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Don’t Underestimate The Effect Of Stress On Your Hormonal Symptoms

When hormonal symptoms increase we look for reasons, but stress is one of the major factors that may be responsible.

It is obvious that lifestyle has a huge impact on health: we know if have a bad diet, never exercise and generally embrace every indulgence that there is a price to pay.

Yet when it comes to the impact this has on our hormones many women seriously underestimate just how much difference it can make.

Hormones are responsible for more than you think

The endocrine system, which includes glands such as the pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal cortex and medulla, and ovaries, produce hormones in women.

As well as our sexual and reproductive health they have other critical body functions including how effectively we utilise minerals, regulate our fluid balance and most importantly how we respond to stress.

When our hormones are in balance, we get better sleep, enough energy for our needs, a healthy libido and a strong immune and digestive system. But it really does not take much to disrupt that balance.

What can go wrong?

There are a number of things that can upset you and will show up as symptoms, or hormone disorders.  However such imbalance does not suddenly appear, we have usually been laying the foundations for it for some years previously, often from puberty onwards or  even before birth.

The most common disorders linked to hormone disruption are adrenal fatigue, low thyroid, high thyroid, fertility, menstruation and menopausal symptoms and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

The media often portray women’s “hormone problems” as solely being linked to the menopause and while it is true that the severity of hormonal problems may increase with age, but it is not getting older that lies at the root of many hormonal issues for women.

The key factor is often the cumulative physiological effects of stress that cause disruption of the natural rhythms and balancing mechanisms of women’s hormones. Over time this can compromise both our general as well as hormonal health.

Women who find their hormonal symptoms fluctuate wildly from very slight to extreme don’t often consider that the factor that is making the difference is their stress levels.

This is particularly true of hot flushes that are highly responsive to stress and if you have a  irregular pattern off such symptoms it is worth keeping a ‘stress journal’ to see if you can track a particular item that has brought on a flush.

The primary stress hormone is cortisol and the more stress you’re under, the more it unbalances your cortisol levels.  Once it is compromised other functions also start to break down as cortisol is a primary hormone that assists your body to convert food into energy, normalize blood sugar, respond to stress and maintain your immune system’s inflammatory response.

The female hormones oestrogen and progesterone are also unbalanced when you are under stress.

Do you know how stressed you are?  Most of us don’t as we take it for granted that whatever level of stress we are able to function under is ‘normal’ as we gradually assume that is how we are meant to function.

There are of course many stresses we encounter every day from minor to major and these are just some of them:

*   Emotional stress

*   Dietary stress

*   Pain and/or inflammatory stress

*   Bodily stress from a poor diet of junk/fast food

*   Exposure to chemicals and toxins in your environment

Lifestyle stress can include work, finances, relationships or just anything that you get anxious or worried about.

What can you do?

The first step is often actually acknowledging that you are stressed and then taking action to tackle the areas that are stressing you.

–   Tackle your diet if it needs it and find a regular form of exercise that you enjoy enough to maintain on a weekly basis.

–   Strengthen your immune system and keep your adrenal glands strong with the right supplements, and a qualified nutritionist can help here with a specific programme for your needs.

–   Tackle any hormonal imbalance by checking for signs of oestrogen dominance or other symptoms. Look for bioidentical natural hormones, both progesterone and oestrogen and follow a regime that will help get you back on track.

You are never too old, or too young, to start having healthy hormones and whether you have had a hysterectomy, teenage acne or are trying to have a baby there is help for the hormonal imbalance that underlies many common conditions.

Stress & Nutritional Deficiency Affect Both Mental & Emotional Health

𝙔𝙊𝙐𝙍 𝙋𝙃𝙔𝙎𝙄𝙊𝙇𝙊𝙂𝙔 𝘼𝙉𝘿 𝙋𝙀𝙍𝙎𝙊𝙉𝘼𝙇𝙄𝙏𝙔

⁣⁣Metals and minerals can exert influence over your personality.⁣⁣ This is only half the story.⁣⁣ The concept of the oxidation rate is a huge one in nutritional balancing. For now just know the oxidation rate is essentially the strategy your body uses to respond to stress in your environment.⁣⁣ Those in different states of health utilize different strategies to respond to stress, and these strategies have certain biochemical parameters, which can give rise to certain personality traits.⁣⁣ What we’re seeing with this chart is the progression that one takes through a balanced oxidation rate down through total exhaustion.⁣⁣When you are healthy you will tend more towards having a balanced oxidation rate and your personality will reflect this balanced state by being more extroverted, cheerful, confident, and facing your problems as they crop up. ⁣⁣If stressful events in your life don’t abate and you go into fast oxidation (fight or flight) and stay there, you can start to become aggressive, domineering, and paranoid. These personality traits are a direct result of the stress you are facing in your life.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣If the stress you are facing doesn’t resolve, however, you can end up sliding into burnout.⁣⁣ Burnout is characterized by being more introverted, fearful, timid, and depressed. The technical name we give burnout is slow oxidation. And physiologically what has happened is that since the adrenals have been so overused they can no longer synthesize enough hormones to maintain your calcium, magnesium in solution in your blood and they precipitate into your soft tissues of the body, including your hair.⁣⁣ This particular state of body chemistry is the reason why many people end up depressed, tired all the time and fatigued. The elevated levels of calcium and magnesium (due to the burnout) can literally cause all these feelings.⁣⁣ So this then begs the question, if we can track the progression of these biochemical states – and their associated personality traits – can we reverse them ? The answer is ⁣Yes! If you’re in one of these more negative states our programs are specifically designed to bring you back to that starting point of balanced oxidation and all the positive personality traits associated with them.⁣ Remember stress causes mineral loss, Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis HTMA coupled with a specific blood test, will provide the information we need to assess your mineral status and your oxidation rate. Contact the clinic for more details or to request a test.

Copper-Zinc Imbalance: Unrecognized Consequence of Plant-Based Diets and a Contributor to Chronic Fatigue

Originally published at Weston A. Price

A commonly reported consequence of vegetarian or vegan diets, or even diets that rely too heavily on plant foods, is chronic fatigue. Many sufferers subsequently embrace the principles enumerated by Weston Price, adopting a diet containing more nutrient-dense animal foods and fat; however, the fatigue often persists, even after considerable time on the new diet.

While Americans have been receiving a broad education on the nutritional value of plant foods, evidence has accumulated to indicate that diets that rely too heavily on plant food sources have special problems of their own. Those of us interested in traditional nutrition have become familiar with some of these, including fatty acid imbalances, B6 and B12 deficiencies, and untreated phytates in whole grains, legumes and nuts. As we continue to delve into these areas, the seriousness of these dietary imbalances continues to emerge.

Disruption of the copper-zinc ratio is an overlooked contributor to intractable fatigue that follows excessive reliance on a plant-based diet. The result is toxic accumulation of copper in tissues and critical depletion of zinc through excretion. This condition usually goes unrecognized because copper levels in the blood can remain normal. Also, most doctors are unprepared to meet with extreme zinc deficiency and its baffling effects on many systems of the body. Hair mineral analysis, competently used, is the tool which can unravel the complexities of this growing problem.

In particular, it is becoming clear that plant-based diets, and lighter diets generally, cause serious nutrient imbalances and long-term damage to digestion and cellular metabolism that are not easily corrected. This is of consequence for us in the traditional foods movement because we are asking people to return to higher density foods they may not have eaten for many years. Proper physiologic balance can be restored, but the period of transition in some cases may be longer and more difficult than we have anticipated.

An Unrecognized Danger

This article explores a major hurdle to dietary recovery, which has remained little-known, although an accessible book by Ann Louise Gittleman, MS, introduced the topic in 1999.1 The fact is that the micronutrient copper is widely available in unrefined foods,2 but the mineral zinc, needed in larger amounts to balance copper, can only reliably be obtained in optimum amounts from land-based animal foods, in particular eggs and red meats.3 These of course are among the foods that have been most stubbornly attacked by mainstream nutrition authorities. They are also among the foods lacto-vegetarians and others who have conscientiously adopted light diets have the most difficulty in reintroducing.

If you are interested in hair mineral analysis testing (HTMA), please contact the clinic for more details.

Continue reading at Weston A. Price

Breast Augmentation/Reconstruction

Breast Oblique Left

Breast Surgery

Whether you’ve had breast implants, a breast lift, or breast reconstruction surgery, there are a few things to note.  First, the composition and size of your breasts has changed.  With these changes comes some amount of scar tissue.  Scar tissue can be problematic when using traditional mammography or anatomical breast screenings.  The scar tissue can interfere with mammography’s ability to accurately identify abnormalities in your breasts.  Second, women who have undergone cosmetic breast surgery seem less likely to have their annual screening mammograms.  This seems to result from a fear that the breast implants could rupture or become damaged during mammography’s compression plate screening technique.  I personally have seen this happen in many cases,  Understandably, women do not want to undergo the pain, stress, and subsequent surgery to replace a ruptured breast implant.  It is also costly and has inherent risk, as do any surgical procedures requiring anesthetization of the patient.

Breast Right

Thermography is an excellent breast assessment tool which uses no compression, thus eliminating the possibility of implant rupture from your screening test.  In fact, nothing touches you at all.  For this reason, it is an ideal assessment method for anyone who has undergone any of the breast surgeries listed above.  It is also ideal for women who have undergone radical or partial mastectomy.  There is no radiation used in Thermography, it is non-invasive so in addition to being painless, it is also safe.

Thermography can identify the differences in post surgical breast composition caused by scar tissue and breast tissue revisions, versus developing pathology.  Scar tissue, once it is healed, should not have any activity associated with it, unlike developing breast disease.

It is imperative that women have routine annual breast screenings and perform monthly breast self exams.  Thermography is an excellent choice for screening women with breast implants or who have had cosmetic/medical breast procedures.  I urge you to learn more about your options and to schedule your appointment today.

How to Get Your Emotional Health on Track and Finally Heal

Nutrition Tips To Support Mental Health

Along with exercise, quality sleep and stress management, getting the right balance of nutrients into your body is essential for good physical and mental health. Both are completely interlinked so by supporting your physical health you are supporting your mental health and vice versa. Even making small changes to your diet can improve the way you feel.

Eating an overall balanced diet is key, however, certain nutrients are particularly important when it comes to mood balance and supporting your body’s ability to handle anxiety/stress.

Key Foods to support mood balance and resistance to stress:

  • Oats
  • Brown rice, Quinoa
  • Root vegetables
  • Beans & Lentils
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Oily Fish
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Dark chocolate (in moderation!)
  • Protein rich food e.g. chicken, turkey, eggs, fish.

There is no doubt that our emotional health has a massive impact on our physical well being. The two are intimately connected. Despite modern medicine’s strong insistence on separating the head from the body and viewing it as a separate entity, we are all one organism and emotions manifest physically as dis-ease and blockages in the physical body.

I see SO many clients in clinic whose physical health decline began with an emotional trauma.

Mike George, the author of ‘The Immune System of the Soul’ has aptly put it thus:

“Our wellbeing is primary and the physical health of our body is secondary. However, because we know so little about what it means to ‘be well’ and how to ‘stay well’ in our being, we make our physical health primary and almost ignore the wellness of our being’.

He goes on to say that suffering is a choice and that we alone are responsible for our thoughts and emotions. I see examples of this numerous times during my clinic week. I come across minds and emotions that need healing as much as the bodies (if not more!). There is an emotional aspect to every illness. 

There are 2 key themes that I see in clinic that we ‘carry’ with us that stop healing, see if these feel and sound familiar:

1.Forgiveness

Not being able to forgive someone who has hurt you deeply.

lf you carry resentment or anger towards anybody who has hurt you in your life- ever- it will do damage in the body. Usually the organ impacted is the liver. It is not surprising that I see so many issues with liver health in clinic as do many doctors and natural health care practitioners.

We carry our resentment and it eats away at our health and slows vital body functions. Let it go. Forgive. Move on.

It is easier said than done, but I encourage you to firstly identify who or what you are carrying resentment towards and then work to let it go.

Experience your emotions so that they don’t ‘get stuck’ in a body part and lead to illness. It’s a pretty out there concept, but as anyone with chronic pain can tell you- emotions are related to every condition.

Find ways to experience your emotions without eating them away or medicating them away. Just sit with the sadness, anger, frustration- whatever it is- experience it and let it go. Your body will thank you!

2. Fear

This shows up as anxiety. Almost every single person I see in clinic has anxiety. It is an epidemic of our world. Anxiety is rooted in the deepest centre of our brain- the amygdala- a very primal, reptilian area responsible for the emotion of fear.

Anxiety can manifest as day to day worry that we learn to live with and can range all the way to serious debilitating fear that dominates our life and will manifest with physical symptoms. All forms of fear stem from the same ‘viral belief’ which is, ‘I am about to lose something‘. An object, reputation, someone’s approval, a promotion, a loved one. We worry for others to show that we care.

Anxiety can be paralysing for many and can stop us from undertaking day to day tasks like catching public transport, meeting friends, applying for a new job, buying new clothes, it can really be anything. Anxiety also stems from spending too much time trying to predict the future and not living mindfully in the present moment.

Ultimately, to overcome anxiety and fear of loss that goes with it is to understand that nothing can be lost because nothing is ours to lose in the first place!

‘You cannot lose anything that you do not have. In reality, you have nothing. When you realise this, then the false sense of self that was the result of identifying with what you thought was ‘mine’ is dead’.

We can only control what we think and feel, nothing else. Not other people or their emotions and not external events. Once we realise that trying to control others is a waste of time we can let go of the fears associated with loss and stop the cycle of anxiety.

I do find nutritional approaches to address anxiety at a physical level very helpful and have had great success with this in clinic. However, the techniques discussed below that address the emotional underpinnings of anxiety can be extremely helpful.

How to improve your Emotional Health and Heal Yourself from the inside out.

Here are some strategies that I have personally found useful and have used successfully in clinic in order to achieve piece of mind, to clear past hurts, to allow the body to restore itself and to move on and allow nutritional strategies to work better:

1. Emotional Freedom Technique aka ‘Tapping’

Use this link to learn how to do it, I promise it is very simple: http://eft.mercola.com/

Tapping is a great and very effective way to encourage emotional healing. It is based around the concept of self love, which is so vital in order for us to be able to love others, as well as to love our bodies and consequently to help us nourish our bodies with the right foods. If you truly love yourself and your body, you will not put junk into it. The problem is that many many many people have a lot of trouble with the statement ‘I deeply love and accept myself’.

It is actually quite incredible how many highly intelligent and aware people I have come across who simply do not believe this statement!! However, regardless of whether this statement rings true for you or not, by practicing tapping/EFT and simply saying this every day several times re-programs your brain to believe it. I wouldn’t have believed it myself except I personally tried it and and see it works with my clients who use it as a tool.

I encourage you to put aside any skepticism and try this today. Just do it. If you choose 1 thing and 1 thing only to try in the new year, make it Tapping.

2. Meditation

I put meditation second to tapping, because I keep hearing this statement every single day: “I can’t meditate. I’ve tried, just can’t do it. My mind is too busy. Too many thoughts. It’s not for me.” Sound familiar??

Meditation can be tricky for us because we are so over-stimulated by media, our to-do list, our kids, our work, everything. It takes practice and concentration. However, the amount of scientific evidence for meditation is so vast and the benefits so great that I really encourage you to try again. I find the most effective way is to have a personalised meditation recorded for you so that your personal issues can be addressed in a very specific way, rather than listening to generic meditations online. Learn meditation easily with Mindfulness Teacher- Scott Allerton -more details at: www.sydneyintegrativehypnotherapy.com.au

Meditation is deeply healing and I encourage you to practice it. Do not give up after a few attempts- this is like saying ‘I tried exercise and it’s just not for me’!!! You need to try again. And again. And again. Are you getting my message? 🙂 It’s called meditation PRACTICE.

3. Seek body work practitioners that facilitate emotional health

Many modalities are available, some examples include: Reiki, Massage, Reflexology, Shamanic healing, Kinesiology, Breath work, Astrology, etc. I can hear your brain ticking over and whispering: ‘Ummm none of that stuff really works’. Well I’m here to tell you that it does. If it didn’t work in the past you either:

a) Saw the wrong practitioner

b) Were not open to receive the treatment/learnings

c) Were not ready to embrace what the treatment was offering because it was too confronting

d) All of above

These therapies can be extremely complimentary to your nutritional and lifestyle program and can offer some very effective and fast results that simply following a diet and lifestyle plan cannot.

4. Practice Heart Math focused breathing

Heart math is a way to use breathing and heart energy to regulate emotions and allow you to get in touch with your intuition. Heart Math’s founder “believes the intelligence of the human heart is a powerful force that can lead humanity away from the destructive cycles of stress and discord toward a future of lasting peace and harmony”. Using our heart energy and deep breathing can be truly healing.

You can learn more about this here and look at practical solutions to reduce stress and heal emotionally:  https://www.heartmath.org/resources/solutions-for-stress/

There are many scientific studies that have validated this phenomenon. One tool that I have personally used and found very effective is a phone app called ‘Inner Balance’ that works with a breathing monitor (sold separately, <$200) that connects to your phone and monitors breathing whilst giving you feedback of whether you have reached a coherent (stress free) state.

This is a great tool to use especially if you have a 9-5 job sitting at a desk and stressing about deadlines- it’s a simple way to focus and remind yourself to breathe deeply. But of course it is for everyone and is very effective to constantly reduce stress, which over time facilitates emotional healing.

5.  See an Integrative Hypnotherapist

If you’ve tried the usual psychological therapies such as councelling and didn’t find they helped because it was just ‘more talking about my trauma/problems that I didn’t want to re-live’ then you need to consider Hypnotherapy.

Therapists who are highly qualified in hypnotherapeutic techniques can zero in on your specific emotional block very quickly and whilst you are in a ‘relaxed state of heightened suggestibility’ (trance) can talk directly to your subconscious and shut down traumatic pathways and build new calm/positive pathways.

This approach works for all emotional trauma, addictions, anxiety, stress and many others.

I hope that the 5 ways to help emotional health described above will help you get yourself on track in the new year.

Reference: Mike George, “The Immune system of the Soul”, 2013, Gavisus Media

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