Naturopathic Solutions To Ease Your COVID-19 Anxiety | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions To Ease Your COVID-19 Anxiety

By Blog

Naturopathic Solutions To Ease Your COVID-19 Anxiety | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Anxiety levels are higher than ever right now, due in no small part to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether it’s anxiety about oneself or a loved one contracting the disease or financial concerns due to a loss of income or the state of the stock market, there is a lot of anxiety to go around.

And as a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, I’d like to help ease some of it.

Keep reading to find a few natural solutions which might just help you sleep a little better at night.

What Is COVID-19?

There are a lot of terms related to this pandemic which you might have heard recently.

Coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19.

Let’s take a minute to decipher what these mean.

Coronavirus is the type of virus we’re dealing with – there are many different variants of these viruses, and are responsible for a number of illnesses including the common cold, SARS, MERS, and yes, COVID-19.

SARS-COV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is the name of the virus which causes COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), as the outbreak was first identified in December 2019.

COVID-19 looks different in different people.

Some people can have it and show almost no symptoms.

In others, they can be more serious and include cough, difficulty breathing, fever, and pneumonia in the lungs.

Can Naturopathic Medicine Treat COVID-19?

Before we go on, we need to be very clear about one thing – at this time there is nonaturopathic treatmentwhich can cure or treat COVID-19.

If you suspect you, or someone you know, is sick with COVID-19 then it is extremely important to follow the guidelines set out by the Government of Canada, including self-isolation for 14 days, and consulting with your local health authority for further instruction.

What naturopathic medicine can offer during these trying times, though, are ways to help ease your anxiety.

Keep reading to learn more.

How Can Naturopathic Medicine Help With Anxiety?

When we, as humans, face stressful events, a little bit of anxiety is quite normal.

However, when anxiety levels are high constantly, it can impede the ability to live normally.

Naturopathic approaches to anxiety can range from lifestyle changes to nutritional solutions and botanical medicine.

Today we will look closer at some botanical as well as nutritional solutions for anxiety.

Keep reading to find out more.

3 Botanical Medicine Solutions For Anxiety

Botanical medicines have been used by humans for thousands of years, and many of our modern drugs are based on these plant-based solutions.

In fact, medical doctors may suggest botanical medicines as well from time to time. Some of the more common botanicals you may have heard of with medicinal properties include:

Let’s explore some botanical medicine solutions for anxiety.

lavender is a naturopathic solutions for anxiety | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

1. Brahmi

Brahmi is a herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Its traditional uses include providing treatment for epilepsy, boosting memory, and reducing anxiety.

A 2014 study in the journal Phytotherapy Research found Brahmi to have positive effects on mood in study participants.

Additionally, it was found to lower cortisol levels, which indicates a physiological impact on stress and anxiety levels.

2. Lavender

A lot of people think of lavender as just a pretty, purple flower.

Many are also aware that its scent can promote relaxation and ease anxiety.

Oil derived from the lavender flower has been used for a long time in herbal medicine.

A study in the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology found patients with mild anxiety and depressive disorder who were treated with lavender oil showed better outcomes in terms of quality of life, and a better overall outcome.

Lavender can also be used as a natural treatment for tension headaches

3. Chamomile

Chamomile is a flower in the same family as the daisy, which is widely known for its calming effects.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology looked at the effects of chamomile in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.

It was observed that patients given chamomile had significantly greater reductions in anxiety compared to those who were given a placebo, however, more studies need to be done on this effect.

It’s been shown that chamomile can also be an effective way to manage the symptoms of ADHD.

3 Nutritional Solutions For Anxiety

In addition to botanical medicine, there are a number of nutritional factors which can impact anxiety.

Nutritional counselling and botanical medicine aren’t completely separate from either other, though.

After all, some of the botanicals with health-promoting properties – like apples, beets, and avocados – also happen to be foods.

In this section, we’ll review some important nutrients to include in your diet to help control anxious thoughts and feelings.

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral which plays a role in the functioning of nearly every system of the body.

In 2000 the journal Psychopharmacology looked at the effects of a multivitamin which included calcium, zinc, and magnesium on healthy male volunteers.

When compared to those given placebo, study participants who received the multi-vitamin showed statistically significant reductions in perceived stress levels and anxiety.

One reason magnesium, in particular, may help lessen anxiety is that it has been shown to improve brain function – it has a role in regulating neurotransmitters and neurological health.

Foods high in magnesium include quinoa, spinach, dark chocolate, cashews, almonds, and black beans.

Magnesium is also useful for promoting bone health, and kidney health, and controlling PMS symptoms, among other things.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are important to brain health.

As they can’t be synthesized by the body, it’s important for people to ensure they get them as part of their diet.

A 2018 review of 19 different clinical trials supported the hypothesis that Omega-3 fatty acids can be an effective way to provide treatment for clinical anxiety.

They’ve also been shown to be useful for a number of other health conditions, including managing autism spectrum disorder, depression, poor gut health, and as an adjunctive therapy during medical cancer treatment

Foods high in omega-3s include:

  • Fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel
  • Seaweed
  • Chia, hemp, and flaxseeds
  • Edamame
  • Walnuts

It should be noted that omega-3 fatty acids can interfere with some medications, so it’s important to speak with your doctor or naturopath before starting to take a new supplement.

3. The B-Complex Of Vitamins

B-complex vitamins are important for many different roles in the body, including the management of stress levels.

A study in the Journal of Biomedical and Clinical Research found participants with low levels of vitamin B12 in particular, were more likely to also have depression or anxiety.

Additionally, a 2018 study in the Journal of Functional Foods found individuals who ate a diet high in foods containing B-vitamins had lower stress and anxiety scores than those who didn’t.

Foods high in B-complex vitamins include yogurt, cheese, eggs, nutritional yeast, and fortified cereals.

Book An Appointment At The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are your anxiety levels at an all-time high right now?

Do you need some help coming up with a plan to help take back control over your thoughts?

Here at the Mindful Healing clinic, we want to help.

Although our doors are currently closed for in-person visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still offering virtual and phone consultations for essential treatments.

We are here to help you through this difficult time – contact us today for more information.

These 5 Vitamins May Strengthen Your Immune System | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

These 5 Vitamins May Strengthen Your Immune System

By Blog

These 5 Vitamins May Strengthen Your Immune System | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Immune system health is on a lot of people’s minds these days.

With the reality of COVID-19 becoming clearer and clearer, the question of who will be affected severely, and who might just get mildly sick and then get past it quickly is being asked a lot.

Although there is no cure or treatment – naturopathic or otherwise – for COVID-19 at the present time, as a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, I’d like to offer some information about your immune system – what it is, how it works, and things you can do to strengthen it.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Are The Main Parts Of Your Immune System?

So you’ve heard a lot of talk lately about the immune system.

Some people have stronger immune systems than others.

Certain medical conditions can make the immune system more vulnerable to viruses or illnesses.

But what exactly is your immune system?

As the name would suggest, it’s not just one organ in the body – instead, it’s made up of a variety of structures which work together to fight disease.

The main components of the immune system include:

1. Leukocytes

Leukocytes or white blood cells, are a type of blood cell which plays an important role in identifying and fighting pathogens in the body.

A high leukocyte count can be indicative of infection in the body.

2. Lymphocytes

Lymphocytes are a type of leukocyte.

There are two types of lymphocytes – B-cells and T-cells.

B-cells create antibodies which attack pathogens in the body, and T-cells attack various infectious agents and cancerous cells in the body.

T-cells which have become activated are called killer T-cells, and helper T-cells aid in activating other cells to respond to pathogens.

3. Thymus

The thymus is a small organ located behind the breastbone, and is shaped like a thyme leaf – hence its name.

This is where T-cells mature, and it can also stimulate the production of antibodies.

This organ is quite large in babies. It grows until a person reaches puberty, after which it shrinks with age

4. Lymph Nodes

These small, bean-shaped structures contain cells which help fight infections and are located throughout the body.

In addition to cells that fight infection, they contain lymph fluid which is used to transport these cells throughout the body.

Lymph nodes can become enlarged and sore when the body is working to fight off infection.

5. Spleen

Located just underneath the left ribcage, the spleen is the largest organ of the lymphatic system.

The spleen contains white blood cells, which help fight infections, dispose of damaged blood cells, and play a role in controlling the amount of blood in the body.

6. Bone Marrow

Bone marrow is the tissue in the centre of large bones and contains two types of stem cell – hemopoietic and stromal.

Hemopoietic stem cells can produce new blood cells, while stromal stem cells produce fat, cartilage, and bone.

What Is An Autoimmune Disorder?

Generally, your immune system is able to differentiate between your own cells and foreign pathogens.

But sometimes your immune system mistakes the body’s own cells for a foreign pathogen and attacks them – this is an autoimmune disorder.

Common autoimmune disorders you may have heard of include:

5 vitamins linked to improving your immune health | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Innate Immunity Vs. Adaptive Immunity

There are two main types of immunity: innate and adaptive.

People are born with some amount of immunity – this is the innate immune system.

It consists of barriers which work to keep foreign pathogens out of your body and includes your skin and its oils, mucus, and stomach acid.

The innate immune system doesn’t protect against any specific pathogen, but it provides protection against all pathogens to a certain degree.

When you have immunity to specific viruses or pathogens, this is adaptive immunity, or acquired immunity.

When a threat is recognized by the body and the immune system creates antibodies specifically designed to address that threat, this is adaptive immunity.

In some cases, having a certain illness or infection once will decrease the odds that you have it again.

Chicken pox is a great example of this – if you catch it once, your body learns how to fight it off and you’re unlikely to suffer from it again.

Vaccines work in this way as well – by introducing a weakened or even dead version of certain pathogens to your body, your immune system learns their weaknesses and how to fight them off.

Nutrients To Support Your Immune System

There are a number of vitamins that play important roles in immune system function.

If you are looking to give your immune system a boost, here are a few vitamins you might consider supplementing, or adding to your diet.

Let’s take a look.

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important role in the function of the immune system.

A study from the journal The Proceedings of the Nutrition Societysuggests vitamin A supplementation lowers both mortality and morbidity of some infectious diseases.

As well, it’s been known for a long time that vitamin A deficiency has been linked with an impaired immune system.

Exactly why vitamin A is important for immune system health is not yet fully understood.

Strangely, though, overdoing it on vitamin A can actually impair your immune system as well, so it’s best to have a conversation with your naturopathic doctor to find out how much you should be taking.

Great sources of vitamin A include brightly coloured fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and cantaloupe.

2. Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is part of the B-complex of vitamins, and is required for synthesis of proteins and nucleic acid.

According to a 2013 study in the journal Frontiers in Immunology insufficient levels of B9 can be detrimental to immune response as it is crucial to the maintenance of T-cells.

A great wayto add vitamin B9 to your diet is to eat dark leafy green vegetables, lentils and beans, peanuts, strawberries, and oranges.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means it must be consumed through diet or supplement –your body can’t create it on its own.

A 2017 article in the journal Nutrients looked at the ways in which vitamin C contributes to immune function.

It supports both the functions of the innate and adaptive immune systems, as well as protects against oxidative stress.

Supplementation with vitamin C may also provide treatment for some types of infection.

Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, and strawberries.

4. Vitamin D

Although vitamin D is generally known for its role in bone health, there is evidence to suggest it’s important to your immune system as well.

A 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Virology supports the proposal that vitamin D is involved with the inhibition of viruses.

More research is required to determine the exact way vitamin D works in this regard.

The best way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure, however, it can also be obtained through diet.

Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, and foods fortified with vitamin D such as milk and cereal.

Some people have difficulty absorbing vitamin D through food and may need a supplement to ensure they are getting enough.

5. Vitamin E

Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is also an antioxidant which helps your body ward off infection.

A 2018 study found vitamin E was protective against oxidization damage to cells.

It boosts the immune system so it can continue to fight off pathogens.

The effectiveness of vitamin E for this purpose is enhanced when it is used in combination with vitamin C.

Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, avocados, and sunflower seeds.

Book An Appointment At The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you worried about your immune system health?

Perhaps you or someone in your home are in a group which is considered at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and you’d like to take steps to strengthen your immune system

We at the Mindful Healing clinic would like to help.

It is important to note that there is currently no known cure or treatment for COVID-19.

However, strengthening your immune system is never a bad idea.

Due to the current global pandemic, our doors are closed for non-essential visits, however we are still offering phone and virtual consultations at this critical time.

Contact us today for more information.

Hormone Profile: Estrogen | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Hormone Profile: Estrogen

By Blog

Hormone Profile: Estrogen | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Although typically thought of as a “sex hormone”, estrogen plays a number of very important roles in the body, affecting everything from brain health to heart health and more.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what estrogen is, and the health impacts which can occur when levels are off-balance.

If you suspect you have a hormone imbalance, a women’s health naturopathic doctor can help you to determine the root cause of your imbalance and offer natural solutions to help.

Keep reading to learn more about the role of estrogen in the body.

Again, Everyone Has Both

It’s important to note, although we tend to associate estrogen with females, and testosterone with males, that everyone’s body produces and uses both hormones.

We talked about this in my last article earlier this month, on the hormone testosterone .

Estrogen is associated with feminizing effects, such as breast development, whereas testosterone is responsible for masculizing effects.

Although this is the case, all individuals produce and use both hormones.

What Is Estrogen?

A hormone typically associated with the development of feminizing characteristics, estrogen plays a number of roles in the body, beyond those it’s generally associated with.

There are a number of different kinds of estrogen, which all have different roles.

Read on to learn about these:

Estrone (E1)

Estrone is a less potent form of estrogen, which can convert into other forms of estrogen as required by the body.

This type of estrogen is found in the body after menopause.

Estradiol (E2)

Estradiol is the most prevalent type of estrogen in women during their fertile years.

Excess estradiol levels can have side effects including low sex drive, osteoporosis, and depression.

If levels get extremely high it can lead to a higher risk of breast and uterine cancer.

Low levels, on the other hand, can lead to cardiovascular disease, and weight gain.

Estriol (E3)

Estriol plays an important role during pregnancy, as it is important for the growth of the uterus, and preparing the body for delivery.

Estrogen In Men

Estrogen plays an important role in sexual growth and development in men.

If levels of estrogen are out of balance, it can have consequences for sexual function and development.

Low Estrogen In Men

Generally speaking, low estrogen levels are not a large concern for men.

In some cases, the symptoms are similar to those of high estrogen, as the root causes of hormone imbalances are often the same.

Causes of low estrogen in men include:

  • Genetic disorders
  • Kidney or liver conditions
  • Radiation exposure
  • High iron levels in the blood
  • Pituitary gland conditions
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Infections affecting sexual organs
  • Surgery on the testicles or penis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Obesity
  • A tumor on or near the pituitary gland
  • Higher than average weight loss

High Estrogen In Men

High levels of estrogen in men can lead to a number of issues, including:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Enlargement or swelling of the breast tissue
  • Slowed growth/delayed puberty

herbs to improve estrogen levels | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Estrogen In Women

In women, estrogen is one of the hormones responsible for sexual development, along with progesterone.

It plays a role in regulating the menstrual cycle and affects the reproductive system.

Functions of estrogen in women include:

  • Stimulating the growth of egg follicles
  • Vaginal lubrication
  • Maintenance of the mucous membrane which lines the uterus
  • Formation of breast tissue
  • Stopping the flow of breast milk after weaning

If estrogen levels are too high or too low it can have serious health effects.

Low Estrogen In Women

Symptoms of low estrogen include:

  • Vaginal dryness (which can result in painful sexual intercourse)
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Absent or irregular periods
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Tender breasts
  • Headaches
  • Decrease in bone density, leading to bones which fracture more easily

Low estrogen is most common in menopausal women, and young girls who have not reached puberty, however, it can occur in individuals of all ages.

Potential causes of low estrogen include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Over-exercising
  • Issues with the pituitary gland
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Kidney disease

High Estrogen In Women

High levels of estrogen can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Tender and swollen breast tissue
  • Low sex drive
  • Fibrocystic lumps in the breast
  • Bloating
  • Irregular periods
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Moodiness
  • Higher levels of PMS symptoms
  • Cold hands/feet
  • Brain fog
  • Tiredness and difficulty sleeping
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety

Naturopathic Solutions For Hormonal Imbalance

If you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance, getting tested to determine the exact nature of the imbalance is an important first step to effectively dealing with your symptoms.

Once you have determined you have an imbalance, a naturopathic doctor can help you figure out why your hormone levels are out of balance and can offer solutions to get at the root cause of your symptoms.

Book An Appointment With Dr. Maria

If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above, or are otherwise worried you might have a hormonal imbalance, contact me, Dr. Maria.

I’m a naturopath in Mississauga who wants to help.

I will work with you to get to the root of your hormonal imbalance and offer natural solutions which not only target your symptoms but also address the root causes of your issues.

This will help you to get your system back in balance and help your body heal.

Contact me, Dr. Maria, today for more information and to set up an appointment.

Hormone Profile: Testosterone | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Hormone Profile: Testosterone

By Blog

Hormone Profile: Testosterone | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

There are a lot of stereotypes which go along with someone having too much testosterone.

The short-tempered, muscular “gym bro” who is only concerned about how much he can lift comes to mind.

In reality, hormonal imbalances, including too much (or too little) testosterone, can lead to health issues in anybody.

Keep reading as we explore the role of this hormone in the body, and the effects which occur when it is not in balance.

First Off, Everyone Has Both

Although testosterone is typically associated with masculinizing effects such as larger muscles, and estrogen is associated with feminizing effects such as breast development, everyone requires both of these hormones.

Generally speaking, women produce just five to ten percent of the amount of testosterone as produced by men.

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a sex hormone, which is produced in the testes in men, and in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat and skin cells in women.

It plays roles in bodily maintenance, growth, and reproduction.

Testosterone In Men

Testosterone plays a number of roles in men’s bodies.

It is generally thought of as being the main hormone which affects men’s sex drives, and also has an important part to play in semen production.

Additionally, testosterone affects the way fat is stored in the body, impacts muscle and bone mass, and plays a role in red blood cell production.

Finally, testosterone levels can impact mood.

Low Testosterone in Men

Symptoms of low testosterone levels can include the following:

  • Lowered bone density
  • Depression
  • Increased weight
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Less energy
  • Mood swings
  • Less body hair
  • Negative impact on self-image

Testosterone levels decrease naturally with age, however, there are other reasons for these levels to drop, including some chronic health conditions, or an injury to the testicles.

Conditions which can impact testosterone levels include:

  • Cancer (specifically treatments for cancer such as radiation or chemotherapy)
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Alcoholism
  • AIDS
  • Kidney disease

High Testosterone In Men

Higher than average levels of testosterone in men have fewer symptoms than when levels are low.

In children, higher levels mean that boys may begin going through puberty earlier than their peers.

Possible reasons for extremely high levels of testosterone include cancer of the testes or a disorder of the adrenal gland.

foods to help boost testosterone | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Testosterone In Women

In women, testosterone is produced in fat and skin cells, adrenal glands, and ovaries.

It plays a number of vital roles in women’s health, including contributing to:

  • Vaginal health
  • Bone health
  • Menstrual health
  • Sex drive
  • Fertility
  • Breast health

Testosterone in women is converted by the body into female sex hormones such as estrogen.

This is what prevents them from developing male secondary sex characteristics such as facial hair and deepened voices.

Low Testosterone Levels In Women

Levels of testosterone in women naturally decline during menopause.

The main side-effect of this is reduced libido.

Testosterone replacement therapy can help to improve sexual function, however, it’s not recommended for women who have breast or uterine cancer.

High Testosterone In Women

When women’s testosterone levels are too high, the body can’t convert it to estrogen quickly enough.

Some of the more serious side effects of high testosterone in women include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and infertility.

It can also result in the development of male secondary sex characteristics such as frontal balding, deepening of the voice, acne, and facial hair.

Naturopathic Solutions For Hormonal Imbalance

If you’re experiencing symptoms related to high or low testosterone levels, it’s important to get tested to determine if a hormone imbalance is actually the cause of your symptoms.

Once you know if you have an imbalance you’ll want to try to determine the cause of the abnormal levels.

Some natural ways to help balance your hormone imbalances include:

  • Eating more healthy fats, such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and avocados
  • Using adaptogens, which include ashwagandha, or holy basil
  • Addressing stress and emotional issues
  • Eliminating toxins by avoiding products with harmful chemicals
  • Being sure to get enough sleep

These are some general tips, however, a naturopathic doctor can help you to address specific issues.

Book An Appointment With Dr. Maria

Are you experiencing symptoms of a hormone imbalance?

If you’re male and having mood swings, weight fluctuations, or decreased sex drive.

Or female and have started growing facial hair or losing your hair.

If you’re looking for naturopathic treatments in Mississauga, I’m here to help.

I’ll work with you to determine the cause of your imbalances and offer naturopathic solutions designed to help get your body back into equilibrium.

Book an appointment with me, Dr. Maria, today, and let’s get to the bottom of your health concerns.

Naturopathic Solutions For Weight Loss | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic Solutions For Weight Loss

By Blog

Naturopathic Solutions For Weight Loss | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Many people struggle with weight loss.

There’s a lot of information online about it, but a lot of it is misleading, extreme, and unmanageable.

In some cases, it may even be harmful to your health.

However, there are simple changes you can make to your daily routine that are natural and proven to help you lose weight.

If you would like to find out about natural weight loss solutions, keep reading.

First Off, Address Your Underlying Health Issues

Many health conditions can contribute to weight gain and make weight loss more difficult.

Some of the health issues that are directly associated with being overweight include, but are not limited to:

If one of these conditions is contributing to your weight, Identifying and addressing it may help.

In some cases, that weight loss can help to improve existing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Next, Address your Emotional Issues Around Food

When eating is triggered by stress, anxiety, sadness, or other emotions, it can be more difficult for us to make healthy choices.

Food addiction and craving can lead to unhealthy food choices, and often overeating resulting in excessive calorie consumption.

Address these issues to help your weight loss, manage health concerns, and give you a better understanding of your relationship to food.

Then, Try These Naturopathic Tips for Weight Loss

Having taken care of the above concerns, you should be on the path toward weight loss.

But of course, it’s not that simple.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it was, though?

Consider the following natural weight loss tips.

1. Eat Whole Foods With Single Ingredients – And Avoid Processed Foods

Whole foods are single ingredient foods that provide your body with necessary nutrients.

It doesn’t have to be too complicated.

Apples are whole foods, and so is every other fruit and vegetable, for that matter.

Unprocessed meats, nuts, seeds, dairy, rice, lentils, beans – these are all whole foods.

Whole foods have the benefit of being fairly filling – the fibre content can help you feel fuller longer.

As well, sticking mostly to whole foods helps you avoid adding the unnecessary ingredients and high calories of processed foods.

Whole foods don’t have the refined sugars, trans fats, artificial preservatives, and other additives designed to encourage you to eat more.

Speaking of refined sugars…

proper nutrition for better weight loss results | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

2. Eliminate Sugar In Your Diet – Especially Soft Drinks

A diet high in sugar has been found to be a direct link with many health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, tooth decay, and other diseases.

On an ingredient list sugar can be found under many different names.

This can make it hard to know how much sugar you’re eating.

In some cases, it still has sugar in the name – like cane sugar, beet sugar, coconut sugar, etc.

But marketers are getting savvy to the fact that people want to avoid sugar in their diet, so they use different names to make it look like there is less sugar in a product.

Here are just a few of sugar’s secret identities:

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrin
  • Diastatic malt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Barley malt
  • Agave nectar
  • Cane juice

3. Practice Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted Eating

Intermittent fasting is when you alternate between eating and not eating; it can be done in various patterns and cycles.

Time restricted eating limits the time during which you eat each day.

Finding the intermittent fasting plan that works best for you has several benefits.

It can help to reduce your calorie intake, recondition your eating behaviors, improves your overall health, and may help you lose weight.

4. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and fat burning properties.

A 1999 study proved that the benefits of green tea include giving you more energy, increasing your metabolism, and helping you burn more fat, especially belly fat.

5. Drink More Water

Yes, drinking more water will help you to lose weight.

First off, water can be a great replacement for those high-calorie, sugar-filled drinks.

But it’s not just that.

Water boosts your metabolism helping you burn more calories for longer periods of time, decreases your appetite, and drinking water before you eat can help you to reduce your calorie intake by helping you to feel full.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Making sure you get enough sleep is an important part of your weight loss journey and keeping weight off in the future.

Sleep deprivation will not only leave you feeling sluggish but it puts you at a greater risk of obesity.

This is because it disrupts your appetite hormones, increasing your appetite, often causing you to eat because you’re looking for a quick “pick-me-up”.

7. Eat eggs for breakfast

Eggs are inexpensive, versatile, easy to add to your diet, and they’re the ultimate weight loss food.

Eating eggs for breakfast is an easy way to help yourself lose weight.

This is because eggs are full of essential nutrients, are high in protein, and are low in sugar and calories.

All this combined can make you feel fuller longer, reducing your appetite and helping you to eat less calories throughout the day.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you looking for more ways to lose weight naturally?

Have you incorporated natural solutions, but feel you could use more guidance?

Does weight loss seem overwhelming to you?

You don’t need to do it alone.

At the Mindful Healing Clinic, we’re here to help you find the weight loss solution that works best for you.

Book an appointment with a naturopathic doctor at The Mindful Healing Naturopathic Clinic today, and let us help you achieve healthy weight loss, naturally.

Health Benefits Of Apples | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Health Benefits Of Apples

By Blog

Health Benefits Of Apples | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

We all know that rhyme.

But what if you saw the doctor to prevent health problems, instead of waiting until it’s too late?

Your local naturopathic doctor can offer valuable nutrition counseling to help you get the most out of your diet.

And that advice may just be to eat more apples.

Did you know that eating apples may reduce your risk of diabetes?

Or that apples promote bone and heart health?

Some of the health benefits of apples may surprise you.

Keep reading to discover them.

1. They’re Nutritious

Apples are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and iron can all be found in apples, as well as vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K.

These are all essential, healthy nutrients that the body needs every day to keep you in good shape.

You can get 13-20% of your daily fibre, 9-11% of your daily vitamin C, and 4% of your daily potassium needs, just from eating a single apple.

2. They’re Loaded With Antioxidants

Apples are full of antioxidants – substances that remove potentially damaging oxidizing agents.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.

Urectin, catechin, ploridzin, and chlorogenic acid are other lesser-known but still powerful antioxidants that are found in apples.

3. They May Reduce Your Risk Of Diabetes

A 2011 study in the journal Advances in Nutrition linked eating apples to a lower risk for chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes.

This same study showed that eating an apple per day was linked to a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to not eating any apples.

Eating just a few apples per week had a similarly protective effect.

4. May Reduce Your Risk Of Stroke

A review of studies conducted in 2017 found that people whose diets contain high amounts of fibre can significantly reduce their incidence and mortality from cardiovascular disease.

For every 25 grams of white-fleshed fruits and vegetables like apples and pears consumed, your risk of stroke could be reduced by as much as 9%.

By incorporating fibre-rich apples into your diet, you may maintain your cardiovascular health and keep your risk of stroke low.

5. They May Help With Weight Loss

In addition to being tasty, apples are filling without sacrificing fibre and volume.

A 2010 study found that people who ate apple slices before a meal felt fuller than those who consumed applesauce, apple juice, or no apple products.

The same study also found those people who began their meal with apple slices also ate an average of 200 fewer calories than those who didn’t.

In a study of 50 overweight women conducted in 2013, participants who ate apples lost an average of 2 pounds and ate fewer calories overall compared to those who ate oat cookies with a similar calorie and fibre content.

So if you’re looking for a natural solution for how to lose weight and keep it off, apples may just do the trick.

Types of apples that are the healthiest for you | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

6. They Promote Bone Health

Eating fruit is linked to higher bone density, which is a marker of good bone health, and eating apples can help build permanent bone mass.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in fruit may help promote bone strength.

This effect can last as you age, preserving bone mass for years to come.

7. They Promote Heart Health

Various nutrients in apples can support robust cardiovascular health.

A 2015 study identified associations between frequent apple consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fibre may help manage blood pressure, vitamin C may play a role in protecting heart health and defending against infections, and potassium helps to relax blood vessels.

This relaxation of blood vessels reduces the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular complications.

8. They May Lower Your Risk Of Cancer

Apples have several naturally occurring compounds that may help fight cancer.

Observational studies have linked them to a lower risk of cancer and death from cancer.

A 2017 study in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis reported that eating apples could suppress the growth of cancerous tumours.

Additionally, test-tube studies have shown a link between plant compounds in apples and a lower risk of cancer.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Do you want tips on how you can incorporate apples into your diet?

Or do you believe you may be at risk for cancer or cardiovascular disease?

If so, contact me, Dr. Maria, to book an appointment at my Streetsville Mississauga naturopathic clinic.

During your initial appointment, you’ll get a chance to sit down with me and express all your health concerns.

From there, I’ll answer any questions you may have, and we’ll put together a treatment plan that works for you based on your unique health needs.

Contact me, Dr. Maria, today.

What Is Coenzyme Q10?

By Blog

What Is Coenzyme Q10? | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

It’s perfectly normal to be worried sometimes.

But if you find yourself worrying too much or worrying over small things, you might have an anxiety problem.

Signs of anxiety include nervousness, tension, a sense of impending panic, and insomnia, to name a few.

If this sounds like you, don’t despair; there are ways to manage anxiety naturally.

That’s where coenzyme Q10 comes in.

It not only helps manage anxiety, but a wide range of other health issues as well.

But what is coenzyme Q10?

What are the benefits of it?

How can you build it into your lifestyle?

Keep reading to learn more.

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 (the “Q10” refers to its chemical makeup) is a naturally occurring nutrient that can be found in our bodies—especially in the heart, liver, kidney and pancreas.

It can also be found in meat and seafood, or created in a lab.

Coenzyme Q10 helps provide energy to your cells.

It also acts as an antioxidant, which means that it protects your cells from damage and supports your metabolism.

Health Benefits Of Coenzyme Q10

Even though it occurs naturally in the body and in certain foods, you might choose to take coenzyme Q10 supplements to reap its many health benefits.

The most common use for coenzyme Q10 is as a treatment for heart conditions, such as heart failure, congestive heart failure, chest pain and high blood pressure.

It’s also important to supplement it when taking certain medications that lower its levels, like cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins.

People also use coenzyme Q10 to fend off migraines and prevent Parkinson’s disease, among other conditions.

And that’s just the beginning.

Keep reading to find out about even more health benefits of coenzyme Q10.

1. May Help Reduce Headaches

If you suffer from migraines, you may have a coenzyme Q10 deficiency.

Taking coenzyme Q10 supplements may help prevent headaches: a 2005 study by Sandor Et Al reported that coenzyme Q10 supplements were three times more likely than a placebo to reduce the number of migraines in 42 people.

Another study, this one from 2007 in the aptly named journal Headache showed that 1,550 people with low coenzyme Q10 levels experienced fewer headaches after treatment with coenzyme Q10.

The study also reported that the test subjects’ headaches were less severe than they were before taking coenzyme Q10.

2. May Help You Retain Youthful Skin

Your skin is the largest and most exposed organ in your body and it becomes weathered with age.

Coenzyme Q10 supplements maybe able to help you keep your skin youthful.

A 2008 study by Prahl Et Al showed that applying coenzyme Q10 directly to your skin can decrease the depth of wrinkles and reduce other signs of aging.

the health benefits of coenzyme Q10 | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

3. May Enhance Mental Performance

Your brain is very powerful, but that doesn’t mean it’s invincible.

It’s vulnerable to harmful compounds that affect memory, cognition, and physical functions.

Coenzyme Q10 may help reduce these harmful compounds and possibly slow the progression of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

4. May Help Prevent Heart Failure

If you’re interested in taking preventative measures against heart failure, coenzyme Q10 may be able to help.

A 2014 study of 420 people with heart failure showed that two years of coenzyme Q10 treatment improved their symptoms and reduced their risk of death from heart problems.

5. May Help Manage Diabetes

Coenzyme Q10 can be part of a naturopathic solution to help you manage diabetes.

A 2014 study by Amin Et Al allowed scientists to gain insight into the possible ways that coenzyme Q10 improves insulin sensitivity and adjusts type 2 diabetes.

6. May Increase Fertility

Fertility decreases with age due to a decline in the number and quality of eggs or sperm.

As you age, your body’s production of coenzyme Q10 also slows, which makes your body less effective at protecting eggs or sperm from damage.

A 2015 study by Ben-Mier Et Al observed that coenzyme Q10 supports fertility and may even be able to reverse age-related decline in egg quality and quantity.

Similarly, a 2013 meta-analysis by Lafuente Et Al found that supplementing with coenzyme Q10 may improve sperm quality, activity, and concentration.

7. May Improve Athletic Performance

If you’re struggling to reach peak athletic performance, it might be because of oxidative stress on your muscles.

Supplementing with coenzyme Q10 could help with that.

A 2011 study by Gul Et Al investigated the effects of coenzyme Q10 on physical activity.

It found that people who supplemented with 1,200 mg of coenzyme Q10 per day for 60 days showed decreased oxidative stress.

Should Everyone Take Coenzyme Q10?

Most healthy people have enough coenzyme Q10 naturally.

But there’s evidence that adding more might be beneficial.

That said, there are some risks involved with coenzyme Q10 supplementation.

Most side effects are fairly mild, like heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea.

It might also lower your blood sugar and blood pressure, so if you have any issues with your kidneys, liver, or cardiovascular system, proceed with caution.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or taking blood thinners or thyroid medication, it’s not recommended that you take coenzyme Q10.

Before beginning to supplement with coenzyme Q10, be sure to speak with your naturopathic doctor.

Dietary Sources Of Coenzyme Q10

It’s easy to take coenzyme Q10 as a supplement in capsule form, but it can also be found in some foods.

Spinach, cauliflower, and broccoli all contain coenzyme Q10.

You can also find coenzyme Q10 in fatty fish, soybeans, lentils, peanuts, oranges, and strawberries.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Do you have any of the conditions listed above that could be helped with coenzyme Q10?

Or do you think you might be at risk for one of the conditions?

If so, contact me, Dr. Maria, to book an appointment.

During your appointment, you’ll have the chance to tell me about your health concerns and together we will set goals and create a treatment plan just for you.

Contact me, Dr. Maria, today.

What Are Goitrogens In Food, And Are They Bad? | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

What Are Goitrogens In Food, And Are They Bad?

By Blog

What Are Goitrogens In Food, And Are They Bad? | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Knowing what you should – and shouldn’t – eat these days is a daunting task.

Everywhere you turn there is an “expert” shilling their latest diet, eating plan, or list of top ten foods to avoid.

So what should you follow?

The short answer is, there is no “one size fits all” diet or eating plan which will work for everyone.

The right diet for you depends on your health history, and what your goals are.

If things seem confusing, you may want to consider seeing a Mississauga naturopathic doctor who offers nutritional counselling.

Today we will look at goitrogens in food, what they are, and why you should be aware of them.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Goitrogens?

Goitrogens are compounds which are found in many leafy green vegetables, soy-based foods, and starchy fruits.

These compounds can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland, and limit your body’s ability to make thyroid hormones.

When the thyroid is having difficulty making hormones, it works harder and becomes enlarged.

Enlargement of the thyroid gland is also called a “goiter”, which is where the term goitrogen comes from.

How Do Goitrogens Cause Problems?

There are a couple different ways goitrogens can cause issues for people with thyroid issues.

Keep reading as we take a look at what they are.

1. Iodine Blockers

A 2012 study in the journal Cancer Causes & Control found that compounds in cruciferous vegetables inhibit iodine transport.

Iodine is an important factor in the production of thyroid hormones, so when iodine is blocked, it can result in a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.

2. Interfering with Thyroid Hormones

Goitrogens can interfere with the ability of the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones.

One way they do this is by interfering with thyroid peroxidase (TPO), an enzyme which attaches iodine to tyrosine (an amino acid) which forms the basis of thyroid hormones.

Goitrogens can also interfere with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones.

What does this mean in English?

If your thyroid is under-producing hormones, it can lead to hypothyroidism.

That’s a difficult disorder which can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including:

  • Weight gain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Dry, thinning skin or hair
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Hoarse throat
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Aches, tenderness, and stiffness in the muscles or joints
  • Heavier menstruation
  • Depression
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Goiter
  • Higher cholesterol levels

foods that contain goitrogens | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Foods High In Goitrogens

Foods which are known to be goitrogenic include:

Soy-based foods:

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Soy milk
  • Edamame

Starchy plants and fruits:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pine nuts
  • Strawberries
  • Corn
  • Pears
  • Peanuts
  • Lima beans
  • Peaches
  • Pears

Cruciferous Vegetables:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Horseradish
  • Turnips

But I Thought Those Were Healthy Foods!

So you’ve just read through the above list of foods containing goitrogens, and you’re thinking “aren’t these supposed to be good for me?”

The answer is, “It’s complicated”.

Most of the foods listed above, especially the ones falling under the “cruciferous vegetables” category, are full of nutrients, and are generally healthy, despite their goitrogenic effects.

Others such as soy and peanuts are more complicated, and in some cases should be avoided.

Should You Be Concerned About Goitrogens?

The vast majority of the population doesn’t need to be overly concerned about goitrogens in food.

Most of the foods which contain goitrogens are also extremely nutritious and you would have to eat them in very large amounts to cause any thyroid function problems.

Unless you have another reason to avoid them, such as a food sensitivity or allergy, they can be part of a healthy diet where their benefits outweigh their risks.

It’s important to recognize, too, that each food listed as a goitrogen acts in different ways on the thyroid.

For most people with hypothyroidism, the cause is not related to an iodine deficiency.

As a result, eating foods which block iodine uptake such as sweet potato or cruciferous vegetables is still generally safe.

If you’re still worried about cruciferous vegetables, though, cooking or steaming them can deactivate the iodine-blocking elements.

However, goitrogens which can impair the production of thyroid hormones such as soy should be avoided by those with hypothyroidism.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you worried about your thyroid hormone levels?

Or perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and are looking for natural solutions to help manage your symptoms.

Maybe you are confused about what you should and shouldn’t be eating and are looking for some nutritional guidance to help sort things out.

No matter the issue, the Mindful Healing clinic can help.

Contact me, Dr. Maria, today.

I’ll work with you to develop a plan based on your individual health needs and situation, and take the guesswork out of what foods you should be eating more of, and what you should avoid.

Naturopathic Treatments For Graves' Disease | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic Treatments For Graves’ Disease

By Blog

Naturopathic Treatments For Graves' Disease | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Sleep.

Appetite.

Energy.

Sex drive.

Metabolism.

Each of these bodily functions are controlled, at least in part, by hormones created by the thyroid.

So if you’re having issues in any of these areas which can’t be otherwise explained, it might be related to your thyroid producing too many, or too little hormones.

When your thyroid is overactive and creating too many hormones, this is called hyperthyroidism – one of the main causes of this is Graves’ disease.

Today we will look at what Graves’ disease is, how to recognize the symptoms, and some naturopathic treatments for this thyroid problem.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Graves’ Disease?

The disease was discovered by its namesake, Robert Graves, in 1835.

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune response which results in hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones).

The thyroid produces hormones which affect a wide range of bodily functions, and because of this, Graves’ disease can affect a large number of your body’s systems.

Symptoms Of Graves’ Disease

Symptoms of Graves’ disease include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Goiter
  • Elongated, red tongue
  • Dry, hot skin
  • Muscle tremors, especially in the hands and fingers
  • Changes to the menstrual cycle
  • Reduced libido, erectile dysfunction
  • Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy)
  • Tiredness
  • Thick red skin on the tops of feet and shins (Graves’ dermopathy)

What Causes Graves’ Disease?

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune response, and the exact cause is unknown.

It occurs when your immune system produces an antibody which overrides the regulation of the thyroid, resulting in an overproduction of thyroid hormone.

There is no one single cause of Graves’ disease across every patient who is afflicted, although there does seem to be a genetic component.

Other factors which should be considered include:

  • Lymphatic stagnation and toxicity due to a history of head or neck trauma
  • Gluten intolerance and food allergies
  • Poor digestive system health

How Common Is Graves’ Disease?

According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in Canada, affecting an estimated 1 in 100 people.

treatments of Graves' Disease through naturopathic medcine | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic Treatments For Graves’ Disease

If you have Graves’ disease, there are a number of ways you can manage your condition, naturally, to help keep your symptoms under control.

Let’s have a look at a few of these.

1. Quit Smoking

Exposure to tobacco and other drugs has been shown to be a trigger for autoimmune disorders.

The thought is that the high levels of toxins in cigarettes can cause damage to healthy cells, and increase inflammation, causing the release of T-fighter cells.

If you are a smoker, this is one of many reasons to consider quitting, or at very least cutting back on this habit.

2. L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is an amino acid which plays a role in the production of energy in the body, by transporting fatty acids to the mitochondria of the cell.

It can be produced in the body, and also obtained through supplementation, or through dietary sources by eating animal products such as meat and fish.

L-Carnitine blocks the thyroid hormone from entering cells, and can be beneficial to patients with hyperthyroidism.

3. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress has been shown to trigger autoimmune reactions in humans, and increase inflammation.

Additionally, often times Graves’ disease patients report having high stress levels before developing the disease.

High levels of cortisol and adrenaline due to stress can have impacts on neurotransmitter function and make the symptoms of thyroid disease worse.

Therefore, managing stress levels is one of the best ways to combat the effects of Graves’ disease and other autoimmune disorders.

Exercise, meditation, spending time outside, in nature, and massage therapy are all great ways to manage stress levels.

4. Reduce Your Exposure To Environmental Toxins

There are thousands of chemicals most of us come in contact with every day.

They can disrupt the endocrine system, affecting the function of your thyroid.

A few ways to avoid exposure to these toxins include buying organic produce as much as possible, avoiding medications which aren’t absolutely necessary, and using natural household products instead of ones which use heavy chemicals.

5. Selenium

Selenium is a mineral which is found in soil, and appears naturally in some foods.

It is an important factor for healthy thyroid function, playing a role in hormone synthesis and metabolism.

Supplementation with selenium has been shown to help reduce symptoms of Graves’ disease, including Graves’ ophthalmopathy.

Foods which are high in selenium include:

  • Fish
  • Brazil nuts and cashew nuts
  • Meats including pork, beef, chicken, and turkey
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt
  • Brown rice and lentils
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Baked beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Bananas

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you experiencing symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, insomnia, or muscle tremors and can’t determine the cause?

Have you considered it might be a thyroid disorder such as Graves’ disease?

Or perhaps you are already diagnosed with Graves’ and are seeking natural solutions to help manage your symptoms.

The Mindful Healing Clinic is here for you.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and learn more about how naturopathic medicine can help you.

How Can Naturopathic Medicine Benefit Someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder? | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

How Can Naturopathic Medicine Benefit Someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

By Blog

How Can Naturopathic Medicine Benefit Someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder? | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor
Have you or your child been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Maybe you have a child who has been struggling with sleep, cognitive difficulties, and/or behavioral issues?

Has your child been afflicted with recurring ear infections anda history of taking antibiotics?

You could be wondering how a naturopathic doctor could help.

Keep reading to learn about natural autism support options, and how they can help to alleviate the physical and cognitive symptoms you might find problematic.

Understanding Autism

To help better understand how naturopathic medicine can benefit someone with autism, we need to understand what autism is.

People who have autism are considered to have a neuro-biological condition, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which covers a wide group of neurodevelopmental disorders.

People living with ASD might have issues with:

  • Communication
  • Understanding what people mean
  • Reading social cues.

Having these challenges can vary from mild to severe.

Many people with autism are able to lead fulfilling lives, while some are faced with debilitating disabilities that present serious challenges.

Children with autism may have behavioral or developmental issues that cause chronic distress/anxiety for the autistic person, as well as their parents.

Your child with ASD could have underlying health issues that could be from nutritional deficiencies, suffer unknown food allergies or may have been exposed to environmental pollutants.

Common Signs of Autism

The signs of ASD in young children can be seen as early as 1, but typically, they are diagnosed after the age of 3.

These are some signs that fall under the autism spectrum disorder:

  • Has poor social skills, difficulty with eye contact, or communication
  • Demonstrates delayed speech and language skills
  • Has irregular behaviors like repetitive motions (rocking back and forth, moving hands)
  • Impulsivity
  • Can be aggressive
  • Adverse reactions such as sensitivity to sensory input
  • Irregular eating and sleeping habits
  • Trouble adapting to changes in routine
  • Self-harming behaviors such as hitting themselves or pulling hair
  • Difficulty coping with emotions and understanding empathy

What Causes Autism?

We don’t yet know the root cause of autism.

However, what is clear is that race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background have no bearing on it.

We do know some risk factors, though. They include:

  • Genetics – whether passed on by immediate family with ASD, or a genetic mutation
  • Pregnancy – Drug or alcohol use, exposure to infections, toxins like heavy metals, and mother having autoimmune diseases
  • Medical history of repetitiveinfections – many ASD children are afflicted with chronic ear infections

What Is an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism used to be considered a singular disorder but is now considered to be under the term autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because of the wide variation in the type and severity of the symptoms.

If you or your child has an ASD, you might be diagnosed with one of the following individual conditions:

Asperger’s Syndrome

People with Asperger’s syndrome often have issues with social cues and communication but are generally quite intelligent and independent.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Issues with pervasive developmental disorder are generally more severe than Asperger’s but less severe than autistic disorder.

Autistic Disorder

Autistic disorder is considered to be the further end of the spectrum – where symptoms are more intense.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

This is a rare disorder, where between the ages of 2-4, neurotypical children lose their social, mental, and language skills. Sometimes they can develop a seizure disorder.

A Naturopathic Doctor’s Role in Autism Treatment

So, how can naturopathic medicine help?

Navigating the immense amount of information on autism spectrum disorders can be intimidating and overwhelming, but I’m here to help.

I’ll work with you to help to sort through it all and recommend naturopathic treatments to help alleviate autism symptoms.

Continue reading to see some services The Mindful Healing Clinic can offer you:

1. Nutritional Counselling

It can be difficult to know what foods to eat, and to understand the impact of these foods on our health or behaviors.

If you have a child with ASD, they could be suffering from food sensitivities, and have nutritional deficiencies.
ANational health interview survey found that children with autism were subject to food allergies which could be contributing to the autism symptoms.

Research shows that many children with ASD are more likely to have food allergies and that a gluten and casein free diet as a dietary intervention can prove beneficial.

More research has shown a strong correlation between the level of mineral and vitamindeficiency and how severe the autism symptoms are.

In a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials it was shown that a deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids might be linked to autism spectrum disorder.

There is evidence that by supplementing omega 3 fatty acids, it can help to ease symptoms in autistic children.

2. Addressing Gut Health

The foods we eat are extremely important for our gut health, however, diets that consists largely of refined sugars and oxidized fats are very common.

Did you know there are trillions of microorganisms in your gut?

Good news is that mostare good for your health.

But some of them aren’t.

Excess yeast, or overgrowth of harmful bacteria can lead to health issues.

Frequent antibiotic use in childhood is a risk factor for having fewer good bacteria in the gut because the antibiotics remove both good and bad bacteria.

It is also shown that gastrointestinal symptoms are common in people with ASD and that microbiome-mediated therapies could prove to be an effective safe treatment for people with autism.

As well, people with ASD may benefit from probiotic treatment

Having a diverse microbiota in your gut is healthy. Contact us here at the Mindful Healing Clinic for a gut bacterial analysis that can help understand and explain your current health situation and what possible conditions you’re at risk for.

3. Detoxification

Research shows that the presence of toxins – such as food additives, preservatives, and pesticides – can have adverse health effects on young children and adults with ASD.

It seems that those with ASD are more sensitive to toxins because they lack nutrients that are needed to help naturally detox chemicals, food additives/preservatives, metals, and pesticides.

Research shows evidence that exposure to environmental toxins can be a cause of ASD in children.

In a study published in the journal Environmental Pollution, researchers list 3 main environmental agents that could be contributing factors to the development of autism in children:

  • Heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
  • Persistent organic pollutants – DDT, PBDEs, and PCB.
  • Newer chemical such as phthalates and BPA.

One example of toxic heavy metals is mercury, which can lower your ability to make glutathione – an antioxidant which is produced in our cells which helps to remove toxins from our bodies.

There was a clinical trial published in the journal Medical Science Monitor showing the benefit of normalizing glutathione in repairing oxidative damage.

As well, raising the levels of glutathione in children with ASD may help remove those harmful toxins from the system that can intensify ASD symptoms.

Do you live in an area that could have higher usage of pesticides?

Do you use a lot of BPA plastics?

Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic

There is no known cure for Autism.

However, naturopathic medicine therapies can be used as adjuvant treatments for autistic children. Combined with traditional medical/psychotherapy-based approaches, they can help to reduce the severity of your child’s autism symptoms.
The Mindful Healing Clinic is here to help you find solutions..

Book an appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic and see how naturopathic medicine can help you achieve better health.

Contact me, Dr. Maria, today.