Food As Medicine Explained
The common adage “you are what you eat,” actually has a lot of truth to it. The concept of food as medicine essentially means what you put in your pet’s body controls how the body functions. A basic example would be a person or pet that is not producing enough thyroid hormones. If we feed them the thyroid gland from another animal, we can supplement those hormones and making up for what their bodies are not producing. If there is a specific, damaged organ or body part, we can feed a pet the nutritional components to make up that body part. We can even take this one step further and “hack” how the immune system reacts to stimulus. This is how allergy treatments work; we desensitize the immune system by continually exposing it to small amounts of the stimuli. Neutral genomics is a brand new field of therapy. It is a fascinating field of science that looks at how we can use food as medicine and nutrition to literally turn genes on and off in the body. This interesting field is just at the very beginning of its research.
The Pet Health Care Continuum
I have written other posts about the basics of nutrition and nutritional supplementation. Now, I want to take it one step further and discuss how we can affect bodily functions through nutritional changes. There’s a continuum from nutrition into nutritional supplementation and herbal therapy, ending with conventional Western care. All of this comes together to create a much better health care paradigm that’s going to allow you to keep your pet healthy.
I saw a Labrador that had knee surgery, a common surgery in Labradors and other large-breed dogs. After his procedure, the surgeon put him on an anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and inflammation post-op. He ended up staying on that medication for years. That medication ultimately shortened his lifespan due to the negative effects on his internal organs. That same client has another Labrador and this time, she wanted to try a different approach. Instead of prescription anti-inflammatory medications, we are using glucosamine and various types of glandular therapy to help support the joints and ligaments. This allows us to minimize the amount of organ damage caused by long-term pharmaceutical use.
Our goal is to keep these pets as healthy as possible without having to resort to surgery and pharmaceuticals. I don’t have a problem with western medicine or surgery, in fact, I use both all the time! It’s really a matter of using both judiciously. We don’t want to immediately jump to those solutions if we have less invasive options.