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Many people suffer from colon related health problems today. There are so many different types of colon (large intestine) problems it is hard to believe. Did you know that in 2005 in the United States of America, 72,007 men and 69,398 women were diagnosed with colorectal (colon) cancer? Shockingly, 26,781 men and 27,259 women died from colon cancer in that same year. Most people know someone close to them who has suffered from the disease or a similar illness. It has become an epidemic in our society.

It is very important to see a health care provider that can treat and diagnose these problems. But, first, how do you know if you have problems with your large intestine ? Here is a list of common disorders involving this critical internal organ.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a disorder that affects the GI tract; it is the most common colon health related problem that doctors see today. The cause is unknown and symptoms include bloating, gassiness, abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation and blood in the stool. These symptoms tend to worsen during times of stress, bad diet and some sexual activities.

Treatment of IBS includes diet change, lifestyle change and sometimes medication. Staying away from certain foods can help avoid bloating and gassiness such as beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Another common treatment is the addition of fiber into the diet. It helps reduce the chances that the digestive tract will spasm as it digests food. Adding fiber to the diet also helps with regular bowel movements and reduces the chance of constipation.

Stress also causes flare ups of IBS to occur. By regularly exercising and eating a well balanced diet, you can reduce some stress and other problems associated with the illness.

Smoking can also worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and some food can make IBS worse.

Constipation

It is important to understand that constipation is not a disease, it is a symptom. Constipation occurs when a stool is hardened because it doesn't contain enough water. This condition is hardened stools and can also mean difficulty passing said stool. Many people today suffer from this colon related health problem, but it can be treated.

A person with a blockage will experience less bowel movements; usually it will be from three movements a day to three movements a week. If the bowels are not moved for three straight days, there may be pain and difficulty when defecating.

There are many causes of constipation such as not eating enough fiber, some medications, being pregnant, IBS, ignoring the desire to make a bowel movement, and using laxatives too much.

There are many ways to prevent and alleviate this ailment, including eating more fiber (try flaxseeds, rice bran, oat bran, beans, peas, apples, pears, blueberries), regular exercise, drinking lots of fluids most importantly water, avoid using over the counter laxatives and going to the bathroom the same time each day.

There are also many types of colon cleansing products available that you can search for online or at your health food store. Having an enema will clear out the bowels and allow for feces to pass more easily. Enemas can be purchased over the counter and work by inserting a tube into the rectum and flowing water into the bowel. The water is then retained for a period of about ten minutes and then released.

Another colon cleansing choice is a colonic irrigation. A doctor or practitioner performs the colonic; the patient will lie on a table and have a tube inserted into the rectum allowing water to flow in and out of the bowel taking the waste out of the colon. Colonics are generally more comfortable than using an enema.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is the frequent passage of loose watery stools accompanied by bloating and gas. Diarrhea is also a symptom and not a disease although related complications can often cause severe illnesses. The most severe problem caused by diarrhea is dehydration, since stools are commonly watery; it causes the body to lose too much water. Diarrhea is often accompanied by vomiting which also causes the body to lose water.

Diarrhea can be brought on by a number of things such as, viral infections, bacterial infections, and IBS.

This annoying malady usually goes away within two to three days without medical treatment. Many people can treat it at home by drinking plenty of water and eating normally. Some medications can be used to treat diarrhea such as loperamide and some antibiotics.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis is basically inflammation of the colon. There are many different causes of colitis including poor blood flow, infections and autoimmune reactions. Viruses and bacteria are the cause of many different types of intestinal infections. Most come from food poisoning, E coli, shigella, and salmonella can cause colitis.

Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, blood in the stool, a consistent urge to have a bowel movement, often constant pain, fever and chills.

Treatment for colitis includes antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and a combination of medications that are given to the patient and then monitored for a period of time.

Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease affects around 500,000 people in the United States today. Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease or IBD; it causes inflammation and swelling in the digestive tract. It usually affects the small intestine and parts of the colon and is often mistaken for other colon disorders such as ulcerative colitis, IBD, and diverticulitis.

Symptoms of Crohn's illness include persistent diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and fatigue. There is no cure, but there are many treatments available to help manage the disease and keep symptoms from returning for a long period of time. Treatments include aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, immune modifiers, biologic therapies, and antibiotics.

Some people suffering from the disorder may even have to have surgery at some point in their lives. Surgery can clear the intestinal blockage, treat symptoms medication couldn't, and repair the damage to the intestines.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal (Colon) cancer occurs when tumors form on the large intestine and or the rectum. Sometimes benign tumors called polyps form inside the intestine, while malignant tumors in the large intestine are called cancers. Benign polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy and they are not life threatening. If polyps are not removed, malignant cancers can form over time.

Colorectal cancer can be inherited or caused by a high fat diet, the presence of polyps in the intestine and chronic ulcerative colitis. As you may already know, it is fatal in some cases, but sometimes can be treated.

Surgery is the most common treatment for this intestinal cancer. During the operation, the tumor is removed. The patient is then watched and tested to make sure that the cancer hasn't spread to any other organs, but if it has, more surgery may be required and, or, chemotherapy will be administered.

Colon cancer is the most fatal of all colon health related problems. That is why it is so important to take care of yourself by eating a well balanced diet, exercising regularly, and reporting any abnormality to your doctor.

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Ulcerative colitis symptoms represent a broad array of physical problems and can actually be affected by many aspects including diet, genes, age and mental attitude. It is often associated with ulcerative colitis but can even be linked to other intestinal ailments.

If you're suffering from ulcerative colitis symptoms, and doubtful about what they are or how to take care of them, here are a few helpful tips to understanding this painful disease and what you could possibly do to get back to healthy life.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a swelling of the large intestine that may many times be a persistent situation. The exact factor for the problem is not known but many studies are being performed on the genetics linked to the problem.

There are a number of ulcerative colitis symptoms such as rectal bleeding, acute pain and diarrhea. Some sufferers may only have the rectal bleeding symptom while some with more severe inflammation may even feel urgency to relieve themselves and even pain when they use the bathroom.

Treatment

Once diagnosed, there are various treatment solutions, depending on the acuteness. Patients may be prescribed medicines in order to treat the problem.

The medications should help reduce the risks attached to the problem and strengthen the patient's overall well being. (Medications include anti-inflammatory agents and combination that suppress the body's immune system so as to decrease inflammation.)

Surgery?

Surgery may also be recommended for patients. If a patient does not improve with medications, has a long-standing condition, or has suffered for several years with no improvement, surgery may be the best choice.

Standard surgical treatments include extracting the entire colon and the rectum. Stool can be collected in a bag. In recent times, however, surgeries have been developed in order to make it easy for stools to pass through the anus again, making it much less disturbing.

Diet and Ulcerative Colitis

Many patients think that special diets could help ease their pain and suffering. To date, however, no single diet has been identified to slow the development of the problem to a concluding basis. (Although I've observed, as an ulcerative colitis patient, that diets can control the pain.)

You should, of course, start eating a well-balanced, healthy diet and restrict saturated fats to risk flare-ups. Some patients may be sensitive to various food items; constant tryout of which foods cause which reaction is helpful and very important.

Future

Research is ongoing on the disease so as to find prescription drugs with more positive impacts and fewer unwanted effects. Surgical developments are also being made. In the future, adults with bowel problems may even be able to receive vaccine shots to aid their trouble. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

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Information about Budesonide and Crohns Treatment

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

Therapeutic Uses

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

Brand Names

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

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

Pharmacological Characteristics

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

Side Effects

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

  • Dry mouth

  • Coughing

  • Sore throat

  • Nasal irritation and/or nose bleeds

  • Change in mucus color

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Muscle cramps

  • Rash

  • Nausea

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

  • Facial swelling

  • Severe acne

  • White areas in the oral cavity

  • Respiratory difficulty

  • Irregular menstruation

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

Potential Drug Interactions and Contraindications

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

  • Erythromycin

  • Clarithromycin

  • Telithromycin

  • Nefazodone

  • Indinavir

  • Ritonavir

  • Ketoconazole

  • Nelfinavir

  • Itraconazol

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

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The auto-immune diseases result from immunologically mediated tissue destruction where the antigens involved are autologous. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of auto-immune diseases.

Forbidden clone theory: All the clones which react with self antigens are destroyed during intra-uterine life but such a clone may be generated by somatic mutation in later life.

Sequestrated antigen theory: Antigens exposed to lymphoid system during intra-uterine life are recognized as self. But some tissues (e.g, lens, thyroid, CNS) are anatomically sequestered or guarded from the lymphocytes. In adult life, when such antigens are exposed the immune system reacts against them.

Suppressor cell (TS) deficiency: Small quantities of thyroglobulin (and other auto-antigens) are seen in circulation even in normal persons, but they are below the threshold level for immuno-stimulation. The suppressor cells also inhibit sensitization. In persons with deficient TS activity, inappropriate immune reactions are produced.

genetic effect: Auto-immune diseases show a familial distribution and female preponderance. Many of them are associated with particular HLA types. These suggest that genetic predisposition may play a role in their pathogenesis.

Modified antigenic structure: Normal tissues may be altered by micro-organisms, making them antigenic. Drugs such as methyl-DOPA may act as haptens combining with cellular proteins. These altered proteins can elicit immunological responses. Antibodies once produced will attack not only the hapten, but also the carrier molecules.

Cross reacting antibodies: Antibodies produced against exogenous antigens can cross react with tissue proteins e.g post-rabies vaccine encephalitis, and post-streptococcal rheumatic fever. In any given instance one or more of the above mechanisms may be operative.

Some Important immunological disorders

1. Organ specific diseases
a. Pernicious anemia: auto-antigen are Parietal cells of stomach (Diagnostic test- Immunoflourescence test) and Intrinsic factor (Neutralization test).
b. Ulcerative colitis: Auto-antigens are Lipopolysaccharides of mucous membrane of colon Immunoflourescence test)
c. Acute post-streptococcal Nephritis: Auto-antigen is the streptococcal antigen (Complement fixation test and Immunoflourescence test).
d. Sympathetic Pphthalmia: Auto-antigen is the Uveal protein Skin test).
e. Bullous pemphigoid: Auto-antigen is the basement membrane (Immunoflourescence tests).
f. Pemphigus Vulgaris; Auto-antigens are the Desmosomes (Immunoflourescence tests).
g. Thyrotoxicosis by LATS (Long acting thyroid stimulator): Cell surface receptor proteins (Bioassay).
h. Hashimoto's thyroiditis: Thyroglobulin microsomes (Passive hemagglutination and Complement fixation test).

2. Affecting two or more organ systems
a. Goodpasture's syndrome: Glomerular and lung basement membrane (Immunoflourescence test).
b. Auto-immune hemolytic anemia: Membrane proteins of RBC (Coomb's test).
c. Immune-thrombocytopenia: Platelet components (Demonstration of antibody)
d. Myasthenia gravis: Skeletal, heart and thymus myoid cells (Immunoflourescence tests).
e. Primary biliary cirrhosis: Liver and Kidney mitochondria (Immunoflourescence tests).
f. Rheumatic fever: Streptococcal antigen cross reacting with heart and joint tissues (Immunoflourescence).

3. systemic or generalized diseases
a. Rheumatoid arthritis: Immunoglobulins, especially IgG (Latex agglutination)
b. Sjogren's disease: Ductus mitochondria of glands (Immunoflourescence tests).
c. Systemic Lupus erythematosus: Nuclear DNA and nucleo-proteins (Immunofloresence tests).
d. Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma): Nuclear proteins (Immunoflorescence tests).

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There has been a growing hype about the use of probiotic supplements around the globe because of their effectiveness in promoting the fitness and wellness of the users. Basically, probiotics are live microorganisms that resemble the qualities of live and beneficial microorganisms which thrive in the human gut. Probiotics are considered as friendly and good bacteria. According to the World Health Organization, probiotics are live microorganisms which can either be a virus, bacteria or fungi, that provide a number of health benefits to the host when taken in adequate amount only. Scientists believe that probiotics are helpful in keeping healthy people healthy. So what are the benefits of probiotics?

Many health professional strongly recommend probiotic therapy in treating a number of illness such as vaginal infection, urinary infection in women and in delaying allergies among children. Probiotic therapy is also beneficial in lessening the symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

When there is an imbalance between the amount of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract, probiotic play a major role in alleviating the discomforts which the imbalance can bring about. Inappropriate intake of antibiotics can kill good and bad bacteria in the gut which can lead to a number of side effects such as diarrhea, cramping and gas. Many people take probiotics to offset these adverse effects. Probiotics can also help in improving the symptoms of lactose intolerance which is characterized by the absence of enzyme that digests milk.

Probiotics suppress the growth of fungi, yeasts, disease-causing bacteria and parasites that trigger the onset of infectious diarrhea, skin infection, stomach infection, irritable bowel syndrome, tooth decay, periodontal disease, infection caused by Helicobacter pylori, vaginal infection, and respiratory infections. Probiotics are even known to be effective in eliminating parasites and viruses that can trigger illness.

Results of scientific researches show that probiotics enhance the immune system of an individual. Probiotics produce a mildly acidic environment which is unfavorable for disease-causing bacteria to thrive into. They also stimulate the production of antibodies such as B-lymphocyte that helps the body fight against different kinds of infection. Furthermore, probiotics stimulate the body's natural capacity to produce alpha-interferon that regulates the body's immune response.

These beneficial microorganisms also play a major role in helping the patients cope with the adverse side effects of antibiotics and in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Probiotics are considered to be effective in easing the symptoms of certain medical conditions such as hypertension, elevated blood cholesterol level, weak immune system, oral health, necrotizing enterocolitis and kidney stones.

Other benefits of probiotics include treatment of urinary tract infection, diarrhea caused by rotavirus, and pouchitis that may require surgery in order to remove the colon. These microorganisms are also beneficial in reducing the recurrence of bladder cancer, in treating an intestinal infection triggered by Clostridium difficile and in preventing the recurrence of atopic dermatitis or eczema among children.

Probiotics also break down hydrocarbons into quantities which can be absorbed by the human digestive tract. This can improve cellular growth and development and at the same time provide additional nutrition for the human body. These microorganisms are also responsible in cleaning the digestive tract and in getting rid of any unwanted substance and accumulated decay out of the body.

Furthermore, probiotics significantly increase the availability of essential vitamins and minerals in the body such as Vitamin K, fatty acids, lactase, Vitamin B and calcium. Probiotics are even capable of strengthening the immune system which reduces the risk of an individual to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies and systemic candida.

Written by: Julia

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The information I am about to share with you represents one of the biggest medical breakthroughs in decades and one that can save your life. It is the direct involvement of a molecule called Galectin-3 in chronic and life-threatening diseases, and how to control it using all natural Modified Citrus Pectin. Galectin-3 can be referred to as a "rogue" molecule in the body, as it is now proven to be a major cause of nearly every chronic disease. From cancer, cardiovascular disease and liver cirrhosis, to arthritis and Alzheimer's, excess Galectin-3 is at the root, wreaking havoc by igniting and fueling the deadly processes of inflammation, fibrosis, abnormal cellular growth and more. The solution: test your Galectin-3 levels with a simple new blood test and more importantly, stop this dangerous molecule in its tracks with Modified Citrus Pectin, the only proven natural Galectin-3 blocker

"High Galectin-3 Diseases"
Extensive research on Galectin-3 is rapidly expanding our understanding of chronic, "age-related" diseases. In small amounts, Galectin-3 molecules in the body play a role in growth processes, and are not considered dangerous. But when Galectin-3 levels are elevated beyond normal ranges, they wreak havoc on our systems, causing metastatic cancer, congestive heart failure, debilitating inflammation, fibrosis, organ damage and much more. Every few days, a new scientific paper is published linking excess Galectin-3 in the body with the progression of deadly and debilitating illnesses, from metastatic cancer and congestive heart failure, to diabetes II, ulcerative colitis, hepatitis, arthritis, Alzheimer's and much more. In May 2011, a groundbreaking Galectin-3 mortality study involving over 8,000 people was presented at a European conference. The results of this study demonstrate that elevated Galectin-3 in the body increased overall mortality three-fold in the general population. Overall mortality was close to 15% in the group with the highest Galectin-3, compared to only 4-5% in the group with the lowest levels. With the advancement of a simple new Galectin-3 blood test, experts estimate that a new category of diseases known as "High Galectin-3 Diseases" will soon be established, utilizing the Galectin-3 test for screening and analysis.

No Way to Accurately Measure Risk....Until Now
Until now, there has not been an easy or reliable method for people to accurately determine their risks and progression of cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening illness. That's why the new Galectin-3 test is so a valuable for patients and doctors. Galectin-3 is an active biomarker, which means it is both a major cause, as well as a byproduct, of numerous deadly disease processes. Therefore it is an extremely important biomarker for analyzing the risk and progression of chronic diseases such as heart failure and cancer -- essentially any condition related to inflammation, fibrosis, abnormal cellular growth and other detrimental disease processes. It is now clear that testing and blocking the harmful effects of elevated Galectin-3 is critical in protecting against life-threatening conditions.

Modified Citrus Pectin's Life-Saving Role
This is where Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP), derived from citrus peels, plays a vital life-saving role. MCP is the only proven natural Galectin-3 inhibitor as demonstrated in published research, with the unique ability to enter the blood stream and block excess Galectin-3 throughout the body. MCP has been extensively researched and shown to to combat cancer growth and metastasis, control inflammation and fibrosis, and effectively reduce cardiovascular disease risks and damage to multiple organs. These important benefits make MCP especially useful during chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as it can help increase effectiveness while reducing the damaging side effects of severe inflammation and fibrosis caused by these conventional cancer treatments.

Most of Modified Citrus Pectin's life-saving benefits are attributed to its unique ability to enter the blood stream and target excess Galectin-3 molecules, binding to the receptors on the surface of these rogue molecules and effectively blocking them. Regular pectin is unable to achieve these remarkable benefits, due to its relatively large molecular weight and size. The right Modified Citrus Pectin, however, has been enzymatically modified to a very specific molecular weight range and structure, giving it the ability to enter the circulation and actively attack excess Galectin-3 throughout the body. In addition, published research demonstrates that MCP is a powerful immune stimulator as well as a safe chelator of heavy metals and radioactive particles. Modified Citrus Pectin is completely safe and poses no risk of toxic side effects (since it is a fiber, it may cause mild digestive upset at high dosages).

This multitude of scientific and clinically researched benefits make Modified Citrus Pectin one of the most important daily supplements for protecting against chronic illness and promoting long term health. As ongoing research continues to validate and expand this important body of information, Modified Citrus Pectin is earning an esteemed reputation world wide as the first, and so far only, natural ingredient proven to bind and block Galectin-3 throughout the body. If you are concerned about your risks of chronic illness, or are currently battling any of these life-robbing conditions, ask your doctor about the new FDA approved Galectin-3 blood test. And most importantly, include Modified Citrus Pectin into your health program as a safe yet powerful daily health supplement.

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Many elderly folks suffer from the occasional battle with diarrhea without ever knowing what caused it. While it's generally just an uncomfortable annoyance that only lasts a day or two, it can become a more serious situation when it ends up causing incontinence.

Severe or chronic diarrhea is cause for concern and is a situation that requires medical attention. It can be a symptom of colon cancer, diabetes, fecal blockage, infection or other serious medical problem. Loss of fluids can lead to potentially life threatening dehydration, so it's something to pay close attention to. Get immediate medical attention for your elder should diarrhea be accompanied by stomach cramps or fever.

The 6 most common causes of diarrhea include:

1. Your elder eating too much dietetic candy or chewing too much dietetic gum.

2. Eating or drinking foods like apple and pear juice, or grapes, prunes, dates, figs and some nuts.

3. Drinking caffeinated products such as soda, coffee or tea. Some over the counter antacids containing magnesium as well as some over the counter headache remedies can also cause diarrhea as well.

4. Certain medications such as antibiotics. Some can cause an imbalance of the "good" bacteria in the intestines.

5. Drinking milk, eating ice cream or other dairy products. While this generally applies to those who are lactose intolerant, this isn't always the case.

6. Certain medical conditions such as Chron's disease, overactive thyroid or ulcerative colitis.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, diarrhea in elderly folks isn't all that uncommon. When it runs more than a day or two, it's time to consider contacting your elder's doctor so they can investigate further. And remember, if there is pain or vomiting present with the diarrhea, be sure and get your elder immediate medical attention. Doing so may just save their life.

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For those who have yet to hear of probiotics for health, probiotics are commonly defined as live micro organisms like bacteria and yeasts that provide health benefits on human beings provided that these are administered in sufficient amounts. In other words, these are beneficial microorganisms that are present in food and dietary supplements.

Sources of Probiotics

As previously mentioned, probiotics can be found in foods and dietary supplements either occurring naturally or added during preparation. The foods with probiotics include yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, tempeh and miso as well as soy beverages. Of course, some of these foods have an acquired taste so you probably will need to consume substantial amounts before you get the hang of it.

If you wish to avail of the benefits of probiotics for health without the acquired taste test, you can always opt for the dietary supplements. These come in various forms like powder, capsules and tablets, which still provide for the same benefits as its food counterparts

Benefits of Probiotics

To understand the benefits of probiotics in the promotion of general well-being, it must be noted that the human body is made up of friendly and unfriendly microorganisms from its skin surface to its intestines. Your body has a natural mechanism that ensures a delicate balancing act between these micro organisms.

There are two ways that can upset this delicate balance - through the use of antibiotics and the explosion of unfriendly micro organisms when diseases set in. Probiotics for health products offset the negative effects of antibiotics on the good micro organisms and/or restore the balance between the good and the bad micro organisms.

As such, many benefits can be had from probiotic products that include but are definitely not limited to the following:

o Management of lactose intolerance.

o Lessening inflammation present in diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, periodontal disease and even some types of skin infections.

o Reduction of cases of diarrhea especially those that are highly infectious.

o Maintenance of urogenital health in women particularly against bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infection and yeast infection.

o Offset the effects of other stomach and respiratory infections.

When administered properly, probiotics for health products can be effective in fighting off diseases, restoring the healthy balance in the body, and maintaining general well-being. For something as microscopic as probiotics, the benefits are definitely life-saving!

Things to Consider

Despite the good press it has been getting amongst practitioners of alternative medicine as well as medical doctors, there are some things to be considered when using probiotics to complement your efforts towards a healthy lifestyle.

First, you must only take the recommended amounts. Keep in mind that anything in excess can be toxic and this includes probiotics. Second, each probiotic strain has a different effect than the others of its kind and each mixture for the same kind of strain also acts differently on the body. Third, always use probiotics as a complementary and alternative medicine that should be used in conjunction with professional medical care. Indeed, you must adopt an integrated approach - natural and medical - in your health management.

In conclusion, probiotics for health products are a welcome addition to your life. With proper dosage and administration, probiotics can be your best friend in ensuring that your body's best friends - good micro organisms - flourish.

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Abdominal cramps and diarrhea are symptoms that may come with various diseases. These diseases include gastritis, food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome, parasitic infections, diverticulitis, and traveler's diarrhea. Diarrhea is a disease where a person suffers from abnormal bowel movements. A bowel movement would be considered abnormal if it occurs more than thrice in a day. Abdominal cramps are caused by spasms or muscle contractions.

It can be said that abdominal cramps and diarrhea tells us about the irritation that our colon or the digestive system faces for various reasons. It is often said that it is through diarrhea that our body frees itself from various unwanted substances. Bacterial infections can also trigger diarrhea.

In short, what we eat has lot to do with abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Eating of unhygienic or under prepared food items often causes food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastritis. People who have allergies from various foodstuffs can also suffer from diarrhea.

Apart from the above mentioned cases, abdominal cramps are seen in women who are undergoing their menopause. This is a period of their life cycle when they undergo some biological changes and that may cause the cramps on the muscles of the abdomen. Women who are having their period also suffer this kind of cramps.

Abdominal cramps can also signify infections of the colon. This is the reason that such cramps are one of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. However, a patient of this disease also suffers from blood diarrhea.

Quite often a person suffering from diarrhea and abdominal cramp can also have feelings of nausea. There are antibiotics that can control these cramps and diarrhea. It is also very important that one should keep his body hydrated during diarrhea.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Lead a hygienic and healthy life style and you will not suffer from abdominal cramps and diarrhea too often.

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Public awareness is growing about the dangers of certain acne drugs and their link to bowel diseases. Studies have shown that isotretinoin, the primary active ingredient in various acne medications, can cause serious gastrointestinal problems.

A study at the University of North Carolina set out to find whether there is a cause and effect relationship between isotretinoin and bowel conditions. Based on their analysis, the research team concluded that patients who used isotretinoin to treat their acne had a four times greater chance of having ulcerative colitis than people who did not use the drug.

Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Isotretinoin has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD. IBD is a condition that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal system. There are several types of inflammatory bowel diseases, including:

-Crohn's disease

-Ulcerative colitis

-Ulcerative proctitis

-Indeterminate colitis

Although the different types of IBD are related, they have their differences. For example, ulcerative colitis normally affects only the colon. On the other hand, Crohn's disease can affect any portion of the intestinal tract.

Side Effects and Treatment

The symptoms of IBD are very similar regardless of the specific type of IBD. Common side effects include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding, vomiting, loss of appetite and other problems. The type, progression and severity of the side effects vary from patient to patient.

Unfortunately, inflammatory bowel disease can have serious complications. The disease results in ulcers in the intestines. Over time, these ulcers can cause obstructions, infections (abscesses), narrowing (strictures), bleeding (hemorrhage) and an increased risk of cancer.

The treatment for IBD varies depending on the patient. Some patients are rarely bothered by the disease while others have regular flare-ups that can be painful and inconvenient. Strong medications may be used to manage the disease. In some cases, invasive surgery is required.

How Can Isotretinoin Cause IBD?

Isotretinoin is a form of vitamin A, so how can it be so dangerous? The drug was originally developed as a chemotherapy medication to treat serious cancers. It is effective at killing cells that are rapidly dividing. Inflammatory bowel disease occurs a result of improper immune system activity, and cancer drugs are known to damage a person's immune system. If a cancer medication can damage the immune system, then it makes sense that it can cause IBD.

What Should You Do if You Took Isotretinoin and Have Bowel Problems?

Many people who took isotretinoin and developed Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or another form of IBD do not know the two are linked. As a result of growing media exposure, more people are finally learning about the connection. Knowing the cause of a problem can help answer the question of where the disease came from, and it may also help in treating the condition. If you took isotretinoin and have bowel problems but have not been tested for inflammatory bowel disease, you may want to ask your doctor about getting tested.

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Crohn's disease is often confused with other inflammatory bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, thus making it difficult to diagnose. Crohn's disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's disease is characterized by an inflammatory reaction throughout the entire thickness of the colon and bowel wall. This inflammation can penetrate deeply into the affected organ, causing pain and diarrhea.

Symptoms associated with Crohn's disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding (which may lead to anemia), weight loss, malabsorption syndrome and nutritional deficiencies. The onset of Crohn's disease is typically between the ages of fourteen and thirty. Cases of this disorder tend to be 2-4 times more common in Caucasian whites than non-Caucasian, and 4 times more common in Jews than non-Jews.

Crohn's disease is typically experienced as flair-up, with attacks occurring every few months to every few years. Over time, if the disease is active, bowel function can gradually deteriorate, with the risk of cancer increasing by 20 fold.

Scientists believe that chronic imbalances in the intestinal flora set off a chain of events that, in the end, damages the intestinal mucosa. This theory is strongly supported by the parallel in the number of cases of Crohn's and other inflammatory bowel disorders and use of antibiotics over the last 50 years. In turn, it has also been found that the incidence of Crohn's disease is higher in cultures consuming a "western diet", while it is virtually non-existent in cultures consuming a more primitive diet. Studies also reveal that patients with Crohn's disease were found to be individuals who habitually ate, prior to the onset of symptoms, more refined sugar, less raw fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber when compared to their healthy counterparts.

While the exact causes of Crohn's disease is still unclear, there is much that can be done to lessen symptoms and even put this disorder into remission. The goal for treatment of this disorder is to control inflammation, correct nutritional deficiencies and relieve symptoms such as pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding.

Recommendations for Wellness

1) An elimination diet, such as Gottschall's Specific Carbohydrate Diet have been shown to reduce the symptoms experienced within 3 - 12 weeks.

2) Avoid sugar, both white sugars, and the sugars contained in white flower, white rice etc.

3) Keep a food/flair-up journal. Identify foods you are eating, or your emotional state just before and during a "flair-up". In time, you may find a pattern forming

4) To reduce intestinal inflammation and begin the healing process, try products such as UltraInflamx - by Metagenics, Robert's formula - by Phytophamric, or aloe vera juice.

5) Flax seed or fish oils (Omega 3 Oils) have been known to greatly reduce the inflammatory process. If you find you have a hard time digesting them, try freezing the gel caps before taking them.

6) Extra vitamins and minerals are important at this time, especially if you are not absorbing nutrients correctly. Incorporate a liquid meal replacement (one that is loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein, and low on sugar!) into your diet as well as taking a high quality vitamin and minerals supplement. Try to find one that is in a gel casing or capsule.

7) Find a good mineral supplement such as Alfalfa, barley greens, liquid chlorophyll or colloidal minerals. Many of these come in a powdered form that you can mix with water or juice.

8) Because of blood loss due to rectal bleeding, and the anemia associated with it, incorporation of additional iron is important. Look to find an herbal iron alternative, especially one that comes in liquid form for better/easier assimilation. If you decide to look to a single herb, Yellow Dock would be my choice. (Consult with your health care provider before introducing additional iron into your diet.)

9) Starting a program of re-inoculating the intestinal tract with Friendly Bacteria, namely lactoacidopholis can enhance recovery and restore bowel function to normal.

© Copyright 2001 Body, Mind & SoulHealer, All Rights Reserved.

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Leaky gut syndrome:

Leaky gut syndrome is a term often used in complementary or alternative medicine circles and by the lay public that is really describing a known entity termed increased intestinal permeability. Gut permeability is important for health and prevention of disease. The intestine is lined with a single layer of epithelial cells, called enterocytes in the small bowel and colonocytes in the large bowel or colon. These epithelial cells both constitute the intestinal barrier and the digestive and absorptive lining of the gut.

Intestinal villous and microvilli increases absorptive area:

The small intestine lining has projections called villi that dramatically increase the surface area of the intestine. Each villous is lined with a single layer of enterocytes and goblet cells. The enterocytes of the small intestine have projections on their surfaces known as microvilli where digestive enzymes reside.

Tight junctions prevent leaky gut:

The cells are joined to each other by tight junctions or zonula occludens that form a barrier to fluid and proteins except when permitted by signals that open up the spaces between the cells, the paracellular space. Abnormal tight junctions result in increased intestinal permeability or what may be called a leaky gut. This altered intestinal permeability or barrier function is implicated in several diseases, especially celiac disease and the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Occludin, claudin and zonulin proteins:

Occludin and claudin are structural proteins that maintain the tight junctions or zonula occludens. These proteins are regulated at least in part by another protein, zonulin. The structure of the tight junctions is also known as a cytoskeleton.

Leaky gut can occur without visible or microscopic signs:

Obvious visually apparent defects of the lining of the intestine or mucosa such as ulcerations and erosions or atrophy are associated with increased intestinal permeability but ultra structural studies have shown that areas of the lining can have gaps in the intestinal barrier. That is, your gut can be leaky though it may look normal visually during endoscopy or even on plain microscope examination of biopsies.

Gluten can cause leaky gut without celiac disease:

Chronic gluten exposure has been shown to activate zonulin resulting in increased intestinal permeability (or leaky gut) even in the absence of celiac disease. Intestinal permeability with malabsorption has been described in celiac patients and their relatives who don't have atrophy of the intestine on biopsy but only increased inflammatory cells known as lymphocytes or increased intraepithelial lymphocytosis (IEL).

Lymphocytic enteritis may be the earliest microscopic sign of leaky gut:

Lymphocytic enteritis is a relatively new term for this small intestine biopsy finding. Since lymphocytes release chemical mediators such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) it makes sense that increased numbers of lymphocytes in the villi releasing TNF can result in a leaky gut, malabsorption symptoms and increased risk of celiac disease, Crohn's, and colitis, especially in genetically predisposed individuals. Moreover, if altered gut bacteria and yeast levels are present the risks appear to be higher.

Tumor necrosis factor release results in leaky gut:

Interestingly, anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy in the form of remicade (infliximab) and humira (adalimubab) are highly effective in treating Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and more recently ulcerative colitis. Unfortunately, such therapy is directed at the already released TNF not the underlying cause or predisposition.

Probiotics may be protective against leaky gut and bowel inflammation:

Probiotics are gaining acceptance or interest in the prevention and treatment of both inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's and colitis) as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They are also being touted to prevent or treat antibiotic associated diarrhea.

Leaky gut gaining scientific support but bigger picture still being missed:

Again, however, it appears that there are a lot of researchers and physicians who appear to have some pieces of the bigger puzzle of leaky gut or altered gut permeability as a cause of intestinal diseases and intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms but few are seeing the bigger picture. Go to www.thefooddoc.com to access the Food Doc Blog to explore this bigger picture and the latest research in the context of my experience of a practicing gastroenterologist who is also personally affected by food intolerance. Be sure to subscribe to the blog and e-mail postings to friends and family.

References:

Gliadin, zonulin and gut permeability: Effects on celiac and non-celiac intestinal mucosa and intestinal cell lines. Drago, S et al. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006; 41(4): 408-419

Inflammatory bowel disease: Is it really just another break in the wall? Weber, CR and Turner, JR. Gut 2007; 56(1): 6-8

Changes in expression and distribution of claudin 2,5, and 8 lead to discontinuous tight junctions and barrier dysfunction in active Crohn's disease. Zeissig S. et al. Gut 2007; 56(1): 61-72

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How can i manage my life now that I have been diagnosed with autoimmune disease?. Although there is no cure, you can treat your symptoms and learn to manage your disease, so you can still enjoy life. It is important, though, to see a doctor who specializes in these types of diseases.

Autoimmune diseases are disorders in which the body's immune system reacts against itself and produces antibodies to attack its own healthy cells and tissue. Autoimmune disorders can be directed mainly at one part of the body, such as the thyroid gland or the pancreas, or they can spread widely throughout the body, as in the case of diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on which autoimmune disease you have, the most common that is shared among the autoimmune disorders are joint pain and fatigue.

RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) joint pain, joint deformities, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss.

MS(multiple sclerosis) numbness and tingling in the extremeties, difficulty with balance and coordination, problems with walking or speaking, tremors, and even paralysis.

Lupus - joint pain, swelling, skin rashes, fatigue, sensitivity to sun, purple fingers or toes from cold or stress, and swelling in the legs or around the eyes.

Type1 Diabetes elevated blood sugar, fatigue, increased thirst and urination, nausea, vomiting, increased appetite, and weight loss

Graves Disease(overactive thyroid) insomnia, irritability, unexplained weight loss, weakness, bulging eyes,shaky hands, brittle hair.

Hashimotos Thyroiditis (under-active) tiredness, cold sensitivity, weight gain, weakness, tough skin, constipation, and depression

Ulcerative Colitis - diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, rectal bleeding, skin lesions, and joint pain.

Who is at risk?

Autoimmune diseases tend to run in families, with women more likely than men to develop an autoimmune disorder.

Treatments

There is no cure however with treatment you can still lead a full life. Treatments depend on which autoimmune disorders you have but range from antiinflamatories, insulin, and synthetic thyroid pills.

How do I know if I have an autoimmune disease?

If you suspect you may have an autoimmune disorder the doctor will likely start out conducting a physical exam and taking your personal and family medical history. Test may be run to rule out other conditions.

There is no definitive diagnostic test for autoimmune disorders for the most part. Blood tests, x-rays, ct scans, or MRI's may help in determining some of the autoimmune disorders.

Should I see a doctor and when?

If you experience any of the symptoms of an autoimmune disorders it is wise to see the doctor as soon as possible. Putting it off only runs the risk of having symptoms worsen or do permanent damage to your body.

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A chronic inflammatory bowel disease in which the inner lining of the large intestine (colon or bowel) and rectum become inflamed, Ulcerative colitis is a serious disorder which is characterized by recurrent episodes of abdominal pain, fever, chills and profuse diarrhea.

Ulcerative colitis causes both inflammation and sores, also called ulcers, in the lining of the colon and rectum. The ulcerated areas occur in the areas where inflammation has killed off the protective cells that usually line the colon. The inflammation and ulcers lead to pain, bleeding, and the hallmark symptom of profuse and nearly uncontrollable diarrhea.

The inflammation typically begins in the rectum and the sigmoid or lower colon. It may then spreads upward throughout the entire colon. However, except for the lower section, call the ileum, this disease rarely invades the small intestine. Other names for ulcerative colitis include proctitis, enteritis, ileitis and colitis.

Currently the cause is unknown, although many theories exist. Some researchers believe that it is hereditary; others believe that it is due to a bacteria or viral invasion, and still others believe it is a defect in the immune system in which the body's antibodies actually attack the colon.

The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain and bloody or pus-filled diarrhea. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, rectal bleeding, anemia, loss of body fluids and nutrients and fever.

Patients may also experience joint pain, rashes, skin lesions, and abscesses. Typically the onset of ulcerative colitis is gradual. However, in some cases the onset can be rather severe with the diarrhea and bleeding being much more significant. Because many of these symptoms can mimic other disorders it is important to see your physician so that an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment can begin.

There is currently no known cure for ulcerative colitis except for removal of the colon. Some helpful treatments include medications such as steroids designed to control or lessen the inflammation of the colon can help to improve the diarrhea and cramping. Antibiotics may also be used to help control the disorder.

Other medications may be used to control the pain and diarrhea of ulcerative colitis. Dietary changes can also help. For example, during an acute attack of ulcerative colitis, your physician may suggest that you avoid milk, milk products and bulky, heavy fiber foods.

A healthy diet with sufficient calories and adequate protein will help in overall well being. Hospitalization may be necessary in order to correct malnutrition, dehydration or mineral imbalances and to stop the diarrhea.

Surgery may also be required for difficult cases of ulcerative colitis. In cases of excessive bleeding, a perforation of the colon or even a debilitating lifestyle impact from the disease may all be appropriate reasons for surgery to remove the colon. Surgery is generally looked to as a last resort option after all other treatment options have failed.

Ulcerative colitis mimics several other bowel disorders and must be aggressively managed in order to avoid long term damage to the colon and a significant impact on the overall health of the sufferer.

Talk with your physician today and determine the best and most aggressive course of treatment for your disease.

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Ulcerative colitis is when a chronic inflammation is present in the colon (large intestine), which is a part of our digestive system. This chronic inflammation causes ulcers or open sores to form. In most cases, people suffering from this condition do not display any symptoms, and even when warning signs do exist (such as fatigue, weight loss, loss of nutrients, joint pain), they will diminish on their own. Contrary to what most people believe, environmental factors contribute greatly to the development of this disease, not poor diet. But having said that, dietary modification can actually help lessen the effects caused by ulcerative colitis.

If you have ulcerative colitis, it is very important for you to modify your diet. Although there is no specific ulcerative colitis diet, many people find that avoiding or increasing the intake of certain foods can greatly reduce the symptoms.

People suffering from this condition should maintain a well balanced diet, preferably a balanced combination of complex carbohydrates, good fats, whole grains and protein. Soluble fiber is very helpful for this condition and is better than insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber can be found in foods such as peeled apples, peeled potatoes, oat bran, and white rice; while insoluble fiber can be found in cabbage, wheat bran, sweet corn, and fruit and vegetable skins. You are advised to avoid insoluble fiber because it can't be digested by our body, and it will irritate the colon even more. Fish oils that come from sardines or any other oily fish will help you treat ulcerative colitis. The fatty acids contained in fish oils are believed to reduce inflammation in general. Do include more oily fish in your diet to help heal the ulcers in your colon. If you are a vegetarian, you can include dairy products or high protein plants in your diet. Soy products can be a good replacement for meat, fish, or poultry, and it gives the same benefits to the body.

As mentioned previously, poor diet is not the cause of ulcerative colitis. However, there are foods that may worsen inflammation or cause previously unseen symptoms to occur; these foods are often referred to as food triggers. The types of food that might be considered as food triggers vary among sufferers. One individual might be highly sensitive towards coffee or caffeine in general, while others are not. The most common foods which can cause further irritation are alcohol, carbonated beverages, popcorn, raw vegetables, nuts, pepper, or spicy foods in general.

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An ulcerative colitis diet as such does not really exist, as different foods trigger different sufferers. Overall its best to avoid fruit and fruit juices, alcohol, high fiber cereals, coffee and prepackaged refined food, as they generally provide poor nutrition and contain hidden salt sugar and chemical preservatives. If you are not entirely sure which specific food and drink are problematic for you, keep a detailed food and drink diary and visit an allergy specialist, particularly as allergies change over time. Then put together your own ulcerative colitis diet and stick to it.

Healthy nutritious food is of vital importance to reduce the progress of the disease from controllable to requiring surgery. You will need a well balanced diet with a good supply of high quality protein, carbohydrates and fats as well as vitamin supplements such as B12, vitamin D and additional iron. Meat protein from non free range animals may also lead to flare ups caused by the growth hormones, antibiotics and generally stressful conditions present in the lives of these animals. Stick to free range lean chicken and meat, free range eggs, wild salmon and unprocessed fish products. To improve your ulcerative colitis diet, shop around the edges of the supermarket to find the food that is the freshest and least packaged and leave the middle aisles alone. Check sell by dates and buy fresh food daily.

As a general rule of thumb, here are a few suggestions to help you put together your ulcerative colitis diet plan:


  • Plenty of fluids to reduce constipation and keep your body hydrated. This does not include alcohol!

  • Low fiber foods during a flare up but high fiber food when you are in remission

  • Small frequent meals will put less stress on your system

  • Reduce fatty food and gas producing vegetables from the cabbage family (cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli)

  • Herbal teas to replace sugary carbonated drinks and coffee

  • Include a good multivitamin and other supplements to make up for lost nutrients (fish and flaxseed oils and probiotics may all aid in the healing process). Check your individual needs with your doctor or nutritionist.

Try to reduce the stress and anxiety in your own life too by educating yourself as much as possible about ulcerative colitis and by finding a doctor or specialist you can relate to and confide in. Support groups whether on or offline are also really helpful for suggestions which worked for others.

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Crohn's Disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a group of illnesses, the main two are Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Both of these illnesses are very similar but the main difference between them is that ulcerative colitis is only located in the large bowel or colon, where Crohn's Disease can affect the person anywhere in the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus.

At times it can be hard for doctors to know if you have Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease. A couple of years after I was diagnosed my doctors decided that maybe I didn't have Crohn's after all, perhaps it was Ulcerative Colitis. Eventually they changed their minds and I was back to having Crohn's again.

Some people can be told that they have IBD as it isn't really clear whether they have Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis. Western treatment can vary between Crohn's and Ulcerative colitis, but it if you have not been diagnosed with anything other than IBD then it probably won't really make much difference not knowing in most cases.

A good thing as is that many natural methods that work well for Crohn's also work well for Ulcerative Colitis. A great place to start is to keep a food dairy and write down what you eat during the day, so if the next day you start to feel not that well you can go back over the last few days and see what you have eaten. You can then tell if there is something there that you may think has caused you a problem.

Over time you maybe able to see a pattern with certain foods and you could try not eating that food for awhile to see if that makes a difference in your Crohn's Disease. It may only take a couple of days to make a difference, for some people they will need to eliminate that food for perhaps over a month to see an improvement. There are other ways to see what foods are causing you problems but a food diary is a good place to start and can give you some good results.

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Beware the Possibility of Probiotics Side Effects!

You are looking to supplement your diet with probiotics but want to check whether there are any side effects first? This is a wise decision as so much of what we consume today has effects on our bodies.

What are probiotics?

Before we answer the question of probiotics side effects, we need to understand what probiotic bacteria is and its role in normal body function. It is with this understanding that we have the context we need to answer the question effectively.

Probiotics are living microorganisms (typically in the form of bacteria) that are similar to those found naturally in the human gut. They are often referred to as "good bacteria" because of the positive role they play in the process of digestion. They can be found in many foods or can be acquired from health shops as a dietary supplement. Many alternative health practitioners recommend probiotics as complementary medicine.

Probiotics are often consumed to treat and prevent certain ailments and to promote good overall health and well being. These include such illnesses as infectious diarrhea, excessive gas, stomach bloating, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Chron's disease), infections in female body regions, skin infections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stomach and respiratory infections and tooth decay - amongst others.

Probiotics should not be confused with prebiotics (no digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms already in people's colons). However, a when probiotics and prebiotics are combined in one's diet, together, their relationship is complementary.

A quick note on Antibiotics

Antibiotics are used to kill "bad bacteria" but their use does not discriminate so they also kill the "good bacteria". So many people use probiotics to counteract the negative effect of antibiotics. Essentially they are used to replace probiotics after a course of antibiotics has been completed.

So, what are the side effects?

Historically, people have consumed live microorganisms without too many side effects. There have not been sufficient studies undertaken to comprehensively test probiotics effects on the body. However, they are generally considered to be safe.

Probiotics effects some people adversely and when it happens, it tend to be mild and digestive related e.g. excess gas or bloating). More serious probiotics effects have been identified in a few people. Some experts hypothesize that probiotics could cause infections in people with underlying health conditions. They could also over stimulate the immune system. Overall though, there is little evidence of any significant side effects in most people. If you experience these symptoms after taking a probiotic supplement, we suggest you stop taking them and consult your doctor.

Where to find good quality probiotic supplements

Probiotics can be found naturally in some foods or they can be taken as dietary supplements. There are many places where reviews have been conducted on different probiotics supplements in the market. Check out the links below for more information on this.

Conclusion

Probiotics are consumed to prevent some diseases and to promote good overall health and well being. They have been consumed in diets for many years. Although few comprehensive studies have been carried out on probiotics side effects, there would seem to be very few and in most cases these occur in people with an existing condition. If you are in any doubt, consult your doctor first.

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One of the world's oldest alive tree forms is Ginkgo Biloba. Excavations of fossils of Ginkgo Biloba show them to be 5000 years older and even more. One single tree can have a life of a thousand year; it can grow up to one hundred twenty feet long. The leaves are shaped like a fan while branches are short.

There is a strong odor in it's fruits and there is inner seed in every leaf, consuming the leaf can lead to human poisoning. For centuries Chinese people used both the seed and the leaf as herbal medicine, but modern researchers have discarded this and mainly focused attention on basic Ginkgo Biloba extract, derived from green leaves after being dried up.

There are as many as 40 odd materials available in Ginkgo Biloba tree, but just 2 out of those many can be of any benefit to human suffering, the 2 being terpenoids and flavonoids. Flavonoids are influential in antioxidant effects.

Reports have supported the same and say it helps protecting retina, blood vessels, heart muscle and nerves from damage. Terpenoids help increasing blood circulation by opening blood vessels and dipping the tackiness of platelets.

Flavonoids is a definite antioxidants which are immensely helpful in removing free radicals that float present in out bodies, these radicals possess threats to human health and can effect normal system functions.

The environment too has its share in causing damage to us (obviously we stand responsible for the current state of environment) like cigarette smoking, air pollution, radiation and ultraviolet rays shall have a telling effect on our bodies and these threatening free radicals can lead to heart diseases, cause aging, cancer, cell death & Alzheimer's disease.

There are various studies being conducted across the globe to find the diseases that Ginkgo Biloba can be applied in. We know now that Ginkgo Biloba is useful in treating dementia, hair loss, circulatory problems and hair loss but researchers are trying to widen the scope of its benefits to alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, blood vessel disorders, chronic rhinitis, atherosclerosis, hearing loss, high blood pressure, respiratory tract illnesses, concentration deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, cataracts, bronchial asthma, anti-rheumatic, migraine, high cholesterol, heart disease, labor induction, schizophrenia, congestive heart attack, coronary heart disease, menstrual pain, cardiac rhythm abnormalities, blood clots, freckle-removing, traumatic brain injury, neuropathy, cough, dermatitis, fatigue, hepatitis B, angina, genitourinary disorders, anxiety, mood disturbances, acute cerebral infarction, retinopathy, anti-bacterial, autoimmune disorders, oral cavity cancer, acidosis, anti-parasitic, diabetes, indigestion, allergies, anti-fungal, dysentery, breast disease, bronchitis, insomnia, varicose veins, skin sores, eczema, hypoxia, sepsis, scabies, ulcerative colitis, swelling, headache, seizures, thrombosis, heart attack and aging.

There exist few side effect but benefits will always out number side effects. Headaches and gas related discomfort may be experienced. Suppose you consume anti-depression drug (these are monoamine-oxidase inhibitors in character) then a negative counter reactions could be possible. You could be risking some kind of bleeding and if you at all have a clotting disorder then it should be strictly avoided.

If going through lactation or pregnancy then too should be avoided. Headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, in few cases you might get rashes or feel itchy and nausea are few other possible side effects. To be on safer side visit your doctor and consult him/her before you starting the medication of any herbal remedies.

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Conditions which affect the stomach, esophagus, bowel, colon, liver or pancreas are considered digestive system diseases and disorders. Many people wonder about nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract and conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress and emotional trauma may all aggravate symptoms, but it is unclear whether any of these cause digestive system diseases and disorders. In fact, in most digestive system diseases and disorders the causes are unclear. There are only theories about what the causes may be and what may worsen the conditions or aggravate symptoms.

There are many digestive system diseases and disorders. Some are very common and easily treated, while some are more serious, difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. There are some nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract. These are sometimes classified as symptoms or related conditions and sometimes as possible causes of digestive system diseases and disorders, because in some cases it is unclear which came first, the digestive disorder or the nervous disorder.

The most common of the digestive system diseases and disorders is heartburn. Heartburn affects an estimated 25% of people in the United States on and other western countries on a monthly basis according to a study from the Mayo Clinic. In contrast only 11% of those living in Eastern Asian countries have heartburn once or more per month. Excess stomach acid is what causes heartburn, but stress and anxiety are nervous disorders that can affect the digestive tract and increase stomach acid. Heartburn is a symptom of another of the common digestive system diseases and disorders; acid reflux.

Acid reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of stomach acid and/or food, hoarseness, coughing and irritation of the larynx, throat and/or esophagus. This is one of the digestive system diseases and disorders that can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated. For example, acid reflux or GERD is one of the major risk factors for esophageal cancer. As with heartburn, anxiety and stress are nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract and can aggravate acid reflux symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis is another of the digestive system diseases and disorders. This one can be very serious and when symptoms are severe may require surgery to remove diseased portions or the entire colon. Anxiety, stress, depression or emotional turmoil (all nervous disorders that can affect the digestive tract) are often experienced by people with ulcerative colitis and can worsen symptoms. It is an inflammatory bowel disease, similar to Crohn's disease. Whereas irritable bowel syndrome is not considered an inflammatory disease, but because the names are similar, people sometimes get them confused.

Irritable Bowel System or IBS is one of the common digestive system diseases and disorders. Somewhere between 25 and 55 million Americans suffer from IBS and most of them are women. IBS is not life threatening and it does not lead to other more serious digestive system diseases and disorders, but it can still be hard to live with. IBS and nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract, such as stress and anxiety may cause a vicious circle in a person's life. Meaning, IBS may make a person anxious about when he/she will have to find a bathroom and the anxiety can aggravate symptoms of IBS, which increases anxiety, etc.

These are only some of the many digestive system diseases and disorders and while nervous disorders that affect the digestive system are not believed to cause any of these conditions, it is possible that they may aggravate symptoms, particularly when it comes to stress and anxiety. Eating too fast, too much, on the go, in the car, in front of the TV or computer are all poor eating habits that are very common. When treating digestive system diseases and disorders like IBS, acid reflux and heartburn, doctors typically advise that these eating habits may worsen symptoms. It has been shown that by slowing down and reducing stress in one's life, many of the symptoms of the most common digestive system diseases and disorders may be reduced or prevented entirely.

For more information about digestive system diseases and disorders, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

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