Men are far more likely to develop cancer by the age of 75 than women, are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and live on average 4.5 years less. While attitudes towards men’s health have come a long way there is still a gap which needs to be closed, writes naturopath Tania Flack.Read More
While most women may have one or two cycles that go astray in their lifetime, some women have prolonged periods without a menstrual cycle at all and this is known as amenorrhoea. There are a number of reasons this happens.
Primary amenorrhoea is when menstruation has not happened by the age of 16 whilst secondary amenorrhoea can be caused by a number of reasons, including hormonal imbalances, poor nutrition, prolonged physical or emotional stress, over exercise, low body weight, autoimmunity and polycystic ovaries amongst others.
Naturopaths will always assess any underlying causes of amenorrhoea including diet and lifestyle, medications, past history and weight changes. We also utilise a full standard pathology and integrative testing to investigate the underlying cause.
Herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years to support the hormonal health of women. Using liquid herbs in clinic we are able to individualise herbal medicine tinctures that can address several causative factors in one formula.
The type of herbs used in the treatment of amenorrhoea are aimed at rebalancing the hormones, promote ovulation and support healthy hormone metabolism. Other herbs called ‘emmenogogues’ are used, specifically, to provoke menstruation. They can vary in strength but some of the herbs that we like to use are:
- Angelica Sinensis – also known as Dong Quai, used in Chinese medicine to enrich and promote blood flow. This herb can also help with menstrual cramps;
- Shatavari – a beautiful herb that has great affinity to the female reproductive system and will help to balance out our hormones as well as supporting fertility and the nervous system;
- Chamomile – perhaps a surprising herb to find in this category but chamomile has a long history of being used to promote menstruation and to promote childbirth.
In clinic, we have many tools to regulate and support hormonal balance. If you are experiencing amenorrhoea come into clinic and let us help you regulate your cycle.
If you ever feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed … you’re not alone. Sadly it has become the norm in today’s society and many people are struggling in silence. But you do not have to.
Diet plays a big role in managing anxiety, and some key nutritional deficiencies to watch out for are:
- Magnesium. Many people are deficient in magnesium, and we actually use more of it in times of stress. Signs of magnesium deficiency are body twitches, cramps, and fatigue. Magnesium can be found in leafy greens, almonds, black beans, and avocado.
- Zinc. This is an absolutely essential mineral for mental health. Signs of zinc deficiency are low appetite and decreased immunity. Zinc can be found in oysters, meat, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin B6. This vitamin is supportive of the nervous system. Signs of deficiency are tiredness and low energy. Vitamin B6 is found in fish, eggs, spinach, avocado and sweet potato.
- Omega 3. These healthy fats are essential for the functioning of our brain and nervous system. Signs of deficiency include dry skin, insomnia, and poor concentration. Omega 3 is found in fish, nuts and seeds, and plant oils such as flaxseed oil.
It’s also important to remember that coffee, alcohol and sugar are all big contributors to anxiety, so these should be minimised.
Remember, be kind to yourself today.
Thinking of having a baby?
Did you know that it takes an average of 72-76 days for a sperm to develop and mature ready for baby making?
Similarly, while a women is born with her eggs, these undergo a maturation process 3-4 months before ovulation.
This means at least 100 days is recommended to complete preconception, a process where you can positively influence the health and outcome of you baby.
Three important areas to address in preconceptions are:
- Addressing nutrient deficiencies, such as iron, Vitamin D, iodine and folate. Bear in mind iodine should only be taken under the care of a practitioner.
- Building healthy eating habits that you can continue during pregnancy, including plenty of veg, lean proteins, healthy fats, whole carbohydrates, and adequate hydration.
- Correcting digestive health, as your microbiome will be passed along to your baby, for better or worse.
By addressing these three areas you’ll help give your baby the best start in life.
We all love the Christmas holidays as it brings family, friends and fun together, but this also means an excess of fatty food and alcohol — the two worst things for your liver.
Here are a few tips that will help you support your liver this Christmas and New Year:
- Take a good B-vitamin complex – not only will it aid your energy levels over the festive season, it will also help metabolise any alcohol;
- Herbs such as St Mary’s Thistle, Dandelion root and Schisandra can all help protect and detox your liver;
- Cruciferous vegetables are great for your liver. Up your intake of fresh rocket leaf and nibble on a radish;
- Festive blueberries and cranberries are also a great support for your liver. They contain anthocyanins – potent antioxidants which also lend the fruits their vivid colour – which help protect and restore your liver’s cells to enhance liver function;
- This one may seem obvious, but use alcohol responsibly and keep to a balanced diet.
If you need any help supporting your liver over this period, come in and see us at the clinic: there are many ways we can support.
Some of us also panic a little when heading into the festive season at the thought of potential weight gain. Research studies indicate that we can put on up 6 kilograms during this period! The aim during the holidays and party season is to maintain weight while also having a little fun.
Here are some tips for staying on track this Christmas:
- Keep moving and exercising despite your busy calendar – go for a walk, take a run, or exercise at home;
- Eat your veggies – just make sure half of your plate is filled with vegetables and salad. These are low in calories, high in nutrients and full of fibre to keep your digestion moving;
- Stay hydrated – keep up your fluid intake and have a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks;
- Chew your food thoroughly – we should be chewing each mouthful up to 26 times and will slow down the amount we eat;
- Enjoy a rest! You’ve worked hard all year and now it’s time to enjoy some time to yourself.
You still have time to join our 21-day practitioner-supported weight loss challenge which focuses on real wholesome food, healthy lifestyle advice and sleep and stress management techniques, and includes recipes, shopping lists, meal plan suggestions, and tips to help you stay on track.
Find out more details here or call at the clinic.
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