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The Seven IBS – Thyroid Connections

Hi there, it’s Dr. Davis again and today I’d like to talk to you about the relationship of IBS and your thyroid. In the past, and unfortunately some doctors still feel this way, IBS was considered a diagnosis of exclusion, where the doctor would finally label your symptoms as IBS when they couldn’t think of anything else to call it.  As you can imagine, this didn’t lead to much in the way affective treatment.  But IBS research has advanced so much in the last 5 years that it has cleared the path to a much fuller understanding of the cause and effects of IBS. One of the most important relationships it turns out is with low thyroid function   Thyroid function is surprisingly complex, with hormones changing into other hormones, organs affecting other organs, brain-thyroid crosstalk, and the gut affecting pretty much everything.   The thyroid gland affects the energy…

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Probiotics and the Brain-Multiple sclerosis

By Dr. Don Davis, D.C., DACNB - Neurology
Functional Nutrition.

Everyone knows that the brain is a valuable organ. Well, for that matter, most of our organs are valuable. It’s just that the brain is one of those where even subtle changes in the blood that feeds the brain can bring on big changes in behavior, that everyone can notice. You can’t say that of most of our other organs.

A brand new study in the journal Neurology looked into some of these small changes, specifically with the immune system within. The study looked at the disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that attacks the white matter (nerve extensions) of the brain. It also looked at probiotics as a possible treatment for the condition.

The logic works like this: In MS, the white matter of the central nervous system is damaged by an overactive and over-sensitive immune system. Since we know that intestinal bacteria can help regulate the immune system, it was thought that probiotics might be able to decrease the immune system’s attack on the white matter and decrease the effects and progression of MS.

They used a probiotic of bacteria common in yogurt containing Bifidobactor, Lactobacillis and Streptococcus bacteria. These are microbes that are known to increase IL-10, a molecule that increases Regulatory T cells that will slow the immune system down.

Up to this point, this particular blend of probiotic has been helpful in controlling diabetes, colitis, and IBS, so it would be reasonable that it could also be affective in an autoimmune nerve condition. The results were interesting. First of all, the markers that studied that showed general inflammation decreased significantly and also lead to a decrease specific neurological markers related to MS.

This more than just interesting. It is important. While most of us don’t have MS, we are all dealing with some level of inflammation. Some us, especially those that are eating the Standard American Diet, living with high levels of stress, decreased sleep, and little exercise are “going down”. This study shows that increasing the level of good bacteria can decrease the inflammation that is responsible for the majority of degenerative diseases and MS in particular.

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Is Type 1 Diabetes Caused by the Gut?

By Dr. Don Davis

 

Many of our diseases are linked other to conditions and illnesses.  For instance, rheumatoid arthritis is common with heart disease, and cancer is common in obesity.  The connections between these diseases are related to many factors like, genetics and toxic exposure but that’s not the only reason that a person with one disease will likely get another.

 

We have known for quite a while that the intestines and the bacteria that live there have an effect on obesity, mood disorders, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and even effect behavior.  Now I’ll have to add another to the list – Type 1 Diabetes.

 

Type 1 Diabetes (not Type 2) is an autoimmune condition that is caused by your body mistakenly attacking your pancreas cells that make insulin.  Like other autoimmune diseases, the immune system malfunctions, becomes hyper-aggressive and launches an attack on your own body.  This is similar to other less serious immune troubles like food allergies, and hay fever that are caused by the immune system’s over-zealous response to pollen or food. - There is research that connects the microbiome of children to future development of allergy as well.

 

In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the authors found that people with type 1 diabetes had “an inflammatory signature and microbiome” that differed from people that don’t have diabetes”.  In a way, this shouldn’t be surprising, because diabetics commonly have intestinal problems.

 

Usually, this kind of study is done by analyzing stool samples, but in this study, they used endoscopy to directly observe the upper part of the small intestine.  During observation, biopsies were provided to assess the health of the intestinal wall along with samples of the gut bacteria.

 

It turned out that people with Type 1 diabetes showed substantially more signs of inflammation in the gut wall than in normal people or even individuals that had celiac disease – the life-threatening disorder caused by gluten consumption.

 

The researchers were able to link the inflammation to 10 different genes.  If that wasn’t enough, the study showed that in diabetics, the bacterial flora of the gut was clearly different from the other two groups.

 

In an earlier study, researchers divided two groups of mice, one with normal living conditions and the other that was raised germ free with no bacteria in their intestines.  Interestingly, the germ-free mice developed diabetes and the normal raised mice did not.

 

These two studies clearly show that the bacteria of the gut have a direct effect on the development of diabetes.  We don’t know yet exactly which bacteria are most important in the development of Type 1 diabetes but this will come in future studies.

 

The “Perfect Storm” of gut inflammation.

 

There are many factors that cause diabetes and according to this research, the 4 most important factors are:

 

  • Unbalanced bacteria in the gut
  • A “leaky” intestinal inner layer from inflammation
  • An altered immune response
  • The degree of genetic susceptibility

 

When all of these factors are present, a “perfect storm” may arise resulting in the development of diabetes and the defective tolerance for our own tissues.  The scary thing here is that this is th

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Middle-of-the-night Insomnia

  • When waking up means staying up!

 

By Dr. Don Davis

 

You’ve been there. Asleep in your bed, awash in dreamland, when you turn over or get up to pee, lie back down and find that you are awake, really awake. At first you just lie there assuming that your body will take over and send you back to your sacred sleep. After all, you are tired, worn out and need some relief. But it doesn’t happen. You begin to wonder if you should apply for that open job at work, or you find yourself regretting a response you gave to a friend asking you for a loan, or a million other things.

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IBS and Whole-Body Pain

Or - Why do I hurt everywhere when my IBS acts up?

By Dr. Don Davis
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)  sufferers have enough problems with stool frequency, bloating and abdominal pain without having to deal with pain anywhere else.  But that’s just what recent research is beginning to show us.

 

We already know that there is increased “overall” pain in other syndromes like fibromyalgia and in many other degenerative diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  But pain in areas outside of the gut with IBS is a little hard to relate to.  The reality is, it’s there, and its common.

 

The research has been building for a while, in fact in 2003, studies showed that body-pain outside the GI tract with IBS was actually greater than Inflammatory bowel disease and Crone’s disease. 

The Ten Best Fermented Foods

By Dr. Don Davis


There are so many ways to mess up your stomach and guts. Unfortunately, with all the Options-Of-Evil, like ice cream, French fries and breakfast cereal close within our grasp, it’s no wonder that our insides are having a rough time. But I’m here to say that there are also great options and the category I’d like to talk about here is Fermented Foods.

 

I’m sure you know a few of these like cheese and yogurt but it would do well to expand your horizons, branch out, and try some of the lesser known fermented alternatives.

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Cholesterol / Heart Disease and the Gut

By Dr. Don Davis

The concern about cholesterol and heart disease has had quite the ride.  It started with the
three decades of misinformation regarding cholesterol’s ability to cause heart disease.  The idea was that heart disease is caused by too much cholesterol and high LDL’s – not true.  And then there was the steady stream of questionable “facts” given to patients warning them that LDL cholesterol is the only thing that needs to be tracked during treatment.  Both of these little gems have been finally proven incorrect, so now maybe we can move on.

 

The truth is, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is an inflammatory response to lipoproteins (fat proteins).  Lipoproteins deliver cholesterol, but it’s actually the number of lipoproteins (LDL-P) in the blood rather than the amount of cholesterol they carry that is the best predictor of heart problems.

 

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Is Poor Sleep Making Your IBS Worse?


      Or is it the other way around?

By Dr. Don Davis

sleep-and-ibs-imageRecently there has been a great deal of work exploring the relationships of IBS to many other disorders like brain fog, heart burn (GERD) and bacterial overgrowth. So, it’s not really a surprise that other problems would related as well.

 

One of the more interesting connections of IBS and seemingly unrelated conditions is its connection to sleep. 

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