by Dr. M de Klerk
Making small, step by step nutritional changes will add up to big shifts in your child.
Remove these 7 things from your child's diet:
By taking care of the gut, we take care of the brain.
Better gut and brain health ultimately leads to fewer symptoms and improved daily life.
"Cortisol is an indirect fat-making hormone; when it releases excess glucose into the blood, this causes abnormally high insulin levels to convert the sugar into fat around the abdominal organs." Dr. Eric Berg.
Chronic low grade cortisol secretion = weight gain. Simple as that and yet so complicated.
I have so many women struggling to lose weight in spite of healthy balanced diets and exercise. These cases are rarely uncomplicated but managing stress and reversing the effects of too much cortisol is the first step and this makes a big difference in your attempts to lose weight.
Here are 5 tips to manage chronic stress and nourish your adrenal glands.
1. Moderate exercise. High intensity exercise can overburden already tired adrenal glands, while mild to moderate exercise allows for endorphin release which can help turn off the HPA (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis).
2. Breathing exercises are a wonderful way to trick your body into calming down during a stressful time. When we are stressed out we tend to hyperventilate with shallow breathing. Slow, methodical, rhythmic breaths sends a message to your brain that it can stop secreting loads of cortisol because you cannot be running away from a threat if you are breathing normally.
3. Heal the gut. Chronic low grade inflammation emitted from an unhealthy leaky gut will cause constant low grade cortisol (the anti-inflammation hormone) from your adrenals.
4. Meditation is a wonderful way to nourish over taxed adrenal glands and balance cortisol levels. Studies have shown that 20 minutes meditation per day can help reverse the negative health effects of too much cortisol
5. Rest and recover. This is so important. To switch off, rest and recover. This is also so difficult. Our modern lives allows for emails on our phone, intrusion of social media, easy access to everyone via many routes. Try to really switch off when you get home. Put your phone away and switch off your emails. Avoid social media, checking your phone before bed or first thing in the morning. Be where you are, in the moment, be present. Do not divide your attention between home, work, errands, school and everything else. Be where you are, focus on what you are doing and do not let the different spheres that need your attention overlap.
Dr. Chantell Groenewald
M. Tech Hom UJ
By Dr. Chantell Groenewald
M. Tech Hom UJ
Anxiety is a serious disorder affecting so many women today. Before diagnosing anxiety, you have to ensure you have eliminated other physical causes, medications or underlying diseases that may present as anxiety.
Some common underlying medical conditions, medications, substances and vitamin deficiencies that can cause anxiety include:
- Thyroid disfunction (hyper or hypo-thyroidism)
- Glucose and Insulin abnormalities
- Vitamin B12 deficiency/overload
- Oestrogen dominance
- Environmental toxins
- Electrolyte imbalances
- OTC or prescription drugs
- Autoimmune diseases such as SLE
- Certain connective tissue disorders
- Stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol
- Food additives such as MSG
- Food allergies
Individuals who suffer with anxiety should visit their primary health care physician so that he/she can take a thorough case study and medical history as well as order the necessary tests to eliminate all possible underlying causes of anxiety and treat accordingly.
For more information or any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0124609216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By. Dr. Chantell Groenewald M. Tech Hom UJ
The human microbiome houses some trillions of microorganisms which mostly consists of bacteria. The total genetic make-up of our microbiome far outweigh our own genetic make-up.
Humans are 99.9% the same from a genetic point of view, it is our microbiome that separates us, the composition of each individual's microbiome can differ up to 80-90% from one person to another.
Our gut microbiome (some 3 trillion genes vs our own 22 000 genes) plays such an important role in our normal physiological processes, including metabolism, breaking down nutrients for absorption, hormone production and immunity.
Several diseases have been linked to an imbalance in the gut microbiome and for this reason it is crucial to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Research now even suggests that what attracts us to other people is their microbiome which may house microbes that our body needs to heal.
As you can see, a healthy balance of our gut microbiome is essential for a healthy host. For this reason, we should strive to eat food that feed the healthy gut microbiome and avoid foods that feed the bad bacteria.
Here are 5 tips to a healthy gut microbiome.
Hippocrates was the father of modern medicine; he was a man way ahead of his time and understood the importance of gut health and overall health. For this reason, he said, "disease begins in the gut".
Stool analysis is a test aimed at identifying various species in the microbiome, good and bad, as well as identifying markers for gut permeability and inflammation. This unique test can identify overgrowth of various species or missing species that negatively affect our health. This test offers valuable insight into gut health and diseases associated with dysbiosis of gut flora.
For more information on stool analysis, contact 0124609216 or email email@example.com.
Doctor, where and when did my Hashimotos start? Why did nobody diagnose it before?
These are frequently asked questions.
Perhaps looking at the different stages of Hashimoto’s will help you answer this question.
Your genes make you more prone to developing Hashimoto’s. Thyroid function is normal and no attack on thyroid gland, antibodies are not present on bloods
Your TSH is normal but antibodies are now detectable in your bloods. An ultrasound might show Hashimoto’s changes.
The thyroid gland loses some of its ability to produce thyroid hormones and TSH might be slightly elevated. T3 and T4 is still normal. More symptoms of hypothyroidism will be noted now
The thyroid has now lost is capability to produce thyroid hormones and TSH, T4 and T3 will now be abnormal. This is often the stage where hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s is diagnosed.
There is a progression of the autoimmune response and other autoimmune diseases might now also be diagnosed.
So, if you track your progression into Hashimoto’s, you might realise that this has been a development over many decades or years.
For assistance with your Hashimoto’s please contact Dr Marike de Klerk on
071 610 2852 at Naturopathic health care centre.
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to eating. Insulin's function is to store the energy from our food either as glycogen (stored in the liver and the muscles cells) or fat in adipose tissue stores.
Our cells require glucose (from the food that we eat) for energy. Insulin receptors on the cell surface act as a key-and-lock, binding with insulin in the blood to 'unlock' channels for glucose absorption into the cell. When cells become insulin resistant, our pancreas secretes more insulin in an attempt to absorb glucose into cells.
Increased visceral adipose tissue (central obesity) raises cortisol levels due to the high levels of inflammation caused by excessive inflammation markers secreted in adipose tissue. Cortisol is secreted to combat raised inflammatory markers. Cortisol (also known as the fight and flight hormone) directly inhibits the effects of insulin to ensure adequate levels of glucose during the fight and flight response. So chronically elevated cortisol causes cells to become insulin resistant, causing the pancreas to to increase insulin secretion . Now as I mentioned earlier, insulin serves to increase stored energy, so elevated levels of insulin favors fat deposition.
Fat cells = increased cortisol = insulin resistance = higher levels of insulin = increased fat deposition.
So, fat makes you fat.
Here are five tips to combat insulin resistance:
1. Intermittent fasting (IF).
Speak to your doctor to find out if this is an option for you. IF has been proven to reduce insulin resistance to increase your cells sensitivity to insulin.
2. Eliminate all forms of sugar from your diet, this includes honey, sweetners and sugar substitutes (non-nutritive sweetners such as aspartame).
3. Eliminate refined and fast releasing carbohydrates from your diet.
4. Avoid food that contain additives that can cause an insulin spike, this includes foods such as maltodexrin, corn syrup, high fructose syrup and maize/corn starch.
5. Eat a balanced diet with at least 7 servings of vegetables each day.
Remeber to include healthy fats such as coconut and olive oil and only use grass fed, organic, hormone free meat and animal products.
For more information, or to book an appointment for a weight loss assessment, please phone the NHCC on 0124609216.
By: Dr. Marlo Swanepoel
An LBA is a screening test use to give us as practitioners a broad overview of your health situation. An LBA is not a definitive diagnostic tool but, it is a tool that assists us to identify possible disease-causing problems. As your blood come into contact with your entire body, the blood and changes within may generate a picture of your health status.
It may be compared to a blood smear. This is a laboratory test to evaluate your red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. It is used to distinguish between the different types of WBCs, and to determine their relative percentages in the blood, which assist us to detect, diagnose, and monitor a range of deficiencies, diseases, and disorders involving blood cell production, function, and lifespan. An LBA however does not make use of stains of chemicals preventing blood clotting.
LBA is composed of bright and dark fields. With standard bright field microscopy, you see the object you want to view, lit by bright light.
Darkfield microscopy blocks the light from the surrounding area so that you see the magnified images against a dark background. This allows better contrast and a better view of unstained specimens.
As mentioned previously we mainly look at is your red and white blood cells. It is quite easy to identify the types of white blood cells, which allows us to instantly see and identify any changes, which may indicate certain disease states.
Certain shapes and sizes of your red blood cells might also indicate a possible conditions and nutrient deficiency, for example possible Vitamin B12 deficiencies, as Vitamin B12 plays a major role in the synthesis of red blood cells.
The plasma of the blood (the watery substance in which the blood cells float) also indicate some disease conditions. This is mainly where some intracellular parasites may be seen.
How does the process work?
Your finger will be pierced with a lancet. A small drop of blood will be taken and placed on a glass plate, which is then covered with another thin glass film. This is then placed under a microscope. Generally, the practitioner will be able to project the microscopy field (what the Dr. can see) onto a larger screen allowing the patient to visualise their own blood.
What do we at the NAHCC use LBA for?
An LBA gives you a visual representation of what your blood looks like, which impacts your health. It empowers both the doctor and the patient with valuable health information. Generally, when patients can visualize potential problems, and see how things work, they tend to better adhere to treatment plans. We at the NAHCC use LBA as an additional screening tool to assist in the treatment and management of our patients. By no means does the LBA replace required laboratory tests, it is merely used as a screening tool, similarly to what a finger prick test is used to screen for diabetes and high cholesterol.
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
Aromatase is an enzyme responsible for the biosynthesis of oestrogen through aromatizing androgens.
Aromatase is secreted by the ovaries, testes, adrenal glands, placenta and adipose tissue (fat).
Increased adipose tissue = increased aromatase = increased conversion of androgens to oestrogens = oestrogen dominance = difficulty losing weight.
In women of child bearing age, up to 50% of circulating oestrogen can be produced by adipose tissue. In post menopausal women, 100% of oestrogen is produced by fat cells.
When oestrogen / progesterone raitio is healthy, then oestrogen plays a very important role in maintaining health. When oestrogen levels surge, causing oestrogen dominance (such in overweight patients secreting high amounts of oestrogen from increased aromatase activity in the fat cells), then oestrogen contributes to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Oestrogen plays an important role in insulin sensitivity, with oestrogen dominance contributing towards insulin resistance and increased fat accumulation.
Increased fat accumulation = increased aromatase activity = increased oestrogen = increased insulin resistance = increased fat accumulation.
Fat propagates fat, making weight loss a lot more difficult than a simple equation of eat less exercise more.
In order to reverse the effects of weight gain due to oestrogen dominance, it is essential to facilitate healthy oestrogen metabolism. Here are 5 diet and lifestyle tips to help manage oestrogen dominance.
1. Support optimal liver detoxification. The liver is a major site for oestrogen metabolism. Increased oestrogen load causes an increased load on the liver. Facilitating optimal phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification assists in healthy oestrogen metabolism and a healthy oestrogen vs progesterone balance.
2. Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulphorophane which is very import in phase 2 detoxification of the liver, optimizing oestrogen metabolism.
3. Avoid environmental and lifestyle factors that can contribute towards oestrogen dominance. Plastic containers, beauty and body products, pesticides and other chemicals contain xenoestrogens that contribute towards oestrogen dominance. Always opt for organic body and beauty products, soak fresh produce in anti-pesticide spray before consumption. Avoid plastic food and beverage containers. This is only a few examples, for more info visit my previous article on oestrogen dominance.
4. Avoid conventionally reared meat and animal products (milk, cheese, butter, ghee, yogurt). Laden with hormomes, this is a potent source of exogenous oestrogen. Opt for organic, grass fed meat and animal products instead.
5. Exercise. Mild to moderate exercise helps to upregulate protective genes, mobilize fat stores, regulate cortisol and improve insulin sensitivity. Start with walking at least 10 000 steps every day. This is a great start in general fitness.
For more information on obstacles to weight loss, follow @the_female_health_homeopath or www.naturopathichealthcarecentre.co.za for my next article on this topic.
Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
Globus pharyngeus is the painless sensation of a lump in the throat and may be described as a foreign body sensation, a tightening or choking feeling.
Low level of GABA, the neurotransmitter that calms your brain, can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Sometimes this anxiety can manifest as something physical, with muscle tension or muscle spasms, and when in the throat, be described as a golf ball sensation.
It does not seem uncommon, as 45% of the population has experienced it at some or other time.
Supplementing with GABA may help not only decreasing your anxiety, but also get rid of the lump.
Using GABA under the tongue, may ease the spasm within 15 seconds to 2 minutes. Once your GABA level is sufficient, it is less likely to happen unless you are under a great deal of stress.
If GABA does not do the trick, there might be another underlying cause that needs to be investigated, like:
An actual foreign body
Cancer of the throat
Contact your homeopath to help you find the cause of this distressing symptom, to treat theunderlying cause or help you find a good quality GABA supplement.
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
The fat around your belly button is a special type of fat called visceral adipose tissue (VAT). This fat surrounds your organs inside your abdominal cavity including your liver, pancreas and intestines.
VAT is composed of 10% macrophages (a white blood cell that is meant to control inflammation). When homeostasis is disrupted by higher amounts of fat storage, macrophages become pro-inflammatory and secrete several pro-inflammatory markers including IL-6. IL-6 levels are directly proportionate to your waist circumference(WC) - increased WC=increased IL-6.
So the more weight you carry around your waist, the higher your inflammatory markers.
So how does this affect weight loss?
The answer is not straightforward, but the short answer is that increased inflammation = increased cortisol (the anti-inflammatory hormone). Increased cortisone suppresses insulin which eventually leads to insulin resistance. Your pancreas compensates for the insulin resistance by secreting higher than normal levels of insulin, and as we know, insulin favors fat storage.
Increased fat = increased IL-6 = increased cortisol = insulin resistance = increased fat.
Fat propagates fat.
To lose weight, you have to take into consideration the obstacles to weight loss created by the biochemical and metabolic imbalances created by visceral adipose tissue. Eating less and exercising more won't cut it! It will only leave you frustrated and ready to give up.
So step one in losing weight: fight the inflammation!
How can you do this?
1. Eliminate pro-inflammatory foods. This includes conventionally raised aimal products (milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, animal fat),
2. Include foods that can fight the inflammation, ginger, curcumin, omega 3 rich foods),
3. Moderate exercis,
4. Get enough sleep, 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night),
5. Drink a good quality omega 3 with a high ratio of EPA.
To be continued in a second installment tomorrow...
By: Dr. Marlo Swanepoel
What is Constipation?
Constipation is defined as a hard, tough stool to pass OR a decrease in frequency of passing a stool.
Many people experience constipation from time to time. Generally, occasional constipation is not alarming. If, however, you have been constipated for weeks or months, you may have chronic constipation, which is a cause of concern. The purpose of a bowel movement is to eliminate the undigested food and toxic by-product which may negatively affect our health.
Chronic constipation may lead to things like:
Numerous studies have demonstrated that gut health is linked to the immune system, autoimmune diseases, mood and mental health, hormonal disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.
What are common causes of constipation?
Natural treatment for constipation
1. PSYLUM HUSK
This is a type of fibre that increases the bulk in your stool, an effect that helps to cause movement of the intestines. It also works by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making the stool softer and easier to pass.
2. FERMENTED FOODS
Fermentation is a natural process through which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria convert carbohydrates into alcohol or acids. The alcohol or acids act as a natural preservative which give fermented foods a distinct zest and tartness.
Fermentation promotes the growth of probiotics. These probiotics can help restore the balance of friendly bacteria in your gut and may alleviate some digestive problems.
Examples of fermented foods include:
Occasional constipation can be treated with magnesium citrate. This supplement is an osmotic laxative, which means it relaxes your bowels and pulls water into your intestines. The water helps soften and bulk up your stool, which makes it easier to pass. Magnesium citrate is relatively gentle and generally would not cause urgency, unless you take too much.
4. VITAMIN C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Unabsorbed vitamin C, like magnesium citrate, has an osmotic effect in your digestive tract. That means it pulls water into your intestines, which can help soften your stool. Be warn to much vitamin C may cause urgency and stomach cramping.
Picking the right probiotic is key to treating constipation, as various strains have various functions and potencies.
The following strains of bacteria, which have been shown to improve stool consistency, should be included in your probiotic supplement:
Senna is a smooth muscle stimulant, meaning it will stimulate bowel movement (peristalsis) to alleviate constipation.
The primary active compounds in senna leaves are known as senna glycosides, or sennosides. These Sennosides can be broken down by your gut bacteria, but it cannot be absorbed. It is this breakdown of sennosides which mildly irritates the cells in your colon, causesing the stimulating/ laxative effects.
Senna is to be used ONLY as a short-term treatment, for maximum 5-7 days. Long-term senna intake may lead to laxative dependence, electrolyte disturbances, and liver damage.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing posted or published by@ doc_marlo (Dr. Marlo Swanepoel) serve as medical advice. All posts are intended for informational purposes only and under no circumstances is it a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice should you experience any medical conditions or concerns.
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
The common cold is a viral infection of the nose and throat. There are many different viral infections that can cause the common cold, but the infection is generally harmless and self-limiting.
Low grade fever
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a viral infection that targets your respiratory system including your nose, throat and lungs. There are two types of influenza viruses, influenza A and influenza B, that are mainly responsible for the seasonal flu epidemics each year. The virus is spread from person to person through sputum droplets spray when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
Body aches and pains
Runny or congested nose
Anyone can get influenza and develop mild to severe symptoms. Individuals with a
compromised immune system, pregnant women, the elderly and young children are most at risk for developing flu-related complications.
A healthy immune system plays an important role in cold and flu prevention as well as a fast recovery:
1. Get enough sleep: 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night is important for
maintaining healthy levels of cortisol. Chronic low-levels of cortisol supresses the
immune system and can contribute to developing recurrent colds and flu with poor
2. Vitamin SUN: Vitamin D is expressed on our immune cells and play an important role
in maintaining a healthy immune system. Some studies suggest that most of our
population is in fact deficient in Vitamin D. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D,
so catch up on some winter sun during the flu season. If a blood test reveals that you
are deficient in Vitamin D, then you need to talk to your health care practitioner who
can prescribe a suitable supplement.
3. Eat 5-7 servings of vegetables each day: A healthy diet is key to a healthy immune
system. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables each day promotes healthy
biological pathways which helps protect us from disease.
4. Maintain a healthy gut: 70% of our immune system resides in our gut. Gut
permeability contributes to low level inflammation and supresses our immune
system. Avoid foods that can cause inflammation such as sugar, processed foods,
additives and preservatives. Include foods rich in pre and probiotics like kefir or
kombucha with gut healing bacteria.
5. Stress management: Chronically elevated levels of cortisol contributes to chronic
inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with chronic disease which can put
you at risk for developing recurrent colds and flu or serious flu related complications.
Homeopathy is a safe and gentle system of cure that uses various substances from the
plant, mineral and animal kingdom to treat various health conditions. The substances used can cause the symptoms the remedy is indicated for when used in its crude form and treat the same symptom picture when used in a diluted form (likes cures likes). This means that each person will receive a unique remedy suited to their specific set of symptoms.
Homeopathic remedies undergo a process of serial dilution and succession making it 100% safe to use for anyone, including babies and pregnant women.
Homeopathic remedies useful in the treatment of colds and flu with their characteristic symptom pictures:
Aconite Napellus 200: Aconite is used in the first 24 – 48 hours of developing a fever.
This remedy is our first line of defence when a disease develops suddenly with a
rapid onset of symptoms. Fever usually starts suddenly at 9pm at night after
exposure to cold. Symptoms are usually accompanied by physical restlessness and
anxiety. Heavy head and pulsating headache. Eyes feel hot and dry. Nose stopped up
with watery discharge. Hoarse, dry, croupy cough. Heart palpitations (heart beating
fast) during fever with a thirst and restlessness. High fevers with no perspiration.
Euphrasia 200: This remedy is characterized by hot burning tears with profuse
watery bland nasal discharge. Red, burning eyes with hot, burning tears that streak
the face and made worse by exposure to open air. Plenty of bland (not burning)
watery nasal discharge. Nasal irritation that causes sneezing. Hoarseness with a
cough caused by a tickle in the throat.
Gelsemium Sempervirens 200: Aching, tiredness, heaviness, weakness and soreness
of the body. Apathy and dullness, does not wish to speak or have anyone near them.
Head feels dull and heavy and headache is usually accompanied by dim or double
vision (headache affects vision). Profuse shaking during fever, patient is chilly and
aching all over without a thirst. Cold chills may alternate with waves of heat.
Baptisia Tinctora 200: Extreme fatigue (feeling excessively tired) with soreness,
aching and heaviness of the muscles. Patients is confused as if drunk. Face looks dark
red and the breath smells very bad. Feels as though he can only swallow liquids with
great difficulty in swallowing solids, the throat feels as if it is closed. Chest feels
heavy and makes breathing difficult. Low grade fevers (mild fevers).
Arsinicum Album 200: The patient feels very tired after doing very little with sudden great weakness and exhaustion. Complaints are accompanies by a sensation of great heat and burning as well as marked restlessness.
Great fear of death and anxiety about his/her health. Burning in the eyes with hot acrid tears. Nose feels blocked with plenty of hot, burning nasal discharge and sneezing without relief.
No appetite and patient does not even want to see or smell food, but they are thirsty for small sips of water often. Diarrhoea is burning and has a cadaverous smell. Shortness of breath with burning in the chest and the sensation there is a weight pressing on the chest. High fevers with cold skin but burning heat inside (Ice cold outside while very hot on the inside) and the patient wants to be covered and feels better for hot applications and external heat.
Homeopathy is a unique system of medicine aimed to treat each person as an individual.
Each remedy is carefully selected based on each individuals specific and unique symptom picture. For this reason, a qualified homeopathic practitioner will spend a fair amount of
time listening to each complaint and asking specific questions to find the correct remedy for
you (simillimum remedy).
For more information or to book a consultation, please contact The Naturopathic Health Care Center on 012 460 9216 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This article in no way serves to diagnose or to treat anyone suffering from a cold or influenza. If you suspect you are
suffering from a cold or flu, then you should consult with your primary health care physician. The opinions and suggestions
in this article are those of Dr. Chantell Groenewald based on her years and experience as a qualified Homeopath and
primary health care physician and should in no way serve to treat anyone or replace a physical consultation with a qualified
health care practitioner.
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a viral infection that targets your respiratory system including your nose, throat and lungs. There are two types of influenza viruses, influenza A and influenza B, that are mainly responsible for the seasonal flu epidemics each year.
The virus is spread from person to person through sputum droplets spray when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
Body aches and pains
Runny or congested nose
Anyone can get influenza and develop mild to severe symptoms. Individuals with a compromised immune system, pregnant women, the elderly and young children are most at risk for developing flu-related complications.
A healthy immune system plays an important role in flu prevention and a fast recovery should you contract the virus.
1. Get enough sleep: 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night is important for maintaining healthy levels of cortisol. Chronic low-levels of cortisol supresses the immune system and can contribute to developing recurrent colds and flu with poor recovery time.
2. Vitamin SUN: Vitamin D is expressed on our immune cells and play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Some studies suggest that most of our population is in fact deficient in Vitamin D. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D, so catch up on some winter sun during the flu season. If a blood test reveals that you are deficient in Vitamin D, then you need to talk to your health care practitioner who can prescribe a suitable supplement.
3. Eat 5-7 servings of vegetables each day: A healthy diet is key to a healthy immune system. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables each day promotes healthy biological pathways which helps protect us from disease.
4. Maintain a healthy gut: 70% of our immune system resides in our gut. Gut permeability contributes to low level inflammation and supresses our immune system. Avoid foods that can cause inflammation such as sugar, processed foods, additives and preservatives. Include foods rich in pre and probiotics like kefir or kombucha with gut healing bacteria.
5. Stress management: Chronically elevated levels of cortisol contributes to chronic
inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with chronic disease which can put you at risk for developing flu and serious flu related complications.
Natural anti-viral supplements:
1. Vitamin C: Studies suggest that therapeutic doses of Vitamin C assists in alleviating and reducing symptoms of colds and flu.
2. Echinacea root: This herb has immune enhancing and immune modulating activities which can assist in the treatment of acute infections such as cold and flu. It also has anti-inflammatory effects which can alleviate upper and lower respiratory symptoms associated with bronchial inflammation.
3. Sambucus Nigra (Elder Berry): The key indications for this herb is in the treatment of influenza, the common cold and other acute viral infections.
4. Vitamin ACE, Zinc and selenium: Vitamin A, C, E as well as Zinc and selenium plays an important role in a healthy functioning immune system. Talk to your pharmacist or health care provider about an immune boosting multi-vitamin to support your immune system during flu season.
5. Garlic (Allium Sativum): Research studies conducted on aged garlic for the treatment of acute colds and flu found that garlic had positive immune boosting effects and reduced the severity of cold and flu symptoms.
Homeopathy is another safe and effective modality for the treatment of influenza and will be the topic of my next article. Homeopathic remedies for the safe and effective treatment of influenza.
For more information please contact The Naturopathic Health Care Center on 012 460 9216 or
This article in no way serves to diagnose or to treat anyone suffering from influenza. If you suspect you are suffering from influenza, then you should consult with your primary health care physician. Before using a new herb or supplementation,
you should consult with a qualified health care practitioner. The opinions and suggestions in this article are those of Dr. Chantell Groenewald based on her years and experience as a qualified Homeopath and should in no way serve to replace a
physical consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
By Dr. Marlo Swanepoel
What is biopuncture?
Biopuncture is a therapy consisting of injecting homeopathic products into specific areas in order to stimulate the bodies’ natural and own healing properties. Most of these injections are given under the skin or in the muscles. In most cases, several small injections are given in a specific area or areas in a single session. Biopuncture also focus a lot on homeotoxicology, which means, the toxin accumulation in the body, which may block the natural responses such as immune system or the reflex responses of your nervous system (in simple terms it aids detoxification) which helps a lot when it comes to chronic diseases.
It is important to remember that biopuncture cannot be compared to conventional injection therapy such as cortisone or pain killers. Biopuncture is not an aniti-inflammatory nor is it a pain killer. It is a remedy which works on repairing and healing, by stimulating the bodies’ natural functions.
For example, in some cases such as in degenerative conditions (eg. early osteoarthritis) which is caused by overuse and chronic low grade inflammation, the use of biopuncture may cause an acute inflammatory response which will lead to increase in blood flow, increase in cytokines and macrophages which will lead to remodelling and repair and it may stop the chronic low grade inflammation which will reduce the degeneration process.
Conditions where Biopuncture may be indicated include (just to mention a few):
Musculoskeletal injuries of problems
An interesting and well explained article written by Dr. Lee Wolfer, MD Integrative Sports, Spine and Wellness Medicine you might want to read
We have all been ‘stressed’ at some point or another about various upcoming events like deadlines at work or emotional upsets in our private life. Feeling stressed can be totally normal and has benefits such as the fight and flight response which can set in motion a physiological response to protect you from harm.
This stress response is particularly important in a life or death situation often experienced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors when being faced with a predator like a lion, these physiological changes such as a faster heart rate and increase glucose to the skeletal muscles enabled them to either run away or fight for survival.
This is an example of an acute stress response and once the threat is over, hormones involved in this response (ephedrine,dopamine and norephidrine) return to normal levels and we return to a state of rest.
In today’s modern age stress is often not that simple or fleeting, with the stress responses often becoming chronic and repetitive (high volume and stressful work load, upcoming deadlines or an abusive relationship where the stressor becomes chronic). Stress can motivate us to get up from the couch and sit down in front of our desk and get some urgent work done, but it can also trigger the chronic stress response called the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis, which causes chronically elevated levels of cortisol that floods your system and has adverse health effects.
For most people the stress response is fleeting and once the ‘threat’ has been dealt with, we can stop worrying. For people with GAD, the worry does not go away, and they feel stressed for prolonged periods of time without there always being a clear reason for their worry or concern.
Steadman’s medical dictionary defines anxiety as: “Vague uneasy feeling of discomfort or dread accompanied by an autonomic response (the source often non-specific or unknown to the individual); a feeling of apprehension caused by an anticipation of danger.”
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical manual 5th edition, an individual can be diagnosed with GAD if they have:
A. Excessive anxiety and worry, occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities,
B. The person finds it difficult to control the worry,
C. The anxiety and worry are associated with three or more of the following six symptoms:
The exact cause of anxiety is poorly understood, but scientists believe that there are various contributing factors such as a genetic predisposition to develop anxiety as well as environmental factors (which can be current conditions or a past traumatic experience).
The human genome project was completed in 2003 and has identified several genes that are believed to play a significant role in the development in GAD. These genetic markers include, but are not limited to:
1. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene: The COMT gene is responsible for encoding the COMT enzyme which plays an important role in regulating dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. COMT Val158Met snippet plays a very important role in the way dopamine is metabolised. The Met/Met variant produces less of the COMT enzyme which translates to decreased metabolism of dopamine. Higher than normal dopamine levels are associated with increased anxiety and anxiety related disorders.
2. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF): Researches believe that this gene plays a role in the regulation of the stress response. The BDNF Val66Met snippet is believed to play a role in the stress response, individuals with decreased levels of BDNF in the cerebrospinal fluid are more likely to develop an anxiety related order following a psycho-social stress response.
Natural treatment protocols for the management of GAD:
4. Homeopathy: A carefully selected single similimum remedy that can mimic the symptoms associated with GAD, can treat the underlying cause without the harmful side effects of commonly prescribed anti-anxyolitics.
GAD is a serious mental health disorder that requires medical attention just like any other health condition. Treatment of GAD should be a holistic approach with a multidisciplinary approach as well as the necessary diet and lifestyle interventions to restore optimal health and mental well-being.
“It is time to tell everyone who is dealing with a mental health issue that they are not alone and that getting support is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.” -Michelle Obama-
DNAnalysis and genetic testing or Homeopathic consultations for GAD:
Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. tech Hom UJ)
The Naturopathic Health are Center.
012 460 9216
Psychotherapy for GAD:
Kevin & Elise Fourie
Counselling Psychologists / Voorligtingsielkundiges
MA Counselling Psychology (Stell) // MA Voorligtingsielkunde (Stell)
Tel: (012) 348-7393 / 1342
Fax to mail: 0866 749 636
Elise: 082 600 5812
Kevin: 083 448 9436
*Disclaimer. This article in no way serves as a diagnosis or treatment for GAD, nor does it serve to replace a consultation with a registered health care professional. Opinions in this article are those of Dr. Chantell Groenewald based on her own research and professional training. Individuals who suspect they may be suffering from GAD should seek attention from a qualified practitioner before using any supplementations or therapy protocols mentioned in this article. GAD is a serious medical condition and requires profession health care.
34% of South African men of reproductive age are considered sub-fertile, meaning they will struggle to conceive.
Seven Lifestyle changes that may help to increase sperm count:
1. Stop smoking. Smoking causes free radicals and increases the toxic load on the body affecting the DNA and health of sperm.
2. Reduce alcohol use.
3. Shake off excess weight. Obesity go hand in hand with insulin resistance and inflammation, both directly affecting the sperm.
4. Take some time to relax and keep your stress levels as low as possible. Increase in adrenalin and cortisol will lead to a decrease in sperm count and health.
5. Think about this for a sec ...
your sperm contain the DNA of your potential future children.........
If your sperm doesn't have the correct nutrients it will most likely lead to
"substandard" DNA. Feed yourself with nutrient dense food which will increase sperm count, morphology and mobility. Include foods rich in zinc, selenium, vitamin c, and Lycopene.
6. Your testicles are outside of your body for a reason. Sperm are temperature sensitive. Overheated sperm will denature leading to a decreased sperm count. So limit excessively HOT baths and soaking and make sure your underwear are not to tight.
7. Protect your ... jewels. Injury to your testes may lead to poor sperm production. Long distance cycling is a big cause of testicular injury.
Naturopathic Health Care Centre
By. Dr. Marlo Swanepoel
M-tech Hom (UJ)
With Autoimmune diseases being a big interest of mine, I thought I would give you a brief and simple overview of how I see autoimmune diseases and hopefully bring some hope as to how it can be managed and treated naturally.
What is an autoimmune disease?
To oversimplify this, autoimmune diseases are inflammatory conditions where your immune system attacks yourself.
You see, normally your immune system should protect you from invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites by sending out an army of soldiers whose job it is to fight off, kill or neutralise the threat.
Your immune system can normally do this very well and effectively as it can differentiate between foreign or abnormal cells and your own healthy cells, thus it kills off the invaders and leaves your own cells alone. BUT with an autoimmune disease, the body loses the ability to differentiate between normal and abnormal and thus mistakenly start to attach the body's cells.
There are many autoimmune diseases. Although a lot is known about autoimmune diseases many of them are still poorly understood. Some autoimmune diseases will only target a specific organ or system where others will cause a systemic invasion, meaning it goes all over.
How does an autoimmune disease occur?
As I mentioned, the exact cause is not completely understood or even known. Your immune system is extremely complicated and, in my opinion, it has more integrated parts than any other system in your body. Although the basic function of an immune system is the same in all humans, not a single person’s immune system is identical.
Think about it, even identical twins will not have the same immune system functionality, for simple reasons like, we were not all exposed to the same things throughout our lifetimes.
Some studies showed that women are twice as likely to develop an autoimmune disease compared to men. Some ethnic groups are more prone to develop specific autoimmune diseases. Some autoimmune diseases run in families, but that being said not all family members will develop the same autoimmune disease and some will not develop an autoimmune disease at all.
So yes, genetics might play a role in this whole debacle, but it most certainly is not the be-all and end-all. In fact, some doctors believe that genetics only play a 20%-25% role in the development of autoimmune diseases. Many of these diseases are increasing in frequency in especially industrialised countries, which brings us to other causes or contributing factors.
These include: environmental factors i.e. toxins, diet, inflammation, infection and so the list goes on. Some studies even hypothesise that the development of autoimmune diseases might be linked to vaccines and antiseptics, as this might cause the immune system to overreact to a harmless substance.?
So, if we don’t really know what causes an Autoimmune disease how do I treat it?
Once again, I oversimplify, but the way I see an autoimmune disease is as an inflammatory process. This inflammation is a direct response of the immune system that never shuts down. You see, acute inflammation is a good thing.
Let say you get the flu. Your immune system will release all kinds of chemicals and recruit all kinds of cells to kill this virus. One of the responses is inflammation, which will lead to a fever. This happens to be one of the best natural ways to kill off any invaders. Once the threat has been neutralised, the inflammatory response will decrease and shut down and continue to patrol the perimeter, until it sees the next threat.
However, with an autoimmune disease, the inflammatory response is never switched off. Yes, the intensity decreases but a low-grade inflammation is present 24/7. This is where and when things go haywire.
So, for me personally in my practice, I treat autoimmune diseases based on 4 pillars.
The Four Pillars of treating an Autoimmune disease
1st you must Remove any possible triggers of the autoimmune disease. This may be food sensitivities, infection, heavy metals, etc.
2nd Control the inflammatory response. Once you stop the continuous inflammatory response the immune system can rest and reboot. I always think about this as someone going to war. If you are sleep deprived and in constant fight mode you might just end up hurting one of your own.
3rd you need to start Repairing your immune system. One of the ways I do this is by diet. Go read my previous article on leaky gut (http://www.naturopathichealthcarecentre.co.za/articles/leaky-gut). Remember 70%-80% of your immune system is located in your gut. This means that if your gut is healthy, your immune system might just be healthy too. Which is why repair and control goes hand-in-hand.
4th I always try to Balance and support your immune system. This might include a few supplements to optimise the immune system functionality, but NEVER forget the power of sleep and exercise. Relaxation is just as curtail, as stress will only cause an increase in adrenalin and cortisol which will result in a tired, overworked and misfiring immune system.
Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
Being stuck at home makes it so much harder to resist all the goodies in the pantry. If you start your day with a filling, healthy breakfast, it will be easier to keep your appetite under control for the rest of the day. Smoothies are a good way to pack al the healthy stuff into one glass.
Try this smoothie. It is super simple and tasty.
If you can perhaps delay your breakfast until 10, you will not crave lunch for many hours after.
The good fats in this smoothie will leave you satisfied for much longer in contrast to one filled with just fruits.
Frozen blueberries ¼ cup
Frozen strawberries ¼ cup
Organic cocoa powder (to taste)
¼ to ½ avocado
Dates for sweetness if needed
(especially if you are using the chocolate version)
Coconut milk or cream ¼ cup
10- 15 almonds
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
Double cream plain yoghurt ¼ cup
Start your day off healthy and guilt free to set the trend for the rest of your day!
Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
A holistic consultation might be different from your experience with a general practitioner.
Homeopaths pride themselves on the fact that they have time to spend with a patient. It is a necessity to understand what is wrong with the patient, where ailments might be originating from as well as what the expected outcome could be and what the patient needs from the practitioner.
A consultation is usually an hour long and you can expect the homeopath to ask many questions concerning many aspects of your life and the ailment that brought you to the practice. A detailed history about previous ailments as well as where you grew up and under what conditions will also be essential. The more information you have to offer the homeopath the more directed they can treat, so if you have a diary or can write down a symptom list and bring to the consultation, it will be of great help. A list of medications that are being taken currently needs to be reported as well.
I use biomeridian testing as well as live blood analysis as added tools for a more accurate diagnosis. This does not replace a comprehensive history taking or a physical examination but may offer extra clues to establish a diagnosis.
When your consultation is concluded you should have a much better idea of what your diagnosis is, what might be the cause and most importantly, what is the plan for the future to get you back to your healthy self.
Be prepared to spend time in the consulting room, relax and give as much information as you have, never feel silly or that it is not important. A small fact might just give the clue needed to resolve your health issues. Most importantly, we want to be your partner in your health journey, so, what is important to you, is important to us.
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald
M. Tech Hom UJ
Acne, also know as acne vulgaris, is a common skin condition that occurs when the hair follicle and accompanying oil gland becomes blocked by dead skin cells, dried oil secretions and bacteria. This results in either:
1. Non-inflammatory acne: blackheads and whiteheads, or
2. Inflammatory acne: pastules, pimples, cysts and sometimes abscesses.
Acne most commonly starts around puberty due to increasing hormone levels, particularly testosterone which stimulates oil glands to produce excessive amounts of oil. Several other conditions that affects hormone levels can also cause acne, this includes:
Here are 10 natural treatment protocols that may be useful in treating acne due to hormonal imbalances:
1. Supporting phase 1 and 2 detoxification of the liver. The liver is responsible for metabolising our hormones, so supporting liver detoxification often results in improvement of hormonal imbalances. Some conventional treatment protocols for acne can be hepatotoxic, which can further aggravate hormonal imbalances in the long run.
2. Eat 5-7 servings of vegetables per day. Cruciferous and allium vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic and cabbage contains a substance called sulphorophane which can assist in phase 2 detoxification of the liver
3. Anti-oxidants help neutralize harmful metabolites from hormone metabolism. There are various products on the market, however a diet rich in color spectrum vegetables and berries has a potent anti-oxidant effect.
4. Herbals such as chaste berry can assists in managing hormonal imbalances.
5. Ecchinatia premium can help manage acne with a secondary bacterial infection.
6. Anti-inflammatory products such as omega 3 and curcumin can reduce inflammation associated with inflammatory acne.
7. Adaptogens such as ashwaganda can assist in stress management.
8. Homeopathy. Several homeopathic remedies can assist in the treatment of acne. A remedy can be chosen based on an individuals specific symptom picture.
9. A gut healing diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods and plenty of gut healing probiotics can assist in the treatment of acne.
10. A natural skin care regime with home made facial products. This should include gentle exfoliation, natural face wash and facial masks as well as applying products that can combat inflammation and infection such as a good quality tea tree oil.
The skin is a reflection of our overall health. A glowing healthy skin reflects a glowing healthy system whereas acne ridden skin is often an indication of underlying imbalances which should be addressed. Suppressing acne symptoms can clear your skin but the underlying problem is often not resolved and the acne can return once treatment is stopped. Careful examination of each individual and a holistic approach often yields the most favourable and permanent results.
December is looming around the corner, beach wear and a little well deserved over indulgence to follow suite. Why not sign up for our 4 week health challenge for a fitter, healthier and more energized you before the December holidays.
What does our program entail:
A four week meal plan aimed at reducing inflammation and healing the gut as well as weekly follow ups to keep you motivated and on track.
To join our challenge, you have to sign up by Thursday 14 November. The challenge will run from Friday 15 November - Thursday 12 December.
For more information and to book an appointment, call us today on 012 460 9216 or email us on email@example.com
By. Dr. Chantell Groenewald
M. Tech Hom UJ
Is your oestrogen dominance the reason why your are struggling to lose weight?
What is oestrogen dominance?
We have two hormones that play a key role in preparing our uterine lining for pregnancy each month, oestrogen and progesterone. This is however not their only function and both hormones play a major role in many of our bodily functions, including but not limited to weight loss, libido and mental health. There should be a balance between the amount of oestrogen versus progesterone secreted, with anything between a 100 – 500 ratio being normal. Anything lower than 100 is seen as oestrogen dominance.
What are the signs and symptoms of oestrogen dominance?
1. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
2. Difficulty conceiving (especially in the presence of low progesterone)
3. Headaches and migraines
4. Excessive PMS symptoms
5. Bloating of the stomach
6. Hair loss
7. Anxiety and depression
8. Decreased libido and sex drive
9. Fatigue and decreased energy
Higher than normal oestrogen levels (or rather an abnormal normal oestrogen versus progesterone ratio) can occur due to three mechanisms:
1. Excessive production of oestrogen in the body:
This can happen when you are overweight. Fat cells not only store fat but also acts as an endocrine gland secreting oestrogen, further exacerbating oestrogen dominance and further weight gain,
2. Activation of oestrogen receptors from exogenous oestrogen such as xenoestrogens:
Xenoestrogens are bad oestrogen found from sources outside our bodies in products such as cosmetics, plastic bottles, pesticides etc, and
3. Lower than normal levels of progesterone:
DHEA is the building block for cortisol as well as progesterone, during periods of stress our bodies favour the production of cortisol, which is OK if it is only for short periods of time, but this becomes a major issue when we suffer from chronic low level stress.
Why do we need adequate progesterone levels and normal oestrogen versus progesterone ratio’s? Well, progesterone counters all the nasty side effects of too much oestrogen and is responsible for:
1. Boosting body temperature and metabolism
2. Promotes healthy libido and sex drive
3. Promotes healthy thyroid functioning
4. Lowers blood pressure
5. Has a calming effects on the brain and acts as a natural antidepressant
6. Boosts immune system
7. Retains bone density
8. Maintains healthy uterine lining for pregnancy
9. Natural diuretic
10. Helps promote healthy insulin levels.
Weight loss efforts are often futile if you suffer from oestrogen dominance. Testing your oestrogen versus progesterone ratio is as easy as having a blood test done for serum oestrogen and progesterone levels during two key phases of your cycle. Correcting oestrogen dominance helps us feel happier, healthier and assists in long term and permanent weight loss.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at The Naturopathic Health Care Centre.
By Dr. Chantell Groenewald
M. Tech Hom UJ
The Human Genome Project successfully mapped out 25 000 genes that make up the human species. What does that have to do with our day to day health? Well, DNA does not just tell us the obvious such as what we can see when we look at each other, it also tells us what diseases we are predisposed to and what diet and lifestyle interventions we can apply to prevent these diseases. This is what we call tailored lifestyle and nutritional medicine and it is the medicine of the future.
How can DNA analysis help you?
DNA health is a complete breakdown of your genetic ability to methylate, metabolise lipds, regulate inflammation, metabolize insulin, detoxify and oxidize. What does this mean?
Methylation is the process involved in switching genes on and off, gene repair and protection as well as making certain types of hormones. A recent study showed that up to 60% of Americans have an impaired ability to methylate, which puts you at risk for various diseases including coronary artery disease, anxiety disorders and certain types of cancer.
Inflammation. This is crucial in our health. If we have a genetic predisposition to up-regulate the expression of pro inflammatory markers, which puts you at risk for developing pro-inflammatory chronic diseases including periondontitis, certain autoimmune disease, cancer, cognitive decline and depression.
Lipid metabolism is involved in managing cholesterol metabolism. When lipid metabolism is not favourable, it can put you at risk for developing heart disease, stroke as well as late onset alzheimers disease.
Insulin Metabolism. Certain genetic markers contributes towards the development of insulin resistance, especially in the presence of certain lifestyle factors.
Detoxification refers to phase I and phase II detoxification of the liver. These genetic variants is particularly important when it comes to the metabolism of estrogen, estrogen driven diseases and various types of cancer.
Oxidization refers to the genetic markers which will determine if you can neutralize harmful free radicals that are produced daily as part of our normal physiological processes. If your ability to oxidize is compromised, then your are at greater risk of developing certain types of cancer as well as coronary artery disease.
DNA analysis is aimed at giving each patient the tools to focus their efforts in terms of diet, nutrition and lifestyle to favour the up-regulation of protective genes and down regulate the enzyme function of less favourable genes to prevent developing the diseases that you might be at risk of developing based on your genetic make up. Having certain markers that put you at risk for developing certain diseases does not mean that you will develop said disease, 10% of diseases are genetic predisposition, 90% is food and lifestyle. The correct diet and lifestyle for your genetic make up is crucial in disease prevention.
Health issues that may benefit from DNA analysis includes, but are not limited to:
Difficulty loosing weight
Personal or family history of cancer
Skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis
Family history of alzheimers disease or cognitive decline
High blood pressure
Anxiety and depressive disorders
Autoimmune disorders including Hashimotos Thyroiditis
What does DNA analysis entail? A buccal swab (swab of the inside of your cheek), which is sent to the lab for analysis. A full rapport is released and each patient receives a tailored diet, nutritional and lifestyle plan tailored to your individual needs.
Personalized lifestyle medicine is the future of medicine. For more information please do not hesitate to contact The Naturopathic Health Care centre on (012) 460 9216
Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
I'm sure you've heard of GMOs, but do you ever wonder what's really so bad about genetically modiﬁed organisms?
You might even believe that it's not so terrible to have GM foods every once in a while, and sometimes you can't help being exposed to them.
Once you see the research, I think you'll change your mind!
I believe that everyone should avoid GMOs. However, it's especially important to those with autoimmune disease. As crops are exposed to more toxins and more pesticides, the toxins end up in YOUR body which can lead to inflammation and set you on the path to chronic illness.
GMOs could severely impact your health in more ways than you know.
I want you to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to avoid GMOs so that you can support your body and your health, as well as the health of others.
3 Reasons to avoid GMO:
1. GMOs contain more pesticides than non GMO crops
GMO crops were speciﬁcally developed to allow farmers to use more herbicides without killing the crops themselves. This is problematic because continuous exposure to toxins, including pesticides, is one of the key environmental triggers for developing an autoimmune disease, and maintaining a high toxic burden can cause your existing autoimmune condition to progress.
2. GMO foods cause Leaky Gut
Many GM crops, including corn, were engineered to produce their own insecticide, called Bt-toxin, by combining the plant’s DNA with DNA from bacteria. Bt-toxin kills insects by destroying the lining of their digestive tracts. The poison is not speciﬁc to insects and also pokes holes in human cells9, damaging the intestines and causing leaky gut, which is a precondition for developing an autoimmune disease.
3. GMOs disrupt your gut balance
Glyphosate, the herbicide used on GM crops, is also a potent chemical that can attack the bacteria in your gut. Unfortunately, the good bacteria in your gut, the kind that help with digestion and keeping the bad bacteria in check, are more likely to be susceptible to glyphosate, while the bad bacteria, including strains that cause salmonella and botulism, are highly resistant to glyphosate11. This means that eating GMO foods can decrease your healthy bacteria and increase the bad bacteria, putting you at risk for Candida overgrowth, leaky gut, and inﬂammation, which can contribute to autoimmune disease.
By. Dr Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
Difficulty losing weight is an issue that troubles many individuals at some point in their lives, if not most of their lives. In the past, mainstream medicine would have you believe that it is a simple equation of ‘eat less, exercise more’. An energy expenditure equation lifestyle can be very frustrating with little to no weight loss to show for your efforts.
In my practice, I focus on healthy living, whole foods and weight loss that is a side effect of a healthy lifestyle. The 5 most common obstacles to weight loss I have encountered are as follows:
1. Oestrogen dominance: This is a common issue today, aggravated by processed hormone loaded and antibiotic fed livestock. Xenoestrogens (harmful oestrogen derived from external sources) are found in our make-up, body products, plastic containers, meat, chicken, dairy and vegetables (pesticides). Higher than normal oestrogen levels (or rather higher than normal oestrogen vs. progesterone ratio) is responsible for weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Ageing alone contributes to higher than normal oestrogen levels starting from the age of about 35.
2. Thyroid dysfunction: Hypothyroidism refers to lower than normal levels of the hormone T4, which is responsible for our metabolism. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) increases when circulating levels of T4 is decreasing, so some people might have normal levels of T4 with elevated levels of THS, which is called sub-clinical hypothyroidism. Both hypothyroidism and sub-clinical hypothyroidism will cause difficulty losing weight.
3. Chronic stress: Chronic stress is responsible for chronically elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as our fight and flight hormone, but it’s role in the functioning of our bodily systems is much more broad. Cortisol plays a role in immunity, metabolism, hormone production and insulin sensitivity. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol causes sluggish digestion, insulin resistance, poor immunity and issues with hormone production. All of the above will favour weight gain.
4. Leaky gut: A leaky gut is the root cause of chronic inflammation which affects all the other systems in our body. There is an inflammatory cascade which perpetuates the formation of fat cells in the presence of inflammatory markers, so a very oversimplified explanation is that chronic inflammation makes you fat.
5. Insulin resistance: Increased abdominal fat is linked to increased insulin sensitivity and decreased weight loss. Being overweight thus makes you more resistant to weight loss.
All of these obstacles to weight loss can easily be addressed through a tailored nutritional and diet lifestyle plan. There is no one size fits all and most women with obstacles to eight loss are left disappointed after following the latest diet trend. Each woman is an individual and should treat their weight loss journey as such.