Dealing with Microscopic Colitis and Food Intolerances
When it comes to food, we all have a unique relationship with it and different approaches. However, for individuals with health issues such as me and my journey with Microscopic Colitis, food can become a big source of confusion and frustration.
Microscopic Colitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the colon and can result in chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain. It is a condition that affects many individuals and can make it difficult to enjoy food without worrying about the repercussions.
As someone who has personally dealt with this health condition, I understand the struggle that can come with finding the right foods that work for you. I am not a medical professional, but I have found helpful information that has worked for me in my health journey.
In this blog post, I want to share some of the resources that I have found helpful along the way. Please note that the links I offer in this blog post are for self-exploration purposes only and references information that has worked for me. I am not a medical professional (doctor, nutritionist, naturopath, pathologist or industrial chemist) and I do not offer any medical advice.
With that said, I hope that this blog post can offer some support to anyone who is struggling with Microscopic Colitis, food intolerances or other gut conditions, and the challenges that come with finding the right foods to eat. Food is an essential part of our lives, and it is meant to provide us with nourishment, energy, and enjoyment. However, for individuals with health issues, food can become a big source of confusion and frustration. The fear of triggering symptoms and the uncertainty around which foods are safe to eat can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress. This can make meal planning and eating out challenging, and it can impact social interactions and quality of life. Everyone's journey with food is unique, but we can all learn from each other's experiences and find ways to support one another along the way.
Reading food labels is an important step in making informed choices about the foods you consume. Every packaged product will have an ingredients list somewhere.
Carefully eyeball and examine the ingredient list
This list will typically include all of the ingredients used in the product, listed in order from most to least products. This can give you a sense of which ingredients are most prevalent in the product. To me this doesn't matter where it is, large or small quantities of some trigger items will undoubtedly cause a reaction.
Know your numbers
In addition to the ingredient list, it is important to understand what the various food numbers represent. You only need "Google" the number of the ingredient to find a wealth of information. You'll also see on Google's search results "People also ask section", as these are popular searches similar to what you are searching for. Wikipedia can be helpful resource also - example this article on Thickeners.
Sometimes ingredients are not listed as text items, they are shown as number. For example, guar gum is sometimes listed as "412" on a food label. Maltodextrin, on the other hand, can be listed as "maltodextrin" or "E1400" (see Wikipedia article) , with a series of "1400" numbers representing different types of maltodextrin. By understanding these numbers and what they represent, you can quickly identify potentially problematic ingredients and make better informed choices about the foods in front of you.
Common allergens may be listed on a food label, such as wheat, soy, dairy, and nuts, sometimes shown in BOLD type. If you have a known allergy or sensitivity to a particular food, be sure to carefully check the label for any potential allergens.
Breaking the Viscous Cycle website
Learn all about different types of carbohydrate and how they can impact digestion. Breaking the Viscous Cycle website is super helpful and also has food lists, links to resources. I would suggest buying the book Breaking the Viscous Cycle by Elaine Gottschall, B.A., M.Sc. You will learn how monosaccharide foods are the easiest to digest. The more molecules in carbs, the harder they are to digest. Know what foods are -
Microba-get a test of your Microbiome
If learning more about your gut health is in your plans, you may want to consider trying an at-home sampling kit and comprehensive reporting service such as the one offered by Microba (located in Brisbane, right near PA Hospital, Woolloongabba, Qld). No doctors referral needed. Everything is handled via post. With this simple and easy-to-use kit, you can take a snapshot of your gut microbiome and receive a comprehensive report from your sample. This provides insights into the microorganisms present in your gut and what they might be doing.
- You do an initial test, then repeat the test over time, giving you the ability to monitor how your gut microbiome changes with lifestyle adjustments. For example, if you need to take antibiotics, you can monitor how quickly your microbiome recovers. Or, if you want to improve your gut microbiome by making changes to your diet and exercise habits, you can monitor your microbiome to see if the changes have worked.
- The comprehensive online reporting dashboard that comes with the kit is easy to navigate and provides a wealth of information about your gut microbiome.
- Identify overgrowths of a particular species within your microbiome. This can be particularly helpful for individuals with certain health conditions or concerns, as it can help to identify potential underlying causes of symptoms.
To learn more about the service, visit https://insight.microba.com/learn-more/.
Guar gum is a type of polysaccharide that is commonly used as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier in a wide range of food products. It is derived from the seeds of the guar plant. Guar gum has become a popular ingredient in many gluten-free products, such as bread, pasta, and baked goods, ice-cream, sauces as it helps to improve texture and consistency.
One of the primary reasons why guar gum is added to food products is to improve their texture and stability. It helps to prevent ice crystals from forming in ice cream, for example, which can lead to a smoother and creamier texture. In sauces and dressings, guar gum can help to prevent separation and improve the overall texture of the product. It can also be used as a binder in gluten-free baking, helping to hold the ingredients together and create a more cohesive finished product.
While guar gum is generally considered safe for consumption, some individuals may be sensitive to it and experience digestive issues after consuming products that contain it. Guar gum is a soluble fiber, which means that it can absorb water and increase the volume of the stool. For individuals with sensitive digestive systems or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), this can lead to symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It is important to note that the amount of guar gum used in food products is typically very small, so it is unlikely to cause issues for most people. However, individuals who are particularly sensitive to fiber may want to be cautious and limit their consumption of products that contain guar gum.
For me, guar gum is like gluten to a celiac!
Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate (a polysaccharide) that is commonly used as a food additive to improve the texture and flavor of processed foods. It is derived from starches such as corn, rice, and potatoes, and is often used as a thickener, filler, or sweetener in a wide range of products, including sports drinks, instant puddings, and salad dressings.
One of the main concerns with maltodextrin is its high glycemic index (GI). The GI measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels, and maltodextrin has a higher GI than table sugar. This can be problematic for individuals with diabetes or those who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels.
Another potential issue with maltodextrin is its impact on gut health. Recent research suggests that maltodextrin may reduce the number of good bacteria in the gut and increase the number of harmful bacteria. This can cause damage to the intestine and lead to a range of digestive issues, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
In addition, maltodextrin has been known to cause allergic reactions in some individuals, including cramping and skin irritations. This may be due to the fact that maltodextrin is a highly processed ingredient that provides little nutritional value.
For individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, maltodextrin can be particularly concerning. While the manufacturing process for maltodextrin typically removes all protein, including gluten, traces of gluten may still be present in the final product. This can be dangerous for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, as even small amounts of gluten can cause serious health issues.
For me, maltodextrin is pretty awful!
Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, including wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. For individuals with gluten sensitivity, consuming foods that contain gluten can cause a range of digestive issues, including bloating, gas, and diarrhea. If you have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine, eating gluten can cause serious damage to the intestinal lining.
Foods that contain gluten are so abundant. From bread and pasta to soups and sauces. Some less obvious sources of gluten include beer, malt, and food coloring. Take the time to carefully read food labels and ingredient lists to determine whether a product contains gluten.
For me with gluten sensitivity, avoiding gluten-containing foods is helps for managing symptoms. There are many gluten-free alternatives available for a wide range of foods, including bread, pasta, and baked goods. It is important to note, however, that some gluten-free products also contain vegetable gums - like guar gum, which cause just as many issues and gluten.
Adding to this content
Thank you for taking the time to read this information. I hope you find it helpful and informative. As with any topic, new research and information is constantly emerging, and I may update this post or make changes over time to ensure that it remains current and accurate. If you have any feedback or suggestions for additional content, please feel free to reach out. Your input is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to continuing to provide helpful and informative content in the future.Back to blog list⟶
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