There are at least 100 million patients in the USA and Canada that have recurrent, long-term gastrointestinal symptoms. More than 80 million people in North America suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Abdominal pain, distension with excess gas, constipation and diarrhea are the four prominent symptoms. Other digestive disorders are common - heartburn afflicts 44% of Canadians & Americans; peptic ulcer disease has an incidence of 8% and non-ulcer dyspepsia afflicts 20-40%. Most members of this large group will self-medicate and suffer long-term.
Some will emerge from this large symptomatic group with well defined disease. The rest of the symptomatic population will remain by default victims of the “irritable bowel syndrome.” Most members of this symptomatic group will have other dysfunction associated with and probably caused by their digestive problems. Those who receive the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome will often receive inadequate or inappropriate advice and will be prescribed medication with limited efficacy. Very few long-suffering patients will receive adequate instruction in effective diet revision.
Digestive disorders are common diseases that often originate in the food supply. Diet revision should be the primary therapy. The gastrointestinal tract is a sensing, reactive device which monitors the material flowing through it. Symptoms arising from this system provide information about its dysfunction. Seven basic symptoms alert you to the gastrointestinal tract's displeasure with your food choices - nausea, heartburn, vomiting, bloating, pain, constipation and diarrhea. Over-the-counter medications for digestive (gastrointestinal) tract symptoms is a multi-billion dollar industry and people often self-medicate when symptoms are mild or infrequent.
The interpretation and treatment of digestive tract symptoms may be based on misunderstanding pathogenic possibilities in the gastrointestinal tract. The treatment of ulcer disease, for example, has undergone a major change with the discovery of H. Pylori infection, and more surprises are yet to come. The milk diets once recommended for ulcer and high-fiber diets for irritable bowels are examples of misdirected attempts at diet revision.
Digestive tract problems are not well-managed in medical practice. What is most surprising about the medical perception of gastrointestinal tract dysfunction is the relative lack of concern about the patient's food supply and treatment has been hampered by lack of standard methods of diet revision. In medical texts and journal articles, food is seldom mentioned. There remains a prevailing and superstitious belief in psychogenesis. Gastrointestinal tract symptoms are sometimes thought of as mysterious and subversive psychic manifestations and not biological problems. At other times, the cause is a mysterious agent X, yet to be discovered.
There is a need for greater awareness of food-related diseases. Both patients and physicians need to take more responsibility for correcting the causes of digestive tract diseases and not settle for treating the symptoms. Diet revision is the single, most effective treatment strategy and it is seldom recommended by physicians who prefer to prescribe drugs. An article in B.C.’s Province stated that: “Medicine needs to find better, more cost-effective ways to treat digestive diseases, which put more Canadians in hospital each year than cancer.” This comment was based on the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) who reported that digestive disease accounted for 13% of all hospitalizations for men, the second leading cause after heart disease and stroke (21%). For women, digestive disease accounted for 10%, after pregnancy and childbirth (24%) and heart disease and stroke (12%). CIHI manager of clinical registries, Greg Webster, stated that: "Digestive diseases cause a significant burden on our health-care system and reduce the quality of life of thousands of Canadians each year. Many of these conditions can be prevented or controlled by modifications to diet and other lifestyle factors."
In another study of 17,244 respondents in the Canadian National Health Survey about 120,000 Canadians aged 20-64 had inflammatory bowel disease (about 1.7% of the population.) Women were 70% of this group; 28 % were unemployed.
Crohn’s, Celiac disease and Ulcerative Colitis are three of the more serious diagnoses that imply a long-term tendency to digestive tract disease. These digestive tract diseases are immune-mediated, with increased permeability of the digestive tract, and are associated with a long list of whole body, immune-mediated diseases. Patients with these conditions are often symptomatic for many years before the diagnosis is made.
Food input to the digestive tract is neglected as a source of dysfunction and disease; an oversight that the Alpha Nutrition Program can correct. We encourage everyone with digestive tract problems to give diet revision a try.
One strategy to solve digestive tract problems is to take a food holiday. You stop all food input into the unhappy digestive tract and await spontaneous clearing of the problem. Food can be replaced by an elemental nutrient formula - pure nutrients that are well-absorbed, require little digestion, and are free of most problems. Alpha ENF supplies complete nutrition while it bypasses the digestive processes and reduces the input of the "wrong stuff" to a minimal level.
Listen to a Description of Digestive Disorders