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” »

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases can affect not just your family members, but also your family pet.

Happy Beagle PuppyMississippi State University is reporting that, “TaTonka Gold”, their living dog mascot had to be euthanized due to a number of health problems, one of which was Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This reminded me of an article I saw a few weeks back: “Treating inflammatory bowel disease in dogs” from the Washington Post’s website. That article involved a pet owner writing in about their dog’s digestive problems, the answer they received back was too look into the possibility that their dog has IBD. Continue reading “Inflammatory Bowel Disease Can Affect Cats & Dogs” »

Those who develop Clostridium difficile along with their Inflammatory Bowel Disease may have a harder time treating it with Vancomycin.

A review study of 101 patients who had an Inflammatory Bowel Disease of one kind or another found that Clostridium difficile was more likely to occur in those treated with the antibiotic vancomycin compared to those treated with another antibiotic, metronidazole or a combination of both. Vancomycin goes by the brand name Vancocin while metronidazole is also known as Flagyl.

The review study showed a recurrence rate of almost 40%(39.4%) in those who took vancomycin compared to 14.5% in those who took metronidazole & 13.3% in those who took a combination of both. No obvious differences were found between patients & the vast majority(89%) were on immunosupressive drugs of some sort. Steroid use does seem to play a role as reinfection rates were approximately twice as high, 32% vs 15.7%,  for those receiving a steroidal treatment. Continue reading “Clostridium difficile Recurrence Higher For IBD Patients Treated With Vancomycin” »

As our food supply becomes more consolidated, outbreaks of bacterial contamination may become larger. Some of those outbreaks may involve drug resistant bacteria.

A study by the Oxford Journal along with stories by the LA times may give some a cause for concern regarding the safety of our meat supply.

[Researchers] established that 40% of pork samples were contaminated with such bacteria.

Nearly half of the samples — 47% — contained strains of Staphylococcus aureus, the type of bacteria that most commonly causes staph infections. Of those bacteria, 52% were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics[...]

While most of these bacteria are killed off with proper cooking & the risk of infection is low if proper handling procedures are followed, it still gives one pause to think about all th stuff going into these animals before they are sent to slaughter for consumption.

 

Research mapping the digestive system’s bacterial flora seems to suggest that most people fall into one of only three different “gut types”.

A recent study published in Nature has found that our gut’s bacterial flora may not be as diverse or unique as once thought. Researchers deciphered the microbial life within each test subject’s fecal samples. What they found was that the test subjects fell into one of three different “enterotypes” (microbe ecosystems). Factors such as age, weight or nationality did not matter as far as who ended up with what enterotype. Essentially what this means is that it appears the life forms living inside of us aren’t as random as we might have thought in the past. Continue reading “Knowing Your “Gut Type” May Soon Be Like Knowing Your Blood Type” »

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the a school(Little Village Academy) in Chicago has banned kids from bring in their own lunches unless they have a medical reason to do so. While the school & the district is spinning this as being about protecting kids from bad food choices many think that the school & it’s food service provider are putting profit over pupils. The principal, Elsa Carmona, says that other schools have a similar policy, though she was unable to name which other schools have such a policy. More worrying is that the school district has no official written policy on bagged lunches, nor do they keep track of which principals have decided to do away with allowing them. Parents don’t have much choice in the matter as the school their child goes to usually depends on where they live. They may not have any recourse to send their child to another school & perhaps many aren’t going to be inclined to do so over something “petty” like the school lunch program. Continue reading “Chicago School Bans Kids From Bringing Their Own Lunches” »

While searching the news today I saw a lot of outlets focusing in on a study recently released by the Statens Serum Institute(Denmark) about a possible link between antibiotics and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Upon looking at the abstract and the title of the study I think we have a case once again of people mistaking Irritable Bowel Syndrome for Inflammatory Bowel Disease / Crohn’s Disease / Ulcerative Colitis. Continue reading “Study on Antibiotics is Related to Inflammatory Bowel Disease Not IBS” »

I reported about a study on Rifaximin a few months ago. I was not that impressed by the results at that time. Well there has been a new study released on Rifaxmin showing pretty much the same unimpressive results. The facts are still that only about 11%  saw benefit over placebo. That difference seems even more dubious what with the recent placebo study showing a similar level of efficacy. Who knows if the Rifaximin is really doing anything at all? Additionally patients are only tracked for 10-weeks, there is no information for what happens after that. It appears I am not alone in my concerns regarding the study. If you check out the comments on the study you’ll find there are a few doctors chiming in with their concerns:

“Here we go on another journey into a poorly supported area of new treatment…….this article barely shows a statistically signifincant difference, and certainly not a convincing one.” – MICHAEL ELIASTAM, MD

“This study is problematic in several ways, not least of which is the long list of companies involved, and somehow attached to the trial’s outcome.” – DAVID GLUCK, MD

“As a practicing gastroenterologist for 12 years as well as an IBS sufferer for almost 40, I realized long ago that we cannot treat IBS with a pill and that IBS is for life, and not for 10 weeks. I have been following Dr. Pimental’s studies for years, and I have yet to see anything last as long as the stress and psychological manipulation techniques that I and many others have been advocating for years.” – KIMBERLY CUSATO, MD

So buyer beware, Rifaximin may not be all it’s cracked up to be or what the hype my have you believe.

Bacterial Vaginosis & Yeast Infections affect millions of women each year. In many cases a quick trip to the store or to the doctors office for medication is enough to cure the problem. However, there are many women out there who will only be cured for a short period of time and then their symptoms return & become chronic. Before you know it repeated trips to the doctor or the store do not result in a permanent resolution to the problem & it can be extremely frustrating. I’ll highlight some tips and products that may help you get back on track to having a healthy vagina. Continue reading “Cures & Treaments For Chronic Bacterial Vaginosis, Yeast Infections or Vaginal Itching” »

There has been some recent news on the drug Rifaximin(brand name XIFAXAN) showing some promising results for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Rifaximin is an anti-biotic that is poorly absorbed by the body. What this means is that most of it stays in the gut where it attacks bacteria. The idea here is that harmful bacteria create toxins in the body causing neurocognitive and neuromuscular dysfunction. By using Rifaximin you can kill off these bacteria and hopefully restore the gut to it’s regular functions. Continue reading “News: Rifaximin For Irritable Bowel Syndrome” »

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