Monday, November 21, 2005

MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN THE TREATMENT OF DIGESTIVE DISORDERS

COPYRIGHT, 2005, TOTAL HEALTH NETWORK, a public service of Advanced Nutrients, the world's leading hydroponic plant food company.

Licensed users and growers of medical marijuana know that the plant can be used to treat a variety of diseases and symptoms related to the gastrointestinal system. This isn't a bunch of stupid stoners trying to find a medical excuse to get high, folks, this is the real deal- the herb heals! The use of medical marijuana to treat digestive system problems is time-tested, and is usually a safer intervention than the use of pharmaceutical drugs or surgery.

Chron’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, anorexia, bulimia, acid reflux, and appetite loss are some of the diseases and conditions that medical marijuana patients have treated using medical marijuana.

Studies indicate that cannabinoids in marijuana bind with cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract, especially the small and large intestine, causing muscle relaxation, reduction of inflammation, analgesia, increased nerve-muscle coordination, anti-emesis, and relief of spasms such as those that cause nausea.

Cannabis is also an adaptogenic immune system modulator that can increase or decrease immune systems function in ways that almost always contribute to healthier outcomes.

Cannabis is unique among medicines because it has a comprehensive range of actions that can alleviate several symptoms by altering how the body and brain communicate, and how the self perceives its internal organs and systems.

The self-feedback loop that produces nausea in some circumstances, which includes a feeling of dizziness that circles back on itself to produce fear, tension and more dizziness, is often defeated by cannabis.

Indeed, research shows that cannabis can relieve symptoms in unique ways that no other medicine can duplicate.

Medical benefits of marijuana for people with gastrointestinal disorders were backed up by the United States Institute of Medicine medical marijuana study. According to the Institute, “For patients who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might offer broad-spectrum relief not found in any other single medication."

Medical cannabis has been a blessing for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. These diseases cause diarrhea or constipation, nausea, and intestinal inflammation, pain and the inability of the digestive system to absorb nutrients.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can cause pain, bloating, flatulence, cramps, spasms, motility loss, constipation, and diarrhea.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term that describes Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease. Ulcerative colitis inflames the lining of the large intestine. Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the lining and wall of the large and/or small intestine. The typical symptoms of Crohn's are diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and fever. Crohn’s can cause intestinal blockages and ulcerations that might require surgery. Ulcerative Colitis can cause abdominal cramps, sharp pain, low energy, weight loss, arthritic symptoms, eye problems, and liver disease.

These disorders can be crippling. In extreme cases, they may result in long-term hospitalization or surgery. The unique ability of medical cannabis to alleviate most of these symptoms is becoming more widely known in the medical community.

Recreational and medical marijuana users have long known that cannabis has an effect of appetite. The increase in appetite that often accompanies cannabis use has been called “the munchies.”

Scientists studying this phenomenon note that it probably involves blood sugar levels and other physiological markers affected by cannabis.

Many professional studies have shown that cannabis stimulates appetite and weight gain. Researchers say that medical cannabis users have to be careful to moderate their intake of carbohydrates and sugars when they are responding to the munchies. It is best to eat less carbos and sugars and eat more organic vegetables, fruits and protein, rather than to pig out on candy or ice cream.

Cannabis helps combat cramping that accompanies many GI disorders because cannabinoids relax contractions of the smooth muscle of the intestines. Research shows that the body’s own cannabinoids, known as anandamides, affect neurological systems that control the gastrointestinal system. External and internal cannabinoids strongly control gastrointestinal motility and inflammation. They also have the ability to decrease gastrointestinal fluid secretion and inflammation. This means that cannabis can be useful to stop ulcers and other syndromes.

The chronic pain and spasms that accompany many gastrointestinal disorders are a life hindrance to those who suffer from IBS and other diseases. Medical cannabis is a very effective pain reliever. It blocks spinal, peripheral and gastrointestinal mechanisms that promote pain in IBS and related disorders. It also can be used against gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux). When acid reflux occurs, gastric acids attack the esophagus. The pharmaceutical medicines that doctors prescribe for this condition are in some ways as bad as the condition itself. They prescribe drugs like atropine, for example, which have severe side-effects.

Pharmaceutical drugs commonly prescribed to combat GI disorders include:
Megestrol acetate (Megace), an anticachectic. This substance can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, inflammation of the blood vessels, congestive heart failure, seizures, and pneumonia. Less serious side effects of this medicine include diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, constipation, heartburn, dry mouth, increased salivation, and thrush; impotence, decreased libido, urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection, vaginal bleeding and discharge; disease of the heart, palpitation, chest pain, chest pressure, and edema; pharyngitis, lung disorders, and rapid breathing; insomnia, headache, weakness, numbness, seizures, depression, and abnormal thinking.
Metronidazole (Flagyl) is carcinogenic. Patients treated with Metronidazole have reported convulsive seizures and peripheral neuropathy. Ironically, this medicine causes problems in the gastrointestinal tract; nausea is reported by about 12% of patients, and is sometimes accompanied by headache, anorexia, and occasionally vomiting; diarrhea; epigastric distress, and abdominal cramping. Constipation has also been reported.
Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) -Common adverse reactions associated with sulfasalazine are anorexia, headache, nausea, vomiting, gastric distress, and apparently reversible oligospermia. These occur in about one-third of the patients. Less frequent adverse reactions are pruritus, urticaria, fever, Heinz body anemia, hemolytic anemia and cyanosis, which may occur at a frequency of one in every thirty patients or less.
Chlordiazepoxide/Clidinium (Librax) - Drowsiness, ataxia and confusion have been reported in some patients, particularly the elderly and debilitated. Adverse effects reported with use of Librax are those typical of anticholinergic agents, i.e., dryness of the mouth, blurring of vision, urinary hesitancy and constipation. Withdrawal symptoms, similar in character to those noted with barbiturates and alcohol (convulsions, tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting and sweating), have occurred following abrupt discontinuance of chlordiazepoxide.
Hyoscyamine Sulfate (Levsin) - Adverse reactions may include dryness of the mouth; urinary hesitancy and retention; blurred vision; tachycardia; palpitations; mydriasis; cycloplegia; increased ocular tension; loss of taste; headache; nervousness; drowsiness; weakness; dizziness; insomnia; nausea; vomiting; impotence; suppression of lactation; constipation; bloated feeling; allergic reactions or drug idiosyncrasies; urticaria and other dermal manifestations; ataxia; speech disturbance; some degree of mental confusion and/or excitement (especially in elderly persons); and decreased sweating.
Mesalamine CR (Pentasa) - Common side effects are diarrhea, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, vomiting, and rash.
Phosphorated carbohydrate (Emetrol) - Side effects include: fainting; swelling of face, arms, and legs; unusual bleeding; vomiting; weight loss; yellow eyes or skin. Less common-more common with large doses: Diarrhea; stomach or abdominal pain.
Dicyclomine (Bentyl) – Can cause blurred vision, dry mouth, heart problems, seizures, impotence, and difficulty in urinating, among other effects.
Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) - The most frequent side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rash, headache, and restlessness. Rare allergic reactions have been described, such as hives and anaphylaxis (shock).
Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) – Is very toxic, depending on dose. The most frequent reactions include mouth sores, stomach upset, and low white blood counts. Methotrexate can cause severe toxicity
of the liver and bone marrow, which require regular monitoring with blood testing. It can cause headache and drowsiness, which may resolve if the dose is lowered. Methotrexate can cause itching, skin rash, dizziness, and hair loss.
Diphenoxylate and atropine (Lotomil) – Bad effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and headache, nausea or vomiting, and dry mouth. Euphoria, depression, lethargy, restlessness, numbness of extremities, loss of
appetite, and abdominal pain or discomfort has been reported less frequently. Although the dose of atropine in Lomotil is too low to cause side effects when taken in the recommended doses, side effects of atropine (including dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, increased heart rate, urinary retention, and increased body temperature) have been reported, particularly in children under 2.
Prednisone (Delatasone). This is a steroid drug that can have serious adverse musculoskeletal,
gastrointestinal, dermatologic, neurological, endocrine, and ophthalmic side effects. These include: congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, potassium loss, hypokalemic alkalosis, sodium retention, and hypertension. Muscle weakness, steroid myopathy, loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, and pathologic fracture of long bones. Peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage; pancreatitis; abdominal distention; ulcerative esophagitis. Impaired wound healing, thin fragile skin, petechiae and ecchymoses, facial erythema. Increased intracranial pressure, usually after treatment, convulsions, vertigo, and headache. Menstrual irregularities; development of Cushingoid state; secondary adrenocortical and pituitary
unresponsiveness; decreased carbohydrate tolerance; manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus. Posterior subcapsular cataracts, increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and exophthalmos.

Given this verified list of problems that can be created by prescription drugs used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, and the lack of such problems caused by medical marijuana which provides better relief, it’s amazing that medical marijuana is not already the most popularly prescribed medication for such disorders.

The overall opinion of enlightened people in the medical community is that medical cannabis can interact with the endogenous cannabinoid system to reduce problems associated with nausea, vomiting, gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, secretory diarrhea, paralytic ileus and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

It is true that cannabis has to be used intelligently. Some people are disconcerted by spiritual, psychological, physiological and emotional changes they experience after using cannabis. Cannabis in rare cases increases schizophrenic symptoms in people who already have a predisposition for schizophrenia. Cannabis can interfere with cognitive function and body coordination, although the impairment is relatively minor and is temporary. Tachycardia and hypotension often occur with cannabis use. Ingesting cannabis as a smoked substance can cause negative effects on the respiratory system. Some people develop a tolerance to cannabis and have to use more and more of it to achieve the same results. Others develop a psychological dependence on it.

As you can see, none of these side effects come close to being as severe as the ones cited for the prescription drugs that cannabis competes with.

Licensed medical marijuana grower-patients who grow medical marijuana using organic ingredients and properly engineered synthetic ingredients have told us that cannabis provides a wide range of relief, without severe side-effects, in ways that other drugs, treatment and surgery do not.

Medical cannabis patients also report that other interventions are useful during the cannabis regimen. These interventions include detoxifying and cleansing the internal body with herbs, vitamins and supplements, eating only pure, living foods, completely abstaining from junk foods, coffee, caffeine and alcohol, doing yoga and meditation, exercise, nature experiences, and various types of bodywork such as cranial-sacral therapy.

Advanced Nutrients is dedicated to making the highest quality products so licensed medical cannabis growers can produce the best medicine for their condition. Our products contain superior source materials and manufacturing processes that create pure, potent plants with zero pathogens, pollutants, heavy metals, and other problematic substances and issues.

If you have gastrointestinal disorders and live in a place where you can legally grow medical marijuana, contact Advanced Nutrients to find out how our products can help you grow the best legal medical marijuana in the world.

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Blogger Nancy said...

Has anyone considered that excessive cannabis use may actually cause severe digestive problems? Experience in my family is leading me to think this may be the case.

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Blogger Infamous Lobster said...

I suffer from a gastro-intestinal problem and suffer severe nausia, pain, appetite loss and diarrhoea.
Not pleasant. But Vaporizing or smoking cannabis really does help me feel less nausious and enables me to eat more regularly, as far as the other symptoms go, it's inconclusive. Vaporization is by far the best way of taking it in that I have found, cuts out the carcinogens created by combustion(smoking), no lingering smell like with cooking or smoking and is easy on the throat, not harsh like smoke.

Unfortunately my doctor put me on the carcenogenic Flagl(Metronidazole) which has drastically increased my symptoms.
And I have read(from a somewhat questionable source) that it can act similarly to "disulfiram" and prevent the breakdown of dopamine in the brain. So if someone were to use cannabis or any other drug that releases dopamine while on this or similar medications, the increased dopamine levels in the brain can have severe side-effects...like abnormal thinking, confusion, dizziness, vomiting, cramping, seizures, tachycardia, extreme anxiety, paranoia and many other severe and dangerous effects.

....I should have just stuck with the weed....

So basically, make sure you are aware of potential interactions with ANY medications you may be on. Particularly anti-viral, anti-bacterial or anxiety medications. The result of impropper use of cannabis while on prescription meds can be extremely unpleasant and potentially dangerous.
Cannabis does have a legitimate medicinal use. But like all medications, be careful and use it responsibly.



And to the person who suggested excessive cannabis use may be the root cause of some digestive problems. It certainly seems plausible considering the effect it has on the area, any beneficial medication when taken in large amounts over a lengthy period is likely to have some negative symptoms. I would not be surprised in the least if you were right.

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Blogger minx said...

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Blogger minx said...

Metronidazole is a very strong drug and is prone to causing negative reactions especially in people with gastro-intestinal problems.
Even healthy patients can experience severe symptoms on this drug.

I can't understand why a doctor would prescibe this to someone with gastro-intestinal problems in the first place, and not even warn them of the implications.

I have a similar severe condition and unfortunately I was prescribed Metronidazole for an ear infection last year, unaware that it would make my make my gastro-intestinal problems worse and result in being hospitalised over the Christmas period. Since then I have developed more problems and my condition has worsened. Relative or not I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
The majority of it's reviews are negative.

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TREATMENT FOR CHEST PAIN
Chest pain is considered a chief symptom of heart related problems. It can occur due to various causes such as heart attack, pulmonary embolism, thoracic aortic dissection, oesophageal rupture, tension pneumothorax and cardiac tamponade.

By conducting several medical tests, the above causes could be ruled out or treated as recommended by medical professionals. If acute chest pain occurs, the patient should be admitted immediately for observation and sequential E.C.G.'s are followed up.

Just like in all medical cases, a careful medical history and detailed physical examination is essential in separating dangerous from minor/trivial causes of disease. Sometimes, there is need of rapid diagnosis to save life of patient. A deep study of recent health changes, family history, tobacco consumption, smoking, diabetes, eating disorders, etc. is useful in treatment of chest pain.

Features of chest pain could be generalised as heaviness; radiation of the pain to neck, jaw or left arm; sweating; nausea; palpitations; pain coming from exertion; dizziness; shortness of breath and a sense of impending doom. On the basis of these characteristics, a number of tests can be carried out for proper treatment. X-ray and CT scan of the chest help in determining the basic cause of pain. An electrocardiogram helps in detailed study of the problem.

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