Skip to main content
Frequently Asked Questions About Your Metabolism | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Frequently Asked Questions About Your Metabolism

By Blog

Frequently Asked Questions About Your Metabolism | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

You probably know that your metabolism has something to do with how your body uses the food you eat.

It might have something to do with energy and body mass, right?

But what is your metabolism, really?

And if you aren’t satisfied with the one you have, can you change it?

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, and if you’re confused about metabolism, you’re not alone.

There’s a lot of information out there about it, and it can be difficult to parse through it all.

So let’s cut through the fluff and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about your metabolism.

What Is Metabolism?

Many people think that metabolism is the rate at which your body uses up calories, but this is a misconception.

Metabolism refers to all the complex chemical processes that happen inside your cells to convert food into energy.

Your metabolism produces energy to fuel all your essential bodily functions.

So where does that misconception about burning calories come in?

Every person has something called a basal metabolic rate, or BMR.

Your BMR refers to the number of calories you use to keep yourself alive when your body is at rest.

So, your metabolism is the chemical reactions that create energy in your body, and your BMR is the amount of that energy your body uses to keep you alive.

What Is The Purpose of Metabolism?

Your metabolism is responsible for the energy used for your basic bodily functions, including:

RELATED: Frequently Asked Questions About Hormones

Your BMR accounts for about 60 to 70% of the energy produced by your metabolism.

10% of the energy that’s left goes back into your metabolic processes to create more energy.

Whatever is left is used to fuel your movement and other activities.

What Does It Mean To Have A Fast Or Slow Metabolism?

Having a fast metabolism or fast BMR means that you use a higher number of calories even when at rest.

If you have a slow metabolism or BMR, you use energy more slowly and need fewer calories to survive.

Having a fast or slow metabolism does not translate directly to being large or small.

Muscle, fat, bone, and other bodily tissues require different amounts of calories to grow, heal, and maintain.

Your metabolism is impacted by your body composition and several other factors.

Can Illness Change Your Metabolism?

You might notice that you lose a little weight during a cold or flu.

This might happen because you are unable to keep food down or absorb nutrients, or because your body is using more energy to fight the illness.

Like crash dieting, these kinds of changes in your metabolism are usually temporary.

However, there are some health conditions that have a more lasting impact on your metabolism.

Cushing’s Syndrome and thyroid disorders are endocrine disorders that can affect your metabolism.

In particular, hypothyroidism can slow it down, and hyperthyroidism can speed it up.

In addition, genetic metabolic disorders can impact how your body metabolizes certain nutrients and enzymes.

These inherited metabolic disorders include:

  • Wilson disease
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Gaucher disease
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Maple syrup urine disease
  • Mitochondrial diseases

What Other Factors Affect Metabolism?

Your BMR can change over time and is impacted by several factors.

Your body composition has a major role in how quickly or slowly your metabolism works.

Your muscles use more energy for maintenance and repair than other tissue in your body.

Regardless of your overall size, the more muscle mass you have, the more energy you will use to maintain your body.

Body composition can also be impacted by age, genes, and sex.

As you age you lose muscle mass, slowing down your metabolism.

Your genes influence your body composition, including muscle size and ability to build muscle.

Sex and hormones can impact your body composition, including bone, muscle, and fat tissue.

People with higher testosterone tend to have heavier bones and more muscle, and on average use more calories.

Lifestyle factors also impact your metabolism.

After your essential bodily functions, movement uses up the greatest percentage of your calories.

Even if it’s not a high impact fitness routine, physical activity burns more calories than being still.

Whether it’s a Saturday sports league, a lot of running around in your daily life, or a hobby like gardening, birdwatching, or yoga, anything that keeps you moving will boost your metabolism.

RELATED: Naturopathic Weight Management Solutions

Quitting smoking may lead to a slow down in your metabolism as well – this is because nicotine speeds up your metabolism.

Despite this, the long term health benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the impact on your metabolism.

How Do You Improve Your Metabolism? | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

How Do You Improve Your Metabolism?

Your metabolism is always at work inside your body.

Strategies to improve your metabolism need to be slow and steady to have long term effects.

Short term approaches like restrictive diets and aggressive exercise routines can shock your metabolism.

Instead, try making small, consistent changes.

Here are some healthy, sustainable, and natural ways to boost your metabolism.

1. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is essential to balancing the chemical processes in your body.

Drinking water is also a great way to regulate some of the things that impact your metabolism.

Drinking 500 ml of water 30 minutes before a meal can help you control your appetite and manage your caloric intake.

Replacing sugary beverages with water is also a natural way to limit your intake of extra calories and harmful refined sugars.

RELATED: How To Lose Weight With Water

2. Drink Green Tea

Another alternative to sugar sweetened beverages, green tea offers a few benefits when it comes to improving your metabolism.

The chemical compounds in green tea help convert stored fat into free fatty acids.

This may make it easier for your body to use and eliminate stored fat.

Caffeine, which is found in green tea, can also offer a temporary metabolism boost that increases your calorie use during exercise.

3. Exercise

Any physical activity will use more calories than sitting.

If you work at a desk, try switching to a standing desk, going for a walk at lunch, or getting up for a few stretches once every 45 minutes.

Certain types of exercise also offer specific benefits when it comes to boosting your metabolism.

Weight training is a great way to improve your metabolism because it builds muscle mass, which will naturally increase your resting metabolism.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short bursts of very intense physical activity.

If this type of exercise is safe for you, it can help you boost your metabolic rate during and after your workout.

4. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can really disrupt your body’s natural processes, including your metabolism.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and variations in the hormones ghrelin and leptin.

High blood sugar and insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Ghrelin and leptin help your body to feel hungry and full.

When your body’s natural systems for delivering energy and recognizing that you need to eat are disrupted, it can be more difficult to regulate your hunger and energy use.

If you have a hard time falling asleep, here are some natural solutions to combat insomnia.

RELATED: Why Do We Need Sleep, Anyway?

5. Eat Plenty Of Protein

If you’re trying to manage your caloric intake more efficiently, eating protein is your secret weapon.

Your body uses more energy to digest protein than it uses for carbohydrates or fats.

You also digest protein more slowly, so you will feel full longer.

If you are changing your diet or exercising more, lean protein will also help to preserve and build muscle mass as you lose body fat.

All these factors can help you to manage your caloric intake and use calories more efficiently.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Whether it is fast or slow, your metabolism is always there, always working to deliver what your body needs.

With time, sensible physical activity, and some minor adjustments to what you eat and drink, you can make your metabolism your friend.

To learn more about natural, balanced, sustainable approaches to improving your metabolism, book your appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Nutrient Profile: Selenium | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Nutrient Profile: Selenium

By Blog

Nutrient Profile: Selenium | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

If you’re looking to help support the healthy functioning of your body, then consider adding selenium to your diet.

Haven’t heard of selenium before?

It’s an amazing nutrient that can provide many health benefits vital to your health.

You only need a small amount of it and can help with a variety of processes in your body.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a hormonal support naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, and today I’d like to help you understand what selenium is and what it can do for you.

This includes things like your metabolism, immune system, and thyroid function.

So let’s take a look at selenium and its benefits for your diet.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a mineral that’s found in soil.

It’s an essential mineral and as such, it must be obtained through your diet.

Selenium is naturally found in a variety of foods as well as water.

Adding selenium rich foods into your nutrition can play a key role to your overall health.

What Does Selenium Do For Your Body?

Selenium has been found to help with a variety of body functions.

Not only does it help your body but there have been studies of its potential benefits to numerous conditions.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways selenium could benefit your health.

It Supports Your Thyroid

Your thyroid is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland in your neck.

Did you know your thyroid tissue has a higher amount of selenium than any other organ in your body?

Selenium can help protect your thyroid against oxidative damage.

It can also play an essential role in your ability to produce thyroid hormones.

A healthy thyroid gland regulates your metabolism as well as controls growth and development.

Studies have shown that selenium could benefit people with certain thyroid disorders, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

One study found that selenium supplements lowered thyroid antibodies, but more research is required.

It Keeps Your Heart Healthy

Selenium may play a role in keeping your heart healthy.

Low levels of selenium have been linked to increased risk of heart disease.

A review of several studies showed that people with heart disease who took selenium supplements had lower levels of inflammatory markers.

Adequate selenium levels can also reduce your risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Adding foods with higher quantities of selenium can help keep inflammation and oxidative stress low, and your heart healthy.

It’s A Potent Antioxidant

Antioxidants are important because they prevent cell damage.

Most of this cell damage is caused by free radicals, byproducts from the processes of your metabolism.

A diet rich in processed foods, stress, smoking, and alcohol use can cause an excess of free radicals, leading to oxidative stress and damage to your cells.

Selenium works as an antioxidant by helping reduce oxidative stress, which can help protect your body from other conditions.

There are many other antioxidants you can get in your diet as well, including:

It Keeps Your Mind Sharp

It is believed that oxidative stress is involved in the onset and progression of numerous neurological diseases.

This includes things like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.

Studies show that Alzheimer’s patients have lower levels of selenium in their blood.

Furthermore, antioxidants, like selenium, may improve memory in patients with Alzheimer’s.

Mediterranean diets, consisting of rich selenium foods like nuts and seafood, are associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s.

Selenium may also improve verbal fluency and various other mental functions in those with mild cognitive impairment.

It Supports Your Immune System

You need a healthy immune system to keep your body strong and able to fight off threats like viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Through its reduction of oxidative stress, selenium reduces inflammation and boosts your immunity.

Having adequate selenium levels in your body can help improve your immune response.

In this case, selenium supplements could strengthen the immune system in those with tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and influenza.

Studies have also shown a link with selenium deficiency and increased risk in the disease progression of people with HIV.

In particular, a 2019 review by Muzembo et al found that selenium supplementation can slow the progression of HIV into AIDS.

However, more research is needed.

What Does Selenium Do For Your Body? | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Dietary Sources of Selenium

The amount of selenium in food sources depends on the content of soil that the foods were farmed in.

Do your best to get selenium from whole foods, otherwise the mineral might lose its nutrient value from processing.

These are some natural food sources that contain selenium:

  • Brazil Nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Poultry, such as chicken breast
  • Beef
  • Sardines
  • Halibut
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Red snapper
  • Oysters
  • Shiitake mushrooms

Symptoms of Selenium Deficiency

Selenium deficiency can be more or less common depending on your diet and availability of food sources based on your location.

Some of the common symptoms of selenium deficiency include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle weakness
  • Infertility
  • Weakened immune system
  • Hair loss

Conditions such as HIV, digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, and kidney dialysis can limit your body’s ability to absorb selenium, leading to a deficiency.

Is It Possible To Overdose On Selenium?

While selenium is an essential mineral that can contribute to good health, taking too much can be toxic.

It’s good to keep in mind that toxicity is more likely to happen from taking supplements rather than eating selenium rich foods.

In severe cases, excess amounts of selenium can lead to acute selenium toxicity.

This can cause serious intestinal and neurological symptoms, kidney failure, heart attack, and in extreme cases, death.

Some signs of selenium toxicity you should watch out for:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Bad breath
  • Vomiting
  • Liver, kidney, and heart issues
  • Muscle soreness
  • Tremors
  • Facial flushing

It’s possible for selenium to interact with other supplements and medicines.

This includes antacids, chemotherapy drugs, birth control, niacin, cholesterol lowering statin drugs, and corticosteroids.

There may also be a potential association between selenium supplements and skin cancer, so avoid them if you are at risk.

Don’t let this scare you from adding selenium into your diet for its benefits, though.

If you’re considering adding selenium supplements to your routine, though, it’s a good idea to…

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Are you wondering if you’re getting the right amount of selenium in your diet to benefit your body?

Whether you have existing conditions or want to increase the overall health of your body, I am here to help.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga Ontario.

I can address your nutritional concerns and offer you counseling services to get you on the right track.

Book your appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today and let’s work together towards getting your body functioning at its peak.

Naturopathic Solutions For Hyperthyroidism |Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Naturopathic Solutions For Hyperthyroidism

By Blog

Naturopathic Solutions For Hyperthyroidism |Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Hormones are responsible for just about every function performed by your body.

From blood sugar to blood pressure, sex drive, sleep, and metabolism, maintaining the right balance of hormones is critical to good health.

The thyroid is the control centre for the majority of the hormones your body uses, which means having too much or too little thyroid hormone can have major impacts on your health.

If you’re worried about the health of your thyroid, you might be looking for a thyroid naturopathic doctor to help sort things out.

As a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, I want to help you learn about how thyroid hormones affect your body.

In the past, we’ve explored the thyroid quite a bit.

Today we’re going to look closer at what happens when your thyroid overproduces thyroid hormones, a condition known as hyperthyroidism.

Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Hyperthyroidism?

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland located at the front of your neck.

It’s a part of your endocrine system, a collection of hormone producing glands.

This includes your:

  • Pituitary gland
  • Parathyroid gland
  • Pancreas
  • Ovaries or testes
  • Adrenal glands
  • Thymus
  • Hypothalamus

Your kidneys also have endocrine functions, but they’re not strictly considered endocrine glands.

RELATED: Naturopathic Treatments For Your Endocrine System

Each of these glands produces hormones.

These include:

  • Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, produced by your gonads and adrenal glands
  • Insulin, produced by your pancreas
  • Cortisol, produced by your adrenal glands
  • And many more

Your thyroid is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones.

These control a number of your body’s important functions, including metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, and mood.

With hyperthyroidism, your thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone.

What Are The Major Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism?

If your body is overproducing thyroid hormone, you may experience the following symptoms:

What Can Trigger Hyperthyroidism?

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Graves’ disease.

Graves’ disease causes your immune system to attack your thyroid gland.

This causes it to kick into over drive, and as a result it releases too much thyroid hormone.

Other things which can trigger the release of excess thyroid hormone include:

  • Thyroid inflammation or swelling
  • Nodules on the thyroid (either benign or malignant)
  • High levels of the hormone T4 in the blood
  • Too much iodine in your diet
  • Tumours on the testes or ovaries

Is Hyperthyroidism Very Serious?

Left untreated, hyperthyroidism can result in a number of serious health problems.

These include:

  • Irregular heartbeat which can lead to blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Other heart issues
  • Osteoporosis
  • Graves’ ophthalmopathy, an eye disease which can cause double vision, light sensitivity, and eye pain

Hyperthyroidism can also lead to a far more serious condition called thyroid storm, which, when untreated, can be deadly.

If you get treatment early, however, hyperthyroidism is manageable in the majority of cases.

Can Hyperthyroidism Be Cancerous?

Having a hyperactive thyroid gland does not lead to an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer.

Nor does having an underactive thyroid gland.

Naturopathic Solutions For Hyperthyroidism

If you are worried about hyperthyroidism, there are a number of natural ways you can get things under control.

Let’s take a closer look.

1. Eat Thyroid Friendly Foods

Your diet influences your body, including your thyroid gland, functions.

If you’re concerned about thyroid health, add more of these things to your diet:

2. Avoid These Foods

People with overactive thyroid glands should avoid the foods high in iodine, including:

  • Iodized salt
  • Kelp
  • Seaweed
  • Seafood
  • Lima bean
  • Cod
  • Prunes

Additionally, some other foods to avoid include:

  • Excess sugar
  • Artificial dyes
  • Artificial flavours
  • Processed and packaged foods
  • Foods containing gluten

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

What Can Trigger Hyperthyroidism?| Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

3. Get Enough B Vitamins

If you have a hyperactive thyroid, then it’s likely you’re also lacking in B complex vitamins, and specifically vitamin B12.

Low levels of vitamin B12 can result in feelings of weakness, dizziness, and tiredness.

Ensuring you get enough B vitamins can help alleviate and manage these symptoms.

Some foods high in B vitamins, and vitamin B12 in particular include:

  • Beef
  • Oysters
  • Organ meats such as liver
  • Salmon
  • Nutritional yeast

If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you might notice there aren’t a lot of options for you to get enough vitamin B12.

That’s one of the reasons why vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies.

In that case, it might be ideal to supplement.

But before you add a new supplement to your routine, be sure to book an appointment here at the Mindful Healing Clinic first.

Adding a new supplement may cause issues with any other supplements, as well as medications or other health conditions.

4. Get Enough Selenium

There is evidence to suggest that selenium can be used to help provide treatment for both Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism symptoms.

It’s a mineral which can be found in soil and water, as well foods including:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Beef
  • Chicken and turkey
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Mushrooms
  • Cashews

If you are worried about getting enough selenium from food, you may consider a supplement.

But as mentioned above, be sure to book an appointment here at the Mindful Healing Clinic first.

5. Supplement With L Carnitine

L Carnitine is an amino acid which occurs naturally in your body.

It blocks thyroid hormones from entering some cells and can be used to help prevent and reverse symptoms related to hyperthyroidism.

Foods which contain L Carnitine include avocado, beef, chicken, and pork.

Book Your Appointment With Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND, Today

Are you experiencing symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism?

Have you been losing weight, despite not making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine?

Are you tired all the time, yet have trouble falling asleep at night?

Has your menstrual cycle become irregular?

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a Mississauga based naturopathic doctor who can help by assessing your symptoms and offering a treatment plan designed to help you get your thyroid hormones under control.

Contact my office today to book your consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hormones | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Frequently Asked Questions About Hormones

By Blog

Frequently Asked Questions About Hormones | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Everyone talks about hormones, but doesn’t it sometimes feel like no one really knows what they are?

We hear all the time that someone is acting hormonal, or that a hormonal imbalance could be the cause of our chronic fatigue, but no one seems to know what to do about it.

Hormones are part of an incredibly complex system in your body called the endocrine system.

If you’ve been feeling off and have a hunch that a hormone imbalance may be at play, you could be onto something.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is find someone who will help you take a look at your holistic health and offer guidance.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor for hormone balancing near me, and today, let’s take a look at hormones.

In particular, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about hormones.

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are the chemicals that travel through your bloodstream to deliver messages to other parts of your body.

Most of your bodily functions require hormones to work properly.

Your glands send messages via your hormones to various body parts, telling them what to do and how to do it.

Some of the hormones you may have heard of include:

However, there are over 50 hormones in the human body that have so far been identified.

Your glands, hormones, and the rest of the tissues involved in their production make up your endocrine system.

What Do Hormones Do?

There are many bodily processes that hormones play a role in, including your metabolism, moods, sexual function, and sleep cycle.

They are a pivotal part of homeostasis.

Homeostasis is your body’s way of maintaining internal balance.

This includes blood pressure and blood sugar regulation, fluid retention, body temperature, and electrolyte balance.

Bodily processes often involve more than one hormone, sometimes called a chain reaction.

Hunger is controlled by hormones, as well as your emotions.

Some hormones even function as neurotransmitters, which relay messages from the brain to your muscles, for example.

Where Are Hormones Made?

When we’re talking about something as complex as your hormonal system, there’s no one answer to where your hormones are made.

They’re made by glands that are specialized to secrete certain hormones.

These are the organs that make up your endocrine system.

From your hypothalamus to your liver, your body is always hard at work creating the hormones you need.

Let’s talk about some of the most pivotal parts of your body hard at work making your hormones.

1. Your Thyroid

Under your skin at the front of your neck lives your thyroid.

Thyroxine and triiodothyronine (together often referred to as “thyroid hormones”), as well as reverse triiodothyronine and calcitonin, are the hormones produced by your thyroid.

Your body’s process for making the food you eat into energy, called its metabolism, is most controlled by your thyroid.

RELATED: Naturopathic Solutions For Thyroid Issues

2. Your Pancreas

Your pancreas, which is both part of your endocrine system and digestive system, lives in the back of your abdomen.

There are endocrine cells in your pancreas that produce both insulin and glucagon.

That means it plays a role in your body’s blood sugar regulation.

You may have heard of insulin in relation to diabetes.

That’s because with both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, the pancreas has difficulty producing insulin.

That’s why diabetics need to supplement their insulin.

RELATED: Naturopathic Digestive Health Solutions

3. Your Ovaries Or Testes

If you have ovaries, they’ll be on either side of your uterus below your fallopian tubes.

Your ovaries are responsible for producing the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

If you have testes, they will hang outside of your body below your penis and produce the hormone testosterone.

Ovaries and testes and the hormones they individually produce are all part of your reproductive system.

4. Your Adrenal Glands

Your adrenal glands are at the top of your two kidneys.

They’re responsible for many different hormones including cortisol, aldosterone, androgens, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Your adrenal glands play a role in blood pressure regulation and also help you regulate your stress levels and stress reactions.

5. Your Pituitary Gland

Your pituitary gland is at the base of your brain below your hypothalamus.

The pituitary gland produces hormones that assist other glands in their functioning as well, so it’s playing a vital role in your endocrine system.

Your pituitary gland is responsible for eight hormones between its two lobes:

  • Oxytocin
  • Antidiuretic hormone
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • Growth hormone
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Folliclestimulating hormone
  • Thyroidstimulating hormone

6. Other Sources Of Hormones

Other sources of hormones include your pineal gland, which is responsible for producing melatonin, a key player in your sleep wake cycle.

Your hypothalamus, working closely with your pituitary gland, makes many hormones including the well known dopamine and oxytocin.

It’s not just your glands that are working on hormone production – your fat tissue, kidneys, gut, liver, and placenta (if you temporarily have had one) are also sources of your body’s hormones.

What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?

As you can tell by how many parts of your body are involved in your endocrine system, it’s an incredibly complex part of your body’s function.

This can obviously be difficult to keep in balance.

There are many things that can cause hormonal imbalance, including tumors and other growths.

Autoimmune conditions are known to cause hormonal imbalances, as well as genetic disorders and hereditary mutations.

You may also have been exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Damage or injury to a gland that produces your hormones can also cause imbalance.

What Are Hormones? | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

What Illnesses Are Related To Hormones?

If your body’s hormones are out of balance, you could feel pretty sick.

Chronic fatigue, insomnia, and low blood sugar could all result from conditions causing hormonal imbalances.

Some of the illnesses and conditions related to hormones include:

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

If you suspect your hormones may be imbalanced and causing you some issues, you’re not alone.

At the Mindful Healing Clinic, we’re here to help you navigate your health and wellbeing.

Book your appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Do Adaptogens Really Work? |Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Do Adaptogens Really Work?

By Blog

Do Adaptogens Really Work? |Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Are you experiencing heightened levels of anxiety, stress, and depression?

If so, the first thing you should know is that you’re not alone.

Living in the modern world often comes with a lot of stress that, over time, can wreak havoc on your body.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we can work with you to help offset some of the negative effects that stress can have on your body, such as lowered immune function and poor sleep quality.

One of the ways we do this is through adaptogens.

My name is Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a healing botanical medicine naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, Ontario, and today we’re going to take a look at adaptogens.

What are adaptogens?

How can they help you manage stress?

And do they really work?

Sit tight and keep reading to find out more.

What Are Adaptogens?

“Adaptogen” is a broad term used to describe certain plant based substances that help your body recover from and improve resistance to the negative effects of stress.

Adaptogens are naturally found in a wide range of plant based foods, such as turmeric and ginseng.

They provide a broad range of benefits to your health.

For instance, ginseng is known to help your pituitary and adrenal gland function.

This can improve sleep, lower your risk of developing arthritis, and help manage chronic fatigue.

What Does An Adaptogen Do?

The primary benefit of adaptogens is boosted adrenal function.

Your adrenal glands are responsible for regulating your stress hormones.

Adaptogens work to restore your body’s natural balance and improve your resistance to both short and long term physical and mental stress.

Therefore, eating foods rich in adaptogens can help reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health.

Some of the benefits adaptogens are known to provide include:

What Foods Are High In Adaptogens?

Fortunately, adaptogens are easy to find in many common pantry items.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of them.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that can help to support your body’s natural antioxidant functions as well as help manage levels of stress hormone production.

It can also help you maintain a healthy body weight, healthy blood pressure, and manage immune and inflammation responses while under stress.

Turmeric can also help with PCOS symptoms.

Turmeric is commonly found in many Asian themed dishes, such as curries, as well as soups and certain lattes.

2. Liquorice Root

Liquorice root is an herb that has been found to help regulate cortisol, the stress hormone produced by your adrenal gland.

Not only can chewing on liquorice root help support your adrenal gland, but the act of chewing can also provide a distraction from the state of anxiety.

Liquorice root is also commonly enjoyed in tea form.

3. Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Holy basil is another herb that can help to manage your stress response and improve symptoms of anxiety.

Despite its name, holy basil isn’t related to basil.

It’s part of the mint family that can provide a peppery taste to soups, stir fries, and pastas.

It can also be combined in a tea with liquorice root for additional benefits.

What Are Adaptogens? | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

4. Moringa

Studies suggest that moringa can help to stabilize blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

The moringa tree leaf is most commonly found in its dried or ground form and can be added to foods to provide a nutty taste.

It can also be added to juices and smoothies.

5. Maca

Maca is a member of the cruciferous family and shares similarities with kale, broccoli, and cabbage.

It provides your body with a powerhouse of nutrients ranging from seven essential amino acids to fibre.

It can additionally help to balance your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels and boost your libido.

Maca powder is commonly added to smoothies, porridge, breakfast bowls, home baking, and much more.

Should You Take Adaptogens?

Now that you’ve heard all about the benefits of adaptogens, you might be wondering if you should be increasing your daily intake.

It’s important to consult your trusted naturopathic doctor before making any decisions regarding your health.

Despite the many health benefits, adaptogens may have negative interactions with certain pharmaceuticals or health conditions.

If you’re considering taking adaptogens, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at The Mindful Healing Clinic.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Do you want to know if adaptogens are right for you?

Or are you interested in hearing more about natural methods for improving your health?

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we can help guide you to make the best possible decisions for your health.

Book your appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Health Benefits Of Eggs | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

Health Benefits Of Eggs

By Blog

Health Benefits Of Eggs | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic
How much do you know about eggs?

Sure, you might know how to make a tasty omelet, but did you know that eggs are one of the healthiest foods around?

That’s why eggs are often referred to as a “superfood”.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we have a special interest in helping you improve your health through nutrition.

And today, it’s eggs.

Keep reading to hear all about the numerous benefits of eggs and how naturopathic nutritional counselling can help guide you make the right dietary choices for your body.

Why Are Eggs So Good For You?

Eggs are cheap, abundant, and easy to come by.

That’s true of plenty of unhealthy foods as well, but fortunately eggs have a lot of health benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

Now, there are plenty of other eggs you may enjoy, including quail, duck, goose, and even fish eggs.

Today, though, we’re talking about chicken eggs.

1. They’re One Of The Most Nutrient Dense Foods

The reason chickens lay eggs is to protect their babies as they grow.

So they need to have enough nutrients inside them to support a baby chicken until it’s ready to hatch.

This means they’re incredibly dense in nutrients.

A single large boiled egg has significant amounts of:

In addition to these nutrients, eggs contain trace amounts of other types of nutrients needed to maintain health.

Finally, eggs also contain choline, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of.

Choline helps to build cell membranes and membrane signaling in the brain.

With the amount of nutrients packed inside of a single egg, it’s no wonder they are referred to as “superfoods”.

2. They’re Loaded With Antioxidants

In addition to nutrients, eggs are packed with antioxidants.

These antioxidants are in the egg yolk.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two of the most prominent antioxidants found in egg yolk.

Their primary function is to support your eye health.

Studies show that getting enough of these antioxidants may reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

3. They’re A Complete Protein

Protein is the main building block of your body.

It helps to create and support many types of tissues and molecules responsible for a variety of your body’s components.

Therefore, getting enough protein is an essential part to maintaining good health.

Getting enough protein is important for:

Eggs are an excellent source of protein.

A single large egg contains 6 grams of protein.

And since you generally eat more than one egg per sitting, they can be a great source of protein.

Are Brown Eggs Healthier than White Eggs? | Mindful Healing Clinic Dr. Maria Cavallazzi Naturopathic Doctor In Mississauga Streetsville Clinic

3. They’re Good For Weight Loss

Speaking of weight management, did you know that eggs can help you shed off an extra pound or two?

Due to their high protein content, eggs are quite filling for their size.

This can help reduce your caloric intake.

Replacing your breakfast cereal with eggs can help keep you full and therefore reduce your chances of snacking between meals.

RELAED: Naturopathic Solutions For How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off

4. They Raise Your HDL (Good) Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol often gets a bad rap.

While it’s true that certain types of cholesterol can raise your risk of heart disease, not all cholesterol is made equally.

Research continuously shows that cholesterol found in your diet won’t necessarily raise your blood cholesterol levels.

Your liver produces a large amount of cholesterol daily.

When you eat foods high in cholesterol, such as eggs, your liver will simply adjust by producing less of its own cholesterol to even things out.

The type of cholesterol found in eggs is referred to high density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol.

Higher levels of HDL cholesterol may actually reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.

It’s high levels of LDL cholesterol that cause the issue, and that isn’t found in eggs.

5. They’re Good For Your Heart

Eggs can also help reduce the negative effects of “bad” cholesterol in your body.

Unlike HDL, low density lipoprotein (LDL) is a type of cholesterol commonly associated with increased risks of heart disease.

LDL can be divided into two subtypes: small, dense LDL particles and larger LDL particles.

Smaller LDL particles are more dangerous to your heart health than larger particles.

Eating eggs can turn small, dense LDL particles into larger ones that don’t pose such a big threat to your health.

Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs?

Now that you’ve read all about the health benefits of eggs, you might be wondering which type of eggs provide your body with the most health benefits.

It might seem logical to assume that brown eggs are healthier than their white counterparts.

After all, brown bread is healthier than white bread, right?

Since brown hens cost more to feed, their eggs are typically more expensive to buy.

However, both types of eggs are pretty much identical in terms of their nutritional value.

If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, consider trying pastured or omega 3 enriched eggs.

These types of eggs are produced by feeding hens pasture or omega 3 enriched feeds.

This means their eggs hold higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A and E.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients for your body isn’t always easy.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, a Mississauga naturopathic clinic, we can help you design a meal plan that provides your body with the support it needs.

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

Nutrient Profile: Protein | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Nutrient Profile: Protein

By Blog

Nutrient Profile: Protein | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Micronutrients and macronutrients are responsible for just about every bodily function you can imagine.

All this comes through nutrition.

And the consequences if you don’t get enough nutrients can range from dry and irritated skin to loss of muscle mass and bone density.

It can certainly be overwhelming to try to understand all of the different nutrients out there, and how to know if you’re getting enough.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, and today we’re going to help you make sense of the nutrients your body needs and what they do for you.

As a nutritional counselling naturopathic doctor, I know that proper nutrition can make an enormous difference in your overall health.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at why you need protein, and how to get it.

What Is Protein?

Broadly speaking, there are two different types of nutrients – micronutrients and macronutrients.

We’ve talked about plenty of micronutrients before on this blog – they’re vitamins and minerals.

This includes:

On the other hand, there are three types of macronutrients – fats, carbohydrates, and the subject of this article – protein.

What Does Protein Do For The Body?

Protein does a lot.

It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough, because it affects so many different areas of your health.

Let’s look closer at some of these.

1. It Plays A Role In Biochemical Reactions In Your Body

One type of protein are enzymes, and enzymes are responsible for many of the biochemical reactions in your body.

Your body relies on enzymes for things like:

  • Blood clotting
  • Producing energy
  • Contracting your muscles
  • Digestion

Without enough protein, your body has a harder time doing all of these.

2. Your Body Uses Them To Make Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers your body uses to control its various functions.

They’re produced in your endocrine system, which includes your thyroid, kidneys, liver, sex organs, and more.

Your body uses protein as the building blocks for some of your hormones.

Some of the hormones made up of protein include:

  • Antidiuretic hormone, which tells your kidneys to reabsorb water
  • Insulin, which signals the cells to take in energy
  • Human growth hormone
  • Glucagon, which tells your liver to breakdown glucose

3. It Regulates Your Fluid Balance

Globulin and albumin are two proteins your body uses to regulate fluid balance.

They work by attracting and retaining water, and if this balance can’t be maintained it can cause fluid build up between the cells resulting in swelling.

4. It Helps Tissue In Your Body Grow

You might associate protein with the growth of muscle tissues, but the fact is you need it for more than just bulking up.

Protein is also a key factor in your skin, nails, bones, and organs.

Your body breaks down protein in order to repair these tissues.

Certain illness and being pregnant can cause your body to use extra protein in these cases.

5. It Gives Your Cells Structure

Collagen, elastin, and keratin are proteins that help give cells structure.

The plentiful protein in your body is collagen, which is responsible for the structure of your skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.

It also repairs skin injuries.

Elastin is what helps your tissue and organs to return to their normal shape and size after expanding and contracting.

Finally, keratin supports the health of your skin, hair, and nails.

6. Other Benefits Of Protein

We’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of protein.

Other great reasons to ensure you’re getting enough of this vital nutrient include:

What Does Protein Do For The Body and foods high in protein | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Dietary Sources Of Protein

When you think of foods high in protein, likely the first thing to come to mind is meat, fish, and eggs.

While it’s true that these are great ways to add protein to your diet, there are also a lot of excellent vegetarian and vegan options for increasing your protein intake.

If you’re looking for how to create a nutritious, environmentally friendly diet, you may be looking to reduce how much meat you eat.

Some great, non meat, ways to get your protein include:

  • Nuts
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Cottage cheese
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Quinoa

Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency

If you don’t get enough protein to meet your body’s needs, you run the risk of developing a protein deficiency.

This is uncommon in North America, since protein tends to be abundant in our diets.

Protein deficiency is mostly an issue for people with poor diets, and people with certain illnesses.

Some of the results of protein deficiency include:

  • Accumulation of fat in liver cells
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Stunted growth
  • Increased appetite, leading to obesity
  • Lowered ability to fight infections
  • Higher risk of bone fractures
  • Problems with hair, skin, and nails
  • Puffy, swollen skin

Is It Possible To Overdose On Protein?

Even though getting enough protein is a key part of your body being able to function at its peak, it’s definitely possible to get too much of a good thing.

If you eat too much protein, without fats and carbohydrates to balance it, you run the risk of developing protein poisoning, because of the strain on the kidneys and liver to metabolize it.

Symptoms of protein poisoning can include:

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Are you worried you aren’t getting enough protein?

Maybe you follow a vegetarian diet and are worried that the sources you’re including aren’t quite enough.

Or perhaps you have a gastrointestinal issue which stops you from properly absorbing nutrients.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga Ontario, and I can help.

One service I offer is nutritional counselling, which can help determine if you do have any nutritional deficiencies and find solutions to help you fill those gaps.

Book your appointment with me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, today.

Hormone Profile: Insulin | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Hormone Profile: Insulin

By Blog

Hormone Profile: Insulin | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

As a naturopath for hormone imbalance in Mississauga, I’ve written about hormones on this blog.

So far we’ve looked at estrogen and testosterone, as well as how to recognize signs of a hormonal imbalance in women.

Hormones are produced by your endocrine system, a part of your body that includes your thyroid, kidneys, liver, sex organs, and more.

Each endocrine organ produces different hormones, which your body needs to stay healthy.

One of these hormones is insulin.

Insulin is produced naturally every time you eat and works by helping glucose entering cells.

However, certain health conditions, such as diabetes, can interfere with your body’s ability to produce its own insulin.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a health condition that’s affecting your insulin levels, you might consider consulting a naturopathic doctor.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, our skilled Mississauga naturopathic doctors can help you balance your insulin levels to maintain good health.

Keep reading to hear more about insulin’s effects on your body and how a naturopathic doctor can help.

What Is Insulin?

Insulin is a natural hormone that is made in your pancreas, a gland located behind your stomach.

It allows your body to turn glucose into energy.

Glucose is a type of sugar found in many types of foods.

As you eat, food travels through your digestive system, where it’s broken down into nutrients that enter your bloodstream and your body.

Insulin is an essential factor in this process.

Without insulin, your body wouldn’t be able to turn glucose into usable energy.

Where Does Insulin Get Made In The Body?

Your pancreas is responsible for producing insulin.

Your pancreas is a long organ that sits behind your stomach and helps with the digestion process.

As you eat, your pancreas releases insulin to help your body make energy out of glucose and store energy.

It does this by sending out enzymes that break down the fat, starches, and sugars found in your food.

RELATED: 5 Ways Eating Too Much Sugar Hurts You

What Does Insulin Do?

Insulin helps your body with a variety of processes.

Let’s take a closer look at some of insulin’s most important roles in your body.

1. Insulin Helps Glucose Enter Cells

Insulin’s primary responsibility is to help glucose enter cells.

This is where it gets turned into energy.

Without insulin, your cells become starved of energy.

It plays an important role in helping your body turn food into usable and storable energy.

2. Insulin Stores Excess Sugar In Your Liver

Insulin also helps to balance your blood sugar levels.

If too much sugar enters your bloodstream, insulin steps in and tells your liver to begin storing it.

Your liver holds onto this leftover sugar and releases it when your blood sugar levels begin to decrease, such as periods between meals.

3. Insulin Stores Excess Sugar In Your Fat And Muscles

In addition to your liver, your muscles and fat also help store extra glucose to prevent too much from entering your bloodstream.

Once your blood sugar levels begin to rise, insulin instructs your muscles and fat to stop breaking down glucose to prevent more from entering your bloodstream.

Instead, your cells begin to create glycogen, which is a form of glucose which can be stored and released once your blood sugar levels begin to drop.

When your liver can’t hold any more glycogen, insulin instructs your fat cells to begin storing excess glucose by turning it into triglycerides to be used for energy later.

4. Insulin Keeps Your Blood Sugar Balanced

Because it instructs other parts of your body to store excess glucose, insulin plays a vital role in keeping your blood sugar levels balanced.

Having too much or too little glucose in your bloodstream can lead to numerous health complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, irritability, and chronic fatigue

By instructing your liver, muscles, and fat to store excess glucose, insulin helps to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

RELATED: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment Naturopathic Doctor Near Me.

5. Insulin Keeps Your Cells Happy

Every single cell in your body needs energy to function and maintain health.

Insulin provides this energy through glucose distribution.

Without insulin, glucose remains in your bloodstream and can lead to serious health complications, such as hyperglycemia.

Additionally, insulin helps amino acids and electrolytes like potassium and sodium enter your body’s cells and keep your bodily fluids level.

What Causes The Pancreas To Stop Producing Insulin?

Your pancreas may stop producing insulin effectively for several reasons.

For instance, prolonged insulin resistance may cause the cells that help create insulin in your pancreas to wear out.

Additionally, certain autoimmune conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis, can interfere with your pancreas’ ability to produce insulin.

Finally, prolonged high blood sugar can also impair your insulin production.

To find out more about the many health conditions that may cause your pancreas to stop producing insulin, book your appointment with the Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Health Conditions Associated With Impaired Insulin Production And Insulin Resistance

Let’s take a look at some of the most common health conditions associated with impaired insulin production and insulin resistance.

1. Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, autoimmune disease that occurs when your immune system begins mistakenly attacking the insulin producing cells in your pancreas.

The reason this happens is often unknown.

When this happens, your pancreas can’t produce insulin resulting in complications such as nerve damage, kidney disease, heart problems, eye problems, and stomach problems.

If you’re thinking to yourself “where can I find naturopathic treatment for type 1 diabetes?” we can help.

2. Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in your body stop responding to insulin.

Also referred to as impaired insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance may be temporary or chronic.

During insulin resistance, your body stops storing excess glucose in your muscles, fat and liver from your bloodstream.

This can occur for several reasons, including heart disease, obesity, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

RELATED: 5 Ways Turmeric Helps With PCOS?

In cases of insulin resistance, the pancreas begins to produce more insulin in an attempt to overcome increasing blood glucose levels.

When insulin resistance isn’t managed, it can lead to…

3. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, may occur for one of two reasons.

For some, type 2 diabetes develops because the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin.

For others, type 2 diabetes occurs because their body is experiencing insulin resistance.

Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can result in high blood glucose levels, irritability, confusion, fatigue, and even loss of consciousness.

RELATED: Mississauga Type 2 Diabetes Naturopathic Clinic

How To Balance Your Insulin Levels Naturally

Now that you’ve learned about insulin and its importance for your health, you might be wondering how to go about balancing your insulin levels naturally.

Look below for some naturopathic tips for balancing your insulin levels.

1. Eat Fewer Carbs

Since insulin’s primary responsibility is to help glucose entering cells, eating excess carbs can cause your body to produce too much insulin.

Therefore, reducing your intake of carbohydrates can also help to naturally balance your body’s insulin levels.

2. Avoid Processed Foods With Added Sugar

Processed foods often get a bad rap for their high levels of added sugars.

Unfortunately, their notoriety is mostly deserved.

Despite their tastiness, processed foods can cause your body’s insulin levels to spike.

Therefore, cutting processed foods from your diet can help balance your insulin levels.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Why Added Sugar Is Bad For Your Health

3. Get More Soluble Fibre In Your Diet

Soluble fibre provides many benefits to your health, not least of which is promoting insulin sensitivity.

Diets rich in soluble fibre can increase insulin sensitivity and lower your chance of developing insulin resistance.

Foods rich in soluble fibre include legumes, oatmeal, flaxseeds, and most fruits and vegetables.

4. Eat The Rainbow

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are an excellent way to naturally balance your insulin levels.

It’s not a secret that fruits and vegetables play a vital role in keeping your body healthy.

Helping balance your insulin levels is yet another benefit of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

In fact, diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been linked to higher insulin sensitivity.

insulin’s effects on your body and how a naturopathic doctor can help | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

5. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Why do we need sleep, anyway?

Many reasons, but in particular, sleep can have a significant effect on your insulin levels.

Research has linked poor sleeping habits with reduced insulin sensitivity.

Additionally, lack of sleep may increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, getting enough sleep can be a big help in balancing your insulin levels.

RELATED: How To Combat Insomnia Naturally

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Are you interested in getting more tips for balancing your insulin levels?

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we’re here to help.

Take charge of your insulin levels the natural way – You’re your appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today.

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.