The paradox of holding an IBS awareness month (though an undoubtedly important recognition of a common ailment) is that despite years of research, medicine still has very little understanding of what causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or how to treat it. You see, IBS is what we call a "diagnosis of exclusion," meaning if you meet certain standard symptomatic criteria and your doctor can find no other cause, you may be diagnosed with IBS. In essence, it is nothing more than a complex of symptoms without a known cause. This leaves the estimated 10-20% of US sufferers (20-50% of gastroenterology referrals relate to this symptom complex) with more questions than answers, which can be incredibly frustrating. While many things can cause the symptoms of IBS, one diet stands out in limiting the discomfort patients experience and in allowing an opportunity to find those causes. This diet is called the FODMAPs diet...
In the United States, chronic kidney disease continues to be a major problem. One in 10 American adults has some level of chronic kidney disease, and kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death.[i], [ii] Much of the cause, at least in the Western world, can be attributed to diet and lifestyle choices. With March as National Kidney Month, it is a great time to review how we can protect our kidneys.
My colleague Anne Marie Lambert, ND, taught me something interesting while I was at the yearly Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncAnp) conference. It is not related to cancer or any of the conference topics, but it struck me as curious and worth passing along. Ann Marie and I were staring at a platter of chocolate cupcakes at a buffet dinner at CTCA's Goodyear hospital when Anne Marie commented that just looking at all the gluten in those cupcakes was making her fingerprints itch. I on the other hand was simply doing like Pavlov's dogs and starting to drool. (This was a dinner in honor of Davis Lamson, ND, a dinner at which the plan was that I would present him with an award for his lifetime achievement in naturopathic oncology education, that is I would have if he had remembered to attend. But that is another story.)
Your digestive system is one of the most important systems in your whole body. If your body cannot properly digest and absorb nutrients and eliminate waste products, then it is nearly impossible to achieve optimal health. Proper gut function is critical to addressing what can be seemingly unrelated conditions. If your gut is not happy, your body is not happy!
While serious, a weak and vulnerable immune system should not be cause for alarm. Instead, it should be a call to action! When two super-nutritional supplements, lactoferrin and probiotics are taken together, they give a great big boost to weak, under functioning, and vulnerable immune systems. A "Q and A" session with Dr. Carrie Louise Daenell gives insight into good bugs and health.
Probiotics are one of my favorite things to talk about. "Why?" They are extremely important for a healthy digestive tract, assimilation and absorption of specific nutrients, keeping infections at bay and maintaining a healthy immune system. Research into the role of probiotics has shown some interesting results.
With all sorts of engaging ads for pills that promise a quick fix for irritable bowel syndrome (commonly known as "IBS"), drug companies would have us believe this is an actual disease, with an easy and effective treatment. Not so fast, warns our digestion guru Andrew L. Rubman, ND.
Celiac disease is a genetic condition that affects as many as one in 130 Americans. It is the most common genetic disease, yet most people have never heard of it, and it can lead to some of the major diseases that affect our society, including osteoporosis, colon cancer, infertility and obesity.