Wellness and health information from Vitalchi

Melbourne Wellness

Here at Vitalchi we are dedicated to providing you the upmost professional & scientifically proven natural therapy and medicines available; Here are some insights and discussions in natural medical science from modern sciences and proven healing techniques.


Hypothyroidism, More common than you think

Posted - Saturday, March 14, 2009
More than 1 in 10 older Australians have Thyroid Disease , in a recent population study, 3504 adults aged 49 and over were surveyed and tested for thyroid disease. • 10% had diagnosed thyroid disease • 3.6% had an undiagnosed thyroid condition • 25% of those treated with conventional thyroid medication still had test results indicating insufficient thyroid activity. Are you suffering from? • Weakness • Tiredness / Sleepiness • Dry and coarse skin • Slow wound healing and easy bruising • Hair loss / dry brittle hair • Poor memory and Concentration • Constipation • Reduced appetite • Depression • Sensitivity to the cold • Weight Gain • Difficulty swallowing • Hoarse voice, slow speech • Increased susceptibility to infections • Puffy face and hands • Stiff and aching muscles Then a sluggish Thyroid otherwise known as Hypothyroidism may be the cause. What does the Thyroid and Thyroid hormones do? Thyroid hormones are the master regulator hormones. Think of them as the accelerator in your car, the more hormones you have the faster your car goes, the less you have (like in Hypothyroidism) the slower you go! Thyroid hormones raise basal metabolic rate by stimulating and increasing the bodies basic homeostatic functions, like blood flow, glucose production, cholesterol synthesis and oxygen consumption. What causes Hypothyroidism? • Iodine deficiency • Some Medications • Autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s • Pregnancy • Stress • Other more specific nutritional deficiencies like Selenium and Tyrosine may contribute to hypothyroidism. So How Do I know If I Am Suffering from Hypothyroidism? The first thing that you need to do is to confirm this with a blood test. Blood tests should include TSH, fT3, fT4, Reverse T3, Thyroid antibodies and TSH receptor antibodies. Unfortunately most doctors only test TSH levels, which doesn’t give you the whole picture. Even worse is that the reference range for ‘normal’ thyroid levels is huge and even if your levels appear in the normal reference range and you are suffering symptoms of hypothyroidism then there is a very good chance that your thyroid is the culprit. So what is a ‘normal’ TSH level? Naturopathically speaking we look for a TSH level of 1.5mU/liter as greater than 95% of healthy functioning thyroids will have a TSH of between 0.4 and 1.5mU/litre. The National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry stated in 2003 that “patients with a serum TSH of 2.5 mU/liter, when confirmed by repeat TSH measurement made after 3-4 weeks, may be in the early stages of thyroid failure.” So I have Hypothyroidism, now what? The good news is that Natural Medicine offers so many safe and proven options in treating Hypothyroidism that may mean you can avoid drugs and worse still surgery. Natural remedies like Iodine, Selenium, Tyrosine, Withania, Bladderwrack, Coleus and many more have all been scientifically validated to have a positive effect on lowering TSH levels and reversing Hypothyroidism. If you suspect that you may be suffering from Hypothyroidism then it is really important that you see you health care provider for comprehensive blood tests to confirm this. Naturopaths can tailor an individual program to help you start feeling well again and get your TSH levels and your thyroid back to normal. Even better Duncan Capicchiano one of our resident naturopaths specialises in Hypothyroidism and has just finished writing a book on it that will be available early next month. Visit www.thehypothyrodismsolution.com . Or book and appointment to see one of our Naturopaths at the clinic by calling 03 9894 0014 or emailing info@sanctuarywellness.com.au Empson M et. Al. Prevalence of thyroid disease in older Australian population. Intern Med J. 2007 Jul;37(7):448-55 Wartofsky L Dickey RA. The Evidence of a narrower Thyrotropin reference range is compelling. J Clin Endocrinal Metab. 2005 Sep;90(9):5483-8
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Is the new school year stressing your kids out?

Posted - Wednesday, March 04, 2009
If your child becomes stressed and anxious at the prospect of the new school year, a combination of calming herbs may be helpful. The herb passionflower can help to calm children whilst improving focus and behaviour. German chamomile is another great herb for children to gently calm their anxiety. Other nutrients such as magnesium and calcium also play a role in normal sleeping patterns and nervous system function. These herbs and minerals are also available at our clinic in a pleasant tasting powdered form. Simple tips to improve your children’s school year. As well as the supplements discussed, there are some simple things you can do to help your kids cope with all the challenges and excitement of the new school year. • Make sure your children eat a nutritious breakfast – there are many cereals out there that contain high levels of sugar, which can affect their concentration. Choose a healthy whole-grain cereal for their breakfast. Eggs are also a great way to start the day, as the protein can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the morning. • Get your children off to bed at a reasonable time. Children need more sleep than adults and lack of sleep can affect their learning. • Get into a regular routine and stick to it; this will make the start and end of the day less stressful for both you and your children. • Encourage your kids to talk about their day. This helps them develop their communication skills and can give you valuable insight into how they are going. If you sense any problems, discuss it with their teacher.
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Candida

Posted - Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Many people suffer from Candida infections, but its wide ranging symptoms mean it’s often not diagnosed for some time. This page tells you what Candida is, its common symptoms, and how we can help you overcome the condition with a simple and natural solution. What is Candida? Candida is the yeast (or fungus) responsible for a thrush infection. There are several species of Candida. The most common type, Candida Albicans, lives in all the body’s mucus membranes. If your Candida levels become too high it can cause an infection, known as Candidiasis, which can lead to health problems anywhere in the body. How can I tell if I have a Candida infection? Did you know that you don’t have to have the symptoms of thrush to be suffering from a Candida infection? Maybe you just feel fatigued, hassled by allergies and infections, or perhaps brain fog or depression is getting you down. Candida infections can have all sorts of symptoms including: • bloating, gas and digestive disorders • brain fog • depression • ear infections • eczema • fatigue • food allergies • headaches • joint pain • muscle weakness • nail infections • sinusitis • vaginitis How would I get a Candida infection? Generally, a healthy immune system keeps Candida levels under control. But modern lifestyles and diets can give anyone’s immune system a bit of a hammering. When the delicate balance of bowel flora is disturbed, it can create an environment where Candida thrives. Factors that can weaken the immune system and encourage a Candida infection include: • alcohol abuse • antibiotics and drugs • illness • oral contraceptive pill • poor diet • stress • smoking When a Candida overgrowth takes hold, it excretes harmful toxins that circulate throughout the body, further weakening the immune system and creating havoc. It can also lead to a condition called ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’, which causes food allergies and many health problems. A Candida infection can become persistent, and is certainly something you’d hope to avoid. If you have an infection it’s important to get effective treatment so you can return to feeling healthy once more.
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Building a Better Brain

Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Would you like to optimise your memory and cognitive function? Would you like to support your brain function? Text


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Natural Diet for Dogs

Posted - Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Daily Feed guide Text


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The Magnificent 11 SuperFoods

Posted - Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wouldn’t you love to access your fridge at home, like a mechanic accesses his toolbox, to heal yourself, as he would ‘heal’ his car? Sounds impossible right? Well it’s not. Through today’s research a lot of the old anecdotes are now confirmed if not exceeded in their validity. We all heard the sayings “Eat your vegetables they will make grow big and strong” or even “It’ll put hair on your chest!” (Though that latter one I still have my doubts on). Through scientific research they have confirmed certain foods are in fact higher pound for pound in their nutritional and phytochemical content, thus making them ‘SuperFoods’, or foods that give you more bang for your buck. What are phytochemicals? Phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds that plants produce to protect themselves (against bacteria, viruses and fungi), improve their structure or even act as chemical messengers within the plant. Once eaten by humans however, they (phytochemicals) take on a new role turning into some of the most potent health enhancing substances known to man. "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" (Hippocrates –AKA: ‘the father of medicine’ 460BC – 370BC) So where to start and what are the best Superfoods? In the media there seems to be more and more foods being labelled ‘SuperFoods’ in a bid to cash in on this new catch term, unfortunately this is causing confusion within the public. So I have selected my best of the best, to get you kicked started quickly to optimum wellness. To begin your journey to optimum wellness it only takes one serve a day from the selection of SuperFoods below. Add more if you desire, though rotation is the key. So here are my magnificent 11: 1. Turmeric: Anti-oxidant, brain health, digestive health, anti-inflammatory, liver tonic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial 2. Garlic: Anti-microbial, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, assists weight loss, digestive health, anti-carcinogenic 3. Cinnamon: Blood sugar lowering, digestive tonic, anti-microbial 4. Blueberries: Anti-oxidant, assists weight loss, anti-carcinogenic, diabetic protective, vision health 5. Quinoa: High (complete) protein grain, low allergenic, low GI, high fibre 6. Walnuts: healthy heart & brain, high in EFA’s 7. Flaxseeds: healthy heart, joints & skin, anti-inflammatory, high in Omega 3’s 8. Red Grapes: Anti-oxidant, antiaging, heart health, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic 9. Broccoli: Liver detoxifier, anti-carcinogenic 10. Green Tea: are fantastic anti-oxidant, helps weight loss & anti-carcinogenic 11. Salmon: Anti-inflammatory, healthy heart, joints & brain, protein rich Other notable mentions include: Maca (Peruvian vegetable), Noni juice, Pomegranates, Rooibos Tea, Goji Berries, Spirulina, & Avocados. You won’t find vitamin enriched Cereals (or the like) in the SuperFood group, every SuperFood is a ‘whole’ (unprocessed) food.
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Achieving a higher peak bone mass through exercise and proper nutrition is important for prevention of osteoporosis

Posted - Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Avoid consuming a diet that is excessively acid forming. This includes limiting the consumption of red meat, fried and fatty foods, excessive grain consumption, coffee, alcohol, sugar and dairy. Increase alkalising foods like fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and specific grains like millet, buckwheat and pulses of soy and lima beans. Increase dietary sources of bone forming minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Magnesium and D3. Sources rich in these include nuts and seeds, grains like amaranth and quinoa, sardines, mackerel, bluefish, parsley, spinach, sesame seeds, sardines, and seaweeds. Increase weight-bearing exercise that is not overly stressful on potentially fragile bones. Swimming and gentle weights are a great way to do this. Avoid highly processed foods and eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and bioflavonoids. Quit smoking! This is your highest priority if you are currently smoking. Manage your stress levels, doing this will not only decrease your risk of developing Osteoporosis but it’s vital in the improvement of all health conditions. Make sure you get enough time to relax and unwind. Join a meditation class or go for long walks in nature. Can Complementary Medicine help? If you have being diagnosed or are concerned about developing osteoporosis then speak to a natural health expert, such as a naturopath or nutritionist. Often in osteoporosis nutritional support is needed on top of a well balanced diet and lifestyle. Nutritional products should contain all the essential nutrients and minerals required for bone health, in the correct ratios. They should also use highly absorbable forms of Calcium like Calcium Citrate or Calcium Hydroxyapetite. Avoid using products that use Calcium Carbonate and nothing else, as these products do not supply the additional nutrition required for building strong bones. And remember the most important thing you can do is to minimise your Calcium loss by replacing an acid forming diet with a more balance one rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
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“Are ADHD Drugs safe For Our Children?”

Posted - Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Recent findings into the prescription medication used to treat conditions like ADHD are prompting serious medical concerns amongst medical experts, reports The Daily Telegraph. Of course as natural therapists we have long had concerns about these drugs that have had very little studies done on the potential and deadly side effects that these drugs can have. Leading Australian Child psychiatrist Dr Jon Jureidini, head of psychiatry at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital, says he is worried by new figures showing an increase in psychotic episodes among children taking the medications. Dr Jureidini says it is questionable whether prescription drugs do much good for conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and little research has been done on their possible side-effects. "Children's behaviour problems are generally a reaction to something that's happening inside them or outside them and I can almost always find a better explanation for what's going on than calling it ADHD, so the idea of whether to use drugs rarely arises," he said. "We doctors need to be much more cautious about prescribing them; we also need to be much more careful in our assessment of children with behavioural problems." Here at Vitalchi Dr Jureidini comments come as a fresh breath of sanity! Of course children suffering behavioural issues have something going on for them. There are many factors that can contribute to behavioural problems in children. Including: • Food Sensitivities and Allergies • Chemical sensitivities • Emotional issues at home or at school • Undiagnosed hearing problems or sight problems • Undiagnosed learning difficulties • Poor brain integration • Nutritional deficiencies • Candida infections • Just to name a few These drugs have been causing children as young as five to attempt suicide. The number of serious reactions to ADHD drugs has doubled in three years, now up to 827. But the true extent of the side effects is unknown, with many doctors and parents under-reporting the impact, experts said. I don’t have children, and I’m sure that at times children can become relentless and maddening even to the calmest of parents. But as a naturopath who works a lot with these kids, there is always a cause and always and answer, and for the sake of your child’s physical and emotional wellbeing getting to the root cause of the problem makes logical sense.
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Preventing Osteoporosis through your diet

Posted - Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Osteoporosis is fast becoming a condition that every woman over 50 is inevitable of getting. So why has Osteoporosis become such a problem? Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which bone mineral density is reduced, making the bones appear more porous or thinner so they become more prone to fracture. The underlying mechanism in all cases of osteoporosis is an imbalance between bone loss and bone formation. Either bone loss becomes excessive, and/or bone formation by osteoclast cells is diminished. Interestingly the building of bones is not just up to Calcium. Minerals like Magnesium, Phosphorous, Vitamin A and Vitamin D3, Boron, Silicon and Zinc are just as important as Calcium in building strong bones. It’s common knowledge these days that Vitamin D3 is essential for efficient Calcium utilization, but did you know that Magnesium increases the absorption of Calcium into the bones by increasing the production of a hormone called calcitonin? Or that Silicon, found in all plant fibre as silica is also essential for efficient Calcium utilization and for increasing bone strength, due to it being an integral part of all the connective tissues in the body? What causes bone loss? Calcium is the major alkaliser in the body. When we consume a diet excessively high in acid forming foods the body takes Calcium from the bones to neutralize the high acid levels. This causes bone loss, as we literally dissolve our skeleton to neutralize the high acidity, caused by our diets. We are the only species that has a higher Calcium excretion than Calcium absorption. Why? Our bodies need to have the correct Ph for survival, if we become too acidic we die. Our modern day diet is mostly comprised of acid forming foods, like meats, dairy, and the excessive consumption of grains like wheat and rye. Acid forming diets cause bone loss (osteoporosis), heart disease, kidney disease and a whole host of other health concerns. Another major problem is that our modern day diets lack the minerals needed for healthy bone strength. Interesting Fact The Bantu women of Africa live on a sparse diet of vegetable sources, a diet completely free of dairy foods. Their average intake of calcium is 250 to 400 mg a day. This is far lower than the 800 mg. recommended by the RDA. They give birth to as many as ten babies during their life. Each child is breast-fed for ten months. Although childbearing causes an intense calcium drain, osteoporosis is unknown to these people. When Bantu women migrate to the city and adopt a protein-rich diet, osteoporosis and other diseases become a threat to their health. Bileckot R, Audran M, Masson C, Ntsiba H, Simon P, and Renier JC. “Bone density in 20 black African young adults of the Bantu race is identical to that in subjects of white race,” Rev Rhum Mal Osteoartic, Nov 30, 1991, 58(11): 787 - 789 Am I increasing my risk of Osteoporosis? Smoking, a lack of exercise, high coffee consumption, carbonated beverages, fair skin, long term use of corticosteroids, low body weight, high acidic diets, over consumption of animal protein, dairy and grains, oral contraceptive use, oestrogen deficiency, low vitamin D levels, alcoholism, celiac disease (due to the inability to absorb calcium), calcium deficiency, cadmium or lead toxicity, hyper-thyrodism, leukaemia and other blood diseases all increase the chances of osteoporosis occurring. Stress also has an acid-forming action on the body potentially leading to increased bone loss. To be continued.....
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Anti-Aging for the Brain

Posted - Thursday, November 20, 2008
If you are ever feeling uninspired, take a moment to consider the amazing marvel between your ears – your brain! Did you know that although your brain makes up only 2% of your total body weight, it consumes approximately 20% of your energy? Or, did you know that the brain is composed of 100 billion cells that make a million connections every second of our lives? Do we really have to end up "over the hill"? Up until recently, we have understood that all the growth and development of the brain occurs early on in life. We were previously taught that the brain reaches its maximum weight around 20 to 25 years of age, and after that it's all downhill as the brain loses about 10% of its weight over a lifetime. However, advances in neuroscience now reveal that early brain development sets the stage for ongoing development throughout adulthood, and into old age. We now know that the brain can continue to grow neural pathways and to forge new connections – all it takes is repetitive use of these neural pathways. In accordance with the health of the whole body, subtle changes occur in the chemistry and structure of the brain throughout midlife in most people. It appears that neurons can readjust to various degrees of damage and degeneration, as long as the neuronal cell body remains intact, where nearby surviving neurons can compensate, in part, by growing new dendrites and synaptic connections. Neuroplasticity – Not a plastic brain, but an evolving one! This capacity of the brain to reconfigure its wiring is called neuroplasticity, a process whereby neural pathways are laid down to develop our unique individuality. Neuroplasticity was previously thought to be relevant only in utero and in children and adolescents; however, it has now been demonstrated that our brain continues to grow well into adulthood. This discovery holds revolutionary hope for a wide range of applications, from protecting against degenerative age-related change, to greater levels of recovery in those who have suffered brain injury, to strengthening and optimising healthy brains well into the later stages of life. It also holds that we can literally "change our minds" by deliberate concentrated thought processes and deliberate practice of new skills to build and strengthen new neural pathways. Of course, this ability to change may be positive or negative, as we also have the power of choice. Give the brain smart nutrition... So how do we support and nourish this marvelous organ and encourage positive neuroplastic growth? We may have overlooked the health of the brain in the past whilst we managed the health of the body, but in reality we need to support the cellular health of every organ. It's true that if things go "wrong" with the brain, from injury or trauma through to depression or psychosis, it is very frightening. We do need to rely on the skills of neurosurgeons and psychiatrists for specialist assessment, diagnosis and treatment for life-saving strategies, but don't underestimate the profound, supportive role that Natural Health Practitioners can offer in supporting those with brain dysfunction, stress and mood disorders, substance abuse or age-related neural degeneration. We can offer unique, complementary nutritional, herbal, dietary and lifestyle support for patients and work in harmony with the multiple modalities that are often required for holistic management of brain dysfunction and stress and mood disorders. Wellness for the brain The maxim "prevention is better than cure" couldn't be more true when it comes to the brain. Targeting nutritional strategies at optimum brain health, and consequently mental function, is essential to enhance every individual's quality of life. This can be easily achieved by targeting the four "M's". The key areas to address to support cellular health of the central nervous system are encompassed by the four M's: Membranes, Mitochondrial function, Messengers (neurotransmitters) and Methylation. By targeting these four areas we support both healthy brain structures and neural biochemistry, and provide the basis of brain health at every stage of life. This information comes from Metagenics latest newsletter
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