Archive for the ‘Blood Sugar Balancing’ 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!

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

Why lose weight? Is the obesity epidemic REALLY a problem?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

You hear about it in the news a lot: the obesity epidemic.  Australia and the United States seem to alternate year to year with who is the most obese nation – but we’re never far from the top!

What exactly does this mean? Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Just so you can visualise: a 1.65m person becomes obese at 82kg. A BMI of 25-29 puts you in the “overweight” category. We do accurate BMI BioImpedance Screenings at New Leaf so that people know EXACTLY where they stand, but also look at fat mass, muscle mass, muscle quality and hydration – all of which can impact on your BMI and general health.

But is obesity really so bad? The resounding answer is “Yes!” In case you need convincing, here are 10 sobering reasons to lose weight:
1. Heart Disease

Excess fat, especially at your waist, raises triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels, lowers good cholesterol, increases blood pressure and damages your blood vessel system — all of which put you at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

2. Cancer

Obesity is linked to increased risk of cancers of the oesophagus, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), colon, rectum, kidney, pancreas, thyroid and gallbladder, and possibly other types of cancer as well, according to the National Cancer Institute.

3. Diabetes

The most common form of diabetes, Type 2, develops most often in middle-aged men and women who are overweight or obese — especially when those excess kilos manifest as belly fat. But adults aren’t the only ones at risk. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common among overweight and obese children and teens as well.

4. Heartburn

Norwegian researchers have found that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has increased by almost 50% in only 10 years. The reason? The rise in obesity. “Increased weight — especially abdominal obesity — increases the pressure over the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the closure mechanism between the stomach and esophagus,” explains study author Dr. Eivind Ness-Jensen, senior resident in internal medicine and gastroenterology at Levanger Hospital in Norway. “The pressure forces the sphincter to open more frequently and for longer durations, promoting reflux of acidic content from the stomach to the esophagus.”

5. Immunity and Influenza

As rates of obesity continue to rise, the number of deaths from the flu could rise too. Recent research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that obesity is associated with an impaired immune response to the influenza vaccination.

6. Depression

Obesity in women is linked to a 37% increase in major depression, and the two conditions often trigger and influence each other. Heavy women also have more frequent thoughts of suicide, according to the American Psychological Association.

7. Disability

No surprise here. Carrying around excess weight puts a lot more stress on your skeleton and limits mobility. According to the CDC, people with arthritis are more likely to be obese. What’s more, Americans over the age 50 will collectively lose the equivalent of 86 million healthy years of life due to the combination of obesity and knee arthritis, say researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. And scientists at the University of New Hampshire found that overweight and obese women had an average of 24% less leg strength and 20% slower walking speed than normal-weight study participants.

8. Gum Disease

Too much body fat can even affect your oral health, putting you at higher risk for periodontal disease, according to a recent study conducted at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry.

9. Infertility, Gestational Diabetes and Birth Defects

Heavy women experience more miscarriages and pregnancy complications (such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia) and are more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects. In addition, obesity can lower the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF). A man’s fertility suffers too: Obesity is associated with low sperm motility and altered testosterone levels.

10. Quality of Life

Chronic disease, disability, depression and other health problems all chip away at joie de vivre and longevity. According to research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, obesity significantly reduces “quality adjusted life years,” due to poor health and premature death caused by excess weight.
And if individual health woes don’t provide enough reasons to lose weight, consider the fact that obesity can have a tremendous impact on the wallet as well. According to a new study from Cornell University, obesity now accounts for almost 21% of all US health care costs, and Australia usually follows the U.S. trends.  In fact, obesity now adds more to health care costs than smoking cigarettes.
So if you’ve been ignoring those extra kilos, it’s time to open your eyes. The best reasons to lose weight are simple: long life, good physical health and emotional well-being. And a little extra financial security doesn’t hurt, either.

How to cure diabetes naturally! Did you even know you could?

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Let’s think about diabetes for a moment.  By the time diabetes is found medically, often the pancreas can no longer make insulin and drugs are given – for the rest of our lives!

Of course there are genetic reasons for diabetes – but it’s amazing how many of us, perhaps knowingly, perhaps not – cause the destruction of our own pancreatic cells.  The pancreas makes at least 8 known hormones – by the time we have diabetes, doctors tell us it’s too late.  Is this true?  Do you simply trust your doctor 100% without a second thought?

I’ve been working with the health of the pancreas since 1995 and I find that assuming the cells aren’t totally dead, they can be resurrected!  But let’s look at what happens in the 5, 10, 20 years before we’re diagnosed with diabetes…  Some combination of the following will have happened, and generally we’ll turn a blind eye if it doesn’t suit our fun times and our lifestyle…

  1. putting on weight – tummy measurements over 32.5 inches for women and over 34.5 inches for men (or our BMI is over 30) increase inflammatory hormones – which in turn lowers the amount of digestive hormones released from stomach, small intestines, pancreas, liver and gall bladder.  Losing weight is challenging if a. you don’t make up your mind to do it b. you don’t find the right weight loss process and c. you don’t have the support in the background to manage the detoxification throughout the process.  We love the keto diets; shake it programmes and HCG Rapid weight loss processes.  Sometimes you can do it with just nutritional support, but not very often…
  2. are you insulin resistant?  So you haven’t as yet shown up as having diabetes but you suspect you’re on your way (and in denial perhaps?)  Do you have any of the following symptoms that you’ve been wondering if it’s linked to a pre-diabetic condition?
    • thirsty all the time?
    • wake through the night and need water?
    • sugar cravings?  poor blood sugar?
    • need carbohydrates with every meal?
    • moody if you’ve missed a meal?
    • headaches if you miss a meal?
    • alcohol cravings?
    • poor digestion?
    • fatty liver?
    • hunger?
    • memory issues – poor memory is linked to dementia which is linked to high levels of insulin destroying the extremities (the brain)
    • fatigue?
    • blurred vision
  3. stress – stress is known to inhibit digestive hormones as well.  Do you sweep your stress under the carpet?  Or do you do anything about it?  We support stress with kinesiology, acupuncture, nutritional and herbal medications – we support lifestyle choices such as lowering alcohol levels; yoga; eating a healthy diet; stretching; exercise and pilates… What is your greatest de-stressor!!
  4. diet – there is so much misinformation out there in relation to diet and mostly doctors and dieticians support high carbohydrate diets, with plenty of servings of grain daily.  This is ludicrous given the masses of information out there about how an imbalance of carbohydrates in the diet exhaust the pancreas.  It makes me so cranky!  In order to reverse pancreatic damage you need to give it a rest!  For months!  Cut out the wheat, grains, sugars, alcohol, cereals, breads, cakes, pastries!  You can HEAL your PANCREAS!!  Eating badly is fun, but it’s still a choice to create damage in our bodies. Kinesiology can support you in finding out what foods your body is having issues with – what’s slowing down your metabolism?  Your thyroid?  Activating your adrenals?  Messing with your pancreas?
  5. pain killers – some people find one of the side effects of taking pain killing medication is that their digestive tract plays up.  As pain killers reduce inflammation (obviously what we’re after if we take them) they also accidentally shut down other inflammatory processes such as digestive functions and immune function.
  6. addictions – many of our addictions mess with our pancreas.  Alcohol.  Sugar.  2pm chocolate.  Soft drinks.  Diet soft drinks.  By ‘self-medicating’ we are often slowly poisoning our bodies (and we know it) and just keep hoping we’re going to get away with it.
  7. toxicity – toxins can bind with receptors all over the body – and inhibit the release of enzymes and hormones.  When we’ve had lots of toxicity due to chemotherapy, radiation, medications for pain, anti-biotics and vaccinations, not to mention pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods – OMG where does it end – any organ of the body that cops the overload of toxicity can suffer.

So…  What do we do about it?

  1. start working on improving your body composition.  We want the BMI below 25.
  2. are you a skinny fat person?  We can do a BioImpedance Screening and check out the fat mass; muscle mass and hydration levels – if we’re skinny fat our body can actually be acting as though our BMI is over 30.
  3. deal with your stress.  Find someone you trust and start dealing with it until it doesn’t hurt to deal with it anymore!
  4. own your diet, own your choices!   Start chatting to us about what foods will really start moving you in the direction towards health.
  5. improve the health of your body – find out which supplements you need!  Talk to us at New Leaf about what reverses your sugar cravings.
  6. improve the health of your stem cells so that you can repair your damaged cells?  Stem Cell Nutrition supports better health and wellbeing overall.   Only stem cells replace destroyed cells – of any type – in your body.   Check out these products at madonnaguy.cerule.com
  7. start finding ways of detoxifying and reducing your unneeded medications and addictions– this takes time, energy and effort – but if you’re fatigued and have symptoms, isn’t it time to give your body a chance to heal?
  8. get some testing done at New Leaf to find out WHAT you NEED…
    1. Chromium and vanadium are two ingredients of insulin.  If these are low in your body you CAN’T make insulin.  Our OligoScan will tell you this.
    2. Insulin resistance testing – this quick test lets us know if you’re on the way to diabetes.  The OligoScan will also let you know.
    3. Accurate BMI – find out if your body is highly inflamed?  Looking at your blood and doing a VLA BioImpedance Screening can let you know how inflamed your body is…
    4. Diabetes is considered an auto-immune condition – this means your body is inflamed, has immune issues and leaky gut, and oxidative stress.  Our testing will let you know where you’re sitting on this see-saw!  and for number 9…. this one’s up to you… what’s your big trigger!?
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Sugar Cravings; Sugars in foods; Why we crave sugar!!

Friday, May 26th, 2017
Good morning! Challenges with maintaining our weight throughout life are going to be constant and inevitable. Sugar is constantly in the news lately – yes, manufacturers of our food deliberately add the exact amount which makes us addicted! No wonder it’s so challenging.
Diabetes in Australia is increasing at such a rapid rate that it’s estimated that 50% of us will have dementia by the age of 50within 25years – and diabetes is a major cause.  This is ridiculous!  We’ve modified our food, DNA and genes so much these days our cells become primed to develop chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease so much earlier in our bodies than even 30 years ago.
May favourite 3 products for sugar cravings are:
1. Bactrex and Ultra Flora SB Dysbiosis – for underlying candida, fungus, bacterial infections that make us want to eat sweets (they love a sweet, acidic environment!) 3-6 daily depending on the severity and combination of the infections.
2. Gymnema tablets – known as ‘the sugar killer’ in Indian – it’s a herb which over a period of time makes our tongue need less sweet. Long-term (2 year) studies have shown pancreatic cells regnerating with gymnema use. 4-6 daily when sugar cravings are bad.
3. Resist X – definitely a favourite – contains herbs and nutrients which reduce insulin resistance (pre-diabetes); increase cellular energy and work on eating away our tummy fat. 2-6 daily depending on energy levels, tummy fat stubborness, sugar cravings.
Get your health under control today!
3348 6098

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

7 top prescribed drugs and their side effects!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

I found this article in “Prevent Disease”.   Really interesting about how the top 7 drugs work – and consequences of these drugs!  Call us on 3348 6098 to discuss your health from a different perspective!

Prescription-Drugs_healthyfoodsWe don’t have to live in a medicated world, but we certainly choose to. The crux of the matter is that we refuse to proactively think about prevention because we reactively commit to treating the symptoms of underlying health problems. This is the allopathic model. We want the quick fix so we can continue our poor lifestyle and dietary habits. It doesn’t have to be this way, but it is. We can blame doctors, the medical institutions and healthcare systems all we want, but self-responsibility is our only recourse if we are ever to surface from this mess. There are no excuses–if you’re taking one of these drugs, consult with a Natural Health Practitioner this week about phasing out your medication and phasing in these powerful natural foods and remedies.

Of the over 4 billion prescriptions written every year, the United States and Canada make up more than 80% of the world’s prescription opioids (psychoactive medications). Between 1997 and 2012 prescription opioids increased in dosage by almost 500%. Pharmaceuticals and medical errors are now a leading cause of death. Painkillers are the leading cause of accidental death.

In the last 15 years of life, people are experiencing more pain for longer periods than at any point on our historical record. If you think life expectancy has increased to the benefit of mankind, you’re not looking at the numbers.

78% of U.S. prescriptions written in 2010 were for generic drugs (both unbranded and those still sold under a brand name). The most prescribed drugs aren’t always the best selling drugs, there’s a difference.

Prescriptions for pain, cholesterol reduction, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, antacids, antipsychotics, diabetes and antibiotics make up 100% of the most prescribed drugs.

Make a commitment to yourself right now and start incorporating some of these amazing foods into your diet with no consequence of side effects. When you accept this, you will get off prescription medications for good.

Check out the top 7 most prescribed drugs and the best natural remedies to treat and prevent disease.


1. HYDROCODONE (Acetaminophen/Vicodin/Oxycontin)

Use: For Pain

Currently the single most prescribed drug in the world. More and more doctors are getting huge payouts from pharmaceutical companies to promote these hydrocodone, especially generic drugs. They make up more than 20% of the top prescribed medications.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Fox News that doctors are handing out narcotics like candy. Some doctors are giving patients prescriptions for narcotics for even minor injuries.

How it Works:
It is an orally psychoactive compound that works as a narcotic and analgesic. It is biotransformed by the liver into several metabolites. It is highly dependent on metabolism by the Cytochrome P450 pathway.

Consequences:
Respiratory depression; bradycardia; coma; seizures; cardiac arrest; liver damage; and death. Inherited genes such as the Cytochrome P450 affects metabolic pathways–some cannot process it at all, whereas a smaller percentage can get even more strength from it than usual.

Natural Foods:
Ginger, turmeric, berries, cayenne pepper, celery/celery seeds, cherries, dark green veggies, walnuts.
See: Natural Healing Remedies: 10 Foods That Fight Inflammation And Pain


2. STATINS (Generic versions of Lipitor/Zocor/Crestor)

Use: Reduction of LDL Cholesterol

Approximately 15% of the top prescribed medications are generic statins. A study published in January 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine linked statins to 48 percent increased risk for type-2 diabetes.

The are NO scientific studies ever documented which have proved through causation that lowering LDL cholesterol prevents disease. The obsessed culture of lowering cholesterol may actually be causing cancer.

How it Works:
Statins artificially lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting a critical enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver.

Consequences:
Inflammation and pathological breakdown of muscle, acute kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, interference with sex hormones and death.

Natural Foods:
Nuts, spinach, apples, turmeric, cranberries, tomatoes, green tea, fatty fish, beans, alfalfa herb, capsicum fruit, garlic, psyllium, fenugreek seeds, butcher’s broom, licorice root, hawthorn berry.
See:
New Data Shows Lycopene Reduces Heart Disease Up To 26 Percent
Two Apples a Day More Effective At Reducing Heart Disease Than Statin Medications
Top 5 Foods and Herbs To Control Cholesterol
World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease


3. LISINOPRIL (Prinivil/Zestril) AND NORVASC (Amlodipine)

Use: Reduction of High Blood Pressure

In combination, Lisinopril and Norvasc make up a whopping 23% of the top prescribed medications. This makes them the most prescribed generic medications (if combined) for cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. Individually, Lisinopril constitutes approximately 14% and Norvasc about 9%.

How it Works:
Lisinopril is typically used for the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure, and heart attacks. Norvasc is used for hypertension and angina. It accomplishes this by inhibiting the influx of calcium ions into vascular smooth muscle and cardiac muscle so it essentially interferes with the metabolism of calcium.

Consequences:
Cancer, blood disorders, development of breasts in men, impotence, depression, tachycardia, enlargement of gums, inflammation of the liver, elevated blood glucose, hepatitis, life threatening skin conditions.

Natural Foods:
Any foods high in vitamin C (chili peppers, guavas, bell peppers, thyme, parsley, dark leafy greens, broccoli), any foods high in magnesium (chocolate, green leafy vegetables, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, and black walnuts) and any foods high in potassium (mushrooms, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, oranges and dates). Coconut oil/water and CoQ10 are also very effective for lowering blood pressure.
See:
Magnesium Reduces Blood Pressure Naturally Without Side Effects
Low Salt Diets Do Not Decrease Blood Pressure, Period
Vitamin C Supplements Reduce Blood Pressure Without Side Effects Associated With Medication
Low Potassium Linked To High Blood Pressure


4. SYNTHROID (levothyroxine sodium)

Use: Hypothyroidism

A synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine, generic Synthroid makes up more than 11% of the top prescribed medications. It’s used to treat hypothyroidism. The related drug dextrothyroxine (D-thyroxine) was used in the past as a treatment for elevated cholesterol but was withdrawn due to cardiac side-effects.

How it Works:
It replaces the thyroid hormone which is naturally occurring in the thyroid gland essentially halting natural production.

Consequences:
Long-term suppression of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) causes cardiac side-effects and contributes to decreases in bone mineral density (high TSH levels are also well known to contributes to osteoporosis.) May also cause elevated blood glucose levels, heart failure, coma and adrenal insufficiency. TSH directly influences the whole process of iodine trapping and thyroid hormone production so use of synthroid directly affects how the body metabolizes iodine.

Natural Foods:
Any foods containing iodine such as seaweed, kelp, radish, parsley, fish, seafood, eggs, bananas, cranberries, strawberries, himalayan crystal salt. Also, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are essential in the production of thyroid hormones. Exercise a minimum of 20-30 minutes per day — enough to raise the heartbeat.
See:
Seaweed Extracts Can Help You Lose Weight, Mostly Body Fat
8 Critical Nutrients Lacking In More Than 70 Percent of Diets
The Number One Reason So Many Women Have Trouble Losing Weight

5. PRILOSEC (omeprazole/generic versions of nexium)

Use: Antacid

A proton pump inhibitor which constitutes just over 8% of the top prescribed medications. Omeprazole is one of the most widely prescribed drugs for reflux disease (GORD/GERD/LPR) and ulcers internationally and is available over the counter in some countries.

How it Works:
It suppresses gastric acid secretion by specific inhibition of the gastric acid ions in cells. The absorption of omeprazole takes place in the small intestine essentially turning off the switch which promotes healthy digestion of foods. Omeprazole is also completely metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system.

Consequences:
Angina, ulcers, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitations, elevated blood pressure, development of male breasts, inflammation of the pancreas, irritable colon, mucosal atrophy of the tongue, liver disease/failure, elevated blood sugar, muscle weakness, skin conditions, tinnitus, inflammation of the eyes, urinary frequency, testicular pain, anemia and blood cell disorders.

Natural Foods:
Grapefruits, probiotics, broccoli sprouts, manuka honey, mastic gum, marshmallow tea, glutamine, slippery elm, deglycyrrhized liquorice (DGL), aloe vera juice, baking soda, pickle juice.
See:
Grapefruit Heals Stomach Ulcers
Broccoli Sprouts May Prevent Gastritis, Ulcers and Stomach Cancers
Manuka Honey Reverses Antibiotic Resistance, Treats Disease


6. AZITHROMYCIN AND AMOXICILLIN

Use: Antibiotic

In combination, azithromycin and amoxicillin contribute towards a mind-blowing 17% of the top prescribed medications. Then we wonder why we have antibiotic resistance. On their own, each contributes about 8.5%. Azithromycin is one of the world’s best-selling antibiotics and derived from erythromycin. Amoxicillin is usually the drug of choice for children.

How it Works:
Inhibits the synthesis of bacterial cell walls and interfering with their protein synthesis. These drugs also inhibit the protein synthesis of good bacteria needed for immunity and proper digestion.

Consequences:
Inflammation of the liver, inflammation and destruction of the stomach lining, destruction of healthy bacterial populations, inflammation of the colon, allergic reactions, obesity, human antibiotic resistance.

Natural Foods:
Sunlight (vit D), garlic, coconut oil, turmeric, foods high in nicotinamide (vit B3) such as salmon, sardines and nuts. Also manuka honey, olive leaf extract, green tea, pau D’Arco, rose water, myrrh, grapeseed extract, golden seal, oregon grapes, oregano oil, andrographis paniculata, and probiotics.
See:
Garlic Proven 100 Times More Effective Than Antibiotics, Working In A Fraction of The Time
Before Antibiotics Ever Existed, Sunlight Was Used To Treat Diseases With Great Success
The Most Potent B Vitamin That Combats Infections Better Than Antibiotics Ever Could

7. GLUCOPHAGE (metformin)

Use: Oral anti-diabetic drug

Glucophage drugs round up the top 7 but the prescription rate of this drug is rapidly increasing. It makes up about 7% of the top prescribed medications. It is the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particular, in overweight and obese people. It also acts to indirectly lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

How it Works:
By suppressing natural glucose production by the liver, the drug activates an enzyme which plays an important role in insulin signaling, whole body energy balance, and the metabolism of glucose and fats.

Consequences:
Lactic acidosis, impaired liver/kidney function, decreasing thyroid stimulating hormone and testosterone, increased homocysteine levels, malabsorption of vitamin B12, B12 deficiency, bladder cancer, heart failure. The biggest consequence of diabetes drugs is that it causes pancreatic function to substantially decrease inhibiting several hormones and causing other imbalances which are never correctable without abstaining from the drug.

Natural Foods:
Black tea, Sunlight (vit D), potentially coffee (more research needed), turmeric, nuts, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, red grapes, steel cut oatmeal, broccoli, spinach, green beans and strawberries. 90% of all cases of diabetes can be resolved by eating foods with a low glycemic load, and pursuing both weight training and aerobic exercise.
See:
Study on Black Tea Consumption From 42 Countries Shows It Lowers Diabetes Risk
Two More Bombshells For Vitamin D: It Prevents Both Type I Diabetes and Cavities
Coffee’s Anti-Diabetes Benefit
Healthy Diet, Moderate Exercise Reduce Diabetes Risk Better Than Drugs
How Turmeric Has An Anti-Diabetic Effect On The Body

The drugs on which we spend the most money are those that are still new enough to be protected against generic competition. That’s why drugs like Abilify and Seroquel (antipsychotics), as well as Plavix (blood thinner) and Advair Diskus (asthma inhaler) don’t make the list.

Source: Prevent Disease     

Healing Hormones

Friday, June 20th, 2014

A lot of clients having been coming in lately with menstrual and hormonal imbalances. Clinically, things often tend to come in waves, but the more women I treat the more I realise how timeless and important it is that we care for our hormonal health.  A woman experiences on average, 300 to 400 menstrual cycles in her lifetime, so from that perceptive, it makes sense to make menstrual and hormonal wellness a priority if we are seeking a balanced, healthy life, whatever your health goal may be.

Ovulation and menstruation are processes in the body that connect in with our emotional life, our stress, and how we feed our bodies. It’s important that we listen to signs and symptoms, as they can be extremely useful pointers to things that are out of balance, either physically or emotionally.

The traditional medical answer to menstrual issues and contraception is synthetic hormones. Tolerability to these does vary considerably between women, depending on genetics, and often on detoxification ability.  It’s astonishing the number of women who are taking some form of synthetic hormone medication, very often from a young age, to manage (suppress) symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Sometimes coming off hormone medications (including the oral contraceptive, IUDs, or implants) can be a hard road. And it can be long.

Fortunately, there is an enormous amount of natural support available for correcting hormonal imbalances and relieving related symptoms. Herbal medicine is abundant in herbs that support women’s health. Naturopathically we also use specific nutrients for supporting hormones, and Kinesiology to reduce stress, create inner balance and get to the heart of emotional issues fuelling hormone imbalances. We also offer Chi Nei Tsang, a healing abdominal massage to relieve congestion and blockages, with which we have excellent results with menstrual pain.

The keys to treating hormone issues successfully, naturally, are;

–          Get the right prescription from an experienced practitioner. Hormone issues are complex. There are a myriad of herbs and supplements with different actions, so it is essential the right ones are chosen for your unique health picture. At New Leaf we combine decades of study with muscle testing, matching our experience and knowledge with what your body is saying.

–          Stay on track. Take your supplements and herbs, and do your best to stick to a healthy plan. It’s all worth it. It all makes a difference.

–          Trust and Patience. As Hormone issues are often long-standing, it is important to be patient with your body, and trust it is continually striving towards balance. Your body’s natural urge is towards healing. When we identify any blockages to healing, we can remove them, and your body does the rest. It can take time, but it does happen.

–          Develop inner attention. Often when symptoms come up, we immediately want to move away from them, resist them, shut them down.  If we pause for a moment, listen to our symptoms, we can create the space to ask ourselves, ‘what is it my body really needs, right now?’ The answer often comes to us. So often, it is in some way, a call for rest or self-nurture. There is no condition in the body that is not improved by increased rest and stress reduction.

Other things you can do at home:

Actually, what you do day to day can make a huge difference to your menstrual wellbeing;

–          Go on a water diet – meaning, in addition to the food you eat, drink only pure water, and plenty of it. Avoid all other drinks except for herbal teas and green tea. Within a week you can notice changes in your skin tone and hydration, energy, digestion, and concentration. Always drink water at room temperature and away from meals.  

–          Sleep in total darkness. For hormones to balance well, we need to create a natural, healthy balance of light when we are sleeping. Avoid LCD screens or TV late at night, and ensure your bedroom is dark. The exception to this is during full moon, where allowing moonlight into your room if possible is recommended, or alternatively putting on a small nightlight to mimic moonlight.

–          Eat regularly – our hormones are greatly affected by fluctuations in blood sugar. Eating healthily is one thing – we also need to eat regularly to reduce stress on the body caused by big fluctuations in our blood sugar. For many of us, this means breakfast, lunch, a small snack, and dinner. Make dinner a light meal if possible.

–          Quit sugar – Sugar can aggravate hormonal symptoms, particularly skin breakouts, PMS and general irritability. It also has a huge impact on ovarian issues such as PCOS.

–          Take space – Classic author Virginia Woolf wrote that ‘every woman needs a room of her own’. Very wise words indeed. An important part of anyone’s life is having the physical and emotional space to just ‘be’. We all need time out on a regular basis. If there isn’t a spare room to call your own in your house, alternatives could be talking a walk outside, or transforming the bathroom in the evenings with candles, music, essential oils and an Epsom salts bath.    

–          Journal – writing and reflecting can be extremely therapeutic and also quite revealing. Taking time to write down thoughts and feelings can help reveal recurrent patterns over the course of the month. Often we write off intense emotions as simply part of PMS, but often there are deeper and very real issues that then remain unaddressed. Journaling can help identify these so that they can be processed.

–          Practice Yoga – Yoga is enormously beneficial for hormonal health. By increasing circulation and calming the mind, yoga can help to reduce pain, bloating, PMS and improve energy and overall sense of wellbeing.

We are here to help!

Call us for an assessment, consultation and personalised treatment plan.

Why is Sugar, particularly Fructose, so bad for our Health?

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Sugar is driving every metabolic disorder that is killing humans:  heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, dementia.

In the 70’s when heart disease and diabetes was on the rise, we were told that fat was the villain.  Companies, governments, medical researchers all around the world jumped on this bandwagon and now ‘low fat’ products – muesli bars, yoghurts, milks, drinks, chips – were better for you – with the idea that if a food didn’t have fat in it, it couldn’t make you fat!

However, take the fat out of food and it tastes awful, so they had to replace it with something – sugar!  Eventually sugar became the essential additive.  Foods then became low in fats, high in sugar which is so much worse for our health.

Imagine these ‘health foods’:

  • 98% fat free yoghurt – you might as well is eat lollies or ice-cream!
  • Real egg mayonnaise – the low fat variety – has 6 x the sugar that the regular one has
  • low fat muesli bars – often contain 20-40% sugar
  • The Heart Society actually recommended (in the 80’s) that high fat foods be replaced by:  hard candy, gumdrops, sugar, syrup, honey, jam, jelly, marmalade – in order to ‘control the amount and kind of fat, saturated fatty acids and dietary cholesterol you eat’.  Even now, the tick of approval, seems to have nothing to do with health.

So, in the 70’s and 80’s sugar was recommended, instead of fat, to keep up healthy!

Now that 60-70% of Australia’s population are overweight and obese, it seems that the low-fat diet we’ve been following for 30 years hasn’t worked.  In naturopathic circles we’ve been working against this for decades, however that ‘tick of approval’ from the National Heart Foundation, is what so many people go by for their health.

  • Many cereals such as Cheerios & Milo Cereal have up to 30% sugar – endorsed by the National Heart Foundation
  • The National Heart Foundation claims that the tick is ‘simply to help consumers find healthier options’ – how is 30% sugar a healthier option?
  • In the U.S. there’s been a 7 x increase in sugar consumption in the past 40 years – tomato & barbeque sauces, processed foods, hamburger meats, hamburger buns  – just about anything with a ‘label’ has added sugar, or sugar alternatives such as aspartame, which are equally deadly to our health.

Since the agricultural revolution – when grains became a major part of our diet – our carbohydrate intake has slowly increased – but never more so than in the past 40 years.  This leads to a constantly high insulin levels, which messes with our metabolism, and allows us to lay down fat in our bodies.  In fact, insulin is the main hormone which causes fat deposition in the tissues.

The higher the insulin, the more likely you are to store fat.

Now, if it’s subcutaneous fat, the type that stores just in underneath the skin, that’s not so bad.  Visceral fat, however, is deposited around the gut, intestines, liver and other organs – is incredibly bad for us.  Visceral fat releases ‘pro-inflammatory hormones’ which cause inflammation elsewhere in the body:  causing diabetes and heart disease.  It is possible to be lean, and metabolically unhealthy.  Around 40% of ‘thin/normal weight’ people are metabolically unhealthy with abnormal levels of visceral fat and poor insulin metabolism.

Professor Michael Cowley, an Obesity Expert at Monash University says ‘you might as well eat sugar as many of the health foods’ available today.’

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate made of two molecules:  glucose and fructose.  This bond is cleaved in the gut, before it’s absorbed.  It’s been shown that glucose drives the fat storage just in underneath the skin, whereas fructose deposits fat around the organs, like the liver, causing fatty plaques.  When you have excess fat around the liver, it messes up fat and insulin metabolism and you end up with Insulin Resistance.  This is when the liver doesn’t work effectively, so the pancreas has to release excess insulin.

Insulin Resistance also causes hypertension, changes in the brain that might result in altered brain function, altered cognitive function and even dementia.  It can increase cell proliferation which can cause cancer, it can cause vascular smooth muscle proliferation which can cause heart disease.

Professor Robert Lustig, Paediatric Endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says that Sugar can also accelerate ageing:  if you had your fruit juice this morning, you are ageing 7 times faster!

When you ‘paint’ your BBQ meat with BBQ sauce, it browns the meat.  This ‘browning’ is happening inside your body as well.  It’s known as the ‘browning reaction’ and it causes cellular ageing.  The reason manufacturers add fructose is because is browns better, faster, quicker.  It’s why it’s added to bread (to brown the toast), sauces (to brown the meats) – it browns your insides better too!  If you had a glass of fruit juice this morning, you’re ageing 7 x quicker!

Fructose is mainly found in fruit, that’s why they call it fruit sugar.  Now, you might be thinking ‘how can it be bad for me – it’s fruit!’.  But if you had to have the entire amount of fruit that we would have used to make the juice, you would be so full you couldn’t eat the meal.  Juicing removed the fibrous pulp portion of the fruit – so you can take in a whole lot more calories without feeling as full, and it’s the fibrous pulp which balances the sugar/fructose portion of the fruit!

If you’re going to eat fruit, eat the whole fruit – because it’s the fibre that tames your insulin response to sugar.

Chronically high levels of fructose is not only toxic to your liver, it messes with the hormones that control appetite.  There’s a hormone in your stomach called ghrelin which controls your appetite – it’s the hunger hormone.  When your stomach is empty, the ghrelin goes up, tells your brain it’s time to eat.  Then you eat, and ghrelin levels go down, the hunger goes away.  When you eat sugar, fructose does not get registered by the brain as you having eaten, you stay hungry!

If you need support in finding out what you should (and shouldn’t) be eating – call us on 3348 6098 to make an appointment.  We find that many of our clients have issues with Insulin Resistance, dealing with Fructose, releasing ghrelin and so much more!

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098

 

HCG Weight Loss Linked with Better Hormonal Control, Less Stress, Less Depression and Less Anxiety!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

HCG Helps with Hormonal Control!!  Lose 10-20 kilos in 40 days!

There’s a lot of interesting information out there about HCG.  We’ve been using it clinically for 2 years with VLA Bioimpedance Analysis Screenings & Insulin Resistance Testing and find it amazing.  It works correctly for long-term weight loss when the plan is followed correctly!  We also find that higher fat mass is linked with stress hormones so unexpected benefits include less anxiety, less depression and less stress!

There are many positive impact of HCG has on all of our hormones as our weight reduces.  When our BMI is over 30 our fat mass becomes the number one hormone producing tissue in our bodies – controlling so many things:

*  Supports fertility for both men and women – losing 6+ kilos can increase chances of falling pregnant by a whopping 40%.  IVF is only successful in around 5% of cases.  The combination of weight loss and IVF definitely improves outcomes for our clients.

*  feel good hormones – that’s why weight is directly linked with anxiety, depression, stress, frustration and irritability

*  Pain & Inflammation:  when our BMI is over 30 we are constantly releasing inflammatory hormones – our body then stores fluid to dilute these hormones.  Eventually it raises our BP and this can be the first indication of inflammation.

*  Weight is also linked to immune system issues.  When our feel good hormones are down and our stress levels are high (BMI over 30 does this) then our immune system takes its cue from the hormones and starts to shut down.  Like a petulant teenager, the immune system says ‘you don’t want to be here? me neither!’

*  Blood Sugar Balancing:  we’ve found pre-diabetic/diabetic clients can come off their medication (not Type 1) after HCG.  Because fat mass controls so many hormones in the body, insulin resistance is a huge problem upsetting sleep, energy, stress levels and other hormones.  HCG often takes people back into normal cholesterol levels as well as less insulin resistance!

*  Energy Improvement:  because fat mass increases adrenalin and stress hormones, it tends to switch off/down our thyroid and energy production pathways.  As the fat mass reduces energy generally improves – especially when combined with detoxification supplements throughout the process.

Always find out what supplements will be most appropriate for you throughout the HCG process.  Phone consultations available at New Leaf.

HCG Specialists at New Leaf Natural Therapies Wynnum, Brisbane 3348 6098

 

Madonna Guy ND
Join us on Facebook:  New Leaf Natural Therapies  AND  HCG Weight Loss Support Group