Digestive News

Digestion—New Celiac Research, FODMAPs & more!

Hope you’re having a happy and healthy summer. It’s one of my favorites because I love the fresh yummy stuff!  Before we talk about digestion, here are tips on g-free eating at summer events and some easy grab and go options good for travel.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find everything related to digestion fascinating! At the end of the day, we aren’t what we eat, we’re what we absorb. So how well the gut functions is key to every aspect of our health.
Here’s a quick snippet of new digestive studies and tips:

  • A new drug might help keep people with Celiac safe from cross-contamination with gluten. Exciting stuff, but also not yet available.
  • Poop! Everyone poops, most people don’t love talking about it. So many clients ask about fecal microbial transplants and what they’re used for. Currently, they’re used for c. diff infections, but there’s curiosity if it can help with autoimmune diseases, too! Digestive Disease Week 2018 was a few weeks ago and they gave a great explanation of FMT, and they cover keeping a healthy microbiome more broadly.
  • All you ever wanted to know about gluten and oats from Gluten Free Watchdog.
  • The gut and the brain—what’s the connection? This article gives a great overview, and specific therapies that may be helpful to ease tummy troubles.
  • What’s the problem, is it the gluten, or is it something else? For Celiac disease, it’s definitely the gluten. But for people without Celiac, the jury is still out as to the component of wheat that’s most irritating. Of course, bottom line, for many wheat is an irritant even if it’s not the gluten for some.
  • A review from Medscape of the top 5 digestive research topics in the last year. It includes studies on Celiac, PPIs and more.
  • Reader’s digest did a post on favorite supplements—and my pick was one that I often use with digestive clients. Any guesses?
  • Low FODMAP friends—it’s garlic scape season! Garlic scapes are the green shoots that grow out of the ground when you plant garlic. The good news is that they’re perfectly FODMAP friendly and give garlic flavor.  If you’ve learned that garlic and onions are not friendly to your tummy, this is your time of year! It’s pretty easy to find garlic scapes at the Farmers’ Market (as you can see above), and also spring onions with the greens on them. You can get a bunch, puree the greens (not the white part!) and freeze them in an ice cube tray. Then, when you need a little of that flavor, pop a cube in whatever you’re making.
  • What is a FODMAP, anyhow? FODMAP is an acronym for classes of carbohydrates that are poorly digested, which is why they can cause obnoxious symptoms. There’s a growing amount of research supporting it for people with tummy troubles of all sorts, especially IBS or IBD (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis) and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). Reducing these FODMAPs help about 75% of people with IBS problems. Obviously, this is a big deal for many people who experience ongoing gastrointestinal distress.

If you are on a low FODMAP diet, I try to keep updating my list of FODMAP friendly products.

  • Also, I had an hour-long radio chat with host Eli Marcus on the Motivation show on a range of topics, including gluten, digestive disorders, supplements, meditation, self compassion and more. Take a listen!

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, GI issues, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals and feeling great!  Email or call 571-271-8742.