Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The LEAP Diet: The Ultimate Food Sensitivity Diet Plan

Food sensitivities seem to be on the rise. Whether the symptoms are finally being recognized or the incidence in truly on the rise, more and more people are determining they have one or more food sensitivities. I deal with food sensitivities every week in my practice. It's impossible to ignore as a dietitian. It was out of frustration with the standard elimination diet and its ineffectiveness for some of my clients that I stumbled upon MRT, Mediator Release Test. Many of you already know about MRT. For those of you who don't, it's the most accurate food sensitivity test on the market that I recommend exclusively for my clients. You can read more in-depth about it at Oxford Biomedical's website. It's gaining in notoriety and popularity. I'm actually becoming more and more surprised how many people are already knowledgeable about the test. What surprises people most often, however, is that the test is just a small fraction of the whole equation. The "diet" protocol is the real key to getting well. To get the best possible outcome (complete resolution of symptoms) you have to follow this diet protocol to a "T." This is the main reason why LEAP clients are so successful. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Over 90% of my clients see dramatic results using MRT + the LEAP diet protocol. It astounds me every time but it works.
But why LEAP? LEAP stands for Lifestyle, Eating, and Performance. It's a protocol tailored specifically for each unique person and their unique test results. No one's food sensitivities are the same, so no one's elimination diet should be the same. That's why I have such a problem with those books that that tell people to eliminate the top allergenic foods and all your problems will go away. While it may work for some, for many it just doesn't solve the problem. The elimination diet should be tailored specifically for each person, their symptoms, and in the case of those who do MRT, their test results.
Let me take you through the process that I walk every one of my client's through. First thing we sit down and review what came back as high reactive (red), moderate reactive (yellow), and non-reactive (green). Based on that we devise a Phase I diet. You only consume the very lowest reactive foods for the first week. As you can see, this can be both challenging and boring. A limited diet is no fun and makes for much more work in the kitchen, but it's doable. I assist by brainstorming meal and snack ideas, offering specific food suggestions, and helping my client make a plan for implementation. Planning is SO important, both mentally and physically. Preparing your mind and your cupboards will set you up for success.
After Phase I we meet again. If everything is going as planned we move on to Phase II. In this phase we start adding back the rest of the "green" foods. We simply add back the rest of the non-reactive foods in a methodical manner to continue to calm the immune system and add more variety back into the diet.
Now Phase II can take a couple weeks. There are quite a few foods to add back in. Once that process is complete and presumably you are feeling great, we move on to Phase III. Of course if you are not feeling amazing for any reason then that is where I help troubleshoot, but for the sake of simplicity let's say everything is progressing as expected. Phase III is where we test back "untested" foods, namely all those foods that aren't included with the MRT test. MRT tests for 150 different foods and chemicals, so clearly it is not exhaustive. We need to have a way to know if any untested foods are causing immune reactions as well. This is another long process but one in which the diet gets progressively more and more inclusive. Oftentimes at this point you take the ball and run. You typically don't need much more help from me except maybe one additional check in or even just a quick email should random questions come up. The process is nearing completion and you have a good idea of what foods you can handle and which you can't.
Of course throughout this time as well we are working on gut healing protocols and considering additional supplementation, if necessary. It all just depends on your unique symptoms and conditions. It's such an extremely tailored process that again, a book or website alone often does not meet the needs of someone with serious food sensitivities.
I'm not bashing on all the books, though. They can be a great guide and motivator and provide some helpful tools and resources to get started on a new diet lifestyle. I'm reading a few right now (which I'll be reviewing, stay tuned!) and they have some fantastic tips and ideas that many people could employ. Just remember to seek expert help when needed instead of shelling out money for more books that only Band aid the problem.
So there you have it. This is a basic summary of the process I use when guiding someone through an elimination diet using MRT that consistently yields positive results. Now compare this to elimination diets you've read about in books or have been suggested to you by other practitioners and you can see why they don't address the entire picture. A one-size-fits-all approach just doesn't work for everyone. Something to think about if you or someone you know is dealing with ongoing food sensitivity reactions.

6 Top Treatments for Managing Heartburn

A chronic case of heartburn caused by a digestive disorder like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can result in wide-ranging complications. Leaving acid reflux untreated can lead to serious health issues, including cancer of the esophageal. Here are six of the most-effective options for treating acid reflux:
Lifestyle changes
Making simple lifestyle changes often helps the patient with the recurring problems with heartburn. Many of the symptoms associated with heartburn are relieved by making adjustments to everyday activities, from eating smaller and more frequent meals, reducing the intake of acid-stimulating liquids and foods, elevating the head when sleeping, maintaining a sensible weight and relaxing.
Healthy dietary plan
A common reason to suffer from heartburn relates to the specific type of food eaten. A person with an increased chance of suffering from this condition needs to take extra care to manage the day-to-day food intake. By eating the heartburn safe food and making the right recipes, it is possible to significantly cut the risk of experiencing issues with acid reflux. Certain trigger foods, like spicy foods, alcohol, carbonated beverages, tomato juice and black pepper, should be minimized to cut the chance of suffering from heartburn.
Over-the-counter medication
An over-the-counter remedy like histamine receptor antagonists is one of the more effective options for treating symptoms associated with heartburn. This helps to reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach that passes to the esophagus. This remedy is helpful for those patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Another over-the-counter medication is the Antacids which help neutralize the acid content in the stomach. It is fast acting and helps provide heartburn relief as soon as the medication reaches the stomach.
Prescription medication
A doctor can prescribe proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to help slow or stop the release of acid into the intestines and stomach. PPIs are given to patients with excess stomach acid (Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome), ulcers of the intestine or stomach, or acid reflux.
Promotility agents
The Promotility agents are given to patients with the GERD symptoms and having issues with slow gastric emptying. These agents are designed to increase the speed of digestion. This helps remove acid from the stomach at a quicker rate. This therapy option is considered when taking proton pump inhibitors or histamine receptor antagonists aren't effective.
Alternative treatments
Similar to many health complaints, it is possible to use a range of natural and homeopathic remedies to treat symptoms associated with the chronic acid reflux. Natural ways of treating heartburn include deglycyrrhizinated licorice, bananas, ginger, apple cider vinegar, chamomile tea, aloe Vera juice and turmeric.

The Road to Becoming an Emergency Medical Technician

On a daily basis, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) help those who need emergency medical care throughout the country in communities ranging from rural to urban areas. EMT's will provide emergency medical care in a variety of settings to people suffering from a variety of conditions. The most common setting is in the prehospital environment where EMT's can be found on an ambulance. In the prehospital setting, EMT's can expect to assist Advanced EMT 's (AEMT) and / or paramedics in providing basic and advanced care to a variety of patients ranging from trauma victims to those suffering from various medical conditions.
EMT's can be found in other areas as well. The profession is growing by leaps and bounds everyday. It is very common to find EMT's working alongside physicians and nurses in emergency departments and in urgent care centers. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, EMT's can expect to find many opportunities in various non-traditional settings.
EMT's can be expected to administer a variety of treatments to patients. Skills comprise of basic life support measures including the insertion of oral and nasal airways, application of an automated external defibrillator, administration of aspirin to patients having a possible heart attack, and basic trauma care. These skills are considered foundational and are used as a starting point when progressing to the more advanced levels including AEMT and Paramedic.
In most states, to become an EMT one will have to attend a course that is approved by the state the program is located in. Most states have a state agency that is dedicated to regulating the emergency medical services (EMS) including educational programs that focus on training EMT's. Programs are generally six months to one year in length, depending on how fast one wants to move. Regardless of the length of the program, the same content is covered and the hours required to complete the course are similar. The major difference is in how many days a week one will have to dedicate to the program. I have a saying, "It is not acceptable for an EMT to know only 80% of a subject." With this said, it must be understood that regardless if it is a six month class or a year long course, EMT students must master as close to 100% of the course material as possible. As an EMT, it should be your goal to help as many people as possible by NOT making the situation worse. You must strive to be the best and to strive to provide the best patient care possible.