Bitters: An Under-appreciated Solution For Stomach Problems?

A chronic and frustrating, but not deadly, disease like IBS is a perfect one for experimentation. However, I’d never considered alcohol as anything but a trigger. And that wasn’t really borne out of experiences, but a cultural bias against it. It was just unhealthy, right?

Gluten-free is so popular because our health care system is a mess

Increasingly I see a lot of articles deriding the “gluten free” fad. I wonder if people writing them have actually talked to people who are gluten-free despite not being diagnosed with celiac disease. I’ve talked to many of them. And almost always, behind their gluten-free diet is a story of the failure of our medical system.

Ancient Wheat for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It's great to see so many interesting papers exploring the role of wheat in various common digestive issues. The last interesting paper I wrote about explored the role of FODMAPs in wheat in causing digestive problems sometimes called "gluten sensitivity." A new paperEffect of Triticum turgidum subsp.

Home is where the gut bacteria is

 Ugh, I got back from Europe this week and I feel like I have so much catching up to do. Books to review, emails to answer, projects to finish, mad programming skillz to acquire, apartment to spruce up... and somehow every night I go to bed with so much undone. More about my travels later, as there is an interesting new paper out.

The many-venomed earth

 I've written before on how the typical "paleo" paradigm didn't fix my digestive problems. That's because paleo divides things into good and bad in a somewhat arbitrary manner. The reality is that good and bad are relative to the functioning of your body and your individual biology. As Dr. Ayers said in his latest post:

Why Paleo didn't fix my IBS

 Now that it's been over four years since I first heard about "paleo" diets, I have been reflecting on how such diets have worked for me. When I first heard about paleo, I definitely thought it was a solution to all my problems and it worked really well for most of them. The original bane of my life in the pre-paleo era, GERD, is gone. But my IBS symptoms were harder to fix and even now I find myself experimenting.

IBS: Bran is bad... when will doctors catch up?

 In the next few months I hope to write a couple of posts on irritable bowel syndrome. It's interesting because so many (including myself) get relief from IBS by following a low-carb low-fiber grain-free fructose-free diet with probiotic supplementation. There are many reasons this works, but in the long term people following it might want to wean away from probiotic dependence, since probiotics in pills cannot become part of the permanant microbiome of most adult guts. In addition, there are real benefits from short chain fatty acids produced in the colon by fermentation.

The Middle Way

 Last year I met a girl who was trying the paleo diet and complaining she "felt weird" and her stomach hurt. I asked her what she was eating and it turns out she was eating 5 tablespoons of coconut oil for breakfast! I told her that wasn't food, that it was an ingredient you can use to make foods or a supplement and that maybe she should try eating food. Later she said she felt better.