“The root of all health is in the brain. The trunk of it is in emotion. The branches and leaves are the body. The flower of health blooms when all parts work together. “~Kurdish Saying
The Second Brain
Did you know that your gut is considered your second brain? There are more than 100 million nerve cells that line the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, around 90% of serotonin production is in the gut. Serotonin is a feel good chemical involved in mood control, depression and anxiety. It is safe to say that the gut is a big deal.
The gut brain connection is strong and goes in both directions. This means that the brain impacts the gut and the gut impacts the brain. For example, if you experience anxiety, you might experience gut issues and vice versa. Working with a dietitian and therapist addresses both sides of the gut/brain connection.
Why Does Nutrition Matter?
Proper nutrition will positively impact the gut. Conversely, there are numerous stressors which negatively impact our gut each day (poor diet, stress, trauma, toxins, lifestyle choices). By nourishing our gut bacteria with healthy food and lifestyle, the brain is better able to handle these stressors.
What Do Our Dietitians Do?
Integrative Therapy of Nashville’s dietitians take a holistic approach when working with their clients. This comprehensive approach addresses aspects of whole body wellness including diet, lifestyle choices, stress, relationships with food, nutritional deficiencies, sleep and exercise. Each client is different, so each nutritional plan will be individualized. While each dietitian is trained in general wellness and nutrition, each have their own specialty. These specialties include autoimmune diseases and gut issues, eating disorders and lactation counseling.
Autoimmune and Gut Issues
Autoimmune diseases are multi-faceted beasts with over 200+ symptoms. These symptoms can silently compromise one’s health and dramatically disrupt day-to-day life. People start to believe their symptoms are in their head, become exhausted from self-managing, and experience anxiety, stress, and even more lack of sleep as a result. Here are some common symptoms of autoimmune diseases:
- Skin issues/Itchy skin
- Abdominal pain
- Trouble swallowing
- Frequent gas or belching
- Low grade or recurring fever
- Joint pain
- Hair Loss
- Brain Fog/Difficulty concentrating
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
Approach To Healing
When in an autoimmune flare, inflammation is high and the immune system is in overdrive. Having proper nutrition can help calm the immune system and drive inflammation down. Nashville Autoimmune Nutrition takes a functional and integrative approach with their clients. Lindsay creates solutions that are comprehensive, personalized and sustainable. Changing the way you eat can help improve your quality of life, energy, and peace of mind.
Types of Eating Disorders
- Anorexia Nervosa – considerably underweight, intense fear of gaining weight, distorted body image, restrictive food intake
- Bulimia Nervosa – Eat unusually large amounts of food until the point it is painful, feels they cannot stop and is often accompanied by purging (forced vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, excessive exercise)
- Binge Eating – Similar to Bulimia, but does not purge.
- Pica – Crave non-food items such as ice, dirt, chalk, paper, laundry detergent, etc. Individuals with Pica are at risk of poisoning, gut issues and nutritional deficiencies.
- Rumination Disorder – Individuals regurgitate their food, chew it again and swallow or spit it out.
- Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake – This is different from anorexia. the avoidance of food is due to a lack of interest in food or an intense distastes for how certain foods look, smell or taste.
- Night Eating Syndrome – Individuals eat excessively after awakening from sleeping.
- Orthorexia – Individuals have an obsessive focus on eating healthy. Eliminating entire food groups, causing malnutrition, emotional distress and issues with self-worth.
Approach to healing
Intuitive Eating is one way we help clients create new relationships with food. For many, it is also a way to relearn how to trust their body. Intuitive Eating helps you distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. How you eat is just as important as what you eat! We also believe in the principles of Health at Every Size (HAES). This approach to working with a client with an eating disorder recognizes that health and well-being are multi-dimensional and that they
include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects when setting treatment goals. It also promotes eating in a way that balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure. There is no focus on weight loss, but rather engaging in enjoyable physical activities appropriate for the client.
When receiving Lactation Counseling you have a hands-on guide for your breastfeeding challenges and questions, which might include:
- milk supply
- nipple/breast pain
- returning to work planning
- prenatal education (“what to expect”)
Check our Groups page to see if we have a current Support Group available!