Archive for the ‘Pain Management’ Category

Prebiotics & Probiotics: Do They Really Work For Gut Health?

https://vitalplan.com/blog/do-prebiotics-and-probiotics-really-work-for-gut-health?utm_campaign=September+15+VP+newsletter%3A+Pre%2Fprobiotic

Prebiotics-and-Probiotics-for-Gut-Health

Prebiotics + Probiotics: Do They Really Work for Gut Health?

by Beth Janes | Posted September 12, 2018

Prebiotics and probiotics have been trending for a while now, but lately they’re getting even more attention — and showing up in more and more products, from packaged foods (pizza crust!) to topical skin-care products. It’s no surprise consumers are interested: As scientists learn more about the trillions of bacteria that inhabit our bodies and the role they play in our health, some have touted beneficial bugs as a cure-all for digestive distress and other health problems.

But there are still many unknowns among researchers, and a lot of questions and confusion among the rest of us about what prebiotics and probiotics are, and what exactly they can and can’t do, says Bill Rawls, M.D., medical director of Vital Plan. Here, he answers some of the questions he hears most often.

What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?

“Prebiotics are types of fiber, such as inulin, that are known to promote the growth of healthy microflora in the gut,” Dr. Rawls says. In other words, prebiotics feed the good bacteria already living in your gut, which allows them to multiply, thrive, and better do their job of keeping you healthy.

Probiotics, on the other hand, are actual strains of friendly bacteria or yeast that populate your gut. Ideally, probiotics maintain or restore a healthy balance of microflora, either by keeping bad bacteria in check or giving a hand to the good bacteria so they can function and flourish.

What are the best sources of both?

For prebiotics, the best sources are vegetables, hands down, Dr. Rawls says. Certain veggies such as sunchokes, mushrooms, garlic, artichokes, dandelion leaves, onions, and chicory contain high amounts of inulin, but you needn’t be overly selective.

More than anything else, eating a range of vegetables will cultivate the growth of normal bacteria,” Dr. Rawls says. “Because it’s not just about feeding the good bacteria: All vegetable fiber helps ensure normal digestion and that you’re evacuating the gut properly and regularly, which prevents the buildup of harmful bacteria.”

As for probiotics, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and yogurt are naturally rich sources of live and active cultures (as well as digestive enzymes, which may be equally important for normal digestion). “Humans have eaten lots of different kinds of fermented foods throughout our history, for many thousands of years,” says Dr. Rawls. “That’s where the original idea for probiotic supplements came from.”

Research also suggests real-food sources of probiotics may be more effective than probiotic supplements at maintaining a diverse and healthy gut microbiome, the collection of microbes that inhabit your digestive tract. That could be due to the bacteria themselves, or the fact that the foods also contain a plethora of other healthy nutrients, including prebiotics, Dr. Rawls says.

Can prebiotics and probiotics improve digestive symptoms?

Prebiotics do contribute to a happy, symptom-free gut in the sense that they serve as fuel for the good microbes that help keep the digestive process humming. So while on their own they don’t do much, you absolutely need prebiotics for gut microbiome support and healthy digestion. Natural foods are by far the best source — supplements aren’t necessary if you’re eating a healthy, balanced, and veggie-rich diet.

As for probiotics’ ability to improve digestive symptoms, the answer is possibly. Probiotic capsules seem to help most when they’re used short-term for acute GI upset (diarrhea, stomach cramps) from eating contaminated food, like a batch of chicken salad that sat out for too long, for example, Dr. Rawls says. They may also help protect your microflora while taking antibiotics, which kill off good bacteria along with the bad, or if you contract C. difficile, a dangerous bacterial infection that causes diarrhea and inflammation of the gut.

“Most probiotic supplements contain bacterial strains of lactobacilli or bifidobacteria, or a favorable yeast called saccharomyces boulardii,” Dr. Rawls says. “Those are the ones that seem to show the most benefit.”

As for other digestive conditions, it’s hit or miss, he says. “The gut contains 20,000-plus strains of bacteria, and bacterial counts in the trillions. A probiotic supplement may be just a drop in the bucket, so getting an effect can be really hard.”

Further complicating things is that the mix of bacteria in people’s guts varies widely — in fact, it’s probably unique to you, like a fingerprint. What’s more, your microbiome can change based on your diet or lifestyle, or due to illness, so what might work for one person with a certain condition or symptom might not won’t work for another, Dr. Rawls says.

In addition, while different brands may use the same species of bacteria (lactobacillus, for example), they usually contain slightly different strains. So unless human studies on that one specific strain or bacteria blend shows a benefit on your particular health concern, it’s difficult to know for sure whether it will help you.

For all those reasons, published research is also mixed. Some is promising; for example, one meta-analysis of 15 studies published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology reported that probiotic supplements reduced pain and symptom severity in those with irritable bowel syndrome compared with placebo.

But other research, especially in healthy adults, shows little benefit from taking probiotics. And in fact, it may even introduce new symptoms: One small study of 30 subjects, published in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology, showed that taking a lot of probiotics can result in symptoms like brain fog and bloating in those using them for GI complaints.

Still, many experts tend to agree that the supplements, when taken in moderate doses, pose little risk. “I think it’s fine if someone wants to try taking probiotics; the potential for harm is low,” Dr. Rawls says. “Some people — maybe 15 to 20 percent of folks – may even gain benefit from them long-term.”

The newest trend in probiotics is customized formulations that are said to be based on your unique microbiome needs. Companies develop them after testing your stool sample for different microbes, and then selecting probiotics they say you lack in your gut. “While it may be a step in the right direction, the science and technology have a long way to go before this is a viable option,” says Dr. Rawls.

If you want to try supplements, he suggests taking them daily for at least three months and keeping a journal to see if you notice any improvements. If you won’t remember to take them daily, however, don’t even bother. Because the strains of bacteria in supplements are not the same ones already living in your gut, it takes a few days for them to populate and build up in your gut, and then you must continue to deliver them via supplements to maintain any activity.

What are some alternatives to probiotics for microbiome balance?

Step one is eating a mostly plant-based diet that includes plenty of fermented foods. Getting plenty of sleep and exercise and keeping stress in check are also key, as too little sleep and activity and too much angst contribute to overgrowth of bad bacteria.

Beyond that, Dr. Rawls says herbs and botanicals are more reliably effective and beneficial than probiotic supplements in the long-term. A few to key ones to reach for:

  • Chlorella, a type of green algae, is thought to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. It contains chlorella growth factor (CGF), a complex of proteins, vitamins, and sugars that works with fiber in the GI tract to promote the growth of healthy intestinal flora. It also contains chlorophyll, a potent antioxidant that binds to toxins and helps remove them from the body. “Chlorella is known for detoxification, but I’ve found that it does wonders for promoting normal GI function,” Dr. Rawls says.
  • Berberine, a compound found in several bitter herbs and other plants that’s well known for helping to balance the gut microflora. It’s been used for centuries to address intestinal disorders and digestive problems. “Berberine works very nicely because it stays predominantly in the GI tract, isn’t absorbed, and it’s active against gut pathogens,” Dr. Rawls says. That helps tip the scales toward healthy bacteria, keeping the bad guys from taking over.
  • Andrographis is likewise known to help support a healthy microbiome, plus it offers immune system-supporting capabilities. Native to India, andrographis can help promote good bacteria in the gut for better total balance, Dr. Rawls says.

The bottom line: Keeping your gut microbiome balanced is vital for maintaining healthy digestion, promoting sleep and immune strength, and more – and natural approaches are the best way to achieve that balance, says Dr. Rawls. Feel free to give probiotic supplements a try if you like, but be sure to track your progress to make sure it’s worth the money. And know that supplementing with the right herbs and botanicals, along with eating plenty of natural sources of both prebiotics and probiotics, will likely deliver the results you seek much more quickly.

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**Comment**

My LLMD has noticed a stark contrast in patients from when before he started using probiotics in their treatment regimen and after.  He states it’s important to use a reputable lab and a refrigerated probiotic/prebiotic with many strains.  Refrigerated ones should be “live” cultures.

In all the years we’ve been in and out of treatment with antibiotics, we’ve never had GI issues and much of that is do to a low/no sugar diet and good pre and probiotics.

 

Treating Pain With Magnetic Fields

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322718.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_country=US&utm_hcp=no&utm_cam

Treating pain with magnetic fields

Published
Scientists have designed a hydrogel loaded with magnetic particles and laboratory-grown neurons. By applying magnetic force, the researchers were able to reduce the pain signaling of the neurons.
hand holding magnet

 

In the United States, chronic pain is “the most common cause of long-term disability.”

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), over 76 million people in the U.S. — that is, approximately 1 in 4 people — have had an episode of pain that lasted for more than 24 hours.

Of these, 40 million have had severe pain. Such figures led the NIH to deem chronic pain “a major public health problem.”

In this context, the search for new, more effective pain management therapies is ongoing and of vital importance. Now, bioengineers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have designed an innovative method that may succeed where other pain therapies have previously failed.

Researchers led by senior investigator Dino Di Carlo, a professor of bioengineering at UCLA, set out to investigate how magnetic force could be used to relieve pain.

The first author of the paper is Andy Kah Ping Tay, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University in California. The researchers published their findings in the journal Advanced Materials.

Magnetic force reduces neuronal pain signals

Tay and his colleagues designed a hydrogel using hyaluronic acid, which is a molecule uniquely capable of retaining water and that has key roles in skin moisture and skin aging. Additionally, hyaluronic acid can be found between the cells in the brain and in the spinal cord.

After creating this hyaluronic hydrogel, the scientists filled it with small magnetic particles. Then, they grew a type of brain cell — called dorsal root ganglion neurons — inside the gel.

Next, Tay and team applied magnetic force on the particles, which enabled the transmission of the magnetic field through the hydrogel and to the neural cells. By measuring the calcium ions in the neurons, the scientists were able to tell whether the cells responded to the magnetic pull — and they did.

Finally, the researchers steadily increased the magnetic force and found that doing so reduced the neurons’ pain signaling. In an attempt to return to a stable state, the brain cells adapted to the magnetic stimulation by decreasing their pain signals.

Our results show that through exploiting ‘neural network homeostasis,’ which is the idea of returning a biological system to a stable state, it is possible to lessen the signals of pain through the nervous system […] Ultimately, this could lead to new ways to provide therapeutic pain relief.”

Andy Kah Ping Tay

Prof. Di Carlo also comments on the results, saying, “Much of mainstream modern medicine centers on using pharmaceuticals to make chemical or molecular changes inside the body to treat disease.”

“However,” he adds, “recent breakthroughs in the control of forces at small scales have opened up a new treatment idea — using physical force to kick-start helpful changes inside cells. There’s a long way to go, but this early work shows this path toward so-called ‘mechanoceuticals’ is a promising one.”

 

Study Shows Dead Lyme Debris Persists in CNS Despite Antibiotics and Causes Inflammation

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29922241/

Primary Human Microglia Are Phagocytically Active and Respond to Borrelia burgdorferi With Upregulation of Chemokines and Cytokines.

Greenmyer JR, et al. Front Microbiol. 2018.

Abstract

The Lyme disease causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi has an affinity for the central nervous system (CNS) and has been isolated from human cerebral spinal fluid by 18 days following Ixodes scapularis tick bite. Signaling from resident immune cells of the CNS could enhance CNS penetration by B. burgdorferi and activated immune cells through the blood brain barrier resulting in multiple neurological complications, collectively termed neuroborreliosis. The ensuing symptoms of neurological impairment likely arise from a glial-driven, host inflammatory response to B. burgdorferi.

To date, however, the mechanism by which the bacterium initiates neuroinflammation leading to neural dysfunction remains unclear. We hypothesized that dead B. burgdorferi and bacterial debris persist in the CNS in spite of antibiotic treatment and contribute to the continuing inflammatory response in the CNS.

To test our hypothesis, cultures of primary human microglia were incubated with live, antibiotic-killed and antibiotic-killed sonicated B. burgdorferi to define the response of microglia to different forms of the bacterium. We demonstrate that primary human microglia treated with B. burgdorferi show increased expression of pattern recognition receptors and genes known to be involved with cytoskeletal rearrangement and phagocytosis including MARCO, SCARB1, PLA2, PLD2, CD14, and TLR3. In addition, we observed increased expression and secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators and neurotrophic factors such as IL-6, IL-8, CXCL-1, and CXCL-10. Our data also indicate that B. burgdorferi interacts with the cell surface of primary human microglia and may be internalized following this initial interaction.

Furthermore, our results indicate that dead and sonicated forms of B. burgdorferi induce a significantly larger inflammatory response than live bacteria. Our results support our hypothesis and provide evidence that microglia contribute to the damaging inflammatory events associated with neuroborreliosis.

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**Comment**

The study in the following link corroborates the above study in that it did not find active CNS infection with Lyme encephalopathy:  https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/891992

The following short video shows phagocytosis in action.  For those of my vintage, think of Pac Man gobbling up things in its path.  This is exactly what our immune cells (macrophages or white blood cells) do.  Notice that “special digestive enzymes” shred the bacterium into pieces.  This is why enzyme therapy can help Lyme/MSIDS patients – both digestive and systemic enzymes can help in numerous ways – one of which is by shredding the bacteria, and cleaning the blood of debris.  According to the above study, this debris is very probably ONE reason we have high inflammation, pain, and symptoms.  Anything you can do to clear out that debris is helpful.

Immune Cells Eating Bacteria (Phagocytosis)

Animation by: Fusion Medial Animation (www.fusionanimation.co.uk) Microscopy by: Timelapse Vision (http://timelapsevision.com)

This video describes the structure and function of microglia.

By Matt Jensen. Created by Matthew Barry Jensen.

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For more on Enzymes:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/04/22/systemic-enzymes/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/05/how-proteolytic-enzymes-may-help-lyme-msids/

Lactoferrin, an iron-binding milk glycoprotein has also been found to help due to borrelia’s ability to hijack our plasminogen system allowing it to penetrate tissue barriers:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/03/lactoferrin-for-lyme/

DMSO & MSM may also help certain patients due to their anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, oxygenating, free radical scavenging, detoxifying, and antiparasitic properties.  Please read this article to understand both substances better.  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/02/dmso-msm-for-lyme-msids/

And, as always, please work with your medical practitioner and discuss ALL treatment ideas.  There are medical contraindications on nearly every substance and you need to be privy to them.

Low-Dose Naltrexone For Lyme: Living With Lyme Podcast

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Episode 30: Using Low-Dose Naltrexone For Lyme Disease Treatment

Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by author Dr. Darin Ingels, who discusses his experience with using low-dose naltrexone as a treatment for Lyme disease.
Dr. Ingels is a respected leader in natural medicine, with more than 26 years experience in the healthcare field. He received his bachelor of science degree in medical technology from Perdue University and a doctorate of naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University. He has worked as a clinical microbiologist/immunologist and he is board certified in Integrated Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
Dr. Ingels has been published extensively and is the author of “The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Autoimmune Response and Beat Lyme Disease,” a comprehensive natural approach to treating Lyme disease. He specializes in Lyme disease, autism and chronic immune dysfunction. He uses diet, nutrients, herbs, homeopathy and immunotherapy to help his patients achieve better health. For more information, see his website.
____________________
**Comment**
Please know that LDN will not “treat Lyme/MSIDS” in an anti-microbial sense.  It will help with symptoms.  We found it very effective but it will not kill pathogens.  For more on LDN, please see second link below.
For more:

Oklahoma Legalizes Medical Marijuana

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/26/17506548/oklahoma-medical-marijuana-legalization-question-788

Oklahoma voted to legalize medical marijuana

A big win for medical marijuana advocates in Tuesday’s elections.

By German Lopez, Jun 27, 2018

Voters in Oklahoma on Tuesday elected to legalize medical marijuana, which makes the state the 30th to allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Oklahoma State Question 788 allows individuals 18 and older to obtain a medical marijuana license with a board-certified physician’s signature. Minors can get a license but will require the approval of two physicians and their parent or legal guardian. A new office in the Oklahoma State Department of Health will enforce regulations, including licensing for dispensaries, growers, and processors.

The measure is also relatively unique in that it doesn’t tie medical marijuana to any specific qualifying conditions, which will likely make it easier, compared to other states, to obtain pot for medicinal uses.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 56 percent of voters supported medical marijuana, while 43 percent opposed it.

A 2017 review of the research, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, found that marijuana is a promising treatment for chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis.

The evidence of marijuana’s efficacy for other medical conditions is weak. That’s not necessarily because pot is ineffective for treating those conditions, but because supporting research is simply nonexistent or lacking. One big reason: federally, marijuana remains illegal for any purpose. For years, the federal ban has imposed harsh regulatory hurdles on research about pot — in large part allowing studies about marijuana’s risks but not its benefits. That’s made it difficult for researchers to gain a better grasp of the drug’s potential medical benefits.

Despite the limited research, 30 states, including Oklahoma, have now moved forward with medical marijuana, buoyed by popular support for cannabis’s medical use and growing evidence that it provides at least some relief for patients.

________________

For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/06/14/caffeine-more-dangerous-than-cannabis/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2015/05/19/marijuana-the-miracle-herb/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/01/24/medical-marijuana-for-lyme-a-doctors-perspective/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/05/marijuana-chronic-pain-q-a-with-dr-david-barton/

Caffeine More Dangerous Than Cannabis

 Approx. 2:30

According to Dr. David Bearman, in 1988 after a two rescheduling hearing, the DEA’s chief administrative law judge recommended rescheduling Cannabis to a schedule II substance.  He also said it was one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man & that it was safer than eating 10 potatoes.

According to two well-known addictionologists, Dr. Jack E. Henningfield (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz (University of California at San Francisco), Cannabis is less dangerous than caffeine.  http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/basicfax5.htm

 They ranked six psychoactive substances on the following five criteria:
  • Withdrawal — The severity of withdrawal symptoms produced by stopping the use of the drug.
  • Reinforcement — The drug’s tendency to induce users to take it again and again.
  • Tolerance — The user’s need to have ever-increasing doses to get the same effect.
  • Dependence — The difficulty in quitting, or staying off the drug, the number of users who eventually become dependent
  • Intoxication — The degree of intoxication produced by the drug in typical use.
The tables listed below show the rankings given for each of the drugs. Overall, their evaluations for the drugs are very consistent. It is notable that marijuana ranks below caffeine in most addictive criteria, while alcohol and tobacco are near the top of the scale in many areas.

 

The rating scale is from 1 to 6. 1 denotes the drug with the strongest addictive tendencies, while 6 denotes the drug with the least addictive tendencies.

HENNINGFIELD RATINGS

Substance   Withdrawal   Reinforcement   Tolerance   Dependence   Intoxication

Nicotine           3                         4                       2                     1                   5

Heroin             2                          2                       1                     2                  2

Cocaine          4                          1                       4                     3                   3

Alcohol           1                           3                       3                     4                  1

Caffeine          5                          6                       5                     5                  6

Marijuana      6                          5                        6                     6                 4

 

BENOWITZ RATINGS

Substance   Withdrawal   Reinforcement   Tolerance   Dependence   Intoxication

Nicotine             3*                       4                     4                        1                6

Heroin                2                        2                      2                        2               2

Cocaine              3*                      1                      1                        3               3

Alcohol               1                        3                      4                        4               1

Caffeine              4                        5                     3                         5               5

Marijuana          5                        6                     5                        6                4

*equal ratings

A neurobiologist shows the under explored potential of cannabis to address opioid addiction:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170202141322.htm

Excerpt:

For example, previous research shows that cannabinoids have a stronger effect on inflammation-based chronic pain, while opioids are particularly good at relieving acute pain. Problematically, opioids can quickly lead to a deadly addiction.

“If you look at both drugs and where their receptors are, opioids are much more dangerous in part because of the potential for overdose. The opioid receptors are very abundant in the brainstem area that regulates our respiration so they shut down the breathing center if opioid doses are high,” says Dr. Hurd. “Cannabinoids do not do that. They have a much wider window of therapeutic benefit without causing an overdose in adults. However, children have overdosed from consuming edible marijuana so that’s something to consider when making decisions regarding medical use.”

…..Accumulating evidence suggests that cannabinoids could have long-lasting therapeutic effects.

 

You may not be aware that medical cannabis is legal in 28 states and the District of Columbia, yet the DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin, yet there is no toxic or lethal overdose effects of cannabis.  No one has ever died from cannabis.

You may also be surprised to learn the United States Department of Health Services owns a patent on cannabis:  https://patents.google.com/patent/US6630507B1/en.

The Patent covers the use of cannabinoids for treating a wide range of diseases. Yet under U.S. federal law, cannabis is defined as having no medical use. The patent (US6630507) is titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants”. It was awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October 2003. It was filed in 1999, by a group of scientists from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), also part of the National Institutes of Health.

Even the U.S. government’s own NIH researchers concluded:  “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule 1 classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358713/

For a video guide on the science of cannabis & opioid information: https://healer.com/cannabis-and-opioids-video-guide-the-science/

If you want to learn more on the medicinal uses of cannabis:

Airing FREE June 20-27, 2018 Register here: http://bit.ly/2sGRiuY The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Examined is a groundbreaking 7-part documentary series centered on the most powerful and potent healing plant on earth.

7-Part FREE Series About Medical Cannabis

https://two.thesacredplant.com/docuseries/ty-bollinger?utm_campaign=June2018&utm_medium=email&utm_source=TTAV&utm_content=TyBD2Lander&utm_term=int-aff&oprid=44683

Ty Bollinger: Season 2 – Healing Secrets Examined Docuseries

Airing FREE June 20-27, 2018.

Register here: http://bit.ly/2sKefgT

The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Examined is a groundbreaking 7-part documentary series centered on the most powerful and potent healing plant on earth. This series will be available to you absolutely FREE online from June 20-27, 2018.

What is The Sacred Plant? Cannabis sativa. Its natural and non-toxic healing powers have been used for 5,000+ years to prevent, treat, and even beat hundreds of medical conditions and disorders. Including Cancer, PTSD, Autism, Seizures, Dementia, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, and hundreds more with no harmful side effects, which are common with pharmaceutical drugs.

Through the stories and expert advice of global health leaders, doctors, scientists, patients, and survivors…you’ll discover The Sacred Plant’s miracles and misunderstandings. The stories you’ll witness will inspire and move you. If you or a loved one is suffering right now from a debilitating disease or chronic condition, it’s important that you get educated and empowered on The Sacred Plant. It could change and even save your life and the life of a loved one.