Sunday, September 10, 2017

CBD Oil and Gastrointestinal Issues: A Sponsored Post

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

Cannabis has been in the news quite a bit over the last few years particularly for its medicinal properties and this includes those of the compound CBD found within the plant. There are several well known benefits of cannabis but my interest lied in the benefits possible for nausea and pain as these are two issues I experience on a daily basis. Medical marijuana isn't yet legal where I live and I have no interest in the psychoactive properties of marijuana's THC compound. However, the CBD compound can be made into a oil from the hemp part of the cannabis plant allowing the medicinal properties to be accessed without psychoactive properties. Cannabis compounds, or cannabinoids, attach to receptors within the human body producing particular effects. The human body even produces certain cannabinoids itself. The receptor that CBD interacts with is CB2 and has specific effects on inflammation and pain. There are some side effects such as tiredness and sometimes change in bowel habits, appetite, and weight. For more information regarding CBD oil visit Medical News Today.

I consented to review BioCBD+ to discover any benefits for my nausea and abdominal pain. According to BioCBD+, CBD Oil can help with the following conditions so I was hopeful.
CBD: Past, Present and Future Premier Issue #1
BioCBD+ Total Body Care states it has 10 mg of BioCBD per capsule that is water soluble rather than oil based CBD. According to BioCBD+ , the water soluble formula is absorbed and more efficiently used by the body.





The suggested dosage of BioCBD Total Body Care is 1-2 capsules a day to support and maintain total wellness or up to 5 capsules per day for treating severe discomfort.

It didn't include instructions for when to take the capsule in regards to time of day or with meals. I started by taking one capsule per day in the late afternoon, typically following an early dinner.

The first time I took BioCBD Total Body Care I was experiencing severe abdominal pain and bloating that day. I did notice within half an hour a reduction in my pain; the pain didn't cease but it did decrease in severity. 

My chronic nausea was tolerable except for one day when I experienced a mysterious licorice odor for a full work day in spite of being unable to locate any source of such an odor. This licorice odor caused severe nausea that required me to utilize a medical mask and peppermints to cope with the nausea.

After 2-3 days of taking one capsule per day, I began to notice slight insomnia. I didn't experience an increase in energy level just an increased difficulty to sleep. I typically go to sleep between 9 pm and 10 pm. I was no longer feeling ready for sleep by 9 pm but instead it was becoming closer to 1 am before I could sleep. However, when I did sleep, I slept very hard and awoke rested. 

It was around the same time frame that I noticed two other effects. I developed an insatiable appetite and my Short Bowel Syndrome worsened. I increased from my usual 15 to 20 bowel movements a day to 30 or more per day. My skin was becoming perpetually sore and raw from the increased bowel movements.

After a week of taking the BioCBD Total Body Care the worsened Short Bowel had become unbearable. The frequency and urgency of restroom trips started interfering with my ability to function at work and limited my ability to participate in activities. I didn't want to leave me house. The benefits of reduction in abdominal pain and nausea wasn't outweighing the increased bowel movements and their effects on my skin and my daily functioning ability. I decided to discontinue the supplement to see if my symptoms improved. After 2-3 days without the supplement my symptoms did indeed improve but not before I had a Short Bowel flare that left me incapacitated for a full day.
My appetite returned to normal and 5 days after discontinuing the capsules I noticed another significant decrease in my appetite. Food no longer sounded appetizing, I no longer had food cravings.


With CBD Oil's ability to target inflammation, I thought perhaps this product would be better suited for my mother as my mother has arthritis and experiences inflammation more than I do. My mother shares my two rare diseases of Familial Polyposis and Short Bowel Syndrome so she has similar GI issues. However, in addition she has Diabetes, Arthritis, and an ileostomy whereas I have a straight pull through - not an ostomy. So perhaps, I thought, if she does experience a change in bowel movements, it wouldn't be quite the interference that I experienced. She obtained approval from her Nephrologist to start the BioCBD Total Body Care capsules.


My mother consulted her Nephrologist and with approval started taking one pill a day and tried taking the capsule at various times throughout the day. Unlike me, she did not notice any changes to her bowel movements. After trial and error of various times for taking the capsule, she found one capsule in the evening to be most helpful. My mother reported she tends to have more arthritic pain, particularly in her back and hips, in the evening after completing a day's worth of activities. My mother also has chronic leg cramps, primarily in the evenings. Both of these issues present a sleep disturbance for my mother resulting in frequent nights of poor sleep. However, with one capsule in the evening my mother noticed reduced pain and improved sleep on a regular basis. She did not increase the dosage from one capsule to two capsules when she didn't notice any improvements or to attempt to obtain further improvement. Overall, she was pleased with her experience and recommended the BioCBD Total Body Care capsules for inflammatory pain management.
















Saturday, September 2, 2017

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain

This is a guest post by Danielle Faith

In Pain at 4 am

I've just woken up. It is 4 o'clock in the morning and I am in extreme pain. I'm doubled over and unable to move. My goosebumps have goosebumps and I'm ready to pass out or vomit from the extreme pain. I know I have to go to the ER and it's causing a ton of stress.

I have asked myself countless times what if there was a way to avoid a panic attack? What if I could handle the stress better? What can help me? Could it help me avoid the Emergency Room? Can I make my situation more comfortable?

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever asked yourself these questions or wished you could manage stress better? What if I told you, you can make things better? It is moments like these where Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can help lower your stress and anxiety, allowing you to make clear headed decisions about how to handle your health and can even reduce pain. This is because pain and stress can be intertwined. When you're stressed, you are in more pain and more pain equates to more stress. DBT helps break this cycle and gives you a chance at de-escalating the situation.

What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a behavioral treatment method originally created by Marsha Linehan to treat a wide range of psychological disorders such as depression, borderline personality disorder, and suicidal idealizations. Over time, it has been proven that DBT is also effective in helping patients handle chronic illness as well and has been used to lower anxiety in chronic pain patients. DBT focuses on a set of four behavioral skills:

  1. Distress Tolerance Skills
  2. Interpersonal Effectiveness
  3. Emotion Regulation
  4. Mindfulness

Distress Tolerance

Distress Tolerance Skills are used when the situation cannot be changed. Each skill offers difference insight and it is important to use the right skill at the right time for maximum success. These skills are designed to help you cope and survive during crisis and can be applied to both short term or long term emotional and physical pain.

   Personal Example of Distress Tolerance

Radical acceptance is one of a few distress tolerance skills a person can learn. It is all about recognizing what you can and cannot control. For instance, at one point during the course of my illness I had to live with a feeding tube. Having that tube in my body was the strangest thing. I hated it. However, as time went on I began to accept it for what it was in the moment. That didn't mean I liked the situation.

I actually disliked it quite a bit. But having radical acceptance about it allowed me to relax and recognize that this is just how things are right now. It isn't forever. Figuring this skill out made me feel so much better about my illness. Plus, I was right, the tube wasn't forever, because I had it removed last year and have been much better since.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal Effectiveness skills apply to the skills that help us attend to our relationships. It is about balancing priorities and demands. It is about balancing the 'shoulds' and 'wants' to build a sense of mastery. These skills help identify what we need to do in order to get the results we want out of an interaction while maintaining a sense of self-respect.

  Personal Example of Interpersonal Effectiveness

Many times I've ended up in the ER and have had to use a specific format of talking to get the care I needed at the ER. The skill I'd use is known as "DEARMAN":

Describe: the situation, "Doctor, I've been vomiting all night and am in a lot of upper right abdominal pain."

Express: your concerns, "I'm very stressed out. I think I'm having a pancreatitis flare."

Assert: yourself by acknowledging what you need, "usually Benadryl, Zofran, lot of fluids and pain medication help the situation. I may also need an admit depending on my blood work."

Reward: the person and tell them what they get out of the situation, "I really need your help to make me feel better, that's what doctors do best!"

Mindful: of what is happening and/or repeating your needs, "So, when you put the medication orders in don't forget to include the Benadryl; that's important or I'll itch from the pain medication."

Appear: effective and nice, "I understand what you mean doctor. I am, however, in a lot of pain."

Negotiate: alternative solutions, "I'm willing to try an anti-inflammatory first. But if that doesn't work, can we make sure there's pain medication ordered as well? Thanks!"

Emotion Regulation

Emotion Regulation is the ability to respond to a variety of scenarios in a manner that is socially acceptable yet flexible enough to allow for genuine reactions. Being able to control how you react to a situation is essential when it comes to managing how you might be impacted by a situation.

  Personal Example of Emotion Regulation

One day I was feeling sad about my chronic illness. I was telling myself I looked fat and was lazy. I felt really bad about it too. I really just wanted to check out and take a nap. That's until I went ahead and changed my thoughts which influenced my feelings and behavior. Instead of telling myself something negative, I went for something more positive. Instead of saying I was fat and lazy, I told myself I was chronically ill and doing my best. That made me feel a bit better and I felt a lot of empathy for myself; then I was able to get up out of bed and start the day.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness applies to distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills through observation. By observing what is going on around you, this allows you to fully engage yourself in the experience without labeling it as good, bad, or anything in between. The benefit of mindfulness is that it quiets your mind and gives you a way to acknowledge all your thoughts and feelings.

  Personal Example of Mindfulness

I was really stressed out about being sick and having a feeding tube that I just broke down. I started to cry with no judgment. Before I knew it, all the stress I hold in my neck, shoulders, and back evaporated. It was like magic. Suddenly, as I noticed the lack of pain in my body, I stopped crying in awe. For two days I noticed every little thing about not carrying that weight on my back and ended up having a really great two days.

DBT for Chronic Pain

As you can see, DBT brings a lot of hope to chronic pain sufferers. This is because chronic pain and anxiety go hand in hand. Treating anxiety is one easy way to lower the intensity of a person's pain. While it may not fix the root cause of pain, it can allow a person the freedom to make intellectual decisions about their care that isn't influenced by anxiety or fear. This alone can unlock doors for those with painful conditions.