What Causes Digestive Disorders?
Digestive diseases include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, celiac disease and ulcers. Many different factors cause digestive diseases, including bacterial infection, viral infection, inflammation, lactase deficiency, poor circulation, ruptured or perforated organs, muscle dysfunction, gallstones, stress, side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs and diet. A diet high in fatty foods and low in fiber can cause slow movement of stool through the colon. Inadequate water intake can also lead to constipation, and can contribute to other digestive disorders.
Digestive Disorders and a Standard American Diet
Digestion of animal products high in saturated fats and cholesterol in the stomach can result in the oxidation of fat in our stomachs. The fat found in animal products can increase the growth of potentially harmful gut bacteria. Gallstones can form when there’s too much cholesterol or waste in your bile. A diet that includes too many animal proteins can cause acidity in your urine that can lead to the formation of uric acid stones in your kidney.
Digestive Disorders and a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet
Plant-based diets are high fiber so your body can process what you eat more efficiently. This keeps your digestive system healthy and reduces your risk of intestinal diseases. High fiber intake is associated with decreased risk of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, constipation and diverticulitis. Dark leafy greens lower inflammation, provide fiber, amazing nutrients, and are easy to digest. Fibrous fruits and vegetables feed the good bacteria in your gut. Your gut is meant to eat simple, unprocessed plant foods in their whole form.
More than two-thirds of Americans over age 60 have diverticulosis, but it was nearly unknown a century ago and remained extremely rare among populations eating