Colitis and Kids

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I just saw a billboard from Crohn’s and Colitis Canada that stated Colitis is on the rise among Canadian children.  As a mother of two young children, and a Naturopathic Doctor, this latest “disease on the rise” in Canadian children saddens me.

With reports of autism, allergies and obesity on the rise in paediatric populations, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (i.e. Crohn’s and Colitis) is another preventable illness that is compromising the health of our youth.

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada states that diet is not a cause of the condition, although it notes certain foods can aggravate symptoms.  However, after years of working with children and adults with IBD I have seen first hand that eating a high frequency of certain foods can certainly start people of all ages down the path of chronic gut irritation, inflammation and injury.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I recommend taking a therapeutic approach to nutrition for kids with IBD.  This can be difficult for many parents who find their kids are resistant to nutritional changes.  As I parent I realize this can be a challenge.  So while I work with parents and children to address nutritional concerns, there are natural remedy recommendations that I give to help reduce inflammation and increase gut healing.  These remedies are safe for children to take.

Selecting remedies that neutralize inflammation, restore the gut environment and repair the lining of the digestive tract have helped many patients overcome IBD naturally.  My recommendations can be used safely with medication that may have been prescribed by a doctor.  I have found that as we build back the integrity of the gut, patients have been able to use less medication as they have less symptoms.  We continue our work until they regain optimal digestive health.  Then from there, even natural remedies can be streamlined to basic support while we use nutrition and healthy lifestyle to prevent a return of the inflammatory process.

My passion is to teach others about proactive health care and preventative medicine.  This is especially important for parents raising the children of today.  We want to grow healthy and happy children.  Preventative medicine can help stop the rising rates of chronic illness in kids.

For more information, feel free to email me at drlaura@winhealth.ca.

The Poop Scoop

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There is something Naturopathic Doctors are well known for among their patients.  Our discussions around digestion.  Healthy digestion is paramount for optimal health.  So… we want to know all about your poop.

Constipation is a common problem but it is very important to resolve this condition.  Sluggish gut function ultimately leads to the pooling of toxicity in the body.  If you can’t get it out, it re-circulates.  Makes sense.

This can lead to further deterioration of the gut, congestion of the liver, bad breath, water retention, skin problems, immune weakening and much more.

Many people feel squeamish talking about it.  In my office, we go there.  The more we understand the health of what’s going on in there, we can more easily uncover what each person needs and give health education to help them feel amazingly healthy.

Here’s my TOP 5 Poop Solutions:

  1. Free Your Mind
    • Stress is a major contributor to constipation.  Have you ever heard of the term “rest and digest”?  The digestive tract depends on downtime (mental and physical) to get it’s job done.  When we are all tied up being busy and important, blood flow to the digestive tract can be restricted and the musculature that is part of this organ constricts.
    • Hmmm… let’s see… contraction, restriction… that doesn’t sound like an environment for flow.
    • Also holding on to negative emotions (i.e. anger, grief, hatred, fear, resentment) can also restrict and constrict the gut.  Finding ways to let this go through healthy outlets like exercise, yoga, counselling, deep breathing, qi gong, tai chi, prayer or meditation is a top priority for gut health.

2. Hydrate

  • Drinking enough water cannot be understated.
  • Health Canada recommends 8-10 glasses of water a day.  This equal 2.0-2.5 LITRES of water.  Remember to drink clean filtered water.  Herbal teas count, too.
  • Water helps to flush the colon of stool.   ‘Nuff said.

3. Eat Roughage – Non Salad Veggies & Chia Seed

  • I’ve posted before and I’ll post it again… including a healthy dose of non-salad veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, asparagus, zucchini, cucumbers, celery, and so on, has way more clout that lettuce.
  • Salad greens are mainly water and do not contain much fiber.  Non salad greens contain lots of fiber and a little bit of water.  To strengthen your gut and provide the roughage needed to push the stool through we need a healthy dose of plant fiber.
  • Not to mention, choosing plant fiber from real food over taking a fiber supplement like metamucil will also provide us with a plethora of nutrients.
  • I also recommend adding 2 tbsp chia seed everyday for people who are chronically constipated.

4. Probiotics

  • Introducing health gut flora back in to the system can help relieve constipation.
  • Buyer beware: not all probiotics are effective.  Email me for more information.

5. Follow a Routine

  • Meal routine, sleep routine, exercise routine = poop routine.
  • Many people who find themselves out of synch will inevitably find their bowels out of synch.
  • Our bodies CRAVE routine.  We may not realize it when we have lost that in our lives, but once we get back to it, we feel so much better and things fall into place.

If you are already doing these things, have tried them and haven’t had success or aren’t sure were to start, talk with a Naturopathic Doctor to explore other safe, effective and balancing treatment options that are the best fit for you.  For more information, feel free to email me at drlaura@winhealth.ca.

 

 

Who Knew? Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: For Warts & All!

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I’ve blogged about the uses of raw unpasturized apple cider vinegar in the past so many of you know how therapeutic it is.  Recently, one of my favourite health websites featured the health benefits and uses of this old school natural remedy.  The great thing is raw unpasturized apple cider vinegar is easy to find in virtually any grocery and heath food store.  Remember to look for the “RAW” stuff…. you know… the one with the floaty sediment in the bottom.

Still not sure you’re convinced about it?  Check out POPSUGAR’s article here: 5 Things You Didn’t Know Apple Cider Vinegar Could Help With

Hot Topic: Detoxing

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Last week I participated in an online health education initiative, “The Great Detox Debate” offered by tujawellness.  I’ve posted the video at the end of the post in case you missed it or want to catch an encore of our discussion.

From our discussion, you will gather that I feel that detoxing can be helpful for some people but it’s not a true solution.  I am wary about this trend because I have met with countless patients who have tried doing a  “detox” and yet find themselves still battling health concerns.

For those who feel great during a detox, my question always is… What happened when the detox protocol ended?   Did you go back to your usual meal and lifestyle choices after the detox or did you continue eating clean? Have your health concerns resolved or did they come back a few weeks after ending the detox?  Do you feel like your body learned to sustain this efficiency after the detox?

I often find that it’s a matter of time before the results of the detox fade.  This is why I think detoxing is misleading.  Yes, it can be a helpful tool.  It can be the jumpstart that some people need to boost their physiology.  However, we need to learn from these experiences and extrapolate them into everyday life.  Eating nutritiously 365 days a year facilities detoxification everyday and helps to prevent the development of chronic health concerns and illnesses.

It’s just like anything… if we use a detox as a “crash course” to quickly get our bodies feeling good or looking good the results will not last, especially when we revert back to old habits.

And… just like in school, it’s tough to learn something really well when we pull an all-nighter before the test. We may remember it for the test, but that information is quickly forgotten.  The same goes for doing a detox to teach the body how to detox.  A short intense period of “healthy eating” and supplementing to optimize detoxification pathways will do very little to actually TEACH the body how to MAINTAIN it’s own efficiency for most people.

Maintaining optimal detoxification is the key for good health and feeling vibrant no matter what our age.  In this case, slow and steady wins the race.  The little things we do everyday to take care of our bodies is the best detox strategy.

For more real solutions to optimize your body’s ability to detoxify and prevent health concerns and illnesses, feel free to email me at drlaura@winhealth.ca.

*Contact WIN Health Solutions at 905.354.0267 to inquire about our NEW Accessible Path Fees.  We are focused on making Naturopathic Medicine accessible for everyone.

Update: The Great Detox Debate

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Hi Everyone!  This is just a little update about The Great Detox Debate, live webinar, that I am participating in and that is being offered by tujawellness.

The original date, set for this evening, has been rescheduled to Tuesday March 31st at 7:00pm EST.

Tune in to our conversation by clicking here: The Great Detox Debate.

We’ll be shedding light and giving our expert opinions on this popular topic.  Participants also will be entered to win a Blentec Designer 725 blender, which is valued at $650.00!

Dr. Imola Joins tujawellness’ Great Detox Debate

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Join the conversation I’ll be having with Nicole Boileau of tujawellness and Lynsey Walker of lynseylovesfood.com this Sunday March 22nd at 6:00pm EST as we discuss detoxing and cleansing during the tujawellness webinar The Great Detox Debate.

This FREE 30 minute webinar will be packed full of expert information on this hot health topic.  Listen in as we answer the most popular questions, debunk detoxing myths and share simple and practical strategies that everyone can benefit from.

Register to attend here: The Great Detox Debate

“Are Detoxes Really Necessary?”…Find out the answer to this and other hot detox questions during our debate this Sunday!

 

Live Dirty and Eat Clean

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Early in my practice I was so fortunate to learn about the importance of the body’s terrain, now commonly referred to as “THE MICROBIOME”, from my mentors in Naturopathic Medicine, the outstanding Dr. Gerard Guinot, Dr. Robert Abell, Dr. Dickson Thom and Dr. Mikhael Adams.  If you haven’t already heard, the next hot health topic is the microbiome, more specifically the gut microbiome.  We are going to hear more about this and there will be plenty of studies proving that our body’s terrain is an essential component to excellent health and illness prevention.

As a student, I first learned about the body’s ecology from one of my first professors in Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Denis O’Hara, who introduced us to the teachings of one of the first Naturopathic Doctors, Dr. Henry Lindlahr.  Dr. Lindlahr was talking about the microbiome way back in 1904!!

He wrote about his findings in which the microbiome of his patients were being bathed in a milieu of their own toxic excretions, which Dr. O’Hara would affectionately translate as “drowning in their own crud.”  This is as much of a problem now as it was then.  Food quality, environmental pollution, medication, physiological toxicity and a myriad of other things changes our gut terrain, which is leading to disease in so many people.  Moreover, the modern day focus on “killing germs” and germ phobia has decreased exposure, reduced tolerance to microbial diversity and limited immune development.  This has become a big obstacle for health in adults and an even bigger obstacle for the health today’s children.

This is not something that can be tested for in a lab, however when we build the terrain back up people feel better, their immune system gets stronger and physical symptoms disappear.

I always strive to educate patients about the value of supporting a healthy gut environment through nutrition and treatment.  Recently, I came across this video featuring Dr. Roynne Chutkan, an integrated gastroentrologist, that I had to share.  She eloquently and succinctly speaks to the the health philosophy that I am so passionate about and integrate in my health educating.

Time and time again, I have witnessed what my mentors and Dr. Chutkan have witnessed with regard to what it takes to live our healthiest lives.

Take some time to learn more about how gut health, clean eating and exposure to bacterial diversity can help prevent adults and children from developing chronic illness by watching Dr. Chutkan’s video.

For more information or to learn what you can do to strengthen the foundation of your health feel free to email me at drlaura@winhealth.ca.