Happy New Year!
Every year, for the first 4 to 6 months, I put myself through a “dietary challenge” to support my clients with specific health conditions. I figure that if I follow the diets I prescribe I will better be able to troubleshoot issues that arise for people that require the diet for medical reasons. It is also harder for clients that are required to follow the diet to whine at me, when they know that I have adhered to the required diet strategy myself.
In no way are dietary guidelines meant to be cruel, but it has become increasingly clear to me that dietary and lifestyle practices are critical to successful medical outcomes. Compliance to dietary guidelines has also become a reasonable screening tool for me to gauge the commitment level that clients have to get better. I’m certainly not saying that all clients with compliance issues are destined to fail, but the higher the compliance the higher the likelihood of success is a fair rule of thumb to follow. Further, I think it is great that we now have so many researched and/or individualized dietary programs available to support specific health concerns.
We have the GAPS diet for some mental health conditions like Autism. The Paleo (Autoimmune) Diet for autoimmune disease. The ketogenic diet in support of cancer. My typical diet, which is consistent with a traditional Mediterranean diet for cardiovascular disease. Among many others.
This year, in support of my new SIBO Testing and Treatment Clinic I will be following the FODMAP diet. The FODMAP diet is the traditional diet for IBS, which eliminates what research suggests are highly “fermentable” foods. Specifically FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols which requires the elimination of high fructose, lactose, galactans, fructans and polyols. These sugars are found in higher amounts in some foods which are required to be avoided during the active treatment of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). For more information on SIBO, check out sibotesting.com and for more info on FODMAP have a look at http://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/fodmap-food-list/.
Although my diet experiments are always important news , that was not actually the intention of this blog post. Recently, I finished a book by Dr William Walsh PhD in Biochemistry, called “Nutrient Power”. Although the title of the book is not to exciting and the writing style is difficult, Dr Walsh deserves some serious credit for his work in what he calls “Nutritional or Nutrient Therapy”, equivalent to Orthomolecular and Functional Medicine of today. This book, if you can get through the convoluted writing style and confusing descriptions, amounts to a life time of practice experience in Functional and Orthomolecular Psychiatry. There is no other words to describe it, but AMAZING!
In fact I believe this work is so critical to understand that I spent days, over my holidays, summarizing Dr Walsh’s work and I am going to commit 3 or so weeks of blog posts to “Nutrient Power” in an attempt to outline the essential nature of this work for people battling with a mental health issue. In essence I believe that Dr Walsh has cracked the metabolic code of Functional and Orthomolecular psychiatry.
Dr Walsh offers more than 30 years of research experience, testing roughly 30000 patients suffering with everything from Autism and depression to Opposition Defiant Disorder and Schizophrenia, for a host of different nutritional deficiencies, biochemical imbalances and toxicity related concerns. Over his 30 years of trial and error, I believe his work is monumental in the treatment of many different mental health disorders.
I have been trying to develop different algorithms and biotypes for different mental health disorders for several years now, having seen clear patterns in the treatment of clients with specific mental health disorders. My testing profiles have been similar to Dr Walsh’s, including conventional blood work, food allergy testing, organic acid testing, genetic testing for methylation issues and many additional tests when required. In addition to a solid work up, similar to Dr Walsh, I have a good track record for follow up data, to indicate improvements and support better maintenance programs for people that have improved, or provide better management of expectations for people that are not entirely better. But Dr Walsh’s work is 20 years ahead of my work and much more concise. Essentially this information is life altering for many people that suffer from a mental health illness who will be able to undergo his detailed biotyping.
I encourage everyone to try and read this book, because everyone of us knows someone that suffers with a mental health disorder. At the very least I would encourage every medical professional (Psychiatrists, Pediatricians, Medical Doctors, Naturopathic Doctors, etc) that play a primary care role in mental health to read this book. Patients need to be armed with a copy of this book to discuss with their primary care provider or to provide as a gift to their doctor. If the physician is willing to read the information outlined by Dr Walsh it will change their practice of medicine forever. Not to mention it might be easier for me to get all of the blood tests I need done for my clients without them having to pay.
Please stay tuned, more on Dr Walsh and “Nutrient Power” to come!