How Does Nutrition Affect Disease management
There are many integrative and alternative approaches to illnesses and autoimmune diseases that are not practiced in Western pet health care. Healing our pet’s whole body is more complicated than just eliminating the symptoms of a disease with drugs.
To understand a nutraceutical approach to combating diseases, you must first understand how nutrients support healthcare. You must rely on the science of biology, bio-nutrition and your Veterinarian to identify the disease and possibly the cause. Then you will have the essential information needed to create a diet plan based on helping any medical protocol the Vet would recommend. Your Veterinarian’s diagnosis, their blood test and matching the right whole food which will supply the needed amounts of bio-available nutrients to the cells helping heal the mechanisms of the body which will help bring about a cure.
Our (you, your vet and your vet nutritionist) collective focus is to identify the cause of the disease and stimulate the bodies to own healing mechanisms to eliminate the disease. Most veterinary health care practitioners treat disease by identifying a disease’s pathology and use treatments like drugs or surgery to suppress the symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately, when symptoms of the disease are managed or eliminated, the disease is not necessarily rid from the body and relapses are very common. Veterinary nutritionist treats autoimmune diseases by looking for the causes of the autoimmune disease. The main causes of autoimmune disease are bio-nutritional deficiencies, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, inflammation, oxidative stress, hormonal imbalance, increased intestinal permeability, heavy metal toxicity, and chemical sensitivity.
An optimum nutritional state is important in managing a variety of inherited and other metabolic diseases as well as for maintaining a healthy immune system. Nutritional factors that play an important role in immune function include zinc, selenium and vitamin E, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and linoleic acid. Deficiency of these compounds impairs blood circulating as well as cell-mediated immunity. Nutraceutical Therapy is an individualized program of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, nutrients) that closely match the metabolic and nutrient requirements of your pet. Early detection of nutritional imbalances throughout all systems of the body will help prevent many illnesses and offset the disease. Once nutritional deficiencies are detected we can create a diet plan to correct these imbalances, boost the immune system and help create balance in the body.
There are many foods that our cats and dogs may be sensitive to like too much-processed wheat, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, certain sources of protein and many others. Food sensitivities are different from a food allergy. Food sensitivities don’t have an immediate reaction after eating the food. It can take several hours or days for symptoms to become present and they are more subtle. They do not show up on conventional food allergy testing like the skin prick test, because these tests look at the IgE allergic response (the immediate response) and not the IgG4 immune response (the delayed response). Frequently eating the food we are sensitive to causes our immune system to be out of balance and leads to our immune cells seeing our own tissues as foreign.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth:
This condition occurs when the beneficial bacteria in your pet’s small and large intestine get replaced by bacteria that don’t belong there. Beneficial bacteria help digest our food, regulate our immune systems, prevent infection, and much more. When foreign non-beneficial bacteria is introduced it leads to poor absorption of food and dysfunctional regulation of the immune system. The foreign opportunistic bacteria causes the immune system to become overly stimulated leading to chronic inflammation. Symptoms of this condition are fatigue, gas and bloating shortly after a meal, mental fog, diarrhea or constipation, and abdominal pain.
Your pet’s body is constantly experiencing oxidative stress and the body has mechanisms to deal with this stress. Many pets with autoimmune disease have a defect in a gene for the production of the enzyme 5MTHFR. This enzyme is needed for the production of the amino acid methionine, which is then converted to SAMe. (SAMe is an important physiologic compound that occurs in every living cell) SAMe is needed for various mechanisms in the body. (A defect in this gene is quite common, and some studies say that 65% of the pet population has this gene defect. A defect in this gene can lead to dysregulation of inflammation in the body leading to the immune system attacking itself.
Increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
Increased intestinal permeability occurs when the intestinal barrier is damaged and this causes the intestinal barrier to weaken and become leaky. This leads to absorption of undigested foods that aren’t supposed to enter the body. When these undigested foods are absorbed the immune system sees it as foreign and it is stimulated to attack the foreign material. Because of the constant stimulation of the immune system, immune cells, cross-react with normal tissues in the body and leads to autoimmune diseases.
Heavy metal toxicity and chemical sensitivity
Sadly, we live in a toxic environment where every turn our pet companion are exposed to chemicals that are damaging to the body. There are many dogs and cats that have difficulty eliminating these toxins from their body. These individuals experience many ill effects from chemical exposure. They experience fatigue, joint and muscle pain, tremors, symptoms of autoimmune disease and many other symptoms.
There is a popular movement growing amongst people living with pet companions, the health care industry and pet food providers. A movement which draws its base from veterinary science, holistic health care, zoology and a nutrition approach to medical intervention that is being called integrative nutrition. People have seen the ill effects of commercially made fast food in their lives and are now starting to recognize the same toxins and poor nutritional quality processed foods resulting in chronic illness and life-threatening diseases.
Nutraceutical therapist focuses on how to use technology, the nutrient-gene interaction and prescriptive diets to prevent our pets from getting sick and keeping them well. Nutrition is used to metabolically tune up the organs, support the genetic systems, takes care of autoimmune complexes and helps the body on a cellular level. This is how the body is meant to use food as a healing agent. Each pet has its own unique nutritional requirements. The use of nutrients based upon these individual needs gives the body the fuel it needs to achieve homeostasis. When homeostasis is achieved we generate healing and management of optimal health. For more information or a free consultation contact us at: