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Here in the triangle, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you've probably already started to notice that familiar tickle in your nose and throat that signals the arrival of spring pollen. Maybe you've been sneezing, have been mildly congested or had a runny nose, or perhaps you've even noticed some mild burning of your eyes or itchiness of your skin. All these symptoms, from a Chinese medical point of view, point to the climactic influence of the spring season - wind.

Chinese medicine views seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms as being primarily caused by the pathogenic influence of wind. Wind is qualified by symptoms that occur quickly, are rapidly changeable, affect mostly the upper part of the body, and occur at a very surface level - for example, mucous membranes and skin. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, those of us with underlying deficiencies, often of the spleen, kidney, or lung, are especially susceptible to invasion by wind, and, therefore, conditions like seasonal allergies.

Luckily, there are many natural options to help relieve allergy symptoms. One of the best choices for effective and side effect free treatment is acupuncture. Acupuncture works incredibly well because it not only relieves current symptoms, but also balances the immune system and corrects underlying deficiencies to help prevent symptoms from recurring. Regular treatments are most effective during allergy season, ideally starting acupuncture therapy a few weeks before symptoms hit their peak.

Chinese herbal medicine is another very effective choice, and can be combined with acupuncture for faster results. One of the most basic formulas used during allergy season is Jade Windscreen (Yu Ping Feng San). This formula is incredibly simple and elegant, comprised of only three herbs - one that expels wind (Ledeboureilla root), one that supports the lung system (Astragalus root), and one that supports the spleen system (Atractylodes). The simplicity of this formula also makes it highly adaptable for each individual patient's presentation.

Using a neti pot can also be of great help during allergy season. Nasal irrigation with saline can be extremely effective at washing allergens out of the nasal passageways and preventing an immune response. Additionally, the saline helps to moisturize the nasal membranes and control swelling. Goldenseal and/or grapefruit seed extract are great additions to the traditional saline wash.

Supplements can also be of great support to your system this time of year. Quercitin can help to normalize the histamine reaction, Bromelain thins mucous and reduces nasal passage swelling and inflammation, and good quality probiotics help to normalize large intestine and gut function and, therefore, support the immune system as a whole.

Remember, there's no reason to suffer this season. Try some of the many natural options available to you to find relief from allergy symptoms!

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Does stress cause Colitis or Crohn's attacks as many suggest or is it just hearsay?

Just recently while driving into work, and listening to a popular talk show in the Detroit, MI area WJR 760, the announcer said something that immediately caught my attention. The topic of this particular morning segment happened to be Colitis. And the reason that this particular digestive disorder happened to take such a prominent place in the lineup of news issues of the day, was because the Mayor of the city of Detroit...Mayor Dave Bing had recently been hospitalized for a particularly severe attack of Colitis...so severe in fact that he had to be admitted to the hospital, and receive emergency surgery to repair a perforated intestine caused by the disease. As part of the show prep, radio announcer Paul W. Smith had selected an area physician to interview and get information to the listeners about Colitis, including, what were the symptoms, and some of the possible causes of the disease.

One of the first questions that Paul W. Smith asked the doctor, was did he think the cause for the Mayor's Colitis might be due to the high degree of stress that he had been under over the past several months in trying to solve the huge debt problem that the city of Detroit was experiencing and the threat of possible bankruptcy. Paul W. Smith commented that he had heard that stress was a very important contributor to the cause of Colitis or digestive disorders like it. The doctor responded that in his opinion stress was not in fact the probable cause, suggesting instead, that it was more likely the effects of the Mayor taking antibiotics that led to the mayors Colitis condition. The doctor said that antibiotics, when they are consumed, tend to kill the good bacteria as well as the bad that exist in our bodies, specifically the stomach and digestive tract. The good bacteria exists in our stomach for the purpose of digesting our food. Without these vital bacteria in the stomach, proper digestion is disrupted, which in turn causes the stomach disorder Colitis.

However, I have a question as to if maybe the radio announcer might have been right in suggesting that stress could have been the major cause for the Mayor's Colitis attack. Many of the people I have written to recently about this possibility, who are actually Colitis sufferers themselves tend to agree that stress really could be the major contributor.

First of all, I have no idea if the Mayor did take antibiotics prior to his attack of Colitis or not, or whether it was the primary contributor to his condition. However, when I put the question of stress and its impact on their condition to other people who also suffer from either Colitis or the similar digestive disease, Crohn's disease, they agreed unanimously that stress was the most significant and long standing contributor to their relapses of Colitis/Crohn's than anything else they could think of. I have suffered with Crohns disease myself for many years (a digestive disorder related to Colitis) and I can definitely say that my flare-ups many times have coincided with heightened stress periods in my life, like during work, job loss, divorce, school or the loss of a close relative.

One gentleman from Minnesota responded to me in an e-mail with this statement: "There has been a lot of research done on stress and how it affects your body. It's not good. My own experience is even though the onset of the disease was antibiotic driven, every flare up since then (20 years ago) can be linked directly to a very stressful period in my life. Even while on maintenance meds, if a lengthy stressful period is occurring, I can almost count on a flare up. This one was brought on during a work project that had me traveling a LOT and things were not going well and 3 weeks into being gone from home, I had to return to go see the doc."

A person from the United Kingdom wrote: "I have never had any issues with my gut, and the first time I noticed any symptoms was just after my husband had an invasive cardiac procedure a year ago."

Another contributor wrote that while he didn't think stress was the cause of his Colitis he was diagnosed with, he definitely believes that it does make his symptoms worse.

One woman wrote that many of her past flare-ups were stress related, usually when she was experiencing a lot of stress either at work or at home. Her doctors however told her that stress was not the cause. Another person wrote "Anytime I am super stressed I get a belly ache. So I do believe that stress plays a big role in developing disease."

So the end result is this... for many Colitis/Crohn's disease suffers, stress really is an important contributor to flare-ups and steps need to be taken to reduce it in their lives in order to experience any relief from their digestive disorder.

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Some common ailments and fruit and vegetable juices found beneficial in their treatment are mentioned below:

Acidity: Grapes, orange, mosambi, carrot and spinach.

Acne: Grapes, pear, plum, tomato, cucumber, carrot, potato and spinach.

Allergies: Apricot, grapes, carrot, beet and spinach.

Arteriosclerosis: Grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, celery, carrot, lettuce, and spinach.

Anaemia: Apricot, prune, strawberry, red grape, beet, celery, carrot and spinach.

Arthritis: Sour cherry, pineapple, sour apple, lemon, grapefruit, cucumber, beet, carrot, lettuce
and spinach.

Asthma: Apricot, lemon, pineapple, peach, carrot, radish and celery.

Bronchitis: Apricot, lemon, pineapple, peach, tomato, carrot, onion and spinach.

Bladder Ailments: Apple, apricot, lemon, cucumber, carrot, celery, parsley and watercress.

Colds: Lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, carrot, onion, celery and spinach.

Constipation: Apple, pear, grapes, lemon, carrot, beet, spinach and watercress.

Colitis: Apple, apricot, pear, peach, pineapple, papaya, carrot, beet, cucumber and spinach.

Diabetes: Citrus fruits, carrot, celery, lettuce and spinach.

Diarrhoea: Papaya, lemon, pineapple, carrot and celery.

Eczema: Red grapes,carrot, spinach, cucumber and beet.

Epilepsy: Red grapes, figs, carrot, celery and spinach.

Eye Disorders: Apricot ,tomato, carrot, celery, parsley and spinach.

Gout: Red sour cherries, pineapple, tomato, cucumber, beet, carrot, celery and spinach.

Halitosis: Apple, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, tomato, carrot, celery and spinach.

Headache: Grapes, lemon, carrot, lettuce and spinach.

Heart Disease: Red grapes, lemon, cucumber, carrot, beet and spinach.

High blood pressure: Grapes, orange, cucumber, carrot and beet.

Influenza: Apricot, orange, lemon , grapefruit, pineapple, carrot, onion and spinach.

Insomnia: Apple, grapes, lemon, lettuce , carrot and celery.

Jaundice: Lemon, grapes, pear, carrot, celery, spinach, beet and cucumber.

Kidney Disorders : Apple, orange, lemon, cucumber, cucumber,carrot, celery, parsley and
beet.

Liver ailments: Lemon, papaya, grapes, carrot, tomato, beet and cucumber.

Menstrual Disorders: Grapes, prunes, cherry, spinach, lettuce turnips and beet.

Menopausal Symptoms: Fruits and Vegetables in season.

Neuritis: Orange, pineapple, apple, carrot and beet.

Obesity: Lemon, grapefruit, orange, cherry, pineapple, papaya, tomato, beet, cabbage, lettuce,
spinach and carrot.

Piles: Lemon, orange, papaya, pineapple, carrot, spinach, turnip and watercress.

Prostate Troubles: All fruit juices in season, carrot, asparagus, lettuce and spinach.

Psoriasis: Grapes, carrot, beet, and cucumber.

Rheumatism: Grapes, orange, lemon, grapefruit, tomato, cucumber, beet, carrot and spinach.

Stomach Ulcers: Apricot, grapes, cabbage and carrot.

Sinus Trouble: Apricot, lemon, tomato, carrot, onion and radish.

Sore Throat: Apricot, grapes, lemon, pineapple, prune, tomato, carrot and parsley.

Tonsilitis: Apricot, lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, carrot, spinach and radish.

Varicose Veins: Grapes, orange, plum, tomato, beetroot carrot and watercress.

When on a raw juice therapy, the prescribed juice should be drunk every three hours. One can
thus take juices five to six times a day. A glass of water mixed with lemon juice and 20 to 30
grams of honey may be taken first thing in the morning on arising.

Thereafter, the prescribed
juice may be taken at three-hourly intervals. The quantity of juice on each occasion may be 250
ml on the first day. This quantity may be increased by 50 ml each succeeding day till one takes
600 ml on each occasion. The juice diet can be continued for 30 to 40 days without any
ill-effects. The patient should take adequate rest during the raw juice therapy.

Raw juices act as a cleansing agent and start eliminating toxins and morbid matter from the
system immediately. This often results in symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, diarrhoea,
loss of weight, headache, fever, weakness, sleeplessness and bad breath.

These reactions,
which are part of the cleansing process, should not be suppressed by the use of drugs. They will
cease when the body is able to expel all toxins.

After the raw juice therapy, the return to normal balanced diet should be gradual, and in stages.

In the beginning, two juice meals may be replaced by milk and fruits. Then gradually juice meals
may be substituted by a balanced-diet.

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Crohn's disease was discovered in 1932 and it is an inflammatory disease that occurs in the intestines but also anywhere in the entire digestive tract starting from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's disease is also known as colitis, ileitis or regional enteritis. I myself have Crohn's disease and I can tell you first hand what to expect and also what painful symptoms you may have to endure.

I have experienced Crohn's disease pain all my life in different parts of my body and it usually starts in the abdomen however it can occur in other parts of the body. The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person and the symptoms can include s rectal bleeding, black or blood in the stool, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss. Crohn's disease pain also can be located in the rectal area legs and back.

Most Crohn's disease patients suffer from severe abdominal pain with cramps. This is usually accompanied by diarrhea and occasionally rectal bleeding and tearing of the anus. Depending on the type of Crohn's disease you have the Crohn's disease pain will differ but discomfort will occur in all states as inflammation occurs. I also suffer from extreme pain in my back and legs. I experience a shooting pain in my leg which is so intense it prevents me from moving. I also get pain in my lower back, which is more of a dull ache. The most unusual thing with this leg and back pain in Crohn's disease is that I have never experienced both of these symptoms at the same time.

Tips And Advice For Treating Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease cannot be cured and although anti-inflammatory medication can be given to help reduce the swelling and pain killers to relieve the pain the best advice would be to watch what you eat and control your diet with healthy wholesome food.

Depending on your present medical condition as well as the types of Crohn's disease you are encountering medications may differ from person to person. However, there is a drug called Remicade, which can be administered in order to prevent further flare ups of the Crohn's disease and your doctor may also prescribe the same. I however no longer take any drugs. I have had a new lease of life since taking two herbal treatments called Aloe mp plus and Esdifan. I no longer have to see my specialist. I do still get leg and back pain in Crohns Disease but this is controlled by painkillers.

In Extreme cases, when diet and medication do not work controlling pain in Crohns disease is only accomplished by an operation to remove part of the intestine. I had this operation when I was in my early teens and had to have several months off school to recover.

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The gene that causes psoriasis can be present in a person who suffers from crohns ileitis. This type of Crohn's disease affects only the ileum, which is the last and lowest portion of the small intestine, and is the closest to the colon. This form of Crohn's disease is one of the more common types, but is not as common as ileocolitis, which is a form of Crohn's that affects both the ileum and the colon.

What can a Crohn's ileitis sufferer experience? The inflammation of the ileum often causes diarrhea and cramping or abdominal pain in the lower right region of the abdomen and near the belly button. Sometimes pain may be so severe it imitates appendicitis. These symptoms are usually most pronounced after a meal. Left untreated, crohns ileits can lead to inflammatory masses, obstruction of the small intestines, and the development of fistulas.

In addition, Crohn's disease that affects the ileum can cause malabsorption of the B12 vitamin. It can also cause folate deficiency which can obstruct red blood cell development and increase a person's risk of becoming anaemic.

How does crohns ileitis occur? It is still not known what causes Crohn's disease, or why a person's immune system malfunctions. However, like all ailments, the condition starts small. Miniscule pockets of inflammation persist and eventually spread. Once this occurs, the bowel lining can develop ulcers and the wall of the bowel can thicken. If not treated, the bowel will eventually narrow or become obstructed, requiring the sufferer to undergo surgery such as having part of their intestines or bowel removed.

What are the treatment options? The type of treatment for crohns ileitis depends on the severity of the disease, and whether or not a person is experiencing an active case of Crohn's.

Nevertheless, a Crohn's sufferer can try alternative therapies such as reducing stress, exercising, and maintaining a balanced, nutritious and Crohn's-friendly diet.

Providing your body with the rest it needs, the energy it requires, and eliminating foods that aggravate the condition, is the perfect compliment to medications and can help prevent flare ups and surgery. Other alternative/complimentary treatments for Crohn's ileitis include botanical remedies, supplements, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and homeopathy.

Aside from alternative remedies, the following are the most common types of medical treatment used:

Cortisone or Steroids (Prednisone) - Theses types of medications are very powerful and are prescribed to those with severe crohns ileitis. Their purpose is to bring the disease under control fast and put the patient in remission. The drug is typically administered by enema or pill and can be quite effective in relieving Crohn's symptoms.

However, some common side effects include indigestion, nervousness, restlessness, and increased appetite. Other rare side effects may include mental depression, hallucinations, skin rash or hives, etc. For those who are taking this medication for the long-term, side effects may include acne, nausea, constant abdominal pain, trouble sleeping, unusual bruising, rapid weight gain, etc.

Immune System Suppressors (Imuran, Purinethol) - These medications are designed to suppress the overreacting immune system, and are administered orally. These meds are generally used for long-term treatment to maintain remission of the disease, and are primarily prescribed for those who suffer from a severe case of crohns ileitis.

The side effects associated with immune system suppressors include, but are not limited to: darkening of the skin, headache, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, itchy skin or skin rash, etc.

Infliximab (Remicade) - This is a new type of drug treatment that is showing much promise for those who suffer from moderate to severe Crohn's disease. Remicade is designed to block the body's inflammation response. Remicade is administered via intravenous infusion over the course of several hours and is a short-term treatment. It has been effective at helping Crohn's sufferers achieve relief of their symptoms and remission.

The side effects of Remicade include, but are not limited to: Abdominal pain, nausea, sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, tightness in chest, etc.

Be sure to speak to your doctor about all treatment options for crohns ileitis, and bring any side effects you experience to your doctor's attention immediately.

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Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal diagnosis yet it is not really a disease nor does it have confirmatory diagnostic tests. Rather, it is diagnosed based on a constellation of symptoms and the absence of other diagnoses. Common symptoms attributed to IBS are abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, bloating and excess gas. Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is a common but frequently missed gastrointestinal diagnosis. Ingestion of gluten containing foods in affected individuals commonly causes symptoms attributed to IBS that are relieved with gluten-free diet in at least 10-20% of people misdiagnosed with IBS. Other food intolerances are also a likely a cause of IBS symptoms that may improve with avoidance of certain foods.

IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion. Other causes of symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, or alternating constipation and diarrhea should be excluded by doctor's review of medical history, a physical exam and some screening laboratory tests and arguably a colonoscopy. The other conditions that traditionally doctors are most concerned about excluding include inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease) and cancer. Less worrisome but treatable conditions that need to be excluded include lactose intolerance, intestinal infections especially parasites like giardia, and food intolerance. Celiac disease though now known to be very common, affecting approximately one percent of the U.S. population, has been largely ignored as a possible cause of IBS symptoms. Most primary care physicians are aware that diarrhea is a common symptom of Celiac disease but not that it may present in adults and be associated with constipation. Most doctors are unaware that the prevalence of Celiac disease in IBS patients may be as high as 20%.

Typical lab tests ordered by doctors screening for more serious intestinal diseases that may mimick IBS include a complete blood count (CBC) looking for signs of blood loss or anemia (low hemoglobin or hematocrit), signs of inflammation or infection (high white blood cell count and/or platelet count) and stool tests for blood (fecal occult blood test or FOBT) or white blood cells (WBCs or fecal leukocytes). The stool tests are looking for signs of bleeding, infection or inflammation of the intestine. IBS does not cause bleeding or intestinal inflammation whereas inflammatory bowel disease, infection or cancer may. Normal tests are reassurring though do not exclude more serious disease. Most gastroenterologists believe a colonoscopy should be performed.

However, most doctors, even many gastroenterologists, fail to test for Celiac disease though it is common and screening blood tests exist. The reasons for this are many and are more fully explained elsewhere. However, the common incidence, presence of screening tests, and available treatment should make screening for Celiac disease part of the standard evaluation of all patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of IBS before that diagnosis is established.

More recently, food intolerance other than gluten or wheat have been suggested as a treatable cause of IBS. Blood tests for a type of antibody known as IgG have been advocated by several researchers as being helpful for advising people about eliminating or avoiding certain foods as a treatment of IBS. Recent evidence suggests that a significant reduction of IBS symptoms can be achieved in people who avoid foods based on elevated IgG antibodies to foods. Atkinson et. al 2004 reported 10-26% improvement in symptoms in patients compared with controls. Deterioration was noted in those who relaxed their dietary restriction of foods they had avoided because of elevated antibody levels. These findings require further validation and are facing significant resistance to acceptance by many in the medical community, especially in the U.S. However, elimination diets have long been reported effective by many people. The possibility of food intolerance as a reversible cause of symptoms attributed to a syndrome with little other effective treatments (except mostly ineffective treatments in the past and very new medications with limited efficacy and unproven long term safety) should prompt further studies and an openness to dietary trials.

If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome I recommend you confirm that Celiac disease has been excluded. Food intolerance should also be considered though testing may not be covered by your insurance and/or accepted by your doctor as valid. Elimination of common foods and their proteins causing intolerance, wheat, barley and rye (gluten); cow's milk protein (casein); soy; and peanuts is worth a try. Be sure to keep a food-symptom diary and re-introduce one food or food protein back into your diet at a time. One diet that effectively eliminates all the major food proteins causing intolerances but may be difficult to follow is the paleo diet (www.thepaleodiet.com).

1. Hoey. "Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Could it be Celiac Disease?" Can Med J. 2002; 166:479-80

2. Sander et al, "Association of Adult Coeliac Disease with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Case-Control Study in Patients Fulfilling Rome II Criteria Referred to Secondary Care." Lancet. 2001; 358:1504-8

2. Atkinson W; Sheldon TA; Shaath N; Wharwell PJ. "Food elimination bsed on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome; a randomised controlled trial." Gut 2004; 53:1459-1464.

3. Isolauri E; Rautava S; Kalliamaki M. "Food allergy in irritable bowel syndrome: new facts and old fallacies." Gut 2004; 53:1391-3.

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder which is very disabling affecting as many as 20% of people in the US and accounting for 20-50% of visits to gastroenterologists. IBS is characterized by symptoms including abdominal pain, altered bowel function, bloating, distension, and feelings of incomplete evacuation (as in you didn't get rid of everything when you sat on the toilet). Patients have been sub classified according to whether they have predominant symptoms of diarrhea or constipation.

Alosetron (Lotronex) and cilansetron (Calmactin) are 5HT-3 serotonin receptor antagonists; these drugs act by blocking these particular serotonin receptors in the gut and act by an incompletely understood mechanism to reduce pain and retard bowel transit in IBS patients. Although both medications were shown to be effective for IBS, alosetron is effective only in women with IBS.

The 5HT-3 serotonin receptor antagonists have been very controversial. Concerns about the potential toxicities of these drugs have been countered by the protests of IBS sufferers that they have no other available remedies. Alosetron was introduced in the US in 2000 and subsequently withdrawn because several patients developed ischaemic colitis and severe constipation, and three patients died. Cases of ischaemic colitis have also been reported with cilansetron. Other possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

Tegaserod (Zelnorm) is a 5-HT-4 serotonin receptor partial agonist that promotes contractions of the colon that is effective in women with constipation predominant IBS. Common side effects include diarrhea in 5% over placebo and headaches in 3% over placebo. It has also been linked more rarely with ischaemic colitis, with 20 cases reported to the FDA from 2002 to 2004.

Cromolyn sodium is a mast cell stabilizer that has been used in the treatment of IBS. Two controlled studies showed an improvement in IBS symptoms with cromolyn sodium compared to placebo treatment. Side effects include sore throat, bad taste in the mouth, stomach pain, cough, stuffy nose, sneezing, headache, and (more serious) increased difficulty breathing, and swelling of the tongue or throat.

These medication treatments may offer some relief for some people with IBS. Talk to your doctor and decide what is right for you.

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Everyone knows that sugar is not really very good for them, but a lot of people still eat it anyway. When you eat a diet that is high in white sugar this can contribute to many issues in the body over the long term. Refined white sugar is put in most pre-packaged foods these days and it has only been widely used for a relatively short period of time, compared to the 100,000 or so years modern humans have been around.

An issue when eating a refined high sugar diet is the foods you are eating are high GI, GI means Glycemic Index. Eating a lot of food that is high GI means food is digested and is released in to your blood stream very quickly causing spikes in your blood sugar. Your body will produce more insulin than usual to bring your blood sugar levels in to balance again, over time this can be a factor in bringing on diabetes. Eating low GI foods such as fruit and vegetables that digest slowly keep your blood sugar levels more even.? ?

Humans are born with a sweet tooth, companies that make pre-packaged food are using it against you. They put sugar in nearly everything to make it take taste better, but your health can be the one to suffer. To see how much sugar that any pre-packaged food at the super market or where you get your food from has, look on the ingredients list and sugar will probably be there. Pre-packaged food often contains sugar, sometimes in large amounts.

At the best of times sugar is not that good for you, having Crohn's Disease it can be especially bad for you if you take steroids. When taking steroids and having a diet high in sugar, this can set you up for other issues such as Candida taking hold. Candida albicans or Candida is yeast in your body that loves to eat sugar, it is their favourite food.

Candida yeast can get out of balance when your intestinal flora is disturbed, when you are taking steroids for example. Steroids lower the populations of good bacteria in your digestive system and the Candida spread quickly when this happens, out of control. Eating a diet high in sugar is giving the yeast perfect conditions for them to reproduce and overwhelm the good bacteria in your system.

Having Candida is not good to have when you have Crohn's Disease as they can make your Crohn's Disease symptoms much worse, which is not a good thing. I had Candida for many years before I knew that steroids can give you an over growth, then I had to get rid of them to feel better but they are quite persistent. With the right tools Candida can dealt with and you give the good bacteria in your system the advantage again. If you have been on steroids in the past for a length of time you may have Candida.

Test this by getting a glass of warm water when you first rise in the morning, before you eat or drink at all and spit in to the glass. If there are white stringy pieces of yeast hanging down from the water in the glass you have a yeast infection. In a couple of minutes there may be yeast settled out on the bottom of the glass.

There are natural alternatives to sugar that do the same job but don't have a nasty effect on your health. Xylitol is one such alternative that you can use like sugar but has no bad affects like sugar.??? ?

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In the last several years people have become less satisfied with their modern western medical providers and solutions which has led them to begin looking toward alternative medicine for solutions. However, this search has led to a new questions, "how do I find the right alternative medical system for me and will it help my condition?" One of the best solutions to this problem is acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine. This amazing system has the ability to work with many different types of health-related problems by treating the person as an individual and not just treating the disease. This article aims to help you find out just what types of problems can be treated with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine.

Most people in the west think that acupuncture works with mainly with pain, or that it is a fringe type of treatment that can't treat anything at all. While it is true that acupuncture can be a phenomenal treatment tool for pain and that pain is what most people in the west begin seeing an acupuncturist for, there are many different problems that acupuncture can effectively treat. Even more, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) have approved acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat many different diseases that are not pain related at all. These can include things like adjunct treatments for nausea during cancer treatment, menstrual cramps and syndromes, and fibromyalgia, and digestive disorders among many others. In addition, there are many groundbreaking studies showing that acupuncture can even be helpful in treating complex problems like infertility as well as a host of other difficult problems.

The following is a list of very commonly treated diseases and health-related problems that Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine can treat quite effectively. This list isn't exhaustive, but does cover a large number of them.

Disorders of bones, muscles, joints and nerves such as Bells's palsy, arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, neuralgias, migraines, dizziness, low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, spine pain, sciatica, muscle spasms, facial spasm, numbness and tingling, fibromyalgia and fascitis

Sleep and stress disorders such as insomnia and fatigue.

Circulatory disorders such as hypertension, hypotension, angina, pulmonary heart disease, cardiac neurosis, palpations, atheroschlerosis, and anemia.

Gastrointestinal disorders such as food allergies, abdominal pain, peptic ulcers, constipation, chronic diarrhea, indigestion, anorexia, gastritis, nausea and vomiting, biliary colic, dysentery, ulcerative colitis and irritable colon syndrome.

Gynecological disorders such as irregular, heavy, or painful menses, PMS, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, menopause, morning sickness, malposition of fetus, induction of labor, infertility, herpes zoster, hypo-ovarianism, and lactation deficiency

Urogenital disorders such as stress incontinence, urinary tract infections, retention of urine, renal colic, prostatitis, and sexual dysfunction.

Respiratory disorders such as emphysema, sinusitis, bronchial asthma, whooping cough, allergies, and bronchitis.

Endocrine disorders such as diabetes, hypo/hyperthyroidism, and obesity.

Addictions such as to alcohol, nicotine, and drug addiction.

Depression including depressive neurosis, chemical or otherwise.

Skin disorders such as acne vulgaris, pruritus and neurodermatitis.

Myofascial pain, including crainomandibular disorders and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).
Stroke rehabilitation

Postoperative pain

Performance enhancement such as athletic and strength assistance.

Supportive therapy for many other chronic and painful debilitating disorders.

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

If your specific condition was not included in this list the best thing to do is contact an acupuncturist in your area and talk with them. Because of an acupuncturist's unique way of diagnosing and treating problems there is a good chance that you can be helped. Millions of people worldwide use acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine to heal their illness. The acupuncturist should be able to let you know, after a consultation whether acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine is right for you. The beauty of a consultation is that you have nothing to lose! It gives you the opportunity to get the information you are seeking and allows you to make choices for yourself

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Leaky gut syndrome also known as intestinal permeability are terms used to describe the inability of the stomach lining to process or absorb protein molecules. Instead of being absorbed and digested, these proteins flow throughout the bloodstream. Here, they stimulate the immune system, and in turn, the immune system reacts to their existence as they would to any foreign bodies by starting an inflammatory reaction that leads to autoantibody production and autoimmune disease development. Evidence for this theory includes the presence of stomach damage seen in patients with a number of different auto-immune diseases including IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's condition, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, thryroiditis, vasculitis, and dermatitis herpetiformis. In many of these conditions, a reduction of digestive inflammation correlates with a reduction or remission of autoimmune symptoms.

Common causes of leaky gut involve alcohol, medications, parasitic organisms, caffeine, bacteria, some food preservatives and additives, allergic states such as gluten understanding and lactose intolerance, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, adrenal cortical steroids, enhanced sugars, oral birth control methods, and fungus. Serious swelling from these sources damages the protective coat of Immunoglobulin A, which interferes the body's normal capability to inhibit these substances. The resulting toxins then interfere with the liver's ability to detoxify these substances. One result is increased sensitivity to environmental agents such as cigarettes, chemical cleaners and strong fragrances. Early signs involve a tendency toward hay fever.

Stage 1 Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome

• Bloating
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Depression
• Intestinal Gas
• Heartburn
• Gum Disease

Leaky gut, in its beginning period, makes severe swelling in your intestinal tract producing significant harm to the abdominal coating. As that coating becomes more damaged, your body no longer can make the necessary enzymes to not only digest, but also absorb food.

Stage 2 Symptoms

• Pain in the joints
• Migraines and other headaches
• Digestive problems
• Dermatitis, Psoriasis and Eczema
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Apparent Food Allergies

At this stage, it is causing intestinal lining cells to break down and form large gap junctions. These gaps allow the partly consumed food and substances into your bloodstream instead of sending them through your digestive tract to be further digested.

Stage 3 Symptoms

• Ulcerative Colitis
• Arthritis
• Systemic Candida, nail Fungus, ringworm, etc.
• Celiac's Disease
• Severe Skin Conditions
• Colitis
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Crohn's Disease
• Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Without treatment, your immune system will eventually become fatigued - this is what causes the development of autoimmune problems. When this happens, Leaky Gut is even more problematic.

It is crucial to not allow Leaky Gut Syndrome to progress very far because it becomes even more difficult to cure. The earlier you start to study on how to heal leaky gut, the more good it will do.

Also, keep in mind that even though it is relatively easy and typical to use other issues as the reason for such serious symptoms, the reality is that your body is basically trying to tell you that there is something wrong. If you pay attention to your signs and symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome, they will take you to the actual problem.

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Probiotics have been proven to prevent and treat common antibiotic side effects such as


  • upset stomach

  • diarrhea

  • vaginal infections

Some form of antibiotics, such as especially cephalosporins, clindamycin , or fluoroquinolones, induce colitis, an inflammation of the large intestine, in some individuals. This type of colitis is caused by a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium difficile, which is resistant to many antibiotics and which proliferates in the intestines when other normal bacteria in the intestine are destroyed by the antibiotics.

You can protect yourself from these uncomfortable side effects by following these guidelines:-


  • take an extra dose of probiotics a few days before taking antibiotics. An extra dose could be an additional 10 billion CFU of probiotics supplement or a serving of yogurt or kefir.

  • during the period of antibiotics intake, take two or more doses of probiotics in the day time. Take probiotics at least 3 hours apart from antibiotics. Taking both at the same time simply defeats the purpose as the friendly bacteria will be totally destroyed by the drug.

  • obtain variety of bacteria by taking yoghurt and kefir or supplements with six different bacteria strains.

  • use saccharomyces boulardii, a non-pathogenic yeast that works like a probiotics. Antibiotics can only kill bacteria and cannot eliminate yeast.

  • keep on taking an extra dose of probiotics a day for one week after the completion of antibiotics medication to replenish the good bacteria.

  • support the growth of your good bacteria by eating a diet high in fiber.


Note to People with Yeast Infections/Candida and/or Milk-Sensitivity

  • Supplements works best if you are sensitive to the cow's milk in yoghurt and kefir or if you have Candida. Brands like UAS Labs and Natren carry the dairy-free version.


  • Saccharomyces boulardii is completely unrelated to candida, the yeast responsible for yeast infections. Rather, S. boulardii is recommended by nutritionists for the treatment of Candida overgrowth. Research has also shown that this form of yeast is effective against Clostridium difficile infection. Florastor is a well-known brand for this health promoting yeast supplement.

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Ulcerative colitis treatment begins with a definitive diagnosis and a determination of the severity of illness. Once this initial diagnosis has been made, the immediate goal of treatment is to reduce the painful physical symptoms associated with it. Since there is no cure for ulcerative colitis, the long-term goal of treatment is to prevent future onset of illness, or relapse.

Both ulcerative colitis, and a related disorder called Crohn's Disease, are characterized by an abnormal immune system response within the intestines. In patients with ulcerative colitis, the location of this response is restricted to the large intestine, or colon. The resulting inflammation and ulceration of the intestinal walls can cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding, the main symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Due to the fact that other health conditions may exist that exhibit similar symptoms, care for ulcerative colitis begins with a confirmation of this initial diagnosis. This includes taking stool samples to rule out the presence of parasites or an existing infection within the colon, and performing blood tests to detect elevated white blood cell counts (high white blood cell counts indicate that the cause of inflammation is due to the activation of the body's own immune response).

A visual examination, either directly using a sigmoidoscope or a colonoscope, or indirectly via a barium enema, will help make the final confirmation that colitis is in fact the culprit. These visualization techniques are an essential step in ulcerative colitis treatment because they allow the physician to measure the severity of the illness, and therefore to figure out the best course to minimize the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Medications play a large part in both the initial treatment and long-term care for ulcerative colitis. These medications fall into two main categories: immunomodulators, which alter the proteins produced by the immune system which cause inflammation, and anti-inflammatory medications, which act to reduce the inflammation directly. Although these medications do not cure ulcerative colitis, they can induce remission of its symptoms and lengthen the time between relapses. As such they offer an ulcerative colitis treatment option that many sufferers take advantage of.

Very rarely, ulcerative colitis is treated surgically. Although surgery is the only true cure for the disease, it is inherently risky and therefore often reserved only for cases in which prolonged inflammation of the colon has resulted in life-threatening complications.

Although research has not yet shown any correlation between diet and the initial onset of ulcerative colitis, a low-fat, bland diet may alleviate some of the symptoms during periods of disease activity. Similarly, a healthy, balanced diet may help to prolong periods of disease remission.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis mentioned above, make sure you visit your doctor right away for a thorough examination. If you do have this disorder, your doctor will help you determine the best ulcerative colitis treatment for your particular case.

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Consisting of the large intestine, the rectum, and the anus, the colon is quite possibly one of the most important organs in your body. It is part of a complex system designed to eliminate food waste and the waste generated by your body as effectively as possible and is the part of the body where bowel movements are created out of digestive matter for excretion.

Aside from water and sodium, the colon is usually not associated with the absorption of food nutrients which is technically the job of the small intestines. However, the colon plays an extremely important role in overall health. It is the site of the fermentation of food materials that the small intestines cannot absorb (i.e., soluble and insoluble fibre) by bacterial flora. This is the reason why dietary probiotics have started to gain popularity in recent years. Bacterial flora in the colon are responsible for producing vitamin K-2 which has been shown to aid in proper blood clotting and the formation of strong bones. As a matter of fact, it is believed that one of the reasons why Japanese woman from Okinawa (an area famous for it's high number of centenarians and high average life-span) have much lower incidences of osteoporosis is that they consume healthy bacteria in their diets which increases the amount of vitamin K-2 that their colons absorb.

Evidently, the colon is an important organ for overall health, however things can go wrong. Like most bodily organs and tissues, the colon is susceptible to infection, inflammation, and cancer. There are a variety common conditions that can affect your colon:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition in which the muscles of the colon contract abnormally, causing diarrhea, constipation, cramps in the abdomen, bloating, and gas. It can be managed through dietary changes/food avoidance and medications.

Colitis

Colitis is an umbrella term referring to several conditions characterized by inflammation of the large bowel. The different types of colitis include ulcerative colitis (cause unknown), Crohn's disease (cause unknown), ischemic colitis (when there is a lack of blood going to the colon), infectious colitis (the result of infections of the large bowel), and radiation colitis (caused by radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer).

Symptoms often depend on the cause of the colitis but common symptoms include abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, bloody stools, joint pain, nausea and vomiting, and a constant urgency to go to the bathroom.

Much like the symptoms, treatments also depend on the cause of the colitis but may include immune moderating medications, antibiotics to target infections, dietary changes, and possibly surgery if necessary.

Diverticular Disease

Diverticular disease consists of diverticulosis (where small pouches form in the colon when it is pushed through small openings in surrounding muscle walls) and diverticulitis (when these little pouches become inflamed). There is no official cause but it is believed that a diet low in fiber can lead to diverituclar disease.

Symptoms include cramping, bloating, and constipation if only diverticulosis is present but can include lower abdominal pain and nausea and vomiting if it becomes diverticulitis.

Surgery, medications, and dietary changes are usually the only common treatments for diverticular disease.

Cancer of the Colon and Rectum

Cancer of the colon and rectum occurs when the cells that make up the lining of the colon begin to reproduce uncontrollably. This leads to the formation of tumours which can ultimately be fatal. The first sign of cancer of the colon or rectum are pre-cancerous polyps, or small protruding growths on the tissues of the colon. These in themselves are not yet actually cancer but can develop into a serious cancerous growth.

There usually no symptoms associated with pre-cancerous polyps but once cancer of the colon or rectum occurs, symptoms may include blood in the stool, bowel obstruction, anaemia, and abdominal pains.

Treatment for cancer of the colon or rectum resembles the treatment of many other cancers and involves either chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or some combination of the three.

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is recommended that you advise your doctor so that together, you can rule out any of the above conditions. You may also like to look into some medical diagnostic tests such as the common colonoscopy or a small bowel follow through procedure, as they are the ideal way to catch any problems early before they worsen.

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Ischemic colitis is a colon condition that occurs when a section of the colon is not getting the blood supply it needs. As a result, it grows larger than it should and becomes inflamed. It is called ischemic colitis because the word ischemia is a medical term that's used when there's a blockage in a blood vessel. The word ischemia is also used to describe coronary arteries when blood flow around the heart is obstructed by plaque. This, of course, is the main reason for a heart attack.

Ischemic colitis generally occurs on the left side of the colon, but blockages may occur anywhere. Happily, it is often mild and goes away in a few days, whether it is treated or not. Chronic cases are possible, however. Sometimes the condition becomes so severe that permanent damage to the colon can result.

Ischemic colitis happens for several reasons. Colon cancer is the most serious of these. Atherosclerosis is another. Atherosclerosis is a build up of fatty deposits on blood vessel walls. Blood therefore has less room to flow to organs and tissues, which can lead to cell death and tissue destruction. Atherosclerosis is often the cause of chronic ischemic colitis. Blood clots account for some cases too.

Ischemic colitis can take place in conjunction with several other disorders, including hernia and diabetes. Certain medications can also trigger the condition, but this is rare. When it does happen, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), estrogen replacement medications, and migraine relievers are generally the cause. Anti-psychotic medications and blood pressure medications are other possibilities.

Abdominal surgery sometimes results in temporary ischemic colitis, as do infections involving certain kinds of bacteria.

The most frequent - and obvious - symptom is abdominal pain that can appear either gradually or suddenly. Pain in the upper abdomen after a meal could be a symptom of gallbladder problems, but it could also be ischemic colitis. Abdominal discomfort is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and a slight fever. Some symptoms are downright unpleasant and can certainly be disconcerting or even frightening. These symptoms include diarrhea and a frequent, powerful urge to move your bowels. Blood often appears in the stool, and individuals with this disorder may even pass blood without stools.

As mentioned above, pain and discomfort usually occur on the left side of the colon. If you start feeling discomfort on the right side, it could mean there's a blockage in blood flow to the intestines. Such blockages can be serious and should not be taken lightly due to the possibility of tissue death. This can cause a medical emergency that requires surgery, making it important to get to a doctor right away.

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Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the alimentary tract and can affect any part of it, from the mouth to the anus. It typically affects the terminal ileum and well -demarcated areas of the large intestine.

Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) is a measure of the progress or lack of it, in patients suffering from Crohn's disease. It is used for the detection of post-operative recurrence of Crohn's disease. The equation enumerated below, utilizing eight selected variables, is called Crohn's Disease Activity Index.
CDAI = 2x1 + 5x2 + 7x3 + 20x4 + 30x5 + 10x6 + 6x7 + (weight factor) 8
Each number in the above equation is multiplied pertains to certain factors.

These factors range from the number of liquid or soft stool that a patient passes to the hematocrit measure. Fluctuations in the weight are also considered to be serious factors influencing the CDAI. The other factors considered in the index are abdominal pain ratings on a scale from 0 to 3. General well-being is also factored in a scale of 0 to 4.The symptoms or findings related to the disease are given due importance. The number of incidences of administration of the specific drug, Lomotil for diarrhea is also a factor considered in the equation. Abnormal mass of a patient constitutes yet another parameter for calculating the activity index.

Hematocrit is an important measure of both the number and size of red blood corpuscles. The normal count in males is supposed to be 47 whereas females generally have a hematocrit value of 42.

Generally speaking, CDAI scores below 150 indicate a better prognosis than higher scores. Index values of 150 and below are associated with inactive disease, values above that indicate active disease, and values above 450 are seen with extremely severe disease. Crohn's disease activity index may identify patients in remission. However, many researchers use a 'subjective value' of 200 to 250.

CDAI is used to gauge only the progress by comparing the readings from one week to the next and determine if the patient of Crohn's disease is getting better or worse. Patients of the disease have to use the CDAI on a regular basis and view it as a personal gauge to measure progress.

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One of the most prevalent types of arthritis afflicting people of different races and of any age is Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The disease appears earlier than osteoarthritis at anytime of a persons life from infancy to old age but it usually upsets people in their 20's to 40's. Women are more prone to acquire the disease than men although this is evened out when the men reach their 50's.

The most familiar place for this kind of arthritis is in the foot, hands, wrists and lastly the ankles. But most cases are found in the foot where more joints are put under a lot of pressure. As a joint disease, it is also symmetrical in which it affects both joints of the body involved.

An acute illness accompanied by high fever with intense inflammation of the joints could mark the start of a rheumatoid arthritis. But the cause of the disease is unknown and its existence among children known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis has been dubbed as a mystery.

Several views have been provided to explain the occurrence of the disease. One such view postulates that the body's antibodies, produced to fight against infection, actually attack the joints which results in swelling and redness. The cartilage and bone may eventually be damaged as the inflammation spreads to the tissues around the joint.

The study of genetics has found a certain chemical marker among those positive with rheumatoid arthritis leading to the belief that a virus or a bacteria actually triggers its development. Some say that sudden and traumatic injuries like ankle sprains would eventually have the affected joints to be vulnerable to the disease in the future. Symptoms may also develop through severe stress, obesity that aggravates most arthritic conditions and bowel disorders like colitis.

Treatment for the disease does not include its cure as there is no existing cure for it. But treatments are available to relieve pain and discomfort. Drug therapies are available to control the spread of the disease which in its severe form could affect other parts of the body. Aspirin and ibuprofen as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used.

Cortisone shots or steroid injections may also be helpful to relieve intense pain. Drugs known as DMADs are also available if NSAIDs does not work. Surgery is sometimes the last resort if all the other traditional means are ineffective to ease the pain and the progression of the disease.

Among children, the disease is outgrown while older people get stuck with it for a long time. Children are afflicted around 5 to 16 years old where diagnosis is quite difficult because they could easily find ways to ignore the pain. Even if they do get treated for the disease or the disease may go away, the chances that it will come back in later years is high. Its treatment is different from that of the adult rheumatoid arthritis especially on its drug medications.

Children or adults afflicted with the disease are encouraged to do exercise to strengthen their bones and help them move but it should be guided by a therapist. Proper treatment of the disease and any other alternative plan of action after the diagnosis should be discussed with your doctor.

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Crohn's disease (CD) is an inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the general term for inflammation diseases of the small intestine and colon. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is another form of IBD.

In Crohn's disease, the inflammation is generally in the lower part of the small intestine. But CD can also affect the entire digestive system from mouth to anus. Colitis, on the other hand, usually only occurs in the lower colon or rectum.

Crohn's Disease Symptoms and Complications

The range and severity of Crohn's disease symptoms can vary. This makes CD complicated to diagnose. However, the most common symptoms are:

o Abdominal pain, generally in the lower right area,

o With the pain being accompanied by diarrhea.

Other common Crohn's disease symptoms are:

o Rectal bleeding,

o Weight loss,

o Arthritis,

o Skin problems,

o And fever.

Persistent rectal bleeding is serious and can lead to anemia. Children with CD often suffer from malnutrition, delayed development and even stunted growth.

The most common Crohn's disease complications are:

o Blockage and narrowing of the intestine from inflammation and scar tissue;

o Sores or ulcers in the bladder, vagina or skin that often become infected;

o Small tears called fissures, which develop in the lining of the anus;

o Nutritional deficiencies caused by poor diet, loss of nutrients or mal-absorption;

o Arthritis, skin problems, inflammation of the eyes or mouth, kidney stones, gallstones and development of diseases of the liver and biliary system.

Who Gets Crohn's Disease and Why

A tendency towards Crohn's disease often runs in families, affecting both men and women. About one out of every five CD patients has a blood relative with IBD problems, usually a brother or sister and sometimes a parent or child. Scientists are not clear if this connection is genetic or environmental, relating to diet and other family habits.

It's difficult to distinguish between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, since they both have such similar symptoms. These include:

o Abdominal pain and cramping,

o Frequent and often bloody diarrhea,

o Loss of body fluids and nutrients,

o Poor appetite, weight loss

o And persistent fatigue.

Medical tests are therefore necessary for the accurate diagnosis of an IBD.

Neither the specific cause nor cure is known for CD. Drug therapy and surgery can relieve symptoms, but do not offer any cure. Most patients are usually treated with anti-inflammatory medications, which have unpleasant and often serious side effects.

Most Crohn's Disease patients also need to avoid foods they personally find upsetting. This varies from one patient to another, but these usually include highly seasoned foods, raw fruits and vegetables and high lactose dairy products.

Natural Help for Crohn's Disease

Several recent studies reported in the Journal of Gastroenterology have shown that natural anti-inflammatory omega 3 fish oil, high in EPA, DPA and DHA fatty acids, can reduce the severity of inflammation from Chron's disease by more than 50%.

Taking fish oil also allows those suffering from the pain of inflammation from CD to discontinue potentially harmful anti-inflammatory and steroidal medications.

Because of the symptomatic loss of nutrients and dietary restrictions, natural, full spectrum food supplements, including pure, non-toxic fish oil capsules, are highly recommended to insure the nutrition necessary to stay as healthy as possible.

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My Story

I bought Culturelle some years ago at the recommendation of a friend, who was giving this to her autistic son to treat his leaky gut syndrome. Costing approximately SGD40 for a 30 day supply, this product did not come cheap. But I decided to give it a try anyway, hoping that it would ease the digestive troubles I was experiencing at that time. To cut the long story short, I did find relief from my indigestion three days after taking Culturelle , but did not understand or appreciate why or what makes it so effective then.

Recently I became highly interested in the topic of probiotics and started doing research on Culturelle for some time. My relentless pursuit in the jungle of information that is the internet finally revealed some fascinating facts about this product.

What Places Culturelle Apart From Other Probiotics Supplement?

Culturelle is a probiotics supplement that contains the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (strain ATCC 53103), a bacterium that occurs naturally in the human digestive tract. This bacteria strain was discovered in 1985 by two Boston based scientists, Professors Sherwood Gorbach and Barry Goldin, who were looking for a strain that could satisfy the following stringent criteria:- 

1) The bacteria should be of human origin; 2) It must be capable of attaching to human intestinal lining 3) It must be capable of colonizing the gut to prevent competition from invading pathogens; 4) It can withstand stomach and bile acid in order to survive the journey from the stomach to the intestines; and 5) The strain should have health-promoting benefits in the human body 6) It needs to be safe for human consumption. LGG satisfies all of these criteria and is the best-studied and most extensively documented probiotic lactic-acid bacteria strain in the world. At present, Lactobacillus GG has the most extensive safety assessment record of any other probiotic strain. Few other strains in the Lactobacillus rhamnosus species have received this kind of scientific attention.

Pretty amazing, I would say. But I wasn't satisfied yet. Not until I see some real scientific data behind these claims. Below is what I uncovered....

LGG proves effective for acute and traveler's diarrhea

 o LGG is an effective form of treatment for diarrhea caused by the clostridium difficile bacteria. (a) This type of bacteria is also responsible for more serious intestinal disorders like colitis. In one study of 32 patients carried out in 1996 in Boston and Baltimore the LGG treatment success rate is a significant 94%.

o LGG also significantly reduced the duration of diarrhea in another study particularly in rotavirus-caused diarrhea.(b) Professor Gary Huffnagle, renowned author of "The Probiotics Revolution" also cited a study carried out at European medical centers on 287 children (ages 1 month to 3 years) that "the duration of the diarrhea was reduced by an impressive 13 hours.."(refer to page 128 of "The Probiotics Revolution")

 o The incidence of traveler's diarrhea is lower in people who consumes Lactobacillus GG .(c)

 LGG moderates milk-sensitivity

o LGG prevents inflammation in individuals sensitive to cow's milk.

o In a double-blind, crossover study, it was found that LGG eliminated inflammatory response in the milk-sensitive subjects to a significant degree. In non-sensitive subjects, LGG stimulated their immune system.(d)   LGG decreases the incidence of atopic eczema

o Lactobacillus GG has been clinically shown to prevent occurrence of atopic eczema in children.

o In a 6 months trial of 159 infants who are at risk of developing atopic eczema, it was found that infants administered LGG were only half as likely to develop the skin disorder compared to the placebo group during the first 2 years of life.(e)   o The protective effect of LGG continued to for at least 4 years.(f)

Other Proven Therapeutic Effects of Lactobacillus GG

o Reduce H.pylori antibiotics side effects. LGG significantly reduced sided effects such as bloating, diarrhea and metallic taste in the mouth while on triple therapy, the standard treatment for H. pyloric infections.(g)

o Anti-Tumor Effects.Lactobacillus GG was observed to slow down the development of colon tumors in rats on a high-fat diet.(h)

o Prevents relapse in ulcerative colitis patients.(i)

What Else Do I Like About This Product? A check at Culturelle's website shows that they guarantee 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of Lactobacillus GG at the time of use-the scientifically researched amount proven for beneficial clinical response. Most manufacturers only list the number of viable bacteria cells at the time of manufacture.

Another point worth mentioning here is that each capsule in Culturelle "is individually double-foil protected and nitrogen flushed to assure maximum potency and stability, as well as to act as an effective barrier against light, moisture, heat, and air."This makes it very convenient for travelling as well as people who have limited space in their refrigerator.

Culturelle is proven safe for infants and children and pregnant women. It has no known adverse interactions with medications.

What To Watch Out For....

Milk-sensitive people be aware

Although the scientific data I presented above claims that LGG is safe for milk-sensitive individuals, I personally feel there may still be potential for allergies since Culturelle contains trace level of casein and whey which are milk protein. A search on some review sites shows that a very small minority of users experience digestive disturbances and colon irritation when taking Culturelle. Well, I suppose nothing works perfectly well for everyone, since every human being has a unique makeup in their biochemistry.

You might to consider other brands like UAS Lab's Probioplus and Natren's Healthy Trinity which are good non-dairy options.

No one type of bacteria strain works for everything

Due to the huge amount of attention place on the LGG strain by the scientific community, it is easy to neglect the potential benefits other strains of bacteria may have on the human body. In the words of Professor Gary B. Huffnagle, a highly respected immunologist and microbiologist, "all members of a bacteria species share many microbiological and biochemical traits, and others might be just as beneficial as - or even superior to-the GG strain....Until all the information is in, variety is your best bet."

My Verdict

Overall, Culturelle is a good all-rounder at an affordable price, so I would give it a 4 1/2 out of 5 star rating. Despite its flaws, I would still purchase this once in a while to create a diverse probiotics colony in my gut. It would very likely be my first choice should I ever need to fight a bad bout of gastrointestinal infection.

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When you decide you are prepared to have a baby, you may be one of those people who are lucky to conceive in a few months' time or you may be one of those who find themselves in a fertility challenged situation. Despite the time you have been trying, you need to increase your chances of conceiving with a method that is inexpensive, fast, non-invasive and painless. Whether you believe it or not, chiropractic care can help you in conceiving.

Many researches have shown that chiropractic treatment results in good outcome when treating infertility despite of the age of the woman, previous medical intervention or health history like blocked fallopian tubes, colitis, miscarriages, trauma or amenorrhea and also the number of years of infertility.

The spine is a central highway of nerves. Just like it is important for an electrical cord to be properly plugged in for any appliance to work, the reproductive system also needs the nerves connected to them to be working properly and not be blocked away in any way.

Your chiropractor will identify pressed or pinched nerves and can treat the spinal distortions which are known as subluxations. These distortions can be a result of many things like illness, stress, childhood falls, poor posture and accidents. After the subluxations are corrected or eliminated, the menstrual cycle of a woman gets strengthened, the action of the delivery of the eggs through the fallopian tubes gets improved and some cases of endometriosis start to be reversed.

Chiropractic patients, holistic websites and chiropractors have many pregnancy success stories to tell. It has happened that some women who went to their chiropractors for other reasons found themselves pregnancy and also some women who have been fighting infertility for more than ten years have found themselves pregnant within a few visits or few months of visits to the chiropractor. These results have found to be the same despite of the method used by the chiropractor for treatment.

It works mostly for many women but it does not mean that it WILL work for everyone. It is definitely an option which is worth giving a shot alone or in combination with other treatment options for infertility especially if you have had an illness or accident. Visiting a chiropractor is a good idea even if you do not want to conceive as the nerves in the spine are not only connected to the reproductive organs but also to other body parts.

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When there is an inflammation in the colon then this condition is termed as colitis. Autoimmune reactions, poor blood supply, and also infections are some of the major causes of colitis. Colon is a long muscular tube and pushes the food which is undigested towards the anus for natural elimination as bowel movement. It is the colon which is responsible for collection and storage of the waste products of digestion. The location of the colon is in abdominal cavity.

Various parts of the colon are cecum, ascending colon, transverse, descending colon, the sigmoid, the rectum and the anus. There are numerous layers in the wall of the colon. The layer which wraps the outside is known as smooth muscle. It squeezes the undigested food through the length of the colon. Mucosa is the inner layer which helps in solidifying the feces. An inflammation of the colon occurs in the mucosal layer which is responsible for the symptoms of colitis.

An infection and the variety of illness cause the inflammation of the colon. Most common causes of the colitis are - infectious colitis, ischemic colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, microscopic colitis and chemical colitis.

Usually according to the type of colitis the symptoms of the colitis will occur. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are its common symptoms. There are some other symptoms also.

1. A constant feeling of having bowel movement. It is also called Tenesmus.

2. Constant pain

3. Inflammation, infection, chills and fever.

4. In the bowel movement there may be the presence of blood.

5. Abdominal pain occurs in waves which causes diarrhea.

Various types of natural cures are available to cure colitis.

1. Best way to control colitis is to shift on liquid diet. Diet plays an important role in curing colitis. Fluid diet is best for colitis as it allows the colon to rest and nothing is passed into the colon to be processed as stool.

2. Intake of excess water is very necessary to cure colitis. With each diarrheal bowel movement an individual loses a significant amount of fluid. So adequate fluid should be taken to maintain the balance otherwise it will lead to dehydration and an individual will suffer from the problem of abdominal pain and cramping.

3. Try to avoid the food which causes allergies as it is also one of the important causes which result into colitis. Especially take care before using milk and dairy products, chocolate, corn, wheat, gluten etc.

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