Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are the building blocks for good health. Without proper nutrition, many people can experience chronic symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, digestive issues and more.
Knowing how your body is absorbing (or not absorbing) nutrients is crucial in my practice. I frequently depend on micronutrient lab tests to get a base understanding of my patient’s health. Something as seemingly simple as B vitamin deficiencies can help me assess whether someone has adrenal fatigue or digestive issues.
Common conditions such as anxiety are met with all sorts of medication that may not last in their effectiveness. People suffering from chronic anxiety bounce from one medication to the next with little relief. Magnesium is an over-looked nutrient that if deficient can trigger anxiety and even panic attacks. Testing for magnesium and addressing the deficiency with supplementation can provide long-awaited relief. However, not everyone who has anxiety is magnesium deficient. That is why testing for micronutrients is so fundamental.
But taking a supplement won’t necessarily fix the deficiency, and it certainly may not address the patient’s symptoms. The underlining cause for the deficiency could be many things, like leaky gut or fat absorption issues. If someone is low in a vitamin, I first assess whether they are just not getting enough of it in their diet. For example if all your fat soluble vitamins (D, E, K, A) are low then you may have an issue absorbing fats, or if certain antioxidants are low you might need a liver detoxification.
Once I see the patterns I can create a plan to help the absorption of nutrients. This process may include dietary or lifestyle changes, detoxification, supplementation, and digestive support. You might be wondering how lifestyle changes could help your vitamin and mineral levels. If you have a high level of stress then your body will need more of certain vitamins and minerals. By doing yoga you could lower your stress level and not burn through those nutrients as quickly.
Dr. Melanie MacLaren is a naturopathic doctor and registered yoga teacher who is not only passionate about natural health but also the individualized needs of each of her clients. Contact Dr. Melanie at (317) 344-9840 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.