Hormonal Migraines

Hormonal fluctuations can worsen or bring on a migraine. A drop at the end of your cycle before your period starts can be a trigger or too much oestrogen from a lack of detoxification through the liver and gut can trigger an inflammatory cascade involving histamine.

Things you can do to treat hormonal migraines;

– Support your progesterone pathways naturally using herbs such as chaste tree, Wild Yam and nutrients such as Lutein, found in red fruit and vegetables, which plays a vital role in progesterone production

– natural progesterone creams available from your GP – protects the brain from the oestrogen drop before your period and reduces the histamine response

– If you are experiencing Migraines after your period – it could be related to an iron deficiency. The menstrual blood loss can be a migraine trigger if you are iron deficient

– Magnesium and Vitamin B2 are also very effective Migraine treatments

– Food sensitivities can play a huge role in the treatment of Migraines – Gluten in particular has been found to be a trigger.

– Get your hormones and nutrient levels checked.

If you would like to get your profile done – book in for a free chat with us here at Natology!

We offer hormone testing including your treatment plan and 2 consultations for $250.

Testosterone is the new black

To all my gents:

If you want to get fit, lose body weight, improve your energy levels and mental health, you need to know what your hormone levels are. Here is why, what and how:

1. Testosterone:

After the age of 30 your Testosterone levels begin to drop off. It is important to know what your levels are in detail.
Most people don’t know that there are differences in the type of Testosterone tested.

1. Total Testosterone – this is the sum of Testosterone in the bloodstream but doesn’t tell us how much of this has actually gotten into the cell to have an effect
2. Free Testosterone – is what has actually managed to get into the cell. Here is where the magic happens. Once it is activated in the cell it makes men feel happy, strong and confident. This means muscle growth and sex appeal gentlemen! Who doesn’t want that?

Low Testosterone is associated with:

• Obesity, diabetes and Cardiovascular disease
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Fatigue
• Low energy
• Reduced sex drive and lowered fertility

2. Cortisol

This adrenal hormone is needed to produce energy but if it is imbalanced it can cause unwanted weight gain and trigger cravings. We need this hormone to wake up and get ready for the day in the morning and it tapers off as the day goes on and is at it’s lowest at night when it’s time to sleep.
To all men out there: High Cortisol is a Testosterone killer! That means high stress wipes out al of the hard earned T.

Low Cortisol is associated with:

• High abdominal fat
• Low energy and fatigue
• Reduced Libido
• Anxiety and depression

For more info book in a free call to discuss the best option for you or book in to get your hormones tested directly here.

Why it is important to get your hormones checked

Our hormones control everything from the way we feel, look, or appetite, weight, pms, muscle tone, mood and much more.
A simple blood test can help get to the bottom of what’s going on for you. Let’s talk about some of the most important hormones in the body.

OESTROGEN:

➕ Makes your skin look lush, blemish free and hydrated
➕nourishes our bones
➕important for fertility and regulating our menstrual cycle
➕it’s a mood booster

If there is too much oestrogen circulating around the body it can lead to some pretty unpleasant symptoms such as:

➖heavy periods
➖migraines
➖breast tenderness
➖endometriosis and fibroids
➖weight gain
➖acne

Equally is the hormone progesterone which can make is feel amazing when it is in abundance. It’s kind of like the yogi of the hormone. It loves to relax and shine.

In abundance

➕gives you thick and shiny hair ( which is why pregnant women always have such glowy luscious tresses)
➕puts you in a zen headspace and helps you sleep like a baby at night
➕important for fertility and pregnancy, it is released after ovulation and your body produces more when you are pregnant to keep the uterine wall nice and thick for the placenta to attach and feed the baby

When it’s lacking

➖ it can cause hair loss
➖anxiety and sleeplessness
➖fertility and pregnancy issues

Last but not least drumroll please for….: Testosterone
Men and women need this hormone and it has different actions for either.

In Men

➕increases muscle tone and growth
➕boosts libido
➕influences hair growth on the body as well as the scalp
➕boosts mood and confidence

In women it also influences libido and mood as well as the decisionmaking process.

There are many more hormones whichare important and can be tested on an individual basis. These include stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin, thyroid hormone a\which affect our metabolism and weight.

If you are interested in getting your hormones checked, we offer a hormone testing package here at natology and this is how it works:

1. Book in for a phone consult to tell us what’s going on so we can choose the right tests for you

2. You will get a personalized blood test form sent out to get a test done at a standard pathology lab – takes 10minutes

3. We will receive your test results back within 2 days and will make an appointment to discuss your results and create a treatment plan for you.

The cost is $250 which includes both consults and your tests.

Book in for a free chat to discuss what’s best for you or book in for your personalized hormone testing package here.

A healthy kids brain

A HEALTHY KIDS BRAIN

By Naturopath and Nutritionist Shannon Stokes

Anxiety and depression in kids are becoming more and more prevalent and diagnosed earlier and earlier. But there is a lot to it, and I think a lot of factors are being missed. Luckily….there are countless areas in our children’s lifes that we CAN control to ensure their nervous system is functioning at optimal levels!!!

I could literally harp on about this for hours (for those who have been in consultation with me know just how passionate I am about children’s health)

For now let’s look at factors contributing to our tiny people’s mood changes.

1. Nutrient deficiencies

To start off with, the recommended daily amounts of essential nutrition is not being met. Full stop!

And scarily, these government recommend amounts are so ancient that they are merely focussing on preventing scurvy for example. Don’t we want to live a few steps above scurvy?

That aside, this western processed diet is lacking so much, that we aren’t even meeting the basics. So, with that being said are our kids getting important brain nutrients like essential fatty acids, b vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and prebiotic fibres? They are also fussier and so the vicious cycle begins! Essential nutrients for mood regulation are being missed. Fact.

Gosh, then there are absorption issues. (More on this another day) and so on.

2. Inflammation

Our tiny tigers are more inflamed than ever before. Depression and anxiety in my eyes are multi-faceted but also an inflammation disorder. Sugary and refined processed foods are inflammatory! Brain on fire baby. But luckily this can easily be rectified, via diet or supplements (until we sort those fussy banshees out). 🥴

3. The brain and gut connection

A two way street, a lot of neurotransmitters are made in the gut (think serotonin our happy hormone) if our gut is under-functioning, or we have an over load of the wrong bacteria causing inflammation in the gut and then the gut-brain-axis is disturbed. This again is a complex topic I am super passionate about.

4. Intolerances and allergies. Again inflammation!!!

Removing foods that the body and immune system are flagging as “foreign” and fixing the gut integrity can do wonders for little ones! Don’t go eliminating foods without speaking with a professional. We need to ensure our kids are staying nourished throughout this process and that it’s done correctly.

Kids are more anxious and moods are ever changing, and ever challenging. Mood changes are normal, but ask yourself, are they a little wild, are they showing anxious behaviour? Could we look a little deeper at what’s causing this?

Getting the right advice is really important when it comes to children’s health. Little changes can make a huge impact and improve how they feel, learn and grow.

Shannon Stokes is a children’s health expert here at the Natology clinic.

To find out more about Shannon or to book in click here:

The Natology Team

SURVIVING THE 4TH TRIMESTER


Nutritional information and some basic survival techniques by Shannon Stokes and Sarah Henschel from Natology.

The journey to becoming pregnant is a magical one. Its either a ‘surprise’ I am here type scenario, a long awaited and joyous time. The journey itself is nuts! Pregnancy is a whole other kettle of fish, a completely natural yet unnatural experience. Getting pregnant, staying pregnant and just being pregnant is an insane journey, and that is just the beginning.

You are a Mumma! Congratulations, the baby is here you have been through a marathon of hurdles. You now have that little bundle of joy in your arms. Perhaps you are feeling those kooky love spell feelings straight away, or perhaps you think, oh what have I done? All totally normal feelings.

How does one survive through this sleep deprivation? The healing of the whole birth thing is one thing, but then perhaps breastfeeding is hurting or sterilizing a bottle seems to take forever and a day at 3am. You aren’t alone, this period is earth-shatteringly exhausting, scary and exciting all rolled into one. Cue the 4th Trimester! So Mumma, whilst we learn to look after this baby, we are here to help YOU make some tiny changes in your day to keep you thriving.

It starts with you and ends with you. Upon your first morning wake up, (ok, so the first moment you get up for the day) refresh your self with a big glass of filtered water, and take a deep breath. That’s it for now. No matter what is happening, this is a must! Then tick it off daily as it is non-negotiable.

Below are some of our favourite 4th trimester survival guidelines for all new mums and even dads.

1. Do NOT stop your multi, in fact, this is a time to ensure your nutritional status is up with that of the very best it has ever been. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding;

2. Eat foods rich in good fats, think avocado, coconut oil, nuts seeds, oily fish such as sardines, salmon, good quality extra virgin olive oil drizzled on everything;

3. Make sure you are having macronutrients with each meal and at least a palm size portion of protein at each meal. (macronutrients are the essential nutrients needed in large amounts to sustain energy and basic health. The 3 macros are Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates);

4. Take a quality probiotic daily;

5. Don’t focus on trying to lose the baby weight, give yourself a break;

6.
Invest in an SRC Recovery compression garment! They are an absolute lifesaver, super comfortable and an absolute miracle tool to help your body recover from the pregnancy.If you are suffering from abdominal separation or have had a c-section, these shorts help to speed up the wound healing, regain strength and reduce swelling. It really helps to stay mobile and support your body in that precious time after birth.

7. Ask for things, ask for help!It could be as simple as for a box of nappies to be dropped off. Use that ‘new mum’ thing a little..;

8. Say no! if you aren’t up for visitors then say no, if you aren’t up for your cousins and nephews coming over and running a muck, just say no, but don’t feel guilty or think twice about it, they will understand…. And If they don’t, then they will get over it;

9. Spend 5 minutes a day with your legs up the wall, relax those hips and lower back, take 10 deep breaths. (Again, non-negotiable);

10. Spend 10 minutes a day minimum outside in bright morning day light to ensure your body knows its day time and to help regulate those sleep /wake hormones;

11. Don’t feel guilty, if you want to look at your phone while feeding bubs, do it. If you want to stay in bed, do it. Indulge a little and enjoy doing it. Stop feeling guilty. Guilty feelings radiate negative energy. If it has been a few weeks in a row then, maybe ask for a little help from a loved one and reach out if you are feeling low. remember those hormones have just been for a rollercoaster ride;

If you aren’t coping, reach out. You will be surprised to know that a lot of mothers find the fourth trimester insanely hard. No matter who you are, how together you think everyone is, its not the case. Speak up and your tribe will answer;

Enjoy those long loving stares into your babies eyes, explore their features and be fascinated with the whole process. This too shall pass. Everyone struggles and if you think that it’s all too much, please reach out. It does get easier and it does get better.

With love

From the Natology team

Shannon Stokes
Naturopath and Nutritionist @ Natology

&

Sarah Henschel
Naturopath and Nutritionist @ Natology

POST-PILL ACNE?

Click here to find out what you can do to prevent post-pill acne

Certain types of oral contraceptive pills are designed to suppress the oil glands in your skin and when you stop the pill your hormones surge again which increases the oil production again. This generally lasts fo 6 months, which can be really annoying when you are trying to flaunt your beautiful blemish free skin on a selfie.

Here’s what you can do to prevent the post pill-acne blues:

1. Make sure you don’t just come off the pill and hope for the best. Prevention is best and you should really start treating the underlying cause a couple of cycles before you stop the pill.

2. Treat stress and sleep issues as they may have been causing stress levels to push a hormone called Androgen up. This hormone causes our skin to break out mainly around the chin area and the back. Androgen also throws your menstrual cycle out of balance and can cause long cycles and might mean you are not ovulating (anything longer than 35 days is considered too long).

3. Avoid cow’s milk – it contains hormones which mimic oestrogen (cow’s milk is for feeding baby cows, so they can grow big and strong). So that means hello almond milk lattes and goodbye cheese, yoghurt and ice cream. While you are at it, also avoid sugar as it spikes insulin which makes acne worse as it affects how your ovaries respond to hormones.
That means no sugary fruit, juices, chocolates, lollies or sweet alcoholic drinks – yes, wine and champagne are sweet alcoholic drinks too.

4. Get your hormones checked 3 months post coming off the pill – anything earlier will give you a false reading as your body will still be affected by the hormones in the pill. A good test is the DUTCH – hormone test as it assesses all hormone levels including Androgens and Adrenal hormones which hugely affect your skin.

5. Make sure your digestion works and you stay clear of food allergens – any bloating or skin flare ups after food should be noted and checked out. You can get your food allergies tested via a simple blood test with us at Natology.
Take bitter herbs and zinc to get your stomach acid levels up – this usually gets rid of any bloating after meals.

Want to find out more on how to keep your skin looking fresh even off the pill? Book in for a free chat to a Natology Naturopath here.

How pimples can pinpoint health issues

Did you know that each area of your face represents an area of your health?
What is pimples could be a side effect of that annoying bloated tummy you have had since that trip to Bali last year?

Let me tell you about a naturopathic trick called Face mapping…

Let’s look at each area of the face and explore what underlying health issues might be causing acne.

Forehead – small red pimples are often seen in this area, this section represents the liver. If you have been constipated for a few weeks or longer or have been drinking too much, had anti-biotics or any type of drugs from an illness – this area will affected. The first thing here is to avoid triggers, get your diet cleaned up, water, water , water and a really good liver detox.

To get a skin detox tonic made up from Natology to help clear your skin up Click here

Cheeks – if your skin generally breaks out in this area it might be a food allergy. Are you drinking too much milk? Has bread been part of your diet too much? What about colourings in foods (smarties, Coke Zero, jelly babies).. More specifically, this area represents the small intestines, if you have experienced IBS, bloating and tummy pains. This is something to get checked out thoroughly.

To order a Food allergy test or get checked for IBS causes Click here

jawline – this one is well known, if you skin tends to break out in this area it is often due to a hormonal issue. Try to play closer attention to when the skin looks more inflamed or the texture of the pimples changes. Is it closer to your period or more mid-cycle, ovulation plays a big part here. Long cycles more than 33 days or PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) can be an underlying cause. Try to avoid coffee and sugar and reduce stress as a first line of defence to give your hormones a chance to balance out. A great App is www.Kindara.com.au which allows you to track your cycle and share it with your GP or health care practitioner to gain an accurate picture of your hormonal status.

Shoulders, chest and back – this area is another hormonal sign. Generally this is caused by high Testosterone levels. Too much stress can trigger high Testosterone levels in women.

To check out our hormone testing options Click here

If you would like to have a comprehensive appointed online or at our Brisbane or Sydney clinic click the link below:

To book an appointment in our Sydney or Brisbane clinic click here:

To book a Naturopathic Skype/Phone consult click here

Food intolerances and IBS

How do we know what foods to avoid when it comes to IBS?

Many of us have experienced bloating and stomach cramps after eating too much triple cheese pizza at a party.
The aftermath of what was going to be a fun time amongst friends with that bottle of expensive vino you bought at that fancy new bottle shop around the corner can often result in swearing off A.cheese B. Gluten for weeks. Then you think, was it the wine after all? IBS, which is short for irritable bowel syndrome feels like this every single day which often results in confusion around what to eat and maybe even eliminating entire food groups.
Bloating, cramping and frequent toilet visits are the norm.

Fortunately you can get tested for food intolerances. The test is a simple finger prick test and it can give you information about 96 foods. The lab can check those food molecules against reactive anti-bodies in your blood to then generate an accurate report on each food and your body’s response.

Generally it takes 2-6 months of eliminating food for you to be able to eat these foods again without showing a reaction.

If you want to find out if food is triggering you:

Order your test kit here

This test can be done at home and includes a phone/skype consult to help you get back on track straight away.

Nutrition tips for fussy eaters

Getting Kids to have the right nutrients can be stressful for everyone involved and both our toddlers have gone through phases of fussiness since they started solids. Here are our top tips for fussy eaters:

1. Listen to cues from your baby or toddler. Babies thrive on a bit of a routine, but at the same time
it is really important to listen to them and find out when they are hungry and offer the evening meal at
a realistic time. Bubs are usually hungry around 4.30 or 5pm. Offer the main evening meal then. It is more
likely to be eaten at this time rather than 6pm or later when they’re getting tired and cranky.

2. A toddler may need a little bit of down time before main meals so they can “come down” from
playtime and transition to eating time. A table setting and hand washing routine may help with this
(at the daycare our boys go to, they do a few ‘yoga’ stretches before lunch). Often you are likely to get a
negative response if we pull them away from doing something fun, just like us adults get frustrated
when we’re pulled away from the middle of an episode of Suits.

3. Try not to get too hung up on the time of day your child eats or how much they eat at each sitting,
listen to them and get to know their hunger cues. Do they get whingy, cranky, hangry or manic when they
are hungry? If they have a bigger morning tea than breakfast, roll with it.

4. Don’t worry if you child decides on breakfast for dinner sometimes. If they occasionally want fruit
and cereal for dinner and meat and vegetables for breakfast, it doesn’t matter as long as both meals
are nutrient dense and it’s doable of course.

5. Don’t expect your child to eat well or very much if they are overtired or are a little under the weather.

6. Kids won’t starve. Their tummies are roughly just the size of their fist so serve just small portions
initially and then top it up with more later if they want more. Smaller meals are less overwhelming to
little tummies.

7. Kids are rapidly growing little tigers and have super fast metabolisms, they don’t need much to feel full
so never fuss or insist they eat more when they say they are full.

8. All snacks should be nutrient dense. Try not to offer “empty calories” to them in between meals, try
to offer something which is protein-rich. Hummus, boiled eggs, cheese, coconut yoghurts, bliss balls, or
homemade muesli bars are great snack options.

9. Stop all snacks and drinks at least one hour before mealtime (especially dinner). A hungry kid, and
even the most picky kids are more likely to eat their meals.

10. Have a safe food at every meal. If you know they love rice or noodles or carrots, try to add one of
their safe foods in small amounts so they don’t feel overwhelmed with ALL new foods at a meal time.

11. Lead by example. Kids are more likely to eat something if they see someone they admire eating
it. If we say we don’t like something, chances are that’s what they’ll say when presented with the
same food.

12. Don’t stress. This is the biggest tip. Having a fussy eater or even just a day of fussy eating can make
you want to pull your hair out but as long as you’re serving good, wholefoods, your child will be just fine
even if all they eat is cheese for a day. Always keep in mind that kids go through growth phases
where they will eat like they’re training for a marathon followed by a period of not eating all that much.
This is normal

This article was written by our Naturopath and Nutritionist Shannon Stokes.
Shannon loves to help Mums and bubs get health and on track with the right diet.

To book an appointment with Shannon please click on the booking link on our homepage.

Put the Spring in your step!

Can you believe that this time next week Spring will be on our doorstep? Neither can we! We (an everyone else on this planet) absolutely love Spring and cannot wait to shake ourselves out of that Winter Hibernation…

We’re feeling so buzzed about the season ahead, we’re going to share our top 4 tips to shake things up and get ready for sunnier days.

1. Spring Clean – We know, we know, super cliché but hear us out… Spring cleaning is super important not just around the home but in your fridge too! Toss those extra sugary chocolatey treats that are reserved for sweater weather and start to bring some fresh produce back into your life. Strawberries, cherries, pineapples and honeydew are all coming into season so be sure to stock them up while they’re at their best!

2. Re-energise – Okay, it’s time to peel yourself off the couch and get back into things. If you’re finding it a little difficult to get yourself going grab one of our Natalogy Energy Tonics that will help boost your immune system while giving you a natural dose of energy.

3. Move – We’re always told to get ‘Summer Ready’ but everyone knows that the tortoise beats the hare in the end. No, we’re not saying walk around at snail pace, we’re saying you should pace yourself and start moving now. It’ll help both your body and your mind to be in the best shape they can be!

4. Get Outside – Grab a picnic blanket, your friends, kids, fur babies, anyone that’ll come with you and get outside. This season truly is magical so take every chance you can to soak in a bit of Vitamin D (considering sun safety first, of course). Fresh air is great for your mental health and being outdoors will easily lend itself to Tip 3 so let’s get multi-tasking and list ticking!

We’d love to hear about your Spring plans or what you’re favourite thing to do this season is! Head on over to our Facebook or Instagram pages and share your top tip with us!