Childhood Crohn's & Colitis: Mistake #3

Hazardous synthetic fabric in children's clothing and bedding.

Your children’s clothing and bedding can expose them to chemicals through fiber content, dyes, and pesticides. Synthetic fibers, which are derived from petrochemicals, include polyester, acrylic and nylon. Because children (and adults) are in contact with their clothing or bedding 24 hours a day, reactions to these fibers can be a significant source of stress to children’s digestion, immune systems, and nervous systems.

Chemicals in fabrics that are next to the skin can be absorbed through the skin, through the nose (because of their lingering smell) or through the mouth, as children sometimes chew or suck on their clothing. Adults and children with Crohn's, Colitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome can quite sensitive to chemical toxins and may even experience multiple chemical sensitivity.

To avoid these hazards, buy natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk, hemp, rayon, ramie and wool. If at all possible, buy organic cotton sheets and pyjamas; this avoids chemicals and pesticides and allows the hours of sleep to be as restful and restorative as possible. If your budget won’t allow for organic cotton then white or lightly coloured regular cotton is an excellent second choice.

A horrifying danger of synthetic fibers is that they go up in flames almost instantly when they come near an open flame such as a candle or a spark from a hearth fire...

Childhood Crohn's & Colitis Mistake #2: Use of Fabric Softener

Although a familiar and common household product, fabric softener is full of toxic chemicals. Once the fabric softener is in the clothes and the clothes are on the body, these chemicals are continually absorbed through your child's skin into the bloodstream where they create significant stress on both the digestive system and the immune system.

Common digestive symptoms for children include infant colic, bloating, cramps and irregular bowel movements. Children also have behavioural reactions to fabric softener, including temper tantrums, weepiness and lethargy. While this can happen to adults, too, the effect on children is greater because their developing immune systems are much more vulnerable.

And here’s a curious anecdote....

Mistake #1 Feeding grains, especially wheat, too early.

Feeding grains to infants is a "proceed with caution" zone. The enzymes that digest grains only begin to develop in children at about six months of age and are not fully developed until the age of two. This means that the child can’t fully digest the grain, so it’s possible for undigested molecules to enter the bloodstream. When this happens, the immune system may consider the molecules to be foreign proteins and will mount a defense against them which leads to food allergies and digestion problems...

Food combining was developed in the 1920’s by Dr Hay. He had a serious health crisis - Bright's Disease - and couldn't get the help he needed from medical treatment. His search to find a way to heal himself forced him to break away from the drugs and surgery of his own profession. Instead he discovered a dietary method to heal disease.

Since then he has had many enthusiastic followers including Suzanne Somers and Tony Robbins. However, as far as I know, neither the doctor nor the two celebrities has had IBS. Food combining has been popularized by them as the answer to weight loss and increased energy, and for digestive problems of every description. But is it the best diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Or a cure? Let’s take a look.

While I have seen different versions of the food combining diet, most of them seem to agree on three things:
• Don’t mix protein and starch at the same meal, so no meat with potatoes and carrots, no meat sauce on pasta, etc. Eat protein with non-starchy veggies, like salad, at one meal. Eat starch foods (pasta, bread, rice) with vegetables at another meal.
• Eat fruit and especially melons alone
• Eat lots of veggies, especially leafy greens

If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and have been looking into food for IBS, you might notice some problems with these suggestions right away...

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) has helped thousands of people recover from digestive disorders. But will it cure your Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Cell science researcher, Elaine Gottschall MSc, popularized the SCD in her book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Gottschall learned about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in a successful attempt to save her 8-year-old daughter from ulcerative colitis, and then did the science to figure out why it worked.

The SCD is a way of eating that is gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and almost completely dairy-free—only lactose-free dairy products are allowed. It is designed to heal the bowel and prevent further damage.

Does this apply to you if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Probably not. Lots of people with IBS don’t need to eat gluten-free and do well on a diet that includes white rice, oatmeal, and crackers and bread made from white flour. On the gluten-free, wheat-free Specific Carbohydrate Diet, these foods are big no-no’s.

Secondly, there’s no bowel damage in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There is inflammation and damage in conditions like Celiac, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis but not with IBS, so there’s no need to heal the bowel.

So, what’s the story? Why do some people with IBS thrive on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and not others?...

Go to Part One

More tips for permanent relief.....

Don’t freak out when you read this one:

4. Stop eating ANYTHING with sugar in it.
I know that sounds harsh, but sugar is really, really, really, really hard on your body. Because it contains no nutrition at all, it forces your body to use up its vitamins and minerals just to stay in balance. Well, so what? So, you NEED those nutrients to make your insides work properly. And when they don’t, guess what? Yup. Pain and trouble. PMS, cramps, headaches, nausea...do I need to continue?

Sugar means white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, organic sugar, turbinado sugar, cane sugar, sucralose, cane juice crystals, and pretty much any kind of syrup. The scary part is that sugar is in lots of places you wouldn’t expect, like soups, lunch meats, and condiments (ketchup especially).

In her book, Food and Healing, Annemarie Colbin, PhD, points out that the two foods that cause the most trouble for your reproductive system are refined sugar and milk products that have been pasteurized and homogenized—milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc.

I would add caffeine to that. You can decide for yourself, but if you have more problems with IBS during your period, try avoiding coffee, chocolate, and caffeinated drinks of any kind (lots of soft drinks have caffeine in them.) If you’re craving chocolate, it might be because you need to take some magnesium.

When you want something sweet, try some cooked squash with cinnamon on it. Have some applesauce or a peeled apple. Or a banana. Once you kick sugar, you’ll find organic carrots are surprisingly sweet. So are oats, if you’re okay with grains. Use cinnamon to make it sweeter. Stevia is another option, since it’s a sweet-tasting herb rather than a form of sugar...

When you have your period, does your IBS get even worse? To solve this problem you need some tactics you’re not likely to learn in the doctor’s office, unless your doctor happens to be a clinical ecologist or a specialist in environmental medicine.

To save you the time and expense of searching for one of these rare doctors (to quote Stephen Clarke, it would be like trying to find your contact lens from a helicopter), this blog post will tell you what to do.

I’m going to give you a checklist of actions that will help relieve your menstrual problems and can also help with Irritable Bowel symptoms. The fact is, there are products and foods that create havoc for your digestive system, your reproductive system, and your immune system and once you reduce your exposure to these troublemakers, you will definitely feel better.

How do I know? Partly research and training, partly client work and partly personal experience…

Once, in my 20’s, I had to be taken to the hospital for such terrible abdominal pain, I thought I was going to die. The ER doctor was dismissive.

“There’s nothing wrong with you,” he sniffed, “You have cramps.”

He should have such cramps and find out the real meaning of suffering. Anyway, I definitely never wanted to go through that humiliating experience again, so I started looking for answers.

Here’s what I found out. Once I did what I’m about to tell you, I never had another menstrual cramp or any other kind of period pain. Really. It also helped with my digestive problems.

Have you ever tried to go wheat-free or gluten-free, only to give up after a few days? Did you blame yourself? Call yourself a wimp with no will-power? Give in to that one little piece of birthday cake that sent you back to eating other wheat products again?

Well, take heart. If you have had trouble giving up wheat, it’s not because you’re a wimp. It’s because wheat and other gluten grains contain a little-known ingredient that makes you crave them, just like a drug.

That’s right. Wheat’s dirty little secret is…it actually is addictive!

According to James Braly MD, and Ron Hoggan MA, authors of Dangerous Grains, wheat and cereal grains contain small amounts of opioids, a substance that makes them addictive.

Opioids have a calming effect, they relieve pain, and they produce euphoria, as do the endorphins our bodies produce. They’re not the same as opium, which comes from the opium poppy and is used to make morphine and codeine. (Opium is a type of opioid.)

Because the opioids in wheat products are addictive, when you don’t get your regular dose of bread or pasta or whatever, you start craving. That’s the real reason wheat is so hard to give up.

As with all addictive substances, when you give up wheat, there are definitely withdrawal symptoms! After I read Dangerous Grains and its terrifying list of gluten-related diseases and chronic conditions—and recognized several of my blood relatives’ health problems on that list—I decided to go completely gluten-free. No grains at all.

Did you know that your lifestyle choices can be hazardous to your bowel health? Ordinary products you use every day could be ruining your digestive system. If you want to reduce and relieve your bowel symptoms, you need to know what they are.

You also need to know that your digestive system and your immune system are closely linked. Various sources, including Dr J Mercola, report anywhere from 60% to 80% of the immune system is in the digestive system.

So why does it matter?

Because anything that stresses your immune system also stresses your digestive system and is going to cause problems for your bowel.

What are those stresses?

The list is below but, before you read it, keep in mind that for every product or situation that harms your health or your digestion, there is a healthier, safer version, or a way to reduce your exposure.

1. Are you ingesting too much caffeine before bed?
Check how much chocolate, coffee, regular or green tea, caffeinated soft drinks, and alcohol you consume late in the day. These items speed up your heart rate and can keep you awake.

2. Is your bedroom dark enough?
Your eyes need full darkness to relax completely and allow your optic nerve to relax. The optic nerve carries visual messages to your brain even when there’s the tiniest bit of light and your eyes are closed. When the optic nerve relaxes, your whole nervous system can relax, allowing you to get a good sleep.

So unplug night-lights, cover up the display on your digital clock, make sure you have no other light sources showing inside your bedroom, and get blinds or curtains that totally block light from outside your window....

How to STOP the
Top 5 "Hidden" Triggers of IBS

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