Without first addressing the elimination of internal toxins, all other interventions may be ineffective. This imbalance involves the optimum functioning of the liver, gut, kidneys, and skin. Due to our increasingly polluted environment, the body’s toxic load may exceed its elimination capacity. Experts estimate that 100% of the human population is toxic with persistent organic pollutants ( herbicides, pesticides, food additives or preservatives, etc.) and 25 % are toxic with heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, etc). Other important toxicities come from opportunistic infectious organisms. Toxicity is often present long before symptoms appear.
Digestive, absorptive, and microbiological imbalances
The major way our pets interact with the environment is through their GI tract. Two-thirds of the immune system is in the GI tract where it reacts to food, parasites, and infectious organisms. Each animal ingests hundreds of pounds of food in a lifetime. Nutritional needs are unique to each animal and are determined by a variety of factors including metabolism and genetics. Normal abundant bacteria flora, proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, and normal gut immunological function are all necessary for optimal health. Many times abnormalities exist without signs or symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Specific treatments are available for dysbiosis (abnormal bacterial balance in the gut), leaky gut syndrome, food allergies, and absorptive disorders that may impact all other organs of the body. The “Four R” program is a proven and effective means of treatment and restoration:
- and Repair.
Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances
Hormonal dysfunction is common especially as animals age. Often a hormonal problem may also involve toxicities and/or digestive and absorptive imbalances and may not simply be a hormone deficiency. The major hormones: cortisol, adrenaline, thyroid hormone, and insulin have a major impact on all body systems. Adrenal fatigue is a common and often unrecognized problem. Neurotransmitter imbalances/deficiencies are very common, especially in animals exhibiting behavior problems.
Nutritional and dietary imbalances
What animals eat largely determines their state of health. Research estimates that 70-90% of chronic disease risk is attributable to lifestyle and diet. Given the extensive exposure to toxins we all (animals and people) now experience, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are very common. Each animal’s daily requirements are unique and depend on its genetics, diet, and toxic load.
Oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and redox imbalances
Free radicals are the result of the body’s using oxygen for the process of metabolism. Free radicals are unavoidable naturally occurring and damaging byproducts, but with antioxidants, they can be neutralized before they cause further damage to cellular architecture. Excessive free radicals lead to many chronic diseases and accelerate aging. Antioxidants can be increased through diet, supplements, and exercise.
Immune and inflammatory imbalances
The body’s immune system surveys its environment for foreign invaders and destroys them in order to maintain health. If this process malfunctions, allergies, and autoimmune diseases result. Imbalances leading to allergy or autoimmune disease can be initiated by heavy metal toxicity, organic pollutants, or leaky gut syndrome. Inflammation is the cause of many varied diseases. Inflammation is necessary for healing. However, if it is out of control, it can result in disease. A general program to decrease inflammation may decrease the risk of developing future chronic diseases.
Structural imbalances at the cellular and whole body level
As animals age, they lose muscle mass, gain fat, and individual cells lose cell wall fluidity and receptor identity. As they begin to lose strength and musculoskeletal function, exercise and nutritional supplementation become especially important. Herbal and nutritional treatments for arthritis are just as effective as prescription drugs – and do not have the horrendous side effects that are common with steroids and non-steroidal drugs.
Mild stress motivates, but excessive stress kills. In order to effectively deal with stress, the root cause must be understood. Since we cannot “talk” to animals, this is particularly challenging. Many times stress for animals results from their relationships with humans and other animals which expresses itself as a behavior problem. After physical issues are addressed, energy work can be very rewarding in helping pets resolve issues.