On Sept. 2, the prestigious Johns Hopkins opened The Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center. This is another indication that Naturopathic and Integrative Medicine is coming into the mainstream, with credibility and integrity. It is not a surprise that the center works primarily on digestive health issues-one of numerous areas where Naturopathic Medicine truly shines. About 70% of immune system function is housed in the digestive tract, and licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors are the most skilled-and the most extensively trained- on how to discover the underlying cause of digestive disorders and how to work with the body to support its natural healing response. One foundational approach is to support detoxification. You can learn more about digestive health and its connection to the immune system by clicking here.
There is a lot of talk these days about the value of probiotics. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that are naturally supposed to live in your gut. There are literally hundreds of strains of these bacteria, and they play an important role in immune function, weight loss, vitamin status, detoxification, absorption and digestion. When you take antibiotics, they clear out the “bad bacteria” in your gut, but they also clear out the good bacteria, and like every other system in the body, it is vital that you maintain balance in the gut. You need enough good bacteria in your gut to prevent bad bacteria from taking hold and causing symptoms. This bad bacteria can take many forms which can cause a wide range of symptoms such as a cold gas, bloating, fatigue and many others.
In my practice, one mistake I often see patients making is taking too much of one strain of a good bacteria, like acidophillus, to the exclusion of other good bacteria like Lactobacillus GG and sacharomyces. When I test their levels of probiotics in their gut, I find that they have an overgrowth of one strain. So again, it is about balance. If you take a probiotic, rotate which one you take, about every three months. Some of my favorites include ABX Support (especially if you are taking or have recently taken antibiotics), Probiotic Pearls and Culturelle.
Every day, licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors are exposed to news, information, and research that affects the health and well-being of patients, friends and family. Each day more information is released on natural medicine, prevention and health.
The hope is that you enjoy the information and find value in the shared thoughts and personal experiences about health and vitality, the planet and the power of natural medicine. Feel free to chime in with comments and experiences of your own.