Natural Treatment for Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

The Sphincter of Oddi is a central gate to many liver, gallbladder and pancreas problems. Many scientists believe that the Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD) is a culprit of the pancreas diseases and it is the common source of chronic pain after gallbladder removal.

Around the common bile duct, pancreatic duct and the duodenum wall there is a muscle valve called the Sphincter of Oddi. The Sphincter of Oddi, named after Ruggero Oddi, an Italian anatomist who discovered this structure in 1887. The Sphincter of Oddi controls moving of the bile from the liver, and gallbladder and pancreatic juice from the pancreas into the duodenum.

Normally, when semi digestive food moves from the stomach into the duodenum sphincter of Oddi opens. Large amount of the gallbladder bile and alkaline pancreatic juice is released to digest this food. When no food in the duodenum, sphincter of Oddi is closed so the bile from the liver is collected in the gallbladder.

Regulation of this complicated work is under control of nervous system and special blood messengers – digestive hormones. Stress, fasting, “harsh” liver cleansing, gallbladder removal, bad eating habits, alcohol, some medications, and recreation drugs badly influence in proper regulation and work of the sphincter of Oddi.

Spasm or blockage of this muscle valve may cause pancreatic juice goes backward, thereby increasing the pressure inside the pancreatic duct. Digestive enzymes shut inside the pancreas, begin to digest their own pancreas, initiate inflammation, pain, and finally the death of pancreatic tissue. Thus, chronic pancreatitis is developed.

Tumor, gallbladder stone, or scaring can make an anatomical blockage of the sphincter of Oddi. It happens relatively rare. However, more often can be functional, temporal spasms of the sphincter of Oddi without any abnormality in the tests. The common reason for sphincter to be spasmodic is irritation of it by the “aggressive” bile and pancreatic juice.

What could make bile and pancreatic juice “aggressive”, corroded, and irritated? Let’s explain that.

The liver’s most important functions are producing and releasing bile and removing the toxins from our body by dividing them into water-soluble and fat-soluble wastes.

Water-soluble wastes move into the blood and the kidneys eliminate them from the body.

Bile serves to eliminate a variety of the toxic, fat-soluble wastes substances from the body. These substances include cholesterol, bile pigments, toxic chemicals, drugs, heavy metals, etc.

Hepatitis, fatty liver, Candida-yeast overgrowth, parasites, congestion, inflammation, infection of the gallbladder, high body’s acidity, poor eating habits, alcohol can cause the bile to be thick and acidic, therefore make it difficult for it to move through the ducts.

When the bile and pancreatic juice are getting acidic, they also become very “aggressive”, irritated, and corroded for the ducts, sphincter of Oddi, and small intestine causing jerky movement; “wrong way traffic” – bile/pancreatic juice refluxes in the stomach, ulcers and even cancers.

No surprise, it causes loss of appetite, nausea, gas, bloating, heartburn, attacks of pain, especially after “bad” foods or bad food combination. Pain can be last for 30 minutes to several hours and even bring person to ER.

Therefore, the goal of treatment has to be focus on root of the problems such as biochemical, acidic changes in the bile and pancreatic juice. In the normal situation, the bile and pancreatic juice are very alkaline fluids. However, if whole body is getting acidic, the bile and pancreatic juice also became acidic and “aggressive”.

Checking saliva and urine pH with litmus paper at home may show acidic condition of the body especially if saliva and urine pH repeatedly less than 6.6.

What can naturally normalize the alkaline condition of the bile and pancreatic juice?

Only minerals and bicarbonate from food and water can naturally neutralize the whole body acidity.

For this purposes, European doctors have used healing mineral water for a long time. Treatment with healing mineral water (balneology) is a part of education in some European medical schools. There are many healing mineral spas all over the Europe.

Most famous and researched mineral water is water from hot spring in the small Czech town Karlovy Vary. Karlovy Vary healing mineral water attracted millions visitors all over the globe. It was distributed by barrels and bottles many years ego. Demand of this water was so high hence, the mineral salt had manufactured there by vaporizing the spring water in 1764. It was a good option for people, which cannot visit Karlovy Vary or wanted ongoing the healing course at home.

Dissolving this salt in the water produces mineral water with the same healing value.

Karlovy Vary healing mineral water has been object for serious medical study for hundreds of the years. First medical book about that water have a laxative effect was dated by 1522. Later, a large number of medical papers confirmed the healing action of this water in many digestive disorders.

European doctors showed that drinking mineral water makes bile and pancreatic juice less acidic, liquid, and less “aggressive”. It naturally improves digestion, alleviates the pains and cramps, and lessens gas and heartburn.

This water may dissolve the gallbladder stones and expel them; it also is very beneficial for persons with sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, chronic pancreatitis, and hepatitis.

What else can make the bile and pancreatic juice less irritated for the sphincter of Oddi?

Herbal medicine is the oldest way to eliminate digestive problems. Chinese medicine, Hindu system – Ayurveda, European herbology offer many healing herbs for digestive disorders. Some of them increase amount of the bile, promote its easy elimination, decrease spasms and pain. The simple example is peppermint tea. Knowledgeable medical practitioner can customize the herbal remedies for any digestive problems.

No question, food is the important, safe and cheep medicine for sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

Food needs to be alkaline and full of the natural digestive enzymes. Some vegetable blends or juices are good for these purposes. Warm vegetable soups are also helpful for many digestive problems. Some persons with sphincter of Oddi dysfunction suffer from Candida-yeast overgrowth, food sensitivity, and allergy. Appropriate diet changes are necessary to correct these conditions.

Stress can lead to spasm of the sphincter of Oddi as well. Worsening sphincter of Oddi dysfunction after mental or physical stress can be seen very often. Consulting, relaxation, meditation, medical hypnosis, listening the custom hypnoses CD at home, acupuncture, massage are some natural ways to alleviate the stress.

It would be wise to stop drinking alcohol temporary for a few months to improve condition because the alcohol interrupts the normal function of this muscle valve. Upper abdominal pain after alcohol consumption is typical for sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

Unfortunately, there is not simple and safe test for diagnose early stage of the SOD now. Therefore, any kind of pain in the upper stomach area after heavy meals can be the alarm bell of the sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

By author’s opinion, strategic position of the sphincter of Oddi involves it in many digestive diseases and disorders. On the other hand, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction by itself leads to many digestive symptoms.

Natural treatment of the early stage can avoid serious problem in the future and improve the quality of life.

It is important to work with a knowledgeable, licensed medical professional.

The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified licensed professional.

Cannabis Oil a Cancer Treatment Alternative to Chemotherapy?

Marijuana has gotten a bad reputation over the decades as being a harmful drug that everyone needs to stay away from. But in recent years, the concept of the medicinal benefits of cannabis has become a hot topic. There’s talk of how the marijuana plant and the oil from its seeds can aid in a variety of ailments, such as arthritis, glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease. But what’s even more exciting is that cannabis oil could very well be an alternative treatment for cancer patients.

The History of Medical Marijuana

This is a recent term that has been coined for medical use of marijuana, but the idea of using it for this purpose isn’t so new. For thousands of years, people have cultivated this plant. There is a male and female – the female being the one known as marijuana. There’s plenty of evidence that suggests the use of marijuana in the ancient days. For instance, there was more than two pounds of cannabis found inside of a 2,700 year old shaman grave over in Central Asia.

Many different cultures have purposes for the marijuana plant, all relating to some type of therapy or medicine.

The Plant is Outlawed

It wasn’t until 1939 when the Congress passed a law prohibiting Americans from using cannabis for therapeutic or recreational purposes. Then in 1970, the plant was officially classified as a controlled substance. Because of this, both the naturopathic and conventional medical communities couldn’t consider its use.

But now that states are legalizing the medical use of cannabis, more experimentation can be done. And so far, we have found that cannabis oil works wonders fighting against cancer cells. It’s an alternative cancer treatment that patients could have access to.

Mary Jane vs The Big C

Long story short, the THS in cannabis oil connects to the CB2 and CB1 cannabinoid receptors inside of cancerous cells. This leads to an influx of ceramide synthesis, which causes cancer cells to die. The great thing about this is that unlike chemotherapy, cannabis oil only adversely affects cancer cells, not healthy cells. Normal cells don’t produce ceramide when exposed to THC, which is why it goes untouched. The cytotoxic chemicals aren’t what causes the cancer cells to die – it’s the small shift in the mitochondria, which acts as the energy source for cells.

Patients should consult with a naturopathic doctor about services like alternative cancer treatment, hormone replacement therapy and ozone therapy.

Facing Pseudoscience and Autism Treatment Fads Head On

Some studies have shown genetic mechanisms contribute to the development of autism; additionally it is probably that some (unidentified) environmental factors may factor in as well. (Autism Speaks).

The standards that determine the diagnosis of Autism vary. In addition, the fluctuation of symptoms between patients is so extensive that to-date, there is no way to prescribe the “perfect” treatment plan for all children living on the Autism spectrum. (National Institute of Mental Health). The ambiguous properties of an autism diagnosis offer little help to parents who have to learn how to handle behavior, emotional and cognitive issues. The uncertainty pushes many parents towards alternative treatment plans that purport to show results, but have little or no scientific backing to their claims.

Children with autism have had the most promising results when they participate in intensive behavioral therapy. This therapy can be time consuming and there is no way to know how well a patient will do. The unpredictability and long-term commitment is of little comfort to families and professionals who are searching for fast results. This desire for immediate results has turned many parents and professionals towards therapies that lack scientific evidence. Some of the popular alternative treatments include dietary restrictions (specifically gluten and casein-free), rebirthing, dolphin therapy, nutrition supplements and sensory integration therapy. Because of their lack of scientific evidence, these practices are classified as pseudoscience.

Practices that fall into the category of pseudoscience claim to have scientific evidence to support their practices. However, much of this “evidence” is wrong or misinterpreted. These treatments can lead to potentially dangerous treatments. In addition, parents could waste money and time on a treatment that is not going to work. Due to the popularity of these new treatments, many behavior analysts are devoting a lot of time to studying claims or new treatments, reviewing the risks and discussing their findings with their clients.

Parents often rely on these alternative treatments because they appear to be safe. Additionally, the recommendation of friends or other parents carries a heavy weight with families struggling to figure out how to deal with day-to-day interactions. Parents understandably also seek hope and control over treatment options for their children.

In a perfect world, parents would choose treatment plan, thoroughly vetted with randomized peer-reviewed studies. These studies would include large sample groups, proper control of factors and validated outcome measures. Regrettably, most of the alternative treatments derive from theories and include shallow studies, if any at all.

The CAM treatment studies that have received detailed studies are few and demonstrated that the use of facilitated communication and secretin are not effective treatment options for children on the autism spectrum. In an extensive search to find randomized trials of gluten and/or casein-free diets, found just two studies. The search was an attempt to study trials to determine whether these diets could work to help alleviate behavior and social functioning symptoms associated with autism. The two studies had conflicting results. The absence of helpful scientific results combined with no evidence of negative effects, only further adds uncertainty to these diets as a treatment option. Possible benefits of the diets include improved communication and attention skills as well as lower hyperactivity. Potential drawbacks included reluctance from children and wasted money on a potentially ineffective treatment.

Lerman and his colleagues studied (2008) three children with autism to determine the effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. The study determined that the therapy did not affect attention to tasks or alleviate behavioral issues. The decided result was that therapy was not worth the time and money required to complete the therapy. Other research suggests that behavior, attention and cognitive manners may improve after HBOT. Additional research with a larger population and controlled variables is required for a more accurate decision.

To date, there has not been enough research on alternative treatments and the shortage of scientific evidence refutes their use. Many of the most popular alternative tactics are entirely un-researched. Most of these alternative treatments call for further investigation.

If a family chooses alternative treatment, their medical professional should attempt to persuade the families to conduct proper research and study of their options. The necessity of making an educated decision is especially true for treatments that rely on theories and claim to work for multiple, unrelated symptoms. Treatments that indicate children will respond dramatically and/or be cured by the treatment or rely on anecdotal data should be avoided.

Families and behavioral specialists should keep an eye out for studies that do not have peer-reviewed references, and treatments that claim to have no possible adverse side effects. Objective evidence is necessary, but people seem to have lowered standards on social sciences. As scientists, we try to predict and control subject matters with which we are familiar. This makes is very difficult for many scientists to recognize pseudoscience in unfamiliar disciplines.

When a parent indicates interest in unproved treatments, their medical professional has a responsibility to educate the family about risks associated with these types of treatments. Some alternative treatments, like chelation therapy and rebirthing, have had fatal side effects. Properly informing a parent of potential risks can keep a child safe from dangerous practices and/or save a family time, money and frustration

Although it is important to inform families about risks associated with alternative options, medical professionals should be empathetic to the parents need to find a solution. “As parents and professionals continue to try new unproven therapies for autism, practitioners with expertise in behavior analysis can assist by obtaining objective, quantifiable data on outcomes for individual children”. Medical specialists can show support and interest when a family chooses an alternative that alleviates stress and grief and presents no side effects.

While parents are free to make decisions for their children, so long as their safety is intact, relying on pseudoscientific treatments in place of a proven study can be dangerous. Additionally, parents should not rely on an alternative treatment to “get rid” of the autism. A father of an autistic child, James Lieder said this about alternative treatments: “”I stepped into ‘alternative’ medicine up to my neck and waded out again, poorer but wiser. I now realize that the thing the ‘alternative’ practitioners are really selling is hope-usually false hope-and hope is a very seductive thing to those who have lost it. It is really not surprising that people will buy it even when their better judgment tells them not to do so.”