Monday, March 28, 2011

LDN Therapy Improves Active Crohn's - Clinical Trial 2007

1. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Apr;102(4):820-8. Epub 2007 Jan 11.

Low-dose naltrexone therapy improves active Crohn's disease.

Smith JP, Stock H, Bingaman S, Mauger D, Rogosnitzky M, Zagon IS.

Department of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine,
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.

OBJECTIVES: Endogenous opioids and opioid antagonists have been shown to play a
role in healing and repair of tissues. In an open-labeled pilot prospective
trial, the safety and efficacy of low-dose naltrexone (LDN), an opioid
antagonist, were tested in patients with active Crohn's disease.
METHODS: Eligible subjects with histologically and endoscopically confirmed
active Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) score of 220-450 were enrolled in a 
study using 4.5 mg naltrexone/day. Infliximab was not allowed for a minimum of 8 
wk prior to study initiation. Other therapy for Crohn's disease that was at a
stable dose for 4 wk prior to enrollment was continued at the same doses.
Patients completed the inflammatory bowel disease questionnaire (IBDQ) and the
short-form (SF-36) quality of life surveys and CDAI scores were assessed
pretreatment, every 4 wk on therapy and 4 wk after completion of the study drug. 
Drug was administered by mouth each evening for a 12-wk period.
RESULTS: Seventeen patients with a mean CDAI score of 356 +/- 27 were enrolled.
CDAI scores decreased significantly (P= 0.01) with LDN, and remained lower than
baseline 4 wk after completing therapy. Eighty-nine percent of patients exhibited
a response to therapy and 67% achieved a remission (P < 0.001). Improvement was
recorded in both quality of life surveys with LDN compared with baseline. No
laboratory abnormalities were noted. The most common side effect was sleep
disturbances, occurring in seven patients.
CONCLUSIONS: LDN therapy appears effective and safe in subjects with active
Crohn's disease. Further studies are needed to explore the use of this compound.

PMID: 17222320 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Disease Prevention with Diet - Protect yourself from Colon Polyps & Cancer

Some of the best ways to prevent and protect yourself from diseases is with a healthy diet.  If you also have a current medical condition such as, Crohn's Disease, colitis, IBS, ect., your digestive system is already compromised and should be fed with nutrient rich foods.  What we put in our body will make a difference in how it will run.  
In the US today, people would rather snack on chips than carrot sticks.  Easy options are usually chosen over a more healthy choice because 1) it's just that, "easy" and conveinence looks more favorable to us at that particular moment (i've been there many times) 2) the options for "healthy" is limited or not available at all when we are on the run or need to purchase something on the run.  This I know to be true because I really put effort into finding a place to purchase pre-made HEALTHY entrees/meals and it's virtually impossible to eliminate unhealthy additives in the foods... unless you choose a salad (no croutons and dressing.....blah). & lastly, 3) We don't care and aren't mindful.
Important Fruits and Vegetables - We all should increase our fruit and veggie intake. Choose all the colors of the rainbow when choosing your fruit and veggies.  Strawberries , oranges, peppers and carrots are full of antioxidants that are great for us.  Add them to your diet in meals or just for snacking.  They are healthy!
Veggies such as, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cabbage contain cancer fighting chemicals.
Unprocessed grains are important.  Some people cannot digest grains very well and if that's you, there are great substitutes and gluten free options.
Eat tomatoes - they are high in lycopene, a cancer fighting chemical
Avocados   Rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. I love to eat Avocados sliced with some cilantro and fresh tomatoes.  Yum

Meats and Fish
Eating red meat should be decreased and eating fish should increase.  Fish like cold water Tuna, Salmon are great choices and you will get necessary Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  If you are not a big fish eater, you should really purchase Omega 3 in supplement form.  These are the good fats that we benefit from.

Flax - High in Omega 3.  If you cant get fish, try this - Flax seeds, flax oil
Garlic - boosts the immune system.  Also a wonderful herb to add flavoring and healing properties to many meals.  Garlic is also an anti-inflammatory
Mushrooms - cancer fighter and delicious
Seaweed and other sea veggies - You can add the seaweed to a miso soup and eat them with rice.

Please post other foods if you know of something that is helpful to you or someone you know.  Thank you

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Your Gastro Doctor and what to know. Do you Advocate for Yourself?

When you go to your Gastro doctor/GI Doc/Ass doctor/ or whatever you call them, do you ask questions about anything and everything regarding your treatment of care? Because you should.

I spoke with a friend that was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease not even a year ago. Doctors had him on Prednisone that was not effective for him. He is now on Remicade and still isn't finding relief for his Crohn's symptoms. To my surprise, my friend really had no knowledge about this potent medication he is receiving and I don't think he was informed much about modifying his lifestyle, especially his diet and the foods he should be avoiding. When I asked my buddy what he eats and if he still drinks alcohol, he pretty much has made ZERO, none, nada changes to his diet!.  This means he still consumes beer, gin and vodka, eats greasy fast food, ect. I was shocked that no one spoke with him about what he eats and drinks and puts into his body. I've learned that if the doctor or nurse doesn't ask, you must tell and you must ask questions pertaining to your disease, treatment and lifestyle changes that would be a benefit to you. It's your life and your body! One little modification could make your disease completely decrease in symptoms and bring you into remission = everyone's goal! 

I tried my best to inform my friend about how he must eliminate anything that he eats and drinks that make his symptoms worse in any way. A diet journal or a notebook is helpful with recording your lifestyle/diet and recording changes that you experience with symptoms of your illness. Obviously unhealthy food and beverages (like alcohol, junk food, fast food, fried foods, sweets ect.) should be completely removed from your diet in the beginning & then reintroduce each one slowly. Our society at this current time, has been informed and has made our country knowledgeable about healthy diet choices and what is considered healthy and unhealthy. We aren't idiots when it comes to knowing what's good & what's not.  Do I choose the the cheese burger or the salad?  Hmmmmm 

Some doctors believe that diet has nothing to do with your intestinal disease. I've had doctors literally tell me that I could eat anything I wanted to. Well people, this is an absolute lie. What goes into our body very much effects how it runs and how you will feel.  

Remember that if you don't ask, sometimes you will not be told. All health care providers are different, don't expect to be told helpful tips or even important information that you should have knowledge about. 
Write down in your journal all your concerns and questions that you have before your next gastro appointment.  Ha, because if your anything like me, you have all these questions in your head and when you get face to face with your doctor, you can't remember any of them.  So make a list & don't forget your list/lose it (this has happened to me too).  Tack that post it to your forehead if it will make you remember to take it to your appointment (dont really use tacks, duct tape will keep it there)
*If you are not sure about a treatment or something that your doctor has recommended for you, do research. It's your responsibility to find out about your disease and treatment options. Trust me, there's a ton of good, easy to understand reputable information out there. The Mayo Clinic website is just one great site for up to date info.
* It's your right as a patient to refuse a certain procedure or treatment that your doctor has recommended if you are not comfortable with it. I am not encouraging people to go against your doctor or to be a skeptic, difficult patient, like me. I am saying that if you do not agree with the doctors' treatment recommendation for you, you have every right to decline and refuse that particular method. 
*Ask for alternative treatment options available. Nowadays with our advancement in technology and the extensive research being conducted, there's usually several treatment options for a condition. You deserve to know what they are so you can make an informed decision and one that you are confident saying "Yes" to.

I almost forgot to mention  The choices you make do matter. It may be difficult to cut certain foods and drinks from your diet, but I will say that everyday will get easier with effort to be healthier.  Our substitute options are great too! You can pretty much get a healthier option of anything at your local market..........
.......................... Sorry, not the gin though!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

THE SCD DIET-What it is & an article by CCFA.ORG about it's effectiveness

This article will review the available facts and offer a variety of perspectives on the SCD diet to help readers navigate its complexities and form their own opinions as to its value for treating IBD.
What in the world is the SCD DIET ? -----    The SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) is a diet developed and discussed in the award winning book Breaking The Vicious Cycle by author Elaine Gottschall.  This diet has helped many people overcome digestive disorders ranging from IBD to Crohn's disease.  It has been further studied and found that this diet has been effective for the treatment of ADHD and ADD.   Note:  This is a highly restricting diet that can be difficult for a lot of people who are used to the quickness of grabbing already prepared dishes or are regular purchasers of boxed, canned, bottled foods.  A good example of this diet would be to think of a caveman (Ooooo, brings to mind The Paleo Diet... another great restricting diet to help GI disorders.......but that's another blog).
A quick description of his diet is to think about the way food used to be before processing, preservatives, additives and other artificial/flavor enhancing chemical crap were created and started to get added to foods, like alllllll of our foods.  It's sad, but the majority of our society stand blind to all the added junk in that delicious box of mac-n-cheese...... Pssssst........ that cheese that tastes so good, really isn't cheese.  It tastes yummy so we eat it.  Take control of those taste buds people!  Try eating the food that God gave us, in natural form.  Mmmmm, now that is what I call delicious and that is the basic idea of the SCD Diet.  
For more info, go to the official Elaine Gottschall website for further information, the science behind the scd diet and many delicious recipes provided by avid SCD followers.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It feels like NO ONE CARES! "Alone" is an understatement

Support and Understanding - Chronic illness is very much misunderstood by people that do not suffer from one.  The healthy people in this world just don't get it.  People, even your family members, have difficulty wrapping their brains around these conditions/diseases.  There are people that do understand and do experience similar symptoms - You are not alone and can get support and help from people that care.

If it weren't for the forums and message boards, blogs and wonderful organizations like the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA.ORG) and all the content that can be found over the net, I'd have NO ONE.  I'm serious when I tell you this.  I do not have immediate family members that have take the time to learn about my illness, nor do I have many friends that take the time to get educated about the disease that will effect my life forever.  More aggravation is felt when I'm around my family members... especially ones that are clueless... lol i'm talking they have less than a clue about my life, the disease and how it effects my life on a day to day basis.  If I were to ask a close family member; let's say my father.  If I asked him if he has ever visited CCFA.ORG.... ever, his response would probably be "what's CCFA?"

I am still trying to get over the fact that my family do not, have not and probably will not ever take interest in this horrible disease called Crohn's!

I thank all the people that are encouraging and compassionate.  It means the world to me and i'm sure it's made a difference in so many other peoples' lives.



Your disease - What helps you feel YOURSELF AGAIN (even if it's for a moment)?

Getting better without all the DRUGS!
What are the most current helpful treatments available for these conditions, your disease?  If you have an article that gives you yummy goose bumps of hope, share it.... lol I want goose bumps too :)
Or,  If you have a treatment that works for you, share that too. I want to know everything and anything that has been helpful to you and helping you get better...

We will get better because we do have control on our overall health and can eliminate/reduce inflammation in our body.  There is power in numbers.  When we come together - we have power to overcome and move forward in good health.  The more we know the more power we have!

PS:  Not just Crohn's sufferers.. anyone with a Chronic illness/ autoimmune disease.... digestive problems   ... here's a list of them all

  • Crohn's Disease,  Ulcerative Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBS, Pancreatitis, GERD, Diverticulosis, Gastritis,  Chronic diarrhea, Celiac Disease, Hepatitis, ulcers, food allergies.   
Okay... the list is long.  Check it out for yourself.   But after you do, share (if you'd like to) what you do, take or believe, that you can say is helpful and improves your quality of life and wellbeing.

I'd love to hear from someone about this :)Thank you 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are making the headlines. See news, articles, research and studies here!

Read this encouraging abstract. This gives us hope for better health and a future with the possibility of strength, vitality, happiness and not waking everyday to a disease. My hope for everyone is for good health and peace of mind. We all deserve better and more out of life. Unfortunately, our country only relieves our symptms and not the root of the illness. There is a medication for everything, we've become a pill popping society that refuses to make diet and lifestyle changes to improve our overall health.
Metaphorically speaking, by the time a typical American person reaches late adulthood, that person will most likely have many illnesses and considered to be in poor health. As years go by, the ailments increase, and another pill is the answer rather than life adjustment to make the person whole and BETTER. The person is left with many diagnosis' and a big box with all their medications they must take to stay alive......... Oh, and another box with all the meds that help with side effects.....Ya know the shakes and tremors, the painful joints, the premature ejaculation, depression... the list goes on. This will not be me!!!!!


Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are making the headlines. See news, articles, research and studies here!

Clinical Trial Results - Low Dose Naltrexone is Effective Treatment for Crohn's

Low Dose Naltrexone study results - show that LDN did help Crohn's Disease sufferers. 

I'm searching to find out why this drug that is said to help people with autoimmune diseases - Crohn's being just one of the diseases, is not approved by the FDA yet for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. 

There are so many positives for prescribing this drug vs all the biologics that come with the risk of some very dangerous side effects. Not to mention, naltrexone is super reasonable in price, few side-effects and is effective! 

I just wanted to share my findings when searching on the FDA site for clinical trials. Let me know if you find this encouraging or helpful to you.

Be well everyone!

Abstract info - Low-dose naltrexone therapy improves active Crohn's disease.
Smith JP, Stock H, Bingaman S, Mauger D, Rogosnitzky M, Zagon IS.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Apr;102(4):820-8. Epub 2007 Jan 11.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

I love Cacti.....

... not just because they are so rare and every one is uniquely different than the other, but because they are DELICIOUS (Tequila MMmmmm Yum)  
I don't drink alcohol at all anymore, but when I did, I was the true tequila queen.  Without my knowledge, I was clueless that my liquor of choice was one that was actually gluten free (it's not made with wheat, it's a CACTI:)  For those of you ex-drinkers, you know that most alcohol is made from wheat or some sort of grain.  Some very good options for gluten free alcohol is a potato vodka and sake (made from rice).  There are some very good gluten free beers available at your local grocery store as well.     

Has anyone tried this drink?  It sounds like the magic drink by the description of it in this commercial.  Anyone have a taste of this stuff or know that it actually helps with inflammation?  I have not, but would love to try it.  I have not been able to locate this stuff yet.