By Dr. Aimee Warren
We’ve all seen Cinderella, right? If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen it, let me summarize (I happen to be an expert on Disney princesses because I have a four year old who drank Walt Disney’s purple kool-aid and is possessed by all things glitter and tiara)…so Cinderella’s stepsisters are haters and rip her dress right before girl’s night out. Cinderella looks all beat down and defeated and feels like her chakras are totally out of alignment. Just in the nick of time, her fairy godmother rolls in with her magic wand and after some cocktails and bibidi-bobidi-boo, Cinderella is back on track and feeling great (ok, Cinderella doesn’t drink a cocktail at that part, but I definitely do); she then takes her newly pimped out pumpkin to the ball and dances until dawn.
So what in the world is my point might you ask? Well in our bodies, we also have little magic wands that help fuel our energy and keep us feeling like we can dance till dawn. These magic wands are our micronutrients. Micronutrients are substances in the body that are needed only in minuscule amounts but are crucial in maintaining health and wellness. These little powerhouses enable the production of enzymes, hormones, and other substances essential for proper development and metabolism. Without them, our bodies do not function optimally. Severe deficiencies can cause major health problems and pose enormous public health concerns but are usually seen only in developing countries. In this country, however, mild to moderate deficiencies are extremely prevalent and when these micronutrients are not available at the optimal levels in the body, our health is weakened.
In developed countries, there are many reasons why we still find micronutrient deficiencies. First, many of us are dietary creatures of habit and frequently eat the same things over and over again. This can leave gaps in our diet and frequently leads to deficits in micronutrient levels. Secondly, our fruits and vegetables are many times picked before they are ripe which diminishes their micronutrient content. Also, our soil quality is less than optimal which can also lead to deficiencies. Lastly, many times deficiencies are found because patients eat too much processed food which is notoriously lacking in essential nutrients.
Micronutrient testing is a very useful tool for any patient looking to optimize their total body wellness. It is also a valuable tool to use for patients with symptoms not explained by the conventional medical work up and lab tests. Here are a few common complaints where micronutrient testing should be considered:
• Fatigue • Menopausal symptoms
• Diabetes • Constipation
• Hair loss or thinning • Frequent illness
• Overweight/obesity • Acne
The first step in treatment for any discovered micronutrient deficiency is an in depth dietary evaluation as it is always better to acquire essential nutrients from food sources. Keeping a food journal and having it evaluated along with your micronutrient test results is the best way to help ensure you are getting what you need. It may also be suggested that you take one or more supplements to help fill any nutrient gaps discovered through testing. Still, as always, prevention is paramount. To ensure you are getting the highest micronutrient content in your diet follow these simple rules:
• Buy your produce from farmer’s markets – produce there is usually picked at peak ripeness
• Buy organic, non GMO whenever possible
• Eat produce that is in season
• Eat whole foods and avoid processed food
• Vary your diet – try to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors
While following these guidelines may not optimize every available micronutrient, you can be sure you are doing your best to allow your body to thrive and to triumph over any evil stepmother.
May you live happily ever after,.. Dr. Warren
Dr. Aimee Warren is the Medical Director at Kairin Clinic, Temecula Valley’s leading medical boutique. To learn more about their unique integrative practice or to get your micronutrient levels checked, visit their website: www.KairinClinic.com or call (951) 225-1003.