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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to open dialogue on the notion of working towards a protocol that helps us better discover and eliminate the causative factors that contribute to our problems. Immodium, peptoB, calcium, and almost all the other 'remedies' discussed in this forum do little or nothing to help us discover and understand the underlying causes for our condition. I refuse to accept that there are not specific causes. It's fascinating for example that many of us first began our symptoms after a bout of food poisoning, a foreign trip, or some other parasitic, bacterial or fungal impact on our digestive systems. This cannot be insignificant and of course leads one to supsect that whatever caused the initial bout of digestive disorder (whether it be a specific pathogen or an imbalance) is still present in our system. I am also fascinated by the role that the liver plays in our equation of chronic symptoms and of course stress factors. I have been reading the information at wellatlast.com recently and find his discussions of the complex chemical functions of the liver to be eye opening. We certainly ask it to do a lot and I wonder how much we take care of it along the way.What I do understand is that western medical practice has not found any definitive causes and has no treatments except to lessen the symptoms - many of which ultimately only add to the problem over time. My theory is that nature gives us the cure for everything on the planet if we can discover it. I think that each of us can find a cure if we begin to first at least look at causative factors within our unique experiences.
 

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yay to the above post. My sentiments exactly. Sometimes I think it is a psychosis of the bowels as gi functions also have a lot to do with the serotonin malfunctioning. Just like the psychosis experienced by humans on the mental level when the serotonin in the brain or brain chemicals go off balance, perhaps the serotonin imbalance in the gi tract cause the bowels to go haywire. Perhaps a specific pathogen has caused the damage to the something in the gi tract. If this pathogen is unknown to science then it would not be something they would even look for in the tests. Just my theory anyway.
 

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Cause is a very interesting word in illness and health. When a pathogen enters the body it "causes" symptoms. But not in all. Some with a strong immune system don't develop symptoms to the same pathogen. Is the pathogen the cause or a weakened immune system the cause.Al;so serotinin dysregulation seems to cause iBS. But why is there serotonin dysregulation. It is sort of like a child asking "Why is the sky blue?" and who keeps asking why to every answer you give him. So doc, what exactly do you mean by cause?
 

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Standard model is the bacteria or parasite is LONG gone, not still lurking totally undetectable by any means.Standard model runs like this. Bacteria comes along. Immune system goes into full kill it mode. Full kill it mode in addition to whacking out the bacteira (or whatever) also damages the body (why sometimes you feel like heck for days/weeks after the flu for instance, you killed off the bug, but with collateral damage).The damage that is important for IBS is any damage to the nerves that control the gut's sensory nerves, or alters how the nervous system reacts to stimuli.If you use a chemical to inflame the colon of a rat (I think they did this in rats) the nerves in the gut wall get damaged by the immune system. People with inflamatory bowel disease get IBS-like issues from this as well (symptoms that persist when the disease is fully under control).Most of the newer treatments for IBS focus on treating the problems with the nervous system.K.
 

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Doc, read thishttp://www.ibshope.com/viewtopic.php?t=687"It's fascinating for example that many of us first began our symptoms after a bout of food poisoning, a foreign trip, or some other parasitic, bacterial or fungal impact on our digestive systems. This cannot be insignificant and of course leads one to supsect that whatever caused the initial bout of digestive disorder (whether it be a specific pathogen or an imbalance) is still present in our system. ""Post-infectious IBS. Symptoms suggestive of IBS occur in approximately 7-30% of patients following acute GI infections, often persisting for years following complete resolution of the infection. A large cohort study identified a self-reported history of acute gastroenteritis as a major risk factor for the development of IBS. Reported risk factors for the development of post-infectious IBS include female sex, the duration of the acute diarrheal illness and the presence of sustained psychosocial stressors around the time of infection. Post-infectious IBS is not restricted to a particular organism and has been documented with a variety of bacterial infections (Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli) as well as parasitic infection. However, the role of acute viral gastroenteritis in this condition is unknown. In post-infectious IBS, low grade GI inflammation or immune activation may be a basis for altered motility, and/or nerve and mucosal (lining of bowel) function of the gut in IBS. Recent studies have also shown that in a subset of unselected IBS patients (no documented history of a preceding gut infection), there is evidence of increased inflammatory cells in the colon mucosa. It remains to be determined if altered gut immune function is a general characteristic of IBS patients. The implication of stressful life events in the development of post-infectious IBS suggests a convergence of central (brain) and peripheral (gut) mechanisms in the clinical presentation of this syndrome. "
 

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PS its not just inflammation though, because inflammation does not always cause pain."Altered brain-gut communication in IBS. A unifying hypothesis to explain the functional bowel disorders is that they result from a dysregulation of the brain-gut axis. An evolving theory is that normal gastrointestinal function results from an integration of intestinal motor, sensory, autonomic and CNS activity and GI symptoms may relate to dysregulation of these systems. Brain imaging studies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) have been performed in IBS patients to measure brain activation patterns to visceral stimuli. These studies suggest that brain activation responses to visceral stimuli are distinctly different in IBS patients compared to healthy individuals. IBS patients may have different emotional and cognitive processing of sensory information from the gut compared to healthy individuals."
 

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I think I have gone further up the tree as far as controlling the cause of my bowel and digestive disorders with the flavonoid supplementation that I take; however, the "cause" is surely not a shortage of red wine in my diet, rather something that those extracts do within my wounded system.I have now talked a fourth person into using it for his GERD. Another ex-smoker (and co-worker) with a chronic problem of indigestion, he has now gone a month without pain, which is delightful for both of us. I am open to any theory as to why red grape seed and skin and ginko would do this.Any ideas out there?Mark
 

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This dialogue kind of sums up the issues with IBS in general...and although I am glad to see it on this BB, am not conviced we will come up with anything new.Just my opinion for my own battle-it truly is mostly a psycho-social problem. The first GI I saw summed it up in a very oversimplified way, but it does make sense. In someone like me (not all of you) when I get stressed, or confronted by a situation that I fear, my body reacts by making me want to defecate. In some people their hands get sweaty, others hands tremble, some feel like they are going to vomit, faint, or urinate...and so on. Us IBS-D poeple, translate it to our bowels-for whatever reason!I think we all like to underplay the mental part of this disease, because we don't want to feel like we have no control-or admit it.Having written that, I can say that I have had bouts of D in very calm times at home..but they are rare, and likely caused by something I ate, like in a "normal" person.Also not implying we should not continue our quest to help make this disease tolerable, but for one, I am convinced that our mind-gut connections just go haywire in certain situations. Those that had food poisoning, etc etc probably had an embarrassing experience with urgency at the same time, and it set off a trigger that continued into their next social experience, even after the food poisoning, traumatic events, etc were long in the past.Their minds just keep remembering and dwelling on the bad experience, with the resulting effect that for us, goes to our GI tract.I am always amazed at the level of "mind power" and research that the individuals on the site have dedicated to IBS. I have never one time read a post or reply from a medical person. I have told three doctors that I have been to-including one from the University of Michigan Medical Center- that any med students looking at becoming a GI specialist, should be given an assignment to spend even one hour on the different boards of this website. I doubt a one of them thought it was a worthwhile suggestion!Anyhow...good thread, but for me, I just keep trying different things to help me lead a more normal life. I can't wait on medical research, if a pill or supplement helps me-I'm going to go with it.Jeanne
 

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I too have had symptoms while in a 'calm' state and this scared me alot b/c I was sure my D was caused/aggravated by situational stress and anxiety.I realize now that brain triggers are not just the situation at hand. Stress and anxiety, for me, can be caused by something immediate like a meeting at work, having to meet someone at a certain time, having to go to a party or going somewhere where bathrooms aren't plentiful etc... But I've also learned thru therapeutic sessions that stress and anxiety can be caused by worries and thoughts we carry around with us each day.I don't know a general term to cover what I am trying to explain but some examples are - holding grudges against family or friends, long standing feuds, guilt - say you broke the office copier and never owned up to it.My point is that if you hold these negative feelings inside you, they will eat away at your emotional health. You could be carrying a baseline of worry and mental anguish which can affect you at anytime not just when faced with a nerve wracking situation.I looked at all parts of my life, I felt guilty and awful after gossiping at work so I stopped, I tried making peace with friends and family who I have feuded with, I owned up to lies I've told... We all make mistakes in life, let us not carry them around with us.I am not saying if you have anxiety you are a low down, lying, cheating awful person. The point is to look at see if there are any dark clouds hanging over your life that you could brighten up!!
 

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You're right Miranda..the general anxiety disorder is just what you described.I hate to keep referring to my husband, but he's the person I can most identify with because I've been with him so long, and around him in many situations. But- he's an example of the many people out there that can just blow off things us anxiety prone people cannot.We can have a big argument, and he can go to bed and fall right to sleep...Im up for hours worrying....same thing if something went bad with the kids....I wake up worrying and thinking with my mind racing...or things at work...he just doesn't let it get to him.He will put off things he knows he has to do, and it doesn't bother him at all...outwardly.I feel bad if I let someone down or don't own up to something I know I should have,etc.Doesn't mean we are better people than others..it's just how we are. I would love to be more calm and "type B' about my life. So, maybe the calm times when my gut acts up, are really just from anxiety. Somehow I don't think so though..it's a whole different feeling than days when my whole body just feels "nervous".Jeanne
 

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One thiing about psychological stressors, they can have a delayed reaction.However,"Comment from Emeran A. Mayer, M.D. -- In contrast to the common interpretation of the term "stress" as a psychological phenomenon, it should be understood as any real or perceived perturbation of an organism's homeostasis, or state of harmony or balance. For example, in this viewpoint a severe hemorrhage, starvation, extreme temperature, or worry about the unpredictable onset of abdominal pain all qualify as stressors -- some as "physical" stressors, others as "psychological" stressors. The fear to leave the house in the morning without knowing if one can make it to work without having to stop on the freeway because of an uncontrollable bowel movement, or the fear of experiencing uncontrollable abdominal discomfort during an important business meeting are sufficient stressors to activate the central stress system. The central stress system involves the release of chemical stress mediators in the brain (such as corticotropin releasing factor), which in turn orchestrate an integrated autonomic, behavioral, neuroendocrine, and pain modulatory response. This biological response in turn will alter the way the brain and the viscera interact, and this altered brain-gut interaction can result in worsening of IBS symptoms. Thus, pain and discomfort, fear of these symptoms, activation of the stress response, and modulation of the brain-gut interactions by stress mediators are part of a vicious cycle which need to be interrupted to produce symptom relief. "http://www.aboutibs.org/Publications/StressDefined.html
 

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Interesting....I still maintain that I have many "times" actually days or stretches of days, where I feel in "homeostasis" did I spell that right?My mind feels OK, my gut feels calm, I feel kind of invinceable-I notice it when I am on vacation or away from home a lot..which is nice, but also just some regular old days.Then other days for no reason, I get up in the morning and my stomach is just churning.It may be hormones, it may be seritonin, but whatever it is, I don't seem to have much control over my anxiety level. Of course before any big public thing..like a talk I have to do, etc. I will be nervous and probably have D a couple of times, but in those cases it is self limiting.This is Tuesday. Monday morning I had a usual sevreral BMS as my work day started...usually that means a calm afternoon and Tuesday.Well, this morning I have been to the john 5 times..and now feel OK. None were real urgent or too runny-but nonetheless, this is usually one of my good days, and it is a calm day at work ...who knows?Jeanne
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
quote:Originally posted by Kath M.:Standard model is the bacteria or parasite is LONG gone, not still lurking totally undetectable by any means.Standard model runs like this. Bacteria comes along. Immune system goes into full kill it mode. Full kill it mode in addition to whacking out the bacteira (or whatever) also damages the body (why sometimes you feel like heck for days/weeks after the flu for instance, you killed off the bug, but with collateral damage).The damage that is important for IBS is any damage to the nerves that control the gut's sensory nerves, or alters how the nervous system reacts to stimuli.Most of the newer treatments for IBS focus on treating the problems with the nervous system.K.
This is obviously the current belief regarding causation and uncovering treatments. But I'm not sure that I am quick to accept it.Step back from it all and ask the simple question, what is IBS? These are words grouped together over the last few decades by health practitioners to label a set of symptoms that cannot be fully explained regarding their causative factors.Go back ten years before we had the term IBS, without the concept, what did they call our symptoms then?While I certainly accept the idea that nerves in our gut are acting out to deal with our problems, are they in themselves the problem? And I don't know if I accept that the stimuli is indeed "long gone."Case in point: H. Pylori. Recently my own personal endoscopy found mild gastritis, after five weeks of D that I could not get to stop (and refused to take immodium to do so). My colonoscopy results were normal. So, now I go back to Japan in 1995 when I acquired my first D symptoms. Ten years later is the bacteria still there and am I still having problems because it was never fully eradicated? There is a wealth of findings that H. Pylori can stay around for a lifetime if not dealt with.Recent studies of Gambian children have connected chronic diarrhea with H. Pylori (when conventional medical wisdom has previously confined H. Pylori to the stomach). I am equally fascinated that there is a vitamin B12 deficiency connected to H. Pylori conditions and that so far the typical three pronged western medical protocol for H. Pylori eradication has usually only been shown to be effective while being administered. That is, once you stop trying to eradicate H. Pylori, it returns. They are only now discovering that this bacteria burrows itself much deeper into the mucosa tissues than was previously thought.Ok so indulge my oversimplification, but why can I not at least suspect that I acquired an H. Pylori problem, it was never really eradicated and now during times of surpressed immune system function, my body reacts to its continued presence? And when it does, my digestive system starts to act up. Or should I just believe conventional wisdom that my colon has now become misguided and is just acting out through memory of previously dealing with it or some other suspected cause? Maybe we are just making it too complicated? Sure we can respect and accept that our colons have their own "brain" and nervous system, but maybe in their wisdom they know more than our tests show. Perhaps undetected bacteria or some other specific cause still exists and our system knows it. It's worth thinking about. It's worth investigating, if we want to be responsible for our own well being.
 

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Doc-You bring up some thought provoking questions. No physician I have seen has ever brought up the pylori "issue".Have you talked with a doctor about your ideas?How do they test and/or treat for it?Like you wrote, it seems to simple to be right-but have you pursued it further with a medical person?Just curious..as we are all looking for "why"Jeanne
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
jeannei have pursured it with many medical people with mixed results. the problem with medical people generally is they tend to only believe and accept what they were taught or have learned. there is usually just not time to investigate or research unproven and speculative new options. they leave that up to the pharmaceutical companies! the conventional wisdom regarding h. pylori in medical school has been that it only effects the tissues of the stomach, but i am of the belief, and i think evidence is beginning to show that this bacteria can be present in the colon as well.Rather than expect them to know, approve or suggest any alternative means of treatment, I have taken it upon myself to investigate curative options. Some of which involve grapefruit seed extract, oregano leaf extract, mastic gum and glutamine, along with vitamin B12 shots. These are just underway so time will tell.If you do some searches for "h. pylori" on google you will find out the typical treatment regimens used today. They usually involve antibiotics in a combination of threes. Something I would likely not be open to.
 

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Some very good information in this discussion. I too have found there are lots of variables when deciding on a path to take in treating IBS. Its how you go about it, the "what works, and what doesnt." The brain is connected to all parts of the body. So, if something is offset in the mind like stress or extra hormones then the colon tends to act up, as some of us know. If bacteria are invading the colon usually discomfort or pain is associated with the culprit. Trying to decipher all of these things is a real headache. I have heard of certain types of bacteria that casue harm staying in your system, without you knowing its still there. Surely medical doctors have found something that will attack these bacteria and get them flushed from the system. I think this is the main cause of people getting IBS in the first place. If they were to have had food poisoning or came in contact with any type of fungus or even antibiotic their bowl habits have changed. Undoing the damage is really nerve wrecking to do since you have to go through the process of elimination. I believe thats why some peoples chemistry responds differently to treatments for IBS..??
 

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It's complex all right..an understatement.I still contend the mind-gut relatioship is the culprit (for whatever reason) for most of us.Hundreds of thousands (or whatever the number might be....I'm just trying to make a point) of people every year get food poisoning, bacterial infections that effect the GI tract..not to mention just the stress of day to day life, and other traumatic events that have been mentioned on this BB as being the "time their IBS started"(death in the family, divorce, etc)If these were absolute beginning points for IBS-why would most people just eventually go back to "normal" after these events...when others with mixed up mind-gut chemistry, fall into what will likely be a life-long pattern of IBS?I'm not discounting the pylori theory..and will look into it...I am always curious. The longer I go with this, the more things I read and try, the more jaded I get. But-we have to keep on trying to live with as much quality as we can, and tell ourselves there are far worse disabilities.Jeanne
 

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As far as Post infectious IBS is concerned, both bacteria and viruses have been found to lead to IBS. There is a lot of research already done on this and a lot more being done.There are also some 25 or more functional gi disorders.Functional dfunctional cfunctional chronic abdominal painIBS functional dyspepsiaand more.A huge amount of research has been done lately on IBS.This is worth readingFYIwith permission from the UNC"History of Functional DisordersDouglas A. Drossman, MDCenter-Co-DirectorMelissa SwantkowskiNew York UniversityTHE PASTHISTORICAL PRECEDENTShttp://ibsgroup.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/71210261/m/19710974They also know serotonin is not regulating right in IBS. They just don't know why.They also have really good evidence for impairment of certain brain centers in IBS.This is a good article on state of the art in IBS.http://www.ibshope.com/viewtopic.php?t=687In your case also they have found organic issues. When that is the case it isn't ibs any longer, unless a person has IBS and other organic disorders, which can happen. People can have IBS and say gerd for example. In IBS also more women then men have it, there is mild, moderate, and severe IBS.There is also this.Report on the 5th International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal DisordersApril 4, 2003 to April 7, 2003 Milwaukee, WisconsinCopyright © 2003 by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). All rights reserved. By: Douglas A. Drossman, M.D., UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders at Chapel Hill, and William F. Norton, IFFGDClick on Titles to View TopicsOutcomes of Pediatric Functional GI Disorders Epidemiology/Genetic/Behavioral Factors Basic Principles -- Brain-Gut Brain Imaging Emerging Techniques to Evaluate and Treat Functional GI and Motility Disorders Clinical Applications of Diagnosis and Treatment Functional GI DisordersGeneral Principles of TreatmentPharmacological Treatment Psychological Treatment IFFGD Research Awards http://www.iffgd.org/symposium2003report.htmlThere was a new one of these recently and that information will be published to the net soon.
 

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Eric- I have seen your posts over the years and know you do a tremendous amount of research...it is appreciated.My feeling is that the research doesn't get to the doctors in the field, for the most part.The GI I have spent the most time with-and I am done with, by the way....is in his early 60's.He truly seems to have no clue what to do with me, except the same things they've been doing for the past 20 years to treat "diarrhea".It's unbelievable...and he is with a big, well respected group of GI specialists.They seem to like the testing, surgery and treating cancer. We are just too time consuming for them!Just venting.Jeanne
 
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