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The Missing Links of Mental Health

Sunshine Coast Naturopath ClinicThe Missing Links of Mental Health

Author: Suzi Le Fanue

In certain circumstances there is a place for pharmaceutical intervention, however, do medications really address all facets of mental health? Mental Health is so multidimensional – there are many neurotransmitter, hormonal, biochemical imbalances, lifestyle and psychological factors that an antidepressant simply cannot address.

Nutrition & Gut Health

All neurotransmitters are made from amino acids and nutrient cofactors. Amino acids are essentially from protein in your diet. For example, the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is important for mood regulation, requires the amino acid tryptophan. This means it is incredibly important to make sure you are eating sufficient levels of protein. As well as this, over 90% of serotonin is found in the gut, and more and more research is confirming the link between the health of the gut and the health of the mind. The types and levels of bacteria in the gut have been shown to play a role in the production of serotonin.

Genes & Pyrroles

Numerous genes have been linked to mental health conditions. One that has significant supportive research is the MTHFR gene, particularly the C677T polymorphism. This gene is fundamental in the process of folate utilisation. Low serum folate can be seen in those with mental health conditions, such as depression.

Pyroluria is a genetically determined metabolic condition characterised by elevated kryptopyrroles in the urine. It is thought that around 10% of the population have “pyroluria”. When pyrroles are high it can be more difficult to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin. This is because your body requires higher amounts of nutrient cofactors needed for neurotransmitter production, such as zinc and vitamin B6. Elevated pyrroles can be seen in the urine of many people with depression, anxiety, insomnia, alcoholism, IBS, anger, inability to cope with stress, strong fatigue and children with behavioural issues.

A Naturopathic Approach to Mental Health

We take an extremely integrated approach to treating mental health conditions. We consider all possible underlying causes, and work alongside other health professionals such as psychologists, counsellors, and GPs. Generally, treatment plans include pathology testing, nutrient analysis, improving gut health, lifestyle changes and the care of a psychologist.

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Mental Mojo Workshop – Freshbox

Welcome to our famous Mental Mojo Workshop! This session will be held in the morning at 10am at Freshbox 🙂 Are you wanting to bring back your zest? Create a clear and calm mind? Increase your energy? Boost Motivation? LEARN WITH OUR NATUROPATH AND COUNSELLOR ABOUT: ✔ POOR DIGESTIVE FUNCTION ✔ NEUROTRANSMITTER IMBALANCE ✔ HORMONE IMBALANCE ✔ GENETIC PREDISPOSITION ✔ NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY ✔ LIFESTYLE HABITS AND SELF CARE And how all of this can […]

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Mental Mojo Workshop – Caloundra

Welcome to our famous Mental Mojo Workshop! Are you wanting to bring back your zest? Create a clear and calm mind? Increase your energy? Boost Motivation? LEARN WITH OUR NATUROPATHS ABOUT: ✔ POOR DIGESTIVE FUNCTION ✔ NEUROTRANSMITTER IMBALANCE ✔ HORMONE IMBALANCE ✔ GENETIC PREDISPOSITION ✔ NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY ✔ LIFESTYLE HABITS AND SELF CARE And how all of this can affect your Mental Mojo! Please book in online or in clinic today! Early bird prices currently […]

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Everyday Wholefoods

Join Integrated Wellness Clinic Naturopaths & Fresh Box to discover: – Everyday superfoods – Foods to support gut function – Foods to increase nutrient absorption – How to avoid fads and focus on real food – How to eat healthily on a budget Location: FRESHBOX at Forest Glen Tickets are $10 each or 2 for […]

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Mental Mojo Workshop – Maroochydore

Welcome to our famous Mental Mojo Workshop! Are you wanting to bring back your zest? Create a clear and calm mind? Increase your energy? Boost Motivation? LEARN WITH OUR NATUROPATHS ABOUT: ✔ POOR DIGESTIVE FUNCTION ✔ NEUROTRANSMITTER IMBALANCE ✔ HORMONE IMBALANCE ✔ GENETIC PREDISPOSITION ✔ NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY ✔ LIFESTYLE HABITS AND SELF CARE And how all of this can affect your Mental Mojo! Please book in online or in store today! There will be discounted […]

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Happy Hormones Workshop – Brisbane

Join our Naturopath Tara for an evening dedicated to balancing your hormones! Did you know that PMS symptoms are COMMON but not NORMAL? – Moody? – Headaches? – Cramping? – Low Energy? – Cravings? Let us share with you our secrets of how to: > Balance hormones > Reduce sugar cravings > Lift energy > […]

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What is the difference between IBS and IBD?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Vs. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – what is the difference?

You may have heard of these two common digestive disorders. They share many of the same signs and symptoms, but did you know there is a significant difference between the two?

IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that causes a range of digestive signs and symptoms, most commonly altered bowel motions (diarrhoea and/or constipation) and abdominal pain. The cause is not well understood, and there is no diagnostic test, so IBS is usually diagnosed using a symptom checklist. Natural treatment of IBS can involve correcting gastrointestinal bacterial imbalance, identifying and avoiding foods that exacerbate symptoms, and reducing stress and anxiety. There are many medications that are prescribed to help control IBS signs and symptoms, however, there is no single drug that has proven to be effective.

IBD is an umbrella term for a range of diseases, including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. IBD is characterised by inflammation due to the fact that it is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells. In IBD, this response takes place in the digestive tract, causing debilitating signs and symptoms, such as abdominal pain/discomfort, diarrhoea, constipation or both, and blood in the stool. IBD can be diagnosed through blood tests and endoscopy examinations. Medical treatment usually involves anti-inflammatory medication, immunosuppressants, or sometimes surgery. A natural approach to IBD aims to reduce inflammation, regulate the function of the immune system, and address environmental and lifestyle factors that worsen signs and symptoms.

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Happy Hormones Workshop – Caloundra

Join our Naturopath’s for an evening dedicated to balancing your hormones! Did you know that PMS symptoms are COMMON but not NORMAL?! – Moody? – Headaches? – Cramping? – Low Energy? – Cravings? Let us share with you our secrets of how to: > Balance hormones > Reduce sugar cravings > Lift energy > Clear […]

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Are you suffering with Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue Sunshine Coast

Adrenal fatigue with our Sunshine Coast & Brisbane Naturopath

Are you just tired or do you have adrenal fatigue?  

The common statements I hear range from “I am just so tired all the time, but I cant sleep” to “I just cant be bothered its all too hard”. Should you just sleep more, de-stress and take a vitamin B?

It is really a lot deeper than this most of the time.

Have you heard of adrenal fatigue? It can strike anyone, even if on the exterior they appear physically healthy and like they are totally composed.

Many question whether or not adrenal fatigue really exists. So this often makes it hard for those to know if they have it or not. Those with adrenal fatigue will often visit their doctor many times and feel as though many questions are left unanswered.

What sort of symptoms would you display if you had adrenal fatigue? The biggest one is obviously excessive fatigue. This may be accompanied with poor immunity, feeling run down, changes in blood pressure, difficultly waking up in the morning, low libido, mental fogginess, poor memory and irritability, particularly when overwhelmed. You will generally feel like it doesn’t matter how much you sleep, you will still be tired!

How does this happen? The biggest cause is long term stress and essentially burnt out. Our body is only suppose to be put into a stress response for a very short period of time. If on a day to day basis we are continually stressed, busy or overwhelmed the body keeps on producing massive amounts of the stress hormones from the adrenal glands. With time they fatigue and the production of the hormone, cortisol, reduces.

The big question is, what do you do if you have adrenal fatigue? These are just a few of the simple changes you could implement.

Reduce carbohydrates and remove refined sugar. Generally our diets sit too heavy towards carbohydrate. When you eat refined sugar, processed or simple carbohydrates your body releases insulin. This hormone causes your blood sugar levels to peak and then drop. Those with adrenal fatigue are usually more sensitive to these peaks and troughs.

I tend to recommend keeping carbohydrate to a low-moderate level (never very low) and making sure there is protein at each meal and at least 3 cups of low starch vegies to help balance your blood sugar levels. Getting your carbohydrates from sources like quinoa, sweet potato and pumpkin are generally better sources than the grainy types.

Eat smaller portions. You may also benefit from eating 6 smaller meals over the day rather than 3 big meals to help balance your blood sugar levels. And reduce the heaviness of food as the day goes on, to assist in the digestion of your food. A stressed gut can impact the adrenal glands.

Increase the vegies. Ensure you are eating plenty of colourful vegies and high antioxidant fruits in your diet. Fantastic fruit examples include berries and kiwi fruit. I always say your shopping basket should look like the rainbow. Of course, only natural colours!

Cut out the caffeine. Your morning coffee may feel like it is giving you a boost, but that is very short lived. It is adding pressure onto your adrenals and over the long term can contribute to fatigue. It may seem like it isn’t important to cut out, but if you do have any form of fatigue it is an important factor to address.

Add in some gut boosting goodness! Bone broth is incredible. It contains an abundance of anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and gut healing nutrients. You can use it as either a base for soups and cassoroles or sip as a hot drink.

Brew some tea. A combination of licorice and Siberian ginseng is a blend that comes to mind. A tasty combination and great for a subtle pick up.

So if you are presenting with these sorts of symptoms I always recommend requesting to have your adrenals and the nutrients essential for adrenal function tested with both the assistance of your GP and Naturopath. We generally prefer the hormone cortisol to be measured over the day and not just a single sample to see where your adrenals function at their highest and lowest. Following this a plan can then be customized based on those results and your presenting symptoms.

Author: Suzi Le Fanue

 www.integratedwellnessclinic.com.au

No matter where you are, we can offer naturopath consultation by phone or skype consultations and nutritional supplementation through Australia and Overseas. Alternatively, we would love to see you in person in our Brisbane Naturopath or either of our Buderim Naturopath or Caloundra Naturopath Clinic on the Sunshine Coast.

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Childrens Health: Caloundra

???????????? Join Naturopath and Nutritionists Ellen & Courtney for our new Children’s Health Workshop! ???????????? ???? Do your kiddies struggle with tummy issues? ???? Picky eaters? ???? Always picking up bugs at kindy or school? ???? In this workshop you will gain all the secrets to know about: ✔ Gut Health for kids ✔ Food […]

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