Categories Uncategorized

Telehealth sessions and Important Policy Change

Hi everyone -​I hope you are all having a happy, healthy, and safe January so far.

​Between the end of year holiday preparations and the changes that often come at the start of the new year, it can be a busy and stressful time for us all. As a result, some of you may be finding it difficult to keep your scheduled appointment time.

​As a gentle reminder, if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment for any reason, I do ask for 24 hours notice. This allows any other clients who would like your appointment time to have the opportunity to schedule it. It also allows me to better serve you by using this time to schedule calls with Vibrant clinicians to inquire about test results, so that I can make recommendations more promptly and get you well.

​For your convenience, I am attaching the office policies statement that was sent to you at the time of your initial session. I have added in a new note about telehealth. Going forward, telehealth sessions will be ‘held’ for 20 minutes. If you have not logged in for your session within the first 10 minutes, I will resend you the appointment link and reach out to you via email. If after another 10 minutes, you have still not logged in for your call or notified me that you are having trouble logging in, your appointment will be cancelled and you will need to reschedule.

​Thank you for your understanding as we continue to navigate through this uncertain time. I truly appreciate you, and I look forward to helping you achieve your nutrition goals in 2021.​



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Categories Advice, Gut Health, Health, Nutrition

Is SIBO the Cause of Your IBS?

Do you struggle with gas, bloating (that gets worse as the day goes on), distention, pain, or chronic IBS? Have you ever stopped to question the root cause? It could be SIBO.

What is SIBO?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is an overgrowth or accumulation of bacteria in the small intestine (SI). Normally, we want a diverse amount of healthy bacteria in the large intestine (colon) but not in the small intestine. The overgrowth in the SI can cause discomfort and a host of other symptoms. Current research indicates that more than 75% of patients with IBS also have SIBO.

What causes SIBO?

  • Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) – Stomach acid kills bacteria
  • Compromised motility (gastroparesis, Parkinson’s, scleroderma)
  • Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
  • Compromised gallbladder
  • Age
  • Food poisoning
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Chronic use of NSAIDs, Antibiotics, or opioids
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Intestinal surgery
  • Fistula
  • Genetics
  • Stress

What are signs and symptoms of SIBO?

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea, Constipation, or a combination of the two
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Reflux
  • Rosacea/Eczema/Psoriasis
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss/gain

How do you test for SIBO?

You can test for SIBO using a breath test. Breath tests can be done at your doctor’s office or at home. A brief fast is required (24-48 hours) in which you eat certain foods such as chicken and white rice. During the test, a lactulose or glucose solution is consumed. Once consumed, you will be asked to breath into a bag in intervals for up to 2 hours.

What are the different types of SIBO?

  • Hydrogen dominant
  • Methane dominant
  • Hydrogen sulfide dominant

During testing, different levels of hydrogen and methane gas in the breath will be measured. If there is a rise in either hydrogen or methane at the 90 minute mark, SIBO is present. For hydrogen, a rise in >- 20ppm is indicative of SIBO. For methane, a rise in >- 10ppm is indicative of SIBO

How is SIBO treated?

  • Antibiotics such as Xifaxan/Rifaximin or neomycin
  • Herbal microbials
  • Dietary intervention
  • 5R Gut Protocol

What is the best diet for SIBO?

There are many different diets that have been studied and implemented to help support a patient with SIBO. These include Low FODMAP, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), a Bi-Phasic diet, and an Elemental diet. By far the most well researched diet for SIBO is the low FODMAP diet. It is also the most flexible and least restrictive diet of those mentioned, so this is the diet I recommend starting with. Many individuals with SIBO develop food sensitivities, so it is common that by the time they come to see me, they are already avoiding a number of different foods because they have become intolerant to them. The goal with dietary intervention is to implement a diet that will support the treatment phase (when you are taking antibiotics or microbials) and allow you to have a well balanced diet that provides you with adequate calories and nutrition. With any SIBO diet, your goal is to do this temporarily  (on average 6 weeks) until you start to feel better.

If you want to learn more about SIBO or if you have been diagnosed and are looking for dietary support and counseling, contact me here.

Photo Image by Анастасия Гепп from Pixabay

Categories Advice, Health, How To, Nutrition

Are your dietary supplements helping or hurting you?

When it comes to purchasing and consuming nutritional supplements, quality matters. 

Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. This means that commercial brand supplement companies are not being upheld to quality and safety standards like they should be. As a result, many commercial brand supplements can potentially put you at risk.

These risks include:

  • Supplements that contain harmful additives, fillers, or contaminants. One example would be protein powders that were found to contain lead.
  • Supplements that contain versions of nutrients that are poorly absorbed. There are different forms of different micronutrients. For example, B12 and magnesium. The cheaper forms are less absorbed and in the case of magnesium, can lead to cramping and diarrhea. Another example would be folic acid vs folate. Your body needs to convert folic acid to folate but some individuals are poor converters. In these cases, taking folic acid may actually make them feel worse instead of better.
  • Supplements that don’t contain what they say they do. Some may be lacking the amount of the nutrients that they claim, or possibly may not contain those nutrients at all.
  • Supplements that contain inaccurate labeling and contain potential allergens.

Supplement Safety

When purchasing supplements it’s important to know who to trust and what to look for. Here are my top recommendations:

  • Purchase professional grade supplements only. This will guarantee potency, safety and purity of the product. These companies also guarantee the latest science behind formulation and dosage.
  • Purchase directly through the manufacturer or a qualified healthcare practitioner. You will have a professional who can answer any questions that you have about the efficacy of the product, current research studies, clinical findings, and whether or not the supplement is right for you.
  • Look for companies that opt for third party testing. Third party testing ensures that supplements are clean, safe, and contain exactly what they say they do. Companies have to pay for this testing. Since supplements aren’t regulated and this testing isn’t mandated, many companies don’t opt to do it. Professional grade supplement companies pay for third party testing because they stand behind their products and have the safety of their consumers in mind. These supplements may cost a little more as a result, but it’s worth it to know you are purchasing a high quality product.
  • Pay attention to the expiration dates. I have heard stories of clients purchasing from consumer Internet sites like Amazon, only to receive expired products in the mail. There is also no guarantee that your product was stored properly. Think of a probiotic that must be refrigerated. When you buy from sites like Amazon, you have absolutely no way of knowing if that product was stored under the proper conditions. 
  • Know where your supplements are coming from. Supplements should be sold, shipped and tracked directly from where they are being made. A recent news article highlighted the dangers of counterfeit supplements being sold online and branded as professional supplements.
  • Look for the most bioavailable forms of nutrients. These are the forms of a nutrient that will replete deficiencies because your body will absorb it the most.
  • Avoid any products with unnecessary fillers, flavorings, or sugar alcohols that can actually make you feel worse instead of better. The exact opposite of what a supplement is designed to do.

In my practice, I suggest my clients purchase supplements through Wellevate.me. Wellevate only offers professional grade supplements. Safety and purity is guaranteed, the products are third party tested, and they are available directly from the manufacturer. By using Wellevate, you can purchase supplements that are recommended during your nutritional sessions with confidence, versus trying to find similar products in stores and not really knowing if the product is the same. To setup an account, click here

Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Categories Advice, Exercise, Health, Nutrition, Sleep, Stress

Self Care: Necessity, not luxury

I have been seeing a trend in my practice lately. Clients come into a program with the best of intentions – to focus on their health, heal their bodies, and put themselves first for a change, only to get sucked back into life’s harsh realities that zap their motivation and plan. They reschedule or cancel visits and put their wellness goals on the backburner. I see it over and over, and I understand because at times in my life I have done the same. My father died in September. The weeks preceding his death were anguishing. I didn’t go to the gym and at times I skipped meals. I didn’t sleep. It’s easy to de-prioritize yourself when you are juggling a hectic work schedule, kids, aging parents, or caring for a friend or loved one. The list goes on an on.

Life will always present us with these challenges. This I know for sure. But self-care can really save us in times like these. Fueling our bodies with nourishing food, moving our bodies with some form of physical activity, deep breathing for stress reduction, and of course getting some much needed rest.

Self-care is a necessity, not a luxury. It’s like the instructions the flight crew gives you on an airplane prior to take off – in the event of an emergency, put YOUR oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs. It is ok to prioritize your needs first. This is not an act of selfishness. This is an act of self-love and self-worth.  It is a demonstration of your love for those around you. Because when you give yourself these gifts, you become the best version of YOU.

So don’t feel bad about scheduling your nutrition visit, or going to the gym, or taking the extra time to cook some healthy meals for yourself, or simply taking a break. You are worth every bit of that time.

As a reminder, I do offer virtual counseling. Simply login from a tablet, smart phone, computer or other Wifi connected device. Virtual visits are an easy and convenient way to continue with your sessions without requiring the time to make a trip to the office. And if you are like most of my clients and getting pulled in multiple directions, time is everything.

To schedule a virtual nutrition session, click here.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

Categories Advice, Food, Gut Health, Health, Nutrition, Protein, Uncategorized

Confused about collagen?

Collagen supplements are becoming increasingly popular. Are you confused by them? You may be wondering whether or not this is something your body needs, or if these types of supplements even work. This post will help you decide if it’s right for you.

Understanding collagen

Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids. It is one of the most prevalent proteins found throughout the body. It is present in bones, skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, your intestinal lining, and other fibrous tissues.  The main role of collagen is to provide structural support to your tissues. There are different forms of collagen, but the primary amino acids that comprise it are glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.

Role of collagen

As we age, collagen levels decrease. This can lead to issues such as osteoarthritis, joint pain, stiff tendons, wrinkled skin, and GI disturbances. As a result, collagen is being added to beauty products and dietary supplements as a means of providing anti-aging benefits, reducing joint pain, supporting healthy bones and healing leaky gut.

Benefits of collagen

While some studies are mixed, there is strong evidence to support the following benefits of collagen

  • Promotes skin elasticity, hydration, anti-aging and improvement in overall appearance.
  • Can increase bone density and reduce bone loss
  • Helps reduce joint pain and stiffness
  • Can increase the process of wound healing

There is moderate evidence to support these additional benefits*

  • May support growth of hair and nails
  • May increase muscle mass
  • May protect against mucosal damage and support a healthy intestinal barrier
  • May support cardiovascular health

*Further studies are needed

Collagen food sources

So how can you obtain collagen naturally? Collagen is mainly found in animal tissue – primarily in the joints, tendons and bones. Bone broth is another common food source. You can purchase commercially made bone broth, but the best way to reap the benefits is to make it yourself. Here is a recipe you can try.

If eating animal carcass or drinking bone broth is not your thing, you can also try consuming foods that synthesize collagen and support its production. These include poultry, game meat, organ meat, fish, shellfish, cheese, egg whites, seeds, spirulina, and soy.

Collagen supplements

Collagen supplements come in a variety of forms including capsules, gummies, powders. One of the most common and versatile forms of collagen supplements can be found in bovine, chicken, or marine collagen peptides.

Collagen peptides are the result of larger collagen molecules being broken down into short chain amino acids. Peptides are ideal because they break down easily in liquids. You can add them to both cold and hot beverages, such as coffee or a smoothie. You can also include them in baked goods.

There is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for collagen, but on average 2.5-1.5g per day have been utilized in studies. As with all supplements, I only recommend professional grade brands. Supplements are not regulated so quality really does matter. For example, with some commercial protein powders, there is concern about potential lead contamination. It’s worth investing a few more dollars to know that what you are consuming is safe. As always, before consuming any supplement I urge you to talk with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine if you really need it.

For more tips like these or to book a session, contact me here

Sources:

  • The Functional Nutrition Library
  • https://health.clevelandclinic.org/
  • https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0319p26.shtml
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23375414
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25884286
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