Tag Archives: physical activity

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: World IBD Day

Inflammatory  Bowel Disease: About 5 Million People Worldwide suffer from IBD

World IBD Day takes place on 19 May each year and unites people worldwide in their fight against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,  known as inflammatory bowel disease. 38 Countries on 4 continents participate in world IBD day to bring attention to these debilitating, yet far too common diseases. 

IBD, which stands for inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) are two serious, chronic digestive diseases that affect five million people worldwide. There is no cure, no known cause, and little public understanding of the pain and chronic suffering with which IBD patients courageously cope every day of their lives.

Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon (large intestine). Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus.

People of any age can get IBD, but it’s usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40.

Economic Cost of IBD:

Estimates of direct and indirect costs range between $14.6 and $31.6 billion in 2014. There is a significant healthcare burden associated with IBD. Although treatment expenses make up a significant portion of the cost of IBD, studies show that inappropriate treatment, lack of adherence to therapeutic regimens, or suboptimal treatment increase the cost burden. Costs for IBD include hospitalizations, the eventual need for surgery due to disease complications, and physician visits.

The staggering economic burden of IBD makes early diagnosis, coupled with effective treatment at onset, imperative.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day 2017 Best In Health RadioDid you know Canada has the highest prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in the world? 1 in every 150 Canadians suffers from the IBD, and this number is increasing, specifically among Canadian children.  A study published last month with data from five provinces — Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec — tracked children under 16 years of age who had been diagnosed with IBD between 1999 and 2010. The number of children under 16 living with IBD in Canada increased by 60% over the ten year period.  Why does Canada have one of the highest incidence of childhood-onset IBD in the world?

Part 1.

May 19th is World IBD Day, and Oshawa-resident Robert Cutting  opportunity to shares his personal IBD experience and how he manages his symptoms each and every day.

  • IBD and other autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Biologic treatment
  • The necessity of a healthy diet
  • The necessity of physical activity
  • alcohol consumption
  • Pursuing treatment

Part 2:

Dr. Eric Benchimol:  Dr. Benchimol specializes in the treatment and assessment of pediatric digestive disorders. His clinical expertise includes children with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis). Dr Benchimol is Physician, CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.  Dr. Benchimol is also Associate Professor of Paediatrics and Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa

  • IBD vs. IBS
  • Our Microbiome – its reach – known and potential influences on our health

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease and our  Microbiome on Best In Health Radio
    Dr. Eric Benchimol
  • Early childhood – a critical stage for the development of our microbiome
  • Our gut as the first step in our immune system
  • Knowing the symptoms of IBD & IBS, typical and atypical signs
  • Nutrition & Diet: Diet could be the future of Crohn’s
  • Exercise – strength training for bones attacked by Crohn’s
  • Environmental influences thought to influence IBD & IBS
  • Inflammatory Cytokines
  • Medications, antibiotics and the microbiome
  • hygiene hypothesis…….
  • words of advice to parents

Part 1 –  Robert Cutting:

Part 2 Dr. Eric Benchimol:


Shira Litwack Medical fitness, Corporate wellness, Radio talk show host
Shira Litwack Medical Fitness Professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Corporate wellness Provider Industry expert cancer exercise
Radio talk show host
Health & Fitness Educator

Shira Litwack – Founder Best In Health Radio & Cell-Being – Best in Corporate Health

Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place…..so we make them affordable to EVERYONE……Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise| Health and Fitness Professionals’ Educator|Speaker

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

BSc Psychology & Chemistry| Medical Exercise Specialist|Holistic Nutrition| Addiction Recovery|Total of 18 exercise designations

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Fitness Clubs of Canada, Medical Fitness Network, Recovery on Water, Willow (Breast Cancer), Sirius XM Doctor Radio, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Cancer Exercise Training Institute,  Urban Poling for Breast Cancer Recovery,

Genetic Counselling BRCA Testing

Genetic Counselling BRCA Testing

Knowledge is Power. Now our job is to prove this to the world. Seeking genetic counselling BRCA testing could empower you to live a healthier lifestyle.
We so often want a crystal ball to gaze into our future. We have a number of crystal balls. These are crystal balls based on science and research, customized to our own unique DNA. I am referring to genetic testing, specifically BRCA testing.
With all of our many loves, accomplishments, dreams…they are all for not without our health – health is the very greatest wealth of all. There is a cliche out there – but it is most unfortunately Oh so true….Youth is wasted on the young, which goes hand in hand with hind sight is 20/20. My plea here is that none of you fall into this abyss, and you opt for earlier genetic testing.

If you were cruising along on a mountain road just beckoning us to speed, would you slow down if you knew there were a cliff with a 500 foot drop around the next bend? Of course you would.

genetic counselling BRCA testing
Shira Litwack Medical Fitness Professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Corporate wellness Provider Industry expert cancer exercise
Radio talk show host

My #1 goal of this article is to empower people to take charge of their health’s destiny – speak to health care professionals – every one of us can prosper from a good MD and ND. Open dialogue with a number of health care professionals, and determine if genetic testing is right for you.

We have the power for genetic screening for BRCA1 BRCA2 and PALB2. All three genetic mutations are associated with a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

A breast cancer, BRCA gene test is a blood test to check for specific gene mutations that help control normal cell growth. Finding changes in these genes, called BRCA1 and BRCA2, can help determine the chance of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.

The BRCA gene is a tumor suppressor gene. The BRCA gene mutation is also associated with male breast cancer, fallopian tube cancer, peritoneal cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer. BRCA1 & BRCA2 are responsible for producing a tumor suppressing protein. Tumor suppressor proteins help prevent cells from growing and dividing too rapidly or uncontrollably. When there is a mutation in these genes, they do not produce the protein, or it does not function properly, therefore threatening the stability of the cells by the cell not being able to repair damaged DNA. Our cells take hundreds of hits daily from oxidative stressors in our lives, our bodies must be equipped to repair, otherwise, serious illness results.

Let’s consider some data on BRCA and breast/ovarian cancer. (cancer.gov)

  • 12% of women in general population get breast Cancer
  • 55%-65% of BRCA1 carriers will develop breast cancer before 70 years of age
  • 45% of BRCA carriers will develop breast cancer before age 70
  • About 1.3% of general population will get ovarian cancer
  • 39% of women with BRCA1 and 11-17% with BRCA2 will develop ovarian cancer before 70
  • Mayo Clinic: BRCA gene mutations are responsible for about 5 percent of breast cancers and about 10 to 15 percent of ovarian cancers.

Most women with breast cancer and/or a family history of breast cancer do not have an abnormal gene, and not all women who have inherited one of these genes will develop cancer.

Genetic testing is a subset of genetic counselling. I am NOT a genetic counsellor…but I do know the incredible power of proactively planning lifestyle choices over reactive planning. Genetic counselling is the process by which we can learn and understand relevant aspects of our own genetics, offering us assistance in clarifying options available for any decisions that might be necessary with the newly acquired genetic insight. The psychological component is emphasized equally to the physiological aspect – blood sampling. However, it is equally important to research where you would like to do your genetic counselling. Many doctors offer testing, however, please seek out in your community genetic centers, which can often offer more in-depth consultations by genetic counsellors.

There are a number of choices available if the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tests are positive. And I feel very compelled to remind everyone here, testing negative does NOT give you a get out of jail for free card. A life to prevent cancer is the healthiest lifestyle of all.

If the genetic tests are BRCA positive a genetic counsellor will help you plan and make decisions. Again, various options are available:

  • Prophylactic mastectomy -removal of both breasts,…has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women by about 90%. However, people need to be alerted breast cancer testing changes after a mastectomy. To be discussed with your counsellor.
  • Prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy, or removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes, reduces breast cancer risk up to 50% if done before menopause, as it takes away the body’s main source of the hormone estrogen. It also can greatly reduce ovarian cancer risk.
  • Hormonal therapies
  • Discuss pros and cons of modified screening procedures
  • Opt to modify lifestyle choices
  • A combination. a woman who is tested in her early 20s might decide to modify lifestyle choices, and opt for prophylactic surgery later….this is what genetic counsellors will discuss with you.

One of the many perks of having genetic testing at a younger age, is having the knowledge and power to make lifestyle decisions that can impact your life. These lifestyle choices will not only help prevent breast and ovarian cancer, but are guidance to prevent all of our chronic illnesses.

Please remember, screening does NOT replace a proactive lifestyle and vice versa.

Some of the well documented choices to prevent breast cancer include:

  • Limiting alcohol. Even one drink a day increases risk of breast cancer, and it takes very little more to dramatically increase the risk.
  • Don’t smoke, and this includes “vaping”
  • control body fat levels
  • Exercise and physical activity. However, I feel compelled to mention that excessive, strenuous exercise can be a source of oxidative stress. This is where you need to consult with a qualified exercise professional – specialized in cancer and medical fitness. Many exercise professionals are completely unaware of this. Our outer being does not necessarily reflect our cellular health.
  • Breast feeding: Many women choose not to breast feed. Another potential reward of earlier testing is making the choice to breast feed. According to the Mayo clinic breast feeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer. The longer we breast feed, the greater the reduction.
  • Far too overlooked – learn about potential oxidative stressors, mutagens, viruses, toxins in your life that could potentially lead to DNA damage. Every one of us need to evaluate our level of oxidative stress.Genetic counselling BRCA testing could give you that push to learn about one of our greatest threats to our cellular health.

Most unfortunately, in this world we must consider legal implications of genetic testing. One more aspect of genetic testing I urge everybody to look into in GINA….Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, prevents your insurance company from denying coverage or changing premiums on the basis of your genetic testing results. It also protects from discrimination by employers on the basis of the test or its results. However, it is not as clear cut with other insurance policies, such as life insurance. I urge everybody, as part of planning to look at:

United States:  Cancer Legal Resource Center’s national Telephone Assistance Line (866-THE-CLRC)

Canada: May 3, 2016 – Bill S-201: An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination was tabled in the House of Commons. A number of provinces already have legislation – best to check with your MPP office to see where the genetic discriminatory laws stand.

The “deer in headlights” refers to being caught off guard – eyes opened wide and forcefully, but no ability for motor response. A terrifying thought. Genetic counselling BRCA testing can prevent the deer in headlights. There are many of us who can live longer, happier, healthier lives, more confident lives, my consulting with a genetic counsellor. A counsellor can help you weigh out the decision to have or not have testing, based on YOU. And for many reasons, our chances are increased dramatically the earlier we have this knowledge and can be encouraged to make wiser decisions.

Genetic counselling BRCA testing………Knowledge is power.