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It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. it's that some people are ready to change and others are not.James Gordon

The Hero In All Of Us

This is pretty cool, great graphics and it has an important message about awareness and watching out for the signs of Cardiovascular disease.

An emotive 5 minute illustration based on three young heroes who each have a remarkable story to tell on how their quick thinking saved lives.

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Good Mood Food!

We all know that food can affect our weight, skin, cardiovascular system and energy, but did you know it can significantly affect your mood and Sunshine Coast Integrated Wellness Clinicmind? There is always more that can be done in correcting your diet for mental stamina, calmness, clarity, motivation and happiness.

A diet centred around food for mood should include eating ideally grain free, increasing high nutrient value foods, significantly increasing the fats your brain loves and increasing fermented foods.

Neurotransmitters are made from a huge range of nutrient cofactors, but the most clinically significant nutrients that are often low are zinc, vitamin B6 and magnesium. These nutrients are all essential for the formation of serotonin, dopamine and GABA. A naturally colourful, diversified vegetable loaded diet with a good level of proteins will ensure these vitamins are available.

Why reduce the grains for a happy mind? Grains contain lectins, a known gut irritant, and phytic acid, which inhibits bioavailability of nutrients needed for neurotransmitter production. Grains are often heavily farmed, so often are nutrient poor. And most importantly they almost always take place of what should be vegetables thus reducing mood boosting nutrient intake.

The first questions I often get asked is “Will I get constipated if I reduce grains?” Yes you may, but that is not normal. If you are constipated it is probably because you have either not increased your vegetable intake enough, you have not drank enough water or your gut flora and/or enzyme activity is out of balance. In which case it is best to see a Practitioner as there are many physiological factors that need addressing as one diet does not fit every single person.

Fermented foods are becoming so popular and for good reasons. Kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi are all superb examples of imputing good bacteria into your gut. Bacterias help with increasing your nutrient absorption, providing precursors for neurotransmitters, balancing inflammatory responses and digestion of your food. It is well documented that gut bacteria can indeed affect our mental state. The more of the good bacterias that are there the more in favour your microbiome is for a happy mental state.

Your brain is mostly made of fat so it is important to include plenty of good fats in your diet. Omega 3 fats fatty acids, naturally high in seafood, is a key nutrient in nerve function. Research shows us that omega 3’s can reduce significantly inflammation in the body, and inflammation has been implicated as a contributing factor of many psychological imbalances.

How you feed your gut, is how you are feeding your mind. Make your diet naturally colourful, eat foods that are not processed, eat plenty of vegetables, drink copious amounts of water, eat moderate protein & plenty of good fats.  The results can be transformational!

This article was written by Suzi Le Fanue and published in Holistic Bliss magazine April edition.

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Feeling as though your hormones are out of balance? What can Naturopathy offer?

Is it all in my head? Inflammation and stress are key to bringing them back into balance! Are you feeling overwhelmed, moody, fatigued and like your digestive system has gone to sleep, and your healthy diet is not giving you the lift you would like? There is always a cause. Let me explain. 

TIRED AND WIRED is the expression that many of my clients say they feel. Along with this feeling they are often stressed and overwhelmed. Why is it so common?

Well, there are two sections of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is split into two sections: The rest and digest system (Parasympathetic) and the fight or flight system (Sympathetic). I see that some people have an imbalance and are switched in the fight or flight too often. When your body is exposed to stress, whether it be physical or mental, it is flooded with two hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Both of these put you in the “fight or flight” response. Your pupils dilate, your heart races, you become tense, thoughts are short lasting, memory reduces and you are on edge. These may have been handy in the days when an animal would jump out of a bush, but not handy for modern day stress, in fact it is detrimental to your health and will make your body even more stressed.

What does this do to your hormones? I call it the pregnenolone steal! What’s that? Pregnenolone is like a mother hormone, it can be used to make cortisol or it can be used to make reproductive hormones. When you are stressed your body goes down the cortisol pathway and then you can end up with hormone imbalance. So if I stress less it will fix itself up? Not just yet, you see inflammation such as asthma, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, hepatitis, IBS, allergies or any other inflammatory condition will also cause cortisol to increase. So you need to reduce the inflammation in the body.

Cortisol- Pregnenolone- Stress hormone response

Cortisol causes the blood to be shunted from the digestive system to the muscles, causing peristalsis (bowel movements) to change and your nutrient absorption may possibly drop. This in itself can cause energy to drop, sleep quality to reduce, changes in skin, and lowered mood. Much of your serotonin production (happy neurotransmitters) happens in the gut, so any sort of reduced blood flow could result in reduced neurotransmitter production. Digestive enzymes are made in the gut, if you find that some days you can handle a food and the next day you cant, it could be a reflection of your stress response. Digestive becomes the second priority when you are in the fight or flight response.

Can you see it is hard for your mind to be clear when your body is not?

The stress/anti-inflammatory hormone Cortisol is what wakes you up in the morning. If you are stressed, it is high all day long, not the slightest bit useful when you are laying in bed trying to get to sleep. It will prevent you from getting to sleep. Your mind will race! I see this in many clients when we do saliva hormone testing (Cortisol is high at night and melatonin [sleeping hormone] is low).

It is more than likely that you have experienced the gut-brain connection. The expressions “gut wrenching” or “butterflies” are all examples. I have heard of instances where a person was so stressed from a trauma that it was then their digestive health deteriorated. For this you need to go back and correct damage that was caused, but more importantly address the brain and the gut at the exact same time.

It is always harder to lose weight when you are stressed. Cortisol also makes it difficult to lose weight, and you will hold more fat predominantly around the tummy. So no matter how much exercise you do the weight will be hard to reduce. Cortisol levels could alter your melatonin levels, the sleeping hormone. If this happens your leptin levels (a hormone that tells you to stop eating) reduces, so you will feel more hungry and more likely to eat carbohydrate or sweets and unable to control your portion size. The increased carbohydrate content then increases insulin, which promotes inflammation, causes another spike of cortisol. See how everything in the body is connected?

Being in the fight and flight response for too long a period of time can lead you feeling drained, this leads to you being more emotionally unstable and you may become teary easier. This not only affects you it affects those around you. And makes it hard to deal with day to day tasks. I say this, because I know what it is like. I have experienced anxiety and panic attacks, so my understanding comes from experience and not just knowledge.

Stress and digestion go hand in hand. I never just treat stress, you always need to dig deeper. The body needs balance, when one thing increases another decreases, when one nutrient is deficient for a pathway it will be ‘robbed’ from another and the imbalance continues. This is the beauty of Naturopathy, we address all aspects of your health, to enable you to live a happy, fruitful, abundant life!

Yours in health and happiness,

Suzi Le Fanue ND

Book your FREE Introductory consultation with a Naturopath today 5458 4800. Appointments are available in person, by phone or skype.

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Anxiety or Depression a part of your life? Could Bacteria be the answer?

Can bacteria cause Anxiety or Depression? Suzi Le Fanue from Integrated Wellness Clinic reports the research.

We all know how bacteria can affect us when we are sick. But what about the seemingly harmless bacteria that colonise our gut every day?               Naturopath Suzi Le Fanue Reports.

Are you finding yourself frustrated, thinking negatively, unmotivated and overwhelmed? Are you tired of taking medication that is not offering you the relief you would like?  Have you ever wondered why all this happens? Could Bacteria be the answer?

Are you anxious when you wake up, find it hard to fall asleep, tired all the time and irritable?

There is always a cause.

A survey of 8,841 people aged 16 to 85 was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and they found that a staggering 7.3 million (45%) of the respondents reported a lifetime mental disorder. You have to wonder, why this is becoming more frequent?

Research shows us some promising answers. Often part of the problem is not in the brain, it is further south… your digestive system to be exact. After all, for years Scientist’s have been called it your “second brain”.

The digestive system is like the roots of a tree; it absorbs your nutrients and helps you to flourish. But what if you carried a pathogenic infection that released neuro-toxins, affecting the way your brain works and at the same time robbed you of your nutrients?

Researchers at McMaster University have supportive evidence that bacteria residing in the gut influence brain chemistry and behaviour. When there was a change in the gut flora of the test subject’s increased anxiety and behaviour change was noted. For years these bacteria’s have been seen to be harmless, but the negative impact of specific strains of bacteria on the brain are documented.

The pathogenic bacteria have the potential to cause havoc on your digestive system and indirectly can cause Serotonin to drop. Serotonin is your happy, chirpy, relaxing neurotransmitter. Not many people are aware that it is predominantly made in the gut. So viewing depression or anxiety as a one organ “disease” is clearly not the only way it should be treated.

The expressions “gut wrenching” and “butterflies in my belly” are used for a reason, and we have all experienced them. So we know there is a connection between the gut and brain.

Most research around the connection of the gut to brain has been focused on early childhood mental health such as autism, with only recently emerging studies on adult onset mental health conditions. It is exciting to see the medical world of research extend beyond just looking at one organ. Let’s hope this area of research continues to grow.

Written by Suzi Le Fanue

Integrated Wellness Clinic

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Magnesium might be missing of the important used minerals? If you are stressed or tense, you probably are!

Magnesium. A naturally occuring macro-nutrient essential during times of stress.

Magnesium, one of my FAVOURITE nutrients. It is a ‘macro-mineral’, meaning it is needed in huge amounts. It is used in about 300 pathways in the body, but is sadly deficient in many people. It is used to support you in times of stress and inflammation, it is also cardio-protective, helping to regulate blood pressure and balance your mood… the list can go on and on. SEO Company in Goa

Did you know that 99% of magnesium is stored in your bones, muscles and non-muscular soft tissue? Osteoporosis is often treated by just a calcium supplement (and usually not an ideal form of calcium- another story!), calcium and magnesium are BOTH what keep bones and teeth strong. It is like the concrete maker for bones.

Magnesium is a co-factor and cell regulator. Your body cannot function 100% without sufficient magnesium.

Why is it low in so many people?  
Stress and lack of magnesium rich foods in the diet. At times of stress your bodies requirements for magnesium are higher, and the diet often doesn’t provide enough as it is. Not long ago our food was very magnesium dense, but not any more. With the increase in consumption of processed foods this also reduces how much magnesium you take in. Factoring this with possibility of reduced nutrient absorption because of SEO Service in Goa allergies or bacteria and stress, and you now have a deficiency. It really isn’t that hard to become magnesium deficient.

What happens if magnesium is deficient?
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to: high blood pressure, muscular tension, restless legs, neurotransmitter reduction, fatigue, headaches and migraines, asthma, diabetes, PMS, insomnia, mood imbalance, bone degeneration, decrease liver detoxification, fibromyalgia, inflammation.

Should I take a supplement?
You could take a supplement, but the problem with supplements is they are not all created equally. So I never suggest just going and buying any old magnesium supplement, unless under the guidance of a Practitioner. Some magnesiums can actually be harmful if taken for too long a period of time. And some are absorbed better than others. And some forms are better for certain conditions.

What foods are high in magnesium?
Dark green leafy vegies, nuts (especially brazil nuts) , seeds, raw cacao powder (not milk chocolate ;)).

Reduce soft drinks, sugar and processed grains as these all reduce magnesium levels in the body.

Enjoy! 🙂

Suzi Le Fanue
www.integratedwellnessclinic.com.au
info@integratedwellnessclinic.com.au

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Vitamin C found to reduce Depression

A study published in the Nutrition Journal done demonstrated that 1000mg Vitamin C used alongside fluoxetine (an antidepressant aka Prozac) reduced symptoms of depression. They suggest that this may be the result of the anti-oxidant properties of vitamin C (since there may be oxidative side effects from fluoxetine). Your brain loves Vitamin C. It was really interesting reading their discussion, they cite many papers that link vitamin C to a reduction in all sorts of psychological issues. Promising area of research. Vitamin C is one of my favourite vitamins. This is the sort of research I love!

I will also add that vitamin C is also needed for dopamine production. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is often forgotten about, it is vital for mental clarity and motivation. I like to explain dopamine as being the controller of the filing system in your brain. It ensures you are able to focus, absorb and store the right information.

Best sources of vitamin C: Kale (and pretty much all greens), Broccoli, Peppers, Berries.

www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-12-31.pdf

 

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Is Depression in your family? Could it be from DNA? ( 5-HTT gene)

Can your mental health be in your DNA? Sunshine Coast Integrated Wellness Clinic. Suzi Le Fanue.

Anxiety, Depression: Could it be in the DNA?

The 5-HTT gene has been found to have an area that “changes” this affects the re uptake of serotonin (our happy neurotransmitter) in the brain. This is called a polymorphism. These polymorphisms are seen to be higher in those with major depression. In the future, I would love to see that screening of 5-HTT gene is done in those with depression. Knowing whats happening doesn’t treat it, but knowing what your dealing with makes it that much easier to deal with. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684780/

Let’s hope the study of genetics and mental health continues!

Yours in Health,

Suzi Le Fanue Naturopath at Sunshine Coast Integrated Wellness Clinic

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Blueberries. A powerful anti-ageing food!

Blueberries! Anti-Ageing food Packed with anthocyanins, they slow down the ageing process, lower inflammation and are lower in fructose than other fruits. They are high in vitamin C and potassium. And best of all, they taste delicious. Eat them in salads, smoothies or straight from the punnet. Mmmmmm

My favourite Blueberry Muffin Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 2/3 cup bluberries
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder/bi carb soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Dash of vanilla
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • About 1/3 cup agave or stevia to taste

Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 180C. Besan Ladoo Recipe Maharashtrian

2) Butter a muffin tin. I sometimes use a slice tin.

3) Mix dry ingredients together well.

4) Add wet ingredients and blueberrier and mix thoroughly

5) Put in muffin tins or tray and bake for about 20 mins. Stick a knife in to check they are pretty cooked, bear in mind that almond meal muffins are more moist than wheat muffins.

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