As the holiday season approaches, thoughts often focus on peace on earth and goodwill toward men. It’s a time to reflect on friends, family, good events that have occurred during the year and giving thanks. It’s a time for hope and thinking about new beginnings.
A transition is occurring in healthcare with scientists, doctors and other practitioners looking at putting basic tools into the hands of individuals so they can improve their own health. It’s a multifaceted approach incorporating good changes into our daily routine, which has always been the advice of Hippocrates and other ancient wise people. The good news is that these are things we can control, and ultimately we will lower health care costs and improve life all around.
Many are calling this a new decade of medicine, where the emphasis will be on what we eat, how we sleep, how we move and how we manage stress. Our bodies are one percent human DNA and 99 percent microbial DNA. Many of our feel-good neurotransmitters are produced by the good bacteria in our bodies. It is interesting to learn that healthy breast tissue has different bacteria than cancerous breast tissue, making it a possible diagnostic tool in the future. The microbiome, or the microbial soup in the body, is different in each individual, and is influenced by a myriad of factors, the key one being what you eat. But other things like wireless energy also affect the microbiome, often killing off the good bacteria in our gut. We are an ecosystem of multiple living organisms and the more diverse our microbiome is, the healthier we are.
I recently told a patient to follow the current advice being given by functional medicine doctors who specialize in the nutritional components of health, and told her to eat a diet with no processed sugar, no fried foods, as much organic as possible, and only animal protein that was grass fed, without hormones, antibiotics or grains, especially wheat. She normally ate fast food, limited vegetables and fruits, and consumed a lot of sugar. She had total body pain and depression. I told her to follow the diet for two weeks and see what happened. To her surprise, all her pain went away, and she was happy for the first time in a very long time. It was very difficult for her to stick to the diet for the two weeks and she wasn’t sure if she could maintain it, but it seemed quite remarkable that such a simple change in her diet could result in such a dramatic change.
There is a lot of science behind this, which I don’t have the time or expertise to explain. However, it’s a simple experiment to try for two weeks and is easy to implement. Feeding your good microbes with the right food means eating mostly plants and the diverse fiber that comes from plants. They can produce the feel-good neurotransmitters that can give you bliss.
I focus on the topics you care about most.