4 Causes of IBS and a Natural IBS Treatments December 09 2014
We’ve all heard how a natural approach to food is the best. We know that we shouldn’t eat high fructose corn syrup. We’ve all wondered if we should be buying free range chicken eggs. We’ve visited local farmer markets to pick up local produce. We understand that there needs to be a natural approach when it comes to our food. But what about a natural approach to our medicine? While a conventional medical approach has been working miracles for the past 50 years, we have lost a little of our magic for healing our bodies, not just treating the illness.
There are many natural and alternative approaches to illnesses and chronic fatigue that, unfortunately, are not used now days. Healing our whole bodies is so much more complicated than just eliminating the symptoms of a disease.
To explain the Natural approach to fatigue completely, an understanding of two philosophical models needs to explained. Naturopathic medicine follows the philosophical model of naturopathy. This model identifies a disease and works with the healing mechanisms of the body to bring about a cure. Its main focus is to identify the cause of the disease and stimulate the bodies’ own healing mechanisms to eliminate the disease. The philosophical model that most conventional doctors follow is allopathy. This model identifies the disease and uses treatments like drugs or surgery to suppress the symptoms of the disease. If the symptoms of the disease are eliminated the disease is cured in the allopathic model.
So when I talk about using a naturopathic approach towards chronic fatigue, I would start by looking for the causes of the fatigue. The main causes of IBS are food sensitivities, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, increased intestinal permeability, hypochlorhydria and neurotransmitter imbalance. To do this, I would take a thorough history and order laboratory tests to identify the cause of the fatigue.
Explanation of the causes of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Food sensitivities: There are many foods that people can be sensitive to and the main symptom of food sensitivities is fatigue. Food sensitivities are different than a food allergy. People with foods allergies usually have instantaneous reactions to the food right after eating, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, rash etc. Food sensitivities don’t have an immediate reaction after eating the food. It can take several hours or days for symptoms to present and they are more subtle. They do not show up in conventional food allergy testing, because the tests used look at the IgE allergic response (the instantaneous response) and not the IgG4 immune response (the slow response).
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: This condition occurs when the small intestine becomes overwhelmed with bad bacteria and the bad bacteria replaces the good bacteria. This leads to poor absorption of food. Symptoms of this condition are fatigue, gas and bloating shortly after a meal, mental fog, diarrhea or constipation, and abdominal pain.
Hypochlorhydria: This is a condition where there is a decreased production of HCL in the stomach to help digest protein and absorb several vitamins and minerals. Some people genetically don’t produce enough HCL, but it naturally occurs in many individuals while they age. This condition is a major cause of gas and bloating in individuals.
Neurotransmitter imbalance: When people think of neurotransmitters they think of the brain and they never think of their guts. The gut contains a great deal of neurotransmitters and there are many pathways between the brain and the gut. The gut actually has its own nervous system. The gut is considered by many medical professionals as the second brain. Neurotransmitters in the gut become imbalanced by mental stress, depression, anxiety, and two areas we touched on earlier food sensitivities and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. When the neurotransmitters become imbalanced it leads to poor absorption of food and spasm of the intestines leading to many of the symptoms of IBS. The specific neurotransmitters that are out of balance can be found with specialized laboratory testing.
As we can see, there are multiple causes of IBS. While we would all love to have a quick fix that works for everyone, our bodies are a lot more complicated than that. It takes a trained professional to know exactly what the cause is and the IBS treatment protocol for you. But there is hope for individuals with IBS. Who knows, it may be just as easy as not eating eggs.
For more detailed explanation and IBS treatment and other conditions a consultation with the author Dr. Jacob Schmutz, a specialist in natural and alternative medicine, can be made by visiting our appointment page.
Why you shouldn't use an All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix and what to use instead. December 03 2014
We do a lot of gluten free baking in our home. And, over the past few years, we have learned a number of things we will be sharing over the next few months. But, when you first start baking gluten-free, most people go out and purchase an all-purpose gluten free flour mix to use. While it sounds like a good idea, usually the mix doesn't bake correctly and has a horrible after taste.
When we first started on our gluten-free baking experience, we did the same thing. We just assumed that gluten-free baking had a nasty after taste. But, it just isn't so.We have now graduated to mixing our own flour mixes for different baking. We enjoy baking more than we did when we just used wheat flour. The variety of flours and tastes now available to us is exciting and fun.
Our favorite go-to flour combination is 2 parts sprouted brown rice flour, 1 part sorghum flour, and 1 part teff flour. You will see this combination pop up a lot as we start sharing our favorite gluten free recipes.
Once you start experimenting and trying different flour combinations, you will find what tastes you like the most and what works well for the food you like to eat.
To start, I am just going to explain a few of the basic gluten-free flour options that you should be aware of:
Almond Flour - an easier flour to find at a regular grocery store since it is used in baking quite often. Almond flour has a light texture. Because of it's high fat content, it needs to be refrigerated and used within two months.
Corn Flour - like corn meal, just a finer consistency. It leads to much of a distict, yet light and nutty flavor in foods.
Flaxseed Meal - Flaxseeds are a great way to add some healthy fiber and omega-3 fatty acids in food. Another great benefit of flaxseed meal, is that it acts as another binder, which is usually the problem in gluten free baking. Flaxseed meal goes rancid very quickly, so we recommend buying your own flaxseeds and grinding them your self in a coffee grinder.
Garbanzo (Chickpea) Bean Flour - this flour gives thinly baked goods a nice crunch. It also adds a slight bean flavor to foods. But, don't let that scare you. Our favorite pizza dough recipe is made from a mix with garbanzo bean flour. Alone, this flour is too crumbly to create a crust. Store garbanzo bean flour in a dark, dry place.
Sprouted Rice Flour - different than just regular rice flour, sprouted rice flour is the best flour we have found for baking. It is lighter than traditional rice flour, and has a sweet light flavor. Out of all the flours, this is the only one that we can use just by itself when baking.
Rice Flour - is the flour used most often when replacing wheat. It can lead to a sandy texture in food if not mixed with other flours. It is a lot cheaper than sprouted rice flour, so it is worth trying, be we would recommended using the sprouted rice flour in baking.
Sorghum (Milo) Flour- another one of our favorite flours. Some say that it tastes the closets to wheat. It is a great one to offset the graininess of rice flour. It is also a great way to add more protein into your diet.
Tapioca Flour - We don't like to use this one a lot. It is a starchy flour, and therefore, not very healthy. But, tapioca flour does add more of a chewy texture to baked treats, and so it is good to add in small amounts.
Teff Flour - another of our favorite flours. We love the strong taste of this flour. It is also highly nutritious, such as quinoa or amaranth. It shouldn't be used in yeast breads because of a symbiotic yeast it contains. Store it in a dark, dry, cool place.
Make Your Own Natural All-Purpose Household Cleaner December 01 2014
1 orange or 4 lemons
10 Ways to Prevent the Cold or Flu November 17 2014
2. Use a humidifier at night. Keeps the mucous membranes from drying out. The mucous membranes are our first defense against virus’ and bacteria.
3. Use essential oil humidifiers at during the day and night. Best anti-microbrial essential oils are thyme and eucalyptus.
4. Take a good quality pro-biotic daily. Keeps the immune system on constant surveillance for virus’ and bacteria.
5. Take vitamins and minerals that gives the immune system what it needs to fight off infection. Best 4 are: Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Zinc.
6. Prevent Vitamin D deficiency by taking Vitamin D3.
7. Take immunomodulators, which keeps the immune system on constant surveillance. Astragalus, American Ginseng, Reishi mushrooms, and trametes mushrooms are good examples.
8. Eat fresh garlic. It is highly anti-microbrial.
9. Get at least 7-9 hrs of sleep per night.
10. Try to limit the amount of stress in your life.