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 on: Today at 08:43:39 AM 
Started by roger - Last post by roger
Please note - before reading this thread and any that might follow, it's important to read the introduction thread because this will give you an indication as to whether or not this board might be of value to you.

The digestive system is incredibly complex, and I should start by saying that I’m not an expert on its technicalities since I’ve never had to put a great deal of effort or research into solving the digestive issues that I experienced, which were related to the colon, reflux, increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut), small intestinal overgrowth (SIBO) and fungus, a catch all name that includes candida. I must stress that I’m very aware that there will be members of and visitors to this forum who suffer far more than I did digestive wise, because I strongly suspect that mine were mild in comparison.

With that in mind, I do have concerns that what I say here may seem patronising, and indeed may be patronising, to those who are suffering far more than I did, and for those with the more serious problems like Crohns, inflammatory bowel disease, gastric ulcers or celiac disease, for example, this thread will be of little value, and I’d suggest that if you’re in that category, you consider consulting with a good functional medicine doctor, a naturopath, an ayurvedic doctor or even a clinical herbalist specialising in the digestive system.

For the less serious problems, specifically the ones I mentioned above, I think it’s possible that the things I did might help those with more serious versions of these things, because a principle is a principle, and I suspect that the underlying cause of these issues is likely to be the same whether the symptoms are mild, moderate or severe. So if there’s sufficient interest in this thread, I’ll be happy to relate what helped me on supplementary threads.
For now though, I’d just like to cover a few basics that I believe have the potential to at least reduce symptoms, and quite possibly even completely deal with all manner of the less serious gut issues.

1. Very often, almost any digestive issue will respond well to supplemental probiotics and a digestive enzyme complex simply because healthy gut bacteria and a good supply of digestive enzymes are essential to the digestive system, and so many people are severely lacking in one or the other or both for a variety of reasons, a major one being prolonged use of antibiotics. There are lots of options out there, but a probiotic I rate highly is this and a digestive enzyme formula I like is this.

2. For at least three weeks, try cutting out all grains and dairy (other than grass fed butter) from your diet. Why, because these are major potential causes of gut distress, and I’ve known people who’ve completely resolved their issues by doing this alone. If after three weeks you’ve seen no improvement in your digestion or general health, then you can add them back into your diet if you want to. Of course there are several other foods that cause problems for some people, so if excluding grains and dairy (the two major ones) doesn’t help, it may well be worth looking further – I’ve heard it said that the food you crave most is very often the culprit, so, although you certainly won’t want to, maybe it’s worth starting there!

3. Many gut issues are due to low stomach acid. If you drink within around thirty minutes before a meal or around one and a half to two hours after a meal, there is the potential to dilute your stomach acid before it can do its job, so it’s worth avoiding drinks within those time scales. Incidentally, as I’ve said in another thread, clean water is the drink your body wants above all others. But if you have gut issues, avoid iced water, which will ‘shock’ and disrupt your digestive system – drink it at room temperature.

4. Chew your food to pulp before swallowing. Why? First, I’ve heard rules like chew thirty times or sixty times, or whatever. Well that might be right for some but not necessarily for you. Whether it’s twenty, thirty or sixty times or whatever, the objective is to have nothing ‘solid’ left in your mouth when you swallow, so the number of chews required is the number that achieves that. Back to why - Your gut has a major, energy sapping job to do as it liquidises, extracts nutrients and excretes waste. If it’s clearly struggling, chewing to pulp provides the digestive process with a good start and will help it tremendously. One point – keep your mouth closed while chewing. If you don’t, you’ll draw air into your stomach, which may slow digestion and possibly cause bloating. 

5. Try to leave around twelve hours after your last food of the day and the following breakfast. You like to rest at night and so does your digestive system – so, you have twelve hours ‘on’ (gut working) and twelve hours ‘off’ (gut resting). An important caveat is that if you have poor blood sugar control, long periods without food can lead to hypoglycaemia, which is not something you want. So under those circumstances, a twelve hour break may be too long - just go for as long as you can without feeling weak or ill.

6. Again bearing in mind the caveat regarding blood sugar problems, if you can do it, a weekly fast of eighteen to twenty four hours will give your gut a really good rest, and it will love you for it.

7. Instead of three meals a day, try five smaller ones. This means that instead of facing three major tasks a day, you gut will face five smaller, more easily and quickly digested ones, and it’ll be happier that way.

8. Back to stomach acid - slow digestion can be caused by food remaining in the stomach for too long because gastric juices are in short supply. One way to increase this supply is to try Swedish bitters, which are available from Amazon and elsewhere. If you put a small amount of these bitters on your tongue around ten to twenty minutes before you start eating a large or largish meal, a message is sent to your stomach, warning that there’s a big job on the way. The stomach then thinks, ‘right, I’d better get to work straight away!’ So it’s willing and ready when the meal actually arrives.  In fact, anything that’s really bitter will help, but Swedish bitters are convenient and designed specifically for this job, and you only need a very small amount - about a quarter to half a teaspoon – to put your stomach into ‘bring it on!’ mode.

9. I know it’s not easy, but try the best you can to reduce stress levels – stress alone can cause all sorts of digestion problems because you’re in sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ mode and your body (via the mind) diverts blood away from your gut and immune system - thus reducing function - to your muscles. A simple approach that can be quite effective in some people if done consistently, is to find a quiet place twice a day and do ten minutes of slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing. This can switch your autonomic nervous system back to parasympathetic, relaxed, from sympathetic, uptight. Mindfulness practice can be very effective, too.

So that’s about it. The above are a few basics that I believe are worth experimenting with and which might help, possibly in a big way. And that’s important because as I intimated in this board’s introduction thread, all the body’s systems are reliant on your digestive system to provide what they need, so if your gut isn’t working properly, neither is anything else.

If the above raises any queries or points for discussion or argument, please feel free to post.

 on: August 18, 2017, 06:07:44 PM 
Started by Jayne73 - Last post by roger
Hi Anne,

I'm with you on that. Three months is a good trial period. If there are no improvements by then, you probably don't need them.

 on: August 18, 2017, 06:03:43 PM 
Started by Jayne73 - Last post by Anne56
I've been taking coq10, acetyl l creatinine and lipoic  acid for about two months now and gave noticed no difference in my symptoms. I'll try it for another month and then will stop if themes no change. Then im just sticking to the basics. I'm so fed up of trying different supplements and spending money on things that don't help.  38

 on: August 18, 2017, 01:42:55 PM 
Started by roger - Last post by roger
 c017 again, Anne!

 on: August 18, 2017, 01:40:53 PM 
Started by roger - Last post by roger
Hi Anne, and a big  c017 - for making the effort to post. I thought I might get some flack with this one, so I'm glad you're not giving me any  smile

 on: August 18, 2017, 01:21:25 PM 
Started by roger - Last post by Anne56
 clap clap clap clap clap

Well said Roger. When I was growing up doctors were treated like gods and we all trusted everything they said. Now I do my own research and decide for myself. I show them respect but they are not perfect. Many of us on here are more knowledgeable about ME/CFS than the doctors.  c017

 on: August 18, 2017, 01:12:40 PM 
Started by roger - Last post by Anne56
Thank you Roger for this very interesting post. I have thought the same for quite a while. The medical profession should treat the whole person, not just treat the symptoms.  38

 on: August 18, 2017, 10:41:41 AM 
Started by tinkertink2010 - Last post by Talen
Finger crossed for you tinkertink2010

 on: August 18, 2017, 10:40:07 AM 
Started by hungrydaze - Last post by Talen
Thanks for taking the time to type this advise agapanthus and  Wits_End.  They did try to trip me up with my PIP face to face several times a few months ago but I caught them all. Do I need to take my PIP assessment with me which gave me 10 points on self-care.  Also my recent blue badge award, after a walking assessment with an occupational therapist, although this didn't really help with the mobility component I got 4 points).  Some the assessor decided I could walk 50 - 100m by simply asking me to raise each knee in a sitting position ie non-weight bearing.


 on: August 18, 2017, 07:45:33 AM 
Started by roger - Last post by roger
Please note - before reading this thread and any that might follow, it's important to read the introduction thread because this will give you an indication as to whether or not this board might be of value to you.

Doctor knows best? I think the answer is ‘maybe’, depending on what he’s treating.

Someone recently asked me why I hate doctors, and my answer was that I don’t – in fact I don’t hate anyone or anything. I’m quite sure that the vast majority of doctors set out with a huge desire to help their patients. But I do have a fairly intense dislike of the allopathic medical machine, which I think is largely ineffectual when treating chronic ‘disease’, though I fully accept that in a few areas - trauma, intensive care and diagnosis (sometimes), for example, it’s pretty good.

What do I mean by ‘the allopathic medical machine’?

At the beginning of the nineteen hundreds there were several successful (for the times) medical modalities. Then two very rich people, Messrs Rothschild and Carnegie recognised the potential to increase their wealth substantially by expanding the newly created pharmaceutical industry. To do this, they had to 1) discredit all the other modalities 2) pump money into expanding the drug industry and 3) support medical schools with millions of dollars, but just those schools that taught only the use of drugs and surgery. Within forty years, their plans came largely to fruition and the allopathic system was firmly at the top of the tree by a very long way. This system is what I call the ‘medical machine’.

So what’s wrong with this system?

It has little interest in finding cures – which is why I have little interest in supporting cancer or heart disease charities, many of which are supported, advised and manipulated by ‘the machine’. Rather, their interest is in ‘managing’ chronic disease. Why? Because a curative use once or short term drug would show little profit, whereas ‘management drugs’ create a lifetime customer (the patient) providing an unbelievably high profit line – the pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable industry in the world by a long way.

I’m NOT saying that all medical research is wrong, that would be ridiculous because much of it is valuable in helping people with symptom management, trauma, and intensive care, for example. But equally, a fair percentage of it is just plain wrong, due to fraud in a small but significant percentage of cases, and the researcher’s preconceived ideas and general bias, often due to consideration around current and future funding. Even if a research group is entirely self-funded, they begin with a hypothesis and they’d like the results of their research to confirm that hypothesis. I’ve sometimes read research then looked at the conclusions reached by the researchers and been totally bemused.

A couple of ‘bad science’ examples that doctors so often rely on are 1) The Pace Trial and 2) The saturated fat hypothesis. I’m sure that anyone reading this thread will be aware of the Pace Trial, so I won’t go into detail, other than to say that, fortunately, many doctors are now seeing sense on this one. I’d say this is an example of having a hypothesis and ensuring that your research confirms it.

The saturated fat position is a case of pure fraud that has perpetuated for well over sixty years. In the 1950s, Ansel Keys believed that saturated fat blocked arteries thus causing heart disease and he set out to prove it. The Seven Countries Study was the result, and it DID prove his hypothesis, except that he actually studied twenty two countries, the evidence from fifteen of which proved him wrong. To deal with this inconvenience, he excluded those fifteen countries from the study. Now, many decades later, doctors still warn us off saturated fat due to their bogus health risks. They seem to be confusing these good fats with the truly dangerous Trans and hydrogenated fats, and they should know better.

Also, Pharma does cunning tricks with Statistics. If you get your cholesterol checked and it’s on the high side, your GP will prescribe a statin, stating that it reduces heart disease by 50%. Looked at one way, you could say that it does, but look at the stats in a sensible way and it doesn’t.

Consider an imaginary statin trial, for example, with one hundred participants on statins and another one hundred on placebo. It’s set up properly and runs for ten years. At the end of ten years, two people in the Statin group have died of a heart attack and three of the control group have died, one more than in the Statin group. So, that’s a 50% improvement in the statin group, right? But let’s turn things around – ninety eight participants in the statin group survived and in the placebo group, ninety seven survived – a difference of one in a hundred.

Bearing in mind that statins have their own many nasty effects, which would in my opinion be better described as ‘direct effects’ – some of them serious enough to be potentially lethal, is that difference really meaningful? I’ll let you decide, but I know what I think. And this sort of backwards manipulation goes on all the time.

MOTTO - If you’re reading research papers, ignore the summary and read the whole thing, which sometimes has no bearing on the summary, and very importantly, look into who’s funding the research.

I’ll post part 2 of this thread shortly. 

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