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The nutrition detective: Part 2

By Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD

When I’m not tracking down the latest on bone research, I’m often focusing on my work as a certified nutritionist and the clues our body gives us to tell us something isn’t right.  From excessive earwax to twitches of the eyelids, here are some common symptoms that can be resolved with the right nutrition:

Clue: Excessive earwax
A little earwax is normal, but a significant buildup likely means a lack of essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fats in the forms of DHA and EPA.  In the Better Bones Program we recommend anywhere from 600 to 3000 mg of the omega-3 fats a day. Another sign of essential fatty acid deficiency is pimply skin on the back of your upper arms.

Clue: Bleeding gums when you floss
You should be able to floss and brush healthy gums without any bleeding.  When bleeding occurs, it’s a sign that the collagen needs more support and that you may need to be getting more vitamin C. This great antioxidant immune booster is essential for collagen production. (Since I also like history, you may be interested to know that scurvy, which killed so many sailors and pirates of the 1700s, is a serious collagen disorder caused by severe vitamin C deficiency.)  For a home test of your vitamin C level, see our VitaCheck-C test strips.

Clue: Twitches of the eyelids
If you have facial or eyelid twitches that just don’t go away, it’s likely your body is asking for more magnesium. Magnesium relaxes the muscles and when you’re low in this nutrient there can be all sorts of spasms and twitches. What’s more, back muscle spasms are often relieved with supplemental magnesium.

Clue: Muscle cramps in your toes legs even arches of feet
I find that these cramps respond to of a few hundred milligrams of calcium supplementation taken at bedtime.  If the calcium doesn’t do the trick, add a few hundred milligrams of magnesium and potassium citrate.

Clue: A stool that sinks in the toilet bowl
This might sound strange to you, but a sinking stool really indicates something very important — a lack of dietary fiber. The current recommendation for fiber is between 25 and 38 grams a day, but the average person consumes less than half that amount.

If you’re curious about more clues to your health, see my complete Nutrition Detective Questionnaire by visiting my Consultations page, go to Intake Forms in the left-hand navigation and click on the Nutrition Detective Questionnaire link. You may be surprised at the mysteries you solve!

 


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We created the Better Bones blog as our forum to express opinions and educate the public about natural means of supporting and improving bone health and overall wellness. As part of this forum, we sometimes discuss medical issues and medications, and their effects on bone health in general. However, we cannot advise readers about specific medical issues in this forum. If you wish to obtain advice from Susan E. Brown, PhD, about your specific bone health and nutritional concerns, please visit our Consultations page. Other specific medical questions should be referred to your healthcare provider.

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