IC Related Conditions:
A chronic disorder with symptoms that include musculoskeletal tenderness and pain, a feeling of being tired, problems with memory, sleep, and moods. Pain occurs in the beginning as pain accompanied by stiffness, burning pain and/or numbness throughout the body, with specific areas known as “tender points.” Cause has yet to be revealed, but researchers believe it may begin after events such as surgery, physical trauma, significant stress, or infection. Additional research is showing that the disorder may be linked to various autoimmune diseases and gut health.
A gynecological problem that affects 176 million women around the world, it is a condition where the tissue that normally lines the uterus develops outside of the uterus. When this situation occurs it disrupts the normal monthly menses as the tissue has no place to go for release and instead causes intense pain. There has not been a definitive explanation as to what causes this disorder, but it is believed that it may initially involve retrograde menstruation involving a reversal of the release to flow backwards into the pelvis and fallopian tubes. Additional potential causes involve hormones, immune system, embryonic cell growth, environment and genetics. The disorder affects the outer surface of the uterus, pelvic cavity lining, fallopian tubes and ovaries. 30-50% of infertility cases are attributed to endometriosis and women that are diagnosed with the disorder often suffer from painful ovarian cysts.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is most common in people under the age of 50. It is a disorder affecting the large intestines and is characterized by abdominal pain and cramping, gas, bloating constipation or diarrhea or both. Exact reason for having IBS is unknown but it is believed that there are contributing factors that can trigger symptoms including: intestinal muscle contraction, gut bacteria changes, intestinal inflammation, severe infections, poor diet, extreme stress, mood disorders, poor lifestyle, autoimmune disorders, and gut health. Most individuals can control IBS symptoms through the management of lifestyle, diet, and stress with only the most severe cases requiring counseling and medication.
A condition that involves chronic pain in the vulvar area; which is the tissue surrounding the opening of the vagina. While the pain severity, consistency, and location varies, it can involve one area or multiple areas. Pain description can be a feeling of ‘knife-like’ pain as well as “acid being poured on the skin.” Exact reason for vulvodynia is unknown, but there are two subtypes that can often co-exist in the same patient. Localized vulvodynia is pain that occurs due to sexual intercourse, insertion of a tampon, gynecologic exam, sitting or a long duration, or wearing tightly fitted pants. It is due to pressure applied to the vestibule area. Generalized vulvodynia is a constant state of pain with limited times of relief and is exacerbated by sexual intercourse or prolonged sitting.
This is a type of autoimmune disorder that involves problematic disruptions in the production of saliva and tears, while also having inflammation of the tissue area. The disorder occurs when the body has an overabundance in the production of antibodies and they attack the glands that produce saliva, tears and other tissues. This creates a cascade trigger for dysfunction and inflammation. Sjogren’s Syndrome is characterized by symptoms including: dry eyes and mouth, dry skin, nose, upper respiratory tract and/or vagina. The disorder can have a negative effect on tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles, and bones.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (adrenal fatigue)
This disorder is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms mimic many other medical problems. The main symptom is a feeling of overwhelming exhaustion that gets worse with mental or physical exertion and does not improve with rest. Continued research is showing that CFS may be linked to a leaky gut that allows bacteria to enter the blood stream. Those that suffer from CFS may have symptoms including: memory problems, muscle pain, headaches, sleeping problems, pain in the joints, sore throat, palpitations, clumsiness, lymph node tenderness, short attention span, concentration problems, muscle twitching, excessive sweating, food intolerance, temperature regulation problems, enlarged glands, light/noise hypersensitivity, fainting, gastrointestinal problems, irritable bowel-like symptoms, mood swings, flu-like symptoms, and alcohol intolerance.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Muscles in the pelvic floor use contraction to govern control of bladder and bowel movements. When you can’t control these muscles it is known as Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Those that suffer from this disorder relax the muscles instead of contracting them and this causes bowel movement problems. Cause for the dysfunction can occur due to an accident or a traumatic childbirth incident. Symptoms can include the feeling that you require several bowel movements in a short time, incomplete bowel movements, straining or constipation, frequent urination, painful urination, lower back pain that is not due to other medical situations, continuing pain in the rectum, genitals or pelvic area; or pain during intercourse for women.
EC (eosinophilic cystitis), is considered to be a rare condition of bladder inflammation that is caused by the build-up of a type of white blood cell known as “eosinophilic”, within the bladder. While the cause is unknown, those that suffer from EC do share problems of asthma and allergies, as well as a history of bladder infection or trauma, bladder tumor surgery, and/or open bladder surgery, and as a result of taking certain types of medications. Common symptoms include: frequent urination, pain when urinating, blood in the urine, pelvic/abdominal pain. Less common symptoms include problems with urinary retention and excessive nightly urination.
*SIBO can create leaky gut
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is the overgrowth and/or changes in the type of bacteria that is found in the small bowel area that is normally found in the colon. SIBO can have a negative effect on the function and structure of the small bowel and interfere with food digestion and nutrient absorption. The cell damage to the small bowel lining is attributed to the development of a “leaky gut”, which allows large protein molecules to escape the bowels and enter the bloodstream. This disorder can cause a lot of possible problems including autoimmune disease, food sensitivities and allergies, and inflammation. Symptoms of SIBO can include: abdominal distention and bloating, belching/gas, pain or discomfort in the abdomen, diarrhea, and constipation. Severe cases involving vitamin deficiencies can cause weight loss.
Food and chemical sensitivity
The increased doses of chemicals in the environment, as well as additives in food, have resulted in some people exhibiting food/chemical sensitivities. It hasn’t been until more recently that the medical health community considered this to be a problem. There are a wide range of symptoms that can include but are not limited to: fatigue, nausea, dizziness, itching, sneezing, congestion, chest pain, sore throat, heart rhythm changes, muscle stiffness or pain, breathing problems, gas/bloating, skin rashes, diarrhea, mental confusion, memory and mood problems and changes, difficulty concentrating. Treatment involves in-depth testing to find out the source(s) of the sensitivity and then removing them from the patient’s lifestyle.
Mood Disorders- anxiety, depression
Anxiety and depression are two of the mood disorders that contain symptoms defined as a serious change in mood. When the symptoms are more severe, the alterations can have a dramatic effect on brain physiology, the production of the body’s hormones, and can alter physical conditions. Causes for these mood disorders can range from a traumatic situation that catapults into PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), to sudden life changes such as death/grief. The constant production of high levels of the fight-or-flight hormones can elevate heart rate and blood pressure, change dietary habits, and result in alterations of some body functions. Depression is associated as part of anxiety and in severe cases, the mood change can lead to self-medication and thoughts of suicide.
This is a condition in which the thyroid production of the body’s necessary hormones is lowered. Approximately 80% of those with a thyroid problem suffer from hypothyroidism. The thyroid produces the thyroglobulin protein which allows iodine binding. There are two primary hormones that are produced by the thyroid, T3 and T4, and these assist in getting oxygen into the cells and helps in the control of the body’s metabolism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: lowered energy levels, lack of enthusiasm, desire to sleep, a “heavy head” feeling, weight gain, rough/dry/scaly skin, dry hair, hair loss, cold sensitivity, and constipation. Science is finding that there are closer relationships to gut health and thyroid health.
Histamine is a natural body chemical that is part of your central nervous system, immune system and involved in proper digestion. It acts as a neurotransmitter, communicating priority messages to the brain. Histamine is also a major component of stomach acid and assists in breaking down food. The purpose of histamine is to provide a kind of red-flag immune system response to let your body know that there are possible attackers for inflammation. The response that occurs causes blood vessels to swell so that the white blood cells can enter and take care of the problem or infection. Once the situation has occurred, histamine breaks down by body enzymes. The buildup of histamine is called histamine intolerance and when it travels in the bloodstream, excess histamines can affect the skin, brain, gut, lungs and cardiovascular system. Symptoms or histamine intolerance include: problems sleeping, hypertension, migraines/headaches, problems regulating the temperature of the body, dizziness/vertigo, accelerated heart rate, abdominal cramping, vomiting/nausea, anxiety, flushing, abnormal menstrual cycle, sneezing/nasal congestion, breathing difficulty, fatigue, hives, and tissue swelling. Histamine intolerance has been attributed to a number of reasons and testing is required to find out the root cause.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a digestive disorder affecting the ring muscle, sometimes referred to as a “valve,” that is located between the stomach and the esophagus. In normal situations, the “valve” keeps the stomach acids within the stomach area, however, if the valve is damaged, they can attempt to return to the esophagus. GERD shares many of the symptoms of acid reflux and can include belching, breathing problems, excessive salivation, sour taste in the mouth, chest pain, and burning sensations in the chest or throat. The condition causes a reflux or return of the gastric juices of the stomach as they try to re-enter the esophageal area. Approximately 20-40% of those living in Western areas suffer from GERD compared to only 5% of those in Asian countries. Those that study this disorder believe that one of the root causes may be the Western diet which is filled with processed foods. Newer research indicates that chronic inflammation may also be a contributor to acid reflux symptoms as well as other digestive conditions. The disorder can cause mucosal damage and, in extreme cases, can lead to Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that is associated with esophageal cancer. Examination of chronic inflammation, as well as lifestyle and diet changes, have been shown to reduce the symptoms and discomfort of GERD.