On this page we will be discussing various issues. Come back soon for our latest updates.
These Blog Posts will be automatically added to our Facebook page in the near future.
On this page we will be discussing various issues. Come back soon for our latest updates.
These Blog Posts will be automatically added to our Facebook page in the near future.
About Dr Andrew Orr and Shen Therapies:
My passion is helping people, so I spent many years studying and updating my skills in order to achieve that goal. I started out as a qualified chef, then studied food science, studied medicine, got ill and through my own health journey went and studied Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Nutrition and many other health modalities. I’ve worked in hospitals in China, travelled the world learning new skills, and also learnt off some of the best mentors and practitioners in this country.
This led to the creation of “Shen Therapies”, that started out as a small family business, run from home for many years, and then expanded after receiving lots of media attention. I then did my Masters of Reproductive Medicine and Masters of Women’s Health Medicine through the faculty of medicine at UNSW.
I also set up my own Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Supplement company – “ConceptShen” during this time too. Many of you may have used these Practitioner Prescribed Only products during your treatments at Shen Therapies. They are also sold directly to other healthcare practitioners for dispensing in their clinics. They do need to be prescribed to uses them, just like many medications need a script.
It’s been a long journey, but it has all been worth it to be where I am today. Now I can integrate all my knowledge to be able to help people here in our country and around the world. The hardest thing has been getting through to people that I am actually now a Reproductive Medicine Specialist and Women’s Health Specialist (medical) and not just a complementary medicine practitioner. Acupuncture and other complementary medicine are part of what I do and not who I am. So when people see me it really isn’t the same as seeing a complementary medicine practitioner somewhere else. I actually have a specialisation that most people in the medical and complementary medicine profession just do not have and I can give a multi-modality approach that others just can give either. It’s taken a long time, lots of money and lots of study to get these qualifications and arrive at this point and the hardest part is getting people to see who I am now, not what I started out as. Two masters degrees, 3 Bachelor degrees, 1 advanced Diploma, 1 trade certificate and many other qualifications later has been years of hard work and effort and not something that many get to achieve in a lifetime so it’s time to shine and set myself apart, showcase my talents and be proud at what I have done and achieved.
Over my 20 years in this profession, I have helped over 12,000 plus babies into the world, helped countless women with gynaecological conditions, helped thousands of women through pregnancies, and helped countless numbers of people with all sorts of health issues. That is what makes it all worth it. It is such an honour to be trusted to treat so many people, and their family and friends.
Changes: 1. Rebranding: It is important for myself to keep up with growing trends and to constantly adapt the business according to my own needs, but more importantly, patient needs. After some major changes, I have decided to rebrand under my own name, “Dr Andrew Orr”. I want to get back to just being me again, and doing what I do best. I want to bring the personal back and know every person that walks through my door. While I have had some great help, with some great practitioners, I believe that in order to grow, I need to get back to the basics. Shen Therapies will still exist as my company name, but I will now just be trading as “Dr Andrew Orr”.
2. Staff Changes Over the years we have had a lot of amazing staff members come and go, joining us within both the easy and hard periods of time. It is definitely a priority to have the staff possible to make your experience at Shen Therapies a good one. Many of you will have noticed that Anthea is no longer at Shen Therapies. We do wish Anthea all the best and thank her for all her hard work and effort over the years. She has been loyal and looked after Shen Therapies patients really well. It has been hard having to let her go as part of consolidating, as she was a dedicated worker who brought something very special to the Shen Therapies team. We really do wish Anthea all the best in her own clinic and her own journey through this profession.
3. Online Platforms I have been doing lots of work outside the clinic with public speaking about Endometriosis, Gynaecology and Fertility issues, and looking at ways to streamline things to make it easier for people to access this much needed information, and also help those who have busy lives and have little time to visit Shen Therapies. In an attempt to make my services available to people all around the world at any time, I have decided to develop an online platforms for Fertility and Gynaecology issues, that will be available soon. It will be exciting to see the final product.
4. Ordering Practitioner Only Products There will also be some changes to the ordering of some practitioner only products and my staff will explain this to you when you next come in. I will also be putting this in the next newsletter too. Due to rising costs in post and transport, we can now have products delivered straight to your doorstep and cut down on wastage in the clinic too. My staff will also be calling people that haven’t been in to see us in a while, and also following up on existing patients. Just remember, regular appointments and taking your herbs and supplements are very important for your ongoing health.
Thank You! Lastly I just want to thank every one of our patients for all there support over the years and I hope to see your continued support in the future. It is always a pleasure to help each and everyone of you and I will be making sure you get the best service and treatments possible, now and into the future. We value every bit of feedback we receive, so if you have any ideas about how we can improve your experience, please let us know. I will be available most weekdays from 8:30 am and can see you after hours as well on Monday and Thursday. We will still be closed on weekends. Thanks everyone and I hope to see you all soon. If you ever have any concerns, or questions, please know my door is always open, or you can drop me a phone call, or and email too. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Regards Dr Andrew Orr
This month is Endometriosis awareness month and I have been invited to be a guest speaker for Endometriosis Australia and their endometriosis awareness campaign called “Ending the Silence.” Our aim is to bring awareness about this disease that is often overlooked. It is an issue myself as an endometriosis expert feels very passionately about. I treat women suffering from this disease every day and I hope that one day, endometriosis can be a word of the past.
Through awareness and education, let’s try and get women the early intervention and help they need sooner, rather than later.
What is Endometriosis
Endometriosis, which is an inflammatory gynaecological disease, by which endometrial like tissue grows outside the endometrium. It can spread outside the endometrium into the pelvis, bowel and intestines. It has even been known to get into the brain, joints and around the heart.This disease affects 1 in 10 women, often causing immense pain for them.
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist Guidelines for the Management of Endometriosis, it can cause the following symptoms:
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Pain with sex
Irritable bowel like symptoms
Pain with bowel movement
The disease can also cause other symptoms such as :
Bloated belly that looks pregnant around your period (known as endo belly)
Bloated belly that looks pregnant and you are told it is from certain foods, but it isn’t, or may be a combination of food and inflammation from endometriosis (also known as endo belly)
UTI like symptoms that aren’t a UTI
Bleeding from the bowel with your period
Low Iron with no explanation
Being told you have IBS, but you don’t have IBS
Migraines/Headaches that are worse around your period
Irrational mood swings
There are so many other symptoms that could also be pointers to endometriosis.
This disease can also play major havoc with hormones and the libido. Many women with can have pain on intercourse which further lessens the desire around sex.
Women with endometriosis often have painful periods and can’t get out of bed, so if you experience this, there is a good chance that you actually have it.
Women with endometriosis can also have other hormonal disturbances such as mood swings, fatigue, restlessness etc. They can also have other symptoms such as migraines, headaches, dizziness, constipation, pain with bowel movements, joint pains and all manner of symptoms created from the inflammation that endometriosis is caused by and also creates
How Many Women Suffer from Endometriosis?
Endometriosis has now reached an all time high in its ever-growing presence. While the current research says that 1 in 10 women are affected by endometriosis, as an endometriosis expert, I believe, as do many others, that these figures may be grossly under exaggerated. Research also shows that a significant portion of women affected with endometriosis are asymptomatic (no symptoms) and may only ever get diagnosed if they are having issues with having a baby, or they may never be diagnosed at all. In addition to this, many women diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome actually have endometriosis and not IBS.
Many women have also been told period pain is normal and hence many never seek help for a condition that can be debilitating on their life and those around them. Women who suffer period pain and other menstrual related symptoms caused by endometriosis are often ‘missed’ and ‘dismissed’ by multiple healthcare professionals and it can take up to 12 years from onset of symptoms to a definitive diagnosis being made. Women with period pain caused by endometriosis have to live a life of pain, trauma and physical and emotional torment. Many of these women are barely getting through a day, let alone a whole month of exhausting symptoms related to this disease. Some sadly even turn to suicide.
The Western Medicine Approach on the Causation and Treatment of Endometriosis
To date, Western medicine does not know how or even why it occurs. The only solution that has been offered in the past was to laser it. This usually has a recurrence rate of up to 80%. Recently many doctors have been treating this disease by excising (cutting it out), which offers better relief with less recurrence. I do need to stress that when a surgeon is needed, it needs to be done by an advanced trained laparoscopic surgeon, who has had extra specialised training, and is an expert in endometriosis excision and management, and is not just any gynaecologist. This is where many go wrong and haven’t had the disease treated properly.
Despite the increased success in treating endometriosis through a surgical procedure, it still usually recurs in a majority of women.
So why isn’t the medical option alone working?
Primarily it is because they are just treating the symptoms and not the cause. You can take away most physical symptoms very easily, but if the real cause isn’t addressed at the same time, you have no chance of a full recovery. This includes emotional factors. In addition, many of the hormones that women are put on after surgery, mask the problem and can actually make it worse. By actually stopping the period, like many of these hormones do, there is an increased risk of further endometriosis growing. Sure, while you have no period, you have no pain or symptoms, but internally it is still there waiting to flare up again. Oral contraceptive pills containing estrogen must be avoided as they only add to making the problem worse. Progesterone only options should be looked at rather than a combined pill, if using hormones. These treatments also have limitations that include side effects in some women and contraceptive action for women desiring to conceive.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach on the Causation & Treatment of Endometriosis
Firstly, I can only pass on what the Chinese have known and studied for 10,000 or more years, much longer than western medicine. They had the body and its internal organs mapped out longer before medical science in the west did.
In Chinese Medicine, they believe the liver governs the menstrual cycle, and that it also governs our emotions.They believe that through poor diet, lifestyle, medicines, environment etc, that these can then cause disruption to an organ in the body. Emotions such as anger, frustration, resentment, stress, irritability etc, can also cause the liver to be in disharmony. In Western Medicine terms, we know that poor diet and emotional factors can unlock predisposed hereditary issues, or dispositions through DNA recoding. Yes, diet can affect your DNA coding and so can emotional issues. Similarly we can reverse some disease states, and reprogram DNA coding through a healthy diet and fixing our emotional health.
When the liver is in disharmony, the Chinese believe it can cause blockages in our system. Western medicine now also believes that emotions can cause physical symptoms and we often see this is psychiatric, or body-mind medicine. These blockages then cause what we call stagnation. The Chinese believe that when the Qi (energy) becomes stagnant, it causes what they call Liver Qi Stagnation, and this is the cause of many gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and PMS. As the Qi stagnation is left long term, it then affects the blood and turns it stagnant too. Imagine damming a river and the longer the water sits, the more stagnant it becomes because it no longer flows. This is where the Liver Blood Stagnation comes from and what they believe endometriosis is manifested from. When we look at endometriosis, it does present as blood clotting and pain. Basically it is like a varicose vein that has all that old, stagnant blood in it. The circulation is no longer moving and the blood now turns dark and causes pain.
Chinese medicine believes that not only is diet and herbal medicine needed to move the stagnant blood and help prevent the disease coming back, it also believes that the emotional component behind it also needs to be addressed. In Chinese medicine they use lots of warming and blood thinning herbs that are also anti-coagulants, but are also anti-spasmotics. The Chinese medicine also has herbs to help the liver function and also help with emotional wellbeing.
Chinese VS Western Medicine
The only difference between Chinese Medicine and Western medicine is the treatment principles. Chinese medicine looks at treating the cause of the issue, which means the symptoms get sorted by addressing the cause. Western medicine only treats symptomatically and therefore the cause of the issue is often not treated. That huge difference is why Chinese Medicine does get such great results. But like anything, it also depends on who you see and their experience in that field. But, I must stress that both medicines are equally as important and both are needed to get the best results possible. It is about a team effort and using a multi modality approach. It is also about finding your rich team too. I will talk about this now.
Dr Andrew Orr’s Recommended Approach to Treating Endometriosis
Endometriosis has a highly variable disease state, and thus a multi-modality approach is needed to treat it. Targeting different pathways is likely to be important to move toward precision health (personalized medicine) in endometriosis. People with endometriosis need a team of people looking after them, not just one person and one approach.
For severe cases you will need to see a good advanced laparoscopic surgeon to get as much of the endometriosis cut out (not lasered). Surgery is a much needed option if the pain is severe because it helps get rid of the endometriosis that can be seen. However, it does not deal with the microscopic implants of endometriosis that can’t be seen, and this is why endometriosis is likely to occur again. This is where the Chinese Medicine can help. You then use the Chinese medicine to treat the microscopic implants of endometriosis and stop it progressing further and therefore treat the cause. This will be the primary treatment after surgery and help stop it from recurring. This can be done along side medical hormone treatments as well.
Following the correct diet can also aid this healing process. The modern Western diet consists of many foods with high GI levels, causing inflammation to the body and therefore fueling conditions such as endometriosis. There are all sorts of diets out there attesting to be the cure for endometriosis, but half are them are actually making it worse. Unless the diet is about reducing grains, high GI carbs, sugars, and increasing proteins, then it isn’t going to help endometriosis.
Lastly, see a good counsellor. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine will help both the physical & emotional side, but sometimes solution-based talk therapy is needed for the best results. I provide clients with a list of preferred gynaecologists and counsellors within my appointments with them.
To support my view on the treatment of endometriosis, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guidelines for treating endometriosis now states that Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine is a recommended therapy. A multi modality approach really can help, but for anything to work more effectively, you too, have to make a commitment.
Who I am and Why this Means so Much to Me
I am a Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health Specialist, and an Endometriosis Expert with over 20 years of experience in Women’s Health Medicine and treating and managing endometriosis. I know all too well the trials and tribulations women have to go through before someone actually listens and gives these poor women a proper diagnosis. I also have loved ones with this disease and have also lived with a chronic painful disease too. While I may not fully understand and feel what women with endometriosis actually goes through, I do know what it is like to live daily life with a painful chronic inflammatory disease that can rule your life on every level.
The one thing I do want all women to know is that “Period pain IS NOT normal” and all too often women are told that period pain is normal. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need to educate women and young girls that period pain is not normal.
I have a motto of “Leaving No Stone Left Unturned” and I apply this to every patient I see with period pain, and those potentially suffering from endometriosis. I would like to see better education and awareness for the general public, but I would also like better education and awareness for healthcare professionals. I would like to see all healthcare professional use my motto and make sure that no woman is ever missed, or is dismissed with this horrible disease ever again.
I would like to conclude with one last message “ Women need to know that period pain IS NOT normal and that early detection and early intervention and treatment is the key to treating any disease properly.”
Lets end the silence about this horrible disease. Please support Endometriosis Awareness and this month please support Endometriosis Australia with their High Teas to promote endometriosis awareness. These High Teas will be run nationally on March 25th and in every capital city and some smaller cities also. Please see the Endometriosis Australia website for details (www.endometriosisaustralia.org)
Dr Andrew Orr
The Brisbane Baby Maker, Endometriosis Expert and Women’s Health Crusader
“Leaving no Stone Unturned”
“Period Pain IS NOT normal”
Date: January 4, 2017
New studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of chronic headache, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. These new findings were published in he journal – Scientific Reports.
The researchers from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, analysed the serum vitamin D levels and occurrence of headache in approximately 2,600 men aged between 42 and 60 years. The research showed that in 68% of these men, the serum vitamin D level was below 50 nmol/l, which is generally considered the threshold for vitamin D deficiency. Those with low levels of Vitamin D were more prone to Chronic headache occurring at least on a weekly basis.
In Australia over 97% of the population are known to be Vitamin D deficient. This is because we are now staying indoors longer and sunscreens are also blocking some of the absorption on this necessary vitamin. Plus, you need to be outside in the sun at certain times of the day, for certain periods, without sunscreen on for proper absorption to occur. Our diet is another source of vitamin D and we are also lacking there.
Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to other chronic disease states and is a big part of people developing osteoporosis. Vitamin D is very much needed for healthy bones and also a healthy immune system
At Shen Therapies we can help people with all sorts of Vitamin, Mineral and Nutrient deficiencies and help you get back to optimum health in no time. We also carry a high potency Vitamin D supplement that will get your Vitamin D levels back to where they should be. We can also send you for blood tests to get your vitamin D levels checked too.
When was the last time you got your Vitamin D levels checked?
Date- January 2nd 2017
Over 70% of adults in Australia are now overweight, or obese and not only did this pose significant health impacts for this adults, but studies are now showing that the genetic mode of inheritance is now having a huge physical, psychological and developmental impact on children of these adults.
Children of obese parents may be at risk for developmental delays, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The investigators found that children of obese mothers were more likely to fail tests of fine motor skill — the ability to control movement of small muscles, such as those in the fingers and hands. Children of obese fathers were more likely to fail measures of social competence, and those born to extremely obese couples also were more likely to fail tests of problem solving ability.
The study, appearing in Pediatrics, was conducted by scientists at the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
The researchers noted that studies indicate that obesity during pregnancy may promote inflammation, which could affect the fetal brain. They also added that some studies have indicated that obesity could affect the expression of genes in sperm and this is passed on via the genetic and paternal mode of inheritance.
Because of the link between parental obesity and developmental delays being confirmed, physicians should be taking parental weight into account when screening young children for delays and early interventional services.
At Shen Therapies, lifestyle and weight management is part of our Fertility program and a major focus for the couple with their preconception care. Healthy eggs and healthy sperm come from healthy parents, which then goes on to make healthy children. I
If you need help with lifestyle, weight loss and help getting ready to have a baby, then call us at Shen Therapies today. We have helped over 12,000 plus babies into the world with our high successful Fertility Program and we can help increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy by 96.1%.
As a women’s health specialist, on a daily basis I see women who have migraines and some are related to their menstrual cycle and some aren’t. Many migraines are blamed on all sorts of things from intolerances, certain foods, alcohol, preservatives, hormones and whatever else people may think that is causing their head to pound.
I know I have successfully treated Migraines for years and it does require and individualised approach and a multi-modality approach of many things.
But there is a type of Migraine that I do see often and is easily treated with a simple supplement. I often see this is vegetarian, vegans and women whom have had prolonged, heavy menstrual bleeds. A new study has given this migraine a name and also confirmed a treatment that I have used for years.
In a paper published in the journal Headache, Anne Calhoun, MD, and Nicole Gill, DO, Carolina Headache Institute Durham, North Carolina, describe a new type of headache dubbed “end-menstrual migraine.”
Many women who have migraine toward the end of menstruation may be best treated with iron supplements, a new study suggests.
They believe that end-menstrual migraine is not hormonally mediated but rather causally related to menstrual blood loss, resulting in a brief relative anaemia with consequent migraine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this type of migraine was identified thousands of years ago and long known to scholars and doctors of TCM. It was called a blood deficient headache, or migraine, because is was often seen after a loss of blood, or those who were anaemic (blood deficient)
According to the researchers: “This is migraine which occurs at the end of the menstrual period — maybe on the last few days of bleeding or after the bleeding has stopped,” Dr Calhoun, who runs a menstrual migraine clinic, explained online. “It is not the same thing as menstrual migraine, which generally occurs on the day or two before menstruation or on the first day or two of bleeding and is known to be hormonally mediated. If migraine occurs 5 days or more after the onset of bleeding this is not classic menstrual migraine.”
The menstrual migraine is very common, is normally caused by the withdrawal of estrogen, and can be treated with hormone therapy, or naturally with hormone regulation. But, this new ‘end menstrual migraine’ is different. Women getting this type of migraine will not respond to hormone treatment, or hormone regulation. Some women have both menstrual and end-menstrual migraine. Up to 25% of women will have this type of migraine.
The best way to fix this type of Migraine is with iron supplements and iron rich foods. In Traditional Chinese Medicine they would use blood-tonifying herbs that are rich in iron.
With any type of migraine, you should always consult your healthcare practitioner to check what is causing them. Many times it can be a combination of things that require several different modalities of treatment to get the best results.
At Shen Therapies we can treat all types of Migraines and will help you get the best results possible and get your quality of life back.
Dr Andrew Orr
The key to preventing obesity in future generations is to make their parents healthier before they conceive, leading health researchers suggest.
In a series of papers, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the researchers say that the time before couples conceive represents a missed opportunity to prevent the transmission of obesity risk from one generation to the next. They argue that a new approach is needed to motivate future parents to live a healthier lifestyle.
There is now a wealth of evidence that the risk of obesity and its associated conditions, such as heart disease diabetes and some cancers, could impact the developing baby. In turn, when the child becomes a young adult they may pass the risk of obesity on to their children — it is a vicious cycle.
The nature of this problem is not adequately appreciated. Many young people, whilst appearing outwardly healthy, are nonetheless on a risky path to obesity and chronic disease and more likely to pass this risk to their children, the researchers warn. Many pregnancies are unplanned, and the special needs of adolescents and young people at this important time are not sufficiently recognised. Far from helping them to prepare and plan for pregnancy and parenthood, many public health programmes assume that their needs are similar to the general population and require no special measures or provisions.
In a comment piece accompanying the research papers, Professor Mark Hanson of the University of Southampton, says an entirely new approach is needed that engages parents-to-be and encourages them to be part of the solution.
Engaging future parents in leading healthier lives will not only promote their health later, but will give their children a healthier start to life.
Getting couples to have a healthier diet and lifestyle and manage weight is all part of the Shen Therapies Fertility program and something we have always promoted. We know that the health of the parents gets passed onto the offspring and why we are so focussed on helping a couple be the healthiest they can be. So many couples are choosing to overlook the obvious because it is all too hard. Well… so they think. A moderate weight loss of 10% body fat, or an increase for those underweight, can increase a couples chances of conception by 50%. That is huge.
This is why we have helped over 12,000 babies into the world and it is because we get the parents healthy before they try to have a baby. Healthy parents produce healthy babies.
If you started taking in more calories than usual, or increase your high GI foods, or cut back on exercise, you wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers on the scale crept higher. Just remember that scales aren’t an accurate assessment of body fat and that muscle does weigh more that fat. It is the waist size that is the true measurement we want people to focus on. We should be more worried about waist gain, rather than weight gain. But what if you’re doing everything the same as you always do, and your weight still goes up? It’s time to delve a little deeper into what else might be going on.
There are two things that can affect your when you aren’t getting enough sleep and may have an impact on weight gain. First, if you’re up late, the odds are greater that you’re doing some late-night snacking, which means more intake of foods that may not be appropriate. The other reason involves what’s going on in your body when you’re sleep-deprived. This leads to running on adrenalin and increased cortisol levels as well. Changes in hormone levels increase hunger and appetite and also make you feel not as full after eating.
When life’s demands get too intense, our bodies go into survival mode. That fight or flight response kicks in and adrenalin and Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” is secreted, which causes an increase in appetite. Cortisol also makes you store fat. And of course, we may reach for high-calorie comfort foods in times of stress as well. This combination is a perfect breeding ground for weight gain.
An unfortunate side effect from some antidepressants is weight gain. Most antidepressants will give people a weight gain of around 3kgs per year of taking them. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about making changes to your treatment plan if you think your antidepressant is causing weight gain. There are natural options that can help with depression, without all the side effects. But never stop or change your medication on your own. Realize that some people experience weight gain after beginning drug treatment simply because they’re feeling better, which leads to a better appetite. Also, depression itself can cause changes in weight.
Anti-inflammatory steroid medications like prednisone are notorious for causing weight gain. All of the fertility hormones and hormone replacement drugs are steroidal based and cause weight gain too. Fluid retention and increased appetite are the main reasons. Some people may also see a temporary change in where their body holds fat while taking steroids. Places like the face, the belly, or the back of the neck are all areas where you can see increase fluid retention. If you’ve taken steroids for more than a week, don’t stop them abruptly. That can lead to serious problems. They need to be tapered down slowly and weaned off properly. Check with your doctor first. Drugs That May Cause Weight Gain.
Several other prescription drugs are linked to weight gain. The list includes antipsychotic drugs (used to treat disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), along with medications to treat migraines, seizures, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Work with your doctor to find a medication that treats your symptoms and lessens side effects.
Combination birth control pills (estrogen and progestin) do weight gain and fluid retention. There are other contraceptive methods that do not cause weight gain and fluid retention and have lower side effect profiles. If you’re still concerned about possible weight gain, talk to your healthcare practitioner.
Thyroid issues can definitely be a big factor in weight gain. If your thyroid (the butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck) is not making enough thyroid hormone, you’re probably feeling tired, weak, and cold, and gaining weight. Without enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism slows, making weight gain more likely. Even a thyroid functioning at the lower end of the normal range might cause weight gain. Treating hypothyroidism with medication may reverse some of the weight gain.
Most women do gain some weight around the time of menopause, but hormones probably aren’t the only cause. Aging slows your metabolism, so you burn fewer calories. We need women to realise this reality, which isn’t always easy to accept. Changes in lifestyle (such as exercising less) play a role in weight and waist gain. But where you gain weight may be related to menopause, with fat accumulating around your waist more than your hips and thighs. There are ways to control this in menopause too.
Weight gain is a common symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, a condition in which you are exposed to too much of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes weight gain and other abnormalities. You can get Cushing’s syndrome if you take steroids for asthma, arthritis, or lupus. It can also happen when your adrenal glands make too much cortisol, or it could be related to a tumor. The weight gain may be most prominent around the face, neck, upper back, or waist.
PCOS is a common hormonal problem in all women of childbearing age. It is the most common gynaecological disorder in women and is becoming more prevalent due to our high GI diets and being passed on through genetic and hereditary link. Some women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries, some do not and only have the syndrome and associated symptoms. The condition leads to hormone imbalances that affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and can lead to extra body hair and acne. Women with this condition are resistant to insulin (the hormone that controls blood sugar), so it may cause weight gain. Many women with PCOS are normal, or underweight too. Women with PCOS are also at higher risk of diabetes. The weight tends to collect around the belly, putting these women at greater risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. When you quit, you may gain some weight, but perhaps less than you think. On average, people who stop smoking gain less than 10 kilograms. You should stop feeling hungrier after several weeks, which will make it easier to help lose any weight you gained.
Don’t stop taking any medications without first consulting your doctor. Recognize the importance of the drug you’re taking. It may be critical to your health. Also, something else may be causing you to gain weight. Your doctor can help you figure out what’s going on. There are also natural options that you may take also.
Don’t compare yourself to other people taking the same drug. Not all people experience the same side effects on the same drug. Even if a drug caused someone else to lose weight, the same might not be true for you. Please do not Dr Google, or take advice off anyone other than a qualified healthcare professional.
Remember that if the weight gain is just from water retention, it’s not permanent weight or fat. Once you’re done taking the drug or your condition is under control, the puffiness from fluid retention may ease. Stick to a lower GI diet in the meantime too. High GI foods such as breads, cereals, cakes, pasta, sugars etc, all make the body store fats and stop the burning of fats and cause inflammation.
Check with your healthcare practitioner about another medication you can take. In many cases, your healthcare practitioner can switch you to another medication that might not have the same side effects. There are also natural options that you may be able to take without all the nasty side effects of your medication
Learn if the weight gain is from a decrease in metabolism — from either a medical condition or medication. And if so, take the time to participate in metabolism-raising activities. Get moving!
Also realise that it is waist gain you need to worry about, not weight gain. Many people obsess unnecessarily over weight gain and the scales. When you start to exercise, you may in fact be putting on muscle (which is great) and this will equate to the scales being heavier. Fat does not weigh as much as muscle, so sometimes you wont realise you have actually lost fat and gained muscle. This is why waist measurement, not weight measurement, is the most accurate way to measure proper fat lose and proper waist and weight management.
A kilo of fat, versus a kilo of muscle
At Shen Therapies we can help you with weight management and more importantly waist management. We have specially tailored fat loss and weight loss programs to help you burn fats, increase muscle and do weight loss the correct way.
If you want to get healthy, feel great and look great for summer and years to come, please give the clinic a call and book in for a consultation.
At Shen Therapies, we have long known the health implications of excess abdominal fats on everything from minor health complaints, right through to decreasing your fertility. Excess abdominal fats lead to inflammatory diseases processes in the body and they also lead to excess bad hormones and we are now calling these “Obestrogens”. This is why health authorities are worried about the increasing weights and abdominal fats in adults and in children, because it is quite literally leading them to early graves.
In April 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reevaluated the impact of weight control through modifiable dietary and lifestyle risk factors on lowering cancer risk. They defined overweight and obesity as abnormal or excessive body fat accumulation negatively affecting health.
Obesity affected approximately 640 million adults worldwide in 2014, a 6-fold increase from 1975, and 110 million youth in 2013, doubled since 1980. Deaths caused by overweight and obesity worldwide in 2013 were approximately 4.5 million. Among North American, European, and Middle Eastern women, up to 9% of the cancer burden is thought to be related to obesity.
Being overweight or obese is already known to increase the risk for certain cancers, but this association has just become much wider. Another 8 cancers have been added to the list, joining the 5 already there.
The new findings come from the IARC, which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). They are published in the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Volume 16: Body Fatness, which provides an update of part of IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention Volume 6: Weight Control and Physical Activity, published in 2002.
A summary was published online August 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Rather than saying that overweight and obesity increase the risk for cancer, the IARC has presented its findings another way: “the absence of excess body fatness reduces the risk of cancers.”
The IARC confirmed its previous findings (published in 2002) for 5 cancers: colorectal, esophageal (adenocarcinoma), renal cell carcinoma, breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and uterine endometrial cancer.
Now, from a new evaluation of published scientific literature, the agency has added 8 more cancers to that list: stomach (gastric cardia), liver, gallbladder, pancreas, ovarian, thyroid, meningioma, and multiple myeloma.
There is also limited evidence suggesting a link for 3 other cancers: fatal cancer of the prostate, breast cancer in men, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Several mechanisms linking excess body fat with carcinogenesis were identified, including chronic inflammation and dysregulation of the metabolism of sex hormones, the IARC notes.
“The identification of new obesity-related cancer sites will add to the number of deaths worldwide attributable to obesity,” the IACR warns.
In 2013, there were an estimated 4.5 million deaths worldwide attributable to overweight and obesity, it adds.
Worldwide Obesity Epidemic
It is a worldwide problem — globally, more people are overweight or obese than are underweight, the agency notes. Up to 40% of the population is overweight or obese in some countries or regions.
Worldwide, an estimated 640 million adults were obese in 2014, which is a 6-fold increase since 1975. There were 110 million obese children and adolescents in 2013 (a 2-fold increase since 1975).
At Shen Therapies, we know what a proper diet should be like and we have also helped thousands of people change their diets, change their lifestyle, lose weight and become the healthiest they can be. If you, or your family (children included) need help losing excess abdominal fat, excess body fats and excess weight, then give the clinic a call and let us help you lose fat the right way with our healthy weight loss program.
Thyroid issues are common, especially in women and especially if there is a family history of thyroid disorders in your family. When your thyroid goes out of balance, it can cause all sorts of symptoms and issues in your body. You need to know what to look for.
Does fatigue drag you down day after day? Do you have brain fog, weight gain, chills, or hair loss? Or is the opposite true for you: Are you often revved up, sweaty, or anxious? Your thyroid gland could be to blame. This great regulator of body and mind sometimes goes haywire, particularly in women. Pregnancy and post partum is when it can also go haywire too. Getting the right treatment is critical to feel your best and avoid serious health problems.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that control the speed of your metabolism — the system that helps the body use energy. Thyroid disorders can slow down or rev up metabolism by disrupting the production of thyroid hormones. When hormone levels become too low or too high, you may experience a wide range of symptoms.
An unexplained change in weight is one of the most common signs of a thyroid disorder. Weight gain may signal low levels of thyroid hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism. In contrast, if the thyroid produces more hormones than the body needs, you may lose weight unexpectedly. This is known as hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is far more common.
A swelling or enlargement in the neck is a visible clue that something may be wrong with the thyroid. A goiter may occur with either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Sometimes swelling in the neck can result from thyroid cancer or nodules, lumps that grow inside the thyroid. It can also be due to a cause unrelated to the thyroid.
Thyroid hormones affect nearly every organ in the body and can influence how quickly the heart beats. People with hypothyroidism may notice their heart rate is slower than usual. Hyperthyroidism may cause the heart to speed up. It can also trigger increased blood pressure and the sensation of a pounding heart, or other types of heart palpitations.
Thyroid disorders can have a noticeable impact on your energy level and mood. Hypothyroidism tends to make people feel tired, sluggish, and depressed. Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety, problems sleeping, restlessness, and irritability.
Hair loss is another sign that thyroid hormones may be out of balance. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair to fall out. In most cases, the hair will grow back once the thyroid disorder is treated.
Thyroid disorders can disrupt the ability to regulate body temperature. People with hypothyroidism may feel cold more often than usual. Hyperthyroidism tends to have the opposite effect, causing excessive sweating and an aversion to heat.
Hypothyroidism can cause many other symptoms, including:
Hyperthyroidism can also cause additional symptoms, such as:
Because thyroid disorders can cause changes in menstrual cycle and mood, the symptoms are sometimes mistaken for menopause. If a thyroid problem is suspected, a simple blood test can determine whether the true culprit is menopause or a thyroid disorder — or a combination of the two.
If you think you have symptoms of a thyroid problem, ask your doctor if you should be tested. People with symptoms or risk factors may need tests more often. Hypothyroidism more frequently affects women over age 60. Hyperthyroidism is also more common in women. A family history raises your risk of either disorder.
A careful look in the mirror may help you spot an enlarged thyroid that needs a doctor’s attention. Tip your head back, take a drink of water, and as you swallow, examine your neck below the Adam’s apple and above the collarbone. Look for bulges or protrusions, then repeat the process a few times. See a doctor promptly if you see a bulge or lump.
If your doctor suspects a thyroid disorder, a blood test can help provide an answer. This test measures the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), a kind of master hormone that regulates the work of the thyroid gland. If TSH is high, it typically means that your thyroid function is too low (hypothyroid). If TSH is low, then it generally means the thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroid.) But just measuring TSH levels is not enough. People with thyroid disorders can have normal TSH levels and the other thyroid hormone levels and this is why thyroid antibody testing is probably the most important testing to be done. High thyroid antibodies mean you have a thyroid condition and your thyroid gland is under attack. Hopefully doctor will want to check all the other thyroid hormones in your blood. If he/she doesn’t, make sure they do. They should always check TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3 and Thyroid antibodies. In some cases, imaging studies are used and biopsies are taken to evaluate a thyroid abnormality.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease. This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the thyroid gland. The result is damage to the thyroid, preventing it from producing enough hormones. Hashimoto’s disease tends to run in families. This is why thyroid antibodies needs to be checked because people with Hashimotos disease can actually have normal TSH levels and normal Free T3, Free T4 and reverse T3 levels.
In some cases, hypothyroidism results from a problem with the pituitary gland, which is at the base of the brain. This gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which tells the thyroid to do its job. If your pituitary gland does not produce enough TSH, levels of thyroid hormones will fall. Other causes of hypothyroidism include temporary inflammation of the thyroid or medications that affect thyroid function.
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. This is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland and triggers the release of high levels of thyroid hormones. One of the hallmarks of Graves’ disease is a visible and uncomfortable swelling behind the eyes. Again this is why testing thyroid antibodies is so important.
Hyperthyroidism can also result from thyroid nodules. These are lumps that develop inside the thyroid and sometimes begin producing thyroid hormones. Large lumps may create a noticeable goiter. Smaller lumps can be detected with ultrasound. A thyroid uptake and scan can tell if the lump is producing too much thyroid hormone.
When left untreated, hypothyroidism can raise cholesterol levels and make you more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. In severe cases, very low levels of thyroid hormones can trigger a loss of consciousness and life-threatening drop in body temperature. Untreated hyperthyroidism can cause serious heart problems and brittle bones.
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your doctor will most likely prescribe thyroid hormones in the form of a pill. This usually leads to noticeable improvements within a couple of weeks. Long-term treatment can result in more energy, lower cholesterol levels, and gradual weight loss. Most people with hypothyroidism will need to take thyroid hormones for the rest of their lives.
The most common treatment for hyperthyroidism is antithyroid medication, which aims to lower the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid. The condition may eventually go away, but many people need to remain on medication for the long term. Other drugs may be given to reduce symptoms such as rapid pulse and tremors. Another option is radioactive iodine, which destroys the thyroid gland over the course of 6 to 18 weeks. Once the gland is destroyed, or removed by surgery, most patients must begin taking thyroid hormones in pill form.
Removing the thyroid gland can cure hyperthyroidism, but the procedure is only recommended if antithyroid drugs don’t work, or if there is a large goiter. Surgery may also be recommended for patients with thyroid nodules. Once the thyroid is removed, most patients require daily supplements of thyroid hormones to avoid developing hypothyroidism.
Thyroid cancer is uncommon and is among the least deadly. The good thing with thyroid cancer is that it is encapsulated, so it won’t spread. Once the thyroid gland is removed, the cancer is removed also. The main symptom is a lump or swelling in the neck, and only about 5% of thyroid nodules turn out to be cancerous. When thyroid cancer is diagnosed, it is most often treated with surgery followed by radioactive iodine therapy or, in some cases, external radiation therapy
There are many complementary medicines that can assist thyroid issues and Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine has successfully treated thyroid disorders for centuries. There are also supplements and other herbal medicine to assist thyroid function, or balancing the thyroid hormones. Diet and lifestyle changes are also very important for thyroid health, as is working on the gut to reduce inflammation in the body and assist the immune system as well. There are also compounded natural thyroid medications we can discuss with you also
At Shen Therapies, we specialise in all hormone issues and can help you with thyroid testing, blood tests etc and thyroid management.
Do you suffer Dyspareunia?
Pain with sex, Intercourse pain, or dyspareunia, can cause problems in a womans life and it can be a cause of problems in couple’s sexual relationship. In addition to the physically painful sex, there is also the possibility of negative emotional effects. Then even when a woman may feel aroused and wanting sex, the fear of the pain can cause the whole process of wanting sex to stop.
How many people get Pain with Sex
It is estimated that about 20%-25% of women suffer vaginal pain with foreplay or intercourse. Pain can be acute, intermittent or chronic and can stem from a wide variety of causes that will be covered shortly. Unfortunately when women complaining of pain during sex, they are often dismissed as being inhibited, having psychiatric issues, or merely just making it up to get out of having sex. Many men would like to boast that it is them being well endowed that is causing the problem (they wish) but in fact if your partner is in pain, then you need to actually stop and listen to the reasons why. The fact is most of the time, their symptoms are related to legitimate medical issues that need to be investigated and treated accordingly. So guys, get your hand of it and start listening to your partner if she says she is getting pain.
What causes pain with Sex (Dyspareunia)?
In many cases, a woman can experience painful sex if there is not sufficient vaginal lubrication. There could be many reasons for this and one that is commonly seen in menopause. When this occurs, the pain can be resolved if the female becomes more relaxed, if the amount of foreplay is increased, or if the couple uses a sexual lubricant. Issues like this can easily be overcome, but there are some medical and gynaecological issues that could be causing the pain and being very much overlooked.
So what are the other causes of Pain with Sex
Endometriosis – This is a condition in which the endometrial like tissue (lesions) that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can cause all sort of pain in the pelvis, bowel and rest of the body, but it can cause pain with sex. It is one of the leading conditions that does cause pain with sex. Many women with endometriosis may not have symptoms of it, or may only have one symptoms like pain with sex. Symptoms do not correlate to the extent of the disease either. Some people with small amounts get lots of pain, while others can have lots of it and have no pain. Endometriosis can only be properly diagnosed via surgery (laparoscopy)
Adenomyosis – is a condition which is very similar to endometriosis. It is a conditions in which the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (the myometrium). Adenomyosis can cause menstrual cramps, lower abdominal pressure etc, before the menses and can result in heavy periods. It can also cause pain with sex. The condition can be located throughout the entire uterus, or localized in one spot
Vaginismus- This is a common condition. It involves an involuntary spasm in the vaginal muscles, which closes up the vagina and prevents penetration from happens. It is sometimes caused by fear of being hurt.
Vaginal Infections- These conditions are common and include yeast infections such as thrush and candida and these can cause inflammation to the vagina and cause pain with sex and also localized bleeding.
Vaginal skin conditons– Dermatitis arroudn the vulva and also a condition called Lichen Sclerosis can all cause pain with sex due to the inflammation of the skin.
Problems with the cervix (opening to the uterus). In this case, the penis can reach the cervix at maximum penetration. So problems with the cervix (such as infections) can cause pain during deep penetration.
Problems with the uterus. These problems may include polyps, cysts, fibroids etc that can cause deep intercourse pain.
Problems with the ovaries – Problems might include cysts on the ovaries, or tubal disease.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – Often referred to as penis injected disease. With PID, the tissues deep inside become badly inflamed and the pressure of intercourse causes deep pain.
Ectopic Pregnancy – This is a pregnancy in which a fertilized egg develops outside the uterus, or into the tubes. It can cause immense pain and even death if not death with properly.
Menopause- With menopause, the vaginal lining can lose its normal moisture and tone and become dry. The vagina, uterus and surrounding organs can all suffer atrophy, which can cause bleeding and pain. It can also cause prolapse.
Intercourse too soon after childbirth, or surgery – Trying to have sex too soon after childbirth, or a surgery, can cause pain during sex.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) – These may include chlamydia, genital warts (HPV), genital herpes, or other STI’s.
Injury to the vulva or vagina- These injuries may include a tear from childbirth or from a cut (episiotomy) made in the area of skin between the vagina and anus during labor.
How Can Painful Sex In Women Be Treated?
Some treatments for painful sex in women do not require medical treatment. For example, painful sex after pregnancy can be addressed by waiting at least six weeks after childbirth before having intercourse, or when a women feels she is ready again. Make sure to practice gentleness and patience. In cases in which there is vaginal dryness, or a lack of lubrication,water-based lubricants will help. In the cases of some conditions such as menopause, topical estrogen creams may be needed to bring tone back into the vaginal wall, along with lubricants during sex.
Some of the conditions such as endometriosis, PID, fibroids, or trauma to the vagina and will require surgery and adjunct therapies such as hormones and other medications.
Other issues such as vaginal infections, bacterial infections, skin conditions, STI’s etc may just need medications such as antibiotics, antifungals, steroids and other medications for their treatment
Some conditions like vaginismus, or psychological traumas (sexual abuse), may require a person to see a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or sex therapist.
There are also natural medicines such as Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal medicine, naturopathy, herbal supplement etc than can help with pain, either on their own, or in combination with medical treatments and talk therapy
If you do have pain with sex, you need to go and speak to your healthcare provider, or seek the help of a gynaecologist, or women’s health specialist.
Pain with sex is not normal, and you need to find out the cause of these issues and not put it off.
At Shen Therapies, Dr Andrew Orr can help you if you are having pain with sex. Dr Andrew Orr is a Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health Medicine Specialist (medical), who also has qualifications in complementary medicine such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy and Nutrition.