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Pineapple juice can replace barium contrast during MRI with contrast (MRE)

MRE (Magnetic Resonance Elastography) is a specific type of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) performed with contrast material to produce detailed images of the small intestine. MRE is preferred over CT (Computed Tomography) to reduce repeated radiation exposure, especially because the nature of IBD requires repeat examinations which can result in large cumulative doses.

However, some patients have concern about using the barium contrast. Mild side effects may include stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or constipation. Rare side effects include allergic reactions like hives, itching, agitation or fast heartbeat. A patient is at greater risk of an adverse reaction to barium-sulfate contrast materials if he has a history of asthma, hay fever, or other allergies.
As it turns out, there are effective alternatives to using barium, namely the artificial drink Breeza or simply natural pineapple juice. Currently there is no clear unified standard, and it is unfortunate that not all doctors and not all imaging centers are willing to adopt these advanced options due to lack of awareness and indifference to patient’s comfort.

...continue reading "MRE imaging for gastrointestinal disorders"

The doctor that brought the gift of hope

Teddi Bledsoe and her beautiful family went through several years of the agonizing roller-coaster of pediatric Crohn’s and PSC before they found the right formula of diet and medications that brought their son Colt to remission.

Teddi admits: Many times I felt despair and wondered why things seem to work for everyone else's child and not mine. Yet ultimately answers were found and health resumed. I feel it is important to stress that so often it’s not the quick fix we hope for, and definitely not a one size fits all, but staying the course pays off.

As many parents can attest, the emotional load of worries lingers in the mind long after remission is achieved. Teddi was blessed when a coincidental meeting helped renew her trust in the power of the body to heal and thrive long term. Here is her emotional story - the gift of hope that came to visit her family farm.

...continue reading "Crohn’s and liver disease (PSC)"