Disclaimer: I am technically a holistic nutritionist. Here in the state of Minnesota we have laws against using the term “nutritionist” without having an RD, so I practice as a Wellness Educator. I am passionate about using food and other modalities such as meditation, movement, supplements and other complimentary methods to achieve wellness. However, my beliefs and recommendations are also firmly rooted in science. I believe in having research and proof to back up my methods. It’s important for people to be able to really trust me.
So, yesterday on my alumni Facebook page, a fellow alum asked for recommendations to prevent traveler’s diarrhea while on vacation in Costa Rica. I have studied this topic extensively for my own personal use, as we travel to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico frequently. So, I suggested Florastor (which is a probiotic specifically studied and proven effective for preventing Traveler’s Diarrhea) and Pepto Bismol taken 3x daily (which is also studied for this purpose). I also said that if she wasn’t crazy about taking Pepto, I thought DGL would probably do the same thing. DGL is an all natural demulcent made from licorice which coats the lining of the GI tract. The reason why Pepto is recommended is because it also coats the lining, ostensibly preventing nasty bugs, bacteria and parasites from doing damage. Logically, both Pepto and DGL would likely achieve the same effect.
This is where things got interesting. Someone else from my alumni cohort chimed in saying that Pepto Bismol is a “super toxic soup” and because she didn’t like the ingredients they couldn’t possibly be effective. I pointed out that just because she didn’t like the ingredients didn’t mean they weren’t effective. Science doesn’t work that way.
Listen, you can absolutely hate the artificial colors and other weird binding agents these medications use. You can decide not to use them because of this personal belief. However, when giving advice to a client, I advise against using terminology like “super toxic soup” because 1) It isn’t scientifically accurate and 2) It makes you sound ill informed.
We went back and forth a little bit, but rather than provide scientific information as backup for her claims, she dug her heels in even more. Just because we graduated with the same certification from the same program doesn’t mean we have the same approach to providing care. My approach is firmly rooted in science and is compassionate, non-judgmental and kind. I refuse to be a fear monger. That kind of approach, in my opinion, is what gives the rest of us holistic nutritionist a very bad reputation. I’m doing my part, little by little, to change that perception!