Lessons from a Nutritionist (Part 1)

Last month, taking the advice from a friend, I sought the professional advice of Healthystars‘ Nutritionist John Lynn. I had a flare up of my arthritis related autoimmune disease in January and this caused severe pain in my feet, left knee, hip and spine. By April, the pain was getting progressively worse to the point where I was limping with every step I took. The western medicine I was taking didn’t seem to be helping as my condition was worsening so I sought alternative medicine while continuing my daily doses of Sulfasalazine and Arcoxia.

The Scan

Before consulting him, I was told to stand on this machine for an ESG scan which uses weak DC currents and low voltage to measure the electrical resistance to interstitial fluids (fluid between the cells) throughout the body. Apparently, the machine is able to tell the health status of various organs and systems in my body after a simple 3-minute scan. Pretty amazing if you ask me but when I went back and did some digging, I could not find much evidence of its reliability or efficacy except for this article. Sadly, there is also a lot of criticism about using it as a diagnostic tool on the net. I guess time will tell if its reliable or not depending on my results from the next time I scan when I get better.

Healthystars Scan Report
Healthystars Scan Report + Prescription

Results

John Lynn then sat down with me to discuss the results of the scan, healthy individuals would have a score of +/- 20 from the baseline of 0 (perfect health).
(brackets indicate possible diagnoses)

  1. Metabolism
    • Pancrease – Insulin: -46 (Insulin resistance)
    • Liver – ALT: -72 (Fatty liver)
    • Basal Metabolic Rate – Thyroid: 40/68 (Low metabolism)
  2. Circulation
    • Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) – ARTH: +54 (heart plaque)
  3. Toxicity
    • Colon/Gut Flora: -61 (not enough good bacteria, potential allergies)
  4. Anti-Oxidants
    • Free Radicals: +20
  5. Musculo-Skeletal
    • Joint-VR: -90 (Gout/joint problems)
  6. Neurological
    • H-P AXIS: -15,-88 (Pituitary gland)
    • Serotonin-Dopamine: -15 (Sleep problems)

There was also a 3-dimensional pictorial of a human body color coded to indicate the health status of various parts of the body. Someone in the pink of health should be mostly coloured green or yellow. Mine was grey and blue.

Root of my problem: my gut

The first area he zoomed in on was the large intestine or colon. He started explaining that almost all human pathological problems start from the gut. This includes all autoimmune diseases from arthritis to type-I diabetes, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Crohn’s, Eczema, Psoriasis and even asthma.

Why the gut and specifically, the large intestine and colon? Well, its because this is where the food we eat spends several hours to days; About 6-8 hours to pass through the stomach and small intestine and averaging 40 hours in the large intestine! That coupled with the fact that the total absorptive area of our intestines are about the size of a badminton court increases the risk of possible damage due to ‘unwanted passengers’ travelling through them.

Some of the culprits that can damage the lining of our intestines include:

  1. Indigestible proteins like Gluten found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye
  2. Excessive alcohol
  3.  Inflammatory foods like Dairy
  4. Infectious bacteria overgrowth like Yeast overgrowth (candida)
  5. Medications like antibiotics and NSAIDS
  6. Environmental toxins like pesticides, plastics, preservatives, flavorings, colourings
  7. Chronic stress

When the gut lining is damaged, these holes in the intestinal walls allow undigested food particles, bacteria, toxins etc, to enter directly into the bloodstream and spread throughout the circulatory system. Our immune system then kicks in to destroy these foreign invaders. The white blood cells not only attack these particles, they also attack the surrounding tissues such as the gut lining (creating a vicious cycle). Then as the blood circulates these particles to the rest of the body, they are continually attacked by the white blood cells to the point where the white blood cells can’t differentiate healthy body cells from foreign invaders and attack both. These battlegrounds happen to be at my joints, tendons, ligaments and cartilage, hence the pain, swelling and eventual degenerating of these body parts which I’m currently experiencing. 

As John Lynn puts it, a ‘civil war’ ensues where the body (which knows it is being attacked) fights back and tries to defend itself, from itself. Otherwise known as an autoimmune response.

Further Reading

ESG:

  1. http://www.slideshare.net/dirkdeproost96/medicavisie-german
  2. http://www.onlyhealth.com.my/store/pic/onlyhealth/esg/ESG.pdf
  3. http://www.nutrimaxorganic.com/English/eis.html
  4. https://www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/health-practitioners/doctors/articles/alternative-diagnostics
  5. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf10/K102166.pdf

Leaky gut:

  1. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/07/inflammation-triggers-disease-symptoms.aspx
  2. http://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/
  3. http://draxe.com/leaky-gut-test/
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4 thoughts on “Lessons from a Nutritionist (Part 1)

  1. hi john. your results of the scan look very worrying considering that it is far from the range of +/- 20. have you considered or research on intermittent fasting? i’m doing it now and based on my research it seems to be working. just wondered on your thoughts about it and maybe it might benefit you too!

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    1. Hi Felicia, yeap I have! In fact, I intermittent fasted (IF) for about an entire year from mid 2013 to 2014. That was waaay back when I was forced into retirement from sports due to sever injuries, even before I was diagnosed. I had read about its effects on inflammation but sadly, my autoimmune disorder keeps my inflammation levels 10x more than an average human’s so it didn’t help at all. On a brighter note, IF exceeded my expectations tremendously. I became leaner than I ever was and managed to slow down the rate of muscular atrophy I was experiencing due to the lack of training. In fact it worked so well that I had to stop or risk losing too much weight!

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      1. oh i see. wow ok hope things get better for you soon! on a side note can i ask how long was your fasting window and did you track what you eat? thanks

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      2. Thanks. Oh I forgot to mention that I was also doing a low carb diet at the same time as IF as I was trying to maximize my efforts to reduce the inflammation. My window was the 16:8 one, 8 hours to eat. Diet wise at that time I was following the Bulletproof Diet (https://www.bulletproofexec.com/start-the-bulletproof-diet/). In his book, and blog, he also writes a great deal on intermittent fasting and its health benefits (https://www.bulletproofexec.com/bulletproof-fasting/). Its all very interesting and he delves into how you can still eat during your fasting window but only consume healthy fats like grassfed butter or MCT oil (which metabolizes like carbs so you get energy almost instantly which can help you in training if you plan on training fasted). Word of caution, don’t go swallowing tablespoons of MCT oil at the start. You’ll get disaster pants! As with everything else in life, start slow and let your body get used to it. Also, be sure to do lots of research before starting a new diet like a low carb diet (which I’ve found to be amazing for body composition and overall health and logevity). Most people go on low carb diets, like the ketogenic diet, hoping to lose fats but they don’t realize that when cutting out carbs, one still needs to get your energy from somewhere. In this case its healthy fats. So I take at least 3 tablespoons of healthy fats with each meal. Lastly, low carb also doesn’t mean no carbs so you should learn to adjust your carb intake according to your energy expenditure. Athletes can afford more leeway and consume 100-250g of carbs a day and still stay in ketosis. Sorry for the loooong reply – these are the lessons I’ve learnt over the years from trying out these diets.

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