I recently read an article by a former heart surgeon that talked about the fact that cholesterol isn’t the bad guy in heart disease. Instead, he argued that inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels caused by sugars and even the “healthy” oils we eat such as corn, canola (Omega-6 oils) is the real cause of what is still the #1 cause of death in America today.
I sat down with Dr. Ellie Campbell of Campbell Family Medicine in Cumming, GA to talk about the article and she was eager to discuss it. She completely agrees with the premise of the article and shared how the ratio of Omega-3 oils to Omega-6 oils has grown from ~1:1 or 1:2 to as much as 25:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3.
She also talked about the fact that higher levels of cholesterol in the blood don’t necessarily equate to plaque and heart disease/stroke. It’s when cholesterol molecules are oxidized and corrupted by inflammatory substances we eat that they become “sticky” and attach to the irritated walls of the blood vessels.
Dr. Campbell shared numerous suggestions for basic changes we can make that will not only serve to reduce our risk for heart disease but in some cases can actually reverse damage already done.
I also brought back Leana Kart, a chiropractor whose practice, Northwest Chiropractic and a member of the Georgia Chiropractic Association to talk about the fact that May is National Posture Awareness Month. She shared several tips on how to avoid “tech neck”, damage to the spine and neck caused by long periods of chin-down angles to look at a device in our lap. She also talked about why good posture contributes to keeping us healthy.
Did you know that as much as 80% of your body’s immune capacity comes from your gut? Neither did we. That’s why we’re glad Dr. Ellie Campbell of Campbell Family Medicine came by to blow our minds(again) with information (The 4 R’s of Gut Health) about ways we can dramatically improve our health. She shared how she progressed from her traditional primary care practice to a Direct Pay model to get away from the pressure to see more patients, faster, in order to make a respectable physician’s income. In her office she doesn’t work with insurance companies. Instead, her patients simply pay a monthly membership fee to have access to her 24 hours a day, 7 days per week (sometimes even when on vacation!). She also wanted to be able to provide care to her patients that is based on best practices and evidence rather than being simply limited to what an insurance company will or won’t pay for.
We talked about the fact that, with limited time per patient, prescribing a medication and moving on to the next patient is often the way physicians must conduct their practice. She shared how allergic responses to foods and other environmental sources are behind many of our illnesses (or mirror many illnesses). We also talked about how important what we eat and drink is in our overall health. Dr. Campbell described how food and beverages have such dramatic impacts on our hormone levels and cellular health that we need to look at what we consume much like drugs one can take in a pill.
Dr. Campbell discussed The 4 R’s of Gut Health, going over foods we should eliminate (or at a minimum significantly reduce) from our diets because they cause inflammatory responses in the gut and vascular system (and elsewhere). Things like wheat and plants from the nightshade family such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant can, for many, create allergic reactions. The challenge is, many of these allergic responses don’t manifest in immediately-recognizable ways. It could be a general feeling of malaise, skin problems, GI problems that can emulate reflux, and more.
The 4 R’s of Gut Health (Explained in greater detail in the interview):
Remove offending substances from the diet.
Replace digestive enzymes, bile salts, immunoglobulins, DAO, and stomach acid where necessary
Re-inoculate the bowel with pre- and probiotics
Repair gastroentestinal mucosa through proper nutritional support