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Early Detection and Treatment of Digestive Disease with Dr. Scott Freeborn, ND – Part 4

Getting Real on When Real Change Occurs

One of the biggest problems we run into in our modern society is the unrealistic expectation on when we ought to perceive change. When making diet-based changes for reversing chronic conditions, we are not talking about achieving results in two to three days. Unless we are treating some acute condition like giardia infestation where we eliminate diarrhea through proper treatment, turnaround times in days are unrealistic and almost never happen. Deep underlying problems accumulating over years due to poor lifestyle habits are not rectified in three, seven, or ten days. It takes three to six months for implementing lifestyle changes to have a meaningful effect.

This unrealistic idea of seeing change in a matter of days is one of the biggest obstacles Naturopathic practitioners have to overcome. We have to tell people, “Look, you have to re-adjust your timeline, you have to consistently implement lifestyle changes and give yourself 90 or 120 days. Only after three to four months of consistent application will you begin to make physiologic change in how your cells are chemically and structurally built so they can begin to behave differently in the long term.”

Believing an intensive seven to ten day cleanse will rectify years of poor lifestyle and dietary habits is naïve and incorrect. Eating garbage 355 days per year and expecting to undo the year’s poor eating in 10 days isn’t going to happen.

At the same time, people should be able to develop a sensitivity for what is improving their condition and which targeted supplementation and foods are helping them. If I had known 12 years ago what I know now, I could have reversed my issues and solved my health problems in 3 months instead of 2 years of groping around in the dark struggling with conflicting information. Also (speaking from experience), you can get overwhelmed with supplements. [That’s true]. Some supplements are “must-haves” and others are “nice to haves”; if you are on a budget, it is important to know the difference. Lastly, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was huge for me, especially with the liver issues I was having since western tools were too gross to pick up anything “diagnosable”. So I agree with you about needing three to six months for meaningful change with the caveat that discernible progress is perceivable within a few weeks: “I know I am not there yet but I am starting to feel better, I can sleep at night, and my emotions are not all over the chart.”

The majority of people – nine out of ten people – do not understand how relatively easy it is to complete a yearly one-month parasite cleanse and maybe treat a little candida simultaneously – and how much better they will feel because of it. An annual parasite cleanse combined with modifying the diet over 90 to 120 days, promoting elimination with magnesium, extra fiber, and or increasing water, and consuming the good fats like those found in MELT to lubricate the bowel, will help anyone improve how they feel and how they function. I find it commonly amazing at how poorly people generally feel, but don’t know any better because that is how they have been living their entire lives. They do not realize how poorly they actually feel until after they have committed to basic dietary and lifestyle changes.

Probiotics are Medicine

Could you speak about the potential for a much broader recognition of the role of probiotics in human health? It seems much broader than what is understood in the mainstream. I recently discovered +70% of the body’s serotonin is in the gut (NOT the brain), which was a revelation – shouldn’t anyone who is suffering from mental illness or depression at least start with gut health as an eliminating factor? [Yes.] Also, why are we focusing on brain levels of serotonin for treating depression when it’s a minor part of the serotonin system? Contributing to the treatment of depression seems to be just one potential application of probiotic supplements and fermented foods. Why isn’t this front page news on the New York Times?

It is true general medicine does not recognize the role of probiotics in human health, but if you look at the specialty sciences where the academic research has been conducted, the value of probiotics in human health has been substantiated and proven.

It takes an average of 25 years for research validated at the academic level (i.e., placebo-control, double-blind, randomized studies) to make it to mainstream medical practice where it is recognized as safe and implemented at the policy level of HMOs and insurance companies. Mainstream medical practice is way behind the curve.

I am surprised the timeline is that short; I would have thought it was closer to 60 years, given examples like the FDA deciding to ban hydrogenated oils in 2014 after research beginning in the 1940s showing they are toxic to human health.

That is an interesting statement. Back in the 1920s when Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the Merck manual used to recommend restorative probiotic therapy following antibiotic treatment. Since so much of immunity centers around the gut, antibiotics were recognized from the very beginning to cause fungal overgrowths, which if left untreated without probiotic therapy resulted in dysbiosis. Older doctors commonly recommended probiotic restorative therapy following antibiotic treatment. This practice fell by the way side in general medicine and still remains the case with most practitioners. Most doctors do not prescribe or recommend probiotic therapy following an antibiotic treatment even though it is a necessary part of recovery. Most MDs have lost their sense of basic physiology and biochemistry because they get their information on the drugs they prescribe from people employed by the pharmaceutical companies. They are not taking the time or interest to look back at foundational physiology, biochemistry, anatomy and how the body works.

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Dr. Scott Freeborn’s interview continues in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5, and Part 6. His complete interview is available here.

Posted in: Blog, Health

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