Parental obesity linked to delays in child development

Date- January 2nd 2017

Over 70% of adults in Australia are now overweight, or obese and not only did this pose significant health impacts for this adults, but studies are now showing that the genetic mode of inheritance is now having a huge physical, psychological and developmental impact on children of these adults.

 

Children of obese parents may be at risk for developmental delays, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The investigators found that children of obese mothers were more likely to fail tests of fine motor skill — the ability to control movement of small muscles, such as those in the fingers and hands. Children of obese fathers were more likely to fail measures of social competence, and those born to extremely obese couples also were more likely to fail tests of problem solving ability.

The study, appearing in Pediatrics, was conducted by scientists at the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

The researchers noted that studies indicate that obesity during pregnancy may promote inflammation, which could affect the fetal brain. They also added that some studies have indicated that obesity could affect the expression of genes in sperm and this is passed on via the genetic and paternal mode of inheritance.

Because of the link between parental obesity and developmental delays being confirmed, physicians should be taking parental weight into account when screening young children for delays and early interventional services.

At Shen Therapies, lifestyle and weight management is part of our Fertility program and a major focus for the couple with their preconception care. Healthy eggs and healthy sperm come from healthy parents, which then goes on to make healthy children. I

If you need help with lifestyle, weight loss and help getting ready to have a baby, then call us at Shen Therapies today. We have helped over 12,000 plus babies into the world with our high successful Fertility Program and we can help increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy by 96.1%.

 

 

 

 

Alcohol & Binge Drinking May Cause Breathing Problems & Problems with Your Lungs.

alcohol affecting your health

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alcohol affects nearly every major organ in the human body, including the heart, the brain, the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. A team of researchers from Loyola University has found that binge drinking may be the reason it’s hard to catch your breath and can also make it harder for the lungs to breathe.

A recent new study has revealed that excessive alcohol consumption  affects the balance of nitric oxide levels in the lungs. Nitric oxide is a naturally produced gas that helps fight bacterial infections in the lungs. The Study revealed that the more a participant reported drinking, the lower their levels, which then showed that their bodies were less equipped to kill bacteria and fight off lung infections. Excessive alcohol drinkers were considered women who consumed more than one drink a day on average and men who had more than two drinks a day. This criteria alone, of what excessive drinking is, is going to shock people as many Australians and Americans drink way more that this daily.

The study’s lead author Dr. Majid Afshar, a pulmonologist at Loyola University’s School of Medicine commented that “Alcohol appears to disrupt the healthy balance in the Lung and Lung doctors may need to take this into consideration.”

One out of every four Australian and Americans drinks to excess and this leads to a frightening statistic of six alcohol poisoning deaths every day. Researchers will continue working to unravel the complex relationship between alcohol consumption and the human body.

The safe alcohol limits are defined as 4 standard drinks per week for a female and for men it is 2 standard drinks in one sitting, with at least 2 alcohol free days per week.

Next time you are struggling for breath, just remember it might be the amount of alcohol you are drinking. It may also mean you need to drop the drink and get fit and healthy too. Let’s not forget that many alcohols contain preservatives and sulphytes that may also cause breath problems too. Like I always say, a little bit of alcohol (mainly red wine) is good for the body, but a lot of it is going to cause problems with your health.

Are Gluten Free Products Healthier For Us?

Are Gluten Free Products Healthier For Us?

Each day we are seeing more and more gluten free products lining the supermarket shelves. Today you can get everything from gluten-free bread, chips, pizza bases, cookies, cakes and other gluten-free products. But are there benefits to cutting out gluten, which is found in most of our grains such and wheat, oats etc?

While many consume gluten in many of the foods and products they are consuming daily and don’t realise the the affects on their health and digestive system, for many it is also a molecule that can wreak some serious havoc when consumed by the wrong person. But while many people look at gluten free products as now being a health food, the fact is that many of the gluten free products people are consuming, have more additives, have less vitamins and minerals, and contain more sugars than the gluten containing products. Should we just be going grain free instead of trying to use gluten frre products? Are these gluten free products healthier for you?

With marketing focussing more and more on the sales of gluten free products and the high prices that are charged for these products, we really need to look at what are in these products and ask the question…… Are these products really healthier for us?

I would say no, but let me explain why.

What Are Grains and What Do They Do To Our Health?

The word “Grains” does cover many of the common foods we eat now. Grains include wheat, corn, rye, rice, barley, oats, amaranth, buckwheat, millet and sorghum – and many others. These grains are used in so many products these days and part of the reason we are having so many problems with health issues. Bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, cakes, biscuits, pastries, crackers and so many other refined products consumed by many of us are all made with these inflammatory grains.

Let’s not forget that we give grains to cattle and livestock to fatten them up, make them grow faster (due to the hormone response from insulin) and add more fats into the meat for extra flavour.

The grain is the reproductive part of plant; it therefore needs to protect itself to enable future generations. The big difference with fruit; which is designed to be eaten by humans, is that when digested seeds are consumed, they are then spread further to ensure future generations.

As part of this overall protective mechanism, grains contain anti-nutrients, such as phytates, lectins, and other incomplete proteins. This is our major problem with grains. Even when gluten is removed from food products, these other inflammatory agents remain and most people are complete unaware of this and how much they are causing problems with their health and disruption to their digestive systems.

Phytates bind to minerals, vitamins and enzymes preventing them from being absorbed in your body. The Lectins found in grains have a significant impact in the gut, resulting in inflammation and poor absorption of nutrients – as well as insulin & leptin resistance. The inflammation that these anti-nutrients cause, is now known to be the cause of many modern diseases. But lets not forget that many of our grains that we consume daily are also genetically modified and this in itself is causing major disruption to our health and bodily functions. This alone could be a major factor in the increase of many disease states we are now seeing.

Refined grains are converted to sugar very quickly, which requires insulin to bring down the blood sugar level in the blood. High insulin levels cause the body to store fats and then stop the burning of fats. The high insulin also causes inflammation and insulin resistance – which is the cause of many of our health conditions. It can be the cause of anything from PCOS, Endometriosis, Depression, Diabetes, Heart Disease and many other health issues in this modern day. Consuming such a high carbohydrate load with every meal results in unstable, fluctuating blood sugar levels and this then results in hunger that is satisfied by consuming another high carbohydrate meal.

There is also differences between what we term as “Carbs”. “Good carbs” are fresh fruits and vegetables and naturally growing foods in their normal form. “Bad Carbs” are basically anything that is refined – (Breads, cereals, flour products, sugar and most of our packet based foods)

So What is Gluten and why is it so bad for our health?

Gluten is another protein that causes a lot of problems and is found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats (other grains have similar, troublesome proteins). Gluten is the only protein in food that’s indigestible and those who suffer from celiac disease experience adverse side effects from consuming  and — in severe cases —  touching  gluten. Gluten can slip through the intestinal lining, causing chronic damage, inflammation, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting in these sufferers. There’s also evidence suggesting that people without coeliac can have a sensitivity to gluten, which still causes complications and forces them to live on a strict gluten-free diet. Whilst a lot of people may test negative for the autoimmune disease Coeliac, there is evidence to suggest most people do not handle this incomplete protein well.

Gluten causes gut irritation and inflammation and many people will not even realise that their problems are caused by gluten. Gluten has been linked to many autoimmune and health conditions.

The problem with Gluten Free products is that they are still highly refined and they still cause inflammation, due to high insulin, even with the gluten removed. The inflammatory lectins and leptins are still there too. Many gluten free products are also full of additives, fillers, binding agents and lots of sugar. Currently, there are no medications, treatments, or cures to successfully treat any form of gluten intolerance. But so long as they don’t consume any foods containing gluten molecules, both coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity sufferers can live a relatively normal and otherwise healthy life.

But the bottom line is that Gluten-free diets don’t necessarily mean you’ve chosen a healthier route when you run the risk of losing out on essential nutrients.

This is why a grain free, not gluten free, is the best option. If you truly want to be gluten free, just don’t eat the wheat grain, or other gluten containing and inflammatory grains in the first place. The best thing any person could do for their body, as the first step towards better health, would be to cut wheat grain from their diet completely. You will be much healthier for it in the long run.

If you do want to know more about how to follow a wheat free/grain free diet, then give Shen Therapies a call and book in a health and wellness consultation today.

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.

Acupuncture Treats, Clears & Prevents Migraines

Acupuncture on skin,Closeup.

 

 

Researchers have successfully documented not only that acupuncture is safe and effective for the relief of migraines, but also how acupuncture achieves positive outcomes.

As a past sufferer (yes past sufferer) of Migraines, I know all too well how debilitating and painful this condition can be when an attack happens. Even when the initial stage of the Migraine subsides, the aura and residual effects can last for days. While pain medication is a much needed part of the process, I also know that if you don’t administer the medication at the right time, the medication sometimes will have little, or no effect, once the migraine takes hold. Worse still, the withdrawal effects of these very strong pain medications can often then induce migraines and headaches, which then require further medication. It really can be a never-ending viscous cycle.

Migraines really do need a multimodality approach to them because the causes of them come from neck dysfunction(sublaxations), diet, blood sugars, hormones, stress and lifestyle. This is why an individual approach is always needed to properly assess, evaluate and treat migraines is needed. Too many people are just patching their condition, with a variety of treatments that really are only just getting them through to the next attack. What people need is a treatment that will not only treat the cause of their migraines, but also help prevent further migraines and give them long term relief and even cure. Acupuncture is just one component in that overall treatment and prevention. So let’s look at how acupuncture can help.

Acupuncture has been shown to induce important biological responses to prevent and alleviate migraines. Imaging studies of the brain using fMRI technology confirm that acupuncture causes specific cortical responses to achieve lasting analgesic effects. In addition, blood level measurements document specific responses to acupuncture that play an important role in preventing and eliminating pain.

Researchers conclude that acupuncture is effective for the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches. A meta-analysis of controlled clinical and laboratory investigations are the basis for the conclusion. In analysis of recent clinical trials, they showed the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for migraines, with less migraine days and less pain intensity levels when acupuncture was administered. Furthermore, no severe adverse effects occurred. A follow-up of up to three months following acupuncture treatments maintained the same results and showed that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of migraines both on the short-term and long-term basis.

In some of the investigation, researchers conducting a clinically-controlled study using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) where they found a significant decrease in the functional connectivity of the right frontoparietal network of migraine patients. This connectivity dysfunctions was found to be reversible after four weeks of treatment using acupuncture. This is another curative effect of acupuncture that is quantifiable in repeated controlled experiments.

For over 7 thousand years, people have used acupuncture in China for the treatment of various pain conditions, including migraines. It is useful, both as a supplementary treatment and as an alternative treatment, in situations where there is no response to drug therapy. Migraines are a headache disorder affecting a broad population that causes many burdens due to associated healthcare costs and people not being able to go to school and work.

Up to 25% of households in Australia and the United States have at least one member who suffers from migraines. The estimated total number of migraine patients in the United States alone exceeds 28 million and half of them have reduced work or school productivity. In Australia millions of people suffer from Migraines daily and it also affects their work, study and general day to day function, with some not even able to leave their homes due to this debilitating condition.

Scientists have uncovered some of the biochemical mechanisms responsible for acupuncture’s pain killing effects. Drugs used for the treatment of migraines not only have a analgesic action, but they also activate a reaction in the cerebral vessels. In the studies analyzed it was found that acupuncture has been found this very same analgesic action and also activated the same process in the cerebral vessels. The studies revealed acupuncture’s ability to regulate key regions of the brain affected by migraines. The areas are essentially the pain circuitry regions of the brain and cognitive components of pain processing. In addition, acupuncture also restores normal serum nitric oxide (NO) levels that have been found to be almost 55% higher in patients with migraines. Excess NO is a potent vasodilator contributing to headaches and acupuncture restores homeostasis. The regulatory effects of acupuncture can be quantified as early as the fifth acupuncture session and the effects are cumulative.

Based on these and other studies in the meta-analysis, the researchers conclude that acupuncture improves patients’ psychological profile, relieves pain, is safe and cost-effective, and has been found to be at least as effective as conventional preventative pharmacologic treatments for migraines.

At Shen Therapies we know how to treat Migraines properly and also help prevent them returning. We use a multimodaility approach that also give an individualized treatment and also looks at the individuals cause. Our aim is to prevent Migraines from happening in the first place and hopefully prevent them from returning for good. With the right care, this can be done and now research is now backing up what we have known for many years.

References:

Wang Y, Xue CC, Helme R, Da Costa C, Zheng Z (2015) Acupuncture for Frequent Migraine: A Randomized, Patient/Assessor Blinded, Controlled Trial with One-Year Follow-Up. Evid based Complement Alternat Med 2015: 920353.

Da Silva AN (2015) Acupuncture for migraine prevention. Headache 55: 470-473.

Vijayalakshmi I, Sjankar N, Saxena A, Bhatia MS (2014) Coomparison of effectiveness of acupuncture therapy and conventional drug therapy on psychological profile of migraine patients. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 58: 69-76.

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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.

How the Christmas, New year & Easter Festive Seasons Can Affect a Woman’s Menstrual Cycle

woman and doughnut

How the Christmas, New year & Easter Festive Seasons Can Affect a Woman’s Menstrual Cycle

-By Dr Andrew Orr (Reproductive Medicine & Women’s Health Specialist)

We have not long gotten over the Christmas and New Year period and we are about to embark on the fast train into Easter holiday and festive season. While many are getting ready for the sugar fest ahead, with Easter eggs and hot cross buns galore, we need to take the time to understand how this may affect our bodies afterwards, especially for women and their menstrual cycles. Worse still it could even affect pre-existing gynaecological conditions that women live with on a day to day basis, some of which impact women’s day life terribly

Christmas and Easter times always pose great problems for women and their menstrual cycle, and year after year many women never make the correlation why. Year after year I see women coming back to see me, after Christmas and Easter,  scratching their heads as to why all of a sudden their menstrual cycle has gone haywire and they are getting the worst PMS symptoms they’ve had since starting goodness knows

So why do so many women have problems with their menstrual cycle after Christmas and Easter?

The answer is blatantly obvious. Stress, Poor diet and Lifestyle factors!

The lead up to Christmas and Easter, is always a busy time and no matter how much people try to deny it, it is very stressful. People are rushing madly to meet deadlines before everyone goes on holidays and then the mad Christmas and Easter shopping rush that follows.

Then there is the stress of what to buy everyone, followed by the mad catering panic. People litrally go mad and one would think the end of the world is imminent, with supermarkets being emptied by the marketing hype of these two festive seasons.

Then the big day arrives. Everyone forgets the basic principles of a healthy diet and engorge themselves on any food they can lay their hands on. Basically it is a licence to eat as much bad food as we can put in our mouths, and then use the basic excuse of “Its Christmas” or “It’s Easter” and “It is only just one day and it won’t really matter and I had to do it”.

Then one day leads into two, and then this leads into a week and then before we know it, it has been more than just one day of bad eating, or drinking alcohol. The sad fact of that statement is that some people eat and drink alcohol like it’s Christmas and Easter every day.

With Christmas we can have many portions of baked dinner, crackling, seafood, Christmas pudding, chocolate and any other sugar substance that can be consumed it all had to be washed down with a nice alcoholic beverage, or two. Many bottles of bubbly, or choice of poison later, and we now have a stomach full of sugar, fat, cholesterol and alcohol all churning quite nicely. Diabetes and heart disease here we come.

Then approximately 1 week later it is New Years Eve and the licence, to drink like fish and eat like a ravenous bear, is pulled from the pocket and waived around once more. “But it’s Ok”, we say.

The New Year’s resolution will be to not do it again, until next year when all resolutions are forgotten. Meanwhile the system had short circuited, the gut has gone into melt down, the cholesterol levels are rising, the sugar levels have reached diabetes status and the brain cells have been reduced yet again.

Several months later when the system has started to recover, Easter arrives and the sugar binge begins; with Easter eggs and all manner of chocolate, sugar laden delight. The body short circuits itself again and will take until Christmas to recover and then it starts all over again.

Now, I wonder why the menstrual cycle would be affected?

Hmmm, I wonder?

There are only a few things that will affect a menstrual cycle and cause PMS, irregularities and pain. The trouble is many of them can be unknowingly self- inflicted. Yes, many monthly menstrual related problems can be unknowingly self- inflicted.

Let’s not forget that many people do have gynaecological issues that they suffer on a daily basis though. But even still, this high amount of burden on the system will exacerbate these pre-existing conditions and make them worse, due to the resulting high levels of inflammation. What I am trying to do is just make people aware of how conditions can be worsened and how these high levels of inflammation, from high levels of sugars etc, can cause havoc with a woman’s cycle. This is not about blame. It is about education and prevention. I am here to help, not hinder. Please remember this.

As I said there are only a few things that affect, or exacerbate, a woman’s menstrual cycle and I’m going to list them below. So that way if you are wondering why you can’t get enough Naprogesic into your body, when you get your cycle, please remember the list below.

Please also read my article on “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.

What Affects a Menstrual Cycle

  1. Poor diet – Foods such as high sugars and junk foods all cause inflammation in the body and lead to hormonal irregularities and pain with the menses
  2. Alcohol – Most alcohols contain high sugars and they also cause inflammation in the body. It also interferes with your hormones and affects the liver too. In Chinese medicine the Liver governs the menstrual cycle. Excess alcohol leads to SOL ( Shit on Liver) J
  3. Poor Sleep– Sleep deprivation leads to reduction in hormones such as serotonin and then effect the moods etc. Lack of sleep also stops the body from repairing and can lead to other health issues
  4. Trauma – Things such as surgery, a virus, cold/flu etc, or where the body has to repair, can lead to menstrual irregularities. The body shuts down the menses so that it can repair itself first
  5. Weight gain or weight loss– It is a well known fact that many athletes do not get a menstrual cycle because of lack of body fat. The same goes for people who are overweight too. Too much, or too little, body fat interferes with your fertility. All your hormones are made from fats and protein.
  6. Emotional Issues– Bottled up emotions such as anger & frustration cause blockages in the system & then cause pain. Emotional issues also cause problems with hormones. Emotions can be a major issue in any health condition, or can affect hormones.

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 shouldn’t get any pain at all, you shouldn’t get clotting, spotting, 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. Some of the things that exacerbate menstrual issues are listed above.

 

About Us

‘Shen’ means Spirit or Soul. In order to heal the body we must first heal the soul

Over 12, 000 * babies helped into the world and still counting

  • Fertility, Gynaecology & Pregnancy Specialists
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Shen Therapies was established in 1995 and are known as leaders in the fields of Natural Fertility, Pregnancy and Gynaecology. Our Fertility Program has can increase fertility success rates by 96.1% and we have now assisted over 12,000 * healthy babies into the world. We can successfully and safely turn Breech Babies using Acupuncture and Moxibustion (85% success rate) and provide Natural Induction services (88% success rate).

*(Please see our success rates in the menu section. Our Fertility success rates are based on doing our highly successful Fertility Program and our statistics were done independently)

In addition to Fertility, Gynaecology, Pregnancy and Women and Men’s Health, which is looked at on a medical level, we also use Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Nutrition and Holistic medicine, to treat the cause of many other disorders. This integrative medicine modalities work on several levels to:

  • Reduce the likelihood of a condition returning
  • Balance and harmonise the organs and the body overall
  • Treat imbalances before they even lead to disease

We have programs for Chronic Disease Management successfully treating conditions that have not responded well to any other forms of medicine. Using Biomesotherapy we can offer immediate pain relief to those experiencing severe nerve damage or musculoskeletal injuries. Shen Therapies also offers Laser Therapy for treating infants and children and we carry an extensive range of Practitioner grade herbal and nutritional supplements to benefit the whole family.

The team is lead by Andrew Orr, who has specialist medical degrees in Reproductive Medicine (Master of Reproductive Medicine Specialisation), Women’s Health Medicine (Master of Women’s Health Medicine) and is also a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a  Naturopath, a Nutritionist and more. Our team also consists of  dedicated Acupuncturists, Nutritionists, Massage therapists and Herbalists providing a caring and professional environment for your health care needs. We invite you to contact us for more information or come and see us in Clinic soon.