Good nutrition is the foundation of good health, and so nutritional counselling is the cornerstone of the practice of naturopathic medicine.
Even though our genetic makeup is nearly identical to what it was 40,000 years ago, our diets have changed drastically over the last 200 years. Since the Industrial Revolution, we have begun eating a lot more processed food that contains far fewer nutrients than the food our ancestors ate. Much of food today is deficient in nutrients, contains added preservatives, artificial colours and flavours such as MSG, and is genetically modified. Many of these additives can cause health problems, such as allergies or sensitivities, digestive disorders, and decreased absorption.
The use of prescription medications, such as statins and proton pump inhibitors, can interfere with the absorption or synthesis of some nutrients, which then need to be supplemented in order to meet the body’s needs and reduce or prevent unpleasant side effects.
Certain activities are known to deplete certain nutrients. For example, smoking depletes vitamin C, and physical activity can deplete minerals that are lost through sweat.
Simple dietary changes along with supplementation with nutrients are effective means for prevention and treatment of many diseases. This approach is also much safer compared with prescription medication, which is often accompanied by unwanted side effects, such as osteoporosis from using glucocorticoids to relieve the pain of arthritis.
Nutritional healing consists primarily of making dietary changes, such as minimizing the intake of processed food, artificial additives, trans fatty acids, and refined sugars, and limiting use of caffeine, alcohol, and salt. Nutritional healing may also include supplementing with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs. Nutritional healing can be used in place of or in addition to conventional medical treatment, depending on the patient. Nutritional healing is highly individualized based on the needs of the patient.
Conditions that respond especially well to nutritional healing are diabetes/reactive hypoglycemia, hidden food allergies, and candidiasis. Nutrition counselling is usually the primary and first treatment method explored.
Diabetes/reactive hypoglycemia can be controlled by modifying the diet to eliminate refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and caffeine and by eating smaller, more frequent meals. The addition of herbs or supplements that help regulate blood sugar is also helpful.
Hidden food allergies can be identified by avoiding common allergenic foods for several weeks or months. In many cases, this can make a radical difference in one’s health.
Candidiasis is a common problem that can be alleviated by avoiding foods that can lead to candida overgrowth as well as taking antifungal herbs.
Improving one’s diet can benefit any condition, including inflammatory disorders and mental health conditions that are also treated with other modalities, such as herbs and supplements.
Make an appointment with me to discuss how nutritional therapy can help you.