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Functional Medicine & The Microbiome

An Introduction to Functional Medicine and the Microbiome

When it comes to Natural and Holistic Medicine there are a plethora of methods and modalities out there that produce great results and are highly effective. In addition, the number of people that are turning towards natural remedies and holistic medicine is growing and I am so pleased to see it.

Many people are still unaware that there are better methods when it comes to healing, curing and preventing chronic care health issues. However, as more and more people attempt to incorporate natural medicine into their lives they are creating an understanding of how crucial it really is. It is exceptional to see them turn to it without ever looking back.

Over the last 50 years we have seen an increase in a huge array of illnesses, diseases, cancers, maladies and the like; ultimately stemming from numerous reasons but mainly it comes down to poor lifestyle choices, lack of nutrition, and bad environments, too many distractions from reality, an overload of subliminal messages for dependency on the government. There is definitely an underlying dark narrative of profits over people.

Furthermore, the most crucial thing that has been deteriorating since the inception of the industrial revolution is the microbiome.

functional medicine tree underlying root causes of major chronic health issues
Functional Medicine Tree - Depicting the Root Causes for Chronic Health Issues

Welcome to a new way of healing that I know for a fact will be the key to unlocking better health, better treatments, better methods of prevention and ultimately unlocking human potential for an optimal life. This exceptional way of natural healing and prevention is called Functional Medicine.

Functional Medicine is based on proven scientific evidence and methods that focus on the specific needs of the individual. These methods always lead toward the end goal of optimal health, and in Functional Medicine the way we do that is to hone in on the Microbiome.

We call this system “The Gut.” The gut entails the digestive tract which includes the mouth, throat, stomach, intestines and the colon.

The Microbiome itself is described as the community of bacteria; good, neutral and bad, that live abundantly in our bodies. The majority of the microbiome resides in our intestines. We have about 40-100 trillion bacteria throughout our bodies depending on the size and the health of the individual. The weight of this to put it in perspective would be approximately 3-5 pounds. Incredible!

Let’s get to the point here, the Microbiome is extremely important for living an optimal life. We are discovering now that people’s health is in direct correlation to the health of their guts. A new problematic condition is emerging called “Leaky Gut Syndrome.” Leaky Gut Syndrome is the root cause of almost all dis-ease.

“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates

The immune system is designed by function to help battle against foreign invaders to the body, help reduce inflammation, and ultimately is the system that acts as a bodyguard, security and lifesaver for each one of us humans. When it comes to the immune system and its location, 80% of our immune system takes house in the gut. Meaning, in the intestines, are where the power center of our immune system lies. With that being said, in order to have a fully functioning, optimal immune system you are going to need to start healing the gut, then work into a maintenance protocol for prevention. This will allow you to cease all issues that reside in your gut, and work yourself into a state of prevention. From there, you're not merely surviving, you're going to be thriving.

Functional Medicine focuses on the individual to figure out the best possible methods for healing, and then prevention. This is what makes Functional Medicine so immaculate; it is designed for you based on you.

Let’s roll on…Leaky Gut Syndrome is defined scientifically as intestinal permeability. This can be described as having small holes in and throughout your intestinal lining. This means that chemicals, food particles, toxins and the like will seep in through those holes and into your bloodstream. After that, these particles will be able to attack any part of your body that may lack defence. To boot, auto-immune disease is when your immune system is fighting against itself because it cannot discern between what is a foreign invader or a part of you.

Leaky Gut Syndrome is the number one cause of all auto-immune diseases. Furthermore, current research is now explaining how having a leaky gut is the root cause of almost all diseases, illnesses, cancers and maladies.

the microbiome is home to trillions of bacteria
The Gut houses trillions of different bacteria called the Microbiome

What can you do about this?

Firstly, you need to give this attention. You need to become aware of what leaky gut is and why it is affecting you. I am absolutely certain you have a leaky gut. If you think otherwise so be it, but if you are experiencing any issues, sickness, inflammation, or anything that is not providing you good, you have a leaky gut. It is just that simple.

There are certain foods, drinks and factors that will actually promote damage to the gut and gut lining. Avoiding these specific foods, drinks and factors is an absolute MUST if you are going to heal your gut. Usually, when one starts their journey to healing the gut, the first step is a reduction or rather, taking away the things that are causing them harm. Then you'll add in what is helpful and healing.

Now that you have been introduced to Functional Medicine and the Microbiome, you have the initial starting power to make a choice. You can choose to understand this natural way of healing and allow yourself to heal and prevent any health issues you have and want to keep away from. Or you can disregard this and choose to go against the actual truth of what works and what is optimal for human life. The choice is yours.

If you choose the former, and I hope you would, you should look into finding a Functional Medicine Doctor who can help you out further and really hone in on what is ailing you. You can always reach out to me as well and we can work together, as I can guide you through what I've personally experienced and learned.

I hope this introduction to Functional Medicine and the Microbiome serves you well. Allow this to act as a gateway for you to explore a new perspective and ultimately, I want to see you reclaim your health back. What you’ll see in the near future is how this will be the true way of bringing the Mind, Body and Soul back into balance once again.

Things to Avoid

  1. Gluten; any wheat-based products

  2. Highly Processed Dairy; look for whole or raw dairy-based products

  3. Processed Sugars and artificial sweeteners

  4. Pharmaceutical drugs; relaxers, stimulants, pain medications, etc.

  5. Lectins; some foods contain lectins, which is a protein that damages the gut lining. These foods are grains and cereals, especially grains containing wheat germ, beans and legumes

  6. Oxalates; these are tiny particles that are mainly found in green (cruciferous) vegetables, like spinach, kale, beet greens, and chard. Some oxalates can be found in chocolate (even dark chocolate).

  7. Seed Oils; corn oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil

*Lectins and oxalates can be reduced by cooking them thoroughly, however, they still can remain present in much smaller amounts.

Things That Heal The Gut

  1. Probiotics; 50-100 billion minimum each day

  2. Digestive Enzymes; including HCL (stomach acid) to kick-start your body's natural processing of foods

  3. Bone Broth; preferably beef broth

  4. Fermented foods; sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented drinks like kombucha and raw cultured dairy products like milk, kefir, butter

  5. Proper Supplementation

  6. Coconut oil

  7. Healthy Fats; beef tallow, olive oil, butter, lard, coconut oil, fat from red meat

  8. Raw Organs; liver, spleen, kidney, pancreas, heart,

  9. Reducing and managing stress via meditation, exercise, or other practices that help you individually.

If you want to fast-track your journey to optimal health, I highly suggest grabbing a copy of my book, The Gut Friendly Lifestyle Guide. This book is loaded with information, written in an easy-to-understand way and designed for anyone looking to better their health and take back control.

- SD


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