10 Essentails to Falling Pregnant

If you and your partner have been ‘kind of trying’ for the last couple of months or even years with little luck but have now decided that this is your year to fall pregnant, listen up…

  1. No more doctor google. Stop comparing yourself to strangers on the internet- forget forums and get in to see a real live person who can give you individual advice and treatment.

  2. Two words- clean eating. Stop making excuses about your diet. No matter what anyone tells you, your diet and the nutrients that both you and your partner absorb are incredibly important for your fertility.

  3. Visit your GP. Get some basic blood tests done, request sperm testing (semen analysis) and a pelvic ultrasound to eliminate serious causes to your infertility so you can either seek natural treatment or chat to a specialist about your next move.

  4. BBT (basal body temperature) charting. Start charting your basal body temperature and show it to the real live person you are seeking treatment from in step 1. Learn how to tell when you are fertile and when you are not, learn about your body and start building a better relationship with it.

  5. EXERCISE – get your body moving !!! Walking or yoga are two great options that everybody can do. Moving blood around your body helps deliver nutrient to your growing eggs or developing sperm for the males.

  6. Review your health. Sort out your ‘minor’ health complaints – if you suffer from bloating, poor digestion, frequent headaches, tiredness, skin complaints, low libido, insomnia, painful periods, short or long menstrual cycles get these treated. They may be related to your difficulty in falling pregnant.

  7. Look at your ‘stuff’. Seek emotional support. See that hypnotherapist, psychologist or counsellor and surround yourself with people who love and support you.

  8. Water, water and more water. Drink water – the simplest tip BUT for some reason, the most difficult. Keep hydrated. You want full, luscious reservoirs of eggs for ovaries, not prunes.

  9. RELAX. Falling pregnant can take time. Stress can negatively impact on ovulation and your ability to conceive so do the things that bring you joy.

  10. Have loads of sex. One of the biggest cause of infertility is timing and how much sex you are having. Knowing and understanding our cycle (step 4) can help target the best ‘window of opportunity’ but regular sex (every couple of days) is our best chance of conceiving. Try to make the increase in sex about your relationship and intimacy and NOT about conceiving. Have fun with it and try something new to spice up your sex life.

…And finally, regular acupuncture.

Why? You may ask…..well, clearly I am a fan but acupuncture can help affect your stress levels by calming the mind. It increases the blood flow to your uterus which in turn helps our lining and then the chances of implanting an embryo. Acupuncture won’t stop there, once pregnant will help with morning sickness, aches and pain and the anxiety of becoming pregnant and the hormonal changes (your partner will thank me).

 

To make an appointment with a Brisbane Natural Health acupuncturist or naturopath call us on 07 3367 0337.

7 Tips to Support Mothers After the Birth of their Baby

In many cultures, post-partum care is considered a normal and essential part of care for a new family, in particular, for the new mother. Here in Australia though, there is a very different focus – we invest a lot of energy and time into falling pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby and then once the baby is born, the mother and her new family are on their own with a new little creature on their hands, a new dynamic in their relationship, seriously disrupted sleep and a barrage of family and friends who want to visit. The post-partum time is arguably the most challenging times in one’s life, yet for many of us, we forget to seek help at this time. The good news is that there is so much that can be done to help the mother’s body get back on track and support her and her family through this crazy time.

Let’s have a look at a few common ailments for new mothers and how we can support them with natural remedies:

  1. Keep taking your pregnancy multivitamin – your body has just given its all to your infant and is going to continue to whilst you are feeding her. Take your multivitamin throughout breastfeeding and don’t forget to start taking it again 3 months prior to trying to have another baby (if you can even think about that yet!)
  2. Eat lots of highly nutritious (loads of vegetables and organic meat if you eat meat) cooked foods including bone broths. You will need to build your iron stores back up – so good quality red meat and dark green leafy vegetables will help here. Bone broths are a great source of collagen and gelatine which provide the building blocks for connective tissue – this will help your body to rebuild after the marathon of delivery, support breast milk production, and repair of any loose ligaments or diastasis of the rectus abdominus muscle. Cooked food is easiest to digest and considered warming and nourishing from a Chinese Medicine perspective. For best results try and get someone else to cook for you!
  3. Support your adrenal glands – Your adrenals control your stress response and sleep-wake cycles. The stress of parenting, combined with a lack of sleep takes a huge toll on your adrenal glands.  You can mitigate this toll by supporting your adrenal glands with herbs such as Rhodiola and Withania as well as nutrients like vitamin C and magnesium.
  4. Support your immune system with probiotics and Echinacea – getting sick when you are breastfeeding and parenting is less than ideal and adds to the difficulty of the already difficult task. We suggest that you take a good quality probiotic (ask your naturopath) as well as some Echinacea (high quality is also essential here) will help to support both you and your babies immune systems and help to reduce the risk of mastitis (if mastitis does occur, please contact your naturopath – it can be dealt with naturally with the right remedies).  
  5. Get your iron levels checked with your GP – ideally, you will have been supplementing your iron throughout pregnancy. If you haven’t that’s OK – when you see your GP, ask her to test your iron levels and iron stores (ferritin). Talk to your naturopath about ideal levels and supplement with a non-constipating form of iron if needed. Low iron will make you feel tired, cold, give you brain fog and lower your immunity, so getting your stores back up can be a real game-changer for new mums.
  6. Deal with any structural issues for yourself or baby as soon as possible – see your chiropractor or osteopath if you are experiencing skeletal issues and take baby along to a practitioner who specialises in infant care to deal with issues such as tongue-tie, breastfeeding issues or to rebalance after a difficult birth (for both of you). Do your pelvic floor and diastasis exercises! The sooner your body is back to being strong again, the sooner you can get out and enjoy some of the activities you have been missing out on during pregnancy (like dancing, running or sneezing in public!) 
  7. If you are having any more specific issues such as depression, thrush, urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness, mastitis, sugar cravings, poor milk supply, insomnia or any issues with your babies health, please book in to see your naturopath as soon as possible – there is no need to go through this difficult time without support.

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Do you have a Histamine Intolerance?

Do you have a Histamine intolerance?

Do you experience unexplained headaches, migraines or symptoms like a runny nose or itchy mouth? How about hives, abdominal cramps or irregular menstrual cycles? Does your face flush or do you have difficulty regulating your body temperature? Are your symptoms improved after taking anti-histamines like Zyrtec? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could have a histamine intolerance.

What is histamine?

Histamine is a chemical compound that is involved in the immune system response. It is often associated with seasonal allergies, food allergies, and symptoms like headaches, nasal congestion, sneezing and difficulties with breathing. Sometimes you may experience symptoms that aren’t associated with the environment, such as a runny nose, sneezing, itching after wine or certain foods like bananas, avocados or tomatoes.

Histamine has an important role where it helps the body to communicate with the brain, alert the immune system to a potential threat, and launch an inflammatory response. 

 

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance can occur when the body is unable to break down histamine properly. One of the ways the body deals with histamine is through the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme which inactivates and metabolises histamine. 

If you don’t have enough DAO or its ineffective, histamine can be absorbed through the intestines causing a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms such as those in the list below can often occur following the consumption of foods and drinks that contain a large amount of histamine. 

Common Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance: 

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches/migraines, Anxiety
  • Difficulty falling asleep/easily woken
  • Sneezing, itching, nasal congestion
  • Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Hives, tissue swelling
  • Difficulty breathing, vertigo, dizziness
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Vertigo/dizziness
  • Hypertension, 
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Irregular heart rate
 
There can be many reasons that cause an increase of Histamine or difficulty breaking down Histamine. Some of these include allergies, digestive imbalances or damage, enzyme deficiency, or a diet too high in histamine-containing foods. 

Can you test for Histamine Intolerance?

The good news is your Naturopath can organise a lab test for histamine and DAO levels. A high ratio of histamine/DAO signifies that you may be consuming too much histamine and that you may not have enough DAO to break it down.

How do you reduce Histamine Intolerance?

To combat this, your Naturopath would look at your lifestyle and diet factors, aiming to boost your enzymes and minimise the histamine load. 

 

Working with a Naturopath will enable you to find out what the root cause for your histamine intolerance is, and your Naturopath will be able to design a personalised dietary or supplement protocol to help restore balance to your body and to your symptoms.

Natural Treatment for Hypertension

If you have been told you have high blood pressure or Hypertension you may be concerned about taking medication long term. There are several strategies you can take to help get your numbers down which may help you avoid or reduce the need for medication.

Many of the strategies involve lifestyle and diet factors which you can do yourself but a Naturopath can also help you with herbal and nutritional therapy to assist further if needed.

7 Tips to Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

1. Check your weight. Blood pressure can increase as your weight does, and getting your weight into a range suitable for your height can be effective in getting your blood pressure normalised. Carrying additional weight around your middle can also put you at greater risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease so employ healthy eating with exercise to assist you in reducing your weight if needed.

2. Exercise regardless of your weight. Exercise can help prevent elevations in blood pressure as we age, but can also be a great way to decrease elevated blood pressure. Aim for the exercise to be regular and enjoyable. Try for 30 minutes daily even if you start off walking until you increase your fitness. Ideally, a combination of aerobic and strength exercises across the week will help your weight control and help to reduce high blood pressure.

3. Look at your diet. What you want to aim for is a diet high in fresh food and low in processed food. Fresh food includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, good quality oils such as cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Avoid fried and fatty foods, anything high in salt and low in fibre. Start looking at the labels on your food if you are consuming packaged foods – you’d be surprised how much salt can be in these foods, and this can cause blood pressure to elevate.

4. Address lifestyle factors that can increase blood pressure like alcohol and smoking, and excessive intake of caffeine. Some research has shown that a small amount of alcohol can potentially reduce your blood pressure, however, the protective effect can be lost if too much alcohol is consumed. One drink daily for women and two for men would be maximum. Smoking increases blood pressure for some time after each cigarette and increases your risk of heart disease overall. Some people are also sensitive to caffeine and experience increases in blood pressure after consuming it.

5. Check your stress. Along with diet and exercise, stress is one of the major factors to consider in managing your blood pressure. Identify where your stress comes from – look at areas work, financial pressures, illness or family concerns. Once you do this you can implement strategies to help manage your stress.

6. Hook into your support system. Allow family and friends to help support you in making changes to your diet, exercise program or lifestyle. Ask them for encouragement and assistance in helping you to reach your goals. Try embarking on some of the changes with a friend, family member or colleague to help support one another, keep you accountable and make it enjoyable.

7. Seek Professional Help. A Naturopath can help to look at these areas of your life and help you to plan strategies to improve not just your blood pressure but your overall health too. Naturopaths can also use a variety of herbs and nutrients to help to naturally support the cardiovascular and nervous system to help you reach your goal.

 

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Natural Cures for Constipation

Health begins in the gut, and constipation is just one of many signs that your digestive system is out of balance. A healthy bowel motion consists of waste products from digestion, bacteria, undigested food particles, salt, bacteria, toxins and other compounds. The colon is a key organ of detoxification and elimination which is critical to the function of almost every other system in the body.

Imagine if you didn’t empty your garbage bin regularly; waste would overflow into the surrounding room, scraps could putrefy and release unpleasant odours and gases, and undesirable creatures would be attracted to the mess. A similar analogy can be applied to the bowels. If wastes are not removed effectively and efficiently, they can putrefy, damage the integrity of the lining of the gut, and cause a recycling of some toxins back into the body creating an increased workload on other organs such as the liver.

Constipation is by definition, infrequent or incomplete bowel motions. Constipation can mean hard, dry and small bowel movements or bowel motions occurring less than three times per week. If your bowel motions do not fit this checklist for what is considered normal and healthy, then you may be constipated and need to become a “poo detective” to make some changes.

Healthy Poo Checklist:
✓ You empty your bowels 1 to 2 times daily.
✓ No straining.
✓ No pain.
✓ Smooth, sausage-shaped log or a few smaller pieces.
✓ Takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete.
✓ Brown to dark brown in colour. (Red or black stools require medical attention)
✓ Consistent in its characteristics from day to day.

While constipation may be caused by irritable bowel syndrome or some gastrointestinal infections, it is most commonly caused by a lack of water intake and low fibre intake.
Constipation can also be caused by the overuse of laxatives, leading to a “lazy bowel”. The bowel walls have muscles which contract and relax rhythmically to move bowel contents along. If they are not looked after correctly, just like the other muscles in your body, they too can lose tone and become weakened, leading to constipation.

Some natural ways to relieve constipation include:

Water in adequate amounts is critical to healthy bowel motions. You want to aim for roughly 8 glasses of filtered water everyday.

Fibre is the indigestible part of plants that can act as an intestinal broom. Insoluble fibre draws water to itself as it passes through the bowel, softening and bulking the stool supporting regular bowel motions. Resistant starches also fall in the fibre category and are essential for supporting healthy microbial balance in the digestive tract. Eating approximately three handfuls of vegetables with your main meals and including nuts, seeds and legumes are all good ways to get enough fibre in your daily intake. Partially hydrolysed guar gum is a water-soluble fibre that shows promising results in clinical studies for improving the frequency of bowel motions, reducing straining, and reducing abdominal discomfort.

Good Gut Bacteria are critical to our health. They have many important functions in the body, including assisting in digestion and breakdown of foods, absorption of nutrients, production of energy, vitamins and other important compounds for the body. To help support a healthy gut colony or microbiome, including fermented foods in your diet such as yoghurt, saurkraut, kombucha, kimchi or pickles. Foods containing resistant starches such as bananas, onion, garlic, jerusalem artichoke, asparagus can also help to feed the microbes in your gut, creating a healthy environment in which for them to flourish.

Rest and digest. We often underestimate the importance of chewing our food properly, and taking time away from work to switch our body into digestion mode. Eating consciously and mindfully allows your body to send the right signals to the stomach to break food down properly, pass it successfully through the digestive tract, trigger nutrient absorption and healthy waste elimination. Eating at work or on the go detracts from these messages getting through to your digestive tract, slowing the whole process down.

Your naturopath and acupuncturist can also assist you to resolve constipation by discovering the underlying causes and creating a specific treatment plan to suit your unique circumstances. Our toolbox includes herbs, nutrients, and functional foods to enhance the overall digestive process, allowing for an adequate breakdown of foods, optimal absorption of nutrients and effective elimination of toxins. The goal of treatment is to return the bowel to natural healthy function and avoid the use of laxatives.

 

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Natural Treatment for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a complex and chronic skin condition characterised by an increase in the life cycle of skin cells causing them to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin and resulting in inflammation and elevated scaly plaques that can be itchy or painful. It is commonly found on the elbows, knees, lower back, hips and scalp but can often affect the legs, trunk, eyes, and nails as well.

The cause of Psoriasis isn’t fully understood as yet, however, it is thought that genetics, environmental and lifestyle triggers, and immune dysfunction can all play a role.

Environmental and lifestyle triggers could include:

  • Digestive factors such as poor digestion, liver, and bowel function
  • Emotional stress
  • Toxins, alcohol use, smoking
  • Sunburn or trauma to the skin
  • Infection
  • Food intolerances such as gluten
  • Some medications

Immune dysfunction or an autoimmune reaction can also occur whereby some of your immune cells usually responsible for defending against viruses or bacteria can attack your healthy skin cells by mistake. These immune cells can also be overactive which triggers a rapid increase in the rate of production of healthy skin cells, causing them to build-up on the surface of the skin in thick, scaly patches.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The symptoms experienced can be different for

each person but commonly include:

  •  Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
  •  Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  •  Itching or soreness
  •  Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  •  Swollen and stiff joints

Psoriasis can come and go in cycles, sometimes flaring up for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time.

A Naturopathic Approach

Because Psoriasis is multifactorial and complex, it is important that all the triggers and exacerbating factors are identified, and these are likely to vary from person to person as we are all unique and individual. A comprehensive Naturopathic approach will take these factors into consideration, addressing the big picture and the underlying causes that are specific to you.

Our Naturopathic approach takes into consideration all the physical and emotional impacts for the patient, addressing the skin health as well as identifying strategies for stress management, diet and lifestyle changes as appropriate.

Psoriasis and the impact on Emotional Wellness

A recent report that looked at the emotional wellness of 120,000 people across 184 countries suffering from Psoriasis revealed that 40% of women and 30% of men experienced significantly greater negative impact on their emotional wellness than those without Psoriasis. It was found that the loneliness, isolation, and stress associated with living with Psoriasis was a major driver for significantly lower levels of happiness.

The participants also felt that the impact that Psoriasis has on your mental wellbeing is often overlooked by mainstream health professionals.

Supporting yourself with a caring team of health professionals that will address the not only the physical but also your mental and emotional well-being can provide the support network that is often missing in the management of Psoriasis.

What to do next?

If you are looking for support with Psoriasis our Naturopaths, Acupuncturists and Emotional Wellness team can work together with you to provide this big picture approach, and help support you in achieving improvements in your health and wellbeing.  Call us on 07 3367 0337 and make an appointment at our Brisbane clinic.

 

To make an appointment at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Dry Needling

Dry Needling specifically treats musculoskeletal pain. A fine, single-use needle is inserted into a dysfunctional muscle with the aim of returning it to its optimal state. Studies have shown there to be a localised increase in blood flow and a release of endorphins as soon as a needle is inserted; both positive reactions to reduce pain and dysfunction.

What is a trigger point?

A trigger point is a contraction in a tight band of muscle which causes pain when palpated or squeezed, in a specific site and/or referring to other areas of the body. Trigger points can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or lack of normal range of movement.

Dry Needling Vs Acupuncture?

It is important to know that Acupuncture and Dry Needling are two very distinct modalities. Dry needling is based upon the western medicine paradigm.

It is used for soft tissue correction, which involves inserting extremely fine and painless needles into muscle fibres, causing a local twitch response. This, in turn, helps to deactivate and resolve trigger points in the muscle and release constriction. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and the stimulation of Qi (pronounce Chi).

Acupuncture diagnoses using complex theories, meaning only a qualified and registered Acupuncturist or Chinese Medicine practitioner can treat with Acupuncture. Many health professionals utilise Dry Needling as a method for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain, including Myotherapists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists and even some GP’s.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture began in China more than 2000 years ago and has been a major part of their health care system ever since. It involves fine, single-use needles being inserted into very specific points along the body’s meridians which are found on every corner of the body including the hands, feet, and head. The individual points have a specific function and are chosen depending on the condition being treated.

Acupuncture helps conditions based on symptoms using ancient Chinese theories. These theories aim to achieve wellness and to restore balance throughout the body.
The techniques are gentle and the practitioner spends quality time with the client to ensure a positive experience occurs.

Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome

Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is a condition causing recurrent attacks of intense nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and sometimes headaches or migraines. Attacks can last from a few hours to several days at a time. The condition is more prevalent among children, and seems to occur less frequently in adults. Many children will grow out of the condition once they reach adulthood. CVS is debilitating, and can be dangerous if dehydration occurs.

A person suffering from CVS typically has pale skin, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, but some patients will also experience diarrhoea, headaches, migraines and light sensitivity.

The cause of CVS is largely a mystery, but there do seem to be some common themes amongst those who suffer with CVS. While the cause is elusive, common triggers for CVS episodes include overexertion, fatigue, hormonal changes around a woman’s menstrual cycle, infections, lack of sleep, temperature extremes, alcohol consumption, allergies, extended periods without eating, and certain foods. Some of the food triggers associated with migraines such as chocolate, cheese and monosodium glutamate, are also considered triggers for CVS.

There are no tests to specifically confirm CVS, rather the diagnosis is based on ruling out other possible causes of the vomiting or abdominal symptoms. Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome is believed to be a class of migraine.

Similar to migraines CVS has four stages.

Symptom free phase – no symptoms appear to be present between episodes.
Prodromal phase – nausea appears with or without abdominal pain. This phase can last a few minutes to several hours.
Vomiting phase – nausea and vomiting can be violent. There is an inability to eat, drink or take medicines without vomiting. Drowsiness, exhaustion, and dehydration may occur.
Recovery phase – after the vomiting stops and skin colour, vitality and appetite returns.

 

What can be done?

The medical management of CVS often involves avoidance of triggers, symptomatic relief such as the use of medications to reduce nausea, stop vomiting and maintain hydration. Pharmaceuticals may be used also to prevent future episodes if attacks occur greater than once per month. Medications may include tricyclic antidepressants, beta blockers, antihistamines, anticonvulsants and sometimes antibiotics. These medications can be helpful in some cases in the short term, but often come with side effects such as fatigue, drowsiness and are not ideal for the quality of life or long-term use.

Naturopathic care acknowledges that CVS has many and varied potential causes, that no two people are alike, and as such, there is not a one size fits all medicine. In saying that, there is some good evidence for certain nutrients and herbs for this condition and these may be considered where relevant. For example, the cell’s ability to generate energy is considered to be a mechanism which may be affected in CVS. This is similar to what can happen with migraines and there is some evidence that coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine may be useful in addressing this cause and alleviating symptoms. Your naturopath may consider these as part of your treatment if indicated as part of the whole picture of your health. Naturopathic support options may also include stress management, emotional wellness practices and the use of herbal and nutritional formulas suited to your needs.

CVS is a challenging condition to live with and a potentially complex condition to treat, however, naturopathy offers the opportunity to manage the symptoms, treat potential underlying causes holistically, and reduce the need for medication which may have detrimental side effects with long-term use.

Understanding Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmunity is a process that occurs when the immune system becomes a little confused about which cells in the body are foreign, and which are self. In autoimmune disease, the body attacks its own healthy cells causing damage to tissues, organs or glands. This creates a chronic inflammatory response, at the same time, leaving our immune surveillance and defense against external infections depleted.

There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disease. Some have a genetic link, others are triggered by infections, but in many cases, the causes are largely unknown.
Certainly, there are no one size fits all solutions for autoimmune disease and a thorough health history is required to piece the puzzle together and find the contributing causes. It is not good enough to only attempt to ameliorate symptoms with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs, as in the long term this will generate a new set of health issues.

There are some clear and consistent areas of health that must be addressed in order to manage or restore a healthy immune response:

Stress: Both physical and emotional stress can play a role in developing or sustaining autoimmune inflammation. The body’s response to stress is one of alarm, and an attempt to bring the body back to safety and out of danger. This response creates a cascade of events in the body which can turn off digestion, tissue repair, and cell renewal and increase oxygen and nutrient needs, metabolic waste production and inflammation. The body is designed to recover from short-term stress, but chronic stress can leave this inflammatory response switched on permanently.

Gut Health: The immune system directly responds to anything that crosses from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Leaky gut is where under-digested food particles, microbes, waste products and toxins are able to breach the gut lining/barrier due to gaps in the tight junctions between cells in the gut wall. The immune system then creates an inflammatory response to these “foreign invaders”, and eventually a prolonged immune response can develop into autoimmunity. Gluten is one of the main culprits for leaky gut and should be avoided if you have an autoimmune disease.

Diet & Toxins: As with gluten, some foods can be a source of inflammation or toxicity in sensitive individuals. With autoimmune disease the gut lining is most likely compromised, contributing to an aberrant immune response to foods that would normally be well tolerated. Additionally, the detoxification system becomes overwhelmed by more reactive compounds or toxins entering the bloodstream. Where a healthy detoxification system may be able to safely eliminate toxins without adverse consequences to the body, an overwhelmed detoxification system may not be as efficient. Additional toxins are potentially introduced in the diet through pesticide residues found on fruit and vegetables. Some of these chemicals have been shown to be associated with an increase in autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, antibiotic residues in meat products have the potential to disrupt the body’s natural microbe balance (the microbiome) leading to a disruption in gut function and immune system behaviour.

With autoimmune disease, it is important that the aim of treatment is truly holistic in order to achieve long-term wellness and reduce the progression towards tissue damage and further dysfunction. Daily dietary, lifestyle, social and emotional behaviours must be addressed in combination with specific therapeutic approaches to both relieve symptoms, restore optimal function, reduce inflammation and balance the immune system response. Your naturopath can help guide you on a specific approach tailored to your needs.

Anne-Marie McDonald
Naturopath