Author Archives: GP Support

More Natural Remedies for Bacterial Overgrowth

The last post on Bacterial Overgrowth did not include my top two natural supplements for treating bacterial overgrowth and keeping it away.  I prefer these two brands and they seem to work the best.

  • Candida Support by now.  Candida Support is a combination of traditional herbal ingredients (Pau D’Arco, Black Walnut and Oregano Oil), Biotin (a B-complex vitamin) and Caprylic Acid (a naturally occurring fatty acid derived from plant oils) that may help to support a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria. Although Candida Support is not meant to clear Candida albicans from the gut, it can help to support a healthy balance of intestinal flora
  • PB 8 Probiotics by Nutrition Now.PB8 PRO-Biotic Acidophilus contains specially selected bacteria that are protected from destructive stomach acids by a special coating applied during its unique production method. The capsules need no refrigeration and contain eight strains of friendly bacteria.As a dietary supplement, two capsules contain: 100% Natural Cultures of Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarun, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, S.thermophilus, Bifodobacterium bifidum, S. faecium, Bifidobacterium 1000 mg.
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Natural Remedies for Bacterial Overgrowth

If you suffer from Gastroparesis then you most likely will encounter Hydrogen Producing Bacterial Overgrowth of the small intestines.  The test for Hydrogen Bacteria is very time consuming – it takes around fours hours and you have to breath into  a device every half hour or so then wait for the results to be read from a lab which can take a week.  Doctors treatments are harsh antibiotics.  We have discovered that the best way to keep Bacterial Overgrowth away is to follow some natural remedies.  Also, limit your sugar intake!

My top two natural supplements for treating bacterial overgrowth and keeping it away are Candida Support by now and PB 8 Probiotics by Nutrition Now.  You can read about the supplement facts of these two products by visiting this post.

There are three parts to the natural treatment of bacterial overgrowth:

  • Diet – Low carbohydrate diet
  • Eradicate unfriendly bacteria in the small intestine using herbs such as peppermint oil.
  • Replace – Bacterial overgrowth impairs friendly bacteria (“probiotics”) and digestive enzymes.

Herbs

The most studied natural treatment for bacterial overgrowth is enteric coated peppermint oil, which is peppermint oil that has an edible, hard shell around it so that the capsule doesn’t open until it is in the small intestine. It kills bacteria in the small intestine.

The course of treatment is usually 1 to 6 months. A typical dose of enteric-coated peppermint oil is one to two capsules three times a day, taken in between meals with a glass of water. Side effects can include heartburn, rectal burning, and minty burping.

Other herbal antimicrobials used to treat bacterial overgrowth are:

  • Grapefruit seed extract – for people who don’t like taking capsules, grapefruit seed extract can be found in liquid form. Add a few drops to a glass of water and drink in between meals.
  • Oregano oil capsules
  • Garlic
  • Berberine – goldenseal, oregon grape
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Pau d’arco
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Gastroparesis Causes

There are many different causes of Gastroparesis, although the connection between disorders is not completely apparent in many scenarios.

Complications from Abdominal surgery such as nissen fundoplication, gastric bypass surgery, and/or gallbladder removal. Surgery may injure the vagus nerve which is responsible for causing the stomach muscles to contract, pushing food out of the stomach. If the vagus nerve is damaged, it becomes paralyzed and is unable to perform this function. In some instances, post-surgical gastroparesis is temporary and the stomach returns to normal after healing but in many situations if the vagus nerve is badly damaged then the gastroparesis remains long term.

Diabetes is another cause of Gastroparesis. Other causes include some disorders of the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and some medicines, such as tricyclic antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, and opiate pain relievers.  Sometimes people get idiopathic gastroparesis for no known reason.

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Medications Associated With Impaired Gastric Emptying

Those with Gastroparesis should avoid these medications if possible because it makes gastric emptying even slower.  Some of these meds were actually prescribed to my husband by GI Doctors even after he was diagnosed with GP.

  • Narcotics
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Clonidine
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Lithium
  • Nicotine
  • Progesterone
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Bacterial Overgrowth Remedies

Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine is a relatively common condition for those with GP.  The overuse of antibiotics, antacids, and other medications can wipe out friendly intestinal bacteria.  These are some natural remedies for bacterial overgrowth.

  1. Low Carbohydrate Diet
  2. Peppermint Oil
  3. Probiotics/Digestive Enzymes

Additional Resources:

About.com Alternative Resources

HealthTap’s Low Carb. Diets and Gastroparesis

LiveStrong – Probiotics for Gastroparesis

Posted in RX & Supplements. Tagged with .

Acetyl L-Carnitine & Alpha Lipoic Acid

Acetyl L-Carnitine & Alpha Lipoic Acid have both been studied recently as an agent that impacts mitochondrial functions, which is thought to play a significant role in peripheral nerve injury related pain.  It can improve neuropathic pain, particularly stomach pain due to damage of the vagus nerve.*

Fish Oil / Omega 3 Fatty Acids have also been shown to have an integral role in the health functioning of nerves and showing improvement of painful symptoms of neuropathic pain.*

* Talk to your Health Care Provider about the recommended dosages and do your own online research.

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Abdominal Pain and Lidocaine

Here are some resources to help you explore if Lidocaine Injections or Mexiletine can be helpful for Abdominal Pain.

Local injection for selective abdominal wall pain patients can produce significant pain relief. The diagnosis of abdominal wall pain is an important component in avoiding unnecessary operations in patients with abdominal pain.

Efficacy of treating abdominal wall pain by local injection – from pubmed.gov

Mexiletine (Mexitil®), an orally taken form of lidocaine, was originally approved to treat irregular heartbeats, but sometimes is effective in the relief of chronic nerve pain. Mexiletine reduces pain by adhering to peripheral nerves and reducing pain signals carried from the peripheral nerves to the central nervous system and brain. Over time, as mexiletine bonds to the peripheral nerves, the feeling of pain is diminished. Mexiletine is being used experimentally to treat pain associated with different kinds of peripheral neuropathy. – From the Center for Peripheral Neuropathy 

Be sure to read about the warnings and side effects of  Mexiletine from  Medline Plus.

Posted in Medical Procedures, RX & Supplements. Tagged with .

Gastroparesis Facts

Gastroparesis Facts from the Gastroparesis Awareness Campaign Organization

Gastroparesis is a condition characterized by impaired transit of food from the stomach. There may also be a total loss of nerve and muscle movement in the stomach and intestines; therefore gravity continues the path for the food through the gastrointestinal organs. Patients may also be diagnosed with a more rare form of Gastroparesis called- Idiopathic Gastroparesis in which there is no known cause.

Gastroparesis is most commonly caused by diabetes, but can also be hereditary or occur as a result of surgery on the stomach or vagus nerve, viral infections, food poisoning, medications that slow contractions in the intestines such as anticholinergics and narcotics, gastric bypass, lapband, gastric sleeve surgery, smooth muscle disorders, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, metabolic disorders, autoimmune disorders, chemo/radiation therapy, Bells Palsy syndrome, Ramsey Hunt syndrome, Mitochondrial disease, Scleroderma, MS/Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease, stroke, Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia.

Many people have what is called Idiopathic Gastroparesis, meaning the cause is unknown and cannot be found.

“GP Facts from the Gastroparesis Awareness Campaign Organization” Click to Read More

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Seeking Answers, Seeking Cures

Be patient with all that is unresolved in your heart.
And try not to love the questions themselves.
Do not seek for the answers that cannot be given,
For you would not be able to live them,
And the point is,
to live everything.
Live the questions now,
And perhaps, without knowing it,
You will live along some distant day
Into the answers.

– Poet Rainer Rilke

Posted in Personal Insight.

Post Holiday Blues

Well, Christmas and New Years went by without me posting.  Those are two Holidays I’d like to forget.  As we start a new year I am optimistic that there is a possibility of a Fundoplication Take-Down for my husband. I created an entire page dedicated to that topic and am reaching out to try to find others who had it done and are better.

The road on this journey has just begun.   Testing begins in a few weeks at one of the best hospitals in Southern California. It is a 200 mile (one way) trip for us and we’ll be travelling several times a month.  We hope to discover that he is a candidate to get this awful stomach wrap taken off.  If there is even a slight chance it will relieve his daily pain and living hell then its worth it.  As he puts it “I’d rather die of esophageal cancer than a slow death of malnutrition“.  It sounds rough but unless you live your life on a daily basis unable to eat or keep any food down then you too might choose the risk of cancer over dying from not being able to eat.  Have you ever had the stomach flu so bad that while throwing up you gasp “I’d die if I had to live like this”  ?  Well, imagine that 100 times worst because its every day all day long – even when you only drink dang water.  It’s a condition I would not wish on my worst enemy (not that I have any).

 

Posted in Personal Insight.