Tag Archives: arthritis

Colitis and Arthritis share what?

New research is revealing that various types of Arthritis share a common factor with diseases that afflict the gut of younger age groups.  A ten year old, Emma, uses fecal transplants and maintenance doses of medicines to manage her ulcerative colitis.  The idea of fecal transplants, perhaps a more extreme form of probiotics, is to “borrow” the stool from a healthy person with  a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria. The theory behind this is that a healthy person without leaky gut, colitis, Crohns, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBD) may have an environment inside their bowels that supports the growth of natural “good” bacteria, while a person with IBD may lack such natural “good” germs.

What could be common between Arthritis and IBD? Although the ultimate cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis remains elusive, new research suggestions on the role of the gut microbiome is summarized here by scientists Dr. Scher and Dr. Abramson. The gut’s natural bacteria support environment, predisposing genetic factors and environmental triggers are required for disease manifestation. Other scientists have demonstrated that Atherosclerosis was accelerated in “germ-free” mice on a low cholesterol diet. These scientists concluded that identifying the “good” germs and understanding how they exert their beneficial activities, could aid in disease prevention and treatment. Click here to read this scientific study by Dr. Tlaskalova-Hoganova and team.

Colitis and Arthrtis share immunology
It is no surprise that families share arthritic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and colitis. However, it is a surprise find that the same families share these conditions. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and an outside the intestine condition. While arthritis is commonly seen with aging, irritable bowel disease is commonly seen even in children. Of these, arthritis is the most common shared condition found in 25 percent of all irritable bowel disease syndrome sufferers (IBD).  Arthritis and IBD are both autoimmune diseases. They need to be looked at as “co-existing” conditions that influence and interact, while searching for the causes of the auto-immunity.

Prevention is the major goal. The incidence of arthritis in people with IBD is same in men, women and children, which indicates a genetic linkage form of inheritance. Different intestinal diseases like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and celiac disease can lead to different forms of arthritis. Read more.

Ancient Food Habits included Whole Grain. Yet, a gluten - free diet and other life style changes in modern day may keep many free of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Arthritis. Copyright 2013 (c) Pursue Natural

Ancient Food Habits included Whole Grain. Yet, a gluten – free diet and other life style changes in modern day may keep many free of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Arthritis. Copyright 2013 (c) Pursue Natural

Learn more about these auto immune diseases by clicking here,  from the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation of America. to read more on the relationship between ulcerative colitis and psoriatic arthritis click here, from Health Central.

Dr. Elena Koles, of the UK Medical system finds it unfortunate that western medical system separates different body systems by ignoring their intricate relationship. Quote

…They need to be looked at as “co-existing” conditions that influence and contribute to one another, rather than two separate, unrelated illnesses. Only a thorough approach that addresses the causes of auto-immunity and recognizes the interaction of IBD and arthritis can ameliorate both diseases….

Unquote. Read more.

A personalized approach is best. Pursue Natural prefers that it’s readers are comfortable with the term ‘pharmacogenomic’ which essentially means that if you know how your genes are different from other people, your treatment could in the near future be tailored to the genes that you inherited from your parents. So, assuming that with each article our readers will get quite used to the concept of their own genes being different and unique to require personalized attention to detail, we suggest the following steps:
1) Your treatment must be individualized, by a physician open to a holistic approach combining the knowledge of modern medicine with the following;
2) Physiotherapy and Yoga – individualized routine to keep you pain free and in constant motion; Yoga has helped ease IBD, perhaps by slowing down the breathing rate of anxiety, and relaxing fatigued muscles. Read more.
3) Supplementation – to make up for lack of any minerals and vitamins dictated by modern diagnostics;
4) A comprehensive dietary plan – adding or removing one food item at a time to discover which one causes an auto immune reaction;
5) A comprehensive “emotion review” plan – maintaining a diary of minor or major event each day, because IBD is triggered by an emotional reaction to excitement, fear or unknown fact of life.

Genetics and Shared Immunology of IBD and Arthritis
They share at least the following five genetic factors:

1) Genetic susceptibility to abnormal antigen presentation
2) Aberrant recognition of self, autoantibodies against specific antigens shared by the colon and other 3) extracolonic tissues,
3) Increased intestinal permeability, and
4) An infectious trigger.

The immunological alterations shared are the following:

• E-cadherin expressed highly in gut of patients with IBD and SpA;

• Th1, Th17, and Treg cells active in the intestinal mucosa of patients with IBD and synovial fluid of those with ankylosing spondylitis and SpA;

• Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha is a dominant cytokine in IBD and SpA;

• Interaction of antigen-presenting cells with microorganisms;

• Toll-like receptors TLR-2 and TLR-4; and

• HLA-B27+ and IgA anti-saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies in CD.

In addition, HLA-B27 transgenic rats develop IBD, psoriasis, enthesitis (inflammation at the sites where tendons or ligaments attach to bone), synovitis, and epididymitis.entation
Abherrant recognition of self
Autoantigens against antigens shared by the colon and other extra colonic tissues
Increased intestinal permeability
Infectious trigger

Read more in medscape.

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Filed under Health, Pain, Research, Science

Licorice root and it’s use as a pain killer and in estrogen replacement therapy

Glycyrrhiza radix has been used in Ayurvedic medicine of ancient India, Traditional Chinese Medicine and ancient Europian family herbal mixtures. It is licorice, which the Dutch chew to ease arthritic pain as they age. It sounds like such a valuable medicinal plant that I wonder why every aging person does not chew at least one licorice lozenge a day! Animal studies (unconfirmed in clinical trials) have shown anti-inflammatory properties which may explain it’s role in easing arthritic pain (Chandrasekaran and colleagues of Natural Remedies, India in Phytomedicine 2011).

I was amazed to learn that it is also valued for its liver protective, anti viral and anti cancer properties. The root of the plant is of medicinal value and it’s active constituents are glabridin, glycyrrhizin, and isoliquiritigenin. Chandrasekaran and colleagues showed that the root extract inhibits prostraglandins, thromboxane and leukotriene. Why aren’t we recommending it for all people above fifty decades? We could do away with using pain killers with their list of side effects perhaps. Do you know why? I would love to know why we stopped using a natural root. Someone once told me that licorice grows wild and is difficult to find in large quantities. If that is true (please, correct me if I am wrong), then I suppose using pain killers is the easier option.

Now, I checked out the pink and black varieties available at the chain drug stores. They may be called licorice but they have no licorice extracts in them. So, please find genuine licorice extract containing sources. If you know of any, would you please, leave a comment so that our readers may try your sources too?

Do be cautious and read the list of adverse effects that may come from having too much licorice. So, please treat this medicinal plant with respect and use in moderation. It could decrease libido in men, and cause paralysis, interfere with hormonal therapy and interfere with anti coagulants.

glycyrrhiza radix roots

The Sloan Kettering Herbal Medicine site discusses the various uses of this plant as a tonic, expectorant and a demulcent in Ayurveda and as a detoxifier and to enhance the effects of other components of a herbal mixture of Chinese medicine. In addition, Somjen and colleagues of the Tel Aviv Medical School have shown that the root has estrogenic activity (J. Steroid Chem and Mol Biol.; 2004) and has been used for this condition in a mixture of Chinese medicine for female issues. Somjen and colleagues suggest the constituents of the root extract may be used for estrogen replacement therapy in post menopausal women, and I hope to update you about clinical studies on this.

The main ingredient of Licorice which has been researched is Glycyrrhyzin. Before I continue, let me add two warnings:
1) Excess use can be harmful – see below;
2) Pregnant women, or women who are nursing new born, or depressed people should not take Licorice. More on this another time.

What is the active ingredient of licorice and what does it do?
The active ingredient is a glucocorticoid, whose main function is to regulate glucose formation and glucose uptake in the brain.
Ingredients include others too which have not been well-researched yet. Suffice it to say that Licorice should be eaten in moderation. It is an anciet herb with different varieties local to different countries which may vary in ingredient content and hence mode of action. Hence, in different countries, the use of licorice may have different effects.

However, excess use can be harmful. Consume only in minute amounts and then discontinue use after 4-6 weeks if dose is higher temporarily.
Potassium levels may drop significantly with licorice use, so always include potassium rich foods such as a banana or dried apricot along with licorice.

Ancient leaders in the field are Chinese herbalists, Netherland herbalists, Riccardo Baschetti of Padova, Italy, Dr Mark Demitrack of University of Michigan Medical Center and many other unknown local herbalists.

An article on glucocorticoids of scientific value click here: Hope this helps in answering your questions and in pain management. It may be of interest that this article says that stress induces plasma glucocorticoids levels to rise and it is still not known exactly how that happens.

For source of photo click here.

For translations in other languages see an example here.


Filed under Health, Herbs, Women's Health