When working with my patients on their digestive health, one of the biggest challenges is switching from a low-carbohydrate, no-grain diet to a balanced diet that includes whole grains, pulses, and other healthy foods. My most common question is, “How do I tolerate grains after a diet that doesn’t contain any grains?”
Many patients who visit me for digestive problems have been on a no-grain diet for at least six months and, more often, for over a year. Many still experience bloating, even following strict protocols and a no-grain diet. Many people have difficulty introducing whole grains and beans to their diets. They also end up with more food chemical sensitivities and undefined food reactions. They are worried and puzzled as to why their high-fat, no-grain diet and daily broth don’t solve their gut and sensitivities.
This can be extremely frustrating for people and dangerous for their gut microbiome. It will reduce the number of fibers we eat, which will affect the composition of our gut microbiota.
You’ll understand that I will not tell you how to do it. There is no such thing. Bloating can be caused by small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), dysbiosis (gut microbiome), or Celiac Disease.
But, all digestive problems have one thing in common: inflammation or an upset ecosystem.
To regain your ability to eat varied foods (including healthy wholegrains and beans), you must first correct the cause and restore the gut ecosystem.
The process of addressing the problem is often quick. For example, SIBO can eliminate bacterial overgrowth in 2 to 4 weeks. Some parasites such as Giardia and Dientamoeba fragilis can be dealt with in just 2-4 weeks.
Restoring the ecosystem, removing inflammation, and reestablishing proper gut motility can take time. After quitting a strict, no-grain, no starch, and no pulses healing diet, it took me two years to get my gut microbiota back to normal.
This was done with prebiotic fibers, lots and nutritional anti-inflammatory herbs, strain-specific probiotics and a targeted abdominal massage. I also did a gentle reintroduction.
I can now eat all whole grains, even those containing gluten, and I don’t feel bloating.