Tagged: naturopathy

Do You Need Fertility Support?

Author: Dr. Angeli Chitale, BSc ND

The Fertility Diet

The Fertility Diet is based on solid scientific data from an eight-year study of more than 18,000 women – part of the landmark Nurses’ Health Study.  These guidelines are not only for couples seeking to improve IVF, GIFT, ICSI outcomes. It can be used by anyone who is trying to get pregnant now or in the future (such as with egg or embryo freezing). The Fertility Diet can work on its own or help augment assisted reproduction technologies.

Why Improve Pre-Conception Health?

  • Improves chances of a successful IVF, IUI, Embryo transfer or any reproductive technology.
  • Benefits the heart, bones, and rest of the body throughout pregnancy and after.
  • Offers a healthy start to a pregnancy for mother and child – which means less complications for child birth and delivery later.

To Improve Your Pre-Conception Health:

1: Avoid inflammation promoting trans-fats, the artery-clogging fats found in many commercial products (cookies, crackers, cereals) and fast foods (deep fried) because they impact hormone regulation in a negative way.

TIP: Use omega – 3 oils found in fish, flax, nuts and seeds instead to support hormone production.

2: Eat more vegetable protein to support the good bacteria which improve nutrient absorption, immune and reproductive health.  

TIP: Eat beans, nuts, legumes (50 % of protein). If they give you gas, consult a healthcare provider to have your bowel function improved.

3: Eat less animal protein which has pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid and saturated fat.

TIP: reduce 50% or less of your protein intake from animal sources.

4: Eat full fat dairy for the beneficial bacteria, calcium, magnesium and other minerals which feed the nervous system – and support reproductive system.

TIP: Have ½ cup of full-fat yogurt every day (with no sugar, no fruit)

5: Avoid “low fat dairy” this has a negative effect on insulin regulation – which interferes with ovarian hormone production in women seen in conditions such as PCOS.

TIP: trade in skim milk and low or no-fat dairy products for their full-fat versions by keeping a food intake log or diet diary

6: Get your body into the “fertility zone” for weight and  physical activity. Think of time in 3 month chunks and not month to month especially for those doing cycle monitoring and working with a fertility clinic.

TIP: Keep a physical activity log and monitor your interest in sex. For women, sexual interest heightens close to their ovulation time. Subtle cues such as buying new clothes, wearing more makeup, going to the spa, having your hair done, flirting, dressing more sexy are often related to ovulation hormonal fluctuations we are not conscious of.  

7: Express gratitude and uphold a positive mental attitude. Learn to manage stress levels in a healthy way through exercise, mindfulness, walking, socializing, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is well studied for addressing and removing mental blocks between thinking, action and desired outcome.

TIP: Keep a thought record or diary reflect how much of your thoughts are rooted in real experiences vs. habitual reactions to situations

8: Get adequate rest – rather than limiting yourself to a number, ex. 7 or 8 hours, do what feels right for your body. Where there is no rest, there is no healing.

TIP: Relax and allow your nervous system recovery time rather than being “on” all the time. Practice sleep hygiene (low lights, quiet time, silent prayer, no media zone, use bedroom for rest and sex only)

9: Hydration: Are you someone who pees a lot when you drink more water? If so, you are not absorbing water. It is just going through you. Hydration is not drinking more water,  but making sure electrolytes get into cells. This depends on caffeine consumption, activity level, how much you sweat and your bowel health.

TIP: Add ½ tsp of himalayan salt to 1 L of water. Reduce caffeine to 200 mg per day or less (1 cup max) Avoid hard liquor (beer and wine is fine) max 1 per week.

10. Supportive Therapies: Consider massage for stress reduction and improved circulation throughout the body and in the reproductive organs.  Acupuncture can help with removing blockages to chi and balancing yin and yang energies in the body.

Reference: Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Walter Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett

Do You Need Fertility Support?

There are many nutritional and lifestyle changes you can do on your own. Sometimes it can get too overwhelming and you may need the support of a trained and experienced Naturopathic Doctor to:

  1. Receive treatment for grief and the apparent emotional set-back of an unexpected loss.
  2. Identify food sensitivities and receive a framework and support for eliminating offending foods. Chronic inflammation interferes with hormone regulation. Many have had success simply by eliminating offending foods. Inflammation down = better hormone regulation.
  3. Have you been exposed to heavy metals? Heavy metals tend to be stored in the body fat after exposure. Heavy metal toxicity (lead, aluminum, arsenic, mercury, uranium etc) interferes with cell communication. It can also cause mineral deficiencies of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc which are important for metabolic function and hormone regulation. Hair mineral analysis is the most effective way to find out.
  4. Have your adrenals, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels and their metabolites checked. The best method is DUTCH hormone testing, which provides useful information on which pathways are blocked and not functioning optimally, leading to symptoms. DUTCH hormone testing pinpoints exactly which hormone supportive therapies will benefit you the most, taking the guesswork out of nutritional and herbal supplementation.

What about Men’s Health?

Lastly, New research shows us that men’s health (stress, diet, nutrition, hormone levels) are as important in conception as female health. A bird needs two wings to fly so to speak. Two of you are in this together, so optimizing your partners health gets you in 100%.  By working together, you can support healthy changes for each other.  

Dr Angeli Chitale is a Naturopath with additional training in hormone health with extensive experience with pre-conception treatments. Dr Chitale is now certified in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT. CBT is a psychological tool used to help people work through and change their hard-wired pattern of thinking, feeling, and action so it is aligned with what they want in life (their goals).

Want to find out more? Ask the expert on us! Book your FREE 15-min meet and greet appointment. Contact Pure Body Health: (778) 265-0043.

Dr Angeli Chitale BSc ND

www.restorativemedicine.ca

Adrenal Stress and Insomnia

Author: Dr. Angeli Chitale, ND

Adrenal Stress and Insomnia

If you frequently find yourself up waking up at 3-4 am, there may be a simple answer…you are stressed. Fortunately for most – there is a solution, but first we need to understand why you wake up.

Why Stress Causes You to Wake Up at 3-4 am

Stress causes the adrenal glands to fire off adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline gives you a burst of energy to deal with stressful situations (the well known “fight or flight” response. Adrenaline also raises the heart rate, increases respiration, dilates the pupils, slows down digestion and causes muscles to contract. It’s like caffeine on steroids!

A Common Concern for Many

Understandably, if you are stressed or upset it can be impossible to fall asleep, but why does it always wake you up at 3-4 am?  We are all goverend by the circadian rhythm (the day / night cycle set by the movement of the earth around the sun). According to Chinese Medicine 1- 3 am is when your liver regenerates. To do so, it needs glycogen (storage form of glucose). The problem is that adrenaline surges day and night cause your cells to use up glycogen. So if you are often stressed, your body may not have enough glycogen for the liver to regenerate at 3am. If your liver cannot get the glycogen it needs, your adrenal glands will compensate by releasing adrenalin, which is why you are wide awake and ready for action, not exactly a state you want to be in at 3am.

Chinese Medicine 24-Hour Organ Clock

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, our internal organs work to a 24 hour ‘clock’, with certain times of day being peak times for that organ. This is the time that the organ will carry out its most essential functions.

  • Large intestine: 5am-7am
  • Stomach: 7am-9am
  • Spleen: 9am-11am
  • Heart: 11am-1pm
  • Small Intestines: 1pm-3pm
  • Bladder: 3pm-5pm
  • Kidneys: 5pm-7pm
  • Circulation: 7pm-9pm
  • Endocrine system/pancreas: 9pm-11pm
  • Gallbladder: 11pm -1am
  • Liver: 1am-3am
  • Lungs: 3am-5am

I Don’t Want to Wake Up at 3am – An Easy, “Do It Yourself” Remedy

If you always wake up at 3am or have trouble sleeping, this simple home remedy  has changed peoples’ lives so why don’t you give it a try?

Adrenal Cocktail Recipe

  • ½ cup orange juice (freshly squeezed from ½ an orange)
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tarter (available at any grocery store)
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan or Celtic salt (available at any grocery store)

Directions

Just mix all the ingredients and drink before bed or make a double batch and keep by your bedside.

*You may also do this in the morning to deal with stress throughout the day, but always be sure to drink it before bed as well.

The Science Behind it: Why The Adrenal Cocktail Stops You From Waking Up at 3am-4am

The Adrenal Cocktail is made up of ingredients that replenish vital organs (liver, pancreas, cell electrolyte balance) and stabilize glucose levels to keep you from waking up at 3am.

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice:  gives the liver glucose it needs to regenerate.
  • Cream of tartar:  High source of potassium, an essental element for maintaining the sodium/potassium balance in cells, vital organs (liver), muscles, nerves, and the digestive system.
  • Himalayan salt delivers 84 essential minerals and elements found in the human body, nourishing the adrenals and maintain the body’s sodium/potassium pump (inside each cell).

To get a better idea of whether or not you may have adrenal fatigue, take your FREE, mini Adrenal Fatigue Quiz HERE!

Questions?

Ask the Expert on us! Book a FREE 15-min Meet & Greet Consultation with Dr. Angeli Chitale, ND, to find out how Naturopathic Medicine can Restore your Adrenal Function.

Call us at 778-265-0043 or email purebodyhealthvictoria@gmail.com

What Brings You Back to Balance?

Author: Dr. Angeli Chitale, BSc ND 

When you are feeling good, in control of your life and the world is smiling back at you – you are in your happy zone. POP! Suddenly you realize you have missed an important meeting or deadline and the mountain overwhelm begins as your mind starts racing to lists, deadlines, meetings, and appointments looming for what seems like miles ahead. Time feels like it is shrinking and pausing is long forgotten.

How do you get back to balance?   

We all feel this way from time to time. It is important to recognize that most of our daily stress is mental – and for the most part, there is no immediate threat to our life. How we perceive what is going on and respond to it is what makes an event, person, or thing stressful or not stressful. Easier said than done, I know…but consider this:

We have the ability to create AND control our inner reality:

When we look within, and aknowledge our needs, we may find signposts on a roadmap to create a more balanced approach and perspective. We may notice we spend too much time in one zone (mental) and not enough in another (emotional or physical). By refocusing and prioritizing we can bring ourselves back to balance by reclaiming and nourishing neglected parts of our lives.

How important is it?

Simply put, stress is when the body and mind are not in balance with what is actually happening in the outer world. The impact of stress on health is well studied and documented. Research studies point to 4 areas where stress can contribute to illness:

Digestion

The gut-brain connection is well recognized in medicine and research is pointing to the many ways stress interferes with digestive function. Bloating, gas, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, pancreatic insufficiency, nutritional deficiencies, blood sugar imbalances and chronic GI inflammation can all be symptoms of stress.

ND TIP:  Avoid eating too fast (chew each bite 30 times) and avoid foods which deliver a quick fix (sugar rush) and lead to an energy crash later (focus on good fats, proteins and fiber for lasting energy).  

Immune Health

Feeling run down or like you catch every bug that is going around?

Immune function can become depressed under stress. Stress decreases levels of the body’s natural antibody defense such as secretory IgA. Secretory IgA is produced by mucous membranes lining all the body’s openings to the outside world: our eyes, nasal passages, throat, lungs, skin, digestive and reproductive tracts all produce secretory IgA to protect these vulnerable areas from infection from the outside.

ND TIP: Many published studies have demonstrate taking vitamin A can boost secretory IgA levels

Pain and Inflammation: The root cause of the disease process…  

Stress and inflammation go hand in hand. Inflammation is the beginning of every disease process. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones made by your adrenals.  Glucocorticoids are important because they work as natural anti-inflammatories. Studies have shown glucocorticoids are reduced in states of chronic stress experienced by caregivers. This reduction of glucocorticoids causes inflammation to go up in the body. And where there is inflammation, there is pain.  Pain from chronic injuries, myopathies and neuropathic pain, can all be addressed by treating inflammation and supporting adrenal gland recovery.

ND TIP: Support adrenal function during times of high stress and activity by taking extra Vitamin C and B-complex.  For Chronic Adrenal Stress: Many adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to long term stress. Ashwaghandha (indian ginseng), Rhodiola, Eleutherococcus (siberian ginseng) are wonderful tonics to restore function of the adrenals.  

Depression and Anxiety

Serotonin the “feel good” neurotransmitter (brain chemical) has been widely researched. Did you know it is made in the digestive tract and then travels to the brain?  

Serotonin makes us feel content. Stress decreases blood flow to the digestive organs, slowing down digestion and serotonin production. Serotonin is not the only neurotransmitter affecting mood, but is the focus of many conventional medical treatments for both anxiety and depression through the prescription of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications such as SSRI’s and SNRI’s.

ND TIP: Restoring digestive health may help reduce anxiety and depression in succeptable individuals (Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia) . The gut-brain connection and gut flora (good bacteria) is cited as a key factor in treating mood disorders in several studies. In other words, a good probiotic may improve your gut health as much as your mood!

_________________________________________________________________________________  

We asked some team members at PBH what brings them back and here is what they had to say:

SM

  1. Spending time outdoors in nature
  2. Music
  3. Connecting with people

GR

  1. Working out
  2. Riding my motorbike for hours down a long road
  3. Sitting and relaxing with good food and good wine

AC

  1. Hot Yoga
  2. Gardening
  3. Meditation and quiet time to reflect

So we want to hear from you – What brings you back to balance?

Here is a hint: it is likely something you really enjoy doing and feel good after doing it.

What You Can Do (Right Now) to reduce your stress and get back to balance:  

  • Meditate for 5 minutes (breath in for count of 7 sec count, hold for 4sec count, release for 8 sec count).
  • Take a 10 – 30 minute fast or slow walk.
  • Have a mini dance party to your favourite song.
  • Have a cup of nerve tonic herbal teas (lavender, peppermint, oatstraw, hops).
  • Eat a nourishing treat (ex dark chocolate, almonds, smoothie, bone broth immune tonic).
  • Make a list of all your accomplishments so far (today, or this week).
  • Take a nap!

How to Restore Your Health – Naturally:

Restoring balance is the key to preventing the downstream effects of illness. Illness can be triggered by stress, infection,  inherited tendancy / genetics, medications, wear and tear, accidents and surgeries.

Naturopathic Medicine focuses on health recovery, wellness and prevention. The naturopathic approach shares diagnostic tools with conventional medicine such as routine check ups, physical assessments and lab tests. Naturopathic treatments focus on a proactive approach to create a health management plan. Think of it as your roadmap to recovery! Natural and non-invasive methods are used to restore health such as diet, nutrition, homeopathy, herbal medicine, physical therapy, counselling and acupuncture.

Dr. Angeli Chitale is a Naturopathic Doctor and has been granted prescribing authority in BC for the prescription of medications. Dr Chitale takes a balanced approach to patient care using both conventional and naturopathic medicine with the understanding that the art of practice is getting the patient the right medicine at the right dose at the right time.

Questions? Ask the expert on us!  Book a FREE 15 min Meet and Greet consultation with Dr. Chitale.

MOOD-FOOD Connection

Author: Dr. Angeli Chitale, BSc ND  

neuron
Synapse and Neuron, sending electrical and chemical signals.

Why does food affect our mood?

At times you may unexpectedly find yourself short with people, irritable or just in a bad mood. Have you stopped to consider it may be what you ate (or did not eat) that is affecting how you behave and your mood? Here is some insight into how and why this happens and how you can improve your mood by making a few key changes in what you eat every day:

ARE you LOW in SUGAR? What makes blood sugar go low?

  1. Eating processed foods, which are high in sugar cause high glucose and high insulin. Studies show that when blood sugar levels fall, an increased expression of depression, hostility and aggression / anger in people who have insulin resistance.
  2. Irritable or “hangry” moods are worsened when missed a meal while under stress – low sugar impairs brain function and the ability to suppress emotion by the cerebral cortex (higher brain).
  3. Nutrient deficiencies such as low zinc, chromium, and B6 can also impact mood during hunger.

ARE you LOW in ESSENTIAL PROTEIN?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are vital to physical and mental/emotional wellness.

Protein provides a lasting source of energy and protects from rapid low blood sugar crashes.

Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are chemicals your brain responsible for regulating mood. Certain neurotransmitter deficiencies, such as low serotonin levels, are linked to depression and seasonal affective disorder. In fact, it is the serotonin receptor that is the target of many of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, research is now providing a growing body of evidence that many neurotransmitters which regulated mood are actually manufactured in the digestive tract.

Serotonin, the neurotransmitter linked to good mood – 90% is made in the gut:

90% of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. In fact, altered levels of peripheral serotonin have been linked to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.  

Dopamine, the neurotransmitter linked to reward – 50% is made in the gut:

If that is not enough, about half of the Dopamine, the “reward” neurotransmitter is made in the stomach.  

6 ways to BOOST NEUROTRANSMITTERS in your body:

  1. Improve nutrition – are you getting enough amino acids, fats, minerals, water, and fibre? Focus on the quality and quantity of food by choosing more nutrient-dense options.
  2. Are you using medication which may interfere with nutrient absorption? Ex. Antacids block mineral absorption over a period of time.
  3. Use natural alternatives to manage stress by practicing deep breathing, yoga, meditation, relaxation – all of these practices helps regulate the stress response which impacts digestive function, mood regulation and insulin levels.
  4. Find out and correct underlying causes of poor nutrient absorption Ex. zinc tally, stool testing, digestive functional, parasite, dysbiosis, IBS, IBD etc.
  5. Improve gut flora by eating fermented foods and/or taking probiotics.
  6. Take digestive nerve tonics such as lemon-balm and catnip, which serve to relax and support the digestive process, which enhance nutrient absorption.

Want to feel better through nutrition?

Eating a balanced diet of fibre, protein, good fats and complex carbs helps maintain blood sugar balance and a balanced mood. Choose to consciously include these foods for improved mood:

  • Amino acids (ex. protein supplement).
  • Cofactors (vitamins and minerals) in your diet.  
NEUROTRANSMITTEREFFECTSOURCES
Serotonin PleasureEggs, Cheese, Pineapple, Tofu, Salmon, Nuts, and Turkey all support Tryptophan production which converts to serotonin.
DopamineRewardDairy (milk, cheese and yogurt). Unprocessed meats (beef, chicken and turkey). Omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and mackerel, Eggs. Fruit and vegetables, in particular bananas. Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts. Dark chocolate 75% or higher.
OxytocinLoveEggs, bananas, black pepper.  
Endorphins High/elatedExercise, laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release. Even the anticipation and expectation of laugher, e.g., attending a comedy show, increases levels of endorphins. … Studies have shown that dark chocolate and spicy foods can lead the brain to release endorphins.
CatecholaminesMojo “get up & go” Beef, fish and eggs, and also triggered by: Caffeine (through the release of adrenaline), chocolate, wine and beer
(although hard on the body).

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/foods-that-could-boost-your-serotonin

Sex differences in the relation of depressive symptoms, hostility, and anger expression to indices of glucose metabolism in non-diabetic adults. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-08842-005