Archive for the ‘Adrenal Fatigue/Exhaustion’ Category

Is cortisol messing with your life??

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

 

Have you had your cortisol levels checked? It may be time to do so.  Talk to your doctor or chat to us at New Leaf about ways your cortisol can be checked!

WHAT IS CORTISOL?

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. It is important to understand how to balance this hormone for optimal health.

Cortisol is a naturally occurring hormone that is secreted by the adrenal glands located on your kidneys. It is one of the main stress response chemicals with adrenaline being the other. Both are responsible for maintaining balance in your body.

CORTISOL LEVELS

When it is in a healthy rhythm, cortisol is highest in the morning to give us the energy to get our day started, minimise inflammation and boost our immune response to peak levels. It is naturally lowest at night to help us wind our bodies down into rest-and-repair mode. When this natural cycle is disrupted, we can end up with dysfunction of cortisol levels such as:

HIGH CORTISOL SYMPTOMS:

  • Sleep problems (insomnia, waking in the night)
  • Blood sugar issues (including sugar cravings, metabolic syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and diabetes)
  • Weight gain (increased fat storage and belly fat)
  • Immune system imbalances leading to more frequent infections, reactivation of old viruses, allergies, inflammation, and even autoimmune disease
  • Poor digestion and impaired absorption of nutrients
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Decreased memory, focus, and willpower
  • Mood swings
  • High blood pressure
  • Racing heart or palpitations
  • Flush face
  • Increased urination

LOW CORTISOL SYMPTOMS:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty waking in the morning
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Weight changes
  • Salt cravings
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Dizzy or faint
  • Feel “weird”

Most chronic and long-term health issues like obesity, digestive issues, diabetes and even cancer can be linked to disturbances in our natural cortisol patterns.

Let’s look at the range of some low or high cortisol health scenarios:

1. CORTISOL AND WEIGHT GAIN

Persistently high or low cortisol levels can cause you to experience changes in your body weight. High levels of cortisol can stimulate your appetite and lead to obesity. Excess weight in this situation is often to carried on the upper body and a round face or excess fat tissue around the neck may develop.

2. CORTISOL AND HYPERTENSION

High cortisol levels may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) or high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Low levels of cortisol can have the opposite effect and cause decreased appetite or significant weight loss. Loss of appetite can lead some people to become dehydrated or develop low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) due to poor fluid intake. Symptoms include increased thirst, headache or dizziness.

3. CORTISOL AND SKIN

High cortisol levels in your blood can contribute to skin issues like thinning or easily bruising skin and stretch marks that are pink or purple in colour on the arms, buttocks, legs, stomach or breasts. On the flip side, abnormally low levels of cortisol may cause patches of increased pigmentation (hyper-pigmentation) on your knees or elbows.

4. CORTISOL AND SLEEP

Cortisol is a part of your sleeping and waking cycle. Imbalanced levels can cause excessive tiredness or fatigue that can be long-lasting (chronic) and may cause sore or weak muscles. Men with high cortisol levels can experience impotence and may also be accompanied by decreased sexual desire. Cortisol imbalances in women can lead to the development of an irregular menstrual cycle, which can make it difficult for women to become pregnant.

5. CORTISOL AND DIET

Studies have revealed that eating balanced meals and participating in physical activity 3-5 times a week can help maintain cortisol balance. But in today’s go-go-go world, chronic stress, can over time, cause the adrenal glands to become overworked which in turn effects cortisol levels. And there may be times when this process cannot be dealt with diet and lifestyle changes alone. This is when a hormonal imbalance needs to be fully evaluated and corrected in conjunction with a customized nutrition and fitness program that meets your unique needs.

HOW TO REDUCE CORTISOL

Lowering your cortisol levels requires attention paid to a few things that with some management, can prove to be successful. Here are some tips:

1.  Look at your sleep schedule

Cortisol regulates the production of melatonin, which is important not only for sleep but for detoxification and immunity. High cortisol levels suppress melatonin and that means you may not only experience insomnia and other sleep issues, but you are increasing your risk of inflammatory conditions like diabetes and cancer.

How much sleep do you need? At least seven hours of mostly uninterrupted sleep for at least two weeks can begin to reset your cortisol levels. Also, make sure you are going to bed and waking up at the same time to create a regular sleep cycle.

2. Get rid of EMF’s

And remember — we live in a world of electronic devices full of EMFs (Electromagnetic Frequencies) and bombardment of blue light. Using ear plugs to get rid of white noise, silencing your phone and turning off your computer a couple of hours before going to bed is helpful to ensure quality sleep. This practice will make a huge difference in controlling your brains internal clock that tells you when to sleep.

It is important to remember that timing, length and quality of sleep all influence cortisol for better or for worse.

3. Eat the right foods, at the right time

Believe it or not, that low carb diet we are all into these days can increase cortisol — if it is too low. You may benefit more from eating a small number of healthy carbs three to five hours before going to bed. And in general, eating just before bedtime can affect not only how well you sleep but also your cortisol levels. Try not eating within three hours of settling in for a night’s rest. What you eat and when you eat can have a profound effect on your cortisol response.

4. Plan on exercising at the ideal times

Studies show that exercise can help to reduce cortisol levels. However, the opposite can be true if you over exercise or exercise late at night. Doing intense exercise earlier in the day increases cortisol levels immediately following exercise but it can have positive effects of reducing cortisol levels in the evening and before bedtime.

5. Relax and reset

It is important to learn some relaxation strategies, especially after a long, hard work day/week in order to help reset both mentally and emotionally. This can lead to healthier cortisol levels and a healthier YOU in general. Even 15 minutes can make a difference, but I suggest to my patients that taking that walk in nature or getting into an easy yoga routine, are great ways to handle cortisol issues.

6. Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing helps to lower stress and is an easy habit anyone can do anywhere. Studies show that this simple technique can help to substantially lower cortisol levels. Who would have guessed? Read my article on how to effectively practice deep breathing for relaxation. Other helpful techniques that incorporate deep breathing for relaxation are yoga and tai chi.

Check out this helpful guide on adding other relaxation techniques such as meditation, visualisation, music and progressive muscle relaxation.

7. Avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day

A great cup of coffee or tea can be a sure way to get some energy and also some pleasure in life. But both, along with chocolate, can keep you up at night. Caffeine can affect your cortisol levels and disrupt sleep patterns so be mindful of when you have it. I have also noted that many of my patients report that they slept better and felt better all-around when they limited their alcohol consumption, especially in the evening.

8. Eat clean

Chronic inflammation is a huge trigger of cortisol imbalances along with blood sugar balance. Simply put — a diet of processed foods, poor-quality fats, and too much sugar can cause inflammation that leads to chronically over activated cortisol production.

9. Find happiness

When was the last time you found time to do something that really made you happy? Pursuing things that bring you happiness and satisfaction can help to lower your cortisol levels. Hobbies such as art, music, gardening and spending time outdoors can provide a sense of well being and pleasure which will help keep cortisol down. It’s time to develop those hobbies you’ve been dreaming about!

10. Spend time with family and friends

Having strong relationships with family and friends can help you to manage stress and lower your cortisol levels. However, at times, these relationships can be the cause of your stress. Learning to deal with conflicts and seeking positive outcomes will provide stronger bonds and emotional well being. Having more friends and family in your life can be a source of great happiness and support.

Even furry companions such as canine pets can prove to be helpful in lowering cortisol levels.

11. Add Essential oils 

Some essential oils are shown to harness stress and excess cortisol levels. Such oils include lavender, cinnamon leaf, cedarwood, eucalyptus, and ylang-ylang. The aroma of these essential oils can actually pass right through the blood/brain barrier which has a direct effect on areas of the brain controlling your feelings of stress and anxiety which influence your cortisol response.

12. Take supplements for stress

Studies show that taking certain supplements can help to manage cortisol levels and stress. Supplements such as fish oil and other adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Cordyceps, and Reishi have been shown to lower cortisol levels within 60 days. Below are some of my favourite supplements for restoring cortisol levels.

13.  Kinesiology, Acupuncture, Massage, Chi Nei Tsang

All of our processes can support reducing your stress, and rebooting your adrenal glands.

CORTISOL SUPPLEMENTS

I recommend a few supplements to my patients that can help keep cortisol levels in good balance overall and nourish the adrenals as well.

One of my favourites is Omega Brain Care, a Phosphatidylserine and essential fatty acid supplement that has been found to naturally block the harmful effects of cortisol. The body produces very little of it, so supplementation can ensure you are getting enough to maintain overall good health.

I also like to suggest Adrenotone which is a combination of standardised adaptogen herbs and nutrients designed to help support healthy cortisol levels as well as protect you against chronic stress.

Ready to get your cortisol in balance but feel unsure about where to start?   Testing is usually the first step and I can help with that (Doctor’s test, nutripath testing through us, kinesiology). A simple cortisol saliva test is one way to get an accurate reading of your cortisol levels and way to monitor your progress over time. Then we can discuss some great protocols that can help you achieve balance – naturally.

Know someone who needs help, forward this article to get them started on their road to recovery!

Men’s Health, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome & New Leaf Natural Therapies!

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Men’s Health is so important!

It’s been fantastic since Congress….  top take-home factoids I’ve been loving are:

  • Men – get your testosterone checked!  If you need, support your testosterone levels with injections or supplements that contain tribulus, zinc, horny goat week (true herb!) etc
  • Testosterone is linked to mood disorders and exhaustion
  • Men born since 1970 have 1/2 the testosterone as those born before…  This is due to environmental toxins.  As I’ve always said, we can’t get rid of the toxins but we can support our detox capabilities with herbs and nutrients such as silymarin, lipoic acid, glutathione, anti-oxidants and vitamin C.  Lots of other herbs too!
  • This lack of testosterone since 1970 is being studied to see if it’s linked to kids with higher anxiety, depression, suicidal rates
  • It’s once estrodial takes over as the main hormone in men that estrodial interacts with environmental toxins and is linked to cancers…  Pre-1970 testosterone levels peaked at around 40 years old, Since 1970’s it’s often in the teenage years/early 20’s, so estrodial is becoming dominant much earlier
  • Adrenal fatigue should be named ‘Burnout Syndrome’ according to Dr Flavio Cadigiani
  • Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome should be renamed under ‘Metabolic Syndrome’ as it’s insulin and inflammation that drive the PCOS, yet women can have metabolic syndrome without the PCOS, therefore many practitioners run out of ability to support clients with painful periods.
  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome – if you get your histamine levels tested, the maximum histamine levels you want are 8.  MCAS is linked to allergies, dizziness, asthma, POTS, anxiety
  • if you get unexplained pain in the brain (migraines), gut, uterus, spinal cord – you could have MCAS…  Pop in and see us!  There are nutrients known to pull stored histamine out of your body.
  • Every thought we have affects our genes either positively or negatively
  • Traumas from childhood can affect our kids / grandkids etc for up to 7 generations!  With kinesiology and universal consciousness techniques we can mitigate these effects.  In fact, studies show that a trauma in childhood activates obesity genes (we’re more lucky if we’ve been traumatised and don’t end up with weight challenges!) and addictive behaviours (are you self-medicating??)
  • Intermittent Fasting is proving to be a fantastic health-improvement tool for longevity!  The most researched and popular Intermittent Fasting time bracket by the speakers was the 18/6.  Off food for 18 hours (say 7pm until 1pm next day…).  Every hour over 12 hours of fasting doubles the benefit of the previous 12 hours!

AT New Leaf we support these issues with

  • detoxification processes including dietary adjustments; acupuncture; kinesiology; supplements & herbs; weight loss detox processes…
  • kinesiology to access information about where the histamines are and what we need to release them
  • emotional support – using Universal Consciousness Processes; kinesiology & LEAP

Talk soon,

 

Madonna
0417 643 849

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome!

Friday, June 15th, 2018

 

Does histamine control your life?   Are you even aware that it might?  You might have MCAS!!

Much of this information comes from Dr Tania Dempsey and Dr Jill Carnahan in the States….  but it is a Syndrome worth thinking about if you’re simply not getting on top of your pain, allergies, nervous system stresses etc….  Many doctors in Australia are totally unaware of this condition.

What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defence system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. Amongst the triggers are a variety of different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. Many sufferers struggle to identify their triggers and continue to discover new triggers for many years after diagnosis.

MCAS forms part of a spectrum of mast cell disorders involving proliferation and/or excessive sensitivity of mast cells, it has been identified since 2007. It features inappropriate mast cell activation with little or no increase in the number of mast cells, unlike in Mastocytosis*.  MCAS causes a wide range of unpleasant, sometimes debilitating, symptoms in any of the different systems of the body, frequently affecting several systems at the same time. The onset of MCAS is often sudden, affecting both children and adults, sometimes in family groups, mimicking many other conditions and presenting a wide-range of different symptoms that can be baffling for both the patient and their physician. Often there are no obvious clinical signs since MCAS confounds the anatomy-based structure underpinning the traditional diagnostic approach. Very often Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is hiding in plain sight.

Mastocystosis:  very rare and NOT what we’re talking about here…

Mastocytosis involves inappropriate mast cell activation AS WELL AS an increased number of mast cells. It is a rare but relatively well known mast cell disorder and is currently easier to diagnose than MCAS.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): When Histamine Goes Haywire…

Mast cells are present in most tissues throughout the human body, especially connective tissue, skin, intestinal lining cardiovascular system, nervous system, and reproductive organs. They are part of the allergic response designed to protect us from threat and injury.  When the body is exposed to a perceived threat, the mast cells secrete chemical mediators, such as histamine, interleukins, prostaglandins, cytokines, chemokine and various other chemicals stored in the cytoplasm of the cell.  These chemical messengers produce both local and systemic effects, such as increased permeability of blood vessels (inflammation and swelling), contraction of smooth muscle (stomach cramps and heart palpitations), and increase mucous production (congestion, sneezing, etc).   Historically, we thought of mast cells only in relation to an allergic or anaphylactic response.  We now know they play a profound role in immune activation, development of autoimmunity and many other disorders, such as POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).  Sadly we are seeing a large increase in patients presenting with mast cell disorders and MCAS.  I believe it is in part do to the onslaught of more pervasive environmental toxins, moulds and chemicals.

Withouts mast cells, we would not be able to heal from a wound.  They protect us from injury and help the body to heal.  Unfortunately, overactive mast cells can cause a variety of serious symptoms.

Symptoms of overactive mast cells may include:

  • skin rashes/hives
  • swelling/oedema
  • flushing
  • asthma
  • itching
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations
  • anxiety, difficulty concentrating
  • headaches
  • brain fog
  • low blood pressure
  • fatigue

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is a condition symptoms involving the skin, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurologic systems. It can be classified into primary (clonal proliferation or mastocytosis), secondary (due to a specific stimulus), and idiopathic (no identifiable cause). Proposed criteria for the diagnosis of MCAS included episodic symptoms consistent with mast cell mediator release affecting two or more organ systems with hives, swelling, flushing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, fainting, heart palpitations, wheezing, red eyes, itching, and/or nasal congestion.  For a diagram of all of the varied symptoms histamine can cause, click here.

Triggers may be medications, foods, supplements, hormones, opioids, stressors (physical or emotional), cold temperature, heat, pressure, noxious odors, chemicals, insect bites, trauma or environmental toxins.

We commonly see mast cell activation syndromes associated with CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) in response to biotoxins, such as mould, inflammagens, and lyme-related toxins.

Low MSH and Mast Cell Disorders?

As mentioned above, we frequently see histamine intolerance and MCAS in patients with mold-related CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome).  It is interesting to note that a common finding in CIRS is low MSH.  According to this study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, alpha-MSH plays an immunomodulatory role during inflammatory and allergic reactions of the skin.  In addition, there is evidence that MSH induces mast-cell apoptosis(cell death).

Definition of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  1. Typical clinical symptoms as listed above
  2. Increase in serum tryptase level or an increase in other mast cell derived mediators, such as histamine or prostaglandins (PGD2), or their urinary metabolites,
  3. Response of symptoms to treatment
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

Mast cells can be activated by both direct and indirect mechanisms as a result of exposure of the host to pathogens.

Diseases Associated with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis,  systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, bullous pemphigoid, rheumatoid arthritis and others.Eczema
  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome)
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food Allergy and Intolerances
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Infertility (mast cells in endometrium may contribute to endometriosis)
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Mood disorders – anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)
Mast cells are known to be the primary responders in allergic reactions, orchestrating strong responses to minute amounts of allergens. Several recent observations indicate that they may also have a key role in coordinating the early phases of autoimmune diseases, particularly those involving auto-antibodies.

Mast cells are known to be the primary responders in allergic reactions, orchestrating strong responses to minute amounts of allergens. Several recent observations indicate that they may also have a key role in coordinating the early phases of autoimmune diseases, particularly those involving auto-antibodies.

Lab Tests for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) – many of these are as yet unavailable in Australia …  Possibly histamine is as yet the only available, but chat to Georgia about what our Naturopathic Labs can offer….

  • Lab tests specific to mast cell activation for suspected MCAS may include:
    • Serum tryptase (most famous mast cell mediator)
    • Serum chromogranin A
    • Plasma histamine
    • Plasma PGD2 (chilled)
    • Plasma heparin (chilled)
    • Urine for PGD2 (chilled)
    • PGF2a
    • N-methylhistamine
  • Tryptase is the most famous mast cell mediator. Serum tryptase value is usually normal in MCAS patients, but sometimes it is elevated.  Tryptase values that show an increase of 20% + 2 ng/ml above the baseline level are considered diagnostic for MCAS.
  • Chromogranin A is a heat-stable mast cell mediator.  High levels can suggest MCAS, but other sources must first be ruled out, such as heart failure, renal insufficiency, neuroendocrine tumors and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use.
  • Heparin is a very sensitive and specific marker of mast cell activation.  However, due to its quick metabolism in the body, it is very difficult to measure reliably.
  • N-methylhistamine is usually measured in a 24 hour urine test to account for the variability in release over the course of the day.
  • Prostaglandin D2 is produced by several other cell types, but mast cell release is responsible for the dominant amount found in the body.  PGD2 is less stable than histamine and metabolized completely in 30 minutes.
  • Other less specific mast cell mediators that are sometimes abnormal in MCAS patients include Factor VIII, plasma free norepinephrine, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-6.

Treatments to reduce MCAS symptoms and lower histamine

  • H1 Blockers
    1. hydroxyzine, doxepine, diphenhydramine, cetirizine, loratadine, fexofenadine
  • H2 Blockers
    1. Famotidine (Pepcid, Pepcid AC)
    2. Cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)
    3. Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Leukotriene inhibitors
    1. Montelukast (Singulair)
    2. Zafirlukast (Accolate)
  • Mast cell stabilizers –
    1. Cromolyn
    2. Ketotifen
    3. Hyroxyurea
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors – imatinib
  • Natural anti-histamines and mast-cell stabilizers
    • Ascorbic Acid
    • Quercetin
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
    • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, krill oil)
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
    • Methylation donors (SAMe, B12, methyl-folate, riboflavin)
  • Certain probiotics decrease histamine production
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus and bifidobacter species 
  • DAO Enzymes with meals – UmbrelluxDAO
  • Decrease consumption of high histamine foods (more on histamine-restricted diet)
    • Avoid alcoholic beverages
    • Avoid raw and cured sausage products such as salami.
    • Avoid processed or smoked fish products. Use freshly caught seafood instead.
    • Avoid pickles
    • Avoid citrus fruits.
    • Avoid chocolate
    • Avoid nuts
    • Avoid products made with yeast and yeast extracts
    • Avoid soy sauce and fermented soy products
    • Avoid black tea and instant coffee
    • Avoid aged cheese
    • Avoid spinach in large quantities
    • Avoid tomatoes, ketchup and tomato sauces
    • Avoid artificial food colorings & preservatives
    • Avoid certain spices: cinnamon, chili powder, cloves, anise, nutmeg, curry powder, cayenne pepper

References

  1. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, A Review
  2. Mast cell activation disease: a concise practical guide for diagnostic workup and therapeutic options
  3. Presentation, Diagnosis and Management of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome by Dr. Afrin
  4. Histamine and Gut Immune Mucosal Regulation
  5. Dr. Theoharides presents “Mast Cell Disorders”
  6. Diagram of Histamine Symptoms
  7. Mast Cell Aware
  8. A Tale of Two Syndromes
  9. Mold Histamine Connection

Mindfulness + Kinesiology

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Mindfulness + Kinesi

We’ve talked about mindfulness before. While there’s a lot of information available as to the benefits, how does it fit in with kinesiology? Why do they work so well together?

 

What is Mindfulness? Why is it so good?

Mindfulness (or meditation) is a practice to calm the mind. It has been shown by calming the mind we can calm the nervous system and our stress response to daily stimuli. By calming stress it basically means from a physiological point of view we are reducing the production of hormones and neurotransmitters such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, acetylcholine and glutamate. All of these up regulate the nervous system and therefore the body’s performance, increasing the demand on cells and therefore requirements for nutrients as building blocks for all the systems to function efficiently. When all of the systems’ requirements are upregulated it puts more strain on the whole and will impact parts of the system as well. When this continues this is where we often see the link between stress and dis-ease, illness or even injuries. Therefore, to downregulate the stress response is an advantage for the overall system which in turn means any practice that helps to reduce stress is advantageous especially in this modern lifestyle we all lead!

 

By practicing a form of mindfulness or meditation each day it is actually practicing how to focus on a feeling of calm rather than allowing the momentum of an unspecific distraction build which upregulates the stress systems. I believe it is this literal practice of letting go of the unspecific stresses, the busy mind that allows the body to reset to a place of wellbeing. It helps reduce down any fight, flight or freeze tendencies and helps the feel good hormones like serotonin, GABA and dopamine to kick in allowing us to feel good and comfortable. However, what if we are activated into fight or flight and we can’t turn it off? And why can’t we turn it off??

 

What is Kinesiology? Why is it so good?

Kinesiology (Kinesi) is a way of asking the body where stress is being held in the body. There are different types of kinesiology but the purposes of this article we will refer to kinesiology in general. By mapping where the stress is being held in the body and down regulating it (usually via balancing the meridians and brain/emotional triggers) this helps to reduce the physiological strain on the body thus improving the overall performance back to a place of wellbeing. A chance to reset the fight or flight stress, if you will.

 

 

The Fight or Flight response: what is it?

The fight or flight response refers to when our brain determines a perceived threat and switches off the parasympathetic nervous system and switches on the sympathetic nervous. This is to prepare the body to either fight the perceived threat or flight from it. I.e. if there was a sabertooth tiger standing at the front of our cave the brain will perceive it as a threat, switch the sympathetic nervous system on to prepare for the decision whether to stand and fight the tiger off or flight and run away. This in turn does a number of things physiologically.

 

Sympathetic Nervous System functions include:

  • Switches off the enteric system aka the digestion. As we don’t need to digest food if we’re fighting a tiger, right??
  • Upregulates the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline (adrenaline for the brain) and acetylcholine to keep the brain alert and focused on the tiger.
  • Switches the production of serotonin off. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that tells our brain we’re happy. If we have too much of this in our system the brain will not be perceiving the tiger as the danger that it is.
  • By switching the attention of the nervous system away from the digestion all the attention is on the extremities via the influx of adrenaline. Adrenaline in the blood makes our pupils dilate (allowing more light in and better vision), increases the heart rate (pumping more blood and faster to the muscles so they are ready to fight or flight), and dilates our lungs so we can get more air and oxygen in to get to the muscles for fuel.

 

Why do we turn on the Fight or Flight system?

This is a really good system when there is a threat. For example, if we’re crossing a road and we see a big truck hurtling towards us. In that split second of realizing it is there all attention is focused on the truck. The noradrenaline gives us a depth of field allowing us to discern how long we have to make a decision regarding if it is best to stand and fight the truck or whether it is best to flight (i.e. step off the road). The acetylcholine makes our brain very focused on the truck rather than being distracted on the cute puppy playing on the side of the road. This is a very effective system when it is required.

 

Can we switch off the Fight or Flight system?

Animals have a reset to the fight or flight response. But the problem is us humans can’t reset and down regulate it very well…. Or not at all. Furthermore how our brain has evolved along with our modern lifestyles means that many of our fight or flight triggers are not physical threats anymore, they are more mental and/or emotional based. Which means we are much more likely to be triggered into a fight or flight response and unlikely to be able to rest and reset.

 

Mindfulness and meditation helps to train the person how to reset. But it needs to be practiced regularly so when there is a significant stress all the practice comes into play and it is almost habit to turn down the sympathetic nervous system. This is what a lifetime of meditation earns you! Meanwhile for the rest of us who are only halfway through our lives, or  are just starting a meditation practice (say ten years in) or have no meditation practice at all… what do we do to reset? Try to sleep and hope for the best the next day??

 

 

What are the triggers?

Often the triggers are not what we think they are as the brain may perceive something that is happening in real time like something that happened years ago at band camp which wasn’t a pleasant ending and go into protection mode. Protection mode meaning stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and therefore Fight or Flight. It can happen instantly, from what may be an innocent comment (from someone elses point of view) or from something more significant like work, money or home life. And most people don’t even realise it’s happening o how wound up and stressed they are until something relatively small happens and they snap! Or it can be just the result of a really busy life as being busy will also upregulate all the same hormones and neurotransmitters and is translated the same way in the body. So many of us function from a mid to high level physiological stress, thinking and calling this normal. Often it is not until we really unwind that we notice the difference, many people feeling the mind just keep going with circular thoughts. For example, when the mind doesn’t switch off to go to sleep.

 

How do we know if we have Fight or Flight triggers?

Some key indications of Fight or Flight in every day lives are:

  • Constantly need to move and can’t keep still or relax.
  • Feel jumpy, startle at slight noises, touches or unexpected movements.
  • Constantly thinking, overthinking things, circular thoughts, over focused on a particular subject.
  • Can’t switch mind off to go to sleep and lay awake trying to sleep, restless sleep.
  • Faster heart beat, heart palpitations.
  • Extra sweating under arms, hands and feet or just generally.
  • Digestion either speeds up when stressed or slows down. That is faster bowel motions and more frequently or slower and further apart.
  • Butterflies in the stomach.
  • Loss of appetite, not wanting to eat or not needing as much to fill up.
  • Even loss of weight if it is prolonged.

 

 

How can we actually reset the Fight and Flight system??

This is where Kinesi comes in! Because Kinesi is a way of determining how the stress is affecting the body it is also a way of asking the body what it needs to rebalance and down regulate the stress responses like fight or flight. It is fascinating as to how much information can be gain from the body when using the kinetics (muscles). We can ascertain what the triggers are of the Fight or Flight system and how to downregulate it specifically for the individual.

 

How to maintain the resetting of the Fight or Flight system:

By resetting with a Kinesi balance the question is then: how do you maintain this balance?

As a naturopath this is where herbs and nutritionals can really help, depending what systems need support for you the individual. There are many herbs that can help support the nervous system and adrenals to help maintain the calm of the rest and digest phase of the parasympathetic nervous system. That is when the Fight or Flight is switched off!

 

And also adopting some frequent routine of mindfulness or meditation can really help. This might include a form of exercises that helps you get into that zone, some mindfulness moments in the mornings or some yogic breathing exercises. Whatever works for you can definitely assist in maintaining the Kinesi balance J

 

 

 

 

Photo cred: denmeditation.com

 

What are Lectins?

Monday, May 15th, 2017

What are Lectins?

Do you suffer from symptoms after eating? Such as digestive symptoms, foggy brain, sinus congestion or aches and pains. Do you notice it after gluten containing foods or just can’t track what’s causing it? Chances are you’re body is reacting to components in plants called lectins.

What are lectins? So happy you asked!

Lectins are the plants natural compounds to ward off pests, fungal and bacterial attack. That is, the plants natural immune system. When plants are under attack they raise their lectin numbers to fend off the attacking pests. This is the system by which pesticides work. However, pests are gaining tolerance resulting in needing an increase of pesticide to be applied to the plant and thus a further increase of the plants lectins.

Modern wheat strains vs old style grains

Our modern wheat strains have been modified to produce more lectins to be highly pest resistant. This very clever genetically engineering won Norman Borlaug a Nobel peace prize in 1970 and changed the industry inexplicably. However, years later we are discovering the health consequences of our daily foods containing such an immense amount of lectins.

Let me explain:

The modern wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a genetically engineered species containing three distinct sets of chromosomes. These chromosomes can produce over 23,000 unique proteins. Thus this modern species contains high protein and gluten levels plus wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). WGA is a lectin which provides wheat with its resistance to insect pests, yeasts and bacteria.  Interestingly WGA binds to N-acetyl D glucosamine in the chitin of the insects, disrupting their cell structures and killing them.

Why are lectins so bad?

It is this WGA (lectins)  which can also directly damage tissues of the human body wherever N-acetyl glucosamine is present, even if the individual doesn’t have any genetic predispositions or susceptibilities to immune mediated mechanisms. For example, the auto-immune conditions or inflammatory reactions. However, the presence of lectins can and do exacerbate inflammation for auto-immune conditions such as Coeliac’s Disease, making symptoms worse. This can explain why chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions are gaining prevalence in wheat-consuming populations.  It destroys the villi in your intestines, leading to malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies and infections!

Tissues within the human body that contain N-acetyl D glucosamine are:

  • All mucosal membranes throughout the digestive system, respiratory system, etc.
  • Connective tissues in joints
  • Brain cells and organs
  • Skin
  • Arterial bifurcations, including around the heart.

It is proposed that it is the increased lectin content that are causing major health problems for people rather than gluten. For example, many Australians experience health problems after eating products made from Australian grown wheat. Where as if they travel to other countries and consume wheat based products from there they do not, i.e. France or Italy. Such countries grew different strains of wheat which were largely unmodified like our Australian grains. Hence, the end product (croissants, baguettes, pasta, pizza bases) had less lectin resulting in fewer reactions after eating. Of course this has now changed as the high yield strains are now more global.

Is it just grains which we get lectins from?

Furthermore, when livestock are fed grains high in WGA lectins this then passes through their system to the products we consume. For example, dairy milk. Therefore, if you’re experiencing symptoms after consuming dairy it may not be lactose or actual dairy protein but the lectins passed through the dairy cow to their milk. Likewise with meats, hence the advantage of consuming grass fed meats only.

There have been some notable improvements when individuals have ceased dairy and gluten products, possibly due to the decrease of consumed lectins. Some of these conditions include:

  • (Gut mucosa) – Irritable bowel syndrome:  bloating, burping, wind, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation
  • (Joints) – arthritis, fibromyalgia
  • (Hippocampal cells) – mental and behavioural conditions
  • (Lung mucosa) – asthma
  • (Beta pancreatic cells) – diabetes
  • (Coronary artery cells) – Cardiovascular disease
  • (Skin) – psoriasis and eczema
  • Autism & Aspergers, non-verbal children and adults

How can lectin intake be reduced in diet?

As it is impossible to maintain a healthy diet and avoid lectins if you are experiencing symptoms pertaining to lectins the key is reduce intake and increase tolerance.

Firstly, even organic and spray free fresh fruit and vegetables contain lectins, but if they’re not engineered they should contain less. Grass-fed meats and dairy is the best way forward for proteins to reduce lectin intake.

How can tolerance to lectins be improved?

There is no definitive answer to improving the individual’s lectin tolerance, however there is some key things you can do. Have good healthy nutrient intake particularly zinc. The herb ginger is particularly high in zinc and is very good at reducing inflammation and calming and supporting function all along the digestive track. Having said that, if there is any history of stomach ulcers please consult your local herbalist or naturopath for advice.

And then there’s Kinesiology 🙂

How can Kinesiology help improve tolerance to lectins?

Kinesiology is a way to ask your body what is stressing it by what we call indicator muscles. It is largely based on Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian system and acupuncture points which are like reference points. Via assessing where the stress is the body can also indicate how to relieve the stress, thus reducing the symptoms one is experiencing. Therefore kinesiology balancing is a remarkable way to reduce symptoms.

What about Acupuncture and Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage?

Also great ways to increase the energy to the gut, reduce stress and increase energy.  Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage is nearly an hour on your gut – it helps to break down the scar tissue that has built up around the abdomen due to years of food-abuse that’s destroyed the villi –  let the healing begin!!!

Call us on 3348 6098 to book an apt with our Naturopaths…

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
07 3348 6098
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

You Tube:  New Leaf Health Team channel 🙂

 

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HCG Challenges and Struggles – ‘side-effects’ of the detoxification process on HCG

Friday, March 24th, 2017

It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally someone struggles with detox-side-effects of HCG…

We have a client at the moment who’s really struggling…. dizziness, tiredness, exhaustion. Why? Many people have heaps of energy on HCG due to the fact that as we’re releasing brown fat lots of minerals and vitamins are being released (it’s brown because of iron, zinc etc etc) BUT it also holds toxins.

Fat is an insulator. Our bloodstream is constantly removing toxins and either trying to remove them or storing them in our fat mass (if our organs of detoxification …are sluggish).  This is a good thing – until we detoxifiy – then we need to support our organs of detoxification so that we can move forwards safely.

Dizziness, tiredness and exhaustion are generally a side-effect due to toxins being released back out into the bloodstream from the brown fat.

– As insulin is released from the tummy fat, we can get highs and lows of blood sugar – making us feel cranky and moody, hungry and challenged.

– As heavy metals are released from brown fat, they can bind with our minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium – which can inhibit our body from relaxing our muscles and nerves, giving us cramps and muscle twitches and somtimes nerve pain.

– Fat (like cholesterol) that is known to store on capillary and artery walls doesn’t attach to the capilliaries or arteries unless it’s full of toxins – heavy metals, bacterial and viral particles, insulin… so as we get into deeper rounds of HCG and start moving this type of fat we can release old infections and feel a little sick or fluey (if the immune system isn’t coping with the levels of toxins being released).

So, our favourite supplements during HCG are:

Metagenics G-Tox: supports kidney and gut detoxification, breaks down biofilm, alkalises and supports gut healing. Detoxification takes a long time – don’t think it’s an overnight thing or you’ll be disappointed.

Chromium Plus; Gluco Balance; Gymnema; Resist X; Lipoic Acid: if our insulin is out of whack on HCG we need at least 3-6 daily of one or a combination of these. Losing weight with these supplements can not only reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes but sometimes reverse it completely once your cells heal!

Adrenotone, Meta B Complex, Resist X, ThyroBalance, N Acetyl Carnitine: if our body is struggling making energy – these supplements can all help improve energy.

Bactrex; Andro NK; Andrographis; Ultra Probioplex:  boosts and supports improved immunity and sops up viral and bacteria particles that are released during the HCG process from biofilm and fat mass

NCD Zeolites; NAC; Lipoic Acid: all help support the release of heavy metals from the body: which are linked to chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, joint pain, inability to have good energy

O-Clear, Meta I-3-C; T-Clear: supports the release of toxic oestrogens or testosterones which are linked to many cancers.

Obviously we also do many testing processes that help us to know exactly what’s going on in your body:

Insulin Resistance (how well your body is coping with blood sugar issues)

Blood – looking at a drop of your blood to see signs of toxins, immune deficiencies, liver stress and gut challenges.

OligoScan – heavy metal levels and mineral levels.

Give us a call and have a chat. 3348 6098

Australia’s Healthy Weight Week 13th-19th February 2017

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

We all know that being overweight is unhealthy.  But many don’t realise the complete list of health issues that can come from being over or under weight … it’s all about how out of balance we are.  We can support everything to do with weight loss or weight gain – how long it takes depends on how out of balance we are!

For example, here’s a few crucial ideas and concepts:

  • Healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) is 20-24.99
  • Overweight BMI is 25-29.99
  • Obese BMI is 30-39.99.     (This is 20% more than highest optimal weight)
  • Morbidly Obese BMI is over 40
  • And yes, footballers and weight lifters are an obvious group who we would look at the VLA carefully, as they’re huge but not obese!
  • SUCKED IN your abdomen should be less than 32.5 inches / 82.55 cm for women OR 34.5 inches / 87.6 cm for men

 

Our VLA BioImpedance Screening shows us where your body is sitting.  But there’s more to it than that (what a surprise!!)  You can be a ‘healthy overweight person’ if your fat cells aren’t toxic and if your muscles aren’t marbled with fat.  But once the body is inflamed, it eats away at the muscle mass and creates fat tissue.  We would recommend our VLA BioImpedance Screening; Insulin Resistance Testing; and OligoScan to check this out.

Sarcopoenic Obesity:

This is where we are ‘skinny fat’.  Not enough muscle, too much fat.  It adds to how ‘out of balance’ we are.  You know you see young girls these days who have pale, marbled skin (as opposed to muscley).  They often (according to VLA BioImpedance Screening) are the correct weight and BMI but coming to us for low energy, poor immunity, inability to concentrate, cranky and hormonal!!  Well, problems associated with Sarcopoenic Obesity are:

  • less muscle mass, therefore less ATP (energy molecules).  The less muscle mass, the less cellular energy being created.
  • poor hormonal balance – we need a combination of protein (muscle); fats and nutrients to make hormones:  the body can eat away muscle mass to create hormones if our diet is deficient
  • hard to diagnose or recognise (if you don’t know a practitioner with a VLA!) since these people are often healthy weight.
  • we can also be obese (more than 20% of optimal weight) and have a huge deficit of muscle mass
  • if the COMBINATION of excess fat PLUS how much muscle you need to gain, adds up to 20% of your weight – you get the same health issues as being obese.

Obesity – 20% more than highest healthy weight

  • historically our bodies gain fat to keep us alive
  • therefore, it’s linked to survival
  • therefore, it’s linked to an overactive adrenal system; a slowed down thyroid system, poor liver and digestive function, inability to store fluid in the cells.  It gets to the point where even when life is good, the stress hormones being released (all the time) make it harder and harder to feel happy and optimistic.
  • abdominal/visceral fat particularly is linked to releasing AT LEAST 32 inflammatory hormones at all times!
  • abdominal fat constantly releases fatty acids into the bloodstream which overloads the liver and small intestines
  • these fatty acids make our body more acidic; are linked to mineral deficiencies; leaky gut and poor immunity
  • obesity increases the risk of all disease including heart disease; cancer; diabetes; dementia and stress
  • obesity is linked to anxiety, chronic illness, stress and insomnia
  • losing just 5-7 kg increases fertility by 10-20%

Talk to us about weight balance and what we can do:

  • Foundations of Health Naturopathic Programme to support weight loss/gain; detoxification; improvement of chronic disease
  • Fat Loss Programme / Fat Loss Testing Bundle
  • Kinesiology and Acupuncture for stress; sabotage and motivation
  • HCG Weight Loss Programme
  • Shake It Weight Loss Programme
  • Foundations of Health Testing Bundle

Initial Special offers:

  • Ask about our VLA BioImpedance / Insulin Resistance Testing Bundles
  • Ask about our OligoScan / Consult Combination specials (heavy metals and mineral levels)
  • Ask about us looking at a drop of your blood / consult combo
  • Ask about our special offers for your initial kinesiology or acupuncture or massage sessions…

take care,

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098
0417 643 849
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au
www.newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

 

 

Side effects of Statins/Synthetic hormones/ Bisphosphonates / Proton Pump Inhibitors!

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Great article by Dr Christine Northrup about drugs she wouldn’t take.  I pretty much read through this and agree with every word!

Call us on 3348 6098 if you’d like support for side-effects with your medications…

 

In Western Medicine, drugs are created to treat symptoms as opposed to the root cause of the condition. If you only suppress your symptoms, instead of also addressing the cause, your body will often protest by developing so-called “side effects” to medication—or even by developing another dis-ease. This is how our bodies talk to us.

But, there is nothing “side” about these effects—they are the direct result of the drugs.

Many of the most popular drugs being prescribed for millions have significant side effects that just don’t outweigh the risks. There are three four drugs, which are frequently prescribed to women, that fall into this category—and which I personally would not take.

Statins for Heart Health

Statin drugs are prescribed to lower cholesterol. And the myth is that lowering cholesterol is the key to preventing heart disease. But the latest research has shown that things are far more complex than that. The truth is that statins deplete the body’s CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10)—a vital nutrient for producing energy in the cells.Of all the organs, the heart requires the most energy and CoQ10 to function properly. So why take a medication for heart health that depletes a vital nutrient shown to support the heart—as well as every cell in your body?

Low levels of CoQ10 have also been linked to depression and dementia, as well as muscle weakness, fatigue, pain, and nerve damage—all of which are also known side effects of statins.And because your body makes less CoQ10 as you age, taking any medication that lowers CoQ10 is not advisable. Further, fat—and fat in the form of cholesterol—has been vilified as the enemy of a health heart. Actually, sugar is the real culprit, not fat, because sugar causes inflammation. And this inflammation taxes the cardiovascular system and the entire body.

If you want to protect your heart, start by reducing inflammation. This means a healthy diet and supplements that are high in antioxidants. Taking vitamin E has been shown to keep blood platelets slippery (so fewer blood clots) and reduce inflammation.3

Heart health also has an emotional component. If you want to truly heal your heart—or protect it at midlife—you need courage to look closely at any source of emotional pain, and then heal this brokenness with compassion, faith in the Divine, and emotional release. You were meant to have an open heart—to give and receive love, and to live joyfully.

Bisphosphonates for Bone Loss

Your body is constantly renewing itself. Older or damaged cells are eliminated by the body, so that newer, healthier cells can take their place. Your bones go through this cycle, too. If you have decreased bone mass, that means that your body is breaking down bone faster than it is creating new bone.

The most popular treatment for lower bone density is a biphosphonate, such as Actonel, Boniva, or Fosomax. These medications prevent bone breakdown and therefore bone loss. Although this sounds like a good idea, these drugs interfere with the natural cycle of breakdown and restoration.4 The result is older, porous, brittle bone—and brittle bone means an increased likelihood of fractures.5

Bisphosphonates have significant side effects, too, including back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and constipation.6 And some women have suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw—death of bone tissue—a condition that is not treatable7 We’re also seeing atypical fractures of the femur that don’t heal! All because of dense bone that doesn’t remodel and allow in a good blood supply. Many dentists are also seeing an increasing need for root canal surgery because of these drugs.

About 50 percent of women prescribed a biphosphonate will stop treatment because of these side effects.

Even with these side effects, bisphosphonates may offer some benefit for women over 70 who already have osteoporosis. But I want you to protect your bones much earlier than that! And that means promoting bone health naturally.

Be sure to get plenty of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. (Studies suggest that to keep your vitamin D levels in the optimal range requires 5,000 IU/day!)

I also suggest eating an alkaline diet, getting plenty of weight-bearing exercise, and considering bioidentical hormones or plant hormones (phytoestrogens) that have estrogenic effects.

Premarin, Prempro, and All Other Synthetic Hormones

I’ve been talking about bioidentical hormones for nearly three decades. And it still surprises me when women — and doctors — don’t know the difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic ones.

Bioidentical hormones are created to be an exact match in molecular structure to a woman’s body. That is what makes them “bioidentical.”

In contrast, non-bioidentical (synthetic) estrogen, such as the estrogen in Premarin, is bioidentical only if your native food is hay. That’s because it is made from the urine of pregnant horses. Hence the name Pre (pregnant) Mar (mares) in (urine).

Progestin is a synthetic form of progesterone that is derived from bioidentical progesterone. The reason for this is that you can’t patent a bioidentical hormone that naturally occurs in nature. And so—to make progesterone marketable—it was changed into a compound not native to the female human body.

For about two decades, Premarin (just estrogen) and Prempro (Premarin plus Provera, a synthetic form of progesterone) were the gold standard for many doctors. And the one-pill-fits-all-women approach was the only option women were given. Then, in 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative Studies showed that women who supplemented with synthetic estrogen or Progestin had more incidences of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, and blood clots than those who were given a placebo. Once thought to confer heart health and other benefits, women suddenly became wary of these drugs. 9

The best approach for hormone therapy is one that is unique to you. Women can have their levels of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, and other hormones tested. Or simply pay attention to how you feel — which I find is a far more accurate way to assess hormone balance than testing your levels. The results (and how you feel) allow you and your doctor to customize a treatment plan that is right for you.

Start with the lowest dose possible and see how you do.

Better yet, change your diet to a low sugar, organic food approach. Add a natural herbal remedy such as Pueraria mirifica, maca, black cohosh, ground golden flaxseed, or chasteberry. And if that doesn’t work, then try the bioidenticals.

Remember that hormone therapy can take a few trials and errors. It’s a work in progress — just like you are at menopause.

You aren’t destined to wind up on various preventative medications. My mom is in her late 80s and she isn’t on any medication! Neither is my doctor friend Gladys who likes to say “93 and prescription free.” Before you take any medications regularly, make sure you are informed about all the risks and benefits. Does the drug cause nutritional deficiencies? Are you increasing your risk of cancer or heart disease? If so, seek out some alternatives that won’t put your health at risk.

One More Drug I Won’t Take — Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid

It is estimated that over 15 million Americans use proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, to treat heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or peptic ulcers. PPIs, including Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, are often prescribed as a first line of treatment because they reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces.

PPIs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world – and some of the most dangerous because most people have no idea how many vital roles stomach acid plays in our bodies. And the Catch-22 of these drugs is that when you stop taking them, the amount of acid your stomach releases surges, causing your symptoms to worsen.

Here’s why I won’t take PPIs:

  1. Increases Your Risk of Bacterial Overgrowth. Your stomach acid is what keeps harmful bacteria, such as H Pylori and many others, in check.
  2. Impairs Your Ability to Absorb Nutrients. You need stomach acid to absorb nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin B12, from food.
  3. Causes Magnesium Deficiency. With a calcium imbalance, some people experience magnesium deficiency along with leg cramps, and muscle weakness.
  4. Puts You at Risk for Osteoporosis. Some studies show that long-term PPI use can put you at risk for osteoporosis.
  5. Weakens Your Immune System. Your bowel wall contains nearly two-thirds of your body’s immune defenses. You need a healthy bowel with enough acid to keep harmful microorganism and toxins from reaching other organs in your body. If you constantly take PPIs, you are changing the ecology of your gut. This can ultimately affect your immunity, putting you at risk for diseases such as cancer and dementia.

My Tips for Eliminating Heartburn, GERD and Other Acid-related Problems

Making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, and eliminating food triggers, can go a long way towards healing acid-related problems.

Here are my 5 tips:

  1. Try an Elimination diet. Food triggers – such as gluten, corn, soy and others –may be the cause of your discomfort. Try eliminating suspected food triggers, as well as alcohol and caffeine, for 30 days.  Be sure to eliminate all forms of sugar! Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and high-quality protein sources. Also be sure to drink lots of fresh water. Add foods back one at a time to determine if a suspected food is the cause of your problem.
  2. Take a Hydrochloric Acid Supplement. Most acid-related symptoms are caused by too little acid, not too much. Try adding a hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplement. You can get these in health food stores. You can also try digestive enzymes. Look for a ph-balanced full spectrum formula such as Wobenzym. Finally, try adding a good-quality sea salt.
  3. Add a Probiotic. Probiotics can help restore your gut if you have been taking PPIs. Once your gut is restored, it will be able to destroy harmful bacteria, such as H Pylori.
  4. Get Off the Antacids: I also do not recommend long term use of antacids such as TUMS, Mylanta or Pepto–Bismol or H2 receptor blockers, such as Zantac, Pepcid, and Tagamet! If you need to take one, make sure it does not contain aluminium as these can cause constipation, and may reduce phosphate levels, which can result in fatigue and loss of appetite (not to mention that aluminium consumption may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.) Some antacids contain magnesium hydroxide, which can cause diarrhoea. Antacids made from calcium carbonate (like Tums) can cause acid rebound over time and may also contribute to kidney problems.
  5. Listen to Your Gut. Your gut health and your emotions so closely linked. Listen and learn what your gut is trying to tell you. Butterflies or nausea are often your inner wisdom speaking to you. Keep a journal of your symptoms to help you determine what factors may be associated with your symptoms. And remember, while no drug is 100 percent safe, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take one if you need it. But you should continually weigh the risks and benefits.

So, at New Leaf we can help with all this and more!

3348 6098

Avoid these ingredients when you’re buying processed foods!

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

We know that processed foods aren’t optimal these days – but did you know they can be harming your health long term?  Here’s just a few ingredients that can cause long-term health issues…  such as immune issues, ADHD, behavioural issues, mitochondrial dysfunction and chronic fatigue.

3 tips for eating well:  1.  Eat organic  2.  Eat fresh  3.  Cut out sugar.

1 – Sodium Benzoate
Sodium benzoate is added to food to prevent the growth of pathogenic microbes, like fungi. A recent study published in 2015 revealed that sodium benzoate caused mutation and cytotoxicity through the formation of micronuclei and chromosome breaks – both characteristics found in cancer cells.  Another study in 2014 linked the intake of sodium benzoate-containing beverages to ADHD-like symptoms in college students.

2 – BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
BHA is used to prevent oils and fats from going rancid and is added to butters and chips. Similar to the results of the sodium benzoate study in 2015, a 2013 study revealed both cytotoxic and DNA fragmentation properties of BHA when used on human cells.  BHA also potentiates the harmful effects of propylparaben, a preservative found in most cosmetics.

3 – MSG (Monosodium glutamate)
Not only is MSG a preservative found in chips and other snacks, it is also used in cooking to enhance the flavor of certain dishes. While the FDA declares MSG as safe to consume, many others disagree and a recent study in 2013 revealed contraindicating results. The study revealed that MSG could cause kidney damage through the formation of kidney stones, along with increasing the levels of serum creatinine.

4 – Artificial Sweeteners
Although artificial sweeteners like aspartame are popular among diabetics and people watching their weight, a 2014 study revealed how people who regularly used AS experienced a sharp spike in glucose levels followed by a lengthy decline after consuming sugary food – a characteristic found in diabetes or other metabolic disorders. The study found out the AS altered the body’s gut bacteria, increasing the number of gut bacteria that fed on AS and have been linked with obesity.

5 – Potassium Bromate
Widely used in bread products, potassium bromate has been linked to tumor formation in the kidneys, abdomen, and thyroid, which is why it is banned in certain places like Canada and Europe.  A more recent study revealed that potassium bromate caused damage and oxidative stress in human red blood cells, causing the cells to lyse or break – which can contribute to numerous immunity disorders and cancers.

6 – High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup found in most carbonated beverages has been linked to a variety of conditions like diabetes, liver disease, and obesity.  Not only is soda a source of empty calories, it can cause diseases as well.

7 – Artificial Coloring (blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5, and yellow 6)
There have been many studies on artificial food coloring and its effects on children, particularly their behavior. Studies in 2009 and 2012 reveal that AFC has effects on hyperactivity in children, as well as links to ADHD.

8 – Acrylamide
Acrylamide isn’t an “ingredient”, per se, but it can be found in certain food products (e.g. French fries, coffee, breakfast cereal) after going through high-heat processing. It also happens to be classified as a probable human carcinogen by the IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Two studies in 2011 focused on the carcinogenic effects of acrylamide, linking it to prostate cancer and cytotoxicity, a condition that causes cancer.

9 – Sodium Nitrite
Sodium nitrite is popularly used as a preservative in the food industry to prevent the growth of bacteria, prolonging the shelf life of the food product. While it is regarded as safe in small amounts, research has proven that SNT is not completely excreted by the body. About 60 percent remains circulating in the blood, forming nitrogen compounds that damage tissue and cause various diseases.

10 – BPA
It’s not exactly an ingredient… but it sure can end up in your food: Bisphenol A or BPA is used to line the inside of cans used to contain food. While certain canned goods that don’t use other preservatives on this list, the cans themselves can cause food to be contaminated with BPA. BPA is known as an EDC – or endocrine disrupting chemical. Intake of BPA in high doses can cause the body’s hormones to go haywire, which science has indicated can cause obesity and diabetes.  Note that the new “replacement” – BPS – which is sometimes found in products marked “BPA free” may also have problems. In short, you are better off with fresh foods if possible.

Looking After Others Means Looking After Yourself

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

One of the challenging things in life is when we start to get older and family or close friends start to receive diagnosis of their health. Yes, I’m talking cancer in the family. It’s one of the most challenging things one goes through when loved ones start to show symptoms, go through treatment with drastic side effects and with the looming query of: what’s going to happen next?

The overwhelming sense that one can’t really do much, the underwhelm of not being able to do much except comfort the person which is really hard to do when we’re rundown, exhausted, worried and busy with normal life. So what can we do apart from cook dinners?

You can look after yourself. Yes, it is one of the best things you can do as a support person to someone and don’t feel guilty about good health! When you’re rocking the sense of wellbeing:

  • it is a natural pick-me-up for others
  • you have more energy to do support jobs i.e. driving to appointments, cooking and preparing food, changing bed sheets, helping shower
  • it’s easier to maintain positive, non-judgemental and a calming vibe
  • you become more emotionally resilient
  • and are more able to enjoy more moments along the way

Let’s break it down:

Maintaining a sense of personal balance and wellbeing actually means:

  • maintaining good sleep wherever possible. Sleep is necessary for the body to replenish stores and do minor repairs around the body from the day.
  • Maintaining a balance of hormones. Why is this so important? Hormones are the bodies messengers to tell parts of the body to do things. Yes, reproduction is a result from hormones but they also have a great effect on keeping us calm, awake, good focus, active with energy and even sleep when it’s bed time. If one is over used then it’s eventually like a game of domino’s, but not quite as fun.
  • Maintaining good energy means everything becomes easier! Doom and gloom isn’t an overbearing sense but more a sense of acceptance and you are more likely to make more good moments.
  • Having good energy means eating good food and often. Food is our fuel therefore there is some truth to “You are what you eat”. Good energy means having enough energy to make breakfast lunch and dinner for yourself and whoever else you need to. When we’re busy, stressed and overwhelmed one of the first things to go out the window is dinner and/or breakfast. This is effectively not putting good fuel in the engine and expecting it to do a Formula 1 race every day. The maths just doesn’t add up, does it? Preparing good nutritious food is paramount and may take a bit of organising but should be a priority on your to-do list.
  • Taking care of any aches, pains and health issues of your own so when you’re with your loved one you can be as present and focussed with them as possible.

So we’ve talked benefits, now the big question is: how?

I’m a Naturopath and Kinesiologist so I’m going to say naturopathy and kinesiology works wonders! So I will go through some benefits however if your thing is massage do that. And do it regularly!

I love naturopathy as essentially it’s utilising herbs, nutrients, food as medicine, flower essences and even appropriate homeopathics to support and maintain wellbeing. For example often stress and energy are big ones that need support as they can unwind everything else. There are some fantastic herbs called adaptogens that help support energy levels whilst calming the nerves. Herbs can cater specifically for your personal health requirements whether it be stress, energy, pain and inflammation or digestion. They can make day to day life easier!

Whereas Kinesiology can essential give an indication of where the stress is affecting your body, how to balance it and what herbs, nutrients, foods or other remedies are the priority to maintain wellbeing and balance J

Other fantastic modalities that can be used alongside or instead of are:

  • Massage – If you have aches and pains and respond well to massage book one in regularly. A one off is nice, but an ongoing weekly or fortnightly massage works wonders for stress and energy management long term.
  • Reflexology – via pressure points on the feet this modality also works on rebalancing energy systems (and organs). Plus you get to lie down for one hour and totally relax into an amazing foot rub!
  • Chi Nei Tsang – this is a particular massage style for your belly. It is really good for digestion as when we are stressed, busy and tired our digestion often takes the brunt of it all and starts to not work as well. And what does digestion do? It processes our fuel (i.e. food) so we can use it efficiently. Therefore digestion is really important.

Some people like to mix it up, that is naturopathy/kinesiology every three weeks to keep on top of things and in between a massage, reflexology or chi nei tsang. It’s whatever works for you!