You are Not What You Eat

How many times have you heard the phrase You are what you eat? It simply isn't true. You are what you absorb! Let's draw a comparison with your car for a moment. If the fuel you put in it isn't reaching the motor or is of poor quality, then the motor will run rough and eventually stop. It is the same for your body.

In the fast pace world of today, we often eat less than perfectly. Add to this, high stress factors, pollution and prescribed drugs, many of which have less than desirable side effects, and it is easy to understand that our gastrointestinal tract is under constant attack. Our gut has an internal defence mechanism called Immunoglobulin A which acts like intercellular cement to impede the passage of antigens out into our bloodstream but sometimes this barrier fails. After twenty years as a naturopath and medical herbalist, I believe this is where many of our modern illnesses take root.

How many of your friends complain of constant tiredness or being bloated, experience reflux or headaches for which no cause can be found, have some form of arthritis or seem to be locked in an eternal battle with their weight? It has been my experience that many times the best starting point for addressing these problems is helping the person to fully assimilate what he or she is eating. This is vital for the restoration of good health because less than perfect assimilation can lead to hidden allergy and inflammation.

Oxidative stress and inflammation are the twin beacons of evil as we age so it is vital that we do everything possible to keep them subdued. To this end I feel fortunate to have had twenty years experience in dispensing Herbal Medicine. Here I am able to construct a specific formulation for an individual that allows me to make a connection with the patient which is quite different from that one could make by being restricted to offering a bottle of tablets that had been made in a factory somewhere, without recourse to the patient.

Returning to inflammation, I think this process has tentacles that reach into places as yet unsuspected. One such place may be the dark corners of Depression. Over the years I have seen a great many patients with Multiple Sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders where inflammation is involved. Many have accompanying Depression. It is now recognised that Coronary Artery Disease, the number one killer in the Western World, is married to inflammation. It is further recognised that an excess of certain foods such as hydrogenated fats (fried chips and some biscuits are high in these damaging fats) can contribute to heart disease but there seems to be steadfast refusal by many to even consider that persistent poor diet and inflammation may be contributing to the explosion of depression in the twenty-first century. Many depressed patients I see have struggled beneath a cascade of stress over many years. Stress can perpetuate inflammation.

Is there a link between Stress - Malabsorption - Inflammation and many of our modern illnesses such as Depression? I think the answer is a resounding - Yes. In many instances there are natural alternatives to antidepressants with fewer side effects.

DISCLAIMER: This information is of a general nature only. As each person reacts differently, the information must not be acted upon without a face to face consultation with your chosen Health Practitioner.

Stephen Zemek ND BN

To make an appointment at either my Brisbane or Sunshine Coast Clinic, please telephone +61 4 2878 9103.

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