7 Well-Studied Diets for Digestive Disorders ...

Having digestive issues is just no fun, but luckily, there are plenty of diets for digestive disorders out there, and I’d like to showcase some of the best, in my opinion. If you’ve ever had digestive disturbances, or health issues that you think might be gut-related, try investigating some of these diets for digestive disorders. I’ve included resources and information. Life’s too short to go through it sick and in pain, so give one of these diets a try, and see if it works for you!

1. The GAPS Diet

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One of the most well-studied diets for digestive disorders is the GAPS diet. It is designed to heal the gut by eliminating foods that cause inflammation, Leaky Gut Syndrome, food allergies, IBS, and even brain disorders like ADD, autism and also depression. The GAPS diet was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, and she has her own practice in Cambridge where she works with the GAPS diet for her patients. The basis of the diet is the elimination of all sources of grains, beans, legumes and sugar known for their harmful inflammatory effects to the lining of the digestive system. For more information on this diet, check it out at: thegapsdiet.com.

2. The IBS Diet

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Heather Van Vorous is author of the website Help For IBS, and has written an extensive amount of content about eating for IBS on her website. IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and is one of the most prevalent problem for Americans today. Learning which foods to eat, which ones to avoid, and special lifestyle tips are all something that Heather specializes in, along with helping people understand their IBS. Though she’s not the only creator behind a popular diet for IBS, she is one of the most well known. Heather also has many helpful resources on her website, such as print-outs, herbal teas, and some supplements many people find helpful. Heather also has her own cookbook to help people eat for IBS, and still enjoy food. You can find all the information on this diet here: helpforibs.com.

3. Gluten-Free

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Some people find that just by eliminating gluten from their diet, their digestion turns around. You may have to cut other allergenic foods out of the diet to heal your digestive tract. Anytime a food isn’t tolerated in the digestive tract, such as gluten, it isn’t broken down properly, and creates pain, irritation, and even allergies or inflammation. By eliminating allergenic foods, many times, symptoms are also reduced and eliminated. A gluten-free diet isn’t for everyone, and you shouldn’t eat gluten-free junk food either. Yet, simply removing wheat, barley, rye and oats from the diet can make a huge difference for people with Celiac Disease ( a deathly disease for people who don’t tolerate gluten), or anyone else who might be sensitive to it. To learn more about how to eat a healthy gluten-free diet, check out this helpful website: celiac.com.

4. Dairy-Free

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Another issue for people with a digestive disorder is being lactose intolerance. Lactose, the milk sugar found in dairy products, is often the only reason for many people’s digestive complaints. Removing dairy may eliminate all digestive problems a person has, and eliminating other allergenic foods may not be necessary. With all the dairy-free products out there, there are multiple resources and foods for people who don’t tolerate dairy, but want a close comparison. For a comprehensive explanation of why dairy may cause digestive disturbances, check out this helpful resource at About.com: dairyfreecooking.about.com.

5. Elimination Diet

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An elimination diet is another top diet for people with digestive disorders, and one of the most well-studied as well. An elimination diet eliminates all potential food allergens, and slowly tests each allergen by reintroducing back it into the diet to see if an allergic reaction occurs. Most people find that all allergenic foods cause a problem with digestion, and live by the elimination diet for the rest of their life. If you’d like to learn more about this diet and what it entails, I encourage you to check out The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen’s website, which is a wonderful resource for the lifestyle and what foods you can eat. To learn more, visit their website here: nourishingmeals.com.

6. The FODMAPS Diet

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The FODMAPS Diet is specifically one I’m very fond of. Certain sugars in all foods, along with certain starches in all foods can be very hard for the digestive tract to break down. A person may not necessarily have an allergic reaction to a food, but simply be intolerant of it. This is where I discovered the FODMAPS Diet and found hope. It doesn’t eliminate only one source of food, so it can be overwhelming, but it is the one diet I find works best for all my digestive issues, since I have no diagnosed disorders or allergies to food. It also contains plenty of calories so you won’t feel hungry, which is always a great thing too! You can learn more about this diet through an article I wrote here: health.allwomenstalk.com, and learn more at About.com's website as well: ibs.about.com.

7. The Paleo Diet

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The Paleo Diet is another diet that has been well known to help with digestive complaints. Many times, a person’s gut needs specific nutrients from animal foods, even though most of think a vegan diet is best for digestion, but a vegan diet doesn’t work for everyone. The Paleo Diet is another example that some people’s bodies need animal foods to heal the gut lining when nothing else works. Animal proteins contain gelatin, collagen, and a certain spectrum of easy-to-digest amino acids that plants don’t have, all of which are very healing to the gut. Vitamin A is also much higher in animal foods than plant foods, and is one of the best vitamins for the digestive tract. Though a person doesn’t have to eat a lot of meat on the Paleo Diet, it is found to be a helpful diet to follow for digestive complaints. Since the diet mainly advises eating clean foods that won’t irritate the digestive tract like processed foods do, it also makes things simple.The Paleo diet is comprised of only wild meat or grass fed meat, vegetables and fruits, seafood, eggs, and nuts and seeds. People usually do very well on this diet, and if you think it’s something you’d like to try, you can visit a great website that I like with many helpful resources by Chris Kresser, an acupuncturist who eats. Paleo. You can find Chris’s website here: chriskresser.com.

If you have a digestive complaint and found a diet that has helped you, I’d love to hear about it. What digestive diet have you found to work best for you, if any?

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