Saturday, February 09, 2008

No Internet

No internet in all of Tuscany. In train station now headed to Milan. Will blog more then. Surely the land of Dolce & Gabbana has internet...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - The most common disorders being diagnosed by doctors these days

By: Sylvia McGrath
IBS affects one in five adults and more than one out of every ten visits to the doctor's results in receiving this diagnosis.

IBS is a disease that people feel uncomfortable talking about as symptoms include bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. There is also a stigma with this diagnosis since at one time it was considered to be a psychological rather than a physical condition.

Although it is widely diagnosed most people show signs and symptoms that are generally quite mild and only a small number have severe signs and symptoms. Unlike more serious intestinal diseases such as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis irritable bowel is not serious nor does it cause inflammation or changes in the bowel tissues neither does it increase the risk of colorectal cancer. It can be easily controlled by managing stress, the lifestyle and diet.

For more on IBS, click here.

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Problems With Acid Reflux In Infants

We’ve all heard about adults suffering from acid reflux disease, and it is in fact fairly common, but reflux is actually commonly suffered by babies as well. Of course, the image of a baby puking all over the parent holding him is all to familiar, but believe it or not, this is really a very natural thing as most infants experience regurgitation in the first three months after their birth; in fact, this is common amongst more than half of all normal infants. This reflux can occur during the various actions that a baby will experience such as coughing, straining, burping, or crying.

Read more about Problems With Acid Reflux In Infants here

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Arm Pain with GERD?

Found this great posted question from someone with GERD...

Hi everyone! This is my first post, but I have been reading all of yours and it has been so helpful to know that I am not so alone in dealing with my GERD symptoms!

Here is my question. Does anyone ever experience any pain in their arms? I have been to the doctor numerous times w/ sharp pains in my arm and shoulder. Sometimes its almost a pressure feeling. It always scares me though because it mostly occurs in my left arm. I have even went to the ER 2 or 3 times thinking it was my heart. I am really young (only 21) and this is causing a HUGE disruption in my lfe. I keep having anixiety/panic attacks b/c of it. I have been diagnosed with GERD and I also have a hiatal hernia. I also get the pain in my chest just not as bad as the pain in my arm and I know for sure its not my heart b/c of all the tests that I have had done on me the past several months. If anyone has had this occur with their GERD please let me know, it will make me feel so much better to know that someone else has this problem to.

For more postings and answers to her questions, click here.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Arthritis Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two disorders — Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis — marked by inflammation of the intestinal tract. They are thought to be autoimmune disorders in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the intestinal tract, and other parts of the body, although this is unproven.

Some people with inflammatory bowel disease have a type of arthritis that is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in some ways. However, there are some important differences. With the arthritis associated with IBD, inflammation tends to involve only a few, large joints and it tends not to involve both sides of the body equally. For example, it might affect the knee on one side and the ankle on the other. In rheumatoid arthritis, more joints, especially small ones in the hand and wrist are involved and joints on both sides of the body are affected equally. An antibody commonly found in the blood of people with rheumatoid arthritis usually is not found in the blood of people with IBD arthritis. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis associated with IBD may affect the lower spine, especially the sacroiliac joints, and is associated with a certain gene (called HLA-B27).

The bowel problems caused by inflammatory bowel disease usually appear long before the arthritis develops. Occasionally the arthritis appears first and the inflammatory bowel disease is diagnosed months or even years later.

Click here for more information on the linkage of arthritis to IBS.

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Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis wears away at the inner lining of the rectum and colon, often leaving ulcers. Although it's a chronic condition, there are medications that can be very effective at improving the symptoms.

*What Is It?
*Expected Duration
*When To Call A Professional
*Additional Info

Natural Remedies for GERD Sufferers

While excessive weight and obesity can lead to serious problems down the road, new studies also indicate that they can be responsible for more immediate ailments concerning the digestive and circulatory systems. In many cases, these ailments are the pre-cursors to more serious problems. In addition to losing the excess weight that causes them, treating these conditions now can help combat uncomfortable symptoms, as well as reduce the risk of serious long-term damage.

One of the ailments most commonly reported by both overweight and obese individuals worldwide is frequent Heartburn. This condition, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD), occurs when acids from the stomach are allowed to rise up into the esophagus as a result of the malfunctioning of the muscle valve which usually keeps the acids in their place. This not only causes painful burning sensations in the chest, but can eventually result in significant damage to the esophagus. In a study performed in 2006, researchers discovered that people who were overweight were more than 50 percent more likely to develop GERD. Obesity more than doubled a subject’s odds of developing the disease. (GERD is also linked to hiatus hernias, so be sure to check with your physician if you continue to suffer from severe Heartburn and tightness in the chest even after treatment).

Despite its uncomfortable symptoms, the ultimate concern of those that suffer from GERD is primarily that the disease has been linked to certain types of esophageal cancers. These arise due to the constant irritation and corrosion of the esophagus by stomach acids. Interestingly, studies show that cases of esophageal Cancer have increased roughly 600% since 1971, which closely mirrors the incredible increases in the number of overweight and obese Americans we have seen in recent decades.

Scientists and nutritional specialists are also currently investigating the extent of the damage that being overweight or obese can cause to the digestive system. Many have already posited that digestive conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are linked to excessive weight and obesity, and links to other gastrointestinal maladies are currently being explored.

While the best way to combat GERD and weight-related digestive ailments is to lose the excess weight that causes it, there are also a variety of Natural Remedies available that can help alleviate the painful symptoms of these conditions. In many cases, GERD may be so bad that sufferers are unable to exercise without pain, making it even harder to Lose Weight. There are all kinds of herbal and Homeopathic Treatments that can heal the stomach and settle the digestive system. Natural medicines can soothe the symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal issues, and in combination with exercise and a healthy diet can also help to eliminate them.

* Gastronic Dr.
* Digest Assist
* Digestion Tonic
* Gasolve Relief
* Tummy Trumbles

Obesity and excessive weight are also known to increase the prevalence of circulatory problems such as High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol levels. These conditions contribute to the risk of Heart Disease and stroke, and as a result of the growing population of overweight citizens, there has been a steady rise in the prescription of various blood thinners and Cholesterol-lowering medications over recent years.

While pharmaceutical drugs can be very effective on their own, they can also be used in conjunction with herbal and Homeopathic Remedies to restore the natural health of the body and circulatory system. When used in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it may also be possible to avoid the use of prescription drugs altogether.

* Cholesto-Rite
* High-Rite
* CircuLive

For more information on Natural Remedies for weight loss and conditions associated with excessive weight or obesity, be sure to check out the complete Native Remedies line of natural and homeopathic products designed to heal the body without the side effects of prescription drugs.

For more holistic health information, click here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

GERD Friendly Recipe!

Cantonese Chicken


* 1 pounds chicken, breast
* 1 cup(s) celery
* 1 cup(s) water chestnuts, canned
* 14 1/2 ounce(s) sprouts, bean
* 14 1/2 ounce(s) broth, chicken, fat-free, sodium-free
* 2 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black ground


1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, cook chicken for 6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pan.

2. Add celery, water chestnuts, and bean sprouts; stir-fry for about 3 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch together. Add broth mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add chicken back to pan and heat through.

4. Serve over Chinese noodles or rice.


Everyday Tips for Living With Peptic Ulcers

Helpful hints to ease your symptoms and aid healing

It's Not Spicy Foods or Stress

For nearly 100 years, scientists and doctors thought that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy food and alcohol, and the cure was bed rest and a bland diet. Later, stomach acid was blamed, and antacids were added to the list of cures. Some ulcers are caused by medications called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), which include aspirin and ibuprofen, but in 1982, the bacterium H. pylori was discovered to be the main culprit. Study after study has shown that destroying the microbe with antibiotics cures peptic ulcers in most people. If you have an ulcer and your doctor hasn't given you antibiotics, press the issue or get a second opinion.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Claim: Mother’s Heartburn Means a Hairy Newborn

THE FACTS It is an odd adage that has stuck around for ages: women who suffer heartburn during pregnancy will have babies with full heads of hair. But doctors have long shrugged it off.

Until now, that is. In December, researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study intending to put the claim to rest. To their surprise, they ended up confirming it. The study, published in the current issue of the journal Birth, followed 64 pregnant women, about 78 percent of whom reported having some heartburn. After the women gave birth, two outside observers looked at pictures of their infants and rated their levels of hair.

Of the 28 women who reported moderate to severe heartburn, 23 had babies with average or above-average amounts of hair. Conversely, 10 of the 12 women who reported no heartburn had babies with little or no hair.

Other studies have shown that in pregnant women, high levels of estrogen and other hormones can relax the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus, causing heartburn. The same hormones, other studies show, can influence fetal hair growth.

The lead author of the study, Kathleen Costigan, who runs the fetal assessment center at Johns Hopkins, said the findings came as a shock.

“We’ve heard this claim hundreds of times, and I’ve always told people it’s nonsense,” she said. “Since the study came out, I’ve had to eat a lot of crow.”

THE BOTTOM LINE Heartburn during pregnancy may mean a greater likelihood a baby will have a lot of hair.

Anxiety During Illness May Trigger IBS

(WebMD) People who are overly anxious or refuse to slow down during a bout of food poisoning or other infection-related gastrointestinal illness may be prone to developing irritable bowel syndrome, according to a new

The findings reinforce the view that emotional factors like stress and
anxiety contribute to the chronic bowel condition. But they also suggest that the way a person deals with acute illness plays a role.

Researchers found that people who pushed themselves too hard when they had bacterial gastroenteritis developed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) more often than people who took it easy.

Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the digestive tract that can result from a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection.

"Instead of resting up, these driven people kept going until they collapsed in a heap," study co-author Rona Moss-Morris, PhD, tells WebMD. "The gastroenteritis triggered the symptoms, but this 'all-or-nothing' behavior may have helped prolong them."

For the rest of this article, including learning how to slow down, click here.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chrones disese - Teenagers and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Many irritable bowel syndrome sufferers first develop symptoms of IBS during their teenage years. Symptoms like stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation and bloating are difficult even for an adult to deal with, and if you also have to cope with peer pressure, new relationships and exams it can make life very miserable indeed.

On top of this, teenagers often find that their parents, and even their doctors, do not take them seriously when they try to seek help. The number one complaint I hear from teenagers who have been diagnosed with IBS, often after many months or years of asking for help, is that "no-one believed I was sick". This is horrible for the teenager, as not only do they have the physical pain and discomfort to deal with, they also have to get past the fact that everyone around them thinks they are 'faking it'. Can you imagine anything worse?

Because of this problem, it is vital that we trust our children when they're say that they're having bowel problems. Of course, most kids will try to get out of school once in a while, but very few will pretend to have embarrassing symptoms like diarrhea or wind. In fact, it may have taken a great deal of courage for them to even admit to these symptoms in the first place. It's very important that when they do manage to talk about their problem, they receive a sympathetic ear.

It's also vital that teenagers receive a definite diagnosis of IBS from a doctor - bowel symptoms can mean IBS, but they can also mean Crohn's Disease, celiac disease, and a range of other disorders, so please get these ruled out before you assume that it's IBS.

Once a diagnosis has been made, you need to work alongside your teenager to help them find some treatments that work for them. This may be in the form of medications, dietary change, or supplements, and it may take a while to find something that works for each individual, but there certainly are treatments out there - don't let your child feel that they're going to suffer forever, or that just because IBS is still poorly understood there's no hope for the future. Most IBS sufferers find a treatment program that works for them, but it may take time and a trial and error approach.

Another important point to remember is that because of the general lack of understanding of IBS, there are some long-standing myths which your child might be subjected to. The most damaging, and most common, of these myths is that IBS is "all in your head" - the implication being that if the sufferer would stop being so neurotic or anxious the IBS symptoms would magically go away. This is nonsense, and you should make sure that your child knows that their symptoms are NOT their fault, and are certainly not caused by emotional problems.

Having said that, stress and anxiety can be triggers for IBS, just as certain foods can be triggers for IBS, and so anything you can do to relieve stress may help relieve symptoms to a certain extent. Remember that your child may be worried about not reaching a bathroom in time and having an accident, or having to leave class during school time and being made fun of. They might also have problems with teachers who think that they are missing out on too much school.

At all stages of your teenager's illness, the best thing that you can do is be their advocate, whether it is with doctors who are not offering treatment options, teachers who are blaming your child for missing school, or family and friends who have decided that IBS is not a big deal.

If you are standing beside your child saying "IBS is real, painful, and depressing, but we're going to beat this together" then you should find that your teenager is far more hopeful about the future, and far more willing to talk to you about what can be a very embarrassing and painful disorder.

About The Author

Sophie Lee has suffered from IBS since the age of 12. She runs the website Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment where you can read reviews of all the treatments available for IBS.

Asthma and Reflux

Your doctor will be alert for other symptoms, such as frequent nonburning chest pain, bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract, dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), hoarseness, or constant coughing and wheezing. Such symptoms may be associated with GERD, but could have other causes and might warrant tests to gain more information.

For example, GERD can cause respiratory problems such as asthmatic wheezing, coughing, or hoarseness. When asthma strikes adult nonsmokers with no history of lung disease or allergies, pH monitoring studies sometimes suggest that GERD is the culprit. More than 75% of patients with asthma experience reflux.

Researchers speculate that when caustic acid refluxes into the esophagus it triggers a nerve reflex that constricts the bronchial tubes (the branches of the trachea that lead into the lungs) and produces wheezing. Aspiration of acid into the bronchi may also play a role in causing these symptoms.

On the other hand, asthma may lead to gastroesophageal reflux, rather than vice versa, since the coughing and wheezing of asthma create pressure shifts in the chest that can produce reflux. In addition, theophylline and other bronchodilators, medications used to treat asthma, may weaken the LES.

For more information on testing, click here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solutions

Click here for a great IBS article on Health blog.

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Maybe it's not IBS?

A number of gastrointestinal diseases can cause nonspecific symptoms similar to those of IBS. Fortunately, each has its own special characteristics, which should serve as red flags to patients and doctors alike (see diagram ).

Diverticular Disease. Small, finger-like sacs or pouches may protrude off the colon’s inner lining, where the blood vessels enter the colon, piercing its walls and causing areas of weakness. Unlike polyps, which are new growths within the colon lining, these pouches, known as diverticula, are actually part of the colon.

Although the condition is most common after age 50, younger people occasionally develop diverticula. Often they cause no symptoms and the individual is unaware he or she has them. When the diverticula become inflamed or infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. The symptoms of diverticulitis are much more intense than those of IBS and include severe left lower abdominal pain, chills, fever, and an elevated white blood cell count.

When diverticula become severely inflamed, the colon can become obstructed. Even worse, its wall can be perforated, resulting in peritonitis, a potentially dangerous inflammation of the membrane lining of the abdominal cavity. The diagnosis of diverticulitis is made after a number of tests, usually including a CT scan.

Treatment of diverticulitis involves a liquid diet to let the bowel rest and antibiotic therapy to clear the infection. After the immediate infection has stabilized, patients switch to a steady high-fiber diet, to help prevent flare-ups, and are advised to avoid nuts and seeds. Surgery may be required for complicated or recurrent diverticulitis.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Inflammatory bowel disease has a wide variety of symptoms, including persistent abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, and weight loss. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two conditions that together are referred to as inflammatory bowel disease, often have similar symptoms and are treated in similar ways, yet physicians regard them as distinct.

Some people experience periods of fairly good health in­­­ter­­rupted by flare-ups. Others have continuous symptoms marked by serious inflammation, intestinal bleeding, and abdominal pain. The most serious consequence of IBD is colon cancer. The risk for colon cancer is much higher for patients with IBD than for the general population.

Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it’s usually found at the end of the small intestine (ileum), in the colon, or both. It involves the full thickness of the bowel wall and may burrow into nearby organs. The bowel wall becomes thickened as well as constantly inflamed, and leakage of intestinal contents from the bowel can cause internal abscesses. A leak (fistula) that allows intestinal material to pass into the abdomen may require surgery. Severe bleeding is not a hallmark of this disease.

Crohn’s disease usually appears in young people, who develop pain in the right side of the abdomen, a low-grade fever, and perhaps changes in bowel movements. Some patients develop an abscess or fistula around the anus.

In some cases, surgery is needed to treat a complication of the disease, such as bowel obstruction. About 40%–60% of those with Crohn’s eventually need surgery to remove damaged areas of their small intestine or colon.

Ulcerative colitis is characterized by inflammation of the lining, or mucosa, of the colon. Like IBS, it can cause lower abdominal pain and diarrhea. Unlike IBS, the stool generally contains blood, and bowel symptoms may be accompanied by fever, weight loss, an elevated white blood cell count, and the same non-gut manifestations as Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis is easier to diagnose than Crohn’s disease and is treated with many of the same medications; it can even be cured because it affects only the colon, which can be surgically removed.
Surgery is too drastic a treatment in most cases, but about 25% of patients eventually have surgery to remove their colons.

While drugs cannot cure IBD, they are effective in reducing inflammation and accompanying symptoms in about 80% of patients. The drugs used most commonly are aminosalicylates (cousins of aspirin), steroids (potent anti-inflammatory agents), immunosuppressants like azathioprine (Imuran), and antibiotics. Another drug, infliximab (Remicade), has proved effective for patients with Crohn’s disease.

For the rest of this article, click here.

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