Food Allergies, Stress, Fatigue and Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory, in order to have good health we must have sufficient energy, called Chi and your body’s internal organs must be balanced and work in harmony with each other’s energy.

TCM views food allergies and intolerances as a result of imbalances within the Kidneys, Spleen, Stomach, Liver and Large Intestine. Most food allergies are not always actual allergies to food, but rather food intolerances that develop because of exhaustion of the body’s internal energy.

Food intolerances arise when the organs become imbalanced and weakened and can no longer carry out their function in the digestive and kidney systems.

Food allergies occur when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. An inflammatory reaction takes place in an attempt to eject this substance from the system, resulting in a vast variety of symptoms. To name just a few:

– Abdominal pain / distention, IBS,  Bloating / Gas,  Indigestion,  Constipation / Diarrhoea / Both, Decreased or increased appetite, Nausea and vomiting,  Floating, foul smelling, bloody or mucus stools, undigested food in stools, Anaemia, Bone and joint pain / Osteoporosis, Weight loss/ Weight Gain, Fatigue, Depression / Anxiety, Food cravings

It is estimated that up to 80% of Adults in the USA and Australia will experience adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion in their life time, yet it remains one of the most under diagnosed illnesses and is seldom related to food allergies.

Your adrenal gland is no larger than a walnut and weighs less than a grape, and sit on the top of each Kidney. They are responsible for one of the most important functions in your body, managing your stress. They are the fight/ flight glands of your body and brain. They give you the ability to run (move) or fight (defend yourself) and have evolved for our survival.

When the adrenal glands are over taxed Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees that the kidney/adrenal chi will become exhausted or empty. In Western Medicine adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion is a chemical /hormonal problem while in TCM it is both energy and chemistry.

Two tell-tale signs of adrenal burnout is feeling chronically fatigued and having food allergies. The basis of most adrenal fatigue or burnout is stress, long term chronic stress.

The precipitating event for most people is a period of intense emotional stress.  It doesn’t have to be negative stress. I have had clients who are young men who love to participate in triathlon events. After a couple of years competing in these gruelling events they develop food allergies and eventually all the symptoms of chronic fatigue.

When your body/brain is in flight or fight mode your physical body responds. Your breathing increases, over a 1000 different chemical reactions occur, hormones are released that cascade down through all of the endocrine system, adrenaline is released giving you the energy to act and react very quickly, heart beat rate increases, digestion slows and blood is taken away from the stomach into the muscles, blood thickens in case of bleeding, nervous system and brain become hyper-alert.

Now, these are all needed for your survival, but only while you are in real and present danger. States of chronic stress happens when your body doesn’t have the time to relax, recreate, replenish and restore these vital energies needed for a healthy and harmonious life.

Infertility for female and males is directly related to this exhaustion of ancestral energy/kidney essence. The IVF program is helping us create babies, however at what cost to their vital energy. One health issue that is arising is that IVF children may experience a slower growth rate than other children. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this is can be directly related to a low level of Kidney essence.

With each generation humanity is becoming weaker due to the excesses and ignorance of the generation before. Doctors in the USA are beginning to see 12 and 15 years old boys and girls with food allergies and adrenal burnout.

Throughout the last 30 years, I have experienced that the best way to heal food allergies and restore this vital energy is using Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Taoist breathing exercises coupled with deep relaxation and emotional balancing.

Acupuncture will restore the baseline and over time help you to return to optimum health. For any treatment to have lasting results the client needs to implement a health program that focuses on relaxing and de-stressing their environment, and to appreciate and understand the importance of rest, relaxation and inner calm.

High liver GGT Enzymes & Leaky Gut Syndrome

By Deirdre Parkinson, Naturopath

Have you had blood test results that were in in liver enzymes? So high that your GP wondered if you were a closet alcoholic!? High liver GGT enzymes can hint at a toxic liver. Alcohol in excess will cause liver toxicity and can cause a rise in GGT enzymes in a liver test. However high GGTs can also be caused by two other common toxic byproducts.  One is certain medications.

Many pharmaceutical drugs need to be metabolized though the liver, and can therefor cause a rise in liver enzymes. Another surprising cause of liver toxicity is a condition known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. In this case, the very toxins that are meant to be passed out of the body through good gut function and elimination are instead leaked back into the blood stream and passed back to the liver for recycling!

Causes of leaky gut syndrome range from our rather toxic Western Diet, to past infections from parasites or food poisonings. Testing is quite easy, although the current symptoms and health history are generally enough to confirm the need for gut detox and gut repair.

Some of the warning symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome are any in the list below:

  • Indigestion /Heart burn /Reflux
  • Stomach pains / Nausea /Vomiting
  • Burping /Bad breath / Loss of taste
  • Crave sweets /Sleepiness after consuming a high carbohydrate meal
  • Bowels do not open regularly every day
  • Diarrhea or Constipation or both?
  • Bowel gas / Bloated stomach
  • Itchy bottom
  • Blood in your stools or on the toilet paper
  • Thinner stools then normal
  • Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your bowel
  • The sensation of a lump/pain/or discomfort in your lower abdomen
  • Antibiotic medications: when?
  • High cholesterol / Gallstones / Pain the right side
  • Hepatitis / High alcohol consumption
  • Cold intolerance / Heat intolerance

Treatment involves first using herbal based medications to eliminate any chronic parasitic infections. The next step is to heal the “leaky” damaged gut lining. Herbal and nutritional compounds are used. The next few steps involve re-establishing the normal gut flora, checking for food intolerances, establishing good bowel function, and helping make healthy diet choices.

PS. It is important to know that the reference ranges for most blood tests are based on random bloods from the population that is following a Western lifestyle that is not  evolutionarily correct or healthy. The so called “normal range” of a gamma GT used to be a lot lower than it is now, but has been allowed to be higher because this enzyme is raised by alcohol and prescription drugs which so many people have today on a regular basis. So now it’s considered “normal to be toxic!

No Cook, Dairy Free, Black Bean Choc Fudge

By Deirdre Parkinson, Naturopath

There’s no doubt that Fudge is a high favourite for anyone with a sweet tooth. However it is very high in sugar, and if you’ve been diagnosed with a dairy allergy or need to lose weight, this alternative recipe might do the trick. You would never believe there are black beans in them!

As a legume, black beans are a good source of protein which reduces the craving for snacking, builds muscle, and helps balance hormones. The high fibre content in this recipe keeps the bowels regular, balances blood sugar levels, and reduces cholesterol.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil

1cup pitted medjool dates or if using dried pitted dates its best to cook them in the 1/4 cup  coconut oil first until they soften i.e. 5 mins.

1 ¼ cup cooked black beans (turtle beans), cannellini, or even chick peas.

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup either tahini or almond butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method:

Firstly blend the dates and the coconut oil. If using dried pitted dates you need to heat them in the 1/4 cup  coconut oil first until soft i.e. 5 mins.

Blend all the ingredients in food processor until smooth.

Using a spatula, press and flatten the mixture into loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper.

Using the same spatula, make incisions to precut into squares.

Refrigerate in freezer for at least an hour to firm up, them you can break them into the square shapes. They will store in freezer for a month, but you will most likely eat them all before the next day!.

Some suggested addition:add a scoop of your favourite vegan protoein powder- rice, hemp, or pea. They give a nice grainy texture if you used the tahini instead of the almond spread. Also you could add broken pieces of macadmaias or pecans..

 

Deirdre Parkinson, Registered Naturopath, ANTA (Australian Natural Therapists Association),

Recognized by all private health funds

Bachelor Soc Science Nursing & Psychology. Medicinal Herbalist, Nutritionist, Iridologist, Kinesiologist, Live Blood Testing, Cellular Health Analysis, Toxic Metal Analysis, Hormone testing

Member of YA (Yoga Australia), Cert IV TAA

Cassia Wellness Clinic: 14 Cassia Drive, Varsity Lakes 4227

Phone: (07) 55220505      Fax: (07) 5522 0138

Email: Deirdre.parkinson.naturopath@gmail.com  www.deirdreparkinsonnaturopath.com

Are Your Hormones Making You Fat?

By Manuela Boyle, ND, Clinical Nutritionist

Imagine waking up every morning to the sound of your alarms, excited and happy to start a new day. When you look in the mirror you admire your body. Everyone tells you how great you look and asks what your secret is. Sound too good to be true? If you, like many other women, don’t feel this way, you may have a hormonal imbalance.

Research has demonstrated that over 40 percent of women have an un-diagnosed under active thyroid gland. If you feel tired all the time, crave sugar, use alcohol and coffee to lift yourself up, retain weight around the middle and feel the cold, you could be suffering from this problem…

What does the thyroid do and what does this mean for you?

The thyroid gland is the major player in controlling how many calories your burn. It produces hormones that control the body’s metabolism. If your thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism), it is almost impossible to lose the weight around you middle, no matter how many carbs you cut out or how many hours you spend on the treadmill.

Blood testing

Current blood testing methods do not tell the whole story. Blood tests (TSH) can only measure how much thyroid hormone you have in your blood. It does not measure how well your hormones are working. So, if you do have a thyroid problem, it may not always be picked up.

The thyroid makes three hormones that it secretes into the bloodstream. Two of these hormones, called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), increase your body’s metabolic rate

The other hormone helps to control the amount of calcium in the blood.

In order to make T3 and T4, the thyroid gland needs iodine, a substance found in the food we eat. T4 is called this because it contains four atoms of iodine. T3 contains three atoms of iodine.

In the cells and tissues of the body most T4 is converted to T3. T3 is the more active hormone; it influences the activity of all the cells and tissues of your body.

The activity of the thyroid is controlled by hormones produced by two parts of the brain, the hypothalamus and the pituitary. The hypothalamus receives input from the body about the state of many different bodily functions. When the hypothalamus senses levels of T3 and T4 are low, or that the body’s metabolic rate is low, it releases a hormone called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). TRH travels to the pituitary via the connecting blood vessels. TRH stimulates the pituitary to secrete thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

T4 is important to determine how the thyroid is functioning, and tests to measure this are called the Free T4 (FT4) and the Free T4 Index (FT4I or FTI).

T3 tests are often useful to diagnosis hyperthyroidism or to determine the severity of the hyperthyroidism. Patients who are hyperthyroid will have an elevated T3 level. Situations, such as during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills, high levels of total T4 and T3 can exist. This is because the estrogens increase the level of the binding proteins.

You if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, it might be due to the fact that you are making antibodies against your thyroid thyroid that either stimulate or damage the gland. Two common antibodies that cause thyroid problems are directed against thyroid cell proteins: thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin.

How does it work?

TSH is released from the pituitary into the bloodstream and travels to the thyroid gland. Here TSH causes cells within the thyroid to make more T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are then released into the bloodstream where they increase metabolic activity in the body’s cells.

Gut Health

By Dr Ruth Quinney

How well does our gut perform the function of extracting essential nutrients from our food intake?
Digestion of our food begins in the mouth, with saliva breaking up and softening the food we have just eaten. Good digestion starts with adequate chewing!

Next, the stomach: Stomach acid is essential for absorbing many/most of our essential minerals, such as Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Selenium; also for absorbing Vitamin B12. Zinc is required for both the production of stomach acid and the production of the protective mucus lining of the stomach. People who take P.P.I. drugs such as Nexium & Pariet which stop the stomach producing acid, over the long term ultimately end up deficient in essential minerals and B12. Zinc activates over 200 different enzymes in our body, so a healthy “YOU” starts with a health stomach that produces lots of stomach acid.

Our food bolus, on leaving the stomach, enters the duodenum where it is further digested by bile from the gall-bladder and pancreatic enzymes, including insulin. Insulin production also requires Zinc, plus 17 essential amino acids (the “building blocks” of protein) are required to make Insulin. Hence the importance, of a high protein diet with good stomach acid to obtain these amino acids from the proteins we eat. Insulin release from the pancreas is stimulated by glucose and is dependent on Magnesium. Once again, we need good stomach acid to absorb Magnesium! Approximately 50% of the population is at risk of Magnesium deficiency in this country. Many pharmaceutical drugs deplete Magnesium from the body (by inhibiting absorption or by increasing excretion).

Further digestion and absorption of nutrients from our food occurs in the Small Intestine, so that by the time the food residue reaches the Large Intestine, (the Colon), water is the main nutrient extracted during transit through the colon.

A healthy gut is of paramount importance for optimal health. A healthy gut doesn’t “speak to you”. Symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, reflux, belching, abdominal pain, bloating, gurgling, wind, bowel motions that are not regular (in timing and in consistency) – is usually due to “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” (IBS). IBS is caused by gut sensitivity to various undigested food components. The commonest foods we may react to are gluten & dairy.

Food Sensitivities has implications for successful weight loss and maintaining weight loss. When we experience a gut reaction to a particular food that we have eaten, this produces low-grade inflammation in the gut lining. This inflammation will produce a stress response, ie Cortisol (our stress hormone) is produced, and Cortisol in turn produces truncal weight gain.

In the “Reset phase” of our RFRW program, we teach you how to identify and manage any food sensitivities, providing you with the educational tools to re-evaluate your relationship with food, which then enables you to keep the weight “off” long term.

What is GI and why is Low GI Good?

 

GI stands for the “Glycaemic Index”, and it is a ranking from 1 to 100 that measures the effect of a food on your blood glucose levels over the two hours after the food is eaten. A low GI food is 55 or less, a medium GI food is 56-69, and a high GI food is 70 or more. A higher GI food will see the blood glucose level rise and fall sharply, while a lower GI food will see a slower, steadier rise in blood glucose levels.

Very high glucose levels after a meal is damaging to the arteries and other blood vessels and they cause an excess of insulin in the body. Eating low GI foods means that you can avoid these dramatic rises and falls in blood glucose levels, therefore giving you a steadier stream of energy. You will reduce your cravings for sugar and other sweet foods. Your risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases is also reduced. Low GI foods are excellent for weight loss. Not only do they fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied for longer, thus helping you to reduce your daily kilojoule intake, they also reduce insulin levels and help you to burn more body fat and less muscle, so that your metabolic rate is higher.

 

 

Gut Probiotics

Gut probiotics support fat metabolism as well as a healthy colon.
Achieving weight loss goals improves many parameters of health, but supporting a healthy digestive tract and improving nutrition as the weight comes off is one key to dodging those genetic bullets loaded into our genetic makeup at conception.
Having the right numbers, type and balance of good bacteria in the bowel may be part of the weightloss puzzle as well as a support for those with a family history of colon cancer.
By Dr Karen Coates, MD

Do I Have to Weigh and Measure My Food Forever?

health-resources

The short answer is no!

Weighing and Measuring  your food takes extra time out of your day, most people these days are probably already busy enough, right?

One of the benefits of taking the time  to weigh and measure your food is that you learn to identify portion and serving size – and once you’ve learnt to identify portion size, you could stop weighing your food.

One way to save time is to have a preparation afternoon, spend a couple of hours weighing foods and put them into zip lock bags in the bottom of the fridge. Continue reading

Sushi Recipe – Fat Burn Style!

INGREDIENTS:
  • Nori Sheet s x 4 (make sure they are SUGAR FREE!!)
  • Shredded lettuce (2 big handfuls)
  • ½ cup of cucumber (sliced into long, thin strips)
  • Handful of basil leaves or your favourite herb (mint, coriander, etc)
  • Fresh shredded ginger (1 teaspoon)
  • Your serve of allowed protein (whichever you prefer –chicken, beef, prawns – pan fried or grilled in advanced) Continue reading