IBS-C Part 4: Understanding the dangers of restrictive diets and processed foods


So when we eat an abundance of the wrong foods and not enough of the right foods and with enough variety, what ends up happening is that our gut microbiome is not as diverse as it should be. We also have pathogenic bacteria overpopulating, due to the consumption of highly processed foods, processed sugars and sweeteners. 

IBS-C Part 1 - My Story here.

IBS-C Part 2 - Gut Cleanse here.

IBS-C Part 3 - Meal frequency and portions here.

And when it gets crowded with pathogens, those pathogens take over, so you don't get enough of the good stuff that help break down high FODMAP foods for example.

But digestion and proper absorption of nutrients are not the only bodily functions that suffer. Your immune system, hormones, mental health and metabolism also take a hit. A gut microbiota dysbiosis means you get sick more often and more severe, and it can be a cause for depression, anxiety, brain fog and disorders like ADHD or autism, you may have hormonal imbalances, have trouble losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, your body might be prone to chronic infections and inflammation (as it was with mine) and can even attribute to diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer etc.

Several studies show important differences in gut microbiota between healthy, lean individuals and unhealthy, obese individuals.

Groups of pathogenic bacteria, such as Gammaproteobacteria or others like E.coli and Firmicutes are increased in a problematic gut, and healthy bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Akkermansia Muciniphila, etc are decreased or even totally absent.

Another thing that increases pathogenic bacteria significantly is a caloric deficit, as it was shown in a recent study (read it here). So if you decide to go to on a big calorie deficit to try to lose excess weight, something that could simply be due to a dysbiotic gut microbiota, you're literally harming your body, your metabolism and taking a step backwards towards your (permanent) weight loss goals. Because it's not just about losing the weight, isn't it? It's about keeping it off as well.

All the above is exactly why I never advocate for restrictive diets. 

Vegans, carnivores, CICO (Calories In, Calories Out) fans, ketovores, fruiterians etc. They'll all tell you how gross dairy are, how you don't need fiber because your body doesn't digest it, how animal-based food is full of hormones and antibiotics and are bad for our planet, or how you can eat any garbage you want as long as it fits your macros/calories, or give you a lecture about the anti-nutrients in your nuts and vegetables. You know what else also acts as a defence mechanism / antinutrient in plants? Caffeine lol! Yet billions have it daily! It's in your Starbucks coffee, it's in your green / black tea, it's in your chocolate!

So what's the plan here? Because if you don't fix your diet permanently, no amount of gut cleanses will save you from all the above issues with a dysbiotic gut microbiota. You can't just eat crap and avoid certain nutrients, fibers, prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics and then just have a gut cleanse / detox once in a while and expect your gut to be cured.

Remember, that I didn't just cure my IBS-C. I also cured my PCOS with hyperandrogenism and infertility, severe hypertension, prediabetes and insulin resistance without having to go vegan or ketovore / carnivore. 

I was so broken from my awful childhood diet (full of processed food / fast food, lot of sugars, with just the occasional homecooked food here and there), that even the doctors gave up on me (and I've seen hundreds of them in 3 different countries). 

I was almost certain I would end up with diabetes, heart disease and probably an early death with a stroke. They told me I would have to be on medication for the rest of my life, and that diabetes is 100% certain and irreversible due to my really long family history, and that I can't have children (yet, as I write this, my 9 year old daughter, (my second child) is right here next to me, giving me kisses and reading this post as I write it).

The plan will be fully explained in the upcoming posts, but in a nutshell, here's what you need to do:

  • Clear your gut from the pathogens by using the tools I showed you in Part 2
  • Rebuild your gut flora with the right foods (full detail in the upcoming post)
  • Avoid consumption of the wrong foods (also covered in coming posts), to avoid the return of the gut dysbiosis
  • Establish a regimen to maintain a healthy gut
  • Stop every fad diet that the influencers have been trying to get you to do
  • Finally lose the excess weight without having to count calories nor restrict your diet, without having to go hungry nor deplete your body from important nutrients

If that sounds good to you, stay tuned. Kids are home for the summer so I'm super busy these days, but I'll try to get it done as soon as I can.

Disclaimer: This YT channel & Blog are a documentation of my health journey. The content is based on what worked for me and is for informational purposes only, not a replacement for medical advice from a professional. I’m NOT a doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, coach, nor a personal trainer. Furthermore, we are all different and my results may not reflect your own. Any action you take upon the information provided by ZenGainz is strictly at your own risk.