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1. What caused my Crohn’s or Colitis?

While we don’t know the clear-cut real causes, there have been found many correlations to those who have certain risk factors and those who develop Crohn’s or Colitis. Some of the most common risk factors include:
  • Smoking
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Dietary habits including diets high in processed food and sugar
  • Low functioning Immune System
  • Environment and pollution
  • Infections
  • Birth Control
  • Previous use of Accutane
  • Mercury and other heavy metal toxicity
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Antibiotic use and overuse

2. Which vitamins, diets and healing plans work best for Crohn’s or Colitis?

Every person’s healing plan will be different and ideally you want to work with a functional medicine specialist experienced with digestive illnesses. Nutrients and detoxification play an integrated role in recovery from chronic illnesses. Optimal nutrition looks different for each person, but there are some general guidelines:
  • Foods that give you energy and don’t cause pain later.
  • Foods that minimize gas
  • Foods that are clean (organic, grass-fed, etc.)
  • Plenty of filtered water
  • Foods that you enjoy! Eating should be satisfying.
Figuring out what worked for me took time, but it was worth it. I combined all these recommendations and modified them into my own Crohn’s Disease Diet:
  • Blood type diet, personalized by my holistic practitioner
  • Miso and vegetable soup with meat; last meal at 4pm, recommended by my acupuncturist
  • Separating protein from carbs (no grains consumed the same time as meat), advised by my nutritionist
  • Gluten-free diet

3. What is the best way to deal with craving?

The wrong gut bugs can cause cravings for carbohydrates, fats and sugar. They also release toxins like lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that trigger inflammation, insulin resistance and cause weight gain. Do you have cravings for carbs, fatty foods, sugar? Are you sure they are YOUR cravings? Probably not! The microbes in your gut signal for the foods THEY want. And when they get their way, they produce dopamine to reward you and tell your brain that donuts are a great idea. The best way to get rid of cravings for good is to feed a healthy microbiome so your gut bugs help you make better decisions. +Include fermented foods and a variety of vegetables in your diet +Avoid pesticides, GMO’s and chemicals. ++If that doesn’t work… test, don’t guess!! A comprehensive lab. GI-MAP is one of most influential tests in our clinic.

4. Is there one thing that we can change to improve gut health?

I hate to break the news, but there’s way more to the story of gut health. So, if you have eczema, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, reflux, PMS and other hormonal issues…. Then you likely have a gut problem. Our digestive tract is a critical hub for our health. If you think about it, we put food from OUTSIDE our bodies INTO our bodies, and expect it all to be ok! When we feed our bodies primarily whole, real, minimally refined foods, those foods shift our gut microbiota and are truly the foods that help us thrive. They’re the foods that make for a happy gut. So, what can cause assaults on our GI tracts?
  • Medications (advil/ibuprofen, many other anti-inflammatory meds)
  • Stress (yes, stress affects our gut microbiota, plus our vagus nerve is right there in our gut)
  • Eating lots of highly refined carbohydrates and sugary foods
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Antibiotics (they kill the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria)
  • Alcohol
Sometimes steady shifts in eating can be enough to resolve issues and sometimes testing can be necessary. But gut problems come in all shapes and sizes—not just poop problems! Did you know that I work with clients all over the world via video conference? I do this because I know how incredibly difficult it is to find someone you trust to include in your health team when overcoming chronic digestive problems. So, if you’ve been hesitating to reach out because you don’t live in the NJ or NY area, now you know!! If you want to know more about my approach, download my book, The Crohn’s & Colitis Fix.

5. How would hormone balancing be tied to gut health?

Hormone balance is very sensitive to stress, inflammation, toxins, poor diet, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, too little sunlight, and other common factors of modern life. Because the reproductive hormones play an important role in brain health, mood, and brain inflammation, when they’re off, brain function and mood suffer. In women, imbalances are characterized by excess estrogen, insufficient progesterone, or too much testosterone. Stress and blood sugar that is either too low (hypoglycemia) or too high (insulin resistance) are the most common culprits of PMS symptoms and a miserable menopause transition. Symptoms of hormonal imbalances in women include:
  • Frequent or irregular menstruation
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Mood instability
  • Depression
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Low libido
  • Migraines
  • Crying easily

Restoring hormonal balance naturally

Ideas to halt pregnenolone steal include an anti-inflammatory diet, stabilizing blood sugar, restoring gut health, dampening pain and inflammation, and managing autoimmunity. These are functional medicine basics. Make sure you are eating the right amounts and kinds of essential fatty acids. Additionally, certain botanicals are effective in supporting female hormone health and the body’s stress handling systems. Contact my office for more advice!

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