Author Archives: Kathryn Blake

Here’s my story

 

“I love helping busy and stressed mums switch off their busy mind and get some much needed sleep at night”.

Why should you trust me as your Naturopath?

Because I have experienced adrenal burn out and insomnia and I know what works. And because I probably want you to see results more than you do.

There is no better feeling than a client thanking me for my help saying they are feeling better, they’re sleeping well, their digestive pains have gone.

My clinic room is a safe space- I want you to feel comfortable sharing your health issues with me. I need to know all the details so I can help you get better.

I’m going to ask you lots of weird and wonderful questions about your poo, about your urine, about your sex drive. There is no need to be embarrassed about anything your body is doing. If it’s out of balance it will be doing weird things to try heal it self and let you know.

Here let me explain how I got to where I am today.

I suffered with Bulimia and Obsessive Compulsive Exercise Disorder in my teenage years. I would be extremely strict on my self with diet and exercise Monday to Friday and come the weekend I would binge on junk to the point of throwing up. The guilt I felt after binging was enormous.

I was playing netball, basketball, did swimming and did dancing at school. But that wasn’t enough to keep the fear of getting “fat” away. I would wake up at 5.30am every morning and do yoga and aerobics oz style before school. I would either run after school or do 100 sit ups and 100 star jumps right before bed- which for me was around 11pm or midnight.

I was following a vegetarian diet most of the time but not properly. I wasn’t combining my vegetarian protein sources and as a result became very protein deficient. This combined with my insomnia, excessive exercise and high stress levels my immune system was shot.

I would become ill with tonsillitis regularly, nearly every few weeks. One bout of tonsillitis developed into laryngitis then went into my chest and I suffered with Bronchitis, eventually turning into glandular fever. My immune system has never been the same.

My mum decided to take me to a Naturopath because we were both sick of filling scripts of antibiotics- clearly this was not the answer as I kept getting sick.

I saw my first Naturopath and I finally started healing.

So naturally when it was time to finish high school and decide what I wanted to be when I grew up- I decided to study Naturopathy.

It was here where I developed a healthy relationship with food because I started learning how each nutrient is utilised in the body. I was fascinated that we don’t just eat healthy to look good- each nutrient is required for a biochemical process in body. For me this was a huge eye opener and such an essential stage in my journey to better health.

While studying I knew I wanted to work in clinic and be my own boss. The career path I had chose was so rewarding- to be able to help people improve their health and get paid for it- it was my dream job.

However I knew nothing about business so being my own boss was short lived. I soon realised being in business wasn’t easy! I had zero marketing experience and no clients, I had no idea how to be in business. So I started cleaning houses, working at a health food store and doing bits and pieces while trying to build up my clientele.

After a few months I realised it wasn’t going to pay the bills and I looked into getting a full time job. I began working on front desk at an Orthodontic Clinic. I did this for 2 years while I worked in my business seeing clients on Wednesday nights and Saturdays.

As I started growing my business it became too hard to maintain the level of care for my clients only working evenings and weekends. My friend who was a successful small boutique gym owner needed a part time assistant and could see I needed more hours to grow my own business. So I left the full time job and worked  a few mornings as a studio coordinator for the next 2 years.

This was exactly what I wanted as I now had the security of a wage but was able to spend most of my week growing my business. And that I did! I started learning more and more about business and marketing and learnt about my ideal client- who I wanted to work with.

My work life balance started to disintegrate. When I was busy I would be working in my home office late into the evening and seeing clients on weekends. My relationship suffered. The ironic part was that I would be writing treatment plans for clients to improve their stress and start achieving the work life balance themselves- but I wasn’t doing it for myself.

My partner and I separated and I was left with the stress of trying to run the household for myself and my dog on my own. I wasn’t even sure I would make rent or be able to feed my dog.

Then my whole world changed 4 days after my 28th birthday my big brother was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer.

A otherwise fit and healthy 34 year old non smoker had cancer…

You have got to be kidding me.

It was as if the universe was telling me something.

I had a real hard look at myself and my world as it was and decided enough was enough.  I decided to hand in my resignation at the gym and take the huge leap into being full time Naturopath.

I locked myself in my home office and researched everything there was to know about my brothers cancer. I called my trusted mentor Naturopath and  spoke with the owners of businesses who stocked products to help with cancer treatment.

Suddenly my focus was on nothing else but my brother and I would do everything in my power to help him fight this. I knew I needed to be well myself to help him.

So I practiced everything I knew and doubled my doses of adrenal loving herbs, ensured my veggie intake was optimal and started getting a lot more down time- more baths, booked in for regular chiro appointments and continued with my exercise program.

By this stage my partner and I started working through our challenges and he moved back in. I started to work on bringing balance back into the home and the shift happened. Our relationship blossomed and I started feeling happier.

Fast forward to 2 months after my brothers diagnosis and I received the best news I have ever heard- the cancer was gone…completely gone. My entire family was ecstatic.

I got through these events because of my knowledge and expertise with stress. I know what to take, what to eat, what to do when life throws these massive curve balls. I have lived through horrible and extremely stressful moments as most people have.

I have a strong family history of dementia, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Your genetics are only one part of your makeup- it is up to you and your lifestyle on how those genes effect your health.

If it wasn’t for herbs and being a Naturopath I would not have made it through last year.

I wanted to share all this because I know what it feels like to go through a breakup, hear a cancer diagnosis from your close family member, see your grandparent go through dementia to the point they don’t even know who you are. I’ve suffered with an eating disorder, lived with the lowest immune system, I’ve had reproductive issues, I still have acne. I have good and bad days like you.

My clients will tell me I seem like I have my shit together but it’s because I have the tools to cope and help my body cope. It’s taken years of practice and a lot of adrenal herbs!

I suppose I am sharing this with you because I want you to know there is a natural solution to help you get through whatever it is you are going through and come out the other side stronger.

There is someone who gives a crap and wants to help you.

If you need me, you know where I am.

Let’s talk about sex baby!

Ok so it’s time to open the can of worms on what is often spoken about in circles of girlfriends.. “How many times do you have sex with your partner?”

Maybe I’m bias being female, but I hardly ever hear males talking openly about their sex lives when they are in a relationship unless prompted.

I ask the question in clinic every day “How is your libido?” 8 out 10 clients will respond with a smurk asking “what’s that” or tell me it’s non existent. The remaining 2 will say it’s normal, not high but reasonable.

I think we let life and being busy become our excuse or reason as to why  we don’t feel like it tonight…maybe tomorrow?

Well I’m going to shine a light on this ”not so naughty” subject.

Why? Because a healthy libido is a sign of good health and healthy hormones.

I have been listening to some brilliant podcasts lately surrounding relationships. Dr Jolene Brighton is a Naturopath/Biochemist and was recently on a podcast featured on Bulletproof radio.

One thing Jolene said “I don’t care if you never want to have a baby, that’s totally fine. But you should always be fertile and wanting to have sex, as long as you’re in those fertile years.”

In my experience there seems to be a lack of understanding with the libido.

When there is a lack of understanding of the physical causes behind a lowered sex drive and also a lack of communication, it may result with an insecurity within that relationship.

Clients will say to me that they feel they are letting their partner down and feel guilty about not giving them what they need, but they just don’t feel like they have any interest in doing the deed.

So I wanted to shine a light on the mechanics of a healthy libido and what physical aspects of our health can cause this to diminish.

Move and Rest

Our bodies are designed for movement as well as rest. Without these two simple things regularly, our health is compromised.

So naturally a lack of sleep can reduce your libido. Sleep conditions such as Sleep Apnoea are also a potential cause of lowered sex drive.

Medications

Medication is also another factor to consider. Especially women who take the oral contraceptive pill. Hormonal imbalance can cause not only libido reduction but vaginal dryness and difficulty reaching orgasm.

This can cause what is meant to be an intimate pleasurable experience with your partner into a painful and frustrating chore..it’s no wonder if she’s too tired, it hurts and she’s not going to enjoy the experience to climax then she’s not really that excited to take off her clothes for him am I right?

Hormones

The thing with hormones is that once one hormone is imbalanced, it affects all of the other hormones too. When we are stressed our hormone cortisol can be in excess then lead to depletion when we are in the “burn-out” stage.

As a result, our female hormones that would normally allow a natural pregnancy begin to compensate and become imbalanced as the body is in survival “fight or flight” mode. The body is pretty much saying “I am in a state of survival, this is not a safe environment to reproduce.” This could be the reason why a lot of stressed and extremely busy couples struggle to fall pregnant, which stresses them out more…

Men

Looking at males, Testosterone is the main hormone which drives the libido. Studies have shown there is a link between depressed males and lowered testosterone levels.  Like women, stress will lower the libido in males also. There is also the issue when there is a fear or performance with males whether it be erectile dysfunction or the fear of ejaculating too soon. All these things we need to take into consideration when evaluating the reasons as to why a man has a reduced libido.

Mindset

I was recently listening to another podcast on the Tony Robbins podcast where relationship expert Esther Perel was talking about all things intimacy.

An interesting thing she brought up about behaviour was that men have a desire to be able to provide for their significant other whether that be love or financial or something else. If they have that sense of providing, then they’re mindset and hormones are improved.

Women are natural carers and nurturers. If a woman feels like her partner is so dependent on her she will feel like their mother figure rather than their lover. In this situation she will not be aroused or have a high libido as it is not in the natural for a mother to want to make love to their child. So the woman needs to feel like she is the partner, the lover rather than the nurturing mother.

The take home from that expert- Ladies let your man provide for you, even if it means asking for help for something small. It will help them get that much needed boost of Testosterone.  Guys- Allow your woman to be your lover not your mother. Offer to do the housework or make the lunches, ask if she needs a hand with something. Let her know you are there as a team and she isn’t your mother figure.

Mind Body connection

So I think it’s safe to say that libido is both a physical and mental aspect of one’s health. When everything is working well and sound health is maintained then that persons sex drive will also be working well.

So what advice can I offer as a Naturopath?

Well I may be bias as I specialise in Stress and Sleep, but it’s quite clear that without movement or rest the health will not be working at optimal level.

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health, we all know we feel better after a good nights sleep. Which is why I am so passionate about helping people achieve this. When we live in such a stressful life our cortisol levels are all over the place. If cortisol levels are high then our production of serotonin is low. That’s our happy hormone, so yes there is a mechanical reason why you feel happy when you are well rested. We have also heard it many times before that exercise makes us happy, why? Because when we exercise our endorphins are increased which leads to a boost of serotonin.

If only it were that simple to get enough sleep and manage to exercise every day right?

It isn’t simple because it requires constant commitment from you to prioritise and make sure you put your health first.

  • Eating healthy meals regularly through the day, especially breakfast is one simple thing you can implement.
  • Stay off your screens for at least 30 minute before bed.
  • Setting yourself a goal to exercise at least 3 times per week- the weather is warming up so there is no excuse to sit inside- go for a walk instead- take your partner, your dog, your kids, everyone will benefit.
  • Schedule some down time. Wind down after a busy day/week. Calm that busy mind of yours. Meditate, stretch, get some fresh air, sit in quiet room, read a book or have a bath. You need to make time for you.

There are so many things we can do each and every day to help improve our health which is going to boost our libido and in turn improve our relationships. I hope this has given you all some insight to why you or your partner is struggling to have the desire to be intimate with you.

There should not be guilt associated with this, there is an imbalance of something which needs to be addressed. Maybe more than one thing. It’s important to talk about it, investigate the possible causes eg. (hormone testing if needed) and seek help or advice to improve the situation.

It is very easy to just think your partner is no longer attracted to you or on the flip side that you are failing as a partner because you have no desire to be intimate. There is no need to create thoughts of insecurity when there is solutions available.

Communicate, investigate and seek help!

If you would like more information on how I can help improve your libido through natural medicine and  a tailored treatment plan suited to you, your budget and your lifestyle then please email kathryn@inaturoathy.com.au or call 0433848828.

 

 

 

 

WARNING..Rant beginning now!

Wow, the stories I hear in clinic from the experiences clients go through amazes me.
I have just finished with a lovely new client of mine who is having a very hard time with her periods.The pain is so severe the first 2 days of her cycle that she is regularly bed ridden. On occasion, her pain is so bad that she will collapse and have to go to the hospital.

After chatting with her she mentioned her last visit to the hospital was in the early hours of the morning and decided to see her regular GP the following day as she just wanted to get home to bed.

At her appointment the next morning her GP said to her “maybe you’re overreacting to the pain”…….I was in complete shock hearing this. This poor lady is obviously struggling and wanting some answers to what’s going on and collapsing and having to be taken to the hospital is not an over reaction.

During our consult she also informed me she saw a hormone specialist recently who suggested to her that she only really had two options to solve her problems either go on the pill or have a baby.

No wonder this poor girl is confused and is losing confidence with medical professionals.

So ladies…I felt the urge to please inform you that if you are in a situation where your periods are unbearable, you’re bed ridden or fainting do not put up with it. It isn’t normal and you’re not overacting.

Taking the pill is not the only option…putting synthetic hormones into your body to give you a false sense of hormone balance does not solve the long term issue. When it comes to the time that you want to have a baby and want to get off the pill…guess what’s going to happen?

Please come and see me for a chat, so we can work out what is going on down there and refer for a salivary hormone and cortisol test.

My recent test results showed a young client in her 20’s showed the hormone profile similar to that of a Meonpausal women in her 50s…it’s no wonder she had no libido, no energy and didn’t have a period for 5 months!

There is so much we can do from a Naturopathic point of view and help balance those hormones naturally, get your digestive system working, your energy, your sleep, your mood….everything. Everything is linked and you should be treated holistically not just given a synthetic hormonal pill to put a “bandaid” over your period pain.

If you want to know how I can help you please call 0433848828 or email kathryn@inaturopathy.com

4 Tips To Manage Wedding Stress

 

So you’re engaged! All the congratulations flood in from friends and family, you’re bursting at the seams with excitement!

 

And now the planning begins – date, location, how many bridesmaids, the Dress, guests….

Guests…

Your mother in law tells you that you must invite your fiance’s cousin Lewis because “he’s family”. But the most you have said to him is “Hi Lewis” at family functions because he never makes the effort to talk to you, he’s always living in his phone. Your own mother tells you to invite her brother, your Uncle Jack. But Uncle Jack is a horrendous drunk and always criticises every single thing you do.

How many guests…50, 80, 100? Now all your thoughts turn to $$. How much do you have to save? Can you even afford the big wedding that you’ve always dreamed of? Now it’s getting overwhelming and you sit on the couch with your notepad and pen in hand and start to stare at your fiancé with that look on your face that tells him not to ask you what’s wrong.

Shit… “I need to lose weight”

Suddenly the rush of excitement turns into stress and leaves you anxious. How did this magical day turn into your biggest nightmare?

How your body deals with stress (hint: it ain’t pretty)

Welcome to fight or flight. A survival mechanism where your brain tells your adrenal glands to pump your body full of adrenaline and Cortisol. Your heart rate increases, your blood is directed to your arms and your legs, you start breathing quicker and you are alert. You are ready to fight to survive or “flight” to remove yourself from danger. Short term this response is fantastic for survival, however if this is what you’re experiencing constantly leading up to your big day – well I will tell you right now, you’ll burn out quicker than a candle without oxygen.

Two things happen in this fight or flight mode. Your digestive system and immune system shut down. Why? Because those two systems aren’t really needed when running away from your burning house or fighting the robber who has just broke into your home. So how can we stop this stress of your wedding take over your health?

Here are my four top tips.

1. Eat Well and Often.

Due to our immune system and digestive system functioning being surpressed by stress, the demand on our bodies nutrients increases. Protein and Good Fats are going to be your friend leading up to your big day. The best way to ensure your eating stays on track is to be prepared. When cooking dinner, cook extra and when serving up, pop some into a couple of Tupperware containers for tomorrow’s lunch. Pack healthy snacks because you are going to want to be eating every 2-3 hours. Eating regularly is going to reduce the need for your body to want to secrete excess adrenaline and Cortisol. By regularly consuming the right nutrients your adrenals will stay happy little glands.

Omega 3 deficiency is increasing in our society because we simply do not eat enough good fat in our food. Make sure you are eating oily fish 2 to 3 times per week, snacking on raw/unroasted/unsalted nuts like walnuts, seeds like linseeds, avocado, and drizzle olive oil on just about anything. When you can’t get any of these, opt for a good quality fish oil supplement (veg and vegan gals opt for flaxseed oil). Not only will your brain start working better but your skin will improve, and it will improve your metabolism too!

2. Get moving!

How will you ever have the time to exercise with all these appointments to find the dress, meet with the bridesmaids, check out venues….? Here comes that “be prepared” phrase again. Pack a bag with workout gear, deodorant, and face wash and leave it in your car or at work. You are going to be extremely busy so if you’re going to fit in a workout at least 3 times a week you need to be able to go to the gym last minute. Go on more walks, invest in a personal trainer, and find a work out buddy (perhaps the bridesmaids will join you?). Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and reduce the negative effects stress has on our body.

Remember that hormone Cortisol I was talking about before? Well it likes to hold onto fat tissue and deposit in areas that we don’t want. In times of stress it is much more difficult to shed excess fat so exercising is a win-win when it comes to both burning fat and reducing stress. It also makes you feel 100 times better post workout. You’ll have a clearer head, be able to focus and concentrate much easier, and be able to get those plans organised without procrastinating.

3. Delegate a 2.I.C (second in command)

If you are a bit of a control freak, this will be the hardest task to do. But you need to allow yourself to have help, as much as possible. Your bridesmaids are there to help you have the most memorable day possible. Give them tasks, ask them for advice, and let them support you. A 2IC is going to be the person you trust that is not in the bridal party. It is someone to contact urgently if heaven-forbid anything is to go wrong last minute. What if something goes wrong with your wedding cake on the day and someone needs to meet the delivery at the venue, or the florist has issues with the flowers you ordered.

Choose a person you trust, who is excellent at organising, and works well under pressure as your emergency 2IC. This person will be able to answer any last minute calls to put out fires, so you don’t need to sweet the little details on your big day.  A great alternative if you can’t find a friend to fill this position is a wedding planner who specialises in on-the-day coordination.

4. Get your beauty sleep!

It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! Who wants to be told “Congratulations, you look exhausted!” on your wedding day? Not even the best wedding makeup artist in the world can stop you looking tired. We need at least 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep a night, yes that means falling asleep and not waking up in the night 3 or 4 times to go to the toilet or get a drink of water.

But I struggle to switch off before bed, you say! Well guess what? The stress and adrenaline I have been talking about causes a viscous cycle and in most cases causes sleep deprivation. Don’t go on Instagram and search wedding centrepieces when you are laying in bed! Looking at a screen immediately before bed will stimulate the stress response, switching on those adrenal glands just before you are due to sleep. Your adrenal glands only need 2-3 hours rest to survive so that’s why you will be waking up every few hours through the night. Have your last coffee before 2pm and get to bed before 10pm. If you exercise at night and feel extremely energetic after your workout, I would suggest working out before work. You’ll feel tired in the evening and allow your body to get the well deserved rest it needs.

Kat specialises in sleep issues and fatigue management.  If you would like more advice on how to reduce your stress, improve your sleep or just get some energy back, call Kat for a comprehensive consultation.  

Mention this blog when you book your Initial consult and receive 30% off! For more information contact kathryn@inaturopathy.com.au or call/text 0433848828.

Is Stress Sabotaging Your Fat Loss Results?


So you’re training really hard, eating well and you’re always on the go. But you’re wondering why the weight isn’t shifting? That never-ending stress might just be what is responsible for that stubborn fat!

What is stress?

Stress is a natural response in our body designed to aid survival. Basically if a Robber walked into the room right now your heart would start pumping blood more efficiently to your arms and legs. Your brain would tell your lungs to start breathing more quickly to increase your Oxygen intake. Your Adrenaline and Cortisol would be circulating your body to give you the energy to survive.

This is called your Fight or Flight Response and it is a mechanism of survival. During Fight or Flight your digestive system and your immune system are shut down because your body temporarily shuts down what it doesn’t need to survive.

This response is normal and is designed to be a short term response. However issues start to arise when this Fight or Flight response occurs regularly on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. Especially if left untreated!

Cortisol

Like Adrenalin, Cortisol is hormone that is secreted from the adrenal glands, which are two little glands that live above your kidneys. Naturally, Cortisol levels should fluctuate through the day. Cortisol levels should be at their highest level first thing in the morning and at their lowest late in the evening around midnight. When put under stress your Cortisol levels can be disrupted. It is when this disruption occurs that encourages weight gain but also influencing where the fat is deposited in your body. Studies have shown that elevated Cortisol linked with stress encourages fat to be deposited around the abdominal area. This is known as “unhealthy” fat as a higher percentage of fat in this area is linked with a higher incidence of cardio vascular disease.

How to reduce stress and Cortisol levels?

Unfortunately external stressors are not always able to be avoided, but what we can do is support your body so that you can handle stress better and prevent the negative effects of increased adrenaline and cortisol from overwhelming your body.

  • Eat every 2-3 hours.
  • Sleep 7-8 hours a night (solidly).
  • Limit coffee to 1-2 cups daily and the last cup before 2pm.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid processed sugars and packet food.
  • Make time to un-busy your mind. Schedule a time at least once a week to have time to relax, read a book, take a bubble bath, enjoy a massage. Pick an activity that you do without your phone or email and you cannot do 2 things at once.

I specialise in Stress Sleep and Fatigue so if you would like to take action and stop stress sabotaging your fat loss book an initial consult with Kat today!

Why You Should Take A Closer Look At Your Test Results

We have all been there before…  we request a blood test through our GP and on review of the results they inform us that everything seems to be “within range” and we are good to go.

Now on paper this may be the case but you sit in the car on your way home from the doctors surgery and think;

“why do I still feel unwell, if all my bloods are normal?”

Well you are not alone.

I see this regularly in clinic, where clients present to me with a condition and when they show me their blood test results they say “My doctor said everything was normal”.

As a Naturopath we are taught to look much more closely at those results. Where are you exactly in the normal range? Are you on the lower end, smack bang in the middle or on the higher end?

Where you sit in the range is very important information about how your body systems are functioning. It can give a clear insight to which direction treatment needs to go in order for you start healing and feeling better.

This situation was a reality for a client of mine that presented to me late last year. My client is a 33 year old Male and he came to see me due to his inability to lose weight, despite eating healthily and kept very active exercising 5 to 6 days a week.

He mentioned that he thought he may be insulin resistance but  said “ I went to a doc who said he didn’t believe in insulin resistance so that put me off and I never got the test done”.

Now for starters, there is definitely such a thing as Insulin Resistance and it is supported by a substantial amount of research.

Lets start at the beginning so we are all on the same page… Insulin is a hormone which is made by our Pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. Insulin’s job is to enable our body to utilise glucose (sugar) from carbohydrates in food to either be used as energy or to be stored for later use. When someone is insulin resistant it means their cells are unable to effectively use insulin and cells cannot absorb glucose. This results in higher blood glucose levels, which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

During his initial consultation he revealed he;

  • Has a strong family history of  Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Has lost 40 kgs at ages 17, 22 and 32. Only to put the weight back on.
  • His energy levels were medium being a 5 out of 10.
  • He wakes 1 to 2 times through the night.
  • Feels very fatigued in the mornings.
  • He did not feel he was stressed but thinks he mind can be busy at times.
  • Digestive system appeared healthy and strong.

Interestingly he did have a history or experimenting with gym supplements, in particular took a dose of testosterone boosting supplements and did not follow with oestrogen blockers.

Let me stop there…when a male decides to take testosterone boosting supplements he will follow with an oestrogen blocking supplement, this oestrogen blocking supplement is to reduce the oestrogen and further increase testosterone. Whether I agree or disagree with this practice is not the purpose of this blog, so I am not going to comment on this. What I do want to show you is the interesting test results.

Before I continue, I would like to point out that my client did raise the fact that he suspected he had hormonal imbalance, in particular a higher oestrogen level due to him not taking a blocker in the past.

I sent him back to his GP to order some testing so he could get his testing bulk billed.

As you can see in the result, unfortunately Oestrogen was not tested at all despite my client requesting a full hormonal profile including Oestrogen. From a glance all these results look normal as they are all within the range, which is exactly what my client was told at his appointment. His testosterone is on the lower end of the scale, but I definitely wanted to see what his oestrogen levels were.

We sent off for a salivary hormone profile.

My client clearly has an excess of oestrogen. His Oestradiol (E2)  should be between 1-6 and he was 18, and his Oestrone (E1) should be between 9.6-20 and he was at 20.

I also requested him to have an insulin resistance test.

His results showed he had a moderate Insulin Resistance Score and a high fasting blood glucose score of 5.5 (range 3.5-6).

Needless to say my client was very surprised with his results and happy he finally had some answers to explain what was going on.

We commenced his natural treatment plan immediately specifically targeting hormonal and blood sugar balancing.  This is just one example of why you should be taking an interest and looking very closely at your test results.

If you receive “normal” results and still feel unwell, it may be your turn to seek a more holistic approach  to investigate further.

If you would like a more information or a Naturopathic review on your test results  please contact Kathryn on 0433848828 or email kathryn@inaturopathy.com.au

Ladies, We Need To Talk!

For some reason women are ashamed to talk about their feminine areas when they are unwell. I wanted to write this because I am hearing from my female clients regularly they are given terrible health advice (or lack of) on what to do when there are infections or how to prevent them.

First and foremost Men if you’re reading this and you are getting squeamish, please go and be immature somewhere else. The last thing your lady needs if for you to be “disgusted” by her being unwell. What if the role was reversed I am sure she would be running to the health food shop or chemist to get anything to help you right?

Two main types of infections

Ok so lets break it down, the two most common infections of our vaginas is a yeast infection called  thrush or a bacterial infection called Bacterial Vaginosis. Both of which are more common that what you think and I am sure this is because us ladies do not like to share if we are experiencing this. We may tell our GP, Naturopath or best friend and that’s it. Some ladies have confessed they are too embarrassed to tell their partners so lie about having their period so they don’t have to have sex with them.

What’s The Difference?

The major difference between these two conditions is if there is a fishy odour down there, you have the bacterial infection called Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). If you are itching and burning around the vulva and have a white cottage discharge then you will have thrush.

Discharge Is Normal.

Discharge can range from white and thick to clear and sticky at different times in the month due to hormonal fluctuations.  Generally when the discharge becomes sticky it is a sign of ovulation as it helps accommodate the sperm to travel to your uterus. As a rule of thumb the discharge should never be yellow or green, if you see this then you are most likely suffering from an infection.  In Thrush your discharge may have a yeast smell to it, similar to beer. You may also see a discharge in BV however it is more grey in colour and has a paste like texture.

Why Does This Happen?

Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when there is an imbalance in the pH of your vagina. In a healthy vagina, the pH is acidic usually around 3.5 to 4.5 and there is an array of beneficial bacteria present to help fight of infection. When this imbalance occurs, the bad bacteria are given the opportunity to flourish and have a party. Thrush occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast. Normally the yeast is kept at a minimal. However when your good bacteria is reduced say through antiobiotic treatment, the yeast are able to grow and colonise.

Things That Can Raise pH.

  • Feminine hygiene washes can have a pH of 5.5 or higher so it is better to not use these regularly.
  • During our periods our pH is raised as blood has a pH of 7.4.
  • Semen has a pH range of 7.1 to 8 so even if you are on the pill, it is a good idea to use condoms if you are susceptible to infections.

So what can you do on a daily basis to keep your vagina happy?

Don’t Live in Your Active Wear.

Yes I know it can be tempting to want to show off your new Lulu Lemon tights at the shops straight after your gym session. Well it isn’t the best idea as the material does not breathe easily and holds sweat close to the skin. Your new favourite tights may look amazing but they are also very clever at encouraging growth of pathogens by encouraging a warm and moist environment! Keep your active wear on for short periods of time and let your girl breathe!

Reduce Sugar.

Yeast and Bacteria love sugar which is why you will have uncontrollable sugar cravings if you are suffering with BV or Thrush. But avoid at all costs! Indulging in sugar only exacerbates your infection and uncomfortable symptoms as well as lower your immune function. So give the dessert a miss!

Increase Good Bacteria.

Everything stems from the health of your gut. You will be more susceptible to BV and Thrush if you are not eating the right foods to encourage a larger population of beneficial bacteria. Supplementing with a good quality probiotic is a great way to ensure you are increasing your good bacteria. Make sure your capsule or powder contains the strain Lactobacillus Acidophilus, as this is the specific strain which will help fight the overgrowth of yeast and bad bacteria while boosting your immune system.

Pee After Sex.

Urine helps flush or clear bad bacteria. This is  important to prevent another type of infection in the urinary tract. This is due to urine being acidic and it is able to flush out any bad bacteria left over from intercourse. The female urethra is short and is at a close proximity to the anus. It is common for bad bacteria to make their way into our urethra during the act so even if you don’t feel like you need to go, as soon as you have finished go to the toilet!

If you suffer from Thrush or BV regularly please contact kathryn@inaturopathy.com.au for more information on how to prevent these uncomfortable infections for good!

Bulimia, More Than Just An Eating Disorder

Bulimia is more than just an eating disorder, it’s a serious illness that affects many people world wide. Having an Eating disorder does not just affect what you put into your mouth but your entire life is affected. It affects your friends, your family, your work your home life, your social life, everything. It is a very difficult illness to overcome because your whole thought process is altered and the negative thoughts and self doubt become strong motivators to continue on a path of the illness.

I saw a lovely client this week who has been suffering with Bulimia for the past 33 years and has only just started seeking help this year. Consulting with her about this illness brought back memories from my younger years when I was a sufferer.

What Is Bulimia

Bulimia is the act of binge eating then purging. Those with the condition will deprive themselves of food then in the comfort of their own home binge. After a binge session feelings of guilt, anger and sadness come rolling in which then brings on the act of purging to “get rid” of not only the food but the emotions.

It is common to see sufferers skip meals during the day when they are at their place of work or in public and binge when they return home. In doing this they are depriving their body of essential nutrients assimilated from food.

I Was A Weekend Binger

I would be very strict with my eating during the week, around friends and family. I would only fresh fruit, vegetables and lean proteins. I had a reputation of being “so healthy” to maintain and would refuse any junk food that I was offered. I would sit at McDonalds with all my friends after school and sip on a medium diet coke while they all ate burgers and sundaes. I was sick and had an extreme fear of weight gain. Looking back on photos of myself I was no where near fat, but because I looked “healthy” no one ever suspected my disorder. Bulimia sufferers are excellent at hiding their disorder and can be years before the recovery process begins.

Compulsive Exercise

I suffered with Bulimia from the age of 15 through to 17. At age 15 I also developed an excessive compulsion to exercise. I would wake up at 6am every morning and do Aerobics Oz Style on the TV before school…big daggy I know! After school I would go for a run before my sport training; I played netball, basketball and also did swimming training. Late at night I would complete 100 Situps, 100 Star Jumps and 100 Squats before I retired to bed. On Friday and Saturday nights I would binge on whatever minimal junk food my mum put in the pantry and purge. My Immune system was hit the hardest and after having recurrent tonsillitis every couple of months I had to slow down on the exercise. My immunity was so weak that eventually my bouts of tonsillitis developed into Glandular Fever. I was run down for the better half of 6 months and even to this day my immune system is one of my weakest aspects of my health.

Effects of Bulimia

The damage from Bulimia doesn’t just include a sore throat and sensitive teeth. Bulimia also can cause more serious long term effects like enamel erosion, hormonal imbalance, low blood pressure, anaemia, ruptured oesophagus, reflux, kidney and intestine damage as well as an irregular heartbeat and heart failure.

Acknowledge Bulimia

If you have an eating disorder the first step is to acknowledge it. It took me 2 years and my client 33 years to acknowledge the illness. It isn’t easy but is essential for the first step of recovery. There is a lot of help out there and it is so important not to feel ashamed or embarrassed by it. It is a mental illness and there is no shame in owning the illness and moving forward to seek help.

Eating For Health Not Weight Loss

Funnily enough once you start to recover and develop a healthy relationship with food your weight naturally falls off. Eating becomes an enjoyable experience and eating healthy food is rewarded by feeling good about yourself. It was not until I started studying Naturopathy that I realised the principle of eating for health rather than weight loss. The media constantly shoves images in our face that to be successful and popular among our peers we should be slim. Too much focus is put on weight rather than dealing with the causes of weight gain like stress, anxiety and eating disorders.

Optimise Your Body

I wish there was more education when I was at school regarding this because it was not until I started learning about it myself with my course that I started eating to be healthy not thin. If you are getting adequate nutrients through regular healthy meals your body starts to operate properly and you start to feel healthy. Your immune system becomes strong, you digest your food well, you have energy, you sleep improves, you crave healthy food, your hormones are balanced and then you lose fat. More importantly you develop a positive relationship with food and start to enjoy eating. Once you are in this head space, then incorporating a  regular sensible exercise plan will assist you to lose fat and gain lean muscle.

If you would like to know more about a holistic treatment plan to recover from an eating disorder like bulimia please contact kathryn@inaturopathy.com.au

Why You Should Be Using Bath Salts

Bath Salts have been around for a long time, but aren’t a regular inclusion on the weekly shop for most people. If you haven’t used them in a while, or ever, you are missing out on some amazing health benefits.

As a Naturopath, I am regularly advising my clients to take time out to unwind and relax. This not only helps to lower stress levels but allows a busy mind to slow down. I specialise in Stress and Sleep issues so I am regularly seeing stressed clients that “do not stop”. Their life is lived at a constant fast pace and the only time they get to “Stop” is when they lay down to bed, as a result many stressed people have sleep problems. This “stop” time allows them to sit and think and worry about what needs to be done, instead of having a calm mind and preparing the body for a much needed rest.

Zen Luxurious Body and Foot Bath Salts contain Epsom salts. Epsom Salts are made up of magnesium sulphate and when the magnesium ions break apart from the Epsom salt molecules they are easily absorbed through the skin.

I absolutely love my baths and when I can do so will try and soak at least once a week. I put some rainforest music on from youtube, light a candle, close my eyes and relax!

Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep

Epsom salts help to reduce our stress levels by reducing adrenaline while encouraging production of Serotonin. When we are stressed we produce high levels of Cortisol. When our Cortisol levels are high serotonin production cannot occur. Serotonin is our happy hormone which normally converts to Melatonin, a hormone that aids sleep. Therefore when we soak in these salts our sleep hormones will increase helping us to relax and have a good nights sleep!

 Soothe Painful Muscles and Joints

If you sit at a computer most of your day you will be no stranger to neck tension. Magnesium is a mineral that allows our muscles to relax and when absorbed through our skin these Epsom salts do just that. If you suffer from leg cramps or eye twitches, this could be sign you are deficient in Magnesium. Soaking in these salts will aid any joints that are painful and inflamed by reducing the inflammation and swelling in these areas.

 Love Your Heart

Lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by soaking in Epsom salts at least three times per week. They aid elasticity of your artery walls and help reduce inflammation in the body. Improved elasticity of arteries helps prevent blood clots and excess build up of detrimental plaque.

 Improve Energy

Magnesium and Sulfate assist the body to produce and utilize insulin. This means when used regularly, espom salts can assists blood sugar regulation. This not only promotes long lasting energy throughout the day, but prevents the risk of diabetes.

General Well Being

Magnesium sulfate has a variety of beneficial effects on our general health including fluid regulation through aiding functions of different enzymes. It also supports nervous system function by helping the facilitation of calcium in the body in turn supporting the chemical signals.

 What I love about Zen Luxurious Body and Foot Bath Salts is that they are 100% Natural made with essential oils and dehydrated fruit and spices. Apart from the wide variety of benefits of epsom salts, they have the added benefits of these amazing essential oils and smell incredible!

The Essence of Zing Zing

A beautiful blend of ginger, lemon, orange, lemon grass and green tea leaves. Great for those who are regularly fatigued including new mums, busy business owners or super fit athletes. Helps alleviate headaches and migraines. Will also help reduce nausea so perfect for those who get travel sickness or car sickness!

The Essence of Warrior

This one is a great Winter Warrior blend. Combining the antibacterial properties of eucalyptus, green tea and lemon. This will help boost the immune system perfect for any cold or flu bugs. The decongestant and antiseptic properties will help relieve headaches and painful blocked sinuses when sick or during hay fever season. Also great for Asthma sufferers!

The Essence of Goddess

A perfect Mothers Day Gift to your Mum or Nanna. The strong scents of Rose Geranium will impress any busy Mum or Nanna. This feminine scent has been known to help women through menstruation and menopause. Geranium oil traditionally was used to help those with acne, soothe a sore throat due to its antiseptic properties. May also beneficial for healing wounds, athletes foot, eczema and haemorrhoids.

The Essence of Relaxation

Lavender is well known for its calming effects. This blend will help calm excitability (great for excited kids), soothe nervous or anxious tummies, may assist anxiety and aid sleep. These salts may be beneficial for mild depression and irritable bowel syndrome. Please note from my experience in clinic with liquid Lavender as a herb, in select sensitive individuals, it can cause headaches and may disrupt sleep.

But I don’t have a bath?

Easy solution, add the salts to a bucket of warm water and enjoy a foot soak! The aromatherapy coming from the bucket will still allow you to reap the benefits and listen to some relaxing mediation music. Your footsies will thank you for it!

If you are someone that is constantly busy and never seem to get any down time, enough is enough. You need to make time in your busy schedule to just slow down and relax. Book a time in your diary at least once a week to have a bath or a foot soak and put on some meditation music (like my beloved rain forest sounds).

It is so important to give your mind a well needed break and lower your adrenaline levels. If you do this every week you will find your memory, focus, concentration, energy, sleep and general well being will improve dramatically. Commit to this one task and start healing you self today.

 

It’s Time To Kick Off The Shoes And Go Barefoot

These days walking Barefoot is a foreign concept. Most of us wear shoes everywhere we go; around the house, in the car and outside.

Did You know that by constantly wearing shoes you are missing out on some pretty great health benefits?

Next time you are outside remove your shoes and walk barefoot on the ground in particular on the grass if there is some close by. There is a name for this, It’s the action of feeling the soles of your feet connect with the surface of the Earth. It’s called Grounding and has a “feel good” effect similar to that feeling of the warmth of the sun on your skin.

Humans are electrical beings and we produce positive charges on a regular basis. If these charges are at an excess, they have the potential to oxidise and become harmful to our health.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published results that showed within the surface of the Earth there is a limitless and renewed amount of free electrons due to the global atmospheric electron circuit. So the Science behind the positive effects of grounding are that when we walk barefoot on the ground, our feet are able to absorb the Earths negative electrons.

Over time technology and introduction of modern lifestyle essentials have “removed” us from mother nature and as result disconnected us from the electrical potential of the Earths surface. We continually sleep off the ground, we wear shoes with rubber or plastic soles and in turn are removing ourselves from the electrical environment stabilisation of cells, tissues and organs.

Specialising in Stress and Sleep Issues, this is where barefoot walking really excites me. Evidence from research supports the theory that the negative potential from the Earth can support a “stable internal bioelectrical environment which means the body as a whole will be functioning better. In particular the effects may enable regulating of the natural body clock via secretion of Cortisol.

Research suggests that walking barefoot outdoors will encourage free radicals to be neutralised within the body helping inflammation to be reduced both at an acute and chronic level. Results published in the Journal of Environment and Public Health showed that Grounding had positive improvements on the following health issues;

  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • Chronic Muscle Pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Respiratory Conditions Such As Asthma.
  • Stress
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Stress
  • Energy
  • Immune System Acitivity
  • Fasting Glucose Levels In Diabetics

The Journal of Environmental and Public Health states that grounding may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS [autonomic nervous system] dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV [heart rate variability], hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease’’.

So how do we reap these benefits from this barefoot task?

Researchers suggest that if you are aiming to reduce pain and stress you may see results walking barefoot for 30 to 80 minutes daily. So next time you are outside please, take off your shoes and absorb Mother Natures negative electrons.

References
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2007 Nov;13(9):955-67
Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012; 2012: 291541