All Posts in Category: Adrenal Fatigue

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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How well do you handle stress?

How Well Do You Handle Stress?
Living in this day and age, stress is a normal part of modern life. You will be exposed to some sort of stress every day, whether it’s waking up to an alarm, sitting in traffic, paying bills, working, meeting deadlines – all of these can take their toll. Thankfully, the body has an amazing, protective stress response system to help you cope. The stress response was historically designed to kick in to save your life; nowadays, your stress response is being activated every day rather than just when you come into contact with a sabre tooth tiger! However, this ongoing activation by your nervous system can lead to symptoms of stress and mood disorders that are becoming increasingly common.

Recognising the Signs of Stress 
Depending on the type of stress and how long you have been experiencing it, you may be familiar with some of these signs and symptoms.

Signs of acute stress – Muscle tension, Increased heart rate, Sweating, Energy fluctuations, Alertness, Sleep disturbances

Signs of ongoing stress – Fatigue, Sleep disturbances, Worrying, Sadness, Irritability, Poor concentration, Weight loss or gain
Getting the Right Tools 

When you are under stress, your overworked stress response system requires even more nutrients than usual. This is because your body needs vitamins and minerals to produce the hormones and neurotransmitters (the brain’s messengers) required to adapt to the stress and bring the body back into balance.

  • B group vitamins: B vitamins are needed for healthy mood, motivation and wellbeing. They are vital for producing energy, as well as the neurotransmitters that promote happiness, relaxation and sleep.
  • Magnesium: When you are stressed, your body may require more magnesium than normal. Magnesium can be beneficial for many things including managing stress and improving energy. You may also know that magnesium is used as a muscle relaxant. Due to its relaxing qualities, it may improve mood and sleep.
  • Taurine and glutamine: These amino acids are required as building blocks for your neurotransmitters. They can also help to calm the nervous system, as well as protect against the damage that stress can cause.

Setting Up the Foundations 
Now that you know which nutrients can be great for use in times of stress, eating a nutritious diet can help you to maintain the health of your nerves long-term. What happens to your diet when you’re stressed? Do you eat a lot, or do you make poor food choices when short on time or patience?

  • During times of stress, sugars and refined carbohydrates are a no no! While they provide quick energy, they do not fuel your body with nutrients it needs to cope with stress, and can ultimately lead to weight gain.
  • Protein from fish, lean meats, eggs, legumes and nuts can provide you with amino acids to fuel your brain whilst sustaining you for longer, minimising those stress cravings.
  • Fish, in particular, contains both protein and essential fats, otherwise known as omega-3 fatty acids which can support a healthy stress response and healthy mood.

Be Strong Against Stress! 
If you are interested in strengthening your mind and body to become more resilient to the effects of everyday stress, book in to see one of our knowledgable and friendly Naturopaths and/or Nutritionists.

Our Naturopaths would love to help you! Book online or phone  (07) 5458 4800 to book your free assessment consultation.

 

Where to next?

Book your FREE Naturopathic Assessment Consultation to get you started. Consultations start at $57. 

We use the ‘Healthpoint‘ health fund rebate system in the clinic our accredited Naturopaths have current health fund provider status. This means if you bring your card to the consultation you can usually claim your rebate on the spot using our Healthpoint terminal, and only pay the gap on your consultation. This helps you see your health fund benefit sooner.

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 or Gold Coast Clinic either or Buderim Naturopath or Caloundra Naturopath Clinic on the Sunshine Coast.

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Are you getting enough Iron?

Are You Getting Enough Iron?
 
Iron is essential for maintaining good energy levels and optimal health. It is arguably one of the most important minerals, particularly as it is involved in carrying oxygen to every cell in your body. Haemoglobin is the body’s oxygen-carrying protein and where you find approximately two-thirds of your iron; therefore, without adequate iron the transportation of oxygen is affected. As ironis involved in maintaining healthy immunity, it’s no wonder you don’t feel great when your levels are low!

Symptoms of Low Iron 
The following symptoms could be signs of low iron levels:

  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Frequent colds and flus
  • Paleness inside the mouth and lower eyelid
  • Fuzzy head, not thinking clearly
  • Low body temperature
  • Dizziness
  • Restless legs or leg cramps at night.

Reasons for Low Iron 
Iron deficiency can be mild, however when it is very low you can become ‘anaemic’. Low iron can be a result of not obtaining enough from your diet. Factors that may cause low iron include tea and coffee intake, blood loss, pregnancy or poor absorption as a result of underlying gut problems. Certain populations have been identified as potentially more at risk of low iron levels, including teenagers, the elderly, pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans.

Test – Don’t Guess 
If you suspect you may be low in iron, it is important to speak to your healthcare practitioner about a simple blood test to assess your iron levels, especially if you are at increased risk. Testing can ensure your safety, as symptoms of iron excess may be similar to signs of iron deficiency and in some circumstances, high ironintake can be detrimental.

Dietary Sources of Iron 
Include plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet to maintain a healthy intake. Animal foods provide
a good source of iron, including beef, lamb, kangaroo, turkey, chicken, fish, oysters, liver and sardines. The redder the meat, the higher the ironcontent. Plant-sources of iron include molasses, shiitake mushrooms, dark green leafy vegetables (see below for an absolutely delicious kale and spinach pie recipe) and lentils. Vegetarian sources of iron may not be as well-absorbed as animal sources. Talk to your Practitioner today about taking a high potency ironsupplement. If you are vegan or vegetarian, your Practitioner can provide vegan-friendly options.

Iron Needs a Little Help from its Friends 
Iron works best in your body with the help of other nutrients:

  • B vitamins: Vitamins B6, B12 and folate are involved in iron transportation and red blood cell production. Taking an essential B vitamin can help you build healthy cells and move energising oxygen around your body.
  • 5-MTHF: Known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate – the activated form of folate. It is the same form made by your body and is readily utilised.
  • Vitamin C: It has long been known that vitamin C increases the absorption of iron; therefore when taking iron, ideally pair it with vitamin C.

The Supplemental Form of Iron Matters
Side-effects, such as constipation, are commonly complained about with certain forms of iron. Therefore it is important to choose a highly absorbable form of ironto minimise the chance of gut symptoms. Your Practitioner can recommend a suitable iron formula with all the necessary nutrients needed to restore your energy levels and maintain healthy immunity.

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Stop procrastinating. Boost Dopamine and achieve your goals!

Dopamine motivation with our Sunshine Coast NaturopathsAre you physically motivated enough to reach your goals?

This time of the year we will all start to think about what we want out of 2017. For some of you your health may be at the top of the list. Too often we set these goals and we don’t achieve them. We say I will start the diet on Monday, I will pay the credit card next month, take the dog for a walk tomorrow, empty the cupboard next week. Goals are usually not achieved because we procrastinate.

What if there was a hormone that we had in our body that kept you motivated, goal orientated and focused?
Well, this hormone actually exists – it is called dopamine!

Dopamine is often referred to as the “feel good” chemical. When it is low the person is more likely to feel depressed, lack pleasure, be unmotivated or lethargic. Those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) usually lack dopamine. Most people have heard of serotonin because many anti-depressants work on serotonin, but many have not heard of dopamine even though it is critical in clarity, happiness, focus and wellbeing.

So how can you increase dopamine levels naturally?

Are you suffering with digestive problem? It is critical that your gut is healthy, as all good health starts in the gut. Your stomach is the beginning of protein digestion, where protein is broken down into amino acids. To make dopamine your body needs plenty of the amino acid tyrosine. If you have reflux, bloating, food sensitivities or indigestion it may mean that you are not digesting your proteins efficiently. So digestive dysfunction needs to be addressed.

Dopamine is made from protein and a cocktail of other important nutrients like vitamin C, iron, magnesium, B vitamins and zinc. It is also wise to consider increasing foods high in tyrosine such as almonds, avocado, bananas and poultry. You need to make sure your diet has plenty of colour too. If any of the dopamine cofactors from the diet are missing it makes it very difficult for the body to produce dopamine.

A study published in 2008 in the Journal of Nutrition & Metabolism demonstrated that low dopamine levels are associated with an inability to control portion sizes, so you are more likely to overeat. So if your goal is to shed some weight we need to get those dopamine levels up!

So how do you know if you are low in dopamine? There are clinical pathology tests as simple as a urine test that can determine your neurotransmitter levels.

If you know you procrastinate and put your goals on hold, you may be in need of more dopamine!

 

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It’s coffee time! Is coffee bad for your health?

Is coffee bad for you?A lot of clients ask about coffee – “is it bad?” “is it good?” “how much should I have?” It can be a bit of a complex discussion, however generally we recommend no more than 2 cups per day.

Coffee contains a lot of compounds that exert different effects in the body. One of the most talked about compounds in coffee is caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which is why people generally feel ‘jittery’ or ‘a rush of energy’ after a cup of coffee. Most people can tolerate this extra stimulation, however, for others, such as those with anxiety or chronic stress problems, this may not be ideal. Another reminder that each person is different.

On the positive side, some research supports the idea that regular coffee consumption may have beneficial effects on health, such as assisting with weight management and weight loss, and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Though more research is needed to confirm this.

Many of our practitioners in the clinic enjoy coffee. We like to use these simple guidelines for our coffee consumption:

✔️ Drink coffee because you genuinely feel like it, not so much to increase your energy
✔️ Avoid coffee if you are already feeling anxious / nervous
✔️ Avoid coffee at times of the day when you know it will have an impact on your sleep that night
✔️ Ditch adding sugar if you can (try to gradually reduce it so you adjust to the taste)
✔️ For a coffee alternative, we love herbal teas, dandelion tea, chai (avoid chia syrups and powders), and turmeric lattes.

Happy & Healthy Coffee Drinking ????

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