Well I just sat down to look at my blog and I realised it has been a while since I’ve churned out anything! wow!
Which means life has been full and busy! Phew… I havn’t even kept up with the 52 Project! My problem was my camera cord went missing and I couldn’t load any photos!
In the meantime, I attended the Mindd Foundation Practitioner training which was truly mind blowing. So many inspirational health professionals under one roof, and all talking my language (well sometimes it went right over my head, but I tried my hardest to keep up!)
Rafael popped by for a visit
I learned all about gut health and how it is such an integral part to disease processes, ways which we can heal the gut and improve our health. In the practitioner training we were part of the Medical Academy of Paediatric Special Needs (MAPS), where the focus was to “provide education and long-term support for practitioners, ensuring the quality and consistency of medical care for children with autism and related chronic conditions.” Learning all about gastrointestinal health, the microbiome, methylation, toxicity, environmental health, mitochondrial health and how to apply this knowledge to the success in recovering children from Autism. For me the rockstar of the weekend was discussing nutritional medicine. I constantly think ‘how can we implement this in mainstream healthcare’, and often feel I just can’t get the ball rolling.Meeting Dr Leila Masson
So through Mindd, I am starting with my colleagues. Nurses.
Here is a piece I wrote for the Mindd Foundation to try encourage nurses to start considering nutritional medicine:
Nutritional medicine is part of the foundation of good health. As nurses, it is often overlooked in our practice as we race around and tick off our daily planners, who has time to stop and think about what has been delivered on a child’s meal tray when there is obs to do! It is time it became important, there is so much more to food than calories, carbohydrates and protein. If we begin to look at it from a scientific point of view, and apply our biochemistry knowledge to the pathophysiology of human diseases, we will begin to truly understand. Understand why it is important that the liver works properly to dispose of old neurotransmitters, hormones and other by-products of normal metabolism, understand that gut flora is one of the biggest players in neurological and psychiatric conditions (Campbell-McBride, 2010), and finally understand how nutritional medicine brings it all together.
What drives the biochemical processes in the body? The simple answer is nutrients. Essentially it is micronutrients that our bodies depend on to maintain proper functioning of all the biochemical pathways. For instance it takes iron to carry oxygen in our blood and deliver to cells throughout the body. Selenium and iodine are required to assist with the healthy function of the thyroid gland. Vitamin D is vital for maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphate, which in turn are required for mineralisation of the bones. Everything that we eat can impact on these biochemical processes, and nutritional medicine is essential when treating symptoms or diseases. Understanding nutritional medicine enables nurses to treat the cause and support the body in healing by pulling back the layers of the presenting symptoms, and discovering they are often the result of poor nutritional factors.
Nutritional Medicine encompasses nourishing the body with many different nutrients; ensuring there is adequate digestion and absorption of these nutrients and taking into consideration the environmental factors that contribute to the quality of the nutrients.
Currently our environment is very toxin heavy. From the crops harvested to feed us fresh vegetables, to the cows reared to supply us with meat, the environment plays a major role in providing optimal quality of nutrients for bodies to digest and absorb and utilize on a daily basis.
The statistics of childhood disease trends in Australia are frightening*
- Up to 70% of Australian children are low in iodine, which adversely impacts on IQ.
- Today allergies affect 1 in 3 Australian children, Asthma 1 in 4, ADHD 1 in 10 and Autism 1 in 90.
- Childhood cancer, diabetes, obesity and depression have each well more than doubled over the past 2 decades.*
*Visit mindd.org/donations for research references
These statistics can be dramatically changed, if health care professionals, such as nurses, begin to understand the importance of nutritional medicine, and learn to how to apply in practice throughout the broad range of nursing modalities. Educating parents is a start, explaining how nutritional deficiencies have a damaging effect on digestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids (Campbell-McBride, 2010). Encouraging families to become interested in how nutritional medicine can help their child with asthma, ease their child’s itchy eczema skin and begin to recover their child from autism.
Nurses skills are needed, because we already understand how the body works and how disease can manifest. Paediatric nurses have direct access to families, and as seen every day in a hospital, these families rely on nurses to have up to date, scientific, peer-reviewed, evidence based information. These families deserve an integrative approach to their children’s health care.
Skills that nurses can offer:
-Good listeners, parents respond well to nurses that listen and offer solutions. Nurses become particularly good at this on a day-to-day basis, as seen by building good rapport with patients and families
-Excellent knowledge of body systems and functions
-Ability to multi-task
-Empathy to families
-Excellent communication skills within a multi-disciplinary team
-Ability to cope under pressure
-Nutritional advice, once given the proper training, nurses can implement this into their health care and plant seeds for families to grow their knowledge
– Developing a network to promote effective integrative healthcare, the more nurses who learn about nutritional medicine the bigger the community and the more we can address some of these serious health issues and concerns
What you can learn:
Tens of thousands of children worldwide are in need of well-trained integrative and biomedical practitioners who can effectively treat the core cause of neurobiological and auto-immune disorders such as Autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma.
MAPS training (The Medical Academy of Paediatric Special Needs) is a structured to provide a clinic-focused, evidence based training in the field of complex paediatric conditions.
Learning objectives: —Environmental Medicine ACM
Achievement of educational objectives, given the allotted time for each presentation:
- Review normal detoxification pathways
- Examine the role of environmental toxicology in childhood disorders
- Evaluate various laboratory assessments and biomarkers as they relate to toxicology
- Distinguish between acute and chronic toxicity
- Understand the concept of body burden as related to toxicity
- Examine the impact of environmental toxicants in children with autism, ADHD and related childhood disorders
- Identify and review various methods of detoxification
- Identify ways to implement toxicological related treatments into clinical practice
- Review actual case histories of patients with autism and other neurodevelopmental problems to understand appropriate testing, workup and treatments as related to toxicology
Learning objectives: —Gastrointestinal ACM
Achievement of educational objectives, given the allotted time for each presentation:
- Recognize the role that various diets have on autistic behaviours and symptoms and understand how to implement these diets
- Describe the appropriate testing and workup for nutritional abnormalities found in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders
- Evaluate various laboratory assessments and biomarkers as they relate to the gastrointestinal micro biota and abnormalities
- Review the role that dysbiosis plays in childhood disorders and treatments for dysbiosis
- Identify the role that gastrointestinal abnormalities play in children with autism
- Identify ways to implement gastrointestinal related treatments into practice
- Review actual case histories of patients with autism and other neurodevelopmental problems to understand appropriate testing, workup and treatments of gastrointestinal-related problems
Campbell-Mcbride N 2010, Gut And Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD,, Dyslexia, A.D.H.D, Depression Schizophrenia, Medinform Pub, Cambridge, UK