A small scale observational study published in the Journal of the Israeli Medical Association looked at the effects of cannabis usage among patients who had Crohn’s Disease.

The study found 30 patients through an Israeli  medical marijuana organization. They asked these patients about their disease & wellbeing before & after cannabis usage. When possible, they referenced the answers given with the patients medical records. Most all of the patients had been on conventional treatments such as anti-inflammatories, corticosteriods & some where also using anti-tumor necrosis factor antibodies. About half had also experienced the need to have surgery at some point. These patients opted to use marijuana due to the fact that they were not responding well to conventional treatments. The average amount of THC(tetrahydrocannabinol) intake from marijuana per day was about 0.5mg – 1.5mg. Continue reading “Study Suggests Cannabis Helpful In Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease” »

Tranzyme’s TZP-102 is a Ghrelin receptor agonist designed for treatment of Gastroparesis in diabetic patients. Phase IIb trials are currently underway to further test it’s efficacy.

Ghrelin is a hormone that is generated within the walls of the stomach. It’s mainly responsible for the feeling of hunger along with helping to gear up the digestive system for food intake. Leptin is another digestive hormone that is almost the opposite of  Ghrelin in that it promotes feelings of satiety & lowers appetite. Those with Gastroparesis often have problems with loss of appetite & early feelings of fullness along with nausea & vomiting. While it’s known that usually a loss of digestive motility is the reason for these symptoms, it is not often known where the loss of motility came from. In some cases motility is not an issue, yet symptoms remain.  It is possible that those suffering from Gastroparesis may be dealing with an underproduction of Ghrelin or an overproduction of Leptin. It is also possible that these hormone levels are fine but some other issue exists like nerve or muscle damage. Regardless of the cause, increasing production of Ghrelin may be beneficial to those dealing with Gastroparesis as it may allow the digestive system to regain some lost motility while improving appetite & reducing feelings of fullness. Continue reading “Tranzyme’s TZP-102 Gastroparesis Treatment Starts Phase IIb Trials” »

American Idol fan favorites David Archuleta & Casey Abrams raising awareness of Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis in recent videos.

David Archuleta was a fan favorite & the runner-up to the seventh season of American Idol. He’s spent his time since American Idol traveling around the country & the world performing on tours & for different events. He recently updated his Youtube channel to discuss what he’s currently been up to. One of the topics he discusses in the video is the recent diagnosis of his older sister’s Crohn’s Disease. He thanked many of the fans who wrote to him regarding the condition as well as the CCFA. It sounds as though his sister is doing better, but as those dealing with Crohn’s Disease know, there is no easy fix & David states he is still trying to learn more about the disease & how he can best help his sister. Continue reading “David Archuleta & Casey Abrams Talk Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis” »

The Listeria monocytogenes strain found on cantaloupes is being blamed for the death of at least 18 people as well as sickening at least 100.

The tainted cantaloupes were sold by Jensen Farms located in Colorado & distributed all over the country. The Center for Disease Control has reported Listeria related illness in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin & Wyoming. Jensen Farms recalled the cantaloupes in mid-September.

At the same time this was happening, listeria also popped up on romaine lettuce that was being sold by True Leaf Farms of Salinas, California. Currently there have been no reports of illness from this lettuce as not much of it was distributed & what did get distributed was recalled quickly. Continue reading “Listeria Outbreak Still Having Repercussions” »

SmartPill device measures patient’s digestive system vitals with less hassle & invasiveness compared to typical diagnostic procedures like endoscopy or gastric emptying studies.

Measuring 26 mm x 13 mm, about the size of a multi-vitamin, the SmartPill device should be easy enough for most patients to swallow. Once swallowed the device gets to work measuring statistics about the patients digestive system. The information collected is useful for measuring motility within the stomach, small bowel & colon along with temperature & pressure throughout the entire gut. A data monitoring device is worn by the patient which the SmartPill communicates with wirelessly. Data is collected for 4 – 5 days & then the patient returns to the doctors office to have the data downloaded & analyzed. Only the data monitoring device is recovered as the SmartPill itself is a single use device & passes through the digestive system along with other waste products. Continue reading “SmartPill Aids Diagnosis of Gastroparesis & Irritable Bowel Syndrome” »

A study done by researchers in Norway shows a link between Giardia infection & development of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Researchers gave 817 patients who were exposed to Giardia lamblia mail-in questionnaires which asked them to explain any current symptoms they were experiencing. These patients infection was the result of a waterborne outbreak of Giardia which occured three years prior. They compared these patients answers with those from a control group containing 1128 people. Continue reading “Giardia Infection Linked to Irritable Bowel & Chronic Fatigue” »

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals is seeking approval from the European Medicines Agency for their Irritable Bowel Syndrome drug Linaclotide.

Almirall is the licensee of Linaclotide for European markets. They along with Linaclotide manufacturer, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, submitted a Marketing Authorization Application to the European Medicines Agency in a bid to gain access to European markets. Along with the application they submitted the results of their Phase III trials showcasing the benefits they feel Linaclotide provides patients who are dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If approved the drug would be sold under the brand name of Constella. Continue reading “Ironwood’s Irritable Bowel Syndrome Constipation Drug Seeking European Approval” »

Researchers at the University of Manitoba have done a broad scale investigational research project into the link between antibiotics usage & Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis.

The study suggested that those given 3 or more dosages of antibiotics have as much as 50% higher likelihood of developing Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis within 2 years. Over 2,200 patients with either Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis between 2001 and 2008 were matched to over 22,300 control participants based on gender, age & location. Researchers used the Manitoba Drug Program Information Network, which is a comprehensive database of all drug prescriptions for Manitobans going back as far as 1995. While the researchers found that most all antibiotics pose a similar risk, metronidazole(Flagyl/MetroGel) posed the highest risk while penecillan appeared to pose the lowest. Continue reading “Recent Antibiotic Use Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases” »

Christchurch Hospital’s Department of Paediatric Surgery has developed a way to grow smooth muscle cells which may lead to new treatment options for those with bowel diseases or defects.

Research lead by Dr. Atsushi Yoshida & Prof. Spencer Beasley has developed a technique that allows them to grow smooth muscle which exhibits muscle contractions similar that of bowel muscle. The breakthrough allows the researchers to convert pluripotent stem cells into sheets of this smooth muscle tissue.

“This is a significant breakthrough because until now being able to achieve contracting sheets of smooth muscle cells has proved very difficult,” – Dr. Atushi Yoshida Continue reading “Christchurch Hospital On It’s Way To Generating Smooth Bowel Muscle” »

Stanford University’s new Gastrointestinal Pain Program is showing how efficient communication between Gastroenterologists & Pain Management specialists can lead to better results for patients.

It’s all too often that patients with chronic conditions find themselves in the position of treatment manager, coordinating communications between their general practitioner & the multiple specialists they may have to see. Patients in this situation will often feel lost in a sea of doctors appointments, ensuring tests & medical records get transferred properly as well as researching & managing their own illness. Those patients may also feel as though no one in the medical community is really taking a lead in ensuring their wellbeing as often doctors who don’t work within the same medical practice(or even those who do) are distant, with communication not being their strong suit. Continue reading “Communication Key To Managing Gastrointestinal Pain” »

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