HOLLY CARLING: It takes guts

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I have studied many different fields of medicine — from conventional medicine to many alternative forms of healing. All of them (except maybe conventional medicine), have one commonality: If you don’t fix the gut, you will never get the person well. You will always just continue to chase symptoms. In my 40 years of being in the field of health and healing, I have increasingly found this to be true.

We now live in a time of great severity of digestive diseases. No longer is it “just” a little heartburn, easily resolved with a bit of bicarbonate. Today’s digestive issues are painful, deep, and are progressed to autoimmune states. There are more diseases involving significant tissue damage and profound effect on the lives of the sufferers.

Nearly every disease you can think of, there is a link to poor digestion — whether symptomatic or not. For instance, arthritis, kidney and gall stones, bone spurs and cataracts, while they sound completely unrelated, share a common issue with calcium metabolism. Translated, that means something is wrong with digesting calcium as a starting point. From there it progresses to a place of inherent weakness (eyes, joints, kidneys, bony surface), and then we attach a fancy medical name to it. The problem? If you don’t address the gut, you’ll never fully get the condition to resolve (notice I didn’t say simply controlled?)

Of course, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, IBS — an inflammatory bowel disease — is a disease of the gut. But how many of your practitioners are starting with correcting stomach deficiencies first? Usually just the lower gut is addressed in these conditions, with a target to simply restore quality of life, yet the upper gut is left unaddressed. If the upper gut, the stomach, is not putting out sufficient enzymes, taking an acid-stopping medication to resolve the “acid excess” is not correcting the problem. This is an article in itself, because this sounds contradictory, but it isn’t. Email me at vital@vitalhealthcda.com if you want the article on stomach acid. To try to correct lower gut issues without addressing the stomach, is like trying to mop up a floor flooded by a faucet left on, while not turning off the faucet.

If you are suffering from any gut issue and are taking antacids, acid-stopping medications, or steroids, you need to be asking if the condition is being corrected, the underlying reason why you have the issue, or is it just being masked to enable you to function in life? As gut issues are not corrected, they morph into other more serious degenerative diseases.

The gut is perhaps the most important factor in resolving seemingly unrelated illnesses. It takes guts to stand up and say “It’s time to heal my gut!” “I want my health, my life back!”

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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