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Health Benefits Of Running | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Health Benefits Of Running

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Health Benefits Of Running | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

When it comes to running, there tend to be two extreme stereotypes:

Those who never miss their run, no matter the weather, and those who say “if I’m running, you should probably run too because it means I’m being chased by something”.

Maybe, however, there is a middle ground.

Running has a host of health benefits associated with it, and you don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap those rewards.

Additionally, as a naturopath for anxiety I’ve seen many clients who use exercise to help manage their stress levels turn to running while gyms were shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today we’ll have a look at some of the reasons you might want to consider adding running to your routine.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Are The Benefits Of Running?

There are a lot of reasons to take up running.

It’s a relatively inexpensive form of exercise – all you really need are some comfortable clothes and a pair of running shoes.

Perhaps some treads for those shoes and thermal gear if you plan to do it in colder weather.

Although social media may have you believe you need to invest in a fancy fitness tracker and other specialized gear, these are optional and not really necessary for someone just starting out.

This makes it accessible to those who may not want to pay for a gym membership and people who aren’t quite ready to return to the gym amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep reading to see some more of the benefits of this great form of exercise.

1. It Can Help You Maintain A Healthy Weight

Running is an exercise which engages your whole body.

Yes, it is a way to work lower body muscles such as the quads, hamstrings, and glutes primarily.

However, running also requires the core muscles such as obliques and abdominals to maintain balance.

Because it involves so many different muscle groups, running tends to burn more calories than other types of exercise.

This means while you are initially losing weight running can be an excellent supplement to a healthy eating program, and then once you have achieved your desired weight it can help to maintain it.

This makes running a great part of a naturopathic weight loss program.

2. It’s Good For Your Immune System

One issue which is on the minds of many people these days is immune health.

What factors affect how well your immune system fights disease, and what are the things you can do to help it along?

In the past, we’ve talked about vitamins to strengthen your immune system, as well as autoimmune disorders and a naturopathic approach to them.

However, running can help too.

Moderate exercise has been found to be beneficial to the immune system, and running is a great way to achieve this.

Running can also help to reduce the risk of respiratory infections, improve antibody response and lower inflammation.

Running Can Help You Maintain A Healthy Weight | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

3. It Can Help Improve Your Sleep

Why do we need sleep, anyway?

Sleep helps you rejuvenate and grow muscle, restore and repair tissues, address hormonal imbalances, repair neural pathways, and much more.

Good sleep is incredibly important for health.

But what does “good” sleep mean?

Generally, this refers to not only the amount of sleep you’re getting, but the quality – so it’s not just getting your eight hours, it’s a matter of those eight hours being restful and restorative.

Exercise in general, and specifically running can help you fall asleep faster and improves the quality of sleep.

Additionally, it doesn’t matter what time of day you do it.

It was once thought exercising too close to bedtime could disrupt sleep, but this has largely been found to be false – so don’t worry if you prefer to get your run in after work instead of first thing in the morning.

However, it’s not a bad idea to have a little bedtime yoga ritual as well to wind down.

4. It’s Good For Your Mental Health

Many people start running for the benefits to their physical health, and then they keep running for the mental health benefits.

When surveyed on the reasons they run, answers commonly point to increased mental clarity, better mood, and a more positive effect on emotions.

Runners have compared it to being an effective alternative to prescription medications for depression and said it to be as effective as psychotherapy.

It’s important to note that results will vary, and while there is nothing wrong with needing therapy or medication for mental health concerns, this could be a way for individuals to help manage depression and anxiety as a way to supplement professional help.

Please do not stop taking medication or seeking therapy based on what you read in this article.

5. It Reduces Risk Of Osteoarthritis

Arthritis actually refers to a large number of different disorders, but the most common ones are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease which occurs when the cartilage in a joint wears down, resulting in stiffness, pain, and swelling.

It commonly affects the hips and knees.

A 2018 study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery surveyed marathon runners regarding their hip and knee health.

Prevalence of arthritis in this group of marathon runners was found to be significantly lower than in the general population.

Other natural solutions for osteoarthritis include vitamin B5 and Mississauga naturopathic acupuncture.

Are There Risks In Running?

Like any exercise, there can be some risks involved with running, the most common being the potential for overuse injury.

Going from being a complete couch potato, to running too much, too far, or too fast can lead to injuries.

Additionally, poor form or inappropriate shoes can be a cause for concern.

Some ways to avoid this include:

  • Learning proper form
  • Ensuring your have appropriate shoes and replacing them when they wear out
  • Warming up properly before a run, and stretching afterwards
  • Including other forms of exercise in your routine, such as swimming, cycling, and body weight exercises

Don’t try to run a marathon right away – work up to longer distances gradually

Should You Start Running?

You just read a lot of great reasons to take up running.

The physical and mental health benefits sound great, and you’re ready to invest in a great new pair of shoes.

But maybe there’s something holding you back.

Maybe you’re nervous about getting started due to past injuries, or want to make sure it’s not going to affect some other factor we haven’t considered here today.

In that case, it’s time to…

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

I’m Dr Maria Cavallazzi, ND, and if there is something holding you back from living a full and healthy life, I’m here to help.

The paradox of anxiety is it’s often the thing which holds us back from starting a new habit – like running – which can help alleviate said anxiety.

If this sounds familiar, I want to help you determine what is holding you back, so you can make the best decisions for your health.

Contact my office today to set up an appointment.

Getting To Know Your Body: Your Liver | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Getting To Know Your Body: Your Liver

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Getting To Know Your Body: Your Liver | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Let’s talk about your liver.

Football-shaped, it is the largest internal organ we have, weighing on average three pounds; it occupies a central location in our abdomens.

It plays a role in a number of different metabolic processes, including detoxifying your bloodstream.

As a result, a naturopathic detoxification approach always includes liver support.

Let’s take a closer look at this wonderful organ and what it does.

What Does Your Liver Do?

Not to play favourites, but the liver is truly one of the most incredible, hard-working organs in the human body.

It is composed of two parts, called lobes, and each of those is sectioned into eight different segments.

The liver protects your gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas by being positioned between them and the ribcage.

It is responsible for many of our metabolic processes, including the breaking down of food into different nutrients, converting glucose to glycogen (which is absorbed into the cells for later release) and detoxifying the bloodstream.

Interestingly, it’s considered a part of your body’s endocrine system – along with your thyroid, kidneys, pituitary gland, hypothalamus, pineal gland, sex organs, adrenal glands, pancreas, and others.

But it also has exocrine functions as well – that is, functions outside of the secretion of hormones.

The liver can hold up to 13% of the body’s blood supply at any given time, so its importance can’t be overstated.

Your blood is delivered to your liver by a vein, and once there, the liver cells, (called hepatocytes), sort,and filter it.

During that process, they determine what should be eliminated, what should be stored for future use, which nutrients should be used right away, and which should go back into the blood.

Like many superheroes, livers also can regenerate themselves.

After an injury or a surgery, it can often grow back to its original size.

The leftover cells in the liver enlarge themselves until they can multiply on their own.

Livers have been observed doing this after repeated injury.

Common Liver Diseases

Like any organ, your liver can be subject to disease.

Here are some of the more common ones.

1. Hepatitis A

There are several types of hepatitis, which is a viral infection that enlarges the liver.

An enlarged liver can cause jaundice, digestive disorders, pain after eating, and more.

Hepatitis A is prevalent in countries with unstable access to clean drinking water and with poor sanitation.

Most often, people can recover from hepatitis A without any lasting complications or liver failure.

2. Hepatitis B

This type of hepatitis, while mostly contracted through sexual contact, can also be passed along through sharing, or getting stuck by, an infected needle.

The younger a person is when they get infected, the higher the chance of long-term, chronic symptoms.

Some of the complications of hepatitis B can be cancer, or liver failure.

It can be considered the most severe of the hepatitis strains, but there is a preventative vaccine.

3. Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is blood-borne (transmitted through the blood), and mostly contracted via needle or blood transfusion, though it can also be sexually transmitted.

This viral strain can cause your liver to become inflamed, which is serious, because inflammation can obstruct the passage of bile.

Bile is the substance that breaks down the food we eat and is a key part of our regulatory systems.

If bile becomes clogged, we cannot digest properly, which will result in a loss of appetite, and pain when we try and eat.

Hepatitis C can also cause generalized liver damage, and failure, should it be left untreated.

4. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, is characterized by scarring (fibrosis) on the liver tissue.

The fibrosis builds up in the liver and eventually causes the organ to “suffocate”.

It is differentiated from cirrhosis because it is not related to alcohol consumption.

It is often diagnosed in people who have type 2 diabetes and is more often related to poor nutrition, obesity, and other lifestyle factors.

5. Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is often caused by the chronic, excessive consumption of alcohol.

However, it can also be caused by untreated viral infections, or genetic conditions such as Wilson’s disease.

Cirrhosis is characterized by the build-up of scar tissue and fibrosis in the liver.

It can be extremely painful and has visible symptoms: including jaundice, fluid build-up in the arms and legs, nausea, itchy skin, and skin that bruises or bleeds easily.

6. Autoimmune Hepatitis

Autoimmune disorders happen when the body begins to attack itself, destroying healthy tissue, and cells can’t regenerate fast enough.

If left untreated, autoimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis, and other irreparable damage.

Naturopathic Solutions for Liver Health

There are so many things that each of us can do daily to help keep our livers healthy and unstressed.

Making sure certain foods are a regular part of our diets, keeping hydrated, regular visits to your naturopathic doctor for checkups: these are important things to regularly do to maintain our general health.

Let’s talk about some of the things we can do to support liver function.

1. Drink Coffee. (No, Really)

The caffeine aficionados among us will appreciate this.

Up to three cups of coffee a day has been shown to lower the rate of deaths among patients with chronic liver disease.

It can also reduce the risk of cirrhosis, liver damage, and certain types of liver cancer.

Coffee reduces inflammation and increases levels of antioxidants.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants protect your cells from damage by free radicals by eliminating them.

If you prefer tea over coffee, green tea has a similar level of antioxidants as well.

We could be reaping these benefits because coffee lowers the levels of fat and collagen in our body, or because it has blood-thinning properties and can therefore help with circulation.

2. Drink Alcohol Responsibly

Alcohol can be particularly damaging to our livers because, as we’ve discussed, the liver is where our body breaks down and redistributes what we have ingested.

As our livers break down the alcohol we’ve consumed, it can release the chemicals that were used to brew the alcohol.

These chemicals can cause significant damage, but because our livers are so good at healing, the damage is often found in its late stages when it cannot be reversed.

Alcohol recommendations can vary depending on age, gender, and other factors, so consult your Mississauga naturopathic doctorto get an idea of your recommended daily intake.

3. Go Easy on the Medication

Everything that goes into the body eventually gets processed by the liver, and that includes the medication we take.

Acetaminophen is a major cause of liver damage, probably because it is in so many of the medications we take.

We can get into trouble if we combine taking, say, a dose of Tylenol along with an over the counter cough medicine, which also contains acetaminophen.

Therefore, it is recommended to read labels and keep our acetaminophen intake at around or under two grams a day.

Beyond acetaminophen, many NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drug), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can also cause significant harm if taken above recommended dosages, or for extended periods of time.

All this to say, please DO NOT stop taking your prescription medications based on what you read in this article.

If you have concerns about your liver and the medication you’re taking, book an appointment at the Mindful Healing Clinic and let’s chat.

4. Supplement with B Vitamins

B vitamins are important for optimal liver function.

They are cofactors, which means they help release the enzymes needed for digestion.

In particular, vitamin B12 is the only B complex vitamin that can be stored in your liver.

B vitamins can be found in a variety of food: dark, leafy green vegetables like kale, whole grains, and legumes like chickpeas or lentils.

how lemon water is good for liver cleansing | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

5. Drink Lemon Water

Water keeps you hydrated, and lemon is a fundamental source of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps protect your liver against the very toxins it processes.

Lemon also encourages the production of bile and helps with the liver’s enzyme function.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

As humans, we cannot be healthy without the help of our liver.

While it is true that due to the nature of its work, it is more susceptible to infection and inflammation, it also usually responds quickly to diet or lifestyle changes.

Are you interested in learning more about how to support your liver?

If so, I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND, and I can help.

Book your appointment with the Mindful Healing Clinictoday.

Does Reiki Really Work? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Does Reiki Really Work?

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Does Reiki Really Work? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

You probably associate the term “Reiki” with natural health clinics, but perhaps you have never tried it.

You may have had someone recommend it to you after they have had a good experience.

But when it comes down to it, what exactly is Reiki?

It may seem to you like a mysterious or even made up practice.

But Reiki is growing in popularity throughout North America, and despite the skeptics, many people have benefitted from the deep state of relaxation that it provides.

We offer Reiki healing in Mississauga at the Mindful Healing Clinic, and our clients have reported excellent results.

If you are curious about Reiki, read on.

What Is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing tradition that originated in Japan.

The word “Reiki” literally translates to “universal energy”.

The tradition uses the principle that a universal energy flows throughout everything and around our bodies, giving us life.

When we are injured, either physically or emotionally, this flow can be interrupted.

A Reiki practitioner works with you to improve the flow of energy around your body.

The outcome is similar to that of Mississauga acupuncture treatment, in which the body experiences a release of pressure or tension, encouraging healing.

Improving energy flow can help with common issues, and can serve as a:

But there are greater benefits for those with more serious health conditions, too.

What Is A Reiki Session Like?

Reiki sessions usually last for 45 to 60 minutes.

Much like a massage, when you arrive for your Reiki session you enter a quiet, private room and sit or lie on a massage table, fully clothed.

After an initial consultation to assess your needs, a customized session will begin.

The practitioner focuses their hands on specific areas of your head, neck, and torso, pausing on each area for two to five minutes.

You experience deep relaxation and occasionally some light headedness.

The practitioner works on the energy flow, often experiencing tingling in their hands, until it moves.

Your practitioner can work with the energy flow around your body without touching you, if that’s what you prefer.

What Are The Benefits Of Reiki?

The “ki” in Reiki comes from the Japanese word for energy, the same word (“chi”) that is in tai chi.

Reiki aids in relaxation and can be used to assist the body in its healing process, whether the issue is physical or emotional.

While Reiki should never be used as a replacement for medical treatment, clients undergoing chemotherapy, chronic fatigue, and depression have experienced Reiki’s healing benefits.

Let’s have a look at some of the conditions for which Reiki has shown success.

1. Reiki For Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any portion of your gastrointestinal tract.

The condition is chronic and can be debilitating or even life threatening, but Reiki can serve as a complementary natural solution for Crohn’s disease.

Reiki focuses on the energy blockage in the bowel to get it moving again, and those with Crohn’s disease often find relief from their symptoms after each session.

Participants in this study, who were suffering from Crohn’s disease, experienced positive changes after receiving healing therapy.

Clients also described feeling relaxed and calm following each session.

2. Reiki For Anxiety

Reiki is particularly useful as a natural anxiety treatment, since it’s calming for those experiencing issues with anxiety.

As the session begins, you enter an active meditative state, which can shift the anxious energy that has been surrounding you.

The result after a session can be a sense of calm, clarity, and even happiness as you emerge feeling energized and relaxed.

This study found Reiki to be effective in providing relief to cancer patients of their chronic anxiety, reporting a lowered rate of anxiety following Reiki sessions.

3. Reiki For Chronic Pain

There are many conditions that can result in chronic pain and affect your quality of life.

As many as one in five people will live with chronic pain in their lifetime.

As a result, many seek out solutions for how to deal with chronic pain naturally

Complementary therapy, including massage, Reiki, and acupuncture, is often used alongside medical treatment to help ease the sufferer’s pain.

Reiki is considered a safe and effective complementary therapy to ease symptoms associated with chronic pain conditions.

As well as addressing the physical pain by working with energy flow, Reiki targets the limbic system – the area of the brain in which you process emotions.

Reiki works on both a physical and an emotional level to calm and soothe your symptoms.

Studies comparing the outcome of Reiki sessions with a practitioner versus those done with an actor, or “sham Reiki”, found evidence to suggest that Reiki is effective to relieve chronic pain symptoms.

The study mentioned above in the section about anxiety relief also found that Reiki provided similar results with relieving chronic pain.

how reiki can help with fertility and pregnancy | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

4. Reiki For Infertility

Throughout history and across cultures, rituals have been used to help people to conceive.

This is because there are so many reasons that infertility can occur, regardless of gender.

Infertility is defined as an inability to conceive after one year of trying.

Difficulty can be attributed to genetics, hormonal imbalance, or disease, and there are many treatment options.

Success in conceiving after using healing touch Reiki sessions are documented in this case study.

The sessions included stimulation of reflexology points on the ankle to affect the uterus and ovaries.

The client was also able to use Reiki treatments as an alternative to medical pain relievers when giving birth.

5. Other Possible Uses Of Reiki

Reiki can help to ease symptoms for many other conditions, including:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Autism
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Heart disease

This is because patients suffering from these disorders can feel stressed, fearful, or their bodies are overwhelmed by the often invasive treatments they have to undergo.

Reiki should never be used to replace medical treatment for any of these conditions, rather, it can be very beneficial as a complementary therapy.

Can Reiki Harm You?

Reiki is a no contact practice, and therefore cannot harm you.

However, if a client decides to use Reiki in place of the recommended treatment for their condition, then this can become a serious health issue.

If you decide to try Reiki alongside your current treatment plan, then you could experience for yourself the wonderful benefits of this healing touch practice.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

If you are suffering from the painful side effects of an illness, stressed, tired, or anxious, then Reiki may be for you.

Book your appointment with the Mindful Healing Clinic today to find out more.

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin K | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin K

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Vitamin Profile: Vitamin K | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

As a naturopath for cancer patients I want to help bring more attention to vitamin K.

Because when you think of vitamins which are important and essential to health, what comes to mind?

Vitamin A?

Vitamin C?

Vitamin D?

Vitamin E?

Maybe the B complex vitamins?

You likely know vitamin C is good for helping strengthen your immune system and vitamin D is important for bone health.

However, if someone asked you to tell them about vitamin K, you might not have much to say.

Vitamin K hasn’t had as much attention as some of its more well known counterparts, and we’re here to fix that.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Vitamin K?

Although many people don’t know much about vitamin K, it is an important nutrient which plays a vital role in your health.

It was first discovered due to the role it plays in helping blood to clot, as well as its role in protecting against tooth decay.

There are two forms of vitamin K: K1 and K2.

The first is generally found in plant based foods, and the second in animal based foods, as well as fermented foods.

In addition to this, the body can create K2 on its own.

Benefits Of Vitamin K

This little known vitamin has a variety of health benefits which come with it.

Let’s take a look at why you should be mindful of getting enough in your diet.

1. It May Be Good For Your Teeth

Some researchers have suggested vitamin K may play a role in dental health.

Osteocalcin is a protein which is important in regulating proteins which are linked to dental health, and it is activated by vitamin K2.

It is believed vitamins A, D and K2 work together to help keep your mouth and teeth healthy.

2. May Reduce Risk Of Cancer

Studies have been done to look at the link between vitamin K2 and cancer.

Studies in the journal Cancer, and also Anticancer Research suggest it may play a role in reducing recurrence of liver cancer, as well as increasing survival times.

Vitamin K2 has also been found to lower the risk of prostate cancer.

3. May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

There is evidence vitamin K can help prevent calcium build up in your arteries.

Given that the accumulation of calcium in the arteries is a major risk factor in developing heart disease, prevention of this could go a long way to helping reduce the risk of heart disease.

It’s important to note that to date, all of the studies done on this are observational, and more are needed to solidify this link.

4. May Reduce Risk Of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is an issue which is common in western countries.

It leads to the weakening of bones and increases the risk of broken bones.

Vitamin K2 has an important role in metabolizing calcium and may help prevent the development of osteoporosis.

Other ways to reduce your risk of osteoporosis include magnesium and balancing your hormones, particularly your estrogen.

types of food that are rich in Vitamin A | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Dietary Sources Of Vitamin K

If you’re worried you aren’t getting enough vitamin K, here are some ways to add more into your diet:

Sources of vitamin K1:

  • Mustard greens
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Kiwi
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Pomegranate

Sources of vitamin K2:

  • Fermented foods, like sauerkraut
  • Egg yolks
  • Ground beer
  • Liver, kidneys, and other organ meats
  • High fat dairy products
  • Pork chops
  • Chicken
  • Hard cheeses
  • Bacon

Causes And Symptoms Of Vitamin K Deficiency

Most adults who eat a varied diet don’t need to worry too much about vitamin K deficiency, however, there are some factors which can affect the body’s ability to create and absorb it.

Some of the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency include:

  • Black, tar like stool, which contains blood
  • Easily bruised
  • Blood clots under the nails
  • Bleeding in mucous membranes

In infants, some signs of deficiency include:

  • Sudden brain bleed
  • Bleeding of the penis, in circumcised children
  • Bleeding of the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and nose
  • Bleeding when the umbilical cord is cut

Some factors which can affect vitamin K levels include taking certain medications, such antibiotics or blood thinning medications, a diet low in vitamin K, or certain medical conditions which affect the body’s ability to absorb vitamin K.

Some medical conditions which may affect vitamin K levels include:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Disorders of the intestines, liver, bile ducts, or gallbladder
  • Having part of the intestines removed
  • Celiac disease

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Do you have a condition which could impact your body’s ability to make or absorb vitamin K?

Are you worried about a deficiency of this, or any other important vitamins or nutrients?

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

Contact me today to learn more about how naturopathic medicine can be used to help keep you healthy and thriving.

Naturopathic Solutions For High Cholesterol | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For High Cholesterol

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Naturopathic Solutions For High Cholesterol | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

High cholesterol can be a challenge for many people.

It may have potentially deadly consequences if left unchecked, but it is also something that can be lowered naturally through dietary and lifestyle changes.

Working with a naturopathic doctor can be a great asset to help you reach your overall health goals, especially if those goals involve lowering your cholesterol.

Often, naturopathy for high cholesterol and naturopathy for weight loss go hand in hand, so we’ll look at them both here.

Let’s find out more.

What Is Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat like substance called a lipid that’s found in a number of food products.

Your liver also naturally produces it.

It plays a key role in the formation of cell membranes, and is the backbone of hormones like vitamin D, and sexual hormones.

Now, the challenge is that cholesterol doesn’t dissolve in water and so it can’t travel through your blood independently.

Lipoproteins, also produced by your liver, help to transport cholesterol through your bloodstream.

There are two major types of lipoproteins: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL).

Each type carries cholesterol to different parts of your body, which is why they are classified as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

What Is LDL Cholesterol?

LDL cholesterol is often called the ‘bad cholesterol’ because, when oxidized, it carries and deposits cholesterol to your arteries.

If you have too much of this, cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries.

This build up, often called cholesterol plaque, can narrow your arteries, raise your risk of blood clots, and limit your blood flow causing high blood pressure.

If a blood clot blocks an artery in either your brain or heart, it can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

This is why it’s known as the ‘bad cholesterol’.

What Is HDL Cholesterol?

HDL cholesterol, also called the ‘good cholesterol’ carries the cholesterol back to your liver to be removed from your body.

This includes cholesterol plaque, which is very important to reduce if you have any.

This prevents build ups, especially in your arteries and is why it’s called ‘good cholesterol’ because it lowers your risk for blood clots, heart disease, and strokes.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol happens when your body carries too much LDL cholesterol.

If left untreated, it can lead to severe health problems including a heart attack or stroke.

The tricky thing with high cholesterol is that there are no symptoms that accompany it.

For this reason, it’s important to get your cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis before a health complication develops.

What Causes High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol is caused by eating too many foods that are high in sugar and refined carbs.

For a long time, it was believed that high fat diets were the main cause of high cholesterol and heart disease.

But plenty of studies have shown that not to be the case.

True, trans fats are still on the naughty list, but other fats, like omega 3 fatty acids, can actually be beneficial.

It might seem obvious – eating foods high in cholesterol would cause you to have higher levels of cholesterol.

But the data just doesn’t show that.

Instead, most cholesterol increases are caused by refined sugars.

In particular, high fructose corn syrup, the cheap sweetener found in sodas, sugary juices, and other processed junk foods.

It’s hard to overstate just how bad refined sugars are for you.

If you’re eating a natural diet, most of the time you’ll be eating sugar accompanied by fruit fibres.

These fibres slow your absorption of sugar, helping you avoid the blood sugar spikes you get after drinking a can of soda.

Without that fibre though, your liver has to find a way to deal with all the sugar you’ve just dumped on it.

And the way it does that is by cranking out LDL cholesterol and lowering HDL cholesterol.

So dietary factors are a major cause, but what else?

Lifestyle factors like smoking and inactivity can also contribute to high cholesterol, along with your genetics.

If high cholesterol runs in your family, you will have a higher risk of developing it.

Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and hypothyroidism also can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol.

what causes high cholesterol | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Health Risks Of High Cholesterol

High cholesterol causes plaque to build up in your arteries, which causes your arteries to narrow over time.

This narrowing limits the flow of blood through your arteries and it raises your risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to serious health complications including:

Naturopathic Solutions For High Cholesterol

Now, when people talk about lowering cholesterol, they’re typically talking about lowering your LDL cholesterol – the bad stuff.

So that’s what we’re referring to here.

Thankfully, just as eating foods high in sugar and refined carb can raise your risk of developing high cholesterol, there is a variety of foods that you can eat to combat high cholesterol naturally or in supplement form.

Keep reading to find out more.

1. Eat A Diet High In Healthy Fats

Healthy fats can improve both the type and quantity of cholesterol in your body.

In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon, and lake trout may help to reduce the risk of getting heart disease.

Adding fatty fish to your diet consistently may lower your chances for a heart attack.

Other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, and soybeans, although your best food source is definitely fatty fish.

Saturated fats, as well, are better for you than we used to think.

Decreasing your intake of saturated fats does lower your cholesterol, but it lowers your HDL – the good stuff – which isn’t really helpful.

Other healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

To increase your intake of healthy fats, include the following in your diet:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Coconuts
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flaxseeds

2. Garlic

Garlic is a cooking ingredient that’s also been used as medicine since ancient times.

It can be eaten either raw or cooked, and is also available in supplement form.

Research suggests that garlic may help to reduce your blood cholesterol levels and slow the process of your arteries narrowing due to high cholesterol.

3. Astragalus

Astragalus is a herb often used to strengthen the immune system in traditional Chinese medicine.

It is both anti bacterial and anti inflammatory, and is considered to be an adaptogen, which means that it’s a natural solution for stress.

It may also be good for general heart health, which is a common goal when focusing on lowering your cholesterol.

4. Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, also called niacin, has been often used as a treatment for people with high cholesterol since the 1950s.

Studies have shown that vitamin B3 was able to significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels at the same time.

But, because it is only effective in high doses, it should only be used under the supervision of a Mississauga naturopathic doctor.

5. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Why do we sleep anyway?

It has numerous benefits, including:

Beyond that, though, it can help to optimize your blood sugar, which is a factor contributing to higher cholesterol.

If you’re struggling with insomnia, speak with an insomnia naturopath.

6. Get More Exercise

Exercise is good for just about every different aspect of your life and health.

Except in extreme cases and particular acute conditions, it’s hard to imagine a situation where a healthcare practitioner of any stripe wouldn’t recommend even mild exercise.

It turns out that among the laundry list of benefits of exercise – to improve mental health, manage stress, and much more – is to help optimize your cholesterol levels.

That exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous though – even going for a walk can make a significant difference.

If you’re more of an athletic type, weight training and HIIT workouts are ideal, but don’t get bogged down in the details.

Any exercise is better than no exercise.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

As you can see, there are a variety of naturopathic solutions for high cholesterol.

The best way is to work directly with a naturopathic doctor who can tailor a dietary plan to meet your health goals, including working to lower your cholesterol through diet and lifestyle changes.

Book an appointment today with the Mindful Healing Clinic to find out how we can help.

Getting To Know Your Body: Your Gallbladder | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Getting To Know Your Body: Your Gallbladder

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Getting To Know Your Body: Your Gallbladder | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Your gallbladder is an organ located in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen, under your liver.

It’s the size of a small pear, and its function is to store and disperse bile as needed.

There are several conditions that can affect your gallbladder negatively, but there also are a number of ways you can work with a naturopathic doctor to support your gallbladder naturally.

If you’re looking for an online naturopathic doctor consultation we’re happy to help here at the Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Now, let’s find out more.

What Is Your Gallbladder?

Your gallbladder is an organ that can be found in your abdomen.

Its main function is to store bile until it is needed for digestion.

When you eat, your gallbladder sends bile into your digestive tract by contracting.

What Does Your Gallbladder Do?

Your gallbladder is a part of your biliary system which also includes your liver and associated ducts.

Basically, the main purpose of this system is the production, storage, and secretion of bile which is a thick liquid that is often green, brown, or yellow in colour.

The role of bile is to help you digest fats.

It is produced by your liver.

While you’re not eating, the bile is stored in your gallbladder for future use.

Common Gallbladder Conditions

There are a number of gallbladder conditions that you can develop.

The symptoms which indicate a potential gallbladder problem include:

  • Sudden pain that intensifies and occurs in the right upper area of your abdomen
  • Pain that occurs after a meal, often in the evening Digestive health issues like nausea and vomiting

Let’s dive into some of the more common gallbladder conditions below.

1. Gallstones

Gallstones are hard masses of either cholesterol or bile salt that can vary in size.

There is no definitive cause of gallstones, but some risk factors include carrying excess weight and eating a diet high in fat or cholesterol.

Many people with gallstones won’t experience any symptoms until a stone blocks a duct in your biliary system.

This can cause complications if left unresolved.

2. Gallbladder Inflammation

Gallbladder inflammation, also known as cholecystitis, is often caused by a gallstone blockage.

It can also be caused by tumours, infections, or blood circulation issues.

Symptoms of gallbladder inflammation include:

  • Pain that spreads to you right shoulder and back
  • A tender abdomen
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Severe pain located in the upper right or centre of the abdomen

Gallbladder inflammation can cause potentially serious conditions including a tear in the gallbladder or an infection of the bile.

3. Bile Duct Stones

Bile duct stones happen when a gallstone blocks the common bile duct.

The common bile duct conveys bile from the liver to the small intestine, so if it’s blocked your bile will back up into your liver.

In addition to symptoms similar to gallbladder inflammation, bile duct stones can also cause:

4. Gallbladder Disease Without Stones

It is possible to have gallbladder disease without any gallstones.

It is rare, but this condition is often found in people with injuries to their abdomen or who have been in an intensive care unit.

The cause it thought to be a lack of oxygen to the gallbladder, which creates bile build up.

5. Gallbladder Abscess

Gallbladder abscess can happen when pus forms in the gallbladder.

It is often a serious complication of a gallstone blockage.

6. Other Gallbladder Conditions

A few other gallbladder conditions include:

How To Support Your Gallbladder Naturally

There are a number of strategies to help support your gallbladder naturally and reduce the risk of developing a gallbladder condition.

Let’s dive into some below.

how acupuncture can help with gall bladder issues | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

1. Acupuncture

If you’re seeking acupuncture treatment in Mississauga, you might not think of gallbladder support as your main reason.

But among acupuncture’s many other uses, it can help support your gallbladder.

Gallbladder inflammation is often linked with gallstones.

Acupuncture, an ancient treatment that reduces inflammation, can be a great option to support your gallbladder naturally.

It may also help to relieve common symptoms associated with gallstones including back pain and nausea.

2. Eat A Gallbladder Diet

Adjusting your diet to be gallbladder friendly is another great way to support your gallbladder naturally.

Remember, foods high in trans fats, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates may irritate your gallbladder.

Instead, try to add the following foods to your diet:

  • Calcium-rich foods like low-fat dairy, and dark leafy greens
  • Plant-based protein like tofu, beans, and lentils
  • Coffee
  • Healthy fats like nuts and fish
  • Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, like apples, carrots, avocados, and flaxseed

3. Dandelion

Another great addition to your diet to support your gallbladder naturally is dandelion.

Dandelion contains well known liver cleansing agents and is also effective in supporting your gallbladder and bile ducts.

It’s easy to incorporate the leaves from the plant into salads, or to drink them dried as a tea.

You can also make a natural coffee by drying, roasting, and grinding the roots.

4. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is another great addition to support your gallbladder.

It can be taken in capsule, tablet, or tonic form to detoxify your liver, which then supports your gallbladder because they are so intimately connected.

5. Vitamin C

Finally, taking regular vitamin C supplements or eating it in your diet is associated with a reduced prevalence of gallstones.

Many fruits and vegetables that are considered gallbladder friendly will have vitamin C, so you can get multiple benefits by incorporating a gallbladder diet.

It’s also recommended to increase your physical activity, together with incorporating regular vitamin C in order to optimize your gallbladder naturally.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

As you can see, your gallbladder is incredibly important for your overall health.

There are many ways to support your gallbladder naturally, which can be augmented by working with a naturopathic doctor.

To get started, contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today to begin working towards optimizing your overall health.

Naturopathic doctors are a great resource to make sure that you make informed decisions about your body, and the benefits of the food you eat.

Book an appointment today with the Mindful Healing Clinic.

Health Benefits Of Green Tea | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Health Benefits Of Green Tea

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Health Benefits Of Green Tea | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

If you were asked what the second most commonly drank beverage in the world (after water) was, what would you guess?

Some people might assume it’s coffee.

Others might pick an alcoholic beverage such as wine or beer.

Although these are all high on the list, if you haven’t guessed already the second most popular drink in the world is actually tea.

And its place on this list is well deserved, as we’ll get into today.

As a naturopath in Streetsville Mississauga, I’m going to talk to you today about the health benefits of drinking green tea.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Green Tea?

All “true teas”, which include green, black, white, and oolong teas, come from the Camellia sinensis plant.

It’s also known as tea plant, tea shrub, and tea tree, though it’s different from the plant that gives us tea tree oil, melaleuca alternifolia, which is also called tea tree.

Beverages, such as herbal blends, which don’t contain the Camellia sinensis plant, although sometimes labelled as “tea” are actually more accurately referred to as infusions or tisanes.

The difference in black, green, oolong, and white teas depends on how tea leaves are harvested and processed.

On one end of the scale is white tea, which is minimally processed to prevent oxidation.

Black tea, on the other hand is fully oxidized.

Green tea falls somewhere in the middle, with the leaves being steamed and then pan-fried.

Why Is Green Tea Good For You?

Due to minimal processing, green tea retains its polyphenols, which are molecules believed to be responsible for many of its benefits including stress reduction.

Green tea also contains caffeine – less than coffee or black tea, but it still holds benefits such as increasing alertness and improving brain function.

It should be noted that some suggest adding milk to tea can counteract its benefits – as some studies suggest, milk reduces the beneficial properties which we are going to discuss today.

Let’s have a look at some more of the health claims made about green tea.

1. It’s Full Of Antioxidants

Catechins are natural antioxidants which can be found in green tea.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants help prevent cell damage which can be caused by free radicals.

Increased levels of free radicals can cause oxidative stress, resulting in inflammation which triggers multiple conditions.

2. It Can Brighten Your Mood

A 2017 article in the journal Phytomedicine reports on a meta-analysis looking at current studies reviewing the effects of green tea on brain function and cognition.

The analysis found evidence which suggests green tea can work as a naturopathic way to reduce anxiety, improve memory and attention, and has a positive effect on brain function.

3. It May Help Prevent Diabetes

Rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing, and can lead to complications such askidney issues, eye damage, nerve damage, and slow wound healing.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found green tea reduced blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity.

So when it comes to naturopathic treatments for type 2 diabetes, green tea is an option.

4. It May Help Prevent Heart Disease

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death of Canadians after cancer.

A 2013 review looked at the evidence for green and black tea as a way to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Both were found to improve risk factors associated with disease, including improvements in cholesterol levels.

It should be noted the research in this area is limited and more studies are needed to confirm these results.

5. It’s Good For Your Brain

Green tea contains caffeine, which means it can help with alertness and if you’re having trouble focusing.

However, it can also aid with improving brain function, including memory, attentiveness, and reaction time.

In addition to caffeine, green tea contains the compound L-theanine, a compound which promotes the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects.

It has been said that green tea promotes a feeling of “calm alertness”, meaning improving alertness without the jittery side-effects that often accompany coffee.

A 2019 article in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared brain activity in study participants after drinking water, and then again after drinking green tea.

The results of this study showed after drinking green tea, participants showed increased brain activity in regions associated with memory.

6. It May Lower The Risk Of Certain Cancers

Due to its high antioxidant content, green tea may help to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

When cells face oxidative damage, it can result in chronic inflammation leading to cancer and other chronic disease.

Compounds in green tea have been linked to reduce risks of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer.

More research in this area is needed, however.

how green tea can help boost your metabolism | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

7. It Burns Fat

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to consider incorporating green tea into your diet.

It has been shown to boost metabolic rate and increase fat burning capabilities.

As a result, when it comes to naturopathy for weight loss, green tea is a common suggestion.

Results can vary, and it’s important to note that solely drinking green tea can’t make up for a sedentary lifestyle or eating too many calories.

More studies need to be done in this area.

However, including green tea in a healthy diet and regular exercise may help accelerate weight loss efforts.

8. It Can Reduce Bad Breath

As we mentioned previously, green tea contains catechins.

These compounds have been shown in lab studies to reduce bacterial growth and could lower the risk of infection.

Further studies need to be done to show the impact of drinking green tea on bad breath, though.

Potential Risks Of Green Tea

As with anything, there are some risks associated with green tea.

Many of these are related to its caffeine content which, although much lower than that of black tea or coffee, should be noted, especially for those individuals who are sensitive to its effects.

Risks of green tea related to caffeine include:

  • Increased risk of bleeding – avoid green tea and other sources of caffeine if you have a bleeding disorder
  • Increased anxiety
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Impacts on blood sugar control
  • Diarrhea and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • Interactions with drugs used to control seizures
  • Hypertension

Other side effects related to green tea include:

  • Risk of osteoporosis, as green tea can decrease calcium intake in the gut
  • Liver disease and rare cases of liver damage
  • Increased pressure in the eye, leading to glaucoma
  • May worsen anemia

That might look like a long list for something considered to be healthy.

However, it tends to be fairly well tolerated.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you interested in learning more about green tea and other beneficial foods you can add to your diet, which may help improve your quality of life?

Does the abundance of nutritional information available confuse you, and perhaps you’re looking for someone to help sort out fact from fiction?

Do you have a family history of health issues, and you’re searching for the best ways to prevent them from affecting you?

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND and I can help.

Contact me today to set up an appointment and learn more about how naturopathic medicine can help you.

Mineral Profile: Magnesium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Mineral Profile: Magnesium

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Mineral Profile: Magnesium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, the abundance of information and advice available can be confusing.

Most people know vitamin C is good for immune health, and many people have some idea that iron is important for blood.

But there are so many more which most of us don’t think about.

As a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, I want to help you understand more about various vitamins and minerals which you may not give much thought to.

Today we will have a closer look at magnesium – its benefits, dietary sources, and the risks of too much or not enough.

Keep reading to learn more about this important nutrient.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral which is involved in over 300 reactions within the body.

It plays important roles in regulating blood pressure, assists with nerve and muscle function, and offers immune system support.

About half of all magnesium in an adult human body is stored in the bones, while the rest can be found in soft tissue, muscles, and bodily fluids.

Health Benefits Of Magnesium

Getting enough magnesium has important effects on health.

In this section we’ll have a closer look at some of the benefits of this important mineral.

1. It’s Good For Your Bones

Most people are aware that getting enough calcium and vitamin D is important for bone health, but magnesium also plays an important role in healthy bone development.

It’s been linked to lower risks of osteoporosis, improved bone formation, and higher bone density, which reduces risk of broken bones.

Not only does magnesium directly impact bone health, but it also plays a part in regulating levels of calcium and vitamin D.

2. It’s Good For Your Heart

Magnesium plays an important role in muscle health, and this includes heart health.

It has been found magnesium intake can lower the risk of stroke, and giving it to people who have suffered a heart attack may reduce the risk of mortality.

Given to individuals with congestive heart failure, magnesium can help lower the chances of abnormal heart rhythms.

There may be evidence to suggest magnesium may also help prevent high blood pressure, however the effect of this is small and needs to be studied further.

3. It May Relieve The Symptoms Of PMS

PMS symptoms can be very unpleasant, and include mood swings, bloating, headaches, and tiredness.

There are some studies which suggest a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 could be used to improve these symptoms.

Additionally, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it might be useful for lessening some symptoms, including bloating and breast tenderness.

More studies are needed to confirm these effects.

4. It Lowers Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Magnesium is involved in the regulation of glucose and metabolism of insulin.

A large number of people with diabetes have also been found to have low magnesium levels.

There have been studies which suggest supplementation with magnesium can improve insulin sensitivity; however, more evidence is needed in order to suggest this as a possible method of controlling type 2 diabetes.

5. It May Help Reduce Anxiety

Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety may be linked to magnesium levels.

Low magnesium has been linked to increased anxiety, and may affect glands which control stress levels.

Further study is needed, however, to determine the role supplementation with magnesium may have in anxiety reduction.

Foods that contain high amounts of magnesium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Dietary Sources Of Magnesium

Magnesium can be found in a wide variety of foods and should be easy to get through diet.

Some dietary sources of magnesium include:

  • Bananas
  • Nuts, including almonds, oil roasted peanuts, and roasted cashews
  • Oatmeal
  • Canned kidney beans
  • Avocado
  • Potato with skin
  • Soy milk
  • Spinach
  • Cooked black beans
  • Cooked edamame
  • Cooked brown rice
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Beets

Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency

Although it’s fairly common for people to not get enough magnesium in their diets, symptoms of deficiency are rare in otherwise healthy individuals.

It can occur as a side effect of some medications or health conditions, or due to excess intake of alcohol.

Not enough magnesium can look like:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness

Advanced magnesium deficiency may include:

  • Changes to heart rhythm
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Changes in personality
  • Numbness and tingling

Symptoms Of Magnesium Toxicity

Although there are risks associated with not getting enough magnesium, there are also issues which can arise if you get too much.

Magnesium toxicity through diet is unlikely, as the body will eliminate the excess through the urinary tract.

However, if you are using magnesium supplements, some side effects can include gastrointestinal issues, including cramping, nausea, and diarrhea.

Extremely high doses can lead to issues such as:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Urine retention
  • Kidney issues
  • Depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Loss of nervous system control
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Death

Should You Take Magnesium Supplements?

It is ideal to get vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients through diet rather than supplementation.

This is because they tend to work in synergy with each other, and more benefits come from having them together rather than on their own.

If you are worried you aren’t able to meet your magnesium needs through diet, or may be at risk of deficiency, it’s best to discuss the use of supplements with your doctor or naturopath.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you worried you aren’t getting enough magnesium in your diet?

Perhaps you have a health condition which puts you at risk for magnesium deficiency.

Maybe you just want to review your diet to ensure you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need.

The Mindful Healing Clinic is here to help.

Dr. Maria will work with you to identify any nutritional deficiencies you may have and create a plan to fill any nutritional gaps she may find.

Contact us today for a consultation or to set up an appointment.

Naturopathic Treatments For Chronic Inflammation | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Treatments For Chronic Inflammation

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Naturopathic Treatments For Chronic Inflammation | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

The body does an amazing job of taking care of itself.

At any moment, there are dozens of biological processes from the cellular level up to that of the entire body that regulate themselves without conscious thought.

Your eyes blink, your heart beats, your food is digested, and your cells divide.

There are a number of conditions, however, in which this natural regulation can become less effective.

When that happens, we’re here to help at the Mindful Healing Clinic, a naturopathic clinic in Mississauga.

Chronic inflammation is one such issue, in which the body’s immune response stays active for longer than normal, which can lead to a variety of negative consequences.

In this article we’re going to talk about what inflammation is, the symptoms of chronic inflammation, and some available options for naturopathic treatments.

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to trauma.

It can occur in response to infection, wounds, and other forms of injuries, but in some cases the inflammation itself can cause problems.

When an issue occurs that prompts an inflammatory response, the immune system sends extra blood to the affected area, and with it special proteins and antibodies to help start the healing process.

In the case of acute inflammation, this elevated immune response can last for anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

What Makes Inflammation Chronic?

Inflammation is generally a normal and healthy part of the healing process from injury and infection, but what happens when it doesn’t go away in the usual short timespan?

Chronic inflammation occurs when the initial strong immune response continues longer than a few days after the initial onset.

It can last for months or years if left untreated and can stress on your organs and tissues as well as potentially lessening the effectiveness of immune response to other health issues.

Symptoms Of Chronic Inflammation

You may be familiar with the symptoms of acute inflammation from your body’s regular injury response.

It includes things like pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the injury.

Chronic inflammation tends to have subtler symptoms due to its long term nature and some of the symptoms are completely different from those of an acute response.

Some of the symptoms, like fever and chronic fatigue, can seem like symptoms of other things like a cold or the flu.

Other symptoms of chronic inflammation are less ambiguous, including abdominal or chest pain, rashes, and mouth sores.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that you suspect may be chronic inflammation, it’s important to get the advice of a medical professional to rule out other causes and get the treatment you need.

Causes Of Chronic Inflammation

There are a number of factors that can lead to chronic inflammation, but they mostly boil down to a situation that leaves the immune system in a heightened response for an extended period of time.

Untreated acute inflammation such as injury or infection can turn into chronic inflammation as the body tries to heal under continued stress.

Long term irritant exposure, such as polluted air, industrial chemicals, and possibly cigarettes and alcohol can leave the body fighting off a threat that never leaves, leading to chronic inflammation along with the other potential health issues caused by these environmental factors.

An untreated autoimmune disorder may also contribute.

Autoimmune disorders cause the immune system to treat healthy tissue as an immune threat and attack it accordingly.

Because of the nature of the immune response, it can be quite extended, and the inflammation is likely to become chronic.

There is also some evidence that suggests that chronic stress and obesity may be risk factors for chronic inflammation as well.

Naturopathic Treatments For Chronic Inflammation

In some cases you can manage your chronic inflammation through the use of naturopathic treatments.

Here are a few naturopathic treatments for chronic inflammation that you can try at home if you’re feeling under the weather or looking to be proactive about your immune health.

1. Green Tea

Green tea is a drink made from steeping the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to southern Asia.

Green tea has been known to have health benefits for hundreds of years, and science has more recently backed up some of these claims.

It’s rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can help fight inflammation.

Further research is needed to understand the extent of its effect, but green tea can be a tasty way to look after your immune system.

turmeric is great to helping with inflammation | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

2. Turmeric/Curcumin

Turmeric is a flowering plant in the ginger family, with roots often used in cooking.

It has a bright orange or yellow colour and is often found for culinary purposes in powdered form, though you can also get it in root form or as a supplement.

The compound in turmeric thought to aid with inflammation is called curcumin and may limit the immune system’s production of cytokines, a type of protein used as a messenger in the immune system.

There is some evidence that shows that this limitation of cytokine production may help reduce inflammation, including some associated with autoimmune disorders.

Most studies investigating the effectiveness of turmeric as an anti inflammatory agent use concentrated curcumin rather than the whole or powdered forms of turmeric, but there are plenty of benefits to both.

Turmeric has a number of other health benefits as well, including helping to manage PCOS symptoms

3. Ginger

Ginger is the fragrant root of the Zingiber officinale, often used in teas, cooking, and baking.

Like turmeric, it’s thought to limit cytokine production and potentially limit or prevent inflammation.

There is also evidence that it limits the activity of enzymes in the body that can promote inflammation.

Ginger can be used as a dietary ingredient, but it can also be taken as a tea, or in the form of capsules or extracts.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Dealing with chronic health issues can be exhausting.

It can be easy to feel like you’re alone in your experience of health concerns, but you don’t have to be.

Book an appointmenttoday at the Mindful Healing clinic so we can work together to get you back to feeling your best.

Naturopathic Treatments For Skin Conditions | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Treatments For Skin Conditions

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Naturopathic Treatments For Skin Conditions | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Although most people don’t think of the skin as an organ, in the same sense as their brain, heart, or lungs, the fact is that the skin is the body’s largest organ.

Skin conditions are often the first external sign of other issues in the body, and if you’re experiencing any of these, the Mindful Healing clinic can help.

We’re a naturopathic clinic in Mississauga and we can help provide treatments for skin conditions you might be suffering from.

Keep reading to learn more about different skin conditions, and natural ways to treat them.

Naturopathic Treatments For Eczema

Eczema is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks your skin.

This results in dry, red patches which generally appear in skin folds, such as inside your elbows, on the neck and on the hands and wrists.

Although there is currently no known cure for eczema, there are ways to manage and minimize its effects.

Some ways of providing treatment for eczema include addressing underlying digestive issues which may be aggravating it, lifestyle counselling, and botanical medicine.

Naturopathic Treatments For Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition in which your body produces new skin cells at a faster than average rate.

This results in a build up of thick patches, or plaques, resulting in symptoms such as scaly, dry, and cracked skin, ridged nails, and bleeding.

Individuals with psoriasis may also be at risk of developing other conditions, including Crohn’s disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.

In many cases psoriasis has been linked to gut health and conditions such as leaky gut syndrome.

Other triggers may include:

Any treatment plan for psoriasis will involve first working to discover the underlying triggers, and then applying appropriate treatment methods to address these issues.

Naturopathic Treatments For Hives

Most commonly the result of an allergic reaction, hives are outbreaks of swollen, red lumps on the skin, throat, or tongue.

As a result of the presence of an allergen, blood plasma leaks out of blood vessels as a response to the histamines released when you’re exposed to an allergen.

In most cases, hives will subside on their own, however sometimes they can be chronic and lead to damage to your muscles, lungs, and digestive tract.

Some common triggers for hives include allergens such as:

  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Foods such as eggs, dairy, nuts, and fish
  • Certain drugs

As well some conditions which can result in hives are:

As with any condition which can have multiple causes, the naturopathic approach is to determine and provide treatment for the underlying cause.

Naturopathic Treatments For Cold Sores

Cold sores are painful blisters which show up on the mouth and lips, tongue, cheeks, or inside the mouth.

They are caused by the herpes virus, which is carried by over 66 percent of the population, even if they have never had an outbreak.

Those who carry the virus are more likely to have an outbreak when their immune system is compromised, for instance when they are tired or sick.

Some natural antivirals which can help manage cold sores include:

  • Lavender oil
  • Licorice root
  • Witch hazel
  • Eucalyptus oil

As well, eating a diet rich in lysine can also help.

Foods to include are:

  • Spirulina
  • Soybeans
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Eggs
  • Meat including chicken, beef, and pork
  • Codfish and sardines

types of natural treatments for skin conditions | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Treatments For Lupus

Lupus is a chronic condition in which the immune system attacks the body.

It can affect not only the skin, but other organs, as well as joints.

Symptoms include swelling of the joints, muscle pain, chest pain, and fever.

Although lupus can’t be cured, there are treatment options which can help reduce damage and prevent flare-ups.

One common way of providing treatment for lupus involves developing a robust and healthy gut microbiome, with probiotic and prebiotic foods.

Additionally, an alkaline detox diet which involves removing dairy, processed foods, and other inflammatory foods from your diet also prevents exacerbations.

Keeping active can also help reduce symptoms of lupus, and gentle activities such as tai chi or yoga can all be beneficial.

Finally, natural supplements which can help reduce symptoms include:

Naturopathic Treatments For Acne

Acne is a skin condition which nearly everyone will deal with at some point in their life.

Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not caused by eating too much chocolate or indulging in greasy foods.

It develops when the pores of your skin become clogged due to excess production of sebum.

Potential naturopathic treatments for acne can include:

Naturopathic Treatments For Other Skin Conditions

We’ve talked about some of the skin conditions which can benefit from a naturopathic approach; however this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Other conditions which naturopathic medicine can help with include:

  • Keratosis
  • Warts
  • Shingles
  • Rosacea
  • And many others

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Have you developed a skin condition you don’t recognize?

Or perhaps, with spring in the air you’re worried about hives or other reactions to pollen and allergens.

Maybe the stress of COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic is causing a flare up in your eczema which you haven’t seen in years.

Whatever the issue, the Mindful Healing Clinic can help.

Contact us today for more information, or to set up a consultation.