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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
By Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ).
Estrogen dominance refers to an imbalance in the ratio of the female hormones estrogen versus progesterone. This ratio is crucial considering estrogen acts as an 'on switch' while progesterone acts as the 'off switch' for many processes in our body. An imbalance in this ratio is responsible for chronic diseases including, but not limited to endometriosis, uterine fibroids, endometrial and breast cancer as well as fibrocystic breast disease.
Estrogen dominance can be caused by three mechanisms:
Excessive production of estrogen in the body,
Activation of estrogen receptors from exogenous estrogen such as xenoestrogen, and
Lower than normal levels of progesterone.
Estrogen dominance can be determined by a serum estrogen and progesterone blood test, however these results are not always accurate and a diagnosis can be made based on the clinical picture.
Here are 10 signs of estrogen dominance
Weight gain and difficulty loosing weight
Difficulty conceiving (especially in the presence of low progesterone)
Headaches and migraines
Excessive PMS symptoms
Bloating of the stomach
Anxiety and depression
Decreased libido and sex drive
Fatigue and decreased energy
Here are 5 diet and lifestyle changes to implement to help reduce estrogen dominance:
Eat at last 5 - 7 servings of vegetables each day. Include raw and cooked vegetables and plenty of cruciferous and allium vegetables. Vegetables help rewire your biochemical pathways and assists in estrogen metabolism.
Avoid plastic containers. This includes water containers and food packaged in plastic.
Plastic is a rich source of xenoestrogens.
Eat organic produce and free range reared live stock. This helps reduce exposure to growth hormones and pesticides that contribute to estrogen dominance.
Include plenty of fiber including insoluble fiber in your diet. Fiber helps facilitate healthy metabolism of estrogen.
Use organic skin care products. What you put in your body is just as important as what you put on your body. Non organic skin care products contain products that become xenoestrogens when absorbed through the skin.
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:
By Dr. Chantell Groenewald M. Tech Hom (UJ)
What is infertility.
Infertility is defined as not conceiving or carrying an infant full term after having regular unprotected sex for at least 12 months. According to Parent24, an estimated 15-20% of couples in South Africa struggle with infertility.
Causes of infertility in women:
Factors that play a crucial role in creating a neighbourhood conducive to conceiving include:
“Parenting begins the moment you make any conscious effort to care for your own health in preparation for enhancing your child’s conception.” Carista Luminare-Rosen
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M.Tech Hom UJ)
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is our body’s immune reaction following damage to tissue, to localize and eliminate the injury or infection. Acute inflammation has many triggers including:
This acute response is crucial to life, however when inflammation become chronic then it negatively impacts our health. Chronic inflammation happens when the triggering substance is not entirely eliminated, this can include but is not limited to:
Chronic inflammation damages healthy tissue. Most adults have chronic inflammation that goes undetected by physicians, fuelling disease. Research suggest that chronic inflammation either promotes or is the direct cause of many diseases including:
What role do our genes play in inflammation?
Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFA) and Interleukin-1 (IL-1) play a key role in the regulation of inflammation. Some individuals have variations in their nucleotide base pairs that favours the expression of IL-6, IL-1 and TNFA which in turn promotes inflammation. While most underlying causes of inflammation can be addressed, we cannot change our genes, so these individuals need to take special care in terms of diet and lifestyle interventions to combat inflammation.
What are the special investigations to identify inflammation?
Article by Dr. Chantell Groenewald M. Tech Hom (UJ)
Dr Marike de Klerk M.Tech Hom (UJ)
Want to be the best you can be? Worried about your health as you get older? Sick and tired of being sick and tired?
Have your genetics tested.
More people are aware of the fact that being healthy does not just come naturally.
But where should you start?
Being healthy might all come down to your genes.
DNA Alysis, a company specializing in genetic testing, now collaborates with your holistic practitioner to give you insight into your genetic make-up. A simple cheek swab is all that is required. It is sent to the laboratory, analysed, results are sent back to your doctor for interpretation and all your health secrets are revealed.
The test only considers those genetic factors that can be modified through appropriate interventions. We cannot change our genes, but we can change the manner in which the genes are expressed and we can implement diet and lifestyle modifications to minimize the risks that comes with genetic mutations.
Doing this genetic test is the first step in taking more responsibility for your own health and being proactive in maintaining good health and addressing health concerns.
Each individual is unique with a unique genetic make-up, and therefore a one-size-fits-all approach is foolish. A vast array of chronic diseases are emerging and most of them are preventable. Genetic tests can serve as the added incentive one needs to adopt for a healthy lifestyle.
A genetic test provides you with the information that stays with you for the rest of your life and puts the power into your hands to make the necessary lifestyle modifications to achieve your optimal health outcome.
Tests available are:
Contact us to book your DNA Analysis tests.
email@example.com or call us on 012 460 9216/7/8
SPECIAL OFFER FOR APRIL AND MAY
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. Chantell Groenewald
M. Tech Hom (UJ)
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common hormonal disorder affecting women of child bearing age. It is a chronic disease affecting the functioning of the ovaries causing excessive male hormones to be secreted and is characterized by:
What causes of PCOS?
The cause for PCOS is poorly understood, but genetic and environmental factors seem to play an important role. There is a hormonal dysregulation at play, which includes
What are the diagnostic criteria for PCOS?
The current diagnostic criteria for PCOS is at least two of the three following characteristics:
What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?
The signs and symptoms of PCOS varies from one woman to the next. Here is a list of the most common symptoms:
What are the natural treatment protocols for PCOS?
1. Losing weight
This is vital in controlling insulin sensitivity, reversing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome (triad of elevated insulin, cholesterol and blood pressure) and will aid in controlling the production of excess androgens by the ovaries. A carefully selected diet may assist in weight loss. There are various options including low carbohydrate, intermittent fasting, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic eating programs to choose from. The correct eating plan can reduce inflammation and help control insulin levels and manage dysregulation of hormones.
2. Controlling stress
Excess cortisol produced by the adrenal glands during periods of high stress has a profound effect on our hormones. Long term expose to higher than normal levels of cortisol translate into insulin resistance, weight gain and hormonal imbalances. Getting enough sleep is also vitally important in regulating cortisol levels.
There are various supplements that can aid in controlling blood sugar, reducing excess androgen production and balancing female hormones. A qualified practitioner can prescribe the correct supplements to help manage each individual case. Some supplements that have been suggested to benefit cases of PCOS include:
I.Chaste Tree: May be beneficial in regulating erratic ovulation, acne, oligomennorrhoea and amenorrhoea, ovarian cysts and assist in sleep maintenance.
II.Inositol: specifically, myo-inositol, is a vitamin like substance found in many plants and produced in our bodies. There are various studies that illustrates the beneficial effects of myo-inositol in the treatment of PCOS.
III.Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency effects an estimated 60-70% of people. The only way to test if you are vitamin D deficient is by doing a blood test (supplementing without confirmed deficiency is dangerous and should be done under the supervision of a primary health care physician). Vit D plays an important role in maturation of eggs and ovulation.
IV.Folic acid, omega 3, calcium, magnesium, zinc, n-acetylcysteine and chromium are a group of supplements that may be beneficial in the treatment of PCOS.
There are various case studies that demonstrates the beneficial effects of specific homeopathic remedies to aid in the treatment of PCOS. Following a consultation, a homeopath can prescribe a remedy that suites each individual case.
Moderate exercise assists in both stress management and weight loss, which aids in controlling cortisol as well as insulin levels.
PCOS is a silent disorder with an estimated 50% of woman being not being diagnosed correctly. The potential long-term health risks of PCOS include sleep apnoea, endometrial cancer, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiometabolic disease and more. There are several ways to naturally balance our hormones and reverse the effects of PCOS
By Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
What are Fibroids?
Fibroids, also known as uterine myomas or leiomyomas, are the most common benign (non-cancerous) tumours of the female reproductive system with an estimated 80% of women being affected by the age of 50. Fibroids are abnormal uterine growths composed of smooth muscle cells and fibrotic tissue that can range in size from pea size to the size of a grapefruit. These fibroids may be asymptomatic in some women while causing severe menstrual issues for others and the leading indication for a hysterectomy.
There are different types of fibroids classified according to their location, these include:
• Intramural fibroids: Situated within the muscular wall of the uterus,
• Subserosal fibroids: Located on the outside of the uterus called the serosa,
• Pedunculated fibroids: A subserosal tumour that develops a stem,
• Submucosal fibroids: These fibroids grow in the middle muscular layer of the uterus called the myometrium, and
• Cervical Fibroids: These fibroids take root at the cervix.
What causes Fibroids?
The exact cause of fibroids is unknown; however, their growth is dependant on the steroid hormones Oestrogen and Progesterone and specific growth factors.
Some risk factors for the development of uterine fibroids include:
• Genetics: a family history of fibroids
• Race: Woman of African descent are at a higher risk of developing fibroids
• Puberty: Fibroids have not been observed in girls before their first menses
• Age: Premenopausal woman are exposed to elevated levels of oestrogen for prolonged periods of time
• Consumption of alcohol
• High blood pressure
• Being overweight or obese
Symptoms of Fibroids?
Fibroids can often go unnoticed without symptoms. Symptoms vary depending on the size, number and location of the fibroid or fibroids and include:
• Heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding, or bleeding between periods;
• Dysmenorrhea (painful periods);
• Pelvic and lower back pain;
• Painful intercourse;
• Difficulty conceiving;
• Urinary frequency; and
• Abdominal distention.
How are Fibroids diagnosed?
Fibroids are usually diagnosed during a routine pelvic examination. A transvaginal ultrasound or a pelvic MRI is used to confirm the diagnosis.
What are the natural treatment options for Fibroids?
Until recently large or multiple fibroids were removed surgically via a myomectomy and in severe cases a hysterectomy is performed. There are also several minimally invasive treatment protocols which include forced ultrasound surgery which uses high frequency sound waves to ablate the fibroids, cryomyolisis, endometrial ablation and uterine artery embolization. These treatment protocols are effective in removing current fibroids, but it does not address the mechanism of the fibroid growth and often fibroids return.
To naturally treat fibroids, it is important to address the mechanism of fibroid growth and this is focussed on addressing the elevated levels of oestrogen.
5 Tips to treat fibroids naturally:
1. Eliminate environmental xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens are substances that have a hormone like action on the body which are used in but not limited to food production, pesticides, food packaging production and cosmetics. Here are some tips to reduce exposure to xenoestrogens:
• Choose cosmetics and toiletries that do not contain parabens
• Choose organic veggies that have not been exposed to pesticides
• Choose animal products that have been reared without any growth hormones or routine antibiotics
• Stay away from foods packaged in disposable plastic
High fat non-organic processed meat like hamburger patties containing unhealthy saturated and trans-fats should be avoided at all costs
• Rather use a glass water bottle than a plastic water bottle.
2. Losing weight
Fat cells can act as endocrine glands and secrete oestrogen. Although these levels might not be very high it is still significant enough to raise blood levels of oestrogen, especially in obese woman. Weight loss will also assist in not only decreasing insulin resistance which is important for optimal ovarian function but also in regulating blood pressure which is important in preventing uterine fibroids. A few tips on an effective diet program to combat fibroids include:
• Foods high in oestrogens such as soy and commercially raised animal products should be avoided
• Inflammatory foods should be eliminated from the diet, this includes foods such as diary, wheat, processed foods, sugar etc.
• Avoid fresh produce that was not organically grown seeing as pesticides, herbacides, synthetic fertilizers and food preservatives contain xenoestorgens that high jack oestrogen receptors in the body and further exacerbates oestrogen dominance.
3. Detox the liver and heal the gut
The liver is responsible for metabolising oestrogen. If the liver is not functioning optimally, high levels of oestrogen will further exacerbate oestrogen dominance. There are various supplements including Chedlidonium, Taraxicum and Carduus Marianus, that may be beneficial in supporting liver function.
After oestrogen has been metabolised by the liver, it is excreted via the gut. Leaky gut syndrome causes an up regulation of an enzyme called B-glucuronidase which breaks up bound oestrogen to be excreted and allows these smaller particles to be re absorbed into the system. A gut cleanse diet is essential in the healthy functioning of our hormonal system.
4. Supplements & Herbal treatment
Supplements that may be recommended by a qualified physician include:
• Chaste tree: Chaste tree may be beneficial in reducing oestrogen dominance by balancing out the oestrogen vs progesterone ratio of the menstrual cycle,
• Progesterone cream: Can be considered under the supervision of your health care practitioner,
• Omega 3 fatty acid: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties,
• B vitamins: To balance hormone levels,
• Liver support: A well formulated herbal mixture to help facilitate phase 1 and 2 detoxification of the liver and support the healthy functioning of the liver,
• Indole 3 carbinol is an antioxidant that helps eliminate excess oestrogen from the body.
There are several homeopathic remedies indicated for the treatment of fibroids. The correct remedy is chosen based on each individual case. Studies suggest that a thorough case taking based on the symptom picture will lead to a similimum prescription to aid in shrinking uterine fibroids.
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald M. Tech Hom (UJ)
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is an oestrogen-mediated inflammatory disease that occurs when tissue that lines the inside of your uterus (endometrium) is found on other organs outside the uterus. The endometrial tissue can be limited to the pelvic cavity, most commonly involving the:
Less commonly it may involve the:
Endometrial tissue can spread beyond the pelvic organs including the lungs as well as the membranes covering the lungs and heart. This functioning extra-uterine endometrial patches responds cyclically to menstrual hormones, it thickens, breaks down and bleeds just like the endometrium lining the uterus often causing painful periods and infertility. The blood associated with the extra uterine endometrial tissue breaking down is trapped within the pelvic cavity causing:
What causes of Endometriosis?
The generally accepted hypothesis for the cause of endometriosis is retrograde flow of menstrual tissue through the fallopian tubes which is then inserted in ectopic sites in the pelvis and less commonly outside the pelvic cavity. An estimated 90% of woman experience retrograde flow, hence why a genetic predisposition has been postulated for the survival and growth of this ectopic endometrial tissue.
What are the diagnostic criteria for Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is diagnosed in an estimated 25-50 % of women who suffer from infertility and 75-80% of woman who suffer from chronic pelvic pain. Endometriosis can only be diagnosed through a pelvic laparoscopy (surgically inserted viewing tube into the pelvic cavity) as well as a biopsy of suspected ectopic endometrial tissue. An estimated 1-7 % of women who are asymptomatic will be diagnosed with endometriosis during unrelated pelvic surgery.
What are the signs and symptoms of Endometriosis?
The main symptom of endometriosis is chronic pelvic pain which is often worse just before and during menses. Another leading symptom is infertility, with an estimated 20-50% of infertile women being affected. Symptoms may vary depending on where the ectopic tissue has implanted, this includes:
What are the natural treatment protocols for Endometriosis?
To fully understand the treatment protocols that may assist in the symptomatic treatment of endometriosis, it is important to understand that ectopic endometrial tissue responds to normal cyclical menstrual hormones. Ectopic endometrial tissue however differs from the normal endometrium lining in that it exhibits variations in gene expressions that undergoes pathological changes which is partly responsible for the pain and structural changes associated with endometriosis. One such gene expression variation explains the oestrogen dominance observed in endometriosis. Keeping this is mind, let us take a closer look at some of the natural treatment protocols for endometriosis:
1. Losing weight
Fat cells can act as endocrine glands and secrete oestrogen. Although these levels might not be very high it is still significant enough to raise blood levels of oestrogen, especially in obese woman. Weight loss will also assist in decreasing insulin resistance which is important for optimal ovarian function. A few tips on an effective diet program to combat endometriosis include:
2. Detox the liver and heal your gut
The liver is responsible for metabolising oestrogen. If the liver is not functioning optimally, high levels of oestrogen will further exacerbate oestrogen dominance. There are various supplements including Chedlidonium, Taraxicum and Carduus Marianus, that may be beneficial in supporting liver function.
After oestrogen has been metabolised by the liver, it is excreted via the gut. Leaky gut syndrome causes an up regulation of an enzyme called B-glucuronidase which breaks up bound oestrogen to be excreted and allows these smaller particles to be re-absorbed into the system. A gut cleanse diet is essential in the healthy functioning of our hormonal system.
3. Supplements & Herbal treatment
Supplements that may be recommended by a qualified physician include:
There are several homeopathic remedies indicated for the treatment of endometriosis. The correct remedy is chosen based on each individual case. Studies suggest that a thorough case taking based on the symptom picture will lead to a similimum prescription to aid in the treatment of endometriosis.
5. Environmental factors
Environmental factors include toxins that have a hormone like action on the body. These xenoestrogens are used in but not limited to food production, pesticides, food packaging production and cosmetics. Here are some tips to reduce exposure to xenoestrogens:
Exercise has a dual purpose, it helps to reduce excess cortisol and assists in weight loss. Both have hugely beneficial effects in reducing oestrogen dominance.
Endometriosis can have little to no symptoms in some women while the disease can have debilitating effects in others. Infertility, subfertility and chronic pelvic pain being the leading symptoms of the disease. Studies have shown women who suffer from endometriosis are at a higher risk of developing cancer, specifically ovarian cancer. This is a disease that responds well to natural and alternative treatment. You are the first step to a healthier you.
“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.” Hippocrates
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!
By: Dr Chantell Groenewald (M.Tech Hom UJ)
Menopause marks one year after a woman has had her last menstrual period and the end of her fertile years. Menopause is NOT A DISEASE, it is a natural change in a women’s body to mark the end of her fertile years just as menarche was a natural process at the start of her fertile years. Each woman is born with x amount of eggs at birth, menopause marks the end of the growth, development and release of these eggs by the ovaries which is also associated with a sharp decline in the secretion of the female hormone oestrogen.
Perimenopause refers to the period before a woman enters menopause and usually starts in your 40’s. This can happen several years before menopause (usually lasting about 4 years) and is characterised by the gradual decline in the production of oestrogen and progesterone by the ovaries as well as irregular periods.
Symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause include:
Natural treatment to help alleviate the severity of the symptoms associated with menopause:
1. Meditation and breathing exercises
According to the North American Menopause Society, paced breathing exercises and meditation has been shown to decrease the severity and frequency of hot flushes. These techniques can be practiced daily as part of your regular daily routine. There is an abundance of websites available online dedicated to the practice of meditation and paced breathing exercises.
Eat foods that help promote healthy hormone levels. These include:
3. Weight loss
Maintaining a healthy weight plays a very important role in the healthy production of our hormones and several studies suggest that woman who are over weight or obese can alleviate the severity of hot flushes and night sweats by losing weight. A healthy weight also assists in protecting woman from the heart disease associated with menopause.
There are several well indicated homeopathic remedies that can assist in the alleviation of the unwanted symptoms of menopause. Choosing a carefully selected remedy that fits your menopause picture is key to successfully treating symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings and depression.
Homeopathy is a safe and effective treatment for menopause symptoms that does not carry the cancer risks associated with hormone replacement therapy, synthetic or otherwise.
Dr. Chantell Groenewald
M. Tech Hom (UJ)
What are the functions of our Adrenal Glands?
Our adrenal glands (or suprarenal glands) sits on top of our kidneys and acts as an endocrine gland which simply means it is responsible for the secretion of various hormones. One of the hormones secreted by the adrenal glands is the steroid hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is often referred to as the ‘stress hormone’ due to the role it plays in the fight and flight reaction which is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). During a stress response, the adrenal glands are signalled via the HPA axis to secrete cortisol which in turn stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism i.e gluconeogenesis (process by which the level of glucose in the blood stream is increased). This response supplies the body with ‘fast’ energy to run away or fight during the fight or flight response. Cortisol is also responsible for inhibiting the functions of various other non-essential bodily functions during the fight or flight response. Once the fight or flight response is over, cortisol levels return to normal and systems functions are restored to normal.
The role cortisol plays in the fight and flight response is well known, however the effects of cortisol in our day to day functioning is far reaching. Cortisol levels start to increase in the early hours of the morning and is responsible for waking us up and directing the resources of the body to where it is most needed and then decreases again at night preparing us for sleep and maintenance functions in the body. Cortisol plays an important role in our body’s overall functioning and well-being. The systemic effects of cortisol include:
Chronic stress is not good. Unlike an acute stress response like running away from a bear, the situation does not resolve and we are chronically exposed to elevated levels of cortisol that is not eliminated from our system. Prolonged stress and exposure to higher than normal cortisol levels have adverse effects on our health for two reasons.
Some of the systemic symptoms associated with prolonged exposure to higher than normal cortisol levels include:
What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue refers to the period following prolonged periods of stress where your cortisol stores become depleted following prolonged periods of higher than normal cortisol production. There are two phases at play here:
How is adrenal fatigue diagnosed?
Often a practitioner will make a clinical diagnosis based on your symptom picture and personal history. As previously mentioned adrenal fatigue cannot be diagnosed with a blood test. The ranges for serum cortisol levels are very wide and unless there is a primary pituitary insufficiency as with Addison disease, the blood serum levels will be within normal limits. A more accurate test to determine if there is a dysfunction of the adrenal glands production and secretion of cortisol is a salivary cortisol tests. This measures cortisol levels during three key intervals during the night and day to determine if your cortisol levels are reacting according to the normal circadian rhythm (ie high levels in the morning and low levels at night).
5 Changes to make to help manage chronic stress and adrenal fatigue.
1. Detox your gut
An unhealthy gut is a continuous source of inflammation. Inflammation triggers the release of cortisol for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can further exacerbate the chronic low grade stress response. Heal your leaky gut by destroying the bad bacteria, healing the gut lining and recolonizing with the good bacteria.
2. Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises
There is sufficient research that shows the calming effects of meditation, yoga and breathing exercises. This is crucial especially if we are continuously exposed to chronic low level stress. By practising relaxation techniques we over ride the bodies stress response and force our adrenal glands to regulate the secretion of cortisol.
3. Consider adaptogens to regulate the function of the adrenal glands
Under the supervision of a qualified physician, adaptogens such as Ashwaganda may be prescribed that function by regulating the secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands.
4. Get enough sleep
Two hours of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is what is needed to ‘shampoo our brain’ each night. This term coined by Dr. Sara Gottfried MD in the states so adequately describes why we need to get enough sleep at night. Research suggests we need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, of which 2 hours has to be deep or REM sleep. Research suggests that even partial sleep deprivation affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis causing higher than normal cortisol secretion by the adrenal glands.
5. Cut the stimulates and clean up your diet:
Stimulants such as caffeine, tobacco and sugar fuels adrenal overproduction of cortisol. Most people who suffer from chronic stress tend to rely heavily on stimulants to get them through the day. This unfortunately will only drain your already taxed adrenal glands. There are various detox, elimination and cleanse diets that will help you cut out all the stimulants and help you feel healthier and more energized than ever by helping you to get the necessary nutrition from your food. People often underestimate the power of healthy eating and I often see patients revived and energised from something as simple as changing their diet. Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food”.
(By Dr. Chantell Groenewald M. Tech Hom UJ)
What is a food intolerance?
A food intolerance refers to a hypersensitivity reaction to specific foods vs a food allergy which is an IgE immune mediated allergic reaction. Symptoms associated with food intolerances include but is not limited to:
What causes food intolerances?
There are several reasons that you may have a hypersensitivity reaction to specific foods, which we will discuss now. Before we do, it is important to remember that the health of our gut plays a vital role in protecting us from food intolerances. The role of our digestive tract is to form a barrier between the outside of our gut and foods that we ingest. Food is broken down and molecules are selectively transported across the gut barrier. When this gut barrier is damaged (leaky gut syndrome), unwanted molecules escape into our bloodstream often causing an inflammatory reaction. This adverse reaction is not necessarily because of a food intolerance to that specific food but rather because a substance has entered the bloodstream where should not have.
There are several other structural abnormalities as well as bacterial overgrowth or parasitic infections which can contribute to or aggravate food intolerance reactions to specific foods. In the absence of any of the above-mentioned issues, specific foods contain various substances which you can react to causing a food intolerance. This includes naturally occurring substances such as amine containing foods as well as substances added to foods such as additives or preservatives. These substances include but are NOT limited to:
Another cause of food intolerance can occur when our digestive tract lacks specific enzymes needed to break down food substances. Lactose intolerance is the best example of such a food intolerance. In the absence of the enzyme lactase, lactose found in dairy products cannot be broken down by our digestive tract, causing abdominal discomfort.
What are some of the most common food intolerances?
How to treat symptoms associated with food intolerances?
The first step to treating food intolerances is to identify which foods you are sensitive to. This can be done via a food intolerance test. These foods should then be avoided for several weeks to months and then reintroduced in a specific manner as part of a food elimination diet. Healing the gut with a gut cleanse diet, insures that toxic food reactions due to leaky gut syndrome is also addressed and eliminates chronic gut inflammation which further exacerbates food intolerances and food allergies.
What is a food Intolerance test?
There are various tests available to identify food intolerances. The Nutrismart food intolerance rapid test is based on an IgG4 reaction to food substances. It tests 56 of the most common food allergens with 1 drop of blood and you will have your results within 30 minutes.
For more information on the Nutrismart food intolerance rapid test, a food elimination and gut cleanse diet, please contact The Naturopathic Health Care Center for more information.
A series on female health, by Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
Welcome to this series on female hormonal health, where we will focus on female hormones, and the health issues associated with dysregulation of these hormones.
This week let us start by focusing on the female hormonal system.
Female Hormonal Health
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers secreted by a special group of specialized cells called endocrine glands. Hormones function to initiate, coordinate or to control:
To illustrate the previous statement, let us look at the role of oestrogen, in the absorption of calcium from the digestive tract and the maintenance of calcium within the skeleton. Post-menopausal women suffer from a natural case of decreased oestrogen. This leads to a decrease in the amount of calcium absorbed in our bones. Osteopenia is the result of decreased calcium in our bones which causes brittle bones and if left unchecked, will eventually lead to osteoporosis. This is only one example of the effects of the above-mentioned hormones in the daily functioning of our bodily systems.
What causes a dysregulation in female hormones?
There are several factors that play a role, these include:
What are some of the signs and symptoms of female hormonal dysregulation?
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
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(By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald M.Tech Hom UJ)
What is homeopathic constitutional prescribing?
Homeopathic constitutional prescribing, refers to a holistic form of treatment, aimed at treating a patient as a whole. Every individual, has a unique constitutional remedy that suites their personality. This remedy, will be chosen by your homeopath, after careful assessment of each individual’s mental, emotional and physical state. Information that is considered when choosing a constitutional remedy includes:
Why choose constitutional prescribing for your child?
That is easy. Children are subject to continuous growth and development. As they reach one milestone, their little bodies start preparing for the next. A carefully selected remedy can assist with issues such as:
Join me, in this five-week series, as we take an in-depth look at five of the most common constitutional remedy types in paediatrics. When discussing these remedies, it is important to remember that your child will probably not exhibit all the traits of a specific remedy, but should fit the general constitutional type picture depicted. Let us start this series with Calcarea Carbonica constitutional remedy picture. A child may fit more or less of the criteria based on their level of health and emotional well-being.
Calcarea Carbonica (Calc Carb)
KEY: Eczema, Sour discharges, Delayed milestones (crawling, walking, teething), Developmental difficulties, Constant runny nose, Frequent middle ear infection, Cradle cap, Constipation, Cold with perspiration on the head
The Calc carb personality picture of a child is one of a strong willed, independent and hard-working nature, that requires structure and routine. These children often have delayed developmental milestones, which can be due to their own deliberate slowing down of the process, to more carefully assimilate and take in new information. These are the “slow and steady wins the race” type of children. They desire structure and routine and can become very difficult if plans suddenly change, or if they are interrupted or forced to stop a task before completion. Often perceived as serious, quiet and even loners. They may become sad and withdrawn. Characteristically there are many fears which include the dark, insects, animals, ghosts and monsters. There may be a tendency to become fascinated with the supernatural, or a general foreboding that something bad will happen. Some of their general ailments include:
These are some of the most important characteristics of Calc Carb children, but there are many more features not discussed above. Again, it is important to remember that a child who exhibits most of these characteristics is most likely a Calc carb constitutionally. How much of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms a child exhibits, also depends on if the child is in a healthy Calc carb state or suffering from an acute or chronic condition. A child may also change constitutions with age, but that is a discussion for another day.
If you would like to find out more about constitutional prescribing or the benefits thereof, please feel free to contact The Naturopathic Health Care Centre. I am looking forward to discussing our next homoeopathic constitutional type, Sulpher, in next week’s article.
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)
firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 012 460 9216/7/8
...And when should you use antibiotics and when not?
WHEN TO USE AN ANTIBIOTIC AND WHEN NOT
In order to understand this, an explanation of some terms are necessary.
A virus is smaller than a bacteria and is enclosed in a protective coating, so it is more difficult to kill. A virus need a living host to reproduce in, otherwise it cannot survive. In contrast a bacteria can reproduce and live on inanimate objects like doorknobs or be transferred via contaminated water or secretions. Viruses can only be carried in human secretions from one person to another.
The only way to kill a virus is via the body’s own innate immune system. Antibiotics only kill bacteria and have absolutely no effect on a virus.
Antibiotics will therefore be of no use in the following diseases:
Please contact us with your questions as well as effective and safe treatment and prevention of winter diseases.
Dr Marike de Klerk
M.Tech Hom (UJ)
By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald (M. Tech Hom UJ)
After 10 months of anticipation, the day finally arrives. You get to hold your new-born baby for the first time. You are so overcome by emotion, so totally in love with this little being, you feel your heart might burst with happiness. You get to go home, and life with your little miracle begins. The first few days’ worth of awe and excitement starts to wear off, as you try to settle back into your life before your little one (life b.c. - before child). By now, the sleep deprivation starts to set in, and the rose-tinted glasses start to come off. You slowly start wondering, who in their right mind, would send a baby home with you...without supervisor!
You realize you have NO idea what you are doing, and the effects of the sleep deprivation takes an even further toll on you. By now, your hormones are flying the coop, you probably realise you are ill equipped for this parenting thing, you feel 100% overwhelmed, you pretty much want to give the baby back and feel like the worst parent in the world because of it.
You have barely taken a shower, nor managed to drink half a cup of ice cold coffee, eaten half a can of cold soup in divided efforts to get some food into your body. You look like death warmed up, you smell, you are covered in baby vomit and you have baby poop under your finger nails. The most basic task of going to the loo, making dinner, taking a shower, doing laundry and getting dressed, becomes a frantic scramble with zero outcome, because you can't put the baby down for two seconds, or they scream.
By the time your spouse gets home, you basically throw the baby at them, and run to take a wee, shower, anything, that does not involve holding a baby. Three seconds of peace and quiet. But alas, baby starts crying, and despite your spouses’ best efforts to help, baby ends up back in your arms half way through whatever you were trying to do. It finally boils down to you weeping with the baby. And that, is just the day. You start fearing night time, because that is when the screaming begins, and if you are lucky, you will get about two hours of interrupted sleep that night, finally sitting with baby on your chest, praying for morning to come.
To add further insult to injury, you feel like the worst parent ever, wrought with guilt, because you pretty much hate all of this, and you find yourself wishing you could have your old life back. Then on top of everything else, you have post-partum hormones, bouncing off the walls, pushing you over the edge.
It was only after I joined a mommies group, who spoke open and honestly, about what the first few months of motherhood felt like to them, that I started to realize, I was not alone. I am not a bad parent, it is normal to feel totally overwhelmed and ill equipped. Wanting to throw the baby out the window once or twice is normal too. No one tells you how hard it is going to be going in, or maybe they do, but you have zero frame of reference, so you are totally unable to compute the magnitude of what they are saying. The only way to know, really know what it feels like, is to live through it, and nothing and no one can prepare you for it, the only way out, is through.
Finding a group of like minded new mommies, all with the same fears and anxieties, the same doubts and worries, literally saved my life. But many women do not have the opportunity to be surrounded by a such a support network. I often see new mother's in my practice, with dark circles under their eyes, the desperate expression on their faces, the oily hair and pale faces. They try to act 'normal' for two first few minutes (because, surely they are supposed to love this, and any other feelings makes them feel ashamed), then baby starts crying, and I see their shoulders drop. 'Go ahead and feed them, I say'. And as they settle baby on the breast, I smile and say, 'what you are feeling is totally normal'. I can see the tiniest of flicker of hope, as I talk them through the first three months of life with a new born and what to expect, and they sob, because they thought they were awful for feeling totally overwhelmed. Although you love this little being with everything in you, you are not coping and that is okay.
Postpartum depression does not affect everyone, and there are many women that flourish during this time, everything seems easy and they are back in their nine-inch heels with perfect hair and make-up within two weeks…making you feel even more inadequate and like a total failure as a mother. For the rest of us, non-nine-inch heels type of gals, with the reflux baby or the colic baby, let us take a closer look at baby blues and post-partum depression (PPD).
Baby Blues vs Post-Partum Depression
All of the above mentioned, can be totally normal, this phase, commonly referred to as Baby Blues, is part of the transitionary phase we go through the first couple of days to one or two weeks after baby is born. The signs and symptoms of baby blues include:
Baby Blues differs from PPD (Post-partum depression) in that the symptoms only lasts a few days to weeks after baby is born, and then improves as time goes by. You should feel better after a week or two, if however, you notice your symptoms worsening after the initial two-week period, you might be suffering from PPD
PPD is a serious mental disease and should be treated immediately by a health care professional. Signs and symptoms of PPD include the following:
All the above symptoms can be normal if experienced for only a brief period. We all feel irritable or sad sometimes, we all suffer from anxiety or feel overwhelmed at times; however, these feelings are fleeting. When your feelings of inadequacy, guilt, sadness etc remains excessive and for prolonged periods of time, it is time to seek urgent medical attention.
How can Homeopathy help for Baby Blues and Post- Partum Depression?
Homeopathy works based on ‘like cures like’. If a remedy can produce a symptom picture when administered to a healthy individual, then it should cure the same symptom picture in an unhealthy patient. There are several homeopathic remedies used to treat PPD. Each person is treated as an individual, therefor, after an extensive case taking is performed, your Homeopath will choose a remedy based on your individual needs and your specific symptom picture. Sepia 200 is one such remedy used to treat baby blues and PPD, with the following symptom picture:
This is only one example of several homeopathic remedies, that might fit your symptom picture. Help is out there, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Do not suffer in silence, if you suspect you might be suffering from PPD, please contact your health care professional to make an appointment as soon as possible. You are not alone, PPD effects 1/5 woman and is a debilitating condition, which is 100% treatable.
I will leave you with my five tips for mothers with a new born.