Fatal Assumption (It’s about Babies. It’s about Iodine. It’s about Thyroid Hormone. It’s about Life Itself.)

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Feb 192017
 
Fatal Assumption (It’s about Babies.  It’s about Iodine.  It’s about Thyroid Hormone.  It’s about Life Itself.)

By Eugene L. Heyden, RN   Maybe you’ve had this experience: Losing a baby before birth, one who never made it into your loving arms, one lost forever.   Maybe this has happened to you more than once.  Unfortunately, fetal loss occurs all too often.  “It has been shown that 31% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, with two-thirds of the losses occurring before clinical detection.”  (Sarkar, 2012)   This is a lot of loss.  Some of this can easily be prevented. Many (if not most) ladies who are pregnant, and those who may become pregnant at a moment’s notice, are so unaware that something as simple as iodine deficiency—common even in the good ol’ USA—is a major cause of death before birth.  The primary reason why iodine deficiency is so destructive is this: Iodine deficiency has a negative effect on the thyroid hormone status of the mother-to-be.  I can’t even begin to tell you how destructive this […]

Could Preventing Crohn’s be This Easy?

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Dec 282016
 
Could Preventing Crohn's be This Easy?

By Eugene L. Heyden, RN   This is the story of a boy and his dog, and the Crohn’s he will never get . . . maybe.  This is also the story of a dog and his boy, and the Crohn’s he will never get . . . maybe.  (Yes, dogs get Crohn’s, too.) In the image above, you see a boy and a dog sharing a bed.  How sweet!  I see this, too.  But I see something else.  I see a boy and a dog sharing germs.  How wonderful!  Both are already super organisms—each composed of themselves plus more germs than you can count in a lifetime.  But now, together in close proximity, they will share their germs and increase the bacterial diversity in each other’s GI tract.  Believe it or not, the greater the diversity in an individual’s gut, the better he or she is able to fend off disease, Crohn’s included.  This […]

Could it be MAP?

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Dec 282016
 
Could it be MAP?

By Eugene L. Heyden, RN   I have been following a controversy for years: Is a pathogen called Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, MAP for short, the cause of Crohn’s?  I must confess, at times I had my doubts (little tiny doubts), but the latest evidence for this is very strong.  And then I stumbled across the work of Dr. Horatio Bach—it’s all over folks!  No more little tiny doubts for me!  The research that he and his colleagues have conducted should help lay this controversy to rest . . . eventually.  But first, let’s back up a little and see what the MAP controversy is all about.  Then I will share with you what I regard as a “landmark” discovery, or more accurately, series of discoveries, made by Dr. Bach and associates. When Crohn’s disease was first characterized in the early 1930s as a distinct disease entity, it was exceedingly rare.  Most physicians at the […]

I Promise, I Will Not Lose You

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Dec 042016
 
I Promise, I Will Not Lose You

    By Eugene l. Heyden, RN   Baby looks a little fragile.  I know you’re worried.  A friend of a friend told me you lost your first baby.  I am so sorry. Some mothers under these or similar circumstances worry and hope for the best.  Of course, they do their best.  That’s what mothers do.  Some mothers worry and hope for the best, but also realize they are not only “Mom” they are “Advocate,” too.  Their babies are fragile and may be struggling, with a future uncertain.  Something needs to be done.  Someone named Mom will have to become a little more educated and involved than she once thought.  She will need to be on her toes, recognizing when medical attention is needed and knowing what to ask for and why.  She may need to be persistent, too. In general, the fragile baby is likely to have been born vitamin D deficient and likely […]

I Didn’t Plan on Any of This, Did You?

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Nov 282016
 
I Didn’t Plan on Any of This, Did You?

By Eugene L. Heyden, RN Do I look like I am particularly happy?  I think not.  I struggling here, and none of this should have ever happened.  I was born premature; not by design, not because I’m defective, but perhaps due to ignorance or neglect.  If only my mommy had known, if only the doctor had known, it was an easily manageable problem that shoved me out into this world weeks before I was ready, then corrective action could have been taken and we would not be having this little conversation.  It was vitamin D deficiency that placed my life in jeopardy.  I’m just sure of it!  I’ve looked at the evidence.  (Do I look like I have anything better to do?) “Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with a number of adverse pregnancy outcomes, and has been recognized as a public health concern.”  (Bener et al., 2013)  As I write, I’m going to go a […]

I Would Be Smiling, Too

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Nov 272016
 
I Would Be Smiling, Too

By Eugene L. Heyden, RN Could it be that this lady is smiling because she has found one of the most powerful treatments available anywhere for the treatment of Crohn’s.  She is in remission now.  She wants to keep smiling. “Nutritional therapy for active Crohn’s disease (CD) is an underutilized form of treatment in adult patients, though its use is common in the paediatric population. There is evidence that nutritional therapy can effectively induce remission of CD in adult patients. Enteral nutrition is safe and generally well tolerated.”  (Smith, 2008) It would be very difficult to find a treatment for Crohn’s diseases more effective and easier to endure than the diet I am about to share with you.  Admittedly, taking a drug is a lot easier than following a diet, but do you always want to take the easy path?  (Apparently not.  You have Crohn’s.)  What should be foremost in mind is safety and effectiveness. […]

War Stories: Dr. Jill

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Nov 152016
 
War Stories: Dr. Jill

 By Eugene L. Heyden, RN Imagine this: You’re in med school.  You are twenty five years old.  Your future is bright.  The following is just not supposed to happen . . . to you, to anyone: You find a lump in your breast.  And in short order, you are given a diagnosis that includes the words “aggressive” and “cancer.”  You know what it takes to survive, so you take the necessary leave of absence from med school in order to do what it takes.  It takes six rounds of chemotherapy, radiation therapy galore, and multiple surgeries.  You do survive, but you pay a heavy price.  Dr. Jill writes, “I had ‘officially’ beaten cancer but nearly destroyed my body in the process.  Completely bald, malnourished, and down to my lowest weight since fourteen years old, I was absolutely depleted but mentally still in the game.”   So it was back to med school for Jill, to pick […]

Have You Fed Your Pathogens Today?

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Oct 222016
 
Have You Fed Your Pathogens Today?

By Eugene L. Heyden, RN When it comes to the Western diet, it seems that there are others besides you (and me) who love this diet.  There are teeming multitudes of others who love it, too.  They are the pathogens that reside within.  What you eat is what they eat.  And boy do they love the Western diet! The Western diet is evil on so many levels.  You have probably heard of saturated fat and cholesterol, and you may be trembling and living in fear.  I would be trembling and living in fear of other things if I were you.  In reality, reasonable intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol are not all that bad.  Go to Africa and ask the Maasai.  Their native diet is composed of approximately 70% animal fats and proteins—blood, meat, and milk products—and they do just fine . . . until they move to the city and eat their first Twinkie.  […]

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War Stories: Phyllis

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Oct 112016
 
War Stories: Phyllis

By Eugene L. Heyden, RN If you’re going to come down with Crohn’s, try to put it off as long as possible.  Try to wait until you are at least in your mid- to late-fifties.  I interviewed someone who did just that.  Her name is Phyllis.  This is her story: Phyllis, a grade school teacher (no stress here!), was diagnosed with Crohn’s on October 16, 2008.  A colonoscopy made the diagnosis easy, and it also showed her disease to be extensive and in a very advanced stage.  Surprisingly, leading up to all this, Phyllis was not all that ill, or so she thought. About five, perhaps eight years prior to diagnosis, Phyllis began having an occasional bout of diarrhea (like, who doesn’t), sometimes a little bloody, but most of the time, normal (if you can call diarrhea “normal”).  But nothing during this period of time raised any red flags, as these episodes were self-limiting and […]

Crohn’s Disease: Finding a Way Out Japanese Style

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Oct 032016
 
Crohn’s Disease: Finding a Way Out Japanese Style

By Eugene L. Heyden, RN Here I will introduce you to a diet just made for Crohn’s, and it was designed by a team of gastroenterologists.  (Can’t beat that!)  This diet is very successful.  And I mean very successful.   It can help induce remission.  It can help maintain remission.  You can turn back time.  You get your life back!  It is called The Semi-Vegetarian Diet.  Let’s take a look. “Accumulating evidence indicates that excess of unabsorbed iron that enters the colon lumen causes unwanted side effects at the intestinal host-microbiota interface. “Notably, accumulating evidence suggests that unabsorbed iron can stimulate growth and virulence of bacterial pathogens in the intestinal environment.”  (Kortman et al., 2014) In my book on Crohn’s, I spend a lot of time warning of the dangers of iron, and how its excess—so commonplace in our society—leads to disease.  No one else seems to be telling you this story, so I guess it’s up […]