headache

3 Ways to Beat Your Migraines, Naturally!

 

Migraine sufferers know how hard it is to find relief from the debilitating symptoms that accompany migraines, often leaving people unable to even get out of bed for hours or days. Conventional pain relievers only mask the pain, providing short-lasting relief, without targeting the actual causes of the migraines. One of the pathophysiologies of migraines is assumed to be altered energy metabolism in the mitochondria. Simply put, this means the powerhouse of every cell in our body, the mitochondria, is unable to produce the power or energy adequately because of faulty pathways.  But that doesn’t mean we cannot fight back.  Through the right vitamins, minerals and supplements, suffers can see lasting results and find relief from migraines.

“magnesium is also useful as a preventative treatment for chronic migraines”

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

An important antioxidant, is necessary for energy production by the mitochondria. Many people know if it in the context of heart health, but it is equally as important for the brain as it is for the heart. CoQ10 has been shown to provide significant benefits in migraine sufferers, especially as a preventative treatment in chronic migraine sufferers.  Studies have shown CoQ10, at doses of 150mg a day, to be an effective treatment for the prevention of migraine headaches in sufferers.

 

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin, much like CoQ10, is very important in the production of energy in the mitochondria, albeit through a different mechanism.  A member of the family of water soluble B-vitamins, Riboflavin has also been extensively studied in the treatment and prevention of migraine headaches. A randomized placebo-controlled double-blind test showed that, given at 400mg a day, Riboflavin provided an effective preventative treatment for migraines.  Other studies have showed Riboflavin to decrease the frequency and duration of migraines. The best way to take Riboflavin is to balance it with a B-complex.  Just know that your urine may be fluorescent yellow for some time when you start taking these vitamins.

Magnesium

Also vital for energy production in the mitochondria, magnesium is a mineral that many people are deficient in today. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels. Low levels of magnesium has been correlated with blood vessel spasms associated with migraines. Studies have also shown low brain levels of magnesium during migraine attacks in sufferers.

Due to low magnesium content in our soil and thus our food today, many people suffer from low magnesium levels, which may also account for so many people suffering from migraines. In addition to being useful as a treatment during migraine attacks, magnesium is also useful as a preventative treatment for chronic migraines.

 

Although there are many factors which contribute to migraines, using natural therapies to restore vital nutrients that our body need and that are essential in proper functioning of the cells can be a great way to help prevent and treat your migraines.

 

Sources:

Pizzorno J, Murray M. The Textbook of Natural Medicine. 4th Ed. Churchill Livingstone. 2012 2)Welch KM, Ramadan NM. Mitochondria, Magneisum and Migraine. J Neurol Sci. 1995 Dec;134(1-2):9-14. 3)Boehnke C et al. High-dose riboflavin treatment is efficacious in migraine prophylaxis: an open study in a tertiary care centre. Eur J Neurol. 2004 Jul;11(7):475-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/152576864)Biachi et al. Role of Magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B12 in Migraine Prophylaxis. file:///Users/nadiasaleem/Downloads/BianchiVitHor%202004.pdf5)Rybicka M et al. The role of magnesium in pathogenesis. Potential use of magnesium compounds in prevention and treatment of migraine headaches. Review Paper. J. Elem. s. 345–356

 

arthritis

6 Steps to Improving Arthritis Symptoms

 

Our gut microbiome (bacteria) has been linked extensively to our health, whether it’s our immune system, brain function, mood disorders, as well as our hormonal health. Billions of bacteria line our intestinal tract and are important in protecting us, additionally these bacteria have a considerable role to play in the balance of our body’s immune defences. Disturbances in our bacteria lead to an altered ability to maintain the immune system’s normal function, giving rise to inflammatory reactions and autoimmune triggers. These inflammatory reactions cause a great deal of injury to many systems of the body, including the joints. Altered gut bacteria has already been studied for years to be one of the environmental triggers for the development of rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune form of arthritis).

“focusing on improving our gut health and restoring our intestinal bacteria can have profound effects on pain and inflammation”

With increasing research linking disturbances in our native gut bacteria to many clinical diseases, including arthritis, we must shift our focus to preserving and improving our microbiome for better health outcomes.  There are many known causes of diminished or altered gut bacteria; wide-spread antibiotic use (which kills both good and bad bacteria), increase in Cesarean-sections which prevent the baby acquiring their gut bacteria from mothers vaginal tract during delivery, as well as diets and lifestyle choices which cause injury to our digestive tracts and subsequently our intestinal bacteria.  Based on this new research, focusing on improving our gut health and restoring our intestinal bacteria can have profound effects on pain and inflammation of arthritis, especially the autoimmune types.

 

Ways to improve our gut bacteria:

  • Take a good broad-spectrum probiotic supplement
  • Decrease inflammatory foods such as refined wheat, refined sugar, processed foods (cookies, cakes, chips), fatty fried foods
  • Increase anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, and healthy oils such as olive and coconut oils
  • Eat fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, organic yogurt and kefir) which are naturally high in good bacteria
  • Avoid using hand-sanitizers and other antibacterial cleansers.
  • Spend more time outdoors in nature. This helps us diversify the bacteria we are exposed to, which helps builds bigger stronger colonies of our intestinal bacteria.

Our health is in our hands.  Take into consideration the list above and know that even minimal changes can lead to great gains.

 

 

Sources:

1) The Gut and Athritis. The evidence grows. Rheumatology. Medscape Today. http://www.medpagetoday.com/Rheumatology/Arthritis/490742) Scher J, Abramson S. The microbiome and rheumatoid arthritis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3275101/3) Scher et al. Expansion of intestinal Prevotella copri correlates with enhanced susceptibility to arthritis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/241920394) Kohn D. Joint Pain, From the Gut. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/joint-pain-from-the-gut/383772/

smoothie

“Get Me Going” Breakfast Smoothie!

Want to start your morning with a great energizing smoothie? Here is a recipe that is not only delicious, but full of protein, carbohydrates, fibre and good fats to get your morning started right. It also has a good caffeine boost with all the great benefits of matcha green tea.

 Ingredients:

 8oz of unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 handful of spinach or kale

½ a banana

½ cup berries

½ -1 tbsp  (Pre-soaked) Chia

1 scoop of you favourite vanilla protein powder

½ – 1 tbsp of almond butter

½ to 1 tsp of Matcha powder

You may want to blend the spinach/kale first with the milk to make sure it blends well, and then add the remaining ingredients. You can also add ice if you prefer it slightly cooler.

 Enjoy!

detox

Detoxing the right way!

Detoxing seems to be the hot phrase in health circles, however there is a right way and a wrong way to detox. Detoxification refers to a natural process in our body which helps neutralize everyday toxins that we encounter and then eliminate them through various organ systems. In our over-burdened world of plastics, hormones and antibiotics in food and drink, as well as endocrine-disruptors in personal care products, our detox pathways can become overburdened and weakened. Doing a detox program to gently help support these pathways often becomes necessary.  There are many “quick-fix” detoxes available on the market, but some of these can leave you hungry, dehydrated and can sometimes do more harm than good.  A good detox program is a comprehensive program consisting of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes in addition to herbal, homeopathic and nutraceutical supplementation to support the pathways of detoxification in a safe and effective manner.

 Here are some ways you can naturally start to detoxify your body by supporting the natural pathways of detoxification:

  • Eat clean:  Eliminate processed and refined foods, including sugar out of the diet. Focus on detoxifying foods such as Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage), garlic, beets, herbs, and avocados, etc.

  • Bottoms up: Stay hydrated by drinking at least 2L of filtered water a day. It is an excellent way to flush the body of toxins, improve skin and even keep food cravings at bay.

  • Get moving: Exercise increases sweating and respiration, all of which help to move toxins out of the body.  Besides helping lose unwanted bulge, exercise also revs up the metabolism, increases energy, improves sleep and helps balance hormones.

  • Get Flushing.  Keeping your bowels moving in key to eliminate toxins and waste from the body. Adding vegetables and fruits is a great way to increase fiber in the diet.

  • Sweat it out: Infrared saunas are a great way to increase blood flow, sweat out toxins, help shed water weight & improve general well-being. Invest in infrared sauna time weekly (15-20 min at a time), making sure to stay well hydrated during your sessions.

  • Sleep it off: make an effort to invest in 7-9 hours of good quality sleep, which helps regenerate muscles, improve brain function, and improve hormonal balance.

  • Brush, hot, Cold.  Dry-skin brushing is a great way to increase circulation, move waste from the body and even reduce unsightly cellulite. Follow this up with alternating hot and cold showers to give your body amazing benefits of hydrotherapy without having to make expensive visits to spas.

  • Indulge in Tea.  Incorporating detoxifying teas can be a great way to improve your liver function (An organ of detoxification) and help shed water weight by improving kidney function. Some beneficial teas are Milk Thistle, Dandelion root and Nettles tea.

  • Just Breathe: Deep breathing can be an excellent way to help decrease stress, and provide instant relaxation, Investing in daily deep breathing can help to relax both the mind and the body, helping to balance out stress hormones.

  •  Visit a Naturopathic Doctor: NDs specialize in creating custom detoxification programs based each persons needs, choosing individualized combination of supplements in addition to diet and lifestyle for the most effective results.