In it's new position paper on treatment of IBS, the American College of Gastroenterology has formally recognized the value of certain probiotics. Natural medicine has much else to offer patients struggling with this difficult chronic condition.
Probiotics have great potential to help people in strife-torn regions recover digestive health and nutritional status. The problem has been to develop formulations that deliver high doses of the beneficial bugs without need for refrigeration. With his new Vidazorb line and an outreach program called "Share the Health," socially-conscious entrepreneur E. Frank Hodal is meeting that challenge.
Polypharmacy, the progressive piling on of medications, is one of the biggest unspoken public health threats facing the nation. Simply put, more meds means more adverse events and drug interactions. The problem is only going to grow as the Boomer generation ages, unless physicians and patients work together to use medications more judiciously.
Polyphenols from olives, known to be potent antioxidants, can also down-regulate inflammation, and they're proving effective in clearing psoriasis.
Deficiency of digestive enzymes is very common, and can reflect poor diet, use of antacids and anti-ulcer medications, or chronic gastrointestinal diseases. For many people, supplementation with digestive enzymes can make a world of difference in their digestive function and their overall health.
There's a reason why nearly all traditional cultures worldwide have some form of fermented food as part of their dietary staples. Unfortunately, in the rush to modernity and "convenience," many people have lost the taste for things like kefir, kimchi, and natto. These and other fermented foods are extremely healthy, providing a rich source of probiotic gut bacteria, which aid digestion, reduce inflammation and promote overall health.
Named for Pegasus, the flying horse of Greek myth, Sea Buckthorn plant (Hippophae rhamnoides) has been mainstay of traditional medicine in Eastern Europe and Asia for centuries. Its orange berries are very rich in Omega 7 fatty acids as well as vitamin E and other compounds speed the healing and support the integrity of the skin and other mucous membranes. It may have an important role in treating irritable bowel syndrome and other gut problems.
New food allergen labeling regulations, effective in January 2006, will make it easier for food-sensitive people to avoid allergy triggers.
Once thought to be relatively rare, celiac disease is actually very common, and physicians need to pay more attention to it. A naturopathic physician who has the condition herself offers insights on diagnosing, treating and living with this complex digestive disease.
Chronic recurrent abdominal pain is very common in children. Fortunately, the majority of kids with this problem will respond well to combinations of herbal therapies, dietary changes, and biofeedback, reports Joy Weidert, MD. This is a far safer approach than wanton use of antispasmodics, anti-depressants or other drugs that have little evidence to support their use for abdominal pain in kids.