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Posts Tagged ‘IBS’

Top 9 Holiday Gifts for IBD Sufferers

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011



If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), then you probably won’t appreciate extravagant (albeit well-meaning) gifts like World’s Largest Cheese Ball, Seven-Spice fruitcake, or a subscription to the Beer of the Month club.  It’s hard for non-IBD sufferers to know what kind of gift to get for somebody with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.  Make it easier on them- print out this handy list, and avoid unnecessarily awkward gift-giving scenarios.

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

#1 Numi Organic Tea Flowering Gift Set

Who wouldn’t appreciate this lovely, aesthetically appealing gift of tea?  Drop a tea bud into a pot of hot water, and watch as it slowly “blossoms” into a breathtaking underwater bouquet.  Choose from an assortment of organic black, white, green or oolong teas.

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

#2  Charmin To Go

Part of coping with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis means always being prepared for bathroom emergencies, and these flushable bathroom wipes are the best thing since sliced bread! This is a great stocking-stuffer for anybody with IBD.

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

#3 Travelon Hand Soap Toiletry Sheets

Let’s face it- you can’t always count on hand soap.  And while you’re ready to negotiate on comfort and convenience at rest stops, you’re not about to invite extra bouts of diarrhea from fecal contamination.  These soap sheets from Travelon are amazing- they’re compact, they last forever, they dissolve easily with very little water, and one small pack contains 50 sheets! Also available- body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaving lotion, and laundry soap.

#4 Leather Toiletry Bag

Take your bathroom supplies with you without looking conspicuous.  This leather toiletry bag lets you bring your basic bathroom necessities like flushable wipes and Travelon soap sheets without raising any eyebrows.

#5 Heating Pad

Sooth lower back pain, ease hemorrhoids, or just get rid of an annoying headache by keeping an electric heating pad handy.  This should be a staple in the home of every chronic pain sufferer.

#6 Coca-Cola Personal Fridge with AC Adapter

If you spend an inordinate amount of time in bed, then you’ll appreciate having a compact refrigerator for storing things like iced tea, water, meds, or a soothing snack.  This cooler is great for people who live on a second floor, and don’t have the ability…or energy to climb up and down stairs.  Or, keep this in your car for emergency trips to the hospital.

#7 Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers

Uncle John has been entertaining restroom readers for 25 years, and it’s easy to see why.  Each tome is chock full of miscellaneous bits of interesting stories, anecdotes, facts, trivia games, and mini biographies.  It’s like having a compact library, right where you need it most.  You’ll probably never get through the whole book, but if you do, there are dozens of Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers to choose from, including one for kids!

#8 The Foul Bowel

By John Bradley, the Foul Bowel offers helpful facts, tips, and resources for all people suffering from Crohn’s disease.

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

#9 Creative Colitis Cookbook

Not sure what to cook that won’t upset your tummy?  Take the blah out of your staple dinner routine by following some of the innovatively healthy recipes in the Creative
Colitis Cookbook for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Read more about vitamin B12 and Crohn’s disease:

Dressing after Crohn’s Surgery- 5 Post- Ostomy Fashion Tips

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Thursday, October 20th, 2011



Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked with so many types of autoimmune disease; it’s almost like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” Guess what vitamin B12, IBS, cardiovascular disease, and many kinds ofchronic disease have in common…

B12 deficiency- why worry?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient, one of many B vitamins, that is crucial for optimum health. If you don’t get enough vitamin B12 from meat, chicken, fish, and eggs, from B12 shots, then you could suffer severe vitamin B12 deficiency, which includes symptoms such as short-term memory loss, tingling in hands and feet, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression.  People who are at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency are vegans, patients of gastric bypass surgery, diabetes sufferers, individuals on heartburn medicine, and anybody with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Vitamin B12 deficiency is also linked with many autoimmune diseases.

Worried about Low B12 Lab Results?

Here are 12 illnesses that are“6 degrees” away from vitamin B12 deficiency:

1) Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a digestive disease that includes illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of many IBD symptoms, such as chronic diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea, heartburn, and constipation.  IBD can cause severe damage to the intestines, including the colon. People with inflammatory bowel disease have difficulty digesting vitamins and minerals from food, which is why they must take regular vitamin supplements. Because their illness occurs in the digestive system, many IBD patients take vitamin B12 shots in order to avoid B12 deficiency, as vitamin B12 pills are ineffective.

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

2) Celiac disease

Celiacs disease is an autoimmune disease that attacks the digestive system with the consumption of gluten.  Celiac disease symptoms include indigestion, diarrhea, malnourishment, and nausea.  Gluten intolerance symptoms occur whenever a celiac disease patient consumes a product containing gluten, a protein that occurs in wheat, rye, and barley.  Because of their difficulty digesting vitamins, celiac disease sufferers should supplement regularly with non-oral forms of vitamin B12.

Celiac Disease Tip: Gluten Free Diet plus Extra Vitamin B12

3) Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

Auto [fibromyalgia symptoms] [symptoms of fibromyalgia]

Fibromyalgia symptoms strike 1 in 50 Americans.  Many people don’t realize that fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease.  Symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic pain, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and “fibro fog” (disorientation).  Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia also exhibit signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Fibromyalgia FAQs- 6 Need-to-Know Fibro Facts

4) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is another autoimmune disease, similar to fibromyalgia, which is closely linked with vitamin B12 deficiency. Scientists have noted an extremely high correlation between all three conditions- fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and B12 deficiency.  Symptoms of CFS are extreme tiredness upon waking up in the morning, fatigue following minimal physical exertion, achy joints, and fibro fog.

40 Things NOT to say to a Fibromyalgia-Chronic Fatigue Sufferer

5) Diabetes

Diabetics who take the drug metformin are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency, say scientists. Scientific studies linking low B12 levels with long-term usage of metformin indicate a 77% chance of developing peripheral neuropathy.

New Study: Diabetes Drug Metformin Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency

6) Psychiatric disorders

[clinical depression] [anxiety disorder]

Some symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are often misdiagnosed as psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorder, manic depression, or paranoia.

Vitamin Deficiencies can drive you Crazy- Seriously! Part 1

7) Heartburn

Stomach acids are essential for digesting vitamin B12 naturally from food sources.  That is why people who take heartburn medication frequently, such as people with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or pregnant women, must take care to avoid B12 deficiency.

The 20 Do’s and Don’ts of the GERD Diet

8) Gastric bypass

Some weight loss surgery procedures involve removing the terminal ilium, a part of the digestive system that is responsible for absorbing vitamin B12. For that reason, patients of bariatric surgery are strongly advised to supplement with non-oral vitamin B12.

10 Mistakes Gastric Bypass Patients Often Make

9) Pernicious anemia

Sometimes, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by pernicious anemia, a condition that distorts your red blood cells and inhibits absorption of vitamin B12. Causes of pernicious anemia include autoimmune disease and gastritis.

Signs and Symptoms of 6 Types of Anemia Blood Disease

10) Cardiovascular disease

Vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folate all work together in lowering your body’s level of homocysteine; an amino acid that scientists believe may contribute to heart disease and stroke.

B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate

11) Thyroid disease

Autoimmune thyroid disease, also called Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland.  There is an unusually high correlation between instances of autoimmune thyroid disease and pernicious anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Because some of the symptoms of thyroid disease mimic pernicious anemia, many doctors overlook the possibility of vitamin B12 deficiency.

12) Dementia

Vitamin B12 helps to sustain cognitive health. In many studies, scientists have noticed that elderly individuals with low levels of B12 are more likely to suffer from early onset dementia than elderly individuals who maintain adequate levels of vitamin B12.

How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain


American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.

Prevalence and evaluation of B12 deficiency in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease- PubMed NCBI

Peripheral neuropathy- Mayo Clinic

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Thursday, September 8th, 2011



Deluded about the Digestive System? If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), then you’ll hear many myths about Crohn’s, colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); here are 15 IBD facts.


“IBD is a mental disorder,” and other digestive system myths

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a debilitating, autoimmune disease that affects your digestive system.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both forms of IBD.  People diagnosed with IBD often suffer in silence with symptoms like stomach bloating, cramps, chronic diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation.

That’s because people who have IBD are often ashamed to discuss it with friends and family.  As a result, it is all too easy to fall victim to the many misconceptions, myths, and general confusion surrounding Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Fortunately, the truth is out there; you just have to know where to find it.  Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions you’re likely to hear about digestive diseases.




IBD fallacies we’re tired of hearing:

1) “Supplements are useless for treating Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.”

Many homeopathic medicines and other alternative treatments are helpful for relieving symptoms like occasional constipation, nausea, and stomach pains.

Moreover, vitamin supplements such as vitamin B12 are beneficial for anybody suffering from IBD.  More often than not, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with digestive disorders, for several reasons.

Sometimes, gastritis or other kinds of damage to the stomach inhibit your ability to digest vitamin B12, leading to severe depletion.

Other times, treatments for IBD, such as medications or surgeries (ileostomy) are the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.

In such cases, regular supplementation of vitamin B12 is crucial to avoid debilitating symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

2) “Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the same thing as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

IBD and IBS are two separate conditions that affect the body differently, although the symptoms are alike.

IBD causes severe inflammation of the intestinal tracts; with ulcerative colitis IBD, the colon is also affected.

IBS, or “spastic colon,” causes no lasting damage to the intestinal lining.

3) “By following a healthy diet, I have completely cured myself of IBD.”

There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Eating healthy foods, avoiding junk food, and identifying “trigger foods” is an excellent way to alleviate many of the symptoms of IBD and prevent flare-ups, but you should nevertheless continue to visit your doctor, and take your medications, unless otherwise prescribed.

4) “I’ve heard that IBD is caused by really bad stress.  And depression.”

It’s unclear exactly what causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Some scientists believe it may result from a virus. Still, we do know that certain factors may complicate IBD; prolonged stress, unhealthy diet, and smoking may exacerbate the symptoms of IBD, but they are not the underlying cause.

To minimize stomach ailments and stay in remission, you must continue to eat healthy, reduce stress, and avoid smoking.

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

5) You have Crohn’s disease?  I’ve heard that IBD is just a fancy term for chronic diarrhea.”

Diarrhea is one of many symptoms related to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In some cases, Crohn’s disease patients don’t even suffer from diarrhea, making it even harder to get an IBD diagnosis.  If you do suffer from chronic diarrhea, don’t ignore the symptoms; see a doctor immediately.

6) “If you don’t see any blood, then it’s just Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

See a doctor if you have any digestive disease symptoms, even when blood is not present.

Just as the absence of diarrhea symptoms does not negate Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, neither does the absence of blood in your stool mean that you necessarily don’t have IBD.

7) “I’ve been having fewer bowel movements, so I must be in remission.”

Only your doctor can confirm if you are in remission.

Having fewer loose stools is only one of several indications.  To find out for sure, visit your doctor for blood testing and a complete checkup.


8) “You have Crohn’s disease?  That means you can’t have children.”

Most prescribed treatments for Crohn’s disease are safe to take during a pregnancy or while nursing a baby.

Unless you take antibiotics, thalidomide, or methotrexate, there is no reason why you may not plan to have a baby while continuing to take your Crohn’s disease medications.

Nevertheless, make sure that your OB/GYN knows about all medications you are taking, including IBD treatments and vitamin regimens.


9) “Once you’ve had ostomy surgery, you will never be able to conceive a child.”

There is no direct link between ostomy surgery and male or female infertility.

Ostomy surgery is a procedure in which a part of the intestines is removed, and the remaining piece is attached to a pouch that is connected to a tube protruding from a stomach opening.  While there are some instances of erectile dysfunction following ostomy surgery, in most cases, that is not the norm.

Likewise, women who undergo ostomy surgery might have reduced sexual desires related to physical discomfort, poor body image, and the “newness” of the whole procedure, but her reproductive organs remain unaffected.

Related reading:

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

Best 15 Twitter Feeds to follow for Autoimmune Disease Info


5 Things You Need to Know About Colitis

Myths Revealed: Irritable Bowel and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Nine Digestive Disease Myths

Common Digestive Problems Myths: IBS, Gas, Diarrhea, Heartburn, and More

Qualitative research in inflammatory bowel disease: dispelling the myths of an unknown entity

I Hate IBD- Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis

Do Men Become Impotent After A Colostomy Or Ileostomy?

Crohn’s Disease Management: Stay in Control

Setting the Record Straight – The MYTHS of Crohn’s Disease

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Free Stock Photos

12 Fermented Foods that are Good for your Gut- Probiotics

Friday, July 22nd, 2011



Treat IBD naturally and deliciously by including these anti-inflammatory fermented foods in your diet.


There’s a war brewing in your tummy!

Whether you suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you know that the best way to treat your tummy right is by following a diet rich in probiotic foods.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that occur naturally in aged foods, such as pickles and yogurt.  Consider them your allies in fighting your body’s war between good and evil! (bacteria-wise, that is.)

When it comes to promoting gastrointestinal integrity, the health benefits of probiotics are unrivaled.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

12 Great  probiotics

1- Yogurt

Yogurt is an old standby for people who understand the health benefits of probiotic foods, and for good reason.

Many brands of yogurt contain live cultures that keep your tummy calm and balanced, even after taking antibiotics.

Keep in mind that not all yogurts are alike- only the ones that are marked “active cultures” or “live cultures” on the label have potent probiotics.


2- Kefir

Kefir is a popular European drink that contains a mixture of goat milk and fermented kefir grains.  In addition to antioxidants, kefir is also rich in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.

3- Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a nourishing drink that adds creaminess and rich flavor to Ranch salad dressings, pancakes, and cornbread.  It is also an excellent source of probiotic cultures.

Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

4- Sour cream

Sour cream is a fermented condiment that contains healthy bacteria.  Use it sparingly, as it is high in fat.

5- Miso

Miso is a traditional Japanese condiment that consists of a fermented paste produced by soybeans, barley, or rice.  It adds a salty, smoky flavor to soups and sauces.

6- Tempeh

Tempeh is an excellent vegetarian source of vitamin B12.  Produced from fermented soybeans, tempeh is a meatier alternative to tofu and makes a satisfying centerpiece in vegan main meals.


7- Natto

Natto is another soy product featured in Japanese cuisine, containing bacillus subtilis.  It has a pungent quality that true lovers of vegetarian cookery enjoy.

8- Sauerkraut

This fermented cabbage began its gastronomical career as a popular German condiment; today, hot dog enthusiasts all over the USA delight in topping their frankfurters with tangy sauerkraut.

The 20 Do’s and Don’ts of the GERD Diet

9- Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean condiment made of assorted pickled vegetables.  Like sauerkraut, kimchi contains fermented cabbage, in addition to onions, carrots, and garlic.

Unlike sauerkraut, kimchi has a hot ‘n spicy kick to it.

10- Kombucha tea

Kombucha tea, a health food staple that contains live cultures, is an ancient tonic that promotes healthy gut bacteria.

11- Pickles

Dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, or half-sours: any way you slice them, pickled cucumbers are a tasty, crunchy source of gut-friendly probiotics.

12- Unpasteurized olives

Naturally fermented, unpasteurized olives have a unique, full-bodied flavor that is lacking in traditionally bottled pasteurized olives.  Like all olives, they are equally beneficial for heart health.


Related Reading:

15 Steps to Better Digestion

Crohn’s Disease Suggested Dinner Menu, plus Recipes

Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety


Top 10 Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet

Top Probiotic Foods You Are Not Eating | The Conscious Life

The Best Probiotic Foods | LIVESTRONG.COM

13 Natural Probiotic Food Sources

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