What’s the Condition of Your Battleground?

The battle against COVID-19 rages on. Most of us now know someone who has tested positive for the virus or, sadly, has passed away. We continue to practice social distancing and stay in our homes, though it pains us to be apart from family and friends.

Have you found your perspective changing with regard to the virus? In the early days we scoured the internet for tips on fighting this unseen enemy. You may have increased your Vitamin C, and begun a regular practice of disinfecting your home.

I, too, have watched interviews and read articles related to the virus and how it affects the body in an effort to determine how best to respond. I came across a lengthy essay by Charles Eisenstein that brought up a key issue …

In the short term we want to save their lives; the danger is that we lose ourselves in an endless succession of short terms, fighting one infectious disease after another, and never engage the ground conditions that make people so vulnerable. That is a much harder problem, because these ground conditions will not change via fighting.”

To what ground conditions do you think he refers? What have reports said are those who are at greatest risk? Those who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, asthma, and more. These are ground conditions. If the ground on which the battle is fought is already compromised, the battle will be that much harder.

What is your ground condition? Do you struggle with symptoms – signals that your body is asking for help? Perhaps you have found medications that help keep them at a tolerable level.  Has that truly resolved the ground condition, however? There are multiple ways to approach this.

The Conventional Approach

Perhaps you have gone to your doctor for your arthritis, and received a referral to a Rheumatologist. They may have ordered some tests and given you an anti-inflammatory prescription or even an injection.

The Functional Medicine Approach

If you were to visit a functional medicine practitioner, you would be asked numerous questions to explore what is actually causing the inflammation in your joints. Treatment would start with that cause. It could be excess weight, your high-stress lifestyle or some of the food you eat on a regular basis.

As a functional medicine practitioner, I might use diet, lifestyle, supplements and other modalities to help decrease the inflammation in your joints so that you no longer have pain. When you have symptoms of disease – messages that your body is calling for help – I dive deep into possible root causes. I am both a detective and an educator, and my mission is to explore the path and guide you to restored function – not just place a band-aid on the symptoms and see it as good enough.

Are you concerned for the condition of your personal ground on which a future battle will be fought? Reach out to me and let’s set a time to chat about what you need and how I can help.

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

And aspirin a day is dangerous

An Aspirin A Day Is Dangerous

Are you one of the millions of Americans whose doctor has advised to take a baby aspirin daily in an effort to protect from heart attack or stroke? If you don’t take it yourself, I know you know someone who does. But, do you (or they) know this is no longer recommended in light of recent studies? In fact, an aspirin a day is dangerous.

Aspirin is one of a variety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that is often used in a preventive mode against future heart attacks. Research has shown that aspirin therapy works for those who have already had a heart attack. However, there is a strong risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and inflammation with regular consumption of NSAIDs.

An aspirin a day …

The typical “preventive” aspirin dose is 81mg – the amount in a baby aspirin. Unfortunately, that dose is not effective in reducing the risk of heart attack. For this benefit, you must take about 325mg a day which creates a more significant risk for gastrointestinal bleeding.

It’s a Catch 22 – taking the low dose doesn’t have the protective benefit we have been told to expect. However, taking the high dose comes with far more risk. Even the American Gastroenterological Association has confirmed significant numbers of hospitalizations related to regular use of NSAIDs.

Are there other anti-inflammatory options?

Yes! There are anti-inflammatory options that don’t carry a bleeding risk. You’ve probably heard of them:

  • Good quality Fish Oil – I recommend that you take at least 1500mg of Omega-3s (EPA + DHA) in divided doses daily with meals. What’s high quality? Look for a molecularly distilled brand.
  • Curcumin – 500mg of Meriva curcumin (curcumin in a lipid capsule that makes it to the small intestines for better absorption) taken 1-2 times daily.

Don’t quit cold turkey!

If you have been taking either low-dose aspirin other NSAIDs (Ibuprofin, Aleve, full-dose Aspirin) on a daily basis – even for just 1 or 2 weeks – do not stop suddenly. The body’s reaction to such a cutoff can cause blood clots and increase risk. Instead, take half your dose for 2-3 weeks while incorporating at least one of the natural anti-inflammatory choices above in the middle of weaning.

Are you shocked to hear of these dangers? While we have the expectation that medications sold over the counter should be safe, that’s only when used infrequently. If you have been in the habit of popping NSAIDs for common aches and pains, you may at risk. I would recommend that you shift to Meriva Curcumin. Or consider scheduling a chat with me to see whether your symptoms are cries for help from your body.

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

Should You Eliminate Gluten?

Do you know someone who has eliminated gluten from their diet? Have you considered exploring this approach for yourself, or do you consider it going overboard? Why should you eliminate gluten?

I’ve written about the potential issues of consuming wheat-based foods in the past. To recap, the greatest concerns are the increased concentration of gluten in our modern wheat, and the use of glyphosate on wheat fields prior to harvest. That means that each bite of wheat comes with a dose of glyphosate.

I often find that my clients have some sensitivity to wheat or gluten, which is a protein in wheat. In the absence of testing for sensitivity, these are some situations where I recommend elimination of wheat from the diet….

An Autoimmune Disease Diagnosis

Consuming gluten can promote intestinal permeability (or leaky gut), which is a precursor of all autoimmune disease activation. In case you doubt this, I encourage you to listen to the first 20 minutes of this interview with Dr Allessio Fasano , a pioneering doctor who has identified gluten’s role in promoting permeability and how this permeability contributes to autoimmune activity.

Type 2 Diabetes

In this case, I recommend elimination of all wheat, though not all gluten-containing grains such as barley or rye. The primary concern with wheat is its high glycemic load in a diet for individuals with insulin resistance. This means that consumption of wheat spikes your blood glucose (sugar) levels which the Type 2 diabetic body cannot well manage.

An Overtly Obese Body

Similarly, I recommend eliminating wheat if you have an overtly obese body. The high glycemic load that comes with wheat consumption usually leads to insulin-mediated body fat increase. And that can lead to metabolic syndrome.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

For those suffering with IBD, the digestive system is already compromised, but the gluten and glyphosate from wheat (did you listen to Dr Fasano’s interview?) add fuel to the fire.

Struggle With Chronic Depression

There is increasing evidence that gluten can cause changes in brain chemistry which can lead to depression. Do you struggle with depression? Then I recommend eliminating it completely for at least 2 months before reintroducing to gauge the impact.

Do you find yourself in any of these conditions? Have you explored ways to support your body based on diet and nutrition in conjunction with your conventional medical treatment? You don’t need to find your way on your own. A Functional Medicine Health Coach can help you navigate the path. Let’s chat about your situation and how I can support you.

Are you wondering where the future will lead? The best way to get a different outcome is to change your approach. Should you eliminate gluten? Maybe. And you don’t have to go it alone.

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

Why Ditch Your Sugar Habit?

Do you have a firm grasp on the amount of sugar you consume? Most people do not. It’s been said that the average person consumes more than 40 pounds of sugar in a calendar year, but I found more updated information indicating that the average amount is actually closer to 150 pounds — quite alarming, don’t you think?

When we think of sugar, sweet desserts such as cakes, donuts, candy, and cookies come to mind immediately. But there are tremendous amounts of sugar hiding in everyday things we consume, and when we consume them regularly, they add up fast. Read more

Why My Passion For Detox?

Because chemicals are sprayed on our foods that damage our ability to detoxify and get rid of those very same chemicals – and other toxins. A downward spiral for certain.

One of most concerning of these chemicals is glyphosate, the active ingredient in Round-Up herbicide. This best-selling herbicide is used on GMO crops in order to increase yields, and on non-GMO crops to ease the harvest process. But at what price? Read more

Insert the Gift of Nutrients for 2018

Christmas is fast approaching, and it is time to savor all the joy it brings — friends, family, meals together, giving & gratitude. Of course, these are accompanied by hearty dishes and sweets that can certainly wreak havoc on our bodies. Casseroles laden with cream, sugary cakes and cookies, and other tempting empty calorie bombs will adorn the dining tables we surround. Unless we do something about it, that is!

But how can you make healthy decisions during this season of eating, especially without anyone noticing? Well, I have a few of my favorite tricks to share with you that I have used – and the best part is, nobody ever notices. Read more

Inflammation … Friend or Foe?

We’ve all experienced wounds of varying sizes. Think back to a recent wound – the event that caused it, the pain and probably blood. Within a few hours the spot was tender, red and swollen; yet that subsided after a short time as a scab developed and healing began.

That tender redness was the result of inflammation at the site – your body’s process of “mustering in the troops” to fight off germs and support the healing process. It is a normal process for our bodies, whether you actually see the wound on the outside or not.

Inflammation is necessary to protect and heal, but when it continues unchecked, it can begin to work against us. Read more

Your Perspective on Pain ….

None of us enjoy pain. It makes life difficult by adding both physical and emotional stress. The typical response to pain is to open a bottle and pop a pill (or two), washing it down with whatever liquid is at hand.

If the goal was to stop the pain, this approach can succeed … for the time being. What about identifying the root cause of the pain? If the pain returns and you need to repeat the process daily or multiple times a day, you may actually be adding fuel to the fire. Read more

Have You Explored the Roots?

What is the normal pattern of your visits to the doctor? You notice symptoms and make an appointment. Once the doctor joins you in the exam room, he or she asks what your major complaint is, perhaps asking a few clarifying questions, and then offers a prescription to ease the symptoms.

If you were to equate the process with care of a tree, what part of the tree have you addressed? Read more

Dump the Vegetable Oil!

For the past four decades, the U.S. government has warned that eating cholesterol-rich foods and saturated fat would promote heart disease. In that time, low-fat and fat-free foods have become more prominent on the grocery shelves. But have these changes made a difference in our overall health?

Dr Christopher Ramsden, of the National Institute of Health, unearthed raw data from Keys’ largest, most rigorous trial of its kind. Analysis of the data clearly showed that lowering cholesterol by consuming vegetable oils instead of saturated fat actually raised the risk of death from cardio vascular events. Read more