Obviously. But some have a… less pleasant experience than others and – because it’s ‘not polite’ to talk about – they suffer through having super uncomfortable and true quality-of-life altering digestive discomfort when there are solutions!
#1: Gut Health
The gut health kit I use that tests all your gut flora to make sure you have a good probiotic balance going on is from UBiome. Using its results, I was able to look for the right probiotics I needed to support my digestion, and I’ve found I don’t react as severely to foods I have issues with when I’m supplementing correctly. The test will also show if you have gut flora that usually presents in larger issues, such as Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease, so can be a great first step if you’re trying to rule out true intestinal diseases that would need a more medically-based approach.
#2: Food Intolerances
I was able to figure out the foods I have issues with specifically through a US BioTek FoodStats Antibody Assessment with my doc, but it was expensive and it was about 4 years ago before cheaper at-home options were available. I have a few friends who have used EverlyWell‘s at-home testing kit and have liked the ease of the process.
My food test confirmed a few true anaphylactic-reactions that I didn’t even realize I was having because I was eating the things I was allergic to in such small amounts, but also confirmed a lot of intolerances that are super common for anyone with autoimmune issues – dairy, wheat, eggs, refined sugars, nightshades, etc.
#3: Immune Reactions to Food
There’s an eating guideline for people with autoimmune issues called the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol – it identifies the foods that people’s immune systems tend to go on the attack against, causing inflammation system-wide but often presenting as puffiness, digestive issues, headaches, heartburn, mood swings, etc. The best resource for it is Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of PaleoMom. She has a multitude of resources – easy step-by-step guides, videos, books, etc. – all about how to integrate AIP into your life.
The big thing I learned was that there’s no such thing as just eating a little bit of the things I don’t react well to and expecting that to work. I had to entirely cut them out to give my body time to stop being in inflamed mode, then slowly reintroduce some things that weren’t causing as much of an issue to see if I could eat those things on their own when my body wasn’t in crazy mode from the larger issue foods.
I do know that some people think the Paleo approach to eating is crap, pardon the pun. But our food system has changed drastically over the last century, there are a lot of things in our food that didn’t used to be there – additives, preservatives, pesticides, etc. – and it’s no wonder our bodies are having issues processing a lot. Add in how our immune systems are shifting based on modern society and immune-health approaches to eating just make sense.
They key thing is to find what type of eating works best for YOUR body – how you function, how you feel – and stick to that. Everyone is going to have an opinion on what you eat, but only you get to live in your body. Find what works for it.
And finally – drink water. A lot of it. Chances are you – like most everyone – are not drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day, and then wondering why your body can’t process dense foods. Silly.
Happy pooping, everyone.