Skip to main content
Category

Blog

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

Naturopathic Solutions For High Cholesterol

By Blog

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

By Blog

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

By Blog

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

By Blog

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

By Blog

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

By Blog

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.

Naturopathic Solutions For Anemia | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Anemia

By Blog

Naturopathic Solutions For Anemia | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

We don’t usually give too much thought to our blood.

It flows through our bodies, shuttling nutrients and oxygen, and working to remove waste materials.

Blood also plays a role in transporting hormones and fighting infections.

However, when there are issues with the blood it can leave us feeling tired, weak, and cold.

We are The Mindful Healing Clinic, and we offer nutritional counseling in Mississauga.

Today we will have a look at anemia, which occurs when there aren’t enough red blood cells in the body – what it is, how to recognize it, and some natural ways to manage it.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Anemia?

Anemia is a condition which occurs when your body doesn’t have a high enough red blood cell count, or they do not function properly.

Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to the body’s tissues, and as such, a low red blood cell count means the amount of oxygen in the blood will be low as well.

Most of the issues associated with anemia are due to lowered oxygen levels to the body’s tissues and organs.

What Are The Different Types Of Anemia?

Although the underlying result of anemia is always that the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, there are different types based on the root cause of this.

Next, we will take a look at some common types of anemia, and what causes them.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when there are not enough healthy red blood cells due to low iron levels.

Healthy red blood cells rely on iron to help produce hemoglobin which carries oxygen through the body.

Because iron deficiency results in inadequate oxygen levels, it can leave you short of breath and fatigued.

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in North American women.

Vitamin Deficiency Anemia

Vitamin deficiency anemia occurs when low levels of certain vitamins result in inadequate red blood cells.

Low levels of vitamin B12, vitamin C, and folate are the main vitamins linked to this type of anemia.

This can be due to not getting enough of these vitamins through diet, or because of difficulties the body may have in absorbing them.

These deficiencies are generally managed through supplementation and changes to the diet.

Inflammation Anemia

This type of anemia is linked to diseases which cause an inflammatoryresponse, resulting in reduced production of red blood cells.

Some diseases which can result in inflammation anemia include:

Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell anemia is when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells available to transport oxygen through the body.

Healthy red blood cells are round and flexible.

In individuals with sickle cell anemia, they are shaped like sickles, or crescents, which can cause them to become stuck in the blood vessels and prevent blood flow.

Other Types Of Anemia

Other types of anemia include:

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Sideroblastic anemia
  • Hereditary sideroblastic anemia
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia
  • Diamond-blackfan anemia
  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Fanconia anemia
  • Thalassemia
  • Anemia due to bone marrow disease
  • Hemolytic anemia

What Are The Symptoms Of Anemia?

In some forms of anemia, there are no symptoms.

When they do occur, however, they can include:

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling weak
  • Cold extremities
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Arrhythmia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Chest pain

Naturopathic Treatments For Anemia

If you have anemia, there are a number of natural ways to help manage this disease.

Let’s have a look at a few of these.

what is anemia and what foods and treatments can help | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

1. Address Your Nutrient Deficiencies

Given that two of the major causes of anemia are deficiencies in vitamins B12 and C, as well as folate and iron, ensuring you are getting enough of these nutrients may help in managing your anemia.

This can be done through diet or supplementation.

Some foods containing these include:

Vitamin B12

  • Organ meats
  • Sardines
  • Beef
  • Dairy products

Vitamin C

Folate (Vitamin B9)

  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Peas
  • Avocados
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Fortified cereals
  • Most nuts

Iron

  • Spinach
  • Shellfish
  • Organ meats
  • Turkey
  • Red meat

2. Spirulina

Spirulina is an extremely popular supplement, full of antioxidants and nutrients with a wide range of benefits.

This includes benefits for people living with anemia.

A study in Cellular and Molecular Immunology supplementation with spirulina was shown to increase the hemoglobin of red blood cells.

3. Nettle

Nettle is extremely high in iron, however this in and of itself isn’t the only reason why this herb is used when providing treatment for anemia.

It also contains a number of vitamins which help the body to absorb iron more easily, including retinol (vitamin A), B-vitamins, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and vitamin K.

This herb can be taken as a tea, a tonic, or used in sauces and salads.

4. Dandelion

Although some people think of dandelion as a useless and unsightly weed, it can be helpful in managing anemia.

Dandelions are not only rich in iron, but also contain compounds which help your body to absorb it.

It is often paired with other herbs, such as nettle, and can be used in teas or salads.

5. Avocado

This flavourful, creamy vegetable is good for a lot more than making avocado toast.

Avocados are rich in iron, as well as folic acid (vitamin B9) and vitamin C, making them another great way to help combat anemia.

6. Lemon

Although you may be getting lots of iron in your diet, it’s important to have adequate vitamin C for it to be properly absorbed.

The vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in lemons and other citrus fruits facilitate the absorption of iron by your body, so it can be used to help create new red blood cells.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you feeling tired and sluggish but aren’t sure why?

Do you feel cold all the time?

Perhaps dietary restrictions are preventing you from getting enough iron.

If for any reason you are worried you may have anemia, the Mindful Healing Clinic can help.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND, and I can help you determine the cause of your symptoms – whether it be anemia or something else, and work with you to create a plan to address these issues.

Contact me today to book a free 15 minute consultation.

Mineral Profile: Calcium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Mineral Profile: Calcium

By Blog

Mineral Profile: Calcium | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Calcium is a nutrient essential to all forms of life.

This, of course, includes us.

It’s vital for a number of different functions and is also the most plentiful mineral to be found in your body.

99% of your calcium is located in your bones and teeth.

They’re literally your body’s calcium reserves and if you’re low on calcium, then your body will automatically dip into it.

That’s not usually a good thing.

But, the good news is that even though your body doesn’t produce calcium on its own, calcium can be found in a variety of natural foods; plus there are many supplements available if required.

We’ll go more into details below.

Remember, at The Mindful Healing Clinic we offer nutritional counselling in Mississauga that is grounded in both conventional and naturopathic medicine.

What Is Calcium

Calcium is a nutrient that is an essential building block required in maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

It is also known for helping to manage blood pressure, circulating blood, regulating hormones, and carrying messages from your brain to the rest of your body.

The Calcium-Vitamin D Link

There is a vital link between calcium and vitamin D: you need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium into your bones.

Even if you have a calcium rich diet, your body won’t be able to absorb it, if you’re low on vitamin D.

Like calcium, vitamin D is found in many foods like salmon, egg yolks and certain mushrooms.

Your skin also creates vitamin D when it’s exposed to the sun.

It’s early February at the time of publishing this article, and if you live in Canada and aren’t supplementing your vitamin D, chances are you’re deficient in it.

Remember, calcium depends on vitamin D, so don’t forget to maintain ample levels of both.

What Are The Benefits Of Calcium?

The main benefits your body receives from calcium are the maintenance of bone, muscle and heart health.

It is also a co-factor for many enzymes and necessary for them to work efficiently.

Finally, it is suggested that consuming enough calcium can result in a lower risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy, can lower pressure overall and improve cholesterol values.

Let’s dive further into each of the three main benefits.

1. It Keeps Your Bones Healthy

Calcium is essential for the growth, development, and maintenance of your bones.

For children, calcium supports the development of their bones as they grow.

Then, once grown, calcium both maintains your bones and slows down the loss of bone density, a natural part of the aging process.

This is especially important for those who have already experienced menopause and are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis due to decreased estrogen levels.

2. It Keeps Your Muscles Healthy

Calcium helps to regulate muscle contractions.

Your body releases calcium when a nerve stimulates a muscle to move.

The role of calcium is then to support the proteins in your muscle in order to carry out the contraction.

Your muscle will relax when your body pushes calcium out of your muscle.

This happens every time you move a muscle, which is why it’s so essential.

How calcium is good for your cardiovascular health | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

3. It Keeps Your Heart Healthy

Calcium’s role in muscle function includes maintaining your heart (which is a muscle), which contracts every time it beats.

Calcium also plays an important role in the complex process of blood clotting.

Dietary Sources Of Calcium

Some food sources of calcium include:

  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Sardines and salmon
  • Cheese

Non-dairy sources of calcium include:

  • Tofu
  • Legumes and grains
  • Leafy green vegetables like broccoli, watercress and kale

Symptoms Of Calcium Deficiency

Calcium deficiency can manifest as a variety of symptoms and increased health risks at any point in your life.

As a child, if you don’t get enough calcium you may not grow to your full height potential.

Later in life, a calcium deficiency can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, or frail bones that can easily break.

What Happens If You Get Too Much Calcium?

Too much calcium can have negative side effects that can manifest as symptoms such as constipation, gas and bloating.

It may also increase your risk of kidney stones and can rarely cause high calcium levels in your blood, also referred to as hypercalcemia.

One important potential risk is the development of calcium accumulation in the walls of your blood vessels. This triggers the deposit of oxidized cholesterol and plaque formation, particularly harmful in the coronary arteries which are the ones bringing blood to the heart, resulting in a heart attack when blocked.

Should You Take A Calcium Supplement?

As with all nutrients, it’s important to get just the right amount for your body.

This means that sometimes, you may not receive the required amount of calcium from diet alone.

This is especially true if you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or not a fan of dairy in general.

Then, you may want to look into getting a calcium supplement.

But always remember to take it along with vitamin D and other important nutrients for your bone; never by itself.

Also, it’s important to remember that supplements do have side effects.

You should consult with your naturopathic doctor to see if a supplement is the right choice for you.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

To summarize, calcium is essential to the maintenance of your overall health.

Too much or too little can cause further health complications.

It’s important to get just the right amount that’s perfect for your body, whether through natural foods or by taking supplements.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we are passionate about providing solutions tailored to your healthcare needs.

If you’re unsure about your current calcium intake, book an appointment today.

Naturopathic Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Blog

Naturopathic Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Painful joint swelling.

Joint stiffness.

Joint deformities and loss of function.

These are just a few of the symptoms you may experience with rheumatoid arthritis.

This is the second most common form of arthritis after osteoarthritis.

It can be a debilitating condition, but if caught early you can more effectively manage it.

Read on to find out more about how you can help manage rheumatoid arthritis using naturopathic solutions for autoimmune disorders.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can cause painful swelling and inflammation in your joints.

It’s similar to osteoarthritis in that way, but with rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms are caused by your immune system attacking your joints mistakenly.

Another distinguishing factor from other forms of arthritis is that it’s usually present symmetrically in both sides of your body.

This is one of the easiest ways for doctors to tell whether you have rheumatoid arthritis or something else.

What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?</2>

Rheumatoid arthritis can have many painful symptoms.

Some of these symptoms include joint swelling and stiffness, deformed joints, and loss of joint function.

It is quite common for rheumatoid arthritis to manifest in the joints of your hands.

It can feel like a burning sensation at first, and then progress to include chronicpain, redness, swelling, and joint stiffness.

Severe cases can result in deformities over time if left untreated.

These symptoms can vary from mild to quite severe.

It is always best to speak to your Mississauga naturopathic doctor before your symptoms worsen so we can get you the help you need early.

Types of Rheumatoid arthritis

There are a few different types of rheumatoid arthritis.

Let’s take a closer look

Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis

Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is the most common, can run in families, and is the most severe type.

Symptoms of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis can include stiffness of joints in the morning lasting 30 minutes or more, pain and swelling in multiple joints, fatigue, and weight loss.

Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is not always confined to the joints as it can appear as inflammation in the eyes, nerves, lungs, kidneys, salivary glands, heart , blood vessels, and skin.

Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis

Another type is seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized by a negative RFblood test result and a negative anti-CCP result, while still having all the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

RF stands for rheumatoid factor, which is a protein your immune system makes.

Your body uses it to fight off illnesses, but it also uses it to attack your own tissues in autoimmune conditions – so the presence of RF can mean you have an autoimmune disorder.

Anti-CCP, on the other hand, is a test that checks for anticitrullinated protein antibodies – also associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Juveline Idiopathic Arthritis

The third type is juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which occurs in children aged 17 or younger.

The symptoms can be the same for this type of rheumatoid arthritis, and may also include issues with physical development, and eye inflammation.

What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

While the exact cause is not known, certain factors can play a role in increasing the risks of developing Rheumatoid arthritis.

Women, and those with a family history are more at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Some factors can trigger the onset of the disease, such as:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • History of certain viral infections
  • Exposure to bacteria associated with periodontal disease
  • Obesity
  • Damage to your joints from things such as bone breakage and dislocation

good foods and bad foods for Rheumatoid Arthritis | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Rheumatoid Arthritis

At the time of writing, there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis.

However, there are naturopathic treatments you can use to help manage your condition.

With a little vigilance, naturopathic medicine may help you minimize your symptoms so you can still enjoy a happy, productive life.

1. Eat An Anti Inflammatory Diet

One of the main characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation, and eating an anti inflammatory diet can help with these symptoms.

This type of diet can include foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, foods high in dietary fibre, antioxidant rich foods like berries and dark chocolate, and foods containing flavonoids including green tea and soy.

Foods that trigger inflammation should be avoided, such as processed carbohydrates, and saturated fats.

2. Get Active

There are quite a few ways to safely stay active when suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Low impact exercises such as gentle yoga can help stretch your joints and help gain strength and flexibility.

Other activities such as cycling and swimming can also help strengthen your muscles and take some of the strain off your joints.

Yoga is also helpful for relieving stress and sleeping better, so it’s worth trying.

3. Take Curcumin

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, the Asian spice that gives curry its distinctive yellow colour.

Studies have shown that taking curcumin supplements can help reduce joint inflammation.

It has also been shown effective as a natural treatment for PCOS, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and may even have some anti-cancer properties.

4. Take Probiotics

Studies have also shown that taking probiotics can help lower inflammation and provide relief for your joint pain.

Probiotics are great for your gut health, and can be ingested as part of your healthy diet through foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods.

They can also be taken in supplement form.

However, there are many different types of probiotics – speak to your naturopathic doctor to find out which would be best for your unique needs.

5. Supplement With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 oils are fatty acids which your body needs to properly function.

They play a host of different roles, including improving brain function, reducing the risk of heart disease, improving eye health, and more.
Studies show that they can also help fight the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Supplementing your diet with Omega-3 fatty acids can help combat inflammation by blocking inflammatory receptors.

Dietary sources of omega-3’s include fish (salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies), chia, flax, and hemp seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Have you been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis?

Do you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis?

If so, please contact us at The Mindful Healing Clinic today for a free consultation, and learn more about how naturopathic medicine can help you.

Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease

By Blog

Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Imagine a disease – one that does not discriminate by gender or ethnicity, yet is so deadly that the CDC links it to one-quarter of all deaths in the United States.

It sounds scary.

But what if you learned that this disease is preventable in the majority of cases, and there exist many simple steps to reduce its impact on your life?

At the Mindful Healing Clinic, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga’s clinic, we understand the potentially destructive effects of heart disease on health and quality of life.

Do you have heart disease, think you might have it, or wonder whether you may develop it in the future?

Keep reading to arm yourself with knowledge about heart disease, and take a powerful first step towards a heart-healthy life.

What is Heart Disease?

Broadly speaking, heart disease is any condition that affects the structure and/or function of the heart.

It is not one diagnosis, but a vast array of different illnesses ranging in severity from mild to life-threatening.

In all its forms, heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, behind only cancer.

Anyone can be affected by heart disease regardless of age, but some people are higher-risk than others.

For example: men are twice as likely as women to suffer heart attacks, and receive new diagnoses of heart disease about ten years younger than women (55-64 years of age vs. 65-74 years of age).

Those who are elderly or have a family history of heart disease are also at higher risk of developing heart disease themselves.

It can be scary to learn that some risk factors for heart disease are beyond your control.

The good news, however, is that there are many risk factors for heart disease that you can change.

Read on to learn how to seize control of your lifestyle choices and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Different Types Of Heart Disease

1. Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs when your heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should.

When this happens, the other organs and tissues in your body receive an inadequate supply of oxygen.

This can cause symptoms such as weakness, tiredness, pallor, shock, and cyanosis (a bluish colour in the skin due to inadequate oxygenation).

Additionally, as blood backs up in the circulatory system, heart failure can cause swelling of the lower extremities and fluid build-up in the lungs.

2. Coronary Artery Diseases

Coronary artery disease, also known as ischemic heart disease, occurs when the major arteries of the heart become damaged.

This commonly happens when deposits of a cholesterol-rich substance called plaque form on the walls of the heart’s arteries and obstruct the flow of blood to the heart.

The heart is starved of oxygen and nutrients, causing chest pain and shortness of breath.

3. Heart Rhythm Disorders

The healthy adult heart beats anywhere between 60 and 88 times per minute at rest, kept steady by the heart’s pace-making sinoatrial node.

However, in heart rhythm disorders, a change in the heart’s rhythm (known as arrythmia) causes it to beat too quickly, too slowly, or irregularly.

Many people with heart rhythm disorders experience a feeling of racing, thumping, fluttering, discomfort, or “skipped beats” in the heart; while others may feel faint, tired, light-headed, or short of breath.

Still others with heart rhythm disorders experience no symptoms at all.

4. Structural Heart Disorders

Structural heart disorders are conditions caused by defects or deformities in the heart’s valves, walls, or muscle.

They can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (developed later in life due to aging, injury, or illness).

In a healthy individual, the four valves and four chambers of the heart work in a coordinated manner to push oxygenated blood out to the rest of the body.

However, when a defect is present in even one of these parts, it can cause symptoms ranging from high blood pressure to stroke.

What Causes Heart Disease?

Heart disease can seldom be traced back to any one cause, yet some factors have been linked to the development of particular types of heart disease.

These include:

• Having type 1 or type 2 diabetes
Dealing with chronic anxiety
Dealing with chronic stress
• Substance abuse
• A bacterial or viral infection
• Smoking
• A sedentary lifestyle

Foods that are great for preventing heart disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease

Although we cannot control causes of heart disease such as gender or age, we can control those which come down to our choices – like diet, exercise, supplementation, and stress.

In fact, there exist many naturopathic solutions to reduce your risk or symptoms of heart disease that are simpler than you may expect.

1. Lifestyle

What you put into your body can have a powerful and lasting impact on your overall heart health.

For example, people who smoke double their risk of developing heart disease over the course of their lifetime.

Other types of substances misuse (including caffeine, alcohol, and illicit drugs) and the resultant strain on the heart can cause some types of heart rhythm disorders.

High levels of total cholesterol and low levels of HDL (“good cholesterol”), often influenced by diet, can also contribute to the formation of plaque deposits, causing coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

But heart health doesn’t all come down to eating well and eliminating substance use.

Physical activity is another crucial piece of the puzzle, as both obesity and sedentary lifestyles are linked to the development of heart disease.

Finally, chronic emotional stress is known to cause heart disease.

Be it a demanding job, financial burdens, or family problems; reducing long-term stressors can be an important step towards preventing heart disease.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, the long-chain “healthy fats” present in consumer items from seeds to supplements, have promising evidence linking them to improved cardiac health outcomes.

Specifically, some studies suggest that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of death from heart disease.

Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, hemp oil, fish, and eggs.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also be taken as a supplement – in the form of capsules, liquid, or even gummies.

3. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is an antioxidant used in the growth and maintenance of cells.

Everyone produces some CoQ10 naturally, but those who have heart disease have been found to have lower CoQ10 levels than those who do not.

A 2018 study by Zozina et al found evidence that CoQ10 as a supplemental treatment for heart disease may lead to better outcomes, improved quality of life, and decreased morbidity and mortality.

Trace CoQ10 can be found in foods such as meat and nuts, but these amounts are insufficient to significantly increase CoQ10 levels in the human body.

The good news is that CoQ10 dietary supplements are widely available in many forms, including tablets and liquids.

4. Acupuncture

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments in the naturopathic treatment of heart disease is new evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture.

In a meta-analysis of acupuncture treatment in heart failure patients, Liang et. al. found multiple clinical studies suggesting that acupuncture can improve cardiac function, although its mechanism is not yet understood.

What we do know is that many acupuncture patients find it to relieve stress – a known risk factor for heart disease.

For those who think they have exhausted all avenues to reduce their cardiac risk factors, acupuncture can be one more piece of the puzzle to maximize heart health.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Have you have been diagnosed with heart disease?

Do you think you may have heart disease?

Or, do you just want to reduce your likelihood of developing heart disease in the future?

Regardless, here at the Mindful Healing Clinic, we can help you towards the best cardiac health possible.

Call us today to book a free 15-minute consultation, during which we’ll address any questions you have and identify which solutions are best for you.

Based on our approach of complementing conventional medicine with naturopathic solutions, we’ll work together to build a treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals.

By investing in holistic care for the prevention or management of heart disease, you are investing in your future.

Contact us, the Mindful Healing Clinic, today.