What Can A Registered Dietitian Do For Me?
People don’t have to look very hard to get nutrition advice. Many sources provide you with the latest and greatest health or weight loss eating recommendations. But navigating the information from the TV, internet, or radio shows can be overwhelming and difficult. Who is right? How accurate is the information? Most likely they are all right to some degree, but they may not be recommendations that are right for you. Whether you want to lose weight, improve cholesterol levels, or learn how to plan menus, working with a Registered Dietitian can help you sort through the loads of information and devise a plan that is solidly based on evidence as well as shaped to fit your goals and lifestyle. Personally tailored advice based on health history, favorite foods, eating and exercise habits, and other factors ensures a more successful program to reach your goals. Registered Dietitians are experts in helping manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and more. Dietitians can also help individuals with food sensitivities, intolerances, and allergies learn how to shop, cook, and eat to best manage symptoms while reducing the risk of malnutrition. When it comes to weight loss, dietitians are key to both success and safety, and will help you learn strategies for meal planning, grocery shopping, journaling, and mindful eating.
Read Maddy’s LEAP Story
My name is Maddy, and I’m a 20-year-old college student studying public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read More…
5 Rs of the Gut
We all experience gastrointestinal dysfunction at one time or another in our lives. Sometimes the dysfunction is temporary, or sometimes it is a permanent lifetime condition or disease. There are several causes of GI dysfunction, but regardless of the cause or duration, all are treated in much the same manner. How do we know we have GI dysfunction? Sometimes we also call this “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. A number of symptoms could indicate that you have leaky gut. The obvious symptoms are present in your GI track and will cause GI distress such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and heartburn. Other symptoms are not as obviously related to leaky gut such as chronic headaches, fatigue, acne, brain fog, sinusitis, anxiety, depression, joint pain, insomnia … the list is nearly endless.
The first step in healing your gut is to REMOVE what is causing leaky gut. That may seem obvious but that’s actually the hardest part of healing your gut because identifying the cause is so challenging. For example:
- Parasites: if parasites are the cause of your leaky gut, you will want to do a parasite cleanse. Sometimes it is helpful to work with a specialist who understands the complexity of parasites and the best approach to treatment.
- Celiac disease: this autoimmune disease is an attack on the small intestine when the body is exposed to gluten – the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. The ONLY way to treat this cause of leaky gut is to remove gluten COMPLETELY. This means removing obvious sources such as bread, pasta, etc. but also hidden sources such as wheat found in medications, soy sauce, and cross contamination in sharing cooking utensils, etc.
- Processed food: if the source of your leaky gut is not identifiable immediately, removing processed food in general will support gut healing. Many of the chemicals found in food products cause intestinal inflammation.
- Food Sensitivities: the trickiest part of identifying food sensitivities is that the reaction to the food is often delayed even up to 3 days; they can also be dose dependent. Trying to figure out foods you are sensitive to is usually a chaotic and frustrating mess leading to no resolution. The BEST solution for identifying specifically the foods that are causing reactions is the Mediator Release Test (MRT).
Once we have removed the cause of leaky gut, we must fill the void of having removed that food by replacing with other foods. You’ll want to work with a dietitian or other professional that can help you create an eating plan that ensures you have a well-balanced nutrition profile. For example:
- Celiac disease: many times people will become so paralyzed by the need to eat gluten-free that when they shop and eat they only look for foods that are labeled GF. This could result in a scenario where a person is eating a lot of refined carbohydrates from other sources. Keep in mind, all whole fruits, vegetables, and meats are naturally GF.
- Food Sensitivities: the results of the MRT not only tell us which foods are most inflammatory to your immune system but also which are LEAST inflammatory. Working with a therapist that is trained in the MRT protocol will ensure that you have an eating plan designed to maximize GI healing and ultimately reduce systemic inflammation that is causing symptoms. With the right plan in place, people will often have anywhere from 25-75% resolution of symptoms within 10 days.
After thorough healing has taken place, we want to ensure that the gut remains healthy long term. It’s important to populate the GI track with the right bacteria: probiotics. Again, you’re going to want to work with a dietitian or other health professional that understands which probiotic is right for you. Different strains are more supportive of certain conditions than others such as:
- General immune support probiotics: L. reuteri, L. rhamnosus, and L. casei.
- General GI distress support probiotics: 3 strains of bifidobacterium, 4 strains of lactobacillus, and S. thermophiles.
- Acne and candida albicans: S. boulardii.
Sometimes our intestinal track needs additional support above and beyond what the prior steps can give in healing. This is where we assess any remaining symptoms and recommend supplements specific to what the individual needs. Now that the gut is repaired, the supplements will be better digested and absorbed and therefore more effective. For example:
- Celiac disease: individuals are at risk of osteoporosis and anemia among other things. These individuals may need supplements such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and iron in order to prevent long term side effects.
- L-glutamine: this is an amino acid, the most abundant in our body that is used for tissue repair. It functions in the gut to build and protect the mucosal lining that is necessary to prevent future leaky junctions.
- Zinc and L-carnosine: zinc is a mineral that plays a primary role in enzyme function but also acts as an anti-inflammatory. It stabilizes membrane tissues which are present throughout our entire GI track. Carnosine is another amino acid that works most effectively when taken in with zinc. It actually sticks to the gastric mucosal lining allowing the tissue to heal; recent studies have shown that this supplement can be used to prevent gastric cancer.
The last R in ensuring gut health is rest. We often get so busy in our lives or stressed and anxious about things that we upset the digestive process. Your body wants and needs rest:
- After meals: give yourself 30 minutes of down time after each meal. Your body actually goes into a rest and digest mode where its energy is directed at absorbing nutrients. Let your body do what it needs to do.
- Regular digestive support: yoga is a great practice that gives your entire digestive track support through various stretching and focus exercises.
- Stress reduction: in general, find ways to manage stress that helps relieve tension and anxiety. Treat yourself to time away, a walk, a good book, or whatever strategy works for you to get away from your stressors, at least temporarily.
To heal your gut, set up an appointment today with Kari at Rejuv Medical.
Nutrition & Supportive Health
Most people have no clue what a healthy diet consists of, but whose fault is it? The blame should be placed on society. Our society has convinced us that fad diets are the way to lose weight, or that there is a magic pill for weight loss. Stores market foods that are bad for us and claim they are healthy; the list goes on and on. There is only one correct way to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, not starve, and still achieve permanent results that lead to a lifestyle change. The answer is simple… it’s healthy eating, not a fad diet! Whether you are looking to lose weight, build muscle, maintain a healthy weight, feel better, or live longer, healthy eating has the same principles. Without a healthy balanced diet, you will be energy deficient which leaves you short of your full potential. No matter how hard you train you will never maximize your abilities on a diet high in sugars, sodium, and saturated fats, which is a typical diet for most Americans. Learning to eat a healthy diet may be challenging, but Rejuv has developed an easy to use program to help you maximize your gains and give you an unlimited supply of energy. We will explain all the right foods to eat and when it is best to consume certain foods. Everyone in the program will be educated on how to eat a healthy, balanced, and tasty diet specific to their needs. If you want to maximize your metabolism and fat mobilization, while increasing lean body mass, nutritional supplementation that is scientifically proven will help take you to the next level. With all the different supplements out there it is hard to know which will have a positive effect on our bodies. Whether you are looking to build muscle or lose body fat, we will recommend the supplements that fit your individual profile. Rejuv will dispel all myths and give you advice on which supplements have scientifically proven efficacy and safety that will help each individual achieve the most gains.