Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Hawthorn Berry in History and Today

Hawthorn berry extract is an old herbal remedy for heart conditions. Today, Hawthorne berries are used in some natural products designed to promote heart health.

Legends, historical evidence and scientific evaluation surround hawthorn berry extract. One Christian legend holds that the "Crown of Thorns" was made from the hawthorn berry tree or bush, which originally grew in Europe, Asia, Northern Africa and much of the Mediterranean region. Today, the shrub grows in many other areas of the world and the hawthorn berries are believed by some to have miraculous healing properties.

Archeologists have found evidence that appears to indicate that ancient Chinese people used hawthorn berries to make a fermented beverage. Remnants of the hawthorn berry have been found in pottery jars dating to pre-Christian times, around 7000 B.C. It is believed that these beverages were medically or religiously significant, even then.

The New York Medical Journal first published a report concerning the use of hawthorn berries in the treatment of heart disease in October 1896. A Dr. Green of Ennis, Ireland had developed a reputation for "curing" heart disease, but refused to share his secret with colleagues. After his death, his daughter revealed the name of the remedy used by her father. The name was Crataegus Oxycantha, the older botanical name for the Common Hawthorn. The official designation is now Crataegus monogyna, but the older name is often used. According to his notes, the doctor used an extract or a concentrated form of hawthorn berry.

Clinical trials and research continued on the medicinal value of hawthorn berries throughout the early 1900's and is still going on today. Scientific evaluation of the benefits of the hawthorn berry to human health has only been partially completed. It is believed that antioxidants, flavonoids or other compounds such as epicatechin, quercetin and rutin, are responsible for the beneficial effects of hawthorn berries. It is sometimes added to health supplements designed to promote heart health, reduce blood pressure and correct unhealthy cholesterol levels.

The most recent studies of the medicinal value of hawthorn berries are related to its affect on the liver, the digestive system, the cardiovascular system and as an anti-inflammatory. Numerous studies have been completed. These studies use a concentrated extract of the hawthorn berry.

The hawthorn berry extract used by scientists has natural anti-inflammatory action. Chronic inflammation has been associated with numerous life threatening conditions including cancer and heart disease, but use of the known anti-inflammatory drugs does not reduce the risk of developing these conditions. In fact, NSAIDs increase blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and can be damaging to other organs of the body, as well.

On the other hand, it is believed that natural anti-inflammatories, such as those found in hawthorn berries and other herbs, fruits and vegetables, can reduce cancer risks and the risk of heart disease. These natural compounds can also lower blood pressure and reduce blood cholesterol levels, two major risk factors for heart disease.

Hawthorn berry extract has been shown to reduce ulcerative colitis, probably due, once again, to its anti-inflammatory activity. Ulcerative colitis is one of the inflammatory bowel diseases. While not life threatening, it is difficult to live with and the best known treatment for many years was surgical removal of the affected parts of the bowel and colon. Some herbalists recommend hawthorn berries for people suffering from ulcerative colitis and other digestive problems.

Hawthorn berry extract has been shown to protect the liver from damage usually associated with cardiac events in laboratory animals. After a heart attack, liver function is impaired. The exact reasons for the beneficial affects of hawthorn berries extract on the liver are unknown.

In the vascular system, hawthorn berry extract has been shown to reduce calcification. It is calcification of arterial plaques that leads to atherosclerosis, which is commonly referred to as a hardening or narrowing of the arteries leading to the heart. Calcification of arterial plaques can also cause blood clots, leading to strokes and heart attacks.

Even though some health care professionals have recognized the medicinal value of hawthorn berries for over 100 years, research related to them is still considered preliminary. Most scientific research is funded by pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical companies cannot patent naturally occurring substances. So, hawthorn berries and other natural remedies are of little interest to them.

Colitis is a Condition - Not a Disease

Colitis is conventionally referred to as a disease; but it's really a condition. It's a condition of a damaged colon as a result of a degenerating influence usually over a fairly long time period. This is often as a result of injurious treatment either physical or emotional or both.

It can also arise due to extreme conditions over a shorter period of time such as trauma. A condition as a result of a cause. The symptoms are messages from the interior of the body in an attempt to get some attention and subsequent remedial assistance.

A symptom is a sign that something is fundamentally wrong with the sufferer's whole system. If the symptoms are treated by the conventional method, then a pill is usually prescribed which in effect simply suppresses the symptoms. Good for the day, perhaps. Some relief, maybe. But it's a tiger when it wakes up and the effect has worn off. It's generally agreed that this is not a 'cure'. The condition remains. A cure should be regarded as a process whereby the body is able to heal/rectify/restore itself to its natural state of health.

An understanding of the cause of the condition implies an understanding of a restorative treatment.

Two basic strategies can be implemented as follows:

1. Avoidance Tactics - stop doing what causes the problem

2. Positive Healing Input - Contribute to the healing process, i.e. nutritious food, rest and moderate exercise among other things

The combination of these two strategies is to powerhouse the body back to health.

There is also a third element that is to be considered. It is in many ways the most important element of all: The contribution of the mind of the person suffering the debilitating condition.

The negative mental and emotional effects which usually accompany colitis like low self-esteem, depression. low energy, listlessness and a lack of belief in their ability to heal themselves places them at a low ebb. This is ironic as this is a crucial element in the healing process.

What's required is a plan to gently propel the colitis sufferer to achieve small victories by planning a structured set of habits to be integrated into the daily routine and to their lifestyle. This is admittedly just the beginning, but it is a start which will, if followed through, restore the whole body to a higher level of general health and will in turn heal all the component parts of the body that were previously harmed, including the damaged colon. This has the added bonus of an improved general outlook which results in an increased enjoyment of life. 

Copyright 2009 - Carl Birchwood

Naturopathic Colon Cleansers and Cleansing Methods

Many people would ask: What is the best way to detoxify the body and consequently lose weight? Alternative medicine advocates will advice colon cleansing treatments such as cleansing supplements, oxygen-based cleansers, enemas, and colon hydrotherapy.

There are a lot of different cleansing supplements out in the market today and may come in tablet or capsule form. Generally, they are of various organic ingredients that are believed to have colon cleansing properties. Each one may vary in content although there many would contain somewhat similar ingredients.

Oxygen-based cleansers, on the other hand, are composed of oxygen-based chemicals. Typically, the cleansers contain magnesium oxide and magnesium peroxide. This type of cleanser is believed to oxidize and melt away hardened waste matters and mucoid plaque that have accumulated in the intestinal tract. By introducing nascent oxygen into the colon and consequently into the bloodstream, the compacted toxic wastes are liquefied and are bound for elimination.

Enemas are treatments that flush out the impacted wastes in the bowel with sterilized water. These treatments were popularly used in Europe during the 17th century. However, this type of cleansing treatment only reaches the lower part of the intestinal tract but not the entire length of it.

Another colon cleansing treatment that involves gentle and gradual introduction of sterilized water into the colon is called colon hydrotherapy, also known as a colonic treatment, or colonic irrigation. This cleansing procedure is a thorough one compared to an enema since water is allowed to enter the entire stretch of the colon. Thus, this procedure actually uses up to 5 gallons of water. Water is flushed in and out of the body several times during the entire session to efficiently remove the waste matters. During the treatment, the abdomen is massaged to loosen the wastes that are stuck on the colon walls. As a result, accumulated toxic wastes that tend to cause various illnesses and additional weight are thoroughly expelled from the body.

However, the treatment can only be given to people who do not have serious medical conditions such as appendicitis, colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, severe hemorrhoids, congestive heart failure, abdominal hernia, severe anemia, heart disease, and intestinal tumors. Also, people who just recently underwent colon surgery are not advised to have a colonic irrigation.

The methods above may have tons of benefits, but they should not be treated as weight loss programs. Any thing that is done in excess has undesirable effects.

And for those who are not yet ready to try out any of the cleansing treatments, they may choose to alter their lifestyle if they truly desire overall body detox. Discipline is the key. They should start getting used to diets high in fiber, and less in sugar and fat. So, that means avoid eating processed foods or fast foods. Start eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and perhaps seafoods. Also, start drinking lots of water, at least 2 liters a day.

C. Diff Colitis - Treatment and Info on A Silent Threat

C. diff colitis: A Bug on the Rise

C. diff colitis, also known as Clostridium difficile colitis, is a really nasty, debilitating infection that has gone relatively unnoticed over the last 20 years. And while most pandemic attention has been focused on bird flu or other foreign invaders from overseas, a sharply rising C. diff infection rate has been silently on the rise. Symptoms can span a range from mild diarrhea to painful and life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

C. diff infections have not only been increasing in numbers, but also the bacterial strain has become more and more difficult to treat. It can strike anyone. Tens of thousands of people including those in the best of health and not on antibiotics, residing in a hospital, or other risk factors are stricken each year.

A carrier can spread C. diff infections without even being aware of the symptoms themselves. It can take weeks, months even for some to notice they are ill and by that time they have probably not taken precautions to contain the bug from contaminating things. And because C. diff can become an increased threat when taking antibiotics for a different condition, it can hide in the periphery until the "good" intestinal bacteria is in the minority and gain the upper hand.

C. diff Symptoms

Early, common symptoms of a C. diff infection are:

  • Runny, liquid diarrhea which occurs 3+ times per day, two or more days in a row

  • Slight abdominal cramping and discomfort

In contrast, more severe instances of C. diff would actually cause colitis (inflammation of the colon). A variant of colitis is pseudomembranous colitis which includes colon bleeding or discharge. Symptoms of these escalated C. diff infections are:

  • Runny, liquid diarrhea occurring up to 15 times per day

  • Severe abdominal cramping and discomfort

  • Feces containing blood or pus

  • Nausea

  • Dehydration

  • Fever

  • Weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

If you experience loose stool or any of the symptoms for longer than three days while taking or after taking antibiotics, you should consult your physician at once.

C. diff Causes

Contrary to the belief that C. diff bacteria is only found in feces or restrooms, it is actually found in our air, water, and even the soil. Though it can be carried by healthy people in their intestines, it is most commonly found in sick people. Those that are healthy have a much stronger immune resistance to C. diff exposure. And there are many more carriers of it where concentrations of the sick are found: hospitals and with other health service providers. This bacteria can thrive when the feces they live in is transmitted from a carrier's unwashed hands to food, clothing, counters, and other common objects (scissors, remote controls, utensils, money, doorknobs, etc.). This bacterial contamination can be very hearty and remain in a room or on an object even after several months. Once a person picks up the C. diff on their hands, they could accidentally ingest it by touching their mouth, a piece of gum, a toothpick, etc. or spread it to more locations.

As mentioned earlier, while taking antibiotics can help with some infections, it can reduce the number of "good" bacteria that your body has too. When there are not very many good guys, the bad bacteria has a chance to overpower and gain the upper hand. Once it has control over your gut, toxins are produced which erode the lining of the intestines and causes decay within the colon itself.

It is good to keep in mind that the antibiotics which most commonly result in a C. diff infection are: clindamycin, fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, and penicillins.

C. diff Superbugs

As a result of years and years of overly-perscribed antibiotics to treat ailments, some bacterial strains have evolved as more resistant to medicine. These new C. diff strains are much more robust and harmful than the ones of the past, and excrete toxins which are more caustic to the intestines and colon. Also, starting around the year 2000, cases of the new-and-improved bug have been found in patients who are in good health and are not staying in a healthcare facility. This is in contrast to the infection traditionally needing an unhealthy or hospitalized person to strike.

Increasing the odds...

Let's be clear. Anyone can be at risk for getting a C. diff infection. Nursing homes, emergency rooms, and hospitals where tables, carts, desks, stethoscopes, phones, and pens present easy ways for the bacteria to become transmitted. Your odds are greatest for getting the infection if:

  • You have had a C. diff infection before

  • Have had abdominal or gastrointestinal surgery

  • Are 65 years of age or older. The odds are 10 times or greater for those 65 or older when compared to younger adults

  • If you are taking antibiotics or have been recently

  • Have an existing condition or weakened immune system

  • Have colon cancer or an inflammatory bowel issue

  • You are hospitalized or are staying in a long-term care facility

Additional Problems

Here are some of the additional problems that can result from C. diff colitis or infections:

  • Toxic Megacolon. It is not as fun as it sounds. It is when the colon is unable to expel gas and feces, which cause it to greatly enlarge and distend. When this condition is not taken care of immediately, the colon may rupture and send deadly bacteria gushing into the abdominal cavity. Emergency surgery must be performed at once in these circumstances.

  • Kidney Failure. With all the diarrhea, dehydration can happen fast enough that the kidneys cannot function normally and quickly deteriorate.

  • Dehydration. Extreme diarrhea can create a great loss of electrolytes and fluids. Your body must have these things in order to maintain a healthy system and organ support.

  • Bowel perforation. When the infection has caused enough damage to the intestines to erode all the way through, the result is a hole which leaks out bacteria. The bacteria then flow into the abdominal cavity creating an immediate life-threatening condition. Emergency surgery is required to seal the hole and save the patient.

Screening for C. diff

Whenever anyone has been using antibiotics and develops diarrhea within around two months since last use, or if there is watery stool soon after hospital admission, medical providers usually suspect a C. diff infection. There are a few tests which can rule this out:

  • Colon check. Your physician may need to inspect the insides of your colon to rule out an infection. Theflexible sigmoidoscopy, as it is called, consists of inserting a flexible tube with a little camera into your colon to check for any spots of inflammation or pseudomembranes.

  • CT Scan. When there is a possibility of complications stemming from C. diff, a scan called a computerized tomography (CT scan) can give highly detailed information and imagery about the colon. It can even give a report on how thick the wall of the colon is -a wall that is too thick is indicative of pseudomembranous colitis.

  • Stool test. The most simple and least invasive test. There are a few types of stool tests, but what they all are trying to detect is the presence of signature, telltale toxins excreted by a hidden C. diff infection. The most common type of stool test is called a enzyme immunoassay, or EIA, test. It is one of the fastest test but can produce some false-positives. Sometimes it is used in conjunction with a tissue culture for best accuracy.

C. diff Colitis and related infections are on the rise and many cases are starting to make the headlines. Through greater pubic awareness and prevention, we can significantly lower the odds of contracting such a debilitating affliction. Old treatments from the late 1950s such as the Fecal Transplant are re-emerging as viable, incredibly-effective curing alternatives to pill popping and pharma-cures.

The Only Real Cure For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In this article I will talk about irritable bowel syndrome specifically IBS-D which manifests itself in loose bowel movements or alternating diarrhea and constipation. I will not talk about IBS-C which appears to manifest itself in solely bloating and constipation.

If you have landed on this page it will be because you like many millions of others have either been trying to self diagnose your condition or more likely that you are looking for a cure. I must warn you in advance, although I have an academic background I am not a medical health professional and you should always consult a doctor before embarking on any form of treatment however mild.

In this article I will be covering my battle with IBS for approximately 10 years and how I finally found a cure that works. Everybody has a different story when it comes to IBS-D but as I found out, we all have something in common. I will go on to discuss this in the following paragraphs but I just want to start by saying a little bit about me.

About 10 years ago I was a young university graduate and decided to join a job that first seemed exciting with infinite possibilities. I soon learned that this job was very stressful and required a 24 hour commitment. I didn't have a problem with working hard but I had a problem with my work environment. Many people at work were miserable, anxious, and horrible to one another and constantly testing their bodies to the limit. It seemed the norm to be constantly stressed out, have a poor diet and feel like you had no control over your life. My work was my life and my life was nonexistent.
Within a few months I started to come into work and make my way straight to the toilet. As any sufferer of IBS-D will known this meant constant diarrhea. It didn't matter what I ate or drank I would always have diarrhea. It was not uncommon for me to visit the toilet three or four times a day having eaten little to nothing and immediately have diarrhea.

Slowly I just got used the feeling and for whatever reason I thought nothing more of it. As soon as I would eat I would not feel at ease until I had gone and empties my bowels after which I immediately felt better. Along with the diarrhea I would lose water from my body which I never had time to replace so I looked like a dried out prune. Over 5 years I continued to do this to my body hoping that I would find a better role in my job and finally this would all stop.

It certainly did not go away in fact into my 6th year of IBS-D suddenly out of nowhere I started getting debilitating cramps followed immediately by diarrhea. I would have these cramps 5-10 times a day and would literally need to run to the toilet or feel like I was about to soil myself. This made it difficult to be effective at my job which then created a vicious cycle causing my IBS-D to completely go out of control.

I suddenly thought that I had developed cancer and stated reading everything on the internet about what disease matched up with my symptoms. I found quite a few which is why self diagnosis is not such a wise idea. I went to my doctor and we stated off with a course of antibiotics as he thought I might have developed in infection after an episode of food poisoning.

This didn't have any lasting effect and soon I was back to him demanding more in depth tests. This started a with a breath test to rule out food allergies and went onto multiple blood tests to eventually eliminating ulcers, colitis, coeliac disease, Crones disease gut infections, etc. I then went to the next and final step which was endoscopy of both the upper and lower digestive tracts. This all came back negative too. Finally I was diagnosed with severe IBS-D. In one way I was relieved to know that I didn't have something like colon cancer but at the same time I was depressed thinking IBD apparently has no cure.

The next chapter of my life involved trailing a long list of medicines in the hope that they would resolve this issue. Now I want to tell you that of the drugs that I took, there are many people out there that rave about some of these drugs and what it has done for them. That is great as everyone's body is different and what works for you may not work for me.

I am addressing the huge numbers of sufferers worldwide who like me have tried everything under the sun and were unable to find a cure. Now the following is a non exhaustive list of drugs which I tried and the results by their side.

Fibre (ineffective) Made things worse
Pre & Probiotics (ineffective) At first seemed promising but quickly stopped working
Exercise (ineffective)
Drinking Lots of water (ineffective) Made things worse
Exclusion diet (ineffective) Some foods like cheese, chocolate, spice made my IBS worse but exclusion of all the culprits did not resolve matters.

Anti Spasmodic (ineffective) Lots of different brands but all useless
Imodium (ineffective) Helped a little with the diarrhea but certainly not the cramps
Tri Cyclic Anti Depressant (ineffective) Has a drying up effective at first but quickly runs out
Hypnotherapy (ineffective) Very insightful and relaxing but not enough by itself

At this point the consultant G.I specialist had run out of ideas and I was left to suffer on my own.
Having done countless hundreds of hours of research I came across the answer. In Islam we believe that for every single disease God has made a cure so go seek it.

These are my opinions on IBS-D;

IBS-D will not kill you, it can easily be treated and there is nothing seriously wrong with you
IBS-D Is a functional disorder which is caused 99% by stress be it conscious or subconscious
IBS-D can only ever be treated by dealing with the cause behind the problem and not the problem itself
IBS-D affects people generally in the Western world where the 24/7 lifestyle and pressures of society cause people to be stressed out beyond limits and this is often brushed off as mild anxiety or depression.

So here is the magic bullet you have all been waiting for that worked for me and if my concept is correct should work 100% without fail for genuine IBS-D sufferers.

First accept that you have IBS-D because you are under pressure consciously or subconsciously and this is your body's way of warning you that enough is enough.

I spoke to my G.P and asked for Venlafaxine XL which is an SNRI antidepressant. I choose this specifically because it had constipation as one of its side effects; it was a powerful antidepressant and reduced visceral hypersensitivity.

Within 6 months at 150mg a day I had completely 100% recovered from any symptoms of IBS-D.
So how did it work? It is simple; the vicious cycle of stress, followed by cramps followed by diarrhea was broken. I no longer worried every time I went out if I had been food poisoned or where the nearest toilet was. It just let me get on with life without thinking about IBS and soon I was able just stop worrying about IBS and that is it.

Every single person reacts differently to different antidepressants so try them and see which one works best for you. Whilst you are on them you could try using hypnotherapy to make you understand that if you take the stress away then you break the cycle. It's your thoughts that control your bowels. Controlling your thoughts will help control you're IBS but as I said before hypnotherapy is ineffective on its own.

The only other drug that I have used when coming off Venlafaxine was a benzodiazepine called Alprazolem, brand name XANAX. In the UK this is not prescribed on the NHS so you will have to get it by private prescription. This drug can be addictive but if you have good self control it is an excellent drug to use on a controlled as needed basis. One tablet of 0.5 mg and I would be saying what IBS? You have to be very very careful not to increase your dose or develop a habit for this drug. You should also know it can develop tolerance and so you will then need to start increasing your does. Use it like it is supposed to be used as a treatment for IBS and not recreationally for you pleasure and you will have no problem.

Finally I'd like to conclude by saying that if I didn't have God in my life I probably would have given up long ago. Now I have my life back and am free from IBS-D. God always gave me hope so never give up the search for treatment and treatment starts with knowledge of your condition. So don't make the mistakes I made and loose ten years of your life before realising that we are all human and we all have breaking points. If you have gone past that breaking point your body will tell you one way or another so listen to your body.

Ulcerative Colitis - How Much Coverage Do You Need With This Disease

Ulcerative colitis (UC) belongs in the class of gastrointestinal diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. It is often confused with Crohn's disease because they present some of the same symptoms. However, Crohn's disease affects the entire gastrointestinal tract while UC only affects the small intestine and the colon. It is a chronic disease that causes ulcers to form in the colon. The primary symptom is bloody diarrhea. The exact cause of the disease is unknown. It is speculated that genetic factors mixed with environmental factors may trigger the disease in susceptible people. Some researchers believe that UC may be the result of an autoimmune disorder but there is no definitive evidence of that.

There are a number of treatments that a person with ulcerative colitis might be prescribed to help treat the disease. The goal of treatment is to put the disease into remission and to prevent a relapse. The types of medications used include aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, and biological treatments. Patients who smoke are encouraged to quit because it aggravates the condition. Doctors may also prescribe a change in diet. A frequently recommended modification is the addition of dietary fiber. Fish oils and the alternative Indian medication Boswellia have been recommended as well.

The only cure for ulcerative colitis is surgical removal of all or part of the large bowel. However, with proper medical treatment, it generally won't come to that. You will most likely be taking medication for the rest of your life to control outbreaks of the disease. Therefore, you will want health care coverage that also pays for some or all of your prescription medications. It is not a particularly life threatening disease but you will need to have regular checkups with your physician to ensure the disease remains under control. Look for a plan with reasonable copayments for doctor's visits. You will also need to ensure that surgery is covered under your plan just in case.

There are a number of health care plans available that will fulfill your needs. Sifting through them all will take time and patient. You can help narrow your selection by using a health insurance quote website. This website will search through the health plans available and find the ones that will pay the costs associated with treating your ulcerative colitis. You will be able to compare the benefits as well as the rates. Without this ability to compare insurance plans, you may inadvertently pay too much for very little. Be smart and use all the tools available to you to get the most affordable healthcare insurance you can.

If you need assistance in locating coverage for this condition, we may help. Please visit our website at and provide your contact information so we may respond to your request.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: What is It and How Do You Know if You Have It?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common diagnosis (25-50%) given to people referred to stomach and intestine specialists. It is reported to affect between 10-15% of people in the U.S. However, it cannot be diagnosed by any specific tests. It is diagnosed by criteria. The criteria are called the Rome II diagnostic criteria because a group of doctors meet periodically to establish rules for labeling intestinal conditions that have no diagnostic tests.

These conditions are called syndromes because they don't meet the definition for a disease. They don't have a specific known cause and/or diagnostic test(s). They are often referred to as "functional" problems. The cause of the functional problem in IBS is not known. By definition there is no abnormality that can be seen on a biopsy, x-ray, blood or stool test. The diagnosis is made by applying criteria after exclusion of other conditions or diseases of the intestine. There is not a universally agreed upon consensus for what constitutes an adequate evaluation to exclude other causes.

For IBS the criteria required to make the diagnosis is the presence of abdominal pain or discomfort that has been present for at least 3 months in the past year (not necessarily consecutively) and has at least two out of three of the following features:

1. The pain or discomfort is relieved with a bowel movement.

2. The beginning of pain or discomfort is associated with a change in frequency of bowel movements.

3. The beginning of pain or discomfort is associated with a change in the appearance or consistency (hardness or softness) or stools.

There are other symptoms that doctors use to support the diagnosis of IBS and to further divide it into three different categories. The three categories are determined by whether there is a predominant stool pattern of diarrhea or constipation or is the stool pattern alternating diarrhea and constipation. The supporting symptoms are as follows.

1. 3 bowel movements per day (diarrhea)

3. Hard or lumpy stools

4. Loose, mushy or watery stools

5. Straining during a bowel movement

6. Urgency, or the sense that you need to rush to the bathroom to have a bowel movement

7. Feeling of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement

8. Passage of mucus or whitish material during a bowel movement

9. Feeling of abdominal fullness, bloating or swelling

Therefore, the diagnosis is made by a report of the symptoms and the doctor excluding other causes. The extent to which other conditions are excluded is highly variable and doctor dependent. Self-diagnosis of IBS should be avoided because serious conditions can cause symptoms that mimic IBS.

Theories of the cause of IBS are not proven. Serotonin, a chemical present in both the brain and the gut, has been suspected. An imbalance in serotonin has been blamed for IBS. Serotonin increases the contractions of the intestine. Several medications that either increase or decrease serotonin have been developed to treat constipation or diarrhea predominant IBS.

More recently, research has been focusing on the common report of many people with IBS of a distinct time that their IBS symptoms began, often after some type of intestinal infection such as food poisoning, traveler's diarrhea or gastroenteritis. This "post-infectious" theory has lead to theories of bowel injury and/or alterations in bacteria in the intestine. An imbalance of "good and bad" bacteria in the intestine is a theory. Some are treating people with antibiotics and/or probiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria. Probiotics are live bacteria that are "good bacteria" like acidophilus and lactobacillus that can be taken as pill, capsule, powder or eaten or drank in yogurt or milk.

Food intolerances have been proposed as a cause of IBS by some, especially in Europe, but have not been accepted by most doctors in the U.S. Trials of elimination diets, with or without the use of food allergy or antibody tests have been reported in a few studies or a lot of testimonials to be helpful.

Lactose intolerance is a common condition that can cause symptoms that may be misdiagnosed as IBS and resolve with avoidance of lactose. Undiagnosed colitis or Crohn's disease can be a cause of symptoms that can be diagnosed by colonoscopy with biopsy of the intestine. Blood tests for colitis and Crohn's disease also now exist.

More recently, undiagnosed Celiac disease has emerged as a cause of what had been previously been diagnosed as IBS in as many of 20% of people. Those with a diagnosis of IBS should be screened for Celiac disease, as it is a common condition, affecting 1 in 100 people. The symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea are common symptoms of Celiac disease and it is now known that untreated Celiacs can be constipated. Gluten free diet relieves these symptoms in people who are gluten sensitive. Further information about irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerance, colitis, Crohn's disease, lactose intolerance and Celiac disease may be found at

If you have symptoms suggestive of IBS or have been diagnosed as having IBS it is important that you have an evaluation by a physician and other causes including colitis, Crohn's disease, lactose intolerance, and Celiac disease are excluded. Food intolerance should also be considered. Minimum evaluation should include a blood count, stool tests for blood and pus cells, screening lab tests for Celiac disease, colitis, Crohn's and a colonoscopy. Talk to your doctor about the diagnosis and how other causes can be or have been excluded before accepting the diagnosis of IBS.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Signs and Symptoms

Because irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both, the recommended prescriptions and over the counter medications for irritable bowel syndrome vary depending on the individual. For example, Zelnorm is used to treat IBS with constipation, but it should not be used by those who suffer from IBS with diarrhea.

Irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms typically include abdominal (stomach) pain that is relieved by a bowel movement. It is believed that the pain may be caused by muscle spasms, so anti-spasmodic medications for irritable bowel syndrome are sometimes prescribed. The idea being that reducing the muscle spasms or contractions may relieve the pain, relax the intestines and possibly prevent diarrhea. Anti-spasmodic medications, like most prescription drugs, are not intended for long term use, so a complete treatment program which includes dietary changes and other therapies may be recommended as well.

Anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed for IBS. Depression is not commonly one of the irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms, but studies have shown anti-depressants may block pain receptors in the brain. Most prescribed medications for irritable bowel syndrome target pain relief. Stress and anxiety sometimes accompany irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms and anti-depressants may help relieve these, as well as the pain.

Over the counter medications for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea include Kaopectate, Imodium and other anti-diarrhea products. But though they may be effective for slowing diarrhea, they will not help to relieve the other irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms. Herbal and botanical remedies may be effective for the relief and control of IBS with diarrhea or constipation, but there is no conclusive evidence that they work. There are only user testimonials. What works for one may not work for everyone and natural does not always mean safe. Herbs and botanicals should only be purchased from reliable companies. Doctor consultation is often recommended, but most doctors know very little about herbal and botanical treatment. A better source for information may be an herbalist or doctor of naturopathic medicine.

Irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms may include excessive gas, bloating or feeling that the stomach is swollen. If these symptoms are present, recommended over the counter medications for irritable bowel syndrome may include Gas-X or other anti-gas products. Herbs and botanicals designed to prevent or relieve gas are also available.

Irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of other more serious conditions such as colitis and Crohn's disease. If you have some or many irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor. A complete physical exam or other tests may be necessary to learn what is causing your pain. Your doctor can also help you decide if over the counter or prescription medications for irritable bowel syndrome or other therapies are right for you.

For more information about irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems, visit

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease

It has been seen in some recent studies that patients who have been suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease were able to reduce their inflammation through Omega 3 fatty acids.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are inflammatory diseases that generally occur in the intestine area and can be controlled with recommended diet. Such diet also applies to irritable bowel syndrome. In Bologna and Turin, Italy a medical study was conducted, where for a period of one year doctors administered thirty-nine Crohn's disease patients with fish oil capsules three times a day. These patients were already in remission for eight months. Another group of thirty-nine patients, who were having similar remission, were given capsules that contained neutral oils. The fish oil capsules were formulated in such a manner that fishy odor was reduced and the assimilation of Omega 3 DHA and EPA was improved.

It was important to reduce the fishy odor for the study because until the study was over, the physicians and their patients were not be certain about which of the patients had been given fish oils and which ones were not. After ingesting 2.7 grams of DHA and EPA for a year (the Omega 3 oils healing elements) on a regular basis, twenty-three out of the total number of patients who received fish oils were still in a state of remission. The study brought out the result which showed that only eleven out of the total thirty-nine patients of the other group stayed in remission.

Ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory diseases have been reduced greatly with the help of Omega 3 oil because it works like an anti-inflammatory medicine. The diseases such as Crohn's disease occur in the large intestine sporadically causing inflammation. It can be extremely painful and individuals who are going through this disease are the best source to tell you about the excruciating pain.

Whether it is ulcerative colitis or any other inflammatory disease, bowel tissues contain abnormally high levels of prostaglandins that cause severe inflammation from Omega 6 ARA. The hormone like substance called prostaglandin helps to regulate other activities within the body that have inflammatory responses. In patients who stayed in remission by taking fish oil, red blood cell levels of ARA had dramatically decreased. But, the Omega 3 DHA and EPA levels had increased significantly.

In ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease the bowel tissues show unwanted high levels of ARA that produce prostaglandins. Some other studies with fish oil supplements showed that there have been substantial decrease in rectal bleeding and patients who lost weight started to gain weight.

How to Prevent Colon Cancer Naturally

Cancer in any form is dreadful. Not only because the word itself terrorizes our mind, the visuals we recall are too scary. Once it sets in, it is very difficult to get rid of it in totality and one has to surrender to whatever treatment methods are available. Injuries to nearby organs, side-effects, trauma for the body and mind as a whole plus social stigma are some realities that stay with the victim for the rest of his/her life.

I can suggest three mantras: One, prevention is better than cure. Two, either you change your lifestyle, or make some necessary additions to counter the cancer threat. Three, try alternative medicines or therapies.


If you belong to the western world, (as per Wikipedia) chances are that you are more susceptible of catching this type of cancer. But you cannot move to the other part of the world for only this reason. Moreover, how would you know for sure that you could be a victim? Only for this reason I mentioned that either you change your lifestyle or...


Definitely not. We are all part of a society and have our stated norms of behavior, work culture, food (solids & liquids) consumption pattern, ways of recreation are all set. To some extent we can change our habits like avoiding late nights, getting full sleep, exercising etc. But today's expenses need extra work both physically and mentally. Somewhere we have to compromise which we cannot compensate with something beneficial.

A fully nourishing lunch induces sleep so some people either don't have proper lunch, or combine it with coffee and both are harmful. Work pressure forces to go either for smoking, extra cups of coffee, or for over the counter pills as they are easily accessible. Even these have harmful after-effects.


Remember Edison, who invented the Electric Bulb? He slept for just four hours and always got up refreshed. Develop a habit of sleeping less. Easier said than done, may be your answer. To counter I present two incidents.

1. I was working on a project and could not sleep for 3 days. The fourth evening, somehow I had to accompany my boss to an overnight musical concert. When we departed, I was totally refreshed and went back to office.

2. Many of my hostel friends developed the habit of sleeping at three in the morning to get up by seven. The same pattern holds good twenty years after passing out.

It is all in the mind. You can train it the way you want. Think about the soldiers at war zone or the police personnel who hardly get time to sleep. When these people can manage why can't you? Try meditation, even a 30-minute trance is enough to compensate for a full night's sleep.


The most common cause for rectal/colon/anus cancer is constipation. Piles is the first reaction. Eat veggies or fruits that have roughage e.g. Carrot, Radish, Lettuce. Those veggies that do not dissolve in full. Eat fruits whole, as the skin acts as roughage. If not allergic to Banana, it acts as a good bowel cleaner.

Drink plenty of plain water (not disguised as beer or canned juices). Avoid the lift when possible.

Get the wonder product "Isabgol" which is neither a fruit nor vegetable nor a medicine. It is the husk of the Psyllium plant seed. This husk absorbs water, becomes slippery and aids bowel to discharge without pressure. You can consume this either with water, curd, fruit juice or sprinkle liberal amounts in any dish as it is tasteless.


No system of medicine is foolproof. Doctors do not admit the fallacies. For example, Homoeopathy has no medicine for high blood pressure but works wonders for skin diseases. Colitis, skin ulcers, burns & wounds are treated in no time. It has no side-effects as well. Ready made mixtures are available over the counter for hundreds of diseases that you can try.

As always, there are no shortcuts to success. Trial and error should be your mantra. Find out what suits your body, your taste and let your mind guide you. After all if you catch the dreaded disease, your mind suffers the most.

Ulcerative Colitis and Depression

Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic disease. As such, any chronic health condition being a long term illness, invariably causes stress and anxiety. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes not only pain, but also symptoms such as diarrhea and gas that are not easy to deal with in social and professional situations. This leads to continued mental stress and has every tendency to lead the patient towards the risk of depression.

Recent research findings suggest patients who show symptoms of depression and anxiety report a lower quality of life and could perhaps be at an increased risk of a relapse. Another study showed that patients with Crohn's disease who received some psychological treatment spent fewer days in the hospital and took fewer sick days. What is important is to break the seemingly vicious cycle of depression increasing the IBD and vice versa. Counseling plays an important part in making the patient aware of his illness and that he can play an active part in treating is depression.

The best known treatment for Ulcerative Colitis is with natural Aloe Vera which has been showing promising results. Its anti inflammatory action on the inner linings of the intestines plays a major role in arresting further irritation of the bowels as also in regenerating dead cells in the inner linings of the intestines. Aloe Vera heals, and if taken regularly, it restores your digestion and absorption. This increases nutrition intake in the body. Simultaneously, the patient can be put on a course of mild anti depressants and weaned off after a few months.

Treating irritable bowel syndrome with drugs may give short-term relief but always lead to severe side-effects. Knowing that there is no identified cure for this illness and that all drugs give only temporary relief should lead the doctor and the patient to a smart management of the disease as well as weaning oneself away from drugs. As said before, preference should be given to treating the patient with Aloe Vera juice, since this not only manages the overall condition of the body, but also improves the general well-being of the body.

Once the patient experiences a prolonged period of absence from the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, his general mental condition improves considerably. Instead of giving in to depression and anxiety, he begins to experience hope and relief from a chronic illness. As his mental attitude turns positive, his mood generally remains more cheerful than before, leading to a gradual improvement of his health.

Infectious Diarrhea

Clinical Presentation: Every year throughout the world more than 5 million people-most of them kids younger than 1 year-die of acute infectious looseness of the bowels. Although death is really a uncommon outcome of infectious diarrhea within the United States, morbidity is substantial.

It is estimated that you will find more than 200 million episodes each year, resulting in 1.8 million hospitalizations at a price of $6 billion per year. The morbidity and mortality attributable to diarrhea are largely due to loss of intravascular volume and electrolytes, with resultant cardiovascular failure. For example, adults with cholera can excrete a lot more than 1 L of fluid per hour.

Contrast this with the typical volume of fluid lost daily within the stools (150 mL), and it is clear why massive fluid losses connected with infectious diarrhea can lead to dehydration, cardiovascular collapse, and death. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract infections can present with primarily upper tract symptoms (nausea, vomiting, crampy epigastric pain), small intestine symptoms (profuse watery diarrhea), or large intestine signs or symptoms (tenesmus, fecal urgency, bloody looseness of the bowels).

Sources of infection consist of person-to-person transmission (fecal-oral spread of Shigella), water-borne transmission (Cryptosporidium), food-borne transmission (Salmonella or S aureus foods poisoning), and overgrowth following antibiotic administration (Clostridium difficile).

Etiology: A wide range of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa can infect the GI tract. However, in the majority of instances, symptoms are self-limited, and diagnostic evaluation isn't performed. Individuals presenting to medical attention are biased toward the subset with more severe signs or symptoms (eg, high fevers or hypotension), immunocompromise (eg, HIV or neutropenia), or prolonged duration (eg, chronic diarrhea defined as lasting 14 days). An exception is large outbreaks of food-borne sickness, in which epidemiologic investigations may detect individuals with milder variants of illness.

Pathogenesis: A comprehensive approach to GI tract infections starts using the classic host-agent-environment interaction model. A quantity of host elements influence GI tract infections. Individuals at extremes of age and with comorbid conditions (eg, HIV infection) are at higher risk for symptomatic infection.

Medications that alter the GI microenvironment or destroy typical bacterial flora (eg, antacids or antibiotics) also predispose individuals to infection. Microbial agents responsible for GI sickness could be categorized according to kind of organism (bacterial, viral, protozoal), propensity to attach to various anatomic sites (stomach, little bowel, colon), and pathogenesis (enterotoxigenic, cytotoxigenic, enteroinvasive).

Environmental elements can be divided into three broad categories based on mode of transmission: (1) water borne, (2) foods borne, and (three) individual to person. GI tract infections can involve the stomach, leading to nausea and vomiting, or affect the small and large bowel, with looseness of the bowels as the predominant symptom.

The term "gastroenteritis" classically denotes infection of the stomach and proximal little bowel. Organisms causing this disorder consist of Bacillus cereus, S aureus, and a quantity of viruses (rotavirus, norovirus). B cereus and S aureus produce a preformed neurotoxin that, even in the absence of viable bacteria, is capable of causing disease, and these toxins represent major leads to of foods poisoning.

Although the exact mechanisms are poorly understood, it's thought that neurotoxins act locally, through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system having a resultant improve in peristaltic activity, and centrally, through activation of emetic centers within the brain. The spectrum of diarrheal infections is typified by the diverse clinical manifestations and mechanisms via which E coli can trigger diarrhea.

Colonization from the human GI tract by E coli is universal, usually occurring within hours following birth. Nevertheless, when the host organism is exposed to pathogenic strains of E coli not normally present in the bowel flora, localized GI illness or even systemic sickness may occur.

You will find five major classes of diarrheogenic E coli: enterotoxigenic (ETEC), enteropathogenic (EPEC), enterohemorrhagic (EHEC), enteroaggregative (EAEC), and enteroinvasive (EIEC). Functions typical to all pathogenic E coli are evasion of host defenses, colonization of intestinal mucosa, and multiplication with host cell injury.

This organism, like all GI pathogens, should survive transit via the acidic gastric environment and be able to persist within the GI tract despite the mechanical force of peristalsis and competition for scarce nutrients from existing bacterial flora. Adherence can be nonspecific (at any part from the intestinal tract) or, a lot more commonly, particular, with attachment occurring at well-defined anatomic areas.

Once colonization and multiplication happen, the stage is set for host injury. Infectious diarrhea is clinically differentiated into secretory, inflammatory, and hemorrhagic kinds, with different pathophysiologic mechanisms accounting for these diverse presentations. Secretory (watery) diarrhea is caused by a quantity of bacteria (eg, Vibrio cholerae, ETEC, EAggEC), viruses (rotavirus, norovirus), and protozoa (Giardia, Cryptosporidium).

These organisms attach superficially to enterocytes in the lumen of the small bowel. Stool examination is notable for the absence of fecal leukocytes, even though in uncommon instances there's occult blood in the stools. Some of these pathogens elaborate enterotoxins, proteins that improve intestinal cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production, primary to net fluid secretion. The classic example is cholera.

The bacterium V cholerae creates cholera toxin, which leads to prolonged activation of epithelial adenylyl cyclase within the small bowel, primary to secretion of massive amounts of fluid and electrolytes into the intestinal lumen. Clinically, the patient presents with copious diarrhea ("rice-water stools"), progressing to dehydration and vascular collapse without having vigorous volume resuscitation.

ETEC, a common trigger of acute diarrheal sickness in young kids and the most typical trigger of looseness of the bowels in travelers returning to the United States from developing countries, creates two enterotoxins. The heat-labile toxin (LT) activates adenylyl cyclase in a manner analogous to cholera toxin, whereas the heat-stable toxin (ST) activates guanylyl cyclase activity.

Inflammatory diarrhea is really a result of bacterial invasion of the mucosal lumen, with resultant cell death. Patients with this syndrome are usually febrile, with complaints of crampy lower abdominal discomfort as nicely as diarrhea, which might contain visible mucous. The term dysentery is utilized when there are substantial numbers of fecal leukocytes and gross blood.

Pathogens connected with inflammatory looseness of the bowels consist of EIEC, Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Entamoeba histolytica. Shigella, the prototypical trigger of bacillary dysentery, invades the enterocyte through formation of an endoplasmic vacuole, which is lysed intracellularly. Bacteria then proliferate within the cytoplasm and invade adjacent epithelial cells.

Production of a cytotoxin, the Shiga toxin, leads to local cell destruction and death. EIEC resembles Shigella both clinically and with respect towards the mechanism of invasion of the enterocyte wall; however, the specific cytotoxin associated with EIEC has not yet been identified. Hemorrhagic diarrhea, a variant of inflammatory diarrhea, is primarily triggered by EHEC.

Infection with E coli O157:H7 has been connected with a quantity of deaths from the hemolytic-uremic syndrome, with a number of well-publicized outbreaks related to contaminated foods. EHEC leads to a broad spectrum of clinical disease, with manifestations including (1) asymptomatic infection, (2) watery (nonbloody) looseness of the bowels, (three) hemorrhagic colitis (bloody, noninflammatory diarrhea), and (4) hemolytic-uremic syndrome (an acute illness, primarily of children, characterized by anemia and renal failure). EHEC doesn't invade enterocytes; nevertheless, it does create two Shiga-like toxins (Stx1 and Stx2) that closely resemble the Shiga toxin in structure and function. After binding of EHEC towards the cell surface receptor, the A subunit of the Shiga toxin catalyzes the destructive cleavage of ribosomal RNA and halts protein synthesis, leading to cell death.

Clinical Manifestations: Clinical manifestations of GI infections vary depending on the on website of involvement For instance, in staphylococcal foods poisoning, symptoms develop several hours after ingestion of foods contaminated with neurotoxin-producing S aureus. The symptoms of staphylococcal food poisoning are profuse vomiting, nausea, and abdominal cramps.

Diarrhea is variably present with agents leading to gastroenteritis. Profuse watery (noninflammatory, nonbloody) diarrhea is connected with bacteria that have infected the small intestine and elaborated an enterotoxin (eg, Clostridium perfringens, V cholerae). In contrast, colitis-like symptoms (lower abdominal pain, tenesmus, fecal urgency) and an inflammatory or bloody diarrhea occur with bacteria that more generally infect the large intestine.

The incubation period is usually longer (> 3 days) for bacteria that localize towards the large intestine, and colonic mucosal invasion can occur, causing fever, bacteremia, and systemic symptoms.

Colitis Medication - Know the Score

In order for the doctor to know more about what is happening to you during the early stages of you being diagnosed with colitis, you will have to undergo some tests. Yet the probability of what you are about to endure with your first colitis attack will be much more intense and far less hospitable than anything your doctor or consultant requires to undertake.

At the doctor's surgery, you will be asked to provide samples of blood, urine and probably a stool. This will be used to analyse precisely what you have and how your system is adjusting and coping so far. They will probably want to have a look at your rectum and the lowest part of your bowel to confirm the inflammation. Quite simply, you should recognise and accept that being diagnosed with colitis really does make you leave your inhibitions at the proverbial door. You just have to recognise the fact that it is essential to gather as much information about your condition as possible and if you consider that if you had an eye problem the doctor would want to examine you eye, so in that respect it really is no difference. It is important to retain this attitude as it can prove beneficial throughout your colitis experience.

In all probability, you will be put on a course of medication. This is normally categorised into two distinct types. The first is anti inflammatory medication which will assist in reducing the inflammation and once it is under control it will be used to try and prevent the infected part of the bowel becoming inflamed again. The second type is steroids. There is no getting round this, but to enable your body to fight colitis it needs a helping hand. And this will take the form of steroids.

No doubt you will have heard about steroids and the effects that they can have on the body and probably someone you know will say with alarm "you should not take these". If you have come across this or are very wary of taking such medication then perhaps this little piece of advice will create a realistic view of the matter for you. When you are in pain, real pain, when moving hurts, when walking hurts, when going to the toilet hurts, when literally doing nothing hurts you need help. And that means effective help. And that comes in the form of steroids. You will probably be given them in both tablet and foam form (especially if your colitis is restricted to the left hand side of the bowel). That is right, foam as well! It is imperative for your disease management that you take the anti inflammatory and steroid medications in the exact amounts that your doctor prescribed for you.

This ideas can be quite vicious in its ferocity and it take a period of time for the medication to bring the attack back under control. Without it, the inflammation of the large bowel and all the symptoms related to that will go unchecked, bring even greater pain and discomfort to the sufferer. To really understand what it is like to endure a colitis attack and understand what is required to get through it and how to start living again, it is very beneficial to discover those who have the exact experience of what you now face.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pet Wellness: Cat Pancreatitis Awareness

Pet wellness advice today takes a look at cat pancreatitis, the lack of awareness by cat owners, causes, care and preventative measures.

The job of the pancreas is to produce digestive enzymes and secrete hormones used in the metabolic process. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, and when inflamed, the digestive enzymes break away causing damage to the pancreas and the liver.

When a dog has pancreatitis he will show signs of illness that make it obvious to his owner that something is wrong - usually vomiting and abdominal pain. The symptoms in cats however are more mild, easy to miss or be mistaken for something else.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Cats

The most common signs in a cat are lethargy and lack of appetite. However if you are a cat owner you know that cats often sleep and lounge all day and are picky eaters and it is for this reason that cat owners don't sense that something is wrong until it's too late.

Causes of the Disease

Although high in debate, traditional veterinarians tend to believe there is nothing specific that causes this disease in most pets. However, recent studies have shown that in a small percentage of pets pancreatitis has been linked to trauma of the pancreas, viral or parasitic infection, and exposure to organophosphates, which is a toxin commonly found in pesticides. Some medications are also considered to be the culprit of pancreatitis such as; Phenobarbital, Prednisone, other catabolic steroids, and Diuretic drugs.

Dr. Karen Becker tells me in her experience the majority of cats with pancreatic illness first develop inflammation in their GI tract. You may be familiar with some of these conditions such as gastritis, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Becker goes further into detail by saying that the underlying reason for a vast majority of GI tract inflammation in pets is food allergies.

Processed Pet Food and Pancreatitis

A majority of commercial cat food contains allergenic ingredients that a cat's GI tract objects to over time. If you're feeding him the same food 365 days a year, it is possible the cat can developed an allergy to the protein source in the food. Once again, we hear and read about the many evils of processed pet food, which is why pet wellness practices steer pet owners away from processed foods and closer to raw food diets and natural pet health care.

Another problem with processed pet food is its lack of natural enzymes, which are biologically appropriate for your pet. Biologically appropriate food supplements the enzymes produced by the pet's body which reduces pancreatic stress. When a cat is fed only processed food, over time the cat's pancreas can develop chronic inflammation and stress from over working to produce the enzymes needed to digest its meals.

The carbohydrate-dense ingredients in most commercial pet foods require high levels of insulin to process. This is also extremely taxing to the pancreas because the other job of the pancreas is to secrete insulin. When a cat's pancreas is over worked and can no longer do its job well, the result is pancreatitis.

Pet Wellness Advice: If Your Cat Has Been diagnosed with Pancreatitis

If your cat is vomiting, sluggish and shows loss of appetite or fever, it is imperative that you seek veterinary attention for your cat. Do not just assume this is a cat's normal behavior. Dr. Becker suggests the cat owner seek the professionalism of an integrative or holistic vet in order to best manage your cat's condition and get him back to good health.

Cat owners should also seriously consider their cat's diet and type of food intake. Turning their meals into natural / raw food is something many pet owners are taking on these days, and with the information we have on store bought pet food and pancreatitis, amongst many other various issues, utilizing the impact of natural pet health care is highly advised.

When your cat's pancreatic situation is stabilized, one of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of another flare up is to supplement his diet with digestive enzymes. You can do this by providing the cat a constant supply of enough digestive enzymes to help him process the food he consumes in order to reduce the workload on the pancreas and reduce organ stress.

a. The pet owner can feed him pancreatic tissue, an option that is quite unappealing to most pet owners.

b. The pet owner can add a digestive enzyme supplement to his cats' meals.

When it comes to domesticated companion animals the best pet wellness practice is to feed a raw diet and practice natural pet health care. There is no way however to provide these pets with the same level of naturally occurring enzymes they would find if they were feeding in the wild, so any domesticated pet can be enzyme deficient and requires a supplement in their daily meals.

Unfortunately, pancreatitis often reoccurs. It's a serious disease that can result in complications like diabetes, hepatic lipidosis, bleeding and clotting disorders, and even brain damage. For these reasons Dr. Becker suggests pet wellness practices be put into action by working with a holistic vet and use natural pet health care to keep your cat strong and healthy and to prevent reoccurring pancreatitis. She also recommends you give your cat a high quality probiotic and transition him to a carb and grain free protein diet to reduce the risk of future episodes of cat pancreatitis.

What You Need To Know About Intestinal Biopsies

Failure to obtain biopsies during endoscopy misses important treatable intestinal conditions

Thousands of people are undergoing endoscopic exams daily without having tissue samples obtained. Sadly, though their exams may visually appear normal, under the microscope there are often microscopic findings that explain the symptoms that will respond to directed therapy. The gut is lined with superficial cells that contain a few immune cells that release chemical mediators that attract other cells to the area and fight off foreign invaders.

Several cells only seen microscopically play a role in digestive symptoms

Lymphocytes, eosinophils and mast cells are the immune cells that are normally present in small numbers in the surface cells of the gastrointestinal tract. A few lymphocytes are present in the tips of the surface cells that are a type of epithelial cell. These lymphocytes act as the body's scouts. They survey the barrier of the gut to the inside of the body, looking for signs of potential invading infectious agents. Once an attack is perceived, they signal reinforcements to join them on the front lines.

Lymphocytes are immune cells detected early in celiac disease and cause bowel symptoms

When persistent increased numbers of lymphocytes are present in the surface cells, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gut exists. In the duodenum, autoimmune reaction to gluten in genetically susceptible individuals is a common but frequently missed cause of chronic inflammation known more commonly as celiac disease or Sprue.

Eosinophils and mast cells are allergy cells that cause bowel inflammation often due to food

Eosinophils and mast cells are types of immune cells involved in allergy reactions in the body. They are less commonly present in the gastrointestinal lining except when there are parasites, food allergies, or chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders are less common and a newly recognized condition, mastocytic enterocolitis, is diagnosed when excess mast cells are present in the small bowel and colon. However, mast cells may be difficult to see on biopsies without a special stain for tryptase, an enzyme present in mast cells that are immunologically activated.

Allergic esophagus condition may mimic reflux but is due to food and eosinophils

The esophagus normally contains no eosinophils. The two exceptions gastroesophageal acid reflux in which small numbers, up to 6-7 usually and no more than 10-12 per high power field (40X magnification) are found in the lower esophagus only not in the mid or upper esophagus. Allergic eosinophilic esophagitis is diagnosed when 15 or more eosinophils per high power field are found in more than two fields or more than 20 to 24 per high power field in one field are seen or lesser numbers are present in the upper esophagus. Mast cells that are activated have also been found associated with allergic eosinophilic esophagitis and their presence supports allergic esophagitis over reflux as the cause of the increase eosinophils though it is believed some people have both conditions coexisting.

Allergy and immune cells in the stomach and intestines found microscopically cause symptoms

In the stomach and small intestine more than 10 eosinophils per high power field defines eosinophilic gastroenteritis. In the small intestine and colon more than 20 mast cells per high power field found in association with otherwise unexplained diarrhea is now termed mastocytic enterocolitis. This newly recognized and described entity is previously unrecognized cause of diarrhea in some patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome who may have been told they have a normal colon exam though no biopsies were done. Similarly, more than 20 lymphocytes per 100 epithelial cells in the colon are found in lymphocytic colitis, another form of microscopic inflammation of the intestine resulting in diarrhea that may be inappropriately diagnosed as IBS.

Gluten grains wheat, barley and rye cause increased lymphocytes with normal blood tests

In many of these patients, gluten sensitivity is to blame and the lymphocytic colitis is felt to represent a colonic form of celiac disease. In celiac disease, 30 or more lymphocytes in the tips of the villi per 100 epithelial cells is the earliest sign of gluten injury occurring before the villi become flattened or blunted. This finding may noted before the specific blood tests, anti-endomysial (EMA) and anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies appear in the blood even though the intestine is damaged enough to result in nutrient malabsorption and diarrhea. Anti-gliadin antibodies are often present however when significant intra-epithelial lymphocytosis is present along with symptoms that respond to gluten free diet. Lesser degrees of intra-epithelial lymphocytosis have been proposed as highly suggestive of early celiac disease and or gluten sensitivity, in the range of 20-25 per 100 epithelial cells.

Colon can be affected early with microscopic signs only

In the colon, the presence of eosinophils is considered one of the earliest findings of chronic inflammatory bowel disease. In the right colon more than 20 eosinophils per high power field and in the left colon greater than 20 per high power field is considered abnormal and suggests eosinophilic colitis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease or a parasitic infection.

Allergy cells release chemicals causing pain, diarrhea, and sometimes constipation

Eosinophils and mast cells release chemicals that irritate the bowel, increase permeability (cause leaky gut), increase contractions of the gut, increase intestinal secretions and heighten pain. Both cells are related to allergies including food allergies. It is therefore not difficult to conceive of a link to adverse food reactions in the development of intestinal irritation.

Most digestive symptoms should be evaluated by scope examination and blood tests

The important point to be aware of if you have gastrointestinal symptoms and are undergoing or have undergone an endoscopic examination is that a normal appearing intestinal lining does not exclude the presence of damage or irritation sufficient to cause symptoms of pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea nor exclude impaired digestion and absorption. Blood tests exist that can help screen for celiac disease, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis but biopsies of intestinal lining is usually required for definitive diagnosis.

Normal appearing gut lining may not be normal, make sure you get biopsies

Only through obtaining tissue samples that are examined under the microscope can abnormal types and number of inflammatory cells be identified. It is through biopsies of normal appearing intestinal lining that the correct diagnosis of various microscopic forms of gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases is confirmed. So, if you are preparing to undergo an endoscopic exam, I encourage you to insist that your doctor perform biopsies even they believe your exam looks normal. Based on the information I have reviewed above, a normal exam should be tip off that one of these microscopic conditions might be to blame for your symptoms.


Al-Haddad S, and Ridell RH. "The role of eosinophils in inflammatory bowel disease." Gut 2005; 54:1674-1675.

Guilarte M et al. "Diarrhoea-predominant IBS patients show mast cell activation and hyperplasia in the jejunum." Gut 2007; 56:203-209.

Jakarte S et al. "Mastocytic enterocolitis. "Increased mucosal mast cells in chronic intractable diarrhea." Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2006; 130:362-367.

Kirsch R et al. "Activated mucosal mast cells differentiate eosinophilic (allergic) esophagitis from gastroesophageal reflux disease." Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2007; 44: 20-26.

Liacouras CA. "Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders." Practical Gastroenterology March 2007. 53-67.

Rubio CA et al. "Lymphocytic esophagitis: a histologic subset of chronic esophagitis." Am J Clin Pathol. 2006; 125(3): 432-437.

Yousef MM et al. "Duodenal intraepithelial lymphocytes in disorders of the esophagus and stomach." Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2006; 4:631-634.

Why Homeopathy Crohns Treatments Work

Most people who have severe cases of Crohn's disease are always on the lookout for new treatments that can help them feel better, for example homeopathy crohns treatments. Though there are medications and diets you can try, they certainly don't work well for everyone. Then there's those that don't like to take prescriptions because the side effects can often be worse than the problem they are meant to clear up. Others want to try alternative options such as homeopathy Crohns treatments, but have no idea what it entails or what it might do for them.

Though these treatments don't work for everyone, it might not hurt to talk to your doctor about trying some of the alternative methods available to you.Should you decide to see someone about homeopathy for Crohn's, you should be ready to give a detailed description of your health, your symptoms, and what treatments you are currently following with your therapist. You will have to list all of your medications, give details about your diet, and talk about your lifestyle. You also have to talk about your symptoms in a way that you might find embarrassing, but you should remember that they need all of this information to come up with a treatment plan that will work best for you.

Homeopathy will not be a cure for Crohn's, but rather is another way to try to deal with your symptoms. The methods used will concentrate on your most debilitating problems first, and that is why you have to be very detailed about what is going on with your body.

This type of treatment will zero in on your problems, but will also focus on treating your whole self. That means that homeopathy Crohns treatments will deal with the physical, mental, and emotional dynamics of your life to give a more complete result. The belief is that emotions and thoughts can contribute to your physical state, and they should not be ignored during treatment.

Your treatment will consist of natural plants that are meant to help boost your immune system and deal with your symptoms. Many of these plants will not be things you will be familiar with, and remember that it is okay to ask what they are and what they are meant to do. You should always ask when you are not sure about something, as stress and uncertainty are not good for you when you are battling this condition. Your therapist should be more than willing to tell you what you need to know.

When you embark on homeopathy Crohns treatments, it is important that you let your doctor know what you are doing and what you are taking. There can be reactions between the plants and the medications that you are already taking, and that can be very problematic for you.

You should never abandon your medical doctor to try something else, and you should always be very open and honest about what you are going to do and what you might want to try. Your doctor might express concern about following a homeopathy crohns treatment, and might even try to talk you out of it, but they should be willing to work with you if it is something that is very important to you.

Pau D'Arco A Natural Antibiotic & Powerful Anti-Fungal

We can be grateful to American Indians for a multitude of herbal and natural medicines. Pau d'arco has a been used as a medicine by the indigenous people of the rainforest. The Pau d'arco tree is a broad-leaf evergreen that grows to a height of 125 feet and produces violet colored flowers which accounts for it's often being called the "trumpet tree". It grows well in Peru and Argentina high in the Andes. It can be found growing in the low-lying areas of Paraguay and Brazil. It's use goes back in history to before the Incas. Pau d'arco tree was used to make hunting bows and as a medicine. It was observed by indigenous people that when the tree was alive and even after it was cut down, it never developed growth of mold, mildew, or fungi.

The Guarani and Topi Indians refer to the tree as "tajy, which means "to have strength and vigor" i.e. good health. Tribal medicine people peeled off the tree's bark in long strips. They then separated the inner and outer layers and used the inner bark to make healing teas. Pau d' arco has crystalline oxygen infused in it's inner bark, which is rich in iron, calcium, selenium, vitamins A, B-complex and C., magnesium potassium and sodium. These pau d'arco nutrients make give it antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal action which stimulates the immune system and fights disease. Indigenous people of South America have used pau d'arco for treating malaria, anemia, colitis, respiratory problems, colds, cough, flu, fungal infections, fever, arthritis and rheumatism, poor circulation, skin irruptions and sexually transmitted disease.

Lapachol, which is a photochemical, is present in the inner bark of pau d'arco trees has been documented as an effective natural medicine for use in treating abscesses and tumors. However, for it to be used to treat conditions such as cancer, the amount of lapachol, found in pau d' arco, required to provide and effective dosage, would be toxic if used as the exclusive treatment. It can however, be used along with other cancer treatments. Pau d'arco is given free by the Argentina government to cancer patients and also leukemia patients because of it's blood purifying qualities and because it has been know to reduce pain caused by cancer and it's treatment because of pau 'd arco's anti-inflammatory effect.

Pau d'arco contains selenium which is one of our body's natural defenses against yeast infections, vaginally as well as for topical skin treatment. It's antifungal action aids in the elimination of candida. Because of it's antifungal properties, it is useful for fighting fungi that promotes athlete's foot and other skin infections caused by fungi. It has also been shown to be effective in treating other infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, strep, and dysentery. Pau d'arco has a cleansing ability so is very useful for relieving intestinal infections, destroying parasites, and restoring colon health. A number of infection fighting substances known as napthoquinones seem to destroy certain disease causing bacteria, without destroying beneficial bacteria. This makes it an excellent natural antibiotic.

As a preventative, pau d'arco has been shown to help build our immune system with the stimulation of macrophages that fight disease. Pau d'arco has a high iron content that contributes to the elimination of wastes, the assimilation of nutrients and increasing oxygen supply to needed areas of the body. It helps improve hemoglobin and red blood cell corpuscles.. It therefore can be used for relief from chronic fatigue. Pau d'arco blood cleaning qualities makes it an excellent anti-allergy, anti-rhumatic, astringent, and cardiotonic. It is also often used to balance high blood pressure. It helps tone, balance and strengthen the heart. Pau d'arco helps to neutralize the poisons involving the liver which aids the liver in it's blood cleansing function.. By improving the health of our blood and it's flow we greatly increase the effectiveness of our immune system.

Pau d'arco is very useful in treatment and relief of colds, flu, herpes and hepatitis because of it's antiviral qualities. It therefore is an excellent alternative or synthetic prescription or over-the -counter cold and flu "treatments" that often only suppress symptoms without actually curing the cause or may carry the risk of unwanted, sometimes harmful, side effects e.g drowsiness, etc.

With our concern about the undesired side effects of prescription antibiotics i.e. destroying beneficial bacteria or becoming ineffective because of bacterial mutation, we can find in pau d'arco ,a powerfully effective natural antibiotic alternative. As is true of many natural health care remedies, pau d'arco has many general health care benefits beyond the specific intended purpose. For example, if we use pau d'arco for relieving a cold, we will also benefit from it's cleansing action of our blood and liver, fighting of yeast infection, elimination of intestinal parasites, etc. We an also benefit from it's general immune building properties while treating a specific health condition. Once again, we benefit from the experience and wisdom of indigenous people, as they discovered and developed the use of pau d'arco another of Nature's powerful gifts, a natural antibiotic.

Ulcerative Colitis Diet: Do's And Don'ts

If you want to reduce irritation in the colon then you need to follow the recommended ulcerative colitis diet.

Inflammatory diseases like ulcerative colitis occur in the large intestine region of our body. Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon. This type of inflammatory condition flares up unpredictably, but individuals who are suffering from this disease experience prolonged periods of remission. This disease can be managed and controlled with focus on minimal stress and adequate diet. Irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease, which are also inflammatory diseases, can also be controlled with proper diet.

One should always remember that ulcerative colitis is not caused by diet but proper diet can make the life of the sufferer comfortable. One should stick to nutritious and well balanced diet because it is extremely beneficial. You can also take supplements because supplements can balance the nutrient intake and prevent malnutrition that is commonly associated with colitis. More than anyone else, patients who are suffering from ulcerative disease should include vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meats and grains in their diet.

We do require calcium for bone and teeth, iron for energy, protein for tissue repair and growth, fruits and vegetables for fiber, minerals and vitamins. But, some of these items can cause problems for colitis patients. The main aim of the diet for colitis is to reduce the irritation in the colon region. The preliminary stage is to find out which one of the diets or foods can increase the inflammatory symptoms and then eliminate them from the diet list as much as possible.

Some of the food items that are eliminated from the ulcerative colitis diet are:
- Dairy or milk products
- Saturated fats that are found in dairy products and animal products
- Inflammatory foods and beverages like caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar
- Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower which are intestinal irritants
- Products from corn
- Food items that contain gluten such as foods that are produced from barley, wheat, oats and triticale
- Soy, eggs and peanuts which are usual allergenic suspects
- Grapes, watermelon and pineapple which have high sugar content

Ulcerative colitis diet is prepared keeping in mind the general benefits that a patient will enjoy and not just a reduction in the frequency of the flare-ups and symptoms. The recommended foods are healthy and nutritious and the general population will be enjoying it. Drink plenty of fluids like water and vegetable juices. You can take protein in the form of lean meats, legumes, and dried beans, complex carbohydrates from oat bran, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Fish oil is also helpful because it contains omega 3 fatty acids and potassium rich foods like potatoes and nuts are also helpful in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

JointEase Plus Review - Glucosamine, Devil's Claw and Boswellia - Beating Arthritis Naturally

There are numerous natural products on the market today which claim to relieve the pain of arthritis and joint pain. But what ingredients should these products include?

Devil's Claw is indigenous to the Kalahari Desert in Africa. The herb is now used throughout the world to treat arthritic pain and joint pain due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that the most effective components of Devil's Claw are monoterpine, harpagoside, glycoside, beta-sitosterol, procumbine and stigmasterol.

Clinical research has shown the effectiveness of Devil's Claw in treating joint conditions like osteoarthritis, fibrositis, rheumatic arthritis and small joint disease (Lecompte & Costa, 1992). Devil's Claw has also been found very effective in the treatment of pain in the lower back (Chrubasik, 1996).

In a 1981 study it was found that Devil's Claw significantly reduced the serum cholesterol and uric acid levels. Research has also shown that Devil's Claw is also effective in stimulating the lymphatic node system to increase the body's resistance against disease and ill-health.

Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body and is found in relatively high concentrations in the joints and connective tissues where its main function is to repair cartilage and maintain joint mobility. It has been shown that between 90 and 98 percent of Glucosamine Sulphate is absorbed into the body.

Glucosamine, because of its healing properties and the fact that there have been few reports of side effects, is now used in many countries throughout the world. Research has shown glucosamine's ability to both decrease pain and reduce inflammation whilst also allowing an increase in the range of motion in the joints, helping to repair aging and damaged joints throughout the body.

Recent studies have indicated that glucosamine may be at least as if not more effective than the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as aspirin and ibuprofen but without the harmful side-effects connected with these medicines. While NSAIDS provide effective pain relief for arthritis and other joint pain they can also reduce the production of cartilage in the body. In doing so this obviously worsens the condition in the long run and so increases the dependence on the drugs. Not only does glucosamine relieve pain but it also reduces inflammation, repairing the cartilage damage rather than just masking pain.

For thousands of years Boswellia has been used as a natural anti-inflamatory. Extracts of the gum of this tree, which is mainly found in India, have long been used to relieve joint pain and inflammation. Modern scientific research has confirmed that boswellic acids contained within the herb are able to stop the formation of leukotrienes, the immune cells responsible for inflammation. With regular use blood supply to the joints is also maintained allowing for soft tissue to be nourished and viable.

Scientific research has shown that boswellia has the ability to inhibit the inflammatory mediators in the body, reducing pain and inflammation without irritating or ulcerating the lining of the stomach. Boswellia has also seen to be highly effective in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

To sum up then we can see that nature has given us powerful remedies for joint pain and the pain of arthritis. Glucosamine, Devil's Claw and Boswellia have been shown to be able to reduce pain and inflammation within the body's joints but without the side effects of drugs. There are a number of products, JointEase Plus being one of them, on the market today which contain a combination of all three of these natural ingredients and which have been rigorously tested and has been proven to treat arthritis and joint pain naturally and effectively.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Colitis - Treatment for Irritation

Colitis is a sharp or constant irritation of the casing lining the colon - our large intestine or bowel. They cause swelling and painful, called ulcers, in the top coating of the inside layer of the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis hardly ever has an effect on the small intestine apart from for the inferior part, called the ileum.

It is a provocative bowel illness, the all-purpose name for illness that causes irritation in the small intestine and colon. It can be easier said than done to identify for the reason that their indications are comparable to additional intestinal chaos and to one more type of provocative bowel illness called Crohn's sickness. Crohn's sickness is different for the reason that it causes irritation deeper inside the intestinal partition and is able to take place in other division of the digestive system as well as the small intestine, mouth, esophagus, and abdomen.

Colitis Reasons

Genetics: For the reason that we're more probably to expand it, if we have a parent or sibling with the illness, scientists believe that hereditary structure may take part in a causal role. Investigating into which inherited metamorphosis might enhance vulnerability to this is continuing.

Even though there is a great deal of scientific confirmation that patients with provocative bowel sickness have irregularity of the impervious system, doctors do not know whether these irregularities are the source or a consequence of the sickness. Doctors consider that there is little foundation for the thought that Crohn's infection and ulcerative colitis is caused by pressure or go on a diet.

Surroundings: Quite a lot of environmental reasons, such as pollution, are alleged of activating this in people who have a hereditary vulnerability. On the other hand, no solitary issue has been constantly recognized to be the most important trigger. The microorganisms that usually live in the colon also have a significant role in the improvement of the sickness. This disease does not increase when elevating in a bacteria-free surroundings.

Contagious agents or ecological toxins: No solitary agent has been connected time after time with either form of provocative bowel sickness. Viruses have been description in tissue from populace with provocative bowel sickness; excluding there is no convincing confirmation.

Surgical procedure is essential in an urgent situation such as perforation, harsh bleeding, or poisonous mega colon, causing an individual to become sternly unwell with a lofty fever.

How to Treat Crohn's Disease

Information about Budesonide and Crohns Treatment

Budesonide is one of the glucocorticoid steroids, a class of steroids which takes its name from two facts: they play an important role in the body's metabolism of glucose; and they are produced in the adrenal cortex. In addition to being naturally-occurring, this important substance is also available in a number of therapeutic preparations. Sold under various brand names, budesonide preparations have been approved for use in treating several health conditions.

Therapeutic Uses

These preparations are most frequently used to treat asthma and allergies with respiratory symptoms, such as hay fever. Nasal polyps ("nasal polyposis") can be treated (and in some cases prevented) with budesonide. However, it is also used as a Crohns treatment. Crohn's disease (also called "regional enteritis") is one form of inflammatory bowel disease ("IBD"). In addition to being used as a Crohns treatment, a new budesonide preparation is being tested to determine its efficacy as a treatment for ulcerative colitis.

Brand Names

AstraZeneca sells budesonide preparations under various brand names. Rhinocort, which is called Rhinosol in Denmark, is AstraZeneca's budesonide nasal inhalant. The company's oral budesonide inhalant is sold as Pulmicort (called Budicort in Israel). Symbicort is an AstraZeneca inhalant which combines budesonide with formoterol. The same preparation is sold in Brazil by Eurofarma, under the name Noex.

Budesonide is marketed by Prometheus Laboratories as an enema or a time-release capsule, both of which are called Entocort. The same company also sells Entocort EC, which is an immediate-release budesonide capsule. Budesonide capsules are typically taken in one of two treatment courses: either 9 mg per day for a total of 2 months; or 6 mg per day for a total of 3 months.

Pharmacological Characteristics

Compared to other corticosteroids, the body metabolizes budesonide quickly. When used as a Crohns treatment, the substance is most effective in the ileum and right colon. Prednisolone is also a corticosteroid, but budesonide has a less severe effect on bone density. And, because it has very little impact on pituitary, hypothalamus and adrenal gland function, a patient does not need to gradually decrease the dosage before discontinuing budesonide.

Side Effects

Budesonide's side effects are typically milder than those seen with similar medications. They can include the following:

  • Dry mouth

  • Coughing

  • Sore throat

  • Nasal irritation and/or nose bleeds

  • Change in mucus color

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Muscle cramps

  • Rash

  • Nausea

In rare cases, one or more of the following side effects can occur:

  • Facial swelling

  • Severe acne

  • White areas in the oral cavity

  • Respiratory difficulty

  • Irregular menstruation

The occurrence of any of these side effects should be immediately reported to the patient's physician. A very small number of children taking budesonide have exhibited behavioral changes.

Potential Drug Interactions and Contraindications

Several drug interactions are possible with budesonide, including interactions with the following medications:

  • Erythromycin

  • Clarithromycin

  • Telithromycin

  • Nefazodone

  • Indinavir

  • Ritonavir

  • Ketoconazole

  • Nelfinavir

  • Itraconazol

Furthermore, budesonide may be contraindicated if you suffer from tuberculosis, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis or glaucoma. Before taking budesonide, patients must tell their physicians if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Finally, patients taking budesonide must avoid being near anyone with measles or chicken pox - especially if they have not been immunized against those conditions.

Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms Using Medications

Ulcerative colitis, crohn's disease, and irritable bowel syndrome have similar symptoms but differ in their intensity and require different treatment methods. Allopathic medications are widely preferred for the treatment of colitis.

Even though there are numerous approaches through which people will be able to treat any kind of disease or ailment, medication is still one of the most widely used approaches. This scientific approach ensures that the results of the treatment are quick, effective and long lasting. Treating any kind of disease with the modern allopathic approach will also ensure that the disease will not resurface in the near future and will have a good effect quite fast. People who are suffering from ulcerative colitis will soon realize that they have numerous alternatives that they can go for to treat the disease.

While patients can go in for surgery, which is also very effective, more and more people choose to go for treatment with medications as this can be more pain less and will also have very few complications. The first thing that people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis will have to ensure is that the diagnosis is right. This is because a very similar disease with the same kind of symptoms is also present. This disease is known as the crohn's disease and this too is very similar to ulcerative colitis.

However, the medication used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis is quite different from the medication used for the treatment of crohn's disease and hence it is necessary for people to get the right kind of diagnosis at the very beginning. People will also have to make sure that their condition is not confused with the irritable bowel syndrome which is also a similar inflammatory bowel disease which is lot less severe and involves treatment with completely different medications.

One of the most widely used medications for colitis is the Sulfasalazine which is recommended by most of the doctors. The few side effects like nausea, headache, heartburn and vomiting accompany this medication. Patients can also go for medications like the Aminosalicylates, Corticosteroids, Immunomodulators and Cyclosporine.