Yes, We’re Aware of Crohn’s and Colitis … So What?

Over the weekend, I happened to catch this news segment while nursing my morning coffee. Take a look:

It’s nice that the Senate is encouraging more people to be “aware” of Crohn’s and colitis, but I was already aware of them. I used to suffer bouts of colitis as a teenager and young adult.

I wasn’t aware, however, that rates of Crohn’s and colitis are on the rise.  After viewing this segment, I did a little online searching and found some articles on the topic.  Here’s one:

Inflammatory bowel disease on the rise in kids

The reason more children being diagnosed with ‘adult’ disease is a mystery

For 10-year-old Jacob Krause, getting ready for the new school year wasn’t a simple matter of back-to-school shopping. It also involved working out logistics for getting to the bathroom as many as 20 times during a single school day.

The Clarksville Elementary School fifth-grader has severe ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that increasingly, and somewhat mysteriously, strikes children.

The number of children afflicted by colitis and another inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, has increased 50 percent in the past decade, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. About 1.5 million Americans suffer from colitis and Crohn’s, about 10 percent of them under the age of 18.

“We’re seeing younger and younger children getting it over time,” said Dr. Maria Oliva-Hemker, chief of the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine’s division of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

The reasons for the increase are not clear. But many researchers believe something in the environment must be behind the surge in pediatric colitis, Crohn’s and other autoimmune diseases, which have been on the rise generally.

Hmmm … environmental causes … has anything in our environment changed significantly over the past 20 to 30 years?

One theory is that as the developed world has become more hygienic, the body has become less practiced at fighting off bugs — and more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases, in which the body attacks its own cells or tissues.

“Since we know [inflammatory bowel disease] is found in more developed countries, it must be something about the exposures that we are seeing in our day-to-day lives,” Oliva-Hemker said. “Probably the fact that we are a more hygienic society, the fact that children, even at an early age, are kept in very clean environments — not necessarily outside, playing in the dirt, being exposed to very low levels of routine viruses.”

Ahhh, yes, that must be it! Children are getting digestive disorders because we’re too darned clean. Thank goodness we just moved to a farm where my girls like to run around outside and return home dirty. Now if I can just talk Chareva out of insisting that the girls take a bath afterwards, they can avoid ruining their digestive systems through excess hygiene.

Here’s another article on the recent rise of intestinal disorders:

Baffling Rise of Intestinal Disorder in the Young

Crohn’s disease, a serious disorder of the intestines, appears to be increasing sharply among children, a trend that may reflect some unknown influence of Western industrial civilization, a British scientist said yesterday at a scientific symposium in Houston.

”It’s almost as if the infection-free environment of modern Western society could be a factor,” said Dr. John Walker-Smith of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, an expert on intestinal diseases of children.

In a telephone interview, Dr. Ferguson said that the excellent health records compiled through the National Health Service in Britain had allowed her to chart a dramatic and unexplained increase in Crohn’s disease among children in Scotland over 15 years.

Dr. Walker-Smith said it was possible that the decline of many childhood infections might allow children in the West to grow up without the vigorous development of their immune defense systems that such infections would ordinarily promote.

Dr. Walker-Smith admitted that this is speculation, but he noted that the increase in the disease among children was real and there was evidence indicating that something in the modern Western environment or experience might be involved.

Once again, the possible explanation offered is that our kids are so clean and so free of infections, they’re no longer developing immunities early in life to whatever mysterious bugs cause Crohn’s and colitis.

Interesting hypothesis. Although I have to wonder: since Crohn’s and colitis are still rising in developed countries — where hygiene has been good and rates of childhood infections have low for many decades now –- doesn’t it seem likely that these digestive-tract diseases are caused by something kids in developed countries regularly digest … such as mutant wheat?

In Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis cites a study which showed that rates of celiac are four times higher now than 50 years ago. (That’s actual prevalence of the disease –- not diagnosis.) We also know that people who suffer from celiac are also more likely to suffer from other digestive ailments such as Crohn’s and colitis.  So we can reasonably speculate (but not conclude) that whatever causes celiac also causes or aggravates these other digestive issues.

Considering that kids are eating wheat products that contain both more gluten overall and mutant gluten with a protein sequence that never existed until around 40 years ago, I think it’s entirely possible that Crohn’s and colitis are on the rise because kids (and adults) are consuming glutens their bodies can’t handle.  These are, after all, auto-immune diseases.  It’s not unreasonable to suspect that when these strange glutens seep in our systems, our bodies attack them and end up attacking our own tissues at the same time.

Anecdotally, I’ve heard from quite a few people whose digestive ailments went away when they stopped eating grains – including the sound engineer for Fat Head, who told me watching the film changed his life.  He no longer needs a daily dose of Prilosec to get through the day.

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to always keep a bottle of Pepto-Bismal in my medicine cabinet and carried the tablet version whenever I traveled. Now I haven’t had a dose of the stuff in years — not since cutting way back on grains.

In the newsclip, Dr. Marion mentioned that new molecules and new medications are being developed to treat Crohn’s and colitis. Fine, but treating a disease isn’t the same as avoiding it in the first place.  It would be nice if some of the research dollars chasing new medications were directed towards determining if the mutant grain we now call “wheat” is behind the rise in digestive diseases.

But I don’t expect that happen, not in a country where grains are big business and the federal government subsidizes wheat farmers. Look at what happened when school-lunch guidelines called for fewer fried potatoes.  Politicians from potato-growing states rushed in and demanded changes in the guidelines.

The Senate may want us to all be aware of Crohn’s and colitis, but I seriously doubt farm-state senators will want us to also be aware that modern wheat may be causing them. We’ll have to spread that message ourselves.


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114 thoughts on “Yes, We’re Aware of Crohn’s and Colitis … So What?

  1. Lynnanne

    One of the reasons that “they” think staying away from dirt causes bowel disease are the studies that show IBS remission when the sufferers are deliberately given intestinal parasites. The theory is that the worms are “retraining” the body as to what is an actual parasite so the immune system will have an “Aha” moment and realize it was erroneously attacking the body. While that may be true, if eating wheat didn’t start the process off by provoking the immune system, the problem may never have occurred in the first place. Articles also mention that the worms survive in the intestinal tract because they secrete anti-inflammatories, which may mean that they’re effectively delivering doses of worm medication to the inflamed intestines and their value has nothing to do with retraining the immune system at all.

    I just know I never got on a plane or took a long car trip without taking a couple does of imodium first, and I knew where every restroom was in every building I frequented. I was actually eyeballing the worm option. Then I stopped eating wheat and my IBS went away.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4852-diet-of-worms-can-cure-bowel-disease.html

    Interesting angle, but I don’t believe kids today are cleaner than kids 20 years ago.

  2. Mike P

    About once every two-three weeks my 4-1/2 yr old will complain that his stomach hurts when we are at the dinner table. When this first occurred, my wife and I thought that maybe he was coming down with something. We quickly realized that since going Primal, no one in our house [myself, my wife, 4-1/2 yr old, 22month old] have been sick. He also wasn’t showing any other symptoms. The next obvious question [which should have been the first]: what did you have for snack at pre-school?

    When his stomach hurts, 90% of the time it’s a wheat-something-or-other. The other 10% of the time are sugar-something-or-others.

    Usually the pre-school’s snacks are pretty good by our standards, but every now and then they slip up which means a stomach ache for my son. As a result, my wife and I don’t really have to worry about my son going grain-crazy – his school is doing a great job teaching him to be Primal without even knowing their doing it! The next step is teaching him that he won’t go hungry if he passes on a ‘bad’ snack.

    Keep up the good work Tom!

    He sounds like me as a kid. Glad you found the link early.

  3. Dave, RN

    Uh oh, here we go. Whenever they start the “awareness” stuff, that’s really code for “start the fundraisers”.

    Maybe some brown ribbons and some “Runs” for Crohn’s?

    Don’t put “runs” and “Crohn’s” in the same sentence.

  4. gollum

    Well, I wrote a rant about how they don’t know much about the disease, namely about the actual causes, but got a fancy label for it and are experts and have more drugs for you. But we all know that and it is not very helpful.

    That said, the problem with the wheat theory is that wheat is not exclusive to the developed world. Although many peoples prefer rice and sorghum, the frankenfood shows up often enough, I’d suppose (and why would farmers grow old wheat when the new one is so much better?)

    However, the following factors are not ubiquitous outside the First World

    – Celtic genes linked to autism, stubbornness, celiac and similar
    – Medical infrastructure to yield shrink-y diagnosis like Crohn or CFS. I suppose dying by belly cramps in Africa is just another “AIDS” or poverty case
    – common antibiotics. There are rumors that celiac may come about as a cross-reaction to Candida

    It would be interesting to see how much mutant wheat they eat in the non-developed countries compared to here.

  5. Monica

    It took me over ten years to be diagnosed with celiac disease. I didn’t fit the clinical picture. Instead of being emaciated, I had a big, giant wheat belly. After I was diagnosed, I insisted my kids be tested. The child I suspected most likely had it was one point under the diagnostic number. She stopped eating gluten that day, despite my pediatrician’s dire warnings. All the symptoms she had resolved within a month. My recovery took much longer and I still had a positive biopsy a year after living in a gluten free household. I don’t believe my digestive system would have ever healed completely on a standard gluten-free diet. It wasn’t until I began avoiding even gluten-free grains not so long ago that I began to see real healing of my chronic, painful gastritis. I am working on the other leftovers of untreated celiac–peripheral neuropathy and anemia being the most resistant. I am hopeful that continued avoidance of grains and sugars will put an end to the inflammation that took so much from me. It’s working so far!

    I wish you a full recovery.

  6. Lisa

    I’m so glad you addressed this topic, Tom. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease five years ago, given a dozen pills to take daily (at age 26) and told that what I ate didn’t matter. I knew my doctor was wrong about the food from the start because most foods gave me symptoms but some drastically more than others. After some research I gave up all grain, sugar and starch and immediately all symptoms vanished and I felt like a new person. I’ve been on this “diet” now for three years. Of course, when I told my doctor this, she said it’s a coincidence and I’m just in remission. Thankfully I’m not going to need to visit her again. What will it take to convince doctors that there’s an alternative to a pile of over-priced pills?

    I’m glad you experienced the same coincidence that thousands of others have as well.

  7. deMuralist

    I have UC, diagnosed during my second pregnancy, which came pretty quickly after the first. I can’t say that quitting grains stopped my symptoms, as they stopped about 3 years after my delivery, when I was a vegetarian. What I can tell you is that being off of grains, while still getting the recommended amount of fiber (25 to 30g daily) from my veggies has kept the symptoms at bay with no hint of intestinal issues since I adopted this way of eating.

    Just for clarification, IBS is different from IBD, and colitis, is different from Ulcerative Colitis. I have no doubt that IBS and colitis are likely caused by wheat/grain consumption. I seriously believe that IBD and UC are much more complicated than that. They eat grains (and more of them, as a % of their calories, I believe) in non-developed countries. It seems to me if we are to find a cure, we need to focus on those things that are different between the developed and non-developed countries. Not sure what that will be, but obviously I sincerely hope a cure is found.

    I suspect (without looking it up) that they don’t eat as much mutant wheat in non-developed countries.

  8. K

    Yup. My IBS is just about cured since I went on the Specific Carb Diet. No grains, no sugars.
    http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/legal/legal_illegal_a-c.htm
    The best part is that going out to eat isn’t like rolling blindly through a mine field anymore. I know exactly what I can and can’t eat and it’s fabulous! I just came back from a steak with onions and mushrooms with grilled vegetables and a side salad. Not a vibration from my intestines. It’s all quiet and happy!

    I used to get these major bellyaches now and then, and of course I just figured they came and went for no apparent reason. Now I never get them anymore.

  9. Firebird

    I get agitated with all this “awareness” stuff. Ribbons, buttons, etc. I’m aware of Chrohn’s Disease, cancer, autism, diabetes, etc. Forgive me for sounding harsh, but these are all marketing schemes that do little, if anything to find a cure for any of it. Penn & Teller’s “BS” on Showtime several years ago pointed this out. They even brought in a cancer survivor who gave evidence that supported what they were saying was true. Most of it goes to salaries, overhead, etc. but very little money actually goes to research and finding a cure. So, the next time they ask me for a contribution, I plan to give them a link to Amazon.com and tell them to purchase “Wheat Belly”, for starters.

    Wheat Belly would instill some true awareness.

  10. Tracee

    Unfortunatly, when they say “too clean” they are right, but at the same time, they are still too dim witted to get it. Antibiotics are making our guts “too clean”. The antibiotics wipe out our protective gut flora. Our guts then have no protection from the pile of grains they tell us to eat. The two go hand in hand. This is not only behind IBD, but almost any other gut ailment, and most autism, adhd, depression, autoimmunity, etc. Almost anyone with these ailments will have a history of antibiotic use as well as wheat issues. Wheat and anitbiotics should both come with warning labels.

    That’s why I’ve stopped taking antibiotics for anything less than a severe infection.

  11. SmoledMan

    What about taking probiotics to balance things out? Also I know that not all probiotics are created equal, which are the best brands?

    Probiotics may help if your gut bacteria aren’t adequate, but I don’t believe they’ll cure the damage done by glutens.

  12. Marilyn

    @Firebird: “Most of it goes to salaries, overhead, etc. but very little money actually goes to research and finding a cure.” Plus, “research” and “finding a cure” seem always to deteriorate to “developing a new drug.”

  13. Michael

    My wife has Crohn’s disease and three years ago had over a foot of intestine removed because of Crohn’s damage. These days she only, and I mean ONLY, has a flare up when she eats breads and grains. The rest of the time she is literally symptom free.

    Let’s hope more people get the message early and can avoid the surgery.

  14. Lisa

    I’m so glad you addressed this topic, Tom. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease five years ago, given a dozen pills to take daily (at age 26) and told that what I ate didn’t matter. I knew my doctor was wrong about the food from the start because most foods gave me symptoms but some drastically more than others. After some research I gave up all grain, sugar and starch and immediately all symptoms vanished and I felt like a new person. I’ve been on this “diet” now for three years. Of course, when I told my doctor this, she said it’s a coincidence and I’m just in remission. Thankfully I’m not going to need to visit her again. What will it take to convince doctors that there’s an alternative to a pile of over-priced pills?

    I’m glad you experienced the same coincidence that thousands of others have as well.

  15. Lori

    SmoledMan, I recently went through three rounds of antibiotics to clear up a stubborn sinus infection. Udo’s Choice probiotics helped my stomach feel better. So did DGL tablets and hot, spicy food.

    Some people might also have some FODMAP issues, where even low-carb fruit and veg can upset your stomach. One of the worst things for upsetting my stomach is fruit–especially apples. My blog post on the subject has a link to a good article that was recently in the Wall Street Journal:

    http://relievemypain.blogspot.com/2011/11/fodmaps-diet-why-not-diy.html

  16. Marilyn

    @Firebird: “Most of it goes to salaries, overhead, etc. but very little money actually goes to research and finding a cure.” Plus, “research” and “finding a cure” seem always to deteriorate to “developing a new drug.”

  17. Michael

    My wife has Crohn’s disease and three years ago had over a foot of intestine removed because of Crohn’s damage. These days she only, and I mean ONLY, has a flare up when she eats breads and grains. The rest of the time she is literally symptom free.

    Let’s hope more people get the message early and can avoid the surgery.

  18. smgj

    Regarding sinus infection: I’ve suffered since I was 13 (now 37). This summer I finally realized that my sinus problems actually are caused by bodily swellings when I’m consuming gluten containing grains. (And grain consuption also caused cubital syndrome/carpal tunnel syndrome and probably contributed to my Hashimoto’s…)

    I’m finally gluten free – and are able to breathe through my nostrils! And I haven’t had neither a cold nor sinus problems since eliminating gluten.

    Outstanding. Another pharmaceutical customer lost.

  19. Michael

    Slightly OT:

    I think this one’s … well, I’ll say no more, and leave it to you …
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/the-wisdom-of-george-mcgovern/

    Head. Bang. On. Desk.

    Although I like his advice to Democrats … “Obama shouldn’t cut or compromise on either, and if the Democrats act like Democrats, they should win big.”

    Yes, pretty please, refuse to cut the budget or compromise, Democrats. I’m pretty sure that advice will work out about as well as the McGovern committee’s nutrition recommendations.

  20. Dave

    Off topic– I read this question/plea on a diabetes site while having my morning coffee. This is an inkling of just how unaware and uneducated some people are. Have you seen those ridiculous cartoon commercials for PopTarts in which the ‘mother’ and ‘kiddies’ are jumping and twirling about the house because they’re all so happy because PopTarts are just so much fun?? Ugh.

    “this morning i ate one chocolate poptart. about 10 minutes later i began to sweat and just felt sick. i checked my blood sugar and it was 200. is this normal for it to be so high after just one poptart/ i take metformin. 500 in the am and 500 in the pm.”

    Yeesh.

  21. Ron K.

    One of the theories for Crohn’s is that it is caused by the bovine bacteria MAP (Johne’s disease). The symptoms are the same for people and cows. Sometimes pasteurization does not kill all the bugs.

    Maybe the combination of wheat and MAP creates the worst Crohn’s symptoms.

    Probiotics can certainly make a big difference. A friend of mine went on raw milk/kefir and her symptoms decreased over 50%, but she will not give up her grains.

    Just like Sally Fallon said, raw milk can be magic food.

    Interesting. We may be collecting our own raw milk on the mini-farm someday.

  22. smgj

    Regarding sinus infection: I’ve suffered since I was 13 (now 37). This summer I finally realized that my sinus problems actually are caused by bodily swellings when I’m consuming gluten containing grains. (And grain consuption also caused cubital syndrome/carpal tunnel syndrome and probably contributed to my Hashimoto’s…)

    I’m finally gluten free – and are able to breathe through my nostrils! And I haven’t had neither a cold nor sinus problems since eliminating gluten.

    Outstanding. Another pharmaceutical customer lost.

  23. Michael

    Slightly OT:

    I think this one’s … well, I’ll say no more, and leave it to you …
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/the-wisdom-of-george-mcgovern/

    Head. Bang. On. Desk.

    Although I like his advice to Democrats … “Obama shouldn’t cut or compromise on either, and if the Democrats act like Democrats, they should win big.”

    Yes, pretty please, refuse to cut the budget or compromise, Democrats. I’m pretty sure that advice will work out about as well as the McGovern committee’s nutrition recommendations.

  24. Hector Vazquez

    So studying the human digestive system I am so confused.
    Are we a carnivorous or herbivorous? We have a digestive system made for meat procesing but have herbivorous teeth?

    Really I am confused?

    We’re omnivores. The speculation is that our teeth and jaws gradually shrank after we started cooking food, since cooked food requires far less chewing. We also don’t have nearly the jaw strength of gorillias or other herbivore primates, who must chew raw plants for several hours per day.

  25. Dave

    Off topic– I read this question/plea on a diabetes site while having my morning coffee. This is an inkling of just how unaware and uneducated some people are. Have you seen those ridiculous cartoon commercials for PopTarts in which the ‘mother’ and ‘kiddies’ are jumping and twirling about the house because they’re all so happy because PopTarts are just so much fun?? Ugh.

    “this morning i ate one chocolate poptart. about 10 minutes later i began to sweat and just felt sick. i checked my blood sugar and it was 200. is this normal for it to be so high after just one poptart/ i take metformin. 500 in the am and 500 in the pm.”

    Yeesh.

  26. Ron K.

    One of the theories for Crohn’s is that it is caused by the bovine bacteria MAP (Johne’s disease). The symptoms are the same for people and cows. Sometimes pasteurization does not kill all the bugs.

    Maybe the combination of wheat and MAP creates the worst Crohn’s symptoms.

    Probiotics can certainly make a big difference. A friend of mine went on raw milk/kefir and her symptoms decreased over 50%, but she will not give up her grains.

    Just like Sally Fallon said, raw milk can be magic food.

    Interesting. We may be collecting our own raw milk on the mini-farm someday.

  27. Hector Vazquez

    So studying the human digestive system I am so confused.
    Are we a carnivorous or herbivorous? We have a digestive system made for meat procesing but have herbivorous teeth?

    Really I am confused?

    We’re omnivores. The speculation is that our teeth and jaws gradually shrank after we started cooking food, since cooked food requires far less chewing. We also don’t have nearly the jaw strength of gorillias or other herbivore primates, who must chew raw plants for several hours per day.

  28. cTo

    To be FAIR, I don’t doubt that over-sanitation of our lives CONTRIBUTES to such conditions. It’s probably like a one-two punch: 1) We arent exposed to as many random assorted pathogens in our environment so our immune systems dont develop properly (in ways not well understood yet), 2) We eat wheat and other foods that our digestive systems cant deal with properly even best-case scenario, so the natural reaction our bodies would have (inflammation, irritation) is blown way out of proportion by an immune system that only has two settings: 0 and 11.

    But you make a very good point that the amount of sanitation has not gone up much in the last 20 years, and one could probably argue that all of the bleach-cleansers and wipes that have flooded the market in the last 10 years or so dont reduce bacterial and viral count all that much more than whatever we were doing before. In any event, whatever small increase in sanitation that we have had over this time does NOT correlate with such a huge jump in disease.

    I think that’s a fair assessment.

  29. Ton

    As far as probiotics go (important even if one is healthy, let alone otherwise), kefir is the absolute champion – just look up the composition of its microflora. I make it myself for years now, from whole, raw milk (courtesy of a friendly local organic farmer) and consider it one of the essential items on my daily table. I could write up a ton of laudatory words here, but there is someone who has already done that, along with every- and anything anyone could ever possibly want to know about it, from scientific facts to how-to, from where to get your grains if you can’t find them in your neighbourhood to craziest recipes: an “extensive web page in biblical proportion”, to quote the author – a layman of little formal education, childish sense of humor and a big heart, who dug through all the existing scientific research on kefir and who’s experience with it started way back in 1978, when he got his first kefir grains (of which the living culture he still possesses and uses!). Warning: at times you’ll need some patience, but, believe me, it is a goldmine of information, and a monument to searching, independent human spirit. The URL is: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html Cheers.

  30. cTo

    To be FAIR, I don’t doubt that over-sanitation of our lives CONTRIBUTES to such conditions. It’s probably like a one-two punch: 1) We arent exposed to as many random assorted pathogens in our environment so our immune systems dont develop properly (in ways not well understood yet), 2) We eat wheat and other foods that our digestive systems cant deal with properly even best-case scenario, so the natural reaction our bodies would have (inflammation, irritation) is blown way out of proportion by an immune system that only has two settings: 0 and 11.

    But you make a very good point that the amount of sanitation has not gone up much in the last 20 years, and one could probably argue that all of the bleach-cleansers and wipes that have flooded the market in the last 10 years or so dont reduce bacterial and viral count all that much more than whatever we were doing before. In any event, whatever small increase in sanitation that we have had over this time does NOT correlate with such a huge jump in disease.

    I think that’s a fair assessment.

  31. Ton

    As far as probiotics go (important even if one is healthy, let alone otherwise), kefir is the absolute champion – just look up the composition of its microflora. I make it myself for years now, from whole, raw milk (courtesy of a friendly local organic farmer) and consider it one of the essential items on my daily table. I could write up a ton of laudatory words here, but there is someone who has already done that, along with every- and anything anyone could ever possibly want to know about it, from scientific facts to how-to, from where to get your grains if you can’t find them in your neighbourhood to craziest recipes: an “extensive web page in biblical proportion”, to quote the author – a layman of little formal education, childish sense of humor and a big heart, who dug through all the existing scientific research on kefir and who’s experience with it started way back in 1978, when he got his first kefir grains (of which the living culture he still possesses and uses!). Warning: at times you’ll need some patience, but, believe me, it is a goldmine of information, and a monument to searching, independent human spirit. The URL is: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html Cheers.

  32. gollum

    I never heard of the cow bug, but it would appear that earlier generations didn’t pasteurize all that much, it doesn’t seem to fit well at first glance?

    What I do not like about the parasites hypothesis is that it fits so well with the anti-scientific medicine that is unfortunately allowed and being promoted. They went back to shamanism.. uh I mean, psychosomatic illness, which conveniently is hard to disprove but easy to diagnose, they brought back quack water and electric torture, so why not crack more jokes about this evil civilization thing. We could even prescribe feces.. oh wait, that already happened.

    It may still be true, but I don’t like it; note that some parasites actually feed on cellulose which is known to be a digestion problem. Also, did sanitation actually change that much in the last 10, 20, 30 years? Fresh running tapwater, cold and hot, and canalisation and sewage treatment, I seem to recall, were introduced much longer before, and paranoid housewives with disinfectant are not going to make much of a difference.

    East German allergy rates went up after reunification; nobody really knows why, they are blaming that on the clean civilization too. Never seen a doctor who could do a good diagnosis, maybe allergies are just the thing to bill now. Some things that did change were: the air got much cleaner i.e. less SO3 and particles in it; houses got styrofoam installed and windows that actually shut tight; and then I wonder when exactly the franken-wheat was introduced.

    That’s my beef with the cleanliness explanation. If rates of colitis rose 100 years ago, that might make sense, but I don’t believe kids today are living in cleaner environments than when I was growing up.

  33. getfitkate

    Agreed. When I gave up grains, I eliminated heartburn and IBS almost immediately. In Protein Power, Mike Eades notes that people with lifelong acid reflux have relief from their symptoms after going low carb, and ties this phenomenon to the connection between carb consumption and elevated eicosapentaenoic acid levels.

  34. Ron K.

    When it comes to cows, an interesting breed is the Dexter. It stands about 36-42 inches at the shoulder, eats a lot less than a full size cow and produces 1.5-2 gal/day with 4% butterfat. It tends to be more of a one family size animal for milk production than a standard Brown Swiss. Because of their size they are almost like a large pet.

    Thanks for the info. We’re kicking around various ideas … cow, goat, etc.

  35. gollum

    Reading up on Borlaug seems to show that dwarf wheat was introduced into the 2.5th world (Pakistan, India,…) during the “Green Revolution” in the 70s. Really grand scale… so our wheat hypotheses would require

    – really extraordinary cofounding factors – no celt genes, underdiagnosis, or
    – Some other freakness in Even Newer and Better Wheat to blame, or
    – Unknown factors modulating wheat results

    There is also the idea that traditional wheat preparation methods, namely sour doughing, mitigated the problem somewhat. However, sour doughing does not eat all the gluten (or it wouldn’t bake nicely), and pasta/couscous/flatbread (Italy, North Africa) are not sour dough foods.

    Maybe what they are seeing is really the results of the UV scare, i.e. eduprison (now “all-day”) and diet related Vitamin D deficiency. I remember how that propaganda hit in the early 90s..

    Could be we just don’t hear much about the incidence of the same diseases in those countries.

    http://gut.bmj.com/content/52/11/1587.full

    “Conclusions: This is the first population based study from India reporting on the incidence and prevalence of ulcerative colitis. The disease frequency is not much less than that reported from Europe and North America.”

    During the timespan in which colitis, etc., went up in America, we increased our consumption of grains. Could be a dose-response situation.

  36. Chris

    I don’t know when it started, but it seems that doctors and Big Pharma want to “manage” your various diseases and conditions rather than cure or prevent them. We become profit centers rather than patients when we enter the medical system.

    I suspect that’s always true to an extent.

  37. gollum

    Reading up on Borlaug seems to show that dwarf wheat was introduced into the 2.5th world (Pakistan, India,…) during the “Green Revolution” in the 70s. Really grand scale… so our wheat hypotheses would require

    – really extraordinary cofounding factors – no celt genes, underdiagnosis, or
    – Some other freakness in Even Newer and Better Wheat to blame, or
    – Unknown factors modulating wheat results

    There is also the idea that traditional wheat preparation methods, namely sour doughing, mitigated the problem somewhat. However, sour doughing does not eat all the gluten (or it wouldn’t bake nicely), and pasta/couscous/flatbread (Italy, North Africa) are not sour dough foods.

    Maybe what they are seeing is really the results of the UV scare, i.e. eduprison (now “all-day”) and diet related Vitamin D deficiency. I remember how that propaganda hit in the early 90s..

    Could be we just don’t hear much about the incidence of the same diseases in those countries.

    http://gut.bmj.com/content/52/11/1587.full

    “Conclusions: This is the first population based study from India reporting on the incidence and prevalence of ulcerative colitis. The disease frequency is not much less than that reported from Europe and North America.”

    During the timespan in which colitis, etc., went up in America, we increased our consumption of grains. Could be a dose-response situation.

  38. Chris

    I don’t know when it started, but it seems that doctors and Big Pharma want to “manage” your various diseases and conditions rather than cure or prevent them. We become profit centers rather than patients when we enter the medical system.

    I suspect that’s always true to an extent.

  39. Charlotte

    My dad has Ulcerous Colitis, I have “IBS” (ie the doc’s can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with me). I admit: Being pregnant was awesome, because my IBS went away. It returned a few months after giving birth to my first child. But then I got pregnant again, and it went away again. My 2nd child is now 5 months old, and 2 months ago, I started cutting out grains in my diet. Due to dental work, I had to eat soft foods for a few weeks, and caved in and baked a loaf of bread. I also ate some stuff that was full of sugar. My stomach has been upset ever since. Back to low-carbing for me.

    I hope the IBS goes away for good once you change your diet.

  40. Katarina Wikholm

    Suggestion for the minifarm – goats are incredibly smart and will break out of most closures. Cows generally don’t bother…

    Is there any way to identify a stupid goat before buying it?

  41. Charlotte

    My dad has Ulcerous Colitis, I have “IBS” (ie the doc’s can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with me). I admit: Being pregnant was awesome, because my IBS went away. It returned a few months after giving birth to my first child. But then I got pregnant again, and it went away again. My 2nd child is now 5 months old, and 2 months ago, I started cutting out grains in my diet. Due to dental work, I had to eat soft foods for a few weeks, and caved in and baked a loaf of bread. I also ate some stuff that was full of sugar. My stomach has been upset ever since. Back to low-carbing for me.

    I hope the IBS goes away for good once you change your diet.

  42. Katarina Wikholm

    Suggestion for the minifarm – goats are incredibly smart and will break out of most closures. Cows generally don’t bother…

    Is there any way to identify a stupid goat before buying it?

  43. MedPhyzz

    I found a really interesting website here: http://gapsaustralia.com.au/
    Gaps is Gut and Physiology (or Psychology) Syndrome.
    It deals with neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ ADHD, schizophrenia, dyslexia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other neurological and psychiatric problems PLUS digestive disorders such as Crohn’s and IBD.

  44. MedPhyzz

    I found a really interesting website here: http://gapsaustralia.com.au/
    Gaps is Gut and Physiology (or Psychology) Syndrome.
    It deals with neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ ADHD, schizophrenia, dyslexia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other neurological and psychiatric problems PLUS digestive disorders such as Crohn’s and IBD.

  45. Ton

    “Is there any way to identify a stupid goat before buying it?” There is: it moos, instead of bleating.

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