I have been practicing Naturopathic medicine for 10 years. It is exciting to do something you love every single day. My practice is predominately pediatric, with an intense focus on development, this can be seen on my treatautism.ca website. My sister is an expert in chronic disease treatment and prevention and is one of the few naturopaths in the world who is trained as a biomedical toxicologist, giving her an incredible knowledge base on how environmental toxins can lead to chronic health issues.
My sister and I often talk about managing simple vs. complex health concerns. If I am working with a child who is experiencing sleep disturbance and digestive issues, a simple case should be resolved in 8-12 weeks. A complex case may take much longer. Similarly, having had the opportunity to support Dr. Carissa’s patients during her maternity leave, I have seen “simple” cases of impaired fertility, resolve fairly quickly. Hormones and sperm health need at least 3 months of support and many straightforward cases will resolve with basic treatment guidelines.
So, as naturopath’s who have been practicing for many years, we have started to classify simple vs. complex by employing basic treatment guidelines. Many years ago we attended a downtown Burlington event and heard an expert speak from DeGroot Business school. He told the attendees that if we want to be experts in our professions, we needed to help lead the way to change through education. Education on health helps to empower people and families to change diet and lifestyle with phenomenal results. All of us have probably heard of people who remove dairy and or gluten and feel more energized, positive and healthy. I have countless cases of chronic ear infections improved by simple removal of dairy and a probiotic regiment of rotating crucial immune regulating strains of good bacteria.
So how can you figure out if you health concerns are simple or complex?
When Dr. Carissa and I do seminars, talks or speak at conferences; our goal is to provide people and families with the basics. Treatments or changes that can be started immediately to effect change. The basics go a long way with simple health issues. In fact, some simple health issues are completely resolved when common food allergies and nutrient deficiencies are addressed.
We believe strongly that all Canadians should be on a good quality essential fatty acid. We encourage everyone to “assess their gut” by evaluating how many antibiotics they have been on. The gut needs 10,000 strains of good bacteria and hundreds of trillions of bacteria to maintain gut health. Each antibiotic requires 2 years of gut repair. Kids born via C-section or kids with food allergies need a regular probiotic regim. Ask yourself if you have 2-3 bowel movements daily that are formed and easy to pass. Teach your kids to pay attention to their digestive tract because it is the largest tool the body has to prevent inflammatory and immune based disorders.
Southwestern Ontario is one of the most toxic areas in North America. PCBs, dioxins, phthalates, fire retardants, bisphenol A. The list goes on an on for toxins that could contribute to developmental delay, infertility or chronic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Did you know persistent organopollutants are linked directly to diabetes? Did you know 80% of unexplained infertility is linked to toxicity? Did you know that 50% of children born in 2013 are expected to develop cancer?
A great way to help deal with toxic exposures is to ensure a good glutathione status. Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant and is responsible to detoxifying harmful substances like toxins, chemicals and metals. Guess which foods reduce your body’s ability to produce glutathione? Gluten and dairy!!!! Although there are many more reasons to consider limiting or removing these foods, glutathione production is a pretty compelling reason to consider. Google glutathione with any health concern and be blown away by ground breaking research about the role this antioxidant plays in preventing and treating disease.
Many people have extremely busy lives and experience at least some level of adrenal fatigue . Adrenals are little glands on top of your kidneys that manage stress in the body. They use up a lot of protein, vitamin C , B vitamins and magnesium . Green leafy vegetables are a great dietary support for the adrenals. Add them to your smoothie or just force them in. They can go a long way to preventing big scary chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Detoxification pathways as well as adrenal glands require a lot of B vitamins. A great B complex is another one of our favourite basic treatments. Many people report improved mood, sleep and energy. Easy, safe and effective.
Simple health issues can respond quickly to simple interventions. If you have tried simple supports but you are not getting results, your health concern may be more complex and require specialized testing and treatment. But give the basics a start and see if you can help yourself, your child or a loved one with a troublesome health concern.
Best of health!
Dr. Sonya Doherty, Naturopathic Doctor