IBS, IBD, Crohn’s, Food Sensitivity, Glyphosate. One of these things is not like the other, and we
Have you been wondering why it seems like so many people (yourself included) have digestive troubles?
Are you one of those people that has a zillion different food sensitivities to “normal” stuff like tomatoes or lettuce?
Have you ever felt worse when you started trying to eat more fruits and veggies than you did eating processed foods?
You aren’t alone. Having some type of diagnosed or often undiagnosed digestive trouble seems to be the new normal. – It’s not, I promise.
If you follow this blog at all, then you already know that there are a multitude of causes for problems with the gut, so before we dive in, know that I’m a firm believer in seeing a doctor that will assess you thoroughly to find YOUR root cause. Today we are going to discuss one big cause that often isn’t talked about.
We’re here to talk about Glyphosate.
Never heard of it? How about Roundup? Glyphosate is the chemical found in many commercial herbicides, the most well-known of these being Roundup. Hitting the market in 1974, glyphosate was touted as a miracle for farmers as it basically eliminates weeds around their crops. The downside is that the companies creating these chemicals rarely spend a lot of their time considering the human body and what the side effects of consumption might be beyond a few short lived “safety” tests.
In more recent years, the evidence is mounting against glyphosate, with studies popping up everywhere proving its potential harmful effects.
These studies show that glyphosate is what is called an endocrine disruptor. In plain English, that means it messes with your hormones, especially ones relating to fertility and hormone based cancers like breast or testicular cancer.
It has also been shown to alter DNA. Yes, your DNA! I don’t know about you, but I’m not very comfortable consuming something that can change my genetic function in unpredictable ways.
So how does it relate to digestive issues?
There are two big ways that glyphosate wreaks havoc in our tummies. The first is that it damages your gut bacterial balance. If you’ve read any of our previous posts, or have been dealing with tummy troubles for a bit, then you’ll likely know about the body’s microbiome. If not, feel free to head over to our favorite post about it. In a nutshell, we have millions of bacteria in our digestive tracts that are actually one of the largest factors in digesting our food and bringing nutrients into the body. Disruption of these bacteria can not only prevent good digestion, but it can lead to gut inflammation and symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhea and more.
The second way is that many people develop a sensitivity similar to an allergy to the chemical. This is a big problem, because most conventional produce (non-organic) is drenched in the stuff. To make matters worse, conventionally raised meats are raised on corn that is covered in glyphosate, so it finds its way into our meat supply. There’s more.
On top of that, most of the processed food we eat contains some form of corn, whether in the form of high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, starch, citric acid, or a whole host of other substances that are derived from corn. It’s everywhere, so if you’re sensitive to it, it’s really difficult to avoid!
So why am I picking on corn so much, aren’t most vegetables sprayed with glyphosate?
True, but there are some vegetables that basically signed a marriage contract with glyphosate. For example, most of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified. Nope, we aren’t going to argue the evils/merits of GMOs in this post, but it IS a fact that some foods, like corn, have been specifically genetically modified FOR glyphosate. This means that GMO corn has the ability to withstand way more glyphosate than your average fruit or veggie. That matters because the concentration of the chemical is going to be much higher on foods like these, and corn happens to be in everything. Or almost everything.
This also connects for people that have so many “food sensitivities” showing up on tests. What if it was just one sensitivity and not a bunch, to the chemical glyphosate? If so many of our foods are contaminated by this chemical, then it is perfectly reasonable to see that this could be the factor that ties it all together.
If I’ve made it sounds like avoiding glyphosate and ridding yourself of a sensitivity to it is nearly impossible, than you’re almost right. In today’s food climate with traditional nutritional guidelines it would be very tough. The good news is that many smart people and health care practitioners are reading the research and waking up to these facts.
The GOOD news!
I have two favorite ways to nearly eliminate this issues, especially when done together. The even better news? They’re both relatively easy.
The first is to get your sensitivities assessed and treated through NAET. If you’re not familiar with the acupuncture based treatment you can read more about it in our post. The quick version is that when our body becomes super sensitive to something, it can form a semi-permanent path. Think dogs running a circle in the back yard. If you remove the dog, you stop making the path worse, but it’s still there. In order for the yard to go back to normal, you’ve got to till the path and seed it with new grass. Essentially, NAET gets rid of the path allowing the body to get back to normal. Sometimes, when people follow an elimination diet they get great results, but a lot of times they don’t. This is because they removed the dog but left the path. By getting the system “reset” it allows the body to forget the sensitivity once and for all.
The second thing you can do is to buy your produce organic, and/or look at the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen. This is referring to buying non-organic produce. Every year, there is a list put out that detail the dirty dozen, which are the twelve produce items that contain the most glyphosate for that crop year; as well as the clean 15, which are the 15 items containing the least amount of glyphosate. This means that when you buy from the dirty dozen, buy organic, and if you need to save money, buy the clean 15 not organic. Regardless, be sure to wash your produce when you get it home to remove any chemical residues that you can.
Will limiting exposure to glyphosate be the end of all your tummy troubles? Maybe not, but it also just might! Since there are so many things that contribute to our digestive health, why not eliminate or limit something that we know can cause so many people big problems!
Dr. Caroline Ricker has been passionately helping people avoid unnecessary medications and surgeries since 2009. She combines a very logical functional medicine approach to digestive disorders and more using a more alternative holistic approach, utilizing standard lab tests and in-office evaluations as well as nutrition, acupuncture and homeopathy.
Whole Health & Wellness
10807 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
P: (314) 269-3847