Author Archives: areyouwell

Up Your Bum With Love

Duck butts in the air

Photo courtesy of flickr.com user Daveybot, used via Creative Commons licensing.

Colon hydrotherapists are individuals that are passionate about intestinal health. These special people have a calling to cleanse, heal and empower their clients from the orifice of the derriere. Who would have thought such people exist, but thank goodness they do.

Colon hydrotherapists are certified health professionals often with a massage license because a colon irrigation will require massage of the abdomen. The role of abdominal massage is to help dislodge trapped and adhered fecal material on the colon wall.

Colon therapy is very effective for constipation. Stool can become lodged on the colon wall for years and can remain like cement.

A series of colon irrigations can free up fecal impaction and help the colon walls to move again.  The issue of constipation can be helped tremendously with this intervention.

The process of colon irrigation is about 45 minutes in duration. A small speculum will be inserted into the rectum. This could be uncomfortable if you have internal hemorrhoids. The speculum is attached to a plastic hose which is connected to the colon irrigation machine.

Once the hose is inserted the colon hydrotherapist will adjust the volume and water temperature that will run from the colon irrigation machine into the rectum.  The whole colon will be irrigated.  The water stimulation will trigger the colon walls to move or cause peristaltic contractions.

The rectum is filled for a short duration with a specific volume that is comfortable for the individual.  As contractions occur in the colon the individual will begin to release fecal matter through a another hose that runs back to the colon irrigation machine and can be viewed through a plastic window .

The excrement that is released is always interesting to see.  Mucous, parasites and old fecal debris (dark black in color) will be expelled.

It is not uncommon to expel a fare amount of gas during the beginning treatments. This experience is not painful or uncomfortable if conducted properly.  So consider colon hydrotherapy for a cleaner and efficient colon.

For more information about constipation and how your body works, please listen to my recent interview with Rosemarie Sicilano, a colon hydrotherapist in Scottsdale, Arizona.

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center

 

What Does the Sewage Look Like That Exists Your Body?

Creative Commons License Sewage 2 by Mac (3)

Creative Commons License Sewage 2 by Mac (3)

The body is uniquely made to receive and to give back.  Each of us must eat daily to fuel our cells to supply the necessary energy to live.  The food consumed is used to power our physical structure.

However, the byproduct of eating is the accumulation of waste or refuge.  The body’s waste must be dumped or it will build up and cause problems.  Therefore an effective sewage system is built into the body to rid it of unnecessary toxins and waste, the colon.

The body gives back what it does not need.  The production of stool is the body’s means to expel unwanted waste or toxins.  Daily dumping or stool production is necessary to keep your body in proper function.

The build up of sludge or sewage in the body can cause disease and death.  Monitoring of your sewage system is encouraged so one can better understand the health of the entire body.

The assessment of stool consistency reveals a lot about the health of your gastrointestinal system.  So start looking at the sewage that exits your body to learn about the current state of health in your colon.

There is a science behind stool analysis and its relationship to health or disease conditions. In the United Kingdom the Bristol Stool Scale exists to classify your stool. This scale was developed by a group of GI doctors at the University of Bristol.   The Bristol Stool Scale is a medical tool used to label bowel movements into seven different patterns.

The seven different stool patterns are based on your bowel movement presentation. This scale is what your stool looks like in the toilet bowl.  Types 4 and 5 are normal stool patterns. The Bristol Stool Scale is listed below:

Type 1 Separate hard lumps which can be hard to pass, like rabbit pellets

Type 2 Sausage shaped but lumpy

Type 3 Sausage like with cracks on the surface

Type 4 Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

Type 5 Soft blobs with soft edges easily passed

Type 6 Fluffy pieces with irregular edges and mushy

Type 7 Watery, no solid pieces, totally liquid

The above information may be more than you cared to know.  On Oprah Dr. Oz addressed what our stool should look like, an S pattern.   Normal healthy stool, or the body’s sewage, should occur once a day and ideally be 18 inches long, brown and formed. So start looking at your sewage to see what you produce.

Next week I will begin an interview series on colon hydrotherapy from experts that are very excited about colon health.  Not expelling our waste products means the body becomes more toxic.  Proper colon functioning is critical to our health and well- being.

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center

 

My Pooper Shooter is Not Working

3159051622_636b884c61_b Today’s topic is not comfortable for a lot of people. When talking about stool, poop, excrement or evacuation people want to hide.  I want to change the equation. I actually am abnormal; I love talking about stool.

Ask my patients, they will tell you we talk about their stool, its consistency, color and frequency a lot. Why, because it tells me a lot about you and your current state of health. So I am going to encourage you to get over the saying, “How gross.”

Your poop consists of the toxins your body needs to dump . That is not a pun on words but the truth. If you do not rid your body of its toxins you will re-absorb them back into your circulation or blood stream.

Many individuals do not have regular stool evacuation daily.  Some individuals believe having a bowel movement three times a week is adequate. No way, it must be daily and 12- 18 inches I tell the patients I serve.

However, the number and frequency of bowels a week is a negotiated detail in medicine. A majority of doctors think three times a week is a charm.   You need to have a bowel movement daily on average.

Having less frequent stools than is normal for you or is noticeably different than your typical pattern is a sign you may be constipated.  Your bowels should move at minimum once a day, preferably in the morning 30-60 minutes after arising.

Constipation can develop suddenly and last briefly or it can be a lifetime reality for some. Constipation is a condition of infrequent bowel evacuation or uncomfortable bowel movements.  Constipation is further described as straining with bowel movements; passage of small, hard stools; or a sense that one has not emptied their rectum completely.

A majority of individuals would state they feel better after eliminating their excrement.  It is not just the concern of our elders but one at every age at different points in time.  So what causes constipation?

Some individuals report constipation when traveling, others with a change in food and others after strenuous activity and not drinking enough water. You see our solid waste contains toxins which come from our air, food, water and the chemicals we are exposed too. Constipation occurs when the waste (stool) from the food that is digested moves too slowly (slow transit) as it passes through the digestive tract.

There a number of reasons why constipation occurs. Dehydration, changes in diet and activity, and certain medications can make transit time slowed.  When stool moves slowly, too much water is absorbed back into the colon making the stool hard and dry.  Gradual enlargement of the rectum and impaired coordination of the pelvic and anal muscles can then cause constipation.

A rare cause for constipation is a bowel obstruction which is serious but uncommon. A contributing factor here could be prior abdominal surgery with the development of adhesions (bands of fiberous tissue) forming gradually after surgery that can constrict stool passage.

A more common reason for constipation is the drugs we are taking which include iron, opioids; some high blood pressure medications such as Calcium Channel Blockers, drugs with drying effects (anticholinergic like antihistamines, sedatives and antidepressants); antacids that contain calcium or aluminum hydroxide; and some drugs used to stop nausea (serotonin antagonists).

Another reason for constipation is your thyroid gland may not be functioning properly. Get a blood test to rule that out. Other disorders that can contribute to developing constipation are diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, high blood calcium and nerve or spinal cord injury.

Lastly a diet low in fiber and the consumption of highly processed foods can stop up your digestive system making stool evacuation difficult and slow.  Processed foods are low in fiber. High fiber foods hold water in the stool and increase its bulk and ease its passage.

Stool that contains less water will move more slowly through the digestive tract. So fruits and vegetables are critical and processed foods are not your friend. The causes of constipation presented here are not exhaustive. Your pooper shooter needs to work otherwise the toxins that re-circulate can cause headaches, fatigue, weight gain, irritability and depression,

You are in control of your health and how your digestive system works. Start now to make the necessary changes to make your bowels function properly.  Drink half of your body weight in water a day, stay clear of processed foods, add more fruits and vegetables to your meals daily and start moving even if it is dancing in place.

I am going to add to this discussion with audio tapes from two colon therapists so you can hear from the experts.  They are passionate about digestive health, gut transit time, stool consistency and color and daily evacuation.

Awareness is the first key to digestive wellness. Start paying attention to how your digestive system is working or not working. Prevention is the key to constipation.

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center

 

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This week’s topic is serious. I am encouraging you to live aware and informed; to do so is to be empowered. Living mindfully is necessary in this day and age for our health and continued well-being.

Since 1996 genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been introduced significantly in our food chain for human and animal consumption.  Originally it was just in corn and soy  but now it is sugar beets, tomatoes and papaya.

Our brightly colored food packaging in grocery stores is alluring yet filled with GMOs . These processed foods are harmful to your health quickly gaining access to your body through your gut.

A recent peer reviewed 23-week study in the Journal of Organic Systems showed pigs fed a GMO diet developed a higher rate of stomach inflammation than pigs fed a comparable non-GMO diet.  A French study on rats fed Monsanto’s genetically modified corn had a higher incidence of tumors, organ failure and premature death.

A herbicide used in GMO crops called glyphosate or Roundup appears to suppress the growth of good gut bacteria which leads to the overgrowth of bad gut bacteria.  The growth of bad gut bacteria could cause a deadly bacteria called Clostridum botulinum.  This bacteria can kill you.

Our current agricultural practices of using GMO crops is increasing the incidence of infectious diseases which the CDC’s director called ‘nightmare bacteria.’  As a primary care provider I am seeing a number of patients’ stool tests with an over growth of bad gut bacteria.  Over time these highly toxic bugs in our food chain bio-accumulate in our fat cells and increase the total body burden accelerating aging and promoting ill health.

The fancy foods in our grocery stores that catch our eye and appetite have not been adequately studied to see how safe they are for human consumption. Evidence is mounting to show GMO foods cause a leaky gut, increased food allergies, autoimmune disease and numerous inflammatory conditions.

A study in 2004 on human intake of GMO foods showed the genetically modified genes transfer into the gut lining and cause them to alter genetic function thus producing pesticides.  Eighty percent of all corn now is genetically modified and corn is in a lot of our food. The engineers put the “Bt toxin” gene into the DNA of the corn so it will make its own toxins to kill pests. The Bt gene comes from soil bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, so it belongs in that natural environment.  It does not belong in the microflora of the gut lining so that your intestines become a toxin-manufacturing machine.

Every individual who chooses to eat GMO foods is allowing themselves and their offspring to be test subjects for greatest human experiment in the history of human beings. Begin by not eating any processed foods or industrial oils (soy, canola); try to eat only organic corn and papayas.

Check out the YouTube video “The World According to Monsanto” for what we are up against.  We have a choice daily. Choose no GMOs.

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center

“People are fed by the food industry which pays no attention to health and are treated by the health industry which pays no attention to food.” Wendell Berry

The Scintillating Smell of Bread Can Take You Down

 

Photo used with Creative-Commons license, flickr user surlygirl.

Photo used with Creative-Commons license, flickr user surlygirl.

Gluten is to some a marvelous ingredient which makes bread sticky, gooey and delicious. It makes our stomachs wake up and pay attention to its aroma. I know; I worked in a bakery as a college student. I could close my eyes and smell the scent and be happy just walking in the door.

Gluten is the term used for a group of proteins found inside many grains and seeds, such as wheat, rye, barley , kamut and spelt.  Gluten is not only in breads and pastas, but weasels itself into a variety of products like soy sauce, MSG, marinades, sauces and imitation meats. You don’t have to be diagnosed with celiac disease to have an issue with gluten.

What I did not know was gluten is a poison to my body. It could be to you too. Gluten caused chronic back pain, constipation and weight gain in me, despite high intense exercise.

How could I say that?

Our ancestors consumed little to no grains.  What we label as wheat has little resemblance to the Einkorn variety that they infrequently ate. The wheat molecule today has been changed from 13 chromosomes thick to 42 to increase the yield per square acre in farming. It is such a dense protein the gut lining cannot process it in a vast majority of us.

The average American consumes 133 to 150 pounds of wheat a year. This wheat has no generic, structural, or chemical likeness to what our ancestors ingested.  We have been duped.

Gluten’s damage can begin very gradual to irritate the nervous system  beginning in the gut and moving to the brain. The damage could begin with headaches, unexplained anxiety and progress to the more sinister conditions of depression and dementia.

In the book ‘Grain Brain’ Dr. David Perlmutter writes “When I tell people that gluten sensitivity represents one of the greatest and most under-recognized health threat to humanity, the response I hear is pretty much the same: ‘You can’t be serious.'” Part of this response is an understanding that gluten affects the gut but not necessarily the brain.

In individuals with celiac disease gluten attacks the small intestines. In non-celiac individuals the immune system attacks gluten mounting a full-scale war, like it would with a virus or bacteria.  The body produces an arsenal of antibodies to attack whatever gluten you’ve ingested-even if it is a tiny amount.

Over time every time gluten enters the body of someone intolerant,  in some of us it is three times day with what we eat, the immune system goes into a frenzy. Then gluten-induced inflammation seeps throughout the body, establishing remote outposts for chronic disease.

If you suspect you may have an issue with gluten, see your health care practitioner for specific testing to find out for sure.  Awareness is key here. We live in a day and age where gluten sensitivity is growing and the gluten-free options in our stores is expanding.

Now that I am gluten free I live without chronic back pain, constipation and a weight issue. You might fine by stopping your gluten intake your health challenges clear up or dramatically improve. It is worth a try.

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center

 

The Magic Elixir: Bone Broth

 

Smokey Bone Broth | smoked bone broth with galangal, Chinese celery

To heal and restore your gut consider making bone broth. You say, “What is bone broth?” Well it used to be a staple in our food system and in our homes as the base of soups, gravies and stew before processed foods became vogue.

Bone broth has multiple health benefits like being loaded with minerals; it supports the immune system, improves digestion and improves all body parts that have to do with collagen (tendons, ligaments, joints, skin, mucous membranes and bone). This magic elixir has multiple benefits but I want to focus on the gut benefits.

The gut lining has a unique ability of being permeable or open to certain nutrients and closed to others.  An example is the gut barrier is closed to foreign antigens like viruses and parasites.  When the gut lining becomes too permeable or holes in the lining remain open, trouble begins.

It is a lot like the screens on the windows on your house, if they were to develop big holes gnats, flies and mosquitoes come in. They are not welcome in my home.  These unwanted pests create havoc.

But there is an answer to this problem.  Bone broth contains gelatin.  Gelatin repairs or patches the holes in the gut lining so surveillance and protection occurs or the holes in the screens are patched and unwanted invaders do not come into your home. Now your body can heal and repair itself.

Besides gelatin, bone broth has a protein molecule called collagen.  The protein in collagen contains two critical amino acids, proline and glycine.  Proline assists in the production of collagen. Collagen has been shown to heal the gut, repair gastric ulcers and stop the inflammation at the gut lining.  Glycine improves digestion by increasing your body’s output of gastric secretions.

Glutamine is also in bone broth. Glutamine, another amino acid, is the gasoline or fuel for the cells that line the small intestines. I need mine working and I am sure you do too.

So start making your own bone broth. Remember any bone is fine as long it is from animals that are organic, grass-fed or pastured and free-range. How that animal lived and ate is factored into the health of the broth you make.

So here are your cooking suggestions:

  1. Put the bones in a large stock pot and cover with water.
  2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or wine to the water prior to cooking. This will help to extract the nutrients from the bones.
  3. Fill the stock pot with reverse osmosis water or filtered water.  Leave enough room for the water to boil.
  4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for a minimum of 6 hours. Periodically remove the scum that rises to the top.
  5. Cook long and slow. Chicken bones can cook 6-48 hours .Beef bones can cook for 12-72 hours. A long and slow cooking time is required to extract all of the nutrients in and around the bone.

After cooking, the broth will develop a layer of fat that will harden on top once it cools. This layer protects the broth below. Once you are ready to enjoy your broth spoon off this layer.

Once you make your broth it is available for you to sip on at your leisure.  How cool, you have the tool here to restore cell function, repair the damage that may have occurred at the gut lining, recharge the intestinal cells’ batteries and enhance intestinal absorption.  In short you can add zest to your step and add quality to your day with a little planning and creativity. Have fun in the kitchen!

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center

 

 

 

Test Your Gut Part 3: Stool Test

Imaged used under Creative Commons License, Flickr user Iqbal Osman.

Imaged used under Creative Commons License, Flickr user Iqbal Osman.

Fair warning, this final week is going to be gross. Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed.

I love stool testing because it tells me so much about a patient and how to get their health back.  I have been told I am a little abnormal.  Today’s topic is to some, “creepy,” because I am going to talk about the critters that could be harboring in your gut, literally building condo complexes because you are such a tasty host.

The stool test I want to focus on is parasite testing.  I speak from experience, I had parasites in me for 23 years before I developed symptoms. Yes, they can live off us taking our nutrients and insidiously depleting us before we get symptoms. It took a stressor in my life for them to exhaust my immune system and to cause symptoms. My stress was working full-time and completing a doctorate degree.

Symptoms of parasites can be a runny nose, night time restlessness and blisters on the lower lip inside the mouth.  They can cause allergies, anemia, fuzzy thinking, headaches, mineral imbalances, teeth grinding and havoc with your blood sugars.  There are also gut related symptoms that one may develop.  Those symptoms could be abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, gas or bloating, rash or itching, feeling tired, weight loss, fever, mucous in stools, listlessness and generally not feeling well.

My symptoms were fatigue and constipation. I had to give up long distance running.  Also, my stool tests with my medical insurance were negative. So I had to try a variety of labs to identify the culprits.  I picked these critters up in either the South Pacific or in Asia on travel. I had three parasites in me Cyrptosporidium, Giardia and Entamoeba Histolytica.

There are two classes of parasites protozoan (amoebas) and metazoan (worms or helminths).  We have been lead to believe these infections only occur in third world countries. That is incorrect, because now we are one big connected family traveling back and forth and sharing what we have.  Like the military personnel who keep traveling back and forth from each deployment.

So how do we know if we have a parasite and what can we do about it?  Find a medical professional who knows a reputable lab and works with parasite infections.

Prevention begins now  by washing all of your produce, vegetables and fruit, with 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1/2 gallon of reverse osmosis water or distilled water for 15 minutes to remove the microscopic parasites that reside on our food from the night soil used as an agricultural practice in countries outside of the United States.  Night soil is the use of human feces for the fertilization of crops.

To Your Health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center