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What Can You Eat..When You Can’t Eat Anything?

What’s the Best Diet if you are Suffering with Crohn’s?

For many of the millions of people suffering with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis this is a question that they ask themselves at every meal. Many sufferers are looking for a way to modify their diet to help reduce symptoms. Through trial and error and eliminating foods one at a time you slowly begin to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is hoping to shed some light on the subject.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) have implemented many new studies which will change our understanding of how diet can be altered to improve the quality life. What should you eat? Soon, we will have new treatment tools that incorporate diet modification.

One such study was launched last year by the Microbiome Initiative under CCFA. This study called FARMM, Food and Resulting Microbial Metabolites has set out to compare a Western diet, a vegan diet, and one formulated to treat Crohn’s disease in children. This research partnership between the CCFA and the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania will be a powerful tool for nutritional therapy.

Volunteers in the study followed one of the randomly assigned diets for two weeks. Each individual was tracked by researchers to determine how their gut microbes were affected. “FARMM will advance our understanding of the complex relationship between our gut, and the small molecules they produce that end up circulating throughout our body,” explains Gary Wu, MD and Professor in Gastroenterology at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The hope is to achieve a broader view of how a specific diet works to introduce remission in patients with Crohn’s disease.

Currently there is little information on how diet affects Crohn’s Disease. Most physicians and patients are very uncertain about what dietary changes to make. CCFA hopes to have critical new information within 3-5 years that can be used to educate healthcare providers and patients on how to use diet and nutrition to improve health, reduce symptoms and prevent malnutrition.

For more information on studies and clinical trials near you visit the CCFA website. 

Former Soccer Star Raises Awareness for IBD

Brandi Chastain, IBD, IBDGamePlan.com

Brandi Chastain Raises Awareness for IBD

Brandi Chastain, former soccer star who played for the  United States women’s national soccer team from 1988 to 2004, is raising awareness for a new site called IBDGamePlan.com. The site is full of helpful tools and resources for living a normal life with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). The site has valuable information about Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, gastrointestinal specialists in your area and guidelines to help you manage your condition.

When Brandi Chastain is passionate about a cause she steps up to the plate to give back. Earlier this year the Concussion Legacy Foundation announced that Brandi Chastain,  will donate her brain to the foundation, whereupon it will be studied by researchers from the C.T.E. Center at Boston University, one of the foremost pioneers in the field.

It’s no surprise that when her son was diagnosed with Crohn’s last year, at the age of 9, that Brandi went above and beyond to raise awareness. “It’s crucial to have team support and a game plan” says Brandi. Read the full story here about the IBDGamePlan.com site launch. Brandi will be sharing her story through the site to raise awareness and provide helpful information and support.


How Does Stress Manifest?

The Reason Why Stress May be Affecting Your Digestion

While everyone has some amount of stress what varies is how we cope with it. Overtime stress can lead to physical pain and discomfort. It can also be a contributor to inflammation problems in the gut. If this continues on an ongoing basis it may be affecting your digestion. While research has proven that stress does not cause IBD,  we now know that stress perception and a flare-up of IBD symptoms are intertwined. There is evidence which shows a mind/body connection. 

Maybe you are feeling stress due to your chronic pain or discomfort from digestive issues. We are slowly beginning to understand that IBD affects people psychologically even when their condition of IBD is not active. And we also know that people with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease have a higher risk of developing depression and other psychological problems than people in general. 

One way to help alleviate your stress and discomfort is to learn techniques that will help you make important changes. You have the power to redesign the blueprint that organizes your thoughts, feelings and actions for the rest of your life. The Stress Help Program can teach you how to refocus and reframe your thought patterns.

Stress Help Program

Chronic pain and discomfort leads to a build up of negative association patterns, which, once identified, may be modified permanently. You can learn techniques to break down negative thought patterns and replace them instead with supportive and positive ones.

Allow yourself to learn ways to help you make changes in your thought patterns permanently. This technique is called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Results prove that NLP techniques are effective for creating fast and long-lasting change in your life. Many other systems are good at discovering problems but don’t give you tools.

We highly recommend our comprehensive, yet easy to follow, 8 week Stress Management Program that is offered on line – delivered conveniently in your inbox on a daily basis for 8 weeks. Its very simple and the techniques that we advocate influence both mind and body.

Doctor’s Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology

Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology x 1, 2, or 3

Gastrointestinal or GI  problems are usually the most common reasons that people look for medical attention. The signs and symptoms are ones like bloating, constipation or even the opposite of persistent diarrhea, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, diverticulosis and malabsorption. Doctor’s Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology will help you understand the underlying reasons for your symptoms.

Dr. Pam says…. “The best way to address digestive GI problems is to use a comprehensive approach. Stool testing gives invaluable information, so you know where to start, and what to do. Without this baseline, it’s a guessing game where to start.”

“Without this baseline, it’s almost impossible to fully repair the gut” 

We have recently started using Doctor’s Data Laboratory to provide valuable tests for our customers.

Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with parasitology test


Doctor’s Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology x l,  2, or 3

may be used to evaluate digestive and absorptive functions as well as whether there are any opportunistic pathogens present. The test is also useful to monitor how effective any therapeutic protocol for a particular GI disorder. (CSAP 1, 2, 3 refers to how many specimens are collected)

This Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology home stool test is an invaluable and non-invasive way to help diagnose objectively, as well as evaluate the status of beneficial and/or a possible imbalance of commensal bacteria, pathogenic bacteria, yeast/fungus and parasites.

The commensal bacteria are normally harmless bacteria and they help to keep our bodies healthy in a variety of ways like helping us to digest foods and take in vitamins B and K, promote our immune system to develop and also prevent the colonization of bacterial pathogens that cause disease by competing with them.

Once the pathogens are identified the test provides evaluation of helpful pharmaceutical and natural agents that are useful for treatment.

The efficiency of digestion and absorption of each person is assessed from the measurement of the fecal levels of elastase (pancreatic exocrine sufficiency), fat, muscle and vegetable fibers, as well as carbohydrates.

We know that inflammation can significantly increase intestinal permeability and affect the assimilation of vital nutrients. The extent to which there is an inflammatory process, and whether the inflammation is caused by pathogens or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which includes both Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, can also be assessed and monitored by looking at of the levels of the biomarkers like white blood cells, mucus, lysozyme and lactoferrin.

This is very valuable information as these markers can be used to tell the difference between inflammation that is associated with the potentially life threatening inflammatory bowel disease i.e. colitis and crohns, (IBD), and less severe inflammation that is part of the symptom picture associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and this may be because enteroinvasive pathogens.

It is important to note that Lactoferrin is only extremely elevated prior to and during the active phases of Colitis and Crohns Disease, collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD, but it is not associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. When we watch the fecal lactoferrin levels in people with Crohns and Colitis IBD  it is possible to ensure timely treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We can continue to test fecal lactoferrin separately, when necessary.

It is very significant to know the status of sIgA in the gut because the vast majority of secretory IgA (sIgA) is normally present in the GI tract. This is where it prevents binding of pathogens and antigens to the mucosal membrane. sIgA is the only bona fide marker of humoral immune status in the GI tract.

We know that the way to maintain good health includes proper digestion of food, assimilation of the nutrients, removal of pathogens and then the timely elimination of waste. To be able to obtain the maximum benefits from food that is eaten, nutrients must be digested properly and then efficiently absorbed into portal circulation.

It is very important that microbes, larger sized particles of fiber, and undigested food remain in the intestinal lumen. Poor digestion and malabsorption of important nutrients can contribute to a compromised immune system, nutritional deficiencies and even degenerative diseases.

We know that if the highly specific nutrient uptake processes don’t happen, or there is a compromised GI barrier function, which is what occurs in leaky gut syndrome, this may be because of a number of contributing factors that include:

  • bacterial overgrowth or imbalances (dysbiosis)
  • pathogenic bacteria
  • yeast or parasites and related toxic irritants,
  • low gastric acid production
  • chronic maldigestion
  • food allergen that affect bowel absorptive surfaces,
  • the use of non steroidal antiinflammatory drugs NSAID’s
  • use of antibiotics

Also, what happens when intestinal function is not optimal, it can lead to the development of food allergies, systemic illnesses, autoimmune disease, and toxic overload from substances that are kept confined in the bowel for elimination.

Doctor’s Data has several additional digestive tests available that we can add on to these tests:

  • H. Pylon Antigen,
  • C. Difficile Toxins A & B,
  • Shiga Toxin(s), and
  • Macroscopic examination

We can also order other Doctor’s Data Gastrointestinal Profiles for you. These include:

  • Comprehensive Parasitology x l, 2, or 3,
  • Microbiology Profile
  • Bacteriology Culture & Susceptibilities
  • Yeast Culture & Susceptibilities,
  • Parasitology x  l,  2, or 3, and
  • Intestinal Permeability Urine Test.

There are several reasons why I opt for Doctor’s Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology 

  1. They provide a commentary that is specific to the results.
  2. They offer a true multiple specimen parasitology analysis
  3. They offer an expanded susceptibilities’ testing
  4. Their turnaround time is excellent
  5. Their pricing in competitive

Here are links for you to see samples of the Comprehensive Stool Analysis and Parasitology reports as well as the detailed instructions for collecting the specimen. The difference in the 3 options is the number of tests you select. You can do a 1 day, 2 day or 3 day sample:

Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology x 1 Sample Report
Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology x 1 Collection Instruction

Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology x 2 Sample Report
Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology x 2 Collection Instruction

Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology x3 Sample report
Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology x 3 Collection Instruction

Treating Crohns Disease With High Fiber foods

I read this interesting forum in crohnsforum.com about how high fiber foods could naturally stop crohn’s flare ups.

They say that it has been several years since researchers published findings that eating broccoli and plantains could be good medicine for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

But…the question is,  how many doctors have recommended the food as a dietary approach to control symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBD)?
They talk about diet and treating IBD, but neglect to talk about the importance of eating specific foods. I for one, found this fascinating.

Kathleen Blanchard from EmaxHealth reports about what fiber does for the gut and how it can help IBD.

She says, that fiber is suggested as an important dietary intervention for anyone dealing with Crohn’s disease. Not only does fiber add bulk to the diet to help keep bowel movements formed, but it also can prevent constipation. She goes on to say that people who suffer with crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) know that not all fiber is created equal and that it can also cause pain as well as bloating.

In 2010, researchers published findings in the British Medical Journal, that fiber in broccoli and plantains can stop relapses of Crohn’s disease. The fibers halt translocation of gut bacteria known as E. coli that typically invades cells in the intestines to lead to Crohn’s disease symptoms.

When apples and leeks were tested, the fibers had no impact on the bacteria, which helps explain why not all fibrous foods are beneficial for people suffering from IBD.

The research was performed in the lab on cell cultures and the amount of broccoli and plantain fiber used was 5 mg/ml. The food stopped translocation of E. coli by 45% to 82 %.

Researchers then confirmed their findings by taking tissue samples from patients undergoing surgery for other disorders of the intestines. Another interesting finding from the same study  was that the emulsifiers polysorbate 60 and 80 increased the movement of E.coli into cells.

The authors suggested many enteral nutritional products that are liquid given through a tube or consumed  by mouth contain the emulsifiers which could explain why only some people with CD and UC respond to liquid feedings.

Based on the study finding, plantain & broccoli could be a helpful addition for treating Crohn’s disease. The authors of the investigation hope to develop other food based therapies for helping people diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease.

Read the full study on Broccoli, Plantains and Crohn’s Disease in Emaxhealth.com

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