Managing Menopause Naturally: Herbs and Hormones

I was working with a patient for many months. We were trying to get her night sweats under control so that she could sleep. The lack of sleep was disrupting her daytime life with fatigue and brain fog. After many trials with many herbs, I brought up the possibility of bioidentical hormones to manage her menopause symptoms. She wanted to know if they were safe. After reading the results of the Women’s Health Initiative study back in 2002 she had concerns. They had shown a relationship between hormones and increased cardiovascular and cancer risks.

A wonderful article published in Integrated Healthcare Practitioners goes through what we currently know about the research.

While it concludes that we need more research done, especially comparative studies, it does point to some small studies done that support the use of bioidentical hormones over synthetic versions. They show less side effects and better safety profile for bioidentical estrogen and progesterone.

So what order should therapies occur in to treat menopause symptoms naturally?

  1. Follow good nutritional guidelines – a whole food, plant based diet.
  2. Move your body – daily exercise is helpful for symptoms and for prevention of cardiovascular disease and fracture risk.
  3. Herbs and vitamins – often these are enough to keep symptoms at bay. Sage, Black Cohosh and Soy all have evidence to support their use.
  4. Bioidentical hormones – when other interventions cannot provide the relief needed, adding some progesterone with or without estrogen can yield fabulous results.

How long have you been suffering with menopause symptoms? Is it time to get your sleep, sex and sanity back?

To see if naturopathic medicine could help your menopause symptoms, book a free meet-the-doctor session using our online booking system, or call the office at 705-792-6717

Well-Baby Visits

STUDIOdpi-8760

We love seeing healthy babies in our practice. We also see the sick ones but we more often than not are assessing a new baby. Here’s what you can expect from your well-baby visit for the first visit:

  • review of pregnancy & birth history
  • recommendations for any current symptoms
  • physical exam including – hair, skin, lymph nodes, abdomen, ears, heart and lung check, weight, height and head circumference
  • charting on the growth chart
  • information for stages where you are at now e.g. natural solutions for fevers, coughs & colds, food introduction, teething

Our baby patient then come to see us at set intervals so we can help track their growth and development as well as address any concerns that have come up since we saw them last. This is a safe place for you to bring your baby where we have the time to listen to your concerns. Babies also come in for acute visits for 15 or 30 minutes to address things you don’t want to take them to the walk-in clinic for.

Also, check out our new baby scale that we can accurate weigh your baby and toddler up to 40lbs!

baby scale

Hate Getting Your Photo Taken?

Hi there,

We were at at tradeshow recently and asked the woman from the booth across from us to take our photo in front of our booth for our Facebook page and friends. When we asked if we could return the favour she said “I don’t do photos.”

Sadly, a reported 41% of women hate getting their photo taken. Another report found that 97% of women reported having at least one “I hate my body/body part/something about themselves thought each and every day.

Talk about an epidemic!

Now look at this photo of my daughter.

J holding up the trees

She’s looking straight at the camera, posing strong enough to hold up those two trees. Smiling, not hiding any parts of her body. She’s confident and ready to be exactly who she is.

Ok, she’s only about a year and a half in this picture but when will she start to hate her body or herself?

My hope? Never.

My calling is to help women all around the world raise powerful and confident daughters. There are too many sad statistics of what can happen to a young girl or teen with low self-esteem.

Let’s make a change in this next generation.

Well at least I’m going to give it a try with my daughter.

Talk soon,

Whitney

Getting kids to eat veggies

We have become quite removed from our food chain in today’s world.  Drive-thru windows, convenience foods, and ready-made meals make it easy to forget where our food comes from.

It’s also easy to forget what fresh food tastes like.  Fresh as is as nature intended.  Farmer’s markets are making a comeback as is the eating local movement.

 

Mommy has to get the strawberry stains out after a successful pick your own berries day :)

Mommy has to get the strawberry stains out after a successful pick your own berries day 🙂

 

We have taken the approach with our kids to immerse them in fresh food.  To connect them with what they eat.  Here are a few ways to engage your kids with food:

  • Plant some food.  Kids are more eager to try foods that they had a hand in growing.  Let them pick some seeds, plant them, and care for them.  You only need a small area of your yard, or use planters on your deck or porch.
  • Take them to the farm.  Sign up for a CSA and pick up your food weekly.  It’s a great way for them to see how a farm operates.
  • Go to the ‘pick your own’ farms.  Berries in early summer, pumpkins in the fall.  Help them understand that food grows from the ground not in the store.
  • Let them get dirty!  Watering the garden and picking weeds can be made to be fun.
  • Check out the farmers market.  Your kids can often try different foods right there and the farmer’s can tell them some cool stuff about what they are eating.

Salads all around!

Our little gardner

 

May Detox – What Goes In?

Many people decide to do a detox during the spring months but focusing on what’s going in your body is just as important as what’s going out of your body.

During a spring detox, you will most likely be looking at foods or herbs to help you with your detox. What about the other things that you intake? How about the air you breathe, the liquid you drink, and what you put on your skin?

spring detox

Quality of Air

Everything that comes into our body we must use or shuttle back out. During a detox (and really all the time) it’s another great opportunity to lessen your exposure to toxic chemicals and freshen your air naturally. We are exposed to many chemicals in our regular environment. Try starting at home by eliminating artificial air fresheners and chemical based cleaners. Try essential oils, home cooking, or good old baking soda to help freshen your air. There are also a multitude of green home cleaning suggestions and recipes you can find online.

More research is being conducted that shows us the connection between air pollution and conditions such as asthma, allergies, and even autism. Invest in a high quality air purifier for your home like Blue Air or IQ Air.

Quality of Liquid

During a detox you should still to liquids such as:

  • Purified water (not in small pastic bottles)
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juice
  • Herbal teas

We know that too much pop and sugary drinks are not very nutritious or good for our health. Give your body a break from the junk and drink clean, pure liquids your body knows how to deal with.

The quality of your water is important too. There are different opinions on which type of water is best.

City Water Thoroughly tested and treated however contains things like bromine and chlorine which can cause some issues for some sensitive people. Buy a chlorine shower filter for your shower head.
Reverse Osmosis Nothing is left in the water. Very pure, clean tasting. However, some believe the water is “dead” as nothing is left in it.
Bottled water – 500ml etc Quality of water is questionable as they don’t have as strict standards. Plastic leaching into the water is a toxin for your body – drink water in glass, ceramic or stainless steel.
Alkaline water All toxins have been removed and then it is remineralized for your benefit. Some suggest starting slowly to incorporate this into your diet.

 

During your detox I would recommend you stick to reverse osmosis water or alkaline water. See your local water suppliers like Aquamart.

Quality of Food

Eat real food – this is a great mantra for your spring detox. Eat things that have one ingredient in the label. For example: carrots, quinoa, chicken. Avoid things in a box or can or prepared with preservatives or other chemicals. You can season your own food and start from scratch.

Should I go organic?

Every year the Environmental Working Group analyzes the fruits and vegetables available in the grocery store. They rank them from the most contaminated with pesticides to the least contaminated. Here are the top 12 aka “The Dirty Dozen of 2014.”

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. Snap Peas
  12. Potatoes

Quality of Skin Care

Your skin absorbs the things you put on it. For a true detox, try to limit the products you use on a daily basis. Look at your moisturizers, makeup, shaving cream etc. Women put a multitude of products on our skin, hair, face and nails every day. Take an inventory of the number of products you use and you might be surprised the actual number and the ingredient lists on those containers.

For your detox try to limit what you normally use. Try coconut oil in your hair as a smooth finisher after blow-drying. How about olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil on your skin? If you can eat it, you can also put it on your skin. My personal favourite moisturizer is by Kiss My Face, which you can find at the health food store or in the health food section at big grocery stores.

So, when does your detox start?

Watch for more great tips here on our blog!

What Fish Are Safe To Eat?

We are told that eating fish is healthy and that we need our omega three fatty acids. But what fish are safe to eat and how much to eat can be confusing.
Here is a link to a comprehensive list of fish and their corresponding mercury levels. Although it does not get into the actual nutritional values of the different fish, it at least let’s us know which are safe to eat regularly, and which fish we need to avoid altogether.

What Fish Are Safe To Eat?

Yours in Health,
Kerri Fullerton ND