Louisville Magazine

AUG 2015

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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12 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.15 Myron Hardesty, a certifed as herbalist and physician's assistant, combines traditional and herbal medicine when treating patients. He likes to say that he's also "village-certifed," having practiced herbal medicine in Louisville for 15 years. So what kind of cases do you see in your practice? "I get a lot of digestive and autoimmune conditions simply because conventional medicine doesn't always have the best answers for that. Very little opportunity is given to talk about diet in a 15-minute consult with either a primary generalist or a digestive disease specialist, so that's a major component of the type of work I do. I had a patient with Crohn's disease who was being faced with the prospect of a colectomy. But with changes in diet and sort of hitting the reset button on her microbiome and cultivating better bacteria in her gut, she slowly resolved all her issues." What do you mean by hitting the reset button on her microbiome? "The microbiome is the bacteria that line our colon and in some cases infltrate into the small intestine. Whole armies (of bacteria) are shifting in our digestive tract with each meal that we eat, so looking at dietary habits, one starts to recognize certain bacterial manifestations in the gut. (In the case of bad bacteria in the gut) the idea is to correct that. So how does a visit with a patient like this start? "It takes about an hour to establish care and get to know the person. I want to make sure I take care of their concerns, not my concerns. The orientation of my questions is about bodily functions. The two main rituals for every human are eating and pooping. So I'll ask people about their bowel movements and maybe even stool consistency if we're talking about the microbiome. And I'll ask them about their sleep/wake cycles." As far as eating, are there general things you recommend for digestive issues like this? "Really, the primary one the one that (author) Michael Pollan identifed, which is eat more plants. The bigger issue is looking at their dietary habits and applying a correcting measure that puts them back in balance. Most of the time, that means eating closer to the earth, which means shopping at a local farmer's market because you want to eat bio- regionally. You want to eat what's in season and you don't want to eat what requires huge combines to harvest." weedsofeden.com Photo by Benjamin Marcum LIBA Partner Pages

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