Monday, April 15, 2013

After Antibiotics, Why Not Probiotics?

One might ask, “How can something be life saving and life threatening at the same time?” The broad answer could be, “Whether this something is used appropriately and not overused.” Antibiotics have been available since the 1940s and have been used successfully to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia and even sexually transmitted diseases.

The latest information in the United States is that there are 833 prescriptions written for every 1000 people. That’s 4 out of 5 Americans, every year. With this overuse comes the problematic resistance that causes these life saving medications to lose effectiveness, necessitating larger doses, longer time using them and the mutation of bacteria to no longer be affected by the medication.

There are also times that antibiotics are used for the wrong reasons. Many times ear infections are viral in nature, whereas antibiotics are used for bacteria. To prescribe an antibiotic “in case” there is a bacterial infection later is a misuse. One particular antibiotic is frequently used for the symptoms of bronchitis, however a virus usually causes bronchitis. In these cases, the antibiotic may not be warranted and could contribute to the loss in efficacy when it is later needed, as well as the increase in resistance.

A number of years ago, I received an autographed copy of a ‘novel’ entitled: Probed by Aliens. It was written by one of the holistic physicians who studies biologically based medicine. The premise is that a civilization many light years away so over used antibiotics that they were destined to become extinct as their immune system and defenses became ineffective. So they traveled to earth to extract ‘healthy bacteria’ from the mucous membranes of the abducted aliens.

While I don’t think we are that close, we have certainly compromised our health and made the overuse and abuse of antibiotics life threatening. The super bugs and the increase in Clostridium Difficil are alarming. Without a swift turn around, things will continue to decline. However, my research into probiotic rectal infusions holds great hope. In fact, my holistic research is based on scientific research published in numerous medical journals over the last 30 years.

The first such article was published in 1983 in the Lancet. It reported only 4 cases in the study: two were for chronic constipation, one with constipation from an influenza-like syndrome, and one with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea and abdominal pain. The conclusion was: Bowel function promptly returned to normal in all four cases and remained normal (one or two normal stools a day) without further treatment. This article motivated me to accumulate other valuable research on the use of bacteria to rebuild the microbiota of the large intestine.

Since 1991 when I read the Lancet article, I have tested and used multiple strains of probiotics in retention rectal infusions. It’s safe, efficient and effective. It also bypasses the digestive juices of the mouth, stomach, pancreas and small intestine. Essentially, one is placing the right stuff in the right place and giving it an hour to colonize in the dark, moist, warm environment of the sigmoid colon. This method is 100% effect with often only one application, whereas oral probiotics are often destroyed by hydrochloric acid and other gastric juices.

After one hour, one can empty the bowel if needed. In the next three days, the bacteria will continue to multiply and stabilize the entire large intestine. Some people are hesitant because of the sensitivity and privacy of the rectum, however it is the best delivery system. As mature adults, let’s make decisions based on knowledge. Once we’re over this hurdle, it’s an easy treatment that takes only a few minutes.

I received an email earlier today from a client in Canada. She was visiting Arizona and came to see me for body pain as well as constipation. Her email said, “My body has been in good working order since receiving the irrigation treatments. I just wanted to touch base with you, and hopefully I will be back in November. I will be in touch shortly before then and hopefully be able to make an appointment with you.”
How can Dr Victoria help me? Check out her services :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Risk and Rewards of Digestion

Our gastro intestinal tract is a complex system that digests food and absorbs nutrients to feed our cells; it is also where 90% or more of our immune system works. The third component of this system is that it is where we find a high concentration of toxins. In addition to this, there are many nerve endings in the intestines so emotional stress affects the system. No wonder so many people complain about digestive issues.

One must remember that digestion starts in the mouth as one chews, since saliva contains enzymes that begin to break down carbohydrates. Once food reaches the stomach, hydrochloric acid and pepsin begin the digestion of proteins and fats. As this “mush” moves into the small intestine, pancreatic enzymes mix continue this process. There is also enzymatic activity at the level of the villi of the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed thru the intestinal wall into the blood stream. This is an amazing process!

One of the most interesting facts is the population of the intestines. There are over 500 different species of bacteria in human intestines. It is a highly complex and genetically diverse population that interact with one’s entire body as somewhere between 40% and 80% of the immune system resides. This bacterial community is called the microbiota and can be greatly affected by stress that increases the level of inflammation in ones body.

In a study published in Brain Behavior Immunology 2011, mice were exposed to a social stressor and the findings stated, “Stressor exposure significantly changed the community structure of the microbiota, particularly when the microbiota were assessed immediately after stressor exposure.”  The Bacteroides (common to mammalian intestinal flora) were decreased and the Clostridiums (about 100 species of which 5 are responsible for diseases in humans) were increased. This certainly indicates that stress weakens the innate immune system of the intestines and causes changes in this balance.

As inflammation increases, so do diseases such as cancer, auto-immune diseases (Sjogren’s, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis) and the specific auto-immune diseases of the large intestine (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disorder) as well as cardiovascular disease.

While many diseases are treated with medication, the side effects often affect the large intestine with either diarrhea or constipation. Many disrupt the microbiota, leaving the digestive tract further susceptible to inflammation and infection. The use of antibiotics destroys much or all of the microbiota leaving the body at risk.

As patient complaints rise, one might look at simple and effective ways to bring healthy balance back to the microbiota. There is evidence that the quality and quantity of bacteria in the intestines contributes to the reduction of inflammation in the body. Certainly fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kim chee, kombucha, and sauerkraut have wonderful digestive value, as do cleansing procedures. Colonic irrigation therapy promotes large intestine cleansing as it removes pathogenic bacteria, fungi, yeasts and parasites. Without re-establishing a healthier balance, these pathogens can quickly reproduce in the dark, warm and moist environment of the large intestine. The introduction of selected probiotics when administered in a suppository form will rapidly establish a healthy microbiota that has a beneficial effect on the digestion, liver, kidneys, and immune system.

To maintain and promote healthier digestion, one can look at food combining for easier digestion, take digestive enzymes when appropriate, add vegetable juicing to their daily program, and eat smaller meals. From an emotional angle, one can take 10 or 15 minutes each day to sit quietly and participate in some form of meditation or biofeedback technique, with rhythmic breathing and a removal of thought, ‘just let things go’. When one can find a method to release stress, studies have shown that it will support ones physical health.

Whatever approach or combination one uses, the value is in greater quality of life and energy to enjoy all that is beautiful.