Dr. Tara Skye Goldin's Newsletter, The Digestion Issue Natural Medicine that Gets Results!
December 2009


As I sit here and write my first newsletter for 2010 I can't help but reflect on what a transformative year 2009 has been. I see many folks around me also going through many changes both positive and more challenging. In my own life I saw my mother through her final stages of aging and then her transition to the next realm, whatever that may be. I integrated into a new office space and made a lot of physical changes on the home front.

I have seen some close friends navigate the whole cancer journey and have also reconnected with many many old friends that I grew up with. Even through all these changes, as I look out of my office window into the shimmering snow covered trees I cannot help but feel gratitude for such beauty and wonder. Through the toughest times nature is there to heal our spirits and rejuvenate our bodies. Vis medicatrix naturae--- gratitude to the healing power of nature. Here is to a healthy and prosperous new year to all! May you feel aligned with your life's purpose and good health. Blessings. A few announcements: Whenever I find a tweet - worthy health related article I will post it onto Twitter. You can follow me at @taraskyegoldin.

Scheduling improvements. - scheduling for appointments is now available M-F 8:30 AM-5 PM. No more phone tag!!!!

After 9 years I will be changing my fees slightly at the new year. My new fees will be: Initial adult visit (2 visits) $265.00, new pediatric visit ( 2 visits) $185.00. Follow ups after that will be brief visit - $60, regular visit $85, extended visit $110. I know that some of you are having some financial hardship at the moment due to the recession so if that is the case please speak with me directly and fee modifications can be made.

in this issue
Tips for Healthy Digestion Robert's Formula - a time tested remedy that often helps colitis The Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Connection Leaky Gut Syndrome and the Immune System Okra Recipes - yes really! This is for my sister who once got nothing but okra for 1 month from a CSA!!!

Robert's Formula - a time tested remedy that often helps colitis

Colitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the colon (large intestine). The inflammation can result from a bacterial or viral infection or the use of antibiotic drugs, among other causes. Ulcerative colitis is a much more serious and long-term inflammation and ulceration of the colon. It has been linked with an increased risk of colon cancer. Its cause is unknown. From How Stuff Works.

The Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Connection

As many as one-third of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients have described extra intestinal symptoms such as rashes, tension headaches, and muscle pains. Research has shown that as many as 60% of IBS patients also suffer from fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Conversely, as many as 70% of FMS patients have reported experiencing symptoms of IBS.(1) Could there be a common cause for both conditions? From About.com

Leaky Gut Syndrome and the Immune System

You may not have thought of it like this before but the gastrointestinal tract is technically outside the body. It is basically a long tube with one opening at the mouth and another at the anus. Just like the skin protects the body from the external environment, so too does the GI tract, with respect to everything that is ingested.. From the Environmental Illness Resource

Okra Recipes - yes really! This is for my sister who once got nothing but okra for 1 month from a CSA!!!

OK, let's talk Okra... not first on everyone's list of favorite vegetables, no doubt, but definitely of interest for this month's newsletter. Okra's sliminess, which makes it so , ummm , GROSS for many of you is also the thing that makes it so wonderful for your digestive system! The plant slime, otherwise known as a demulcent, helps to soothe and heal an inflamed gut lining which contributes to leaky gut syndrome, colitis, etc. Wonderful allies from the vegetable kingdom! So here they are! Lots of healthier okra recipes, meaning that it isn't always going to be breaded and fried! Enjoy! (Do I hear someone making a non-spicy Jambalaya?)

Tips for Healthy Digestion

In naturopathic medicine, we believe that a healthy digestion is a cornerstone for good health. Conversely, if one's digestion is less than optimal, it can contribute to causing many ailments such as allergies, acne,mood disorders, PMS and other hormonal imbalances, eczema, arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue to name just a few. This is one of the key areas in which we differ from other alternative medicine providers. Many are looking to merely substitute pharmaceuticals with green herbal medicines while we are looking at each patient as a whole organism which more often than not includes the functioning of the digestive system.

Here are just a few tips on improving your digestion.

1. Identify and eliminate any food allergens or sensitivities. This can be done through an elimination/ challenge, or through testing from my office. One caveat - an allergist will often only test immediate hypersensitivities ( e.g. the skin prick test). We naturopaths find better clinical results by using specialized labs such as Genova who also test for delayed hypersensitivity, which is the category that most food allergens fall under. Identifying and eliminating food allergens from the diet has been invaluable in numerous cases for a wide variety of ailments, including ones you may not immediately associate with this such as sinusitis, hypertension, etc.

2. Proper portion control and limited snacking. For many folks, much of their digestive difficulties stem from simple overeating. Remember, a normal portion of fruits or veggies is 1 cup and for meats is the size of a deck of cards. Also be mindful of overeating carbohydrates. Carbs in some folks can trigger an insulin response that triggers appetite and does nothing to curb hunger, in fact it only increases your hunger. Eating only 3 times per day also helps a lot.

3. Chew your food. Simple, right? Most folks in America eat too fast and don't chew their food enough, contributing to maldigestion.

4. Drink more water. Here in Colorado an adult needs about 64 oz of good pure water to stay adequately hydrated. To be chronically dehydrated can contribute to joint pain, sinusitis, constipation, acne, headaches, mental fogginess, depression, to name a few.

5. Take a good probiotic. Not only does it improve skin and digestion, but through a very complex mechanism it also improves the immune system's functioning. Just a good thing overall!

6. If your gut is already inflamed, consult with your naturopath as there are many good products out there that reduce inflammation. My favorites are Ultra GI and Robert's Formula, but only take under the guidance of a health care professional.

7. Adequate exercise. Exercise oxygenates the tissues allowing for quicker healing and also helps improve and regulate peristalsis. Exercise also helps to regulate the appetite and boosts mood.

8. Stress management. Very important to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to ease and regulate digestion. My favorites are yoga and meditation. Massage and adequate sleep also are very helpful.

9. Fiber. Eat plenty of plant based fiber in your diet. That will help keep you regular and also help prevent diverticulosis while bulking up your stools.

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