Dr. Orlowski has taught a variety of classes in nutrition at the post graduate level. In practice she helps patients with dietary analysis, nutritional counseling, supplementation and intravenous nutritional therapies. A large part of nutritional counseling is dependent upon evaluation of digestion and absorption of nutrients. You can spend hundreds of dollars on the right supplement, but if you can’t absorb it, you are wasting your time and money. Dr. Orlowski often has to start patients on intravenous nutritional therapies because they are too depleted to benefit from oral doses. The IV’s give the patient that “jump start,” that they need for their body heal enough so that it can absorb nutrients from food and supplements again.
One of the most frequent problems seen with digestion and absorption comes from a lack of hydrochloric acid, (HCl,) in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid decreases with acute or chronic stress, age and in the presence of the Herliobacter pylori bacterium. Oddly the symptoms of low hydrochloric acid are often mistaken for signs that there is an excess of acid. Heartburn, gas, bloating, belching, constipation or diarrhea can all be signs that hydrochloric acid is low. The functions of hydrochloric acid are to:
- Digest proteins.
• Signal the stomach to release intrinsic factor needed for vitamin B-12 absorption.
• Kill unwanted bacteria, parasites and fungus that may be in our food.
• Chelate vitamins and minerals for maximum absorption, especially B complex, magnesium. Calcium, iron and zinc.
• Stimulate production and release of pancreatic enzymes for carbohydrate digestion.
• Create the correct pH for the gut for proper bacterial colonization and to avoid leaky gut syndrome.
When antacids are given to alleviate the symptoms of heartburn the problem can be compounded over time leaving patients in a malnourished state which sets them up for a variety of health problems including: osteoporosis, anemia, candida overgrowth, parasites, gastritis, IBS, depression, weight gain, cardiac disease etc. A common mistake is to give enzymes to patients that are hypochrlohydric, (low in hydrochloric acid,) this helps with protein absorption and the gas and bloating, but does not help with vitamin or mineral absorption or any of the other functions of HCl.
It is amazing how common nutritional deficiencies are seen in practice, these are often overlooked because deficiencies are not expected in a rich country like the United States of America, and because the patient usually doesn’t look as if they are starving. Due to poor quality foods and poor food choices, many Americans are overfed and undernourished; add poor absorption to the mix and we don’t stand a chance.
Dr. Orlowski evaluates nutritional status from signs and symptoms in the patient through use of laboratory tests, pysysical exam, including traditional chinese medical diagnostics and by measuring the patient’s response on an energetic level.
What to Eat
Recently the news has been filled with stories about our food and obesity in our country. As the industry vows to make foods healthier we are left with serious questions about our health. No one wants to be fat, but obesity is just the tip of the iceberg. As a nation we are plagued with illness, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, auto-immune disease, depression… the list goes on. Despite our wealth and our technologically advanced medical system, measurements of health in this country are lower than many third world countries. We are overfed and undernourished. Our standards of health are low, many of the patients that I see consider themselves healthy even though they suffer from chronic headaches, allergies or insomnia and need to take medication just to get through the day. The problems of health get to be complicated, but the reasons are simple and so are many of the cures.
The majority of our health problems come from diet and lifestyle. Our food is low in nutrients due to farming techniques that focus on profit rather than quality. We tend to eat foods that are processed to the point of being very low in nutrition. Few Americans exercise enough, and our life style has become sedentary. Our lives are unbalanced, full of work and stress, low on community, play and quiet time. This disharmony and stress creates physical problems such as poor digestion, poor absorption, leaky gut syndrome, insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure. Many of the physical problems are easily alleviated if the proper nutrition gets in to the system.
So what can we do to make a change and not succumb to poor health?
• Exercise, either find the time to develop a routine, or better yet, stop leading a sedentary lifestyle. Walk more, take the farthest parking space instead of the closest, go out to dance instead of seeing a movie, hike, garden, run around with your pets or children or borrow someone else’s children to play with.
• Take vitamins and minerals. Even if you are eating enough healthy foods, the chances are low that you get optimal levels of nutrition in your food. Our needs for nutrition increase as we are exposed to stress and pollution. Supplements give your body a fighting chance.
• Eat your vegetables. If there is one food that can make a difference, it is probably leafy green vegetables. They are high in fiber and nutrients, but few people eat them. Try to add a few servings a day and see how much better you feel. Explore the produce isle, kale, chard, mustard greens, collard greens, all are delicious sautéed in olive oil with garlic or onions. Try them for breakfast with an egg, add them to soup, be creative.
• Eat whole foods. The closer it looks to what grows in nature, the better it is. Avoid white flour and sugar products as much as possible, they have very little nutritional value, but are great at making us fat and leeching the vitamins and minerals that they are missing from our bodies. Whole grains, simple fruits and vegetables, fish and meats are good choices.
• If possible eat organic. Its better for the earth, better for your body and better for our children. Organic foods are free of harmful pesticides, have more natural nutrition and are grown using sustainable farming methods.
• Bless your food. We are bodies of light and energy. Blessing and giving thanks for what we eat raises the energy of the food to a higher level and raises our energy as well. This helps us grow on all levels, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual