Genetics can affect many aspects of your health. From how your body processes cholesterol to your predisposition to certain cancers, there are certain things that you simply can’t help. One of them is how your digestive system works. At Dietitian For All, I want to help you find out what you’re up against in managing your digestive health so you can eat healthier and receive the full nutritional benefits of your diet. To do this, I offer genetic testing in Fairfield County. I can help you identify ways that we can work with your genetics to maximize your digestive health. Below are a few examples of ways your digestive system can be affected by genetics and what we can do to combat it.
If it seems like celiac disease is becoming increasingly common, it’s because it is. This condition affected approximately one in 100 people worldwide and those who have a parent or sibling with it have a 10% chance of developing the problem. Those with celiac disease have an autoimmune disorder that’s triggered by eating gluten. This means that the body reacts to gluten as though it was an allergen or disease-causing pathogen. The response damages the small intestine and the individual will experience severe bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, and other symptoms.
With help from genetic testing, we can identify if celiac disease is causing your digestive problems. Once identified, I can help you create a diet plan that will provide you with healthy alternatives to food items that contain gluten so you can continue to get the fiber and other nutrients these foods often provide.
As the name said, hereditary hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder that makes the body absorb an excess of dietary iron. This can have negative effects on the heart, pancreases, liver, and endocrine system. Individuals can have symptoms that include high blood sugar, weakness, abdominal pain, skin turning a bronze color, and others.
Because this is specifically a genetic disorder, it’s easily identified with genetic testing, which means that we can come up with a dietary solution to help. Limiting the amount of iron you eat by switching from red meat to fish and poultry as well as plant-based iron sources like spinach can help to reduce the amount of iron put into your body. Additionally, eating foods that are high in calcium can help to slow the body’s iron absorption rate.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an inclusive term for conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis involves inflammation of the large intestine while Crohn’s is inflammation of the tail end of the small intestine. With ulcerative colitis, individuals will often experience symptoms like fatigue, diarrhea with blood or pus, abdominal pain and cramping, rectal pain and bleeding, as well as an inability to have a bowel movement despite feeling like they have to urgently go. In contrast, those with Crohn’s disease can experience general bodily pain in the joints and abdomen with bloating, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
Those with IBD can benefit from eating foods like low-fiber fruits, grains, oatmeal, juice, lean meats, and oily fish. It’s recommended that those with IBD avoid alcohol, corn, drinks high in caffeine, foods rich in fiber, and carbonated beverages.
Schedule an appointment to learn more
If you’ve been dealing with digestive problems for an extended period, you could be dealing with a condition that needs to be addressed. At Dietitian For All, I can perform genetic testing in Fairfield County to help you identify what might be causing your digestive health issues. You can schedule an appointment by calling 203-977-2446 or sending a message through the online contact form. I look forward to working with you to find a solution to improve your digestive health.