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Irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and eczema can certainly run in families. There really is little that can be done about heredity.

It's most important lesson for the migraineur is the knowledge that these problems can be inherited. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, migraine or eczema you should be aware that you could well have passed that tendency to your children. That means that your child's recurrent "Bilious Attack" could be irritable bowel syndrome or "abdominal migraine" and not a "grumbling appendix". Many a normal appendix has been removed from a child with "irritable bowel syndrome"!

It is well recognised that women may suffer from bloating and abdominal problems probably related to irritable bowel syndrome, or migraine headaches around their menstrual period and that must fall into the category of "an inherited tendency" because a person's sex is a genetically and thus hereditarily determined aspect of our makeup


Fight or Flight

The stress response is often referred to as the "fight or flight " response and that describes it very well. It is another aspect of our ancestors' way of life that we have less opportunity to handle correctly in our increasingly hectic and restrictive modern world. When faced with danger our ancestors would be prepared to run away or to stand and fight. Their bodies released a soup of hormones into the bloodstream to make this happen. This hormonal soup would cause the heart to pump more rapidly so that it could push the blood round the body more efficiently to increase the supply of oxygen and energy giving sugar to the important areas for flight or a fight.

At the same time the blood would be diverted to those areas where it was most needed. So it would selectively go to all the muscles but especially those of the legs and arms so that they had extra energy to fight or run. The blood would also be diverted to the brain so that it was able to think quickly and efficiently. These actions prepared them for the physical activity that was to follow (running or fighting) which would in turn bring down the hormonal soup to levels which would fall back to normal within just a few minutes after the necessary physical activity had taken place. Nowadays it is usually inappropriate to run away or attack the boss no matter how satisfying that might be and the hormonal soup is only slowly removed from the blood because of this relative physical inactivity.

The intestine has one of the richest supplies of blood and this supply is shut right down during the fight and flight response in order to send the blood to the brain and those muscles where it is needed most. This is not a problem when fighting or a running away as the hormonal soup is soon used up and the situation rapidly goes back to normal with the intestine's blood supply soon being restored. However in our modern non-fighting, non-fleeing times the restoration of the blood supply to the intestine is very much slower and the intestine is starved of blood for quite a long time. This slows up any healing that may have been going on in the damaged intestine wall and worse, actually increases the leakiness of the intestine at times of stress. Because of this increased leakiness more of the larger toxic molecules can get into the blood stream making the symptoms worse during times of stress.

Comfort Eating

Ironically these symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and eczema seem to be dose related (the more of the offending food you eat, the worse your symptoms will be) and the habit of comfort eating that some people have when they are under stress may well be making those symptoms even worse. This is especially true if the comfort foods contain ingredients to which they are intolerant, such as chocolate with its milk, or excessive quantities of wine containing alcohol with it's directly harmful effect on the intestine.

Some of the constituents of the hormonal soup are substances that affect the workings of the immune system and tend to dampen down the proper responses that protect you from attack by germs. The important consequence of this is that people who are chronically stressed tend to suffer from more colds and infections than those who are not as stressed and those people who are continuously stressed may also be more liable to develop more serious diseases. This alteration of the immune and healing response is likely to slow down any repair process in the intestine wall and lead to either a slower resolution of the leaky gut syndrome or a worsening of the symptoms. It seems that the intestine takes many months to heal and that each episode of stress will result in a setback for this healing process, rather like knocking the scab off a healing graze that will then require the repair process to start all over again so that a whole new scab can be formed.

Index What is Migraine? Helping Leaky Gut Syndrome in Migraine Heredity in Migraine Herbal Remedies in Migraine The FISH Regime in One Place


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