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Constipation: How to fix chronic constipation

The following is the script to the podcast :

https://anchor.fm/e/d38bdc?at=1358881

Young lady suffering a slow tract for 5
yrs…holddd up! what’s a slow tract i hear
you say!

it’s when you cant shit! A simple test: what
you eat generally exits within 2 days..if it
takes 3 or more days to pass..you’ve got a
slow gut. Caveat…must be ongoing for
6months+ your norm will be different to my
norm….some go three times a day…others
go every THREE days..

who cares i hear you shout! You’re right!
you’re more concerned about the blating, the
nausea, the stomach pain!

but plz, let me drop some knowledge:

technical term for it is when your colonic
transit time (CTT) is >48hrs, as measured by
swallowing a radioactive dye and seeing how
long it passes through.

For px with STC, laxatives dont work well
and neither does more fibre in the diet.

About 1 in 10 poeple with constpiatoin will
suffer the type known as a slow tract. The
other kind of constipatoin is where there
are obstructions. i shouldnt laugh here but
that sounds kinda funky…rectal
obstructions

 

Why does this even happen? is it cos you eat
a shit diet? I went in hunt of the answers

Reasons..
1) obstructions….maybe the theres a
prolapse of the rectum,
2) slow colon (colonic inertia)
3) IBS
4) psychological stress
5) nerves being numb

 

STC confirmed by nuclear transit
study..basically u swallow some radioactive
barium and monitor its progress from mouth
to anus…fun days

Another method is the popular Wexman
Questinnaires which asks: how often u go,
pain level when you shit,
did you go fully or half way,
pain in stomach,
time to shit, how much help did u need to
shit-im talking laxatives,
how long uve been constipated, how many
unsuccesful attempts at pooping.

 

//////////////////// clinical trials///////

 

lets move onto the clinical trials. Now be
forewarned that some of these experiments
will sound very wacky….like real wacked.
eating poop kind of wacked. But im getting a
head of myself…lets start with the more
acceptable studies done.

three entrepreneurials scientists stuck
electrodes to childrens belly buttons and
found that after six months, with one hr of
stimulation daily…that the kids started
pooping more…gosh hardly exciting to be
hooked up to some electrodes when u just
wanna go play in the sandpit.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/n
er.12734/full

Another group in Britain did a similar thing
but found no benefit…mind you they were
sticking the electrode to the soles of the
feet….kind of sounds farfetched, we’re
trying to fix something at the buttocks not
the feet…but if you look at the nerve path
it does seem to converge at the spinal cord
level.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/c
odi.13388/full

An australian bunch did a similar thing but
placed the electrode pads on the tail bone
area and found this to be somewhat
effective. The real issue is the effect
didnt last too long after stopping therapty.

http://www.nobleresearch.org/Content/PDF/16/
2399-8199.2017-1/2399-8199.2017-1.pdf

By now you’re probably thinking, gosh
scientists sure like to zap things…first
Pavlov’s dogs and now kids…rest assured,
things get real wacked now…

///////wacked up research/////

FMT? Fecal microbiota transplantation. The
process of donating someone elses poop and
putting it into your stomach. WTF?! Yep
there woudl be a donor who would rock up on
the day of the experiment, dump a shit, then
scientists would whizz it up in a blender
and pump it via a nose tube into actual
patients.Bat shit crazy!
And if u were wondering, the amount of shit
used was 100g blended in 500mL of saline.
that’s half a litre of brown stuff.
Not surpringly, side effects included:
venting, nausea, abdominal pain and
diarrhoea. what’s venting? i had to look it
up. it says here: a vent is an opening such
as one that discharges pus like the anus.
hmmmm

an opening permitting the escape of fumes,
liquid, gas or steam

So the verdicT? about a 30% improvement…an
increase in number 2s, softer shit, faster
transit times (this is the bus timetable but
the time it takes to pass out some feces

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?
id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171308

//////////////////////average Joe and
probiotics//////

 

OKAY so whats the average Joe do when he
listens to all this…well basically if you
wanna avoid constipation…ensure you
actually drink water each day, have fibre in
ur diet from food sources like fruits and
vegetables and add a yoghurt to your routine
as this has been shown to help gut motility.

Now on the topic of yogurt, we all know that
yoghurt contains beneficial bacteria called
probiotics…well

China scientists are pumping real
interesting research on this area. In
fact…at the time of writing my notes…I
had a Eureka moment! Lots of laxatives are
exported to china each day…if you work in
pharmacy you’ll notice this too…things
like Nulax sell like hot cakes! Could it be
something in the water?…a topic of another
podcast no doubt!

 

///////////////HOW do these critters affect
us?///////////

One example are:

methanogens..these methanogens are elevated
in harder stools and correlated with
farting…true enough we all learned in
science lab that methane gas is that partly
the gas found in fart.

another example are the byproducts of
probiotics….

SCFAs and Bile acids….these were shown to
stimulate serotonin receptors in the gut
producin muscle contractions! so how do we
get more of these two acids? more fibre! and
for the case of Bile acids….healthy fats!
hohoho sounds like a healthy balanced diet
to me!

 

A fun point of this research was that the
poop belonging to a group of chemicially-
induced constipated rats were pumped into
stomachs of healthy rats….in turn causing
the healthy rats to be constpiated!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PM
C5428802/

now……Taking a slight tangent in our
thought processes

Perhaps its the degeneration of nerves in
the gut that is responsible for slow tract
constipation! kinda like neurodegenerative
disease like Alzheimers and Parkinsons?!
Again a third group of Chinese researchers
took biopsies of peoples lower guts and
examined it under powerful electron
miscroscopes.
They found that in one 69yo woman..that her
nerves had shrivelled up into whats known as
a vacuole and is possibly why she has taken
laxatives for the last 6 yrs!! They rkn that
the same nerves that can be damaged during
child birth are the ones damanged in this
69yo.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PM
C5369939/

 

///////// in closing////////
To close of this podcast…i’d like to
return to our original customer’s anxieties
and would just like to say that her
condition is a rare one, and isn’t something
to laugh about….its quite
debilitating….it affects one’s social
life, causings much psychological and
physical distress…..To this friend, I
would say that getting a good doctor on your
side who is willing to try different
approaches to this riddle is key. Very key.
as there are alot of doctors who will just
shrug this into the “too hard basket”.

for the average person, the key take aways
are to eat a diet filled with fibre and
healthy fats along with fermented foods that
are high in probiotics like yoghurt kimchi,
pickles, kombucha etc…

As I mentioned earlier, the probiotics eat
the fibre to product beneficial SCFAs and
bile acids which promote a regular bowel
movement.

Now how many times have you heard this said?
HEAPPPS….well now you have the science to
back it up. Enjoy..

Now before you all head off…if you enjoyed
this podcast, please leave a commment, pass
it onto a friend who may benefit, show us
some love!

 

 

 

Wexman scale:
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9c30/96521a
00e759a1cd345b6aec3ee88a9fc9e2.pdf

 

phyla Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and
Actinobacteria. Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes
ratio, and negatively related to Akkermansia
and Methanobrevibacter abundance.
unclassified_Ruminococcaceae, Alistipes,
and Oscillibacter were negatively correlated
with the mean stool frequency3

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Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)-Does it actually do anything?

“One might think that fresh lemons and limes and raw organic apple cider vinegar are acidic, but they actually become alkaline when consumed.”

What a non-sensical claim! Before I get into the details of this, I’d like to say that after spending almost 12hours looking at material online regarding apple cider vinegar (ACV), I haven’t found any shred of evidence to show of it’s 20+ health benefits.

origins

ACV is basically apple pulped up, placed into wooden barrels and allowed to ferment. Much like the process of making wine, alochol is formed by this process. ACV however requires one further fermentation cycle to then produce the acetic acid aka “vinegar.” In fact, vinegar is French for “wine gone sour.”

 

Cider-making process in France.png
Microorganisms in Fermented Apple Beverages: Current Knowledge and Future Directions by Fabien J. Cousin and others.

Now before anyone gets upset, I’ll state clearly that a lack of evidence does not equate a lack of effect. A lot of drugs lack evidence for their effects/side effects until years down the track. In the case of the humble ACV, it’s been around since ancient Egypt times-analysis of urns have revealed traces of acetic acid. Ironically, anything left for that long would go “off” (ferment).

Now the purported benefits of ACV range from the mundane to the fantastical: antibacterial, reduces blood pressure, antioxidant, reduce sugar levels in diabetics, reduce cholesterol, improve brain function, relieve acid reflux, treat warts, treat cancer, treat bad breath, treat gout, treat urinary tract infections, and of course treat head lice.

 

Basically summarised, it can detox, help digest, and improve your energy levels. But does it really?

Rather than repeat what other reputable sources already mentioned on this topic, I will simply provide a summary of it below and provide links to a few reputable sources of information (see below).

 

Stated Health Claim Believable or Not?
Antibacterial Believable: acetic acid at concentration of 3% have been tested. Household vinegar is typically 5% (1)
Reduce blood pressure No studies found
Antioxidant Perhaps: like most plants, there exists phytochemicals (aka bioactive substances) that may defend against free radicals. There are thousands of these in nature and we can’t be sure which is what
Reduce diabetes Unlikely: there was a study on 30 people (FYI a good study requires thousands of people to have enough power). Ten were diabetes, ten were non-diabetics, and ten were pre-diabetic. After about a month of ACV, there fasting sugar levels were slightly lower.  These sorts of studies are too small for drawing conclusions. They also don’t look at factors like participants changed diets whilst in the program. (2)
Brain function No studies found
Acid reflux No large studies done. One was a doctoral thesis project consisting of a handful of volunteers with no conclusive answer.
Warts No studies found. Warning: chemical burns can occur with even standard 5% ACV despite being a weak acid. See images below.
Arthritis No human studies found. One study on arthritis-induced rats showed no effect. Link below
Antifungal One study on denture-associated candida showed it had some effect
Antidandruff Folk remedy but otherwise no studies found
Probiotic Whilst there does exist plenty of probiotics in ACV, there were no human studies on the benefits.

Studies in carp fish show that using ACV in combination with other probiotics may boost the immune system. Whether this relates to humans is unknown.

Helicobacter pylori Studies show that taking ACV with triple-therapy did not show benefit towards H. pylori eradication

What’s my take on it? Drink it for it’s likely beneficial probiotic effects. Always dilute it with a glass of water-add honey to taste. Ignore all the other “benefits.”

 

References

  1. Antibacterial effects of ACV
  2. Vinegar improves insulin
  3. Mother Earth-make your own ACV
  4. superFoodly’s analysis of ACV
  5. Dr Mercola’s analysis of ACV
  6. Science behind why pH won’t budge
  7. Fish fed ACV+probiotics
  8. Helicobacter pylori eradication with ACV
  9. Probiotics in ACV
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Kid’s Hives: the most frequent concern among Young Parents

The most common issue I see in pharmacy no matter where I work is hives aka rashes-both in kids and adults.

It’s the freakiest thing-to see your kid’s skin angry and red, blotchy and spread.

In the video above I’m gonna share my personal experience with never before seen photos of my hives.

I’ll explain why hives occur and a simple method to find the root cause.

“Often it’s rarely what you did today, but rather the factors leading up to it. The stresses on your immune system.”

Our immunity is like a battery and it can quickly run flat. Charging it up is simple but so many times we get it wrong. We try quick fixes like buying a new battery!

The pillars for charging this battery are: 8-10hrs sleep , good nutrition , hydration .

Where a boost is needed, I always turn to a good probiotic powder* for kids. (*See below for my recommendations)

Watch out for unwitting stacking of stresses on our kids. These include recent colds, ear infections, gastro, off ones food, dehydration.

On their own the stresses won’t cause hives but together they set the scene for a weakened immune system.

When our body reaches a tipping point, that’s when it will “react” with inflammation aka hives aka redness, itching, swelling.

This is when we reach for anti-histamines (anti-inflammation) but notice the initial gap in treatment. We haven’t dealt with underlying stresses when we pop a Zyrtec or other.

The pillars for charging this battery are: 8-10hrs sleep, good nutrition, and hydration.

That’s why I always take a full history whenever mums and dads come in with their kids. Sure I’ll give them the quick fix but I always address the underlying issues too.

If you found this informative leave a Reply below and Share it on. Bless ur health.  Vien

 

*There are so many brands of probiotics now, some kept in the fridge others outside. Exciting indications exist claiming to fix eczema, improve allergies, moderate cholesterol etc..I stick with what I know and that’s: Inner Health for Kids Powder 0-12yrs. It’s got the three main bacterium that normally colonize our guts.

Would like to know where to get probiotics?

Call us on 02 8068 7131

Follow us at:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/canterburylatenightpharmacy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/canterburylnp
Facebook: https://facebook.com/canterburylatenight

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Can probiotics benefit children with autism spectrum disorders?

WELCOME TO THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF ‘WHAT’S OUR TAKE ON IT!?’ 

(We read scientific journals and distill the core ideas into bite-sized, easy-to-read English!)

First the formalities…todays journal is from Houston, Texas, USA and poses the question-do probiotics work for our kids with autism? Click the link below if you want to see the full article:

Navarro F, Liu Y, Rhoads JM. Can probiotics benefit children with autism spectrum disorders? World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2016;22(46):10093-10102. doi:10.3748/wjg.v22.i46.10093. Click here for original text

IMO probiotics are a confusing lot! Walk into any good pharmacy these days and they’ll present you with a 20+ selection to choose from. Combine these with the new ones coming out each year and it’s easy to fall behind. Hence why I’m looking at some research data to see if I can make any sense of it for you.

Again I’m talking about autism, a topic I covered in the last blog [insert link] because I’m starting to see more and more of it daily. I also think probiotics are cutting edge stuff yet still cloaked in mystique.

INTRO

Good bacteria live inside us. There they perform things like digest the carbohydrates (sugars) we eat, manufacture vitamins, help absorb nutrients, boost our immune system and the list goes on. Because they live in our gut, scientists believe they are involved with common symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and stomach aches. To be precise, scientists think that when there’s an imbalance of good vs bad bacteria…it can cause said problems. Their Question is: Do probiotics help kids with autism-specifically their gut problems?

BACKGROUND

When two events happen at the same time and a definite link can be found…it’s called a causation. When there is a possibility (but unconfirmed) of a link…its called a correlation. Scientists think there’s an correlation between autism and their gut problems. i.e. 40% of autistic kids have gut problems. Fix the gut fix the autism? Not so fast!

What problems?

..feeding abnormalities, gastroesophageal reflux, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fecal incontinence, constipation, and alternating diarrhea and constipation.

HYPOTHESIS

Theories abound for why autistic kids have more gut issues. One of these is inflammation. When you sprain your ankle, it starts to swell with blood; it hurts to touch-let alone walk on; and it looks pinkish-red. This is inflammation and it can happen on a smaller scale inside your gut. Scientists can measure things like cytokines and special sugars and enzymes to say Yes there’s something going on. Unfortunately the evidence isn’t clear cut. One group says one thing and another the opposite.

Another theory is that autistic kids have guts that are just more sensitive to stimuli such as various foods in our diet. Their symptoms resemble those of adults who have IBS. So maybe it’s just IBS that our kids have and the gut problems have no link to autism?

THE DATA

So if probiotics can perform wonderful things, why not just stick them in the gut? There’s a 1000 species of bacteria in our gut and in total their numbers are in the trillions. We just don’t know what does what and where (stomach, small intestines, large intestines, etc). Scientists think that it’s not so much the bacteria but the by-products bacteria produce. Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) are such a by-product which is supposed to affect our brain chemicals (neurotransmitters e.g. dopamine) as well as behaviour and moods.

Here are some examples:

Bifidobacterium bifidum – may help prevent leaky gut aka unwanted toxins getting absorbed… (tested in animals)

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) – may help reduce ADHD and Aspergers syndrome in the newborn. (tested in humans)

Lactobacillus reuteri – may help with behaviour issues (tested in animals)

 

CONCLUSION

All that said…scientists are still dumbfounded as to whether probiotics can definitely help [human] kids or not. First it’s an ethical question…if you knew your child was sick and needed treatment..would you sign them up to a clinical study where they might only get placebo tablets vs the real thing? I know I wouldn’t. So evidence is lacking. Our knowledge therefore is also lacking. Making informed decisions therefore is guesswork at best.

BLOGGER’S TAKE

So what’s a parent to do? Considering that most probiotics on the market are generally safe, my take on it is that you can trial and error your child on different brands for say 1-2 months, keep a bowel motion diary (many on iPhone/Android App stores) and stay in touch with your doctor. Exceptions to this advice would be and not limited to: those with weak immune systems e.g. HIV-AIDS, auto-immune conditions like lupus, organ transplant patients, patients with large sections of their gut removed through surgery, and/or patients with heart issues.