Things you should know about your own body
Of course we all take health in school and they do their best to teach us what they know about staying healthy. We all know how easy it is to laugh at the things that were taught years ago. Remember when margarine was better for you with all of it’s nutritious trans fatty acids?
This doesn’t mean that there is no good information out there about how to keep your body healthy. Some information has stood the test of time. I see people all the time that may have spent years trying to recover health that don’t know some basics about their own body. This basic information can make the difference between the success and failure of their sincere quest to recover health.
If you are healthy and trying to stay that way this information can be very helpful. If you are trying to keep your kids healthy then there are a few things that you should know about them to help you make decisions about their health. So let me give you a few examples please.
The first piece of information is that of blood type. There are four different blood types a person can have. Blood type is passed on by our genes from parent to child. There are different blood types because in our past people lived in different environments. Some blood types do better in one environment and another blood type might to better in a different environment.
So when we understand which blood type you are or which blood type your child his then we have a good idea of which environment is best for them. Then we can work to recreate that environment. You wouldn’t water a cactus plant every day if you wanted the plant to grow and thrive.
When we know blood type we know if we have a cactus or an oak tree and then we can give it the nutrition that is best. One of the most important parts of the environment that we create for our children or ourselves is the food that we eat. A tremendous amount of research has gone into which foods are best for which blood type.
For example did you know that blood type O makes most stomach acid and blood type A makes the least? This and other information is best described in any book by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, who I consider to be the nations preeminent health authority.
I had a very interesting case yesterday morning where the mom brought in a child that was a family friend. As we were talking about the child we made a bet between ourselves that the child was a blood type B. She knew that he wasn’t a blood type O like her own children. She has done the blood type diet with her one kids for years and knew enough to see the differences. Sure enough when we tested him he was a blood type B.
Something else that I think every person should know is their “secretor status”. Being a secretor simply means that your blood type shows up in your other body fluids. Even though we call it a “blood type” it is a actually a marker on your cells, just imagine it like a flag being planted on your cell. So if a person is a secretor then we could see their blood type in their saliva. If they are a non-secretor then we wouldn’t find their blood type in their saliva. This is exactly the way we test.
It turns out that out of every ten people that two are non-secretors. This is very important because non-secretors have a much higher rate of various infections and other illnesses. I have seen how closely we have to watch non-secretors, and they all need to be on a daily remedy to keep them safe from infection.
This non-secretor issue hits very close to home for me. My son Quinn is a non-secretor. Not only that, he is a blood type AB non-secretor. So a bacteria can fool his system by putting a blood type A flag on its surface or a blood type B flag on its surface. The body is slower to attack things that look like it. So being an AB gives bacteria a lot of opportunity to fool the body and get established. Then he is a non-secretor so he lacks one of the walls of defense he could have had.
All of this made itself clear within the first few years of life. Quinn had five cavities by the age of five. I would have been willing to take responsibility but my older son didn’t have a single one and we where treating them exactly the same way. I couldn’t figure out why this child that we getting good diet, brushing and other care would get cavities. After I learned about blood type and secretor status it all made sense.
Even though we stopped the cavities by changing his care he will always be susceptible to infections. As a naturopathic doctor I have only need to use antibiotics in the licensed states where I practice only about a dozen times in sixteen years. We have so many options with naturopathic medicine that it is only rarely that antibiotics are the best option. My son Quinn, a child with both parents as naturopathic doctors with thirty years of experience between us, has been on antibiotics twice!
Because we understand the factors of blood type and secretor status in Quinn’s health it is not a surprise when we need to turn antibiotics. There are other children and adults in the practice with the same situation. Knowing this allows us to take care of them properly. We can be much more conservative in treating a sore throat in a blood type O secretor than a blood type AB non-secretor.
Non-secretors should not despair though. I don’t believe that nature makes irrational choices. There are probably benefits to the non-secretor state that we just don’t know yet because we focus on the problems. One aspect of non-secretors that I have been observing for a while is that they seem to have a lot of personal charm or charisma. I don’t know how to measure or prove this but I find it interesting.
Anyone that has ever experienced a loved one with antibiotic resistant infection will appreciate that using antibiotics sparingly is best for the health of the patient and the rest of us. Having just these two small pieces of information is so important for everyone’s health. Yet I would say that less than one in ten patients that comes in know this information about themselves. This includes patients with years of health problems and even life threatening illnesses.
The gift of naturopathic medicine is perspective. Because our training includes both Western conventional medicine and natural medicines we get to assist both the patient and our medical colleagues by adding missing pieces to the puzzle. There are many examples like the ones above. It is interesting how many creative ways people find to blame themselves for being sick, when all that was needed was a different perspective.