Naturopath Leah Hechtman joins me to discuss our microbiome through our lifecycle. We give some definitions: Immune system, microbiome, autoimmune diseases, probiotics, prebiotics. Leah also answers the question, "what is a healthy microbiome"? and when does our relationship with our microbiome start? I honestly get chills down my spine during this conversation. There was so much wisdom shared but also the connection between mother and child is spine tingling. Leah also leaves us with some empowering and simple tips to better health. I hope you enjoy this episode of Unstress.
Selected Links from the Episode
Leah Hechtman website
Download the PDF transcription
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: Hello, and welcome to Unstress. This is Dr. Ron Ehrlich. My guest today is Leah Hechtman. Leah has written one of the seminal textbooks on naturopathy. She has over 20 years of clinical experience. And like so many practitioners just keep learning, as you will hear.
So I thought she'd be well placed to share some insights. She also will also discuss the interplay of the immune system in the microbiome across our lifecycle. It's sobering to think that there are about 50 trillion cells in the human body, give or take. Difficult to get your head around, I know, but if you look at the person sitting next to you, or for that matter just look in the mirror, that's pretty much what those trillions of cells look like. But that's not all we are.
What's even more amazing is that there is 10 times that number of microbes we share our bodies with. Some 500 trillion microbes. Again, what does that look like? Well again, just look in the mirror.
So in terms of relationships in your life, I doubt whether you could argue there is a more important one than that. You hear lots of terms in podcasts and articles on health, so today, we give some definitions. The immune system, microbiome, autoimmune diseases, probiotics, prebiotics. Look there are some great insights in this episode. I hope you'll enjoy this conversation I had with Leah Hechtman.
Download the PDF transcription
Welcome to the show, Leah.
Leah Hechtman: Thank you so much, Ron.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: Leah, we are both talking in an upcoming conference and you're presenting about the interplay of the immune system in the microbiome, across the lifestyle. And we're going to talk about that. But you've been in practice now for 20 years, and you've actually written a textbook on naturopathy. So I wonder if you could share with our listener, your journey to this point.
Leah Hechtman: Absolutely. Thanks, Ron.
I have always been connected to health. I was one of those kids, you know two, three years of age, and I'd put my hands on people to take their headaches away. And you know, I was always the person that was the nurse that ran around trying to help everyone. So I always knew that I wanted to be in some form of health, and as a young kid, my understanding is that meant that I wanted to study medicine. And I then was sick as a child, and then quite sick as an early teen. And had difficulty completing school, 'cause of my health, and went well...I know that complementary medicine helped me, so why don't I start my training complementary medicine. So at 17, I started my first subject of naturopathy. And so I took probably one to two years longer, to complete my naturopathy training, 'cause I couldn't do it full-time. But as I was training, I just got healthier and healthier. And thought, "Well I'll just go back and study medicine afterward." And then got sick again, in my training where I was unable to be as active, and then got well again. And then went full force with my naturopathy. And then did a Bachelor of Health Science, my Masters in Reproductive Medicine and Genetics, because my main critical passion is about fertility and reproductive medicine. And then I am completing my Ph.D.