Wednesday 7 March 2012

Respiratory Infections-Gluten Intolerant-Chinese Medicine-Consequences-Experiment

To Be Or Not To Be Gluten and Dairy Free? That is the Question!

My Grand Experiment: No Gluten, No DairySummary:Stopped eating gluten and dairy foods for 8 weeks. Result so far: No annual respiratory infections, no nasal congestion, drier lungs, loss of 10 lbs.
So, I want to discuss an experiment that I've been conducting on myself. I decided 8 weeks ago to stop eating gluten and dairy. I have a history of respiratory infections and am particularly susceptible to catching colds which would often turn into bronchitis and this often started in the autumn. (Read earlier posts about Metal phase of year).Confession moment: So, this year I decided that instead of just thinking "Do as say, not as I do" when counseling my patients about their health and diet lifestyles- I really needed to follow my own advice, be a model, and think actively about what consequences my food choices were having for my health.
I'm classically Spleen Qi deficient in Chinese medicine terms. That means that my digestion tends to be weak and that my ability to transform food into Qi and Blood is not efficient. It also means my body's ability to regulate and transform fluids in the body is sluggish and I have an accumulation of viscosity in my fluids: mucus and phlegm.Classically speaking, Chinese medicine points to the Spleen, its role in EAM as the chief of digestion, and the general strength of the digestion as the foundation of strong immunity. The famous Jade Windscreen decoction which we give to people to strengthen immunity especially during seasonal transitions, is based on this premise- of strengthening the Middle Jiao (digestion).The Spleen is also paired with the Lung. Together they are the Taiyin channel and their partnership regulates Qi in the body. So, when the Spleen is weak, often the Lung suffers as well- so one can see how weak digestion can lead to lowered immunity which often results in respiratory infections.
Ancestral Qi, Health History, LifestyleOver the years I've pondered how as a child I contracted walking pneumonia. I think this early illness weakened my Taiyin system. In palpating my Lung channel one can feel adhesions in the channel that indicate long term chronic weakness of the Lung Qi.I find similar indications in my Spleen channel.My family also has a history of diabetes which in our case correlates to weakness of the Middle Jiao (Digestion).So, I think that both my genetic background and my ancestral Qi lead me towards immune system vulnerability and Taiyin deficiency.
Lifestyle choices over time also have probably contributed to vulnerability in my Taiyin system. The Spleen is responsible for organizing principle of the mind and is also involved in maintaining the blueprint of the body (our genetic code perhaps?). It does this at night and if the Spleen is overtaxed (poor food choices) and lack of sleep, and over-thinking- then it becomes exhausted.I'm certainly guilty of not sleeping enough, of staying up too late, of eating unhealthily at times.
So, pondering all these things and wanting to try and not get sick this autumn, I undertook an experiment of giving up gluten and dairy.
I'm not sure that I'm really gluten intolerant- I certainly don't suffer from Celiac disease. I do think that I may have an allergy to wheat, however. I know that dairy definitely gives me mucus. But I decided that going off gluten and dairy would just be a simple way to establish a baseline.
In Chinese medicine we often say that dairy contributes to Dampness in the body. In fact, its good to consider that humans are the only species that continues to drink milk and eat milk products past infancy. A lot of people seem to also have dairy allergies. In East Asia, until recently, milk was not a common food. The mythology that came out of advertising in the U.S. during my childhood was that milk was equated with health- so every child was supposed to drink multiple glasses per day. What this did for saturated fat intake and its related health consequences is well documented. read more..

No comments:

Post a Comment