Are you feeling constantly tired, abnormally sad and craving carbs or rich foods? If winter makes you feel like hibernating until spring comes back, you might be suffering from the winter blues! Everyone’s mood can be affected by the weather, but if the seasonal changes impact your entire sense of well-being, it could be related to seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. SAD is a kind of depression that appears at certain times of the year, usually in the fall when the days get shorter and lasts through the winter. Although only 2 to 3% of Canadians will experience SAD in
Estrogens are a well-documented contributor in the etiology of breast cancer. Consequently, the importance of proper estrogens metabolism and reducing exposure to xenoestrogens are increasingly recognised as effective ways to reduce breast and other estrogens-related cancer risk. Recent discoveries are unravelling the importance of gut bacteria and their DNA – collectively known as estrobolome – in the proper elimination of estrogens and endocrine-disrupting compounds (xenoestrogens). Could improving our gut health constitute the next step in maximizing hormonal balance and reducing our breast cancer risk? Estrogen’s Metabolism Estrogens must eventually be broken down into metabolites by the liver and excreted from
What began during the mid-twentieth century as broad research focused on combining genetics and developmental biology has evolved into the field we currently refer to as epigenetics. The idea that environmental factors can trigger epigenetic changes reflected at different stages throughout a person’s life and even in later generations is controversial, as scientific convention states that genes contained in DNA are the only way to transmit biological information between generations. However, new scientific evidence demonstrates that our genes are modified by the environment all the time, through chemical tags that attach themselves to our DNA, switching genes on and off.
In spite of the mounting evidences concluding that disrupting our circadian rhythm by staying awake at night while our body expects to be sleeping is harmful to our health, the luxury and privilege of choosing work hours may not be an option for everyone. Fortunately, there are some non-medical options to increase melatonin levels and for improving symptoms associated to Shift Work Disorder. Choosing the Right Light Exposure Optimal melatonin production by the pineal gland occurs in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night. Getting bright sun exposure during the day and sleeping
While shift work may be critical to the economy, evidence indicates that it can take a physical and emotional toll on workers. Let’s look at the facts surrounding shift work and explore some of the natural solutions to minimize their negative impact on our health. What is Shift Work Sleep Disorder (aka SWSD)? Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) is characterized by insomnia and excessive sleepiness affecting people whose work hours overlap with the typical sleep period. SWSD is frequently associated with falling asleep at work, a shortened total daily sleep time and a reduced sleep quality in comparison to those who
A common concern that many women seem to bring up as they approach or hit menopause is a decline in sexual desire. While many women accept a decline as inevitable, this is not necessarily true. Arguably, some illnesses and prescription drugs can have a negative impact on our sex life but by and large, women can aspire to a long and healthy sex life by addressing the root cause of dysfunctions. Research showing that staying active sexually can bring benefits physically and emotionally, is even more reason to prioritize sexual health and well-being. Now that we have established that it
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer for women, but it is Canada’s most fatal women’s cancer. In 2016, an estimated 2,800 Canadian women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and approximately 1,750 will die from the disease. Ovarian Cancer Basics Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in cells of the ovary and can metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. There are different types of ovarian cancer, classified according to the cell from which they start and comprised of distinct sub-types. Epithelial ovarian carcinomas: the most common type (approximately 90%) of ovarian cancer. Germ
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Or should I say ‘Breast Cancer Industry Month’? The Pink Ribbon industry’s propaganda discourse, corporate ‘pinkwashing’, and floodgates of pink ribbon products and promotions distract us from the fact that one in nine Canadian women are still expected to develop breast cancer during their lifetime, and one in 30 will die from it. These sad statistics have remained grossly unchanged over the past 20 years, except for a slight decreased incidence observed in the 2000’s associated with a large drop in the use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) when its role in breast