Feb 09 2020

Food Habits are Especially Hard to Break

Published by under probiotic supplements

Habits are difficult to break, especially when it comes to food.
Make sure your eating habits are leading to a destiny of long term health and wellness.

Changing habits can be difficult…sometimes impossible. Especially when it comes to food. We have good intentions and we want to eat better. Our motivations vary. Usually, we want to ‘look better’, or ‘do better’ and lastly we want to feel better. But many “diets” fall flat, and people end up back in the same eating habits as before. Science shows that while we can change what we eat and when we eat for a short period of time, once we experience a moment of weakness, many (not all) of us go right back to our old habits. According to Kari Anderson, DBH, CEDS who is in private practice at myEatingDoctor in Scottsdale, Arizona “…It’s complicated and primal, and it has everything to do with your brain trying to help you survive. Even if the eating changes that you’re trying to make will make you healthier…”1*

While we set out to eat healthful foods during the day, we get off track, most usually in a moment of stress, and then we beat ourselves up for falling off the wagon. How and why is it so hard to stick to our diets? If we can’t do it for ourselves, can’t we do it to ensure our long term health for our loved ones? Why is it so hard? In a moment of weakness and faced with a delicious piece of chocolate cake, french fries or a greasy burger, our future health and our loved ones don’t usually come to mind, just the desire to have what we want. Are we really that weak? According to Andersen, “…Deep within our brain lies a basic quest for survival, located in the reptilian brain. Food is key to our survival and it represents safety. So if someone (even you) starts messing around with your food, all bets are off. That’s because of any threat to your safety, whether real or perceived, evokes fear…”1*

According to health experts, there is more to it. We can tell ourselves we are “bad people with bad habits” and it is easy to beat ourselves up and feel ashamed when we go off our diets. But we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves. According to Andersen, it’s quite simple because it is purely instinctual and emotional. It is especially true for people who have experienced any type of food insecurity in their lives. This could be a result of eating disorders, poverty, growing up in the depression, chronic dieting or having lived with a caregiver that tried to control our food. These experiences cause us to feel threatened when we try to change our eating habits.1*

“…Part of our habits with food have been built within the reward pathways of our mammalian brain…” There is a behavioral hypothesis called Porges Polyvagal Theory that suggests “…relationships and social engagement with others is the primary way that mammals have developed to calm themselves. This natural regulation is accomplished through neurological processes and when relationships go missing, food can often serve a similar function…” She goes on to suggest that, “…Through sensory experiences and the movement of facial muscles, eating neurologically mimics social interaction, providing a feeling of safety and calm…”1*

Because our food habits originate from such a deeply unconscious place in our brain, it is easy to see why it is so hard to stick with it. When we make the conscious decision to start a diet plan or feel the desire to change our food behavior, we are in a calm state. The problem and when we blow it, arises when we become agitated, tired, depressed or stressed. During these times, our need for safety and comfort automatically defaults to our “repitilian or mammailian brain” and our rational brain goes out the window.  But, according to Andersen, through practice, we can change our brains and heal food insecurity. We can rewire food reward pathways and learn to not use food for feeling connection. 1* 

The goal is to not be motivated by “being good” or even “looking good” but by feeling good.This is driven from within and by what is truly important to you. So you’d wonder, wanting to be healthy isn’t enough? “…Knowing when you feel good and wanting to do what’s needed to keep feeling that way is an example of intrinsic or internal motivation. Unfortunately, many people are so disconnected from their bodies,  according to Andersen, that they don’t know when they feel good, or bad…”2*

According to Andersen, the key to this internal motivation comes from connecting to your body and your internal motivation through mindfulness. Being present, in the moment and listening to our bodies, our mood and our mental state. How do certain foods make you feel after you eat them? When we notice that certain foods that we eat, and in particular combinations and at certain times make us either feel good or not good, we can start really listening to our bodies, and then let our bodies tell us what to do. If you eat a donut and while it tastes delicious in the moment makes you feel awful afterward, you can listen to your body enough to know that you don’t want to do that again. Or, if you eat lots of vegetables and lean meat and you wake up the next morning feeling lighter and more energized, you will want to repeat that behavior. 2*

This is so very important because it keys right into the gut. When we feed our microbiome foods that only perpetuate the growth of candida and other bad bacteria, we feel bad. We feel foggy, tired and weighted down. When we replace that with foods that feed the good bacteria, we feel better overall. We feel energized, happier and healthier. But it does take conscious mindfulness to really want to make this a habit. Remember, habits become our destiny, so good habits are important. 2*

When our guts are populated with bad bacteria, it can feel comforting to eat those foods that feed that bacteria because they are hungry, causing us to crave these foods. Beating a junk food habit can be extremely hard for this reason. It can even be uncomfortable and unsatisfying at first. But with regularity and increasing the Probiotics that go into our guts, we can starve out the unfriendly bacteria and replace it with healthy bacteria that make us feel good, boost our immune system which makes us feel healthier. We can do this through a regular regimen of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ and then eating the right foods that support a healthy microbiome.2*

“…By simply pausing and noticing our awareness of behaviors that make us feel good can create new reward pathways in our brains…” It is inch by inch, rather than a big reward at the end of a long day such as having a big meal or a hot fudge sundae which tastes good in the moment but not in the long run. Learning to reward ourselves in more healthy ways is the key. Instead of making choices out of shame, a need to feel secure or comforted, we start making food choices based on competence, knowledge and conscious choices rather than out of habit or fear.2*

One helpful way to start off on the right foot is to always make the first food you eat each day a healthy one. A vegetable scramble, whole grain toast with avocado, oatmeal with fresh fruit will keep your body on the right track and tell your microbiome what to crave for the rest of the day. If you start your day with high sugar or processed foods, your body will key into that and just crave more as your glucose levels spike, craving more sugar. Even if you aren’t a “breakfast person” just make sure that no matter what time you eat, you eat something that is going to feed your good bacteria and nourish your body as a whole. Remember our actions lead to habits and our habits lead to our destiny. What is your destiny?2*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/behernow/201709/why-changing-eating-habits-permanently-is-so-hard
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/behernow/201710/the-secret-changing-eating-behavior-good

 

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Jan 26 2020

Is Our Gut a Predictor of How Long we Will Live?

Published by under probiotic supplements

Is our gut a predictor of how long we will live?
A group of scientists believes they can predict future health by examining the microbiome.

The microbiome is at the core of our health. It has been linked to all sorts of health issues including digestive disorders, mood patterns, inflammation, and arthritis. Eighty percent of our immune system originates from the gut so if our guts are healthy so are we. Scientists are now suggesting that our microbiome can be an indicator of our future health in terms of years we will live. There are two new studies that find our mix of microbes can “reveal the presence of many diseases…” and may “…anticipate our risk of dying within the next 15 years…” According to this research, our gut microbes may be better at determining diseases than our own genes can.1*

“…In the first study, researchers reviewed 47 studies looking at associations between the collective genomes of the gut microbes and 13 common diseases. These included schizophrenia, hypertension, and asthma—all of which are considered “complex” because they are caused by both environmental and genetic factors. They then compared these studies with 24 genome-wide association (GWA) studies, which correlate specific human genetic variants with diseases….”1*

In a paper posted on the preprint server bioRxiv, the research team reported that the “…genetic signature of gut microbes was 20% better at discriminating between a healthy and an ill person than a person’s own genes…” The microbiome was better at predicting whether someone had colorectal cancer by 50%  than GWA studies. The only genetic profile that outperformed the human microbiome was that of predicting whether someone had type 1 diabetes.1*

The study’s author Braden Tierney is a computational biologist at Harvard Medical School. He acknowledges that this is a preliminary analysis and that the work could ultimately benefit people, by using both the microbiome and human genetics to improve patient quality of life by “…identifying key markers in both sets of genomes that could help diagnose these complex diseases…”1*

According to Tierney, a person’s environment, including what they eat and how often they exercise may continue to remain a better predictor of diseases which tend to have a large environmental component. This includes such diseases as type 2 diabetes.1*

A second study looked at the link between a person’s microbiome and how long they lived. The analysis referred to a Finnish study that has been collecting health information and data from thousands of participants since 1972. Participants donated stool samples in 2002 that were sequenced 15 years later. “…The data reveal that individuals with an abundance of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria—a family of potentially infectious bacteria that includes Escherichia coli and salmonella—are 15% more likely to die in the next 15 years…” This link between gut bacteria and increased risk of death was consistent across the eastern and western Finnish populations, whose genetic backgrounds and lifestyles are quite different. 1*

For both research studies, researchers say they are still unclear as to why there is this connection between the microbiome and death and disease. Is it that the microbes are causing disease? Or, are they shortening a person’s life span in some way? Or, it is that the gut is just reflective of whatever else is going on in the body?  Regardless, doctors, researchers, and scientists who are focused on treating and preventing human diseases are starting to pay a lot more attention to what is going on in the gut and will most likely find that all the above are true. *

While the microbiome is still relatively new and unexplored in so many ways, there is hope and enthusiasm that soon microbiome-based therapeutics and diagnostics will be developed. 1*

It’s encouraging to know that the science and health communities are putting their energy and resources towards examining gut health for determining health issues and diseases. At Body Biotics™, we know the importance of it and that is why we developed Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ so many years ago. As conventional medicine and health practitioners continue to recognize and acknowledge the importance of gut health, more emphasis will be put on prevention as opposed to addressing issues after they have developed. By keeping our guts healthy and ensuring we are replenishing depleted microbes whether it be from antibiotic use, poor diets or just daily living in our fast world with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™,  we are one step ahead as we focus on staying healthy for the long run.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/microbes-your-gut-could-predict-whether-you-re-likely-die-next-15-years

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Jan 12 2020

Avoiding the Common Problem of Cascading Prescriptions

Published by under General

Avoid the common problem known as the “prescribing cascade.”1*

Instead of taking more prescription drugs to address what’s wrong, take Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ to stay healthy at the core.*

Americans spend about $1,200 on prescription drugs every year. That is more than what people pay in any other developed country. These are the latest figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. 1*

About one-quarter of Americans between the ages of 65-69 take at least 5 prescription drugs for chronic conditions, with 46% of those between the ages of 70-79 doing the same. It is not unusual for some patients to be taking more than 20 drugs to treat acid reflux, various heart-related conditions, depression, insomnia, and other disorders. 1*

As we get older, we have more difficulty metabolizing medications. Oftentimes side effects such as dizziness, nausea, constipation, confusion and even falls can happen and are often misinterpreted as a new condition, leading to another medication being prescribed. This “prescribing cascade” happens all the time and is why the pharmaceutical industry is a multibillion-dollar industry in our country.2*

As a nation, we have gone from spending 2.7 billion dollars each year on prescription drugs in the 1960s to 360.3 billion dollars in 2019. New drugs are always being developed to treat anything and everything, from diseases to ailments. We are a drug-taking nation and it is costing us billions. 3*

The United States has the highest total drug spending and also has “…the highest per capita pharmaceuticals spending among developed countries…” Drug prices are higher here than in other countries. For example, the commonly prescribed drug, Humira which is used to treat “…rheumatoid arthritis, chronic plaque psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and non-infectious uveitis…” was more than three times higher in the US than in Switzerland in 2015 The reason? In other countries, their governments more or less control drug prices. In the United States, we have a competitive marketplace, and as a result, the US market is more profitable for pharmaceutical companies and they are taking full advantage of that fact. The United States is the biggest producer of pharmaceuticals by value, accounting for nearly one-third of total production, (with Japan coming in as the second-largest producer.) The 10 top medicine producing countries produce 84-88% of the world’s pharmaceutical production. And prices keep going up. (2,3)*

Pharmaceutical companies kicked off 2019 with significant price increases. According to an analysis from the health software company Rx Savings Solution, the list price of hundreds of medications increased on an average of 6.3 percent.1*

A study published in the journal Health Affairs suggests that companies have increased prices on those drugs already in existence. “…“We found that, in the case of brand-name drugs, rising prices were driven by manufacturers increasing prices of medications that are already in the market rather than [by] the entry of new products,” lead author Inmaculada Hernandez, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy says…”1*

Looking at wholesale data for around 27,000 prescription drugs from the years 2008 to 2016, Hernandez and her colleagues found that brand-name oral prescription drugs rose 9 percent year over year. Injectable drugs increased 15 percent per year while inflation during this time period was only about 2 percent. According to this study, research and development is only about 17 percent of all spending in most large drug companies. Once the FDA approves a drug, there are not that many additional R and D costs, Mainly, price increases can be attributed to a lack of competition and the regulatory environment in the US which allows for price increases much higher than in other countries…” (For detailed information about where the money is going, there is a good article in Health Affairs. See resource number 4 below.)1*.

Raising the costs of prescription drugs benefits the manufacturers and the insurers, but it hurts those who depend on these drugs, especially those who are uninsured and paying out of pocket. As a result, uninsured Americans pay the most, and this can lead to not filling prescriptions or not taking the medications they truly need. “…A 2016 survey found that 14 percent of insured Americans said they didn’t fill a prescription or skipped doses of their medication because of the cost…”1*

As long as we keep taking prescription drugs, these big pharmaceutical companies, the manufacturers, and the health care providers subscribing to them will continue to profit. And, it will continue to cost us more. I am not advocating that anyone stop taking their prescriptions. Many are life-saving and/or life-changing. But when you look at what prescriptions are being used for, it brings me back to the big picture of core health. Why are we on SO MANY PRESCRIPTIONS?  Can they be avoided? For many Americans, the answer is YES! But it takes work and it means addressing gut health first. *

It is so concerning that we have such high rates of digestive disorders, inflammation, acid reflux, skin conditions, diabetes, heart conditions, etc and instead of looking at gut health first, we get complacent and climb on the medicine train. And the “prescribing cascade” only gets worse and more complicated the older we get. So do your long term health and your wallet a favor and take a look inside your own medicine cabinet and do an assessment. Are you taking prescriptions that were prescribed to you a while ago and perhaps you no longer need? Are you eating a diet that is a healthy one and living a lifestyle that supports good gut health? Is your microbiome as healthy as it can be? Are you seeing the right health care professional that supports your health goals, and isn’t just writing prescriptions and saying, “next?”*

Look at the big picture. And do yourself a favor and don’t fall into the “prescribing cascade”, the slippery slope of too many drugs. Focus on your gut. Take your Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ and address your health at the core first. More times than not, it will take care of the rest.* 

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/10/why-prescription-drugs-in-the-us-cost-so-much.html
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-other-big-drug-problem-older-people-taking-too-many-pills/2017/12/08/3cea5ca2-c30a-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/184914/prescription-drug-expenditures-in-the-us-since-1960/
  4. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20180726.670593/full/

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Dec 29 2019

Good News for the New Decade

Published by under antibacterials,Antibiotics

Good News for the New Decade
New discovery targets antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ using molecular drills.1*

 Well, it is finally here. At the end of the year. And more than that, the end of the decade! Goodbye to the 20teens and on to the 2020s. The last decade has brought us a lot of technological advances, research studies, and knowledge that has helped us to live healthier lives. As a whole, we are shifting our perspective regarding health and wellness away from reacting to illness and disease to preventing it through good nutrition, exercise, and a healthy gut. *

We understand that whole food diets are good, carbohydrates are fine in the form of whole grains, and fiber is the key to keeping the healthy bacteria in our guts fed. Processed foods are out, sugar is out and organic is in! Plant-based diets have replaced vegetarian diets which gives us the platform for springing into a much healthier way of eating that prevents disease in the long run. Speaking of running, we know we need to exercise for our long term health*

 In the last decade, probiotics have garnered a lot of attention. What we have known at Body Biotics™ for several decades, the rest of the country and world has learned a lot more about. Gut health has finally become a household phrase and has taken center stage with many health care practitioners as they realize the importance of keeping the core of our health — our second brain — healthy in order to keep our immune systems strong and our overall health good for the long run.*

We are tapping into more and more ways to improve our health and discovering more ways to help those who get sick.  One of those ways comes in the form of some exciting news on the antibiotic-resistant superbug front. Through many blogs, we’ve covered the danger of superbugs, the consequences of overusing antibiotics, and the threat they pose for the future.  According to Chemist James Tour with Rice University,”…”These superbugs could kill 10 million people a year by 2050, way overtaking cancer. These are nightmare bacteria; they don’t respond to anything.”…”1*

James Tour, along with Robert Pal, a Royal Society University Research Fellow at Durham and co-author of the new paper which was published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano, have demonstrated that motorized molecules “…are effective at killing antibiotic-resistant microbes within minutes…” Working alongside a team of other researchers at Rice University, Texas A&M University, Biola University and Durham (U.K.) University, they discovered that these light-activated molecules “…target and drill through highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria and kill them within minutes. The molecules can open bacteria to attack by drugs they previously resisted. The strategy could be applied to bacterial infections or diseases on the skin, in the lungs or in the gastrointestinal tract…”1*

Tests by the Texas A&M lab of lead scientist Jeffrey Cirillo and former Rice researcher Richard Gunasekera, now at Biola, effectively killed Klebsiella pneumoniae within minutes. “…While bacteria can evolve to resist antibiotics by locking the antibiotics out, the bacteria have no defense against molecular drills. Antibiotics able to get through openings made by the drills are once again lethal to the bacteria…” Microscopic images of targeted bacteria showed where motors had drilled through cell walls.”… “Bacteria don’t just have a lipid bilayer,” Tour said. “They have two bilayers and proteins with sugars that interlink them, so things don’t normally get through these very robust cell walls. That’s why these bacteria are so hard to kill. But they have no way to defend against a machine like these molecular drills since this is a mechanical action and not a chemical effect.”…”1*

These machines initially may see the most impact on treating infections on the skin, wounds, from implants or in the intestines, caused by bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus MRSA, klebsiella or pseudomonas. Essentially, it will work, wherever a light source can be introduced. Another option is to have blood flow through a light containing an external box and then back into the body for targeting blood-borne bacteria. 1*

“…”We are very much interested in treating wound and implant infections initially,” according to one researcher, “But we have ways to deliver these wavelengths of light to lung infections that cause numerous mortalities from pneumonia, cystic fibrosis and tuberculosis, so we will also be developing respiratory infection treatments.”…”. It may also be able to target bladder-borne bacteria that cause urinary tract infections…”1*

A second paper was published by the Tour lab this week in ACS Applied Materials Interfaces regarding advances in microscopic nanomachines and their ability to target disease. In the second paper, researchers at Rice and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center “…targeted and attacked lab samples of pancreatic cancer cells with machines that respond to visible rather than the previously used ultraviolet light. “This is another big advance since visible light will not cause as much damage to the surrounding cells,” Tour said…”1*

New discoveries lead to new problems. New problems require new discoveries. Antibiotics were a miracle cure, yet no one realized the long term effects of overuse. With the dedication, intelligence and collaboration of incredible researchers as the ones working together to discover the molecular drill, we will continue to have much promise for the future. Make 2020 your year of prevention. Keep your gut healthy by staying on your regimen of taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ daily. Take good care of yourself and may you enjoy all things good! Let’s make this next decade the healthiest yet!

 

Happy New Year from all of us at Body Biotics™!

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. Rice University. “Deadly ‘superbugs’ destroyed by molecular drills.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2019. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191212142721.htm
  2. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/12/21/what-health-trends-and-medical-innovations-will-next-decade-bring/

 

 

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Dec 22 2019

Say Goodbye. Say Hello.

Published by under General

Say goodbye. Say hello.
It’s hard to let go of old habits and old ways, but with every New Year comes a new door to open.

It’s that time again! The old year is coming to a rapid close while the New Year is creeping up behind us, getting ready to tap us on the shoulder and say, “you’re it.” This is your year to live your best life, take charge of those things that have evaded you, whether it be your personal life, business or your health.  No more excuses. Are you with me?

When you think about what you really want for Christmas, what is it? Aside from a new Mazerati, do you want more time with family and friends? Do you want to meet new friends in order to expand your social circle? Do you want to mend old relationships that have fallen away? Do you want to spend less time on social media and more time face to face with the people you really care about? How about learning a new skill? Do you want to lose weight, get healthier, and get off prescription drugs? How about drinking less, quitting smoking and exercising more? Well there is no time like the present to give these presents to yourself. Say good bye to the old and say hello to the new. Today is the day…this year is your year!

As we know, life is fleeting. Many of us have possibly seen that first hand this year. But I challenge you, instead of mourning the loss of someone you care about, live your life to the fullest in their honor. As Don Henley sings in The Last Worthless Evening, …“There are just  so many summers  and just so many springs.”. We keep hearing about power movements going on across this country. How about we experience real power and change the one thing we can and that is ourselves. Only you can change what you don’t like in your life. Next year you can look back and say…I am the best me I can be. (If you are already there, give yourself a round of applause.)

So here’s our Christmas list for you

All I Want for Christmas is good health.

Every time your health seems to be getting off track, circle back around to your gut health and reevaluate if you are taking care of the core of your health. Are you keeping up with your Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™? Are you eating plenty of fruits and vegetables? Are you limiting your intake of processed foods and sugar? It’s easy to get off track…especially over the holidays. But just because it is the holiday season, doesn’t mean you need to get off track and compromise your health.

Give yourself a present of a gym or yoga membership.

Getting fit is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It truly is a gift that keeps on giving.

Make the effort with your friends and family.

When you feel lonely, pick up the phone and reach out to someone rather than waiting for them to reach out to you. Everyone is busy, and it is easy to feel like no one is available. Chances are, they would love to hear from you and may need someone to talk to but just didn’t feel like reaching out.   

Send a personal note.

Once you’re done writing to Santa, write to someone in your life you care about or who might enjoy a piece of mail. Especially older folks love mail, but younger ones do too. For them it is a novelty and exposes them to what is quickly becoming a lost tradition.  

Give rather than receive. This is true at Charismas but also all year long. Instead of asking what is in it for me, stop sometimes and ask, how you can  help others and bring Joy to the World.

Give the gift of being present to those around you. Get off your phones, take your eyes off the boob tube, put down the controls to the Xbox and actually have a conversation with everyone in the room, young and old. Listen. Ask questions. Be interested and be present. Be fun! Share something personal and tell those you care about that you love them.

Get lots of sleep…this time of year can wear on you and put you on edge especially if you are tired. Enjoy some Silent Nights and drift off for some good slumber that will make you fresh for your friends and family.

Feel the joy around you this holiday season. Tis the season to be jolly afterall. Embrace it. Smile at others. Love those near to you as much as you possibly can. Let go of old burdens and thoughts that drag you down and bring in new ideas and inspirations to make you feel alive. Say goodbye to this year, acknowledge all that was beautiful and then say hello to a new year, a new decade and a new you.

All- I- want- for- Christmas- is- you! To be happy, joyful, healthy and content.

Wishing you the happiest and healthiest of Holidays!.

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

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Dec 15 2019

Stay Healthy and Happy this Holiday Season.

Stay healthy and happy this holiday season.
Don’t put a damper on the holidays by coming down with the cold or flu.

As Benjamin Franklin quoted a long time ago, “ An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While he initially meant it as it applies to safety, this phrase is always used when referring to health. And it couldn’t be more true, especially during this time of year.

Preventing illness rather than trying to get over an illness is a lot easier on everyone involved. Getting sick can take a toll on the body, ESPECIALLY if antibiotics get involved. It costs us time away from work and away from our family and friends. There has never been a better time than RIGHT NOW to reevaluate your health practices and be sure you are fortified and ready for what has become known as “cold and flu season”. Let’s go back to thinking of it as the ‘holiday season’ instead by staying healthy and actually enjoying the holidays.  

So what can we do to ensure our health? There are lots of viruses, flu bugs and bacteria out there that are ready and willing to take residence in your body. But if our immune systems are strong, we can fight it off. You are less likely to get infected if your microbiome is in balance

At Body Biotics™, we believe in staying healthy, starting with the gut, so we’ve put together a list of reminders to keep you healthy this holiday season, and we are checking it twice.

Gut health, gut health, gut health!

Keeping your gut healthy is of utmost importance and everyone knows it. It is all about prevention and keeping your microbes in a healthy balance, so if a bug does come along, your healthy bacteria are there to fight it off. With 80% of our immune system residing in our guts, if your gut is healthy, so will you be. If you start to feel something coming on, increase your Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™. It will give your system the extra boost it needs to fight off infection.

Avoid being around sick people, and if you do get sick…stay home!

Nobody wants to be around someone who is coughing and you don’t want to be that person spreading germs. There is nothing worse than getting on a plane and sitting next to someone who is coughing and blowing their nose. While we don’t like to cancel plans, sometimes it is the right thing to do. Do others a favor and just stay home with a cup of soup and a good movie. You’ll get better faster and everyone else will appreciate it.

If you get a virus, take measures to avoid it developing into a bacterial infection.

Sinus infections can often be avoided by treating the cold with regular use of a nedi pod or nasal wash, lots of fluids, and rest. “…Your body’s natural line of defense—the immune system—usually takes a few days to two weeks to fight a viral infection. In that time, make sure to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and take over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve any pain or fevers. You can also try a humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer. Remember, over-the-counter medicines will help relieve symptoms, but they won’t shorten the amount of time you are sick…” So hunker down, give your body a break and let it get well on its own. 1*

 

Keep your ears and feet warm.

If you are out in the cold, be sure to wear ear protection. Starting at 59°F, the blood vessels in the ears begin to constrict in order to consolidate warmth, making them more susceptible to the cold. Ear muffs or a hat that covers the ears keeps the cold out and also keeps the moisture out. When moisture gets in the ears it can lead to infection. The same goes for keeping your feet, hands and face warm. Extreme cold can cause blood vessels to constrict, limiting blood flow. When vessels are constricted, they struggle to circulate white blood cells needed for fighting off infection. (2,3)** 

 

Wash your hands

Wash your hands and make sure your kids wash their hands regularly at school and as soon as they walk into the house.  Scrubbing with good old fashioned soap and water helps fight off many germs.

Get your flu shot.

Not everyone is a proponent of flu shots, but they are a good protective measure especially for elderly folks or anyone with a weakened immune system.  

Eat right.

Avoid foods with too much sugar and keep your diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and good organic proteins. Limit alcohol intake which can take a toll on the immune system.

Get plenty of sleep.

This is extremely important. Going to bed and waking around the same time each day is also a good habit to follow. While we sleep, our body heals, so give it plenty of rest, especially if you are starting to feel a cold coming on. If you have a virus with a fever, sleep along with the fever, is the body’s natural response to fighting off the viral infection. “…One way sleep and the immune system interact with one another is through fever. Our bodies use fever as a physiological defense to fight infection. During sleep, we can get a better fever response. That means it’s more efficient for our bodies to take on unwelcomed germs and viruses when we’re asleep…”3*

Avoid stressful situations

You’re kidding, right? It’s the holidays! But do your best to keep stress to a minimum. Take a deep breath, be patient with others (strangers and family alike).

Enjoy the moment. There are only so many holiday seasons in our lifetimes. Enjoy them…make them special and be present!

Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.

 If you have a viral infection like a cold or the flu, antibiotics won’t help. In fact, they will wipe out the healthy bacteria you need to fight off other types of bacterial infections. Many viral infections, to include ear infections and bronchitis, used to be treated with antibiotics, but now we know differently. Sore throats also are often viruses and don’t respond to antibiotics, but get a strep test if you have a sore throat to rule that out. Whenever possible, ride it out and resist that urge to assume you need antibiotics. Be aware that some viral infections can go on to develop into bacterial infections. So visit your health care provider or urgent care if you develop a fever of 103 or higher, if your fever lasts longer than 7 days, or if it is accompanied by a rash or vomiting (or anytime you are concerned). It’s better to rule out a serious bacterial infection, such as strep throat or pneumonia.

I hope these reminders will help you stay healthy this winter…through the holidays and into the New Year.

We truly wish you a healthy and happy holiday season,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/news/self-care/overly-antibiotic-when-you-need-them-and-when-you-dont/
  2. https://www.medexpress.com/blog/workplace-wellness/why-you-need-to-keep-your-ears-warm-this-winter.html
  3. https://medlineplus.gov › fever

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Dec 01 2019

C. Diff…an old bacterium with new problems.

Published by under probiotic supplements

C. Diff…an old bacterium with new problems.
One type of Colitis called C-Difficile is on the rise. Why? And what can be done?*

To continue our series on colitis, we must give attention to one type of colitis that is the major cause of infectious diarrhea in the United States and that is Clostridium Difficile, also known as C Diff. It affects nearly half a million people in the U.S. every year. “…Contrary to the popular belief that C. difficile is typically a hospital-acquired infection, recent studies have revealed that approximately 41% of the infections caused by C. difficile are community-acquired…” Each year, twenty-nine thousand people die within a month of diagnosis and 15,000 people die of the C. Difficile infection. While it can show up without an apparent reason, it often strikes people after they have received antibiotics for another infection.  When this happens, their immune system and microbiome get compromised and thus lay the groundwork for C. Diff to move in. (12)*

“…Scientists discovered C. diff in 1935, but they didn’t recognize it as the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea until 1978. The rise of C. diff in the 1970s was triggered by the widespread use of the antibiotic clindamycin. Over the next 20 years, broad-spectrum antibiotics continued to fuel the C. diff epidemic…”1*

Our bodies are made up of approximately 10 trillion cells — and each of us plays host to about 100 trillion bacterial cells with 500-1000 bacterial species living in the digestive tract. Most of these bacteria are harmless with a healthy person having a ratio of approximately 80% good bacteria to 20% unfriendly. Together they create a healthy gut and strong immune system. In the colon, these bacteria are harmless and actually contribute to our health, by stimulating the immune system, producing vitamin K and aiding in the establishment of the proper balance between its components. They detoxify harmful chemicals and crowd out such pathogens as C. Diff. 1*

So why and how did C. Diff become such a problem? The answer is something we have sadly come to know, and that is antibiotics. While antibiotics target aggressive bacteria that cause serious infection, they lay waste on the microbiome, often wiping out all the good bacteria as well…those that keep our bodies healthy. “…When normal intestinal bacteria are wiped out by antibiotics, a void is created and in too many cases, C. diff steps in to fill the void. This especially happens with those who are hospitalized and already have weakened immune systems and are not prepared to withstand the stress of diarrhea and fever…”1*

What exactly is C. diff?

 “…C. diff is classified as an anaerobic bacterium because it thrives in the absence of oxygen. Like its cousins, the Clostridia that cause tetanus, botulism, and gas gangrene, C. diff passes through a life cycle in which the actively dividing form transforms itself into the spore stage. Spores are inert and metabolically inactive, so they don’t cause disease. At the same time, though, spores are very tough and sturdy; they are hard to kill with disinfectants, and they shrug off even the most powerful antibiotics…”1*

  1. diff spreads because patients with C. diff shed spores through their feces. “…The primary mode of disease transmission is the fecal-oral route…” In facilities, where many patients are cohabitating, spores can be transmitted through utensils, hands, and food, and they are swallowed by another patient. Now, in the second patient’s GI tract, the spores come to life. In a healthy person, the good bacterial or healthy balance of bacteria keeps the C. diff bacterium in check without consequences. But if they entered the system of a patient who has been compromised due to antibiotic therapy or illness, C. diff sees an opportunity to grow. As it multiplies, it produces toxins known as toxins A and B, which cause damage to the colon lining. This results in diarrhea and inflammation. “…Ordinary strains of C. diff produce two toxins, called toxins A and B, but the new, worrisome hypervirulent strains produce up to 16 times more toxin A and 23 times more toxin B…” (1,2)*

While any antibiotic can pave the way for C. diff, it is the antibiotics that more severely affect the intestinal tract. Clindamycin is the most common, but other antibiotics include such broad-spectrum antibiotics as penicillins, cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones. Anti-ulcer medications in the proton-pump inhibitor family may also increase vulnerability because stomach acid helps battle  C. diff.1*

Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can even be life-threatening. The wide range of symptoms is classified as CDAD which stands for Clostridium difficile–associated disease. Health care professionals can identify it by its odor, but more precise testing is mandatory. The standard way to diagnose CDAD is to detect C. diff toxins in the patient’s feces.1*

If an antibiotic led to CDAD, the first step is to stop that therapy which is difficult if a patient needs that particular treatment for something else going on in the body. The next step is to administer an antibiotic that will kill C. diff. In most mild to moderate cases, C. diff. infections respond well to two drugs, fidaxomicin or vancomycin. But some patients recover slowly, and relapse is not uncommon. Many health professionals cautions against giving medication to slow diarrhea, as it is the body’s attempt to get rid of the C. diff. Dehydration is a big concern, so that needs to be watched. In cases of severe CDAD, dramatic intervention may take place. In the case of toxic megacolon which is life-threatening, complete removal of the colon may be required.1*

How to prevent C. diff and its spread

Because C. diff moves in when the microbiome is compromised, it is imperative to keep the gut balanced. Supplementing on a daily basis with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is one way to help crowd out unfriendly bacteria, and fortify the gut so that C. diff. can’t move in. 1*

  1. diffs is preventable but a prompt diagnosis is important in order for the proper to be taken to isolate the spores before it spreads. In hospitals and long term care facilities, the patient should be in a private room and not share bathroom facilities. Staff should take measures to wash their hands, use gloves and gowns, and remove when leaving the room. C. diff spores resist alcohol-based hand cleansers so soap and water is needed for handwashing, but even soap won’t kill the spores but scrubbing well can remove many of them. C. diff spores can survive on dry surfaces for weeks and even months, so all surfaces in a patient’s room require special care and hypochlorite-based solutions seem to work best. At home, kitchen and bathroom surfaces and fixtures should be cleaned with a bleach and water solution.1*

Because antibiotics are the culprit when it comes to C. diff., antibiotics should only be used when absolutely necessary, with the most narrowly focused drug being used for the shortest amount of time possible. Taking  Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ regularly, when you are healthy, and increasing dosage when you feel something coming on will keep your immune system and your microbiome strong and healthy. Colitis in general and C. Diff specifically are not something to mess around with and we want to avoid at all costs. Take good care and follow preventative measures.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/clostridium-difficile-an-intestinal-infection-on-the-rise
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431054/

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Nov 24 2019

Ulcerative Colitis – Part 2

Ulcerative Colitis…what it is and what can be done – Part 2

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, are particularly perplexing forms of Colitis.

During our last blog, we started our series on Colitis. We covered the different types of colitis, the symptoms and how to determine if it is time to seek medical care.

One of the most commonly diagnosed types of colitis is Ulcerative colitis. It is one of two conditions classified as an Inflammatory Bowel Disease with the other being Crohn’s Disease. These two conditions can be particularly frustrating because their causes are often unknown and those suffering have to deal with them their whole life. It occurs when the immune system overreacts to bacteria and other particles in the digestive tract, yet health experts can’t pinpoint why this happens. (1,2)*

Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic inflammation of the inner lining of the colon that can cause the tissue to break down, resulting in the formation of ulcerations along the colon. Depending on the type, it can involve the entire colon or only parts of it. “…The common types of Ulcerative Colitis include proctosigmoiditis, which affects the rectum and lower portion of the colon, left-sided colitis, which affects the left side of the colon beginning at the rectum and pancolitis, which affects the entire large intestine…” (1,2)*

Ulcerative colitis in almost all cases requires some form of treatment. Unlike other forms of colitis that are caused by external influences such as bacteria, antibiotics, chemicals, chemotherapy, etc., ulcerative colitis is believed to be caused by a genetic mutation that allows bad bacteria to irritate the intestine. While the exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, it is believed to be related to abnormal immunologic reactions by the body to normal bacteria that typically reside in the colon. The body’s immune system reacts by attacking the colon which causes inflammation.1*

“…Ulcerative colitis is a disease that occurs in developed nations and is more common in cities than in the countryside. Approximately 700,000 people in the U.S. suffer from ulcerative colitis. Individuals with ulcerative colitis usually develop the disease between ages 15 and 25 although the disease may begin at any age. There seems to be a genetic component since ulcerative colitis is more common among relatives of individuals with ulcerative colitis. Caucasians and individuals of eastern European Jewish descent are more likely to develop ulcerative colitis…”1*

Crohn’s disease, another form of inflammatory bowel disease, is different in that it is not isolated to the colon. Crohn’s disease most often usually involves the small intestine, sometimes the small intestine and colon and then sometimes just the colon. Both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are chronic gastrointestinal disorders with the symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea with the cause being dysfunction of the nerves and muscles of the intestines with no identifiable inflammation.1*

What are the warming signs?

The main symptoms caused by ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain and diarrhea, usually bloody. Ulcerative colitis can fluctuate in terms of severity over time, with symptoms going from mild to severe and back to mild. It can even “burn out” over time and become inactive. If not controlled, the chronic inflammation and symptoms of ulcerative colitis can affect the patient’s nutritional intake, leading to weight loss and a decreased rate of growth in children.(1,2)*

How to determine if you have Ulcerative Colitis

The best way to determine if ulcerative colitis is present is with a colonoscopy. It can also be diagnosed with a barium enema, which is a procedure that takes X-rays of a barium-filled colon, but the colonoscopy is more effective at identifying lower levels of inflammation and scarring left from the ulcers. Additionally, during a colonoscopy, biopsies can be taken from the lining of the colon which helps confirm the diagnosis.1*

In cases of severe flare-ups, it is necessary to seek treatment so as to avoid scary complications. One such complication is bleeding that can be so severe it leads to anemia. The colon can also dilate to the point that it stops working. Without treatment, the colon can rupture and this is a medical emergency that requires surgery. Unsuccessful surgery can lead to the removal of the colon altogether. 1*

 Another risk of ulcerative colitis is that it puts people at an increased risk for colon cancer, with that risk increases the longer the duration and the extent of the disease. Prevention includes annual screening via colonoscopy in which biopsies can be taken to detect precancerous cells early so that portions of the colon can be removed surgically before cancer develops. 1*

Other complications in other parts of the body can result from having ulcerative colitis. Inflammation can lead to arthritis of the spine and large joints, skin ulcerations may occur and it can lead to a serious liver disease called sclerosing cholangitis, which happens in a small number of people. All of these complications are associated with inflammation and the immune system.1*

There are several treatments for ulcerative colitis all aiming to reduce the inflammation in the colon. While there are several drug treatments commonly prescribed, let’s look at how Probiotics can help those with Ulcerative Colitis. *

Probiotics work in various ways. They act as a barrier by lining the intestinal tract and when taken regularly, prevent other bacteria from reaching and penetrating the mucosal immune system. Probiotics also enhance mucus production, helping produce a thicker mucus layer, which protects against invasive bacteria. They also can alter the consistency of the mucus, thereby “…changing bacterial adherence patterns…” 3*

Additionally, “…probiotics cause the mucosal immune system in the patient’s intestinal tract to secrete protective immunoglobulins (Ig) such as secretory IgA and a host of protective defensins and bacteriocins into the lumen. Finally, probiotics alter the function of the mucosal immune system to make it more anti-inflammatory and less pro-inflammatory; specifically, probiotics can stimulate dendritic cells to make them slightly less responsive and slightly less reactive to bacteria within the lumen. This latter mechanism appears to be particularly important in ulcerative colitis (UC). Working via these mechanisms, probiotics can downregulate the effects of luminal bacteria in initiating and sustaining an intestinal inflammatory response…”3*

Because Ulcerative Colitis is believed to be the result of an underlying genetic mutation that allows  “…aggressive luminal bacteria to initiate a mucosal inflammatory response that is never terminated…” the rationale is that Probiotics help change the existing bacteria so that it is not as aggressive and more anti-inflammatory. The second thought is that Ulcerative Colitis is a mucosal disease, so a therapy that works at the level of the mucosa should be beneficial. Research has been done on probiotic bacteria similar to the strains found in Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™. Probiotics showed to be effective for inducing remission and maintaining a benefit over 24 weeks. More research needs to be done, but multiple studies have concluded that certain strains of bacteria can help prevent a relapse of the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. (3,4)*

Drugs used to treat Ulcerative Colitis

Commonly prescribed drugs for Ulcerative Colitis are anti inflammatory  drugs such as aminosalicylates, which are related to aspirin. If those are not effective, corticosteroids are used. Lastly,  immunomodulators, which lower the immune response aim to reduce inflammation. These drugs can take weeks to months for maximum benefit to be realized. 1*

Biologic Therapies

Another recent treatment for ulcerative colitis is biologic therapy. Antibodies target inflammation-causing molecules produced by the immune system. These antibodies are administered intravenously every few weeks. The one used most often is directed against a protein called tumor necrosis factor, which is produced by the immune system.1*

Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis

Despite drug therapies, approximately one-third of people with ulcerative colitis will need to undergo surgery to treat the inflammation, prevent or treat cancer, or to treat complications such as the rupture of the colon. Surgery in which the entire colon is removed cures the person of their ulcerative colitis. Medical advancements have made it so that patients are not always left with ileostomies, (external bags into which the small intestine emptied). Instead, surgical techniques have been developed that allow the colon to be removed without the need for an ileostomy.1*

Helminth or Whipworm Therapy

A far out sounding, but possibly promising observation by some researchers is that the pig whipworm could be an effective treatment for ulcerative colitis. “…Scientists believe that the worms that inhabit the colon alter the immune response reduce the inflammation. In one study, 43% of patients with ulcerative colitis improved after ingesting pig whipworm eggs for 12 weeks. The impetus for investigating treatment with the whipworm came from the observation that ulcerative colitis was not common in developing countries where intestinal parasitic diseases are common…” This may be worth exploring further and possibly in a future blog.(1,5)*

I hope this information has been helpful. The more we know, and the more steps we take daily for prevention, such as taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ to protect our health, the better. Staying informed and ahead of problems before they get worse, is a big part of this.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/ulcerative-colitis/ulcerative-colitis-probiotics-prebiotics#1
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/colitis#types-and-causes
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3033537/
  4. https://greatist.com/health/probiotics-for-ulcerative-colitis#do-probiotics-help
  5. https://undark.org/2016/12/20/helminths-ibs-worm-parasite-auto-immune/
  6. https://inflammatoryboweldisease.net › what-is-crohns-disease › statistics

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Nov 17 2019

The Condition called Colitis: Part 1

Published by under probiotic supplements

The Condition called Colitis: Part 1

Many people suffer from this condition that has causes that are somewhat elusive.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to examine the condition called Colitis, which affects many people around the globe. Colitis is an inflammation of the colon, also referred to as the large intestine. It affects approximately 1.6 million Americans in some shape or form, primarily as Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Out of the 1.6 million people affected, 780,000 of them have Crohn’s disease and approximately 907,000 have Ulcerative Colitis. Approximately 6 to 15 new cases per 100,000 people each year are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. (1,2)*

There are many different forms of colitis, including Infectious colitis, Ischemic colitis, Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s colitis, Microscopic Colitis, Diversion Colitis. Lymphocytic Colitis, Atypical Colitis, Fulminant Colitis, Collagenous Colitis, Chemical Colitis, and pseudomembranous colitis. Depending on the type, Colitis can be a temporary condition, or it can affect a person for years. In the more serious conditions, the causes can be unknown, with researchers trying to find the answers. (1,2)

Generally, the signs of colitis include abdominal pain, tenderness in the abdominal area, rapid weight loss, achy joints, loss of appetite and fatigue, or frequent, small bowel movements. In many cases, diarrhea is present, but in other cases there may be constipation. Blood in the stool is also common. 2*

 Types and Causes

 Not all forms of colitis are the same. What causes it varies just as the type of colitis people have varies. Understanding the cause helps to determine the treatment plan.

Infectious Colitis

Perhaps the most common type of colitis is infectious colitis, which is caused by viruses and bacteria entering the intestine. Usually a foodborne illness or food poisoning from salmonella, E. coli., shigella and Campylobacter cause it. These infections can cause diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, and serious dehydration.  Infectious diarrhea can also be caused by parasites from dirty water such as giardia which can affect both humans and pets. This can be from dirty drinking water, lakes, rivers and swimming pools. When your mother said, “don’t drink the water” there was a good reason!3*

Another type of infectious colitis is pseudomembranous colitis which is caused when antibiotic use has altered the delicate balance of the microbiome and there is an overgrowth of clostridium difficile or C. Diff.  This bacteria produces a toxin that causes diarrhea. While the diarrhea is usually not bloody, dehydration and fever can occur.   C. diff is helped with a strong regimen of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ to repopulate the gut with friendly bacteria. (2,3)*

Ischemic Colitis

Just like other arteries in the body, the arteries that supply blood to the colon can become narrow as the result of atherosclerosis. Just like narrowing blood vessels in the heart can lead to angina, or narrowed blood vessels in the brain can cause a stroke, these arteries can restrict blood supply to the colon causing it to become inflamed and irritated. This same condition can occur as a result of a condition called volvulus, in which the bowel twists itself or there is an incarcerated hernia, in which a section of the colon gets trapped in an “outpouching” of the abdominal wall. These conditions can prevent blood from flowing to the affected portion of the colon. In these cases, ischemic colitis can occur. The result is serious pain, bloody bowel movements, and fever. 3*

Blood clots can also decrease blood flow to the bowel if they travel or embolize and block an artery to the colon.  “…Individuals who have the common heart rhythm disturbance, atrial fibrillation, are at risk of forming small clots in the heart, which break off and block the blood supply to the bowel. This is the same mechanism that can cause a stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack) if the blockage occurs in an artery that supplies the brain…”*3*

Microscopic Colitis

This uncommon condition known as Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis occurs mainly in older women. While the cause is unknown, the autoimmune condition is the primary suspect. Known as microscopic colitis, the colon wall gets engorged with either lymphocytes or collagen causing it to get inflamed. The symptoms are watery, non-bloody diarrhea. 3*

 Chemical Colitis

Inflammation and damage can occur when chemicals are entered into the colon as in an enema. Inflammation of the mucosal lining of the colon is the result. 3*

Medication-associated colitis

Some prescription drugs as well as over the counter drugs can cause colitis. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), retinoic acid, mycophenolate, and ipilimumab are among the culprits. Ask your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of colitis if you are on any of these drugs. 3*

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Colitis

Inflammatory bowel disease falls into two categories…ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

Thought to be an autoimmune disease, ulcerative colitis happens when the body’s own immune system attacks the colon, causing inflammation and small ulcers all along the colon. It begins in the rectum and can gradually spread throughout the colon. Abdominal pain and bloody bowel movements are the symptoms.

Crohn’s disease on the other hand, can involve any part of the digestive tract. It can start from the mouth, esophagus and stomach, and go through to the small and large intestine all the way to the rectum and anus. It has diseased areas known as skip lesions, which are interspersed throughout the digestive tract with healthy areas of tissue. (1,3)*

Symptoms

The symptoms of colitis vary depending on the type of colitis a person has, but generally, colitis is associated with abdominal pain and diarrhea. Symptoms may also include bloody diarrhea, , constipation, and cramping, Additionally, the constant urge to have a bowel movement, fever, chills and other signs of infection may also be present. In serious cases, loss of weight, fatigue, and fever are the result. 1,3)*

When to seek the help of a health care professional   

When it comes to the internal mechanisms of the body, it is important to seek the help of a health care professional for both preventative care (colonoscopy screening) and more specifically a gastroenterologist or internal medicine specialist if you think you have colitis. A diagnosis of colitis can be determined through a physical exam, reviewing patient history, a colonoscopy, laboratory and imaging tests. 1,3)*

Colonoscopies are an important way to screen diseases and conditions of the colon. It can help get a better picture, literally of the colon. Biopsies of the colon lining can be done to detect microscopic colitis and also to for cancer screening. If detected early, colon cancer is very treatable with great survival rates. Unfortunately, people put this important test off too often. “…Colonoscopy is an essential cancer screening test and is especially important for those patients who have had blood in their stool that can’t be explained by another diagnosis…”3*

A CT scan, or computerized tomography, can also be used to take an image of the colon and the rest of the abdomen. Different types of colitis have distinctive patterns that may help a radiologist recognize a specific diagnosis. 3*

If you are suffering from any of the following, it is important to seek medical care::

  • persistent diarrhea, (most bouts of diarrhea resolve themselves after a few hours…if it persists, there may be a problem)
  • blood in the stool
  • significant and lasting pain in the abdomen.
  • Signs of dehydration (decreased or dark urination, weakness, dizziness. dry eyes, mouth and skin.
  • fever, 1,3)*

What Is the Outlook for a Person With Colitis?

Understanding the causes of each type of colitis has led to a more targeted approach to therapy. Next time we will look at the treatment options for each type of colitis and steps for prevention.  In the meantime, we know that replenishing the digestive tract with healthy bacteria is key to prevention and remission for all types of colitis. So continue on with  Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ in order to keep the gut populated with the healthy bacteria we need for a strong immune system and to maintain a healthy digestive tract. 

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://inflammatoryboweldisease.net › what-is-crohns-disease › statistics
  2. https://www.gwhospital.com/conditions-services/digestive-disorder-center/colitis
  3. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/colitis/article_em.htm
  4. https://gut.bmj.com/content/54/7/898

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Oct 06 2019

Is it Time for a gut check?

Published by under probiotic supplements

Time for a gut check?
Evaluate the choices you make to ensure you are keeping your microbiome healthy.   

As we know, having a healthy microbiome is key to good health and a strong immune system. It takes a daily commitment to stay on track by eating right, exercising, sleeping well and avoiding poor lifestyle choices. With full schedules, work, families and more, we don’t always remember or have the time or energy to make the healthiest choices for ourselves and our families. Today’s blog is about doing a “gut check” and making sure we are all on track.

Keeping our guts healthy is essential for overall health and a strong immune system. The friendly microbes are important for healthy digestion. They destroy harmful bacteria and other microorganisms, produce vitamin K, folate and short-chain fatty acids. When our microbiome contains more bad bacteria then good, an imbalance occurs, This condition, called gut dysbiosis, leads to a plethora of conditions. We are more prone to a variety of infections and other illness. Our brains get  foggy, we can feel lethargic and depressed. Imbalanced gut bacteria and dysbiosis have been connected to weight gain, inflammatory bowel disease, inflammation throughout the body, insulin resistance, obesity and colorectal cancer. An unhealthy gut is at the core of an array of health problems.  All roads lead from the gut, and an unhealthy gut will make us sick, while a healthy gut will keep us well.. (1,2)*

So how healthy is your gut? Are you doing the right things to keep it healthy? Let’s review:

How diverse is your diet?

When we become creatures of habit, grabbing what is easy and eating the same things all the time (and maybe not so healthy), the gut microbes become less diverse..3*

A diet consisting of a wide variety of whole foods, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, can lead to a more diverse gut flora. The food you eat provides nutrients that help bacteria grow, so the more diverse the healthy foods, the more variety of nutrients help promote different types of bacteria to grow..3*

Over the past 50 years, the Western diet has become less diverse. “…Today, 75% of the world’s food supply comes from only 12 plants and five animal species…” Studies show that people who reside in rural regions of Africa and South America have a more diverse gut flora than those living in the US and Europe, as their diets are richer in fiber and include a wider  variety of plant protein sources.4*

Have you taken Antibiotics?

While antibiotics are effective in treating infections such as urinary tract infections and strep throat, they do take a toll on the flora residing in the gut. While they kill bacteria or prevent them from multiplying, they harm not only the bad, but also wipe out the good bacteria. Just one round of antibiotics can result in harmful changes to the composition and diversity of the gut flora. Antibiotics cause a short term decline in beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli and can increase harmful bacteria like clostridium.  Multiple rounds of antibiotics can really take a toll. Once a round of antibiotics is completed, most bacteria return after 1-4 weeks, but the numbers don’t often return to previous levels. Once you complete a round of antibiotics, take and increased dose of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ to replenish lost populations.

Take your Probiotics daily

This brings us to the importance of replenishing the friendly critters that we don’t get in our diets whether it is due to a less diverse diet, or because the soils are not as rich in natural Probiotics like they used to be before industrial farming took hold, We must replenish our guts with the friendly microbes they need. Taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is designed for that purpose. When you feel run down or are feeling a canker sore or yeast infection coming on, up your dose. These are all signs that your gut microbes are out of balance. 

Add plenty of Prebiotics

Prebiotics are essential for a healthy gut and for a diverse microbiome. Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ contains prebiotics in the form of humic and fulvic acid. Additionally, we need to also eat plenty of both soluble and non soluble fiber. It is the non soluble fiber that passes through the body undigested and promotes the growth and activity of friendly gut bacteria. You can get your fiber by eating plenty of  fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans, which naturally contain prebiotic fiber.

Foods that are high in fiber are and serve as prebiotics are:

  • Asparagus
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Oats
  • Lentils, chickpeas and beans
  • onions
  • nuts
  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Leeks (1,5)*

Don’t drink too much alcohol.

When consumed in large amounts, alcohol is highly toxic and can have harmful physical and mental effects, including gut dysbiosis. 6*

A study comparing the gut flora of 41 alcoholics to 10 healthy individuals who consumed little-to-no alcohol showed  dysbiosis was present in 27% of the alcoholic population, while it was not in any of the healthy individuals. 6*

Another study compared the effects of three different types of alcohol on gut health.”…For 20 days, each individual consumed 9.2 ounces (272 ml) of red wine, the same amount of de-alcoholized red wine or 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of gin each day Gin decreased the number of beneficial gut bacteria, whereas red wine actually increased the abundance of bacteria known to promote gut health and decreased the number of harmful gut bacteria like Clostridium …”  The benefits of moderate red wine drinking on the microbiome seems to be because of the polyphenol content in the grapes skins. 7*

A third study. showed that consuming red wine can significantly influence the growth of certain microbes, which suggests “…possible prebiotic benefits associated with the inclusion of red wine polyphenols in the diet…” Polyphenols are plant compounds that escape digestion and are broken down by gut bacteria. They may also help reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol 7*

Get Physical

 We know it, we hear it everywhere so let’s say it once more for good measure. Physical activity, whether it be walking, running, dancing or gardening, has health benefits that include losing weight, lowering stress and reducing the risk of chronic disease and  also improves gut health, according to recent studies. *

Cigarettes are just bad for you.

Tobacco smoke harms nearly every organ in your body with its thousands of chemicals, (70 of which can cause cancer). Smoking raises the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke and is also one of the most environmentally risky factors for inflammatory bowel disease, which is characterized by ongoing inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease, which is a common type of inflammatory bowel disease,  is also twice as likely in smokers. Giving up smoking can increase gut flora diversity.8*

Get lots of consistent Zzzzs

Sleeping, and sleeping well is essential to good gut health and overall health. Disrupting the body’s time clock can have an effect on gut health as shown in a 2016 study which explored the effects of short-term sleep deprivation on the composition of gut flora. The study compared the effects of two nights of sleep deprivation (about 4 hours per night) versus two nights of normal sleep duration (8.5 hours) in nine men. “…Two days of sleep deprivation caused subtle changes to the gut flora and increased the abundance of bacteria associated with weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes and fat metabolism. (1,10)*

Try not to Stress

Stress can alter gut microbes by increasing sensitivity and reducing blood flow in the gut. Mice studies have shown that certain stressors can affect the microbiome. “…Stress exposure in mice also affects bacterial populations, causing an increase in potentially harmful bacteria like Clostridium and reducing beneficial populations of bacteria like lactobacilli…” Another study, which involved 23 college students, examined the composition of their gut bacteria at the beginning and end of the school semester. They observed that the high stress associated with final exams caused a reduction in friendly bacteria, including Lactobacilli….”11*

Easy reminders for improving and maintaining good gut health:

  • Eat plenty of foods rich in prebiotic fibers, such as legumes, onions, asparagus, oats, bananas and others.
  • Take your probiotics 
  • Make time for quality sleep and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Reduce stress through regular exercise and other relaxation techniques.
  • Check your lifestyle choices and use alcohol in moderation. If you’re going to drink, moderately consume red wine which is high in Avoid smoking and stay active.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-things-that-harm-gut-bacteria#section11
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27110483
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20679230
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23609775
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362077/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22552027
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2598752
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3180011/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5123208/
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301051107001597

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