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All Posts in Category: Motivation

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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Bring back your mojo!

get-your-mojo-back

Bring back your mojo! – By Naturopaths Suzi Le Fanue and Ellen Tattam 🙂

 

If you asked any of our Naturopaths who we see the most in clinic, it is women who are burnt out, stressed and overwhelmed.
Why is that? Women’s lifestyles are becoming increasingly busier, leaving less and less time for self care.
Naturopaths see women of all ages in clinic every day, who put their children, family, work and many other commitments before their own health, without even realising it.


Poor dietary choices may be the start of the cascade of events that happens in this typical picture.
Choosing processed foods with minimal nutrients, because it’s fast and easy, is a common choice made my Mum’s on-the-go and this can easily be corrected with the right nutrition advice, planning and dietary tips.

Choosing foods high in good proteins and fats that keep blood sugar levels stabilised, without dips and spikes, is important for energy levels and mood changes.

 

On a biochemical level, when a perceived threat is encountered a fight-or-flight response is engaged.
For example, in times of stress an alarm system is set off in a part of your brain, the hypothalamus.
In turn this prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of adrenaline and cortisol,
two hormones affected by stress. While adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates blood pressure and
increases energy supplies – cortisol, being the primary stress hormone, increases glucose in the bloodstream and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.
However, cortisol can alternatively alter immune system responses and suppress the digestive system, reproductive system and growth processes.

 

What happens with time is the body can start depleting its production of cortisol. You may then starts to feel tired (especially in the morning), stressed, overwhelmed, irritable, emotional and like you have lost your spark or zest. Adrenal insufficiency or adrenal fatigue is a biochemical imbalance we see frequently in clinic.

 

So could you do to address either adrenal overdrive or adrenal insufficiency?

You could look into addressing your nutrient status, ensure your diet is geared towards balancing blood sugar levels (adequate protein, moderate low GI carbohydrates) as well as look into herbal medicine to support the adrenals. An important recommendation is to eliminate caffeine from your diet. As caffeine can cause disturbed sleeping patterns, and reduces sleep quality. Sugar can also increase poor quality sleep, particularly if consumed at night.

 

A key neurotransmitter that is affected by stress is serotonin. Most people relate serotonin as the happy neurotransmitter in the brain but it is much more than that. Serotonin is also vital for regulating your sleeping patterns, body temperature, memory and appetite. Therefore, when stress causes imbalances with these chemicals around the body, it can lead to sleep disturbances, appetite and digestive function problems as well as many other hormonal imbalances.

 

 

Our top lifestyle recommendations:

-Dedicate “me time”. This could be reading a new book, gardening, walking the dog, booking in a massage or some form of pampering, taking a long bath, or engaging in gentle exercise. Plan these ahead of time, and dont leave it until the last minute.

-Be careful who you surround yourself with. Please can either lift your energy or they can drain it. Your thoughts have the power to alter your psychology which can then alter your physiology.

-Avoid night time television and staying up late. This depletes melatonin, your sleep hormone.
As Naturopaths, we recommend a balanced and holistic combination of a nutrient dense diet, regular exercise and self care. Look after yourself and the mojo will follow!

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6 Things Healthy People Do Every Morning

6 Things Healthy People Do Every Morning (Besides Drinking Lemon Water)

healthy habitsYour morning depends a lot on whether or not you are a morning person. Some people love to jump out of bed and start their day with a bang, while other people can barely manage to get up at all.

Yet no matter who you are, having healthy habits in the morning is the key to having healthy days and ultimately, a healthy life.

The One Healthy Habit You Probably Already Know

Drinking a glass of water should be the first thing you do when you wake up. If you can make it a glass of lemon water even better. You jumpstart your metabolism, you get rehydrated, and you get ready to start moving.

But are there other habits that are also important? What else makes up a healthy morning?

6 Other Morning Habits Healthy People Have

1. Take a Breath of Fresh Air

Why not enjoy that glass of water on your patio or balcony? Getting outside and taking in a deep breath of fresh air is a great way to wake you up and to make you feel alive and well. A breath of fresh air in the morning always gets me in the mood to be productive.

2. Take a Moment to Be Grateful

Getting up in the morning can quickly become a pity party. Why do I have to go to work? Why do I have to get the kids ready for school? Negativity can take over and your whole day can become one big obligation.

Better to head off that negativity from the start by remembering all the things that you’re grateful for in life, like having your health or your husband or your kids, anything. Taking a moment to feel grateful just for one more day, may sound kinda corny, but it really can change your entire outlook on life.

3. Take a Moment to Make Your Bed

Making your bed in the morning might seem like a waste of time, but it’s actually a great way to start your day. Finishing your first task gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment and motivates you to finish more goals throughout the day. That’s why people who make their beds tend to be more productive.

4. Take a Moment to Eat a Good Breakfast

You should always make time for breakfast. Try some eggs or fruit or oats. Or make a smoothie. Avoiding processed foods, like most kinds of cereal, is a good idea. And if you’re in a hurry and can’t sit down, you can always make a smoothie instead!

5. Take a Moment to Stretch

It’s not just your mind that has to wake up in the morning, it’s your body too. Wake up your muscles by doing a few stretches. If you struggle with back pain try this routine. Or just dance around or go for a quick walk. It doesn’t have to be a full, intense workout. Anything that gets you moving is a great start.

6. Take a Moment For Yourself

Smile in the mirror, listen to your favorite song, or tell yourself you’re beautiful. Anything that boosts your confidence, self-esteem, and positive energy. There’s no better time to feel great than the morning. And with these habits, I hope you do.

Source:

http://foodmatters.tv/content/7-things-healthy-people-do-every-morning

Image Source:

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/a6S8_7zYFss/maxresdefault.jpg

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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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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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