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Working with Doctors on Gut Health - With Special Guest Dr. Shaunna Menard_Final

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>> Welcome. I'm Dr. Shaunna Menard. And first off, I just want to acknowledge and congratulate you for taking the time and energy to invest in learning about gut health. This is a huge gap in our current healthcare. And a little background on my perspective, I've been a medical doctor for over 25 years. I am a Canadian and American board certified radiologist, former chair of public health and former assistant professor of medicine. And today, what I want to share with you is why learning about gut health is so tremendously valuable to you and to your clients, and really to the whole healthcare system as a whole, and how you can collaborate with doctors and how you can fill this critical gap in healthcare and why the traditional medical system really needs you and your skills. So we'll also talk a little bit about how to approach doctors 'cause that can be a little bit tricky, and how to work with them, and as I say, it can be a tremendous benefit to your health coaching practice and so satisfying to really see the benefits in the people that you help and these special clients. This is a phenomenal subspecialty in health coaching and an incredible, tremendous opportunity for you. And you are on the leading edge of healthcare and of health coaching, and so congratulations. So as a doctor, I was really frustrated observing that most of what I was imaging as a radiologist could've been prevented with a healthy lifestyle, and that's what led me to IIN, and so I am also an IIN grad. And so we speak the same language, and I am really excited to connect with you today and then share some insight from my unique perspective and then of course support you in your journey as well. So over the past decade, I've gradually transitioned my traditional medical practice and moved from the end of the line to the frontlines, and really help people proactively alter that trajectory of their devastating, you know, consequences of their lifestyle choices. And I love helping people move from dis-ease into ease, and supporting you, IIN coaches, because together we can really create an incredible ripple effect and impact the world. So first off, why is this important? Well, I'm sure all of you know someone who has had the digestive issues, and not only that, but often unresolved digestive health issues, or if they did find a solution, it was through a lot of trial and error, and error, and maybe they had to look and hunt through a lot of people and a lot of books and information to find something that was working. So there are millions of people today absolutely puzzled and confused by these mysterious digestive issues. They are baffled as to how they can wake up in the morning with a flat belly and then look four months pregnant at the end in the evening, or maybe they're frustrated at having been told, "Well, your tests are normal or maybe it's just your age and this is just the way things are for you now." Or maybe they're confused as to why foods that they used to be able to enjoy, they no longer can, or why the rest of the family can eat a particular food and they can't or maybe they're embarrassed by having this litany of special requests if they even dared to eat out at a restaurant. So learning about gut health is important because gut health and digestive issues are a huge issue right now that is not at all being properly addressed. And so it's a problem that is on the rise. Once upon a time, all food was organic. Once upon a time, there were no processed foods. Once upon a time, there were no antibiotics or medications or genetically modified foods. And once upon a time, there wasn't this epidemic of sustained chronic stress that is not allowing us to properly digest our food. And as recently as 100 years ago, infection was actually the major cause of disease and death. And this could wipe out huge segments of the population of any age, even at a young age, TB, and pneumonia, and influenza, and other infections were devastating. We didn't have antibiotics and vaccines in 1900. And with the advent of penicillin and other antibiotics at the time, millions of lives were saved. Doctors were the people that you saw to heal. And when you were sick, there weren't a lot of tools to use like we have today, but that was their role, and they used medicines that they had to fix you. And much like you, Health Coaches, their goal was to heal, their goal was to help you be well. And they were eager to do this, and they were eager to learn more and learn about what medicines that could help people feel better, to help people be well. Now I know we're in this world that is a lot more cynical now, but I can tell you that when I graduated medical school and all of the other medical students that I graduated with and I came in contact with and these young doctors, now 27 years ago, they, every one of them were eager to help and heal their patients and they had their patients best interest at heart. And they never ever wanted to intentionally hurt anyone. In fact, we all took an oath to first do no harm. And two years ago, at our 25th medical school reunion, I had the opportunity to can reconnect with my medical colleagues. And they had now been spread apart across Canada and US primarily, but their passion for medicine and healing and doing what was in the best interests of their patients to their knowledge was still, you know, palpable. It was still as ever present as it was a long ago. Now they might have been more frustrated with the limitations of the system, they might have been a lot more exhausted, but that was still their intent. And I think that's important because I've got an inside scoop on this, and I know these people personally. But the problem is the world is changed, and it's changing at a faster and faster rate, and it can be difficult if not impossible to keep up with the alteration in our food supply, to keep up with toxins that never even existed 20 years ago, to keep up with the alteration in the way that medicine is practiced and conducted, you know, with more and more layers between the doctor and the patient. And that's not something that either doctor or patient wants. It's just kind of the way it's evolved in many places around the world. So doctors need to know a lot, and I think that it's important for you to know, and they do. But they don't and can't know everything. And yet they're expected to. I mean how often do you hear, you know, that they are the final answer in all things health like, you know, "See your doctor first to see if this is right for you," you know, "Before starting, see your doctor," and that's with everything. So they have to know a lot. They're the last line of defense, they're the fall guy, as it were, that the ones to give the stamp on what's right and what's wrong. And they cannot, it's impossible for them to know everything about everything. And that's where we have subspecialists, and we'll come back to that in your role in this area. Now while medicine and doctors are excellent in an acute crisis, I mean, if you break your arm, it's probably a good idea to go to the doctor and get those bones lined up so that they can heal properly and straight, that's a good idea. Or if your heart stops suddenly, you might want to go and get the paddles put to you and get those fancy medicines to give you a reboot if you don't feel like it's time for you to just check out of this lifetime yet. However, the 99.9% of the rest of your daily life, it's up to you. And unlike 100 years ago, chronic diseases of unhealthy lifestyles are the major causes of death. Heart disease, cancer, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, all have a largely preventable component, which is where Health Coaches come in. So to make these healthy lifestyle changes requires support, and it just cannot be accomplished in a 15-minute doctor visit once a year, especially when that doctor visit is actually closer to 5 minutes. So now when you talk about the intricacies and the complexities and bio-individual nature of something like digestive issues, well, the system is not even remotely capable of addressing that, not remotely. And this system is so overloaded, I do not know personally of any doctors that are looking for more patients. They've got lots, they've got more than they can handle. They are looking for more time, they are looking for help, and they still want to have these fantastic results for their patients, they truly do want to have their patients be healthy, they really do, but they can't do it alone. But the vast majority of doctors don't even know that you exist. And on the side, I'm making that my personal mission to change that and find ways to connect more doctors with more coaches. So why collaborate with doctors? Well, for one, that's where the patients are. You know, even today, if people are really sick and people with digestive issues, if they're really sick, the vast majority are first going to go see their doctor. Now more and more, they're leaving that doctor visit unsatisfied, unheard. But I believe it's still important for them to go there in the first place because they can rule out is there a bowel cancer, is there... They can test for celiac disease, is there inflammatory bowel disease, they can check to see if there is a life-threatening abscess that's brewing, etcetera, etcetera. These are important things. That's all this "stuff" that the doctors need to know about and that they are responsible for. And leave that to them. They are on the hook for that. And that's good. Let them be responsible for finding or missing that. But then this information that they can gather from their tests and their examinations can really assist you in guiding the patient to health. It would be really helpful to know if your client had a colon cancer or Crohn's disease or celiac disease, that would be a beneficial information. So allow them to take the responsibility for that and then that's where the real work starts. Then connecting with that client, finding about their past antibiotic use, looking into whether their gut microbiome is disrupted, advising them on fermented foods or gluten-free or dairy-free foods, and looking into the connection with stress and other life events that are going on with them because in my experience, there's always a stressful event or an issue right there at that root, something that they're having a hard time "digesting". And primary food is just as important, if not more, than the secondary food, but that takes weeks or months to work on and that cannot be addressed in a five-minute doctor visit. So listen to your client, you'll hear it. Very interesting, the timing of either a breakup, or a death, or some other stressful event, you know, when I talk to... If you actually go into an ICU of heart attack patients, you will find that they've actually... And you talk to them and more importantly listen to them, you'll find that they also had an attack of the heart. And the same goes for digestive issues. You know, it's really interesting when you look at that and delve into that primary food, you're going to find a really powerful answer that if you don't address is not really going to allow that answer to be fulfilled. You don't want to replace that work of the doctor. You don't want to just slap on a natural "cure" like a natural medicine and expect that to be a cure all, there's more to it, so that's where the coaching comes in, that's really important. Dig down into that primary food. And when you can be there for them, connect with them, they'll tell you that answer if you can tune yourself into hearing. And they're motivated to get well, but they just don't even know where to start, they might be overwhelmed, not knowing, you know, this is all very new for them if they're making some dietary or other lifestyle changes, and that's where you come in. And now I can already feel it here. You don't need to know all the answers, you really don't. This is about problem solving, and listening to the patient, and being a partner in health. You may need to try a few things, you may need to try a few elimination diets. One size doesn't fit all. And this is where you will gain expertise, and experience, and get better and better. You can use the information that you're getting in this course and apply it and then refine it through your practice. And, you know, this is going to be invaluable for your coaching practice and really give you a level of expertise that will set you apart. So I recommend working with the doctor because as I said, they can provide valuable information from the tests, but you can provide valuable assistance in actually helping the patient to heal and make these changes, and give them those insights that you can help them make. So don't try to do the work of the doctor, and don't get mad at the doctor if they are not doing your work. There is an important, critical role for you here. This is an incredible opportunity for you. Nobody is really solving this issue adequately. Own it, take it over, be the change. This is the perfect, perfect territory for expert Health Coaches, and be glad that no one else has the time, patience, expertise, or know how to take this on. This is you. So how do you collaborate with doctors? Well, first of all, you don't have to collaborate with all doctors, you don't want to nor do you have to collaborate with all patients either. And not all doctors will want to collaborate with you. And both sides may view each other as a quack, which is defined as someone who thinks differently than you do. So however, if you respect the doctor and their valuable role in this, you are much more likely to get that respect in return and patients. But if you are telling your client, "Ah, don't listen to that doctor. He's wrong, or he doesn't know anything about nutrition, or don't take that medicine," etcetera, etcetera. You'll never get a referral and that's not good medicine because they may know things that you don't, and they'll be on the hook for it, and you may not want to take that responsibility for it. In my experience with my unique perspective of being an MD and a Health Coach, it's true that often people don't know what they don't know and that goes for both sides. So it's okay if each of you knows different things. So doctors are used to referring to specialists that have or trusted allied health professionals that have an expertise outside their own, so be one of those trusted professionals. Instead of pushing against each other, work with each other. And then you'll be a respected member of the healthcare team and community, and especially valuable because you are in the community often. And so then you will receive many referrals once doctors learn that valuable role that you play, and you are pioneers. This is a very young profession but so needed at this time to address the health concerns we face today. So reach out to your doctor or the doctor of one of your clients, and I would create a brochure or a letter outlining your expertise in this area, mention this course and that you're accepting referrals, and that you respect their role, and that's not in your intention in any way to undermine their role but rather you'd be willing to take the time, which they don't have, and assist their patients in determining the foods and activities that will best support their health. Most doctors have no interest or time in this, even if they did have the interest in this, and yet it's so important you know that, now show them how important that is. So provide testimonials or examples once you have them, and offer to send them a follow-up letter of what you find and observe as you explore in detail this patient's diet and lifestyle. You know, much like a subspecialist doctor would write up a consult after they've examined the patient, made their assessment, and then send it back to that doctor that referred them. And doctors are used to that type of communication. It's very professional. And then they get to see how you operate, and how you can be an integral member of the team, and how valuable your service can be. They will respect that, and they also will like being kept in the loop. They'll like to know what's going on, and they can learn as well. That doesn't mean that they're going to, you know, take over your role, don't worry, there's enough work to go around for everyone. Just like if someone refers to an oncologist, and the oncologist explains why this cancer is whatever, whatever, whatever. The family doctor doesn't say, "Okay, now that I know that, I'm going to be an oncologist." No, it's like, "Okay, I respect that, now I'll take it from here." And then now you respect that and you take it from there, that's how you work together. And it's so important. I really think it is. You don't want to get into these turf battles that are actually present sometimes in medicine, it's never good for the patient. It's always better if you can have win-win, and everybody bringing the best of what they've got to reach the solution. So I currently am referred patients by medical colleagues, and they know now my work, and there is now an established mutual trust, and the results now speak for themselves, which leads to more referrals. And they know I'm not replacing the work of them as a doctor, I'm not stealing their patients, but now they see the improvement from visit to visit to visit. And I really like that because they see them less often, and in the meantime, we're working together improving and improving step-by-step in the gaps in between the visits. And this is where you really can fill in the gap. And I believe, I would like to expand so that it's not just me helping out the doctors and I know a lot of you are helping out doctors as well, but I think that everyone should have a Health Coach, and every doctor should have a Health Coach on staff much like there are nurses, and physiotherapists, and massage therapists, and speech pathologists to round out this team of professionals. So I believe Health Coaches are the new and emerging vital component to health, now more than ever Health Coaches are needed, now is the perfect time in a world of unsustainable healthcare costs that threaten to bankrupt countries with no obvious positive health results, a cost-saving, health-saving measure is urgently, urgently needed. And so it's time for Health Coaches to rise and shine. And an expertise in digestive health in particular which affects so many people who are so unsatisfied with the current options and results in an overworked, overloaded, frustrated system is a perfect issue with which Health Coaches can expect. Those ones that have the expertise can expect to shine. So once again, I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart and commend you for taking on this role. And I am always happy to connect with you. You connect with me through my website,, that's D-R-S-H-A-U-N-N-A dot com, or on Facebook, I am Dr. Shaunna Menard. And with that, keep up the great work, and thank you, and be good for you.

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Duration: 21 minutes and 40 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Mar 29, 2018

Working with Doctors on Gut Health - With Special Guest Dr. Shaunna Menard_Final

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