Written by Lynda –FND Care Partner
Without the correct nutrients, the body doesn’t have the best opportunity to function optimally, repair or restore itself.
Experts in the field of nutrition are becoming increasingly concerned about the volume of highly processed food available to the consumer. They are warning that this kind of food is empty of any real nourishment and are warning that people living in the western world are the most well-fed under-nourished society ever! They say we are often fooled into believing we are having a meal when in fact we are consuming food like substances that are not food at all.
Even if we take the time to read the labels, hidden ingredients and misleading labeling laws that govern the food industry make it difficult to be completely certain what we are eating. It is concerning that in some examples, preservatives and hidden ingredients can make the list of ingredients look more like a chemistry lab experiment than a food experience.
For anyone who has FND, these issues can be an even bigger challenge because shopping is an activity that many find difficult, so to stop, find and understand the labels takes too long and can be stressful and confusing and can trigger an episode. However, it’s unlikely that we will remain healthy and strong if we only eat processed food. It doesn’t mean we have to stop shopping in supermarkets but it does mean we could choose to be more mindful/ thoughtful about what we buy. It’s worth remembering that even “healthy” options like smoothies and juices that can be bought from the supermarket have been highly processed and are not at all like the juices and smoothies that are made fresh in your kitchen and the closer a food is to its natural state, the healthier it is.
To give the best chance of recovery during illness, the body is in even more need of excellent nutrition to enable the natural healing resources in the body to be supported. It is essential to make sure that a good supply of vitamins and minerals are available on a daily basis so the body can regain health and maintain it. The best and easiest way for the body to get this is through a diet that is rich in micronutrients. Simply put, foods rich in Micronutrients are vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and beans.
Because of these factors, considering how and what you eat may be a good way of bringing healthful changes into your personal wellness plan. Eating wisely allows the body to be in optimum condition, illness and disease cannot take hold so easily in a strong and healthy body so food could be seen as the best preventative medicine!
VITAMINS, MINERALS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Some people feel that supplementing their diet is helpful. Some hypothesize that the body requires/uses a larger amount of particular vitamins and minerals to repair during illness. Others suggest that deficiencies in vitamins and minerals might be the cause of the condition or at least exacerbate it.
Today’s recommended daily doses of vitamins and minerals are too low because they are based on research and data from many years ago. Lifestyles have changed drastically since that research was compiled and levels of pollution are through the roof, mineral levels in soil have dropped drastically due to changes in non-organic farming techniques and environmental stresses and life pressures on the body are completely different.
VITAMIN D IS NOT REALLY A VITAMIN
Vitamin D is really a hormone, it’s made in your body, it’s your body’s only source of calcitriol (the most potent steroid hormone in your body) and it’s crucial for preserving health and preventing disease.
Since only 10% of (vitamin) D comes from your diet, the remaining 90% comes from sunlight or supplements. Exposure to sunlight is the only reliable way your body can generate (vitamin) D. It is generated by your skin’s response to ultraviolet radiation exposure from the sun. Your body can generate 20,000 units of (vitamin) D after only 20 minutes in the summer sun without sunscreen. The other source is (vitamin) D3 supplements (cholecalciferol the active form of vitamin D).
Symptoms of a (vitamin) D deficiency are:
• Muscle pain and weakness
• Muscle cramps
• Joint pain
• Chronic pain
• Weight gain
• Restless sleep
• Poor concentration
• Bladder problems
• Constipation or diarrhea
SUPPLEMENTS PEOPLE WITH FND HAVE FOUND HELPFUL
• B Vitamins
- B2 helps with migraines
- B12 helps with mental fogginess and Fibromyalgia
- Choline helps with poor memory
• Omega 3
- cognitive function
- mental clarity
- joint pain
• Whey Protein
- joint pain
THE BENEFITS OF MAGNESIUM
Magnesium is essential to help our bodies maintain balance, prevent illness, perform well under stress and maintain a good state of health.
Magnesium level in the body is linked to:
- Muscle spasms/cramps
- Muscle tension/pain
- Restless leg syndrome
- Poor memory
The effect of magnesium on the body is as intense as medication prescribed by a doctor. However, unlike prescription medication, magnesium is retained in the body for future use.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are:
• muscle cramps
• irregular heartbeat
You could be magnesium deficient if you:
• drink carbonated beverages
• eat a lot of refined sugar
• experience a lot of stress
• recently had major surgery
• drink caffeine on a daily basis
•Take a diuretic, heart or asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy
• Drink more than seven alcoholic beverages a week
HOW STRESS AFFECTS DIGESTION
The enteric nervous system controls digestion. This system is comprised of hundreds of millions of nerves and they all communicate with your central nervous system. When stress triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response in the central nervous system, digestion can shut down. This shut down can occur due to decreased blood flow, changes in the digestive muscle contractions and decreased digestive secretions.
Stress can also cause:
• gastrointestinal inflammation
• esophageal spasms
• bowel changes
Some of the keys to healthy digestion are:
• stress management
• physical activity
• relaxation (yoga, biofeedback, meditation)
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME DIET (IBS)
Changing your diet is important in controlling the symptoms of IBS. There is no ‘one size fits all’ diet for people with IBS. The best diet will depend on your symptoms and how you react to different foods. Keeping a food diary can help you identify and avoid foods that trigger your symptoms.
People with IBS often need to adjust their fiber intake. There are two main types of fiber: soluble fiber (the body can digest) and insoluble fiber (the body cannot digest).
Foods that contain soluble fiber include:
• golden linseeds
Foods that contain insoluble fiber include:
• wholegrain bread
• nuts and seeds
If you have IBS with diarrhea, cut down on the insoluble fiber you eat and artificial sweeteners. If you have IBS with constipation, increase the amount of soluble fiber you eat and the amount of water you drink.
YOUR GUT BACTERIA AFFECTS YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION, STUDY CONFIRMS – JUNE 20 2013
“The bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that comprise your body’s microflora actually outnumber your body’s cells 10 to 1, and it’s now becoming increasingly clear that these tiny organisms play a MAJOR role in your health—both physical and mental.”
“The impact of microflora on your brain function has again been confirmed by UCLA researchers who, in a proof-of-concept study, found that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) indeed altered the brain function in the participants.”
As reported by UCLA:1
“Researchers have known that the brain sends signals to your gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. This study shows what has been suspected but until now had been proved only in animal studies: that signals travel the opposite way as well.
‘Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,’ [Dr. Kirsten] Tillisch said. ‘Our study shows that the gut-brain connection is a two-way street.’”
“The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology,2 claims the discovery “carries significant implications for future research that could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function.”