What Does Your Gut Tell You: Getting to the Root Cause of Your Recent Diagnosis

I recently worked with a client (who, after seeing her primary care physician, still had unanswered questions (we'll call her 'Jane' to preserve her anonymity). 

She reported an array of symptoms, some of which included extreme fatigue and headaches.

Jane's lab results came back showing lower than normal levels of vitamin B12 and she was with “some anemia.” 
The treatment plan her doctor presented to alleviate this condition to begin a weekly regimen of B12 shots. Jane found the results of her recent blood tests incredibly hard to believe, mainly because she knew for a fact consumed plenty of food sources rich in B12 (which are only found in animal products).

Seeking a second opinion (but this time from a registered dietitian), Jane came to me to try and figure out whether her deficiency could possibly be tied to her diet in any way. Her doctor's immediate reaction of prescribing B12 shots for insufficient quantities of this vitamin wasn't too far-fetched of a solution to Jane (or me), especially if it could definitely have a positive impact on her current condition. But since Jane was absolutely sure she was taking in plenty of dietary sources of B12, my instinct as an expert nutrition told me to further investigate this case. Jane's doctor's diagnosis may have been "some anemia," but my first suspicion was that Jane could have a malabsorption or “leaky gut” problem instead.

In the world of homeopathy when certain deficiencies or difficulties with absorption within an individual's gut lining are suspected/discovered, our first method of treatment is to heal the gut naturally, rather than simply masking the symptoms with prescription medications. 

Based on my experience in dealing with gastrointestinal disorders like Jane's, there are several types of non-prescription solutions available to help initiate the healing process (they're even recognized in recent studies and documented research)... digestive enzymes and probiotics. High-quality, natural products like these are just two curative tactics which have been proven effective in many of my own clients. Jane, who opted for this route in lieu of weekly injections from her doctor, is a primary example.

The lesson to be learned from Jane is that you don’t have to be satisfied with easy fixes or quick solutions when it comes to improving your health. If only the symptoms of your current condition are addressed say, with a prescription drug (or three), you may find yourself running in circles because medications are often designed to temporarily lessen or numb the distress you're experiencing, but won't necessarily resolve what it is that's producing those negative effects in the first place.

My purpose for sharing Jane's story with all of you is this: When your healthcare provider's diagnosis and/or recommended treatment plan doesn't quite seem to answer all your questions (or leaves you feeling even the least bit uneasy), don’t be afraid to seek additional advice from a different health professional. There's never any harm in conducting further investigation to truly get to the root of what's causing the symptoms which ail you. 

For more information about nutritional guidance, healthful meal planning or dietary assistance with your current medical condition, be sure to visit our web site at: SourceONENutrition.com (COMING SOON). 

Here's to finding your way toward optimal wellness naturally!

Focus Pocus: 5 Areas of Focus to Reach Your Personal Health Goals

No matter what the goal may be that you have set for yourself, whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain your weight or increase energy, there are five specific aspects which need to be addressed in order to be successful: 

1. physical
2. mental
3. spiritual
4. emotional
5. social

Most of the time we try to achieve our personal nutrition or fitness goals by diet and exercise alone. These, however, are only two pieces of the puzzle and there are actually a few additional components we must put together in order to: 

a) reach our goals
b) maintain what we have achieved

So why is it that someone who eats just as their dietitian recommends and exercises just as their trainer instructs can still fall short of their personal health goals? Because there's a strong possibility that a few key factors may be missing. I'll explain:

Let’s assume this person's dietitian and personal trainer have done exceptional jobs, he/she has completed comprehensive metabolic testing and has even undergone an array of blood & urine tests. 

This ought to paint the best possible picture of a person’s health in order to design a unique, personalized wellness plan, right? For the most part yes, but there's still something significant missing.

What has not yet been calculated into this scenario is a full body care plan. What I mean is... his/her mental, spiritual, emotional and social health aren't included as the 'plan of attack.' 

Based on my experience as a dietitian I've come to realize that until all areas of someone's health needs are addressed utilizing all the pieces of our individual wellness 'puzzles,' it will be very difficult (if not impossible) to achieve any goals which have been set.

People mistakenly jump from one popular fad diet to another these days, especially because they've got names that deceive us into thinking we'll have instant gratification: 10 days to Skinny. 21 days to Health. 8 Weeks to Fit. Although these sound unbelievably feasible be sure to remember: There is truly NO magic pill, NO realistic miracle diet or ANY quick fix out there that will ultimately provide you with the results you desire. 

These things we all strive for (shedding the excess fat, maintaining our cholesterol, increasing our energy levels, etc.) won't manifest overnight, but if we each devise a full body plan and execute it thoroughly... over time we will have changed our health, our well-being and our lives overall for the better.

Here's to helping you reach YOUR individual goals, starting NOW!

Baby Steps: Seeking Prenatal Nutrition from a Registered Dietitian

Now that I've officially made it through my first trimester I have experienced firsthand and know now... that it's going to be nearly impossible (at least for me personally) to always eat according to a "textbook" prenatal nutrition plan.

If you can relate, you'll agree there will be days you eat French fries or ice cream (or both for that matter). The good news is this: If your pregnancy is low risk with no specific concerns, these kinds of indulgences every once in a while are okay! 

As for being diagnosed with gestational diabetes or any other specific condition, however, healthcare professionals may (more than likely) make a few adjustments to those salty, sweet and carbohydrate-rich cravings of yours... For the most part you won't be deprived of giving into those urges from time to time, so there's no need to worry.

Through my own recent experience I'll admit there were days that all I felt like eating was a kids' chicken nugget meal with fries, so that’s exactly what I ate. That's because the alternative, which was eating nothing, was not a viable option. My goal at the time was to consume a meal I could actually keep down, that would satisfy my hunger and ultimately provide me with the calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat I needed during my initial stage of motherhood.

I'm not only relieved I was able to power through my first 13 weeks, I also feel significantly better overall. Those dreaded bouts of nausea have subsided and some (but not quite all) of my energy has returned. Now I'm eating more like I did pre-pregnancy... with the occasional splurges on ice cream, of course!

For all you expectant mothers out there searching for info about prenatal nutrition, I'd like to share something I just discovered as a fellow Mommy: During the first phase of childbearing, we don't have to feel guilty about the unusual (and oftentimes not so healthful) food choices we may make, or have made. Making uncharacteristic eating decisions while pregnant is definitely common, so try not to feel badly about it!

If you're currently seeking dietary guidance as a mom-to-be, you may want to partner up with a registered dietitian who has also experienced childbirth. They'll be able to relate better, understand what you're going through and guide you through those very trying, initial 91 days as a mom-to-be. After all, she's "been there, done that" too!

Which foods did you find yourself eating when you weren't feeling your best during your pregnancy? Please share your stories with us in the comments below, and be sure to look out for our new web site: SourceONENutrition.com (COMING SOON)!

A1 See? Balanced Carb Diets for Diabetics Can Be Easy

Subsequent to being diagnosed with diabetes your first thought may be, “I’m going to have to be on a low carb diet the rest of my life.” 

That’s a scary thought!
Have no fear; that is not an entirely true statement. 

While carbohydrates do have a great impact on your blood sugar, or glucose, there are many things to take into consideration in regards to the types of carbohydrates that you choose to consume. Eating a diet with very little carbs causes insulin levels to drop, which not only starves the cells of energy (the very situation diabetics are trying to avoid), but also upsets the insulin–glucagon balance. 

In addition, studies show that when people with diabetes reduce carbohydrate consumption, they inadvertently increase fat consumption, often the unhealthy saturated fat, which has been shown to contribute to insulin resistance and less-well-controlled diabetes.

In order to support optimal glucose and insulin balance, you will want to become a carb expert. Some confusion may still exist on what a carb is, what foods contain it and how many should be eaten each day. It may be surprising to learn that milk, yogurt, fruit and starchy vegetables contain carbohydrate, whereas bread, pasta, cereal, and sweets are more commonly known carbohydrate rich foods.

For those with Type 2 Diabetes, your ultimate goal is to consume enough carbohydrate to fuel your body, but not more than the insulin your body is producing can handle. For those with Type 1 Diabetes, your goal is to accurately adjust your pre meal insulin based on your current blood glucose and the amount of carbohydrates you plan to eat.

Food labels are going to be your best friends. Look for the line that reads total carbohydrate grams, rather than sugars (these are factored into the total carbohydrate number). You will also want to look at the serving size and determine if that is in fact the amount that you are eating. If it is not, you will need to adjust (increase or decrease) the total carbohydrate grams. 

Finally, look at the line that says dietary fiber. If this number is below five, you have completed your calculation. If it is higher than five, subtract half of that number from your total carbohydrate grams. For example, if your label’s total carbohydrate line reads 21g and the dietary fiber line reads 6g, you would subtract half of the dietary fiber (6/2=3) from the total carbohydrate grams: 21-3= 18g total carbohydrate. If you are consuming foods that do not have labels, the information that you need can be easily found at: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/

Your healthcare team will be able to determine the amount of carbohydrate that you should consume per meal and snack. A general guideline from the American Diabetes Association is 45-60 grams per meal and 15 grams per snack.

Some additional helpful tips for choosing your carbohydrates wisely:

1) All carbohydrates are not created equal. Simple carbohydrates, such as candy, juice, white rice, milk and anything with white flour are absorbed very quickly, often causing a spike in glucose levels.  

2) Carbohydrate consumption should be limited to small quantities and when you do have them, include a source of fiber to assist in slowing the absorption process.

3) Fruits by definition are simple carbohydrates. However, they provide essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, often void in other simple carbs. Focus on those that also have a significant fiber content, such as raspberries, blackberries, apples and pears (with skin).

4) Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and vegetables, are digested and absorbed slowly and can help to control insulin response, energy levels, and body composition. 

5) Unrefined, unprocessed, complex carbohydrates also provide higher fiber, vitamin and mineral content than their simple carbohydrate counterparts, providing increased satiety and glucose control. 

For more information about healthy living & optimal nutrition be sure to look our for our NEW web site SourceONENutrition.com (COMING SOON).



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