Welcome to DFitLife

At DFitLife.com you will find the tools necessary to combine fitness, health and nutrition for an optimal balance that fits your lifestyle.

Daniella Dayoub will help you find ways to feed your body and train it to prevent illness, combat chronic conditions, and let your body thrive.

 

Food choices and exercise selection are based on your individual needs, goals, and challenges.  There is no blanket prescription for everyone. In fact, there are no prescriptions here at all, just sound educational information and helpful advice so that you can make your own fitness decisions. No matter who you are, or what your situation is, there is always something you can do to take your health to the next level.

Facebook

Twitter

 

Most Recent Blog Entries

Gastro-Intestinal Pathogen Screening

Posted On: July 15, 2017

As I’ve continued my learning with FDN, I have found various ways to screen for potential HIDDEN stressors that may be leaving an individual feeling less than optimal.  Those “HIDDEN” stressors include things like:

  • Hormone dysregulation
  • compromised Immunity
  • Digestive issues
  • impaired Detoxification
  • insufficient Energy production
  • Nervous system disturbances

In last blog in this series about my studies I showed you how we can screen for “leaky gut.”  But sometimes the gut issues contributing to the HIDDEN stressors go deeper.  In my case in particular, I found that my life stressors which had manifested in the form of GI issues left my immunity compromised and therefore led to me picking up a parasite issue along the way.  Had I not be in training with FDN I might have just gone on forever thinking my “IBS” was just stress related, and there was nothing I could do about it.  But after taking the BioHealth 401H, I was able to determine that I have parasites, an overgrowth of not-so-healthy bacteria, and that I can DO something to make myself feel better now and over the long-term. 

The BioHealth 401H screens for various forms of parasites and bacteria, and even some fungi/yeast that may be contributing to your metabolic chaos.  Knowing the health of your gut is critical to understanding the rest of the body’s physiology.  However, in Western medicine, gut health and treatment are often ignored; partly because the symptoms and disorders that the patient are exhibiting seem so far removed from a gut disorder. Pathogens are obvious contributors to adrenal dysfunction, maldigestion, malabsorption, toxicity, detoxification issues, elimination, and mucosal barrier problems.

When one’s system is already taxed to the extreme just managing life stress, environmental toxins, etc, it can leave that person (the host) weak and susceptible to infection by pathogens.  Going back to the leaky gut we discussed in the previous post:  when the tight junctions of the small intestine are weakened allowing unwanted pathogens into the bloodstream, and the body has less ability to properly absorb necessary nutrients, you are left with a weakened host.  A weakened host can then suffer from a myriad of consequences related to their gut’s health: 

  • alterations in gut pH, digestion, and absorption
  • retention of foreign organisms that should be normally rapidly expelled
  • disruption of mucosal barrier function
  • toxic conditions from pathogens’ metabolic byproducts
  • maldigestion and malabsorption leading to their own set of problems
  • hyperpermeability
  • immune dysfunction

When pathogens take up residence and multiply, you get a buildup of biofilm (a collection of microorganisms that stick together and to the surface of the intestine lining– like slime basically).  A toxic condition then results from the byproducts of these invaders.  The byproducts, or exudates, are juices or excretions from the pathogens.  The exudates increase the oxidative stress levels which further add to liver congestion and dysfunction.  All of these dysbioses can manifest as food sensitivities, digestive issues, skin issues, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, etc…

biofilm

Aaaaaaanyway…why would you want to take this test and how do you know if you need to?  Well, if you took the original tests that FDN requires upon starting with us (the BH205 and 101), then you would have maybe seen that your hormone production might be a bit low or out of equilibrium.  Or maybe you saw that your oxidative stress was high or that you weren’t processing your proteins well.  Let’s say we then got you sleeping a bit better, eating cleaner, dialing in your exercise and even got you on a few supplements to take the edge off, but you still weren’t feeling all that great.  

It may then be time to dig deeper and see if maybe there’s something more serious going on.  

After doing the 3-day stool test and sending in your specimen, your practitioner will review your results with you.  (As an aside, I found some good tricks to make the sample taking way less gross!) There are three different types of pathogens that might come up in your screening:  parasites, bacteria, and yeast/fungi.  Parasites are the first thing we try to get rid of for two reasons, they are easiest to eradicate with much crossover in treatment protocols used for bacteria.  The second reason is that yeast and fungi can feed on the exudates of the parasites, so it’s a good idea of cut off their food supply!

I’ll use my case an example, so you can see that pathogens can wreak havoc on even those of us who are in pretty darn good shape.  In late 2015 I found myself in one of the most tumultuous and stressful periods of my life.  I started having pretty serious GI distress that quickly became a daily issue.  After a few months I started getting more serious with some basic gut health and saw marginal results.  In fact, my GI issues just became a new way of life for me.  I knew that almost every day between 4-7pm I’d need to be alone and not have plans.  Seriously.  My weight dropped, my vitality and energy were struggling and I didn’t know what to do about it.  I just figured once my stress settled down I’d be fine.  The problem was, stress only got compounded and exponentially increased to the point where I was sort of giving up.

When I got the results from the first two tests I was not surprised to see that I showed high oxidative stress, maldigestion and absorption, and that my circadian rhythm was all messed up.  My mentor encouraged me to do further testing, which I did.  The latest results from the BH401H pathogen screen showed that I was indeed carrying a parasite Cryptosporidium Parvum, coupled with an overgrowth of the bacteria H.Pylori.  So, I am currently starting an herbal eradication protocol to get rid of the parasites and bacteria.  In addition, I’m adding some detoxification strategies such as coffee enemas, dry skin brushing, clean eating of course, no alcohol, and lots of water!!

The key thing with the parasites is that you want to treat them for at least two life cycles, which can be 7-21 days.  The problem with some of the Western approaches to this is that taking a single course of antibiotics will only kill the bugs for that many days.  I’ll be on the anti-parasitics for at least 40 days to make sure I get any left over eggs.  Ew!!!  There is some overlap on the bacteria that need killing off too, but I’ll layer in those herbals somewhere around 20-30 days into this process.  In addition, I’ll be doing a liver-gallbladder flush mid-cycle to get any bugs that have traveled up North.  If you don’t clean out the liver/gallbladder, then you may end up being sick all over again.  If you clean them out, the bugs won’t be able to take up residence again.

To be honest, this was all a bit overwhelming to me at the beginning.  I’m not one to be very comfortable discussing (let alone engaging with) my, um, poo.  But, I also know that I can’t keep on just being sick everyday.  So…. I’m a week into this process and feeling okay so far.  There can be some flu-like symptoms if you launch into the eradication protocols too quickly; they call this a Herxheimer or a Die-Off reaction.  I’ve been lucky so far, and nothing too bad.  I’ll retest in a few months to see where things stand, but I’m pretty sure that my gut will tell me 😉

Yours in Health, 

Daniella

High Intensity Intervals and Intermittent Fasting

Posted On: July 2, 2017

Those are the main themes in this last month of the BayFit Body Fat Loss Challenge!!

 

We are have all been working our little bums (and hopefully bellies) off the last two months.  We’ve cleaned up the diet, worked on portion control, and are now going to give our bodies a chance to really get into fat-burning mode!!!  In July, we are working with two secret weapons:

INTERMITTENT FASTING

Put the fork down!  Take a break from the constant noshing and nibbles and let your body burn, baby, burn.  For many of you this sounds scary.  But trust me, skipping an occasional meal is what humans are designed to do.  Heck even 2 generations ago there weren’t copious snacks sitting pre-packaged in the pantry to nosh on mindlessly.  People ate 2 or 3 square meals, and occasionally got too busy to deal with even those.

Have you ever slept in on a Sunday morning?  Congratulations, you intermittent fasted.  You likely had dinner by 8 or 9 the night before, slept in until 9 or 10 and voilà, at least 12 hours fasted.  Now, was that so hard?  Anyone, and I mean anyone, can fast 12 hours every single day.  Just notice what time you ate dinner, and don’t have breakfast until the same hour the next morning.  Simple.  That little 12-hour window gives your body a chance to have completely burned through any sugar in your system and start digging into your fat stores.  

For my men and post-menopausal women, I’d recommend you crank it up a bit more.  You have the luxury of not worrying how the food timing and intake will affect your sex hormones, so you get an added edge.  You can extend that fast from 12 hours all the way up to 16 or even 24 hours once a week.  If you are doing daily fasts, keep them more conservative, but a once a week all day fast (say lunch to lunch) is both easy and convenient, but will really help train your body to use fat for fuel instead of sugar.  

 

Here is a blog I wrote last year that explains all the reasons why you’d want to fast. 

And here is a breakdown on the various ways to do so.  

 

HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING

The second secret weapon this month is intervals.  Just like humans are designed to occasionally stop eating, we are also meant to occasionally move very fast.  Random bouts of full-out exertion are a fantastic way to push your cardio and fat-burning potential to the next level.  Specifically, doing a short bout of intervals will increase your EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption).  This means the amount of energy your body burns even after the workout is done. With HIIT, you work for less time and burn fat for longer.  Who doesn’t love that?!

All you have to do is take 5-10 min 2-3x/week where you lay it all out there.  Make sure to be slightly warmed up first and try to pick exercises that are challenging for your heart and muscles.  Set a stopwatch or just watch a second hand and work at full capacity for 20-30 seconds.  Rest for 10-15 seconds.  Then repeat 8 times through.  You can vary the exercises or do all the same.  Up to you.  Also, remember that the exercise choices are relative.  What might be a horrifically challenging interval for one person, may not be for another.  So just make sure you feel like you’re going at least 80% of your max during the work cycles.

I wrote an article about why and how to do interval training here.  I even included a little video with examples of interval exercises you might try.

 

For those of you competing in our Body Fat Loss Challenge this Summer, you need to sign up for your follow-up scan in early August.  Here is a link to sign up at the studio on Aug 5th.  If you can’t make that one, please sign up for another date and place to see how far you’ve come!!!!

Yours in Health, 

Daniella

This disclaimer governs use of this website. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full and any content is property of DFitLife, LLC. Visitors to this site, who rely on the information, do so at their own risk. The website is to be used for your own personal use and not for commercial use or reproduction in any way. Any reproduction of its content is prohibited. This website is for informational purposes and the information contained herein is not guaranteed and may not be the most up to date information available.

 

 

Intestinal Permeability and Why You Should Care

Posted On: June 25, 2017

The term “leaky gut” (intestinal permeability) has been thrown around the health blogosphere for quite some time now.  In fact, if you’re into the more natural side of wellness, you likely hear it blamed for most all of our current ailments:  autoimmunity, food allergies/intolerances, gut dysfunction, etc..  In this blog from 2014 I actually go into great length on what leaky gut is, why it matters, how it happens and what to do about it.  However, I stated in there that there is no really good test that doctors can agree on to screen for leaky gut.  Through FDN I have found out that that is not actually the case.   Today I am going to introduce to you the “gold standard” in leaky gut testing: the Genova Intestinal Permeability Test. 

 

First, let me start by reminding you that having any symptoms of gut dysfunction, compromised immunity, or allergies and autoimmunity are clear signs that health has gone so awry that you are truly having some malfunctions. By doing some extensive testing, functional diagnostic nutrition practitioners seek to identify as many malfunctions as possible, their root causes, and try to then restore normal function to cells and systems.  Excellent health is not just an absence of symptoms, it’s a feeling of being at your optimal self!

 

The core of the immune system is based in the gut.

The intestinal mucosal barrier and it’s integrity are critical to all aspects of optimal health.  Through the hepatic portal system, the intestinal mucosal barrier facilitates nutrition: digestion and assimilation.  If the mucosal barrier is compromised, then proper digestion and nutrient absorption are negatively impacted.  The “barrier” part is designed to keep offensive particles out of general circulation.  We need a well-functioning gut in order to protect us from antigens, pathogens, and other immuno-complexes that would otherwise lead to illness.

In mounting a response against infections, infestation and/or inflammation, the gut releases an immunoglobulin called secretory IgA.  It is the first line of defense against ingested pathogens.  B-cells are antibodies secreted via IgA to respond to “non-self” antigens/pathogens to neutralize bacteria.  T cells then either direct these out of the body or kill the infected cells.  NK cells ultimately destroy the altered or infected cells.  However, stress (ie, high cortisol and depressed DHEA) will suppress secretory IgA.  If/when the body struggles with production of sufficient secretory IgA to to mount a strong response to offenders the following disease states become more likely:

Yep, all very scary and all very related to intestinal permeability and gut function.

 

The problems lie in that the gut lining (epithelium) has to cope with an onslaught of daily HIDDEN stressors like poor diet choices, toxic exposures, infections, medications/drugs, emotional stress and even just genetic predisposition.  Malfunctions and imbalances cascade over time into disease states (symptomatology). First, the microvilli or brush border are destroyed by the inflammatory reactions.  This blunts that brush border (tiny little finger-like protrusions along the intestinal lining that allow for optimal nutrition absorption).  Second, the compromised digestion through the microvilli causes malnutrition and poor digestion.  Lastly, villous atrophy leads to “crypt hyperplasia.”  Crypts are the spaces between the villi and these get swollen.

All of that inflammation leads to the zonula (tight junctions between the enterocytes/cells) to be loosed up.  When these tight junctions/zonula are too loose, larger and inflammatory particles can get through into the bloodstream.  This now permeable gut “leaks” antigens and toxins into general circulation and the lymph system.  These offenders then invoke a humoral (bloodstream) immune response- an overall pro-inflammatory disease state.  Essentially, leaky gut leads to a humoral immune response.  A “Humoral” immune response may result in fibromyalgia, sore joints, muscle aches and pains, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, severe skin issues, and a host of other autoimmune issues.

 

What is one to do if they think Leaky Gut is at the root of all their ails?

Well, this is where the Genova intestinal permeability test comes in.  This test looks more at the actual physical aspects of a compromised mucosal barrier than the immunological aspects.  As already discussed, molecules pass through the intestinal mucosa through the epithelial cells (via transcellular uptake) or through the space between (zonula) via paracellular uptake.  Small molecules like glucose and mannitol very readily diffuse through the epithelial cells lining the villi.  Larger molecules like lactulose (normally excluded by these cells) also cannot pass through tight junctions between the cells (zonula).

The Genova IP test directly measures the ability of the two non-metabolized sugar molecules (mannitol and lactulose) to permeate the intestinal mucosa.  The mannitol should be readily absorbed via transcellular uptake (through the cell wall) and helps assess the condition of the cells.  The lactulose is only slightly absorbed  and serves as a marker for mucosal barrier integrity between the cells.  If the zonula are loosened and lactulose gets through, it shows that antigens are too easily getting through into the hepatic portal system and thus the humoral system.

Doing the test is actually quite simple, you drink a premeasured amount of lactulose and mannitol in “challenge” drink, collect urine for the next 6 hours, and shoot it off to the lab.  The only contraindication to taking this test is if one has diabetes.  Once results are obtained, your FDN practitioner will be able to tell you how your gut assimilated the sugar molecules your ingested.  If levels of lactulose are high, then you likely have a “leaky” gut.  If, mannitol on the other hand is low, that shows a decreased absorption of essential nutrients- likely due to villous atrophy.  The ratio of lactulose: mannitol indicates disruption of normal absorption of nutrients.

Granted, none of these results really matter if the client doesn’t exhibit symptoms that correlate…  If, however, the symptoms the client orignally complained of do correlate, then it’s important to immediately begin the DRESS for health success program.  D= Diet, here the practitioner may suggest that the client take the Mediator Release Test (more on this in a later blog) to find out which foods might be causing an inflammatory response. At the very least, it would be recommended to drop sugar, excessive caffeine, alcohol, and likely dairy and gluten for at least 90 days.  R= Rest and making sure to get enough sleep, proper self-care, and time off are critical to overall immune health.  E= exercise and moderate amounts of this are very helpful for proper circulation and immunity.  S=Sleep which will help reduce overall stress.

Lastly, the second S= Supplementation.  In this case, the FDN practitioner would likely recommend the following supplementation in order to help heal a leaky gut:

  • digestive enzymes- to help with proper nutrient digestion
  • mucosa barrier healing- these can include amino acids and other herbals to support repair
  • probiotics and prebiotics-to populate healthy gut flora
  • removal of biofilm- supplementation to remove the biofilm formed by gram negative bacteria and pathogens
  • aloe vera- will decrease gut inflammation
  • lower bowel formulas- specially designed to either decrease diarrhea issues or constipation
  • short-term anti-parasites

I was not very specific with the exact supplements, as each client would need individualized recommendations to support their unique issues.

 

If you, or someone you care about is feeling like leaky gut may be at the root of ailments or health issues, please don’t hesitate to start investigating.  If you are reading this in 2017, I’m not quite done with my training, but you can contact an FDN practitioner near you now to get started on your road to optimal health.

Yours in Health, 

Daniella

 

 

Email Updates

Join Our Mailing List!

Sign up with DFitLife & receive emails for health tips, fitness news, and promotions!

Your email is the only required field to join our mailing list, but we'd appreciate your first and last name.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* required field