Tag Archives: Leaky Gut

Chronic Fatigue Caused by Vagus Nerve Infection?

 

Source: Dr. Jockers
If you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), you know its difficult to get a definitive diagnosis.  Confusingly, its symptoms resemble many other health conditions and there’s no single test for identifying it. You also know its symptoms seriously interfere with living your life as you’d like.
The principal characteristic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is extreme fatigue. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity but doesn’t lessen with rest. CFS is also sometimes referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).
People with CFS – and other energy-sapping chronic conditions as well – often use Spoon Theory to describe their experience of being chronically exhausted and the limitations that imposes on their lives. Spoon Theory is a clever metaphor created by Christine Miserandino, a woman with both lupus and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to explain to friends and family what it’s like to have limited and unreliable energy. (MEpedia, 2017).
Check out her website butyoudontlooksick.com for more information.
Source: MEpedia

 

AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS & DISEASES

Lupus, by the way, is a chronic autoimmune disease “in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs.” (Brazier, 2018)
There’s still ongoing discussion about whether CFS is also an inflammatory, autoimmune condition. Considerable research indicates that chronic low level inflammation in the body leads to the constellation of symptoms described as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (Dellwo, 2018 A)
Source: vliquidassets.com
This is my shorthand description of how autoimmune conditions and diseases develop:
Chronic imbalance in the contents of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) -–> leaky gut -–> chronic low level inflammation in the body, which eventually -–> one or more autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s immune system produces an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues. Because the vast majority of our immune system (70-80%) is located in the composition of our gut microbiome, this is where we need to focus to understand how we come to develop an autoimmune disease (probably more than one) and also how to reverse these types of diseases.
When the immune system stops recognizing as “self” something that’s a normal constituent of the body, it starts producing autoimmune antibodies that attack the body’s own cells, tissues and/or organs. This produces chronic inflammation that damages these body parts and leads to full blown autoimmune diseases.
See my post AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission for more information. (Hardin, 2014)

 

A MORE THOROUGH EXPLANATION OF CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Michael B. VanElzakker, PhD

Source: Simmaron Research
Researcher Michael B. VanElzakker, now a neuroscientist affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Tufts University, has proposed a more specific explanation for how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome develops.
In a 2013 paper, Chronic fatigue syndrome from vagus nerve infection: a psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis, VanElzakker described his novel psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis as the VAGUS NERVE INFECTION HYPOTHESIS (VNIH).
In the 2013 paper he pointed out that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome researchers mostly agree that CFS symptoms seem to reflect an intense, ongoing immune response, possibly due to a viral infection. They therefore were focusing their research on trying to uncover the specific pathogenic agent in plasma and blood cells responsible for the syndrome – without success. (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)
Instead, VanElzakker proposed that CFS develops from an infection of the vagus nerve.

Herpesvirus infections of the trigeminal nerve cause shingles.  Do human herpesvirus infections of the vagus nerve cause chronic fatigue syndrome?

Source: Simmaron Research
“When immune cells of otherwise healthy individuals detect any peripheral infection, they release proinflammatory cytokines. Chemoreceptors of the sensory vagus nerve detect these localized proinflammatory cytokines, and send a signal to the brain to initiate sickness behavior. Sickness behavior is an involuntary response that includes fatigue, fever, myalgia, depression, and other symptoms that overlap with CFS.”
His Vagus Nerve Infection hypothesis of CFS contends that the syndrome’s cluster of symptoms are  “a pathologically exaggerated version of normal sickness behavior that can occur when sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia are themselves infected with any virus or bacteria.
“Drawing upon relevant findings from the neuropathic pain literature, I explain how pathogen-activated glial cells can bombard the sensory vagus nerve with proinflammatory cytokines and other neuroexcitatory substances, initiating an exaggerated and intractable sickness behavior signal.”
Following this new hypothesis, it’s possible any pathogenic infection of the vagus nerve could cause CFS, resolving the ongoing controversy about identifying  a single pathogen.
VanElzakker’s hypothesis integrates two of the most important actors in CFS, the autonomic nervous system and the immune system, offering an explanation of what causes the brain to receive a non-stop stream of messages instructing it essentially to shut down the body by producing fatigue, pain and other disabling symptoms. It proposes that “nerve loving viruses trigger a difficult to detect  immune response which produces the fatigue and other symptoms present in chronic fatigue syndrome.” (Cohen, 2019)
The VNIH focuses on sensory nerves, “an increasingly hot topic in ME/CFS/FM” and coincides with an established model of fibromyalgia. If this hypothesis is correct, it will change how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is viewed, researched and treated. (Johnson, 2013)
VanElzakker’s work on CFS has zeroed in on the human herpes viruses – with the human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) at the top of his list of suspects. (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)
See Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6): Its Role in Disease – Links to Numerous Diseases for a list of diseases associated with HHV-6 types A and B.  (Dellwo, 2018 B)

Histological slide of the human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6)showing infected cells

Source: Wikipedia
The following two paragraphs from the HHV-6 Foundation’s article CFS: a herpesvirus infection of the vagus nerve? discuss, in fairly technical terms, VanElzakker’s theory  of how a human herpesvirus-6 infection of the sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia could produce the intense symptoms found in people with Chronic Fatigue:
“During infection, the sensory vagus nerve sends a signal to the brain to initiate “sickness behavior,” an involuntary response characterized by fatigue, fever, myalgia, depression, and other symptoms that are often observed in patients with CFS. However, VanElzakker proposes that when sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia are themselves infected with any virus or bacteria, these symptoms would be exaggerated. He notes that many of the symptoms of sickness behavior (such as fatigue, sleep changes, myalgia, cognitive impairment, depression and zinc depletion) are also mediated by proinflammatory cytokines and observed in CFS.
“Herpesviruses and certain intracellular bacteria establish latency in the vagus nerve and reactivate during periods of stress or illness, causing the release of proinflammatory cytokines. HHV-6 is a highly neurotropic virus and potent inducer of cytokines such as IL-6 and NFkB, which many groups have proposed as an etiological theory for the role of HHV-6 in neurological conditions such as seizures and epilepsy. If this low-level “chronic” infection is localized to the vagus nerve it would be undetectable in the plasma, but could be demonstrated through analyzing tissue biopsies of the vagus nerve, VanElzakker suggests. HHV-6 is well-known for invading the hippocampus and other parts of the limbic system, and also establishes residence in the human sensory ganglia along with other neurotropic herpesviruses including HSV-1 and VZV.” (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)

 

THE VAGUS NERVE

The vagus nerve, historically called the pneumogastric nerve, is the 10th cranial nerve and interfaces with the parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. The vagus nerves are paired but are normally referred to in the singular. It’s the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system in the human body. (Wikipedia, 2019)
As the two branches of the vagus nerve make their way between the brain and the gut, they connect to every organ they pass along the way.
Source: Dr. Vittoria Repetto’s Blog

THE VAGUS NERVE & THE GUT MICROBIOME CONNECTION

I’ve been intrigued by the vagus nerve since discovering it’s a key player in the Gut/Brain Axis – the constant, two-way communication taking place between our brains and our guts.
Source: First for Women
From my 2015 post How the Gut Microbiome Influences the Brain – and Vice Versa:
“Maybe you’re used to thinking of the brain in your head as your only brain – but your body actually has TWO BRAINS: In fact, the ‘brain’ in your gut does a lot more than digest your food. While this brain doesn’t produce thoughts, it contains its own independent nervous system along with more neurotransmitters and serotonin than the brain in your head.
“Sheaths of neurons are embedded in the walls of the entire alimentary canal. Technically known as the enteric nervous system, this gut brain measures about 9 meters (29.5 feet) from esophagus to anus and contains about 100 million neurons, more neurons than exist in either the spinal cord or the entire peripheral nervous system. Equipped with its own reflexes and senses, this second brain can control gut behavior independently of the brain. Here’s a single example to  give you an idea of the importance of the gut brain for the entire body:  About 90% of the fibers in the vagus nerve, the largest of the visceral nerves, carry information FROM the gut TO the brain – but not the other way around.” (Hardin 2015)
And how about this interesting information from  Our Second Brain – The Gut Mind:
“During vertebrate embryonic development a single clump of fetal tissue divides to grow into the gut and the brain. One section becomes the central nervous system (the brain and spinal nerves) while another migrates lower in the body to create the enteric nervous system embedded in the sheaths of tissue lining the espohagus, stomach, small intestine and colon.
“The two separate nervous systems connect via the vagus nerve running from the brain stem into the abdomen. This major trunk line is one of the longest nerves in the body. The gut and the brain are constantly signaling each other, back and forth, along the vagus nerve and also via chemicals released by the gut and transported to the brain. When one brain gets upset, the other becomes upset too. They work in conjunction with each other along the Gut-Brain Axis, each heavily influencing the other.” (Hardin, 2015)

HEALING VAGUS NERVE INFECTION WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

Source: esvitality.com
Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils, an author, speaker, nutritional therapist and a leading international authority on essential oils. These are her strategies for how to heal vagus nerve infections with essential oils:

Vagus nerve stimulation – Parasympathetic essential oil blend was designed to activate the vagus nerve to trigger the parasympathetic response.  Parasympathetic is formulated with the highly stimulatory clove oil and works much like more invasive techniques such as Transcutaneous Vagal Nerve Stimulation by stimulating the Vagus Nerve near the outer ear and allowing action potentials to be sent down the nerve to stimulate the normal anti-inflammatory reflex of the Vagus Nerve along with helping to regulate exaggerated signaling that contributes to sickness behavior and excessive fatigue and pain related symptoms…. To stimulate the vagus nerve, apply 1 drop of Parasympathetic™ to the vagal nerve (behind ear lobe, on mastoid bone on the neck).

Glial cell inhibitors can be used to calm the immune activation of glial cells in your brain.  Natural plants remedies, like essential oils, have been proven to suppress microglial activation and neuronal damage in research such as “Inhibitors of microglial neurotoxicity: focus on natural products” and “Development of a neuroprotective potential algorithm for medicinal plants”.

Essential oils are especially powerful as glial cell inhibitors as they unique     chemistry          (super small, fat soluble molecules), allows them to easily cross the blood brain barrier and suppress glial cell activation.  Research has found that Cinnamon Bark is highly effective at inhibiting microglial activation. According to the research, Cinnamon Bark “may recede neuroinflammation by suppressing microglial activation and play a key role in neuroprotection”.  Immune Support™ oil is high in levels of cinnamon and can be topically applied to the bottom of the feet or around the neck (dilute before applying to the neck) to help inhibit glial cells from over-activating the vagus nerve.  Anti Inflammatory™ also helps to turn off the inflammatory response in the brain and inhibit an over-active glial cell response.  To apply, place one drop one the base of the skull or place a drop of Anti Inflammatory™ oil on your fingertip, and rub fingers together to disperse oil. Take your fingers once over the entire scalp.

Antiviral treatments:  Essential oils are known for their anti-viral properties.

More specifically, research studies have found that essential oils ‘inactivate’ viruses in one of two ways: by inhibiting their ability to replicate and/or inhibiting viruses’ ability to fuse to cell walls and infect a host cell.

Essential oils have also been shown to positively support our own immune system, enhancing its ability to ward off pathogens and help modulate your immune system.

 Anti viral blends like Immune Support™ can be applied 2- 3 times daily on the throat (diluted) or the bottom of the feet, or Thymus™ can be used  stimulate immune function against infections, viruses and bacteria by apply 2-3 drops on the thymus (on breastbone at third rib) in a clockwise motion for 30 seconds and then stimulate the thymus by gently tapping.   Finally, supporting your lymphatic system with Lymph™ can help supports your immune response by both bringing nutrients to and helping to clear toxins and waste from every cell in the body.

 – (Cohen, 2019)
Source: www.vibrantblueoils.com
My take away from all this:
Source: unknown
Since it’s known that  –
Chronic imbalance in the contents of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) -–> leaky gut -–> chronic low level inflammation in the body, which eventually -–> one or more autoimmune diseases
– avoiding a vagal nerve infection and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is yet another good reason to get and keep your gut microbiome in good balance.

 

Source: ResearchGate

 

REFERENCES

Brazier, Y. (2018). What Is Lupus? Medical News Today. See: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323653.php

Cohen, J. (2019).  Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis. See: https://vibrantblueoils.com/vagus-nerve-infection/?utm_source=infusionsoft&utm_medium=email&utm_term=vagus-nerve-infection&utm_content=btn-2&utm_campaign=blog&inf_contact_key=3dbbf3dfb2a3b3806281f9c7df09b6044dfbc39d7283b2cb89d5189540b69330

Dellwo, A. (2018 A). Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Autoimmune & Inflammatory? A Strong Possibility. See:

Dellwo, A. (2018 B). Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6): Its Role in Disease – Links to Numerous Diseases. See: https://www.verywellhealth.com/hhv-6-and-its-role-in-disease-4156793

Hardin, J.R. (2013). Our Second Brain – The Gut Mind. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/our-second-brain-the-gut-mind/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/26/autoimmune-diseases-develop-put-remission/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). How the Gut Microbiome influences the brain – and vice versa. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/04/09/how-the-gut-microbiome-influences-the-brain-and-vice-versa/

HHV-6 Foundation. (2018). CFS: a herpesvirus infection of the vagus nerve? See: https://hhv-6foundation.org/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/cfs-a-herpesvirus-infection-of-the-vagus-nerve

Johnson, C. (2013). One Theory To Explain Them All? The Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. See: http://simmaronresearch.com/2013/12/one-theory-explain-vagus-nerve-infection-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/

MEpedia. (4/8/2017). Spoon Theory. See: https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory

VanElzakker, M.B. (2013). Chronic fatigue syndrome from vagus nerve infection: a psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses, 81:3, 414-23. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23790471

Wikipedia. (5/30/2019). Vagus Nerve. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagus_nerve

 

© Copyright 2019. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

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

The Gut’s Mucosal Lining & Leaky Gut

 

10/21/2017

This is an excerpt from a longer article originally posted on 5/10/2015. For the full article, see INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES.

 

Source: Juice Hugger
Those of you who have been following this blog know I’m interested – for personal reasons and also just because it’s fascinating – in how the state of the probiotics in our gut microbiomes affects our health in general.
So this development is of great interest to me:

Continue reading The Gut’s Mucosal Lining & Leaky Gut

Psychobiotics for Anxiety and Depression

 

 

Source: Gut Health Project

 

It may strain the imagination to hear that several pounds of organisms live inside your gastrointestinal tract and that they are in constant communication with your brain, but it’s true. Actually, the communication is two way – gut to brain and brain to gut – and operates via biochemical signaling. This process is called the gut-brain axis. The gut microbiome is so so important to the body’s functioning it’s often now referred to as our second brain.
Recent research has also demonstrated that our mood is greatly affected by certain bacteria living in our gut microbiome. These bacteria profoundly influence how anxious or depressed we are. Having lots of friendly probiotic bacteria in there exerts anxiety-reducing and antidepressant effects on our emotions and physical bodies.
Fortunately for us, there is an emerging field of neuroscience called psychobiotics that is studying how changing the bacterial composition in the gut affects the brain. (Atlay, 2016)
Psychobiotics researchers are beginning to identify which probiotics have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects – boosting mood and cognitive function; decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression.
Functional Medicine doc Kelly Brogan, along with numerous others, is convinced that mood disorders and many other psychiatric problems are the result of imbalances and chronic inflammation in the gut microbiome and that psychobiotics will become the treatment of choice for mood disorders and will also be used to prevent them. She wrote:
“For two decades now, pioneering researchers have been substantiating inflammatory models of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  Research has focused on markers that indicate immune distress in an important subset of patients, many of whom are labeled “treatment resistant.” Through this body of literature, we have identified that depression can be induced, in animals and in humans through inflammatory agents, that it is correlated with blood levels of inflammatory markers, in a linear way (more markers = worse depression), and that symptoms can be reversed through pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories.” (Brogan, 2014)

 

 

Source: Mercola

 

The well respected scientists who authored an article called Psychobiotics and the Manipulation of Bacteria–Gut–Brain Signals published a few months ago in Trends in Neurosciences believe that prebiotics (nondigestible plant fibers that nourish our probiotics) should also be included as actors in the gut-brain communication process and propose the diagram below to show how it all works (Sarkar, 2016):

 

Systems-Level Overview of Psychobiotic Action

Trends in Neuroscience

 

If you’re interested in a deeper understanding of how the process works, take a look at this explanation of the diagram provided by the authors:

“Probiotics directly introduce beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria into the gut. Prebiotics (e.g., galacto-oligosaccharides) support the growth of such bacteria. SCFAs and gut hormones: Both probiotics and prebiotics increase production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which interact with gut mucosal enteroendocrine cells and catalyse the release of gut hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK), peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide- 1 (GLP-1). Prebiotics may have stronger effects in this regard in comparison to probiotics. SCFAs and gut hormones enter circulation and can migrate into the central nervous system. Gut hormones are also secreted by tissues other than enteroendocrine cells. Neurotransmitters: psychobiotics enhance neurotransmitter production in the gut, including dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), noradrenaline (NA), and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which likely modulate neurotransmission in the proximal synapses of the enteric nervous system. Vagal connections: the vagus nerve synapses on enteric neurons and enables gut–brain communication. Stress, barrier function, and cytokines: barrier dysfunction is exacerbated through stress-induced glucocorticoid exposure. This enables migration of bacteria with pro-inflammatory components, increasing inflammation directly and also triggering a rise in pro-inflammatory cytokines via the immunogenic response. These cytokines impair the integrity of the blood–brain barrier and permit access to potentially pathogenic or inflammatory elements. Pro-inflammatory cytokines (red circles) also reduce the integrity of the gut barrier. Psychobiotic action restores gut barrier function and decreases circulating concentrations of glucocorticoids and pro-inflammatory cytokines. They also increase concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines (blue circles), which enhance integrity of the blood–brain barrier, the gut barrier, and reduce overall inflammation. Cytokines clustering at the brain represent cytokine interaction with the blood–brain barrier. Central lymphatic vessels: cytokines may interact more directly with the brain than previously appreciated through the recently discovered central lymphatic vessels.” (Sarkar, 2016)

 

 

 

THE GUT-BRAIN AXIS AND MOOD

The gut microbiome and the brain, working together via the gut-brain axis, are jointly responsible for maintaining health in the body – including mental health. If a body has an unbalanced gut microbiome containing too few or unbalanced probiotics and prebiotics (dysbiosis) – because its owner consumes a nutritionally impoverished diet, has taken antibiotics that have killed off many probiotics in the gut, has been exposed to toxins, and/or isn’t doing a good job managing stress, the body’s intestinal lining may become too porous (a condition called leaky gut), creating chronic inflammation in the body and eventually a series of autoimmune diseases – and apparently mood disorders too.
In the diagram above from the Sarkar article, blue arrows indicate psychobiotic processes and effects, while red arrows indicate processes associated with leaky gut and chronic inflammation.

 

 

 

RESEARCH FINDINGS ON PSYCHOBIOTICS FOR ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

 

Source: Organic Sunshine
Here are some intriguing results from research studies on probiotics’ and prebiotics’ effects on anxiety and depression:
A 30-day human study found these two probiotics helpful for reducing anxiety as compared to a placebo (Sarkar, 2016)
  • Lactobacillus helveticus R0052
  • Bifidobacterium longum
A mixture of these probiotics compared to a placebo, taken for four weeks, substantially reduced depression in human subjects (Sarkar, 2016)
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum W23
  • Bifidobacterium lactis W52
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus W37
  • Lactobacillus brevis W63
  • Lactobacillus casei W56
  • Lactobacillus salivarius W24
  • Lactococcus lactis W19 and W58
In a study of academic stress, healthy medical students took either this probiotic or a placebo for eight weeks before an exam. The day before the exam, plasma cortisol was substantially lower in the probiotic group  compared to the placebo group. (Sarkar, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus casei Shirota
In another study, student athletes who were given this probiotic had elevated mood and reduced natural killer cell activity after strenuous exercise, relative to placebo:
  • Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2809 LG2809
When the probiotic was taken along with this protein in milk,
  • Alpha-lactalbumin
the students also experienced less fatigue. (Sarkar, 2016)
Irritable bowel syndrome is known to be associated with disturbances in the gut-brain axis and composition of the gut microbiome. IBS is a chronic inflammatory condition and is  often accompanied by anxiety and depression. After human study participants with IBS consumed this probiotic,  their level of inflammation was reduced (as measured by the ratio of interleukin-10 to interleukin-12), compared to those who took a placebo  (Sarkar, 2016):
  • Bifidobacterium infantis 35624
In a clinical trial of people with major depressive disorder, patients were given these probiotics:
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (2 billion CFUs)
  • Lactobacillus casei (2 billion CFUs)
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum (2 billion CFUs)
Compared with placebo, the people who took the probiotics were less depressed at the end of the eight week study  and also had significant decreases in systemic inflammation, reduced insulin resistance, and a significant rise in glutathione (the body’s master anti-oxidant). (University Health News, 2016)
A study looking at the effects of these probiotics (given as Probio’Stick®) on anxiety, depression, stress, and coping strategies in healthy human volunteers found a reduction of psychological distress (particularly depression, anger/hostility, and anxiety) and improved problem solving ability at the end of the 30 day study (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus helveticus R0052
  • Bifidobacterium longum R0175
Harrington states, “For anyone experiencing anxiety and/or depression, regular supplementation with this probiotic combination seems a natural and worthwhile practice. It is conceivable that such supplementation could reduce reliance on prescription medications and deliver freedom from the burdens of these common mental illnesses.” (Harrington, 2016)
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome were given either this probiotic or a placebo daily for two months. The people who took the probiotic experienced a significant decrease in anxiety (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (24 billion colony forming units)
Animal studies have shown that this probiotic reduces depression by increasing dopamine and serotonin. This same probiotic decreased cortisol and increased dopamine and serotonin, normalizing the stress response system in depressed mice subjected to early-life stress  (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus plantarum strain PS128
These two probiotics have been shown to reduce anxiety-like behavior and improve performance on cognitive tests in anxious mice (University Health News, 2016):
  • Bifidobacterium longum 1714
  • Bifidobacterium breve 1205
The same probiotic shown to help people with chronic fatigue syndrome has also been shown to help humans and lab animals undergoing other kinds of stress. This probiotic (consumed as kefir, a fermented milk drink that’s loaded with a variety of probiotics) prevented stress-related cortisol increases and raised serotonin levels in stressed medical students. The kefir also decreased stress-related physical symptoms such as abdominal pain and colds (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota
Animal studies have also identified other probiotics that reduce stress-related depression and anxiety by affecting serotonin, cortisol, and other neuroactive compounds. These two, in combination, normalized anxious behaviors along with learning and memory impairments in immune-deficient rats (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 combined with Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011
This probiotic was more effective than the SSRI citalopram (Celexa) in reducing stress-induced anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction in rats. It lowered their cortisol and restored their serotonin and other brain neurochemical levels back to normal (University Health News, 2016):
  • Lactobacillus helveticus NS8
Prebiotics, like probiotics, have also been identified as regulators of mood and brain function. A recent study found that this prebiotic decreased the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol and improved emotional processing and lowered anxiety in healthy human volunteers (University Health News, 2016):
  • Bimuno-galactooligosaccharides, B-GOS
A study of people with IBS, who typically have decreased microbial diversity in their gut microbiomes and often suffer from anxiety, found that daily consumption of this prebiotic mixture for four weeks reduced their anxiety (University Health News, 2016):
  • a galactooligosaccharide-containing prebiotic mixture in powder form
An informative article called 10 Best Probiotics For Depression & Anxiety: Gut-Brain Axis Modification names the following as the most helpful probiotics for mood regulation, describes their functions in the body, presents relevant research results from studies in which they were used as psychobiotics, and recommends some specific probiotic products. The first nine in the list are probiotics; the 10th is a prebiotic:
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus helveticus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Bifidobacterium animalis
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Transgalactooligosaccharides
The article also discusses pathogenic bacteria that may CAUSE anxiety and depression:
  • Citrobacter rodentium
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Clostridium
  • Enterococcus faecalis
Interestingly, these pathogenic bacteria have also been found to be associated with other serious physical problems, including GI disease, stress-induced memory dysfunction, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, and heart valve damage.

 

 

COMMERCIAL PSYCHOBIOTIC  SUPPLEMENTS

If your interest in the relationship between the probiotics in your gut microbiome and your mood has been piqued, perhaps you want to pick out one or more of the probiotics mentioned above to experiment with. Start with the one that interests you most and take it for a month so it has a chance to  colonize in your gut.
If deliberately encouraging a strain of bacteria to colonize your gut sounds too much like a scary science fiction movie, please remember that we’re talking about GOOD (probiotic) bacteria, ones that create health in the body, not HARMFUL (pathologic)  bacteria that create illness.

 

Source: Happy Oligo
Here are a few commercially available probiotic supplements that provide  psychobiotic and other benefits:

 

Life Extension Florassist Mood Capsules

This supplement contains 3 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of a blend of two probiotic strains demonstrated to improve mood, reduce perceived stress, and promote relaxation in humans.
  • Lactobacillus Helveticas strain R0052
  • Bifid bacterium longum strain R0175
“Research suggests specific probiotics positively influence biochemical signaling between the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system- resulting in positive effects on mood.” (Amazon.com, 2017)

Contains milk and soybeans. The ingredients may be from GMO sources.
Life Extension  says this about the GMO issue:
“Q. Should I be concerned with the usage of genetically modified plants (GMOs)?
“A. Soybeans are an example of a crop that has used extensive genetic engineering to increase crop yield. The reality is that soybean oil and soy lecithin are highly processed derivatives of soy … far removed from their soy origin. Genetic modification doesn’t alter the entire plant… only a specific gene. Thus, specific molecules like soy lecithin are the same whether they come from a GMO or non-GMO soy source. However, due to our sensitivity to customer concerns, products with corn and soy-based active ingredients are in process of having the labels updated to list when soy and corn-derived active ingredients have been certified to be from non-GM food crops. As the labels are updated the information will be transferred to the product descriptions on our website and directory. Currently Life Extension already offers several premium quality non-GMO soy isoflavone extract products.” (Life Extension, 2017)

 

 

Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics Time-Release Micro-Pearls

 

At time of manufacture, contains 5 billion Colony Forming Units per BIO-tract pearl,  equivalent to 75 billion CFU. Contains a minimum of 1.5 CFU at time of expiration date.
The 15 Group, B. (2015). biotic strains in this  supplement are:
  • Lactobacillus plantarum – Secretes the oxidant hydrogen peroxide which acts as a weapon to protect your body and must be present for your immune system to function correctly. Creates a healthy barrier in your colon and helps lower luminal pH, creating an unfavorable environment for the growth of pathogens including molds, yeasts and bacteria.
  • Lactobacillus fermentum –  highly antimicrobial and antioxidative. Helps inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, yeast and other pathogens and has demonstrated clinical efficacy within immune health.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus – Creates a fortress of good colonies that helps keep unwanted organisms out of your gut. Studies show that L. acidophilus helps to reduce occasional diarrhea and enhances your immune system and may help to reduce cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that those taking L. acidophilus experienced significantly more relief from their gastrointestinal discomfort than did those taking a placebo.
  • Bifidobacterium Infantis – Has been shown to reduce the major symptoms of GI disorders, including diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, cramping and constipation. It is particularly popular as a means of combating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and has been shown to improve digestion and the body’s ability to absorb and process nutrients.
  • Lactobacillus casei – Along with L. Acidolphilus, converts lactose into lactic acid, helping those who are lactose intolerant. Helps to encourage the growth of other beneficial bacteria.
  • Bifidobacterium longum – Assists in breaking down carbohydrates and fighting free radicals. Provides potent antioxidant support and helps reduce the effects of seasonal allergens.
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus – Helps reduce occurrences of traveler’s diarrhea and food poisoning.
  • Bifidobacterium lactis – Helps decrease H. pylori (a bacterium associated with the majority of stomach ulcers) and helps the production of the front line cells in your immune system.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri – Improves cholesterol levels, reduces H. plyori, protects female urinary tract and vaginal health and aids infants’ GI health.
  • Lactobacillus salivarius – Helps with GI problems (especially diarrhea caused by antibiotics), helps lactose-intolerant people digest dairy. It may lower cholesterol and blood pressure, maintain dental health, help with IBS, and boost the immune system.
  • Lactobacillus paracasei – Is key for digestive function, boosts the immune system, and energy levels, resolves infant diarrhea. It may help fight infections and relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Lactobacillus gasseri – May speed up metabolism and encourage weight loss, protect against harmful organisms, lower cholesterol, reduce allergic response, ease symptoms of asthma in children, and lessen menstrual pain in women with endometriosis.
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum – Protects the intestinal lining from damage from toxins and pathological germs. Produces important vitamins like B12, biotin, and K2. Helps digest sugar and reduces incidence of colds and flu.
  • Bifidobacterium breve – Protects colon function, alleviates constipation, reduces gas and diarrhea. Stimulates the immune system, inhibits E. coli and suppresses the fungus Candida. Ferments sugars and produces acetic and lactic acids. Helps digest plant  fibers typically thought of as undigestible. May reduce intestinal irritation and allergic responses.
  • Streptococcus thermopholus – Breaks down lactose into lactic acid and helps boost the immune system. May lower the risk of colon cancer. May protect intestinal tissues from irritation during chemotherapy . Correlates with better growth in children.
plus 25 mg of prebiotic:
  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)
This supplement is vegetarian; non-GMO; and free of yeast, lactose, soy, iron, gluten, wheat, nuts, preservatives, sugar, and artificial colors or flavors.
 – Information provided by Hyperbiotics on Amazon.com (2017), Dr Edward Group at Global Healing Center (2015A-F), and Examine.com (2011-2017).

 

 

Jarrow Formulas Ideal Bowel Support 299v Capsules

 

This supplement contains a single probiotic strain:
  • Lactobacillus plantarum 299v
Each veggie cap contains 10 billion viable cells of L. plantarum 299v, a clinically-documented, human-origin probiotic strain that resists stomach acid and bile salts and has been found to successfully colonize the human intestinal mucosa.
This strain reduces bloating, gas and Intestinal discomfort, and supports regularity.  The product is vegetarian/vegan and gluten free but contains trace amounts of soy.
– Amazon.com (2017)

 

 

align Probiotic Supplement Capsules

 

This supplement also contains a single probiotic strain:
  • Bifidobacterium infantis 35624
align was developed by gastroenterologists to promote and support a healthy digestive system. It’s especially useful for people with irritable bowel  syndrome (IBS) – sometimes called spastic colon. IBS is characterized by abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. (Amazon.com, 2017)
In the intestines of infants, B. infantis helps break down lactic acid in human breast milk.

“Adults who keep their B. infantis levels in balance enjoy better overall health, an active metabolism, and less discomfort after eating. British researchers reported it only took four weeks for women who took B. infantis to enjoy a significant improvement in their IBS symptoms. Another study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found B. infantis supports stomach health and digestion. But it does more than aid digestion. It also supports your immune system against unwanted bacterial growth in the intestines. And some strains even produce B vitamins.” (Group, 2015B)

 

 

Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic Multi-Strain Formula Capsules

The beneficial bacteria in BioKult are freeze dried, a process which protects them from the harsh acidic environment of the stomach so they survive to colonize the intestinal tract. Each capsule contains a minimum of 2 billion probiotic microorganisms. BioKult is gluten free, uses no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.  It may contain traces of soy and milk from the growth medium of the strains. Lactose intolerant people shouldn’t have a problem with these traces of milk. BioKult is non-GMO. (Amazon.com, 2017)
Bio-Kult contains 14 probiotic strains:
  • Bacillus subtilis PXN 21
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum PXN 23
  • Bifidobacterium breve PXN 25
  • Bifidobacterium infantis PXN 27
  • Bifidobacterium longum PXN 30
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus PXN 35
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
  • Lactobacillus casei PXN 37
  • Lactobacillus plantarum PXN 47
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
  • Lactobacillus helveticus PXN 45
  • Lactobacillus salivarius PXN 57
  • Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis PXN 63
  • Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66
Here’s information on the probiotic strains in Bio-Kult that haven’t already been discussed:
* Bacillus subtilis is ubiquitous in soil, produces an endospore that allows it to survive the stomach’s acidity. It is beneficial to the digestive system in general and is known to improve symptoms of IBS. It suppresses the growth of harmful pathogens, strengthens the gut’s mucosal lining, and enhances the growth of other good probiotic strains. (Jockers, 2014)
B. subtilis‘s other benefits include decreasing triglycerides, LDL levels and total cholesterol; increasing immunity; fighting viruses; improving leaky gut; decreasing inflammation;  decreasing diarrhea and nausea; improving dairy digestion; decreasing tooth decay; managing HIV symptoms; and fighting dyspepsia. (Jerkunica, 2009-2015)
* Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus is one of the bacterial strains used to turn milk into yogurt  and is also found in other naturally fermented foods.
* Lactobacillus helveticus provides many health benefits – including inhibition of pathogenic bacteria, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumorigenic activity, anti-hypertensive activity, immunomodulatory activity, control of diarrhea, reduction of lactose intolerance, and enhancing recovery from gut atrophy induced by malnutrition. It has also been found to improve bone mineral density and bone mineral content, calcium and bone metabolism, arterial stiffness, and blood pressure. (Swartzburg, 2009)

 

* Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis, a strain of L. lactis,  is used widely in cheese making as a starter culture. It’s added to milk to make a variety of cultured dairy products: sour cream, buttermilk, blue cheese, Colby, Cheddar, and cottage cheese.
L. lactic ssp. lactis protects against strep throat, respiratory and non-respiratory diseases, L. lactis also delivers antigens that stimulate mucosal immunity to non-respiratory pathogens, including HIV, HPV, and the malarial parasite. It’s related to other lactic acid bacteria, such as L. acidophilus in the intestines and S. salivarius in the mouth. (Todar, 2008-2011)
I love this: In 2010, L. lactis was named Wisconsin’s Official State Microbe!
Source: Slideplayer

 

 

Earth’s Pearl Probiotic & Prebiotic

This is another probiotic supplement in pearl form, containing 4 billion cultures. The pearls contain no gluten, lactose, wheat, soy, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, chemicals, or artificial ingredients.

About the Product
  • Increases the probiotic bacterial profile in the gut microbiome.
  • Pearls versus capsules: The Time Release Patented Technology, BioTract, allows pearls to be smaller than capsules and easier to swallow. The manufacturer says this product is 15X more effective than capsules and delivers 15X more live bacteria into the intestinal tract.
  • Provides relief from gas, bloating, IBS, diarrhea, constipation and other bowel discomforts.
  • Boosts immunity, energy and mood.
  • Improves vitamin absorption, which gives a big boost to your immune system.
  • Protects the body from yeast overgrowth and improves digestion,  contributing to overall well-being and more energy.
  • Earth’s Pearl Probiotics support and improve healthy digestion, improving the bio-availability of nutrients from the healthy foods and supplements you are taking.
This supplement is good for yeast infections, diarrhea, gas, bloating, diverticulitis, colon issues, leaky gut, digestion issues, poor immune system, constipation, IBS, lactose intolerance, allergies, antibiotics.
Probiotic ingredients:
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
Prebiotic ingredient:
  • Fructooligosaccharides
 (Amazon, 2017)

 

 

Probiotic Sticks

This probiotic supplement is for those who can’t or don’t like swallowing capsules. Each stick contains 3 billion active cells (guaranteed to expiration date). You tear the stick open and pour its contents onto your tongue, allow the powder to dissolve, and swallow. You could also mix the powder into water or juice, even stir it into a smoothie.
Each stick contains:
  • Bifidobacterium longum (R0175) 3.18 x 108 CFU
  • Lactobacillus helveticus (R0052) 2.682 x 109 CFU
Probiotic Sticks balance the intestinal microflora and help decrease stress-related GI symptoms – such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. They are micro-encapsulated and gastro-protected. The powder is a red plum flavor. (Amazon.com, 2017)
An Amazon customer reported, “It is the best probiotic I have ever used. It really helps with anxiety.”

 

These are only a few of the probiotic supplements on the market. Some research should help you find one that’s high quality and addresses your health issues.

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT

When selecting probiotic supplements, you want to make sure you’re getting something that your body can use. Many probiotic supplements on the market may start with billions of CFUs of various bacteria but they’ve died by the time you get them or they perish in the acidic environment of your stomach as they pass through on their way to your intestines (where you need them) and won’t do you any good. Do some research before purchasing. In general, try to get the highest quality supplements you can afford.
Dr David Williams proposes these four criteria for evaluating a probiotic supplement (Williams, 2017):
  • The specific probiotic strains included
  • The product’s packaging and delivery system
  • Product expiration dates
  • Money-back guarantee

I would add to his list:
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Free of other common allergens
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Is able to survive stomach acid to reach the intestines

 

 

KEFIR

Kefir is a fermented drink that’s loaded with probiotic bacteria, including many of the ones discussed above that have been found effective for anxiety and depression. It can be made from any type of milk – usually cow, goat or sheep, and also from coconut water, juices, rice, soy – even plain water. It has impressive medicinal benefits for healing leaky gut and can be given to newborns to improve their gut microbiomes. It also contains high levels of Vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium and other essential minerals, Vitamin K2, biotin, folate, and digestive enzymes. The fermentation process breaks down the lactose in milk, rendering kefirs 99% lactose-free, so they’re tolerated well even by those who are lactose intolerant.
Kefir has been consumed for thousands of years for its numerous health benefits.

Lifeway organic plain kefir is an example of a tasty commercial kefir that’s widely available. Its culture contains 15-20 billion Colony Forming Units (CFUs) of live and active kefir cultures per cup. Kefir cultures include these probiotics:
  • Lactobacillus Lactis
  • Lactobacillus  Rhamnosus
  • Streptococcus Diacetylactis
  • Lactobacillus Plantarum
  • Lactobacillus Casei
  • Saccharomyces Florentinus
  • Leuconostoc Cremoris
  • Bifidobacterium Longum
  • Bifidobacterium Breve
  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium Lactis
  • Lactobacillus Reuteri
See these resources for more information on the probiotic superfood kefir:

 

 

 

OTHER FERMENTED FOODS

Adding lacto-fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles  to your daily diet will provide a good dose of probiotics. If you’re buying commercial versions of these foods, be aware that ‘pickled’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘fermented. Most pickles and pickled foods are made with vinegar and provide NO probiotic benefits. They’re also usually made with lots of processed salt, which isn’t good for us. Real, lacto-fermented pickles, sauerkraut, etc contain no vinegar. Instead, they are brined with water and salt, and are sold refrigerated because the culture in the jar is alive with probiotics that would be killed if exposed to heat .

 

EXAMPLE OF PICKLES MADE WITH VINEGAR

Ingredients: Pickles (Cucumbers, Salt, Calcium Chloride), Original Curing Brine, Water, Salt, Distilled White Vinegar, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate as a Preservative, Natural Flavoring, Polysorbate 80

 

EXAMPLES OF LACTO-FERMENTED PICKLES AND SAUERKRAUT

Pickles Ingredients: Cucumbers. Artesian Well Water, Garlic, Salt, Dill, Spices

Sauerkraut Ingredients: Cabbage, Artesian Well Water, Salt

You’ll notice that the Heinz Premium Genuine Dills are made with vinegar and require a preservative. They don’t contain probiotics and are sold at room temperature.
Bubbies’ Pure Kosher Dills and Sauerkraut are full of healthy probiotics created by lacto-fermentation, contain no vinegar or chemical preservatives and are sold refrigerated. My only objections to them are that the company apparently uses processed salt in its culture and the ingredients are probably genetically modified.
Source: Pinterest

 

A note on yogurt: The probiotics in most commercial yogurts get killed off by heat during processing. Look for yogurts that are still tangy tasting. You can also make your own.

 

 

Source: preventdisease.com
Functional Medicine doc Kelly Brogan says in “Psychobiotics: Bacteria For Your Brain?” regarding getting your probiotics from food:
“Given how little is known about therapeutic applications of different strains, it may make sense to defer to ancestral practices that confirm the importance of probiotic exposures. In these foods such as lactofermented kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and other traditional vegetables, microbes are acting on the food, and the food is then acting on our microbes.” (Brogan, 2014)

 

Source: Collective Evolution

 

“In the centuries before we had refrigeration or freezing, foods were often preserved by fermentation.  In eating and drinking those fermented foods, we regularly ingested prebiotics and probiotics that kept our gut flora balanced and happy.
“Live, lactic acid fermentation is the simplest and usually the safest way of preserving food. Before we had refrigeration, canning and chemical preservatives, humans in every culture preserved foods by fermenting them – sauerkraut, tempeh (fermented soybeans), miso (fermented soybean paste), kimchi, dry sausages, pickles, cheeses, yogurt, kefir, sourdough bread starters, beers and wines, among others.
“We pretty much stopped eating those digestion-enhancing foods when we started relying on foods kept ”fresh” by refrigeration and other artificial means – and even worse, started eating heavily processed, essentially fake and genetically altered foods. What we gave up in turning away from fermented foods was ingesting enough of the friendly bacteria our bodies need to maintain good health, the prebiotics and probiotics created by natural fermentation. (Hardin, 2011)
“Natural fermentation develops vast amounts of lactic acid bacteria, friendly bacteria our guts need to maintain good health. Take sauerkraut for example: The numbers of different lactic acid bacteria in live sauerkraut can reach concentrations of 10 (to the 8th) to 10 (to the 9th) per gram. ( Zdenka Samish,  1963)”
 – From my 2013-2014 post Prebiotics and Probiotics

 

 

 

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT

When selecting probiotic supplements, you want to make sure you’re getting something that your body can use. Many probiotic supplements on the market may start with billions of CFUs of various bacteria but they’ve died by the time you get them or they perish in the acidic environment of your stomach as they pass through on their way to your intestines (where you need them) and won’t do you any good. Do some research before purchasing. In general, try to find the best supplements you can afford.
Dr David Williams proposes these four criteria for evaluating a probiotic supplement (Williams, 2017):
  • The specific probiotic strains included
  • The product’s packaging and delivery system
  • Product expiration dates
  • Money-back guarantee

I would add to his list:
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Free of other common allergens
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Is able to survive stomach acid to reach the intestines

 

 

 

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PSYCHOBIOTICS

The 2016 University Health News article, The Best Probiotics for Mood: Enhancing the Gut-Brain Connection with Psychobiotics: What are pychobiotics? They’re mind-altering probiotics that researchers say can boost mood, decrease anxiety, and ease depression, among other benefits, in case you want to track back to any of the human or animal studies described above.
10 Best Probiotics for Depression & Anxiety: Gut-Brain Axis Modification is chock full of helpful, detailed information.
Safely Reduce Anxiety and Mood Disorders is an informative article by Stephen Harrington published by  Life Extension Magazine.
Nutrition therapist Jo A. Panyko’s 2016  book  Probiotics: How to use them to your advantage – why you probably don’t have enough probiotics and what you can do about it  is an informative source of information about probiotics in general and what they do for our bodies. She also has a useful website called Powerofprobiotics.
Dr Kelly Brogan and Kristin Loberg’s best selling book A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives makes the case that depression is not a genetic disease caused by chemical imbalances but rather a result of chronic inflammation in the gut microbiome.  Dr Brogan has a website called Kelly Brogan. Own Your Body. Free Your Mind. 
My 2015 post Psychobiotics: Your Gut Bacteria – Your Mood

 

 

DOSAGES

The field of psychopbiotics is fairly new so dosages aren’t entirely clear yet. As the authors of The Best Probiotics for Mood: Enhancing the Gut-Brain Connection with Psychobiotics put it:
“The best psychobiotics and the best dosages for those psychobiotics have yet to be determined, but a number of them used in the studies described above are commercially available in probiotic supplements. Generally, at least 10 billion CFU’s per day are recommended for most probiotics, including psychobiotics, but higher or lower amounts may also be beneficial. Just make sure to give your psychobiotic a try for at least a month before deciding whether it’s working or not.” (University Health News, 2016)
A tip from my own experience: If the dosage instructions on your new probiotic supplement recommend taking more than one/day, it would probably be wise to start with one to see how your body reacts to it, stay on that dose for a while (at least a few days, maybe even a week), then work up to the recommended dose slowly.

 

Souce: Pinterest

 

 

PSYCHOBIOTICS VS PHARMACEUTICALS

While researchers currently can’t recommend doses for these probiotics and haven’t yet tested their long-term effects,  if you’re suffering from chronic anxiety and/or depression and are the sort of person who’s willing to be a pioneer, you might want to try adding them to your daily diet as an experiment and see if they help you.
I’ll point out here that the taking of prescription pharmaceuticals isn’t as scientific and safe as we’ve been led to believe.

 

Source: Quotes

 

 

 

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PROBIOTICS IN GENERAL

Michelle Schoffro Cook’s book The Probiotic Promise: Simple steps to heal your body from the inside out is a bible of information on how probiotics influence our health. She also has a blog, drmichellecook.com.
Nutrition therapist Jo A. Panyko’s 2016  book  Probiotics: How to use them to your advantage – why you probably don’t have enough probiotics and what you can do about it  is an informative source of information about probiotics in general and what they do for our bodies. She also has a useful website called Powerofprobiotics.
Ed Yong’s 2016 book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. It’s a #1 Amazon Best Seller in Microbiology – but don’t let that put you off. It’s a primer for anyone interested in learning more about how we interact with the huge variety of probiotic bacteria and other microbes living in and on us.
My 2013-2014 post Prebiotics and Probiotics.

 

 

A REQUEST

If you’re willing, it would be helpful if you’d share information about your experiences with any of these or other psychobiotic supplements or foods. The field is still in its infancy and we can learn from each other’s experiences – what worked for you and what didn’t.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Amazon.com. (2017). Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics.  See: https://www.amazon.com/Hyperbiotics-PRO-15-Probiotics-Technology-Supplement/dp/B00JEKYNZA/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483825983&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=hyperbiotics+pro-15&psc=1 and  https://www.amazon.com/forum/-/Tx1GH3C15RF68NV/ref=ask_dp_dpmw_al_hza?asin=B00JEKYNZA

Atlay, K. (2016). Psychobiotics: Harnessing gut bacteria to improve your brain. See: http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/health/article/2016/10/26/psychobiotics-harnessing-gut-bacteria-improve-your-brain

Axe, J. (2015).  7 Kefir Benefits and Nutrition Facts. See:  https://draxe.com/kefir-benefits/

Brogan, K. (2014). Psychobiotics: Bacteria For Your Brain?. GreenMed Info. See: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/psychobiotics-bacteria-your-brain

Brogan, K. & Loberg, K. (2016). A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives. See: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Your-Own-Depression-Reclaim/dp/0062405578

Brogan, K. (2017). Kelly Brogan. Own Your Body. Free Your Mind. See: http://kellybroganmd.com

Examine.com. (2011-2017). Lactobacillus reuteri. See: https://examine.com/supplements/lactobacillus-reuteri/

Group, E. (2015A). Bifidobacterium bifidum: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/bifidobacterium-bifidum-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015B). Bifidobacterium infantis: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/bifidobacterium-infantis-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015C). Bifidobacterium breve: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/bifidobacterium-breve-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015D). Lactobacillus gasseri: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/lactobacillus-gasseri-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015E). Lactobacillus paracasei: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/lactobacillus-paracasei-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Group, E. (2015F). Lactobacillus salivarius: A Healthy Probiotic Strain. Global Healing Center. See: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/lactobacillus-salivarius-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

Hardin, J.R. (2013). Kefir. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/kefir/

Hardin, J.R. (2013-2014). Prebiotics and Probiotics. AllergiesandYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/prebiotics-and-probiotics/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Psychobiotics: Your Gut Bacteria – Your Mood. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/07/04/psychobiotics-your-gut-bacteria-your-mood/

Harrington, S. (2016). Safely reduce anxiety and mood disorders. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2016/3/safely-reduce-anxiety-and-mood-disorders/page-01

Jockers, D. (2014). Bacillus subtilis and the nutritional benefits of dirt. Natural News. See: http://www.naturalnews.com/046826_bacillus_subtilis_good_bacteria_dirt.html

Jerkunica, E. (2009-2015). Lactobacillus Bulgaricus Probiotic Information. Probiotics.org. See: http://probiotics.org/lactobacillus-bulgaricus/

Life Extension. (2017). You should know how far we carry our commitment to Quality, Purity & Efficacy. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/Vitamins-Supplements/Health-Nutrition-Awards/Good-Manufacturing-Practice

Mental Health Daily. (2016). 10 Best Probiotics for Depression & Anxiety: Gut-Brain Axis Modification. See: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2016/03/01/10-best-probiotics-for-depression-anxiety-gut-brain-axis-modification/

Panyko, J.A. (2016). Probiotics: How to use them to your advantage – why you probably don’t have enough probiotics and what you can do about it. See: https://smile.amazon.com/Probiotics-Advantage-Probably-Enough-about/dp/1478767928/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483397650&sr=8-1&keywords=probiotics+panyko

Panyko, J.A. (2016). PowerOfProbiotics.com: How to Be Healthy With Probiotics, From a Nutritionist. See: http://www.powerofprobiotics.com

Sarkar, A. et al. (2016). Psychobiotics and the Manipulation of Bacteria–Gut–Brain Signals. Trends in Neurosciences, 39:11, 763-781. See: http://www.cell.com/trends/neurosciences/fulltext/S0166-2236(16)30113-8

Schoffro Cook, M. (2015). The Probiotic Promise: Simple steps to heal your body from the inside out. See: https://www.amazon.com/Probiotic-Promise-Simple-Steps-Inside/dp/0738217956/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483402934&sr=8-2&keywords=schoffro+cook

Schoffro Cook, M. (2016). drmichellecook.com. See:  http://www.drmichellecook.com

Swartzburg, R. (2009). Lactobacillus Helveticus. Probiotics.org. See: http://www.probiotic.org/lactobacillus-helveticus.htm

Schwenk, D. (2015). Cultured Food for Health: A Guide to Healing Yourself with Probiotic Foods Kefir * Kombucha * Cultured Vegetables. See: https://www.amazon.com/Cultured-Food-Health-Probiotic-Vegetables/dp/1401947832/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=AX2C1JTDA62EGTMQT2QJ

Schwenk, D. (2017). CulturedFoodLife.com. See: https://www.culturedfoodlife.com

Todar, K.  (2008-2011). Lactococcus lactis nominated as the Wisconsin State Microbe. Todar’s Online Textbook of Bacteriology. See: http://textbookofbacteriology.net/featured_microbe.html

University Health News. (2016). The Best Probiotics for Mood: Enhancing the Gut-Brain Connection with Psychobiotics: What are pychobiotics? They’re mind-altering probiotics that researchers say can boost mood, decrease anxiety, and ease depression, among other benefits. See: http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/the-best-probiotics-for-mood-enhancing-the-gut-brain-connection-with-psychobiotics/

Williams, D. (2017). How to Choose the Best Probiotic Supplement. See: http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/how-to-choose-the-best-probiotic-supplement/

Yong, E. (2016). I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. See: https://www.amazon.com/Contain-Multitudes-Microbes-Within-Grander/dp/0062368591/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483909736&sr=8-1&keywords=i+contain+multitudes

 

 

© Copyright 2017. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

Tests for Gut Microbiome Imbalance

 

bacteria-harmony-with-title-4

A reader of my post Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Improve Your Gut Bacteria wrote to ask what tests to ask your doctor for if you have problems with your gut microbiome.
That’s not so easy to answer for two reasons: First, the whole field of gut bacteria is quite new. And second, many if not most doctors don’t know a whole lot about the gut microbiome and its role in keeping us healthy or making us sick.
That doctors often don’t know much about the gut microbiome is clearly related to it’s being a new field – but the situation is also made worse by the enormous pressures the pharmaceutical industry and what is sometimes referred to as the “medical–industrial complex” exert on doctors to continue along the current path of treating symptoms with drugs and/or surgeries while ignoring the symptoms’ underlying causes.
Let’s hope the paradigm will shift.

 

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MY MEDICAL JOURNEY – AND PERSONAL BIAS

It took me many decades to identify the underlying source of my own gut microbiome imbalance and autoimmune conditions and figure out how to correct them. On this journey, the types of professionals who were the most helpful have been Chiropractors who do Applied Kinesiology and know how to support health with nutrition (foods and nutritional supplements), Functional Medicine docs, Integrative Medicine docs, Naturopaths, Energy Medicine practitioners, and Nutritionists.
I’ve pretty much stopped relying on mainstream MD specialists – except for the rare ones who understand that pharmaceuticals only suppress symptoms but don’t correct any underlying problem.
When I have blood work done by my Internist (who’s a devoted doctor and a lovely man whom I enjoy seeing), I know I’m probably not going to take any pharmaceutical he might prescribe so ask to be emailed the  results and take them to the Chiropractor who’s my main health care provider. She reads the report, discusses the meaning of the results with me, and recommends what I can do about any problematic findings. For example, I have an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) and sometimes Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune thyroid problem). She has successfully regulated my thyroid functioning with nutritional supplements for many years.
Before asking my Internist for blood work, I also get my Chiropractor’s recommendations for exactly what blood work will be helpful. The Internists and Endocrinologists I’d seen in the past were likely to order only the basic thyroid tests. My Chiropractor orders those to see if my thyroid is under functioning, tests to measure whether my pituitary and adrenals are involved, and thyroid antibody tests to see if my thyroid is also having an autoimmune problem again.
So that’s where I’m coming from as I try to answer the question about what tests to request from a traditional medical doctor.

 

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – AKA LEAKY GUT

 

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When your intestinal mucosal lining (the place that’s home to your gut’s good bacteria and other probiotic micro-organisms) becomes abnormally permeable (a condition known as intestinal hyperpermeability), tiny leaks develop from your intestines into your bloodstream. These openings allow things (bad bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and other substances) to pass through the intestinal walls directly into your bloodstream instead of being propelled further along your GI tract to where they can be neutralized and/or excreted.
Your immune system reads these substances leaked into your bloodstream as dangerous invaders, triggering an autoimmune reaction.  As the leaks continue to allow more and more substances through the gut lining  directly into the bloodstream, your body becomes chronically inflamed … and chronic inflammation is a precursor to autoimmune diseases and a long list of other serious health problems. (Axe, 2016) & (Weil, 2005)

 

 

 

DR JOSH AXE’S RECOMMENDATIONS

Dr Josh Axe’s article What Kind of Leaky Gut Test Should You Take? may help you figure out what tests to ask for if you suspect you have a leaky gut that’s causing various chronic autoimmune conditions and diseases – including dark circles under your eyes. Dr. Axe is a Doctor of Natural Medicine, a Clinical Nutritionist, and a Chiropractor.
The tests he recommends are:

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

See Dr Axe’s article for more information on these tests.

 

 

 

TESTS FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE

 

(Source: therestlesslegsblog.wordpress.com)
(Source: therestlesslegsblog.wordpress.com)

 

In an article called Testing For Adrenal Fatigue, Wellness Coach and author Fawne Hansen discusses the types of tests needed to measure adrenal functioning. Among them are:
  • A series of cortisol measures
  • An ACTH Challenge
  • A variety of thyroid tests
Hansen says, “Diagnosing Adrenal Fatigue from a single test or symptom is impossible. To make an accurate diagnosis, doctors and naturopaths need to look at a range of tests, sometimes conducted multiple times, and take note of every symptom. This requires experience and a thorough knowledge of the various systems in our bodies, as well as some patience too. It may require two or three visits to the doctor before you can be sure that you have Adrenal Fatigue.” (Hansen, 2016)
She has written an eBook called The Adrenal Fatigue Solution with Naturopath Dr. Eric Wood.

 

 

 

BLOOD TESTS FOR ELEVATED INFLAMMATION

 

(Source: goodfoodeating.com)
(Source: goodfoodeating.com)
Chronic inflammation in the body is a precursor to most kinds of diseases. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance produced in the liver that increases when there’s inflammation in the body.
There are two blood tests for elevated CRP:  One test can detect a general elevation of CRP, associated with general inflammatory changes in the body and considered a non-specific marker for disease. The other test, called hs-CRP (highly sensitive CRP), is a measure of inflammation in blood vessels and is used to help establish heart disease risk.
Integrative Medicine doc Andrew Weil, MD’s article Elevated C-reactive Protein (CRP) explains the meaning of elevated CRP, its symptoms and causes, how it’s diagnosed, how conventional medicine treats it, and how he treats it with an anti-inflammatory diet. (Weil, 2016)

 

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE TESTING FOR GUT DYSBIOSIS

 

“THIS POLLUTED POND IS OVERGROWN WITH BACTERIA … SIMILAR TO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR GUT IS OVERGROWN WITH THE BAD GUYS”http://www.therootofhealth.com/dysbiosis/

(Source: http://www.therootofhealth.com/)
(Source: http://www.therootofhealth.com/)
Gut dysbiosis (sometimes called gut dysbacteriosis) is the technical term for a microbial imbalance in the digestive tract. MaryAnn Copson, who has worked in the Alternative, Functional, Holistic, and Energy Medicine fields for over 35 years, offers a DYSBIOSIS METABOLIC MARKERS KIT for comprehensive testing of gut dysbiosis.
Her extensive training includes:
  • Neuro-Reproductive Endocrine Certification
  • Certified Licensed Nutritionist
  • Robertson Research Institute Level II Verified Biochemical Profile Clinician for the Brain Chemistry Optimization Program
  • Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
  • Certified Reflexologist
  • Herbal Apprenticeship
  • Practitioner Byronomics Energy Management and Diagnosis
  • Nutritional Treatment for Mood Disorders
  • Metabolic Typing and Nutritional Planning
  • Supplements and other Natural Remedies
  • Vitamin D Deficiency Assessment and Nutritional Treatment
  • Genetics of Mood Disorders
See Testing for Dysbiosis to read more about the causes and effects of gut dysbiosis and to purchase a test kit. You collect the specimens in the privacy of your home and mail them in the kit directly to the independent medical lab she uses. She’ll forward a copy of your results to you when she’s received them and you then schedule a time for the two of you to talk. She’ll interpret your results for you and  discuss their implications along with possible nutritional and lifestyle treatment programs for re-balancing your gut flora.
From Copson’s site (Copson, 2014):

“Why test for Dysbiosis?

“Dybiosis can be a significant factor in many health problems. The Dysbiosis Metabolic Marker Test, because it measures the by-products of microbial metabolism which are excreted in the urine, is particularly useful in detecting the presence of pathogenic microbial overgrowth and in guiding and monitoring therapy.

“Treatments for dysbiosis may involve removal of the offending organisms with anti-microbials. Dietary changes and food supplements are used for replacement of beneficial bacteria, restoration of digestive function, and mucosal repair.

“A repeat test should show improvement within 90 days.”

 

The Dysbiosis Metabolic Marker Test measures the following:
  • Creatinine
  • Bacterial/Protozoal
  • Benzoate
  • Hippurate
  • Phenylpropionate
  • p-Cresol
  • p-Hydroxyphenylacetate
  • Tricarballylate
  • Clostridial
  • Dihydroxyphenylpropionate
  • Yeast/Fungal
  • Tartarate
  • Citramalate
  • B-Ketoglutarate

“All of the above compounds reported are produced by bacteria, yeast, fungi and protozoa that may colonize or grow in the small intestines. Dysbiosis involves overgrowth of one or more species leading to increased production of these compounds that are absorbed and excreted in the urine.” (Copson, 2014)

I don’t know if the kit, the lab work, and working with her (via phone or in person – she’s in Shipman, Virginia) on what to do about your results would be covered by your health insurance (if you’re lucky enough to have any).

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TOPICS MENTIONED IN THIS POST

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY

See INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES for an explanation of how the condition of your intestinal lining  (the place where your gut probiotics live) affects your health.

 

(Source: healthy-family.org)
(Source: healthy-family.org)

 

 

 

IntestiNEW TO REDUCE GUT PERMEABILITY

See IntestiNEW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR  DIGESTIVE LINING  to read about IntestiNEW, a nutritional supplement that improves the condition of your gut’s intestinal lining and reduces chronic inflammation in the body.

 

intestinew

 

 

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES & CONDITIONS

autoimmunejpg-ca55facea37ead85
In autoimmune diseases and conditions, the immune system misreads healthy cells as if they were dangerous invaders and attempts to destroy them. An autoimmune process can affect one or more types of body tissues and organs.
If you wish to learn more, here are two lists of autoimmune diseases and conditions:
AUTOIMMUNE AND AUTOIMMUNE-RELATED DISEASES (AARDA, 2016)
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE LIST (Anon, 2014)
Note:
There are autoimmune conditions and diseases that don’t appear on these two lists.
Another note:
I was searching for a helpful article on autoimmunity to include here and was only finding ones claiming that autoimmune diseases are incurable but their symptoms could perhaps be reduced by pharmaceuticals. Then it occurred to me to google “autoimmune diseases alternative” and found this article by Functional Medicine doc Mark Hyman, MD: How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease. (Hyman, 2015)
Dr Hyman is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.
From Dr Hyman’s article:

“INFLAMMATION IS A “HOT” TOPIC IN MEDICINE. It appears connected to almost every known chronic disease — from heart disease to cancer, diabetes to obesity, autism to dementia, and even depression.

“Other inflammatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease are increasing at dramatic rates. As physicians we are trained to shut off inflammation with aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin, steroids, and increasingly more powerful immune suppressing medication with serious side effects.

“But we are not trained to find and treat the underlying causes of inflammation in chronic disease. Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, an inflammatory diet, and stress are the real causes of these inflammatory conditions.

“Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

“These are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.

“It you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source. Treat the fire, not the smoke. In medicine we are mostly taught to diagnose disease by symptoms, NOT by their underlying cause.”

 

********************

Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.

– Functional Medicine doc Mark Hyman, MD

********************

 

 

 

INFORMATION ON THYROID FUNCTION TESTS

(Source: stpetersburgchiropractordirectory.com)
(Source: stpetersburgchiropractordirectory.com)
See Thyroid Function Tests for what the American Thyroid Association says about commonly ordered thyroid tests. (American Thyroid Association, 2014)
Chiropractor and Nutritionist Dr David Dahlman’s article Thyroid Tests discusses how the thyroid works, which tests are needed to assess its function, and how to interpret those tests. (Dahlman, 2015)
An article by Naturopath Peter de Ruyter, called Alternative Hypothyroidism Tests Are Necessary For Determining An Underactive Thyroid, presents information on thyroid imbalances and thyroid function tests from a Holistic Medical perspective, which includes the adrenals’ relationship to the thyroid. (de Ruyter, 2012)

 

endocrine-glands-8-638

 

 

 

THE MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

See MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX for more information on how and why the US’s health care industry remains wedded to its focus on using pharmaceuticals and surgeries to treat symptoms rather than helping us stay healthy.
From the article:

“The concept of the medical-industrial complex was first introduced in the 1971 book, The American Health Empire (Ehrenreich and Ehrenreich 1971) by Health-PAC. The medical-industrial complex (MIC) refers to the health industry, which is composed of the multibillion-dollar congeries of enterprises including doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, drug manufacturers, hospital supply and equipment companies, real estate and construction businesses, health systems consulting and accounting firms, and banks. As employed by the Ehrenreichs, the concept conveys the idea that an important (if not the primary) function of the health care system in the United States is business (that is, to make profits) with two other secondary functions, research and education.”

 

(Source: scientistsascitizens.org)
(Source: scientistsascitizens.org)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. (2016). List of Diseases: Autoimmune and Autoimmune-Related Diseases. See: http://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/list-of-diseases/

American Thyroid Association. (2014). Thyroid Function Tests. See: http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/FunctionTests_brochure.pdf

Anon. (2014). Autoimmune Disease List. See: http://autoimmunediseaselist.com

Axe, J. (2016). What Kind of Leaky Gut Test Should You Take? See: http://draxe.com/leaky-gut-test/

de Ruyter, P. (2012). Alternative Hypothyroidism Tests Are Necessary For Determining An Underactive Thyroid. See: http://www.holistic-hypothyroidism-solutions.com/alternative-hypothyroidism-tests.html

Copson, M. (2014). Testing for Dysbiosis. See: http://functionalhealthtests.com/dysbiosis.html

EduLearnSoc.org. (2012). Medical-Industrial Complex. See: http://edu.learnsoc.org/Chapters/21%20health%20and%20medicine/12%20medical-industrial%20complex.htm

Hansen, E. (2016). Testing for Adrenal Fatigue. See: http://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/testing-for-adrenal-fatigue/

Hansen, D. & Wood, E. (2014). The Adrenal Fatigue Solution: How to regain your vitality and restore your energy levels. (eBook). See: https://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/get-started/

Hardin, J.R. (1/10/2016). IntestiNEW to Strengthen Your Digestive Lining. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/01/10/intestinew-to-help-strengthen-your-digestive-lining/

Hardin, J.R. (7/12/2015). Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Improve Your Gut Bacteria. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/07/12/dark-circles-under-your-eyes-improve-your-gut-bacteria/

Hardin, J.R. (5/10/2015). INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Hyman, M. (2015). How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease. See: http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/07/30/how-to-stop-attacking-yourself-9-steps-to-heal-autoimmune-disease/

Weil, A. (2016). Elevated C-reactive Protein (CRP). See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03424/Elevated-Creactive-Protein-CRP.html

Weil, A. (2005). What Is Leaky Gut? See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA361058/what-is-leaky-gut.html

 

 

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

 

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

 

IntestiNEW to Strengthen Your Digestive Lining

Updated 3/9/2016.

gutbacteria8

Our gut microbiomes, the several pounds of micro-organisms living inside our intestines and often referred to as Our Friends with Benefits,  affect pretty much every aspect of  our health – keeping us well or making us sick.

 

(Source: www.goodgirlgogogo.com)
(Source: www.goodgirlgogogo.com)
I wrote about INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES in a 10 May 2015 post. Here’s part of that article as background for appreciating the value of a supplement called IntestiNEW that strengthens the intestine’s mucosal lining, where our gut microbiomes reside:

 

 

DIGESTION – FROM MOUTH TO ANUS

0120
The human digestive tract runs from the mouth at the top to the anus at the other end. Foreign matter (food) is taken in and partially broken down by chewing in the mouth. It then travels down through the esophagus to the stomach and from there into the small and large intestines, where it is selectively digested. During this trip, various phases of digestion take place  and nutrients are extracted and absorbed. The liver, gall bladder and pancreas, organs that aid in the digestive process, are located along the length of the GI tract.
The total length of the GI tract varies from person to person. In an adult male the range is 20 to 40 feet. On average, the small intestine in adults is 22 feet long and the large intestine is 5 feet.
As you can intuit, a lot could go wrong during that long trip – and much of that depends on the quality of what you deliver to your mouth as ‘food’.
(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)
(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)

 

You can see the location of the mucosal layer (called ‘mucous coat’ in the diagram below) and the intestinal villi in this cross section of the human small intestine. The empty space in the center, just below the villi (the spikes you see in the image of a healthy mucosal membrane in the image to the left above),  is called the lumen, the tube in which food travels through the intestines.

excret_intestin_coupe_FF_en

(Source: MyHumanBody.ca)

 

 

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – AKA LEAKY GUT

(Source: scdlifestyle.com)
(Source: scdlifestyle.com)
Increased gut permeability – also known as hyper-permeable intestines or “leaky gut” – describes the intestinal lining’s having become more porous than it should be so the process of what is allowed out into the body no longer functions properly.  Larger, undigested food molecules and other bad things (such as yeasts, toxins, and other forms of waste  that normally would continue on and get excreted through the anus) flow freely through these too-large holes in the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where they don’t belong and are treated as dangerous invaders.
The  gut’s mucosal layer is thin, delicate – and very important. This is where our probiotic bacteria live, so degrading it also degrades the strength of our immune systems. The probiotics residing in the gut mucosal layer make up 70-90% of the human immune system.
Damage to the gut’s mucosal layer leads to a whole range of serious problems as the body tries to cope with the invaders being released into the bloodstream. Once this lining has become disturbed, allowing problematic things to flow through it into the blood stream, a cycle of chronic irritation begins, leading to chronic inflammation in the body and a whole series of autoimmune conditions.
wpid-screenshot_2014-09-22-18-44-15-11
It is well-known that the composition of the gut lining and its microbiota changes during animal development and can be influenced by environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, and habitat. (Barker, 2013), (Conlon, 2014) & (Renew Life, undated)
So you can see the importance of keeping your gut lining, where those critters live, in good shape.

 

 

REGENERATION OF THE GUT LINING

 

(Source: www.stemcell.com)
(Source: www.stemcell.com)
The thin lining of our intestines is semi-permeable: a healthy lining membrane  allows nutrients to pass from the intestines into the bloodstream and prevents toxins, pathogens, and undigested food from exiting the digestive tract too early. When the lining becomes chronically damaged, allowing toxins, pathogens, and undigested food to  enter the bloodstream, chronic inflammation occurs in the body and many negative, autoimmune health conditions may ensue. (Renew Life, undated)
See AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission (Hardin, 2014) for more information.
A healthy intestinal lining serves many functions, most critical among them:
  • Continuing the digestive processing of food after it leaves  the stomach
  • Absorbing nutrients from this partially digested food
  • Preventing harmful bacteria and undigested food particles from entering the bloodstream
Like our skin, the delicate mucosal lining of our small and large intestines sloughs off a layer of cells every 3-5 days and produces new cells to maintain its semi-permeable state. This process requires the amino acid L-Glutamine. (Renew Life, undated).
“Small populations of adult stem cells are responsible for the remarkable ability of the epithelial lining of the intestine to be efficiently renewed and repaired throughout life.” (Barker, 2013)
The human body’s GI tract is lined with mucosal tissues primarily comprised of epithelial cells attached to the underlying membrane. Tiny, finger-like projections called villi protrude from the intestinal walls and greatly increase their absorptive and surface areas.
“Digested nutrients (including sugars and amino acids) pass into the villi through diffusion. Circulating blood then carries these nutrients away.  Unlike the mucosal tissue of the inner surface of the eyelids or the mouth, the epithelial cells which line the inside of the stomach are exposed to much harsher conditions, e.g., acid (i.e., hydrochloric acid), sometimes alcohol, enzymes (e.g., pepsin) for digesting food and waste generated therefrom. Mucous secretion essentially protects the cells on the inside of the stomach and duodenum from damage by acid or enzymes, for example by presenting bicarbonate to neutralize some of the effects of acid on the stomach’s inner lining, as well as inhibitors to block the enzymatic activity. Once the mucous secretions of the epithelial cells stop, the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum would eventually be eroded by the combined action of acid and enzymes, leading to ulcer.” (MEBO, 2009)

 

 

INTESTINEW

IntestiNew is a dietary supplement designed and produced by Renew Life to soothe the digestive system and benefit the health of the mucosal lining of the intestines. It is available as a powder or in capsules.
intestinew-1The capsule form contains L-glutamine, N-acetyl D-glucosamine, gamma oryzanol, cranesbill root, ginger root, marigold flower, marshmallow root, vegetable fiber, and water.

DIG-IntestiNEWCaps-0813

The powder form contains the same ingredients with the exception of the vegetable fiber and water.

DIG-IntestiNEWPowder-0813

The glucosamine, L-glutamine, and the herbs in IntestiNew soothe and support the integrity of the intestinal lining.  The gamma oryzanol, a natural extract of rice oat bran, delivers essential antioxidant benefits to the digestive system. (Holt, 2016)
Both forms of the supplement are gluten free and contain no artificial ingredients.
Women who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive are advised to consult their physicians before taking IntestiNEW, as are people taking pharmaceutical medications or having a medical condition.  The supplements contain an ingredient derived from crustacean shells (shrimp, lobster, and/or crab) so aren’t suitable for people with a shellfish allergy.

 

Time-to-balance-your-gut-health.-Before-the-bad-bugs-have-a-party.jpg

Although I couldn’t find any scientific papers on IntestiNEW, it has been well reviewed by customers on Amazon, iHerb, The Vitamin Shoppe, Vitacost,  and National Nutrition. I second those reviews: Since I’ve been taking IntestiNEW, I’ve seen a big improvement in my digestive health. I started with a scoop (5.4 grams) stirred into an eight ounce glass of filtered water before breakfast and now take two capsules before each meal, with water)

 

Some of the many ways our gut bacteria affect our health:
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)
My thanks to David Miller, MD, Supplements Specialist at Life Thyme Market in New York City, for recommending IntestiNew to me.

 

Colonoscopy-cartoon1

 

REFERENCES

Barker, N. (2013). Adult intestinal stem cells: critical drivers of epithelial homeostasis and regeneration.  Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 15:  19–33. See: http://www.nature.com/nrm/journal/v15/n1/full/nrm3721.html

Conlon, M.A. et al. (2015). The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human Health. Nutrients. 7(1): 17–44. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303825/

Hardin, J.R. (26 October 2014). AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/26/autoimmune-diseases-develop-put-remission/

Hardin, J.R. (10 May 2015). INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Holt, L. (2016). IntestiNew Reviewed: Does IntestiNew Work? Daily Health Answers. See: https://www.dailyhealthanswers.com/intestinew-reviewed.html

MEBO. (2009). Regeneration of Gastro- Intestinal Tract. Human Body Regeneration Sciences. See: http://en.mebo.com/about/ShowInfo.asp?InfoID=1

Renew Life. (undated). INTESTINEW: Natural Ingredients Used Traditionally to Support a Healthy Intestinal Lining. See: http://www.renewlife.com/media/spec_sheets/SpecSheetRNLIntestiNew.pdf

 

 

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

 

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

 

Prediabetics Have Fewer Gut Bacteria

Updated 8/29/2014,  9/7/2015, and 4/15/2016.  NOTE added at end of post on 9/6/2015. Last updated 10/22/2016.

diabetic

In the global diabetes epidemic, rates of new cases are rising rapidly. I hope this post will help you avoid becoming one of them.

 

Number of People Diagnosed with Diabetes

Millions, by region

MC_1403_outlook

Source: IDF Diabetes Atlas, Sixth Edition; Managed Care calculation of percentages using data from The World Factbook, published by the CIA

TYPES 1 & 2 DIABETES: AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

 

(Source: igennus.com)
(Source: igennus.com)
During digestion, most of our food gets broken down into glucose (a form of sugar that’s the body’s main source of fuel), which then  passes into the bloodstream. Insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) must also be present in the blood for glucose to be able to make it into our cells to nourish them.
Type 1 diabetes is known to be a serious autoimmune problem of the metabolism. An autoimmune disorder or disease is a result of chronic inflammation in the body’s immune system, causing it to turn against a part of the body – to attack it as if its cells were dangerous, invading pathogens. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. (WebMD, 2008)
Type 2 diabetes is now also largely viewed as the result of a different type of  autoimmune reaction: one in which B and T immune cells cause inflammation in the fatty tissue surrounding organs in the body. The inflammation occurs when rapidly growing fat cells outstrip their blood supply and begin to die off. These dying cells spew out their contents, and macrophages (another type of immune cell) are called in to clean up the dead cells. “The resulting onslaught by the immune system inhibits the ability of the remaining fat cells to respond to insulin and causes fatty acids to be shed into the blood. This sets in motion a physiological cascade that leads to fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and further insulin resistance throughout the body.” (Conger, 2011)

 

 

TYPE 1 DIABETES

(Source: www.imagekb.com)
(Source: www.imagekb.com)
In Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, the immune system mistakenly kills off pancreatic cells that make the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. The body’s immune system attacks and destroys these pancreatic cells so they no longer make enough insulin.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10% of diagnosed diabetes in the US.

 

 

TYPE 2 DIABETES

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces enough insulin but the cells in the body have become unable to make effective use of the hormone, a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin production eventually decreases. So, as in Type 1 diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being properly delivered to the cells in the body where they’re needed for fuel.
(Source: www.webmd.com)
(Source: www.webmd.com)
Type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity, older age, family history of gestational diabetes, and physical inactivity. About 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. Unfortunately, Type 2 diabetes is also increasingly being seen in younger people, even children and teens.

 

 

PREDIABETES

(Source: prediabetescenters.com)
(Source: prediabetescenters.com)
A prediabetic condition indicates the amount of glucose in the blood is above normal but not yet high enough to be called diabetes. Prediabetic people are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

 

 

 

DIABETES STATISTICS IN THE US

 

(Source: eschooltoday.com)

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association Report, 2014 show the magnitude of the problem in the US:
  • PREVALENCE: In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes.
    • Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes.
  • UNDIAGNOSED: Of the 29.1 million, 21.0 million were diagnosed and another 8.1 million were undiagnosed.
  • PREVALENCE IN SENIORS: The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.9%, or 11.8 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
  • NEW CASES: The incidence of diabetes in 2012 was 1.7 million new diagnoses/year; in 2010 it was 1.9 million.
  • PREDIABETES: In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010.
  • DEATHS:  Based on the 69,071 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death in 2010, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States that year. In 2010, diabetes was also mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 234,051 certificates.

CAUSE OF DEATH UNDER REPORTING

  • Diabetes may be under reported as a cause of death. Studies have found that only about 35% to 40% of people with diabetes who died had diabetes listed anywhere on the death certificate and only about 10-15% had it listed as the underlying cause of death.

DIABETES IN YOUTH

  • About 208,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes, approximately 0.25% of that population.
  • In 2008—2009, the annual incidence of diagnosed diabetes in youth was estimated at 18,436 with Type 1 diabetes, 5,089 with Type 2 diabetes.

 

population-with-diabetes

 

Some other diabetes statistics showing the seriousness of the problem:

(Source: cached.newslookup.com)

 

(Source: cached.newslookup.com)

 

diabetes-cost

 

63d24_130306130848-cost-of-diabetes-5-01-horizontal-gallery

Below are diabetes prevalence data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of reported cases tripled between 1980 and 2008. The CDC estimates that “the number of Americans with diabetes will range from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 by 2050.”

 

6a0133f3a4072c970b0147e1028529970b-550wi

And here’s information from the International Diabetes Federation comparing reported cases of diabetes in 2013 with projected cases by 2035 for countries around the world – an expected increase of 55%.

huq64v

 

 

 

GUT BACTERIA & DIABETES

 

(Source: blog.medbiomarkers.com)
(Source: blog.medbiomarkers.com)
Researchers are discovering changes in normal gut bacteria that take place before either Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes turns into a clinical condition. Since we now know that 70-80% of our immune system is located in our GI tract, where digestion takes place, you can see how a serious imbalance in the bacterial make up of the gut microbiome could lead to the development of diabetes in people with a genetic predisposition for it.

(Source: ink361.com)

 “Mounting evidence suggests that the bacteria resident within our GI tract – and the immune response to those bacteria – influence the permeability of the gut mucosa. This idea — which has become to be known as the “leaky gut” hypothesis  — proposes that a cycle of dysbiosis, dysregulated immune response, and unintended gut permeability leads to the peripheral host immune system being unbalanced towards a pro-inflammatory response. This in turn is suggested to lead to (some of) the imbalances that are thought to be causative of diabetes and other non-metabolic disorders.” (Moore, 2015)

 

 

 

GUT BACTERIA, ANTIBIOTICS & RISK FOR DIABETES

 

(Source: probiotics.org)
(Source: probiotics.org)
A team of scientists led by Dr Ben Boursi, a Post Doctoral Researcher in Gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, found people who have taken multiple courses of antibiotics were 37% more likely to develop Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The team also found the greater the number of courses of antibiotics, the higher the risk for developing diabetes.
Dr Boursi notes, “Our findings are important, not only for understanding how diabetes may develop, but as a warning to reduce unnecessary antibiotic treatments that might do more harm than good.”

 

(Source: www.asnailsodyssey.com)
(Source: www.asnailsodyssey.com)
Several studies in humans have shown that early childhood exposure to antibiotics is associated with increased risk of obesity in later life – and obesity has long been recognized as risk for developing diabetes.
There’s also growing evidence that imbalances in the gut microbiome’s composition contribute to the development of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
The Boursi team’s future research will focus on identifying the species of gut bacteria necessary to prevent and reverse diabetes, potentially working towards the possibility of transplanting prebiotic and probiotic microbes into the gut as a therapeutic strategy for diabetes. (Arendt, 2015) & (Davenport, 2015)

 

 

PREDIABETICS HAVE FEWER & LESS DIVERSE GUT BACTERIA

 

(Source: www.mayo.edu)
(Source: www.mayo.edu),
A research team led by Dr Elena Barengolts, an Endocrinologist at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, found irregularities in the composition of the probiotic bacteria in the guts of prediabetic patients: Compared with subjects whose glucose tolerance was good, the prediabetics had fewer and less diverse populations of bacteria living in their gut microbiomes.
There were 116 participants in the study, all African-American veterans. Their ages ranged from 45 to 70. Their intestinal bacteria were measured by stool samples at the start of the study and again 12 months later.
Participants were divided into four groups based on their body’s ability to regulate blood sugar:
  • Group 1 – Those with stable glucose tolerance (normal)
  • Group 2 – Those with stable impaired fasting glucose or stable impaired glucose tolerance
  • Group 3 – Those with worsened glucose tolerance
  • Group 4 – Those with improved glucose tolerance
The study found that men whose blood sugar control  remained normal over the year (Group 1) had higher numbers of beneficial gut bacteria while the men who continued to be prediabetic had fewer beneficial bacteria and higher numbers of harmful bacteria in their guts.
Furthermore, the group whose blood sugar management improved over the course of the year (Group 4) had a higher number of a strain of healthy bacteria (Akkermansia) than the group who had maintained normal blood sugar control over the year (Group 1). (Gray, 2015)

 

(Source: humanfoodproject.com)
(Source: humanfoodproject.com)
At the phylum level, this study found significant differences in the bacterial composition between Groups 1 and 2: Group 2 (people with impaired but stable fasting glucose or glucose tolerance) had higher levels of Bacteroidetes and lower levels of Firmicutes than people in Group 1.
The Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio was 1.9 vs 0.9 respectively for Groups 1 and 2 and 1.9 vs 1.1 respectively for Groups 1 and 3.
The number of Proteobacteria decreased over the 12-month study period in Groups 2 and 4 compared with Group 1. Proteobacteria are a major phylum of gram-negative bacteria that include a variety of pathogens – such as Escherichia, Salmonella, Vibrio, Helicobacter, and Yersinia. (Wikipedia, 2015)

 

(Source: www.yourwildlife.org)
(Source: www.yourwildlife.org)
At the family and genus levels, Group 2 had fewer Prevotella and a higher Bacteroides/Prevotella ratio than Group 1: 5.6 vs 2.7. Group 2 also had fewer   Enterobacteriaceae (a large family of  bacteria that includes the pathogens Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia pestis, Klebsiella and Shigella) and  more Ruminococcae and Veillonellaceae.
“We speculate that lower abundance of Prevotella may be associated with worsening glycemia, and, conversely, higher abundance of Akkermansia might be associated with improving glycemia, thus corroborating suggestions from previous studies,” the researchers said.
Barengolts notes, “Changes in the gut microbiota occur in the early stage of diabetes development. The gut bacteria signature — the composition and abundance — could be a useful tool in assessing a person’s risk for developing obesity and diabetes.” (Ciubotaru et al, 2015) & (Brown, 2015)
Other studies are currently underway in Italy and China investigating gut bacterial transplants as a treatment for diabetes.

 

 

ALTERED GUT BACTERIA PRECEDE TYPE 1 DIABETES IN CHILDREN

 

(Source: www.nlm.nih.gov)
(Source: www.nlm.nih.gov)

 

A small study followed 33 babies from Finland and Estonia who were at increased genetic risk for developing Type 1 diabetes. Analysis of their stool samples charted changes in the multitude of microorganisms living in their guts.
By age three, four of the children developed Type 1 diabetes.  Huge alterations in the gut microbes of those those four children were seen about a year before onset of the disease. As with the men in the veterans’ study, there was a marked drop in the diversity of the overall microbial community. This drop in gut diversity was accompanied by spikes in inflammation-favoring organisms, gene functions, and serum and stool metabolites. These changes in gut microbial levels did not occur in the at risk children who didn’t progress to Type 1 diabetes.
Researcher Dr Aleksandar Kostic, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Biology and Experimental Biology at MIT and Harvard, hopes the study’s results will lead to an early diagnostic test for Type 1 diabetes. (Kostic et al, 2015) & (Norton, 2015)

 

 

PREVENTING & TREATING DIABETES VIA THE GUT MICROBIOME?

 

Bacteria in the Human Gut

(Source: ehp.niehs.nih.gov)
(Source: ehp.niehs.nih.gov)
Given what we already know about the gut microbiome’s role in keeping the body in a balanced state so it remains healthy, it makes sense to focus on diet and nutritional supplements for preventing and treating diabetes.
For example, we know there is considerable variation among people in the microbes that live in and on us. We also know that an individual’s microbial populations are always changing.
The following is from an easy to read summary of changes in the various human microbiomes from birth through old age. It was prepared by the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center (2015). You might want to take a look at it – it provides useful information along with some delightful drawings:

“Before birth, we’re all more or less sterile—we have no microbes. Within a few years, we’re covered in thousands of different species of microbes, and they colonize every millimeter of the body that’s exposed to the outside world. By the time we enter kindergarten, we have vastly different populations living in the different habitats around our bodies. Even as adults and into old age, our microbiota continue to shift.

” … Because so many things affect our bodies’ ecosystems, there is a huge amount of variability in microbial populations even among individuals of the same age. Just like our fingerprints vary, we vary in the microbial species we have as well as their relative abundancies. Our microbes vary with gender, diet, climate, age, occupation, and hygiene. Even differences in our genes influence our microbial populations—indirectly by affecting things like the acidity of the digestive tract, and also more directly through variations in proteins on our cells that communicate with microbes.

“Even with all this variability, there are some trends. Microbial populations differ more among body sites than between individuals. For example, the microbes living on the forearms of two different people tend to be more similar than the microbes on the forearm and ear of the same person. And there are certain species of bacteria that will only live in the gut, others that will live only on the teeth, and so on.”

 

GENETICS VS EPIGENETICS

 

(Source: thescienceofreality.tumblr.com)
(Source: thescienceofreality.tumblr.com)
We also know this about autoimmune diseases: DNA IS NOT DESTINY
Chronic diseases, especially autoimmune ones, are only 25% determined by genetic inheritance. The other 75% is affected by other factors. It’s a matter of genetics vs epigenetics. You may have a genetic predisposition for diabetes but also have a large say in whether your DNA expresses that predisposition in your body.

“We know from twin studies, from identical twin studies, that 25% of autoimmunity is your genetics, and 75% is from the environment. … So that’s an enormous amount that we have control over and can influence.”

  • Amy Myers, MD. (Sanfilippo, 2015)
If we know that both the composition and abundance of micro-organisms living in our guts  change over the course of a lifetime, shouldn’t it be possible to learn how to make deliberate changes to our gut microbiome – changes that prevent diabetes from developing even if we have a genetic predisposition for it?

 

epigenetics-4-728

 

 

 

TO AVOID OR REVERSE INSULIN RESISTANCE

 

images

These are Dr Robert Mercola’s suggestions for turning insulin resistance around (Mercola, 8/23/2015) & (Mercola, 8/27/2015):

 

AVOID SUGAR
(Source: www.sugarauthority.com)
(Source: www.sugarauthority.com)

 

 

EAT REAL FOODS INSTEAD OF PROCESSED ONES

Realfood-1

Almost all so-called foods that come in a bottle, can, jar, bag, or box have had sugars added to them, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

 

 

EAT FRESH FRUIT INSTEAD OF PURCHASED FRUIT JUICES
(Source: www.foodinsight.org)
(Source: www.foodinsight.org)
Commercial fruit juices are loaded with added sugar.

 

 

AVOID “DIET” FOODS AND DRINKS
2565d7867d26310efcd15a313fef51ec
They promote insulin resistance and other health problems. “The artificial sweeteners saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame decrease function in pathways associated with the transport of sugar in your body, and can induce both gut dysbiosis and glucose intolerance. Research also shows that artificial sweeteners promote diabetes and weight gain by disrupting your gut microbiome. Sucralose (Splenda) was found to reduce beneficial gut bacteria by as much as 50 percent!”

 

AVOID GRAINS, ESPECIALLY WHEAT, BARLEY, OATS & RYE
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
Grains turn into sugar in your body, sharply raising your glucose and insulin levels, and contribute to insulin resistance. Many grains also contain gluten, which triggers inflammation in the intestines, leading to a state of chronic inflammation in the body and autoimmune diseases.
Consuming a lot of refined grains (and even whole grains) is also highly inflammatory for another reason:  Humans are designed to eat a diet containing a ratio of 1 or 2 parts of Omega-6 essential fatty acids to every 1 part of Omega-3. This ratio is what we get when we eat real, unprocessed, highly nutritious foods – non-GMO veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and pastured animals. Our typical diet now has come to contain 10 to 20 parts Omega-6 to every part Omega-3 – producing a highly inflammatory state in the body. (Kratka, 2011)
“Grains are almost single-handedly responsible for the removal of omega-3 fatty acids in the modern diet….  There have been over 2000 studies done on omega-3 and for good reason: the omega-3s in our diet (or the lack their of) have massive implications on our health.  It all boils down to ratios: the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your diet is so crucial, it goes down to the cellular level.” (Kratka, 2011)
Better alternatives to grains are non-GMO almond meal, coconut flour, buckwheat groats, and sweet potatoes. They are much gentler on your blood sugar than grains. Mercola points out that even these healthier alternatives will hamper your body’s ability to heal if you’re already insulin resistant. “Once the clinical signs of insulin resistance have resolved, you can relax your carb restriction.”
In addition to the Omega-3s in my diet, I take Standard Process Tuna Omega-3 Oil (1 2X/day).

 

 

FOCUS ON HEALTHY FATS
(Source:www.skinnydivadiet.com )
(Source:www.skinnydivadiet.com )
Eat fewer saturated and trans fats (unhealthy) and more mono and poly unsaturated fats (healthy).  Examples of healthy fats include avocado, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, cheese, raw dairy, organic pastured eggs, raw nuts, grass-fed meats, and coconut oil.

 

(Source: www.familygonehealthy.com)
(Source: www.familygonehealthy.com)

 

Due to the high percentage of nutrient-poor foods, refined carbohydrates, bad fats, and refined sugars in the Standard American Diet (SAD), along with consumption of multiple OTC and prescription pharmaceuticals, we are far from getting the optimal ratio of 1:1 for Omega-6s (inflammatory) and Omega-3s (anti-inflammatory). The ratio in our modern Western diet is often as high as 20:1, creating excessive, chronic inflammation in the body – and chronic inflammation is a precursor to many diseases.

 

(Source: www.betterhealthinternational.com )
(Source: www.betterhealthinternational.com )

 

 

GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D3
Having a sufficient blood level of Vitamin D is essential for maintaining good health and preventing a wide range of autoimmune and neurological diseases: Type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS, susceptibility to infection (including viral respiratory infections) among them.
(Source: jdshometraining.com)
(Source: jdshometraining.com)
Vitamin D3 is vitally important for healthy immune functioning – and most of us are seriously D3 deficient. Unless we work mostly naked outdoors in a sunny climate without slathering our skin with sunscreen, we can benefit greatly from adding a high quality D3 supplement to our daily diets.
Some good sources of Vitamin D3 are:
Exposure of the skin to sunshine (without sunscreen), salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, cod liver oil, egg yolks, cheeses, butter, shiitake and button mushrooms, sunflower seeds and sprouts, and high quality supplements.
(Source: www.alzinfo.org) In addition to sunshine, you can get vitamin D from salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod liver oil, egg yolks, low fat milk, non-dairy milk alternatives, 100 percent orange juice and supplements.
(Source: www.alzinfo.org)
Guidelines for the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D were updated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2010 and are currently set by age: For those 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; for those 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; and for pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily.  This is thought by many as far too low.
Due to a mathematical error, the IOM’s widely cited RDA’s for Vitamin D underestimate the body’s need for it by a factor of 10.
The IOM recommends a Vitamin D serum level of 20 ng/ml but we should actually aim for a blood level of 40 ng/ml, supplementing with whatever amount is necessary to reach and maintain that level. (Mercola, 5/10/2015)
See The Real RDA for Vitamin D Is 10 Times Higher Than Currently Recommended for information on how how the RDA for Vitamin D should be correctly calculated and how to get an adequate amount of it.

 

VitaminD

One of my alternative health care providers recommends 5,000 IU/day in the summer time and as high as 10,000 IU/day the rest of the year. (Miller, 2011). I like Metagenics, D3 5000, 120 Softgels (1 2X/day). 
Vitamin D serum levels should be monitored with periodic blood tests.
(4/15/2016: I reduced my D3 intake to 5,000 IU/day after my D blood serum level was too high.)
(10/22/2016: A few months ago, I needed to reduce my D3 intake even further – to 5,000 IU/day during the darker months and the same amount every other day during the sunnier months.)

 

See Alzheimer’s and Vitamin D Deficiency and Whole Food Supplements (Bio-available) vs OTC (Synthetic) Vitamins for additional information on Vitamin D3.

 

SIT LESS/EXERCISE MORE
(Source: www.drannblog.com)
(Source: www.drannblog.com)
Over 10,000 studies show that prolonged sitting harms your health. 8-10 hours of sitting a day, even if you exercise 30-60 minutes daily and are very fit, promotes dozens of chronic diseases – including obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
“The reason for this is because, at the molecular level, the human body was designed to be active all day long. When you stop moving and sit still for extended periods of time, it’s like telling your body to shut down and prepare for death. As soon as you stand up, a number of molecular cascades occur that promote and support healthy biological functioning.
“For example, within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol — which are mediated by insulin — are activated.  Surprising as it may sound, all of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your body weight upon your legs. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuels into your cells and, if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity.
“So, the remedy is simple: Avoid sitting and get more movement into your life. Ideally, aim to sit less than three hours a day. Also consider walking more, in addition to your exercise regimen. In short, rest is supposed to break up activity — not the other way around. This kind of non-exercise physical movement appears to be really foundational for optimal health, and if you’re currently inactive, this is the place to start even before you get going on a workout routine.” (Mercola, 8/23/2015)

 

Sitting-vs-Exercise

 

 

Don’t let this be true for you:
(Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com) )
(Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com)

 

 

NOTE ADDED ON 9/6/2015

I’d asked Warren Fraser, MD, to look over this post. Dr Fraser is an experienced board certified endocrinologist and Co-Chair of the Institutional Review Board at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA.  He sent these helpful comments:

I think your post is very good.

I hadn’t thought of autoimmune diseases as being a result of chronic inflammation, but it makes sense.  It’s seems as if more and more disorders are being linked to chronic inflammation.  Cardiovascular disease has, and one of the studies I reviewed this week is looking at a drug which reduces chronic inflammation (the drug is already approved for use in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, now commonly called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) to see if it will lower the incidence of a second cardiovascular event in people who have had one heart attack.

In reference to the TYPE 2 DIABETES SECTION:

The pancreas actually over secretes insulin in the early phases of the disease to combat the insulin resistance.  This was quite a surprise to investigators when the insulin assay was developed (late 60’s or early 70’s I think).  As you pointed out, insulin production eventually decreases, which may be due to, at least in part, pancreatic ‘exhaustion’ from chronic hypersecretion.  High insulin levels are almost always seen in prediabetes (insulin resistance syndrome) and measuring insulin levels is useful in making the diagnosis.

In reference to the section on DIABETES STATISTICS IN THE US:

The increase in new cases may be due in part to a greater awareness of the disorder and more people being tested for it.

I certainly concur that diabetes is under reported as a cause of death.  The cause is often attributed to a complication of the diabetes.  Back in the 80’s, when Lee Iacocca addressed the annual meeting of American Diabetes Association, he said that he wanted his wife’s death certificate to tell the truth:  she died from diabetes.

In reference to the section on GUT BACTERIA, ANTIBIOTICS & RISK FOR DIABETES:

I certainly agree with the harmful effects of excessive antibiotic use.

Again, this is a very good review and my comments aren’t meant to be suggestions to change anything.

– Fraser, 2016

 

GMO vs NON-GMO FOODS:

In the section AVOID GRAINS, ESPECIALLY WHEAT, BARLEY, OATS & RYE, I’d written “Humans are designed to eat a diet containing a ratio of 1 or 2 parts of Omega-6 essential fatty acids to every part of Omega-3. This ratio is what we get when we eat real, unprocessed, highly nutritious foods – non-GMO veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and pastured animals. Our typical diet now has come to contain 10 to 20 parts Omega-6 to every part of Omega-3 – producing a highly inflammatory state in the body.”
Dr Fraser also asked for clarification on the meaning of “non-GMO”. Here it is with respect to the foods we consume:
The short answer is that NON-GMO plant foods are ones that have not been genetically modified and NON-GMO animals are ones that have not been fed genetically engineered grains or other plants.
GMO foods have been genetically engineered, for reasons completely unrelated to health or nourishment, to withstand heavy applications of potent herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup (a glyphosate-based weed killer). GMOs are created using the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology to inject DNA from one species into another species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that don’t occur in nature or through crossbreeding methods.
Glyphosate  causes serious damage to the beneficial microbes living in our guts (our gut microbiome) and is regarded by many scientists as the most important factor in the development of the many chronic diseases and conditions plaguing Westernized societies.
The process of genetically modifying foods is relatively new in agriculture. The first genetically modified seeds for commercial use were planted in the US in 1996. In 2014, 18 million farmers in 28 countries planted biotech crops, with the highest acreage by far here in the US. Worldwide planting of GE crops covered 181.5 million hectares (448 million acres) by 2014.

 

 

The Center for Food Safety estimates that about 3/4 of all grocery store products now contain one or more genetically modified ingredients.
England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, China, Indonesia, and more than 25 other countries around the world require GE foods to be labeled so consumers can choose to avoid them. England, Japan, Brazil, Norway, India, Thailand and some other countries have even completely banned some GE food crops.
Monsanto and the other big biotech companies have joined together to spend huge sums of money to make sure these GMO foods remain unlabeled in the US.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has declared genetically engineered food unsafe for consumption. They cited animal studies indicating serious health risks associated with GM foods – “including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM advised physicians to tell their patients to avoid GM foods.
“Before the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.” (Institute for Responsible Technology, 2014)
Studies of people in the US and Germany have found high levels of glyphosate in human urine, blood, and breast milk as well as in drinking water supplies.
For more information on GMO vs NON-GMO, see:

 

 

Intestines of Pig Fed NO GMOs vs Pig Fed GMOs

(Source: isupportorganic.blogspot.com)
(Source: isupportorganic.blogspot.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Diabetes Association. (2015). Statistics About Diabetes: Data from the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 (released June 10, 2014). See: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

Arendt, R. (2015). Gut microbiome transplantation, and use of probiotics and prebiotics as new treatment for both diabetes type 1 and 2. See: http://patientcircle.org/english/2015/4/3/gut-microbiome-transplantation-and-use-of-probiotics-and-pre.html

Barengolts, E. (2013). VITAMIN D AND PREBIOTICS MAY BENEFIT THE INTESTINAL MICROBACTERIA AND IMPROVE GLUCOSE HOMEOSTASIS IN PREDIABETES AND TYPE 2 DIABETES. Endocrine Practice,19:3,497-510. See: http://search.proquest.com/openview/cd67c546597d8fe8652f2b6671281eef/1?pq-origsite=gscholar

Barrett, M. (2014). Mike Barrett’s article, 3 Studies Proving Toxic Glyphosate Found in Urine, Blood, and Even Breast Milk. See: http://naturalsociety.com/3-studies-proving-toxic-glyphosate-found-urine-blood-even-breast-milk/#ixzz3kyT2fMKq

Ciubotaru, I. et al. (2015).  Significant differences in fecal microbiota are associated with various stages of glucose tolerance in African-American male veterans.  ENDO 2015; Abstract FRI-597. See: https://endo.confex.com/endo/2015endo/webprogram/Paper21179.html

Conger, K. (2011). Type-2 diabetes linked to autoimmune reaction in study. Stanford Medicine News Center. See: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2011/04/type-2-diabetes-linked-to-autoimmune-reaction-in-study.html

Davenport, L. (2015). Do Antibiotics Raise Diabetes Risk via Gut Microbiota? Medscape Medical News. See: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842409

Fraser, W. (9/6/2015). Personal communication.

Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah. (2015). Your Changing Microbiome. See: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/changing/

Gray, N. (2015). Gut microbiota shifts could predict diabetes risk, suggests study. See: http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Gut-microbiota-shifts-could-predict-diabetes-risk-suggests-study

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Whole Food Supplements (Bio-available) vs OTC (Synthetic) Vitamins. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/01/25/whole-food-supplements-bio-available-vs-otc-synthetic-vitamins/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). ALZHEIMER’S AND VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/11/30/alzheimers-gut-bacteria-music/

Institute for Responsible Technology (2014).  GMO Dangers. See: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers

Kostic, A.D. et al. (2015). The dynamics of the human infant gut microbiome in development and in progression toward type 1 diabetes. Cell Host & Microbe, 17:2, 260-273. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25662751

Kratka, P. (2011). Whole Grains: How do grains affect the human body? See: http://bonfirehealth.com/whole-grains-affect-human-body-omegas/

Mercola, R. (8/23/2015). Effortless Healing Guidelines for Friends and Family New to Natural Healing. See:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/23/effortless-healing-guidelines.aspx?e_cid=20150823Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150823Z1&et_cid=DM85321&et_rid=1085872322

Mercola, R. (8/27/2015). Free Vitamin D Continuing Education Courses Now Available, PLUS Key Nutritional Strategies to Optimize Your Health. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/27/key-nutritional-strategies.aspx?e_cid=20150827Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150827Z1&et_cid=DM85847&et_rid=1092851133

Mercola, R. (5/10/2015). The Real RDA for Vitamin D Is 10 Times Higher Than Currently Recommended. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/10/vitamin-d-recommended-dietary-allowance.aspx?e_cid=20150510Z1_SNL_B_art_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150510Z1_SNL_B&et_cid=DM76062&et_rid=946969954

Miller, D. (2011). Personal communication.

Moms Across America. (2014).  Glyphosate Testing Full Report: Findings in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Urine and Water.  See: http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/glyphosate_testing_results

Moore, K. (2015). Diabetes prevention &/or treatment – Focus on the gut and nutrition? Role and benefits of biomarker discovery and validation. See: http://blog.medbiomarkers.com/diabetes-focus-on-the-gut-role-and-benefits-of-a-biomarker-consortium/

NON GMO Project. (2015). GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS. See: http://www.nongmoproject.org/about-gmos-2/

Norton, A. (2015). Change in Gut Bacteria May Precede Type 1 Diabetes in Kids:
Small study offers hope for a diagnostic test some day, researchers say. Healthy Day News. See: http://consumer.healthday.com/diabetes-information-10/misc-diabetes-news-181/change-in-gut-bacteria-may-precede-type-1-diabetes-in-kids-696231.html

Sanfilippo, D. (2015). Podcast Episode #178: The Autoimmune Solution with Dr. Amy Myers. See: http://balancedbites.com/2015/02/podcast-episode-178-autoimmune-solution-dr-amy-myers.html

WebMD. (2008). Diabetes Overview. See: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-overview

Wikipedia. (2015). Proteobacteria. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proteobacteria

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

 

 

 

MALFUNCTIONING PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES – AND HOW TO FIX THEM

 

(Source: www.irishhealth.com)
(Source: www.irishhealth.com)
I learned something very helpful from my recent thermography. After weeks of intense intestinal distress, I now know (at least in part) what the cause was and how to fix it.
Turns out my symptoms (bloating, burping, gas, feeling full after eating only a little, abdominal pain, fever spikes, spastic diarrhea, insomnia – feeling weak, toxic and just generally awful) were due in large part to my pyloric and ileocecal valves’ having become sluggish. What a relief to get this information. And the fixes works quickly: I feel better immediately after doing them!
We’ll get to these shortly, but first some information on the functions of those valves and what can go wrong if they’re not working properly.

For information on thermography, see Inflammation and  What You Don’t Know CAN Harm You.

 

 

 

PYLORIC VALVE

 

(Source: www.newhealthguide.org )
(Source: www.newhealthguide.org )

 

The pyloric valve is a sphincter-type valve that controls the opening between the bottom end of the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. It’s located about 2″ above the  navel, more or less in the center of the body.
The pyloric valve’s principal function is to control the flow of partially digested material from the stomach into the duodenum, the topmost section of the small intestine, where most of the nutrients get extracted from what we eat. When the valve is working well, it opens slightly a few times a minute to allow a small amount of food to move into the duodenum. Its secondary function is to prevent bile from flowing back from the small intestine into the stomach (bile reflux).
When the pyloric valve is malfunctioning, as it does in many people – even some who aren’t aware they’re having a problem, it creates  discomfort and many serious medical problems. Malfunctioning of this valve includes spasms that prevent it from opening or closing completely.

 

Bloating: Symptom of a Pyloric Valve That Isn’t Opening Properly

(Source: www.34-menopause-symptoms.com)
(Source: www.34-menopause-symptoms.com)
When the valve spasms, it becomes inflamed. You can experience pain as food tries passing from your stomach into your small intestine. If the spasms are severe, you may become nauseated and experience violent vomiting as your stomach attempts to clear itself. The usual symptoms of a spastic pyloric valve that isn’t opening properly are bloating and a sharp pain after eating.
If the valve isn’t closing properly, bile can flow back into the stomach from the intestines. The Mayo Clinic says, “Bile reflux can be difficult to distinguish from acid reflux…. and the two conditions may occur at the same time.” Bile reflux can lead to some serious issues, including damage to the stomach and esophageal linings, bleeding ulcers, and Barrett’s Esophagus. (Thermal Imaging of the Southwest, 2013)

 

Bile Reflux: Symptom of a Pyloric Valve That Isn’t Closing Properly

(Source: gallbladderattack.com)
(Source: gallbladderattack.com)

“When the (pyloric) sphincter is contracted, it holds food in the stomach, allowing the digestive juices to do their work. This breaks down the food into a substance called “chyme.” Once the food has broken down, the sphincter opens and allows it to enter the duodenum. The time the food spends in the stomach allows the body to absorb more of the nutrients.

“As long as the sphincter is healthy, it serves as a one-way door to the intestines, and that keeps your digestive system moving smoothly.”

– New Health Guide, 2014

 

 

The malfunctioning, constricted pyloric valve shown on this thermogram is visible inside the black oval in the center of the body:

Thermogram of a Pyloric Valve in Distress

(Source: www.tiofsw.com)
(Source: www.tiofsw.com)
When the pyloric valve is constricted and inflamed, blood flow increases to that area.  When the valve doesn’t close properly, allowing bile to flow back into the stomach and attack the stomach lining, blood flow to this area increases. It is the increased heat in the distressed area, caused by this additional blood flow, that the thermographic infrared camera captures on the image.
“Dr. Gregory Melvin, a board-certified thermography-reading doctor, notes that ‘Most conditions are detectable with infrared imaging. When the pyloric valve is under distress, it creates a specific and unique thermal image, making it fairly obvious.’” (Thermal Imaging of the Southwest, 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

ILEOCECAL VALVE

 

(Source: study.com)
(Source: study.com)
The ileocecal valve is a sphincter-type valve located at the junction of the end of the small intestine and beginning of the large intestine. Its purpose is twofold: 1) To retain the contents of the small intestine long enough for the digestive process to be completed, and 2) As a barrier to prevent bacteria laden material in the large intestine from ‘back flowing’ into the small intestine and contaminating it.
When the ileocecal valve is closed, the partially digested food stays in the small intestine, where the body renders and absorbs nutrients. Once material has been allowed to pass through the ileocecal valve to enter the large intestine, the valve closes again to prevent back flow from the large intestine.

 

 

HEALTHY FUNCTIONING OF THE ILEOCECAL VALVE
When the ileocecal valve is functioning normally:
  • It remains closed most of the time, opening only when food is ready to pass from the small intestine into the large intestine for further processing.
  • It opens briefly to allow the contents of the small intestine to exit into the large intestine.
  • After food has moved through it, it closes again quickly to prevent contents of the large intestine from leaking back into the small intestine.

 

WHEN THE ILEOCECAL VALVE MALFUNCTIONS – REMAINING OPEN OR CLOSED
An ileocecal valve sticking in the open position allows a backwash of watery waste material from the large intestine to get absorbed back into the small intestine. This is serious because the small intestine is where the process of creating blood to fuel the body begins.
A valve stuck in the open position can cause frequent diarrhea leading to dehydration and lack of energy
A valve sticking in the closed position can cause tightness in the bowel movements or constipation.
Both conditions create a toxic condition and cause imbalances anywhere in the body where there is blood. (Minckler, undated) (Pollard, undated)
Dysfunction of the ileocecal valve, remaining either open or closed, causes organs and/or muscles to become more susceptible to developing problems.
A person with an open valve will feel better when stationary and worse when moving around. Someone with a closed valve will feel worse upon rising or being inactive and better when moving around. (NeuroHealth Chiropractic, 2013)

 

 

FACTORS AFFECTING ILEOCECAL VALVE FUNCTIONING
These include:
  • Consuming insufficient nutrients
  • An improper nerve supply
  • Misalignment of the joints
  • Not chewing food well enough
  • Emotional stress
  • Travel
  • Diet
– Pollard, undated

 

DIETARY TIPS TO KEEP YOUR ILEOCECAL VALVE WORKING WELL
Some foods to avoid:
  • Bread and other dense foods to help keep it from sticking
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy and sugary foods
Supplements that support the functioning of the whole digestive system include:
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • AFA blue green algae
– Earthclinic, 2015
“This very important anatomical structure does an unheralded job. The Ileocecal Valve is such a major cause of digestive symptoms for people that the problem has reached epidemic proportions; yet, outside the chiropractic profession, its function and importance are practically unknown.
“Problems with an open ileocecal valve (Ileocecal Valve Syndrome) are extremely common in today’s society yet its symptoms are often misdiagnosed. Very few health practitioners understand the significance of the ICV in digestive problems.” (Pollard, undated)

 

Image of a Healthy Ileocecal Valve

(Source: csnanatomy.pbworks.com)
(Source:csnanatomy.pbworks.com)

 

LOCATING YOUR ILEOCECAL VALVE
This is where your ileocecal valve is found – on the RIGHT side of your body, about 4 fingers (c. 2″) below your navel and 4 fingers to your right side, just inside your pelvic bone:
(Source: www.medicinedreamhea(Source: www.medicinedreamhealing.com)
(Source: www.medicinedreamhealing.com)

 

An image of a malfunctioning ileocecal valve is visible in the thermogram below, on the right of the body, just inside the hip bone.

 

Thermogram Showing a Blocked Ileocecal Valve

(Source: http://www.tiofsw.com)
(Source: http://www.tiofsw.com)

 

 

ALCOHOL AND ILEOCECAL MALFUNCTION
Consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol will stress the ileocecal valve, causing it to stick in the open position. This result is one of the main causes of hangovers. (Minckler, undated)

 

 

 

 

ILEOCECAL VALVE SYNDROME

 

(Source: drmayabose.com)
(Source: drmayabose.com)

Click here to see a larger version of this  chart if you’re unable to read the small print in the one above.

 

Problems with the ileocecal valve (sticking in the open or closed position) cause such a variety of symptoms, the valve has been called the “great mimicker” by the chiropractic profession. Its symptoms can manifest far from the valve itself.
Interestingly, symptoms of an open or closed ileocecal valve are very similar. They include (Pollard, undated) (True Vitality, 2015):
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Heart palpitations and feeling of the heart fluttering
  • Chest pain during activity
  • Edema
  • Right shoulder pain simulating bursitis
  • Neck stiffness
  • Mid-afternoon dizziness
  • Tinnitus
  • Nausea
  • Faintness
  • Sudden thirst
  • General achiness
  • Joint pain
  • Circulation problems
  • Pinched nerves
  • Whole body arthritis
  • Sudden, stabbing, sharp low back or leg pain that feels just like a disc pain, especially when sitting or driving, with no mechanical cause
  • Sharp, pinpoint headaches, especially on the left side, at the base of the skull
  • Dull headaches, which often linger for hours in the frontal area
  • Migraine headaches – often as a system-wide response to the toxicity of the ileocecal valve
  • Chronic sinus infection, dripping sinuses, especially when not during allergy season
  • Allergies – the type often wrongly attributed to dust, cat hair, and mites
  • Dark circles under the eyes, puffy cheeks
  • Any of the “colon syndromes” such as Crohn’s disease, spastic colon, irritable bowel, celiac disease
  • Burning leg pain (that feels like a nerve) into the front of the left thigh
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • General non-specific lower GI discomfort or symptoms often attributed to a psychological cause by practitioners unfamiliar with the ileocecal valve
Pollard offers this useful analogy of what happens when your ileocecal valve doesn’t work properly:
“Let’s say you have just finished preparing a wonderful meal and are about to sit down to enjoy it. Just before you do, you place the meal on the counter next to the sink. You take the remnants of the preparation process–carrot tops, meat gristle, pineapple thorns, and whatever else–and put them in the garbage disposal to be whisked away.
“For our example, let’s say you forget to put the cover on the garbage disposal. What happens when you flick the switch? As you might imagine, the contents of the garbage meant for disposal could fly all around the kitchen area mixing with your newly prepared meal. If this happened, you wouldn’t want to eat your meal.
“It goes without saying that you don’t want the contents of the garbage area of your intestines mixing with the contents of the kitchen area. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens in the body’s most important “kitchen area,” the small intestine.
“The ileocecal valve serves the same function as the cover or cap on the garbage disposal. If the ileocecal valve becomes open and remains open, the contents of the large intestine can and do leak back into the small intestine. This is not good for many reasons.
“One reason is the contents of the two different sections of the tube have different pH chemistry. If the two juices mix, this immediately causes gas. Another is that the contents of the small intestine are to be absorbed; whereas the contents of the large intestine are to be eliminated.
“The whole purpose of the ileocecal valve is to prevent the contents of these two distinctly different parts of the digestive tube from coming in contact. Probably very few people have not had some discomfort from their ileocecal valve at some point in their lives.” (Pollard, undated)

 

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF CHEWING OUR FOOD WELL BEFORE SWALLOWING IT

 

(Source: debrasdollars.blogspot.com)
(Source: debrasdollars.blogspot.com)
If we’re swallowing our food before it has been properly chewed, we’re putting great stress on the various parts of our digestive system as they try doing their specific jobs of breaking it down to extract nutrients from it and move it along.
Digestion begins in the mouth with mastication (the chewing process). If we’re not doing it well or long enough, we’re inviting some serious health problems.
Our whole digestive system below the mouth is designed to process increasingly smaller particles passing through its various parts.
Chewing breaks down the large chunks we put in our mouths into smaller particles, making it easier for the digestive juices in our stomachs to turn the masticated food it receives into chyme (partially digested food), our intestines to absorb nutrients and energy, and preventing improperly digested (too large) food particles from getting through the mucosal lining of our small intestine and into our blood stream, where their presence causes autoimmune reactions.
{See INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES for a description of how our digestion works, from mouth to anus, and some of the many health problems caused by increased gut permeability (leaky gut).}
The longer we chew our food, the more opportunity we’re giving the enzyme-containing saliva in our mouths to begin breaking it down. Our saliva also helps lubricate our food, easing its passage down the esophagus on its way to the stomach.
Here are some tips for how to prepare our food before it begins its journey down our gullets,  into our stomachs and beyond (Mercola, 2013):
  • Take smaller bites of food. You won’t have to work as hard to reduce them to smaller particles.
  • Chew slowly and steadily.
  • Chew until your mouthful of food is liquefied or has lost its texture.
  • Chew and swallow completely before taking another bite of food.
  • Wait to drink fluids until after you’ve swallowed.
It’s especially important to chew these difficult foods carefully and completely so they don’t clog your ileocecal valve: Raw salads, popcorn, and raw nuts. (Pollard, undated)

 

 

 

EMOTIONAL STRESS AND DIGESTION

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

We’re all aware that physical and emotional stress impact all the systems in our bodies – including our digestion. Our bodies are hard wired to scan the environment for imminent attacks or threats to our existence – very big sources of stress. When our autonomic nervous system (ANS) perceives such a threat, it sets off a series of reactions to maximize our chances of successfully fighting off the threat or running away from it.
These are the body’s automatic Fight or Flight responses:

 

(Source: www.aflintchiropractor.com)
(Source: www.aflintchiropractor.com)

 

These responses made a great deal of sense for our survival when we were in frequent danger of being eaten or maimed by wild animals – we either stayed to fight them or ran away. The act of either physically fighting or fleeing resets the entire Fight or Flight system, using up the extra adrenaline our ANS has released to increase our chance of successfully fighting or fleeing. This reset allows the body to return to its natural state of balance (homeostasis).

 

(Source: polyskeptic.com)
(Source: polyskeptic.com)
In our current world, our bodies still automatically put us into Fight or Flight when we feel in danger but the threats to us now are mostly ones not amenable to physical fights or speedy escapes. They’re mostly from the frightened chatter going on in our heads  (eg, financial worries, worry about the future, what to do about stresses at home or at work) so our bodies aren’t easily able to reset and return us to homeostasis.  (Benn, 2015)

 

Unresolved vs Resolved Fight or Flight Response

(Source: faculty.weber.edu)
(Source: faculty.weber.edu)

 

Our digestive systems shut down or greatly slow down when we feel threatened and go into Fight or Flight. The energy required for digestion gets diverted elsewhere where it’s immediately needed for life-saving activities.
Here’s a description of the profound changes that take place in the body whenever our ANS initiates Flight or Flight:
“When our fight or flight response is activated, sequences of nerve cell firing occur and chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream. These patterns of nerve cell firing and chemical release cause our body to undergo a series of very dramatic changes. Our respiratory rate increases. Blood is shunted away from our digestive tract and directed into our muscles and limbs, which require extra energy and fuel for running and fighting. Our pupils dilate. Our awareness intensifies. Our sight sharpens. Our impulses quicken. Our perception of pain diminishes. Our immune system mobilizes with increased activation. We become prepared—physically and psychologically—for fight or flight. We scan and search our environment, “looking for the enemy.”
“When our fight or flight system is activated, we tend to perceive everything in our environment as a possible threat to our survival. By its very nature, the fight or flight system bypasses our rational mind—where our more well thought out beliefs exist—and moves us into “attack” mode. This state of alert causes us to perceive almost everything in our world as a possible threat to our survival. As such, we tend to see everyone and everything as a possible enemy. Like airport security during a terrorist threat, we are on the look out for every possible danger. We may overreact to the slightest comment. Our fear is exaggerated. Our thinking is distorted. We see everything through the filter of possible danger. We narrow our focus to those things that can harm us. Fear becomes the lens through which we see the world.” (Neimark, undated)

 

hqdefault

When we remain in a chronic state of Fight or Flight – whether from internal worry or external circumstances, we remain in a highly aroused state of chronic stress. The fact that perceived threat as well as actual threat sets off Fight or Flight is important to understanding why so many of us live locked in a state of Fight or Flight.

 

(Source: www.sciencenews.org)
(Source: www.sciencenews.org)
Since what’s going on in the mind directly affect the health of the body, chronic stress, trauma and strong emotion we’re unwilling to deal with, and exhaustion take a toll on the body –  including our ileocecal valves.
Chiropractor Melinda Benn says this about the emotional aspects of ongoing stress from chronic Fight or Flight:
“The body has a record of every physical and/or emotional trauma that it has ever encountered. These traumas can cause the body to be locked in the fight-flight pattern discussed above. Oftentimes illness occurs because of trauma that is locked into the cells.
The root cause of the health problem must be addressed for the symptoms to resolve. “For example, many lung problems stem from grief. The lungs are the organ of grief and prolonged grieving, even on a subconscious level, can and will often cause chronic lung problems such as bronchitis, continuous colds, or even recurrent pneumonia. These problems often do not respond well to traditional medical care such as antibiotics, because the problem is not rooted in a bacterial or viral infection but is instead rooted in the cell memory of the person’s grief. By discharging the cell memory the body is able to heal itself and continue functioning without the constant health problems that the memories created. This work will not remove a persons memories, only the negative effects the cell memory may be having on the body.” (Benn, 2015)

 

 

 

 

VIDEOS OF HOW TO DO MANUAL PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL RELEASES

hqdefault
The video below, made by Tammy Kohlschmidt of Thermography For Health, demonstrates how to release both your pyloric and ileocecal valves. Tammy has graciously given permission to include her video here.
Use this password to open and view it: videosetpv

 

 

(Source: www.tiofsw.com)
(Source: www.tiofsw.com)
Here’s a second instructional video, made by Thermal Imaging of the Southwest, on how to flush the stomach contents for problems like bloating, constipation and blockage.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAviPBEXP70

 

 

maxresdefault

This third video, Your Ileo Cecal Valve and how to close it when it’s stuck open, demonstrates how to close the valve manually from a standing position. It explains what the ileocecal valve is, its location, and how to close it yourself it it’s stuck open. The video details the type of sensation you’ll have when the valve is stuck in its open position.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9jrHMnr2cE

 

 

 

 

WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS FOR MANUAL PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVE RELEASES

To help me remember how to do these manual valve releases, I wrote out the steps from Tammy Kohlschmidt’s video:

 

PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVE RELEASES

Lie down flat with a half roll (or small rolled up blanket) under your lumbar area so your abdomen is raised a bit. You may also want to put a small pillow or yoga block under your head.

0ff1dbf504c0454c_5881-w217-h217-b1-p10--transitional-bed-pillows

Have a 3 pound or larger hand weight nearby. You can use a glass bottle filled with liquid if you don’t have a hand weight. The weight is easier to hold and works better at getting into the valves.

imgres-1

PYLORIC VALVE RELEASE (do for 1-2 minutes)

Your pyloric valve connects your stomach to your  small intestine. It’s located about 4 fingers (c. 2″) up from your navel, more or less in the center of your body.

  • Use the end of the hand weight to knead on top of your pyloric valve, rocking from its L side (the stomach end of the valve) toward its R side (where the pyloric valve connects to the small intestine).
  • Then use the end of the weight to push all the way from your L (on the stomach) to the pyloric valve to move any partially digested food in your stomach through  your valve into your small intestine.
  • Repeat several times.

 

ILEOCECAL VALVE RELEASE (do for 1-2 minutes)

Your ileocecal valve connects your small intestine to your large intestine. It’s located about 4 fingers down from your navel (c. 2″) + 4 fingers to your R. This valve opens diagonally toward your L shoulder.

  • Use the end of a 3 pound weight to push into the valve, up and diagonally in the direction of your L shoulder.
FLUSH
  • Use the end of the weight to push all the way from the  L side of your body on a horizontal line, along the small intestine, all the way over to your ileocecal valve on your R.

 

 

 

 

 

FOOT REFLEXOLOGY FOR THE ILEOCECAL VALVE

Reflexology is a therapeutic massage technique employing the application of specific types of pressure of hand, thumb and fingers to points on the extremities corresponding to a map of the human body’s reflex points.
This diagram shows where the reflexology point for the ileocecal valve is located – near the little toe side edge of the RIGHT foot, just above the heel:

 

(Source: green-holisticlifestyle.blogspot.com)
(Source: green-holisticlifestyle.blogspot.com)

 

Here’s a photo of reflexology pressure being applied to the ileocecal point on the sole of a person’s right foot:

 

ILEOCECAL VALVE REFLEXOLOGY POINT

(Source: www.energyforliving.com.au)
(Source:www.energyforliving.com.au)

 

If you’ve ever had foot reflexology, you know that spots corresponding to organs and other parts of your body where you’re having difficulties may be tender and pressure applied to them can hurt – a bit or a lot.
The helpful aspect of this is that, you know when you’ve found the right spot when you’re doing reflexology on yourself.
My ileocecal valve has been malfunctioning so I decided to do some reflexology on myself. When I applied firm pressure on the ileocecal point, it felt quite tender – and the tenderness continued for a few minutes after I stopped. Just for comparison, I applied equal pressure on the same spot on my left sole. That felt good but not at all tender.
For people who doubt its efficacy, here’s the story of my first encounter with foot reflexology:
While on vacation with my family in Colorado, I had stomach flu or some other kind of digestive problem that caused great distress whenever I tried eating anything. I’d heard of reflexology and saw that the spa at our hotel offered it. It turned out their reflexologist was out of town that day but another experienced masseur, who could see how ill I felt, said he had a reflexology chart and would try if I was willing.
As he worked on my feet, most of the points he touched felt good – until he got to the digestive areas. (At that time, I had no idea where the various reflex points were located.) When he pressed there, they hurt so much tears came to my eyes. He said he knew those spots would be tender and was purposely using only a very light touch there, which he demonstrated on my arm, where I could barely feel it. So I let him continue, doing Lamaze breathing for the pain, eyes streaming the whole time.
When he was done, I found I was too weak to stand without assistance. So he helped me to a couch in the waiting room, gave me a cup of hot ginger tea, and let me sleep there until I woke up about an hour later – and discovered my digestive problem was totally gone!
I’ve been a big fan of foot reflexology ever since.
(Source: health.learninginfo.org)
(Source: health.learninginfo.org)
TIP:
If you’re doing foot reflexology on yourself, a Thai Foot Massage Stick is useful. It lets you apply more pressure directly on a point than your fingers probably will.

Massage_Tool_08d

 

DONNA EDEN’S METHOD FOR NORMALIZING THE ILEOCECAL VALVE

 

(Source: theawareshow.com)
(Source: theawareshow.com)
The wonderful Donna Eden, author of several books on Energy Medicine, has another method for returning the ileocecal valve to its normal rhythm. I highly recommend watching this short video showing her teaching it at a workshop. Donna may be the most joyful person on the planet and is an excellent teacher.

 

 

 

WHAT I DO NOW TO RELEASE MY PYLORIC AND ILEOCECAL VALVES

When the severe bloating began, I consulted Dr David Miller, who explained that food was fermenting in my GI tract instead of digesting, causing the bloating. That made sense to me but I didn’t know how to stop the fermenting yet. I tried a variety of digestive enzymes that helped some but the problem continued.
I’m concentrating now on chewing my food thoroughly before swallowing, practicing ways to keep my gut from clenching – or relaxing it when I notice it has already clenched, and figuring out when and how often I need to do the release exercises.
Sometimes I use a 3 pound weight to release those valves as shown in the videos.
I also sometimes lie face down on a 4″ hollow, squishy, spiky ball and use the weight of my body instead of pushing with the weight. First, I place the ball under my pyloric valve and move my body on it from left to right to release the valve. Then I move the ball to under my ileocecal valve and roll that part of my body over it in a valve-toward-left shoulder direction to release the valve.
Here’s a picture of the ball I use, somewhat on the under-inflated side so it gives a bit as I lie on it:

 

4" squishy spiked ball

They’re called EduShape Sensory Balls, available from Amazon. The 4″ balls are the ones at the top  in the box:

 

71GLwLB60GL._SL1500_

If I’m out and about and can’t do the more thorough releases with either the weight or squishy ball, I use my hands:

Pyloric Valve

I make a fist of my right hand and press into my pyloric valve with the knuckles, rocking them from left to right until I feel the valve release.

Ileocecal Valve

Using my right hand in a fist, I press the knuckles into my ileocecal valve and rock upward on a diagonal toward my left shoulder until I feel the valve release.

 

I’m also going to start using Donna Eden’s method and/or reflexology on the ileocecal valve point – especially when I’m traveling.

 

 

 

 Ever feel like this?
(Source: www.redbookmag.com)
(Source: www.redbookmag.com)
My profound thanks to Tammy Kohlschmidt of Thermography for Health for identifying my pyloric and ileocecal valve problems via thermography and then setting me on the path to knowing how to fix them.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Benn, M.S. (2015). Fight-Flight Response. See: http://www.aflintchiropractor.com/index.php?p=155309

EarthClinic. (2015). Ileocecal Valve Problems and Natural Treatments. See: http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/ileocecal-valve.html

Hardin, J.R. (2013). INFLAMMATION. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/inflammation/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES.  See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Kohlschmidt, T. (2015). What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You. See: http://www.dentistryforhealthny.com/breastthermographyny.html

Mercola, R. (2013). 7 Important Reasons to Properly Chew Your Food. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/31/chewing-foods.aspx

Minckler, J. (undated). Ileo-cecal Valve. See: http://www.energybalancing.com/selfeval/ileocecal.html

Neimark, N.F. (undated). What is the “fight or flight response?”  See: http://www.thebodysoulconnection.com/EducationCenter/fight.html

NeuroHealth Chiropractic. (2013). Dangers of overindulging – Ileocecal Valve Syndrome. See: http://www.neurohealthchiro.com.au/dangers-of-overindulging-ileocecal-valve-syndrome-1835

New Health Guide. (2014). Pyloric Sphincter Function. See: http://www.newhealthguide.org/Pyloric-Sphincter-Function.html

Pollard, J.K. (undated). Ileocecal Valve: Preventing Backflow. DigestiveAwareness. See: http://digestiveawareness.drupalgardens.com/content/ileocecal-valve-preventing-backflow

Thermal Imaging of the Southwest. (2013). The Painful Passage of Food
Identifying and Treating Pyloric Valve Problems Can Restore Pleasure in Eating, See: http://www.tiofsw.com/pyloric-valve/

True Vitality. (2015). Ileocecal Valve Syndrome. See: https://www.truevitality.com.au/articles/ileocecal-valve-syndrome-2/

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

 

 

Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, & Gluten Allergy

Last updated 6/2/2015.

(Source: offthegrain.com)
(Source: offthegrain.com)
Gluten is a protein found in many grains and seeds, principally wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and triticale. It is the composite of the storage proteins gliadin and a glutenin conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains. (Wikipedia, 5/29/2015)
Although gluten-containing foods are an important part of the modern diet,  many humans have difficulty digesting gluten. The effects of this trouble can be immediately apparent in some people while in others, deleterious reactions to gluten make themselves known only over time.
As many as 20 million Americans may be sensitive to gluten. Another 3 million  have celiac disease and 400,000 – 600,000 are allergic to wheat. (Woodward, 2011)
That’s a lot of people!

 

 

(Source: myglutenfreequest.com)
(Source: myglutenfreequest.com)

 

 

 

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF GLUTEN IN THE HUMAN DIET (Guthrie, 2010)

The consumption of grains is relatively new to our diet, dating from  when we stopped being nomadic hunter-gatherers, settled down and started growing crops and domesticating animals,  15,000 years ago at the earliest. Before that time, our ancestors mostly ate the meat of animals they hunted, along with wild fruits, plants, tubers, nuts, and seeds they foraged. The planting of dietary grains as crops originated in Mesopotamia.
Some of us have adapted well to our largely grain-filled diets. Many of us have not. For example, about 30% of northern Europeans carry genes for gluten problems.
Furthermore, the wheat we eat today is also considerably changed. In today’s modern version of wheat, up to 90% of its protein content now consists of gluten – 10 times what it was even 100 years ago.

 

 

Einkorn (ancient wheat) vs Modern Wheat

(Source: www.einkorn.com)
(Source: www.einkorn.com)

 

In people with celiac disease, ingesting gluten causes the body to attack the small intestine. For the 30-40% of people who have a non-celiac gluten intolerance, the immune system mistakes gluten for a foreign body (a pathogenic bacteria or virus) and mobilizes an arsenal of antibodies to attack the ‘invader’. For me, even the small amount of gluten on French fries cooked in oil shared by a flour-containing food (eg, something breaded) is enough to set off a full blown gluten reaction.
On average, an American consumes about 150 pounds of wheat each year. We get it in the processed foods we rely on, breads, baked goods, pasta. There’s also gluten in many commercially produced seasonings and most bacon. Wheat flour is used widely as a breading and thickening agent. I recently learned the hard way that even some nutritional supplements contain gluten.
Think about what you ate today. Did you have toast, a muffin, a bagel,  pancakes, cereal, oatmeal (usually processed in factories that also process wheat) for breakfast? A sandwich, pizza, a Big Mac, soup thickened with flour, soy sauce (it’s brewed with wheat) for lunch? Cookies, pretzels or a doughnut as a snack? A beer (brewed with wheat) after work? Pasta and some cake for dinner?
That’s gluten in every meal you ate!
Here’s a list of foods containing gluten. It’s a good start but by no means complete. Gluten can also be a hidden ingredient in some very unexpected places –  your lipstick, cosmetics, hair products, toothpastes, marinades, sauces, pretty much all processed foods, textured vegetable protein, seitan, imitation crab stick, MSG, ketchup, candies, communion wafers, some pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements, Play Doh … and many, many more.
(Source: jenniferskitchen.com)
(Source: jenniferskitchen.com)


 

 

(Source: glutenfreedietwithnutrition.com)
(Source: glutenfreedietwithnutrition.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

CELIAC DISEASE (Fasano et al, 2003)

 

(Source: bostoniano.info)
(Source: bostoniano.info)

 

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine triggered in genetically susceptible people by the ingestion of gluten. Specifically, CD is a reaction to the gliadin, a protein which is the soluble part of gluten, found in wheat and several other cereals in the grass genus Triticum.
See this University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center site for a list of the approximately 300 symptoms and conditions potentially due to celiac disease. You’ll see why trying to diagnose celiac disease from symptoms alone can be quite confusing.
The long term health effects of undiagnosed CD can be quite serious.

 

Biopsy of the mucosal lining of a healthy small intestine: long villi providing a large area for digestion and absorption of nutrients

(Source: library.med.utah.edu)
(Source: library.med.utah.edu)

 

 

Biopsy of a small intestine with celiac disease: blunted villi, crypt hyperplasia, and lymphocyte infiltration of crypts

Coeliac_path

 

Although common in Europe, until 2003, celiac disease was thought to be rare in the United States.
Research led by world-renowned expert on celiac disease, Alessio Fasano, MD, corrected that assumption. Dr Fasano is Chief, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Professor of Pediatric Gastroenterology and the W. Allan Walker Chair of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

 

Alessio Fasano, MD
Alessio Fasano, MD

 

Fasano conducted the largest rigorous study ever performed to establish the prevalence of celiac disease in at-risk and not-at-risk groups in the US.
13,145 subjects from 32 states participated in this study: 3,236 symptomatic patients (with either GI symptoms or a disorder associated with CD), 4,508 1st degree and 1,275 2nd degree relatives of patients with biopsy-proven CD,  and 4,126 not-at-risk individuals. The age distribution of the study’s subjects, infants to 65 and older, corresponded with the age distribution of the population as reported in the US Census of 2000.
Subjects defined as ‘at-risk’ were relatives of patients with CD or patients who presented with CD-associated symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation) or with CD-associated disorders (type 1 diabetes mellitus, Down syndrome, anemia, arthritis, osteoporosis, infertility, and short stature).
The results suggested that celiac disease:

“… occurs frequently not only in patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, but also in first- and second-degree relatives and patients with numerous common disorders even in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. The prevalence of CD in symptomatic patients and not-at-risk subjects was similar to that reported in Europe. Celiac disease appears to be a more common but neglected disorder than has generally been recognized in the United States….

“The prevalence of CD was as high in first- and second-degree relatives without symptoms as in relatives with symptoms, highlighting the importance of genetic predisposition as a risk factor for CD….

” If CD is as common in the United States as our study suggests, one must question why it is not diagnosed more frequently. Foremost among the possible explanations is that if physicians believe that CD is rare, they are less likely to test for it. A failure by physicians to appreciate that many individuals with the disease initially present without gastrointestinal symptoms is another reason why CD testing may not be performed….

“The prevalence of CD in symptomatic patients and not-at-risk subjects was similar to that reported in Europe. Given the high morbidity and mortality related to untreated CD and the prolonged delay in diagnosis in the United States,  serologic testing of at-risk patients (ie, case finding) is important to alleviate unnecessary suffering, prevent complications, and improve the quality of life of a multitude of individuals with CD.”

 

Prevalence of Celiac Disease Worldwide

(Source:  World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Nov 14; 18:42, 6036–6059)
(Source:
World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Nov 14; 18:42, 6036–6059)

 

The number of people clinically diagnosed with celiac disease has been rising dramatically around the world and is now considered a major public health issue. In 2010, diagnosed celiac was four times more common than it had been 60 years ago, affecting about one in 100 people. (Mayo Clinic, 2010)
The ratio of clinically diagnosed to undiagnosed cases of CD (people who have celiac reactions to gluten, often without the usual GI symptoms) is now believed to be 1:3 to 1:5. (Catassi et al, 2014)
 

 

 

 

 

GLUTEN SENSITIVITY (AKA GLUTEN INTOLERANCE) (Woodward, 2011)

 

(Source: friedeggsandtoast.com)
(Source: friedeggsandtoast.com)

 

In 2011, Alicia Woodward, the editor of Living Without,  interviewed Dr Fasano about his research that showed gluten sensitivity is real and a medical condition distinct from celiac disease. When she asked him about the import of having demonstrated the existence of gluten sensitivity, Dr Fasano replied:

“In my humble opinion, it’s a big deal. First, we’ve moved gluten sensitivity, also called gluten intolerance, from a nebulous condition to a distinct entity—and one that’s very distinct from celiac disease. Gluten sensitivity affects 6 to 7 times more people than celiac disease so the impact is tremendous. Second, we now understand that reactions to gluten are on a spectrum. The immune system responds to gluten in different ways depending on who you are and your genetic disposition. Third, there’s a lot of confusion in terms of gluten reactions. Gluten and autism, gluten and schizophrenia—is there a link or not? These debates are on their way to being settled. And fourth and most important, for the first time we can advise those people who test negative for celiac disease but insist they’re having a bad reaction to gluten that there may be something there, that they’re not making it up, that they’re not hypochondriacs. Once it’s established that a patient has a bad reaction to gluten, it’s important to determine which part of the spectrum he or she is on before engaging in treatment, which is the gluten-free diet.”

 

(Source: www.pharmaceutical-journal.com)
(Source: www.pharmaceutical-journal.com)

 

Given that celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy share many clinical symptoms, Woodward wondered if people can move along the spectrum to a more serious version of difficulty with gluten:

“No, I don’t think so. The three main conditions—celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy—are based on very different mechanisms in the immune system. Given that fact, it’s hard to imagine the possibility that you could jump from one to the other.”

Fasano had this to say about why so many humans are having such negative reactions to gluten after generations of wheat consumption:

“Although we’ve been eating wheat for thousands of years, we are not engineered to digest gluten. We are able to completely digest every protein we put in our mouths with the exception of one—and that’s gluten. Gluten is a weird protein. We don’t have the enzymes to dismantle it completely, leaving undigested peptides that can be harmful. The immune system may perceive them as an enemy and mount an immune response.”

Fasano offered an explanation for why we’re now seeing such an explosion of gluten-related health problems:

“Two components are coming together to create this perfect storm. First, the grains we’re eating have changed dramatically. In our great-grandparents era, wheat contained very low amounts of gluten and it was harvested once a year. Now we’ve engineered our grains to substantially increase yields and contain characteristics, like more elasticity, that we like. We’re susceptible to the consequences of these extremely rich, gluten-containing grains. Second, and this applies to the prevalence of celiac disease that’s increased 4-fold in the last 40 years, is the upward trend we’re seeing in all autoimmune diseases. We’re changing our environment faster than our bodies can adapt to it.”

Woodward mentioned that she’d heard him say gluten sensitivity is where celiac disease was 30 years ago:

“It’s déjà vu. The patients, as usual, were visionary, telling us this stuff existed but healthcare professionals were skeptical. The confusion surrounding gluten sensitivity—testing, biomarkers—is exactly the same confusion we had around celiac disease 30 years ago. So we’re starting all over again now.”

Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity:

Most patients with gluten sensitivity reported 2 or more symptoms (Fasano et al, 2011)

(Source: justinhealth.com)
(Source: justinhealth.com)
See Q & A with Alessio Fasano, MD: The latest on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease for the entire interview.

 

See Divergence of gut permeability and mucosal immune gene expression in two gluten-associated conditions: celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to read about Fasano et al’s study comparing celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. It’s a long scientific article but you can skip down to the short Conclusions section if you wish.
The researchers concluded that CD and GS are “distinct clinical entities caused by different intestinal mucosal responses to gluten.” “CD results from a complex, and as yet undetermined, interplay of increased intestinal permeability, mucosal damage, environmental factors in addition to gluten, and genetic predisposition”  while “GS is associated with prevalent activation of an innate immune response.” (Sapone et al, 2011)

 

 

 

 

GLUTEN AND WHEAT ALLERGY (Mayo Clinic, 2015) (UCLA, 2015)

(Source: www.hailmerry.com)
(Source: www.hailmerry.com)

A gluten allergy is a specific, reproducible immune response to ingesting foods containing wheat or other sources of gluten – or, in some cases, even from inhaling gluten-containing flour. Wheat (along with peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, fish, and shellfish)  is one of the most common of the eight major recognized food allergens, responsible for 90% of all IgE (immunoglobulin E) – mediated food allergies.
In people with an IgE-mediated allergy to the gliadin found in gluten, exposure causes the release of antibodies to try to neutralize the gliadin. More rarely, the immune response to gluten may result from other specialized immune pathways (non-IgE mediated).
A wheat allergy typically presents as a food allergy but can also be a contact allergy (say from occupational exposure to wheat). Like all allergies, wheat allergy involves IgE and mast cell response.
“Typically the allergy is limited to the seed storage proteins of wheat, some reactions are restricted to wheat proteins, while others can react across many varieties of seeds and other plant tissues. Wheat allergy may be a misnomer since there are many allergenic components in wheat, for example serine protease inhibitors, glutelins and prolamins and different responses are often attributed to different proteins. Twenty-seven potential wheat allergens have been successfully identified.” (Wikipedia, 2/18/2015)

 

How the body reacts to an allergen

(Source: www.moondragon.org)
(Source: www.moondragon.org)

 

 

Symptoms of a gluten allergy  develop within a few hours, often a few minutes after exposure, and include:
  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Some people allergic to gluten may also experience anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
  • Swelling or tightness of the throat
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Severe difficulty breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Pale, blue skin color
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fast heartbeat

 

 

Comparison of Gluten-Related Disorders

Source: (UCLA Celiac Disease Program)
Source: (UCLA Celiac Disease Program)

 

 

 

TESTING FOR GLUTEN PROBLEMS

While researching this post, I encountered conflicting information on the best ways to test for celiac disease and gluten allergy – and, in the case of gluten sensitivity, whether there even IS a test (see Update below). If you’re interested in getting tested, you may find this article by Integrative Medicine pioneer J.E. Williams, OMD, helpful: Learn the best tests for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Update:  In 2013 Dr Fasano reported he was confident that a clinical trial being conducted by his Center for Celiac Research, in collaboration with Second University of Naples, would identify a biomarker for non-celiac gluten sensitivity and that the discovery of such a biomarker would lead to the development of diagnostic tests for the condition. Patients were being enrolled for the clinical trial in January 2013. (Anderson, 2014). As far as I can tell, the results haven’t been published yet.

 

 

intestines_quote

 

 

Many thanks to Frank Lipman, MD, for pointing me to Alessio Fasano’s work on celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Anderson, J. (2014). Dr. Fasano: Gluten Sensitivity Biomarker Likely Coming. See: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/glutenintolerance/fl/Dr-Fasano-Gluten-Sensitivity-Biomarker-Likely-Coming-Soon.htm

Catassi, C. et al. (2014). The New Epidemiology of Celiac Disease. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition, 59, S7-9.  See: http://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltext/2014/07001/The_New_Epidemiology_of_Celiac_Disease.5.aspx

Fasano, A. et al. (2003). Prevalence of Celiac Disease in At-Risk and Not-At-Risk Groups in the United States: A Large Multicenter Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 163:3, 286-292. See: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=215079

Guthrie, C. (2010). GLUTEN: THE WHOLE STORY. See: https://experiencelife.com/article/gluten-the-whole-story/

Mayo Clinic. (2010). CELIAC DISEASE: ON THE RISE. See: http://www.mayo.edu/research/discoverys-edge/celiac-disease-rise

Mayo Clinic. (2015). Wheat allergy. See: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wheat-allergy/basics/definition/con-20031834

Misty. (2009). List of Foods Containing Gluten. See: http://www.whatcontainsgluten.com/2009/04/list-of-foods-containing-gluten.html

Sapone, A. et al. (2011). Divergence of gut permeability and mucosal immune gene expression in two gluten-associated conditions: celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. BioMed Central Medicine, 9:23. See: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/23

UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases. (2015). Celiac vs Gluten-Sensitivity vs Wheat Allergies. See: http://gastro.ucla.edu/site.cfm?id=281

University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. (undated). Symptoms and conditions potentially due to celiac disease. See: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CDCFactSheets10_SymptomList.pdf

Wikipedia. (5/29/2015). Gluten. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten

Wikipedia. (2/18/2015). Wheat Allergy. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat_allergy

Williams, J.E. (2015). LEARN THE BEST TESTS FOR CELIAC DISEASE AND NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY. See: http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2015/04/24/learn-the-best-tests-for-celiac-disease-and-non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity

Woodward, Al. (2011). Q & A with Alessio Fasano, MD: The latest on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. See: http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/issues/4_15/qa_augsep11-2554-1.html

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

Good Gut Daily – Good News for Your Gut & Overall Health

Updated 5/24/2015. Last updated 5/25/2015.

 

images

 

Those of us living in developed countries where we have multiple food choices often focus on our calorie intake while neglecting the health of our gut microbiome – the vast numbers and variety of microorganisms inside our intestines. We’re talking about several pounds of tiny critters – 10’s of trillions of them, including about 1,000 different species of bacteria made up of over 3 million genes  all living and working in our intestinal walls to digest our food and keep our bodies healthy.

 

The-microbiome

 

Some of the important functions of those multitudinous microorganisms in our guts (Gut Microbiota WorldWatch, 2015):
  • Helping digest foods that the stomach and small intestine have not been able to digest
  • Helping produce some vitamins (B and K)
  • Helping combat aggressions from other microorganisms
  • Maintaining the integrity of the intestinal mucosa
  • Playing an important role in the immune system, performing a barrier effect

 

Gut Microbiome

(Source: www.diapedia.org)
(Source: www.diapedia.org)

 

If you’re not keeping those pounds of critters healthy and in balance, you’re likely to become ill – perhaps not in the short run but as you move along through your life. The kinds of illnesses and conditions we’re talking about include acne, allergies, asthma, autism, cancer, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, depression, diabetes, eczema, endocrine imbalances, endometriosis, Graves’ disease, some heart disease, infertility, juvenile arthritis, lupus, Lyme disease (chronic), MS, myesthenia gravis, peripheral neuropathy, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, vitiligo … and many more.

 

(Source: livegracefully.com)
(Source: livegracefully.com)

 

 

 

A HEALTHY VERSUS A DAMAGED GUT LINING

Isn’t the image below graceful and beautiful? It shows the villi, mucosal cells in the lining of a healthy small intestine. The mucosal layer is where our probiotic microorganisms live and work. It’s also home to the body’s largest population of immune cells.

 

(Source: library.med.utah.edu)
(Source: library.med.utah.edu)

 

Now compare that lovely image to the one below. This person’s  intestinal villi have been seriously damaged by celiac disease:
(Source: commons.wikimedia)
(Source: commons.wikimedia)
Here’s another image of damaged intestinal villi. There are holes where there should be intact cells that allow only needed nutrients to get through the intestinal walls into the blood stream. These holes allow larger particles of undigested food and toxins through and the body attacks them as invading pathogens, producing an inflammatory response.

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

 

 

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN AN UNHEALTHY GUT MICROBIOME, CHRONIC INFLAMMATION AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

As someone who’s now having to work hard to repair a very damaged gut lining and reverse several autoimmune conditions – the result of being given infant formula instead of breast milk, childhood exposure to heavy metals (fluoride in my formula and in my city’s water supply, mercury fillings), many courses of antibiotics in adulthood – I assure you it’s wise to nurture your gut microbiome so your gut lining resembles that first, beautiful slide above and is never  allowed to turn into the second or third.
A diagram of how damage to the intestinal lining leads to increased gut permeability – also called Leaky Gut:

 

(Source: nothippyjusthealthy.com)
(Source: nothippyjusthealthy.com)

 

And another graphic depicting how damage to the gut’s mucosal lining allows undigested food particles and toxins to escape into the body, where they cause an inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation –> autoimmune responses –> disease.
(Source: www.wakingtimes.com)
(Source: www.wakingtimes.com)

 

See INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES  for more information on Leaky Gut and some great images of what the inside walls of our intestines look like.

 

Dr-Jill-Carnahan-Leaky-Gut

 

 

 

 

POLYPHENOL PREBIOTICS HELP HEAL DAMAGED GUT LININGS

Now that we’ve covered the importance of the probiotic microorganisms living in your gut microbiome, I hope you’re ready for some really good news!
It’s about polyphenols and how they can help us repair our overall health by restoring the health of our gut linings. Polyphenols are a type of PREbiotic, the kind of nutrient that feeds your PRObiotics.

PREbiotics and PRObiotics

(Source: sitn.hms.harvard.edu)
(Source: sitn.hms.harvard.edu)
Polyphenols are anti-oxidant micro-nutrients derived from a variety of plants that increase the amount of good bacteria (probiotics) and inhibit  the amount of bad bacteria in our guts. They also act as PREbiotics. (Marksteiner, 2014)
This table shows the 100 richest sources of dietary polyphenols. (Pérez-Jiménez, 2015)
Strong evidence is accumulating that polyphenols’ play an important role in preventing degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. (Manach et al, 2004)

Now a start up company in California, Greenteaspoon, has formulated a combination of nutrients called Preliva™ from plant extracts rich in polyphenols.

207796-ae1aa69f1f7d6a3500ad4b481d664cc37964639a

 

 

 

GOOD GUT DAILY – GOOD NEWS FOR DAMAGED GUT LININGS

Prepare for a radical improvement in your digestion and your general health! Greenteaspoon’s Good Gut Daily is a tasty, liquid dietary supplement containing antioxidant, PREbiotic polyphenols for protecting or rebuilding a healthy gut.
Preliva™, the proprietary active formula in Good Gut Daily, is made from plant extracts rich in bio-available polyphenols. The results of a large double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical study, published in the  peer-reviewed publication the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Noguera et al, 2014), strongly support the prebiotic potential of the polyphenol blend in Preliva™ to:
  • Strengthen the protective digestive lining
  • Nourish the body’s good microflora (the friendly digestive microbes living in our guts
  • Reduce digestive distress – diarrhea, stomach discomfort and bloating
  • Calm digestion
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Strengthen your immunity
  • Fight immune burnout
  • Combat symptoms of stress
  • Support your overall well being

lactobacillus-feed-me

Greenteaspoon makes three versions of Good Gut Daily in a variety of  flavors and sizes:

 

GOOD GUT DAILY NATURAL IMMUNE HEALTH

 

12-oz-GGDIH-Pom_front_medium_6e8373cf-cd71-493b-832e-d826e0f0e15a_large

Good Gut Daily Natural Immune Health is formulated to strengthen your immunity and support your overall well-being.
Good Gut Daily Natural Immune Health is designed for people with ongoing digestive problems, food sensitivities or ‘leaky gut’ symptoms – including acute digestive issues like gastroenteritis, travelers sickness, diarrhea, gas, bloating, or an upset stomach. Taken daily, it protects your digestive system and can decrease digestive distress.
What it does:
  • Fights immune burnout
  • Clinically proven to calm digestion
  • Reinforces your digestive lining
  • Combats symptoms of stress, diarrhea, stomach discomfort and bloating
Who it’s for:

Good Gut Daily Natural Immune Health is for people actively trying to improve and manage their ongoing immune health.

Flavors:
  • Pomegranate-Blueberry
  • Mango Passion Fruit
Available in three sizes:
  • 2-oz quick-shots (sold in 12-packs)
  • 12-oz bottles (12 servings)
  • 32-oz (32 servings)
Safe for children over age 2 and for adults of all ages.

 

 

 

GOOD GUT DAILY NATURAL DIGESTIVE HEALTH

 

12_Day_Supply_Good_Gut_Mango_large

Good Gut Daily Natural Digestive Health is designed to help you manage your ongoing digestive issues. Taken daily, it protects your digestive system and can decrease digestive distress.
What it does:
  • Calms Your Digestive System
  • Clinically Shown to Alleviate Occasional:
  •            Diarrhea
  •            Upset stomach
  •            Gas and bloating
  •  Nourishes Your Body’s Good Microflora
Who it’s for:

Good Gut Natural Digestive Health is for people with ongoing digestive problems, food sensitivities or ‘leaky gut’ symptoms – including acute digestive issues like Gastroenteritis, travelers sickness, diarrhea, gas, bloating or an upset stomach.

Flavors:
  • Cranberry-Raspberry
  • Orange-Mango
Sizes:
  • 2-oz quick-shots (sold in 12-packs)
  • 12-oz (12 servings)
  • 32-oz (32 servings)
Safe for children over age 2 and for adults of all ages.

 

GOOD GUT RESCUE

 

2-oz-GGR-Mint-12-pack_box_0e26d09c-2bf0-4d3d-a76b-5f987e811b84_large

Double strength Good Gut Rescue rapidly soothes the symptoms of digestive distress, alleviating occasional diarrhea, upset stomach, gas and bloating. Good for rapid-onset upset stomach and handy for travel.
What it does:
  • Clinically Shown to Alleviate:
    • Diarrhea
    • Upset Stomach
    • Gas & Bloating
Who it’s for:

Good Gut Rescue is for children and adults ages 2 and up with acute digestive issues like gastroenteritis, travelers sickness, diarrhea, gas and bloating or upset stomach.

How it works:
  • Strengthens the protective digestive lining
  • Supports friendly digestive microbes
  • Reduces digestive distress
  • Reduces inflammation
Flavors:
  • Soothing Mint
  • Honey Ginger
Sizes:
  • 2-oz quick-shots (sold in 12-packs)
Safe for children over age 2 and for adults of all ages.

 

 

 

Ingredients NOT in Good Gut Daily

All the versions of Good Gut Daily contain NO calories, sugar, gluten, soy, dairy, or GMOs – and come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

(Source:www.savorylotus.com)
(Source:www.savorylotus.com)

 

 

 

 

TO BUY GOOD GUT DAILY

Good Gut Daily isn’t available at stores yet. You can order it on the Greenteaspoon website to try it for yourself.
Remember: If your gut microbiome is balanced and healthy, the rest of your body will be a nice happy place to live too.

 

(Source: http://charansurdhar.com/is-your-microbiome-happy/)
(Source: http://charansurdhar.com/is-your-microbiome-happy/)

 

 

A Personal Note:

My experience with Good Gut Daily is that it greatly improved my GI health (which had become bad again a few months ago) in just a few days (4 to be exact) – alone, without taking any of my usual PRObiotics or other nutritional supplements.
I started with a single 1-oz dose of Good Gut Daily’s Natural Digestive Health (the Mango-Passion Fruit flavor) and then increased to 1 oz in the AM (on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before breakfast)  + another 1 oz 30 minutes before dinner. This 1 oz twice a day dosing calmed down my over-active gut and gave me back my energy, which had been disturbingly low during the previous weeks of GI upset.
I’ve been taking Good Gut Daily for about seven weeks now. My gut and the rest of my body never want to be without it. Rob Wotring, Greenteaspoon’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, is currently engaged in clinically testing a pill version for travel. I’m hoping it’ll be available before I leave for a long vacation this fall.

 

(Source: www.probiotein.com)
(Source: www.probiotein.com)

 

Rob Wotring at Greenteaspoon told me: “We’re convinced polyphenol prebiotics will play a huge role in advancing our understanding of the importance of the gut mucus layer in health and wellness.” Many highly respected scientists, doctors, and other health care professionals agree.

 

 

polyphenols_top_sources

 

REFERENCES

Good Gut Daily. (2015). Website. See: http://goodgutdaily.com/

Gut Microbiota WorldWatch. (2015). Everything you always wanted to know about the gut microbiota… See: http://www.gutmicrobiotawatch.org/en/gut-microbiota-info/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Increased Gut Permeability – Causes & Consequences. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Manach, C. et al. (2004). Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79:5, 727-747. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/5/727.full

Marksteiner, K. (2014). Do Polyphenols Improve Your Gut Bacteria? See: http://chriskresser.com/do-polyphenols-improve-your-gut-bacteria/

Noguera, T. et al. (2014). Resolution of acute gastroenteritis symptoms in children and adults treated with a novel polyphenol-based prebiotic. World Journal of  Gastroenterology, 29:34, 12301-12307. See: http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v20/i34/12301.htm

Pérez-Jiménez, J. et al. (2015). Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: an application of the Phenol-Explorer database. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. See http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES

 

 

leaky-gut-pail-300x235

Those of you who have been following this blog know I’m interested – for personal reasons and also just because it’s fascinating – in how the state of the probiotics in our gut microbiomes affects our health in general.
So this development is of great interest to me:
A different kind of PREbiotic dietary supplement, Good Gut Daily, has recently entered the market. PREbiotics provide the nourishment for our PRObiotics. This kind is polyphenol-based and has  been clinically shown to calm acute digestive symptoms in as little as 30 minutes and enhance immune health. For those of you who, like me, suffer from ongoing digestive health problems and haven’t found a satisfactory solution, the arrival of this new supplement is excellent news.
Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in plants – including fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, and wine.
I’ll be writing about Good Gut Daily in more depth in an upcoming post but, in the interest of not overwhelming you with information, I thought it useful to do a preliminary post on some of the causes of increased intestinal leakiness so you can see how your GI problems originated and how poor gut health creates major health problems elsewhere in your body.
This post grew out of a phone and email conversations with molecular biologist Rob Wotring, the Chief Scientific Officer at Greenteaspoon. Many thanks, Rob, for sharing some of your wealth of information on how the gut works.

 

 

 

DIGESTION – FROM MOUTH TO ANUS

 

 

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The human digestive tract runs from the mouth at the top to the anus at the other end. Foreign matter (food) is taken in and partially broken down by chewing in the mouth. It then travels down through the esophagus to the stomach and from there into the small and large intestines, where it is selectively digested. During this trip, various phases of digestion take place  and nutrients are extracted and absorbed. The liver, gall bladder and pancreas, organs that aid in the digestive process, are located along the length of the GI tract.
The total length of the GI tract varies from person to person. In an adult male the range is 20 to 40 feet. On average, the small intestine in adults is 22 feet long and the large intestine is 5 feet.
As you can intuit, a lot could go wrong during that long trip – and much of that depends on the quality of what you deliver to your mouth as ‘food’.

 

(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)

(Source: sanjosefuncmed.com)

 

 

You can see the location of the mucosal layer (called ‘mucous coat’ in the diagram below) and the intestinal villi in this cross section of the human small intestine. The empty space in the center, just below the villi (the spikes you see in the image of a healthy mucosal membrane in the image to the left above),  is called the lumen, the tube in which food travels through the intestines.

 

(Source: MyHumanBody.ca)
(Source: MyHumanBody.ca)

 

 

 

 

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – AKA LEAKY GUT

Increased gut permeability – also known as hyper-permeable intestines or “leaky gut” – describes the intestinal lining’s having become more porous than it should be so the process of what is allowed out into the body no longer functions properly.  Larger, undigested food molecules and other bad things (such as yeasts, toxins, and other forms of waste  that normally would continue on and get excreted through the anus) flow freely through these too-large holes in the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where they don’t belong and are treated as dangerous invaders.
The  gut’s mucosal layer is thin, delicate – and very important. This is where our probiotic bacteria live, so degrading it also degrades the strength of our immune systems. The probiotics residing in the gut mucosal layer make up 70-90% of the human immune system.
Damage to the gut’s mucosal layer leads to a whole range of serious problems as the body tries to cope with the invaders being released into the bloodstream. Once this lining has become disturbed, allowing problematic things to flow through it into the blood stream, a cycle of chronic irritation begins, leading to chronic inflammation in the body and a whole series of autoimmune conditions.
For an easy to understand explanation of increased gut permeability, see Leaky Gut Syndrome in Plain English – and How to Fix It. (Reasoner, undated)

 

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Symptoms associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome (Age Management & Hormone Balance Center, 2013)
  • Abdominal Pain (chronic)
  • Bloating
  • Anaphylactoid Reactions
  • Anxiety
  • Gluten Intolerance (celiac)
  • Heartburn
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Poor Exercise Tolerance
  • Poor Memory
  • Recurrent Vaginal Infections
  •  Brittle Nails
  • Swollen Lymph Glands
  • Constipation
  • Liver Dysfunction
  • Abdominal Spasms
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Constant Hunger Pains
  • Sluggishness
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive Flatulence
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fears of unknown origin
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Malnutrition
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Muscle Pain
  • Mood Swings
  • Poor Immunity
  • Recurrent Bladder Infections
  • Recurrent Skin Rashes
  • Hair Loss
  • Food Allergies
  • Diarrhea
  • Brain Fatigue
  • Anal Irritation
  • Depleted Appetite
  • Depression

 

 

 

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Here’s a partial list of diseases and conditions associated with increased intestinal permeability (Galland, undated) (Age Management & Hormone Balance Center, 2013):
  • Accelerated Aging
  • Acne
  • AIDS
  • Alcoholism
  • Autism
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Candidiasis
  • Celiac disease
  • CFIDS
  • Childhood hyperactivity
  • Chronic arthritis/pain treated with NSAIDS
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Colon Cancer
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Environmental illness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food Allergies & intolerances
  • Giardia
  • Hepatic dysfunction
  • HIV infection
  • Hives
  • Inflammatory bowel disease & syndrome
  • Infectious enterocolitis
  • Liver Dysfunction
  • Malnutrition
  • Multiple food & chemical sensitivies
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neoplasia treated with cytotoxic drugs
  • Pancreatic dysfunction & insufficiency
  • Psoriasis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Spondyloarthropathies
  • Ulcerative Colititis
  • Urticaria

 

There are other chronic diseases and conditions we now know are also autoimmune in nature – including allergies, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclorosis, myesthenia gravis, endometriosis, some heart conditions, juvenile arthritis, chronic Lyme disease, myasthenia gravis, PANDAS, PCOS, pernicious anemia, Raynaud’s, restless leg syndrome, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, some thyroid disease, vitiligo … and many others. Learn more about AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS.

chronic-inflammation

 

 

 

Ten years ago the father of integrative medicine, Dr Andrew Weil, offered this definition of leaky gut (Weil, 2005):

Leaky gut syndrome is not generally recognized by conventional physicians, but evidence is accumulating that it is a real condition that affects the lining of the intestines. The theory is that leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity. The cause of this syndrome may be chronic inflammation, food sensitivity, damage from taking large amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cytotoxic drugs and radiation or certain antibiotics, excessive alcohol consumption, or compromised immunity.

 

Andrew Weil, MD
Andrew Weil, MD

 

 

 

 

FUNCTIONS OF THE INTESTINAL MUCOSAL LAYER (Camp, 2015)

This thin, wet layer lining the intestinal walls serves many important functions:
  1. Determines which nutrients pass through the intestinal walls and into the blood stream
  2. Protects and covers mast cells that contain histamines
  3. Activates enzymes
  4. Secretes antibodies made from the intestinal wall to support immune defenses
  5. Prevents yeast and parasites from adhering to the intestinal wall

 

 

 

All of these factors can lead to breakdown of the tight junctions and leaky gut. NSAIDs are pain relievers like Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, etc. SIBO is an acronym for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Additionally, low exercise levels is a stressor under the category of physical stress.  (Source: thevreelandclinic.wordpress.com)
All of these factors can lead to breakdown of the tight junctions and leaky gut. NSAIDs are pain relievers like Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, etc. SIBO is an acronym for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Additionally, low exercise levels is a stressor under the category of physical stress. (Source: thevreelandclinic.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

CAUSES OF INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY

 

 

 

INFECTIONS THAT PENETRATE THE GUT’S MUCOSAL LAYER

Infections (eg, acute viral or bacterial infection, intestinal parasites, HIV, candida, etc)  that damage the integrity of the intestinal mucosal lining are  the most common causes of increased gut permeability. (Galland, undated) (Wotring, 2015)

 

ULCERATIVE COLITIS

(Source: www.healthplexus.net625 × 238Search by image Ulcerative means a loss of the surface lining, and colitis means inflammation of that lining or mucosa. The inflammation is caused by an abnormal invasion ...)
(Source: www.healthplexus.net)

 

Ulcerative means a loss of the surface lining. Colitis means inflammation of the mucosa lining inside the colon’s walls. Ulcerative colitis occurs when the immune system reacts aggressively against the normal bacteria inhabiting the colon – ie, it is an autoimmune process.

 

 

(Source: www.natap.org)
(Source: www.natap.org)

 

 

 

 

AGE

 

(Source: www.soulseeds.com)
(Source: www.soulseeds.com)

 

The gut’s mucosal lining in babies under six months is not yet fully formed. (Wotring, 2015)  Mature intestines are made to allow absorption of appropriate nutrients while also preventing pathogens and toxins from entering the body and causing diseases. In young babies, the barrier function is underdeveloped so large amounts of big molecules get through the gut mucosal layer and enter circulation in the body. This makes infants susceptible to infectious diarrhea, necrotizing enterocolitis (the lining of the intestinal wall dies and the tissue falls off), and allergic gastroenteropathy.
Since intestinal barrier dysfunction is known to predispose the development of intestinal diseases  as well as autoimmune diseases in other parts of the body, it is highly important that infants’ intestinal barriers be allowed to receive the health benefits of breast milk so they mature properly. Illnesses associated with intestinal barrier dysfunction occur more often in adults who were formula-fed as infants than in those who were nursed.  (Anderson et al, 2012)
In the elderly, epithelial stem cells mutate more frequently, leading to thinning of the mucosal lining. GI disorders are a major cause of illness and death for the elderly.  (Saffrey, 2013) (Wotring, 2015)

 

 

 

 

 

REDUCED OXYGEN-CARRYING CONDITIONS

 

Person Using an Inhaler --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Ailments that reduce the amount of oxygen carried in the blood – eg, anemia, heart conditions, respiratory problems – are associated with increased gut permeability. (Wotring, 2015)
The observation that gut and lung disorders commonly occur together has led GI and respiratory researchers to think they share a common cause. For example, asthmatic flares and seasonal allergic reactions – both autoimmune conditions – are accompanied by inflammation in the digestive tract.
In a 2010 paper appearing in the National Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, neurogastroenterologist Nicholas Talley and his colleagues observed that people with asthma and allergic rhinitis have abnormally high levels of eosinophils in both their airways and their intestines. In healthy people, these cells aren’t found in their airways at all.
Eosinophils are specialized cells in the immune system created in the bone marrow. In the mucous membrane lining the stomach, small intestine and colon, their purpose is to prevent pathogenic bugs and toxins from escaping through the gut walls and getting into the body.
In allergies, these eosinophilic cells start growing in the lungs and airways and the ones in the GI tract stop serving their protective function and instead damage the gut’s mucosal lining, allowing toxins to leak through. This increased intestinal permeability has often been documented in asthma patients. (Johnson, 2010)

 

 

 

 

ALCOHOL

 

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Alcohol disrupts the integrity of the gut’s mucosal layer. The disruption can be measured within 30 minutes after alcohol has been consumed. (Wotring, 2015)
Alcohol damages the delicate lining of the stomach and intestinal tract as it passes through, creating increased permeability. This increased porosity permits large, incompletely digested food particles to move through the gut walls directly into the bloodstream, where immune cells regard them as foreign invaders and attack them with specially designed antibodies.
Once these antibodies have been created, they remain in the body on the look out for offending food particles to come along, creating a vicious cycle of autoimmunity: Because the alcoholic’s gut lining has become too permeable, improperly digested particles are always invading and a perpetual allergy-addiction cycle has been created – the immune system is in a state of continual hyper-reactivity.

Several studies have shown that alcoholic patients have an unusually high degree of allergic responses: both to “classic” allergens such as pollen and to various foods. Multiple studies have compared the allergic responses of alcoholics, depressive, and schizophrenic patients, and found that the alcoholic group was significantly more allergic to a variety of food allergens. A similar study compared patients admitted to an inpatient alcoholism hospital with a matched control group of patients with no history or evidence of alcohol abuse who have been admitted to a general hospital for elective surgery. Most alcoholics are allergic to a wide range of foods as well as environmental-mental allergens. Among foods, grains (the primary ingredient of many alcoholic beverages) are highly reactive. It is well known that particular foods and/or certain chemicals-can become an addiction.

– (Occhipinti, 2013)

 

 

 

 

DIETARY EMULSIFIERS

 

2012418-scooped-dark-chocolate-ice-cream-post

 

Emulsifiers are chemicals or natural substances that encourage the suspension of one type of liquid in another – as in the oil and water in margarine, shortening, ice cream, salad dressings, and creamy sauces. They are one of the most frequently used type of food additive.
Emulsifiers are added to commercial breads and cakes, icings, frozen desserts, soups, mayonnaise, homogenized milk, whipped toppings, non-dairy creamers, chocolate bars, chew candies, bubble gum, extruded snacks, soft drinks, bottled liquid coffees … and many other processed foods. (FoodAdditivesWorld, 2013)
Emulsifiers are also added to cosmetics, lotions, and some pharmaceuticals for the same reason they’re put into processed foods –  they improve product appearance by preventing ingredients from separating and extend storage life.  (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015)
The FDA and other regulatory agencies in the US claim there is no evidence that chemical emulsifiers increase the risk of cancer or have other toxic effects in mammals so have ruled they are “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) for use  in processed foods.

 

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Yet there is evidence that these emulsifiers disturb the colonies of probiotic bacteria living in the colon, increasing the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases and metabolic disorders. (Reardon, 2015)

 

 

(Source: www.scimex.org)
(Source: www.scimex.org)

 

Yet there is evidence that these emulsifiers disturb the colonies of probiotic bacteria living in the colon, increasing the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases and metabolic disorders. (Reardon, 2015)  Anything that can break down fats also breaks down the gut’s mucosal layer. (Wotring, 2015)
Could adding emulsifiers to food products to make them look more appealing and ‘last’ longer possibly be worth ruining our gut linings and increasing our risk for developing one or more autoimmune diseases?

 

(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)

 

See Emulsifiers for more than you might want to know about these food additives.

 

 

 

NSAIDS

 

pain_pill_abuse_addiction

 

Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxin are common NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) available OTC for use as pain relievers. NSAIDs are also available at prescription strength.
They are the most widely prescribed medications in the US. 100 million Americans use them regularly to manage pain. ALL NSAIDs cause injury in the GI tract: erosions, ulcers, bleeding and perforations in the stomach and intestines.
An estimated 16,500 Americans die each year from and 100,000 are hospitalized with NSAID-induced complications. (PLx, undated)

 

(Source: www.plxpharma.com)
(Source: www.plxpharma.com)
It takes NSAIDs such as asprin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve only 15-30 minutes to create lesions in the mucosal layer of the GI tract! (Wotring, 2015)
NSAIDs damage the hormones in your GI tract that protect the gut from becoming inflamed. Chronic use can lead to dire consequences such as intestinal perforations, H. pilori infection, kidney failure, Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease. (Alice, 2015) (Camp, 2015)
Japanese researchers found small bowel injuries occurring in 80% of their study participants after only two weeks on aspirin therapy. Other studies have noted GI damage in people on low-dose aspirin therapy taken for cardiovascular protection. (Alice, 2015).

 

 

(Source: physrev.physiology.org)
(Source: physrev.physiology.org)

 

After many decades of promoting an aspirin a day to prevent heart attacks, the FDA has now reversed its position. (Alice, 2015)
The FDA’s website now says:

“FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’ In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks — such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.”

Hopefully this news will change the behavior of the 40 million Americans who take an aspirin every day.
See this WebMD article for more information on both OTC and prescription NSAIDs.

 

 

 

INTENSE EXERCISE

 

exercise-intense1

Many people experience nausea, heartburn, cramping, and diarrhea while exercising – especially during high-intensity exercise.
When the body is at rest, your heart directs 20-25% of its pumped blood  to your digestive tract. While even moderate exercise increases your heart rate and therefore the amount of  blood  being pumped from your heart, the amount of blood flowing to the GI tracts gets decreased by as much as 60-70% and is instead diverted to your muscles, heart, lungs, and brain. Increasing the intensity of your workout reduces the blood flow to the gut even further. This decrease causes those common GI complaints. (Rocky Mountains Health Plans, 2014)
The harder or longer you run or exercise, the less blood gets delivered to your gut, causing digestion to slow. (Powell, 2013)
Runners, cyclists and triathletes tend to get diarrhea after 30-60 minutes of intense exercise. These athletes often put toilet paper inside the seat of their pants to soak up the mess. (Wotring, 2015)

 

 

(Source: www.rmhp.org)
(Source: www.rmhp.org)
Even worse, exercising can damage the gut’s mucosal lining and cause increased gut permeability. The authors of an article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition explain how this works:

Among athletes strenuous exercise, dehydration and gastric emptying … delay are the main causes of gastrointestinal (GI) complaints …. A serious underperfusion of the gut often leads to mucosal damage and enhanced permeability so as to hide blood loss, microbiota invasion (or endotoxemia) and food-born allergen absorption (with anaphylaxis)….

Anyone who participates in physical exercise is at risk for injury and illness arising from such activity….

There is a very high prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) complaints during exercise among long-distance runners, triathletes and athletes involved in other types of strenuous long-lasting exercise. These GI complaints occur because of the redistribution of the blood flow, that is shunted from the viscera to skeletal muscle, heart, lung and brain….

The symptoms are often mild and may not even affect performance. Some of the symptoms, however, can be life-threatening, such as blood loss in feces in the hours following the running presented by some marathoners and long-distance triathletes.

Damage to the gut and impaired gut function is associated with increased of intestinal permeability after a marathon. Moreover, vigorous exercise (jogging, aerobics, dancing, tennis, bicycling, racquetball, swimming, and skiing) facilities allergen absorption from the GI tract, leading to a food-dependent exercise induces anaphylaxis (FDEIA).

(Prado de Oliveira & Burini, 2011

 

 

images

 

 

 

 

HIGH HEAT

 

 

polls_sunbathing_4924_861570_poll_xlarge

When the body is in an overheated state, some of the blood that normally flows to the intestines gets diverted to the skin and the temperature inside the intestines increases. (Wotring, 2015)
This combination damages  the intestinal barrier, creating increased intestinal permeability to microbial endotoxins (toxins  present inside a bacterial cell that get released when the cell disintegrates),  leading to endotoxemia (the presence of endotoxins in the blood). (Lambert, 2008)  Severe endotoxemia can lead to shock, hemorhages, and kidney death.

 

finnische-sauna
Be careful when exposing yourself to high heat for extended periods of time (eg, while tanning all day at the beach, taking a long sauna, engaging in intense exercise).

 

 

 

 

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  • In our conversation, Rob Wotring also mentioned these interesting tidbits about the gut:
  • The gut’s mucosal layer is being created all the time. This may explain why your gut – and the rest of you – can feel awful say in the morning and then good some hours later on in the day.
  • Approximately 40% of your energy goes toward producing the mucus barrier.
  • Women are much more susceptible to disruption of the mucosal layer.
  • Progesterone thickens the gut lining.
  • There’s convincing evidence that polyphenol PREbiotics (as in Good Gut Daily) are able to heal damage in the gut lining.

 

 

Now that you’ve read about the importance of your intestines and what can happen if their walls become damaged, here’s another depiction of the four layers of the intestinal lining in all its amazing complexity (University of Leeds, undated):

 

(Source: www.histology.leeds.ac.uk)
(Source: www.histology.leeds.ac.uk)
The innermost layer, the MUCOSA, is made up of three parts:
  1.  A thin EPITHELIAL lining which includes glandular tissue
  2.  An underlying layer of loose connective tissue called the LAMINA          PROPRIA which provides vascular support for the epithelium and often contains mucosal glands. Products of digestion pass into  capillaries here. Lymphoid follicles and plasma cells are also often found here.
  3. And finally, next to the lamina propria, the MUSCULARIS MUCOSA, a thin, double layer of smooth muscle responsible for local movement of the mucosa.
The layer next to the mucosa is the SUBMUCOSA, a loose connective tissue layer containing larger blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves. It can also contain mucous secreting glands.
The layer outside the submucosa is the MUSCULARIS PROPRIA (EXTERNA). There are usually two sub-layers of smooth muscles in the muscularis propria: An inner circular layer and an outer longitudinal layer. The two layers work together to produce peristalsis ((rhythmic waves of contraction) to move food through the gut.
The outermost layer is the ADVENTIA (OR SEROSA) consisting of loose connective tissues containing blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves. This layer is covered by the visceral peritoneum.

 

 

And here’s another intestinal cross section so you can see the location of these layers in relation to the central intestinal “tube”, the lumen, where the digesting food is working its way through from the stomach to the anus:

 

 

(Source: www.myvmc.com)
(Source: www.myvmc.com)

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Age Management & Hormone Balance Center. (2013). Gastrointestinal Repair (Leaky Gut Syndrome). See: http://www.agemanagementmi.com/services/gastrointestinal-repair-leaky-gut-syndrome/

Alice. (2015). FDA Reverses Its Position on Daily Aspirin Use. See: http://www.healthfreedoms.org/fda-reverses-its-position-on-daily-aspirin-use/

Anderson, R.C. et al. (2012). The Role of Intestinal Barrier Function in Early Life in the Development of Colitis. See: http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/25358.pdf

Camp, M. (2015). Digestive Health. See: http://www.drcamphealth.com/digestivehealth.php

CISA. (undated). Emulsifiers. See: http://www.chemistryindustry.biz/emulsifiers.html

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2015). Emulsifier. See: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/186305/emulsifier

FoodAdditivesWorld.com. (2013). Emulsifiers. See: http://www.foodadditivesworld.com/emulsifiers.html

Galland, L. (undated). LEAKY GUT SYNDROMES: BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE. See: http://www.mdheal.org/leakygut.htm

Greenteaspoon. (2015). Good Gut Daily website.  See: http://goodgutdaily.com/

Johnson, K. (2010). The Gut-Lung Connection: How Respiratory Disease is Informing Gastrointestinal Research. See: https://katejohnsonmednews.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/the-gut-lung-connection/

Lambert, G. (2008). Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction, Endotoxemia, and Gastrointestinal Symptoms: The ‘Canary in the Coal Mine’ during Exercise-Heat Stress? In Thermoregulation and Human Performance: Physiological and Biological Aspects. (Editor: Marino, F.E.). See: http://www.karger.com/Article/PDF/151550

Occhipinti, M.J. (2013). Alcoholism’s “Leaky Gut” Syndrome. See: http://www.afpafitness.com/research-articles/alcoholisms-leaky-gut-syndrome

PLx. (undated). GI-SAFER NSAID TECHNOLOGY & PRODUCT PIPELINE — WITH PLXGUARD. See: http://www.plxpharma.com/prodDev.htm

Powell, B. (2013). Nagging Nausea. Trail Runner. See: http://www.trailrunnermag.com/health/race-day-nutrition/489-nagging-nausea

Prado de Oliveira, E. & Burin, R.C. (2011). Food-dependent, exercise-induced gastrointestinal distress. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 8:12. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3190328/

Reardon, S. (2015). Food preservatives linked to obesity and gut disease: Mouse study suggests that emulsifiers alter gut bacteria, leading to the inflammatory bowel condition colitis. Nature.com. See: http://www.nature.com/news/food-preservatives-linked-to-obesity-and-gut-disease-1.16984

Reasoner, J. (undated). Leaky Gut Syndrome in Plain English – and How to Fix It. See: http://scdlifestyle.com/2010/03/the-scd-diet-and-leaky-gut-syndrome/

Rocky Mountain Health Plans. (2014). Don’t Let Digestion Interfere with Your Workout. See: http://blog.rmhp.org/2014/01/dont-let-digestion-interfere-with-your-workout/

Saffrey, M.J. (2013). Aging of the mammalian gastrointestinal tract: a complex organ system. AGE. See: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11357-013-9603-2

University of Leeds, Faculty of Biological Sciences. Four Layers of the Gastrointestinal Tract. See: http://www.histology.leeds.ac.uk/oral/GI_layers.php

WebMD. (2015). NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and Arthritis. See: http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/anti-inflammatory-drugs#1

Weil, A. (2005). What is leaky gut? See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA361058/what-is-leaky-gut.html

Wotring, R. (2015). Personal communication.

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT – dedicated to reversing & preventing autoimmune disease. Nov 10-17 2014. FREE online event.

 

 

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AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

An autoimmune disease, disorder or condition develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, becomes unbalanced and treats healthy cells as if they were pathogens needing to be destroyed. As a result, your immune system attacks healthy body cells. Depending on the type, an autoimmune disease can affect one or many different types of body tissue. It can also cause abnormal organ growth and changes in organ function. According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), autoimmune diseases affect up to 50 million Americans. (Roddick, 2014)
When the micro-organisms living in the body’s gut microbiome, a major part of our immune system, become chronically out of balance (gut dysbiosis), chronic inflammation develops there and elsewhere in the body and eventually leads to a diagnosable autoimmune problem or other illness – even cancer.

 

 

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Here’s a useful A to Z list of over 100 autoimmune diseases, disorders and conditions and their symptoms. (autoimmunediseaselist.com, 3/18/2014)
The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association lists 80 autoimmune diseases and autoimmune-related diseases on its site. (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, 2014)
Commonly occurring autoimmune diseases include (Roddick, 2014):
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: inflammation of joints and surrounding tissues
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: affects skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs
  • Multiple Sclerosis: affects the brain and spinal cord
  • Celiac Sprue Disease: a reaction to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley) that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine
  • Pernicious Anemia: decrease in red blood cells caused by inability to absorb vitamin B12
  • Vitiligo: white patches on the skin caused by loss of pigment
  • Scleroderma: a connective tissue disease that causes changes in skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs
  • Psoriasis: a skin condition that causes redness and irritation as well as thick, flaky, silver-white patches
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): a group of inflammatory diseases of the colon and small intestine
  • Hashimoto’s Disease: inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • Addison’s Disease: adrenal hormone insufficiency
  • Graves’ Disease: overactive thyroid gland
  • Reactive Arthritis: inflammation of joints, urethra, and eyes; may cause sores on the skin and mucus membranes
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome: destroys the glands that produce tears and saliva causing dry eyes and mouth; may affect kidneys and lungs
  • Type 1 Diabetes: destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas

 

 

 

FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

Functional Medicine is a way of practicing medicine that focuses on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine.
The Institute for Functional Medicine describes the approach like this:

Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. (Institute for Functional Medicine, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 THE AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT

 

images

 

 

Amy Myers, MD, is a well known and highly respected Functional Medical doctor practicing in Austin TX and the author of The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases (available January 27 2015).
She has organized a very interesting  online AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT dedicated to teaching you about the root causes of autoimmune diseases so you can reverse and prevent them.  It’s FREE and takes place November 10-17 2014. You can sign up for it here.
The participants in this AUTOIMMUNE SUMMIT are experts in the fields of Functional Medicine, nutrition, and autoimmune disease who will explain how leaky gut, genetics, and environmental triggers such as toxins, food sensitivities, infections, and stress all play a part in the development of autoimmune disease.

 

 

(Source: hypothyroidmom.com)

 

 * Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with one or more of the autoimmune diseases, disorders, or conditions?

 

* Do you have a family history of autoimmunity and want to learn how to prevent it?

 

* Or are you a healthcare provider who wants to better treat your autoimmune patients?

 

* If these describe you or you just want to learn more about preventing, treating, and reversing these conditions, The Autoimmune Summit is for you! The information you will learn will put you on the road to better physical, mental and spiritual health.

 

 

(Source: lookfordiagnosis.com)
(Source: lookfordiagnosis.com)

 

 

A sampling of the speaker line up and what you’ll learn about how to manage your autoimmunity problems naturally:
  • Mark Hyman, MD:  A Functional Medicine Approach to Autoimmunity
  • Alessio Fassano, MD: The Role of Gut Permeability in Autoimmune Diseases: How To Distinguish Facts From Fantasies
  • Robb Wolf:  What is the Paleo Diet, and How Can It Help Reverse Autoimmunity?
  • Sarah Ballantyne, PhD (AKA The Paleo Mom):  The Problem with Grains and Legumes in Those with Autoimmunity
  • Terry Wahls, MD: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, Mitochondria, and Autoimmunity
  • Datis Kharrazian, DC: Understanding Hashimoto’s and Other Thyroid Conditions
  • Chris Kresser, Lac: Updates on Low Dose Naltrexone and Autoimmunity

 

 

AMY MYERS, MD

This is Dr Myers’ website. It’s worth taking a look at and reading her own story of the route that led her to practice Functional Medicine.

 

 

(Source: www.amymyersmd.com)
(Source: www.amymyersmd.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (2014). Autoimmune and Autoimmune-Related Diseases. See: http://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/list-of-diseases/

AutoimmuneDiseasesList.com. (3/18/2014). Autoimmune Diseases List. See: http://autoimmunediseaselist.com/

Institute for Functional Medicine. (2014). What is Functional Medicine? See: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/about/whatisfm/

Myers, A. AmyMyersMD.com. See: http://www.amymyersmd.com/

Myers, A. (2015). The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases. See: http://www.amazon.com/Autoimmune-Solution-Spectrum-Inflammatory-Symptoms/dp/0062347470/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415576888&sr=1-1&keywords=amy+myers+md

Roddick, J. (2014). Autoimmune Disease. Healthline.com.  See: http://www.healthline.com/health/autoimmune-disorders#Types2

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

 

GLUTEN INTOLERANCE IS REAL

 

 

(Source: carrotstick.dk)
(Source: carrotstick.dk)

 

 

GLUTEN: WHAT IS IT AND WHERE IS IT FOUND?

Gluten is a protein composite comprised of gliadin and glutelin, conjoined with starch, in the endosperm of various grass-related grains, such as wheat, barley and rye.  Gluten is what makes bread dough elastic, helps it rise and keep it’s shape, and gives it a pleasantly chewy texture. Gluten is also used now in a large numbers foods as a thickener, binder, flavor enhancer and protein supplement.
Along with the obvious sources such as breads, cakes and pasta, you’ll encounter gluten  hidden in many processed foods – salad dressings, soups, beer, some chocolates, some licorice, flavored coffees and teas, imitation bacon bits and seafood, sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, sauces, marinades, gravies, seasonings, soy sauce. See Hidden Sources of Gluten: How to recognize gluten that’s not obvious on the label for a fairly comprehensive list.

 

 

Processed-food-and-gluten-free

Gluten is also found in a variety of pharmaceuticals (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ARTICLE THAT WAS THE IMPETUS FOR THIS POST ON GLUTEN

 

(Source: The New Yorker)
(Source: The New Yorker)

 

 

Michael Specter’s article about gluten in The New Yorker‘s food issue (11/3/2014) so irritated me I felt compelled to address the misinformation in it. The article is called Against the Grain: Should you go gluten-free? . (Specter, 11/3/2014)
Specter has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998. His writings focus on science and technology as well as global public health. He has also written for The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Looking him up after finishing the article, I was amazed to learn that he was also the author of a book published in 2009 entitled Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. Despite my hopeful reaction to the word ‘denialism’ in the title, I learned from its review on Amazon that the denial Specter was addressing in this book is Americans’ growing mistrust of science.
So now the focus of this New Yorker article makes sense – he’s a true believer in the gods of modern science, technology and ‘progress’. From the Amazon review of Denialism:

“In the United States a growing series of studies show that dietary supplements and ‘natural’ cures have almost no value, and often cause harm…. And pharmaceutical companies that just forty years ago were perhaps the most visible symbol of our remarkable advance against disease have increasingly been seen as callous corporations propelled solely by avarice and greed…. As Michael Specter sees it, this amounts to a war against progress.”

 

 

(Source: www.flickriver.com)
(Source: www.flickriver.com)
In the New Yorker article, Specter takes a belittling tone toward the many people who are finding their physicians unable or unwilling to help them track down the root cause of their various ill health symptoms so take over that search themselves.
But does it strike YOU as the least bit odd for people to look elsewhere when they realize they’re not getting adequate advice from their doctors, not being believed when they report noticing correlations between eating X and feeling Y afterwards, or – even worse – being given drugs for what ails them, only to develop other symptoms on top of the ones they already reported?
That was certainly my experience with the allergies I suffered with for 40 years. All my doctors ever offered me were various antihistamines and decongestants – and eventually surgery when my body had become so inflamed polyps were growing inside my sinuses making it difficult to breathe. I had horrible reactions to all the drugs and none of them stopped my allergies. After the second nasal polyp surgery, I told my ENT doc that I wasn’t willing to live like that anymore and was going to find a way to fix my allergies rather than just try to treat their symptoms. He was smart and a really good human being. His response was, “I believe you. Will you let me know when you’ve figured it out?” That conversation took place about 35 years ago and my journey to figure it out led to this website.
BTW, my other experiences over the years trying to get help with my own and my family’s autoimmune and other health problems were pretty much the same as the allergies tale above until I basically stopped seeing MDs and started working with so-called ‘alternative’ health care providers who knew about identifying and correcting underlying causes rather than treating symptoms.
So it makes sense to ME that many people have decided to eliminate gluten from their diets to see if that might help. We know something is wrong and we want help getting better and then staying healthy. If we were getting adequate guidance from our doctors, we wouldn’t be so inclined to look for it elsewhere.
Please note that I am NOT saying physicians are evil or stupid. What I AM saying is that too few of them understand much about nutrition or inflammatory processes in the gut and many of them practice exactly as they were trained, in a medical model focusing on identifying diseases after they’ve developed and then treating symptoms with drugs or surgery while ignoring what’s producing those symptoms – and this is not helping us get or stay well.
This Western Medical approach also costs a bundle of money and causes a lot of unnecessary suffering.

 

(Source: cabralwellnessinstitute.com)
(Source: cabralwellnessinstitute.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TESTS FOR GLUTEN SENSITIVITY AND ALLERGY

 

 

(Source: www.amymyersmd.com)
(Source: www.amymyersmd.com)

 

Specter writes, “At present, there are no blood tests, biopsies, genetic markers, or antibodies that can confirm a diagnosis of non-celiac gluten sensitivity.” This claim is  incorrect.
An example: Cell Science Systems is a company offering a blood test for food sensitivity/intolerance and celiac disease risk factors.
From the Cell Science Systems website:

CSS has developed the only gut health profile (GHP) that evaluates the GI tract on a genetic, antibody and cellular level. Nowhere else can you test specific genetic predisposition to celiac disease as well as antibody testing and immune system activation to food sensitivities. Understand your genetic based risk of celiac disease

  • Non celiac reactions to gluten, known as Test for Food Sensivity/intolerance
  • Determines genetic based risk for celiac disease
  • One simple blood draw
  • Comprehensive genetic, antibody, and cellular analysis

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune condition affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present. Celiac disease affects about 1 in 133 people, or close to 1% of the population. However, few people – some estimates are as few as 5% of the total – know they have the condition.

Test for Food Sensivity, also known as non-celiac Test for Food Sensivity or sometimes gluten intolerance, has been recently recognized as a stand-alone condition by the medical community. Many believe that Test for Food Sensitivity involves a different immune system reaction than celiac disease. A team of researchers, led by Dr. Alessio Fasano, hypothesizes that a person with Test for Food Sensitivity experiences a direct reaction to gluten – i.e., your body views the protein as an invader and fights it with inflammation both inside and outside your digestive tract.

Food sensitivity/intolerance is a non-IgE mediated reaction involving the innate immune system’s response to foods that are otherwise safe. The Alcat Test is considered the, “gold standard” laboratory method for identification of non-IgE mediated reactions to over 400 different foods, chemicals, and other categories of substances. It is a functional response test and captures the final common pathway of many of the pathogenic mechanisms, immunologic, toxic, and pharmacologic, that underlie non-IgE mediated reactions to foods and chemicals.

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: lactosesintolerances.blogspot.com)
(Source: lactosesintolerances.blogspot.com)

 

 

 

COMMON SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH GLUTEN INTOLERANCE AND SENSITIVITY (Camp, 2012) (EnteroLab, 2014)

GI: Digestive problems, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel
Physical and Neurological: Headaches, cognitive impairment, brain fog, mood swings, depression, ADHD-like behavior
Bones and Joints: Osteoporosis, fractures, bone and joint pain
Skin: Eczema, psoriasis, rashes, easy bruising
Reproductive: Hormone imbalances, menstrual irregularities, infertility
General: Chronic fatigue, weight loss or gain

This table from the Wall Street Journal differentiates between gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy and celiac disease.

 

against-the-grain

 

 

GLUTEN FREE PROCESSED FOODS

Specter expends some energy attacking the gluten free foods industry. I have to agree with him here. Of course trying to replace gluten-containing foods with a bunch of seemingly familiar gluten-free substitutes isn’t going to improve anyone’s health. As he points out, processed foods loaded with sugar, fats, non-gluten-containing refined carbohydrates and salt are quite just plain unhealthy.

 

 

(Source: simplypurelyhealthy.wordpress.com)
(Source: simplypurelyhealthy.wordpress.com)

 

What’s needed is a return to eating real, unprocessed, nutrient-filled, non-GMO  foods grown without a load of toxic pesticides.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT COULD IT BE IN GLUTEN THAT’S CAUSING SO MANY PEOPLE TO REACT BADLY TO IT?

 

Specter poses the reasonable question, “How could gluten, present in a staple food that has sustained humanity for thousands of years, have suddenly become so threatening?” After going through some possible clues to answering his question, he ends up focusing on what he calls “gluten anxiety” and classifies it as a food fad.
He says, “Doctors rarely diagnose non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and many don’t believe that it exists.” He goes on to quote Joseph A. Murray, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and president of the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease: “Everyone is trying to figure out what is going on, but nobody in medicine, at least not in my field, thinks this adds up to anything like the number of people who say they feel better when they take gluten out of their diet. It’s hard to put a number on these things, but I would have to say that at least seventy percent of it is hype and desire. There is just nothing obviously related to gluten that is wrong with most of these people.”
Specter also interviewed Peter H. R. Green, MD, Director of The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University, and Attending Physician at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr Green is recognized as a prominent celiac doctor. Green told Specter, “In the absence of celiac disease, physicians don’t usually tell people they are sensitive to gluten. This is becoming one of the most difficult problems that I face in my daily practice.”
Dr Green then goes on to rail against  chiropractors and psychiatrists who suggest giving up gluten to their patients to see if their symptoms reduce.
It seems both Specter and Dr Green are unaware that many chiropractors are highly trained in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of health problems – including digestive issues, allergies and food sensitivities, autoimmune conditions, chronic inflammation, migraines, sinus and respiratory problems, insomnia and other sleep problems, thyroid conditions, elevated cholesterol, fertility problems, PMS, PCOS, and symptoms that are unresolved after repeatedly seeking help from MDs.

 

 

 

(Source: becuo.com)
(Source: becuo.com)
Specter and Dr Green also seem oblivious to the existence of research on the connections between the probiotics in our intestinal microbiota and mental health. Here are a few examples, including one specifically about gluten and mental health:

Selhub et al. (2014). Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry

Ji, S. (2013). 60 Years of Research Links Gluten Grains to Schizophrenia

Bested et al. (2013). Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health

In fact, it’s likely that the future of psychotropic medicine will be diet and microbes like probiotics, not pharmaceuticals. We’re learning that what we eat and the micro-organisms living inside our guts strongly influence both our mental and physical health.
Pharmaceuticals given for problems like depression and anxiety work this way:

 

(Source: drsaulmarcus.com)
(Source: drsaulmarcus.com)

 

 

Symptom suppression certainly doesn’t address the underlying causes of anything. Correcting imbalances in the gut microbiome does. And also, as anyone who’s ever taken pharmaceuticals knows, they’re sort of poisonous – producing “side effects”. Working to get your gut bacteria and the other micro critters in there to work well addresses your health problems directly and doesn’t involve introducing any poisons.
Stay tuned – there’s some exciting research underway now on the gut microbiome and all that it influences.

 

(Source: tv.greenmedinfo.com)
Kelley Brogan, MD. (Source: tv.greenmedinfo.com)
Kelly Brogan, MD, is a psychiatrist who has looked extensively at the literature on gluten’s effects on the brain. She points out that gluten produces considerable inflammation in the body. It is well known that chronic inflammation leads to all sorts of autoimmune diseases and other serious problems. Her excellent and informative article This Is Your Gut (and Brain) on Wheat lays out a clear explanation of what happens in the body when it consumes gluten. Specter and Green’s annoying comments about psychiatrists who talk about gluten with their ailing patients aside, I highly recommend taking a look at this short article. (Brogan, 2013)

 

 

And-then

So back to Specter’s question from the beginning of this section:  What could have turned gluten into a widespread, serious health problem in the US in recent years.
Here’s a likely answer: the widespread use of the toxic chemical glyphosate.

 

 

(Source: gmo-awareness.com)
(Source: gmo-awareness.com)

 

 

Even though wheat is not a genetically modified crop, Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing weed killer, Roundup, is widely used on wheat fields before harvests to ‘dry down’ the wheat and even organic wheat fields are often  contaminated with glyphosate from poor farming practices.  (Shilhavy, 2014)
From Shilhavy’s article, ALERT: Certified Organic Food Grown in U.S. Found Contaminated with Glyphosate Herbicide:

In fact, beer brewers are having a problem with glyphosate. A few years ago, when one of my colleagues wanted to get more Abraxis test strips for testing materials for glyphosate residue, he was told that they had a 3 month backlog. He asked, what was causing this? He was told that every load of malt barley coming out of North Dakota has to be tested, because the glyphosate levels were so high that it kills the yeast in the brew mix.

 

 

contaminated_wheat_grain

 

 

The graph below plots celiac incidence against the use of glyphosate on wheat crops  between 1990 and 2010. You can see the two rising in tandem.  In fact, the connection between glyphosate and celiac disease correlates to a greater degree than glyphosate usage on either corn or soy, crops which are largely genetically modified to be able to tolerate heavy applications of Roundup.

 

Celiac Incidence/ Glyphosate Applied to Wheat 1990-2010

(Sources: USDA:NASS, CDC. Figure courtesy of Nancy Swanson)
(Sources: USDA:NASS, CDC. Figure courtesy of Nancy Swanson)
This graph appears in an article called Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance published in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology.  (Samsel & Seneff, 2013)
From the article’s abstract:

Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup(®), is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria….  Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest…. We conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.

I also recommend taking a look at this article: Why the Use of Glyphosate in Wheat Has Radically Increased Celiac Disease (Mercola, 2014)

 

Stephanie Seneff, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at M.I.T.
Stephanie Seneff, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at M.I.T.

 

 

 

 

 

AND BTW, THERE’S EVIDENCE THAT SIMPLY AVOIDING GLUTEN DOESN’T SUFFICE FOR HEALING CELIAC DISEASE (Reasoner, 2014)

Here’s a shocker that challenges current medical advice for celiacs –
The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center, one of the US’s leading treatment and research center for Celiac Disease, reports:

“While healing may take up to 2 years for many older adults, new research shows that the small intestines of up to 60% of adults never completely heal, especially when adherence to the diet is less than optimal.”

If you’re struggling with celiac disease, you might want to read Jordan Reasoner’s interesting article The Gluten-Free Lie: Why Most Celiacs are Slowly Dying.
From Reasoner’s article:

Conventional medicine usually works like this…

I have a problem, the doctor figures out what the problem is, and gives me a conventional prescription generally supported by Doctors, researchers, and the FDA.

This prescription is supposed to be relatively safe and effective in accordance with the laws in the United States and most modern countries.

But what if the conventional prescription doesn’t work?

Like people with Celiac Disease that follow a strict gluten-free diet and don’t get better….

 

Only 8% of Adult Patients Healed on a Gluten-Free Diet…

A 2009 study in The Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics looked at 465 Celiac Disease patients and found only 8% of adult patients reached “histological normalization” after following a gluten-free diet for 16 months, meaning their gut tissue completely recovered to that of a healthy person. The authors stated:

“Complete normalization of duodenal lesions is exceptionally rare in adult coeliac patients despite adherence to GFD”

These people followed a strict gluten-free diet for 16 months and most didn’t heal their gut. The success rate of the conventional Celiac Disease prescription isn’t working… and the research is exploding the truth.

Another 2010 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looked at 381 adults with biopsy-proven Celiac Disease. The authors found small intestine mucosal recovery occurred in only 34% of participants following a gluten-free diet for 2 years. They concluded:

“Mucosal recovery was absent in a substantial portion of adults with CD after treatment with a GFD.”

 

65% of Gluten-Free Celiacs Still Have a Raging Fire in Their Gut

The same 2009 study in The Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics of 465 Celiac Disease patients 16 months gluten-free found that 65% still had “persistent intraepithelial lymphocytosis,” a.k.a. inflammation in the gut.

 

This is highly significant. It is well known that gut inflammation is associated with a huge variety of health issues, including all the autoimmune diseases and cancer. So if celiacs follow their doctors’ advice and only avoid gluten but are still at high risk for  chronic  gut inflammation, they are definitely not healed and will never achieve good health.
Again from Reasoner’s article:
56% Have Poor Vitamin Status After 10 Years Gluten-Free

A 2002 study in the of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics looked at the vitamin status of 30 adults with Celiac Disease showing “biopsy-proven remission,” after following a gluten-free diet for 8-12 years. They found that 56% had poor vitamin status, suggesting that proper nutrient uptake is not occurring. The authors concluded that:

“It is generally assumed that coeliac patients adhering to a strict gluten-free diet for years will consume a diet that is nutritionally adequate. This is supported by the demonstration of a normal bone mineral density up to 10 years of dietary treatment. Our results may indicate otherwise. We found signs indicative of a poor vitamin status in 56% of treated adult coeliac patients.”

Even after following the conventional Celiac prescription for 10 years, 56% still showed signs of poor nutrient uptake – meaning their digestive system still isn’t working like it’s designed to.

That means after 10 years of being gluten-free, HALF of all Celiacs are likely starving for the critical nutrients required for health and longevity. It’s no wonder we have a 77X increased risk for lymphoma.

 

 

(Source: whole9life.com)
(Source: whole9life.com)

 

 

(Source: www.precisionnutrition.com)
(Source: www.precisionnutrition.com)
The Gluten-Free Diet Doesn’t Fix Leaky Gut
Reasoner discusses the role of gliadin (gluten is comprised of gliadin and glutenin in equal parts) in initiating leaky gut* by increasing the zonulin** protein in celiacs. Zonulin levels do fall in celiacs following a strict gluten free diet – but a gluten free diet doesn’t eliminate leaky gut. Gluten free celiacs continue to have elevated levels of zonulin compared to non-celiacs.

 

(Source: www.radiancehealthcenter.com)

* Leaky Gut Syndromes are clinical disorders associated with increased intestinal permeability. These disorders include inflammatory and infectious bowel diseases, chronic inflammatory arthrititis, cryptogenic skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and dermatitis herpetiformis, many diseases triggered by food allergy or specific food intolerance, including eczema, urticaria, and irritable bowel syndrome, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndromes, chronic hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and pancreatic carcinoma.  (Galland, undated)

 

 

(Source: healthbeginsathome.com)
(Source: healthbeginsathome.com)

 

** Zonulin is a protein that modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract. (Wikipedia, 8/21/14)

I highly recommend looking at Reasoner’s site for information on what, besides avoiding gluten, is necessary to fix Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Dr Galland’s piece on LEAKY GUT SYNDROMES: BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE is a bit technical and was apparently posted in the early 1990s but even if you skip over those parts, you’ll learn a great deal about how to protect or restore your health.

 

 

(Source: www.drsharma.ca)
(Source: www.drsharma.ca)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Bested, A.C. et al. (2013). Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health.Gut Pathogens, 5:3 See: http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/5/1/3

Brogan, K. (2013). This Is Your Body (and Brain) on Gluten. See: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/your-body-and-brain-gluten

Camp, M. (2012). The Difference Between Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease. See: https://drmorgancamp.wordpress.com/tag/gluten/

Cell Science Systems. (2014). Test for Food Sensivity/intolerance and celiac disease risk factors with one convenient laboratory test. See: https://www.alcat.com/landing/gluten-sensitivity-test.php

EnteroLab. (2014). Which Test to Order. EnteroLab: Specialized Laboratory Testing for Optimal Intestinal and Overall Health. See: https://www.enterolab.com/staticpages/testtoorder.aspx

Galland, L. (undated). LEAKY GUT SYNDROMES: BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE. See: http://www.mdheal.org/leakygut.htm

Hatfield, H. (2014). Hidden Sources of Gluten: How to recognize gluten that’s not obvious on the label. WebMD. See: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/hidden-sources-of-gluten

Mercola, R. (2014). Why the Use of Glyphosate in Wheat Has Radically Increased Celiac Disease. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/09/14/glyphosate-celiac-disease-connection.aspx?e_cid=20140914Z1_SNL_Art_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20140914Z1&et_cid=DM55859&et_rid=658330142

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. (2014). Gluten in Medications: NFCA and the Pharmaceutical Industry. See: http://www.celiaccentral.org/gluteninmeds/Pharmacy/321/

Reasoner, J. (2014). The Gluten-Free Lie: Why Most Celiacs are Slowly Dying. SCD Lifestyle. See: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/the-gluten-free-lie-why-most-celiacs-are-slowly-dying/

Samsel, A. & Seneff, S. (2013). Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 6(4):159-84. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24678255

Selhub, E.M. et al. (2014). Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry.Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 33:2. See: http://www.jphysiolanthropol.com/content/33/1/2

Shilhavy, B. (2014). ALERT: Certified Organic Food Grown in U.S. Found Contaminated with Glyphosate Herbicide. HealthImpactNews.com. See: http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/alert-certified-organic-food-grown-in-u-s-found-contaminated-with-glyphosate-herbicide/

Specter, M. (2009). Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594202303/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

Specter, M. (11/3/2014). Against the Grain: Should you go gluten-free? The New Yorker. See: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/03/grain

Wikipedia. (8/21/2014). Zonulin. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zonulin

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission

 

 

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HOW AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES DEVELOP

Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s immune system produces an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues. Because the vast majority of our immune system is located in the composition of our gut microbiome, this is where we need to focus to understand how we come to develop an autoimmune disease (probably more than one) and also how to reverse these types of diseases.
When the immune system stops recognizing as “self” something that’s a normal constituent of the body, it starts producing auto-antibodies that attack the body’s own cells, tissues, and/or organs. This produces chronic inflammation that damages these body parts and leads to autoimmune disorders.
Autoimmune diseases are generally classified as systemic (those that damage more than one organ or part of the body) or localized (those that damage a single organ or type of tissue). This distinction is somewhat artificial since localized autoimmune disorders often extend beyond the targeted tissues, indirectly affecting other organs and systems. (American Association for Clinical Chemistry, 2014)

 

 

(Source: www.nj.com)
(Source: www.nj.com)

 

 

In a scientific literature review article entitled The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system, the authors examined articles on atopic* diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases and treatment of these conditions with probiotics. They  concluded that the evidence strongly points to the intestinal microflora’s having important “protective, metabolic, trophic** and immunological functions” and that the micro-organisms comprising the gut microbiome are “able to establish a ‘cross-talk’ with the immune component of mucosal immunity…. When one or more steps in this fine interaction fail, autoimmune or auto-inflammatory diseases may occur. Furthermore, it results from the data that probiotics, used for the treatment of the diseases caused by the dysregulation of the immune system, can have a beneficial effect.” (Purchiaroni et al, 2013)
* Atopic: A predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions
** Trophic: Of or relating to nutrition; promoting cellular growth, differentiation, and survival

 

(Source; www.slideshare.net)
(Source; www.slideshare.net)

 

 

Here’s my short hand version of the process:
Chronic unbalance in the content of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) –> leaky gut –> chronic inflammation, which eventually –> one or more autoimmune diseases.
Some examples of autoimmune diseases:
  •  Acne
  •  Allergies
  •  Asthma
  •  Cardiac myopathy
  •  Celiac disease
  •  Chronic inflammatory liver disease (autoimmune hepatitis)
  •  Eczema
  •  Lupus
  •  Lyme disease, chronic
  •  Multiple sclerosis
  •  Peripheral neuropathy
  •  Psoriasis
  •  Psoriatic arthritis
  •  Raynaud’s phenomenon
  •  Rheumatic fever
  •  Rheumatoid arthritis
  •  Rosacea
  •  Scleroderma
  •  Ulcerative colitis
  •  Vitiligo
See AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS for a more complete list of the autoimmune disorders and more information about them.

(Source: www.operationshootingstar.com)
(Source: www.operationshootingstar.com)

 

 

 

 

HOW TO PUT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES IN REMISSION

In talking about how to prevent autoimmune diseases disorders and how to reverse them if you’re already suffering with one or more, I’m going to focus on the work of a very smart scientist, writer and mother, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne in this discussion. As you read on, you’ll see why.

 

 

(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
Sarah Ballantyne, PhD (Source: www.thepaleomom.com)

 

 

Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, earned a doctorate in medical biophysics at the age of 26 and then spent the next four years doing research on innate immunity and inflammation before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After the birth of her second child, she began experimenting with the Paleo lifestyle – which greatly improved her health.
Over time, she healed herself of a long list of autoimmune conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, and Lichen Planus (an inflammatory skin condition).
Inspired by this success, Dr. Ballantyne created the popular health blog ThePaleoMom.com and became co-host of a top-rated podcast, The Paleo View.
Ballantyne is passionate about providing straightforward explanations of the science behind her diet and lifestyle recommendations for managing autoimmune disease. A lover of food and cooking, the next logical step for her was to write a book called The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. (Ballantyne, 2014b) This was soon followed by a companion book called The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul (Ballantyne, 2014c)

 

 

 

(Source: thepaleomom.wordpress.com)
(Source: thepaleomom.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

(Source: www.thepaleomom.com )
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)

 

 

 

From Amazon.com’s description of The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body:

An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease. If you’re among them, you may know all too well how little modern medicine can do to alleviate your condition. But that’s no reason to give up hope. In this groundbreaking book, Sarah D. Ballantyne, Ph.D., draws upon current medical research and her own battle with an autoimmune disorder to show you how you can become completely symptom-free—the natural way.

The Paleo Approach is the first book ever to explain how to adapt the Paleo diet and lifestyle to bring about a full recovery. Read it to learn why foods marketed as “healthy”—such as whole grains, soy, and low-fat dairy—can contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions. Discover what you can eat to calm your immune system, reduce inflammation, and help your body heal itself. Find out which simple lifestyle changes—along with changes in diet—will make the biggest difference for your health….

Simple strategies for lifestyle adjustments, including small steps that can make a huge difference, guide you through the most important changes to support healing.

Do you have a complicated condition that requires medical intervention, medication, or supplements? Dr. Ballantyne also walks you through the most useful medical tests, treatments, and supplements (as well as the most counterproductive ones) to help you open a dialogue with your physician.

 

 

 

(Source; consciouslifenews.com)
(Source; consciouslifenews.com)

 

This comment about Ballantyne’s first book on its Amazon.com page struck me as summing up the battle against autoimmune diseases – and sound advice on how to live a satisfying life in general. The writer describes how she used Ballantyne’s guidelines to make her autoimmune diseases go into remission and get her life back on track. The comment is long but I think very much worth reading:

 

How The Paleo Approach Saved My Health (after years of low-carb paleo)

By Stacy & Matt, the Paleo Parents on January 28, 2014

 

paleo-parents2

 

While you all have waited patiently for years as Dr. Sarah Ballantyne wrote The Paleo Approach, I was lucky enough to begin following her protocol well before it was available to the public. I started my journey on healing when Practical Paleo first came out and I started with the methodologies Diane put forth for autoimmune conditions (autoimmune protocol: AIP).

Problem was, after following the AIP for nearly 3 months I wasn’t seeing healing. Some of the super negative symptoms were alleviated, like adrenal fatigue, clumps of hair falling out and terrible acne, but when I reintroduced foods I would get flares again. I distinctly remember it being SO. HARD. Like, temper tantrums in the car hard because everything, EVERYTHING I was used to eating had eggs or nightshades and I was overwhelmed at the idea of living the rest of my life that way. All of which contributed to my ongoing struggles with depression – the obsession with food was beginning to overwhelm me, it was starting to cause disordered eating again, as I looked for ways to “get around” the AIP.

I was so frustrated, I began talking with Sarah about what her thoughts and recommendations were. It was at this time that Sarah was hundreds of thousands of words deep into writing The Paleo Approach (no, seriously, it’s a tome). There were a few things she shared with me about what she found in the scientific literature about recommendations she was going to make, versus things I’d read in Practical Paleo and other resources.

And so it began, in 2013 I started following The Paleo Approach. Mostly this meant that I focused more on what to add to my diet instead of what to remove from it. Sarah and I talked every week on The Paleo View and nearly each episode each one of us would get more and more geeked out on nutrient-density, our new favorite word. We began exploring healing foods; Matt and I became so inspired that we wrote the nose-to-tail cookbook, Beyond Bacon – almost every recipe of which includes bone stock and/or lard (high in Vitamin D and easy for me to digest).

I’d been following a low-fat, low-carb version of paleo for years. Turns out, it made me sick. It affected my adrenals, thyroid function, and ability for my body to heal itself. I was nutrient-poor, despite eating what I thought was the best diet possible. Perhaps for some people eating that way is healthy for them, but for me as a busy woman with no gallbladder and previous metabolic syndrome, it ended up as a disaster long-term. Turns out, a high protein diet (especially when the protein is mostly poultry) wasn’t doing what I thought it was for my health. I got over my fear of fat and incorporated more nutrient-dense healing fats, specifically lard, coconut oil and ghee/butter (I was shocked how well I tolerated ghee and butter after a lifetime of being dairy intolerant). I switched my proteins to a majority of grass-fed red meat and pastured pork, added seafood and incorporated the true superfoods: organ meat and bone broth.

One of the things I learned from Sarah is the importance of vegetables. I’ve popularized #morevegetablesthanavegetarian in social media – but it was Sarah’s focus on the importance of vegetables – specifically a variety of colorful ones – that really made me focus on them. For a while, I’d actually reduced the types of vegetables I was eating because I wanted to stay away from foods high in insoluble fiber – which I personally let affect the quantity of veggies I was eating. When Sarah told me she had research that greens rich in insoluble fiber, even cruciferous ones, showed to be positive healing foods from her research it was a big change in how I approached nourishing myself. As I started adding in much more vegetables, especially leafy greens, it was amazing how much it affected my digestion and how I felt.

From the prior AIP protocol I was already consuming fermented foods rich in probiotics, which is another big important factor in helping to heal the gut through food. So then I turned to lifestyle factors.

I learned to love myself and let things go. I know… it’s hokey. And intangible. And something I can’t possibly define for you to replicate… although I’ve tried to articulate it a zillion times on The Paleo View. Stress Management was defined and something I began when I first started Practical Paleo`s AIP. But it’s not something one can fix overnight. Over time, and through Sarah’s repeated reminders of the scientific backing behind stress being a leading causes of health deterioration, I learned how to slay the stress monster.

First, I gave myself permission to do something(s) for me. Without guilt or remorse. It was really hard in the beginning to know I was missing out on time I could (or as I thought, should) be doing: helping with dinner, spending time with the kids, staying later at the office, etc. But then I realized I deserve to take care of the only body I’ll have to carry me through this life. My children deserve a role model to show them that sometimes it’s OK to stop and put the gas mask on yourself before helping others – I learned to take care of myself first before putting others ahead of me. This, was huge.

I learned to breathe. There was a point at which my stress levels had caused an eye twitch I couldn’t get rid of for months. And I had begun grinding my teeth and experiencing frequent headaches from it. I even had about a 6 week period of time where I was experiencing frequent anxiety attacks in crossfit, unable to breathe when something ended up being harder than I anticipated. It made me want to quit, and I’ve never been a quitter. It was at this time Sarah talked to me about relaxation techniques she highly encouraged. It was so bizarre for this scientist to be telling me to do some hokey-pokey-crunchy-granola-meditation… but she was right. My body was overwhelmed and needed a break. So several times a day I intentionally stood up and walked around the office, finding someone to smile with and change my environment while activating happy hormones. During crossfit I learned to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth with deep, intentional breaths. Soon, the twitching and anxiety attacks just went away!

I learned to let things go. This was the hardest for me and is something I’m still actively working on. I talk out loud about what I can or cannot do. It’s about acknowledgement, doing what you’re able the best you can, and then forgiveness. What a concept… all backed by science to help you be healthier!

Be positive! No, really. Of course not everything’s great. But almost everything has something positive about it. So I learned to frame things to myself positively and it helped me have an overall positive outlook and attitude.

Sarah goes over LOTS more stuff in The Paleo Approach but these are the things that I personally applied to my own life.

The results?

I’ve resolved ALL of the autoimmune related health issues I experienced in 2011 and 2012.

Let me restate that, because I want to make sure it’s heard. I no longer have symptoms of autoimmune disease, adrenal fatigue, micro-nutrient deficiencies, skin breakouts or depression (at all). My body has not only recovered fully from the autoimmune flare, but I’ve actually been able to heal my body even further – now able to consume foods like high quality heavy cream and cheeses without distress! And when accidentally exposed to gluten or intentionally eat things I know my body has a difficult time with (like nightshades or grains) I find each and every time my body responds better than the time before. I have successfully reintroduced nuts, seeds, chocolate, egg yolks and seed spices (all in moderation) but have found that egg whites and nightshade vegetables (except peeled white potatoes) are something I can not (yet) tolerate.

I plan to continue my healing journey and hope to be a role model for those out there with autoimmune conditions. Keeping in mind that 2 years ago I was depressed with barely enough energy to slog through the day (thyroid and adrenal issues), I now am a fully charged woman who manages this blog, a podcast, writing books, a full-time job, raising 3 boys AND am training for a StrongMan competition in just a few months. I’m happy to report that The Paleo Approach quite literally gave me my life back.

 

 

(Source: The Paleo Mom)
(Source: The Paleo Mom)

 

 

On her own  blog, ThePaleoMom.com, Sarah Ballantyne says this about how  autoimmune diseases develop and how to put them into remission (Ballantyne, 2014a):

Autoimmune disease is caused by the immune system losing the ability to differentiate proteins belonging to your own body with proteins belonging to a foreign invader (like a bacteria, virus or parasite). What causes symptoms is the build up of damage to cells, tissues and/or organs in the body–damage caused by your own immune system attacking those cells. Which proteins/cells are attacked is what separates once disease from another. In Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the thyroid gland is attacked. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the tissues of your joints are attacked. In psoriasis, proteins within the layers of cells that make up your skin are attacked. However, the root cause is the same.

Genetic predisposition to autoimmunity makes up about one third of your risk of developing an autoimmune disease. The other two thirds of your risk come from environmental factors, which include: diet, lifestyle, infections (both prior and persistent) exposure to toxins, hormones, weight, etc. While you cannot control your genetics or whether or not you had mono as a kid, you do have an immense amount of control over your diet and lifestyle (and the extent that these affect hormones and weight and even toxin exposure). By removing the foods that contribute to a leaky gut, gut dysbiosis (the wrong numbers, relative quantities, or types of microorganisms typically growing in the wrong locations in your gut), hormone imbalance, and that stimulate inflammation and the immune system, you can create the opportunity for your body to heal. By addressing important lifestyle factors and changing your focus to eating nutrient-dense foods that support optimal gut health (and optimal health of your gut microorganisms), that restore levels of important nutrients and provide all of the building blocks that your body needs to heal and properly regulate the immune system, that help resolve inflammation and support organ function, you create an environment in your body conducive to healing.

This is not a cure (once your body learns to attack itself, it can never un-learn this), but you can put your disease into remission, often permanently.

 

 

And a little humor to close:

 

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(Source: www.uphs.upenn.edu)
(Source: www.uphs.upenn.edu)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

American Association for Clinical Chemistry. (2014). Autoimmune disorders. Lab Tests Online. See: http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/autoimmune/?gclid=CLOyz8GNy8ECFSZo7AodHwgAKQ

Ballantyne, S. (2014a). The Autoimmune Protocol. ThePaleoMom.com. See: http://www.thepaleomom.com/autoimmunity/the-autoimmune-protocol

Ballantyne, S. (2014b). The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. See: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1936608391?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1936608391&linkCode=xm2&tag=wwwthepaleomo-20

Ballantyne, S. (2014c). The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul. See: http://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Approach-Cookbook-Detailed-Nourish/dp/162860008X/ref=la_B00B0QLZ5W_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411740448&sr=1-2

Ballantyne, S. (2014d). The Paleo View Podcasts. See: http://www.thepaleomom.com/podcast

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Autoimmune Disorders. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/autoimmune-conditions-diseases/

Purchiaroni, F. et al. (2013). The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 17:3, 323-33. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426535

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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