Ecology Health Center has focused on education about digestive conditions, treating the ecology of the bowel, i.e treating the environment within. No matter what the cause, or what the name of the disease pattern is, natural microbiota (probiotics) are extremely important in maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that live in a healthy digestive tract. The optimal ratio is 85% beneficial bacteria to 15% pathogenic bacteria.
Research information in the field continues to grow rapidly.
Very often, prescription drugs have a negative impact on our digestive tracts. It is important to know about altenative options.
Whole grains deliver fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, plant enzymes and hundreds of phytochemicals. For those seeking a dense source of carbohydrate energy, they can be a healthy choice — but only if they are unrefined and minimally processed.
Here are a few steps toward upgrading your own grain options.
1. Choose whole-kernel grains when possible. Whole-kernel grains, such as wild rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat groats, hulled barley and whole-wheat berries, are what Ludwig refers to as "unbroken grains." Unbroken grains have heartier, more complex structures than pulverized and processed ones, making them slower to digest, less disruptive of blood sugar and better at satisfying hunger for an extended period of time. Minimally processed grains, such as steel-cut oats, are another good option.
2. Try sprouted grains. Sprouting activates beneficial enzymes, which transform grains from static seeds to living foods. Sprouting changes the seed's starch, converting it into maltose. Ordinarily, this conversion happens during the first stage of digestion. So, sprouting is a form of predigestion. For that reason, foods made with sprouted grains are thought to be easier to digest and, therefore, their nutrients more easily absorbed than foods made with conventional grains. Sprouted grains also tend to be higher in protein, which can help regulate the rate at which the grains' sugars are metabolized.
3. When you bake, replace part of the flour with nut or seed meals. Meals made from ground nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, coconut and flax, can often stand in for flour in baking recipes as well as breadings on meats or seafood. Compared with many flours, nut and seed meals are higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates. "Nut and seed meals are an easy way to upgrade the nutritional profile of your favorite flour-based foods," says nutritionist Kathie Swift, MS, RD.
4. Stick with truly whole-grain flours. To be labeled "whole grain," the entire contents of the original kernel must be present, meaning the bran, germ and endosperm. The downside is that they are still processed. The glycemic index of whole-grain flour is roughly the same as white flour. The upside is that it is nutritionally superior because it retains the kernel's original nutrients, including at least some of the antioxidants, which can combat the inflammatory stress of eating the flour, says David Ludwig, MD, PhD. When buying products made with whole-grain flours, prioritize those with a variety of grains (say barley, buckwheat and oats) to get a wider variety of nutrients.
5. Don't overdose on gluten-free foods. In response to a growing market for gluten free products, food companies are marketing alternatives to wheat flour. unfortunately, many of the options they choose, such as potato flour, rice flour and tapioca starch, digest even faster than wheat flour and, therefore, may exacerbate many of the health issues they promise to quell. Many gluten-free goods lack fiber and deliver a megadose of sugar, says Swift. "I caution my clients to tread lightly when it comes to gluten-free products."
6. Try going flour-free. Ditch all flour-based foods for a week and see how your body responds. Swift has many of her clients start going flour-free for five days. Avoiding flour, even for this short time, can help restore balance in the body by stabilizing blood sugars, soothing inflammation and increasing gut motility, she says. "I see amazing results when people give up flour."
7. Consider a grain sabbatical. Not everyone agrees that grains are essential, or even beneficial, for health. Ludwig points out that humans rarely ate grains before the advent of agriculture. "The human requirement for grain is zero," he says. William Davis, MD, agrees: "The promotion of 'healthy whole grains' in the diet by the government, dietitians and physicians will go down as the biggest nutritional blunder ever made." One benefit of avoiding grains or even just dialing back your intake of them is that it gives you room and reason to include a rich variety of other, more nutritious whole foods, like dark leafy greens, squash, sweet potatoes, nets, seeds and legumes. And for that, your body will thank you.
6 September 2012
Flatulence (gas) is caused by undigested or partially digested foods traveling to the large intestine, where they are fermented (digested & metabolized) by the bacteria that colonize our colon, often producing gas in the process.
According to the American Gastroenterology Association, the most common gas producing foods include: brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, dried beans and bran.
Cooking vegetables (steaming is best to retain nutrients) & soaking and draining beans may help somewhat. If you eat these foods often and find they are strongly associated with gassy symptoms, you may want to consider taking an over-the-counter product which contains a natural enzyme to help break down these foods more effectively.
Eating too much fructose, one of the sugars in fruit, table sugar & high fructose corn syrup, can also cause excess gas as the body can only absorb a certain amount of fructose daily.
Sugar-sweetened beverages & fruit juice should be reduced as much as possible, and you may want to cut back slightly on fruits that are higher in fructose including apples, pears, bananas and grapes to see if that helps.
Low-calorie sweeteners ending in "ol" (sorbitol, mannitol, etc.) can also cause gas, especially when consumed in larger portions. If you eat packaged foods, especially sugar-free baked goods and candies, check labels carefully and try to cut out these foods for a few weeks to see if flatulence decreases.
Dairy is also a major culprit due to lactose intolerance (a condition in which the body lacks the enzyme to break down milk sugar). If you eat a lot of dairy, I would try eliminating that for a week or two to see if your symptoms improve. Yogurt contains less lactose than milk so it may be a better option.
If you have taken antibiotics recently and your flatulence subsequently increased, you might want to try taking probiotics or eating a probiotic fortified food for a few weeks.
Antibiotics can change the bacterial flora in your gut, so restoring the flora may help with flatulence. It can be very useful in helping with diarrhea and constipation after taking antibiotics. A trial of probiotics may be worth trying even if you have not taken antibiotics, as there are essentially no side effects and numerous health benefits.
29 November 2011
Marc David, MA, is no ordinary diet guru. He's the founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in Boulder, Colo., a nutritional psychologist, and the author of two best-selling books: The Slow Down Diet. (Healing Arts Press, 2005) and Nourishing Wisdom. (Three Rivers Press, 1904). He explains why our mental and emotional responses to food matter far more than we realize. After learning about his philosophy, You are going to enjoy your food a lot more.
Food Without Fear
The field of mind-body nutrition explores food & digestion, but it also considers the thoughts and feelings we have while eating. Are you happy? Worried? In the big picture, are you satisfied with your life or hungering for more? David recommends looking at all the factors that might affect how we eat, from breathing patterns to motivations.
He explains, that people may be motivated by fear to eat healthy foods. But when we eat something because we're afraid we'll get sick or fat if we don't eat it, what we're really doing is feeding our fear. When fear is the motivation, fear will also be the end result. And who wants more of that?
Instead of fearing & judging what we put in our own mouths, David recommends we approach our food experimentally: How does this taste? How does this make me feel?" This is an essential first step to healthier eating, he says, because it involves listening to your body and not some outside voice of questionable authority.
No Perfect Diet
Some people thrive on a vegetarian, raw-food diet. Other people feel incredible when they follow a Paleo program. David's view is that, despite all the dietary dogma, there is no single eating approach that's perfect for every person.
David instead advocates or a spectrum of nutritional perspectives, and a broad range of healthy foods. Age, gender, exercise level, personality, culture, upbringing, beliefs, and even the weather all contribute to what makes the "perfect diet" at a given time. He also identifies four types of diets that may be ideal at different times, depending on our situation and priorities of the moment:
Maintenance - Most of us generally enjoy a range of staple foods that maintain our vitality, feel good in our bodies and don't cause allergic reactions. We can and do eat this way most of the time.
Therapeutic - Occasionally we may choose to eat in a way that supports healing a specific condition or disease. Healing diets are wonderful but not usually sustainable. A vegetarian diet with a lot of raw salads is just right if you're prediabetic and coming off processed foods, but you might need more fat and protein after a while.
Experimental - Sometimes we try a new way of eating or a new supplement just to see how t goes. Being one's own guinea pig is a good thing, David says. It's good to eat his way once in a while to learn if the body might be lacking something, or just o discover new foods.
Optimizing - When we’re in training for a specific event or sport, we might eat a diet designed to support our goals. We can eat this way intermittently, or on as-needed, ongoing basis.
Stress and Eating
Eating while we're mentally stressed or emotionally wound up, usually leads us to eat more. It may cause us to choose poorer-quality foods, and leave us with symptoms of digestive distress. David emphasizes that no food or diet is healthy if we're stressed when we eat.
David explains that What we're actually experiencing under stress, is the sympathetic nervous system in action. That neurological system prepares the body to fight or flee, and one of its functions is to shut down digestion. When this happens, the stomach produces fewer digestive enzymes, and we excrete nutrients without absorbing them. Because the enzymatic "fires in the belly" aren't burning hot enough to break down our food, we're more likely to experience heartburn, indigestion & gas.
David recommends we approach our food slowly and calmly. This helps trigger the parasympathetic nervous system's "rest and relax" mechanism, which helps optimize our digestive powers. Slow, deep breathing helps activate it and can also improve nutritional absorption, David says.
The tradition of saying grace before a meal is another way to encourage a calmer eating experience, David notes. It gives us a second to catch our breath and bring our whole selves to the table. This allows us to really taste, experience, and feel the satisfaction of our meal. When we don't taste food, our brains don't get the message that we ate, and pretty soon they're telling us that we're still hungry.
Tips for Healthy Eating
David's main take-home message is this:
If you have a healthy relationship with your food, it will have a healthy relationship with you.
Some of David's best tips to keep in mind:
Relax- Make a point of calmly breathing before, during, and after a meal. Oxygen acts like a nutrient in the body, and it's as powerful as any digestive enzyme you can take.
Slow down- Give yourself more time to eat meals, and pay attention to your pace. If you normally take 15 minutes for lunch, take 30.
Regulate your rhythm- Notice when you eat your biggest meals. Are you sluggish after a big breakfast but energized by a hearty lunch? Figure out a rhythm that works for you and adjust as needed.
Notice results- Digestion is a feedback system. Pay attention to how you feel after consuming particular foods and combinations. Do you feel sleepy? Foggy? Energized? Melancholic? Strong? Experiment with eliminating and adding different foods to see what produces the best results for you.
Prioritize pleasure- Enjoying and savoring your food activates the relaxation response and gives us maximum digestive power. So the more you consciously enjoy your meal, the better it is for you. The body is a powerful teacher, David reminds us. So slow down, taste your food, listen to your body, and joy the eating process!
Nutritional psychologist Marc David
By: Brian Johnson
11 December 2012
Chemicals found in cannabis could prove an effective treatment for the inflammatory bowel diseases Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease, say scientists. Laboratory tests have shown that two compounds found in the cannabis plant -- the cannabinoids THC and cannabidiol -- interact with the body's system that controls gut function.
Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which affect about one in every 250 people in Northern Europe, are caused by both genetic and environmental factors. The researchers believe that a genetic susceptibility coupled with other triggers, such as diet, stress or bacterial imbalance, leads to a defective immune response.
Dr Karen Wright, Peel Trust Lecturer in Biomedicine at Lancaster University, presented her soon-to-be published work at The British Pharmacological Society's Winter Meeting in London. She said: "The lining of the intestines provides a barrier against the contents of the gut but in people with Crohn's Disease this barrier leaks and bacteria can escape into the intestinal tissue leading to an inappropriate immune response. If we could find a way to restore barrier integrity in patients we may be able to curb the inflammatory immune response that causes these chronic conditions."
Dr Wright, working with colleagues at the School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health in Derby, has shown that cells that react to cannabinoid compounds play an important role in normal gut function as well as the immune system's inflammatory response. "The body produces its own cannabinoid molecules, called endocannabinoids, which we have shown increase the permeability of the epithelium during inflammation, implying that overproduction may be detrimental," said Dr Wright.
"However, we were able to reverse this process using plant-derived cannabinoids, which appeared to allow the epithelial cells to form tighter bonds with each other and restore the membrane barrier."
The research was carried out using cell cultures in a dish but, interestingly, when the team attempted to mimic the conditions of the gut by reducing the amount of oxygen in the cells' environment, much lower concentrations of cannabinoid were needed to produce the same effect.
Dr Wright added: "What is also encouraging is that while THC has psychoactive properties and is responsible for the 'high' people experience when using cannabis, cannabidiol, which has also proved effective in restoring membrane integrity, does not possess such properties."
Dec. 21, 2009
According to Pieternel van Giersbergen, Bad breath (Halitosis) is widespread and quite common. You have probably discretely stepped away from friends or colleagues with bad breath. But it can also be a shock to realize that others, for the same reason, may be edging (discretely) away from you!
How can you know if your breath is offensive?
She also says try this simple bad breath (Halitosis) test:
Lick the inside of your wrist and wait 4 seconds.
Now smell your wrist.
If you don’t like what smell, your breath does not smell good either.
Easy, no? An accurate and portable diagnosis!
What causes bad breath?
Remedies for Bad Breath (Halitosis)
For my friend, Peter, this completely healed his stomach ulcer! Most GERD are related to the H pylori, which is a bacteria found in meats that haven’t been thoroughly cooked. If you like your meat rare, take Oil of Oregano on a regular basis as a preventive measure.
When you are under too much stress your digestive system doesn’t circulate enough oxygen (the energy goes into a fight or flight mode). This makes your digestive tract a breeding ground for the wrong bacteria - and for bad breath as well. Be sure to introduce deep, relaxed breathing throughout your busy day.
For more help try 2000 mg. of vitamin C with electrolytes every hour. Do this for 4 hours or more, until you start to have loose stools. (This also works well for headaches and boosts your immune system.
van Giersbergen ends by saying, "fresh & clean breath is a reflection of good health, and health is an ongoing process. Stick with it! Follow my suggestions, and keep a log of what you do and the effects you see. This simple tracking process can help you pinpoint what is truly effective. You will be inspired by your own success!"
Author: Pieternel van Giersbergen.
Is that painful pimple a dangerous staph infection?
Soon there will be a quicker way to find out.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved a new blood test for methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that cuts the diagnosis time from three days to two hours.
MRSA is a risky form of staph showing up more often outside the hospital.
Experts say the test—BD GeneOhm StaphSR—could prove remarkably useful in determining which (or whether) antibiotics are necessary.
The correct antibiotic can make a life-or-death difference. The test, covered by insurance in most situations, should be available at major hospitals in the coming months.
Health.Com 18 JUNE 2008
Ulcerative Colitis clinical trial
Posted on April 24, 2011
Forever Living Products announces positive results of UK’s first ever clinical trial using Aloe Vera as a treatment for ulcerative colitis.
Forever Living Products (FLP), the UK’s leading supplier of Aloe Vera products has announced the results of what is recognized as the first randomised, placebo-controlled, double blind, clinical trial
for ulcerative colitis ever to be undertaken in the UK, using a herbal approach in the form of an Aloe Vera drink.
The trial, involved 44 patients who suffered with the serious inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis. The trial was designed to test the effects of Aloe Vera (in this case Forever Living Product’s Aloe Vera drink) on this potentially life threatening condition.
It was set up as a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial, i.e. both the prescribing doctor(s) and the patient(s) are unaware as to whether they are using the real Aloe Vera gel or a placebo.
The trial, instigated by Dr. David Rampton, a Professor in the Department of Gastroenterology at the Royal London Hospital, used volunteers from two major teaching hospitals – The Royal London Hospital in Lambeth and The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Professor Rampton’s conclusion was:
“Oral Aloe Vera taken for 4 weeks produces a clinical response more often than a placebo and it also improves histological disease activity (the histological disease refers to what is seen under the microscope when a biopsy is examined) and appears to be safe. These encouraging results suggest that further evaluation of the therapeutic potential of Aloe Vera drink in inflammatory bowel disease is warranted.”
The trial was completed in January 2004 and three different criteria were used to measure the results. Clinical improvement occurred in an average of 38% of patients given the active Aloe Vera Gel, as opposed to an average of 8 % of patients on the placebo.
Dr. Peter Atherton, a former G.P. and now the medical consultant on FLP’s Advisory Board,
commented on the news of the trial results. He said,
“I feel this is a ground breaking piece of research as it is the first randomised, placebo controlled, clinical trial to evaluate a herbal approach to the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Its importance is signified by the fact that the trial and the results were presented at the AGM of the British Society of Gastroenterologists this year.
“However, the jury has been out for a long time, as our first ever clinical trial to reach a conclusion was actually started way back in 1998. I am now delighted to report at last that there is a positive outcome with this trial.
“I first met Dr. David Rampton, the instigator of the trial in December 1997. Now a Professor in the Department of Gastroenterology at the Royal London Hospital, he was then a Senior Consultant. His interest was initially aroused by the dramatic effect FLP’s Aloe Vera drink had on his daughter’s psoriasis. Apparently, he had witnessed the stunning results after his daughter started using our products and the condition had virtually cleared up.
As psoriasis is a disorder of the immune system he postulated that Aloe Vera might work on other disorders of the immune system such as ulcerative colitis, in this case an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself. So here we had a conventional medical specialist prepared to evaluate an alternative therapy in a way that would be accepted by the medical fraternity at large. If only all specialists were so open-minded but at the time this was ground breaking.
“In those days I was getting extremely frustrated trying to persuade my medical colleagues to look at the possibility of any trial and getting absolutely nowhere, so you can imagine my delight and surprise when, out of the blue, this doctor rang me up and asked if I would help him set up a trial – would I?!!”
Because of the unusual nature of this trial, the lead researcher Dr. Louise Langmead was invited to present the findings at the annual meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterologists in Glasgow on March 23rd 2004 and then at the American Gastroenterology Association meeting in New Orleans in May 2004. The full paper has been published in the medical journal “Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2004 Apr;19(7):739-47″. It will be clearly stated that the Aloe Vera drink that was used in the trial is manufactured by Forever Living Products.
Bob Parker, Managing Director, of Forever Living Products UK, adds, “We are now eagerly awaiting the results of an even bigger trial into our Aloe Vera drink and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), currently being conducted by the Department of Surgery at the Morriston Hospital, Swansea, Wales. Again, this is the first clinical trial of its kind ever to be undertaken in the UK.”
24 January 2013
To provide relief, doctors may be prescribing too much of a good thing
Dr. Marcus Thygeson once wrote his patients countless prescriptions for heartburn drugs such as Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium - the "little purple pills" of TV ads.But several months ago,when his own doctor advised him to start taking the pills,he refused. "It was all I could do to get out of the office without a prescription," he said.
The Twin Citie gastroenterologist has come to see the popular pills as a symbol of the'excesses of modern medicine a powerful medication "handed out like water" in his words, in his words, amid mounting evidence that it may do many people more harm than good.
"It's a drug we've become very cavalier about;" says Thygeson, president of the Center for Healthcare Innovation,at Allina Hospitals & Clinics. "Now it's like front-line therapy if you so much as belch."The heartburn drugs,known as proton-pump inhibitors (°PPIs),'are designed to reduce the body's ability to pump acid into the stomach.
Today, they are among the nation's best-selling medications, with more than 119 million prescriptions written last year, in addition to over the-counter sales. Experts have called them a godsend for ailments like acid reflux,a major cause of heartburn.Yet there's a growing consensus that millions of people are taking the pills needlessly, or far longer than necessary, wasting billions of dollars and in some cases triggering significant side effects.
The WORD on GERD!
Lifestyle changes that can help:
San Diego Union Tribune
By Maura Lerner
November 9, 2010
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects as much as 20% of the population and remains one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints that cause people to seek advice from a health care provider. Although the condition does not lead to more serious problems it can be an embarrassing and very frustrating problem to manage. The good news is that it need not be. The common pattern of bloating, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and constipation can be controlled with some simple measures and consistency in diet and lifestyle.
Bruce Kalen MD suggestss that the first steps should include evaluation to rule out other causes of bowel disease that have similar symptoms. Usually colonoscopy is needed to exclude other types of inflammatory bowel disease as IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion. IBS often starts before the age of 35 and is twice as common in women as men. Although not a hereditary condition, someone in your immediate family with IBS may increase your own risk of developing problems. The exact cause of IBS remains unclear. In sensitive individuals triggers include stress, certain foods, and other illnesses. The consequences of IBS certainly can interfere with work or lifestyle. It can be both embarrassing and depressing when struggling with intestinal symptoms more frequently than the average person.
Treatment is aimed at understanding the problem and recognizing how individual triggers can be managed or avoided. The cornerstone of managing symptoms also relies on consistency in diet. A diet high in fiber and staying well hydrated are important. Use of over-the-counter fiber supplements is helpful. Other forms of soluble fiber such as oats, oatmeal, and bran cereal are usually well tolerated. Fresh fruits and raw vegetables that are particularly gas-producing such as salads, cabbage, cauliflower, or broccoli may need to be avoided. Caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages are typically problematic.
He says that episodes of diarrhea can be managed with cautious use of loperamide (Immodium) which is available without prescription. Counseling and understanding the condition, managing stress and lifestyle remain the most important tools. Stress management through yoga, biofeedback, talk therapy, even hypnosis or other relaxation techniques has proven to be helpful for some people with IBS.
Alternatives medicines have somewhat inconsistent results. Probiotics, restoring normal bacteria to the intestine, is advocated by some. Peppermint oil is a natural antispasmodic. It has been useful in some individuals but should be used cautiously as it can be very irritating to the stomach, worsening symptoms of heartburn and gastric reflux or can interfere with other medications. Consult your health care provider to see if it might be useful for your symptoms.
Kaler suggests investigating support groups and on-line chat groups on IBS - they are community resources that can be helpful and supportive.
Source: Bruce Kalen MD
Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Published February 20, 2009
People living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are known to be at high risk of blood clots when admitted to hospital during a flare-up of their disease but now new research by scientists at The University of Nottingham has shown that those who are not admitted to hospital during flare-ups are also at risk.
The two main types of IBD are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease which affect about one in every 250 people in the UK. The research published today in the medical journal, The Lancet, could eventually mean new advice for GPs and patients on how to reduce the risk of developing this dangerous side-effect of bowel disease.
IBD has been known to predispose sufferers to blood clots (thromboembolism) for some time. Clots in the leg veins have a mortality rate of six per cent, rising to as much as 20 per cent if the embolism is in the lungs. Previous research has suggested that most patients who develop thromboembolism do so when their IBD is 'active', i.e. has flared up and they are three times more likely to have a blood clot than non-sufferers. This has led to the use of anti-clotting drugs as standard care for patients with active IBD who are admitted to hospital.
The new research at Nottingham was undertaken to find out what the blood-clotting risk is to patients with IBD who manage their flare-ups outside the hospital environment, with medical care from primary care sources like their GP. The team used the UK General Practice Research Database from November 1987 to July 2001 to compare patients with IBD with controls without the disease. They concluded that non-hospitalised sufferers with active IBD were 16 times more likely to develop a blood clot than the general population.
In detail, the researchers analysed 13,756 patients with IBD and 71,672 matched controls, and of these, 139 patients and 165 controls developed a blood clot. Overall, patients with IBD were almost three and a half times more likely to have a blood clot than the controls. At the time of a flare-up however, this increase in risk was much more prominent (eight times). Although the absolute risk of clots was greater for patients in hospital, this relative risk at the time of a flare-up was higher during non-hospitalised periods (when patients were at 16 times the risk of their non-hospitalised controls) than during hospitalised periods (when the risk was three times that of other hospitalised patients).
Dr Matthew Grainge, Lecturer in the University's Department of Community Health Sciences said:
"Inflammatory bowel disease was associated with a roughly three-fold increase in the risk of venous thromboembolism. Compared with the general population while ambulatory, the risk of venous thromboembolism was increased about 16-fold for non-hospitalised patients with active inflammatory bowel disease. Despite the low absolute risks during non-hospitalised periods, these results suggest that active inflammatory bowel disease in ambulatory patients might be a far greater risk factor for venous thromboembolism than previously recognised."
Dr Grainge's co-researcher, Dr Tim Card concluded:
"We believe that the medical profession needs to recognise the increased risk in people with inflammatory bowel disease when assessing the likelihood of venous thromboembolism and to address the difficulty of reducing this risk in patients with a flare who are not admitted to hospital... Such strategies to achieve a reduction in risk might include those used for inpatients such as brief courses of low-molecular weight heparin or perhaps newly available oral anticoagulants."
Commenting on the research, Dr Geoffrey C Nguyen, Mount Sinai Hospital Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre, University of Toronto, Canada, and Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Baltimore, MD, USA; and Dr Erik L Yeo, University Health Network Thrombosis Clinic, University of Toronto, Canada, said:
"We believe that the clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of pharmacological prophylaxis in the population with inflammatory bowel disease should be proven before it is routinely recommended during acute flares. The ascertainment of efficacy data through clinical trials might, however, be a formidable challenge given that the absolute risk of venous thromboembolism is low and a sample size of thousands of people with inflammatory bowel disease during active flares might be required.
"A pragmatic initial approach to reduction of the rates of morbidity and mortality resulting from venous thromboembolism in ambulatory patients with inflammatory bowel disease would be non-pharmacological thromboprophylaxis, including patients' education and awareness of risk and signs and symptoms of venous thromboembolism, and use of support stockings."
University of Nottingham
February 10, 2010
Kicking the Sugar Habit
Diane Rau from Idaho suffered from debilitating and embarrassing IBS symptoms on and off for the last 15 years.She writes, "Although I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and fish, & exercise regularly, I also had a daily habit of drinking coffee and snacking on a brownie. After kicking the habit, I realized that sugar was contributing to the overly acidic environment in my gut, feeding the bad bacteria, and putrifying my perfectly good meals. After eliminating sugar from my diet for 3 weeks, I've stopped having gas, my bowels are now happy and predictable, and my metabolism has gone through the roof."
Darla Herren shares her thoughts with us. She stopped using all sugar (including artificial sweeteners) five years ago because it made her feel like she was wiped out and on an emotional roller coaster. She says, "Once I stopped, I noticed my mood swings improved immediately, I had more energy, and my menopausal symptoms lessened. I started using only pure honey and maple syrup to make cookies, granola bars, even carrot cake. My taste buds complained a little in the beginning, but the benefits have far outweighed the initial taste adjustment."
9 August 2011
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional bowel disorder diagnosed by primary care physicians and gastroenterologists. It is hard to estimate the exact prevalence of IBS because up to 70% of people with IBS symptoms do not go for medical treatment.
The ratio of female-to-male sufferers is approximately 2:1.
IBS affects up to one in five Americans and is second only to the common cold as a leading cause of missing work in the U.S.
IBS costs the U.S. healthcare system is estimates as $20 to 25 billion annually in direct and indirect costs.
What are the symptoms?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome occurs sproadically. It is accompanied by a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, and altered bowel function (constipation and/or diarrhea).
Because Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not consdered a life threatening condition, the medical community has not until recently considered IBS to be a disease. Instead, it was considered to be a somatic response to excessive stress.
Now, the impact of IBS on quality of life has been estimated to be greater than that of diabetes, and similar to that of clinical depression.
What to do?
Because of origin of IBS is still an unknow, the goal of therapy is symptom management and reduction in the frequency and severity of episodes, or "bouts" as they are referred to. The management of IBS ranges from dietary and behavioral changes to medications.
Dietary changes can include increasing fiber while also reducing dairy products, fatty foods, spices and caffeine. People are often encouraged to try an exclusion diet - restricting their diet to bland foods, gradually adding new foods, and recording symptoms.
There are over-the-counter medications used to manage symptoms - having the greatest impact on bowel function by either slowing down or speeding up transit times.
Probiotics are currently a very important consideration to help in the management of IBS, as they support a healthy, normal digestive system.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microbial food supplements which beneficially affect the host by improving the intestinal microbial balance.
Many of the probiotic products on the market today contain lactobacillus (a type of lactic acid bacteria), which, in fact, represent a relatively small proportion of the normal total gut microflora.
Lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB) are the group of bacteria that are mostly of human origin, with the various strains differing in their features.
All LABs colonize mucosal surfaces, including the intestinal system. They promote vitamin production, natural protection from invading pathogens, and food digestion.
Bifidobacteria are one type of lactic acid producing bacteria. They are active in bile acid deconjugation, catabolism of dietary carbohydrates, and synthesis of vitamins.
Probiotics are used in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Scientific literature now suggests that IBS patients have an imbalance in their gastrointestinal flora.
This has been shown through classic microbiology studies using conventional plating techniques as well as molecular approaches.
Function studies in IBS patients have shown that IBS patients' flora produce an excessive amount of short-chain volatile fatty acids and hydrogen gas versus healthy controls. This points to the possiblity that there is some disturbance in the normal flora among IBS patients that accounts for their symptoms .
Recently, the concept of small bowel bacterial overgrowth (SBBO) has been proposed as a plausible explanation for IBS symptoms. There are several studies now that indicate that SBBO is much more common in IBS sufferers.
Several studies in scientific literature have explored the use of probiotic therapy for the alleviation of the symptoms of IBS. OMX Probiotics contains one of the strains of lactobacillus that is particularly effective in relieving symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are killing thousands of people every year, according to British and Swiss researchers.
Their research, published in the current issue of the journal Pain, shows there was one death for every 1,200 patients taking NSAIDs for at least two months, which means, for example, NSAIDs cause three times as many deaths as cervical cancer in Britain.
The researchers analysed more than 100 trials worldwide involving more than one million people and found that gastric complications were more common than perceived.
Dr. Andrew Moore of Churchill Hospital, Oxford, joint author of the study, said: "We found that one in five has gastrointestinal erosions and ulcers.
. . . About one in 70 has symptoms (stomach pains), one in 150 has an ulcer that bleeds, and one in 1,200 dies."
He added: "We have known that these drugs carried a risk for some years. What is new is that we can now say the risk of dying is one in 1,200."
Dr. Martin Tramer of University Hospital, Geneva, who led the research team, said: "These are wonderful drugs, but they are toxic and there are alternatives that do not carry the same risk of gastric complications. These alternatives are more expensive, but this has to be weighed against the fewer number of deaths they would cause."
Dr. Tramer stressed that people taking NSAIDs sold over the counter should not panic over the warnings.
"If you just take these for a short time to relieve joint or back pain, there's little to worry about. The risks are with patients who take these drugs continuously for a couple of months or more, for conditions such as arthritis."
However, the new findings raise concern about the many thousands of people who take them for months without medical supervision.
Another member of the research team, Dr. Henry McQuay, said: "The public really needs to know the risks involved."
By Karen Birchard
April 4, 2000
Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Danisco BioActives announced today that they have signed a partnering agreement for the development of a new biologic drug candidate, which may help to prevent a deadly disease called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
NEC is a rare, life-threatening gastrointestinal disorder in infants that affects very low birth weight (VLBW) premature infants (babies less than 1,500 grams or 3 pounds, five ounces). There are approximately 60,000 VLBW babies born each year in the United States, of which 5 percent to 15 percent will acquire NEC. Treatment options for this condition are extremely limited and mortality rates of 20 percent to 30 percent have gone unchanged in the United States for more than 30 years.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sigma-Tau and Danisco will collaborate to develop STP-206, a biologic agent comprised of live bacteria, which may be effective in preventing the occurrence of NEC. Sigma Tau, manufacturer of VSL#3 will manage the clinical development of the product and, ultimately, will seek the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) to market the drug for the prevention of NEC. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start later this year.
"We have had a very longstanding and successful relationship with Danisco and we are very pleased to move forward with this agreement," said Gregg Lapointe, chief executive officer of Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals. "Together, we hope to provide a new and innovative option to prevent this deadly disease and ultimately save lives."
"Danisco is excited to collaborate with Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals in the development of an innovative live biotherapeutic solution to this complex and life-threatening disorder," said Scott Bush, dietary supplements vice president for Danisco BioActives.
What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
NEC is a life-threatening gastrointestinal disorder with significant morbidity and mortality primarily affecting premature infants under 1500 grams, known as very low birth weight infants. Every year, thousands of premature babies die as a result of this disease and more will suffer from abnormal neurodevelopmental outcomes. While the cause of the disease is unknown, the pathological findings of infants who died of NEC show intense mucosal inflammation, hemorrhage and transmural necrosis of the small and large intestines.
In the United States, more than 300,000 premature babies (less than 2500 grams) are born each year. Of this group, the 60,000 to 70,000 that weigh less than 1,500 grams at birth are at high risk for acquiring NEC.
GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 7 - PR Newswire
Eating out can be a pleasure, but for some, it is more of a nightmare. Those used to eating food prepared in a certain way will find that their body does not appreciate the cooking and processing methods employed by many restaurants. The body needs certain enzymes in order to break down difficult to digest foods such as beans and broccoli as well as carbohydrates and fats. Omegazyme by Garden of Life is a dietary supplement that helps replenish the body’s enzyme supply.
Digestive enzymes are nutrients essential to the human body. Raw foods contain enzymes that promote easy digestion, but eating processed or cooked foods requires that the body create enzymes necessary for digestion. Because enzymes are destroyed once used, the enzyme supply must constantly be replenished and this puts a huge strain on the body.
Enzymes are essentially catalysts for the chemical reactions that occur in the body. They are protein-like substances that help that help the body perform necessary functions, digest food, and maintain the body’s tissues. The easiest way to get enzymes into the body is to consume a lot of fermented and raw foods. Adding Omega-Zyme or another high-potency digestive enzyme supplement will help to generate even more enzymes.
The body needs three types of enzymes in order to function properly. The first type, the metabolic enzyme, aids with cell, tissue, and organ functions. The second type, the food enzyme, helps to break down food before the third type, the digestive enzyme, begins working. However, there are often not enough food enzymes present in the system due to the small amount of raw foods that many of us eat.
The pancreas secretes indigenous digestive enzymes into the small intestine. These digestive enzymes take over after the food enzymes have done their job. Omega-Zyme adds much-needed additional enzymes and microorganisms to the system. The product includes ginger, turmeric, barley grass, cat’s claw and plant-based enzymes useful in the digestive process.
The product may be purchased as either a caplet or a powder and both forms are equally effective. One to two scoops of powder per meal and snack is recommended. The powder may also be sprinkled directly on room temperature or cooler food. Alternatively, one to two caplets per meal and snack may be taken as desired. Recommended dosage varies with the state of the individual’s digestive health and amount of processed food included in the meal or snack. Taking the product on an empty stomach will increase detoxification and cleansing.
The product features a challenge that is sure to provide noticeable results. Consumers are encouraged to try the product for up to five days and then stop taking it. The body will immediately revert to its prior state of digestion, which will result in a noticeable difference.
The Garden of Life products is an all-natural vegetarian product containing no artificial preservatives or colors. This dietary supplement provides the body with Garden of Life Omegazyme essential to proper digestive health. Taking this product on a daily basis will provide a more pleasant dining experience and open up a world of new cuisine options for those who were previously limited in their choices.
PF Category: Wellness
June 02, 2010
"While you can take precautions against food-borne illnesses in your own kitchen, that's much more difficult to do when you're travelling," says Ann Louise Gittleman, a U.S. nutrition expert whose book "The Gut Flush Plan" (Avery/Penguin) was recently published. "Contamination can lead to all sorts of digestive grief," says Gittleman. "That's not exactly a fun souvenir."
Here are her Top 5 tips for keeping your stomach safe on vacation:
Source: http://www.annlouise.com/ Published: Saturday, May 17, 2008
Author: Ann Louise Gittleman
Article Name: How to Protect your Gut - The Ottawa Citizen
Q: I've been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My doctor has prescribed anti-depressants, but I would prefer not to take drugs. What holistic treatments do you recommend for IBS?
John Neustadt, ND replies:
A: Many natural treatments can help IBS.
Meditating 30 minutes a day for just six weeks significantly decreased diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, and belching in one study. Not surprisingly, the study reported no side effects.
Dietary allergies can contribute to IBS symptoms, and eliminating them can lead to dramatic improvement as well. A recent review of dietary allergies in IBS published in Neurogastroenterology and Motility found that excluding dietary allergens can lead to an improvement in up to 71 percent of IBS sufferers.
We can identify food allergens several ways.
Blood tests for IgG4 antibodies and the allergy elimination-challenge tests are the most sensitive. In an elimination-challenge test, patients follow a hypoallergenic diet for a prescribed period of time and track their symptoms in a journal. Then they methodically, and with guidance from a clinician, reintroduce foods one at a time. If symptoms return with specific foods, it is eliminated them from the altogether, perhaps not forever, but for a while.
Dietary supplements, including Probiotic and peppermint, can also benefit people with IBS. Probiotics, which are beneficial gut bacteria, have been the subject of multiple clinical trials of IBS. In one study, for example, volunteers received 10 billion cfu (colony forming units) of Lactobacillus salivarius or Bifidobacterium infantis, or a placebo, in a malted drink once daily. Those who took the B. infantis probiotic experienced a significant improvement in abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel movement difficulty or urgency.
A clinical trial has also shown that enteric-coated peppermint oil decreases pain in children with IBS. In this particular trial, 42 children received peppermint oil capsules that didn't dissolve until they were in the lower intestines (enteric coated). After two weeks, 71 percent of the volunteers in the peppermint oil group reported improvement in symptoms compared with 43 percent in the placebo group.
I respect your decision to want to investigate other, non-drug options for IBS. A combination of these therapies may provide the best long-term relief for you.
Source: www.naturalsolutionsmag.com, blog of treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Author: John Neustadt, ND
If you have frequent diarrhea from eating meals, the truth is that it is just a label and in no way addressed the real cause. The most common cause of people experiencing frequent diarrhea that is not caused by a virus or temporary bacterial infection is a yeast known as candida. This yeast exists in approximately 90% of the population, although a smaller proportion experience symptoms as a result of it. These symptoms almost exclusively occur after something destroys the normal balance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. This can be caused by drugs, antibiotics or simply a diet very high in sugar if only for a temporary amount of time.
Three things to begin getting relief from Chronic Diarrhea
#1 – Cut out dairy products: With the exception of sugar free yogurt you should cut out all other dairy products, many times people will develop a sensitivity to dairy which can have it cause constant diarrhea after eating it. Outside of this dairy is just bad for your digestive tract in general and will need to be removed from the diet if only for a little while to effectively recover.
#2 – Take Probiotics: These are the beneficial bacteria that help keep your digestive system running smoothly. They help to also destroy candida and many times taking these frequently in large doses will effectively help to eliminate candida from the body, although most times more is needed to completely eliminate candida.
#3 – Try Bentonite: This natural clay is often used to help absorb toxic waste stuck in the colon, it is also an excellent way to slow down excessive diarrhea. It comes in pill and liquid form, although the liquid tends to be much more potent.