You and your Gut. 

Thanks to our modern diet, one in four operations in the UK are now on some part of the digestive tract.

The average person in the West eats 65 tons of food and drink in their life. 

We've cured the old diseases like diphtheria, polio and smallpox, and replaced them with modern killers like cancer and heart disease, due to our unsuitable diets. About one in five UK adults suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Some think IBS is now ‘usual’ - the legacy of combining fast-paced lifestyles with rich food and reduced exercise. 

We each eat about half a ton of food per year.  Current research shows that the prevalence of food hypersensitivities in the general population is estimated at about 5 per cent, and up to 65 per cent of IBS patients attribute their symptoms to food allergies.

Many irritable bowels are caused by smoking, one of the commonest causes of Crohn's disease as well.

Look after your gut, it is your powerhouse

Eat plenty of fibre (for details click on haemorrhoids) and find out more
Don't smoke
Eat a varied diet (Japanese try to eat 40 different foods a day)
Eat plenty of coloured vergetables
Eat fresh food that is in season from a greengrocer
Use convenience foods, confectionery and sweets as a treat only. 
Don't microwave food

Researchers have found that IBS patients have elevated antibodies to common foods such as wheat, beef, pork, lamb, and soya bean. These findings, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, suggest that food hypersensitivities play a role in IBS and the observations made are consistent for three subgroups of IBS tested - diarrhoea, constipation and both. “With this simple test, we have scientifically shown that these symptoms may be due to the body’s response to what we eat in our daily diet. It opens up a new avenue for the management for this large and complex group of patients,” said Dr. Devinder Kumar of St. George’s Hospital in London. Since this study has been conducted, the researchers have now performed a diet exclusion study based on the findings of the food hypersensitivity test and “preliminary results are very encouraging.”

Whether simply digestive discomfort caused by holiday tummy, constipation, diarrhhoea or indigestion, or more serious digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, we have all suffered at some point. What is less commonly acknowledged, however, is that poor digestive health is also the root cause of many of our most frequently suffered allergies, which is just another of the many reasons reason why taking a little time to care for our gut will boost general health and well-being.

Deaths from digestive illness - including colon cancer, liver disease, pancreatitis and diverticular disease - now account for 12 per cent of all UK deaths and one in eight of all admissions to general hospitals in the UK are connected with the digestive tract.
18th July 2005 marks the start of Gut Week, organised by CORE, the Digestive Disorders Foundation, to raise awareness of the gastro-intestinal problems suffered by millions of Britons every year, and the importance of maintaining good digestive health.
Digestive health information and celebrity recipes. www.gutweek.org.uk


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