Lately I've been reading up on nutrition in an effort to find a solution to Teenager Who Lives in the Basement's (TWLITB) health issues. If I haven't mentioned it before, TWLITB has Crohn's and arthritis, two inflammatory health concerns that go hand in hand. The solutions to date have been pharmaceutical. His doctors are trying to find the right combination that will calm both issues. The arthritis is under control but the Crohn's continues to be a problem. It seems reasonable to assume that if the issue is intestinal, there may be a dietary answer, which is why I've been doing all the reading. There. Now you are all caught up on the boring back story. We're talking about yucky intestinal stuff. Welcome to my blog.
One of the more interesting things I've come across is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, based on the idea that certain carbs are easily digested by the body while others help flora take over our intestines. Flora sounds like a field of wild flowers in Hawaii, I know, but apparently it is more like Las Vegas-a little is good; a lot is bad for your health.
In addition, I've read some chapters from Grain Brain, which claims gluten is the root of all evil and will rot your brain. Not exactly what my mother told me, but she's not a doctor. Then I picked up Wheat Belly, which also feels gluten is an asshole, but is more insulted by the muffin top it encourages than the brain rot issue. Both of these books claim that a gluten free diet will relieve intestinal issues and get rid of our national debt. I'm lying about that last part. Unless you consider sky high medical costs. If you consider that and apply it to the national debt, there is the implication that debt would be relieved at a national level.
Finally, I've been reading about the dreaded Nightshades. The Nightshades sound like evil shadows from a Sci-Fi romance but are, in fact, vegetables, herbs, shrubs and trees containing alkaloids, which can affect nerve/muscle and digestive functions. Some of the more common nightshades are eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Needless to say, all of these books, compared to one another, contain similarities and contradictions. They all seem factual, well researched and, when you read them, perfectly reasonable. They all seem worth a try. None are really in line with the good news that whole grains should be a main component of our diet according to the USDA, but then again, who can really trust the USDA after all those years of 6-11 recommended servings of breads/grains a day? Not me. I still resent them.
Anyway, this is why carbs make me cry. Teenage boys love a crappy carb diet more than they love SpongeBob reruns and League of Legends. TWLITB is no exception and the idea that he needs to eat burgers without buns doesn't sit well, so there's a battle on the horizon. A battle that, once fought, may prove fruitless after all.
(Get it? Fruitless? Fruits have carbs y'all! But I'm not getting rid of fruit, don't worry. Regardless of what the acupuncturist recommended, there will be no scurvy in the Chicken household. Where was I? Oh, yes, I remember. It may be all for nothing.)
However, TWLITB deserves a lifestyle that doesn't include a painful limp and anxiety over bathroom proximity, not to mention a decent night's sleep. If that entails more care in our food choices around here, then the chicken family will suck it up for TWLITB. It would just be nice if there was one clear answer. Are any of you living with inflammatory issues? Do you eat a special diet?