Celiac disease is a malabsorption syndrome and chronic digestive disorder. The intestine is not able to absorb vital dietary nutrients from foods containing gliadin, an alcohol-soluble portion of gluten. This condition which is often hereditary means the sufferer has a serious intolerance to wheat (including durum, semolina and spelt), rye, oats, barley, and related grain hybrids such as tritaclae and kamut.
Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joint. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is characterised by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this case the body's immune system attacks its own cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints.
Some detoxification experts advocate fasting, while others do not. It is known that the components of any well-designed detox program will stimulate the body to cleanse itself, but people who are underweight, are undernourished, have weak hearts, have blood sugar issues or are ill should avoid fasting. Some studies have shown that restricting food intake can actually lead to bingeing.
Hemorrhoids are extremely common in industrialised countries and it is estimated that fifty percent of persons over fifty years of age have symptoms of hemorrhoidal disease. Although most people may begin to develop hemorrhoids in the twenties, the symptoms do not become evident normally until in ones thirties!
Liver Health - natural treatments and remedies
- The liver- natural treatments and remedies
- Liver stressors
- Your liver and your health
- The generals assistant - the gallbladder
Poor food choices can lead to hours or days of discomfort and regret. Pause, and select foods which will give you the greatest long-term pleasure. Until this becomes routine, plan meals and snacks at least one day ahead.
- Eat lots of fibre – particularly soluble fibre and a minimum of 5 servings (handfuls) of vegetables daily, including leafy greens and yellow-orange varieties daily. Other fibre sources: fruit, legumes (dried, peas, beans, soy products), whole grains (rice is commonly the best tolerated), nuts and seeds (may need fine grinding to not overstimulate bowel function for some).
- Eat the right proportion of fats - primarily use monounsaturated and Omega 3 sources (eg olive oil, linseed, avocado, “dark fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna.) Limit saturated fat and trans fats.
- Avoid large meals, high fat meals and skipping meals.
- Minimise alcohol, coffee, sugar, artificial sweeteners and additives and unnecessary medication.
- Drink 5-8 glasses water daily – hot or at room temperature with lemon, ginger root sliced or mint. Purified water is ideal. Do not drink chilled/ cold water
- Help digestion from start to finish – Relax. Sit comfortably upright. Focus your physical and mental energies on the enjoyment of dining—no working, moving around or television. Chew thoroughly. Eat slowly. Do not drink with meals (nor for 1 ½ hours afterwards). Obtain sufficient water, fibre, relaxation and exercise to achieve an easy daily bowel movement.
- Maintain personal and household hygiene.
- Maintain regular exercise – equivalent to at lease 4 x 30 minutes brisk walking weekly. This aids stress management, digestion and a healthy weight (obesity is linked with reflux, liver, gallbladder, bowel and heart disease).
- Investigate possible food sensitivities – common offenders include cow's milk products, wheat, gluten, corn, peanuts – any food is possible.
- Consider a course of supplements and herbs – antioxidants, B vitamins, zinc, Omega 3, supportive herbs. Possible therapeutic aids: linseed, rice bran and psyllium can help liver and bowel; brewers yeast for B vitamins and minerals; slippery elm powder for acidity, stomach and bowel inflammation; aloe vera juice to soothe stomach and bowel lining; dandelion root coffee as a liver and kidney tonic; Japanese green tea for antioxidants; cleansing herb teas such as ginger, peppermint, fenugreek, nettle and red cover. Herbs as prescribed by your trained herbalist or naturopath.
You may wish to try Dr Sandra Cabot's LIVER CLEANSING DIET.
When the liver is overworked then the immune system has to take an extra load. This can produce inflammatory chemicals leading to allergies, swollen glands, infections and chronic fatigue. Autoimmune disorders may result such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Long before such clinically observable states, there are underpar levels which may not show up on blood tests. Some of the indicators of sub-optimal liver function include: intolerance to fats and alcohol, nausea, bloating, reflux, irritable bowel symptoms, high cholesterol, sluggish metabolism and weight gain, cravings for sweet foods, depression, anger, poor concentration, headaches, overheated body temperature, multiple food sensitivities, chronic fatigue, rashes and inflammations, recurrent viral and other infections, dark circles under the eyes, yellow discolouration of eyes, swollen itchy eyes, brownish skin discolouration (‘liver spots’). Any one of these symptoms can be due to other causes. Usually there will be a cluster of factors to indicate the liver’s involvement. Particular substances -- especially in combination, frequency or quantity-can challenge liver function. If you are already feeling tired, stressed or swell, the effect can be magnified. These substances include:
- Alcohol – not advisable when the liver is impaired. However for some people small amount of wine (up to 2 glasses, sipped slowly, accompany with food) can reduce cholesterol and the likelihood of gallstones. If alcohol leaves you hot, tired or queasy – it is not for you.
- Chemicals – added to food (eg artificial colourings and sweeteners, pesticides, preservatives in bacon and salami). The liver cannot use these as building materials and must labour to detoxify, eliminate or store them.
- Drugs – from Panadol, HRT to the contraceptive pill. Ask to see the list of possible side effects of a medication, assess your symptoms and discuss with a health professional.
- Large or High-Fat Meals – no one individual food is the culprit, but the amount of fat overall. Avocado is moderately high in fat but is a healthful component to a meal of salad, skinless chicken and baked potato. But add cheese and bacon to the salad, sour cream to the potato and fry the chicken and you could be in strife. Check low-fat cooking techniques for tips.
- Too Much Saturated Fat and Trans Fat – these fat sources are dominant in the average diet. They are implicated with liver, gall bladder, bowel and cardiovascular problems, diabetes and cancer. Major sources of saturated fat include the visible fat on meat (trim); most sausage, salami and bacon; whole milk products such as cheese, butter, cream and chocolate. Oxidised and transfats occur when an oil or fat is exposed to considerable air, heat or processing such as with rancidity, deep-frying, reusing cooking oils, and the hydrogenated fat in most commercial margarine, cakes biscuits, pastry, muffins, thickshakes, packet soups and sauces (read labels).
- Insufficient Fibre – different types of fibre are crucial to the removal of toxic metabolites and other undesirables. Vegetables and fruits contain over 3,000 protective agents. Other sources of fibre are found in grains, legumes, nuts and seeds
- Insufficient Water – water splits the work load by assisting with elimination through the skin, bowel and kidneys. Many beverages are actually diuretics (forcing fluid out of the body) such as ordinary tea and coffee, alcohol, soft drinks and highly sweetened drinks. Drink 5-8 glasses water or herb tea daily.
- Viruses, Bacterial Growth and Parasites – illnesses such as hepatitis, glandular fever and parasitic infections weaken liver function. Maintain good hygiene. Wash hands before eating and cooking, clean food surfaces and kitchen cloths, ensure food is cooked and stored carefully. Use left-overs within 2 days – if in doubt, throw it out. Consider a water purifier.
The liver is the largest organ in the body, lying predominantly under the lower right rib cage. Every drop of blood coming from the intestines – carrying all the nutrients and impurities we have ingested – passes through the liver for inspection. Chinese medicine views the liver as the “General of the Army” – the cornerstone to a person’s physical and mental vitality. This is sound analysis considering the liver’s 100s of functions from the manufacture and storage of nutrients, regulation of metabolism, the processing of protein for new cells, hormones and enzymes, the transformation of carbohydrates into glucose for energy, the conversion of fats into insulating and protective tissue, and the detoxification of poisons and disposal of wastes. Apparently if all the functions of the liver were to be reproduced according to current technology, it would require a laboratory one block square and several stories high.
Many of the toxic chemicals we ingest are fat-soluble and have an affinity for storage in our own fatty tissue, including the brain and endocrine glands. This debris may accumulate for years and then be released during times of stress, pregnancy, exercise or fasting. A variety of unpleasant symptoms may result from headaches, nausea, fatigue, to muddled thinking and depression. One of the abilities of a healthy liver is to convert fat-soluble chemicals into water-soluble ones. This mechanism allows them to be excreted via bile and urine. Like any filter though, the liver can become overworked and blocked with impurities. Certain foods, beverages and behaviours are more like to stress it or bless it. Although generalities can be made, additionally there are the specifics of each person’s body-type, strengths and weaknesses to consider.
The gall bladder is a small storage sac tucked under the liver. Everyday the liver produces almost one litre of bile, which is stored in the gall bladder. As food – in particular fatty food – exits the stomach and moves into the duodenum (the start of the small intestine), the gall bladder contracts the bile flows onto the site. The contents of the duodenum resemble a sink full of dishwater after a roasting pan has been added. Bile breaks down fat with a cleansing action similar to detergent.
If there is an impairment to the release of sufficient bile, a person may feel nauseous, bloated or have acid reflux or irritable or irritable bowel symptoms. Sometimes bile and cholesterol – a fatty substance also made by the liver – can mix and form gallstones. These may block the bile duct and cause pain or biliousness. Middle-aged women, especially if overweight, are particularly prone to gallstones.
Diet makes a difference. Both British and Harvard University studies show that the number one category of food to lessen the likelihood of such problems is: vegetables. Next in the line of defence was soy protein such as found in soy milk and tofu. Newer studies promote soluble fibre – such as found in linseed, rice bran, oats and barley – as particularly efficient in helping reduce cholesterol, eliminate excess bile acids stabilise stabilize blood sugar. Also helpful is to eat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil each day. This helps diminish cholesterol and stimulate the release of bile.
As usual – in regards to the fat you eat and the fat you wear – the body prefers not too much and not too little. While obesity and large, high-fat meals encourage problems, so do very low-fat diets, quick weight-loss regimes and missing meals – especially breakfast. These limit the expulsion of bile which can lead to stone formation. If losing weight, do so gradually – no more than ½ kilo per week. Other culprits are eating too little fibre and too much saturated fat (both can lead to cholesterol and bowel problems), too much sugar and coffee.