“All disease begins in the gut,” said Hippocrates.
No one can argue with the father of modern medicine about digestive problems! Especially, the 45 million suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); 1.6 million people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and 3 million people with Celiac, in the US.
Low carb paleo type diets are excellent at managing symptoms and reducing inflammation,
but what caused it in the first place? Inflammation is just another symptom, it’s not the cause.
Both diarrhea and constipation result because of problems with motility. Motility refers to the wave-like contractions of the muscles in the GI tract which move food and waste throughout it. There are two types of motility.
- Peristalsis, the motility that moves food that you have eaten.
- The migrating motor complex (MMC) is a cyclic, recurring motility pattern that occurs in the stomach and small bowel during fasting.
That “growling” sound your stomach makes? No, you are not hungry. That is your stomach and your intestines engaging in MMC and starting the cleaning process. The MMC wave-like movements push undigested food and waste out of our small intestines. This is crucial to keep our gut bacteria balanced:
- Clearing the small intestines prevents the bacteria from feeding off of the waste and grow out of control. (84% of IBS patients test for SIBO (Small Intestines Bacteria Overgrowth).
- The sweeping wave-like motions clean out excess bacteria by being pushed back into the large intestine.
- Increase in gastric, biliary, and pancreatic secretions, help clean out the small intestine of bacteria buildup.
In a healthy person, with a balanced gut flora, the MMC cycles last at least 90 min. It’s important to understand that the moment we eat, those cycles are stopped and interrupted, and the Peristalsis motility starts.
When we are following the 6 “mini meals” recommendations and grazing on food all day, we never give our body a chance to fully clean the waste from food, leading to overgrowth of candida and/or bacteria, inflammation and Intestinal Permeability.
So, what is the solution if you suffer from digestive disorders?
Intermittent Fasting may be the answer!
Fasting for at least four hours after meals might be beneficial in re-regulating the MMC, but the longer we fast, the more time the body has, to complete the process.
Keto diet also showed to not only help reduce inflammation but also modulate the immune response, increasing glutathione levels, an important antioxidant, that people with auto-immune disease are notoriously low in.
Talk to your practitioner about the right diet for your condition and if you would benefit from specific amino acids supplementation.
Dr. Taggy Bensaid