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Junk food, obesity and moods

Did you know that obesity now kills more people than smoking? Alarming new research shows that non-communicable disease – ie those that cannot be transmitted from person to person, account for the largest cause of early mortality and are predicted to cost the global community more than thirty trillion US dollars over the next fifteen years.

This is obviously a big issue. When it was finally accepted that smoking was killing us, the government banned to endorsement and advertisement of these products. Similarly, we need to work towards banning the advertisement of junk foods that are slowly killing us. Our children are exposed to intensive advertising by the major junk food outlets from a young age, and are preconditioned to see these foods as being cool or hip to eat.

Research is now also showing that what we eat impacts not only on our waistline, but on our moods as well. Studies in the area are now consistently finding that those that eat junk foods like chocolate, baked goods, pizza and deep fried food are more likely to have depression and anxiety, and that those that eat a diet consisting of primarily fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. This may seem obvious but a dietary link to these conditions has been denied by the medical community for years. This research shows that by modifying our diets and our children’s diets we are able to prevent mental health issues from arising.

Your food choices could affect your moods as well as your waistline.

From a biochemical perspective this makes sense. To keep balance of your neurotransmitters (mood hormones), your body requires certain proteins, vitamins and minerals that are used as building blocks and cofactors for them to work properly. A diet that is higher in whole foods is more nutrient dense, providing more of the building blocks required for proper neurotransmitter function, and therefore more stable moods.

From research we know that eating the following foods can help to prevent or reduce the severity of mood disorders:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean meat
  • Fish

And to prevent depression and anxiety, you’ll want to avoid the following foods:

  • High sugar foods – chocolate, lollies, cakes, biscuits
  • Deep fried foods
  • Simple carbohydrates like white bread
  • Pastries, cakes and biscuits

The wrong dietary balance can leave you devoid of essential nutrients and prone to blood sugar fluctuations, which anyone that gets ‘hangry’ would agree can affect your moods even more. If you’re not sure what to eat, book an appointment with one of our naturopaths or nutritionists, or come to a nutritional coaching workshop in the clinic.

 

Do you have hypothyroidism?

Are you tired or moody? Do you have difficulty losing weight, constipation or dry skin? Is your memory failing you? These are all common symptoms of hypothyroidism, or an under active thyroid gland. Up to 15% of the people have an under active thyroid gland, with many people going undiagnosed.

However it’s not always black and white, different people will present with different symptoms.

If you have hypothyroidism you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Chronic fatigue or low energy
  • Depression or feeling melancholy and/or anxiety
  • Constipation or harder stools
  • Puffy face and eyelids
  • Memory loss, confusion, brain fog
  • Weight gain that is difficult to lose
  • Dry coarse skin
  • Intolerance to temperatures, hot or cold
  • Menstrual issues
  • Infertility/ recurrent miscarriage
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Tinnitus
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loos of libido
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced sweating

So what exactly is the thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly shaped gland that sits just over your wind pipe in the middle of the throat. The thyroid gland has the job of regulating every tissue and organ in the body. Your thyroid controls your metabolism, moods, digestion, hormone balance, energy levels and much, much more.

How do I know if I have a thyroid problem?

As well as evaluating your symptom picture, there are several tests that may be useful to determine if your thyroid is under functioning.

TSH

TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, is secreted by the body to stimulate the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones. The higher the TSH, the more the body is trying to encourage the thyroid to work harder. A high TSH indicates a lowered thyroid function.

TSH is a poor indicator of thyroid function, as it doesn’t really take into account the whole picture. Unfortunately this is the gold standard that doctors use to check thyroid function, and if you are ‘in range’ then you are dismissed as being normal.

T4 and T3

T4 and T3 are your actual thyroid hormones. T4, the inactive form, coverts into T3, which is the hormone used to regulate tissues in the body. You need to have adequate levels of both T4 and T3 in order for your thyroid to function optimally. By testing T4 and T3, we can assess if there is a problem with hormone production or the conversion of T4 to T3. There are different nutrients involved at each stage, so we are able to gain insight into nutrient deficiencies and know what to prescribe based on these results.

Reverse T3

Reverse T3 occurs when T3 ‘flips’ into a reverse form. Reverse T3 attaches to receptors and prevents T3 from binding to them. Checking for reverse T3 is important as your T3 could be normal, however if you have high reverse T3 then you will still have an underactive thyroid. Reverse T3 is not recognized by most doctors as being important, however we find it an essential part of the picture when evaluating someone with hypothyroidism.

Thyroid autoantibodies

Thyroid autoantibodies can show if there is are immune factors that could be causing an autoimmune thyroiditis called Hashimoto’s disease. In Hashimoto’s, your immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to dysfunction. Autoimmune thyroid problems require different treatment to standard hypothyroidism, so it is important that this is ruled out.

Cholesterol

Unknown to many, often the cause of high cholesterol levels is hypothyroidism. In fact, high cholesterol was previously used by doctors as an indicator of hypothyroidism. This was before the introduction of statin drugs, which it seems are the only thing that are looked at when a cholesterol issue arises. The problem with this is that you could end up on cholesterol lowering drugs, while the underlying cause is not rectified.

Nutritional testing

There are many nutrients involved in thyroid function. A deficiency in any of these nutrients can cause hypothyroidism to occur.

  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Iodine
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Tyrosine (an amino acid)

Urinary Iodine

Iodine is needed to make your thyroid hormones – T4 and T3. Iodine deficiency is a major cause of hypothyroism. Iodine is best tested through the urine, this test can be ordered through the clinic.

Hair mineral analysis

A hair mineral analysis can assess mineral levels in the body, as well as how your body is functioning. There are also many heavy metals that can inhibit thyroid function, so it is worthwhile ruling out this.

What treatment options are available?

Thankfully, there are many herbs and nutrients that have been clinically proven to improve thyroid function. If you have a suspected thyroid problem, seeing one of our naturopaths is a good first step. First we’ll make sure you have all of the right testing done, and then we’ll develop a treatment plan based on your individual symptom picture. Our naturopaths have helped hundreds of patients to overcome hypothyroidism so that they can get their mojo back.

Acupuncture is also a good option for those with thyroid problems, from a TCM perspective. Treatment can include a combination of acupuncture, herbs and nutrition in those with severe or chronic thyroid problems.

To make an appointment or to discuss treatment options with out team, call us on 07 3367 0337 and we’ll be happy to help.

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Rebecca Eather- Hypnotherapist

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Rebecca Eather is a registered Counsellor and Hypnotherapist practicing strategic psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis.

Rebecca is passionate about working with clients to break down emotional and subconscious barriers that hold them back from reaching their fullest potential. Through hypnosis and psychotherapy she can uncover and change unhealthy beliefs, which in turn affects behavior and ultimately how confident and content you feel day to day.

Rebecca has lived and worked across three states and travelled extensively in Australia and overseas. After enjoying a successful career as a Public Relations Consultant, Rebecca undertook postgraduate study, specialising in counselling and clinical hypnosis. Over the years, Rebecca has taken her love of people’s stories, and the privilege of listening to the material that makes up the fabric of their lives, to a deeper level in an effective and exciting therapeutic practice.

Having Strategic Psychotherapy with Clinical Hypnosis expertise means Rebecca can work with you to effectively access what is going on for you – both on a conscious and an unconscious level. This enables positive change to be fast-tracked, which works well for both short and long-term outcomes.

Rebecca’s therapeutic framework emphasises optimism, hope, and future goals. Using positive psychology and hypnosis, Rebecca helps people identify both the “gaps” in their lives and the resources that people already have that can be drawn upon to fill them. This collaborative approach can shift thoughts, mood and behavior towards a place where goals can readily be identified and realised.

Whether your issues are changing the negative thoughts that have stopped you from reaching your goals, dealing with unwanted habits, or tackling emotional and relationship challenges, Rebecca can devise strategic treatment plans especially for you.

Read more about how hypnotherapy works here. 

Rebecca works gently and cooperatively with people needing help with anxiety, depression, stress management, addiction, pain relief, sleep issues, grief and loss, career advancement, life transitions, low self-esteem and healthier relationships.

Rebecca’s Qualifications

  • BA Grad Dip Couns.
  • Masters Counselling & Psychotherapy (currently completing)
  • Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance
  • ACT MINDFULLY: Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Training
  • Dr. Yapko’s 100-hour Strategic Psychotherapy and Clinical Hypnosis Training

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book a hypnotherapy appointment with Rebecca now.


Kristina Nott – Kinesiologist and Holographic Kinetics Practitioner

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Kristina Nott is a kinesiologist and Holographic Kinetics Practitioner. After many years as an educator and more recently mother of two she has been studying and practicing her personal passion in maintaining health and wellness for the last 5 years.

Through her own health issues, her children’s and her mothers experience with cancer she developed a strong desire to know why?? and to use techniques that were in harmony with the body, supporting wellness from the inside – out on every level.

After maintaining her children’s health and well-being through mostly naturopathy, homeopathy and kinesiology it was kinesiology and the amazing technique of muscle monitoring that captivated her the most. Watching the practitioner communicate with her children’s subconscious mind to access the cause of their issue within their own body was, she felt, ‘miraculous’ and made complete sense to her.

Utilising this biofeedback technique discovered over 100 years ago Kinesiology engages Western and Eastern science, knowledge and understanding in structure, physiology, biochemistry, emotion and energy to access priority factors and stress blocking balance.

After experiencing Holographic Kinetics and the deeper levels of Cause and Effect at the level of Spirit, her studies quickly expanded into this powerful field also.

Kristina has found these modalities highly successful in facilitating deep healing and change with physical and emotional issues. Pain, digestive issues, nutritional imbalance, toxicity, Immune System Health, stress, depression, fatigue, sleep issues, relationship issues, emotional issues and disempowering recurring patterns list some of the possible issues suitable for the modalities she offers.

She is passionate about supporting and facilitating health and wellness for clients who are keen to access the cause of their issue and take responsibility for their thoughts, words and actions in creating the change they seek.

Why see a hypnotherapist at BNH?

If you are trying to make changes without the power of your subconscious mind then you are making your life a whole lot harder than it needs to be!

Your subconscious mind makes up 95% and your conscious mind is just 5% of your mind! If you can access the power of your subconscious mind why wouldn’t you? Working with the subconscious is a holistic, safe and powerful way to make lasting change.

We consciously use 5% of our minds and 95% is subconscious. Changing the subconscious has a huge impact on how you feel.

About the Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind uses a different language to the conscious mind. The subconscious is the habitual mind where patterns are laid down – and played back whenever they are needed or triggered. The conscious mind is the analytical mind.

It is the subconscious mind that keeps you alive. So that when you sleep at night you remember to breath and all those other vital functions. Believe it or not your subconscious mind LOVES you & just wants the best for you.

But the subconscious speaks a different language to the conscious mind, so you need to speak the language of the subconscious to be able to update any limiting beliefs or undesired habits. Otherwise your message doesn’t get through to the subconscious or worse still it can be heard as the opposite of what you meant!

All your subconscious wants is for you to be safe and happy and alive. But it doesn’t analyse your beliefs and habits. Sometimes things happen in life and the emotions, patterns and beliefs that form your response can get stuck in your body or your subconscious. Most likely they served you at the time…but they may have out stayed their purpose.

The good news is that change doesn’t need to be difficult! There are several ways to access the power of your subconscious mind and update the software that no longer serves you. Our hypnotherapist Jan Sky has over 20 years experience in ‘subconscious whispering’, helping to identify what is driving your thoughts and behaviors so you release what you don’t need and move forward with your life.

As well as using hypnotherapy Jan can use counseling or coaching in her sessions with you. It’s about identifying what will give you the best results and developing a treatment pathway to get you there.

It really doesn’t matter what you want to change, working with the subconscious can literally empower anything! The more well known reasons for using hypnotherapy include:

  • Weight management
  • Fears and phobias
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression
  • Smoking
  • Lack of motivation
  • Low self confidence
    …but the list is limitless!

If you’re ready to change your mind to change your life, call us on 3367 0337 to book a hypnotherapy appointment at our Brisbane clinic today.