What is the first thing you do when you first wake up?
If it’s not getting outside for some sunshine, consider changing that tomorrow morning.
Back in the day, the newspaper was delivered by the paperboy, maybe you remember the Atari Game image below. I LOVED this game, though it did keep me indoors more than I probably needed.
The newspaper on your front porch, sidewalk and hopefully not thrown through your living room window like I sometimes did in the game forced you to get up, go outside first thing in the morning.
I don’t know anyone who still has a newspaper delivered, but I still make it a point to go outside for a couple of minutes in the morning.
(Correction: I’ve since learned that my childhood best friend Eric Fields gets the NYT delivered)
AM Sunlight is especially important if you spent most of your day indoors
If you’re a geek like me you’re familiar with the relationship between circadian rhythm and health.
If you’re a super nerd like me you’ve read the study in PubMed titled
“Sleep disturbances and inflammatory bowel disease: a potential trigger for disease flare?” published in Expert Review of Clinical Immunology
This study is from 2011, and I wonder if your Doctor has made you aware of the importance of circadian rhythm. Have they?
Please comment below.
Pressed for time? Comment with your favorite emoji 🙂
Disruption of circadian rhythm leads to sleep disruption, so does increased gut inflammation, increasing proinflammatory cytokines, increased intestinal permeability.
In plain English, sleep disruption is bad for your gut, brain, healthspan, and lifespan.
Many factors, of course, I will cover this more soon
For now, just know that something as simple as getting up in the morning and getting sunlight in your eyes and on your skin makes a huge difference that adds up over time – health hacking and stacking to save you time.
Health hacking and stacking can literally bend time.
Living with Crohn’s, Colitis or any autoimmune experience, you’re probably sometimes stressed on what to do when and with whom. Treatments, Doctors, Friends, Health practitioners, protocols. It’s a lot!
Slow down, listen, breathe into the little voice inside. It’s whispering to you on what to do next.
Combine that with health stacking and hacking, and you are literally bending time so you can sleep better at night.
Wake up, get your light meds so you can modify your circadian clock
We call this chronotherapeutics, which is a medical treatment administered according to a schedule that corresponds to a person’s daily, monthly, seasonal, or yearly biological clock, in order to maximize the health benefits and minimize adverse effects.
Yes, sunlight is a medical treatment. 100% free
Add this to your daily ritual and start feeling the benefits.
I was eleven years old when Tina Turner released her album Private Dancer featuring the single What’s Love Got To Do With It that rose to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In 2012 the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame, in addition to claiming a prize at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1985 for Best Female Video. What’s Love Got To Do with It also rose to #1 in Australia and Canada, #2 in South Africa, #3 in New Zealand and the UK plus top 10 in Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. You could say a large portion of the world has been trying to figure out what love has to do with it for a long time. You may be wondering, what does love have to do with gut health, Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD), Crohn’s and Colitis Based on my experience Love has everythingto do with health Physical, mental and emotional health all thrive when love is present and fail quickly when love is absent In 2014, New York Times best-selling author Sarah Wilson wrote this controversial article titled “Could female self-hatred be the real cause of autoimmune disease?.
The article has gotten 6,000 shares while she received a barrage of criticism However, today many Medical Doctors agree that Autoimmune disease can often be disguised as anger turned inward.
I first heard this from Dr. Vincent Pedre MD during our interview for The Crohn’s And Colitis Summit. Dr. Pedre is the author of Happy Gut , clinical instructor in medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and an Institue For Functional Medicine educator.
Hearing this for the first time was like remembering something I always felt to be true but had never put it into words.
Having Crohn’s or Colitis can feel like you’re living in a body that has failed you.
I use to be extremely angry at my body. At my colon. At my gut-wrenching pain. The angrier I got, the more the pain increased.
The angrier I got the quicker I’d sprint to the bathroom.
The angrier I got more time I’d spent on the toilet.
I believe anger turned inward could easily escalate or be felt like hatred. When there is hate, it is pretty much impossible to embody and have love. I believe that love is the most powerful medicine.
When love is present, I mean deep present everything else seems almost meaningless. Struggles and challenges are handled easier, life itself is easier. Love is a catalyst for success and happiness.
Take the same job, responsibilities, pay, and colleagues. Person A loves the job and person B hates it, which do you think is happier both at work and at home?
What is Deep Love? Well, it’s something I hope you’ve experienced with your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner or lover. The Love Bubble as I believe I learned from Darren “DJ” Fuji, my first self-development instructor.
Darren was also a United States Marine Corps Sergeant and a black belt with over a decade of martial arts training. The Love Bubble can be created in an instant. Such as during Love At First Sight, or more realistically, love at first connection and conversation. With Love, all of life’s challenges are easier to tackle
Here are two-personal examples
Example Number One:
I once had a killer headache. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was easily a twenty-four. I chose to sit still and visualize my interpretation of love.
I sent love to my headache in the strongest way I knew how. I took no drugs, no mediations, took no other prophylactics. No Sumatriptan No Imitrex No Panadeine Forte No Tylenol, Aceptamohin, Excederfd, Motrin or Advil (All of which are bad news for your gut) It was just me and this thing called love Surprisingly, the headache started to dissipate. The throbbing and pulsating on the right side of my head slowed down, the pain dropped from 24 to 22, to 18 and in just a few minutes it was below 5.
Simply by projecting my version of love onto this physical thing called a painful headache, I almost made it go away entirely.
Example Number Two: On November 11, 2017 I posted this on Facebook. I was driving home to Del Mar California from a friend’s birthday party when out of the blue my stomach started to hurt. Maybe it was my colon. I was then coming out of an IBD Ulcerative Colitis flare and chose to fast at the party just to be safe. Yet here I was experiencing a stomach ache for seemingly no apparent reason! I decided to try and use the power of my mind to help. While I was driving I imagined I was in a marathon and everyone was cheering me on to win. Every car I passed on the road were my cheerleaders Wanting me to heal To feel better When I exited Interstate 5 and drove on the local roads near my home I imagined all my neighbors, most whom I’d never met, were now my friends. I imagined they were outside their homes , on their balconies, driveways and hanging outside of their windows cheering me on to win this battle with IBD. I imagined them loving the shit out of me just because I was in pain. Within just a few minutes all my pain went away.
Tina Turner asked what’s love got to do with it.
My answer is everything! In Hinduism Bhakti literally means participation, fondness for LOVE In just a few weeks Bhakti Fest returns to Southern California From September 25 to September 30th, 2019 people will drive and fly in from around the world to celebrate this 11th year of Bhakti Fest. The festival provides a drug and alcohol-free environment to experience educational workshops from the leaders in the field of personal growth, yoga classes from the best teachers in the world, dancing from world-renowned artists, including Kirtan music.,
Kirtan means narrating or reciting the idea or story. I learned kirtan during my yoga and meditation teacher training at Pilgrimage Of The Heart Yoga. Kirtan has opened and touched my heart deeply, especially during the darkest of times. Dark times including being in pain on the toilet, crying in pain at the hospital, or feeling the pain after the end of a loving relationship. Kirtan is healing. Kirtan is LOVE. You see, I grew up in a Jewish household, born to parents who survived the terrible Holocaust Concentration Camps. However I eventually became Agnostic and for two decades I pushed away my roots, increasing internal anger, hatred and self-loathing – disconnecting me from my ancestors. I had very good “reasons” to hate Judaism however I did so at the expense of my soul, mental, emotional and physical health.
Rabbi Andrew Hahn, Ph.D, better known as Kirtan Rabbi integrated and connected my Jewish Roots and my new found love for spirituality since becoming a yoga teacher. Just from chanting a few of his songs, his rendition of ancient Jewish hymns he saved me thousands of dollars in therapy, medical interventions and grounded me back to my roots – under my terms, with love as the foundation. Hymns entitled Havayah, Salaam(Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu), Shema and Kaddish transported me back to the days where I was forced to regularly attend Shaarey Tfiloh Congregation in Spring Valley New York. The place where my parents could have written their own “Jewish Book Of Why” due to the number of questions I asked, as I tried to make sense of Judaism and how I fit in because I felt like an outsider. Shaarey Tfiloh, the place I attended years of Sunday Hebrew School. The place I performed my Bar Mitzvah and recited the Haftarah which is a passage a short reading from the Hebrew Bible, which follows the reading from the Torah on Saturday, or the Sabbath. I didn’t do it for myself, I did it because I was told to. I did it because my father told me to. I did it to make him proud. Mission accomplished. I think my Bar Mitzvah was one of the proudest moments in his short life. We didn’t know it at the time but he would pass away just eight years later just one month after I graduated as an Engineer from SUNY Buffalo. In choosing to attempt to give Love to my Father, I further disconnected from myself and built-up an internal fire of self-hatred. As did my confusion and anger towards my parents, shame for my Jewish upbringing, and embarrassment of being associated with the Jewish lineage simply because of a few misunderstandings.
Perhaps saddest of all is that the love I thought I was giving my dad wasn’t truly helping him. The deepest felt love comes from the inside, not from the outside. It’s self-generated, not given by someone else.
With Dad looking down from heaven, it was time for me to heal. It was the music of Kirtan Rabbi who started to repair this seemingly irreparable damage. During my first hospitalization in 2017, I needed a Blood Transfusion. Surprisingly I told the nurses that I needed to have a Rabbi present to bless the blood before we moved forward. I found Rabbi Moishe Leider from Chabad Center University City to be the closest and he was generous enough with his time to arrive within minutes of the needed window.
Rabbi Moishe Leider also visited me during my second hospitalization at UCSD Thorton in La Jolla CA.
I am eternally grateful for Rabbi Moishe Leider and Kirtan Rabbi for shifting my perception, unraveling stories that no longer serve my goals, and allowing me to be proud of my Jewish heritage.
I believe Kiran music, and the deep love inherent in the frequencies, voices, energy, and heart of the Bhakti movement is what has played a big role in keeping me surgery-free from Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. Which statistically is impressive considering 70% of those with Crohn’s need surgery, 50% of those with Ulcerative Colitis need surgery, and though I’m not a woman, this statistic is most shocking: Fertility rates of women with UC post-surgery is one-third that of normal. Can Love reduce the need for surgery?
Can Bhakti Festival reduce the need for initial or subsequent surgeries?
I believe the answer is yes, hopefully, scientific researchers can find a way to create a study to test this theory. If you have an idea on how to make this happen, please let the One Great Gut Foundation know and we will get back to you asap.
Until then, join me at Bhakti Festival and experience the love yourself!
In just a few days you’ll reset your nervous system that will keep you flying high, naturally, for a long time afterward. Bhakti Festival also attracts the best yoga teachers from around the globe. Yoga and Gut Health go hand in hand like Toilets and Squatty Potties. Hand in hand like sleep and productivity, hand in hand like constipation and feeling bloated. One of the researchers we at the One Great Gut Foundation support is Dr. Christine Peterson Ph.D. from The Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA, United States. In 2017 her teams’ publication in “Frontiers In Human Neuroscience” showed that Yoga and Meditation improved mind-body health, stress resilience as well as positively impacting immunological markers of stress and inflammation. Though obvious to many it is worth mentioning that Yoga is not a religion
Yoga is secular and can support any and all religions. For example, ChristiansPracitincYoga.com study at the intersection of yoga philosophy and Christian theology. They are Christians from a broad range of traditions: Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox, Presbyterian, United Church, Church of the Savior and a variety of Free Church traditions. The breadth of their network reveals a truth: Christians connect instinctively with an embodied spiritual practice that inclines toward deeper prayer. Will you join me at Bhakti Fest?
The food is delicious and healthy and surprisingly out of this world considering it is 100% vegetarian. For a few days, my body forgets how much it enjoys meat.
The last two Bhakti Festivals we attended were in 2016 when I wrote this preview, and Joe Brachocki wrote this post-event writeup for One Great Gut.
In 2017, immediately after my TEDx talk, which created a mess for my microbiome, I left the event and returned to homeostasis at Shakti Fest which is Bhakti’s sister festival in the spring.
All three times my gut felt great in that environment, eating delicious food and connecting with amazing humans. Correction: TEDx did not create a mess for my microbiome. It was my perfection of the event, my mind that created the mess. I’ve learned a lot in the past two years to hopefully avoid that again – forever. For 2019, if you’re in the know, you’ll smile reading this year’s lineup. If you’re not, trust me, these are the Grammy and Emmy award winners of the “Human consciousness and heart-centered revolution” movement. Here’s who I am most excited to see: Krishna Das who has played at the Grammys.
Radhanath Swami (born Richard Slavin in Chicago Illinois), who after losing his close friend just 3 years after his bar mitzvah wound up becoming a monk and spiritual activist for the past 50 years.
MC Yogi who with his wife Amanda (also known as 10,000 Buddhas) were named ambassadors by Michelle Obama for her “Let’s Move” initiative and have taught yoga at the White House four times since. Additionally, they have performed and taught yoga at Stanford University, The Smithsonian, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, and Dallas Asian Art Museum.
Poranguí from Brazil who infuses his cross-cultural background and ethnomusicology training at Duke University. His World Soul concerts have been hosted by Lightning in a Bottle, The Chopra Institute, TEDx, SXSW, and many more. Poranguí recently worked with director Mitch Schultz (“DMT: The Spirit Molecule”) and executive producer, Aubrey Marcus on “Ayahuasca”, a documentary set in the Amazon.
My interest in Ayahuasca began when I interviewed Roman Hanis for The Crohn’s And Colitis Summit. Roman cured his Crohn’s with the help of the Ayahuasca plant affectionately known as Grandmother, and my interest in DMT began with my own personal experience at a hospital in Mexico and the more recent Johns Hopkins study linking it and anxiety and depression reduction. Something I have experienced both of, as probably all humans have at one time or another. Girish who I was just introduced to this year by Virginia Rodriguez. Virginia is one of the visionary founders of the One Great Gut Foundation, along with myself, Dr. Inna Lukyanovsky, Tina Gehres, Alisa Rowland and Brad Brinkman. Virginia is currently Publisher at E.P.I.C. Empowering People, Inspiring Community Message as well as President and Co-Founder of independent conscious music record label Girish Music. I regularly play Girish at home while I am working to ground and realign me with my center, my truth, who I truly am on the inside. Sometimes work gets challenging and I hit speed bumps however Girish’s music has the power to shift that for me almost instantly. Girish’s six albums have has been recommended by O, The Oprah Magazine, Yoga Journal, and The Guardian.
How I met Chad is a book worthy story itself.
In 2013 the FDA changed the rules around FMT(Fecal Microbiota Transplant) in the United States, and though I was already speaking to a few Doctors in the United States who were performing them on the regular, with great success, for those with IBD Crohn’s Colitis, I was then too sick, brain fogged, confused and scared to make a decision quickly, so I traveled 7,508 miles to Australia to experience FMT at the Centre for Digestive Diseases(CDD) located in Great Lock just outside Sydney.
I was under the care of Dr. Antony Wettstein working under the luminary Prof. Thomas Borody. The whole experience “only” cost me more than $13,000 USD because I was able to stay with friends and family. Kel and Mil Paljusic, Danny Weininger and Sue Blakeley were nice enough to allow me to stay with them during this difficult time in my health. After Kel and Mil’s wedding, and the poop transplants, I wanted to explore Asia but was warned against third world travel country during this time. Instead, I rented a car, found kangaroos and koala bears while driving up to Byron Bay where my cousin Danny met me and we caught up over two decades of lost time.
One Sunny afternoon In Byron we were having lunch with a new friend Mark Lee while planning my first day of surfing. I was introduced to Mark when I asked American friends who should I meet in Australia. While sitting at the cafe Mark was speaking about his good friend Chad who he plays music with when “randomly” Chad walks up to put flyers in the window promoting his upcoming show. Then in 2015, Chad toured the US and we hosted him at our home for an outdoor backyard concert. He became a regular hit at our backyard concerts and today Chad’s music is a regular in my household, especially his songs Give Thanks, No Judgement, The Power of Love, I Am A Child and The Spirit Of Peace.
Another time Chad once played live during a sacred ceremony I attended. I found tears unconsciously strolling down my cheeks as I realized how much his music speaks to my soul, speaks to the anger inside. His music puts out the inflammation fire inside my gut every time.
Saul David Raye who I first learned of at Wanderlust Tahoe Yoga Festival in 2011. Saul’s album 10,000 Suns: Music for Healing, Peace & Awakening is medicine. Saul is also a co-founder of Shanti House LA, a nonprofit providing food and healing services in Los Angeles
Aside from these artists, Bhakti Fest producer Sridhar Silberfein is bringing to you Mike Love, Dharma Mittra, Fannah Fi Allah, Sianna Sherman, Mas Vidal, Govind Das & Radha, Dawn Cartwright, Ram Das (via video),,, The Butter Thieves, Prema Hara, Raka Bandyo, Husband and wife, Rob and Melissa, Benjy and Heather Wertheimer as Shantala, Sita Devi, Samuel J, Michael Hathaway, Mike Cohen & The Shakti Groove, Fantuzzi, Madhu Das, Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe, Krishna’s Kirtan, Ananda Devi & Shiva Das, Kirtaniyas, Kavita Kat Macmillan, Kamini Natarajan, Jacob Duran(Kalakar), Jim Beckwith, Jens Jarvie, The Hanuman Project, Gina Salá, Joss Jaffe, Kamini Natarajan, Mikey Pauker, Na Yoon Kim, Georgina Meister, AIReal Yoga™ with Carmen Curtis, Dr. Haridass Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D. Many of these artists are also yoga teachers and will be bringing to you their best teachings, sequences, and learnings. Yoga will also be led by John Smrtic, MC YOGI, Sri Dharma Mittra, Sianna Sherman, Jai Dev Singh, Saul David Raye, Govind Das and Radha, Mark Whitwell, Kia Miller, Dj Drez & Marti Nikko, Eoin Finn, Hemalayaa,Pandit Achala Arjuna, Oleg Flow, Johanna Beekman, Georgina Meister, AIReal Yoga™ with Carmen Curtis, Dr. Haridass Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D, Mas Vidal, Brian Campbell, Cheryl Slader, Dana Damara, Dharma Shakti, Emily Perry, Melissa Grisi, Monica Heim, Kristin Olson, HaChi, Mark Devenpeck & Newton Campbell, Leeza Villagomez and Dana Mitchell and Kayla Mulford bringing a unique SunChaser SUP (Stand Up Paddle) yoga experience.
Who are you excited for? Joel Sprechman, Maelyn Gandola, and One Great Gut Media will be there. Who else will be there? Would love to meet you!
Oh, btw. About Tina Turner, the 12 time Grammy Award winner Tina Turner know as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll from Nutbush, Tennessee. After being raised a Christian Baptist she turned to Buddhism in the 1970s when she was struggling to put an end to her abusive relationship with husband and fellow musician Ike Turner. “I feel that chanting for 35 years has opened a door inside me and that even if I never chanted again, that door would still be there,” Turner chanting the Lotus Sutra is featured on Beyond, a CD available through New Earth Records that weaves together Tibetan Buddhist and Christian prayers
Maybe we’ll get to dance with Tina Turner at Bhakti Festival.
Hope you can join me.
The organizers pride themselves on running a green event, offering free water and mindful recycling practices.
Early bird festival pricing is available for Bhakti Fest 2019, plus there are discounted tickets available for local residents, veterans, military, seniors, and students. Tickets are available at https://bhaktifest.com/bhakti-fest-tickets/.
Samantha Irby is an American comedian, author, and blogger. As an IBD patient advocate, she wrote “I’ve Been Battling Chronic Illness For Years. Why Won’t Doctors Just Believe Me?” for Elle Magazine which is an excerpt from the book Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World by Jessica Valenti and, Jaclyn Friedman. To get an idea of her style of writing, this is pulled from that article: I am in a ridiculous amount of pain (like, childbirth pain), which is typically followed by a torrent of bloody shit (and much humiliated apologizing to whomever I happen to be hanging out with at the time). Years of this gnarly in-fighting (think Capulets and Montagues, Israel and Palestine, Biggie and Tupac) have left my intestines a veritable wasteland of scar tissue. Well said Samantha, well said. Samantha created the blog bitches gotta eat, where she writes posts about her personal life and shares the ups and downs of living with Crohn’s, Colitis. Arthritis and Depression. Formerly she co-hosted the show Guts and Glory. Samanta is married to Kirsten Jennings. She’s published three books, highly acclaimed and New York Times best selling We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, also Meaty, and New Year, Same Trash: Resolutions I Absolutely Did Not Keep (A Vintage Short). During one of her cross-country tours, she proudly shit in every airport from Boston Logan International Airport to LAX Los Angeles International. In March 2020 she will be releasing Wow, No Thank You.: Essays.
Paddy Cunningham is a Gaelic footballer from County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He went to college at University of Ulster’s Jordanstown and rose to become Antrim’s football captain. Paddy announced his battle with Crohn’s in 2011, two years after captaining Antrim to their first Ulster final in 39 years. “The way I have addressed it my whole life is to be as positive as possible. I think that has worked for me by and large so far. He states, “I don’t like to dwell on things or feel sorry for myself. I don’t think it has done me any harm. It’s about staying as positive as possible. I am very lucky, I have Claire and the kids, they give me massive support as well. So I keep going.
Laina Marshall is the wife of an American politician and physician Dr. Roger Marshall, Congressman for Kansas’ Big 1st District. As of 2020 Laina and Roger have been married for 36 years, are the parents of four children, and have two grandchildren. Laina was diagnosed with Crohn’s when she was pregnant with their second child.
Jack Leach is an English Cricketer born in Taunton England. He graduated from Somerset County Cricket Club Academy and represented Dorset County Cricket Club in the Minor Counties Cricket Championship. At the age of 14, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and he continues to play internationally around the world. In 2020 fell ill on tour. His England coach Chris Silverwood said: “Jack is a great lad to have around the squad and his infectious personality will be missed. However, his focus has to be getting himself better and receiving the optimum levels of recovery and treatment, which is best served back in England. I have no doubt that he will return to full fitness in the medium-term and hopefully in time for our tour of Sri Lanka in March.”
Amy Dowden – Amy was the runner-up on British television dance contest show Strictly Come Dancing. She is a Welsh dancer who refused to let Crohn’s Disease hold her back. She was diagnosed at age 19 and was diagnosed for six weeks. Her symptoms started at age 11. Her show Strictly Amy: Crohns And Me and it will air on BBC One Wales in 2020.
Shannen Doherty – Hollywood Actress, Director, and Producer. At the age of 19, she was cast in the popular long-running series Beverly Hills 90210. In 2006 She Ranked #5 among 100 Greatest Teen Stars. She also starred in Charmed, the thriller Almost Dead, the comedy Mallrats (1995), and posed in Playboy magazine. For most of her life, she has been quiet about her Crohn’s Disease. She is allergic to wool, and chocolate. Her hobbies include horseback riding, playing video games, cooking, and playing the guitar. In March 2015 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a cancer warrior, published author, animal lover, and activist.
Jacinta Parsons – Jacinta is a radio presenter who was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 22. After the birth of her daughter, she realized she had to change. She resolved to stop letting fear rule, to accept her illness, and ask, “What will I do now?”. She decided to pursue her dream to get into radio and after voluntering and then paid shifts she spent two years c0-hosted the breakfast slot on ABC Radio Melbourne. She is now ABC Afternoons presenter.
Ethan Stremmel – Ethan is 8 years old and plays ice hockey, baseball, basketball and street hockey in his driveway. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2016 at the age of four. In 2019 he had surgery to have 10cm removed due to a stricture. He plays Ethan says “His stomach sometimes hurts”. According to reporters Alexis Gorenstein and Maryellen Pann, Ethan knows that he will always have to listen extra closely to his body.
Seantrel Henderson – Professional football player in the National Football Foundation playing for the Buffalo Bills was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2015. He missed the final games of last season, ended up dropping 20 pounds, was hospitalized and had two surgeries in the offseason. In 2016 Seantrel was suspended four games without pay for using Marijuana to mitigate his Crohn’s Disease symptoms.
Mary Ellen Pann – Mary Ellen is the Chief Meteorologist at a news station in York Pennsylvania. She serves York, Harrisburg, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She graduated with a Certificate of Meteorology from Mississippi State University and is a “midwest girl” originally from Dayton, Ohio. She was diagnosed in 1982 at age 17. She says sleep is very very important and being positive is key, as is listening to your body and being proactive. She loves golf, running, the gym and reading. Her favorite time of the year is the fall.
Matt Light – Diagnosed in 2004 as he was beginning his career with the New England Patriots. He went on to play for 11 seasons and win three Super Bowl championships. His symptoms originally stated when he was in college at Purdue. He tried to treat his Crohn’s Disease without drugs, and by removing offending foods, like greasy foods, but that wasn’t enough and he wound up having surgery. He also eventually opted for medicine, and retire, in-part to take care of his health in 2012 and has been on pharmaceuticals since, and ultimately believes he will get off those as well. His tip for dealing with Crohn’s Disease is to grab all the information you can. Use the Internet, use your local doctors, but really seek the people that see the patients. He advises to never settle for “This is the only way to do it, this is your only option.’’ If you’re dealing with a doctor who says, “This is the only way to go,’’ then you’re in the wrong spot. Make sure you’ve got the right team, the right people. He has undergone more than a dozen surgeries, the majority of which were Crohn’s-related. He believes positivity has helped his health.
Georgina Aurelia. Georgina is an internet celebrity and part of Netflix’s The Circle, one of the UK’s most popular reality TV series. The show mixes social media with reality TV and is considered the ultimate modern-day series with the notion of being a catfish at the center of attention. Georgina is 21 years old in 2019, is from Nottingham who now lives in London. She entered “The Circle” to spread awareness for Crohn’s. She was diagnosed in 2017 and has since needed operations including having an ileostomy stoma bag fitted. “If you have an invisible disability or if you have a bag like I did, you still have to grab life by the balls. We can live our life, we can enjoy life and Crohn’s is just not going to win or stop you having new experiences or making new friendships.” – Georgina
David Garrard – Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback was diagnosed in 2004. “One minute I was sitting in my lounge chair at home watching TV, the next minute I was doubled over. Not even Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis hitting me from the blind side hurt that bad. For a few minutes, I could hardly breathe. Finally, the pain went away.” I’d just sat up again when it came back, worse than before. I was sweating and shivering at the same time. “Mary, come here,” I called to my wife. “I feel like my stomach’s about to explode.” She had to help me up from the chair. The next 24 hours, the pain came and went in waves. Then it stopped. Some kind of nasty bug, I figured and put it out of my mind. David retired from the NFL in 2004, the same year he was diagnosed. He ended up having surgery to remove a section of his diseased intestines. He founded the David Garrard Foundation, promoting Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Breast Cancer Awareness, education, research, and support. The foundation also promotes healthy lifestyles for kids. David says, “Remain strong. I’ve been able to become symptom-free. So I know if I could do it, you can do it”
Samantha Faiers – Samantha, diagnosed at age 23 Star of UK’s Celebrity Big Brother in January. Prior to her diagnoses, she said was quoted as saying “My immune system is down so I’m picking up every bug going. My bowels are swollen and so are my intestines. “I just couldn’t keep my food down. It was horrible. I lost all the muscle definition in my stomach.”
Taryn Mackenzie Williams – Taryn is managing director for Center For American Progress and a writer for Talk Poverty. Taryn has lived with IBD for 34 years. Her most recent article was “Eugene Scalia Ruled It’s Ok to Make Disabled Workers Soil Themselves on the Job“. Taryn who is part of the AUCD – Association Of University Centers On Disabilities. In 2014 she was also Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement. From 2017 to 2019 she was Supervisory Policy Advisor, Youth Policy Team for the US Department of Labor. She’s a graduate of Harvard and Brown University.
Larry Donnell Nance Jr. – Larry, the now Los Angeles Lakers forward was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 16 a sophomore in High School. Prior to his diagnoses, he was sick, undersized and constantly fatigued. He had no desire to play basketball because he was in pain and even getting off the couch was exhausting. For a long time, Nance
Jr. wondered what was wrong with him. He was bleeding internally. He couldn’t eat. His gut felt like a scientist had drugged him, laced a long stretch of barbed wire through his large intestine and was steadily dragging it forward. He couldn’t go anywhere because he needed constant access to the bathroom. He had lost 40 pounds. He didn’t know what was wrong, and — seeing the sheer volume of blood he was losing — he was terrified to find out what was happening. A day after starting Remicade, the bleeding — which had been happening for several weeks — stopped. Two days later, the pain was gone. Three days later, he was released from the hospital. A week later, he was nearly back to normal. Not everyone responds to Remicade, but thankfully Nance Jr. did, and quickly.
Anastacia -Singer and songwriter who was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 13. At age 34 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the heart condition supraventricular tachycardia at age 39. In 2013 she announced she had undergone Double Mastectomy and is cancer free. She is the second woman to be presented with the humanitarian award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2013
Mary Ann Mobley – Mary Ann Mobley was a beauty queen and crowned Miss America in 1959. She would go on to become an actor and would star in TV shows throughout the ’60s and ’70s. She even shared screen time with Elvis Presley. Although she eventually was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at 72 and eventually died at 77, she lived a long life with chrons disease. “When I broke my arm in a fall, I got a lot of sympathies, but when you live with pain and you can’t will yourself to get up out of bed because you are so anemic and feel so miserable, that is viewed as goldbricking. When you look fairly normal, it is very hard to explain to your college professor that you are not just cutting classes.”
John F. Kennedy – past president – severe Diarrhea – UC or IBS – John had been experiencing abdominal pain at the age of 13 in 1930. Four years later he would be diagnosed with colitis. In 1940, just six years later, his back started to hurt and another four years later, 1944, he had his first back operation and was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. He would require two more back surgeries in 54 an 55 but they both failed. He was in constant pain and required chronic pain medication from 1955, through his presidency, until his death. When he had taken office as president he was taking up to 12 medications a day and getting injected in the back six times a day with Novocain and procaine just to allow him to show up. Never the less the handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the establishment of the Peace Corps, developments in the Space Race, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Trade Expansion Act to lower tariffs, and the Civil Rights Movement all took place during his presidency and we still know of his actions 50 years later. His life is a testament that we can get through anything and still come out victorious and have a positive impact on the world.
Cynthia McFadden is an American television journalist who is currently the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News. She has interviewed Tony Blair, President George W. Bush, the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf and Hollywood hunk George Clooney. She had been experiencing pain throughout her high school years but after experiencing some extreme pain in college she visited the doctors to learn that she had Crohn’s disease. Throughout college, McFadden’s doctors tried to manage her illness with “massive doses” of cortisone. In 1979 she had 15 feet of intestine removed and is now a CCFA advocate. Today she is still achieving her dreams of interviewing the worlds most interesting people, all while maintaining a positive outlook and caring for a young son, “This is part of me, but it doesn’t define me. And accepting that I have Crohn’s, but it doesn’t run my life, is how I cope with having it.”
Mike McCready is Pearl Jams lead guitarist and has been living with Crohn’s for 25 years now but is still a rock star. He first started experiencing pain when he was 21 and soon after came the blood and mucus that followed for months. He took periodic medications that seemed to help and eventually used Remicade for years until his body developed antibodies to it. Throughout his music career, he endured his disease and found solace in his bandmates that were very receptive to his needs. He is a serious rockstar! Mike says, “When you feel better, try to exercise. Try to figure out what you are eating that may be setting this off. Try to look at the medications that are out there, the diets. Try to look for different things in your life and go inwardly and figure out what works for you. People have to realize that this is not a death sentence. You can learn things from this… there is a positive solution to this, and it has to come from within, from each individual patient.” Today Mike still lives with his disease but finds strength in positivity.
Marvin Pierce Bush – The youngest son of former President George H.W. and the former First Lady Barbara Bush, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1985.
Rolf Bernischke: Drafted by the NFL in 1977 Bernischke went on to become a place-kicker for the San Diego Chargers. But at age 23, a little known intestinal illness would change the course of his life. “I came down with what was originally diagnosed as Crohn’s disease.” Later found out Ulcerative Colitis.
Ali Carter -Professional Snooker player. Ali was born in 1979 and diagnosed width Crohn’s at age 24. He has partly controlled this IBD by limiting dairy, wheat, and gluten. He won the Welsh Open, Shangai Masters, German Masters, and World open among numerous other championships.
Sarah Machemer – Sarah is a personal trainer and wellness coach who battled her way back from Crohn’s after her diagnosis in 2002. Within six months of diagnosis, she needed a blood transfusion and reconstructive surgery. After further complications in 2009 resulted in 10 months in and out of hospitals and emergency rooms with her weight dipping to a dangerous 95lbs she realized how out of touch she had been with her own body. She decided to transform how she approached health and wellness and did. Her motto: “It’s not just a workout. It’s a lifestyle.”
Carrie Johnson – Carrie is an avid canoer who after being diagnosed with Crohn’s qualified for the Olympics three times and won gold during the Pan American Games.
Fun Fact: I was fortunate to learn that Carrie came to my Yoga Class during an IBD fundraising event a few years ago.
Pete Davidson – Pete is an American comedian who has appeared on SNL(Saturday Night Live), MTV and Jimmy Kimmel Live! At age 17 he was diagnosed with Crohn’s and has found marijuana to help tremendously and allow him to eat.
Frank Firtz – Frank is the co-host of the History Channel’s “American Pickers”. While living with Crohn’s he is also on the road over 175 days a year. His entire television crew knows about his IBD and he has been known to say “They understand it when I need a break. I mean, if I have to go, I have to GO!”
Patrick Hall – Patrick is the owner of Patrick Hall Photography and the founder of Fstoppers, an online community aimed at educating and inspiring photographers, videographers, and creative professionals. Today the website reaches over 1.5 million photographers and averages around 6 million pageviews a month. He was diagnosed at age 12 after six years of symptoms without a diagnosis. When symptoms returned he needed intensive large and small bowel surgery. Afterwards, he lived twelve symptom-free years until he noticed, following a 2019 photoshoot, that “There’s something wrong with my ass” which his surgeon found to be a complex fistula and perianal abscess.
Erron Maxey – Erron is an American professional basketball player for the Formosa Dreamers of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) playing in Changhua, Taiwan. He is a Crohn’s patient advocate and very outspoken on social media about mental health and IBD. He was diagnosed in 2014 but his story actually started years prior in 2009 while playing basketball in Argentina where his symptoms started undiagnosed until 5 years later. Despite all these challenges he has is a two time New Zealand National Basketball League champion, was award the best 6th man award in the ANBL, made the QBL All-League Team, and was a #LUB All-Star.
Brennan Metzger – Brennan is an outfielder for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, a professional baseball team based in Fargo, North Dakota. The RedHawks are a member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Brennan has undergone six surgeries and the removal of his colon at Scripps La Jolla related to Crohn’s Disease. Prior to playing for the RedHawks Brennan played for Mission Hills High in San Marcos California and Long Beach State. He was originally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, lost 50 pounds and, like myself, spent over a month in the hospital. From using a walker to now playing for the RedHawks he is an inspiration for many. In a recent interview with InForum he said “Thinking back on it now, I’m grateful to be here,” “I feel like I cheated death.”. “It makes appreciate a lot of the smaller things in life.” Every eight weeks, Metzger has to get three-hour infusions of medication for the disease. He has an infusion scheduled later this week at a Fargo hospital. “I feel just as good as I ever did,” Metzger said. “I have days where I feel like someone ran me over with a truck. I’ve gotten used to dealing with it all. I grind. I grind through it.” Previously Brennan was playing in the San Francisco Giants organization.
Jeff Hordley – Jeff is an English actor most notable for playing Cain Dingle in the British long-running soap opera Emmerdale. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1996 at age 26 after experiencing symptoms for at least age 20. He is married to his college sweetheart and British Actress Zoe Henry and has two children, Violet and Stan. His mother, Linda was a nurse and also had Crohn’s.
Note: Originally written in 2017, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.
Ketorolac [Toradol, Acuvail, Acular LS, Acular, and ReadySharp ketorolac]
I recommend trying to stay away from NSAIDs as I’ve personally gone from normal bowel movements to bleeding ulcers just from taking NSAIDs. During one hgospitlziation one medical doctgor hospitalzie conmvicend me, in my vulnerble state, that Toradol has different MOA(Mechanism Of Action and would not cause any problems. Since I was in a high level of pain, and not thinking clearly, I agreed. Thankfully the GI and ID team overulled that decision a few days later to save me from further complications.
I recommend checking your Inflammatory markers throughout the year at regular intervals so you can track your progress. What gets measured gets managed. What gets managed can improve.
Your lived experience and quality of life is most important. Keeping a regular journal is helpful because we often forget how good things are until they sometimes turn sour. Heck, I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast yesterday!
The Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) and Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index (SCCAI) are useful tools to consider using. They access disease activity in Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. For children, consider the Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index(PCDAI ) or Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis Activity Index (PUCAI).
It’s helpful to pair the lived experience with clinical lab testing as sometimes what’s going on deep inside our bodies are not easily felt, and sometimes they are felt too late and a flare-up is imminent. I’d love for you to stay in long term remission and never experience a flare-up again!.
For clinical results, at the very least, I recommend calprotectin checked every 3 or 4 months.
Order Your Lab Tests From Home
Inflammatory markers to track include Calprotectin, a stool test that measures inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, C-Reactive Protein which is a blood test marker to test inflammation in the body, and Sed rate, also known as erythrocyte sedimentation rate ( ESR) which is also a blood test used to test inflammation in the body and help monitor the status of inflammation, progression or decline.
Recent research shows EBV or Epstein-Barr Virus activation may be responsible for 60% of IBD cases and flare-ups. For this reason, I’ve included EBV testing below for your convenience.
Your Doctor can order these tests for you or you can order directly using the One Great Gut account at Ultra Lab Tests. This is the first company that not just lets patients order their own labs (and receive the results), but also allows you to submit your receipts to your insurance for billing! Please be sure to check with your insurance, as each company has different rules.
Here are the direct links to the tests at Ultra Lab Tests for your convenience:
– Sed Rate by Modified Westergren (ESR) Useful in differentiating inflammatory and neoplastic diseases and as an index of disease severity. CRP is also useful in monitoring inflammatory disease states.
– Calprotectin, Stool
– Calprotectin, Stool – Canada Indicator of inflammation specifically in the GI track. Clinical Significance Used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, or to differentiate IBD from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Lactoferrin, Quantitative, Stool This is an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for measuring concentrations of fecal lactoferrin, a marker for leukocytes. An elevated level is an indicator of intestinal inflammation. The test can be used as an in vitro diagnostic aid to distinguish patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from those with noninflammatory irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Lactoferrin, Qualitative, Stool
The Lactoferrin IBD-CHEK® is a qualitative (QL) Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for measuring concentrations of fecal lactoferrin, a marker for leukocytes. A positive level is an indicator of intestinal inflammation. The test can be used as an in vitro diagnostic aid to distinguish patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from those with non-inflammatory irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®) The fecal occult blood test is an immunochromatographic fecal occult blood test that qualitatively detects human hemoglobin from blood in fecal samples. This is a useful screening aid for detecting primarily lower gastrointestinal (G.I.) disorders that may be related to iron deficiency anemia, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, polyps, adenomas, colorectal cancers or other G.I. lesions that can bleed. It is recommended for use by health professionals as part of routine physical examinations and in screening for colorectal cancer or other sources of lower G.I. bleeding.
Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®), Medicare Screen The fecal occult blood test is an immunochromatographic fecal occult blood test that qualitatively detects human hemoglobin from blood in fecal samples. This is a useful screening aid for detecting primarily lower gastrointestinal (G.I.) disorders that may be related to iron deficiency anemia, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, polyps, adenomas, colorectal cancers or other G.I. lesions that can bleed. It is recommended for use by health professionals as part of routine physical examinations and in screening for colorectal cancer or other sources of lower G.I. bleeding.
Epstein-Barr (EBV) Comprehensive Panel For the most comprehensive look at your biomarkers for Epstein-Barr (EBV) EBV-VCA IgG/IgM (viral capsid antigen) – A positive IgG means you’ve had or currently have the infection; A positive IgM means the virus has been reactivated. EBV-EBNA IgG (nuclear antigen): A positive test result is usually associated with past infections. EBV-EA-D IgG (early antigen): A positive EA IgG may mean you have an active or reactivated infection. The Epstein-Barr EBV Early Antigen D Ab IgG test that will let one know if the virus is actively replicating.
Another good company to use is True Health Labs who offer more specialized testing. TrueHealthLabs, founded in 2009, was created by a Doctor to make lab testing directly available to those who are uninsured, underinsured, whose doctor refuses to order tests and those who simply want to make their own healthcare choices. Your results will be sent to you via encrypted email. Turnaround times are usually 3-4 business days, however, more complex tests can take 14+ business days. TrueHealthLabs saves you 20-80% off lab tests by negotiating directly with CLIA certified labs. With a very high trust rating from thousands of users I am a fan.
They conveniently accept HSA +FSA Accounts, too! Some of these tests are more expensive than your usual test, and that is because they give specific insight into certain lab markers that other labs are not able to see. For example, the last time I tested my
pro-inflammatory IL2-TH1 with lab corp they were only able to tell me that I was under 31.2. Not exactly helpful!! CytoDx, seen below, will show you IL2-TH1 with greater granularity, and since we would like it to be below 12, this further shows that the <31 from the other lab is not very useful information.
Antibodies to Saccharomyces cerevisiae
These are found in approximately 75% of patients with Crohn’s disease, 15% of patients with ulcerative colitis, and 5% of the healthy population. High antibody titers increase the likelihood of disease, especially Crohn’s disease, and are associated with more aggressive disease. As the inflammation in Crohn’s disease is focused at the gut mucosa, most patients have IgA antibodies to S cerevisiae and half of these also have IgG antibodies. A minority of patients have only IgG antibodies to S cerevisiae.
TH1 TH2 Cytokine Test – Basic For those with a confirmed autoimmune condition, the Th1 Th2 test is possibly the most important test. The test points out imbalances in the immune system by looking at cytokines, proteins that the immune system relies on to communicate. Bad communication results in complications for those with autoimmune conditions. The information this test provides helps your doctor develop a strong and effective treatment plan for you, especially when seeking alternative medicine support.
The immune system works like a seesaw. On one side you have Th1 cytokines that initiate the first line of defense. On the other side, you have Th2 cytokines which help produce antibodies to protect you from future invasions. However, when one side goes up, the other side goes down. This can contribute to a weak immune system and potentially promote autoimmune issues. Running this test will help to understand where the imbalance is. Because certain botanicals used in natural medicine can boost Th1 cytokines and Th2 cytokines, this test can help you and your doctor develop an effective plan to help balance a weak immune system and turn the volume down on autoimmune attacks.
TH17 Test New studies show that an increase in a particular type of white blood cell, called Th17 cells, can trigger and determine the severity of autoimmune conditions. Monitoring Th17 levels can help you and your doctor better treat the condition.
Health Check Plus Vitamin D
The Health Check Plus with Vitamin D is perfect for the yearly physical or to monitor diet and lifestyle improvements. Health Check Plus with Vitamin D tests for all the body’s major systems including markers for the heart, kidneys, thyroid, immune system, and liver and more. The panel also screens for anemia, inflammation, infections, diabetes, hypoglycemia, minerals, and vitamin D deficiency. The cost of this test at your doctor’s office or hospital will cost you approximately $1000 plus the cost of the appointment. Running this test before seeing your doctors (check with him/her to see if they want to run additional tests) will save you $700. It makes lab testing affordable for the whole family, even if you have insurance.
Bacterial Organic Acids Test + Amino Acids by Great Plains Labs
The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of your overall health with 76 markers. It provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue, and even immune function.
Many with chronic illnesses like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, or even neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids in their urine. The Organic Acids Test also includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, and is the only OAT to include markers for oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses.
Check out this testimonial from Dr. Friedman who uses the OAT in his practice to help someone who was depressed and suicidal:
“After identifying a low serotonin level on an Organic Acid Test (a hallmark functional medicine test), A severely depressed and suicidal man began taking 100mg of 5htp twice a day (5htp is the direct precursor to serotonin). After 2 days, he said his depression virtually disappeared and he was no longer suicidal. I love when I can identify a biochemical glitch and someone can have such a profound emotional turnaround.”
With depression and suicidal ideation sometimes present in those with IBD, Crohn’s, and Colitis, the OATS test could be a test to significantly help.
This test reports 21 metabolites (including creatinine) such as markers for beneficial bacteria, harmful bacteria, Clostridia species, Candida species, yeast and fungal metabolites, and general markers of dysbiosis.
The MOAT is ideal for follow-up to the OAT and may be recommended by practitioners looking for a specific abnormality, to monitor certain microbial balances, or to assess treatment efficacy. We strongly recommend the full OAT as the initial screening test.
As much as 80% of the population in the United States is estimated to have low vitamin D levels. Emerging studies show that low vitamin D is associated with an increase cause of death from ALL causes. Low vitamin D is also associated with autoimmune diseases and overall immune health.
Vitamin D is crucial for proper immune function. Research is emerging that optimal levels of vitamin D (40ng/ml+) may be able to help prevent upper respiratory infections like the flu and common colds.
One fascinating aspect of Vitamin D is it upregulates the production of Cathelicidins. Cathelicidins are peptides that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Often those with IBD, Crohn’s and Colitis have sub-optimal absorption from foods leaving Vitamin D levels low. Also, many of us work indoors, lack sun exposure in the winter, or live in climates where sun exposure is infrequent allowing Vitamin D levels to drop to potentially dangerous levels. Over 70% of the population have suboptimal Vitamin D levels. PMID: 19737226 -PMID: 19895218
Studies show that Vitamin D supplementation dose needs to be higher in patients with inflammatory bowel disease[R] We recommend checking your Vitamin D levels at least four times a year, seasonally, and supplementing from the One Great Gut Dispensary as needed.
Vitamin D from our diet and sun exposure must be converted into its active form 1, 25 dihydroxy vitamin D. High or low levels of 1, 25 dihydroxy vitamin D and have negative impact in the cardiovascular, neurological, and immune systems.
It is recommended to test dietary/sun vitamin D levels ( 25 hydroxy vitamin D ) in combination with this test in order to deficiencies and/or conversion issues.
This test determines your Natural Killer Cell and Activated T-Cell Profile including Absolute and Percentage CD3, Absolute and Percentage CD3 CD25 (Regulator T-Cells), Absolute and Percentage CD3 CD56, (Natural Killer Cells), CBC with Differential and Total Lymphocyte Count. Assess changes in T-lymphocyte surface markers that may indicate immune stimulation. Natural killer (NK) cells are large granular lymphocytes that mediate MHC-unrestricted cytotoxicity against virus-infected and malignant cells and manufacture a number of cytokines following stimulation of the immune system. The combination of IL-2 and T-cell markers can be used to assess the state of activation of T cells. NK cells are responsible for the destruction of virally infected cells, tumor cells, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.
Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD)
G6PD deficiency is a hereditary condition in which red blood cells break down (hemolysis) when the body is exposed to certain foods, drugs, infections or stress. High dose Vitamin C IV is growing in popularity and helpful for many, however, contraindicated for those with a G6PD deficient as it could lead to death. We recommend that everyone know their G6PD status just in case a high dose Vitamin C is every desired. For example, it’s being reported that some hospitals in China are using high dose Vitamin C IV to treat covid19, and it’s been used to treat cancer and other conditions such as fatigue and infections for years, it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer or any other medical condition.
Basic CD4 CD8 Ratio Test
The CD4 CD8 ratio profile helps assess the immune system in detail. This test is crucial for patients who are suspected of having a compromised immune system as seen in autoimmune conditions and HIV.
Epstein-Barr Early Detection Test
To detect the early presence of the Epstein Barr Virus, the causative virus in Mononucleosis (Mono). Epstein Barr (EBV) Early Detection Test (IgG D Antigen)
Epstein Barr Profile Mono Test
To detect the presence of the Epstein Barr Virus, the causative virus in Mononucleosis (Mono).
Ebstein Barr Virus VCA (Viral Capsid Antigen) Antibody IgM
Ebstein Barr Virus VCA (Viral Capsid Antigen) Antibody IgG
EBV Nuclear Antigen Antibody, IgG
I recommend to run the Th1 Th2 test along with this CD4/CD8 ratio test if you have any concerns with an autoimmune condition like Crohn’s or Colitis.
Stool Microbiome Testing BiomeFx by Microbiome Labs is an innovative stool test that utilizes the most advanced technology and evaluates novel, functional markers of the microbiome. This is a new test released in 2020, check out a sample report here. Microbiome Labs testing requires a practitioner account that we have set up for your convenience. Use onegreatgut code or just click on this link.
GI-Map by Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory This is the preferred gold standard by many Functional Naturopathic doctors. The GI-MAP (Microbial Assay Plus) is unique in the field of comprehensive stool testing. It relies exclusively on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology to detect parasites, bacteria, fungi, and more, by targeting the specific DNA of the organisms tested.
GI-MAP by Diagnostic Solutions for those that live in Canada
These Stool Microbiome Tests allow for personalized treatment plans and informative retests. Consider running these labs twice a year so you know where you are with your microbiome and can make adjustments as necessary. Staying on top of your health decreases the chances of a flare-up occurring that could take a while to reverse. Some conditions that may warrant microbiome testing are: Autoimmune diseases IBS/IBD Digestive complaints, diarrhea or constipation, brain fog, skin problems, like acne and psoriasis, mood disorders, depression, and anxiety, diabetes, and weight loss issues. The GI-MAP is commonly used in infants and children and can provide insight into conditions related to Attentional Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, and digestive complaints.
Every purchase from these lab test companies will allow the One Great Gut Foundation to get closer to curing IBD Crohn’s and Colitis. So you can invest in your health and build a healthier world through our initiatives, at the same time!
I hope this has been helpful for your health journey!
Vnitr̆ní lékar̆ství (Vnitr Lek): Czech and Slovak Society of Internal Medicine – Kojecký V, Matouš J, Zádorová Z, Gřiva M, Kianička B, Uher M Vitamin D supplementation dose needs to be higher in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an interventional study.
Journal Of Crohn’s and Colitis – Vitamin D Inhibits Pro-Inflammatory T Cell Function in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Schardey J, Globig AM, Janssen C1, Hofmann M, Manegold P, Thimme R, Hasselblatt P https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31051495
Journal Of Crohn’s and Colitis – Vitamin D Decreases Hepcidin and Inflammatory Markers in Newly Diagnosed Inflammatory Bowel Disease Paediatric Patients: A Prospective Study – Moran-Lev H, Galai T, Yerushalmy-Feler A, Weisman Y, Anafy A, Deutsch V, Cipok M, Lubetzky R, Cohen S. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30840757
Journal Of Crohn’s and Colitis – The Effect of Vitamin D on Intestinal Inflammation and Faecal Microbiota in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis. Garg M, Hendy P, Ding JN, Shaw S, Hold G, Hart A. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29726893
Journal Of Crohn’s and Colitis – Lower Vitamin D Status May Explain why African Americans Have Poorer Outcomes than Non-African Americans After Surgery for Crohn’s Disease.
1Dobnig H, et al. Independent association of low serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D with all cause mortality. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2008 Jun 23:168:1340-1349.
Vitamin D and prevention of breast cancer: Pooled analysis. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Volume 103, Issues 3-5, March 2007, Pages 708-711
Note: Originally published in July 2019, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.
The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire was developed by psychologists Michael Argyle and Peter Hills at Oxford University. Take a few moments to take the survey. This is a good way to get a snapshot of your current level of happiness. You can even use your score to compare to your happiness level at some point in the future by taking the survey again. If you are using some of the interventions presented on this site to raise your happiness level, you can see whether your score on the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire goes up as a result.
Below are a number of statements about happiness. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each by entering a number in the blank after each statement, according to the following scale:
Please read the statements carefully, because some are phrased positively and others negatively. Don’t take too long over individual questions; there are no “right” or “wrong” answers (and no trick questions). The first answer that comes into your head is probably the right one for you. If you find some of the questions difficult, please give the answer that is true for you in general or for most of the time.
1. I don’t feel particularly pleased with the way I am. (R) _____
2. I am intensely interested in other people. _____
3. I feel that life is very rewarding. _____
4. I have very warm feelings towards almost everyone. _____
5. I rarely wake up feeling rested. (R) _____
6. I am not particularly optimistic about the future. (R) _____
7. I find most things amusing. _____
8. I am always committed and involved. _____
9. Life is good. _____
10. I do not think that the world is a good place. (R) _____
11. I laugh a lot. _____
12. I am well satisfied about everything in my life. _____
13. I don’t think I look attractive. (R) _____
14. There is a gap between what I would like to do and what I have done. (R) _____
15. I am very happy. _____
16. I find beauty in some things. _____
17. I always have a cheerful effect on others. _____
18. I can fit in (find time for) everything I want to. _____
19. I feel that I am not especially in control of my life. (R) _____
20. I feel able to take anything on. _____
21. I feel fully mentally alert. _____
22. I often experience joy and elation. _____
23. I don’t find it easy to make decisions. (R) _____
24. I don’t have a particular sense of meaning and purpose in my life. (R) _____
25. I feel I have a great deal of energy. _____
26. I usually have a good influence on events. _____
27. I don’t have fun with other people. (R) _____
28. I don’t feel particularly healthy. (R) _____
29. I don’t have particularly happy memories of the past. (R) _____
Calculate your score
Step 1. Items marked (R) should be scored in reverse:
If you gave yourself a “1,” cross it out and change it to a “6.”
Change “2” to a “5”
Change “3” to a “4”
Change “4” to a “3”
Change “5” to a “2”
Change “6” to a “1”
Step 2. Add the numbers for all 29 questions. (Use the converted numbers for the 12 items that are reverse scored.)
Step 3. Divide by 29. So your happiness score = the total (from step 2) divided by 29.
I recommend you record your score and the date. Then you’ll have the option to compare your score now with your score at a later date. This can be especially helpful if you are trying some of the exercises, and actively working on increasing your happiness.
UPDATE: A lot of people have been asking for some kind of interpretation of the raw number “happiness score” you get in step 3 above. What follows is just off the top of my head, but it’s based in part on the fact that the average person gets a score of about 4.
INTERPRETATION OF SCORE
I suggest you read all the entries below regardless of what score you got because I think there’s valuable information here for everyone.
1-2 : Not happy. If you answered honestly and got a very low score, you’re probably seeing yourself and your situation as worse than it really is. I recommend taking the Depression Symptoms test (CES-D Questionnaire) at the University of Pennsylvania’s “Authentic Happiness” Testing Center. You’ll have to register, but this is beneficial because there are a lot of good tests there and you can re-take them later and compare your scores.
3-4 : Not particularly happy or unhappy. A score of 3.5 would be an exact numerical average of happy and unhappy responses. Some of the exercises mentioned just above have been tested in scientific studies and have been shown to make people lastingly happier.
4 : Somewhat happy or moderately happy. Satisfied. This is what the average person scores.
4-5 : Rather happy; pretty happy. Check other score ranges for some of my suggestions.
5-6 : Very happy. Being happy has more benefits than just feeling good. It’s correlated with benefits like health, better marriages, and attaining your goals. Check back – I’ll be writing a post about this topic soon.
6 : Too happy. Yes, you read that right. Recent research seems to show that there’s an optimal level of happiness for things like doing well at work or school, or for being healthy and that being “too happy” may be associated with lower levels of such things.
The highest score you can get on an item is a 6, and the lowest a 1. If you add up all your scores and divide by the number of questions (29 questions), you’d get an average score for all the questions. The highest possible average would be 6, the lowest possible would be 1. Right in the middle would be 3.5, so you might think that’s what the average person would get, but this is just a raw score. In fact, other studies show that people are generally somewhat happy on average. So it may not be surprising to hear that the average score on the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire is right around a 4, which is essentially what you got (since you got 3.9 out of 6).
Rather than compare yourself to other people, it’s probably more meaningful to compare your score now to your score later and see if there’s a change. Some of the exercises on this site have been shown in scientific studies to make a lasting, positive impact on happiness. You might want to try some of them (I’ll be adding more), and see if they work for you. A few gratitude exercises are already on the site:
Hills, P., & Argyle, M. (2002). The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: a compact scale for the measurement of psychological well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 1073–1082.
I’ve used “don’t” rather than the more staid and formal “do not” in the phrasing of the questions above; I decided to give preference to my own sense of what is more natural and conversational in American English. (Remember that the questionnaire was developed in England.) I’ve also added the phrase “(find time for),” which psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky uses for clarification in question 18.
Written and posted by Dr. Steve Wright @ http://www.meaningandhappiness.com/
Dr. Wright is a research scientist. NIH-TL1 Postdoctoral Scholar, Dept. of Medicine, Georgetown University. http://www.DrWright.org
Don’t be afraid to give up what no longer serves you in your current lifestyle
Your current situation
It could be the best decision you’ll ever make
The strongest medicine
No Insurance Plan or Co-Pay needed
Your physical body will relax and start to feel better
Your emotional body will improve
Your spiritually body will awaken even further
God will provide more than ever before
As it did for me
You may no longer be thinking if the hospital is the next right next step
Like I was close to, one year ago today
Yes, I avoided needing Solumedrol, a cocktail of broad spectrum antibiotics, PICC line, TPN and a likely gargantuan hospital bill
By setting boundaries
Sticking to them
Be your own best doctor.
The CEO of your health-team
Listen to your heART it’s smart
1 Year Ago Today:
The more I release, let go, move on from things that no longer serve me and my current and future goals, the more goodness …and alignment comes.
We can only receive when we make space. A full cup can not receive without overflowing and making a mess. A messy life is a lot of work to live and clean up.
There’s no need to feel bad for shedding layers and moving on. It’s the ultimate form of self respect and self love.
It may not always be pretty and easy, but you’re guaranteed strength and greater energy by following your inner voice, that gut feeling. The more we honor that voice, the closer we get to ONE GREAT GUT.
To hear the voice, you need to slow down. Sometimes the voice is loud and clear, that usually means you missed all the subtle nudges prior, which may have been speaking to you for years.
And that’s okay. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
What matters most is that you listened, acknowledged, and took action.
Slow down, enjoy the ride, and the ebbs and flows of life.
Just like nature, go with the stream and you’ll find an easier ride.
Go against the calling of God and nature, prepare for a challenging existence.
See you in the warm stream of our juiciest dreams, desires and lovable things, experiences and people.
Including family, friends, doctor’s offices, hospital finance departments, and debt collectors.
The title of this blog post came from the title of an article published in 2016.
A study published May 21, 2019 where researchers examined data from 2007 to 2016 for almost 53,000 people with IBD who had either private health insurance or Medicare Advantage coverage with both medical and pharmacy benefits. They also looked at data on 12 to 14 million people without IBD.
Overall, average annual costs for patients with IBD were $22,987 compared with $6,956 without IBD, the study found.
And out-of-pocket costs like co-payments and deductibles were more than doubled with IBD: $2,213 a year compared with $979 annually without IBD.
Costs for patients with IBD averaged $26,555 over the first year after diagnosis, researchers report in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
This didn’t include the cost of insurance premiums.
Several factors were tied to higher costs with IBD, including the use of expensive biotech drugs, opioids, or steroids; emergency room use; anemia; relapsing disease; and mental illness.
When patients had at least one emergency room visit in a year, for example, average annual costs were $37,759 compared to $15,237 without an ER visit.
And when patients had a mental illness, annual average costs were $35,740 compared to $18,520 without a psychological disorder.
Average costs for IBD were stable from year to year before 2012. After that, however, costs have been rising more sharply.
Worldwide, IBD is becoming more common, especially in newly industrialized countries, making it essential to determine cost drivers that may make it challenging for patients to afford care, said Dr. Chang Kyun Lee of the Kyung Hee University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea.
Now that we’re clear of the growing problem, let’s talk about solutions.
First, I want you to know that we are continually looking for and working on solutions. This is a large effort! If you have any proposed solutions, let us know in the comments below!
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller
Solutions a) Focus. Don’t roll your eyes at me! 🙂 I know this is an obvious one, but it is worth mentioning here, first. Focus is not only important, it’s also more challenging for those with IBD. Crohn’s and Colitis impact brain function, including concentration and focus. Optimizing your microbiome is best way to improve your focus. Since you’re reading this post you likely are already doing that. Consider taking supplements that specifically target brain health and improve concentration.
In the One Great Gut Dispensary you will find natural supplements called nootropics, also known as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers, that can improve your thinking, memory recall, focus, concentration and motivation and creativity.
While taking supplements will cost you money in the short term, with improved focus, thinking and motivation you can set yourself up for success in your goal to greater health, and money. See below for S.M.A.R.T goal setting to increase your chance of success!
The One Great Gut Dispensary will save you money on your favorite supplements and insure both freshness and quality. If you do not see your favorite supplement, let me know and I will see what I can do about adding them to the dispensary. Other online marketplaces are often hidden with counterfeit supplements that can be dangerous. The One Great Gut Dispensary is guaranteed to only have product directly from the manufacturer.
One of my favorites is Qualia Mind by Neurohacker Collective. Mind is available in caffeine and caffeine-free versions. They also offer Qualia Focus which is a more affordable version of Qualia Mind.
It may take you a few tries to find the exact nootropic supplement stack that works best for you specially. It’s worth finding what works for you because your life will be more focused, aligned with grater productivity about the things that you care about.
b) Set S.M.A.R.T goals.
You probably have some pretty awesome dreams and goals. By using the S.M.A.R.T formula you will make your dreams a reality and achieve your goals quicker.
Consider making health and money a priority. Focus on the most important things that can make a difference in both your health, and your bank account.
b) Be honest with yourself, friends and family. Transparency builds trust. When I was an Engineer I didn’t worry about much financially. I naturally save money and don’t overspend. However, once I left Engineering everything changed. I no longer had a regular paycheck to rely on. Life was extremely hard and while I was very sick back then I was also speaking to attorneys about disability insurance. I finally got real with myself and sat down with a few trusted friends, mentors and advisers. The more honest I was with them the better recommendations I would receive. It was certainly a blow to my ego and was very humbling, but without that level of honesty and rawness I would never have received the tips and tricks needed to work on my finances, and health.
After getting honest with myself and family during my 2018 month long hospital stay I decided to start a Medical GoFundMe. It was humbling to ask friends for help, and actually offended some family members whose ego’s and pride were hurt. It reminded them of their fears and parental teachings. I took their fears into account, but ultimately the decision was mine because I truly was in need. I was shocked and surprised how many friends and family contributed. Even strangers! Some of those friends and family I hadn’t seen in years, or decades. It was beautiful experience that showed me how loved and supported I am, even when the physical pain was extraordinary and my future looked bad. It was through that support, emotionally and financially that I was able to safely be discharged after a roller coaster one month hospitalization.
c) The undeniable link between health and money. You must watch the Money Revealed docuseries. There’s not many things I will recommend other’s to watch. This is one of them. 100%. You will learn directly from 36 self-made millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires. They sit down with you and share how they achieved the success they enjoy with money. Stop guessing, and learn from the very best.
d) Do you drink alcohol?
It’s probably costing you a lot of money, and negatively impacting your gut, health and family.
Don’t worry though. You’re not alone.
How much is drinking actually costing you?
If you have three drinks a day, five days a week, at an average of $10 a pop, you’re spending $150 a week, $650 a month or $7,800 a year just on alcohol ― not including any additional costs, like server tips or taking a taxi instead of driving. Even if you drink only on weekends, at two drinks per day you are spending about $2,500 a year.
Prefer wine at home?
According to online wine retailer Vivino, the cost of a bottle of white wine averages $14.41, while an average bottle of red wine costs $15.66. If you drink one each per week for a year, that’s more than $1,563.
The Alcoholic Beverages Market is valued at over $1,400 Billion Dollars.
According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86% of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. 70% percent reported that they drank in the past year. 56% percent reported that they drank in the past month.
The same study revealed that 15 million adults ages 18 and older have AUD or Alcohol Use Disorder. This includes 9.8 million men and 5.3 million women.
Only 6.7 percent of adults who had AUD in the past year received treatment.
It’s not only a problem with adults, but also with adolescents.
The study estimated that 623,000 adolescents ages 12–17 had AUD. This number included 298,000 males and 325,000 females.
Only 5.2 percent of youth who had AUD in the past year received treatment.
It gets worse.
An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity. In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).
This is not just a problem in the United States – it’s a global world wide problem!
In 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths were attributable to alcohol consumption. In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that alcohol contributed to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, most notably DSM–IV alcohol dependence , liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.
In 2012, 5.1 percent of the burden of disease and injury worldwide (139 million disability-adjusted life-years) was attributable to alcohol consumption. Globally, alcohol misuse was the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability in 2010. Among people between the ages of 15 and 49, it is the first.14 In the age group 20–39 years, approximately 25 percent of the total deaths are alcohol attributable.
Cutting back on alcohol will not only save you money, but also get you closer to a great gut as most alcohol has a negative impact on your microbiome.
Save money, and probably improve your gastrointestinal track including your colon and oral microbiome by cutting back on alcohol.
f) Gratitude and Love. This may come out of left field but I find money follows my emotions. The happier my emotions, the more I not only feel better, but it allows money to flow. Yes, this is metaphysical and not exactly yet proven by science but it has been true to both myself and many friends and mentors.
g) Check out the One Great Gut Collection. Everything I do is to save you money, time and achieve better health results. In the One Great Gut Collection there are numerous resources not only to improve your health, but you will also learn from a team who has successfully negotiated $550,000 in medical bills to help other’s with the Insurance, Medical Bill and Debt Collection jigsaw puzzle.
h) Budget. There are many websites and apps to choose from. They all have their pluses and minuses. Mint, BudgetTracker and EveryDollar seem to be the most popular. The MMI (Millionaire Mind Intensive) weekend workshop was helpful or me as well, changing my mindset around money. Through working with many coaches, mentors and my own personal research I have a customized system that works for me. If requested I shared this with clients during our coaching session.
I hope these solution’s help you on your journey to a Great Gut! We are continually looking for ways to help you with your health, and that includes your bank account. Check back often for updates.
References: Alcohol Research: The Gastrointestinal Microbiome: Alcohol Effects on the Composition of Intestinal Microbiota.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry – Alcohol, microbiome, and their effect on psychiatric disorders
Microbiome – Drinking alcohol is associated with variation in the human oral microbiome in a large study of American adults
Huffington Post: The Amount Of Money You Spend On Drinking May Blow Your Mind And your budget, too. By Ann Brenoff
NIAAA: Understanding the impact of alcohol on human health and well-being
Article – 2016 – Economic Implications of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Its Management by Foram Mehta, MS, RPh in AJMC Managed Markets Network
Reuters – 2019 – Inflammatory bowel disease patients have higher health costs – Lisa Rapaport
Oxford Academic – 2019 – Inflammatory Bowel Diseases – The Cost of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Note: Originally published in June 2019, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.
Oakland’s city council unanimously decriminalized 🍄magic mushrooms🍄 and other natural entheogenic or psychoactive plants and fungi including cactuses, ayahuasca, and iboga.
Imperial College London Professor Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris in the Department of Medicine believes “magic mushrooms” could replace antidepressants.
“I would imagine if you had some bookmakers doing the odds, there would be strong odds on that [psychedelic therapy] will be licensed sometime in the next five to 10 years – maybe sooner” Robin-Carthart-Harris told the Independent a British online newspaper.
From Futurism an independently owned media company based out of New York City:
Robin-Carhart-Harris is currently leading a Centre for Psychedelic Research trial to compare the ability of psilocybin, or “magic,” mushrooms and leading antidepressants to treat depression.
He told The Independent that so far, participants are reporting that the psilocybin leaves them feeling like they’ve experienced an emotional “release,” while patients often criticize antidepressants for making them feel like their emotions are “blunted.”
Given the positive feedback from study participants and psilocybin mushrooms’ extremely low risk for overdose or addiction, it’s not hard to see why Carhart-Harris is optimistic that doctors will soon be able to use psychedelics to treat patients.
In 2014 I interviewed Roman Hanis who shared his health journey dealing with Crohn’s after Western and Eastern medicine were not sufficient and Doctors were recommending surgery. From Israel to New York to Peru he found entheogenic plants and cured himself.
In 2016 I interviewed Marcus from Europe who was able to safely stop all pharmaceutical medications after being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, treating himself with entheogenic plants. 😮
Both of these interviews were released in 2017 as part of The Crohn’s And Colitis Summit. 92% of our listeners loved my interviewing style. That’s quite a feat considering I was still very sick then detoxing from toxic metals, mold and more. 😥
In 2016 my friend Jack told me that Ayauasca cured his Autoimmune disorder called Pemphigoid in just two days, 👍after 9 years of various conventional and alternative treatments where only corticosteroid steroids were most helpful and they also were causing damage to his bones.
Also in 2016 I was on a Skype call with a Shamen in Peru who told me I am a shaman. I’m not so sure about that. Nor the recent claims I’m a Doctor. Nope, sorry to disappoint 🙂
In the One Great Gut Collection I interview Erica Sandstedt, a shaman, and Caitlin Thompson who with a background in neurobiology defeated a difficult case of IBS, lyme, SIBO, microbiome dysbiosis, emotional trauma and depression through various Integrative methods including entheogens. Today she is an IAKP certified Kambo practitioner – 🐸
Note: Originally published in June 2019, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.