Hello Natural Beauties,
In my previous post “Inner Beauty Fixes” I gave an overview of my Naturopathic Beauty Program. First on the to-do list of enhancing your inner and outer beauty is ensuring that your digestion is working optimally. This means no bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, stomach cramps (obviously). BUT, I am also alerted if I see any of the following signs, which may also indicate less than great digestion: rashes, weak nails, falling hair, poor teeth, allergies, eczema, acne, low iron, a sore and/or burning mouth, nausea, rectal itching, rosacea, chronic yeast infections, etc.. Not a pretty picture.
There are a number of factors that can compromise your digestion, including imbalanced microflora, food sensitivities, low digestive enzymes, low hydrochloric acid and a leaky gut. And this leads to an inability to digest and absorb your food properly. You know the saying “You are what you eat.”? Well, let’s change that to “You are what you absorb.”. You can eat all the most beautiful foods in the world, but if your digestion is compromised, you will not absorb the nutrients properly and your health will not benefit.
So let’s get started. There are four steps to improve your digestion, and they happen to be the cornerstone of Functional Medicine, which I am passionate about…. Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Regenerate. Follow these four steps, and watch your entire body change (as long as you are eating a healthy diet, of course). Before I begin the program, I always do a thorough investigation of my patient’s digestive health. This includes questionnaires, a clinical interview, blood work and (if necessary) a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA). Once I discover the particular digestive issue, I can tailor the program to the individual.
Step 1: Remove
This step is the cleansing of the digestive tract. First, we want to get rid of any unwanted visitors. Yup. Any pathogenic microbes such as yeast, parasites, fungus, and bacteria have to go. The CDSA will let me know exactly what pathogens may be residing in the digestive tract, and a specific herbal concoction is used to eliminate them. Please, if you suspect that you have some type of gastrointestinal infection, get some testing done to identify the culprit. It will save you heaps of time and money (and aggravation) to target the infection properly. And, of course, heavy-duty probiotics will be needed to help fight the fight. But I will talk more about probiotics in step 3, Reinoculate.
Second, get rid of any food that can cause a reaction in the body. Honestly, one of the great joys of my life (other than my two little boys and husband) is to convince patients to eliminate gluten and dairy from their diet and watch the the dramatic changes. Reduced water weight and bloating, improved digestion, improved hormonal balance, clearing of skin conditions – and the list goes on! I have found no greater medicine than the elimination of these two nasty foods. There are other foods that can cause allergies and sensitivities, of course, so I put my patients on a hypoallergenic diet for four weeks. It sounds difficult at first, but the results are SO worth it. Believe me. After four weeks on the hypoallergenic diet, the eliminated foods are added back into the diet one at a time and any reactions are noted. Of course, you can always opt to do an IgG blood test for food sensitivities, but it has been shown that the hypoallergenic diet (properly done) is the superior method to evaluate food sensitivities.
So there you go. “Remove” is the first step in the 4R program. Stay tuned – more information on Replace, Reinoculate, and Regenerate to come in future blogs!
Have a beautiful day,