Final Word About Closing Shen Therapies at Jamboree Heights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Word about closing Shen Therapies at Jamboree Heights.

– By Dr Andrew Orr

I just wanted to say a few words to everyone before we closed our doors at the Jamboree Heights Clinic this Thursday. We will be seeing our last patient at the Jamboree Heights clinic location this Thursday afternoon, 29th June 2017 and will be moving the clinic to St Andrew professional suites at Spring Hill.

We hope to be opened on the Monday 10th July 2017, if all goes well with the builders and the renovations. Please stay tuned for updates. The address will be Suite 282, ground floor, St Andrew’s Place. 33 North Street. Spring Hill. Q. 4074.

I do want to let people know that we aren’t moving just because people have asked us to move. That is part of it, but it really isn’t the sole reason we are moving.

For me, the move is a mixed bag of emotions for a few reasons. We started Shen Therapies back 1995 as a family business with my ex-wife Nicole and we started work from our small family home in Jindalee. During this time we also went to live and work in China work and study in 2 major hospitals in southern China. We had a toddler and one on the way when we returned. We then moved to Riverhills and then to the family home at Jamboree Heights, where we had the business set up downstairs at home. From there we bought the current clinic 6 months before my youngest daughter was born. We had outgrown running a home based business and needed the space to work from.

From there the business took off and we had lots of successes with Fertility, Pregnancy and health in general. We had lots of media attention over the years and we achieved our milestone of 10,000 plus babies, which was featured in the courier mail and on A Current Affair. This bought lots of couples to see us from all over Australia and worldwide. At one stage we were seeing 40 new couples per week for our fertility program. It really was mad. One of the TV stations websites crashed with the response and they came and did another story about this days after the initial story ran. So this has led to where we are today, with having helped over 12,500 babies into the world through our program

While Fertility, Women’s Health and Pregnancy has been our speciality area, we have helped lots of people with many different conditions over the years using a multi-modality approach with our treatments. Over the years I had studied medicine, Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Nutrition, Seitai, Sports medicine, sports injury management and so many things that have let me be able to treat so many conditions. I have also had some great mentors along the way as well. Then I went back to medicine and completed a Masters in Reproductive Medicine and a Masters in Women’s Health Medicine. This has led me back to where I am today and just about to embark on the next stage of my journey.

Many people have asked why I am moving and I just want to be open about this so that people know why I have decided to move. It hasn’t been an easy decision to make. It was actually a hard one, but I believe fate has stepped in and led to part of this decision as well.

Over the last 6 years I have gone through a divorce, which is always hard and sad, and the clinic holds many memories, good and bad , so that is one of the reasons I decided to look at moving. I wanted a change and to get away from old energies and try and create a new life too. So I tested the market to see if I could sell the clinic and 2 days later it sold. Yep, 2 days. Big sign there.

I have also moved out of the Jamboree Heights area and I have 2 children who have finished school and venturing into University and my youngest in year 8, so there is that side of it too. Not living in the area and my kids growing up also made me think about moving and creating that change I needed for me.

I also did lots of study and hard work to complete a Masters in Reproductive Medicine and a Masters in Women’s Health Medicine and I also felt I was wasting some of that where I was too. People still saw me as just a natural medicine practitioner and not as a Reproductive Medicine & Women’s Health Specialist, which is what my qualifications entitled me to be called. My passion has always been in helping couples have babies and help women with reproductive and gynaecological and hormonal issues. But, I still loved helping people with other health complaints too. So there was that dilemma for me too

So after lots of thought I thought about rebranding and closing the Shen Therapies part of my business and decided to rebrand as just me. The business will now be called “Dr Andrew Orr”. I know I talked about this last time.

The old Shen Therapies was run as a family business and husband and wife team for many years, but now it was just me. So it made sense to bring my qualifications to the forefront and also just rebrand as me. All those years of study and time spent after hours, time away from family, and all the money spent needed to be now becoming the shining light and so it was time to close the old part of that chapter of my life. It was time for change on every level.

We were in at St Andrews a few years back, but obviously it just wasn’t the right time. But now it is. It is time for change and time for me to shine as just me. It will be great to be back with all the network of colleagues I work with and refer to and it will also help many of you with inter-referrals and so much more. Btw, the parking isn’t that bad, so please read the section about parking too

So for those that wanted to know, I am not moving just because people have asked us to move to the city. As you can see there are many factors have led to this and it is just time. The clinic house has been sold, so we had to move anyway

This is going to be a good move for myself and my staff and things will be a bit different when people come to see me. I am stepping it up a notch and it will be so much better for our patients on so many levels. It will also be good for me on a professional level. It is where I now need to be for so many reasons

So as we box up the clinic on Thursday afternoon, for the final move on Friday, it will be a box of mixed emotions for me. I will not only be closing doors on a place I have called work and a family business and in some ways a second home.

On Friday, Shen Therapies will also be ending and ‘Dr Andrew Orr’ will be beginning. While the name is changing, the heart and soul of what Shen Therapies was, will still continue you. It will be the same, but different

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you that have supported myself and my family over the years at Jamboree Heights. I have helped so many people over the years and helped so many babies and health conditions. Some of those babies are now grown up and coming to see me as teenagers. It has been so great to see families come to see us over the years and continue to come. I thank you all

I also want to thank all the staff that have worked for me. Some have been amazing, like Katie, Meg, Michelle, Susan, Nicola etc and some… well… all I can say is thanks anyway.

Thanks to all the wonderful practitioners over the years like Kertu, Kylie, Lisa, Devan (iron hands), Will, Krissi, Cara, Ryan and Anthea. I need to thank anyone who helped us along the way and there have been many.

I do need to thank Nicole and my kids for all their support into getting Shen Therapies where it is today. Without them, Shen Therapies would not have ever existed. Even though things have changed for all of us, I can say that we are still a family who started a really good business and still support each other.

I need to thank all my mentors and colleagues and also my current staff, Sereena and Rhiannon. I also want to thank all of my family and loved ones who have supported me over the last couple of years and along the whole journey.

The last few years and last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind and I am looking forward to having some of that settle down and enjoy some of the quiet life too.

So before the curtain closes on one chapter and reopens on the next chapter, I want to thank all of you and I hope that I continue to see you all at my next location and new chapter on my life. Please don’t be a stranger and remember that Spring Hill really isn’t that far to travel for those that live in Brisbane.

We really do have a unique service and something that others just cant provide on so many levels. Stick with the best and you will get the best results

Take care and thanks once again

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr

Reproductive Medicine & Women’s Health Specialist and so much more

– “No Stone Left Unturned”

 

Exciting New Changes – It’s Time For A Change And to Get Back to the Basics

 
 

 

 

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.  

Take care  

Regards Dr Andrew Orr  

 

 

Vitamin D deficiency increases risk of chronic headache

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

New Type of Migraine May Be Due to Low Iron

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. 

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr

 

 

 

 

The Prevention of Childhood Obesity Must Start Before a Couple Conceives.

overweight-mother-and-child-2

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.

Reasons You May Be Gaining Weight

Digital Bathroom Scale Displaying OMG Message

It May Not Just Be Your Food Intake

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.

Lack of Sleep

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.

Stress

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.

Antidepressants and other Medications

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.

Steroids and Hormones

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.

The Contraceptive Pill

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

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.

Menopause

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.

Cushing’s Syndrome

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.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

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

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.

Rules If You Do Gain Weight

Rule 1:

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.

Rule 2:

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.

Rule 3:

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.

Rule 4:

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

Rule 5:

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.

fat-versus-muscle-1

 

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.

 

 

Could your health issues be coming from your Thyroid?

E5PRGR Doctor examining the thyroid gland of a patient.

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.

When Your Thyroid Goes Awry

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.

What Is the Thyroid Gland?

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.

Symptom: Weight Gain or Loss

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.

Symptom: Swelling in the Neck

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.

Symptom: Changes in Heart Rate

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.

Symptom: Changes in Energy or Mood

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.

Symptom: Hair Loss

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.

Symptom: Feeling Too Cold or Hot

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.

Other Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can cause many other symptoms, including:

  • Dry skin and brittle nails
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands
  • Constipation
  • Abnormal menstrual periods

Other Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can also cause additional symptoms, such as:

  • Muscle weakness or trembling hands
  • Vision problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular menstrual periods

Thyroid Disorder or Menopause?

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.

Who Should Be Tested?

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.

Thyroid Neck Check

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.

Diagnosing Thyroid Disorders

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.

Hashimoto’s Disease

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.

Other Causes of Hypothyroidism

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.

Graves’ Disease

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.

Other Causes of Hyperthyroidism

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.

Thyroid Disorder Complications

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.

Treating Hypothyroidism

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.

Treating Hyperthyroidism

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.

Surgery for Thyroid Disorders

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.

What About Thyroid Cancer?

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

Complementary Medicine For Thyroid Issues

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.

Could you be suffering Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?

pms

 

 

 

Could you be suffering Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?

Do you suffer any of the following symptoms?

Are some of these symptoms worse around your menses, or mid-cycle?

  • Mood swings (worse around your menses, or mid-cycle)
  • Depressed mood or feelings of hopelessness
  • Marked anger, increased interpersonal conflicts, the anger can be worse at certain times of your cycle, or near your period. You may even feel violent with the anger.
  • Tension and anxiety
  • Irritability, especially with your menses, or even mid cycle.
  • Decreased interest in usual activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
  • Sleep problems
  • Physical problems, such as bloating, breast tenderness, swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain.

If you do, then you may be suffering a condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS but are severe enough to interfere with work, social activities, and relationships. It is often a very much overlooked hormonal issue and often misdiagnosed. PMDD can actually cause women to have extreme anger and extreme mood swings and even become physically violent towards a partner, or loved ones.

How Common Is PMDD?

PMDD occurs in up to 10% of menstruating women, but it may be much higher than this.  Women with family history of premenstrual syndrome or PMDD are at greater risk for developing PMDD as there appears to be a strong genetic component. There can be underlying gynaecological conditions exacerbating, or contributing to PMDD too and we will talk about this later

What Causes PMDD?

As with PMS, the exact cause of PMDD is not known. Most researchers believe PMDD is brought about by the hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle. Hormones can be affected from anything form dietary changes, increased stress, medications, lack of exercise, increased abdominal fats and also consumption of alcohol.  Recent studies have shown a connection between PMDD and low levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps transmit nerve signals and helps regulate moods, sleep and even pain. Changes in serotonin levels can lead to PMDD symptoms.

How Is PMDD Diagnosed?

PMMD is diagnosed by seeing a healthcare professional who knows what signs and symptoms to look for. Usually this is a gynaecologist or women’s health specialist.  PMMD can be diagnosed by charting mood swings at certain times in  the cycle, along with other changes to the body during this time.

Before a diagnosis of PMDD is made other emotional problems, such as depression or panic disorder, need to be ruled out first, as these may be a cause of all of the symptoms.  In addition, underlying medical or gynecological conditions, such as endometriosis, fibroids, menopause, and hormonal problems that could account for symptoms, also must be ruled out.

For the diagnosis of PMDD to be made usually at least five of the  listed symptoms listed before (including at least one of the first four) occur for most of the time during the seven days before menstruation and go away within a few days of the start of the menstrual period. If these symptoms are present every day and do not improve with menstruation, they are unlikely due to PMDD.

How Is PMDD Treated?

Many of the same strategies used to treat PMS may also be helpful in relieving symptoms of PMDD. The main ones to focus on are:

Good nutrition –  High Gi carbohydrates and highly refined grains increase insulin levels and this then in turn causes disturbances with hormone levels and can also cause inflammation. This then exacerbates the symptoms of PMDD. It is recommended that women with PMDD limit their intake of refined sugar, and alcohol. There are vitamins and nutritional supplements that will help with PMDD as well.

Exercise – Moving the body is so important  for PMDD and it is important to do some sort of weight bearing exercise, or resistance work such as weights. Exercise such as walking, or swimming appears to improve premenstrual symptoms too. Exercise will also have other benefits to the body and overall health as well.

Medications-  Medically PMDD is usually treated with medications such as antidepressants and hormone therapies. Some over-the-counter pain relievers may help some  of the symptoms of PMDD,  such as headache, breast tenderness, backache, and cramping. Diuretics, or water pills, can help with fluid retention and bloating. Hormones can be used to treat PMDD but it is unclear whether this approach is effective.

Natural Medicine– Various Herbal medicines and vitamins and nutritional supplements have all been researched and shown to reduce the symptoms of PMS and PMDD. Always consult with with a qualified natural medicine practitioner for proper treatment and advice.

Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)–  Research published in the BMC (Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: systematic review) showed that Acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments provided a 50% reduction in symptoms in the first month of treatment and symptoms continued to reduce with subsequent treatments.

Counseling-  Counseling and psychology need to be a big part of the overall treatment therapy to help women with PMDD develop effective coping strategies.

Other Therapies– Relaxation therapy, meditation, reflexology, and yoga may also help, but these approaches have not been widely studied.

At Shen Therapies, Dr Andrew Orr can help you with PMDD and PMS with a combined integrative approach of using western medicine and complementary medicine and therapies. Dr Andrew Orr is a Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health Specialist (medical) but also has qualifications is TCM, Naturopathy and Nutritional medicine. If you need help with PMDD, please give our clinic a call on 07 32795697, or email info@shentherapies.com.au

 

Foods That Can, and Do, Cause Constipation

Fibre from fruit and veggie

Many people have trouble moving their bowels on a daily basis and are none the wiser as to why this happens to them. Many do not realise how bad for their health it is not to move your bowels daily and many people just think it is normal for them to not need to get things moving each morning.

Of course some people have conditions, that cause constipation, and these need to be ruled out too.

Conditions such as Endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory disease, IBS and other bowel disorders can all cause chronic constipation and inflammation in the bowel

But for most people the clogging of the back passage is caused by what they are eating and lack of foods that contain real fibre and water to keep the bowels moving. Lack of proper hydration and stress is also a factor too. But when it comes to proper fibre, many people are just eating the wrong foods. Many of the foods people are having on a daily basis, thinking it is fibre, are actually closer to being cardboard and the effects on the bowel are just as bad.

So what are the foods that are causing a blockage in peoples elimination pipes.

1.Fast Or Prepared Foods

Those readymade meals and takeaway meals may be convenient, but they could cause a backup. Most are low in fiber, which you need to help food move through your system.

2.Fried Food

Fried foods are full of fat, lack fiber and are hard to digest. When food moves through your colon slowly, too much water can be taken out of it. That makes for a hard, dry stool.

3.Cakes, Sweets and Pastries

Pastries, cookies, and other treats with refined sugar are low in fiber and fluids, and high in fat. Many people think that because they contain grains, that they are good for you. But nothing could be further from the truth. Wheat grains are actually inflammatory and cause disruption to the digestive system. There is actually more fiber in whole foods such as fruit and vegetable. Grains are refined grains are not good if you’re having trouble keeping things moving. Satisfy your sweet tooth with some fresh fruits and yogurt. Your tummy will thank you for it.

4.Breads

Bread is basically made from flour and water and what does flour and water make? Glue that’s what it makes! That is what it turns to in your stomach and bowel too. Plus refined flours are made from inflammatory grains and these cause disruption to your digestion and bowel too. Too much bread will give you hard, dry stools and also mess with your digestion. It’s also made with low-fiber flour. The whole grain variety may be a little bit better, but not much. If your digestive system is shot and you are having trouble getting things to move, time to ditch the bread. We don’t need to eat it anyway.

5.Caffeine

A couple cups of teas coffee makes some people race to the bathroom, but it can have the opposite effect, too. The caffeine in coffee and tea are diuretics and soft drinks can keep your body from holding onto water, and you need water to stay regular. If you’re constipated, check how much tea and coffee you might be drinking and make sure you drink plenty of water after each cup of caffeine.

6.Alcohol

Alcohol can definitely dehydrate the body make it hard for your body to hang onto water. This can then cause gastrointestinal inflammation, upset the liver function and then cause constipation.

7.Eggs

Eggs are really good for us and they are high in protein but low in fiber. But, you don’t have to stop eating them though. Just add some high-fiber foods into the mix. Add some greens with them when you eat them. Try an omelet with fresh spinach and tomatoes.

8.Well Done Meat

Meat is a great source of protein but when its well-done and over cooked, it is lacking in fiber, that juicy steak needs to be a little less cooked (medium rare) and balanced with a side of nice green veggies, or salad. This will help get it comfortably through your digestive system.

 

Some Fiber Facts.

Veggie and whole Fruits (not dried fruits) have more fiber than cereals and grains and as they contain water and other nutrients needed to keep the bowel hydrated and moving properly. Time to ditch the cereals and start eating some more whole foods instead.

Oh… and don’t forget the prebiotics and probiotics to keep healthy gut flora and keep the digestive system functioning properly. Of course we should drink plenty of water and also make sure you get some electrolytes into your diet daily too. This will help keep your bowels working the way they should work, rather than the way they have been.

If you are having trouble with chronic constipation and getting your bowels to move daily, then give Shen Therapies a call and we can help you get your digestion back on track again.

 

 

 

 

 

Seminal fluid improves fertility women and improves IVF pregnancy rates

o-SPERM-FERTILITY-facebookSeminal fluid is often viewed as simply a vehicle to carry sperm to fertilize the female egg, but a more complex function in influencing female reproductive physiology is now evident
Remarkably, seminal fluid contains special signaling agents that interact with the female reproductive tract to prime the immune response, with consequences for fertility and pregnancy outcome. This research isn’t new and we have spoken about this in previous posts. But we now know a bit more about how sperm may assist in implantation for, especially for IVF.

See our other post http://shentherapies.com.au/sex-around-the-time-of-embryo-transfer-increases-the-likelihood-of-successful-early-embryo-implantation-and-development/

Recent studies demonstrate a key role for seminal fluid in enabling  embryo implantation and optimal placental development. In particular, seminal fluid promotes health immune responses which facilitate embryo implantation by suppressing inflammation, assisting uterine circulation and blood supply and also protecting the embryo.

There is emerging evidence  where seminal fluid provokes an adaptive immune response in the cervical tissues after contact at intercourse, and spermatozoa accessing the higher tract potentially affect the endometrium directly. Research has now shown that sperm and seminal fluid actually help with endometrial receptivity, which is needed to create the right environment for a healthy embryo to implant.

These biological responses may have clinical significance, explaining why

[1] intercourse in IVF ET cycles improves the likelihood of pregnancy

[2] inflammatory disorders of gestation are more common in women who conceive after limited exposure to seminal fluid of the prospective father

[3] preeclampsia incidence is elevated after use of donor oocytes or donor sperm where prior contact with conceptusalloantigens has not occurred.

Research like this is important to define the mechanisms through which seminal fluid interacts with female reproductive tissues, to provide knowledge that may assist in preconception planning and infertility treatment. It also bring attention to the fact that couples still need to be engaging in regular intercourse during IVF cycles to help not only with implantation, but to increase pregnancy rates through optimization on the endometrial lining through contact with seminal fluid. Regular intercourse also promotes connection and bonding for the couple as well and this is something that is very much overlooked.

Shen Therapies offer a Fertility Program where couples are educated on important factors such as this… and more

If you would like to find out how you could improve your chances of having a baby, please give Shen Therapies a call and ask about our highly successful fertility program that has helped over 12,000 babies (and counting) into the world and can increase a couples chances of conception by 96.1% *

For more information on our highly success fertility program, see also http://shentherapies.com.au/shen-therapies-highly-successful-fertility-program/