Several years ago a friend’s teenage son developed Crohns disease. He had to have surgery and it took quite some time for his symptoms to calm down so he could feel he was living the life of a normal teenager. At the time I asked her about his diet – both before he began experiencing alarming symptoms and also during his recovery period. She told me the doctor clearly said he could eat whatever he wanted because diet has nothing to do with it. Huh???

Well fast forward about 3 years and my oldest son began experiencing alarming symptoms while visiting us for the weekend. The pain he was experiencing quickly escalated and he had to have emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer. When he was being discharged from the hospital and coming to our house to recover, we asked the surgeon about what type of diet he recommended. He said my son could eat whatever he wanted to as long as he took the acid suppressing medication he was prescribing every day – forever!

Well, if you’ve read my blogs for any length of time I’m sure you can probably guess that wasn’t going to fly with me! My son and I sat down and discussed what foods and beverages he had on a daily basis that either needed to be eliminated or strictly limited (like coffee) and he was entirely open to skipping the acid suppressing meds in favor of some natural supplements to soothe and heal his digestive system just as well, yet without the negative side-effects.

It was shocking to me that doctors who routinely deal with digestive disorders could say that food and diet have no influence on those disorders!

Nutrition and diet should be the first area that is examined when dealing with any health problem, but especially with a digestive disorder. Swedish researchers have found that people who eat at fast food restaurants regularly and who eat too much sugar may increase their risk of Crohn’s disease. This includes keeping a healthy balance of gut bacteria as well as the quality and types of foods chosen.

75-90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Doctors now believe most ulcers are caused by a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection and not stress. However, treating the physical and overlooking or ignoring the emotional/mental component is bound to fail. We live in an incredibly stressful world today and even if stress is not the primary cause of a problem, you can be sure it is contributing to it.

Common medications. If you’ve ever taken an over-the-counter NSAID on an empty stomach you know it can make you feel like you just swallowed acid. According to

“Many people don’t know that NSAIDs can cause problems ranging from mild stomach upset and pain to serious stomach bleeding and ulcers (holes in the lining of the stomach) and even death. There is no medical test that can tell for sure if you will develop a problem, and in most cases, these problems can happen without warning. In fact, serious side effects of NSAIDs, such as stomach bleeding, result in more than 100,000 hospitalizations and thousands of deaths each year in the U.S.”

Overuse of antibiotics, which disturbs the balance of good bacteria in the gut, is another overlooked cause of digestive disorders.

While junk food, a bad day at work or a couple of Tylenol now and then may not cause you to develop Crohns, IBS or an ulcer, if they are a normal part of your daily life, I think you are being naive to think there is no connection.

If you suffer from a digestive disorder, have you noticed a connection to the food you eat, meds you may take and stress?

Author's Bio: 

Ann Musico is a holistic health coach, author and health and wellness facilitator who works with women of all ages to empower them to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body - in a way that is simple and effective, in order to be a positive influence in their world. Her focus is on nutrition, detox and healthy, long term weight loss because she believes those areas are most often the root cause of so many other problems. And she addresses them not only from the physical but also the spirit and soul as well, which are often overlooked. Learn more on her website ( and follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well!