Health is on the way


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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Why do we get sleepy after eating?

The Facts, Myths and Magic


By Dr. Don Davis
Epicture1very year during the holidays, most of us temporarily suspend our health goals and start
eating.  It begins in November with a big bump on Thanksgiving
and cruises through December with a crescendo on Christmas and New Year’s.  Inevitably your weight will rise and you will be making familiar resolutions to exercise more and eat less.  In fact, most Americans report that they gain an average of 5 to 10 lbs. over the holidays.  Unfortunately, they won’t lose all that weight afterward, leading to an expanding mid-section year after year.

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The Gut, Inflammation and Depression

America is finally realizing that depression is a serious concern. Of course, the pharmaceutical companies have known for years that there’s money to be made, but now society is on full alert. It’s taken a few miss-steps with celebrities, but the message is clear; those suffering from depression aren’t just having the “blues”, they are suffering, and in a big way. What can we do to help these people? Well, this is one of those times where the best approach is to get back to finding the underlying cause.

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