How can food be your medicine?

Have you ever wondered why would we even consider food as part of a medical picture? Is you health or disease being influenced by your intake (or lack) of basic food items?

Have you been brought up on ideas of the hardworking chemist in a sterile laboratory making purified powders and potions which then get dispensed by doctors ‘for health’ or ‘prevention of disease’ or ‘managing symptoms’? Is this the only way forward when we hurt or get sick?

Many have just the same concept of ‘medicine’ and have a hard time getting their brains around some basic facts about food as an aid to health. Have a look at this picture:

Anorexia Nervosa

Is this poor person suffering? Undoubtedly. From what root cause, though? A grievous lack of moderately toxic pharmaceutical drugs? No. A long history of withholding nourishment from the body is definitely the biggest culprit here. Pause for a moment though, because you might be congratulating yourself on a few points a little early… just because you don’t look like our photo, doesn’t mean parts of you aren’t in as bad shape, and for EXACTLY the same reasons.

Pain Is Often Malnourishment

When the body as a whole is wildly undernourished, we get the above result. But, did you know that individual body parts and mechanisms can, in themselves, be undernourished while only the appearance day to day health is visible on the surface?

What are some examples? Well, how are your joints? Do you get persistent aches anywhere? If you were asked to bend in ways that might make your lumbar region or knees ache, would the pain still be there after 2 days? Would you perhaps even lock up on day three and need a physio appointment? Perhaps need pain meds to get out of bed? We’ve dealt with cases like this before, and it’s dreadful; is it your lot in life from now on, though?

Our first responder in this case is going to be high dose collagen. Not more pain meds, you ask? Using well prepared forms, like hydrolyzed grass fed beef collagen, we see a drastic reduction in pain oftentimes within 10-14 days. Why?

The underlying root cause of the pain is being changed: Poor Nourishment. Repair cycles that are supposed to look after the joints and their sliding surfaces have gone dormant though lack of materials to continue repair work. When we feed the body high doses of the compounds joints get made from, the body gradually wakes up and gets to work on repairs.

Your body may have even been scavenging collagen from other parts of you to make your previous pains stop hurting so much! Have you ever had a pain in your shoulder, elbow or another joint that then mirrored itself in another previously ‘happy’ joint? Why did it mysteriously start, and at the same time, too?

You guessed it… your body was breaking bits off a good area because of chronic malnourishment. Then it used these scavenged bits to fix a part that was much more broken, till they both hurt just a little more than they did before you noticed pain #1. (This leaves all your scavenged parts looking like our pic above, by the way)

These cycles are often 6-8 weeks long, as scavenging only continues till all useful areas are suffering the exact same level of malnourishment. (We all know of ‘that one baby’ who just started crying and didn’t stop for 7 weeks, with no outward cause despite all efforts to find what’s wrong… it’s a safe bet that, with everything else checked off as not applicable, our kid is suffering the first pains of growth VS available nutrients. If the nourishment isn’t there, scavenging + pains ensue, and growth hurts.)

Happily, by restoring the inflow of collagen, our body can then use it more freely. All scavenging stops. The synovial sack surrounding the worst joint gets fixed first. Yay! Containment for all the joint liquid is back, that was getting risky… what if our joint couldn’t hold enough fluid to fully lubricate itself anymore!? Complete seizure and massive pain, that’s what. Oh… you get that already, huh? And food can fix it? Well, that wasn’t taught in health science class…

Next, the fluid itself starts becoming much more rich in all the nutrients you’ve been eating. As this density of repair materials hits the minimum level needed, we get moved to phase 3.

Lastly, we have the sliding surfaces of the joint slowly getting repaired. As this happens, movement related pain decreases dramatically. If density keeps going up in each stage of the process, we end up with a large reduction in pain.

We have had dramatic results even within 5 days with one lucky client. Rather than needing 5-6 high dose pain killers just to stand up in the morning, he got to pain of a 2/10 by day 5. Drug free. Previously he needed those 6 tabs of high dose codeine just to get to a ‘bearable 7 or 8/10’

Now, we’ve just run through what is essentially an edible knee/back rebuild in a can. But, some of you say: I tried it and it did nothing. Perhaps. Your pain might be rooted in a different issue, like inflammation going haywire or possibly even an auto immune response. But, consider this: what if you took enough to barely get to stage one? Where does that leave you? Still in pain, of course.

Your muscles are up to 2% collagen. Your ligaments are 6% or more. What if you took enough to just ‘take the edge off’ some muscle, ligament and tendon issues you had assumed were just always going to be there, aching… and if you had just persevered with a high dose for longer you could have seen a difference in your target joint? What if you need a different type of collagen with an amino acid profile that suits you better? Often, though, we find it comes down to dose.

Can an anorexic body part be turned around with small scale, short term nourishment? Probably not. You might need to commit to a 4-8 week high dose program that even has you on 8-10 tbsp collagen per day. Some gym goers or manual workers might find even higher levels appropriate.

Others might find a combination of bone broth and collagen necessary, and without both, the pain returns. If you find that you need more help getting started, please be sure to book a phone consult. We’ll work with you anywhere in Australia, and get you some healing momentum going in short order.

So, what else can be affected by lack of nourishment? In short, any part of you that needs to regularly be rebuilt. Yes, that’s all of you. Almost everyone reading this has a few systems and pathways in their body looking like our opening picture. Today’s nourishment ignorant society builds us that way.

Most herbal remedies actually started out, in ancient times, as nourishing food items. Despite all the people trying to treat herbs (mostly a nourishing food group) like pharmacy products only to be dispensed by the chosen few, one capsule at a time, often the answer is higher doses of repair inducing nourishing foods under the care of a responsible therapist. If hundreds of cultures use a herb as a vegetable base for a soup, but a group of MD’s tell you more than one capsule a week is dangerous, do your due diligence. Talk with actual users of the product. You might be surprised!

Digestive issues often start with low collagen, as the stomach needs it for containment and mobility. Zinc is another useful food sourced item… you can’t heal a gut without it. Prebiotics help the villi build and repair themselves. Do you have poor absorption? This could be why, and yes, food can change it for the better.

Bone health can come down to intake of nutrients that repair and support bone growth. Teeth often have a bad rap, but do have a look at nutritional dentistry. It’s a thing, I promise!

Hormonal health (or lack of it) can be steadily improved with eating the nutrients your hormonal system craves for repair. Sometimes you might even find your cravings for other foods going away as nourishment levels rise! We see this a lot, with our clients.

I hope this has been of some help, and if you have questions you want to run through, please do get in touch for a consult. We’ll be able to expand on this together, and help you find your most useful next step towards nourishing yourself.