Philosophy of Healing
Science is helping to answer many of the questions we've had about what causes poor health and, more importantly, how to promote good health. The human body is extremely complex, and thus finding the true cause of health issues is also extremely complex. It is ever-changing and evolving, and we do our best to evolve with it.
You can make a very strong argument that the bulk of chronic illness comes back to gut health. First, most of the immune system is found in the gut. Second, the bulk of microbes in the body, good and bad, are in the gut (with their own DNA). Lastly, "gut barrier dysfunction", or "intestinal permeability" is being correlated to many chronic health issues. These are exciting times, because there is so much that we can specifically do to balance the gut environment, including the microbes and the gut barrier. At Complete Health, we have a strong interest in supporting gut health and microbial balance. Thankfully, this idea is no longer "alternative", and conventional medicine is very much interested in and acknowledging it's importance.
Food can be healing, or it can actually cause symptoms. The best example of a food that can cause symptoms or health issues is gluten. Besides celiac disease, gluten consumption in a susceptible individual has been correlated with autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and numerous different gastrointestinal diagnoses. If you are interested in finding out about food sensitivities, one lab test to consider can be found at www.alcat.com. There are two studies done at Yale University about the usefulness of Alcat testing.
Our environment is drastically different than our ancestors, with dramatic increases in pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, solvents, and electromagnetic fields. Go to www.healthandenvironment.org for more information and to see what toxins are being correlated to what specific health conditions.
You can make a big difference in your overall health by "managing cortisol", which is a measurable way of managing stress. Most people have high cortisol, and there are many good options, including herbal adaptogens (ashwagandha, rhodiola, etc.), to help offset the effects of stress.
A Comment About Supplement Quality
There are many supplement choices, almost to an overwhelming degree. One way you can quickly narrow down what is worth spending your hard earned money on is looking at quality control. Unfortunately, dietary supplement quality control continues to be a problem in the US. Just look at reports done by places like Consumer Labs. At the least, supplements should have third-party testing done to make sure the label is accurate to what is in the bottle. This also helps ensure there is not contamination, such as heavy metals, in the product. Look for GMP, USP, NSF symbols, or if they are not on the bottle, contact the manufacturer to find out if third party quality control testing is done.