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BOOSTING IMMUNITY

It’s that time of year again… cold and flu season. What we eat, drink and think has a dramatic effect on our immune system and general health and wellbeing. Here are my top tips for preventing colds and flus…

GESTATIONAL DIABETES

Gestational diabetes is diabetes which occurs during pregnancy (gestation). Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed between weeks 24-28 by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). It causes elevated levels of blood sugar/glucose levels which can affect the pregnancy, the health of the mother and the health of the baby.

THE VAGUS NERVE

The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and is the longest nerve in the body. It is the nerve that connects the brain to the digestive system and vice versa. The gut-brain axis is controlled by the vagus nerve. Activation of the vagus nerve can be beneficial in treating both digestive disorders and supporting…

MALE FERTILITY

It is estimated that up to 50% of infertility is due to male factors. That’s right, there are plenty of women undergoing IVF when the issue preventing conception is not to do with them, but is to do with the male partner involved. Compromised sperm.

THE HORMONES AFFECTING ACNE

We have all heard of hormonal acne but which hormones exactly are the culprits? Let me introduce you to a class of hormones called androgens.

COMING OFF THE PILL (WITHOUT CAUSING ACNE)

When we cease taking the pill there can be a flare up of androgens, which are male-type hormones such as testosterone. When coming off the pill we want to lower our production of androgens as this is what can cause post-pill acne.

GUT HEALING FOODS

As a naturopath and nutritionist, I’m often asked which foods are helpful to “heal the gut”. In chronic digestive conditions, the best advice is to seek 1:1 advice from a professional as what you need will differ from what someone else needs. Testing is always helpful. However for the general population who are looking to…

HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV)

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the reason women undergo pap smears or smear testing. HPV is a common virus which can reside in the cervix, and if it stays there for long enough, can result in cervical cell changes (CIN) and eventually can result in cervical cancer.

METHYLATION, HORMONES + MOOD

Methylation is a process which you may or may not have heard about. It is the act of donating a methyl group from one compound to another compound, altering the chemical structure and changing it into something else. This process is happening in all of our bodies, all of the time.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BLOOD TESTS

Have you been to your GP with symptoms of exhaustion, anxiety, depression, irregular or painful periods, or just not quite feeling right… had blood tests taken, think that you are going to finally get some answers, only to have the results come back and be told you’re fine? Even though you feel so far from…

GUT BACTERIA 101

Gut health has become a hot topic in recent years. Gut bacteria, probiotics and prebiotics are all the rage and there are many many products which have entered the market, promising good digestion, glowing skin and optimal health. But what exactly is gut bacteria?

DEPRESSION: LOW SEROTONIN MAY NOT BE THE CAUSE

If a deficiency of serotonin is not causing the problem, then what is? Many physicians have been asking this question for a long while, and there is actually plenty of research that answers this question. The problem is that, until now, this research had not made it to mainstream media, and so remained largely unacknowledged…

VITAMIN C ICE LOLLIES

Sometimes getting supplements in can be tricky, and you need to get creative. I have many a trick up my sleeve for sneaking supplements and medicines into little ones, or to hide the taste and texture from even the fussiest of adults.

HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD YOUR THYROID IS “FINE”?

Have you presented to your GP feeling exhausted, gaining weight, constipated, depressed, with cold hands and feet, hair loss, dry skin, and just feeling generally not great? The doctor may have run some blood tests, and tested your thyroid… and more often than not, told you that it’s “fine”. Your thyroid probably hasn’t been tested…

HOW TO HEAL YOUR ANXIETY

A cumulation of everything that I want everybody to know about anxiety, to empower them and direct them to a path of a calmer life so that they can live their life to the fullest. Everything you need to know about anxiety: hormones, gut health, nutrition, testing and everything in between!

ENDOCRINE (HORMONE) DISRUPTING CHEMICALS

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s) are a class of chemicals that mimic, block or interfere with our hormones, such as oestrogen. They can lead to hormone imbalances, infertility, miscarriages, preterm birth, low birth weight, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), sperm abnormalities and breast cancers.

DRY BODY BRUSHING

The lymphatic system is a complex network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to remove waste from organs. Lymph fluid contains white blood cells and is thus an integral part of the immune system. When the lymphatic system becomes congested we can present with symptoms such as cellulite, puffiness, water retention, weight gain,…

ADAPTOGENS FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT

Adaptogens are a class of herbal medicine which help the body deal with stress. Adaptogens have been used in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for centuries to promote health, wellbeing and longevity.

IMMUNE TEA RECIPE

This blend of herbs has traditionally been used by naturopaths and herbalists to support a fever and help the body fight off infection. It contains herbal medicines which are suitable for all ages.

SUPPORTING YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

In today’s time we are unfortunately surrounded by stress – work, family, city living, health, money, pandemics – the list goes on. Stress negatively impacts almost every biochemical pathway in our bodies and contributes to anxiety, poor sleep, low immunity, digestive disturbances, infertility and so much more.

5 FOODS TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION

Research shows that inflammation is a key mediator in the development of cardiovascular disease, obesity, autoimmune conditions, depression, chronic pain, dementia and many other health conditions that we are seeing on the rise in today’s times. This is partly due to the food we are eating – what we eat can either increase or decrease…

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH IODINE?

Iodine is an essential mineral which is most commonly known for its involvement in thyroid hormone production. It is also critical for oestrogen metabolism, breast health, ovulation, progesterone production, pregnancy and lactation. Iodine is crucial for human health, and though we only need small amounts of it, deficiency is common.

TOP NUTRIENTS FOR MALE FERTILITY

The research is robust; men’s fertility is on the decline. Big time. Sperm counts have dropped significantly in the last few decades. Thankfully, men generate new sperm every 72-76 days. This means that unlike women, who are born with all of their eggs, men have an incredible opportunity to completely change the health of their…

ENDOMETRIOSIS

Endometriosis is a whole-body inflammatory disease, it is not just a reproductive disorder. The average time taken from the onset of symptoms to a diagnosis of endometriosis is 7-10 years. Unfortunately, this means there are many people walking around with undiagnosed endometriosis.

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH VITAMIN D?

Vitamin D in the body acts as both a vitamin and a hormone. By far the most important function of vitamin D is that it aids in absorption of calcium and phosphorus through our intestines. Adequate vitamin D levels are essential for a healthy pregnancy and levels should be screened prior to conception.

LOW LIBIDO?

A strong libido is a by-product and benefit of peak health. Your hormone health, and thus your libido, is a reflection of multiple aspects of your health, hence a lacking libido is a sign of an imbalance on either a physical, mental or emotional level.

SPERM HEALTH AND MALE FERTILITY

So often the onus of fertility and infertility is placed on women. This is an interesting narrative, as the research shows that second only to female age, male factor infertility is the most common cause of infertility. When looking at male fertility, the two most important aspects are the creation and the movement of sperm.…

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH MAGNESIUM?

Magnesium is a phenomenal mineral which is required for over 300 reactions in the body. It is involved in thyroid hormone production, oestrogen metabolism, insulin sensitivity (PCOS, weight management, diabetes), carbohydrate metabolism (sugar cravings), energy production, sleep, muscle contraction (period pain, endometriosis, blood pressure, heart health), as well as neurotransmitter production, helping to alleviate anxiety…

SEED CYCLING FOR HORMONE BALANCE

Seed cycling is believed to help balance oestrogen in the follicular (pre-ovulation) phase and progesterone in the luteal (post-ovulation) phase of the menstrual cycle. There are two phases for seed cycling: Phase 1 of seed cycling involves eating one tablespoon of raw, ground pumpkin seeds and one tablespoon of raw, ground flax seeds from day one…

HISTAMINE AND HORMONES

Histamine is an immune signalling protein, which is released by mast cells – a type of immune cell. Histamine is also a neurotransmitter, and too much of it can cause anxiety and insomnia, and block serotonin (your happy chemical) production. Thus, histamine can have a big impact on your mood. Histamine also stimulates oestrogen production.…

PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a very severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Symptoms occur in the luteal phase (the second half) of the menstrual cycle and can include anxiety, depression, panic attacks, anger and suicidal thoughts.

MANAGING MENOPAUSE

As most of us know, menopause is defined as the cessation of menstrual periods and can be diagnosed after 12 months of amenorrhoea (no menstrual periods). It is the natural state the body enters after the ovaries have stopped ovulating, due to depletion of eggs. Menopause generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 55…

OPTIMISING PRE-NATAL HEALTH

There is much that can be done to optimise your health and wellbeing prior to conceiving. Infact, there is plenty of research to show the impacts that our diets and lifestyle have on fertility outcomes – from falling pregnant, to staying pregnant, to enjoying pregnancy! Taking 4-6 months prior to attempting conception to clean up…

POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic condition which impacts the menstrual cycle. It is usually caused or driven by a number of underlying factors. Despite the name, PCOS actually has nothing to do with cysts on the ovaries. Instead, it can be characterised by an excess of male hormones, called androgens, and anovulatory cycles…

PERIOD PAIN IS NOT NORMAL

Period pain is not normal. Yep, I said it. Why on earth would pain be normal? It wouldn’t, and it isn’t. Sadly, period pain is common and is debilitating for many – debilitating enough to take strong pain killers each month, or to go on the contraceptive pill which is sold as a cure. The…

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS)

PMS is the name for a cluster of symptoms that can be experienced in the 1-2 weeks preceding a menstrual period. Symptoms can include mood swings, fatigue, bloating, food cravings, anxiety, depression, tearfulness, breast tenderness, headaches/migraines and skin blemishes. In fact, over 150 symptoms have been attributed to PMS! The root causes that drives PMS…

TOP 5 FOODS FOR FERTILITY

Healthy parents create healthy babies. The inclusion of certain nutrients can improve fertility, aid conception, support healthy foetal growth and reduce the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. There are many wonderful foods to include to support your fertility and pregnancy.

OPTIMISING YOUR THYROID HEALTH

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that sits in your throat, which releases hormones that govern many functions in the body including your metabolism. Nutrition creates the building blocks for thyroid hormones, so there

REDUCING PLASTIC FOR YOUR HEALTH

Plastics contain a number of toxins which have been shown to be alarmingly harmful to human health. Research shows that these chemicals can contribute to obesity, PCOS, infertility, some cancer and more.

NUTRITION FOR YOUR SKIN

Each person will have a unique skin presentation and health story which has got them to where they are. Individual and natural treatment is best – treat the underlying cause.

WORKPLACE WELLNESS

Given that the majority of us spend at least 1/3 of our lives at work – it is a great place to start implementing some changes when trying to increase our overall health and quality of life. Not to mention increasing workplace productivity and decreasing days of sick leave taken (employers take note!). Here are…

AVOIDING TRAVELLERS SICKNESS

I have just returned from almost two months exploring India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Avoiding traveller’s diarrhoea was really high on my priority list, probably even higher than seeing the Taj Mahal. As a naturopath and nutritionist, I have a particular interest in digestive disorders; post-travel IBS is something I have seen in my patients…

THE DIRTY DOZEN AND CLEAN FIFTEEN

Hippocrates (the Father of modern medicine – you have probably heard of the Hippocratic Oath) said ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’. Ann Wigmore much later stated that ‘Food can either be your fastest form of medicine or your slowest form of poison’.

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH ZINC?

Zinc is important for immune function, wound healing, digestion, healthy hormones, libido, brain function, sperm development, thyroid function, fertility, pregnancy, growth and development in children, healthy hair, skin and nails, and a whole lot more.

MINDFUL COFFEE CONSUMPTION

When used properly, coffee can help to keep you alert and switched on. It is a high source of antioxidants due to it’s flavonoid content, and there is research suggesting that coffee reduces the risk of colorectal and liver cancer. This is a good thing! However too much of a good thing, is generally not…

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP?

Whether it’s difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, sleeping issues are frustrating and increasingly common. Aside from the obvious fatigue and grumpiness, the repercussions of not getting enough sleep are diverse and can have detrimental effects on seemingly unrelated aspects of our lives.

SILLY SEASON SURVIVAL TIPS

The Christmas parties have well and truly begun and the frivolities are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Here are our top tips for surviving the festive season.

SPRING CLEANSE SOUP RECIPE

So… I have a confession. I work in a health food store within one of Melbourne’s largest markets. I am surrounded by fresh and organic produce – access to cheap, healthy food has never been so easy. But sometimes, when the sun is shining, I spend my lunch break sitting in the sunshine, just thinking…

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH IRON?

Iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutrient deficiency worldwide. Our bodies do not produce iron, therefore it must be obtained solely from our diet.

WHAT IS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM?

The lymphatic system is one of the most important systems in the body but possibly also the most overlooked. Your lymphatic system is a complicated network of tissues and organs that drains waste and fluid (lymph) from tissues, and one of its main functions is its role in immunity. What is it? Lymphatic vessels generally…

WHAT DOES YOUR PERIOD HAVE IN COMMON WITH YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE?

A woman’s menstrual cycle is literally so important that it is now being considered a crucial element of overall medical health assessment. A woman’s menstrual cycle is now being classified as the fifth vital sign, as put forward by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

NATURAL BEAUTY SOLUTIONS

Of course true beauty comes from within – from the thoughts you think and the food you eat. But what if I told you that your skin is your largest organ, and one of your bodies’ main channels of toxin elimination? What we put on our skin affects our health just as much as what…

WINTER WELLNESS

Our immune systems are seriously sophisticated and work very hard on the daily to keep us well. When our immune system becomes compromised, our usual defence forces let down their guards, leaving us more susceptible to the infection of pathogens and we become unwell. Utilising food as medicine has never been more appropriate than when…

THE PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE

Naturopathic medicine is governed by a set of guiding principles which define it more so than its modalities. That is, although naturopathy primarily utilises “natural medicine” i.e. herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, dietary changes and lifestyle advice, the true identity of naturopathy lies within these six principles.

REGULATING HORMONES WITH FOOD AS MEDICINE

Did you know that your diet has a PROFOUND effect on your hormones? Symptoms of hormonal imbalances include period pain, PMS, acne, weight gain, sugar cravings, moodiness and irritability, anger, depression, anxiety, facial hair growth (in females), fuzzy thinking, head hair loss, reduced libido, bloating, irregular menstrual cycles and more. First of all it is important…