Imagine a fried buying a facial cream they love. It smells great, it feels good as it’s smoothed over her skin and she just loves the ads and the celebrities supposedly using it. Unfortunately the cream is irritating to her skin, so each day your friend wears this beloved facial cream her skin is red and appears extremely irritated. Days go by and despite the irritation your friend continues to wear the cream and the irritation continues to worsen. After months of using it lesions and ulcers begin to develop on her face. Your friend is concerned and visits a doctor who prescribes a steroid to combat the inflammation. The prescription works and the lesions begin to heal, though the inflammation quickly returns once the treatment is completed. Your friend returns to the doctor and is prescribed an anti-inflammatory for long term use. Relieved your friend continues to use the facial cream and takes the prescribed medication, although the irritation is never fully resolved and long term use of the medication causes other health problems.
As silly as the story is, this is how many people treat their digestive system. GERD, chronic diarrhea and constipation, stomach ulcers…they’re all little red flags our body is waving to tell us that something in our diet is not working out so well. Instead of changing their diet or losing weight to help resolve the issues, many people happily take pills to treat the symptoms. It’s what the doctor recommends. Unfortunately many of these drugs aren’t intended for long term use, yet more than half of the patients I see remain on them long term, years and years, decades even. It’s not that people don’t believe diet and lifestyle changes will help, they just can’t see the freedom they will gain by investing. They only see loss and a lifetime of ingrained eating habits is a hard thing to lose. I was there for a while, following conventional medicine like a blind sheep and clinging desperately to a diet that was stealing my health.
By the time I went gluten free I was already taking probiotics and had reduced my overall carbohydrate intake. My IBS and my yeast infections had resolved, yet I still suffered with GERD and gastritis and at one point was diagnosed with a small ulcer in the antrum of my stomach. I was taking a daily dose of an acid suppressing drug and thought I was eating a healthy diet, but it wasn’t enough. My gastritis flared on me and I ate little to nothing for days because of the nausea and severe reflux. If the pills I had been taking were useless in preventing the very thing I believed I was preventing, I wasn’t taking them another day. This was a monumental moment. I went gluten free, stopped suppressing the production of acid in my stomach and learned of the wonderful benefits of aloe vera juice all at the same time. It took a week for me to see results, but they were so substantial I’ve been gluten free ever since.