Finer Health & Nutrition
FinerHealth & Nutriton
  Mission Statement

  Online Lecture

  New Essay

  Gluten Sensitivity and
    Celiac Sprue

  Microscopic Colitis


  Preventive/Holistic Health

  Physical Fitness


  Dr. Fine's Curriculum Vitae

  Personal Statement

Preventive and Holistic Health

Preventive Health

Holistic Health

Ten Steps to FinerHealth and Nutrition

The Circle of Spiritual Health and Happiness

The Importance of Positive Attitude and Hope in Chronic Disease

Preventive Health
Preventive Health refers to the implementation of certain lifestyle and health care practices (such as disease screening) to extend your disease-free healthy years and avoid specific common diseases (such as heart disease, cancer, and immune system diseases caused by gluten and other dietary sensitivities). It makes good sense to me that more energy and health care dollars should be put into preventing disease so less will be required for treating disease (because there would be less).

The same approach can be taken to specific diseases through screening. This is my philosophy to gluten sensitivity as just one example. We now have the technology to detect the immune reactions to gluten at an early stage before a child's growth is stunted, before irreversible osteoporosis sets in, before other autoimmune diseases come about, before lymphoma and other cancers occur. I do not believe that detectable gluten sensitivity and/or intestinal dysfunction should go untreated, insisting that damage to the small intestine must be present on a biopsy before dietary modification is recommended. Pathologists have known for years that anatomic damage always follows functional impairment. It is this functional impairment that should be the concern, not the anatomic damage. Dietary modification forgluten sensitivity is just one area where preventive health philosophies can be implemented in a person's life for optimal health. Other more obvious areas include implementation of other healthy practices such as avoiding use of tobacco, excessive alcohol, and illicit drugs, exercise, other healthy nutritional practices, and good oral hygiene. For more preventive health ideas, see my Ten Steps to Finer Health and Nutrition below.

Holistic Health
Holistic health or holistic medical practice, although sometimes wrongly confused with the practice of alternative medicine, refers to maintenance of the entire health of the person (all physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual systems) rather than just one aspect of health or one body system. For example, as a gastroenterologist, people consult with me routinely for intestinal diseases. Focusing strictly on their intestinal symptoms and treating them with a drug would be typical of traditional medicine practiced in this country. However, I favor a more holistic approach. It is well known that emotional factors, dietary factors, stress, and physical activity (such as exertional exercise) influence intestinal function greatly. All of these areas must be addressed for optimal long term treatment success of intestinal and any body system ailment. Thus, an asymptomatic or symptomatic individual is best served by a health maintenance approach that includes assessment and treatment of the whole person (and hence term "Holistic") rather than one specific part.

My Ten Steps to FinerHealth and Nutrition are an example of a holistic approach to health.

Ten Steps to FinerHealth and Nutrition
  1. Eat wisely for proper nutrition, energy, and optimal intestinal and overall health

  2. Get adequate sleep, following a regular sleep/wake cycle that works best for you (sleeping for at least 8 hours during the darkness of night and arising about sun-up is best for most)

  3. Exercise daily, preferably outside in the sun

  4. Utilize non-medicinal methods of stress reduction daily (particularly exercise, meditation, prayer, and if necessary, stress avoidance)

  5. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, or other mood altering substances

  6. Practice methods of good oral hygiene (regular brushing and flossing)

  7. Minimize exposure to, or if possible, avoid environmental toxins in food, water, and air

  8. Take measures to play and laugh regularly, and to feel happy, grateful, and positive about your life and your self

  9. Help others and practice the “Golden Rule”

  10. Seek calm, peace, humility, simplicity, love, and G-d's will in your life

Details about how to employ these 10 steps to improve your health and nutrition can be attained via consultation with Dr. Fine and in an
Online Lecture (Click Here)

Circle of Spiritual Health and Happiness

Spiritual Circle of Health and Happiness

The Importance of Positive Attitude and Hope Amidst Chronic Disease

Another holistic concept in which I believe strongly is the importance of a positive attitude and hope, not only for health maintenance, but particularly for coping with and overcoming chronic disease. See the essay below on this topic.

No one wants to suffer. Most desire freedom and happiness. Any disease or physical disorder can interfere with these pursuits, at least for a time. In most such circumstances we face, expectations of a rapid and full recovery provides hope and relief from the experienced suffering. We do not feel doomed, disabled or depressed by the washed out feeling and nasal symptoms of a winter cold because we know we will feel better again in 4-14 days. However, when a disease becomes chronic, feelings of depression and grief from loss of health and function are the rule. Throw difficulty of diagnosis and treatment on top of that, and feelings of hopelessness usually follow. These are appropriate feelings because in the instantaneous rational/tangible scheme of things, there may be nothing to have hope in. This will worsen the depressed isolated feelings of a sufferer of a chronic disabling disease.

Now think of a disabled or chronically ill person with whom you may have come into contact, who, despite an obvious physical limitation or incurable, possibly even fatal disease, seems to possess a positive and cheerful disposition. How is this possible? A few weeks ago, a woman called me because she was having intestinal symptoms. At that time she sounded worried on the phone, seemingly more because she was afraid doctors in her area would not know how to diagnose her rather than because of the symptoms per se. It turned out she had ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed less than three weeks ago. When I talked to her yesterday she sounded positive and secure. She expressed gratitude over the quality of her healthcare and the rapidity with which her diagnosis was made. Despite having to undergo chemotherapy (and already enduring one session), she displayed a positive, fighting spirit. She did not for a minute express pity or sadness about her diagnosis.

Such individuals have grasped the power of positive thinking, trust, faith, and hope. These attitudes and all they convey can and should be prescribed for any individual with a chronic disease. They are natural antidepressants and sedatives, and have the power to aid medicinal remedies of physical disease. Taking care of your attitude and your true place on the earth (or in the universe some would say) is part of maintaining spiritual health. Most pursue this through organized religion. However, religion is only a tool for achieving spiritual health. Spirituality is not synonymous with religion. Spiritual health, combined with physical, emotional, and mental health can be viewed like the legs holding up a stool. You are on the stool. When the physical leg is shortened, weakened, or removed, the stable four-legged stool becomes a less stable three-legged stool. To remain on the stool, the three remaining legs (the mind, emotions, and spirit) must be secured. Loss of one more leg leads to a certain tumble off the stool of health. (My analogy to a sitting stool has no gastroenterology pun intended.)

Set yourself on the course of turning "dis-ease" into "at-ease." Even if it feels fake at first, think positive thoughts and say them out loud. Positive thoughts make trusting a little easier. A little trust makes having faith a little easier, and so on. Soon hope will be restored. At a minimum you will tolerate and accept your physical disorder easier. But more likely, your body will have a better chance to heal, either naturally or with prescribed treatment. Meditation, in the form of quiet time away from the hustle bustle of life, combined with slow rhythmic breathing and an open reflective mind can aid this process. Even 5 minutes a day can result in beneficial physiologic effects that can be calming and may prevent stress-related disease. The more you do, the better you feel. Find something or someone (person or G-d) to have faith in. It probably is not a coincidence that every civilization from the beginning of time has found something to pray to. In other words, something to have faith in. And finally, when you feel strong enough (physically, spiritually, mentally, and/or emotionally), help another. It is very hard to feel depressed and pitiful about one's own condition when serving another in need. It is contagious and it works!

Good luck.

To EnteroLab --- To Intestinal Health Institute

Dr. Fine: Singing and Songwriting for Health

The Health and Nutritional information contained in this Website is based on scientific facts, medical research, and the personal and professional experiences of Dr. Kenneth D. Fine. It is provided as a free public service. It does not constitute medical diagnosis or treatment, and should not be construed or used as such.

Copyright © 2000-2017 Finer Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.