Archive for March, 2018

Optimal Thyroid Function – the link with infertility!

Monday, March 26th, 2018

Great article – thought I’d share.

Also check out our YouTube Channel:  New Leaf Health Team – where there are some examples of kinesiology which support better thyroid function, and radio discussions regarding fertility, endocrine issues, thyroid problems…  For example…

Our team offers acupuncture, naturopathy, kinesiology and microcurrent – all of which can support you in better fertility!

Madonna Guy
07 3348 6098
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

 

If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for six months or more, have you considered getting your Thyroid checked?  Optimal Thyroid function is crucial when it comes to fertility in both men and women.

But why is this fact so important when you are trying to get pregnant?

The Thyroid gland is known as the “Master Controller” as it controls your whole metabolism (how your body breaks down food and converts it into energy), brain and digestive function, blood pressure and even how fast your heart beats.  In fact every cell in your body requires Thyroid hormone in order to function. 

Certain prescription medications such as cholesterol lowering drugs and steroids can block Thyroid function but something as simple as a mineral deficiency also plays a major role in Thyroid health.  A deficiency of the mineral Iodine for example can lower Thyroid function because Iodine is essential to produce Thyroid hormone.

Two of the most important female hormones are Oestrogen and Progesterone which need to be in balance for optimal fertility.  If Progesterone levels fall, Oestrogen levels rise creating an imbalance called Oestrogen dominance.  One of the main problems with oestrogen dominance is it causes the liver to produce what is called TBG (Thyroid Binding Globulin) which prevents Thyroid hormone from being utilised properly in each of your cells.  This invariably leads to low Thyroid function.

Blood tests which only measure the amount of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) you are producing is really an incomplete blood test, and may be interpreted by your GP as ‘normal’.  If the blood test does not also test your levels of T4 as well as T3 (which is the active form of Thyroid hormone), you don’t truly know the whole picture. 

When interpreting a Thyroid function blood test, what does the TSH level actually tell us?  If you have insufficient T4 and T3, the TSH result will be high.  Conversely your TSH level will be low if you have an excess of T4 and T3.  Let’s not forget the amount of hormone actually being assimilated into each of your cells can be abnormal due to the presence of Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG).  You may not be efficiently converting inactive T4 into the active T3 form.  Therefore a thorough Thyroid function test would check your levels of TSH, T4, T3, reverse T3 and autoantibodies (autoimmune disease indicator).

Hence women suffering from Oestrogen dominance may be exhibiting symptoms of Hypothyroidism (low functioning Thyroid) only to be told that everything looks ‘normal’ on their Thyroid test. Sound familiar? This is why an under functioning Thyroid can have a significant impact on your ability to conceive.

Some of the symptoms of low Thyroid function may include skipped or irregular periods, clotting and heavy bleeding, unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight (even if exercising and consuming a healthy diet), and fatigue.  This is by no means a comprehensive list of symptoms and of course could be contributed to a myriad of other health conditions – however around 25% of women who have been previously diagnosed with unexplained infertility may have Hypothyroidism (low Thyroid hormone synthesis).  Hypothyroidism can reduce the levels of Luteinising hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which are essential for the maturation of egg follicles as well as your ovaries’ production of Oestrogen and Progesterone.

It is vitally important I believe to not only check your hormone levels, but to undergo a comprehensive Thyroid function test in order to get a clear understanding of the health of your body as a whole when preparing for a healthy conception and pregnancy.

Don’t despair if you feel like you have been doing everything ‘right’ diet and lifestyle wise – there may be light at the end of the tunnel! Working with a natural health care professional such as a Naturopath who understands the link between your Thyroid, hormones and infertility can support you on your conception journey. Healing factors such as poor digestive function for instance may be affecting how well your body converts Thyroid hormones into its active and useable form. Every patient is unique and requires a multi-faceted, personalised approach to treatment using a combination of nutritional supplements, diet, mineral therapy and herbal medicines.
Your Thyroid may just be the missing piece of the conception puzzle.

Nutrition and psychiatry!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Great article from the UK about nutrients and psychiatric conditions!  Obviously we treat all of these conditions at New Leaf – our combination of:

kinesiology
naturopathy
universal consciousness
acupuncture
chi nei tsang
microcurrent therapy
nutritional supplementation

gives great support and relief and hope… for our clientele.

Call us on 3348 6098 for support 🙂

 

A lack of essential nutrients is known to contribute to the onset of poor mental health in people suffering from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD. Nutritional psychiatry is a growing discipline that focuses on the use of food and supplements to provide these essential nutrients as part of an integrated or alternative treatment for mental health disorders.

But nutritional approaches for these debilitating conditions are not widely accepted by mainstream medicine. Treatment options tend to be limited to official National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines which recommend talking therapies and antidepressants.

Use of antidepressants

Antidepressant use has more than doubled in recent years. In England 64.7m prescriptions were issued for antidepressants in 2016 at a cost of £266.6m. This is an increase of 3.7m on the number of items prescribed in 2015 and more than double than the 31m issued in 2006.

A recent Oxford University study found that antidepressants were more effective in treating depression than placebo. The study was led by Dr Andrea Cipriani who claimed that depression is under treated. Cipriani maintains that antidepressants are effective and a further 1m prescriptions should be issued to people in the UK.

This approach suggests that poor mental health caused by social conditions is viewed as easily treated by simply dispensing drugs. But antidepressants are shunned by people whom they could help because of the social stigma associated with mental ill-health which leads to discrimination and exclusion.

Prescriptions for 64.7m items of antidepressants were dispensed in England in 2016, the highest level recorded by the NHS. Shutterstock

More worrying is the increase in the use of antidepressants by children and young people. In Scotland, 5,572 children under 18 were prescribed antidepressants for anxiety and depression in 2016. This figure has more than doubled since 2009/2010.

But according to British psychopharmacologist Professor David Healy, 29 clinical trials of antidepressant use in young people found no benefits at all. These trials revealed that instead of relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression, antidepressants caused children and young people to feel suicidal.

Healy also challenges their safety and effectiveness in adults. He believes that antidepressants are over-prescribed and that there is little evidence that they are safe for long-term use. Antidepressants are said to create dependency, have unpleasant side effects and cannot be relied upon to always relieve symptoms.

Nutrition and poor mental health

In developed countries such as the UK we eat a greater variety of foodstuffs than ever before – but it doesn’t follow that we are well nourished. In fact, many people do not eat enough nutrients that are essential for good brain health, opting for a diet of heavily processed food containing artificial additives and sugar.

The link between poor mental health and nutritional deficiencies has long been recognised by nutritionists working in the complementary health sector. However, psychiatrists are only now becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of using nutritional approaches to mental health, calling for their peers to support and research this new field of treatment.

It is now known that many mental health conditions are caused by inflammation in the brain which ultimately causes our brain cells to die. This inflammatory response starts in our gut and is associated with a lack of nutrients from our food such as magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins and minerals that are all essential for the optimum functioning of our bodies.

Recent research has shown that food supplements such as zinc, magnesium, omega 3, and vitamins B and D3 can help improve people’s mood, relieve anxiety and depression and improve the mental capacity of people with Alzheimer’s.

Magnesium is one of most important minerals for optimal health, yet many people are lacking in it. One study found that a daily magnesium citrate supplement led to a significant improvement in depression and anxiety, regardless of age, gender or severity of depression. Improvement did not continue when the supplement was stopped.

Omega-3 fatty acids are another nutrient that is critical for the development and function of the central nervous system – and a lack has been associated with low mood, cognitive decline and poor comprehension.

Research has shown that supplements like zinc, magnesium and vitamins B and D can improve the mental capacity of people with Alzheimer’s. Shutterstock

The role of probiotics – the beneficial live bacteria in your digestive system – in improving mental health has also been explored by psychiatrists and nutritionists, who found that taking them daily was associated with a significant reduction in depression and anxiety. Vitamin B complex and zinc are other supplements found to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Hope for the future?

These over-the-counter” supplements are widely available in supermarkets, chemists and online health food stores, although the cost and quality may vary. For people who have not responded to prescription drugs or who cannot tolerate the side effects, nutritional intervention can offer hope for the future.

There is currently much debate over the effectiveness of antidepressants. The use of food supplements offer an alternative approach that has the potential to make a significant difference to the mental health of all age groups.

The emerging scientific evidence suggests that there should be a bigger role for nutritional psychiatry in mental health within conventional health services. If the burden of mental ill health is to be reduced, GPs and psychiatrists need to be aware of the connection between food, inflammation and mental illness.

Medical education has traditionally excluded nutritional knowledge and its association with disease. This has led to a situation where very few doctors in the UK have a proper understanding of the importance of nutrition. Nutritional interventions are thought to have little evidence to support their use to prevent or maintain well-being and so are left to dietitians, rather than doctors, to advise on.

But as the evidence mounts up, it is time for medical education to take nutrition seriously so that GPs and psychiatrists of the future know as much about its role in good health as they do about anatomy and physiology. The state of our mental health could depend on it.