Homemade Kombucha: Growing your own SCOBY.

As promised nutrition nourishment is sharing with you how to make your own homemade kombucha. The first step in this process is growing your own SCOBY.

What is SCOBY?
The SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), looks like a flat mushroom but is solid and squishy. Some people relate the textures to a raw chicken breast. This SCOBY is actually alive and feeds on white sugar within the tea when making kombucha. WHITE SUGAR???? Yes, plain old white sygar, the SCOBY’s thrive on it. After fermentation, which usually takes around 7-10 days, the SCOBY is then taken out of the tea, and the tea is flavoured, bottled and refrigerated ready to drink. The purpose of the fermentation is for the SCOBY to eat up the sugar, creating a ‘fizz’ in the tea drink and releases a byproduct of healthy gut bacteria strands to aid in gut health.

 

How to grow a kombucha SCOBY STEP 1: But a bottle of kombucha.
Purchase a bottle of unpazturized kombucha were the active bacteria cultures a clearly visible. You may notice a slimy floaty onto of the bottle, this is your baby SCOBY. **Note you can also purchase SCOBY, or baby SCOBY. If you have a friend who makes Kombucha, they may offer a section of their SCOBY for you to grow as well.

STEP 2:Brew the tea
To grow your baby SCOBY, 4 cups of tea is enough. Bring it to the boil, add 4 tea bags or loose leaf (white or green tea works best and has the most amount of flavonoids and antioxidants compared to it’s relative black tea and oolong). Steep for 2-4 minutes and remove the tea bags. If you are worried about caffeine, use decaffeinated tea bags.

STEP 3: Add Sugar
I can’t stress enough the use of organic cane sugar because regular sugar contains additives, preservatives and is mostly GMO!!! Nutrition nourishment does not advocate these!!! Add 3/4 Cup of organic cane sugar to the hot tea and stir gentles. Unfortunately for all the raw honey enthusiasts, It does not work well in the fermentation process of kombucha, making cane sugar the sweeter of choice.

Step 4: Wait and watch the fermentation begin.
Once the tea has cooled, place contents of your tea brew into a 1 litre glass jar, in combination with the store bought kombucha. Cover with a cloth and use an elastic band to secure it. Make sure the jar is placed out of direct sunlight in room temperature, and wait.. Do not move the jar until you have a thick SCOBY. Usually SCOBY can grow within 7-10 days, however if it is particularly cold where you live, it may take a little longer.

STEP 5: Hello SCOBY!!
When your SCOBY is fully grown, you can now make your homemade kombucha with it. The kombucha in this batch is not drinkable, However, wait until our next blog post and I will share with you how to brew your homemade kombucha using this batch..

Stay tunes for next week blog, how brewing your homemade kombucha.

Healthiest regards

nutritionnourishment

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RBTI Analysis: Personal Body Biochemical Analysis

Your body is a wonderful self healing instrument that works in accordance to the dynamic laws of nature; it is meant to be vibrantly healthy. From a naturopathic viewpoint the more you can do to return harmony to the body, mind and spirit, the easier it will be to rebuild and heal.If your body is suffering from symptoms such as excess weight, anxiety, depression, stomach upset, nausea, reflux, bloating or hyperactivity you are going against the laws of nature. The RBTI Analysis can help you achieve a better, happier life free from fatigue, aches and pains.

How does the RBTI Analysis Work?
Reams Biologic Theory of Ionisation is a unique series of tests carried out on specimen of urine and saliva. The information gained from the scientific laboratory tests enable practitioners to monitor complex bodily functions. A full report is created for you that explain each section of the test and what can be done to help re-balance the body.

Total Carbohydrates indicates how well the body is handling foods. Efficient digestion and utilisation of foods is needed to maintain steady consistent energy within the individual. Ant variation from the ideal range may indicate difficulty with holding optimal blood sugar balance resulting in fatigue, cravings, poor dietary control and nerve related symptoms such as anxiety, depression and addictions.

PH of the urine and saliva signals which of the calciums your body may be lacking. Next to water, calcium is the element most needed by the body. Having the right balance of calcium will aid the production of enzymes necessary for digestion and assimilation of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Correcting imbalances can help calm the body and mind, enabling you to cope with stress more easily, and may help stop growing pains in children, and assist in their ability to concentrate.

Knowing the PH of your urine is extremely important. It is one indicatory of how well your body can digest and assimilate the nutrients from foods and supplements, as an environment that is too acidic/alkaline may leave your body unable to absorb nutrients. A continued poor PH balance can cause bowel disturbances, bloating, nauseam aches and pains. Without treatment this may lead to further illness and disease, affecting the blood and oxygen carrying capacity along with cellular activities, hormone systems, immune functions and other bodily operations.

PH of the saliva illustrates pressure that your liver and pancreas are under and relates back to the body’s ability to begin the digestive process in the mouth. Ideal digestion takes place when the PH of the urine and saliva are both in the ideal zone and all other numbers are balanced.

Cellular debris is assessed to see if your body is cooperating by self cleansing of wastes and other bi-products. These wastes can become toxic to the body if not removed on a regular basis.

Salts and toxins determine the level of fluids needed and how well your body is balancing its electrolytes. Numbers too high or too low are an indication of imbalanced conductivity in the body, which either can have major effects on your health and lifestyle.

What Next?
Just like a plant we need to correct the ‘soil for the promotion of health growth. In this case we need a healthy diet that can correct our bodily needs, supplementation and a balance of acid/alkaline foods. The program is based on allowing the body the opportunity to first clean out old waste products, rebuild the digestive system along with stabilising energy to ensure the body is able to absorb nutrients from foods and supplements adequately.

The information provided by regular baseline analysis can be a guidance system to achieving optimal health. As changes are made, repetition of the RBTI analysis on a monthly basis will confirm whether your body is responding well, highlighting areas where more focus is needed and help your health practitioner assist you to better health and wellness.

For more information regarding the RBTI Analysis see links below.

http://www.rbtiaustralia.com.au/

http://rbtiworld.com/

http://www.premalifeaustralia.com/editor/assets/Seminar Promo/2009WorkshopFlyer.pdf

http://www.lifeworkshealthclinic.com.au/resources/health-analysis-rbti

Healthiest Regards

nutritionnourishment

Integrative Medicine: Treating the Whole Person

Hello everyone,
“Holistic” medicine, or Integrative medicine practices, addresses the whole person – body, mind and spirit – in the quest to achieve optimal health and wellness. According to the holistic medicine philosophy, one can achieve optimal health by gaining proper balance in life. Holistic and Alternative Medicine are more patient-centered. Not all holistic practitioners spend an hour with their patients the way a Naturopathic Physician does, nevertheless, they focus on the patient as a whole, including their stress level, diet, and lifestyle habits. Our first principle is to do no harm, and our objective is to locate the root cause and not just treat the symptoms. We believe in more natural and safe methods of healing, and only use pharmaceuticals when absolutely necessary.

Integrative medicine combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness. (National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2002).

Doctors and clients are bonding within the philosophy of integrative medicine and its holistic approach, which is designed to treat the whole person; not only the physical symptoms, but also psychological, social and spiritual aspects of health and illness. Integrated medicine can offer very significant benefits for improving and maintaing health and wellbeing. CAM practitioners can offer an awareness and commitment to support the mind/body connection by guiding through resources, techniques and natural remedies to support the healing of self. There is an individual responsibility to health that is empowering and necessary for creating and maintaing optimal health. The ultimate goal is to bring the mind, body and energy system back into balance through alternative therapies such as massage, meditation, soothing herbs, energy healing and therapies that use creative outlets such as art, music and dance.

Esther Sternberg, MD, A national Institutes of Health Senior Scientist and author of The balance within: The science connecting health and emotions says “Patients want to be considered whole human beings in the context of their world. Physicians and academic researchers finally have the science to understand the connection between the brain and immune system, emotions and disease, all of that can now finally understand in terms of sophisticated biology. It is no longer fringe. Medical students are being taught to think in an integrated way about the patient and ultimately, that will improve the management of illness at all levels”.

Alternative medical schemes are built on complete systems of theory and practice, and some techniques which were considered complementary and alternative therapies in the past have been developed in Western cultures as mainstream practice such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and patient group counselling, along with biological based therapies with the use of substances found in nature, herbs, foods and vitamin are used as dietary supplements and herbal products. Some of these dietary supplements have been incorporated into conventional medicine including folic acid for prevention of neural tube defects and cholecalciferol when serum vitamin D levels are below normal for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Alternative therapies play an important part in holistic health and healing, however, when making decisions about health and wellness care it is wise to explore both the conventional route and complementary alternative to see if either/both these medical system can best help you. Below are a list of pros and cons of conventional medicine and complementary modalities, as well as how they specifically relate to the individual client.

Advantages of Integrated Medicine
A major benefit of alternative medicine is that the techniques and remedies are generally safe and nature. When used properly, they can cause few ill effects for most people. For instance, certain supplements and herbs have been proven as effective as pharmaceuticals for conditions such as anxiety, depression and pain without the negative side effects.

Some types of complementary therapies are easily incorporated as part of health lifestyle maintenance. People enjoy regular massage, sipping on dandelion tea for digestion or use an energy technique when feeling stressed or tired.

As interest and demand for natural holistic health care grows, more research into the potential benefits of alternative medicine is being done. Once there is enough supportive research, CAM gains acceptance from the medical world. Massage, acupuncture, physical therapy and chiropractics are examples of alternative medical techniques.

Mainstream medicine is in some way much more limited than alternative medicine, so integrating the two can help to truly heal mind, body and soul. The emphasis is more on the person than the disease, healing inside out rather than having symptoms suppressed or offending body parts operated on. These may be sometimes necessary, but most likely no where near as often as it is currently happening today.

Possible Disadvantages
Be aware of red-flags of quackery such as ‘miracle cure-all’, ‘money-back guarantee’, ‘time-tested’, ‘meaningless medical jargon’, ‘satisfaction guarantee’, ‘personal testimonials’ and scare tactics are signs of unreliable nutritional/medical information. Such ridiculous claims on health and wellness reinforce the stigmatism on Complementary and Alternative therapies Industry. Unfortunately there are always going to be unethical practitioners promoting dishonest representations so it’s important to ask your practitioner about their qualifications, educational background and continuing educational practice.

Some individuals may attempt to treat any serious illness or disorder with alternative therapies when conventional medicine would be best for primary care. Alternative and holistic healing modalities can complement medical care, however, a general practitioner should be the main support care.

An individual approaching holistic and complementary medicine with the modern medicine mindset is a common mistake. Alternative medicine is not about pooping pills, suppressing symptoms (although sometimes it can be a part of it), treating a body part and entrusting your total health care to someone else. Addressing only physical imbalances without addressing issues of the mind and spirit only bring about partial benefits at best. It is not the philosophy of holistic modalities.

In order to realise the full benefits of alternative medicine, time and energy must be committed to achieve lifestyle habits, which can be challenging, even with the best intentions. It often takes a very serious illness or health scare to get people to make a shift, and even that is not always enough incentive.

As Always,
Healthiest Regards

nutritionnourishment

References

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. (2016). The RACGP Curriculum for Australian General Practice 2016. Retrieved from http://curriculum.racgp.org.au/statements/integrative-medicine/

Webmd. (2016). What is Integrated Medicine? Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/alternative-medicine-integrative-medicine#1

7 Warning Signs of Type-2 Diabetes

Hello everyone,

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and affects 85 to 90 per cent of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects mature adults, younger people are also now being diagnosed in greater numbers, as rates of obesity and people being overweight increase. Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes or mature onset diabetes. Below are seven warning signs of type 2 diabetes, if you are worried about any of the symptoms you are experiencing it’s important to seek medical advice immediately.

Warning Sign #1: Frequent Urination
When there is excess glucose present in the blood, as with type 2 diabetes, the kidneys react by flushing it out of the blood and into the urine. This results in more urine production and the need to urinate more frequently. If you notice you have to go to the bathroom more often than you used to and you seem to be producing more urine when you do go, talk to your doctor about whether you could have type 2 diabetes.

Warning Sign #2: Increased Thirst
Frequent urine and increased thirst go hand in hand. High blood glucose sets up a domino effect of sorts within your body. High blood sugar leads to increased production of urine and the need to urinate more often. Frequent urination causes you to lose a lot of fluid and become dehydrated. Consequently, you develop a dry mouth and feel thirsty more often than you used to. If you notice that you are drinking more than usual, or that your mouth often feels dry and you feel thirsty more often, these could be signs of type 2 diabetes.

Warning Sign #3: Unexplained weight loss
When you have type 2 diabetes, your cells don’t get enough glucose, which may cause you to lose weight. Also, if you are urinating more frequently because of uncontrolled diabetes, you may lose more calories and excess water, resulting in weight loss.

Warning Sign #4: Increased Hunger
People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance, which means the body cannot use insulin properly to help the glucose get into the cells. In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin doesn’t work well in muscle, fat and other tissues, so your pancreas starts to put out a lot more of it to try and compensate. This result in high insulin levels in the body and theses levels send signals to the brain that your body is hungry.

Warning Sign #5: Foot pain and numbness
Over time, a prolonged exposure to high blood sugar can damage the nerves throughout the body, a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Some people may not have any symptoms of the damage, while others may notice numbness, tingling or pain in the extremities. Diabetic neuropathy usually starts in the feet and then progresses upward. Although most common in people who have had type 2 diabetes for 25 years or more, it can occur in people who have pre-diabetes as well. In Some studies, almost 50 per cent of unexplained peripheral neuropathy turns out to be caused by pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Warning Sign #6: Frequent Infections
Since both yeast and bacteria multiply more quickly when blood sugar levels are elevated, women with type 2 diabetes may be more susceptible to vaginal infections. Food infections are also common as diabetes can damage the architecture of the foot, including the skin, blood vessels, and nerves. However, foot problems are usually seen more frequently in those with advanced diabetes.

Warning Sign #7: Blurred Vision
The lens of the eye is a flexible membrane suspended by muscles, which change the shape of the lens to focus the eye. In a high-sugar environment such as uncontrolled types 2 diabetes, the lens ability to bend is altered. Although the lens is not damaged, the muscles of the eye have to work harder to focus. Blurred vision occurs when there are rapid changes in the blood sugar and the eye muscles have not yet adapted to it. Blurred vision is one of the early warning sign of type 2 diabetes, however, the body can adapt to stable sugar level, and your vision will go back to normal.

For more information on Diabetes please see the links below.

https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/type-2-diabetes

http://www.aihw.gov.au/what-is-diabetes/

http://diabetesnsw.com.au/type-2-diabetes/

http://www.nps.org.au/conditions/hormones-metabolism-and-nutritional-problems/diabetes-type-2

Healthiest Regards

nutritionnourishment

Kombucha: The Immortal Health Elixir

Hello everyone,
It’s the first day of National Nutrition Week; nutritionnourishment will be posting daily with up-to-date information regarding health and wellness for the mind, body and spirit. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page as well, where you’ll find inspiring quotes, links to recent research, healthy eating hints and tips to kick start your healthy overhaul! Today’s blog post, I’ll be introducing you to Kombucha, a fermented tea drink packed with probiotics and nutrients to feed your gut bacteria. Later in the week I’ll be posting a recipe on making your own perfect homemade Kombucha, so you can reap the benefits in the comfort and ease of your own home!

Originating in the far east china around 2000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with significant health benefits such as weight loss, increased energy, cleansing, detox, improved digestion and reduction in joint pain. Kombucha is a fermented beverage of tea, usually black, and sugar that’s used as a functional food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast commonly known as SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic).

Below nutritionnourishment have researched 7 health benefits

  1. Detoxification
    The detoxifying capacity of kombucha is immense, a perfect example is its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity. In one study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers found the liver cells were protected from oxidative injury and actually maintained their normal physiology, in spite of being exposed to a toxin. According to the researchers this was “properly due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is know to play a crucial role.”

  2. Digestion
    Naturally, the antioxidant prowess of this ancient tea fights free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system, however, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics and enzymes.
    Kombucha may have the competence to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers, heartburn and GERD. Kombucha can also help heal candidia yeast from overpopulating within the guy because it helps restore balance in the digestive system. It is a great way to fight candida as it contain live probiotic cultures that help the guy to repopulate with good bacteria while crowding out the candida yeast. Kombucha does have bacteria. But these are not a harmful pathogen, instead a beneficial kind that compete with ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut and digestive tract.

  3. Energy
    Kombucha’s capacity to invigorate people is credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea, or white/green tea, during the fermentation process. It contains some caffeine, in small amounts, and B-vitamins, which can energise the body. Through a special process know as ‘chelation’, the iron released helps boost blood haemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy-producing process at a cellular level.

  4. Immune Health
    The overall efefct kombucha has to modulate the immune system is best seen in its ability to control free radicals through antioxidant measure. Clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immuno-suppression, a powerful antioxidant know as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) was discovered during the kombucha fermentation process that’s not found in tea alone. Scientists suspect that DSL and the vitamin C present are the main secrets in protecting against cell damage, inflammatory disease, tumours and overall depression of the immune system. Also, we know te probiotics found in kombucha support the immune system.

  5. Join Care
    Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. Firstly the elixir is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acids production. This supports the preservation of collagen and prevents arthritic pain. In the same way it supports joint collagen, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles in the skin.

  6. Cancer Prevention
    Kombucha is also profitable for cancer prevention and recovery. A study published in Cancer Letters found that consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancers in humans.

  7. Weight Loss
    Data from a study in 2005 showed evidence that kombucha improves metabolism and limits fat/lipid accumulation. Though we need to see more studies before we can confirm these results, it makes sense that kombucha supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acids (like apple cider vinegar is) and polyphenols, which are proven to help increase weight loss.

For more information on the benefits of kombucha see links below.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/kombucha-tea/faq-20058126

https://authoritynutrition.com/8-benefits-of-kombucha-tea/

Health Benefits of Kombucha

17 reasons you should drink kombucha

Healthiest Regards

nutritionnourishment

Fenugreek and Its Use in Optimising General Health Conditions

Hello everyone,

In today’s blog post nutritionnourishment is going to introduce you to fenugreek and how it can be utilised to help encourage optimal health and wellbeing. Please see the references section below for further information and research.

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum L.), also known as Greek Hay and Fenigreek, is one of the oldest medicinal plants thought to have originated from the Middle East or India where is grows naturally in some areas. The first mention of this plant is at the time of Pharaons, when it would be used to make a type of incense or was mixed with other plants/resins to embalm mummies. Cato the Elder mentioned the name of fenugreek in the oldest known book on agriculture somewhere around 200BC. Recent research has concentrated on the seeds of fenugreek, the most utilised part of the plant, which show this herbaceous plant to be a source of phytochemicals with a unique chemical structure, innovative biological and pharmacological properties. (Mazza & Oomah, 1998, pp.107-110).

Zafar, (2016) reports that fenugreek seeds and leaves are known for their aromatic and seasoning properties often used today as a culinary spice as it’s assumed to possess nutritive and restorative properties. The fenugreek seeds contain active constituents such as alkaloids, lysine tryptophan, as well as steroidal saponins including diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin and neotigogenin. In India and China it is commonly used to help treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, sore throat, acid reflux and maintain a healthy metabolism. With nutrients such as protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and diosgenin, a compound that has properties similar to estrogen, fenugreek seeds have been found to help increase libido and lessen the effects of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of PMS and menopause. There have also been recent studies showing fenugreek may help lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels in the body, which may be an effective treatment for both Type 1 and 2 diabetes along with cardiovascular disease.

Looking at some of the main actions of fenugreek seeds in health starting with hypoglycaemic and anti-diabetic effects as described by Braun & Cohen, (2015, pp.), the uses have been demonstrated in numerous studies involving experimentally-induced diabetes, including both type 1 and 2, in rats, dogs, mice and rabbits as well as diabetic humans. The effects have been described as slow, sustained with no reduction in fasting or postprandial blood sugar levels in a dosage of 5g/day over the three month trial. Recognising the synergistic effect from a range of compounds result in both glucose absorption inhibition and the promotion of pancreatic function to effect lower glucose levels and enhance other metabolic indicators. The study concluded fenugreek to possess an insulinomimetic effect and may increase the sensitivity of tissues to available insulin.

While more research is needed in terms of confirming all the health benefits of Fenugreek with improving cholesterol health, a study in India reported those with heart conditions, such as hardening of the arteries and high blood levels of triglycerides/cholesterol that were administered 2.5grams of fenugreek twice daily over three months experienced significantly lowered cholesterol levels without affecting the good, HDL, cholesterol. Fenugreek has been used since ancient times to help improve numerous digestive problems, such as an upset stomach, constipation and inflammation of the stomach. The water-soluble fibre in fenugreek, among other foods, helps to relieve constipation. It may also work to treat digestion and if often incorporated in an ulcerative colitis diet treatment plant due to the anti-inflammatory effects. (Axe, 2016)

Fenugreek is likely safe for people when taken by mouth in amounts that are found in food, however, caution must be taken if a fenugreek supplement is used for medicinal purposes. Possible reported side effects found on WebMD, (2016), include symptoms such as diarrhoea, stomach upset, bloating, gas, and a ‘maple syrup’ odour in urine. It can also cause nasal congestion, wheezing, lower blood sugar, facial swelling and a severe allergic reaction in hypersensitive people. Special precautions and warnings for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, children and diabetics. Warnings against moderate interaction when combined with medications for diabetes, along with anti-coagulant/anti-platelet drugs, including aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, and naproxen. As with any supplement it is essential to speak to a doctor who can ensure the correct dosage and safe usage.

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

References

Axe, J. (2016). 8 Fenugreek Benefits that could change your life. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/fenugreek/

Braun, L. & Cohen, M. (Eds). (2015). Herbs & Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide.(4th ed.). Chatswood, Australia: Elseview Australia.

Mazza, G. & Oomah, B. D. (Eds). (1998). Functional Food and Nutraceuticals series: Herbs, Botanical and Teas. Florida, United States of America: CRC Press.

WebMD. (2005-2016). Vitamin or Supplement. Fenugreek: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-733-fenugreek.aspx?activeingredientid=733&

Zafar, J. (2016). Fenugreek Health Benefits. Retrieved from http://www.homeremediesweb.com/fenugreek_health_benefits.php

Fact Sheet: Lactose Intolerance

It is rare for caucasians to develop lactose intolerance, however, it is quite common among people from asia, africa, the middle east and some mediterranean countries, as well as aboriginal australians. Up to five per cent of caucasians versus up to 75 per cent of non-caucasians living in Australian are lactose intolerant.

What is Lactose Intolerance?
Milk and other dairy products contain a sugar carbohydrate called lactose. Normally, the body breaks down lactose into its simpler sugar components for digestion with the help from the enzyme lactase. Most mammals stop producing lactase when they are weaned, however, some humans are able to produce it throughout their life. With enough lactase, a person can have digestive problems like abdominal pain and diarrhoea when they consume dairy products containing lactose. This is known as lactose intolerance or lactase deficiency.

Types of lactose Intolerance
There are three main types and two rare types of lactose intolerance such as:
Primary Lactose Intolerance: The most common form is a normal result to aging. Most people are born with enough lactase, and the amount decreases over time. This is because as people age, they eat a more diverse diet and rely less on milk. The decline in lactase is gradual and seen most common among people in asia, africa, native america and of mediterranean ancestry.
Secondary Lactose Intolerance: Due to an illness or injury with intestinal diseases such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease or due to a surgery or injury to the small inestine.
Congenital or developmental lactose intolerance: In rare cases, lactose intolerance is inherited. A defective gene can be passes from the parents to the child’s, resulting in the complete absence of lactase in the child.
Developmental lactose Intolerance: occasionally, a type of lactose intolerance called developmental lactose intolerance occurs when a baby is born prematurely. This is due to the lactase production in the baby beginning later in pregnancy, after at least 34 weeks.

Symptoms of lactose Intolerance
Abdominal painful.
Abdominal swelling (bloating)
Flatulence (excessive wind)
Diarrhoea
Nausea
If you are experiencing these symptoms and are concerned, it is best to speak to your doctor. It may be suggested to eliminate dairy foods if a lactose intolerance is suspected. Some dairy products, such as hard cheese and mature chesses, contain no lactose and other products such as yoghurt, cream, butter and ricotta contain very little. Many people with lactose intolerance can tolerate a small amount a lactose within their diet with little symptoms.

Causes of Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is largely genetically determines although some other cause can include:
Congenital
gastroenteritis
parasitic infections
iron deficiency

Lactose Intolerance in babies
Around two thirds of babies will experience some degree of lactase deficiency in their early months without it causing any harm. Human breast-milk contain arounds seven per cent lactose, the amount is not affected by the mother’s diet. A bout of gastroenteritis can strip the baby’s small intestine of lactase enzymes, and lactose-free formula may need to be used for a number of weeks until the enzyme levels recover. Lactase drops are also available from pharmacies, but they aren’t always helpful.
A few babies are born without any lactase enzymes at all, and lactose-free formulas may be an option in such cases. Lactose intolerance does not cause vomiting in babies, this may be symptomatic of an allergy to cow’s milk protein casein, and should be assessed by a doctor.

Diagnosis
Various methods may be used to diagnose lactose intolerance including:
Hydrogen breath test: this tests the amount of hydrogen that is breathed out. When lactose if fermented by bacteria in the bowel, instead of being converted by lactase, more hydrogen is produced
Elimination diet: A tedious method that involves removing foods that contain lactose to see is the symptoms improve. If the symptoms reappear once the foods are reintroduced, then lactose intolerance is most likely the cause.
Stool Acidity Test: This test is more often done in infants and children. It measures the amount of lactic acid in a stool sample. Lactic acids accumulates when bacteria in the intestine ferment the undigested lactose.

How is lactose Treated?
There’s currently no way to make your body produce more lactase enzyme. Treatment for lactose intolerance involved decreasing or completely removing milk products containing lactose from the diet. Lactose-free milk products can be found at the supermarket and there are plenty of other alternatives.
An over-the-counter lactase enzyme is available in capsule, pill, drops or chewable form to take before consuming dairy product. The drops can also be added to a carton of milk.
People who are lactose intolerant and not consuming milk or dairy products may become deficient in calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin and protein. Taking calcium supplements or eating foods that are either naturally high in calcium or are calcium-fortified is recommended.

Management of Lactose Intolerance
Soy foods such as soy milk and yoghurt are lactose free, and a good source of calcium, making it a great substitute for milk or milk products
Hard and matured cheeses such as cheddar, edam, swiss, mozzarella, brie and fetta contain no lactose and are tolerated by people with an intolerance
Drink milk in moderate quantities. Most people with this condition can tolerate 240ml of milk per day, but you need to work out your own tolerance klevel.
Avoid low-fat or non-fat milks as they can travel quickly through the gut and tend to cause symptoms in lactose intolerant people. Also, many low-fat milk products may contain skim milk powder, which provides a higher dose of lactose
Eat foods that contain lactose in combination with other foods or spread them out over the day, rather than eating a large amount at once

Hidden Lactose
If you are trying to avoid lactose, ingredients to look for in the list label includes milk solids, non-fat milk solids, whey and milk sugar. Foods with hidden lactose below:
Biscuits and cakes (if milk of milk solids are added)
processed breakfast cereals
cheese sauces
cream soup
custard
milk chocolate
pancakes and pike-lets
scrambled eggs
quiche
muesli bards
some breads and margarine

For more information please visit the following websites below:

http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/lactose-intolerance/

http://www.gastro.net.au/diets/lactose.html

http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/lactose-intolerance

http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/lactose-intolerance-topic-overview#1

Healthiest Regards

Nutrititonnourishment

Differential Diagnostic Report: 5 Causes of Fatigue

Hello everyone,

One of the most common complaints from client’s seeing a medical practitioner is fatigue. It can be caused from a number of reasons, from work-related stress, difficulty sleeping, your body is fighting a virus or even inadequate nutrition. Your practitioner will need to assess you, along with any other signs and symptoms you may be experiencing to determine the cause of fatigue. Below I’ve outlined 5 possible reasons for fatigue, however, It’s important to remember that while fatigue is common, it can be improved when the right diagnosis is made for you.

Possible Cause of Fatigue #1: Iron deficiency Anaemia.

Iron deficiency anaemia results when iron stores within the body are depleted so that the body is unable to make enough of the protein haemoglobin, which is responsible for delivering oxygen to the cells and tissues. Iron deficiency anaemia is a common health problem that can occur in both men and women at any age and ethnicity, although some people that may be at a greater risk than others include women of childbearing age, pregnant and lactating women, people with poor diets, people who donate blood frequently, athletes, babies and toddlers and vegetarians/vegans who don’t replace meat with other iron-rich foods. (Bupa Health Australia, iron-deficiency anaemia, 2014).

When investigating possible iron deficiency anaemia, it’s important to start with a full history and examination. Assess the patient’s symptoms and signs, diet, medicines and other possible causes of iron deficiency. A specific test known as Plasma Ferritin is a measure of iron stores in tissues and is the best test to confirm iron deficiency. A subnormal level is due to an iron deficiency, or, very rarely hypothyroidism or vitamin C deficiency. In difficult cases, it may be necessary to examine a bone marrow aspirate for iron stores. (Walker, Colledge, Ralston, Penman, 2014, pp. 1021-1035).

Some prevailing causes of iron deficiency in adults include an inadequate dietary intake, blood loss in situations such as blood donation, menstrual periods or medications, an increased need for iron in adolescence, pregnant and lactating women, exercise or an inability to absorb iron. The symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia can range from asymptomatic to mild at first, most people don’t realise they have mild anaemia until they have a routine blood test. In a clinical setting other signs and symptoms of a moderate to severe iron deficiency anaemia can include brittle nails, weakness, dizziness, tongue swelling, fatigue, pale skin, headaches, fast or irregular heartbeat, tingling in the legs, decreased immunity and cold hands and feet. (BetterHealthChannel, iron-deficiency-adults, 2016)

Possible Cause of Fatigue #2: Hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition involving a decrease of the hormones T3 and T4 from the thyroid gland that upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in the body. These hormones have a massive impact on a persons health as they affect all aspects of metabolism. They maintain the rate at which the body utilises fats, carbohydrates and proteins, help control core body temperature and influence the heart rate. There can be a number of causes such as autoimmune diseases, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery and certain medications. The two main risk factors for hypothyroidism are age and sex, as the chances of developing the condition increase with age, and the risk is much greater for women. Besides age and sex, other risk factors that increase the chance of developing the disease are if a person has type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, a family history of thyroid disease or any autoimmune diseases, recent thyroid surgery, radiation on the neck or upper chest area and anti-thyroid medication or treatment with radioactive iodine. (Mayo Clinic, 2015).

Hypothyroidism must be evaluated and diagnosed by a physician, usually an endocrinologist or primary care doctor. Many of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are common in people with a normal functioning thyroid gland, so for a diagnosis to be reached it’s important to consider more than just a review of a patient’s clinical features. Other factors a doctor will examine include medical and family history, risk factors, physical examination and blood tests. The blood tests a doctor may order include the most definitive one called the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test, along with free thyroxine or T4, free T4 index or total T4 to aid in the diagnostic process.
(Endocrine Web, Risk Factors for Hypothyroidism, 2015).

An person affected with hypothyroidism can experience other symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, thin and brittle nails, excessive weight gain, mentally sluggish and sensitivity to cold temperatures. Advanced hypothyroidism in an adult is known as Myxedem, which commonly occurs in middle-aged women. An individual with this advanced condition can exhibit these clinical features along with other characteristics like swelling, or bloating to the facial tissue, a thickened tongue, and puffy eyelids. Congenital hypothyroidism, Cretinism, causes children to become dwarfed with a short, stocky body build, and a protruding tongue and abdomen. The face becomes abnormal with a broad nose, puffy eyelids and small eyes. Sexual organs fail to develop properly, and muscle growth is slowed to the point where a child cannot stand or walk. (Neighbors, Tannehill-Jones, 2015, pp. 310-311).

Possible Cause of Fatigue #3: Diabetes Mellitus.

Diabetes is a complex condition that can have affects on the entire body. It requires daily self-care and if complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on life quality and life expectancy. There are three main types of diabetes including Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system of an affect person destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 1 represents around 10% of all cases of diabetes, it is a genetically acquired condition and is not linked to modifiable factors. (Diabetes Australia, Type 1 Diabetes, 2015).

Type 2 is a progressive condition where the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. Type 2 is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors and has a strong genetic disposition that runs in families. There is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, well-established risk factors include obesity, hypertension, insufficient physical activity, smoking, poor diet, and middle age. (Diabetes Australia, Type 2 Diabetes, 2015).

Gestational Diabetes affects between 5% to 10% of pregnant women in Australia currently between 24-28 weeks gestation. It is diagnosed when higher than normal blood glucose levels first appear during pregnancy, and is now a routine examination for pregnant females. It is idiopathic in development but there are few risk factors that seem to occur amongst pregnancy such as a family history of diabetes, obesity, previously given birth to a large baby, over 25 years age and from an indigenous Australian or Torres Strait Islander background. (Diabetes Australia, Gestational Diabetes, 2015).

Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus depends on the findings of hyperglycaemia in a fasting blood sugar test. A general practitioner will assess a patients clinical symptoms that may be commonly found in the disease, but a diagnosis must depend on positive evidence of blood tests. Tests that may be required for the diagnosis include tests for sugar in urine, tests for acetone in urine and blood tests including fasting blood sugar and glucose-intolerance test. If the sugar levels are above 120mg per 100cc of blood, and a glucose-tolerance test that shows blood sugar to be more than 160mg per 100cc of blood, even after two hours, the practitioner may diagnose the case to be Diabetes Mellitus. (Mathur, 2005, pp.24-27).

Additional Signs and Symptoms that may be observed in a clinical setting could include the more common clinical features such as fatigue, frequent and copious urination, abnormal thirst, excessive hunger, dryness of mouth, frequent infections, sensitivity to heat and cold, pyorrhoea alveolaris and xenthoma diabeticum. Over time, the surge and crash of dissolved glucose and insulin that occurs in diabetes can end up causing irreparable damage to many body organs and systems. Serious symptoms of diabetes due to abnormal fat and protein metabolism in advanced cases need to be cared for by a physician such as emaciation and progressive weight loss, vertigo, gangrene, acidosis and dehydration, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, cognitive issues, infections in the skin, cardiac symptoms and coma. (Mathur, 2005, pp. 22-23).

Possible Cause of Fatigue #4: Coeliac Disease.

Coeliac Disease causes the immune system to react abnormally to gluten when ingested affecting the small intestine, which is responsible for absorbing nutrients from food. In a person with coeliac disease the mucosa of the small intestine is damaged causing inflammation of the tiny, finger-like projections called villi. The villous atrophy reduces the surface area, which enables absorption of minerals and vitamins, leading to nutritional deficiencies. The disorder affects people of all ages and sex, people born with the genetic predisposition will develop the condition, however environmental factors play an important role in triggering inflammation in infancy, childhood and later in life. The genes associated with coeliac disease are HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8, where either one or both of these genes are present. There is a higher risk of a person developing the disease if a first degree relative has been diagnosed. (Better Health Channel, Coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity, 2016).

Coeliac Disease is a serious medical condition with lifelong implications, so it’s important to have a definitive diagnosis made by a practitioner. There are various, simple tests available for the diagnosis of the disease including blood tests, coeliac serology, which measures the antibody levels in the blood that are typically elevated in people with untreated coeliac. These tests are less reliable for children under the age of four years, as their antibody levels can fluctuate, which is why it is suggested to perform the tests on two separate occasions at least three months apart. A small bowel biopsy is essential to confirm diagnosis. This procedure involves a gastroscopy where several tiny samples of the small bowel are taken while the patient is under a light anaesthetic sedation. When the blood or small bowel biopsy results are difficult to interpret, Gene HLA testing can be useful in selective cases. This tests is performed on a blood test or cheek scraping, ordered through a general practitioner. With over 99% of people affected with the disease have HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8 as part of their genes, a negative tests will effectively rule out coeliac disease. The gene test alone cannot diagnose coeliac disease which is why it’s important to undertake various tests for confirmation before starting a gluten free diet. (Coeliac Australia, Diagnosis, 2016).

The clinical features for coeliac disease can range from minor to sever or even asymptomatic. Some symptoms present can be confused with irritable bowel syndrome or a sensitivity to wheat or other food, which is why some cases go undetected for years. The most common symptoms among adults include anaemia, bloating, nausea, stomach cramps, weight loss, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhoea or constipation. The symptoms among children include symptoms an adult may experience along with bulky-foul-smelling bowel motions, irritability, delayed growth, tiredness, chronic anaemia, delayed puberty and even weight gain in older children. (Better Health Channel, Symptoms for coeliac disease, 2016).

Possible Cause of Fatigue #5: Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affects thousands of people all different ages and ethnicity. It is a severe, debilitating fatigue, painful muscles, disordered sleep, gastric disturbances, poor memory and concentration. In many cases the triggers include viral infections, operations and accidents, although some people experience a slow, insidious onset. ME/CFS has attracted controversy as its been debated as to whether it is actually an illness at all. Although the situation is still not settled, many influential agencies such as The World Health Organisation and The Department of Health, are now in agreement that the condition is real. Loosely the risk factors have been debated as psychiatric, physical or behavioural reasons as to why a person develops the disorder. What also seems possible is that the illness is currently defined as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is actually a number of different conditions that are characterised by similar signs and symptoms. Until more information is known, there will remain a wide range of people who are affected , as research into causes, treatments and cure options are continued. (ME Association, What is ME/CFS?, 2016).

Clinicians use a diagnostic criteria to provide guidance on the specific sign, symptoms, or test results that indicate the presence of illness and classifying patients into diagnostic categories. The pathology of ME/CFS remains unknown and there is currently no diagnostic test for the disorder, most of the existing diagnostic criteria has been developed through the consensus of experts. One particular example is Fukuda case definition for CFS, established in 1994. Fukuda and colleagues published a case definition for ME/CFS and idiopathic chronic fatigue that was intended to help guide research in adult populations. Fukuda defines chronic fatigue as “self-reported persistent or relapsing fatigue lasting longer six or more consecutive months” and requires a clinical evaluation to identify or rule out any medical or psychological conditions that could explain the chronic fatigue’s presence. To diagnose ME/CFS requires the absence of exclusionary condition, sever chronic fatigue and at least four to eight minor symptoms. (Committee on the Diagnostic Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Board on the Health of Select Populations, Institute of Medicine, 2015).

Clinical features associated with Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome include severe fatigue that is persistent/recurrent, that has resulted in a substantial reduction in activity levels, and unexplained by other condition. Other symptoms from the criteria outline in clinical guidelines include difficulty sleeping such as insomnia and hypersomnia, a disturbed sleep-wake cycle, muscle and joint pain, headaches, painful lymph nodes without pathological enlargement sore throat, cognitive dysfunction, physical or mental exertion, general malaise or ‘flu-like’ symptoms,palpitations and difficulties with dizziness and nausea. (ME Research UK, What is ME? 2016)

It’s important to stress that ME/CFS remains a ‘diagnosis of exclusion’, meaning that other possible causes of a patient’s symptoms have been excluded, often by testing before this diagnosis is given. As the NICE Guideline states “A diagnosis should be made after other possible diagnoses have been excluded and the symptoms have persisted for four months in an adult and three months in a child”. (NICE Clinical Guidelines, 2007).

Healthiest regards

Nutritionnourishment

References

Berber, E., Sargis, R.M. (Eds.) (2015). Risk Factors of Hypothyroidism. Could you be at risk of becoming Hypothyroid? Retrieved from http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/hypothyroidism/risk-factors-hypothyroidism

Better Health Channel (2016). Iron-Deficiency-adults. Retrieved from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/iron-deficiency-adults
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/coeliac-disease-and-gluten-sensitivity

Bupa Health Australia (2016). Iron-Deficiency Anaemia. Retrieved from
http://www.bupa.com.au/health-and-wellness/health-information/az-health-information/Iron-deficiency-anaemia

Coeliac Australia (2016). Coeliac Disease Diagnosis. Retrieved from http://www.coeliac.org.au/diagnosis/

Committee on the Diagnostic Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Board on the Health of Select Populations, Institute of Medicine (2015). Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an illness. [Study], Washington: USA. National Academy of Sciences. Chapter 7, (Recommendations).

Diabetes Australia (2015). About Diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/what-is-diabetes

The Mayo Clinic (2016). Hypothyroidism: Symptoms and Causes. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/dxc-20155382

Mathur, K.N. (Eds) (2005). Diabetes Mellitus. It’s Diagnosis and Homoeopathic Treatment. New Delhi: B. Jain Publisher (P) Ltd. Chapter 9, Diagnosis & Diagnostic Tests pp. 24-27. Chapter 8, Symptoms pp. 22-23.

ME Association (2016). What is ME/CFS? Informing and supporting those affected by ME/CCFS. Retrieved from http://www.meassociation.org.uk/about/what-is-mecfs/

ME Research UK. Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.(2016). What is ME?. Retrieved from http://www.meresearch.org.uk/what-is-me/

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NICE. (2007). Assessment and diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome myalgic encephalomyelitis. Retrieved from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG53

Neighbors, M., Tannehill-Jones, R. (Eds) (2015). Human Diseases (4th ed). USA: Cengage Learning. Chapter 14, Endocrine Disease and Disorders pp. 310-311 (Hypothyroidism)

Walker, B., Colledge, NR., Ralston, SH., & Penman, ID. (2014). Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine (22nd edn). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 
Chapter 24, Blood Disease, pp.1021-1035 (Anaemias)