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Common foods that cause gut health problems

On 28th August, 2019, during one of the wellness hours where I answer questions about health and wellness, I realized that one of the most common questions was regarding issues to do with gut health.

Many people were asking what causes gas, bloating, a feeling fullness in the abdomen as well as burning sensation and heartburn. I figured I should share about one of the most common causes; the food we eat. Yes, some foods can cause digestive discomfort and symptoms and I would like to highlight 10 of the most culpable foods.

You should suspect the food you are eating if you have any of the following;

Digestive symptoms

  • Bloating

  • Gas

  • A sensation of fullness after eating

  • Heartburn

  • Abdominal discomfort in any of the four corners

  • Constipation

  • Occasional diarrhoea

  • Undigested food in stool

Other systemic symptoms

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches or migraines

  • Poor sleep. – Difficulty falling asleep or falling back to sleep once you awake

  • Poor memory

  • Brain fog or difficulty concentrating and focusing

  • Unexplained lower back pain

  • Muscle pain in the neck or other areas

  • Irregular periods and Premenstrual discomfort (in ladies)

These symptoms are as a result of inflammation that is caused in the gut. Inflammation impairs the ability of the gut to do its work which then causes problems in gut function and hence the gut symptoms.

But inflammation in the gut can eventually cause the gut to become leaky or permeable to things it should ordinarily keep out. This leakiness leads to the immune system being triggered that goes into overdrive to produce the other systemic symptoms mentioned above. There are 2 categories of foods that cause problems.

1. Certain foods that contain particular proteins. The top 6 foods in this category that are known to cause problems are

  • Milk and dairy products. It the protein casein in milk and not the lactose that is often the problem

  • Wheat containing foods. Wheat contains a protein called gluten that is known to cause gut inflammation and problems. Foods that contain wheat include bread, chapati, mandazi, pasta, pizza, cakes, biscuits and many other

  • Other protein-rich foods including

i. Eggs ii. Groundnuts iii. Soya iv. Seafood – in particular shellfish such as shrimp, crabs, oysters and lobsters

2. Foods that are high in histamine. Some people are sensitive to histamine. Histamine is the chemical that promotes inflammation and if you have inflammation, high histamine foods may make it worse. Such foods include

  • Bananas

  • Eggplants

  • Raw tomatoes

  • Cheese

  • Cashew nuts

  • Chilli

  • Alcohol and especially wine

  • Avocado

  • Coffee

  • Pork

If you have struggled with any of the symptoms above and you could not seem to understand the cause, I recommend that;

1. You begin by eliminating the high protein foods for 2 weeks. 2. If you still have an issue also eliminate the high histamine foods for an additional 2 weeks 3. I strongly recommend you use the following products to help to repair your gut:

  • Probiotics

  • Glutamine

  • Zinc

  • Omega 3 fatty acids

  • Herbs such as aloe vera, slippery elm and fennel

4. Lastly, I would recommend that you see a functional medicine doctor like myself to really help you go through this process in an organized way. I have seen people who have struggled with digestive problems for years get better in a few days when we took them through an elimination diet and gut repair healing protocol. I want to encourage you to reach out and make an appointment if you want that extra help. I know how having gut issues can be a problem considering that we have to eat a couple of times a day.

Please call us on +256701450450 / +256 414 220888 or send us an email at to schedule an appointment.

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