The Gut Brain Connection..Sickness Syndrome Discussed in Psychology Today

December 13, 2010

A new article published in the November/December issue of Psychology Today reveals that gastrointestinal disorders, like infection, inflammation, and IBS cause anxiety and depression, and that probiotics may replace prozac and Valium as drugs of choice for some psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression.  This concept, first introduced over 5 years ago and referred to as Sickness Syndrome, is finally gaining the attention of popular media channels.

For those of you who are experiencing anxiety and depression, there are options available to you that go beyond masking symptoms and address at least one of the underlying causes of why you are feeling the way you do.  We see the success of naturopathic medicine in treating anxiety and depression in our medical practice everyday, and treating digestive health is often the first step.

In health and wellness,

Dr. G

 


New Information on the Treatment of Ear Infections

June 30, 2010

A research review reported in the November 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 2010;304:2161-2169) revealed that there is little consensus among doctors on how to diagnose and treat ear infections in children. Acute Otitis Media (a highly prevalent type of ear infection) is the most common condition for which antibiotics are prescribed for US children. However, there is NO data available on the long term effects of antibiotic therapy in children!  Further, there is  a popular vaccine used, called PCV7, and the research shows that while it somewhat reduces the prevalence of one type of bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, it INCREASES the prevalence of a major Flu virus, Haemophilus influenzae. Two of the most common causes of childhood ear infections that we diagnose and treat at our medical practice are food allergies and low levels of nutrients that are essential for healthy immune function.  A blood test done and interpreted correctly will reveal immediate and delayed food allergies and nutrient deficiencies related to immune function.  If you or your child have a history of long term antibiotic use, it also becomes critical to supplement with a high quality probiotic, at one to two capsules per day. In conversation with a wise woman in the desert last week, we contemplated the value of common sense in the practice of medicine.  It makes sense that diet and nutrition play an important role in how well a child’s immune system will function.   If you start there, the need for antibiotic therapy diminishes. In health, -Dr. G


The Power of Probiotics

August 29, 2008

There is a lot of talk these days about the value of probiotics. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that are naturally supposed to live in your gut. There are literally hundreds of strains of these bacteria, and they play an important role in immune function, weight loss, vitamin status, detoxification, absorption and digestion. When you take antibiotics, they clear out the “bad bacteria” in your gut, but they also clear out the good bacteria, and like every other system in the body, it is vital that you maintain balance in the gut. You need enough good bacteria in your gut to prevent bad bacteria from taking hold and causing symptoms. This bad bacteria can take many forms which can cause a wide range of symptoms such as a cold gas, bloating, fatigue and many others.

In my practice, one mistake I often see patients making is taking too much of one strain of a good bacteria, like acidophillus, to the exclusion of other good bacteria like Lactobacillus GG and sacharomyces.  When I test their levels of probiotics in their gut, I find that they have an overgrowth of one strain.  So again, it is about balance. If you take a probiotic, rotate which one you take, about every three months. Some of my favorites include ABX Support (especially if you are taking or have recently taken antibiotics), Probiotic Pearls and Culturelle.

Here’s to a healthy and happy gut!

-Dr. Gina


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