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

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

Probiotic Supplements – Do they Make Sense?

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

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

Fecal Transplants – Do they Make Sense?

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

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

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

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

IBS as a Functional Disorder

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

The point of this whole blog is this….

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

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

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

What would a systems/whole approach entail?

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

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

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

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

2. Nurture It Like you Would a Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start the journey to learn about your poo here

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

Dr. Marisol - Digestive Detective

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

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

Environments Have Timing, so Does your Poo

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

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

Change your Terrain – Fix your Irritable Bowel

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

Night Practice for Irritable Bowel Terrain Treatment

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

Nightly Restorative Sleep Practice

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

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

These are the most important tips:

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

Castor Oil Packs – A Legendary Terrain Treatment

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

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

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

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

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

NEXT STEPS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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]