Archive for April, 2007

Treatment Options for Crohns Ileitis

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 27th, 2007

The gene that causes psoriasis can be present in a person who suffers from crohns ileitis.  This type of Crohn’s disease affects only the ileum, which is the last and lowest portion of the small intestine, and is the closest to the colon.  This form of Crohn’s disease is one of the more common types, but is not as common as ileocolitis, which is a form of Crohn’s that affects both the ileum and the colon.

What can a Crohn’s ileitis sufferer experience?  The inflammation of the ileum often causes diarrhea and cramping or abdominal pain in the lower right region of the abdomen and near the belly button.   Sometimes pain may be so severe it imitates appendicitis.  These symptoms are usually most pronounced after a meal.  Left untreated, crohns ileits can lead to inflammatory masses, obstruction of the small intestines, and the development of fistulas. 

In addition, Crohn’s disease that affects the ileum can cause malabsorption of the B12 vitamin.  It can also cause folate deficiency which can obstruct red blood cell development and increase a person’s risk of becoming anaemic.

How does crohns ileitis occur?  It is still not known what causes Crohn’s disease, or why a person’s immune system malfunctions.  However, like all ailments, the condition starts small.  Miniscule pockets of inflammation persist and eventually spread.  Once this occurs, the bowel lining can develop ulcers and the wall of the bowel can thicken.  If not treated, the bowel will eventually narrow or become obstructed, requiring the sufferer to undergo surgery such as having part of their intestines or bowel removed.

What are the treatment options?  The type of treatment for crohns ileitis depends on the severity of the disease, and whether or not a person is experiencing an active case of Crohn’s. 

Nevertheless, a Crohn’s sufferer can try alternative therapies such as reducing stress, exercising, and maintaining a balanced, nutritious and Crohn’s-friendly diet. 

Providing your body with the rest it needs, the energy it requires, and eliminating foods that aggravate the condition, is the perfect compliment to medications and can help prevent flare ups and surgery.  Other alternative/complimentary treatments for Crohn’s ileitis include botanical remedies, supplements, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and homeopathy.  

Aside from alternative remedies, the following are the most common types of medical treatment used:

Cortisone or Steroids (Prednisone) – Theses types of medications are very powerful and are prescribed to those with severe crohns ileitis.  Their purpose is to bring the disease under control fast and put the patient in remission.  The drug is typically administered by enema or pill and can be quite effective in relieving Crohn’s symptoms. 

However, some common side effects include indigestion, nervousness, restlessness, and increased appetite.  Other rare side effects may include mental depression, hallucinations, skin rash or hives, etc.  For those who are taking this medication for the long-term, side effects may include acne, nausea, constant abdominal pain, trouble sleeping, unusual bruising, rapid weight gain, etc.

Immune System Suppressors (Imuran, Purinethol) – These medications are designed to suppress the overreacting immune system, and are administered orally.  These meds are generally used for long-term treatment to maintain remission of the disease, and are primarily prescribed for those who suffer from a severe case of crohns ileitis.

The side effects associated with immune system suppressors include, but are not limited to: darkening of the skin, headache, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, itchy skin or skin rash, etc.

Infliximab (Remicade) - This is a new type of drug treatment that is showing much promise for those who suffer from moderate to severe Crohn’s disease.  Remicade is designed to block the body’s inflammation response.  Remicade is administered via intravenous infusion over the course of several hours and is a short-term treatment.  It has been effective at helping Crohn’s sufferers achieve relief of their symptoms and remission.

The side effects of Remicade include, but are not limited to:  Abdominal pain, nausea, sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, tightness in chest, etc.

Be sure to speak to your doctor about all treatment options for crohns ileitis, and bring any side effects you experience to your doctor’s attention immediately.

Grab your free copy of Sharon Dobson’s brand new Crohn’s Disease Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about botanical crohns and for information on crohns herbal please visit Breakthrough Crohn’s Disease Guide.

Dangerous Side Effects of Gout Pain Relief Prescriptions

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 25th, 2007

Many gout sufferers find that they want to be on a prescription medication for maximum gout pain relief. The pain associated with this condition can be pretty severer.

Though a change in diet can help improve the symptoms, many have to have a medication on top of diet change in order to manage the pain. Because gout is usually found in the big toe, those with serious amounts of pain have a hard time walking. This can severely limit quality of life.

There are some great medications that can help with gout pain relief, but it is important to watch out for any side effects that may compromise health.

One of the most common gout drugs is Colchicine. This comes from the crocus plant. This is provides both a relief when there is an attack, and also has the potential to be a preventative medication as well.

This should be used in the first day of a gout attack, and works in a high percentage of those who suffer with this condition. The most common side effect is upset in the digestive tract.

However, when too much of this is taken, it can be lethal. It can cause bone marrow damage and anemia. This means the white count can get low, and infections can set in. A patient should have their blood cell counts monitored while on this medication. An overdose can be deadly, so this must be taken with care. Anyone with unusual side effects must get in to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Benemid is a drug that helps to remove the uric acid build up in the body that brings on gout attacks. It will not cure the condition, but it can help keep flare ups down to a minimum.

Some of the most common side effects are dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, upset stomach, frequent urination, and hair loss. These should be minor though, and if they become chronic, this should be brought to the attention of the prescribing doctor.

There are some signs that should be reported as soon as possible, as they may indicate something more serious is going on. Side effects such as bloody urine, sores in and around the mouth, rash, severe swelling, painful urination, flu-like symptoms, strange bleeding or bruises, and difficulty with breathing.

Prednisone is often used to reduce an attack. It might only be given for a few days, or a shot may be done directly into the inflamed and painful area. Many doctors prefer to taper this drug off slowly to avoid the flare up from coming back.

Infections are one of the more serious side effects of this drug. A patient should keep a close eye out for signs that indicate there may be an infection somewhere in the body. Less common and less serious side effects are trouble with falling and staying asleep, heartburn due to increased stomach acid production, and an increase in hunger.

Many of these medications will be paired with NSAIDS when appropriate. If a patient is taking any of these drugs, they should ask their doctor before they take anything else. Most of these are not safe for pregnant or nursing mothers. They may cause birth defects and other problems.

Probably one of the smartest moves a person taking prescriptions for gout pain relief can do is to ask their doctor what to look for and what they should avoid.

Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about rid of gout and for information on gout remedy please visit Cure Gout Now.

Understanding the Crohns Psoriasis Connection

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 23rd, 2007

Herbs may be an ideal way to treat Crohn’s disease, but what should a sufferer do if they have crohns psoriasis as well?

Studies have found that there is an estimated five-fold increase in psoriasis for those with Crohn’s disease.   To put that into better perspective, approximately 2% of Americans are affected by psoriasis, yet more than 11% of Crohn’s sufferers are affected by psoriasis.  It seems more and more likely that a link between Crohn’s disease and psoriasis exists.

What is psoriasis? Psoriasis is a chronic condition that affects the skin and joints.  It typically causes red scaly patches on the skin that looks like a severe rash.  The scales on the red patch of skin have a silvery hue and are known as psoriatic plaques and are the result of inflammation and excessive skin production.    The most common areas of the skin that are affected by psoriasis include the knees and elbows.  However, psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body, even on the genitals or the scalp.  Like Crohn’s, psoriasis is not contagious.

What is the link? Researchers believe the crohns psoriasis link lies within a person’s genes.  Just like Crohn’s, psoriasis is the result of a malfunctioning immune system and is considered an immune-mediated condition.  If a person has a history of psoriasis within their family, and these genes have been passed on, this person may not only be at risk for psoriasis, but also another immune-mediated condition such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn’s disease. 

In fact, research suggests that the risk of developing psoriasis and/or another immune-mediated condition, especially diabetes or Crohn’s disease, significantly increases in those who have a close blood relative with psoriasis.

If it is true that Crohn’s and psoriasis are caused by the same immune system malfunction, it would likely be best to treat crohns psoriasis as one condition instead of as two separate problems.   Although those who have psoriasis and those who have Crohn’s will experience different symptoms, and each condition affects separate areas of the body, they still maintain some similarities in regards to flare ups.

For instance, stress and alcohol consumption are both prime candidates for triggering a Crohn’s and psoriasis flare up.  In addition, some believe that a person’s diet can cause an active case of psoriasis, and diet also plays an important role in regulating Crohn’s.

How can crohns psoriasis be treated together?  Even though you may need to treat these problems separately, certain medications such as Remicade (Infliximab) may be able to treat them together.  Separate studies have found Remicade to be effective at treating both Crohn’s Disease and psoriasis.  The reason is because Remicade is an anti-TNF medication.  Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is known to be the culprit behind the inflammation that occurs in Crohn’s and psoriasis.

Remicade sooths certain parts of the body’s immune system that are thought to aggravate the condition and cause symptoms.  Essentially, Remicade has been designed to improve the natural response the body has towards disease.

Remicade is a powerful crohns psoriasis treatment and is administered through intravenous injection over a defined treatment schedule.  Many participants in both the Crohn’s and psoriasis studies successfully achieved remission of their conditions with no or few adverse side effects. 

Remicade is not for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor about possible medications if you suffer from crohns psoriasis.  You should also find out if there are any other treatments or alternative therapies that your doctor can recommend which may help you attain relief.

Grab your free copy of Sharon Dobson’s brand new Crohn’s Disease Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about crohns herbal and for information on vitamin and crohns please visit Breakthrough Crohn’s Disease Guide.

Interested in Botanical Crohns Relief?

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 13th, 2007

Botanical crohns treatment is often used as an alternative or complimentary treatment to medications.  Since ancient times, plants have been used for their healing properties.  However, not all plants provide the same relief or can be used as a remedy for any health problem.  With that in mind, the following are the botanical treatments most used by Crohn’s sufferers for relief of symptoms.

Aloe Vera Juice – aloe vera juice, which comes from the aloe vera plant, has natural healing abilities and also acts as a detoxifier.   Aloe vera juice is ingested and works to gently and thoroughly cleanse the bowel.  The juice goes through the intestinal tract and works to break apart food residues that are impacted within the intestines. 

Aloe vera juice is a good botanical crohn’s remedy because it helps to alleviate constipation, prevents recurrent diarrhea, reduces bloating and discomfort, and promotes regular bowel movements.  It is considered a safe treatment to use for those who monitor their diets, and can be used for the long term.  It has no known negative side effects.

Slippery Elm Bark – slippery elm bark comes from the slippery elm tree, and can be dried and ground into a powder or ground into gruel.  It is usually made into a tea or added to porridge. It is considered an effective herb for soothing the entire digestive tract.  This is because the bark has anti-inflammatory properties as one of its ingredients is mucilage, which resists digestion and hydrolysis via enzymes and stomach acids. 

Therefore, slippery elm bark sooths the digestive system and also acts as an antioxidant.  It helps the body recover its vital hormone balance that is needed to maintain basic health.  It is considered safe, but should be ingested with plenty of water to prevent an impacted bowel situation from occurring (difficulty passing dry hardened feces from the bowel).

Chamomile – Chamomile is a flower and can be used for botanical crohns relief.  It is often dried and prepared in a tea.  It helps to aid in digestion, and has sedative properties.  Moreover, can alleviate gastrointestinal spasms and other common symptoms associated with inflammatory diseases that affect the gastrointestinal track such as Crohn’s disease.   This is because Chamomile works as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Chamomile is considered safe, but should not be taken by a person who has an allergy to any flower in the daisy family.

Peppermint – Peppermint is a plant, and its leaves are often dried and used in the form of tea as an herbal remedy.  Peppermint has been used for centuries to treat common digestive problems such as reducing gas production within the intestines.

However, another way of taking peppermint is peppermint oil (oil that has been infused with peppermint properties which it takes from the leaves).  Studies have found that peppermint oil in coated capsules is exceptionally effective for relieving painful symptoms, distention and frequent bowel movement for those who suffer from Irritable bowel syndrome.  Crohn’s sufferers may also receive the same relief, but more information is needed to see how effective peppermint oil would be as a botanical Crohn’s treatment.

Peppermint tea is considered safe, but peppermint oil can have adverse side effects such as a burning sensation in the stomach or rectum if not taken as advised.

All of these herbs can be found in local herbal and health stores.  You should read and follow the instructions as directed on the bottle.  In addition, keep in mind that you should exercise caution if you are using botanical remedies as a form of crohn’s disease treatment.  Although the herbs may indeed provide you some relief of your symptoms, herbs have not been regulated to the same degree as medications, nor has their effectiveness for treating Crohn’s Disease been thoroughly studied. 

Furthermore, if you are taking medications to treat your condition, be advised that some herbal remedies may interact with certain medications and not be compatible.  Thus, it’s a good idea for you to first speak to your doctor about botanical crohns treatments if you plan on taking them, especially if you are already using medication. 

Grab your free copy of Sharon Dobson’s brand new Crohn’s Disease Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about crohns relaxation and for information on self healing colitis and crohns please visit Breakthrough Crohn’s Disease Guide.

Understanding Intestinal Endometriosis

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 8th, 2007

When most people think of endometriosis, they think of the type that happens to impair fertility. This type is usually in the reproductive system. What many don’t know is that some of these women also have intestinal endometriosis.

This is when endometriosis implants grow on the outside, and sometimes on the inside, of the bowel. In many cases, these women might be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or another related condition, when they in fact have wide spread problems with endometriosis. In some cases, this can even be found as high as the small intestine.

If a woman is told that she has IBS, and she also has endometriosis, she may be getting the wrong diagnosis. If the IBS-like symptoms (bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea) seem to only happen when a women is having her period, the IBS diagnosis might be wrong. There may also be bleeding from the rectum, during a woman’s cycle, and that is another sign that the endometriosis might be in the intestines as well as in the reproductive system. Along with those signs, there may be long periods of painful constipation.

Because this problem does mimic IBS, it can be hard to diagnosis. Only a smaller percentage of women with reproductive endometriosis will have it, so it is often not the first thing a physician will think of when a women mentions her symptoms.

IBS is known to flare up when a woman has her period, so that helps lead to the wrong diagnosis. There are times when ultrasound will not show intestinal endometriosis, so many doctors will miss it. It will become more obvious that the IBS diagnosis is not right when blockage of the intestines occurs or when the growth becomes so pronounced that it can finally be found.

Most women with intestinal endometriosis will not have to worry about blockage occurring, but it can happen. Only about one percent will ever have that problem. With or without blockage, this is quite a trying condition for anyone who has it and can be quite hard to live with before the proper diagnosis can be made.

Quite often there is intense pain around the time of menstruation that can leave women feeling incapacitated. The bloating, cramps, and pain are quite pronounced, but it is not just contained to the reproductive area. Once the proper diagnosis can be made, there are many things that can be done to treat it.

Treatment can include pain medications, and hormone therapy. A laparoscopy may be performed with this type of endometriosis, just as it is with reproductive-related endometriosis. This is a simple surgery that will find and remove the growth (for biopsy), and it can sometimes be done through the belly button to minimize incision and recovery time.

Though treatment will offer some relief, and a patient may feel good for many years, intestinal endometriosis is likely to recur again. When this happens, hormone therapy and a laparoscopy will probably be needed again. In the unlikely case of a bowel obstruction, that obstruction must be removed immediately so the bowels can resume normal function.

Grab your free copy of Shelley Ross’ brand new Endometriosis Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about endometriosis sign and symptoms and for information on endometriosis symptom please visit Treating Your Endometriosis.

The Candida Yeast Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Connection - Are You At Risk?

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 7th, 2007

The reality of Candida yeast in the body and what effects it might have on a person are highly debated. It would seem that there are many who believe it causes a host of problems in some people, and there are others who say it is harmless, and it is not to blame for many of the medical conditions that seem to be fairly new to our world. Some find that they have to turn to Chinese medicine if they want to be taken seriously when they have problems with the yeast. Some wonder if there is a Candida yeast Chronic Fatigue Syndrome connection.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is something that is very much a mystery. This is usually a diagnosis of elimination. The symptoms are often very hard on a person’s life. They might feel tired all of the time, weakness is common, and many may have Fibromyalgia at the same time. That leads to poor sleep and poor immune system function. CFS is usually diagnosed after every other medical possibility has been ruled out. The reason is often unclear, and there seems to be no medical answer as far as a cure. Because an overabundance of Candida yeast weakens the immune system, there may be a link between CFS and this yeast, but the answers are not clear cut in each case.

Those with CFS often have not only Fibromyalgia, but they often have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) as well. Candida yeast can be linked to IBS, so it makes sense that it might have also be a root cause of CFS for some people. Probably the most pronounce symptom of CFS is the fatigue, and it is believed that the overgrowth of Candida yeast can sap anyone’s energy, and if it is spread though the body, it might be a chronic problem. Some with CFS try to eat more carbs (or sugars) for the instant energy that it provides, but it is actually making things worse. Candida loves sugars, and these sugars help it to grow and spread.

Some who have CFS have good luck with taking a vitamin B12 supplement. When B12 is low, it can lead to anemia, which can then lead to an overgrowth of the Candida yeast. Some report that B12 has made them feel better, and has helped with a variety of problems. Though this link in tenuous at best, it has many believing that Candida is causing more problems with the general health of many and most people do not know it, and their doctors are not saying that it might be a possibility.

If a patient with CFS has any of the symptoms of Candida (yeast infections, thrush, skin rashes, bloating, or frequent problems with sinus and respiratory infections) they should consider treatment for the yeast. Though the Candida yeast Chronic Fatigue connection is not there for all who suffer, it might help some. Vitamin B12 supplements might help, along with seeking other treatments to lower the amounts of the yeast in the system. If this helps, it should be something that is carefully monitored, as the yeast can come back if the system is not cared for properly.
Grab your free copy of Jane Symms’ brand new Candida & Yeast Infection Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about albicans candida symptom and for information on baby yeast infection please visit Naturally Eliminating Candida.

Relieve Crohns Symptoms with Hypnosis

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 6th, 2007

Herbal teas may be an ideal way for you to relieve crohns symptom.  However, not everyone responds well to the same treatment.  Therefore, other crohn’s sufferers may find additional alternative or complimentary therapy such as hypnosis will work better at relieving and controlling symptoms.

What is hypnosis?  Hypnosis is a form of mind/body therapy that involves putting a person into an altered state of awareness or trance.  In their trance-like state, a person under hypnosis becomes completely relaxed and can tap into their subconscious.  With a person’s subconscious under his/her control, a hypnotist can teach this person how to control their mind at his/her own will under hypnosis. 

Therefore, contrary to popular belief, a person under hypnosis is in complete control of their mind, and can use this special state of awareness to positively affect their bodily functions and psychological responses to overcome their crohns symptom.

How is hypnosis performed?  During a hypnosis session, a qualified hypnotist (often a psychiatrist or psychotherapist) will have the patient relax and focus their eyes on something specific.  The patient will then be instructed to listen to the hypnotist’s voice.  The hypnotist will provide the patient will further suggestions to achieve a deeper relaxed state.  

While hypnotized, the patient may be given positive suggestions, introduced to simple tests (I.E. imagining a specific object), guided imagery, or sounds to help alleviate crohn’s symptom.  That being said, the first hypnosis sessions are usually focused on having the patient become familiar with the hypnotic state.  Other therapy is usually added later.

Hypnosis sessions are finished by returning the patient to their regular state of awareness, and providing them with post-hypnotic suggestions to help reinforce the new attitudes and perceptions that were introduced and created during treatment.

How does hypnosis work?  When a person is placed in a state of hypnosis their body is totally relaxed.  Their blood pressure and heart rate decreases and specific types of brain wave activity are altered.  While in this heightened relaxed state, a person will feel physically stress free and mentally alert, making them extremely responsive to suggestion, and more likely to change their perception on their condition. 

As far as hypnosis is concerned, it is believed that the way our mind responds to physical or emotional events is based on the way we remember how we initially responded to them.   These original memories stored in the brain are comprised of the primary emotional and physical reactions we encountered when the memory was first created.   Therefore, every time a similar situation occurs, we repeat the same emotional and physical reactions that are linked to the initial memory.  In many cases, such as in the case of crohn’s, these memories are typically negative and unhealthy.

Thus, the goal of hypnosis treatment is to have a patient remember certain events that led to their first experience of crohns symptom, and separate this memory from behavior that has been learned, so that positive associations can be linked to the original event.

How does hypnosis help crohn’s sufferers?  Hypnosis has been used for years as a method for treating people who suffer from digestive disorders and are unresponsive to conventional medical treatment.  Studies involving hypnosis as a treatment for crohn’s revealed some sufferers found relief from:
• Digestive upset – Constipation and diarrhea
• Abdominal pain
• Delay in the secretion of gastric acid
• Delay in colonic motility
• Stress
• Nervousness
• Anxiety

Keep in mind that you will need to attend a number of hypnosis sessions in order to obtain the benefits of this therapy for crohns symptom.  Moreover, you should only be treated by a qualified and trained hypnotist.  Therefore, make sure you speak to your healthcare provider before seeking this treatment, to obtain further recommendations.

Grab your free copy of Sharon Dobson’s brand new Crohn’s Disease Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about crohns herbal and for information on botanical crohns please visit Breakthrough Crohn’s Disease Guide.