Colitis, enteritis and irritable bowel syndrome are inflammatory diseases of the intestines. Enteritis is inflammation or perhaps infection of the small intestines. Colitis means inflammation of the large intestine or colon. Irritable bowel syndrome is an interesting condition of the large intestine that is sometimes associated with stress.
Symptoms include constipation, diarrhoea, bleeding, tenderness and pain. At times, they can cause fever, weight loss, bloating, gas and perhaps other symptoms. This article discusses the causes, testing and remedy of these common conditions.
Contents and Quick Links
Intestinal infections or improper bowel flora. These can be yeast or other fungal infections, bacterial or viral infections, or perhaps parasitic infections. These organisms often replace or displace the normal bowel flora, such as lactobacillus acidophilus and others. This problem is almost universal today, in part due to contaminated foods, in part due to improper diets, and partially due to impaired nutrition and the presence of toxic meals and toxic chemicals in almost everyone. For example, we have had many people get rid of long-standing diarrhoea and colitis when they stopped all sweets, including all fruit and all juices.
Reducing all sweets, eliminating all fruit juices and eliminating all fruit is very helpful, as these foods tend to promote or feed the growth of yeast in the intestines. At times, restricting all carbohydrate foods such as grains is needed for a short while for the same reason.
To avoid parasites and other intestinal infections, I also suggest avoiding all raw food in restaurants. It is just not clean enough. If you eat salads or a little fruit, be sure you wash it thoroughly.
A low protein diet, tissue breakdown or a catabolic state of body chemistry. The intestinal lining is the fastest growing tissue in the body. If protein synthesis is impaired, regeneration of this tissue may be impaired. The causes for excessive tissue breakdown include copper toxicity, zinc deficiency, a diet low in protein, impaired digestion of protein, or other reasons such as generalised fatigue, lack of sleep and mineral imbalances.
Copper imbalance. This is associated with infections, in general, particularly fungal and some bacterial infections. For example, excessive candida albicans infection in the intestines is very common when copper is out of balance. It will not go away, even with medication, often, until the copper is brought into better balance, and then it goes away by itself.
Copper imbalance can also contribute to tissue breakdown and to emotional issues that frequently contribute to intestinal upsets.
Zinc deficiency. Zinc is required for the enzyme RNA transferase and other essential enzymes involved in protein synthesis. Zinc is also needed for digestive enzyme production in the mouth, stomach and intestines. Zinc has a lot to do with many digestive difficulties including colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury, arsenic, lead and others all can interfere with zinc, selenium and other critical minerals involved in protein synthesis and related activities needed for the intestines.
Nutrient deficiencies, lifestyle imbalances and improper diets. These are often involved in all intestinal disorders. Many people eat too many carbohydrate foods, do not eat nearly enough cooked vegetables, and have poor eating habits such as eating standing up or in their cars, which upsets digestion and often leads to intestinal disorders.
Food allergies or sensitivities. This can be a cause or a result of leak gut syndrome and an impaired digestive system. Once the intestine is irritated and inflamed, certain foods often make the condition worse. The answer is usually to restrict the sensitive or allergic foods for several months. At the same time, one must follow an entire Nutritional Balancing programme to rebuild the intestines and all other tissues of the body. After a number of months, or it may take a few years, the food allergies usually disappear as the intestines heal.
Many people with IBS, Crohn’s disease and colitis improve dramatically when they eliminate allergy foods. The most common offending foods are wheat in all forms, and dairy products. Other common ones include some soy products and eggs. However, any food can be problematic.
Parasites. For a detailed article on parasites and how to get rid of them, click here.
Food allergy testing
Often, food allergy testing is not needed if one changes one’s diet and takes a digestive enzyme and several other basic supplements. One’s lifestyle must also be healthful, too. However, if digestive problems persist, at times, food allergy testing may be helpful to identify problem foods. Ways to do this include:
An elimination diet. This is a very simple diet of perhaps rice and turkey with a few vegetables. After several days to a week, one adds back questionable foods, one at a time and observes the body’s reactions to them. One will often notice a flare-up of symptoms if the food is not healthful for you.
The Coca Pulse Test. A much simpler method is to take your resting pulse for a minute or so when you are relaxed. Then place a possible allergic food in your mouth on your tongue. You need not swallow it most of the time. Then check your pulse again. If it rises more than a few beats, you may be reacting to the food. Then you can spit out the food, rinse your mouth with plain water and wait a few minutes. Then you can often test another food. Be sure to check your resting pulse, however, before testing another food. It should return to the baseline level that it was before testing. If not, wait a little longer to give more accurate readings. This test was designed by the allergist, Arthur Coca, MD.
Skin, blood or scratch testing. There are several methods, including the old skin tests, ELISA, cytotoxic testing, electrical machines and others. All may be helpful. None are perfect in my experience. Foods you eat a lot of often will test sensitive. This type of testing is quite costly, but sometimes is helpful if food allergies are severe and one cannot seem to figure out which foods are causing a problem.
Digestive enzymes are very helpful for most everyone today, especially adults and older people. I prefer the more powerful ones with ox bile and pancreatin. Others are betaine HCl‑pepsin, papain and vegetable enzymes (to which some are allergic because they are fungally based).
Once in a while a probiotic is excellent, such as lactobacillus acidophilus. A good brand is Bio-K Original. Many others are sometimes helpful, though I don’t use them much as they seem not to be needed in most cases if the body chemistry is balanced using a Nutritional Balancing programme.
Supplements that kill yeast such as garlic, caprylic acid, tannic acid or colloidal silver may also be needed on rare occasions. I never seem to need medical drugs to improve the intestines, though I suppose they may help on rare occasions. They have too many side effects, in general. The same is true of most herbs, although aloe vera juice or gel can be very soothing for the intestines and are harmless.
Extra fibre can help absorb certain toxic substances from the gut and can also help promote beneficial intestinal bacteria. This should not be needed if one eats plenty of cooked vegetables and some cooked grains. Too much fibre is not helpful for some cases of colitis. Also, avoid raw food, spicy food and all irritating foods.
Slippery elm, comfrey, castor oil packs over the abdomen, deep breathing into the intestines, and especially stress reduction can be most beneficial for many types of mild colitis, especially food poisoning and other simple causes if you have ruled out food sensitivities.
Colitis is associated with perfectionistic tendencies. Soft music, relaxed meals, breathing deeply while eating, and resting after eating can all help soothe an agitated intestinal tract. Avoiding constipation in general, and excellent bowel hygiene can be very helpful as well. Colonic irrigation and coffee enemas may help remove colonies of yeast and even some parasites.
Sauna therapy is also excellent for many intestinal problems. The penetrating heat of the near infrared sauna in particular will assist the immune response of the body to bring out hidden and chronic intestinal infections that are extremely widespread.
Hair analysis patterns
Common patterns in intestinal diseases include the following, on a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis:
A phosphorus level less than 12 mg%. This indicates impaired protein synthesis. Many times it is due to an improper diet that is low in protein or has a poor quality of protein such as that found in many vegetarian diets. Low phosphorus can be related to impaired digestion, low digestive enzyme levels or perhaps intestinal infections.
Copper imbalance. This is associated with the overgrowth of intestinal yeast, and sometimes with vegetarian diets, stress or other factors that can affect digestion.
Other toxic metals, particularly mercury. These affect the intestinal tract in some cases.
Sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1. This is associated with tissue breakdown or protein catabolism. This is a common occurrence with some digestive disturbances in which the body is not properly nourished. A low sodium/potassium ratio is also associated with low levels of digestive enzymes, blood sugar abnormalities and with infections, in general.
Low levels of sodium and perhaps potassium. This is associated with reduced levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach in most cases.
© December 2010, The Center For Development