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Some good resources for gut health?

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by markiemark, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. markiemark

    markiemark Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Hi guys,

    Do you have any go-to books or other resources for Gut health? I fear Gut health has become a bit of a buzzword and there's a lot of material out there. I'm concerned a lot of it will be built on bad science or watered down from a "main source", which many books seem to be!

    I'm going to track down some good sources but thought it'd be a good idea to ask here! :)
     
  2. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  3. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  4. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  5. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  6. Subtropical Island

    Subtropical Island Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I agree, there is a huge amount of overblown hype and it can be hard to sift through it all.

    I'm having an off-day. Not a crash but not great self-editing today so the following may need to be edited heavily in a few days when I feel better but here goes:

    Um, I think the problem is that there is a lot of research going on at the moment (in gut health) but that it is only increasing our appreciation for how little we know.

    There are a lot of specific studies of specific microbiota in specific disease processes while the vast majority of what is going on remains unseen. Interactions of all those organisms make simple A -> B connections meaningless or misleading.
    It's a bit like trying to understand an entire savanna ecosystem by only looking at gazelle populations (not the grass, not the predation, not the human settlements, nor water supplies, parasites, flies, diseases, etc etc). Or just lions, but nothing they feed on. Etc.
    I think (happy to be corrected) we can make some larger scale statements like fibre being generally good (unless it causes you trouble), a broad but consistent diet being helpful to stable populations (both in the gut and all ecosystems - but there are exceptions), that large intestine micro-organisms aren't supposed to be in the small intestine (if they are it's SIBO), that taking probiotics is of only transient benefit unless the diet usually includes a continuous feed of prebiotics (I don't mean pills, I mean cabbage if you want sauerkraut bacteria or dairy if you want yogurt or kefir bacteria etc) and even then we don't know if it will work for you without the right genetics etc.

    We're kind of at the stage where we know about how interconnected the brain and gut can be but not a huge amount about what to do about it except in very specialised cases.

    Michelle pollan's: eat real food, not too much, mostly vegetables is generally good.

    However, if you have gut problems, the first thing to do is keep a food diary.
    Then, when you identify any patterns that indicate certain foods are a problem, try an elimination diet:
    cut those certain foods out for 1-4 weeks and keep filling out the food diary including symptoms (and other factors in life in case it's not food but exertion or stress or...).
    Then when things have stabilised, if there is any improvement, try adding one type of food back at a time. Remember to record how it was cooked and in what form it came (it took me ages to realise it wasn't potatoes nor oil but sulphites for me - others will find that lactose is a problem but not all dairy or conversely all protein of a certain kind, gluten etc). Cutting out all processed foods can help isolate exactly which things you are eating but keeping a record of what you do consume and are exposed to is the most important bit.
    NB If no improvement, either you haven't eliminated the problem (consider reducing to something like white rice and boiled greens for a week, assuming you don't normally live on this, to see if you can see an improvement) or you don't have a food related problem. It's important to remember: Not all problems with the gut are food/diet related.
    Most people find a nutritionist is important in helping them do this well.

    There are stool tests and so forth as well as blood tests that normal doctors can do which can help identify if you have a common form of gastroenteritis or problems digesting certain foods. They can also tell from your blood (things like C-reactive protein etc) if you seem to be fighting an infection of some sort.
    Then there are things like endoscopy which can help find visible damage in the path from mouth to anus (they start at either end not both). You need to have this indicated in your symptoms where I come from and it's not fun to have these tests.

    @JaimeS gets into more detail once you've done the basics. (She won't necessarily agree with all I've said above, that's my own take). A lot of what she discusses and trials is cutting edge so if you're looking for the nitty gritty and latest research, especially as it relates to ME/CFS, that's where I'd go. Only a small subset of what she's found will apply to you personally.

    Be careful, focusing on gut health can take over your life and not always have as much impact as one might hope.
     

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