Q: How does Integrative Medicine differ from regular medicine?
Integrative Medicine includes the benefits of conventional medicine, and also embraces CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Duke Integrative Medicine Center defines Integrative Medicine as an approach to care that puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person’s health. Employing a personalized strategy that considers the patient’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances, it uses the most appropriate interventions from an array of scientific disciplines to heal illness and disease and help people regain and maintain optimum health.    Integrative medicine is grounded in the definition of health. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Integrative medicine is not the same as alternative medicine, which refers to an approach to healing that is utilized in place of conventional therapies, or complementary medicine, which refers to healing modalities that are used to complement allopathic approaches. If the defining principles are applied, care can be integrative regardless of which modalities are utilized.

UCSD Center of Integrative Medicine defines this new paradigm of healthcare as  focusing on whole-person wellness by addressing your physical, as well as lifestyle, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs. They offer clinical and specialty care, group classes, education, research, and overall, an integrative, whole-person philosophy to medicine.

Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego The Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine offers the best of conventional and complementary medicine. We believe there are many paths to healing and that holistic health is a cohesive balance of mind, body and spirit. Through clinical research, patient education and the design of healing medicine programs combined with preventive health. Our experts blend evidence-based complementary and alternative therapies with conventional Western medicine in a “best of both worlds” approach to treating disease, healing and improving health.

Q: Why do you talk about IBD and IBS? Aren’t they completely separate conditions and diseases?
Yes, and No. Often, While they are both conditions of the intestinal tract, and share many common symptoms, IBS is usually characterized as a functional disease or syndrome with a diagnosis made on a cluster of symptoms in the absence of notable structural abnormalities, Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD, on the other hand, does differ in that it is a collection of disorders.  Integrative Medicine Doctor’s treat the symptoms of disease rather than the condition itself. Some say the condition or disease name is simply a marketing distinction for pharmaceutical companies. We’re not saying pharmaceutical companies are bad, simply that Conventional medicine may recomend pharmaceutical medicine too often, and too soon. IBD and IBS both can include the following symptoms:
     Frequent and/or urgent bowel movements, diarrhea, constipation, Abdominal pain and cramping, Bloody stools, fatigue, bloating, gas, mucus in stool, malnutrition, osteoporosis, ulcers, anemia.

Q: I was just diagnosed, what should I do?
Download the One Great Gut RX free eBook.

Q: I am a Doctor or Health Provider and want to talk to about being involved as an Endorsed Doctor or on the Advisory Board
A: Contact us for more information

Q: My Doctor told me diet doesn’t matter, what should I do?
A: Consider seeking a second opinion, especially if you personally believe diet does matter. It’s important to match your beliefs and value with those of your medical provider.

Q: My Doctor told me probiotics don’t matter, what should I do?
A: Consider seeking a second opinion, especially if you personally believe probiotics do matter. It’s important to match your beliefs and value with those of your medical provider. s

Q: I don’t like my Doctor, what should I do?
A: Ask yourself why. Is it because of the front desk, the waiting time,  belief differences in treatment and diagnostics? First we’d recomend speaking to your doctor about your disagreement. Doctor’s are often healthcare providers first, and business owners owners second. They may not be aware of the problems you are experiencing. Another option is to find a doctor you do like. We’ve found that healing is more probable and likely the more you love your healthcare provider, and the more you love yourself.  If you live in a rural area, know that doctor appointments over telemedicine are private, safe and effective, allowing Integrative physicians to work one on one with you from the comfort of your own home.

Q: How do I find a good doctor?
A: We wish there were an easy way to go about finding a new physician, but the truth is, you’ll have to do some homework if you’re starting from scratch. If you already have a primary care doctor, he or she can always refer you to specialists if you need, say, a naturopath, dermatologist or gastroenterologist. But we don’t have any data that rates physicians in the same way that we rate hospitals. And while information is available to hospitals on physicians who have been fired from other hospitals, patients have no access to that database. Reportedly, Medicare is putting together information on physician quality, but at this writing in 2014, it isn’t available to the public.

In general, it is best to go about your search for a new doctor and establish a relationship when you have no urgent need for care, so that if and when you do feel sick, you’ll be able to get an appointment.

It also may be worth “Googling” The doctor’s name and seeing what other patients have to say about their bedside manners, their treatment protocols, and the office’s courtesy and efficiency. Yelp, Google Places, Facebook are becoming popular places where patients report bad, and good experiences with their doctors.

None of the research you do while trying to find a new doctor will tell you whether or not you’re a good match. You should feel comfortable with your new doctor, not rushed or left with the feeling that he or she is uncaring.

While we’re on the subject, refer to our Endorsed Doctor Directory. They’re listed by medical specialty and by location in the United States and abroad.

Q: Why One Great Gut?
A: One Great Gut was formed out of our frustration with Allopathic and Conventional Medicine. Patients sometimes fatally succumb to the side effects of listening to the wrong doctor. While pharmaceutical drugs and surgery have saved millions of lives, Western medicine has failed at treating Chronic Disease, IBD or IBS as evident by the global epidemic plaguing Western and Eastern nations. 1 in 2 American’s have at least one Chronic Disease. 3M American’s have IBD, increasing 12% each year.  80M American’s have IBS. Read additional surprising shocking Gut Health facts here.  One Great Gut, through Integrative Medicine, is making a significant impact at reversing these trends.

Q: What is a For Benefit Corporation?
A: A Benefit Corporation is a B-Corp. In the United States, a benefit corporation is a type of for-profit corporate entity, authorized by 30 U.S. states and the District of Columbia that includes positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals. In the United States, directors of for-profit companies are required to act solely for the ultimate purpose of maximizing the financial returns to shareholders.

While corporations generally have the ability to engage in any legal activities, including those that are socially responsible, corporate decision-making must be justified in terms of creating shareholder value. Mission driven and other socially conscious businesses, impact investors and social entrepreneurs are constrained by this inflexible legal framework that does not accommodate for-profit entities whose mission and impact is central to their business model.

Benefit corporations expand the obligations of boards, requiring them to consider environmental and social factors, as well as the financial interests of shareholders. This gives directors and officers the legal protection to pursue a mission and consider the impact their business has on society and the environment.

Q: Why is One Great Gut not incorporated as a 501c3 Not For Profit?
A: Nonprofits typically have a socially conscious, humanity benefiting Mission. However, due to lack of transparency, or a governing board to enforce the Mission, countless non profits have been poorly rated or found to misappropriate funds, resulting in losing donor donations and philanthropic grants. Incorporating as a Benefit Corporation has created challenges accepting tax deductible donations. We have a fiscal sponsor which will allow your donations to be 100% tax deductible, and earmarked for specific research that is important to you.  Contact us for more information

Q: I believe in your Mission and want you to succeed. How can I donate to One Great Gut, and is my donation tax-deductible?
A: First, thank you for wishing to donate to our Mission. We feel the number of patients healed, and the advancement of scientific research outline on our Research page will increase with greater efficiency through public support.  A Cure for IBD Can’t Wait. Yes, your donation is tax-deductible and can be anonymous. Contact us for more information.

Q: Does surgery cure Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease?
A: In short, no. Surgery can improve the quality of your life but it does not cure Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease. Surgery is a treatment,  like medicine, supplements, diet and stress relief techniques are treatments. Some people respond better than others to each treatment. Sometimes there are serious complications to surgery, sometimes there are not. Unfortunately we hear of many cases where surgery is offered too soon in the treatment of a patient’s IBS and IBD. The decision to opt for surgery is a choice and irreversible. Surgery affects digestion, absorption, your immune and nutrient uptake. We recommend exhausting all Integrative Medicine options before opting for surgery.

Q: Is Medical Marijuana helpful when treating IBD or IBS?
A: Yes.

One Great Gut believes medical marijuana can be an important tool in mitigating symptoms and avoiding the unnecessary need for additional drugs or irreversible surgery. As of December 2016 there are currently 28 states and the District of Columbia who acknowledge the efficacy of Medical Marijuana and have legalized it’s usage. Medical Marijuana has been legal in some states for over a decade. As with any digestible substance, quality, taste and safety matter. Organic, chemical-free with minimal environmental impact is preferred

Former US Surgeon General M. Joycelyn Elders(appointed by President Bill Clinton) said:

” The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.”

Dr. Rachna Patel M.D., a Medical Marijuana expert practicing out of Walnut Creek CA states:

In the time that I’ve been practising as a medical marijuana doctor (since 2012), patients with both Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) have reported back that medical marijuana helps them in several ways.

1. It helps to significantly reduce the excruciating abdominal pain, especially that associated with bowel movements, they suffer from.

2. It helps to improve their appetite.

3. It also helps to alleviate any nausea and vomiting they experience.

Most importantly, in better managing their symptoms, it helps to improve the quality of their lives. I’ve had patients report that they are able to engage in activities like going to the movies and to carnivals without having to map out an exact plan of action to run to the nearest bathroom.

I’ve found that when used safely, in terms of combination of cannabinoids, dosing, and frequency, the side effects of medical marijuana can completely be avoided.

and Dr. Phillip Blair M.D. , Senior Medical Director at Elixinol states:

IBD and IBS are part of a spectrum of intestinal disorders manifested by disturbances in multiple body systems including immune, endocrine, nerve and endocannabinoid. The causes are not clear and conventional treatment unsatisfactory. In contrast, cannabinoids are safe and effective without significant adverse effects. Both THC and CBD products address pain & inflammation. In addition, CBD has specifically been shown to modulate immune cells, muscular contractions, permeability, vascular flow and microbiome populations as well as block TNF cytokines the same as highly expensive injectable biopharmaceuticals. Cannabinoids, however, offer a holistic approach by aiding multiple body systems simultaneously.

In a study published in the August 2005 issue of the journal Gastroenterology, researchers at the University of Bath determined that cannabinoids activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the gut lining, promoting healing in the inflamed lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

Additionally ProjectCBD.org lists more than 20 studies that indicate positive treatment for IBD and IBS, and ProCon.org lists quotes from 50+ researcehrs, docrtors and professiors who find agree that marijuana should be a medical option.

Procon.org has researched the number of deaths due to medical marijana and FDA-approved drugs per the 2005  Adverse Event Reporting System(AERS). They found 0 primary suspect deaths to marijuana, compared to 10,008 from 17 FDA-approved drugs. For secondary contributing to death they found 279 for marijuana compared to 11,687 for the same 17 FDA-approved drugs. This is aother reason why One Great Gut advocates for the legalization , usage and education of medical marijuana for IBD and IBS patients.

Q: Does Diet matter?
Yes. There are a number of scientifically proven changes to your diet that will help. Some say that there is no evidence that diet caused or contributed to IBD or IBS. The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that healthcare providers recommend several types of specific diet plans for helping to control Crohn’s symptoms. Additionally they state: Eating, diet, and nutrition can play a role in causing, preventing, and treating some of the diseases and disorders of the digestive system that are affected by smoking, including heartburn and GERD, liver diseases, Crohn’s disease, colon polyps, pancreatitis, and gallstones.

One Great Gut believes diet can significantly matter and can and has contributed to the disease. It’s difficult to scientifically prove this as it would be unethical to ask humans to participate in research that may result in disease. Additionally we believe there are diet’s that specifically help with CD and UC. We believe that depending on the individual, their biochemistry and microbiome certain foods are helpful to avoid, sometimes for a short period of time, sometimes for longer.

Many factor determine which food choices  are suitable for the individual ,there have been numerous studies indicating that food choices show clinical and mucosal improvement, reversing debilitating symptoms sometimes quickly. For example: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2014 Clinical and mucosal improvement with specific carbohydrate diet in pediatric Crohn disease.

While causation, prevention and treatment are three different factors anecdotal evidence indicate that dietary choices can contribute and cause disease.  “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore – Founder of The Hippocrates Health Institute

Q: Is IBD or IBS really curable?
A: There are a wide range of options for an IBD or IBS pateints. From flare-up to remission, to clinical mucosal healing, there are a number of possibilities to describe the current state of your gut health. Would 10 years medicine free mean you are cured? How about 15 , 20, or 30? Would being medicine, flare and symptom free mean you are cured? Would being on medicine and without symptoms mean your cured? These are all great questions we are seeking answers to. There are numerous cases of pateints claiming they are cured due to an Integrative Medicine treatments. The six IBD Heroes listed in the One Great Gut RX are anecdotal evidence as are the additional interviews shortly to be released in One Great Gut Academy

Q: What is Cure IBD Foundation?
A:Joel Sprechman founded Cure IBD Foundation in 2014 after getting clear that his purpose was to educate, empower, influence and impact the Global Gut Health epidemic. While Joel was sick at this time and should have been on disability, he tapped deep into his retirement savings and pro-bono provided education and support to patients and practitioners worldwide. In 2016 Cure IBD Foundation was dissolved and One Great Gut was formed.

Q: How can I help?
A:First, thank you for asking. One Great Gut would not be possible if not for you, the One Great Gut community.  One Great Gut was founded on August 16, 2016 as a dream by Joel Sprechman with sweat equity backing from world renowned medical Doctors, Naturopathic Physicians,  and Scientists. We believe in giving you, the community what you need. The One Great Gut Community is comprised of Integrative Medicine providers, Gut Sufferers, Gut Thrivers, IBD Heros and OGG Ambassadors. Essentially, if it’s about Gut Health, the microbiome, or digestion, we want to hear from you. Many patients have found success and healing through our resources, and for One Great Gut to grow we need tour help. Tell us what you would love to see. Tell us what you need. Tell us where you need help.  We are rapidly growing and have a few open  positions. If you would like to offer assistance in a way that is not listed, please contact us with your request.

Q: How is Joel doing today?
A: As of 12-23-2016, Joel reports he is feeling the healthiest he has felt in his entire life. You can read more about his personal health journey here. He has not needed IBD or Ulcerative Colitis medication since mid-2015, and is 5+ years flare-free. Under the care of Dr Peterson, Dr. Harris and Dr. Sandison he is thriving. He recently underwent two almost 60 days of Doxycycline to treat chronic prostatitis and prediagnosis, preclinical pre-stage 0 prostate cancer, and even with the bad and good microbiome killing effects of Doxy, his health did not suffer a blip. He occasionally takes Sumatriptan for headaches. As a matter of fact his gut and healing is doing so well he was able to enjoy a recent trip to Mexico where he enjoyed street tacos without any problems the next day, or week.

Q: Can I live without Medications?
A: Yes, it is possible. Everybody is different, we’ve noticed that due to our bio-individuality, there is no one solution for all. There are countless examples of those diagnosed with chronic diseases, including Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease and IBS who have fully reversed their symptoms and live medicine and pain free. Each patient takes a unique path due to our differing biochemistry, mindset, genetics, love, and support. In each patient who is medicine free, and has shared their story to our blog, the path was unique, and each had tremendous obstacles to overcome. We recommend checking with your Doctor before making any drastic decisions, and finding a Doctor that is a good match for you. You should feel comfortable with your Doctor, not rushed, or with the feeling that they are uncaring. Seek a second, or third opinion if the first doesn’t satisfy all of your families questions. If you’re not sure which Doctor to see, check out our Endorsed Doctor Directory.

Former FDA Consultant, Dr. George Grant’s thoughts about if life without Medication is possible