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A Harvard gastroenterologist explores the quagmires of our gastrological goings-on

That cheeseburger got you down in the dumps?

Enter Norton Greenberger, a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who has authored a book about the hidden world of digestion — and no holds are barred.

Chapter 2 focuses solely on diarrhea; Chapter 3 is for constipation. All together, Greenberger explores the quagmires of our gastrological goings-on. This book is not for the faint of heart; rather, it’s an earnest and unswerving tome aimed at steering sufferers away from their faulty food patterns and into gastronomical glee.

“I put this book together after several patients were always asking me about diets for their various gastrointestinal conditions,” Greenberger says. “I had prepared a few pages of diets for irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and constipation, and one of my patients — an editor — urged me to write a book.”

And it couldn’t be timelier. With obesity on the rise in the U.S., Greenberger has seen firsthand that people have become “accustomed to larger meals, higher fat and sugar content.”

“Many people are on the bread, meat, and potatoes diet,” he says. “They ingest too little in the way of whole-grain foods, vegetables, and fruits.”

His book offers a four-week program for readers to follow, which rids patients of troublesome foods and drinks. Greenberger encourages participants to keep a food and symptom log.

“My four-week plan is to allow patients to see if a specific change or changes in their diet carried out for at least a week at a time will result in improvement of their symptoms,” he says.

Orange juice, tomato juice, honey, even sugarless gum and mints are all known stomach offenders, according to Greenberger, as well as other popular medications like aspirin.

And in following doctor’s orders, it’s always helpful to know what the doctor himself would eat. “I have several favorite foods,” says Greenberger. “Broiled fish, turkey chili, stir-fried chicken with vegetables, and numerous fruits.”