Digestive Health Common Myths by Dzi, MD

 

“Gunk” builds up in our gut over time and we must ‘detoxify’ or ‘cleanse.’

False.
I hear this all the time and always causes me to laugh when I hear it. I do colonoscopies nearly every day and the gunk that people believe is there is fecal matter, which is easily cleared out with a laxative that we give prior to the procedure. The origin of this myth goes back a couple centuries where people believe that fecal matter within gut causes your body to rot and if you don’t have regular bowel movements, you get sick. Truth be told: yes, it’s healthy to have regular bowel movements but there is a range from one bowel movement every three days to 2 to 3 bowel movements in one day. This is all considered healthy and if your bowel movements don’t fall into this range, you should see your primary care physician who may refer you to a gastroenterologist.

My advice is to avoid these expensive cleanses and focus on increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet as these fibrous foods are natural ways to cleanse your body by promoting healthy gut bacteria and facilitating regular healthy bowel movements. These expensive cleanses are merely just water or whatever liquid agent these facilities choose to instill in your rectum or colon. You can do this yourself simply with water, healthy green vegetables, and fruits. Save your money!

Follow Your Gut! 

‘Eating multiple small meals throughout the day speeds up your metabolism.’

False.

Your metabolism is the rate you burn calories. Remember that, the rate you burn calories. You cannot change the rate you burn calories by eating small meals or frequently. Everyone’s metabolism has what’s called a basal metabolic rate and this refers to how fast you burn calories over the course of 24 hours. Everyone has his or her own metabolic rate that is determined by his or her age, genetics, lean muscle mass, and hormonal levels. If you eat 10 snacks that yield 1500 cal and eat one meal that yields 1500 cal, it’s all the same. Weight loss is a simple equation and that is a deficit determined by CALORIES IN=CALORIES OUT on a weekly basis. There are so many people that try to have a deficit one day only to make up the following day with a surplus. Thus, the net difference is no weight loss! You cannot rob from Peter to pay Paul! Gender differences: metabolism in males and females are quite similar. The reason why some people believe males burn faster or have a higher metabolism than females is because males in general are larger humans with more muscle mass. Here’s an example: a 180-pound female compared to a 150-pound male, on average, 180-pound female will have a higher metabolism. Now, if that 180-pound female drops down to 140 pounds, her metabolism generally will be lower than the 150-pound male. Yes, you guessed it weight loss alone can slow your metabolism and the best way to boost it is making sure when you lose weight that you maintain lean body muscle mass!!

Follow Your Gut!

 

Dzi, MD

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