heal

Healing Hypothesis Introduction

You’re ready to change your life. You can reclaim your health.

There is a set of concepts we use to help you change your life. Together, they make up our Healing Hypothesis. Everyone is unique and has a unique protocol. Applying these concepts to your case is what guides me in developing that protocol.

I want to share them with you so that you understand what you need to consider in order to finally get your health on track.

They are:

  • Health begins in the gut

  • Your body is built to heal itself

  • One size doesn’t fit all

  • Food isn’t always enough

  • Your unique biochemistry

  • A holistic approach

  • Your custom supplement protocol

  • Your custom diet

These concepts form our Healing Hypothesis, and they are the outline of the roadmap we use to bring you relief from your health problems, feel better, and help you meet your health and wellness goals.

Each concept helps us move the needle forward, and together they form the powerful, and holistic approach you need.

I know this because these concepts represent the lessons I learned along my healing journey, and are the things I did to get myself, and my health, back on track.

Here’s the deal. Chronic and complex health conditions have root causes. Finding these root causes is where we have opportunities to improve, and possibly even resolve them. My Healing Hypothesis guides us through identifying and addressing these root cause issues.

As a functional and clinical nutritionist I do not diagnose, or treat any condition. My job is to teach you what you can do to heal, feel better, and to help you identify root causes of the health problems you have. The kind of root causes I’m talking about lead to imbalances in your body, and long-standing ones can cause chronic and complex health problems. We can address imbalances with natural means like diet, supplements, and lifestyle interventions, and prevent long-term consequences.

The Problem (Part 2)

Here’s that second part of the issue, your labs are not normal and you are prescribed medication.

How many medications have you been prescribed because of your health problems?

I spent some time on a SSRI (antidepressant medication) in my mid-20s after I had a breakdown. The stress from graduate school, feeling my life was out of control, I was in a severe dietary restriction phase at the time (one of my lowest weights, about 98lbs, and I’m 5’6” by the way), and I’m sure OCD, PTSD and the depression of course didn’t help the situation.

I didn’t stay on the medication long. It did help, but it numbed me and I wasn’t myself. It did get rid of the OCD. I would clean a lot, and when I was on the meds, let’s just say things became very different. Not in a good way, it was gross to be honest.

I still deal with OCD, PTSD and depression, however I’ve found lifestyle strategies to help manage it (I do read self help, motivational books and blogs for example), and so does nourishing my body rather than starving it. Our neurotransmitters that regulate our moods are built from amino acids, and the pathways that make them need vitamins and minerals to do it. We need to put the fuel in, and the best way to do that is with whole, real foods.

Back to my take on medications, what do they do? They help with symptoms, if you’re lucky.

There are medications that save lives, and of course we need them from time to time. Antibiotics do save lives, when they are used appropriately. My issue with many medications that are commonly prescribed is that they mask symptoms. The symptoms you are having are your body’s cries for help, that there is, or are, underlying root cause(s) creating imbalances in your body, that over time, result in chronic and complex health problems.

If you mask symptoms with medications, root cause imbalances are still there, and they can continue to wreak havoc on your body. Now that you don’t have symptoms, you don’t know this is happening so root causes and imbalances are left unchecked and unaddressed. Before you know it, you have more symptoms. Something new and different starts to occur. Your doctor gives you another prescription. And the cycle continues.

Many of these medications mask symptoms by interrupting, altering, and shutting down biochemical pathways in your body. This is a problem because all systems are connected, so when you interfere with one pathway, others will be affected.

My favorite example is the use of statin medications for cholesterol. Statins are one of the most prescribed medications today, and they are one of the biggest money-makers ever for pharmaceutical companies.

Research shows that for some people, statins can be beneficial. They may help reduce blood pressure, and may be useful for secondary prevention of heart attack and stroke (meaning if you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, statins may help prevent it from happening again), however, research also shows that they can be very harmful for others, and lead to rhabdomyolysis, cognitive loss, neuropathy, pancreatic and hepatic dysfunction, and sexual dysfunction.

Statins work by shutting off a step in the pathway that makes cholesterol in your body. The problem is that we need cholesterol, and that pathway does other things, including make CoQ10, an essential nutrient needed for energy production in your body.

 What do we need cholesterol for? Just for example, it is necessary for making steroid hormones including your stress hormone cortisol, and your sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen), and cholesterol makes up a good part of the structure of cell membranes in your body. If your body can’t function at the cellular level, you certainly won’t be able to.

I’m not saying to stop taking your prescription medications (statins or others), I am saying make sure you ask your doctor questions, and educate yourself. Often there are natural ways to better manage your health issues that have no risk of adverse side effects.

You can start by exploring the root cause(s) of why you are having symptoms in the first place. Remember, symptoms are tied to systems and all systems in your body are connected.

If you’ve been struggling with health issues, you need a different approach to resolve them. Our Healing Hypothesis is that approach, and what I used on my own health journey.

Your Body is Built to Heal Itself

Your body is built to heal itself. Our job is to remove obstacles that prevent this from happening. Together we can identify these obstacles, and get them out of the way so your body can heal. We do this by using our Healing Hypothesis.

When you cut yourself, if you keep the wound clean it heals. If you break a bone, it heals as long as you take care of it and give it a chance to do so. If you come down with a cold or the flu, you get over it (heal) with rest and maybe some chicken soup. These are obvious insults to the body that cause pain or discomfort, so they are easier to pay attention to, and therefore we are more likely to do something to promote their healing.

Chronic inflammation on the other hand is something we don’t often directly feel. It festers under the surface, and results in chronic and complex disease over time, and we usually do not attribute our chronic and complex diseases to an underlying problem. We are led to believe our health problems developed spontaneously and the only way to address them is with prescription medications, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

 Masking symptoms with medications allows the underlying inflammation, and the cause of it to continue and over time this will lead to additional health problems.

Your body can heal from chronic and complex disease, only if you remove the barriers preventing this from happening.   

We touched on gut health, the larger effect it has on the body, and why making sure it’s optimal is necessary for overall health and wellness, and to prevent chronic and complex disease. Impaired gut health is a barrier that prevents the body from healing itself.

Other triggers that interfere with your body’s ability to heal include: 

  • Nutrient deficiency: Biochemical processes in your body that do everything, including healing, run off of nutrients that we get from foods we eat. We need our guts to function appropriately to digest and absorb nutrients from foods we eat.

  • Food allergies and sensitivities: These trigger immune responses in your body, and a chronically heightened immune response weakens the immune system leaving you open to getting sick more often and to developing all sorts of health problems. Food allergies and sensitivities result from impaired gut health, and gut inflammation that causes leaky gut.

  • Poor/inadequate diets: This leads to nutrient deficiency, and the issues previously noted.

  • Gut dysbiosis (abnormal gut bacteria) and gut infections: Imbalances and infections in the gut microbiome (natural bacterial and fungal populations living in your gut that when healthy keep you healthy) cause inflammation in the gut, leading to leaky gut and its downstream effects.

  • Even stress, and emotional imbalances can adversely impact your health status. Stress can cause chronic inflammation as well.

These are just some examples of barriers that may be preventing your body from healing. As you can see, they involve gut health (health does begin in the gut). Everyone is different, and therefore has a different set of barriers to address. One size doesn’t fit all.