Homework

You bet I got some yesterday. That’s one of the key things you should know if you’re going to see an ND – there’s going to be work involved. Guaranteed. I think that’s what drawn me to it so much over the years. I want to be a partner in my health care, not a recipient of it. And I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves if I need to.

So.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t go in there with a problem or specific focus yesterday. I’d made some notes and had six or seven things I’m curious about. When I filled out the intake forms last month (like, a lifetime ago) to answer the questions of my top three health concerns, I added only one: Overall Wellness.

That’s my motivation for everything I do. I’m not interested in body composition or weight or calories or anything else. It’s all just numbers and they’re meaningless to me. I just want to feel good.

We went through the getting to know you portion of the visit (I think I forgot to mention that I got a full hour (!) of one-on-one attention) and Dr. Shannon really felt that the best place for us to start was with digestion. I don’t have problems with digestion in particular, but when she broke down the way that poor digestion might rear its head in other ways – especially with how it impacts hormones – I was easily on board. Good digestion is no joke, friends.

For my homework, I had a few tasks.

  1. Listen to this: Samantha Gladish’s Holistic Wellness podcast, episode 41: 11 Steps to Better Digestion.
  2. Pick a step to follow from the episode . I chose eating warm foods because that’s something I’m not very good at. I prefer everything at room temperature (I know. Weird, right?) so this is actually going to be a challenge and I didn’t trust pick the easiest one.
  3. Upload my DNA results to Dr. Shannon’s preferred service provider so she can analyze my SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphism or “snips” as she called them.) Since I’ve already done an Ancestry DNA test, the raw data will provide her with this information and will shed some light on how my DNA may be impacting my digestion and other health. (I’ll be honest, this one blew my mind.)
  4. Do the HCL challenge to measure how much stomach acid I have. She drew me a little picture of why this is so important and I wish I’d taken it so I could show you. You want to have a healthy amount of stomach acid because it helps not just with the act of digestion, but it improves efficiency, absorption and protects us against bad bacteria that hitches a ride in with our food.
  5. Start taking berberine to help support the work we’re doing.
  6. Continue on the anti-inflammation diet (turns out my new ND is the one who wrote the iteration that landed in our hands!)

And the final piece of homework was one that I requested. I’ve been curious about it FOREVER and really just wanted to ask some question of a professional. This was my chance and I wasn’t going to squander it.

    Start seed cycling. This is using seeds and oils to support the body according to menstrual phases. In the follicular phase we want to promote estrogen – omega 3s help with that – and in the luteal phase we want to promote progesterone – omega 6s help with that. I find this stuff totally fascinating so I’m excited that she could not only talk me through it, but she had some information sheets to send home with me.

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m pretty jacked about this new chapter in my health.

If you’re interested in improving your digestive health, I’d encourage you to go check out that podcast and join me in picking a step. Let me know which one you choose!

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