Holiday Stomach Pain and Bloating

Holiday Stomach Pain and Bloating – Is it Serious?

The holidays are a wonderful time where we spend more time with friends and family. It’s also a time where we eat lots of different foods we don’t normally eat.  Whether you love the holidays or dread the holidays one thing is for sure, that when we break our routine of eating, sleeping and drinking there is a greater chance of not feeling well. Is your holiday stomach pain and bloating serious and how can you tell?

Last Thanksgiving over thirty-six thousand people went to the emergency room that day.  Emergency room visits spike up to 12% over the holiday season in New York City.  In Kansas City one doctor estimates that his patient load climbs to 15% on Christmas Day.emergency visit

Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control show that people are not getting more injured during the holiday season, rather there are more cases of people eating the wrong thing, mistaking gastrointestinal issues with heart issues, food poisoning or problems related to too much alcohol.  People also do not take their daily medications with the rush of the holidays. The holidays can also bring on or exacerbate depression and other mood disorders needing attention and treatment.

To Be Clear:

Many hospital visits around the holiday time are for very real emergencies due to the excessive drinking and ultra-rich food that can precipitate a heart attack. Because of changes in routines, people delay in seeking treatment which compounds health outcomes. Heart-related deaths increase by 5 percent over the holidays. Fatal heart attacks peak on Christmas and the day after as well as New Year’s Day according to the journal Circulation.

Health emergencies over the holidays are a very real phenomenon not to be taken lightly and any change in your health or pain that is unusual should be checked out immediately.

With that said, this article will go over some common gastrointestinal issues that are very prevalent during the holiday season and what you can look out for, avoid, and some simple remedies.

Your Gastrointestinal Tract

A basic rundown of your gastrointestinal tract. The food you eat travels to your stomach from the esophagus. Digestion_largeThe esophageal sphincter at the base of the esophagus and the start of your stomach protects your esophagus from the acid in your stomach. The stomach breaks down food into chyme. The digestion of proteins takes place in the stomach along with a bit of carbohydrate. Most digestion takes place in the small intestines though. The chyme travels through the pyloric valve and into the small intestine where enzymes break down the food so it is absorbed into the bloodstream.  Whatever is not digested and absorbed into the body is now passed to the large intestine or colon where a stool is formed for excretion through the rectum and out the anus.

The small intestine has three parts to it.  The upper intestine is the duodenum, the middle part is the jejunum and the end is the ileum.

Now that you have an idea of the intestinal tract, you can determine where your pain is and understand better what may be happening.

Pain or Burning In The Throat Or In The Chest Area

esophagus

The most common pain in this area is usually associated with heartburn or acid reflux. This pain can extend from the throat to the mid-chest.  Heartburn is commonly treated with antacids or acid blockers. Most people believe that heartburn is due to the production of too much acid in the stomach. That is usually not the case in most instances. Too little acid is usually the culprit. During a meal, take one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 4 ounces of water. This will assist your stomach in breaking down food so it doesn’t back up into your esophagus.  

Magnesium deficiency can also be a culprit. Magnesium keeps the sphincter muscle tight and able to do its job of keeping acid out of the esophagus. Magnesium deficiencies make the sphincter relaxed and not able to keep acid out. Make sure you are supplementing with a quality magnesium supplement every day.

Pain or Discomfort In The Upper GI Area (Stomach)

stomach

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes there are complaints of pain behind the ribs, on the right side of the ribs or in the upper middle area right below the chest.  If the pain is right after something is eaten, suspect possible beginnings of an ulcer or gastritis. Mending the stomach by bolstering the mucous lining of the tissues is important. Try a mucilaginous product that can support the thin mucous lining of the stomach such as Metagenics Ulcinex for a month. See your doctor if symptoms don’t improve.

If the pain starts twenty minutes after you eat or so, suspect gas. Gas can be due to low stomach acid so try sipping one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with four ounces of water with your meal to see if it helps. It may also be due to SIBO or bacterial overgrowth in the stomach. Try probiotics to heal the stomach and check with your doctor to determine if you have SIBO.

If you notice the pain appears with a fatty meal, suspect possible gallbladder issues. If the pain is acute, seek medical attention quickly.

Pain or Discomfort in the mid stomach range

Abdomen-periumbilical_region

This means pain anywhere on the belly button or within a span of up to two inches around the belly button. Pain in this area is where the small intestines are and the upper part of the large intestine.

This pain can be due to gas becoming trapped in the intestines due to poor eating hygiene from gulping a meal too fast.  Try peppermint capsules for gas and bloating issues.

When mid stomach pain is accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting think a possible stomach bug or food poisoning. Instead of reaching for the Immodium or Pepto Bismol, try a more natural remedy such as Dr. Schulze Formula #2.

Food intolerances and sensitivities can also be the culprit for mid stomach range pain.  You can test for food sensitivities. Some of the most common sensitivities are to gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs. You can even try your own elimination diet for a couple of weeks to see if those foods are your problem.

Constipation can be the source of this kind of pain too. One of the lesser-known sources of constipation is magnesium deficiency. Try adding magnesium to clear up the problem.

Bowel obstruction is a more serious and less common issue of mid stomach pain and needs to be seen by a doctor to rule that out.

Pain In The Lower Region Of The Gastrointestinal Tract (Below Belly Button)

lower abdominal pain

Lower abdominal pain is quite common. Women have a propensity for this kind of stomach pain due to the uterus, ovaries, and tubes in the region.

Women may have a urinary tract infection that can give pain in the area. Treat urinary tract infections naturally with D-mannose. Other female issues can include fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and menstrual pain.

Pain that originates on the lower right side and radiates to the back may be appendicitis and should be treated immediately in a hospital.

For men, the prostate and testicles are in that region so lower abdominal pain can stem from issues with those organs and should be checked by a doctor to rule out.

Crohns and IBD are serious inflammatory abdominal diseases that are accompanied by bloody diarrhea and constant pain. These conditions need to be ruled out by a doctor.

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a catch-all diagnosis of non-inflammatory stomach issues like diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gas. There are natural remedies to try for IBS such as supplementing with enzymes or probiotics and with peppermint capsules.  Eating differently during the holiday season can bring on IBS symptoms.  Making sure you stick to a normal eating pattern for most of the November and December months is critical to avoid IBS.  

Other possible causes of lower abdominal pain can due to:

 

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Gastroenteritis (Food poisoning)
  • Hernia
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Kidney stone
  • Miscarriage
  • Diabetic Keto Acidosis
  • Testicular torsion
  • Prostatitis in men
  • Celiac disease
  • Eosinophilic colitis
  • Anxiety
  • Retention of urine in the bladder
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Food Allergy
  • Bowel cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Diverticulitis

In conclusion, the reasons for stomach pain can be many.  During the holiday season, we may disregard stomach pain as being eating irregularly and too much.  Stomach pain can originate in the upper, mid and lower regions of the stomach and can be as simple as eating hygiene issues like eating food too quickly and not chewing properly to serious stomach issues. Knowing the source of the pain can help you determine what the problem might be. If the pain is accompanied by fever and vomiting, calling your doctor or a trip to the emergency room is in order. Otherwise, there are simple remedies that you can implement to help you get relief fast.

cod liver oil side effects

Cod Liver Oil Side Effects

Cod liver oil is the essential oil extracted from the livers of Atlantic cod. Scientists discovered that cod liver oil helped eradicate rickets, a common disease in 17th century England and in the U.S. through the 1920’s.  Back then, cod liver oil was known to be rich in vitamins A and D only but its strong therapeutic properties are still being discovered today. Rickets was eradicated in the 1930’s and today cod liver oil is used successfully to treat many nutrient deficiencies.naturalvitamins

Nordic countries regularly consume cod liver oil to protect themselves from nutrient deficiencies. Studies have shown that taking one to two teaspoons of cod liver oil daily can help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, kidney problems, inflammatory bowel disease, high cholesterol and joint pain. Seems like a supplement worth taking, but some have expressed concern over the consumption of cod liver oil.  Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Are there any cod liver oil side effects you should be aware of? Let’s look a little deeper into cod liver oil research and see what it reveals.

Difference between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oilfish oil

Cod liver oil is oil that is extracted solely from the livers of cod fish. Fish oil is oil extracted from the tissue of deep sea oily fish like tuna, mackerel, herring, salmon, cod, and trout. Cod liver oil contains fewer Omega 3 fatty acids than regular fish oil but contains more nutrients like vitamin D and A.

What Are The Researched Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil?

cod liver oil

Cod liver oil is an anti-inflammatory food due to its omega 3 fatty acid profile and it’s high levels of vitamins A and D.  Both of these nutrients help fight inflammation and build the immune system which is critical in so many inflammatory conditions including inflammatory bowel diseases.

  • Cod liver oil is a good type of fat. Omega 3 fatty acids help break down carbohydrates when eaten with a meal to reduce the blood sugar rise in your bloodstream.
  • The nutrients in cod liver oil, mostly vitamin A and E help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.  Macular degeneration can lead to blindness and is on the rise in the U.S.
  • Cod liver oil contains high amounts of vitamin D and can help with cognitive performance.
  • The vitamin A and D in cod liver oil can help heal IBD and other digestive disorders.
  • The vitamin D in cod liver oil can help reduce the progression of cancer by slowing the growth and development of new blood vessels in cancerous tissue.
  • Cod liver oil was shown to protect against bone loss, obesity and resulted in a greater bone turnover. (Bone. 2008 May;42(5):996-1003).
  • Cod liver oil has anti-depressant properties and is associated with a lower rate of depressive symptoms for the general population. (J Affect Disord. 2007 Aug;101(1-3):245-9).

Any Side Effects From Cod Liver Oil?

Cod liver oil is generally well-tolerated and safe.  But there are a few things you should be aware of.cod-liver-oil-side-effects-1

  1. The most common complaint is a fishy aftertaste. To reduce this, take your cod liver oil with food and avoid taking it right before bedtime.
  2. If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications, talk to you doctor before taking cod liver oil.  Cod liver oil can thin the blood and cause bleeding issues.  For this reason, you would also want to stop taking cod liver oil about a week before any surgeries.
  3. These drugs interact with cod liver oil.  Talk to your doctor.

Adrucil
Calcitriol
Fluorouracil
Hectorol
Paricalcitol
Rocaltrol
Xeloda
Zemplar
Coumadin
Warfarin
Miradon

4)  A study done on rats in the “Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders” in February 2013 found that cod liver oil may raise blood sugar in diabetics.  An explanation of why this might be was provided by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Their claim is that the body converts fatty acids into sugars which may explain the rise in blood sugar.  If you are a diabetic, take cod liver oil or any fish oil under the care of your healthcare practitioner.

Recent Controversy Surrounding Cod Liver Oil

vitamin A toxicity

Dr. Joseph Mercola recently withdrew his recommendations for taking cod liver oil. His claim is that the cod liver oil of today has the wrong ratios of vitamin D and Vitamin A.  According to him, modern processing for contaminant removal decreases the vitamin D level in the cod liver oil, thus making the vitamin A more toxic to the body.  High amounts of vitamin A are toxic to the body and vitamin A needs vitamin D to buffer this.  

The Weston Price Foundation rebutted his article claiming that Dr. Mercola’s arguments were not sound and that purchasing cod liver oil with the right ratios is still possible.  You can read the response here.

Consumer watchdog agencies have found that many cod liver oil manufacturers do not have the right levels of vitamin A and D, so finding the best sources is very important.

Click here for a list of cod liver oil supplements with the right ratios of vitamin A and D.

Conclusion:

Cod liver oil has been used for hundreds of years to treat rickets and nutrient deficiencies.  Taking cod liver oil during the winter months when sunlight is scarce provides people with adequate levels of vitamin D and A.  

Cod liver oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and provides anti-inflammatory effects to the body resulting in lower incidences of cancer, bone loss, cognitive decline, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), depression among other health challenges.

There has been controversy surrounding the nutrient levels and toxicity of Vitamin A and the manufacturing processes of cod liver oil possibly doing more harm than good.  This has been refuted by other experts, but the importance of taking a reputable product with the right nutrients is very important.  Click here for a list of reputable sources of cod liver oil.

Hope you enjoyed this article and please comment below!  I love to hear from you.

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)Linda Watson is a certified Functional Health Coach

Turmeric for Ulcerative Colitis

Turmeric For Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the digestive system.  Ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine (colon and rectum) and is characterized by inflammation that occurs in the innermost lining of the intestine.  Ulcers may form on the lining of the stomach and the disease can also affect the eyes, skin, and joints. Ulcerative colitis falls under the category of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD and should not be confused with Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which is not an inflammatory condition. Living with this disease can affect the quality of life for those who suffer from it, but there are natural ways to assist in the healing of the gut. Today I’d like to make you aware of the natural food called turmeric for ulcerative colitis healing.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice and one of the main components of curry powder.  It was first isolated nearly two centuries ago in 1815 by two German scientists. Its biological activity wasn’t studied until 1949 in Nature for its antibacterial properties and the first clinical trial was published in The Lancet in 1937.  The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. In India, turmeric is used to treat health conditions due to its anti-inflammatory quality.

Compelling evidence has shown that curcumin in turmeric has the ability to inhibit inflammation in various diseases all while being safe and non-toxic. The use of medicinal plants and spices, like turmeric, have become an increasingly attractive approach for ulcerative colitis for those patients that do not respond to drugs or who do not want to take heavy-duty drugs that have undesirable side effects.

Study of Curcumin Vs Placebo for Ulcerative Colitis and Relapse Rate

Recent Studies of Turmeric and Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Curcumin in turmeric scavenges free radicals and nitric oxide. Free radicals are unstable molecules that wreak havoc on healthy cells.  Nitric oxide is good to the body in small amounts but is a danger when levels are high. Ulcerative colitis patients have high inflammation and high nitric oxide levels (Sreejayan & Rao, 1997).
  2. Mice treated with curcumin in turmeric decreased the severity of large intestine damage.  These changes resulted in a decrease in the weight of the colon and spleen that were treated with 50, 100 or 300 mg of curcumin, according to a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
  3. Curcumin in turmeric was superior to placebo in maintaining remission in patients with ulcerative colitis. A randomized, double-blind, Japanese study determined the relapse rate for those patients taking curcumin was significantly lower than the placebo group.
  4. A placebo-controlled maintenance trial of curcumin 2 g/day for 6 months showed a trend towards a reduced relapse rate (4% vs. 18%, RR 0.24, P = 0.06) and a significantly reduced endoscopic score.

Should you take Turmeric or Curcumin?

turmeric vs curcumin

The technical difference between the two is that turmeric is the yellowish powder used to flavor foods, while curcumin is the nutrient found in turmeric.

Most clinical studies use turmeric extract. The powdered spice turmeric has fewer “curcuminoid” compounds (curcumin) by weight than turmeric extract — which are believed to be important to turmeric’s effects. In turmeric extracts, the concentration of curcumin is very high, almost 95% and is why turmeric extract is used in studies.

According to ConsumerLab, turmeric extracts are less likely to be contaminated with heavy metals such as lead. If that’s not enough, turmeric powders can contain filth such as insect parts. Always check on the purity of the brand of turmeric powder you use.

So if you think sprinkling a little bit of turmeric spice on your food once a day will get you the same results as in the studies, that would be a stretch.  

My recommendation would be to stick to turmeric extracts when suffering from ulcerative colitis and use turmeric powder as a spice in cooking.

***TIP ***

Turmeric and curcumin are not easily absorbed by the body.  Black pepper or piperine ( a substance in black pepper responsible for its pungency) should be added to your turmeric powder or should come standard in your turmeric extract supplement.   

Be patient when taking turmeric supplements as the full benefit may not be felt for 60 days.

Turmeric precautions
  • If you suffer from liver disease it’s best to not take turmeric at all, but check with your healthcare practitioner.
  • Rarely, if turmeric is taken daily over a prolonged period of time, some mild stomach upset may occur.
  • If you are a diabetic, be aware that turmeric may reduce blood sugar levels.  A good thing, but you need to be aware of this.
  • If you are pregnant, avoid turmeric as there is a possibility of uterine stimulation.
  • If nursing, talk to your doctor.
  • Stop using turmeric two weeks before surgery as it can cause excessive bleeding.
  • Do not take turmeric if you have gallstones and check with your healthcare practitioner.
  • Young children should not take turmeric.

Changing Habits Turmeric Powder

Dosage

Adults: take 400 to 600mgs of turmeric extract three times a day or as recommended by your health-care practitioner.

**Great brands to try **

Schwartz Bioresearch      Doctor Recommended
             

Final word

Turmeric powder is a spice that has been used for centuries for it’s healing and anti-inflammatory properties.  Turmeric’s main component is curcumin and curcumin have been studied for its ability to reduce inflammation for many health conditions including ulcerative colitis.  In fact, studies show the remission times are longer for those suffering from ulcerative colitis who take turmeric extract.

I love to hear from my readers! I’ll get right back to you!

 

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)

Linda Watson is a Certified Health Coach

Best Life Extension Vitamins

4 Best Life Extension Vitamins For Gut Health – A Trusted Brand

When you’re suffering from any type of gut health issue, finding relief with products that actually work is so important for healing. Today I’m going to explain the 4 best Life Extension vitamins for gut health and how they can assist you with healing your digestive tract.

Life extension is a trusted brand of vitamins and has been for years.  I use them regularly because I am rest assured they are high quality and have the required, effective therapeutic dosage I’m looking for. When dealing with any illness or health challenge, if you decide to use supplements, herbs or another non-medicine approach, you want to be assured that what you are taking is effective and has the therapeutic level of supplement that can actually benefit you.  If you’re like me, you’d also like to see a little science behind the product as well.  If you suffer from digestive issues like millions of people today, taking supplements is very important and you want to spend your money on quality.

A Little Background

Life Extension came about in 1980 to fill a gap in scientific research pertaining to identifying technologies that can delay/reverse aging and premature death. Their scientific research transcends academic institutions, medical companies, and conventional thought.   

Conventional, mainstream research focuses on heart disease, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer’s.  The main causes of death today. Life Extension provides scientists with millions of dollars every year to conduct research geared toward the prevention of or postponing of these diseases so humans can live longer with a higher quality of life.  

Life Extension’s clinical research involves the exploration of innovative dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and medical devices. As a result, their dietary supplements and the formulations are always based on their research and have the recommended dosage for therapeutic value.

Because of Life Extensions clinical research in the area of supplements for health conditions their research findings end up in their supplements. Knowing that you are taking the right vitamin for the right condition and at the appropriate dose makes taking Life Extension supplements a no-brainer.Adobe Spark (83)

Every Year, Millions Suffer From Digestive Issues

Digestive challenges harm the quality of life for many Americans today.  IBS is on the rise and is becoming an employer’s nightmare.  Many people are missing workdays due to IBS and work productivity is lower when employees suffer from IBS.  IBS sufferers can experience gas, bloating, pain, constipation, reflux, and diarrhea.  

GERD or reflux is when digestive acids make their way to the esophagus causing heartburn and pain. This can be due to too little or too much hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

IBD (irritable bowel disease) is when chronic inflammation results in pain and inflammation of the intestines and bowel. IBD is a serious condition which needs treatment from conventional and alternative therapies.  Read more about IBD. Continue reading

Top 10 Foods to Avoid If You Have Colitis

Top 10 Foods to Avoid If You Have Colitis – And Start Feeling better!

 

If you have ulcerative colitis, you know that living with this disease affects the quality of your life.  Living with the pain and discomfort is a daily battle which hinders your ability to enjoy life.  Some people with ulcerative colitis feel like prisoners to bathrooms and some fear leaving their homes.  There is a lot of information about what foods to eat if you have ulcerative colitis but there are definite foods that you should eliminate from your diet, at least for awhile until you can get your symptoms under control.  This article will alert you to the top 10 foods to avoid if you have colitis.

For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on ulcerative colitis and not microscopic colitis, which is a different disease.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the lower part of the colon and rectum affecting the lining of the large intestine. This is an inflammatory disease that causes sores or ulcers in the lining.  Due to the inflammation, the lining of the large intestine cannot absorb water from the colon causing diarrhea and extreme discomfort. Ulcers form which bleed and produce pus causing more discomfort.

In a study published in the 2016 Nutrition Journal, those suffering from IBD (Colitis and Chron’s disease) said that diet affected their IBD.  Interestingly enough, billions of people in less developed countries have little to no digestive disorders, including ulcerative colitis. Asia and Africa are a couple of countries that are ‘colitis free’ countries.

chart for ibs

Doctors will tell you there is ‘no known cure’ and will give you medications, antibiotics, invasive procedures and sometimes surgery.  They do everything they can by giving medications, antibiotics, medical  procedures, and in some cases, surgeries. Sometimes these methods work.  Sometimes they work for only a while and for others, nothing seems to work.

Some Examples of Medical Interventions:

1) Undergo a colonoscopy, barium enema, X-rays, or scans.

2) Take over-the-counter pain and acid blocking drugs.

3) Mayo Clinic Diet.  This diet is the most recommended for digestive disorder sufferers, and guess what, it has never cured one patient.  

If ulcerative colitis goes on too long, it can lead to dehydration and malabsorption of nutrients leading to nutritional deficiencies that can lead to osteoporosis and mental disorders like depression and anxiety.

It is MOST important to stay away from certain foods if you suffer from ulcerative colitis. Eating well is a given, but if you are going to continually include certain foods, getting better will take much longer.

Top 10 Foods to Avoid if you have Colitis

Keeping a food diary is critical if you suffer from colitis so you know what foods are triggers for you. However the foods listed below are universally irritating to colitis sufferers and its time to keep them out of your diet.

It’s also important to note that the preparation of your food is also important. For instance, avoid raw vegetables and opt for steaming instead. Low fat dairy is better than full fat dairy.

Food combining is another area where colitis symptoms can be triggered. Certain foods paired together are hard on digestion and ultimately for your colitis. I will write another post about food combining in another article soon.  AVOID:High-Fiber-Foods

High Fiber Foods:

  1. Whole Wheat
  2. Oats
  3. Brown Rice
  4. Legumes

Spicy Foods

    5)  Barbecue Sauce

    6)  Wasabi

    7)  Horseradish

Beverages

    7)  Alcohol is a trigger for almost all Colitis sufferers.

    8)  Carbonated beverages like Soda

    9)  Juice Drinks

   10) Coffee is a stimulant and can trigger colitis symptoms.

There you have it!  Definitely stay away from these foods when you are in a flare up of colitis or when in remission.  It’s not worth it.  

Learn more about ulcerative colitis and how to heal naturally here.

Taking probiotics daily and a great multivitamin is critical to getting the nutrients you need to avoid osteoporosis and malnutrition. Try Digestive Science brand which is formulated by a world renowned doctor, Dr. Steven Lamb. Try Isotonix brand vitamins.  Isotonix doesn’t need digestion to ABSORB, so you can get your vitamins without worrying about the digestive process.

adobe-spark-36

Improve Gut Health – Yes, you can…naturally!

You get a diagnosis from your doctor that you have IBS, colitis, Crohns, celiac or any other IBD disease. If your diagnosis is for ulcerative colitis or Crohns, you will probably walk out of the doctors office with a prescription for either corticosteroids or Azulfidine to manage the inflammation. Immune system suppressor drugs may be a treatment option when your doctor feels reducing inflammation by suppressing the immune response is more appropriate.  In some cases of colitis, you may have a fever and will be given antibiotics to combat any infection. Over the counter medications may be used on top of these other very powerful drugs to combat diarrhea and pain.  It can be very depressing when dealing with symptoms, the side effects of drugs, and wondering if you’ll ever feel better again!  You CAN improve gut health and feel better though.  It will take time and persistence, but you will feel better.

When you get a medical diagnosis, it’s always prudent to listen to your doctor and take those medications that you discuss together to help you feel better.  However, doctors are not familiar with alternative methods to heal and strengthen the digestive system.  There are a lot of things you can do to help your body become stronger naturally while you are on powerful medications that suppress your immune system and deal with inflammation.

What Do Alternative Doctors Say About Digestive Disease?health-begins-in-your-gut-fb

Dr. Steven Lamm, author of No Guts, No Glory treats many patients with digestive disorders.  He feels that digestive health is often overlooked by his patients.  Most people are concerned about their heart health, their risks for cancer and diabetes and meanwhile they are forgetting about the most important organ for the health of the whole body.  Residing within your gut is the immune system. Over 75 percent of your immune system to be exact. Dr. Lamm notes that conditions that we experience like obesity, cancer, mental disorders, arthritis, allergies, autoimmune diseases are closely linked to the health of our gut.  Dr. Lamm is a big proponent of digestive enzymes and diet to help strengthen and heal our digestive system.

Dr. David Williams, author of Alternatives newsletter, has been a bit proponent of fermented foods and probiotics for years concerning the health of our gut. He stresses that getting the gut back into bacterial balance is the cornerstone of relieving digestive diseases.

Dr. Mark Hyman, New York Times best selling author believes that diet can help eliminate chronic conditions of the digestive system and he advocates a Detox Diet that has been successful with his patients. Get a copy of his new book here which is a great diet for all conditions.

How To Strengthen Digestion Naturally

When you are on strong medications to treat your IBD, you can up the success rate of those medicines by incorporating natural foods and supplements to assist in your healing.

Seven Steps To Digestive Health
  1. Eliminate all refined carbs.  That means breads, cereals, muffins, cookies, donuts and other pastries. Most grains are inflammatory to the digestive system.  In order to heal, you must remove them for a period of time.  After healing takes place, weeks, days or years from now, you can add back whole grains slowly if you want, otherwise there is no need for grains in your diet.
  2. Take an allergy test.  Food allergies may be the reason for your chronic digestive issues.  It’s part of the whole picture and allergenic foods need to be identified and eliminated.
  3. For ulcerative colitis, you may want to try predigested protein powders to replace amino acids.  Try these out here or find them at your local health food store.
  4. Lifestyle modifications: Sleep is a great healer, make sure you are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a sleepnight.  If you need help getting to sleep I recommend relaxation exercises and meditation. You can get my beginner meditation course hereExercise and regular physical activity keeps the digestive system running smoothly.  Quit smoking, smoking causes inflammation and needless stress on the whole body, weakening your immune system. Stress reduction, like sleep is very healing.  Again, relaxation exercises like yoga and meditation are crucial to managing stress, building back your microbiome and reducing levels of cortisol in your body which are known aggravators for digestive problems.
  5. You need enzymes to digest your food.  Enzymes help you digest protein, carbhohydrates, fats and fiber.  If you are not eating whole foods that supply you with these naturally occurring enzymes, then you need to take one as a supplement.  A product that addresses the full spectrum of protease, amylase, lipase and cellulase is important.  Bromelain is a good one.
  6. Kill off the bad bacteria that is overrunning in your digestive tract with oil of oregano.  Oil of oregano rids the digestive tract of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, yeast, and mycobacteria (bacteria/yeast hybrid). You may have to take this on and off for years to eliminate the imbalance.
  7. Turmeric seems to help the effectiveness of other treatments for IBD. Try my easy turmeric Golden Milk   recipe here.

There are many other things that you can do besides the steps listed above to get you back on your way to healing your gut health issues.  Sign up for my Gut Health Program and learn how to take control over your health and the health of your gut.

If you enjoyed this article, I’d love to hear from you and I’ll get right back to you!

ulcerative-colitis-symptoms

Colitis Natural Remedies – Ease Symptoms Naturally!

Colitis is a chronic condition. It effects millions of people. Colitis means inflammation of the colon. The colon is the large intestine and is the last part of the digestive tract. There are several types of colitis. There is infectious colitis caused by bacteria or a virus. Radiation induced colitis after a round of radiation, ulcerative colitis and microscopic colitis. Ulcerative colitis is the more severe and damaging disease. Microscopic is as it’s name implies.  It cannot be detected unless microscopically. There are Colitis natural remedies and I’ll break them down by disease. As always, check with your doctor if you decide to change your diet or take supplements.colon

Ulcerative colitis involves inflammation of the digestive system including the large bowels, colon and rectum. Ulcerative colitis is the most serious type where blood and mucus may be present in the stools accompanied by abdominal pain and diarrhea. People who experience ulcerative colitis have periods of inflammation that can be accompanied by pain, fatigue and fever.The cause of ulcerative colitis is not known.
Nutritional deficiencies are common with ulcerative colitis due to poor absorption of water and minerals. This can lead to further complications such as loss of appetite, weight loss, dehydration, anemia, fatigue and general ill health.
Ulcerative colitis can be confused with other bowel issues like IBS and Crohns disease.  IBS does not cause damage to the intestines and is not a risk for colon cancer unlike ulcerative colits, and should be ruled out right away.
Testing and diagnosing ulcerative colitis may include any of the below:
  • A colonoscopy
  • Blood tests that will determine infection or inflammation in the colon.
  • Stool samples look for blood, pus and mucus in the stool

Microscopic colitis 

This condition is not diagnosed by a colonscopy.  Inflammation of the lining of the colon is not visible to the eye with microscopic colitis. The inflammation is only detected when under microscope.  The doctor will perform a biopsy on tissue from a colonoscopy. There are two types of microscopic colitis:

  1. Lymphocytic colitis, white blood cells are found within the lining of the colon.
  2. Collagenous colitis, there is an additional layer of scar tissue between the lining.

These two types of microscopic colitis may be purely different stages of the disease.  The symptom of diarrhea may be due to the scar tissue inhibiting the absorption of water in the colon.  When water is not absorbed by the colon, it comes out as diarrhea.  Blood in the stool is not normal.  Microscopic colitis usually occurs in middle and senior aged women and men.

AVOID:advil

NSAIDS and eliminate lactose.


Natural remedies:

FOR ULCERATIVE COLITIS

Understand that if you are taking medications prescribed by your doctor, they are powerful and do not have a large success rate.  If you are on a treatment plan with your doctor, talk to him/her about these natural remedies  that can help build and heal your body while on these powerful medications.

  1. Eliminate refined carbohydrates:  refined carbohydrates and sugar alter the PH balance of your gut. An acidic gut will contribute to inflammation and the alteration of gut microbiome which may be a factor for chronic diarrhea.
  2. Eliminate corn, wheat and milk.  These foods have been shown to trigger allergic reactions. An elimination diet can help you determine which foods are triggers.  Get help with my elimination diet here.
  3. Add in more fruits and vegetable.  Lots more.  The added nutrition and fiber will heal your body and calm digestion.
  4. Add in more high quality oils:  Omega 3 fish oils and olive oil are anti inflammatory oils and can decrease inflammation over time. Take 3 grams of Omega 3 and a tablespoon of olive oil a day. (in salad, or straight)
  5. Aloevera gel liquid:  Aloevera can do for your insides what it can do for your outside. Soothe and heal. Take 2 ounces up to 6 times a day.
  6. Beneficial bacteria: You can take a high quality probiotic orally or you can go further and get one specifically made for an enema.  This will populate good bacteria right at the source.  See a qualified practitioner to do this with.
  7. Try Bromelain:  Is a protolytic enzyme, it breaks down proteins, and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Why not take something that can assist you in your digestion to make it easier on the body? It has been shown to calm the lower bowel.
  8. Try Manuka Honey:  Believe it or not, Manuka honey has been shown to alleviate IBS and ulcerative colitis symptoms. Try a teaspoon a day and then work up to 3 tablespoons if you find it helps.
  9. Ditch tap water: The flouride and other irritants in public tap water may be triggering your bowel problems. Go for pure water. Buy the highest quality water out there, or filter your water with the best. You can use distilled, but make sure you add back a mineral supplement if you do.  Distilled water contains no minerals.

FOR MICROSCOPIC COLITIS:

In addition to the above, here are some other natural remedies specific to microscopic colitis.  You can also incorporate these through trial and error for ulcerative colitis.

  1. Turmeric: Try this recipe for turmeric milk which is calming and healing for inflammation.
  2. Go on a gluten free diet:  Gluten and wheat can be irritating and inflammatory for the gut.  Again, go on an elimination diet to see if gluten is a culprit.
  3. Eliminate Dairy: Dairy is usually an allergen and will irritate your stomach causing cramping and diarrhea.
  4. Stay away from MSG:  Stay away from canned foods and learn what the different names are for MSG.
  5. Stay away from refined sugar:  Sugar is the biggest culprit in increasing inflammation and bad bacteria in the gut.  If you need help, join my sugar reboot workshop.

I hope this helped you.  I love to hear from my readers, please comment below and I will get back to you!