Although the topic of eating disorders is often focused on the female population, a growing awareness of the need to discuss the topic of eating disorders in males is also coming to light. Read Dr. Decker's contribution to Eating Disorder Hope concerning the topic of eating disorder awareness in the male population.
In recovery from eating disorders and other addictions, there are many ups and downs that life challenges one with. Fortunately through the path of recovery one becomes aware of many more choices rather than the addiction that once controlled behaviors and choices. What are you doing to support your recovery when you encounter trauma? Dr. Decker discusses some ideas to consider in Eating Disorder Hope.
In recovery from an eating disorder, it is common to experience anxiety and stress related digestive problems. Read more about how to support the body in digestion in Dr. Decker's contribution to Eating Disorder Hope.
If you don’t feel your best energy-wise from time-to-time you are in good company. Everyone experiences occasional symptoms of fatigue, and this may be associated with poor sleep, stress, seasonal depression, and many other things. When stress becomes prolonged, after meeting the demands of the body to function at this high level, the system eventually wears down and is in need of restoration. Stress can come from a variety of things including a demanding job, family and dependants, health problems, or the death of a loved one. More often than not, a multitude of low level chronic stresses accumulate and tip the balance resulting in a health crisis or the body shutting down, with chronic fatigue resulting.
With the winter soon to be in full force, shorter days, less fresh air, and cold temperatures forcing us to take shelter inside our homes, diminished emotional stability and altered mood issues are common. For individuals who experience a chronically lower mood this may edge them further towards depression. For others the slight tendencies to an anxious response become a daily struggle, and sleep or relationships problems result from this. Even individuals who do not have chronic issues with depression or anxiety can find that seasonal blues are an issue. Fortunately there are many things which can be done to support the mood, nurture the body and soul, and rejuvenate the body so it is ready for another summer.
Thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are also most often due to autoimmune diseases in the United States (Hashimoto thyroiditis and Graves disease). However the actual autoimmune aspect of this is often undiagnosed, particularly with hypothyroidism. In individuals with an autoimmune thyroid disorder, the incidence of other autoimmune diseases is between 10 – 15%. This means that these individuals are more likely to have an additional autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly known as Lupus or SLE), Celiac disease, and vitiligo - http://tinyurl.com/mesq3dg. Autoimmune diseases are much more common in females, and are one of the top 10 causes of death in women up to 64 years of age (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc).
Many individuals experience a change in stool from time to time – what one has eaten, medications and supplements, and emotional events all may contribute to irregular “pooping” patterns. Perhaps there is an underlying flora imbalance, perhaps there is an emotional event trigger, perhaps there are abnormalities of the anorectal musculature or sensation, and then the accumulation of factors eventually leads to the symptoms of what is often diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome.
Many studies have demonstrated that non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is significantly related to various health conditions, however others have also shown no relationship... NCGS is characterized (in individuals for which Celiac disease has been excluded) by symptoms which occur after gluten ingestion, are improved (within hours or days) after elimination, with relapse following gluten introduction.
Central nervous system (CNS) glutamate abnormalities have also been implicated in tic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC, precursor to glutathione) is one antioxidant which has been shown to be useful in reducing symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, associated with modulation of CNS glutamate levels.
Many individuals in recovery from an eating disorder may experience ongoing chronic complaints of emotional imbalance, gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain and constipation being common), chronic fatigue, and disrupted or abnormal sleep. There are medical reasons why these problems may be experienced, and holistic support for recovery is imperative. Some aspects which I consider medically when working with clients in recovery from eating disorders are detailed here.
For the health conscious among us, the term chronic inflammation is also probably something which one has heard of. But what is chronic inflammation and an inflammatory state? Does this really impact health? And if so, what can be done?
As a naturopathic doctor in a region where naturopathic medicine is not a common practice, I am often asked about what naturopathic medicine is. Although the answers I give are often simple — it is the practice of medicine utilizing botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy and counseling — there is a volume of depth beyond each of these and the philosophy of naturopathic care.
Summer is finally here. Or at least the date on the calendar is approaching such! With the sunshine and warm weather, there are so many outdoor things we are once again able to do. For many of us, this means more exercise-based activity, whether it be throwing around the Frisbee, biking a half century, or even just playing with the kids in the yard or coaching their sports team. It feels so good to be outside and moving the body that we often forget that we do not inhabit our teen or 20-something bodies all our lives.
As we shed our winter layers, dryness, rashes and acne once hidden become visible and more of a concern. Often the cause of imbalances observed on our surface layer are due to other imbalances within. Topical ointments and lotions can do only so much, as our internal milieu of hormones, chemicals and proteins that travel within our blood both feed our skin and are excreted by it.
If you are a sufferer of allergies, eczema or asthma, you are not alone. This constellation of symptoms is known as the atopic triad, as they generally occur together. Individuals who experience the atopic syndrome have a predisposition toward developing allergic hypersensitivity reactions to a variety of things. You probably know you are not alone, as your risk of suffering from atopy doubles with each first degree relative (parent, sibling, child) who also experiences one of these symptoms.
Heartburn is a symptom that many individuals can identify with experiencing at least once in their lives — the burning and aching in the chest and substernal region often associated with meal consumption. For some, however, this is a chronic state of digestive imbalance, and for these individuals, physicians often prescribe treatments such as antacids, histamine receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors. These medications are used as chronic heartburn is very painful and possible long-term sequelae include malignant (cancerous) changes.
Individuals with a history of an eating disorder may experience symptoms of digestive imbalance throughout their lives. Stress and anxiety associated with food or meal times further contribute to abnormal eating patterns and digestive dysfunction. Digestive dysfunction further contributes to mood disorders and is associated with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as physical symptoms of anemia, hypothyroid, poor immunity, fatigue, skin problems, chronic pain and so much more
Adipose tissue is the fat-storing connective tissue of our body. Our adipose tissue functions not just as an energy reserve, but also as an endocrine organ and storage receptacle for toxins known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Where better to put these dangerous compounds than a place where they can be “safely” stored away from our essential organs? However, with weight loss, these toxins are released, and require the liver to increase its activities to metabolize and eliminate them from our bodies.