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Nutrition Notes

Nutritional Therapy Concepts

To pursue a strategy of nutritional therapy, the assumption is that things routinely go wrong with food-body interactions. The non-nutrient structure of food is relevant to the consideration of the total interaction of food with body systems. A key question in rethinking nutrition is: "What role do foods have in body dynamics while they are broken down into carbohydrates, fats and proteins?" This is a challenging question and proves to be difficult to answer. This re-examination introduces many inconvenient complications. In the first instance, there is an overburden of non-nutritional substances in food.

Changes in the quality if the food supply and the role of food additives and toxic contaminants are factors to be considered. Changes in eating behaviors and food combinations have occurred rapidly in the past few decades with unknown consequences and the eclectic eating habits of many modern citizens ranges from the whimsical and bizarre to frankly pathological eating patterns. Aberrations in eating behaviors are now common enough to be considered "normal" and the traditional three-meals a day ideal postulated by dieticians has all but vanished from the culture.

Since food ingestion creates dysfunction and disease by a variety of mechanisms, nutritional therapy is based on removing the causes of illness by correcting a faulty food supply. The supreme technique of nutritional therapy is, therefore, Diet Revision Therapy.

Diet revision therapy refers to specific strategies of correcting disease by modifying food choices, and eating behaviors. Proper diet revision must restore control over a confusing, chaotic set of circumstances and symptoms. Careful application diet revision therapy will reveal the fundamental significance of the food supply in the production of a disorder.

Resolving Food-Related Diseases

I recognized in 1983 that a standard program of diet revision was needed - a prototype which could encourage the further development of nutritional therapy as a systematic study. A systematic method of diet revision with full participation of the patient in evaluating and selecting foods had never before been introduced into medical practice nor dietetics. The reintroduction of foods to establish a nourishing well-tolerated diet calls for knowledge and skills that go beyond routine dietetics. Since resolving the problems of food allergy in common disorders such as eczema, migraine, asthma, and irritable bowel were my priorities, the method of diet revision that I developed was influenced by allergy practice.

There are important difficulties in attempting diet revision. Any attempt to fundamentally alter a patient's lifestyle is bound to encounter resistance from many directions. More time and effort is required to educate, motivate, and support any patient who wants to change. The effort to change a patient's food supply also encounters all the irrational elements of eating behavior - a routine case of irritable bowel syndrome, for example, may turn into a struggle with food addictions, emotional issues, family and societal issues.

The use of an elemental formula to replace food or the deployment of a strict hypoallergenic diet is a definitive strategy that requires the full participation of patient and requires understanding of psychosocial dynamics that are not usually monitored in medical practice.

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    The term “nutrition” means mean a lot of different things to different people. Some people adopt the term as a professional label; many companies borrow the term to claim a relationship to professional nutrition. Universities may have departments of nutrition. Often the study of nutrition is disconnected from the real world of agricultural practices, food processing and distribution. The intense marketing efforts of food and drug companies flood the media with deliberately biased information that confuses everyone. A majority of health problems are food-related; so these problems get a lot of our attention.

  • Topics on the left are from the book Nutrition Notes by Stephen Gislason MD. 199 Pages.
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