Good-bye period cramps!

When it comes to ‘that time of the month’ most women have experienced menstrual cramps at one point in their lives or another. Painful periods are often accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, breast tenderness, heavy/clotty flow, low back pain, mood swings and food cravings.

All of these PMS symptoms are due to a hormone imbalance called ‘Estrogen dominance.’ This basically means that your body has an excess of estrogen in relation to progesterone.

Excess estrogen could be caused by:

  1. The build up of xenoestrogens in your body
  2. Liver Qi Stagnation: a Chinese medicine syndrome where your liver cannot process and eliminate the xenoestrogens fast enough so they build up in your body causing symptoms.
  3. Low progesterone: Your estrogen could be normal but if your progesterone is low it is not able to balance the effects of estrogen and creates a relative estrogen dominance picture.

How do you know if you have estrogen dominance?

  1. Your symptoms fall under the estrogen dominance category (see above)
  2. You do a blood test for estradiol and progesterone. Blood tests should ideally be done on day 5 and day 21 of the menstrual cycle.  Your hormones change throughout the cycle and this gives a more accurate picture of what is happening in the first half versus the second half of the cycle.
  3. Saliva hormone testing: This test is run through a private lab such as Rocky Mountain Analytical and is usually ordered by a naturopathic doctor. Here is more info on their Female Hormone Panel.

What are some treatment options for estrogen dominance?

  1. Minimize your exposure to xenoestrogens.
  2. Support your liver through diet, herbs and acupuncture so it can clear out excess estrogens.
  3. Boost your progesterone levels through diet, herbs and acupuncture. Or consider Bio-identical progesterone cream if indicated for your individual situation.

To learn more speak to your naturopathic doctor today!

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FREE health talk! Strategies to detoxify your body

This month I kick off a series of FREE health talks on ‘Strategies to detoxify your body.’

My goal is to increase your awareness of the negative health impact of toxin exposure.  I’ll provide  information on how to avoid environmental toxins in your home and work place.  You will learn practical tips on how to improve your body’s ability to detoxify using naturopathic medicine which includes clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and lifestyle changes.

These talks are part of the Ottawa Public Library Program guide.

Click HERE to register for the program at the Sunnyside branch, Thursday, February 26, 6-8 pm.

Click HERE to register for the program at the Greenboro branch, Saturday, February 28, 2-4 pm.

Looking forward to sharing lots of great info with you!

FREE health talk! Strategies to detoxify your body

This week I kick off a series of FREE health talks on ‘Strategies to detoxify your body.’

My goal is to increase your awareness of the negative health impact of toxin exposure.  I’ll provide  information on how to avoid environmental toxins in your home and work place.  You will learn practical tips on how to improve your body’s ability to detoxify using naturopathic medicine which includes clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and lifestyle changes.

These talks are part of the Ottawa Public Library Program guide.

Click HERE to register and find a library branch in your community.

Looking forward to sharing lots of great info with you!

Start 2014 with a 10 day detoxification challenge at Bikram Yoga Ottawa

Bikram Yoga Ottawa Detoxification Program

Top 5 naturopathic treatments for healthy skin

Want healthy glowing skin? Check out my latest article on page 20 of Healthy Directions Magazine:

healthydirections

Enjoy!

Delicious, detoxifying, energizing juice!

Spring is almost here and with it comes the buzz words  ‘detoxification’ and ‘juicing‘.  But what does detoxification through juicing really mean? Find out by reading my latest article for Healthy Directions Magazine: Delicious, detoxifying, energizing juice! Found on page 14-16.

It also includes delicious juicing recipes! Enjoy!

Juicing! A simple and delicious way to support detoxification

Detoxification is a hot topic in the world of natural medicine, but what exactly does it mean? In the body, detoxification is the process of removing toxic substances.  It is a constant occurrence through various organs of elimination such as the lungs, skin, liver, kidneys and large intestine.

Detoxification is an important concept when it comes to staying healthy and balanced.  This is because a build up of harmful substances impairs the body’s ability to function optimally and is linked to the development of disease.

Most people think of detoxification as a temporary avoidance of exposure to harmful chemicals and removal from the diet of harmful foods such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten and dairy. 

However, it is ideal to support detoxification on a daily basis and this does not always have to involve the restriction of foods. 

Adding functional foods to your diet that support the organs of elimination is great way to support your body’s innate ability to detoxify.   Supporting the delicate balance between intake of beneficial nutrients and elimination of harmful is essential for good health.

Juicing is a simple and delicious way to support your body’s natural methods of detoxification.

Benefits of juicing

1. Nutrients are more efficiently digested and absorbed

2. Increased amount and variety of fruit and vegetables can be eaten

3. Increased energy, detoxification and immune support

There are many juicing machines available which range from beginner to super deluxe models.  It is recommended that you start with a beginner model before investing in a higher level one to first master the basics of juicing combinations and see how juicing can be incorporated into your healthy lifestyle routine.

Choose organic fruits and vegetables and wash them thoroughly.

Apple, pear, watermelon and carrot juices are great for sweetening bitter vegetable juices and not too overpowering in flavour compared to other fruits.

Drink juice immediately or store in the refrigerator and drink within one day since the juice is not pasteurized.

A note of caution: Juicing is not a meal replacement, but a pleasant addition to a meal! Pure fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals but deficient in fibre, protein and healthy fats which are required for an optimally nutritious meal.

Common vegetables to juice:

Carrot, cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, beet, cabbage, broccoli, parsnip, Swiss chard

Common fruits to  juice:

Apple, pear, orange, pineapple, watermelon, mango, kiwi, berries, grapefruit

5 ingredients to supercharge your juice and support detoxification

1. Dandelion greens: contain phytochemicals that improve digestion and support the liver and kidneys. Dandelions are also high in vitamins A and C which are essential for the immune system.

2. Parsley: high in anti-oxidants which protect cells from damage to harmful chemicals. Contains phytochemicals that support detoxification pathways in the liver and kidney.

3. Cilantro: phytochemicals found in cilantro bind to heavy metals, specifically mercury, and remove them from tissues so they can be eliminated. 

4. Broccoli: high in a phytochemical called indole-3-carbinol which helps the liver detoxify and balance hormone levels.

5. Red cabbage: contains a high amount of L-glutamine, an amino acid which heals and supports digestive tract function.

Kidney cocktail juice recipe

(Source: Fresh at Home: Everyday Vegetarian Cooking by Ruth Tal Brown and Jennifer Houston)

Ingredients:

4 medium carrots

1 handful spinach

1 handful dandelion greens

2 apples

½ cucumber

½ lemon, peeled

1. Juice all the ingredients together.

2. Pour into a glass. Serves 1-2 people.