The body craves balance. However, the body mostly operates in an unbalanced environment. Think of the issues we deal with every day in activity, stress, nutrition, exercise, emotions, and sleep, just to name a few. And yet, our bodies perform best when our systems are balanced.

We find health and wellness when we find the right balance. When things start going askew, the body will try to compensate, but when they are completely out of line, the result is disease.

Wellness coach Lori Holbrook believes that the core of homeostasis for our bodies begins with the digestive system. “If you’re not digesting your food properly, you can eat all kinds of expensive fruits and vegetables and supplements and all you end up with is expensive waste,” she says.

Certified, scientific, and data driven

Holbrook coaches her clients on the importance of balance in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and how to get there. She has studied and earned certification in areas of integrative nutrition and digestive enzymes, and she employs clinical testing to gather a chemical picture of what the body is doing – or not doing. “Tests eliminate the guessing game,” she says. “You don’t have to say, ‘Sounds like you’re deficient in this, so let’s try that.’”

Using urinalysis and iodine testing, she consults with doctors and also works with the clients’ own physicians to figure out what the body is absorbing and what it’s not.

Urinalysis

A urinalysis requires only a clean urine catch. Holbrook reads the lab-tested results to help identify any issues. For example:

  • Abnormal leukocytes (white blood cells) in the urine indicate bacteria or an infection in the body; they’re flag wavers of imbalance.
  • A urinalysis may reveal that women experiencing hot flashes or severe premenstrual (PMS) symptoms are not properly digesting fats.

Iodine testing

Iodine is necessary to produce thyroid hormones in the body, and an iodine test will show how much iodine you’re absorbing. Thyroid hormones are crucial for regulating metabolism and affect many bodily functions including:

  • weight
  • heart rate
  • energy level
  • bowel function
  • menstrual cycles
  • memory
  • mood

This requires a blood draw, but not a doctor’s order – although insurance will likely cover the lab costs if you have a doctor’s order. Holbrook says she can also get that test covered through insurance if a client has a health savings account (HSA).

A clinical coaching approach

When Holbrook coaches a client, she begins with a series of tests:

Subjective – This is an online questionnaire the client fills out regarding things like bowel habits, diet, and perceived symptoms. The answers determine which the area of focus (e.g. digestive).

Physical palpation test – This is a physical test in which she presses on areas of the body to see if there’s a reactive jump due to tenderness. Because all organs are connected to the central nervous system, this also provides information about problem areas.

Urinalysis – This test provides a chemical blueprint of what is going on with the digestive system. It’s repeated every 8 to 12 weeks for a year to monitor progress.

Holbrook takes the data from all three sources and searches out the common denominator. For example, a calcium or Vitamin D deficiency may be due to improper digestion of fats. “If there aren’t enough fats in your body, you won’t be able to absorb calcium or Vitamin D because those are fat soluble,” she says.

Balance in all respects

Holbrook is passionate about helping people be healthy in the most natural way possible but sees her role as advocate and mentor – not physician replacement. In fact, she is eager to work with a client’s physician and sees part of her job as helping the client know what to ask their doctors. “I can’t and don’t diagnose conditions,” says Holbrook. “But I can educate and recommend helpful measures based on what your tests are telling me.”

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