As a Naturopathic Doctor (and Functional Medicine Devotee), I have been privileged to work with many people suffering from a variety of disease labels. The goal of treatment is always the same: to seek to restore optimal function of the body through integrative medicine.
As a physician who addresses the cause of the dis-ease, restoring balance does not involve a cookie cutter protocol from an integrative textbook, but rather detective work on how the body’s portrayal of individual symptoms are pointing to a common origin. An understanding of how the body heals, not just how it breaks down, provides an integrative, holistic model that is individualized to each specific person’s needs and willingness to heal. For this reason, no two people with the same disease are treated in an identical way.
Therefore, regardless of someone’s prognosis and diagnosis, getting to the root cause of why the body created the symptoms can relieve the body of various disturbances. For this to occur, obstacles and factors are removed which deplete the body and what is needed to build the body back up is supplied. This means that I treat people, not labels. Therefore, the answer to the question, “do you work with people who have (insert disease label)”; is, “I work with the people, whatever their diagnosis.”
My job is never boring. It is uncovering how to to restore balance to the body from years of not so optimal lifestyle patterns or environmental exposures. Recently, with the addition of functional testing to my practice, finding the optimal nutritional patterns that will work at the cellular level for every individual results in even more precise treatment.
I’ve seen a lot and never cease to be amazed at the body’s capacity to heal and its own innate wisdom. One thing that has recently caught my attention is the observance of when the obsession for health becomes extreme. In a world where we are bombarded by images and messages that every symptom is a serious sign and must be suppressed, some become hyper-diligent to control every knick and bump that occurs. This fear and anxiety can actually cause some of the healthiest people to become ill. In fact it even has a name, orthorexia.
The Turkish Journal of Psychiatry reports the following:
Orthorexia nervosa is a newly defined and studied concept. It is marked by anexcessive desire to consume pure and healthy foods, unlike other eating disorders in which a preoccupation with weight loss is observed. People can also be mentally and behaviorally preoccupied with the desire to consume healthy food, and in this respect ON is similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder (Donini et al., 2004; Strand, 2004). We observed that some patients with AN declined to eat food because they thought they should consume only healthy and necessary foods, rather than unhealthy and unnecessary foods. These patients had significant weight lose, amenohrea, and limited dieting as seen in AN, but unlike AN their criteria for food selection was not based on calories. Their criteria for food selection were actually based on healthy versus unhealthy foods. They reported that they lost weight due to their effort to obtain healthy nutrition and they were preoccupied with their weight. Our limited clinical observations suggest that the number of people with an orthorexic tendency is increasing. Thus, we aimed to adapt ORTO-15 to Turkish and examine its psychometric properties. We investigated the relationship between orthorexia, and eating attitude, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, BMI, and such demographic variables as age, gender, and level of education.
We demonstrated that orthorexic tendency was related to eating attitude and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. People that had a distorted eating attitude and higher obsessive-compulsive symptoms had a greater orthorexic tendency as BMI increased. Nevertheless, we should be cautious about generalizing the results related to ORTO-11 and orthorexia.
What’s the bottom line message: Fear that our body is innately flawed and constant bombardment of messages from the media portraying wars on various disease may be creating a low level of constant stress to our society that makes us go to extremes. As a believer in the body’s innate strength to heal, I hope that we soon recognize the power of epigenomics and nutrigenomics and take the control that we have via our lifestyle, emotions, and habits, without using them to create yet another obsession based on fear.
May we always remember that true health is nourishing and nurturing ourselves from the inside, out.
Here’s an expert from newest post on my webpage on the nutrigenomics of food:
Components of Green Tea (ECGC and polyphenols) & Grape seed (resveratrol and vinetrol) inhibit pathway in Prostate Cancer (FASBE)
The sphingosine kinase-1/sphingosine 1-phosphate (SphK1/S1P) pathway has been associated with cancer promotion and progression and resistance to treatments in a number of cancers, including prostate adenocarcinoma. Here we provide the first evidence that dietary agents, impede prostate cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting the SphK1/S1P pathway. . The sphingosine kinase-1 survival pathway is a molecular target for the tumor-suppressive tea and wine polyphenols in prostate cancer.