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Gut and Intestinal Health

Back Clinic Gut and Intestinal Health. The health of an individual’s gut determines what nutrients are absorbed along with what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. It is directly linked to the health of the whole body. Intestinal health could be defined as optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. But this is a job that depends on many other factors. More than 100 million Americans have digestive problems. Two of the top-selling drugs in America are for digestive problems, and they run in the billions. There are more than 200 over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for digestive disorders. And these can and do create additional digestive problems.

If an individual’s digestion is not working properly, the first thing is to understand what is sending the gut out-of-balance in the first place.

  • A low-fiber, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diet causes all the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in the gut and damages the delicate ecosystem in your intestines.
  • Overuse of medications that damage the gut or block normal digestive function, i.e., acid blockers (Prilosec, Nexium, etc.), anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, Advil, and Aleve), antibiotics, steroids, and hormones.
  • Undetected gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or low-grade food allergies to foods such as dairy, eggs, or corn.
  • Chronic low-grade infections or gut imbalances with overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, yeast overgrowth, parasites.
  • Toxins like mercury and mold toxins damage the gut.
  • Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function from acid-blocking medications or zinc deficiency.
  • Stress can alter the gut’s nervous system, cause a leaky gut, and change the normal bacteria.

Visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common trips to primary care doctors. Unfortunately, most, which also includes most doctors, do not recognize or know that digestive problems wreak havoc in the entire body. This leads to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more. Having proper gut and intestinal health is absolutely central to your health. It is connected to everything that happens in the body.


Bulging, Herniated Discs and Digestive Problems

Bulging, Herniated Discs and Digestive Problems

There are different possible causes of abdominal pain and digestive problems. Sometimes a bulging disc is the cause. A bulging disc that is causing abdominal pain is rare but possible. When this happens, it’s usually a herniated disc in the upper back, known as the thoracic spine. When the disc bulges to the side, it can cause abdominal pain. One study found that half of the patients presenting with herniated discs also suffered from digestive problems, including irritable bowel syndrome.

Bulging, Herniated Discs and Digestive Problems

Thoracic Disc Herniation

The thoracic spine is the region between the base of the neck and the low back. This section is surrounded and stabilized by the ribcage, reducing the risk of disc herniation. Most herniated disc/s occur in the low back or the neck because those areas with a lot of movement are less stable than the thoracic spine. But they do happen and can contribute and/or cause abdominal pain. This is usually accompanied by pain in the mid-back and the chest. Because this is rare, physicians don’t immediately think that a herniation is causing abdominal pain. This can lead to unnecessary and expensive tests to find the problem.

Lateral Disc Herniation

This is not the most common type of disc herniation. The type of herniation that causes pain in the abdomen is known as lateral disc herniation. This is when the disc bulges laterally/sideways. What happens is it can compress and irritate the nerve root. This is what can cause pain in the abdomen. Types of disc herniations include:

Causes

Most thoracic herniations are caused by trauma to the upper back. This can come from a:

  • Fall
  • Auto accident
  • Sports injury
  • They can also be caused by degenerative disc disease. If this happens, the discs can become calcified, which could require surgery.

Movements like reaching up to get something or twisting motions like putting on a seatbelt can cause the pain to worsen. Most thoracic herniations happen in young individuals brought on by trauma to the area. Women tend to be affected more by thoracic disc herniation that causes abdominal pain.

Herniated Disc and Bloating

Bloating often comes with digestive problems. A herniated discs can also cause bloating along with abdominal and back pain. However, they are not always related because bloating, and other digestive issues can cause back and abdominal pain. Bloating and pain typically go away after a bowel movement. But it is important to see a medical professional if the problem lasts more than a few days.

Gas and a Herniated Disc

In certain cases, a herniated disc can cause gas. This is rare, but evidence suggests that nerve compression in the spine can affect the digestive system. If back pain, abdominal pain, and digestive issues are presenting, seeking out treatment is recommended.

Treatment

Chiropractors specialize in spinal care. The approach is to balance the entire body and heal the underlying issues. The nervous system travels through the spinal column. If injured or damaged, it can cause all kinds of issues. This includes abdominal pain and digestive problems. A chiropractor will:

  • Bring pain relief
  • Realign the spine
  • Balance the body
  • Recommend exercises and stretches
  • Offer nutritional recommendations
  • Recommend sleeping positions to prevent pain at night

They are different techniques to treat disc herniations. These include:

  • Full-body diagnosis
  • Detailed medical history
  • MRI, CT, or X-Rays
  • Laser therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Ice and heat
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Massage
  • Physical therapy

Body Composition


Binge Eating

A common and powerful trigger of binge eating is restrictive dieting. This type of diet is a common weight-loss method for short-term goals. This is because a highly controlled program of calorie intake makes it easier to prevent overeating. The problem is that this type of restriction is not sustainable. Most individuals can avoid certain foods for only so long. However, this is not the only reason for binge eating. Many individuals use food as an emotional suppressor. They overeat during:

  • Levels of high stress
  • Boredom
  • Bouts of sadness
  • Exhaustion/excessively tired

The brain and body are conditioned to crave certain and usually addictive foods. When individuals want to get their minds off of something, cravings can activate and become overpowering. Although it is not an addiction to alcohol or drugs, food addiction is still an addiction. Working through addictive behavior toward any substance will improve the quality of life. Overcoming food addiction promotes physical health benefits and improved mental health. Recognizing addictive behaviors when it comes to food is the first step.

References

Al-Khawaja, Darweesh O et al. “Surgical treatment of far lateral lumbar disc herniation: a safe and simple approach.” Journal of spine surgery (Hong Kong) vol. 2,1 (2016): 21-4. doi:10.21037/jss.2016.01.05

Lara, F J Pérez et al. “Thoracic disk herniation, a not infrequent cause of chronic abdominal pain.” International surgery vol. 97,1 (2012): 27-33. doi:10.9738/CC98.1

Papadakos, Nikolaos et al. “Thoracic disc prolapse presenting with abdominal pain: case report and review of the literature.” Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England vol. 91,5 (2009): W4-6. doi:10.1308/147870809X401038

Polivy, J et al. “Food restriction and binge eating: a study of former prisoners of war.” Journal of abnormal psychology vol. 103,2 (1994): 409-11. doi:10.1037//0021-843x.103.2.409

What is Crohn’s Disease? An Overview

What is Crohn’s Disease? An Overview

Crohn�s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBDs are health issues that affect the digestive tract by causing inflammation that lasts longer than an average upset stomach or mild infection. Most people think that the digestive tract only consists of the stomach, which stores and breaks down food, as well as the small and large intestines, which take the waste out of our systems through urine and feces. But it�s more than just that. The mouth and esophagus are also part of the digestive tract and problems within can make things difficult and painful down the line. While researchers have been researching Crohn�s disease for several decades, they have no undisputed answer on the cause of this disease. This article will take you on a journey through the history, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of Crohn�s disease as well as what the future holds. According to the Crohn�s and Colitis Foundation of America, as many as 700,000 people in the United States suffer from Crohn�s disease while 3 million total have some sort of IBD. That is equivalent to the number of people living in Washington D.C.

 

Understanding Crohn’s Disease

 

Crohn�s disease was first described by Dr. Burrill B. Crohn in 1932 with the assistance of Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer. Crohn was born in 1884 in New York City as one of 12 children. He became a doctor because of the sympathy he had for his father who suffered terrible digestion problems. Crohn was part of an enormous group of doctors who joined many reputable medical schools at the beginning of the 20th century, graduating from Columbia University�s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1907. At the university, he earned an M.A., Ph.D., and an MD� for his research on an intra-abdominal hemorrhage. He could not pay the high cost ($35) for the former two degrees because he did not want to ask his father for the money. He spent 2.5 years as an intern at the illustrious Mount Sinai Hospital, one of only 8 interns selected from 120 candidates. He found humor in his chosen profession which he quoted in his biography saying, �It has been my misfortune (or perhaps my fortune) to spend most of my professional life as a student of constipation and diarrhea. Sometimes I could wish to have chosen the ear, nose, and throat as a specialty rather than the tail end of the human anatomy.�

 

Most gastroenterologists of the time were surgeons, but Crohn�s research was such that he joined the American Gastroenterological Association in 1917, having been mentored by Dr. William J. Mayo whose clinic remains one of the foremost bodies of American medical knowledge more than 100 years later. Although he was married with two children, Crohn was consumed with his work and his patients, with daily and nightly house calls. Perhaps even more important was his work on �Affections of the Stomach� which he published in 1928. He worked with Dr. Jesse Shaprio at Mount Sinai who suffered from IBD himself. Crohn found that many Jews had the condition and, since Mount Sinai admitted many of them, he found plenty of patients to study. He ended up as the first head of Mount Sinai�s Gastroenterology Clinic and was associated with the hospital for 60 years. He joined the efforts of surgeon Dr. A. A. Berg along with Ginzburg and Oppenheimer to start a project dedicated to bowel tumors and strictures. Their combined research allowed Crohn to present a paper to the American Gastroenterological Association in May 1932 in Atlantic City called �Non-specific Granuloma of the Intestine� followed by a second called �Terminal Ileitis: A new clinical entity�. Crohn preferred the term regional ileitis because he believed it only existed in the distal part of the small intestine and was worried people would assume it was fatal when they saw the word �terminal�. Soon after, the term Crohn�s disease became the catch-all for any terminal or regional enteritis. Crohn did not want the �honor� but his colleagues insisted.

 

The history of the disease is recorded as far back as 850 AD, affecting England�s King Alfred. The populace believed that he was being punished for his sins, but the presence of fistulas and pain from eating speaks otherwise. About 150 years before Crohn�s disease got its name, an Italian physician named Giovanni Battista Morgagni described the disease in 1761. Crohn officially retired in 1948 but continued practicing medicine well into his mid-90s. He passed away on July 29, 1983, 11 months short of his 100th birthday. In his final year, his friends, family, and colleagues began the creation of the Burrill B. Crohn Research Foundation at Mount Sinai Hospital.

 

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

 

Crohn�s disease has troubled doctors and researchers for decades because an exact cause can’t be found, which limits their ability to fully treat it. Poor diet habits together with high levels of stress were the original leading cause for the health issue, but over the years those have come to be thought of as factors that aggravate the condition, not cause it. Two factors that stand out in today�s research are heredity and a malfunctioning immune system.� Like many major diseases, if someone in your family has suffered from Crohn�s disease, there is a much higher chance that you will too. Anytime you go to a new doctor, this should be one of the first things you inform them of when filling out a family history chart. That way if any of these symptoms do manifest, your doctor will have a knowledge base from which to proceed. Despite believing that genetics plays a fundamental part, currently, doctors can’t predict who will get Crohn�s disease based on family history.

 

Another leading theory is that an invalid response by the body�s immune system can cause Crohn�s disease to develop. The theory suggests that some bacteria or viruses can trigger Crohn�s disease by causing an abnormal immune system response when the body is fighting it off. The response causes the immune system to attack its own cells in the digestive tract, leading to the inflammation. Crohn�s disease attacks people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities, however, these characteristics are thought of as leading to a greater chance of getting the condition.

 

  • Geography:�People who live in urban/industrialized areas are more likely to develop Crohn�s disease than those living in rural areas. This suggests that diets full of refined foods or heavy in fat are more likely to trigger Crohn�s disease, while people eating diets that are more fresh and free from additional chemicals are more likely to avoid it.
  • Family History:�Although plenty of people get Crohn�s disease without a single relative suffering the same, as many as 1 in 5 people with Crohn�s disease (20%) have a relative who also has it.� Between 1.5% and 28% of people with IBD have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) that have an IDB as well.
  • Smoking:�Like many other diseases, smoking augments the severity of Crohn�s disease and is the single most controllable risk for developing it. No one can make you stop smoking, but if you are experiencing the initial signs of Crohn�s disease, it is the best thing you can do for yourself.
  • Ethnicity: One of the most frustrating parts of Crohn�s disease is the randomness it seems to possess in who it strikes. Caucasians are the highest risk group, particularly those of Eastern European Jewish descent. However, African-Americans and people of African descent that live in the United Kingdom have seen their numbers consistently rise over the past decades when it comes to developing Crohn�s disease.
  • Age:�Another rarity. Anyone at any age can Crohn�s disease, but it is usually diagnosed before the age of 30, suggesting it is tied to growth and maturity. It is among the rare diseases where your chance of developing it lessens as you get older.
  • Ingesting anti-inflammatory medications: Nonsteroidal medicines that include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, diclofenac, etc., can lead to inflammation of the bowels, which worsens Crohn�s disease. If you have the symptoms of Crohn�s disease, do your best to avoid the likes of Aleve, Advil, Voltaren, Motrin IB, etc.

 

What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?

 

As Crohn�s disease begins to take hold of a person�s body, they will experience abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition, and severe diarrhea. It does not follow a set pattern as Crohn�s disease can affect different parts of the digestive tract for different people. While there are many similarities, it is rare for two cases to be exactly alike. Crohn�s disease causes inflammation in the digestive tract that spreads deeper and deeper in the bowel tissue of the affected areas. Normal medicines can lessen the intensity of the pain, but the infection runs too deep for them to be able to do much more. These symptoms can be extremely painful, embarrassing for those who suffer from fatigue or severe diarrhea, and debilitating, making the sufferer miss days, weeks, or even months of work or school while seeking treatment and learning how to cope. The most commonly affected parts of the body for someone suffering from Crohn�s disease are the small intestine and the colon. The biggest problem with diagnosing Crohn�s disease early on and starting treatment for it is that many of its symptoms are similar to a host of other maladies, including:

 

  • Cases of diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain/cramping
  • Appearance of blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Fistulas around the anus causing pain or drainage

 

In most cases, the appearance of one or even a few of these symptoms could be attributed to any number of infections or viruses. A good doctor will rule out those first, often with a simple medication plan. If progress is not made, then the potential of Crohn�s disease heightens. The surefire symptoms that demand a trip to the doctor include: blood in your stool, multiple episodes of diarrhea that don�t stop with the application of over-the-counter medications; a fever that lasts more than two days without an explanation; losing weight without meaning to or without a proper explanation (food poisoning, a stomach bug, etc.) Loss of appetite, undereating, and fatigue are all signs of malnutrition. When your body isn�t getting the right nutrients from the food you eat, it is difficult for it to fight off illnesses and infections. Left untreated, the symptoms of Crohn�s disease become extremely serious, including:

 

  • Inflammation of the liver and/or bile ducts
  • Inflammation of joints
  • Inflammation of eyes
  • Inflammation of skin
  • In children, delayed growth and/or sexual development

 

What is the Diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease?

 

When one or more of the symptoms persist and your physician has ruled out more pedestrian causes, attention must focus on the possibility of Crohn�s disease as the cause. Different symptoms can mean different types of Crohn�s or even a different type of IBD. Types of Crohn�s disease include:

 

  • Ileocolitis:�This is the most common form of Crohn�s disease. It affects both intestines � the end of the small intestine, which is also known as the terminal ileum. Common symptoms include diarrhea, cramping, pain in the middle and lower-right abdomen, and significant weight loss.
  • Ileitis:�This type of Crohn�s disease only affects the ileum. Its symptoms are generally the same as ileocolitis. In severe cases, fistulas and inflammatory abscesses can appear in the lower right part of the abdomen.
  • Gastroduodenal Crohn�s Disease:�Affects the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine which is known as the duodenum. Symptoms can include weight loss, loss of appetite, frequent vomiting, frequent fits of nausea.
  • Jejunoileitis:�This type of Crohn�s disease affects the jejunum, which is the upper half of the small intestine. Patchy areas of inflammation in the upper half of the jejunum are typical of this type of Crohn�s disease. Symptoms are not as severe in this form, but no less important to have diagnosed. They include mild-to-intensive pain or cramps following meals in your stomach or abdomen; bouts of diarrhea; fistulas forming long term in severe cases or if the inflammation goes a long time without being treated.
  • Crohn�s Granulomatous Colitis: This type affects only the colon. Typical symptoms are diarrhea, rectal bleeding, conditions around the anus that include ulcers, fistulas, and abscess, and joint pain, or skin lesions.

 

No single test confirms a diagnosis of Crohn�s disease. Other conditions have the same symptoms, including bacterial infections, so it might take some time to actually get the diagnosis despite days, weeks, or months of the symptoms.

 

What Can You Expect From Your Doctor?

 

The first thing a doctor will do is to do a standard physical exam of your entire body including questions on your family history, daily routine as well as diet and nutrition. Answering all of these completely and honestly will allow your physician to rule out or narrow in on certain maladies a lot quicker. Diagnostic tests will come in the form of blood draws and stool samples. These can eliminate the presence of a lot of diseases and focus in on what might be the case. If those are inconclusive, most doctors will likely perform X-rays on your upper and lower GI tract, looking for things like inflammation and ulcers. A contrast test might also be ordered to see the clear difference between what should be there and what should not. Remember to bring a friend or family member with you to these appointments, as it can be overwhelming to go through all the possibilities and potential diagnosis of Crohn�s disease. As the tests progress, it is a good idea to contact your insurance company and let them know what is going on so they can give you information on what tests are covered and which might not be. Make sure to write down as much information as you can with your doctor and ask questions that you don�t understand.

 

If the initial X-rays are not successful in narrowing down the issue, your doctor might recommend an endoscopy. This is a procedure done by putting a tiny camera mounted with a light to look at your GI tract and intestines. They are much more invasive than chest X-rays, but many technological advancements have made it much more tolerable. A GI doctor can use a bit of local anesthesia and a small camera to deaden your throat and disable your gag reflex. This allows the GI to view your mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine, known as the duodenum, looking for tell-tale signs of inflammation or ulcers.

 

A second endoscopy is a bit more of a chore. Also known as a colonoscopy, it requires the total evacuation of your GI tract before doctors can take a look. This means you�ll take medicine to clear it out, which will induce quite a few trips to the bathroom and be none too pleasant. This procedure usually requires drinking a liquid that acts as a fairly extreme form of laxative and will require you to take time off from work or school for at least a day while its effects take place. Once you get to the medical facility, you will be given anesthesia to knock you out, which is a good thing as the camera will enter through your rectum and move up to look at your colon. If there are any unusual structures present in either endoscopy, doctors might want to collect a biopsy of your colon or another area. This is done by using a tool to remove a small bit of tissue from inside the intestine or inside some other part of your GI tract for analysis. There is zero pain associated with a biopsy.

 

During the colonoscopy, the doctor might want to do another procedure known as a chromoendoscopy. In this procedure, a blue liquid is sprayed into the colon. It reveals slight changes in the lining of your intestine which can be polyps or other changes that are believed to be precancerous. This means they might be precursors to changes to your body that can become cancer cells. If polyps are discovered, they can be removed and a biopsy is taken to determine if they are benign or malignant. If the blue liquid is used, bowel movements will have a definitive blue tinge to them for the next few days.

 

There are some parts of your small intestine that cannot be seen during either colonoscopy or endoscopy. This requires small intestine imaging which works using an oral contrast � something you drink � in conjunction with computer tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI). As radical as it sounds, this can involve swallowing a camera that size and shape of a bill which then takes pictures of your small intestine and bowel as it moves through your GI tract. It is harmlessly expelled during a future bowel movement. If parts of the intestine are too hard to reach, a balloon endoscopy can be used. It�s not a real balloon, but the concept is the same. The displacement of the structure with an air-filled object creates space for the camera to get in close and record.

 

What is Crohn�s Disease Activity Index (CDAI)?

 

The Crohn�s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) is a research tool that allows researchers, doctors, and patients to quantify how painful symptoms of Crohn�s disease are at any given time. It was first developed by W.R. Best and his colleagues at Illinois�s Midwest Regional Health Center in 1976. The index has eight factors that it considers, each weighted and then added together to reveal a final score. The CDAI helps major studies diagnose how well the medicine is effective for people suffering from Crohn�s disease. It is excellent for determining the quality of life for Crohn�s disease sufferers to give doctors a good grasp on how much pain a person can endure before their quality of life really begins to suffer. The eight variables involved in the CDAI are:

 

  • Percentage deviation from standard weight
  • Hematocrit of <0.47 (men) and 0.42 (women)
  • Presence of abdominal mass (0 if none, 2 if questionable, 5 if definite)
  • Is the patient taking Lomotil or opiates to reduce bouts of diarrhea?
  • How is the patient feeling in general on a scale from 0 (well) to 4 (terrible). This is accounted for every day for seven days straight.
  • Presence of complications
  • Abdominal pain graded from 0 (none) to 3 (severe) for seven days straight.
  • A recording of the number of liquid or soft stools for seven straight days.

 

These eight factors are all assigned different weights, with the presence of complications and taking of Lomotil or opiates getting the highest weights (x30 and x20). Points are also added for things like joint pain, inflammation of the irus, anal fistulas, and fissures, a fever, etc. When all of this information is tallied a number, usually three digits are presented. If a person has a score of more than 450, they are considered to have severe Crohn�s disease and actions are taken accordingly. If the CDAI is less than 150, a person is considered to be in remission. If a person�s CDAI score drops 70 or more points be responding to treatment. A working version of the CDAI scale can be found here. Although it is very helpful, the CDAI has also been met with some criticism. The fact that it does not consider the typical quality of life, fatigue, endoscopic factors, protein loss, or other systemic features.

 

What are the Complications of Crohn’s Disease?

 

Similar to many other severe diseases, the lack of treatment of Crohn�s disease or the worsening of it despite treatment can lead to several other complicated illnesses, some of them life-threatening. They include:

 

  • Bowel obstruction: When Crohn�s disease inflames the digestive tract it can thicken the intestinal wall, which causes parts of the bowel to develop scar tissue and begin to narrow, making for irregular bowel movements. If the passage becomes too narrow it will actually block the flow of your digestive system, causing its contents to become stuck and form a barrier of their own. This will start as constipation but will eventually become obvious that something more severe is going on as treatments are applied. Surgery, usually done quickly after the diagnosis is made, will be required to remove the part of your bowel that has become scarred. If the bowel obstruction is complete, it requires emergency surgery. This sort of surgery is done under general anesthesia, meaning you are asleep for the procedure and will not feel any pain as it is performed. A surgeon makes a cut into the belly to see the intestines. Sometimes this is done laparoscopically to minimize how much cutting has to be done. From there, the surgeon will find the part of your intestines that is blocked and unblock it. This is not the extent of the procedure, however. If any part of the bowel is damaged, it must either be removed or replaced. This is known as bowel resection. If it is removed, the healthy �ends� on either side of the removed section are connected together, using either staples or stitches, which can either dissolve or be removed with another procedure, this one much more likely to involve laparoscopy. There are some incidences where the ends cannot be connected because such a large part of the intestine has to be removed. When this happens, the surgeon brings out one end through an opening in the abdominal wall via a colostomy or ileostomy. The key is to perform the surgery before blood flow in the bowel is affected. The surgery has many risks including more scar tissue forming, damage to nearby organs, and more bowel obstructions.
  • Ulcers:�When parts of the body are chronically inflamed, they lead to open sores that do not heal like normal. These are called ulcers and can be found almost anywhere in your body, inside or out. For people suffering from Crohn�s disease, they can be found in the mouth, the anus, the stomach, or in the genital area. Ulcers along the GI tract are often the first sign of the disease, although since they are undetectable except in the mouth, for most people, they are often missed until other symptoms form. Ulcers can also form in your duodenum, appendix, small intestine, and colon. A similar condition, known as ulcerative colitis, only forms in the colon and is not as serious as Crohn�s disease. If an ulcer breaks through the intestinal wall it can form a fistula, a connection between the intestine and the skin or different parts of the intestine. This is a very dangerous condition that may lead to food bypassing your bowels or even bowels draining onto your skin. If they develop into abscesses they can be life-threatening. Ulcers can also cause a person to become anemic if there is more than one of them in the small intestine or the colon. This can cause frequent loss of blood and can require surgery.
  • Anal Fissure: This is a small tear in the tissue of your anus or the skin around it that can become infected. It results in painful bowel movements. It can heal naturally, but left untreated threatens to come to a perianal fistula.
  • Malnutrition: Anyone suffering from diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping is likely to not be getting enough nutrients into their body for proper function. Common results are anemia from not intaking enough iron or enough B-12. If the small intestine is inflamed, it can cause problems with digesting food and absorbing nutrients. If the problem is in the large intestine, including the rectum and the colon, the problems include the body�s inability to absorb water and electrolytes. What causes malnutrition? There are several ways that it can form. One that most people have experienced over the course of their lifetimes is severe diarrhea. Have you ever had food poisoning that resulted in multiple incidents of bad diarrhea or vomiting? The next time you step on a scale you might be astonished to see that you have lost several pounds in a single day, maybe even as many as 10 or 12! When your body detects something in your GI tract, it makes every effort to evacuate it one way or another. This results in the body using fluids to transport the foreign elements out of the system and can lead to dehydration as fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes such as zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and sodium get ejected along with it. � Other causes of malnutrition include abdominal pain and nausea. If you�re a woman who has ever been pregnant and dealt with morning sickness, you know how these feel, and when they strike, eating is the last thing on your mind. However, it also makes it tough for your body to gather sufficient nutrients and the correct number of calories, which makes it weaken over time. Rectal bleeding, both painful and embarrassing, also causes malnutrition because the ulcers in your intestines are leading to deficiencies. Frequent trips to the bathroom can also cause malnutrition because people will seek to cut down on this habit by eating less to avoid embarrassment. But cutting back on your body�s calorie intake can lead to malnutrition and weight loss. An even tougher pill to swallow is that certain IDB medicine damages your ability to say nourished. Prednisone, which is a common corticosteroid, can cause a decrease in healthy muscle mass over long-term use. Other treatments, like sulfasalazine and methotrexate, can interfere with the absorption of folic acid, which is crucial in healthy cell growth.
  • Colon cancer:�The �Big C� rears its ugly head in association with Crohn�s disease, unfortunately. Having Crohn�s disease increases your risk of colon cancer. People without a family history of Crohn�s disease or colon cancer are advised to get a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50 to check. If you have a family history, ask a doctor about having it done sooner and more frequently. Colon cancer starts in the colon or rectum when cells grow abnormally. Most starts as a growth called a polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. There are two types of polyps: Adenomatous and Hyperplastic/Inflammatory. The latter are generally not cancerous and are more common. The former sometimes change into cancer. If they are larger than 1 cm, this is more often the case, or if more than two are found. A condition called dysplasia also is a warning sign of cancer. This means that after the polyp is removed, there are areas in the polyp or in the lining that don�t look normal, suggesting they are cancerous in origin.
  • Other health problems:�Any number of maladies can befall someone stricken by Crohn�s disease. How it affects the rest of the body is different from person to person. Common problems can include anemia, skin disorders, arthritis, liver disease, and gallbladder disease.
  • Malabsorption:�A complication of malnutrition, it makes it difficult for vital nutrients such as fats, sugars, vitamins, minerals, and proteins to make it through the small intestine. Inflammation of the intestines, a symptom of� Crohn�s disease, can also make this possible.
  • Decreased Bone Strength:�A complication of malnutrition, it increases your risk of bone fractures. If your body is not getting enough Vitamin D, is not absorbing enough calcium, or you have long-term inflammation, this is more likely to happen.
  • Growth Delays:�A dangerous complication for kids suffering from� Crohn�s disease is a lack of growth due to IBD. About one-third of kids with� Crohn�s disease and 1/10th of those with ulcerative colitis in the US will be shorter than expected. Children with either of these diseases should have a dietitian consulted by their parents.

 

What is the Treatment for Crohn’s Disease?

 

Hearing that there is no known cure for Crohn�s disease can be a debilitating blow to people suffering from it. However, developments in therapy allow for the ability to greatly reduce it symptoms and even invoke long-term remission in some patients. Given proper treatment and with a commitment by the sufferer, people afflicted with Crohn�s disease can function well and lead a long, healthy life. The good news is that if one treatment option does not work well, there are others to try. It�s a balancing act for most people, and the need to titrate that balance between medicine, changes to their diet and nutrition routines, and sometimes surgical procedures is the best way forward to getting on track and healthy.

 

  • Medication: Medication is what most people think about when they get sick, and such is the case here. Medicine for Crohn�s disease is designed to suppress the response of your immune system to the inflamed parts of your GI tract. Suppressing that inflammation can go a long way to reducing the pain from fever, pain, and diarrhea. It also gives your body time to heal up. The medication can help you avoid flare-ups (see below) and extended periods of remission to great and greater lengths of time. We�ll talk about remission later in this book.
  • Combination Therapy:�Combination therapy is exactly what it sounds like; using more than one source of treatment to get Crohn�s disease under control. This sort of treatment can also up the risk of side effects or even toxicity, so your doctor needs to analyze both you and the treatment plan to see what makes the most sense.
  • Diet & Nutrition:�The amount of diseases that get dramatically better when one starts to make drastic changes in their diet and nutrition habits is truly astounding. Good nutrition via eating the right kinds of foods for your specific form of Crohn�s disease can really lessen the painful symptoms of the disease and prevent flare-ups. Understanding your body�s needs in terms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals can give you a great education on why you�re developing certain side effects and how to lessen their effect. Much like when you get food poisoning or an upset stomach, reverting to a bland diet � the universally known Bananas, Apple Sauce, Rice, Toast (BRAT) method is a great way to lessen the discomfort that may occur when eating spicy foods or those that cause flare-ups.
  • Surgery:�No one wants to have a surgery especially in an area as sensitive as your GI tract. However, statistics say that as many as 66%-75% of people with Crohn�s disease will require surgery at some point. That number is daunting, but since most people don�t understand or can identify that they have Crohn�s disease until they have suffered inflammation of the intestines. Surgery is necessary when medications are not working or if the inflammation has turned into an obstruction, fissure, or fistula, that is not allowing your intestines or anus to work correctly. As mentioned earlier, these surgeries include removing a diseased portion of the bowel, known as resection, and taking the remaining healthy portions and moving them together (anastomosis). Although this sort of surgery can make a huge difference and send someone suffering from Crohn�s disease into remission, it is not a cure. Post-surgery statistics show that 30% of patients that have surgery related to Crohn�s disease have a return of symptoms within three years, and as many as 60% have a return of symptoms within 10 years.

 

How Can You Avoid and Contain Crohn’s Disease Flare-ups?

 

Flare-ups are an unfortunate but expected part of suffering from Crohn�s disease. Very rare are the patients who are diagnosed with Crohn�s disease, get treatment, and they are in remission for the rest of their lives. Eventually, a flare-up will come to any Crohn�s disease sufferer. Being prepared and understanding the causes is very important to keep a flare-up from becoming a longer-term suffering session. When a flare-up does happen, sufferers of Crohn�s disease must be on their guard to take care of themselves but also to identify possible causes of the flare-up. Doing so will make it much easier to avoid them in the future.

 

The first thing to check on when you have a flare-up is your recent diet. Lots of foods can exacerbate your GI tract and cause inflammation anywhere along the tract, from your mouth to your intestines. Foods that contain spices like garlic, chili powder, onions, paprika, and so on are among the types of food that can easily agitate the digestive tract and cause inflammation that can cause severe pain and severe diarrhea. A great way to pinpoint what foods might be causing the flare-up is to keep a food diary in which you record everything you eat. This way you can really target foods that when consumed are followed by a flare-up. It might not even be food but an actual ingredient that causes the flare-up. Knowing what foods cause these symptoms in you makes it easy to avoid them. If you are struggling to define what foods are safe for you and which ones trigger your Crohn�s disease, ask a doctor about the possibility of consulting a dietician about the matter.

 

If you�ve ruled food out as a probable cause of a flare-up, your next best bet is to analyze your patterns for taking medicine. Skipping a dose, taking the wrong dosage, or even taking pills at different times than normal can trigger a reaction or lessen the potency of the drug�s effectiveness at quelling your Crohn�s disease symptoms. If you are an adult or a teenager, the only person who can make you take your pills on time and in the correct dosage is you. If you are a parent of a child with Crohn�s disease, you must ensure they are taking the exact dosage at the exact time each day. If you are finding your current dose to not be taking good enough care of your symptoms, you must contact your doctor, explain what is going on, and work with them to find a solution or possibly change the medication itself, how often you take it, when you take it, or the dosage you are taking. Doctors want to help you find that healthy medium between being too drugged up and being in too much pain.

 

If it�s not your Crohn�s disease medication bothering you, it might be another form of medication, particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Despite that tongue-twister of a name, these are some of the most well-known drugs in the world with more common names like aspirin and ibuprofen. Unfortunately for sufferers of Crohn�s disease, these analgesics also have painful side effects that can irritate the bowel and kick up inflammation quickly. If you suffer from frequent fevers, headaches, or other body pain, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take acetaminophen (commonly found in Tylenol) to avoid the NSAIDs.

 

Another medicine that can cause flare-ups are antibiotics, frequently prescribed to treat bacterial infections. If you�ve ever been prescribed antibiotics, you�ll know that the doctor, the nurse, and the pharmacist will all insist you take them with food to lessen the chance of an upset stomach. This still happens in even the healthiest of people because it changes the balance of the bacteria in your intestines. That can cause diarrhea, and when diarrhea appears in the tract of someone suffering from Crohn�s disease, it can spell trouble.

 

If your diet is good and you are avoiding medicines that are known to cause flare-ups, there are still two more places to look among the likeliest causes. The first is if you are a smoker. Look, we all know that smoking is bad for you for any number of reasons, increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, and lung cancer among others. That same risk holds true for patients suffering from Crohn�s disease. Introducing smoke and tobacco to your digestive system is one of the worst ideas you can have. If you are tempted to smoke while going through Crohn�s disease, be aware that you are much more likely to need surgery because of it. One other cause of flare-ups is increased stress. Stress was originally thought of as one of the causes of Crohn�s disease, but in fact, it is more commonly believed to be an agitator of the disease. If you are struggling with stress and can feel it spilling over into you Crohn�s disease, consult a doctor on how to incorporate stress-management techniques. If your need is immediate, things like taking a warm bath or a long shower can help relax your muscles. Other ideas are to exercise or simply take a walk to pull out the strain from muscles you did not even know you were clinching. You can also try yoga or meditation, for which there are thousands of online resources to get you started.

 

What Can You Do When You Have a Crohn’s Disease Flare-Up?

 

It�s hard not to feel stress and/or panic when you have a flare-up of your Crohn�s disease. Some last a day, some for a week, and some a month as it really depends on the person, the circumstances, and how well they are able to handle it. Although it has no true healing powers, a positive frame of mind that this condition is temporary and that you will improve can greatly affect the mindset of a person suffering a flare-up.

 

  • Maintain a healthy diet:�It could very well be something you ate that is driving you into a flare-up, but that does not mean you should stop eating or try some radical purge diet. Proper nutrition is the essential foundation of dealing with Crohn�s disease on a day-in, day-out basis. If you have bouts of diarrhea that drain your body of fluid, adjust accordingly by increasing your fluid intake and eating bland foods that are much less likely to have spicy ingredients or high concentrations of fat that can lead to more inflammation.
  • Stay regular with your diagnostic tests:�When you are first diagnosed with Crohn�s disease and your doctor provides you with prescriptions and treatment plans, part of that plan should be regular scheduled diagnostic tests to see how your body is faring. If you have a flare-up, call your doctor and let them know about it, as well as any guesses on your part on what could have caused it. The doctor might want to move up a diagnostic test to see what sort of side effects are occurring and why you had the flare-up, this can allow the doctor to analyze what is causing it and how to prevent it from happening again.
  • Set up a support system:�No one should have to go through any disease along, particularly one like Crohn�s disease that has so many miserable side effects. No matter your age, your marital status, or what you do for a living, you�ll need a network of friends and family you can rely on for emotional and physical support when you suffer a flare-up. This will involve an initial period where you let them know what you are suffering from and give them transparency and knowledge about what Crohn�s disease is and what it does to people. While it can be very embarrassing, the more open and honest you are with the people who care about you, the easier it will be to reach out when you need help. This can be anything as simple as driving to the doctor or as serious as picking your kids up at school because you have to go to the emergency room. Other times, it�s just someone who can lend an ear and talk when you are frustrated by the flare-up in particular or what the future might bring. Make sure at least one member of your support network works or lives close-by in case of an emergency.
  • Maintain a great relationship with your doctor: We all get how busy most people are. You find a doctor, get your prescriptions filled, and see them again in 6-12 months. That�s not how things work when you�re battling against Crohn�s disease. Having a doctor you know, trust, and feel confident about in his or her ability to accurately and honestly get you on the right path from the get-go. This extends past your primary care physician as well. Getting on good terms with his or her office staff front desk, nurses, any other physicians, such as a dietician or a counselor can have enormous benefits down the line.
  • Respect your prescribed treatment: Too many people get into their heads that they know the best overtime on how their treatment should go. These are the types that end up altering their dosage, not taking medicine at the right time, or not taking it altogether. Doctors aren�t just diagnosing you to hear themselves think. They are using all the tools at their disposal to make you feel better and let your body heal. Consider that the next time you don�t feel like taking a pill.
  • Try Corticosteroids:�This medication is often prescribed to treat flare-ups for the short term. They are not recommended over a long period of time as patients can either get addicted to them or become resistant to them.
  • Get better sleep:� Research has shown that patients with Crohn�s disease are more likely to have relapses if they do not get enough sleep at night. The poor sleeping in a study of 3,173 adult patients with IBD found that many 60% of patients suffering from flare-ups reported poor sleep, linking it to the likes of depression, tobacco use, and use of corticosteroids.

 

What is Remission Like with Crohn’s Disease?

 

Remission is the stage of Crohn�s disease where the symptoms go dormant. The inflammation which infects your digestive tract goes away and the damage to your bowel, colon, and other parts of the GI tract ceases. Your immune system stops attacking your own body and returns to its normal functioning. During this time, you will notice fatigue and pain diminishing and you will cease having bouts of severe diarrhea. Diagnostic blood tests by your doctor will likely show your inflammation levels have returned to normal and lesions found in your bowel, colon, stomach, anus, esophagus, and mouth will close and start to heal. No one can say what causes remission or how long it lasts, but it clearly is a cycle. After the first flare that triggers the diagnosis of Crohn�s disease, about 10%-20% of patients report long-term remission. This statistic is on the uptrend thanks to advance studies and research that better prepare doctors and patients to deal with Crohn�s disease more rapidly and effectively. There are several types of remission associated with Crohn�s disease, with accompanying characteristics. They are:

 

  • Clinical remission: This means you have zero symptoms associated with Crohn�s disease at the time. This can happen naturally or it can be the result of the diligent taking of medicine. Note that if your remission is a result of taking corticosteroids, it�s not really considered remission, mostly because these drugs are meant only for short-term use as they can become addictive or the body can become resistant to them.
  • Endoscopic remission:�This means your doctor does not find any sign of disease when he checks your colon during an endoscopy. If there is no inflammation and no lesions or polyps are present. This can also be termed as deep healing or mucosal healing. It does not really guarantee remission however, as there is a lot more to Crohn�s disease than simply what is going on in the colon. Inflammation can occur anywhere on the GI tract, but the colon is a major part of this.. Nevertheless, the colon is a major player in the disease and is one of the most painful parts of the process, so a clean bill of health there is worth celebrating.
  • Histologic remission: This term refers to the condition where cells are removed from your colon during endoscopy and tested as normal under a microscope. This indicates there is no presence of cancer nor inflammation commonly associated with Crohn�s disease. This remission is discovered when a follow-up to a surgical procedure is done and a lack of disease activity is found, especially is the procedure involved an ileocolonic resection, which is the most common surgery associated with Crohn�s disease. In this procedure, the area where the small and large intestines meet each other, known as the terminal ileum, is removed.
  • Biochemical remission:�Blood and excrement do not contain substances that signal the presence of inflammation. This is proven by blood tests and stool samples.

 

The path to remission is different for every Crohn�s disease patient, which can make it all the more vexing when you have a much harder time than someone else in achieving it. Doctors will try lots of different medications to get you going, while others will try more aggressive routes. Here are some of the routes that your doctor might take in his or her pursuit of remission for you.

 

Medications

 

Medicine is the obvious first choice for any sufferer of Crohn�s disease. Drugs have been tested for years before gaining approval from the Federal Drug Association (FDA) and most side effects are known. Since there is no real known cause for Crohn�s disease, patients are more than likely to be put on more than one drug at a time in order to titrate a cocktail that works for you. The goals in taking medications for Crohn�s disease include reducing chronic symptoms like pain and diarrhea, helping intestines heal from the damage that the inflammation has caused, and ease the inflammation itself. The following drugs are all used to fight Crohn�s disease:

 

Steroids

 

  • Prednisone:�Also used to treat arthritis, blood disorders, severe allergies, breathing problems, eye problems, and cancer, it is the most well-known corticosteroids. It decreases the immune system�s response time. Is addictive, and the body can also start to resist its effects if taken for too long.

 

Drugs to Slow Down Your Immune System

 

Vigilant immune systems are a big cause of Crohn�s disease, although no one has been able to figure out why. Slowing the reaction and response time of the immune system can limit the inflammation damage it does on your GI tract. These drugs include:

 

  • Azathioprine: Commonly used to prevent organ rejection in people that have had a kidney transplant. Also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It�s an immunosuppressant that weakens the immune system. It can be taken by injection or by mouth.
  • Cyclosporine:�Used to prevent organ rejection for people who have had a liver, kidney, or heart transplant. Is taken orally once per day.
  • Mercaptopurine:�This drug is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells, slowing their growth and spread across the body. It is largely used to take on leukemia. It has rough side effects that are fairly similar to Crohn�s disease, including nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, as well as temporary hair loss, mouth sores or pain, and symptoms of liver disease.
  • Methotrexate:�It is classified as an antimetabolite that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells and suppressing the immune system. It is often used to stop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and comes in tablet form. It is a strong medication that requires lots of water consumption to get it out of the kidneys.

 

TNF Inhibitors

 

TNF Inhibitors are drugs that help stop inflammation. In addition to Crohn�s disease, they are useful for fighting rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis. The three most frequently used with Crohn�s disease are:

 

  • Adalimumab:�Used to reduce pain and spelling in arthritis, it also is used in certain skin conditions. It works by blocking a protein found in the immune system that causes joint swelling and red, scaly patches.
  • Certolizumab:�Also used to kill tumors, it can defeat a certain type of spine condition in addition to treating Crohn�s to a degree and battling arthritis.
  • Infliximab:�A champion for chronic plaque psoriasis, it also treats Crohn�s disease and arthritis. It works by blocking the tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the body. It also decreases swelling while weakening the immune system.

 

Doctors typically start with mild drugs and then move into more strong ones to try and get you into remission. If your Crohn�s disease is atypically severe when you are first diagnosed, the opposite might be true and treatment will start with stronger drugs, drifting toward milder ones once you are in remission.

 

Surgery

 

If drugs or steroids aren�t working for you, or if your Crohn�s disease is particularly severe by the time it is first diagnosed, doctors might skip the drug regiment altogether and head straight for surgery. Up to 50% of all people diagnosed with Crohn�s disease will need surgery at some time in their life. The most common surgery will see a doctor remove parts of your intestine where there is too much damage for it to function properly. They then use staples or stitches to reconnect the healthy areas. After this kind of procedure, you will be out of commission for a while, and it might take several months before you feel completely normal again.

 

After the surgery, you will be fed through a feeding tube with liquid food or even have it injected into your veins to give your bowel the chance to both heal and rest. Once the intestines are determined to be rested and ready to return to active duty, you will be encouraged to eat a low-fiber diet in order to make your body conducive to smaller stools that reduce the risk of bowel blockage. Within a month to four months, you should start seeing the real results of such a procedure.

 

Understanding Crohn�s Disease in Children

 

Parents fear any type of health issue for their children, but being diagnosed with a problem, particularly one with no known cure can open up a lot of feelings of panic for both children and their parents. Since most people diagnosed with Crohn�s disease are 30 years old or younger, it stands to reason that it affects many children. And because it can cause malnutrition and other problems that affect growth and development, learning about Crohn�s disease can’t be understated for parents. The best way to talk to your child about having Crohn�s disease is to tell them in a language they can understand that involves the whole family, their doctors, their school, etc. Having a prepared, informed child will make what is to come much easier on them and reduce a lot of their fears of the unknown. If your child is a teenager and more responsible for the food they eat, guiding them in diet and nutrition is a big deal. Honesty is always the best answer for older children on how to manage Crohn�s disease. This is not a temporary condition that has an attainable cure right now. Helping them understand that controlling it will be their responsibility as adults are something that must come into play as well. Clearly, younger children will need more of a hands-on approach. But don�t do everything for them. Unless they are very young, this is a great chance to teach them a gradual taking of responsibility. For younger kids, there are going to be several new events happening that will be either scary or unfamiliar that you can help them transition into. These include:

 

Taking Medication

 

For younger children, being sick usually means taking a cough syrup or something similar for a few days and then feeling better. For children with Crohn�s disease, this can elevate to taking pills, getting injections, or sitting during lengthy intravenous transfusions. Taking medication over a long period of time is a new thing for most children. Many will fear it, even something as simple as swallowing pills. Start by introducing them to the medicine � what it looks like, how to take it without chewing it, and explain what the medicine. Let them know that the medicine is the bridge between them feeling bad and having to stay home feeling sick and them feeling good and being able to get out and enjoy some of their favorite pastimes.

 

It�s also important to remember that children don�t have as good as memories as we do, especially when it comes to remembering what days certain things are taking place. Well into elementary school plenty of kids don�t always know the day of the week or the time of the day without consulting a grownup. That�s why a family calendar with dates marked for medications is a great way to keep everyone on the same page. Make a big deal out of each pill swallowed and appointment completed. Praise is important. When your child feels they are doing the right thing to battle their illness, they will feel better about themselves.

 

Also, be aware that different medicines do different things and have different side effects. Make your child know that their feelings are important and valid. Ask them how the medicine is making them feel. Better or the same? Explain to them what side effects are and let them know that there are no wrong answers here. If the medicine is making them feel bad, they need to let you know, so you can let the doctor know. Medicine not working is not a sign of defeat, it just means that it�s not the right medicine for them.

 

Emotional Support

 

Emotional support is the best medicine for kids diagnosed with Crohn�s disease. It�s not a one-time conversation you have and then move forward with treatment and never talk about it again. Your child is going to have questions as they get older that manifest in many different ways. They will want and need someone to share their thoughts, their fears, and their hopes for the future. The question of �Why me?� is probably going to come up a lot, particularly for children who believe heavily in a particular faith. Some will wonder if the religious figure they worship is punishing them for some wrong they�ve committed. If someone else in the family also suffers from Crohn�s disease, the child might lash out at this relative and blame them for the illness. It is extremely difficult for a child to be different from their peers because of a physical condition, especially when it is one that deals with an already sensitive subject and one that can be rife for bullying at pretty much any age.

 

If it is too much for your child to take or if you are seeing trouble arise with their schoolwork, friends, or other previously healthy relationships, consider consulting a mental health professional, particularly one who specializes in childhood diseases and how to cope with them. Therapy, medication, or counseling (or some combination of the three) could be just what your child needs to get back on track and learn the process of coping with their illness. Older children and teenagers might need a completely different remedy � space and time alone to rationalize their feelings and decide how best to deal with it. This can include time talking to the doctor alone, without parental involvement. This should not be construed as a panic sign, but a positive that your child is taking charge of his or her own care and wants to discuss with a doctor how to cope with certain conditions. Don�t think you as the parent is in charge of every decision being made. Your child is the one with Crohn�s disease, and that will last a lifetime.

 

What is a 504 Accommodation Plan?

 

A 504 accommodation plan, also known as a 504 plan, is a government-approved legally binding document that requires a school to give your child special accommodations due to their disability. It is your job to inform your child�s school of the disability and you�ll be required to give proof of it � a simple doctor�s note will do. The plan covers your child having an unexpected flare-up of Crohn�s disease at school or if they are hospitalized and miss time. Accommodations will vary from child to child, but you must advocate for their rights at all times to ensure the school staff knows exactly what procedures must be followed, particularly in the event of a flare-up. Flare-ups can make anyone feel extremely uncomfortable as it can cause diarrhea or irregular bowel movements. In a school setting, this can be scary, humiliating, and embarrassing for a child, so all precautions must be in place, such as your child having the right to visit the bathroom at any time during the school day without being questioned, or bringing another pair of clothes to school in case of an accident. The school nurse in particular should be made aware of the situation, as she will usually be the most knowledgeable of Crohn�s disease and the best suited to help your child should they have an accident or need help during the day. If your child misses a lot of school for doctor�s appointments or hospital stays, the 504 plan should include provisions to allow them extra time to do assignments or things like take-home tests to give them the time and atmosphere to perform their best.

 

How Can You Handle Your Job When Your Child Has Crohn�s Disease?

 

Most jobs these days make all sorts of allowances for employees when it comes to paid time off (PTO) in the form of sick days and personal days. Having a child with Crohn�s disease can seem like a very personal issue and one that you don�t necessarily want to share with a lot of people, but it is necessary to inform your job, especially our human resources (HR) representative of the situation so you can best handle your responsibilities at work while also being there for your child. Your job will most likely be sympathetic to your child�s needs and do its best to accommodate you when you need to stay home with him or her or if you need to take them to the hospital. However, try and let your job know about planned hospital visits or procedures as far in advance as possible to give them the best chance to schedule someone to do your assigned tasks. If your job allows you to work remotely, try and see if you can make the accommodation for days that you might need to stay home with your child. Do everything possible to do your work, even if it is not at the precise date and time as everyone else in the office. Share your child�s schedule for surgery, blood draws, imaging, or any other scheduled appointment with your supervisor and your HR representative so they can appropriately deduct the time missed from your PTO, sick days, or family leave days, however, your company works it out. The more information that you can give your job about your schedule, the more likely they are to work with you. A company cannot legally fire you for a child�s illness, but if you do not communicate with them on the amount of time you take off, or if you are only informing them of time you need off with very little or no notice, you could find yourself getting dismissed for being unable to perform your duties and an unwillingness to keep an open dialogue.

 

Children�s Health Insurance and Crohn�s Disease

 

Your child is covered by either you or your spouse�s health insurance, but you�ll need more information than that to make sure that your child gets the best care possible. Once a diagnosis has been made by your child�s doctor, set aside some time to call your insurance company, explain the situation, and get all of your questions answered. Your insurance plan will have operating procedures based on the coverage plan you have preselected. These will include a deductible that you will likely have to meet before all expenses are paid for, co-pays for your child�s visits to the doctor, and possibly a number of treatments that are covered as part of the plan. During this meeting, you should also ask questions about prescription medications as well as which brands and drugs are covered under your plan. If certain drugs are too expensive, you can contact drug companies or look for discounts and coupons online. For health issues like Crohn�s disease, manufacturers and discount organizations often work hard to make otherwise unattainable drugs more affordable for suffering patients.

 

 

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Although healthcare professionals today still don’t know the true cause of this health issue, several doctors and researchers believe that factors like poor diet and stress can aggravate the symptoms associated with this health issue. Common symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease can include pain and inflammation. Proper diagnosis and treatment for this health issue are essential because it can lead to a variety of complications, including joint pain and arthritis, among other health issues, if left untreated. Diet and lifestyle modifications, stress management, medication, and surgery, can ultimately help improve Crohn’s disease. For people following several of the previously mentioned treatment options, chiropractic care and physical therapy can also help relieve joint pain and arthritis, among other health issues, associated with inflammation. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*�

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

Thyme To Heal The Body

Thyme To Heal The Body

Do you feel:

  • Pain, tenderness, soreness on the left side?
  • Stomach pains, burning, or aching, 1-4 hours after eating?
  • Digestive problems subside with rest and relaxation?
  • Unpredictable abdominal swelling?
  • An overall sense of bloating?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then something might be wrong in your body, especially in the gut. Why not try to add some thyme into your food.

Thyme

In the culinary world, thyme is usually associated with savory dishes that compliment the flavors. This leafy herb can be combined with chicken and can give food dishes like stuffing, sauces, stews and soups a boost in the flavor department. Even though thyme is a culinary herb, surprisingly, there is some history with this leafy herb that not everyone knows about yet. History shows that thyme was used as an embalmment by Ancient Egyptians, while Ancient Greece was using thyme as incense for their temples. History even showed that thyme has a �purifying� aroma that helped people ward off nightmares in the Middle Ages. In today’s world, thyme is well-known for its ability to enhance the flavors in the cooking world. However, it is even better known for its medicinal purifying properties for functional medicine.

Studies have found out that about approximately 1/3 of all deaths in the world are due to infectious diseases. In contrast, an alarming number of microorganisms have now become resistant to antibiotic therapy. Surprisingly though, scientists are trying to find ways to look for alternative antimicrobial therapies with thyme. Since plants have a natural defense mechanism that is built into them since they can protect themselves from harsh environmental factors. So, with thyme being a Mediterranean herb, its health properties are beneficial for the body and can dampen the effect of harmful bacterial pathogens.

Beneficial Properties Thyme Possess

Thymol

Some of the beneficial properties that thyme has to offer are amazing since it has been used for medicinal usages. Thyme has a naturally occurring class of compounds known as biocides. Studies show that these compounds are known to destroy any harmful organisms like infectious bacteria, while also having powerful antimicrobial properties. In a 2010 research study, it suggested that thyme can reduce bacterial resistance to some of the common drugs, including penicillin. Some other beneficial properties that thyme presents include:

Blood Pressure

Thyme has been found to help reduce high blood pressure in individuals. Researchers in Serbia have found that wild thyme can reduce the individual�s blood pressure through animal studies. It even showed how rodents are similar to people when they are dealing with hypertension in the body. While another study found out that thyme extract can reduce a raised heart rate while also lowering the bad cholesterol. The study even showed that thyme had been used for treating a variety of various diseases that can harm the body in traditional medicine. It is even possible for thyme to be used as a substitute for salt for food.

Prevent Intestinal Infections

Studies have found out thyme can neutralize certain enteric bacteria that have been associated with some intestinal diseases. In a 2017 research study, scientists have discovered that when subjects have been in contact with the Clostridium perfringens, a harmful bacterium that can harm the intestines, can be treated with thyme. The result shows that the subjects had fewer bacterial infections in their intestines while also having fewer lesions and fewer C. perfringens related deaths.

Boost the Immune System

Even though everyone can try to live a healthy lifestyle, sometimes it is hard to get all the vitamins that the body needs to maintain itself both inside and out. Research has shown that thyme can provide the body a healthy dosage of vitamins C and A. Whenever it is the cold or flu season, thyme can be beneficial to anyone who wants to prevent the cold or flu from happening or at least dampen the symptoms. One of the beneficial properties that thyme can also do for the immune system is that it can be a good source of minerals like copper, fiber, iron, and manganese that the body does need in order to function properly.

Antimicrobial and Antifungal Properties

Thyme has antimicrobial and antifungal properties that are beneficial to the body. A Portugal study had found that thyme can provide anti-cancer activity properties to people who have colon cancer. The study even showed that thyme�s chemical constituents could identify the colon cancer cytotoxicity activities and shortening its process to become worst. Another study found in Turkey showed that wild thyme could have a positive effect on breast cancer activity. The study found that wild thyme extract can be used in novel therapeutic drugs for breast cancer treatment.

For antifungal properties, studies have found that thyme can be beneficial to combatting fungal bacteria in the body like yeast infections. Researchers in Italy have found the fungus Candida albicans is common to cause yeast infections in the mouth and vaginal area. Another study found that thyme essential oil can significantly enhance the destruction of C. Albicans in the body and preventing the fungus from spreading. The results showed that the fungal strands had a biofilm production, and only thyme oil was the only one to be the most inhibitory oil to affect biofilm production of the fungal strands.

Conclusion

There are many beneficial properties that thyme can posses to help not only the body but also the immune system and the gut system as well. It is truly amazing that this herb can have purifying effects on the body and even enhance the flavors of food dishes.�Since more people are using thyme in their culinary dishes, it is no wonder that thyme is a truly, magical herb that can help the body achieve an overall sense of health and wellness. Some products that can be beneficial to the body, including the immune system, by providing support to the intestines for greater stability, bioavailability, and digestive comfort.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Laboratories, Medical Oncology Research. �Effects of Thymus Serpyllum Extract on Cell Proliferation, Apoptosis and Epigenetic Events in Human Breast Cancer Cells.� Taylor & Francis, 19 Nov. 2012, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01635581.2012.719658#.Ul_MYWTk-z5.

Team, Biotics Education. �Thyme for Gut Health.� Biotics Research Blog, 2017, blog.bioticsresearch.com/thyme-for-gut-health.

Alamgeer, et al. �Pharmacological Evaluation of Antihypertensive Effect of Aerial Parts of Thymus Linearis Benth.� Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25272894.

Fanous, Summer. �9 Health Benefits of Thyme.� Healthline, 5 May, 2016, www.healthline.com/health/health-benefits-of-thyme.

Felman, Adam. �What Are the Benefits of Thyme?� MedicalNewsToday, 23 Aug. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266016.

Gordo, Joana, et al. �Thymus Mastichina: Chemical Constituents and Their Anti-Cancer Activity.� Natural Product Communications, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23285814.

Khan, Mohd S A, et al. �Sub-MICs of Carum Copticum and Thymus Vulgaris Influence Virulence Factors and Biofilm Formation in Candida Spp.� BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, BioMed Central, 15 Sept. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25220750.

Kim, Gil-Hah, et al. �Chemical Composition, Larvicidal Action, and Adult Repellency of Thymus Magnus Against Aedes Albopictus.� Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, The American Mosquito Control Association, 1 Sept. 2012, www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2987/12-6250R.1.

Palaniappan, Kavitha, and Richard A. Holley. �Use of Natural Antimicrobials to Increase Antibiotic Susceptibility of Drug Resistant Bacteria.� International Journal of Food Microbiology, Elsevier, 13 Apr. 2010, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168160510001868.

Team, WHO. �The Top 10 Causes of Death.� World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 24 May 2018, www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/.

Wong, Cathy. �The Use of Thyme in Alternative Medicine.� Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 28 Apr. 2020, www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-thymus-vulgaris-88803.

Yin, D., Du, E., Yuan, J.�et al.�Supplemental thymol and carvacrol increases ileum�Lactobacillus�population and reduces effect of necrotic enteritis caused by�Clostridium perfringes�in chickens.�Sci Rep7,�7334 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07420-4


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

7 Fiber-Rich Foods for The Body

7 Fiber-Rich Foods for The Body

Do you feel:

  • Those bowels do not empty?
  • Constipation?
  • Difficult bowel movements?
  • Difficulty digesting roughage and fiber?
  • Unpredictable abdominal swelling?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might not have been consuming enough fiber. Why not try incorporating these seven high-fiber foods in your diet.

The Importance of Fiber

Surprisingly everyone knows that a healthy diet plays a critical role in the overall human health. With a healthy diet, anyone can feel better, have more energy, and can maintain a healthy weight. However, sometimes people do get carried away with carbohydrates, proteins, and fats but often forget the most important nutrient that the body needs, which is fiber. Even though there are multiple studies and evidence that are linked to dietary fibers and how they have a variety of health benefits, studies have shown that most Americans are still falling short by taking the recommended amount for daily fiber intake. For males, they should be consumed at least 38 grams, and for females, they should at least consume 25 grams of fiber.

table-with-grains-vegetables-fruit-768

Throughout the years, fiber has been traditionally known to be considered as a mere roughage that can simply add volumes to digested foods, and the science has been proven and revealed that fiber does play a significant role in the body. Studies have shown that fiber nourishes the gut microbiomes, therefore aiding the digestion and improving the overall gut health. There have been more studies that have been shown that fiber has been linked with disease prevention, while also reducing the risk factors of a variety of conditions that can affect the body like knee arthritis, food allergies, and even type 2 diabetes.

Since fiber is essential to the body than most people realized, it can help people obtain the minimum in their diets. Since it is critical to a person’s overall health and wellness, there are many ways that fiber can do more than just help the gut system. Fiber can help the body in more ways than the gut. Here is the list of the top 7 fiber-laden foods that can do so much more for the body than being a bulking item for a healthy food diet.

Chia seeds

In the natural health community, chia seeds are very popular. These seeds are highly nutritious and can be added to a variety of foods like smoothies, healthy puddings, and salads, just to name a few. Research shows that chia seeds are probably one of the best sources for dietary fibers in the world. Chia seeds pack a whopping 34 grams per 100 grams and contain high amounts of soluble fibers. Research even shows that when chia seeds absorb water and form a gel-like substance, the contents can expand in the stomach, therefore increasing the feeling of a person being full and, of course, helping them eat less.

Studies have been shown that chia seeds can help individuals suppress their appetites. Chia seeds are beneficial to patients who have type 2 diabetes by managing their body weight, control their visceral obesity, and help to prevent obesity-related risk factors from entering the body while maintaining good glycemic control as well. Another study has found that chia seeds are excellent in reducing blood pressure. The study mentioned that when individuals consume chia seeds, its contents can help the individual�s body by improving the major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in their body, thus preventing type 2 diabetes. All in all, chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber for anyone who may have diabetes or is trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Almonds

Almonds are another source of fiber that is widely popular like the chia seeds, but they are a highly underrated nut.� Almonds are rich with nutrients that the body needs as they contained magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, protein, and healthy fats that are excellent for the body. The almond nut itself has about 12.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams in each nut. Almonds are pretty remarkable due to improving gut health due to its sizable fiber contents.

Studies have found that when people consume almonds, their oxidative stress is reduced. The study explained that almonds are a good source of antioxidant nutrients that can diminish the biomarkers of oxidative stress in individuals and even enhanced the antioxidant defenses. There are more and more studies about almonds and their amazing properties like lowering the bad LDL cholesterol, hunger reduction, and even aiding in weight loss for the body.

Flax Seeds

Surprisingly, flax seeds are continuing to be one of the leading sources of dietary fibers with 27.3 grams of fiber out of every 100 grams of the seed. Studies have found out that flax seeds not only have fiber, but it contains high amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids as well. While other studies showed that flax seeds have a plethora of health benefits from improving gut health, reducing hunger cravings to preventing diarrhea and constipation that can happen to the body.

Popcorn

Popcorn is not only a great snack to munch on when a person is watching tv or enjoying a movie in the theaters, but it is an excellent source of fiber. What is interesting about this popular snack is that it can be air-popped and contains about 14.5g/100g per serving of fiber. Studies have found that air-popped popcorn can be as filling as a bag of potato chips while also helping with weight management.

Oats

The best way to incorporate fiber into a healthy diet is to have oats as part of a healthy breakfast. Research shows that oats have a high fiber count, and they contain beta-glucan, which can aid the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol in the body. Not only that, but oats have amazing health benefits that can help prevent LDL oxidation and surprisingly, reduce the risk of childhood asthma. By incorporating oats into a healthy diet, can even make a person feel full in a good way and can be used in smoothies, overnight oatmeal, while also be served hot or cold.

Dark Chocolate

Consuming chocolate can be a bad thing for anyone who is watching their sweet intake; however, dark chocolate is one of those perfect delicacies that does not harm a person’s health. For dark chocolate to have the fiber content, it has to be at least 70 to 95% of cocoa content, and then the fiber content would be 10g per 100 grams. Studies have shown that dark chocolate has chock-full of health benefits from reducing insulin resistance to improving brain health.

Chickpeas

Most people would look at chickpeas and see that this legume plant has protein contents, but it can be a great source of fiber. Studies have shown that chickpeas have about 7.6g/100grams of fiber that can promote the feeling of being full and can prevent a person from eating junk food. Some of the health benefits that chickpeas can provide can range from weight loss from improving the body’s bowel function. Not only that, but chickpeas can be used in salads, soups, dips, and possibly desserts.

Conclusion

With these seven high fibers being incorporated into a person’s diet, the body can benefit the fiber-rich food’s properties and start healing in the process. By eating these fiber-rich foods, not only will the gut feel better and can make a person feel full but can help the body prevent harmful pathogens that enter the body, thus causing ailments that the body does not need. By incorporating fiber into the body, the benefits can dampen the harmful effects and can bring back a person�s overall wellness and health altogether. Some products are here to help the body and provide support to the gastrointestinal system with phytonutrients, metabolic precursors, and enzymatic cofactors.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Team, Biotics Education. �7 High-Fiber Foods That Do More than Help Your Gut.� Biotics Research Blog, 17 Mar. 2020, blog.bioticsresearch.com/7-high-fiber-foods-that-do-more-than-help-your-gut.

Alfredo, V�zquez-Ovando, et al. �Physicochemical Properties of a Fibrous Fraction from Chia (Salvia Hispanica L.).� LWT – Food Science and Technology, Academic Press, 23 May 2008, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643808001345.

Chen, Chung-Yen, et al. �Avenanthramides and Phenolic Acids from Oats Are Bioavailable and Act Synergistically with Vitamin C to Enhance Hamster and Human LDL Resistance to Oxidation.� The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15173412.

Francis, S T, et al. �The Effect of Flavanol-Rich Cocoa on the FMRI Response to a Cognitive Task in Healthy Young People.� Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16794461.

Grassi, Davide, et al. “Blood Pressure Is Reduced, and Insulin Sensitivity Increased in Glucose-Intolerant, Hypertensive Subjects after 15 Days of Consuming High-Polyphenol Dark Chocolate.” The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18716168.

Hanif Palla, Amber, and Anwarul-Hassan Gilani. �Dual Effectiveness of Flaxseed in Constipation and Diarrhea: Possible Mechanism.� Journal of Ethnopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 July 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25889554.

Kim, Shana J, et al. �Effects of Dietary Pulse Consumption on Body Weight: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.� The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27030531.

Li, Ning, et al. �Almond Consumption Reduces Oxidative DNA Damage and Lipid Peroxidation in Male Smokers.� The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18029489.

Murty, Catherine M, et al. �Chickpea Supplementation in an Australian Diet Affects Food Choice, Satiety and Bowel Health.� Appetite, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19945492.

Nguyen, Von, et al. �Popcorn Is More Satiating than Potato Chips in Normal-Weight Adults.� Nutrition Journal, BioMed Central, 14 Sept. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22978828.

Nwaru, Bright I, et al. �Timing of Infant Feeding in Relation to Childhood Asthma and Allergic Diseases.� The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23182171.

Oliva, M E, et al. �Dietary Salba (Salvia Hispanica L) Seed Rich in ?-Linolenic Acid Improves Adipose Tissue Dysfunction and the Altered Skeletal Muscle Glucose and Lipid Metabolism in Dyslipidemic Insulin-Resistant Rats.� Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24120122.

Vuksan, V, et al. �Salba-Chia (Salvia Hispanica L.) in the Treatment of Overweight and Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial.� Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases: NMCD, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28089080.

Vuksan, Vladimir, et al. �Supplementation of Conventional Therapy with the Novel Grain Salba (Salvia Hispanica L.) Improves Major and Emerging Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial.� Diabetes Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17686832.

Wanders, A J, et al. �Effects of Dietary Fibre on Subjective Appetite, Energy Intake and Body Weight: a Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.� Obesity Reviews: an Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21676152.

Whitehead, Anne, et al. �Cholesterol-Lowering Effects of Oat ?-Glucan: a Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.� The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Society for Nutrition, Dec. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25411276.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

The Critical Link To Crohn’s Disease and The Gut

The Critical Link To Crohn’s Disease and The Gut

Do you feel:

  • Inflammation in your gut?
  • Pain from the left side under the ribcage?
  • A sense of fullness after 1-4 hours after eating?
  • Excessive belching, burning, or burping after eating a meal?
  • Excessive usage of antacids?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing Crohn�s disease and how it is affecting your gut system.

The human body and the gut microbiome have a wonderful connection as they help balance each other out. The human body protects the organs and the systems from harmful factors that are from the outside, while the organs and the systems help make sure that the body is functioning properly. With the gut system, it helps the body by providing food to be digested and can help transfer hormones from the gut to the brain. Even though the gut can help make sure the body is functioning correctly, it can be prone to dysfunctions from factors that can harm the gut system. Inflammation, intestinal permeability, and other harmful factors can cause the gut not to work properly. It can cause many problems that can hurt the body, and if it is not treated, it can turn into chronic illnesses.

Crohn�s Disease and The Gut

A recent study that was published in 2019, researchers have discovered that there is a critical link between IL-1? (interleukin-1?) and the gut microbiome. What IL-1? is, is that it is a protein that controls the inflammation in the gut. Researchers were shocked about this information and were able to find that by blocking the IL-1? protein since it is a pro-inflammatory protein in the gut, it can cause a significant decrease in the severity of intestinal inflammation of Crohn’s disease.

The photo of internal organs is on the women's body against gray background, Viscera on Human

Surprisingly there are some more research and information about the effects of anti-ILalpha treatment for helping out the body. The research shows that a study was being controlled by changing the body�s intestinal microbial ecosystem and even correcting mucosal dysbiosis. What this treatment does is that it decreases the ratio of Proteobacteria to be Bacteroidetes, while also decreasing the Helicobacter species as well as increasing Mucispirillum schaedleri and Lactobacillus salivarus. With these microflora modifications being linked, they can provide similar biological effects that steroids have been able to produce in the body, thus considering to be the gold standard for treatment.

With these findings, they show the diversity and balance of how the gut microbiome plays a huge role not only in gastrointestinal health but also playing a role in the health of the immune system and the inflammatory response in the body. Even though this study has been tested on subjects and further research is still needed, it gives many researchers hope for finding some therapeutic targets for any patients that may be suffering from any of these deliberating conditions. The findings can provide the rationale for medical researchers to help conduct a clinical trial for blocking IL-1? for patients that have IBD.

Studies on Crohn�s Disease

Studies have shown that IBD, Crohn�s disease, and ulcerative colitis, are autoimmune conditions that causes multiple triggers that will chronically stimulate the immune system over a long period in the body. These autoimmune conditions can cause the immune system to become overburden and be unable to function properly. What comes with these autoimmune conditions is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has become the result of function loss, thus leading the body to have chronic gastrointestinal ailments.

These can be characterized by diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and other crippling manifestations that can greatly affect a patient�s quality of life and overall health and wellness. Studies have shown that there is no surprise that the microbial composition of the GI tract can play a huge role in the development of IBD. The studies found that imbalance or dysbiosis are associated with an increase in intestinal inflammation that may cause IBD. Research has shown that the intestinal microbiome can greatly impact the body�s immune health since 70% of the immune system lies within the GI tract.

Studies have demonstrated that there are events, both chemical and molecular, that can shift the microbiome and exacerbate disease activity in patients that have IBD. Although there is a contrast for healthy individual’s gut microbiomes that are shown to be much more stable. Furthermore, the science shows that E. coli can proliferate in IBD during flare-ups in the body. When this happens, it can further contribute to the patient’s symptoms and the progression of the disease.

When a person is trying to get healthier, the best way to do it is by avoiding pro-inflammatory foods that can cause the gut to have inflammation. Studies have found that processed foods, sugars, and trans fats can cause inflammation. The best way to be healthy is to increase the intake of an anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in antioxidants, have high omega-3s, and have a high dosage of prebiotic and probiotic supplements. With these healthy options, they can assist with the inflammatory response within the GI tract to help reduce the IBD flare-ups. With certain bacteriophages, they have been shown to infect and inhibit the growth of E. coli, which surprisingly has also been shown to help reduce the symptoms and can even potentially slow the progress of IBD.

Conclusion

With more and more research discovering the link between Crohn�s disease and the gut system is truly remarkable as researchers and scientists are finding ways to calm down and even prevent inflammation from happening. By eating healthy, nutritious food that contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can help the body dampen the effects of inflammation and improve the overall health and wellness of the body. Some products are here to help the body and provide support to the gastrointestinal system.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Study Demonstrates Fasting-Mimicking Diet Reduces Inflammatory Bowel Disease Pathology.� Designs for Health, 15 Mar. 2019, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/974.

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Study Demonstrates Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Can Reach Remission with Diet Alone.� Designs for Health, 4 Jan. 2018, blog.designsforhealth.com/si-42214/new-study-demonstrates-patients-with-inflammatory-bowel-disease-can-reach-remission-with-diet-alone.

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Study Identifies How the Microbiome Is Disrupted in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.� Designs for Health, 7 June 2019, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1036.

Matsuoka, Katsuyoshi, and Takanori Kanai. �The Gut Microbiota and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.� Seminars in Immunopathology, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Jan. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4281375/.

Menghini, Paola, et al. �Neutralization of IL-1? Ameliorates Crohn’s Disease-like Ileitis by Functional Alterations of the Gut Microbiome.� PNAS, National Academy of Sciences, 26 Dec. 2019, www.pnas.org/content/116/52/26717.

staff, Science X. �Researchers Discover Critical Link to Controlling Inflammation in Crohn’s Disease.� Medical Xpress – Medical Research Advances and Health News, Medical Xpress, 16 Dec. 2019, medicalxpress.com/news/2019-12-critical-link-inflammation-crohn-disease.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter.

Team, DFH. �Discovery of a Critical Link between Crohn’s and the Gut Microbiome.� Designs for Health, 5 Mar. 2020, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1208.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

The Amazing Benefits That Aloe Vera Has

The Amazing Benefits That Aloe Vera Has

Do you feel:

  • A sense of fullness during and after meals?
  • Digestive problems subside with rest and relaxation?
  • Crave sweets during the day?
  • Eating sweets does not relieve the craving for sugar?
  • Stomach pains, burning, or aching 1-4 hours?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then something is disrupting your gut system. Why not try some aloe vera to dampen the symptoms.

Aloe Vera

Whenever someone thinks of aloe vera or aloe itself, the mind goes to sunburns and inflamed redden skin in general. Aloe vera has claimed its way to fame by soothing sunburnt skin; however, this long-celebrated medicinal plant has many properties and potential applications that go way beyond soothing inflamed skin.

aloe-vera-cgdeaw_ss_full_width

Throughout the recent years, there was a surge in research about the gut microbiome and how it both affects and is affected by various diseases. The various research showed that SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) producing a byproduct of colonic bacteria and fermenting dietary fibers, thus having critical signaling functions and playing a role in the gut-associated immune response. Studies have shown that butyric acid or butyrate may be beneficial for brain health in the body. Furthermore, the study also mentioned how SCFAs could contribute to reducing the inflammation in the gut while also associating between high-fiber diets and reducing the risk of colon cancer.

Aloe Vera�s Prebiotic Effects

Other studies showed that aloe vera has impressive prebiotic effects when it is being incubated within the human gut bacteria cultures. When a culture of mixed bacteria is being incubated with aloe vera, it shows a linear increase in butyric acid and an increase production of acetic acid when Bifidobacterium infantis is incubated with aloe vera. Studies show that when people have an increased intake of their dietary fibers, it can bring negative consequences to their bodies. The research talks about how having an increase in fiber is an obvious way to help support SCFAs, but for people who want to increase their fiber intake, they should consume aloe vera.

Aloe’s prebiotic effects are fantastic due to the chemical structure of some of its components. Surprisingly the aloe vera gel is about 55% polysaccharides and contains a compound called acemannan. With acemannan and the other polysaccharides in the aloe plant, many researchers have believed that these components are a significant contributor to aloe’s prebiotic and gut supportive effects. Since acemannan contains sugar molecules that are being linked to glycosidic bonds, they cannot be digested by human enzymes. However, with the body�s intestinal bacteria, studies have found that it can cleave the bond that acemannan has created and making acemannan digestible for the colonic flora. Another compound that aloe has is known as barbaloin. This compound contains other bonds that are inaccessible to the human digestive enzymes but is cleavable by the GI flora in the body.

Aloe Helping with Insulin

Aloe supplements can provide beneficial properties to battle against diabetes. A study from India stated that individuals who tale aloe vera gel powder for three months showed a substantial improvement in their glycemic control and cardiometabolic health.

Earlier studies have found out that aloe supplementation can improve the biomarkers of cardiometabolic health in the body as well. The study found that individuals who are pre-diabetic or have metabolic syndrome were given the standardized aloe extract for about eight weeks, and the results were astounding. The results showed that the consumed aloe supplement leads to a significant reduction in total cholesterol and LDL-C in the body as well as fasting glucose and fructosamine. Consuming aloe can cause a reduction in insulin in the body so people can start feeling better.

There is a more recent study that confirmed that aloe supplementation helps improve glycemic control and lipid profiles for pre-diabetic individuals. The results showed a decrease in triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL-C, as well as an increase in HDL in the body. Research found out that low-carbohydrate and the ketogenic diets are highly effective for improving blood glucose and insulin, especially for anyone who has type 2 diabetes. By adding aloe supplementation, it can be a powerful adjunct, especially for those who have a difficult time sticking to a strict low-carb regimen when a person’s dietary change is absent.

Conclusion

Aloe vera is an exotic plant that has many beneficial properties that can not only reduce red, inflamed skin but can provide support to the gut system and help individuals who may be pre-diabetic. Aloe vera can help the body’s gut system by making sure that no disruption and inflammation can affect the intestinal barrier, causing leaky gut. By consuming aloe vera in plant form or even using it as a supplement can provide fantastic health benefits for the body. Some products can be taken with aloe vera in order to make sure the gastrointestinal is being healthy by supporting the metabolic system and the gastrointestinal. These products offer hypoallergenic nutrients, enzymatic cofactors, and phytonutrients for overall health and wellness.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Quezada, Maria Paz, et al. �Acemannan and Fructans from Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller) Plants as Novel Prebiotics.� Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 26 Oct. 2017, pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jafc.7b04100.

Alinejad-Mofrad, Samaneh, et al. �Improvement of Glucose and Lipid Profile Status with Aloe Vera in Pre-Diabetic Subjects: a Randomized Controlled-Trial.� Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, BioMed Central, 9 Apr. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4399423/.

Bourassa, Megan W, et al. �Butyrate, Neuroepigenetics, and the Gut Microbiome: Can a High Fiber Diet Improve Brain Health?” Neuroscience Letters, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 20 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4903954/.

Choudhary, Monika, et al. �Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Effect of Aloe Vera L. in Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetics.� Journal of Food Science and Technology, Springer India, Jan. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3857397/.

Devaraj, Sridevi, et al. “Effects of Aloe vera supplementation in subjects with prediabetes/metabolic syndrome.” Metabolic syndrome and related disorders�vol. 11,1 (2013): 35-40. doi:10.1089/met.2012.0066

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �Diversity Is the Key to a Healthy Gut.� Designs for Health, 5 Apr. 2018, blog.designsforhealth.com/diversity-is-the-key-to-a-healthy-gut.

Pogribna, M., et al. �Effect of Aloe Vera Whole Leaf Extract on Short Chain Fatty Acids Production by Bacteroides Fragilis, Bifidobacterium Infantis, and Eubacterium Limosum.� Society for Applied Microbiology, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 19 Mar. 2008, sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2008.02346.x.

Sivaprakasam, Sathish, et al. �Benefits of Short-Chain Fatty Acids and Their Receptors in Inflammation and Carcinogenesis.� Pharmacology & Therapeutics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4942363/.

Team, DFH. �Alternative Applications for Aloe.� Designs for Health, 5 Mar. 2020, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1209.

Team, DFH. �Could Increased Fiber Worsen Constipation?� Designs for Health, 10 Oct. 2018, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/759.

Team, DFH. �Influence of Ketogenic Diets on Blood Glucose and Insulin.� Designs for Health, 8 May 2019, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1014.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

The Factors Of Increased Immunity

The Factors Of Increased Immunity

With everything that is going on in today’s world immunity is especially important. Without a properly functioning immune system, our bodies can become inflamed and more susceptible to viruses. Inflammation can cause a weakened immune system, joint pain, headaches, fatigue and more!

So what can we do to build up our immunity and help give our bodies a fighting chance? First off, washing your hands is highly important. Not just now, but always. Be sure to wash your hands with warm water and scrub everywhere. Second, get plenty of sleep. Rest is how the body recovers. If you do not give your body adequate sleep, the strength you’re cells have to fight off infection lessens. Third, eat healthy food, hydrate, and exercise. Finally, last but not least help kick up your immune system by supplementing the body with all-natural supplements.

There are many supplements that will be beneficial to the body. However, two of the most important are NAC and Glutamine.

 

What Are They?

 

NAC stands for N-acetyl-Cystine. NAC is an amino acid that the body can produce but the body can also greatly benefit from taking additional NAC in supplemental form. NAC plays an important role in helping the liver to detox. In addition to this, NAC helps to replenish the glutathione levels in the lungs and can help to reduce the inflammation. This is highly beneficial in helping to relieve the symptoms of a respiratory infection.

NAC is also greatly beneficial in boosting brain health. NAC helps to regulate glutamate levels and replenish glutathione. However, one of the most important factors of NAC is its ability to boost Glutathione levels.

Glutamine is an amino acid that helps the body perform many functions. Glutamine plays a crucial part in the immune system.

 

The Connection & How It Impacts Immunity

 

However, one of the most important factors of NAC is its ability to booze Glutathione levels. NAC and glutathione can help to boost an individual’s immune health. In research studies shown, NAC has been shown to lessen the effects of a virus and its ability to replicate. When it comes to immunity NAC and Glutamine are powerful molecules. Stoping the replication of a virus can help reduce the spread and the length of the virus in an individual.

Many infections and diseases have been linked to low glutathione levels. When the glutathione levels are low this is typically due to enhanced oxygen radicals. Studies have been done and show that when supplementing NAC to those who have low glutathione levels, it directly boosts their levels and helps with infection.

Especially with everything happening today, we want to increase our immunity and decrease the inflammation in the body.� Essentially, think of the body as a road trip. For this trip we need two main things: the gas for the car, and the car to take you to the end destination.� NAC is the gas that drives the car. We need the gas to get to our end destination. Our end destination is being healthy and giving our body the best chance to fight off infection (increased Glutathione). So by giving our body gas (NAC) we provide it with what it needs to take us to where we want to go (increased Glutathione, leading to increased immunity).

 

How Can I Benefit?

 

Overall, NAC is great to decrease inflammation. Inflammation is an extremely common underlying issue relating to other health conditions individuals suffer from. By providing your body with additional supplements, you can help increase your immunity and decrease your chances of contracting a virus and/or the length of the virus. Always discuss supplements with your primary care doctor before you begin them, but consider adding these into your daily routine!

I always recommend talking to your primary care provider and taking supplements daily. Supplements, in general, are a great way to help provide the body with the essential vitamins and minerals you may be missing. However, now more than ever supplementation is key. By building up and providing the body with the nutrients it needs for proper function, it will help prepare your body to fight off an infection. Supplementation like NAC is great to have already running in your system to help combat an infection if you were to catch one. Remember to be smart, talk to a primary care doctor before beginning supplementation, and keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal.� -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach��

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.�

References:
Dinicola S, De Grazia S, Carlomagno G, Pintucci JP. N-acetylcysteine as powerful molecule to destroy bacterial biofilms. A systematic review.�Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014;18(19):2942�2948.
Goodson, Amy. �Top 9 Benefits of NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine).� Healthline, 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/nac-benefits#section3.
Wessner B, Strasser EM, Spittler A, Roth E. Effect of single and combined supply of glutamine, glycine, N-acetylcysteine, and R,S-alpha-lipoic acid on glutathione content of myelomonocytic cells.�Clin Nutr. 2003;22(6):515�522. doi:10.1016/s0261-5614(03)00053-0

Bifidobacteria and The Gut System

Bifidobacteria and The Gut System

Do you feel:

  • Stomach pains, burning, or aching 1-4 hours after eating?
  • Digestive problems subside with rest or relaxation?
  • Indigestion and fullness last 2-4 hours after eating?
  • Excessive belching, burping, or bloating?
  • Abdominal distention after certain probiotics or natural supplements?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then it might be due to a decrease in your gut system’s Bifidobacteria.

The body’s microbiome is home to numerous bacterial species that help contribute to their unique health-promoting properties. These bacterial species help the body by making sure that each organ and body system is working like a clock. When the body contains harmful pathogenic bacteria, it can cause the body to dysfunction, and chronic illnesses will start to form and even harm the body.

Research studies have found out that the number of bacteria species that are in the human gut microbiota could probably exceed 104. This means that there are at least ten times more bacterial cells in the human gut than the number of human cells. There are even over 100 times the amount of the genomic microbiome as the human genome. Surprisingly though, there are even more studies that have found that there is an equal ratio of humans to bacteria cells.

Bifidobacteria

Regardless of the number, the gut microbiome still has the most abundant microorganisms in the body. When the gut and the body are well balanced, there are a variety of microbes that can give the body both fortified and strengthen that can support the immune system, fight off the inflammation that has entered the body. The microbes can provide the gut a barrier against pathogens, and help metabolize as well as producing critical nutrients for the body to function. With the numerous amounts of bacteria species in both the gut and the body, there is one of the bacterial species in the body that is highly important for a healthy body. It is known as Bifidobacteria, and these bacterial species play a massive role in the body’s microbiome.

bifidobacterias in the gut

Bifidobacteria is an indigenous genus species that are an abundance of this bacterial species that lie in the gut, and their numbers, as well as their species, can be altered with age. Bifidobacteria is prominently dominated in the intestines. Surprisingly though, the Bifidobacteria species can be found in breastfed infants and are in the intestines. Since the fucosylated oligosaccharides in breast milk help the infant grow, it will substrates for B. longum. With the Bifidobacteria colony in infants have become well-colonized until the species B. catenulatum and B. adolescentis is there in the adult years, and it seems that B. longum remains to be an abundance throughout the human life span.

Bifidobacteria Benefits in Infants

When a woman becomes pregnant, Bifidobacteria becomes the first genus of bacteria that is being transferred. This bacterium ensures that it is being transferred from the mother’s vaginal canal, breast milk, placenta, and amniotic fluid to the infant that is growing in the mother. When this is taking process, it highlights the importance of vaginal birth and breastfeeding to establish a healthy, growing microbiome. Research shows that this establishment of Bifidobacteria in an infant can delay if the mother of the growing child has a polymorphism in the FUT2 (Fucosyltransferase 2) gene. What this gene does is that it encodes enzymes to transfer fucose to glycans in breastmilk, then the glycan is then metabolized by the Bifidobacteria for the body to grow and be healthy.

Studies have found that in some Bifidobacteria species like B. breve, have antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties that are vital for the life stages of the human body where the immunity may be weak or even compromised. For infants, the Bifidobacteria species are even more valuable, since they help with the development of a new immune system and are not able to transfer antibiotic resistance. This can be concerning for some probiotic species in the body. With the B. breve bacteria species, however, studies have found out that these bacterial species are significant for preventing numerous gastrointestinal conditions for children.

Bifidobacteria Benefits in Adults

When it comes to the Bifidobacteria in adults, their bacterial quantities decrease due to natural aging. However, the Bifidobacteria still provides an equal amount of beneficial properties that exert a numerous amount of biological activities that can prevent some of the most common gastrointestinal conditions. Studies have shown that Bifidobacteria can show promising results in the prevention of colorectal cancer and can be used as an adjunct therapy. The studies even show how Bifidobacteria can display anti-mutagenic activity, protecting DNA from carcinogen-induced damage, and even inhibited the genotoxic effects of carcinogens.

Another study has even shown that Bifidobacteria can prevent and mitigate diarrhea that is caused by Clostridium difficile. The results show that Bifidobacteria therapy can significantly reduce the quantity of Clostridium difficile and dropping the clostridial toxin titres.

Conclusion

Bifidobacteria is a large genus of bacteria that is responsible for maintaining a healthy body and gut system. When the body is dealing with inflammation or having stomach issues, then the bifidobacterial genus will be affected as well. This bacteria is in the human body from infancy to adulthood, and it will decrease naturally through aging. Some products are specialized to help the gastrointestinal system and the gut system by offering hypoallergenic nutrients, enzymatic cofactors, metabolic precursors, and phytonutrients that the body needs.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Arboleya, Silvia, et al. �Gut Bifidobacteria Populations in Human Health and Aging.� Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 19 Aug. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4990546/.

Bozzi Cionci, Nicole, et al. �Therapeutic Microbiology: The Role of Bifidobacterium Breve as Food Supplement for the Prevention/Treatment of Paediatric Diseases.� Nutrients, MDPI, 10 Nov. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6265827/.

O’Callaghan, Amy, and Douwe van Sinderen. �Bifidobacteria and Their Role as Members of the Human Gut Microbiota.� Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 15 June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908950/#!po=8.75000.

Team, DFH. �The Basics of Bifidobacteria.� Designs for Health, 5 Sept. 2019, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1100.

Thursby, Elizabeth, and Nathalie Juge. �Introduction to the Human Gut Microbiota.� The Biochemical Journal, Portland Press Ltd., 16 May 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433529/.

Wei, Yanxia, et al. �Protective Effects of Bifidobacterial Strains Against Toxigenic Clostridium Difficile.� Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 8 May 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5952185/.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

Stubborn Weight: Genetics or Diet?

Stubborn Weight: Genetics or Diet?

Today, there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to diet. The information received can be contradicting, confusing, and leave individuals feeling lost. This can often result in giving up on the diet and being left with joint pain, inflammation, discomfort, headaches and more.

The reason why there is more than one diet out there is because the research is always advancing. We have come to realize that everyone’s body reacts to different food sources and diets differently.

Genetic Code

As more and more research is being done, the more we are realizing how the genetic factor of individual cells directly correlate to a patient’s weight, diet, and changes as they age. For years, as one would get older and start gaining weight, we would attribute it to age. Although age is a factor, what we are finding now is that the genes are actually changing as we age and that is what creates this weight gain.

Sure enough, there are also genes that will tell us if you are susceptible to snacking. These genes can detect if you have a predisposition for heightened snacking or satiety. Satiety is the feeling of fullness after a meal. If you have reduced satiety, you tend to snack more because you do not feel as full after the meals you eat.

Getting your genes tested will allow the treatment plans created to be more personal and more geared to see results! Believe it or not, your genes can tell us if you are genetically prone to obesity,� if you have weight loss resistance when it comes to carbohydrates, and how your body responds to exercise! Using the genes, we can see how many hours per week you will need for weight loss or to maintain your current weight.

Proven Methods

The best option is to know your genes so the diet plan can be geared more towards you directly. However, if that is not a possibility right away, there has been one diet that has been proven time and time again to work for almost everyone. This diet is referred to as the Ketogenic Diet.

In simple terms, the ketogenic diet is a low carb, high-fat diet. This diet works by sending the body into a state of ketosis which burns fat as fuel.

Research shows that those using a ketogenic diet demonstrated a higher percentage of weight loss and kept the weight off longer when compared to those who did a low-fat diet.

Available Resources

Considering the fact that there is misinformation about diets out there, proper education is going to be the key. As someone who has gone through dietary changes myself and figuring out what works best with my body with type 1 diabetes for optimal health, the right team is what made me successful.

Surround yourself with those who are continuously educating themselves and have a system in place. For example, we make sure our patients get one on one time with the doctor and a health coach. From here, the health coach and patient become connected through a virtual database allowing the patient’s food, weight, supplements, hydration, BMI, BIA, and activity to be tracked by the health coach. The health coach can then instant message or video chat the patient throughout the week to ensure they are staying on track, staying motivated, and answer any questions they may have!

Do not be left confused over diets anymore! Remember that your genetic code holds the key to the right diet for you.

The right diet has the ability to make individuals see the results they have been waiting for. It all comes down to the genes. As mentioned, genes change over time but they hold the code. If you are someone who has struggled with diets, feeling good, or are stuck at a certain weight, I highly recommend getting tested! The information you gain from this is so beneficial! I have seen the results first hand, and they are eye-opening. They let you know if you have the genetics that will hold onto fat. This knowledge can help us prevent health issues such as metabolic syndrome! – Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach�

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post DisclaimerThe scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

 

REFERENCES
Bueno, Nassib Bezerra, et al. �Very-Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet v. Low-Fat Diet for Long-Term Weight Loss: a Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials.� British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 110, no. 7, 2013, pp. 1178�1187., doi:10.1017/s0007114513000548.

 

Arabinogalactan The Immune and Gut Enhancer

Arabinogalactan The Immune and Gut Enhancer

Do you feel:

  • Excessive belching, burping, or bloating?
  • Stomach pain, burning, or aching 1-4 hours after eating?
  • An overall sense of bloating?
  • Difficulty digesting roughage and fiber?
  • A sense of fullness during and after meals?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then there might be some problems with your gut system or immune system. How about adding some arabinogalactan into your diet.

Around eighty-eight percent of Americans are living with compromised metabolic health and becoming overweight or obese. Some people are typically healthy and take active measures to stay that way through a healthy diet, which consists of eating the right nutritional food and exercising regularly. While with others, they are consuming high sugar and fatty processed foods and are being inactive and not exercising. When people fall behind on trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle, they need some reliable backup evidence to help them get back on track.

With the constant flood of information about the latest trendy diet or superfood airs on television, the radio waves, or being adversities on the online web and newspapers, it might be challenging for patients to find the right help that they need amongst all the media outlets. Two things can help influence a person’s overall health by supporting a person’s immune system function and even maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. The supplement, arabinogalactan, which is sourced from the larch trees, is a compound that can fill both roles to support a healthy, functional body.

Arabinogalactan

Arabinogalactan

Arabinogalactan is a fiber that is found in many plants; however, it is mostly found commonly in the wood from the larch tree, and the larch tree wood comes out larch arabinogalactan. Larch arabinogalactan is highly branched polysaccharides that have a galactan backbone with side chain acids of galactose and arabinose, which are both monosaccharides. Surprisingly though, arabinogalactan falls into the carbohydrate category known as hemicelluloses. Research shows that hemicelluloses are non-starch polysaccharides that can occur abundantly in the primary and secondary cells walls from plant cells. With arabinogalactan being found in all plant life from the seeds, roots, leaves, fruit, and sap, it is traditionally used to treat specific ailments.

Arabinogalactan Beneficial Properties

There are many beneficial properties that larch arabinogalactan can provide as this supplement can help stimulate the body’s immune system and even prevent viral and bacterial infections that enter the body. Arabinogalactan has been used as traditional medicine for centuries as people have been taking advantage of its medicinal properties. Some of the beneficial properties that arabinogalactan can prevent or even treat the following health conditions like:

  • Asthma
  • The common cold
  • High cholesterol
  • Liver cancer
  • Pneumonia

Studies even have shown that arabinogalactan can even promote a healthy gut flora in the body. The research shows that arabinogalactan can help resist digestion from the salivary enzymes and even the enzymes in the small intestines. When this happens, arabinogalactan allows itself to arrive at the large intestines. It transforms to be a prebiotic fiber, where it has high fermentability and can be used for beneficial colonic microorganisms. The research even shows how there is a unique chemical bond that forms the arabinogalactan molecules and making them resistant to digestion.

Arabinogalactan is a product of microbial fermentation known as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and is with butyrate, propionate, and acetate. Since research shows that SCFAs play an essential role in the body’s gut health, especially butyrate, it has become the primary fuel source for colonic epithelial cells. Since butyrate helps increase mucin production in the gut system, it can even help contribute even better health by reducing the likelihood of pathogenic bacterial adhesion to the colon. With the combination of arabinogalactan, the gut system and the intestinal walls are well protected.

Butyrate and arabinogalactan can help each other improve the integrity of cellular tight junction. When the gut starts having obvious implications, butyrate and arabinogalactan can help maintain a proper intestinal permeability and limiting the passage of incomplete digested peptides into the body�s systemic circulation. Studies have shown that the immune response to these errant peptides can be a significant etiological and causal factor in numerous chronic illnesses, especially in autoimmune conditions. When a person consumes arabinogalactan, the supplement has been known to increase the colonic population of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Studies have found that these two organisms have a potent antimicrobial effect against pathogenic bacteria that is affecting the gut flora.

Conclusion

Arabinogalactan is a carbohydrate that is found in the larch tree and can provide support to the immune system and the gut system. This supplement is a powerhouse when it is consumed and can fight off pathogenic bacteria that can harm not only the body but also cause intestinal permeability to the gut, thus creating leaky gut. With arabinogalactan having these fantastic beneficial properties, the body will thank this carbohydrate for protecting the immune system and the gut system. Some products are used to help support the immune system and the gastrointestinal system by using advance formulas to provide more excellent stability to the body by offering hypoallergenic nutrients and enzymatic cofactors that the body much needs.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Dion, Carine, et al. �Does Larch Arabinogalactan Enhance Immune Function? A Review of Mechanistic and Clinical Trials.� Nutrition & Metabolism, BioMed Central, 12 Apr. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828828/.

Fasano, Alessio. �Zonulin, Regulation of Tight Junctions, and Autoimmune Diseases.� Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384703/.

H�tt, P, et al. �Antagonistic Activity of Probiotic Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria against Entero- and Uropathogens.� Journal of Applied Microbiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16696680.

R�os-Covi�n, David, et al. �Intestinal Short Chain Fatty Acids and Their Link with Diet and Human Health.� Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 17 Feb. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756104/.

Team, DFH. �Arabinogalactan � Immune Function Enhancer.� Designs for Health, 1 Oct. 2019, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1117.

Team, UNCCH. �Only 12 Percent of American Adults Are Metabolically Healthy, Carolina Study Finds: UNC-Chapel Hill.� The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 29 Nov. 2018, www.unc.edu/posts/2018/11/28/only-12-percent-of-american-adults-are-metabolically-healthy-carolina-study-finds/.

Wong, Cathy. �Can Larch Arabinogalactan Prevent Colds and Flu?� Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 12 Jan. 2020, www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-larch-arabinogalactan-89473.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

Spore-Based Probiotics and The Gut

Spore-Based Probiotics and The Gut

Do you feel:

  • Unpredictable abdominal swelling?
  • Stomach pain, burning, or aching 1-4 hours after eating?
  • Aches, pains, and swelling throughout the body?
  • Greasy or high-fat foods cause distress?
  • Inflammation in the intestinal lining of your stomach?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing the leaky gut syndrome. How about trying spore-based probiotics to dampen the effects of leaky gut.

Spore-Based Probiotics

The human body has many functions as there has been researched on how probiotics can help gut flora. With the usage of spore-based probiotics, what they are, and how they function with the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. The research shows how spore-based probiotics are more functional than the commonly used LAB (lactic acid bacteria) probiotic supplements and how spore-based probiotics may benefit and support the digestive system to make sure that it is functioning correctly. Anyone using spore-based probiotics will realize that it can aid the overall digestion and help promote the body to have a daily bowel regularity and function.

Spore Probiotics Help Support LAB

Many shelf-stable, spore-forming bacteria can help and improve the survival of LAB probiotic supplements. These spore probiotics can help with leaky gut symptoms that have affected the gut system as well as reducing the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria that are within the intestines, which can often be the root cause for GI distress and digestive pathologies. The spore-based probiotics are known as Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus clausii are some of the spore probiotics that can help the gut system and dampen the harsh symptoms that can do more harm than good.

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The spore Bacillus subtilis is a spore-based, non-pathogenic probiotic that has been recently gaining interest in many research studies and, surprisingly, in new supplement formulas. Studies have shown that Bacillus subtilis can withstand the harsh conditions of the GI tract, unlike Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli, which both of these species are lactic acids and both of their effects have mixed results in scientific studies. Bacillus subtilis, it can help produce an extracellular matrix that can protect itself from stressful environments that it encounters. Studies have shown that when Bacillus subtilis and lactic acid bacteria are being cultivated together while also increasing the survivability and are considered to be a novel delivery technique.

There are even some more research studies showing that when LAB supplements are being co-administered with spore-based probiotics. The biodiversity of the microbiome increases as more probiotics are being delivered to the intestines, so that way the bacteria can propagate robustly so the gut system can function correctly.

Leaky Gut Syndrome and Spore-Based Probiotics

With spore-based probiotics, they can be part of dietary endotoxemia and can be correlated with a variety of preventable conditions that are chronic and non-communicable. These conditions can be anything from type 2 diabetes to chronic pain in the body. Researchers have found that with there are levels of endotoxins in the blood, they are classified as either leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability. These two conditions are similar since they affect the gut, due to the endothelial lining from the intestines and through years and years of eating poorly. The endothelial lining is a single thick cell layer that lines in the intestines. When someone eats poorly, it can cause a highly inflammatory response, and the mucosal lining will create gaps allowing endotoxins, allergens, bacterial pathogens to escape and travel through the bloodstream, thus resulting in endotoxemia.

A research study from the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology stated that healthy subjects were identified as having dietary endotoxemia. When this happens, there is an elevated level of endotoxins in the blood after consuming very high fat and high sugar meal that is highly common in Western society. What the study found was that participants received either rice flour or a multi-spore supplement for thirty days, while maintaining their regular diets and lifestyle. The results showed that participants that took the multi-spore supplements had a 42% decrease in post-prandial endotoxins and a significant reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. So by adding spore-based probiotics supplements orally, it can provide anyone an excellent adjunct to a healthy diet and lifestyle by reducing leaky gut syndromes in the body.

Spore-Based Probiotics Can Protect Against Pathogenic Bacteria

The beneficial properties from the Bacillus spores can produce a variety of antimicrobial and antifungal lipopeptides to help the body find the balance for the internal bacterial that’s inside the body. When spore-based probiotics help find a microbial balance in the gut, it can help reduce or even prevent an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria that is in the small intestines that have been affected by SIBO. What is surprising is that spore-based probiotics are aggressively competitive than lactic acid bacteria. With spore-based probiotics being aggressively competitive, they can help keep foreign invaders at bay, while also giving the host a better opportunity to return to a homeostasis state more quickly. Studies from Cornell University have determined that Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus clausii spores can have intrinsic antibiotic-resistant genes as well as having non-toxin-producing genes to inhibit the cytotoxic effects of bacterial toxins that are in the body. Another study showed that Bacillus subtilis could maintain a favorable balance of the microflora in the GI tract effectively. Bacillus subtilis are helping the gut by producing beneficial properties and even producing a protective extracellular matrix to protect the good bacteria that is in the gut.

Conclusion

By providing the gut probiotics, especially spore-based probiotics can help dampen the effects of leaky gut syndrome and inflammation that can cause discomfort in the gut system. By consuming spore-based probiotics, the gut can benefit these probiotics since the spore probiotics can aggressively attack the bacterial pathogens that harm the gut. Spore-based probiotics can help the gut create good bacteria in the gut flora and even prevent the effects of the leaky gut so the body can be functional, including the gut. Some products, when combined with spore-based probiotics, can offer support to the gastrointestinal system while also providing metabolic support for the body.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Cuentas, Ana Maria, et al. �The Effect of Bacillus Subtilis DE111 on the Daily Bowel Movement Profile for People with Occasional Gastrointestinal Irregularity.� Department of Science and Technology, Deerland Enzymes, Cobb International Blvd, 10 Nov. 2017.

Elshaghabee, Fouad M.F., et al. �Bacillus As Potential Probiotics: Status, Concerns, and Future Perspectives.� Frontiers, Frontiers, 24 July 2017, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01490/full#h5.

Elshaghabee, Fouad M F, et al. �Bacillus As Potential Probiotics: Status, Concerns, and Future Perspectives.� Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 10 Aug. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5554123/.

Khatri, Indu, et al. �Composite Genome Sequence of Bacillus Clausii, a Probiotic Commercially Available as Enterogermina �, and Insights into Its Probiotic Properties.” BMC Microbiology, BioMed Central, 1 Jan. 1989, bmcmicrobiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12866-019-1680-7.

Kimelman, Hadar, and Moshe Shemesh. �Probiotic Bifunctionality of Bacillus Subtilis-Rescuing Lactic Acid Bacteria from Desiccation and Antagonizing Pathogenic Staphylococcus Aureus.� Microorganisms, MDPI, 29 Sept. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6843919/.

Knight, Chinyere A., et al. �The First Report of Antifungal Lipopeptide Production by a Bacillus Subtilis Subsp. Inaquosorum Strain.� Microbiological Research, Urban & Fischer, 2 Aug. 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944501318304609.

Kov�cs, �kos T. �Bacillus Subtilis.� DTU Research Database, Elsevier, 1 Jan. 1970, orbit.dtu.dk/en/publications/bacillus-subtilis.

McFarlin, Brian K, et al. �Oral Spore-Based Probiotic Supplementation Was Associated with Reduced Incidence of Post-Prandial Dietary Endotoxin, Triglycerides, and Disease Risk Biomarkers.� World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology, Baishideng Publishing Group Inc, 15 Aug. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5561432/.

Team, DFH. �Balance Bacteria with Spore-Based Probiotics.� Designs for Health, 4 Feb. 2020, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1196.

Yahav, Sagit, et al. �Encapsulation of Beneficial Probiotic Bacteria in Extracellular Matrix from Biofilm-Forming Bacillus Subtilis.� Artificial Cells, Nanomedicine, and Biotechnology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29806505.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

Vitamin D and The Gut Connection

Vitamin D and The Gut Connection

Do you feel:

  • Digestive problems subside with rest and relaxation?
  • Excessive belching, burping, or bloating?
  • An overall sense of bloating?
  • Inflammation in your bones or joints?
  • That bowels do not empty completely?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing gut and bone tissues in your body due to a vitamin D deficiency.

There is a global epidemic that has been linked to many autoimmune diseases that have affected the human body. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many chronic diseases like type 1 diabetes to IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and can affect the gut microbiome. With new research studies taking a look at how high doses of vitamin D supplementation can help the gut microbiome, it is fascinating seeing what the new results show how vitamin D is a high essential to provide optimal support to a healthy body and gut.

Vitamin D and Its Benefits

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin as it can be produced by the human body through sun exposure and can boost their vitamin D intake even more through certain kinds of food and supplements. Vitamin has many beneficial properties like maintaining bone health and healthy teeth while protecting the body against diseases and conditions that can harm the body. There are more benefits that vitamin D have as well as the many multiple roles that are fantastic for the body; some include:

  • Supporting healthy bones and teeth
  • Providing support for healthy immune, brain, and nervous system
  • Helps regulate insulin levels and helps manage diabetes
  • Providing support for a healthy cardiovascular system and a healthy lung function
  • Can influence the gene expression that is being involved in cancer development

Vitamin D can also be in the form of sun exposure and helped the body get the needed supplement into itself. Even though everyone should at least go outside to get at least some sunlight into their body, although healthcare professionals do advise that prolonged exposure of the sun’s rays can cause skin damage and other chronic illnesses.

Vitamin-D-Deficiency

Studies have shown that UV light from the sun can be linked to the body’s gut microbiomes. When there is vitamin D deficiency in the body, there is a higher risk of developing diseases like IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and multiple sclerosis. There are even more studies on how vitamin D can even affect various autoimmune diseases and provide anti-inflammatory effects on the gut. The research shows that vitamin D can help regulate gastrointestinal inflammation, especially Crohn�s disease.

The Different Studies of Vitamin D and The Gut

There was another study on how vitamin D can not only improve the gut flora in the body but also give hope to people who have metabolic syndrome. The study showed that if there is an insufficient supply of vitamin D can aggravate the gut flora, causing it to be imbalanced while also contributing to a full-scale fatty liver as well as metabolic syndrome. The research study also stated that vitamin D deficiency could decrease the body’s production of defensins, which are anti-microbial molecules that are essential to maintain healthy gut flora.

Surprisingly though, a study has found that the hormonal activity of vitamin D can be found in the cells in the human body. It can provide beneficial effects to not only the gut homeostasis and its immunity but also provide beneficial effects to the kidneys, muscles, and different organs; what is surprising, though, is limited research on how vitamin D influences the gut flora. One study shows how there is evidence about the extraskeletal effects of vitamin D have been accruing and being partially mediated through the gastrointestinal microbiome, while also being linked. While another study showed how high doses of vitamin D could affect the composition of an adolescent girl’s gut microbiome. The research shows how high dose supplementation of vitamin D can alter adolescent’s gut microbiome composition and even dampen the effects of inflammatory bowel disease in their gut as well. Vitamin D is gaining a following as a study has shown that vitamin D can help the body’s blood levels that are 60-80ng/ml and help the person have a healthy sleep pattern, which is perfect for anyone who might be suffering from insomnia.

Conclusion

Vitamin D is essential to the body since it not only promotes healthy teeth and healthy bones, but it can even help promote gut health. Even though there is limited research on how vitamin D can promote a healthy gut, studies are still being done, and the research will show how the gut microbiome and vitamin D are connected. By eating foods that are rich with vitamin D can help not only the gut but the entire body. When the body has a vitamin D deficiency, it can cause significant problems for the body due to inflammation as well as developing chronic illnesses that can harm the gut as well. Some products can provide support to the gastrointestinal system as well as making sure that it contains collagen proteins, enzymatic cofactors, hypoallergenic nutrients, metabolic precursors, and phytonutrients to support a healthy gut.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Ware, Megan. �Vitamin D: Benefits, Deficiency, Sources, and Dosage.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 24 Aug. 2009, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.

Bashir, Mina, et al. �Effects of High Doses of Vitamin D3 on Mucosa-Associated Gut Microbiome Vary between Regions of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract.� European Journal of Nutrition, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, June 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26130323.

Gominak, S C. �Vitamin D Deficiency Changes the Intestinal Microbiome Reducing B Vitamin Production in the Gut. The Resulting Lack of Pantothenic Acid Adversely Affects the Immune System, Producing a �pro-Inflammatory� State Associated with Atherosclerosis and Autoimmunity.� Medical Hypotheses, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27515213.

Hewings-Martin, Yella. �Does Sunlight Change Our Gut Microbiome?� MedicalNewsToday, 26 Oct. 2019, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326782.

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Study Investigates the Effect of High Dose Vitamin D on the Gut Microbiome.� Designs for Health, 14 Feb. 2020, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1201.

Lynch, et al. �Vitamin D and the Gut Microbiome: a Systematic Review of in Vivo Studies.� European Journal of Nutrition, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1 Jan. 1970, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-018-1842-7.

Tabatabaeizadeh, Seyed-Amir, et al. �The Effects of High Doses of Vitamin D on the Composition of the Gut Microbiome of Adolescent Girls.� Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31987101.

Tabatabaeizadeh, Seyed-Amir, et al. �Vitamin D, the Gut Microbiome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.� Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: the Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 23 Aug. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116667/.

Team, Frontiers. �Vitamin D Improves Gut Flora and Metabolic Syndrome.� ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 21 Dec. 2016, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161221125439.htm.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

 

Coleus forskohlii and Metabolic Syndrome

Coleus forskohlii and Metabolic Syndrome

Do you feel:

  • Aches, pains, and swelling throughout the body?
  • Weight gain?
  • Your waist girth is equal or larger than hip girth?
  • An increase in weight even with a low-calorie diet?
  • An increase in fat distribution around the chest and hips?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing metabolic syndrome and might considered using Coleus forskohlii.

With the world population being obese or even overweight, especially in the United States. One of the most common disorders that mostly everyone has from being obese, and it is called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that happens to many individuals that can create many complications to the body, and most individuals who have metabolic syndrome would have an apple or pear-shaped bodies. With many supplements and natural foods helping the body, there is a supplement that can help the body combat metabolic syndrome and can be combined with a specific diet to make anyone who is obese or overweight lose the extra pounds.

What is Coleus forskohlii?

forskolin-small-molecule-esibio

One of the supplements that have been known to help combat metabolic syndrome is Coleus forskohlii. Coleus forskohlii is a plant supplement that is found in parts of India, Thailand, and Nepal. While being part of the mint family, Coleus forskohlii has been used in traditional folk medicine that has been known to treat asthma and various ailments that the body may encounter. Studies have found that Coleus forskohlii extract may be able to aid in weight management; however, there have been limited studies on this extract. The Coleus forskohlii has been known to extract the critical markers for obesity and metabolic parameter for overweight and obese individuals who might benefit from this supplement.

The Benefits of Coleus forskohlii

With Coleus forskohlii, studies have found that this supplement can aid in weight loss by creating two enzymes to help the body burn fatty acids. These two enzymes are known as lipase and adenylate cyclase. Studies have found that these two enzymes help free fatty acids, and when that happens, the fatty acids can be used as fuel, while reducing body fat without affecting the lean muscle mass. Although this safely helps the body, coleus forskohlii needs to be accompanied by a calorie deficit.

There are benefits for individuals that are obese or overweight. When they take coleus forskohlii as a weight-loss supplement and do a calorie deficit, they can:

  • Suppressing appetite
  • Help reduce the efficiency of digestion
  • Increase the metabolic rate in the body

There are even more benefits of Coleus forskohlii that have been skyrocketing as this supplement been receiving in the public eye as people are looking for ways to lose weight. Some of the benefits of taking Coleus forskohlii are:

  • Treating asthma
  • Preventing the risk of cancer
  • Prevent congestive heart failure by improving the heart strength
  • Lowers blood pressure

Many studies have also shown that Coleus forskohlii can even help reduce body fat in obese men. There have been two studies that show the results of people taking Coleus forskohlii to help reduce their body fat and boost their hormone levels. One study showed how obese men took Coleus forskohlii for twelve weeks. The results show that Coleus forskohlii can alter the male’s body composition while increasing bone mass and testosterone levels in males.

While another study showed how the effects of Coleus forskohlii supplementation on the body composition of mildly overweight women, what is surprising is that with these two different studies, Coleus forskohlii needs enough evidence that requires more research. It shows that Coleus forskohlii does not cause weight loss for many obese individuals; however, Coleus forskohlii can help improve body composition in men and help prevent women from having weight gain. Many more studies have conducted different results, but the results almost have the same reactions on how Coleus forskohlii is the solution for weight loss. However, they all agreed that this supplement does help the body composition on individuals.

Conclusion

With more and more future research about Coleus forskohlii, it is essential to know that using Coleus forskohlii alone will not help losing weight. This supplement is just part of a massive lifestyle change for anyone with metabolic syndrome. By eating the right foods, taking supplements and vitamins, exercising regularly, and having a good night’s sleep, these changes can help anyone lose weight and make them feel good. When bad lifestyle choices and dysfunction enters the body, causing unnecessary illnesses, it can cause a person to develop chronic problems. By adding Coleus forskohlii into the body, it can help dampen the effects of metabolic syndrome. Some products can help the body’s system by providing support to the metabolic system while containing hypoallergenic nutrients, enzymatic cofactors, metabolic precursors, and phytonutrients that the body needs.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Arnarson, Atli. �Does Forskolin Actually Work? An Evidence-Based Review.� Healthline, 29 May, 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/forskolin-review.

Fletcher, Jenna. �Does Forskolin Work? Uses, Risks, and Benefits.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 12 Sept. 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319370.

Godard, Michael P, et al. �Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese Men.� Obesity Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16129715.

Henderson, Shonteh, et al. �Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women.� Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, BioMed Central, 9 Dec. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2129145/.

Litosch, I, et al. �Forskolin as an Activator of Cyclic AMP Accumulation and Lipolysis in Rat Adipocytes.� Molecular Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 1982, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6289066.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

Functional Endocrinology: Mercury and Autoimmune Connection

Functional Endocrinology: Mercury and Autoimmune Connection

Do you feel:

  • A bitter metallic taste in your mouth?
  • Inflammation your gut or in your joint?
  • Stomach pain, burning, or aching 1-4 hours after eating?
  • Offensive breath?
  • Unpredictable abdominal swelling?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be exposed to mercury in your body.

When it comes to autoimmune diseases, there has been a slight increase in autoimmune diseases that have been around over the past few decades. Everyone knows that when the immune system starts to attack itself, it can cause the body to develop autoimmune disruptors, and even some significant triggers can cause a malfunction in the body as well.

There are many ways that autoimmunity can occur in the body in many different ways. The first one is when the cells are mistaken as a foreign pathogen, and the body attacks itself. The second one is called molecular mimicry. This happens when the body starts to make an antibody to a specific antigen, and these antigens can take the resemblance of any specific proteins; thus, the body’s antibodies will attack the tissues. The third one is when the body becomes affected by environmental triggers and genetic stress; it starts to develop T-cells in the immune system.

Many local integrative doctors and health care professionals are working with functional medicine. They all understand that environmental triggers are one of the factors that can cause dysfunction in the body. With food sensitivities, environmental triggers, and lifestyle factors can cause a person’s body to have inflammation. Inflammation is not only in the joints, but it can also affect the gut’s health as well, causing leaky gut and dysbiosis. There are even toxins that the body can be in contact with that can also affect the immune system significantly. Heavy metals and xenobiotics can cause a total toxic burden in the body, and one of them is mercury.

Mercury

Also known as quicksilver, mercury is a liquid metal and is a naturally occurring element that is found outside in the air, water, soil. Most people are usually exposed to low levels of mercury by consuming fish and shellfish. Although it is safe to consume fish and shellfish, when humans are exposed to high levels of mercury is highly toxic and can lead to mercury poisoning, thus affecting the body.

Ultimate+Seafood+Combo-2_web

Studies have found that the connection link between gut health and autoimmune diseases has been in the news regularly with the exposure to high levels of mercury and becoming one of the most significant risk factors for the body to develop autoimmunity. In a 2015 study, author Emily Somers Ph.D. Sc. M. stated that even though mercury at low levels is generally safe are still associated with autoimmunity, and the exposure to mercury has stood out to be the leading risk factor for autoimmunity in the body.

Mercury Poisoning Symptoms

There are many signs and symptoms that mercury poisoning can cause the body to dysfunction. The effects of mercury poisoning can vary depending on the exposure level and on a person�s age. When mercury affects the nervous system, thus can lead to neurological symptoms like:

  • Physical tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Numbness
  • Memory problems

Other symptoms from mercury poisoning can appear even more if levels of mercury rise in the human body. Some of the severe symptoms can include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Lack of motor functions
  • Muscle numbness
  • Difficulty walking or standing straight

There are more studies about mercury poisoning as they stated how mercury can increase the activation of the T-cell receptor and how self-reactive cells can escape the elimination process during T-cell selection. Other studies have found that mercury can induce autoimmune diseases in humans. For many local chiropractors and health professionals would always ask their patients if they have had any dental fillings in their teeth. If they do, then it turns out that the dental fillings may have mercury in them.

What many people do not know is that dental fillings, especially silver fillings, can contain about forty to fifty percent of mercury. If a person still has these types of fillings their teeth, they might have an increased risk of mercury exposure in their system. In order to reduce the mercury exposure in the body, anybody who has silver fillings can get them replaced with newer and safer alternatives for their fillings.

Conclusion

Mercury is a toxic element that can harm the human body and can develop autoimmune diseases in the immune system. Mercury can also cause many symptoms in the body can cause harm and dysfunction to a person. Sometimes a person may have silver fillings that may cause them to be exposed to mercury and can get them replaced to limit their exposure. Once there is no exposure to mercury in the immune system, the body will start to heal and function properly through a healthy diet and functional medicine. Some products are here to help support the immune system by providing the essential formula to the body and its many functioning systems.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Bigazzi, P E. �Autoimmunity and Heavy Metals.� Lupus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 1994, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7704000.

Johnson, Jon. �Mercury Poisoning: Symptoms and Early Signs.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 9 Jan. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320563.php.

Pollard, K Michael, et al. �Toxicology of Autoimmune Diseases.� Chemical Research in Toxicology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Mar. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076021/.

Team, DFH. �Mercury Exposure and the Autoimmune Connection.� Designs for Health, 9 Oct. 2018, blog.designsforhealth.com/mercury-exposure-and-the-autoimmune-connection.

Team, WHO. �Mercury and Health.� World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 31 Mar. 2017, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mercury-and-health.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

 

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is caused by having more than one condition. Metabolic syndrome often leaves individuals with headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and more! Metabolic syndrome is an epidemic all over the world, but in the US, we are seeing this condition all too often.

 

Metabolic Syndrome can be defined as having two or more of the conditions listed below:

 

  • Women with abdominal fat or a waistline greater than 35
  • Men with abdominal fat or a waistline greater than 40
  • Individuals with high blood pressure ( 130/85 or higher)
  • Patients with triglycerides higher than 150
  • A fasting glucose of 100 or greater
  • Low HDL ( good cholesterol ) less than 40 in men and 50 for women

 

These symptoms are often associated with inflammation. Many people believe inflammation is just something that occurs in the joints and on the skin, but inflammation can occur to the organs inside the body and create havoc.

 

Metabolic syndrome does not target a specific population but can affect anyone who has an overlap of the factors listed above. Those who have an “apple” or “pear” body shape, are likely to have higher abdominal fat, and therefore are more at risk.

 

apple and pear body shape

 

As individuals age, their chances of developing metabolic syndrome increases. On top of age, previously having or having a history of diabetes in one’s family also increases their risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

 

Speaking from personal experience, and having Type 1 Diabetes myself, I can say that metabolic syndrome really takes a toll on one’s body. With experiencing these symptoms first hand, it can leave your body feeling exhausted. When the blood glucose level in the body rises, it causes the blood to become thick due to the excess sugar in the blood. This then causes the heart to work harder and raise the body’s blood pressure due to the effort needed to pump. From here, the body responds with a hard and heavy headache, nausea, occasional vomiting, increased thirst, increased urination, and blurred vision. Recovering from a day of high blood sugars can leave you feeling defeated and similar to feeling like you are recovering from the flu.

 

One of the things that occur within the body when an individual has metabolic syndrome is their insulin sensitivity decreases. Insulin is the hormone produced that helps to turn the food you eat into fuel for the body or store it as fat. When the insulin sensitivity becomes decreased, it means not enough glucose in the body is being absorbed.� Leading to high blood glucose levels and increases the risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

 

For those who are suffering from metabolic syndrome, or have one or more of the above risk factors there are ways to take charge. The benefits of taking charge and preventing metabolic syndrome from getting worse or returning means getting back the energy you thought was lost. By decreasing your symptoms and increasing your energy, you could be feeling better than you remembered.

 

The best diet to quickly gain control of blood sugars and raise HDL is the ketogenic diet. This diet works by eating low carb, high-fat foods. In turn, this makes the body burn fat as fuel rather than carbohydrates. It starts by burning the fat around the pancreas and liver and then starts to burn the intramuscular fat ( excess abdominal weight ). By eliminating most carbs and increasing water intake, individuals can see a decrease in depression, brain fog, their risk of stroke, and blood pressure. All while seeing an increase in sleep and energy.

 

One of the best ways to reach your goals and stay healthy is to work with a team who understands them and is willing to educate you. We provide 1:1 coaching, scales to track weight that also reports the water weight and BMI of the individual, wrist bands to track caloric activity, and education. The education will help you understand why you are following a specific diet or food guidelines, how that food is breaking down to help you, and what foods to avoid. We will never leave a patient confused or with unanswered questions.

 

Speaking from personal experience, it is best to get a handle on these symptoms before they cause permanent damage. There are ways and things to do to help reduce your risk. I highly recommend seeing us, or a local doctor to start to build your plan. We can create personalized plans that will help you reach your goals, lower your risk, and work with your lifestyle. Take it from me, you do not want to be stuck feeling the side effects metabolic syndrome comes with.� -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

 

References:
Mayo Clinic Staff. �Metabolic Syndrome.� Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Mar. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351916.
Sherling, Dawn Harris, et al. �Metabolic Syndrome.� Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, vol. 22, no. 4, 2017, pp. 365�367., doi:10.1177/1074248416686187.