Monthly Archives: April 2018

Listening to Your Gut; The Gut Health Connection

3.0 Listening to Your Gut

So, often people ignore proper gut health and may not know about gut health conditions. In fact, many people are completely oblivious to how their digestive system could be the cause of their various health complaints. Quite simply it all begins in the gut. Being present to your gut noises, gas, bloating, bowel habits, and more can be key indicators as to overall health and function of the system. The digestive systems house majority of our immune system, hormonal system, as well as our neurological system so keeping them in good health is key to maintaining our metabolic health. Let’s imagine every time that you eat you have heartburn or indigestion, or perhaps you feel a little nauseous, or maybe even vomit after meals. These are all signs that your digestive system may be off balance. Not having healthy bowel movements after drining plenty of water, as well as fiber can also prevent the body from being able to function on its own. Quite simply if your gut is off balance, then so is your health. Imagine that your gut is the foundation to which your health is built off of, kind of like your blood sugar. As an aspect of digestion if your blood sugar is off balance then so is the rest of your health. Naturopathic doctors, such as myself, work to stabilize and heal the digestive system in an effort to heal the overall system of the body. If a person is experiencing a thyroid complaint the first place we check is the balance in the gut. If a person is experiencing brain fog, to feeling fatigued, again our first check is the digestive system. If a person does not have healthy bowel movements without the assistance of a laxative, then we know the digestive system is off balance. our first priority must be to balance the gut, but how?

Listening to your gut II

I tend to approach gut healing from the top down. Meaning I begin with how a person is eating first by balancing their macronutrients. Are they eating too many fats and not enough carbs, or are they focusing mainly on protein and nothing else. Once we get a nice balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats then we can start the process of assisting someone in breaking their food down. This can look like enzymes, HCL support, or even food pairing and planning. This guidance is key to having a strong stable digestive system one that is a powerhouse of digestion and assimilation. As we continue to heal downward in the digestive tract we discover more imbalances such as in the small intestines as well as the large intestines which may be littered with infections and coinfections such as parasites, bacterias, fungus, or viruses. Working to heal the body of these foreign infections not only helps free up the digestive system but also the immune system which is commonly bogged down by these pathogens. Reinoculating the system with appropriate microbes such as pre and probiotics as well as key nutrients all found in the gut such as zinc, b complex, folic acid is critical in the restoration of total health and function of the digestive tract.

When healing the digestive system, we always look at the 4 R rule; Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Repair. Sometimes we Remove and then Repair while other times we always Reinoculate last. This is where the individual takes place. We focus on working with the individual with their own unique needs. Comprehensive Stool Analysis or Small Intestines Organic Acids Testing can all help to identify the underlying causes to which prevent the overall health and well being of the person. Evaluating nutrient deficiencies as well as increased toxic loads within the body can also help to support the imbalances within the system from both the GI system as well as any subsequent systems that may need support. Looking forward to teaching you more about the digestive system either in a class or a one on one consultation.

All information contained in this blog post is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is neither intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment nor for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.

 

natural health care

Concierge Natural Health Care

Naturopathy — also called naturopathic medicine and natural health care —is a medical system that has evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century.

Guided by a philosophy that emphasizes the healing power of nature, naturopathic practitioners use a wide variety of traditional and modern therapeutic approaches ranging from diet therapy to homeopathic and herbal medicine. Practitioners view their role as supporting the body’s inherent ability to maintain and restore health and prefer to use treatment approaches that they consider to be the most natural and least invasive. Traditional Naturopaths only use those substances derived from nature and work in an integrative manner with other non-natural health care providers. They do not prescribe medications or recommend surgery, which differs from Naturopathic Physicans who are licensed in many states and recommend pharmaceuticals and minor surgical interventions.

Naturopaths work to help people restore their health through the practice of naturopathic principals. The World Health Organization has estimated that if the major risk factors for chronic disease were eliminated, at least 80% of all heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes, and more than 40% of cancer cases would be prevented.

Naturopaths’ great emphasis is prevention of disease; therefore they work to find the causes of disease instead of managing symptoms. They do not diagnose disease either. The practice of a naturopathic doctor is to support an allopathic (medical) physician, not replace them.

Prescribes Medication Performs Surgery Training in Nutrition Prevention Training Believes the Body Can Heal
Traditional Naturopath No No 60-90 hours Yes Yes
Naturopathic Physician Yes Yes 45-60 hours Yes Yes
Medical Physician Yes Yes 21 hours No No
Osteopathic Doctor Yes Yes 17 hours No No
Chiropractic Doctor No No 24-50 hours Yes Yes

Holistic Family Practice in Virginia Beach, VA is a Traditional Naturopathic Lifestyle Center aimed at preventing, reversing, and stopping chronic diseases from occurring in our society. Our vision is to reduce chronic disease through natural health care practices with a focus on preventive health care. We integrate with many other health care practices, working to education, motivate, and inspire our patients to live naturally. If you are ready to transform your health, prevent disease, reverse disease, or stop the progression of disease come in for an initial first visit. Our concierge natural health care program is tailored to help support you in your health journey. We look forward to helping you and your family for many years!

signs of an unhealthy gut

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut and How to Heal it Naturally

Spring into Health copy

As a naturopath, I often work with people’s digestive system. Mostly because everything is interconnected to it. Our hormone, neurological, and even our immune system is housed in the majority of our digestive system. Our digestive system is the center of our bodies, also in the region of personal power, self-worth, self-love, and self-acceptance. If our digestive system is unhealthy our entire systems are unhealthy. Gas, pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation is just apart of the symptoms often associated with an unhealthy digestive system. Gut imbalances have also been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema, and other chronic health problems. Understanding how the food we eat, and how we break down and assimilate that food is key to beginning the process of healing ourselves. Having food allergies or sensitivities to foods may just be a sign that your digestive system is off balance. Anxiety, depression, mood swings, and irritability may also be chief indicators of digestive imbalances, particularly to the gut flora. Poor memory, concentration, focus, and brain fog are also contributing symptoms when an overabundance of yeast is present in the system. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, as well as conditions relating to the metabolism, are also generated from poor digestive health. As if these symptoms were not enough frequent infections, chronic yeast infections, autoimmune diseases, and chronic illness are all contributed to a lack of healthy bacteria int he digestive system.

The first step in healing the digestive system is to be mindful of what foods we put into our system. Eliminating proinflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and sugar is often recommended when cleaning the digestive system. It is often not necessary to abstain from these foods forever, yet it is recommended to abstain for awhile while the body heals and repairs itself. As we rebalance the digestive system’s bacterias the body will heal itself and then allow for the body to reintroduce certain foods back into the system. The digestive system tends to appreciate variety, so eating the same foods over and over again does not tend to be recommended as the body begins to develop sensitivities to the foods. This could be because of a variety of reasons such as the herbicides, pesticides, as well as the advent of GMOs in our food. Understanding the current infections is helpful in rebalancing the digestive system. Running a comprehensive stool panel to determine bacterias, parasites, yeasts, and dysbiotic bacterias are key to creating a healthy gut ecology. These infections can be old or new infections and often times viruses the body has been exposed to years ago such as Epstein Barr remain dormant and hinders the entire system from healing. repairing the digestive process including the lining of the digestive system is also important to healing the mucosal barriers of the system.

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Replacing digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, B complexes, carnitine, and bile acids that may be lacking support the bodies ability to break down digest, and assimilate whole foods eaten. Without these digestive supportive aids at times the body is not able to break down the food and thus creates unhealthy bacterias in the digestive system. Once the digestion and assimilation process is repaired now the body is ready for reinoculation of healthy bacterias. Understanding the current digestive microbiome and which strains of probiotics are in the system, which ones need growth, and which ones are in abundance can all be found in a comprehensive stool panel. I tend to not recommend things like Kombucha, or Kimchi unless you know the strains being grown as you may or may not know if the strains play well with one another.

Lastly repairing the lining of the digestive system by renourishing the lining with nutrients such as L-Glutamine, as well as other key nutrients such as zinc, vitamin a, c, e and various herbs such as licorice root or slippery elm. repairing and healing the lining is critical in reducing effects of leaky gut, a condition to which the lining of the gut has been compromised allowing toxicity to leaky through into the bloodstream. Autoimmune conditions are prone to this such as those conditions such as arthritis or thyroiditis as the toxicities normally contained in the gut is now leaky into the bloodstream connecting with either endocrine organs or joint capsules. Repairing this linign of the digestive system will prevent any future damages to these axillary organs and depending on the severity of the immune system compromise can repair the other aspects. This is why prevention and swift action is so critical at any given moment the body is either generating health or generating disease process. The trick is to prevent the disease process by building health int he body at all times. We can create a program to help restore your health one step at a time in our practice. By scheduling a first visit in our practice you can move forward in healing your digestive system, preventing many related auxiliary conditions such as fatigue or acne. It is often more difficult, time consuming, and frustrating to treat a manifestation of disease process rather than preventing one from occurring to begin with so even if you do not have a symptom it is important to support the bodies ability to heal itself one step at a time. Currently we offer a complimentary 15 mins wellness visit to assess your health concerns and educate you about the benefits of natural healthcare. Together we can heal your body and heal your life one step at a time.

All information contained in this blog post is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is neither intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment nor for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.