Featured Articles

Follow us on Facebook for more updates.

Sitting Can Cause Death

On average, how many hours a day do you spend sitting…with no breaks? One hour? Two hours? Three…or more?

Long ago, our ancestors spent much of their time on the move, hunting and gathering to serve their basic needs. Obviously, the balance between movement and fuel has shifted dramatically over time. Technology is incredible, but it has revolutionized our lives…sometimes in ways not so helpful to our health…

Unlike our ancestors, we no longer search for food. Instead, we search for time, spending hours each day hunched over a keyboard. On an average day, many of us are likely sitting more than we are moving and consuming more calories than we are burning. Many of us regularly put in eight-hour workdays seated at a desk – sometimes even more! We then go home and unwind on the couch, binge-watching our favourite shows, mentally exhausted but physically not much different than we started our day. The hours begin to add up.

Maybe we make a little time to fit in some exercise each day; however, with more conveniences at our fingertips, it’s simply reality that we can do a lot more while moving a lot less. The longer we sit, the more our bodies begin to feel tight, tired, and sore. It’s clear that too much sitting isn’t good for us. But did you know that it can even lead to earlier mortality?

Sitting and Premature Death

That’s right…too much sitting can kill you! In fact, some are saying that “sitting is the new smoking” because its impact is so significant. According to recent research from the Journal of the American Heart Association, prolonged sitting presents health risks similar to those of smoking – heart disease, lung cancer, and diabetes. It also increases premature death by a whopping 50 percent! Even more surprising, too much sitting increases your risk for an early death regardless of your fitness level or other lifestyle habits.Sittting

But sitting isn’t just bad for your heart or metabolism; it is also bad for your brain! Researchers at the University of California have discovered a connection between sedentary behaviour and thinning regions in the brain that is critical to new memory formation.

So, what if your job requires you to be at a desk, all day, every day? Are you supposed to quit? Well, of course, that’s not practical. But here are a few simple things you can do to ensure that you keep your body moving regularly…towards a longer, healthier life.

Tips to Sit Less & Live Longer

  • Fit in Exercise Whenever Possible

Bottom line, the more frequently you work out, the more you reduce your risk of premature death. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. While exercising 10 minutes or more at a time is ideal, shorter but frequent bursts of exercise, like taking the stairs, can also be an excellent way to keep active.

  • Move Every 30 Minutes

Research shows that people who sit for less than 30 minutes at a time have the lowest risk of early death. Meetings and deadlines don’t always offer the freedom to move, but ideally, you don’t want to be sitting for any longer than three hours at a time. Setting a timer on your phone can be a helpful reminder to pause regularly for “movement breaks.”

  • Use a Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers are an effective way to ensure you’re getting enough activity in your day. As health and fitness wearables grow in popularity, there is an increasing number of options available for every budget and lifestyle. There are also a wide variety of exercise apps out there to track your progress and monitor your success with motivational milestones to keep you moving.

  • Try a Standing Desk

As awareness grows about the health concerns associated with chronic and prolonged sitting, more companies have already begun re-examining ways they can improve employee wellness. In some environments, adjustable desks are offered to provide workers with opportunities to stand instead of sitting if they so choose. If a standing desk is not an option for you, try moving your laptop to a tall counter or table as a means to squeeze in more standing.  

  • Opt for Less Convenience

We live in a world of many technological conveniences, and yet, we take so many of them for granted — and in some cases to our detriment. Instead, opt for “less convenient” choices in your day. Walk over and have a conversation with your colleague instead of sending an email. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Bike to work instead of drive. Small activities can make a significant impact!

Do you know you spend excessive amounts of time sitting? Do you experience any health problems that you think could be related to a sedentary lifestyle? Let’s chat and get to the root of your health issues. Book an appointment with our clinic, and together we will find ways to improve your overall health and well-being so that you can live your life to its fullest.

Call or email us at (519) 954-7950 or info@HealthSourceIMC.com.

To your best health!

The Team at HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre

References

http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/7/6/e007678

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180412141014.htm

http://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2653704/patterns-sedentary-behavior-mortality-u-s-middle-aged-older-adults

Treating Depression: Have you ever suffered from depression? If so, you’re not alone. The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression – it is also a leading cause of disability. Fifteen percent of adults will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.

Depression doesn’t respect boundaries. It can impact anyone at any point in their life, regardless of age, gender, medical history, or socioeconomic status. While depression may seem like an invisible condition, there are warning signs to watch out for – stay alert!

Signs of Depression

A major depressive episode is defined as a depressed mood lasting at least two weeks or more. Life seems filled with darkness or heaviness, and there is a loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities. Depression also comes with the baggage of other symptoms that can interfere with your work, school, or social life. These symptoms include:

  • Abnormal sleep rhythms — either sleeping too much or having difficulty falling asleep
  • Low energy or daily fatigue for seemingly no reason
  • Inability to focus, make decisions or think clearly
  • Slower movement than usual or unintentional motion that is noticeable by others
  • Changes in weight and appetite, with an increase or decrease of more than five percent in body weight per month
  • Recurring thoughts about death or suicide, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan in place for suicide

If you are or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to start a conversation right away, get professional help to identify the cause, and find some appropriate solutions.

What Causes Depression?

What makes depression so elusive is that there is no one single cause. Hormones, brain chemistry, family genetics, life experiences, and physical health are all possible factors that can trigger a depressive episode. While some types of depression can be attributed to conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or postpartum depression, for many the source might not be so easily identifiable.

Unfortunately, in many situations, doctors prefer to medicate rather than investigate, prescribing antidepressants instead of exploring the cause of the condition. Antidepressants have their time and place, but with a myriad of possible side-effects, they are not the best option at all times for all people. Also, a lifetime prescription to antidepressants is only a Band-Aid solution that fails to address the underlying problem.

Research shows that high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammatory disease, have been documented in subjects with depression. In fact, results from a national health and nutrition examination survey showed that subjects with depressive symptoms had CRP levels that were 46 percent higher than those of non-depressed subjects. Studies also suggest that subjects with a depressed mood have low levels of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), which is an indication of airway inflammation.

Over time, depression can also lead to significantly more inflammation in the brain. Inflammation is our body’s response to injury or illness, and when left untreated, it can cause chronic illnesses like heart disease and potentially even neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. So not only is identifying the cause of depression early on important for your mental health; it’s also for your physical health!

Depression

This is why visiting an integrative health clinic can be so crucial. Depression is a serious condition not to be taken lightly. There are a lot of possible influences and a 360-degree assessment is often required to effectively determine the cause. The first thing you need to ask yourself is “Why am I feeling depressed?” Then take it from there.

Ways to Treat Depression

For those with mild to moderate depression, there are a variety of natural options that can help fight the blues effectively, without pharmaceuticals.

 

  • Sunshine & Exercise

It may sound trite to suggest a little fresh air and exercise; however, you can never underestimate the value of a brisk walk in the sunshine. Activity pumps up serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins, which are our “feel-good” chemicals. Go for a run to experience a truly natural “high.”

And don’t forget, the sun can lighten up your mood with feel-good rays of vitamin D. Invest in a therapeutic light box to brighten up those cloudy days and winter months.

 

  • Create a Regular Bedtime Routine

Depression and sleep issues are intimately connected. For those who have trouble falling asleep, a nighttime routine can help ease you into a more restful slumber.

Set a regular bedtime and unplug from all devices at least two hours beforehand. Use that digital downtime time to take a bath, read a book, listen to music, meditate, or unwind in whatever low key way you prefer. By eliminating sources of constant stimulation and slowing down your evening habits, you will set your brain and body up for a better sleep. If you’ve been dealing with insomnia for a while, melatonin is also a helpful natural supplement to reset your internal clock.

Keep yourself on a consistent schedule by setting your alarm to go off after 8 hours. If you need a nap later in the day, then, by all means, take one, but try to resist the urge to sleep your life away.  

 

  • Natural Supplements

Serotonin is a vital chemical and neurotransmitter. It regulates our moods, behaviour, libido, sleep, and memory. Keep your serotonin levels elevated by getting your fill of healthy omega-3 fatty acids ─ the kind you find in fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and more.
L-theanine, an amino acid that has a relaxing effect. L-Theanine boosts neurotransmitters and helps to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Rhodiola rosea and St. John’s wort are other natural supplements that many individuals have had success with for treating depression. That said, St. John’s wort may interfere with birth control or other medications. This is why it is always important to get professional guidance on which supplements and what dose is likely to work best for you.

 

  • Get Your Hormones Balanced

Our hormones have an impact on our entire bodies. They can be the reason behind depression, chronic fatigue, weight gain, and more. Think of your adrenal, sex and thyroid hormones as Jenga blocks. When certain blocks become imbalanced, it can send our whole life tumbling out of control. The longer you take to correct the imbalance, the more difficult it will be to heal. Getting your hormones tested is an easy and effective way to assess the issues so that you can effectively identify what your options are to get back into balance.

 

  • Talk to someone

While you may feel vulnerable or uncomfortable at first, opening up to friends and family may be the relief you need to get through dark times without feeling so alone. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your burdens with the people you know, then seek professional counselling, in the form of a therapist, life coach, or trusted doctor. They are there to help and can offer you a new perspective on things.  

If you think you might be dealing with depression, I invite you to reach out to our clinic. Please feel free to book an appointment with us by calling (519) 954-7950 or emailing info@HealthSourceIMC.com. You don’t have to battle depression alone. We can help you get your life back on track!

The Team at HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre

References:

https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpsy/PIIS2215-0366(18)30087-7.pdf

http://www.psychiatrist.com/JCP/article/Pages/2016/v77n12/v77n1221.aspx

http://ndnr.com/mindbody/case-study-herbal-treatment-of-depression/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005791617300629#sec4

 

Fix Your Thyroid Issues now! Did you know that a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland nestled in your throat is responsible for producing and regulating some of the most important hormones in your body? This significant part of your body is called the thyroid, and while it’s small, it plays a big role in your endocrine (hormone) system.

The thyroid gland produces hormones that interact with other hormones (like insulin, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). There’s still a lot we have to learn about how the endocrine system works,  but knowing how intimately all hormones communicate with each other, it’s no wonder so many symptoms and diseases are tied to a poorly performing thyroid!

How does the thyroid gland work?

Almost all of the hormones the thyroid produces are in an inactive form called thyroxine, or T4. Most of the active thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (or T3), comes from the conversion of T4 to T3 in various parts of your body, including liver, gut, brain, and muscles.

The “active” T3 is then able to regulate many functions in the body including energy production and regulation of metabolism. When all the systems in your body are working well, the right amounts of T4 and T3 are produced. But if something is having a negative impact on your thyroid or other organs, it can cause a disruption in your hormone system and may cause a number of different symptoms.

Some of the factors that can start to damage a previously healthy, functioning thyroid are: nutritional imbalances, toxins, allergens, infections, and stress. All of these can be problematic and can lead to glandular dysfunctions, and potentially wider spread systemic disease.

What happens when the thyroid can’t function normally?

When the thyroid is compromised, the body is unable to produce or convert the right amounts of thyroid hormones. Consequently, we experience disorders such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer. In fact, thyroid diseases are highly prevalent in North America with an estimated 20 million Americans and 1 in every 10 Canadians having some form of thyroid disease. Because thyroid conditions are tied to so many different symptoms, up to 60% of people living with thyroid disease may be totally unaware of their condition, with women being 5-8x more likely to be affected than men.  It is estimated that 1 in every 8 women will suffer from a thyroid disorder at some point during her life.

A poorly functioning thyroid can also be the cause of many less obvious disorders including  acne, autoimmune diseases, eczema, fibromyalgia, gum disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and infertility. Because the thyroid is linked to almost every bodily function, symptoms are wide and varied, making it more difficult to identify the thyroid as the root cause of the issue(s). As a result, many people are misdiagnosed and treated for other conditions before the thyroid is every considered or explored.

Thyroid isssue Women

Hypothyroidism

A number of symptoms often point to an underactive thyroid, or what is called “hypothyroidism.”

Lethargy or fatigue, foggy thinking, depression, weight gain even if you’ve been exercising and eating well consistently, persistently rough/scaly skin and/or dry/tangled hair that are unresponsive to treatments, hair loss (particularly in women), sensitivity to cold, an inability to warm up in a sauna or to sweat during exercise, and a consistently low basal body temperature.

Hyperthyroidism

Some symptoms of hyperthyroidism include feeling restless, nervous, or emotional, poor sleep quality, fatigue, muscle weakness, difficulty concentrating, frequent bowel movements, disappearance of or irregular menstruation, weight loss, rapid, forceful, or irregular heartbeat, eye problems (associated with Graves’ disease) or swollen thyroid/goiter.

Knowing how important the thyroid is to overall health, it’s imperative to understand how it works (regardless of whether or not you currently have a thyroid disorder) so that you can keep your endocrine system and your body functioning optimally.

Thankfully, you can help maintain your thyroid health naturally!

When it comes to managing the optimal function of your hormones, the building blocks are almost always found first and foremost in nutrition.

To maintain a healthy thyroid, first make sure you’re maximizing your nutrition by:

  1. Try a Gluten-free, Dairy-free Diet: Most people go gluten and dairy free only when there is an obvious sensitivity to either type of food. Sensitivity to gluten and dairy is much more subtle when it comes to the thyroid and often goes unnoticed. The inflammation caused by these foods can lead to leaky gut syndrome which can cause the body to accidentally attack the thyroid instead of the food particles it’s trying to destroy. Removing these foods can be critical to maintaining good thyroid health, especially if there is an autoimmune issue at play.   
  2. Leave Behind the Unfermented Soy: The proteins in soy can be potent anti-thyroid agents that can heavily affect the way the thyroid functions. Be extra careful with baby formula, too. The consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease in infants. This doesn’t mean that all soy is off the table. You can keep enjoying fermented soy foods like natto, miso, and tempeh. It’s the unfermented soy products like soy milk, and soy cheese that should be avoided.  
  3. Keep an Eye on Your Iodine: Iodine is present in almost every organ and tissue and has a direct effect on the thyroid. But iodine is not good for all thyroid cases!  It is not recommended if you have thyroid antibodies (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) – so be sure to get a full thyroid panel run!  We do the the blood work for this! Chemical agents in commercial food ingredients unfortunately tend to lessen iodine.  Daily exposure to chemicals found in water such as bromine, fluorine, chlorine all negatively impact iodine levels by attaching themselves to iodine receptors in the body. You can see why focusing on consuming enough of this nutrient is so important.

You can increase your iodine levels by:

    1. Choosing to eat organic to minimize exposure to chemical pesticides
    2. Avoiding eating, drinking, or storing food and drinks in plastic containers
    3. Looking for “no bromine” or “bromine-free” labels on organic whole-grain breads and flours if you eat grains
    4. Increasing your dietary intake of wild-caught seafood and ocean fish
    5. Using natural personal care products to minimize absorbing toxic chemicals through the skin
  1. Look for Foods Containing Zinc and Selenium: Zinc and selenium are two micronutrients that play critical roles in thyroid health. Because they can be toxic in very high doses, it’s best to achieve healthy levels through a carefully balanced diet. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, beef, pork, and chicken, while selenium rich foods include brazil nuts, fish, and liver.
  2. Practice Effective Stress Management: Stress and hormone health are inextricably linked. Make sure you’re taking time to meditate, relieve stress, and get your mindset on track so you can enjoy the benefits of overall health.

Thyroid Supplementation

Often a traditional thyroid prescription would be thyroxine for example that would affect one’s TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). There is also dessicated thyroid which affects free T3 and T4 instead of TSH. We would consult with you about the pros/cons of these options. ..And we can prescribe dessicated thyroid at our clinic.

You can gain control over your health by learning how to manage and maintain your hormones through nutrition, lifestyle, and medical support. If you think you may be suffering from a thyroid disorder, please take time to book an appointment to visit our clinic.

We want to help you stay on top of your health! Testing and comprehensive hormonal assessments are available.

Call or email us at (519) 954-7950 or info@HealthSourceIMC.com.

To your best health!

The Team at HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre

 

References:

https://articles.mercola.com/thyroid.aspx

https://www.thyroid.org/media-main/about-hypothyroidism/

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Aug 25:jc20152222. Epub 2015 Aug 25. PMID: 26305620

 

Getting to Know The “Good Fats”

If you believe that fats and oils are off the table as a dinner choice, you might be in for a surprise. Fat is actually a vital component to a balanced diet and is a requirement in order for the body to function properly. The problem is when your body takes in TOO much or the WRONG kinds of fat. With all the information out there on how to eat, it’s important to understand not just fads, diets, and tips but the actual needs of your body.

Every diet and lifestyle eating regime out there seems to extravagantly promote its own benefits while dismissing the science of others. It can be tricky to figure out which combinations of foods are really best for our own, unique bodies! In fact, it can feel like there’s a new discovery about the best way to eat every week making us question if we’re ever “doing it right”!

Lately it’s the popularity of the Paleo and Keto diets that has turned prevailing knowledge on its head, largely because of the emphasis these protocols place on eating significant quantities of healthy fats.

No matter what eating lifestyle you follow, newer science is showing us that there are more benefits to eating higher quantities of healthy fats than we previously thought. In fact, research is showing that the body is built to use fats as a major source of energy – some evidence even suggests that fat is a better energy source than carbohydrates! Fat is also important to a wide variety of healthy bodily functions.

Good fats…

  • Help build strong cell membranes for individual cells as well as the sheaths surrounding nerves
  • Assist in blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation control
  • Are essential for absorbing certain vitamins A, D, E, and K, and calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc among other vitamins and minerals.
  • Can promote weight-loss
  • Help encourage blood sugar stability
  • Are a key factor in achieving hormonal balance
  • Play a critical role in brain function, memory, and attention span
  • Have a direct impact on the quality of hair, skin, and nail growth

These reasons should be enough for all of us to realize how important it is to include, rather than cut out, fats in our nutrition plans!

“But I thought fats were bad?”

For a long time that was a common way of thinking. The reality is that the reason fats have been stigmatized was because our understanding of how different fats work was still developing – and because we’d been eating too much of the wrong ones!

We understand now that not all fat sources are created equal – just like not all vegetables are equal (just compare iceberg lettuce with it’s dark, leafy counterparts, romaine and spinach). There are a lot of different kinds of fats; to understand them more easily, think of fats as being on a continuum. On one end of the continuum are “good fats” like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and on the other end are “bad fats” like industrial-made trans fats in processed foods. Saturated fats fall somewhere in the middle.

“So which fats should I be eating?”

Choosing mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, followed by a moderate amount of naturally present saturated fats in foods, is your best strategy. Obviously you’ll want to avoid bad fats – this will actually probably be easier than you think because they’re mostly present in treats and junk foods that shouldn’t be the foundation of your diet anyway!

Recent studies on Coconut Oil have found it to be useful in the reduction of body fat in the belly as well as helping to reduce Body Mass index (BMI). Just like any other nutrient, consuming a variety of fat sources is key to finding balance in your nutrition. Not only because variety is important in any diet, but because different foods are more than just a kind of fat, they offer different beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fibre too!

10 Source of Healthy Dietary Fat

  1. Avocado
  2. Cheese
  3. Dark Chocolate
  4. Whole Eggs
  5. Fatty Fish
  6. Nuts
  7. Chia Seeds
  8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  9. Coconut & Coconut Oil
  10. Full Fat Yogurt

We recommend adding fats into your diet slowly, especially if you’ve been avoiding them until now. Your body needs to have developed healthy gut flora and enzyme production, among other things, in order to digest fats (or really anything) well. We’ve talked about gut flora at length, but enzymes (like lipase, the enzyme that helps break down and digest fats) are also a vital part of healthy digestion – but that’s a whole other conversation (stay tuned!).

Are you eating right for your mind, hormone production, metabolism? Get out of the “fat free” cycle and into a healthier diet that includes good fats. We have tools to analyze your body’s nutrient needs and can help experience optimal health every day through nutrition that’s ideal for you. Call our clinic for more personalized advice and support!

  • The Team at HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre

 

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25636220

 

What, Why, and How to Manage It. 

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.  The small intestine – despite its name, it’s actually a whopping 20 feet of very important business! Working alongside your stomach and large intestine, the small intestine has the critical job of digesting food and absorbing nutrients to keep us in good health. As if that wasn’t significant enough, our little intestinal friend is also a key contributor to maintaining a healthy immune system.

The small intestine is the home of specific beneficial microorganisms that help protect our bodies against bad (pathogenic) bacteria and yeast. These good bacteria also do their part to produce valuable vitamins and nutrients like vitamin K and folate. They are the keepers of the small intestine, ensuring that it continues to do its thing, muscling waves of food through your gut.

But what is SIBO and why does it happen?

SIBO stands for “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth,” an issue that occurs when there is an increase of bacteria and/or a change in the type of bacteria present. Most often SIBO is caused when bacteria that should stay in the colon (also known as the large intestine), finds its way into the small intestine…in large quantities.

SIBO is like a bad tenant. It invites all its rowdy friends in for a party and leaves behind all sorts of damage to the cell lining of the small intestine. This can lead to a condition we wrote about a couple months ago called leaky gut, which allows large protein molecules to move through the intestinal barrier and escape into the bloodstream. As you can imagine, this causes a number of problems, including general inflammation, immune reactions that cause food allergies, and the onset of autoimmune diseases.  

These havoc-wreaking bad bacteria are also responsible for uncomfortable conditions like poor digestion, diarrhea, and malabsorption. Patients with SIBO may suffer from nutritional deficiencies, as well – particularly iron, vitamin B12, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as unintended weight loss, and even osteoporosis.Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

So how do I know if I have SIBO?

SIBO is considered an underdiagnosed condition as many people do not seek medical care for their symptoms. Be alert! Watch out for these common SIBO symptoms:

  •       Bloating and abdominal swelling
  •       Abdominal pain/discomfort
  •       Diarrhea
  •       Constipation
  •       Gas/belching
  •       Weakness and fatigue

In the most severe cases, patients will also experience weight loss and vitamin deficiency-related symptoms.

Are you at risk for SIBO?

While elderly people are the most vulnerable to developing SIBO, there are multiple other risk factors that can increase your chances, no matter what your age is. These include:

  • Medication, especially antibiotics
  • Gastric acid suppression or Low Stomach Acid (due to stress, medications, lifestyle factors)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Prior bowel surgery
  • Diabetes Types I & II
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Organ system dysfunction

Studies also indicate that moderate alcohol consumption — that’s one drink a day for women and two for men — not only promotes the overgrowth of certain types of bacteria, but it can also impair vital functions. In other words, too much alcohol can result in small bowel injury and decreased muscle contractions!

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above or think you might be at risk, we encourage you to make an appointment to assess your symptoms and get tested. Specialized testing can be accomplished through a breath test. This breath test measures your hydrogen and methane gas levels produced by the bacterial metabolism and can be a very helpful indicator in determining whether or not you’re suffering from SIBO.

How can you treat SIBO?

Even though prolonged use of antibiotics is a top risk factor in getting SIBO, antibiotics are still the most popular way to treat SIBO. However, studies show that SIBO returns in nearly half of all patients in less than a year!

Successful treatment of SIBO must be handled just like any other health condition – not with a temporary Band-aid solution, but by dealing with the underlying cause! Intestinal bacteria can be influenced by numerous factors beyond what we eat and how much. Environmental effects, drugs, alcohol, and lifestyle factors such as stress can all be contributing factors to poor gut health. Therefore, the treatment must be unique to the individual.

Once you have identified the cause, SIBO symptoms should be treated with a healthy diet, nutritional supplements, and positive lifestyle changes that help return the body to balance. Keep reading for a few specific tips on how to manage this condition.

Tips for dealing with SIBO

  1. Eat three meals a day four-to-five hours apart. Resist the urge to snack! We need to give our body time in between meals to improve our intestinal motility. More often than not, motility becomes an issue with people suffering from SIBO.
  2. With guidance from your holistic practitioner try an elimination diet for two weeks to get your body back on track by reducing inflammation and bacteria overgrowth.
  3. Enjoy foods that assist digestive health. For example, fresh pineapple which is rich in bromelain can help lower inflammation, and bananas are an excellent source of potassium and manganese that your stomach lining needs for healing.

Do any of the above symptoms or risk factors sound familiar? Do you think you might be suffering from SIBO? We can help! Please contact us at (519) 954-7950 or info@HealthSourceIMC.com, and we’ll get to the bottom of what’s going on and create a plan of action to bring your body back to good health.

To your best health!

The Team at HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099351/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22109896

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890937/

 

How to Spot a Toxin Overload: The body is a miraculous thing. For all the body’s parts and abilities, there are corresponding systems designed to keep track of what they’re experiencing and determine whether it is helpful or dangerous so it can respond appropriately and work fluidly, as a whole.

These bodily systems – circulatory, digestive, endocrine, immune, integumentary (hair, skin, nails), lymphatic, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, and urinary – are topics that come up frequently. In particular, when someone asks how we’re feeling, we usually point to something, a symptom, that’s affecting one or more of these systems. It makes sense – they are always there to help us check in on and “read” our bodies, giving us a sense of how well we are at any given time…and when we’re NOT okay.

What’s Happening When We’re Not Feeling Well?

When we’re under the weather, understanding systemic symptoms can help us to determine where to look for the underlying issues. Think of the last time you experienced a skin breakout, hair thinning or falling out, or nail splitting (certainly signs of ill health). Or, maybe you’ve complained of feeling sluggish, heavy, uncomfortable, or constipated. Signs like these show us there’s something deeper going on in the body…something that needs remedying. It becomes important to then explore these – to look to the organs that support our systems and keep them functioning effectively,  and to take care of them when they’re showing us signs that something is “off.”

The organs help the body maintain overall health, and of course organs like the heart, brain, and lungs are responsible for some of the most fundamental functions of life. Without them, well – we wouldn’t be here! But, organs have other important responsibilities, too, like neutralizing and eliminating toxins and irritants. The organs that help most with these functions are the lungs, the skin, the digestive tract, and most importantly: the liver and kidneys. When you start tracing back the symptoms of sickness to the organs that help keep the body functioning optimally, you can start to see connections to what may be underlying weaknesses and issues.     Toxins

How Does the Body Manage When Faced with Toxins and Irritants?

The simple answer? Detoxification. One of the things the body is especially good at is getting rid of any toxic elements and chemicals that can compromise overall health. That’s a big part of what our organs are designed to do – and most of the time they’re really good at it!

But not all toxins are equal and of course, there are many factors that can affect how the body responds to them. Also, toxins don’t come from only one source. In fact, the definition of a ‘toxin’ is surprisingly broad: anything that the body doesn’t find useful or that harms its integrity. The fact is, we’re combatting toxins all the time, both internally and externally.

The most common types of toxins we all encounter regularly come from: poor diets and poor digestion, undigested food that ferments in the digestive tract and creates an acidic environment in the body, medications, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, environmental toxins like air and water pollution, smoke, pesticides, animal and insect bites, and – more and more – electromagnetic frequency and radiation (primarily from appliances and gadgets such as microwaves, cell phones, computers, wireless internet, and TVs). Did you know even negative thoughts and emotions have been shown to be toxic to our bodies if they persist long enough? They can develop into significant sources of stress which is the number one root cause of illnesses. This toxic burden is an inescapable part of modern life – and we know that can be pretty scary! But being aware of toxins in our own bodies can give us all an opportunity to fight and reduce them proactively.

When subjected to all of these forms of toxins at once – as most of us are – it’s easy to see how our bodies can become inundated with chemicals from which we need to protect ourselves. It’s also easy to understand why, even though we might be doing everything we can to sustain a healthy lifestyle and keep our toxin-fighting organs in prime condition, our bodies sometimes need help in the battle.

How Do I Know if I’m in Toxic Overload?

As we said before: the body is constantly detoxifying. Literally all the time! Our organs are designed to do just that to keep us healthy. But, we all experience toxic overload at one time or another. Who hasn’t been super stressed out and fell to a poor diet or more frequent glasses of wine? Who hasn’t experienced an illness that just seems to hang on endlessly? These are just some instances when toxic overload makes our organs’ daily battle much harder to win. Sometimes toxins that we experience daily seem to compound in an overwhelming way. Ongoing situations like this can lead to chronic toxin overexposure. Learning to identify and properly respond to toxin overload can make a huge difference in our ability to heal from it.

So, are you experiencing toxin overload? Ask yourself these questions:   

  1. Do you have persistent brain-fog, lack of focus, mental clarity, or migraines?
  2. Do you frequently struggle with fatigue, muscle aches or pains, general lack of motivation, or feelings of depression that just won’t go away?
  3. Have you noticed an increase in body odour, foul faecal odour, pungent or bad breath?  
  4. Are you experiencing skin reactions or acne in ways you haven’t before?
  5. Have you recently become newly sensitive to chemicals, fragrances, or scents?
  6. Have you developed new allergies of any kind?

These are just some of the common changes you might notice and they’re some of the ways your body is trying to tell you: “Help! I’ve had enough!”

When you experience symptoms like these, come to visit us – our clinic is here for you! We want to help you reactivate your body’s natural defense mechanisms so that you can experience optimal health every day. Sometimes, our organs just need a little extra help to combat the toxins facing them. We have lots of ways to help you ensure that toxins are kept at bay and that your organs are happy, healthy, and strong. Call or email us at (519) 954-7950 or info@HealthSourceIMC.com and we’ll be happy to have a detailed consultation with you to find the right pathway to your optimal health.   

The Team at Health Source Integrative Medical Centre

With summer in full swing now, we’re guessing you’re ready for some fun in the sun! While the fresh air, sun, and, if we’re lucky, refreshing beach breezes keep us feeling refreshed and relaxed, some aspects of travel to those sunny shores can cause a pause in the fun. New environments hold a variety of unexpected flora and fauna, and experimenting with local cuisines can play roulette with our digestive systems.

But, hey – we love to travel, too! That’s why we’ve developed a list of the most important precautions to take prior to taking off for your next exotic destination so you can get the most out of your upcoming vacations!

Pre-Travel Vitamins

Taking a daily multivitamin to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need is always a good idea, but it’s even more important when you’re getting ready for a trip that includes flying and staying in various accommodations. Key vitamins and minerals to not miss: Zinc, B-complex, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D3.

Hydration

Hydration is critical preparation for trips as dehydration is a major risk when travelling. Since travel generally includes conditions such as humid airplanes, hot or arid climates, exaggerated energy usage (yes, even on vacation); it’s vital to ensure your hydration levels are optimized to support changes in bodily functions. When the airline attendant asks for your beverage order take it as a signal to have a glass of water and avoid those cups of coffee or glasses of wine. Don’t be shy about refills, either – if anyone understands the challenges of in-flight dehydration, it’s the cabin crew!

Travel Supplements

Travel is exciting – so exciting, in fact, that it can send your body into high gear! Think for a moment about your last vacation. How many new situations, thrilling moments, and unexpected events did you experience? During each one, your body’s coping mechanisms were in full effect, helping you experience joy, exhilaration, and stress – all heightened by brand new circumstances and surroundings. When you think about it, everything from your digestive system, to your immunity, circadian rhythm, and even your adrenal glands were on active duty the whole time you were travelling! Help your body to manage these ups and downs with natural supplements:

Adaptogens like reishi, ashwagandha, and holy basil can help fight stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Start taking your preferred adaptogen at least a week before you travel. Remember, natural supplements take time to build up in order to reach peak efficacy.

Antimicrobials are proven pathogen killers that can assist your digestive and immune systems in warding off new strains of bacteria to which your body might not be accustomed. Sometimes our best efforts to avoid foods like washed salads and raw vegetables (that may carry bacterial infections) still don’t keep us safe. In that case it’s good to know you can start early and ward off traveller’s tummy and diarrhea with antimicrobials like oil of oregano, grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver.

Melatonin helps your body rebalance its circadian rhythm, or find homeostasis in its wake and sleep cycle. This is your best choice in the struggle against jet lag! Most melatonin supplements suggest taking a dose before going to bed in your new destination, and to continue taking it at the same time for a couple of days until you feel you’ve adapted.

Probiotics – the good bacteria! Keeping your gut flora nice and strong is of extra importance when travelling since there are many instances when you could encounter unique and novel foods and beverages. Even a seemingly innocent salad could harbour a surprise when eaten in a foreign land, since bacteria in water differ greatly around the world, as do food care standards! Help your gut to be as healthy as possible prior to and during your trip by supplementing with a great probiotic.

Ginger is world-renowned for easing nausea, stomach upset, indigestion, and even motion sickness. You may not even need over-the-counter medications to handle these illnesses when a natural supplement can be equally effective. Keep some natural ginger chews with you at all times for when those unforeseen moments strike.   

First Aid Kit

A classic first aid kit is always a wise idea to pack when going away. You can purchase a travel sized one at any pharmacy or make your own. We always include:

  • Adhesive bandages (multiple sizes)
  • Adhesive tape
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Antiseptic wound cleanser (like alcohol or iodine pads)
  • Blister pads or moleskin
  • Gauze
  • Safety pins and scissors

Suncare

Contrary to widespread belief, this isn’t just a tip for hot days and barren landscapes – whether your vacation involves riding the waves or the slopes, your skin needs protection from imminent sun exposure. The reflective glare from sea and snow can make your skin more prone to burns which not only make your trip less enjoyable but it can also be dangerous in the long run. Look for natural ingredients such as zinc oxide which is a mineral used to create a physical block from the sun. Additional ingredients such as vitamin E or C are also nice ways of giving your skin a nice boost of topical antioxidants.  

Prescriptions

If you’re taking any prescription medication, please be sure to have enough for the duration of your trip, plus a couple of extra doses, in case of unanticipated travel changes. Always make sure that your prescriptions are in labelled bottles and that you also have a doctor’s note if necessary, as some medications might not be universally understood or accepted in different countries. You might also consider bringing a valid prescription for a refill of your medication, just in case – you never know!  

Travel is exciting and has so many benefits from providing a well-deserved break from routine to exploring history and learning about different cultures to taking on new challenges and building new skills. We want you to get the very most out of your adventures, no matter how relaxed or extreme they might be.

If you’re travelling soon and want to review how to best prepare you and your family before heading away, please call or email us at (519) 954-7950 or info@HealthSourceIMC.com and book an appointment. We’re here to help you make sure you’re ready to stay healthy for all the excitement that lies ahead!

Here’s to your next adventure!

The Team at HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre

Indigestible Lectins – Good Protein Right? ..or Not!

We’re guessing you’ve heard that old schoolyard rhyme: “beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you…eat beans for every meal” As adults we roll our eyes, but have you ever wondered where the rest of that rhyme came from, or why foods like legumes are so tough to digest?

Turns out that most of our foods contain certain compounds that, by nature, are difficult on our digestive systems – because they’re not really meant for our digestive systems at all! That’s not to say they are foods we can’t process, but research is continuing to teach us why some foods can be tough on our systems, and what the implications are of consuming them. In the case of beans and legumes, the main source of the issue is lectins.

Lectins are a kind of protein that’s found in a variety of plant- and animal-based foods…almost every plant and animal substance contains them (in small amounts)!

We know proteins are the building blocks of muscles and are critical to our health so the question for most of us is: if lectins are just proteins, how could they be bad for us?

Simply put, lectins bind cells together, and their preference tends to be sugars. Lectins, thanks to their ability to lessen the body’s ability to properly absorb nutrients, are actually known as ‘antinutrients’. Because we can’t digest lectins, they tend to pass through our systems unnoticed which, for most people, means antinutrients like lectins don’t pose much of a problem! In fact, in small amounts, lectins can produce some great health benefits relating to immune function, cell growth, and possibly even cancer therapy.

However, lectins can wreak havoc for people who consume a diet with lots of high lectin foods and for those who suffer from GI disorders or immune deficiencies. In more severe instances where GI disorders and immunity dysfunction are at play, lectins can really play a toll on the gut lining and tight junctions that keep the intestines functioning well. (If you missed our post about “Leaky Gut” last month, you can check it out here)

If they’re not meant to be digested, what purpose do lectins serve?
Lectins have a distinct and important purpose in nature – it’s just that the purpose is for the organism’s survival, and not for human consumption! Lectins act as a natural insecticide. When predatory insects come in contact with them, the lectins completely disrupt insect metabolism, preventing invasions and attacks on the plants.

Basically, the more lectins you consume the more discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, and importantly, malabsorption of nutrients you may end up subjecting yourself to (unintentionally).

If these symptoms are familiar to you, you’re not alone – 30% of the foods that have high levels of lectins are ones we commonly eat, including dairy products, nightshades (like tomatoes and peppers), whole grains, seeds, GMO foods, and yes – beans and legumes!  

Some experts have suggested that removing all lectins from your diet can help the gut to recover from antinutrient-caused distress and that this could be critical to treating GI and immunity disorders. Still, others have pointed to the various preparation techniques that people have used around the globe to help weaken and eliminate lectin proteins – so you can enjoy your meal with a lot less…inconvenience…
Indigestible Lectins

We caution against removing whole categories of foods unless truly necessary, especially because foods high in lectins also have other essential benefits such as fibre and minerals, that our bodies need. Instead, we want to provide you with a variety of methods you can use to prepare high lectins foods that are centuries old, and globally trusted to make these foods easier to digest.

These are our favourite four ways of preparing legumes, grains, and seeds so you can keep them in your diet without worrying about the negative effects of lectin protein. Be thoughtful as you prepare them, and don’t forget these 4 key methods:

1. Soak
Beans, whether canned or dried, benefit a lot from soaking, as do many harder grains and pseudograins like oats, rye, barley, wheat, and quinoa. Soaking and rinsing legumes and grains help to shake free starches, acids, and proteins, making minerals more bioavailable as well as make them easier to digest. Put yours in a larger bowl and cover with water by about 2 inches. Allow them to soak for a few hours up to overnight. Drain fully and rinse again until the water runs clear. Pro tip: add a 1” piece of kombu or dulse seaweed to the water when soaking beans to really break down those lectins!

2. Sprout
For most beans and seeds sprouting deactivates lectins completely (with the exception of alfalfa – lectins actually increase when sprouted!). Why? Because you’re no longer eating them in their contained form. Since they’ve begun the initial stages of germination, they’ve evolved from that seed state. An added positive is that this actually makes the nutrients more accessible (and playing a part in growing your own food is really rewarding!).

3. Boil or Pressure Cook
It may be intuitive for you to boil or pressure cook your legumes or grains before eating – but these techniques will actually also reduce lectins! Studies show that boiling soybeans, red beans, and many others at 212°F/ 100°C for a minimum of 10 minutes reduces lectins to negligible amounts.

4. Ferment

Fermenting foods is the act of allowing good bacteria to grow in the food. The new good bacteria break down and convert would-be harmful proteins including lectins. This is an ancient and common approach across many cultures dealing with hard-to-digest foods.The good bacteria are also known as probiotics – one of the most important factors in overall gut health. Examples of fermented foods include tofu, tempeh, miso, kefir, and natto – these health foods actually contain high levels of lectins prior to fermentation!

At HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre we want to see you and your family on a path towards your optimal health, and we have the tools to help make that journey clearer and easier. If you’re curious to learn more about how reducing or removing lectins from your diet could be beneficial to you, please call at (519) 954-7950, or email us at info@HealthSourceIMC.com and we would love to set-up an in-person consultation with you.   

Yours in good health,

 

Dr. Som Thammasouk, ND at HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre

 

References:

 

What Is A Leaky Gut?  How Your Intestinal Health Affects You.

It’s easy to feel discouraged if you’ve been dealing with on-going health issues that just won’t go away and doctor after doctor has tried everything only to come up with prescriptions that ease symptoms but don’t solve the underlying problem.

But have you considered that the root cause of the “mysterious illnesses” you or your loved ones have been suffering with could actually be right in your gut?

From hormone regulation to immunity to enzyme production that keeps the rest of our body in tip top shape, we continue to be amazed by how critical gut health is to maintaining overall vitality. One condition we are starting to learn more about, and see a lot of, is Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky Gut is a condition that is linked to literally dozens of illnesses. But, because western medicine hasn’t yet learned enough about the gut to fully understand the influence it has on overall health, there are no broadly understood methods of diagnosing and treating Leaky Gut syndrome. This means that, most times, doctors resort to trying to resolve the symptoms without actually addressing Leaky Gut itself!

Time and again this leads to cyclical treatments as the symptoms are treated but the root cause continues to develop and worsen. If you’re feeling stuck in this kind of cycle, don’t worry – it’s not just you! And there are treatments…

Leaky Gut is often called a “phenomenon” that stems from issues like immunity, gut function, and the effect of diet and lifestyle.

In fact, in Canada alone, more than 20 million people suffer from digestive disorders – and that doesn’t even consider half of the symptoms often associated with Leaky Gut! It’s vital to understand the broad-reaching effects that the Standard American Diet, chronically high stress levels, toxin overload, and even bacterial imbalances can have on gut function – and that healing your gut is founded on managing these four elements.

Leaky Gut

Do you have any of these symptoms?

• Consistent bloating, gas, cramps
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• New food sensitivities
• Autoimmune diseases
• Thyroid conditions
• Inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis

You might be suffering from a leaky gut! So what causes leaky gut?

All the systems mentioned above stem from an actual malfunction of tight junctions (TJs) in your small intestine. TJs have one, very important job: they act as a barrier that selectively allows some particles – like vital nutrients – to pass through the intestines to the bloodstream, while making sure that disease-causing particles stay out.

When TJs malfunction, they create what’s known as “intestinal hyperpermeability,” which basically means your body becomes inflamed because of extra holes in your intestines. Well, we all know acute inflammation, if left untreated, scales into chronic inflammation – and that is the root cause of most diseases.

So here’s your takeaway: Sometimes health issues seem minor, but if left untreated, they can compound into much larger issues and even disease! You have to pay attention to your body as a whole and consider the way each function interacts with the others – this is called Natural Medicine and it’s what we specialize in.

Leaky Gut symptoms can often be misdiagnosed (or undiagnosed) for years! That’s why working with an integrative health team (that can partner with your other doctors to get a good sense of the bigger picture of your body’s health) can be incredibly valuable to you.

Whether it’s you who suffers from Leaky Gut, or you’re looking to proactively protect your family, here are ways you can manage the four most important factors that contribute to Leaky Gut:

1. Remove inflammatory foods and gut-damaging toxins
Common culprits of inflammation and toxins include grains, gluten, sugar, antibiotics, conventional cow dairy, GMOs, pesticides, and processed foods. Start by eliminating these from your diet and just wait to see how quickly you feel relief and freedom!
2. Add gut-healing foods
Prebiotitcs and probiotics are critical. Also consider adding other nourishing foods like bone broth, simply steamed vegetables, fermented foods, raw cultured dairy, hormone-free and antibiotic-free animal products, and healthy fats to your regular diet.
3. Reduce stress
We can’t stress this enough! Our culture constantly deals with competing priorities and we often can’t even tell how stressed we are (until we suffer the consequences). Make an intentional effort to reduce stress in your life. Take time to turn off your brain; enjoy quiet time, sunny vitamin-D filled walks, meditation, or yoga.
4. Add gut-supporting supplements
Your integrative health practitioner is the best person to consult on the type and amount of supplements that would be best for you. Ask them about L-glutamine, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and plant-derived mineral supplements, all of which can contribute to supporting and improving a healthy gut!

If you think you might be struggling with symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome, we want to help!
We use Live Blood Analysis to examine a pin-prick sample of your blood through a special microscope to help identify leaky gut.

Contact us so we can help you identify the underlying causes, and determine your best course to a healthy life!

Think about it – skin is our largest organ but its health is constantly in danger! Whether we’re talking about exposure to sun/wind/cold, stress, pollution, poor nutrition, or even just the simple reality of aging, our skin is in a constant battle for health and radiance. We all want radiant skin.

So, how does it stand a chance? How can we help our skin remain healthy, even with all these odds stacked against us?

The answer is simple – care about your skin! It deserves your attention, your respect, your consideration. Whether it needs more help in the way of healing acne, limiting the effects of aging, rejuvenating dry areas, limiting oiliness, or managing any of the host of other skin conditions we see everyday, remember – you deserve to take care of your skin!

If you’ve always wanted your skin to be healthy, balanced, and radiant, check out our top 5 tips on how to protect and pamper your fragile, beautiful self!

  1. DIET – Think anti-inflammatory

You may already know that inflammation is the root of many BIG diseases, but did you know it is also at the root of many challenging skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis? So reducing your intake of inflammatory foods means increased health all over – inside, as well as on the surface of your skin! Give your body at least 4-8 weeks to adjust and respond to an anti-inflammatory diet; then you should begin to see an improvement in your skin’s health.

  1. WATER – Drink up!

Water has an amazing impact on our body – in fact, our bodies wouldn’t function at all without water! But even being a little deprived can impact the way our bodies work – a good, consistent flow of water helps flush our system and effectively distribute nutrients to all our organs and sub-systems. Particularly if you’re struggling with chronic skin conditions, it’s vital you invest in helping your body stay healthy and rid of toxic residues.

Remember – staying hydrated doesn’t have to mean sipping on a water bottle every moment of the day; there is water in everything you eat and drink! (Juices, and fruits and vegetables are the best if you’re looking for healthy, hydrating menu options.) Make it a habit to appropriately fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods and never making yourself wait when you feel thirsty – listen to your body, respond to your body, support your body.

Now, right about now you may be getting ready to run to the store and pick up a mega-sized water jug (or perhaps pull out that one left in the back of the cupboard from your high school football days?). Before you jump to that extreme, consider this – there is no special quantity of water that is right for everyone to stay hydrated everyday in every circumstance. If you’re looking for a general rule to follow though, the latest research suggests that women can safely consume 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of water in a day (across all foods and drinks), and mean can safely consume 3.7 liters (125 ounces) daily. So say good-bye to the age-old “you should drink 8, 8-ounce glasses of water every day” and learn to respond to your individual body’s needs for water and hydration.

  1. GLUTATHIONE IV – It’s Time to Detox

Glutathione is a super antioxidant that is made by your own body! Consuming amino acids, in combination with special treatments provided by medical professionals, can help boost your Glutathione levels, in turn boosting your body’s ability to flush toxins, and encourage clearer, brighter, more vibrant skin (with no unpleasant side effects!). While topical brighteners may get the job done, they are notorious for inflaming, discolouring, and irritating skin, sometimes even leading to hyperpigmentation and long-lasting damage. Give us a call to discuss how we can work together to heighten your Glutathione levels and give your skin a natural brightening.

  1. ACUPUNCTURE – Your Face Will Thank You

Acupuncture is just for the body, right? Wrong! Contrary to popular understanding, acupuncture is a fabulous treatment for your face (when administered by a medical professional). Facial acupuncture has been proven to relieve facial skin of congestion, and stimulate improved circulation and collagen production.

In addition, facial acupuncture relaxes and smoothes wrinkles in key areas like around the eyes and across the forehead. Saggy skin? A thing of the past. Acupuncture can even help balance out pale or red-ish skin. So pause before you invest in those colour correctors or injectables – try this natural anti-aging, cosmetic treatment first. You won’t be disappointed!

  1. HYALURONIC ACID – Water Loving

A lot of the ways we’ve encouraged you to take care of your skin starts inside – with the things you eat, the beverages you drink, and the ways you flush your system. But there are also important ways you can care for your skin from the outside! Treating your largest organ well, inside and out, is the best way to foster a healthy lifestyle and see real results.

Hyaluronic Acid is a hydrophilic (water-loving) chemical that is built right into our bodies (primarily right in our eyes and joints). It’s like a natural moisturizer – it’s hydrating properties have been used to treat everything from cataracts and arthritis, to dry eyes. So it should be no surprise that we want to encourage you to use Hyaluronic Acid right on your skin, too!

As we age, our skin’s ability to preserve moisture slows down – that’s why we start to notice sagging, wobbling, and limpness in so many areas. Hyaluronic Acid, however, has the ability to hydrate and nourish skin to help it not only look but truly feel softer, smoother, and more radiant. (Already using topical skin-care products or anti-aging creams? Check the labels – we bet you’ll find Hyaluronic Acid on the list!) Combine using Hyaluronic Acid with wearing an appropriate SPF-level sunscreen, and you’ll see some fabulous results as your skin is gradually healed and replenished.

With these 5 tips in mind, let us leave you with just 1 more – enjoy the process! Skin care doesn’t always have immediate results, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, taking care of your skin should feel rewarding and rejuvenating!  Treat yourself to a little pampering now and your skin will thank you. Ask how we can help you achieve glowing skin from the inside out.