Rates of appendicitis are continuing to rise. And it saddens me to see so many children (and adults) suffer from an illness that results in removing a God-given organ which conventional medicine claims is unnecessary. If God put that part in our body, then He obviously put it there for a reason! It's sad also because this can be easily prevented! Furthermore, a problem with the appendix is not just a problem in one part of the body. It represents a problem with the whole body that is simply manifesting itself as one particular illness at that time. It does NOT eliminate the underlying problem that will likely go on to cause other illnesses.
So What's Really The Problem?
In a nutshell, the problem is bad foods. Just like it is with almost all other illnesses and disease.
Recent scientific findings have determined that the appendix is a storehouse for bacteria. Sort of like backup reserves of good bacteria to help keep the gastrointestinal system healthy in the case of good gut flora being wiped out due to a sudden illness or other incident that wipes out the gut flora.
However, most people's gastrointestinal systems are wrought with unhealthy gut flora and bad bacteria due to Gut Destroyers: things that damage healthy gut flora like antibiotics, chlorinated water, GMO foods, sugar, oral contraceptives, and more.
So the appendix uses up the storehouse of beneficial bacteria by consistently trying to restore gut health, the appendix itself becomes overwhelmed with pathogenic (bad) bacteria just like the gut.
This doesn't just cause problems with the appendix but also causes many other health problems, including allergies, asthma, frequent colds, bowel problems, and autoimmune diseases.
In order to ensure healthy gut flora and a healthy appendix, here's what to do:
1. DON'T EAT CONVENTIONAL MEAT!
This is first and foremost of importance. Rates of appendicitis even in health circles is rising due to increased consumption of meat with Paleo and primal diets.
The problem with meat is the E. Coli bacteria. Research published in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 1996 showed that E. Coli bacteria was found in 88% of inflamed appendices.
Researchers concluded that "certain combinations of virulent E. coli and other bacteria (such as anaerobes) act in concert and cause inflammation."
E. Coli bacteria is pervasive in conventional meats as a result of those animals being fed corn and raised in unnatural conditions.
For instance, cows are not meant to eat corn. Even Scripture tells us that cows are to be grass-fed.
He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate-- bringing forth food from the earth... (Psalm 104:14)
I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. (Deuteronomy 11:15)
Higher amounts of corn lowers the cow's intestinal pH. This acidity favors the growth of acid-tolerant bacteria like E. coli.
We are seeing a substantial and steady increase in problems related to E. coli bacteria, yet most people do not realize this. Doctors do not inform their patients that E. coli may likely be the cause of appendicitis or urinary tract infections. (Stay tuned for HFFG's post on UTI's!)
So the first step to preventing appendicitis is to avoid meat from animals fed grain. This includes most meat from grocery stores, restaurant meats, and unfortunately even those found at farmers' markets from animals fed grain. Be sure the meat you eat is specifically labeled as "100% grass-fed." Simply stating "grass-fed" could mean that the animal is fed grain at the end of their life, so be sure it is 100% grass-fed. It is best to purchase your meat from a local farmer where you can see the animals being raised yourself.
In order to help maintain a healthy gut flora (and thus a healthy appendix), it's important to provide it with a continual source of beneficial bacteria. That's where probiotics come in!
I recommend that everyone take probiotics every single day to counteract the onslaught of Gut Destroyers (see below) that are pervasive in our food and environment.
Probiotics can come from supplements or foods. Probiotic foods such as homemade milk kefir, yogurt, kombucha, and lacto-fermented vegetables are an inexpensive and delicious way to get great-quality, high-potency probiotics.
Fiber is the part of natural foods (plant foods, the only place fiber is found) that isn't digested. It provides "roughage" for everything that you eat and helps things move through the digestive process. In Dr. Rex Russell's book, What The Bible Says About Healthy Living, he notes the importance of fiber based on a group of African men, some living in Africa and some attending school in England. The African natives ate a traditional high-fiber diet and rarely needed medical attention. The Africans who were at school in England were enjoying processed foods without fiber. They suffered from episodes of appendicitis, hemorrhoids, ulcers, and gallstones.
In over four years of providing nutrition counseling to clients, I can count on one hand the amount of people who consume enough dietary fiber from vegetables. Even those who ate Paleo, gluten-free, no sugar, and/or other very healthy dietary choices still did not consume at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruit (more vegetables than fruit is healthiest) per day.
This is a big problem, especially considering that THESE are the original foods God intended for us to eat (see Genesis 1:29) and that He designed for our bodies to consume.
Ideally, 2 of those servings should come from organic dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, romaine, chard, beet greens, etc.
These foods provide fiber as well as other nutrients that help increase the body's transit time (time it takes for food to be digested and eliminated) as well as provide the gut with the nutrients needed for healthy digestion (such as vitamin K).
4. AVOID GUT DESTROYERS
Finally, it's important to avoid things that destroy beneficial gut flora such as:
- Antibiotics (directly via prescription and indirectly via meats/dairy from animals treated with hormones)
- Chlorinated water (chlorinated swimming pools, drinking chlorinated tap water, etc.)
- Birth Control Pills
- Infant formula
- SUGAR! Sugar feeds pathogenic (bad) bacteria which overwhelms and then outnumbers beneficial (good) bacteria.
- Genetically-modified foods (GMO's)
- Birth via c-section or vaginal birth from a mother who does not have healthy gut flora
- Gluten (For more info, click here for my Gluten eBook)
- Improperly chewing food
Blessings of good health,
REF: Clinical Infectious Diseases 1996; 23:1038-42