March 26, 2017

Fresh Eggs Banned in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Regulators Deny Consumers Choice to Purchase Soy-free Eggs on the Market for Past 7 Years

Cage_Free_and_Soy_Free_Eggs_Banned

Would you like to pick up your eggs from the farm and transport them to your home without refrigeration? Wisconsin says "NO" – shuts down egg operation.

People with allergies to soy protein now have one less source for purchasing soy-free eggs. Two small-scale farmers in Wisconsin have been informed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture that they must stop selling their soy-free and GMO-tested eggs to consumers until they meet state government regulations for shipping eggs that they allege the farmers are violating. They have been shipping their eggs directly to the homes of customers throughout the United States since the beginning of 2010.
In letters dated, March 13, 2017, the State of Wisconsin sent two farmers who are part of the Wisconsin Pasturelands Cooperative a Cease and Desist order regarding their eggs. The two farmers were informed that they were selling eggs and shipping them to consumers without proper refrigeration during shipping. They were specifically instructed that until this situation is corrected, "you shall not hold, process, package or sell the eggs for human consumption from your home or any other location." (Source.)
organic-wisconsin-family-farm
One of the farms in the Wisconsin Pasturelands Cooperative that was producing eggs. The white structure on the left with fencing around it was home to one of the flocks of chickens producing eggs.
The farmer cooperative run by Amish in rural Wisconsin since 2010 has been working together with an Internet business, Tropical Traditions (now Healthy Traditions), to market their eggs from cage-free chickens fed a specially developed feed that contains no soy, no corn, and ingredients that are tested to be free from GMOs and the herbicide glyphosate.
They are believed to be one of the first ones in the U.S. to offer eggs from chickens on a soy-free diet. The eggs were marketed under the Grass-fed Traditions brand, which is now part of the Healthy Traditions product line offering alternatives to commodity food. Healthy Traditions tests their products for the presence of GMOs and the herbicide glyphosate.
While the State of Wisconsin is claiming that the farmers are violating regulations for the refrigerated transportation of eggs, there is no indication that these regulations apply to consumers transporting their own eggs, whether they are transporting the eggs themselves directly from the farm, or paying someone else to ship them on their behalf.

Do Eggs Purchased by Consumers Need to be Shipped Refrigerated After Purchase?

When the Wisconsin Pasturelands Cooperative began producing their soy-free eggs in 2009, they consulted with local officials working with the USDA. They were told that there were no regulations in place directing consumers to transport their eggs refrigerated, and that current regulations for transporting eggs were in place for large commercial egg operations for transporting their eggs to retail establishments. The Wisconsin Amish farmers constructed insulated ice houses to ensure that the eggs were always stored in temperatures below 45 degrees prior to shipping them to the consumers, in compliance with state regulations.
When Tropical Traditions offered the eggs online, they offered the consumers a choice of shipping options to have the farmers ship the eggs directly to them from the farm, including overnight shipment. They were informed before purchasing that the eggs were shipped unrefrigerated:
These eggs are not graded and will vary in size. They are shipped to you directly from the farm. The farmers are part of Wisconsin Pastureland. Tropical Traditions provides the payment service for you to purchase these eggs directly from the farmer, and delivery is provided to you via a national transportation company such as FedEx or UPS which you will choose at check out. Eggs are shipped unrefrigerated. Contact us for alternative delivery options if you need refrigerated shipping.
It has been well-documented that if eggs are not produced in "factory farms" where chickens are kept in small cages, that there is no need to refrigerate them. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that requires eggs to be sold refrigerated. Most of Europe, in contrast, sells eggs at room temperature.
Dr. Mercola writes:
If you’re an American, you probably store eggs in the refrigerator – and wouldn’t think of doing it any other way.
Yet, the US is one of the only countries where chicken eggs are kept refrigerated. In much of Europe, for instance, eggs are often stored right on the counter, at room temperature.
But then, US eggs would be illegal in Europe due to an egg-washing process that may actually make them more susceptible to contamination with bacteria like Salmonella.
When you have eggs from tens of thousands of chickens – or more — all under one roof, there’s a good chance they’re going to get feces and other contaminants on them. The US solution, rather than reducing the size of the flocks and ensuring better sanitation and access to the outdoors, is to wash the eggs. But this isn’t as innocuous as it sounds.
As the eggs are scrubbed, rinsed, dried, and spritzed with a chlorine mist, its protective cuticle may be compromised. This is a natural barrier that comes from the mother hen that lays the egg, and it acts as a shield against bacteria.
It even contains antimicrobial properties. US egg-washing strips this natural protectant from the egg, which may actually make it more likely to become contaminated. According to European Union (EU) guidelines:
"Such damage may favor trans-shell contamination with bacteria and moisture loss and thereby increase the risk to consumers, particularly if subsequent drying and storage conditions are not optimal."
Industrial egg washing, by the way, is banned in much of Europe, not only because of potential damage to the eggs’ cuticles but also because it might allow for more "sloppy" egg-producing practices. The chief executive of Britain’s Egg Industry Council told Forbes:
"In Europe, the understanding is that [prohibiting the washing and cleaning of eggs] actually encourages good husbandry on farms. It’s in the farmers’ best interests then to produce the cleanest eggs possible, as no one is going to buy their eggs if they’re dirty." (See: Americans – Why Do You Keep Refrigerating Your Eggs?)
The farmers in Wisconsin Pasturelands Cooperative have very small flocks that are free range, and they did not wash the eggs prior to storage. Just before shipping the eggs to the consumer, they used a coconut water vinegar solution to wash the eggs, and then coated them with coconut oil just prior to shipment.

Is California Department of Food and Agriculture Behind Demands to Stop Selling Wisconsin Eggs to Protect the Commercial California Egg Industry?

CDFA_logo
In 2012 "Egg Safety Quality Management Central District Supervisor" John Ramos of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) attempted to stop the shipment of eggs from the Wisconsin Pasturelands Cooperative into California.
CDFA had somehow obtained a box of eggs from a FedEx facility that was being shipped to a Tropical Traditions customer.
Mr. Ramos sent a letter to Tropical Traditions demanding that they immediately stop selling eggs in California, stating that the package they found in the FedEx facility was not refrigerated properly. It should be noted that this action was taken after seizing a package in a FedEx facility in route to a customer, not because of any customer complaint about the eggs. He stated:
I received informaion (sic) from one of our Stanislaus County Inspector who was at a Fed-Express office.  He noticed a package being delivered from your company.  The pictures he sent me where that of the egg carton you are using to package your eggs. There are several violations on the container:
1. No Plant number
2. No sell by date
3. No size or grade "not graded" is not acceptable.
In addition you are not allowed to ship non refrigerated eggs to consumers.  (45 degrees F)
In his correspondence Mr. Ramos asked:
Are you a registered egg handler?
Where are the eggs being packed?
How long have you been selling eggs?
Also is there a physical address for the Springville, CA location?
I will be in the Springville area tomorrow doing some inspections.
Tropical Traditions simply maintains a Springville California address for handling mail orders. So when Mr. Ramos showed up at the local post office in Springville, he reportedly flashed his badge and intimidated postal workers into giving him the personal residence address of one of Tropical Traditions managers.
He allegedly showed up at the manager’s personal residence, and demanded to see the egg operation. Seeing that there was obviously no egg farm on his property, the manager reportedly informed the inspector that the egg operation was in Wisconsin, and that Tropical Traditions never took possession of the egg inventory – they simply provided an online service whereby consumers could purchase the eggs directly from the consumer. The farmers in Wisconsin were in complete compliance with regulations of selling eggs directly to the consumer from their farms, according to local authorities in Wisconsin.
It would seem that perhaps CDFA learned their lesson from the 2012 incident, where they had no jurisdiction over farmers in Wisconsin. When Wisconin Inspector Michael Pederson delivered the Cease and Desist letters this month (March 2017) from Michelle J. Krisher, Regulatory Specialist – Senior with the DIVISION OF FOOD & RECREATIONAL SAFETY of Wisconsin, the farmers asked who had complained about their eggs. The reply alleged given by Mr. Pederson was simply that it "came from California."
Since Wisconsin would have no jurisdiction over customer complaints from California, and given the past history of CDFA in trying to stop the Wisconsin eggs from being shipped into California, it is reasonable to suspect that once again this complaint came from CDFA in California.
California has a history of trying to protect its commercial egg operations from eggs imported from other states. In 2014 a new law went into effect in California requiring caged chickens to have more room in their cages, instantly excluding many commercial egg operations from selling in California. NPR reported:
[O]n Jan. 1, all eggs sold in California will have to come from chickens that live in more spacious quarters — almost twice as spacious, in fact, as the cages that have been the industry standard.
It’s been a shock to the egg industry, and to grocery stores.
Proposition 2, as it’s called, required eggs in California to come from chickens that have enough room to fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. It was a direct challenge to the egg industry, because most egg-laying chickens can’t do that in standard henhouses, where they live in small cages, five or 10 birds to a cage.
In the end, they decided that each chicken is legally entitled to at least 116 square inches of floor space.
As a result, as of Jan. 1, most egg producers in the U.S. cannot sell eggs in California.
California gave egg producers inside the state several years to comply with the new law, but did not extend that exemption to producers in other states. As a result, several states have sued California over the law, but so far they have been unsuccessful. (See: Eggs lawsuit by Iowa, other states is rejected)

Are the Farmers Violating any Laws in Shipping Eggs to Consumers Unrefigerated?

This seems to be the heart of the matter. Is it really the responsibility of the State of Wisconsin to tell me how I must have my eggs delivered?
Let’s consider this example. I go to an small farm on a warm day in summer and buy a dozen eggs. I put them on the back seat of my car and then head back home. Along the way, I decide to stop and buy gas. While filling my tank I meet an old friend who invites me to have coffee with him. So, I leave my car and my eggs and spend a relaxing hour in conversation. Finally, I return home and put my eggs in the fridge. Now, it was my choice to keep the eggs in an unrefrigerated car for several hours. I had this choice, because I owned the eggs and could do whatever I wanted to do with them. It was my choice to delay refrigeration or to bring my own cooler for keeping them cold.
Now let’s say I live 150 miles from the farm and don’t want to make a 300-mile round trip to buy eggs. So, I get out my credit card and buy the eggs online. During the checkout process I need to choose whether I want  1-day, 2-day, or standard ground delivery. Again, the choice is mine and the responsibility is mine, because I am buying the eggs and I own them. If I want overnight delivery, then I pay for it. If I want ground delivery, then that is my choice. I get to choose how long I want my eggs to be unrefrigerated. Since I know that unrefrigerated eggs will stay fresh for weeks, I don’t worry about them being in shipping for a couple days.
If I want ground delivery in a standard uninsulated box, then I should be allowed to make that choice. It seems to me that they are stretching the egg handling regulations to include the shipping of personal internet purchases, when the regulations do not discuss such matters.
One must wonder why they are doing this. One must wonder if there is an ulterior motive somewhere behind all of this. One must wonder why exceptions to the regulations could not have been provided.

One of the Healthiest Eggs on the Market for the Past 7 Years is Now Lost

Soy_Free_Egg_Box_sm
Grass-fed Traditions soy-free and GMO-tested eggs can no longer be purchased by consumers.
When the Grass-fed Traditions soy-free eggs appeared on the market in 2010, it was the culmination of about 2 years of research and development to develop a layer ration that was free from soybeans. Such a poultry layer ration was not commercially available at the time.
Why was it important to develop a poultry feed ration free from soy? As Grass-fed Traditions explains on their website:
Soy has become a big part of the human diet post World War II, with the result that there are many people with soy allergies today, and many people today are trying to reduce or eliminate soy protein from their diet.
Soy is the cheapest protein available today, and it is a major component of most animal feeds. Cheap soy protein allows chickens to grow the fastest, and produce the maximum amount of eggs during their peak laying cycles. If you believe you are allergic to eggs, it could be that you are in fact allergic to soy protein that researchers have now found to be present in egg yolks.
Almost all commercial eggs, including those that are organic or marketed as "Omega 3" eggs, are from chickens fed high concentrations of soy.
So if eggs are a part of your diet today, so is soy protein, whether you realize it or not. Tropical Traditions wanted to offer a soy-free egg from chickens that eat NO SOY. Tropical Traditions soy-free eggs have been tested to be soy-free!
Professor M. Monica Giusti of The Ohio State University has done research on soy isoflavones appearing in commercial egg yolks. In 2009 one of her graduate students conducted some research on soy protein in egg yolks for a thesis, and Tropical Traditions supplied some of their soy-free poultry feed for the study. Their research found:
"Egg yolks of hens provided with the soy free diet, showed a rapid decrease of isoflavone concentration. From an initial isoflavone content of 52µg ± 0.73/100g it quickly diminished until at day 7, the concentration reached individual aglycone undetectable levels."
The chickens that were fed the soy-free feed were laying hens, and had been raised on a traditional soy-based chicken feed. Their results showed that laying hens that were fed the soy-free feed, even when raised on soy-based diet, quickly lose soy protein in egg yolks once they start eating the soy-free ration. After 7 days there were "undetectable levels" of soy protein in the egg yolks.
In recent years, it was found that the organic corn being purchased from local feed mills still had high amounts of GMOs and glyphosate present, so corn was also eliminated from the ration.
The regulations that these two small farming operations are being asked to meet were designed for industrial egg operations that have tens of thousands of birds. In this case, one of the farmers has 200 hens and the other has 600 hens. When they started producing these eggs and shipping them to consumers back in 2010, they were told they were compliant with all regulations to sell eggs direct to the consumer.
New Wisconsin state licensing came about in 2014 when requirements were established that any layer operation with more than 150 hens had to be licensed. Wisconsin now requires farmers who have more than 150 hens to meet state license requirements, which cover hundreds of criteria that only make sense to huge egg operations. [1,2]
Currently, the farmer with 200 laying hens is planning to get out of the egg business if he must meet the state licensing requirements. It does not make business sense for him to build an egg processing room and reconstruct his icehouse, in order to sell a small amount of eggs. Even if he did invest in these changes, he would still have to meet the refrigerated shipping requirement, which remains the major obstacle.
The other farmer with 600 hens was initially willing to obtain a state license, but is now also wondering if this still makes business sense for him. But even if he obtained a state handling license, the cost of shipping eggs refrigerated would put the cost of the eggs out of reach for most consumers.

What is the Future of Small-scale Family Farming in the U.S.?

It is a sad day when the nutritional needs of people are sacrificed by a system of regulation that works against the existence of small businesses who are trying to provide high quality food. It seems as soon as small business owners start exercising independent creativity and ingenuity to produce products that help people become healthier and to stay healthy, there will be an effort to close them down.
These farmers in Wisconsin producing perhaps 50 dozen eggs per day during the sunny months of the year are hardly a threat to anyone. Yet, their egg business is being destroyed for the sake of uniformity and standardization, which only benefits Big Ag.
It seems that every time agriculture regulations are rewritten, they become more and more restrictive and burdensome for small farm businesses. So, congratulations to the State of Wisconsin for setting in motion a plan, which is about to destroy small farm enterprises.
There really is no reason that Wisconsin regulators could not have made an exemption for these farmers, since the number of hens involved here (200 and 600) is not significantly higher than the 150 hens, which is the cut off point for unlicensed egg producers. The size of their egg production is still in keeping with the concept of a small family farm business. These are the same size farms that once dominated the rural landscape throughout America. These farmers do not have dozens of employees and do not produce hundreds of thousands of eggs per day.
But with this Cease and Desist letter, delivered without any prior warning or opportunity to allow the farmers to become compliant before killing their operation, the farmers now face huge economic loss with flocks of chickens that need to be fed expensive chicken feed every day, and no opportunity to sell the eggs while they try to respond to the state’s demands. Their families are suffering from the economic impact of this sudden decision.
Due to the small size of this operation, funding is simply not available to challenge the state in court.

Make Your Voice Heard!

Please call Michelle Krisher and politely ask her to make an exception for Wisconsin Pasturelands Cooperative farmers selling their Grass-fed Traditions eggs. At the very least, they should allow the farmers to use up their remaining feed and have an opportunity to sell their chickens to avoid huge financial losses that might put them out of business.
The letter head she used in her Cease and Desist letter to the farmers boasts "Agriculture generates $88 billion for Wisconsin." So how are a couple of family farmers providing a premium product for over 7 years from just a few hens such a concern for their department, especially given the fact that this product is consumer driven, and that there are apparently no consumer complaints that are initiating this decision?
Michelle J. Krisher
Regulatory Specialist – Senior
DIVISION OF FOOD & RECREATIONAL SAFETY
608-224-4675 / Office; 608-469-8940 / Cell
608-224-4710 / Fax; michelle.krisher@wisconsin.gov
Here are some of the Wisconsin State Representatives serving in the districts of farmers with the Wisconsin Pasturelands Cooperative:
State Representative: Edward Brooks
Office Phone: 608-266-8531 or 877-947-0050
Email: Rep.Brooks@legis.wisconsin.gov
Homepage: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/legislators/assembly/1544
State Representative: Travis Tranel
Office Phone: 608-266-1170888-872-0049
Email: Rep.Tranel@legis.wisconsin.gov
Homepage: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/49/tranel
The Governor of Wisconsin is Scott Walker:
Governor Scott Walker, 115 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702.
Tel: 608-266-1212
EmailFacebook.

About the Author
John P. Thomas is a health writer for Health Impact News. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
References
[1] ] "DATCP Home Egg Sales & Licensing," Retrieved 3/20/2017. https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/FSEggs.aspx
[2] ] "Wisconsin Legislature: ATCP 88.18," Retrieved 3/20/2017. http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/atcp/055/88/IV/18

Disclaimer: Brian Shilhavy is the editor of Health Impact News and the founder of Tropical Traditions/Healthy Traditions.
Permission granted to republish.

Licorice Root Superfood Spotlight

Superfood Licorice Root

Licorice root is considered a harmonizer, an herb that brings the properties of other herbs together in a formula. “In ancient Greek glukos means ‘sweet’ and riza means ‘root.” It is an herb that is considered supportive for individuals who have low cortisol. It can be helpful for:
Adapting to stress
Learning and memory
Balancing hormones
Immune support
Weight Loss
“For hundreds of years, the extract from the root of the licorice plant (which is known for the flavoring in candies) has been used in traditional medicine, and continues to be used today. ”
It's almost hard to believe just how many positive health effects licorice can have -- from battling heartburn, combatting eczema, aiding in digestion, and even fighting certain types of cancer! 
Licorice root can be found in the Mind Superfood.

Natural Treatments For Vasculitis

Are There Natural  Treatments For Vasculitis?

Patients with vasculitis learn that making the diagnosis is sometimes quite difficult. Many endure numerous doctors’ visits, tests, and hospitalizations before the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. The diagnosis of vasculitis usually requires a biopsy of an involved organ (skin, kidney, lung, nerve, temporal artery). This allows us to ‘see’ the vasculitis by looking under a microscope to see the inflammatory immune cells in the wall of the blood vessel.

Now are there any natural treatments for Vasculitis? Yes, there are. Sometimes it's a change in diet or adding superfood supplements. 

Read what happened to Ben here. http://hbnaturals.com/pdf/HBN-BensStory.pdf

Ben started taking the Soul product along with some of the ingredients found in the other two products, specifically the Beet Juice and Hawthorn Berry, within 2 weeks. He would do a shot in the morning and again in the afternoon. By January of 2017, his C-reactive protein level was back to normal with absolutely no other treatment.

Now these are amazing results .... Will it happen like this with you or someone you know? We don't know for sure but what if it does? How cool would that be? Very Cool Indeed! 

If you want to learn more, order a sample of The Healing Trilogy of Mind, Body & Soul or get on  the products right away, contact us or go to Heart & Body Naturals now.

March 25, 2017

Try a Superfood Shot Now

There's a new supplement using Whole Superfoods! Get your sample now and see for yourself how it makes you feel!

Sample of the new Superfood Shot from Heart & Body Naturals.

March 26, 2016

Mexican Chocolate Banana Shake With Superfoods




“Mexican Chocolate Banana” Shake   

  • 8 oz. water
  • Ice
  • 2 scoops your favorite Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
  • One scoop Body, Mind or Soul Superfood 
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground clove
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. honey
Blend and serve....

September 15, 2013

Products For Freckles and Stretch Marks

I'm a native Texan so that means I have years of sun damage to my skin! I have a lot of freckles on my face and across my shoulders, being a natural red head doesn't help!

 I'm testing/researching this new product and so far I like it, a lot!

Here's a little bit of what their website says: Remove Those Freckles With SkinBright! Developed through years of research, Skinbright's exclusive formula combines nature's most effective lightening ingredients into one powerful solution, for both men and women, that will remove the appearance of all types of freckles. SkinBright is also a potent overall skin brightener that will bring your skin a light healthy glow, and a more radiant and even tone. SkinBright will begin to remove the appearance of freckling, in some cases, in as little as 2 weeks!

 I'm not going to tell you that this product is going to give dramatic skin changes, I'll let you discover that for yourself. Remove freckles with SkinBright!
Before And After Age Spots
Let us know how it worked for your freckles :)

Another problem area is stretch marks for women after having babies.  This product is another one I'm checking out!  What they say on their site:

Make Your Stretch Marks a Thing of the Past!
StriaFade for stretch marksAre you suffering from stretch marks due to pregnancy, or weight changes? Have they made you feel self conscious and uncomfortable about your appearance? Perhaps you are pregnant and afraid you may develop stretch marks during pregnancy. If so we have the solution. Through extensive research and development, StriaFade was specifically formulated to prevent stretch marks and reduce the appearance of existing stretch marks in both men and women. Whether your stretch marks are due to pregnancy, weight loss, or body building, StriaFade is the answer. StriaFade will begin to reduce the appearance of existing stretch marks, in some cases, in as little as one month!

August 25, 2013

Diet and Lifestyle Changes Can Help IBS, Lactose Intolerance and More Stomach Problems

Living with a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder has its challenges in a world of fast food, carbonated and sugary beverages, and high-stress living, and the most important step for a person to take is to consult a doctor who can diagnose the condition and recommend the appropriate treatment – from diet therapy to more specialized care from a gastroenterologist or colorectal surgeon.

Among the most common disorders, which affect about one in four people in North America, are  lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, chronic constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, and diverticulitis.

The good news is that each of these common GI conditions can usually benefit through simple changes to diet and lifestyle.


Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a condition when a person is unable to produce enough of a digestive enzyme known as lactase to break down a milk sugar known as lactose—a disaccharide (double sugar), consisting of galactose and glucose.
People who are lactose intolerant are not able to fully digest dairy products. When people who are lactose intolerant do try to ingest dairy, the condition’s symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, gas, bloating and nausea.
As we age, the risk of developing lactose intolerance can increase because lactase production decreases. Ethnicity can also be a risk factor: those of African, Asian, Native American or Latin American descent are at higher risk for lactose intolerance. In addition, premature birth or existence of other GI disorders can result in lactose intolerance.
When suffering from lactose intolerance, here are some things people can do to support their GI health:
  • Take a lactase supplement when consuming dairy products. Many people with lactose intolerance could avoid common symptoms simply by taking a quality digestive enzyme supplement.
  • If extremely sensitive, avoid milk products, but don’t forget your calcium. For some people, even a minimal amount of lactose is not tolerable. They are unable to use products that contain any milk-derived components. For these people, getting calcium by other means, such as through supplementation, is necessary for bone health.
  • Try probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that reside naturally in the intestines, helping to promote a healthy digestive system, and may help with digestion of lactose. Prebiotics support the growth of intestinal flora. Great sources of prebiotics and probiotics are fruit, legumes, whole grains, and yogurt.
Acid Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux, is a condition that occurs when gastric acid backs up into the esophagus. The most common symptom is heartburn or regurgitation, which results when the lower esophageal sphincter cannot relax properly to allow food and liquid to flow down into the stomach; the acid then flows back up into the esophagus, causing a burning pain in the chest.
When a person has a history of acid reflux, here are some things they can do support their GI health:
  • Eat smaller meals. Consumption of a large meal, especially one high in fat, can increase the likelihood of having acid reflux.
  • Avoid late-night eating. Lying down after eating, or bending over, can worsen the condition. It is important to keep your head elevated for at least 2 to 3 hours after meals.
  • Avoid heartburn triggers. These include fatty or fried foods, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, and acidic or spicy foods.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the abdomen, which can cause acid reflux.
  • Elevate the head of your bed, using supports under the legs or a wedge under the head portion of the mattress.  This helps gravity work for you instead of against you.
  • Avoid stress. A busy schedule can often lead to poor eating habits such as relying mainly on fatty foods, and may affect stomach function.   
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition in which the large intestine does not function properly. In some cases, food is forced through the intestines too quickly, causing abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. In other cases, food passes very slowly, causing stools to become dry and hard, leading to constipation. People who are most at risk for IBS includes the elderly, women and having a family history of IBS. Medications should not be modified without discussion with the person’s physician.
When a person is managing IBS, here are some things that they can do to support their GI health:
  • Optimize fiber intake. Getting enough fiber in the diet, especially soluble fiber, from fruits and vegetables, can provide support for GI health, leading to better management of IBS.
  • Avoid trigger foods. IBS flare-ups can vary from person to person. Response depends to some extent on whether the person has food intolerances (such as lactose) or food allergies.
  • Eat small, frequent meals and consume plenty of water.
  • Exercise regularly. Increased physical activity can support GI health.
  • Try prebiotics and probiotics. Increasing your consumption of probiotics can help promote healthy gut flora and may ease symptoms, but should be used after consultation with a doctor. Great sources of prebiotics and probiotics are fruit, legumes and whole grains, and yogurt, respectively.
Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
The presence of diverticuli in the colon is a condition known as diverticulosis. The diverticuli are small pouches caused by protrusion of the inner lining of the colon. People who have diverticulosis may be asymptomatic or may have cramping, bloating, and constipation.
When a diverticulum in the digestive system becomes inflamed, perforated, or infected, the condition is referred to as diverticulitis. People with diverticulitis often suffer from symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea and constipation.
When a person has diverticulosis or diverticulitis, here are some things they may consider (after consultation with a doctor) to support GI health:
  • Exercise regularly and lose weight. Obesity and lack of physical activity are both high risk factors for someone with a history of diverticulitis. By adopting a quality weight management and exercise program (as recommended by your doctor), you can help achieve goals of improving your GI health.
  • Optimize fiber intake. One of the main causes of diverticular disease is following a low-fiber diet. Making dietary changes to ensure you consume enough fiber daily can be one of the principal ways to avoid having a flare-up, and can be easily achieved by eating plenty of whole fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. If you are not used to having fiber in your diet, start slowly—add a small amount (about 4 grams) to your diet at a time and build up (to about 5 to 6 grams) per serving.
  • Drink water throughout the day. Increasing water intake and spacing water intake periodically can help normalize bowel movements. Fiber is very absorbent, and will draw water from your intestinal lining, leading to constipation, unless you consume enough water.
  • Magnesium. Getting enough magnesium in your diet such as from leafy green vegetables can be important for helping to attract water into your colon for normalized bowel movements.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis)
Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) with a major auto-immune component that requires consultation with a medical doctor and proper medical treatment. They both cause inflammation in the digestive tract. Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, usually in patches, whereas ulcerative colitis affects only the lining of the colon.
People with IBD may suffer from symptoms that range from mild to severe that include abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood in stool, low-grade fever, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Those at highest risk are those with a family history of IBD, cigarette smoking, and, possibly, environmental factors.
When a person has had a history of IBD, here are some things they can do to support GI health:
  • Try prebiotics and probiotics. Studies where people incorporated probiotics and prebiotics into their diets have shown potential advantages in GI health. Great sources of prebiotics and probiotics are fruit, legumes and whole grains, and yogurt, respectively.
  • Consume fish oil. Fish oil contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown in studies to support GI health.
Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are collections of arteries and veins under the anal lining that can become swollen, painful, and bleed. They affect about 5 percent of the population in North America. Often they can be managed with diet, but if they do not improve, it is important to see a colorectal surgeon, as not all anal discomfort is from hemorrhoids, and, even if you are suffering from hemorrhoids, other treatments may be indicated.
When a person suffers from swollen hemorrhoids, here are some things they can consider doing to manage symptoms:
  • Optimize fiber and water. Consume plenty of fiber (25 to 30 grams of fiber) and water (at least 8 glasses) throughout each day to aid bowel function and regularity, reducing risk of constipation and decreasing stress in the anal area.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods or turning the bathroom into a library. Sitting too long puts pressure where it doesn’t need to be – in the veins of the anus.
  • Avoid strain on the toilet. Relax and let your natural function work.
 
Dr. Nicole KafkaDr. Nicole Kafka
Nicole J Kafka, MD, is a board-certified general and colon and rectal surgeon with a private practice in New York City. She received her medical degree from Cornell University and her undergraduate degree, with honors, from Harvard University. She is also a published author in her field, has been interviewed for print publications, and has appeared on radio and television. By night, Dr. Kafka is also an accomplished “Renaissance woman,” entertaining as a trained classical singer in venues ranging from New Jersey bars to Carnegie Hall. 
 

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