Dr. M de Klerk
If you have too little pancreatic enzymes, you will not be digesting and absorbing fats. You may have digestive upsets as well as other symptoms such as low energy and increased cravings for starches. This will be because fats, that are a more sustained source of energy in your body, will be undigested and not absorbed for energy usage.
Symptoms of fat malabsorption syndrome:
Symptoms of deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K
Vitamin A deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin E deficiency
Vitamin K deficiency:
In the next article we will discuss what you can do to improve your fat digestion, without taking a supplement.
By Dr. M de Klerk
Many patients with Hashimoto’s have digestive issues. It does not often occur to them that it might be linked to their thyroid disease. Some just accept these gut challenges as the norm.
Recurring diarrhea, stomach pain, gas and bloating are not normal. These symptoms can be resolved quickly with the use of the correct digestive enzyme, and most patients will report back with positive outcomes.
Food consists of different substances, protein, fat and starch, and digestion of any of these could be your challenge. Protein seems to be the most challenging of them all, according to studies.
Deficiency in pancreatic elastase, is often the root of fat malabsorption. Many nutrients and vitamins need to be emulsified in fat to be absorbed. Pancreatic enzymes, together with bile from the gallbladder, mixes in the small intestines to break fats down into tiny droplets that can now be absorbed into the gut. Without adequate bile and pancreatic enzymes, many essential nutrients can be lost and excreted with other wastes in the stool, leading to deficiencies such as fatty acid deficiency.
Also, food will not be digested and can result in the development of food sensitivities and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth due to putrefaction
Pancreatic elastase deficiency can be tested accurately in the stool.
Having a low level of pancreatic elastase can be associated with:
The link between Hashimoto’s and low pancreatic enzymes are as follows:
Thyroid hormone level affect metabolism of all hormones in our bodies as well as all other endocrine glands. Motility of the stomach will be impaired in hypothyroid patients leading to slowing down of the movement of partially digested food and digestive juices. This can cause gas, bloating and other digestive symptoms including overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut.
Decrease in T4 also slows liver cholesterol metabolism, changing the thickness of the bile, resulting in a decreased fat digestion.
This scenario will lead to a situation of multiple deficiencies in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
In a follow up article to this one, we will discuss the telltale symptoms of a variety of nutritional deficiencies.
Dr. M de Klerk
In our fast paced, time-blurred life we do not prioritize sleep. There is so much to do on a daily basis and trying to fit it all in necessitates our children to compromise on sleep. Children need between 8-12 hours sleep per night. A baby or toddler needing the most and our teenagers may require less as they move more to adulthood.
We all know that sleep is good for our children, but do realize how detrimental it is?
Lack of sleep will affect our children physically and psychologically, greatly affecting their quality of life. It will affect their hormones, immune system, detoxification, healing and repair of the body, as well as mental status. We all know what an over tired child behaves like.
In an age where children seem to have increasingly more emotional as well as learning challenges, it is vital that we address lack of sleep as a primary contributor to decline in cognitive function as well as mental wellbeing. There is a frightening increase in the rate of diagnoses of chronic diseases in children, even auto immune diseases in children are becoming more prevalent.
There are a few essential factors that needs to be addressed for your child to ensure deep and peaceful sleep:
Dr. M de Klerk
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis affects one in every 6 women. This condition can only be effectively
addressed by treating the patient as a whole.
There are many “triggers” that can activate this auto immune disease and finding those triggers can
be the solution to resolving it too. It is not always easy or totally clear what the triggers are, and, in
that case, the whole body’s health needs to be taken in consideration.
The 4 supportive steps that needs to be followed, as the starting point for all Hashimoto’s patients to
begin the healing journey, is as follows:
Step #1- Removal of trigger foods- some foods will contribute to activating your immune response
on a daily basis, eventually ending up in an overwrought state of auto immunity. Removal of these
foods are essential.
Step #2- Adding healing foods- these foods will help heal your body, i.e., “food acting as medicine.”
Step #3- Reducing toxin exposure- Living a cleaner life sounds like a huge endeavor but is much
easier than you think. “Giving your body a break” will tip the scales towards healing.
Step #4- Supporting your detoxification pathways- Removing the accumulated toxic burden as well
as toxins from daily living is vital for a functioning body.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a journey, but invariably, can be improved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
Do you suffer from heartburn? Acid reflux? If you are part of the 10% of the population with gastroesophageal reflux disease who suffers on a daily basis from this disease, don’t believe that you “just need to live with it”.
Conventional treatment will do more harm than good. By lowering your stomach acid using antacids, you will compromise your digestion, as well as letting bacteria into your digestive tract contained in your food, without the usual acids to destroy them. But by treating it naturally you can be healed!
GERD is when the stomach valve relaxes abnormally and stomach acid comes back up into your oesophagus. The oesophagus gets burned and without your realizing it, lasting damage can be done.
5 CAUSES of GERD are:
DETOXIFICATION, CHRONIC DISEASES, AUTISM, DEPRESSION, INFERTILTY. WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN YOUR GENETICS AND THESE DISEASES?
Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
The link might lie in your genetics and is called methylation. Methylation is a process that happens in every cell of your body. It protects your body by repairing damaged cells, optimizing DNA cell function, processing toxins and hormones, and regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine that regulates mood, behaviour, sleep and overall mental health.
Each one of us has a unique genetic makeup. These genes regulate all your body processes and may contain defects or mutations. One of these are found on the MTHFR gene. This gene regulates our methylation as described above. One of the most important functions of methylation is to produce a product called glutathione. Glutathione is your body’s most potent detoxifier. Research has shown that those with autoimmunity and cancer has lower levels of glutathione.
So you are born with these genes but we know now that your genes are not static and mutation epigenetics exist, this means that our genes can be turned on and off by certain conditions occurring in our environment and in our bodies.
But firstly we need to understand how we identify a genetic mutation in our genes so that we can move forward in addressing the mutation so as to avoid all the related diseases. A SNP or “snip” refers to one building block on the DNA strand. One or multiple SNPs occurs on a gene and the more SNPs the more the impact on the body. The MTHFR SNP is very common and occur in around 50% of the general population.
Here is a practical example to demonstrate the impact the mutations have on your ability to detoxify.
Let’s say you eat a piece of tuna, which is a high mercury containing food, containing 10 parts of mercury. If you have no mutations on your MTHFR gene, you will excrete all ten parts of the mercury at 100%, totally detoxified. If you have one SNP or mutation, then your ability to detoxify is decreased by 50% with means 5 parts are detoxified and 5 parts are stored. It you have 2 mutations or SNPs, your ability to detoxify mercury is decreased by a whopping 90%!!!!This means that you keep 9 parts of mercury and only clear 1 part. This ingested mercury as well as other environmental mercury such as water, amalgam, water and air will with time build up to a staggering amount that remains in your body and then we are amazed when we develop some disease, autoimmunity, cancer or immune dysfunction.
At the NATUROPATHIC healthcare clinic we offer the option for you to have your genetics tested via a competent laboratory, DNAlysis. A comprehensive test, DNAhealth, will test all the MTHFR genes that are believed to have an impact on methylation. It will also test inflammation, detoxification, cholesterol metabolism, bone health, insulin resistance and food responsiveness i.e. sensitivities to lactose, caffeine and salt intake.
And more importantly than identifying the gene mutations is assisting the body to have enough helper building blocks, or co factors to have the ability to complete the methylation process. Various interventions, i.e. dietary changes, environmental changes as well as specific medications needs to be implemented.
A DNA test is a simple cheek swab and will open a different view to your health, how to treat current diseases as well as how to make lifestyle changes for the future to avoid any more chronic diseases from developing. Dr Marike de Klerk is trained in interpreting and treating these underlying mutations. Please contact the practice with any other questions and also for prices of various genetic tests.
Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
How is your child’s brain connected to what they eat? It is quite simple, your child is what they eat.
Have you noticed a change in your child’s behaviour with what they eat?
I sure have with my children and mom's often comment on remarkable changes in their children’s behaviour with a change to a healthy diet.
The brain is the most energy dependent organ in the body, therefore what we feed our children will directly impact on their brain function i.e. their ability to focus, their ability to perform mental tasks and their ability for emotional regulation.
When you put junk into your body, you will get junk out, i.e. “junky" behaviour or “junky" “attention.
Many specific nutrients are connected to how our brains function.
Whole foods vs processed or packaged foods?
Whole foods are foods like wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and clean proteins that are in their natural form and does not have multiple ingredients added to it, altered or changed. These are the foods that the brain thrives on. These foods are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fats and antioxidants.
There is a huge difference between nutrients from whole foods vs packaged foods. The rule of thumb is when you look at the ingredients label, the longer the list is the more processed and the less dense the nutrient value is. These processed foods will also contain more chemicals and additives that has been shown in studies to really affect brain function negatively. Children that eat a better diet are more able to emotionally and intellectually manage themselves.
Sugar is a big evil ingredient in lots of junk foods or processed foods. The body and brain burns through sugar quickly and this results in a sugar crash. This can look like many mental disorders. Sugar metabolites can mimic conditions like ADD, ADHD, anxiety and mood instability.
Being mindful of this can make a huge breakthrough and very often parents are astounded by the results of such a seemingly unimportant change.
Breakfast containing a protein is so important to stabilize blood sugar as it will release energy slowly into the system and keep their bodies and brains nourished for longer.
Children needs carbohydrates in their diet to fuel their brain development, but once again wholegrains and not processed foods. Fruits and vegetables are important, full of fibre and phytonutrients.
If you can start an awareness with your kids to eat veggies, they will continue this into adulthood with huge benefit to their health. Start by introducing whole fruits into their diet and build upon that. Some children will be resistant from the very beginning to new foods. It takes their brains at least 10 exposures to get used to a new taste. Give your child at least that many occasions to try a new food, to develop a taste palate for new foods.
If you have a child with anxiety or rigidity surrounding food, do not focus on what they are putting in their mouths , but rather focus on exposing them to new foods by making them familiar with foods by buying, cooking or growing these foods.
Research says that 4 out of 10 kids these days are overweight, 1 out of 7 has ADD which has been linked to poor diets and Type 2 diabetes has increased 1000% over the last 10 years. One out of 3 babies are born diabetic and one in four teenagers will develop type 2 diabetes. This is frightening! Let’s stop the vicious cycle and let our kids fall in love with food.
Involve your kids in food preparation. Your children will not only perceive having purpose and meaning in their household but it will also enhance their brain function. They will learns maths, planning, creativity, science, culture, reading as well as history when they learn to cook!
Brainstorm with your kids about the menu for meals. Look at different menus and help them to compose a healthy plate of food. Let them help compose a shopping list. Teach them what the healthier options are. Show them to rather shop at the perimeter of the shop for food since the middle aisle will usually contain all the processed foods.
From age 2 or 3 your kids can start to help with the cooking of a meal. They can help with measuring, breaking eggs, making a simple salad etc.
Kids eating solid foods should eat the same foods as the adults and not from a kiddies menu. Food on the kiddies menu is food that we as adults do not want to eat, things like chicken nuggets, chips and pizza. Why do this to them?
Explain healthy nutrition to your children and get them enthusiastic about feeding their body with healthy foods and explain how foods can affect their body functions i.e. their brains, energy and skin. Watch documentaries with them like “Supersize me” so they can see what processed foods to to your body.
Changing the diet in your household can be a daunting an intimidating but remember to not try to change it all in one day, small steps at a time will culminate in huge a huge improvement over time. And remember to have fun!
WHAT IS LIVE BLOOD ANALYSIS?
LIVE BLOOD ANALYSIS, ALSO KNOWN AS NUTRITIONAL OR DARKFIELD MICROSCOPY , IS IN ESSENCE THE ANALYSIS OF LIVING BLOOD UNDER A POWERFULL MICROSCOPE, CONNECTED TO A CAMERA.
Live blood testing enables us to see exactly how one’s blood behaves in the body, giving a clear picture of health at cellular level. The aim of the practitioner is not to make a diagnosis from patterns seen but rather but to see what the biological terrain is manifesting with.
“Terrain” in the blood can be likened to a vegetable garden, the terrain being the soil, where the vegetables will flourish in healthy soil and will be free of disease and parasites. Similarly in the body, if the terrain is healthy, bacteria, fungi and parasites will be repelled, metabolic processes will proceed unhindered and disease will not be enabled. By examining the live blood one can identify aberrations in the terrain, address it and prevent or correct current imbalances and diseases.
The examination of live, capillary blood has been performed by researchers all over the world for many years. It is a quick and efficient way of assessing the health of the patient. A drop of blood is examined under a special microscope which has which has both light and dark field options. Very quickly one can see terrain imbalances such as toxicity, immune disorders, gut issues and cholesterol and so on.
The difference between having blood analysed by a chemical laboratory and viewing live blood, is that one can assess the functioning of blood cells in a live blood analysis consultation. In contrast the fixed stained cells are analysed in the chemical laboratory, measured against a standard, interpreted and sent to your practitioner whom can than issue a prescription. Seeing your blood on a live blood screen enables the practitioner to describe your terrain and also for the patient to participate in the discussion.
According to what is viewed, your practitioner will then be able to suggest lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements, homeopathic or functional treatment to correct these imbalances.
Book your free session with Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
email@example.com or call us on 012 460 9216/7/8
It all starts with peri-menopause, the time period just before menopause hits you with its full force.
What symptoms can you expect? Hot flushes or night sweats, heart palpitations, painful intercourse as a result of vaginal dryness, vaginal itching and infections, headaches as well as mental symptoms like fatigue, irritability, moodiness, depression, sleep disturbances and mental fog.
Peri menopause can last 6 to 13 years, give or take 5 years and during that time guidance by a good holistic practitioner might just make a lifetime difference. Many women end up on synthetic hormonal replacement therapy, oral contraceptives or even have their uteruses removed due to menstrual irregularities.
A thorough work-up of your hormonal profile during this time will guide your doctor as to which hormones need to be supplemented and most of all which lifestyle changes are necessary to bring the balance back.
Menopause is marked by the permanent end of menstruation and fertility and is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual cycle. The average age is 51, but could be anything between 45 and 60.
Symptoms of menopause are the same as may be experienced in the peri-menopause and may extend well into the menopause.
So much emphasis is placed on oestrogen deficiency during menopause but in actual fact symptoms during peri and menopause may be due to oestrogen deficiency, oestrogen dominance or progesterone deficiency.
Symptoms might be aches and pains, depression, tearfulness, fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations, hot flushes, metal fog, short term memory loss, incontinence, vaginal dryness, bone loss, sleep disorder.
Salivary tests are available in our country now to ascertain which hormones should be addressed and can easily be ordered by your doctor. Once the problem has been identified different forms of treatment can be used. Herbals, homeopathics as well as bio-identical hormones can be used according to your needs.
“Change of life” should be a natural progression in a women’s life and not a cross that needs bearing. Consult with knowledgeable practitioner to guide you through this process.
Dr Marike de Klerk
M.Tech Hom (UJ)
YOUR PROBLEM MIGHT LIE IN ONE OF THESE ORGANS
The very first part of your digestion starts in your mouth. Contained within your saliva is digestive enzymes that start the breakdown of your food. It is therefore very important to chew your food properly so that the food can be broken down into smaller pieces, making digestion easier and also mixed thoroughly with your saliva. Larger pieces of food is excreted by the body whilst the smaller pieces can be absorbed easier and therefore insuring better nutrition. The secretion of saliva will also send a message to your stomach to start secreting acid in preparation for the food that it will be receiving soon. CHEW EACH MOUTHFULL AT LEAST 32 TIMES OR UNTILL TEXTURE IS LOST.
The job of the stomach is to grind/churn food down to small pieces that can be absorbed easily. The stomach releases a very important stomach acid called hydrochloric acid that is important for the breakdown of protein. Protein is an important building block of all the structures and organs in the body. Your body cannot repair or maintain these organs without protein. Contrary to popular belief 90% of people suffering from heartburn, gas and indigestion has too little stomach acid AND NOT TOO MUCH. This is especially true of those over 40 as acid production decreases with age. Stomach acid also stimulates the pancreas, gallbladder and small intestines to secrete enzymes.
THESE ORGANS ALL WORK TOGETHER LIKE AN ORCHESTRA, IF ONE MEMBER IS MISSING THE SONG IS JUST NOT THE SAME. Improper digestion of protein creates toxins in the intestines that creates acidic blood. Bad bacteria, yeast and parasites present in food and water are killed by stomach acid which is an important prevention of infection and disease. These bacteria upset the delicate balance of the bacterial flora in the gut which lowers immunity, affects mood and cognition, contributes to weight gain and plays a role in chronic fatigue. Leaky gut is another very common result of low stomach acid. If you battle digesting meat (nausea or tiredness after consuming meat), heartburn after meals, bloating or gas, food sensitivities or allergies or symptoms of nutrient deficiency you might have low stomach acid and it is essential that you seek treatment from your doctor.
THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR STOMACH IS TO USE ANTACIDS LIKE RENNIES OR TAKE A PROTON PUMP INHIBITOR LIKE PANTOLOC, LOSEC OR NEXIAM! THEY WILL LOWER YOUR ACID EVEN MORE!!
The gallbladder is a tiny sack situated below and behind the gallbladder. Although small it play as very important role in digestion. It holds the bile that is produced by the liver till it is needed for digesting fatty foods in the first part of the small intestines. If the liver is overloaded with too many toxins like from too much use of alcohol, hormones, drugs, junk food as well as being constipated can cause bile to become thickened which clogs up the gallbladder and can form gallstones.
This can cause indigestion and bloating after eating and even acute gallbladder attacks. Any of the following symptoms might be because of a gallbladder problem: - bitter taste in the mouth
-bloating and nausea after eating a high fat meal
-Chronic reoccurring pain behind right shoulder blade
Bile salts, one component of bile is essential in stimulating your bowels to work, so sufficient bile is necessary to prevent constipation So if you are suffering from any menstrual irregularities or female problems as well as male hormone imbalances, get your gallbladder sorted out!
4. SMALL INTESTINES
The small intestines is a tube that carries food from the stomach to the colon. 90% of digestion and absorption of food occurs here, the remaining 10% in the stomach and large intestines. The main function of the intestines is absorption of nutrients and minerals from food. Millions of bacteria live in the small intestines, hopefully most of them good bacteria. It is therefore very important to make sure the environment is conducive for the good bacteria to grow. Things that can make the environment unfavourable is the use of antibiotics, stress, eating foods that cause allergy or sensitivity in the lining of the intestines, not having enough stomach acid therefore allowing bad bacteria to enter the intestines, a diet too high in carbohydrate providing “food “for the bad bacteria to eat. Symptoms of problems in your small intestines are:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Food intolerance to gluten, dairy and sugar
- a Diagnosis of irritable bowel disease
5. LARGE INTESTINES
The major function of the large intestine is to absorb water from the remaining indigestible food and ELIMINATE THE WASTE FROM THE BODY via stools. No digestion or breakdown of nutrients take place here. It takes the colon 24 to 30 hours to complete the process. Bacteria in the large intestines, trillions of them, breaks down fibre from the food and produce large amounts of vitamins.
Probably the most important function of the large intestines is its function in producing antibodies. These antibodies protects the body against harmful pathogens. Many diseases can occur in the colon but cancer is the most feared of all.
Constipation is probably the most important symptom to consider in colon health and it is vital to make sure that a sufficient bowel movement is had on a daily basis. It is important to eat a fibre rich diet full of fruits and vegetables that are coloured, containing lots of anti-oxidants. In addition to immune cells, some hormones are manufactured in the large intestines including serotonin, a hormone that is essential in good mental health and can cause depression if too low.
As you can see each organ plays a vital role and if there is not a balance between all the organs of digestion, you might experience symptoms and even disease in you intestinal tract. Your health practitioner will be able to assist you in optimizing your digestive function with lifestyle changes as well as medications.
Dr Marike de Klerk
M.Tech Hom (UJ)
Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, low thyroid function or Hashimoto’s? Are you confused as to what you can do to treat it, how to reverse the condition and also why it happened to you in the first place?
Hypothyroidism has various possible causes making the treatment individualistic, but most importantly you first need to be able to determine whether your disease is autoimmune driven, Hashimoto’s disease, or not.
Statistics are currently estimating that around 6 out of 10 hypothyroid patients have an autoimmune reaction to their thyroids. What does this mean? The body makes antibodies or white cell soldiers to destroy the thyroid tissue. The mechanism is not 100% percent understood yet but is seems that the immune systems seems to think that thyroid cells resemble other body tissues e.g. gut lining, certain allergenic foods or even certain viruses or bacteria. The immune system will attack the thyroid gland over a period of a few years until it is eventually totally destroyed.
Maybe you can understand now that it is important to know whether you have Hashimoto’s so that the underlying cause can be addressed. Your GP will normally only test for TSH or T4 but it is of vital importance to test all the thyroid hormones to get a clear picture. These tests will include the following:
Once your testing has been done your doctor will be able to see clearly whether you have an autoimmunity or not.
If your TSH is high it means that your brain is sending signals to the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone since it is detecting there is not enough of this hormone circulating in the body for proper functioning.
T3 and T4 can give us a clue whether you have enough circulating hormones in your blood and if you have enough of T3 which is your more metabolically active hormone.
Thyroid antibodies with clearly show whether you have auto immunity in your thyroid.
Reverse T3 can be described as the brakes of the thyroid gland and T3 the fuel. This means that T3 will stimulate metabolism and reverse T3 will slow the metabolism. This can often happen during periods where the body is under stress, physically or mentally.
When blood tests do not indicate any auto immunity the thyroid might just be lacking building blocks to produce thyroid hormones and this can be supplemented to ensure optimal functioning.
Hashimoto’s disease can occur due to various causes. Some of these causes are:
The golden rule when it comes to your thyroid health is not to just assume that taking a thyroid replacement like Eltroxin will solve the problem. Work together with a practitioner to try and find the cause, treat it and reverse the auto immunity.
Your thyroid is integral for your body function and without thyroid hormones a person will not be able to survive. It dictates your breathing, heart rate, central and peripheral nervous system, body weight, muscle strength, menstrual cycle, body temperature, cholesterol levels and much more. Therefore, treat it with respect, cherish it and make sure that you have a happy thyroid!!
For any questions please contact
DR MARIKE DE KLERK
NATUROPATHIC HEALTH CENTRE
012 460 9216