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Gut issues, gut health and resistant starch.



Gut health


This topic is close to my hearth because I had gut issues for many years. It all started when I drank water which had some bacteria in it, that bacteria then found a new home in my large intestine and that caused a lot of problems for me:


- Not digesting food properly

- Low energy levels

- Insomnia

- Weight loss

- Spending a lot of money on supplements and consultations

- Big bills for toilet paper :D

- Making sure there is always a toiled close


I tried a lot of different things to fix the problem, some crazy ones and with different results. Some things worked, some didn’t and some only for a while. I explain later what I did.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and what worked for me may not work for you. Although some things like clearing up your diet and writing a food diary to find problematic foods may be beneficial for many.


Our large intestine is home for trillions of different bacteria called microbiota. We want the beneficial gut bacteria to be in bigger numbers then the bad ones. If its’s the other way around and the pathogenic bacteria take over, we have something called bacterial dysbiosis. In many cases the body can deal with the imbalance by itself.


What can cause a microbiota dysbiosis?


- Consuming too much alcohol

- Medication, antibiotics (sometimes we must take them)

- Poor dental hygiene

- High level of stress

- Consumption of contaminated food or water

- Diet high in processed food


In my experience, by talking to Friends, Family I found out that a lot of people have some sort of gut issues, be it constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, and sometimes simple dietary changes can help to deal with them.


How to help yourself?


1.

If you want to address your gut issues you can start a little investigation. Start writing a food diary, write down what you have eaten, how you felt after, sometimes the symptoms may show up a few minutes, few hours or 2 days later. Writing things down will make it easier to find out what foods can cause it.


2.

Eliminate foods which are problematic, or you suspect of causing trouble. For example, if you are feeling bloated after eating certain foods, try to avoid it for a week or two, see how you feel. You can always try that food again after that time and see if it still causing issues, sometimes it may be the amount of said food that can cause problems.


3.

You can ask you doctor to have a stool test done. In my case when the results came back, they didn’t show anything wrong, so I had to get a Comprehensive digestive stool analysis done which set me back over around 300e. The good thing was that it showed what was wrong and finally I could get it treated.


4.

If you know what foods don’t agree with you, stay away from them. Try to find alternatives, for example if you don’t tolerate lactose find lactose free options.


Resistant starch


Most of the carbohydrates we are consuming are starches. Some of the starches are not getting digested and they make their way into the large intestine unchanged.


We can find them in whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, boiled and cooled down potatoes, green unripe bananas. When the resistant starch reaches the colon it feed the friendly gut bacteria, helps it to grow.


There are hundreds of different species of bacteria inhibiting our intestines, its good to consume a variety of different resistant starch. The bacteria in our gut outnumber our bodies cells 10-1. You could say that we are 90% bacteria and 10% human.


When we eat resistant starch the bacteria in our colon digests it and turns in into short chain fatty acids, the most important one is butyrate which is used as fuel for the cells in your colon.


Because of the beneficial effects on the colon, resistant starch may help with some digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, constipation, diverticulitis and diarrhoea.


What did I do to help with my issues.


Clearing up my diet.


- No alcohol (if I drank some it was spirits, no soft drinks, sugar free options should be ok)

- Zero refined sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no sweet fruits, except some blueberries, strawberries

- Home cooked meals (this way I knew what is in it)

- Exercising – this helped me with my energy levels

- Taking creatin monohydrate – looks like it has beneficial effects on the gut

- Taking raw potato starch, mixed with water – this and the diet changes I made were the two biggest things that helped.


Like I said before this helped me to deal with my issues. I still need to be carful with what I eat but I can eat more foods than before.


It took me years to get better, trying out different things, sometimes I’ve made mistakes and I had to start all over again, life happens, but I knew what I need to do to get me back on track.


If you have any question let me know


All the best

Seb

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