Dr.Alenka Brozina, M.D.
Internal medicine specialist, cardiologist (subspecialty)
Born in 1973 in Rijeka, graduated in 1999 at Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka. In the year 2006 I received the professional title of Internal Medicine Specialist, with a subspecialty in cardiology.
For many years, I have been dedicated to research of diet impact on human body and health. I completed numerous foreign and domestic postgraduate education courses, among which are those in the area of diet therapy, clinical nutrition, sports medicine and sports cardiology. I received my Master’s Degree in “Physiological, Alimentary and Pharmacological Aspects of Sports and Fitness” in Camerino (Italy) as well as “Fundamentals of Holistic Diet” in London (England).
For many years I have been actively participating as a lecturer in weight loss trainer programs, and by 2015 I had worked as Head of Food and Diet Therapy Ambulance at “Thalassotherapy” in Opatija.
My passion for phyto aromatherapy lead me to another successfully completed education course. In 2010 I graduated at Phyto Aromatherapy School managed and mentored by Dr Sc Stribor Markovic.
I regularly participate in various educational activities as a lecturer and research partner.
By the year 2013 I had been the vice president of the Association of the Celiac Patients in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Region, and since 2015 I have been head of the Adenium Centre, the Association for the Promotion of Proper Nutrition, Clinical Phyto Aromatherapy and Holistic Approach to Health.
I also work at Primorje-Gorski Kotar County’s Medical Centre as a specialist in internal medicine, specifically cardiology and pulmonology. Being a person who suffers from an untimely diagnosed celiac disease, as well as other intolerance and food hypersensitivity myself, in my work I put the emphasis on a holistic and individual approach, primarily disease prevention and treatment, as well as clinical application of phyto aromatherapy and diet therapy.
U NutriFito centru možete dobiti savjet i preporuke kod:
Nutri-fit diet protocol is created as a result of long term research of the effects of nutrients on problematic digestive system (primarily inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and porous bowel syndrome) as well as combination of different diet therapy approaches. It is based on the application of certain diet therapy protocols with individual approach that depends on symptomatology, as well as type and severity of one’s symptoms. The protocol excludes the use of food that could trigger an immune response in the intestinal epithelium, and as a consequence causes the intestinal wall damage that leads to porous intestinal epithelium. These mostly include gluten carbohydrates, milk and dairy products, as well as foods with high fructose levels and fermented food substances.
Hypersensitivity to food or to food ingredients triggers immune system response in the body and usually activates production of immunoglobulin IgG, or immunoglobulin G “subpopulations”, namely IGg1 I IGg4. The measured indicator is actually IgG4 level in the blood, which implies the “multiplication” of immune response (usually “chronic” reactions) caused by certain food. This test demonstrates hypersensitivity to food; therefore the real test name should be “the food sensitivity test”, regardless of the generally accepted, but still incorrect term, “intolerance test”.
Allergic reactions to food are divided into two groups: toxic and non-toxic. Toxic reactions can occur after ingestion of food contaminated with bacteria or other toxins (poisons).
Nontoxic reactions occur among hypersensitive persons. It depends on how strong one’s immune system is, that is, the antibody quality of an individual. They are commonly caused by immunoglobulin E (IgE). Sometimes the food allergies are classified as “non IgE”, which means they are not always caused by immunoglobulin E.
Allergy is an inherited tendency of the immune system to react in a hypersensitive way to certain substances. The body can, but does not have to, develop an allergic reaction when it comes in contact with allergens (which implies a connection between genetic predisposition and the body’s defense mechanism). In repeated contact with the allergen, a predisposed organism recognizes the allergen as a ”foreign entity” and seeks to “protect” itself. This results in an overreaction of antibodies (proteins “created” by our immune system) to allergens (usually a food protein). Immunoglobulin, usually Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a product of this reaction. It causes further reactions leading to rapid release of large amounts of histamine, another “nasty” substance, responsible for many symptoms caused by the “wrong diet.”
The most common symptoms (complaints) are:
Gastrointestinal (digestive) symptoms: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
Skin symptoms: hives, itching, dermatitis
General and the most difficult symptoms: hypotension (low blood pressure), bronchospasm (bronchi narrowing), anaphylactic shock
The occurrence of food allergies varies among different age groups, but the allergens that cause it also tend to change. Due to underdeveloped immune system in early childhood, children suffer from allergies more often. They are often allergic to milk, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, sea fish; while adults are more often allergic to nuts and oily fish.
Food allergies can occur at any age, but more often to those already predisposed to allergies to other substances, the so called atopy (atopic syndrome).
The treatment of food allergy most commonly includes elimination diet. This refers to a diet completely free of certain food. It should be noted that even the minimum quantity of allergens in food can cause allergic symptoms.
Hypersensitivity to gluten (“Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity”) is a state found among some individuals who are, according to all diagnostic methods (laboratory blood tests, small intestine biopsy, genetic tests for celiac disease) not explicitly affected by celiac disease yet have certain related symptoms that disappear after they stop consuming gluten. There is no adequate test to confirm the presence of gluten hypersensitivity. The therapy is equal to that for celiac disease, which means gluten-free diet and lifestyle.
Celiac disease is a lifelong, immune-mediated digestive system disease that occurs due to intolerance to vegetable proteins, prolamins, called gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley, although oats too can be harmful for some people. Gluten consumption provokes a local immune response in the intestinal epithelium and causes damage of intestinal villi. In consequence, the intestinal villi become permeable to those substances that would not be absorbed into the bloodstream otherwise. That process leads to development of distant inflammation all over the body. Celiac disease is manifested as a variety of symptoms, not just classic gastrointestinal ones (bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, changes in dynamics and coexistence of excrement). It is also called the “Disease of Many Faces“. Celiac disease is associated with a large number of other organ systems diseases (diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, adrenal gland insufficiency, sexual hormone disorders (irregular menstrual cycles), infertility, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, osteopenia and osteoporosis, anemia, thrombocytopenia, microscopic colitis, autoimmune hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, migraines, neuropathy, dermatitis herpetiformis – Duhring’s disease, depression, lymphomas, Down syndrome, autism).
Several years ago, celiac disease was associated exclusively with children, but today we know that the first symptoms of celiac disease can occur at any age.
Diagnosis of celiac disease is given according to laboratory blood tests (the detection of particular antibodies in blood), small intestine biopsy, which also represents the standard test for celiac disease detection. Recently, it has also become possible to perform a genetic test to identify the presence of the so-called “celiac disease gene.”
The treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong commitment to a gluten-free diet and lifestyle. It is necessary to use only the products certified as “gluten free” that are marked with the international symbol for celiac disease, the crossed grain symbol. It is also very important to be careful with food that normally does not contain gluten due to possibility of contamination with gluten during the production process (conveyor belt in a factory, the manner of storage …) as well as by using cosmetics (especially lipstick, toothpaste…) which can have gluten as an ingredient.
A healthy diet is generally defined as a balanced and varied food intake or consumption of foods of plant and/or animal origin. Different foods contain nutrients that are important for the proper function and development of our organism. The lack of nutrients in the body leads to various diseases, no matter if the reason for it is malnutrition or wrong food choice.
Many diseases are associated with the “wrong” diet – cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity etc.
Obesity is no longer only a “cosmetic” issue, but rather a serious health problem, caused by excessive intake of foods that lack proper nutrients, therefore it is very important to learn how to choose nutrient rich food that provides benefits to our body and helps prevent diseases.
It is also important to select the right food for our body, considering that each person is different and responds differently to the same type of food. In fact, certain foods can cause serious damaging consequences, that is, health issues in some people.
Diet therapy applies knowledge of therapeutic effects of food on certain diseases, which means that specific food is recognized as medicine. Diet therapy involves modification of eating habits and targeted use of certain types of food in order to prevent disease and to support the primary disease therapy.
The purpose of diet therapy is to adjust or change recent diet habits so that new habits can lead to optimal health. Sometimes diet therapy includes avoiding some food and introducing other, more appropriate food.
The most common diseases caused by wrong diet are various metabolic diseases, obesity, cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, elevated cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke), gastrointestinal diseases (liver and gallbladder diseases, pancreatic diseases, GERB – gastro-esophageal reflux, inflammatory intestine disease, swallowing difficulty …), kidney diseases, endocrine diseases (diabetes), osteoporosis, and immunological diseases.
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