Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

Hypnotherapy and Functional Medicine

By Lisa Marini

What is Hypnotherapy? Does it work?

Although Omnia Health is a functional medicine focused organization, hypnotherapy plays a role in many of the solutions we create for our patients. Hypnotherapy and functional medicine work well together. Hypnotherapy is the act of guiding someone into a trance state and then giving them suggestions for change. This state feels like:

  • A deep state of relaxation
  • Hyperfocus and concentration
  • Increased suggestibility

If that sounds commonplace, it’s because it is. Most of us go in and out of the trance state regularly. If you’ve ever zoned out on your daily commute, fell into a daydream while listening to music, or found yourself immersed in the world of a book or movie, you’ve been in the trance state.

The only difference between hypnotherapy and these everyday trance states is that, in hypnosis, I will induce the trance state and give your subconscious mind suggestions to make lasting and impactful change in your life.

Hypnotherapy and Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is all about the whole system that creates our health. That includes our commitment to making lasting changes. Yet, it is often very difficult to make lasting changes such as altering habits, overcoming fears and releasing anxiety from a conscious state of mind without additional support. This explains why we fail on diets or can’t stick to an exercise routine. When our subconscious mind is programmed a certain way, one of the best tools to change that programming is through the same subconscious state it was created in. This is where hypnotherapy comes in.

The idea that hypnotists can take over the minds of their subjects and control their actions is, of course, an entirely media-driven myth. In the trance state, you control all of your actions, you can hear everything around you, and you cannot be forced to do anything against your will.

Hypnotherapy has been used to treat a wide range of conditions or unwanted behavior, such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Personal development
  • Habit control
  • Life transitions
  • Health and wellness
  • Fears and phobias
  • Goal achievement
  • Smoking cessation
  • Self esteem

Why hire a Hypnotherapist?

The science behind hypnotherapy is just now beginning to catch up to reports of its beneficial nature. The scientific community is beginning to rave about the potential benefits of hypnosis and what it could do for patients who are looking for a new treatment option. Hypnosis could prove to be a valuable weapon in fighting a multitude of issues. Most often, people approach life change through the conscious mind: through goal setting, self-help, counseling and coaching. Unfortunately these techniques don’t always work or have lasting changes. 

By addressing issues in the subconscious mind (which is 88% of your mind), changes can be more quickly achieved and last a lifetime. Essentially, you are reprogramming your software.

What to look for when finding a Hypnotherapist

Hypnotherapists, their methods, and the rates in which they achieve success vary by case. Hypnotherapy is a trust-based exercise that demands a great deal of immersion on the part of the client.

About Lisa Marini

There are different avenues and levels of training for hypnotherapists. Some hypnotherapists will have undertaken quite extensive training but others may only have done quite short courses.

Lisa Marini was trained at Hypnosis Motivational Institute, a Nationally Accredited College of Hypnotherapy which has been in operation for 50 years. She received an extensive 300-hour training and is Certified through the high standards of the American Board of Hypnotherapy ABH-NLP.

Call Lisa Marini to schedule health coaching to work on your specific needs. Call: 720-229-4809

 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

lisa marina head shot functional medicine denver

Lisa Marini – Brain Health Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist

Lisa Marini was trained at Hypnosis Motivational Institute, a Nationally Accredited College of Hypnotherapy which has been in operation for 50 years. She received an extensive 300-hour training and is Certified through the high standards of the American Board of Hypnotherapy ABH-NLP. Contact Lisa to learn how hypnotherapy and functional medicine work well together to help solve your persistent health problems.

Learn more about Lisa here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

12 + 7 =

What is Brain Health Coaching?

By Lisa Marini

As you can imagine, people often ask me “what is brain health coaching and what does that have to do with functional medicine?” Brain health coaching is much like any sort of coaching – you engage an expert to assist you in improving something you do. People who want to be in better shape hire fitness coaches. People who want to improve their careers retain career coaches. People who want to improve their diets go to nutrition coaches. 

This begs the question – why would someone need a brain coach? The short answer is, for everything. You see, everything we do as people starts with our brains. It is the one ingredient that is a part of everything we do – fitness, sports, career, relationships, health. It is impossible to find a single human activity or pursuit that doesn’t originate or at least involve our brains. Yet, so often we take this absolutely critical and necessary component of everything we do for granted. Brain health coaching is one of the tools we use at Omnia Health with our functional medicine approach to wellbeing.

“The truth is our brains are not static.” 

Lisa Marini

The truth is our brains are not static. Our brains, like pretty much every other part of our body, can be altered. Strengthened. Nourished. Even healed. And the amazing thing is that the results we reap from improving and nourishing our brains are absolutely transformative. Think about it – your brain pretty much controls everything you and your body does. If you can improve the thing that controls it, everything else can improve too.

Brain Health Coaching is Part of a Functional Medicine Strategy

So how do you improve your brain? Great question! That’s what I’m here for. First and foremost, it begins with brain health. Feeding your brain the right fuel and giving it the right amount of rest and diversion is critical. Think of the brain like an engine. If you put bad fuel in it, run it for long period of time and never change the oil – how do you think that engine is going to work?

Now is such an important time to start implementing Brain Health Coaching in your life. We are facing more stress than ever given the current state of the world. Not only are we dealing with our normal life stressors – we are trying to do it during a pandemic.

Schedule time today with me, Omnia’s in-house Brain Health Coach, Lisa Marini, CBHC. I can help formulate a plan and program for you to get your brain in tip-top shape and to manage your life and its stressors.

Call Lisa Marini to schedule health coaching to work on your specific needs. Call: 720-229-4809

 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

lisa marina head shot functional medicine denver

Lisa Marini – Brain Health Coach

“Lisa Marini is a Brain Health Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist. Lisa’s coaching is part of a comprehensive functional medicine approach. Lisa loves bringing an understanding of the brain and the role it plays in ALL health and wellbeing decisions in every area of life…”

Learn more about Lisa here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

13 + 7 =

Is it Ok to be Ok? I Have Noticed a Trend…

By Katie Ozimek

I have noticed a trend lately that people feel like they have to be perfect and get it all done. But is that really the truth and who is putting this pressure on to be perfect? What is perfection and what does it garner?

These are questions I have been asking myself and our patients for the last few years. Is it ok to just be ok? My answer is YES! Our current climate has changed the shape of our world as we knew it and with the extra added pressures surrounding our health and well being we are also living in a pandemic!

On top of the fact that our world has dramatically changed, we still have responsibilities to tend to our families, jobs, life and self. But we are judging ourselves and this added pressure does not aid in our health at all – it just brings us down.

I spoke about a trend I have noticed over the past few months especially among women that feel they need to do it all and there is no time for themselves. The biggest problem I see in this trend is that these women are not feeling well at all.

“If you don’t make time to take care of yourself how are you going to take care of others?”

Think about this for a minute…. If you don’t make time to take care of yourself how are you going to take care of others? If you are not feeling well all the time, dragging, have a headache or stomach ache, joint pain, or can’t sleep, how are you going to take care of your responsibilities successfully? YOU ARE NOT!

Functional Medicine is About the Whole – YOU!

So this brings me back to the question: is it ok to be ok? Of course it is. Is it ok to do the best you can? Is it ok to make mistakes and learn from them? Is it ok to just take a walk? Again the answers to these questions are YES!

The stress that we put on ourselves to be perfect takes a toll on our bodies not only mentally but physically as well. I have noticed with our patients – that after allowing the patient to just be ok, no meds, no dietary changes, just a mental shift to being ok – there have been profound shifts in their physical state.

When you allow yourself to be OK, you are taking off the pressure to be anything more than you can be in that moment. You are allowing yourself to be the best you can be without pressure to be perfect. It is like taking a monkey off your back… I know that doing this is much easier said than done.

Follow some of the tips below to get you started or contact me for health coaching!  

Tips to be OK:

  • I want to exercise every day but I don’t have the energy. Start with a short walk and go one minute further each day if you can. If you can’t that is ok!
  • I want to eat healthier. Start with your first meal of the day, make sure to incorporate a healthy fat, protein and complex carb like fruit or veggies. Or start with the meal that makes most sense to you.
  • I feel so many pressures to be perfect….Put a note up in your bathroom or wherever you will see it daily that says IT IS OK, TO BE OK!

Need a little help or guidance? Call Katie Ozimek or Lisa Marini to schedule health coaching to work on your specific needs. Call: 720-229-4809

 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

Katie Ozimek functional medicine team in Denver

Katie Ozimek – Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach

” I found my way into functional medicine after being diagnosed with Celiac disease and not being able to find any answers about why I was feeling so poorly. I turned to Dr. Jacqui and she inspired me to be a better person while helping me figure out my own health situation.  Functional medicine took the blinders off for me and I hope I can do that for others…”

Learn more about Katie here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

12 + 8 =

Strange Summer Health Update From Dr. Jacqui

A Message From Doctor Jacqui Pariset – August 2020

By Dr. Jacqui Pariset, Founder, Omnia Health in Denver, Colorado

As we approach the end of a strange summer, we head towards fall with a lot of uncertainty. It is hard, at least for me, to have this uncertainty in my life. Between not knowing what will happen with school – online, hybrid, and what the intersection of COVID and the usual fall/winter illnesses will bring, it is difficult.

What helps me during these times is to take control of what I can control – namely my health! This includes mental health as well – my mindset, attitude and connections.

3 HEALTHY TIPS FOR STRESSFUL TIMES

Start by going back to the three main foundations of health.

1. NUTRITION

•  Are you getting all the good stuff in? Focus on those immune-system building veggies, veggies and more veggies; 4-5+cups a day.

•  High quality proteins – grass-fed, organic and clean.

•  Good fats are the key to keeping our blood sugars stable and starve off sugar cravings. At least 1 serving with every meal. Serving size – about 2 ‘thumbs’ worth (1/2 avocado or 2 tablespoons of olive oil).

•  Enjoy the amazing late summer fruits; remember only 1 cup daily if you have metabolic issues.

•  Drink 1/2 your body weight in oz of water a day? Get it flowing!

Remember – it isn’t about perfection, but about having a strong foundation in nutrition to feed your body (and mind) everything you need.

2. SLEEP

This is the most overlooked and unappreciated foundation of health. Sleep is SOOO important. We say it over and over all day long!

•  First get enough sleep – 8hrs should be the baseline.

•  Try to get in bed by 10ish most nights.

•  Having a consistent bedtime (yes even most weekends) is important; especially if you struggle with sleep. Swinging your bedtime on the weekends creates ‘social jet-lag syndrome’ and makes those Monday mornings pretty rough. If you have troubles falling asleep or staying asleep – get your sleep habits nailed down.

•  Devices off at least 1 hour before bedtime, a dark cool room, a consistent bedtime, no food 1-2hrs before bed and an evening meditation can all play a helpful role.

And call us! We are here to help with these issues – they should not be overlooked.

3. EXERCISE

Still the best natural anti-depressant, mood stabilizing, anxiety reducing solution there is!

•  Get moving, every day. A recent study showed people who took 8,000 steps a day had a 50% lower risk of dying compared with those who took only 4,000 steps a day. People who took over 12,000 steps a day had a 65% lower risk of dying! There is NO pill that does that.

•  More steps also equates to lower rates of death from heart disease and cancer. If you have fallen off your exercise routine – just start with walking. Get those steps in – it counts! This pandemic has accentuated the unfortunate truth that as a country, we are not healthy.

Our rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, metabolic issues are horrible – and only getting worse. We need to realize that WE are responsible for our own health and wellness. We control what we eat, how we move and if we make sleep a priority. I know you agree with me – that is why you work with us at Omnia Health.

“So let’s go back to the basics. How are you with everything? What do you need and how can we help?”

If you are struggling with sleep issues consider working with Lisa Marini, our amazing brain coach, on meditations, reducing anxiety and strategies to decrease that nighttime cortisol response.

Are you struggling with nutrition and need an accountability partner? Katie Ozimek is here for you – she is a great resource on how to get back on track, set goals and move forward in a positive way.

I appreciate all of you working with us at Omnia Health. I know you take your health seriously and work hard towards making health a top priority in your life. We are on this journey with you! I appreciate all of the referrals and support we have received from our amazing patients!

If you know of anyone who would benefit from our comprehensive approach to chronic illness – and could use a little help to create wellness in their life, please share our information.

We offer a free 15-minute consultation with our Nurse Practitioner, Gia McCloskey-Jurevich, NP to see if we are a good match for future patients.

One last suggestion! Pick up the phone – don’t text – and call your friend, your sister, your brother – your mom or dad. Call that person you have been meaning to; take a few minutes and connect with those you love.

We are all in this together.

Take care,

Jacqui and the Omnia Team

 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

Dr. Jacqui functional medicine doctor in Denver

Dr. Jacqui Pariset

“Even as a very young child, I had chronic IBS. Childhood memories include frequent stomach aches and gulping down Mylanta.  Then I began having debilitating migraines. This personal experience has led me to functional medicine….”

Learn more about Dr. Jacqui here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

2 + 1 =

Simple Yet Surprising Technique to Lower Stress

Can Functional Medicine Help Address Your Stress? 

By Lisa Marini, Brain Health Coach & Certified Hypnotherapist at Omnia Health in Denver, Colorado

Stress. We all have it, and we know we don’t like it, but do you really know the effect it is having on your brain, body and life?

Did you know that the brain cannot tell the difference between an actual threat like the house being on fire, vs a potential threat such as worrying about job security during this pandemic? In both situations, the brain activates a fight and flight response.

This response prepares us to react as if there is an imminent danger (even if it’s only a worry about your job). The brain releases hormones and behaviorally we can become more aggressive or shut down.

We also have lessened ability to access the logical and critical thinking areas of the brain because so much of our awareness is stuck living in the fight or flight response.

“You can see how this is absolutely the opposite of how you should react…”

You can see how this is absolutely the opposite of how you should react when you are trying to be strategic about the next steps if you do in fact lose your job. You need to be cool, calm and logical – not reactive and temperamental. Thanks brain, but no thanks!

So how can you manage this reaction better? There are lots of tools at your disposal – these are what I teach people as a Brain Health Coach. But for today, here is a tool for you to use to help down regulate the fight and flight response and get you back into the higher thinking states.

It’s simple – just breathe. Breathing slow and deep – counting your inhale for a count of 4 and your exhale for a count of 8, will have your body calm and convince your brain there isn’t a real danger. No one would breathe like this if the house was on fire so we are using our body as a remote control for the brain.

It isn’t easy to think your way out of a fight and flight response, and using your body can be a great way to trick your brain into shifting gears. Try this technique not only during a triggering situation, but throughout the day to build more resiliency for when stress does happen.

Functional Medicine is About Getting to the Root Cause

At Omnia Health we practice functional medicine. The core premise behind this approach is to get a deeper understanding of what’s really going on with your body, your lifestyle, and your mindset.

That’s why we work with our patients to slow down, take a deeper look at what’s going on in all areas of their lives and work with the patient to create a long-term plan that will help resolve many health issues with awareness, education and of course, some simple techniques like deep and slow breathing!

So, take a deep breath and if you have any questions or concerns, please drop us a note or give us a call!

We offer a Complimentary 15-Min. Phone Consultation. There’s no obligation, it’s easy to set up and it might give you the peace of mind you’ve been searching for. Most of our patients are from the Denver, Colorado area but we can certainly help answer questions from anywhere. 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

lisa marina head shot functional medicine denver

Lisa Marini – Brain Health Coach

“Lisa Marini is a Brain Health Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist. Honored to be a part of the Omnia team, Lisa loves bringing an understanding of the brain and the critical role it plays in ALL decisions from weight loss, goal setting, stress relief and every area of life…”

Learn more about Lisa here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

8 + 3 =

Do You Turn to Comfort Food When Stressed?

(Hint:replace it with new foods and flavors)

By Lisa Marini, Brain Health Coach, Omnia Health

Sugar is toxic for your brain. Here’s how to cut back on this culprit.

Like every other part of your body, your brain can be strengthened and even healed to function properly. One of the keys is proper nutrition.

The latest science tells us that sugar is toxic for your brain, and here’s why: Sugar can move us into a fight-or-flight response, releasing chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol. Over time, chronic amounts of these hormones will damage cells. This can create inflammation, which provides a “welcoming” environment for disease to develop.

Excess sugar in our system can create “brain fog” and affect our personality. We exhibit traits we would never list on our resume or dating profile! We can be judgmental, short-tempered, withdrawn, impatient, and snippy. Worse, new studies are linking sugar to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Here’s an easy way to reduce sugar: Simply replace it!

As a brain health coach – essentially, a “personal trainer for the brain” – I read a lot of science, medical, and health journals about how the brain works. Here’s food for thought:

Our brain doesn’t like to give something up. If we want to give something up, we need replacements to fill that void, so our brain will be satisfied.

Let’s look at an example…

My fictitious client Bryan decides to give up ice cream for various health reasons, including weight loss and lactose intolerance. He quits cold turkey, and he hates the whole process!

  • He feels resentful when someone else orders ice cream.
  • He misses the sheer enjoyment of eating ice cream: the taste, texture, and social context.
  • He continually thinks about ice cream, with negative thoughts like: “I can’t eat ice cream anymore, but everyone else can. It’s just not fair.”

Notice that Bryan is focusing on the loss, not the gain. Plus, he’s dwelling on negative thoughts around the thing he cannot have.

No need to quit cold turkey! Instead, replace sugar with something new.

Here are 5 things you can do right now:

  1. Swap a sugar culprit with something refreshing and satisfying.
    Example: Replace soda with carbonated lemon water.
  2. Have a healthy alternative handy. Don’t leave it up to will power.
    Example: Say “no thanks” to the coworker’s donuts and, instead, reach for the mixed nuts and beef jerky in your desk drawer.
  3. Engage your senses when you eat healthy comfort foods.
    Example: Replace brown sugar in your oatmeal with cinnamon and nutmeg. The warm, inviting aromas and flavors are satisfying and comforting. Engaging your senses helps to build a new association and reprogram your brain. You won’t miss the brown sugar!
  4. Take time to build a relationship with your new treat – and create a new habit
    Example: Avoid the snack machine and satisfy your afternoon craving with a cup of hot herbal tea. Take time to enjoy the aroma, the natural sweetness, the warmth and relaxation. Instead of mindlessly munching a candy bar, you’ll create a wonderful new habit.
  5. Give your brain something different. Our brains love novelty!
    Example: Replace candy or chewing gum with cinnamon-dipped toothpicks.

Don’t try to eliminate sugar altogether. Instead, gradually replace it with new foods and flavors.
I believe the key is awareness – this is what makes change possible. You can start on this path RIGHT NOW by paying attention to what you eat and how you feel. Plus, I encourage you to read more about this topic. Be educated. As they say, knowledge is power!

The Autoimmune – GUT Connection

Have you ever gone to multiple doctors and done extensive lab testing only to be told, “Everything looks fine Your results are normal.”

AND finally, after hours and hours of research, numerous doctor’s visits and countless tears you figure out you have an autoimmune disease.

Perhaps along the way you experienced:

  • Fatigue that made it difficult to even leave the house
  • Debilitating joint pain that made everyday movements unbearable
  • Guilt for wanting to rest, while your kids and spouse needed your attention
  • Numbness and tingling in your hands and feet
  • Skin rashes that seemed to appear from nowhere

Perhaps, you haven’t experienced these exact things (not everyone does; for others it’s better, for others it’s worse).

And while experiencing this…the doubt crept in that you could never get better, only worse.

I’m here to tell you that addressing one of the main root causes of autoimmune disease can potentially halt the progression and even reverse symptoms of your autoimmune disease.

Why is your body attacking you?

Sometimes your immune defense cells lose the ability to tell the difference between the mean guys (i.e. bad bacteria, viruses, etc) and your healthy body cells and identifies all the cells as foreign invaders. When this occurs, your body can start attacking itself.

Some autoimmune diseases target only one organ, (e.x. type 1 diabetes damages the pancreas). Other autoimmune conditions may affect the whole body (e.x. lupus).

The most common autoimmune conditions are:

  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Celiacs Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Psoriasis/Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Graves’ Disease

There are more than 80 types of autoimmune conditions and symptoms can be vague, overlap with other conditions and in some cases the symptoms might come and go.

However, the main symptoms are:

  • fatigue
  • achy muscles and joints
  • swelling and redness
  • low-grade fever
  • trouble concentrating
  • numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • hair loss
  • skin rashes

In functional medicine, the goal is to treat the root cause – otherwise any other treatment not addressing the roots of a disease is merely symptom suppression.

The origins of many autoimmune diseases are murky, however leaky gut syndrome is almost always considered a contributor to an autoimmune disease.

In fact, stopping the progression and reversing symptoms of autoimmune diseases depends on addressing and healing leaky gut.

What Exactly is Leaky Gut?

Think of the lining of your gut as a security checkpoint. It allows certified officials (micronutrients found in food) to pass back and forth without a problem. This allows important nutrients into your bloodstream to be absorbed and used by the body.

Different aspects of our lifestyle (food, toxins, stress) can affect the structural integrity of these check points. When they become damaged, it allows the “bad guys” (food particles, toxins, microbes, etc) through the checkpoints into the bloodstream.

The security guards (your immune system) raises the alarm, “Danger, danger! There are invaders in the bloodstream!”

They take a picture of the invaders’ shape and send messages with the image along to all the troops. However, those security guards don’t have the best “eyesight”.

So your immune system guards can go haywire and attack any molecule that looks similar (including your body’s own tissues) because they’d rather be “safe than sorry”. A specific example:

Gluten molecules are large and often bully their way past the gut’s security checkpoints and into the bloodstream. The immune system takes a picture and sends out the “most wanted” picture to its troops. Your immune system troops can get “too” excited and have an over reactive response.

And since gluten molecules look very similar to thyroid molecules the troops can get carried away and not only attack all the gluten molecules, but your thyroid as well. This leads to the autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s.

What Contributes to Leaky Gut?

Poor Diet

Common foods that irritate the gut lining and can contribute to autoimmune flares are gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, peanuts, eggs and processed foods.

If you have multiple food sensitivities this could be a sign that your immune system is developing antibodies to the things you are eating and causing the immune system to overreact.

Chronic Stress

Often when someone first noticed symptoms associated with their autoimmune disease, there’s almost always a major life stressor or the culmination of multiple stressful events around that time.

Stress can cripple your immune system’s effectiveness, leading to inflammation and leaky gut, which reduces your overall ability to repress foreign invaders as they pass through your intestinal lining and into your bloodstream.

Toxin Overload

In today’s environment, toxins are all around us: beauty products, air, cooking utensils, water, food and more.

Our bodies are naturally designed to detox, but when it becomes overloaded from many different sources, the body can’t process the toxins fast enough.

This leads to many different health problems including leaky gut, autoimmune deficiency and autoimmune disease. For example, every time you consume pesticides with your produce, it kills off gut bacteria and damages the lining of the gut

Bacterial Imbalances

Bacterial imbalance is when there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria.

“Good” gut bacteria helps keep the security check points (the lining of your gut) intact by blocking the cell’s receptor to keep the “bad”bacteria away and increase the amount of the proteins that strengthen the gut walls.

In addition, 70-80% of your immune system lives in your gut and you want to create a healthy and secure environment for them. The good bacteria helps “train” the immune cells to distinguish between friendly and harmful bacteria (and your own body’s tissues).

3 Steps to Reverse Leaky Gut to Address your Autoimmune Symptoms

Want to start finding relief from your autoimmune symptoms by healing your gut?

There are 3 steps you can take to address and reverse symptoms of leaky gut.

1. REMOVE

Food: Remove food that you are sensitive to. Common sensitivities include: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, peanuts, eggs, legumes, nightshades and nuts for people dealing with autoimmune diseases.

Doing an elimination diet with a careful reintroduction plan can find which foods YOU are sensitive to.

Stress: What are the core things that are affecting your stress levels? Make a list. Once you’ve identified the stressors, how can you eliminate the stress associated with them?

  • Is it re-framing the situation in a positive light?
  • Is it avoiding the stressful situation altogether?
  • Is it accepting the stressor as something you don’t have control over?

Toxins: Eat organic food whenever possible to reduce exposure to pesticides and start reading labels on your beauty products to find and avoid harmful toxins.

2. REPLACE

Eat nutrient dense foods: Drink bone broth and eat lots of vegetables to heal and nourish your body and gut.

Bone broth is filled with collagen and essential amino acids. It helps heal the damaged cell walls of your gut to stop unwanted particles passing through the security checkpoints. Either make your own or find them at a local health food store (look for grass-fed, grass-finished sources).

Vegetables contain many different vitamins and they help reduce inflammation in the gut. If you’re healing your gut (and not currently eating many vegetables), it may be best to eat cooked veggies so they are easier to digest and less likely to cause an upset stomach.

Stress reduction techniques: What helps reduce your stress? Find a few things that work for you and stick to them. Examples include; get more sleep, add fun time into your schedule, meditate, journal, breathe, spend time in nature and surround yourself with positive people.

Replace toxic products: Slowly start to remove toxic products in your home (cleaners, beauty products, kitchen essentials) to reduce the overall toxic load in your body.

3. REBALANCE

Now that you removed the gut irritants and replaced them with things that make the gut happy, let’s give the good bacteria a boost and a chance to flourish in your gut!

Prebiotics: Eat a diet rich in prebiotic foods to feed and nourish the healthy bacteria in your gut and the probiotics you consume. Natural sources of prebiotics are: chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leeks, onions and jicama.

Probiotics: These help replenish good bacteria and crowd out the bad bacteria. Natural probiotics can be found in fermented food, sauerkraut and kimchi are excellent sources. These miracle workers support the ut and contain organic acids that help balance intestinal pH. Either make your own, or find them at a local health food store.

I’d like to hear your story! Share with us on Facebook any changes you’ve made regarding your gut health that affected your autoimmune disease!

 

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IBS: Constipation, bloating, diarrhea and gas

Is this you?

You wake up to a beautiful Denver sunrise with a bloated and extended stomach. Immediately, you feel the urge to pass gas.

As you dress for work, you spend time (you don’t have) searching for the right pants you can comfortably wear (and zip) over your poor bloated belly.

At work, your stomach continues to expand and gas continues to build up. You hope that none escapes because you can’t face the embarrassment of releasing it around your coworkers and boss.

It’s so uncomfortable and miserable. You try hard to think what you had for dinner the day before, but nothing sounds like it could be the cause.

You suffer throughout the day to just go home and repeat this routine day in and day out.

It’s okay; you’re not alone.

In fact, up to 38-96 million Americans experience symptoms of IBS but only 5-7% have been diagnosed. At Omnia Health, it’s one of the issues people see us the most about. With our Functional Medicine approach, we are often able to bring significant relief to Denver area patients.

What is IBS and How Does Functional Medicine Help?

From a Functional Medicine perspective, we see IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as a very complex disorder. It’s not a single disease with a single cause nor a single treatment.

Instead, complexity occurs due to the multitude of symptoms and a multitude of potential causes.

Mild to severe symptoms can include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

These symptoms can fluctuate in severity and seemingly at random. (You may not experience them all the time, but rather in waves).

This complex disease isn’t officially considered an autoimmune disease, but it overlaps with similar risk factors of autoimmunity including: leaky gut, dietary factors, infections, inflammation, toxins and stress.

Potential Causes

As mentioned before, when Functional Medicine principles are applied properly, we discover many contributing factors that lead to IBS and for each person it may be slightly different. Some of the most common causes are:

  1. Overuse of antibiotics
  2. Stress
  3. Food allergies or sensitivities

Overuse of Antibiotics

One of the many things that contribute to IBS symptoms is an unhealthy microbiome in your gut.

Your gut can have up to 500 species of bacteria which weighs about 3 pounds! Imagine three pounds of yeast fermenting inside of you… that would produce a lot of gas, right?

 

Of course your gut is not full of fermenting yeasts (or at least we hope not!) but rather, good bacteria, bad bacteria and SUPER bad bacteria.

When your microbiome is healthy, it has more good bacteria than bad.

When your microbiome is out of balance, it means the bad guys took over – or they went to prohibited areas (like your small intestine).

How is this related to antibiotic use?

Antibiotic drugs don’t kill only the bad guys (like we wish).

Instead, when you take antibiotics you kill most of the bacteria, the good and the bad; you essentially press the restart button for your microbiome!

However, when you do this, often the bad bacteria grows faster because the competition for nutrients in the gut is reduced, and the bad guys take over and inhibit the good bacteria population.

So, the next time you take antibiotics think about your microbiome and the potential effects!

Stress

Research has shown a correlation between high stress levels and increased instances of IBS.

Your brain and your gut share a strong connection via the vagus nerve.

You might be thinking: “Yes, I know that, my brain is always telling my gut – SNACKS, PLEASE!”

However, your brain-gut connection is a two-way pathway. Your gut sends signals to your brain and vice-versa.

Your (healthy) gut produces 95% of your serotonin (a hormone that regulates mood and sleep). However, when your brain is upset (stressed) it sends signals through the vagus nerve which upsets your gut.

This can create IBS-like symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, etc.

Now that your gut is unhappy, it reduces serotonin production;

  • which less serotonin in your brain makes you feel more stressed
  • which reduces the serotonin production in the gut
  • which makes you feel more stressed
  • which reduces the serotonin
  • which makes you feel EVEN MORE STRESSED
  • which reduces the serotonin production in the gut
  • which makes you feel irritable and cranky

As you can see it can spiral out of control very easily.

Food Allergies and Sensitivity

Many food allergies or sensitivities can have IBS-like symptoms such as gas, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation (in addition to many other symptoms).

The most common food allergies or sensitivities that can potentially irritate the digestive system include (but are not limited to) gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, sugar and peanuts.

Perhaps you’ve heard the terms food allergy and food sensitivities thrown around, yet you don’t know the difference.

Food allergies cause a range of symptoms that affect different organs in the body through an acute immune reaction. In some cases, an allergic food reaction can be severe or life-threatening.

Food sensitivities, however, are not true food allergies, but rather low-grade reactions that occur several hours after food is ingested. These reactions can present in many different ways; from IBS-like symptoms to brain fog, fatigue and more…

Find Relief!

Just like different factors contribute to IBS, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” treatment. Everyone is unique and has different reasons that contribute to their IBS, therefore, they need to address the problem from multiple angles to find the root cause(s)! This is what Omnia Health’s Functional Medicine approach does – it dives deep into the real cause instead of just treating uncomfortable symptoms.

Here’s a few potential ways you can find relief: more than one approach may be needed!

  1. Fertilize your gut so the good guys grow stronger (aka prebiotics)
    1. Prebiotic Fiber can be found in many fruits and vegetables, such as apple skins, bananas, onions and garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root and beans
  2. Add good guys to your diet (aka probiotics)
    1. Probiotics are found in fermented food, like yogurt (only if you’re tolerant to dairy), kimchi, kombucha or sauerkraut
  3. Remove irritating foods and irritants from your diet
    1. This includes (but not limited to) gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and drugs.
  4. Control your stress levels
    1. Find something that works for you and do it regularly. For example, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, short walks or journaling
  5. Work with a Functional Medicine provider
    1. It’s best to work with someone closely to do specialized testing and so they can create a custom treatment plan based on your symptoms and what they identified as the root cause(s).

If you want to finally find relief from your systems and work with someone you can trust, Schedule a FREE 15-Minute Consultation with us.