SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

July 18, 2013

Kid’s gut pain – mystery?

Health update

Advances not helping all kids with bowel ills

Even as treatment improves, the number of children hospitalized with inflammatory bowel disease is escalating.

Doctors who treat patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis say they’re concerned that so many more young people are suffering with severe flare-ups.  From 2000 to 2009, the number of childhood hospitalizations for inflammatory bowel disease jumped from 11,928 to 19,568, according to a study published this month in the  Journal of Investigative Medicine.

The disease causes chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. It can be painful and debilitating and can lead to life-threatening problems.

Other studies have highlighted an increase in cases, but this new research is especially troubling because it shows that more children need intense medical care, said Dr. Thomas Sferra, study author and pediatric gastroenterologist at Cleveland’s Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. The researchers used a national database for their analysis.

“It’s possible that the disease is becoming more severe and patients are developing more complications,” he said.

  • Medications have improved in the past decade and are keeping more children feeling better, leaving experts and families puzzling over those cases that resist treatment and lead to frequent painful flareups.

Researchers, including those at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, are working to better understand the factors that make some patients sicker, said Dr. Sandra Kim, the medical director of the hospital’s inflammatory bowel disease center.

  • Genetics, immune responses and bacteria found in the guts of newly diagnosed patients might offer explanations, she said. Work also is underway to figure out the optimal treatments for those prone to more-severe disease.

Kim said she has grappled with what might cause the increase in cases and in hospitalizations and wonders if an increase in infections with Clostridium difficile could be contributing. That is a possibility that the authors of the new study also mention.

  • Kim said she also is interested in the influence of diet on the bacterial composition in the gut. Frequent and early use of antibiotics also could play a role, Kim said. And experts say there also could be something else in the world around us.

“I’m convinced there’s some environmental trigger out there,” said Debbie Shub, the director of the central Ohio chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “We get more and more calls every week from distraught parents and children who are newly diagnosed.”

Challenges for young people can be different from those for adults, Shub said. The medications used to treat them weren’t originally designed for or tested in children and can cause strong side effects, she said. The illness can slow growth and weaken bones, and there often are emotional challenges for patients as well.

“They frequently feel they’re the only ones who have it. They’re embarrassed by it. They don’t want to talk to their friends about it,” Shub said. “You worry about kids becoming isolated.”

For more information about inflammatory bowel disease, visit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation at http://www.ccfa.org  . mcrane@dispatch.com

(My Comment:

There is rarely anything more apparent than this article in speaking to me  – – in fact “SHOUTING” that “You are what your eat.”  Why it isn’t also apparent to everyone in the medical community is almost mind numbing. ”  In fairness, it seems to be occurring to some of the docs that food or something environmental ‘could’ be the culprit here.  So for the few who manifest this “openness” – – I am grateful – –  shows, they just might get there. 

Actually, inflammatory bowel disease, whether its called Crohn’s or Celiac disease or simply IBS, is one difficult problem with no easy 1,2,3 answer.   It is an auto-immune reaction wherein the body is not recognizing its own tissue as itself due to the damage done by certain (anti) nutrients  which have been ingested and thereby, are in fact –  environmental triggers.   No doubt, in trying to calm intestinal distress, pain and bleeding and so on,  antibiotics  have been used which also, ultimately help disable the immune system.  Couple that with vaccinations and modern, processed foods most Americans ingest and we are looking at a rather complete diagram for how to “disrupt an immature immune system” from ever gaining the upper hand in trying to conquer it’s demons. 

What we don’t need is more  synthetic chemicals thrown at the child’s struggling system.  Since no two people are the same, it follows that their stressors  similarly, are also unique.  Some things are evident.  The problem as the article states, is growing – alarmingly, even with all the progress science has come up with.  Something ain’t workin!   

Still, many, many people, practitioners, naturopathic doctors and probably hands-full of others have been helping these sufferers  to regain their health.  It is almost a certainty that improvement could begin if and when the major offenders of dairy and grains were removed from their dietary regime. Between these two alone resides the primary culprits in this modern disease.   There are many other dietary stressors, of course; excitotoxins, food colorings, synthetic sweeteners and so on, but you get the idea.  

These delicate systems need pampering with foods grown as naturally as what people were blessed with at the turn of the 20th century before science and big business got carried away with bigger, better, cheaper (much to our collective sorrow).  Can’t you just imagine it?  Nothing from a dairy farm but butter and eggs. . . nothing else.   Plenty of fresh, natural juices, maybe some fun Hippocrates Soup that they help “make” and a nice shopping spree with Donna Gates over at Body Ecology to help rebuild that Inner Eco-system.   Don’t think anyone knows more about gut problems than Donna. Yes, people can be healed from this beautifully and completely and returned to a normal, able to eat almost anything type of life.   

Though bowel problems are serious and even life threatening, if one is open to some rather simple possibilities, it all goes away like a bad dream.  Yes, it can.  And it does.    Jan)

 

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