By Dr. Mark Newkirk, Director of the Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine at Saint Francis Veterinary Center
The Metabolic Nutritional Analysis program is designed to supplement and support those basic deficiencies and/or imbalances in your pet’s metabolism and, by working with the natural healing mechanism built into each body, guide your pet back to or help maintain a state of vibrant health.
There are generally hundreds upon hundreds of supplements available from which to choose for each individual patient with their specific condition or problem. This program, through analysis of blood sample results and years of experience, more specifically tailors a protocol for the individual.
In general, a good majority of each program contains the administration of glandular or organ substances or concentrates. This is done based on the theory that animals, specifically dogs and cats, in nature, not only did not take vitamin and mineral supplements, as they either consumed these in their food or manufactured what they needed, but also ate all organs and glands of their prey. Through the domestic pet food production process, the majority, if not all of these glandular substances have been removed and/or adulterated. Therefore, by giving back to your pet these extracts, especially based specifically on nutritional analysis, and combining this with good quality foods, a simulation of natural dietary habits occurs. Specific vitamin and/or mineral concentrates will be added.
Conventional medical practice tends to be an all or nothing science, where your pet or you are either sick or well, an organ is either working fine or is diseased. With reference to blood results, values are either normal or abnormal and are put in either a normal or abnormal column based on their numerical result as compared to this normal reference range. Therefore, for example, if a normal range is listed as 10-30 and a result comes back as 30, it would be considered normal. If it comes back as 31, it would be considered abnormal.
Nutritional therapy’s viewpoint is that this is too cut and dry; that there is a grey zone area where values are starting to become abnormal and require attention prior to their being out of the normal range.
Good quality foods in variety are recommended. This would include home prepared meals of whole meats, usually cooked some and mixed with whole cooked grains such as brown rice or millet with the addition of vegetables. There are also good foods available at this veterinary office and several pet specialty shops. These can be used as a sole diet with the supplement program or can be mixed or interchanged with home prepared meals.
As you work with this program, your pet will probably go through some changes typically associated with the process of getting healthier and eliminating either stored up waste products or rejected diseased tissue. This may create symptoms of elimination, such as vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms usually resolve quickly and do not require drug treatment. Please keep in mind that getting healthy is a process, not a quick treatment with overnight results. So allow time for it to work, and be prepared, in general, to ride the waves up and down as the body heals.