Osteoarthritis is a progressive and degenerative joint disease. It causes a great deal of pain and disability for millions of people. It commonly affects older people and we used to think it was caused by wear and tear. But, scientists now think there might be other causes. One such cause involves a link between gut health and osteoarthritis. I will explain how. [Read more…] about The role of ageing in gut health and osteoarthritis
In the news last week we saw many articles similar to this one from the BBC website. These articles relate to a World Health Organisation (WHO) funded review in the Lancet that looked at the amount of dietary fibre people eat and how it relates to their health and risk of disease.
The general impression of the WHO review suggests that we all need to eat at least 25g of fibre per day to lower our risk of disease. And, that whole grains can form a substantial portion of this amount.
I have been talking about the benefits of eating a diet rich in fibre for years. And I’m sure that many people are aware that eating more dietary fibre is good for their health. [Read more…] about Should you eat more whole grains?
Dementia is now the leading cause of death in England, ahead of cancer and heart disease. Yet, while many people might know someone that has survived cancer, how many people with Alzheimer’s disease do you know that have got better, or even improved? Currently conventional medicine has no treatment for Alzheimers disease that does anything but slightly delay progression of the disease. A situation that is unlikely to change in the near future. Not because of a lack of research. A quick search on the Pubmed database reveals over a hundred thousand research papers on Alzheimer’s disease. But, even if a cure for Alzheimer’s was found today, it takes an average of seventeen years to translate findings such as these into treatments available to the public. [Read more…] about Alzheimer’s disease – is fibre good for the brain?
Given the regularity of food related news headlines, and especially those that seem to contradict ‘last week’s news’, it’s perhaps not surprising that many people are unsure about what they should believe. What should we eat to improve our health or even prevent chronic disease? Low fat or low carb? What about grains or gluten? Are eggs okay, or not? It can be very confusing.
According to research the healthiest way to eat is the Mediterranean type diet. One aspect of this type of diet is the abundance of fruits and vegetables it supplies. These contain a wide variety of nutrients and fibre.
It appears the fibre could be more important than was once thought. Not just an inert substance easing the passage of stools. But, food for the microscopic organisms living in our gut, that have a huge potential to influence our health. [Read more…] about Food as medicine to prevent chronic disease
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition of the gastrointestinal tract, and many people say that food either triggers or exacerbate their IBS symptoms. Yet, there is considerable evidence that making a change to a diet low in FODMAPs can help to reduce these symptoms.
IBS is a functional condition, meaning that there are no structural changes to the gut, but that does not mean that the symptoms are not real. The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, bloating and a feeling of distension, with an altered bowel habit that is not explained by other causes. This might entail abnormal stool frequency, stool form, or passage of the stool through the gut.
If you suspect you have IBS it is important to be checked out by a doctor. This is because there are other conditions that may have similar symptoms and these should be ruled out before a diagnosis of IBS can be given. [Read more…] about Reduce your IBS symptoms with a low FODMAPs diet
If you have irritable bowel syndrome and are currently receiving treatment, the chances are, that your answer to this question will be no. In fact, research demonstrates that less than 40% of patients are satisfied with their current irritable bowel syndrome treatment. Which means that in the UK, where an estimated 6.5 to 13 million people suffer from IBS, millions of people are probably not receiving the help they need.
Whilst the main criteria of IBS are abdominal pain, altered bowel habit and bloating or distension, people experience irritable bowel in many different ways. What’s more, the effect that IBS has on their quality of life, is a major factor for many of the people that I see in clinical practice. [Read more…] about Are you happy with your current irritable bowel syndrome treatment?
The extent to which a food is processed is a major determinant in how healthy that food is. The Western diet includes many processed foods and even some ultra-processed foods. Researchers now think that this processing may have a large role in what makes the typical Western diet unhealthy.
Food processing includes food preparation methods such as chopping, mincing and blending. As well as cooking methods such as steaming, poaching, roasting and grilling. Food extrusion is a modern method of food processing used for making products such as breakfast cereals and snack bars. In fact, breakfast cereals are likely one of the most highly processed of food categories. [Read more…] about Is all processed food unhealthy?
Migraine headaches are a common, often chronic and recurring condition. Though I have only ever had one migraine headache myself, I remember how bad it felt and so I can understand how devastating recurring migraine headaches could be. In my post Can a leaky gut cause migraines? I discuss a possible link between gut health and the occurrence of migraine headaches. Here I discuss the findings of a recently published literature review that supports this link. As well as the potential use of probiotics in migraine prevention.
The review explains that people that have migraine headaches are also more likely to have digestive disorders, such as, but not limited to, inflammatory bowel disease and coeliac disease. They go on to suggest there may also be a link between having colic as a baby and suffering with migraines in later life. [Read more…] about Probiotics and migraine prevention
This is the second part in a series of posts. The first article covered What causes bloating, and this one follows up with how to get rid of bloating.
Though relieving the symptom of bloating is important, as with many chronic health concerns to make a permanent improvement, it is necessary to find the underlying causes of the problem. In the first part – what causes bloating – I gave a list of conditions that are linked to the symptom bloating. If your doctor has ruled out any serious medical conditions as the cause of your bloating, and you continue to have symptoms, then you could speak to your local qualified herbalist to help you find the underlying cause. Then it could simply be a matter of making some dietary or lifestyle changes. Along with some herbal remedies or supplements to help relieve symptoms. [Read more…] about How to get rid of bloating
Rosacea is a common inflammatory facial skin condition. In fact it may affect up to 10% fair-skinned people of Northern European descent. People with rosacea often also report having digestive symptoms. So, could this be another condition showing a link between gut health and the skin?
Symptoms of rosacea
Symptoms usually occur in older people. Women are more likely to have rosacea than men. Easy facial flushing is the first symptom to appear. Which occurs more and more frequently until the redness is permanent. There are usually also spots and fine, spidery, red veins called telangiectasias. As well as stinging, burning, dryness or swelling of the skin. [Read more…] about Rosacea and the gut-skin connection