The American Idol “Top 6” finalist, Casey Abrams, looks to highlight inspiring stories of those who have pushed beyond the limitations Inflammatory Bowel Disease imposes on their life.

Casey Abrams’ battle with Ulcerative Colitis came to light earlier this spring while competing on American Idol. Despite trying to put on a strong face & not bring attention to himself due to his illness, he eventually became so ill that he had to be hospitalized & receive blood transfusions. Since the news of his health problems became known, he has received an outpouring of support from his fans & those who have Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis. Mr. Abrams recently spoke with FOX’s Beth Galvin about the struggles he faced during American Idol & beyond. Continue reading “Singer Casey Abrams Raising Awareness With IBD Icons Project” »

Coronado Biosciences is developing a helminthic therapy treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis that may open the therapy up to mainstream medicine.

Helminthic therapy is the treatment of autoimmune diseases or disorders via parasitic organisms, usually worms of some sort. Why helminthic therapy works rests on the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that modern hygiene habits at an early age may be reducing the ability for our immune system to develop initially & later regulate itself. The idea is that without early exposure to certain pathogens, the immune system becomes reliant on allergic and/or inflammatory responses to common pathogens or irritants. Continue reading “Coronado Biosciences Developing Helminthic Therapy For Crohn’s Disease” »

A study released at the 15th International Congress of Mucosal Immunology in Paris, France suggests that diet can have an impact on the digestive ecosystem in those with Crohn’s Disease.

A pilot study, lead by UC Davis(San Francisco, CA),  took a look at how various diets affect bacterial flora counts in those with Crohn’s Disease. Researchers examined the bacterial make-up of 6 patients with Crohn’s Disease who were in remission who had either been on a Low Residue Diet or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Their bacterial levels were compared to each other & a control group made up of people with healthy digestive systems. Previous studies have suggested that bacterial flora counts might play a part in Crohn’s Disease as those with Crohn’s Disease often show a lower bacterial flora count than those with a healthy digestive system. Continue reading “Diet Replenishes Bacterial Flora In Those With Crohn’s Disease” »

BioLineRx announced that it has licensed an experimental immunotherapy drug from Yissum Research Development Company Ltd which is the business side of Hebrew University of Jerusalem(Israel).

The drug is currently known as “BL-7040” & BioLineRx has plans to further develop & commercialize the drug worldwide. BL-7040 is an experimental drug that is still in testing, but it has already passed Phase Ib & Phase IIa clinical trials. Officially it won’t be known how well BL-7040 works until it’s subjected to Phase IIb clinical trials. However, Prof. Hermona Soreq sounds optimistic on the drug’s efficacy:

The efficacy of BL-7040 in these [earlier] studies was shown to be highly significant and comparable to that of dexamethasone, a steroid used routinely for IBD that has multiple side effects. Continue reading “BioLineRX’s TLR-9 Immunotherapy For Inflammatory Bowel Disease” »

Today we’re taking a look at Nature’s Way Psyllium Husks capsules.

Nature's Way Psyllium Husk Front LabelPsyllium husks come from the seeds of the psyllium plant. Psyllium husks are hydrophilic meaning they are attracted to water & readily absorb it. When saturated with water psyllium husks produce mucilage which is a thick gooey substance. Mucilage creates a film over mucous membranes, such as those found in the intestines. This film can help with the passage of stool as well as lowering inflammation by reducing the chances of irritation.

Psyllium husk is not digestible so it can be thought of as a “bulking agent”, meaning it will help add size to stool potentially increasing the chances of properly formed stool, which can aid with proper bowel movements.Psyllium husk is often advertised as a laxative, but it’s not a stimulant & can be used on a daily basis for those who want to try adding fiber to their their daily diet or treatment regimen. Fiber supplementation can be helpful for things like chronic diarrhea or constipation related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Continue reading “Review: Nature’s Way Psyllium Husks” »

Advanced techniques in stem cell therapy may lead to new treatment options for those with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

MultiStem is a stem cell treatment therapy currently in development by Athersys in partnership with Pfzier. Athersys is currently targeting MultiStem as a treatment for a variety of illnesses such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease but also things like recovery from stroke, heart problems & transplant rejection. Multistem starts by harvesting stem cells from the bone marrow of a donor. Due to the technique that Athersys uses the donor does not have to be a tissue match for the recipient like in some other stem cell treatments. Supposedly it is also easy to mass produce MultiStem as a single donor can produce hundreds of thousands or even millions of doses. Continue reading “Novel Stem Cell Treatments For Inflammatory Bowel Disease” »

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” »

Research led by Fang Yang at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center has uncovered some interesting information which could lead to new treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.

The researchers focused in on proteins that are secreted by the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG bacteria. This bacteria is commonly found in yogurts. The proteins they isolated were given generic names such as p75 & p40. Researchers narrowed their focus to protein ‘p40’. P40 was found to activate the epidermal growth factor receptor which is responsible for sustaining living cells & growing new ones. Activation of this receptor appears to have helped prevent both cell death & inflammation caused by weakening of the intestinal tracts “tight junctions” which prevent microbes & toxins escaping into the bloodstream. Continue reading “Yogurt Protein Could Be Helpful For Inflammatory Bowel Diseases” »

Canadian Researchers from the University of Toronto have narrowed down a key protein which may be partially to blame for triggering Crohn’s Disease.

The proteins in question are known as “nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain proteins” or NOD for short. The study looked specifically at the NOD2 gene which acts as a sort of “bacterial sensor” for the gut. It helps the immune system respond to threats by sending out signaling molecules(cytokines) which trigger an inflammatory response. The cytokines  seen in this study are Interleukin(IL) 17 & IL-22. Interleukin 23 has also been linked to Crohn’s Disease. The research suggests that the NOD2 gene miscommunicates with IL-17 & IL-22 impeding the bodies ability to fight off bacterial infection. Continue reading “Immune System Proteins Key In Crohn’s Disease” »

Athletes, who are usually thought to be the epitome of health, often deal with the devastating impacts of digestive illness.

While our favorite sports heroes may seem superhuman many of them must face diseases like Diabetes, Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome,  Inflammatory Bowel Diseases & other ailments just like everyone else.  While it can be embarrassing to talk about digestive diseases, many athletes do step forward & share their story, helping to gain awareness & understanding. Continue reading “Major League & College Baseball Players Deal With IBS & IBD” »

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