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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Posted by
Brian on November 11, 1999 at 14:35:05:

Hi Doc Stoll and Bill,

My fiance has recently developed IBS with bloating, constant discomfort , and occasional sharp pains in lower bowel area. She has been absolutely miserable. I dug out your book published in 1996 and read thru it again and of course thru the chapter on digestive disorders. From what I have put together so far, the best "tools" for treating this would be:

1) Skilled relaxation technique
2) using supplemental digestive enzymes
3) treating parasites (dont know how to go about that)
4) removing refined carbs and sugar
5) Aerobic Exercise

Is this correct and am I missing anything else?? She has been put on Paxil which has helped a great deal with her emotional stability.

Thanks much for any further advice help!!


Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Posted by Walt Stoll on November 12, 1999 at 16:18:47:

In Reply to: Irritable Bowel Syndrome posted by Brian on November 11, 1999 at 14:35:05:

Hi, Brian.

BY FAR the most important single thing is the SR. Get it started ASAP. If she is having symptoms as you describe, I would get her to do it at least 3 times a day until her symptoms are good enough that she is willig to drop them to twice a day.

For the quickest results with the diet, I would suggest she first TOTALLY eliminate dairy and wheat (every trace) for 2 weeks. While she is finding out how much that helps, she should work with Robert McFerran on this BB for the e/diet.

THEN, as she gets a LOT better, it would be time to consider dealing with her probable C-RS. Great Smokies Labs would be a good place to see if her LGS was gone and if she had any parasites (Candida is one, you know.)

As she gets well, I hope whe will share her experiences with the BB so others with this problem can see that it is unnecessary.


Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Posted by Coly on November 12, 1999 at 16:24:32:

In Reply to: Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome posted by Walt Stoll on November 12, 1999 at 16:18:47:

SR is NOT the most important think when dealing with IBS.
How on earth can anyone relax with pain!!!!! There is always something pathological going on with irritable bowel
i.e candida, parasites or bacteria take a look at
www.immed.com also send stool samples to Great Smokies

Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Posted by MAI on November 13, 1999 at 02:23:50:

In Reply to: Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome posted by Walt Stoll on November 12, 1999 at 16:18:47:

FDCH Congressional Testimony, November 3, 1999
November 3, 1999, Wednesday


Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Benefits . United States House of Representatives Invited Testimony by Claudia S. Miller, M. D., M. S. Environmental and Occupational Medicine Department of Family Practice
October 26, 1999.

I have been asked to explain how physicians who see sick Gulf War veterans can observe the same or similar symptoms and interpret them as either undiagnosed illness or diagnosed illness.

Even when doctors apply monikers to these patients' illnesses, like depression, migraine headaches, asthma, irritable bowel or fibromyalgia, these monikers do not explain why these veterans are sick. Most have symptoms involving several organ systems simultaneously. For them there is no unifying diagnosis offered, no etiology
specified, and no disease process clarified. In truth, all of these veterans are undiagnosed because what we are dealing with is an entirely new mechanism of disease not covered by standard medical diagnoses one which
presents itself symptomatically as different conditions to different specialists.

The rheumatologist observing diffuse muscle pain diagnoses

The neurologist hearing head pain and nausea diagnoses migraine headaches.

The pulmonologist finding airway reactivity diagnoses asthma.

The psychiatrist seeing chronic malaise diagnoses depression.

The gastroenterologist noting GI complaints diagnoses irritable bowel syndrome.

Some private practitioners diagnose multiple chemical sensitivity, or MCS, which is not a diagnosis in itself, but rather just another manifestation of the underlying disease process. So what is at the core of this myriad of symptoms that has come to be called "Gulf War Syndrome?" What is the
underlying disease process?

The key is in the new-onset intolerances these people share. Over the past six years, I have served as a consultant to the VA's referral center for Gulf War veterans in Houston.
The vast majority of the veterans there reported multiple new intolerances since the War.

Among the first 59 patients, 78% reported new onset chemical intolerances; 40% experienced adverse reactions to medications; 78% described new food intolerances; 66% reported that even a can of beer made them feel ill; 25
percent became ill after drinking caffeinated beverages; and 74 percent of smokers felt sick if they smoked an extra cigarette or borrowed someone else's stronger brand. More than half reported new intolerances in all three
categories -- chemical inhalants, foods, and drugs or food/drug combinations.

One mechanic said that before the Gulf War his idea of the perfect perfume was WD-40. Since the war, WD-40 and a host of other chemicals make him feel ill. Many veterans no longer fill their own gas tanks because the gasoline vapors make them "spacy" or sick. Some won't drive because they become disoriented in traffic and they fear causing an
accident. Or they can't find their cars, forget where they are going or get lost in once familiar areas. One VA study found excess motor vehicle deaths among Gulf veterans and interpreted this as possible increased risk- taking
behavior (Kang and Bullmann, 1996). What the veterans tell me is that they get confused, go off the road, mistake the accelerator for the brake, and have trouble judging stopping distances when they are exposed to gasoline, diesel exhaust, or freshly tarred roads.

Researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and at the University of Arizona have noted similar multi- system symptoms and intolerances to common chemicals,
foods, and drugs among the veterans (Fiedler et al, 1996; Bell et al, 1998).

And a CDC study found that ill Gulf War veterans reported more chemical intolerances than healthy veterans (Fukuda et al, 1998).

These studies are confounded by a phenomenon called "masking," which occurs when people become
intolerant to many different things (Miller and Prihoda, 1999a).

As they go through a day, symptoms triggered by fragrances, hairspray, vehicle exhaust, foods and medications pile up so they feel sick most of the time.

No one cause can be isolated because there's too much background noise, and patients often underestimate the number of exposures that affect them. This problem is not altogether new. German researchers described similar
intolerances in chemical weapons workers after World War II (Spiegelberg, 1961). Nearly 20 percent of agricultural workers on a California registry for organophosphate pesticide poisoning (Tabershaw and Cooper, 1966)
reported that even a "whiff" of pesticide made them sick with symptoms like those of the Gulf War veterans, as did dozens of government workers a decade ago, after the EPA headquarters became a "sick building" following
remodeling (EPA, 1989). Similar outbreaks of chemical intolerances have been reported in more than a dozen countries (Ashford et al, 1995). These
observations suggest that we may indeed be dealing with an entirely new mechanism for disease, one which has been referred to with the acronym
"TILT", or "Toxicant-induced Loss of Tolerance" (Miller, 1996, 1997, 1999).
Any one toxicant appears capable of initiating this process. TILT involves two steps, initiation and triggering (Ashford and Miller, 1998): (1) First, a single acute or multiple low-level exposures to a pesticide, solvent or
other chemical causes loss of tolerance in a subset of those exposed; (2) Thereafter very low levels of common substances can trigger symptoms -- not only chemicals, but various foods, medications, alcoholic beverages and caffeine. Symptoms involve several organ systems. These intolerances are the hallmark of TILT, just as fever is the hallmark symptom of infectious diseases. Over the past several years, the finger has been pointed at a number of potential causes for Gulf War Syndrome -- everything from the oil
shroud to pesticides, vaccinations, and pyridostigmine bromide. What set off the Gulf War Veterans? The answer is "all of the above." Exposure to any one or any combination of these toxicants may, in fact, be capable of causing a general breakdown in tolerance that can result in a plethora of beguiling symptoms. We do not know exactly how this breakdown in tolerance occurs. We do know that rats with nervous systems sensitive to organophosphate
pesticides are also intolerant of diverse drugs and have increased gut permeability which in humans is associated with food intolerance (Overstreet et al, 1996). This suggests the breakdown might involve the cholinergic
nervous system, which regulates processes throughout the body. How can these people be helped? No one knows -- yet. The biggest obstacle is the symptoms themselves, which serve as red herrings, diverting attention away from the
central problem. What we do know is that Gulf War veterans, who have come to recognize what sets them off and then avoid these triggers, tend to improve.
We need to apply this understanding to the diagnosis and treatment of other such veterans. The first thing that needs to be done is to set up unmasking studies in which sick Gulf War veterans can be isolated from the exposures
that are setting them off. This can be achieved by putting them in a special environmentally controlled hospital unit (Miller, 1997; Miller et al, 1997).
Once we get them to baseline, we can reintroduce things like caffeine, perfumes, various foods, etc., and identify some of the things that cause their flare-ups. With avoidance, it is hoped that they, too, can improve.
This combined diagnostic-therapeutic approach would eliminate much of the confusion that is the focus of this hearing. There is no simple answer to Gulf War illness. No single toxicant is likely to have caused it. But if we
concentrate less on the original toxicants and more on the underlying disease mechanism, I believe we can make progress in understanding why these people are sick and what we can do to help them.

Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Ignorance is rife in the land!)

Posted by Walt Stoll on November 13, 1999 at 10:24:08:

In Reply to: Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome posted by Coly on November 12, 1999 at 16:24:32:


Until you are knowledgable, it would be best for you to not pontificate. I did not ever say one should wait for their pain to be present to try their SR.

It is painful to learn but you had best give it a try if you have IBS.


Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Archive under philosophy.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on November 14, 1999 at 10:35:31:

In Reply to: Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome posted by MAI on November 13, 1999 at 02:23:50:

Thanks, MAI.

I hope everyone reads this. It is a great example of the old adage: "To a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Until the profession has to look at humans as a forest and not just collections of the trees, as the conventional medical monopoly insists is the only valid way to look at anything, this kind of blindness will continue.


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