Digestive Link Sharing

Fall leavesThere are so many helpful, fascinating topics I really want to get a chance to read on and summarize for my blog posts.  Writing and explaining helps solidify the information in my mind and hopefully the summarized information helps some readers too.  Sadly, I just can’t keep up with all that I want to do in a timely fashion.  So today I’m going to share three links which have been shared with me that some readers may be interested in.  Eventually, I’d like to read and summarize on the methanogens and progesterone links.  But, honestly, I can see it may take me a year to do it.

Link ONE is about how certain microorganisms in the gut make methane which then slows the intestinal transit leading to chronic constipation.  This may lead to the idea that a breath test could be diagnostic and certain antibiotics helpful.

Methanogens in Human Health and Disease

Link TWO is about the effect of progesterone and prostaglandins on women’s colons.  Women with chronic constipation and slow transit have been found to have abnormal levels of prostaglandins and cyclooxygenases in their colons.  When researchers applied progesterone to colon cells from women without constipation, they were able to bring about the abnormal levels seen in cells from constipated colons.  So there is clearly a role between progesterone, prostaglandins, and chronic constipation. 

Chronic constipation in women linked to prostaglandins

Link THREE is about an online, digestive conference coming up.  It is free.  There are some good speakers involved who are on the cutting edge, or at least reading up on the cutting edge, of digestive health.  The speakers are from a wide variety of backgrounds, some MDs and some not.  Usually something like this is a good place to listen, generate ideas, and then verify ideas with research or run them by your doctor.

The Digestion Sessions


Information is key.  Help your doctor help you by learning the new information out there.  Your doctor is like a good coach.  They have strong knowledge and experiences, but they’re trying to orchestrate many, many players all day long.  There is no way on God’s great earth doctors can ever keep up on all of the new information.  Print off credible articles, highlight important information in it which you think applies to you, and then say, “Hey, Doc.  I found this article about my problem.  Could we try it for me or do you think it’s a bad idea?”

Thank you Ashwin, Nishka, and Toni for the links.  I can’t wait to delve into them more.



10 thoughts on “Digestive Link Sharing

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      That is a good question: “…what can be done about the progesterone issue or how it can be detected…”
      I know when I took out my Mirena (IUD with very low levels of progesterone), bam, that month was a great GI motility month–but it didn’t last. Coincidence? I don’t know. And one time a month (before contraception), my gut would (try to) move in relation to hormonal changes–progesterone connection? And in pregnancy, at the time the progesterone is the highest somewhere around the end of the first/beginning second trimester, my gut STOPS. I can’t wait to read and see if dots can be connected. If you connect them, come back and say so! 🙂


  1. arianek

    Yes! Keep the constipation links and articles coming! I am trying to figure out my own…uh…issues. I read the methanogen article a couple weeks ago – it was very interesting, though I didn’t feel terribly optimistic about being able to treat for it! (Still waiting for my SIBO kit to show up).

    Then a couple days ago I watched this pre-released interview from the Digestion Sessions http://digestionsessions.com/dr-kharrazian-preview/ – wow! It tied SO MANY of my issues together! I couldn’t believe I’d never heard about this before – that it can all be rooted in neurological issues. And I’ve even had what I suspect to be post-viral vagal nerve problems (mostly manifesting in throat/voice and reflux issues) – I tried to bring them up with a supposedly brilliant ENT last year, and he was so annoyed that I’d done my own research that he refused to discuss vagal dysfunction with me! Even though it was one of his specialties!!!

    Thank goodness for all the resources we have these days, at least we can keep learning about our bodies even when egos get in the way. Can’t wait to watch the rest of the conference in the coming weeks!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I’m not terribly optimistic about being able to treat it (SIBO) either. It seems like so many people treat for SIBO, follow an appropriate diet, and then relapse. Thanks for the preview review of the Digestion Sessions and the link. I’m looking forward to checking it out. I’m sorry about your ENT experience. I’m pretty good at eating humble pie, but (sadly) it is still hard to face/admit gaps in my knowledge. Some will scorn the face of the challenge (How could THEY think they know anything?) and some will get introspective and start reading (Hmm. What is this? I’ve never heard of this…). Thanks for commenting. Take good care–Terri

      1. arianek

        Indeed, it seems just like chronic yeast infections… they always seem to come back no matter what you do! Though interesting to see the recent studies showing some of the herbal antibacterial treatments have been more effective and long lasting than the pharmaceutical options! I’m really grateful at least I found an integrative MD who is very supportive of me learning as much as I can – then he and maybe in the future other patients will even benefit from my ample time to do research. 😉 At least I learned how to research well in grad school, that degree didn’t do a lot else for me!

      2. arianek

        Nothing to laugh at! And look how much you’re helping people with their health in a different way now! Things like that always seem to work out in some strange way, even if they don’t make sense for a long time… 😉

  2. saltygirlswell

    I just found some interesting information that I thought I would share here under the theme of link sharing. I just found out that I have really low T3 Thyroid hormone but normal T4 and TSH. Hypothyroidism is linked to slow motility. My doctor wants me to start taking T3 hormone replacement and jumped to the conclusion that “maybe my thyroid is just shot- it happens sometimes.” What is really interesting is that about two weeks ago I started adding Kelp seasoning to my GAPS soups- Kelp has a LOT of Iodine- and my motility has been great for the first time in years!! Iodine is needed to convert T4 to T3. I am going to start taking more Iodine supps that my doctor recommended as well.

    Here are some interesting links:
    Thyroid and the Gut: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20351569

    Also interesting about all this is that my LDL cholesterol is through the roof- 202 and total Cholesterol 295. I am 27, fit, active and follow paleo/ GAPS diet. I was just reading that low carb diets can cause this cholesterol spike sometimes and also disrupt thyroid function. I eat a lot of squash but maybe not enough?

    I may not be explaining all this well but I wanted to put the thyroid issue on your radar 🙂

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      That was a really nicely written blog post. Thanks for sharing. On iodine–I take iodine (and make sure to take/eat the other nutrients which work in concert), and I have been very happy with the results. (I’m actually in the middle of a series on iodine here on HSD actually.) I can’t say that iodine has specifically helped my GI function. Maybe it has. But still not “cured.” My thyroid tests have always been unremarkable as far as conventional medicine goes. I’ve been quite fascinated by iodine and how conventional medicine dismisses it. A little appalled actually. On cholesterol, those are some pretty overwhelming numbers, eh? Makes you wonder what to think. My numbers have not budged from 10 years ago (and were fine then and fine now). My husband’s, although not as dramatic as yours, have trended up this way. However, his ratio is very good. I’m just waiting for the better cholesterol tests to be in wide use so we can use those to help us better understand and stratify risk. What we’re working with now is not tremendously helpful. Although, in all my elderly patients who looked great, their HDL was excellent. The other numbers weren’t so predictable. Anyhow–lots to think on. ~~ Terri


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.