As a chiropractor, I am primarily a structural practitioner–but over the years I have come to understand that one cannot compartmentalize the various aspects of health and hope to achieve best results. No practitioner has sufficient knowledge or resources to help all patients with all health concerns, but I do hold a strong belief that proper nutrition from properly produced food must be at least be considered when treating any health condition. (even structural issues).
For that reason, I often inquire into my patient’s dietary choices. More and more health researchers are now focusing on poor digestive system health as the root cause of many diseases. Poor dietary choices, environmental toxins, and poorly produced foods are the main causes of digestive disturbance.
Processed foods, pesticides/herbicides, household cleaning products, etc–are all substances that can potentially lead to a break down of the mucosal layer of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is home to many types of bacteria; most of them beneficial/crucial as they synthesize certain vitamins (eg some K vitamins) or convert them to their active form (eg all B vitamins), or contribute to the process of absorbing micro and macro-nutrients into the bloodstream. Other types of bacteria are not beneficial for our health and given certain conditions can overgrow and kill off the beneficial ones that aid digestion. An intact mucosal layer serves to protect against this type of bacterial over-growth and further facilitates GI transport.
Consider the patient who has insufficient dietary intake coupled with poor GI health, how few nutrients they are actually receiving. Then by extension also consider that our muscles, bones and joints serve as reservoirs for insufficient macro and micro-nutrients elsewhere in the body, and you will understand why as a structural practitioner I feel it so important to ensure proper patient nutrition.
Lastly, modern farm practices are now under study as the probable cause of a condition called “Leaky Gut Syndrome”, which in short form amounts to the gluten in genetically modified wheat increasing intestinal permeability of the small intestine. Small food particles then leak out into the body, and these particles are then tended to by the immune system. If one of those food particles is shaped like an antigen (cellular identification marker) on one of your cells, you are now at an increased likelihood to develop an auto-immune disorder!
I do not consider myself an expert on either nutrition or the GI tract, but I do believe that small dietary and lifestyle changes are the most impactful and cost efficient way to positively effect all aspects of patient health. For a great read on GI health and the conditions listed above I recommend a book called “Eat Dirt” by Dr Josh Axe.