If you’re going to cook up a satisfying sex life, you need the right high quality ingredients, in the right amounts... and hold the stress. Likewise, when our body produces our main sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, we need some basic ingredients available in the kitchen, which in this case is our liver, ovaries (testes in men) and adrenal glands.
We need enough of all of these in order to have a healthy libido and enjoy sex. And sex is a great way to relieve stress.
Cholesterol is the main building block of many hormones, including our sex hormones and the stress hormone, cortisol. When we restrict fat, our body will upregulate the production of cholesterol by the liver to ensure that you have the raw materials available. During production, cholesterol is modified several times. Eventually, the raw materials come to a fork in the road, where the body can either continue on to manufacture our sex hormones, or switch over to making cortisol. Both of these directions are essential to a healthily functioning body and ideally, a balanced ratio is maintained.
In our fast-paced, over-booked lives many of us produce excess cortisol in order to keep up. Cortisol, taking one path, competes for the same binding sites in the body as progesterone which is the precursor to our other sex hormones. Symptoms of excess cortisol include weight gain around the middle, feeling tired and wired, poor sleep, irregular menses, blood sugar dysfunction, muscle fatigue, poor stress response long term... and low sex drive (because who has the time to get it on with that huge to-do list?). Furthermore, we are likely to experience abnormal production of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone because the raw ingredients are not available in the right quantities. Just like trying to make a recipe when you are short on groceries, the end result can get interesting. Often, we will experience a combination of excess and deficient hormone levels which will typically affect our resistance to stress, metabolism, thyroid function, digestion and sexual function. Again, our libido can suffer. And just like learning to cook requires time spent cooking, when we are stressed, our libido tends to suffer yet having sex can be one of the best things you can do to relieve that stress!
In order to balance these complex hormones, stress management is essential as is eating well and exercising. The goal is to have enough ingredients to produce these hormones in the right amounts, so that we have enough energy, healthy libidos and can age well. In other words, we need to have a clean, organized and well stocked kitchen, a good recipe and enough time to cook.
Here's what you can do:
If you're suffering from low libido, a Naturopathic Doctor trained in the use of bioidentical hormones can help you to test your hormones and create an individualized treatment plan to ensure that you live a healthy, happy balanced life… and a great sex life.
You can also check your hormone score to see if you might have some imbalances.
Want to go further?
Book your free 15 minute health strategy session to learn more about balancing your hormones (and improving your sex life).. naturally.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak at a rather unusual event: The No-Bra Day Bust Out in Stratford as part of October's Breast Cancer awareness month. While I am rarely asked to attend an event and remove my bra to swing it up overhead in a room full of other women doing the same, there is always a first time for everything. And I had a great time this morning doing just that.
As an active supporter of lifestyle-based health promotion, my prescriptions often include a dietary recommendation, deep breathing exercises, orders for a weekly bath date, yoga session or meditation CD. The underlying goal is always adding health to the body. Surprisingly, it is with mixed feelings that I join the hype of the Pink ribbon team.
See, this event was a little different. Heather Lennon of Virtual Pinch Hitter and Joni Banks of Benefittings Custom Mastectomy and Medical Garments are both dear friends of mine and truly inspirational human beings. And unlike many Breast Cancer Awareness events out there, the focus of this project is to celebrate the more inclusive "breast health" rather than breast cancer awareness and proceeds were going to a great local charity.. A subtle distinction, but an important one.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I was taught how to perform a breast examination and learned how to teach women (and men at risk) how to examine their own breasts. In 2011, the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health issued updated guidelines recommending against routine in-office (clinical) breast exams and also teaching individuals how to check their own breasts. Additionally, mammograms were no longer recommended for women aged 40-49 unless they are at higher risk, and increasing mammogram screenings from annually to every 2-3 years for women aged 50-74.
Initially, there was a lot of back-lash from radiologists and the population because we've always been told get checked. If you feel a lump, get checked. Mammograms save lives. There is still a lot of confusion: I often hear people referring to mammograms as breast cancer prevention. This is not the case. Mammograms screen for changes in density of the breasts which can signify cancerous changes. And yes, they undoubtedly do catch some tumours at earlier stages which can lead to earlier treatment. They don't prevent cancer.
My mixed feelings are in part because of the energy of the word: Cancer. Walk for the cure, buy pink lipstick to support breast cancer research, frozen TV dinners that help support research or awareness. Many of us have a great desire to contribute and we have great intentions. I feel we need to focus more on health promotion. I still teach women how to examine their breasts, but it is more about familiarizing oneself with your body rather than finding an abnormal. I do this because I firmly believe that you know your body better than I do.
Here's the thing: much of our scanning, and indeed our prevention programs are based on a "search-and-destroy" paradigm, rather than a health point of view: Check for lumps, get scanned (and bruised) regularly to see if you have cancer, eat this Anti-cancer diet, exercise so you don't get cancer, prevent cancer, someone you know will get cancer/has cancer/died of cancer, odds are one of you will be diagnosed with cancer.. Cancer. Cancer. Cancer.
It is well known that our thoughts can influence our genetic expression ie. our beliefs can turn on some genes and shut off others. With cancer, it is all about some genes that multiple out of control that avoid normal shut off and other protective genes that aren't able to kick in. While I'm certainly not saying that our thoughts are the only thing that can cause cancer.. because it is truly a multi-factorial disease, a dysfunction of the body... but our brains can play a role in health and in illness.
Here's what you can do:
p.s. I realize that this is a BIG topic and also an important one. I am always available to have a chat about your specific concerns during a free health strategy session. Book online at www.KeilaRoesnerND.com/book
The Ministry of health and long term care has made the official announcement, on July 1, 2015 the Naturopathic profession will move from operating under the Drugless Practitioners Act to the regulatory umbrella of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Naturopathy Act, 2007. As well, the College of Naturopaths of Ontario will now be in place to regulate the profession in the public interest.
This is an exciting advancement for our profession. With proclamation, Naturopathic Doctors are joining a community of nearly 300,000 health care professionals in Ontario who fall under the RHPA. Being an official part of this community will provide the opportunity for more integration and improved interdisciplinary care.
New regulation will also offer Naturopathic doctors the opportunity to obtain prescribing rights to a list of therapeutic substances including drugs like bio-identical hormones. Access to these substances is something our clients have been advocating for and will increase our ability to provide our clients with the best quality care. New regulations mean a new set of regulatory examinations.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, it is important to stay on top of these new guidelines in order to provide you the best quality health care. Over the next few weeks I will be working hard to complete all necessary examinations and so that I can work with you to the full scope of my practice and your full health potential.
I sincerely thank all of our clients and community members who advocated to their MPP’s and the Ministry of Health to expand and maintain the Naturopathic scope of practice. Your letters and contributions have gone a long way to expand the proposed access to lab testing and therapeutic substances for Naturopathic clients. For that I am sincerely grateful. I will continue to help my amazing clients make empowered choices that support their values, in the pursuit of living an authentic healthy life.
"Dr. K, I'm doing great... except that I want to scratch my eyes out, my nose keeps running and I'm going to start charging that frog in my throat rent!" lamented one of my patients this week.
And she isn't alone.
Seasonal allergies affect 1 in 25 Canadians, according to the Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation. Allergic rhinitis, or "hay fever", or these damn allergies can present as watery itchy eyes, runny nose with clear mucous, sinus congestion and pressure, itchy tongue and palate, a dry scratchy throat, feeling fatigued, poor concentration. This means lower productivity at work, an increased risk of asthma and an expensive trip to the pharmacy or health food store trying to find relief.
Windsor and Toronto are some of the worse cities in Canada to live in with respect to pollution and ragweed. Here in Stratford, we are surrounded by a lot of farmland and trees, which also translates to pesticides and tree pollen. Despite being convenient for travel, this Highway 401 corridor that I and my patients call home can cause some decided health issues from early spring until late fall.
So what's an allergy sufferer to do?
1. Catch the culprit
Most seasonal type allergies are IgE-mediated immune reactions. A simple skin or blood test can be ordered by your family doctor or Naturopathic Doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms. Common culprits are tree pollens, ragweed, moulds, and dust mites. These can be made worse by certain foods, particularly food sensitivities.
2. Support your immune system
Eat a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables for lots of Vitamin C, good quality probiotics recommended by your health care provider, fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut or kefir, and healthy fats. Minimize sugars, processed foods and alcohol as they will suppress your immune function and can contribute to mucous production.
3. Create a customized plan
Your family doctor or allergist might also recommend avoiding the allergen if possible, antihistamines or decongestants. Please be aware that decongestant nasal sprays often cause rebound congestion once you discontinue their use, so these should only be used short-term.
In my practice, I recommend an individualized supplement program including homeopathics, and nutraceuticals, dietary support and at-home care. I like to recommend using a neti pot filled with a warm sterile saline solution to rinse out the sinuses twice daily during allergy season. It really works!
I also recommend Allergy Booster "shots" preventatively for patients that predictably experience symptoms at this time of year. A simple, low-cost oral solution that can help to improve our immune function and reduce the severity, this is one of my favorite ways to stay on top of allergies. Many of my patients have experienced a dramatic improvement in their allergy symptoms after only a few doses and no longer need to rely on allergy medication.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from seasonal allergies, you can book a free 15 minute health strategy session to learn more about treating your allergies.. naturally.
This week a regular patient of mine and I were chatting and she said: "But Keila, I don't have time to exercise, and take my vitamins, meditate, walk, stretch, journal or any of that stuff!".
This also wasn't the first time I'd heard this phrase. Often, it's me saying it in my own head.
Maybe you've got stuck in the "Busy" trap. It sounds something like, "So, what've you been up to?" "I've just been soo busy!". Newsflash: We're all busy! We're all stressed!
This bouncing around from one activity to the next is exhausting. We end up eating on the run, not exercising, becoming sleep deprived and getting short with our loved ones.
It is no big secret that stress is associated with insomnia, anxiety, depression, heart disease and even periodontal disease. Yet, we become addicted to that feeling of being indispensable, needed and useful.
While the notion of "self-care" may seem self-indulgent to some, really, it's a lifeline. Creating a plan for self care is really about creating practices that benefit your well-being, be it socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally or financially.
Taking time out for yourself allows you to show up more effectively, confidently and rested in the rest of your life. It's about self-preservation.
I like to break down self care into three parts:
1. Physical. This should include some daily movement, regular visits with your health care providers, healthy balanced meals, water, plenty of sleep.
2. Mental. Getting things off your chest via talking to someone, journaling, creating a plan.
3. Emotional. Spending time alone to process, as well as being social. Finding an outlet for our emotions that is constructive.
I often recommend that my patients create a list of activities that they can do to take care of themselves, from each of these categories.. and then schedule some Non-Negotiable Time with themselves to do some of them on a regular basis. Scheduling is key. Treat it like any other commitment and show up on time.
Here are some basics to get you started:
1. Take a 30 minute walk outside, alone or with a friend
2. Turn off the TV, phone and computer
3. Take yourself out for lunch or a coffee
4. Read a book for fun
5. Work out
7. Call up a friend to catch up
8. Prioritize sleep. Set a regular bedtime and waking time.
9. Spend less time with people that drain you
10. Take a class, join a choir or a team
If we can't set aside time for self-care, then we really have to look at our priorities. What can we delegate, or let go of? Really, if we can't care for ourselves, what's the point?
The question isn't about not having the time or being able to afford to take care of ourselves. It's about using the precious time we have because we can't afford not to take care of ourselves.
Naturopathic Medicine is really all about self care. As a physician, I teach people how to take good care of their bodies and minds, whether it is improving their diet, getting good quality sleep or acting as a sounding board. In many cases, a combination of herbs, supplements and acupuncture can do wonders for that sense of burnout. That same feeling that can drive us towards disease. The bottom line: can you afford to feel sick, tired, and burnt out? I know I can't.
If you are interested in improving your energy, getting a good night's sleep and feeling better, you can schedule a free health strategy session with me here.
Grab your FREE copy of my Calm the F Down Self Care Guide here.
"How's your mood?", I ask. She takes a deep belly laugh, looks across my desk into my eyes and says, "I'm generally easy going, level, and happy... until three days before my period and then my poor husband and kids just can't do anything right for a day or two. Then I'm back to normal".
I laugh back at her because I know. I know it well - both personally and every. single. day. with many of my female patients.
The bread and butter of my work is hormonal imbalance. I love it because no one person I work with is exactly the same, yet I see some patterns over and over again.
Quick fact, 100% of us have hormones (big surprise) and at some point, most of us and our families will blame these little physiological messengers for all kinds of "crazy", "irrational" or "emotional" behavior. We collectively fuel genres of literature, movies, musical and live stage performances with our unpredictability.
We are a complex symphony of hormones, and if we are mentally, physically and emotionally balanced, this song repeats on a monthly basis. Throw in some life stress, sleepless nights, carrying extra weight, not having enough weight, eating too much or too little, being sedentary or over-training, pollution, medication... and the song starts to skip, we lose entire bars of the melody and the orchestra gets really confused.
Many of us turn to our family doctors for help. We are prescribed oral contraceptives to help prevent pregnancy and "normalize" our cycle, clomid and/or metformin to stimulate our bodies to ovulate and hormone replacement therapy to transition into menopause. Sometimes, if we are unbalanced enough, a hysterectomy is recommended. I'm certainly not saying that each of these interventions don't have their place - they do, and in the right circumstances are very helpful. However, I am advocating for more options.
Naturopathic Medicine looks at the body, and more importantly, the person as a whole. Being more than a collection of uterus, breasts, brain, guts and chemical messengers, your health is profoundly influenced by your environment and flavoured by your genetics. Rather than forcing your body to behave in a certain way to achieve a very particular outcome, I work with women of all ages to help balance these complex systems so that the body itself can function optimally.
Three Areas that You Should Explore for Optimal Hormonal Balance
We are genetically wired to require specific amount of nutrients, and to store fat away in the event that we should become pregnant. With an overabundance of calorie-dense and nutrient-poor foods available 24/7 our bodies can pack on the pounds and be malnourished at the same time. Likewise, we can also become sensitive to many "healthy" foods to the extent that it can prevent ovulation, imbalance our hormones and become a silent cause of infertility.
2. Know your rhythms (ie. learn your own song)
Most women have menstrual cycles lasting 21-32 days although 28 days is considered the standard. Optimally, we can know when we are about to menstruate, ovulate, and how our body differs at each stage in between. Being regular is a good sign, but if your cycle differs each month by a few days - or even months, it's like the band doesn't know when the performances are scheduled. One of my favorite resources for learning about your rhythms is Toni Weschler's Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
3. Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
Asian Medicine and herbal medicine (both in Eastern and Western traditions) seek to balance the body rather than force it - the difference between gentle encouragement from the music teacher and a smack on your knuckles - repeatedly. Acupuncture use for fertility pre-dates the Christian Era by thousands of years. Every culture has a long history of herbal medicine use as well. I recommend working with a skilled and licensed health care provider to determine the best approach for your situation.
In health (and hormonal happiness),
"I never drink warm drinks... can't stand them!" said two different clients of mine this week. Another still: "I drink so much water my eyeballs are floating.. I just can't get enough!!". And even more commonly, "I know I need to drink more water..."
I find it curious, that we each have our own idiosyncrasies about how we like to do something as simple as drinking water. That's cool... as long as we are drinking water. Water helps our kidneys to flush water-soluble toxins, it moistens the skin, plays an important role in our blood chemistry, our digestive system... heck most of our body is made of the stuff. No wonder it's such a big deal!
Different authorities and traditional healing practices also have their own ideas about how much water you should drink. Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine systems believe that icy cold water weakens the digestive system, and that we should drink room temperature or hot drinks only. Conventional wisdom tells us the 8x8 rule: 8 oz glasses of water, 8 times a day. Marketers want us to think that the only water worth drinking comes in a bottle with an exotic sounding name. Busy people believe they don't have the time.
When we're not drinking enough water, we become dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include:
fatigue, low energy
- dry sticky mouth, thick saliva
- dry eyes
- dry skin
- brain fog
- altered hunger signals
- dizziness, lightheadedness
- no tears when crying, fewer wet diapers or sunken fontanelles (soft spot on top of baby's head) in infants
I often see these concerns in my practice, and understandably, it's troubling when you are getting frequent headaches, can't think clearly and are constipated. There are many reasons you might be experiencing these things, lots of testing we can do and lots of recommendations I could make. But, being a practical person (and I know you are too!), sometimes we need to go back to basics before getting into the fancy stuff.
How much water are you drinking?
Not coffee, not juice, not milk... no, not even that vitamin water stuff. Water.
Dehydration is actually very common in the elderly.. and busy people. Easily preventable, drinking enough water is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Here are my top 3 tips to make sure you're getting enough:
1. Start your day with a large glass of warm water with the juice of half a fresh lemon squeezed in (no, not that bottled lemon juice crap!).
Not only will this help to combat dehydration overnight, it will also help wake up your digestion system and gently stimulate your liver, it can also help get things moving in the morning (no coffee needed!).
2. Consume half your body weight in ounces of water for optimal hydration, gorgeous skin, and to stay on top of your game mentally.
So, if you are a 150 lb female, you would want to be drinking about 75 ounces, or 9.5 cups or just over 2 L of water per day. Keep a water bottle or glass of water beside you while you work and sip on it at least hourly. Refill once you're finished.
3. Listen to your body.
If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If your urine is yellow (and you're not taking a multi-vitamin or B vitamins) you're not drinking enough. If you frequently get urinary tract infections (UTIs) you probably aren't drinking enough. If you feel cold, switch to warm water or herbal teas. If you are peeing throughout the night and all day (more than you are putting in), you might have an irritable bladder, prostate enlargement or blood sugar regulation issues. Go see your family doctor... or your friendly neighbourhood Naturopathic Doctor.
If you are on diuretics (commonly prescribed for high blood pressure), have diarrhea, diabetes, are exercising more frequently, living in a hot climate or have other medical conditions that affect your hydration status, I am happy to work with you to determine your unique needs. Call our office at The Space Within 519-275-2187 ext 7 to schedule your free 15 minute consultation today.
In health & hydration,
Lately all of my patients have been asking me about how to keep their New Years Resolutions. Some of them are even frustrated by other people's resolutions! "Ugh, I can't wait until the gym clears out in February!", "My husband wants to go gluten-free... and I have no idea what to cook!!". Believe, me, you're not the only one losing steam.
According to www.statisticbrain.com the most popular New Years Resolutions are:
1. Lose Weight
2. Getting Organized
3. Spend Less, Save More
4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5. Staying Fit and Healthy
6. Learn Something Exciting
7. Quit Smoking
8. Help Others in their Dreams
9. Fall in Love
10. Spend More Time with Family
Of these, losing weight, enjoying life, staying (and getting, more often) fit and health and quitting smoking are ones that I encounter Every. Single. Day. It's inspiring, really, that so many people come through my door ready and willing to make the changes that will change their life.
By a few weeks in, however, our interest can start to fade. We get bored. We give up.
But it doesn't have to be this way!
Here are my Top 3 Tips for Making New Years Resolutions that Stick (and don't make you feel bad about yourself!):
1. Be Specific. "I'm going to lose weight" sounds good, but it doesn't give you a plan. "I'm going to lose 10 lbs by March 1st by attending hot yoga twice weekly, walking to work and replacing lattes and pop with lemon water" - now that's a plan.
2. Practice Positive Delusion. Trick your brain into believing that your goal is already the reality. Instead of saying "I'm going to go to bed earlier", change it to "I go to bed every night at 10 pm". Simple, but when our brain already believes it's true, we're more likely to make it true.
3. Announce It To The World. Telling your friends, family members and coworkers what your goals are will make you accountable... or face the embarrassment of public failure!
Because I love you and want you to succeed I'm inviting you to set up a time to chat with me about your health goals. Identifying the first steps of a bigger picture make all the difference.
I got home at 6:30pm, after a long day of work. Angry.
Even my cat was avoiding me.
I went straight to the peanut butter jar, dug out the chocolate chips and went to town with my favorite sugar + fat snack. There was no way I could wait to make dinner. I needed a fix.
It's hard to be graceful eating peanut butter out of the jar.
I'm human, I fully admit it. My eating habits had a long way to go when I first started University, starry-eyed and bound for medical school. Over the first two years, I gained 15 lbs, started losing handfuls of hair, got easily overwhelmed and developed terrible sleeping habits. It was a rough go.
By the time I started my Naturopathic medical training at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine I had started making some very significant changes to diet. The biggest changes were cutting out processed crap (like the yellow powdered chicken broth that was previously a staple in my cooking), limiting wheat and increasing fat in my diet.
Two years ago, however, I really hit the nail on the head. A colleague of mine, Dr. Erica Robinson, had been a big proponent of the Paleolithic Diet for quite sometime and it got me thinking.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleolithic Diet is based whole foods - lot of vegetables, a modest amount of fruit, lots of healthy fats and high quality protein - and is meant to simulate the way our ancient human ancestors during the Paleolithic era might have ate. At the same time, this style of eating limits ALL grains, beans and legumes, dairy, sugars, processed foods and alcohol.
I know, it does sound drastic at first. Why would you do this to yourself???
We, as a species, have evolved over several hundred thousand years eating a certain way - foraging lots of greens, fruits, edible tubers, nuts and seeds, and when we could find it, meat including the higher fat organ meats. We moved a lot more, slept when the sun went down and had a heck of a lot more downtime to rest and play than we do today. It wasn't until the Neolithic era when agriculture really caught on that we started to settle down and dramatically increased the amount of grains and legumes in our diet. We stayed in one place, had a steady diet of grains, legumes and beans in addition to what those ancient ancestors ate. We had food security.
Yes, that did happen thousands of years ago, however even that amount of time is only a small blip compared to the many years of eating in the hunter-gatherer style.
The argument is that we are genetically evolved to be eating in this ancient, Paleolithic style, and our genetics are still playing a losing game of catch-up to our agriculture loving ancestor's grain and bean-based diet.
Our DNA has no hope in hell to catch up with our modern diet full of genetically engineered wheat, corn, soy, processed fats, sodium, alcohol, antibiotic-laden dairy and other "food products".
The Standard American Diet (SAD, for short) is forcing us to fight a bloody, uphill battle against our genetics... and it is one that we can't win. Numerous scientific studies have detailed that the SAD diet full of convenience but absolutely lacking nourishment are direct contributors to heart disease, diabetes, strokes, obesity and cancers amoung MANY other concerns. Yep, these are our biggest killers and we keep getting sicker, fatter, tired, depressed and miserable.
So what did this peanut butter-loving Naturopath (to be) do?
I read a LOT of books, including these:
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy by Mark Sisson
Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous With the Diet You Were Born to Eat by Nell Stephenson
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf
Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo
Make It Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes for Any Occasion - Bill Staley and Hayley Mason
Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan
Dr. Loren Cordain's work
and these blogs:
Mark's Daily Apple
The Clothes Make the Girl
I got rid of the grains, the sugar, beans, cut out dairy and threw out anything my great-great-great (x50) grandmother would not recognize as food.
I increased the amount of produce I ate, set a limit of max 2 servings of fruit, dramatically increased the healthy fats, had high quality protein with each meal and got to work cooking. I seriously upped the quality of nutrition in my already "healthy" diet. I began to walk everywhere, made yoga a part of my day and allowed myself time to relax.
I lost the 15 pounds of stress fat I put on through university and med school. I completely cured my insomnia. My acne cleared. My periods got more regular. I stopped losing handfuls of hair. I got used to saying "No thank you" to well-meaning friends and relatives offering me foods that made me feel ill. I felt truly empowered, knowing that I choose to take my health in my hands every day, that there are answers and that feeling ill did not have to be a given.
And I was a heck of a lot more pleasant to be around.
Are you interested?
Book your free health consultation with me to start living the healthy life you know you deserve.
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” - Anne Wigmore
Anne, you are right. I choose medicine. Awesome, tasty medicine. Check out how we do it! - Dr. Keila (no makeup Sunday) Xo
Food can be the perfect medicine... or the best poison.
Our body does the best it can and can only run off the fuel we give it. While most of us try to eat healthily the majority of the time, sometimes the "good" foods we are regularly recommended can make us feel ill. If we are taking in foods that don't agree with us, regardless of which Food Guide or expert recommends them, our body will mount a reaction in order to tell us that we shouldn't eat it. If we continue to consume these foods, the body turns up the dial until we have to listen.
Your Cheat Sheet to Food Reactions:
Timing is everything
One reason it can be so difficult to identify a food reaction is that we may react hours, days or even weeks after ingesting the food in question. If you tend to eat a highly varied diet or eat the same foods over and over, pin-pointing that one meal can be a challenge, particularly if you started to feel crummy a few days later.
Trust your gut..but look for other clues.
The gut is the gateway to the rest of the body. If a food reacts in our gut, it impacts not only our digestive function, but the rest of our body as well. In particular, the immune system, neurological and reproductive systems get involved.
Symptoms of a food sensitivity can include:
Your symptoms may evolve over time as well.
For example, I notice with myself that when I eat gluten I start to feel very sleepy and have an immediate-onset brain fog. If I continue to ignore my body and eat more - I am the first to admit I am very human and not immune to a fresh slice of bread from time to time - I get some pretty intense stomach cramps and constipation. Since I so seldom eat it, I notice this right away. When I was in university on a tight student's budget, I tended to a lot of pasta (it was cheap, quick and filling) I suffered from debilitating sleep attacks plus all those digestive symptoms, weight gain around the middle and acne. Eventually I realized from trial and error that it was worth spending a few extra bucks, saving the gluten/starch binges for a very occasional treat in order to be more productive, focused, energetic and healthy.
As you can see, it certainly goes beyond the digestive system!
So how do I know if there's a problem... and what can I do about it?
If you're asking yourself this, you've come to the right place!
Working with your family doctor or allergist, standard allergy testing is often recommended to test for IgE-type reactions. Treatment then involves taking an antihistamine (Reactine, Benedryl etc.), epinephrine (eg. carrying an Epi-pen) and/or complete avoidance.
However, by now you will realize that IgE reactions are just a small part of the picture.
Here is how I treat food reactions:
If you or someone you know is suspects that a food reaction might be contributing to feeling unwell, I would like to offer you a complimentary 15 minute consultation with me to discuss your concerns.
Top 75 Naturopath Blogs & Websites For Naturopathic Doctors
Dr. Keila Roesner is a Naturopathic Doctor. When not treating patients she is also an enthusiastic barefoot-strolling, music-loving, yoga-doing kitchen wiz - who also happens to be a wrestling fan.