February 7, 2017

Coughing is normal occasionally, especially if a person suffers from cold, allergies or flu. It has a purpose, as it is body’s way of keeping unwanted stuff from getting into the lungs i.e. it is a reflex action. Coughing helps clear extra mucus from the airways (small tubes in your lungs). This extra mucus could be caused by smoking, a cold, nasal or sinus problems, a lung infection or a lung disease like asthma or COPD.

A chronic cough is more than just an annoyance. Chronic cough is defined as lasting eight weeks or longer in adults, four weeks in children.

While it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the problem that’s triggering a chronic cough, the most common causes are tobacco use, postnasal drip, asthma and acid reflux — the backflow of stomach acid that can irritate your throat. Chronic cough typically disappears once the underlying problem is treated.

Chronic coughing is common, so frequent that it rates as one of the most common reasons for seeing a doctor. Although both patients and doctors rightly focus their attention on finding the cough’s cause, the cough itself is responsible for significant problems. In addition to worry about the diagnosis, patients experience frustration and anxiety, especially if diagnosis and treatment stretches out over weeks, which is often the case.

Coughing interrupts sleep, producing fatigue and impairing concentration and work performance. In this age of scary new viruses, social interactions are likely to suffer. And coughing can also have important physical consequences, ranging from urinary incontinence to fainting and broken ribs. Between medical tests, lost productivity at work, remedies that don’t help, and treatments that do, coughing is also expensive.

Causes

Chronic cough is usually caused by these health problems-

  • Smoking – Smoking is the number one cause of chronic cough.
  • Asthma – This is the second most frequent cause of chronic cough. Shortness of breath and wheezing are by-products of asthma. These breathing difficulties can result in a chronic cough. On the other hand, chronic cough may be the only symptom of asthma.
  • Acid reflux – Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, wheezing and shortness of breath. Irritation caused by these symptoms can lead to chronic cough.
  • Sinusitis and post nasal drip – Recurrent sinus infections can cause post-nasal drip, sometimes called ‘a tickle in the back of the throat,’ drainage can trigger chronic cough. The ‘tickle’ occurs when a larger-than-normal amount of mucus runs down the back of the throat.
  • Allergies – Chronic cough can result from inhaling dust, pollen, pet dander, chemical/industrial fumes (over many years), molds, freshly cut grass, and other irritants.
  • Bronchitis – Inflammation of these airway passages can trigger shortness of breath and wheezing and result in chronic cough.
  • Upper respiratory infections – Lengthy bouts of colds, the flu, pneumonia or other infections can lead to the development of chronic cough. Whooping cough (pertussis) occurs more commonly in infants and young children.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – This is a lung condition that occurs most often in smokers. It is caused by a build-up of mucus in the lungs, which the body tries to clear by coughing. COPD includes the related conditions, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
  • High blood pressure drugs – ACE inhibitors are a specific category of drugs used to treat high blood pressure. A side effect of these drugs is chronic cough. Some common ACE inhibitors are lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), enalapril (Vasotec), peridopril (Aceon), captopril, (Capoten), and ramiparil (Altace).
  • Lung or other airway cancers – Rarely, chronic cough can be a sign of either a lung cancer or cancer in the upper airway.

Symptoms

A chronic cough can occur with other signs and symptoms, which may include –

  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • A feeling of liquid running down the back of your throat
  • Frequent throat clearing and sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Heartburn or a sour taste in your mouth
  • In rare cases, coughing up blood
  • Fever (higher than 101°F®)
  • A drenching overnight sweat

Complications

  • Physical exhaustion
  • Insomnia (inability to sleep)
  • Disruption of the daily routine
  • Muscle discomfort
  • Hoarse voice
  • Headache/dizziness
  • A drenching sweat
  • Urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control)
  • Minor bleeding in the eye
  • Hernia
  • Broken ribs

Treatment

Medication

In case of Asthma – drugs such as inhaled bronchodilators and/or steroids are prescribed. These drugs help reduce airway inflammation and wheezing.

Cough medicines – Cough suppressants for a dry cough or expectorants for a wet, productive cough that brings up mucus, are available over the counter and by prescription.

Antihistamines – Can temporarily relieve a runny nose by drying up nasal secretions; they may help if your cough is due to allergies. Non-drowsy antihistamines available over the counter include loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra), and cetirizine (Zyrtec).

Bronchodilators – Increase airflow by opening airways and help make it easier to breathe.

GERD – several non-drug treatments and prescription medications are tried. Non-drug treatments include using pillows to prop up the head when lying down, avoiding foods that cause acid reflux (such as chocolates, colas, red wines) and not eating right before bedtime. Prescription medicines, such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (Zantac), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Pravacid®), and omeprazole (Prilosec), are prescribed to reduce stomach acids.

Bacterial Pneumonia or bronchitis, antibiotics, such as azithromycin (Azithrocin, Zithromycin), cefuroxime (Ceftin) or cefprozil (Cefzil), are prescribed.

Post-nasal drip, over-the-counter decongestants, such as diphenhydramine or pseudoephedrine, may help relieve post-nasal drip symptoms. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the cause of the chronic cough is sinusitis. Nasal spray, such as ipratopium (Atrovent) can relieve runny nose, sneezing and post-nasal drip. A nasal glucocorticoid, such as fluticasone (Flonase) can also reduce post-nasal drip.

High blood pressure medicines (ACE inhibitor drugs), other high blood pressure drugs can be prescribed instead.

Lifestyle

Avoid allergens -If the chronic cough can be traced back to nasal allergies, try to avoid the substances that cause your symptoms.

Quit smoking – The most common cause of chronic bronchitis, smoking irritates the lungs and can worsen coughs caused by other factors.

Reduce acid reflux – A cough caused by acid reflux can often be treated with lifestyle changes alone. This includes eating smaller, more frequent meals; waiting three to four hours after a meal before lying down; and elevating the head of the bed at night.

Alternative Treatment

Probiotics – These may help overcome underlying conditions. Research suggests that Lactobacillus may help prevent colds and flu, and possibly reduce allergy to pollen. Several studies that examined probiotics combined with vitamins and minerals also found a reduction in the number of colds caught by adults, although it is not possible to say whether the vitamins, minerals, or probiotics were responsible for the benefit.

Quercetin – Quercetin is a flavonoid, a plant pigment responsible for the colors found in fruits and vegetables. Studies suggest that quercetin inhibits the production and release of histamine, which causes allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose and watery eyes.

Bromelain – Some studies show that bromelain may help reduce symptoms of sinusitis and relieve swelling and inflammation caused by allergies.

Peppermint – Peppermint is widely used to treat cold symptoms. Its main active agent, menthol, is a good decongestant.

Licorice – Licorice root is a traditional treatment for sore throat and cough, although scientific evidence is lacking. Licorice interacts with a number of medications.

Thyme – Thyme has traditionally been used to treat respiratory illnesses, such as bronchitis, and to treat cough. Two preliminary studies suggest that thyme may help treat acute bronchitis and relieve cough.

Phosphorous – For chest tightness associated with a variety of coughs, particularly a dry, harsh cough with a persistent tickle in the chest and significant chest pain; symptoms tend to worsen in cold air and when the individual is talking; this remedy is most appropriate for individuals who are often worn out and exhausted, suffer from unnecessary anxiety (even fear of death), and require a lot of reassurance.

Vitamins

 

Reference –

http://www.nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/conditions/cough/

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/coughs/article_em.htm

http://bestpractice.bmj.com/best-practice/monograph/69/diagnosis/differential-diagnosis.html

http://www.pdrhealth.com/diseases/cough

http://www.fpnotebook.com/lung/Sx/ChrncCgh.htm

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1015/p887.html

http://www.everydayhealth.com/symptom-checker/cough

http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-dictionary/chronic-cough.aspx

http://www.avogel.co.uk/health/immune-system/cough/persistent/

February 7, 2017

Cholecystitis is the inflammation (or swelling) of the gallbladder. It occurs when a stone blocks the cystic duct, which carries bile from the gallbladder.

The gallbladder is located towards the upper right abdominal. It stores bile, which is responsible for breaking down the body’s fats. A normal functioning gallbladder stores bile (which is made in the liver) and pushes it into the small intestines to help digest food. The main bile duct, which is also called common bile duct, connects the liver with the intestine and carries the bile. The gallbladder is connected to this main bile duct through a little side duct, called the cystic duct.

Cholecystitis may occur when the cystic duct (the passage that connects the gallbladder to the bile duct) is blocked, typically by a gallstone, causing bile to become trapped leading to inflammation of the gallbladder.

Cholecystitis is caused by gallstones blocking the entrance of the gallbladder. This causes the bile to build up and the gallbladder to inflame. Cholecystitis can cause serious abdominal pain.

There are two different types of cholecystitis – acute and chronic.

  • Acute cholecystitis is the sudden inflammation of the gallbladder that causes marked abdominal pain, often with nausea, vomiting, and fever.
  • Chronic cholecystitis is a lower intensity inflammation of the gallbladder that lasts a long time. It may be caused by repeat attacks of acute cholecystitis. Chronic cholecystitis may cause intermittent mild abdominal pain, or no symptoms at all. Damage to the walls of the gallbladder leads to a thickened, scarred gallbladder. Ultimately, the gallbladder can shrink and lose its ability to store and release bile.

Cholecystitis is not uncommon. About 10% to 20% of Americans have gallstones, and about half of those will develop cholecystitis.

Causes

The gallbladder is an organ that sits below the liver. It stores bile, which your body uses to digest fats in the small intestine.

  • Gallstones – in the majority of cases acute cholecystitis is caused by gallstones or biliary sludge getting trapped at the gallbladder’s opening.
  • Injury – trauma to the abdomen, or surgery, can result in cholecystitis.
  • Infection – if the infection is located within the bile, the gallbladder can become inflamed.
  • Tumor – a tumor may stop the bile from draining out of the gallbladder properly, resulting in an accumulation of bile, which can lead to cholecystitis.

Other causes include:

  • Serious illnesses such as HIV or diabetes
  • Tumors of the gallbladder (rare)

Risk Factors

Some people are more at risk for gallstones. Risk factors include –

  • Being female
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Older age
  • Being Native American or Hispanic
  • Obesity
  • Losing or gaining weight rapidly
  • Diabetes

Sometimes the bile duct becomes blocked temporarily. When this occurs repeatedly, it can lead to chronic cholecystitis. This is swelling and irritation that continues over time. Eventually, the gallbladder becomes thick and hard. It also does not store and release bile as well.

Symptoms

A symptom is something the patient feels and reports, while a sign is something other people, including a doctor or a nurse may detect. For example, pain may be a symptom while a rash may be a sign.

Pain on the right-hand side of the upper abdomen – In cases of acute cholecystitis the pain comes on suddenly, does not go away, and is intense. If left untreated it will usually get worse, and feel more intense when breathing in deeply. The pain may radiate from the abdomen to the right shoulder or back.

Other symptoms may include –

  • A slight fever
  • Chills
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Tenderness on the upper-right hand side of the abdomen
  • Very little or no appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating

After a meal, especially one high in fat, symptoms will worsen.

Complications

  • A fistula (a tube/channel is formed between the gallbladder and duodenum)
  • Biliary peritonitis
  • Gallbladder distention – if the gallbladder is inflamed because of bile accumulation, it may stretch and swell, causing pain. There is then a much greater risk of perforation (a tear) in the gallbladder, as well as infection and tissue death.
  • Perforation of the gallbladder
  • Pericholecystic abscess
  • Tissue death – gallbladder tissue can die (gangrene), which can result in perforation, or the bursting of the bladder.

Treatment

For acute cholecystitis, initial (medical) treatment includes bowel rest, IV hydration, analgesia, and IV antibiotics. For mild cases of acute cholecystitis, antibiotic therapy with a single broad-spectrum antibiotic is adequate. Bacteria commonly associated with acute cholecystitis include E. Coli, B. Fragilis, Klebsiella, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas species

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the standard of care for the surgical treatment of cholecystitis. Surgery is typically performed after symptoms have subsided, but during the hospitalization for acute illness.

Alternative Treatment

(Not Found)

 

Reference –

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cholecystitis

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcp0800929

http://bestpractice.bmj.com/best-practice/monograph/78.html

http://www.belmarrahealth.com/cholecystitis-gallbladder-inflammation-causes-types-and-treatment/

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/cholecystitis/

http://radiopaedia.org/articles/cholecystitis

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic-cholecystitis

http://www.msdmanuals.com/home/liver-and-gallbladder-disorders/gallbladder-and-bile-duct-disorders/cholecystitis

February 7, 2017

Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the digestion of gluten leads to damage to small intestine. The symptoms are triggered by “gluten”, the name given to certain proteins in wheat (including spelt and kamut), barley, rye, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). In celiac disease, the body’s immune system responds abnormally to gluten, resulting in inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestine, and reduced absorption of iron, calcium, vitamins A, D, E, K, and folate.

Celiac disease is now recognized as one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease, or about 1 in 133 people. Among people who have a first-degree relative—a parent, sibling, or child— diagnosed with celiac disease, as many as 1 in 22 people may have the disease.

What happens in Celiac Disease?

In the intestinal tract there are living microbes. The good bacteria are called flora, and the harmful microorganisms are called candida albicans (yeast). In health, the candida is overrun by the flora. Flora keeps the yeast in-check in a healthy individual. However, this ideal state is not common nowadays. With celiac disease, there is often so much candida (yeast overgrowth) in the intestinal tract that the immune system begins attacking the intestinal tract itself, because this part of the body is detected as being dangerously toxic. Celiac disease is exactly this panic response. For people suffering with it, starchy (glutenous) foods are especially aggravating to their already inflamed immune systems. These foods are likely to trigger hyper-immune responses amongst such people, to cause extreme irritation and gastrointestinal spasms. The disease makes the digestion of fats especially difficult too.

As mentioned earlier, people who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms. The moment people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi—the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food one eats.

Celiac disease is both a disease of malabsorption—meaning nutrients are not absorbed properly—and an abnormal immune reaction to gluten. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.

What exactly is gluten?

Gluten is a protein that is found in flour made from wheat and is also contained in rye and barley. The gluten content of flours the reason that flour can be formed into dough and then rises during baking. Gluten in flours contained in many foods but especially bread and pastry

Causes

Researchers do not know the exact cause of celiac disease. Celiac disease sometimes runs in families. In 50 percent of people who have celiac disease, a family member, when screened, also has the disease.

A person’s chances of developing celiac disease increase when his or her genes—traits passed from parent to child—have variants, or changes. In celiac disease, certain gene variants and other factors, such as a person’s exposure to things in his or her environment, can lead to celiac disease.

For most people, eating something with gluten is harmless. For others, an exposure to gluten can cause, or trigger, celiac disease to become active. Sometimes surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, a viral infection, or severe emotional stress can also trigger celiac disease symptoms.

Symptoms

Symptoms of celiac disease vary from person to person. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system or in other parts of the body. Digestive symptoms are more common in infants and young children and may include

  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • Weight loss

Irritability is another common symptom in children. Malabsorption of nutrients during the years when nutrition is critical to a child’s normal growth and development can result in other problems such as failure to thrive in infants, delayed growth and short stature, delayed puberty, and dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth

Adults are less likely to have digestive symptoms and may instead have one or more of the following:

  • Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Bone loss or osteoporosis
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • Seizures
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • Canker sores inside the mouth
  • An itchy skin rash called dermatitis
  • Herpetiformis

People with celiac disease may have no symptoms but can still develop complications of the disease over time. Long-term complications include malnutrition—which can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, and miscarriage, among other problems—liver diseases, and cancers of the intestine.

Other Health Problems

People with celiac disease tend to have other diseases in which the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues. The connection between celiac disease and these diseases may be genetic. They include

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Autoimmune liver disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Addison’s disease, a condition in which the glands that produce critical hormones are damaged
  • Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed

Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is an intensely itchy, blistering skin rash that affects 15 to 25 percent of people with celiac disease.3 The rash usually occurs on the elbows, knees, and buttocks. Most people with DH have no digestive symptoms of celiac disease.

Treatment

The immune systems of celiac patients are so overdriven, that their risks of developing other serious heath problems, including cancers, are increased significantly. The risks are especially high when they are trying to suppress celiac symptoms with pharmaceuticals. Therefore, eliminating celiac disease naturally yields far-reaching benefits into the future.

The only current treatment for celiac disease and its skin form, dermatitis herpetiformis, is maintaining a strict gluten-free diet for life. Complete avoidance of gluten enables the intestine to heal, and the nutritional deficiencies and other symptoms to resolve. Children tend to heal more quickly than adults. Following a strict gluten-free diet also reduces the risk of developing many of the serious long-term complications related to untreated celiac disease.

Adjusting to a gluten-free diet can be challenging, since it involves knowing what foods contain gluten, and determining possible hidden sources of gluten in food products and medications. It also involves a number of lifestyle changes since many commonly eaten foods must be avoided, including pasta, most breakfast cereals and certain snacks, most breads and other baked goods including cakes, cookies, doughnuts, bagels, etc. Wheat flour and wheat starch are also frequently added as a thickener or stabilizer to soups, sauces, and processed meats and fish, including wieners, sausages, and imitation seafood. Barley is used in the manufacture of beer and of malt, a flavoring agent commonly used in food. To avoid hidden sources of gluten in the diet, knowledge of potential sources of gluten and careful reading of food ingredient lists is essential.

Vaccinations

In some people, coeliac disease can cause the spleen to work less effectively, making the body more vulnerable to infection. However, if the spleen is unaffected by celiac disease, these vaccinations are not usually necessary.

  • Flu (influenza) jab
  • Hib/MenC vaccine, which protects against sepsis (blood poisoning), pneumonia and meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain)
  • Pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against infections caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium

Alternate Treatment                       

Alternate treatment focuses on –

  • Suppress candida (yeast) overgrowth
  • Stimulate healthy intestinal flora
  • Stimulate intestinal repair

These things can be accomplished merely through nutritional changes, but herbal supplements can help to accelerate the process.

Treating the Gut

  • Licorice root
  • Apple pectin is used to remove unwanted toxins and heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminum, etc.), lower cholesterol, and reduce the side effects of exposure to radiation.
  • Marshmallow root controls and soothes inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal.
  • MSM is concentrated in connective tissues. It promotes structural repair.
  • Aloe vera extract has the ability to move deep into damaged tissues to promote repair, and it is a mild laxative.
  • Paprika has helped celiac sufferers substantially.
  • Dandelion can be used in tea form for best absorption, or it may be obtained in supplemental capsules.
  • Probiotics – Comprised of good bacteria, probiotics help reestablish the bacterial environment in the gut. Eating probiotic food or taking a daily probiotic supplement is especially effective for treating celiac disease.
  • Avoid all products with soy.
  • Avoid canola oil.
  • Colloidal silver would be extremely beneficial in speeding up the process, especially in the beginning.
  • Garlic is an anti-microbial and will help fight and kill bacteria, fungus and infections in the gastrointestinal system. Use copious amounts.
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Vitamins A, E, folate (folic acid), and the mineral zincparticipate in beneficial antioxidant functions to reduce oxidative stress in the cellular lining of the gut. In this manner, they assist in the overall repair process. Some of the gut barrier functions, such as IgA secretion, can be enhanced by these vitamins.
  • Silica soothes inflammations in the gastrointestinal tract.

 

Reference –

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease/Pages/facts.aspx

http://www.corecharity.org.uk/images/coeliac%20disease.pdf

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CDCFactSheets10_SymptomList.pdf

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CDCFactSheets10_SymptomList.pdf

https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_celiac_disease

http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/c/celiac_disease/causes.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/basics/treatment/con-20030410

http://www.drugs.com/condition/celiac-disease.html

http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/celiac-disease-alternative-medicine.html

February 6, 2017

Candida is a type of fungus that is common in the body of a normal healthy person and is harmless. It is form of yeast and a very small amount of it lives in the human mouth and intestines. Its main job is to help out in the digestion and nutrient absorption. Most people have Candida in their vagina and lower intestinal tract.

If Candida is over produced, it can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the blood stream and prove to be toxic, by releasing toxic byproducts into the body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to numerous health problems – from digestive issues to depression.

Candida is the single most important cause of fungal infections worldwide. In the U.S., Candida is the 4th most common cause of various infections- including bloodstream, skin, vaginal infection etc. There are 17 different species of Candida. Of these, Candida albicans (C. albicans), C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis are the most common species.

How can Candida cause infection?

Candida is a pathogen that takes advantage of a disruption in the balance of microorganisms in the gut. This balance of ‘gut flora’ is a crucial part of the body’s immune system and digestive health, but it can easily be lost during periods of stress or after a course of antibiotics. When this balance is lost, the colonies of Candida are able to expand rapidly until they control a large portion of the gut.

Candida releases up to 79 different byproducts, including uric acid and a powerful neurotoxin named acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde causes chronic headaches and brain fog. Uric acid can cause joint pain and lead to gout if an excess builds up. Meanwhile, the change in the gut flora can lead to digestive problems, food intolerances, yeast infections and oral thrush.

Candida infections also tend to be more prevalent in –

  • Infants
  • People who are overweight
  • People with diabetes
  • Cases of iron or zinc deficiency
  • People who have recently undergone antibiotic therapy
  • People with underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroid)
  • People with inflammatory disorders
  • People with immunodeficiency
  • People working in wet conditions
  • Pregnant women

Causes

Few factors can cause the Candida population to grow out of control –

  • Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar
  • Consuming a lot of alcohol
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like Kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles)
  • Living a high-stress lifestyle
  • Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria.

Three most common causes of Candida over growth:

  • Antibiotics – Antibiotics are may be the lifesavers, but they also come with serious side effects which should not be ignored. Antibiotics are often prescribed for illnesses that would quickly clear up with a little rest. Unfortunately, this has some major consequences for the digestive and immune systems. They do exactly what they are designed to do – kill bacteria. But the problem is that not all the bacteria in the body are harmful. A typical healthy adult carries around 500 strains of bacteria and as many as 100 trillion individual bacteria. Many of these bacteria play important roles in digesting your food and maintaining a healthy immune system. Since the colonies of Candida no longer face competition for the space and nutrients in the gut, they quickly multiply and expand. And as they grow, the amount of toxic byproducts they release grows too. This is how those Candida symptoms like chronic headaches and fatigue begin to develop.
  • Prolonged Stress – People who suffer from stress usually have to face physical changes caused by it to the body. Stress may be one of the major causes of disease in today’s society. And there are a couple of different ways in which stress can contribute to a Candida outbreak.
    • By increasing Blood Sugar
    • Weakening the immune System
  • High Sugar Diet – It’s important to note that it takes a long term, high-sugar diet to cause a Candida overgrowth, since it is what they thrive on.

Patients with low blood counts are at risk for a Candida infection. Their low blood counts can be the result of their disease or its treatments, such as stem cell transplants and chemotherapy (cancer-fighting drugs).

 

Symptoms

An infection can develop in almost any part of the body. The first sign of a serious fungal infection is usually a fever that does not go away when the patient takes antibiotics.

Symptoms vary depending on body location, but include the following:

  • Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
  • Feeling tired and worn down, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
  • Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
  • Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives and rashes
  • Irritability, mood swings, anxiety or depression
  • Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  • Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  • Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
  • Celiac disease or Gluten intolerance

Treatment

The treatments used to manage Candida infections vary substantially and are based on the anatomic location of the infection, the patients’ underlying disease and immune status, the patients’ risk factors for infection, the specific species of Candida responsible for infection, and, in some cases, the susceptibility of the Candida species to specific antifungal drugs.

Medications

  • Mild oral infections can be treated with either clotrimazole lozenges or a nystatin swish-and-swallow suspension, but may require oral fluconazole for moderate to severe and recurrent cases. It also involves use of mouthwash containing silver nanoparticles (SN). These medications involves side effects.
  • Infections of the skin is most often managed with topical antifungal agents of the azole class (e.g., bifonazole or ketoconazole). People suffering from it should also keep the skin as dry as possible and, if appropriate, use antifungal mouth rinses or shampoos.
  • Fungal infections of the finger/toe nail plate (e.g., onychomycosis) are typically treated with both topical and systemic antifungals. However, long-term cure and recurrence rates, as well as costs associated with these treatments, are often unsatisfactory.
  • Vaginal candida infections can be treated with topical or oral antifungal drugs such as fluconazole or nystatin. The species of candida a woman is infected with can influence treatment response. For example, fluconazole and nystatin are both effective for the treatment of Candida albicans, but in women with non-albicans species, only fluconazole is highly effective
  • Treatment for invasive/systemic infections depends on a variety of factors, but will most likely involve intravenous or oral therapy with any one of the following drug classes: polyenes, azoles, and echinocandins. The polyene drug amphotericin B is a very common treatment, but is hindered by considerable kidney toxicity. Therefore, newer, less toxic derivatives of the drug (e.g., liposomal amphotericin B) are a better option.

The side effects of most systemic antifungal drugs are comparable and include headache, gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea and vomiting), hepatitis, kidney toxicity, and lupus-like syndromes, among others.

Surgical Treatment

Major organ infections associated with candidal abscess formation may require surgical drainage procedures along with the appropriate antifungal therapy. Prosthetic joint infection with Candida species requires the removal of the prosthesis. Surgical debridement is generally necessary for sternal infections and frequently for vertebral osteomyelitis. Splenic abscesses occasionally require splenectomy. Valve replacement surgery is always indicated to treat endocarditis.

Alternative Treatment

Alternative involves limiting the growth of candida in the body, reestablishing a level of healthy bacteria in the body, and generally healing the gut. While you can achieve this by diet alone – eliminating sugar and eating very low carbohydrate – nutritional supplements can help expedite the process.

  • The Right Diet – Such as limiting intake of refined carbohydrates (e.g., pasta, bread, sweets, soft drinks, etc.) may be helpful for people with candida infections. Higher dietary sugar is associated with vulvovaginal candidiasis and abnormal glucose metabolism is associated with recurring vulvovaginal infections. Diets rich in carbohydrates are also associated with candida overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract and may contribute to mucosal invasion. Studies suggest that excess glucose weakens the immune system’s response to candida as well as the azole class of antifungal drugs. Patients should maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet, as poor nutrition is a commonly overlooked risk factor for bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Probiotics – Studies suggest that probiotics such as lactobacillus are beneficial against mucosal candida infections, and should be especially considered for women who suffer from more than three yeast infections per year. Research shows that probiotics exert their beneficial actions by suppressing the growth of candida (in various regions of the body) and inhibiting candida’s ability to adhere to cell surfaces. Dietary products containing probiotic bacteria (e.g., certain cheeses and yogurts) can help control candida growth in the human body. Although yogurt has been considered a favorite natural remedy for vaginal infections, and has been shown to suppress Candida albicans growth, women must carefully choose yogurt products that are low in sugar. Supplemental probiotics containing lactobacillus, administered either orally or vaginally, can also help resolve urogenital infections (including yeast infections).
  • Avoiding Exposure to Chemicals – Paints, household cleaners, perfumes, and scents may cause allergic reactions, and chemical sensitivities are very common in people with yeast overgrowth.
  • Resveratrol – Resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes, may contribute to the anti-inflammatory characteristics of red wine. It appears to be safer than conventional antifungal drugs such as amphotericin B. Resveratrol impairs the ability of Candida albicans to convert into its more infectious form, and thus may be a useful agent against candida infections.
  • Goldenseal – Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) is a botanical that has been used to fight inflammation and infection. An active ingredient in goldenseal is berberine, which has been shown to have strong antifungal effects against candid. Berberine may combat candida growth by interfering with the ability of the fungus to penetrate and adhere to host cells.
  • Lactoferrin – Lactoferrin, a protein found in mucosal secretions (e.g., human colostrum/milk, tears, saliva, and seminal fluid) possesses broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa.
  • Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from leaves of the native Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. It is well known for its medicinal value and has been used by Australian Aborigines to treat colds, sore throats, skin infections, and insect bites. Tea tree oil has a variety of therapeutic properties (e.g., anti-inflammatory and antiseptic).
  • Other Essential Oils – Essential oils (i.e., volatile oils) refer to the compounds found within aromatic plants that give them a particular odor or scent. Most essential oils are a mixture of various chemicals, which are of clinical interest due to their large spectrum of biological activities.
  • Garlic – Garlic (and its constituent allicin) can cause potent growth inhibition in yeast and be effective against mucosal and systemic/invasive candidiasis.
  • AHCC – Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) is an extract derived from fungi of the Basidiomycetes family. AHCC has demonstrated biological activity against a variety of disorders.
  • Caprylic Acid – Caprylic A supplement derived from coconut oil, caprylic acid actually pokes holes in the cell wall of yeast, causing it to die. This option can be found as a supplement or used by adding organic coconut oil to your daily diet.

 

Reference –

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/06/10/holistic-treatment-for-candida-infection.aspx

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/213853-treatment

http://www.lifeextension.com/protocols/infections/fungal-infections-candida/page-03

http://www.livestrong.com/article/246694-types-of-candida/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/yeast-infection/symptoms/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/yeast-infection/causes/candida-albicans/

http://www.thecandidadiet.com/an-introduction-to-candida/

https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/3833.pdf

http://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/candidemia.pdf

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8376/10-signs-you-have-candida-overgrowth-what-to-do-about-it.html

February 6, 2017

Bile Reflux also called duodenogastric reflux, is a condition where the bile – a digestive fluid produced in the liver, flows upward i.e. refluxes from the small intestine towards the stomach and esophagus.

Bile is a digestive fluid produced in the liver. Some of the components that make up bile are –

  • Water
  • Cholesterol
  • Bile pigments
  • Bile salts

Bile is produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and released into the duodenum (the upper section of the small intestine) when needed to aid the digestion of fats. Bile is essential for digesting fats and for eliminating aged red blood cells and certain toxins from the body.

Bile reflux is the result of bile that travels up from the small intestine into the stomach and esophagus. Bile reflux is caused by damage to the pyloric valve, which is a ring of muscle that separates the stomach from the duodenum. When the pyloric valve fails to close properly, bile flows into the stomach, causing pain and inflammation.

BR is sometimes confused with acid reflux because a person can experience some of the same symptoms and bile (like GERD) irritates the lining of the esophagus, potentially increasing the risk of esophageal cancer. The difference is –

  • Acid reflux symptoms are indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain, pain swallowing and esophagus inflammation caused by stomach acids going through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus.
  • Bile reflux symptoms are heartburn, gastritis, hoarseness, chronic cough, pain swallowing, esophagus inflammation caused by bile from the gallbladder making its way through the pyloric valve from the small intestine continuing its way through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus.

Bile reflux causes damage to the lining of the stomach (called gastritis), which may progress to sores in the stomach (known as ulcers), bleeding, and stomach cancer. In patients that have both bile reflux and acid reflux, the combination seems to be particularly harmful, increasing the risk of damage to the esophagus, including conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

Causes

Bile reflux into the stomach – Bile is secreted in the duodenum and passes down the gut with the rest of the intestinal chyme. If the integrity of the pyloric valve – part of the stomach that controls the outflow of gastric contents into the duodenum, is compromised then the retrograde flow of bile may occur leading to irritation of the stomach lining. This can cause persistent gastritis despite the appropriate gastritis treatment.

Bile reflux into the esophagus – If the lower esophageal sphincter is also impaired, then the bile along with the acidic stomach contents can flow up into the esophagus. Irritation of the mucosal lining by the bile, even if the stomach acid is neutralized by one or more agents discussed under stomach acid medication, will cause the typical symptoms associated with acid reflux.

Most cases of bile reflux are associated with chronic conditions affecting the pyloric sphincter and lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

Risk Factors

Surgery complications – Gastric surgery, including total removal of the stomach (gastrectomy) and gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, is responsible for most bile reflux.

Peptic ulcers – A peptic ulcer can block the pyloric valve so that it doesn’t open enough to allow the stomach to empty as quickly as it should. Stagnant food in the stomach can lead to increased gastric pressure and allow bile and stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.

Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) – People who have had their gallbladders removed have significantly more bile reflux than do people who haven’t had this surgery.

Symptoms

  • General – Bile reflux and acid reflux have similar signs and symptoms, and the two conditions may occur at the same time. Unlike acid reflux, bile reflux often causes a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach.
  • Cough or hoarseness – Some, but not all, patients with bile reflux experience a cough or hoarseness that is caused by stomach acid and/or bile rising up into the throat and burning the lining.
  • Frequent heartburn – Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that may spread to the throat along with a sour taste in the mouth. In severe cases, it may be mistaken for a heart attack.
  • Nausea and vomiting – Nausea is feeling the need to vomit. Some patients with bile reflux may vomit bile.
  • Upper abdominal pain – Bile reflux often causes a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach.
  • Weight loss – In some patients with bile reflux, unintended weight loss may occur.

Complications

GERD – Occasional heartburn usually isn’t a concern. But frequent or continual heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, a potentially serious problem that causes irritation and inflammation of esophageal tissue (esophagitis). GERD is most often due to excess acid. Although bile has been implicated, its importance in reflux is controversial.

Barrett’s esophagus – This serious condition can occur when long-term exposure to stomach acid, or to acid and bile, damages tissue in the lower esophagus. The damaged esophageal cells have an increased risk of becoming cancerous. Animal studies have also linked bile reflux to the occurrence of Barrett’s esophagus.

Esophageal cancer – This form of cancer may not be diagnosed until it’s quite advanced. The possible link between bile and acid reflux and esophageal cancer remains controversial, but many experts think a direct connection exists. In animal studies, bile reflux alone has been shown to cause cancer of the esophagus.

Gastritis – In addition to causing irritation and inflammation in the esophagus, bile reflux can cause stomach irritation (gastritis).

Treatment

Medications

  • Ursodeoxycholic acid – This medication helps promote bile flow. It may lessen the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
  • Bile acid sequestrants – Doctors often prescribe bile acid sequestrants, which disrupt the circulation of bile, but studies show that these drugs are less effective than other treatments. Side effects, such as bloating, may be severe.
  • Proton pump inhibitors – These medications are often prescribed to block acid production, but they don’t have a clear role in treating bile reflux.

Surgery

Diversion surgery (Roux-en-Y) – This procedure, which is also a type of weight-loss surgery, recommended for people who have had previous gastric surgery with pylorus removal. In Roux-en-Y, surgeons make a new connection for bile drainage farther down in the small intestine, diverting bile away from the stomach.

Anti-reflux surgery (fundoplication) – The part of the stomach closest to the esophagus (fundus) is wrapped and then sewn around the lower esophageal sphincter. This procedure strengthens the valve and can reduce acid reflux. There is little evidence about the surgery’s effectiveness for bile reflux.

Lifestyle Changes

Limit or avoid alcohol – Drinking alcohol irritates the esophagus and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, predisposing the body to acid reflux.

Quit smoking – Smoking increases the production of stomach acid and dries up saliva, which cause the esophagus to be more vulnerable to damage by refluxed bile and stomach acid.

Relaxation – Patients under stress experience slower digestion, which may worsen reflux symptoms.

Tilted bed – Raising the head of the bed by about 4-6 inches may prevent reflux symptoms. Using a wedge or blocks is more effective than using pillows.

Weight loss – Overweight patients with bile reflux may lessen the backflow of bile when less body fat is pressing down on the stomach and small intestine.

Alternative Treatment

Magnesium helps control the muscle function in the digestive tract and throughout the body. It also aids in digestion to alleviate reflux issues.

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is naturally found in vegetables, fruits, grains, and animal products. DMSO is available for both nonmedicinal and medicinal uses. The major clinical use of DMSO is to relieve symptoms of interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder infection).

A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.

Gamma-oryzanol occurs in rice bran oil and has been extracted from corn and barley oils as well. Gamma-oryzanol is frequently sold as a body-building aid, specifically to increase testosterone levels, stimulate the release of endorphins (pain-relieving substances made in the body), and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may help decrease inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding, as ask your doctor before taking omega-3 fatty acids if you take blood-thinning medications.

Qi gong, an ancient type of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) consisting of choreographed movements, postures, and meditation, has been used for thousands of years. It is traditionally used for spiritual enlightenment, medical care, and self-defense. Qi gong is meant to be in balance with the environment and has been described as “a way of working with life energy.”

Probiotics or “friendly” bacteria may help maintain a balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria.

Chamomile, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile teas are readily available and have a low risk of side effects.

Licorice, which is commonly used to soothe inflammation associated with GERD, gastritis, ulcers and other digestive problems. However, licorice contains a phytochemical called glycyrrhizin that’s associated with serious health risks — such as high blood pressure and tissue swelling — if used long term. Talk with your doctor before trying this therapy. Prescription preparations are available that don’t contain glycyrrhizin.

Slippery elm, which encourages a protective mucous lining. Available as a root bark powder, slippery elm can be mixed with water and taken after meals and before bed. It may, however, decrease the absorption of prescription medications.

Marshmallow (Althea officinalis), which has been used for GERD symptom relief. Like slippery elm, marshmallow may cause problems with the absorption of medications. Note that this is the herb, not the puffy white confection.

Thymus extracts for nutritional supplements are usually bovine (derived from young calves). Thymus extract is commonly used to stimulate the immune system and to treat bone marrow failure, autoimmune disorders, chronic skin diseases, recurrent viral and bacterial infections, hepatitis, allergies, chemotherapy side effects, and cancer.

Garlic – The garlic bulb is made of many cloves wrapped with a paper-thin, white skin, and it is used both medicinally and as a spice in food (fresh or dehydrated). Garlic is widely used for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

 

Reference –

http://www.thewhimsicalist.com/food/acid-reflux-bile-reflux-elimination-diet/

http://www.americanjournalofsurgery.com/article/S0002-9610(03)00213-7/abstract

http://www.healthblurbs.com/causes-for-biliary-bile-duct-cholecystitis-cancer-cirrhosis-sclerosing-cholangitis-bile-reflux-symptoms/

http://www.boldsky.com/health/disorders-cure/2013/bile-reflux-cure-ten-lifestyle-changes-034975.html

https://www.aapc.com/memberarea/forums/gastroenterology/5089-dx-code-bile-reflux-acid-refllux.html

http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/113021/medical_conditions/what_is_bile_reflux.html

http://www.healthhype.com/bile-reflux-symptoms-causes-treatment-medication-surgery.html

http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/bilary-reflux.html

February 6, 2017

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the tissue lining the esophagus—the muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach—is replaced by tissue that is similar to the intestinal lining. The condition is recognized as a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Its importance lies in its predisposition to evolve into esophageal cancer.

The esophagus is a muscular tube that extends from the neck to the abdomen and connects the back of the throat to the stomach. Its inner lining, or mucosa, normally consists of flat cells (known as squamous cells) that are similar to those of the skin. This condition where the squamous cell lining is replaced by other cells that have a more cube-like shape, is known as Barrett’s esophagus or the columnar-lined esophagus, referring to cells that are shaped like a column. When Barrett’s esophagus is present, the columnar lining extends from the junction of the esophagus and stomach upwards into the esophagus for a variable distance ranging from a few millimeters to nearly the entire length of the esophagus.

When the normal squamous lining cells of the esophagus are replaced by columnar cells, the process is known as metaplasia. Barrett’s esophagus is a form of metaplasia. The metaplastic columnar lining comes in three types. Two types are similar to groups of cells found in regions of the stomach lining. The third type is similar to groups of cells found in the small intestine. This intestinal type of metaplasia is important because it can potentially lead to the development of cancer.

Barrett’s esophagus occurs more often in men than women. People who have had GERD for a long time are more likely to have this condition.

Causes

The exact reasons for the development of Barrett’s esophagus are unknown. The most widely accepted theory is that damage to the squamous mucosa initiates a process of healing. There are cells lying deep in the wall of the esophagus that have the potential to transform themselves into a variety of shapes and take on special functions during this healing process. It is these cells that become the new columnar mucosa of the esophagus. Most physicians believe that the damage to the squamous mucosa which leads to the development of Barrett’s esophagus is caused by chronic reflux of acid or other stomach contents into the esophagus. It is likely that some people are predisposed to develop Barrett’s esophagus based on their genetic make-up.

Who is at risk?

There are a number of risk factors for the development of Barrett’s esophagus, including:

  • Symptoms of GERD
  • Obesity
  • Increasing age
  • Caucasian ethnicity
  • Male gender
  • Family history of Barrett’s esophagus

Symptoms

Barrett’s esophagus usually doesn’t produce any specific symptoms on its own. People with chronic acid reflux problems may experience a variety of symptoms including heartburn, regurgitation of food, swallowing difficulties, excess belching, hoarseness, sore throat, cough, or breathing problems similar to asthma such as shortness of breath and wheezing. The columnar lining may become irritated and bleed, resulting in anemia (low blood count), or may develop ulcerations which cause pain, but these problems aren’t common. Barrett’s oesophagus is suspected when there are symptoms of persistent gastric reflux or symptoms of complicated reflux. These symptoms include –

  • Persistent heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Painful swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • A sensation of fullness during eating

Treatment

Medications – A certain category of drugs called proton pump inhibitors are the main tool used to markedly reduce stomach acid. There are a number of these medications available. Some of the more common ones include Prilosec (omeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), AcipHex (rabeprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole) taken once or twice a day. All of these are equally effective despite some deceptive advertising. Other acid reducing drugs such as Zantac, Pepcid, Axid, and Tagamet are also available.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a special laser device, called an esophageal balloon, along with a drug called Photofrin.

Other procedures use different types of high energy to destroy the precancerous tissue.

Surgery removes the abnormal lining.

Alternative Treatment

Multi-Vitamins – Daily supplements of multi vitamins containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.

Probiotic supplement – Probiotics or “friendly” bacteria may help maintain a balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria. Some probiotic supplements may need to be refrigerated for best results.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may help decrease inflammation in case of acid reflux.

DGL-licorice helps protect against stomach damage. Glycyrrhizin is a chemical found in licorice that causes side effects and drug interactions. DGL is deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or licorice with the glycyrrhizin removed.

Lifestyle Changes – Barrett’s Esophagus can be cured simply by the elimination of foods, beverages and habits that increase the risk of acid exposure to the esophagus. Common health risks include tobacco and alcohol use, but Barrett’s Esophagus is also cured by reducing the amount of spicy, refined or processed foods in the diet, along with avoiding soft drinks and aspirin. Losing weight is also beneficial; excess weight puts additional pressure on the abdomen and pushes up the stomach, causing acid to back up in the esophagus.

Reference –

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/barretts-esophagus/Pages/definition-facts.aspx

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gastroenterology_hepatology/_pdfs/esophagus_stomach/barretts_esophagus.pdf

http://www.asge.org/patients/patients.aspx?id=8954

http://www.aboutgerd.org/site/what-is-gerd/barretts/

http://www.sts.org/patient-information/esophageal-surgery/barretts-esophagus

http://www.healthline.com/health/barretts-esophagus#Overview1

http://www.gihealthcare.com/alternative-treatment-for-barretts-esophagus-condition-results-from-chronic-acid-reflux/

http://www.collectivewizdom.com/BarrettsEsophagus-CausesandTop10NaturalRemedies.html

February 6, 2017

Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) is an infrequently recognized disorder of presumed autoimmune etiology that is associated with characteristic clinical, histologic, and morphologic findings. Multiple organs, such bile ducts, salivary glands, kidneys and lymph nodes, can be involved either synchronously or metachronously. It is one of the few autoimmune conditions that predominantly affects male subjects in the fifth and sixth decades of life. This autoimmune disease can mimic pancreatic cancer by its clinical symptoms, including weight loss and jaundice. Furthermore imaging findings may include a mass of the pancreas.

Autoimmune pancreatitis occurs in twice as many men as women. The initial presentation usually occurs between ages 50-60, but patients can also develop autoimmune pancreatitis as early as age 30 as well as late in life. The disease can occur as alone or in association with other autoimmune disorders including sclerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, sarcoidosis, and Sjogren’s syndrome.

Types

  • Type 1 AIP is also called IgG4-related pancreatitis and is part of a disease called IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) that often affects multiple organs including the pancreas, bile ducts in the liver, salivary glands, kidneys and lymph nodes.
  • Type 2 AIP seems to affect only the pancreas, although about one-third of people with type 2 AIP have associated inflammatory bowel disease.

Both subtypes of autoimmune pancreatitis are treated with steroids, which in many people dramatically improve the condition.

Causes

It is a type of chronic pancreatitis characterised by a heterogenous autoimmune inflammatory process in which prominent lymphocytic infiltration with associated fibrosis of the pancreas causes organ dysfunction.

The cause is unknown though there is a strong basis for an autoimmune process where antibody reaction against carbonic anhydrase and lactoferrin has been postulated.

Risk Factors

People with type 1 autoimmune pancreatitis often –

  • Are over age 60
  • Are male
  • Have multiple organ involvement including the bile ducts (IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis), the salivary glands (IgG-related sialadenitis), or the lungs (IgG4-related pulmonary disease)
  • Have retroperitoneal fibrosis (RPF), which is the formation of extra fibrous tissue in the area behind the stomach and intestine
  • Have lymph node enlargement (lymphadenopathy), low thyroid (hypothyroidism) or kidney disease

People with type 2 autoimmune pancreatitis –

  • Are often over age 40 (one or two decades younger than those with type 1)
  • Are as likely to be female as male
  • Have a 30 percent chance of having inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis

Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer symptoms can include –

  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools or stools that float in the toilet
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Pain in your upper abdomen or middle part of your back
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness or extreme tiredness
  • Loss of appetite or feelings of fullness
  • Weight loss for no known reason

The most common sign of autoimmune pancreatitis, present in about 80 percent of people, is painless jaundice, caused by blocked bile ducts. AIP can also cause weight loss. Many people with autoimmune pancreatitis have masses in the pancreas and other organs, which can be misdiagnosed as cancer.

Treatment

Steroids – Symptoms of autoimmune pancreatitis often improve after a short course of prednisolone (Prelone). Many people respond quickly, even dramatically. Sometimes people get better without any treatment.

Immunosuppressants and immunomodulators – About 30 to 50 percent of the time, AIP returns, requiring additional treatment, sometimes long term. Immunosuppresants and immunomodulators include mycophenolate (CellCept), mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan), azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan) and rituximab (Rituxan). In general, they have been used in small sample groups and long-term benefits are still being studied.

Treatment for pancreatic insufficiency – If a person has insufficient pancreatic enzymes, he may need supplementary enzymes

Treatment for diabetes – If a person has diabetes, he will need appropriate treatment.

Monitoring of other organ involvement (OOI) – Type 1 AIP often is associated with other organ involvement, including enlarged lymph nodes and salivary glands, scarring of the bile ducts, liver inflammation, and kidney disease.

Alternative Treatment

Grape Seed Extract – Grape seed extract is a very strong anti-inflammatory but it is also one of the most powerful antioxidants on earth and one of the few that will cross the blood-brain barrier. According to research grape seed extract causes cancer cells to die but more importantly grape seed extract helps relieve nausea and pain that are two rotten symptoms of pancreatitis

Curcumin puts out the fire of inflammation and so helps control pain. Curcumin is a powerful pain reliever and one of the best pancreatitis supplements. It fights pancreas inflammation,. Curcumin is also a very strong antioxidant which seems to inhibit cancer growth by actually causing cancer cells to die.

Vitamin C is another antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and essential nutrient. Vitamin C can do so many things, in combination with grape seed extract and curcumin. Those three pancreatitis supplements in combination are extremely powerful.

Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants are important pancreatitis supplements simply because with pancreatitis patients can often suffer from malabsorption which simply means they do not absorb the nutrients from food. Extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants may be very helpful in providing more energy and all-around better health.

Digestive Enzymes are important pancreatitis supplements simply because the pancreas produces digestive enzymes and the less the pancreas has to work the better. If the pancreas has sustained a large amount of damage it may not produce enough enzymes to digest thefood and of course this makes an enzyme supplement mandatory.

Chromium picolinate mineral helps maintain stable blood sugar levels so the pancreas doesn’t have to work overtime secreting insulin to move sugar out of the blood into cells.

Calcium & Magnesium work hand in hand to promote the health of all glands.

Vitamin B Complex helps relieve stress on the pancreas, and vitamins B-3 and B-5 in particular are important for fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

Dandelion root is an herbal supplement that is commonly used to help treat pancreatitis. Studies suggest that dandelion root helps stimulate and strengthen your pancreas and may improve the function of other organs, too, including the kidneys, spleen and stomach.

Omega 3 fatty acids helps in treating High Triglycerides, inflammation, gallstones. It also reduce the chance of a recurrent episode if you have a history of pancreatitis.

Milk thistle is one of those cholagogue herbs, which have been trusted by herbalists for over thousands of years to treat a damaged, liver, pancreas and stomach. Silymarin, a type of flavonoid has given this herbaceous plant the power to deal with liver damages. Being used as a liver tonic, the extracts of milk thistle help to neutralize all sorts of liver damages, other than protecting the liver as a whole. Other than that, milk thistle is also a source of vitamin E, which helps to treat and regenerate the cells of the liver and pancreas, which get damaged as a result of pancreatitis.

Licorice root has been used as a traditional Chinese herb for treating an array of health disorders, which also includes pancreatitis. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is one of the major bioactive compounds found in licorice, which can be the major reason behind the herb’s effectiveness for treating pancreatitis

 

Reference –

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262226943_Immunosuppressive_drugs_for_the_treatment_of_autoimmune_pancreatitis

https://www.patientslikeme.com/conditions/1881-autoimmune-pancreatitis

http://www.gastro.org/news_items/2014/6/5/treatment-of-autoimmune-pancreatitis-when-to-offer-immunomodulators-or-rituximab

http://www.elsevier.pt/en/revistas/ge-portuguese-journal-of-gastroenterology-347/artigo/autoimmune-pancreatitis-and-ulcerative-colitis-a-clinical-challenge-90185898

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138604

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijr/2012/597643/

February 6, 2017

Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea refers to a benign, self limited diarrhea following the use of antimicrobials. Studies suggest that the use of antibiotics disturbs the gastrointestinal flora resulting in symptoms like diarrhea. The major mechanisms of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) involve disturbances of the gut micro flora and the direct effects of antibiotics on the mucous membranes.

Antibiotic associated diarrhea (AAD) is a common complication of most types of antibiotics, especially for broad-spectrum antibiotics such as clindamycin, beta-lactams and 3rd generation cephalosporins. Rates of AAD vary from 5 to 39% depending upon the type of antibiotic, age, health status of the host and type of environment (hospitalization, extended care facilities, etc.). It is estimated that 10% to 15% of all hospitalized patients treated with antibiotics will develop AAD.

Antibiotics can upset the natural balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the intestines. Different antibiotics treat different kinds of bacteria. When an antibiotic kills one type of bacteria, other bacteria in the gut are present in greater numbers. Having too much of some kinds of bacteria in the intestines can cause diarrhea. Bacteria called Clostridium difficile (or C. difficile) are a common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. They can cause severe diarrhea and an infection called pseudomembranous colitis.

Antibiotics work by destroying bacteria that makes a person ill, but they also kill good, or helpful, bacteria that are present in the intestinal system. This disrupts the delicate balance in the intestines, allowing bad intestinal bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic to increase. Most of the time, diarrhea as an antibiotics side effect is mild and will stop on its own or when the patient will stop taking the medicine. However, antibiotic-associated diarrhea is seen a lot in patients who are hospitalized or in nursing homes. In some elderly or ill patients, diarrhea can lead to serious complications such as dehydration, a perforated colon (hole in the colon wall), or toxic megacolon, in which the colon becomes distended and could rupture.

Who is at Risk?

People who are at higher risk of developing Antibiotic-associated diarrhea when taking antibiotics include –

  • Have a history of Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Over the age of 65
  • People who have had surgery on the intestinal tract
  • Certain conditions that affect the intestines – inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, or celiac disease.

Causes

Antibiotics can upset the natural balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the bowel. Different antibiotics treat different kinds of bacteria. When an antibiotic kills one type of bacteria, the person then has more of other types of bacteria in the gut. Having too much of some kinds of bacteria in the gut can cause diarrhea.

Antibiotics cause diarrhea primarily through two mechanisms: the first is by diminishing or eliminating bacterial specie of the normal microflora impairing vital microbial functions such as provision of nutrient short-chain fatty acids to colonocytes and metabolism of bile acids; the second is by creating a niche for the overgrowth of intestinal pathogens including Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens type A, Candida albicans, Klebsiella oxytoca, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea include –

  • Cephalosporins – Cefixime (Suprax) and Cefpodoxime
  • Clindamycin (Cleocin)
  • Penicillins – Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Larotid) and Ampicillin
  • Esophagitisoroquinolones – Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and Levofloxacin (Levaquin)

Symptoms

The main symptom of mild antibiotic-associated diarrhea is loose bowel movements or more bowel movements than normal. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) involves occasional loose stools or mild diarrhea for several days. The problem typically begins five to 10 days after starting an antibiotic; however, in 25 to 40 percent of cases, symptoms don’t appear until up to 10 weeks after treatment ends.

Symptoms of pseudomembranous colitis are more severe and may include:

  • A lot of watery diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Fever

Complications

  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Bowel perforation – A hole in the lining of the bowel
  • Toxic megacolon – A severe condition that leads to the bowels being unable to expel gas and stool.
  • Death

Treatment

Mild cases of Antibiotic-associated diarrhea often do not need any form of treatment and can be helped with home remedies. More serious cases often require treatment with antibiotics to kill the bacteria that are causing the Antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Medications – Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications in modern medicine. Antibiotics cure disease by killing or injuring bacteria. The first antibiotic was penicillin, discovered accidentally from a mold culture. Today, over 100 different antibiotics are available to cure minor, as well as life-threatening infections. Some examples of different Antibiotic types include Penicillin, Cephalosporins, Macrolides, Esophagitisoroquinolones, Sulfonamides, Tetracyclines and Aminoglycosides.

Alternative Treatment

Probiotics – Probiotics are live organisms that are intended to provide a positive health benefit when consumed. Common strains include species of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium bacteria. Microorganisms that provide health benefits, like improved digestion ,when consumed, often found in yogurts.

Electrolytes – Correcting dehydration is critical, especially among children. Oral rehydration solutions containing sugar and electrolytes are important in managing children with dehydration from diarrheal illness.

Rice or barley water, fresh vegetable juices (especially carrot and celery), miso broth, or other clear broths help restore proper fluid and electrolyte balance.

A live yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii, is often used in Europe to prevent diarrhea associated with taking antibiotics.

Zinc may help improve immune and mucosal barrier functions.

Acupuncture – Although several studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine journals have reported success in treating childhood diarrhea, acupuncturists in the United States do not generally treat this condition in children. However, acupuncture may be used when conventional treatment has failed. In this case, acupuncturists look at both the nutritional value and the “energetic” qualities of food that might be affecting digestion.

Veratrum album – for profuse, watery diarrhea accompanied by stomach cramps, bloated abdomen, vomiting, exhaustion, and chills.

Acidophilus -acts as a mild antibiotic, which helps it to reestablish itself in the intestine, and all may aid in the production of some B vitamins and vitamin K.

Chamomile – was found to inhibit the growth of a species of bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni (one of the most common causes of enteric infections resulting in severe diarrhea).

 

Reference –

http://medind.nic.in/ibv/t09/i6/ibvt09i6p491.pdf

https://ods.od.nih.gov/pubs/ebrp.probiotics_for_the_prevention_and_treatment_of_antibiotic-associated_diarrhea.pdf

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/antibiotic-associated+colitis

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111031114951.htm

http://www.lynchspharmacy.com/health/antibiotic-associated-diarrhoea

http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/blog/antibiotic-associated-diarrhea-treatment.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/93469-home-remedies-diarrhea-caused-antibiotics/

http://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-015-0869-0

http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/diarrhea-management/antibiotic-associated-diarrhea/

http://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/abs/10.2217/17460913.3.5.563?journalCode=fmb

February 6, 2017

Acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Reflux is a normal process that occurs in healthy infants, children, and adults. Most episodes are brief and do not cause bothersome symptoms or complications.

Acid reflux is a common condition in which stomach acid flows backward up the esophagus (the tube carries food from the mouth to the stomach), causing acid refulx symptoms such as a burning feeling in the chest (heartburn) and a bitter or sour taste in the mouth. These acid reflux symptoms usually last a few hours after a meal and then go away. Most people experience acid reflux from time to time, usually after eating certain foods. Acid reflux that occurs more than twice a week is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a more serious condition that, left untreated, can lead to problems such as inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) and a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus. GERD can also worsen asthma, chronic cough, insomnia, and pulmonary fibrosis.

Acid reflux is considered very common, and diseases resulting from acid reflux are the most common gut complaint seen by US hospital departments. Studies suggest that over 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and at least 15 million as often as daily.

Causes

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is seen in people of all ages, sometimes for unknown reasons (idiopathic). Often the cause is attributable to a lifestyle factor, but it can also be due to causes that cannot always be prevented.

The main cause of acid reflux disease is a problem with the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle. This muscle, which is the “valve” between the stomach and the esophagus, normally closes tightly after food has passed through to the stomach.

The LES does not stay closed in people with acid reflux disease. When this happens, acid and stomach contents may back up (reflux) into the esophagus. This acid backup can sometimes cause the painful, burning sensation known as heartburn or other symptoms.

Other risk factors are more easily controlled and often directly linked to modifiable lifestyle or dietary issues, including –

  • Obesity
  • Smoking (active or passive)
  • High intake of table salt
  • Low dietary fibre intake
  • Low levels of hysical exercise
  • Medications, including drugs for asthma, calcium-channel blockers, antihistamines, painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants.

Symptoms

  • Stomach pain (pain in the upper abdomen)
  • Non-burning chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing (called dysphagia), or food getting stuck
  • Painful swallowing (called odynophagia)
  • Persistent laryngitis/hoarseness
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Chronic cough, new onset asthma, or asthma only at night
  • Regurgitation of foods/fluids; taste of acid in the throat
  • Sense of a lump in the throat
  • Worsening dental disease
  • Recurrent pneumonia
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Waking up with a choking sensation

The following signs and symptoms may indicate a more serious problem, and should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately –

  • Difficulty or pain with swallowing (feeling that food gets “stuck”)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Choking
  • Bleeding (vomiting blood or dark-colored stools)

Complications

Ulcers – Ulcers can form in the esophagus as a result of burning from stomach acid.

Lung and throat problems – Some people reflux acid into the throat, causing inflammation of the vocal cords, a sore throat, or a hoarse voice.

Stricture – Damage from acid can cause the esophagus to scar and narrow, causing a blockage (stricture) that can cause food or pills to get stuck in the esophagus.

Barrett’s esophagus – Barrett’s esophagus occurs when the normal cells that line the lower esophagus (squamous cells) are replaced by a different cell type (intestinal cells).

Esophageal cancer – There are two main types of esophageal cancer: adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Treatment

Antacids – These OTC drugs (Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums) use different combinations of either magnesium, calcium, or aluminum and hydroxide or bicarbonate ions to help neutralize stomach acid and temporarily relieve symptoms. Depending on their ingredients, they may also cause diarrhea or constipation.

H2 Blockers – Available both OTC and by prescription, these drugs (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid) provide short-term relief of GERD by preventing production of stomach acid.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) – Available by prescription, PPIs (Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Nexium) block stomach acid production more effectively than H2 blockers. However, they can cause “rebound” reflux: If the patient uses them, then stops taking them, the stomach acid may return worse than before.

Surgery is an option when medicine and lifestyle changes do not work. Surgery may also be a reasonable alternative to a lifetime of drugs and discomfort. Fundoplication, usually a specific variation called Nissen fundoplication, is the standard surgical treatment for GERD. The upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the LES to strengthen the sphincter and prevent acid reflux and to repair a hiatal hernia.

Alternative Treatment

A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may help decrease inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding.

Probiotic or “friendly” bacteria may help maintain a balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria.

Melatonin is usually thought of as the sleep hormone.

Glutamine is the one that is naturally appearing within the body. Glutamine is found in several dietary sources including milk, fish, parsley, spinach, eggs, and more. Glutamine is yet another thing that many people have had helped their acid reflux.

Herbal licorice can help to coat your belly with a protective layer of gel. Removing the distress from acid reflux disease can be achieved without costly over-the-counter drugs.

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) – Preliminary research suggests cranberry may inhibit H. pylori growth in the stomach. Cranberry may increase the length of time that medications, including warfarin (Coumadin), may stay in your body.

Mastic is a traditional treatment for peptic ulcers.

Hypnosis, massage, and other relaxation techniques may help reduce symptoms of GERD. Stress often makes GERD symptoms worse.

 

Reference –

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02882/acid-reflux.html

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_gastroesophogeal_reflux_disease_GERD/dd_overview

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/a-z-index/acid-reflux-gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-heartburn

https://www.tums.com/heartburn-information/acid-reflux-gerd/

http://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/acid-reflux-symptoms

http://patient.info/health/Acid-Reflux-and-Oesophagitis