Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chronic Diarrhea

Ok, let me talk about something I know a bit about. I have acute colitis for years and then have worked my way through healing chronic colitis for years more. I consider myself still in that active healing process. I guess I would put myself at a 9 out of 10 on the health scale. At my worst over ten years ago I would have said a 1 out of ten. Let's just say I knew every bathroom on every block from New York to San Francisco.
So let's think here for a minute about chronic diarrhea and what the causes may be. (Keep in mind the symptom ( Chronic Diarrhea ) may be diagnosed in many different ways. Some names for this symptom are IBS, Crohn's Disease and Colitis or Ulcerative Colitis.
First and most frustratingly, we need to respect the intelligence of the human body. This is what we learn in naturopathic medical school and it is especially valid in chronic disease. We have to understand that if the body is increasing the rate of flow because it is trying to push out what is in the bowel. We can assume because it is an irritant or an presumed irritant.
This means something is being introduced by the cells of the intestine, by the bacteria of the intestine or by a virus or by a parasite that our intestine is trying to cleanse itself of. Or it can be an allergen that the body perceives of as a microbial threat. In any case the body is trying to do something smart no matter how much it irritates us.
So, the first step is to asses what happened when the condition first began. If you were exposed to a microbe (bacteria, virus, or parasite) then that at least answers that. More often than not it is hard to track down when the symptoms first began.
So in that case we look to allergies (gluten, dairy and egg) are the most common allergic causes of inflammatory bowel disease ( crohn's, colitis, etc ) in my practice. See my blog about the new IGG testing. So after microbes and allergies what is next?
If the exact cause can not be identified it is time to go after suspected culprits. The easiest approach in my experience is to try and naturally attack a microbe that may have set up a home in the gut. We can try and kill it with herbs, or push it out by giving the gut friendly bacteria. If these don't work, we go up to conventional antibiotics. Which one to try first is really a profession call that depends on the patients history.
Now, what we really want to avoid in these cases is prednisone. This is for the simple reason that inflammation/irritation plus immune suppression ( prednisone ) usually equals cancer. So since we know we already have an irritation we try and and solve the problem without prednisone.

Ok, that is enough for tonight ;)

Update 5 6 2011
Based on the many requests from this post I now offer the IgG test for order on my website at

I also highly recommend rice protein powder which can be ordered from my Emerson store on my website

There a two booklets I wrote that can help, both of which are on Amazon.  Just search my name on Amazon - Steve Nenninger