Eat real food, not chemicals.

Digestive Distress Signals


Digestive Distress Signals (Don’t Ignore Them)


Is your body sending you digestive distress signals that you aren’t noticing? Worse yet, are you noticing these signals but ignoring them or covering them up with medication? Maybe it’s time you started to pay attention to what your body is begging you to notice.



You probably won’t get much help from current “expert’s” nutritional advice, or most mainstream medical personnel about what digestive distress signals may mean. These “experts” have been trained to encourage you to take some kind of pill (such as antacids), or eat a modified form of an offending food (such as lactose free milk), instead of looking at avoidance of the offending food in the first place.


For years I have seen people consult their doctors complaining of abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea and acid reflux. They are sent to specialists, labs are checked, they are probed with intestinal scopes, CAT scanned, and very often, the docs find nothing wrong. They are then prescribed medications to take for the rest of their lives to control their digestive distress signals.


Very seldom along the way is there any mention by their practitioners of possible connections between the patient’s food intake and their digestive intestinal symptoms. It seems so obvious to consider certain types of food that may not be well tolerated as the culprit. However, like ignoring the white elephant in the room, it is often never mentioned. Perhaps, as some docs have shared with me, “most people will never change their eating habits to address a problem, they just want to continue with what they are doing and eating, and get a magic pill to make it alright”. Although this may be true for some people, I believe everyone deserves to hear options about diet changes that may help them, and not just be kept in the dark and given prescriptions. Not all people want to ignore their digestive distress symptoms and mask them with medications. Many of them would try medication-free solutions, if they were given the teaching and opportunity to do so.


Through time and research of their own, more people are taking control of their own health by learning about, and trying changes in their diet as solutions to their digestive, respiratory, and multiple other health problems. I’m not saying that medication is not necessary in some cases, I’m simply advocating that people deserve to be given all options and information, so they can make up their own minds. It is disrespectful and patronizing to assume one knows how all people will react to information, and therefore, make their decisions for them, especially when it comes to something as important as their own health.


Anyone connected to Big Pharma would love for us to continue taking many medicinal remedies in order to “tolerate” offending foods. They don’t care if we change our food intake, in fact, they would rather we not. The huge farming and food manufacturing conglomerates are investing heavily in advertising and marketing to get us to keep eating their processed convenience foods and drinks. Why? Because there is so much money to be made off our poor food choices!


Fast foods, convenience foods, processed packaged foods, many of which are linked to diseases, are some of the most profitable commercial products the public buys. The people who make and distribute them don’t want us to make healthier choices, they want us to keep spending our money on their junk food and let our health deteriorate. Then they can make even more money when we buy their remedies and medicines to fix our digestive distress signals.


Modern food myths


“Heart healthy whole grains”.  “A daily intake of low saturated fats”.  “High fiber diets from a variety of whole grains”.  We all have had these well-known “healthy food” marketing slogans drummed into our heads over the last thirty years or so, but are they really all that healthy?  In the last three decades have Americans become fitter, with lower incidence of obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease?  No my friends, sadly, just the opposite is true. (1)


Perhaps we are being led down the wrong path by our well-intentioned “experts”?  Maybe we should really be listening to our own bodies for the personal cues and clues they give us every day as to the healthfulness of the foods we are eating?  What the “experts” are not acknowledging is the fact that many of us do not digest processed foods, grains, dairy, legumes, chemicals or preservatives very well at all.  We may not have an overt allergic reaction to them, but many of our bodies do not handle them without a big dose of digestive, inflammatory and often mental distress.


Examples of Digestive Distress Signals


Heartburn (GERD), gas, bloating, diarrhea/constipation (IBS), stuffy/drippy nose, chronic sinusitis, asthma, sneezing, sore joints, fatigue, skin eruptions/rashes, headaches, anxiety/depression and foggy thinking, any of these following ingestion of particular foods are not normal reactions by our bodies.  They may be digestive distress signals sent out by our immune, digestive and nervous systems telling us that something is clearly going wrong inside our bodies from exposure to an offending food.  They certainly can be inflammatory and immune responses, fighting against an exposure that is doing us harm, or making us ill. 


Our bodies are desperately trying to get our attention to let us know that we should avoid the foods/exposures that are causing the distress.  After eating we don’t need a drug/pain medicine/modified food to treat the initial distress caused by the first offending food. (e.g. after eating something that gives us heartburn, we take an ant-acid pill and think this is normal.) We need to avoid exposure to the food we don’t tolerate in the first place. We must stop believing that taking a medicine to counteract a digestive distress signal from our bodies after eating something that we can’t tolerate, is a normal, or healthy behavior. Eating food should not make us need to take medicine, period. If it does, then our own body is pleading with us to stop eating it!


Drug and food companies would love to have us think otherwise because they can then persuade us to buy their drug remedies or specially altered, specially processed foods, to “fix” these “problems”.  Antacids, stool softeners, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, headache remedies, sleeping pills; how much more money can be made off of us if we carry on as we have been eating plus become consumers of medicines, remedies and altered foods?


A Better Way of Eating


There is a better way. There is a natural way. Figure out what foods and/or ingredients are causing us these problems … and don’t eat them. Simple. Not always easy, but very straight forward.


One of the best ways to figure out if, and what foods, are causing us problems, is to eat a simple limited diet for 30 days. Organic whole “paleo” foods, without chemicals, additives, preservatives, or artificial anything. For 30 days, no processed foods, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no processed sugars. Simple, single ingredient foods, as close to their original state as found in nature, as possible.


I have written a post to help you do just this. It explains exactly what to do and how to get started. It’s here: Payton’s Paleo 30 Day Challenge. Check in with your body daily during the 30 days to see if you are experiencing a decrease, or elimination of your previous “problem” reactions to foods.


Give paleo a try.  It’s only 30 days.  It might get rid of all your digestive distress signals, improve your health and change your life. It did mine. You can do this!


Helpful Link


Payton’s Paleo 30 Day Challenge – How to start eating paleo




(photo credit:  drawerofshadows, cartoon example.jpg CC-BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)