Osteoporosis in celiac sufferers comes from immune reaction

Bone loss in celiac patients might not be related to deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium.

Because people with celiac disease must completely avoid foods that contain the gluten protein, researchers and health professionals have previously proposed a lack of key nutrients might be to blame for osteoporosis in these individuals.

However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests otherwise, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Researchers found an immune response — in 20 percent of people with celiac disease — that triggers an attack on a protein responsible for bone health. The immune reaction can cause bone destruction and osteoporosis.


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Herbs a good alternative to insomnia medications, GERD drugs

Popular sleeping drug Ambien can keep people from waking up during episodes of nocturnal acid reflux, according to Reuters.

Researchers found acid reflux woke people 89 percent of the time when no sleeping drugs were administered. However, when Ambien was used, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) woke people only 40 percent of the time.

The Reuters story notes that nocturnal acid reflux is the top cause of Barrett’s esophagus, blamed for esophageal cancer. The study was published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Good alternative sleep aids include valerian root and passionflower extract. Also, people suffering from acid reflux might benefit from licorice root (DGL), marshmallow root and digestive enzymes.

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Hospital workers, children on antibiotics might be well advised to take a daily probiotic supplement

Antibiotic contamination might be common throughout many hospitals — including in waiting areas, offices and cafeterias — according to Reuters.

A Norwegian study, which examined two of the country’s hospitals, found the highest levels of contamination in medicine and patient rooms, as was expected. Other areas of contamination included telephones, keyboards and tabletops.

In all, 81% of samples taken throughout the hospitals came back positive for antibiotic contamination, Reuters reports.

This study is particularly concerning given the fact that antibiotic resistance has become a pervasive problem in the U.S.

Among drugs that send children back for treatment and hospitalization, prescription antibiotics cause the most problems.

More than half a million children annually experience negative side effects to commonly used drugs, according to The Associated Press. The main offenders, antibiotics, are blamed for rashes, stomachaches and diarrhea.

While antibiotics are used to kill harmful bacteria, they can also eliminate strains of beneficial flora, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The loss of “friendly bacteria” can lead to gastrointestinal illness, leave people vulnerable to invasive bacteria and compromise immune function.

Therefore, it might be wise of medical professionals and children to supplement their diets with probiotics. Probiotics, taken away from antibiotics, help repopulate the gut with health- and immune-promoting organisms, and they may help defend against adverse effects of antibiotic therapy.

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Good reasons to take a probiotic

Probiotics, often referred to as “friendly bacteria,” help restore the flora balance in our digestive systems.

The rigors of daily life, and the choices we make, can sometimes disrupt colon and digestive health. Beneficial bacteria is negatively affected or destroyed by the following:

  • Drugs and antibiotics
  • Viruses and illness
  • Poor eating habits
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as yeast overgrowth

The loss of probiotics in our digestive systems can lead to several digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea and food intolerances, as well as other health conditions.

There are billions of probiotics in our digestive systems. In fact, it is estimated there are more beneficial bacteria in our intestines than there are cells in the body.

Probiotic organisms impede the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. They also increase the pH of the colon to inhibit tissue changes.

In digestion, probiotics aid in breaking down lactose, fiber and proteins. They help the body properly absorb vitamins and essential nutrients.

A study from New York University’s Langone Medical Center connects gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux and Barrett’s esophagus with bacterial balance in the throat.

Researchers found that subjects with esophageal disease had bacteria in their throats that are usually associated with the stomach, according to Forbes. Healthy throat bacteria include Streptococcus.

The Forbes story asserts unhealthy bacteria in the throat could be the cause of GERD and possibly be connected to acid reflux. Barrett’s, a result of chronic GERD, is a precancerous condition of the throat.

The report ends with a profound statement: “Scientists hope they might someday treat and prevent disease by shifting the bacterial balance.”

Probiotics, or friendly bacteria, might be essential to maintaining systemic health.

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Celiac disease associated with autism, restless legs syndrome

A study has found an increased risk for autism in children whose mothers have celiac disease.

Researchers had previously connected autoimmune diseases — type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis — with autism, according to HealthDay. However, this is the first report that links autism and celiac disease.

The risk for children developing autism is three times greater when their mothers have celiac disease, HealthDay reports.

This study seems to confirm that the immune system might play a role in autism. Although the mechanism is not understood, the story emphasized that autism is an inherited disease.

Another study, this one published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, examines the possibility that the gluten protein could spur Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

In the study, RLS symptoms improved in 50 percent of participants who for six months were on a gluten-free diet.

People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, and therefore the study’s authors concluded it might be important to screen RLS patients for celiac disease.

Symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, infertility, premature osteoporosis and other conditions.

Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. People with celiac disease must avoid these foods completely.

A digestive enzyme that focuses on breaking down the gluten protein is recommended with every meal or snack to protect against accidental gluten consumption.

From the Mayo Clinic, here are some key findings on celiac disease:

  • The disease is four times more common than 50 years ago
  • About 5 percent of those with celiac disease are aware they have it
  • It affects about one in 100 people
  • Death risk was increased fourfold in people with undiagnosed celiac disease
  • The rise in celiac disease could be associated with the “hygiene hypothesis,” which proposes that certain illnesses are a result of less exposure to germs than in the past


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Chiropractic therapies can provide support for many health concerns

For chiropractors who market themselves as holistic health care practitioners, as well as those who believe in traditional principles of chiropractic, the modality can be more than just manipulation of the spine.

Chiropractors help relieve pressure from the spine to promote communication between the brain and vital organs. Chiropractic can also support the natural healing process through several therapies:

  • Nutrition
  • Acupuncture
  • Reiki
  • Massage
  • Exercise and wellness
  • Herbs and supplements
  • Other bioenergetic modalities

Many health insurance plans now cover chiropractic services for athletes, chronically ill patients and general health maintenance.

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Probiotics helpful for belly fat, chronic fatigue, restless legs and irritable bowel

After pregnancy, the most commonly used probiotics might help women better control belly fat, according to WebMD.

In a study from Finland, the probiotics lactobacillus and bifidobacterium were found to decrease central obesity — a body mass index of 30 or more and waist size of more than 31.5 inches.

Only 25% of women who received daily probiotic capsules, plus dietary advice, had central obesity following pregnancy, WebMD reports. That compared to 43% of women given dietary counseling alone.

Another study, from Toronto, connects beneficial bacteria with decreased anxiety levels in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that a strain of Lactobacillus casei significantly decreased anxiety symptoms in 39 chronic fatigue patients.

The researchers noted that, in addition to this study, past research has shown an association between CFS and intestinal flora imbalances.

Results of the study were published in Gut Pathogens.

A virus called XMRV might be to blame for CFS, according to a report from RedOrbit.com. In a study, the virus, also linked to prostate cancer, was detected in 68 out of 101 CFS sufferers.

The study points out that additional research is needed to determine if the virus is a direct cause of CFS.

There is no known cure for the condition, which affects about 17 million people worldwide. However, people with CFS and fibromyalgia might find relief through cognitive behavioral therapy and nutrition.

In addition, a story from the Belleville News-Democrat says there is a link between Restless Legs Syndrome and intestinal bacteria.

In a small study, a gastroenterologist from Washington University in St. Louis looked at how an antibiotic, probiotics and zinc might play a role in relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and RLS.

The doctor studied 13 people who suffered from IBS and RLS. Following treatment, all of the subjects experienced relief from IBS symptoms, and 10 showed improvement in the leg condition, according to the News-Democrat.

Studies suggest probiotics improve digestion, support gut health and strengthen the immune system. A good probiotic supplement should contain 3 billion or more “friendly bacteria.”

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