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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.




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:




  • 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.




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.

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.


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.


Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Study Demonstrates Fasting-Mimicking Diet Reduces Inflammatory Bowel Disease Pathology.� Designs for Health, 15 Mar. 2019,

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Study Demonstrates Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Can Reach Remission with Diet Alone.� Designs for Health, 4 Jan. 2018,

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Study Identifies How the Microbiome Is Disrupted in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.� Designs for Health, 7 June 2019,

Matsuoka, Katsuyoshi, and Takanori Kanai. �The Gut Microbiota and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.� Seminars in Immunopathology, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Jan. 2015,

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,

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,

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

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.

Gut Health, Inflammation and Autoimmunity Webinar

Gut Health, Inflammation and Autoimmunity Webinar

Gut Health, Inflammation and Autoimmunity � (915) 613-5303

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device, for a live webinar event discussing the importance and role of Gut Health, Inflammation, and Autoimmunity!

Please click this URL to register.
Please click this URL to join.

Join us for a live webinar event discussing the importance and role of Gut Health, Inflammation, and Autoimmunity!

Functional Medicine* and Integrative Wellness requires Doctors to engage in further education outside of their core training and within their scope of practice.

We will review how gut health is related to underlying conditions and how to combat inflammation and its effects on autoimmunity.

Functional medicine requires doctors to continue their education and re-evaluate how they treat patients, including clinical decision thinking. Functional medicine stems from the basis and clinical application of understanding �whole body� wellness and the interconnection between organ systems and their processes.

A large part of understanding functional medicine and the depth and detail of the multi-organ systems the human body uses is understanding all of the systems and how they communicate with each other.

Inflammation is a critical factor that naturally occurs in the body. Inflammation in moderation is exactly what the body uses to defend itself against potentially harmful substances. However, when the inflammation gets out of control, we start to see increased issues and lack of tight junctions in the gastrointestinal tract. The lack of tight junctions leads to nutrients that are not fully digested to be reabsorbed and seep back into the bloodstream.

The body will no longer recognize these nutrients and begin to use the immune system to fight off these now �foreign invaders.� This is where we start to see the signs and symptoms leading to an autoimmune disease. Many individuals suffering from intestinal permeability and inflammation can see:

? Sleep disturbances
? Arthritis
? Brain Fog
? Difficulty Concentrating
? Migraines
? Depression
? Anxiety
? And more!

Learn more about the depth and importance of the gastrointestinal tract, the role it has in inflammation, what causes inflammation, and how it can be linked to several different autoimmune conditions. Join us for this informative webinar led by Dr. Alexander Jimenez, who has advanced training in functional medicine, neurophysiology, and clinical applications

*Additional Education: M.S.A.C.P – Licensed in Texas & New Mexico. Scope of Practice Governed and Determined by State License & State Board Rules & Regulations.

Or join by phone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 436 2866 or +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 369 919 751
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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.


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.


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.


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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

Team, DFH. �Alternative Applications for Aloe.� Designs for Health, 5 Mar. 2020,

Team, DFH. �Could Increased Fiber Worsen Constipation?� Designs for Health, 10 Oct. 2018,

Team, DFH. �Influence of Ketogenic Diets on Blood Glucose and Insulin.� Designs for Health, 8 May 2019,

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.

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.


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.


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.


Arboleya, Silvia, et al. �Gut Bifidobacteria Populations in Human Health and Aging.� Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 19 Aug. 2016,

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,

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,!po=8.75000.

Team, DFH. �The Basics of Bifidobacteria.� Designs for Health, 5 Sept. 2019,

Thursby, Elizabeth, and Nathalie Juge. �Introduction to the Human Gut Microbiota.� The Biochemical Journal, Portland Press Ltd., 16 May 2017,

Wei, Yanxia, et al. �Protective Effects of Bifidobacterial Strains Against Toxigenic Clostridium Difficile.� Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 8 May 2018,

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.

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 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.


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.


Dion, Carine, et al. �Does Larch Arabinogalactan Enhance Immune Function? A Review of Mechanistic and Clinical Trials.� Nutrition & Metabolism, BioMed Central, 12 Apr. 2016,

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,

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,

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,

Team, DFH. �Arabinogalactan � Immune Function Enhancer.� Designs for Health, 1 Oct. 2019,

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,

Wong, Cathy. �Can Larch Arabinogalactan Prevent Colds and Flu?� Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 12 Jan. 2020,

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.


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.


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.


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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

Kov�cs, �kos T. �Bacillus Subtilis.� DTU Research Database, Elsevier, 1 Jan. 1970,

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,

Team, DFH. �Balance Bacteria with Spore-Based Probiotics.� Designs for Health, 4 Feb. 2020,

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,

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.


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.


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.


Ware, Megan. �Vitamin D: Benefits, Deficiency, Sources, and Dosage.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 24 Aug. 2009,

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,

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,

Hewings-Martin, Yella. �Does Sunlight Change Our Gut Microbiome?� MedicalNewsToday, 26 Oct. 2019,

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

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,

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,

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,

Team, Frontiers. �Vitamin D Improves Gut Flora and Metabolic Syndrome.� ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 21 Dec. 2016,

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.


New Research On GERD

New Research On GERD

Do you feel:

  • Aches, pains, and swelling throughout the body?
  • Frequent usage of antacid medication?
  • Digestive problems that subside with rest?
  • Greasy or high-fat foods cause distress in your gut?
  • Temporary relief by using antacids, foods, milk, or carbonated beverages?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might have GERD or gastrointestinal reflux disease in your gut.

When a person is overly stressed, and their body starts to develop problems, especially in the gut, it can cause harm. The gut system is essential to the body because it makes sure that the body is working correctly, that food is being consumed, and making sure inflammation does not happen to cause harm to the body. There are many gut disorders that the GI tract and the gut system can have. It can range from intestinal permeability, SIBO, gut inflammation, and GERD.

GERD and Its Symptoms

GERD or gastrointestinal reflux disease is a common disorder in the digestive tract. This disorder has chronic symptoms that can cause abnormal content in the stomach that is in the esophagus, causing mucosal damage. GERD is multifactorial and is the result of a person who may either stress, a poor diet and risk factors like smoking alcohol and medication usage can cause the condition in the stomach to be chronic if it is not being checked out. Research shows that when there is damage to the esophagus from GERD, it can be due to the cytokine-mediated being inflamed and not being caused by stomach acid directly. It stated that approximately twenty percent of adults do have GERD symptoms in their gut.


There are many symptoms that people can experience if they have GERD. Some of the symptom that causes include:

  • Heartburn
  • Respiratory complications
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Laryngitis

Even though these are minor symptoms, if a person does not talk to their primary health care physician, the symptoms can become worse if it not treated.

Ways to Dampen GERD Symptoms

Many ways can help dampen the GERD symptoms like pharmaceutical interventions. Even though pharmaceuticals can help manage the symptoms, sometimes they do not correct the underlying factors that GERD has caused and may have side effects that can cause discomfort on the body. It is essential to know that lifestyle changes and any nutritional support are sufficient when a person has acid reflux in their gut. If a person has acid reflux in their gut, they should consider eating smaller food portions, as well as trying to avoid laying down after eating and not eat before bedtime.

Another way to help dampen the GERD symptoms is by using the PPIs (proton pump inhibitors); however, there have been recent studies that PPIs have done more harm than good. Even though PPIs can help lower the GERD symptoms, it has caused more problems like dysbiosis and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) in the body.

The natural and the most effective way to help battle against the GERD symptoms, and that is consuming probiotics. Studies have shown that probiotics can help lower the severity and the frequent symptoms that GERD does to the gut. By consuming probiotics in food or supplements can help the gut produce good bacteria that the gut needs while getting rid of the harmful bacteria. Even though there is more and future research about how probiotics can help the gut. One of the research studies has found out that when probiotics are consumed when there is dysbiosis in the gut, it can help promote gastrointestinal homeostasis and promote growth stimulation for beneficial indigenous gut microbes.

There have been at least thirteen studies that have been extremely positive on the usage of probiotics for gut health. One study talked about how probiotics can reduce the effects of gut problems like diarrhea, constipation, and of course, GERD. While another study stated that when the gut becomes unbalanced with unhealthy harmful bacteria, that probiotics can help restore the gut balance. It stated that probiotics that secrete out a protective substance that turn on the immune system and preventing the harmful pathogens that harm the gut and causing chronic discomfort for not only the gut but also for the body.


With new and upcoming research on how to dampen the effects GERD causes in the gut, patients can consume probiotics to restore their gut health. When chronic inflammation in the gut, it can cause the person to feel bad, and it can lead to many threating symptoms on the body. By consuming probiotics, it can dampen the effects and produce good bacteria in the gut. Some products are specialized in the gastrointestinal system by providing support to the gut and offer nutrients, enzymatic cofactors and phytonutrients to not only the gut but also 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.


Publishing, Harvard Health. �Do PPIs Have Long-Term Side Effects?� Harvard Health, Jan. 2009,

Publishing, Harvard Health. �Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics.� Harvard Health, Sept. 2005,

Publishing, Harvard Health. �Should You Take Probiotics?� Harvard Health, Apr. 2015,

Cheng, Jing, and Arthur C. Ouwehand. �Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Probiotics: A Systematic Review.� MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2 Jan. 2020,

Dunbar, Kerry B., et al. �Histologic Changes in the Esophagus in Patients With GERD.� JAMA, American Medical Association, 17 May 2016,

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Review Investigates the Role of Probiotics in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).� Designs for Health, 17 Jan. 2020,

MacGill, Markus. �GERD: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 18 Jan. 2018,

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.


Super Foods For A Super Gut

Super Foods For A Super Gut

Gut health is more important than most realize. The gut has been connected to multiple symptoms including but not limited to; joint pain, inflammation, headaches, digestive problems, and even brain fog.

Due to the American Diet, gut health has been lacking. We are seeing an increase in starches consumed rather than fermented foods and dark leafy greens. There are certain foods that many people refer to as “Super Foods”. Within this group, there are Super Foods for your gut! These foods will help to optimize gut health and can even help in gut repair.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are great as they support a healthy microbiome. The microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms. The microbiome consists of good and bad bacteria, including the organisms that make up probiotics.

Some of the best fermented foods that help support these bacterias are Kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut. Kefir has about 27.7 billion colony forming units per one cup. These foods help to collect bacteria, yeast, and viruses that not only live in your gut but also on your skin!

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are important to have in the diet. They ensure the body is getting Omega-3s which are polyunsaturated fats. These fats help the brain and nervous system function properly. They also reduce inflammation in the body caused by a leaky gut and can help lower cholesterol.� Two great examples of healthy fats that fall into the superfood category are avocados and salmon.

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens provide an immense amount of nutrients to the body and the gut. Not only are these low in calories and carbohydrates, but they contain essential minerals and vitamins. These foods contain fiber, folate, vitamins K and C, and minerals like iron and calcium. These foods will help to heal and seal the gut. Some great superfoods that fall under this category are kale and seaweed.

It can be hard to get enough dark leafy greens into your diet. A great way to do this is to mix them into a smoothie in the morning! It can add a refreshing taste as well as provide your body with another serving of nutrients!

There are so many foods one can eat to help boost their gut health. The Gut is often overlooked as many people are not fully aware of how much control it has over the body. By increasing or adding some of these foods into your diet daily, the healthy bacteria in your gut will become more nourished.

Increasing fiber, healthy fats, dark leafy greens, and fermented foods will not only provide your gut with healthy bacteria, but it will also keep the bacteria in the gut “full” and not die off from lack of nutrition. Another word for this is prebiotics. Essentially, the food that feeds the probiotics. In addition to these foods, a probiotic supplement will also aid in optimal gut health. Gut health is so important and should never be overlooked. It’s never too late to start paying attention to your gut! – 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.�

Hill, Ansley. �16 Superfoods That Are Worthy of the Title.� Healthline, 9 July 2018,
Lee, Linda. �5 Foods to Improve Your Digestion.� Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2019,
Link, Rachael. �8 Fermented Foods to Boost Digestion and Health.� Healthline, 18 Oct. 2017,

Functional Endocrinology: The Gut and “Chemo-Brain” Connection

Functional Endocrinology: The Gut and “Chemo-Brain” Connection

Do you feel:

  • Nausea or feel like vomiting?
  • Agitated, easily upset, or nervous?
  • Poor muscle endurance?
  • Waking up tired after six or more hours of sleep?
  • Depression or a lack of motivation?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then something might be wrong with your gut and brain connection in your body.

Gut-Brain Connection

The gut and brain connection go hand in hand as they send signals back and forth to make sure that that human body starts functioning correctly. The gut makes sure that its entire gastrointestinal system, the endocrine system, and the hepatic system is functioning correctly. While the brain makes sure that its neurological system is working but also sending out signals to the entire body as well as making sure that the hormones are distributed to the essential organs.


Chemo-Brain and Gut Connection

Even though the gut and brain connection is vital for a healthy body, however, when it comes to a person who has cancer may have a �chemo-brain� and gut connection when they are getting treatments from chemotherapy. Since chemotherapy is the conventional standard of care for treating cancer by consistently combining particular drugs that kills cancer cells. Throughout the world, there are over 100 types of cancer that can attack the cells and then spread out through the different organs and tissues in the human body. According to research from the CDC, it stated that cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US.

There is more information about what chemotherapy does to the body since chemotherapy works by putting a stop on cancer cells from proliferating or even slowing down the rate of cancer cell growth. Sadly though, even though chemotherapy can target fast-growing cancer cells, it can also kill the body’s healthy cells as well. When the healthy cells are being attacked by chemotherapy, the cells can cause a long list of painful side effects. For example, the epithelial cells in the GI tract can be damaged, and it can cause many cancer patients to stop the chemo treatment prematurely.

In a recent study that was published in Frontier in Pharmacology, it showed that scientists had discovered a new method to deliver chemotherapy that can attack the malignant cells in the body while leaving the healthy cells alone. With this technique, it can provide a little bit of hope by allowing doctors to lower the dosages of the chemo treatment to reduce the patients� suffering from any of the harsher adverse effects of chemo, which can increase compliance and improve the overall prognosis for the patients.

In a recent journal study, a research scientist from Ohio State University has discovered a possible solution to help improve the undesirable gastrointestinal and cognitive side effects that were caused by chemotherapy. According to the research, the model showed how the link between the gut and brain symptoms perform in chemotherapy treatment. The results showed how the chemo drugs entirely altered the human gut microbiome. They stated that the gut bacteria and the body tissue changed while the blood and brain in the body show signs of inflammation-causing fatigue and cognitive impairment. When chemo treatments cause inflammation is in the neurological system, it can make the entire system be correlated with disruptive colonic and bacterial homeostasis in the body.

With chemotherapy, it can cause intestinal permeability. It can trigger the immune system in the body to over activating and signaling the brain’s immune cells to be inflamed while also be the culprit to “chemo brain.” Chemo-brain is defined as cognitive impairment and causing the person to have mental fogginess that can linger for months or even years after the cancer is gone. Surprisingly with this new phenomenon, chemo-brain has affected more than half of the cancer survivors while becoming a common thing as cancer therapies can extend the patient�s lifespan.

With this type of research, it can shed some light on how the gut microbiome’s health can be more affected than the digestive tract, since the gut plays a hugely critical role in all the other systems in the body, especially in the immune and nervous system. By looking at the existing evidence, they show how the health and wellbeing of the body’s gut and brain are connected. It can lead to better interventions for many cancer patients by promoting a beneficial bacterial composition for the gut and can protect against any neuroinflammation to reduce any symptoms of chemo-brain.

Probiotics and Prebiotics Benefits

Hippocrates was right when he stated that “all diseases begin in the gut.” The information paved the way for many functional medicine practitioners to help many cancer patients. By adding any anti-inflammatory foods in a person’s diet like the Mediterranean diet or even a plant-based ketogenic diet is excellent for cancer patients. It is recommended for cancer patients to increase their intake of prebiotics and probiotic-rich food. It is proven that probiotics and prebiotics can help reduce the negative side effect that most patients go through during their chemotherapy experience. With prebiotics and probiotics, they are fiber-rich foods that can be fermented and be consumed so people can get the beneficial and commensal bacteria that are residing in the gut and can improve the gut microbiome composition.


With the gut and brain connection, they work together by making sure the body is functioning correctly. When it is chemo-brain, however, it can cause dysfunction in the body by impairing the body’s entire system through chemotherapy. By adding probiotics and prebiotics to a cancer patient’s diet can help them at least get their body the nutrition and beneficial properties they need. Some products are beneficial to the body by supporting not only the gut but also making sure that the brain is being supported as well.

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.


Arora, Malika, et al. �Impact of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Colon Cancer: Mechanistic Insights and Future Approaches.� Latest TOC RSS, Bentham Science Publishers, 1 Jan. 1970,

Caldwell, Emily. �A Possible Gut-Brain Connection to ‘Chemo Brain’.� Medical Xpress – Medical Research Advances and Health News, Medical Xpress, 23 Oct. 2019,

Caldwell, Emily. �The Gut May Be the Ticket to Reducing Chemo’s Side Effects.� Medical Xpress – Medical Research Advances and Health News, Medical Xpress, 11 Nov. 2019,

Loman, B. R., et al. �Chemotherapy-Induced Neuroinflammation Is Associated with Disrupted Colonic and Bacterial Homeostasis in Female Mice.� Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 11 Nov. 2019,

Neumann-Raizel, Hagit, et al. �2-APB and CBD-Mediated Targeting of Charged Cytotoxic Compounds Into Tumor Cells Suggests the Involvement of TRPV2 Channels.� Frontiers, Frontiers, 17 Sept. 2019,

staff, Science X. �’Chemo Brain’ Caused by Malfunction in Three Types of Brain Cells, Study Finds.� Medical Xpress – Medical Research Advances and Health News, Medical Xpress, 6 Dec. 2018,

staff, Science X. �Technique Targets Cancer Cells and Leaves Healthy Ones Alone.� Medical Xpress – Medical Research Advances and Health News, Medical Xpress, 27 Nov. 2019,

Team, DFH. �New Research – Gut Solutions to Chemotherapy.� Designs for Health, 2 Jan. 2020,

Modern Functional 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.

11 Ways To Improve Digestive Problems

11 Ways To Improve Digestive Problems

Do you feel:

  • A sense of fullness during and after meals?
  • Do digestive problems subside with rest and relaxation?
  • Diarrhea?
  • Unpredictable abdominal swelling?
  • Frequent bloating and distention after eating?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing problems with your digestive tract. Here are some ways to improve your digestion problems naturally.

Different factors can impact a person’s digestion and overall gut health. There are things that people have control like how much sleep they are getting while the other things that are not in a person’s control like genetics and family history. If a person is experiencing stomach problems, then it might be the poor lifestyle choices that may be hurting their gut. Having a well-balanced diet and regularly exercising is good, but those are just two of the many ways to regulate digestive health.

Here are some of the lifestyles that may negatively impact the body�s gut health:

  • What a person is eating
  • Mindful of mindless eating
  • Exercise routine
  • Daily hydration
  • Sleep schedule
  • Stress and anxiety levels
  • Prescription and over the counter medications a person takes
  • Bad habits like late-night eating or excessive alcohol or tobacco use

These factors can do bodily harm and can cause the development of chronic illnesses.

11 Ways To Improve Digestive Health

Even though these factors can negatively affect a person�s digestion tract and overall gut health, there are 11 ways to help improve the digestive tract naturally and be beneficial to not only the gut but to the body.

Eating More Colorful, Plant-based and Fiber-Rich Foods


Even though digestive issues can be challenging, avoiding certain foods and eating more plant-based and fiber-rich foods can help ease those uncomfortable symptoms. Quality nut and seeds, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can protect against a lot of digestive disorders and promote a regular bowel movement. To avoid discomfort on the digestive tract, try avoiding certain foods that are tough on the stomach like fried, artificially processed, or acidic foods.

If a person is suffering from an upset stomach or been diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), they might want to consider adopting an anti-inflammatory rich diet to prevent inflammation in the gut.

Consider Meal Frequency and Sizing

When a person continually snacking or tend to have three big meals a day is known as a grazer. Grazing food may not be suitable for people due to being prone to constipation. These habits can impact the person’s digestive health, and recent clinical studies have been shown that intermittent fasting can be beneficial to gut health and the whole body.

Practicing Mindful Eating


Sometimes overeating and eating too quickly can often lead to unpleasant indigestion symptoms such as gas and bloating. Thankfully there is an inclusive practice known as mindful eating, and it has been studied to a practical approach to reducing indigestion in the gut. Research has shown that mindful eating can reduce symptoms of IBS and ulcerative colitis.

To practice eating mindfully, keep in mind the following:

  • Turning off the tv and putting away the phones at mealtimes.
  • Taking a moment and inhale after sitting down with the plate in front of the individual. Take notice of how it smells.
  • You are taking in on how the food looks on the plate.
  • Select each bite of consciously.
  • Chew the bites of food slowly.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Take breaks, sip water, or have a quick chat in between each bite.
  • Take in the taste, texture, and temperature of every bite.
  • Take time to relax after finishing a meal.

Following these tricks and taking the time to relax and paying attention to the body before a meal may improve digestive symptoms such as indigestion and bloating.

Exercise Regularly

Instructor with fitness class performing step aerobics exercise

Exercise can help digestion. When people move their bodies on a day to day basis can affect their digestion. Since it is mostly due to its anti-inflammatory effects, exercise can have a very positive impact on the digestive system. Studies have shown that living a sedentary lifestyle can be damaging to the gut. Working out can help a person relieve their stress, enable them to maintain a healthy weight, strengthen abdominal muscles, and stimulate food to move through the large intestines.

According to research, aerobic exercises, like dancing or high interval workout classes, are particularly great by increasing the blood flow to the GI tract. Keep in mind that it is best to avoid this type of high impact exercise right after eating. If an individual has a sensitive stomach, resting for 30 minutes in between workouts and meals is the best option.

Staying Hydrated


Not drinking enough water is a common cause of constipation among adults and children, since lots of people often replace water with sugary alternatives. Studies have shown that people should aim to drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of non-caffeinated beverages daily to prevent constipation, and if they exercise, they should be drinking more water.

They can also increase their water intake by eating fruits that have high water content, drinking herbal teas, and non-caffeinated beverages like flavored seltzer waters.

Trying to Get A Good Night Sleep

Not getting enough hours to sleep and poor quality sleep has been associated with several gastrointestinal diseases. Studies show that people who are sleep deprived are most likely to suffer from stomach pains, diarrhea, upset stomach, or even suffer from inflammatory bowel disease. So people need to get quality sleep as the main priority.

Practice Ways to Manage Stress

Stress can affect a person�s digestion and the gastrointestinal tract big time. When an individual is chronically stressed out, their body is continuously in a flight or fight mode. Being chronically stressed out can lead to several unpleasant digestive symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, IBS, and stomach ulcers.

There are ways to relieve stress through stress management techniques like yoga, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation. Research shows that these techniques have been shown to improve symptoms in people with IBS drastically. Even taking the time to sit quietly and practicing breathing exercises for five minutes can help alleviate stress levels.

Cutting Back on Drinking Alcohol


Many individuals experience diarrhea and several other unpleasant symptoms after consuming alcohol. This is because alcohol can trigger some severe changes in the digestive system. Studies have mentioned that when the gastrointestinal tract comes in contact with alcohol, it becomes inflamed. This is because the intestines do not absorb water as efficiently, causing the overall digestion to speed up, and the good/harmful bacteria balance is thrown off.

Stop Smoking

Smoking can impact the entire body, including the gut. Studies have shown that smoking, chewing, and vaping tobacco has been linked to several common disorders in the digestive system, such as heartburn, peptic ulcers, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Smoking can also worsen gastrointestinal symptoms in other conditions like Crohn’s disease. When a person quits smoking, it can quickly reverse some of the effects of smoking on the digestive system and can keep the symptom of some gastrointestinal diseases from becoming worse.

Consider Taking Supplements

Taking dietary supplements is a great way to make sure that the body is getting the nutrients it needs for proper digestion.

  • Probiotics are excellent digestive supplements to alleviate and improve symptoms of gas, to bloat, and stomach pains for people with IBS.
  • Glutamine is an amino acid that supports gut health. Studies show that glutamine can reduce leaky gut in people who are sick.
  • Zinc is a mineral that is essential for a healthy gut. When a person has a deficiency in zinc, it can lead to a variety of unpleasant digestive disorders. So taking zinc supplements can be beneficial to reducing digestive problems.

Be Aware of Medication Interactions and Their Side Effects

The medication that a person is taking can cause stomach discomfort and make them prone to diarrhea or constipation. Conventional medication such as aspirin and other pain medicine have been studied to upset the lining of the stomach, causing damage to the intestinal permeability.


Practicing these 11 ways can be beneficial and provide improvement to a person’s digestive tract. When disruptive factors disrupt the digestive tract, it can lead the body to have inflammation, leaky gut, and digestive problems. Some products are specialized to support the gastrointestinal tract and provide support to the body’s metabolism to make sure the body is functioning correctly.

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.


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Unknown, Unknown. �11 Ways To Improve Digestion Problems Naturally.� Fullscript, 9 Sept. 2019,

Unknown, Unknown. �Smoking and the Digestive System.� National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, US Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Sept. 2013,

Wong, Ming-Wun, et al. �Impact of Vegan Diets on Gut Microbiota: An Update on the Clinical Implications.� Ci Ji Yi Xue Za Zhi = Tzu-Chi Medical Journal, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2018,



The 4Rs Program

The 4Rs Program

Do you feel:

  • Like you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diverticulosis/Diverticulitis, or Leaky Gut Syndrome?
  • Excessive belching, burping, or bloating?
  • Abnormal distention after certain probiotics or natural supplements?
  • Suspicion of nutritional malabsorption?
  • Do digestive problems subside with relaxation?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing gut problems and might have to try the 4R Program.

Food sensitivities, rheumatoid arthritis, and anxiety have been associated with impaired gastrointestinal permeability. These various conditions can happen from many factors that can impact the digestive tract. If left untreated it can potentially be the result of dysfunction of the intestinal permeability barrier, causing inflammation, and severe health conditions that the gut can develop. The 4R program is used to restore a healthy gut in the body and involves four steps. They are: remove, replace, reinoculated, and repair.

Intestinal Permeability

The intestinal permeability helps protects the body and makes sure that harmful bacteria do not enter the gut. It protects the body from potential environmental factors that can be harmful and are entering through the digestive tract. It can be either toxin, pathogenic microorganisms, and other antigens that can harm the digestive tract causing problems. The intestinal lining is consisting of a layer of epithelial cells that are separated by tight junctions. In a healthy gut, the tight junction regulates the intestinal permeability by selectively allowing substances to enter and travel across the intestinal barrier and preventing harmful factors from being absorbed.

blog picture of doctor and elderly patient speak

Certain environmental factors can damage the tight junction, and the result is that it can increase the intestinal permeability, which causes intestinal hyperpermeability or leaky gut in the body. Contributing factors can increase intestinal permeability like an excessive amount of saturated fats and alcohol, deficiencies in nutrients, chronic stress, and infectious diseases.

With an increased intestinal permeability in the gut, it can enable antigens to cross the gut mucosa and enter the bloodstream causing an immune response and inflammation to the body. There are certain gastrointestinal conditions that are associated with intestinal hyperpermeability and if left untreated it can trigger certain autoimmune conditions that can cause harm to the body.

4Rs Program

The 4Rs is a program that healthcare professionals advise their patients to use when they are addressing disruptive digestive issues and help support gut healing.

Removing the Problem

The first step in the 4Rs program is to remove harmful pathogens and inflammation triggers that are associated with increased intestinal permeability. Triggers like stress and chronic alcohol consumption can do much harm to an individual’s body. So targeting these harmful factors from the body is to treat it with medication, antibiotics, supplements, and the removal of inflammatory foods from the diet is advised, including:

  • – Alcohol
  • – Gluten
  • – Food additives
  • – Starches
  • – Certain fatty acids
  • – Certain foods that a person is sensitive to

Replacing the Nutrients

The second step of the 4Rs program is to replace the nutrients that are causing the gut problems through inflammation. Certain nutrients can help reducing inflammation in the gut while making sure that the digestive tract is being supported. There are some anti-inflammatory foods that are nutritious. These include:

  • – High-fiber foods
  • – Omega-3s
  • – Olive oil
  • – Mushrooms
  • – Anti-inflammatory herbs

There are certain supplements can be used to support digestive function by assisting and absorbing the nutrients to promote a healthy gut. What the digestive enzymes do is that they assist in helping to break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in the gut. This will help benefit individuals that have an impaired digestive tract, food intolerances, or having celiac disease. Supplements like bile acid supplements can help assist in nutrient absorption by merging lipids together. Studies have stated that bile acids have been used to treat the liver, gallbladder, and bile duct while preventing gallstone formation after bariatric surgery.

Reinoculated The Gut

The third step is of the 4rs program to reinoculated the gut microbe with beneficial bacteria to promote a healthy gut function. Studies have been shown that probiotic supplements have been used to improve the gut by restoring beneficial bacteria. With these supplements, they provide the gut an enhancement by secreting anti-inflammatory substances into the body, help support the immune system, altering the body’s microbial composition, and reducing the intestinal permeability in the gut system.

Since probiotics are found in fermented foods and are considered as a transient since they are not persistent in the gastrointestinal tract and are beneficial. Surprisingly, they still have an impact on human health due to influencing the gut by producing vitamins and anti-microbial compounds, thus providing diversity and gut function.

Repairing the Gut

The last step of the 4Rs program is to repair the gut. This step involves repairing the intestinal lining of the gut with specific nutrients and herbs. These herbs and supplements can help decrease intestinal permeability and inflammation in the body. Some of these herbs and supplements include:

  • – Aloe vera
  • – Chios mastic gum
  • – DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated licorice)
  • – Marshmallow root
  • – L-glutamine
  • – Omega-3s
  • � Polyphenols
  • – Vitamin D
  • – Zinc


Since many factors can adversely affect the digestive system in a harmful way and can be the contributor to several health conditions. The main goal of the 4Rs program is to minimize these factors that are harming the gut and reducing inflammation and increased intestinal permeability. When the patient is being introduced to the beneficial factors that the 4Rs provide, it can lead to a healthy, healed gut. Some products are here to help support the gastrointestinal system by supporting the intestines, improving the sugar metabolism, and targeting the amino acids that are intended to support the intestines.

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.


De Santis, Stefania, et al. �Nutritional Keys for Intestinal Barrier Modulation.� Frontiers in Immunology, Frontiers Media S.A., 7 Dec. 2015,

Ianiro, Gianluca, et al. �Digestive Enzyme Supplementation in Gastrointestinal Diseases.� Current Drug Metabolism, Bentham Science Publishers, 2016,

Mu, Qinghui, et al. �Leaky Gut As a Danger Signal for Autoimmune Diseases.� Frontiers, Frontiers, 5 May 2017,

Rezac, Shannon, et al. �Fermented Foods as a Dietary Source of Live Organisms.� Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 24 Aug. 2018,

Sander, Guy R., et al. �Rapid Disruption of Intestinal Barrier Function by Gliadin Involves Altered Expression of Apical Junctional Proteins.� FEBS Press, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 8 Aug. 2005,

Sartor, R Balfour. �Therapeutic Manipulation of the Enteric Microflora in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Antibiotics, Probiotics, and Prebiotics.� Gastroenterology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2004,



More Fiber Equals Less Inflammation

More Fiber Equals Less Inflammation

Do you feel:

  • Inflammation in your joints?
  • Unpredictable abdominal swelling?
  • Frequent bloating and distention after eating?
  • Unpredictable food reactions?
  • Aches, pains, and swelling throughout the body?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing a low intake of fiber in your diet, causing inflammation.

Throughout several decades, Americans have lost much diversity in their diets, impacting their gut microbiome, and the contribution to the autoimmune disorder epidemic. The vast majority of people have a less than perfect diet that is consists of high in calories, short on nutrients, and low on fiber intake. Research has stated that about only 10 percent of Americans have met their daily fiber requirements.

The diet is a significant environmental trigger in autoimmune diseases. Dietary approaches can provide the most effective means of an individual to returning balance and the dysfunction with the gastrointestinal system. Researchers have found out that the role of dietary fibers can help with rheumatoid arthritis as there is new and developing research on this discovery.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long term, progressive, and disabling autoimmune disease. It causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in and around the joints and organs of the body. It affects up to 1 percent of the world’s population and over 1.3 million people in America, according to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network.

inflammed joints

Rheumatoid arthritis is also a systemic disease, which means that it affects the whole body, not just the joints. It occurs when an individual’s immune system mistakes their body’s healthy tissues for foreign invaders. As the immune system responds to this, inflammation occurs in the target tissue or organ. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can include:

  • Pain, swelling, and stiffness in more than one joint
  • Symmetrical joint involvement
  • Joint deformity
  • Unsteadiness when walking
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell
  • Loss of function and mobility
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness

Fiber and Inflammation

Individuals who eat healthily knows that eating fibers in their diet can help reduce the risk of developing various conditions. The AHAEP (American Heart Association Eating Plan) has stated that people should be eating a variety of food fiber sources in their diet. The total dietary fiber intake that a person should be eating is 25 to 30 grams a day from foods, not supplements. Currently, adults in the United States eat about 15 grams a day on their fiber, which is half of the recommended amount.

Eating a high fiber diet can provide many rewards to the body. Eating fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains can provide a boost of vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy nutrients in the body. Studies have been shown that eating a high fiber diet can help lower the markers of inflammation, which is a critical factor in many forms of arthritis.

Grain bread with different vegetable . Concept of healthy food

The body needs two types of fibers, which are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers are mixed with water to form a gel-like consistency, which slows digestion and helps the body absorb nutrients better and helps lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Insoluble fibers help the digestive system run more efficiently as it adds bulk to stool, which can help prevent constipation.

There have been a few studies that found that people who eat high fiber diets have lower CRP (C-reactive protein) levels in their blood. CRP is a marker for inflammation and is linked to rheumatoid arthritis. When a person eats a high fiber diet, it not only reduces inflammation to their bodies, but it helps lower the body weight as well. High fiber-rich foods feed the beneficial bacteria living in the gut, and then it is releasing substances to the body, promoting lower levels of inflammation.

A study has been shown that patients with rheumatoid arthritis that they consumed either a high fiber bar or cereal for 28 days while continuing with their current medication had decreased levels of inflammation. Researchers noticed that they had an increase of T regulatory cell numbers, a positive Th1/Th17 ratio, a decrease in bone erosion, and a healthy gut microbiome.

Gut Health and Inflammation

gut health

The gut plays a crucial role in the immune function as well as digesting and absorbing food in the body. The intestinal barrier provides an effective protective barrier from pathogenic bacteria but also being a healthy environment for beneficial bacteria. With a high fiber diet, it can lead to the production of SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) in the gastrointestinal tract, thus playing an essential role in T regulatory cell activation, which regulates the intestinal immune system. When inflammation comes to play in the gut, it can disrupt the intestinal permeability barrier and cause a disruption, leading to leaky gut. Probiotics and a high fiber diet can help prevent inflammation and provide a healthy gut function.


Eating a high fiber diet is essential to prevent inflammation, not on the joints, but everywhere in the body. Even though individuals eat half of the recommended amount of fiber in their diets, due to their hectic lifestyle, eating a high fiber diet is beneficial. Incorporating fiber in their diet gradually is ideal as well as drinking water with the fibers to make the process work more effectively in the body. Some products can help aid the body by supporting not only the gastrointestinal function and muscular system but making sure that the skin, hair, nail, and joints are healthy as well.

October is Chiropractic Health Month. To learn more about it, check out Governor Abbott�s declaration on our website to get full details on this historic moment.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .


at UCSF Medical Center, Healthcare Specialist. �Increasing Fiber Intake.� UCSF Medical Center, 2018,

Brazier, Yvette. �Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Symptoms, Causes, and Complications.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 16 Oct. 2018,

Hakansson, Asa, and Goran Molin. �Gut Microbiota and Inflammation.� Nutrients, MDPI, June 2011,

Jurgelewicz, Michael. �New Study Demonstrates the Role of Fiber in Rheumatoid Arthritis.� Designs for Health, 11 Oct. 2019,

Unknown, Unknown. �More Fiber, Less Inflammation?�, 25 June, 2015,

Micronutrients For the GI Tract

Micronutrients For the GI Tract

Do you feel:

  • Excessive belching, burping or bloating
  • Gas immediately following a meal
  • Stomach pain, burning or aching 1-4 hours after eating
  • Feel hungry an hour or two after eating
  • Digestive problems when lying down or bending forward

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you should try some micronutrients for your GI tract health.

GI Tract Health


Over two thousand years ago, Hippocrates recognized that the gut plays a significant role in overall health and that modern scientific research has substantiated and solidified this view. With GI (gastrointestinal) health, advanced testing, and intricate healing protocols focused a lot when it comes to the GI tract. Some patients may benefit from the precise analysis of the makeup from their gut flora or the specific food elimination and reintroduction strategies, but not to overlook the fundamentals. Addressing the basics like general micronutrient repletion or supplementation with the foundational nutrients can be targeted for therapeutic purposes and can go a long way for an individual�s healing.

The Micronutrients

These are some of the fundamental micronutrients that the body needs to perform the everyday task. These can mostly be found in foods or in supplements and vitamins that are consumed, and even though high restriction diets can deplete these nutrients, they are still crucial for not only our gut health but for the entire body system as well.


The amino acid glutamine is a trusty workhorse for a healthy gut function in the body. Even though it is technically not an essential amino acid, it serves as an energy source for epithelial cells that makes up the intestinal lining for the intestines. Various circumstances like trauma, burns, or recovery from significant operations or illnesses can increase the body’s demand for glutamine.

Glutamine can be found in all protein foods like:

  • Eggs
  • Beef
  • Skim milk
  • Tofu
  • White rice
  • Corn


Another amino acid is taurine is beneficial for individuals who need help with the digestion of dietary fats. Taurine is unique due to not being used in any structural protein; however, it has other roles in the body. Taurine can be synthesized from cysteine and can be obtained from animal foods specifically, sadly though it is nonexistent in plant food. Bile acids that are bound with taurine are secreted by the liver; the making of this compound is critical for bile acid function and proper fat absorption in the body.

Taurine can provide these health benefits to the body, which includes:

  • Improve blood sugar control and fight diabetes
  • Stop the occurrence of epilepsy
  • Reduces seizure attacks
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases
  • Regulates muscle contractions
  • Controls and calms the central nervous system


Potassium is the core nutrient that plays a role in a healthy GI function, especially when it comes to intestinal motility. Some disorders like fatigue and cardiac arrhythmias can be the result of potassium deficiency, and inadequate potassium may lead to delayed gastric emptying and intestinal paralysis. If the body is not treated soon, it can lead to chronic illnesses in the GI, causing unpleasant effects like bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation.

All food supplies have an abundance of potassium, but certain medications can reduce potassium levels. Factors like excessive alcohol consumption or strict chronic dieting for weight loss can be the result of inadequate potassium intake and the body status of a person.

Some of the health benefits that potassium can provide are:

  • Maintains constant blood pressure
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Maintains bone density
  • Maintains muscle mass

Vitamin B6

B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, are highly essential to the GI tract because they make sure that the brain is also healthy as well. Deficiency of vitamin B6 can cause these symptoms:

  • Tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet
  • Anemia
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Weak immune system

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that produces the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine and forming myelin for the body. This vitamin can help boost brain function and can improve memory function. Some of the other benefits it can provide to the body are:

  • Lowers the risk of dementia
  • Reduce the severity of nausea during pregnancy
  • Protection from air pollution
  • Ensures the normal functioning of digestive enzymes


Even though these are the necessary foundational micronutrients and amino acids for their roles in the GI tract, it is crucial for individuals who have these micronutrient deficiencies. Even though the popularity of highly restrictive diets emphasizes on caloric restrictions for weight loss for individuals, it can limit the intake of certain nutrient-dense foods. It can cause disruptions to the gastrointestinal tract. When a person surrounds themselves with an abundance of foods with these micronutrients can live a healthy life. Some products combined with these micronutrient foods can provide support to the gastrointestinal system and help boost the sugar metabolism for the body.

October is Chiropractic Health Month. To learn more about it, check out Governor Abbott�s declaration on our website to get full details on this historic moment.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .


Brazier, Yvette. �Vitamin B-6: Benefits, Dosage, Food Sources, and Deficiency Symptoms.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 27 Mar. 2017,

Cadman, Bethany. �L-Glutamine for IBS: Benefits, Side Effects, and Research.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 7 Feb. 2018,

Caporuscio, Jessica. �What Is Taurine? Benefits and Side Effects.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 26 Sept. 2019,

Higdon, Jane. �Potassium.� Linus Pauling Institute, 14 Oct. 2019,

Mawer, Rudy. “What Is Taurine? Benefits, Side Effects, and More.” Healthline, 27 Nov. 2018,

Megan Ware, RDN. �Potassium: Health Benefits and Recommended Intake.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 10 Jan. 2018,

Team, DFH. �Micronutrients in GI Health.� Designs for Health, 11 Oct. 2019,

Tinsley, Grant. “Glutamine: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects.” Healthline, 13 Jan. 2018,