What are the top health conditions we are facing today?
I thought this would be an interesting topic to talk about because this is what I am seeing a lot of in my practice and when I am talking with people who ask me these questions especially when they find out that I am an FM Practitioner.
Many people are suffering from digestive, autoimmune, and other health issues and they can’t seem to point the finger as to what is it that may be causing this discomfort. They tolerate it up to a certain point until it becomes unbearable and then they go and see a doctor.
They either get a diagnosis or the Dr. dismisses them because he can’t find the solution and their case is too mild that it does not warrant any medication. So they self-medicate with over-the-counter medication (which is harming them even further). They google things on the internet and begin to experiment with removing certain foods which may at first bring comfort but then escalates things to becoming worse and they soon can’t tolerate certain foods anymore. They share their experiences with others to soon realize that they are not alone and have similar issues but have no remedy. I think many of you can relate or may have heard of someone in this situation.
Let’s look at these very common undiagnosed health conditions
1. Adrenal Dysregulation
Our adrenal glands, which are two small triangles that sit on top of our kidneys are a powerhouse and produce several key hormones. They are very important for our immune system to function optimally. When they become tired, exhausted, or overworked, the body may experience several symptoms:
- Lower back pain
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Muscle twitching
- Heart palpitations
- Sensitivity to light and difficulty seeing at night.
- Craving salt
- Low stamina for stress and easily irritated.
- Poor sleep – restless and overthinking
- Carvings for sugar and carbs
- Intolerance to alcohol
- lack of libido
- Dry skin and excess pigmentation
- And the list goes on
You may experience one/ a few or several symptoms.
2. Candida overgrowth
Candida is an opportunistic organism and pathogenic yeast. It resides inside all of us. The body usually keeps it under control, and it is not harmful. If it does overgrow, then it wreaks havoc on our body system and begins to cause problems.
It overgrows due to:
- A poor or weakened immune system
- A diet high in refined carbs and sugar
- Prolonged taking of Birth control pills
- Excessive coffee or alcohol
- Heavy metal toxicity
- H.Pylori infection
- Chronic stress
The symptoms you may experience
- Persistent constipation
- Brain fog that you can’t get rid of
- Intense sugar cravings
- Nail fungus
- Recurring vaginal yeast intolerance
- Persistent food sensitivities or allergies
- White coating on the tongue
- Chronic sinus infection
- Debilitating chronic fatigue/exhaustion.
You may have some or several of these symptoms. They could be mild or strong.
3. Graves’ Disease
Graves’ disease is an Immune System Disorder, that causes an overproduction of thyroid hormone which is most commonly known as HYPERTHYROID. The clinical definition we use to explain this term is when the thyroid is attacking itself and is working harder than it needs to. We classify this as an Autoimmune disease. It affects mainly women between the ages of 30 – 50.
The most common symptoms to look out for:
- Digestive upset
- Anxiety and irritability
- Unexplained weight loss
- Heat sensitivity feeling hot all the time
- Increase in perspiration
- Frequent bowel movements
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Bulging eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Sleep issues.
This has many common shared premenopausal symptoms, but it is not. This is a sign from your body that you need a lifestyle change.
4. Hashimoto‘s Thyroiditis
Any disease that ends with “TIS” is classified as an Autoimmune disease. In this case, the thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormone and is attacking itself.
Symptoms Associated with this
- Weight gain
- Dry skin or thinning of hair
- Muscle weakness
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Fertility issues
- Feeling cold, especially nose and extremities
- Joint and muscle pain.
To stop the burden of attack and restore the function of the thyroid we must
- Clean out the diet
- Remove gut pathogens – look for EBV virus
- Increase immunoglobins
- Check for nutritional deficiencies
- Support the liver
5. Leaky Gut Syndrome
You have heard me mention this several times. I use the analogy of a balloon. The air inside and outside of the balloon Is separated by a thin membrane. When this begins to have holes, the air begins to seep out and deflates the balloon. The same thing happens inside the gut. Once that lining begins to tear. Microbes, undigested food particles and toxins begin to pass through that thin membrane into the bloodstream. It begins to wreak havoc and begins to cause imbalances impacting the brain, immune system, digestive system and hormones.
The symptoms you may experience
- Bloating and gas
- Brain fog
- Hair loss
- Food sensitives
- Autoimmune disorders- Hashimoto, arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus.
- Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance
- Skin issues- eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne
- Weight issues
Once again, we see many common symptoms in the categories mentioned above.
SIBO (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth) lately has gotten a lot of attention in the FM world. It is difficult to eradicate and takes several rounds of sometimes using antibiotics and medicinal herbs in conjunction to be able to eradicate it.
It is having an overgrowth of several good species of bacteria that should be confined in the COLON ( large intestine) migrating up towards the small intestine and setting up base there. It is mainly due to a malfunction of the ileocecal valve that may not be closing properly due to several reasons.
The small intestine caters to a small percentage of bacteria that do not live in the colon and when the bacteria from the large intestine enter the small intestine it has a feast day. Like taking a child into a candy shop! They eat and ferment the food causing a lot of extreme bloat, pain and aches.
Symptoms of SIBO
- Severe bloating and discomfort
- Trouble digesting most carbohydrates and other foods
- Many food sensitives
- Brain fog due to the gut/brain connection via the vagus nerve
- Severe constipation – not a joke!
As you can see, many of the symptoms overlap and they can impact our digestion and absorption of nutrients. This then impacts the health of the lining which relies on these nutrients to keep it healthy. The nutrients you consume have a downstream trickle effect on the health of your gut which impacts the quality of your microbiome which impacts your immunity, the function of your neurotransmitters and certain hormones as discussed above.
You need a good Functional Medicine practitioner to understand what to look for and put the puzzle pieces together – it’s like detective work – to understand the bigger picture in order to dive into the solution.
Adding the raw materials of what the body needs and removing what may be harmful to it through changes in diet, lifestyle and a few FM tests, will help you get to the root of the issue and will bring back homeostasis to the body for it to function optimally and heal itself.
I hope this newsletter has helped you in some way to understand the trending undiagnosed health issues we are seeing more and more of due to a diet high in refined carbs, sugar and high fructose corn syrup, fried food and NSAIDs like ibuprofen to manage inflammation, birth control pills, overconsumption of antibiotics and alcohol, lack of self-care, high stress and high use of herbicides. All of these have a very strong impact on our gut health and manifest in any of the symptoms mentioned ealier. You now have an explanation of what is causing it and a window on how to help yourself.
Always looking out for your health,
Small Changes for a Healthier “U”