For the past 2 1/2 years, I have been practicing both conventional and functional medicine with a wonderful group of other doctors and medical providers at Visions Healthcare in Dedham, MA. I have been intending for some time to start this blog for my dear friends, family, and acquaintances with some suggestions to optimize health from a more natural perspective.

My friend Valerie said to keep it short and simple, so I will try to do so, but please forgive me if this first week is a little longer.

Optimal digestion is the foundation of health because it allows for proper absorption of nutrients. For the next month, I will address one area weekly of the “5 R’s”: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair, and Rebalance.

Some foods such as gluten (wheat), dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts, especially when eaten daily, can contribute to symptoms such as fatigue, headache, rash, joint pain, and itchy eyes or nose. Test this hypothesis by removing these foods from your diet for 3 weeks. This is called a food elimination diet and I have more detailed information about this if you are interested. Then, add back one every 3 days, and if you are sensitive to that food, you may have a reaction (such as one of the above symptoms) within an hour to a day of reintroduction. Then you will know that this food, or too much of it may be contributing to certain physical symptoms. Be aware that your chronic symptoms may worsen during the first week of elimination as the antigen-antibody ratio adjusts, but then slowly improve by the second and third week.

Next week, I’ll discuss replacement of digestive enzymes and stomach acid. Till then, smile and think positive thoughts!

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