What is the microbiome, how might it be connected to IBD and other conditions, and how can it affect health when it’s pushed out of balance? Dr Sarina Pasricha of the Christiana Care Health System gives me the scoop on how the microbiome is created when we are young and how it changes with our activities and diet, as well as why we should not try fecal transplants at home, and how a little bit of dirt is good for our kids.
Anyone who spends, oh, I don’t know, maybe 5 minutes with me will find out that I nursed my two children. I’m pretty much a fanatic about it. As a matter of fact, I looked into becoming a lactation consultant, but I don’t think I would be very good at it. Not because of a lack of knowledge, but because I would probably tell my patients that they should put aside their ridiculous excuses and feed the baby. I’m sure I’d get results, but I probably wouldn’t be in high demand.
With the first child I made it until about 15 months, and the second about 18 months. Why is this extraordinary? Because most mothers don’t make it to even 6 months. Oh, everybody tries in the beginning, but most babies are on formula by 6 months (though this statistic is improving). At least most women try. But as Yoda says: Do. Or do not. There is no try.
Diet has become a major topic of discussion for many people in the Western world. Most of us are overweight. We develop diseases from being too heavy, and yet many people spend a lot of time and energy dieting or thinking about how to lose weight. Since getting a j-pouch, having 2 children, and turning 40, I find myself amongst those that have to pay close attention to diet in order to avoid gaining weight.
In the IBD community, diet is discussed a lot, but there is no real conclusion. People with IBD can be anywhere on the spectrum of “diet has no effect on my symptoms” to “diet is how I keep symptoms from coming back.” The biggest problem is that you don’t know where you fall on this spectrum until you try different diets. And there are so many to choose from: no milk, no carbs, no meat, no animal products, no cooked foods, no gluten. Which one, or which combination, will have benefit for you?