Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sclerosing Cholangitis

What is Sclerosing Cholangitis?

This is an inflammatory disease of the bile ducts, which eventually become scarred and narrowed ducts (tubes). It is thought to be autoimmune in origin, which means that the immune system produces antibodies which attack the bile ducts in the liver. This is supported by the fact that 50% of patients with sclerosing cholangitis have inflammatory disease of the bowel.
Sclerosing cholangitis can respond very well to a change in the diet and the principles of  the-liver-cleansing diet need to be followed for life. Patients with this problem have been able to return their liver function to normal, after adopting Dr Cabot's diet. However, they have found that the liver function becomes abnormal again if they do not maintain the liver diet principles.

It is important to take natural anti-inflammatory supplements to reduce the inflammation in the bile ducts. The most important ones are the antioxidant vitamins, vitamin C, E and natural beta-carotene. Selenium exerts a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and the dosage required is 200mcg daily. I recommend that you take a designer yeast powder high in selenium and its synergistic trace minerals, in a dose of 2 teaspoons daily. Raw vegetable juices, containing a mixture of carrot, celery, beetroot, broccoli and apple provide many benefits. Foods high in sulphur such as garlic, onions, legumes and eggs enhance sulfation of toxins, making them easier to excrete. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, radish, bok choy and Brussels sprouts will help liver function and support detoxification pathways.

Foods to be avoided are:

  • All cow's milk products and gluten (found in wheat, rye, oats and barley).
  • Processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, chocolate and refined sugar and flour.

General recommendations

  • If you want to improve liver function you must avoid all dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, cream, ice cream etc)
  • Avoid ALL margarines and similar type spreads
  • Avoid deep fried and fatty foods.
  • Avoid preserved meats, fried foods and fatty meats.
  • Limit chicken and turkey that is not free range, as this contains growth hormone (in the USA) and antibiotics that increase the liver's workload.
  • Avoid ALL alcohol.
  • Drink 2 liters of water each day.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners - see
Pay careful attention to any drugs or medications because they may aggravate your liver inflammation. Check with your doctor before taking them.

Recommended books

  • "The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book"
    This book is essential reading for anyone suffering from this disease or any other conditions of the liver or bowels.  Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis is covered on pg 87. 
  •  "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life" lists an A-Z medical conditions with useful raw juicing recipes.
  • "The Ultimate Detox" - All of the recipes in this book are free of gluten and dairy products.  As sclerosing cholangitis is an autoimmune condition, patients must adhere to a gluten and dairy free diet in order to help their immune system.
 A new friend of mine has been diagnosed with PSC... Hopefully this will give some help. We are worth fighting for, and besides your attitude, diet is KEY!! I LOVE Dr. Cabot's book, but it takes some working at for sure.

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Pediatricians Commonly Misdiagnose Kids

 This is why we must be our own health advocates!
Get a CBC every year & keep a book - a journal of 
the results... Do it for your kids AND you!
June 23, 2010 -- Just over half of pediatricians responding to an anonymous survey acknowledged making at least one diagnostic error a month, and just under half said that at least once a year they made errors that harmed patients.

The survey involved 726 academic and community-based pediatricians or pediatric residents practicing in Houston or Cincinnati.Diagnosing viral illness as bacterial infection was the most commonly reported diagnostic error, closely followed by failure to recognize the side effects of medication.
In all, 55% of the pediatric residents, 48% of the pediatricians working at academic centers, and 53% of community-based pediatricians reported that they had misdiagnosed viral illness as bacterial infection.
Antibiotics are useless for the treatment of colds, flu, or other viral infections, yet they are widely prescribed. The CDC and other health groups identify antibiotic overuse as one of the most significant public health problems.
“Prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed increases the risk for antibiotic resistance and it puts patients at risk for side effects,” Baylor College of Medicine pediatrician and study co-author Geeta Singhal, MD, tells WebMD.

Study First to Explore Misdiagnosis in Kids

Published in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics, the study is among the first to explore the frequency, types, and causes of diagnostic errors in pediatric practice.
Slightly more than half of the academic center pediatricians and pediatric residents who responded to the survey reported misdiagnosing side effects of medicines taken by their young patients.
Singhal says adverse reactions to certain cough syrups and antihistamines are commonly misdiagnosed.
For example, first-generation antihistamines like the drugs Dimetapp and Benadryl typically make children sleepy, but they might have the opposite effect in children under age 2. Antihistamine-related hyper behavior in a very young child is often misdiagnosed, Singhal says.
Other key findings from the survey included:
  • When asked to identify the reasons for diagnostic process errors, about half of the doctors (48%) cited a lack of information of the patient’s medical history or failure to review medical charts. 
  • Just over 40% said failure by the parent or caregiver to seek medical attention in a timely manner contributed to the diagnostic error and 39% cited failure to follow up on abnormal diagnostic lab tests. 
  • The pediatricians and pediatric residents cited better access to electronic health records and closer follow-up of patients after initial treatment as strategies most likely to reduce diagnostic errors in pediatric practice.

Electronic Records: ‘No Silver Bullet’

Study co-investigator Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, says electronic medical records will help address the lack of coordination among medical providers, which is a major contributor to misdiagnosis in both general and pediatric medicine.
Johns Hopkins University Medical School neurologist David Newman-Toker, MD, PhD, who has studied diagnostic errors, agrees. But he tells WebMD that much more is needed.

“It is clear to me after studying this issue that there is not going to be a single silver bullet that does away with diagnostic errors,” he says. “We will need multifaceted interventions to tackle the problem.”
Newman-Toker says it is no big surprise that the diagnostic errors are common in pediatric medicine, just as they are in general medicine. 
In a commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last year, Newman-Toker and Johns Hopkins colleague Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, write that diagnostic errors result in as many as 40,000 to 80,000 hospital deaths each year in the United States.
“I would think the risk of a fatal misdiagnosis is lower in children, because children have far fewer life-threatening medical conditions,” he says.
He adds that parents or caregivers who think their child’s illness has been misdiagnosed should never hesitate to discuss their concerns with the child’s physician.
Singh and Singhal agree.
“Families and caregivers know their children best,” Singhal says. “If they don’t understand the diagnosis or have concerns, it is important to talk to the pediatrician.”

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vitamins & Minerals for your liver

The same rule that applies to conventional pharmaceuticals applies to nutritional supplements: they should be used with caution by people with liver diseases because they are often metabolized in the liver. It is important that people with liver disease work in close cooperation with a knowledgeable and qualified physician to design a program of nutritional support.
Nevertheless, there are numerous nutritional approaches that have been studied in liver disease that can help slow the inflammation associated with advancing liver disease and support healthy liver function.  It is also critical that alcohol be strictly avoided.  For the complete article click on the link below:

Life Extension Foundation Recommendations

Liver cirrhosis is a life-threatening condition that requires close supervision by a qualified physician. Because the liver metabolizes many nutrients and drugs, it is important that liver patients not add any substances to their regimen without cooperation and close monitoring by a qualified physician. The goal of therapy is threefold:
  1. Eliminate the toxins or conditions that cause liver damage. Among patients with alcoholic liver disease, this means the total elimination of alcohol. Cirrhotic patients should also limit exposure to environmental toxins, decrease consumption of omega-6 fatty acids (corn oil especially), and use monounsaturated fats such as olive oil instead.
  2. Provide the liver with appropriate nutritional and pharmaceutical support so that it may heal itself.
  3. Maintain health sufficient to undergo liver transplantation should other measures fail.
The following supplements have been shown to boost liver health and help manage cirrhosis:
  • PPC—2 to 4 900-milligram (mg) capsules daily. Each capsule contains phosphatidylcholine 900 mg.
  • BCAAs:—L-leucine 1200 mg, L-isoleucine 600 mg, and L-valine 600 mg
  • Silymarin (milk thistle extract)—900 mg
  • L-glutathione—250 mg, in two divided doses
  • SAMe—1200 mg daily, in three divided doses
  • Vitamin B complex—1 capsule 3 times daily. Each capsule contains thiamin (B1) 100 mg, riboflavin (B2) 50 mg, niacin 200 mg, vitamin B6 75 mg, folic acid 800 mcg, vitamin B12 1000 mcg, biotin 600 mcg, pantothenic acid 1000 mg, betaine free base 50 mg, choline 45 mg, inositol 250 mg, and para-aminobenzoic acid 100 mg
  • Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl)—100 mg
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)—6000 mg daily
  • Vitamin E—800 international units (IU) daily
  • EPA/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA—fish oil supplement supplying EPA 700 mg and DHA 500 mg, and ideally providing 100 mg of Polyphen-Oil™ Olive Fruit Extract 265 mg along with sesame seed (Sesamum indicum) lignans.
    • PGX fiber—2 capsules with every meal or snack that includes nonfruit carbohydrates. Two capsules contain 1000 mg proprietary blend of Konjac root extract, sodium alginate, xanthan gum, mulberry powdered extract (leaf) 50 mg

Liver Cirrhosis Safety Caveats

An aggressive program of dietary supplementation should not be launched without the supervision of a qualified physician. Several of the nutrients suggested in this protocol may have adverse effects. These include:
  • Consult your doctor before taking EPA/DHA if you take warfarin (Coumadin). Taking EPA/DHA with warfarin may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Discontinue using EPA/DHA 2 weeks before any surgical procedure.
  • Take fiber supplements with a full 8-ounce glass of water.
  • Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily while taking fiber.
Milk Thistle
  • Consult your doctor before taking milk thistle with tranquilizers such as Haldol, Serentil, Stelazine, and Thorazine. Milk thistle combats the effect of tranquilizers.
  • Do not combine milk thistle with the blood pressure medication Regitine. Milk thistle combats the effect of Regitine.
Niacin (nicotinic acid)
  • Do not take high doses of nicotinic acid (1.5 to 5 grams daily or more) if you have liver dysfunction, an unexplained elevation in your serum aminotransferase (transaminase) level, active peptic ulcer disease, arterial bleeding, or if you consume large amounts of alcohol.
  • Consult your doctor before taking high doses of nicotinic acid if you have a history of jaundice, peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, disease of the liver or bile ducts, gout, kidney dysfunction, or cardiovascular disease (especially acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina).
  • Consult your doctor before taking high doses of nicotinic acid if you have diabetes. High doses of nicotinic acid can negatively affect glucose tolerance. Monitor your serum glucose level frequently if you take nicotinic acid and have diabetes.
  • Have your doctor monitor your serum aminotransferase level if you take high-doses of nicotinic acid.
  • Nicotinic acid may cause flushing, principally of the face, neck, and chest. This flushing is thought to be prostaglandin-prostacyclin mediated. Histamine may also play a role in the flushing.
  • Nicotinic acid can cause dizziness, palpitations, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, chills, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and muscle pain.
  • High doses of nicotinic acid can cause blurred vision, macular edema, toxic amblyopia, and cystic maculopathy.
PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid)
  • Do not take PABA if you are taking sulfonamides or have a kidney disease.
  • PABA can cause anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fever, and rash.
  • Phosphatidylcholine can cause increased salivation, a metallic taste, headache, drowsiness, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.
  • Consult your doctor before taking SAMe if you have bipolar disorder. See your doctor frequently if you take SAMe and you have bipolar disorder.
  • Consult your doctor before taking SAMe if you take antidepressants. See your doctor frequently if you take SAMe in place of or in addition to antidepressants.
  • Consult your doctor before taking SAMe if you have cancer. Nucleic acid methylation patterns may change in people who have cancer and take SAMe.
  • Do not take SAMe if you are undergoing gene therapy.
  • SAMe can cause anxiety, hyperactive muscle movement, insomnia, hypomania, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
  • Consult your doctor before taking vitamin B1 for a thiamin deficiency, lactic acidosis secondary to thiamin deficiency, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, Wernicke's encephalopathy, or Korsakoff's psychosis.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • High doses of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) may interfere with the Abbott TDx drugs-of-abuse assay.
  • Riboflavin absorption is increased in hypothyroidism and decreased in hyperthyroidism.
  • If you are taking nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors, even a mild riboflavin deficiency can increase your risk of lactic acidosis.
Vitamin B6
  • Individuals who are being treated with levodopa without taking carbidopa at the same time should avoid doses of 5 milligrams or greater daily of vitamin B6.
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
  • Do not take cyanocobalamin if you have Leber's optic atrophy.
Vitamin C
  • Do not take vitamin C if you have a history of kidney stones or of kidney insufficiency (defined as having a serum creatine level greater than 2 milligrams per deciliter and/or a creatinine clearance less than 30 milliliters per minute.
  • Consult your doctor before taking large amounts of vitamin C if you have hemochromatosis, thalassemia, sideroblastic anemia, sickle cell anemia, or erythrocyte glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. You can experience iron overload if you have one of these conditions and use large amounts of vitamin C.
Vitamin E
  • Consult your doctor before taking vitamin E if you take warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Consult your doctor before taking high doses of vitamin E if you have a vitamin K deficiency or a history of liver failure.
  • Consult your doctor before taking vitamin E if you have a history of any bleeding disorder such as peptic ulcers, hemorrhagic stroke, or hemophilia.
  • Discontinue using vitamin E 1 month before any surgical procedure.
For more information see the Safety Appendix

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Teach your children young!

You can help your child develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits. As a parent, you can encourage your kids to evaluate their food choice and physical activity habits. Here are some tips and guidelines to get you started.

Top 10 Ways to Help Children Develop Healthy Habits:

1. Be a good role model - You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but if kids see you trying to eat right and getting physically active, they’ll take notice of your efforts. You’ll send a message that good health is impor­tant to your family.
2. Keep things positive - Kid’s don’t like to hear what they can’t do, tell them what they can do instead. Keep it fun and positive. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes and help children and teens develop a good self-image.
3. Get the whole family moving - Plan times for everyone to get moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.
4. Be realistic - Setting realistic goals and limits are key to adopting any new behavior. Small steps and gradual changes can make a big difference in your health over time, so start small and build up.
5. Limit TV, video game and computer time - These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Limit screen time to 2 hours per day.
6. Encourage physical activities that they’ll really enjoy - Every child is unique. Let your child experiment with different activities until they find something that they really love doing. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it.
7. Pick truly rewarding rewards - Don’t reward children with tv, video games, candy or snacks for a job well done. Find other ways to celebrate good behavior.
8. Make dinnertime a family time - When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much. Get your kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus.
9. Make a game of reading food labels - The whole family will learn what’s good for their health and be more conscious of what they eat. It’s a habit that helps change behavior for a lifetime.
10. Stay involved - Be an advocate for healthier children. Insist on good food choices at school. Make sure your children’s healthcare providers are monitoring cardiovascular indicators like BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol. Contact public officials on matters of the heart. Make your voice heard.

Visit the links below for more nutrition and physical tips to make your home heart healthy.

nutrition tips for a healthy home

Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Home
Find out how to teach your kids about heart-healthy eating and nutrition.
Physical Activity Tips Physical Activity Tips for a Healthy Home
Learn how to get your kids physically active for 60 minutes each day.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010


LOVE THIS!! It's everything I have been telling you about salt... only cooler, because it is set to the Stones (whom... not to toot my own horn, but I have had the opportunity to see in concert...hehe) A few things, I have to admit I am a bit more strict with my sodium intake still, which once you show any signs of ascites or edema, I feel should be done. The only other thing, at the end it says "Who should follow this diet" and I think it should be EVERYONE!!! But I also think that WE as consumers should demand companies feed us better - we are buying their product... don't they want us around to keep eating it? But don't get me started on that... I just want to shake some people. I know it is hard, but aren't we worth it? Don't we want to be around for our kids? Don't we want our kids to be healthy too? It may take a while to get used to, but I actually think my cooking has gotten better, more flavorful with fresh ingredients and spices. Pshhhh, salt is the easy way... it's like throwing ketchup on everything and calling it done.