condition.
At LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, we look deeper and seek to discover the underlying causes of your ailment. The saying “One man’s food is another man’s poison” is very true. This is especially true when it comes to digestive disorders. The cruciferous vegetables, for example, like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are known as healthy foods. For some these are good foods, but for others, they can cause extreme discomfort and exacerbate the bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and should be avoided for a while.
We require our patients to complete a health questionnaire before their nutrition consultation. We also give time to hear their story and we have a very detailed software program that customizes the foods that are just right for you and your health. We carefully input your personal health details with all the information we can gather, discerning priorities for you, including any test results and we will then generate your personal color coded food list.
You may have more than one health condition you need addressed. Often health conditions conflict with the foods that are therapeutic. Spinach, for example, is known for its many nutritional benefits, being rich in vitamins and minerals, good for bone health, asthma, is anti-inflammatory and has anti-cancer properties. However, for a person with Hypothyroidism it is best that consumption of this vegetable is reduced, especially in its raw state, as it contains goitrogens which can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid.
Therefore, we give very detailed advice to our patients, to bring them to optimum health as soon as possible. As progress is made with your health, we update your program which results in the food list often being relaxed and not as restrictive. It gives our patients assurance that the foods they eat are really working for them and not hindering their progress.
Example of Diets:
Our motto is “A Whole-Person Approach to Digestive Care”. This is very important. Being “gut specialists”, we evaluate how other symptoms or conditions you are suffering from are linked to your digestive system like autoimmune diseases.
We use many functional medicine tests to determine what is happening in the body. With more precise information we can give very precise recommendations to our patients for a better and quicker outcome.
Especially for those who lack energy, are pre-diabetic, or diabetic it is important to eat foods that control the blood sugar balance. The glycemic Index (GI) and the glycemic Load (GL) is a way of measuring the rate at which sugar is released in the body. One wants a steady sugar release and not spikes, which cause energy slumps or the insulin to over react.
What’s important is not simply knowing the right food to eat, but the combination of foods, timing of eating, and general eating guidelines as well.
1 in 133 people in the United States have Celiac disease, others have a high gluten sensitivity, some have a low gluten sensitivity, and a few seem not to be affected by it.
Gluten is a type of protein found in some grains. This substance not only can irritate the gut, but can also affect people systemically, such as having headaches, effects on other parts of the nervous system, weight gain, and a whole realm of other symptoms.
As well as testing our patients for gluten when required, we help them adjust to a gluten free diet, giving alternatives to eat – especially when eating out – to reduce any stress a gluten free diet may give.
It has been said that 5-10% of Americans are gluten sensitive.
Milk and cheese can be inflammatory, can add to mucus production, and result in congestion. For many conditions, dairy free is recommended. It is said that humans, after about 8 years old, do not produce the digestive enzyme lactase to break down lactose (the sugar in milk). There are many alternative milk products in stores, but not all are nutritionally beneficial. You must read the labels well.
Everyone has some yeast living in their intestines. It becomes a problem when there is yeast overgrowth and this fungus “takes over” residence in the gut. It causes havoc with bloating, gas, discomfort and sometimes weight gain. When it enters through a leaky gut into the bloodstream one can feel quite poorly like you are getting the ‘flu’. Yeast feeds on sugar so this is the main substance to avoid. One needs to reduce even naturally found sugar in foods like fruit. We show you what you can eat so you are not hungry, how you can curb a sweet tooth, and those cravings!
Most Americans consume only 25 grams of fiber per day. Optimally, we need twice that amount. Although we do not absorb fiber, there are several important health benefits.
Fiber “clean-sweeps” the gut from absorbing toxins, LDL cholesterol, and undesirable estrogen. It can help with the peristaltic action to ensure proper elimination of waste. In the colon, it provides food for the beneficial bacteria that, as a result, secrete Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). The SCFA’s are the main fuel that renews the cells that line the colon. This is an important preventative measure against colon cancer.
For some conditions, not all types of fiber are recommended. We will advise what fiber is right for you.
This diet was created only in 2001 but has gained much popularity more recently. It helps many people with certain IBS symptoms, especially bloating. It is important to understand the concept of the food plan to implement it in a relaxed manner. We explain this to you thoroughly in your consultation. The diet primarily manipulates carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest and therefore results in much gas given off by the bacteria in the gut.
Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
This diet is originally based on Dr. Sydney Haas’s findings in the 1920’s. As a pediatrician he treated many children with celiac disease and had good results. Since then this diet has been built upon, with much research, to address Inflammatory Bowel Disorders (IBD), such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. As the name implies, it is very specific as to what carbohydrates you can eat, but does not compromise your health. In fact, it is healthy. It encourages people to cook more at home so they can be in control of all the ingredients in the recipe. This gives confidence in what they are eating on a daily basis. Some sugars are “off limits” but those with a sweet tooth are glad to know that honey is allowed.
The body likes to be in an alkaline state to function optimally. All foods give either an acid or alkaline “ash” when metabolized in the body. We need to eat about 80% alkaline producing foods and 20% acidic forming to get the right balance. Many people have ill health because their food intake is a complete reversal of this. Too much acidity is an underlying factor for several degenerative diseases and osteoporosis. Also, cancer thrives in an acidic environment. During a consultation we go through these foods in detail. Some people are surprised to hear that lemons, for example, bring alkalinity to the body, and that sugar and stress can contribute to acidity.
Some foods can be more problematic than others in the intestines. Undigested carbohydrates and a compromised small bowel can give rise to excess gas and, therefore, discomfort. It is not so much the food itself, but the undesirable bacteria expelling methane and/or hydrogen when feeding on these foods. We give precise guidelines of foods that give the least fermentation potential.
It is a boring way to eat but can be most therapeutic when Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth is resistant to other treatments. It is very much a temporary diet as no solid foods are to be eaten, rather, only liquid nutrients are consumed for 2-3 weeks. No nice creamy smoothies with your favorite fruits are allowed! One has a choice of commercially prepared drinks or a more appealing homemade recipe.