Four signs you might have a food intolerance - and what to do about it

Posted by Rita Texeira on 19 September 2014
Four signs you might have a food intolerance - and what to do about it

When your body is suffering from a food intolerance and is not running at its best it will start to give you signs. But the trouble is, many of these signs can be put down to stress, tiredness, a bout of sickness or another condition, leaving many people suffering for months if not years undiagnosed.

In fact a study, carried out by food intolerance website Foodintol, found that 42 per cent of people who have a food intolerance experience symptoms for more than five years before they realise they have the condition and seek help, and 28 per cent live with symptoms for two to five years.

To ensure you don’t become one of these statistics, here are four signs that you might have a food intolerance and what you should do if you are showing them.

1. Tiredness, fatigue and continual exhaustion

While we normally get our energy from food, if you are regularly eating a food that you have an intolerance to, it can have the opposite effect. With your body working hard to fight what it sees as a threat, you can be left feeling tired, fatigued and continually exhausted.

With tiredness and exhaustion easily put down to a busy lifestyle, sicknesses or other condition, it can be hard to identify this as a new and different symptom. But tiredness and fatigue will often be one of the first warning signs that you have a food intolerance.

2. Gas, bloating, belching or diarrhea

This is perhaps one of the most common signs of a food intolerance, typically to gluten (celiac disease), lactose or fructose.

If you do find yourself having gas, bloating or diarrhea, particularly after eating, it may be due to a food intolerance.

3. Constipation

When your body has a food intolerance it can find it hard to digest the food in question causing you to have constipation.

If you do find you suffer from chronic constipation even despite drinking the required amount of water and having a high fibre diet, a food intolerance could be the cause.

4. Headaches and migraines

Headaches and migraines can often be associated with certain food chemicals. MSG, preservatives, artificial colours and even whole foods can be responsible for triggering chronic and severe headaches and migraines.

While pain killers can certainly ease the issue, changing your diet and getting tested for potential intolerances could drastically reduce your systems or cure your headaches altogether.

Are you showing any of the signs? Here’s what you should do

While many of these signs and symptoms can be caused by other factors and conditions, it pays to at least rule out a food intolerance before you go on to treat anything else. Here are three ways to do this.

  1. Keep a food diary of what you eat for a couple of weeks and write down when your symptoms present – can you see any pattern?
  2. Food intolerances are normally caused by a reaction to a central allergen like dairy products, wheat and wheat products, food additives, chocolate, citrus fruits, corn, eggs, oats, nuts, gluten, yeast or glucose. If you do suspect a certain food, try eliminating it from your diet to see if your symptoms improve.
  3. Get tested. There are quick, easy and painless tests that can be done to test for food intolerances that will give you instant answers as to what is going on. To find out more talk to your naturopath or physician about how you can diagnose your allergy
Posted in:WellbeingFood AllergyFood IntoleranceAllergiesHealthy EatingDietHealth  

Managing insomnia for the over 60's

Posted by Rita Texeira on 28 August 2014
Managing insomnia for the over 60's

Insomnia can be debilitating. When you have difficulty falling asleep, remaining asleep, or have consistent early morning awakenings, it can leave you tired, fatigued and exhausted, but that's not all.

Insomnia can also impair cognition, increase irritability and depression, lower your pain threshold and even cause many diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental decline.

While insomnia affects many people, those over 60 are at a higher risk of suffering from it. So to help you, here are some ways you can manage and reduce your insomnia.    

Rule out a medical cause first

Before you treat your insomnia with medication, it is important to rule out a medical issue causing it.

Chronic Infections, nutrient deficiencies, sleep apnea, dysglyceamia (blood sugar control issues), heavy metal toxicity, restless leg syndrome, reflux or other digestive disturbances, night sweats (hormonal or infection related) and food intolerances have all been linked to sleep issues.

Also take into consideration any side effects of current medication you are taking that might be impacting on your sleep or lack there of.

Evaluate your lifestyle and environment

Stress, diet and lifestyle changes can also impact our ability to get a good night sleep.

Pollution from noise or light (particularly florescent light and tablet and smart phone screens), stressful circumstances, excess intake of stimulants or alcohol, consumption of caffeine and high Tyramine foods (like banana, chocolate, liver, beans, avocado, yoghurt, cheese and soy bean products) can all impact your sleep.

With this in mind, limit your stress, allow proper wind down time before bed and eat foods rich in Tryptophan like spirulina, chicken livers, pumpkin seeds, turkey, almonds that increase Melatonin and assist in establishing the circadian rhythm.

Develop a sleep protocol

In order to get back into a sleep rhythm you need to develop a sleep protocol or routine. A sleep or bedtime routine will help your body wind down and prepare for sleep.

Obviously you need to develop a routine that works for you, though here are some tips to get you started.

  • Get early exposure to morning sunlight to stimulate your circadian rhythm
  • Exercise in the morning, not at night
  • Avoid caffeine containing beverages after 3pm
  • Have a television, laptop, mobile phone and tablet PC ban in your bedroom to minimise exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation
  • Set a regular bedtime that is before 11pm
  • Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature and has minimal light and noise

Try natural alternatives before medicating

Medication can often bring about other undesirable side effects and can create a dependency, so it is important it is used as a last resort. Thankfully though, there are some natural alternatives that can help too.

Here are a few to think about:

  • Meditation and hypnosis
  • Eat more alkaline foods (green vegetables, salad greens, almonds, apricots, figs, carrots)
  • Avoid drinking excess fluids at night
  • Supplement with essential fatty acids
  • Investigate nutritional deficiencies

The following suggestions should be discussed in consultation with your health practitioner to determine the suitability and appropriate dosage.

  • Supplement with Adenosine
  • Supplement with Melatonin
  • Medication review to see if there are other alternatives available
  • Alkaline agents (keeping your body as alkaline as possible will improve overall sleep)
  • Herbal remedies
Have any questions about your personal sleep habits or insomnia symptoms? Call 07 5525 2211
Posted in:WellbeingOver 60TirednessInsomniaSleepHealth  

Natural fertility tips to boost your chances of pregnancy

Posted by Rita Texeira on 12 August 2014
Natural fertility tips to boost your chances of pregnancy

There is nothing more exciting than for a first time trying couple to find out they are pregnant.  But with one in six couples experiencing infertility challenges, starting a family doesn’t always happen as naturally or as easily as we’d like.

There are many causes of infertility, from Endometriosis, ovulation problems (absent or infrequent periods), poor egg quality and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), to tube blockages, sperm problems, sperm allergies and simply the unexplainable. 
If you are experiencing difficulties in falling pregnant, or you are about to try, here are 10 natural fertility tips to help improve your chances of falling pregnant.

1. Nourish your body

The causes of infertility are many and they are not always hormonal as most people think. More often than not it’s due to nutritional deficiencies. This is why eating a healthy balanced is even more important during conception and pregnancy.

Currently, less than 50% of Australian women and men consume enough fruit and vegetables, and the average intake of selenium, calcium, and iodine is below the average for both NZ and Australia.

You want your body to be operating at an optimal level so be sure to eat foods that will boost your immune system and keep your body nourished. These include foods rich in protein, iron, zinc and vitamin C like fish, meat, dairy, eggs and beans.

Also keep in mind that the most important nutrients involved in preventing adverse epigenetic events are folic acid, B12, Vitamin D and methionine so it is important to ensure adequate intake. By increasing methylation at certain points these nutrients can stop expression of certain genes.

2. Watch what you drink

When trying to fall pregnant it is important to reduce your coffee and alcohol intake and increase your water intake. Alcohol can alter your oestrogen levels, which can interfere with egg implantation. Drink more water throughout the day to flush out the toxins and keep your body’s system flowing better.

3. Stop smoking

If you are a smoker, it’s time to quit. Cigarette toxins can damage your eggs, interfere with fertilization and implantation, and it can also increase your chances of being infertile.

4. Take time to relax

Stress can drastically impact your fertility, as well as infant development and behaviour, so it is important to avoid stressful situations and relationships as much as possible, and block out regular time in your schedule to relax, mediate and calm your body.  If you do struggle to relax, check out these 10 tips to manage stress.

5. Bring back the fun

It is important to still have fun in the bedroom. When you are trying for a baby it can become very task orientated, but remember to stay focussed on the connection you have with your partner.

6. Preconception care

More and more evidence points to the fact that the way we were nourished and grew in our mother’s womb can have an important impact on your health as an adult.

That is why taking nutritional supplements is imperative. It is preventative medicine and can be seen as foetal programming. Our body can influence a foetus in utero and determine their susceptibility to future disease.

7. Detox

With an endless amount of stressors that affect our health today, from chemical additives and colours in our food and drinking water, to toxic metals, pesticides, chemicals, plastics, environmental toxins, radiation and more, our bodies can quickly become overrun with toxins.

These toxins cloud our system; they make us tired, fatigued and more susceptible to allergies, sickness and over time, disease. To prevent this from happening and to ensure your body is working at it’s best; consider doing an integrated detox before conception.

8. Acupuncture

Acupuncture provides many benefits to conception and fertility. It can help promote strong ovulation, increase blood flow to the ovaries, eliminate underlying inflammation that can harm fertility, improve sperm count and regulate menstruation and ovulation cycles.

9. Western Herbal Medicine

Western herbal medicine can help stabilise hormones and regulate periods, cycle length and ovulation times. It can also help ease endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome as well as improve sperm morphology, motility count, and egg quality.

10. Homeopathic fertility program

At Resolve Health and Wellness we follow the internationally renowned Liz Lalor Homeopathic Fertility Program© that has a pregnancy success rate of 87% within 4 cycles.

Started at any stage of the menstrual cycle, the program is designed to help the female body produce the fertile conditions necessary for conception and consists of a series of four or five natural homeopathic remedies taken by the woman at various times during her menstrual cycle. Your male partner is also prescribed a homeopathic remedy and supplements.

If you have been trying to fall pregnant for a while or would like to look at preparing your body for pregnancy, call us today on (07) 5525 2211 to give nature a little helping hand.

Posted in:WellbeingNutritionFertilityHealthPregnancy  

10 tips to minimise your stress

Posted by Rita Texeira on 11 July 2014
10 tips to minimise your stress
With an endless amount of bills, deadlines, work commitments and home responsibilities stress has become an inevitable part of our daily lives. Being overcommitted and overscheduled can be overwhelming and stressful but thankfully there are ways to ease the tension.

To help you cope with everyday life and relax a little more, here are 10 ways to reduce your stress load.

1. Make time for yourself

It is important to set aside regular time for yourself each day to do something you enjoy. It could be reading a book, writing down your thoughts, having a coffee at your favourite café, going for a walk or taking a long bath.

Taking this time out to relax, unwind and get in touch with you the individual outside the rest of your roles can help minimise stress and overwhelm and clear your head.

2. Take regular breaks

When you're extremely busy taking a break can be the last thing on your mind. Not wanting to lose your place or momentum you can often think "I'm too busy to have a break". But breaks are even more vital when you’re under pressure to help prevent burnout. Even just sparing 5-10 minutes every 60-90 minutes to stretch or go for a walk, can help to clear your head, minimise your stress and leave you more relaxed.

3. Accept a little imperfection

Often a lot of the stress we experience comes from our own self expectations and a need to be perfect. But sometimes you need to let go of your high expectations and perfectionist ways for your sanity, stress levels and schedule. It is fine to be committed to excellence and take pride in everything you do; it just doesn't need to be ‘perfect’ all of the time.

4. Get a life!

Balance is vital to minimising your stress, so make sure you set aside time to have a life outside of your work and the everyday routine. You need time out with friends and family, to have fun and enjoy life. Not only will you feel better for it, you will also be more relaxed and productive.

5. Ask for help

This is easy to say but often hard to do, especially if you are highly independent or proud. Though if you want to avoid burnout you do have to swallow your pride and give up control on occasion - especially in your busy times.

6. Get moving

Exercise, in addition to its many health benefits, can help to reduce your stress and anxiety. Helping your brain release feel-good chemicals, a walk around the block, yoga class, aerobic exercise or any other choice of movement can be a great way to deal with stress and change your mood.

7. Learn to say ‘no’

Every time you say “yes” to something you are inevitably saying “no” to something else. Trouble is we don't tend to notice since more often than not we are saying "no" to ourselves. For our own health and happiness though we need to get into the habit of saying “no” when we are already overcommitted.

So start introducing “no” a little more into your vocabulary especially when the task, favour or event doesn’t fit within your schedule or priorities.

8. Avoid people who stress you

If there are people in your life who continually cause stress limit the amount of time you spend around them, or if you can end the relationship entirely. Life is too short to spend it around toxic people who bring you down.

9. Build in wind-down time at the end of the day

We all need time to unwind at the end of the day and slow our thoughts to sleep more peacefully. From tonight make sure you build in wind-down time for yourself after you have finished working, studying and tidying.

10. If normal stress tactics don’t work seek help

If you find you are still suffering significantly from stress despite trying stress minimisation tactics and making lifestyle changes, there could be other underlying causes at play like:

  • Inadequate sleep
  • Irregular eating patterns
  • High GI diets
  • Basic nutritional deficiencies, which compromise mood (e.g. Magnesium, B1, B6, Folate, B12 and Zinc)
  • Side effects from prescribed medications (Corticosteroids)
  • Thyroid issues
  • Pyrolle disorder (which can be improved with Zinc and B6)
  • Changes in gene expression
  • A reduction in the MTFHR enzyme

In these cases we recommend you talk to your health practitioner to discuss your symptoms and undergo some simple tests (if needed) to identify and address any other issues that may be impacting on your health.

Many of these can be causes can be identified and addressed simply by talking to your health practitioner and undergoing simple tests. If you would like to know more, call us today on 1300 744 123.

How do you minimise stress?
Posted in:WellbeingStressMinimising StressHealth  

11 immune boosters to keep the flu out in the cold

Posted by Rita Texeira on 24 April 2014
11 immune boosters to keep the flu out in the cold

As lovely as it is when the fluffy doonas, woolly clothes and snuggly uggboots come out in winter, it also brings the inevitable sniffles, sore throat, aches and the endless trail of tissues.

Not in your house though! This flu season we’ve got you covered with 11 immune boosting tips to ensure those nasty colds and flu are left out in the cold.

1. Eat healthy

Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs to boost energy, control and prevent sickness and speed up recovery.

This flu season be sure to boost your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially greens, garlic, mushrooms, ginger, yoghurt and almonds. Also drink more black and green tea, which are said to strengthen your immune system and get rid of free radicals in your body.

2. Drink more water

Water is vital for your body’s health and wellness. Itflushes out toxins, ensures your organs are functioning at their best, reduces headaches often caused from dehydration, aids in digestion, prevents constipation and raises your metabolism. So make sure you are getting 8-10 glasses a day.

3. Have extra Vitamin C

While we all know the benefits of Vitamin C, most of us don’t take it until after we are sick to aid recovery. But taking extra Vitamin C during winter months is a great way to keep colds and flus at bay.

Acting as a natural anti-histamine, anti-viral, bactericidal and detoxifier, Vitamin C also boosts the prostaglandin production in your blood platelets, which also increases T cell production.  

While you can increase your Vitamin C intake through tablets and supplements, broccoli, kiwi fruit and dark green leafy vegetables are also high in Vitamin C.

4. See the light of day

Vitamin D or “the sunshine vitamin" as it’s often called plays an important role in building our immunity. Without sufficient vitamin D (around 2-3 hours in the sun a week in winter) we increase our risk of developing a range of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

While sunlight is the easiest and healthiest way to get sufficient vitamin D, you can also eat foods rich in vitamin Dlike egg yolk, cod liver oil, oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel) and fortified milk (cow, soy or rice).

5. Make sure you are getting enough zinc

Zinc increases your production of white blood cells and helps them fight infection more effectively. It also increases cells that combat cancer, helps your immune system release more antibodies, supports wound healing and is a powerful anti-viral.

But with no way to store zinc your body depends on a daily supply through your diet with foods like seafood (oysters, crab and lobster), beef and lamb, spinach, pumpkin seeds and cashews. You need just the right amount though as too much can be just as harmful as not enough.

6. Have the right balance of copper

Copper is a powerful bactericidal that protects your immune system and helps you to maintain good defences against infectious diseases. While a balanced diet usually provides an adequate daily intake, there are cases where copper supplements are needed, particularly if suffering from celiac and crohn’s disease.

Normally copper supplements also include zinc as it is important to maintain a ratio of 1:1 zinc and copper for a healthy immune system.

7. Restore your immune system with probiotics

With the majority of your immune system located in your gut, a strong, healthy immune system depends heavily on having a well-functioning, healthy gut. For this reason it is important to support your system with probiotics that are specifically designed to heal your gut and restore your immune system to its natural function.

Restoring this balance in your body can help you cope more easily with stressors, toxins and allergens and reduce the severity of sickness.

8. Take time to rest and unwind

With such busy schedules stress is a regular occurrence in our daily lives, but too much stress and not enough rest can decrease our immune system and leave us more susceptible to infections.

So as tempting as it can be to stay up late to get through your work or to catch up on tasks around your home, it's important to build in time to unwind and get your rest as this will give your system the opportunity it needs to build up defences again and fight infections faster.

9. Get moving

While regular exercise is an area most of us struggle with, particularly on those cold winter days, it is proven to prevent many life-threatening conditions, boost oxygen and nutrient supply to all the cells in your body, increase sleep, decrease stress, strengthen your immune system, improve your muscle strength and joint function and of course help you become fitter and leaner.

10. Try herbal remedies

Herbals can also deliver fantastic immune boosting benefits and what’s more they are personalised for your own individual situation.

When it comes to avoiding colds and the flu the most beneficial herbs are Astragalus as an immune stimulatory herb, Echinacea, Five Mushroom Formulations, Andrographis Colostrum a protein-rich whey extract particularly use full to support mucous membrane health, Olive Leaf shows strong antimicrobial properties against viruses but only in high dosages and Bioeffective A (pine needle extract) is a very effective antiviral formula.

11. Watch your sugar intake

Sugar lowers your immune system and can leave you more susceptible to illness so try to minimise it in your diet as much as possible, particularly over winter. While it can give you the "pick me up" you're looking for its effects are temporary and the crash that comes when it wears off can leave you feeling worse.Instead try eating foods that are low GI as this will provide more constant energy levels as opposed to the highs then lows that come from sugar.

How do you keep colds and flus away?
Posted in:Immune BoostersWellbeingBuilding Your Immune SystemHealthCold and Flu  

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