Whirlygirly, you have the right company. It is based out of florida. The product is called digestinol (it used to be called amp). I found this one day after 3 months of suffering some unknown tender stomach, nausea crap. It was a little pricey, but I was really hurting the day I ordered. Had it fedex'd to me next day. I did make improvement. Felt 95% back to my old self. Of course, it ran out and I did not re-order as I thought I was ok. I should have kept taking. I have ordered another round, as my problems have returned. The testimonials are impressive. Hope it works for you
Stress Doesn't Help Anyone's Symptoms--just Aggravates It.
Hey there again. I just want to say that stress doesn't help these symtpoms any and can aggravate it even more. I'm thinking about trying accupuncture (tried it a long time ago for balance of mind/body/digestive system). Nowadays--time goes by fast---you run here and there meeting obligations, goals, expectations--and the one thing that sometimes gets neglected in all of this is our mind--(the physical gets afflicted but both can cause the chain reaction of the other). It definitely doesn't hurt to learn to manage stress--and for me, personally, especially with my symptoms, it can definitely be a struggle at times (journey)--but I believe its as equally important to healing than just the physical symptoms alone.
Stress can be very hard to control--you have no idea when and what time its going to occur (unless you know yourself very well and its routine/like certain times of day/situations and so forth :) but i'm going to try accupuncture and a change in my diet ( I never ate bad--but I think instead of three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)--i think i'm going to try 6 small meals spaced out throughout the day--maybe it will help my digestive system better and accupuncture is definitely good for the mind as well as the body (its relaxing). Good luck to everyone on here. I think this is an excellent, informative site for people who are trying to find the answers on their own when all else seems to fail. I'm glad this site exists.
Wow..Lol..You responded pretty quick :) so, then, no bad side effects from it (no cramping, nausea--)..I'm always just hesistant on ordering any pills online (just want to make sure that it is a legit operating company)--and that people had good results from it without the side effects. Do you suffer with ibs or constipation with your nausea and stomach tenderness--you said you had pain under your left rib right? I had many of the same tests you had--with the same results--normal. Was your pain under your left rib ever at the same time as chest pain? This sounds gross, but I recently visited my doctor last week, and he was telling me that the colon may not be flushing out everything and that it is building up which may cause the pressure under the rib as well as the tenderness in the abdomen. Anyone who suffers from constipation (even if its just on the occasion)---under the left rib (if they have had all the tests done ct scans (abdomen), endoscopy, so forth--could have ibs--ibs shows a lot of the symptoms people are mentioning. For me it was headaches, back/side pain, chest pain, pain under the left rib, stomach tenderness/feeling of fullness, occasional constipation, and sometimes dizziness. I don't know about the pain under the right rib (i know other people have pain under their right and not left rib--which may be something else) but under the left rib---is the colon--the right side under the rib is the colon too (extends far here)--but the right side (is responsible for disposing or transporting the urine out while the left side of the colon (which is under the left rib) is responsible for fecal matter and so forth--for people who suffer from constipation--this build up can occur gradually over time--but that gradualness can eventually lead to ibs. My doctor told me that constipation is a factor but you don't have to have constipation necessary as an only factor to having ibs--ibs has so many of the symptoms that can be related to gerd (because it all has to do with the digestive system so all these symptoms overlap one another)--i was able to narrow mine down to ibs because my last test the abdominal ct scan which shows everything (pancreas, kidneys,spleen, liver, gallblader, bowel, intestines--everything in areas that people on here are complaining about) was fine. This helped me to determine that its not life threatening. Its a pain but not one that will kill me :)
thanks for responding back so quickly---that was funny :)
Whirlygirl, thanks for mentioning that ibs does not have to have the symptoms of constipation/diarreah (sp?). I have neither, but I have kinda thought I might have ibs, but was ruling it out since I thought you had to have one of the two. My gi thought it was diverticulitis and like you, got a ct scan, and all was normal. I never went back to him. He was eager to do a colonoscopy. I wasn't. But that was about the time I bought digestinol. There are no side effects. And I have never had chest pains. One thing I have that is unusual, is lots of pain when I bend over. I think a lot of it is stress. I have high stress job. I'm in big corporate america and it has suddenly become a grind the last couple of years. It is putting a square peg in a round hole..It just aint working. I think I am going to move to the beach and rent jet skis.
Hey there. Yeah, you constipation/diarrhea--aren't the only symptoms that mainly define ibs--before my doctor mentioned that he thought I had it---i only had constipation once--and rarely have the other---i'm not overweight/blood pressure is good--he says that with ibs--which does play a large role in the digestive processes and food going in being processed, and going out---if too much food remains undigested and doesn't pass through the symptom--you may not feel constipated, but may feel abdominal tenderness, pain under the rib and so forth--that is because all of the undigested food (waste) builds up (this can be gradual--i could have had ibs all along--and in the beginning I thought it was bad heartburn/or actual heart problems (which is why I had a ct scan done as well). The funny thing is that my cardiac specialist thought that my pain was muscle spasms as well--but anyway, ibs can build up over time--some days--the pressure seems tremendous/feel lethargic/abdomen feels full/tender/pain under the rib--and other times it doesn't affect you--that is why I had the abdominal ct scan done/to rule anything out---ibs can cause indigestion---because if everything that you are eating--isn't getting transported out---it builds up in your colon (left side/under the rib)--this build up of waste (which I know may sound disgusting but we all eat and it has to go somewhere first) and that buildup is putting pressure on many of the other surrounding organs around there. As gross as this sounds--sometimes you need to just flush all of that waste out (either through metamucil (know I spelled that wrong), a colon cleanser, and eating habits (foods we eat--you really sometimes have to make a conscious effort for that)--because if there is buildup---eating anything that may not digest fast (carbohydrates/dairy-etc/anything heavy/spicy) doesn't help any. Basically this was causing a chain reaction for me (which explained why I sometimes felt like I had trouble breathing/chest pains) I never get constipated but did twice and didn't really think ibs. Certain foods irritate ibs more (which is why my doctor actually gave me a number of a nutritionist to help set up a plan that is specifically designed for ibs)--stress can definitely aggravate ibs but foods/how they digest in the system also play a role--i had to have various tests done to come to this conclusion--but for anyone who has--and they came out normal (like the abdominal ct scan, endoscopy, ct chest scan)---it could very well be ibs (like I said many of the symptoms describe overlap--so you think indigestion/pain under the rib--gastro problem--could be ibs/back pain--pain under rib-potential kidney problem--could be ibs
i think I may order some of that digestinol--but i'm going to plan my meals according to what sits well with me and what doesn't (i know it sounds like work) but it helps determine what is causing the pain and what actually makes it worse (keep a log--daily meals/what you eat/when the pain comes on)--and do a process of elimination.
I drank a cup of metamucil a day too--i'm not usually someone who has this problem but my doctor told me that it helps (the cheaper/slower version of the colon cleanser..Lol..)--it actually did make me feel a little better and alleviated the pain under the right rib--i'm trying that twice a day this week to see how it goes.
I know talking about bowel movements or lack thereof is gross (taboo to some)--basically not something one would talk about over at the water cooler (and i'm not talking the toilet here) and that is why I think I didn't know I had ibs---because you don't here about the specifics of it often and it seems hard to diagnose (because of the various symptoms that people have with it--it does effect the bowel--but keep in mind, the bowel is connected to the digestive system--which is a large part of all the things that I have been having problems with lately---i only was constipated twice---and would've never thought ibs from my symptoms but since I had all these tests done and they came out normal--my doctor told me that is exactly what it is...
For anyone who has had a lot of tests done--if everything is normal---you could perhaps have ibs--three things that i'm going to be working on for this (1.) food choices/seeing what works well for me and what doesn't (2.) dealing with stress effectively and (3.)may try a colon cleanser--i've heard that it does help--but different people get different reactions.
Hey..I never edit what I write--bad mistake--i meant that the metamucil (wrong spelling) alleviated the pain under the left rib--not the rib (most of my pain was around the abdominal area/under the left rib/left chest area.
I read up on digestinol---on other forums and heard two different sides (one which said it worked/the other which said it was a complete scam/ripoff)--i think i'm just going to start with a nutritionist/some accupuncture/maybe some natural products that I can see/read labels/look at in person at a health food store (i'm a little iffy on ordering any product "especially pills" off of a website that i'm not too sure of)--just the whole online thing---its hard to decipher real from scam and I don't want to ingest any pill that-personally for me--may not be good..Thanks for informing us on these pills though--i appreciate it---but (knowing me) I need to do research on this before buying anything. Thanks for the information though.
Hey. I am also looking up probiotics which I heard is good for these types of problems that people are experiencing---you can research it online to find out how it helps these symptoms/effects it has on your overall health
these bacteria are good for you
by charles stuart platkin
when most of us hear the word "probiotic," the first thing we think is yogurt. However, there is much more to probiotics.
There are actually more than 100,000 billion bacteria, and more than 400 different types, in our bodies. They generate metabolic activity, mainly in the colon but in the gut as well. Their intestinal functions include digesting food, absorbing nutrients and helping prime our immune system to better fight infection.
Interestingly enough, 70 percent of your immune system is actually in the digestive tract, along with good and bad bacteria. These "good" bacteria help our bodies function better. But illness, poor diet, stress, aging, infection by food poisoning and the use of medications can disturb the balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria. That's where probiotics can help.
What is a probiotic?
The term, meaning "for life," refers to friendly bacteria that serve a specific health purpose. "probiotics are products containing one or more live microbes in a concentration and formulation sufficient to provide a specific health benefit," said gregor reid, professor of microbiology and immunology and surgery at the university of western ontario, canada.
While there are different reasons for taking various probiotics, by definition all should provide some health advantage, ranging from calming upset stomachs to preventing yeast infections and liver damage.
Many of the live bacteria that are termed probiotics when found in foods and supplements do naturally live in our intestines. But because the term specifically refers to live bacteria added or ingested for a particular health benefit, those in our bodies naturally can't technically be termed probiotics, said mary ellen sanders, an industry consultant and president of the nonprofit international scientific association for probiotics and prebiotics.
Why do we need probiotics?
The whole idea behind taking probiotics is to help your body fight "bad" bacteria. Belief in the beneficial effects of probiotics is based on the knowledge that intestinal flora (harmless microorganisms) can protect humans against infection, and disturbance of this flora can increase susceptibility to infection. Probiotics are commonly used to alleviate intestinal disorders caused by a disruption of the normal flora in the intestinal tract (as a result of antibiotics, other medication, poor diet or surgery for example), which makes us more susceptible to disease. Probiotics can help bring back the balance and increase the amount of healthy bacteria.
Do "healthy" people need to add probiotics to their diets?
While people do not require probiotics to be healthy, there is mounting evidence they can improve immune function, maintain normal gi function and prevent infection. Probiotics also have been shown to be effective in managing certain diseases and conditions such as lactose intolerance, diarrhea secondary to antibiotic use or e. Coli infections, other gastrointestinal infections, yeast infections and lactose malabsorption due to chemotherapy. In addition, there is limited evidence suggesting probiotics have cholesterol-lowering benefits and help to lower the risk of cancer.
"however, more research is necessary to establish a firm basis for using probiotics for specific health benefits," sanders said.
What products contain probiotic bacteria?
"foods containing probiotic bacteria are almost exclusively dairy products, capitalizing on the traditional association of lactic acid bacteria with fermented milk," sanders said. "while most major brands of yogurt contain bacteria added along with starter cultures for their probiotic effects, less than 1 percent of fluid milk products in the u.S. Contain probiotic bacteria."
another source of live bacteria is kefir. Kefir, similar in taste and texture to yogurt, contains much more bacteria â yogurt typically has two or three strains, while kefir has 10.
How many probiotics do I need to consume for a health effect?
Although there is no official recommendation on average, you need 1 billion to 10 billion "colony-forming units" â or cfus to get purported health gains.
How much probiotic bacteria are in the products I buy?
In the case of capsules and other oral supplements, probiotic products generally indicate levels of bacteria on the label. Claimed levels of 0.1-10 billion are common in dietary supplement products. However, a study conducted by consumerlab.Com concluded one-third of probiotic products do not contain the levels of active bacteria they claim.
additionally, consumer reports looked at many of the yogurts and supplements and found that four of the 14 pill products had "no more than half of their claimed number of probiotics." best supplements: bio-k plus acidophilus /casei (liquid); continental natural acidophilus culture (liquid); dannon danactive immunity (liquid); twinlab super acidophilus (capsules). The good news is, most food products did live up to their claims.
On the other hand, most food products do not indicate the level of viable bacteria. Dairy products such as milk with probiotics typically contain about 200 to 300 million per cup, whereas some contain levels as high as 10 billion bacteria per serving, such as dannon's danactive.
"unfortunately, labels are riddled with wrong bacterial names and incorrect cfu numbers, and products are allowed to be called probiotics with no clinical trial evidence that they ever benefited anyone," reid said.
Health benefits of taking probiotics
bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem â literally and figuratively â hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning âfor lifeâ), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in japan.
Enthusiasm for such foods has lagged in the united states, but interest in probiotic supplements is on the rise. Some digestive disease specialists are recommending them for disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.
Self-dosing with bacteria isnât as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms (or microflora) generally donât make us sick; most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.
The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that lactobacillus gg can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children (but not adults). Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.
Probiotic therapy may also help people with crohnâs disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of crohnâs disease and the recurrence of pouchitis (a complication of surgery to treat ulcerative colitis). Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are giving probiotics a try before all the evidence is in for the particular strains theyâre using. More research is needed to find out which strains work best for what conditions.
Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.
Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a âfolkâ remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isnât enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. (vaginosis must be treated because it creates a risk for pregnancy-related complications and pelvic inflammatory disease.) probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.
Probiotics are generally considered safe â theyâre already present in a normal digestive system â although thereâs a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. Thereâs no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.
In the united states, most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which do not undergo the testing and approval process that drugs do. Manufacturers are responsible for making sure theyâre safe before theyâre marketed and that any claims made on the label are true. But thereâs no guarantee that the types of bacteria listed on a label are effective for the condition youâre taking them for. Health benefits are strain-specific, and not all strains are necessarily useful, so you may want to consult a practitioner familiar with probiotics to discuss your options. As always, let your primary care provider know what youâre doing.
Healing with probiotics
what do probiotics do?
Did you know that there are 20 times more bacteria than cells in your body? In fact, at any one time, you have more bacteria in your body than the total number of people who have ever lived on the planet. So the next time you step on the bathroom scale, you need to remember that 1 pound of that weight is not you at all, but the billions of bugs that live in your gut. This may sound alarming, but many of these organisms are crucial to good health.
A probiotic is an organism which contributes to the health and balance of the intestinal tract. A probiotic is also referred to as the "friendly", "beneficial", or "good" bacteria which when ingested acts to maintain a healthy intestinal tract and help fight illness and disease.
A healthy lower intestine should contain at least 85% friendly bacteria to prevent the over colonization of disease causing micro-organisms like e. Coli and salmonella. Our colon can maintain its health with 15% unfriendly bacteria, if the body contains at least 85% probiotic friendly bacteria. Most people have this percentage reversed.
The word "probiotic" simply means âfor lifeâ which explains why these nutrients are so important. But if you want the proper scientific definition of a probiotic here it is:
âa live microbial feed supplement, which beneficially affects the host by improving its intestinal microbial balanceâ
new research is establishing how important the supplementation of probiotics can be for a variety of conditions. Probiotics enhance the immune system by favorably altering the gut micro-ecology and preventing unfriendly organisms from gaining a foothold in the body. They prevent the overgrowth of yeast and fungus and produce substances that can lower cholesterol.
Probiotics are widely recommended for the treatment of candida - a fungal infection - because they establish large, healthy populations of friendly bacteria that compete with the candida that is trying to take up residence in the intestine. Probiotics are also essential in the treatment and prevention of thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and athlete's foot. Good health depends fundamentally upon the more than 400 types of friendly, symbiotic bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract.
Why do we need probiotics?
Two of the most damaging substances to the delicate intestinal flora balance are chlorine and sodium fluoride, present in most treated city water, and thus also present in most beverages which one gets at restaurants. The drinking of alcoholic beverages also contributes to the destruction of the intestinal flora. Medical antibiotics, birth control pills and many other allopathic drugs cause damage to the intestinal flora and to the tissue in the intestinal wall. Poor eating habits, chlorinated drinking water, stress and disease and the use of antibiotics in food production as well as in medical treatments can wreak havoc in the gastrointestinal tract by destroying good bacteria and allowing undesirable bacteria to multiply. When the ratio of good bacteria to bad is lowered, problems begin to arise such as excessive gas, bloating, constipation, intestinal toxicity and poor absorption of nutrients.
While it's true that non-beneficial bacteria are naturally occurring in the intestinal tract, problems begin when their growth goes unchecked and probiotics play an especially important role in keeping in check the pathogenic bacteria that cause disease.
A good probiotic supplement will contain millions and millions of live bacteria to bolster and replenish levels of the health promoting good bugs in your digestive tract. Once there, these probiotic reinforcements join forces with the existing friendly bacteria to help inhibit the growth of more harmful microbes.
This, in turn, will help improve the digestion and absorption of your food and stimulate and support the immune system.
Here's a summary of what probiotics can do:
inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria that cause digestive stress
improve digestion of food and absorption of vitamins
stimulate the bodyâs natural defence mechanism - the immune system
help make vitamins needed by the body
why are probiotics supplements necessary?
The answer is, that while it is true that certain foods - especially live yogurt, japanese miso, tempeh and some cheeses have a probiotic action in the gut, you can never be sure what strain of bacteria you are eating or exactly how much is contained in these foods. And there is no way of knowing just how many of those replacement bacteria are going to survive and make it all the way through the acidic and bug-killing environment of the stomach to the colon.
There are other foods, such as bananas, garlic and onions, which can also help repopulate levels of the good bacteria in the intestine. But we do not yet know how many you need to eat for the best results and, you can only eat so much garlic in a day!
Selecting a good probiotics supplement
the single most important thing you need to remember, is that even if all probiotics products contain what they promise on the label (and it appears that, according to clinical tests, many do not), only those probiotics which have a special coating to protect them as they pass through the stomach and small intestine will really hit the spot.
This is because the stomach is a sterile and acidic environment and has been designed to kill off bugs - the good ones along with the bad. And if the good bugs cannot get to the large colon - that part of the intestine where they are most needed - then you will not get the full benefit.
One way around this problem is to make tablets that are âenteric-coated.â this means the tablets are coated with a special protective layer to ensure the microbes will survive en route through the stomach and will get to the lower part of the intestine. This is where levels of existing bacteria, good and bad, are at their highest.
So, if you plan to take a probiotic, buy smart and buy one that has been âentericâ coated.
Whirlygirly, I think you are right on. I believe probiotics will help. I started taking a heavy regimen this past monday. When I researched, I thought the best one was primal defense made by garden of life. Suggestion was to ramp up to about 8-12/day for 30 days. I am at 8/day and will stay there for 30 days then back down to 3/day. I decided this course vs buying digestinol. Have a good weekend
i'm posting this in case 1.) it helps someone else and 2.) any advice or additional knowledge would be appreciated.
Finally, bit the bullet and did the upper gi and colonoscopy per recommendation of primary physician and gi specialist. Colonoscopy was normal and my gi says I have ibs. The upper gi diaganosis was gastritis, which is strange because I don't drink cofee or alcohol, take aspirin or any nasids, and was negative for h-pylori, etc... And don't have half the syptoms such as nausua or vomitting, bloating or feeling of fullness. I do have the belching and pain in the upperleft portion of my rib cage that gets worse when hungry or after meals.
the stomach, as everyone knows from watching tv ads, is j-shaped and collects swallowed food and liquid. It then methodically grinds the food into small pieces and squirts it out in tiny jets of fluid into the duodenum which is the first portion of the small intestine.
There are several types of cells lining the stomach. One produces hydrochloric acid and another, pepsin, a digestive hormone. Along with the grinding motion of the stomach, these chemicals break down the food and prepare it for digestion.
What is gastritis
gastritis means inflamation of the stomach. It means that white blood cells move into the wall of the stomach as a response to some type of injury. Gastritis does not mean that there is an ulcer or cancer. It is simply inflammationâeither acute or chronic. What are the causes of gastritis?
this is the name of a bacteria that has learned to live in the thick mucous lining of the stomach. Although it doesn't actually infect the underlying tissue, it does result in acute and chronic inflammation. It probably occurs early in childhood and remains throughout life unless antibiotics cure it. The infection can lead to ulcers and, in later life, even to stomach cancer in some people. Fortunately, there are now ways to make the diagnosis and treat this disorder.
Autoimmune gastritis - pernicious anemia
the immune system makes antibodies and other proteins that fight off infection and keep the body healthy. In some disorders, the body mistakenly targets one of its own organs as a foreign protein or infection. It makes antibodies against it and can severely damage or even destroy the organ. Diseases such as lupus, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis and the type of diabetes that requires insulin, are examples. The stomach lining also may be attacked by the immune system leading to loss of the stomach cells. This causes acute and chronic inflammation which can result in a condition called pernicious anemia. The anemia occurs because the body no longer can absorb vitamin b12 due to a lack of a key stomach factor, destroyed by the chronic inflammation. Stomach cancer can even occur later in life.
Aspirin & nsaid gastritis
nsaid stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. These are arthritis and pain relievers and include the over-the-counter drugs advil, naprosyn, motrin and ibuprofen as well as many prescription arthritis medicines such as voltaren, feldene, lodine and relafen. Along with aspirin, they reduce a protective substance in the stomach called prostaglandin. These drugs usually cause no problems when taken for the short-term. However, regular use can lead to a gastritis as well as a more serious ulcer condition.
alcohol and certain other chemicals can cause inflammation and injury to the stomach. This is strictly dose related in that a lot of alcohol is usually needed to cause gastritis. Social or occasional alcohol use is not damaging to the stomach although alcohol does stimulate the stomach to make acid.
there are other but rarer types of gastritis such as eosinophilic, phlegmonous (a severe bacterial infection) and granulomatous gastritis.
the symptoms of gastritis depend on how acute it is and how long it has been present. In the acute phase, there may be pain or gnawing in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting. In the chronic phase, the pain may be dull and there may be loss of appetite with a feeling of fullness after several bites of food. Very often, there are no symptoms at all. If the pain is severe, there may be an ulcer as well as gastritis.
the physician may suspect gastritis by listening to the medical history. However, the only certain way to make the diagnosis is by endoscopy and biopsy of the stomach lining. Endoscopy is an exam where, under mild sedation, a lighted flexible scope is passed into the stomach. Pictures can be taken but, more importantly, biopsies can be obtained for analysis under the microscope. An upper gi x-ray exam and certain blood studies may be helpful.
the treatment of gastritis will depend on its cause. For most types of gastritis, reduction of stomach acid by medication is often helpful. Beyond that, a specific diagnosis needs to be made. Antibiotics are used for infection. Elimination of aspirin, nsaids or alcohol is indicated when one of these is the problem. For the more unusual types of gastritis, other treatments may be needed. Gastritis by itself is rarely a serious problem.
the cause of most types of gastritis is known and effective treatment and preventive measures are available so that serious complications are unusual. One exception is the h. Pylori infection which, when present for a long time, may lead to stomach cancer in some individuals. This infection can also lead to a malignancy of the lymph system called a lymphoma. One such low-grade lymphoma is called a malt lymphoma. Eliminating the infection from the stomach often cures this type of lymphoma.
the causes of gastritis are varied. The symptoms can be acute and severe or chronic, low-grade or even absent. The diagnosis is usually easily made by endoscopy. In most instances, effective treatment is available and serious complications are unusual. By working with the physician, a good outcome usually occurs.
Most individuals are surprised to learn they are not alone with symptoms of ibs. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome (ibs) affects approximately 10-20% of the general population. It is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in medical treatment of disorders of the stomach and intestines) and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians.
Sometimes irritable bowel syndrome is referred to as spastic colon, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, nervous stomach, or irritable colon.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or ibs, is generally classified as a "functional" disorder. A functional disorder refers to a disorder or disease where the primary abnormality is an altered physiological function (the way the body works), rather than an identifiable structural or biochemical cause. It characterizes a disorder that generally can not be diagnosed in a traditional way; that is, as an inflammatory, infectious, or structural abnormality that can be seen by commonly used examination, x-ray, or blood test.
irritable bowel syndrome is understood as a multi-faceted disorder. In people with ibs, symptoms result from what appears to be a disturbance in the interaction between the gut or intestines, the brain, and the autonomic nervous system that alters regulation of bowel motility (motor function) or sensory function.
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by a group of symptoms in which abdominal pain or discomfort is associated with a change in bowel pattern, such as loose or more frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, and/or constipation.
Treatment options are available to manage ibsâwhether symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe.
i googled this website and thought i'd throw my symptoms out and see if anyone has any ideas as to what it might be. It seems as though there are some very knowledgable people in the forum that might have been where I am a while ago.
For about nine months now, i've had a gnawing pain under my left ribcage... Mainly lower half, but occassionally moves to upper left ribs. I've had occassional constipation and recently have seen mucus and had a smell in my stool. Early on I had two bowl movements that had long white stringy twisty tissue and again two days ago. I have had stress and some sleepless nights. I'm a 40 year old male.
I've been tested for h-pylori and blood in stool and both came back negative. I tried the prilosec otc for two weeks and something stronger the doctor prescribed and it both made the gnawing pain go away until a few days after I stopped taking it. Then I tried ulcertrol which made it feel better again until I stopped taking it. I'd also used the gdl and then gnc colon cleanse and increased the amount of water I drink, which made me feel better after I went to the bathroom but the gnawing comes back later. Also, I feel better after I eat but the pain comes back an hour or two later. I've cut out spicy foods and citrus/acidic foods and just started increasing fiber in my diet. On good days the gnawing pain goes away when i'm out playing with the kids or when I excercise (i just stared doing the treadmill), but comes back when I stop. My grandmother had diverticulitus, I considered ulcer first then maybe ibs then maybe zollinger ellison syndrome, now i've read a little about splenic flexure syndrome after seeing this site. I haven't heard much about the mucus in the stool or smell on the posts or when reading about the possible causes... Maybe because it's tabu, but i'm curious if that symptom has any significance. I'm going back to the general practitioner and he might suggest an abdominal ct scan or colonoscopy or blood tests for white blood cells as well as my protein level in my urine. I'm thinking it could be colitis - ulcerative, distil or left side. Could even be parasites or colon cancer. Sounds like it will be expensive and time consuming to figure out without little guarantee of diagnosis verus my $2,000 insurance deductible. I'll keep the string posted in case someone else has similar symptoms.
Hi, I too have chronic pain under my left ribcage that gets worse after eating. I just had my gallbladder out, so originally drs thought it was related to that since they could not find anything wrong on ultrasound, barium xray, or endoscope. Today it was terrible when I woke up, shooting pains which scared me. Does this sound like sfs? Help! :?:
Hi Bill B--i Have Some Info That You May Want to Read.
Human intestinal parasites worms
human intestinal parasites worms infection air food water cause constipation, stomach bloating, disease health problems. Other symptoms include anemia, asthma, diarrhea, digestive disorders, fatigue, low immune system, nervousness, skin rash. Most will not face this reality or even want to think about this subject and will continue in their suffering.
There can be over 100 different types of parasites worms living in human bodies. Some are microscopic in size while others can be seen quite easily. These common organisms can be found everywhere in our environment, in the air we breath, in the water we drink, or in the food we eat.
Parasite is an organism that lives on or in other organisms from which it obtains nutrients to live and causes harm in the process. Its name comes from the greek word para that means beside, and sitos, which means food.
Most parasites require a host to complete their life cycle. Animals can also serve as a host. The parasite will vary in size from the smallest one-thousandth of a micron to whale tapeworms a hundred feet long.
Ozone applications informationhomeozone applications air food waterozone activated oxygenapplied ozone applications business homeozone benefits homecontrol bad odor inhibit moldozone applications food purification preservationozone fresh perishable food processingbook informationbreath of life book summarybook contents informationbook orderhealth information detox health risks self colonic medical therapycolonic irrigation part onecolonic part twodetox ozone therapyhealth riskmedical ozone oxygen therapymedical ozone referenceparasites wormsproduct, business home ozone generator ozonator air purifier colon cleansingair water ozone generatorcolonic irrigation equipmentcorona pool spa ozonatorhome air purifiermedical ozonatorozone air purifierozone sensor monitorpool spa ozonatorliquid vitamin mineral dietary supplementoxygen supplementoxy-mega colon cleansernutra earth dietary supplementvitamin mineral natural health food parasites worms can invade your bodies through food and water intake, through a transmitting agent (like a mosquito), sexual conduct or through the nose and skin. Once established, they will eat the same foods you eat or they will eat you.People with intestinal parasite infections are usually under-nourished and weak, infected with viral, fungal, or bacteria, and have various types of chemical and metal poisoning. Human intestinal parasites can be present in any disease, in any person, at any age.They are responsible for many health problems because they secrete toxins and steal the vital nutrients from our bodies. They can irritate or exaggerate other health problems you may be experiencing. Everyone is at risk and under their mercy during parasitic infections.We create the perfect living environment for parasites when the bowel becomes ineffective in the elimination of our waste products. The build-up of fecal material on the walls of the colon is attributed to constipation and the amounts of junk food, chemicals, bad fats and sweets we consume.We poison ourselves from our own toxic waste and the waste from these creatures (auto intoxication) when this ideal habitat for is created. Testing for parasites are only available for about five percent of the known varieties with twenty-percent accuracy.Cancer cases are afflicted with worms that often lump together and look like tumors. Female worms can release 3,000 to 200,000 eggs per day depending on their type. This is a topic that most people do not want to discuss, let alone think about, but now reality must be faced.These topics are very important for total detox and your well-being. Most doctors are not trained to recognize the symptoms of parasitic infections. The only way to avoid the problems associated with parasite infections is by educating yourself.Parasites, some different varietiesthere are 3200 varieties of parasites in the four major categories, protozoa, trematoda, cestoda and nematoda.Nematodes; common roundworm (ascaris lumbricoides), hookworm, whipworm, pinworm, heart worm, strongyloides, stercoralis, ancylostoma, caninum, toxocara worm and trichinosis. Size can vary from .2 to 35 centimeters.Roundworm look similar to an earthworm and can produce 200,000 eggs a day. Approximately 1,008 million people are infected, making it the most common worldwide. The most frequent symptom from roundworm is upper abdominal discomfort. Other symptoms are asthma, eye pain, insomnia, and rashes due to the secretions or waste products from the worms.Large numbers they can cause blockages in the intestinal tract, hemorrhage when penetrating the intestinal wall, appendicitis, peritonitis, abscesses in the liver, hemorrhagic pancreatitis, loss of appetite, and insufficient absorption of digested foods. Adults grow to 15 inches long.Hookworm larvae penetrate the skin. When hookworm reach adulthood, they can sap the victim's strength, vitality and overall well-being. Young worms use their teeth to burrow through the intestinal wall and feed on your blood. Symptoms from hookworm are iron deficiency, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, craving to eat soil, protein deficiency, dry skin and hair, skin irritations, edema, distended abdomen, stunted growth, delayed puberty, mental dullness, cardiac failure and death. (1/2 inch long)pinworm can infect one in five children. Symptoms are itching and irritation of the anus or vagina, digestive disorders, insomnia, irritability or nervousness. Female worms crawl out of the anus and lay about 15,000 eggs per day. Once airborne, the eggs can survive about two days anywhere in your living environment.Worldwide, about 500 million are infected with pinworm. The worm is white and can grow to about a half inch in length.Infections from whipworm are estimated at several hundred million worldwide. Symptoms of whipworms are bloody stools, pain in the lower abdomen, weight loss, rectal prolapse, nausea and anemia. Hemorrhage can occur when worms penetrate the intestinal wall and bacterial infections usually follow. 1 to 2 inches length.Protozoa, the single cell parasites; amoebae, protozoa infections, neospora, toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidium, giardia, sarcocystis and trichomonas vaginalis.Amoebae are an irregular shaped microorganism that infects the end of the smaller intestine and colon. Amebiasis is the most common infection and caused by the species entamoeba histolytica.Amoebae also release an enzyme that causes ulcers or abscesses where they can enter the bloodstream. They can eventually reach other organs like the brain or liver. (25 micro meters in diameter)cryptosporidium is associated with water-borne outbreaks. The victim might experience diarrhea and abdominal pain lasting for about ten days.Giardia is the most prevalent intestinal parasite in humans and found in drinking water. Giardia resides in the smaller intestine and at times in the gall bladder. Millions of these giardia organisms will coat the intestinal walls, prevents the absorption of nutrients and later causing illness. Symptoms are mild to moderate abdominal cramps, intestinal gas, light colored stools, bad absorption, weakness, chills, stomach bloating and diarrhea. (14 um x 10 um)trichomonas vaginalis is a pathogen that resides in the vagina in females and the urethra, epididymis, and swelling in the prostate gland in males. In women there is a yellowish discharge accompanied by itching and burning.Malaria, the most prevalent and debilitating disease among the protozoa type is caused by plasmodium. About two million people die annually from malaria.Cestodes (tapeworm); bladder worms, pork tapeworm, broad fish, dog tapeworm, dwarf and rat tapeworm. Broad fish tapeworm may grow to 35 feet long and live ten years inside a persons intestines. Some tapeworm can lay as many as a million eggs per day. Their bodies are in separate segments with hooks and suction cups on their skull.Trematodes (fluke); flatworm, bladder, blood, liver, lung, kidney and intestinal fluke. Human infections of fluke s (schistosomes) are in excess of 250 million worldwide. They can cause severe disease of the gastrointestinal tract, bladder, liver and destroy blood cells. Size varies from 1 to 2.5 centimeters in length (1/2 to 3 inches long).
Spirochete are very tiny organisms that are spiral-shaped, and multiply in the blood and lymphatic system. Spirochete (largest), saprospira, cristispira, treponema (smallest), and many more. The host or carrier is usually lice, ticks, fleas, mites, and flying insects, which is then transmitted to humans. Spirochete are responsible for relapsing fever, infectious jaundice, lyme disease, sores, ulcers, vincent angina and wyles disease.
Some parasites worms have the ability to fool bodies into thinking they are a normal part of the tissue or organ and the immune system will not fight off the intruders. When these alien invaders are established in our bodies, they do several things:
they can make swiss cheese out of your organs. Worm infections can cause physical trauma by perforating (burrowing) the intestines, the circulatory system, the lungs, the liver or the whole bodies.
They can erode, damage or block certain organs by lumping together in balls or tumors. They can be mistaken for cancer tumors, and travel into the brain, heart and lungs.
They rob us of our vital vitamin and mineral nutrients, and amino acids needed for digestion. Some become anemic (anemia) and are drowsy after meals.
They give off certain metabolic waste products (toxic waste) that poison our bodies. This particular condition is called verminous in-toxification. Most have trouble disposing of the toxins that are re-absorbed through the intestines. Your bodies have to work twice as hard to remove these toxic waste products.
Depresses the immune system, which leads to further degeneration, fatigue and illness.
They can destroy cells faster than cells can be regenerated.
Some conditions that promote parasitic infections are excess mucus, an imbalance in the intestinal flora, chronic constipation, and a toxic internal environment.
Nose is supposed to act as a natural airway for respiration and the main inlet for oxygen. It also acts as an air conditioner, by filtering, moistening and warming the air that is breathed. The hairs and mucus membranes help prevent dust from entering the rest of the respiratory tract. The nose is responsible for smell and gives your voice its own characteristic tone.
Problems associated with the nose are sinus (sinusitis, an inflammation), nasal polyp and tumors. These can cause restrictions in the nasal passage hinder the amount of oxygen needed.
Bones surrounding the nose contain honeycomb (air filled cavities between the outer and inner layers of the skull) known as the facial sinuses. These comprise of 2 frontal, one sphenoid, 2 ethmoidal and 2 maxillary sinuses. Each sinus drains mucus into the nasal passages through tiny ducts or channels.
Sinus inflammation or infections can be caused by an abscess in an upper tooth or from bacteria and viruses. Parasites or candida can also take up residence in all those little nooks and crannies, and they are the hardest to eliminate. After time, the sinuses can become encrusted in toxic matter like in the colon. Mycoplasmas infecting the sinus will cause a drainage with a bad nasal odors. Swabbing the inside of the nose with a drop or two of oil of oregano on an ear swab will help over time.
Polyp or tumors, which bulge out into the nasal passage may also be filled with parasites. It is important to clear the nasal passages so you can breathe in the breath of life, more oxygen. Self-examination of the nasal passages is possible with a flash light held in the front of the nose and looking in the mirror. You should see a clear airway almost to the throat. If you can only see in about an inch, problems may exist.
Cleaning if required, dip an ear swab into 3 percent h2o2 and swab inside the nose. It may be necessary to plug the other side and breathe in slightly to get the hydrogen peroxide past the obstructions. Let it sit until the sinuses open and then blow out the excess mucus. Repeated use will show where parasites may be dwelling under the tissue by the bubbling and oxidation effect of the h2o2. With the aid of tweezers, it is possible to pull out the parasites and waste matter for disposal.
Another test for parasites is using black walnut oil on the swab. One or two drops are sufficient to start. If there is a burning sensation and twitching of the toes or it feels like a rock inside after a few days or scaling may appear on the outside are indications that parasites may exist. Applying ozonated oil or vitamin e on the dry skin will help soften the tissue.
Another method is direct applications of the ozone in the ears and in the nose. Insert the hose into each nostril while closing eyes and holding breath during each treatment. Sneezing will occur and the sinuses will open. Do as tolerated.
Extreme skin reactions can occur when drinking black walnut oil in water for the elimination of worms. When they are exposed to the oil, they will eliminate their toxins to protect their living environment. The poisons are absorbed into the blood causing a rash on the skin. To avoid this condition, start out slow and increase dosage over a longer period.
Treatments can be followed up by adding the oils to your vitamins and supplements for a daily maintenance.
Humans with worm infections may feel bloated, tired or hungry, allergies, asthma, gas, digestive disorders, unclear thinking or feel toxic. Damage and symptoms will vary on the type of parasite infection.
Some people may not have any symptoms from infection. About 25 percent may only have a few aches and pains that they can ignore. The quality of life and health may be compromised in another 55 percent. Those who are disabled from parasites are about 5 percent. In the usa, about 85 percent is infected with parasites.
Parasite signs, adults, children
allergies, many allergies are caused by worm infections. Tissue becomes inflamed and reactions to foods are the result when eosinophils (white blood cells) are increased due to them. Extreme skin rashes with blisters and food allergies or sensitivities may result.
Anemia, worms leach nutrients from bodies causing anemia. When they are present in large numbers, they can create enough blood loss to cause anemia or iron deficiency in some people.
Constipation, some worms can obstruct certain organs like the colon causing constipation, liver and the bile duct.
Diarrhea, most of the time diarrhea is nature's way of removing toxins.
Fatigue, symptoms include tiredness, flue-like symptoms, apathy, depression and a lack of concentration.
Gas and stomach bloating, some parasites live in the upper intestine, which can cause both gas and stomach bloating.
Immune dysfunction, parasites depress the immune system by decreasing immunoglobulin a.
Nervousness, the waste products from parasites irritate the nervous system, resulting in anxiety and restlessness.
Other signs of parasites in children
blisters appear on the inside of the lower lip, wiping of the nose, restlessness and grinding of the teeth at night, dark circles under the eyes, hyperactive, bed wetting, headaches, sensitive to light, twitching eyelid, gum, rectum, or nose bleeding are signs they may have parasites.
There are many natural foods, herbal cleansing products, and essential oils that one can take to rid themselves of worms. When taking herbal combinations, it is best taking them on an empty stomach. The best way to treat parasitic infection is to detoxify using a nutritional rebuilding program that will restore balance and the immune system. Everyone infected with worms is deficient in the essential nutrients. All essential vitamin and mineral supplements are necessary like nutra earth.
Parasites are a problem, it is very important to take larger doses of plant-derived nutrients due to deficiencies. Some worms suck your vitamins and minerals directly out of the blood. Others absorb your nutrients through their outer skin layer. The nutrients need replacing on a daily basis.
High carbohydrate diet, low in protein, and high in alkaline has been found to make parasitic infections worse. Sugar should also be avoided because parasites thrive on it and it is possible you could have candida. This candida or yeast infections create an environment in the colon that equals the environment needed for them to thrive. Foods that lower ph from high alkaline conditions in the colon are apple cider vinegar and cranberry juice.
Pumpkin seeds and onions mixed with soy milk is another remedy for worms. Herbal combinations for blood fluke are milkweed, pennyroyal and black walnut. Herbal combinations for liver fluke are cloves, goldenrod and goldenseal root. Bitter melon is effective against pinworm. Fasting on raw pineapples for three days helps with tapeworm infestation.
Another remedy for prevention is mixing one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Alternatively, you can take one tablespoon daily of 1 part apple cider vinegar, 2 parts apple juice, 1 part apple brandy.
Constipation problems can be helped with friendly bacteria, cascara sagrada bark, chamomile tea, or elder flowers. Licorice added to herbal teas has a slight laxative action.
Liquid nutrients like nutra earth will help clean and replace your vital nutrients. The oxy-mega oxygen supplement is more effective against parasites and cleaning the intestinal tract than herbs. High doses of herbs may make them retreat to the colon but to kill and eliminate the parasites you need to flush them out by colon irrigation and ozone.
One can save money and create your own herb formulas by buying herbs in bulk, capsules, and a capsule machine for filling the capsules. Mix the herbs equally and purchase high quality only. The book, the breath of life contains most all the herbs with anti-parasitic properties and the herbal combinations for mixing.
Prevent, eliminate parasites
healthy immune system is the best defense against parasites and disease. Some of the things you can do to reduce the risk of parasitic infections are:
wash all fruits and vegetables. Scrape off the wax substance on the outer surface on any fruit or vegetable with a knife before washing. Anything with a nick or recess can harbor just about anything and should be cut out. Avoid eating grapes with open splits. Washing in ozonated water, hydrogen peroxide (1 teaspoon per gallon of water), or bleach (add 1/2 teaspoon to each gallon and soak for 10 minutes) will kill parasites. Rinse well after to remove bleach residue. Some prefer to wash them in chlorinated water, but these things are organic in nature. Chlorine and organics do not go well together because of the carcinogenic compounds that are produced.
Thoroughly cook meats and fish. Do not eat raw or uncooked meats or fish. Check for worms, especially on fish. Spray with hydrogen peroxide or wash in ozonated water before cooking. Keep all work surfaces clean.
Drink pure water. Parasites are associated with many water-borne outbreaks and are highly resistant to conventional methods of disinfecting. Water that is properly purified with ozone is free of parasites.
Practice good personal hygiene. Wash your hands before eating and after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets. Keep your fingernails short and clean. Parasites can live for two months under the fingernails.
Keep your living environment clean. Breathing the dust in your house can contain human skin, soil particles, or fecal material from dust mites and cockroaches. An easy test to determine if this is a problem is by looking across the room when the sunlight is shining through a window and checking for particles floating in the air. Then let the kids run around for a few minutes and recheck. The elimination of carpets reduces this problem considerably.
Do not walk barefoot on warm, moist soil or while working in the garden. Parasites are abundant in soil and can absorb (penetrate) through skin cells. Fertilizers are added to garden soil and it is the pets favorite place to go. Use gloves and shoes for protection.
Swimming in rivers, lakes, ponds, or public swimming pools. Avoid swallowing or drinking the water while swimming anywhere. Avoid swimming if cuts or open sores are present.
If pets are infested with parasites, de-worm and keep them outside. You are at a higher risk in contracting worms when pets are allowed indoors. Dogs and cats are host to many parasites that humans can contract. Garlic added to their food will help control some parasites. Animals can spread 240 diseases to humans because of parasites.
Overuse of antibiotics. Reducing the numbers of friendly bacteria in the colon allows for the proliferation of parasites.
Global travel. Ten years ago, you might have been at a higher risk for parasite infections when traveling to another country. Today, you may be at a higher risk to infection by staying home.
Use more cloves with every meal. Adding some cloves to foods will help kill the eggs from parasites in the intestinal tract. Cloves added to coffee or herbal teas adds a little different taste.
Total annihilation of these invaders you have to get serious and declare all out war and fight back with the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. Your best defense is knowledge; knowing the enemy and the harm they cause. Then, attack with all the weapons that follow without letting up, and you will be the victor instead of the victim.
Most effective treatment or cleansing product for the elimination of parasites in the large intestine is to cleanse the colon with ozonated water and hydrogen peroxide by colonic irrigation. This method is extremely lethal to all types of bad bacteria, food pathogens, parasites and viruses. As the colon becomes cleaner, the ozone and oxygen will reach other organs where parasites may be a problem. The least expensive treatment is oxy-mega.
Why does ozone work so well? Healthy cells and friendly bacteria are aerobic, which means they need oxygen to survive. Unhealthy cells, parasites, pathogens and viruses are anaerobic, they can only survive in a non oxygenated environment. Change their living environment and you win the war.
Article in the nutrition and dietary consultant/may 1996, says, it is estimated that 200 million people are infected by intestinal parasites. It also estimates that one in four people worldwide is infected by roundworm.
No one knows the total number or types of parasites living in our environment. They hardly ever get full credit for the destruction they do to the human bodies. Only a few get credit for the people they harm.
High infection rate in the usa is surprising to many, but most of these creatures have always been living within our bodies. When the immune system weakens, they can grow to numbers that cause physical harm.
People poison their bodies with chemicals, drugs, processed and over cooked foods, it starts the process that allows the parasites to take over our inner environment. When they take over, they are in control, whether you know it or not. When we make the wrong choices and do not take preventive measures, they win.
Are parasites having this cocktail party in your intestinal tract?
Breath of life describes detox in depth with self cleansing products, techniques and illustrations on the colon, parasites, and directions for making your own board for home colonic. It also describes how to keep in balance using ozone with other natural remedies and the risk factors we all face in our daily life.
Brief summary and contents of the printed version and new revised 2005 edition is available in the breath of life section where you can purchase by credit card for 15.00. This book could save your life! To receive the book go to the book order in the contents.
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bill b--the white stringy tissue may be parasitic in nature. I know you had your stool tested for (blood and something else) but you may want to get it tested for parasites (which are located in the intestinal area). This article explained it well.
It is in the first two sections of the small intestine that most digestion and assimilation occur. Absorption takes place via the villi, small projections in the mucous membrane. Each villus has a network of capillaries through which the broken-down components of the food are absorbed. The nutrients then pass through the epithelial cells in the inner lining of the villi, at which point they enter the capillaries. The small intestine is attached to the rear abdominal wall by a thin sheet of membrane called the mesentery, which carries blood vessels to nourish the small intestine and carries absorbed nutrients to the liver and other parts of the body.
Once again, muscular contractions move the chyme along. Whenever a section of the small intestine becomes stretched, peristaltic movements (waves of contractions) occur at spaced intervals. These not only move the chyme along but also mix it with digestive secretions. At the end of the small intestine is the ileocecal valve. As with the connection between the stomach and the small intestine, various hormones and feedback mechanisms regulate the passage of chyme through the ileocecal valve into the large intestine. When the ileum becomes stretched and full, the valve opens to allow the passage of chyme and if the large intestine is too full, the valve remains closed until the bowel empties.
The small intestine actually meets the large intestine at a kind of t junction. To the left is the cecum, a kind of holding tank, and to the right the bowel. Attached to the cecum is the appendix, once considered a non-functioning or âvestigialâ organ but now recognized as serving an important immunological function. The appendix contains a high concentration of lymphoid follicles that produce antibodies to help keep the bacteria of the colon from infecting other areas of the body, such as the small intestine and the bloodstream, particularly in early life.
The large intestine or colon is five to six feet long with a diameter of about two inches and is divided by sharp turns into three major partsâthe ascending colon on the right hand side of the body, the transverse colon which runs from right to left across the upper abdomen, and the descending colon which carries the mass of digested food downward to the rectum. The purpose of the large intestine is threefold: storage of waste materials and undigested food from the small intestineânot just the breakdown products of what we take in but the residue of secretions, sloughed-off cells and dead bacteria that accumulate during the digestive process; the absorption of water and electrolytes from the food residue; and the further decomposition of solid materials by the action of millions of bacteria. Combined contractions of circular and lengthwise muscles surrounding the colon roll over the fecal materials to ensure that all of it is exposed to the intestinal wall, so that all the fluid can be absorbed. Special cells called goblet cells lining the large intestine secrete mucus that protects the walls of the intestine, helps maintain alkalinity and provides a medium to hold the fecal matter together.
The final stage of this incredible journey is the movement of the now solid fecal matter from the transverse colon via strong contractions down the descending colon and into the rectum, a process that occurs only a few times each dayâusually upon arising in the morning or immediately after breakfast. When these movements force a mass of fecal matter into the rectum, the desire to evacuate is felt.
The second brain
âhave you ever wondered why people get butterflies in the stomach before going on stage? Or why an impending job interview can cause an attack of intestinal cramps? And why do antidepressants targeted for the brain cause nausea or abdominal upset in millions of people who take such drugs? The reason for these common experiences is because each of us literally has two brainsâthe familiar one encased in our skulls and a lesser-known but vitally important one found in the human gut. Like siamese twins, the two brains are interconnected; when one gets upset, the other does, too.â so writes science journalist sandra blakeslee for the new york times. Indeed, the human digestive tract contains over one million nerve cells, about the same number found in the spinal cord. There are actually more nerve cells in the overall digestive system than in the peripheral nervous system. Furthermore, major neurotransmitters found in the brainâincluding serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine and nitric oxideâoccur plentifully in the gut as well. Enkephalinsâdescribed as the bodyâs natural opiatesâalso occur in the intestinal tract, as do benzodiazepines, psychoactive chemicals similar to mood-controlling drugs like valium and xanax.
Jordan rubin describes the âbrain-gutâ connection very well in his book the makerâs diet:
â early in our embryogenesis, a collection of tissue called the âneural crestâ appears and divides during fetal development. One part turns into the central nervous system, and the other migrates to become the enteric nervous system. Both âthinking machinesâ form simultaneously and independently of one another until a later stage of development.
âthen the two nervous systems link through a neural cable called the âvagus nerve,â the longest of all cranial nerves. . . The vagus nerve âwandersâ from the brain stem through the organs in the neck and thorax and finally terminates in the abdomen. This is your vital brain-gut connection.â
serotonin in the gut is thought to initiate peristalsis, the rhythmic movement of food through the digestive tract. Drugs like prozac actually divert serotonin from the intestinal tract to the brain, leading to digestive problems including constipation in many patients.
The gut produces the same pain-alleviating chemicals as those in antianxiety drugs. Says rubin, âif you overeat because you feel anxious, your body may be trying to use the extra food to produce more benzodiazepines. We are not sure whether the gut synthesizes benzodiazepine from chemicals in our foods, from bacterial actions or from both. We do know that extreme pain appears to put the gut into overdrive in order to send benzodiazepine directly to the brain for immediate pain management.â
the digestive system is far more than a collection of pipes, wiring and membranes. It is actually an ecosystem, populated by billions of organisms that produce substances necessary for digestion to occurâenzymes, vitamins and beneficial acids (especially lactic acid). In the young, gut bacteria interact with intestinal cells, called paneth cells, to promote the development of blood vessels in the intestinal lining. In the large intestine, fermentation processes produce butyric acid and other short-chain fatty acids that nourish the intestinal wall.
But fermentation is undesirable in the small intestine. When the intestinal ecosystem is healthy, beneficial bacteria keep yeasts and other fermentation microorganisms at bay in this part of the digestive tract. An imbalance of microorganisms, called dysbiosis, results in overgrowth of fungus and other pathogens, resulting in numerous digestive disorders.
Even today, textbooks typically describe the environment of the small intestine as âsterile.â scientists thought that beneficial organisms could not survive the highly acid milieu of the stomach to pass into the small intestine. This view is no longer tenable. Good health depends on the right mix of microorganisms in both the small and large intestine.
Like all ecosystems, the delicate balance of the digestive tract can be altered by various toxins including antibiotics and other drugs, chemicals like chlorine and fluoride in our water, food additives and preservatives, stimulants like coffee, and an overabundance of difficult-to-digest foods like improperly prepared whole grains.
Lending a helping hand
the exquisite and finely tuned digestive system requires our utmost respect. From the first bite of food to the elimination of wastes, membranes, glands, muscles, hormones, secretions, enzymes, blood, nerves and microorganisms work in concert to extract nourishiment from our food and deliver it to our cells.
The wrong diet can disrupt this system in two waysâby failing to provide nourishment and by delivering food that is difficult to digest.
While the medical profession turns to drugs as a solution to digestive problems, the basic remedy should be nutrient-dense foods, especially the animal foods that provide fat-soluble nutrients, combined with wise preparation methods.
Many modern foods, such as processed milk products, breads and soy foods, are extremely difficult to digest; but traditional preparation methods made food easy to digest and facilitated assimilation of nutrients. They include:
Â· preparation of grains by soaking and sour leavening to neutralize difficult-to-digest components and nutrient blockers.
Â· long soaking and cooking, or even fermentation, of legumes.
Â· fermentation of many types of tubers, such as casava.
Â· lacto-fermention of condiments and beverages to provide beneficial bacteria for the digestive tract.
Â· consumption of protein foods (meat, eggs, fish and milk products) with plenty of fat.
Â· use of gelatin-rich bone broths. Gelatin acts not only to bring food into contact with digestive juices, it also soothes the intestinal wall.
Â· cooking of most vegetables (and even some fruits) to neutralize toxins and break down cell walls.
Â· proper aging of meat to initiate the breakdown of protein. With proper aging and/or fermentation, meat is quite digestible either raw or carefully cooked at low temperature.
Â· soaking and/or roasting of nuts to remove irritants and toxins.
our journey through the digestive tract teaches us that digestion is more than just a biochemical processâit is a rhythmical alchemy that is highly influenced by our emotional state. The digestive system needs to alternate between periods of activty and rest, and that rhythm is best served by three meals per day, with nothing to eat in between. This allows the stomach to rest, the gall bladder to refill, the intestines to move at their proper pace.
Delicious smells and attractive presentation make meals a pleasurable experience, stimulating the production of feel-good chemicals in the gut; a moment of silence or prayer before the first bite allows the brain and the stomach to communicate to the body that nourishment is on its way. Slow eating and careful chewing let your digestive tract know that it doesnât need to rush. Above all, pleasant surroundings and conversation provide support to the entire digestive process. No arguments at dinner, pleaseâto paraphrase the great satchell page, they angers the stomach.
strange facts about the digestive system
hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach is extremely corrosive; yet it does not harm the lining of the stomach.
The surface area of the small intestine, with its thousands of villi and microvilli projections, is approximately 300 square yards, larger than a tennis court.
The contents of the stomach enter the small intestine at different ratesâcarbohydrates first, then proteins and then fats.
The digestive tract is populated by about 10,000 different kinds of microbes, which manufacture enzymes, vitamins and other substances that aid the digestive process.
There are more nerve cells in the digestive system than in the peripheral nervous system.
The lining of the large intestine is as smooth as the inside of the mouth. Contrary to widely held belief, only in cases of severe illness, such as cancer, does fecal matter remain stuck to the wall of the bowel. Even in the elderly, the feces pass through the smooth wall of the bowel without sticking.
Except in very high fiber diets, the bulk of the feces is made up not of fiber but dead bacteria.
A medicine chest for the digestive tract
aloe vera has soothing, anti-inflammatory effects on the digestive system and is a source of proteolytic enzymes.
Artichoke powder had traditionally been used to treat ibs, and liver, gall baldder and pancreatic problems. Herbalists classify artichoke as a âcholagogue,â a substance that can help these organs make and release bile, thus assisting in fat metabolism. It also works wonders for constipation. Some formulations of bitters contain extract of artichoke.
Bitters; that is, tinctures of a combination of bitter herbs, is an excellent digestive aid, especially for those who have trouble digesting fats.
Cabbage juice has been found to be extremely effective in treating peptic ulcers. We actually recommend the juice of fermented cabbage; that is, sauerkraut juice, because raw cabbage can depress thyroid function.
Digestive enzymes taken with meals can be very helpful for those with digestive problems.
Flaxseed ground to a powder and mixed with food or water is an excellent remedy for constipation.
Ginger has a calming effect on the digestive system and also helps increase peristaltic action, to help move food through the intestine.
Mint tea is a popular remedy for indigestion and stomach aches.
Ox bile tablets can help with digestion of proteins or any case of insufficient hydrochloric acid, including the removal of the gall bladder.
Raw cream and raw butter are said to be excellent remedies for gallstones. For bladder and gall stones, said paracelsus, âthere is nothing so much to recommend as butter and olives.â
slippery elm provides mucilage which soothes the digestive tract and fights inflammation. Slippery elm is the herb of choice for gastritis, ulcers, inflammation, lack of appetite and diarrhea.
Anger and the stomach
credit for our understanding of how the stomach works goes to a french-canadian named alexis st. Martin who was shot in the stomach on june 6, 1822, leaving a hole that never healed. When he ate, the contents of his stomach spilled out unless he wore a special bandage. A us army surgeon, william beaumont, recognized the opportunity that st. Martinâs unfortunate accident presented and devised a number of experiments that would provide enlightenment on manâs inner workings. He weighed morsels of food, tied them with silk and observed what happened when the stomach did its work on them. He took specimens of gastric secretions and identified the major component as hydrochloric acid. He noted that a fasting stomach was empty and contracted. Most importantly, he observed that the stomach became flushed with blood when mr. St. Martin was angry. It also moved about with anger.
Years later, a woman in st. Louis had a stomach that could also be inspected. When she was made angry, her stomach grew pale and motionless.
These two examples clearly show that emotions affect our digestionsâperhaps in different ways but the effect is definitely physiological. The moral: never eat when you are angry!
Nutrients for the digestive tract
vitamin a, our favorite vitamin, is absolutely critical to the health of the intestinal mucosa. Without sufficient vitamin a, the mucous membranes become hardened and, paradoxically, more easily penetrated, leading to âleaky gut, â ulceration and irritable bowel syndrome. Vitamin a is also necessary for the assimilation of minerals and protein and plays an important role in the repair process. It has been used successfully to treat gastritis. Best sources are cod liver oil followed by liver and other organ meats, and butterfat and egg yolks from grassfed animals.
Vitamin b complex is important for fat metabolism and liver health; b vitamins play a role in the production of bile. They are necessary to maintain muscle tone, stimulate digestive secretions, support the nervous system and ensure normal carbohydrate metabolism. We recommend frontier brand nutritional yeast as a supplement along with a diet of whole foods to ensure adequate b vitamins.
Vitamin c complex contributes to the health of all the epithelial cells as well as the integrity of the blood vessels that nourish the intestinal tract. Vitamin c is necessary for biochemical repair. Lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables are especially good sources.
Vitamin d plays a role in fighting inflammation and strengthening the immune system, as well as in the assimilation of calcium and other important minerals. Crohnâs disease is associated with vitamin d deficiency. Best sources are cod liver oil, lard from pastured pigs, oily fish, fish eggs, shellfish, and butterfat and egg yolks from grassfed animals.
Vitamin e is needed for muscle tone and a healthy nervous system. Deficiency has been linked to digestive problems such as peptic ulcers, colitis, constipation and cancer of the colon. Best sources are small amounts cold-pressed oils (too much polyunsaturated oil can deplete vitamin e), whole grains, butter and other animal fats and a supplement of wheat germ oil.
Protein is necessary for the maintenance of the mucous membrane in the stomach, particularly the amino acids cystine, lysine and arginine. Deficiency leads to muscular weakness and many other problems. Bone broths are an excellent source of arginine, and cystine and lysine occur in meat, milk and eggs.
Phosphatidylcholine (pc) has been studied by german researchers who found that pc is highly beneficial to the mucosal lining of the digestive tract, preventing or healing lesions and reducing the incidence of stomach ache. They found that pc was more effective than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaid) in reducing gastric mucosal lesions. The researchers used pc derived from soy, but the best dietary sources are egg yolks and butter.
Coenzyme q10 is critical for healthy muscles. The importance of good muscle tone is often overlooked in discussions about digestion. The best source is meat, especially heart.
Cholesterol plays a role in intestinal health. The cells lining the digestive tract are particularly rich in cholesterol. Cholesterol is also the precursor to bile. It is provided only by animal foods.
Salt is key to digestion. Salt provides chloride for hydrochloride, necessary for the digestion of protein; and salt activates an enzyme needed for the digestion of carbohydrates.
Calcium prevents cramps and spasms, protects against inflammation and supports both the muscles and the nervous system. Best sources are raw dairy products and bone broths.
Potassium supports the nervous system and connective tissue, as well as the production of hydrochloric acid. Best sources are meats, whole grains and vegetables.
Zinc deficiencies have been associated with problems of fat metabolism, inflammatory bowel disease and crohnâs disease. Best sources are red meat and oysters.
Beneficial bacteria help maintain a healthy ecosystem in the gut. Best dietary sources are natural yoghurt and lacto-fermented condiments and beverages. Supplements such as primal defense from garden of life can help repopulate the digestive tract very quickly in cases of digestive disorders.
When things go wrong
gastritis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining of the stomach, leading to burning pain in the stomach area, often with belching or burping. Symptoms can inlcude coated tongue, mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, weakness and exhaustion.
Peptic ulcer is a âholeâ in the mucous membrane of the stomach. The current theory is that the bacterium heliobacter pilori is the cause, but obviously the health of the mucous membrane is key to prevention of ulcers.
Heartburn sometimes occurs when the sphincter muscle connecting the esophagus to the stomach opens and allows chyme to reenter the esophagus, which is not resistant to the acidic stomach juices. Antacids are commonly prescribed but most cases of stomach distress are due to low levels of hydrochloric acid, not too much.
Dyspepsia is the term for imperfect or painful digestion, usually brought on by low levels of hydrochloric acid. Symptoms include sour belching, discomfort, nausea and vomiting. Supplements of hydrochloric acid can be helpful in these conditionsânot antacids, which only make matters worse.
Celiac disease is a hypersensitivity to gluten, a protein in grains, leading to inflammation and malabsorption in the small intestine. The sufferer must avoid all gluten-containing grains during the healing process, and then consume only grains that have been properly prepared by sour leavening once healing has occurred.
Gastroenteritis in an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining of the stomach or small intestine, leading to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Duodenal ulcer is an ulcer in the small intestine.
Leaky gut is a condition wherein the integrity of the intestinal wall has been compromised so that compounds only partially digested pass through, provoking allergic reactions.
Gall bladder problems include inflammation and stones, often leading to acute pain. The wrong fats (trans fats and polyunsaturated oils) can cause inflammation and lowfat diets often lead to stones.
Irritable bowel syndrome is often brought on by insufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach or insufficient digestive enzymes or bile salts in the small intestine. Trans fats, polyunsaturated oils and a poor diet can lead to inflammation.
Diverticulitis describes the presence of small protrusions or sacs that occur on the side of the colon. They are like tiny pouches that can trap fecal matter leading to constipation, pain and even ruptures. Chronic constipation and difficulty passing stools is said to be the cause, but the integrity of the muscles surrounding the bowel is obviously a key factor.
Diarrhea in healthy people is simply the bodyâs way of quickly ridding itself of contaminantsâincluding pathogenic bacteria,chemicals and pesticides. But chronic diarrhea can be the result of irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or any condition of intestinal inflammation.
Colitis is an inflammation of the colon, often leading to sores or lesions and bloody stools, constant diarrhea, fluid loss and weight loss. Stress can trigger attacks, but poor diet is also a culprit.
Crohnâs disease is an enlargement, hardening and scarring of the mucous membrane lining the ileum, the last part of the small intestine. The intestine narrows so that passage of chyme is difficult, leading to bloating and pain about an hour after a meal. Crohnâs is usually treated with prednisone or some other synthetic cortisol, which can produce dramatic short-term results. Unfortunately, in the long-term, many serious side effects ensue.
Hemorrhoids are actually varicosities of the veins in the anal canal, leading to inflammation, protrusion, bleeding and pain on elimination. They are typically treated with stool softener but long term treatment must address the weakness in the veins and muscles surrounding the rectum.
fiber is a catchall term defined as that portion of the diet that is not enzymatically digested by our digestive enzymes and thus does not directly serve as a source of nourishment. (fiber is broken down by a process of bacterial fermentation in the digestive tracts of animals, and to a much lesser extent in the human colon.) the word is misleading because dietary fiber is not fibrous nor long and stringy, and can even be soluble in water. In general, the various types of fiber are polysaccharides; that is, complex chains of sugars. The definition includes cellulose and hemicellulose from plant walls, pectins (part of the âgroundâ substance of fruits) and mucilages and gums, which are non-structural components of plant cells (especially abundant in apples and the white portions of citrus). Cellulose is composed of glucose molecules joined in a chain-like structure (as opposed to starch where the glucose molecules are more loosely joined and can be broken by enzymatic action); hemicellulose, a component of many vegetables, is composed of sugar units; pectin, a polysaccharide made mainly of chains of galacturonic acid (a derivative of galactose) units, forms a gel in the presence of sugar and acid, hence its use in making jams and jellies; and gums and mucilages have a variety of structures and uses, mainly as food additives like guar gum, agar and carrageenan.
Until fairly recently, the medical profession warned against overconsumption of fiber, especially for those suffering from digestive problems. Fiberâs reputation rose with the work of dennis burkitt in africa, who proposed that the excellent intestinal health of africans was due to a diet rich in fibrous grains and tubers. Oat bran became popular and the medical community hopped on the branwagon, recommending high fiber diets as a way to avoid modern diseasesâcancer, heart disease and constipation.
Results of research on the benefits of fiber have been mixed; many studies do show a correlation between diets rich in fiber with low rates of cancer and heart disease, although these results may simply mean that those who can afford to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, or who make a conscious choice to consume whole grains, have lower rates of disease than those consuming processed food. Those who eat more fiber also tend to smoke less, drink less alcohol and consume more nutrients than the general population. On the other hand, the harvard nurses study, which studied 89,000 female nurses for 16 years, reported no association between fiber intake and the risk of colorectal cancer, a finding that set off ripples of head-scratching in the medical community.
It is always difficult to draw conclusions from epidemiological data, but there is one study that should serve as a warning to the fiber brigade. Researchers fed four groups of rats on diets high in alfalfa, wheat bran, cellulose and pectin for six weeks and then examined the jejunum and the mid-colon using electron microscopy. All groups suffered from mucosal surface changes that could interfere with nutritional absorption. Bran provoked the least severe changes, followed by cellulose followed by pectin, followed by alfalfa. Those consuming pectin and alfalfa suffered from severe degeneration of the intestinal villi (am j clin nutr 1981 feb;34(2):218-28).
Humans do not eat alfalfa, but they commonly eat lots of pectin from fresh fruit and cellulose in whole grains. This study raises a red flag, especially for those with digestive difficulties. Common whole grain foods and even fresh fruit may have a real downside. The rat study findings point to the wisdom of traditional food preparation methods. Throughout the world, indigenous groups took great care with the preparation of grains, by soaking or sour leavening them for a long period of time. In africa, grains are made into a sour porridge or a fermented beverage called sorghum beer, processes that take several days and in which cellulose is partially broken down. They also prepare tubers like casava by throwing them in a hole to ferment.
As for fresh fruit, perhaps we should take a cue from asian cultures who typically cook high-pectin fruits like apples, pears, peaches and plums. Stewed fruit is an old-fashioned dishâwho makes stewed fruit anymore? Here is another traditional foodway that should be resurrected.
Coconut oil for digestion
coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids that provide unique benefits for the digestive process. They have anti-microbial properties; that is, they fight against pathogenic viruses, yeasts, bacteria and parasites in the gut. These special fats are also the preferred food for beneficial bacteria in the colon.
For those who have gall bladder problems and difficulty in digesting fats, coconut oil can be very useful because the medium-chain fatty acids do not need to be acted on by the bile salts. And for those who have trouble digesting milk and cream, coconut milk and coconut cream can serve as substitutes.
Best of all, the body uses the medium-chain fatty acids for energy and rarely stores them as fat. Coconut oil aids digestion and boosts metabolismâwonderful benefits that come in a delicious package.
An interesting theory
in a fascinating book called salt deficiency: the cause of all serious diseases, author martin j. Lara describes the importance of unrefined salt in providing all the trace minerals the body needs. Lara contends that the result of trace mineral deficiencies is constipation because the body holds the fiber-rich waste in the colon so that it can ferment, a process that releases trace minerals the body needs. While fermentation is taking place, the body continues to remove water from the feces, resulting in hard and impacted stools. Most textbooks now recognize that some fiber is broken down by fermentation in the colon.
Lara explains that when a person is deficient in minerals, particularly trace minerals, he does not retain enough of the liquids he drinksâinstead of hydrating the body, water is quickly eliminated via the kidneys. This is another reason the body retains feces in the bowel, in order to extract as much water as possible.
Lara describes a condition he calls partial constipation, which is often unrecognized because an individual with this condition may still have regular bowel movements. However, waste material can remain in the colon several days before it is eliminated, undergoing fermentation and compaction due to the removal of water. One sign of partial constipation is strong smelling urine, especially in the morning. Colonic irrigations can provide temporary relief from this condition, but they do not solve the problem.
A strong sphincter muscle (called the inner sphincter) separates the lower part of the colon (called the sigmoid colon) from the rectum. Under normal conditions, feces pass through the rectum only during bowel movements. When the sigmoid colon enlarges after years of carrying large amounts of feces undergoing fermentation, the inner sphincter becomes weak due to the pressure and the feces normally stored in the colon descend into the rectum, a condition that leads to autointoxication. The colon absorbs only water and and small compounds like mineral ions, but the rectum is very absorptive, which is why medicines work when given as suppositories. Furthermore, the blood that absorbs nutrients from the small and large intestines goes into the liver where toxins can be neutralized. However, since the rectum is not designed to store waste, the blood that leaves this organ does not go into the liver; thus toxins enter the blood stream and are carried to other organs, including the head, heart and lungs. Laraâs solution: always use unrefined sea salt on your food plus take 2 grams of sea salt in a mug of warm water every morning for complete and easy elimination.
Salt deficiency is a self-published book and contains a number of errors; laraâs theory is simplistic but it makes for a most interesting read. It can be ordered from users.Erols.Com/martinlara or (718) 774-1167.
About the author
mary g. Enig, phd is the author of know your fats: the complete primer for understanding the nutrition of fats, oils, and cholesterol, bethesda press, may 2000.
Sally fallon is the author of nourishing traditions: the cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats, and eat fat, lose fat (both with mary g. Enig, phd), as well as of numerous articles on the subject of diet and health. She is president of the weston a. Price foundation and founder of a campaign for real milk. She is the mother of four healthy children raised on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.
Hi bill b. I did read your post. I don't know your health history, how long you've had pain under the left rib cage, if the constipation is frequent, do you have gerd. My main problem was indigestion, not frequent constipation (but had it once in awhile) and chronic pain under the left rib. I had the endoscopy done and the ct chest scan (both came out okay except for minor gerd). If you read up on the digestive tract--there are so many processes/involving many organs to digest our food (this starts from the mouth all the way down to the rectum--lot of processes there.) I had the abdominal ct scan as the last straw to eliminate these problems and find answers. My abdominal ct scan came out normal so my doctor diagnosed it as ibs (which is hard to diagnose but which explains a lot of the problems that people are posting on this site). I did the abdominal ct scan to first make sure that nothing was wrong with any of my organs down there (this is a little pricy for a test but it covers so many organs down there)--in one sitting rather than having ninety ultrasounds done for each individual organ--this checks everything (abdomen, kidney, spleen (will check for splenic flexure), pancreas, gallbladder, intestine/intestinal blockage, bowel---its a very thorough test (worth the price). If anyone is having pain and ruled out gastro (through the endoscopy) this is the next best step.
Bill b-i read that you are 40 years old. Usually screening/testing for problems in the colon/colonoscopy--usually begins in the 50's and up (age category). My mom just had a colonoscopy/endoscopy done--recently and she's in her 50's--they found her diverticulitus through the colonoscopy and diverticulitus can be inherited (from what my doctor told me).
For the stool, smelly stool--especially the white mucous stringy tissue in your stool--i don't know how often you get that (i think you mentioned twice)--but it doesn't hurt to get your stool checked for parasites/bacterial levels--just to be on the safe side.
I would hold off on the protein urine test until after you've had the abdominal ct scan--because the scan will check the actually kidneys for disease (this test will see if there is/or isn't)
do you get urinary tract infections ever?
If you get frequent constipation or just constipation that is a symptom (doesn't necessarily define ibs alone--there are different symptoms--you don't necessarily have to have constipation to suffer from ibs) but if your stools are smelly--it could be that all the food you are eating isn't digesting fast enough and is getting blocked (backed up in your left colon)--which stores and transports waste out--the left side of the colon is under the left rib cage (left colon stores waste/fecal matter)--if you get constipated or crampy on the left side--that is an explanation to why that is happening--the right side of the colon transports urine out of the body. When undigested food doesn't get transported out of your body as stool--it builds up in the left colon/intestinal area--which can cause pain under the rib cage and other areas of your body (i had pain in my left shoulder, back pain, pain on both sides--and the pressure can extend across the stomach and under the right rib as well--the colon is very long/research that and the intestine and you'll know what i'm talking about). A lot of this is connected to the digestive system--which is why ibs is very hard to diagnose--because you think of bowel/constipation and think of indigestion/chest pain, pain under the rib--as gastro, kidney, gallbladder, or colon---the colon does play a large role in transporting wastes of everthing you eat out.
Bill b--you are on the right track with cutting out spicy foods (heavy laden foods that take long to digest), drinking plenty of water--to flush it out (nautral colon cleanser :), exercise--which is really good, and moderate levels of fiber intake in your diet daily.
Bill b--get the abdominal ct scan done---wait for the test results--if that is normal--and your still concerned about the white stringy tissue in your stool--have a stool sample tested for parasitic/bacterial levels. Put off the protein urine test until the first two are done. If the ct scan is normal--research probiotics and see if that may help ease the pain under the ribs and help with the stool (elimination of the white stringy tissue and the smell). If you get constipated--and then have a stool--its going to smell--all that undigested build up in your colon of everything you ate becomes toxic when not digested thoroughly--if it doesn't get transported out--the waste collects in the colon--its only natural that it won't smell like roses then when you do finally have a bowel movement---because the waste builds gradually. A healthy bowel movement is having one at least once a day--if you have a bowel movement sporadically and it isn't at least once a day--that could lead to smelly stools--because your not able to get it all out---(like toxic waste in the gut--not too pretty)
i found articles---one which accidently posted 20 times and I apologize about that--i was having trouble submitting it--and somehow that occurred so I apologize for the repeat there.
Bill b--i recommend this--have the abdominal ct scan done. If that is normal--get your stool tested for parasites/bacterial levels--if that is normal--ask your doctor is the smelly stool and the white stringy mucous is associated with ibs. If the scan comes out normal--research probiotics and see if that works for you--(it helps balance out the good bacteria from the bad)--which might help you if that is parasitic (which collects in the intestine)--explains in the first article I posted (human intestinal parasite).
Another thing is to keep a journal/ to write down when the pain under the rib occurs (what you ate/drank before the pain) to help eliminate the foods that may be irritating the process and is hard to digest--this is definitely a good start. It may sound tedious but it is good to be observant of what is causing the pain and when the pain is occuring (foods do play a huge role in the digestive process and some drinks/coffee/alcohol/citric juices can irritate it as well.
Moderate levels of fiber intake are good to help in forming stool and getting it transported out. Drinking lots of water is a good natural colon cleanser (helps push it out). Exercise is good too.
A lot of the digestive processes can be checked through the abdominal ct scan--i had originally thought that mine was just that (a gastro problem) but my endoscopy only showed minor gerd--ibs was the real problem (and I never would've thought that my problem was that) but I had to do the process of elimination to come to that conclusion--this test covers a lot.
Stress--is also a big factor that can aggravate the problem more. Sometimes its hard to maintain and find ways to cope with stress effectively but if you know that you stress out from this---(find ways of dealing with it)---it makes the problem worse and my doctor said it doesn't help it any---exercise--is a good way of dealing with stress--and getting your mind off of your health problem (even it is temporary--at least then you are not thinking about it 24/7). Also accupuncture, dietary changes/observations/journal, probiotics, yoga, running, sports--can help) find what works best with you but don't let this problem weigh on your mind constantly because it can become obsessive after a while (which isn't too healthy) and is easy to do (especially if the pain becomes chronic). Hope this helps some---researching helped me to learn how to deal with this effectively/working with my doctor/eliminating through tests.
a healthy person lives in harmony with his or her intestinal flora. The person provides a home and food to over 400 species of bacteria.17 the bacteria, which in a healthy person will be predominantly "friendly" types, do a myriad of health-promoting things for the person, including detoxification, the production of vitamins, and protecting us from unfriendly organisms. This state is called âsymbiosis."
sometimes this state of happy balance does not exist because of the presence of frankly pathogenic organisms, the overgrowth of unfriendly organisms that are often not considered pathogenic, or the absence of friendly bacteria. Then, dys-symbiosis, or dysbiosis exists. Dysbiosis can be caused by protozoan parasites (entamoeba histolytica, entamoeba coli, other entamoeba, dientamoeba fragilis, endolimax nana, giardia lamblia, blastocystis hominis, chilomastix mesnili, and others); yeast (candida albicans, other candida species, torulopsis glabrata, and others); or bacteria (salmonella, shigella, campylobacter jejuni, yersinia enterocolitica, klebsiella pneumoniae, citrobacter freundii, citrobacter diversus, proteus mirabilis, pseudomonas aeruginosa, some strains of escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus, some strains of bacteriodes, clostridium difficile, and others). Some of these organisms are not considered "pathogenic" by conventional medicine. However, weak pathogens, or a predominance of "unfriendly" organisms can cause severe illness in a chronically ill, weakened, or malnourished patient.18 the eradication of these organisms can make a dramatic difference in the patient's health.
A very common cause of bacterial or fungal dysbiosis is often the repeated or long term use of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill both the bacteria you want them to kill and the "friendly" bacteria in the intestine and the vagina. This leaves these areas open to be colonized by yeast, unfriendly bacteria, and parasites.
Parasitic infestations are on the increase because of changes in our lifestyles that have occurred over the last few decades. International travel is now commonplace. If you are not a traveler, the world and its parasites will come to you, brought by imported produce and immigrants from countries where sanitation is sub-standard. Eating out in restaurants frequently and the close contact of day care centers contribute to the spread of parasites.
Maldigestion can also promote dysbiosis. Dr. Martin lee says, âcolonic flora is a reflection of what it is fed.â19 if food is completely and rapidly digested and absorbed in the small intestine, it is not available to nourish unfriendly bacteria or yeast in either the small or large intestine. Almost all that is left to reach the large intestine is fiber, which is a favorite food for friendly bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium and promotes their growth.
Diet can also contribute to dysbiosis. A diet high in flesh protein and low in plant foods promotes the growth of bacteroides species, but a lacto-vegetarian diet, based on milk products and plant foods, promotes the growth of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.20 elaine gottshalls's book breaking the vicious cycle prescribes the âspecific carbohydrate diet" for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.21 this diet eliminates all grains, sugar, lactose, other disaccharides, and some starches that such patients may be unable to digest and absorb. This leads to a shift in bowel flora towards normal and improvement in symptoms.
The ideal diet for patients with candidiasis is the subject of considerable debate. Several years ago, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, on which the grams of carbohydrate may have even been counted, were used. Then Dr. William crook began using diets higher in complex carbohydrates for his patients. Simple carbohydrates, such as fruits, were still restricted initially.22 when Dr. Crook was in colorado in 1995, 1 heard him speak to a group of health professionals, and the question of the best diet for candidiasis was raised. Dr. Crook said that, in his many years of experience, the only absolute he had determined to be essential for the diet was that sugar had to be avoided. He said that all the nystatintm or diflucantm in the world will not eradicate candida if a patient continues to eat sugar. Recent german studies suggest that very low carbohydrate diets may be counterproductive because they cause the candida to become invasive and penetrate deeper into the tissues in search of food.23
dysbiosis caused by bacteria or yeast can be diagnosed using a stool test called a comprehensive digestive stool analysis (cdsa). The microbiology part of this test differs from a standard âstool culture,â which usually only reports the presence or absence of aerobic (oxygen-loving) bacteria considered "pathogenic" by conventional medicine, such as salmonella and shigella. A cdsa tests for the presence and amount or absence of all aerobic organisms and the friendly facultatively anaerobic organisms lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. The organisms a cdsa reports include yeast of all kinds, all normal and abnormal aerobic bacteria, bacteroides, lactobacillus, and bifidobacterium. A cdsa also gives your doctor chemical information that reflects the health of your digestive system. This information includes the presence and amount or absence of undigested protein and plant fibers, fats, fatty acids, occult blood, and other metabolic markers. This information may be suggestive of conditions that are affecting your health in general. Tests for dysbiosis, such as a cdsa or a parasitology test, as discussed below, may be the most important tests you do and should not be omitted for any patient with severe food allergies or digestive problems. Great smokies diagnostic laboratory can refer you to doctors in your area who use the cdsa to evaluate their patients. (click here to go to the great smokies website).
In-depth parasitology testing should also be done to determine if parasites are causing dysbiosis. Such in-depth testing can be done best by a specialized parasitology lab such as the institute for parasitic diseases. (to find out about having an ipd test, call 602-955-4211). The parasitology testing you should have done differs from the standard âova and parasitesâ test done at most hospital laboratories in several ways. This testing will report organisms that would not be reported on a standard test because they are not considered âpathogenicâ by many in conventional medicine, such as blastocystis homonis. Also, since specialized laboratories have more experience in looking for parasites, they are more likely to find any that are there. However, even when the test is done by an experienced laboratory, Dr. Leo galland says that parasitology testing should be âtaken with a grain of salt.â24 stool samples, by their very nature, contain a lot of debris mixed with a very few parasites, eggs, or cysts. It not always easy to distinguish a degrading white blood cell or other material from something significant. For this reason the test may be reported as negative when the patient does have parasites, even if it is done by a competent technician at an excellent laboratory. The more samples submitted, the more likely a parasite will be picked up. The use of purged stool specimens or rectal swabs also increases the chance of recovering parasites because they are dislodged from the intestinal wall. A patient may have several negative tests and still have parasites.
Intestinal dysbiosis can be treated with a variety of prescription and botanical medicines to rid your body of unfriendly organisms. Your cdsa results include sensitivity testing which indicates which medicines are effective against your particular unfriendly bacteria and yeast. Treatment of dysbiosis caused by bacteria and/or yeast will also usually include supplementation with friendly probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Dr. Leo galland does not recommend taking probiotics while under treatment for parasitic infestations because bacteria are âfoodâ for protozoal parasites: save your probiotics to take after the course of anti-parasitic treatment is completed.25 your doctor may also direct you to take nutrients that help your intestine heal, such as l-glutamine (the major source of nourishment for the cells lining the small intestine), n-acetyl-glucosamine (which stimulates the production of intestinal secretary iga, a protective factor), and butyric acid (which promotes healing in the large intestine), or other nutrients.
A few supplements you may be taking can be counterproductive to the treatment of dysbiosis and are mentioned here so you can avoid them. Iron supplements feed unfriendly bacteria and protozoan parasites.26 fructooligosaccharides (fos) also feed some unfriendly bacteria, especially klebsiella pneumoniae, hemolytic e. Coli, bacteroides species, and staphylococcus aureus.27 as mentioned above, protozoal parasites âeat" bacteria, so your doctor may advise you to avoid probiotics during the course of anti-parasitic treatment. Cysteine, glycine, and glutathione, while important antioxidants, can stimulate the growth of yeast in some patients with candidiasis.28 if you are taking botanical remedies for dysbiosis, your doctor may tell you to temporarily avoid all antioxidants because botanical medicines kill parasites and bacteria by oxidizing them, and thus, antioxidants reduce the effectiveness of these remedies.29
click here for more of âgetting to the root of the problem.â
17. Chaitow, leon, et al, probiotics, p. 11.
18. Lee, martin j., ph.D. "parasites, yeast, and bacteria in health and disease," journal of advancement in medicine, volume 8, number 2, summer 1995, pp. 121 and l27-128.
19. Lee, martin j., ph.D. "gastrointestinal function," solving the digestive puzzle symposium, may 1995.
20. Galland, leo, m.D. "dysbiotic relationships in the bowel," american college of advancement in medicine conference, spring 1992.
21. Gottschall, elaine, b.S., m.Sc., breaking the vicious cycle: intestinal health through diet, the kirkton press, kirkton, ontario, canada, 1994, pp. 53-59.
22. Crook, william g., m.D. And marjorie h. Jones, r.N., the yeast connection cookbook, professional books, jackson, tn, 1989, pp. 39-45.
23. Naugle, elizabeth, "dietary update," candida and dysbiosis information foundation, p.O. Drawer jf, college station, tx 77841, p. 1.
26. Galland, leo, m.D. "gut parasites and bacteria," enzyme potentiated desensitization conference, october 1995.
27. Barrager, eleanor, r.D. "clinical therapeutics and case studies," solving the digestive puzzle symposium, may 199s; mitsuoka, tomotari, "intestinal flora and aging," nutrition reviews, volume 50, number 12, december 1992, p. 442-443; and mitsuoka, tomotari, hidemasa hidaka, and toshaki eida, effect of fructo-oligosaccharides on intestinal microflora," die nahrung 31 (1987), 5-6, p. 427-436.
28. Rogers, sherry, m.D. Tired or toxic, prestige publishing, box 3161, syracuse, ny 13220, 1990, p. 252, also personal communication from Dr. Sidney baker to nutritionist katherine gibbons.
29. Galland, leo, m.D. "dysbiotic relationships in the bowel, american college of advancement in medicine conference, spring 1992.
What is giardiasis?
Giardiasis (gee-are-dye-uh-sis) is a diarrheal illness caused by a one-celled, microscopic parasite, giardia intestinalis (also known as giardia lamblia). Once an animal or person has been infected with giardia intestinalis, the parasite lives in the intestine and is passed in the stool. Because the parasite is protected by an outer shell, it can survive outside the body and in the environment for long periods of time.
During the past 2 decades, giardiainfection has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne disease (found in both drinking and recreational water) in humans in the united states . Giardia are found worldwide and within every region of the united states.
How do you get giardiasis and how is it spread?
The giardia parasite lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals. Millions of germs can be released in a bowel movement from an infected human or animal. Giardia is found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite; you cannot become infected through contact with blood. Giardia can be spread by:
accidentally putting something into your mouth or swallowing something that has come into contact with feces of a person or animal infected with giardia.
Swallowing recreational water contaminated with giardia. Recreational water includes water in swimming pools, hot tubs, jacuzzis, fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, or streams that can be contaminated with sewage or feces from humans or animals.
Eating uncooked food contaminated with giardia.
Accidentally swallowing giardia picked up from surfaces (such as bathroom fixtures, changing tables, diaper pails, or toys) contaminated with feces from an infected person.
What are the symptoms of giardiasis?
Giardia infection can cause a variety of intestinal symptoms, which include
gas or flatulence
greasy stools that tend to float
upset stomach or nausea.
These symptoms may lead to weight loss and dehydration. Some people with giardiasis have no symptoms at all.
How long after infection do symptoms appear?
Symptoms of giardiasis normally begin 1 to 2 weeks (average 7 days) after becoming infected.
How long will symptoms last?
In otherwise healthy persons, symptoms of giardiasis may last 2 to 6 weeks. Occasionally, symptoms last longer.
Who is most likely to get giardiasis?
Anyone can get giardiasis. Persons more likely to become infected include
children who attend day care centers, including diaper-aged children
child care workers
parents of infected children
people who swallow water from contaminated sources
backpackers, hikers, and campers who drink unfiltered, untreated water
swimmers who swallow water while swimming in lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams
people who drink from shallow wells
contaminated water includes water that has not been boiled, filtered, or disinfected with chemicals. Several community-wide outbreaks of giardiasis have been linked to drinking municipal water or recreational water contaminated with giardia .
What should I do if I think I may have giardiasis?
See your health care provider.
How is a giardia infection diagnosed?
Your health care provider will likely ask you to submit stool samples to check for the parasite. Because giardia can be difficult to diagnose, your provider may ask you to submit several stool specimens over several days.
What is the treatment for giardiasis?
Several prescription drugs are available to treat giardia . Although giardia can infect all people, young children and pregnant women may be more susceptible to dehydration resulting from diarrhea and should, therefore, drink plenty of fluids while ill.
My child does not have diarrhea, but was recently diagnosed as having giardiasis. My health care provider says treatment is not necessary. Is this true?
Treatment is not necessary when the child has no symptoms. However, there are a few exceptions. If your child does not have diarrhea, but is having nausea, fatigue (very tired), weight loss, or a poor appetite, you and your health care provider may wish to consider treatment. If your child attends a day care center where an outbreak is continuing to occur despite efforts to control it, screening and treating children who have no obvious symptoms may be a good idea. The same is true if several family members are ill, or if a family member is pregnant and therefore not able to take the most effective anti- giardia medications.
If I have been diagnosed with giardiasis, should I worry about spreading the infection to others?
Yes, a giardia infection can be very contagious. Follow these guidelines to avoid spreading giardiasis to others:
wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.
Do not swim in recreational water (pools, hot tubs, lakes or rivers, the ocean, etc.) if you have giardia and for at least 2 weeks after diarrhea stops. You can pass giardia in your stool and contaminate water for several weeks after your symptoms have ended. This has resulted in outbreaks of giardia among recreational water users.
Avoid fecal exposure during sexual activity.
How can I prevent a giardia infection?
Practice good hygiene.
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Wash hands after using the toilet and before handling or eating food (especially for persons with diarrhea).
Wash hands after every diaper change, especially if you work with diaper-aged children, even if you are wearing gloves.
Protect others by not swimming if you are experiencing diarrhea (essential for children in diapers).
Avoid water that might be contaminated.
Do not swallow recreational water
do not drink untreated water from shallow wells, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, and streams.
Do not drink untreated water during community-wide outbreaks of disease caused by contaminated drinking water.
Do not use untreated ice or drinking water when traveling in countries where the water supply might be unsafe.
For information on choosing safe bottled water, see the cdc fact sheet entitled âpreventing cryptosporidiosis: a guide to water filters and bottled water,â available by visiting http://www.Cdc.Gov/ncidod/dpd/ parasites/cryptosporidiosis/ factsht_crypto_prevent_water.Htm.
In the united states , nationally distributed brands of bottled or canned carbonated soft drinks are safe to drink. Commercially packaged non-carbonated soft drinks and fruit juices that do not require refrigeration until after they are opened (those that are stored unrefrigerated on grocery shelves) also are safe.
If you are unable to avoid using or drinking water that might be contaminated, then you can make the water safe to drink by doing one of the following:
heat the water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute.
use a filter that has an absolute pore size of at least 1 micron or one that has been nsf rated for "cyst removal."
for information on choosing a water filter, see the cdc fact sheet entitled âpreventing cryptosporidiosis: a guide to water filters and bottled water,â available by visiting http://www.Cdc.Gov/ncidod/dpd/ parasites/cryptosporidiosis/ factsht_crypto_prevent_water.Htm.
If you cannot heat the water to a rolling boil or use a recommended filter, then try chemically treating the water by chlorination or iodination. Using chemicals may be less effective than boiling or filtering because the amount of chemical required to make the water safe is highly dependent on the temperature, ph, and cloudiness of the water.
Avoid food that might be contaminated.
Wash and/or peel all raw vegetables and fruits before eating.
Use safe, uncontaminated water to wash all food that is to be eaten raw.
Avoid eating uncooked foods when traveling in countries with minimal water treatment and sanitation systems.
Avoid fecal exposure during sexual activity.
If my water comes from a well, should I have my well water tested?
It depends. You should consider having your well water tested if you can answer âyesâ to any of the following questions:
are members of your family or others who use your well water becoming ill? If yes, your well may be the source of infection.
Is your well located at the bottom of a hill or is it considered shallow? If so, runoff from rain or flood water may be draining directly into your well causing contamination.
Is your well in a rural area where animals graze? Well water can become contaminated with feces if animal waste seepage contaminates the ground water. This can occur if your well has cracked casings, is poorly constructed, or is too shallow.
Tests used to specifically identify giardia are often expensive, difficult, and usually require hundreds of gallons of water to be pumped through a filter. If you answered âyesâ to the above questions, consider generally testing your well for fecal contamination by testing it for the presence of coliforms or e. Coli instead of giardia . Although tests for fecal coliforms or e. Coli do not specifically tell you whether giardia is present, these tests will show whether your well water has been contaminated by fecal matter.
These tests are only useful if your well is not routinely disinfected with chlorine, since chlorine kills fecal coliforms and e. Coli . If the tests are positive, it is possible that the water may also be contaminated with giardia or other harmful bacteria and viruses. Contact your county health department, your county cooperative extension service, or a local laboratory to find out who offers water testing in your area. If the fecal coliform test comes back positive, indicating that your well is fecally contaminated, stop drinking the well water and contact your local water authority for instructions on how to disinfect your well.
this fact sheet is for information only and is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the disease described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.
What are the symptoms of ibs? Ibs and canceralthough ibs can be a distressing condition, it never causes bowel cancer or bowel damage.
The symptoms of ibs vary and may occur at any age. They most commonly start in late teenage years or early adulthood. The symptoms will depend on which parts of the gut are involved. There is often overlap between areas of the gut. Some people may experience problems in only one part of the gut, others in several. Symptoms can also vary over time. OesophagusÂ· a sensation like a golf ball in the throat between meals which does not interfere with swallowing (globus).Â· heartburn - burning pain often felt behind the breastbone.Â· painful swallowing (odynophagia), but without hold-up of food.Â· sticking of food (dysphagia) - this requires investigation.StomachÂ· non-ulcer dyspepsia (symptoms suggestive of a stomach or duodenal ulcer, but which has not been confirmed on investigation).Â· feeling full after small meals. This may reach the stage of not being able to finish a meal.Â· abdominal bloating after meals.Small bowelÂ· increased gurgling noises which may be loud enough to cause social embarrassment (borborygmi).Â· abdominal bloating which may be so severe that women describe themselves as looking pregnant.Â· generalised abdominal tenderness associated with bloating.Â· abdominal bloating of both types usually subsides overnight and returns the following day.Large bowel other symptomsÂ· headaches. Â· in women, left-sided abdominal pain during sex. Â· passing urine more often. Â· fatigue and tiredness. Â· sleep disturbance. Â· loss of appetite. Â· nausea. Â· depressive symptoms in about a third of patients. Â· anxiety and stress-related symptoms, which may interact with gut symptoms.
Â· abdominal bloating of both types usually subsides overnight and returns the following day.Â· right-sided abdominal pain, either low, or tucked up under the right ribs. Does not always get better on opening the bowels.Â· pain tucked up under the left ribs (splenic flexure syndrome). When the pain is bad, it may enter the left armpit.Â· variable and erratic bowel habits alternating from constipation to diarrhoea.Â· increased gastro-colic reflex. This is an awakening of the childhood reflex where food in the stomach stimulates colonic activity, resulting in the need to open the bowels.Â· severe, short stabbing pains in the rectum, called proctalgia fugax.What symptoms should not be ascribed to ibs?Because irritable bowel syndrome can mimic so many other intestinal disorders, it's important to identify those symptoms that require you to see your doctor:Â· difficulty in swallowing when food gets stuckÂ· indigestion-type pain that wakes you up at nightÂ· abdominal bloating that does not get better overnightÂ· significant and unexplained weight lossÂ· bleeding from the back passageÂ· chronic, painless diarrhoea.This list is not comprehensive. If there are other symptoms, you should seek further advice.In general, first-time symptoms of ibs in a person over the age of 40 should be assessed by a doctor.What can be done to prevent ibs?Since the cause of ibs is unknown, it's not possible to reliably prevent the condition.How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?There is no single blood test, x-ray or scan that will diagnose ibs.The diagnosis is often made on the basis of the presence of typical symptoms - this is particularly the case in younger patients.Blood tests may be taken to exclude other conditions, and occasionally further investigations are performed.As patients with ibs get older, the diagnosis becomes more one of exclusion (ie excluding other conditions). This means more investigations are performed to ensure the diagnosis is correct. These may include:Â· gastroscopy: endoscopic examination of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenumÂ· ultrasound Â· barium studiesÂ· colonoscopy: endoscopic examination of the large bowel.Should I change my diet?Â· drink lots of water, preferably three litres a day. Â· a high-fibre diet improves digestion. The amount of fibre must be increased gradually to allow the stomach to get used to it.Â· avoid food or beverages that make the symptoms worse. Coffee and milk are frequent offenders.Â· it may be helpful to keep a diary in which you note down the foods that seem to upset your stomach.Â· avoid strong spices and foods that give you wind.Â· avoid large meals, but eat regularly.Â· limit your alcohol intake.What else can improve ibs?Â· physical activity and exercise can improve digestion and reduce stress.Â· heat treatment with hot packs, hot-water bottles or electric blankets may relieve the symptoms.Â· try to reduce the number of stressful situations in your life. You might like to experiment with some of the different relaxation techniques, such as meditation.Â· it may be useful to keep a diary, noting what seems to cause distress in the bowel.Â· try to keep things in perspective: excessive worrying about digestive problems could lead to social and psychological problems.Which medicines are used?Â· medicine for stomach cramps (antispasmodics, eg mebeverine, hyoscine). When cramps are a major problem these remedies may be helpful to the patient.Â· stool-softening laxatives, if constipation is a major problem.Â· medicine for treatment of gas and stomach rumbling, in cases where these are a major problem.Â· tricyclic antidepressants are sometimes used to relieve pain in people who have not responded to other treatments.Â· cholestyramine can help the small proportion of ibs sufferers who have diarrhoea secondary to impaired handling of bile salts within the gut.Â· antidiarrhoeals such as loperamide, if diarrhoea is a major problem.Â· several types of serotonin antagonists are under trial in ibs, some with encouraging results.Long-term outlookibs usually occurs periodically throughout life. The symptoms can improve or get worse and may disappear for a while. Irritable bowel syndrome is not a life-threatening condition and cannot result in cancer or serious intestinal disease. Treatment with medicines such as those mentioned above will normally ease symptoms.
Other names for ibssome old-fashioned names for ibs are still in use:Â· irritable colon Â· spastic colon Â· mucous colitis. These are misleading because ibs also affects the remainder of the gut.
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by symptoms of abdominal discomfort or pain, usually in the lower abdomen (although the location and intensity are variable, even at different times within the same person), and altered bowel habit (change in frequency or consistency) -- chronic or recurrent diarrhea, constipation, or both in alternation.
Abdominal pain has been reported as primarily crampy or a generalized ache with superimposed periods of abdominal cramps, although sharp, dull, gas-like, or nondescript pains are also common. The abdominal discomfort or pain are usually relieved with a bowel movement.
"irritable bowel" refers to a disturbance in the regulation of bowel function that results in unusual sensitivity and muscle activity.
"syndrome" refers to a number of symptoms and not one symptom exclusively.
Everyone suffers from an occasional bowel disturbance. However, for those with ibs the symptoms are more severe, or occur more often -- either continuously or off and on. Ibs affects men and women of all ages.
Some or all of ibs symptoms can occur at the same time -- some symptoms may be more pronounced than others.
There are no physical findings or diagnostic tests that confirm the diagnosis of ibs. Diagnosis involves identifying certain symptoms consistent with the disorder and excluding other medical conditions that may have a similar clinical presentation. The symptom-based rome ii diagnostic criteria for ibs emphasize a positive diagnosis rather than exhaustive tests to rule out other diseases. These criteria are based on the presentation of a specific set of symptoms. In addition, a detailed history, a physical examination, and limited diagnostic tests help confirm this diagnosis with a high level of confidence. Extensive testing may be reserved for specific situations.
The rome ii diagnostic criteria (a system for diagnosing functional gastrointestinal disorders based on symptoms) for ibs is as follows:
at least 12 weeks or more, which need not be consecutive, in the preceding 12 months of abdominal discomfort or pain that is accompanied by at least two of the following features:
1) it is relieved with defecation, and/or
2) onset is associated with a change in frequency of stool, and/or
3) onset is associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool.
Other symptoms that are not essential but support the diagnosis of ibs:
abnormal stool frequency (greater than 3 bowel movements/day or less than 3 bowel movements/week);
abnormal stool form (lumpy/hard or loose/watery stool);
abnormal stool passage (straining, urgency, or feeling of incomplete evacuation);
passage of mucus;
bloating or feeling of abdominal distension.
Upper gi symptoms are commonly reported by ibs patients with 25% to 50% of patients reporting heartburn, early feeling of fullness (satiety), nausea, abdominal fullness, and bloating. Many patients also report intermittent upper abdominal discomfort or pain (dyspepsia). Feelings of urgency, and a feeling of "incomplete" emptying may also be experienced.
Many ibs patients also report non-gastrointestinal symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction. These symptoms may be due to the coexistence or overlap of ibs with another condition such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or interstitial cystitis. Other symptoms such as low back pain or headache may occur and tend to correlate with the severity of the ibs.
Symptoms can vary and sometimes seem contradictory, such as alternating diarrhea and constipation.
The symptoms of ibs are produced by abnormal functioning of the nerves and muscles of the bowel. In ibs there is no evidence of an organic disease, yet, something -- a "dysregulation" between the brain, the gut, and the central nervous system -- causes the bowel to become "irritated," or overly sensitive to stimuli. Symptoms may occur even in response to normal events.
Ibs is not caused by stress. It is not a psychological or psychiatric disorder. It is not, "all in the mind."
ibs is not caused by stress. It is not a psychological or psychiatric disorder. It is not, "all in the mind." because of the connection between the brain and the gut, symptoms in some individuals can be exacerbated or triggered by stress. Dietary and hormonal factors can affect symptoms of ibs.
Ibs is not an indication of another more serious disease, like cancer. Irritable bowel syndrome can, however, seriously compromise a person's quality of life. Chronic and recurrent symptoms can disrupt personal or professional activities, upset emotional well being, and limit individual potential.
A significant proportion -- 35% to 40% -- of individuals who report ibs in the community are male. Approximately 60% to 65% of individuals who report ibs in the community are female.
Ibs is a major women's health issue. Data reveals an increased risk of unnecessary surgery for extra-abdominal and abdominal surgery in ibs patients. For example, hysterectomy or ovarian surgery has been reported in female patients with ibs as high as 47% to 55% and has been performed more often in the ibs patient than in comparison groups.
There is a pressing need to support educational programs about ibs to the public and health care providers.
Anemia, bleeding, unexplained weight loss, or fever are not characteristic of ibs. You should alert your physician immediately if you are experiencing these symptoms. Other factors that may suggest the presence of an organic disease include awakening from sleep at night, family history of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, and onset of symptoms (or change in symptoms) over the age of 50