Hypoglycaemia: Manage Low Blood Sugar Naturally

  • Hello everyone,

    Hypoglycaemia is a condition characterized by low blood sugar, usually happening 3 to 5 hours after a meal. Typical symptoms may include; headache, mood changes, irritability, nervousness, excessive sweating, mental confusion, and blurred vision.

    There can be a few different causes, but far and away the most common cause is from the over-stressing of the normal control mechanisms of glucose storage and release in the body. This happens for 2 main reasons – consistently eating foods that raise blood sugar too quickly alternating with periods of not eating and the biochemical result of chronic stress.

    It is also important to note that hypoglycemia, although seemingly the opposite of diabetes, is a precursor to diabetes, and as such, needs to be seen as a serious potential health risk, as opposed to just an inconvenience.

    There are numerous diagnostic tests that may be used to identify hypoglycaemia, however, the easiest and maybe most accurate way is through a simple questionnaire or a comprehensive consultation with a accredited practitioner. It must be understood that every one of these “symptoms” can occur for other reasons, so other causes should be ruled out before assuming that hypoglycemia is the issue. And yet, when most of these symptoms are present, there is a strong likelihood that blood sugar control is a root cause.

    Because blood sugar is the only source of energy that the brain can use (as opposed to the rest of the body being able to break down muscle for an energy source if needed), low blood sugar can result in all manner of brain dysfunction issues, including confusion, aggression, anxiety, depression, etc. Additionally, chronic headaches, attention issues and even PMS symptoms may all be linked to hypoglycemia. Blood sugar regulation problems should be evaluated and considered much more than it does in medicine today.

    Diet and other lifestyle factors are usually the cause of hypoglycemia. This fact gives us the means to make this problem go away without medical intervention.

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Diet 

Understanding the mechanics of blood sugar management in the body and which foods cause rapid increases in blood sugar are the foundations needed to reverse hypoglycaemia.

  • When blood sugar rises quickly, the body responds by equally quickly releasing insulin to “do something” with that sugar. Instantly raised sugar levels is an indication to the body that sugar will keep coming, and the result is actually an over-production of insulin. The result is actually an “over-clearing” of sugar from the blood. Remember that the brain can only use blood sugar as fuel, so when this happens it is brain function that suffers – thus the hypoglycemia symptoms. Another result of this cascade of chemical events is that the body is instructed to go out and eat more sugar.

    The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a measure of the property of how quickly it causes blood sugar to rise. The higher the GI is, the worse it is for blood sugar control. There is another index used to better measure the effect of a serving of a food – glycemic load (GL). This takes into account the “density” of particular foods and how a serving would affect blood sugar. Keeping the foods under a GL of 15 would be tremendously helpful for helping to control hypoglycemia. For instance, even though the GI of watermelon is 72 (pretty high) the GL of watermelon is only 4. So a serving of watermelon is actually fine. Of course, eating an entire watermelon would be a problem.

    The fiber content of food is also very important in controlling rapid rises in blood sugar for 3 reasons. First, it slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, thereby preventing rapid rises in blood sugar. Second, it increases cell sensitivity to insulin, thereby preventing the excessive secretion of insulin. And third, fiber improves the uptake of glucose by the liver and other tissues, thereby preventing a sustained elevation of blood sugar. This is why most processed and refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cereal, most grains) are bad for hypoglycemia; processing = removed or poor fiber.

    The best diet strategy for the hypoglycemic is to replace processed and refined carbohydrates in the diet with more fresh fruits, vegetables and quality proteins. Furthermore, the person suffering with hypoglycemia should never, ever go more than 3 hours without eating something. In between meals, a handful of nuts, a low GI protein bar, or a piece of whole fruit will all work well to keep to eating something every 2-3 hours.

Lifestyle

The biggest lifestyle consideration, other than diet, is consistent exercise. Exercise actually helps to: blood sugar by enhancing insulin sensitivity. The best way to go is to dedicate half of whatever time to have for exercise to building muscle and the other half to some sort of aerobic activity. And the aerobic part should be interval training.

Alcohol consumption also needs to be curtailed for the hypoglycemic. Alcohol induces reactive hypoglycemia by interfering with normal glucose utilisation  as well as increasing the secretion of insulin.

Supplements

B Vitamins: I alway recommend taking an activated vitamin B complex, as they all work synergistically together for many important biological pathways in the body. They aid in energy production and metabolism, cognitive function, mood, and cellular communications.

L-Carnitine: An amino acid that mobilises fatty acids into the mitochondria for ATP production. (Energy production of the cell).

Iodine: An essential component for thyroid hormones and production of T3 and T4 hormones within the blood stream

CoEnzyme Q10: Found in virtually every cell in the body and plays a vital role in energy-dependant processes.

*Disclaimer: This article should be used as a reference guide ONLY. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you experience any symptoms of the hypoglycaemia  Never self-diagnose as it can be dangerous, causing unwanted side effects and possibly cause chronic conditions. 

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

 

 

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Let’s Talk Dirty: Health Protocol for Constipation

Hello everyone,

In a naturopathic perspective, health begins with digestion. It’s where all the action happens including the breakdown of food products that are used within the body for important metabolic pathways such as ATP production (energy fuel), detoxification pathways, cellular catabolism (building) and rebuilding muscle. As a complementary and alternative health practitioner, we often ask in-depth questions about your digestion, including bowel habits, as your poo can tell us a lot about your health.

Quick Disclaimer: ***Before reading this health information – please note that a sudden change in bowel function can be the indication of a more serious condition – if you have had a sudden change in bowel function without any obvious reason to attribute the change to, then you should inform your Physician about this change and determine if further evaluation is needed before you attempt to treat this condition on your own; especially if you are over the age of 50.

Constipation is not respected enough as to it’s potential negative effects on health in Western medicine – and our societal discomfort with even discussing this important issue is part of the problem.

The first thing to understand is that your gut is your “first brain”. Proper gut function is the very beginning of good health – and often times the font of disease. If there is a back up in the sewage system then the gut can’t function properly.

Also, the way that we “define” constipation in medicine is dead wrong. I have seen responses from GPs telling people the following… “if someone has a bowel movement every 3 days, that is normal for him or her – that’s just their own rhythm.” That would be similar to telling someone with cancer, that for him or her it is “normal” to have cancer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What nature intended is food in; food out. Ideally, if you have 2-3 meals a day, you should have 2-3 bowel movements a day. At the very least, you should have 1 bowel movement daily. Food transit time should be somewhere between 10 and 14 hours.  Think of it this way, your stool travels through the colon, absorbing toxins ready to be excreted. If your not opening your bowels every day, toxins are in your system longer making it easily accessible to your micro biome, and can easily enter your blood stream.

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“The Bristol Stool Chart is an excellent tool in practice used by most medical practitioner and complementary practitioners. Your poo can tell a lot about your health.”

Diet:

  •  There are 3 areas in the diet that can positively or negatively affect constipation; water, fiber and good bacteria.
  • Without adequate amounts of water the stool can become too hard and slow the whole process down. You should strive to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. And most of this should be consumed in-between meals – drinking too much water (or anything else) while eating only works to dilute digestive juices.
  • Fiber is important because it adds bulk to the stool and encourages the message to your intestines to “move things along.” Fiber comes from grains, beans and legumes, fruits and vegetable. The lack of adequate fiber in the Standard American Diet (SAD) is a constant negative factor is normal bowel function. The more a food is processed the less fiber it will contain. Although there are accepted guidelines as to the amount of fiber you should get in your diet – the real number is best determined by evaluating your bowel function – more is generally better.
  • The dead cells of the good or friendly bacteria, as they run through their life cycle in the gut, make up about half of the bulk of stool. So when there is a lack of this, constipation is often the result. The relatively recent idea that we should live in a sterile environment continues to contribute to imbalances in our guts. Furthermore, people that have had their appendix removed may have a harder time maintaining a balanced intestinal flora. Eating fermented foods and avoiding tap water and antibiotics from meat can be helpful in maintaining a healthy biomass of good bacteria.
  • Lastly, hidden food sensitivities can be the cause of chronic constipation. Eliminating such common offenders as gluten, dairy, corn, soy and/or eggs might fix what has been a lifelong problem.

Lifestyle: 

  • The biggest lifestyle issue revolves around exercise. The more you move; the more you move! Consistent exercise will helps massage the internal organs, including the digestive tract, and encourages peristalsis, the wave-like motion that constantly pushes things along.
  • Also to be considered are certain prescription medicines. Medicines can have a myriad of effects in the gut. Obviously, antibiotics will kill the good bacteria. Medicines that stop acid production in the stomach interfere with your ability to properly digest food – and the body doesn’t want to move undigested food along. Many pain medications can slow down the digestive tract; constipation can be the result.
  • Additionally, constant use of laxatives can lead to dependence and partial or complete loss of proper bowel motility.

 

  • Lastly, there are times when emotional issues show up in the body by causing constipation. Quite literally, you might ask yourself what it is that you are “holding on to” emotionally that can relate to not letting go of physical waste.

Supplements: 

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    For various underlying causes

  • Magnesium: that draws water to it as it travels through the bowels, helping to encourage bowel movements. It can also produce a laxative effect.
  • Fish oil acts as a bowel lubricant and a natural stool softener.
  • Probiotics: Improve gastrointestinal integrity and maintain a healthy bacteria ecosystem within the colon.
  • plant-based digestive enzymes enhanced with enzymes to help folks with gluten and casein (dairy) sensitivities.

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

Flu Season: A holistic Approach to Staying Well this Winter.

 

Statistics: 

Every year in late summer and early fall we begin to hear about the coming flu, how dangerous it is, and how the best way to protect ourselves is by getting the flu shot. Both of these statements are patently false.

First of all, the flu is not really dangerous. When the CDC, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, tells us every year that so many people die from the flu, if you look at the numbers closely you will see that they actually say that so many people die from flu and pneumonia each year. For example, in 2005, deaths for both flu and pneumonia combined were 61,000. But deaths from influenza alone were only around 1800 people. And, in fact, deaths from influenza since 1979 have been fairly consistent, averaging around 1300 people each year.

The second issue is that of the flu shot being useful in protecting ourselves. There is an organization, the Cochrane Collaborative, that is an international collective of individuals who evaluate scientific data from all over the world and publish their findings in the form of reviews. When reviewing scientific data, they throw out studies that are biased and/or designed poorly.

Their reviews of studies looking at the effectiveness of flu vaccines quite clearly show that there is little or no evidence that the flu vaccines are useful in the following populations… babies under 2 years old, children with asthma, adults, elderly adults. Furthermore, Cochrane reviews also show that healthcare practitioners that get flu shots do not protect the elderly in nursing homes that they take care of.

The real reason we get the flu is the combination of a few simple factors that, when adjusted, make it much easier to avoid the flu and much easier to treat the flu if contracted.

Factor number one has to do with our lifestyle habits that make our immune systems less effective at fighting off the influenza virus. There is more detail about this in the lifestyle section, but here is a synopsis of the issue. October begins a 3-month long sugar eating, lack of sleep, stress-inducing time period that we expose ourselves to. Beginning with Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, the Holidays, and culminating with New Years, we get too much sugar, not enough sleep, and stress galore trying to accommodate family and friends, buy the perfect gifts, etc.

The other factor has to do with our Vitamin D levels dropping. Did you know that there really isn’t a flu season along the equator? That’s because proper exposure to the sun, year round, keeps Vitamin D blood levels elevated; which plays a major role with appropriate immune function!

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Diet: 

  • For dietary concerns there are “do’s” and “do not’s”

    The “do not’s” really revolve around sugar… in all of its various forms. That obviously means cakes and cookies and candies and doughnuts. It also means avoiding too many processed and refined carbohydrates. Too much pasta, bread and cereal can be just as detrimental. Also, take an inventory of how much high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) you are ingesting in your diet. You might be surprised to find that some of your foods, like soups or salad dressing, contain this health-damaging form of sugar. Here is a link to an article for more details about HFCS.

    Fruit juices are also a source of concentrated fructose that should be avoided.

    The ‘do’s” have to do with foods that give your body, and in particular your immune system, what it needs to function optimally at this time of year. It may seem obvious, but I’ll state it anyway… more fresh fruits and vegetables will serve you well. Please also remember that water is essential for all cells to work properly, including your immune cells. Water also helps loosen and break up mucus in the chest and sinuses, so ensure you’re getting adequate supply of water throughout the day. Aim for around 2-3 Litres/day.

  • Adding spices such as ginger, garlic and turmeric to your cooking. Making healing soups, casseroles and stews to warm the body is a wonderful healing tool.
  • Herbal teas including liquorice, eucalyptus, elderberry, ginger and parsley can be soothing and healing for the body.
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    For the Vitamin D issue – there are really no viable ways to get enough Vitamin D from your diet – you must supplement with it – see the supplement section below for more information.

Lifestyle: 

  • The following issues are of equal importance – so don’t just grab on to the one thing here that is easy for you to do. Give each of these areas equal and fair attention!
    • Wash your hands. Often. There is no question that the major way that you get exposed to the influenza virus is from the hands of someone else.
    • Get your sleep. Your immune system is acutely affected by lack of quality sleep. Try to stick to a fairly rigid sleep routine during the cold and flu season. This may be hard to do because of parties, visiting relatives and too many things on your to-do list. It may seem like you’re missing out on some of the fun… but you’ll be the one having fun when everyone else is in bed with the flu.
    • Get your exercise. Again, don’t stray from your scheduled exercise regimen just because of the time of year it is. If walking is your gig and it’s too cold outside, walk inside at one of the local malls. Make sure that at least 4 times a week you are getting some aerobic and some weight-bearing exercise in.
    • Tend to your stress needs. Maybe the biggest factor in a dysfunctioning immune system is stress. And the cold and flu season is the most stressful time of year for many people. So start by pledging to be more observant of how you are feeling and when you are feeling stressed. And when you are, find a way to sooth yourself immediately… don’t wait for “later” because for busy people, later often never comes. Be willing to care for yourself as much as you care for everyone else.

Beneficial Supplements: 

  • There are supplements to use now to help prevent the flu and ones to use if you happen to get the flu.

    For Prevention:

    • Vitamin D3: Activated form of Vitamin D known as Cholecalciferol. It is bioavailable to the body for ready absorption. Getting your vitamin D blood levels to at least 50ng/ml will give you an amazing level of protection, i’d even recommend aiming for up to 80ng/ml. For most people this will require at least 5,000IU – 10,000IU a day. I also recommend that you get your vitamin D blood level checked to best know the appropriate dosage for you.
    • Herbal Remedies: Elderberry extract is a powerful remedy that sort of makes a blockade to viruses being able to enter into your cells. This can be used in anticipation of a situation that you know you are going to be exposed to the flu.
    • Vitamin B Complex vitamin and Zinc.

    For Treatment:

    These supplements are best used at the very first sign of getting the flu. So, if you wake up in the morning feeling that scratchy throat or sinus congestion, you want to have these things in your home already – don’t wait until you get sick to go find these supplements.

    • Vitamin D3. Using high doses of Vitamin D-3 at the beginning of symptoms is a very effective way to avoid getting the full-blown flu. For most people, taking anywhere from 25,000iu to 50,000iu a day for a few days does the trick.
    • Iron Phosphate Mineral Therapy salts. For first sign inflammation and sickness such as a runny nose, tickling throat and headaches. Tablets are safe to use, and safe in efficacy. Usual dose is 2 tablets chewed every 15-30mins until feeling better, used in acute cases, and or chronic 3-4 tablets chewed daily. (Usually this is a preventative measure).
    • Zinc has been shown to be effective at helping to prevent the spread of the influenza virus in the body. These lozenges also contain Vitamin C, Slippery Elm and Bee Propolis. Use up to 3 a day.

*Disclaimer: This article should be used as a reference guide ONLY. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you experience any symptoms of the flu. Never self-diagnose as it can be dangerous, causing unwanted side effects and possibly cause chronic conditions. 

If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with me

Healthiest regards throughout the colder months,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment 

 

Mineral Salt Therapy: A look into Iron Phosphate

Mineral therapy refers to a treatment program that uses mineral supplementation to improve a person’s health and wellbeing. Just like mineral imbalances in the soil affect the health of plants and animals, so too can mineral imbalances affect the health of humans. Mineral therapy was originally based on the Tissue Salts, which were originally identified by Dr. Wilhelm Schuessler of Germany in 1873. The Tissue Salts are also known as Biochemical Cell Salts or Mineral Salts, indicating their importance in the functioning of the human system. These salts are important for the functioning of the cells of our body and through getting these in balance we enhance our health and well-being.

Mineral therapy processes some extraordinary advantages such as affordability, efficacy, safety for all ages, easy to use and very little/no side effects as the mineral salts are made using a low dose that is easily absorbed by the body to enter into the blood stream for utilisation immediately after consuming to ensure fast, effective therapy.

In today’s blog, nutrition nourishment is going to look into one of the key minerals prescribed in mineral therapy known as Iron Phosphate. Read below to find out the key features, actions, indications, deficiency body signs and symptom qualifications.

Overview

Iron is an essential element for blood production. About 70 percent of your body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of your blood called hemoglobin and in muscle cells called myoglobin. Hemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen in your blood from the lungs to the tissues. Myoglobin, in muscle cells, accepts, stores, transports and releases oxygen.

About 6 percent of body iron is a component of certain proteins, essential for respiration and energy metabolism, and as a component of enzymes involved in the synthesis of collagen and some neurotransmitters. Iron also is needed for proper immune function.

About 25 percent of the iron in the body is stored as ferritin, found in cells and circulates in the blood. The average adult male has about 1,000 mg of stored iron (enough for about three years), whereas women on average have only about 300 mg (enough for about six months). When iron intake is chronically low, stores can become depleted, decreasing hemoglobin levels.

Kali Phosphate: Nerve Nutrient Constituent of nerve tissue and all body fluids. Important in formation and maintenance of tissue. Vital action in the brain, nerves, muscles and blood cells. Deficiency signs include feeling tired, weak, exhausted and stressed, nervous and edgy. Helpful in insomnia, depression, anxiety, nervous headaches and dyspepsia. All illness related to the brain and nervous system.”

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Why Iron Phosphate:

In Nature, iron is commonly associated with phosphate, the main anion for energy storage and release. It is utilised by the immune system and does not provide loosely bound iron for uptake of pathogens which results in absorption control in the GIT. The absence of phosphate can result in uncontrolled absorption of iron, known as iron loading. By contrast, ferrous sulphate is rapidly absorbed in the upper Small Intestine, causing a rapid increase in serum iron, rather than a controlled flow. Ferrous sulphate has also been recognised to promote the proliferation of pathogens in larger doses. Side effects of commonly prescribed iron supplementation cause Gastrointestinal discomfort and irritation due to the generation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species causing direct corrosive action of the gut mucosa.

Key Actions and Indications:

Cellular energy through oxygen transport in haemoglobin, production of first stage infection and inflammation management- commonly used with Potassium Chloride. Can help manage hypotension, anaemia, and iron-related fatigue.

Body Signs:

Nails: Flat on top with squared edges, or upwards curled. Thin, weak. (also can be indicative of sodium phosphate).

Iris: Blue-grey haze at border of iris and sclera. Bright white fibres in specific areas of iris. Flared autonomic nerve wreath. (also indicative of Sodium Phosphate, and Magnesium Phosphate).

Tongue: Bright red in colour

Symptom Qualification:

A person with a deficiency in Iron Phosphate may feel better for cold, and worse for heat and motion. Iron Phosphate acts as an inflammation remover, indicated when there is acute presented as pain, heat and redness.

Recommended for: respiratory problems, bleeding, anemia, heavy menstruation, throbbing headaches, fevers and flu, sore throats, inflammation, congestion, muscular strains and sprains, high temperature, rapid pulse and rheumatism. Known as the ‘first aid’ salt, it’s recommended as a supplementary salt for all ailments and in particular for children and the elderly. A little powdered Iron Phosphate applied directly to a cut, wound or abrasion can stem bleeding.

Disclaimer:

**Nutritionnourishment recommends consulting with a physicians if you are experiencing any health concerns and to never self-medicated as it may cause some unwanted side effects. **

If you would like more information regarding Mineral therapy or Iron Phosphate, click on the links below.

http://www.biochemic-remedies.com.au

http://mineraltherapyonline.com

http://blog.aias.com.au/index.php/naturalmedicinecollege/summary-of-the-uses-and-study-of-mineral-therapy

http://schuessler-cell-salts.com/basic-cell-salts/3-4-iron-phosphate.htm

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment