Ulcerative Colitis Causes

ulcerative-colitis-chartSomething does not add up. Autoimmune diseases, like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, have been on a dramatic rise since the 1950s. Take a look at the left chart from this article, showing the incidence of some of the better-known autoimmune diseases since the 1950s.

If something is all of sudden true that did not used to be true, we have to ask “what happened?” Something must have happened since the 1950s that would explain this frightening increase.

As a kid I read a lot of books. One of my all-time favorite books was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Homes. One of my favorite and life-guiding quotes from Sherlock Holmes was “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

arthurdoyle

Listening to the medical community in the US, here is what I heard and read.

1. We don’t know what causes ulcerative colitis
2. We can’t cure ulcerative colitis
3. But we know for sure that nutrition has no influence

Now, if the first two statements are correct, how can anyone say the third statement with a straight face? Logic alone makes statement number 3 impossible. If you don’t know what causes it and don’t know how to cure it, how can anyone say what plays a role or not in causing or healing ulcerative colitis.

I put my ulcerative colitis into full remission with a diet change aided by some herbal supplements. The diet change was really 90% of the reason for healing my ulcerative colitis. And I am not the only one. If you go to various forums focusing on the SCD diet and the anti-fungal diet, there are a lot of accounts of people who cured their ulcerative colitis through a change in diet.

Was it easy? No.
Was it quick? No.
Did it work? YES!

Now, if food plays a role in ulcerative colitis, one would expect ulcerative colitis to vary by country since we eat and drink differently around the world. And, it does. Here are a few interesting observations:

• People in Western Europe are twice as likely to have ulcerative colitis as people in Eastern Europe (source article)

• Until around 1990, Ulcerative Colitis was mainly a problem in the Western world. Other parts of the world including Eastern Europe, South America, Asia and Pacific region had significantly fewer Ulcerative Colitis cases (source article)

• Ulcerative colitis develops more frequently among people in Western industrialized countries. The disease is much less common in Asia, Africa, and South America, though the incidence in these regions is increasing (source article)

Now, why is that?

The truth is no one knows. But what is the most common difference around the world? It is the way we live and the way we eat. I believe food explains it. I healed my ulcerative colitis through a radical diet change. Others did too. Factoring in the data of ulcerative colitis around the world, I believe that we (people in the Western world) are killing ourselves, one bite at a time.

Until the 1950s, most of our food was cooked daily from scratch. Who still cooks from scratch on a daily basis nowadays? Ask your colleagues and friends, and very few people cook from scratch. Most do take-out because it is simple, relatively inexpensive and tasty. Whenever my wife and I now go grocery shopping to stock up for the week on the weekend, I get questions like “Are you having a party?” because buying a lot of vegetables and meat is not normal anymore. It used to be.

If you look at the graph below around 1900, 90% of the food we ate was made at home. Now it is only 50%.

cookingathome

Source: The Atlantic

Why does it matter where you get your food from? Quality and ingredient control.

Even a junk food meal cooked from scratch at home is still healthier than a fast food meal purchased outside. Ask yourself why is it that fast food is so cheap vs. cooking at home? Fast food places use the cheapest ingredients possible and use chemicals to make it last and taste good. It is not their fault. They are just selling us what we want, cheap & tasty fast food. Incidentally, that is also why we used to be slimmer. If you ever made fried chicken and mashed potatoes at home, you know that this is a time consuming task. Something you only could do on the weekend, which also limits weight gain. Now, if I wanted to, I can have friend chicken & mashed potatoes 7 days a week, twice a day. But I digress.

Genetically, we are all programmed to love starches (mashed potatoes, fries, rice, bread, etc.), fat and sugar. If you want to learn more about it, there is a great book called Mean Genes. Incidentally starches, fat and sugar are also very cheap ingredients. Since fast food places want to give us what we want (cheap & tasty food), they base their offering around starches (potatoes, bread, rice) and sugar, flavored with meat, spices and a bunch of chemicals. At the same time, they don’t really include a lot of vegetables since they are comparatively expensive.

By eating outside, we tend to eat A LOT MORE starches, sugar and chemical additives than we get from eating at home, and we eat A LOT LESS vegetables. My theory is that we are eating ourselves to an early death.

And even the money savings by eating outside is short-term only. Once you get sick, and you will get sick, whatever money you saved will be eaten up by medical costs IF you survive your illness.

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