If You’ve Had a Gut Feeling Something Isn’t Right, You’re Right!
It’s known in Functional Medicine and Alternative Health that digestive and immune system issues like food sensitivities, acid indigestion, leaky gut, chronic sinus infections and many autoimmune and other disease conditions are a result of poor digestive health and an impaired immune system.
Gut Flora as Nutrient Transport
The health and integrity of fully functioning gut flora is our most important tool to transport nutrients from foods, synthesizes B and K vitamins, and is a barrier to protect us from the insults of many common toxins, bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, pollutants. When these cells are not intact, our digestive system suffers as a result of long term abuse and is not able to protect us.
Mother Nature provided us with a little factory to produce these nutrients, whether you are away or asleep, fully fed or starving. It’s when we lose the gut flora we become pale and pasty and vitamin deficient until we restore the gut flora. No matter what the condition, supporting your gut flora and ability to digest as well as organ nutritional support are the first steps towards healing most of today’s modern chronic illnesses.
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Gut as an Immune System Organ
There is a constant conversation between your gut flora and your immune system. When the gut flora is upset, your immune system suffers. It may begin with allergies when “out of the blue,” your body suddenly becomes reactive to environmental conditions, foods, personal products, cleaning agents, pets, etc. These can be traced to use of antibiotics or some other factor that damaged the gut flora causing your immune system to over-react to certain factors.
The use of antibiotics is sometimes needed, but the result is the clearance of both beneficial and negative bacteria. It provides an opportunity for toxins and other pathogenic microbes to take over that empty space. In the US, we are frequently given antibiotics but are not told we MUST replace the beneficial bacteria, yet it’s essential.
What You’re Eating Is What’s Eating You Up Inside
The other half of the story is the unfortunate reality is that far too many of us don’t eat as well as we should. There are several different factors at play here:
1. Decreased nutrient value in our food.
Over the last 50 years, depleted soil and commercial farming techniques have dramatically impacted the nutrient values in our food. The amount of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in the food we eat is significantly lower than it was 50 years ago. The fact that our food travels from further away than ever before only makes this worse.
2. Improper cooking techniques.
Long and high heat exposure causes many of the naturally occurring enzymes to breakdown and without these enzymes, you cannot access the other nutrients in the food. The fact of the matter is that we aren’t eating enough raw foods (10-30% of your diet should come from raw foods), which decreases the amount of nutrients we get.
3. Eating on the go.
It’s hard to imagine any other way, right? But when we eat fast, we don’t give our gut the time it needs to properly digest food. Instead, we’re activating our fight or flight system, which isn’t designed to handle food.
4. Wear and tear.
It’s a sad but true fact is that our gut’s ability declines with age and we often need to supplement the nutrients that our tired gut can’t break down. Stress also wears down the GI tract by literally degrading our ability to produce the enzymes and hydrochloric acid needed to process food. As a result of this wear and tear, common symptoms can be: bowel changes, bloating, gas, indigestion, insomnia, chronic fatigue, depression, backaches, asthma, headaches and various skin disorders.
That’s why I offer Nutritional Therapy consultations. Nutritional Therapy is based on the premise that optimal health can be achieved with dietary evaluation and modification, often eliminating the need for synthetic medications and their array of side effects.
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Using Nutrition Response Testing (R) we will determine if common foods or other food chemicals you may be eating every day without the awareness that they are harming your body and preventing you from fully healing. This assessment differs from food allergy tests, which can be misleading as they evoke a different response in the blood and are not as reliable.
From there, we’ll prepare an optimal eating plan, called Designed Clinical Nutrition. We’ll outline the foods you should eat and the foods you shouldn’t eat, as well as teach you about food preparation for nutrition. We may also suggest a customized plan for supplements and vitamins to maximize your health and energy levels.
Then, I’ll continue to touch base to talk about how your nutritional is benefiting your life. Disease doesn’t happen overnight – and neither does better nutrition. My patients are those who haven’t lost hope and are looking for answers to their difficult health questions. Whether you are at the beginning of your health journey, or are on the road but not currently satisfied with the results you’ve received so far, I’ll guide you along each step in the journey to a healthier life.