The Better Bones Blog

by Dr. Susan Brown, PhD.

The straight poop on fecal transplants

It’s so easy to think that our high-tech, modern culture means we understand the laws of nature and know more than our ancestors.

When it comes to maintaining health, however, this is not necessarily true.

I’m often struck by the wisdom of ancient cultures, and every day modern science validates this wisdom, be it a new appreciation for acupuncture, or scientific support for time-honored herbal preparations, or even documentation of benefit for strange practices like bloodletting (which we now know can be very therapeutic), and, yes, fecal transplants.

If you’re interested in just what all the talk about common, everyday poop might mean for you, tune into on my humorous and informative interview with Martie Whittenkin, CCN, author of The Probiotic Cure.

Watch the video now

Here’s more about fecal transplants…

As gross as it sounds, treating disease with fecal matter (a practice documented in 4th-century Chinese medical literature as well as WWII-era observations of Bedouin nomads) has been used for centuries to treat many gastrointestinal disorders.

Recently, modern science found that a simple fecal transplant — and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: taking poop from one person and putting it into someone else — has the capability to cure an intestinal infection that is widespread and that can be fatal: Clostridium difficile. Now, this is big news! And it’s interesting because it reminds us of the essential and varied roles our microbiome (the “good bacteria” we carry with us) plays in human health.

Curing of Clostridium difficile in humans is amazing, but it could be just the beginning. Animal studies have been pushing the envelope on just what we can “import” from a fecal transplant.  For, example, fecal microbiota from a fat mouse transplanted into a thin mouse resulted in the skinny mouse gaining weight. Even more interesting: shy, fearful mice became more aggressive and competitive after a fecal transplant from a very aggressive, competitive mouse.

 

Medication use and osteoporotic fracture

Are you taking medications that could increase your risk of osteoporotic fracture? Many people are – even after they’ve suffered a fracture – according to a recent article about osteoporotic fractures and medication use from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Scientists looked at 168,000 Medicare beneficiaries who experienced osteoporotic fractures of the hip, shoulder or wrist. They found that 75% of these patients had actually been taking one or more medications known to increase fracture risk.

Drugs known to increase fracture risk

In the study, 21 classes of drugs were associated with increased fracture risk. Some of the drugs known to increase fracture risk include:

  • Glucocorticoid steroids (e.g., prednisone)
  • Serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (antidepressants)
  • Antacids (proton pump inhibitors and aluminum-containing antacids).
  • Blood pressure medicines
  • Antipsychotics
  • Thyroid hormone (when dosed in excess of need)
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Anti-estrogen breast cancer drugs
  • Anti-testosterone prostate cancer drugs
  • DepoProvera
  • Sedatives (benzodiazepines)
  • Opiate pain killers, morphine
  • Acetaminophen if used long term
  • Diabetes medications (thiazolidinediones)
  • Heparin, long term use

What can you do to reduce your bone health risks from medications?

The authors of the study were struck by the fact that even after fracturing, patients did not stop using their bone-damaging medication. One obvious helpful suggestion from this study is for doctors to provide alternative medications that damage bone less. Here are other ideas for creating lifelong bone health:

  • When a drug therapy is recommended, dig a little deeper! Learn more about your health condition and how it’s related to lifestyle and nutrition.
  • Use the medication for the shortest period as possible. When you need medication for a chronic condition, work with your doctor to minimize the dose or find a less bone-damaging alternative.
  • Study how others with this ailment have regained health using natural, life-supporting alternatives to drug therapy, including exercise, nutritional strategies and methods that strengthen the mind–body connection.
  • Look into the more holistic health approaches, such as functional medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, classic homeopathy, chiropractic and massage .

If you’re concerned about your risk for fracture and bone health issues, take a moment to learn more about my natural Better Bones Program.

Reference:

Munson, JC et al. Patterns of prescription drug use before and after fragility fracture. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(10):1531-1538. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4814

 

In 2017, learn how to cultivate inner peace amid outer turmoil

As a women’s health advocate who is concerned about human rights, the health of our Mother Earth, world peace and justice, it’s clear to me that 2017 will be challenging. But I refuse to be discouraged. After all, the times of greatest challenge offer the greatest opportunity for growth.

I’ve decided to meet the challenges of 2017 by putting more attention toward becoming the change I want to see in the world. Allowing myself to be tossed around by the waves of discord, negativity, and controversy would be an injustice to my true self and a direct assault on my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. So my first step is to cultivate inner peace and hope — and to help you do the same, here are some tips.

8 tips to find inner peace

  1. First things first: take care of your body. That means get enough sleep, eat regular, nourishing meals and make time for fun and relaxation. Exhaustion, hypoglycemia and over-scheduling don’t promote inner peace.
  2. Set your intention for inner peace. When you wake, take three deep breaths and decide that inner peace is the day’s goal. It may take practice, but what you put your attention on grows stronger in your life.
  3. Give yourself 10 minutes of silence daily. Sit quietly and breathe deeply, inhaling to the count of 5 and exhaling to 8. Focus on the breath and observe the wanderings of your mind. If distracting thoughts arise, simply shift your attention back to your breathing.
  4. Change your mind (literally). Practice being aware of what you are thinking, and when worry or fear shows up, deliberately exchange them for more harmonious thoughts based in love or kindness.
  5. Practice coexistence. Deliberately set aside judgmental thinking. Peaceful coexistence is possible when we respect each other’s unique expression of self, whether we find it pleasing or not.
  6. Follow your heart’s desire. It’s all too easy to become distracted and even obsessed with the comings and goings of worldly and personal affairs. Focus your attention on what makes you happy, not wasting precious energy on criticizing or judging others.
  7. Be kind, no matter what. As President Obama is fond of saying, “We can disagree without being disagreeable.” Let your guiding principle be kindness.
  8. Relax and have more fun. Times are troubled, but this too will pass. Take enjoyment where you find it.

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