I had a couple of interesting appointments last week...
A woman came to see me covered in a red rash complaining of inflamed joints. She shared with me that her whole body felt “totally off.” Her doctor had run a couple of standard lab panels, and yet, the only bandaid that he could give her for her joint pain was a prescription for steroids. This woman was clearly dealing with symptoms associated with an autoimmune situation yet her doctor mentioned nothing about diet or any natural anti inflammatory support.
A young woman in her early 30s reached out to me who had stopped cycling and had high cholesterol levels. Her provider had put her on statins to lower her cholesterol and offered a prescription for birth control pills to help "regulate the cycle." The dietary advice given was to consume a low fat diet as well. He had not taken into consideration the fact that the body uses cholesterol to make steroid hormones and was giving her medication to suppress the cholesterol, thereby reinforcing the issue.
Why am I sharing these stories?
Both of these stories share a common thread. Both clients went to their doctor because they felt "off" and their bodies were out of balance. Both were offered bandaids in the form of a RX to fix their symptom. And while there is a time and a place for intelligent allopathy, neither client was actually adressing the root cause of their symptoms.
As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, my clients usually find me after they have exhausted the traditional route of symptom relief care with their traditional providers. Often people feel like something is wrong but labs come back “normal” or if their labs are out of range they are routinely given a prescription to manage symptoms without addressing the root cause or reason for the symptom.
This was my journey with one of my daughters. She was very little, (2 years) when she broke both her arms, one after the other. Both the orthopedic doctor and her pediatrition said she was fine and just needed more calcium. I knew in my gut otherwise. We ended up looking for answers and found healthcare practitioners that were trained to look outside the box. Long story short, we got her necessary lab testing and found both answers and solutions! Its been almost 9 years now, she has overcome 3 separate diagnosis’s and she is thriving and healthier than ever!
This is why I do the work I do. I help clients find answers and solutions to the root causes of their health issues because putting bandaids on symptoms only creates more health problems down the line.
What I usually address with people that are dubbed "just fine” by their doctor...
I often work with a “subclinical” client. This means they are not sick enough for a diagnosis but they “don’t feel like themselves”. When I work with clients like this, they often have GI symptoms such as gas, bloating, stomach pain and difficulty digesting food. There are many causes of GI pain, yet chronic infection from parasites, bacterial and yeast are often at the root.
Alot of people are also struggling with their hormones and are either “exhausted” with low cortisol issues, or wired and tired with high cortisol It is common for people with these symptoms to have sleep issues and cravings for sugar and caffeine which often makes things worse.
So what if your told "its all in your head"?
Most importantly, trust your instincts! If something doesn’t feel right inside, find a trusted health practitioner who is able to do some sleuthing to find answers and solutions.
Four Foundational Biohacks
1. Examine your sleep habits
Are you rested when you wake up? Do you fall asleep easily and stay asleep? Can you get to sleep without sleep aids?If you answered no, you may be dealing with a cortisol issue or you may be dealing with blood sugar regulation issues. Both are interconnected and need attention if sleep is an issue. There are a myriad of health related reasons you need to troubleshoot your sleep, but detoxification of brain and body will simply not be maximized without proper sleep.
Some good sleep hygiene habits include:
~Getting to bed before 11.
~Put devices in airplane mode when you sleep and turn off WIFI in your house.
~Use blackout curtains.
~Use an Oura ring to track your sleep data. - This is best for people who are doing "everything right" but are still sleeping poorly. This biohacking ring gives you detailed info on your sleep states. It also tracks heart rate variability, blood volume pressure, respiratory rate and body temperature.
2. Are you reacting to food?
Are you foggy after a meal? Does your tongue hurt after you consume certain foods? Do you crave sweets after a meal? Do you feel hungry soon after eating?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be dealing with food sensitivities that could be causing inflammation and distress to your system. Food is another foundational pillar that can change the game when it comes to your health.
Quick and easy food sensitivity test
~One of the easiest and cheapest ways to check to see if a certain food is causing a reaction is to pull out the suspected inflammatory foods for a period of time (ie* gluten and dairy) and then reintroduce a few weeks later to see if your body has a reaction to that food. It is important to give your body a proper break from the food to give your body a chance to heal itself before reintroducing.
* It is important to note- that while pulling food out can be helpful as a first step, food sensitivity testing can be extremely helpful for identifying foods that are not necessarily causing immediate reactions. Some foods cause a more chronic and latent reaction that is often not obvious and can be easily missed.
3. Check in with your energy levels
Do you have consistent energy throughout the day or do you need caffeine to keep going? Are you dragging in the morning or late afternoon?
If you need caffeine to get going and you feel a downward spiral during the late afternoon, you may be dealing with cortisol dysregulation.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that acts as a primary stress hormone effecting your blood sugar levels, metabolism, inflammation levels etc. If you are striving for optimal health, it is vitally important to address and correct cortisol dysregulation.
If you suspect cortisol dysregulation:
~Adopt a practice like meditation and yoga to help lower your stress levels. Yoga and meditation promote physical relaxation by decreasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. This promotes parasympathetic action which allows the body and mind to go into more of a rest and digest state.
~Adaptogenic herbs can also be quite helpful. Adaptogens are useful for balancing cortisol levels while improving adrenal function. This helps the body adapt to stress more readily and strengthens immune function. Tulsi and Reishi are a couple of my favorites.
( Note* For adaptogens, I recommend consulting with a health care provider when deciding on the best form of support for your specific needs).
4.Check out your hormone health
Hormone health is critically important for both men and women. Hormone imbalances can create a host of problems in the body.
Signs of hormone imbalance include:
heavy periods and pain
low sex drive
inability to loose weight
While womens menstrual issues are more commonly discussed, men also deal with hormone imbalances, which can set the stage for significant health issues.
The gold standard for hormone testing is currently the DUTCH test which measures all three estrogen metabolites, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, melatonin, cortisol and cortisone to name a few.
Practices to support healthy hormones include:
~Eat foods high in glucaric acid, ellagic acid and sulfur compounds such as cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic and oranges to helps the body excrete estrogen metabolites . This supports a critical process called glucuronidation.
~Use detoxification methods such as far infrared saunas which help to detoxify excess estrogen through sweat.
~Eat fiber rich foods which binds to estrogen metabolites in the digestive tract to help remove them from the body.
At the end of the day, listen to your body! Your body often starts to communicate to you in a whisper but over time can crescendo into a scream. Prioritizing your health and well being is a gift that permeates not only your life but your childrens lives and those around you.
"A life without health is like a river without water." -Maxime Lagace
Wishing you a Radiant Reality!
I work with clients both locally in Mendocino CA and also by phone and Zoom for clients out of the area.
If you would like more information on how I work, you can find me at radiantrealitynutrition.com
If you are ready to take the next step, you can schedule an complimentary 15 min introductory call at 7079725893