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If you suffer from constant lot of stomach bloating and other signs of indigestion, it can be linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. Your ability to digest vitamin B12 and use it to prevent pernicious anemia can be traced directly to the environment in your gut. Symptoms of stomach bloating can be the first clue in distinguishing why you’re suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, and how to prevent it.
Vitamin B12 malabsorption
When your digestive system is not working properly, then you’re not getting enough vitamin B12. That’s because unlike other vitamins, B12 cannot be absorbed from foods without the help of certain digestive enzymes that are produced by your parietal cells of the stomach.
Gastritis (stomach inflammation) is one of several causes of vitamin B12 malabsorption.
So even though you eat plenty of meat, chicken, and fish, you aren’t getting the vitamin B12 you need in order to survive. And it all stems from your gastrointestinal health.
Intrinsic factor is one such protein that your body needs, both to extract cobalamin (vitamin B12) from food and to utilize it efficiently so that it reaches your blood stream.
But with digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, or if there is any type of damage to your esophagus, stomach walls, or intestinal tract, then you run a high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, and possibly pernicious anemia.
So while people assume that pernicious anemia is a blood disease, it really begins in the stomach, with bloating, acid reflux, and heartburn.
Symptoms of stomach disorders
The following symptoms, if they occur often, may indicate a breakdown in your digestive system that requires immediate treatment in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency and many other ailments:
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a gastrointestinal disease of the colon that affects about ½ million American citizens. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are both classified as inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, and both cause similar symptoms of stomach upset, chronic diarrhea, fatigue and fever. IBD is also one of many causes of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Here are some basic facts about ulcerative colitis and some tips for natural, effective treatment.
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory illness that occurs in the large intestine (colon) and rectum, and causes debilitating and sometimes hazardous symptoms to the sufferer.
Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is restricted to your colon, unlike Crohn’s disease, which may occur in any part of your gastrointestinal tract.
Not to be confused with colitis, a type of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that carries no serious health risks, ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that can cause potentially life-threatening damage to your colon. For many sufferers of longtime ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal surgery is required in order to prevent further complications.
Below are some prescription treatments and natural supplements that are beneficial for people suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Anti-inflammatories such as sulfasalazine (sulfa), mesalamine, balsalazide, olsalazine, and corticosteroids are helpful for reducing inflammation in the colon. Many carry side effects, including allergic reactions, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Corticosteroids, in particular, carry a host of warnings, including weight gain, facial hair, depression, anxiety, hypertension, bone loss, type 2 diabetes and cataracts.
Since ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease, your doctor may recommend an immune system suppressor that also treats inflammation, such as azathioprine or cyclosporine.
Antibiotics are recommended in the presence of infection of the colon.
Anti-diarrheal medicines such as Imodium may help to relieve some of the symptoms.
For stomach cramps, doctors recommend pain relievers containing acetaminophen, and warn their patients to avoid ibuprofen, which can exacerbate stomach problems.
Iron deficiency often occurs with IBD, so patients are advised to take regular iron supplements, in order to prevent anemia.
Vitamin B12 supplements are also often recommended, as severe damage to the digestive system results in an inability to absorb vitamin B12 efficiently from foods. In order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, patients of IBD are advised to take large doses of non-dietary vitamin B12, usually as a vitamin B12 shot or over-the-counter (OTC) form of vitamin B12.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
Got Colitis? Skip Tequila, Go for the Worm: Scientists believe they have a cure for Crohn’s disease and celiac,and it involves using parasitic hookworms. Here are some other surprising natural options for managing autoimmune disease.
Are we killing ourselves with hygiene?
Clean bottled drinking water, sub-zero refrigeration, anti-bacterial gels, dirt-free playgrounds, and sanitized kitchen counters- what do all these things all have in common?
If you guessed that these things all help to prevent disease, then guess again.
According to scientists, our standards of cleanliness are backfiring, killing healthy microscopic parasites that our bodies need to thrive.
Unlike people living in impoverished countries, where bug-ridden sacks of grain are commonly dealt with, we, with our clean, white processed bags of flour are nevertheless exclusive in our propensity for developing autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD),Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and asthma.
Dish out the dirt.
The hygiene hypothesis implies that modern-day medical technology and sanitary standards, such as vaccines, antibiotics, purified water, and refrigeration have caused autoimmune disease by disturbing the body’s natural balance of healthy parasitic worms.
Worm therapy was part of standard medicine in previous centuries. So it comes as no surprise to supporters of the hygiene hypothesis that autoimmune diseases were nonexistent in earlier times, arriving on the medical scene only in recent years.
According to Dr. Joel Weinstock, chief of gastroenterology and professor of immunology at Tufts University, instances of IBD went up from 1 out of 10,000 in the 50s, to 1 out of 250 in modern days.
Open up and say…well, you might want to close your eyes.
Beginning in October 2011, research participants will volunteer to swallow pig whipworm eggs, as part of a study focusing on treating autoimmune disease. By introducing worms into the digestive systems, scientists hope to find a cure for digestive disorders. By the end of the year, the whipworm larvae will have passed through the intestines, and scientists hope to find enough evidence to further the advancement of worm therapy for immunological diseases.
Natural remedies for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis:
1) Probiotics-Lactobacillus (L. acidophilus) is one of the most popular types of “friendly bacteria” used to promote digestive health for people with ulcerative colitis. Probiotics affect the amount of unhealthy bacteria in the gut, quell inflammation, and strengthen the stomach lining. Good sources of lactobacillus include yogurt, fermented soy products, and nutritional supplements.
2) Diet- The best way to avoid Crohn’s disease flare-ups is by following a restrictive diet. Some popular diets for IBD include the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and the Low Residue Diet (LRD). Read more about treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through diet: Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.
3) Blond psyllium- Blond psyllium is an herb that is used as a gentle stool softener for patients who have undergone anal surgery, in addition to sufferers of hemorrhoids, IBS, and ulcerative colitis.
4) Indian frankincense- Frankincense, or olibanum, refers to the resin that seeps from the Boswellia serrata plant. Naturopathic medicine practitioners use frankincense to benefit arthritis patients, but it is also used for digestive health in the presence of ulcerative colitis, stomach cramps, and menstrual pain.
5) Glutamine- Glutamine is an amino acid that boosts the immune system and digestion. Glutamine imparts healthy reactions in individuals with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers, in addition to people undergoing radio-chemotherapy.
6) Wheatgrass- Wheatgrass contains many essential vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Many wheatgrass juice enthusiasts claim that wheatgrass significantly impacts swelling associated with ulcerative colitis symptoms.
7) Acupuncture- In a controlled study, Crohn’s disease patients who received regular acupuncture treatments experienced significant results from the symptoms of IBD, in addition to an improved state of well-being.
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.
What foods should I eat…or avoid if I have IBD? Here are some proper nutrition tips for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) that creates painful ulcers in the large intestinal tract and the rectum. One of the main causes of ulcerative colitis is poor digestion.
Sufferers of ulcerative colitis experience symptoms such as:
While diet doesn’t cause ulcerative colitis, it does affect chronic pain symptoms that are associated with IBD.
Below are some helpful food preparation tips for eating with ulcerative colitis:
Cook vegetables well. Raw or partially cooked vegetables are difficult for ulcerative colitis patients to digest completely.
Cut your food into small pieces that are easy to masticate thoroughly.
Avoid very small food morsels, such as corn kernels and peas; swallowing tiny bits of food without chewing them properly creates stomach upset, such as cramping and diarrhea.
If you experience any setbacks, it’s a good idea to restrict high fiber food items, such as whole wheat breads, legumes, and cereals, at least until your diarrhea has subsided.
Ten foods to avoid if you have ulcerative colitis:
Caffeine not only draws water out of our system, contributing to dehydration, but it also triggers bowel movements.
If you have ulcerative colitis or any other type of IBD, then caffeinated teas, coffee, and chocolate could wreak havoc on your digestive system, in addition to robbing your body of much-needed fluids.
Try sipping on something more tummy-friendly, such as comforting herbal tea and carob chip cookies.
Carbonated drinks are refreshing, but they are full of tiny air bubbles. Swallowing excess amounts of air causes flatulence and irritates the stomach linings of chronic colitis patients. If you cannot resist the lure of an icy cola on a hot day, then sip slowly. Nix the straw, as it will only make you swallow even more air.
Alcoholic beverages act as stimulants, and may aggravate the intestines. However, not all alcoholic drinks are cut from the same cloth, so to speak. White wines go down easier than red wines. Avoid beer and mixed drinks that often cause diarrhea. B12 and Alcohol Consumption
Contrary to popular belief, there is no direct correlation between lactose intolerance and IBD, though individuals with irritable bowels might have a slight sensitivity to milk sugar.
If you have colitis, then your best option is to cut back on dairy whenever possible. A pat of butter on some low-fiber toast or a bit of milk in your coffee is okay, but don’t get into the habit of drinking large amounts of cow’s milk.
Opt instead for other calcium-rich foods such canned salmon (bone-in), collard greens, and fortified low-pulp orange juice.
Unless your body is accustomed to digesting beans and legumes, then you should proceed with caution.
For many of us, beans such as garbanzos and pintos are difficult to digest and cause uncomfortable bloating and gas.
That doesn’t mean you should cross three-bean salad or minestrone off your list, though, as beans are rich in protein and vitaminB12.
Some methods of cooking beansproduce less gas, and chewing thoroughly helps to aid digestion. If you buy canned beans, rinse well to remove sugars, and experiment with pureed bean recipes, such as hummus or low-fat bean dip.
Some vegetables are hard for IBD patients to absorb, and fibrous veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, and celery are high on that list. Focus on the have’s instead of the have-not’s. You can have delicious, vegetarian side dishes without the accompanying tummy aches. Some yummy green-light veggies include roasted cauliflower, carrot pennies, and baked potatoes.
Seeds, Skins, and Pellets
Certain foods irritate the lining of the intestines as they shove their way through our digestive system. These include:
Fruit seeds, such as those found in strawberries, figs, and melon
Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Fruit skins, such as cranberries, blueberries and persimmon
Spongy pithy foods, such as mushrooms, citrus rinds, and orange marmalade
Fruity pellets, such as corn and pomegranate
Oil is not absorbed well in colitis patients, so avoid high-fat meals and condiments. These include:
Rich sauces, such as Alfredo sauce and other cheesy toppings
French fries, and other fried foods
Fatty meats, such as steaks, ribs and hot dogs
Condiments such as mayonnaise, melted butter, and rich salad dressings
Small nut pieces are hard for the body to digest completely, and may irritate the stomach.
Colitis patients should avoid treats containing roasted peanuts, cashews, or raw almonds. Ground nuts and seeds are fine, though.
Small amounts of creamy peanut butter, all-natural almond butter, or tahini are great sources of healthy fats.
Whole Herbs and Spices
If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer from a diet of bland, tasteless foods as well. Take advantage of the many pungent, sweet, and tangy herbs and spices that are available, but remember to grind them well.
If you buy dried seasonings, make sure that seedy spices such as cumin, pepper, and nutmeg have been ground to a fine meal. Chop up fresh herbs, such as dill, basil, and rosemary, into small pieces before adding them to casseroles, roasts, or sauces.