Advertisements

National Health & Fitness News

Bringing you the latest Australian health and fitness news.

New Chronic Pain Treatment Revolutionises Sufferer Therapy Options

hamza-butt-2016-httpsflic-krphfmahi

Photo Credit: Hamza Butt, 2016 – Pain 

NEWS FEATURE

The Resolve Pain Clinic, based in Caine, Western Australia, has announced that a second pilot study and recent in-clinic testing suggests a new, inexpensive neurological treatment method can actually switch off chronic pain signalling, often in just minutes. This new chronic pain strategy has been found to be useful for a broad range of chronic pain types, from back and neck pain to arthritis pain, and even fibromyalgia.

For more information, visit www.resolvepainclinic.com.au.

The study, conducted by The Lifeworks Group in Western Australia, is the first of its kind and offers a better way to help relieve and even entirely eliminate non-malignant chronic pain, regardless of how severe or how long the patient has suffered. Investigators found that over half the study group was able to reduce pain immediately, with others experiencing varying but significant degrees of relief. In fact, there appears to be very few people who don’t get significant benefit from the treatment. Benefits are not just physical either, the financial cost of treatment is also reduced.

The total economic cost of chronic pain in Australia, during 2016, was over $A55 billion. Cases of chronic pain in Australia alone numbered more than 6 million and ranged from neck, back and arthritis pain. Furthermore, the Journal of Pain estimates the cost of chronic pain in the US is more than $US635 billion annually. Therefore, chronic pain costs more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes to treat. However, the introduction of the Resolve Pain Clinic’s new treatment program hopes to alleviate much of this cost in coming years.

The F2 Chronic Pain Treatment Program

Christine Sutherland, the developer of the F2 chronic pain treatment program, said that even two years after the original pilot study in 2003, participants reported that they were still mostly free of pain and able to go back to their lives.

Ms Sutherland said, “We’re excited to finally unveil this new proven approach and to share our findings, because we’ve known for a long time that very few people are being helped by current methods, and many people give up all hope. Finally, we can offer something that not only works but which works very quickly and quite dramatically for most people.”

“This approach recognises that chronic pain is very different to acute pain and that the pain signals are being generated within the nervous system itself, as a form of conditioning. These conditioned responses, once identified, can now be very rapidly extinguished, and that’s why the results are so extreme and so fast.”

Moving Beyond Traditional Pain Therapies

Sutherland notes that while traditional strategies such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (commonly known as “mindfulness”) achieve results, these are no better than placebo, with any effect typically vanishing as soon as the client has left the psychologist’s office.

“What we need to do instead of blaming the patient’s attitude,” said Sutherland, “Is to identify and then eliminate or extinguish the problematic conditioning. This way, the person doesn’t have to try to talk themselves out of their distress over their pain. Instead, we just switch the pain off.”

“What we see in the program is usually a continuation of the ups, downs, and flaring of chronic pain, but with much lower levels of pain, with less frequent and smaller flares, and a definite downward trend in pain. We typically expect to see quite a fast reduction or even complete elimination of the pain, permanently, so the person no longer needs pain medication and can return to their usual role.”

Ms Sutherland said that the new method must only be undertaken under the strict supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, in partnership with the pain team. This approach maintains a safe environment where everyone is fully informed, medication can be properly supervised, and any new symptoms are investigated promptly.

F2 Treatment Not a Magic Cure-all Remedy

However, Sutherland said the program isn’t a magic remedy. “Although it appears to have an extraordinarily high success rate,” Sutherland said, “There is no such thing as 100% effectiveness. There will always be those who do not respond well, particularly when the pain is actually caused by inflammation for example. Such pain is not real chronic pain, but actually acute pain, which utilises very different nerve paths to chronic pain and is really a very different beast altogether. This is why participation in the program is by doctor referral only. Our stringent approach ensures proper diagnosis before admission, and continued communication with the supervising pain team throughout treatment, which including the patient’s referring doctor.”

Ms Sutherland is hopeful that this new approach to the treatment of chronic pain will soon become the “gold standard” so that many more people may be helped instead of being consigned to a life of daily agony.

About the Resolve Pain Clinic

The Resolve Pain Clinic, Situated in Western Australia, investigates, identifies and then extinguishes pain so sufferers can get back to living an active life. The clinic’s mission is to uncover faster more effective therapeutic-based solutions that eliminate pain for chronic sufferers globally.

Advertisements

How Gut Bacteria Affects Your Weight

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

14847652267_f83faf2b1f_b

Photo Credit: Argonne National Library, 2013: Clostridia protects Against Food Allergies

We all know what we eat affects our gut bacteria but did you know that an imbalanced gut bacteria can cause weight gain?

When gut bacteria is balanced and we have the right diversity of species, in the correct proportions living happily in our gut. Then, we can chug along merrily. But, when the gut bacteria are imbalanced that is another story altogether.

Gut bacteria alters the way we store fat. Plus, these bacteria affect the hormonal messages that we get to signify that we are full or not, and they also help us keep our blood sugar levels stable. Therefore, it is essential to our health to create a diverse ecosystem as a matter of priority.

Gut Bacteria That Assist Weight Loss

The gut bugs called Bacteroidetes tend to hang out in slimmer people. Bacteroidetes break down starches and fibres into shorter molecules so that the body can use it as energy.

Firmicutes are a more prevalent species in people who are overweight.  Firmicutes help the body extract calories from complex sugars and it then turns those calories into fats.

Researchers on mice showed that if they transplanted Firmicutes into normal weight mice,  the mice would start to gain twice as much fat.

How to Keep Your Bacteroides High

What can you do to keep your level of Bacteroidetes high and encourage diversity in your inner ecosystem?

  • Eat whole, unprocessed foods – as we know diversity is the key to great gut health. Diversity in your gut bacteria can be achieved by consuming many healthy foods. So, eat many different types of fruit and vegetables every week.
  • Avoid high fat diets as they increase inflammation and weight gain.The fat you eat matters, so avoid refined omega 6 fats like sunflower, safflower soybean and canola oil. Include oily fish and free range meats as they have a higher omega 3 content.
  • Avoid chemicals, pesticides and genetically modified organisms. These chemicals, pesticides and GMO’s are becoming harder to avoid within our food chain. They potential damage our nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems and they increase our overall risk of cancer. GMO products are generally engineered to produce pesticides themselves, and they also have a negative impact on the gut bacteria.  Organic foods are great here for reducing your toxic load.  It is also good to change your household and personal care products over to natural ranges.
  • Reduce your stress. Stress changes bacteria levels in the gut which can lead to changes to our immune system and our neurotransmitter production. In addition, stress can also increase our chances of getting a pathogen.
  • Get some sleep. Interrupted sleep prevents your body from properly producing the hormones that regulate your sleep. Research shows that when our circadian rhythm is disrupted, it disrupts the gut bacteria as well.

As you can see, there are many variables that can keep our gut bugs happy and produce the bacteria that keep our weight stable. Therefore, a few simple changes can make a difference to your weight.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

JOIN THE HURLEY SURF CLUB’S FREE SESSIONS TO SURF LIKE A PRO

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

NEWS FEATURE:

If you want to surf like a pro, but never had the confidence to follow your dream, then the Hurley Surf Club, with global hotspots, can make it happen. In Australia, the club is helping surfers progress from ‘wipeouts’ to ‘gnarly’ with their surf coaching program that’s travelling around New South Wales before heading to Victoria and, South and Western Australia.

The Hurley Surf Club coaching sessions are ‘free’. To participate, surfers must be over 12-years and able to catch waves and ride the line. So, the sessions are not for beginner boarders. Instead, they are designed to improve grommets, wahines and other surfer’s wave manoeuvres, so they rip and aim for a perfect 10.

How Long are the Free Coaching Sessions?

The free coaching sessions run for an hour and a half. Each session consists of eight surfers who ride the waves for an hour and are taped by a videographer. A surfing coach will then analyse the video footage and explain how a surfer can improve their surfing technique. Coaches typically review each session wave by wave so they can identify skills that can enhance surfing aptitude.

What are the New South Wales Session Times?

At present, there are three sessions listed in New South Wales, but the website is continually being updated. So, be sure to frequently drop by to check out any changes to session times and locations.

The New South Wales sessions listed are:

Saturday, December the 10th

  • Location: Hurley Surf Club, North Wollongong, N.S.W
  • Sessions: 8am to 10.30am; 11am to 1.30pm; and 2pm and 4.30pm

Sunday, December the 11th

  • Location: Hurley Surf Club, Kiama, N.S.W
  • Sessions: 8am to 10.30am;  and 11am to 1.30pm

Saturday, December the 17th

  • Location: Hurley Surf Club, Palm Beach, N.S.W
  • Sessions: To be announced

Are There Other Sessions?

Similar sessions will be held in Hawaii, California and New York in the United States; Hossenger, France; San Sebastian, Spain; and Newquay in the United Kingdom. Hurley will also be adding more regions in the future.

Does the Hurley Surf Club Have Other Offers?

For those surfers who miss out on a free training session or who want to improve their wave riding skills, they can take advantage of the how-to videos on some top manoeuvres such as the Backside Curve, Layback Hack and Frontside Tuberide. Surfers can also ask some of the world’s best ocean athletes questions about surfing.

Plus, surfers can send in a video of themselves surfing for analysis by Hurley. All the wave riders need to do is create a minute long video of them riding two right and two left waves. They can then upload this video to YouTube. Next, they’ll need to sign up for a consultation on the Hurley website, and fill out a questionnaire. A Hurley surfing coach will then review their video and provide comment within a day.

The resident online coach for Australia is currently Barton Lynch. Other countries have similar surfing legends providing feedback.

Follow us on Twitter for more news, tips and inspiration.

Explore our Pinterest boards.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment.

We like to hear what you have to say🙂

Prebiotics: How These Can Change Your Health

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo Credit: Prebiotics and Probiotics Food List and Prebiotics and Probiotics Food Sources –

Prebiotics by definition are ‘non-digestible food ingredients. These beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or limited number of bacteria. Most importantly, prebiotics improve the colon health of the host.

Where are Prebiotics Found?

Prebiotics are in plants, mostly vegetables.  These plant fibres cannot be digested.  Instead, they make their way through our small intestine to our colon relatively unchanged.  When they get to the colon, they act as food that can stimulate the bacteria.  The bacteria ferment them, and that’s why you often hear them called ‘fermentable fibres’.

The Benefits of Prebiotics

#1 These foods are excellent for digestive health; they stimulate the growth of our beneficial bacteria (probiotics). They act as food for the bacteria and stimulate the bacteria that is already in the colon.  They balance out the harmful bacteria by lowering the pH of the gut. They also inhibit pathogens.

#2 Once the bacteria has ingested the food, they produce Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) which help protect the intestinal lining as well as offer fuel to the cells. They play a role in prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome and bowel disorders.  They also have a positive effect for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

#3 As 80% of our immune system is in our gut, prebiotics positively influences how the immune system reacts.

#4 Research shows us that there is an association between mood, anxiety and depression due to the gut/brain connection. Your gut bacteria helps to absorb and metabolise nutrients from the food you eat, which turn into hormones like serotonin (our happy hormone) which plays a role in mood.

#5 A positive impact on bone health as prebiotics enhance the absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Studies have shown the increase in these nutrients lead to an increase in bone density.

#6 Prebiotics influence weight and lower the risk of obesity. High fibre intake allows for greater food energy absorption, and this gives you a feeling of fullness and can lower your body weight.  It makes you produce less ghrelin (which is the hormone used to stimulate your appetite, increase food intake and promote fat storage).

#7 Consuming high fibre foods can lower cholesterol levels and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, and they can also impact on blood pressure due to their levelling effect on electrolyte and mineral levels.

As you can see from a health perspective, it is worth getting prebiotics into your daily diet.  Some of my favourites are Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, garlic, onions, asparagus, green bananas and dandelion greens. You may experience some added gas when introducing these foods into our diet so go slowly.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Follow us on Twitter for more news, tips and inspiration.

Explore our Pinterest boards.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment.

We like to hear what you have to say🙂

How Stress Affects Your Gut Health

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

 

Stress is a product of our environment

Photo Credit: Jason Paris, March 8, 2015: Stress is a Product of Our Environment

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Stress is a cause of many illnesses as it creates physiological changes in our bodies. For instance, our body reverts back to its primitive instincts when stressed. Should it fight or should it flee? This instinct sets about a chain reaction. When you’re under stress your blood pressure goes up, your heart beats faster. Your body shunts blood away from your digestive area and into your arms and legs so you can be ready to flee or fight.

Stress, Your Body and Gut Health

When put under stress, then your body reacts in certain ways. Some of the most common reactions that you will encounter when stressed include the following:

  • Food digestion stops, so you get decreased nutrient absorption.
  • Oxygenation decreases due to blood rushing to your extremities.
  • Metabolism slows because there is less blood flow to the area.
  • Enzymes don’t work as efficiently because they need the co-factors from the absorption of foods.
  • Mucous membrane in your gastrointestinal system can’t regenerate properly.
  • Digestive secretions change.
  • Pain levels increase in your digestive organs.
  • Gut bacteria levels drop which then has a knock-on effect on the neurotransmitters – serotonin and GABA levels fluctuate in your gut and affect anxiety levels and your mood.
  • Motility alters, which can increase the overgrowth of bacteria that can lead to conditions like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or leaky gut.
  • Inflammation occurs in the digestive area if you become chronically stressed.
  • The functions of the immune system lower.

Acute stress is unavoidable in our modern world, but ongoing chronic stress is much more prevalent today than ever before. Chronic stress can lead to gastrointestinal diseases, such as IBS, IBD, and food allergies, along with reflux disease (GORD) and peptic ulcers.

Reducing Stress on Your Body and Gut Health

So how can you avoid these problems? Well, there are some ways that you can cut or lessen the impact of stress on your system. These are as follows:

1. Include stress reducing practices into your daily life. The most common forms of practices are prayer, meditation, and yoga, as well as relaxation techniques, dancing, and gardening. Others also like painting and deep breathing.

2. Increase your amount of physical activity. Exercise can stimulate endorphins, it relieves tension and can improve your mood pretty quickly.

3. Be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth.  Eat foods that serve and nourish your body. Whole foods and good quality protein sources are ideal, as are fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds and good fats.

4. Add fermented foods into your diet.  These foods can change the pH of the environment in your gut and lead to better conditions for good gut bacteria.  They are inexpensive and easy to make at home.  Some good examples are sauerkraut, Kim Chi, kefir, plain yoghurt, kefir and beet kvass. Try including one serve daily to your diet.

5. Ensure you are getting enough down time in your life.  Find things that are fun and include them daily to your activity.  Sleep is also important here. Experiment with going to bed earlier, shutting your screens down and spending time low-stress activities. Colouring in, reading and talking with your loved ones are perfect.

Stress is inevitable, so take small steps daily to ensure that it stays at a manageable level. Your body will  thank you for this.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

The Gut Loving Diet

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

13142303363_4d0779d119_k

Photo Credit: Khuroshvili Ilya 2014  The Gut Loving Diet Man

Have you ever wondered about the bacteria in your gut and what foods it takes to make them happy. This is the Gut Loving Diet. These foods feed your good bacteria and starve out the bad bacteria. They are whole foods, not too expensive, readily available. You also don’t have to be a Cordon Bleu Chef to whip them up in your kitchen.

Whole Grains

These are unfashionable right now with the Paleo movement in full swing, but gut bacteria love whole grains especially in the form of oats, rye and wholegrain rice. For this reason, whole grains have made it into the gut loving diet. If you have a dodgy gut, rinse and soak overnight in acidulated water (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar added) before rinsing again and cooking the next day to get the best from them.

Polyphenols

Know as the most abundant antioxidants in the gut loving diet; polyphenols are present in plants. Only a small percentage of polyphenols are broken down in the small intestine, and the rest make their way to the large intestine where they act as a prebiotic for the gut bacteria. Plus, they increase the number of healthy bacteria in the gut, and they inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

Some foods that have polyphenols are apples, blueberries, black currants, cherries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, black grapes, pomegranates, plums, red wine, green tea and peppermint tea.

Vegetables

Veggies are again rich in polyphenols and essential to the gut loving diet. These contain insoluble and soluble fibre which helps prevent constipation. The insoluble fibre absorbs water and expands as it moves through the digestive tract. It has a bulking, and softening action decreases pressure inside the intestinal tract which can calm the symptoms of IBS.

Green leafy vegetables have been shown to boost a pathway in the intestinal tract which helps produce a type of cell that repairs the lining of the gut and balances both good and bad bacteria. Ensure you have lots of different varieties with as many colours. Think about all the colours of the rainbow – red, blue, purple, yellow, orange, white, green to get the most phytonutrients from your food. Have them in your fridge for easy access.

Nuts and Seeds

All nuts and seeds are super high in fibre. However, phytic acid can stop you from absorbing their goodness. Activation is the best way to improve their digestibility. Soak them in acidulated water then dehydrate until dry.

Almonds, pistachios, chestnuts, and pecans, as well as hazelnuts, and flaxseeds need to be cracked to be of benefit. Other seeds that are ideal are sesame seeds, pepitas, and sunflower seeds. But, these seeds can cause trouble for some people. So, it is important to start eating them slowly; a small handful is enough.

Fructooligosaccharides(FOS)/Inulin

Fructooligosaccharides(FOS) are short and medium chain sugar molecules that our body can’t digest (aka fermentable fibres). They pass through the digestive system and also become food for good bacteria and yeast.

FOS stimulate the growth of good bacteria, and they reduce pathogenic bacteria, a pure prebiotic. These are high FODMAP foods, and they can cause discomfit for many people. So tread with caution. The ones mostly used are Jerusalem artichoke, yacon tubers, chicory roots, dandelion roots, garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus and globe artichokes.

Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)

Generally, Galactooligosaccharides do not cause the same level of discomfit in people with gut issues or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). They too stimulate the protective bacteria and limits the growth of the bad guys. Useful as they improve intestinal mucosa and villi function. These can cause problems for someone with Intestinal Permeability.

Bloating and gas can be side effects of adding these foods into the diet. This side effect doesn’t usually last more than a few days. Some of my favourites are legumes and members of the Brassica family (vegetables) such as Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, and collards, along with cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, and Chinese cabbage. Chinese veggies, turnips, and mustard greens, as well as fresh beans, beetroot, and rye sourdough. If you’re gluten intolerant, then try sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and LSA mix (Linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds).

Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is not something we can digest. It is not a fermentable fibre, but it has very similar actions. It travels through the digestive tract untouched as it reaches the colon and this is where the bacteria go crazy for it. Again this gem reduces pathogenic bacteria and increases beneficial bacteria. Some excellent sources are legumes, red lentils, and kidney beans, as well as adzuki beans, green bananas, and cooked and cooled potatoes. Cassava, sweet potato, and taro are also ideal, as is rye bread, cashews and oats – with higher amounts of resistant starch found in uncooked foods.

Other Prebiotic Like Foods

Some of the best prebiotic like foods are brown rice, orange carrots, black currants, and cocoa, along with olives and good healthy oils like olive and coconut oil.

The ‘Gut Loving Diet’ is easy to follow. There are no special foods to eat, and little preparation is needed. Just make sure you include the foods that improve your gut in your diet. It’s that simple.

When you first add these foods to your diet, you will experience a small amount of gas and bloating. This gas issue should be a short term problem only. If prolonged, then you may need to do some gut healing work before you eat some of the harder to digest groups like the FOS and Inulin.

Your gut bacteria will thank you for adding these foods to your diet. Over time your health will improve, especially if you eat these foods daily.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Gut Bacteria: How important are they for your overall health?

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

16600665339_90fb43ef8a_o

 

 

Photo credit: Kiril Pipo 2015  The Gut Microbiome –

Hippocrates was the father of Modern Medicine and his famous quote ”All Disease Begins In The Gut” still rings true today.

We have ten times more bacterial cells than human cells in our body. Ten Times! We now know that not only do these gut bacteria influence our digestion, but they also affect many other areas of our health.

What Areas of Your Health Can Gut Bacteria Affect?

Other areas of your health that gut bacteria can affect include the following:

Weight Loss: Research shows us that gut bacteria can affect our weight by extracting energy from the food we eat and can increase the absorption and storage of fat. Obese people have less microbial diversity in their bacteria than lean people.

Immune Health: Your immune system is your interface with the outside world. With 80% of our immune system residing in our gut, the interaction between our gut cells and bacterial cells play a role in how our immune system develops. If you suffer from auto-immune conditions, arthritis, allergies, acne, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue these can all be attributed to the gut.

Brain Health: Gut bacteria regulates how we think and feel. It also plays a crucial role in anxiety, depression and mood disorders. However, researchers are no closer to finding the mechanisms yet. Gut bacteria plays an important part in the production of neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine and GABA – so it makes sense that inadequate maintenance of our gut bacteria results in a lack of adequate production of the neurotransmitters needed for healthy brain function.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Gut Bacteria?

The more diversity you can bring to your gut bacteria through food, the better your overall health will be. Rather than eating the same old foods over and over, mix-it-up with foods you have not tried before. Try to include forty types of new fresh whole foods every week. Lots of different coloured vegetables and fruit is ideal. Also include some fermented foods – sauerkraut, Kim Chi, beet kvass, kefir, miso, yoghurt.

Take a Probiotic Supplement

If you don’t take a probiotic supplement, then it’s time to start. It’s also an excellent idea to start reducing factors that deplete bacteria, such as:

  • Overconsumption of processed and refined foods.
  • Overconsumption of sugars and excess starches.
  • Chemical use in our home.
  • Overuse of chemicals in makeup and personal hygiene products.
  • The lack of sleep and too much exercise.

The good news is that gut bacteria can change and adapt quickly so if you implement these changes you should notice improvements in a week.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Hidden Signs of Gluten Intolerance

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

540926535_6117cae4b9_b
Photo credit: Gluten Free Aisle via photopin (license)

It is well known that if you have gluten intolerance then you may have digestive symptoms such as IBS, constipation, diarrhoea. There are also many more conditions that could be a red flag for gluten intolerance that you hadn’t even thought of. Let’s look at these now…

Skin problems – Psoriasis, hives, dermatitis herpetiformis,eczema and keratosis pilaris (chicken skin rash) all arise from potential gluten triggers. As skin is our biggest organ it makes sense if something is happening on the outside it is being caused from the inside. Skin issues generally arise from malabsorption problems in the gut from damage that gluten does to the small intestines.

Dental problems – Cavities, broken teeth, tooth decay and gum disease could all be caused by gluten intolerance. Gluten causes inflammation in the body and causes the body to produce an immune response (it attacks) to proteins that produce teeth enamel.

Neurological problems – Depression, anxiety, ADHD, mood disorders, peripheral neuropathy (tingling in hands and feet), dementia, epilepsy, brain fog, loss of balance and gait problems can all have a direct link to gluten and is often overlooked as a cause especially as many patients with these conditions present with no digestive issues at all.

Joint pain – Especially prevalent in hands, wrists, elbows and knees.Again there may not be any digestive symptoms accompanying this pain. It is often diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis or aging.

Fatigue – Often if you are waking tired after a good nights sleep and you are feeling fatigued or if you have a meal that has gluten in it and you become tired further investigation is needed. Our energy will be impaired if we are not getting proper nutrient absorption. Digestion is an high energy dependant process.

Infertility – Unexplained infertility for both men and women, frequent miscarriages or hormonal problems for women. There is a percentage of people who fall into these categories that when tested are either Coeliac or gluten intolerant. Again they generally do not have gastrointestinal complaints. The exact mechanisms for this are not known as yet but they think gluten interferes with hormonal signalling and thyroid imbalance.

Autoimmune Disease – Unless you are diagnosed with Coeliac’s disease where you cannot eat any gluten you are unlikely to know that if you have been diagnosed with other auto-immune conditions, gluten is not your friend. If you develop one auto-immune disease you are likely to get another one so it is worth eliminating gluten from your diet.
There are several auto-immune diseases that are linked to gluten intolerance; Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Vitiligo, Sjogren’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease.

If you suffer from any of these issues, get tested before taking yourself off gluten. A simple blood test to start and then a biopsy of your small intestine. You do need to be eating gluten continuously to get the best result.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Bloated? Eight Reasons Why

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

847026218_1f56729031_bPhoto credit: Feeling Bloated? via photopin (license) –

Everyone has experienced bloating at one time or another that feeling of fullness, tightness or swelling around your abdomen and it usually comes with burping, reflux, heart burn and excessive gas. Maybe Christmas lunch springs to mind. If your experiencing bloating on a regular basis here are eight things worth investigating.

Eight Reasons Why You May Feel Bloated

1. Hypochlorhydria – A fancy name for low stomach acid. Stomach acid is needed to prevent you from getting sick from the pathogens such as yeasts and bacteria which live on your food.

Stomach acid also stimulates the pancreas and small intestines to produce digestive enzymes. These enzymes then dismantle the foods we digest from larger components down to microscopic components that are then absorbed into the small intestine allowing the vitamins and minerals to be extracted and absorbed by your body.

2. Chewing – Chewing is a mechanical process which is not only used for breaking down the food into smaller pieces, but it also signals gastric secretions, enzymes and hormones that food is being eaten and they will need to begin their work.

Chewing also flattens the food and increases the surface area for all the enzymes to break the food down effectively. When food gets swallowed in larger chunks, it passes into the intestines only partially digested. Therefore,  it is much harder for the intestines to reduce the food so it goes on to ferment and produces gas. This issue is why it is important to chew at least 20-30 times every mouthful.

3. Stress – Stress turns on our ‘fight or flight’ nervous system, which by the way is what you want if you are in a dangerous situation. When it comes to food, our body’s preferred state is ‘rest and digest.’ Fight or flight turns the body away from its bodily functions like digestion and focuses purely on survival. This reaction disrupts peristalsis, the muscular contractions that move the food through the digestive system. The food then doesn’t move through the digestive system at the appropriate speed so then ferments and produces gas.

4. Poor food choices – Choosing processed foods which are high in sugars, starches and artificial sweeteners cause bloating because the digestive system cannot break these down efficiently. The bacteria in your body also go crazy over sugar. If your gut bacteria is already out of balance, this could tip the scale.

5. Dysbiosis – Occurs when good bacteria and bad bacteria become unbalanced. This process can result from lack of good bacteria or an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Food allergies and intolerances can cause dysbiosis, but dysbiosis can also lead to food intolerances.

Medications can also change the gut flora. For instance, medicines like proton pump inhibitors reduce your natural production of hydrochloric acid, and antibiotics don’t discriminate, they kill all bacteria, even the good. This response can have lasting effects because some species of bacteria never recover and others can take up to 4 years to repopulate. Caution needs to be used with these medications.

6. Food Intolerances or sensitivities – These are as tricky as food intolerances, and can show up anywhere from ingestion to 48 hours after you’ve eaten the offending foods. They are difficult to pinpoint, and many people don’t associate that the food they ate on Monday could be affecting them on Wednesday. But if you have a sensitive digestive system, then having an intolerance or sensitivity can be a reality. Keep a food diary if you are continually having bloating issues and you will see soon be able to narrow down what’s causing the problem. Alternatively, work with a practitioner so they can guide you through an elimination diet correctly.

7. Parasite infection or bacterial infections – Parasitic infection is more common than we think. It can come on with other symptoms, such as never feeling full, feeling fatigued and tired all the time, grinding your teeth when you sleep, skin irritations and rashes, muscle and joint pain, and altered bowel habits. If you’ve been travelling, especially overseas, then this may be the start of travellers diarrhoea.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is the most common type of bacterial infection. This kind of stomach problem occurs when the bacteria from the large bowel migrate to the small bowel, where they are not supposed to be, and they overgrow causing bloating which is the main symptom. This usually is the problem if the bloating occurs above the belly button. You may also find that your stomach is flat when you wake up in the morning, but when you go to bed at night, you look pregnant.

8. Hormonal changes – Pregnancy, menopause, PMS, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), endometriosis or taking the contraceptive pill can also cause bloating. This change can be due to the fluctuating hormones and fluid retention. Bloating is a common symptom of these conditions, but it is not normal.

As you can see bloating can happen for many different reasons. It can also be a symptom of a much more serious condition. So don’t accept it, instead, investigate the cause.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

How to Avoid Dysbiosis

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

26935914036_17884fd822_oPhoto credit: Gut Bacteria via photopin (license) –

Your body has a balance of good and bad bacteria that makes it function. When the amount of good bacteria becomes less than the bad bacteria this is called Dysbiosis.

What is Dysbiosis?

Dysbiosis can result from a lack of good bacteria or it can stem from an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. While Dysbiosis can happen in the gastrointestinal system, it can also occur on your skin, in your lungs, up your nose, in your sinuses, in your ears and eyes, in the vagina and on your nails.

Some of the signs and symptoms of Dysbiosis are common digestive symptoms such as bloating and burping, heartburn and reflux, excessive gas after meals, a sense of fullness once you’ve finished eating, diarrhoea, constipation and also bad breath. The other signs, which you probably wouldn’t connect with Dysbiosis, are conditions like joint pain, lactose intolerance, weak and splitting fingernails, and skin problems like rosacea, adult acne or any other skin conditions. Dysbiosis also causes iron deficiency, chronic intestinal infections, parasites, and yeast infections, along with the passing of undigested food, depression, weight gain, sugar cravings, fatigue and chronic vaginitis.

What Causes Dysbiosis?

Our inner ecosystem is delicately balanced and disruption can occur relatively quickly. Some of the most common causes of the unbalancing of our bacteria levels are as follows:

Our Diet – The standard Australian diet is heavy on processed foods, and lacks fibre, fruit and vegetables, which can help to balance our bacteria levels. Extreme diets, like the fruit only diet, or diets that are super-high in protein or fat and low in fibre also disrupt bacteria levels within our body. Foods that are low in fibre slow down the process of digestion, which means we are then taking longer to excrete waste. When this happens, reabsorption of toxins is increased.

Frequent Antibiotic Use – As we all know antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria, they don’t discriminate. So an overgrowth of harmful bacteria can happen easily, and quickly if you have repeated courses of antibiotics. Some species of gut bacteria can take up to three years to recover from a single dose of antibiotics, and some species never recover and become extinct.

Medications – The use of proton pump inhibitor medicines for the maintenance of medical conditions such as stomach ulcers, reflux and gastric acid production block our hydrochloric acid production, which is our body’s first line of defence to stop pathogenic bacteria from coming into our body. When we compromise this defence mechanism, we invite all sorts of bad guys in to set up shop.

A Suppressed Immune System – When you are under lots of emotional stress, have intestinal infections, parasitic infections, inflammation or an autoimmune condition, these also take a toll on the bacteria.

Food Allergies or Intolerances – Also known as the ‘chicken and egg scenario’, where food allergies and intolerances can cause Dysbiosis, but Dysbiosis can also cause food allergies and intolerances.

Stress – There are many stress types that the body can endure, the most common being emotional and physical stress, which also have a negative impact on bacteria within the body. Overexercising can be a significant cause as well.

Hormonal Issues – Pregnancy, daily use of an oral contraceptive pill, and consumption of steroid hormones also impact on our gut flora negatively.

The disruption of a balanced intestinal tract can easily occur in our modern world.  However, taking note of any changes and then aiming to restore balance, before it becomes chronic, will prevent Dysbiosis from occurring, along with other illness within your body.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

%d bloggers like this: