One of the most challenging things I find about being a functional and clinical nutritionist is getting people to understand why certain foods are NOT good for their bodies when they DON’T have digestive symptoms.
Just because eating gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, or whatever it may be does not give you gut symptoms does not mean it’s ok for your body.
Take Ms. Riley (client name and some details of this case have been changed for privacy) for example, my client who came to me with a variety of skin problems. Yes I know, skin again! I see a lot of clients that have skin problems. They are all different. No two clients, not even those that have similar symptoms, will have the same protocol. This is because in order for a protocol to bring you the results you're looking for, it must be customized for your unique biochemistry.
Back to Ms. Riley's story.
The first thing we did was put her on an elimination diet to remove common food triggers, like those I mentioned. This also involves adding in foods to properly nourish the body in place of those that are taken out.
This was a hard sell because again, she didn’t have gut symptoms. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t eat gluten and dairy, two of her favorite foods, if she wanted to feel better.
Here’s the deal. These foods (along with many others) are inflammatory. Inflammatory substances cause your immune system to react and this triggers a cascade of other reactions, releasing a variety of chemicals to fight the trigger.
Inflammation is a protective response. The reactions that occur are meant to be temporary, and this is referred to as acute inflammation.
When you are continuously exposed to a trigger, the inflammatory response becomes chronic, and this causes your immune system to go into overdrive. The continued release of these chemicals damage cells, and this process of chronic inflammation and immune system activation is the underlying cause of chronic diseases including heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and more.
Skin conditions like rashes, vitiligo, itching, pruritus, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and many more such problems involve underlying, chronic inflammatory responses in the body (which can be triggered by gluten and dairy), and are rooted in poor gut health (whether you feel it in your gut or not).
When a trigger stimulates a chronic inflammatory response, what’s important to understand is that the inflammation is systemic. I’ll repeat that, it’s systemic, meaning your entire body is affected.
This is why eating gluten and dairy for example can cause skin problems. They can also cause neurologic problems (headaches, migraine, peripheral neuropathy), psychiatric problems (depression, anxiety), and musculoskeletal problems (arthritis) as well as adversely affect any other system in your body.
In fact, some people that have gluten intolerance and celiac disease can have a range of symptoms, including localized skin, psychiatric and neurological problems rather than problems with their guts.
Back to Ms. Riley. Removing common triggers for inflammation from her diet for 21 days resulted in improvements in her skin symptoms.
We conducted some functional testing and found that she had abnormal gut bacteria, leaky gut (which can be caused by dairy and gluten), and antibodies to gliadin (a component of gluten) indicating she had impaired gut health, and was in fact sensitive to gluten without ever experiencing gut related symptoms.
Again, all of this, and no gut symptoms!
In addition to making dietary changes, we also addressed her microbiome (abnormal gut bacteria) and leaky gut.
The benefits of our efforts weren’t only confirmed by her symptom improvement, we also had conventional medical testing conducted by her doctor before we started our interventions, and then again after. Her markers of inflammation, which had been high all were now in range! These included markers for diabetes and heart disease.
So yes, changing your diet and lifestyle when you don’t have gut symptoms is still an important piece of the puzzle for improving your overall health and wellness.
Everyone is different and different foods can be inflammatory for different people. This is why there is no one size fits all approach to nutrition.
Rather, if you have symptoms that you can’t explain, that no one can explain, you could have underlying inflammatory responses occurring that are being triggered by something you come in contact with regularly, such as something in your diet.
Even healthy fruits and vegetables contain natural chemicals that are triggers for some people.
Working with a functional and clinical nutritionist can help you identify your triggers and calm the inflammation, leading to improvements in your symptoms and in your overall health and wellness.
Interested in starting your customized diet plan to reduce inflammation? I can help you get started, and I can also hold your hand through the process. To learn more about the customized JCB Reset and Cleanse Diet -->> Click here <<---.
To work with me on a deeper level -->> Click here <<-- to get started with your 30-minute strategy session.
If you aren’t sure if this is right for you, and just want to get more information and pick my brain, -->> Click here <<--.
General questions? -->> Click here <<-- to contact 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, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
Wishing you a delicious weekend!
Functional and Clinical Nutritionist
Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, All rights reserved.