Lately I’ve been diving deep into what I call the Non-Negotiable Trifecta. This Trifecta is composed of the 3 top universal Non-Negotiables of care — sleep, poop, and blood sugar balance.
This Non-Negotiable Trifecta is where to start with every client, no matter their signs, symptoms or diagnosis, because each of these 3 areas is so crucial to resolving any health condition.
(You can read the entire 5-part series on sleep here.)
To begin unraveling the mysteries of blood sugar balance, I shared our Functional Nutrition Alliance Carbohydrate Continuum that you can use in your own practice.
Blood sugar imbalance is something we often think of in relation to diabetes, but blood sugar swings affect all of us. Blood sugar affects our hormones, our weight, our moods, and those swings leave us more susceptible to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, as well as autoimmune conditions like psoriasis, Hashimoto’s and more.
One common issue associated with blood sugar imbalance is Candida overgrowth. If you haven’t seen this in your practice yet, you will! Candida is a naturally occurring yeast, and is found in all healthy bodies. But sometimes it grows beyond its limits, as it can do when there is microbial dysfunction and insufficiencies of beneficial bacteria, which is true for many of us. When Candida overgrowth occurs, it can lead to downstream blood sugar imbalance, wreaking further havoc on the full body systems and causing symptoms such as:
To help you better assess whether a client could be suffering from Candida overgrowth, download your free copy of the Functional Nutrition Alliance Yeast Symptom Questionnaire.
When we suspect Candida overgrowth after a Functional Assessment has been done, this is our first step in gathering more information to determine our next steps of care.
Within a suitably compromised mucosal atmosphere, Candida is tailored to gain power and proliferate. The environment that will support its growth is one where there’s a lot of undigested sugar and starch for it to feed on as well as an intestinal climate that has a lower pH, or is more acidic. Sugar, starches and simple carbohydrates in the diet contribute to all of these generative factors, which is why diet is such an important part of an anti-Candida protocol.
When a favorable environment for yeast overgrowth exists in the microflora, then what the body does with that ice cream (or even those raisins!) is make more yeast. And as the body makes more yeast, it puts more strain on the immune system to try to gain back some balance. This leaves us tired and inflamed and can cause confusion among the immune cells as they try to discern “self” from “other.”
As the yeast “feeds” on the sugars in its environment, it begs for more. It’s like a growing child. Its need for more sugars manifests as a “sweet tooth.” You can remind your clients that what feels like a lack of willpower when trying to avoid sweets or carbohydrates may be something much more sovereign to contend with—a growing and hungry pathogen.
(This information about Candida overgrowth and more can be found in the book I co-authored with Anti-Candida educator, expert and cookbook author, Ricki Heller in the book Living Candida-Free.)
No Carb, Low Carb, Night Carbs… What’s the Deal?
Functional Nutrition Tool: Sleep Assessment
The Art of Counseling Step 1: Assess
The Art of Counseling Step 2: Recommend
The Art of Counseling Step 3: Track
Functional nutritionist and educator Andrea Nakayama (FNLP, MSN, CNC, CNE, CHHC) is leading patients and practitioners around the world in a revolution to reclaim ownership over our own health. Her passion for food as personalized medicine was born from the loss of her young husband to a brain tumor in 2002. She’s now regularly consulted as the nutrition expert for the toughest clinical cases in the practices of many world-renowned doctors, and trains a thousand practitioners online each year in her methodologies at Functional Nutrition Lab. Learn more about Andrea here.