All disease begins in the gut.
Since my family has been eating exclusively whole, unprocessed foods for over three years, I have noticed a strange occurrence. When my girls go to birthday parties or indulge in holiday festivities such as Halloween or Easter, they don’t feel very well afterward. After eating the processed foods out of the Industrial Food System, the girls become nauseous and complain about stomach pain within a few hours. My eldest daughter has vomited a number of times after these meals. My youngest daughter is very sensitive to something in these foods. More often than not, it causes behavioral problems for a day or two after eating the processed food. My husband occasionally eats out at restaurants and complains about not feeling well after most meals. Even our cat Tabs, who has been on a raw meat diet since we got her, has become sick from getting into a friend’s processed cat food. As I observe their sickness, I notice it is like a mild flu that includes stomach upset or vomiting.
Now my family has not eaten unprocessed foods our whole lives. We used to eat processed foods everyday without feeling sick. (Okay, my family wasn’t the picture of health, but we weren’t vomiting after a meal either.) One would hope that eating nourishing traditional foods regularly would strengthen a person’s constitution so an occasional meal of highly processed foods would have no effect. But the reverse appears to be true. The longer my family eats nourishing traditional foods, the more sensitive we become to these processed foods.
Why are they now having industrial food sickness? Why in the past did these same processed foods not cause sickness? What has changed? I have been thinking about this question for quite some time. It is hypothesized that the healing action of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is that it changes the composition of gut flora or reverses gut dysbiosis. Gut dysbiosis is the lack of gut flora or an unhealthy gut flora imbalance which causes illness.
What if this progressive industrial food sickness is caused by changes in the gut flora community? Do the processed foods damage or kill healthy gut flora? Does the gut flora “communicate” this damage to the “gut brain” causing the feeling of sickness? The gut brain is an extensive grouping of neurons in the digestive system, which gut flora attaches to and chemically communicates with the nervous system. What if the gut flora community is causing the feeling of being sick after my family eats the processed foods?
This would explain the progressive nature of industrial food sickness and why it seems to worsen the longer my family eats nourishing traditional foods. The longer my family eats better, the stronger the population of healthy gut flora becomes. As the healthy gut flora population increases, it can send a very strong message to the nervous system that the processed food is making the gut flora’s environment poisonous to them. The reason why the processed food did not cause illness before eating nourishing traditional foods is because of gut dysbiosis. There was not enough healthy gut flora to send a strong message of dismay to the nervous system about our food choices.
One thing I notice is that it is getting easier to get my children to eat better. Every round of industrial food sickness reinforces good eating patterns. The sad part is thinking about all of the people walking around with very sick gut flora communities, too weak to send a danger warning. Most people are not aware that we are indeed “individuals” but our bodies are a vast and complex microcosm of interrelating organisms. We are in peril if we forget that we interface with the environment on a microscope level and our first line of defense is our symbiotic gut flora community.
For more information about this topic please read What is a Healthy Gut? For more information about gut dysbiosis please read Gut and Psychology Syndrome and GAPS In Our Medical Knowledge. For more information about the gut brain connection please read Breaking the Vicious Cycle.