A patient presenting with irritable bowel symptoms is usually in trouble
beyond the digestive tract. Symptoms of gastrointestinal tract dysfunction are
central to the wider range of manifestations of food interactions with the
body and should be seen as evidence that there are problems down-stream related
to the food supply. Other diagnoses cluster around the central gastrointestinal
tract dysfunction - migraine, fibromyalgia, depression, chronic rhinitis,
sinusitis, asthma, and arthralgias are typical associations. The following case
histories illustrate different version of this " package deal."
Listen to a Description of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Bloating, Cramps, Spaced-Out
A 35 year old woman complained of life-long digestive symptoms, increasing in
severity in the past 4 years. She stated that "every time I eat, I get
heartburn, abdominal distention and cramps... later I feel tired and miserable."
She was tired, cold, sleeping poorly, and congested in her nose and throat. She
often awakened feeling short of breath and coughing. She also reported memory
disturbances and spaced-out feelings. She had gained over 40 pounds in the past
2 years and associated weight gain with increased illness.
She cleared within 10 days on Alpha ENF* stating: "I can't believe how much
better I feel." She remained stable and content for several weeks using Alpha
ENF during the day, adding Phase 1 foods for dinner. Her weight dropped 8 pounds
in the first 20 days and continued to decrease at about a pound per week until
new set-point was established 20 pounds below her high weight.
Abdominal Pain, Depression, Anxiety
A 68 year-old widow presented with an "irritable colon" for over 30 years.
She tended to be constipated but had occasional bouts of loose to watery stools.
Sometimes her stools we hard and pelleted and she would sometimes skip bowel
movements for several days in a row. She described bloating and abdominal
discomforts following any large meal For several years she avoided milk, which
she thought aggravated the distension, although she continued to eat dairy
products. She was also troubled by fatigue and had bouts of depression, which
often occurred at the same time her digestive symptoms were most active. She
lived alone and prepared her own meals. Her diet had been unconstrained until
recently, with a preference for whole grain cereal foods, moderate consumption
of poultry, eggs, and vegetables, and a high consumption of fruit. During the
past year, she increased her milk intake, hoping to obtain calcium and improve
her general nutrition. Unfortunately, her general health deteriorated. She again
stopped drinking milk and eating dairy products on the advice of a nutritionist
and noted improvement in her digestive complaints and general status. She took a
full range of vitamin and mineral supplements, in addition to digestive aids.
She decided to follow the medium track of Alpha Nutrition with two servings
of Alpha ENF per day and well-cooked phase 1 foods. Complete symptom remission
was achieved on Phase 1 and she preferred to hold this pattern for several
weeks, only occasionally adding phase 2 foods.
Diarrhea, High Blood Pressure
This 29 year old professional man described a history of frequent episodes of
crampy abdominal pain with bursts of diarrhea. He often had indigestion,
bloating, and irregular bowel movements; he was sometimes constipated between
bouts of diarrhea. Medical investigations had not revealed any specific
abnormality and he had tried several prescription drugs with no benefit.
Associated symptoms included weight gain, elevated cholesterol, and insomnia. He
had typical spring hay fever to grass and tree pollens, with positive skin tests
to pollens but not foods. His history suggested food allergy with GIT problems
and increasing evidence of whole body problems, including flushing, rashes,
fatigue, sleep disturbances and high blood pressure. His father had a history of
high blood pressure and died in his late 50's of a heart attack.
He felt better after 10 days on Phase 1 of Alpha Nutrition but then relapsed
two weeks later (over the Christmas holidays), eating everything. He was
impressed by the return of all his symptoms and made a new year's resolution to
clear again. He retreated to Alpha ENF for a complete food holiday with complete
remission of symptoms in 7 days and then reintroduced Phase 1 foods over the
next two weeks. He slowly introduced cooked phase 2 foods over the next 6 weeks
and after 3 months on Alpha Nutrition had lost 20 pounds, his blood pressure had
dropped from a high of 180/110 to 140/85 without medication, his cholesterol had
dropped to within normal range, and his digestive problems had subsided.
Heartburn, Anger, Hyperactivity
A 27 year old mechanic presented with severe prolonged indigestion, often
with heartburn, excess gas, and abdominal distention. He had irregular bowel
movements, which varied from hard and pelleted to soft and mushy. He often
passed foul gas. He had several investigations and tried several drugs with
little benefit. He took 4-8 ounces of antacid per day. He ate poorly, with high
bread, beef, and dairy intake. He craved milk and consumed at least 2 quarts per
day. He stated that he had milk allergy as an infant with eczema, colic, and was
a hyperactive child, who did not do well in school. He admitted to extreme
moodiness, irritability, and frequent outbursts of inappropriate anger. He had
trouble keeping friends and jobs. His marriage ended after 4 years. His wife
left him because he was often angry and sometimes abusive. He regretted his
behavior and stated that he often felt out-of-control, restless, with outbursts
of aimless, hyperactive behavior. He seldom slept well. His nose was congested,
lymph nodes enlarged, and he had a pustular rash covering his back.
Following the Alpha Nutrition Program, he cleared remarkably. With normal GIT function restored,
he reported feeling calmer, clearer, and more in control. His symptoms returned
promptly when he "fell-off-the-wagon", especially when he ate milk and wheat
based foods such as pizza .
Diarrhea, Weight loss, Disability
A 44-year-old woman had become disabled by an progressive illness of several
years duration. She developed GIT problems in her early 30's with bloating, and
bouts of abdominal pain and diarrhea. She was repeatedly investigated for
Crohn's disease, and treated symptomatically with little benefit. Since there
was no evidence of intestinal damage or infection, she was told that there was
no serious problem and to eat whatever she liked. She declined slowly with
weight loss, increasing fatigue, and difficulty concentrating on her work. Many
foods triggered her symptoms, and she began avoiding foods to avoid the
disturbances they caused. She lost more weight and strength.
Her family physician accused her of anorexia and demanded that she eat
fortified, milk-containing supplements. She complied and grew worse, with
increasing episodes of exhaustion, fever, weakness, abdominal bloating and pain.
She was a bright, conscientious woman who was very distressed by her declining
health and alarmed by the "bad advice" she was receiving from MDs. She sought
help from other advisors; a naturopath, a dietitian, and a nutritionist, who all
provided conflicting advice; she remained ill.
When she was unable to work, an insurance company disputed her claim of a
physical illness, and she was referred to a psychiatric unit where she received
the worst treatment to date; they rejected all her claims of food reactivity,
refused her a suitable diet and treated all her symptom reports as evidence of a
mental disorder! The psychiatric diagnosis was "somatization disorder".
Fortunately, she finally came to the proper diagnosis and treatment of food
allergy, improving dramatically on Alpha ENF. She then slowly reintroduced Alpha
Nutrition foods and found she was most comfortable eating well-cooked Phase 1
foods and Alpha ENF. She had prompt and sometimes dramatic symptom recurrence if
she ate beyond her safe foods and concluded that cow's milk and wheat were the
worst foods for her to eat.
Diarrhea, Depression, Bingeing
A 38-year-old woman presented with a complex of problems, which included
abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. Depression and headache accompanied her
GIT disturbances. She took Lomotil for diarrhea, Salazopyrin (a drug usually
prescribed for ulcerative colitis), and an antidepressant. While on the
antidepressant, her appetite increased and she gained 20 pounds. Her weight gain
was associated with increased cravings for bread, pastries, and cookies which
she ate in excess with increased abdominal bloating and diarrhea. She avoided
milk but ate cheese, yogurt and ice cream. A physician had advised her to
increase her yogurt intake.
The complex of irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and systemic illness
suggests delayed pattern food allergy. Her high intake of cereal grains and
dairy products suggests these foods are the main culprits. GIT surface
reactivity is felt as pain, bloating and diarrhea, and the systemic illness
emerges as a result of the "wrong stuff" entering her blood stream. Reynaud's
phenomenon consists of fingers and/or toes which turn chalk white and numb after
cold exposure and is often associated with circulating immune complexes, one of
the chief mechanisms of food allergy.
Her cravings and compulsive eating posed a compliance problem, but she did
rather well on Alpha Nutrition, with complete symptom remission during Phase 1,
which she extended for 3 weeks. Three weeks after symptom remission was
achieved, the antidepressant drug was slowly withdrawn.
Depression, Edema, Abdominal Bloating
A 43 year-old nurse described emotional instability, with outbursts of
inappropriate anger. These disturbances increased during her premenstrual week.
She had evidence that her diet altered her emotional status. She felt much
better on a three-month weight-reduction diet that consisted mostly of
vegetables, fruit, and poultry. Her physical symptoms improved, and she felt
more stable emotionally. Her digestive tract symptoms included abdominal
distention with pain, irregular bowel movements and she complained of a coated
tongue with bad breath. She was aware of specific food reactivity; bloating and
diarrhea followed cheesecake ingestion and bloating with headaches were a usual
consequence of eating too much chocolate or drinking hot chocolate milk. Her
usual diet was nutritionally well balanced but she favored whole grains,
beginning with 7-grain cereal in the morning, whole wheat bread for lunch, and,
often, whole-wheat pastas for dinner. Her favorite snack was bran muffins, and
she often only ate muffins at work in the hospital. Complete symptom remission
was achieved on the Alpha Nutrition Program.
This website features topics from the book, Digestive Disorders by Stephen Gislason MD
Print and eBook versions are available. 178 Pages.
The book discusses food-related digestive tracts diseases and common disorders
such as food allergy, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome,
chronic diarrhea, liver diseases, foodborne infection and motility disorders.
Nutritional concerns with digestive disease are discussed and case histories
illustrate problems and their solution. The solution is found in the Alpha
Nutrition Program, a standard method of diet revision. There are many conditions
that improve with diet revision. Elemental nutrient formulas are recommended for
serious digestive disease.
The latest edition is available as an eBook for download.
Nutrient Formulas and Printed books are shipped from Alpha Online to all destinations in Canada and USA. Prices are listed in Canadian dollars.
Disorders Rescue Help in understanding and managing the most common digestive tract
disorders: Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome,
Functional Dyspepsia, GERD, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The
starter pack includes one 500 gram jar of
Alpha ENF, the Alpha Nutrition Program, and the book Food & Digestive Disorders.
Three steps to solving a digestive problem
1 You stop ingesting the problem foods and beverages.
2 You eat safe foods and pure nutrients until you clear symptoms.
3 Reintroduce more of the best, nourishing, low-risk foods
If you are not ready for the starter pack, Order Books Separately.
Click the book title in the center column of the
table to read topics from the books. Click the Add to Cart button on the
left to begin your order for printed books for mail delivery to Canada and the USA from Alpha Online. Click the
Download button to order and download PDF files.
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online. We ship through the Post Office to all destinations in Canada and the
USA. Prices are listed in Canadian Dollars.
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