Fix It or Suppress It – Your Choice!

Understanding nutrition is difficult at best because there is so much conflicting information. Understanding nutritional supplements is also difficult because one person will get great results using a specific herb or vitamin and the next person will get not results on the same product. There are so many studies that report on a single nutrient – for example, cinnamon seems to be the most popular supplement for controlling blood sugar. But what about chromium, vanadium and biotin? They still work and are available in blood sugar control formulations?
Our human nature makes us tend to focus on the “one” thing that will make us healthy instead of following a balanced approach. I like to think about how the body actually works and use common sense. For example, are those who are using cinnamon for blood sugar control doing anything else to help manage blood sugar? What about dietary changes such as eating low glycemic index foods and eliminating the wrong kind of fats? What about regular exercise which is proven to be a crucial component of managing blood sugar levels? What about magnesium which most diabetics tend to be deficient in?
The cholesterol craze is another single focus issue that many are concerned about. When you know how the body works, then you can take a balanced approach to managing it. One component of the cholesterol puzzle is what you eat – not only the wrong kind of fats, but too many refined carbohydrates as well. A sign of poor carbohydrate metabolism and a diet too high in refined carbohydrates is high cholesterol combined with high triglycerides. People with this problem tend to either be diabetic or have insulin resistance (meaning compromised blood sugar handling). Low glycemic diets and supplements that help manage blood sugar levels help reduce both cholesterol and triglycerides.
Another part of the cholesterol puzzle is the understanding that the body eliminates cholesterol through the digestive system. The bile which is made by the liver to emulsify fats contains cholesterol which is meant to be carried out of the body with other waste products through the colon. Fiber acts like a sponge and soaks up the cholesterol so that it can be eliminated naturally. If the diet does not contain enough fiber, or if there is a problem with constipation, then the cholesterol is reabsorbed rather than being eliminated.
Liver problems will also contribute to cholesterol problems. The standard American diet and lifestyle tend to be hard on the liver with several common foods such as coffee and chocolate making the bile thick and congealed. If the liver is congested such that the bile does not flow freely, then the cholesterol will not be eliminated. I have seen cholesterol drop 40 points in short periods of time just from cleaning the liver.
Another piece of this cholesterol puzzle is essential fatty acids that are not in the standard diet. These include flax oil and fish oil. These oils reduce the melting point of cholesterol so that it stays liquid and does not harden into arterial plaque. When supplementing these oils, cholesterol will sometimes increase as cholesterol deposits are melted and returned to circulation.
The point of all if this information on cholesterol is that chronic health problems are typically complex and require understanding of what your specific nutritional issues are. The one size fits all approach of prescription drugs will certainly fix the symptom, but will they solve the problem so that it does not happen again? Normally chronic health problems are the result of many years of imbalance in lifestyle (including diet) that finally result in symptoms. If the problem was caused by lifestyle and nutrition, then it is reasonable to assume that adjustments to lifestyle and nutrition will correct the problem given enough time.

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About NaturalCowgirl

Margaret Durst has been involved with natural health for over 20 years. In her early 30s, she was faced with a medical diagnosis that recommended a lifetime of prescription drugs. In her heart, she knew that there must be an alternative way to healing and health and thus began her journey into natural health. Along the way, Margaret has trained with many different natural health practitioners and earned a degree in Naturopathy. She established her nutritional consulting practice and opened The Green House in 2003 to enable her mission of helping people navigate the natural health maze. People have praised Margaret for intuitive ability to help people address their health issues and goals with diet and lifestyle choices and successfully take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. This comes from Margaret’s deeply held beliefs in the body’s innate ability to heal and in the tools nature provides for health and healing.
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4 Responses to Fix It or Suppress It – Your Choice!

  1. As usual, a very enlightening piece of writing.

  2. TempII says:

    There were a number of things which I didn’t know about in this article. Thanks for writing it.
    I wonder if this would be a good place to ask questions?
    I know someone with blood clots in the leg and pelvic area. Doing the holistic approach has not been easy. I often wished there were a guide, but after reading this I see a guide would be of little use, yet the experience of others would be helpful I think. With reoccurring pain in the leg and swelling, is exercise the right thing to do if it results in more swelling and/or more pain? Is this the type of condition that is improved if a person just works through it in spite of the pain, or is it better to rest and heal, or perhaps only do very light exercise at first, such as walking up and down several flights of stairs? It’s just been too cold to go outside and go for a walk, I think that would be great, but again, once it warms up, long hard walks vs. a short easy walk is the dilemma. I absolutely hate not being able to supply solutions.

  3. TempII says:

    About the time I made my first comment here we upped the vitamin E dose from 100IU to 800IU per day. A couple of days after that the pain and swelling went down considerably. It could just be coincidence, but I doubt it.
    I seem to recall reading somewhere about a person taking 1600IU of vitamin E. If the pain and swelling comes back in a big way we may up the dosage that much,… but hopefully that will not happen.

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