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Making Sense Of Your Blood Sugar | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Making Sense Of Your Blood Sugar

By Blog

Making Sense Of Your Blood Sugar | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

For a lot of people, blood sugar isn’t something you have to worry about.

Your body takes care of maintaining and monitoring your blood sugar all on its own so you can eat what you want, when you want.

If you have diabetes or insulin resistance, though, you know that monitoring your blood sugar is an important way to maintain your health.

There are many ways to naturally manage your blood sugar, and as a nutritional counselling naturopath in Mississauga, I can work with you to manage your body’s needs in a natural way.

But before we get into that, let’s take a closer look at blood sugar.

What Happens When You Digest Food?

When you digest foods, they get broken down into the components that can be sent throughout your body to provide the energy you need.

When you digest food that has carbohydrates in it, the carbohydrates get broken down into sugars.

The sugars move from your digestive system into your blood and then from your blood to your cells to give you energy – when everything is working properly, that is.

Conditions like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease can impede this process.

RELATED: Gut Health Naturopath Near Me
RELATED: Gut Microbiome Test Near Me

Assuming this isn’t the case, though, your digestive tract works the way described above.

What Does Blood Sugar Do?

Your blood sugar is part of the process of turning carbohydrates into energy when you digest food.

Blood sugar is also known as glucose, and it’s quite literally the sugar that’s in your blood.

Once you’ve digested your food and the broken down sugars have made its way to your blood, the sugar is carried throughout your body so it can be distributed to all your cells.

Your cells can then use the glucose that’s been delivered to create energy and keep your body functioning.

But how does the sugar get from your blood to your cells?

That’s a job for insulin.

Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas when you digest food.

It acts like a bridge, to help direct the glucose from your blood into your body’s cells.

Insulin is essential to managing your blood sugar levels.

But what happens when there are problems with your pancreas’ insulin production, or how your body responds to insulin when it’s released?

Keep reading, let’s take a look.

What Is Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia is the term for blood sugar levels that are too high.

If hyperglycemia isn’t treated, it can lead to health complications in people with diabetes.

You’re more at risk for hyperglycemia if you have type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, or high blood pressure.

RELATED: 5 Ways Turmeric Can Help With PCOS Symptoms

There are a few things that can cause hyperglycemia, including:

  • Not getting the right dose of glucose lowering medicine or insulin if you’re diabetic
  • Eating more carbohydrates than usual
  • Illness or infection
  • High levels of stress
  • Being less physically active than you usually are

RELATED: Naturopathic Stress Clinic In Mississauga

If you have hyperglycemia, you may not feel any symptoms until your blood sugar levels are very high for a long period of time.

If you do develop symptoms, they may include:

  • Being excessively thirsty
  • An excessive need to urinate
  • Blurred vision
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sores on your skin that won’t heal

Hyperglycemia can become more severe the longer you go without treatment.

If left untreated, you may experience long term effects like eye disease, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, or nerve damage.

What Is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is the opposite of hyperglycemia – it’s a term for when your blood sugar levels are too low.

Think of it this way – if a child is hyperactive, they’re active at a level above other kids, and a hypodermic needle goes below your skin.

Unlike hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia can show up immediately if your blood sugar levels drop quickly enough.

Hypoglycemia can occur if you have diabetes and take too much insulin, skip meals, or eat less than you usually do, or if you eat later than usual but take your medications at the same time.

It’s not common to experience hypoglycemia if you don’t have diabetes, but it can also be caused by certain medications and medical conditions, like hepatitis or adrenal gland deficiencies.

RELATED: Naturopathic Treatments For Addison’s Disease

If you have low blood sugar, you might experience symptoms like:

Naturopathic Ways To Balance Your Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, it’s especially important to keep your blood sugar levels balanced so you avoid both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

Let’s take a look at some naturopathic solutions for balancing your blood sugar.

1. Eat A Whole Foods Diet

You need to avoid sugar when you have diabetes, but there’s more to it than that.

It’s also important to balance your carbohydrate consumption with proteins and good fats, and focus on getting your food from whole foods instead of processed foods.

Often, processed foods contain a lot of added sugars and refined flours that can increase your blood sugar levels.

By eating a whole foods diet, it’s easier to be conscious of how much carbohydrates you’re eating so you don’t overwhelm your system and can maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

RELATED: 5 Amazingly Unhealthy Foods To Avoid
RELATED: 5 More Amazingly Unhealthy Foods To Avoid

What Does Blood Sugar Do | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Exercising is an important way to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.

In the short term, exercise helps your muscle cells take in more glucose to use for energy, which also lowers your blood sugar levels as a result.

In the long term, exercise can make your cells more responsive to insulin, which is especially important if you have type 2 diabetes.

3. Maintain A Healthy Sleep Cycle

A healthy sleep cycle is important for anyone, but it’s especially important if you’re trying to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.

Everyone’s body has a natural circadian rhythm that guides when you feel sleepy and when you’re the most awake.

Disturbing your circadian rhythm can actually trigger high blood sugar levels in your body, so it’s important to be consistent with your sleep.

4. Avoid Foods High In Added Sugars

Added sugars and other processed sweeteners in food are absorbed by your body much faster than other types of sugars, which are more work for your digestive system to break down.

Eating too much sugar hurts you in a few different ways, but foods that have added sugars raise your blood sugar faster than foods that are naturally sweet, like fruit sugars.

5. Keep Your Stress Levels Under Control

When your stress levels are high it can actually cause your body to release cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone.

When cortisol is released, it contributes to high blood sugar and can also prevent you from sleeping well.

There are many types of ways to control your stress naturally and your naturopathic doctor will be able to help you choose the best stress relieving techniques for your lifestyle.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

There are many natural ways to balance your blood sugar, but sometimes it can be hard to keep up with it all on your own.

If you feel like managing your blood sugar is a constant balancing act or you’re just not sure where to start, I’m here to help.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, owner of the Mindful Healing Clinic, and I can help.

Book your appointment with the Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Naturopathic Treatments For Addison's Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Treatments For Addison’s Disease

By Blog

Naturopathic Treatments For Addison's Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Living with an illness like Addison’s disease can significantly impact your life.

If you or a loved one is going through treatment for this disease, we understand that it can be a daunting process.

In order to combat this illness, it’s important to understand what it is, how it may affect you, and how to best take care of yourself.

Let’s take a look at what Addison’s disease is, what its symptoms are, and some naturopathic solutions for this hormonal imbalance that can help.

If you find the following information helpful, it might be time to book a Mississauga naturopathic consultation today.

What is Addison’s Disease?

Addison’s disease is when your adrenal glands produce too little of a hormone called cortisol.

Your adrenal glands are part of your endocrine system, which is made up of the various hormone producing organs and glands in your body.

This system also includes your thyroid, kidneys, pancreas, and several others.

Sometimes, lack of cortisol can lead to a lack of aldosterone as well, another hormone.

Since both cortisol and aldosterone perform critical functions in the body, such as regulating blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as keeping your heart healthy, a lack of these hormones can cause several issues.

Addison’s Disease Symptoms

People who have Addison’s disease may experience a wide variety of symptoms, which include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Decrease in heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Low blood sugar level
  • Insomnia
  • Darkening in skin colour
  • Irritability and lack of energy

What Causes Addison’s Disease?

There are two types of Addison’s disease: primary adrenal insufficiency and secondary adrenal insufficiency.

Each has different causes.

With primary adrenal insufficiency, there’s damage caused to your adrenal glands.

This damage causes them to no longer be able to produce hormones.

Primary adrenal insufficiency is most often caused when your immune system attacks the adrenal glands, which is also known as an autoimmune disease.

Primary adrenal insufficiency can also be caused by:

  • Cancer
  • Abnormal growths in the body
  • Infections
  • Certain blood thinners, like apixaban (this is rare)

Secondary adrenal insufficiency is related to your pituitary gland.

Your pituitary gland’s job is to tell your other endocrine organs when to secrete hormones into your bloodstream, and how much.

With secondary adrenal insufficiency, your pituitary gland can’t do that anymore.

This can be caused by traumatic brain injuries, tumours, or genetics.

Addison’s Disease Naturopathic Treatments

Fortunately, there are a number of naturopathic treatments available to help you battle Addison’s disease.

Food based approaches can help to improve stress on adrenal glands and regulate hormones.

Here are a few dietary changes you can make to help out your adrenal glands:

Addison’s Disease Naturopathic Treatments | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

1. Eat An Adrenal Friendly Diet

To support your adrenal glands, it’s important to incorporate an adrenal friendly diet into your routine.

Ensuring that you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals is the first step to support your body.

Consider an increased intake of vegetables as well as sources of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats that come from nutrient dense sources.

Good protein options to include in your adrenal friendly diet include:

As well, the following foods can help relieve your adrenal fatigue:

  • Whole grains
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Peaches
  • Avocados
  • Citrus fruits

Timing your meals to make sure that you are eating a regular and balanced diet can help support your adrenal glands.

2. Avoid Adrenal Draining Foods

It’s also important to be mindful of what kind of foods you can avoid in order to maintain your health.

Foods that contain a high quantity of refined and processed sugar and unhealthy fats can worsen your adrenal fatigue symptoms.

That’s why, as much as possible, try to reduce your intake of foods such as white sugar, white flour, soda, fried and processed meals, and artificial sweeteners.

RELATED: 5 Amazingly Unhealthy Foods To Avoid

3. Holy Basil

Holy basil is a type of adaptogenic herb that can help balance and restore functions within the body.

Adaptogenic herbs like holy basil, also known as tulsi, help the body in responding to illnesses such as Addison’s disease.

Holy Basil in particular helps your body respond to stress in a healthy way, thus helping to relieve adrenal fatigue.

4. Ashwagandha

Another adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha, helps to support your endocrine and nervous system.

It can help nourish and restore your optimal health by helping you adapt to a natural sleep cycle.

Ashwagandha has an overall nourishing effect on your immune system and may help in supporting your body fight Addison’s disease.

5. Eleuthero

Eleuthero is a type of adaptogenic herb that can be used to help maintain energy levels and stamina.

In traditional Chinese medical practice, eleuthero is used to energize and nourish the body.

Making use of eleuthero can help maintain and regulate your mental alertness, and balance vital energy in your body.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Interested in finding out more about naturopathic treatments for Addison’s disease?

We’re here to help.

Book your appointment today with The Mindful Healing Clinic.

Naturopathic Treatments For Ulcerative Colitis | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Treatments For Ulcerative Colitis

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Naturopathic Treatments For Ulcerative Colitis | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Everyone experiences the occasional upset stomach.

But for people living with ulcerative colitis, symptoms of digestive distress can become so severe that they lead to potentially serious complications, such as:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Anemia
  • Rapid heart rate

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, you might be looking for solutions to help with symptom management.

Perhaps it’s time to consider naturopathic medicine.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, a digestive issues naturopathic doctor can help to manage your ulcerative colitis symptoms and get you back to feeling your best.

Keep reading to find out more about ulcerative colitis and how a naturopathic doctor near me can help.

What Is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is the most common type of inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel diseases are a group of diseases which affect the gastrointestinal tract.

If you’ve been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, the lining of your colon, rectum, or both become inflamed.

In addition to the creation of tiny sores, this inflammation causes your bowels to eliminate waste both frequently and rapidly.

Over time, the cells in the lining of bowel die off and are replaced by ulcers, which subsequently cause blood and mucus to be present in your stool.

Ulcerative colitis affects people of all ages; however, it typically develops between the ages of 15 and 30.

Additionally, men over the age of 50 have a higher likelihood of developing ulcerative colitis or other forms of inflammatory bowel disease.

Other inflammatory bowel diseases include Crohn’s disease and microscopic colitis.

These diseases are different from IBS – irritable bowel syndrome – which is a group of symptoms with no immediately obvious cause.

However, they do have overlapping symptoms.

Types Of Ulcerative Colitis

Depending on the parts of the gastrointestinal tract affected, ulcerative colitis can be further classified by subtype.

Ulcerative proctitis is a type of ulcerative colitis which only affects the rectum.

This form of ulcerative colitis is typically mild.

Left sided colitis, otherwise known as distal ulcerative colitis, causes inflammation between the upper and lower parts of the colon.

Proctosigmoiditis is another type of left sided colitis which causes inflammation in the rectum and parts of the lower colon.

Lastly, extensive colitis, otherwise known as pancolitis, causes inflammation throughout the entirety of the colon.

This form of ulcerative colitis is typically severe.

Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

The severity of ulcerative colitis symptoms can vary from person to person.

Additionally, your symptoms can also change over time.

Some general symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Diarrhea, which often contains blood or mucus
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Rectal pain and bleeding
  • An urgent need to go to the bathroom
  • Inability to do so, despite urgency
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fever
  • Malnourishment
  • Symptoms of anemia
  • Stunted growth in children

RELATED: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Naturopathic Doctor

You may experience periods of remission where your symptoms are mild or nonexistent.

However, symptoms typically return and get more severe during periods of flare up.

Left untreated, ulcerative colitis may lead to potentially serious health complications, such as:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Severe dehydration
  • A hole in the colon
  • Liver disease
  • Bone loss
  • Skin, joint, and eye inflammation
  • Mouth sores
  • Increased risk of colon cancer
  • A swollen colon
  • Increased risk of blood clots in your veins and arteries

What Causes Ulcerative Colitis?

Research suggests that ulcerative colitis might develop due to an overactive immune system that mistakenly begins attacking the large intestine.

However, the cause for this autoimmune response remains unclear.

Both nutrition and stress management issues are thought to play a role in symptom flare ups.

Additionally, there are a few risk factors for developing ulcerative colitis, such as:

  • Having a parent with ulcerative colitis
  • Being diagnosed with another type of autoimmune disorder
  • Environmental factors, such as bacteria, viruses, and antigens

Naturopathic Solutions For Ulcerative Colitis

Unfortunately, researchers have yet to identify a cure for ulcerative colitis.

However, naturopathic medicine can be an excellent choice for managing your condition.

If you visit the Mindful Healing Clinic, let’s take a look at some of the solutions we might use to help you manage your ulcerative colitis.

1. Eating An Ulcerative Colitis Diet

While there is no specific diet for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, making the following changes to your diet can help to minimize your symptoms and prevent flare ups:

Additionally, consider avoiding foods known to exaggerate symptoms of ulcerative colitis, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Dairy products
  • Dried fruit and seeds
  • Dried beans, peas, and legumes
  • Foods high in sulfur or sulfates
  • Meat
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Popcorn, especially with movie theatre popcorn “butter”
  • Refined sugar
  • Spicy foods

Finally, it may be helpful to start a food diary to keep track of the foods that worsen your symptoms.

2. Probiotics

Probiotics are living microorganisms that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and digestive track.

When these bacteria are healthy, your body is more capable of fighting off inflammation and other symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Eating foods rich in probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi, can help to boost the healthy bacteria in your gut.

Additionally, you can take probiotic supplements.

However, there is a wide variety of different probiotic supplements, so it’s a good idea to speak to your naturopathic doctor before taking them.

3. Turmeric/Curcumin

Turmeric is a spice that originates in India.

If you’ve ever had a good curry before, turmeric is the stuff that gives it its distinctive yellow colour.

Turmeric has many benefits, including helping with PCOS symptoms, reducing risk of heart disease, and to naturally manage rheumatoid arthritis.

A lot of this is related to its active ingredient, curcumin.

Aside from being an antioxidant, it also has anti inflammatory properties that can help calm your ulcerative colitis symptoms.

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that became popular in the Western hemisphere starting in the 1970’s.

During acupuncture, tiny needles are inserted along your body’s meridian lines in order to help with a variety of conditions.

Research suggests that acupuncture may be able to help manage ulcerative colitis symptoms.

4. Boswellia Serrata

Boswellia is an herb found in the resin underneath the Boswellia serrata tree.

Research suggests that this herb can help limit the chemical reactions that are responsible for inflammation inside of your body.

A 2005 research paper by Pawel et al. found improvements in mice with ulcerative colitis after taking this herb.

More research is needed, but it shows promise so far.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we know how much the symptoms of ulcerative colitis can interfere with your everyday life.

We can help provide some relief to your symptoms and improve your overall well being.

Book your appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Mineral Profile: Zinc | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Mineral Profile: Zinc

By Blog

Mineral Profile: Zinc | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

There are a lot of nutrients which your body needs to function properly.

It can be overwhelming to try to keep track of all of them – what do they do, why they are beneficial, and how much do you need?

As a provider of naturopathic nutritional therapy in Mississauga I want to help you make sense of the various vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at its peak.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at the mineral zinc, and why you need it.

What Is Zinc?

Zinc is an essential nutrient which plays a number of roles in the way your body functions.

Being an essential nutrient means your body can’t produce it, so you need to get it through either diet or supplementation.

It’s a mineral, which is different than a vitamin.

Vitamins, like vitamin E, vitamin C, and the various B vitamins, are organic substances, meaning they come from plants or animals.

Minerals, on the other hand, are elements that come from soil and water, and the plants and animals you eat absorb them from there.

These include potassium, calcium, magnesium, and of course, zinc.

Zinc can be found in a large number of foods and is often added to foods such as cereals and flour.

Zinc plays a role in functions such as:

  • Synthesis of DNA
  • Functioning of the immune system
  • Enzyme reactions
  • Development and growth
  • Healing of wounds
  • Protein synthesis

Health Benefits Of Zinc

Zinc has been associated with a variety of health benefits.

In this section, we’ll review a few of these.

1. It Reduces Wear And Tear From Aging

The risk of developing certain diseases can increase as you age, however, getting older doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to end up with one of these.

Zinc can help lower the chance of developing some conditions, including infections, pneumonia, vision loss, and age related macular degeneration.

In addition, older individuals who used zinc supplements found their bodies had better responses to flu vaccines than those who didn’t use a supplement.

2. It Helps Keep Inflammation Down

Zinc is an antioxidant, which means it can help reduce the number of inflammatory proteins in the body and lowers oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the number of antioxidants and free radicals in the body and can lead to inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is a factor in the development of many illnesses, such as cancer, cognitive decline, and heart disease.

Supplementing with zinc has been shown to reduce inflammation compared to those who didn’t use a zinc supplement.

3. It Can Help Manage Acne

Acne is a skin disease caused by a combination of inflammation, bacteria, and overactive oil glands.

It often occurs in people who aren’t getting enough zinc.

Topical, as well as orally ingested, zinc treatments can help reduce acne by repressing oil gland activity, lowering inflammation, and inhibiting the growth of acne causing bacteria.

As a result, zinc can be a useful naturopathic treatment for skin conditions like acne.

It’s important to note too though that there are a number of other potential causes of acne as well, including a hormone imbalance in women and poor gut health, among others.

As a result, it’s a good idea to speak with your Mississauga naturopath to get to the bottom of your acne.

4. It Helps Support Your Immune System

Zinc is required for immune system function, and not having enough of it can result in a lower immune response.

More specifically, zinc can activate certain immune cells, and also acts to lower oxidative stress.

Taking zinc may also shorten the length of the common cold, and can also reduce the risk of infection.

5. It Helps Your Body Heal From Open Cuts

Zinc is important for helping your body synthesize collagen, which is important for wound healing.

It’s even used in hospitals as part of the treatment for skin injuries such as ulcers and burns.

Using a zinc supplement can help to hasten wound recovery, whereas people with a zinc deficiency are often found to have slower healing times.

Foods rich in zinc | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Dietary Sources Of Zinc

If you’re looking to get more zinc, without taking supplements, consider adding some of these zinc rich foods to your diet:

  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish, including crabs, oysters, and mussels
  • Dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt
  • Chicken and turkey
  • Whole grains such as quinoa, and brown rice
  • Meat such as pork, lamb, and beef
  • Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans
  • Fish, such as sardines, sole, and salmon
  • Seeds and nuts, including pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and cashews
  • Foods fortified with zinc such as certain snack bars and cereals

It should be noted that the body absorbs zinc more easily from animal products such as fish and meat than from plant based sources, so keep that in mind if you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Symptoms Of Zinc Deficiency

Zinc deficiency is rare, as most people will get enough of it through their regular diets.

There are some factors, however, which can make an individual more susceptible to zinc deficiency, which includes:

  • Alcohol addiction and abuse
  • Digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease
  • Being vegan or vegetarian
  • Being on certain medications
  • Some genetic mutations, such as sickle cell anemia
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Infants who are chest or breast feeding, in cases where the feeding parent isn’t getting enough zinc
  • Malnourishment

Symptoms to watch out for, which could indicate zinc deficiency include:

  • Skin rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Diminished development and growth
  • Impeded sexual development
  • Slowed wound healing
  • Behavioural issues

Symptoms Of Zinc Toxicity

If you’re using supplements to help get your daily supply of zinc, it’s important to ensure you’re not taking too much, to avoid zinc toxicity.

The symptoms of zinc toxicity include:

If you’re planning to take zinc supplements, it’s always best to discuss this with your naturopathic doctor in order to ensure you’re taking the right dosage.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Are you worried you might not be getting enough zinc to meet your body’s needs?

Do you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, and are concerned about this, and other important nutrients?

Or perhaps you have a gastrointestinal issue which inhibits your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Whatever the issues, I can help.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND, at the Mindful Healing clinic, and every day I help my clients with their nutritional concerns, offering nutritional counselling services to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need.

Book a consultation with me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, today.

Using Acupuncture To Strengthen Your Immune System | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Using Acupuncture To Strengthen Your Immune System

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Using Acupuncture To Strengthen Your Immune System | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

There has been a lot of talk about the immune system over the last couple of years.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of people and businesses coming out with claims of various foods, supplements, and procedures which are supposed to boost your immune system and help guard against the virus.

As a Mississauga naturopath I want to stress that although there are no naturopathic remedies for COVID-19, the best defence against specific viruses is to get vaccinated.

There are, however, things you can do to strengthen your immune system as a whole.

We’ve talked about vitamins for a stronger immune system in the past, but seeing a Mississauga acupuncturist can help too.

Today we’re going to look at acupuncture, and the benefits it can have on your immune system.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Your Immune System?

The immune system is your body’s defense against microbes (parasites, virus, fungi, and bacteria) which can result in infection.

It also protects against toxins and cells that can potentially become cancerous.

It consists of cells, tissues, and organs including:

  • White blood cells, which travel through the blood and attack foreign cells
  • Antibodies that are proteins produced by a specific type of white blood cells, which recognize foreign substances
  • The complement system, made up of proteins which work alongside antibodies
  • Bone marrow which produces blood cells
  • The spleen, an organ which creates antibodies
  • The lymphatic system which moves fluid throughout the body and helps protect against infection
  • The thymus which produces T-lymphocyte cells

The skin, lungs, and digestive tract can also help defend the body from microbes.

Your skin acts as a barrier to keep them out, mucus in the lungs helps traps foreign particles, and stomach acid in the digestive tract helps kill microbes.

That’s why naturopathic medicine for digestive health is so significant – your digestive tract contributes to so many different elements of health, including your immune system.

Causes Of Weak Immune System

Have you ever known someone to be constantly ill, or who experiences frequent infections?

This may be the result of a weakened immune system.

Some causes of a weak immune system can be controlled, such as:

Autoimmune disorders can also lead to a weakened immune system.

Naturopathic medicine can offer treatment for such conditions, including:

HIV and AIDS are two particularly strong autoimmune disorders that significantly weaken the body’s immune system, leaving you susceptible to other diseases.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine which involves placing thin needles at specific, strategic points on the body.

These are called acupuncture points.

The theory behind acupuncture is that when a needle is inserted into the skin, it signals the body to respond by releasing endorphins, increasing circulation, and stimulating brain activity.

From a traditional perspective, acupuncture needles are placed along meridian lines in your body where energy flows.

The needles stimulate that energy flow, which can help promote your body’s ability to heal itself.

Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to aid in a number of different health related situations, including:

How Can Acupuncture Help Strengthen Your Immune System | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

How Can Acupuncture Help Strengthen Your Immune System?

Acupuncture can be used to help regulate immune system function and provide treatment for underlying causes of disease.

By stimulating the autonomic nervous system, acupuncture helps to lessen symptoms, stimulate the body’s immune response, and accelerate healing.

Although some are quick to dismiss acupuncture, there are a number of peer reviewed scientific studies which back it up as an effective way to help with a growing number of conditions.

Today we’re going to look at some of these studies.

A 2007 study in the American journal of Chinese Medicine looked at the effects of acupuncture treatment on anxious women.

It’s a commonly accepted idea that chronic anxiety can have a negative effect on the immune system, and experiencing constant stress can lead to increased vulnerability to infections.

The 2007 study looked at blood samples of anxious women, compared to a control group of women who don’t experience anxiety, before and after acupuncture treatments, and found favourable effects on immune function in the group receiving acupuncture.

Another article, in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine looked at the effect of acupuncture on immune system cells.

Using acupuncture can help increase the number of immune cells in the body, including T-cells, white blood cells, and red blood cells.

The final study we will look at today examined the effects of acupuncture in rats.

To do this they compared three groups of rats

1) A control group (which did not receive any treatment)
2) A group which received acupuncture stimulation to the abdominal muscle
3) A group which received acupuncture stimulation to a specific acupoint

The group which received acupuncture at a specific acupoint saw notable increases in interferon gamma (IFN-γ), a protein in the blood which is critical to the growth of immune cells.

As you can see from these three studies, the outlook for acupuncture as a means to strengthen the immune system is positive.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Are you curious about acupuncture?

Aside from strengthening the immune system, it has a wide array of other uses, including as a way of providing treatment for headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis, sleep issues, knee pain and many more conditions.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor at the Mindful Healing Clinic and I have been trained in the use of acupuncture as a therapy for a variety of health issues.

Book a consultation with me today, to find out
if acupuncture treatment is right for you.

Mineral Profile: Potassium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Mineral Profile: Potassium

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Mineral Profile: Potassium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

As the third most abundant mineral in the human body, potassium plays a vital role in the maintenance of good overall health.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your diet includes plenty of potassium rich foods, such as nuts and fruits.

If you’re struggling to maintain healthy potassium levels, I can help.

My name is Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga with a passion for helping you heal and thrive through the use of natural remedies.

Want to learn more about potassium and its many benefits for your health?

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral that is not naturally produced by your body.

Instead, most people get the bulk of their daily potassium intake from the foods that they eat.

Despite not being naturally produced by your body, potassium is essential to your overall health.

Potassium acts as an electrolyte, meaning it helps conduct electrical charges throughout your body and subsequently helps with body functions, such as:

  • Blood pressure
  • Water balance
  • Muscle contractions
  • Nerve impulses
  • Digestion
  • Heart rhythm
  • pH balance

RELATED: naturopath for digestive health problems

Health Benefits of Potassium

As you can see, potassium is beneficial for a variety of biological processes.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of potassium in more detail.

1. It Regulates The Fluid In Your Body

Approximately 60% of your body is water.

40% of that water is located inside your cells within a substance called intracellular fluid (ICF).

As the main electrolyte in the ICF, potassium helps regulate the amount of water that goes in and out of your cells.

Without the aid of potassium, your cells wouldn’t be able to properly regulate the water and subsequently would either shrink or swell and burst.

Additionally, poor fluid balance in your cells can also lead to dehydration, which can be deadly if left untreated.

2. It Regulates Your Muscles (Including Your Heart)

Blood potassium levels play a role in your muscle contractions.

If your blood potassium levels are too low or high, your muscle contractions can weaken.

Since the heart is a muscle, your heartbeat may also be affected.

Imbalanced blood potassium levels may cause your heartbeat to weaken and become incapable of pumping blood into your vital organs.

RELATED: Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease

3. It Supports Your Nervous System

Your nervous system is responsible for transferring information between your brain and body.

This information is transferred through nerve impulses, which are caused by sodium and potassium ions moving in and out of your cells.

This process is important for several of your body’s functions, such as the regulation of muscle contractions, heartbeat, and reflexes.

A potassium imbalance can disrupt this process and subsequently impact your nervous system.

4. It May Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become hallow and porous, often due to low levels of calcium.

Research suggests that a potassium rich diet plays a role in the prevention of osteoporosis through the reduction of calcium loss through urine.

Other nutrients that can help prevent osteoporosis include:

5. It May Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

Potassium may also help prevent high blood pressure and related heart disease.

Research suggests that eating a diet that is rich in potassium may help your body remove excess sodium, which is associated with high blood pressure.

Dietary Sources Of Potassium

Now that you know about the various health benefits of potassium, you might be wondering how to go about adding more potassium rich foods to your diet.

Some examples of potassium-rich foods include:

  • Fruits, such as apples, apricots, avocados bananas, and kiwis
  • Vegetables, such as leafy greens, carrots, beets, and potatoes
  • Lean meats, such as chicken, salmon, or clams
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and nuts

Should You Take Potassium Supplements | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Symptoms Of Potassium Deficiency

Symptoms of potassium deficiency can vary depending on the severity of the deficiency.

A slight, temporary decrease in potassium may not cause any noticeable symptoms.

On the other hand, a severe deficiency can become life threatening.

Symptoms of potassium deficiency include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle spasms, weakness, or cramping
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Constipation, nausea, or vomiting

Certain conditions may raise your risk of experiencing potassium deficiency, including:

Symptoms Of Potassium Toxicity

The presence of too much potassium in your body may also lead to temporary or long term health problems.

The primary symptom of potassium toxicity is irregular heartbeat.

Left untreated, potassium toxicity can lead to death.

Although generally rare in individuals with a balanced diet, potassium toxicity has several risk factors, including:

Should You Take Potassium Supplements?

If you keep a balanced diet, you likely don’t need to take potassium supplements.

However, if you have a potassium deficiency, your naturopathic doctor can prescribe potassium supplements.

These supplements are most effective if your kidneys are healthy and functioning normally.

If you are experiencing a severe case of potassium deficiency, you may need IV treatment.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

As you can see, potassium is an important factor for many aspects of your health.

As a naturopathic doctor, I am committed to helping my patients choose the best options for their health.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more about how a naturopathic doctor can help you.

Book an appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today to get started on a healthier tomorrow.

Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods

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Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Due to their numerous health benefits, fermented foods have seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years.

If you have ever seen a naturopath for digestive problems, you may already be eating fermented foods as part of your treatment plan.

But did you know that the health benefits of fermented foods go far beyond digestive health?

For this reason, naturopathic doctors frequently recommend fermented foods to their patients as part of their naturopathic diet plans and nutritional counseling.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, and today I’m here to talk about fermented foods.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what fermented foods are, their various health benefits, and how you can add more to your diet.

Let’s dive in.

What Is Fermentation?

Fermentation is a chemical process where microbial growth, such as bacteria or yeast, work to break down food molecules, such as sugar.

As a result, the sugar molecules morph into other products, such as organic acids, gases, or alcohol.

What Are Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods are food or beverages that have undergone this process.

There are many different types of fermented foods, but the more popular ones include:

  • Kefir
  • Tempeh
  • Natto
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Probiotic yogurt

Due to the fermentation process, fermented foods typically have unique taste, smell, texture, and appearance.

How Can Fermented Foods Improve Your Health?

While the types of foods that are commonly fermented are typically already healthy in their original form, they have the potential to carry additional health benefits after fermentation.

Let’s take a closer look at some of those benefits.

1. They Help Good Bacteria Grow (And Fight Bad Bacteria)

Not all bacteria are bad for you.

In fact, your body needs a certain number of good bacteria to help maintain a healthy immune system.

Adding fermented foods to your diet can help support the population of good bacteria in your body.

For example, the good bacteria found in fermented foods may help lower your intestinal pH levels, which subsequently decreases the survival rate of bacteria that cause diseases.

2. They Help You Digest Food

Your body also needs good bacteria to help break down and digest complex carbohydrates.

Without a diverse population of good bacteria in your digestive tract, you may be more likely to develop certain chronic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Also, eating foods that contain plenty of soluble fiber, such as beans and oats, can contribute to better digestive health.

If you’re dealing with digestive issues, don’t be surprised if a naturopath for digestive problems recommends including more fermented foods in your diet.

3. They Help You Recover From Antibiotics

Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria in your body; however, they aren’t so good at differentiating the bad bacteria from the good.

Subsequently, taking a round of antibiotics often comes with digestive side effectives, such as diarrhea.

Adding fermented foods to your diet is a great way to recover after a round of antibiotics, since they can help raise your body’s good bacteria levels back to normal.

4. They Can Improve Mental Health

In addition to physical health, the good bacteria found in fermented foods may help to improve your mental health as well.

A 2020 research paper published in Nutritional Neuroscience suggests a potential connection between fermented foods and the improvement of mental disorders.

While more research is needed before this connection can be confirmed, the research is certainly promising.

As both an anxiety naturopath and a depression relief naturopath, I often recommend fermented foods to help with these two concerns.

How Can Fermented Foods Improve Your Health | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

5. They Can Help Your Body Produce Vitamins

If you weren’t already amazed by their diverse health benefits, you may be impressed to learn that fermented foods can also help your body produce essential vitamins, particularly B complex vitamins.

Vitamins that fermented food can help to produce include:

Top Fermented Food

Now that you have learned all about the diverse health benefits of fermented food, you may be wondering how to go about adding more to your diet.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of fermented foods.

1. Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean side dish traditionally made from fermented cabbage or other vegetables.

Research points to a link between eating kimchi and decreased insulin resistance, a precursor condition to type 2 diabetes

Therefore, people diagnosed with prediabetes may especially benefit from adding kimchi to their diets.

Other health benefits of kimchi include:

2. Kombucha

Kombucha is a type of fermented drink traditionally made from green tea or black tea.

Kombucha is particularly helpful in preventing liver toxicity and damage due to harmful chemical exposure.

Other health benefits of kombucha include:

  • Reduced blood sugar levels
  • Reduced triglycerides levels
  • Reduced cholesterol levels

3. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a common condiment made of fermented shredded cabbage.

Sauerkraut is low in calories and contains large amounts of fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Due to its high levels of antioxidants, sauerkraut can also help to promote good eye health and evenhelp prevent cancer.

4. Other Fermented Foods

Other types of fermented foods that provide health benefits include:

  • Kefir, a cultured dairy produce made by adding kefir grains to milk
  • Tempeh, a high protein meat substitute made from pressed fermented soybeans
  • Natto, a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans
  • Miso, a Japanese seasoning made by mixing fermented soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungus

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

If you want to learn more about naturopathic diet plans and fermented foods, we can help.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we can develop a nutrition and lifestyle plan that fits your needs.

Book an appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today to get started.

Naturopathic Solutions For Crohn's Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Crohn’s Disease

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Naturopathic Solutions For Crohn's Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Do you often suffer from abdominal pain?

How about an urgent need to use the bathroom followed by diarrhea?

If so, you may suffer from a gastrointestinal illness called Crohn’s disease.

Gastrointestinal issues can be uncomfortable and inconvenient at best.

Depending on their timing and severity, they can also be embarrassing and painful.

Left untreated, serious cases can even lead to life threatening flare ups and complications.

For those with Crohn’s disease, gastrointestinal symptoms can vary in frequency and severity day to day, and can be extremely disruptive to daily life.

Many people suffering from Crohn’s disease find the assistance of a naturopath for digestive health problems to be helpful in managing their illnesses as an alternative to, or in conjunction with, conventional medical intervention.

Let’s take a closer look at Crohn’s disease – what it is, how it works, and how a Mississauga naturopathic doctor can help.

What Is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that most commonly occurs in your small intestine and colon, though it can affect any part of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

It’s a chronic inflammatory illness that can last a lifetime.

There is currently no known cure for Crohn’s disease, nor have researchers been able to pinpoint its exact cause.

And unfortunately, Crohn’s disease can get worse as your illness progresses, especially if it’s left untreated.

Symptoms Of Crohn’s Disease

Common symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can range from mild to debilitating and can be disruptive to day to day life.

In severe cases, the illness can even lead to life threatening flares and complications.

The symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can vary and change over time, but they often develop gradually.

Early symptoms of Crohn’s Disease often include:

As the disease progresses, however, more severe symptoms may develop, such as:

  • Ulcers, which may occur anywhere along your digestive tract
  • A perianal fistula, which causes pain and drainage near your anus
  • A type of arthritis known as peripheral arthritis, which causes joint inflammation and skin issues
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nutrient deficiencies, particularly anemia

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

Though Crohn’s disease is a relatively common disease, affecting as many as 780,000 Americans, not much is known about its exact cause despite decades of research.

It seems likely that various hereditary factors play a role in the development of Crohn’s disease.

20% of those suffering from Crohn’s disease also have a parent, child, or sibling who suffer from it.

Crohn’s disease is classified as an autoimmune disease, and the immune system is a contributor to inflammation in this illness.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure, however, about how or why Crohn’s disease begins, who is most likely to develop it, or at what point in life it’s most likely to develop.

Left untreated, however, Crohn’s disease can become extremely disruptive to day to day life.

In severe cases, it can become debilitating or even life threatening.

For this reason, it’s extremely important not to leave this illness untreated.

Naturopathic Treatments For Crohn’s Disease

Despite many decades of research, Crohn’s disease, like many other chronic illnesses, has no currently known cure.

However, there are a number of effective treatments that can help reduce and manage symptoms that can otherwise be disruptive or even debilitating to everyday life.

1. Start With An Elimination Diet

While researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause of Crohn’s disease, we do know that sensitivity to certain foods can result in flare ups.

An elimination diet is when you systematically eliminate certain types or categories of foods that are known to be reactive (such as dairy, gluten, garlic, onions, etc.) from your diet for a certain amount of time to see if it affects your Crohn’s symptoms.

It is best to do it with the help of a naturopathic doctor.

From there, you can gradually add the foods you remove back into your diet one at a time to see if there are any flare ups.

This doesn’t eliminate your Crohn’s disease, of course, but by recognizing your triggers, you can help manage your condition.

Naturopathic Diet For Crohn's Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

2. Eat An Anti Inflammatory Diet

Discomfort and pain from Crohn’s disease is often a direct result from inflammation.

Naturopathic doctors will often recommend a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods in order to reduce or mitigate inflammation related pain.

Integrating more anti inflammatory foods in the regular diets of those suffering from Crohn’s disease has been very helpful in managing their symptoms in this way.

Anti inflammatory foods include:

  • Berries
  • Fatty fish (high in omega 3 fatty acids)
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados
  • Green tea
  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Dark chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Olive oil
  • Turmeric (more on that later)

3. Watch Your Fibre Intake

Some people who suffer from Crohn’s disease benefit from less or more manageable Crohn’s symptoms while following a high fibre diet.

For others, however, a diet high in fibre may have the opposite effect as the extra food residue from high fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables may aggravate the GI tract.

This is why it’s helpful to work with a naturopathic doctor – they can help find out whether fibre will be beneficial for you or not.

4. Supplement With Curcumin

Curcumin is a type of curcuminoid compound, which are compounds that have been proven to have various medicinal properties with beneficial effects on your body.

Specifically, curcumin is a strong antioxidant found in turmeric.

Among the many health benefits of turmeric is its powerful anti inflammatory effects.

As discomfort and pain from Crohn’s disease is often a direct result from inflammation, a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods such as curcumin can help in reducing inflammation related pain.

5. Eat Prebiotic And Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are live bacteria that can help to replace and rebuild the good bacteria in your GI tract.

Prebiotics are potentially beneficial plant materials that help to feed the good bacteria in your digestive system and increase their numbers.

Eating foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics help to improve your gut health and maintain your digestive system’s natural balance, which can prevent flare ups of Crohn’s symptoms.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

If you find yourself suffering from the physical and mental stress associated with Crohn’s disease and its associated gastrointestinal symptoms, there’s no need to continue suffering alone.

Book your appointment with The Mindful Healing clinic today and take the first step towards a healthier life.

How To Recover From A Round Of Antibiotics | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

How To Recover From A Round Of Antibiotics

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How To Recover From A Round Of Antibiotics | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

No one likes getting sick, but life can get a bit more difficult when you get a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics.

We have all been there since getting a bacterial infection is quite common; but thankfully, we live in a time when antibiotics are widely available, so it’s very likely that you will recover quite easily.

However, taking antibiotics can be both a blessing and a curse.

While they kill the bacteria that are making you sick, they also kill the good bacteria in your gut.

This may result in an upset stomach, diarrhea and more serious issues that no one wants to deal with after having an infection.

If all this is starting to sound familiar, you might be interested in seeing a naturopath for digestive problems and gut health, so you can get the best advice and treatment plan for your specific situation.

For now, let’s find out more about what you can do to successfully recover after taking antibiotics.

What Is Your Gut Microbiome?

Your gut microbiome is the collection of microorganisms living in your large intestine.

They influence things like digestion of food, mental health, your immune system, and more.

Everybody has a different gut microbiome, since the amount and type of bacteria present can be influenced by a number of factors.

These factors include:

What Are Antibiotics?

Most people here in Canada have been prescribed antibiotics at some point.

But what are they?

This kind of medication is used to treat bacterial infections.

It works by either stopping an infection or keeping it from spreading.

However, there are many kinds of antibiotics and the most commonly used ones are broad spectrum, which means that they work on a wide range of diseasecausing bacteria, while some other kinds are made to kill certain species of bacteria.

Antibiotics are very important and quite effective to treat infections, which has saved many lives.

However, like most medications, antibiotics come with some side effects that can be harmful.

Antibiotics Side Effects

A very common problem these days is the excessive use of antibiotics, which can cause health issuesfrom a simple episode of diarrhea to more serious conditions such as liver damage.

However, the most common side effects from antibiotics are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Yeast infections
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

There are also some studies showing that antibiotics can:

  • Dramatically change the kinds of bacteria within the gut, especially at an early age.
  • Increase the risk of obesity when overused at an early age.
  • Lead to antibiotic resistance when used excessively, decreasing effectiveness

Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

1. Gut Microbiome Issues

Let’s talk a bit more about your gut microbiome.

The most common issue when taking antibiotics is the disturbance of your gut microbiome.

As mentioned above, antibiotics end up killing the good bacteria living in your gut along with the bad bacteria making you sick.

In fact, one study shows that just a week of antibiotics can change your gut microbiome for up to a year.

Unfortunately, this can’t really be avoided when taking antibiotics.

When there’s an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your gut caused by the use of antibiotics, you can expect issues with digestion, inflammation of the gut lining, and even mood changes.

This is concerning because if left unattended it can lead to more serious problems and health conditions.

2. Immune System Issues

The sad irony of antibiotics is that while it can help kill a bacterial infection, it can also weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to future infections.

The gut and the immune system work together to keep your body healthy.

So, when your gut microbiome is not well balanced it can weaken your immune system.

3. Other Side Effects

There are a number of other side effects associated with antibiotics as well.

A 2017 study showed that antibiotic use is the most common cause of liver injury.

As well, because antibiotic use can cause a temporarily weakened immune system, it can put you at greater risk of bacterial infections, including:

  • E.coli infection
  • C.diff infection
  • Salmonella infection

However, this can also happen to people with healthy immune systems, so it’s important to take care of your body right after taking a round of antibiotics.

An Important Caveat

Before we continue, it’s important to note that I am not suggesting that you not take antibiotics.

In spite of the side effects, antibiotic use is one of the strongest weapons we have in the fight against potentially deadly infections.

If your doctor recommends you take antibiotics, listen to them.

Don‘t go to your doctor and tell them “well my favourite naturopathic doctor near me said I didn’t have to” – I am absolutely not saying that.

Instead, this article is about how to mitigate the side effects from taking antibiotics.

And with that in mind…

How To Recover From Antibiotics

Antibiotics are still important to get rid of the bacteria making you ill, so taking your medication as directed is a must.

However, doing everything you can to prevent and treat the side effects from it, is also a good idea.

In order to recover from taking antibiotics, it’s important to improve your gut health by supporting your gut microbiome, and this will depend on some dietary changes.

Below, you will find a list and guide that can help you make the changes you need.

1. Take Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. They can usually be found in many fermented foods.

However, you can also buy probiotic supplements but make sure to choose the right kind of good bacteria, since these supplements can contain many different kinds.

There are some studies showing that lactobacilli and saccharomyces probiotics are particularly effective to recover after antibiotic use, but these other bacteria are also very helpful:

  • L. casei
  • L. Rhamnosus GG
  • L. Plantarum 299v
  • B. subtilis
  • B. coagulanslactospore
  • B. clausii

It’s recommended to take probiotics after a round of antibiotics in order to restore the healthy bacteria in your gut that might have been killed.

Also, according to some studies it might be better to take a probiotic supplement containing a mixture of different species of probiotics, instead of just one.

The one thing to always remember is that probiotics are usually bacteria themselves, so if you decided to take them at the same time you are taking antibiotics, you’ll likely end up killing them.

Therefore, it’s very important to remember to take probiotics and antibiotics a few hours apart.

Taking probiotics to recover from antibiotics is definitely the first line of action, especially since they can reduce the risk of getting diarrhea when taken during antibiotic treatment and help restore the gut bacteria when taken after antibiotics.

2. Take Prebiotics

Now that we know that probiotics are usually live bacteria that can help restore the balance of your gut microbiome, let’s talk about prebiotics which are basically foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut.

There are many high fibre foods that are prebiotic. When the fiber from food gets digested and fermented by gut bacteria, the good bacteriagrow.

There are also some other foods that work like prebiotics, even though the fiber content is not high, but they still help the growth of good bacteria like bifidobacteria.

A good example of this is red wine and cocoa, which contains antioxidants that are digested by gut bacteria.

However, keep in mind that you can also buy prebiotics supplements at the store.

When you feed the good bacteria by taking prebiotics after a round of antibiotics, you help reduce the unhealthy bacteria in your gut and promote the growth of healthy bacteria.

This is a very helpful step in your journey to recover from antibiotics.

Prebiotic foods include:

  • Apples
  • Oats
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Flax seeds
  • Burdock root
  • Dandelion greens
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Foods to help you recover from antibiotics | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

3. Eat Foods High In Fibre

Many foods high in fibre are prebiotic and even though your body can’t digest fibre, your gut bacteria can and this help them to grow.

Here are some examples of foods which are high in fibre:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Lentils
  • Berries
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas
  • Artichokes
  • Beans
  • Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in general

While eating fibre is a good thing for your body, it can also slow down the rate at which the stomach empties and therefore slow down the rate at which medicines are absorbed.

This is why using fibre to help your gut bacteria should be done after taking antibiotics, that way you don’t interfere with your medical treatment.

4. Eat Fermented Foods

Some fermented foods contain probiotics and as mentioned before, probiotics are the first line of action to help your gut microbiome after or while taking antibiotics.

Here are some examples of fermented foods:

  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Kimchi

These foods contain many healthy bacterial species such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria which lowers the number of disease-causing bacteria in your gut, such as enterobacteria and bilophilawadsworthia

In fact, studies have shown that people who eat yogurt regularly have higher amounts of lactobacilli in their intestines and therefore less chances of getting sick from harmful bacteria.

Keep in mind that you should eat unsweetened yogurt, best if it is high in protein and percentage of fat.

In summary, something as simple as eating yogurt can reduce the risk of antibiotic associated diarrhea, but if you can consume more of the other fermented foods as well, you would definitely develop a very strong gut microbiome and obtain good overall health.

Eating one of the fermented foods listed above per day is equivalent to taking a probiotic supplement.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Everyone’s gut microbiome is different based on several factors including gender, diet, health conditions, etc.

So, while these may be good general suggestions, it doesn’t account for your unique health needs.

The best way to figure out what works best for your own body is to visit a naturopathic doctor.

A naturopathic doctor can listen to your specific needs and make a dietary plan, to help you overcome any side effects and health conditions you might have developed from taking antibiotics.

Book an appointment today with the Mindful Healing Clinic and ask our team how we can help.

How To Create A Nutritious Environmentally Friendly Diet | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

How To Create A Nutritious Environmentally Friendly Diet

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How To Create A Nutritious Environmentally Friendly Diet | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

There are a lot of ways you can easily adjust your diet to be more environmentally friendly.

A change as small as consuming more plant based products and lowering your consumption of animal based products will lower your environmental impact significantly.

Plus, it can also keep you healthy and balanced.

But, as always when changing your diet, it’s important to ensure that you’re still getting the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

Now, if you’re looking for naturopathic diet and nutrition counseling, there are a lot of great options to consider that can tailor their approach to your personal health goals.

Especially if your goal is to eat a nutritious, environmentally friendly diet.

Let’s find out more.

What Is An Environmentally Friendly Diet?

An environmentally friendly diet is a diet with eating habits that aim to consciously reduce your impact on the environment and in your community.

There are a number of different aspects to this.

It’s important to consider what foods you’re eating, when, and even why you’re eating those foods.

The goal is to build a picture of the systems that surround the foods you eat.

This will make it easier to pick choices that minimize your contribution to the environmental harm that system creates.

It may be overwhelming to think about, but every choice you make in the supermarket has an impact on the environment.

How To Create An Environmentally Friendly Diet

There are a number of ways to create an environmentally friendly diet.

You have to consider your entire food habits.

Everything from the types of food you eat, to how you cook and store that food, has an impact.

Keep reading for further tips on ways to immediately adopt an environmentally friendly diet.

1. Eat Local

Eating local is a great way to make your diet more environmentally friendly.

The environmental impact of buying food flown in from a far off country is much higher than buying from local producers.

You can explore seasonal farmers markets to find local produce, which minimizes the environmental impact because of the shorter distance it had to travel to get to your house.

This shorter distance means less fuel was burned and less carbon was created.

2. Focus On Plant Based Foods

Adding plant based foods is a great tip to both reduce your environmental impact and improve your general nutrition.

This is because fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains require significantly less water during production than animalbased foods.

Plus, they are sustainable sources of the essential vitamins, nutrients, and proteins needed for a healthy diet.

Some of the foods commonly grown here in Ontario include:

For a full list, take a look at the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association website.

Sometimes, focusing on eating more local produce can encourage you to begin experimenting with different diet options, including a raw food diet.

3. Eat Less Meat

Eating less meat is a really important way you can eat an environmentally friendly diet.

Meat production is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Not to mention the environmental impact of raising and transporting livestock.

It requires more food, water, land, and energy than plant based foods.

Plus, eating too much meat is not the best and can lead to other health problems, especially when you’re eating processed meats.

4. Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is the practice of being fully aware of your eating habits.

This includes making the time to eat healthy foods, really being present while you eat, and understanding the difference between hunger and appetite.

You might wonder how these will help you to make thoughtful, environmentally friendly eating choices.

So, let’s go through some of them.

Being fully present while you eat allows you to keep track of how much you’re eating.

This way, you can see if you’re overeating or under eating.

You’re more inclined to overeat, especially if you’re binging on junk food that’s high fat and low nutrition like potato chips, if you’re not paying attention while you eat.

Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between hunger and appetite.

Hunger is the body signals your body sends when it requires you to eat food.

Appetite is the desire for food that is triggered by our senses, our surroundings, or our emotions.

This difference is key because one is your body’s needs vs. something you may not need at that time.

Being aware of the state your body is in can help you to make better decisions about what and when you eat.

What Is An Environmentally Friendly Diet | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

5. Learn How To Store Your Food

Finally, food storage can be a game changer.

This is because every time you cook, you use energy and resources which adds to your environmental impact.

Instead, making extra food or bigger portions when you cook to store and eat as another meal can be a great tip for making your diet more environmentally friendly.

Plus, it’ll save you time so that you’ll have quick meals ready to go.

One thing to remember if you’re interested in trying this is to keep your fridge and freezer organized.

Labels are a great resource to use in order to know what to eat by what date.

The other aspect of this is to make sure you use proper food storage in order to extend the life of your items.

Some examples of food storage strategies include:

  • Store greens and fresh herbs in a sealed bag to reduce oxygen flow and maintain nutritional value
  • Store citrus fruits in a mesh bag to improve oxygen circulation, which helps them last longer
  • Store mushrooms in a paper bag which will absorb the extra moisture and allow them to breath
  • Remove the green stalks of carrots to preserve their nutrients
  • Keep your fresh berries dry and don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them
  • Wrap your celery in tin foil so their natural ripening agents are released and keep them fresh longer

Both of these strategies will help you to eliminate food waste.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

You can see there are many easy ways you can adjust your diet in order to make it more environmentally friendly.

The important thing to remember is to make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients your body needs.

This is especially true if you are reducing your meat and animal product consumption to a more plant based diet.

A naturopathic doctor is a great resource to look into so that they can help you stay on track with your diet to achieve your health goals.

Book an appointment today with the Mindful Healing Clinic today to get started and speak to one of our experienced naturopathic doctors.