Monthly Archives: March 2016

Probiotics for Spring (and Other) Allergies

Updated on 4/4/2016. Last updated on 4/15/2016.

 

(Source: blog.thewellnessuniverse.com)
(Source: blog.thewellnessuniverse.com)
A recent article called The Surprising Way to Beat Spring Allergies by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP, one of my favorite writers on probiotics and the gut microbiome, caught my eye and I want to share its information with those of you who suffer from allergies, seasonal or otherwise.
Her article starts out this way:

“Before you grab that decongestant to subdue your sinus congestion or antihistamine to stop the sneezing linked to spring allergies, you might want to give your gut some attention. More and more research shows that probiotics can reduce allergy symptoms and may even prevent allergic conditions altogether if they are started early in life. But not just any probiotic will do; with thousands of probiotic strains available, it’s important to choose the ones that have an anti-allergy effect. The right probiotic strains can heal the intestinal walls and reduce low-grade inflammation in the gut, but also prevent or reduce allergies.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

 

(Source: www.internetbillboards.net)
(Source: www.internetbillboards.net)

 

The most common symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis are inflammation in the nose, sinuses and eyes. You inhale some pollen or other allergen and your nose and sinuses become congested or blocked. Maybe your eyes itch, burn, tear up or become red. Maybe your eyes become hypersensitive to light. Your nose may itch and discharge watery mucus. Your ear canals may get irritated. You sneeze a lot, feel physically depressed and generally miserable.

 

 

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ALLERGIES & ME

In my case, decades of year round chronic allergies resulted in the growth of nasal polyps in my sinuses that dropped down into my nose every time I inhaled, causing me to have to breathe only through my mouth. I was exhausted all the time, had frequent sinus infections, a tenderness in the bridge of my nose that made wearing glasses painful, and such swollen nasal and sinus tissue that I could never blow my noise. And I had to wear tinted glasses even indoors to deal with light sensitivity.
The chronic inflammation and difficulty breathing made me physically depressed and, as a result, I also believed I was emotionally depressed. Basically, I was and felt like an inflamed mess – and the number of things I was allergic to kept growing: cat dander, dust, cigarette smoke, foods, scents.
I went to allergy doctors who prescribed decongestants (they made my heart race) and antihistamines (most of them severally sapped the little energy I had). I remember lying on our living room couch once after taking a prescription pill containing both a decongestant and antihistamine, my sinuses so dried up I could hardly breathe and my heart beating so rapidly I thought I was going to die, unable to lift my head or get up to call for help … long before cell phones.
I told my ENT doc, after the second surgery to remove nasal polyps (the chronic inflammation caused them to grow back), that I was going to find a non-pharmaceutical/ non-surgical way to fix both my allergies and sinuses. He was a good guy and asked me to please let him know when I’d found the information I was seeking.

 

(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)
(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)

 

Thankfully, I’ve been tenacious over several decades in seeking that information and choosing helpful health care providers to work with, never grew another nasal polyp, and am no longer done in by upper respiratory allergies.
This website, Allergies And your Gut, is a by product of that determined quest to feel well.

 

 

 

 

BACK TO MICHELLE SCHOFFRO COOK’S ARTICLE

“The ideal time to be introduced to beneficial allergy-preventing strains of bacteria is actually before birth. Research in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that when a pregnant woman consumes probiotic-rich milk or yogurt during pregnancy, an infant or child is less likely to suffer from allergic conditions such as eczema or rhinoconjunctivitis.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

Of course, we’re not able to go back and make sure we got sufficient beneficial microbes during our fetal development but we can provide ourselves now with pertinent probiotics  to prevent or reverse our allergy symptoms and conditions.
The milk and yogurt products used in this study  contained three types of probiotic bacteria:
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Cook reports on work done by scientists at the Osaka University School of Medicine that found ingestion of another probiotic,  Lactobacillus casei (L. casei), delayed the occurrence of allergy symptoms and reduced allergic nasal and sinus congestion. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study results were published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.

 

 

BREWER’S YEAST (DRIED, FERMENTED SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE)

And finally, Cook cites 2009 research results from a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the medical journal Advanced Therapeutics demonstrating the benefits of consuming a dried, fermented probiotic yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Study participants consisted of 96 healthy people with a recent, clinically documented history of seasonal allergies. The researchers  were testing the efficacy of 500 mg of a fermented, dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae product during the highest recorded concentrations of total pollen counts for the Midwest area where the study was conducted and found it reduced allergy symptoms, especially nasal congestion. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is also known as ‘brewer’s yeast’.

 

Dried, fermented Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s yeast)
yeast-flakes
Dried yeast fermentate helps balance your immune system by:
  • boosting the strength of your skin and mucus membranes
  • stimulating immune cells
  • supporting the production of T-cell and B-cell immune factors
In case you want to read more on dried, fermented Saccharomyces cerevisiae, here’s a useful article about it.  (Day, 2014)
If you’re inclined to want your information from a strictly Western Medicine source, here’s information on Brewer’s Yeast from WebMD. (WebMD, 2016).
 Note added on 4/4/2016:
See Sorting Out Yeast: Nutritional and Brewer’s for a comparison of nutritional yeast vs brewer’s yeast. (Mercola, 4/4/2016)

4/15/2016

Following up on Scott Moshen’s helpful COMMENT below, I found Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning for a reasonable price at my local health food store. It’s also available from Amazon.com. Bragg is also the long time maker of other raw, organic products that many health conscious people swear by, including an Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar  that’s unfiltered and contains the ‘mother’.

 

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PROBIOTICS VS DRUGS FOR ALLERGIES

If you’re like me, you prefer consuming foods and natural substances to taking pharmaceutical drugs whenever possible to prevent inflammatory, autoimmune problems – or to treat them if they have already developed.
The authors of the 2009 Advanced Therapeutics article described above noted:

“Allergic rhinitis (AR) impacts around 25% of the worldwide population. However, cost, safety, and a high dissatisfaction rate with numerous conventional medications continues to be an issue in the largest patient surveys, due primarily to a lack of efficacy on nasal congestion.” (Moyad et al, 2009)

And Cook has this to say on the subject:

“Unlike drug products, antihistamines and decongestants you take when symptoms are severe, the probiotic-based approach works differently. Probiotics are best taken on a daily basis (follow package instructions of the specific product(s) you select) before and during allergy season. Select products that contain the specific probiotic strains mentioned in this article, as others have not been tested for effectiveness against seasonal allergies.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

For more information on the benefits of consuming fermented foods and how to do it, check out Cook’s article, 25 Ways to Get More Fermented Foods in Your Diet. (Cook, 3/10/2016)

 

(Source: www.amazon.com)
(Source: www.amazon.com)
I also recommend Dr Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook‘s book The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out to you. Here’s a list of its chapters:
  • Chapter 1: The Health Secret We’ve All Been Waiting For
  • Chapter 2: The Surprising Worlds Within Your Body
  • Chapter 3: From the Common Cold to Superbugs: Probiotics to the Rescue
  • Chapter 4: New Hope for Serious Illnesses
  • Chapter 5: How to Select Probiotic Supplements
  • Chapter 6: Fall in Love with Fermented Foods
  • Chapter 7: Easy, Delicious, Probiotic-Rich Recipes
(Source: nerdygirlnutrition.com)
(Source: nerdygirlnutrition.com)

 

 

 

 

MICRO-ORGANISMS FOR PEOPLE AND PLANTS

 

 

VB montgomery bikle

 

I want to add to all the above what Professor of Geomorphology David R. Montgomery and Biologist and Environmental Planner Anne Biklé have to say about why allergies have become so prevalent. They are husband and wife – and the authors of an engaging and timely new book called The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health.
Their book began with a desire to create a garden in the yard of their house in Seattle. They soon discovered the soil had become barren, depleted of nutrients, dead – so they started feeding it a steady diet of organic matter (coffee grounds, wood chips, leaves, home-brewed compost – lots and lots of it). Soon the soil  was teeming with microbial life and supporting a lush garden supplying them with nutrient-rich organic plants.
As scientists, they were fascinated by this experiment. Then Anne was diagnosed with cancer and they turned their attention to the question of what supports health in the body. They began to move away from the view of microbes as mostly pathogenic and toward understanding that the vast arrays of invisible micro-organisms (pounds of them) that live in and on us are actually what maintain our health – or make us ill if they’re not well nurtured.
They’d seen this interaction at work in the relationship between the soil in their miraculous garden and the plants that grew in it. Now they were able to start understanding that the same relationship exists between the health of the micro-organisms in the various human microbiomes and the health of the host’s body.
Here’s part of what they have to say about gut micro-organisms and allergies:

“Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, neither of us can recall classmates or friends with severe enough allergies and asthma that it required hypervigilant parents and teachers to help them avoid near-death experiences. We also don’t recall today’s prevalence of common gut dysfunctions like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

“In the past fifty years researchers have seen not just an uptick in the incidence of gut dysfunctions, but a fortyfold increase…. While our genes may make us more or less susceptible to such ailments, changes in our gut microbiome are increasingly implicated as well.

“Gut dysfunctions and autoimmune diseases like asthma and allergies are turning out to be, at least in part, consequences of an immune system gone alarmingly awry. The hallmark symptom of all these diseases is an over-the-top immune response that damages our own cells and tissues.

“How does our own immune system turn against us? Increasingly, it seems that a major contributing factor is a severe case of atrophy for our efficient and evolutionarily honed immune system. Without a challenging workout and the help of beneficial microbes, our specialized immune cells and tissue grow lazy, or one might say, hazy. It is the day in, day out saturation of the inside and outside of our bodies with microbes that tones and sharpens the various feedback loops that drive our immune system to learn and recognize microbial friends from foes. A too-clean environment, ultrasanitized food and water, repeated doses of antibiotics, and minimal contact with soil and nature all work against us. These factors interfere with communication between microbes and our immune system. And this throws off the balancing act of meting out inflammation that our immune system evolved to do.” (Montgomery & Biklé, 2016, 189-190)

I highly recommend this book to you. Some comments from reviewers:

“I love this book! It’s genial, erudite, and wise. Using their personal story, historical fact, and cutting-edge science, Montgomery and Biklé have given us a great gift – a deep understanding and appreciation of our relationship with the microbial world.”

The Hidden Half of Nature reads like a fast-paced novel but tells the true story of the workings of soils, and even our own bodies.”

“I wish I had learned this in medical school.”

The Hidden Half of Nature draws a straight line from the microbes that live in healthy soil to those that live in healthy guts, skillfully blending the personal and the scientific. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with their own health.”

 

 

(Source: farmviability.wordpress.com)
(Source: farmviability.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Bertelsen, R.J. et al. (2014). Probiotic milk consumption in pregnancy and infancy and subsequent childhood allergic diseases. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 133:1, 165-71. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24034345

Cook, M.S. (3/10/2016). 25 Easy Ways to Get More Fermented Foods in Your Diet. See: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/25-easy-ways-to-get-more-fermented-foods-in-your-diet.html

Cook, M.S. (3/17/2016). The Surprising Way to Beat Spring Allergies. See: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-surprising-way-to-beat-spring-allergies.html

Cook, M.S. (2015). The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out. See: http://www.amazon.com/Probiotic-Promise-Simple-Steps-Inside/dp/0738217956/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458929224&sr=1-1&keywords=probiotic+promise

Day, K. (8/17/2014). Nutrient Spotlight—Dried Yeast Fermentate. See: http://www.wholehealthinsider.com/newsletter/nutrient-spotlight-dried-yeast-fermentate/

Mercola, R. (4/4/2016). Sorting Out Yeast: Nutritional and Brewer’s. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/04/04/nutritional-yeast.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20160404Z1&et_cid=DM102154&et_rid=1427794112

Montgomery, D.R. & Biklé, A. (2016). The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health. See: http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Half-Nature-Microbial-Health/dp/0393244407/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458929335&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Hidden+Half+of+Nature%3A+The+Microbial+Roots+of+Life+and+Health

Moyad, M.A. et al. (2009). Immunogenic yeast-based fermentation product reduces allergic rhinitis-induced nasal congestion: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Advanced Therapeutics, 26:8, 795-804. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19672568

Tamura, M. et al. (2007). Effects of probiotics on allergic rhinitis induced by Japanese cedar pollen: randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, 143:1, 75-82. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17199093

WebMD. (2016). Brewer’s Yeast. See: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-715-brewer’s%20yeast.aspx?activeingredientid=715&activeingredientname=brewer%27s%20yeast

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Dr Kelly Brogan: When it comes to treating depression & anxiety, we’ve had it all wrong

 

(Source: freshpickeddeals.com)
(Source: freshpickeddeals.com)
The following is a guest post written by Kelly Brogan, MD, a New York City based holistic women’s health psychiatrist and author of A Mind of Your Own: How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives for ParsleyHealth.com:

 

 

7 facts about Depression that will Blow You Away

March 16, 2016

ParsleyHealth.com

By Kelly Brogan MD

“A silent tragedy in the history of modern health care is happening right now in America, but no one is talking about it. We have been told a story of depression: that it is caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—a prescription. More than 30 million of us take antidepressants, including one in seven women . Millions more are tempted to try them to end chronic, unyielding distress, irritability, and emotional “offness”—trapped by an exhausting inner agitation they can’t shake.

The human body interacts in its environment with deep intelligence. Your body creates symptoms for a reason.

“It is time, even according to leaders in the field, to let go of this false narrative and take a fresh look at where science is leading us. The human body interacts in its environment with deep intelligence. Your body creates symptoms for a reason. Depression is a meaningful symptom of a mismatch, biologically, with lifestyle—we eat a poor diet, harbor too much stress, lack sufficient physical movement, deprive ourselves of natural sunlight, expose ourselves to environmental toxicants, and take too many drugs. Inflammation is the language that the body speaks, expressing imbalance, inviting change. We usually suppress these symptoms with medication but that is like turning off the smoke alarm when you have a fire going on.

 

LET’S GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT:

 

“1. Depression is often an inflammatory condition

a manifestation of irregularities in the body that often start far away from the brain and are not associated with so-called “chemical imbalances.” The medical literature has emphasized the role of inflammation in mental illness (1) for more than twenty years (unfortunately, it takes an average of 17 years (2) for the data that exposes inefficacy and/or a signal of harm, to trickle down into your doctor’s daily routine; a time lag problem that makes medicine’s standard of care “evidence-based” only in theory and not practice). Not a single study has proven that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.(3).

That is about as misguided as putting a bandage over a nail stuck in your foot and taking aspirin. It’s absolutely missing an opportunity to “remove the splinter” and resolve the problem from the source.

 

“2. Antidepressants have the potential to irreversibly disable the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

Despite what you’ve been led to believe, antidepressants have repeatedly been shown in long-term scientific studies to worsen the course of mental illness—to say nothing of the risks of liver damage, bleeding, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and reduced cognitive function they entail. The dirtiest little secret of all is the fact that antidepressants are among the most difficult drugs to taper from, more so than alcohol and opiates.

 

“3. The effect is not a cure.

Even if we accepted the proposition that these drugs are helpful for some people (82% of which is due to the placebo effect according to Dr. Irving Kirsch), extrapolating a medical cause from this observation would be akin to saying that shyness is caused by a deficiency of alcohol, or that headaches are caused by a lack of codeine. And what about a genetic vulnerability? Is there such thing as a depression gene? In 2003, a study published in Science (4) suggested that those with genetic variation in their serotonin transporter were three times more likely to be depressed. But six years later this idea was wiped out by a meta-analysis of 14,000 patients published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (5) that denied such an association.

 

“4. Most prescriptions for antidepressants are doled out by family doctors—not psychiatrists,

with seven percent of all visits to a primary care doctor ending with an antidepressant (6) prescription. What’s more, when the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health did its own examination into the prevalence of mental disorders, it found that most people who take antidepressants never meet the medical criteria for a bona fide diagnosis of major depression, and many who are given antidepressants for things like OCD, panic disorder, social phobia, and anxiety also don’t qualify as actually having these conditions.

 

“5. The Great Pretenders.

Many different physical conditions create psychiatric symptoms but aren’t themselves “psychiatric.” Two prime examples: (8). We think that we need to “cure” the brain, but in reality

WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE WHOLE BODY’S ECOSYSTEM: INTESTINAL HEALTH, HORMONAL INTERACTIONS, THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS, BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE, AND TOXICANT EXPOSURE

 

“6. Basic lifestyle interventions can facilitate the body’s powerful self-healing mechanisms to end depression:

dietary modifications (more healthy fats and less sugar, dairy, and gluten); natural supplements like B vitamins and probiotics that don’t require a prescription and can even be delivered through certain foods; minimizing exposures to biology-disrupting toxicants like fluoride in tap water, chemicals in common drugs like Tylenol and statins, and fragrances in cosmetics; harnessing the power of sufficient sleep and physical movement; and behavioral techniques aimed at promoting the relaxation response.

 

“7. Depression is an opportunity.

It is a sign for us to stop and figure out what’s causing our imbalance rather than just masking, suppressing, or rerouting the symptoms. It’s a chance to choose a new story, to engage in radical transformation, to say yes to a different life experience.

“Join the revolution. Find out more in A Mind of Your Own: How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives.

“Kelly Brogan completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She is a mother of two.

 

References:

  1. http://kellybroganmd.com/new-psychiatry-psychoneuroimmunology/
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22179294
  3. http://kellybroganmd.com/depression-serotonin/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2708005/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2824618/
  6. http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/11/3/149.full.pdf
  7. http://kellybroganmd.com/thyroid-whats-mental-health-got/
  8. http://kellybroganmd.com/sugar-causing-depression/

 

Kelly Brogan, MD

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PARSLEY HEALTH

Parsley Health, whose website is where Dr Brogan’s post appears, was founded by Functional Medicine doc Robin Berzin, MD, as a membership-based wellness practice. Berzin’s site describes her novel approach to the practice of medicine this way:

“Parsley Health is a high-tech, holistic medical practice and wellness center. We offer detoxes, gut healing programs and medical memberships to help you live your healthiest life.

“WE’RE A MEMBERSHIP-BASED WELLNESS PRACTICE AND WE BELIEVE IN YOUR POTENTIAL TO THRIVE.

“We get to know our members as individuals. We help you cleanse and renew your body, embrace a healthier lifestyle and live better.

“Our comprehensive testing reveals how your body is functioning today and helps you discover the underlying causes of chronic pain and disease.

“Dr. Robin Berzin founded Parsley Health because she believes health care can and should be different.”

 

 

Robin Berzin, MD, founder of Parsley Health

(Source: robinberzinmd.com)
(Source: robinberzinmd.com)

 

Here’s information on Parsley Health’s membership program in case you live in the NYC area and are interested in subscribing. The practice is located at:
PARSLEY HEALTH
120 E 23RD ST, 5TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10010
Website: parsleyhealth.com

 

 

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Many thanks to Colleen Hodgetts for sending Dr Kelly Brogan’s article my way.

 

 

REFERENCES

Brogan, K. (2016). 7 facts about Depression that will Blow You Away. See: https://parsleyhealth.com/holisticdepression/

Brogan, K. & Loberg, K. (2016). A Mind of Your Own: How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives. See: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=A+Mind+of+Your+Own%3A+How+Women+Can+Heal+Their+Bodies+to+Reclaim+Their+Lives

Parsley Health. (2016). See:  parsleyhealth.com

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

ANTIBIOTICS, THE GUT MICROBIOME & THE REST OF THE BODY

 

(Source: fatburningman.com)

 

Christian John Lillis, of the Peggy Lillis Foundation, sent this text to me yesterday:

At a talk by Bruce Hirsch on FMT and he just said, referring to antibiotics, “What happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut.” I thought that was well put.

–   Christian John Lillis on 3/9/2016

Well put indeed! Dr Hirsch succinctly summed up, in one short sentence, antibiotics’ huge, deleterious impact on the probiotic bacteria living in our gut microbes … and from there to the rest of  the body. Wreck your gut microbiome and you’re wrecking your health.

 

Bruce E. Hirsch, MD

Specialist in Infectious Disease & Geriatric Medicine

dr-bruce-e-hirsch-md-11308126

 

If you wish to read more about Dr Hirsch and fecal-derived microbiota transfers (FMT) for recurring Clostridium difficile infections, see: After Antibiotics, the Feces Pill Remains (Khazan, 2013) and Effectiveness of fecal-derived microbiota transfer using orally administered capsules for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (Hirsch et al, 2015).

 

 

About the Peggy Lillis Foundation:
images

 

The mission of the Peggy Lillis Foundation is to build a nationwide clostridium difficile awareness movement by educating the public, empowering advocates, and shaping policy.
The PLF envisions a world where C. diff is rare, treatable and survivable.

 

What is Clostridium difficile infection?

“Clostridium difficile [pronounced Klo-STRID-ee-um dif-uh-SEEL], also known as “C. diff” [See-dif], is a germ that can cause diarrhea. Most cases of C. diff infection occur in patients taking antibiotics. The most common symptoms of a C. diff infection include:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Belly pain and tenderness “
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015

 

 

 

probiotics-vs-antibiotics

 

 

REFERENCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015).  Clostridium difficile Infection Information for Patients. See: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff-patient.html

Hirsch et al. (2015). Effectiveness of fecal-derived microbiota transfer using orally administered capsules for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. BMC Infectious Diseases, 15:191. See: http://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-015-0930-z

Khazan, O. (2013). After Antibiotics, the Feces Pill Remains. The Atlantic. See: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/12/after-antibiotics-the-feces-pill-remains/281925/

Lillis, C.J. (3/9/2016). Personal communication.

Peggy Lillis Foundation. (2016). See: http://peggyfoundation.org

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Please Join Me to Help Stop Clostridium Difficile Infections

 

I’m well aware that this topic, Clostridium difficile, is far from sexy and maybe is something you’d rather not ever think about. In spite of that, I’m going to talk a bit about it and the  epidemic it has become – and then suggest a way you can help stop it.

 

 

title_epidemic

 

In 2011, C. diff caused nearly 500,000 reported infections in the US – a statistic rivaling car accidents and gun violence. That year, 29,000 CDI patients died within 30 days of diagnosis. For those who survived an initial CDI, the infection often recurred at least once in about 1 in 5 patients. And the number of reported C. diff infections has increased each year since 2011.

 

 

Image Credit: University of Michigan Medical School
Image Credit: University of Michigan Medical School

 

Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming bacterium that can colonize the human colon, creating a C. difficile infection (CDI) when the array of healthy microorganisms in the gut’s microbiome has become depleted – often from antibiotics, which kill off the gut microbiome’s good bacteria along with the pathogenic ones.

 

pglmf-logo

For the past five years, the Peggy Lillis Foundation has been engaged in building a nationwide C. difficile awareness movement by educating the public, empowering advocates, and shaping policy.
My interest in the PLF’s work was spurred by a personal encounter with this dire infection. While on vacation in 2010, I developed symptoms of C. diff (although at the time I had no idea what was causing my acute GI distress). I felt increasingly unwell after returning home, consulted with my health care provider, and was diagnosed with C. diff from a stool sample. Once I had the diagnosis, I did research on how it was treated and learned that heavy duty antibiotics like metronidazole (Flagyl) and vancomycin (Vancocin) were usually prescribed.

 

 

(Source: fatburningman.com)
(Source: fatburningman.com)

 

Since it had been years of antibiotics that had compromised the healthy bacteria living in my gut, this approach made little sense to me. Instead, my healthcare team and I devised a regimen of nutritional supplements to kill off the pathological C. diff bacteria while at the same time rebuilding a population of probiotic bacteria in my gut microbiome.
So you can see that the mission of the Peggy Lillis Foundation coincides with my own personal interests and goals.
The Peggy Lillis Foundation is a nonprofit devoted to fighting C. diff. through education and advocacy. The work of the PLF is highly regarded – the Centers for Disease Control and several federal Cabinet agencies have partnered with it to implement awareness and prevention strategies.

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This past summer I took part in a nationwide Summit of Advocates  working with the Peggy Lillis Foundation to build awareness about the C. diff. epidemic. Since only 35% of Americans know about this deadly disease, advocacy on it is very important. Ignorance of C. diff. and failure to recognize its symptoms contribute to deaths from it. Many deaths and much chronic suffering caused by C. diff. can be prevented by greater awareness among consumers, healthcare professionals and policymakers – along with improved cleaning strategies and antibiotic protocols in healthcare settings.

 

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I hope you’ll be willing to make a tax deductible contribution to help the Peggy Lillis Foundation continue to fulfill its mission of working toward a world where C. diff is rare, treatable and survivable.
You can donate by going to the Peggy Lillis Foundation’s home page. There’s a green DONATE button in the upper right corner. Any help you can provide (large or small) will be very much appreciated.
There’s still lots of work to be done.
Thank you,

Joan Rothchild Hardin, PhD

ALLERGIES AND YOUR GUT

 

 

For information on C. diff from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, see Clostridium difficile infection.
If you’re interested in reading the article I wrote about the regimen I used to vanquish my C. diff. infection, see Successful holistic treatment of Clostridium difficile gut infection: case study on the Peggy Lillis Foundation site.

 

 

(Source: http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff_infect.html)
(Source: CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff_infect.html)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (2016). Clostridium difficile Infection. See: http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff_infect.html

Hardin, J.R. (2011).  Successful holistic treatment of Clostridium difficile gut infection: case study. Oriental Medicine Journal, 19:4, 24-37. See: http://peggyfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/C.-difficile-OMJ-article-lo-res.pdf

Peggy Lillis Foundation. (2016). See: http://peggyfoundation.org

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.