Participants: Agatha Thrash (Host), Don Miller, Rhonda Clark
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000220
00:01 Hello, have you ever had a tummy ache?
00:03 You may wonder what is it that's causing my pain
00:07 is it stomach or muscle or appendix, or something else
00:13 causing it.
00:14 Well, I think you will enjoy our program this time
00:18 because we'll be answering some of those questions, stay by.
00:42 Welcome to Help Yourself to Health
00:45 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute,
00:48 and now here is your host Dr. Thrash.
00:51 There are many structures inside the abdomen,
00:58 any one of them can have pain.
01:00 When you consider the great array of structures and organs
01:06 some them solid and some of them hollow,
01:09 and any one of them can have different kinds of pain.
01:13 Then it's no wonder that physicians sometimes
01:16 and surgeons really struggle with a diagnosis of what is
01:21 causing this pain.
01:22 I have a list of a number of these,
01:25 and I'm going to be with you about some of these
01:28 and trying to help you to understand many of these
01:32 things that can cause pain, not that you will be a surgeon
01:36 after we've finished our program or able to diagnose every
01:41 pain that comes up inside the abdomen, but maybe you'll
01:44 be a bit more knowledgeable and we would like to
01:47 try to help you to understand these things better.
01:50 Now to assist me in presenting these myriads of things
01:54 that can cause a problem inside the abdomen
01:57 I have asked my co-worker and my friend Rhonda Clark
02:03 to help me, and Rhonda what do you do at Uchee Pines?
02:08 - Well, I work in the Lifestyle Center doing telephone
02:11 counseling with individuals who call with health problems
02:13 or health questions, I also work as a teacher
02:17 there at the school.
02:19 - Teaching lifestyle principles to lifestyle educators and
02:23 lifestyle counselors students.
02:26 - Yes!
02:27 - And sometimes I'm sure you council with the patients there.
02:30 - Occasionally yes as I have opportunities and build
02:34 friendships with them, I'm always glad for the opportunity
02:36 to help them.
02:37 - But mainly if someone call for counseling on the phone
02:40 you may be one of those who is standing by the telephone
02:44 to give counseling.
02:45 That's good, now before you came to Uchee Pines,
02:48 you did some really fun things, one of the things that I have
02:53 been most interested in that you have done is the
02:55 organ transplant program. - Yes!
02:57 - You worked with that for awhile
02:59 - I did, about eight years I worked with the donation end
03:04 in organ transplantation, counseling with families who
03:06 had lost a loved one, and offering them the opportunity
03:09 to donate organs if that was something that they
03:10 or their loved ones had wished for and found it to be
03:15 quite a rewarding experience,
03:17 I had always thought of organ donation as being something
03:21 that would benefit the person who received the
03:23 organ transplant, but I learned in my time there
03:26 often it was very beneficial for the family who gave consent
03:29 for organ donation, feeling that maybe something good
03:32 came out of a tragic situation.
03:34 - Yes, I can certainly believe that would be true,
03:37 what kind of organ donation was the most common do you suppose?
03:42 - Kidney donation was the most common, now partly because
03:45 we have two kidneys that we can donate and so that increases
03:49 the number of kidney donations, and surprisingly the kidneys
03:52 are quite hardy in the donation process and some individuals
03:57 that would be the only organ that they could donate
03:59 that would be the kidneys, so we saw that most frequently.
04:01 That happens to be what organ is making up the greatest
04:06 number of individuals on the waiting list,
04:08 so it was a blessing that, that was the organ
04:10 we were most likely to see donated.
04:14 - Today you are going to be talking about some things about
04:18 pain inside the abdomen.
04:19 - Yes!
04:20 - What things can you tell us, and how can you instruct us
04:24 on pain inside the abdomen?
04:25 - Well abdominal pain comes from many different causes.
04:29 Dr. Thrash you know as a physician that it can sometimes
04:32 even come from a part of the body that isn't in the abdomen
04:35 at all, but they refer to it as referred pain.
04:38 But most likely there is some sort of inflammation
04:41 occurring in one of the organs of the abdomen,
04:44 or perhaps some sort of distention, or stretching
04:48 of an organ that is caused due to an obstruction.
04:51 Another cause of pain in the abdomen is a loss of blood
04:56 supply, one of the more serious causes of abdominal pain.
04:59 What I wanted to share with you today is if you are experiencing
05:03 abdominal pain, what kind of information would be important
05:07 for a physician to know, to help diagnose the cause
05:12 of the abdominal pain.
05:14 Abdominal pain can have very benign causes,
05:19 hunger can give us abdominal pain, gas, but it also can be
05:23 a sign of something serious and should seek some
05:26 medical advice if you are experiencing abdominal pain.
05:29 One of the first things that the physician will ask you
05:34 is when did the pain begin?
05:36 Was it associated with any other type of activity or
05:40 did it just seem to come on by itself?
05:42 They will ask you where the pain is located.
05:45 The location of pain in the abdomen is a characteristic
05:49 of different organs being involved, you may be familiar
05:53 of the lower right quadrant pain that is connected with
05:56 appendicitis, and the upper right quadrant pain,
06:00 that is connected with gall bladder disorders.
06:03 So where the pain is located is quite an important thing.
06:06 The doctor will ask about the pains characteristics,
06:10 is it sharp, cramping, stabbing, kind of dull and aching,
06:17 Those can all be important clues as well as the duration of pain
06:22 does it last long periods of time, does it come and go,
06:27 is it constant, these all give clues.
06:30 The doctor will ask if you've noticed anything that makes
06:33 the pain worse, or alternatively are there things that you have
06:38 found that relieved the pain, maybe a certain position
06:41 that you can lie in, that helps give some relief.
06:44 They also will ask about any associated symptoms,
06:47 are you experiencing fever, vomiting, or diarrhea?
06:51 Have you noticed any changes in the characteristics
06:54 of the stools, these will all be important clues in tracking
06:58 down what is causing the pain.
07:00 The physician will listen to your abdomen with a stethoscope
07:05 there are certain distinctive sounds that can be connected
07:08 with various abdominal disorders, and they will
07:10 very carefully push on your abdomen noticing for areas
07:14 of tenderness and other things that in their experience
07:17 they have seen connected with various disorders.
07:21 And in addition to questioning you about the pain
07:24 and doing an examination, they may order laboratory tests.
07:29 Blood work to see if there is a presence of infection,
07:32 they may order x-rays, and kind of an advanced x-ray
07:37 a CT scan or MRI, they may require an ultrasound
07:42 that's often used to see if there are gallstones present
07:44 in the gall bladder.
07:46 And endoscopes, a camera that's on the end of a tube that is
07:51 swallowed down into the stomach, or that can be
07:53 inserted into the rectum and up through the colon
07:56 those can be used to look internally at the structure
07:58 of the abdomen to see if there is a problem.
08:01 Sometimes despite those tests nothing is found
08:06 and the individual continues to have pain.
08:08 One treatment of last resort is what is called
08:13 exploratory surgery, where the surgeon actually goes in to see
08:17 if they can visualize something that has somehow eluded them
08:20 in all of their other tests and examinations.
08:22 This is something to give you an idea of what to expect,
08:26 if you experience abdominal pain and hopefully will be
08:31 helpful to you to kind of know what to anticipate
08:33 if you need to come see someone like Dr. Thrash,
08:36 and it is something to take serious, I'm sure you would
08:41 advise people if they continue to have a problem with abdominal
08:44 pain to investigate. - Yes abdominal pain
08:46 that lasts more than 24 hours probably need a professional
08:51 person to take a look at it, it's no longer in the realm
08:55 of simple remedies, home remedies.
08:58 But home remedies can do quite a lot to relieve
09:03 abdominal pain, one of the definitions that I like about
09:07 herbs is that an herb is a plant that can be used to
09:14 help a person heal from something, and healing
09:18 from some kind of abdominal pain can be
09:22 the function of many herbs.
09:23 Now because there are so many organs and structures
09:27 inside the abdomen, I would like to show you some of these
09:31 on a chart that I have here and it may look a little simple
09:35 with this chart, but actually there are many other things
09:39 than the ones that I show here, but first the salivary glands.
09:44 Here are the salivary glands, there are a number
09:47 of them, one of the ones that we find the most knowledge about
09:52 is the parotid gland, which is located over here
09:55 on the side of the jaw, and you will remember that the
09:58 parotid gland is the one that first gets sick with
10:02 the mumps, then after the salivary glands comes
10:07 the esophagus.
10:08 The esophagus is a long tube it has to go through the throat,
10:11 through the chest, here is the
10:14 diaphragm and enters the stomach.
10:16 Now the stomach is located here, and it has a little
10:20 muscle guard at the top called the cardia, and another
10:24 muscle guard at the bottom called the pylorus,
10:27 immediately after the pylorus is the duodenum,
10:31 it's here where we can have some ulcers, the stomach
10:37 can also have some ulcers, and this part right here
10:41 that is shaded overlay, that's the pancreas,
10:45 most people are surprised at how long it is.
10:48 It goes all the way from the right side of the abdomen
10:52 the curvature of the duodenum all the way over to the left
10:57 upper quadrant of the abdomen at the hilum of the spleen
11:01 so the spleen is right over here just under the diaphragm
11:05 right here, and the pancreas goes all the way over there.
11:09 Anywhere along the line you can have pain referred to the
11:14 abdomen, even esophageal pain can be referred
11:17 into the abdomen.
11:19 The pain from pneumonia can be referred into the abdomen,
11:26 and sometimes the person thinks they have abdominal pain,
11:30 when actually the pain is in the chest.
11:33 Now beyond the stomach and the duodenum,
11:37 is the remainder of the small bowel,
11:39 and the small bowel is really quite an interesting organ
11:43 it is here where 95% of our digestion and assimilation occur
11:49 right in here, and anything that simply cannot be digested
11:54 and assimilated into the blood stream will go over
11:57 into the colon, in the colon there is the re-absorption
12:02 of water and the absorption of vitamins and minerals,
12:07 and the colon has an interesting configuration.
12:13 It starts here with the cecum which is a pouch
12:17 a pouch that the small bowel empties into
12:21 then we have the ascending colon the hepatic flexure
12:27 where there is a sharp, little bit more than 90% turn
12:31 and then the transverse colon, splenic flexure,
12:36 another 90% angle turn, then the descending colon,
12:40 the sigmoid colon which is a twisted S, and then the rectum,
12:46 and the anus, all these portions can have rather severe pain
12:52 and the pain that we get from the colon can be crampy
12:57 in nature, as it comes and is very intense, and then
13:01 it goes away for awhile, comes again very intense,
13:05 goes away for a little while, so as we think about these things
13:09 I would like to point to another structure
13:12 this one right here just off the cecum,
13:17 this is the pouch where the small bowel enters into.
13:21 The appendix is a very interesting organ,
13:26 and because it is so interesting I have asked Dr. Don Miller
13:32 if he will join me here and will and will tell you some things
13:36 about this very interesting organ.
13:38 Dr. Miller, you have been at Uchee Pines for
13:41 quite a long time, you are home based there.
13:43 - Long time!
13:44 - Yes, and home based is a little
13:46 bit of maybe a misnomer for you
13:48 because you haven't had a home for quite a long time,
13:52 you have been traveling from one place to another.
13:54 Or maybe you might say it this way, it's like the promise
13:58 of the Bible that says any man who gives up homes
14:02 and houses and lands here, He will have them multiplied
14:06 a hundred times here.
14:07 Have you found that to be true?
14:09 - Absolutely! I've got family all around the world.
14:11 I've got people who open to me into their homes
14:13 and say come on in, and it's my home,
14:16 and so I have that experience and it's a real blessing.
14:19 - It must be a pretty nice life you don't have to worry about
14:21 mowing the lawn, or washing the walls, or keeping it painted,
14:28 - Well sometimes it's a long cold walk to the outhouse,
14:31 but you know it's...
14:32 - If the family have that kind of arrangement
14:33 I suppose you can use it too.
14:37 - And if they put up with it, I can put up with it
14:40 I really feel at home in the world.
14:42 - Yes! Well it's a good thing that we have such wonderful
14:48 equipment that makes it so that one can change
14:50 time zones so many times and can
14:53 still be at home in the world.
14:55 - What can you tell us about the appendix,
14:57 this marvelous little organ?
14:59 - It is marvelous, and God is... I'm going to tell the people
15:02 what you once told me many years ago, that pain is a signal
15:06 to the body that tissue is being damaged and so this pain
15:11 that we get from either a distended colon or the appendix
15:16 or some other part of the body, it's a signal we don't
15:18 want to try to eliminate the pain, we want to find out what's
15:22 causing my pain and to get rid of it.
15:24 Now the full name for the appendix is vermiform appendix,
15:28 it begins with a V, but basically if you sort of
15:31 if you pronounce the V like a W it's wormiform appendix
15:35 it's just a little worm that hangs off the cecum
15:38 just as the small intestine empties into the cecum
15:41 starting up the ascending colon, and it's there for a purpose.
15:45 It's very similar in structure in one sense to the tonsils
15:50 it's lymphatic tissue, and God knew exactly what He was doing.
15:55 He put a police force down here, He put a police force up here
15:59 so that you got white blood cells always on the scene
16:03 for things that might go wrong.
16:05 They found now that those who have had either a
16:08 tonsillectomy or an appendectomy have more cancers
16:13 in those areas, more cancers of the colon,
16:15 more cancers of the throat, so I really encourage you
16:18 if you still have them, to keep them, I'm going to mention
16:21 how you can keep them a little bit longer
16:22 because it's the damage that we do, but first going back
16:25 to appendicitis.
16:26 It is a severe pain, it usually starts in the epigastric area
16:32 just below the breast bone but within a few hours move down
16:35 to the lower right quadrant and it is extreme pain.
16:38 Sometimes a little test that you can do if someone
16:41 has the pain and they don't know exactly where it is at
16:44 you have them sit on a table and they sort of hop off
16:48 and just drop a few inches that jarring if indeed it is
16:52 appendicitis, will give them a sharp stabbing pain
16:56 at this point..., well there are some other symptoms:
17:00 1. low grade temperature, sometimes constipation,
17:03 and these things you've got to be very careful with
17:05 not so much the fever, whenever anything is with itis
17:09 it means inflammation, inflammation means that the
17:12 body is going to be calling in it's army to try to fight
17:15 the process.
17:16 When the army is called in it works better and faster
17:19 and there is a bigger army when the temperature goes up
17:22 and so the hypothalamus in the brain turns up the thermostat
17:25 you've got a low grade temperature that's a sign,
17:28 but the constipation could be a really dangerous thing
17:31 if a person thinks they are just bloated,
17:34 let's just give them some type of a laxative,
17:36 a laxative could be the worst thing in the world to do.
17:38 So if you've got this lower right quadrant pain,
17:41 you've got a low grade fever, the best thing to do is
17:44 see the doctor.
17:45 But now the more important thing is,
17:48 don't get appendicitis.
17:50 What causes appendicitis?
17:52 Usually a lot of fat and a lot of sugar in the diet,
17:56 the number one food that I can think of that combines those two
18:01 things in large quantities is that famous American world wide
18:06 delight called ice cream.
18:08 Ice cream with all the fat and all the sugar will form
18:11 what we call fecula, they are these little balls
18:15 that will get down into the appendix,
18:17 now the appendix is sort of a like a tube, a hollow tube
18:20 lymphatic tissue, a fecula gets down in there
18:24 and if for some reason there is an inflammation in the body
18:27 and lymphatic tissue starts to swell, it swells out
18:31 and it swells in because it's a tube, when it squeeze's
18:34 down on that fecula it cuts off blood supply,
18:38 you cut off blood supply, this is a key,
18:40 matter of fact when I'm teaching at Uchee Pines,
18:42 I always have two foundational health principles.
18:45 I want you to remember these too,
18:46 1. The life is in the blood, 2. Perfect health requires
18:52 perfect circulation, you cut off circulation, you've got pain.
18:56 A good way to demonstrate this is to put a blood pressure
18:59 cuff on your arm, pump it up leave the pressure on,
19:02 do some type of hand exercises for just a few moments
19:05 and you are going to find that pretty soon you have pain
19:08 in the arm, sometimes very severe pain,
19:10 release the pressure, pain is gone.
19:13 It's the build up of toxins, so we have this fecalith being
19:18 squeezed down cutting off the circulation,
19:20 toxins are building up, it's going to be sending a signal
19:23 to the body, which is called pain, we have to fix
19:26 this problem, you can't fix the problem with some extremely
19:30 simple remedy.
19:31 So my recommendation is to go to the doctor
19:34 so when that thing squeeze's down...
19:36 So now how not to get the feculas how not to
19:38 get appendicitis: 1. You eat a good diet,
19:41 a diet high in fiber, and complex carbohydrates,
19:46 God's way of packaging protein in fruits, vegetables
19:51 and whole grains, nuts, and seeds, and drinking
19:55 plenty of water, sometimes a seed or something might get
19:58 down into the appendix and cause some problem,
20:00 but that's usually not the main problem.
20:02 If a seed does, like a grape seed,
20:04 it points at another problem in the eating process,
20:07 you didn't chew your food well, learn to chew your food to cream
20:12 before you turn it loose, is what one old woman said
20:15 was her secret for living a long life.
20:17 So chew your food well so that when food gets down there
20:21 you don't get something lodging into the appendix
20:25 and causing an irritation.
20:26 Eating a good diet, staying away from refined carbohydrates
20:31 especially sugar, and the high fat foods,
20:34 if you are going to have fat eat it in it's natural form
20:37 eating an olive or an avocado rather than the oil
20:41 from these things, and you won't have quite as many
20:43 problems with appendicitis.
20:45 - Sounds very good, lots of water will help that also.
20:48 - Absolutely!
20:49 - I have an interesting chart that has a number of diseases
20:54 on it, and I would like to show you this chart now
20:57 because it does tell us a lot about a variety of those
21:02 diseases that are fairly common, you have heard of them.
21:05 Now here is the esophagus,
21:07 there is a cancer of the esophagus, which is not common,
21:10 in this country, then varicose veins at the bottom
21:14 of the esophagus, varicose veins are more common in America
21:19 because of drinking, and in every society
21:21 where drinking is a big problem then varicose veins
21:26 because of cirrhosis of the liver may be that very cause.
21:32 Then the stomach with the ulcers, and the gastritis
21:37 can be most painful, and most uncomfortable
21:41 and difficult to heal, those are all things that can occur
21:45 in the stomach and the duodenum can have it's ulcers.
21:47 But notice right here, this is the gall bladder,
21:52 here is the liver of course, it's the largest gland
21:55 in the body, and under the liver, actually the gall bladder
22:00 only peeps out from the front edge of the liver,
22:05 just a little bit of it,
22:07 but most of it is in this shallow cup
22:11 just under the liver.
22:13 The gall bladder, because of the things it has to deal with
22:17 may get stones in it, this gall bladder is about
22:21 half filled with stones.
22:23 Now as long as the stones stay in the gall bladder,
22:27 there is not problem, or at least very little problem.
22:30 It's when the stones begin to migrate
22:33 that you're going to have the trouble.
22:34 If they get into the duct, then the cystic duct,
22:40 you will get a dilated gall bladder,
22:43 but if they go a little bit farther past the duct
22:46 that comes from the gall bladder,
22:48 they'll get in the hepatic duct which is right here.
22:51 The hepatic duct has one major duct
22:56 that comes from the left lobe of the liver,
22:58 and the other major duct that comes from the right lobe
23:01 of the liver, and they form together to make
23:04 the hepatic duct, and then comes the common bile duct
23:09 down here, which is all of those duct from up above
23:15 plus the duct that comes from the pancreas.
23:19 Here is the pancreas, all the way over to there
23:23 and if this duct gets a stone in it, which it can,
23:27 if the gall bladder sends a stone down this duct,
23:29 and it goes back up into the pancreatic duct,
23:35 it can block the pancreatic duct, and then
23:38 that is a major problem.
23:40 Major problem because the dilation of that duct can cause
23:46 digestive ferments from the pancreas and even some of these
23:51 from the duodenum to go back up into the pancreas
23:55 and cause a serious problem,
23:57 that can be life threatening in fact.
24:00 Now what can we do about gall stones?
24:03 One thing is drink plenty of water,
24:06 gall stones are less likely to begin to form
24:10 if you drink loads of water, because it just keeps
24:13 the minerals that are in the bowel, keeps them in a liquid
24:17 solution, and therefore you don't have as great a likelihood
24:21 of having these minerals precipitate into these stones.
24:26 Another thing is be very careful about the fats that you eat,
24:31 a high fat diet encourages gall stones,
24:35 also if you loose weight to rapidly, such as you decide
24:39 you want to loose 40 Ibs. in the next 7 or 8 weeks.
24:45 So you go on a diet that will do that very thing,
24:49 and you walk lots, and you stay up late at night
24:52 and you do all of those things that are going to make you
24:54 loose weight, and put a terrible strain on the body.
24:58 As it does so, one of those stresses is the formation
25:03 of gall stones, so if you do have a fast loss of weight,
25:07 drink loads of water, so that you can make certain
25:10 that the minerals and the fats stay in a good solution
25:15 in the gall bladder and don't salt out to make these stones.
25:21 Now let's go to another problem that one may have
25:25 with the intestinal tract, and that is Chron's disease
25:30 and Ulcerative Colitis, here in the last portion of the ileum
25:36 which is the last portion of the small bowel
25:38 right there in the terminal ileum, one can have
25:43 Chron's disease, and also in the large bowel
25:47 one can have Chron's disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
25:51 This is a serious problem, and is usually a life long problem
25:55 and there are a number of things one can do:
25:57 one is eat a high fiber diet, it usually helps Chron's
26:02 or Ulcerative Colitis.
26:04 If you have bleeding, then you will need also a high
26:10 iron supply which means plenty of green leafy vegetables
26:14 and some source of acid, like citric acid from citrus fruits
26:20 that's a very good place and one can absorb iron nicely
26:24 in this way, so we recommend that.
26:27 Then another thing is the use of pectin,
26:30 pectin is a soluble fiber and can be taken to soothe
26:36 and to heal and to protect the colon and the small bowel.
26:41 So the use of the pectin coats the lining of the
26:46 intestinal tract and encourages the kind of bacterial growth
26:52 most favorable to healing both Ulcerative Colitis and
26:58 Chron's Disease.
27:00 Now in addition to these measures one should also
27:05 plenty of exercise, one should drink plenty of water,
27:10 and take several herbs, one of the healing herbs is
27:15 Aloe Vera, it is available everywhere, can be taken
27:18 one to two ounces, two to three times a day.
27:21 In Ulcerative Colitis and also one can take Golden Seal
27:28 and Echinacea, and grapefruit seed extract, all of these
27:33 are also very good for the colon,
27:35 but one of the ones that I have as a favorite is garlic.
27:39 It tastes good, it smells good in the house
27:42 when the food cooking, and one it's great pluses
27:45 is that it will heal Ulcerative Colitis and Chron's Disease
27:50 to some degree, so "May the Lord Bless You"
27:52 with these suggestions.