The Importance of a Good Quality Multivitamin

Does Your Body Need Nutrients?

With up to 80% of Australians and New Zealanders deficient inessential minerals, does your body need a nutrient top up? If you have been feeling low in energy, getting frequent colds or finding your stress levels increasing, your body may be in need of important vitamins and minerals to function at its best. You may experience a decline in health and be at an increased risk of developing certain health conditions if your nutrient status is low. Those with health conditions may also have higher demands for particular vitamins and minerals. The ideal way to replenish these key nutrients is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and take a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement specifically targeted to your needs.

 

Nutrients Can Be Hard To Come By

A diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables can help provide you with plenty of nutrients and antioxidants. Unfortunately, many people have a low intake of fresh, nutritious foods, as busy lifestyles may tempt us to choose packaged and processed foods, low in essential nutrients. The plant based foods we eat may also be lower in minerals if they are of a poor quality or grown in mineral deficient soils. It can be hard to get all the nutrients we need from diet alone, so taking a daily multivitamin can complement a healthy diet for optimal nutrition.

Specifically For You

It is important to have a specific multivitamin and mineral supplement that suits you and your individual needs. When taking a multivitamin, it is important to choose one with therapeutic amounts of key nutrients to support you at different stages of life. Your Practitioner can recommend a multivitamin that is specifically formulated with your health in mind to suit all ages, from childhood through to older age. There are also targeted formulas for men, women and pregnancy with therapeutic levels of nutrients to help you maintain wellness, wherever you are in life.

Quality Not Quantity

The amounts of nutrients in a formula are just one part of the picture when it comes to choosing a good multivitamin and mineral formula. Other important factors to consider are quality and the forms of vitamins and minerals used.

  • To ensure you are getting the best supplement, it is essential that the highest standard of manufacturing process is used. It is also important that manufacturers test all raw ingredients, so that you can be confident that the multivitamin you are taking is the highest quality every time.
  • The forms of vitamins and minerals are important to consider when choosing a multivitamin. Each vitamin and mineral should be in a form that is physiologically active and absorbable, as not all forms are well absorbed. Magnesium bisglycinate, a form of magnesium, has high bioavailability and does not compete with other minerals for absorption, ensuring you are getting maximum benefit from your multivitamin.

Nutrient Rich Foods

A good quality multivitamin can complement a healthy diet and lifestyle. Remember, we are what we eat most commonly, so choose healthier options as often as you can:

  • Eat seasonal, fresh and organic foods as often as possible.
  • Choose two serves of fresh fruits and at least three cups of fresh vegetables daily. Making your plate look like a rainbow will give an abundance of essential nutrients and antioxidants to help maintain wellness.
  • Include protein rich foods at every meal and snack.
  • Enjoy one to two serves of starchy foods per day.
  • Include healthy oils, nuts and seeds in your diet too.
  • Drink a minimum of eight glasses of pure water per day and avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, sugar and salt as these deplete nutrients from your body.

Compliment Your Day the Nutrient Way

It is important not to dismiss the benefits that a healthy diet and regular exercise can bring you. However today’s busy lifestyles can often lead us to require key nutrients in higher amounts than what is possible to achieve through diet alone.

A good quality multivitamin and mineral formula packed with therapeutic levels of highly absorbable nutrients and herbs may be just what you need to achieve optimal health.

At Shen Therapies we only recommend Practitioner Dispensed only multivitamin to ensure potency and quality and they are much better than over the counter supplements. 

 

 

Western Diet Permanently Alters the Immune System & Alters Gene Expression

For many years we have been trying to explain to people how their diet is a major factor in their current health and how a poor diet can actually cause expression of many inflammatory disease states within the body.

New research has shown that our immune system responses to the Western diet very similar to how it reacts to infection by dangerous bacteria. The research was led by the University of Bonn in Germany and published in the journal Cell.

One of the disturbing results of the study is that the longer we consume a high GI, highly refined foods, and Western diet, that it can make the immune system become hyper-responsive to inflammation triggers. We know that a diet in highly processed foods and refined carbohydrates actually causes high inflammation in the body.

The longer we eat this way, these long-term changes may contribute to type 2 diabetes, arteriosclerosis, inflammatory bowel conditions, cancers,  gynaecological conditions,  and several other conditions wherein inflammation is thought to play a part, and which have been linked to consumption of a highly refined Western based diet.

The Western diet altered gene expression

The new research showed that just after just 1 month, there were changes throughout the bodies that are similar to the strong inflammation reactions that occur in bacterial infections. The researchers showed that an unhealthy high GI/highly refined diet led to increases in certain immune cells, which were a sign of inflammation and an infection like process. They also found that the Western diet had switched on many genes in the body that would also express many disease states and inflammatory processes in the body.

The researchers concluded that  findings highlight the dramatic impact that the wrong kind of food can have, and that they have important implications for society, especially for children who grow up with this highly inflammatory based diets and consume them longer.

The researchers concluded that adults and children have a choice of what they eat every day. We should enable everyone, especially children,  to make conscious decisions regarding their dietary habits. The new research also highlighted that dietary habits and the foundations of what a healthy diet is, need to become more prominent in our education system and it needs to start at a younger age. We also need to re-educate adults on what a healthy diet is as well

At Shen Therapies, we can help people to know what a healthy diet is and this education is also passed onto people we help with inflammatory disease states. We always promote a Primal/Low GI/grain free diet to all our patients so that they can be healthier, have less inflammation in their bodies and live longer and happier lives

Tips for Healthy Eyesight

Your eyes play a significant role in your health and many people just don’t realise how important. There are many steps can be taken to ensure that your eyes are protected and remain as healthy as possible. At Shen Therapies have selected the best vision-boosting tips to help you protect your eyes into your later life

Many of us might not realise the fact that as we age, our eyesight will deteriorate. It is something we all must get used to at some stage in our life. But could we improve our vision, protect our sight, and prevent many of the diseases that compromise the health of our eyes?

Well, the answer is yes and we are going to show you how

1.Go for regular eye exams

The best thing you can do to look after your sight is to go for regular eye tests with a trained eye specialist who can detect early signs of problems.

Although your vision may appear to be healthy, there is no way to be 100 percent certain unless a trained professional observes your eyes.

Not only does an eye test determine whether or not you need glasses, but it can also spot eye conditions that can be treated effectively if detected early enough.

2.Eat vision-healthy foods

It is possible to eat your way to healthy vision. You often hear that eating carrots benefits the eyes, but there are plenty of other foods that are important for good eyesight, too.

Eating grapes has been tied to a lower risk of AMD.

Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been shown to promote eye health. Dark leafy greens, in particular — including collard greens, kale, and spinach — contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that help to prevent the formation of cataracts.

Evidence demonstrates that grapes and blue berries may also support healthy eyes. In a laboratory model of retinal degeneration, scientists showed that a diet enriched with grapes and blue berries protected the retina against the damaging effects of oxidative stress.

Other research indicated that grapes and blue berries provide higher levels of antioxidant protection for eyes than lutein alone and may slow or help to prevent AMD.

Studies have found that there are eye health benefits from consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines, and tuna.

Omega-3 fatty acids may improve ocular surface inflammation and symptoms of ocular irritation that are associated with moderate to severe dry eye. They may also help vision cells to survive future disease or injury.

A great way to ensure you get enough omega 3 oils is to use high potency omega 3 supplements like the ones we use at Shen Therapies. We also have natural medicine formulas to help with healthy eye sight

3.Keep your weight under control

Being overweight or obese, not only puts you at risk of heart disease and a shorter lifespan, but it also puts you at a higher risk of developing conditions such as diabetes or other inflammatory disease states, which may eventually lead, deterioration of eye sight, or loss of vision.

Maintain a healthy weight to avoid obesity-related eye conditions.

It is never too late to get your weight under control by eating a healthful low inflammatory, low GI diet and exercising regularly to prevent vision complications.

Research conducted by the University of Melbourne in Australia and Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom discovered that considerable weight loss could potentially reverse eye damage caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Another study recently presented at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held in New Orleans, LA, reported that individuals who are physically active have a 73 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma than more sedentary individuals. This finding highlights the importance of leading an active lifestyle.

If you need help with losing weight and knowing what a healthy diet is, then you can book in for a weight loss consult. Have a look at our recent posts on our microbiome restore program too.

4.Wear sunglasses when outside

Sunglasses are often looked at as a fashion accessory, but the most important role of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun.

A report by the Vision Council in 2016 revealed that only 31 percent of people protect their eyes with sunglasses when they go outside.

When selecting sunglasses always look for shades that block 99–100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation and always buy from a reputable sunglass specialist outlet.

Whether you are heading to the beach, surfing some waves, hiking up a mountain, or just out in the sun with your friends and family, be sure to protect your eyes and wear the appropriate sunglasses.

5.Rest your eyes regularly

People who work at a computer screen all day often forget to blink often and end up with fatigued eyes by the end of the day. The National Eye Institute suggest implementing a 20-20-20 rule.

For every 20 minutes that you spend staring at a screen, look at something else that is around 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds to reduce eye strain.

Recent research, published in the Journal of Opthalmology, has shown that half of the world will be short-sighted by 2050 if we continue with the current trend of spending so much time on near-based electronic devices such as computers, Ipads and mobile phones. The study also suggests that spending more time outdoors and less time doing activities that require constant up-close focusing could be a strategy that may help to reduce the number of people who experience vision loss.

If you need to wear protective eyewear or glasses as part of your job, get into the habit of wearing the appropriate gear at all times to keep your eyes in tip-top shape and prevent damage or eye strain.

6.Protect your eyes

If you are mowing the lawn, or trimming the edges, or using power tools etc, please don’t forget to protect your eyes with the appropriate safety glasses. You need to protect your eyes at all time. If you need to wear protective eyewear or glasses as part of your job, get into the habit of wearing the appropriate gear at all times to keep your eyes in tip-top shape and prevent damage or eye strain.

7.Herbal Medicines & Supplements

There are specific herbal medicine formulas and supplements that can also help with improving your vision and helping with eye health. Acupuncture has also been shown to help with eye health, help with dry eyes and help with preventing degeneration. If you would like to know more, please give our clinic a call.

 

 

 

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, went to study 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-UNSW) 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 many people in the medical and complementary medicine profession just do not have and I can give a multi-modality approach that others may not be able to 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, 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 12,500 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?

8 More Cancers Linked To Obesity & Being Overweight

overweight-mother-and-childEight More Cancers Linked to Obesity 

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.

 

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.

Do you suffer pain with sex (dyspareunia)

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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.

 

 

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.