Irritable Bowel Syndrome and The Microbiome | Part 1

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and The Microbiome | Part 1

The microbiome is the HOT topic in medicine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But what does this mean to you? Is it the key to alleviating your IBS? I suggest our fascination with the bugs in our guts, is a situation of history repeating itself and may lead patients and practitioners down a slippery slope of chasing the unseeable bug. There is a way to look at what is happening to you, not from the bug perspective but from one that empowers you and helps you transform into the life you’re meant to live. Read below and get your gut-reset on! 

What is the Microbiome?

Our bodies are made up of 10 trillion cells, and inside our gut we house 100 trillion foreign microbes that take up residence right next to our most important immune warehouse and the organ system that gives us life through digestion, absorption, and elimination1.

What Does the Microbiome Do? The Good

These microbes of various origins play important key roles in processing metabolites from drugs and foods, metabolites that our body secretes and they create their own metabolites that, in general, have beneficial effects on our bodies. They can supply us with short chain fatty acids like Butyrate, well known for its healing of the gut2

What Does the Microbiome Do? The Bad

Due to our lifestyle choices and exposures, sometimes this hub of so called ‘health’ as claimed by the researchers, works against us instead of for us. As in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, where the balance of beneficial bugs is outweighed by their disease-promoting counterparts. Researchers elucidate to the microbiome being the UNIFYING aspect of the promotion of irritable bowel syndrome3. I beg to differ, it is JUST ONE of the factors of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Probiotics – The Beneficial Bugs – The Good Guys

For simplicity sake, let’s call the good guys probiotics, since many of you are familiar with the product you buy to give your body good bugs. In reality, the researchers call the good guys commensal bacteria. These guys help us immensely, they are bacteria of different strains that help our bodies by making B vitamins and other amazing substances to keep our guts good4

Conbiotics – The Disease Promoting Bugs – The Bad Guys

The not-so-nice ones, I call conbiotics™. I coined this term because my understanding is that they act much like con artists in our bodies. They take up residence in places that are troubled, because they like to cause trouble too. Like attracts like. Usually it’s in a disturbed digestive tract, preferring environments that are filled with inflammation, histamine, oxalates, heavy metals and other toxins like poop sitting in our intestine too long.

They are typically present with food sensitivities, and the ultimate villain of them all a dis-stressed gut. A great example of this is after you take antibiotics. They kill both good and bad bacteria, but makes the intestine hospitable to conbiotics5

The Environment Decides who Lives There

So this shows us that the residents of the gut are dependent on the circumstances that are going on in our bodies. They are affected by our emotional wellbeing or lack thereof, our food choices, what drugs we take, our system’s ability to digest, absorb and eliminate and much, much more. 

WHY is our Health Placed in the Hands of Bacteria?

So what I don’t understand then, is why do we give our power away to the bug? Why don’t we own that it is us that may be off, us that isn’t doing the things that promote health and because of that the bugs that are growing are bad causing things to go awry within. These bad bugs going hay wire is simply in response to our bodies aiming to seek balance, not the other way around, where they give us balance. 

If we seriously own it, that the environment of our gut is caused by us, we can take actions to truly do something about it. And not allow history to repeat itself. 

Louis Pasteur

Portrait of Louis Pasteur

You may or may not be familiar with Louis Pasteur. He was a French scientist and the father of the germ theory6, also considered the father of immunology7. His entire life, delved first into the crystallization of wine, to fermentation processes, to development of the bug theory and finally vaccines. His belief and scientific perspective held central the idea that it was the bug that caused all disease. He was successful in promoting the message because he was a publicly well seen figure. 

Claude Bernard

At the same time another more meek French scientist was studying parallel to Pasteur. His deductions were different. Claude Bernard came to realize that it wasn’t the bug but the environment of the body, as he called it “the liquid millieu internal” , also commonly referred to as the terrain, that makes it hospital for the bug to survive. Bugs and germs are smart as well, they go where their survival is guaranteed and where they can multiply. It is best for them to multiply in unhealthy areas. Where the ENVIRONMENT SUPPORTS THEIR HEALTH!!!!! How ironic.

Environment that Supports Health 

Portrait of Claude Bernard

Because Bernard’s study of the human system physiology was quite impressive, he was well known for his animal experiments on the gut and intestine8. His message wasn’t visible because it is the phenomenon of a living creature. This is the part, in effect, that we really truly can’t do studies on. It definitely isn’t as easily visible through a microscope as Pasteur’s work was. 

Pasteur was also much more charismatic and simply more of a socialite that knew how to promote his message. Claude Bernard’s message got lost and didn’t make it to the forefront of scientific thought of the time. The environment that supports health died, and the bug won.

H. Pylori Infection from a Germ Theory Perspective

Pasteurs theories became embedded in the modern scientific thought of the day, and become the norm, even today. H. Pylori is one example of a bug well known to be the “cause” of peptic ulcers9, which according to the germ theory makes sense. In our common language we all talk about catching a cold, a virus, or a bacterial infection. Microbes and bacteria are easy to see under a microscope and because of that it’s very easy to believe it is true. 

H. Pylori Infection from a System Biology, Millieu Perspective

Had Bernard lived to see the H. Pylori situation, he would have explained it differently. That because of an acidic millieu, the stomach acid in the digestive tract doesn’t function optimally, therefore allowing for an infection of H.Pylori to set in. You see, it isn’t the bug that caused the ulcer, it was the imbalance in the physiology that allowed the infection to occur.

Why the Germ Theory Won – History Repeating Itself

Let’s face it, it’a a lot easier to blame a bug, than to trace back through the steps of the physiology to figure out why the infection happened in the first place. We are always looking for the easy button, but in health and sciences, unfortunately it’s not the easy way that prevails. That’s a recipe to be chasing after a bug for your entire life, never getting anywhere and always suffering. Isn’t the definition of Hell repeating the same thing over and over again? You can choose that path if you want, but I decided a long time ago it wasn’t the path that made sense to me. 

Had Bernard got his way, we would be singing a very different tune. One of understanding how the body works, of tuning in to the signs and taking responsibility for ones health. Pasteur just put the blame on the bug and promoted that until his death.

Pasteur on his Death Bed Recants – It’s Not the Germ, It’s the Terrain, Bernard was Right

On his death bed, Pasteur was said to have had an epiphany. He realized that all along Bernard was RIGHT! So he recanted, history tells us his words were “Bernard was right, it’s not the bug, it’s the terrain!” 

By then it was too late, the wheels were deeply ingrained in thought of the time that it was all about the germ theory and there was no going back. The sequence of events following that led us to where we are today, bringing the bug back into the forefront of science. Blaming the bug, (well now its bugs because of the 100 trillions of bugs in the microbiome) for everything bad that happens with our health.

You Know What’s Right, Just Listen to your Body

I do not want you to recant on your death bed, or have regrets that you should have headed the warning signs. That internally you knew that it couldn’t be only about the bug. I remember, the gut punch I got when I first heard about addressing the balance of the systems and the terrain, searching for homeostasis, instead of the bug. A light bulb so big shone in front of my eyes, I knew inherently it was the way to go with health.  

I’m not saying here if you need an antibiotic for an infection not to take it. By no means! What I’m saying is to look at your body as a whole, there will be times you need that antibiotic and you better take it! There is no bad medicine, just a bad time and a place for it. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week where we talk probiotics, fecal transplants and how to reset your terrain for healthy bugs!

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 Chen CC1,2,3, Chen YN1,2,3, Liou JM1,2, Wu MS1,2; Taiwan Gastrointestinal Disease and Helicobacter Consortium. From germ theory to germ therapy. Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2019 Feb;35(2):73-82. doi: 10.1002/kjm2.12011.

2 Wuwen Feng,1 Hui Ao,2 and Cheng Peng1,3,* Gut Microbiota, Short-Chain Fatty Acids, and Herbal Medicines  Front Pharmacol. 2018; 9: 1354.PMID: 30532706

3  Yogesh Bhattarai,1,2 David A. Muniz Pedrogo,1,2 and Purna C. Kashyap1,2 Irritable bowel syndrome: a gut microbiota-related disorder? Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2017 Jan 1; 312(1): G52–G62PMID: 27881403

4 LeBlanc JG1, Chain F2, Martín R2, Bermúdez-Humarán LG2, Courau S3, Langella P4. Beneficial effects on host energy metabolism of short-chain fatty acids and vitamins produced by commensal and probiotic bacteria. Microb Cell Fact. 2017 May 8;16(1):79. doi: 10.1186/s12934-017-0691-z.

5 Blaser MJ1. Antibiotic use and its consequences for the normal microbiome. Science. 2016 Apr 29;352(6285):544-5. doi: 10.1126/science.aad9358.

6 Berche P1. Louis Pasteur, from crystals of life to vaccination. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2012 Oct;18 Suppl 5:1-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2012.03945.x. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

7  Smith KA. Louis pasteur, the father of immunology?. Front Immunol. 2012;3:68. Published 2012 Apr 10. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2012.00068

8  Noble D1. Claude Bernard, the first systems biologist, and the future of physiology. Exp Physiol. 2008 Jan;93(1):16-26. Epub 2007 Oct 19.

9 Borges SS1, Ramos AFPL1, Moraes Filho AV2, Braga CADSB1,3, Carneiro LC3, Barbosa MS1,3. PREVALENCE OF HELICOBACTER PYLORI INFECTION IN DYSPEPTIC PATIENTS AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH CLINICAL RISK FACTORS FOR DEVELOPING GASTRIC ADENOCARCINOMA. Arq Gastroenterol. 2019 Mar 18. pii: S0004-28032019005001103. doi: 10.1590/S0004-2803.201900000-03. [Epub ahead of print]


Food and Digestion in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, It Takes Two to Tango

Food and Digestion in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, It Takes Two to Tango

When you’re living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food is your foe. You’re pretty sure something in that ___________ (insert food you just ate here), left you feeling not so right. Worse, it made you look like you’re 7 months pregnant, and you never thought that you would have kids. 

So what is the deal, you hear of specific diets that are great and helpful, but do they work for everybody? What is right for you? I’ve lived with IBS my entire life and I’ve helped myself and thousands of my patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) navigate the food conundrum successfully, so they can live their lives being the legends that they are. I can help you too. Find out the food rules here. 

Food is Foundational to Your Health 

We all know that we cannot live without food. Sure, we could survive for a while but eventually we just wouldn’t have enough gas in our systems to keep things going. 

Food is the foundation of our lives, it nourishes our body mind and soul. It’s so sad that it is working against us and causing our symptoms. Or is it? 

Food as the Cause of your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms

I know that with IBS sometimes you wish that you could just live without eating, cause you’re positive that the burger you ate is what is giving you all your symptoms and making you feel, well, like crap. You’re bloated, you can’t poo or you poo too much, you’re gassy, crampy, you have pain. 

It is just not ideal. What if I told you that it wasn’t so much about the food you are eating, but more about the way that your body is digesting. 

Freedom in your Food Choices 

I love the saying, “It takes two to tango” and this is absolutely the truth in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Sure, you eat the food, and sure, you might not always make the right choices. A little too much pasta here, a little pizza there and oh – that cheesecake. These are definitely not the right combinations for you, but why aren’t you entitled to indulge a little bit too? Otherwise life feels like a prison, and when you EAT HEALTHY FOOD you still get symptoms. So it might not necessarily be about the freedom to choose between good and bad foods.

Healthy Food that Makes your IBS Worse

For me, as a naturopathic doctor student dealing with IBS, I was blown away by my limited food choices. I undertook several so called “healthy”, “gut healing” diets with hope in my heart that I would be able to overcome my predicament. I was really getting exhausted by my symptoms and worse, embarrassed and overwhelmed. It was too much to handle and my IBS was literally becoming a full time job with lots of unpaid overtime. 

The Healthy Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diets Didn’t Work 

Diet after diet, the healthier I was supposed to get, didn’t happen. Actually, I felt worse and worse. My naturopathic doctors would say, “Don’t worry, push through it’s just a healing crisis” otherwise known as a Herxheimer Reaction. This is a reaction to healthy healing products or diets and is contributed to die off of bad bacteria in your body. It basically makes your symptoms worse and worse before they get better, and can be due to your inability to be able to clear the die off. All disclaimers aside, in many cases it’s true, but when you keep on getting worse and worse and the healing crises never ends, there is a big problem. 

Your Irritable Mind Goes to the Worst Case Scenario 

Here I was trying to get better desperately, but I was just feeling worse. I really started to question if it was really IBS that I had or something much more menacing, scary, unspeakable. The Big C. Yup, Cancer. I was petrified and horrified and worried that if I did have the C word, and I didn’t get better sooner, I was a goner. 

Can Healthy Food Irritate an Irritable Bowel? 

Luckily that was the work of a highly active imagination, trying to understand why I wasn’t responding to the diets. It’s that the healthy food in the diets was healthy, yes, but what I didn’t know was that maybe those healthy foods just weren’t healthy for me. ‘Cause I’m me and I’m different (headcase and all, you hear me!) 

It’s at that point I got fed up and started looked for answers in my food. I asked my naturopathic doctor to test my food allergies. 

Food Sensitivity (Not Allergy) Testing Solution 

We tested and I was in awe with the results. I was sensitive to all the healthy foods, namely rice, almonds, kale, broccoli, turmeric and dairy (this last one I don’t really consider healthy but I wanted to list it because it was my sensitivity). I was blown away, also devastated that the other 5 naturopaths I had seen hadn’t recommended for me to do this invaluable test. It could have saved me so much pain. 

That day for me was like the sun came out from behind the clouds, the fog lifted and all I could hear in my head were two songs. Hallelujah and I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I knew what was wrong with my food! 

Is Food Sensitivity Research Valid? 

But alas, thank God, for it was because of this experience that I am adamant with my patients about requesting them to test their food sensitivities. Many complain that the research may not be 100% valid1, but to me it is beneficial enough. It’s telling us that certain foods are causing inflammation and immune reactions in our bodies2 3.

For me that’s good enough proof and it’s important to do because those are two main areas that mess up our bodies as we are trying to heal. In effect, it’s a relatively harmless way (you just need to get poked and have a few vials of blood drawn) that we can get some good clues that prevent so much suffering. 

Here’s a link to a lab that I like and trust to test food allergies, click here.

First Steps after Receiving my Food Sensitivity Results 

So I proceeded to take those foods out of my diet, and my diet looked drastically different from other sufferers of IBS. It’s then that I realized you REALLY, REALLY need to figure out a plan that is individual to you. Did my symptoms drastically all go away? No not really, I definitely saw improvement but I really wasn’t out of the weeds yet. I had some more clearing and detective work to do. 

Food isn’t the Only Culprit, Say Hello to your Digestion

Food – meet digestion – you two have to work together now. Come on, play nice. Food choices do matter but it’s not the only thing. For some reason we blame everything that comes from the outside. It’s the bacteria, the food, instead of realizing that we have a role to play in this too. Where I was missing the mark was in my digestion.

My digestion wasn’t working well, I hesitate to even say it was working at all. Digestion is much more than how we digest our food, it’s also how we digest life, and at that point I sure wasn’t digesting food or life well at all. 

What if it is simply that we are lacking the ability to properly DIGEST the foods we eat? Nibble on that my friends. 

The Other Side of Food: Digestion in Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

Digestion, you see, is the other side of the coin. The milk with my cookie, the pie in my eye. You get the point. Even if you have figured out which foods you’re sensitive to and are making you not well, you also have to figure out what could be up with your digestion, or not up at all. 

My Digestion is a Disaster 

Digestion is gentle, like a child that needs to be nurtured. Like a child, it can also have tantrums and those tantrums can be extremely hard to get out of. It is also highly responsive to a variety of different stimuluses that can shut it down:

  1. Stress4 – Emotional, mental, or physical, digestion doesn’t care and reacts negatively to each type of stress the same 
  2. Acidity and Inflammation – Tightly regulated enzymes function at a certain pH and irritation to mucous membranes via inflammation equals loss  
  3. Unhealthy Microbiome – Gut bacteria will switch from carbohydrate fermentation to protein catabolism the longer that it stays in your body
  4. Back Up of Stools – The longer stools stay in, the higher the risk of sensitivity and allergy
  5. Lack of Antioxidants – Antioxidants are needed to protect the gentle mucosa of the digestive tract. Faster transit time creates amazing molecules that heal the lining of digestive tract. 

1. Stress as a Major Factor in Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

Stress has got a bad wrap but unfortunately, stress, you deserve it! Sorry not sorry! With irritable bowel, studies show that we have a change in cortisol (A.K.A. the stress hormone) that pumps out of our systems. It is significantly increased in the morning and drops in the evening5. This is also seen with people who don’t have IBS but have a significant amount of stress and functional dyspepsia, meaning problems with digestion in their stomach. This elevation of cortisol increases your risk for infections like H.Pylori, the culprit in stomach ulcer conditions6

Fortunately our circadian day/night cycle observes the same rhythm as healthy subjects, this is a big win that actually keeps us balanced. 

Increased Stress Hormone Cortisol in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

So big deal! I have more stress hormone in the morning than most. Well it’s actually a huge deal when you’re stressed and the soup of our hormones and neurotransmitters is not in optimum balance. It sets up your body and more importantly, your gut and digestion to be out of balance too. 

In rat models, with forced mother separation to mimic a stressful situation, changes were noted in the microbiome as well as the motility of the digestive tract7. In addition, scientists have been tracking the oral digestive enzyme, salivary alpha-amylase and Immunoglobulin A (only found in the digestive tract8) because these could serve as an excellent biomarker or test for stress.

It has been noted that when cortisol is elevated there is an increase in this digestive enzyme that breaks down sugar, to help you get quick energy to deal with the stressor9. We’ve know for years that there are alterations to how you digest with stress and this is a huge aspect of IBS10

Is Stress the Cause of my Leaky Gut? 

In fact, many may label Irritable Bowel Syndrome as a disorder of your gut-brain axis, causing symptoms of pain in the abdomen but also affecting motility and how food is digested and moved through your system11. Under stress and elevations of stress hormone, your intestinal membrane is also unhealthy and lacks integrity. A popularized term used to describe this is “LEAKY GUT”. It’s obvious that if your intestinal wall is full of holes, digestion isn’t going to be in its best state. 

So the take home is we have to relax and adopt practices and strategies that will reduce our cortisol surges. To fix this, I practice my castor oil pack at night, it works not only to reduce the pain I may be experiencing, but castor oil packs also help to move your system into the relaxed state, therefore decreasing your stress hormone and response. 

They do this because of the touch on the skin of the actual pack component. The soft fabric stimulates receptors in the skin and transmits a message to the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system, the one involved in rest and digest functions of the body and gives you a sensation of calm. In fact, so well that the touch of soft12 organic cotton sherpa stimulates the limbic part of your brain, the area in charge of emotion that produces feel-good satisfaction hormones like dopamine13. It can mimic the feeling you get when you having an amazing, satisfying, fatty meal. Wow!

Wait there’s more! This same touch, like the touch of the castor oil pack, has recently been shown to elicit the hormone oxytocin14, the love and connection hormone that is high after sex, but highest when giving birth. That is just incredible because we lack these hormones in our systems because many of us are not feeling the love. This is one thing that you can do for YOURSELF daily to help you get in the LOVE. 

What is a Castor Oil Pack?

A castor oil pack is a legendary practice used since ancient times. They are popular in the medical system (more so in the early 1900s), midwives and naturopathic and functional medicine practices. The pack is as easy as applying oil to a compress and placing it on your body, under your right ribcage for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight. It’s a daily practice with considerable benefit. Click here to learn more 

If you would like a pack, here is the one that I use with myself and my patients. I’ve created it to make this once messy treatment easy. Click here to get yours!

2. PH of our Digestive Tract is VITAL for Balance 

One of the most important balances in our bodies that affects every organ is pH, otherwise known as acid base balance.  

PH is disturbed in our bodies with inflammation15. Mainly due to the lack of oxygenation of the tissues and changes that happen in the body16. It is safe to say, where there is inflammation there is also acidity of the tissues. 

In digestion we want certain pH’s in certain areas because they exert a function. A low acidic pH, is what triggers the enzyme pepsinogen to cleave and function17 in the stomach, breaking down protein.

During fasting, the pH of your stomach acid can go from 1 up to 4.5 during a meal18. The larger the meal, the higher your pH goes. The more basic it becomes (the opposite of acid), the less able you are to digest. 

So to improve this aspect of your digestion, eat smaller meals to keep your pH in the right place. Follow the principles of digestibility you incur. So here is where small meals are key. HARA HACHI BU, eat until you are 80% full, that keeps your digestive juices going in the right direction19

To address the inflammation, you’re already doing it, the castor oil pack as we discussed above is one of the best methods to reduce local inflammation20. Castor oils’ chemical structure mimics a prostaglandin21 of the human body, making it an effective anti-inflammatory. When used locally as a pack it is a great tool to reset the digestive tract. 

3. Microbiome, Digestion and IBS 

It’s no surprise that everyone is talking about the bugs in our guts and how they impact what we digest. They work with us to provide us with nutrients like B vitamins and other goodies that heal up our gut lining and help us be better. That is if we’ve got good bugs down there, the ones we call probiotics and not the bad ones. 

Bad bugs, I like to term conbiotics, which I came up with to give you a good picture of what they do. They are con artists of the bug world. They take up residence in your hospitable, inflamed digestive tract and wreak havoc. Bad deals, gangster shootings, using up all of your metabolites that you need to feel good. Worst of all, their metabolic byproducts are so nauseating22, smelling like methane and other such delights that it makes it uncomfortable to be in your skin and digest anything. 

All in all, you don’t want them because they mess up your system. 

First things first, the conbiotics have to ability to create a protective barricade known as biofilm. This biofilm is a mix that is quite impermeable and difficult to get through. To get rid of conbiotics, we must first break this down. 

The best tool is castor oil packs! Are you beginning to see a theme? I know I am. Castor oil has shown to be more effective in the human body, as compared to chemical solutions, at breaking down biofilm23 24 25 26. This is a huge win that gives your body a fighting chance to improve your microbiome. Biofilm makes changing your microbiome very difficult, so with castor oil it is a clear home run. Plus you’re already doing those castor oil packs to help with stress reduction, inflammation reduction and pH balance. 

But What About the Probiotics, Do I Take a Supplement? 

At first, I recommend to actually start by drinking green tea. It has shown to have the ability to modify your gut microbiome into a healthier spectrum of bugs27 that will improve your digestion. Green tea, in combination with castor oil packs is my go to for patients. Not only to fix the bugs, but it’ll also improve the pain, gas and bloating you may be experiencing. 

4. Back Up Of Stools, Brimming with Food Sensitivities

Because my irritable bowel syndrome was overwhelming my system, I was experiencing all the symptoms – the gas, the bloating, and worst of all I really didn’t have good bowel movements. I would alternate between constipation, which would keep me bunged up for days and diarrhea. What I didn’t realize that when I was constipated, the longer that food and stools stay in your body, the greater likelihood that you are to create sensitivity and allergy to those foods28. WHAT!!!!???? Yup. 

This means that because I wasn’t regular, I was in effect the creator of my food sensitivities. So part of the solution was to get my bowels moving regularly. 

Castor oil packs came, once again, to the rescue of my irritable bowel syndrome. They have been shown to improve elimination, the sensation of complete evacuation29 as well as stimulating smooth muscle contraction30 of the intestine to create bowel movements. 

Be cautious though, because castor oil packs shouldn’t be used during pregnancy because they also stimulate the smooth muscle of the uterus. Definitely not what we want when you’re pregnant!

5. Antioxidants that Preserve and Improve your Digestion

Because of my bowel backup, my body was having problems dealing with all the toxicity that I had in my system. The more toxins that stay in your body, the more that you use up important antioxidants to keep your body healthy. 

Lack of antioxidants, especially if you’re backed up and recirculating toxicity, sets you up for a never improving conditions because we need those antioxidants to protect the digestive health and the mucosal membrane. 

So I brought out my trusted friend again to help with this aspect of my digestion dilemma. Castor oil has been shown to improve glutathione status31, a molecule utilized to heal the gut lining, move out toxins and overall, keep you healthy. All chronic disease conditions experience a low level of glutathione in the body, so anything you can do to make it work better is money in the bank. Thank God for the castor oil packs. 

IBS Next Steps

So this was my easy 5 step solution to helping improve the tango that was going on between food and digestion with my IBS. It did wonders and was inexpensive and easy to do. Castor oil packs, green tea and Hara Hachi Bu (eating until you are 80% full) are some of the simplest lifestyle tweaks that will make major impact on your life.

By no means is it the only thing. There are more steps to come, but I find for me and my patients I like starting here. It’s good to feel better when you have an irritable bowel because we often don’t feel well. 

What I love about the simplicity of the castor oil pack is that it is an all in one that not only treats you but helps you to connect to you. It sets the foundation for your food, your digestion, your stress, and any treatments or supplements that you want to take so that they are better absorbed. 

So start today, take the first next best steps to your health and improving your IBS and digestion. 

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 Kelso, John M. Unproven Diagnostic Tests for Adverse Reactions to Foods. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice , Volume 6 , Issue 2 , 362 – 365

2 Gocki, J., Bartuzi, Z. Role of immunoglobulin G antibodies in diagnosis of food allergy. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2016;33:253–256

3 Marinkovich, V. Specific IgG antibodies as markers of adverse reactions to foods. Monogr Allergy. 1996;32:221–225

4 Nagisa Sugaya, Shuhei Izawa, Keisuke Saito, Kentaro Shirotsuki, Shinobu Nomura, and Hironori Shimada Effect of prolonged stress on the adrenal hormones of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome Biopsychosoc Med. 2015; 9: 4.PMID: 25632298

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 Darwin E1, Murni AW, Nurdin AE. The Effect of Psychological Stress on Mucosal IL-6 and Helicobacter pylori Activity in Functional Dyspepsia. Acta Med Indones. 2017 Apr;49(2):99-104.

7 Murakami T1, Kamada K, Mizushima K, Higashimura Y, Katada K, Uchiyama K, Handa O, Takagi T, Naito Y, Itoh Y. Changes in Intestinal Motility and Gut Microbiota Composition in a Rat Stress Model. Digestion. 2017;95(1):55-60. doi: 10.1159/000452364. Epub 2017 Jan 5.

8 Obayashi K1. Salivary mental stress proteins. Clin Chim Acta. 2013 Oct 21;425:196-201. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2013.07.028. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

9 Strahler J1, Skoluda N2, Kappert MB2, Nater UM3. Simultaneous measurement of salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase: Application and recommendations. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 Dec;83:657-677. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.08.015. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

10 Stiefelhagen P.[How psychological stress affects digestion. Disordered communication between the abdomen- and head brain].[Article in German] MMW Fortschr Med. 2007 Mar 8;149(10):13.

11 Moloney RD1, Johnson AC2, O’Mahony SM1,3, Dinan TG1,4, Greenwood-Van Meerveld B2,5, Cryan JF1,3. Stress and the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis in Visceral Pain: Relevance to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2016 Feb;22(2):102-17. doi: 10.1111/cns.12490. Epub 2015 Dec 10.

12  Rolls ET. The affective and cognitive processing of touch, oral texture, and temperature in the brain. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010 Feb;34(2):237-45. Epub 2008 Apr 3. 

13  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. 

14  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.

15  Menkin, V., and Warner, C. R. (1937) Studies on inflam- mation. XIII. Carbohydrate metabolism, local acidosis, and the cytological picture in inflammation, Am. J. Pathol., 13, 25-44.1. 

16 Kuprash DV1, Nedospasov SA. Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Inflammation. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2016 Nov;81(11):1237-1239.

17 Herman R1, Gao Y, Storer N. Acid-induced unfolding kinetics in simulated gastric digestion of proteins. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2006 Oct;46(1):93-9. Epub 2006 Jul 7.

18 Gardner JD1, Ciociola AA, Robinson M. Measurement of meal-stimulated gastric acid secretion by in vivo gastric autotitration. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Feb;92(2):427-34.

19 https://www.hindustantimes.com/fitness/hara-hachi-bu-the-reason-why-the-japanese-live-a-100-years-or-more/story-pQyKhSsL7eQaZXEFYDY2BJ.html

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

21 Esser-von Bieren J1. Immune-regulation and -functions of eicosanoid lipid mediators. Biol Chem. 2017 Oct 26;398(11):1177-1191. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2017-0146.

22 Salem AE1, Singh R2, Ayoub YK3, Khairy AM3, Mullin GE4. The gut microbiome and irritable bowel syndrome: State of art review. Arab J Gastroenterol. 2018 Sep;19(3):136-141. doi: 10.1016/j.ajg.2018.02.008. Epub 2018 Jun 20.

23 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: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-022

24  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.

25  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.

26 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.

27 Chen D1, Chen G, Wan P, Hu B, Chen L, Ou S, Zeng X, Ye H. Digestion under saliva, simulated gastric and small intestinal conditions and fermentation in vitro of polysaccharides from the flowers of Camellia sinensis induced by human gut microbiota. Food Funct. 2017 Dec 13;8(12):4619-4629. doi: 10.1039/c7fo01024a.

28 Isabella Pali-Schöll,1,2,* Eva Untersmayr,2 Martina Klems,2 and Erika Jensen-Jarolim1,2 The Effect of Digestion and Digestibility on Allergenicity of FoodNutrients. 2018 Sep; 10(9): 1129.PMID: 30134536

29 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.

30  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

31 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.

How Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances are Messing With Your IBS

How Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances are Messing With Your IBS

Food is foundational to our lives. What do we do when our food is causing us problems? With my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I was always trying to follow my diet and figure out what was triggering my symptoms. The thing was, I wasn’t like others and that was one of the bottlenecks that was keeping me stuck. Also the fact that I had to stay on a specific diet, which as you know is very difficult when you’re in pain and just want to eat your comfort food. From clinical practice and personal experience this is what I found to be the best way to modify your food choices when you are living with IBS.

Food as a Fixation when you have IBS 

I know I know, I too was super obsessed with my diet. I definitely googled it a variety of times, ‘what should I eat, what should I do?’

When you wake up in the morning with a flat stomach, put something in your mouth and BOOM!, you are 4 months pregnant, this does not make for a happy life. It’s proven that the quality of life for people dealing with irritable bowel syndrome is truly in the gutter1.

Food – Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome Friend

Food should be our friend. It is supposed to nourish us, help us live well, and give us life. We get protein, fats and carbohydrates from our foods. These give us the building blocks to create the communication messengers of our bodies, like hormones, neurotransmitters, digestive enzymes and immune messengers. These are all created from the proteins, fats and carbohydrates that we ingest. Food is a messenger and it commands and tells our body what to do. 

How Communication Works in the Gut

The gut is so genius, that it can function completely on its own if it needed to. It has its own nervous system known as the enteric nervous system that responds to stimulus, like the food you are eating and pressure from volume of the food. It understands the messages because it has endocrine receptors2, yes that’s right, endocrine is another word for HORMONES. These receptors take in the stimulus from what you are eating to help you go about your day in a healthy way. 

The only problem is in irritable bowel syndrome, there is likely an issue with these receptors not working so well and this causes issues. 

Why Food Irritates your Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

If you’ve been dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, you are one of the 14-20% of the world’s population that may blame it on the following foods:

  • Spicy Foods
  • Caffeine 
  • Milk and Dairy Products 
  • Wheat and Gluten Products
  • Meats (but not all meats)
  • Cabbage and Cruciferous Vegetables 
  • Onion Family Vegetables 
  • Peas and Beans 
  • Fried Foods 
  • Smoked Food

This is just to name a few. But there has been some kind of correlation to food3.

Why should Food be One of the First Things you Address in IBS? 

Believe it or not, food is a strong messenger. It commands what our body should and shouldn’t do. It also provides antioxidants, nutrients and everything that we need to have our system working well and being protected. When you’re dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, part of how you’re feeling, (the fatigue, the stress) is because your body isn’t being nourished properly. You are feeling the backlash of that. 

Food – Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome Foe

As much as food is the ultimate giver of life, it is also the ultimate stressor. If there are foods that you don’t do well with, then instead of giving you life they take it away. They are like a poison. If you haven’t been able to figure out what your aggravators and irritants are, I hope that in this blog you’ll get a good idea of your next steps.

Why your IBS Food Triggers Might be Different than what they Say in the Studies 

Your food foe is unique to you. In tummy trials, there is a significant different between scientific validity for foods that cause problems and the patient’s lived experience4. Which means that patients seem to experience food triggers differently than what it says in the studies. I know that for me this was absolutely the truth. 

Gluten and Wheat Products Weren’t my Problems? What???!!

Gluten and wheat weren’t my triggers. Ironically, a food that was being highly recommended at the time for cleansing and healthy diets was rice. However, for me being of Spanish origin and genetic background, the over consumption of rice in my family throughout my life had created a sensitivity in my body. I had been over exposed to this “health” food and because of this it was a food foe and not a food friend. 

Wheat, on the other hand, the villain of all diets, was well tolerated and I could eat it without experiencing symptoms.

So How Do you Know what your Food Triggers Are? 

There are a few ways to figure this out. They include diet diaries, elimination diets or testing of food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.

It’s incredible that 70% of irritable bowel syndrome patients correlate their symptoms to foods5. Ironically, the most common foods that people avoid, which may be the case for you, are the likely the villains of wheat, dairy, citrus fruit, caffeine and alcohol. But removing these often show little to no improvement or change6

Do Diet Diaries Work?

Food elimination diets and diet diaries are actually the gold standard to help figure out what foods may be bothering your system. The biggest problem is that they are super hard to follow through on. I have seen this time and time again in clinical practice and in all honesty in myself as well. I attempt to do it, Because it makes sense to do it, but you lose track, you get confused, and you’re unsure what caused what and then it’s just frustrating and a total disaster. Been there, done that, saw too many patients do it too. Plus it’s supported by the literature that it is an ineffective way to do things. 

Why? Because you are not a scientist, and you can’t do a scientifically rigorous experiment to actually get it right. Plus there are too many uncertainties in life and this is what the research discloses7. Touché, I’m a doctor and neither can I. I’m human, just like you. So why guess? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve counselled patients to invest in knowing. 

This is why for me, when it came to food, I opted to get food sensitivity and allergy testing done. Intolerances you know because it is pretty immediate. Let’s find out the difference and why it’s important to know. 

The Difference Between Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities and Food Intolerances

I commonly notice that my patients and I (until I learned better, which took time) really don’t have a solid understanding of the differences between food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. 

What does this have to do with IBS? Well, everything. You see, because food is affecting us in a certain way, the reaction could be immediate, within 72 hours. Or maybe the reaction is so far removed from your gut you don’t even know that you have a problem with it. So we need to figure out the mechanism of action to help improve what is happening. 

Food Allergies and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

These typically react immediately. I always explain it as being just like a peanut allergy. These are common in children these days, they can get exposure by touch, air and through food, depending on how sensitive you are to them. Then BOOM, throat closes, hives appear, swelling all around the face, eyes and throat. 

This is an outright medical emergency, requiring immediate epinephrine and a trip to the hospital. To a lesser degree, these allergies could manifest within 24 hours with mild to moderate swelling and are less worrisome. Food allergy is commonly tested by the skin scratch test. It is an IgE mediated reaction8

Food Sensitivities and Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

This is my jam, I love food sensitivity testing! I was sick and struggling with food for a long time and this testing was my saving grace. I had visited countless naturopaths and doctors and no one had tested me. I spent thousands, not hundreds, of dollars on supplements and treatments and none were working because I wasn’t doing my due diligence. I was eliminating what everyone else was sensitive to. 

However, sensitivities are extremely personal. They have to do with exposure over time as well as cultural and genetic factors. It’s very hard to deduce them until you see them on paper.

Healthy Foods can be Sensitivities

As I mentioned above, rice was my villain, yet it was what I was consuming daily. It’s funny when things are brought to light and they make a lot of sense. I’m Spanish, so rice is a staple in  the cultural dishes, such as paella. Needless to say I’m confident that my entire life I likely ate rice with most of my meals, including refried at breakfast. Oy! So when I finally asked a naturopathic doctor that I was shadowing to test me, it all made perfect sense. I was doing these cleansing diets, all laden with rice and feeling like my world was ending. I thought I was never ever going to beat IBS or get better, only worse. 

So to prevent this, in my practice I HIGHLY RECOMMEND all my patients get this testing, especially those with IBS. It not only serves to demonstrate overexposure and your immune system’s overreaction to foods (as it tests IgG) but if those foods are eliminated as compared to not, symptoms in IBS can improve9

Sensitivities are REALLY hard to pinpoint. Very difficult because they are sneaky. They don’t always create symptoms in your gut, they can show up on your skin as eczema or rashes, in your mind as depression or anxiety, or manifest as fatigue or hormone and metabolic derangement. They can create low grade chronic inflammation and directly affect your guts as well with symptoms of loose stools, constipation, nausea and even vomiting. 

The biggest issue is that the reaction can manifest up to 72 hours after eating a food, which you can imagine makes it quite difficult to deduce which food could be your personal villain. 

Is Food Sensitivity Testing Valid? 

Many critics of food sensitivity testing argue its validity10. They say that yes, you can measure your body’s reaction to these sensitivities, but they discuss that an IgG response for food sensitivities is a naturally occuring phenomena and over time creates tolerance and desensitization11 12

The way I look at it is this, you can be tolerant to something, but that sure doesn’t mean that you are happy with it or that it isn’t doing you any harm. So if you’re tolerant with your husband who is cheating on you, or coworker that is constantly putting you down, or your mother in law that criticizes your every move, is this not causing some level of stress in your system? I do believe so. 

Food Sensitivity Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

With irritable bowel syndrome being so complicated and multifactorial, it’s important to reduce and remove as many things as possible so that you can find out what is causing your system stress. Otherwise you’re just gangbusters and in the wild west of craziness. 

Your ability to manage stress is like a fine glass of wine, you can fill it up only so much. If you keep on adding wine (or adding stress), guess what? It is going to overflow into a whole bunch of other systems and your gut is the one that feels it the most, as we clearly know the link between stress and irritable bowel syndrome13

I believe that the validity of critics or those that take food sensitivities as the end all be all of your treatment may be what is causing this uncomfortable reputation for food sensitivities. But I urge you to look at the whole picture, and food sensitivities are part of YOUR picture and your reaction to food. 

If you’re interested in having testing done, click here to see a lab I work with.

Do you Have to Retest your Food Sensitivities? 

Oh and by the way, everyone thinks that you test this once in your life and never again. This is not the case at all. As with all testing, It’s not perfect. It’s not a one time thing either. You will need to retest, usually in about 1-2 years. If you have been avoiding those foods that marked from medium to high immune reactivity, my experience and others14 has been that it will help a great deal. 

Please note that this is not a replacement test for IgE or food allergy testing. If you suspect that you or your child may have severe, life threatening allergies, please always make sure to consult your doctor for all your health care needs. 

Food Intolerance and Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

As compared to food allergies and food sensitivities, food intolerances tend to be a breeze to deal with. As both food allergies and sensitivities are mediated by your immune system and based more specifically on a reaction to protein in your foods, food Intolerances are an inability to absorb carbohydrates. As an example, lactose intolerance is when your body is missing the ability to digest the carbohydrate lactose, found in milk15. You are more than likely familiar with dairy intolerance. 

Fructose intolerance is also common. The popular Fodmaps diet, which up to now has shown evidence of improvement in short term for irritable bowel syndrome16, is based on an intolerance or avoidance of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that aggravate digestive symptoms. 

The issue with intolerance is if it can’t be broken down and absorbed, then it stays in the intestine and becomes fermented by bacteria and yeasts as a source of food. What should be feeding you, feeds the dysbiosis in your intestine. This is a major aggravating factor for pain and bloating in irritable bowel syndrome. 

Where to Go From Here? What Would be the Best Strategy to Take? 

The number one strategy that is the most important is to try reducing as much stress as possible that is occurring in your gut and in your life. 

1. Skip Breakfast! Intermittent Fasting

Yes, that’s right! Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. In fact for those with irritable bowel syndrome, since they already have a high level of cortisol in the a.m., higher than healthy subjects, it could be very beneficial to fast. This is a practice known as intermittent fasting and a staple in my clinical practice and personally. 

Firstly, skipping breakfast avoids many common supposed irritants of the digestive tract because most breakfasts are a combination of dairy/wheat/egg.

With intermittent fasting you eat less times per day, and only eat within an 8 hour period. Eating less frequently equals less reactivity when you do eat. So this is one way to reduce the irritation on the gut mucosal membrane. 

2. Drink Green Tea Instead of Coffee 

During the morning fasting period, it’s ideal if you ditch your coffee. Coffee promotes the stress response, which is a no-no for those with irritable bowel syndrome. Switch it for green tea! Green tea heals the gut lining, improves the microbiome and stimulates you like a coffee, but relaxes you at the same time, negating the cortisol spike that may occur. 

3. Castor oil Packs For Stress Reduction, Absorption, Reduced Inflammation and Better Bowel Movements 

This practices not only calms the nervous system so that you can heal17 18, but also helps with reduction of inflammation19 in the intestine. Castor oil packs help with improving your microbiome20 and regulation of your bowels21, so if anything is irritating them, it helps them to come out. More importantly, it helps to improve how you digest and absorb. In terms of food, this helps to reduce the irritability of the foods you may be eating that can affect you negatively. 

Buy your castor oil pack here.

4. Fix your Sleep Patterns

Your natural rhythm is extremely important to your healing and to the health of your gut. My first prescription is to get your body to produce its own factors for sleep. It’s so easy to do. Wear an eye mask to bed that support an increase in melatonin22 in the body and better hormonal, immune and nervous system balance. Castor oil packs help to also promote great sleep so get into a pattern of putting your pack and eye mask on before bed.

Buy your Beauty Sleep Eye Kit here.

4. Start Investigating Diets Beneficial for IBS 

Fodmaps, my Dysbiotic Diet (otherwise known as the Fermentation-Free Diet and Bloat Be Gone Diet) are all excellent ways to address your food dilemma. I would personally investigate what you feel would be best for you. Each of these work significantly better if you know what you are allergic, sensitive and intolerant to because then you can pick that which is suited best to you. Later on you can get into other more specific diets, after you have your food sensitivities tested. 

To access this testing, click here.

5. Before You Eat, Be Grateful

Be grateful, like saying grace. Use our grateful dung bracelet as a way to learn how to relax before you eat. Just relaxing your system and having a calm body before you accept food will significantly improve your digestion and the amount of stress that food causes to your body. 

Get your Grateful Dung Bracelet here. 

Grateful Dung Bracelet

6. Find Out what your Poo Says About you

Download the first step to understanding the weaknesses in your body, the 50 Shades of Poo. Getting to know how to analyze our stools for signs of nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues and hormonal imbalances is one of the easiest ways to figure out what’s going on inside our bodies.

Keep on following me and reading my blogs. Follow the links above to get more in tune with what is occuring in your body. I promise to continue helping you on your journey to regain your life, free from an irritable bowel, indigestion and problems going to the bathroom!

Let’s start a movement so together we can all have an improvement. 

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 Han CJ1, Yang GS2. Fatigue in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Pooled Frequency and Severity of Fatigue. Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci). 2016 Mar;10(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.anr.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

2 Tarek Mazzawi1,2 and Magdy El-Salhy1,2,3 Effect of diet and individual dietary guidance on gastrointestinal endocrine cells in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (Review). Int J Mol Med. 2017 Oct; 40(4): 943–952.PMID: 28849091

3  El-Salhy M1, Gilja OH2, Gundersen D3, Hatlebakk JG2, Hausken T2. Interaction between ingested nutrients and gut endocrine cells in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (review). Int J Mol Med. 2014 Aug;34(2):363-71. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2014.1811. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

4 Karkar R1, Schroeder J1, Epstein DA1, Pina LR1,2, Scofield J1, Fogarty J1, Kientz JA2, Munson SA2, Vilardaga R3, Zia J4. TummyTrials: A Feasibility Study of Using Self-Experimentation to Detect Individualized Food Triggers. Proc SIGCHI Conf Hum Factor Comput Syst. 2017 May 2;2017:6850-6863. doi: 10.1145/3025453.3025480.

5 Farré R, Tack J. Food and symptom generation in functional gastrointestinal disorders: physiological aspects.Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 May; 108(5):698-706.

6  Moayyedi P, Ford AC, Quigley EM, Foxx-Orenstein AE, Chey WD, Talley NJ, Brandt LJ The American College of Gastroenterology irritable bowel syndrome monograph: translating systematic review data to clinical practice.Gastroenterology. 2010 Feb; 138(2):789-91; author reply 791-2

7 Karkar R1, Schroeder J1, Epstein DA1, Pina LR1,2, Scofield J1, Fogarty J1, Kientz JA2, Munson SA2, Vilardaga R3, Zia J4. TummyTrials: A Feasibility Study of Using Self-Experimentation to Detect Individualized Food Triggers. Proc SIGCHI Conf Hum Factor Comput Syst. 2017 May 2;2017:6850-6863. doi: 10.1145/3025453.3025480.

8 Susan Waserman,1 Philippe Bégin,2 and Wade Watson3 IgE-mediated food allergy. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2018; 14(Suppl 2): 55. PMID: 30263035

9 Atkinson, W., Sheldon, T.A., Shaath, N., Whorwell, P.J. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut. 2004;53:1459–1464

10 Kelso, John M. Unproven Diagnostic Tests for Adverse Reactions to Foods. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice , Volume 6 , Issue 2 , 362 – 365

11 Gocki, J., Bartuzi, Z. Role of immunoglobulin G antibodies in diagnosis of food allergy. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2016;33:253–256

12 Marinkovich, V. Specific IgG antibodies as markers of adverse reactions to foods. Monogr Allergy. 1996;32:221–225

13 Nagisa Sugaya, Shuhei Izawa, Keisuke Saito, Kentaro Shirotsuki, Shinobu Nomura, and Hironori Shimada Effect of prolonged stress on the adrenal hormones of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Biopsychosoc Med. 2015; 9: 4.PMID: 25632298

14 Mullin GE1, Swift KM, Lipski L, Turnbull LK, Rampertab SD. Testing for food reactions: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nutr Clin Pract. 2010 Apr;25(2):192-8. doi: 10.1177/0884533610362696.

15 Kleine-Tebbe J1, Waßmann-Otto A2, Mönnikes H3. Food Allergy and Intolerance : Distinction, Definitions and Delimitation]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2016 Jun;59(6):705-22. doi: 10.1007/s00103-016-2356-1.

16 Schumann D1, Klose P2, Lauche R3, Dobos G2, Langhorst J2, Cramer H3. Low fermentable, oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyol diet in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition. 2018 Jan;45:24-31. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2017.07.004. Epub 2017 Jul 13.

17  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.

18  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)

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

20 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.

21 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.

22 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

Constipation: I Keep Trying to Fix It, But It’s Not Working!

Constipation: I Keep Trying to Fix It, But It’s Not Working!

I remember my mom could never understand WHY she was always constipated. No matter what she did, she still had problems. Unfortunately, I followed in her footsteps. I dealt with being unable to let go and have a great bowel movement for the greater part of my life. 

If you’ve been there too, then you’re no stranger to sitting pretty on the toilet. Well, if you’re anything like me, it’s NOT very pretty… You might even be sitting on your throne right now, as you read this. Gotcha!

Do you know WHY your bowel movements aren’t what they should be? Let’s find out and see what we can do to fix them. 

Why I Am a Poo Expert 

I went to school to become a Naturopathic Doctor so that I could fix myself and all my toilet troubles. It became my mission to help people. Firstly because I needed to have good bowel movements myself, but more importantly, because I didn’t like seeing my mom suffering, and as a doctor, my patients. Constipation is an epidemic and it affects so many of the world population. It’s time we take a stand and do something about it. 

Why Is Constipation Called a Functional Digestive Problem?

The symptoms of constipation are varied1. A key component of it is functional, meaning you can’t find reasons for it. For instance it could be a mass that is blocking elimination. This is why it’s important to get checked out by your doctor. Usually your doctor will try different treatments or do a colonoscopy to visualize the intestines, dependent on your age. Other times they may try lifestyle changes and treatments first. 

The Symptoms of Being Unable to Have a Good Bowel Movement 

The most common symptoms are that you are uncomfortable in your abdomen or belly, you feel bloated, you may have gas and you may feel pain as well. You may produce dry pebbles or hard stools. Often you go less than 1 time per day. According to the Mayo Clinic2, constipation  is classified as less than 3 bowel movements per week. 

In my naturopathic practice, where living your best life is key, I have noted that my healthy, optimized patients all go daily.

How Does it Feel to be Constipated? 

There is a very distinct feeling of constipation. I recall my mother always being uncomfortable, unable to go and she would constantly complain to me and my sister, my dad and all her friends about it. 

She always seemed to leave the bathroom unsatisfied and this is a key aspect of constipation along with straining3

I’m sure you’ve had both. You push and push and may go a little but you feel like not everything came out and it was a lot of hard work. It also takes you longer than most to go to the bathroom. The term used is incomplete evacuation and straining. I describe it as there is still stuff left up there no matter how hard you try to get it out.

Why am I Gassy and Bloated When I’m Constipated? 

Gas and bloating is part of constipation and functional digestive disorders4. Even though gas is uncomfortable, it’s one of the natural ways that the body signals the intestines to move. Hydrogen gas, in fact, is known to have beneficial effects for the colonic mucosa, including functioning as an anti-inflammtory and antioxidant. This, in effect, would help it to move out your poo5

Good gas (I know, I know, how can it be good?) is produced by good bacteria, like probiotics. It stimulates the natural action of the intestines to move stools downward. If the bacteria in your intestines are unhealthy (conbiotics™ as I call them) such as the archaea species of bacteria that produce methane, then it can actually slow down bowel transit time. This is linked to constipation6

The scent of methane is like the smell that you get from passing by a farmer’s field after they’ve laid down manure. Can’t stand this smell in the bathroom? Check out Eau de Throne, our After you Poo Parfum™. All will delight in the royal scent that fills the room! Click here.

How Often Should I Have a Bowel Movement ? 

A normal bowel movement should happen every day.  Men seem to go more than women. The statistics show that on average, men go every 1.7 days and women every 2.5 days7. Ideally in my practice our goal is for all patients to go daily, for this simple fact. You eat daily, so what goes in, should come out. Otherwise there is backup. 

If you want to get more in detail about what your poo says about you, download my infographic, the 50 Shades of Poo. Click here.

Why Do Men Go to the Bathroom More than Women?

Men have a higher average of bowel movements because let’s face it, women are more complicated. Yes I am admitting that. But science shows this too. It has to do with the fact that we have a broader hormone mix than men. Estrogen can be very problematic to women and have an affect on your bowel movements. 

How Does my Thyroid Affect my Bowel Movements? 

When you have an underactive thyroid (A.K.A. hypothyroid) or a condition known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a common symptom is constipation. Think of a thyroid condition as an overall slowing down of your metabolism. If your body is slow, then your bowel movements will be much slower too, leading to constipation. 

Why Do my Estrogen Levels Affect My Bowel Movements? 

If you are carrying extra weight, taking the birth control pill or other estrogen-replacing drugs or are exposed to fake estrogens (A.K.A. xenoestrogens – which every human being on the planet these days is) you have a higher level of estrogen than most. 

Progesterone balances estrogen in the female body. Progesterone is necessary to have healthy bowel movements. When your levels of estrogen are too high, you lose the proper balance between estrogen and progesterone to have those healthy bowel movements. 

Why Can’t I Poo?

We’ve talked about a few, but there are so many reasons why you can’t poo8

It has to do with: 

  • Your nervous system
  • Your hormonal system
  • Your immune system
  • Your digestive system 
  • Inflammation that you have in your body
  • The amount of weight that you are carrying in your abdomen (central obesity) 
  • The types of bacteria you have in your gut
  • The types of foods you are eating
  • The Foods you may be eating that you are allergic, sensitive or intolerant to
  • How much fluid you are drinking 
  • How many caffeinated beverages you are having daily 
  • How much sleep you are getting
  • How stressed you are 
  • How depressed you are
  • How deficient you are in certain vitamins and minerals that support good bowel movements
  • Your genetics 

And the list goes on and on. You can imagine the workup I do with my patients to help them learn the reason why they have issues pooping.

The Digestive System/The Gut is the Center of Our Body Universe 

The gut and digestive spot is the center of the universe when it comes to your body. You have health if you have good bowel movements. That’s why I always ask about my patients stools, to determine the state of their health. 

So if you’ve had problems figuring out why you can’t go, it’s because you haven’t hit the nail on the head yet or you have a combination of different factors working against you, causing you to be constipated. You want to be looking at your stools for the clues. 

As you can see it is a HUGE topic! This is why I had to become an expert on poop, because there is so much to know. 

Download my infographic the 50 Shades of Poo to get you started on analyzing your stools! Click here.

How Often Should I Poop?

What goes in, must come out. If you ate every second day, then you should poo every second day. But because you eat daily, you really should be having a bowel movement daily. Otherwise, you are constipated. 

Your body is an environment that requires flow. Intake of good stuff, outpour of bad stuff. Think of it like a fish tank. When your fish poops, the tank must clean the water out from time to time or the fish begins to swim in his own filth. You don’t want the cells inside your body to begin to swim in its own filth. This is clearly not healthy. 

How Come Most of my Friends Don’t Poo Daily? 

The reality is that constipation is reaching epidemic levels. 14% of the world population9, which equals approximately 1 billion people, are constipated. The worst part is that it is a life threatening epidemic, because if you think about it, all natural environments, including your body, need to eliminate waste. If you can’t eliminate waste, the waste back ups and that is bad. 

Why Do You Feel So Bad When You Can’t Poo Daily? 

The best way to describe how you feel is like crap. Literally. It makes you feel really off because you aren’t eliminating the wastes that your body has created. Wastes are toxins, bacteria and things that the body needs to get rid of. When our stools sit in our body they are a source of toxic exposure and stress, which make you feel uncomfortable. It literally feels like a pain in the butt.

I know this all too well. I suffered from it, my mother suffered from it, and all her friends did too. I remember them always talking about how they couldn’t poo. So let’s get clear on what you can do about it to make things better. 

How the Anatomy of the Intestines Tells You How Much You Should be Pooping Each Day

Did you know that your lower descending colon is the length of your wrist to your elbow. This is the amount of food, fiber and fluids that you ate the day before and should be what you eliminate daily. Remember, what goes in, must come out. 

I remember thinking when I was younger and really constipated, wow, here I am eating all this food and where is it going? If it’s not coming out of me, where is it? It’s just sitting there causing problems. Let’s figure out what we can do to make it better! 

The First Step to Better Bowel Movements 

To know what to do, it is important to know what the problem is. Peeking after you poo every time you go is key. Start to keep a log about it (pun completely intended!) 

I love to teach patients to look at the colour of their poo at first. It is a quick and easy way to get an idea oh whether your stools are healthy or not. Click here to download the 50 Shades of Poo.

My Favourite Supplement-Free Tool to Help With Constipation 

Castor oil packs are legendary, biblical treatment that have been used since the beginning of mankind. They are used in all forms of medicine including the Ancient Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, Egyptian and Caribbean cultures to help with all things having to do with the gut. 

Castor oil packs IMPROVE:

  • Digestion
  • Absorption
  • Elimination10

They have shown to reduce pain and inflammation 1112 associated with these processes no matter the cause.  So anything that might be irritating your intestine like food sensitivities, allergies or intolerances, it will make it better tolerated so you can digest better. 

You will have less pain and bloating because it helps to improve factors in digestion that are making you feel horrible when you eat food. I can’t tell you how many times I have thrown on a pack when i’ve been bloated or really suffering in my guts. Whether it be from butterflies rocking my belly, or from serious gas. The same goes for my patients, it has become their go-to.

If absorption is an issue, chances are you’re low on some of your vital nutrients. Castor oil packs help to replenish those deficiencies naturally, simply by helping you better absorb your food. To be able to digest food, you need amino acids from protein in order to make digestive enzymes. If you don’t absorb your food properly, how can you expect to make digestive enzymes? Improving this function helps your body work better. 

Not only do the castor oil packs stimulate the movement of the digestive tract, but they also help to get things out as well. It has been researched in comparison to stimulant laxatives and shown to produce improved satisfaction and sensation of complete evacuation, reduced straining and patients overall had a better bowel movement experience13.

On top of that it also helps to improve the antioxidants and factors in your body that help with  cleansing, like glutathione1415

Get your very own castor oil pack now! Click here.

Every patient in my practice does these packs, because as I mentioned before, gut health and digestion is the center of your body. The centre of your universe and the center and foundation of health.

Remember as well there are so many possible ROOT CAUSES for your CONSTIPATION so trouble shooting can be very difficult. This is an easy way to set the foundation and start off by removing the most common factors. Then as you look and learn from your poo, you can be your own best digestive detective to understanding what might be the underlying problem and then fix it! 

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 Sharma A1, Rao S2. Constipation: Pathophysiology and Current Therapeutic Approaches. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2017;239:59-74. doi: 10.1007/164_2016_111.

2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation/symptoms-causes/syc-20354253

3 Mearin F1, Ciriza C2, Mínguez M3, Rey E4, Mascort JJ5, Peña E6, Cañones P7, Júdez J8; en nombre de la SEPD, la semFYC, la SEMERGEN y la SEMG.[Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and functional constipation in adults: Treatment (Part 2 of 2)]. Aten Primaria. 2017 Mar;49(3):177-194. doi: 10.1016/j.aprim.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

4 Wilkinson JM1, Cozine EW1, Loftus CG1. Gas, Bloating, and Belching: Approach to Evaluation and Management. Am Fam Physician. 2019 Mar 1;99(5):301-309.

5 Carbonero F1, Benefiel AC, Gaskins HR. Contributions of the microbial hydrogen economy to colonic homeostasis. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Sep;9(9):504-18. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 15.

6 Sahakian AB1, Jee SR, Pimentel M. Methane and the gastrointestinal tract. Dig Dis Sci. 2010 Aug;55(8):2135-43. doi: 10.1007/s10620-009-1012-0. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

7 Bohlin J1, Dahlin E1, Dreja J2, Roth B1, Ekberg O2, Ohlsson B1. Longer colonic transit time is associated with laxative and drug use, lifestyle factors, and symptoms of constipation. Acta Radiol Open. 2018 Oct 22;7(10):2058460118807232. doi: 10.1177/2058460118807232. eCollection 2018 Sep.

8 Sinagra E1, Morreale GC2, Mohammadian G3, Fusco G4, Guarnotta V5, Tomasello G6, Cappello F6, Rossi F1, Amvrosiadis G2, Raimondo D1. 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. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i36.6593.

9 Larry E Miller,1 Alvin Ibarra,2 and Arthur C Ouwehand2 Normative Values for Colonic Transit Time and Patient Assessment of Constipation in Adults With Functional Constipation: Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Clin Med Insights Gastroenterol. 2017; 11: 1179552217729343.Published online 2017 Aug 31. doi: 10.1177/1179552217729343PMCID: PMC5582663PMID: 28894394

10  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.

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

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

13  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.

14  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.

15  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. 

Why Am I Constipated? It Isn’t Just About Food

Why Am I Constipated? It Isn’t Just About Food

It isn’t a good time, sitting, waiting, wishing for something to manifest. In fact, it is totally painful. Yes, I’m talking about constipation. It affects millions around the world and is the most pressing health condition that exists. Why then, are there not better ways to solve this ever-pressing problem? (pun intended)

Many people think that constipation simply has to do with food. Of course, food is a huge factor. Not eating enough fiber or drinking enough water can be contributors to constipation. If we eat foods that we are sensitive to, the body often responds with bloating and constipation. But there are a number of other factors that contribute to this agonizing issue, which we will explore in this article.

How the Body Poops

The gut operates under a principle of pressure and lubrication. Without these, you cannot poo! This is why consuming a substantial amount of fiber helps you go to the bathroom. The fiber simply creates the pressure needed to push stools along the digestive tract, and allows for the lower sphincter to relax so you can go poo. Fluids also help to create pressure, and have a double purpose of lubricating the digestive tract. Another key source of lubrication for the gut is consumption of healthy fats.

The Physiology of Constipation

Without proper pressure and lubrication, there is a high chance of constipation. However, it is not this simple. Constipation is not only about food, it is mediated by a variety of other mechanisms.

Hormonal Constipation 

Hormones are another influencer of constipation. For those with thyroid issues, metabolism is moving at an incredibly slow rate, processing food and nourishment very slowly, so they evacuate it in the same manner1.

Estrogen dominance, which is an epidemic these days, also causes constipation2. High progesterone is required to have healthy moving bowels. Progesterone levels are high when there is no stress, allowing the lower sphincter to work properly.

Nervous System Constipation 

Stress is the other highly notable factor in constipation3. If you’re stressed, not only are you low in progesterone, but also in minerals that help with relaxation and laxation such as magnesium and vitamin C.

Lifestyle Constipation 

A sedentary lifestyle is a huge factor in constipation4. Movement of the body is required for movement of the bowels! Makes total sense. In order for the smooth muscle of the bowel to contract properly, regular exercise and movement is required5.

Emotional Constipation

In traditional Chinese medicine, the picture of constipation is correlated to being unable to let things go. You may have a tendency of holding onto things and not working through them. If you hoard, on either a physical and emotional level, you likely have issues with constipation. The body tends to freeze and slow down its activity to protect you.

3 Simple Fixes to Support Constipation

You can run but you can’t hide. With all of these factors contributing to constipation, it can be difficult to get away from it. Your bowels are dependent on what is going on inside your body. This is why it is so important to include health practices in your daily routine that will help to support all of these influencing factors.

1. Analyzing Your Poo

If you learn how to read them, your poops can become your FREE daily oracle of the state of your health. They can help you decipher which factors are contributing to your constipation, and from there you can take the necessary steps to improve it.

This is my expertise, in fact I encourage you to download my free infographic, Legends of the Throne. This infographic takes you through different characters in the Royal Kingdom that represent different types of poops, and what they mean for your health. Click here to get the free download.

Did you know that there are more than 50 shades of poo? Not really, but it sounds pretty cool, just like the movie 50 Shades of Grey. There are many, however, and it’s important to know what colours are normal and which ones could be a medical emergency. Download my free infographic, the 50 Shades of Poo, so you can find out what you should be looking for in the bowl. Click here for the free download. I promise you will be blown away by this one simple measure of poo yet there are so many more.

2. Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are an amazing tool for constipation. In a study done in a home for the elderly, castor oil packs were compared to conventional laxatives and found to be just as effective6. The amazing thing is, there was no harsh urgency to run to the bathroom, as with laxatives.

So castor oil packs work on the physiological aspect of constipation, but they also indirectly help to balance hormones. Castor oil packs have a long history of use in treatment of hormonal problems, including estrogen dominance and hypothyroid. They improve detoxification in the liver via glutathione7, which helps the liver to clear out excess hormones.

Castor oil packs work on the nervous system element of constipation by improving relaxation and reducing stress8 9. Another bonus of using castor oil packs is that they reduce inflammation10 11, which can be yet another contributing factor in constipation12.

3. The Three Legged Stool

In practice, one thing I like to teach my patients is the Three Legged Stool of Bowel Movement Success. Now we know that constipation is about so much more than just food, but since the bowel runs on the principle of pressure and lubrication, it is still an important factor to support.

1. Fiber (pressure) – We are drastically deficient in the amount of fiber we are eating. The recommended dosage is 30 grams of fiber per day. On average, North Americans consume only 4-5 grams per day.

Get fiber from vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, these are my favourite. I love CHIA SEEDS, they are high in calcium and fiber!

2. Fluid (pressure and lubrication) – Our bodies are 80% water. Water is the universal solvent so it moves and cleanses things. Ideally, each day you want to consume 30ml/kg (or 2.2 lbs) of body weight. More if you are exercising.

3. Fat (lubrication) – Fat is like lubricant to your colon. Avocado (fiber and fat), olive oil or coconut oil are all amazing lubricating fats.

So, bottom line, pooping is dependant on so much more than just the foods you are eating. Digestion and elimination function is mediated by hormonal and nervous systems in the body, as well as your lifestyle and emotions.

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 Thronesneither 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 Anant D. Patil Link between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May-Jun; 18(3): 307–309. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.131155 PMCID: PMC4056127PMID: 24944923

Ji-Eun OhYong-Woon KimSo-Young Park, and Jong-Yeon Kim Estrogen Rather Than Progesterone Cause Constipation in Both Female and Male Mice. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013 Oct; 17(5): 423–426. Published online 2013 Oct 17. doi: 10.4196/kjpp.2013.17.5.423 PMID: 24227943

Yu-Ming ChangMohamad El-Zaatari, and John Y Kao Does stress induce bowel dysfunction? Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2014 Dec 1. Published in final edited form as: Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Aug; 8(6): 583–585. Published online 2014 May 31. doi: 10.1586/17474124.2014.911659 PMID: 24881644

Rong HuangSai-Yin Ho, * Wing-Sze Lo, and Tai-Hing Lam Physical Activity and Constipation in Hong Kong Adolescents. PLoS One. 2014; 9(2): e90193. Published online 2014 Feb 28. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090193 PMID: 24587274

5 Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School Constipation and Impaction. Published: March, 2016 https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/constipation-and-impaction-a-to-z

6 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.

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.

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.

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)

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

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

12 Marjan Mokhtare, 1 Rahele Alimoradzadeh, 2 Shahram Agah, 3 ,* Hossein Mirmiranpour, 4 andNiloofar Khodabandehloo The Association between Modulating Inflammatory Cytokines and Constipation of Geriatrics in Iran. Middle East J Dig Dis. 2017 Oct; 9(4): 228–234. doi: 10.15171/mejdd.2017.78 PMID: 29255581

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.

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