Could simple exercises that train your brain actually improve your gut health? The answer is a definite "yes" according to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MNeuroSc, author of Why Isn’t My Brain Working?
and a new book coming soon called Gluten, Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity
In a recent interview with Sean Croxton from Underground Wellness as a part of his Digestion Session series still going on this week Dr. Kharrazian talked about the brain-gut axis, not to be confused with the gut-brain axis.
“One of the most neglected things that I think most practitioner’s don’t understand, whether they’re conventional or alternative, is that there’s this brain-to-gut axis.”
Dr. Kharrazian explains that some of what we may assume to be traditional gut disorders may in fact be a type of neuro-degenerative disease that starts in the gut. And the way to determine if a digestive disorder is brain-based is to look for motility issues.
“Motility means how you move foods; when you eat something and how you have a bowel movement.” says Dr. Kharrazian. “Do you have constipation, do you have to drink coffee to have a bowel movement, do you have to take magnesium or some kind of laxative to have regular bowel movements? If you do, that could very well be a brain-to-gut axis issue.”
Slow motility then becomes the trigger for chronic digestive issues such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), H. Pylori infections, Intestinal Permeability and eventually auto-immune disorders.
You can have your doctor check for whether or not you have a motility problem or you can check yourself by two simple methods:
- Using a stethoscope, listen to the abdomen for regular and active bowel sounds. If you can hear gurgling going on a lot, your motility is probably fine. But if there are very few sounds or they are few and far between, you may have a motility issue.
- In the mirror open your mouth wide and say “Ahhhh”. The back of your throat should arch up high on either side of your uvula when you sing out the note. If one side goes higher than the other or neither side moves, you may have a motility issue. Additionally, if you have an exaggerated gag reflex it may be a sign of dysfunction in the brain-to-gut axis.
So here are some simple exercises Dr. Kharrazian recommends to re-train your brain for better bowel health.Gargling
- Gargling with water stimulates the vagus nerve which helps bring blood flow to the gut. Dr. Kharrazian suggests gargling forcefully with water several times a day. If you’re doing it right, he says, you may even start to have tears come to your eyes. This is because it also stimulates an area of the brain right next to the vagus nerve called the the superior salivatory nucleus, which causes you to tear. You may need to start with a small amount of water and gargle for a short period of time but slowly building up the duration and intensity will exercise those neurons and strengthen them.Induce Your Gag Reflex
- Using disposable tongue depressors, press on the the back of your tongue just enough to induce your gag reflex. Be careful not to go too far into the back of the throat to cause injury. Stimulating the gag reflex may also cause you to tear up which is once again a sign that you have stimulated your vagus nerve.Coffee Enema
- Most people who have heard of coffee enemas will know that they are used for detoxification. But Dr. Kharrazian suggests using a strong coffee enema daily so the caffeine in the coffee will stimulate something called the gastrointestinal nicotinic cholinergic receptors which encourage gut motility. If you are using a strong enough concentration of caffeine you should get the urge to have a bowel movement. Then he says you need to suppress your urge to eliminate for as long as possible.
“As they suppress their urge they’re firing their frontopontine vagal enteric axis. If they keep doing that, they build endurance and they start to regain their brain-gut axis.”Sing
- Another way to stimulate the vagal muscles at the back of the throat is to sing really loudly, which is probably the easiest and most fun of all the other suggestions!
If you are interested in learning more about what the top experts in digestive health recommend, I suggest you check out the Digestion Sessions
. I’m learning so much and I’m excited to be able to pass some of this info on to you!
To Your Health!Kathryn
I finally did it! I have been working on a project now for the last 2-3 years of creating a children's book to try and explain gut dysbiosis to kids. I've finally finished it!
It's a bit rough. Right now I have it in a powerpoint presentation to show clients (a few of you may have already seen some of my rough draft version). I like to read the story to my kid clients and their parents to help them understand what gut dysbiosis is and why it affects their health. I've also printed off the powerpoint slides to make a little coloring book.
As much as I'd love to get this published I think I'm happy just being able to use it for right now! I've posted a few pictures from the storyline for your enjoyment. What do you think?
To Your Health!
As a GAPS Practitioner I come across a lot of people that will say, "Yeah, I tried the GAPS diet but it was just too hard." or "I don't think I could ever do that." or even sometimes, "I tried it for a couple of months but it didn't work for me." It seems that some people will come to me for a consultation hoping that I have some other easier approach, a quick fix that doesn't involve major dietary changes. But let me tell you, if there was a quick fix for gut dysbiosis, I would be shouting it from the rooftops!
The truth is - it is really difficult to heal the digestive tract once it has been damaged to the extent that it leads to food sensitivities, allergies, auto-immune disorders, chronic digestive disturbance, and psychological issues. Gut dysbiosis is like the pebble that triggered an avalanche. The longer it goes on the worse it gets and the harder it is to recover fully. Sure you can dabble with a gluten and dairy-free diet for a while; just avoid those foods that seem to aggravate your symptoms; or save the sweets for the weekends and rare occasions - but every day you put off fully dealing with gut dysbiosis is another day of damage that leads to nutrient deficiencies that will at some point lead to something really serious, maybe life threatening.
The other day I met with a client that had just completed the minimum two-year healing protocol of GAPS for her IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). She had tried other diets which gave her some relief but since starting the GAPS diet she had zero episodes of intense cramping, pain and diarrhea. Until then she had been having 4 episodes a week. After asking her some detailed questions about her levels of energy, bowel habits, quality of sleep, etc. I gave her the green light on trying to re-incorporate some foods that are illegal on the GAPS diet. While she was relieved to be able to expand her repertoire she, like many others who have successfully completed GAPS, didn't feel the diet had been that difficult overall. The initial planning and changing of habits had been the most difficult part.
Most clients struggle with die-off reactions within the first few months but soon all cravings for sugar and carbohydrates will cease. Suddenly you can go to a potluck and not feel crazy with desire for all the sugary desserts. You can feel satiated with each meal and watch as your health and vitality begin to recover.
I've come to the conclusion that when it comes to health issues - it's good to be boring. What we are looking for with the GAPS nutritional protocol is to restore some resilience to the digestive functions. You should be able to eat some birthday cake and ice cream once in a while without suffering. You should be able to travel to a foreign country without feeling so fatigued that you sleep for several days after returning home. You should be able to eat real pizza! The GAPS nutritional protocol has the ability to restore your quality of life if you are only brave enough to do it! What is harder? Suffering for decades and slowly getting worse or a couple of years of discipline for a lifetime of health?
That being said, there are those out there that have legitimately tried the GAPS diet and not felt better right away. There are complications that can make a quick recovery unlikely such as hormonal imbalances. That's why having a GAPS Practitioner to help you navigate the ups and downs can be so valuable.
With each client I learn how complicated the effects of gut dysbiosis can be. Sometimes we have to get creative with herbal remedies and supplements, sometimes I have to throw my hands up in the air and admit I have no idea what the body is trying to do! But, I always appreciate working with the individual through the issues side by side. I am just as invested in their health as they are!
It is all worth it to have that client come back and say how good they feel - how much relief they have - and how boring their health issues are! So if you have considered the GAPS diet before or even tried it for a little while, I encourage you to take another look. It is certainly not easy but nothing worthwhile ever is and you really are strong than you think.
Plain and simple.
And until I find that magic pill that makes gut dysbiosis go away in a day I will keep recommending it.
To Your Health!
Kathryn Doran-Fisher, ND, CGP
Kathryn Doran-Fisher is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor and has been seeing clients for natural health consultations and therapies for more than 6 years. Most recently Kathryn has received training from world renowned author and practitioner Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in 2012 to become a Certified GAPS Practitioner for dealing with the connection between gut health and our mental/physical ailments. Kathryn has done numerous public speaking engagements, taught several classes on natural health for the community, is an instructor for a naturopathic school, maintains a website and blog about natural health, has written several articles for local publication and is a highly respected professional in her field.
I was recently reviewing a new homeschool resource
for my kids that has all kinds of learning videos including ones on health. So I thought I would check out a few videos on the immune system and see if I could learn anything new or at least jog my memory on a few things I've covered in the past because after all, I can't remember absolutely everything I've read! :)
While there wasn't much new to learn it did give me a different perspective that I would like to share with you. Basically it boils down to this: Immune cells are designed to attack anything that doesn't belong in your body. These are called pathogens and they include viruses, bacteria, chemicals, parasites, etc. Once your immune system destroys one of these pathogens it takes a little piece of its protein and carries it around with it so all the other immune cells can learn to watch out for it too.
So imagine you have a string of colored beads. Each bead on the string is an amino acid and the whole string of beads together is a protein. While there are only a handful of amino acid variations out there what order they are put on the string and how long the string is makes up an almost infinite number of possible proteins. So you could have a pink bead followed by a green bead, another pink and then an orange and that would be one protein but take off all the beads and put them in a different arrangement and you have a completely different protein.
Now if you took some scissors and clipped off small pieces of that protein chain you would have what are called polypeptides. These polypeptides are only a fraction of the larger protein but these are what the immune cells are using to train all the other immune cells as to who the enemy is. Can you see where the problem is?
So proteins make up just about everything. There are proteins in the food you eat, in the pollen and dust in the air, and your own body is made up of proteins. If you have leaky gut, you've got all kinds of partially digested proteins and polypeptide chains leaking into your bloodstream where your immune cells have to clean them up. And these immune cells remember every little protein it has to clean up and will communicate that to your other immune cells.
Now if that little bit of polypeptide chain that your immune system is looking for happens to be similar to a part of your own body proteins - it will attack that too. It's called molecular mimicry where your immune system mistakes your own body tissue for a pathogen resulting in an auto-immune condition.
So say for example a polypeptide chain from soy protein leaks through your gut wall and your white blood cells digest it. Then it remembers that bit of polypeptide chain which happens to look a lot like your thyroid tissue. You may end up developing Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune condition where your own body has developed antibodies to your thyroid tissue. And the more cells your immune system destroys the more the program is reinforced creating a vicious cycle of continuous inflammation.
And it's not just the thyroid this can happen to. Any body tissue can come under attack. Auto-immune disorders are on the rise and many people will end up with multiple auto-immune diseases. Some examples include Psoriasis, Crohn's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and many others.
The key to bringing auto-immunity under control is to seal the leaky gut through a nutritional protocol such as the GAPS diet allowing the body and the immune system to return to normal function, although it may take quite a while depending on how much damage has been done. In some cases the body may never fully recover from auto-immunity! So the sooner you can deal with a leaky gut, the better your chance of a full recovery.
If you suspect you have a leaky gut or you already have been diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, don't wait to address it. Get to the root of the issue with the help of a qualified natural health practitioner or GAPS practitioner.
To Your Health!
Kathryn Doran-Fisher, ND, CGP
This past year I have been working hard to fine-tune some of my understanding of gut physiology and how it affects the rest of our health. First there was the Gluten-Summit
last fall where some of the country's top experts in the field of digestive health talked about non-celiac gluten sensitivity in a series of online interviews. Then this spring the Thyroid Sessions
and the Thyroid Summit
became available, again with some free online interviews from top experts on thyroid function. These interviews helped me to understand the connection between gut dysbiosis and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. A couple of weeks ago I spoke with a probiotic specialist from Natren
, one of the probiotic companies whose line we carry here at Elder & Sage
. We talked about some awesome protocols for healing specific gut issues. And finally this past weekend I attended a course from one of my former instructors and colleagues at the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education
, Jackie Featherly
, on the Detoxification pathways of the liver. There are still two more classes from Dr. Featherly later this fall but I wanted to get some of this info out to my clients while the information was still fresh in my mind!
The liver has at least 500 different functions including: creating over 1,000 different enzymes, making bile for fat digestion, storing nutrients, metabolizing fats and proteins, cleaning the blood, producing heat to maintain body temperature, converting thyroid hormones to an active form,
activating and deactivating hormones and neurotransmitters, detoxifying from toxic substances, and more!
There are 3 phases that the liver uses to convert toxic substances into harmless substances. Phase 1 has 5 pathways, or five different ways to deal with toxins. Phase 2 has 6 pathways, and I haven't learned about Phase 3 yet!
So, when you eat your food is broken down into tiny little pieces. Your small intestinal lining allows some of those tiny pieces into your blood like amino acids, small peptides, simple sugars, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. Some of those tiny pieces may even be chemicals, heavy metals like mercury, pharmaceutical drugs, food dyes, preservatives, bacterial waste products, etc. And if you have a leaky gut you may get larger proteins and food particles, yeast cells, bacteria, etc. All of this goes into your bloodstream and is carried straight into your liver.
The liver cells identify what the substance is and what to do with it. Imagine a recycling center. On the conveyor belt are all kinds of things that need to be sorted. Glass bottles, plastic, paper, metal, etc. Each thing needs to be sorted into the right bin. The liver pathways then would be the different ways to sort. For example Phase 1 deals with oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration, and dehalogenation. Chemicals that need to go through one of these five processes will head toward Phase 1. Once they have gone through Phase 1 some chemicals can now be safely sent out of the body while others will need more attention. Those will move on to Phase 2 for sulphate conjugation, glucoronadation, glutathione conjugation, acetylation, glycination, and methylation.
If Phase 1 is working fast but Phase 2 is a little slow you will get a bottleneck effect. Some of the partially broken down chemicals start building up in the system. This can also happen when any of the detox pathways are overwhelmed with material to detoxify. Many of these partially broken down chemicals are more toxic that what we started with. For example alcohol (ethanol) goes through Phase 1 oxidation
and you are left with a chemical called acetylaldehyde. Eventually this chemical is converted to harmless acetic acid (like vinegar) but if the detox process gets bogged down (too much alcohol) the acetylaldehyde will build up and give you a hangover.* This bottleneck effect can cause damage to the liver, brain and immune system. In fact, most liver issues, disease, and cancer begin here.
*Acetylaldehyde detoxification also occurs in Phase 1 with a second oxidation to become acetic acid rather than moving on to Phase 2 but the bottleneck effect is similar.
With gut dysbiosis and leaky gut, there is a river of chemicals and toxins flowing into the liver and so the detoxification process is working hard around the clock but many chemicals bottleneck and are released back into the circulating bloodstream. This is why people with serious digestive issues don't feel good. You may be tired, sore, achy, fatigued and have all kinds of symptoms. The key to feeling better is reducing the amount of chemicals (from food and the environment) sealing up a leaky gut (with probiotics and bone broth) and helping the liver to process better (detoxification with juices and detox baths and selective supplementation).
Healing the gut will also make it easier to absorb nutrients that the liver needs to support detoxification like the B-vitamins and magnesium.
The more the liver has to process the more congested it will become and the more toxic and dirty the blood will be - eventually putting strain on other filters such as the kidneys. Imagine how much work your liver has to do with a single meal, now imagine that same meal was full of preservatives, food additives, coloring, MSG, etc. and you took it along with a prescription drug. Every chemical put on or in your body has to be dealt with by the liver.
Many natural foods and supplements will stimulate the liver and support the Phase I detoxification pathways such as:
Cysteine and Glutathione containing foods: yogurt, cottage cheese, turkey, cheese, chicken, eggs, wild game and whole milk
Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi
Other sulphur rich foods: red meat, poultry, fish, legumes, egg yolk, onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives
Foods that aid in fat metabolism due to Vitamin B12: Brewer's yeast, organ meats, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, brown rice
Essential fatty Acids: cold water fish, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, black currant seed oil, borage oil, and evening primrose oil
Some natural health substances can also be used to reduce the bottleneck effect that causes symptoms usually attributed to a die-off effect or healing crisis by slowing down Phase I detoxification. These are: Grapefruit, turmeric, capsicum, and cloves.
Other vital herbs and supplements to support liver detoxification include: bioflavonoids, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Milk thistle, Carotenes, Co-Q-10, Copper, Iron, Selenium, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Trace Minerals, Folic Acid, Lecithin, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Artichoke extract, Black Currant Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Borage Oil.
All of these nutrients and vitamins can be found in a well rounded diet based on whole, real, foods such as the GAPS diet. You can give an even bigger boost to the GAPS diet by making sure to include lots of foods such as: cold water fish; garlic; onions; fresh fruit; nuts and seeds; cold pressed oils such as safflower oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, flaxseed oil, and walnut oil; and fresh vegetables particularly ones from the cabbage family.
To Your Health!
Does your child have a health issue that doesn't seem to be getting any better? Have you tried all sorts of natural and pharmaceutical remedies with no success? Are you frustrated with all the "good" advice and no results?
Babies and young children today are dealing with health issues that were unheard of in past generations and many parents are struggling to understand what is causing their child to suffer and how they can help. Health issues such as:
Poor weight gain or "failure to thrive"
Eczema, hives, and other skin irritations
Constipation with hard dry stools that are difficult to pass
Chronic watery diarrhea
Stomach pains, flatulence and colic
Reflux and excessive spitting up
Food allergies and food sensitivities
Thrush and Yeast infections
Although these health issues are very different, they have the same root problem - gut dysbiosis, which just means a gut system that is out of balance. This means that the number of pathogenic, or disease producing microbes in the gut outweigh the number of probiotic or health supporting microbes. These pathogens create endo- and exo- toxins that irritate the lining of the digestive tract and leak through the gut wall into the bloodstream where they can create a variety of seemingly unconnected health issues. Contributing factors to gut dysbiosis in children include:
Use of antibiotics
Birth by C-section
High sugar consumption
Mother (and occasionally father) with gut dysbiosis
The last point is often overlooked in conventional treatment of eczema and other skin problems, particularly if the child is being breastfed. Gut dysbiosis in the mother results in an increase in immune response in the mother's blood and in her breastmilk. The baby's immune system responds to these immune factors as if they had been exposed to the toxins directly. But because their immune system is immature it results in dermatitis, eczema, asthma, or allergic reactions while the mother may have none of these issues. Topical application of steroidal creams provide only limited results and can be very harmful to the child's growth and development.
The mechanism behind this response is somewhat unclear to me and I hope more research will be done in this area. However, I have confirmed in my own practice that when the breastfeeding mother addresses her own gut dysbiosis, the child's eczema eventually clears up. This may also explain why some children "grow out of it" as their immune system matures or when they are weaned from the breast. Please note that I do not recommend weaning early to resolve eczema as breastfeeding has many other important health benefits. Contributing factors to gut dysbiosis in adults may include:
High stress levels
High sugar consumption
Use of certain prescription drugs such as hormone replacement, antacids, or anti-depressants
Because the baby gets their bacteria from the mother if born vaginally, gut dysbiosis in the child can also occur from the start of life if the mother already has digestive problems. The child would then suffer from colic, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, bad breath and other digestive symptoms. Since gut bacteria play a major roll in the immune system the child may also suffer from lowered immunity, chronic ear infections, asthma or allergies. This points to the necessity of establishing a good bacterial population well before pregnancy and promoting it throughout early childhood while reserving the use of antibiotics for extreme life-threatening situations. If antibiotic use does become necessary then using probiotics throughout and up to three months after the course of antibiotics will lessen some of the negative effects.
By far the most effective method of addressing gut dysbiosis is through the GAPS nutritional protocol. This short-term healing protocol is designed to limit the growth of pathogenic microbes, promote the growth of probiotic microbes, heal the digestive system, support the body's elimination channels, and support the body's detoxification systems. To find out more about the GAPS diet I recommend you read Gut & Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride or visit her website at www.gaps.me. You can also make an appointment with me or another Certified GAPS Practitioner close to you.
To Your Health!
Naturopathic Doctor and Certified GAPS Practitioner
Elder & Sage
I'm trying my hand at informational videos. Why is it that the thumbnail always catches me making a funny face? Oh well, here is just a little bit about the Gut & Psychology/Physiology Syndrome. Remember that I do a GAPS Intro class on the 4th Wednesday of every month beginning at 6pm here at the shop. Cost is only $5! Hope you enjoy the video
If you don't have any serious food sensitivities or digestive disorders
, here are some of my general recommendations for healthy eating and weight loss. Follow this plan closely - avoid eating out while on this plan so you know exactly what you are eating. Herbs, spices, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and unrefined sea salt can be used as seasoning to taste. FAT IS NOT BAD FOR YOU
A minimum of 3 TB of fat should be eaten daily up to unlimited amounts to encourage satiety, boost energy, and help to detoxify the liver as long as they come from the following sources: butter (pastured preferred), ghee, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, flaxseed oil (no more than ½ tsp daily), fish oil, cod liver oil, or coconut oil
. Other natural fat sources such as lard, tallow, palm oil, or chicken fat are also allowed but often more difficult to obtain good quality. Processed vegetable oils should be avoided at all costs. It is also important to vary your fat sources to give the body adequate types of fatty acids i.e. don’t rely on olive oil alone for your fat sources. It is difficult to consume too much natural fat as the body has regulatory mechanisms that discourage this (feelings of fullness, discomfort, or nausea). You may find that if you are not used to eating fat you will have to limit your intake initially and slowly increase the daily amount allowing your body to adjust. Remember that fat is not stored in the body as fat – excess calories from refined carbohydrates are. JUMPSTART DAY – LIQUID FAST
For best results do the jumpstart day once each week on the day of your choice.
Breakfast – Blended drink made with one dark leafy green and two fruits
(example: kale, pear and peach)
Lunch – Blended drink made with two vegetables and one fruit
(example: carrot, celery, apple)
Dinner – Vegetable, beef, fish, or chicken broth
1 TB of coconut oil dissolved in warm water before each meal. ALL OTHER DAYS
For each meal up to 3 per day - 1 whole grain, fruit, or starchy vegetable, 1 full-fat dairy or protein, unlimited non-starchy vegetables or leafy greens, and at least 1 TB fat
If you find that you only need to eat two meals a day, make sure at least one of these is breakfast! All sweeteners should be limited to no more than 1TB of honey or maple syrup per day. DRINK
Drink plenty of water on both the jumpstart days and all other days. At least three tall glasses. Raw milk, Coconut milk diluted with water and herbal tea are also allowed in addition to water intake. Fruit and Vegetable juices should be limited to only the jumpstart days. EXAMPLES OF FOOD TYPES Whole Grains
(all grains should be cooked whole or freshly ground and not refined) – Quinoa, Brown Rice, Millet, Amaranth, Oats*, Spelt*, Wheat*, Rye*, Barley*, Cornmeal
*Avoid if you are gluten sensitive Fruit
– Fully ripe banana, apple, grapes, pear, peach, melon, berries, etc. Limit dried fruit to 1 Tb. Starchy Vegetables
– Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, Corn Non-Starchy Vegetables
– Broccoli, Peppers*, Tomatoes*, Eggplant*, Carrots, Celery, Peas, Green Beans, Cabbage, Lettuce, Summer Squash, etc.
* Avoid if you are sensitive to nightshades Leafy Greens
– Kale, Collards, Romaine, Dandelion Greens, Chard, Endive, Radicchio, etc. Full-Fat Dairy
– Raw milk, Yogurt, Kefir, Cheese, Buttermilk, etc. Avoid soy or other milk substitutes. Homemade nut or seed milk may be used if you are sensitive to dairy. Protein
– Fish, Beef, Chicken, Eggs, Beans, Nuts, Nut-Butters, Lentils, Liver. Avoid soy or other protein substitutes. PORTION SIZES
1 serving of whole grain = 1/4 C. uncooked
1 serving of Fruit = 1 piece of large fruit, 2 small, or 1 C. of berries
1 serving of Starchy Vegetable = 1 C.
1 serving of Protein = 2 oz. meat, 2 eggs, ¼ C. beans, nuts, lentils
1 serving of Full-Fat Dairy = 1 C milk, yogurt or kefir; 1 oz. cheeseSupplements
- OptionalBowel Detox (Nature's Sunshine) - take as directed on bottleSuperdophilus (Natren) - Start with 1/4 tsp work slowly up to 2 tsp/day Bifidonate (Natren) - Start with 1/4 tsp work slowly up to 2 tsp/dayHerbal Trace Minerals (Nature's Sunshine) - take as directed on bottleTry it out and let me know what you think! To Your Health!Kathryn Doran-Fisher, ND, CGP
In my professional (and personal) opinion there is one food substance that has contributed more to the degeneration of health than any other chemical or toxin out there. SUGAR!
Every day I work with clients who battle their sugar addictions (and/or corn syrup and/or refined carbohydrates which are converted into sugar in the small intestine) and every day I watch as those who are able to successfully reduce or eliminate sweets from their diet - experience amazing improvements in health. But it's one thing to get an adult to give up the sweets and quite another to expect it of kids, right? I'm quite used to the panicked look in a parent's eyes when I even suggest it. The idea that springs into their heads is that if the children don't get their sweets they won't eat anything at all and then they will starve! Right?
Well, you may be surprised to know that just like adults, children do have a self-preservation instinct. So, they will eat whatever you give them if there is nothing else available. Yes, they will certainly not like it and they will probably cry and fight and do all kinds of horrible things that every parent dreads but... they will get over it. Perhaps you might think it is cruel to deny sweets to kids? Far better that they should suffer from lifelong health issues?
I am noticing a distinct trend in my clients.
From my grandmother's generation most were raised on real food made at home and often straight from the farm or their own family gardens. Yes, there was certainly sugar but it was not nearly as ubiquitous as it is today. In Iridology analysis, these clients exhibit nearly perfect constitutional health. When questioned, the women claim they had no trouble with menstruation and hardly any menopausal difficulties. Children were birthed easily and good health was enjoyed well into adulthood. It is only now in their later years that they experience poor health and degeneration. Most are just looking for advice on how to reduce or eliminate the number of pills and supplements they take. They are not accustomed to these aches and pains and find them to be an annoyance. There are of course exceptions but let me continue.
In my parent's generation poor health begins to truly present itself on average now as they reach 50 and 60 years of age. This generation also enjoyed mostly real food and home-cooked meals in youth. Although pop and candy were becoming fast favorites at Ice Cream and Soda Shoppes around the country. Most were breastfed as infants although the trend was starting to change and few would breastfeed their own children in favor of a "more scientific" approach. There is more thyroid, heart disease, bone and joint degeneration, and digestive issues but again, not presenting much until after age 50. Menstruation was easy for the most part but menopause brings significant discomfort.
Then in my generation. The clients I see are experiencing poor health in their 20's and 30's. Mostly allergies, digestive disorders, and joint problems, but some auto-immune and arthritis as well. ARTHRITIS! That which was supposed to be relegated to old age. I suffered from it myself in my 20's before I started my education. We still grew up on mostly home-cooked meals but fast food was becoming more common. Every school outing involved a stop at McDonald's or Burger King. Little Debbie cakes graced our lunches and Halloween Trick-or-Treating became a contest of gluttony. Dental cavities and braces became the norm. More and more kids got glasses. More and more "fat" kids suffered from the bullying of their peers. As adults, more women experience menstrual pain and irregularities. Childbirth and breastfeeding do not come as easy as they had hoped. Maintaining an ideal weight is a struggle. Thyroid problems and heart disease are common.
And now, in my children's generation. Childhood resiliency is a thing of the past. Obesity is common, asthma, ADD and Autism are rising fast. Food allergies and eczema run rampant. Digestive troubles start even at birth. The physical health of our children is so poor that a simple trip and fall can result in a serious fracture. But then again, sugar is everywhere. Candy is used for teaching math in school. Every week a child's birthday or upcoming holiday is cause for yet another sugar-filled party. This generation is not destined to have the same longevity that their parent's will have. If this trend continues, I predict that infertility rates will skyrocket within one more generation and population rates will fall. But maybe that was the plan all along?
I certainly don't want to give you the impression that I think sugar is the only factor in this but it is certainly a significant player. I started this post thinking I was going to talk about my own experiences with converting my kids to a diet without sugar but that will have to wait for a part two. What needs to happen now is we need to wake up to what is going on around us! We need to take action to reverse this trend of degeneration. If not for us, if not for our children, then for our grandchildren's sake we need to do this. Because even though I am doing the best that I can for my own children, I know that some damage has already been done and may not be reversible. But by giving them the best that I can in their growth and development phase and teaching them how important it will be for their own children - perhaps my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will enjoy better health than I, instead of worse.
To Be Continued...
To Your Health and that of your children and grandchildren,