(Flickr photo (cropped) by Francis Bourgouin).

Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here’s what it’s about:
Heartburn, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, flatulence and diarrhea are distressingly common. What can be done for these digestive woes?
Millions of people take medicines to reduce acid such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. They may find that stopping such drugs can be a challenge. Are the acid-suppressors overused? What other options work against reflux?
We harbor millions of bacteria in our guts. How does the microbiome affect our digestive health? Does our diet have an impact?
Guest: Linda Lee, MD, is director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center. She is also clinical director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her website is www.hopkinsintegrative.org
The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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  1. Mimi
    Reply

    I’m so confused, I start with a lil gas on the bottom in early morning, this happened about 1 1/2 months after I had a scope, my 8 yrs were up they found 1 polyp but it was OK, so about a month after I started having heart burn when I eat late or to much so I did the bottom scope & what told I have chronic gastric inflammation & I need to take Nexium well this information is making me more ill, I have no idea what to eat, a bunch of small meals a day, the nexium make me hungry all the time. I could shoot myself this is crazy, it burns after I take the pill in the morning its noon before it feels better,1 cup of coffee a day maybe 1 beer a week really no fried food other than on Friday night seafood no advil so I’m so lost to where this came from other than I am very stressed, it’s stressing me out even more bc my N.P. can’t even find a Dr. here sounds like I will never get rid of this & I’ll have to live like this the rest of my life.
    I can’t find to much information on gastric inflammation it’s all about reflux or heartburn which I don’t have that. So if anyone has any information or a book I can buy, please let me know.
    Thanks!!

  2. ebm
    Reply

    try probiotics and check the People’s Pharmacy website, they have a list of ailments you can look up for remedies, i.e. dried persimmon tea, etc.

  3. Hsalf
    Reply

    Thanks I was wondering what someone could try on their own to help the GI tract. Now if I could just find something natural for Acid Reflux.

  4. CL
    Reply

    I’d like to know what countries use Prokinetic agent to treat reflux?
    Thanks!

  5. Cindy
    Reply

    Beans are terrific for you: cheap, keep well, excellent source of fiber. The worst thing is cooking them, in my opinion. Canned beans are okay, but more expensive and you have to worry about BPA.
    A good solution for me is to “cook” raw beans in a thermos. I’ll put about 1/4 cup in my thermos, add boiling water, and let sit for hours – sometimes overnight. How long depends on the size of the thermos, type/amount of bean, etc.
    Sometimes I will change the water to remove some of the gassy properties. If you drain them and they need more time, just add more boiling water and give them a few more hours. Sometimes I’ll eat them with spag. sauce and a little cheese or salad dressing, or spices. You don’t have to eat a lot to get the benefits – that’s why preparing small batches works so well. And you can vary your bean types.

  6. Rob
    Reply

    Is Dr. Lee or the People’s Pharmacy familiar with the work of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride?
    Dr. Campbell-McBride poses similar insight on the relationship of the gut-brain connection, gut-flora, anti-biotics and other causes that damage the balance of an individuals microbiota, and the various ways our bodies’ react as a result. She published a heavily referenced book back in 2002, called “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”. It was about the gut-brain connection with an updated 2009 edition.
    Dr. Campbell-McBride had a child who was diagnosed autistic. Later on her child’s diagnosis was reversed after adhering to a strict dietary protocol that was tweaked from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet protocol.

  7. Wanda
    Reply

    The program stated that Dr. Lee would be speaking also about fermentation of foods, however this subject was never mentioned. Well you have her come back an speak about how fermented foods help the digestive system?

  8. Graciela
    Reply

    I have Barrett esophagus. My doctor advised to take Nexium for life. I stopped for a year or so and then I had shortness of breath. I do not have acid reflux. I wonder if Nexium is safe to take it for a long time. Please respond.

  9. Russ1a
    Reply

    I’m 67 and I occasionally have reflux at night. I find sucking on a decorative glass “wafer drop” (about as large as a nickle and 1/4 inch thick) produces enough saliva to eliminate my discomfort. I believe the slightly alkaline saliva is neutralizing the esophageal acid, as Joe has suggested on a previous show.
    Sincerely, Russ
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE:
    Interesting suggestion Russ. Please DO NOT swallow the glass “wafer drop” though. Might cause some unexpected problems.

  10. Rob
    Reply

    I was wondering about Doctor Lee’s dietary suggestions? It was nice for her to make a divide on the type of carbs we should avoid. But Doctor Lee said to avoid red meat. I understand that avoiding something might reduce the symptoms, as in cutting out gluten from someone gluten intolerant. But if we at one point could digest gluten or red meat without any issue, than wouldn’t it make sense to figure out what happened in our body that caused this “change” or “reaction”?
    Additionally, the doctor made the distinction on types of carbs to avoid. I would argue that distinction could be made on the source of the red meat, whether the source is from beef raised in a large commercial model(antibiotics, hormones, unnatural diets) or to a small, sustainable model(grass based diet, no antibiotics or hormones). There are nutritional differences in the make up of both extremes and how they affect us if consumed. Their microbiota being one of them too.

  11. Rob
    Reply

    I was wondering the doctor’s thoughts about the proliferation of the Candida species due to an imbalance of the microbiota. I understand that b/c Candida is a yeast, it isn’t affected by anti-biotics, which opens the door for it to spread. I’ve heard Candida albicans has been linked to people suffering from GERD or esophagitis. Its waste or toxins it released can relax the esophageal sphincter. Any truth to this or additional insight?

  12. lm
    Reply

    I was diagnosed with C Diff after being prescribed two rounds of clindamycin within three months while undergoing a tooth removal/dental implant procedure. I refused the antibiotic treatment for the C Diff, and was successful using the following protocol: allicidin, samento, and (since I am allergic to corn/corn derivatives and can’t find safe probiotic capsules) eating every fermented food I could get my hands on–GTs Kombucha, sourdough bread, yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, etc. It took at least 3 months to completely clear the C Diff, at which time a re-test showed my success. I was thrilled!

  13. Dianne A.
    Reply

    I heard the last part of the show on my car radio, and it was great! I called in, hoping to ask Dr. Lee her opinion about hyperpermeable gut syndrome, or “leaky gut”, and whether there might be any drug, supplement or dietary treatment for it.
    I have Crohn’s, and have read a little about HGS, but am not sure if the information was reliable. Unfortunately, I called in too late in the show to get an answer on the air.

  14. smokey66
    Reply

    During todays program Dr Lee was talking about recommended age for starting colonoscopy s and when she started to talk about the recommended intervals for this test she was interrupted, “What about taking aspirin”. I wonder what that interval rx would have been?

  15. KALC
    Reply

    My husband has ulcerative colitis. On the show 6/23 the dr. mentioned a probiotic specifically for this – I wasn’t sure if I understood her correctly but it sounded like VSO#3 – could you verify?

  16. Diane
    Reply

    A wonderful program….. I am looking for information on a hiatal hernia as well as an esophageal ring. Would the GERD diet help both?

  17. Anne N
    Reply

    Your program is great. Is there a cure for colitis?

  18. Brenda
    Reply

    Recently had a problem..after my colonoscopy and
    endoscopy..doctor says, no seeds, no nuts, no berries…
    and it sure did the trick…nuts were causing my
    gastro problems..(and I love them)..pain is gone..
    The problem may have begun after a round of anti-biotics
    for kidney infections or after vein surgery..Omeprozole
    did not help the problem at all..fairly severe diverticulitis
    was the diagnois.

  19. MNH
    Reply

    The transmission of this show (863) was broken up in several portions. I know it will be rebroadcast Sunday evening here in Charleston and I hope the entire show will be intact. Thank you for all the wonderful advice you have on your program. I try to never miss it!

  20. Kay A
    Reply

    Throughout today’s broadcast, reference was made to “c dipf” (I have no idea how to spell this, and it does not appear above in the list of tags.) I have had diarrhea so long I’ve begun to think it’s “normal.” The gasterenterologist I saw told me to take immodium, daily if necessary. Recently, I began doing that, will little or no effect. Now I’m wondering why I’ve never been tested for “c dipf”, but I don’t even know how to spell it! Please help.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE:
    We were talking about Clostridium difficile or C. diff for short.
    Might be worth getting tested.

  21. Jesse B
    Reply

    It was mentioned on the show that the majority of the bacterial flora present in our bodies resides in the large intestine. Having had a sub-total colectomy (removal of the large intestine) due to pre-cancerous polyps, I have often wondered, where are the flora now that their home has been taken out and they’ve been evicted, so to speak? And how does this affect my overall health? (if at all, as I seem to have no deleterious effects beyond chronic diarrhea which I control with a regular dose of Immodium every other day or so).
    Jesse B.

  22. Karen A
    Reply

    I had GERD for many years. I finally completely stopped eating fried foods and beef and rarely have symptoms now.
    I had chronic anemia when I took the PPI and wondered if they inhibited iron absorption. My doctor told me to eat more beef. This apparently made the GERD worse and so on. I haven’t been anemic since I stopped eating beef!

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