Herbal medicalist columnist Nicola Parker breaks the taboo over toilet habits. Toilet habits can be a bit of a taboo, something we don’t talk about for fear of upsetting polite company. Not for me, though. As a herbalist, toilet habits are an everyday conversation and I often get some funny looks at some of the questions I ask in my clinic. There’s no getting around it, though, knowing the health of your bowel can be key to providing the right treatment. It also helps to avoid common complications of the digestive system that can occur as we age. Diverticular disease is a condition linked to long-term constipation. It’s something I screen for at every appointment because, although it can be preventable, as many as half of people over 60 have it. So why is such a condition so common? Is it because nobody is talking about it? Diverticular disease occurs when hard stools or gas cause enough pressure in the bowel that pockets form. Pockets may be tiny or over 2cm in … [Read more...] about Here is all you need to know about diverticular disease
Probiotics make me sick
Naturopathy is a cornucopia packed to the brim with virtually every quackery known to humankind, be it homeopathy, much of traditional Chinese medicine, vitamin C for cancer, or basically any other pseudoscientific or prescientific treatment for disease that you can imagine. I feel obligated to start most of my posts about naturopathy with a statement like this not just because it's true but because I want to remind my readers that it's true. I particularly want to remind my readers when I see naturopaths revealing their true quack selves when they think no one's watching, but I want to remind them even more when I see a post like this by a naturopath named Heather Dexter entitled Natural Remedies for Whooping Cough: Getting Through It IS Possible. If you want anecdotal evidence of the depths of quackery to which naturopaths can descend, read this post now. Because the link to the original post was removed once, I saved the text and will quote liberally, but, for whatever reason, the … [Read more...] about Horrifying suffering caused by treating pertussis “naturally”
C-difficile is currently the most common hospital acquired infection—affecting half a million Americans every year. While one out of five patients fail to respond after the initial round of antibiotics, repeated doses of antibiotics remain the standard of care in most hospitals. But new research, that is finally catching up with antiquity (“yellow soup” discovered by Chinese Dr. GE Hong more than 1700 years ago), may hold the cure. Yellow soup was a broth involving dried or fermented feces from a healthy person. Taken by mouth, the healthy bacteria in the stool would then inhabit the gut of the sick person and bring about a cure. Whoever invented the capsule—I applaud you. Before you “poo-poo” this treatment as insanity—the science is real and FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplant) –where you take a stool sample from a healthy person and infuse it into the colon of a C-diff patient and the infection is eliminated (often within one … [Read more...] about C-diff—can a Fecal Microbiota Transplant stop the recurrence?