Monday 12 December 2011

Top Secret !! Sshhhh (but someone thinks I'm worth quoting...)

Image courtesy of

Some weeks ago I received a rather flattering request to be quoted in a book that's in the process of being written. The subject is: the mind's interaction with the body, but it's top secret at the moment. This subject of course is the one that's dear to my heart and that occupies most of my waking moments. Today I'm having a call with the author to discuss the many areas of research we have in common. I'll let you know when the book's being published, but in the meantime, I thought you'd like me to share this...
The mind's effect on Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis flares was something I discovered accidentally: Previously I declined to accept Crohn's cases, no matter how many times people rang, as I only take on cases where I'm pretty certain I can bring about very significant reduction or elimination of symptoms. Everything I'd read about Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis at that time suggested that the link was genetic, that the flares were random, and that bouts of remission were just as mysterious. I didn't attempt to challenge this until one day....

In the webinar I'm expecting to release shortly, I talk about how I discovered the methodology to reduce or even eliminate Crohn's symptoms and I include excerpts from a recent case study as well as from interviews with eminent GI experts that I think you will find very interesting.
I'd better get back to preparing the webinar... It's long overdue (the perfectionist in me).
Talk soon,

Monday 28 November 2011

Rejection really can break your heart and inflame your guts

Here is a digest of a paper by George M. Slavich et al. at UCLA which indicates a clear causal link between the stress from feeling socially rejected and inflammation. This reports one of his many papers looking at the effects of mind-body interaction and would appear to be very relevant to the repeated flares characteristic of  IBD, (the autoimmune conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which includes Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis). Being the reluctant Black Sheep really does seem to have an inflammatory effect!
Image courtesy of uwillreadnews.blogspot  
Here is an abstract from the original paper:
"Although stress-induced increases in inflammation have been implicated in several major disorders, including cardiovascular disease and depression, the neurocognitive pathways that underlie inflammatory responses to stress remain largely unknown. To examine these processes, we recruited 124 healthy young adult participants to
complete a laboratory-based social stressor while markers of inflammatory activity were obtained from oral fluids..........
For the full paper click here:

Monday 21 November 2011

Stress, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease flares

Here is a WebMD article on the relationship between stress and Ulcerative Colitis. It includes a neat summary of the mechanism which applies equally to the role of stress in the inflammation exhibited in Crohn's Disease. It includes patient accounts of how stress causes their Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) to flare.

Image courtesy of

Inflammation in Crohn's Disease
Image courtesy of

Monday 14 November 2011

Vulnerability is essential for mental health

I was writing a new post about the effect on the body of internalising feelings rather than expressing them. I have found that Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in particular and other autoimmune conditions in general such as psoriasis appear to respond in particular to the stress that results from being a different persona from the one being lived. This video talks in a very clear way about the importance of living from  your "Core Self" (Copyright) as I talk about in my BUDI(TM) program.
First watch this; it illustrates so well how modern day humans often block off feelings and live behind the person we think we ought to be.
Ted Talks are a wonderful resource and Brene Brown really does her opportunity justice. Enjoy, and please tell me what you think! - Joy

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Reduce the pain of your humira / adalimumab injections!

This is for people with Crohn's who would like help with their Humira injections. Please read this a couple of times first to become familiar with it before starting.
  1. Get into a comfortable position, shut your eyes and allow your body to relax completely from head to toe. Breathe deeply and slowly
  2. When you are completely relaxed, open your eyes and imagine that your first 2 fingers of the opposite hand to the one that holds the syringe are anaesthetic fingers. 
  3. Slowly and firmly run your fingers in small circles rhythmically over the area you are going to inject. Each small circle should take 2 seconds to complete. 
  4. As you do this, watch your fingers and feel the area under your fingers becoming totally numb to a deep level. 
  5. Notice the colour of the skin under your fingers change as the sensation disappears. 
  6. Breathe in for two circles, and breathe out for two circles and continue to repeat. The more rhythmic are your circles, the less you can feel. 
  7. When you are happy that it’s numb to a deep enough level, keep your fingers still, slightly apart, pressing firmly on the area and keeping your gaze completely focused on your fingers. For as long as you maintain your gaze on your fingers, the anaesthetic effect will last. 
  8. Continue to breathe in the same rhythm – (in for 4 seconds and out for 4 seconds) and noticing how the numbness deepens. 
  9. Still keeping your gaze completely fixed on your fingers, notice the patterns on the knuckles nearest your nails, and using only your peripheral vision, take your syringe and position the tip between your fingers. 
  10. In one complete, relaxed out breath, notice the pressure of the syringe increasing to match the pressure of your fingers and watch how the rest of the sequence happens as though automatically by itself, and be amazed at how easily and effortlessly it is completed, almost without your noticing.
  11. When everything is complete, as the numbness wears off, you’ll feel the glow of elation and satisfaction.

Monday 7 November 2011

The little brain in the gut - read this if you are attending the webinar

For those of you who have asked to attend my (long awaited) webinar on the mind's influence on the body, please make sure you read this in preparation. even if you've read it before, it will still be good to refresh your memory. You may also want to revisit the videos of my interview with Dr Michael Gershon (father of modern day neurogastroenterology and author of Second brain (the little brain in the gut) which you will see if you scroll down to my older posts. If you would like to be notified of the webinar being announced you are welcome to send me your email address via private message on Facebook (@Crohn's Helper for friends page or @Crohn's Help page).  - Joy

Tuesday 1 November 2011

IBD: Stress causes flares of IBD—how much evidence is enough?

IBD: Stress causes flares of IBD—how much evidence is enough?

As you know, I'm already convinced of this- this conviction underpins my work in helping people achieve remission of their  Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis and other autoimmune disease symptoms.  
Here is a link to the teaser for an article by Jane M. Andrews & Gerald Holtmann. Subscription to the paper is $18, which I will gladly pay and summarise for you (copyright laws permitting) if there is sufficient interest. Please leave your comments below if you would like to hear more about their findings. 

IBD: Stress causes flares of IBD—how much evidence is enough?


Image courtesy of roadtojersey.blogspot

Thursday 27 October 2011

New imaging technique for Crohn's diagnosis?

Dr. Jonathan Rubin scans a patient. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan Health System)
"Ultrasound elasticity imaging, or UEI, could allow doctors to noninvasively make the distinction between inflammation and fibrosis, thus avoiding unnecessary surgery. The study was published in the September edition of Gastroenterology."

Here's the link to the news article:

New Crohn's wonder drug - 40% success rate?

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Got Crohn's? - get magnesium

Magnesium deficiency doubles the likelihood of  systemic inflammatory disease (of which Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis are examples). Severe magnesium deficiencies are more likely in people who have Crohn's disease or other conditions that affect digestion as magnesium is absorbed in the GI tract, (more so in the small intestine than the large). Where inflammation of the gut is inhibiting absorbtion, it may be advisable to increase the intake of magnesium either in naturally occurring sources or supplements. I know that many of the natural sources may be on the absolute "no no" list for many Crohnies and Collies, but do check before diving for the bottles and always take medical advice.

Here are a couple of articles that provide more information on the importance of magnesium, sources and absorption.

Cramps with Crohn's medication

Do you get cramps when taking corticosteroid medication for Crohn's, e.g. Prednisolone?
Leg cramps are a known side effect of corticosteroids. Here are two articles that may be of help:
The first article is general and covers the main causes of leg cramps, including medication, and suggests remedies to relieve cramps. Please observe the warnings.
This second article relates to research findings from the use of Prednisolone, a corticosteroid:

Muscle cramps during Prednisolone treatment  

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Crohn's genes point to internalised stress mechanism?

OK! I might as well come out with it - remember you heard it here first!
I always look for common links between conditions and I wonder whether the presence of more than one autoimmune condition has more to do with a predisposition to autoimmune conditions.
In any event, my experience of helping people with Crohn's, and U.C. has convinced me that the genetic markers for these diseases point to two predispositions:-
1)  A sensitivity to certain types of stress and
2) A predisposition to internalise stress in their body in a way that knocks the immune system out of alignment.
I am so convinced by this that I have designed a special program to teach people how to reverse this process and so far this has proved highly successful. Everyone "does" stress differently and in learning how to deal with stress it's essential that they learn just how they are translating life's encounters into damage to their body.
The BUDI (TM) program teaches people specific ways of recognising how they are internalising stress and shows them how to deal effectively with events, situations and people in their lives rather than repeat historic patterns that can literally eat them up inside. In this way they not only reduce their sensitivity to stress but also prevent much of their former stress arising. This of course enriches their experience of life through enhancing their outcomes in all respects as well as through reducing their symptoms. As you can imagine, this makes me very happy!
If you have an autoimmune condition and you want to learn more about the principles behind the BUDI program then you may be interested in the upcoming webinar I am releasing shortly. You are welcome to private message me on Facebook or email me at with your email, giving me a brief summary of the reason for your interest in the webinar and to be notified when it is announced.
Places will be very limited and so please only apply if you have an autoimmune condition. - Joy

Sapho Syndrome associated with Ulcerative Colitis

Sapho syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder associated with Ulcerative Colitis and to a lesser extent, Crohn's Disease. Here are two resource links:
The first is an article written by a sufferer with a couple of contributions and comments from other sufferers. 
Here is another link to a more formal article 
Further, see this astonshing research paper of a women who developed Sapho syndrome after being treated with Remicade - which is usually used to treat Sapho syndrome:
Hope these help! - Joy

Eye problems associated with Crohn's and Colitis

It is generally accepted that certain eye problems can be a complication of IBD including episcleritis (inflammation and redness of the white of the eye) and iritis (inflammation of the iris). Iritis needs to be treated by an opthalmologist. Episcleritis occurs in 3-4% of IBD patients and iritis occurs in 0.5-3% of IBD patients (mainly males with Ulcerative Colitis). Please seek medical advice if you are at all concerned. None of my information is intended to constitute or replace medical advice.

Sunday 23 October 2011

The BUDI Revolution: Crohn's, Mind and Body conspiracy

It seems that interest in the Mind-Body arena is far stronger than I thought, so I'm posting this as food for thought....

Friday 21 October 2011

Why does stress make my Crohn's worse?

I found a good, readable summary of how stress, depression, genetics and the immune system are linked. Click the link below to read
This article is surprisingly consistent with the principles behind the BUDI (TM) system.
Esther Sternberg is an MD who has researched the operation of the immune system following the onset of arthritis after a period of extreme and prolonged stress.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Why do I get spasms and nausea in the cold?

This is the Q&A from a Crohnie friend on Facebook recently that I think many of you will identify with:
Q: I would just like to know why the cold weather affects me so much.Once I get cold I immediately feel sick and then the spasms starts as well. Have asked my doctor but he was just so vague,didn't give me much info.
A: I haven't found any research on this and so all I can say is that I have found that, like you, a number of Crohnies experience diarrhoea and sometimes nausea on exposure to the cold. Here are my untested hypotheses of what might be happening:
It is well established that stress aggravates Crohn's symptoms and that includes many kinds of stressors. Two stressors that might potentially be involved here are; first, the endocrine response to the cold, acting in a similar way to the "flight or fight" response, creating the spasms and possibly also the nausea. Second is the effect of the shivering response. This latter response could result in spasms either as a direct result of the  stimulus to shiver or as a secondary response whereby the shivering is interpreted as stress and the spasm responds to that stress. 
The body protects the internal organs from cold in priority to all the limbs and it could well be that evacuation is a defence mechanism, as in, "Why are we wasting all this heat on waste products or partially digested food when we should be maintaining our body heat?". This would operate similarly to the evacuation when fear strikes, as in, - "Why are we processing and carrying around this baggage that will slow us down when we want to run away? initially, this strategy to conserve heat would actually lose heat but would save heat in the longer term.  
I haven't studied this in detail as, with the Crohnies who reported this to me as a problem I helped them implement a successful strategy to protect them from these symptoms in the cold without needing further information about the cause. Perhaps I will study it in more detail if the same strategy meets with less success in the future. I hope this helps. - Joy

Thursday 6 October 2011

Acid Reflux, (GERD, Indigestion, Heartburn) and Crohn's

Sorry, Guys for not posting for a while - I've been really busy preparing for the new webinar and the new BUDI program, not to mention the 4 weeks of courses in California!
To make amends, I thought I'd post this reply I sent to a message I received today that I think you'd be interested in. Since this is a subject I get asked about all the time I thought it would be helpful to you if I shared it....
Q: I think that my system may be too acidic, wonder if that is a reason to have Crohns?
A: Do you mean you have GERD?

.....In my experience, the majority of Crohnies tend to have GERD / reflux / heartburn / indigestion. IN MY OPINION, based on my observations, GERD and the inflammation elsewhere in the GI system which are typical of Crohn's are both a likely result of the same mechanism, rather than one  causing the other. In the case study that I'll be using in the webinar that I'm releasing shortly, you'll see how I've taught one of my Crohnie students how to TURN HER HEARTBURN OFF :-) This is an example of how I TEACH people to USE THEIR SYMPTOMS to REDUCE THEIR SYMPTOMS
If you'd like to be notified of my webinar being announced you are welcome to send me your email address if you haven't already done so.
Here is a link to a very good resource on GERD. You'll read how it's a misnomer to talk about an excess of acid. It's more a case of having acid in the wrong place and can actually result from too little acid being produced to digest food properly:

Wednesday 8 June 2011

LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone - Source info

Some people have been concerned that either they can't get LDN or that if they do it costs a fortune. Here's a link to a source advised to me by David Nixon aka Dan McGrew. The usual disclaimers apply...

The gut's brain I'll be posting a special interview on this in the near future.... Watch this space! - Joy

LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone - How it works...

Here is a video that I think you'll find interesting once you get over the patronising manner of the introduction.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis compared in brief

There are several differences between Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis. 
Here are a few: Crohn's disease can affect the GI tract anywhere from the mouth to anus; Ulcerative Colitis only affects the colon. There is a term, "Crohn's colitis" that is used to describe Crohn's Disease affecting the colon. 
In Crohn's disease, the entire thickness of the bowel wall is inflamed and where the disease affects the small intestine there is swelling of the tissue that connects the small intestine to the back wall of the abdomen and contains the main intestinal blood vessels and lymph glands. 
In ulcerative colitis, inflammation is usually confined to the inner lining of the colon, which becomes raw and can bleed. In Crohn's disease, fistulas and abscesses can occur. 
Strictures (narrowing of the bowel) can occur in both forms of IBD, but are more common in Crohn's disease, owing to the swelling occurring throughout the thickness of the wall of the bowel rather than being confined to the inner lining ]that is usual in U.C. 
Hope this helps. For further reading a very accessible digest (pardon the pun), you might like Fred Saibil's, "Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis"