Are We Over-Feeding Our Children and Killing Them with Kindness?

obese child

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever year of practice, I see children becoming more over weight, more sedentary and being sick more often. Even the children that are not overweight are suffering from more compromised immunity and being set up for an adulthood impaired by illness. Many children see even come into my clinic eating countless packets of tiny teddies, crisps, lollies and all sorts and mum and dad are trying to tell them that the children eat a balanced diet, or they cant understand while their child is sick all the time. Some children quite literally have not eaten vegetable, or fruits and only eat small selections of packet and highly processed foods.

We have gone from letting children climb trees, play in the streets with friends, climb on play ground equipment and hovering over their every move, for fear they may be in danger, or hurt themselves. Thus the term “Helicopter Parent” is born

While we have gone from over protect them in the playground, we have gone to under protecting them in the lunch box, breakfast bowl and dinner plate. While being over concerned about how they may, or may not die in the playground, we are actually starting to slowly lead them to an early grave through the kitchen and their bellies.

Before we go any further, I do know that there are parents with children that do have genuine special needs and how hard it can be for them to make changes. But, even so, I have seen many of these parents make small changes for the better of their children. So if they can, we all can. Plus, there are always circumstances that are contrary to what I am talking about, I get that, but this is more about other children and other parents, who actually do have a choice in what they are putting in a child’s mouth.

Children are now eating more refined foods, more inflammatory grains, more junk foods, more sugars, more sweet drinks, more processed foods that every before. What once was a treat a few times a year, is now a staple foods source for many children and adults. While children once rode bikes and played in the playgrounds and streets, they are now sedentary and the only exercise they get is with their fingers on the controller of the play station, or X-box. Because of this, children’s muscles aren’t being moved properly, they are developing properly, they are more immune compromised and many just are not getting the vitamins, amino acids, proteins, good carbohydrates etc, needed to maintain proper health. Many children are now eating over 100gms of sugars in their diet daily.

Parent’s seem to come up with all sorts of excuses as to why their child eats the way they do, yet never seem to be taking control and actually doing something about it. Denial, defeat, blame and just not wanting to deal with the cries and demands of a child that hates change is all too much and thus the cycle continues. We bury our heads in the sands, the wine glass, the TV, the social media scene and pretend that life is grand. Many parents will even try to convince you that their child will eventually shoot up, lose the puppy fat, grow out of their fussiness and be OK. But, all the while each year their child has grown more overweight, had more illness and cant even walk to the end of the street and back. We are quite literally failing our children, by giving into them and their every demand. Like I said before, if parents with special needs can make changes to a child’s diet and lifestyle and make the effort, often under difficult circumstances, then we can make those changes for other children. It is a choice. But this isn’t about judging parents either. This is a point of saying that they need help, they need to change and educating them on what they need to do to help their child’s future. Help is always here, if you want to receive the help that is being provided.

Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic that not only puts children at risk for a lifetime of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infertility and many other health issues, but it also creates a huge financial strain on our health system as well. According to a new study published in the journal Obesity, one out of every four children in Australia is overweight, or obese by the time they start school, and it’s costing our health system millions of dollars each year.

In this study, researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia collected all of the medical tests, diagnostics, medicines, and hospital admission data from 350 children in Australia at ages 2, 3 and a half, and 5 years old. They found that the health care costs for obese and overweight preschoolers were 60 percent higher than costs for healthy kids. Obese and overweight children were also nearly three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital for respiratory disorders, ear conditions, nasal issues, colds, flu’s and other disease states, due to poorer immune systems.

The study’s lead researcher Alison Hayes, associate professor of health economics at the University, has stated, “Childhood obesity is a serious public health issue, and is becoming an increasing problem in children under five years old. In addition to the health impacts of childhood obesity, there are major economic impacts, which may occur earlier than previously thought.”

She also says, “We know that children who are obese, or overweight, in early childhood are more likely to be obese, or overweight in later in the their childhood, adolescence and adulthood, which can lead to serious chronic diseases that have a huge impact on our health care system. This can also have impacts on families and future generations too. Early prevention of obesity is important to improve children’s health, but we need to be having more prevention and education to ease the costs and burden on the healthcare system too. We really need to get serious about this crisis in our nations health and start to take our heads out of the sand about an increasing worrying epidemic.

The researchers also noted that throughout the world, 6.9 percent of children under the age of five are either overweight or obese; however, countries such as Australia, America, and the UK have rates as high as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, over the last 30 years in America and countries like Australia, obesity has nearly tripled among children and quadrupled among adolescents.

Children are now being raised in a world that is very different to what it was in our parents generation, 40 to 50 years ago. Parents are now feeding children more refined foods, more junk foods, more sugars, more grains, more fast foods, more sweet drinks, more sugar drinks etc, than every before. What once was a treat to a child 40-50 years ago, is now an every day occurrence, with many children consuming processed foods, sugary foods, grains, and junk foods with every meal. It is really out of control. Some children are not getting fresh foods and sustainable foods in their diets at all. Some children do not even know what some of the basic fruits and vegetables are.

We have become all too lazy when it comes to feeding our children. Childhood obesity is a disease of the environment. It’s a natural consequence of normal kids with normal genes being raised in unhealthy, abnormal environments and this was one of the findings of this landmark study.

According to the Obesity Society, overweight and obese preschoolers are five times more likely to grow up to be overweight and obese as adults. The most recent estimated annual medical costs for obese adults were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight adults. In order to lower the rates of obesity in future generations, we really do need to be looking at preventive measures and better education for children and their parents. We do know that many obese, overweight and unhealthy children have parents that over also overweight, obese, or have unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles.

This ever-growing issue might seem complex, but we need to start really looking at ourselves as parents and we also need better education in schools and the educations systems. The solution to lowering obesity rates and soaring healthcare costs is teaching adults and healthcare professionals what a healthy diet. We need to be looking at preventative measures and being more proactive, rather than reactive.

We need to get parents of overweight or obese children to consult with a qualified nutritionist and show these parents on ways to improve their everyday diet, which includes cutting empty calories and foods high in bad fats and added sugars. We need to educate parents what an actual good diet looks like and start following more of a clean eating, grain free, lower GI, primal based diet. When parents often question the use of grains and refined foods, I often ask them “How do we fatten up cattle???? ….. We Feed them grains”

Besides teaching adults and children to be eating better, we also need to teach them to be healthier on the inside, as well as outside and also the importance of exercise and also accessing healthy vitamins, probiotics, prebiotics, omega oils, amino acids and drinking water. Good education about eating starts at home and we can’t keep blaming others for all of our problems. These days we have more access to online education about our health than we ever have. It is time we take our heads out of the sand and start admitting that we have a big problem that every parent needs to recognize along with all our healthcare providers as well. We also need some of the organisations promoting health care to get with the program and stop promoting out of date education that is actually increasing the health crisis, not helping it.

At Shen Therapies, we can help parents with diet and lifestyle choices and help keep their children healthy into adulthood too.

Source: Hayes A, Simpson J, Chevalier A, D’Souza M, Baur L, and Wen LM. Early childhood obesity: Association with Healthcare expenditure in Australia. Obesity. 2016.

Excess Body Fat Can Cause Gynaecological Conditions, Lead to Menstrual Irregularities and Also Lead to Infertility

Metabolic table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When women come to see me for help with gynaecological conditions, or couples come to see me for help with having a baby, one of the first things I ask all of them to address is excess body fats and look at diet and lifestyle modifications. Women, men, and couples who are underweight, need to look at this also, because being underweight can be just as bad as being overweight, but for the purposes of this post, we are going to look at how excess fats can not only interfere with fertility, but they can be a major driving factor in gynaecological and men’s health conditions that many face on a daily basis. Worse still, excess body fat can also lead to many cancers that both men and women get also.

One of my biggest challenges with men, women and couples is getting them to look at how excess body fat is playing a big part in their current health, the gynaecological condition they have, or how it is affecting their fertility. I always get all sorts of excuses from “My friend was overweight and he/she does not have my condition”, or “The next door neighbour is overweight and she has had 3 children” and all many of excuses that seem to be a big block in actually taking responsibility for one’s health. I get that it can be hard to get started and hard to make the steps for a better life, but at the end of the day, all these things I hear are just excuses really. Yes, the next door neighbour may not have your health issue, but they may also have some other health issue, or be at risk of another health issue. Yes, your friend might be overweight and has had a couple of children easily, but they may also be younger than you and many of the health issues they face because of their weight may not have caught up with them yet, but it will. I always have to get people to stop focusing on others and get back to looking at themselves, because other people are different. Other people are not you. We are all different individuals with different weaknesses in the body and what may affect one person, may not affect another, but this does not mean we can sit back and just do nothing about our health, or keep comparing our life to another.

Looking at a person’s overall weight is paramount for any health condition that the body faces and we need to look at the individual, not at the masses. Research shows us that excess body fat can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular events, cancers, gynaecological issues, infertility, men’s health issues and many other complaints in the body. It can also lead to an early death too. This is a fact and no matter how many excuses people want to make, nothing is going to change the fact that excess body fat is not good for us and it causes problems with our health and now costing the health systems dearly too.

Excess body fat produces excess estrogens in the body and we are now calling these “Obestrogens”. These excess estrogens can not only have an effect on testicular and ovarian function, but they also interfere with other hormones, increase inflammation in the body and then add as drivers for other health issues in the body. These “Obestrogens’ can also interfere with your DNA and can also be passed on to your future offspring through the DNA of the sperm and eggs and also pass genetic conditions onto them as well.

Eating too many grains, sugars, alcohol and refined foods are a big cause of excess fats in the body. These foods lead to increased blood sugar levels, which in turn lead to excess insulin in the body. This then leads to the body storing fat and also stopping the burning of fat. This then leads to high levels of inflammation in the body and a big driver behind many of the major health complaints in the body and even our leading causes of death, in both men and women. When people ask me how refined foods and grains lead to excess fats I also ask them “How do we fatten up cattle and livestock?” The answer is we give them high amounts of grains which increase hormone levels, which then lead to excess growth and also lead to higher amounts of fats in their bodies.

Excess body fats are a big contributing factor in PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Cysts, Polyps, Sperm quality issues, Prostate issues, Diabetes, Infertility, Cardiovascular disease, Heart disease and Cancers in both men and women

For women excess body fat can lead to menstrual irregularities and heavy periods too, without necessarily having a known gynaecological condition. These excess fats produce estrogens, which is needed to thicken the uterine lining. But when there are too much circulating estrogens, the lining becomes too thick and unstable, eventually leading to bleeding. This can be unpredictable, and often very heavy, lasting a long period of time. These excess estrogens can then lead to gynaecological conditions such as PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids etc, but they can also be a big contributing driver of cancers in women.

These excess fats can also lead to men growing breasts, feminisation, having prostate cancers, prostate issues, sperm issues, diabetes, heart disease, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and many cancers that men face.

With many of the developed western countries have a population with over 70% of its people being overweight, or obese, now more than ever we need to look at ways of educating people about eating better, exercising more and looking after their health. While we need governments to intervene, we also need people to take personal responsibility too. With so much health information about the dangers of refined foods, processed foods, sugars, grains and alcohol, we really do have lots of resources that we never used to have available to us. There really is no excuse any longer. If you really do not know what a good diet is supposed to be, there are qualified health professionals, such as nutritionists etc, who can help you. If you truly are eating a proper healthy diet and exercising, then you shouldn’t be overweight. If you are doing all the right things, then there could be other underlying issues that need to be addressed by an appropriate healthcare professional. But many times I find that what people think is a healthy diet, or appropriate exercise, is very far from what a healthy diet and appropriate exercise is. It is all about what people have been taught by their family and what their perception of a healthy lifestyle is.

If you do have a gynaecological condition, have a men’s health issue, are having problem with fertility, or just need to get healthier, now is the time to act. We can no longer deny that excess fats are a major concern for the population and are causing so many health issues across the board.

Just so people know, it isn’t necessarily about weight and measuring yourself with scales. Scales do not show the amount of body fat we have and muscles weighs more than fat. We need people to get out the tape measure to truly see how much fat they have and start to look at waist measurement, rather than weight measurement.

A health male needs to have a waist measurement of 94cms or below and a woman needs to have a healthy waist measurement of 80cms or below. If a male has a waist measurement about 94cm or more, or a woman has a waist measurement of 80cms or more, both he and she are at increased risk of health issues. A measurement of above 102 cm (for men) or 88 cm (for women) is one of the components of Metabolic Syndrome, which puts you at increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital protection against many of the health issues we face. Regular exercise, limiting alcohol, non-smoking, a nutritious diet, reducing grains and refined foods and stress reduction are all important. The lower GI diets (Primal, Zone etc) have been shown to be much better than others for people who are overweight, obese and have excess body fats. At Shen Therapies we believe that we can give you the best dietary advice available. A healthy diet, nutritional and herbal supplementation has been researched and shown to benefit many people and is a big part of our overall treatment for everybody that comes to see us for help. Please know that we are here to help you, not judge you. Helping you, help yourself have a better life and have better health, is our priority.

Why Artificial Sweeteners Are Killing You

what if I told you artificial sugars are killing you

 

 

 

 

Recent studies have shown that Artificial Sweeteners increase Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Cancer risks and are a major part of one of the many issues slowly killing the us and turning the world population into super obese people.

Right now that can of Coke Zero, diet soda, or Pepsi max doesn’t look so good after all. Neither should it, because the ingredients in those drinks, when consumed, even if just once, or twice per week, are slowing taking years off your life and affecting your health and disrupting your reproductive, metabolic, cardiovascular, endocrine and immunes function.

But it isn’t just these drinks that are the issue. These artificial sweeteners are in are in everything from foods you are eating daily, many popular/fad protein shakes, chewing gum and even kids chewable vitamins. Yes, those vitamins are providing your children with a chemical toxic ingredient on a daily basis, under the banner that it is good for you.

People do need to take the blinkers off and realize that these artificial sugars are in fact a toxic chemical that the body cannot covert properly, tends to store in fat tissue and then covert to other toxic substances in the body. They are worse for you than naturally occurring sugars and that is a scientific and even logical fact. They are chemically engineered and they do not naturally occur in our environment. This doesn’t mean refined sugar is good for you either, but it is definitely better processed by the body and there are better options for sugar than refined sugar cane.

The problem is that most of the population has a sugar addiction and it is slowly killing them, or for some, it is killing them quite quickly. This is not just some conspiracy theory at all. The whole is now facing the fact that most of its population is overweight and resembling the characters off the movie “Wall-E”. But worse still people are now thinking that the chemically laden substitutes are actually a better alternative to sugar. Not so

Consumption of noncaloric, artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) is associated with an increased risk for disease variety of chronic diseases, according to an opinion article by Susan E. Swithers, PhD, a professor of behavioral neuroscience at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, publishedin Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism

In recent years, some high-profile studies have caused concern, suggesting that pregnant women who use high-intensity sweeteners incur risks, including premature delivery. Studies in mice have highlighted cancers related to ingestion of sweeteners in large quantities and potential diabetogenic effects of artificial sweeteners through microbiota.

“Frequent consumers of these sugar substitutes are at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Swithers writes.

The prospective studies Dr. Swithers reviewed found an elevated risk for weight gain and obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension in those who consumed ASBs..

Participants who regularly consumed ASBs tended to have higher baseline body mass indexes compared with participants who did not.

Similar studies showed that these artificial sweeteners are also putting children at a major health risk and definitely are a part of the obesity epidemic that is fast turning our children in super obese adults.

Hormones, Brain Response Altered

Brain responses are altered in those who consume artificial sweeteners compared with those who consume caloric sweeteners. In addition, studies in humans have found that the release of hormones and other markers need for hormone synthesis and insulin regulation and glucose homeostasis, are disrupted after ingestion of artificial sweeteners. Many of these artificial sweeteners are actually endocrine disruptors that are affecting the conversion of cholesterol into hormones and causing what many know as “The pregnenolone steal”. Basically you aren’t producing your hormones properly and not converting many of our much-needed hormones at all. Plus obesity is causing hormonal disruption by too much fat, which are now being termed as “Obestrogens”.

Current findings suggest that caution and avoidance of about artificial sweeteners is warranted. People need to open their eyes and look at the foods they are consuming on a daily basis. Many of them have hidden artificial sugars and additives in them and worse still, many of the foods children are consuming daily are the same. We all need to start to eat less process foods, avoid refined sugars, avoid artificial sugars, increase vegetable and fruits, increase nuts and seeds, increase our protein and where possible eat fresh organic foods.

Forget global warming killing us off, the world is doing a pretty good job of its own by ingesting chemically laden foods and sugar substitutes such as these artificial sweeteners.

 

 

Sinusitis

treat-sinusitis

 

 

 

 

 

Sinusitis

Sinusitis means inflammation, or an infection of the sinuses (sinus cavities). The sinuses are air-filled spaces (cavities) within the bones of the face and are located in the cheeks, forehead and around the eyes. The sinuses are linked together, and connected to the nose, ears and throat too. One function of the sinuses is to warm and moisten inhaled air before it reaches the lungs. Cold air into the sinus cavities can also cause the nose to block. The sinuses are also lined with cells that help prevent infection by producing mucus to trap particles of dirt and other pollutants that are breathed in. Sometimes this mucus and particles build up and then cause inflammation and infection and this is why regular flushing of the sinuses needs to be encouraged.

Causes of sinusitis

Sinusitis is caused by swelling of the lining of the sinuses and nose, allergy response and too much mucus and particle build up, which can block the narrow channels. This can occur during a cold, or may be due to allergy (for example, hayfever) or irritation of the linings of the sinuses (for example, from chlorine in a swimming pool). Some preservative such as the preservative 220 can cause inflammation and blockages of the sinuses as well. Bacteria can also grow inside the sinuses, causing pain, headache and migraine and sometimes fever. Mucus from infected sinuses can be yellow or green. It often resembles a peanut butter like colour. Some people get sinusitis with most colds, while others get it rarely. Many people that have persistent cold like symptoms may in fact have chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Blocked nose
  • Feeling of pressure inside the face
  • Facial pain, particularly when leaning forward
  • Headache/Migraine
  • Aching teeth in the upper jaw
  • Yellow or green-colored mucus from the nose
  • Swelling of the face
  • Loss of the senses of smell and taste
  • Persistent cough
  • Generally feeling unwell.

Risk factors

Certain factors increase a person’s susceptibility to sinusitis, including:

  • Frequent colds (especially for young children)
  • Cigarette smoking (active or passive)
  • Regular use of nasal decongestant sprays (for more than two to three days)
  • Untreated hay fever or other allergies
  • Structural abnormalities of the nose
  • Nasal polyps (swellings in the linings of the nose or sinuses)
  • Dental disease, such as untreated tooth abscess.
  • Diet high in inflammatory foods and preservatives.

Treatment options

Decongestants that help with symptoms of colds usually do not help with sinusitis. Nose sprays  and some steroidal sprays can even make the problem worse, if they are used for too long, because they can cause more swelling and thinning of the lining. Antibiotics are often prescribed for sinusitis, but not all sinusitis is caused from infection. Most people will recover fully from sinusitis in a week or so without antibiotics, but they may recover more quickly if effective antibiotics are used. (Some antibiotics are much more useful for sinusitis than others). Other options to manage the symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Steam inhalation, perhaps including a few drops of eucalyptus oil
  • Nasal flushes such as FLO nasal care
  • Acupuncture provides great relief and management of sinusitis
  • Chinese herbs and complementary therapies can also provide help with sinusitis
  • Comfortably hot compresses held against the face
  • Pain relief medication and sometimes steroids, such as paracetamol, Ibuprofen & prednisone. Sometimes stronger pain relief medication is needed

If you suffer from sinusitis, it’s important to see if there is any trigger which can be treated. For example, hayfever, or dental disease may need to be treated, or you may want to avoid irritants found in your diet and around your environment. Some people may also need to do desensitisation to allergies affect them.

People with persistent sinusitis should also be getting a CT scan of the paranasal sinuses to make sure the sinus cavity isn’t completely blocked, or they have nasal polyps, which will require surgery. Surgery to drain the pus and improve the flow of mucus from the sinus may be an option for persistent cases of sinusitis. Some people also have what we call nasal polypoid disease which is a growth of fungus that causes the sinuses to be blocked, inflamed and be infected and this will require surgery to treat. It may grow back without proper management.

At Shen Therapies we can help with all the symptoms and treatment of sinusitis and help with allergic rhinitis and hayfever. We know how to treat sinusitis effectively and know how to fidn the cause of your problem.  If you suffer from any of these on a regular basis and aren’t getting the help you need, then you need to book in and have a consultation and treatments to help you fix the cause of your sinus issues.

Tips For People To Cut Most Of The Additional & Hidden Sugar From Their Diet

sugar-cubes

 

 

 

 

Sugar is one of the hardest things to cut from a person’s diet and often why it is likened to coming off hard drugs. To be honest, many times it is just as hard as coming off hard drugs and the side effects of doing so can feel just as bad for some people. There is no doubt that sugar is a drug, because so many people are addicted to it and cannot live without it. It is an addiction on epidemic proportion and it is causing so many health issues for us as a population.

So how do you get rid of it out of your diet?

Well, firstly, we need to recognise that the body does need small amounts of sugar, but it needs to come from whole foods and not be refined, or from processed sugars. Secondly, we need people to read the back of packets of food they are buying and start to see how much additional sugar they are getting in their diet. Lastly, we need people to recognize that no matter what sugar substitute they use (honey, dates, dried fruits, splenda etc) it is still sugar and it still reacts in the body the same way. Sugar is sugar and we need people to recognise this. People have this perception that using dates, honey etc in their foods, makes the food more healthy and OK to eat. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sweets and still treats no matter what form they come in.

We also need to get people to look at what they are eating and see if you are eating a well balanced diet. Oftentimes, people crave sweets and sugar because their diet is too low in protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, if you are eating a lot of refined and processed foods and sugar you will crave more sugar as the sugars burn off and then you hit a sugar low.

Here are some helpful tips to reduce added sugar intake:

  1. Always start your day off with protein. Whatever you start your day with, regulates your sugars for the rest of the day. If you start your day with sugar (cereals, toast, sweet things, and high GI carbs) then your day will be one big sugar ping pong session. Starting your day with protein helps regulate your sugars and stops those sugar cravings throughout the day.
  2. We need to make sure that every meal on snack has protein with it. We also need to make sure we have at least 2 handfuls of nuts and seeds per day, two tablespoons of healthy oils per day and have two servings of fruit per day. Especially berries, green apple, oranges etc. You also need to be eating 3 cups of vegetables per day (including salads). You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day and also adding some electrolytes to your water at least once per day to help stop dehydration.
  3. Omit all sweetened beverages. Just stop drinking them and go cold turkey. You can also just start replacing them daily. Replace with water, coconut water, sparkling water or herbal teas. Make up jug of water with some lemon and mint and keep it in your fridge. The lemon and mint add flavour to the water, but they also have health benefits too.
  4. If you add sugar to coffee or tea, slowly cut down the amount that you put in by half each time until you find you no longer need it. You can also start by adding Rapadura sugar to your coffee, or tea (which is unrefined sugar cane juice that is crystallised and not as sweet, or processed as refined sugars). You can then slowly reduce this.
  5. Replace sugary foods with real whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
  6. Don’t skip meals. This is where most people go wrong and when their sugars and energy levels get low; their body then craves to be topped up. Unfortunately many people make the wrong choices in what they then eat. It is important to make sure you eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable. People should be eating 5 small meals per day and eating every 3-4 hours to ensure they maintain their energy levels and stop sugar fluctuations and sugar cravings.
  7. Add spices and herbs to your foods and cut out the refined sauces. Use spices and herbs such as pepper, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, oregano, turmeric, ginger, garlic. Any spice or herbs you can think of.
  8. Make sure you exercise at least 3-4 times per week, but if you can start your day with some sort of movement, this will help with your metabolism and sugar cravings too. It will also help maintain healthy weight and keep your body healthy too.
  9. Eat whole foods and omit as many processed foods as possible.
  10. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. If you are sleep deprived, your body will crave more sweets/sugar. When the body is tired, it just wants sugars and to fuel up quickly.
  11. Take some sugar regulating herbs and supplements. Supplements such as chromium and herbs such as cinnamon help with controlling blood sugars too.
  12. Take a Prebiotic and Probiotic daily to help with god gut health. With good gut health, you won’t crave sugars as much either.

If you need help with controlling sugar craving, or wanting to know how to cut sugar from your diet, then please give us a call and make an appointment to help you get your diet and health back on track now

 

 

What A Proper Menstrual Cycle Should Be Like (Revisited)

proper menses

 

 

 

 

 

What a proper Menstrual Cycle should be like -By Dr Andrew Orr

I have been traveling around this country presenting to both healthcare practitioners and as part of women’s health work shops and I am still amazed that many healthcare practitioners and the general public alike still do not know what a proper menstrual cycle should be like. So many women, both healthcare providers and the general public, still believe that many of the abnormal symptoms they put up with daily are actually normal and believe that they just have to put up with them. OMG, if the healthcare providers have no idea, then how to we expect everyone else to know. Tis is why we are seeing so many women put up with gynaecological conditions such as Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, PCOS and many other symptoms they face on daily basis.

Every day I also get emails from women, or see them in clinic, asking me if PMS, menstrual irregularities and period pain is normal and I have to tell them it is not. To put it bluntly, PMS, severe PMS (known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)), irregular cycles and period pain are not normal, and women should not experience any pain at all during your menstrual flow, and you shouldn’t have to put up with all the horrible symptoms leading up to your cycle as well.

The fact is that only 20-25% of women actually get menstrual pain and severe symptoms of PMS. Once there are a greater number of people with a condition, medically the condition is then classed as normal, meaning that wider portion of the population get it. But the problem is menstrual pain and irregularities are not normal and these are signs of problems in the body that need to be checked out by a gynaecologist, reproductive medicine, or women’s health specialist such as myself. The sad thing is even then, some women are being missed, or offered the supposed quick fix, or patch, that will not fix their issues. The worse things is, my line of work is that when these things are missed and masked and left for too long, women wake up one day and want babies, and cant have them, or struggle to have them.

 

Once again menstrual pain and irregularities are not normal and no matter what mum, your best friend, or you GP says, women should not have to put up with it. It is not normal. Going on the oral contraceptive pill will not fix the cause of the issue either and this is why women need to see a gynaecologist or a women’s health specialist for any gynaecology issue.

So I am going to tell you what a proper a menstrual cycle and I’m going list what it should be like below. So that way if you are wondering why your menstrual cycle has gone crazy and you cant get enough Ibuprofen, or naprogesics, into your body when you get your cycle, then please remember the list below. It is so important that I tell everyone what a proper menstrual cycle should be like. If it isn’t like the one I describe you better book in to see me soon.

But, for those who may be trying to have babies, or think that all is OK, don’t be fooled into think that you don’t have a gynaecological issue because you don’t have pain, or irregularities either. Up to 80% of women with endometriosis are asymptomatic (Meaning no symptoms). Many women with PCOS also have regular cycle and all body types can have this disease, not just overweight women. It is so important for all women to get regular gynaecological check ups by a gynaecologist, or women’s health specialist such as myself, especially if you are trying to have babies and nothing is happening.

What a proper menstrual cycle should be like

  • A proper menstrual cycle should be 26 –32 days in it’s length.
  • It should be 4 days flow, 5 at the most. Any shorter than 4 days is too short and any longer than 5 days is too long. This isn’t good.
  • You “Should Not” get any pain at all.
  • You shouldn’t get clotting, spotting,
  • You shouldn’t get severe breast tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, or changes to the moods, such as teariness or irritability.

These are all signs of irregularities and need to be addressed and many of the causes are above. Just remember that if you do get bad period pain, or your periods are irregular there is a good chance you may have endometriosis, or PCOS, and these need to be investigated.

Take care

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr

(The Brisbane Baby Maker & Women’s Health Crusader)

“Leaving No Stone Unturned”

At Shen Therapies Dr Andrew Orr specialises in the treatment and of menstrual irregularities and menstrual and gynaecological conditions that cause irregular periods. He uses a combined approach of western medicine diagnostics and complementary medicine treatments to offer a truly multi modality approach to give the best help possible. He also works in with a team of the best health care professionals there are, if other services are required. Please see his profile on our page.

If you need help with menstrual issues, or gynaecological issues, please give our clinic a call on 07 32795697, or email info@shentherapies.com.au

 

Gestational Diabetes

What-is-gestational-diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. I am seeing more and more of this during pregnancy these days and it is definitely on the increase, most probably due to our high carbohydrate diet and lack of proteins.

Diabetes is a very common condition where there is too much glucose in the blood. Insulin (continuously produced in the pancreas) is the hormone responsible for lowering blood glucose levels. Insulin transports glucose from the blood stream into cells of the body for energy. Due to our poor diets these days, we are now putting ourselves at more risk of gestational diabetes and also type 2 diabetes, which can occur one you have had gestational diabetes.

In pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that help the baby grow and develop. These hormones also decrease the action of the mother’s insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Because of this insulin resistance, the need for insulin in pregnancy is two or three times higher than normal.

Insulin resistance can also be hereditary and if there is a family history of diabetes you have high chance of having insulin resistance by default. Women with PCOS and those doing assisted reproduction (IVF, IUI, ICSI etc) also have higher risk of developing Gestational Diabetes. Consequently, during pregnancy, the mother’s body needs to produce higher amounts of insulin to keep her blood glucose levels within the normal range. If her body is unable to produce more insulin to meet her needs, gestational diabetes develops. After the baby is born, the mother’s blood glucose levels usually return to normal

Unfortunately many women think they can eat whatever they like during pregnancy and this also puts a greater load on insulin and insulin sensitivity, leading them to be at more risk of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is very much a preventable disease and strict diet needs to be adhered to for optimum health of mother and child.

Definition Depending on the specific population, abnormal maternal glucose regulation occurs in 3-10% of pregnancies. Recent studies suggest that the prevalence of diabetes among women of childbearing age is increasing in the Western countries. To be honest the rates are probably up around 50% these days, given how many people are seen with this disease. Australia is now one of the fattest countries on the planet and our diabetes levels have increased exponentially.

This increase is believed to be attributable to (1) more sedentary lifestyles, (2) changes in diet, (3) continued immigration from high-risk populations, and (4) the virtual epidemic of childhood and adolescent obesity presently evolving.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. Untreated GDM can lead to foetal macrosomia, hypoglycaemia, hypocalcaemia, and hyperbilirubinaemia. In addition, mothers with GDM have increased rates of caesarean delivery and chronic hypertension

To screen for GDM, a 50g glucose screening test should be done at 24-28 weeks of gestation. This is followed by a 100g, 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test if the patient’s plasma glucose concentration at 1 hour during screening is greater than 7.8 mmol/L.

Normalisation of glucose levels in women with gestational diabetes will reduce the risk of complications such as macrosomia, birth trauma, need for caesarean section, and neonatal hypoglycaemia. If diet modification fails to improve glucose values, insulin therapy may be needed. Oral hypoglycaemic agents arecontraindicated during pregnancy

Subsequent pregnancies can be affected, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased. If maternal glucose levels are uncontrolled, the infant can suffer central nervous system defects, organ failure,  cardiac or renal anomalies asphyxia, respiratory distress, increased blood volume, hcongestive heart failure, hypocalcaemia, hypomagnesaemia, hypoglycaemia, or hyperbilirubinaemia, or the child may be stillborn. The effects of Gestations Diabetes are not good.

Aetiology / Risk Factors

  • Family history of type 2 diabetes: having a first-degree relative with type 2 diabetes leads to lifetime risk of 40%; similarly 25% to 33% of all type 2 diabetics have a family history of the condition.
  • Age older than 40 years
  • Excess body fat, particularly truncal obesity with waist circumference >88 cm
  • Sedentary lifestyle with diet high grains and refined carbohydrates
  • Glucose intolerance, dyslipidaemia, hypertension
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • History of polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • History of assisted Reproduction (IVF, IUI, ICSI etc)
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander, Indian or Chinese, African American, Hispanic American, and Native American descent.
  • Low birth weight and/or malnutrition in pregnancy may cause metabolic abnormalities in a foetus that later lead to diabetes.

Symptoms of gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes usually has no obvious symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • unusual thirst
  • excessive urination
  • tiredness
  • thrush (yeast infections).

Management and Prevention of gestational diabetes

Health professionals such as an Endocrinologist, Nutritionist, Naturopath, or Diabetes specialist can help you understand what you need to do and will support you in managing your gestational diabetes. The same principles apply for the prevention of Gestational Diabetes as well. Some advice may include:

  • Diet – You need to follow a strict Low GI diet and the best diet to follow is a grain free diet such as the Paleo/Primal/Zone Diet. This way you are cutting out the inflammatory foods that spike your blood sugars and then spike your insulin. Basically you should be having 5-7 small meals per day. You need to have 2 serves of nuts per day, 2 tablespoons of healthy oils per day (coconut, olive oil etc), only on serve of starchy carbs per day (rice, potatoes etc-No wheat grains at all), every meal or snack should have some form of protein in it (meats, fish, avocado, cheese, nuts etc), 5 serves of veggies per day (including salads), 2 pieces of low GI fruit per day (Berries, Strawberries, Apples etc), 8 glasses of water per day and some form of electrolyte daily.
  • Physical activity – such as walking, yoga, pilates etc, helps to keep you fit, prepares you for the birth of your baby and will help to control your blood glucose levels. Check with your health care professional before starting a new or particularly strenuous exercise regimen
  • Monitoring your blood glucose levels – is essential. It gives a guide as to whether the changes you have made to your lifestyle are effective or whether further treatment is required. A diabetes nurse educator can teach you how and when to measure your blood glucose levels and discuss the recommended blood glucose levels to aim for. Your health care profressional, or diabetes educator, can help you link in with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) for cheaper blood glucose strips. Regular contact with your health care practitioner, diabetes educator, or doctor is recommended
  • Take a good multivitamin, some omega 3 oils, a probiotic and an insulin regulating formulation to help with staying healthy, providing adequate nutrients to the baby and help in preventing gestational diabetes. Acupuncture is also great in the prevention on gestational diabetes.
  • Insulin injections – may be needed to help keep your glucose level in the normal range. In Australia, blood glucose lowering tablets are generally not used in pregnancy. Insulin is safe to take during pregnancy and does not cross the placenta from the mother to the baby
  • Education – including information and support from your diabetes educator or doctor, regarding the action of insulin, insulin injection technique, insulin storage, signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels) and its treatment, as well as safe blood glucose levels for driving.

After the baby is born (If you have Gestational Diabetes)

After their baby is born, most women will no longer need insulin injections, as gestational diabetes usually disappears. Breastfeeding is encouraged. The best way to control GD and prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes in the future is by diet and lifestyle changes Blood glucose levels are measured before breakfast and two hours after meals to make sure that these are within the normal range. An OGTT is done six to eight weeks after the baby is born to make sure that the mother no longer has diabetes. Following the birth of your baby, it is important that your baby’s blood glucose levels are measured to make sure that their blood glucose is not too low. If it is, this can be treated by feeding your baby breastmilk, or formula if necessary. A baby whose mother had gestational diabetes will not be born with diabetes. However, they may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. This is why all children should be shown healthy eating habits from a young age so that they reduce the risk of inheriting disease states from their parents.

Reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes

Women who have gestational diabetes have a high chance (almost one in two) of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 to 20 years. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, so it is important to take steps to reduce your risk. You should:

  • maintain a healthy eating plan
  • maintain a healthy weight for your height
  • engage in regular physical activity
  • have a follow-up blood test (OGTT) every year.

Things to remember

  • Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.
  • When the pregnancy is over, the diabetes usually disappears.
  • Women who develop gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • A healthy lifestyle with a grain free diet, is important for both mother and baby to reduce their risk of diabetes in the future.
  • In future pregnancies, an OGTT will be performed early in the pregnancy to make check that your blood glucose levels are in the normal range. If this test is normal, then a repeat OGTT will be done, usually between 22 and 28 weeks gestation.

Prevention is the best way to deal with gestational diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Preconception preparation with good foods, good supplements, exercise and a healthy lifestyle should be adopted before trying to fall pregnant. These healthy eating and lifestyle changes should then be followed into the pregnancy as well. At Shen Therapies we can help you with gestational diabetes and also prevention of this condition also.

Post-Partum

Post-partum refers to the time after childbirth. Post-partum care is too often forgotten as Mother’s primary concern is now her child. Restoring Qi and balance in the body is so important and our Post-Partum treatments are designed to do just this.

Following childbirth a women’s condition is very vulnerable and much care should be taken to eat well and rest. Unfortunately in our western society the trend is for women to leave their beds shortly after childbirth and even go back to work only days after this vulnerable time.

Because of the demands of childbirth much blood is lost during and after labour. This leads to deficiency of blood, chronic tiredness and fatigue. The immune system is susceptible to disease and complications such as Post Natal depression can arise. There is so much emphasis on what women should and shouldn’t do during pregnancy, but there is very little information about care after childbirth. A mother needs to be healthy in order to look after her new baby.

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, childbirth is seen as a deficiency of QI (Vital Energy) and Blood. Organs such as the Spleen (producer of blood), the Liver (stores blood) and the Heart (commander of blood) are all deficient as a result of blood loss. This can cause disharmony in the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Qi and Blood Deficiency include:

  • Tiredness, fatigue
  • Pale skin, complexion
  • Weakness of limbs
  • Dizziness, light-headedness
  • Poor appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Poor memory
  • Insomnia
  • Loose stools
  • Pale tongue
  • Weak pulse

If lost Qi and Blood is not replaced it can lead to serious complications that may manifest immediately or years later. It may even affect a woman’s ability to fall pregnant again.

Specially formulated Chinese Herbs as well as Acupuncture are effective methods to restore Qi and blood and an integral part of Chinese Medicine. We encourage all women to book in for a Post partum treatment after childbirth to restore their Qi and Blood and restore their energy and vitality again.

There are also a number of things that you can do at home to help restore balance to the body. See our Fact Sheets and Forms page for more information on Post Partum.