Oral Health and Gut Health

You can’t see them, feel them or taste them, but your mouth is home to entire colonies of microorganisms. While most of these tiny oral bacteria do us no harm, there are other species in the mix that are disease causing and can affect our health and need to be controlled with a healthy diet, good oral care practices and regular visits to your dentist.

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Over 700 different strains of bacteria have been detected in the human mouth, though most people are only host to 34 to 72 different varieties. Most of these bacterial species appear to be harmless when it comes to our health. Others, known as probiotics, are beneficial bacteria that aid in the digestion of foods. Other bacteria actually protect our teeth and gums. There are some bacteria, however, that we’d rather do without, since they cause tooth decay and gum disease.

The Two Most Common Harmful Bacteria

Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria you’ve probably heard the most about. It lives in your mouth and feeds on the sugars and starches that you eat. That alone wouldn’t be so bad, but as a by-product of its ravenous appetite, it produces enamel-eroding acids, which make streptococcus mutans the main cause of tooth decay in humans.

Porphyromonas gingivalis is usually not present in a healthy mouth, but when it does appear, it has been strongly linked to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious and progressive disease that affects the tissues and the alveolar bone that support the teeth. It is not a disease to be taken lightly. It can cause significant dental pain, and can eventually lead to tooth loss.

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Managing Bacteria

Once you’ve got a strain of oral bacteria, you’re not likely to rid yourself of it. The good news is that you can manage and control the bacteria in your mouth with good oral care. Brushing after meals and flossing at least once per day can remove the source of food for harmful bacteria, which can keep them from reproducing in your mouth. Antibacterial mouthwash can also be used to keep your oral flora from taking over. Your diet also plays a role in managing bacteria. Avoiding sugary and starchy foods, especially when you don’t have access to a toothbrush, helps constrain bacterial growth. Also, eating foods that are known to promote healthy bacteria will help you keep your teeth and mouth healthy for a lifetime.

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Common Mouth Bacteria

A bacterium that builds up on teeth makes gums prone to infection. Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Poor oral health can lead to digestive issues. More worryingly, bad bacteria present in your saliva travels to your digestive tract when you swallow. This can cause an imbalance in your digestive system and subsequently digestive problems that can cause problems in the rest of your body.

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Poor oral health can lead to digestive issues

Digestive problems can take many forms ranging from acid reflux to constipation irritable bowel syndrome. Common causes of digestive issues include not chewing food thoroughly and eating too quickly.  That means the condition of your teeth and gums can have an impact on your digestive health.

The mouth plays an integral role in the digestive process as it’s where physical and chemical digestive processes begin. That means the condition of your teeth and gums can have an impact on your digestive health. It’s also interesting to note that gastrointestinal disorders can similarly affect your oral health.

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Healthy teeth and gums help us to chew food properly, which leads to good digestion. Misalignment (very skew teeth), infection and missing teeth are some dental problems that affect our ability to chew food, with possible digestive issues down the line.

How gastrointestinal disorders can affect your teeth and gums

Given that the mouth is the start of our digestive tract, gastrointestinal disorders can contribute to problems in our teeth and gums. Here’s how 3 gastrointestinal disorders can have a negative effect on oral health.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (Heartburn)

Commonly known as heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease causes people to experience a burning feeling in their chest or a bad taste in their mouth. Heartburn causes acids from the stomach to enter the oral cavity and these acids can erode tooth enamel. This is because acids from the stomach are more alkaline than dental enamel. Stomach acid has the potential to cause significant chemical erosion.

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To counteract heartburn, some people often use antacids and bismuth products which can lead to a harmless and temporary condition called the black hairy tongue. Black hairy tongue gives the tongue on a dark furry appearance. Good oral hygiene and stopping the consumption of antacids and bismuth can reverse this condition.

If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, let your dentist know. He or she may prescribe an oral rinse or recommend fluoride treatments in order to strengthen your teeth.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is defined as “chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.” IBD can manifest itself in the oral cavity, particularly in paediatric cases. Some oral signs and symptoms of IBD include mouth sores and infections or bleeding or swollen gums.

Prescriptions for IBD can also affect your dental health some common medication for Crohn’s disease can cause dry mouth, gingivitis and tongue inflammation.

If you have IBD, let your dentist know and also disclose what medications you are taking. It is important so your dentist can take your medical condition into account when administering dental care. This may include measures such as monitoring your blood pressure and glucose levels, plus extra considerations when invasive dental procedures are indicated.

Peptic Ulcers

It is sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower oesophagus, or small intestine. If you’re suffering from peptic ulcers, it’s important to note that some of the medications used to treat the condition have side effects that can adversely affect your dental health. You may experience dry mouth, black tongue or a change in taste during the course of treatment.

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In such cases, it’s important to inform your dentist about your prescriptions so that he or she can adjust your dental treatment as well as provide tailored advice on how to deal with those side effects. Be sure to also mention any over-the-counter medication that you take as certain drug interactions may worsen the side effects.

An infected tooth can result in the spread of infection to nearby parts of the body such as the jaw, neck, sinuses, and even the brain. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease and can help you keep your teeth as you get older. An unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.

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How does it work?

Though your saliva helps protect you against some invaders, it can’t always do the job. More than 500 species of bacteria thrive in your mouth at any given time. These bacteria constantly form dental plaque a sticky, colourless film that can cling to your teeth and cause health problems.

Your mouth as infection source!!

If you don’t brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth clean, plaque can build up along your gum line, creating an environment for additional bacteria to accumulate in the space between your gums and your teeth. This gum infection is known as gingivitis. Left unchecked, gingivitis can lead to a more serious gum infection called periodontitis. The most severe form of gum infection is called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, also known as trench mouth.

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Bacteria from your mouth normally don’t enter your bloodstream. However, invasive dental treatments sometimes even just routine brushing and flossing if you have gum disease — can provide a port of entry for these microbes. Medications or treatments that reduce saliva flow and antibiotics that disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in your mouth can also compromise your mouth’s normal defences, allowing these bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

If you have a healthy immune system, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream causes no problems. Your immune system quickly dispenses with them, preventing infection. However, if your immune system is weakened, for example because of a disease or cancer treatment, oral bacteria in your bloodstream (bacteraemia) may cause you to develop an infection in another part of your body. Infective endocarditis, in which oral bacteria enter your bloodstream and stick to the lining of diseased heart valves, is an example of this phenomenon.

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  • Poorly controlled diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’re already at increased risk of developing gum disease. But chronic gum disease may, in fact, make diabetes more difficult to control, as well. Infection may cause insulin resistance, which disrupts blood sugar control.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Oral inflammation due to bacteria (gingivitis) may also play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. It appears that bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may serve as a base for development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Some research suggests that people with gum infections are also at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The more severe the infection, the greater the risk appears to be. And gum disease and tooth loss may contribute to plaques in the carotid artery. In one study, 46 percent of participants who’d lost up to nine teeth had carotid artery plaque; among those who’d lost 10 or more teeth, 60 percent of them had such plaque.
  • Preterm birth. Severe gum disease may increase the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to a low birth weight baby.  The theory is that oral bacteria release toxins, which reach the placenta through the mother’s bloodstream and interfere with the growth and development of the fetus. At the same time, the oral infection causes the mother to produce labour-triggering substances too quickly, potentially triggering premature labour and birth.

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5 Tips to Keep Your Oral Flora and Good Mouth Bacteria in Balance

  1. Add more fibre to your diet, including prebiotic.
  2. Eat probiotic fermented foods.
  3. Brush and floss your teeth daily.
  4. If your gums bleed, book a dental appointment right away.
  5. Take an oral probiotic.

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Info from the Practice of Dr Emayne en Marais in Pretoria, South Africa.

Pierre van Niekerk ©

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Why Is a Male Cat’s Penis Barbed

By Leslie Carver

Male cats who are neutered before 6 months old don’t develop barbs. Male cats who are neutered before 6 months old don’t develop barbs. Every physical characteristic your cat has contributes to survival. The barbs on a male cat’s penis are no exception. They help ensure that his genes are passed on through successful mating. He was not born with them, and if he was neutered very young he may never even develop them.
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Cats Aren’t Born with Them.


Male kittens are not born with barbed penises. Mar Vista Animal Medical Center, a veterinary clinic in California, says that cats reach puberty when they are about 6 months old. The barbs develop on the penis at this point because their purpose is to aid in reproduction.
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Stimulating Ovulation.

One purpose of the barbs on a cat’s penis is to aid in a female’s ovulation. Females do not ovulate before sexual intercourse. Instead, the barbs stimulate the female cat’s vulva during intercourse, which causes her body to then release an egg. This is painful for the female, but part of the process.
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Preventing the Female from Escaping.


The other purpose of the barbs on a cat’s penis is to keep the female cat from escaping before mating is complete. She may attempt to flee because cats are more likely to be loners than dogs and resent the intrusion to some point. Mating is also painful for female cats, both because of the barbs themselves and because the male cat begins by biting the back of the female’s neck.
Feline Anatomy.

Early Neutering Prevents Development.


According to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center, male cats who are neutered before they are 6 months old never develop barbs on the penis. Neutering is the removal of the testicles, which stops the cat’s reproductive development. When it is done before the cat reaches puberty, there is no reason for the penis to develop barbs.
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Pubiese Luise of “Crabs”

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Pubiese Luise of Crabs

Pubiese luise, ook bekend as “Crabs”is klein parasitiese bloedsuiende insekte wat oorleef op ‘n bloedmaal van die mens. Hul het hoofsaaklik vier plekke van voorkoms;

  • Gesigshare soos ooghare, oogwimpers, in baarde en snorre.
  • Anale area met hare
  • Onder die arms, hare in die arm se kieliebakke
  • Rug
  • Pubiese areas

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Hul tweede plek van voorkeur is in pubiese hare. Met ander woorde, hare wat om geslagsdele gevind word. Hul plek van voorkoms en voorkeur het hul ook hul naam gegee. In en om geslagsdele veroorsaak hul natuurlik irritasie en erge jeuk.

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Pubiese luise verskil van bedluise en kopluise:

  • Bedluise: By bedluise is daar hoofsaaklik 2 spesies van die insek. Familie: Cimex lectularius (die gewone bedluis) en Cimex hemipterus. Hul wissel van 1 mm tot en met 7 mm.

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  • Kopluise: Kopluise, ook bekend as “Pediculosis capitis” is klein insekte wat parasiteer op die hoofde van mense en neem n bloedmaal op die kopvel. Net mense speel ‘n rol by hul verspreiding en honde en katte en ander troeteldiere glad nie. Higiëne speel nie ‘n rol by hul aanneming en of verspreiding nie en word hoofsaaklik deur een mens na ‘n ander versprei. Dra ook geen bakterieële of virale siektes oor nie.

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Pubiese luise is met die blote oog sigbaar. Hul is met die blote oog sigbaar, sowat 2 mm lank en het ‘n grys tot effe bruin kleur.

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Hoe versprei Pubiese Luise

  • Hul word hoofsaak met seksuele kontak na ander oorgedra, maar kan natuurlik met drukkies en soene ook oorgedra word.
  • Onversorgde beddegoed en gebruikte handdoeke wat gedeel word.
  • Dit is veral op bogenoemde metode dat pubiese luise na kinders oorgedra word. Word dan ook op hul ooghare en oogbanke gevind.

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“STI of Sexual Transmitted Infection” word gewoonlik geassiosieer met virale of bakteriese siektes, maar pubiese luise word ook geklassifiseer as “Seksueel Oordraagbare Infeksie”.

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Statistieke

Statistieke in SA oor die besmetting van pubiese luise is nie regtig beskikbaar nie en, dit blyk dat die bekendmaking van sodanige infeksie as ‘n skending van ‘n persoon se menseregte beskou kan word. In die VSA word gereken dat daar sowat 3 miljoen mense jaarliks infekteer word.

Die oorgrote besmetting is te wyte aan seksuele oordrag.

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Kort algemene kennis feite

  • Word hoofsaaklik deur seksuele kontak oorgedra
  • Moenie ander mense se kamme en borsels gebruik nie
  • Om pubiese luise te hê beteken nie swak higiëne nie
  • Dit veroorsaak ‘n jeuk en gekrappery, asook swelsel en rooi geinfekteerde areas waar pubiese hare voorkom.
  • Vroue moet voorsorg tref om nie pubiese luise tydens swangerskap op te doen nie
  • Was altyd beddegoed en handdoeke met warm water
  • Wees versigtig vir swak hotelle en gastehuise
  • Vermy kontak met ander mense indien pubiese luise opgemerk word.
  • Vele luise is gehard asook weerstanding en reageer nie baie goed met behandeling nie.
  • Vele produkte is giftig en het hewige reaksies rondom die pubiese areas.
  • Moenie produkte wat skade en velvergiftiging kan veroorsaak oorweeg nie.
  • Apteker kan “OTC” of “Over the Counter” produkte aanbeveel.

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Wanneer OTC produkte aanbeveel word, lees eers die voubiljet, want vele produkte is giftig en is toksies vir die brein. Vroue wat swanger is, minder as 50 kg weeg, wat epilepsie of suiker lyers is moet liewers nie die produk oorweeg nie.

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Nete (nits) in ooghare

As pubiese luise in die ooghare gevind word, behandel die hele lyf. Moenie die nete probeer aftrek nie, van vel en oogskade kan opgedoen word. Dit kan ook met ‘n doelgerigte kam uitgekam word. Medisinale aanwendings moet liewers nie vir die oog oorweeg word nie. Gifstowwe word baie vinnig deur die oog opgeneem.

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‘n Veilige oorweging is ons eie reeks Propyrepet sjampoo, wat aangewend kan word, vir sowat 20 minute gelos word en dan afgewas word. Dit behoort die luise heeltemal dood te maak met die eerste aanwending.

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Nete of eiers sal nie noodwendig verwyder word nie en word behandeling na n paar dae weer aanbeveel. Ons eie reeks shampoo is weglaatbaar toksies vir warmbloedige diere, soos mense.

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Simptome

  • Teenwoordigheid van die luis is nie onmiddelik na seksuele kontak nie.
  • Kan van 5 dae tot 3 weke wees voordat mens agterkom daar is nou n fout in die pubiese area, waarvan jeuk en krap die simptome is.
  • Knoppies en rooi verhewe merke sal dan kenmerkend wees. Let op dat die krap om die jeuk te antwoord ook merke kan veroorsaak.
  • Aktiwiteit van die luis is hoofsaaklik snags.
  • Let op dat bakteriese of virale siektes nie deur die luis oorgedra word nie.
  • Die jeuk is ‘n immuunrespons van die die persoon se immuunstelsel.
  • Die menslike immuunstelsel reageer teenoor die proteiene in die luis se speeksel asook die luis se bloedmis wat op die vel gestort word.
  • Blou merke is ook kenmerkend in die pubiese areas waar luise ‘n bloedmaal geneem het.

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  • Belangrik. Reaksie is nie net beperk tot die pubiese area nie. Merke en swelsels kan ook op die maag, rug, boude, gesig en bors uitslaan en dan word muskiete, vlooie, bedmyte en enige ander insek verdink.
  • By kinders sal die reaksie hoofsaaklik om die oogbanke wees, maar die hele lyf kan dan ook weens die allergiese reaksie reageer.
  • Luismis of feces kan ook in onderklere raakgesien word as klein swart “droppings” of dan swart poeier as ‘n beskrywing.
  • Bloedmerke, hoofsaaklik weens die krappery van vingers wat daar plaasvind.

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Kenmerke van die Luis

  • Die luis kan met die blote oog waargeneem word in die pubiese area. Is sowat 2 mm + lank, 6-pootig, grysbruin en dit is hoofsaaklik sy agterpote wat aan die pubiese hare vasklou.
  • Eiers is klein, ovaal, effe geel in kleur en verkies om by die wortelarea van die haar van die pubiese haar vas te klou.
  • Hul kan nie vlieg of loop, swem of spring nie.
  • Hul kruip van een persoon na ‘n ander/
  • Publieke toilete kan nie met pubiese luise besmet word nie omdat hul nie aan gladde oppervlaktes kan klou nie.
  • Seksuele kontak met kondome voorkom nie pubiese luisbesmetting nie.

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Lewenssiklus

  • Lewe tussen 1 tot 3 maande
  • Lê tot en met 300 eiers tydens lewensiklus
  • Eiers broei uit tussen 6 tot 10 dae
  • Bereik volwassenheid na 3 weke
  • Waarna seksuele volwassenheid bereik word.
  • Kan tot en 24 uur weg van die menslike liggaam oorleef
  • Luise sal nie die menslike liggaam verlaat nie, want hul leef van menslike bloed.
  • Hul sal wel weens fisiese kontak van een mens na ‘n ander toe kruip
  • Naas die mens, is net die gorilla sovêr bekend vatbaar vir pubiese luise.

Komplikasies

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Sonder behandeling kan die menslike vel skilfer en vele velkondisies ontstaan weens die menselike en genetiese immuunrespons.

Daar is vier (4) ander mediese kondisies wat aan pubiese luise toegeskrywe kan word by die oog;

Opsommend

  • Respekteer jou seksmaats indien jy besmet is
  • Moenie kamme borsels en handdoek uitgee indien jy besmet is nie
  • Moenie dat mens in besmette plekke slaap nie
  • Moenie kinders soengroet of druk as jy besmet is nie
  • Moenie dit versprei nie.
  • Onskuldige mense se huwelike en verhodungs kan opbreek weens die luis en mense wat disrespekvol is weens die oordraging en besmetting daarvan.

 

Pierre van Niekerk 2019©

Skyndragtigheid en tewe se estrussiklus.

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HONDE SE ESTRUS SIKLUS

Dit kom normaal in nie-gesteriliseerde tewe binne 6 tot 12 weke na estrus voor. Estrus is die gedeelte van die teef se estrussiklus waar sy die reun toelaat om haar te dek, die vulva geswel is en daar ‘n strooikleurige vaginale afskeiding is.

Die tekens van skyndragtigheid kan wissel in intensiteit en kan enige iets van buikuitsetting en vergrote melkkliere met melkproduksie tot nabootsing van baring en soging insluit.

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In meeste tewe is skyndragtigheid egter mildelik en hulle herstel sonder enige behandeling binne ‘n paar (1 tot 3) weke. Sekondêre mastitis (inflammasie van die melkklier(e)) kan ontstaan as gevolg van melkstase (die afwesigheid van melkvloei weens die afwesigheid van klein hondjies wat aan die teef drink).

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Tekens van mastitis sluit in: warm, rooi, seer en vergrote melkkliere; melk wat dikker as normaal is met ‘n abnormale kleur; koors; aptytverlies; lusteloosheid. Gevalle waar tewe erge tekens toon van skyndragtigheid of waar sekondêre mastitis teenwoordig is, moet die teef na u veearts geneem word vir behandeling.

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Daar is verskeie hormoonbehandelings beskikbaar vir skyndragtigheid, maar daar is verskeie newe effekte wat met die behandeling gepaard gaan. In tewe wat dus herhaaldelik erge tekens van skyndragtigheid toon na elke estrus, word sterilisasie aanbeveel.

Gevalle waar tewe erger tekens toon van Skyndragtigheid of waar Sekondere Mastitis teenwoordig is, MOET DIE TEEF na `n Veearts toe geneem word vir behandeling.

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HORMOONBEHANDELINGS VIR SKYNDRAGTIGHEID
Daar is verskeie newe effekte wat met die behandeling gepaard gaan. In tewe wat dus herhaaldelik erger tekens van Skyndragtigheid toon na elke Estrus, word Sterilisasie aanbeveel.”

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  1. Proestrus (9 dae)

Dit is die voorfase van estrus , waar estradiol (sekshormone) konsentreer en vermeerder en die eierselletjies geslagsryp word en die uterus vergroot . Die vaginale wand (vaginale epithelium) vergroot gepaardgaande met diapedesis (witbloedselle of erytrosiete wat die vagina of vulva smeer.

  1. Estrus (9 dae)

Gaan gepaard met die teef se “uitlokking”en vaginale klierafskeidings vermeerder en ovulasie begin. Die siklus word beinvloed deur estrogene en die interval tussen die twee is gewoonlik 7 maande.

  1. Diestrus (70-80 dae)

Gaan gepaard met vroulike “non-mating behaviour”, corpus lutea kom voor (wat ‘n geel afskeiding is) en progesterone uitskei. Uritinêre kliere ondergaan hipertrofie en hyperplasia, vaginale uitskeidings/afskeidings en die serviks sluit in en verklein

  1. Anestrus

Is die verlengde periode van seksuele onaktiwiteit (sexual rest) waar die hele reproduktiewe sisteem onaktief is

Pierre van Niekerk © 2019
Verwysings:
1. Ettinger S J & Feldman E C. 2000. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. W.B. Saunders Company, USA
2. Ptaszynska M. 2006. Compendium of animal reproduction 9th Edition, Intervet International bv
Artikel onverwysd deur Dr Sunelle Strydom (BVSc)

Leaky gut (LGS)

“Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that affects your digestive system. In leaky gut syndrome, these tight junctions loosen, potentially allowing harmful substances like bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles to enter your bloodstream…”

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Leaky Gut: Can This Overlooked Sickness Be Wrecking Your Health?

by Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is a major cause of disease and dysfunction in modern society, accounts for at least 50% of chronic complaints, as confirmed by laboratory tests.

Leaky-Gut-Syndrome

In LGS, the epithelium on the villi of the small intestine becomes inflamed and irritated, which allows metabolic and microbial toxins of the small intestines to flood into the blood stream. This event compromises the liver, the lymphatic system, and the immune response including the endocrine system.

Some of the most incurable diseases are caused by this exact mechanism, where the body. Gut Syndrome is often the real basis for chronic fatigue syndrome and pediatric immune deficiencies.

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Leaky attacks its own tissues.

This is commonly called auto-immune disease.

It is often the primary cause of the following common conditions: asthma, food allergies, chronic sinusitis, eczema, urticaria, migraine, irritable bowel, fungal disorders, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory joint disorders including rheumatoid arthritis are just a few of the diseases that can originate with leaky gut. It also contributes to PMS, uterine fibroid, and breast fibroid.

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Leaky Gut Syndrome is reaching epidemic proportions within the population. Historically, the only way bowel toxins entered the blood stream was through trauma, for example by sword or spear.

Leaky-Gut-Diseases

This quickly led to septicemia that might be treatable, or more probably, ended in death. Outside of trauma, the body maintained a wonderfully effective selective barrier in the small intestine, one that allowed nutrients to enter, but kept out metabolic wastes and microbial toxins rampant in the intestines.

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What Modern Event Allowed Such A Break-Down?

Primarily it has been antibiotics, secondarily non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, Motrin, Aleve and Advil) with NSAIDs being the major cause of leaky gut because they so viciously inflame the intestinal lining, causing a widening of the spaces between cells and sometimes hemorrhaging.

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Other common causes are chemotherapy, ingested alcohol, inhaled formaldehyde from a new carpet, food allergens, stress emotions, lactase deficiency, gluten/gliaden allergy, abnormal gut flora (bacteria, parasites, yeasts).

The first antibiotic, penicillin, did not enter mainstream health care until 1939. Since the 50’s and 60’s, antibiotic use has been frantically prescribed for every infection and inflammation, particularly pediatric ear infection, bronchitis, and sore throat.

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It is sadly ironic that most of these infections are viral in nature, and not only are the antibiotics damaging, but they are ultimately unnecessary. Antibiotics should be considered a hospitalization level medicine, when bacteria have entered the blood, bone, or organ.

Antibiotics Destroy Beneficial Bacteria

Antibiotics create their damage in two ways. The first is by destroying beneficial bacteria. The small intestine and large intestine host over five hundred different kinds of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria perform hundreds of functions required for healthy metabolism and immune response.

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Through enzyme secretions, bacteria transform metabolic and microbial wastes before they are discharged by the body. These wastes include cellular debris, hormones, chemical wastes, bile, pus accumulations, viral toxins, bacterial toxins, etc.

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For example, the body creates bile not only as a lubricant to flush wastes out of the liver, but also, to detoxify many of the poisons accumulating in the liver. Bile however is extremely damaging to large intestine epithelium.

When bile enters the small intestine via the common bile duct, beneficial bacteria break the bile salts down into a less toxic compound, making it non-dangerous by the time it reaches the large intestine.

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When you take antibiotics you destroy these bacteria and the bile salts freely enter and damage the large intestine. I believe this contributes significantly to the high incidence of colon cancer plaguing today’s society.

Beneficial bacteria also break down hormone secretions that are discharged from the liver to the small intestine. If you lack the bacteria to break down estrogen and the intestinal permeability has been altered, the patient is now reabsorbing estrogens in their original state.

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The body will deposit these in estrogen sensitive areas such as the breast, uterus, or ovaries, contributing, if not causing, fibroids and tumors. The same scenario is responsible for premenstrual syndrome as well.

Healthy mucosa allows nutrients to pass the barrier while blocking the entry of toxins.

With leaky gut, the barrier is dysfunctional, blocking nutrients at the damaged villi while permitting toxins to enter the blood stream.

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Antibiotics Promote the Growth of Fungus

The second way antibiotics damage the intestines is by fostering the growth of Candida albicans and other pathogenic fungi and yeast. This event, more than any other, precipitates Leaky Gut Syndrome.

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In a healthy situation the small intestine epithelium maintains tight cell junctions, which contributes to the physical barrier involved in intestinal absorption. In addition to the physical barrier, there is an important chemical barrier within the mucus that contains immune agents, which neutralize any toxin that comes in contact.

Candida exudes an aldehyde secretion, which causes small intestine epithelial cells to shrink. This allows intestinal toxins to infiltrate through the epithelium and into the blood. The secondary barrier – immune agents in the epithelial mucus – remain the sole agent for neutralization.

Eventually, the immune system becomes exhausted rising to this challenge.

The damage done by Candida is to the intestinal epithelial barrier, allowing the absorption of serious toxic agents and chemicals, which then enter the blood and affect numerous organs, including the brain.

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Food Allergies: The Complicating Factor

When the integrity of the intestinal barrier has been compromised, intestinal toxins are not the only pathogens to be absorbed. The barrier, in a healthy state, selectively allows digested nutrients to enter the small intestine when all is ready.

With leaky gut, nutrients can be absorbed before they are fully digested. The body’s immune response, through specific antigen-antibody markers, will tag some of these foods as foreign irritants.

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Every time that particular food touches the epithelia, an inflammatory immune response is mounted which further damages the epithelial lining. What started as a Candida irritation with shrinking of the cells has now been complicated with active inflammation every time a particular food is eaten.

Food allergies are a common secondary problem to Candida, and if present, will maintain the leaky gut continuously, even if the Candida is eradicated.

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The most common food allergies are dairy, eggs, gluten grains (wheat, oats, rye), corn, beans (especially soy), and nuts. There are seldom real allergies to meat, rice, millet, vegetables, or fruit, although an allergy to garlic is not uncommon.

We have to distinguish a real allergy – that which causes a histamine inflammatory reaction at the site of the small intestine (SI) epithelia – from sensitivity, which may cause uncomfortable symptoms, but seldom is damaging.

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Sensitivities are usually due to low stomach acid or pancreatic enzyme secretion, that is, poor digestion.

In the healing of the intestinal lining, exposure to a significant allergy can sabotage the treatment. For example, one may be very good at restricting wheat, dairy and eggs, but then compromises the treatment by taking garlic tablets.

The Role of the Liver and Lymphatic System

The metabolic and microbial toxins that enter the bloodstream during leaky gut end up in the liver, which has the job of detoxifying and discharging the poisons. Under normal conditions, the liver is taxed just by processing the daily metabolic wastes created by cell and organ activity.

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Imagine the further load created by dumping serious intestinal toxins on a regular basis. There is a point when the liver becomes saturated; it cannot further detoxify the poisons, and they are returned to the blood circulation.

The blood has sophisticated mechanisms for preserving chemical homeostasis, and will diffuse as much of the toxic chemicals and physical debris into the interstitial fluids as is possible. From here the lymphatic system will attempt to collect and neutralize the toxins, but unable to send the toxins to the liver, the body essentially becomes toxic.

Microbes grow and develop, hence there can be chronic lymphatic swelling, especially in children. Over a period of time, toxins will be forced into distal connective tissue around muscles and joints, causing fibromyalgia, or into the cells, which can precipitate genetic mutation and ultimately cancer.

Stress to the Immune and Endocrine Systems

The immune system is stressed in three major ways. First is at the site of the intestinal mucosa. As toxins and food antigens brush up against the mucosa, the immune system mobilizes to neutralize the toxins. Normally, much of this work would have been done by beneficial bacteria, which have been destroyed by antibiotics.

For toxins that make it to the mucosa, the body will tag them with a chemical secretory IgA (SIgA), which attracts macrophages and other white blood cells to consume the toxins. It is not long before this immune response is overwhelmed and depleted.

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This can be measured directly with a stool or saliva test for the intestinal SIgA level.

The second stressor happens in the liver and lymphatic system, which, also overwhelmed, puts demands on the immune system. The third stressor is a consequence: as the immune response diminishes, more microbes (viruses, bacteria, and fungi) multiply, allowing for a chronic state of infection.

The most important organ in the production of immune agents seems to be the adrenal gland, and Leaky Gut Syndrome slowly diminishes adrenal function. In the early and middle stages, there is actually an adrenal excess, as measured by excess cortisol output. Eventually, cortisol levels drop, and one now has exhaustion.

The Role of the Digestive Tract

Candida flourishes when the terrain in the intestines favors it. Just killing Candida is usually not successful, because the chemistry and vitality of the terrain has not been normalized, and Candida returns.

Antibiotics are the original cause of the change on the terrain. By killing acid forming bacteria (Lactobacillus bacteria produce lactic acid, for example), the environment becomes alkaline, which promotes Candida.

Antibiotics and chronic illness reduce stomach acid production, contributing to the alkalinity, and also allowing poor digestive absorption. In fact, many people with LGS are malnourished and will lose excessive weight, no matter how healthy the food is that they eat.

The idea that lactobacillus supplementation is all that is required after antibiotics is somewhat delusional; in fact most of the lactobacillus from supplementation does not survive in the intestine, due to poor terrain. Just to make sure you have a full understanding of the seriousness of Leaky Gut, the following is a summary:

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  • When the gut is inflamed it does not secrete digestive enzymes to digest foods properly or absorb nutrients and foods properly. The result can indigestion with gas and bloating, called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • When large food particles are absorbed, food allergies and new symptoms are created (e.g., IBS, gallbladder disease, arthritis or fibromyalgia).
  • When the gut is inflamed, carrier proteins are damaged, so malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies occur.These deficiencies slow down the ability of the gut to heal and can cause any number of other symptoms (e.g., magnesium deficiency induced angina or gut spasms, chromium deficiency induced high cholesterol or sugar cravings, zinc deficiency induced prostatitis or lack acid formation)
  • When the detoxification pathways that line the gut are compromised, chemical sensitivity can arise. Furthermore, the leakage of toxins overburderns the liver so that the body is less to handle everyday chemicals in foods, water and air.
  •  Now many foods can cause symptoms that never did before, because the gut’s detoxification (liver) system is unable to cope with the hundreds of chemical additives, dyes, colorings, preservatives and pesticides common in our foods.
  • When the gut lining is inflamed, the protective coating of the gut antibodies can be lost. With loss of the secretory immunoglobulin A (SigA), the body becomes more vulnerable to infections in the intestines from bacteria, viruses, parasites and yeast and they become resistant to treatment.
  • Ironically, the more resistant the bugs become, the more-high powered antibiotics doctor prescribe, resulting in more overgrowth of resistant fungi (Candida). As the unwanted bugs grow, the gut gets more inflamed and leaky initiating a vicious cycle of worsening condition and major cause of so many incurable diseases.
  • When the intestinal lining is inflamed, bacteria and yeast can translocate. In other words, they can pass from the gut cavity into the blood stream and set up infection anywhere else in the body, including the brain. This is often the mysterious and undiagnosed cause of infections in the teeth and gums, bones, prostate, bladder and sinuses.
  • With the formation of antibodies, the food antigens that leak across the gut wall can sometimes resemble the natural antigens on tissues. Protective antibodies will then attack the antigens, as they should and the tissues, causing further damage.

It is the very reason why auto-immune diseases begin. Lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, myocarditis, iritis and thyroiditis are some of the members of this ever-growing category of mysteriously incurable auto-immune diseases.

Ron Grisanti, D.C., D.A.B.C.O., M.S.  is a board certified chiropractic orthopedist with a master’s degree in nutritional science from the University of Bridgeport.  He is past chairman of the South Carolina Chiropractic Peer Review and serves on the South Carolina Chiropractic Investigative Committee.  His 27 years of clinical practice has positioned him as an authority in the management of a variety of chronic health conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, digestive disorders, anxiety and other common ailments. He has authored two books on the functional medical management of arthritis and obesity, and has authored well over 1,000 articles including the following, some of which have been published in leading chiropractic journals.