Night Shades & AIP

It was on Facebook the first time I read about night shades and it was a post by The Paleo Mom. Inflammation was a new word to me in that I have IBD and I had never learned that there was a category for certain foods that caused it.

This is an individual testing sort of speak in how these foods react in your body. What can you handle and what you can’t. Doing the elimination process and then reintroducing nightshades is what I am still working on. I feel that there will not be too many on this list that I can tolerate by the way it’s going.

List of nightshades:

Ashwagandha
Bush Tomatoes (native to Australia)
Cape Gooseberries (or ground cherries, different from regular cherries)
Capsicums
Cayenne pepper
Chili Pepper Flakes
Chili powder
Chinese Five-Spice Powder
Cocona
Curry Powder
Curry spice powder
Eggplants/aubergines
Garam Masala spice
Garden Huckleberries (different from regular huckleberries)
Goji berries
Hot Sauce
Ketchup (and BBQ Sauce)
Kutjera
Most spice blends
Naranjillas
Paprika spice
Pepinos
Peppers (including bell peppers, sweet peppers, chili peppers, jalapenos)
Pimentos
Potatoes (different to sweet potatoes)
Red Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Steak Seasoning
Tamarillos, Tomatillos and Tomatoes

If you eliminate nightshades from your diet then reintroduce with negative affects then you may want to consider trying the AIP diet. (Autoimmune Protocol Diet)  There are many websites that will offer you support, recipes and explain to you how the AIP diet works.

AIP Lifestyle 

Autoimmune Wellness with Angie & Mickie

Good Luck!

~Andrea

It is possible to have both Crohns Disease & Ulcerative Colitis

I have both Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. I was not misdiagnosed and it is possible. It is rare but, it is possible! I have had Crohns since I was 9 years old and Colitis since my early twenties. There are more documentation other than what I am presenting below of these diseases in one patient and concurrently however, I could not find more than seven on the www!

Is it possible to have both Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis? And concurrently?

Yes, You Can Have Both Crohn’s And Ulcerative Colitis ~ Crohnology.com

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the same patient ~ NCBI

Simultaneous ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease ~ NCBI

Two for one: coexisting ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease ~ NCBI

If you are one of the unlucky ones who also have both, you are not alone! I welcome you to share your experiences and stories here without judgement or negative naysayer comments. (as I have control over the comments to be posted and I will not approve any that fall in those categories.)  Connecting is a key factor to working through illness and this platform is a great place to start!

Light. Love. & Peace.

~Andrea

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CLEVELAND CLINIC

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Logo of dai

Link to Publisher's site
Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Feb; 106(8): 123–133.
Published online 2009 Feb 20. doi:  10.3238/arztebl.2009.0123
PMCID: PMC2695363
Review Article

The Diagnosis and Treatment of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Daniel C. Baumgart, PD Dr. med.*,1

Abstract

Introduction

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory diseases resulting from an inappropriate immune response, in genetically susceptible individuals, to microbial antigens of commensal microorganisms. This inappropriate response is promoted by certain environmental factors. Both diseases manifest themselves primarily in the gastrointestinal tract yet can, in principle, affect all of the organ systems of the body.

The purpose of this review article is to heighten awareness of these diseases among physicians whose primary clinical activities lie outside gastroenterology.

Methods

This is not a systematic review nor a meta-analysis. It is mainly based on the guidelines of national (DGVS and DACED) and international (AGA, ACG, BSG, CCFA, ECCO) specialist societies and expert groups, as well as on important reviews and a limited number of pivotal randomized, double-blind, controlled, multicenter studies.

Results

More than 300 000 people in Germany suffer from chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. The incidence and prevalence of IBD have risen in the past 10 years, particularly for Crohn’s disease. Every fifth IBD patient is a child or adolescent. A better understanding of key events in the inflammatory cascade, e.g., the activation and polarization of T cells by TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and IL-12/18 through dendritic cells, has led in recent years to the development of many new immune-modulating and biological treatments. Advanced endoscopic techniques and contrast-enhanced tomographic imaging techniques have expanded diagnostic capabilities.

Conclusion

A cure is still not possible, yet the opportunities for diagnosis and treatment have improved significantly. Early diagnosis is important so that patients can be referred onward for further diagnostic evaluation and appropriate treatment without delay.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diagnosis, treatment, chronic disease

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main forms of chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The clinical features, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of these diseases are the topic of this review article (1, 2). Their complex epidemiology, pathogenesis, and pathophysiology are extensively discussed elsewhere (2, 3).

Very important factors in the epidemiology of these diseases include the following:

  • Ethnic origin
  • The presence of susceptibility regions on at least 12 chromosomes
  • Geographical factors
  • Lifestyle.

These factors can contribute singly or in combination to the occurrence of the disease. In summary, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases result from an inappropriate innate and acquired immune response to commensal microorganisms in genetically susceptible individuals.

Crohn’s disease is a transmural inflammatory disease of the mucosa with episodic progression. It can affect every part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. Typical manifestations include discontinuous involvement of different segments of the GI tract (L1–L4) and the development of complications such as strictures, abscesses, and fistulae (B1–B3p) (46). The Montreal classification also takes the age at initial diagnosis into account (A1–A3) (box).

Box

Montreal classification of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (5)

Crohn’s disease
A1 < 16 years old at diagnosis
A2 17 to 40 years old at diagnosis
A3 > 40 years old at diagnosis
L1 terminal ileum
L2 colon
L3 ileocolon
L4 upper GI tract
L4+ lower GI tract and distal disease
B1 without stricture formation, nonpenetrating
B2 with stricture formation
B3 internally penetrating
B3p perianally penetrating
Ulcerative colitis
E1 proctitis
E2 left colitis
E3 pancolitis

Ulcerative colitis is a nontransmural inflammatory disease with episodic progression that is restricted to the colon. Depending on the part of the colon that is involved, it can be designated according to the Montreal classification as proctitis (E1), left colitis (sigmoid and descending colon) (E2), or extensive colitis (pancolitis) (E3). In a few patients, inflammation of the terminal ileum (“backwash ileitis”) can also develop, making it difficult to distinguish this form of ulcerative colitis from Crohn’s ileocolitis (5, 7, 8) (box).

Methods

This article is neither a systematic review nor a meta-analysis. Excellent meta-analyses are already available, e.g., in the library of the Cochrane Collaboration (www.cochrane.org/reviews/eu/topics/73.html). Rather, it is intended as a general, practice-oriented overview of the diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The guidelines of national (DGVS, DACED) and international (AGA, ACG, BSG, CCFA, ECCO) specialist societies and expert groups are emphasized, and important review articles are cited, along with only a few pivotal randomized, double-blind, multicenter studies. Recent international guidelines are given priority over national consensus statements in order to give the reader the most up-to-date information possible.

Therapeutic recommendations are based mainly on the ECCO Consensus (ECCO = European Crohn’s and Colitis Association) and the guidelines of the German Society for Digestive and Metabolic Diseases (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Verdauungs- und Stoffwechselkrankheiten, DGVS), which are discussed in the context of the author’s own clinical experience and practice. The evidence levels (EL) and recommendation grades (RG) given here are based on the categories of the Oxford Centers for Evidence-Based Medicine (www.cebm.net/levels_of_evidence.asp#refs); thus, 1 is the highest level of evidence and A is the strongest recommendation grade. In the DGVS guidelines, the recommendation grade is given as A, B, C, or D.

Clinical features

The clinical features of the disease depend on its localization (box) and often include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, clinical signs of subileus or ileus, and/or the passage of blood and mucus per rectum. Patients with Crohn’s disease often do not have bloody diarrhea, but rather abdominal pain or nonspecific abdominal symptoms. Patients with left colitis or ulcerative proctitis generally have a milder disease course (box, table 1).

Table 1

Differential diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (1)

Extra-intestinal manifestations

Patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can develop extra-intestinal manifestations (table 2). The most common types affect the musculoskeletal system (figure 1), the skin (figure 2), the eyes, and the hepatobiliary system (9, 10). These extra-intestinal manifestations are to be distinguished from the so-called associated autoimmune diseases (table 2).

Table 2

Common extra-intestinal manifestations and associated autoimmune diseases (9, 10)

Figure 1


Articles from Deutsches Ärzteblatt International are provided here courtesy of Deutscher Arzte-Verlag GmbH
*Note: Although this article continues I do not agree with their way of treatments so, I have chosen not to include it here. Link is above for further reading if you so choose.

Functional Medicine

Understanding Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine views us all as being different; genetically and biochemically unique. This personalized health care treats the individual, not the disease. It supports the normal healing mechanisms of the body, naturally, rather than attacking disease directly. It is deeply science based, natural way to become healthy again. The latest research shows us that what happens within us is connected in a complicated network or web of relationships. Understanding those relationships allows us to see deep into the functioning of the body.
Your body is intelligent and has the capacity for self-regulation, which expresses itself through a dynamic balance of all your body systems. Your body has the ability to heal and prevent nearly all the diseases of aging. Health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of immense vitality.
Instead of asking, “What drug matches up with this disease?” Functional Medicine asks the vital questions that very few conventional doctors ask: “Why do you have this problem in the first place?” and “Why has function been lost?” and “What can we do to restore function?” In other words, Functional Medicine looks to find the root cause or mechanism involved with any loss of function, which ultimately reveals why a set of symptoms is there in the first place, or why the patient has a particular disease label.
func·tion·al med·i·cine
noun
  1. medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine.
    “you don’t have to have a disease to benefit from functional medicine”

Functional Medicine Explained in Detail

Functional Medicine is patient-centered medical healing at its best. Instead of looking at and treating health problems as isolated diseases, it treats individuals who may have bodily symptoms, imbalances and dysfunctions. As the following graphic of an iceberg shows, a named disease such as diabetes, cancer, or fibromyalgia might be visible above the surface, but according to Functional Medicine, the cause lies in the altered physiology below the surface. Almost always, the cause of the disease and its symptoms is an underlying dysfunction and/or an imbalance of bodily systems.
tip of iceberg in healthcare

If health care treats just the tip of the iceberg, it rarely leads to long-term relief and vibrancy. Identifying and treating the underlying root cause or causes, as Functional Medicine does, has a much better chance to successfully resolve a patient’s health challenge. Using scientific principles, advanced diagnostic testing and treatments other than drugs or surgery, Functional Medicine restores balance in the body’s primary physiological processes. The goal: the patient’s lifelong optimal health.

How Functional Medicine Heals a Key Health Care Gap

Today’s health care system is in trouble because it applies a medical management model that works well for acute health problems to chronic health problems, where it is much less successful. If you have a heart attack, accident or sudden lung infection such as pneumonia, you certainly want a quick-thinking doctor to use all the quick-acting resources of modern medicine, such as life-saving technology, surgery and antibiotics.

We are all grateful about such interventions. However, jumping in with drugs, surgery and other acute care treatments too often does not succeed in helping those with chronic, debilitating ailments, such as diabetes, heart disease or arthritis. Another approach is needed.

The Two-Pronged Healing Approach of Functional Medicine

To battle chronic health conditions, Functional Medicine uses two scientifically grounded principles:

  1. Add what’s lacking in the body to nudge its physiology back to a state of optimal functioning.
  2. Remove anything that impedes the body from moving toward this optimal state of physiology.

Plainly put, your body naturally wants to be healthy. But things needed by the body to function at its best might be missing, or something might be standing in the way of its best functioning. Functional Medicine first identifies the factors responsible for the malfunctioning. Then it deals with those factors in a way appropriate to the patient’s particular situation. Very often Functional Medicine practitioners use advanced laboratory testing to identify the root cause or causes of the patient’s health problem.

Old-fashioned medical diagnosis helps too, in the form of listening carefully to the patient’s history of symptoms and asking questions about his or her activities and lifestyle. For treatment, Functional Medicine practitioners use a combination of natural agents (supplements, herbs, nutraceuticals and homeopathics), nutritional and lifestyle changes, spiritual/emotional counseling, and pharmaceuticals, if necessary to prod a patient’s physiology back to an optimal state. In addition, educating the patient about their condition empowers them to take charge of their own health, ultimately leading to greater success in treatment.

Treating Symptoms Versus Treating the Person

In the dominant health care model today, medication is used to get rid of people’s symptoms. If the patient stops taking the medication, symptoms generally return. Functional Medicine approaches health problems differently. Instead of masking the problem, it aims at restoring the body’s natural functioning. Although Functional Medicine practitioners may prescribe pharmaceuticals, they are used to gently nudge the patient’s physiology in a positive direction so the patient will no longer need them. For example, conventional doctors would normally prescribe pharmaceuticals like Prilosec, Prevacid or Aciphex to treat acid reflux or heartburn.

When the patient stops taking such drugs, the heartburn symptoms come back. In contrast, a Functional Medicine practitioner might find that a patient’s acid reflux is caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Eradicating the Helicobacter pylori might very well lead to the end of heartburn symptoms, permanently. It’s also important to note that in Functional Medicine, treatment for similar symptoms might vary tremendously for different patients, according to their medical history and results of laboratory tests. Factors that can come into play in producing the same symptoms include toxic chemicals, pathogenic bacteria, parasites, chronic viral pathogens, emotional poisons like anger, greed or envy, and structural factors such as tumors or cysts.

The Roots of Functional Medicine

Sir William Osler, Functional Medicine Pioneer

Sir William Osler, Functional Medicine Pioneer
You may be surprised to learn that Functional Medicine isn’t new. It actually represents a return to the roots of modern scientific medicine, captured in this statement by Sir William Osler, one of the first professors at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and later its Physician-in-Chief:
“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”
Another important saying by Osler is:
“If you listen carefully to the patient, they will tell you the diagnosis.”
This encapsulates the importance placed in Functional Medicine on taking a thorough history from the patient.
If Homeopathy nor Naturopathy are your thing please consider a Functional Medical Doctor because we need to take care of our bodies and western medicine as explained above isn’t working for certain medical issues. I strongly believe I would not have 4 autoimmune diseases now if I had know about Functional Medicine decades ago. I would have followed this path back then when I was searching for answers in the alternative medicine field but was forced away from it multiple times.
What natural method of healing works for you?
~Andrea

Gut Health

All disease starts in the gut! Hippocrates

Protect yourself from disease! Gut health is important for everyone! If your gut is not functioning properly you are not absorbing the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs. Leaky gut syndrome is the cause of a compromised gut and then disease sets in. Guard yourself against disease by learning about optimal gut function.

Western Doctors tell their patients that eliminating foods when you have Crohns and Colitis will not help at all.  This is mind boggling to me! I don`t understand how anyone can not see that our food is processed through our gut. (mouth, stomach, small intestine, colon (large intestine) and bowel) So, common sense is that since Crohns and Colitis is inflammation of the gut than wouldn`t ingesting certain foods slow down or stop the healing of a flare.

Protect yourself now before disease sets in

The way to figure out what is harmful or benefiacial for your body is to do an elimination and reintroduction. The Whole30 is an excellent program to assist you through the whole process.  The thing with foods to avoid or foods to eliminate then reintroduce is that everyone should do this not just individuals with autoimmune diseases. Everyone should have the goal to have a healthy gut.

10 Signs You Have an Unhealthy Gut:

1. Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea

2. Food allergies or sensitivities

3. Anxiety

4. Depression

5. Mood swings, irritability

6. Skin problems like eczema, rosacea

7. Diabetes

8. Autoimmune disease

9. Frequent Infections

10. Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD

1. Remove

Remove the bad. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the gut, such as inflammatory foods, infections, and irritants like alcohol, caffeine, or drugs.

Inflammatory foods, such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and sugar, can lead to food sensitivities. I recommend an elimination diet as the starting point to identify which foods are problematic for you, in which you remove the foods for two weeks or more and then add them back in, one at a time, taking note of your body’s response.

Infections can be from parasites, yeast, or bacteria. A comprehensive stool analysis is key to determining the levels of good bacteria as well as any infections that may be present. Removing the infections may require treatment with herbs, anti-parasite medication, antifungal medication, antifungal supplements, or even antibiotics.

2. Replace

Replace the good. Add back in the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that may have been depleted by diet, drugs (such as antacid, antibiotics, etc) diseases or aging. This includes digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids that are required for proper digestion.

3. Reinoculate

Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria is critical. This may be accomplished by taking a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species. Also, taking a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) supplement or consuming foods high in soluble fiber is important.

4. Repair

Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself is essential. L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining. Other key nutrients include zinc, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin A, C, and E, as well as herbs such as slippery elm and aloe vera.

Functional Medicine

In functional medicine, it is known that every system in the body is connected. Your digestive and hormonal systems, for example, aren’t independent of one another. At the center of it all is a properly functioning digestive system.

When your gut is unhealthy, it can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea. 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut, gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and other chronic health problems.

Whether you have a disease or not make sure your gut is healthy and stays healthy!

Andrea