Have you ever heard of Gastroparesis? I’m sure your guess consists of something related to the gut, but it is actually a condition that affects the normal spontaneous movement of the muscles (motility) in your stomach. Generally, strong muscular contractions propel food through your digestive tract. But, if you have gastroparesis, your stomach's motility is slowed down or doesn't work at all, preventing your stomach from emptying properly. Gastroparesis is sometimes treated with medications, such as opioid pain relievers, some antidepressants, and high blood pressure and allergy medications, and can lead to slow gastric emptying or cause similar symptoms. For people who already have gastroparesis, these medications may make their condition worse. Gastroparesis can interfere with normal digestion, cause nausea and vomiting, and cause problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition. The cause of gastroparesis is usually unknown. Sometimes it's a complication of diabetes, and some people develop gastroparesis after surgery. Although there's no cure for gastroparesis, changes to your diet, along with medication, can offer some relief. If you feel that you may have Gastroparesis or a similar condition, call us today and make an appointment to see your doctor.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts, naturally found in your body that are good for your health -- especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that can be harmful, but in the case of probiotics it’s a good thing. Your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. What do probiotics do? Probiotics help move food through your gut. You can get extra probiotics from certain foods and supplements and often help to calm certain health conditions such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Infectious diarrhea
- Antibiotic-related diarrhea
- Skin conditions such as eczema
- Urinary and vaginal health
- Preventing allergies and colds
- Oral health
Ice cream. It’s summer right? Ice cream sounds like a great treat in this warm summer weather. But, wait? Dairy. As much as you want that ice cream, you know your stomach just really can’t handle it. You just so happen to be lactose intolerant and your body just doesn’t do well when you eat anything with dairy… including ice cream. Lactose intolerant you say? What is that and what are the signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance? Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same thing as a food allergy to milk. When lactose moves through the large intestine without being properly digested, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, belly pain, and bloating. Some people who have lactose intolerance cannot digest any milk products. Others can eat or drink small amounts of milk products or certain types of milk products without problems. Lactose intolerance is common in adults. It occurs more often in Native Americans and people of Asian, African, and South American descent than among people of European descent. A big challenge for people who are lactose-intolerant is learning how to eat to avoid discomfort and to get enough calcium for healthy bones. Signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance:
- Pain or cramps
- Gurgling or rumbling sounds in your belly
- Loose stools or diarrhea
- Throwing up
Every time you eat a meal, you’re also feeding the roughly 100 trillion bacteria that call your gut and other organs home. Bacteria isn’t just passively hanging out in digestive organs: They have the ability to break down food remnants and turn them into usable sources of energy. As many as 1,000 different bacterial strains inhabit our intestines, and each of us has our own unique gut fingerprint of microbes comprised of different species in different proportions. Different species of bacteria thrive on different foods, so what we eat alters our intestinal makeup. For example, research shows that the standard Western diet, high in protein and fat, has been associated with a greater proportion of bacteria belonging to the Bacteroides genus. A high-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet, such as that consumed by traditional rural populations, has been correlated with higher amounts of Prevotella bacteria. The following suggestions may help to nourish a more complex gut environment by fueling beneficial bacteria:
- Eat a wide variety of high-fiber plant foods every single day, including vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
- Incorporate prebiotic foods. Best bets include onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, asparagus, beets, cabbage, beans, lentils, soybeans, whole wheat, oats, and bananas.
- Enjoy fermented foods. Fermented foods get their tang from lactic acid-producing bacteria, which can survive your harsh digestive tract and actually populate your gut, at least temporarily. Yogurt with live and active cultures is an easy source, but there are plenty of other deliciously funky options.