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 make the intestine hospitable to conbiotics™5

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 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!

Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media, through email and to like us on FacebookInstagram and YouTube !

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones™ will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.

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]

 

Best Lab Tests to Help Treat Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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

Why is Irritable Bowel Syndrome a Functional Bowel Movement Disorder?

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

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

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

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

Functional Disorders Involve the ENTIRE Environment of the Body 

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

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

Are There Functional Tests for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

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

What Is the Point of Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

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

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

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

Stress Hormone Testing Cortisol and ACTH 

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

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

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

These tests can be purchased on YourLabWork.com.

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

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

GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP KIT HERE!

Inflammation Testing in IBS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This website has more information on food sensitivity testing in the US.

Can You Test for Dysbiosis and The Microbiome?

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

Another my tests is the Organic Acids Test (OAT), which tracks overgrowth of yeasts as well as possible clostridium infections which aids in the support of patients with IBS.

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

What Should You Test? My Dream List

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

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

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

Start working on a solution!

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

In addition, I encourage patients to wear an eye mask to bed. As mentioned before, this will help to increase the body’s natural melatonin production, improving quality of sleep. The Queen of the Thrones™ Beauty Sleep Eye Kit™ is available here

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

Peek After You Poo

The other pièce de résistance is that I ask my patients to start peeking at their poo. I want a detailed account moving forward. Because let’s face it, lab tests start to get quite expensive. For the full panel above you could be looking at anywhere between $1500-$2500 per shot, so why not learn what your poo is saying about you? It is an easy daily at-home test, totally free!
Use Eau De Throne™ the ‘After You Poo Parfum™’ to get into the habit of peeking after you poo and allow the blend of organic essential oils to ensure that you will never be embarrassed again for the smell you leave behind!

Every visit, with every single patient, we have this discussion and you would be shocked at how much it guides treatment. So much so, that I’ve compiled my personal experience, clinical experience and research so that you have access to the same tools as my patients. For a better understanding of what your poo says about you, download my free e-book ’50 Shades of Poo’ here

 

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

Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media, through email and like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about how you can OWN your throne!

References:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones™ will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.

Castor Oil Packs and Constipation | How to Get You Regular

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 feeling that way 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 your very own Castor Oil Pack Bundle, 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 that castor oil packs are not recommended if you are pregnant or may be pregnant because of the uterus also being smooth muscle 4 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.

xoxoxo

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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