Nutritional Consulting for a Hypothetical Client with GI Issues

Nutritional Consulting for a Hypothetical Client with GI Issues

By Laura Sheehan

March 19, 2018
My client Mrs. Green has come to me for help with her GI issues. Her symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and recent unintended weight loss. She works full-time as a social worker and is also working on her master’s degree. She and her husband cook some of their meals and she also buys ready-made food at a gourmet shop.
Mrs. Green is wondering whether she might have IBS but based on her food record it appears she has already determined that she has it. Her consumption of fiber is very high. Fiber is a commonly recommended treatment for IBS by physicians1. But Mrs. Green may be consuming too much, or the wrong types of fiber2. I would suggest that she start to limit all types of fiber in her diet (i.e. beans, wheat berries), at least until her symptoms improve. I would also have her examine her continuing consumption of Metamucil and Colace, especially since she is currently not constipated. If she would agree to cutting them out or at least reducing them, we could see how that would affect her symptoms.
Another possible cause of her bowel issues is Lexapro. I do not know how long she has been taking it and I would attempt to get this information from her, especially because both diarrhea and constipation are listed as “common side-effects” of the drug3. If the bowel issues seem to have begun relatively concurrent or subsequent to her taking Lexapro, I would suggest that she talk to her doctor about potentially switching medications for her depression and anxiety.
My biggest concern about Mrs. Green is that she might be gluten-intolerant. Her reliance on gluten-containing foods is evident from her Food Frequency Questionnaire and 24 Hour Recall. Considering that cutting out gluten could help her IBS symptoms4, I will focus on this in the next section.
Mrs. Green appears to be an overall health-conscious eater. Among her favorite foods, she lists fish, salads, vegetables and fruits. Most of her foods appear to be fresh and not processed. Even the foods she buys pre-prepared at the gourmet shop look like they are made from scratch. This is good.
I am recommending that Mrs. Green do a trial of a gluten-free diet. I do not think this will be difficult for her as she will not have to change her current food selection habits very much. She will need to learn to replace gluten-containing foods in her diet with gluten-free options. It is likely that her gourmet food shop has gluten-free food selections that are prepared fresh and not processed. For example, instead of buying wheatberry salad, she could buy quinoa or buckwheat salad (although it would be better to buy tuna salad since I would like her to cut back on the fiber). Gluten-free foods are usually more expensive but this will likely not be an issue for her considering her demographic.
In order to increase the chance of compliance, I will try to transition Mrs. Green slowly to gluten-free. From her 24 Hour Recall, it looks like she consumes a gluten-containing food three times daily. I will work with her over time to reduce this to two servings a day and then gradually to zero servings. This should be relatively easy to do since she is motivated to make the necessary changes, and will be especially motivating for her if she sees changes in her symptoms.
The seed pizza is a favorite of Mrs. Green’s and for this reason I will provide an alternative gluten-free recipe for her. Here is the original recipe:
Seed Pizza
1 13- to 14-oz. pkg. refrigerated whole-wheat pizza dough
2 Tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds, plain sesame seeds, and black sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 cloves of roasted garlic
3 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cubed
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, shape dough into a 12×9-inch rectangle. Brush the pizza dough with the roasted garlic. Sprinkle with seeds and pine nuts and lightly sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle cubed mozzarella evenly over pizza. Drizzle olive oil over pizza. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Cut and serve.
Gluten-free modification:
Substitute a pre-packaged gluten-free pizza dough for the whole-wheat pizza dough in the recipe.
The gluten-free pizza dough should taste similar to the whole wheat pizza dough. In keeping with my philosophy of not changing too many things at once, I am making a relatively simple change in the recipe. I love the idea of a homemade cauliflower crust, but that would be a lot more work and Mrs. Green is already busy and stressed. Keeping the changes simple and straightforward will increase compliance. Plus Mrs. Green will get to keep the “crunch” she enjoys in her pizza.
Nutritionally, the whole-wheat and gluten-free pizza crusts are quite similar, at least from a macro-nutrient perspective5,6. According to the nutrition information supplied by the manufacturer5,6, each crust has about 150 kcal per serving and comparable amounts of carbohydrate (about 31 g/serving). Both recipes are low in fat and protein. There is only a small amount of fiber (2g) in each pizza crust.
Once I’ve made headway with Mrs. Green in cutting out dietary gluten, I would then assist her in eliminating refined sugars from her diet in the context of her overall carbohydrate consumption7. The degree to which I would eliminate the sugars depends on her response to the changes she will have made thus far.
In conclusion, I will work with Mrs. Green over a series of consultations to systematically identify and alter potential issues with her diet that are contributing to her symptoms. I will help her transition to a gluten-free diet and rule out issues with her fiber and laxative intake. I will also encourage her to examine potential unwanted side-effects of the Lexapro she is taking with her doctor.
1. El-Salhy M, Ystad SO, Mazzawi T, Gundersen D. Dietary fiber in irritable bowel syndrome (Review). International Journal of Molecular Medicine. 2017;40(3):607-613. doi:10.3892/ijmm.2017.3072.
2. Talley N. Soluble or insoluble fibre in irritable bowel syndrome in primary care? Randomised placebo controlled trial. Yearbook of Gastroenterology. 2010;2010:46-47. doi:10.1016/s0739-5930(10)79444-7.
3. Lexapro Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity. WebMD Web Site. Accessed March 18, 2018
4. Vazquez–Roque MI, Camilleri M, Smyrk T, Murray JA, Marietta E, Oneill J, Carlson P, Lamsam J, Janzow D, Eckert D, Burton D, Zinsmeister AR. A Controlled Trial of Gluten-Free Diet in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Diarrhea: Effects on Bowel Frequency and Intestinal Function. Gastroenterology. 2013;144(5). doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2013.01.049.
5. Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Web Site.
Accessed March 18, 2018.

6. Schar Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts. Thrive Market Web Site. Accessed March 18, 2018.
7. Goldstein R, Braverman D, Stankiewicz H. Carbohydrate malabsorption and the effect of dietary restriction on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and functional bowel complaints. IMAJ. 2000; 2(8): 583-587.

Don’t Delay care after a Car Accident

Don’t Delay care after a Car Accident

By Dr. Jennifer Green

The human body was not designed to handle the sudden impact and force that most automobile accidents can generate.Even a low-speed crash can cause lasting damage to the neck and back. In stressful situations, our bodies release adrenaline, dopamine and norepinephrine to cope with the shock and trauma that may mask the pain.

Being involved in an accident, even a minor one, causes some type of initial shock. Nobody is ever prepared to be in an accident, and even if you realize it’s going to happen and cannot prevent it, you are still pretty shocked right after it occurs. If you are not in immediate pain after your accident, it may not cross your mind to see a chiropractor. However, if you are injured and do not realize it, not being treated could hurt you in the long run. When you seek immediate chiropractic care after a motor vehicle collision, you could avoid years of chronic pain.

Not all car accident injuries are immediately apparent; the body will go into survival mode, releasing endorphins that mask your pain.Many accidents cause harm to the joints, ligaments, and other internal issues in the body which can lead to significant pain, reduced range of motion, and other future problems. One of the most common car accident injuries that may take 24 hours or more to present symptoms is whiplash.

Common symptoms of whiplash include blurred vision, neck stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and tingling in the extremities. When you see a chiropractor immediately following your accident, they will be able to diagnose and treat whiplash symptoms early on. This is the best way to avoid the worst of the pain and to have the injury resolved, so it does not linger into the future.

Chiropractors promote pain management without the use of addictive pain medications. By utilizing non-invasive chiropractic adjustments and corrective exercises to strengthen muscles, we are able to reduce pain from car accident injuries and promote the body’s natural ability to heal. Chiropractic adjustments help to realign the spine and joints, which reduces pain and promotes healing.

If you are in a car accident see a chiropractor to get you out of pain and help you heal properly. Through chiropractic care you can avoid the use of harmful painkillers, surgeries, and avoid future problems.

For more blog posts on Auto Accidents click here!

Foreman & Croft, Whiplash Injuries: Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Syndrome, 3rd Ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2002.

Woodward MN, Cook JC, Gargan MF, Bannister GC, “Chiropractic treatment of chronic Whiplash injuries,” J. of Injury, 1996, 27 (9): 643-5;

Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M, Bannister G, “A Symptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment,” J. Orthopedic Med. 1999, 21: 21-5.

Berglund, A, Alfredsson, L, Cassidy, JD,, “The Association Between Exposure to a Rear-End Collision and Future Neck or Shoulder Pain: A Cohort Study,” J Clin. Epid., Vol. 53 (11), 11/2000.

Hypothetical Case Study #1 Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Hypothetical Case Study #1: An Approach to Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

By Laura Sheehan

I am going to discuss my hypothetical client Marilyn. Marilyn has come to me for nutritional help, with the goal of making dietary modifications to get off her medications. She is 65 years old and obese.

Multiple definitions for Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) have evolved over the past two decades 1. The most recent and applicable definition to my clinical practice is the NCEP ATP III (2005 revision). In order to be diagnosed with MetS, my imaginary client Marilyn would need to meet three of the following five criteria: abdominal obesity (waist circumference >35 inches in women), high triglycerides (≥ 150 mg/dl), low HDL cholesterol (< 50 mg/dl in women), high blood pressure (≥ 130/≥ 85 mmHg), and high fasting glucose (≥ 110 mg/dl). According to these criteria, Marilyn fits all the criteria for MetS. She has obesity, type II diabetes with a fasting glucose of 190 mg/dl, hypertension (180/90 mmHg), high triglycerides (202 mg/dl), and low HDL cholesterol (40 mg/dl).

Insulin resistance has been proposed as the common thread linking the symptoms of MetS 2. In response to diminished sensitivity to circulating insulin, the pancreas produces more and more of this necessary hormone, and the result is high levels of glucose and insulin in the blood. These elevated levels of insulin and glucose are damaging to the body and are associated with a myriad of negative health effects, especially cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus, with its complications of increased susceptibility to infection, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and chronic renal disease3. To help Marilyn, I will need to focus on reversing her insulin resistance and MetS. I will need to provide guidelines to make her body more insulin sensitive.

Several metrics will help me to monitor Marilyn’s progress towards her goals of increasing her insulin sensitivity and getting off her medications. I will try to regulate Marilyn’s measurements toward normal. Her waist circumference should be progressively decreasing to below 35 inches, her fasting glucose toward normal (80-100 mg/100ml), her triglycerides toward normal (70-110 mg/dl), HDL cholesterol increasing toward ≥ 55 mg/dl4, and blood pressure toward normal (120/80 mmHg).

Although there is quite a bit of debate in the literature, simple biochemistry indicates that MetS and insulin resistance are effects of too much sugar in the diet. It makes sense that I would consider recommending changes to Marilyn’s carbohydrate consumption. Lowering the overall glycemic index of carbohydrates in Marilyn’s diet could be successful5, but It would be simpler in practice to reduce Marilyn’s total carbohydrate intake6. Both approaches could be successful in reducing waist circumference and hyperlipidemia. A carbohydrate restricted diet combined with added soluble fiber could increase HDL and decrease LDL levels78.

Within Marilyn’s carbohydrate-restricted diet, I will emphasize that she avoid processed sugars and focus on complex carbohydrates in their whole form. Processed sugars, especially high-fructose corn syrup, have been shown to contribute to MetS by increasing the deposition of fat in the liver9. I will also stress increasing soluble fiber as the literature suggests a benefit to lipid profiles7. After implementing these changes, provided Marilyn can stick to her diet long enough, she should see improvements in her MetS criteria and be able to visit her family doctor for a medication review.

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1. Huang PL. A comprehensive definition for metabolic syndrome. Disease Models & Mechanisms. 2009;2(5-6):231-237. doi:10.1242/dmm.001180.

2. Reaven G. 1988 Banting Lecture: role of insulin resistance in human disease. Diabetes 1988; 37: 1595-1607.

3. Hall J. Insulin, Glucagon, and Diabetes Mellitus. In: Hall J. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier, 2011: 939-954.

4. Weatherby D, Ferguson S. Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective. Jacksonville, OR: Bear Mountain Publishing, 2002.

5. Finley CE, Barlow CE. Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load, and Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010;110(12):1820-1829. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.09.016.

6. Volek JS, Phinney SD. Carbohydrate Restriction has a More Favorable Impact on the Metabolic Syndrome than a Low Fat Diet. Lipids. 2008;44(4):297-309. doi:10.1007/s11745-008-3274-2.

7. Wood RJ, Fernandez ML. Effects of a carbohydrate-restricted diet with and without supplemental soluble fiber on plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and other clinical markers of cardiovascular risk. Metabolism. 2007;56(1):58-67. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2006.08.021.

8. Yancy WS, Westman EC. A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet vs Orlistat Plus a Low-Fat Diet for Weight Loss. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2010;170(2):136. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.492.

9. Havel P. Dietary Fructose: Implications for Dysregulation of Energy Homeostasis and Lipid/Carbohydrate Metabolism. Nutrition Reviews 2005; 63(5): 133-157.

Carbohydrate Diets in Clinical Nutritional Practice

Carbohydrate Diets in Clinical Nutritional Practice

By Laura Sheehan

I have been using low-carbohydrate diets in my nutritional consulting practice for three years. The results have typically been very good. For the most part, people lose weight, reduce inflammation, improve their digestive function and have better energy. I don’t have a one-size-fits-all diet that I recommend but help people to reduce their carbs to a reasonable level where they start to feel better. This level is different for everyone. People that have severe metabolic issues such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity, I would recommend that they go even lower carbohydrate. When these people follow a ketogenic diet, they have reversed diabetes and lowered inflammatory blood markers. I do not believe everyone needs to go keto to be healthy however (many nutritionists are espousing this right now).

Some of the most dramatic “low-carb successes” I have witnessed have been Alzheimer’s clients. There have not been very many of them, I admit. But when they do choose to agree to follow a very low carbohydrate (no more than 30 grams of carbohydrates a day) and high fat diet, I have observed amazing results. People that didn’t seem quite “all-there” in the room with you suddenly begin to look you in the eye and engage you in meaningful conversation. It stays that way as long as people are willing to keep the ketogenic diet going. I can immediately tell if they have indulged in sugar when I meet with them.

What would account for this observed effect? A study1 showed that ketone bodies are protective of hippocampal neurons in vitro that have been exposed to a a fragment of amyloid protein, Aβ1–42, a substance found to produce a deficit similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

I have come across many different viewpoints on low carbohydrate diets and their effect on health. The scientific data are mixed2. I personally believe that human beings can be healthy and eat a vast array of different types of diets. What I am looking to do in my practice is to balance out the incredible over-consumption of sugar that most of my clients are guilty of. To this end, a continuum of different lower-carbohydrate diets appears to be useful. Even though the scientific debate is clearly not settled, I believe I have been helping people get healthier, lose weight, and feel better on lower-carbohydrate diets.

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1. Kashiwaya Y, Takeshima T. d-β-Hydroxybutyrate protects neurons in models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 May 9; 97(10): 5440–5444.
2. Nordmann AJ, Nordmann A. Effects of Low-Carbohydrate vs Low-Fat Diets on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2006;166(3):285. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.3.285.

How Safe is Your Car in a Car Accident?

How Safe is Your Car in a Car Accident?

By Jennifer Green

Car accidents happen – we know we need to wear seat belts, it’s the law. It is widely accepted and documented, that with the introduction of mandatory seat belt laws, there is a reduction in deaths and serious injuries after motor vehicle crashes, but there is a significant INCREASE in neck sprains.

A seat belt actually increases pain in the soft tissues of the neck tissues after a car accident to remain. It does this by anchoring the body in place and thus allowing the head free.The sudden jerking motion of the head forces muscles and ligaments supporting the spine and head to move past their normal physiological limit and can overstretch or tear these structures. Additionally, the impact can force vertebrae out of their normal alignment causing the muscles to naturally spasm as a protective mechanism to limit your range of motion.

What about my headrest – isn’t it supposed to protect my neck in a car accident?
That is a great question, the headrest only protects your neck if your head it touching it or is close to it, you can check your headrest for something called Head-Restraint Geometry.

Head-Restraint Geometry has to do with how close or far the headrest of the vehicle, was located with relation to your head. More than two inches away from the head and the efficacy of head restraints drops off significantly. You can go to (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) to find out if your car’s headrest is properly aligned to protect you in an accident.

Navin F, Romilly D, “Investigation into Vehicle and Occupant Response Subjected to Low-Speed Rear Impacts,” SAE, 1989, 159-168;

Hirsch S, Hirsch P, Hiramoto H,, “Whiplash Syndrome: Fact of Fiction?” Ortho. Clinics of North America 1988, 19 (4): 791-795;

Porter K, “Neck Sprains After Car Accident,” Brit. Med. Jour., 1989, 298 (973-974); Evans, R, “Some Observations on Whiplash Injuries,” Neurologic Clinics 1992, 10 (4): 975-997.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Demographics for this article and statistics for this article are taken from

Demographics – rheumatoid arthritis affects women more than men, 3:1, 30 to 60 years of age, and is more likely if you have a family member who already has arthritis.

Symptoms – common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are symmetrical joint pain, fatigue, malaise, fever, and joint destruction.

Allopathic diagnosis – allopathic diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is based on three main factors: lab tests including positive rheumatoid factor, positive CCP, positive erythrocyte sedimentation rate, positive C-reactive protein, positive ANA, radiographs showing doing joint destruction, and positive physical diagnosis tests.

Allopathic treatment – allopathic treatment for arthritis generally involves four things. It involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, and surgery. Side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include liver damage, heart problems, upset stomach, and kidney damage. Side effects of corticosteroids are like swelling, weight gain, increased blood pressure, mood swings, diabetes, increased infection risk, and osteoporosis. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug side effects include liver damage and increased risk for infection. Side effects of surgery include possible infection, irreversible changes in the body, and even death (rare, but a severe side-effect).

Natural treatment of patients with arthritis – natural treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis includes what we call a Triad approach. This means that we address structural issues, biochemical issues, and emotional issues.

Structural issues are addressed with chiropractic, massage, physiotherapy including rehabilitation exercises and exercise in general.

Biochemical issues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis include addressing gastrointestinal issues such as gastrointestinal function and food sensitivities as diagnosed by blood saliva or elimination, immune system issues such as chronic and stealth infections, hormonal issues such as thyroid and adrenal problems, and inflammation in general including the Cox two pathway.

Emotional issues with patients are dealt with in an effort to decrease stress hormones and inflammation in general. It includes addressing external factors, meaning factors affecting the patient from the outside, internal factors, what we call autosuggestion, stress hormones, lack of exercise, and stress reduction techniques such as meditation.

Results – using a triad approach to handling patients with rheumatoid arthritis addresses the three key areas that cause inflammation and joint destruction. Only by addressing these three areas can we get a truly holistic approach to dealing with patients with arthritis. In my own practice, I have seen that patients who deal with rheumatoid arthritis holistically have no side effects and are overall much happier with their care than they are with medical care for rheumatoid arthritis. Typical results are 60-80% improvement over 3-6 months as long as patients continue to adhere to their nutritional programs.

To watch our YouTube video on click here!

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A Triad Approach to Stress


Most people know that stress has a very bad effect on health. When we talk about de-stressing we conjure up images of meditation and yoga and chanting om and things like that. But to really recover from the effects of stress, we have to take what’s called a triad approach to stress. So what is a triad approach?

A triad approach is when we recognize that stress affects the body and is affected by three main sources. Those sources are structural problems, biochemical and nutritional problems, and emotional issues.

To deal with structural problems, we primarily use chiropractic, massage, and exercise, including specific rehabilitation exercises.

To deal with biochemical and nutritional issues, we recognize that stress causes organ dysfunctions and nutritional deficiencies as seen in our general talk on nutrition response testing. Stress specifically robs us of our B vitamins and vitamin C, our minerals especially calcium, magnesium, potassium and iodine; it raises stress hormones that adversely affect the adrenal, thyroid, and liver, and also affects the gastrointestinal tract and digestion, as well as suppressor immune function. All these issues must be dealt with with proper diet and nutritional supplementation.

Once we have dealt with the structural and biochemical issues of stress, emotional issues tend to be dealt with easier. Everybody knows that if you’re stressed out and anxious, hungry, tired and not sleeping, you’re going to have trouble dealing with emotional issues. But once we deal with structural issues such as pain, and biochemical issues mentioned above, stress becomes much easier to deal with. In fact, I found that not dealing with the structural and biochemical issues makes it so that emotional issues keep on coming up. I mean how are you supposed to feel good if you’re in constant pain? How are you supposed to feel good if you have a neurotransmitter deficiency in your brain is constantly sending out stress signals? These issues must be dealt with first.

The reason behind this can be explained by looking at stress as a subjective experience. This subjective experience of stress causes the body to release stress hormones such as cortisol and additionally has an impact on the brain, stimulating brain waves to speed up and cause what is called an acute stress state. This acute stress state causes further neurochemical changes that makes biochemical imbalances worse. To cool down this whole situation you work backwards. You handle the biochemical imbalances which takes stress off the brain. From there the brain wave pattern can change and stress hormones become lessened. This in turn decreases your subjective experience of stress so you can see life differently and as a result, you become freer to act and react differently.

Emotional issues can be broken up into two different areas, external factors, and their internal factors. External factors means things from the outside affecting us; such as job, family life, finances, and social media. Internal factors have to do with our views on things. We also call this autosuggestion. Basically, whether we think we can, or can’t, we are right. Whether we think we are a good person or a bad person, we are right. Whether we think we are deserving or undeserving, we are right. Basically, recognizing negative emotional patterns tends to bring them to light, and releases our pent-up energy from them. Recognizing external issues and internal issues is key. Once we recognize these issues, I usually tell people to develop a daily de-stressing routine. There basically two ways to do this. I find that most people do well with low-level aerobic exercise such as walking, especially while looking around at nature and focusing on the external, and meditation. On another talk I’ll go and more about the specifics of how to meditate for stress reduction. Both these things, low-level intensity exercise such as walking outside, and meditation, will lower stress hormones, so that we feel less stressed, and therefore react in a less stressful manner. People who want to destress, need to incorporate both techniques.

To watch our YouTube video on stress click here!
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Approaching Lyme Disease

One thing I sometimes get asked about is Lyme disease, or, more specifically, do I treat Lyme disease.  The short answer is that no, I don’t treat Lyme disease.  However, I can tell you that I have a lot of success helping people that have Lyme disease get over it.  What’s the difference?  Well, let me tell you my own story with Lyme disease, and hopefully that’ll shed some light on the situation.

I was never a very healthy child.  I grew up suffering with allergies and asthma, for which I had to almost constantly take medication for.  I was always sick.  I remember when I was 14, during the winter, I had some kind of bronchitis that lasted the whole winter.  It was so bad that I had that “seal cough”, the one that’s really loud, and sounds horrible.  I used to use it to annoy the teachers in school (they couldn’t tell me to stop, it sounded like I was hacking up a lung!).  The doctors were stumped, couldn’t do anything about it, luckily, it “went away”, meaning the symptoms went away.  Two years later, I developed “trench mouth”, an infection of my gums, where they cracked and bled continually for a week.  I couldn’t eat for a week (I consumed only soup).  It’s important to note that I got trench mouth not from poor hygiene, I brushed thoroughly twice a day, but that I got it from a poor immune system. When I was 17, after a particularly stressful event, I developed Ulcerative Colitis.  I lost 20 pounds in a matter of weeks from that one.  When I was 21, I went to Mexico, where I picked up Salmonellosis, which almost killed me.  So now that you know my past history of severe illness, why did I tell you all of this?  Because I wanted to let you know that I, like many of my patients, have an underlying cause.  What’s that common thread from all of the above problems?  My immune system stinks (as does my father’s and brother’s immune system, I like to blame my parents for this!  JK!).

Following my Salmonellosis diagnosis, I really got into nutritional studies.  The salmonella poisoning had left me with digestive issues, and chronic, debilitating low back pain, that chiropractic could not help at all.  I went through this for 2 and ½ years.  It was only by cutting out grains, and sugar, that I regained my health quickly.  Not only did my digestive issues and pain totally clear up, but I also lost 40 pounds of fat!  Hot dog!

So how did I go about developing full blown Lyme disease?  Well, like most of my patients, I started slacking with my diet, letting in grains, and sugars, slowly but surely over time.  I didn’t have the worst diet, but it certainly wasn’t the best.  I was under stress with some personal upheaval in my life.  Then, one day Laura and I went camping in the woods in the spring of 2011.  I remember it was very cold, below freezing, and my Chihuahua Taquito kept on hogging my sleeping bag and blankets, as was his style.  When I awoke in the morning, I felt something weird on my back, and when I asked Laura to take a look, she said “you’ve got a tick sticking out of you!”, and pulled it out.  I thought nothing of it, I was tired, but otherwise felt fine.  But a couple of weeks later, I felt some pain in my left armpit.  When I lifted it up, I was horrified.  I had a huge, purple swollen lymph node.  The purple part was about 6” wide.  I had no idea what it was, as this was now about 2 months after our camping trip.  As I had not had the Advanced Clinical Training in Nutrition Response Testing, I also was not able to test and see if it was Lyme disease.  Gradually, the initial swelling subsided, but this would not be the last time I would see it…

So let’s recap.  From this history, we can see that:

  1. I have a genetically weak immune system
  2. I have an intolerance to grains and sugar (compounding my immune system problems)
  3. I’ve had a lot of stress in my life (who hasn’t! this is important to note though)
  4. I have a history of a tick bite
  5. I have a history of exposure to Mercury (wait a second! How did I fail to mention that before?  While in chiropractic school, I broke a thermometer, and absorbed some of the mercury into my wedding ring.  It actually turned to a silver color, before turning back to gold.  My body absorbed the mercury from the ring.  I also had mercury amalgams).

All of this created the perfect storm, like so many other of my patients.  Tune in next week to see the long and drawn out road I had to take to fix myself (and how it taught me about what so many of my patients are going through!)

See you next week!

~Dr. Sheehan

5 Reasons You’re Sick

Sickness and health are big topics in today’s discourse. If you want to be healthy, wouldn’t it be good to find out what makes people healthy, and do that? Wouldn’t is also be good to find out what makes people sick, and avoid or handle those things? In this blog I am going to address what the root causes of sickness are, so you can avoid them and get yourself on the road to health.

Have you ever asked your conventional medical practitioner “why?” If you have, you know it can be a frustrating experience. I had recurring chronic infections in my early 20’s. During this time, I asked several doctors why this was happening to me. They had literally no answer. They wouldn’t even address the question. Instead, it was, “here, just take this. This is what you take for what you’ve got.” Well, what I had just kept coming back, even after I took the meds.

And I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to fix my problem, and I wanted to know why. It wasn’t until I met Keith Sheehan that anyone even started to answer that question.

Sickness – disease – ill-health – feeling crappy — these don’t just fall out of the sky and hit you in the head. Our natural state is radiant health. So what is going wrong? Here is a list of 5 causes of sickness. From these you can find the real reason for your sickness and health. Then once you find the real reason, take some action to change it!

  1. In general, our diets suck. Or, even if your diet doesn’t suck right now, it did suck for a large chunk of your life. Sickness and health depend primarily on our diet. For example, I was a vegetarian for twenty years and ate mostly bagels, tofu and cake. Sorry, not enough nutrition in those foods to really lay the foundation for health. What we eat keeps us alive, but how well we eat (or ate) determines how well we live.
  2. Even when we do start to improve our diet, we are still eating the wrong diet for us. I thought going vegetarian would be healthier than eating meat. So I was working on eating better, according to the information I had at the time. But the veg diet just wasn’t right for me, as chronic skin problems, hormonal issues and fatigue were cropping up. I had to become more flexible mentally in order to adopt the correct approach for me.
  3. Even when we do start to eat the right diet for us, the soil is depleted and we’re just not getting the nutrition we should from all that good food. Vegetables, fruits, meats, fish – the nutritive content just ain’t what it used to be! According to this article – as yields have gone up, nutritional content of foods has gone down. Like a quality vs. quantity thing.
  4. We’re not taking the right supplements. I have seen several folks just recently who would not start to get better on a program with me until they cut out taking the supplements that were blocking their healing process. It sounds weird, I know. All supplements were not created equal. So I recommend seeking out the proper guidance on what specific nutrient support to take. Because we do need to fill in the gaps that we’re not getting in our diets.
  5. We don’t exercise. Hello? Physical activity, anyone? According to this article, only 20% of us are getting enough exercise. No wonder we’re generally depressed, overweight, tired, and stressed. Exercise is a medicine that will end those problems.
  6. Six? There are six reasons for poor health? Well, mostly there is only one reason. See reason #1. But I’m reserving #6 for stresses and toxins that may be keeping you sick that you will need a professional to locate and identify. You may not be able to do much about #6 right at this point, but you can sure do something about numbers 1,2,3,4 and 5! So get to it!

And even when the pieces of the puzzle are finally in place – proper diet, nutritional supplementation and exercise – then your body will take time to heal. It won’t happen overnight! But there is hope. And we can help! Call our office today to get yourself on the road to better health.

And I’m reporting my food to you.

This morning I had: coffee with butter and cinnamon, cashews, ground beef with onions, sweet potatoes and curry powder

At 12:00 PM I had: Greek Salad with some tuna salad on top. I skipped the dressing but used the juice from inside the bright green (banana)? peppers. Unsweetened iced tea with lemon.

1:30 PM: another cup of coffee. I’ve started using 1/2 caf (mixing full caf with decaf)

3:00 PM: a SP berry bar

I haven’t had supper yet, but I’m likely to have another salad and wings at DipCo. Sauce on the side! And perhaps one alcoholic beverage. But also maybe not. I haven’t decided yet.

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