I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” I have come to understand that this is both true, and a bit more complicated…
My mother died of Colon Cancer, when she was 57. Both of her sisters have diverticulitis; a couple years ago, one had such a severe infection that her colon ruptured, and it almost killed her.
It wasn’t until my mother passed that I began to think about my own symptoms… Here’s a list of symptoms I had decided were “normal”.
MY OLD “NORMAL SYMPTOMS”
Diarrhea / Constipation / Gas
Regular Food poisoning – vomiting and diarrhea
Recurring Athlete’s foot
Recurring yeast infections
Carpal tunnel pain in my wrists
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (pain down my arm)
Plantar fasciitis (‘itis” means inflammation)
Joint pain and swelling in my hands
After my mom passed, I had my first colonoscopy at the age of 40. They identified and removed five pre-cancerous polyps, and I was told that I had diverticula–little pockets in the wall of the colon which would have a propensity to capture particles, and potentially become inflamed–better known as diverticulitis… O boy, another “itis”…
At the age of 42, I had joint pain and swelling in the knuckles of my hands (hmm, more inflammation… are you seeing the theme here?) My naturopath told me that 10% of the population has a reaction to nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers). She suggested that I try removing them from my diet to see if my symptoms improved… “WHAT?! REMOVE TOMATOES, POTATOES, AND PEPPERS?!!!” I shrieked, “That is crazy.” But I tried it. AND it was SUPER HARD!! And my hands stopped hurting…
I now know that my symptoms are directly related to the food I eat, caused by the chemical reactions in my gut.
Listening to my body, and my symptoms has led me to investigate leaky gut, IBS, and the effects of inflammation. I have learned about the microbiome, and how can I eat to support my intestinal health. The more I research, the more I realize that, not only is it true that You are what you eat… We are what we eat, eats!
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There is so much to learn about our bodies. Let’s honor them by finally tuning in!