Ulcerative Colitis – Tips for Dealing With It

Both Western and Chinese medicines recognize the importance of diet and its role in prevention and treatment of ulcerative colitis. Western medicine acknowledges dietary intake of certain factors (such as certain chemicals and drugs) may be linked to increased incidence of ulcerative colitis; Chinese medicine recognizes that dietary intake with excessive cold or raw food may injury the spleen and the stomach. Therefore, diet plays an important role in both prevent and effective treatment of the illness.

Food won’t prevent or cure IBD, but the right diet may diminish symptoms. The strategy is to focus on foods that reduce inflammation, to reestablish healthy bacteria in the gut and to pamper your intestinal tract. Keeping a food diary helps determine which foods trigger flare-ups and which seem to help.

Things to Avoid

  • Avoid any food which may trigger recurrence, such as certain chemicals, raw or cold food. Milk, cheese and other dairy products should be avoided especially if the patients have lactose intolerance.
  • Avoid sugar of all forms; avoid any wheat products especially during acute flare-ups.
  • High roughage food such as raw fruits or vegetables sometimes worsen intestinal obstruction and colic.
  • Alcohol should be avoided as it may be irritating to the stomach and the intestines.
  • Caffeine and carbonated drinks
  • Nuts, seeds, dried fruits
  • Spicy food may trigger certain nerve reactions in the digestive tract.
  • Certain over-the-counter or prescription antidiarrheal drugs may worsen the condition and create toxic megacolon.

What to Add

Everyone has different triggers; therefore it’s difficult to recommend certain types of food and/or supplements. In addition to avoiding the “wrong food,” it is equally important to have adequate calorie and fluid intake as malnutrition and dehydration are common problems associated with ulcerative colitis.  In general, two strategies that work are:

  • A bland, low-fiber may best during acute flares.
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day.

All of the following recommendations should not be taken unless supervised by a qualified health care provider.

  • Oral iron supplements for those with frequent bleeding.
  • Folic acid: Many people who have ulcerative colitis have low levels of folic acid in their blood.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil: DO NOT take high doses of fish oil if you take blood-thinning medication.
  • Probiotics: Consult your doctor to be sure probiotics are appropriate for your case.
  • Vitamin D: is necessary to maintain strong bones. People with ulcerative colitis, especially those who take corticosteroids, often have low levels of vitamin D and are at risk for osteoporosis.
  • Calcium: is also needed for strong bones. Ask your doctor if you need a calcium supplement.
  • N-acetyl glucosamine: Preliminary research suggests that N-acetyl glucosamine supplements or enemas may improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Psyllium seeds: Psyllium is a type of insoluble fiber, and may be irritating to some people, especially during flares. Some people may have better results using soluble fiber, such as flax seed or oat bran, in combination with or instead of psyllium.
  • Boswellia: Boswellia has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Curcumin or turmeric: This has anti-inflammatory properties. People with gallbladder disease or gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), hormone-related cancers, or people who are taking blood-thinning medications, should not take curcumin without first consulting with their doctors.
  • Slippery elm: is a demulcent (protects irritated tissues and promotes their healing). Women who may be pregnant should never take slippery elm.
  • Marshmallow: is a demulcent and emollient. Avoid marshmallow if you have diabetes.
  • Chamomile: is often used to soothe digestive tract. It is usually taken as a tea. Chamomile can cause allergic reactions in some people, particularly those who are sensitive to ragweed. Medicine

Nutrition Tips to Deal with Candidiasis

The following recommendations are by no means complete protocols.  Depending on the body’s constitutional weaknesses and reactions, these recommendations can be modified.  The key is to stay away from sugar, alcohol, carbohydrates, and dairies as much as possible. At the initial phase, all forms of protein including fish or chicken must be avoided as the main focus is to make candida starve to death.

First Phase—The Candida Cleanse Period (typically one week to 10 days)

  • Avoid all grains, especially wheat.
  • Avoid all proteins, except coconut milk or almond milk.
  • No nuts and all forms of pre-made salad dressings.
  • Fruit intake should be minimal.
  • Eat steamed organic vegetables as much as one can handle.
  • Eat salads made from leafy greens (like romaine lettuce) or bitter greens (like chard) and topped with just a bit of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice).
  • Stay away from starchy vegetables like carrots, radishes, beets, sweet potatoes and white potatoes.
  • Drink plenty of pure water, a minimum of 72 ounces per day, to help flush the candida and by-products from the body.
  • Use Bentonite Clay to help surround the toxins and efficiently remove them from the body.
  • Nutritional supplements such as Grapefruit seed extract, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Garlic extract, Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon, or Oregano will be beneficial.

The Second Phase—The Candida Diet (8 to 10 weeks)

  • Re-introduce warm starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams, peas, mung beans, lentils, kidney beans, adzuki beans, carrots, beets, corn, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, zucchini, yellow squash, rutabaga and pumpkin.
  • One serving a day of grains from quinoa, barley, brown rice, or amaranth.
  • Keep eating green leafy vegetables.
  • Add cultured dairy, especially kefir. Kimchi, sauerkraut and other fermented foods are also
  • Keep staying away from refined carbohydrates and sugars.
  • Support the body with Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Milk Thistle, Oregano Oil, Clove Oil, and Grape Seed Extract.

Candida Die-Off Symptoms

If one follows these recommendations, almost everyone will experience candida die-off symptoms. When candidas are being killed off rapidly, they cause metabolic reaction by releasing 70 different toxins into the body. Symptoms of candida die-off include:

  • Brain Fog
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Intestinal distress including bloating, gas, constipation and nausea
  • Sweating and fever
  • Sinus infection
  • Skin breakouts (not limited to face)
  • Typical flu-like symptoms

These symptoms usually clear up in seven to 10 days.

After all symptoms have subsided, one should continue eating a diet high in protein, high-fiber vegetables, and limit grains, fruits, sugar and high-starch vegetables like white potatoes. Fermented vegetables and kefir are known to help the body stay in balance and keep the candida at bay.

Treating Candidiasis with Nutrition Response Testing

Nutrition response testing can easily identify the underlying causes of candidiasis. Too often, symptoms such as brain fog, hormonal fluctuations, or chronic urinary tract infections are found to be directly related to yeast/fungus overgrowth.

Almost always, certain food items show up as the culprits of candidiasis. Not only yeast/fungus, many of those with candidiasis also demonstrate problems with bacteria and/or parasite over-growth.

With nutrition response testing, it typically takes 12 weeks to clear out the most severe candidiasis symptoms. Patients are strongly advised to abstain from grains, sugar (including fruits), dairies, and alcohol. Real food-based supplements such as Standard Process’ Lact-Enz, Prosynbiotics, Multizymes, and Liver/Spleen Cleanse are frequently used.

Causes of Candidiasis

Interestingly, the main causes of the overgrowth of candida albicans are presumed to be MEDICATIONS and MEDICAL THERAPIES. These include: antibiotics, hormone replacement, corticosteroids, birth control pills, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and multiple surgeries. These medications and therapies tend to kill beneficial bacteria and interfere with normal hormone functions.  Improper diet, such as over-consumption of yeast products, sugar, or alcohol, also can promote yeast growth.

Candidiasis2

Those with immune or endocrine disorders such as patients with AIDS, cancer, or diabetes are more prone to candidiasis. Due to the hormonal involvement and the reproductive tract, women tend to present with more symptoms than men.

The effects of anti-fungal medicines are highly questionable. The protocols recommended by alternative health practitioners are extremely difficult to follow. Mostly, the protocols focus on “candida cleanse” that helps to rid the body of excess candida through the flushing of the digestive tract, and the introduction of healthy candida fighters found in fermented foods or probiotics.

Some suggest liquid-only cleanse for an extended period of time; some recommend a thorough gut reboot along with a drastic diet change.

Overcoming Addiction with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Any addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, food, work, or other activity or substance, effectively blocks intelligence and suppresses healing abilities. Through these behaviors we choose to rely on the demands of addiction to dictate our lives, rather than taking responsibility to conduct ourselves in a healthy, life-affirming way.

addiction

Is there a body/mind connection to willpower? According to the principles of Chinese Medicine, there is. The zhi () represents willpower, drive, and determination. It manifests as the urge to persist in one’s efforts and, when in deficiency, feelings of defeat, pessimism, and depression may occur. Without strong willpower, or zhi, one may easily succumb to the temptations of addiction.

In acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, several approaches may be used when treating addictions, generally starting with therapies that help cleanse and balance. Sometimes a vague, uneasy sensation takes over after or during the process of releasing an addiction. Perhaps for the workaholic patient, it is strange and alarming to experience leisure time. Addicts require fortitude to find replacements for the dependence on substances or addictive behaviors. This is why willpower, or zhi, needs treatment, to provide support and determination to discover the power within oneself–a universal necessity for overcoming any addiction.

To aid your transformation from addiction and addictive behaviors to healthier practices, try focusing on routine. Routine provides stability, and a new routine is necessary to break old habits. If your first thought in the morning is to reach for a cigarette, replace that action with another, healthier ritual.

The replacement ritual could be anything from reaching for warm water with lemon and a pinch of cayenne to refresh your system, or singing your favorite song or stating out loud your plans for the day. As long as the action is positive and consistent, it will serve your new routine and changing thought processes.

Deep breathing with visualization can also strengthen willpower and be used as a tool to curb hunger and cravings. Most patients report a marked decline in appetite and cravings with acupuncture treatment alone, but special herbs, healing foods, and exercises can definitely enhance the efficacy of the treatments.

Remembering the power of zhi, how much do you have it, and how much you are willing to augment it are the keys in overcoming any addiction.

Are there cravings or an addiction you are working to overcome?

Call today to learn how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you reach optimum health!

Tips for Maximizing for Your Cardiovascular Health

There’s really no reason to take statins and suffer the damaging health effects from these dangerous drugs. Adopt a holistic approach that will benefit your overall health—which includes a healthy cardiovascular system.

tips for cardio 4

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. Appropriate sun exposure is critical in maintaining a healthy heart.
  • Reduce grains and sugars in your diet.
  • Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables such as kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, radish, turnips and cabbages.
  • Eat at least three cloves of garlic a day.
  • Consume a moderate amount of high-quality animal (organic grass-fed) fats.

tips for cardio3

  • Other heart-healthy foods include olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products, eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds.
  • Exercise daily. Make sure you incorporate peak fitness, which also optimizes your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
  • Address your stress level through yoga, Qi-kong, or Emotional Freedom Tapping(EFT). Daily meditation for only five minutes can dramatically reduce your stress level.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Be sure to get plenty of good, restorative sleep.

tips for cardio2

Tips For A Restful Night And A Good Restorative Sleep

Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping your body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help your body cope with sleep deprivation. By following few of these suggestions, you should notice a great improvement in your sleep.

Ambiance

Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Keep it dark, cool and quiet. Angle the clock face away from the bed. If you get up to use the bathroom during the night, don’t turn on the light; use a nightlight to safely guide you. The optimal temperature for sleep is 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Hungry

Avoid heavy meals and sugary or high grain snacks before bed. They will raise your blood sugar and make it difficult to fall asleep. Reduce nicotine, caffeine and alcohol use. If you are hungry, try yogurt, a banana or half of a turkey sandwich.

restful sleep

Reduce Late Night Activity

Stop working at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. Let your mind relax. Limit television and computer use in the evening. If you want to read in bed, avoid backlit devices as the light stimulates the brain. Read a book or use a device that requires you to use a separate soft light source.

Bedtime Routine

Establish a relaxing routine as you prepare for bed. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday, even on weekends. Relax by taking a hot shower, practicing mediation, or try progressive muscle relaxation, starting at your toes and working up to the top of the head.

It is important to leave the day’s worries behind. Do not over think while you lie in bed. Take a deep breath, clear your mind and drift into a state of restful sleep.