National Hispanic Heritage Month

Ay chihuahua, arriba!!! It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month.  This is the month we celebrate the glory of our culture and the colourful life of living with Latin flair.

I am enormously proud of my heritage, also enormously proud of my here and now, coming from a mother who is Uruguayan and a father who’s Spanish, I grew up in a home that was full-on spicy, colorful and incredibly loud and passionate.

You see, Hispanics are passionate and loving by nature.  Every Hispanic I meet, I greet them as my hermana (sister) or hermano (brother), because hey, they are family!  We all come from the same roots.  Our conversations often sound like we are fighting but we are not, we are just so all-in, so involved, so emotional that our voices come out unable to be quieted.  We are full-on in everything that we do.  We are strong and proud souls.

Beyond the incredibleness of our culture, Latinos have had their fair share of struggles and challenges.  One that hits me very close to home is that within the Hispanic community, 21% have issues with digestion, IBS, constipation, or some kind of problem going to the bathroom.  This is by far the highest percentage as compared to caucasians at 14%, Asians 7% and the world average at 14%.

When I found out this statistic I was shocked but I can’t say I was surprised.  Our home was one constant conversation about going to the bathroom.  My mother would call me in to inspect her creation (it’s probably where my love for the examination of poo was instigated).  My mother was chronically constipated and always looking for things to make her “correr”, the Spanish word for run; meaning run to the bathroom.  My father on the other hand, was always looking to slow things down, he suffered from irritable bowel type diarrhea. 

Why does the Latino/Hispanic community tend to struggle with IBS, constipation and digestive problems more than their counterparts?  It could be the foods we are eating, the classic heavy starch diet with rice, beans, and corn (for those from Mexico and Central America), or the heavy meat diets of Argentina and Uruguay, but maybe that isn’t the reason at all.

What if it’s more about the fact that we are so passionate, so expressive, that we wear our emotions on our sleeves?  If digestion is how we are digesting our lives and emotions, is it not possible that because we are so emotive, and our digestive system is the emotionally sensitive system, (think gut feelings) that this is the true reason we have these problems?

Our emotions and how we feel about ourselves and our lives are expressed in how we go (or don’t go) to the bathroom.

Even though we deal with these problems, I’m so proud of the impact that Hispanics are having in this world, yours truly included.  And I want to highlight four fiery, fierce and fabulous women who have inspired my life and I know probably inspire yours, too.

#1: Jennifer Lopez

The movie star, singer, dancer and mogul.  Titan of the entertainment world, JLo came from a humble beginning in the Bronx.  Remember Jenny from the Block?  She struggled to get her first big break

because her body was, well, a little ‘too booty’.  Ironic, because now this is her well-known trademark and likely what helped to propel all of her multiple talents to the heights of all of her achievements. 

How did this happen?  When others are told they have a big butt, they get down on themselves and get it cut off.  Not Jenny from the Block, she owned it, loved it, accepted it and even though they said it was a problem she worked through it. 

Today she is the epitome of success, the siren of seduction and probably one of the women in Hollywood that I admire the most.  She knows who she is and what she wants out of her life, she is owning her throne.

#2 Yovana Mendoza

She may not be a household name quite yet, but this Mexican American instagram influencer is making waves in the self acceptance, self love and body confidence movement.  She has created her own stardom, by sharing her journey and empowering others to live a happy, healthy lifestyle.  All of the content she shares is in English and Spanish, to as to include both communities and languages.  Pretty amazing.

Recently her branding changed from Rawvana to Yovana.  She was a promoter of the vegan lifestyle, but was seen eating meat at a local establishment and was harassed over the internet.  The reality is she needed to change her diet for her health.  Some things work great for you and in certain seasons of life, and sometimes they don’t as your body changes and evolves.  She is reinventing herself and I am just blown away by her strength, authenticity and wisdom. 

I love that she preaches to be conscious of the signs thats your body is showing you (just like analyzing your stools like I love to talk about).  Way to represent your 1.2 million followers.  Own your throne baby!  Latina power!

#3 Jolene Brighten 

Brilliance is all I can say for this Latina.  She is the master of post-birth control syndrome, a condition that affects the majority of women who come off of the pill to some degree.  She knows hormones like nobody’s business.  Better than that, is her dedication and determination to how women’s health is cared for.   

Please see her book Beyond the Pill.  It’s an incredible read and very valuable information for every woman to know, especially those of us with young daughters who may consider taking birth control at some point in their life.

#4 Mariza Snyder

There is no one brighter.  Six time published author, speaker, and essential oil and hormone balance Queen.  Mariza’s smile lights up a room.  She makes it a regular habit to train 40,000-50,000 people in huge stadiums on how to balance their hormones with essential oils. 

She is the master of using essential oils as a vehicle to change the world. Her newest book, The Essential Oils Hormone Solution, is another must-read for women everywhere.  Her spicy and loving vibe is one that you’ll be attracted to for sure.

Jessica Alba, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Julio Iglesias, Salma Hayek, Cameron Dias. All Latinos that I look up to and there are so many more!

So we do this, “si se puede”, like the farm workers of America, it’s been ingrained in our DNA.  The will to be better, to fight through.  For me, this is where my passion for castor oil packs ignited.  I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my roots.  I worry not for Hispanics that have these digestive problems because I know they will own the struggle, and figure out a way to be grateful with the grind and get better.

So, let’s celebrate the incredible Hispanic heritage, that brings us chihuahuas, tacos, burritos, and Jane the Virgin!

Let’s own and celebrate it, and don’t forget to practice health!

Top 5 Things to Help You Poo When Traveling – Constipation and Travel, is it a Sign of Jet Lag?

Planes, trains, and automobiles. Why is it that when we travel, our guts go GAGA on us?! Not Lady Gaga, just out of the ordinary, unpredictable. Well, I guess when I put it that way, kind of like Lady Gaga! Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s the same dilemma. This blog is for you if you’ve experienced the following:

You sit on the toilet, hoping to clear out before you enjoy and explore your final destination. But to your dismay, your warming, delicious morning coffee that you hoped would unplug you failed to work. It normally does the job, so what gives?

Getting ready to enjoy an island paradise, business meeting or event, you slip into your bikini or business suit with a belly that feels like your 4 months pregnant, ok well maybe 5… You think to yourself, “Why do I always get so constipated when I travel?” 

You know about the lack of abundance of vegetables at the airport, in the airplane and the restaurants. Food is partly to blame. Maybe you’re not drinking enough water too, or you stayed up late and didn’t get a good night’s sleep. You can’t pinpoint the cause, all you know is you’re having problems and you’re not going.

When we’re displaced out of our natural environment and routine, our body temples can go haywire. Our systems need rhythms and routines, and these are dictated by cues in our environment. New environment equals new cues. These new cues are unnatural to you and can derange your day night cycle, known as circadian rhythm. One of the many results of this is constipation.

However, adopting the health practices below will help to balance your sleep, wake (and I’m adding) your POOP cycle. Did you really expect me not to add poop? You will “flow” through your work trip or holidays with a flat belly and be pooping like a champ! So you can have fun and enjoy your trip, feeling great and not feeling like sh*t!

Here you will learn my best tips on how to keep your healthy flow while traveling. You’ll learn how to improve jet lag and keep your rhythms in balance so you’re not suffering before, during or on the return home from your trip.

Changes in Your Environment that Cue your Body Balance

Whenever you go from one place to another, you are exposed to everything new and different. Exposures include new bacteria in the food and air, new foods, new sounds, new smells, new social interactions, the list goes on and on. Your sleep, wake, and poop cycle (it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) is cued by what you have in your environment. When it all changes it becomes a literal sh*t show and the functions of your body are thrown out of whack, not only your Number 2s.

Symptoms of Jet Lag – Ways Your Body Gets Thrown Off

My body gets thrown off a lot. I’m human and because I do a lot of travel for both business and pleasure, I know all too well the experience of jet lag. It actually comes in 2 phases for all travelers1. The initial symptoms are really more of a sensation of feeling disorientated with time, foggy brain, memory lapses, task performance isn’t the greatest and you have a strong feeling of fatigue, or what I call heaviness. It is often quite out of proportion to the amount of time traveled. The basic overall sensation is that you feel, well, “off”.

Later is when you start to feel the physical effects of jet lag and travel. Constipation and bowel changes are super common, digestion in general is off, your appetite may increase or decrease, restless nights predominant and insomnia is a theme. Some people may even experience more severe symptoms like headaches, migraines and vision changes. In this late phase you feel really, really “off”.

So What is to Blame for Changing our Rhythm?

The Cues in your Time Zone

External cues that influence what our bodies do are called Zeitgebers. I love this word, a good ‘ole German word. I love, love, love travelling to Germany! It basically describes the cues in our environments and bodies that dictate our functioning.

Zeitgebers include light, food, exercise and anything that stimulates our senses and nervous system. Common foodstuff that we take lightly are actually very strong Zeitgebers. Coffee, tea, chocolate and pop (I know, I sound like I’m from the Midwest!) are all stimulants that strongly dictate what our bodies do. Knowing this, we can use these to our advantage to reset ourselves. Stay tuned for more on this later. 

Look, it’s not a surprise to you. Every day you manipulate your time zone by waking up and having a cup of coffee, sitting in your bed, staring at your iPhone, eating and exercising at certain times, social interactions and more. All of these choices are impacting whether or not your body is functioning optimally.

We highly manipulate our natural rhythms in today’s society with our 24/7 lifestyle. All of our technology, handheld, and computer devices that we’re addicted to, shift work, and of course trans-meridian travel really challenge our bodies to keep their balance and circadian rhythms.

It’s said that these cues entrain our bodies into the natural rhythms to maintain balance. Ideally, these natural rhythms are driven by mother nature’s cues. I speak in depth about this in my upcoming book, Oh, Sh*t! which will be released later this year.

These cues are necessary for us to live well and for our digestive and regulatory systems to function. Hormones, immunity and the nervous system are so dependant on these cues to know what to do! Without them, we would be lost in time, literally.

The Best Ways to Deal with Jet Lag and the Constipation That Results

It is actually suggested that the best way to deal with time zone travel is to modify environmental cues before, during and after a flight. This includes light, food, coffee, tea, chocolate, physical and mental activity, alcohol, and social interactions. These all affect bodily rhythms significantly, which in turn affects our quality of life and the altering symptoms we get when we travel. Here’s what to do to make it better.

Crossing Timezones

When you travel, you could likely be changing timezones. I remember one month, I had traveled every weekend from Thursday to Monday, from the east coast to the west coast. What a ride. From Toronto, to Arizona, to San Diego, to Seattle, to Spokane. My husband remarked, “You should just stay there!” In hindsight that probably would have been best.

The result was I was feeling pretty messed up, even with practising all the right things. The reality is that changing time zones is a transient disruption of your natural sleep wake cycle which can take time to reset2. For me, this really hit me in my weak spot, my gut. Talk about an irritable bowel flare-up.

So it was up to me to get time zone savvy, and beat the stress that comes along with travel. Also, learning how to create an environment that is safe for me when I travel, to get me back into my healthy routine as quickly as possible. It’s not only the transient effect of jet lag, but if you’re traveling a lot like me, it can quickly age you. I definitely don’t want that, I know you don’t either. So here are my best tips and practices.

1. Get Time Zone Savvy – Connect to your Time Zone

Go barefoot if possible when you get to your location, or do like I do and wear your cowboy boots. Since cowboy boots are made with full leather (make sure yours aren’t plastic) they are grounding. They connect you to the earth. The barefoot will connect you to the polarity of the area, this is according to Chinese Medicine principles. I remember my teacher in school sharing this with us. I don’t know the true effectiveness of it, but do I care? No, because I figure anything that I can do to stack things in my favor is worth it! Plus, I love my cowboy boots!

2. Sleep Soundly

Sleep is our sanctuary of healing. We must do whatever possible for us to have an incredible, restful sleep, especially when traveling. Nothing but sleep and sex in your bed. Keep the room dark and cool, stick to your nightly routine.

Wear an Eye Mask

Before, during and after your travels, wear an eye mask to bed. Get into the habit of wearing it every night, it’s very good for you! An eye mask isn’t only for beauty but serves two purposes. It can become an excellent environmental cue to tell your body it’s time for bed. Plus, simply wearing an eye mask naturally increases your melatonin.

Melatonin has been shown to be excellent at improving jet lag and resetting sleep-wake rhythms3 4. If the eye mask is a very soft plush material it will also help with promoting the connection and love molecule, oxytocin5. How ‘bout them apples. Pretty easy to do and super beneficial, why wouldn’t you want to get your BEAUTY SLEEP on every night?

Castor Oil Packs to Balance Stress and Inflammation

 Finding yourself on the opposite side of the world can cause lots of stress hormone to pump through your body. The feeling of being unsettled isn’t nice. Travel with your castor oil pack! It will serve as another cue for a good night’s sleep, especially if you are used to practicing it nightly. Castor oil packs support the 5 Pillars of Feeling Great.

These are the foundations of health. Wear your castor oil pack an hour before bed and overnight. When it comes to sleep this is how it helps:

  • Calms your body down to prepare you for a good night’s sleep6 7.
  • Keeps your immune system strong, protecting you from other people’s colds8 9. During sleep is when your immune system is most active. 
  • Reduces inflammation10 and supports antioxidant status11 12 protecting you from stress and the exposure to radiation from flying. When you sleep, you are actively cleaning up your body. We need balanced-inflammation and high antioxidant status during this time.

If you don’t have your Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack yet, click here! And if you do, get yourself another one designated especially for travel! 

Dump the Digital or Get Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light from technology such as computers, handheld devices and LED light blocks our bodies’ natural ability to create melatonin. Research shows that it significantly affects sleep, making it harder to get to bed at a decent hour13, leaving you restless, tossing and turning and sleepless. Improper sleep has been linked to attention deficit, increased appetite, and mood derangement. Look, light is a very strong environmental cue for our body rhythms. When the sun goes down:

  • Wear your blue light blocking glasses to improve your sleep14
  • Stop using your technology, especially in bed – Your bed is for SLEEP and SEX only!

3. Water – Drink, Drink, Drink!

Do Not Let Yourself Get Dehydrated!

The more dehydrated you are, the more fatigued you will be. The airplane is the first place you risk getting dehydrated, plus the change in environment will affect you. The stewardesses are very friendly and have no problem giving you more water.

Don’t drink hotel water from the tap!!!! OMG, this makes me wanna cringe. I remember my first trip to Arizona. I didn’t realize that it’s a dessert. I was so thirsty, I felt like I couldn’t hydrate. I kept on buying bottled water from the hotel. I spent 150$ on WATER!!!! OMG, never again. Water keeps us in flow. It keeps our digestion right, it supports all functions of our system.

When you arrive at your destination, aim to go shopping and get yourself water. Some hotels and resorts include all the water, but when they don’t I buy myself 4 gallons of water for a 3-4 day stay. I make my morning teas in the coffee pots, boiling the water and drinking water all day during my travels.

Aim to not drink too much coffee, alcohol and other dehydrating drinks. An easy-to-do electrolyte drink is to take sparkling water, add salt and squeeze in a bunch of fresh lemon or lime. An electrolyte drink like this can help your tissues to better absorb water and keep you hydrated for longer. In Mexico they call this drink “SUERO”. Something that nurtures the body and helps us to keep the water in!

4. Food, Digestion, and Pooping

What to consume? To help avoid jet lag and constipation, nutrition plays an incredible role15.  Don’t be shy, you need your vegetables! I know it’s hard to find them in airports and restaurants, and the foods you typically eat while traveling are notorious for causing bloating, giving you a food hangover and making you constipated. You’re also being exposed to new bacteria in the foods that you eat and this can upset the gentle balance of your gut.

Hit Up the Local Health Food Store

To combat this, everywhere I go I stop at the local health food store. I buy various easy to eat veggies like celery, peppers, cucumbers, snap peas, baby carrots, apples, nut butter, and some nuts and seeds. This means I’ll get some good healthy fiber and roughage to get me through when I don’t have access to super produce. Clearly when you’re getting no fiber, no fresh nutrients, no functioning of your caboose! 

New places, new bacteria in your food that your body isn’t used to. This is another huge factor that can set off your gut of and create constipation. Make sure to do your CASTOR OIL PACK nightly as this helps to keep your gut bacteria in a good state 16 17 18. Taking a probiotic daily is also highly advisable.

Relax your Body Before you Eat

Do the Grateful Dung Dining Practice before you eat. This practice helps to calm down your system and your gut before you eat. This alone can really help with keeping you regular because the calming your nervous system before eating helps keep your digestion in check.

Don’t forget to CHEW your food!

This improves your digestion and pooping. With the excitement of being in a new place, we can forget to be mindful and just inhale our foods. Use your Grateful Dung Braceletand count the beads for the number of times you need to chew. This is just an easy way to remember to chew your food until it becomes a paste in your mouth, making it so much easier on your body to digest.

Keep your bowels moving19 with your castor oil pack done nightly. If you are super, super constipated (as in more than 4-5 days) then taking castor oil orally will have a stimulant laxative effect. This is a worst-case scenario solution. I remember the first time I took it orally, I was in South America and with the 15 hour flight, food, time and weather change, everything was off. It didn’t taste the greatest but it sure helped things to move! I took 1-3 tbsp to help things flow.

5. Exercise While you Travel

Exercise and movement is a wellknown cue to keep your sleep, wake & pooping cycles timed right. Movement makes you move, no two ways about it! Timing of your exercise is important to support your best circadian rhythms20. I prefer morning exercise to start your day off with good energy.

I know that very few of you take the time to exercise while on holidays or work trips. How do I know this? Because I’m not seeing anyone in the gym! Conference after conference, trip after trip, I see very few people in the gym. Frankly, I’m surprised. I just love exercise! It makes me feel good, keeps my sleep in check, and helps me poop! So I don’t get why more people aren’t doing it.

The Lazy Way to Exercise While Travelling

Less can be more! You don’t need to work out for an hour. I just get to the gym and do 10-15 minutes of intense exercise and a bit of stretching and that’s it! A little run and some weights. The purpose is just to get the blood flowing, your muscles moving and your diaphragm pumping. This pumping of the diaphragm helps to put pressure against the intestine, stimulating movement.

Exercise can be as easy as taking the staircase to your hotel room every time instead of the elevator. I always commit to that in order to just get a bit more motion in.

Bacteria is EVERYWHERE! Especially when you Travel

While traveling we are exposed to new bacteria everywhere. Tight spaces of airplanes and trains, conferences and amusement park lineups. You’ll hear people sniffling, sneezing and coughing. Never a good sign. Airplanes are like infection factories and the fact that so many people are in a small place augments the infection rate. Don’t be surprised if you land in your tropical paradise with the sniffles or you’re ready for your big presentation with a scratchy throat.

Infections that bug the upper membrane of the nasal cavity and throat affect your guts too. After all, our digestive tract runs from our gums to bums! It’s the same bacteria throughout our bodies, and when one part of the microbiome is affected, the whole microbiome is affected. We are exposed to new bacteria in every NEW environment we go into and it’s no surprise that gastrointestinal infections are common with travel21.

If you’re in the tropics, there’s a whole other level of angst about eating your vegetables. The worry exists of parasites or strange bacteria. It may be something as innocent as the washing of your vegetables with water that hasn’t been purified.

Parasites can very much keep you blocked up and constipated, and a gastrointestinal infection is a precursor to living with IBS. Women who are on antibiotics and under stress have the highest likelihood of being affected22. Hmm, sounds like most of us, doesn’t it?

It’s not Only about the Bacteria; Parasites are an Entirely Other Problem

Countries of the Caribbean, tropics, and India practice a weekly purgation in order to prevent parasites. This purgation is done with castor oil. “It was a Sunday practice, just a tbsp full of castor oil, down the hatch just like that. Sometimes it made you go fast and other times, just better”. I can’t tell you how many patients of mine have discussed this weekly cleansing Sunday practice with me.

It makes sense that the initial reaction of a parasitical infection is diarrhea. Sometimes our bodies are so out of tune, that instead of eliminating we get bunged up. This leaves the bacteria to procreate. The best way to reset is to eliminate properly. Stimulating it with castor oil is an excellent tool.

Protect your Body from the Bad Bugs

Watch the food you are eating, but don’t stay away from vegetables because you’re worried about the water that they are washed in or not. It’s safer to eat them slightly cooked or steamed – or ask for a stir fry. 

Drink bottled water and bottled beer. Stay away from drafts and fountain pops. Don’t use ice cubes unless you know they are filtered. Castor oil packs are a great addition on holidays to help support your digestion, supporting the good bacteria and preventing the bad ones. It helps prevent you from getting constipated. And if you do get constipated, taking a spoonful can help everything go down and out. The castor oil packs help your body to keep the bacterial mix in a healthy state.

Smell is a sign of bacteria and parasites in the bowl. So make sure to poop, peek, smell and perfume.

You are an unsuspecting victim each time you walk into the bathroom. Stools are made up of 25-54% bacteria23. When you flush, microbes stay in the air of the bathroom and deposit on the nearest surfaces. We know this because toothbrushes have different bacteria (including bowel bacteria!). Studies show that toothbrushes next to your toilet in the bathroom demonstrate E. Coli and Staph bacteria, different from those toothbrushes with no toilet24. So, when you walk in after another person dropping a log you are being exposed to their bacteria!

This is why I always spray Eau de Throne ™ before I play. The more you know, the harder it is to sit there and ignore it… as I relax to let one drop, I am being infected by other people’s strains of bacteria! So when I travel, as soon as I walk into a new washroom I spray Eau de Throne ™  before I go, and after I poop too, to protect the next unsuspecting victim! Eau de Throne ™ is the only way to go.

Clearly, you can see how many factors need to be addressed to keep that oh-so-important sleep, wake and poop cycle working in your favor. The easiest way is always to be prepared with the tools that can PREVENT a problem.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Benjamin Franklin

Pooping is always number one! Remember, your stools got a bad rap being known as #2, when they are the #1 product that our bodies produce. When you’re traveling the world, you want to make sure everything is working well in your production facility so that you can keep up to all the adventure!

Practice these tips and also try to make them a part of your daily lifestyle. Why not feel great all the time?! One of the best ways to set yourself up with everything you need to do this is The Queen Kit. It contains everything you need while traveling and for daily life to keep it all together.

It is a collection of all of the awesome tools we’ve talked about in this article to elevate your health, supercharge your travels, and experience excellence in your life! When you are empowered you can do anything! Buy The Queen Kit now.

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.

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18  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.

19  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.

20 Lewis P1, Korf HW2, Kuffer L1, Groß JV1, Erren TC1. Exercise time cues (zeitgebers) for human circadian systems can foster health and improve performance: a systematic review. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2018 Dec 5;4(1):e000443. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2018-000443. eCollection 2018.

21  Reilly T1, Waterhouse J, Burke LM, Alonso JM; International Association of Athletics Federations. Nutrition for travel.J Sports Sci. 2007;25 Suppl 1:S125-34.

22 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-analysis. Gastroenterology. 2017 Apr; 152(5): 1042–1054.e1.Published online 2017 Jan 6. doi10.1053/j.gastro.2016.12.039PMID: 28069350

23  The Characterization of Feces and Urine: A C. Rose, a A. Parker, a , * B. Jefferson, a and E. Cartmell a Review of the Literature to Inform Advanced Treatment Technology Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Sep 2; 45(17): 1827–1879.Published online 2015 May 29. doi10.1080/10643389.2014.1000761PMID: 26246784

24 Karibasappa GN1, Nagesh L, Sujatha BK. Assessment of microbial contamination of toothbrush head: an in vitro study. Indian J Dent Res. 2011 Jan-Feb;22(1):2-5. doi: 10.4103/0970-9290.79965.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Microbiome | Part 2 | Dr. Marisol

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Last week in my blog post,  Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Microbiome | Part 1, we learned about the theories of Pasteur and Bernard, germ theory vs. terrain theory. And, contrary to popular belief in western medicine, it seems that the terrain is the most important aspect when managing the bug.

Probiotic Supplements – Do they Make Sense?

Let me put it in two clear examples for you. You’re told to take probiotics. One pill a day that has 50 billion bacteria. Does it really make sense that this is going to compensate for the 100 trillion bacteria that you have in your intestine? One pill. Wow, must be some kind of magical mystical pill.

What happens when you stop taking it or change your diet or lifestyle? You’re going to have to take way more probiotics if your lifestyle and environment becomes sicker, or way less if your lifestyle and environment becomes healthier. Capiche? Do you see why addressing the body as a whole makes way more sense?

Fecal Transplants – Do they Make Sense?

What about the big buzz word these days, fecal transplants. They are probably more of a buzz because of their inherent shock factor.

They make sense for the moment if you’re willing to be a candidate to put someone else’s poo into your body. In lab studies, transplanting an IBS patient’s stools into healthy mice actually gave the mice unhealthy metabolic profiles, different from the healthy stools1.

However, I caution… Again, you can transplant the stools, but if your lifestyle and environment, your millieu changes, due to stress or the other factors, what happens is your microbiome will change too. Back to the beginning, no further ahead, only a little bit more full of shit (LOL!).

It’s so simple it hurts my head. I hope it’s hurting yours (not because I want to inflict pain, but I want your eyes to open!)

IBS as a Functional Disorder

In addition to all of this, irritable bowel syndrome is a FUNCTIONAL disturbance of the digestive tract. Does it not then beg for treatment that is functional in form, hence a SYSTEMS biology approach, and not one that reduces it down simply to the microbiome2?

The point of this whole blog is this….

IT’S ABOUT LOOKING AT THE BIG AND THE SMALL, SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Because this is the natural logic in our living system. Some systems are grand and complex, like our hormonal regulatory system, and other are less complex and small, like a bacterium. But the reality is that because they all exist together, they must all work together.

The issue for Bernard was that his workings appreciated that we lived as a whole of our systems, and that physiological phenomena always seemed to find balance with highly defined set points. So now I’m encouraging you to think of the whole and not the parts in isolation when you’re considering what to do about your irritable bowel.

What would a systems/whole approach entail?

1. Get the Junk Out – Don’t Let It Pile Up

Terrain is, in effect, how we keep our bodies clean from the waste that perturbs its natural function. Think of it like this. If you kept the garbage piling up in your house, instead of packaging it and taking it to the curb, eventually you wouldn’t be able to get into your house to do the things that you need to. The body is no different. Whether the garbage comes from the byproducts of the microbiome, your own metabolism or the food that you eat, at the end of the day it’s all garbage.

Another analogy that I just love is thinking of the fish tank. A fish, in essence, swims in its own filth unless you clean out the tank. Think of the fish like one of your cells. It spits out, pisses and poops out what it doesn’t need into the water. If your body, or the fish tank, is never cleaned, you get scum build up. The scum that makes the glass cloudy and eventually makes it difficult for the fish, a.k.a. the cell, to survive. This is a good way to understand “le millieu liquide as Bernard understood it.

The focus has shifted from keeping up on housekeeping rather than having a war on the virus. The premise is a strong system that is free of debris. Its “vital force” is intact and it is able to keep the balance between the good and the bad3.

2. Nurture It Like you Would a Garden

I look at it as if our body is a garden. We must feed it, give it water and light, sing to it, make it joyous, reduce the stress, try to avoid natural disasters and natural prey.

As any farmer will tell you, and I have had this conversation with many of my patients that are farmers… “You reap what you sow. If you put in good, you get out good, and more importantly, good takes time.”

We are not looking at dropping a nuke and killing off all the bugs, rather we are willing to put in the time day to day, to get good results. Farmers very much resonate with natural medicine and systems biology because they live it on a daily basis in their work, so it’s so very easy to extend it into their lives.

Our #1 Product to Help with Understanding what our Body is Saying

To help you figure out what the problem is, you fortunately have something very close at your disposable, a totally free assessment. Your stools are one of the best ways to understand what is going on inside your body.

Poop is classically known in our language as #2, but I firmly believe that it was mislabeled and should be called #1, as it is the most important product we produce. It gives us real-time knowledge about what is going on in our bodies. As long as we learn to poop, peek and then assess, we’ve got it all covered.

Start the journey to learn about your poo here

Our stools are the window into our digestion, absorption, and elimination. They show vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal, immune, and nervous system problems. They suggest inflammation, food sensitivities, excess mucus in the body. They are basically the owner’s manual to your health… If you know how to read them. 

Dr. Marisol - Digestive Detective

Poo comes in all shapes and forms and sizes, and that is exactly how we like it because that’s how it is used as a guide to your body’s health. Whether it’s a cow plop or an Oktoberfest sausage… whether it sinks or floats… whether or not it smells like rotten eggs… They’re all key indications to the state of our health.

Download my free guide now and learn how to read your body

Environments Have Timing, so Does your Poo

Another majorly important factor is timing. All systems have timing. With your stools, it’s incredibly important for them to work well and for you to track how often and when you go. The ideal is a 24-hour cycle. A longer stool timing is linked to increased allergy and food sensitivity4, as one example, but there is much more it is linked to.

Timing is everything. Even your microbiome is doing different things depending on the clues in your environment5, following the day and night cycle, or circadian rhythm. So it makes sense that when you’re working on your systems, or your terrain, to start with the most important cycle to optimize.

Change your Terrain – Fix your Irritable Bowel

So now, what are you thinking? Do you still want to target the microbiome? I doubt it! I think now you understand that you must fix the environment and the rest will follow (there are a few exceptions to this rule, so always make sure that you check with your health care provider for what is right for you).

Night Practice for Irritable Bowel Terrain Treatment

My most important medicines for the terrain are the oldest therapies of them all. Likely because they had their roots long ago when people were in tune with these vitalistic principles.

Nightly Restorative Sleep Practice

Sleep is the most important part of our day. So like I do with all of my patients, we start here. We do the majority of our house-work while we’re sleeping, unbeknownst to you… As long as you get a deep and regenerative sleep. Even the microbiome potentially follows the natural day and night cycles6!

If you were like me, when I was in the stormy season of my irritable bowel, I couldn’t sleep for the life of me. Because of this, I was a mess emotionally and my WHOLE life felt like a mess, a hot mess. One of the top complaints made by irritable bowel syndrome sufferers is fatigue. And this is no surprise because if your body is confused with its hormones, nutrient deficiencies and microbiome mayhem, how can you get a good night sleep?

These are the most important tips:

  • Cool your room 
  • Complete darkness
  • Your bed is for sex and sleep only – try having sex before sleep that’ll help you doze off into never, never land
  • Don’t eat for at least 2 hours before bed 
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages past 3 pm (coffee, tea, green tea, pop, energy drinks) 
  • Alcohol – don’t over do it, it’ll wake you 
  • Create a routine every night, the same thing 
  • Journal for one page, write down what you need to do tomorrow and 3 things that you are grateful for
  • Wear an eye mask – this helps to naturally promote melatonin7 which does wonders for your sleep. Get your Beauty Sleep Kit Here
  • Use your castor oil pack, see below:

Castor Oil Packs – A Legendary Terrain Treatment

Castor oil packs deserve special mention. So many of us go to bed stressed out and worried about the next day. So we tumble, toss and turn, and do nothing but hyper worry about the day we just had and what’s to come.

When you place a castor oil pack on your body it immediately switches your system into the relaxed state. Ah, zen time for me. So you can sleep and heal and reap the benefits.

On top of it, there are so many wonderful actions of the pack that help your body to do the clean up during the night. They help to:

  1. Reduce inflammation and improve the alkalinity of your body8 9
  2. Enhance antioxidants like glutathione that help your body to cleanse10
  3. Move the bowels – typically the next morning you’re happy to let go of a load!11 12 
  4. Breakdown biofilm – a barrier created by the bad bugs of the microbiome. Getting rid of this gunk allows you to heal your gut 13 14
  5. Don’t forget they help you to relax15 16 so you can sleep!

Your sleep will be regenerative, healthy, fulfilling, and satisfying. You’ll be ready to take on your day. Most importantly, you will have done the important step of helping to reset your terrain while you sleep.

NEXT STEPS

My hope is that you start by looking at what your poo is saying about you and that you begin to address the ever-important sleep function of your body. I love the saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness”, and starting these practices are the very first steps to getting your body in a better, healthier, and cleaner state. 

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.

1 De Palma G1, Lynch MD2, Lu J1, Dang VT3, Deng Y1, Jury J1, Umeh G1, Miranda PM1, Pigrau Pastor M1, Sidani S1, Pinto-Sanchez MI1, Philip V1, McLean PG4, Hagelsieb MG5, Surette MG1, Bergonzelli GE4, Verdu EF1, Britz-McKibbin P3, Neufeld JD2, Collins SM1, Bercik P6. Transplantation of fecal microbiota from patients with irritable bowel syndrome alters gut function and behavior in recipient mice. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Mar 1;9(379). pii: eaaf6397. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf6397.

2 Şimşek I1. Irritable bowel syndrome and other functional gastrointestinal disorders. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 Aug;45 Suppl:S86-8. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31821fbd6f.

3 Normandin S1. Claude Bernard and an introduction to the study of experimental medicine: “physical vitalism,” dialectic, and epistemology.  J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2007 Oct;62(4):495-528. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

4 Pali-Schöll I1,2, Untersmayr E3, Klems M4, Jensen-Jarolim E5,6. The Effect of Digestion and Digestibility on Allergenicity of Food. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 21;10(9). pii: E1129. doi: 10.3390/nu10091129.

5 Nobs SP1, Tuganbaev T1, Elinav E2,3. Microbiome diurnal rhythmicity and its impact on host physiology and disease risk.EMBO Rep. 2019 Mar 15. pii: e47129. doi: 10.15252/embr.201847129. [Epub ahead of print]

6 Liang X1, FitzGerald GA2. Timing the Microbes: The Circadian Rhythm of the Gut Microbiome. J Biol Rhythms. 2017 Dec;32(6):505-515. doi: 10.1177/0748730417729066. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

7 Hu RF1, Jiang XY, Chen J, Zeng Z, Chen XY, Li Y, Huining X, Evans DJ. Non-pharmacological interventions for sleep promotion in the intensive care unit. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Oct 6;(10):CD008808. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008808.pub2.

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

10  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.

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  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

13  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.

14  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.

15  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.

16  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) 

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