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Q: Do you think irritable bowel is one syndrome or just a description for what could be a bunch of different undiagnosed conditions?
Dr. Devorah: IBS effects the large intestine and causes an array of symptoms including constipation and/or diarrhea, bloating, gas and abdominal pain. I have had several clients over the years who have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. When I evaluate people using an applied kinesiology muscle testing method called Nutrition Response Testing I often find different clues that lead me to think that IBS is a catch all for any disorder that causes these symptoms. I have found some people have late onset gluten sensitivity or wheat sensitivity which can cause these symptoms, leaky gut, an imbalance in the flora, and sometimes not enough digestive enzymes. I also have found that fixing the thyroid gland, which can make the bowel very sluggish, will help when it shows up.
Q: Digestive disorders seem much more prevalent these days, especially among women? There’s also the apparent increase in food allergies? What do you think are likely causes for these issues?
Dr. Devorah: First you have to look a the fact that anatomically speaking the female pelvis is wider than the male pelvis so that a lot more of the colon (intestine) sits deeper down in the pelvis, leaving no free space in the body. This means the bowels have to compete with space with the bladder, uterus, ovaries, etc…so if there are any issues with these organs, the bowel may be compromised.
Secondly I think women have so many responsibilities these days especially if they are working and have a family, caretaking for children and sometimes elderly parents too. It can be very stressful to juggle everything and women often inevitably put their own personal needs low on the “to do” list. Finding time for self-care can be very challenging. When stress is high the digestive enzymes become sluggish and often actual “digestion” doesn’t happen. This can cause gas and distress in the digestive tract.
While there are a myriad of issues and problems I see related to digestion, one really big problem is GERD, acid indigestion. A person can start getting acid reflux, and the typical strategy is to take some kind of acid blocker (prescription). However the reason why someone is getting the acid to start is that they don’t have enough natural hydrochloric acid in their stomach to begin with. The reason for this is can be because of stress, or because as we age we can less digestive enzymes. How this is expressed in the body? For example if you eat protein and it doesn’t get digested, it rots and creates an acid from what is called putrefaction-basically the decomposition of something dead.
So with your conventional doctor people start taking these drugs which were designed to be taken for only a short time, but when the problem doesn’t get better, they keep on taking them, not addressing the underlying problem, and they start alkalizing the digestive tract, which then leads to all kinds of other problems.
Alternatively by taking hydrochloric acid supplements their digestive system would return to its natural state supporting the body and stomach acid to do what it does, which is digest food, provide immunity against all kinds of bacteria, parasites, etc… So you see-it’s important to look at the source of the problem and support the body in homeostasis versus applying what was meant to be a temporary salve that could lead to further problems down the road.
Q : What are five foods that we could eat each week that will greatly benefit our health?
Dr. Devorah: The brassica family of vegetables – called the cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower. Also fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, coco kefir or “Inner Eco Protein”
Good fats – olive oil, coconut oil, seeds and nuts.