Sometimes you just know you’re not quite completely healthy
If you find yourself in a place of not feeling completely healthy (or knowing you have an illness), instead of focusing on a symptom or reaching for another medication, consider stopping and searching for the root cause of your health decline. I believe God gave us amazing, glorious bodies, but due to toxins, pathogens, stress and improper or inadequate nutrition, our bodies lose their God-given luster for true health and full potential.
When illness strikes, the body goes into survival mode. I have learned that when you identify the root causes of inflammation (and how the body is trying its best to protect itself and survive) you have a starting point on which to concentrate your efforts to improve your health and get well. The key to your illness may be a hidden infection, unknown toxic exposure, unmanaged stress, any number of nutrient deficiencies or a genetic predisposition to being sensitive to all kinds of poisonous environmental exposures.
You’ve got to start somewhere, so here are my top 5 strategies to help improve your health:
- FOOD – You will get the biggest bang for your buck by starting with your diet. Begin by eating more “real” food. Whole foods are those that have little processing and are abundant sources of nutrients. Real whole foods are fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Each and every kind of vegetable or fruit you can get your hands on. This alone will up your nutritional intake.
- Choose ORGANIC food and when possible choose Non-GMO, Grass Fed meat. It really will make a difference in reducing the number of toxins you consume. Follow the Environmental Working Group’s suggestions for the Clean Fifteen & Dirty Dozen Shoppers Guide to pesticides in produce. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/#.Whh2Uk3ruUk
- WATER – Drink and cook with filtered water. Identify the contaminants in your home tap water. Evaluation of water in my community detected not only chlorine but chlorate harmful to the thyroid, and three substances implicated to contribute to cancer: Chromium (hexavalent), Radiological contaminants, total trihalomethanes (TTHMs). ALSO, give up plastic bottled water to reduce the consumption of harmful chemicals now known to leach into the water and create a faux estrogen effect on the body. Whether the bottle is BPA free or not, the plastic chemicals have been shown to migrate into the water. Exposure to these “estrogen-like” chemicals can cause cancer and other illnesses. Water bottles can also harbor bacteria.
- VITAMINS and MINERALS! Consider nutrient supplementation. There is abundant research indicating nutrients like vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Omega 3 and probiotics can help calm down your immune response. Get tested for micronutrient deficiencies. Your Registered Dietitian can help you in getting these test. SpectraCell has an excellent test to evaluate your nutrient levels. https://www.spectracell.com/patients/patient-micronutrient-testing/
- HEAL your gut. When your gastrointestinal lining is impaired, your immune system will also be impaired leaving you open to illness and disease development. Over 70% of the immune system is located in your gut. The best way to start healing your gut involves eating a whole food, anti-inflammatory diet. This often requires removal of gluten, possibly removing dairy and other individualized food sensitivities to allow the gut to heal.
Next up, Get tested
- Get a screening test for Celiac disease. Any doctor can order a simple blood test called the Celiac Panel. This test is a screening tool to determine if you may have Celiac disease (an intestinal autoimmune disease).
- Consider testing for Food Sensitivities. Food reactions can happen 72 hours after eating food. How would you ever figure that out? The best practice is to have an MRT test as a starting place to determine potential food sensitivities. A Registered Dietitian who is a Certified LEAP Therapist can help you every step of the way in this process.
- Get checked for heavy metal toxicity. Mercury, lead and other metals can be risk factors for autoimmunity. This is an especially important test if you are having blood sugar issues.
- Look for hidden infections. Consider your symptoms and the possibility of Lyme disease, Candida-yeast infection or other bacteria and/or viruses. Anyone of these can be a huge hindrance in our ability to get well. This strategy is especially important to consider if you have traveled out of the U.S. or have ever visited any farms or wooded areas.
Learn the importance of self-care
- Strive to live a life of RELAXATION. Learn to breathe deeply. Before eating, take two deep breaths, pray, meditate or just think thoughts of gratitude. This will send a signal to your body it is time to relax and eat. Before bed or after a stressful event take 10 deep breaths to calm down your mind and body to decrease stress.
- SLEEP – until the cows come home. This strategy truly should be moved to the top of the list. Sleep is vital to your health and overall wellbeing. Poor or inadequate sleep can contribute to illness, weight gain, mood disorders and damage to your metabolism. Seek help for this if you are not getting at least 8 hours of good quality sleep nighty.
Just get started!
It might seem overwhelming to think about accomplishing all of these tips but just begin with one step at a time. These strategies will help you by decreasing inflammation and promoting the vibrant life God designed for you. Life is a process and as long as you are progressing you are on the right path.