Articles

Post-Partum Blues

Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience but sometimes our bodies don't quite return to the pre-pregnancy state that easily. I have seen many Moms over the years who developed not only post-partum blues but many others odd health issues during or after their pregnancies. Take the case of Samantha, a 37-year-old mother of a two-year-old boy.

"As soon as I got pregnant with Tyler I started having gas and digestive problems. I thought, okay, it's the pregnancy, but strangely, it never went away after I had him. The gas is terrible. I also have a much shorter fuse since then, like PMS, only I have it constantly." She also complained that her memory was not the same.

I can relate to that, I used to joke that my memory was delivered with the placenta when I had my daughter.

Homeopathy for Ear Aches

It’s 2 am. Little Jamie is tugging at your arm. “My ear hurts, mommy”. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just give her a homeopathic remedy, have her go back to sleep and keep dreaming? With a little training in the basics of homeopathy for acute problems and a handful of remedies you can easily become Dr. Mom or Dad for most common ailments, including children’s ear infections. Here are a few handy remedies for earaches:
  • Aconite. To be taken at the first signs of a cold, cough or earache after exposure to cold, dry wind. A common remedy needed in windy Victoria! This is the one most often needed if your child comes to you in the middle of the night with an acute onset of symptoms, including fever.

Homeopathy and Epigenetics

Nearly 200 years ago, the founder of Homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann found out that effects of certain diseases like Scabies, Gonorrhea, Tuberculosis and Syphilis could be present even after the acute infection was treated.

He also noticed that these effect could be present even in future generations without the actual infection being acquired. This trans-generational effect manifested in the form of ‘disease predispositions’. He called these effects ‘Miasms’. The effect in the same generation was called ‘acquired miasm’ and the effect that was present in future generations was called ‘inherited miasm’.

The idea of miasms has remained one of the most controversial propositions of Hahnemann, however, a new branch in genetics is throwing light on a possible mechanism to explain this theory.

Natural Medicine at Home

Q: I am interested in natural methods of helping my family and myself with common ailments, such as minor injuries, colds and flus etc. Do you ever teach patients how to treat these conditions themselves?
 
A: As a naturopathic doctor I realize the importance of patient education. In fact, NDs see themselves primarily as educators. I love to share my knowledge and thereby help others become less dependent on medical services. It is very useful to know how to treat minor ailments yourself as quick, natural intervention is not only very effective but can often prevent the use of potentially more invasive treatments and potentially harmful drugs. In addition, it is simply very reassuring to be able to help your children on weekends or at night if they get sick, without having to go to a walk-in clinic or an emergency room.

Tuberculinum - a common Remedy for Children

Tuberculinum is one of our main constitutional remedies for children, especially those with weak constitutions leading to frequent infections and allergies and children with a range of developmental and behavioural disorders. The range of disturbance is quite wide with some children showing only mild imbalances and others with very serious health issues.

A proportion of these children may be born with mental handicaps from mild learning difficulties to severe mental retardation and some of these children show many symptoms of chromosomal disorders, yet genetic testing will come back be normal.

Natural Help for Acne - especially for Teens

Who would not like to have a vibrant, clear complexion and beautiful, smooth skin all over?

One of the most common and least favorite skin problems is acne vulgaris, or common acne. The oil pores of the skin can become plugged up and infected or inflamed, causing those unsightly zits. The process seems to be stimulated by increased hormone levels.

Maybe you had great skin until you hit puberty and then – wham! Your face or even chest and back are suddenly erupting in pimples, bumps and lumps, just as you were starting to become self-conscious.

Now, let me tell you right now – acne may look like an external problem, but it is not. It has next to nothing to do with your moisturizer or whether you pick those pesky pimples and everything with your nutrition, your liver and bowel function.

Homeopathy for Anxiety in Children

Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in children. Studies have shown that up to 10 per cent of kindergarten-aged children suffer from an anxiety disorder and more than 15 per cent of highschool students.

Given only two simple questions to parents help to detect anxiety disorders, researchers at the University of British Columbia have found. In a study of 200 kindergarten children in BC.s Lower Mainland these two questions were 85% effective at identifying children who meet the criteria for anxiety disoders: Is your child more shy or anxious than other children his or her age? Is your child more worried than other children his or her age?

Natural Cures for Hangovers in Homeopathy

With the holiday season in full swing, some of you may fall prey to overindulgences of various kinds, be that eating, drinking, partying or spending too much.
 
 
Although I have yet to discover a natural remedy for the credit card blues, there are a few useful tips and tricks to prevent and treat hangovers and upset digestive systems caused by excess consumption.

CEASE Therapy - New Hope for Autism Spectrum Disorders

This article was requested by 'Naturopathic Doctor News and Review' and published in their print edition in September 2013

In April I received a call from the mother of one of my little autistic patients: "Owen's eye contact has gone from one second to several minutes at times! I’m actually almost a bit uncomfortable with the intensity of his gaze now." Not only that, but he learned to use the word ‘no’ and was trying to say other words, all major improvements after only eight weeks of treatment with CEASE Therapy, a new integrated treatment method for autism,  based on homeopathy.

Cannabis Use may affect your Offspring

 
Over the past year I have seen several children who were affected by their parent's cannabis use before conception and sometimes during the pregnancy. What most people don't know is that cannbis can leave energetic or epigenetic imprints in the parent's bodies which can be passed along to the child and may cause various health issues. The good news is that this can be corrected if the child has been exposed.
 
Please pass this information along to your friends and families! It may help to prevent and treat some serious neurological issues, including autism. Especially here on the West Coast, cannabis use is popular.
 

Bacteria important for Immune System Function

As some of you may know only too well, I spend an awful lot of time monkeying around in the dark, asking probing questions about - bowel movements! That and the subconscious mind, well we all need our hobbies. But I'm not the only one slaving away in the heart of darkness, no, we all have billions of little helpers right there in our large intestines doing the deed and carving out a pleasant life for themselves.

Microbial organisms vs human cells: 100 to 1

In fact, we harbour about 100 times as many microbial organisms in the remote recesses of our colon than we contain cells in our bodies. And as if that was not unsettling enough, we are home sweet home to between 500-10,000 different species of these delectable organisms. Fascinatingly, it seems as if our bodies are not only tolerating these little buggers but actually need them to develop and maintain our immune system.

CEASE Therapy Overview - How it helps Children with Autism

CEASE Therapy was developed by the Dutch medical doctor and homeopath Tinus Smits because he was looking for a way to help children with autism. CEASE stands for Complete Elimination of Autism Spectrum Expressino and Dr. Smits helped well over 300 Chidlern with autism prior to his death in 2010. While his method was originally designed for children with autism, Dr. Smits and those that he trained have seen uccess treating a number of conditions, including other neurodevelopmental disorders, ADHD, behavioural disorders, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and cancer.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) linked to Autism?

In the May 2008 issue of the journal Autism, Schultz et al reported an association between autism and acetaminophen (paracetamol, Tylenol) given children for fever, pain, and other adverse reactions to the MMR vaccine. Children given acetaminophen after the MMR vaccine were significantly more likely to become autistic than children given ibuprofen.

The MMR vaccine has long been suspected of provoking autism, especially by parents who report that their seemingly normal child regressed after receiving the vaccine. Could it be, however, that it is not the vaccine, or at least not solely it, but acetaminopehn given for any subsequent fever or pain?

Natural Treatment of Asthma in Children

Q: I have an eight-year-old son who has suffered from severe asthma since infancy. He is on puffers and other medication but barely controls his condition and we are concerned about the long-term side effects. Is there anything naturopathic medicine can do for him?

A: Asthma is reported to affect three percent of the population, but is most common in children under ten. The triggers for asthma may include allergic reactions to foods or inhalants, exertion, colds and emotional factors.

Are you concerned about your baby's development?

Most babies develop normally into little bundles of joy. However, here are a few symtoms that may point to possible developmental issues which could be addressed with early intervention, including homeopathy, craniosacral therapy and others.

1) Baby resists being handled or does not cuddle, may arch it's back, pull away, cry or become irritable with handling or being held.

2) Baby avoids eye contact and avoids intently watching the faces of parents and familiar other (in 2 months or older babies.)

3) Baby does not expressively communicate with face and body using facial and body movements.

Treating Children's Colds and Flus Naturally

With damp and windy February in full swing runny noses and coughs are still cropping up everywhere. As soon as your toddler is finished with an earache, the baby gets a cold and you get worn out from lack of sleep and come down with sinusitis. Oh, the joys of mucus!
Fortunately, we are blessed with fairly robust immune systems, which are working full-time fighting all those nasty bugs. Here are a few simple things you can do to help your defense mechanism do an even better job:
 

Natural Treatments for Acute Bladder Infections

Which woman has not had the uncomfortable experience of a bladder infection, also known as cystitis: Pain and burning in the bladder and urethra, frequent and urgent urination with burning pain and even cramping of the bladder, although only a few drops may be passed and perhaps even blood in your urine. Most bladder infections are believed to be caused by E.coli infections of the urinary tract from the bowel, however, the woman’s immune system seems to play an important role in the susceptibility to this common infection.

E.coli and bladder infections

E.coli may enter the urethra during intercourse, which is why urinating and washing carefully before and after intercourse can help to reduce the tendency to develop a bladder infection. The man should also carefully wash before sexual intercourse.

Of Happyness and Heart Attacks

Everyone knows that too much cholesterol and high blood pressure can kill you. Well, here's something you probably didn't know: loneliness, anger, and hostility can kill you too. Especially if you're a man.

A recent study investigating the association between anger and hostility and coronary heart disease was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study found that anger and hostility were associated with increased cardiovascular problems in healthy people. People who already had heart disease and were experiencing anger and hostility had increasingly poor prognoses.

And here's the kicker: the harmful effects of anger and hostility were greater in men than women.

Natural Approaches to Bedwetting

Bedwetting - also medically known as enuresis - is a common condition affecting more than 500,000 Canadian children age five and over. It can be an embarrassing and difficult problem for a child. His or her self-esteem may suffer and sleepovers may be impossible. School performance can be affected. Bed-wetting is not intentional and is not the child's fault.

As many as 15 out of 100 five year olds suffer from nocturnal enuresis and more specifically

- Ten out of 100 seven year olds wet the bed

- Five out of 100 nine year olds wet the bed

- Three out of 100 12 year olds wet the bed

- One out of 100 15 year olds wet the bed

Over the years I have treated dozens of children with enuresis successfully with homeopathy and occasionally through diet changes.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Q: I suffer from chronic abdominal pain with loose stools and lots of gas. My MD has diagnosed me with irritable bowel syndrome. Is there anything naturopathic medicine can do for me?

A: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an extremely uncomfortable chronic condition of the large intestine that afflicts both men and women. It is the most common digestive illness in North America, affecting approximately 15% of the population.

IBS may prevent vital nutrients from being properly absorbed and used by the body. Many digestive disorders can mimic IBS so it is important to have a complete evaluation by your medical or naturopathic doctor to determine if you truly have IBS. Other disorders such as disorders such as malabsorption disorders, lactose intolerance, diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer may produce similar symptoms.

Mushroom Derived Compound improves Immune System Function in the Elderly

Immune system function can decline as a result of aging, which is one of the main reasons older people are more prone to developing infections, including colds and flus as well as more serious conditions such as cancer. In fact, about 77% of cancers are diagnosed in people over age 55. New studies show that compounds from medicinal mushrooms can stimulate T-cell as well as Natural Killer cell function and other immune system parameters.

Medicinal mushrooms have a long history of being used to increase vitality and longevity in many Asian countries including China and Japan. In recent decades scientific research has discovered certain active ingredients from those mushrooms which appear to have powerful immune system strengthening properties.

Your Hormones and PMS

You wake up groggy after a restless, sweaty night, stumble into the bathroom todiscover a huge zit erupting on your chin, your bra pinches because your boobs suddenly morphed into a double D, your husband has turned into a hairy monster from an alien civilization and you're going to give your kids up for adoption just as soon as you murder your boss and your mother-in-law!

No, PMS does not stand for Permanent Marital Satisfaction or even Positive Mothering Strategies, far from it! If anything, men and children will give it to you.

"Premenstrual Syndrome" (PMS) is the name given to the cyclic occurrence ofdistressing symptoms experienced by women in their reproductive years. The symptoms appear one to two weeks prior to menses, and usually diminish either a couple of days before menstruation or as soon as the flow begins.

Prevent and treat colds and flus with homeopathy

With the winter season in full swing runny noses and coughs are cropping up everywhere. Seniors in particular are more vulnerable to contracting influenza and developping potentially more serious effects from it due to age-related immune system weaknesses.

Even the flu shot is not a sure bet and occasionally may lead to flu symptoms or other complications such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system usually triggered by an acute infectious process.

It causes ascending paralysis beginning with weakness in the legs and later involvement of the arms, face and respiratory system.

Natural Treatment of Sinus Infections

Q: I suffer from recurring sinus infections. They are usually treated with antibiotics, but just as soon as one infection clears up I seem to contract another. Is there anything naturopathic medicine has to offer?

A: There are several factors that may predispose you to these recurring infections. The most common predisposing factor is viral upper respiratory infections, i.e. the common cold. Perhaps your immune system has been weakened and needs to be rebuilt if you have frequent colds.

Antioxidants and Aging

We all age, but are we aging well? As the body ages, damage to cells and tissues occurs faster than repair and regeneration. When we are young growth and regeneration happens at a much faster rate than breakdown.

By about age 30 they are in a state of balance, but after that – guess what, damage starts to exceed repair. Naturopathic doctor Anke Zimmerman has taken additional training in anti-aging medicine and is pleased to share her knowledge

Only 35% of aging is genetic

Virtually all chronic disease including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and changes in brain function are simply the result of aging, which means that by controlling the rate at which we age we can prevent or at least minimize the hazards of those chronic diseases.

Both the breakdown as well as the regeneration of cells can be affected by a number of life-style factors. Only about 35% of aging is genetic, the other 65% are under our control. Your body creates about 300 billion new cells every single day, so by preventing damage and providing the environment needed to optimize the health of new cells we can slow down and even partially reverse the aging process.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

From heart health to better brain function, from reducing the risk of various cancers to improving mood, is there nothing omega-3 fatty acids can’t do? Naturopathic doctors are well trained in the use of nurtitional supplements, including omega-3-fatty acids.

Esssential Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are ‘essential’ fatty acids, which means that the body needs them but can not manufacture them, but has to get them from the diet. They are critically important to the health of your entire body and play crucial roles in cell membrane function as well as in inflammation and hormone balance. Omega-6 are the other essential fatty acids. The ratio between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats is very important, with the majority of the population having an excess of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats in their diets.

Mood Swings, Anxiety and Depression

Question: Why do I get mood swings, feel anxious or experience depression?

Answer: There are a many different reasons for mood swings, anxiety and depression, therefor every sufferer requires an individualized approach to evaluation and treatment. Treatment protocols depend on the patient’s unique case history and the causes for their present condition. Causes for anxiety and depression can include external factors such as difficulties in relationships and various emotional traumas, including sudden shocks and frights, the loss of a loved one, stress at work or home, parenting issues and many others.

Natural Treatment of Depression (Part 1)

Depression appears to be epidemic in North America

  • About 20 million people are being affected every year
  • One in eight individuals will develop depression in their lifetime
  • Depression is twice as common in women as men       

Prozac and SSRIs

  • SSRIs account for more than half of antidepressant prescriptions
  • currently written in the US and Canada
  • Annual sales of Prozac alone are over one billion dollars.
  • Other SSRIs include Wellbutrin, Effexor (vanlafexine), Serzone (nefazodone), Remeron
  • (mirtazapine), Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine) and Luvox (fluvoxamine).
  •  

Treating chronic, recurring bladder infections naturally

Many women suffer from chronic, low grade or frequently recurring bladder infections, sometimes diagnosed as interstitial cystitis. This is a very distressing condition which can seriously interfere with a woman's quality of life and can put quite a strain on intimate relationships as intercourse often aggravates the condition.      
Symptoms of chronic bladder infections
There may be all the usual symptoms of cystitis, including urgency, frequent urination, pain and burning during or after urination. Sometimes the first or only symptom is an unusual odour to the urine. The condition may flare up with intercourse, getting chilled, loss of sleep or stress. Urine tests and bacterial cultures may or may not come back positive for infections. The usual conventional treatment is low-dose, long-term atibiotic therapy. 

Bird Remedies in Homeopathy

Birds have more to offer us than beauty, song and inspiration; they can offer help for illness as well. Remarkably, homeopathic remedies made from a simple feather can have great healing powers. This case study demonstrates some of the interesting aspects of bird remedies.
 
The case of the caged heart
 
A 48-year-old female consulted me in November of 2008 regarding vasospastic angina lasting for two years. The symptom picture was one of classic angina, but there was no blockage of the arteried. The patient was rather annoyed by the angina: "I have no time for this. I resent having to pay attention to my body. I've got things to do. I'm still mad at the doctors who diagnosed it."
 
I asked her how her heart felt about this.

Post-Partum Depression

Q:  I had a baby two months ago and still feel very tired and low in spirits. I hvae mood swigs and feel irritable. Sometimes I feel as if I don't care abuot my husband or baby. Is there life after chidbirth? 
 
A: You may be experienceing postpartum depression. Estrogen and progesterone levels suddenly drop after chidlbirth, which may lead to depression, apathy, sudden mood swings, bouts of irritability, anger, and often a complete loss of libido, all of which can put a lot of strain on a marriage and make motherhood difficult. See your medical doctor and your naturopath for a through assessment, including bloodwork. Make sure you are not overworking yourself and are getting enough sleep.
Thyroid function may also be altered following childbirth, as the thyroid is overworking throughout the pregnancy and may underfunction (hypothyroid) after the baby is born.

Natural Help for Fibrocystic Breast Disease

FBD, better known as fibrocystic breast disease, is characterized by lumpiness and often discomfort in one or both breasts. This common condition, affecting between 30-60% of women between the ages of 30 and 50, is benign, meaning it is not cancerous or malignant.

However, it does increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer and it can also make a breast cancer lump more difficult to find with both breast examination and mammography. As a naturopathic doctor I think this condition should be taken quite seriously as it is a result of abnormal hormonal and cell metabolism besides being plain uncomfortable. FBD is usually more painful before the menstrual cycle.

Learning about Candida/Yeast Infections

If you are itching to get rid of yet another yeast infection, take heart. Help is only a trip to the health food store or grocery store away. But before you run out and try any home treatment, please make sure it is really yeast which is causing your problems, as certain other infections such as vaginal strep, chlamydia and gonorrhea may have similar symptoms. Get examined and have a swab done.

What are the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection?

The most common symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection is itching in the vaginal and/or vulvar area. This can include the clitoris and the perineum (the area between the vagina and the rectum). In some women the entire pubic region may be itchy. There may be redness and swelling of the vulvar area. Additionally there may be a vaginal discharge, which is usually whitish and can have a cottage cheese like appearance. However, you may have a yeast infection even without a noticeable discharge. If the infection is severe there may be burning and pain, especially with intercourse.
 

Natural Treatment for Candida/Yeast Infections

In a previous article I discussed the causes of yeast infections. Now we will learn about treating those nasty itchy nuisances. Again, the most common symptoms are itching in the vaginal and/or vulvar area, swelling and soreness of the parts and possibly a whitish discharge. Also, remember to get a proper diagnosis before treating yourself.

You will want to treat both the local symptoms as well as the systemic yeast overgrowth.

Homeopathy and Cancer

What can Homeopathy offer to Cancer Patients?

Cancer is a difficult and multifactorial condition and it is clear that there is no one definitive treatment or cure for it at this time. In addition, conventional treatment, although often effective in eraticating the disease, can have unfortunate side effects.

Homeopathy is a therapy which is being seriously studied for the treatment as well as co-treatment of cancer, the treatment of side effects of chemotherpy and radiation, post-surgical pain relief and reduction of side effects, and the prevention of a recurrence of cancer.

Fever is a Friend

 I am questioned about fever in children several times a week.With flu season in high swing many children are sick and parents are taught to fear fever as if it were a disease and to make it go away as soon as possible. 

Natural Health Care for Children in Victoria, BC. Special Interests in Vaccine Injuries, Autism, ADD/ADHD, Learning Disablities, Anxiety and Aggression. Focus on Homeopathy and CEASE Therapy. For more information please call 250. 590. 5828

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