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Natural Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease

Metabolic syndrome refers to the “perfect storm” of hypertension, dyslipidemia, poor blood glucose regulation, and the presence of intra-abdominal adipose accumulation. Having metabolic syndrome increases the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD), in addition to Type 2 diabetes. Prevention and treatment of each of these disorders includes dietary and lifestyle changes, including decreasing intake of sugar and simple carbohydrates, and regular physical activity. However, many individuals find these changes too difficult, or may need additional support if areas such as blood pressure, glucose, insulin or cholesterol aren’t coming into normal range within a reasonable amount of time. Conventional

Signs and Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a group of conditions that include too much fat around the waist, elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides, elevated blood sugar and low HDL cholesterol. These conditions pose a threat of increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. The term “metabolic” refers to the biochemical processes involved in the body’s normal functioning. Metabolic syndrome is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle that includes being overly sedentary, eating too many calories and gaining weight, particularly around the waist. According to a 2014 study published in Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada, 19.1% of all Canadian

How Does Menopause Affect the Brain?

I don’t know if men are really from Mars and women from Venus, but I think that the one thing we may all agree upon in this time and age of controversies is that women’s brains differ from men’s brains. Among those differences, we know that women are definitely more often diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or depression,[i] headaches and migraines[ii] and certain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD).[iii] In fact, two thirds of all persons with late-onset AD are women.[iv] A key determinant of sex differences in cognition and brain function is sex steroid hormones.[v] This fact, along with two decades accumulating

The use and efficacy of (dietary) phytoestrogens in menopause

Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that are structurally similar to estradiol. As they can interact with estrogen receptors (ER) and influence other signalling pathways, supplemental phytoestrogens and the plant foods they come from represent an alternative therapy to hormone-replacement treatment (HRT) in perimenopausal and menopausal women. Estradiol plays multiple roles in the overall health of women including protection of the cardiovascular system and of bone density. Therefore its decline, associated with menopause, can increase the risk of atherosclerosis, decreased bone density and osteoporosis. Common symptoms include vaginal dryness and atrophy, changes in mood, increased fatigue, insomnia, central weight gain, hot flashes

Debunking Five Myths About Hormones

PMS Doesn’t Exist PMS is not a myth! PMS affects up to 12% of women. Psychiatry and gynecology have developed distinct diagnoses. Symptoms of PMS develop in the luteal phase, which is the phase following ovulation. Ovulation usually occurs around between day 12 to 14 of the menstrual cycle.  Symptoms of PMS are both psychiatric and physical, and they can develop at any time in a woman’s life, from the beginning of menstruation to menopause.  Women who experience at least one of the symptoms of PMS (listed below), which leads to significant impairment during the luteal phase and with resolution

Staying Active with Arthritis

Joint pain and inflammation caused by arthritis can cause people to fear exercise.  However, lack of movement can lead to greater pain and long-term immobility.  Maintaining an active lifestyle, especially when you have arthritis, is very important for joint health.  One of the well-known benefits of exercise is that it helps individuals maintain a healthy weight.  Carrying extra weight increases the stress on joints and can lead to further deterioration of the tissue.  Exercise also strengthens the muscles around joints, which reduces the load or impact on the joint.  Further, it helps to maintain bone health and promote balance.  Below

Arthritis and Mental Health, What is the Connection?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and disabling autoimmune disease affecting six million Canadians, their caregivers, their families and their friends.[i] It occurs when a person’s immune system mistakes the body’s healthy tissues for foreign invaders. As the immune system responds, inflammation occurs in the target tissue or organ such as the joints, lungs, eyes and heart. RA is also a systemic disease, which means it can affect the whole body. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common long-term health condition in the country, affecting Canadians of all ages, interfering with both physical and mental health and diminishing quality of

Nutritional Support for Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a group of risk factors that include abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Many studies have looked at combinations of food supplements for the benefit of multiple components associated with metabolic disease. One example of this is olive oil: polyphenols from olive extracts have enough antioxidant action to protect LDL particles from oxidative damage. Why is this so important? Oxidation of LDL cholesterol particles is a driving factor in atherosclerosis and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In fact, most CVD-related deaths are the result of a narrowing of

Lifestyle and Arthritis

What is Arthritis? Arthritis is a term that refers to an inflammation of the joint spaces. The type and cause of arthritis will determine which joints are affected, how they are affected and how the symptoms are likely to progress. You likely have heard of the most common types of arthritis: osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.  Osteoarthritis is one of the most common degenerative joint disorders and arises from trauma to the joint space from over/misuse, injury or even infection. It is a chronic condition characterized by joint pain of specific affected joints, reduced functionality of the joint, reduced mobility and

Cardiovascular Disease: The Leading Men’s Health Threat

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in men. Though women tend to have equal numbers of incidences, they are typically later in life and therefore it is often thought that the threat of this type of disease is greater in men. In 2019 heart disease was responsible for one in four deaths of men in the United States. Though genetics can predispose individuals to cardiovascular issues, there are many things that can be done to help treat and prevent cardiovascular disease from arising. Below are some suggestions as to what one can do to maintain a healthy heart

IBS, Why Give a Sh*t

Irritable bowel syndrome, as any syndrome, is a constellation of symptoms that vary greatly between individuals, making it difficult to diagnose. Often individuals will suffer from chronic reoccurring abdominal discomfort or pain, bouts of diarrhea and/or constipation, changes in frequency and form of stool, bloating and gas, even changes in appetite. These symptoms indicate an underlying inflammatory disorder causing the gut to not function normally and individuals may not be properly absorbing nutrients from their food. The health of our bowels tells us a lot about our overall health. In some cases, these symptoms may be indicative of a more

Sperm and Testicular Health

Sperm health isn’t typically on men’s radar unless they have been experiencing difficultly conceiving with their partner. Many men, unlike women, tend not to change many lifestyle or dietary factors when trying to conceive. Therefore many continue to drink, smoke, have poor sleep habits, or maintain a high body fat percentage at the beginning of the fertility journey. These factors have been associated with sexual and reproductive dysfunction including decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation issues.1  What most men don’t know is that spontaneous genetic mutations arise more often in the father’s germ cell line and are majorly influenced by

The Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

“Sitting is the new smoking” is a statement that is increasingly heard as our society continues to move towards one that does not need to leave home for anything.  Technology has provided us with a world of convenience where daily activity is generally no longer required for one’s survival.  Our distant ancestors did not have cars or public transportation to get from point A to point B.  They did not have uber eats or other delivery services that would allow them to have a fresh meal delivered directly to their home without the need to move more than a few

Mental Health After A Concussion

Beyond the physical effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), there may also be mental or emotional symptoms. These symptoms may be temporary or long-term and are the result of several factors. Post-injury stress on the autonomic nervous system, post-injury dysfunction in the way the brain communicates and the brain’s normal reaction to physical and emotional trauma all play a role in the severity of symptoms experienced. These physiological changes caused by brain injury can change thinking and feeling patterns. Even a mild traumatic brain injury can cause a disruption in the relationship between neurons and the blood vessels that

Concussions and Migraines

What is a concussion?   A concussion is defined by the CDC as “a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.  This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.”  Often when people think of concussions, they think of a person losing consciousness, but this is not always the case.  Concussions can happen more

Supplementing Your Sex Life

Let’s talk about sex, bay…. Good reader.  Historically considered taboo, the subject of sex, sexual function, sexual gratification and all things in between was largely examined through a male, heterosexual lens. The reality of sexual identity, function and experience is much more complex and multifactorial and has direct impacts on the phases of the sexual response we develop after puberty. There are a number of models that describe the sexual response in linear, cyclic and mixed phases. Generally structured as a desire, arousal, orgasm, and resolution1.  Beyond the physiologic responses to arousals, sexual and gender identity (ie. male, female, intersex

Concussions and the Endocrine System

The endocrine system is a network of glands and organs that make and release hormones throughout the body. These hormones control sexual development, growth, metabolism and can influence immune function. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are two vital parts of the endocrine system and are located in or near the brain, which means they are vulnerable to damage in cases of concussion. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are critical to the endocrine system and overall health because they direct the hormone production of the other endocrine glands. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls the

The Practice and Benefits of Journaling

I am sure we have all heard of journaling at some point of our lives. Might have even kept one from time to time. What’s the big hype about?? Why are so many people turning to it? I was first introduced to the idea of journaling back in elementary school. I recall my teacher instructing me to take out my journal and write about our weekends or what was going on during the week. At the time I didn’t think too much of it. If anything, I hated the thought of having to write something so personal down for someone

Libido and Aging

Experiencing changes in libido, or sexual desire is common as we age. Sexual function is affected by multiple factors including hormone levels, pain, mood, age, relationship satisfaction, stress and history of sexual trauma. From mid-life to menopause, increased fatigue and joint pain in combination from changes in estrogen, testosterone and DHEA can affect sexual desire. The decline in estrogen specifically alters the vaginal tissue leading to decreased lubrication and increased irritation and pain. There are many ways in which women can address this and improve arousal and sexual experience including non-hormonal and hormonal options.  Hormonal and vaginal changes with aging

The Real Benefits Behind NMIs

What are non-medicinal ingredients (NMIs)? They are the inactive ingredients (also known as excipients) included in natural supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, herbal products, homeopathic preparations, energy drinks, probiotics, and traditional medicines. They are a necessary component for many natural health products (NHPs) as they play an important role in the composition, absorption and delivery of nutrients.  Natural health products can play an important role in metabolism, cellular and tissue health and general well-being, making a high quality formula very important. Some nutrients are difficult to consume in adequate quantities from food sources, resulting in the need to supplement.

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