Why head to the pharmacy when you can go to the grocery store?
In the past fifty years, food and nutrition has taken a back seat to pharmaceuticals and supplements in healthcare. We are taught to treat symptoms with medications, and we expect quick fixes to serious illnesses with no understanding of why we are experiencing these symptoms. In doing so, we miss out on grasping the relationship between lifestyle, diet, stress and other factors that play key roles in health and wellness.
The body is an intricate and interconnected system and should be treated as such. The food we eat is not only fuel (calories) for our bodies and their microbial inhabitants, but the main source of micronutrients: vitamins, minerals, and other chemicals essential to our proper functioning. We are rediscovering that certain foods can help mitigate and reduce symptom severity. Conversely, other foods can lengthen and intensify symptoms. One thing is abundantly clear– food matters!
With the overwhelming amount of information on the Internet and social media, it can be easy to get lost among the new fad diets. Success story after success story can be inspiring but can just as quickly turn into self doubt when none of these diets “fix” you.
You are not alone! After more than 30 years of symptom management, I continue to work to create my optimal diet. My failures, successes, and exploration of new therapies make me feel hopeful about the future of nutrition! More scientists are collaborating across disciplines such as immunology, genetics, microbiology, nutritional sciences and more to develop novel therapeutics, dietary guidelines and a better understanding of why they might work.
Just because a diet worked great for your partner or friend does not mean it will work for you! You are unique, your symptoms are distinctive, and there is much more to the story of your body, the food you eat, and the symptoms you have. You will likely have to modify the brand-name, specific diets to make them work for your symptoms and your lifestyle! Getting optimally healthy doesn’t happen overnight or because of one change, it is an ongoing process of exploration, experimentation and education.