Gas and Bloating Relief with Activated Charcoal

Gas and Bloating Relief with Activated Charcoal

Gas and bloating are common symptoms of IBS. IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a collection of digestive symptoms that do not point to a specific disease but are put under the umbrella of IBS. IBS is not to be confused with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) which is an inflammatory condition including Crohn’s disease and colitis and needs professional care. Gas and bloating that is not the result of IBD can be treated naturally once the root cause is determined.  For simple gas and bloating I like activated charcoal as a remedy. Gas and bloating relief with activated charcoal can ease your symptoms so you can start working on the root cause and long-term success.

IBS can be resolved completely, so that is encouraging for many! IBS is mainly due to SIBO a condition where there is bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Many people naturally turn to probiotics when dealing with gas, bloating and other digestive system ailments. But if your IBS issues including gas and bloating are due to SIBO, which most are, then adding more bacteria regardless if it’s beneficial bacteria can add to the problem at least in the short term.

To get fast relief for gas and bloating the goal is to:

1) Release trapped gas

2) Relax the muscle wall of the intestines to ease cramps and bloating.

3) Balance microbes

4) Fix the diet

5) Practice good eating hygiene

Steps 1 -5 are the order in which to start healing, so the first step is to release trapped gas.

corn

Gas forms in your digestive tract when air is swallowed and when bacteria in the large intestines break down undigested foods. The types of food that are eaten and how long they hang out in the large intestine can determine the amount of gas produced.  You can lessen the amount of gas you experience by eating properly eg. eating hygiene; not swallowing large chunks of food, eating on the run, and eating while stressed. Be aware of the types of food eaten that will not hang out in the intestines for long producing excess gas is important.

Trapped gas can be very painful and for some keep them up at night.  Trapped gas can be a quality of life issue as well due to the pain and the bloating.  Clothes not fitting properly is another problem for those suffering from trapped gas.

Activated-Charcoal-Cap

One of my favorite remedies for absorbing excess gas and providing relief is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a medicinal remedy not to be confused with regular charcoal which is a carcinogen. Activated charcoal is the byproduct of slowly burnt coconut shells or burnt wood and then treated with oxygen which makes it an adsorbable (binding to) product. So, activated charcoal binds to toxins and odors up to one thousand times its weight.

Activated charcoal has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine for centuries and is now very popular in the U.S and around the world as a superfood. It has alkalizing properties which make it a darling for the health conscious. However many claims are not substantiated, so do your homework if you’re going to use it for other purposes.

From Dr.Jockers
From Dr.Jockers

With that said, activated charcoal and its ability to bind to digestive toxins are well documented. Using activated charcoal to ‘bind’ to trapped gas is a wonderful, fast acting remedy for breaking up painful, trapped gas.

Make sure activated charcoal is taken away from medication or other supplements as it’s binding properties act on them as well. You want the activated charcoal to bind to gas, not your vitamins or medications. Taking it between meals is a good idea.

Activated charcoal comes in pill or powder varieties. My favorite activated charcoal products also include other gas absorbing and anti-cramping agents. Gaia Herbs Gas and Bloating and Heather’s Tummy tamers are excellent choices.

In conclusion, gas and bloating due to IBS can be remedied by taking products with activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a nutrient that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Activated charcoal acts due to its ability to adsorb or bind to other substances like gas. Take activated charcoal between meals to ensure it does not bind to other nutrients or medicines.

If you try activated charcoal for gas and bloating, I’d love to hear from you! Please comment below!

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Linda is a Functional Medicine Health Coach

Gluten Sensitivity and autoimmune diseases

Gluten Sensitivity and Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, celiac disease, thyroid disease, are the top health concerns of the 21st century and those afflicted growing in number every year. Autoimmune diseases are responses to systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues. Could there be a connection between food sensitivities and more notably gluten sensitivity and autoimmune diseases?

Diseases, like autoimmune diseases, are basically a group of symptoms that fit a common profile of others who suffer the same symptoms. Then it’s given a label. Having a label is fine, but it doesn’t help you with the root cause.

Food sensitivities are unlike food allergies.  Food allergies involve a histamine response to an offending food and the reaction is immediate and can be life-threatening for those with severe allergies. Food sensitivities are an immune system response to offending foods that can take up to two or three days to appear. These responses can be vague such as headaches, congestion, sinus, anxiety/depression and more.  Read more about the difference between food allergies and sensitivities here.

What Is Gluten?

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, gluten is: “a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley, and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.”

There are two main proteins in gluten. They are glutenin and gliadin and gliadin is the protein that is associated with the negative effects. Ten thousand years ago, wheat was not the version of wheat we have today. Emmer and Einkorn wheat were the crops of our ancestors while Triticum wheat is used today and is thousands of genes apart from original Einkorn wheat.triticum wheat

Triticum wheat has been bred to generate a greater yield, not a nutritionally sound product. Modern Triticum wheat of today can’t even survive in the wild without human support such as fertilizers and pest control.  Can you imagine eating a plant that can only survive at the hands of man-made chemicals?  Einkorn and Emmer wheat have survived the wild and pass on their nutrition powerhouse to those who eat it.

There have never been any safety studies involving animals or humans done on the hybridization of wheat and the new genetic strains created.  Plant geneticists were so intent on creating products to increase yield to satisfy the need to relieve world hunger, that it was assumed hybridizing wheat would result in a safe product. Because after all, wheat is wheat and wheat is a food product, right?

Gluten, What’s So Bad About It?

Gluten is the protein mixture of wheat.  It’s also in barley, rye, bulgur, Kamut, and triticale. Most Americans do not consume great quantities of rye, bulgar, Kamut and triticale, so for the purposes of this article wheat is the product I’m referring to when speaking about gluten. Barley, rye, bulgur, Kamut, and triticale have also not been hybridized to become the ultra glutinous products that wheat has become.

Gluten is what makes wheat ‘doughy’. That stretchable, rollable, elastic and twistable substance that rice flour, corn flour or any other flour cannot achieve.  Wheat is mostly carbohydrate and only ten to fifteen percent protein, and the majority of that protein (80%) is gluten. gluten dough

People who suffer from celiac disease are suffering from the most extreme form of gluten sensitivity.  It’s actually an autoimmune disease. During World War II, a pediatric gastroenterologist from the Netherlands noticed that mortality from celiac dropped about 40% during the war and then went back to pre-war mortality after the war was over.  At that time gluten was not known to be the reason. During the war, there was no wheat available and potato starch was used for making bread and the disease went away. Babies at the time were fed only bananas when presenting with celiac symptoms. After the war, the babies were put on an elimination diet of all grains and gluten. The babies responded favorably and thus the connection between gluten and autoimmune celiac disease.

Can there be other issues and autoimmune diseases stemming from gluten sensitivities? Most certainly.

Our journey begins with the digestive tract

Our intestines are a long, windy tube roughly 15 -20 feet long and covered by a single, yes a single layer of cells that is a barrier to keep the bacteria, toxins and undigested food out of our bloodstream. This single layer of cells, a mucous layer, allows microscopically sized nutrients like single blocks of sugars, proteins, and amino acids that have been broken down through digestion to pass through to the bloodstream to use for fuel and to supply our organs with what they need.  In order to pass through this single-celled mucosal barrier, the lining is permeable with very tight junctures so only the smallest of single blocks of nutrients can pass through.

This barrier should be impermeable to anything else.  But with celiac research, it was found that the barrier’s tight junctures or ‘doors were being opened for other substances like gluten to get through triggering an immediate immune system reaction.faulty-tight-junction

How Are These ‘Doors’ Opening?

Gluten is comprised of a substance called gliadin. Gliadin triggers the release of zonulin in the body.  Zonulin is the bodies trigger to save itself from an all-out infection that it cannot handle in the digestive system by opening up the ‘doors’ in the lining of the stomach to allow the infection to flow through to be fought by the bodies immune system.  What a wonderful last-ditch effort from Mother Nature to heal the body.

Unfortunately, it was the gliadin from the gluten that triggered the zonulin that opened the doors and there was no ‘threat’ to the body.  Now we have a gluten protein in the bloodstream that the body sees as a foreign invader. You do not need to have celiac disease for this response to happen.

The phenomenon of intestinal permeability caused by gluten due to the zonulin response is called ‘Leaky Gut’. When you have leaky gut, your symptoms can be all over the map like anxiety, depression, brain fog, fatigue, headaches and the list goes on and on. Over time these symptoms are associated with different autoimmune diseases like MS, Parkinsons, lupus etc. Some researchers have found when zonulin levels are kept in check, diabetes is kept at bay.

Experts believe that there need to be accurate tests for zonulin levels to prevent leaky gut syndrome and keep the ‘doors’ closed.

What Can You Do Today?

The first thing you must do is eliminate gluten for at least 4 weeks completely and see how you feel.  If you feel better, you need to continue complete elimination for 4 months to start healing your stomach.

Get your vitamin D levels checked. Increased intestinal permeability has been shown with low vitamin D levels. Aim for a range of 50 to 60 on a blood test. Increase your levels with a high-quality product

Drink organic bone broth to heal the lining of the stomach.

Avoid sugar. Sugar increases the bad bacteria leading to inflammation that opens the ‘doors’ of your intestine.

Take l-glutamine to heal your stomach lining for 3 months or longer depending on need.

In Conclusion

Gluten is a protein of wheat. Wheat has undergone major hybridization over the years yielding a wheat flour with high levels of gluten. For those with celiac disease, there is no tolerance of gluten and the body undergoes a major immune response that is damaging to the intestine.

The gliadin in gluten triggers the body to make zonulin which opens the ‘doors’ of the lining of the stomach allowing molecules of food and proteins into the bloodstream that should never be there. The body responds to these ‘threats’ as foreign invaders and can develop symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, depression, anxiety and more.  Over time autoimmune diseases can be diagnosed.

Take steps as outlined above to reduce your exposure to wheat and gluten and heal your stomach from the damaging effects of zonulin in the body in response to gluten.

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Linda is a Functional Health Coach

Depression, Anxiety and Gut Health

Depression, Anxiety and Gut Health

The health of our gut truly can determine the health of our brain.  Not many people understand the connection between a healthy gut and our moods.  Research is showing that when our gut bacteria is lacking, not diverse or has an imbalance, the health of our body is compromised and that includes our brain. This article will address the connection between depression, anxiety and gut health so you can start addressing the root cause and heal quicker.

Current treatments for depression and anxiety involve counseling, psychotherapy/psychiatry interventions and in some cases medications. Medications for anxiety and depression, like Zoloft and Paxil, fall under the class of drugs labeled Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRI”s.

What Is Serotonin?serotonin

Serotonin was discovered in 1948 by Maurice M. Rappor. Serotonin is an important chemical neurotransmitter in the body and is created by a biochemical conversion process.  It’s manufactured in the brain and in the intestines and the gastrointestinal tract is where 80-90% of serotonin is found. It’s thought that serotonin is responsible for mood and behavior.

So as you can see already serotonin is responsible for mood and behavior and over 80% of serotonin is found in the gut.

How Do SSRI Medications Work For Anxiety and Depression?

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the body that nerves use to communicate with each other in the brain. Neurotransmitters are manufactured and released by nerves and then travel to other nerves and attach to them to communicate.  Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter.

neurotransmitters

Serotonin travels between the spaces of other nerves (synapses) and then attaches to receptor points on the surface of nearby nerves. Sometimes they attach to the receptors of the nerve that produced it and then it is reabsorbed by that nerve (re-uptake) and then released again by the nerve. This is called serotonin ‘re-uptake’.

Medications targeting anxiety and depression are usually known as a class of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRI’s because what they do is block (inhibit) the reabsorption of serotonin back into the nerve. The serotonin is available in the synapse at least for a while.

According to WebMD, experts are not sure why SSRI’s work for some people and that’s because not much is known about the brain.  The theory is that if serotonin is not reabsorbed back into the nerve by taking the SSRI’s that inhibit the process, levels of serotonin will be higher. They believe higher levels of serotonin would improve communication between the nerves and strengthen the circuits in the brain that regulates mood.

The Problem With This Scenario

Blocking the absorption of serotonin via these drug inhibitors don’t increase serotonin, rather they trick the body into thinking it has more serotonin.  Over time, the use of SSRI’s actually depletes whatever serotonin the body has available.

How Is The Gut Involved?gut microbiota

So now that we understand a bit about serotonin, we can now look at how the gut is involved. Research shows that people who suffer from mood disorders benefit from taking a type of gut probiotic, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, and experienced significant improvements in their mood symptoms.  Microbes that reside in our gut may be responsible for gut-brain communication involving our moods.  This is referred to as the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis is a communication involving the brain, the central nervous system, and the enteric (gut) system.

It is estimated that 90 percent of serotonin is made in the gut.  A study done by Caltech and published in the April 9th issue of the journal Cell shows that certain bacteria in the gut are responsible for the production of serotonin. When the balance between beneficial and disease-causing bacteria was altered in studies on animals, brain chemistry was also altered affecting the animals moods and stress levels producing anxiety and in some cases their boldness.

Our American Lifestyle And Diet

Anxiety and depression are the most frequently diagnosed disorders today.  Our fast pace of life coupled with the over-processed food that we eat, the overuse of xenotoxins (fertilizers, pesticides, carbon emissions) drugs including vaccines all contribute to an imbalance in our gut bacteria.  Some gut bacteria are responsible for the production of serotonin which helps regulate moods and behavior. Our current lifestyle is contributing to the rise of these mood disorders.

How To Heal

  • Nourish your beneficial gut bacteria with prebiotics.  Prebiotics are plant fibers that cannot be digested by our digestive system. Our gut bacteria digest prebiotics leading to a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Prebiotics help reduce cortisol levels which tame the stress response that people with anxiety and depression have. Lowering cortisol levels has a positive effect on those with mood disorders. Prebiotics can be found in fibrous plants like artichokes, Jicama, raw asparagus, onions and raw garlic.
  • Include probiotics with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. Studies shown in animals suggest lessened anxiety and mood disorder symptoms after supplementing with these strains of probiotics. Foods that contain these strains of probiotics are foods that have undergone lactic fermentation like kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut. bifido bacteria raw probiotics
  • New, emerging studies are also showing carbohydrate maldigestion as a cause of mood disorders.  I always encourage a gluten-free and even grain-free diet for those suffering from mood disorders.
  • Eat a whole foods diet that is nutritionally rich and varied.

Eating behaviors should be reviewed and addressed when suffering from anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. Addressing the gut and the balance of good to bad gut bacteria is as important to healing mood disorders as cognitive therapy or medications are.  Finding a functional medicine practitioner or functional health coach can help you address the root cause.

Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

a0e284_ffef60fd9f084d2ab53dd3aa576055fc-mv2_d_1201_1800_s_2Linda is a Functional Medicine Health Coach

Food Allergy vs Sensitivity

Food Allergy vs Intolerance

Many people do not know the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance or sensitivity. Food allergies are quite rare thankfully as they can be life threatening.  Food intolerances are milder and hard to pinpoint, although their effects are troublesome and many times attributed to other things and possibly sometimes as diseases.  I hope after reading this article you will know the difference between food allergy vs intolerance, so you can start your healing journey.

Food sensitivities and food allergies are not digestive issues. People erroneously believe that the stomach is implicated with sensitivities and allergies. Food sensitivities and food allergies are immune system reactions.

Our spleen is responsible for characterizing threats to the human body and send out the white blood cells needed to deal with the threat.  Most threats are handled quickly and efficiently by our immune system.  With food allergy and intolerance, the immune system is confusing some foods as foreign invaders.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH A FOOD ALLERGY?

Our immune system reacts to a certain food as a threat and creates a histamine response that can be life-threatening.  Food allergies are more common in young children, but adults can acquire a food allergy at any time.

Symptoms of a food allergy can be mild to severe. Reactions to the specific food can range in severity. One exposure may trigger a mild reaction and the next can be severe, so avoiding the food altogether is the only solution unless under the care of a qualified allergy specialist.

The most severe type of allergic food reaction is called anaphylaxis which is a life threatening condition. This type of reaction can come on within minutes and can be fatal.

Which brings me to my next point.  Food allergies come on sudden where there is usually no doubt what the trigger food is.

90% of most food allergies are caused by these foods:peanuts

  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Typical Allergic Responses:food allergy

  • Vomiting and/or stomach cramps
  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Tight throat, trouble swallowing
  • Swelling of the tongue, affecting the ability to talk or breathe
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale or blue coloring of skin
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Anaphylaxis, a potentially life threatening condition.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH FOOD SENSITIVITIES/INTOLERANCE?

Food sensitivities or intolerances are used interchangeably, but there is no difference in meaning.  Food sensitivities can take days to appear and their symptoms can be many things. Food sensitivities do not trigger a histamine reaction like food allergies, so none of the reactions listed for allergy above will be the same for a sensitivity/intolerance.  There is an immune system reaction however due to the body believing the offending food to be a threat.

People have a hard time believing that a food sensitivity can take so long to appear because they confuse sensitivities with allergies.  Again, allergies take seconds to minutes to appear, and food sensitivities can take days.

Because a food sensitivity can take days to appear, it is often very difficult to know what the trigger food is. If you suffer from any of the below, it’s time to take food sensitivity seriously.

  • Chronic headaches/migraineheadaches
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain/arthritis
  • Bloating
  • Excema
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Post nasal drip
  • Tight muscles
  • Canker sores
  • Heart racing
  • IBS
How To Determine If You Have A Food Sensitivity/Intolerance

Elimination Diet – Is the gold standard in determining if you suffer from food sensitivities.  The best way to do an elimination diet is to work with a qualified practitioner to keep you accountable and to make sure you are completely eliminating the food. Food labels can be confusing to read and misleading, a professional knows what to avoid. But you can surely do it yourself as long as you understand how to do it. I recommend this program to start you off.  Always do an elimination for a period of 4 weeks with no more than 2 two foods at a time with 100 percent cold turkey elimination. Absolutely no cheating. Then introduce one food at a time back leaving a couple of days before introducing the next.

IgG or IgG4 Food Testing – No blood test is completely accurate when determining food sensitivities. The body has many ways in which it can react to food and some do not include antibodies.  But food testing is a great way to find out those foods that you have a high reaction too. A total IgG food antibody panel is essentially measuring when the immune system is reacting to a common (and perhaps quite healthy!) food as though it were a foreign invader. You can order your own blood tests here.

There are other blood tests available that measure IgE and IgA.  These tests are not necessary for basic food sensitivity answers.life extension food sensitivity test

You Have A Food Sensitivity, Now What?

When your test results come back and you find you are sensitive to a couple of foods or maybe even many foods, what is the next step?  Eliminating the food(s) is obvious but is there anything else you can do and do you have to eliminate the food forever?  Yes, there are ways you can heal your gut and as a result, heal your sensitivities.  Food sensitivities are not forever. Once you heal, you can add the offending foods back in if desired.

Healing your gut involves healing the lining of your stomach. The lining of your gut can become inflamed due to medicines, food sensitivities, bacteria overgrowth among other reasons. When the lining is inflamed or irritated, the tight junctures of the lining become less tight and as a result, it allows big particles of food and other substances to get into the bloodstream where there is an immune system reaction. This is called Leaky Gut or Increased Intestinal Permeability. Nothing other than nutrients and tiny particles should be passing through the gut and into the bloodstream.

Supplements to heal the gut:

The supplements listed below should be taken in order to heal intestinal permeability and recover from food sensitivities.

  1. Vitamin D. The first step is to make sure your vitamin D levels are optimum. Sub optimum or a deficiency in D causes intestinal permeability.
  2. L-Glutamine. L Glutamine has been shown in studies to heal the lining of the gut and tightening up the junctures.
  3. Probiotics. Probiotics help balance the ratio of good to bad bacteria resulting in less irritation to the lining of the stomach.
  4. Quercitin. Another supplement with healing properties for the lining of the gut.
  5. Curcumin (Meriva formula) Helps with inflammation
  6. Vitamin E

Foods To Heal The Gutbone broth

There are definitely food choices that can help to heal leaky gut.

  1. Bone broth. Homemade or purchased is a fantastic food for healing your gut.
  2. Vegetables include prebiotic fiber that good bacteria will feed on to balance the ratio of good to bad bacteria.
  3. Okra
  4. Chia seeds
  5. Flaxseeds.

Eliminating your trigger foods is important. Even if gluten did not show up on your IgG food panel, it is wise to eliminate all gluten foods while healing your gut.  Gluten is an inflammatory food and should be avoided.

In conclusion,

Food allergies are different than food sensitivities. Food allergies are immediate responses that include the release of histamine. Allergic responses can be mild to severe or life threatening. The non-tolerated food is normally easy to figure out. IgA panels are for food allergy determination.

Food sensitivities can take days to appear and pinpointing the offending food can be tricky.

Food elimination is the gold standard in determining food sensitivities, but food panel testing such as IgG and IgG4 can be very valuable. Once a food sensitivity is determined, healing the gut is the course of action to take to eliminate food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are not lifelong afflictions.

I hope this article gave some clarity on food allergies and sensitivities.

Please comment below, I love to hear your results and feedback.

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Linda is a Certified Functional Health Coach

 

 

Stomach Bloating Remedies

Natural Stomach Bloating Remedies

That uncomfortable feeling of a protruding belly can be caused by many dietary factors, but thankfully bloating is usually not a serious condition.  If bloating accompanies other symptoms such as pain, fever, blood in the stool, irregular periods, swollen lymph nodes or unexplained weight loss, a doctor’s visit is in order.  You may be surprised to know that there is natural stomach bloating remedies that can resolve your issues without resorting to over the counter medications.

Contrary to what you might think, bloating is not caused by excess fluid in the stomach like water. Fluids don’t ‘collect’ in your stomach. If you are retaining fluid, the fluid buildup is generally around the stomach, extremities, and joints.

Barring fluid retention due to other issues, generally bloating is a problem with digestion. Excessive gas is the main cause of bloating.  Excessive gas can come from:

Inadequate protein digestion.  Strong stomach acid is needed to break down the tangled web of amino acids in meat protein.  Many people suffer from low stomach acid. If you cannot digest protein adequately, it goes through the digestive tract without the absorption of minerals like iron.

protein

 

 

 

 

Inability to digest starches and sugar.  Your body has to make the enzymes needed to break down starches and sugar. Most people do not eat enough whole fruits and vegetables which contain natural enzymes that help digest the food. If you cannot digest your starches, bloating is a result.

.Starch-600x460

Imbalance of gut bacteria. Our stomach is home to both good and bad bacteria.  If you have an imbalance of bad bacteria vs. good bacteria.  Gas and bloating can be the result.

gut bacteria 1

I’m sure you’ve heard of probiotics and how wonderful they are for gut health.  Probiotics are a great digestive remedy, but if you are experiencing gas and bloating then jumping on the probiotic train may NOT be the best thing for you right away. Adding more bacteria to a stomach already overabundant in bacteria may exacerbate the condition rather than fix it.  

My favorite gas and bloating remedies.

1.Gaia Herbs Gas and Bloating and Heather’s Tummy Tamers:  Peppermint, ginger, and fennel help the stomach release trapped gas and relax the muscle wall of the intestines.  Activated charcoal helps absorb the excess gas in the gut.  Take these supplements in between meals and away from other supplements or medication. Charcoal binds to other nutrients and you don’t want to not absorb essential nutrients.

2. Renew Life’s “Digest More and Enzymedica’s “Digest” Digestive enzymes are needed to digest food thoroughly for maximum absorption of nutrients. Inflammation due to poor diet, excessive sugar, starch intake, and medicines can deplete enzyme secretions.  If food is slow to be digested or remains semi-digested, gas and bloating are the result.  These products assist the body with enzymes so food can be digested and move along the digestive tract.  Take them with meals.

3. Something so simple yet not heeded due to our hectic lifestyle is slow, conscious and mindful eating. When we chew our food thoroughly, digestive secretions start forming. Saliva is the first enzyme that starts the digestion process.  Being mindful of taking each bite, chewing thoroughly and swallowing is so very important to avoid gas and bloating. When we eat hurriedly, half chew our food and swallow without thinking, we are taking in excess gas and not allowing our body to produce the necessary enzymes.  Then, not chewing thoroughly results in large pieces of unchewed food into our stomach.  Our stomach has to work extra hard to break down the food resulting in gas and bloating.

4. Lastly, grazing all day. Many people are literally eating all day. Some people always have a snack handy to munch on.  The digestive system needs to rebalance bacteria by not having food in the stomach all day. When there is food in the stomach that is being digested all day long, the stomach cannot work as efficiently leading to gas and bloating.

These are simple remedies that can make a profound difference in your gas and bloating issues.

In conclusion, bloating is not caused by excess water in the stomach but mainly from gas. Gas is caused by inadequate digestion of proteins, starches, and fats.  It can also be caused by lack of eating hygiene, such as eating too fast and not chewing food thoroughly.  Snacking all day doesn’t allow the stomach to naturally cleanse itself when food is not in the stomach. Low stomach acid is usually the culprit when not able to digest food properly.

If you’d like to know whether or not low stomach acid is a cause of your gas and bloating, try these simple tests here.
Catch this FREE webinar to see how to fix your digestive issues forever!

Please leave a comment below. I love to hear from you!

About LindaLinda is a Certified Functional Health Coach

Do Antacid Tablets Work?

Do Antacid Tablets Work?

Millions of people take antacid medications either over the counter or prescribed by their physician to quell what they believe to be is excess acid in their stomach contributing to their heartburn and acid reflux pain.  The numbers of people relying on these medications are rising every year.  Experts are concerned that there is daily overuse of these medications.  So, do antacid tablets work, why and how?

What are Antacids and Proton Pump Inhibitors?

Antacids

Antacids are acid neutralizing products.  Conventional thought is that your stomach is producing too much stomach acidstomach acid and it needs to be neutralized. For the desired effect, they will do the job. Antacids come in tablets, liquid or chews. Some dissolve in water. Each of the below antacids has their own acid buffering ingredient.  It’s important to know the differences of the active ingredients to make sure you are taking something that won’t aggravate a health condition or cause one.

Examples of popular over the counter antacids are:

  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Maalox
  • Mylanta
  • Rolaids
  • Tums
  • Amphojel
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • Mylanta
  • Gaviscon

Brands, Ingredients, and Warnings:

  • Alka-Selzer – contains sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. It also contains aspirin. If you suffer from high blood pressure, this is not the acid neutralizer you need. If you are taking blood thinning medication you’ll want to avoid Alka Seltzer due to the aspirin. Children below the age of 18 should never take aspirin as it can bring on a serious condition called Reye’s Syndrome.
  • Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids – contains calcium carbonate.  Because Tums contains calcium, someTums-americas-no-1-antacid doctors recommend taking Tums or these other brands as calcium supplements.  NEVER do this! Calcium can only be absorbed if it is accompanied by Vitamin D, K2, and magnesium. Tums does not contain either of these vitamins. Free circulating calcium is not healthy and can be damaging to organs and contribute to artery plaque. Calcium carbonate can also cause constipation.
  • Amphojel – This product contains Aluminum Hydroxide. Aluminum is a highly controversial mineral. If it’s not eliminated via the kidneys, it will store in the bones, liver, muscle, and brain.  Adverse health effects have been shown in studies on animals.  Aluminum is found in our environment and our food, but the biggest amounts consumed are in the form of antacids.  Experts believe the true dangers of long term aluminum containing antacid use is seen over a period of time. Most studies have not followed up to reveal these long term effects. Aluminum based antacids are also not as effective or strong as other antacids and are less potent.  They can cause constipation and calcium loss. If you suffer from kidney disease, do not take aluminum based antacids.
  • Gaviscon – If you’re looking to protect the esophagus, an antacid like Gaviscon contains a foaming agent, alginic acid, that blocks the stomach acid from entering it.

Proton Pump Inhibitors/H2 Blockers

Antacids neutralize the acid in your stomach, proton pump inhibitors reduce the amount of stomach acidnexium-prevacid-prilosec2 produced in the wall of the stomach. If you are suffering from ulcers in the stomach or esophagus, or if you suffer from GERD, your doctor may recommend Proton Pump inhibitors in order to heal the ulcers or reduce heartburn.  

Examples of H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors:

  • Nexium, Nexium IV, Nexium 24 hr.
  • Prevacid, Prevacid IV, Prevacid 24 hr.
  • Prilosec
  • Dexilent
  • Yosprala
  • Vimovo
  • Protonix
  • Zegerid

Proton Pumps are similar in action and there is no evidence to suggest that taking one over the other is more effective. However, they differ with how they are broken down by the liver and each may have their own and different drug interactions.  The effects of some may last longer than others too.

It’s important to take the lowest dose possible and for the shortest duration of time to avoid vitamin deficiencies and health problems.

Reducing stomach acid with proton pump inhibitor use is not good for future digestive health. Our bodies need strong stomach acid to digest our food and assimilate certain vitamins for proper absorption.  Use with caution and care and always under the supervision of your doctor.

A More Natural And Effective Approach

Using an antacid product or proton pump inhibitor product may be useful and in some cases necessary in the short term, but clearly, long term use can cause worse digestive issues.  It is always best to find the root cause of your stomach issues and heal them naturally.  For more natural heartburn remedies that are effective read here.

In conclusion,

Antacids are used to neutralize stomach acid for the occasional discomfort of heartburn. These products do what they are intended to do.  The ingredients in antacids can be dangerous for the young and contraindicated for others. For instance, any antacid with aspirin cannot be taken by those under the age of 18 or those on blood thinning medications.

Antacids that contain calcium should never be used as a supplement, although many are, due to the danger of free calcium in the bloodstream.

Antacids that contain aluminum are not well studied to be harmless to toxicity in the human body. If you suffer from kidney disease, these should be avoided.aluminum hydroxide

Antacids are different than Proton Pump Inhibitors. Proton Pump Inhibitors reduce stomach acid. Reducing stomach acid has long range health implications and should only be used for a very short duration of time.

Finding the root cause of your digestive issues is important. Future health problems are implicated in ignoring or masking heartburn, reflux, and other stomach issues. If you are serious about getting off the OTC antacid or Proton Pump Inhibitor train, sign up for this free webinar to get to the root of your problems and finally get the healing you need.

Please comment if you have any questions about this article.StomachProblems_300x250

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4) Linda is a Certified Functional Health Coach

 

 

Natural Heartburn Relief

Natural Heartburn Relief

Heartburn is one of the most common complaints people have. Heartburn is a feeling of burning in your chest. It’s a symptom of acid reflux or GERD.  Getting to the bottom of your reflux or GERD is essential, but in the meantime, I’ve outlined some natural heartburn relief methods you can incorporate today to start feeling better.

Masking heartburn with over the counter medicine or natural remedies will not solve the problem.  A good lifestyle plan needs to be put in place so you can recover from this digestive ailment.

Symptoms of Heartburnheartburn

Certain foods or drinks can trigger heartburn in people. Heartburn is a sensation of burning in the chest.  It’s due to stomach acid backing up in the esophagus. The esophagus is about 10 inches long. It’s a muscular organ that connects the throat to the stomach. It is also called the food pipe. A person experiences heartburn in the upper and central part of the chest just behind the breast bone.

Reasons For Heartburn

Most experts tell you to stay away from spicy dishes, fatty foods and fried foods when you are suffering from heartburn.  These foods may trigger heartburn, but HOW you eat is more important than WHAT you eat according to experts.  The evidence for avoiding certain foods to reduce heartburn is just not there.

  • Eating Too Close To Bedtime. Digesting food while in a reclining position or lying down is a pretty good way to ensure heartburn. The contents of your belly don’t have the benefit of the gravitational pull of standing or sitting while eating. Try not to eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.  If you have GERD, it’s even more important to follow this rule.
  • Snacking All Day Or Eating Too Much Food.  Some dietary theories tell us to eat mini meals all day long, however, this is a good way to get heartburn. Eating too frequently during the day should be avoided.  Also if you tend to eat large meals at one sitting, your stomach may just back some up into the esophagus.
  • Being Obese or Overweight.  Excess weight creates more pressure on your abdomen which can slow the food down as it makes it way through the digestive system.  Also being overweight can put a strain on the sphincter muscle that keeps the contents in your stomach and from being able to back up into the esophagus.
  • Eating The Wrong Foods  As I stated before, there is scant research that links certain foods to heartburn.bad food But that doesn’t mean that certain foods can’t give you heartburn. So if you have bad experiences with certain foods, then you will do yourself a favor by not eating them.  The point is, slightly acidic and spicy foods don’t drive up acid levels in your stomach to cause such bad symptoms.  Think about it, our stomach is filled with stomach acid already, why would a food tip the scale?  Experts say that the stomach makes 2 liters of hydrochloric acid a day!  What difference would a slightly acidic food make?

Natural Remedies For Heartburn

    • Baking Soda– Try one teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in one glass (8 oz) of water. The baking soda neutralizes the acid. You can do this a few times a day.  You should not use this remedy every day.  Baking soda is high in salt and can cause problems long term.
    • Aloe Juice – Aloe Juice is very soothing when applied topically and it’s also soothing when taken internally.  Try drinking a half cup of aloe juice before meals.
    • Elevate Your Head –  Elevate your head 6 inches when you sleep by using a wedge-shaped pillow under your mattress like the therapeutic one shown here. Do not lie down 3 -4 hours before bed.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar – In most cases, acid reflux is caused by too little stomach acid. If you’re not producing enough acid, your sphincter muscle won’t tighten up which creates food and acid to back up into the esophagus. Try adding a little more acid in the form of apple cider vinegar.  Try one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water. (always dilute apple cider vinegar)
    • Bananas and apples – Both fruits buffer acid. Eat a banana a day or try eating an apple a little before bed.
    • Mustard –  Yes that’s right. Mustard is alkalizing and contains a weak acid. Take one teaspoon straight.  Preferably when you feel heartburn coming on.
    • Fresh ginger tea – Cut a tablespoon of fresh ginger and add to a cup of hot water to make fresh ginger tea.  Ginger is known for its ability to calm the stomach.tea

    If you need more support with healing your gut, sign up for this free digestive health webinar.

    This webinar will help answer these questions plus more. Get the information you need to start healing heartburn and IBS so you can feel better again.

    • Why 70% of those with digestive problems are shocked to learn they’re fighting a losing battle to these two gut triggers.

    • Specific anti-inflammatory foods to eat (and not eat) to stop suffering.

    Heal Leaky Gut

    Do you have any heartburn remedies to share?  I’d love to hear them.  Please leave a comment.

    Linda is a Certified Integrative Health Coach

    14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    Buying essential oils can be a confusing process.  It seems everywhere you turn, there are essential oils for saleRose Jasmine Melissa RMO. I bet you have been approached by your friends and neighbors who sell essential oils through direct marketing. You can even purchase essential oils at the grocery store. If you shop on Amazon there are dozens of essential oil brands to choose from. To sift through the essential oil purchasing process I’ve written this post to review a brand called Rocky Mountain Essential Oils.  I hope this review helps you understand what goes into a quality brand of essential oil so you can make the best essential oil purchase for yourself and your family.

    Since essential oils are growing in popularity, more and more brands are available for purchase just about anywhere.  It is a huge industry.  The concern with many natural health experts is that proper usage is not fully understood by the users and the people selling them via direct marketing. Just because something is labeled natural doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed safe.

    Problems With The Essential Oils Industry

    Some essential oil companies skip steps and distil their product at high temperatures and high pressure.  Low temperatures and low pressure turn out the best quality oils.  

    Essential oils should be steam distilled, but some companies are using chemical solvents to distil their oils.  

    Some manufacturers fake authentic certification for their products. Or use oils that have been distilled from poor crops. Or use crops that have been improperly handled or oils that have expired. This is poor-quality and a problem in the industry.

    Many oils are adulterated, meaning fragrance, chemicals or cheap oils are added to the product.  Your ‘pure’ oil may contain a small percentage of pure oil and higher percentages of chemicals.

    Problems With Usage Of Essential OilsRMO SideWide

    “Whatever has the power to heal, has the power to harm.”

    1. One of the biggest mistakes users make is applying oils directly to the skin.  Essential oils are highly concentrated. It takes huge amounts of plant material from the plants, fruits, and barks that essential oils are made from in order to get one bottle of essential oil. Putting this much-concentrated oil on your skin is asking for irritation or getting too much of the active ingredients in your bloodstream.
    2. Using oils as a ‘preventative measure’. Some people ingest large quantities of oil daily. Some use 30 or more drops a day. The safety of ingesting essential oils is not well documented and should only be done under the supervision of a trained professional. If you don’t have a particular health issue, blindly drinking essential oils is not smart.
    3. The quality of the diffuser. The diffuser can burn your oils or not disperse properly or break down the oil so it’s actually effective when you breath it in. For more information about effective diffusers, read here.
    4. Not understanding the latin name of the oil you are using.  Essential oils come from plants and those plants have a latin name that should be printed on every bottle of essential oil you have. If you are using lavender, what type of lavender? It’s very important to understand the type of plant the essential oil is made from so you can help the condition you are trying to alleviate.

    What To Look For When Purchasing An Essential Oil brand.

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    • The suppliers are a small sized business.
    • The supplier is available to provide material safety sheets of MSDS on demand.
    • The supplier is owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist.
    • The supplier has a non-controversial reputation.
    • The supplier is well known by industry experts.

    Other Important considerations to look for:

    • Does the essential oil company promote unsafe usage of essential oils?  For example, a certified Aromatherapist trained at the clinical level must have to adhere to safety rules to remain registered. However, many MLM distributors encourage ingesting oils. These practices are prohibited by the AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapists).
    • Terms such as “therapeutic grade” or “clinical grade” are used by essential oils to claim their superiority over other brands.  These terms have no meaning as there is no standardization of essential oils. These terms are basically meaningless.
    • Not having an organic label. Oils should be organic otherwise any pollutants or chemicals will be concentrated in the oil. Organic may mean different things to different countries, so again, knowing the suppliers is a huge advantage.
    • No customer service. You want to purchase oils with companies that can answer any questions you have and be able to produce testing information upon request.

    So, now you know what to look out for and what to look FOR in your essential oil company.  

    I am sure there are other companies out there that fill the bill, but this post is about Rocky Mountain Essential Oils. This company delivers on all of the above.  

    Rocky Mountain Essential OIls

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils, formally known as Native American Traditions, was founded by Paul Dean.  Paul Dean was in the essential oils industry since 1997.

    Why Rocky Mountain Essential Oils?

    1. Their oils are grown in remote areas where plants are indigenous to the area where there are no chemicals and only natural fertilizers are used.
    2. Certificates are available upon request with the safety and purity information (MSDS). You can get this information on any oil you have with the batch number provided on the bottom of the bottle.
    3. Absolutely no solvents are used for distillation.
    4. Their oils are organically certified and organically grown or wild-crafted.
    5. The Latin names are listed on their website as well as the country of origin.
    6. The company makes no claims about ingesting the oils or using them in an unsafe way as outlined by the Alliance Of International Aromatherapists. They recommend caution when using the oils.
    7. The oils are not heated or adulterated in any way.
    8. The prices of RMO’s oils are reasonable.

    RMO long bannerSpecifications:

    • Rocky Mountain Oils boast a no-questions-asked 90-day product return policy.
    • Trusted suppliers that meet stringent product quality guidelines.
    • If a sample is rejected due to contaminant, adulterants etc, no order is placed. If the sample passes the GC/MS test a bulk order is placed for the same batch.
    • After the bulk order is received, additional 3rd party testing is done to ensure that the quality of the oil received is the same as the original sample tested.
    • Each essential oil is carefully bottled in protective amber glass bottles by trained professionals using state-of-the-art equipment. Bottles are securely sealed, labeled side and top, and prepared to ship to customers.
    • Rocky Mountain Essential oils now use sustainable packaging for a healthy environment.

    In ConclusionRMO sustainable packaging

    Essential oils are growing in popularity.  It seems everywhere you turn, someone is selling them via network marketing companies or even at the local grocery store.  Purchasing them can be a confusing experience for a lay person.

    Since essential oils have the power to heal, using them in the wrong way can have undesirable effects. Unscrupulous companies may jump on the bandwagon and offer low quality oils, or oils that are not pure.  

    There are many considerations to take into account when purchasing essential oils like whether or not they are pure, or batch tested and independently tested.

    Rocky Mountain Oils meet all of the requirements of a top quality essential oil company.  Their products meet all the safety standards and independent testing.  Their products are harvested in areas where pollutants and contaminants are not used.

    RollOn_ad5

    I highly recommend Rocky Mountain essential oils. In the complicated, confusing world of essential oils, Rocky Mountain Essential oil brand is one to feel confident in.

    ♥♥♥To experience the wonderful benefits of Rocky Mountain Essential Oils try them here! ♥♥♥

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    Please leave a comment below, I love to hear from you!

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

    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