Tag Archives: gastroenterologist

10 Years!

It was ten years ago today I started my path to reversing my autoimmune disease. And not one day do I take for granted. Having gone through years of pain, frustration and uncertainty, I do not want to face that again. Knowing how to treat my digestive tract, I will always remain cautious about what I eat and how I’m handling my health. I was given a second chance at my health and I want to do well with it. I hope you may find some encouragement that it can be reversed. With the right doctors, the right medication, the right supplements, the right diet and the right attitude, you can beat this too!

Chowing Down On Meat, Dairy Alters Gut Bacteria A Lot, And Quickly

This is a GREAT article I found.  It explains just how precarious the good bacteria in our guts are and how quickly they can be overshadowed by bad bacteria.  It is precisely why maintaining a plant-based diet is very important, as well as maintaining healthy intestinal flora by taking great probiotics and even healthy yeast (Saccharomyces boulardii).


December 11, 2013 1:34 PM
To figure out how diet influences the microbiome, scientists put volunteers on two extreme diets: one that included only meat, egg and cheese and one that contained only grains, vegetables and legumes.

To figure out how diet influences the microbiome, scientists put volunteers on two extreme diets: one that included only meat, egg and cheese and one that contained only grains, vegetables and legumes.

Morgan Walker/NPR

Looks like Harvard University scientists have given us another reason to walk past the cheese platter at holiday parties and reach for the carrot sticks instead: Your gut bacteria will thank you.

Switching to a diet packed with meat and cheese — and very few carbohydrates — alters the trillions of microbes living in the gut, scientists report Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The change happens quickly. Within two days, the types of microbes thriving in the gut shuffle around. And there are signs that some of these shifts might not be so good for your gut: One type of bacteria that flourishes under the meat-rich diet has been linked to inflammation and intestinal diseases in mice.

“I mean, I love meat,” says microbiologist Lawrence David, who contributed to the study and is now at Duke University.

“But I will say that I definitely feel a lot more guilty ordering a hamburger … since doing this work,” he says.

While no one's sure which foods are good for our microbiomes, eating more veggies can't hurt.

Scientists are just beginning to learn about how our decisions at the dinner table — or the drive-through — tweak our microbiome, that is, the communities of bacteria living in our bodies. But one thing is becoming clear: The critters hanging out in our intestine influence many aspects of our health, including weight, immunity and perhaps even behavior.

And interest in studying the links between diet and the human microbiome is growing. Previous research in this field had turned up tantalizing evidence that eating fiber can alter the composition of gut bacteria. But these studies had looked at diets over long periods of times — months and even years. David and his colleagues wanted to know whether fiber — or lack of it — could alter gut bacteria more rapidly.

To figure that out, the researchers got nine volunteers to go on two extreme diets for five days each.

The first diet was all about meat and cheese. “Breakfast was eggs and bacon,” David says. “Lunch was ribs and briskets, and then for dinner, it was salami and prosciutto with an assortment of cheeses. The volunteers had pork rinds for snacks.”

Then, after a break, the nine volunteers began a second, fiber-rich diet at the other end of the spectrum: It all came from plants. “Breakfast was granola cereal,” David says. “For lunch, it was jasmine rice, cooked onions, tomatoes, squash, garlic, peas and lentils.” Dinner looked similar, and the volunteers could snack on bananas and mangoes.

“The animal-based diet is admittedly a little extreme,” he says. “But the plant-based diet is one you might find in a developing country.”

David and the team analyzed the volunteers’ microbiomes before, during and after each diet. And the effects of all that meat and cheese were immediately apparent.

“The relative abundance of various bacteria species looked like it shifted within a day after the food hit the gut,” David says. After the volunteers had spent about three days on each diet, the bacteria in the gut even started to change their behavior. “The kind of genes turned on in the microbes changed in both diets,” he says.

In particular, microbes that “love bile” — the Bilophila — started to dominate the volunteers’ guts during the animal-based diet. Bile helps the stomach digest fats. So people make more bile when their diet is rich in meat and dairy fats.

A study last year found that blooms of Bilophila cause inflammation and colitis in mice. “But we didn’t measure levels of inflammation in our subjects,” David says. “That’s the next step.”

Instead, he says, his team’s data support the overall animal model that Bilophila promotes inflammation, which could ultimately be controlled by diet.

“Our study is a proof of concept that you can modify the microbiome through diet.” David says. “But we’re still a long ways off from being able to manipulate the community in any kind of way that an engineer would be pleased about.”

Even just classifying Bilophila as a “bad bacteria” is a tricky matter, says Dr. Purna Kashyab, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

“These bacteria are members of a community that have lived in harmony with us for thousands of years,” says Kashyab, who wasn’t involved in the study. “You can’t just pick out one member of this whole team and say it’s bad. Most bacteria in the gut are here for our benefit, but given the right environment, they can turn on us and cause disease.”

Nevertheless, Kashyab thinks the Nature study is exciting because the findings unlock a potentially new avenue for treating intestinal diseases. “We want to look at diet as a way of treating patients,” Kashyab says. “This study shows that short-term dietary interventions can change microbial composition and function.”

Of course, figuring out exactly how to do that will take much more research.

“The paper has made the next leap in the field,” Kashyab says. “With discovery comes responsible. Once you make this big finding, it needs to be tested appropriately.”

Why You Need to Clean Your Gut Now

I read this article this morning and was happy to learn that yet another person – a functional medicine doctor – was also able to reverse her autoimmune issues by treating the gut.

I’m happy to report that it has now been 2 1/2 years since I went through my treatment to reverse my autoimmune diseases and am still feeling normal!  Even my rheumatologist on my last visit told his doctor in training (shadowing him) that I somehow cured my Lupus.

Just remember, the key to this is getting a great gastroenterologist and a great functional medicine doctor (an M.D.) to help you reverse your autoimmune disease.  They will help you medically treat your intestinal tract and balance your immune system, and help you along with changing your diet to reduce the inflammation and let your system heal.


May is Lupus Awareness Month – I dare say Lupus CURE Awareness Month

This month is usually reserved in the autoimmune community to create awareness about lupus. The hope is to let people know it exists, how serious it is and to get people to help in the effort to cure lupus.

I’d like to say, there already is a possible cure – since I’ve done it myself! The cure seems to simple, but it’s true:

Get the intestinal tract balanced and eat a more plant-based diet.

Therefore I want to make people aware that the possibility of reversing lupus and other autoimmune conditions can and does exist.  It may not work in every case, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

May should be Lupus CURE Awareness Month!

IMPLORE YOU to read my blog.  I was diagnosed with SLE and RA (among other autoimmune issues) in 2003.  It was the lupus that was primarily active.  I was almost bedridden and was on many medications with a specialist for almost everything you could think of.  In great pain and agony.  I didn’t think  I’d make it to 30.

But thank God (yes, literally) that I had a pre-med background and education in DNA and was great at medical research.  I just couldn’t accept that my lupus was incurable.  I finally found information that eating a more “vegetarian” diet could help ease symptoms.  I started doing that in 2007.  It helped some, but not a lot.

But then I found the key that unlocked the big door blocking me from my cure – intestinal flora imbalance.  Once I learned I had SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and systemic yeast overgrowth (which caused leaky gut – and THAT is what really makes someone start becoming autoimmune), I could then get treated for those by my gastroenterologist and my functional medicine doctors (yes, both traditional M.D.’s).

After starting treatment, within the first week, my ANA went from 1:1280 to 1:320!!!  I was having no joint pain and didn’t need my meds.  I haven’t looked back since!  Haven’t had to go back on meds in the 2 1/2 years since then and am still feeling NORMAL.

There is hope.  I know you must feel terrible.  And the meds may help you function, but they make you feel terrible too.  And despite the meds, you’re STILL in pain.  I know, I was there.  All I’m asking is for you to find a great functional medicine doctor, get tested for things like systemic yeast overgrowth, SIBO, H. pylori and other BAD intestinal flora that shouldn’t be present.  Treat those infections, take the right probiotics and have the right diet (all of the specifics of this should be laid out by your functional medicine doctor) and you too may find the possibility of a life free from the bondage of autoimmune disease.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Spread the word – Make this Lupus CURE Awareness Month!