Friday, 11 November 2016

Alzheimer’s disease and what you can do to help yourself

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic debilitating disease that erodes the quality of life of a patient gradually as is with his/her sense of independence and freedom.  It is a growing epidemic.  Internationally recognised neurologist and researcher, Dr. Dale Bredesen, suggests that conventional treatment of Alzheimer’s have failed due to an incomplete understanding of the cause and the pathway of the disease condition.   

Bredesen’s research has shown that a holistic approach which addresses the causes of neurodegeneration can result in reversal of symptoms in patients with mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer’s disease.  The major metabolic insults are for Alzheimer’s are inflammation, insulin resistance, high homocysteine, loss of hormonal support e.g. testosterone or estrogen, exposure to toxins including heavy metals and gastrointestinal toxins.

Functional testing may be necessary to determine which is the cause of cognitive decline.  Each person is unique, so is his/her pathway to suboptimal health and disease.  From a natural medicine perspective, using herbs and nutrients to regulate blood sugar and insulin signalling, addressing the dietary intake and lifestyle to reduce the inflammatory and toxic load, use specific activated B vitamins and serine to address  high homocysteine, and working with the hormonal imbalance will help to reverse symptoms of mild cognitive impairment.   Keeping aerobic and strength exercise a part of your routine 5 times a week, 45-60 minutes each time, and maintaining good sleep hygiene is an important first step in helping reverse mild cognitive decline.   Keep your mind active, maintain social connections through community and family.  Engage in activities that jog your problem solving centre.  Increase your intake of turmeric and coconut oil, adding it to your main meals, or your omelette or even making a golden tea out of it.  I have shared a recipe for golden milk in the NutriActionz blog.  

Thursday, 10 November 2016

7 Reasons Why You May be Constantly Fatigued and How To Adddress the Problem

If you have slept through the night and still wake up exhausted, you have a fatigue problem.  Many people push through the day, in their tiredness, to fulfill their responsibilities for their work and families.  As fatigue is so common, many people deem it as normal.  What is common is not always normal!

Reasons why you may be constantly tired:
  1. You are not nourishing yourself properly.  Eating on the run, picking up take outs and processed foods that are nutrient deprived and calorie dense gives your blood sugar big waves of highs and lows.  This often leaves you tired and wanting more sugary or carbohydrate rich foods.  It may also be due to a lack of good fats in your intake from wanting to restrict calories.
  2. You have metabolic syndrome, are diabetic or prediabetic.  All these conditions result in disarrayed channelling of sugar into the cell for energy production.  Instead, sugar from the carbohydrates consumed is circulated in the bloodstream and causes oxidative stress, and an increase in abdominal fats from the resistance to insulin.  You should refrain from consuming high carbohydrate foods, and increase your intake of protein, good fats and vegetables.
  3. You have a detoxification problem.  You may not be moving your bowels at least once or twice a day.  Constipation and the reabsorption of toxins can cause fatigue.  Or you may be moving your bowel too often, especially watery diarrhea and you are losing key minerals involved in energy production.  Detoxification is not limited to the bowels.  The liver, kidneys, lymphatics and skin are also key detoxification organs.  Hence if you are tired and have other symptoms like nausea, constant skin breakouts, bloated all the time, headaches, etc.  it may indicate that you need some detoxification care.  Hemaview live blood screening allows you to look at some of these imbalances live on screen and treat appropriately!
  4. You have an undiagnosed thyroid problem.  There has been increasing detection of subclinical and clinical hypothyroidism as well as autoimmune hypothyroidism.  If you are tired and gaining weight for no reason, you could be having a thyroid problem that is undiagnosed.  The health system in New Zealand uses TSH as a measure of your thyroid health, which isn’t a true measure of the thyroid.  It measures the thyroid stimulating hormones which are produced in your hypothalamus, in the brain.  Having a number in range does not mean that you are converting and using the appropriate amount of thyroid hormones.  You could be having autoimmune thyroid issues which also results in fatigue.  At NutriActionz, we run complete Thyroid Profile in Australia to get a measure of 7 markers that can reflect the health of your thyroid.  We have seen numerous cases where TSH remains within range, but free T3 is low, or reverse T3 is high, or there are elevated thyroid antibodies causing the patient to be very fatigued.
  5. You have constant low grade infection, always feeling under the weather.  Your immune system could be fighting some form of infection, acute or chronic, using up the little energy you have, leaving you depleted!  Exploring this cause of fatigue some times leads to the discovery of some serious undetected illnesses, like cancer! 
  6. Your adrenals are exhausted from long term stress.  The depletion of your adrenals gives you a reverse energy production process, you wake up tired in the morning and have a lot more energy around bedtime at night.  Your cortisol and DHEA could be out of range.
  7. Your digestive system and mitochrondria are not functioning properly.  You are not absorbing nutrients from your food either through inability to break it down properly, or making energy from it.  If you have hypochlorhydria, SIBO, gut permeability or gut flora imbalance, you may not be absorbing what you eat.  Your gut has the biggest exposure to many different substances in a day.  An inability to process through appropriately can leave you tired, bloated with or without heartburn, belching and flatulent, and not supplying the nutrients for your energy production powerhouse, your mitochondria, to make energy appropriately.  At NutriActionz, we treat gastrointestinal problems at the source.  Do not suppress your symptoms, get to the root of it, with our tests available and regain your energy! 

These are not the only causes of fatigue but are the common causes we see in clinic.  If you are constantly battling to get more energy to live your life to the fullest, or even to get through your day, you deserve to feel better.  You may have identified where your problem is, if it is a bad food intake you are having, improve that.  However, if there are other deeper issues that need to be investigated functionally, make an appointment with our clinic so you can treat the cause and regain your energy again!  Enjoy summer, enjoy your family and friends, and enjoy life!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Autism is Reversible

Many people think that autism, is a genetic brain disorder which is rather disempowering.    Dr. Kenneth Bock, in the 2011 International Congress on Natural Medicine which I attended, presented the factors that set autism off and they arise from a combination of genetic predisposition combined with environmental insults or triggers.  The triggers include an impaired ability to detoxify, heavy metal burden, immune response and gut health.  So it is a biological rather than psychiatric disorder.  The Centre for Disease Control in the United States published that 1 in 150 children were diagnosed with autism in 2010 compared to 1 in 2500 in 1950!

Why do we have a sharp rise in the numbers?  We are living in more toxic environments and the systems of medicine that we are using are not treating the person as a whole.  If a child has got constant ear infections, bad bowel movements, bloated abdomen, lack concentration and verbal communication and cannot see you in the eye, these are not individual problems that render one drug for each condition.  The child has to be treated as a whole. The immune system, gut, detoxification profile, especially gluthathione, is struggling to make this child’s biology work!  Running a genetic test will reveal which genes are affected and using nutrigenomic principles support the shortfalls and take out the excesses!  In fact, for a child with constant ear infections and glutathione genetic polymorphism, giving paracetamol for ear infections will lower gluthathione further!

Impaired methylation and sulphation are important detoxification disorders present in autism.  As a result, the child is not able to excrete toxins and metals leading to an increase in body burden.

Gluten and dairy are common insults to the gut.  Removing these common allergens often reduce gut inflammation.  Helping the proper digestive process to take place and replenishing with a good probiotic is important to reduce inflammation in the gut.

Improving nutritional intake through increased minerals, a good, pure omega 3 fatty acid, and activated vitamins can help improve nutritional status and the genes to work better.

Every child’s cause for autism is slightly different.  You need to identify the causative factors and genetic polymorphisms with your child and you will be able to reverse his/her autism to a large degree!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Golden Turmeric Milk Recipe

Turmeric is amazing, but poorly absorbed. This delicious adaptation of the Ayurvedic recipe provides lots of turmeric and increases absorption with quality fat and a good dose of piperine from black pepper.

Make Turmeric Paste

Mix ½ cup turmeric powder to 1 cup of water and bring to a low simmer.  Add a tablespoon of coconut oil, ghee, or butter. Stir for 8-10 minutes and add extra water as required. The consistency should be a soft paste.This is your turmeric paste that you can keep in a glass container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Make Golden Milk

To make one cup of golden milk, put one teaspoon of the paste into a saucepan with a level teaspoon of cinnamon powder, half a teaspoon fresh or powdered ginger, one or two whole cloves, and about half a teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper. Mix well.

Pour in 1 cup of your choice of milk, I often use almond milk and bring to low simmer. Continue to stir for a few minutes. Dissolve in a teaspoon of honey to sweeten and then pour yourself a big mug of delicious golden milk.