Best Lab Tests to Help Treat Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Best Lab Tests to Help Treat Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome

So you’ve been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Now what?? As someone who has IBS, I’ve experienced first hand how debilitating it can be, and how confusing the diagnostic process is. I want to share with you some things that I wish I would have known back when I got my diagnosis, that would have saved me years of excruciating pain and suffering. I have now seen thousands of patients who also have this diagnosis live a legendary life. 

Why is Irritable Bowel Syndrome a Functional Bowel Movement Disorder?

Irritable bowel syndrome is classified as a chronic functional bowel movement disorder because it is diagnosed by the symptoms that you are experiencing. These are typically abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and changes in bowel movements, often diarrhea or constipation1. Other digestive diseases that can be seen by colonoscopy or confirmed by lab tests are often excluded before IBS is diagnosed.

Why Can’t Labs Tell Me That I Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

The labs that most conventional doctors use at this moment in time don’t give a definitive diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. This is because it is a complex interplay of all the processes in our body. It is most often a reaction to stress in the body, whether emotional or physical, that creates an imbalance in the immune, nervous and hormonal systems. This compounds and affects the natural digestive processes of the gut, causing inflammation, irritation, dysbiosis and lack of digestive factors that all contribute to and aggravate our symptoms2

The big point here is that it is NOT just one thing causing IBS, and to treat it you need to have a MULTIFACTORIAL approach or it just won’t work. 

Functional Disorders Involve the ENTIRE Environment of the Body 

As a Naturopathic Doctor, we look at the body as a complete environment, an ecosystem. I have expertise in digestive disorders, specifically irritable bowel syndrome. I am also extremely well versed in hormonal problems such as hypothyroid, estrogen dominance, nervous system conditions like anxiety and depression, and immune system problems like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, celiac disease, cancer, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and I have treated all successfully. 

If I only knew about the gut and digestive system, I wouldn’t be able to treat a FUNCTIONAL digestive system disorder because functional means that the whole entire body is involved. The ecosystem needs rebalancing.  

Are There Functional Tests for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Yes, there are things that can be tested, but again, it is a whole body approach. So as a Naturopathic Doctor I can see that there are imbalances in the whole body. 

What Is the Point of Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

First off, it’s important to do tests to rule out other conditions. When the diagnosis is clear, I test irritable bowel patients in order to track improvements and direct and guide treatment. 

For my health as well, I have noticed that it is vital to have this tracking system over time in order to gain a good understanding of what is going on inside your system, year to year. 

Since irritable bowel is a chronic, long term disease, being proactive in this way helps to stay on top of things and avoid the frustration and suffering of living with uncomfortable symptoms.

Stress Hormone Testing Cortisol and ACTH 

Research demonstrates that people with irritable bowel syndrome, mainly women, with onset at a younger age3, will have it for the greater part of their lives. They typically also have an imbalance in their nervous system and stress response. 

Stress markers of cortisol in the blood can be tested and show a difference between men and women as well as between healthy and unhealthy subjects4. However, this is a costly test and is not common protocol for irritable bowel syndrome. 

Salivary or urine cortisol markers can also be used to measure this, and they are my markers of choice. Research demonstrates that there is a significant difference in cortisol (stress hormone) markers in the morning and evening, and in general there was a higher spike in the a.m. and lower in the evening. The pattern of circadian rhythm night and day curve was still maintained5

Sleep is often something that is a complaint for women with IBS and there seems to be a difference between the type, whether it be IBS-D (diarrhea predominant) or IBS-C (constipation predominant)6. Sleep is something that normally balances our regulatory systems as it helps to reset the immune, nervous and hormonal systems. 

I recommend wearing an eye mask to bed at night to help support natural melatonin production, without having to take a supplement. I’ve created a Beauty Sleep Kit that uses castor oil applied around the eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows, covered by a sleep mask. This has a relaxing effect on the system and improves natural melatonin levels, helping you to get a good night’s sleep. You will note over time, visible differences in sleep quality with using a mask7

GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP KIT HERE!

Inflammation Testing in IBS 

Inflammation is a key component in IBS. Inflammation may be sourced from food sensitivities, allergies and intolerances, or choices of food, such as fermented foods that have high levels of histamine and act as an irritant to the gut. Inflammation is a root cause of all diseases and when there is imbalance in any system there is always inflammation.

Ferritin, the storage molecule for iron can also be a key indicator of acute inflammation. It is important to test in combination with a complete blood count (CBC) as well as an iron panel to make sure you rule out any other reasons for an elevated level of Ferritin. 

In my practice there are certain key markers that I have noted are indicative inflammation. Firstly, high sensitivity C reactive protein (HS-CRP). This marker is not often tested, however, levels have been noted to be higher in those with irritable bowel syndrome as compared to the healthy population8.

Cholesterol has also been one of the markers of inflammation that I use to track progress in patients. It is linked to inflammatory processes in the body and I have seen clear indications post therapeutic cleansing interventions with my patients, where even if cholesterol is only moderately higher, it always decreases from the pre-testing phase9. I always test these levels in my IBS patients because I want to see how they are adapting to their protocols and where they are at the present state in time. 

A complete blood count (CBC) is always important to do as well, because it demonstrates a variety of markers. With regards to inflammation, eosinophils are a marker of allergy and when they are elevated it’s an indicator that there is elevated histamines in the body10. It’s most commonly correlated to parasite infection, which is something to be considered in irritable bowel syndrome, since the onset of IBS can be due to a gastrointestinal infection11

In my opinion, food sensitivity testing is in a class of its own. It can demonstrate inflammatory processes in the gut as well as immune reactivity. When aiming to fix an irritable bowel, it’s important to understand that there are so many things that can be irritating it. 

Food is the biggest irritator and since we eat food every day, it’s very important to address this to reduce inflammation.

Here is a link to an excellent lab where you can test your food sensitivities to help you on your way – Click here!

Can You Test for Dysbiosis and The Microbiome?

You absolutely can, and uric acid (a key indicator of gout) is an excellent marker to use for dysbiosis or an unhealthy microbiome12. Uric acid is a good indicator of microbiome health because it shows improper metabolism of protein, typically due to unhealthy gut bugs. 

Another one of my favourite tests is the Organic Acids Test (OAT), which I find invaluable to manage and keep an eye on dysbiosis. It tracks overgrowth of yeasts as well as possible clostridium infections. It’s an excellent tool that I find very helpful for patients with IBS.

There are also recent novel tests that will actually classify the types of healthy v.s. pathogenic microbes in your microbiome. This research is in its infancy. 

What Should You Test? My Dream List

Here is my dream list, which is basically a full workup of a patient to rule out other sources of pain in the intestine:

  • CBC
  • Serum Electrolytes
  • Liver Enzymes, ALT, AST, ALP GGT 
  • Urobilinogen, direct and indirect
  • Blood Lipids/Cholesterol 
  • Albumin
  • eGFR and Creatinine
  • HS-CRP
  • Uric acid and urea 
  • Iron panel including Ferritin 
  • TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Antibodies for Thyroid 
  • Dutch Hormone Test
  • Food Sensitivity Testing 
  • OAT Test 

What to Do While You’re Waiting to Get Your Tests Done? 

Start working on a solution! 

My two first protocols for all patients is to start a castor oil pack, which immediately begins to work on the stress component of their condition. It will reduce inflammation, help the body to cleanse, get the bowels moving and significantly reduce pain in the gut (I’ve used it more times than I can count for acute pain in my situation and it hasn’t failed). It will also help you get a great night’s sleep. 

In addition, I get patients to wear an eye mask to bed. As mentioned before, this will help to increase the body’s natural melatonin production, improving quality of sleep.

Starting with these strategies is super safe. This is the basic prescription for all my patients from the get go, because if we can start to reduce the stress, address the inflammation, cleanse, poop and sleep (these are common problems that every single person who walks into my practice shares) I can actually start getting a clearer picture of what is going on. 

Peek After You Poo

The other pièce de résistance is that I ask my patients to start peeking at their poo. I want a detailed account moving forward. Because let’s face it, lab tests start to get quite expensive. For the full panel above you could be looking at anywhere between $1500-$2500 per shot, so why not learn what your poo is saying about you? It is an easy daily at-home test, totally free!

Every visit, with every single patient, we have this discussion and you would be shocked at how much it guides treatment. So much so, that I’ve compiled my personal experience, clinical experience and research so that you have access to the same tools as my patients. 

Download 50 Shades of Poo – the first steps to understanding what your poo says about you. Click here.

Buy Your Very Own Castor Oil Pack Here and Your Beauty Sleep Kit, Here

Start today! Don’t wait for tomorrow to do what you can do today. This is your health, your life, your body and it’s time for you to know and understand what is going on.

Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media, through email and like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to get the constant download of info!

 

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.  

 

References:

1 Bandar Mohammed Bardisi,1 Abdulaziz Kamal H. Halawani,1 Hassan Kamal H. Halawani,1 Aseel Hassan Alharbi,1 Nesma Saleh Turkostany,1 Taraji Saeed Alrehaili,1 Aisha Ahmad Radin,1 and Nasser Moqbil Alkhuzea1 Efficiency of diet change in irritable bowel syndrome. J Family Med Prim Care. 2018 Sep-Oct; 7(5): 946–951.PMID: 30598938

2 Emanuele Sinagra, Gaetano Cristian Morreale, Ghazaleh Mohammadian, Giorgio Fusco, Valentina Guarnotta, Giovanni Tomasello, Francesco Cappello, Francesca Rossi, Georgios Amvrosiadis, and Dario Raimondo New therapeutic perspectives in irritable bowel syndrome: Targeting low-grade inflammation, immuno-neuroendocrine axis, motility, secretion and beyond. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep 28; 23(36): 6593–6627.PMID: 29085207

3 Ju Yup Lee and Kyung Sik Park. Gender Difference in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Korean J Gastroenterol. 2018 Oct 25;72(4):163-169. doi: 10.4166/kjg.2018.72.4.163.

4 Elizabeth J. Videlock,a Wendy Shih,b Mopelola Adeyemo,a Swapna Mahurkar-Joshi,a Angela P. Presson,c Christos Polytarchou,a Melissa Alberto,a Dimitrios Iliopoulos,a Emeran A. Mayer,a and Lin Changa,* The effect of sex and irritable bowel syndrome on HPA axis response and peripheral glucocorticoid receptor expression.Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 Jul; 69: 67–76.PMID: 27038676

5 Patacchioli FR1, Angelucci L, Dellerba G, Monnazzi P, Leri O. Actual stress, psychopathology and salivary cortisol levels in the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). J Endocrinol Invest. 2001 Mar;24(3):173-7.

6 Robert L. Burr, MSEE, PhD, Research Professor,a Monica E. Jarrett, PhD, Professor,a Kevin C. Cain, PhD, Research Scientist,b Sang-Eun Jun, MS, Doctoral Candidate,a and Margaret M. Heitkemper, PhD, Professora. Catecholamine and Cortisol Levels during Sleep in Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2009 Nov; 21(11): 1148–1e97.PMID: 19573081

7 Rong-fang Hu,1 Xiao-ying Jiang,1 Yi-ming Zeng,2 Xiao-yang Chen,2 and You-hua Zhang3 Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Crit Care. 2010; 14(2): R66.PMID: 20398302

8 Keren Hod, MSc,1,2 Tamar Ringel-Kulka, MD MPH,3 Christopher F. Martin, MSPH,2 Nitsan Maharshak, MD,4 and Yehuda Ringel, MD*,2 High Sensitive C – Reactive Protein as a Marker for Inflammation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.J Clin Gastroenterol. 2016 Mar; 50(3): 227–232.PMID: 25930973

9 Tall AR1, Yvan-Charvet L2. Cholesterol, inflammation and innate immunity. Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 Feb;15(2):104-16. doi: 10.1038/nri3793.

10 Church MK1. Allergy, Histamine and Antihistamines. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2017;241:321-331. doi: 10.1007/164_2016_85.

11 Wouters MM1, Van Wanrooy S1, Nguyen A2, Dooley J2, Aguilera-Lizarraga J1, Van Brabant W1, Garcia-Perez JE2, Van Oudenhove L1, Van Ranst M3, Verhaegen J4, Liston A2, Boeckxstaens G1 Psychological comorbidity increases the risk for postinfectious IBS partly by enhanced susceptibility to develop infectious gastroenteritis. Gut. 2016 Aug;65(8):1279-88. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309460. Epub 2015 Jun 12.

12 Zhuang Guo,1,* Jiachao Zhang,1,* Zhanli Wang,3,* Kay Ying Ang,2,* Shi Huang,4 Qiangchuan Hou,1 Xiaoquan Su,4 Jianmin Qiao,1 Yi Zheng,1 Lifeng Wang,1 Eileen Koh,2 Ho Danliang,2 Jian Xu,4 Yuan Kun Lee,a,2 and Heping Zhangb,1 Intestinal Microbiota Distinguish Gout Patients from Healthy Humans Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 20602.PMID: 26852926 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757479/

Castor Oil Packs and Constipation | Help to Get You Regular

Castor Oil Packs and Constipation | Help to Get You Regular

I remember my mother always being constipated. She would hyper focus on food and what she should be eating. Sometimes it would help, most of the time it wouldn’t. This is the situation that most people find themselves in. You are trying to get all your fiber and fluids in, yet you’re still not going to the bathroom. You aren’t having those amazing bowel movements as you should. What gives?

Your poo is much more complicated than just the food that you eat. That is just the start of getting things going. The gut is also highly regulated via hormonal and nervous system pathways. In fact, if you didn’t know it, the gut is known as the second brain1. It not only relies on the brain to tell it what to do, but it is the only organ that can work independently. Meaning you can take it out of the body and it can function completely on its own. This system is called the enteric nervous system and it dictates what goes on in the gut. How interesting is that! There are only a few ways to engage its action. The easiest is the infamous castor oil pack, and this will be our focus in this article.

The Issue of Compliance with Castor Oil Packs

If you’ve been prescribed castor oil packs, you are probably cringing right now. You know all too well the expectation that your practitioner had for you to do them, but they are just too much of a hassle and too messy to do. I know exactly what you’re feeling because I’ve been there too.

That’s what stopped me for years from doing the castor oil pack. It was something that I was told to do for years by not one, but many people… doctors, health food store owners, people who had years and years of natural health experts. I wouldn’t listen. Only because I was lazy and didn’t have the time. I know you are too and that’s ok! It’s human nature, after all, to do that which is of the least effort.

Pooping Problems

I was seriously suffering hardcore with gut issues. I’d go from diarrhea to constipation, to major bloating and gas. Like many of you, I was in a constant state of crap in my guts.

I would be told that I had microbiome issues, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), food allergies, anxiety, depression, hormonal dysregulation, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and fatty liver. You name it, I was told that I had it, and above all, I had MAJOR pooping problems.

When You’re Doing Everything ‘Right’ But Still Feel Like Crap

I was addressing all of these things with my naturopath but it didn’t make sense because here I was, doing all the ‘right’ things but still feeling like crap. I was taking good quality supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes, magnesium, I would even go as far as laxatives from time to time because my constipation would get so bad. I was eating the right foods and exercising, but for some reason, it wasn’t fitting the bill.

I remember vividly, the worst 10 days where I didn’t go poo once. I was literally beside myself, I felt soooo horrible in my own skin. I remember searching out for a way to manually extract my poo!

My First Castor Oil Pack

After weeks of constipation, I became super sick and decided that I was finally going to try this treatment that EVERYONE had told me to do. I made myself my own castor oil pack and tried it.

Wow, was my response. It changed my world from the first moment that I put it on my body. I was already feeling better, more relaxed and well in my body. I felt. For a long time, it was like I just wasn’t feeling anything, I didn’t feel present in my system. I know it sounds weird but I was dealing with so much discomfort, that I felt completely disconnected from my body.

You see, it’s easier to look for an escape. It’s no surprise that when you’re dealing with an irritable bowel, anxiety, and depression are usually a result. Some say it is the cause, my belief is it goes deeper than that.

Historical Use of Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs ended up being my saving grace. I’m not surprised, as I began my research and found that this practice dates back to biblical times. It is mentioned in the ancient Chinese and Indian medical texts as well as practiced by the ancient Mediterranean and Egyptian cultures.

These packs are not the new kids on the block, rather, they are THE most important tool that fundamentally supports all other treatments. No treatment is like the castor oil pack and the beauty of it is that now it’s easy, and it can be done in the comfort of your home.

Innovative Castor Oil Pack Design

Necessity is the instigator of the invention. I know myself and I’m pretty sure you know yourself too. When something is difficult, time-consuming, or a plain old hassle, it takes a superhuman effort to get it done. When I was told to do the castor oil pack, I would look at the process and snark, “There is no way that I’m going to do that, forget it! I’m busy, I’ve got too much on the go.”

It took me hitting rock bottom, feeling like I was “never gonna get better”. It took years of naturopathic school, to finally believe that it was good for every condition. It took me grabbing the bull by its horns and creating a pack that made the process simple, easy and less messy, otherwise, I was never going to keep it up.

The Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack was born. Simply apply oil to the cotton compress side and tie it onto the body over the liver. To get yours, click here.

How Castor Oil Packs Alleviate Constipation

But how does this treatment significantly alleviate constipation? How can this one treatment be the foundation of gut health? It’s because it supports the 5 pillars of our health. Without these pillars being strong and functional, our beautiful, supreme body temple does not work the way it should.

These are the 5 ways that Castor Oil Packs Improve Constipation:

1. Move the smooth muscle of our body

Smooth muscle is only in select parts of the body, notably the digestive system/gut, including the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. It is in the uterus as well. The other muscles of our body that you’re familiar with, like the biceps and triceps are made of what is called striated muscle. Smooth muscle works via signals of PG3— whats known as an eicosanoid. You are likely familiar with it because when you take fish oils to get your omega 3s, those are also eicosanoids. In a nut shell, they are messengers in the body (like carrier pigeons) that tell certain body parts to do something. When you take fish oils, you tell your body to reduce inflammation. When you do a castor oil pack, you absorb castor oil through the skin that tells the smooth muscle of the intestine to move2. Movement in the intestine is known as peristalsis. This is a rhythmic movement, like a dance that propels the contents of the intestine down so it can be eliminated. In the stomach it mixes things, in the intestine, it moves things around to absorb and then to eliminate what we don’t need. The nice thing with the castor oil pack is that it regulates this dance. They will make you go to the bathroom and have an excellent bowel movement. Studies show it works as well as laxatives without the uncomfortable gas, bloating, and harsh urgency and patients feel more satisfied and fully evacuated3. This one thing that castor oil packs do is incredibly important.

[Please note Caution if you are pregnant. Castor oil packs are not recommended in this instance because of the uterus also being smooth muscle. So to prevent an accidental abortion, it would be best to stay away4 5 6.]

2. Castor oil as an excellent tool to break down biofilm

Biofilm is a protective barrier created by bacteria on mucous membranes. You probably know of these gut bugs as probiotics, which is what we call them when they are beneficial for the body. When they are not good for our health, I have coined them “conbiotics”.Probiotics help us because they create nutrients for our body like B vitamins. The conbiotics on the other hand, use up our bodies’ resources, they don’t make our vitamins, they create byproducts and gases that actually slow down peristalsis, making us constipated. The more virulent conbiotics are the worst because of protective biofilm that they can create to stop us from killing them. In Lyme disease, as an example, the bacteria Borrelia is transmitted via ticks. It is known for creating a destructive biofilm that is very difficult to break down. People who are dealing with Lyme disease should absolutely be doing castor oil packs, as they are one of the tools that will help them to reset their microbiome.

The research shows that castor oil, compared to other chemical agents to break down biofilm, outperforms in vivo (in the human body)7 8 9. We need to have a healthy microbiome to have good bowel movements!

3. Castor oil packs reduce stress

Stress does not allow you to have healthy bowel movements because it tenses up the parts of the body that need to be relaxed to work. The intestines and bowels are regulated and working well in a relaxed state. You can take all the fluids, fiber, probiotics and digestive enzymes you want but if your body doesn’t know how to switch into the relaxed state for peristalsis and relaxation of the lower sphincter, you are a duck out of luck. For me, stress was severely impacting my bowels and regularity. Castor oil packs work via the nervous system by stimulating the nerves in the skin10 11. This only works when you wear the pack. This is probably the most important action. Improving the microbiome and getting the smooth muscle to function won’t matter if your lower sphincter can’t relax enough to let go! The topical application of a castor oil pack is exactly for that, to “LET GO”.

4. Cleansing with glutathione

We all know that cleansing is important, and there is one molecule known as glutathione that stands out among all of the antioxidants. It cleans and protects the body, and helps to detox heavy metals12.

It is well known that heavy metals impact our bodies in a variety of ways, inhibiting the immune system, therefore aiding and abetting to an unhealthy microbiome. They impact our hormonal system and detrimentally affect the nervous system. Glutathione is well known to be an antioxidant that in this day and age is in lower concentrations in our bodies because of the physiological demand due to industrialized pollution. There are very few ways to get glutathione. It is found in whey protein (which I never recommend since it is dairy based and for those that have an irritable bowel it is just plain torture), rooibos tea, (well known for its antioxidant effects) or oral supplementation (the jury is out on whether or not glutathione is absorbed well via supplements). Supplementing with magnesium and NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) may help as they are precursors to glutathione. The other way is via IV therapy, known as a Glutathione Push. Recent research demonstrated that castor oil improves the recycling of glutathione in the lenses of rats, greater than even a solution of glutathione13. This is very impressive, castor oil packs improve antioxidant status14.

5. Castor oil reduces inflammation

When you are inflamed in your intestines, it becomes very difficult to go to the bathroom. Castor oil packs reduce inflammation15 16, allowing for smooth passage of stools out of the body.

It’s incredible that this therapy can be such aid for those that suffer from constipation. Constipation contributes to more serious conditions and diseases and if something is not done, your body can be severely damaged in the long term. A system that can’t eliminate waste backs up, and the back up is the cause of many problems.

No different than when you garbage removal goes on strike or the sewer back ups. That is always bad news. Now you have the tools at your disposal to make it all better.

Time to act.

Buy your castor oil pack here. 

1 Gershon, Michael D. The Second Brain. HarperCollins World, 1999.

2 Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184. Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

3 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

4 Gao J1, Sun N, Wang F.[Effects of castor oil-diet on the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 in pregnant rats].[Article in Chinese] Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi. 1999 Mar;34(3):147-9.

5 Gao J1, Sun N, Wang F, Hao N.[Effect of castor oil-diet on the initiation of labor of pregnant rat].[Article in Chinese] Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 1998 Oct;20(5):367-70.

6 Kelly AJ1, Kavanagh J, Thomas J. Castor oil, bath and/or enema for cervical priming and induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jul 24;(7):CD003099. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003099.pub2.

7 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

8 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

9 Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

10 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

11 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)

12 Jan AT, Azam M, Siddiqui K, Ali A, Choi I, Haq QM. Heavy Metals and Human Health: Mechanistic Insight into Toxicity and Counter Defense System of Antioxidants. Int J Mol Sci. 2015;16(12):29592-630. Published 2015 Dec 10. doi:10.3390/ijms161226183

13 Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

14 Kennedy D and Keaton D. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor oil: A Systematic Review. CCNM. Presentation 2010 AANP

15 Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

16 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.

The First 3 Things To Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The First 3 Things To Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

 

How stress, poor sleep, and too much sugar is messing with your bowel movements!

 

Bowel movements, defecation, going poo… the #1 most important process of the human body, and not the #2! If you’re one of the 14-20% of the world population with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), that’s approximately one BILLION people1. And it is hypothesized that those who have gotten the diagnosis are only the tip of the iceberg, meaning that there are so many more people that have it but haven’t been diagnosed yet. You know all too well how it can negatively affect your life. Here are the first 3 things you need to do to take control of what is happening to your body. It has to do with 3 “s” words, and shit isn’t one of them. Stools, stress and sleep.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – What is it?

 

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic, long term, recurring functional condition, meaning that when you are tested via labs or colonoscopy, everything looks normal. There seems to be no reason for your symptoms, nevertheless you have them and they are debilitating.

 

The Frustration of an Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis 

 

This is extremely frustrating to hear from your doctor, especially after you have been suffering with these symptoms that have had a detrimental impact on all aspects of your life. From limiting your social life for fear of an adverse bowel movement, to affecting your work life by causing you to spend too much time in the bathroom or taking more sick days than the norm. Not to mention huge psychological impact on your well being, living with this ever growing problem.

 

Risk Factors for Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

The most noted risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome are being a women, of young age, and having a preceding gut infection of some sort2. The risk is actually four times higher for those who have had an infectious gut condition3.

 

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

The most common symptoms of IBS include a combination of recurring:

 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Distension, bloating and gas
  • Abnormal bowel movements – diarrhea and/or constipation

 

The Categories of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

It is classified in three categories – constipation, diarrhea or an alternation between both.

 

  • IBS-C: Predominantly constipation
  • IBS-D: Predominantly diarrhea
  • IBS-M: Mixed, alternating between constipation and diarrhea
  • IBS-U: Unclassified

 

The classification is based upon the Bristol Stool Scale (see below), designating the form of bowel movements.

 

 

My Experience As a Naturopathic Doctor with IBS-M 

 

I have suffered with mixed type irritable bowel syndrome for the greater part of my life. In my youth I was constipated, mostly due to food choices and a home life that was incredibly stressful. The child of immigrants, with very little family or social support. We were poor and trying to succeed in a new world, which added an unbelievable burden to a family.  After an episode of food poisoning in my early 20’s I began to experience alternating constipation and diarrhea, in effect the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome mixed (IBS-M). I didn’t get the diagnosis until about a decade later and suffered in silence.

 

You Think your Bowel Movements are Normal, But They’re Not

 

I didn’t go to the doctor, mostly because I thought my bowel movements were normal. Both of my parents had chronic bowel problems but were never diagnosed. Looking back now, the signs were very clear. My father had IBS-D, predominantly diarrhea and my mother IBS-C, predominantly constipation.

 

Dr. Google Can’t Tell You Everything About Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

I went back to school to become a naturopathic doctor after being diagnosed and told, “You have IBS, sorry for your luck, there really isn’t anything you can do.” I had Dr. Googled it and became enlightened, realizing that this was an epidemic in my family. I soon found out that it was an epidemic in the world as well. I wanted to change that and help people, just like yourself, and in the process fix myself and my family. Much like what you’re probably trying to do right now.

 

My goal is to fix this, to create the platform to really help those that are suffering. To get the proper information to you, so that you can be empowered to live your best life, the legendary life you deserve. Together we can do it. Please share this article with your friends and those that you know are suffering.

 

The Things I Had to Do to Survive IBS – Warning: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

 

I lived with worries of not being able to go to the bathroom, mechanically (with my hand yes) trying to get the poo out. Gosh I can’t believe that I am sharing that. This is super embarrassing, but after sitting on the toilet for hours, feeling like I have to go and straining and I can’t, you do anything to get it out.

 

I would avoid social situations all together, preferring to hang out at home, close to the bathroom. I was worried I would have an accident at any given point in time. This was very hard for me, especially because I’m such an outgoing social person. I like my alone time, but being forced to spend time at home wasn’t pleasant. I even got into the habit of carrying a spare pare of underwear in my bag everywhere I went. Just in case. It was devastating. Not a way to live at all. I’m so deeply saddened as I write this, reliving the emotions that I went through in that time.

 

My Parents Also Had IBS But Weren’t Diagnosed 

 

I know both of my parents spent more time dependent on the nearest bathroom than not. I realized that they weren’t as social as they aged because this was also a huge pain point for them. It’s sad that they spent their entire life chained to the bathroom, not understanding what was wrong, and not knowing what to do about it.

 

I DON’T WANT THE SAME FOR YOU.

 

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Genetic? 

 

It is possible. There is a link to early life exposure to stress affecting the bodies’ natural response to stress. So, your exposure to stress in utero or fetal programming4 as well as  experiences as a young child can pre-program you into a maladaptive, unhealthy response to stress, changing the way that your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) functions5. These are the master organs that balance the regulation systems of your body, most responsible for the way your body deals with stress.

 

In a nutshell, if your mother was dealing with stress, or she was just a stress-head like mine was (and my grandmother, and grandmother before that – may they all rest in peace) while she was pregnant with you or if high stress was the norm in your household, it is possible that it set you up to have a weaker ability to adapt to stressors. Because remember, everything is about practice. If your stress response was over practiced in an unhealthy way in this formative time in your life, this could definitely be a precursor to irritable bowel syndrome and…

 

IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, BUT IT IS UP TO YOU TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

 

The Regulatory Systems Impacted In Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

When you are under stress, whether it be emotional or physical stress, the body does not have the ability to differentiate6. Two processes occur in the body to try and maintain balance. The inflammatory arm of the immune system activates to try and burn off the stressor. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (a combination of the hormonal and nervous system7) also activates to turn off less important mechanisms that don’t deal with immediate life right now.

 

These three regulatory systems of the body, the immune, nervous and hormonal system’s goal in health is to keep everything in balance, everything functioning well. But under stress, they shut down non-vital functions for preservation of life. Therefore there’s dysregulation in these systems with IBS8. We also see an elevation of glucocorticoids and inflammatory markers.

 

So don’t be surprised if you find yourself with multiple conditions on top of your IBS. For me, I had both irritable bowel syndrome as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). These are often conditions that respond to an elevation of the bodies’ immune inflammatory messengers and the neurohormonal glucocorticoids.

 

Hormone Problems and IBS

 

Is this a coincidence then, that I, like many who have IBS, also have PCOS? No it is not, because the body can only balance so much. In PCOS there are elevated levels of leptin, a hormone that affects food intake, energy balance and fat tissue stores but is also pro-inflammatory to the intestinal tract. Research shows that with irritable bowel syndrome there is also this elevated level of leptin in the intestine9.

 

When there is stress, many of our non-vital systems like being being fertile, having regular periods, or having a healthy metabolism go into preservation mode, because the infinite intelligence of our bodies doesn’t want to use up resources because it has no idea how long the stressor will last.

 

Another co-existing hormonal problem that is common with IBS type symptoms, like constipation, is hypothyroid10.

 

Immune System Problems and IBS

 

The immune system is regulated by the MICROBIOME. The ever important home of billions of bugs that live on our mucosal membrane and skin.

 

Healthy, friendly probiotics help to improve the mucosal immune system11, whereas conbiotics™, as I like to call them, or pathogenic bacteria cause total dysfunction of the immune system12.

 

This leads you susceptible to constantly getting sick. Overreacting to foods as your gut’s reaction to foods is based on the immune system. It is well known that people with IBS react to many foods such as lactose13, gluten14 and other components of wheat to name a few. This is a complex subject on its own and keep your eyes open for our blog on the interactions with food and IBS.

 

Nervous System Problems and IBS

 

Google IBS and you will soon find many links that discuss the coexistence of depression and anxiety with IBS, but also as a coexisting factor with most chronic conditions. Many say that it may be in response to the condition, but it very well may be the cause of the condition, (is it the chicken or the egg, which came first?) as stress significantly alters the bodies’ regulatory homeostatic mechanisms15.

 

Is Stress the Cause of IBS?

 

Stress is a root cause of many conditions and chronic diseases. It is likely that it is a root cause of IBS, as the overlap of anxiety, depression, hormonal disturbances and immune variations are all linked to irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

It’s no surprise that at present the majority of treatments and medicines for irritable bowel syndrome are tools that mediate the functions of these three regulatory systems of the immune, nervous and hormonal systems, as the gut is the main hub for all three.

 

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have been used for IBS, as well as antibiotics such as Rifaximin, as a way to improve the gut microbiome16.

 

My Choice for Treatment 

 

When I was diagnosed, I was already doing all the supplements, I had done rounds of antibiotics, I wasn’t interested in taking anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants because I didn’t feel that I was deficient in them. I felt better supported if I would take multivitamins, a B-complex and other vitamins and minerals known to be low in people with anxiety, which for me was also a coexisting problem. The problem was I wasn’t getting any better.

 

Fix the FOUNDATION, Don’t Palliate the Problem

 

So I choose to look at things from a different, more foundational perspective, and this is how I got relief of my symptoms. Not by looking at what I could take to fix the problem, but what I could do and practice that would prepare my body to be in the best shape and target the regulation of the 3 systems that weren’t in balance. The immune, hormonal and nervous systems of my body. This was my 3 step plan to set the foundation for my healing of irritable bowel syndrome, and what become the foundational plan for all of my patients in clinical practice where I have treated thousands, improved their irritable bowel syndrome and healed their guts.

 

So I Just Got An IBS Diagnosis – What Now? 

 

These are the three steps to start with. 

 

1. KNOW YOUR STOOLS 

 

Your stools say everything about you. It’s no surprise that irritable bowel syndrome is classified based on the form according to the Bristol Stool Scale and Frequency.

 

After years of living with IBS, inspecting my stools, then becoming a doctor I realized that there was so much more to learn from your stools than just a diagnosis.

 

 

I found out that stools could tell you how your hormonal system, immune system and nervous system was working.

 

They could also tell you key nutrient deficiencies that were implicated in problems with those systems, like magnesium being low in hormonal problems and zinc deficiency in nervous system problems, as an example. They tell about B-vitamins and other necessities to keep the foundation of our bodies functioning in harmony.

 

I discovered 11 factors of our stools, I call them the Golden Nuggets about your poo. They can tell you about how your digestion is working and so much more. It’s a wealth of information to the extent that if I sat with a patient, I would know exactly what I needed to do just by what they told be about their stools.

 

This is the most important place to start, because as Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

 

It’s time for you to know better. Download my free guide called the 50 shades of poo that is the first step in understanding what your poo says about you. This will set you up with an excellent practice so you can take control of your irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Download it here

 

 

2. ADDRESS YOUR STRESS

 

Stress plays such a key role in IBS and the problem is we are constantly bombarded with stress. Massages and acupuncture are great ways to balance our stress levels, but we can only do them from time to time because cost is prohibitive and we are so busy, it’s hard to go to an appointment.

 

I was told for years to do a castor oil pack. A legendary health practice that has been in existence since biblical times and practiced by all systems and cultures of medicine. Indian, Chinese, Greek, Mediterranean, Caribbean, etc.

 

This tool is predominantly used to practice the pause, or the relaxed state17. It is the staple of my clinical practice, the very first prescription before anything else. Because in the relaxed state you can heal. Your gut microbiota is healthier, your inflammation is down, you cleanse better and your bowels move (these are also all the things the castor oil pack does, independently of helping you to practice the pause). This is the tool that was the MISSING LINK for me in my treatment, as I was doing everything else ‘right’. A healthy diet, good quality supplements, and regular exercise… but once I did this my world changed.

 

Get your pack here

 

 

3. FIX YOUR SLEEP 

 

Sleep resets the body and it undeniably helps with cleansing and calming, so that the nervous, hormonal and immune systems have a fighting chance.

 

One way to improve your sleep is simply by wearing an eye mask. Like the castor oil pack placed on the liver, the eye mask stimulates the pituitary gland to produce melatonin naturally18. This is a supplement-free way to help your body sleep and it’s amazing how a simple strategy can help to improve the bodies’ ability to heal overnight.

 

Get your Beauty Sleep Kit here

 

So there you have it. Those are the first three things that need to be done once you know you have irritable bowel syndrome. Had I known about these at the beginning of my journey, I would have had a much easier time. My hope is that you take these and let them help you to  make a difference in your life. Because you don’t need to suffer. You need to learn and do what will help you to get your best body balance.

 

If you want to get more in depth, stay tuned for my first book dropping later this year, “Oh Sh*t, The 3 Step Solution to Reset an Irritable Bowel, End the Bloat and Be your Best Digestive Self”

 

It’s basically the irritable bowel syndrome bible. It is how I fixed my IBS and have helped thousands of patients to do so as well.

 

Make sure to follow me on social media so we can stay connected! @queenofthethrones

 

xoxo

 

1 Padhy SK1, Sahoo S1, Mahajan S1, Sinha SK2. Irritable bowel syndrome: Is it “irritable brain” or “irritable bowel”? J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2015 Oct-Dec;6(4):568-77. doi: 10.4103/0976-3147.169802.

 

2 Paul Enck,1 Qasim Aziz,2 Giovanni Barbara,3 Adam D. Farmer,2 Shin Fukudo,4 Emeran A. Mayer,5 Beate Niesler,6 Eamonn M. M. Quigley,7 Mirjana Rajilić-Stojanović,8 Michael Schemann,9 Juliane Schwille-Kiuntke,1 Magnus Simren,10 Stephan Zipfel,1 and Robin C. Spiller11 Irritable bowel syndrome  Nat Rev Dis Primers. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Aug 26.Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016; 2: 16014.PMID: 27159638

 

3 Fabiane Klem,1,2,* Akhilesh Wadhwa,1,* Larry Prokop,1 Wendy Sundt,1 Gianrico Farrugia,1 Michael Camilleri,1 Siddharth Singh,3 and Madhusudan Grover1,# Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome After Infectious Enteritis: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysisGastroenterology. 2017 Apr; 152(5): 1042–1054.e1.PMID: 28069350

 

4 Mariann A. Howland,1 Curt A. Sandman,1 and Laura M. Glynn1,2 Developmental origins of the human hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axisExpert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Sep; 12(5): 321–339.PMID: 30058893

 

5 Miranda van Bodegom, Judith R. Homberg, and Marloes J. A. G. Henckens* Modulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis by Early Life Stress Exposure. Front Cell Neurosci. 2017; 11: 87. 10.3389/fncel.2017.00087PMID: 28469557

 

6 Vanja Duric, * Sarah Clayton, Mai Lan Leong, and Li-Lian Yuan Comorbidity Factors and Brain Mechanisms Linking Chronic Stress and Systemic Illness Neural Plast. 2016; 2016: 5460732. PMID: 26977323

 

7 Kate Ryan Kuhlman,1 Jessica J. Chiang,2 Sarah Horn,3 and Julienne E. Bower1 Developmental psychoneuroendocrine and psychoneuroimmune pathways from childhood adversity to disease Neurosci Biobehav Rev. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Sep 1.Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 Sep; 80: 166–184.PMID: 28577879

 

8 O’Malley D1. Endocrine regulation of gut function – a role for glucagon-like peptide-1 in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome. Exp Physiol. 2019 Jan;104(1):3-10. doi: 10.1113/EP087443. Epub 2018 Dec 10.

 

9 De-Rong Liu, Xiao-Juan Xu, and Shu-Kun Yao Increased intestinal mucosal leptin levels in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jan 7; 24(1): 46–57.PMID: 29358881

 

10 Anant D. Patil Link between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May-Jun; 18(3): 307–309.PMID: 24944923

 

11 Salvucci E1,2. The human-microbiome superorganism and its modulation to restore health. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Mar 7:1-15. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1580682. [Epub ahead of print]

 

12 Shi N#1, Li N#2, Duan X2, Niu H1. Interaction between the gut microbiome and mucosal immune system. Mil Med Res. 2017 Apr 27;4:14. doi: 10.1186/s40779-017-0122-9. eCollection 2017.

 

13Bayless TM1,2, Brown E3, Paige DM3. Lactase Non-persistence and Lactose Intolerance. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2017 May;19(5):23. doi: 10.1007/s11894-017-0558-9.

 

14 Rej A1, Sanders DS1,2. The overlap of irritable bowel syndrome and noncoeliac gluten sensitivity. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2019 Feb 12. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000517.

 

15 Vanja Duric, * Sarah Clayton, Mai Lan Leong, and Li-Lian Yuan Comorbidity Factors and Brain Mechanisms Linking Chronic Stress and Systemic Illness Neural Plast. 2016; 2016: 5460732.Published online 2016 Feb 8. doi: 10.1155/2016/5460732PMID: 26977323]

 

16 Emanuele Sinagra, Gaetano Cristian Morreale, Ghazaleh Mohammadian, Giorgio Fusco, Valentina Guarnotta, Giovanni Tomasello, Francesco Cappello, Francesca Rossi, Georgios Amvrosiadis, and Dario Raimondo New therapeutic perspectives in irritable bowel syndrome: Targeting low-grade inflammation, immuno-neuroendocrine axis, motility, secretion and beyond. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep 28; 23(36): 6593–6627.PMID: 29085207h

 

17  Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)

 

18 Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. doi: 10.1186/cc8965

 

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.  

 

Do Castor Oil Packs Really Work? | They Are Making a Comeback!

Do Castor Oil Packs Really Work? | They Are Making a Comeback!

Castor oil packs are a legendary treatment that dates back to ancient times. Traditional Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurveda, Ancient Egyptians and Mediterraneans all used castor oil for its rejuvenating health and beauty aspects. It is even mentioned in the bible as the oil that anoints. The plant has been given the special name of the Palm of Christ. The oil and the packs have been around forever and will forever be a part of natural medicine.

But do they really work??

I can personally say that castor oil packs changed my life and were a big contributor to my healing. They are my #1 prescription with patients because their benefits on the body are so far-reaching. So let’s dive into the science behind how castor oil packs work and what they do for the body!

  1. Feel Good and Relax – Bring Pleasure – Stimulate Dopamine

Who doesn’t want to be relaxed, feel good and feel pleasure? Like the pleasure you feel after an amazing meal1.

These packs are meant to relax the body. By applying the pack on the body, most commonly the liver area underneath the right ribcage, you stimulate the sensory receptors in the human hairy skin. This sends a message via the somatic-visceral reflexes, the fancy term for the sensory receptors on the skin, to the organs inside the body. The corresponding organs that are affected are the liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, kidney and adrenals. Because the stimulus is soft to the touch and pleasurable2, it moves your body into the relaxed state from the stressed state. Studies show that stimulation of the skin lights up the areas of the brain exactly as they do with pleasurable, dopamine-stimulating fatty meals. Big difference though, castor oil packs are way healthier than an excessively fatty meal!

I call these packs the escape button for the nervous system, like on your computer, and the science of physioneurology proves it. Castor oil packs take your body from frazzled to fine in a matter of minutes, all by naturally working with your physiology to make it happen. They are great because they are non-invasive and so beneficial to overall health. You could say it’s almost like giving your body a great big hug3 and you get the same benefits from it.

Because of this aspect you want to make sure that you are using good quality, luxurious, organic cotton flannel that is soft to the touch. The sensory receptors identity the soft sensation as pleasurable which promotes the relaxed state. The pack is just as important as the oil. If you use the oil on your body without the pack, you will lose the majority of the relaxation benefit.

Why does being relaxed matter? When you are relaxed you can heal, your digestive system produces all of its juices with ease, like digestive enzymes, bile, hydrochloric acid and immune factors4. Most important is that your so called “leaky gut” is a response to living in a stressed-out state. In the relaxed state, stimulated by a castor oil pack, you regain your gut integrity5 6 7. This means that all the supplements and organic food that you are taking, you will absorb even better if you are using castor oil packs. They help to optimize digestion so that all these pills and potions you take will help supercharge your life.

In the relaxed state is also where your body can cleanse, detox and simply clean up the junk that is in your system. When your body is in the stressed state, all of these functions go on maintenance mode instead of enhanced mode. Move your body into the relaxed state with a castor oil pack and you have the recipe for successful cleansing and detox.

A cool practical application of these castor oil packs that I have seen in practice, is for health nuts just like me that love to do regular cleanses. When you do these packs during a cleanse, you AVOID the dreaded cleansing symptoms like headaches, skin irritation, moodiness, joint/muscle aches and pains. The mechanism of action here is this, when you are stressed and running away from say, a tiger who is going to eat you, your blood is flowing to the extremities and to your brain. Similarly, if you do a cleanse while in the stressed state, the toxins that you are trying to eliminate from your body will flow to your extremities, causing aches and pains, and to your brain, giving you headaches and moodiness. It’s physiology 101, in the stressed state your blood hemodynamics feed the extremities to get you away from the predator to survive, in the relaxed state your blood flows to your internal organs allowing you to digest, cleanse and reset. If you want to supercharge your cleanses and make it easy on you and those around you, ALWAYS do a castor oil pack for support.

Even better, retraining your nervous system daily to switch into the relaxed state helps you to optimize your life, in general, since you will become more resilient to stress of all types. These days we need it. So make these packs a daily health practice for life. You won’t want to stop.

2. Reduces Pain & Inflammation – Where there is Inflammation there is Sickness, Toxicity and Overall Distress in the Body

Let’s face it, as humans we run from pain and move towards pleasure. How does the castor oil pack stimulate pleasure and reduce inflammation at the same time?

The chemical structure of ricinoleic acid, the main component of this magical castor oil, is similar in structure to prostaglandins in our bodies that reduce inflammation. To put this into context, when you take a fish oil supplement, you take it because it provides you with these prostaglandins that will reduce inflammation all over your body. Castor oil is exactly like that, although we don’t take it orally for this effect, we use it as pack on our bodies to reduce inflammation.

It also reduces substance P8 in the body, that is a chemical messenger that promotes the sensation of pain.

Inflammation in your body equals retention of water. Inflammation is basically a fire that burns in the body with the purpose of creating destruction in order to recreate, renew and heal. Inflammation is purposeful and it can be healthy. However, many cases of inflammation get out of control and result only in destruction. Firefighters use water to control a fire, so does your body. With an inflamed intestine and gut, the body will hold water in the abdominal area to decrease the irritation. This leads to excess weight in your abdomen, the so called central obesity or in laymen’s terms, the “beer belly”. Castor oil packs help to reduce and regulate the inflammation in the abdomen, so that you can work towards that flat belly you are dreaming of.

3. Castor Oil Increases your MASTER Cleansing Agent – GLUTATHIONE

If you haven’t heard of glutathione, this is what you need to know. Glutathione is an incredible molecule that pulls and helps with elimination of most, if not all, toxic substances from the body including things like the dreaded heavy metals.

Glutathione is worth its weight in gold and it is priceless for a healthy body. The problem is that most of us are running on empty. We have used up our stores of glutathione because we have been bombarded with chemicals and pesticides of all types since the industrial revolution in the early 1900s.

Glutathione is also difficult to recycle naturally in our bodies and there are very few sources from our food. Some food sources are whey protein (which I don’t suggest because it is mucous-forming) or rooibos tea, which I personally love and always recommend drinking on cleanses. You can also take glutathione supplementally, via intravenous infusion or oral capsules. The latter of these isn’t necessarily the best absorbed and there is controversy about whether or not it is worth it to take glutathione orally.

Enter castor oil! A recent research study demonstrated that glutathione was increased in rat ocular lenses when they were placed in castor oil, greater than in the ocular lenses placed in actual glutathione9! Incredible.

We’ve known for eons that castor oil packs aided in cleansing and detoxification but we weren’t sure exactly why. This eludes to the benefits of castor oil far beyond what we comprehended. This mystical oil is still surprising us and I’d bet there is more to come.

4. Makes you Poo! By Stimulating Smooth Muscles of the Body

We all love a great poo. In fact there is nothing more pleasurable than poo, well perhaps a great orgasm! When we don’t poo frequently enough, we are recirculating in our bodies the junk that needs to come out. This builds our toxic load and predisposes us to problems like excess cholesterol, hormone imbalances and much more.

Castor oil stimulates smooth muscle contraction via the prostaglandin EP3 receptors of the body10. Smooth muscle is what the intestines and guts are composed of, as is the uterus. Working with castor oil packs stimulates these to move.

One caution: Do not use castor oil packs or castor oil while pregnant. It is unknown but it could possibly cause movement of the smooth muscle of the uterus, enough to terminate the pregnancy. Work with your knowledgeable practitioner on this one.

Cleanliness is next to godliness and keeping your bowels moving and regular keeps you happier, healthier and in tune with your body. Instead of using laxatives, put on your castor oil pack today! It’s proven to be just as effective and is a lot gentler on your system11.

5. Promotes a Balanced Microbiome, Happy Gut, and Biofilm Breakdown

Having a healthy microbiome has massive implications for your overall health. Benefits include balanced mood, good bowel movements, reduced abdominal pain including bloating and gas, reduced physical inflammation, improvement of auto-immune and hormonal problems, the list goes on and on. A healthy microbiome is the one major determinant of your overall health.

A very common issue for many people is overpopulation of bad gut bugs, or as I call them, “conbiotics”. They are con artists that take up residency in your gut and steal space from the good guys known as “probiotics”. Probiotics do great things for your body. They produce B vitamins and byproducts like butyrate which help to keep the gut really healthy. The conbiotics just wreak havoc. They can produce a protective layer called biofilm to keep them from being terminated. Biofilm can be so strong that it is almost impossible to kill off these conbiotics. If you are able to break down the biofilm then you have a much better chance of getting them out of your body and restoring the peace. Castor oil is one of very few natural substances that can break down this barrier, as well as chemical biofilm breakers like sodium hypochlorite12. The probiotics you are taking are actually going to work better and provide you with super health if you are able to get rid of biofilm in your gut. Wow, you save money and feel better faster.

Now that you know the benefits of practising a castor oil pack regularly, it just makes sense to do it. These are all things that many of us are spending thousands of dollars to achieve. Use the castor oil pack as a way to enhance all of the treatments, supplements and health tools that you are currently using. It’s your best next step to health.

As the Queen of the Thrones and of castor oil here are the most common questions I get about castor oil packs.

  1. How does this oil get through the skin? The active component of castor oil is ricinoleic acid. Castor oil is composed approximately of 75-85% of this fatty acid. It has a molecular weight of 298 daltons. In dermatological medicine there is what is called the 500 Dalton Rule. Substances that are below 500 daltons can permeate through the lower layer of the epidermis, which is the top layer of the skin. It can then go deeper, into the dermis, that contains the blood and lymphatic vessels. These are the superhighways of the body, transporting medicinal substances like castor oil into the body. Compression also helps to put tension on the skin, facilitating its deep penetration. So using the pack is a very important part of the treatment.
  2. Do you need to use heat? Heat is optional. Used as a modality in natural medicine, heat slows things down, so depending on your bowel function you can use it appropriately. If you go to the bathroom too much, add heat to slow things down. If you don’t go enough, let your own natural body heat do the job. If you have your period, use heat as it will help to relax the uterine spasms. Heat has been shown to only speed up the elimination of metabolites and not the rate of liver detoxification13.
  3. Should I use my castor oil packs during my period? Yes, absolutely! In fact, it will help with reduction of pain and cramping associated with your period. The concern was that the castor oil pack would make you bleed more. This is not the case, you will bleed what you have to bleed independent of the pack. The pack may speed up your period, but that could be of benefit if you’re off to a beach holiday!
  4. Castor oil packs are so messy, I don’t want to do them! You no longer have this excuse my friends. That’s exactly why I created the Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack, to make it a simple 2-step process instead of a 12 step ordeal. The Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack attaches onto your body for ease of use.
  5. How do I wash my Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack? You do not ever have to wash your pack, if you take care to only apply oil in the center of the pack away from the seams. If you do prefer to wash your pack when it becomes very saturated with oil, usually after 15-20 treatments, you may do so. Soak overnight in hot water with 4 tbsp. of baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. of clean, natural dish soap. In the morning wring it out and hand wash with the healthy dish soap. Place on the outside of an old tea towel that you don’t mind ruining and press out the castor oil. Continue to do this until the outside has very little to no oily residue.
  6. How often do I need to replace my Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack? Things don’t last forever, but in general, with daily usage your pack should last 3-4 months. For those who care for it well or use less frequently, longer.
  7. When is the best time to do the castor oil pack? There really is no best time, but it is best to do it DAILY! Before bed is ideal because the castor oil pack relaxes your body and promotes an amazing sleep.
  8. How long do I wear my castor oil pack for? Wear your castor oil pack for a minimum of 1 hour each day, or ideally overnight.
  9. What kind of material should I use for my castor oil pack? I recommend using organic cotton flannel for the side that touches your skin. Otherwise materials contain brominated flame retardants that are hormone14, nervous and immune system disrupting15 16. The Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack is made from organic cotton without flame retardants on the inside and a non-toxic barrier layer on the outside made from eco and health friendly poly-urethane (PUL).
  10. Why Should I buy my castor oil in a glass bottle and organic? Castor oil is a carrier substance as well as a healing agent. In a plastic bottle, castor oil will grab onto the chemicals in plastic and bring it into your body. All oils should be in a glass bottle if you are using them in or on your body. Organic is simply because it is produced cleaner and has had less exposure to chemicals and pesticides.
  11. How much castor oil do I use per treatment? Each treatment requires a new application of the oil. You always want to start fresh and reapply. Apply 2 tbsp of Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil in the center of the pack, then fold in half using either side to blot the oil around. Be cautious not to get it in the seams as there are holes and the oil will permeate the pack if you do.

Are you eager to learn more about this legendary oil? For a limited time, Dr. Marisol is offering her online course, Fit for a Queen, which is her comprehensive online program all about castor oil, for only $11 ($189 value). This course teaches Dr. Marisol’s personal and clinical experience with castor oil, the history of castor oil, conventional and natural medicinal uses, beauty applications and tons of tips and tricks to incorporate this healing oil into your daily life. You don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity! Click here to learn more about Fit for a Queen.

References:

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2 Rolls ET, O’Doherty J, Kringelbach ML, Francis S, Bowtell R, McGlone F. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

3 Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone F, Olausson H. Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12.

4 Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

5 Snoek SA, Verstege MI, Boeckxstaens GE, van den Wijngaard RM, de Jonge WJ The enteric nervous system as a regulator of intestinal epithelial barrier function in health and disease. Expert RevGastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Oct;4(5):637-51.

6 Keita AV, Söderholm JD. The intestinal barrier and its regulation by neuroimmune factors.Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Jul;22(7):718-33. Epub 2010 Apr 9.

7 Kraneveld AD, Rijnierse A, Nijkamp FP, Garssen J.Neuro-immune interactions in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome: future therapeutic targets. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):361-74. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

8 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8

9 Holm T1, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel L. Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

10 Tunaru S1, Althoff TF, Nüsing RM, Diener M, Offermanns S. Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5;109(23):9179-84. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109. Epub 2012 May 21.

11 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

12 Badaró MM1, Salles MM1, Leite VMF1, Arruda CNF1, Oliveira VC1, Nascimento CD1, Souza RF1, Paranhos HFO1, Silva-Lovato CH1. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222.

13 Huber R, Weisser S, Luedtke R. Effects of abdominal hot compresses on indocyanine green elimination–a randomized cross over study in healthy subjects. BMC Gastroenterol. 2007 Jul 10;7:27.

14 Ezechias M, Svobodova K, Cajthaml T. Hormonal activities of new brominated flame retardants. Chemosphere. 2012 Jan 9.

15 Miller MF, Chernyak SM, Domino SE, Batterman SA, Loch-Caruso Concentrations and speciation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in human amniotic fluid. R.Sci Total Environ. 2012 Jan 9.

16 Wang L, Zou W, Zhong Y, An J, Zhang X, Wu M, Yu Z. The hormesis effect of BDE-47 in HepG(2) cells and the potential molecular mechanism. Toxicol Lett. 2012 Jan 3;209(2):193-201.