In the last few years, the 'free' (gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP diet etc.) diets have become more accepted. There are online shops, health food stores and restaurants that propose other that conventional menus. Maybe someone in your family or your friend started a new diet, stating that he or she feels fantastic and maybe you consider to start it as well.
Every person is unique
Starting a new diet can be challenging and motivation plummets if you don't see results immediately. However, every person is unique and current research suggests that each individual should follow the right kind of diet according to his or her microbiota and genetics, environment, daily habits and much more. Laboratory tests are mostly very expensive and unless you are lucky to find a functional doctor who recognizes the importance of nutrition for regaining health, you are alone in your decision about changing your lifestyle. After many trials and errors and lab tests I still don't have the definitive answer what might be the specific diet for me or my family. It would require genetic testing, stool testing and expensive food intolerance testing for every member of my family. However, there are some basic rules which can be followed by everyone:
Eat whole food, mostly plants.
Get outside as much as possible.
Sleep 7 to 8 hours per night.
Supplement with quality supplements. Read more here.
So what's the role of doctors in all this? Your conventional doctor can prescribe you a blood and urine test but unfortunately, his work ends there. Why? Because conventional doctors do not study nutrition at the medical school and unless they are really interested in this topic or have the time and energy to read medical journals after long hours spent with their patients, they will not know that you can dramatically improve your health just by changing your diet.
Maybe your doctor will try to heal symptoms but symptoms are only the manifestation of your body that something is not right. Chronic inflammation is the main cause of chronic disease, a plague that health care systems are dealing with every day. Diabetes, autoimmune disease, the list goes on and on. If you have a chance to see a functional doctor or a nutritionist in your area, it is a very good option but there are not many (if any) insurance companies that reimburse the visit of a nutritionist or a Mind Body Eating Coach. Of course, health is much more important than money but not everyone has the budget to spend on expensive tests and alternative practice.
So what should you do when you struggle with symptoms which can sometimes be one page long? Change your diet! Change your diet! And once again, change your diet! Did I say that you should change your diet?
Start eating whole, unprocessed organic food with no preservatives, additives or sugar. Drink plenty of water. After that, you can try some 'free' (gluten-free, lactose-free) diet but don't do so just because your friend does it. And learn to ignore people who make jokes because you are on this 'new diet' and you cannot 'eat proper food'. Nutrition is the foundation of health and we might finally start to act like that.
Your health is your responsibility. Not your doctor's. Not your friend's. It just takes one month, sometimes only few weeks to see major improvements. You will sleep better, have more energy to play with your kids or grandchildren, and you will not crave sugar in the afternoon.
Where to start? Start with baby steps. Swap that energy drink or soda pop for a herbal tea or water with lemon, get out to receive your dose of Vitamin D. Enjoy your food, create new recipes, do not view your new diet as a punishment. There is health on the horizon. And good health, my friend, is the greatest gift there is. I wish you can find the right diet for you or your family member and thrive again! For an individual approach, contact me via this link.