I have found one of the biggest frustrations with RA patients is that traditional treatment approaches seem palliative at best. Many seek answers beyond medication regimens on what they can do to treat the disease. In this blog I will explain how functional medicine offers new insight into this disease and will shed some light on the (hidden) causes of RA and what you can do about it.
In recent years, the Paleo Diet has received considerable attention as a means for improving overall health. The anecdotal evidence for patient improvement on a Paleo, or the more restrictive Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet, is abundant. What you hear less frequently is that some people experience negative effects, or a worsening of symptoms with a Paleo or AIP diet. It seems counterintuitive that eating a healthy diet high in cruciferous greens such as kale, cabbage, and broccoli, in combination with high quality proteins and fats, can make you feel worse. Why is that the case?
In today’s functional medicine practice, practitioners like myself are confronted with a myriad of chronic inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. Functional medicine is often referred to as "systems medicine" as it understands the importance of assessing and treating all systems individually, while also keeping the interconnectedness of these systems in mind. When dealing with autoimmunity however, one system in particular, the gastrointestinal system, appears to have more and more clinical relevance with autoimmunity, especially with a condition called leaky gut.
Here in part 2, we look at the science behind gluten’s inflammatory effects and why it effects some of us and not others.
In my practice, I take a close look at my patients dietary habits and get to see first hand the ill effects that certain foods and substances can have on the body. One of the primary “offenders” to the health of many people are grains, particularly those containing a protein called gluten. Grains that include this protein are wheat (all forms such as semolina, durum, etc.), rye, spelt, kamut, barley, and most types of oats.
As of 2012, the US Department of Agriculture has yet to release guidelines for certified grass-fed labels on meat products and poultry. Navigating this world is complex and labels can be misleading. Understanding the label nuances allows you to make better decisions that are more in line with your ethical or nutritional values and save money on high priced items that are not what they claim to be.
Pasture-raised or grass-fed livestock and wild caught fish are rapidly gaining popularity at the supermarket. Aside from their superior flavor and more ethical treatment of animals, a growing body of research points to their increased nutritional content, compared to their industrial counterparts.