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30/Oct/2023

Hormones play a crucial role in the overall function of the body and can impact everything from mood and energy levels to sex drive and weight management. In men, testosterone levels tend to decline with age, while women experience fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle and menopause. It’s important for both men and women to have their hormone levels checked before the age of 50, and here’s why.

Detect and Prevent Hormone Imbalances

Hormone imbalances can occur at any age, but they are more likely to occur as people enter their 40s and 50s. By having hormone levels checked regularly, potential imbalances can be detected early on and appropriate interventions can be taken, such as hormone replacement therapy or lifestyle changes. Hormone imbalances can cause a range of health issues, including weight gain, infertility, low libido, fatigue, and more. One common hormonal imbalance is estrogen dominance, which can be treated effectively without pharmaceutical intervention.

For more on hormone balance click HERE

Encourage Preventive Care

Having hormone levels checked before the age of 50 can encourage individuals to prioritize preventive care. This means that they can work closely with healthcare providers to establish a wellness plan that includes everything from regular screenings and check-ups to diet and exercise. By prioritizing preventive care, people can ensure their body’s hormone levels are balanced, promoting overall health and well-being.

Address Age-Related Symptoms

As people approach their 50s, they may experience age-related symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, or erectile dysfunction. In some cases, these symptoms may be related to hormone imbalances, and so it’s important to have hormone levels checked regularly. If hormone imbalances are identified, treatment can be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

Improve Bone Density

In women, estrogen levels decline during menopause, which can lead to a decrease in bone density and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Men also experience a decline in bone density as they age due to lower testosterone levels. By having hormone levels checked regularly, individuals can become aware of decreased bone density early on, and can take steps to prevent bone loss and reduce their risk of osteoporosis, such as getting regular exercise, consuming calcium and vitamin D, and taking hormone replacement therapy if needed.

Promote Emotional Well-Being

Hormone imbalances can impact not only physical health but emotional health as well. In women, fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. Low testosterone levels in men can cause depression or irritability. Having hormone levels checked regularly can help to identify potential hormone imbalances that may be contributing to emotional concerns. Appropriate treatment can then be prescribed to help improve emotional well-being.

Conclusion

Having hormone levels checked before the age of 50 is an important component of overall health and wellness for both men and women. It can help to detect and prevent hormone imbalances, encourage preventive care, address age-related symptoms, improve bone density, and promote emotional well-being. By prioritizing regular hormone level checks, individuals can better address potential health issues and work toward a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Interested in having your hormones checked? Give as a call or book a consultation HERE


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17/Oct/2023

Blood tests are a vital tool that doctors use to detect and diagnose a wide range of conditions. From evaluating organ function to monitoring cholesterol levels, these tests give doctors valuable information about a patient’s health. However, the question remains, how often should you have your blood checked? In this post, we will explore the benefits of regular blood testing for prevention versus disease-tracking.

Prevention versus Disease Management

Prevention is the key to good health. Some blood tests can detect early warning signs of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, allowing for immediate treatment. For instance, a fasting blood sugar test can detect early stages of diabetes, allowing for lifestyle modification, and dietary change. Likewise, a lipid panel test can detect high cholesterol levels, and routine screenings could help reduce risks related to cardiovascular disease.

CEA

Preventative blood tests are especially important for individuals with a family history of certain conditions. For example, if your family has a history of colon cancer carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) can be a useful screening tool for colorectal cancer. CEA is a protein that is often found in higher quantities in those with this type of cancer. Regular CEA testing can help detect the disease at an early stage, making treatment more effective and increasing the chances of survival.

PSA

Similarly, some experts recommend regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests starting at age 40, especially for men who have a family history of prostate cancer. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in men as early as 40 years of age could potentially help identify those at risk of developing prostate cancer. Men aged 40-49 years with a baseline PSA level above 1.0 ng/mL have been found to have a significant risk of prostate cancer diagnosis, suggesting the need for more regular monitoring.

Hormones

Hormone screening, particularly of sex hormones such as testosterone in men, and estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in women, is a critical aspect of healthcare that can provide valuable insights into an individual’s overall health. Starting these screenings as early as in your 20s can help detect hormonal imbalances that could potentially lead to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women or low testosterone levels in men. Early detection can enable timely intervention, possibly preventing future health issues such as infertility, osteoporosis, heart disease, or certain types of cancer. Regular hormone screenings can help maintain hormonal balance, which is vital for physical wellbeing, mental health, and sexual health. Consequently, it can dramatically improve the quality of life by ensuring optimal hormonal health throughout one’s lifetime.

Routine Blood Work

Routine blood tests are a vital tool in maintaining optimum health, as they can detect deficiencies or imbalances that could potentially lead to health problems. Key markers such as Vitamin D and B12 levels are essential for bone health and nerve function respectively. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is crucial for regulating your body’s metabolism while C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an indicator of inflammation in the body. Liver enzymes, ferritin, and creatinine levels help monitor liver function, iron storage, and kidney function respectively.

Abnormalities in these markers can result in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, digestive issues, mood changes, and more. Lifestyle factors including diet, physical activity, stress, and substance use can significantly affect these markers. Yearly blood tests can help identify these abnormalities early, allowing for timely intervention.

On the other hand, some diseases require more frequent monitoring and blood testing. For example, individuals with diabetes may need regular blood tests to monitor their glucose levels. Cancer patients, too, may require regular blood tests to monitor disease progression, or to check if cancer has returned even after treatment.

Conclusion:

Keeping track of your health status through blood tests is important for catching early warning signs of disease, but it also involves analyzing disease progress, response to treatment, and overall health. Ultimately, the frequency of blood tests depends on a patient’s risk profile, family history, age, and overall health status. I generally recommend yearly healthy living assessment panels for prevention and more specific testing on a more frequent basis for disease management. It is important to discuss with your doctor to determine a testing plan specific to your needs. In that way, you can ensure optimal health and well-being for a long time.

We use the two top labs in Canada: LifeLabs and Dynacare 
For a list of some tests that we offer as well as pricing CLICK HERE (Many tests are covered by a health insurance plan)

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02/Oct/2023

Aging is an inevitable part of life, but modern science is continually uncovering ways to potentially slow down this process. This blog aims to provide an overview of the aging process and highlight some scientifically-backed strategies for slowing it down.

Understanding the Aging Process

The aging process is complex and influenced by a variety of factors. As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes at the molecular, cellular, and organ levels that can lead to increased vulnerability to disease and death. Oxidative stress, inflammation, and cellular damage are key contributors to this process.

For instance, oxidative stress caused by free radicals contributes to the aging process and is associated with several age-related diseases. Inflammation, both chronic and acute, has been linked to aging and age-related diseases. Moreover, cellular damage and the inability of cells to repair this damage is another significant factor in aging.

Anti-Aging Strategies: Supplements, Diets, and Treatments

Vitamin D

Supplements

Here, we will explore some of the most potent anti-aging mechanisms and how they work.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and slowing down the aging process. A recent study indicates that antioxidant supplementation can improve skin health and slow the progression of age-related diseases.

  1. Vitamin C: This potent antioxidant boosts the immune system and aids in collagen production. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, as well as strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli, are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Try a refreshing citrus salad or squeeze some lemon juice into your water for a Vitamin C boost.
  2. Vitamin E: Vitamin E protects cell membranes and enhances skin health. You can find it in foods like almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes, and avocados. Enjoy a handful of almonds as a snack or whip up a creamy avocado smoothie.
  3. Beta-Carotene: This antioxidant converts into vitamin A in the body, promoting eye health and supporting the immune system. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in beta-carotene. Toss these veggies into a colourful salad or blend them into a nutrient-packed green smoothie.
  4. Selenium: Selenium is essential for reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, and DNA synthesis. It’s found in Brazil nuts, seafood, and whole grains. Try a selenium-rich snack like a handful of Brazil nuts or a whole grain toast.
  5. Flavonoids: These are powerful antioxidants found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as tea and chocolate. Berries, apples, onions, and dark chocolate are all high in flavonoids. Whip up a berry smoothie bowl for breakfast or indulge in a piece of dark chocolate for dessert.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that plays a critical role in energy production within our cells. As we age, our natural levels of CoQ10 diminish, making supplementation beneficial. Recent research suggests that CoQ10 can improve heart health and cognitive function in older adults.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine and dark chocolate, activates certain genes called sirtuins, which have been linked to longevity. A recent study showed that resveratrol supplementation could improve health and lifespan in mice.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, found abundantly in fish oil, have potent anti-inflammatory effects and can help protect against age-related cognitive decline. A recent study suggested that omega-3 supplements might slow biological aging by prolonging telomere length.

NMN

NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) is a precursor to NAD+, a compound that plays a crucial role in energy metabolism and maintaining proper cell function. Recent research suggests that NMN supplementation can enhance longevity and improve various aspects of health.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

HRT can help balance hormone levels that naturally decline with age, such as estrogen and testosterone. This can lead to improved energy, mood, and overall well-being. However, HRT should be used under professional supervision due to potential side effects and risks.

For more on hormone replacement Click Here

Adaptogens

Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and promote balance. They include herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola, and ginseng. Some studies suggest that adaptogens can improve mental performance, reduce fatigue, and boost immune health.

Diets

Dietary habits play a significant role in the aging process. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains have been associated with longer lifespans and reduced risk of chronic diseases.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, has been associated with longer lifespans and reduced risk of chronic diseases. This diet is high in antioxidants which neutralize harmful free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and slowing down aging.

Evidence from the Predimed study, a large, long-term nutritional intervention study, showed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet improved heart health and cognitive function and reduced the risk of cancer and mortality.

The Okinawa Diet

The Okinawa diet, based on the traditional dietary habits of Okinawa islanders in Japan, is another diet linked to longevity. This diet is low in calories but high in nutrients, consisting mainly of sweet potatoes, soy products, and a plethora of fruits and vegetables.

The Okinawa diet is high in antioxidants and flavonoids, which protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. A study on Okinawa islanders found that this diet contributed to their long lifespan and low rates of age-related diseases.

The Blue Zones Diet

The Blue Zones diet is inspired by the dietary habits of people living in the Blue Zones, five regions worldwide known for their high concentration of centenarians. This diet emphasizes plant-based foods, whole grains, and legumes, with meat and processed foods consumed sparingly.

Research shows that the Blue Zones diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and promote longevity. This is largely attributed to its high content of antioxidants, fibre, and healthy fats.

Caloric Restriction

Caloric restriction (CR) is a dietary regimen that involves reducing daily calorie intake without malnutrition or deprivation of essential nutrients.

A wealth of research has shown that CR can effectively slow down the aging process and confer a host of other health benefits. At the cellular level, CR works by reducing metabolic rate and oxidative stress, both of which are key contributors to aging. In addition, CR enhances insulin sensitivity, which can help prevent age-related diseases like diabetes. However, it’s important to note that CR should be undertaken with caution and under the guidance of a health professional, as drastic calorie reduction can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other health issues.

For more on caloric restriction Click Here

Stretching

Lifestyle/Therapies

Exercise

Regular exercise is a powerful tool for maintaining vitality; it boosts cardiovascular health, improves muscle tone, and enhances cognitive function.

Exercise, often hailed as the fountain of youth, plays a pivotal role in slowing down the natural aging process. Regular physical activity, regardless of the type, boosts overall well-being, preventing age-related diseases and promoting cellular regeneration. For instance, endurance exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling can significantly improve cardiovascular health and enhance longevity. Strength training, on the other hand, helps in maintaining muscle mass, which naturally tends to decline with age.

Furthermore, exercise has a profound effect on our tendons, which adapt to aging and physical activity. Exercise promotes their strength and flexibility, contributing to improved mobility and a reduced risk of injury. Besides, dance-based training, which is both fun and effective, can significantly improve balance in adults and older individuals.

Including a regular exercise routine doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It could be as simple as a 30-minute brisk walk daily, practicing yoga, or even dancing to your favourite tunes. The key is consistency and making exercise an enjoyable part of your lifestyle. Remember, staying physically active is not just about adding years to life, but life to years.

For more on exercise Click Here

Acupuncture

Acupuncture, a cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine, offers a natural, holistic approach to slow down the aging process. This ancient therapy involves the careful insertion of fine needles into specific pressure points on the body by a qualified acupuncturist. It’s more than just a simple needle play; it’s a well-coordinated symphony that stimulates blood flow and promotes circulation throughout the body.

One of acupuncture’s most significant anti-aging benefits lies in its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. By reducing inflammation, acupuncture helps lower the risk of chronic diseases that speed up the aging process. It’s like an internal cleanup, where acupuncture helps your body fight against the invisible enemies of aging.

But the magic of acupuncture doesn’t stop there. This age-old therapy also serves as a stress-buster, managing stress levels effectively. High-stress levels can wreak havoc on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and unchecked fear, worry, and anxiety can lead to premature aging. Acupuncture helps to regulate the body’s stress response, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

In essence, acupuncture is a gentle yet potent ally in our quest for graceful aging. It works on multiple fronts – enhancing circulation, reducing inflammation, and managing stress, contributing to a healthier, more youthful you.

Meditation

Scientific research reveals that meditation encourages healthy cell regeneration, reduces oxidative stress, and curtails inflammation in the body. It’s like giving your cells a rejuvenating spa treatment, helping them stay vibrant and youthful. Furthermore, meditation techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing, and visualization have been found to reduce stress and anxiety, boost mood, and promote cognitive function. These techniques act as a mental workout for your brain, keeping it sharp and agile.

Meditation is not just about closing your eyes and sitting still; it’s a journey towards self-awareness and inner peace that brings about a sense of overall well-being. By incorporating meditation into your daily routine, you can tap into its powerful anti-aging benefits, fostering a healthier, more youthful you.

For more on how to start to meditate, Click Here

Stretching

Stretching, often overlooked in the quest for fitness, offers a wealth of benefits that can help slow down the aging process. The gentle pull and release of a good stretch can do wonders for your body, improving flexibility, increasing blood circulation, enhancing posture, promoting relaxation, and releasing muscle tension.

Flexibility is the first line of defense against the stiffness that often accompanies aging. Regular stretching exercises can help maintain or even improve your range of motion, making daily activities easier and more enjoyable. Moreover, stretching stimulates blood circulation, ensuring that your muscles, tissues, and organs receive adequate oxygen and nutrients. This improved circulation can speed up recovery from muscle soreness and enhance overall health.

Good posture isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s crucial for reducing strain on your muscles and joints. Stretching can help correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull parts of the body away from their intended position. Furthermore, stretching exercises have a calming effect on the mind, promoting relaxation and helping to release muscle tension.

Incorporating stretching into your daily routine doesn’t require a lot of time or special equipment. Try simple moves like the forward bend to stretch your hamstrings, the chest stretch to open up your chest and shoulders, or the cat-camel stretch for a gentle spine massage. Remember to breathe deeply and relax into each stretch for maximum benefit.

For more on stretching Click Here

Potential Side Effects

While these strategies may have potential benefits, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects. For instance, while some supplements are generally safe for most people, others can interact with medications or have side effects. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Conclusion

Aging is a complex process influenced by numerous factors. While we can’t stop aging entirely, research suggests that certain strategies may help slow down the process. By understanding the science behind aging, we can make informed decisions about our health and lifestyle.

Remember, a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management are all crucial elements of a comprehensive anti-aging strategy. And always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new supplement regimen or treatment.


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15/Mar/2023

Fluoride is a mineral that has been added to many public water supplies since 1945 to help prevent tooth decay. It is important to maintain a balanced amount of fluoride in our water, as too little can lead to dental problems and too much can cause more serious health issues. But what about the effects of fluoride on our hormones? Can the amount of fluoride in tap water be causing hormone disruption? Let’s look at the facts.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is an essential mineral found naturally in soil, water, and food. It helps protect teeth from decay and can even help reverse early signs of cavities. In some cities, fluoride is added to the public drinking water supply, either through the addition of hydrofluorosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride. This process has been used since 1945 and has been shown to reduce cavities by 15-40%. However, there have been some studies linking high levels of fluoride consumption to potential health risks.

Does it Affect Hormones?

Some studies suggest that fluoride may act as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it could interfere with the body’s natural hormones. The hormones affected most by fluoride are those related to thyroid function and reproductive health. Research suggests that exposure to high levels of fluoride could lead to decreased levels of these hormones in both humans and animals. Additionally, studies have shown that increased exposure to these hormones can cause changes in behavior and impaired cognitive development in children.
The World Health Organization recommends that water fluoride concentrations should not exceed 1.5 milligrams per liter in order to minimize potential health risks associated with chronic exposure. More specifically, the WHO suggests an optimal concentration of fluoride in drinking water of 0.5-1.0 mg/L as it is associated with lower rates of dental caries and minimal risk of fluorosis. Furthermore, a 2020 study found that fluoride intakes lower than 1.1 milligrams per day are safe for adults and 0.7 milligrams per day is safe for children up to age 8.
However, more research needs to be done before we can definitively say that consuming fluoridated tap water affects hormone production negatively. Currently, the US Department of Health & Human Services recommends a range for optimal amounts of fluoride for public drinking water supplies (0.7-1.2 mg/L). Most municipal systems fall within this range; however, if you live outside this range you may want to consider having your local water tested for contaminants like lead and arsenic as well as excessive levels of fluoride before drinking it regularly or using it for other household activities such as cooking or bathing.

Water Testing

With the potential risks of consuming high levels of Fluoride, it is essential to know the concentrations of Fluoride, as well as other minerals, in your tap water. Fortunately, there are several options that enable people to test their water for Fluoride and other minerals. The most common methods are testing strips and drops or sending a sample off to a laboratory and requesting a Fluoride test. Here is a link to one such company that will send you a home testing kit MyTapScore

Fluoride Filtration

There are several common ways you can filter out fluoride from your water. The most straightforward approach is through a reverse osmosis system which will filter out any particles larger than 0.0001 microns; this includes Fluoride and other contaminants like heavy metals or bacteria. Another popular filtering technique involves an activated alumina filter media. When the Fluoride molecules are exposed to this filter media, they become trapped permanently, ensuring the purity of your drinking water.
Finally, distillation systems can also be used for Fluoride filtration – allowing only vaporized water through the system while trapping Fluoride ions in its solid form before returning it as pure liquid. Here is a link to a helpful article on the best rated filter systems of 2021. It includes low cost table top options as well as full house systems. Personally, I purchased the Clearly Filtered System with three filters. This will last for approximately one year.

Conclusion

There is still a lot we don’t know about how fluoride affects our bodies—including how it might affect hormone production. While some studies suggest that high levels of fluoride consumption could disrupt our natural hormone balance, more research needs to be done before any definitive conclusions can be drawn. In the meantime, it is important for consumers to understand their local water quality so they can make informed decisions about their health and safety when using tap water for drinking or other purposes like cooking or bathing.
With knowledge comes power! Knowing your local tap water quality will help keep you safe from excessive levels of contaminants like lead and arsenic as well as potential hormone disruptors like excess amounts of fluoride present in your tap water supply system.

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01/Dec/2022

When it comes to testosterone, more isn’t always better. In fact, having too much testosterone can actually be just as problematic as having too little. That’s because there are different types of testosterone, each with its own unique function in the body. Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of testosterone you may see on a blood test and what they mean.

Total Testosterone:

This is the most commonly measured type of testosterone. It includes both “free” testosterone (the active form that binds to receptors and produces effects in the body) and “bound” testosterone (which is bound to sex hormone binding globulin [SHBG] and is inactive). The total testosterone test can be helpful in diagnosing conditions like low testosterone or androgen deficiency, and can also help monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

Free Testosterone:

As its name suggests, free testosterone is the “unbound” or active form of the hormone. This is one of the forms that’s available to bind to receptors and produce effects in the body. Because it’s unbound, it’s also the form that’s most easily measured in blood tests.
The percentage of free testosterone that’s considered optimal varies depending on the source. Some say that levels below 2% are indicative of low testosterone, while others recommend levels closer to 5%. Still, others claim that there’s no such thing as an “optimal” percentage. What is more important is understanding the symptoms of low testosterone in the context of blood test results.
Common symptoms of low testosterone include fatigue, low sex drive, and erectile dysfunction. It can also lead to weight gain, muscle loss, and a decrease in bone density.

Bioavailable Testosterone:

Bioavailable testosterone includes both free testosterone and “weakly bound” testosterone, which is bound to albumin (a protein in the blood). This form of testosterone is considered more biologically active than total or free testosterone because it represents the amount of hormone available to bind to receptors and produce effects in the body.
Bioavailable Testosterone = Free Testosterone + Albumin-Bound Testosterone

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG):

SHBG is a protein that binds to testosterone and other hormones, including estrogens, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and thyroid hormones. By binding to these hormones, SHBG regulates their activity and ensures they remain at optimal levels. Because SHBG bound hormones are inactive, increases in SHBG can lead to decreases in total bioactive hormone levels. Therefore if your percentage of free testosterone is low (Less than 2%) but total testosterone is adequate, it could be an issue of too much SHBG.

How to increase bioactive testosterone:

There are many ways to increase bioactive testosterone, some more natural than others. One way is through exercise. Exercise releases hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, which can help to improve muscle mass and bone density. Diet is also important, eating foods that are high in protein and healthy fats can help to increase testosterone levels.
Additionally, reducing stress levels can be beneficial, as stress can release cortisol which can inhibit testosterone production. Herbal therapies such as Tongkat Ali and Tribulus Terrestris are also thought to be effective at boosting testosterone levels. And finally, hormone replacement therapy can be an effective way to increase bioactive testosterone levels in men who have low levels.

Conclusion:

Therefore, when assessing your level of testosterone, it’s important to look at more than just your total or free levels. In addition to those measures, your bioavailable and SHBG-bound levels are important indicators of your overall hormone health. With all four measures taken into account, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of your hormone status and take steps to ensure that your levels are where they need to be for optimal health.

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26/Sep/2022

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating neurological disorder that can often leave patients feeling hopeless and alone. But there is hope! In this blog post, we will explore nine natural treatments for multiple sclerosis that have helped my Toronto patients alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the disease.

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. It is believed that this helps to clear energy blockages and promote balance and healing within the body. There is some evidence to suggest that acupuncture may be effective in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, such as fatigue, pain, spasticity, and bladder problems.

2. Herbal Medicine

There are many different herbs that have been traditionally used to treat various ailments, including multiple sclerosis. Some of the most common herbs used for MS include ginger, ginkgo biloba, turmeric, milk thistle, lions mane and green tea. These herbs can be taken in pill form or brewed into a tea. It is important to talk to a Naturopathic Doctor or qualified herbal practitioner before starting any herbal treatment regimen, as some herbs can interact with medications you may be taking for your MS.

3. Dietary Changes

Making some simple dietary changes can also help improve symptoms of MS. One study showed that following a Mediterranean diet—which includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil—may help reduce inflammation and slow the progression of MS. Other helpful dietary changes include avoiding processed foods and food allergies, getting enough vitamin D, and drinking plenty of water.
Food sensitivity testing can help to identify gluten sensitivity and other food sensitivities in people with MS and other autoimmune diseases. The most common type of food sensitivity test is an Elimination Diet, in which potential triggering foods are eliminated from the diet for a period of time and then reintroduced one at a time to see if symptoms occur. However, Elimination Diets can be difficult to stick to and can take months or even years to complete. Another option is an IgG Food Sensitivity Test, which measures levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies in the blood.
Antibodies are produced by the immune system in response to perceived threats, such as bacteria or viruses. However, in people with food sensitivities, the immune system overreacts to harmless proteins found in certain foods, producing excessive amounts of IgG antibodies. IgG Food Sensitivity Tests can be helpful in identifying food sensitivities because they can measure levels of IgG antibodies specific to each individual food protein. This allows for a more targeted Elimination Diet and can speed up the diagnosis process. If you think you might have a food sensitivity, you can book an appointment for testing.

4. Exercise

Exercise is important for everyone, but it is especially crucial for those with MS. Regular physical activity can help reduce fatigue, improve mobility and coordination, ease depression and anxiety, promote better sleep, and boost overall fitness and well-being. Even if you are not able to do strenuous exercise due to your symptoms, there are still many low-impact activities you can do to get moving and feeling better.

5. Stress Reduction Techniques

Stress is a well-known trigger for multiple sclerosis (MS) flare-ups. Managing stress is therefore an important part of MS treatment. Stress management techniques such as relaxation therapy and yoga can be helpful, but some patients may also benefit from taking adaptogens. Adaptogens are a class of natural substances that help the body to adapt to stress by reducing the production of stress hormones. They have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, and are now gaining popularity as a natural treatment for stress and anxiety. Some common adaptogens include ashwagandha, holy basil, and ginseng. If you are interested in trying adaptogens, talk to your Naturopathic doctor first to discuss whether they are right for you.

6. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium. It’s found naturally in very few foods, so most people get it from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is also available in supplement form. Some studies suggest that vitamin D may play a role in helping to prevent or treat MS. If you think you might be deficient in vitamin D, book an appointment with us for vitamin D testing or talk to your doctor.
Sometimes supplementation is ineffective or can take too long to bring up severely deficient vitamin D levels. I offer these patients the option of a high potency vitamin D injection that will bring levels up very quickly.

7. Mitochondrial Support

Mitochondrial support using resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 and NAD boosters is a promising new treatment for patients with multiple sclerosis. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, and they are responsible for producing energy. In patients with multiple sclerosis, the mitochondria are not working properly, and this can lead to fatigue and other symptoms. Resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 and NAD boosters help to support the mitochondria and improve their function. In a small study of patients with multiple sclerosis, those who received mitochondrial support had less fatigue and improved quality of life.

8. Hormones

Hormones play an important role in the human body, regulating everything from metabolism and mood to reproduction and energy levels. When hormones are out of balance, it can lead to a host of problems. For patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), hormone imbalances can cause fatigue, weight gain, depression, and loss of libido. Hormone testing can help to identify imbalances and allow for tailored treatment plans that use bio identical hormone replacement therapy to restore balance. By addressing hormone imbalances, patients with MS can improve their quality of life and potentially reduce their risk of disease progression.

9. Cannabinoids

Recently, cannabinoids have emerged as a potential therapy for MS. Cannabinoids are compounds found in the cannabis plant, and they have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In animal studies, cannabinoids have been shown to reduce inflammation and nerve damage in models of MS. In small clinical trials, cannabinoids have been shown to improve symptom control in patients with MS. These promising results have led to the development of several cannabinoid-based medications for MS. Dr. Shawn Meirovici N.D. is experienced cannabis educator in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Shawn can help patients decide if cannabis therapy would be a good addition to their treatment plan.

Conclusion:

If you are living with multiple sclerosis (MS), know that you are not alone—there are millions of other people around the world dealing with this disease every day. And while there is no cure for MS at this time, there are many different treatments that can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the disease. In this blog post, we explored nine natural treatments for MS—acupuncture , herbal medicine , dietary changes , exercise , stress reduction techniques, vitamin D, mitochondrial support, hormone balancing and cannabinoid therapy. Make an appointment with us or talk to your doctor about which treatments might be right for you.

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19/Aug/2022

Are you feeling tired, moody, and bloated? You might be experiencing the symptoms of hormone imbalance. This is a common problem for women, especially mothers. But don’t worry, there are natural treatments that can help restore your hormones to balance. In this blog post, we will discuss what hormone imbalance is, its symptoms, and how to treat it naturally. Keep reading to learn more!

Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen dominance is a condition that can occur when there is an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone in the body. When estrogen levels are too high relative to progesterone levels, it can lead to a number of symptoms, including mood swings, bloating, fatigue, and irregular menstruation.

Estrogen dominance can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, diet, and certain medications. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we can help to properly diagnose and treat the condition. Estrogen dominance is a common hormonal imbalance that affects many women, but with proper treatment, it can be effectively managed.

BHRT

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a treatment for estrogen dominance that involves using hormones that are identical to the ones produced by the body. This type of therapy can be used to treat a variety of symptoms associated with estrogen dominance, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can also help to protect against osteoporosis and heart disease.

While traditional hormone replacement therapy uses synthetic hormones that are not identical to those produced by the body, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses hormones that are exact replicas of the ones naturally produced by the body. This makes bioidentical hormone replacement therapy a more natural and effective treatment for estrogen dominance.

PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. The four main features of PCOS are insulin resistance, high levels of testosterone, low levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and high levels of luteinizing hormone (LH). Insulin resistance is the most common cause of PCOS, and it occurs when the body doesn’t use insulin effectively. This leads to higher than normal levels of Insulin in the body. High Insulin levels increase testosterone production, which can interfere with the development of follicles on the ovaries. As a result, ovulation may be irregular or may not occur at all.

FSH is responsible for stimulating the growth of follicles on the ovaries, and LH is responsible for triggering ovulation. When FSH and LH are out of balance, it can lead to PCOS.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that can also contribute to PCOS. It does this by increasing Insulin Levels and affecting how the body uses glucose. As a result, women with PCOS often have higher than normal levels of Cortisol in their bodies.

PCOS can cause a variety of symptoms, including weight gain, irregular menstruation, fertility problems, low sex drive, and mood swings. PCOS can also cause acne and excess hair growth. While there is no cure for PCOS, there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms.

PCOS is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A woman’s risk of developing PCOS increases if she has a family history of the condition. PCOS is also more common in women who are overweight or obese. If you think you may have PCOS, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

Diet and exercise are two of the most important factors in managing PCOS. Both help to regulate hormone levels and improve insulin sensitivity. One of the best ways to get started is to eat a nutritious diet and to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

Additionally, supplements like l-carnitine, inositol, and vitamin D can be helpful in managing PCOS symptoms. L-carnitine helps to boost energy levels and improve fertility, while inositol helps to regulate hormones and reduce inflammation.

Vitamin D is essential for fertility and has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. All of these nutrients are available in food sources or supplements. By making dietary and lifestyle changes, you can help to manage your PCOS symptoms naturally.

Chronic Stress

Estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones play a vital role in the human body. They are involved in regulating mood, energy levels, metabolism, and sexual function. However, these hormones can be easily disrupted by stress.

When the body is under stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol. cortisol helps the body to deal with short-term stressors by increasing heart rate and blood pressure. However, if cortisol levels remain high for long periods of time, it can interfere with the production of other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. This can lead to a number of problems, such as fatigue, weight gain, and difficulty concentrating.

Additionally, stress can also disrupt the delicate balance of progesterone and estrogen, which can lead to irregular periods and hot flashes in women. Therefore, it is important to manage stress in order to maintain hormone balance.

Diet, exercise, meditation, sleep and adaptogens are all effective ways to manage stress naturally. Diet can help by reducing inflammation and providing the nutrients needed for the body to function optimally. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects, and also helps to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Meditation helps to focus and calm the mind, and research has shown that it can be as effective as medication for treating anxiety and depression. Sleep is essential for rest and recovery, and 7-8 hours per night is recommended for most adults.

Adaptogens are a unique class of herbs that help the body to adapt to stressors by modulating the stress response. When used regularly, they can help to prevent burnout and promote resilience. Managing stress naturally requires a holistic approach, but incorporating these simple strategies into your daily routine can make a big impact.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve talked about, it might be time to see a naturopathic doctor. NDs are experts in hormonal balance and have many natural and effective treatments at their disposal. Don’t suffer in silence – book a consultation today and start feeling like yourself again.


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26/Jul/2022

What is PCOS?

Finding an effective treatment for Polycycstic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is important to me for two distinct reasons. 5-10% of woman are impacted by PCOS in their lifetime making PCOS a common and treatable condition in my Naturopathic practice. The second reason is that it is a condition that my wife has struggled with for many years therefore making it a syndrome that hits close to home.

PCOS is a bit of a misnomer as it is a continuum of symptoms and doesn’t necessarily have to include ovarian cysts. It is however characterized by several common objective findings including irregular periods, infertility, shifts in hormone balance (DHEA, Testosterone, LH, FSH), hirsutism (hair growth on the lip, chin and abdomen), Hair loss (Male pattern head hair loss), acne (typically on the lower jaw), high levels of insulin due to insulin resistance, and unexplained weight gain (especially around the abdomen).

Although we still do not know all the mechanisms involved as to why some women develop PCOS, there does seem to be a genetic component. Environmental toxins such as BPA seem to play a role, and gastrointestinal dysbiosis (unfriendly bacteria in the gut) plays a role as well.

Conventional Treatment for PCOS

Some of the more common conventional treatments of PCOS include birth control pill (to regulate irregular periods and hormone levels), metformin (a insulin sensitizing drug that helps to control blood sugar levels commonly used in diabetes), and spironolactone (a diuretic that also has the ability to block a type of testosterone formation called DHT). While these treatments can be helpful in the short-term they do not always address the root cause of PCOS and therefore ultimately fail in the long term. Some of these causes include hormone disrupters in the environment and diet, and gastrointestinal dysbiosis (leading to the production of inflammatory compounds that compromise insulin function).

Holistic Treatment for PCOS

Luckily there are relatively easy and low cost solutions to many of the fundamental causes of PCOS. As a Naturopathic Doctor I have the privilege and ability to take a detailed medical history. Doing so can point me in the direction(s) as to where these foundational imbalances are occurring. For instance if the patient has a history of gastrointestinal concerns, (constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, colitis) that informs me to focus investigation on the gastrointestinal tract. If a patients main concern is infertility and irregular periods I will shift focus into hormone balance. It may also be the case that a patient has several concern at the same time, which is not uncommon in PCOS. Once I know where to focus we can run specialized tests such as comprehensive stool analysis, female hormone panels, nutrient level panels, food sensitivity testing and environmental toxins. This aids in narrowing down where to implement the bulk of the treatment protocol. There are some general recommendations that are sure to aid all women with PCOS such as exercise, reduced carbohydrate diets and lowering exposure to petrochemicals. However, the medical history and specialized testing can be a guide for more specific recommendations.

Functional Testing for PCOS

A nutrients panel test can help determine if there are specific nutritional deficiencies such as low levels of vitamin D, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, which tend to be common in PCOS. A female hormone panel can determine if there are specific imbalances with sex hormones. These imbalances can potentially be corrected with dietary recommendations, bio-identical  hormone replacement, and nutraceutical supplements. Evidence of dysbiosis in gut from a stool analysis can be reversed with dietary recommendations that promote colonization of helpful butyrate producing bacteria. Nutraceuticals containing antibiotic herbs can preferentially kill harmful bacteria while protecting good bacteria. Probiotic supplements containing specific strains of bacteria and prebiotic fibre can be very effective. Food sensitivity testing can help confirm if there are specific foods in the diet that are activating an immune response, causing further inflammation in the gut. Environmental toxin analysis would shed light on high levels of exposure to particular toxins, most of which are known hormone disruptors. Even the simple testing of insulin levels and blood sugar can lead to recommendations for easily accessible compounds like inositol, L-carnitine and chromium which can effectively increase insulin sensitivity.

Conclusions

The take home message is that PCOS is an extremely common and often disruptive condition for a significant amount of women worldwide. The conventional treatment of PCOS often does not provide long term solutions and can have significant side effects. Simple and inexpensive solutions through dietary, supplement and lifestyle recommendations can address the root causes of PCOS and bring about significant symptom relief with long-term sustainability. I therefore encourage anyone suffering from PCOS who hasn’t found an effective solution to contact a local Naturopathic Doctor or Functional Medicine Doctor for an assessment. If you would like to contact me, you can do so through the appointment page by clicking the link in the menu bar. The sooner you start to address the root causes the easier and quicker long lasting symptom relief can be achieved. That being said, implementation of a functional medicine approach to PCOS will undoubtably be helpful at any stage and at any age.


dr_shawn

Patient focused integrative health care. Utilizing effective natural approaches designed to be used alone or to compliment conventional medical care.


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