Is Your Healthy Diet Causing Your Symptoms And Health Problems?

Photo credit:  NordWood Themes

Photo credit: NordWood Themes

Food is medicine and is our first line of defense against illness and disease. Food is also the primary vehicle for fueling our bodies with the nutrients we need to function.

 

You can't out run (or out supplement) a poor diet.

 

I'm not just talking about a diet of processed foods and junk foods.

 

As a matter of fact, most of the people that come to me for help with digestive symptoms, skin rashes, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, food sensitivities, and other chronic health problems have been on "healthy" diets for a long time. And guess what? Their symptoms continue to get worse.

 

So called ‘healthy’ diets that remove foods, entire food groups, and categories of foods, and elimination diets in general seem to cause the most trouble, and this is because they remove entire food groups from the diet. Short term diets like these may help you identify triggers for your symptoms so may help you feel better for awhile, but they will not solve the underlying cause of your symptoms and health problems.

 

Foods can trigger reactions yes, but reactions to foods also happen to be a symptom of a deeper, root cause problem that needs to be addressed in order to restore your health.

 

You may have noticed, the longer you're on a diet like this, the more symptoms you start to have over time. You may even notice that your symptoms and health problems developed after you implemented your healthy diet. Maybe even 10 years later, or more. This is not a coincidence.

 

In addition to food restriction leading to nutrient deficiency and therefore more symptoms (all the biochemical pathways in your body run off of nutrients from foods you eat), there's an emotional aspect involved as well. I find that these same people, no matter what diet they are following become fearful of food. This leads to even more symptoms and health problems as the stress from the situation takes a stronger hold. Yes orthorexia is a real problem, and it runs rampant in our society as we are continuously fed (no pun intended) false information that this diet or that diet will heal all our health issues.

 

If you struggle with digestive symptoms, skin rashes, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, food sensitivities, and other chronic health problems, and have a strict dietary regimen, stop and:

 

Take a look at what you are putting in...

 

Ask yourself:

 

Is it enough (quality calories and nutrients)...

 

Is it well rounded and varied (includes a variety of foods from all food groups)...

 

Does it include quality sources of protein and fat (and enough of both)...

 

Is it low in starch (plant based diets are not, and this can feed unhealthy gut microbes)...

 

Is in low in fiber (high protein diets tend to be, and you do need fiber to feed healthy gut microbes)...

 

Are you drinking enough water...

 

If you are on a restricted diet and have symptoms and health problems, your "healthy" diet may be playing a role.

 

Trust the signs your body is giving you, not someone trying to sell you the latest diet craze.


I've worked with people, and have seen their symptoms and health problems resolve as their diets become MORE INCLUSIVE.

 

To learn what foods contain nutrients your body needs to function optimally, check out my nutrient cheat sheets, CLICK HERE!
 

Also, I mentioned last week, get on my calendar for your introductory consultation and optional free functional health assessment! CLICK HERE!

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), diet, and the gut microbiome

Photo credit:  Anna Kolosyuk

Photo credit: Anna Kolosyuk

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

Health begins in the gut.

 

It's where 80% of your immune system is located. If your gut health is impaired, so is your immune system.

 

Your body runs on nutrients from foods you eat. Those nutrients are the gas that fuels your engine. If your gut health is impaired, so is your digestion. If you can't digest food appropriately, you won't be able to get nutrients from the foods you eat. Every system in your body will experience ill effects over time. Think about it, your car can't run without fuel, right? How can your body?

 

Your gut microbiome, which is the billions of bacteria that live in your gut (large intestine/colon to be exact) impacts your health in its entirety. We know this now from scientific research linking the gut microbiome to various health conditions and disease states, both inside and outside the gastrointestinal tract.

 

One of those health conditions is autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

 

Not only does diet play a role in ASD, so does the gut microbiome.

 

DIET

Let's talk about diet first. If your child has ASD, or behavioral problems, step 1 is to look at their diet. Are they eating gluten, lots of carbs, and/or dairy?

 

I see a lot of children with ASD and behavioral disorders, and the first thing we do is REMOVE GLUTEN. Celiac disease, diagnosed gluten intolerance/sensitivity/etc. or not, REMOVE GLUTEN.

 

Every case I've worked with a child with ASD or behavioral issues where we've removed gluten from the diet resulted in symptom improvement. EVERY CASE.

 

You don't want to go cold turkey, especially with children, because removing gluten can cause withdrawal symptoms. Here's what you can do:

  • Take gluten out of breakfast for week 1

  • Take gluten out of breakfast and lunch for week 2

  • Take gluten out of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for week 3

Start there, and give it some time. Often it takes a while for the body to stop reacting to gluten, even after it's removed from the diet.

 

You also only want to remove only 1 food at a time to see what works and what doesn't. Elimination diets can be dangerous and lead to worsening of health problems as I mentioned last week.

 

If removing gluten doesn't help, you can explore additional diet changes, but do so with guidance from a professional to avoid the pitfalls of elimination diets.

 

THE GUT MICROBIOME

Now let's touch on the gut microbiome. Imbalances here are linked to ASD and behavioral issues in children.

 

Along with diet changes, exploring the gut microbiome and resolving imbalances there can bring symptom relief.

 

This involves a functional stool test, like GI Map, or GI Effects. These stool tests are different than what you get from your conventional medical doctor, and are far (FAR) superior to kits like Viome, Biome and other direct to consumer testing that's available nowadays.

 

If you are investing in your child's health and exploring gut testing, don't waste time and money on subpar interventions. Do it right.

 

For questions and guidance, get on my calendar for an introductory consultation and optional free functional health assessment! CLICK HERE!

Why Your Low Carb Diet Isn't Working

Photo credit:  Mali Maeder

Photo credit: Mali Maeder

 

Many of our clients come to us on low carb diets.

Actually, they come to us on high protein diets.

Here’s what happens.

Toby comes to see us and says he wants to lose weight and improve his blood sugar levels.

He tells us he’s been on a low carb diet to help him reach his goals. We review his diet history and it reads something like this:
 
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs
Lunch: 2 large chicken breasts, small green salad
Dinner: Meatballs, sautéed broccoli and cauliflower
Daily snacks: Protein bar, hardboiled eggs, sometimes cheese, meat jerky
 
To Toby, low carb meant high protein.

Toby did lose some weight in the beginning on this diet, but then that weight loss plateaued, he ended up putting the weight back on, and without veering from his diet plan.

He also couldn’t figure out is why his blood sugar levels didn’t improve, because he knew that carbs are what increase blood sugar levels, and he wasn’t eating any.
 
Your body uses protein to build structures like enzymes, cells, tissues, and organs. You don’t store protein in your body like you do fats and carbs.

This is why it is important to eat quality sources of protein daily, and typically you need more than what government guidelines recommend, especially when your body needs to heal from health problems like gut dysfunction, skin rashes, autoimmune disease, thyroid problems, and for weight loss.
 
The flip side of this is when you have enough protein to maintain all the necessary building your body is doing, the extra gets disposed of, and one way is that it is used in a process called gluconeogenesis.

Gluco (glucose) – neo (new) – genesis (creating) – so we are talking about making glucose from a new source that’s not from carbs, which is where glucose typically comes from. That source can be the amino acids resulting from the breakdown of protein.

This is one way your body fights starvation. It raises glucose levels in the blood stream, and therefore insulin levels. This leads to weight gain over time, and blood sugar dysregulation.

By the way, glucose is a primary fuel your body uses to make energy so you stay alive. Because your body needs it so badly, there are a variety of ways your body can biohack things to make sure there’s enough of it. One of those ways is by using extra protein.

Overtime this process can result in the very problems you are trying to avoid in the first place like weight gain, blood sugar problems, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

That’s what happened with Toby. He had been following a high protein diet for several years. He did lose weight at first, however it came back on and just stayed there. He was also insulin resistant, heading towards diabetes.
 
We made some changes in his diet, conducted some functional testing so that we could tailor our interventions to the unique needs of his body, and got him on a customized supplement protocol.

Toby also was 100% responsible for his health outcomes. He followed the plan, was patient, and consistent. This is what it takes to succeed. You have to put in the work.

It’s not easy. You can do it, just like Toby did.

We are here to guide you.

This multi-pronged, committed approach is what it takes to get the results you want, and to maintain them.

With our interventions, Toby was able to maintain a weight he was happy with and balance his blood sugar levels. He experienced a variety of other benefits too including improved digestion, lower cholesterol levels, better sleep and more energy.

Are you ready to become our next success story? Book your introductory consultation with me!

Digestive (and skin) issues got you down? You're not alone (my story).

Digestive issues got you down? Did you know that problems with your skin might be because your digestive system is messed up, even if you don't have gut symptoms?

You can take control, and get your life back. I did it, and I can help you do it too.

It’s time I started getting real with you. It’s time for me to share my healing journey because while I might be embarrassed to talk about it, it might help you. And that is my goal. To help others so that they don’t have to suffer the way I have.

Click here to read more about my story. 
 
"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
 

 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist


P.S. If you know someone that may benefit from this information, please forward it to them.

JCB Nutrition Food Pyramid 

 
 

As a nutritionist, I get asked ALL. THE. TIME. "What should I eat?"

You'd think as a nutritionist I'd have the answer. I don't. 

This is because until I know more about someone's unique case, I don't know what diet plan will help or even hinder (that's right, the wrong diet, even a healthy one, can cause problems) their health. 

In a general sense, there are dietary recommendations that can help most people, in particular, those that eat a Western or standard American diet. To be honest, any move away from a diet loaded with processed crap and towards a diet of whole real foods will help a great majority of people feel better, lose weight, and lead to improved health status, no matter what that diet is (paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, whatever the latest craze is, etc., you'll notice a common thread in these diet plans... no processed crap food [if done right that is]).

Because I do want to provide guidelines for all my JCB'ers out there, I've created the JCB Nutrition Food Pyramid! 

To check out the JCB Nutrition Food Pyramid and get started on your journey to better health, starting with improving your diet, --> click here <--

 

Have general questions? Contact me today!

 

Ready to get started and work with me? Click here to schedule your 30-minute strategy session with me.

 

Not ready to work together longer term and want to pick my brainClick here to set up your wellness consulting and coaching session with me!


 
"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist

A functional approach and diet for reflux/GERD

Photo credit:  rawpixel.com

Photo credit: rawpixel.com

Acid reflux, heartburn, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)… call it what you will, the condition can cause chronic symptoms or mucosal damage due to the abnormal reflux of gastric or duodenal contents into the esophagus, or both.

 

GERD symptoms are one of the most common complaints to primary care doctors in Western countries, and GERD is a risk factor for erosive esophagitis, and Barrett’s esophagus (associated with an increased risk for cancer of the esophagus).

 

Because the condition is so common, its treatment has been the target of aggressive pharmaceutical marketing to healthcare professionals and consumers, and it’s worth big bucks. If you haven’t seen commercials for acid blocking and acid reducing medications like Zantac, Prilosec, Tagamet, or Pepcid, you’ve either been living under a rock, or simply don’t watch TV (in either case, I’m not judging!).

 

Research shows evidence of harm from long term use of acid blocking and acid reducing medications (prescription and over the counter) including osteoporosisdepressiondeficiencies of vitamin B12 and a variety of mineralssmall intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pneumonia, and an increased risk of a variety of gut pathogens.

 

Because of this, an approach that limits the use of these harmful medications, and treats the condition by addressing underlying causes of GERD is important. This approach includes diet, lifestyle, and other nutritional therapies that both address root causes, and help to restore normal intestinal function.

 

Conventional approaches do include diet and lifestyle changes, and these can be helpful for managing symptoms (keep in mind they may not necessarily address the underlying cause of the problem). Elimination of common dietary triggers is recommended as a first line intervention. These common triggers include:

 

  • Caffeine

  • Alcohol

  • Chocolate

  • Garlic

  • Onions

  • Mint

  • Spicy foods

  • Fried foods

  • Fatty foods

  • Citrus

  • Tomato based products

  • Highly processed foods

  • Junk food

  • Carbonated beverages including fizzy water

 

If diet is poor, as is the case when following a standard American diet, switching to a diet of whole, real foods, that are low glycemic (don’t spike blood sugar too much), rich in plant foods (phytonutrients including antioxidants), and high in fiber often can result in symptom resolution.

 

In some people there are other dietary triggers, and these can be identified by using an elimination diet, or by testing for IgE and IgG food allergies and food sensitivities respectively. When removing commonly known dietary triggers doesn’t resolve symptoms, this can be a next step in addressing underlying food triggers for the problem.

 

Dietary guidelines for reducing reflux symptoms are individualized, so keep in mind some trial and error may be necessary before you determine your unique tolerances. In general, the following recommendations may help:

 

  • Low fat and non fat milk and milk products may be better tolerated than full fat versions

  • Choose plain breads and cereals as opposed to those made with high fat ingredients like croissants, doughnuts, and pizza

  • Stick to fruit based desserts, or better yet fresh fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth, however citrus fruits and pineapple should be avoided

  • Avoid heavy gravies, heavy cream, bacon, drippings from meat, and other high fat foods and condiments

  • For protein sources, meats should be well cooked and lean so choose poultry, fish, lean pork, shellfish, dried beans and peas, and eggs

  • Broths and homemade soups with lean meat and vegetables (except for tomatoes) are recommended

  • Choose vegetables other than tomatoes, onions and garlic, and prepare them without added fat

  • Spices are based on individual tolerance so you may need to experiment, however avoid chili, jalapeno, and vinegar and stick to salt, pepper, oregano, and sage for example

  • Decaf coffee and teas, and non-mint teas may be tolerated

 

Lifestyle interventions include:

 

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Stop smoking

  • Elevate the head of your bed when sleeping by 6 to 9 inches

  • Don’t lie down after a meal, wait at least 3 hours

  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly

  • Avoid tight fitting clothing, which may put pressure on your abdomen and LES (lower esophageal sphincter)

 

Medication begets medication. If you take multiple medications to treat your symptoms, you may have noticed that once you take one medication that helps with your symptoms, before you know it, new symptoms pop up, and then you are prescribed yet another medication for your new symptoms. Now you find yourself in a state of polypharmacy, making it impossible to determine if your new symptoms are actually new, or the result of drug interactions. There are many medications that can cause a worsening of GERD by altering gastric motility, contributing to dysbiosis, or reducing LES tone (the valve that stops gastric contents from coming back up into the esophagus becomes weakened) for example.

 

Medications that worsen GERD include:

  • Anticholinergics

  • Sedative/hypnotics (benzodiazepines)

  • Tricyclic antidepressants

  • Theophylline

  • Prostaglandins

  • Calcium channel blockers

  • Alpha adrenergic blockers

  • Beta adrenergic blockers

  • Nitrates

  • Progesterone

  • Steroids

  • Aspirin

  • NSAIDs

  • Sustained release potassium tables

  • Bisphosphonates

 

There are nutritional strategies that can help reduce dose or eliminate the need for a variety of medications that are known to exacerbate GERD.

 

Low stomach acid, impaired gastric motility, poor diet, and polypharmacy are just some examples of issues that can lead to gut dysbiosis (abnormal gut bacteria). Abnormal gut bacteria and gut infections cause inflammation and increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut), which can cause and aggravate GERD.

 

The bacterium H. pylori has been identified as a cause of stomach ulcers, but also may be linked to reflux. H. pylori can be a benign cohabitator in the gut, but it can progress to symptomatic infection. Infection with H. pylori can lead to chronic gastritis. Chronic gastritis can progress to cancerous changes in intestinal tissue, and gastric cancer. Chronic gastritis can also lead to decreased production of gastric acid and therefore affect conditions like GERD and Barrett’s esophagus.

 

Interestingly, Barrett’s may be less common in those with H. pylori infection, and decreased acid production due to H. pylori infection may reduce the risk for Barrett’s esophagus.

 

Healing the gut and restoring normal gut function are cornerstones of overall health and wellness (70-80% of our immune system is located in our gut microbiome) and for addressing possible root causes of GERD. To accomplish this, we can look at a 5R approach:

 

  1. Remove – Identify and remove triggers for symptoms and intestinal malfunction (foods, medications, lifestyle habits, gut dysbiosis, detoxification for environmental toxins, etc.). If you take PPIs or H2 blocker medications to lower stomach acid, weaning may be necessary in that stopping the medications cold turkey can cause GERD rebound.

  2. Replace – Identify and replace where necessary factors for adequate digestion (enzymes, stomach acid, and prebiotic fiber [which is food for good gut bacteria and often Western style diets are void of this important dietary component]).

  3. Reinoculate – Add back in good gut bacteria in the form of probiotics from supplements and food sources (yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir are examples).

  4. Repair – Heal the gut lining to protect against leaky gut (seen in autoimmune disease, where if you have an autoimmune condition, you have leaky gut).

  5. Rebalance – Stress management is an important piece of the puzzle for overall good health. Stress can lead to gut dysbiosis and leaky gut, which can make GERD worse.

 

If you suffer from GERD, addressing it from a root cause perspective using functional medicine and functional nutritional strategies can help resolve symptoms, and prevent downstream, potentially severe consequences. Functional approaches address the root cause of the problem by using natural means like diet, nutrient supplementation and lifestyle interventions.

 

For assistance with identifying your root causes and developing a customized protocol for your unique biochemistry to resolve your GERD, contact me today!

 

Ready to get started? Click here to schedule your 30-minute strategy session with me.

 

Not ready to work together longer term and want to pick my brainClick here to set up your wellness coaching session with me!


 
"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
 

 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

A Functional Medicine Approach to Addressing Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that targets the skin, and plaques that result commonly appear on the elbows, knees or scalp. The plaques can however show up on any part of the body.

 

Normally your body will produce new skin cells and shed old ones every 28-30 days. With psoriasis, your immune system is in overdrive, leading to skin inflammation, causing skin cell turnover to occur much faster than normal. Instead of taking 28-30 days for skin cells to turnover, new cells are pushed to the surface in just 3-4 days. Because your body can’t shed the old, dead cells as fast, they pile up and begin to form thick, red, itchy, flaky, scaly patches referred to as plaques. Some people report burning and stinging from the plaques. 

 

Conventional medicine looks at psoriasis as a skin condition, however it’s important to know that it actually starts underneath the skin and is a chronic disease of the immune system (as are other autoimmune conditions).

 

Because imbalances of the immune system are involved, we must look for underlying causes of why this is occurring. If we do not address the underlying cause, it is left to persist, and it will cause additional problems over time.

 

While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, there are a variety of factors involved that when occur together result autoimmunity, and in some people, the symptoms of psoriasis. 

 

Autoimmunity is the result of a genetic component, an environmental trigger, and impaired gut function. Environmental triggers can include stress, diet and nutrient deficiency, food allergies and food sensitivities, medications, and toxins for example. Impaired gut function may be due to inadequate digestion and absorption (which can lead to nutrient deficiency), imbalances and infections of the gut microbiome (which is your gut bacteria, and may be referred to as dysbiosis), and increased gut permeability (which is commonly referred to as leaky gut). 

 

While we can’t change our genetics, we can identify and work to eliminate environmental triggers and address impaired gut health, and thus bring psoriasis (and other autoimmune conditions) into remission in a natural, holistic manner.

 

From a functional and clinical nutrition standpoint, the search for the cause of immune system dysregulation begins in the gut. Up to 80% of our immune system is located in our gut microbiome. Therefore imbalances in our gut microbiome can have far reaching effects on our overall health.

 

Psoriasis is associated with differences in the gut microbiome when compared to the microbiomes of healthy individuals without psoriasis. These differences can adversely impact the immune system by triggering specific, inflammatory immune responses. Interactions between the gut microbiome and the immune system therefore suggest the composition of the microbiome represents a therapeutic target for managing psoriasis.

 

In addition to the composition of the microbiome and the role it plays in psoriasis, increased intestinal permeability is involved, and this connection has been known for decades. In this scenario, inflammation in the gut (which can arise from a variety of factors including food allergies and food sensitivities, and gut dysbiosis for example) causes the normally tight junctions between the cells of the intestinal walls to loosen. When this occurs food particles and toxins from bacteria are allowed to inappropriately enter the blood stream. Once there, the body identifies them as invaders (because they are not supposed to be there) and mounts an immune response. As long as gut inflammation and subsequent leaky gut persist, the immune system will be chronically stimulated, leading to autoimmune conditions, like psoriasis.

 

There are a variety of nutrient deficiencies common in skin conditions such as psoriasis, including omega 3 fish oils, zinc, vitamin B2, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin DEating foods that are rich in these nutrients, and other nutrients that are important for skin health is paramount for healthy skin.

 

While “medicine deficiency does not cause psoriasis, nutritional deficiency might.”

 

Adequate detoxification is also important because toxin build up that cannot be excreted via normal routes (through the liver and bowels for example) can make its way out through the skin causing flares in skin conditions. 

 

In addition to addressing the gut microbiome, the skin has its own microbiome that needs to be addressed, and the skin microbiome also plays a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

 

Addressing psoriasis, other autoimmune conditions, or any chronic condition you may have that has not resolved with conventional means involves some important considerations that include the following: 

 

  • Taking into account your biochemistry, and uncovering the root cause of imbalances that may be contributing to your health problems. This is the functional medicine approach. All of the systems in your body are connected. When one is not functioning optimally and the root cause is left to persist, it can adversely affect other systems, creating a domino effect of illness and disease. Medications mask symptoms, leaving us unaware of the continued damage that is occurring within. Functional nutrition is the core of functional medicine and can help you reach optimal health with natural means.
  • Keep in mind we aren't just what we eat. We are what our bodies can do with what we eat. Rather than only making sure you are eating right, we need to make sure your body can digest, absorb and use nutrients from the foods you eat. Your diet may be stellar, but if your body can't use those nutrients, your perfect diet doesn't matter much. For example, impaired digestion can cause dysbiosis, leaky gut, and nutrient deficiencies, among other issues.
  • Nutrient supplementation can be a key factor for improving overall metabolic function, and therefore it can positively impact the issues you are experiencing. Often, due to long standing deficiency and imbalances, the addition of supplemental nutrients can help restore metabolic processes to their optimal state.
  • Too often, our conventional lab results are "normal" yet we still don't feel well.  While labs may appear "normal" for conventional medical practice, they can be far from optimal and therefore underlying dysfunction can be causing your symptoms. This underlying dysfunction is where our opportunity lies to improve your health.
  • Exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress management are examples of lifestyle factors that play a major role in your overall health.

 

As you may have noticed, these factors are not typically considered in conventional medical practice. This is why a functional approach can produce results, where conventional interventions often fall flat. 

 

For assistance with identifying your root causes and developing a customized protocol for your unique biochemistry to address your psoriasis (or other autoimmune conditions), contact me today!

 

Ready to get started? Click here to schedule your 30-minute strategy session with me.

 

Not ready to work together longer term and want to pick my brainClick here to set up your wellness coaching session with me!


 
"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 

SIBO Is A Beast. How Do You Address It?

I work with a lot of clients that have SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. We are supposed to have lots of bacteria in large intestine and colon. Sometimes this bacteria ends up in our small intestine in abnormally large amounts, and it certainly doesn't belong there.

 

There are 3 types of SIBO you may have heard of. Hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulfide SIBO.

 

The 2 better known types are hydrogen dominant and methane dominant SIBO.  In our gut, bacteria produce hydrogen (as a byproduct of carbohydrate fermentation) and archaea produce methane. Hydrogen SIBO tends to cause diarrhea, and methane constipation.  Archaea feed on hydrogen and make methane as a byproduct, and this can reduce levels of hydrogen, so this is why sometimes hydrogen breath tests are negative when SIBO is actually present.

 

Hydrogen sulfide is a third type of SIBO. Hydrogen sulfide is important for a variety of biochemical functions in the body, however its overgrowth can also cause SIBO, and it tends to affect the upper gut. Most with this issue also have methane dominant archaea overgrowth in the small intestine, and constipation is more common.

 

Hydrogen sulfide SIBO doesn’t show up on typical breath tests. So if you have symptoms of SIBO (such as IBS symptoms for example), and a negative breath test, using interventions for SIBO anyway may be helpful. In terms of the symptoms, this type of SIBO can cause rotten egg like breath, flatulence and stools.

 

When we have abnormally large amounts of bacteria in our small intestine as can occur with SIBO, we become unable to digest and absorb nutrients from the foods we eat. It is through the lining of our small intestine where many of our nutrients are absorbed so that our body can use them for fuel. 

 

Because the bacteria that cause SIBO ferment carbs in the gut, starchy and sugary foods can feed the overgrowth. Therefore if you have strong carbohydrate and/or sugar cravings, it can be due to gut infections, like SIBO. The gases produced in this process result in some of the symptoms associated with SIBO, like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. SIBO also can be linked to skin conditions like eczema and other skin rashes (because SIBO leads to leaky gut, more on that below)! 

 

When we have SIBO, finding the root cause is important. SIBO is very hard to eradicate, and one reason is because we neglect to address why it happened in the first place.

 

Two examples of underlying causes that can be addressed from a nutrition standpoint are motility of the gut, and appropriate digestion (there is often a lack of stomach acid and/or digestive enzymes, both of which are necessary for proper digestion of food and subsequent absorption of nutrients). 

 

As the problem continues, inflammation in the gut causes the normally tight junctions holding the cells of our gut lining together to loosen. This results in leaky gut, allowing particles of food and toxins from bacteria to enter into the bloodstream. Our immune system mounts a response, and over time this can lead to autoimmune disease

 

SIBO is most often addressed with specific antibiotics, and diet. There are natural anti-microbial agents that can help as well.

 

SIBO is stubborn. Many suffer for years. In order to resolve the problem we must address the underlying cause of it. This is often missed, which is why you can't get rid of your SIBO!

 

Protocols that are successful in eradicating SIBO take into account multiple interventions, and addressing the underlying cause.

 

Everyone is different. There is no one size fits all approach. Your plan will be unlike anyone else's. Working with a professional who can connect the dots between your biochemistry and best practices in SIBO eradication is essential if you want freedom from it once and for all. 

 

To work with me --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session, or --> click here <-- to schedule your wellness coaching (pick my brain) session. 

 

Need help or have questions? Click here and --> Contact me <-- today! 


 
"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
 

 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Do you need to take supplements? And if so, which ones?

Photo credit:  pixabay.com

Photo credit: pixabay.com

 

In functional medicine, we focus on natural ways to improve our health. That means food first. The functional medicine approach looks for the underlying causes of disease and illness and addresses it in order to improve health status. Health begins in the gut and often the underlying cause of what ails us is digestive and metabolic dysfunction.

 

Functional medicine practitioners use nutrient supplements, along with food, in clinical practice as the primary tools of treatment.

 

I've been asked, can't food be enough? After all, as a clinical nutritionist the expectation is that I'm going to create a diet plan to make you feel better. Yes! This is part of what I do. 

 

Sometimes, food isn't enough. This can happen as we age and bodily processes slow down and need a little extra help, when we have a functional deficit in a metabolic pathway, when our hormones become imbalanced, and when our guts aren't functioning the way they're supposed to. These are just some examples of when we may need a little more than what even the best, most thought through food plan can provide.

 

Our every day lives expose us to stress, environmental toxins, and lack of physical activity. We also experience inadequate exposure to sunlight, and many other problems associated with the 'conveniences' of Western society.

 

It is for these reasons that we can benefit from supplementing our healthful diets with extra nutrients. Some can help support metabolic pathways and therefore the biochemical reactions that make our bodies run. Others help support our immune system and combat oxidative stress and inflammation, two causes of chronic and complex disease.

 

I do believe that most of us can benefit from taking certain supplements. 

 

To learn more about my take on specific supplement recommendations, and for access to professional grade ones --> click here <--.

 

Nutrient supplements are not medications. Prescription medications work by altering metabolic pathways, and even sometimes by shutting them down. All of the processes in our body are connected. When one is interrupted it can affect all others leading to chronic and complex disease. Nutrient supplements provide fuel (just as food can, when all else is in balance) for these processes to help them run. This is the difference between conventional medicine and the functional approach. 

 

So, are nutrient supplements necessary, and can't we get everything we need from food? My answers are yes, and maybe not. 

 

Most of us know what a healthy diet should look like. When you are following a healthful eating plan and are still having symptoms that can't be explained or tied to anything in particular, this is when food may not be enough. If this sounds familiar I can help you get to the bottom of it.

 

To contact me --> click here <--.

 

If you're ready for a strategy session with me --> click here <--.

 

Are you looking for general information and just want to pick my brain? --> click here <--.

 

 "Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
 


Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Food Sources of Vitamins and Minerals (Micronutrient) - Cheat Sheet

Photo credit:  Magda Ehlers

Photo credit: Magda Ehlers

In functional medicine (of which functional nutrition is the core), we often use supplements to enhance our health status, and doing so can be necessary to help replete nutrient deficiency, and to help address underlying metabolic imbalances and blocked biochemical pathways (for example).

 

It is important to keep in mind that while supplements can be helpful, they cannot and should not replace whole, real food sources of nutrition. Food is medicine and is our first line of defense against illness and disease. Food is also the primary vehicle for fueling our bodies with the nutrients we need to function.

 

Incorporating food sources of vitamins and minerals into your diet daily is important for overall health and wellness, as well as for combating illness and disease. 

 

Remember, supplements cannot compensate for a nutrient poor diet!

 

To learn what foods contain important vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally --> click here <-- to see my food sources of vitamins and minerals cheat sheet.

 

To work with me --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session! 

 

If you aren't ready to work with me longer term and simply want to pick my brain --> click here <--. 

 

Need help or have questions? Click here and --> Contact me <-- today! 



If you've found this information helpful, and know someone that could benefit from it, please forward this link to them!

 

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
 

 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Pesto Recipe (Dairy and Nut Free)

Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, Pesto Recipe (Dairy and Nut Free)

Many foods can trigger symptoms, whether you have skin issues, GI disturbances, or any wide variety of health conditions. Dairy and nuts are major triggers for many people.


When we can't tolerate certain foods, we miss out on flavorful sauces in particular because they are often full of stuff we can't eat.


Enter my diary and nut free pesto recipe! 


Makes about ⅓ cup

 

Ingredients:
 

  • ⅓ cup olive or avocado oil (avocado oil has a more neutral taste than olive oil, but you can use olive oil if you prefer)

  • 1 bunch fresh basil

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • Pinch of salt

 

Instructions:
 

  1. Add garlic and basil to a blender or food processor and grind/chop until well blended

  2. Drizzle in oil until it makes a paste, you may need to scrape the sides of the machine you are using periodically

  3. You can use more oil for a thinner consistency, or less oil for a thicker consistency

  4. Salt to taste

  5. I store mine in the fridge



*Note: The pesto becomes more flavorful left to sit (in the fridge) overnight.

 

To work with me --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session!



Need help or have questions? Click here and --> Contact me <-- today! 




"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
 

 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, All rights reserved. 

Why Your Health Issues Just Won’t Go Away

Photo credit:  pixabay.com

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Maybe they subside a little, and you get all excited about it, then BAM. They are back, full force. What’s going on?
 

I was talking to a client about this, and wanted to share with you what I shared with her. We were talking about her gut issues and resolving them. She’s been on a gut healing protocol for a while and her results have been just so-so. She’s been on track with her diet and supplement protocols for her gut, and she’s frustrated about not having the results she wants.
 

To back up a bit, this client has thyroid problems (hypothyroid). Thyroid problems can make it more likely that you’ll experience gut/digestive problems, as well as skin problems (also which she has). I had recommended a few months ago that she discuss her thyroid treatment with her doctor (I’m not a doctor so I can’t treat her in this fashion) because the numbers she shared with me for her thyroid hormones were not optimal. She did not [yet] have these discussions with her doctor. Because her thyroid remains inappropriately managed, her gut issues will likely continue to cause her problems, and her skin symptoms will also persist.
 

She is also under a lot of stress and we suspect she has adrenal issues too (overtaxed). The adrenals and thyroid work together to help shuttle thyroid hormones to where they are needed in the body for proper function. Gut issues also put more strain on the adrenal glands, further weakening them. In fact adrenal fatigue and hypothyroid symptoms are similar and often these two problems are confused, and therefore don’t get treated appropriately.
 

So, here we have a very dedicated person, doing everything she can to help heal her gut, BUT she’s missing the boat regarding the underlying causes of why her gut health is impaired in the first place. Until she is ready to look holistically at her health status, she will continue to experience issues.
 

The moral of the story is PLEASE make sure to consider your health holistically, and remember that symptoms are tied to systems, and all systems are connected.
 

There is an order of operations too (if you will). You can't jump straight to balancing hormones if you are nutrient deficient. You can't successfully fix your adrenals if you have mitochondrial problems. You can't focus on liver detox if you aren't pooping regularly (1-3 times a day at a minimum). You have to make sure liver phase II detox works before phase I (because phase I makes things more toxic and then it's up to phase II to deal with it, yikes!). Proper detox mechanisms are super important for hormone regulation. And of course, impaired gut health (like dysbiosis) can lead to detox problems through the liver... These are just some examples, and I'll stop there, I think you get the idea.
 

I wanted to share this with you because I often hear folks advising others in ways that only address A symptom, or A system. While the advice might be useful for THAT symptom, keep in mind the overall picture of what needs to happen to resolve the issue(s).

 

To work with me --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session!



Need help or have questions? Click here and --> Contact me <-- today! 



"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
 

 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency Radiation) and Your Health: What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family

Photo credit:  rawpixel.com

Photo credit: rawpixel.com

Have you heard of EMF? EMF is electromagnetic frequency radiation. It is an environmental factor that can adversely affect your health, it may alter the function your immune system, and even increase your risk for developing autoimmune conditions (like eczema and psoriasis, among others).
 

Some people are more sensitive to EMF than others and may suffer from EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity). There are a wide range of health issues associated with EMF and EHS including cancer, nervous system problems (sleep disturbances, fatigue, stress, depression, brain fog), skin issues (rashes, burning and prickling sensations), muscle aches and pains, digestive disorders, and infertility.

 

The following tips for reducing exposure to EMF are from Sachin Patel, Founder of the Living Proof Institute.

 

"EMF comes from our electronic devices such as cell phones and WiFi routers. EMF has been classified by the World Health Organization as a potential carcinogen.
 

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
 

1. Turn off your Wi-Fi before you go to sleep. We are exposed to Wi-Fi signals on a daily basis, from coffee shops, malls, our own homes. If it is not urgent, your Wi-Fi should be turned off before bed. You can buy a timer for it as well.
 

2. Turn off your cell phone at night (or at least put it into airplane mode as much as possible). This terminates all signals coming and going from your cell phone and allows you to be protected while you sleep. This action step is extremely important as the vast majority of cellphone owners keep their phone near their bed in case of an emergency call or to use the alarm clock feature.
 

3. Try not to carry your phone on your body, especially near your reproductive organs. Carry it in a loose jacket or in your purse.
 

4. Charge your cell phones in a different room or away from your bed.
 

5. Switch out your cordless phones for its predecessor. While this may not be the most convenient step, sticking to a landline phone will help limit your EMF exposure.


6. Use a wired headset for any cell phone conversations. This is an extremely cheap fix with a huge return on your investment. You can also use speaker phone as much as possible.
 

7. Unplug all electronics near your bed before going to sleep. If you require a bedside light source, Sachin recommends a Himalayan salt lamp which is a far more natural light to get you ready for bed.
 

8. Move your furniture away from the wall. Even the wiring in your wall emits EMF and this can be dissipated by simply moving your furniture 3-6 inches from the wall. If you are building a new wall (new project or renovation), putting all your wires in piping can permanently block EMF from being created.
 

9. Practice awareness. Be aware of how much you are using your cell phone, how close you’re sitting to the router, and how much time you spend surrounded by EMF.


10. Avoid having your laptop on your lap. Place it on your desk or have a pillow on your lap. The further away from the source you are the better.


11. Never let your kids talk on the cell phone with the phone against their head. Use the speaker phone. If your child is playing games on your phone, put it in airplane mode.
 

Hopefully these tips help you protect your family from the hidden dangers of EMF."
 

To work with me --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session!



Need help or have questions? Click here and --> Contact me <-- today! 



"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
 

 
Your Partner in Health,

Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Healthy Snacks

Healthy snacks are fuel to keep your engine burning optimally so you can crush your day. Your body needs macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in order to carry out the wide range of biochemical reactions it needs to so that your heart beats, your lungs breathe, and your muscles move.

 

The following snacks contain a variety of macro and micronutrients:

 

  • Hard-boiled eggs - protein, healthy fat
  • Seeds and nuts - protein, healthy fat, fiber, wide range of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients
  • Dried fruit - carbohydrates, fiber, high in sugar so go lightly
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables - carbohydrates, fiber, wide range of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients
    • Cut up and dip in nut or seed butters and/or hummus if desired
  • Vegetable chips/kale chips/beet chips
  • Roasted chickpeas - protein, carbohydrates, fiber, wide range of vitamins and minerals
    • Drain canned chickpeas, place on a cookie sheet, add favorite seasonings, bake until crisp
  • Natural beef, salmon or turkey jerky
    • Look for as few ingredients as possible
  • Rx Bars or Epic Bars
  • Coconut yogurt 
  • Fruit and nut balls
    • Dried fruit (dates, raisins, prunes, apricots, etc.), nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.), add to a food processor and mix/blend until sticky, roll into balls, can roll in raw cacao powder (antioxidants, and minerals) if desired, keep refrigerated
  • Cooked chicken thighs or cooked chicken breasts, meatballs or turkey balls, keep them ready in the fridge to grab on the go or in a pinch when you need a protein rich snack
  • Dark chocolate, the darker the better, about 1 oz serving – antioxidants, minerals
  • Power smoothie (in a blender, can use any combination of these items or similar items)
    • Protein powder of choice
    • Nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters
    • Kale, spinach, carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, other vegetables
    • Blueberries, other berries, banana, apple, other fruit (go lighter on fruits, they add sugar, berries are lower in sugar/lower glycemic so use those when possible)
    • Almond milk or coconut milk (avoid soy milk, it can act like estrogen in the body, especially problematic for young boys)
    • Raw cacao powder, turmeric, cinnamon, other spices - anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients
    • Avocado - healthy fat, fiber
    • Coconut oil - healthy fat
    • Coconut flakes
    • Ice
  • 'Ice cream' the JCB Nutrition way
  • Avocado chocolate pudding (seriously tastes like chocolate pudding)

 

Tip: Eating healthy sources of protein and fat throughout the day will help balance blood sugar levels, and therefore your mood and energy levels, and help you feel full longer. Ideally you should have some protein and healthy fat with each meal.

 

To work with me --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session!

 

Need help or have questions? Click here and --> Contact me <-- today! 


 
"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
 
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
 

 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Skin Rash Food Triggers You May Not Know About, And A Sale!

Do any of the following resonate with you?
 

  • You have uncontrollably itchy skin
  • You have rashes covering your body, or maybe they are just ‘strategically’ located in various spots
  • You can't for the life of you figure out what's causing it
  • You've tried it all
    • Prescription skin creams and medications
      • Maybe your doctor even prescribed antidepressants
    • Elimination diets
      • You’re down to eating a ridiculously small variety of foods and still have symptoms
      • You’ve noticed that over time, even your ‘safe’ foods are causing symptoms
    • 'Clean' skin care products
    • Antihistamine medications like Claritin and Zyrtec
    • Baths and soaks
    • Coconut oil (it fixes everything right?)


The list goes on and none of it works.


Sound familiar?


There’s a reason why you continue to suffer. It’s because these kinds of interventions do not resolve the underlying cause of why your skin is reacting in the first place. Determining WHY this is happening to you is step numero uno.


Once the root cause of the problem is identified, appropriate steps can be taken to help address it to bring you the relief you long for.


In some people, food chemicals are triggers. They are not necessarily an underlying cause, however they can fan the flame of the underlying problem and cause reactions.


Many of these food chemicals are naturally occurring, and found in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables!


In my eBook, Skin Rash Food Triggers, you can learn about 10 different chemicals that are found in natural, healthy foods that can cause skin rash flares in some people. You’ll also learn why this can happen, and what can be done about it. Here’s a hint, it isn’t all about diet, and it isn’t as simple as just removing triggering foods from your diet. 


If you haven’t done so already, can download my Skin Rash Food Triggers Cheat Sheet for free to learn about 3 of these food chemicals. --> click here <-- to get your free PDF document.


If you’re ready to learn more about 10 different skin rash food triggers and begin your journey to better skin health, --> click here <-- and get your hands on the eBook. And guess what? Its on sale for 35% off the regular price!
 

To learn more about nutrients needed for skin health and what foods they are in --> click here <--. 
 
If you’re looking for more guidance and want to work with me to resolve your skin problems --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session with me to get started!


Also, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I’d love to hear from you and learn more about how I can help you reach your health and wellness goals!


"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist

 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
 

Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, All rights reserved. 

MTHFR. WTH?

What the _ _ _ _ is MTHFR? I've found myself explaining this to several clients recently.

 

I felt like I had a never-ending influx of clients with skin problems, and now MTHFR is popping up.  There are some connections, because of course things are always connected. If you've been following me you're probably aware of this!

 

We tend to look at our symptoms as isolated problems, and this is why we don’t get better. Our symptoms are our body’s attempt to tell us something is wrong. Instead of listening to our bodies, we shut them up with medications.  All this does is mask symptoms, allowing underlying dysfunction to continue. Until we address it, deterioration continues, and now we are unaware this is happening because symptoms are covered up… until new symptoms pop up. And they will, because remember everything is connected, and that underlying dysfunction is still present and still causing further deterioration. 

 

MTHFR is a gene that makes an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme is involved in what are called methylation reactions, which act like a switch turning things on and off in your body. These reactions are needed to process amino acids to make proteins, for RNA and DNA synthesis, detoxification, breaking down histamine, and much more.

 

This enzyme is necessary for chemical reactions that use vitamin B9, which is folate, or folic acid (the synthetic version of folate). It converts folic acid into a form that can be used by your body (methylfolate). Vitamins B12 and B6 are also important for methylation reactions, in particular converting homocysteine into methionine (something we want to have happen).

 

When MTHFR isn’t working, these reactions are interrupted and a wide range of problems can result, including those associated with a deficiency of these B vitamins.

 

If you have MTHFR and take supplements, it is important to avoid folic acid. You want to take the appropriate, activated forms of these B vitamins, and eat foods that naturally contain them.

 

To learn more about nutrients that support methylation and foods they are in --> click here <-- to access my therapeutic diet for methylation.

 

Folate is absolutely necessary for a healthy nervous system, normal growth and development (this is why women are instructed to take supplemental folic acid when of childbearing age, as the fetus needs it to grow and develop normally) and forming red blood cells. Symptoms of folate deficiency are many and can include:

 

  • Anemia

  • Cracks in the corners of the mouth

  • Red, sore tongue

  • Irritability

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Forgetfulness

  • Lack of concentration

  • Mental confusion

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Dizziness

  • Headaches

  • Muscle weakness

  • Numbness in legs

  • Difficulty in walking

  • Cramps

  • Digestive problems

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Hypoglycemia

  • Birth defects

  • Gout

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Diabetes

  • Poor appetite

 

Symptoms of folate deficiency are similar to B12 deficiency. In fact, treating folate deficiency alone can mask the symptoms of B12 deficiency. This is a serious problem because B12 deficiency can cause irreversible neurological and nerve damage. GET TESTED!

 

There are different forms of the MTHFR mutation, and depending on which you have it may cause more severe problems. Problems associated with MTHFR may include:

 

  • Elevated homocysteine (associated with an increased risk for heart disease)

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Thyroid disorders

  • Migraine

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome

  • Problems with fertility and pregnancy

  • And more…

 

What's the connection between MTHFR and skin? Itchy skin for example, is often associated with histamine reactions. Histamine is released by cells in your immune system when there is a trigger. Histamine is responsible for allergy-like symptoms we get, and this is why anti-histamines are prescribed and work to keep allergy symptoms under control, including itching. This means that excess histamine can lead to uncontrollable allergy symptoms, including itching.

 

Histamine is broken down by methylation. If methylation isn’t working, you can have excess histamine, and symptoms associated with it (like itching). Histamine is made in the body naturally, and it’s also found in a variety of foods. When histamine coming in exceeds histamine going out, which is more common in those with MTHFR, symptoms can result and persist.

 

Also, folic acid increases histamine levels, and methylfolate degrades it. Deficiency of methylfolate leads to high levels of histamine, and those with MTHFR are very often deficient.

 

What to do? If you have symptoms like those mentioned and can’t seem to figure out why, getting checked for MTHFR is a good idea. You can also check your homocysteine levels, and there are indicators of B12 and B9 deficiency (or sufficiency) that can be found in a CBC (complete blood count).

 

It’s also important to work with a qualified health practitioner (like a functional and clinical nutritionist) who can help guide you through necessary testing, diet, lifestyle and supplement interventions customized for your biochemistry. Diet plays a large role in managing the affects MTHFR can have on your body, beyond just B vitamins, and addressing these factors can put you back on track to feeling better!

 

Health behavior change is NOT fun or easy, and it's NOT about your willpower.

I bet you know this already, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. Making health behavior changes is HARD. It can even feel impossible.

 

A poll from 2010 found that only about 16% of adults reported successful health-related improvements. Of that 16%, 20% had improvements in weight loss, 15% started a regular exercise program, 10% improved their diets, and 7% reduced stress levels (1). Given this started with 16%, these are very small numbers!

 

Of those polled that sought to start their new year on a positive note by making changes like these, 78% of them who made health related resolutions noted significant obstacles that prevented them from meeting their goals. These obstacles included willpower, simply making changes, and being under too much stress to change (1).

 

These numbers are from 8 years ago, and in that time chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases have continued to rise in prevalence, signifying our challenges for getting healthy persist.

 

Making lifestyle and health behavior changes does not happen overnight.

 

It’s also not about willpower, even though we tend to blame our lack of it for failing to meet our goals.

 

The cards are stacked against us as we are bombarded with messages from the media to eat this and not that, look like this to be happy and successful, work harder faster and longer because that’s what success is all about… and much much more.

 

THIS mentality is what the problem is. Those that profit have brilliantly crafted a society in which they continue to profit, leaving the rest of us unhealthy, exhausted, and ready to give up.

 

There is another way.

 

Last week I divulged some of my personal health problems, and shared part of my journey with you. I say some and part because to be honest, I’m still working on piecing together the puzzle of my story for myself.

 

As I continue to heal, I’ll share more along the way. Writing about it and sharing it with you is certainly part of my healing process, so thank you for being a part of it, and sharing my journey with me.

 

Identifying the root causes leading to my rock bottom moment in urgent care isn’t easy. In part because there are so many (I mean countless) reasons why things took that nasty, yet faithful turn leading up to that event in 2016.

 

Often we have to hit our lowest low before we wake up and make changes. Change is awful, and it is less scary than feeling awful because at least we have become familiar with (therefore comfortable with) feeling like ass. 

 

We think we’ll change when we are ready. We are never really ready. Something just happens that gives us no choice. I’m thankful for that.

 

If I didn’t hit that bottom, today I might still be in a job that made me miserable. I’d still be starving myself leaving me completely obsessed with food and eating and therefore completely NOT present in all my interactions with others (business, personal, etc.). Those that know me well were even surprised to hear this part of it. Honest truth right now… it makes me sad and regretful that I missed out on so much of my life. Sure I’ve had great times, great experiences, a successful career, BUT I never enjoyed any of it like I could have had I addressed my health problems from the get go instead of letting them progress and take over my life.

 

Maybe I should have gone into acting. I played it all off so well in spite of how horrible I felt ALL THE TIME.

 

Of course I didn’t talk about all of this because if I did I knew I’d have to change my behavior and I wasn’t ready to do that. I never would have been ready so the universe created the perfect storm of situations (or really I likely manifested it all myself and the universe simply provided what I was unconsciously asking for, yes I believe in this stuff).

 

The good news is you don’t have to hit rock bottom. You don’t have to be forced to change.

 

You can take the bull by the horns and decide you’ve had enough. It’s time to be the version of you that you know you can be. The version of you the world deserves to see. We are each granted gifts that we are meant to share with the world. That’s why we are here. Denying your truth by remaining trapped in your uncomfortable comfort zone (funny how our comfort zones are actually our most uncomfortable places, think about it) is denying others the benefits of your true gifts.

 

Start your journey now, before you are forced to. You can make that decision. You have the power to change your life, to feel as good as you know you should, and to beat that rock bottom moment to the punch.

 

I can help guide you on your journey. I'd be honored to share it with you! To get started, schedule your strategy session via the button below. I'm looking forward to talking to you!

 

 

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
 


Wishing you a delicious weekend!



Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

 

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link to them!

You feel like SH*T more often than not and can't figure out why. I've been there too.

I’m glad you're here because I understand how it feels to be frustrated about not feeling well, and not being able to figure out why.

Like you, I’ve been to doctor after doctor, trying to ‘treat’ what was wrong with me, and nothing was working. Lab tests were even normal, I ate healthy food, exercised, did everything I was supposed to be doing, yet I knew something was wrong, because I didn’t feel well and my body just seemed to be deteriorating.

Finally, I figured out the problem. I was being treated for various symptoms, but the underlying problem was still there, festering, and continuing to wreak havoc on my body. No one was trying to determine WHY this was happening to me.

Once I began addressing WHY I wasn’t feeling well, instead of just focusing on the outward symptoms, things significantly improved.

For more than 15 years, I could not leave my house (thankfully I was working from home) after eating lunch because I’d experience horrible issues with IBS-D.

Diarrhea, gas, bloating, depression and anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, a stressful career (a big part of my healing was removing myself from that environment, and venturing out on my own to focus full time on my passion and career as a clinical nutritionist in 2017)… all led to my severe need to control something, anything, which turned into controlling what I ate.

Not to mention I was afraid to eat because every time I did, I’d experience gut issues, and literally not be able to leave the house for hours after a meal, and it went on for so long, it even seemed normal to me, this was my routine and my life.

In June of 2016, I thought I had a horrible flu. The urgent care doctor looked at me, and the pieces started to fall together… I was down to 98 pounds. My body was literally starving.

Talk about a wake up call. It was time to change. Time to change the way I took care of my body (I clearly completely had been neglecting taking care of myself while working to help others, talk about a wake up call), and time to change how I managed my health.

Enter the functional medicine approach to health. I have been able to identify and address underlying issues that were plaguing me all these years, and you know what, I CAN GO OUT TO LUNCH AND NOT PANIC THAT I’M GOING TO NEED TO BE NEAR A BATHROOM 30 minutes to 1 hour later (it was like clockwork).

I no longer need to schedule my food intake around my life activities. I literally would just not eat because I didn’t want to for fear of the outcome, and didn’t have time to end up in the bathroom for hours.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit not every day is perfect, far from it.

There are aspects of it all that I will need to work on likely for the rest of my life.

Healing is a process and often physical healing takes place more quickly than mental and emotional healing. Time heals ALL wounds.

Patience and persistence with protocols, and with ourselves as we navigate the muddy waters of healing are integral parts of the process.

It's messy, it's uncomfortable, and it's scary. It's also worth the benefits a billion times over. 

This is why I understand what you are going through, whether it’s gut issues or any other issue that hasn’t been resolved, because no one is looking for the WHY.

No one is addressing your health issues by taking into account your mind, body and spirit. A holistic approach is needed.

I’m a bulldog detective and use my strong knowledge of biochemistry and nutrition to tirelessly research and connect the dots to determine WHY.

I've also been in your shoes, and I understand the emotional, mental and spiritual components involved. 

You don’t have to do this alone anymore. I can help. My personal journey gives me a deep level of compassion and empathy for what you are going through. 

My path in life is to help you, because I know how.

As a team, we can fill in the blanks and determine the root cause of your problems, and develop a plan to help you reach your health and wellness goals.

If you’re ready to start getting the help you need, schedule your 30 minute strategy session with me. 

During our session we will talk about your health challenges, and the clues that have been overlooked to find the root cause of your problems. After our session, you'll have an understanding of how you can start to put the pieces of your health back together. We’ll also determine if I’m the right person for you to work with on a deeper level to finally heal your body, and discuss how that works.

>>>>>WORK WITH ME<<<<<

I'm looking forward to talking to you, and learning how I can help you reach your health and wellness goals!

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link to them!

They don’t want your skin to look better

As you sit there mid-flare in pain, unable to stop scratching, and miserable wondering why you can’t make your skin rashes go away…

 

The reason is pretty clear → $24 Billion Dollars

 

That’s how much the skin care industry makes from the creams, ointments, and lotions “specifically formulated for extremely dry skin”.

 

The industry intentionally formulates these products to work “just well enough” to appear helpful so you keep buying them.

 

Making you a “loyal” customer (ahem… a “cash cow”) for 5… 10… 20… even 30 years!

 

Your desperation to make the rashes stop and manage your symptoms translates to a big pay day (for them).

 

See, they’ve rigged the skin rash game against you.

 

And they’ve spent a lot of money to make you think that THEY are the only solution out there.

 

If you’re wondering why your doctor isn’t advocating for you or offering you better options, it will probably surprise you to learn that they too are on the take.

 

In 2014, Big Pharma paid dermatologists $34 Million dollars in “consulting fees”.

 

And in turn, your dermatologist gives you “solutions” formulated by Big Pharma and the skin care industry that aren’t really solutions at all.

 

They’re merely band-aids...

 

To tide you over while managing your symptoms.

 

And that’s the whole point here. To keep you as a “cash cow”, they won’t heal your skin rash or even formulate products that would solve the symptoms because doing so would negatively impact their shareholders’ stock reports.

 

So there’s ZERO incentive for them to offer you actual solutions that work.

 

Since you now understand how twisted this whole system is, I want to suggest something that they never will…

 

You’ve got to focus on healing your skin from the inside out.

 

To do so, you need to look deeper than the symptoms and flares. There are root causes that lie underneath your skin rashes and perpetuate the vicious cycle.

 

By addressing your own unique root causes, you can finally stop the flares and rashes for good.

 

Here’s the top 15 Root Causes for your skin problems I eluded to last week...

 

  1. Leaky Gut Syndrome (including gut infections, gut dysbiosis, and gut dysfunction)

  2. Genetic SNPs

  3. Thyroid dysfunction

  4. Hormone imbalances

  5. Heavy Metal Exposure

  6. Food triggers (beyond the common ones you’ve heard of like gluten, dairy, and eggs)

  7. Nutrient Deficiencies

  8. Environmental Allergies

  9. Skin Microbiome Disruption

  10. Immune System & Inflammation Pathway Activation

  11. Chronic Stress

  12. Past Trauma

  13. Liver Detoxification Challenges

  14. Mitochondrial Dysfunction

  15. Environmental and Chemical Toxin Exposures

 

Bet you never heard of most of these mentioned at your dermatologist’s office!

 

Most people have 4 to 6 Root Causes, on average.

 

Sarah, for example, struggled with psoriasis for most of her life and was desperate to try anything… even immunosuppressants. But before going that route, she decided to see what else could be triggering her symptoms.

 

It turned out that she had candida overgrowth and a gut infection with low stomach acid. As a result, her gut was leaky. Plus, her mitochondria weren’t generating energy properly, she had PTSD from living in NYC during 9/11, and her thyroid function was low.

 

And then Katherine had such terrible eczema on her hands that she couldn’t wear her wedding rings anymore, let alone touch anything without wearing gloves. Her skin had become so fragile from steroid creams, that it would crack and break open leaving her constantly in pain.

 

After some testing, she discovered that she had a genetic SNP that predisposed her skin to struggle with moisture retention. And she had a number of food and chemical sensitivities, disrupted skin microbiome where the eczema rashes were located, and nutrient deficiencies that made it hard for her body to make healthy, new skin.

 

So you can see, everyone has their own unique bundle of root causes that fuel the rashes.

 

How many root causes do you have?

 

Once you identify what your root causes are, you can then get to work.

 

The truth is, addressing your root causes makes all the difference between those who end up healing their skin rashes from the inside out and everyone else who keeps trying all those external bandaids.

 

That’s why I’m excited for my friend Jen and her mission to empower you to put a stop to your skin rashes with her upcoming Eczema & Psoriasis Awareness Week! 

 

She’s committed herself to bringing together the best minds in the integrative industry to share actual “root cause” solutions instead of bandaids.

 

Register today and grab your spot for this eye opening event, you won't want to miss it!

 

Mark your calendar, Eczema & Psoriasis Awareness Week runs from April 16-22, 2018, and my talk about eczema food triggers is on April 19!

 

My interview with Jen was amazing. We covered:

 

  • Healthy foods that often trigger eczema that you'd never guess
  • How to test for unconventional food triggers so you know what to avoid
  • Chemicals found in plant and animal foods that can drive a flare

 

Here’s just a few of her other hot conversations you won’t want to miss…

 

  • Autoimmune Approach to Reversing The Root Causes of Eczema

  • What Your Dermatologist Isn't Telling You About Clearing Up Your Skin

  • Vital Nutrients For Clear Skin (That Everyone With Rashes Is Deficient In)

  • Hidden Eczema Food Triggers No One Talks About

  • Ugly Truth About Skincare Products & Why They Make Your Rashes Worse

  • Hidden Inflammatory Triggers Driving Psoriasis (And How To Stop Them)

  • How Undiagnosed Gut Infections Fuel & Trigger Chronic Skin Rashes

 

Plus, Jen is going to give away over $2000 in some of the best natural products out there to support you on your journey!

 

It’s totally free to participate in this week-long online event →

 

>>> CLICK HERE TO REGISTER <<< 

 

When you confirm your seat, she’ll also email you a beautiful 95-page digital cookbook to help you start rebuilding healthier skin at every meal!

 

I’ll be there… will you?

 

 

 

 

YES, I plan on attending, click here to register!

 

Make sure to get your hands on my ebook, it’s called Eczema Food Triggers Addressing Eczema From The Inside Out. It in you’ll learn about 10 different ‘chemicals’ found in natural, healthy foods that can cause some people’s eczema to flare up. You’ll also learn why this can happen, and what can be done about it. Here’s a hint, it isn’t all about diet, and it isn’t as simple as just removing triggering foods from your diet.

 

You can download my Eczema Food Triggers Cheat Sheet for free. --> click here <-- to get your free PDF document.

 

To get your hands on the ebook --> click here <--!

 

To work with me to resolve your skin problems --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session today!

 

To learn more, or if you have general questions, contact me --> click here <--

 

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist


 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

 

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link and invite them to join!

 

Reasons Your Skin Rashes Keep Coming Back

Photo credit:  icon0.com

Photo credit: icon0.com

Does your skin feel like it's this miserable?

 

Have you ever wondered why your skin rashes never actually go away?

 

They flare and then almost resolve…

 

But they’re never fully gone.

 

No matter the treatment, you know that the next flare is headed your way.

 

You just don’t know when or what will trigger it.

 

I think you deserve the truth here. From everything I know about health, the approach to managing chronic skin rashes like Eczema and Psoriasis is backwards.

 

It overly relies on band-aids (that might work for now).

 

These band-aid approaches fail because they never address your unique hidden root causes driving the rashes in the first place.

 

See, the redness, pain, cracking, itching, weeping, scaly dryness… they’re all just symptoms.

 

To rebuild healthier skin, you’ve got to address what’s causing the symptoms (which is where the conventional approach falls short).

 

If you didn’t know… there are 15 root causes of chronic skin rashes (stay tuned to learn more about these root causes).

 

{hint -- it’s not from a steroid cream deficiency!}

 

I’d like you to meet my friend Jennifer Fugo, a clinical nutritionist, is also a Skin Rash Expert who put her own debilitating eczema into remission. She’s created an awareness week to explore these various root causes and more…

 

  • How hormone dysfunction directly impacts your skin and leads to non-stop flares

  • The many hidden and undiscussed food triggers (and how to figure out which ones actually bother you)

  • Stories of personal triumph and inspiration to keep you motivated and regain your confidence

  • What tests your doctor probably doesn’t even know about to figure out your root causes

  • Key macro- and micro-nutrients that you MUST have in your diet (or your skin will never heal)

  • Unconventional strategies that can break the flare-cycle for good and stop the itching

 

The first ever 100% online Eczema and Psoriasis Awareness Week starts April 16. Mark your calendar and click here to register for this free online event!
 

Jen and I sat down to talk about eczema food triggers, and my interview was amazing. You can listen to it on April 19! We covered:
 

  • Healthy foods that often trigger eczema that you'd never guess

  • How to test for unconventional food triggers so you know what to avoid

  • Chemicals found in plant and animal foods that can drive a flare

 

Catch my interview (and those of my colleagues) during the event! It will run April 16-22, 2018, so mark your calendars and click here to register, it's free to watch and listen!


Plus, there’s a giveaway of over $2,000 in some of the best natural products out there to support you on your healing journey!


When you register, you also get a 95-page cookbook for healthy skin recipes, too.


I’ll be there… will you?


Register today! You won't want to miss this event.
 

To learn more about eczema food triggers, get your hands on my ebook, it’s called Eczema Food Triggers Addressing Eczema From The Inside Out. It in you’ll learn about 10 different ‘chemicals’ found in natural, healthy foods that can cause some people’s eczema to flare up. You’ll also learn why this can happen, and what can be done about it. Here’s a hint, it isn’t all about diet, and it isn’t as simple as just removing triggering foods from your diet.

 

You can download my Eczema Food Triggers Cheat Sheet for free. --> click here <-- to get your free PDF document.

 

To get your hands on the ebook --> click here <--!

 

No matter if you eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, or undiagnosed chronic rashes, this event could be the thing that hands you the missing pieces to stop the rashes for good.  

 

If you’re tired of all the band-aids but don’t know what else to do, please sign up for the online event, and give yourself the gift of gaining clear, healthy skin (you don’t have to worry about anymore).

 

To work with me to resolve your skin problems --> click here <-- and schedule your 30 minute strategy session today!

 

To learn more, or if you have general questions, contact me --> click here <--

 

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
 
Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Jennifer
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

 

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this post and invite them to join!