How Important is Digestion?

Any doctor could build an entire practice around digestive problems alone and never run out of patients.

All these conditions have a direct correlation to lack of digestive health and function.

  • Clinical depression
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Immune system shut down
  • Food sensitivities and intolerances
  • Allergies
  • Others…

Click Here to read more about how we treat digestive disorders at IPM:

Cologuard: A New Test for Colon Cancer

ColonColonoscopy, passage of a lighted flexible scope through the large intestine, is the gold standard procedure for detecting colon cancer and the polyps that develop into it. Many individuals, however, avoid colonoscopy because of the laxatives required for preparation, the anesthesia, the small risk of bowel perforation, or the risk of contamination and infection from the procedure itself.

Cologuard is a new screening test much more accurate than the old stool test for occult blood. There is no risk. A stool specimen is mailed to the testing facility and evaluated for the presence of specific protein secreted by intestinal polyps or tumors. The patient is then informed by the doctor’s office of the result. A positive result should be followed by colonoscopy. If a polyp is found, it can be excised during the procedure. If a cancer is found, surgery is needed.

The Cologuard test has 90% sensitivity in detecting polyps or tumors. One out of 8 patients tested, however, will have a false positive result. He will then require colonoscopy, which he would otherwise have needed for screening anyway.Continue Reading

IgG Protect: Strong Intestinal Support

nsaidThe intestinal lining is subject to injury from many sources: the foods we eat, over-the-counter medications, alcohol, antibiotics, allergies, auto-immune conditions, and a multitude of infections, bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic. It is no wonder that gastrointestinal symptoms comprise the most common maladies leading to doctor’s office visits.

The most common offending drugs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat pain, usually muscle and joint pain. Many people take these NSAIDs to start the day or prior to exercise. They are the drugs most commonly causing gastritis, ulcers in the stomach and intestines, and GI bleeding. Most of them are available in your local grocery store: Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, Aleve, and plain old aspirin. How can we heal or prevent this damage?

Immunoglobulins from colostrum are highly effective in protecting the gastrointestinal lining. Immunoglobulin G is the main component in this preparation. IgG enhances healing of lesions in the intestinal mucosa.

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The Power of Vitamin D and Leaky Gut

Vitamin DCrohn’s disease is an inflammation of the intestine characterized by pain, bleeding, and ulcerations in the gut. Impaired gut permeability leads to the passage of bacteria, toxins, or other substances through the gut lining into deeper tissues, and throughout the body. This aggravates the inflammatory immune response. Increased gut permeability occurs before clinical relapse in Crohn’s disease.

Vitamin D supplementation has been demonstrated to maintain intestinal integrity, thus reducing leaky gut. Crohn’s disease patients were treated with vitamin D 2000 units daily for 3 months. They were found to have more intact gut linings than those treated with placebo. They also had reduced evidence of inflammation, measured by C reactive protein and antimicrobial proteins. (United European Gastroenterology Journal, 2015).

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Alternative Treatments for Gatroesophageal Reflux Disease

Heartburn ControlMillions of people suffer every day from the very uncomfortable symptom of heartburn. This is also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Heartburn is a very unpleasant burning sensation located in the anterior chest that radiates from the stomach to the throat.

Sometimes it appears as a sensation of pressure on the chest and can mimic symptoms of a heart attack. It is worse at night when the patient is lying down and it is aggravated by eating spicy food, tomato, chocolate, coffee, citrus fruits and juices. Symptoms improve with the use of antacids.

When untreated, it can progress to esophageal ulcers, strictures, hoarseness and respiratory problems. Dental erosions, laryngitis, nocturnal choking, sinusitis and cancer of the esophagus are additional complications.

An estimated 14-20% of all US adult have some degree of gastroesophageal reflux.

Americans spend in excess of $10 billion dollars a year on acid reducing medications which are considered the first line of therapy for GERD. Despite the use of these medications, the incidence of esophageal cancer has increased significantly in the past 20 years, with an estimated increase of 200-600%

The other problem related to the use of acid reducing medication is that suppression of acid decreases absorption of iron, calcium and vitamins.There is also a moderate increased risk for fractures in menopausal woman on these drugs.Continue Reading

Gastroesophageal Reflux and Sleep Apnea – An Association

Gastroesophageal reflux is common. It occurs when stomach acid moves up into the esophagus and causes burning, erosions or ulcerations. If the acid moves higher, it may enter the larynx or even the lungs, causing cough, wheezing or shortness of breath. Many patients with nighttime cough suffer from reflux, and are treated with antacids and proton pump inhibitors.

It now appears people with nocturnal reflux should also be evaluated for sleep apnea. During sleep apnea, tissues in the back of the throat, including the tongue, fall backward and occlude the airway. The body struggles to get enough air, leading to a tightening of abdominal muscles, and forcing the stomach up against the diaphragm. This pushes stomach contents up through the gastroesophageal sphincter (valve) into the esophagus, thus causing reflux.

Treatment for sleep apnea may also eliminate reflux. If you know of someone who is awakened by nighttime coughing, and doesnt get a good nights sleep, suggest evaluation for sleep apnea. The diagnosis will be missed unless specifically looked for.

Allan Sosin

Probiotics for Kids

We are increasingly recommending probiotic supplements for children, with or without conditions that would mandate their use. Probiotics are good bacteria, which counteract the damage caused by pathogenic bacteria that invade and dominate gut flora.

The main probiotics are lactobacillus, of which numerous types are available, and bifidophilus.

The obvious medical conditions requiring probiotic use are antibiotic therapy, which leads to suppression of beneficial bacteria, bowel infections with pathogenic organisms including certain types of E coli, yeast, yersinia, salmonella or shigella, or campylobacter, and inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s.

There are, however, other reasons to benefit: 141 children, average age of 6.4 years, with irritable bowel syndrome, were randomly divided to receive lactobacillus rhamnosus or placebo. After 12 weeks of treatment, there was a 50% or greater pain reduction in 72% of those taking the probiotic, vs. only 53% of those taking placebo. Intestinal permeability also improved significantly in the probiotic group compared with the group receiving placebo. This would lead to a reduced absorption of toxic molecules through the gut wall, which can cause systemic inflammation..

In another study, colic pains in infants were diminished by feeding them probiotics.

It would make sense, then, and offer virtually no chance of bad effects, to feed probiotics to children beginning at the time of birth and continuing through childhood. The newborn child acquires its first colonization of gut bacteria by passing through the mother’s birth canal. Children born by Caesarian section are thus most in need of probiotic supplements. Preparations are available to be applied to the nipple before nursing, or to a fingertip for sucking.

Allan Sosin MD

Magnesium May Reduce Mens Colon Cancer Risk

A recent study was done on 40,830 men and 46,287 women, ages 45 to 74 years old to determine the benefits of taking magnesium. What was found was that men taking a higher amount of magnesium slashed their risk of getting colon cancer by 52%.

For details on this study, CLICK HERE.

For magnesium, IPM offers Calm and Calm Plus Calcium supplements.

Vitamin D May Reduce Risk of Colorectal Cancer

The evidence between blood serum levels of vitamin D and reduced cancer risk continues to pour in. Recently, it’s been shown that increased blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by as much as 40 per cent. The study also mentions that greater dietary intake of calcium was associated with a lower colorectal cancer risk as well.

IPM offers Vitamin D in both 1000 IU and 5000 IU.

Sources: Association between pre-diagnostic circulating vitamin D concentration and risk of colorectal cancer in European populations:a nested case-control study