Hormones are amazing things aren’t they. I mean really, they are! They are wonderful little chemical messengers that do all sorts of vital jobs, like telling us when we’re hungry or full, controlling our body temperature and metabolism, and they conduct the whole orchestra of events that is our fertility. Truly wonderous stuff. Continue Reading
Puffy, fatigued and foggy brained in 2011 (around the time of diagnosis) and now 2019
In my life pre-AIP, things looked very different. I had a fast paced, high stress job in the fashion industry. I was “managing” that stress by eating out and drinking alcohol most nights of the week, and doing both to excess especially at weekends. Looking back, I’d been using alcohol to manage problems for about 15 years at that point. And I was in my early 30s. Continue Reading
What is a Nutritionist?
An accredited nutritionist has received tertiary training in the field of nutrition (in my case an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine). They will also be a member of a governing body, holding them to a high level of professional conduct and ensuring they adhere to set targets for continued education each year.
However, “nutritionist” is not a protected term here in Australia, meaning anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Make sure you ask what training / qualifications they have. Continue Reading
An anti-inflammatory diet is a diet that…..(drum roll!)….reduces inflammation! And what that actually looks like will vary from person, depending on things such as liver function, digestive health, intolerances to certain foods or food chemicals / compounds (ie histamines, lectins), etc. There are different templates for anti-inflammatory diets that you may have heard of before, such as the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), The Wahls Protocol, the Mediterranean diet, and they do vary from one template to the next, but there are a few things they all have in common. Continue Reading
Read Part 1 in this series here – The Symptoms and Causes of Endometriosis
Read Part 2 in the series here – The Immune and Digestive Systems with Endometriosis
This final part in the Endometriosis series discusses how to manage endometriosis through diet and lifestyle modifications, primarily by reducing inflammation and inflammatory processes. This enables the gut to start healing and our body systems to function more efficiently. Bearing in mind that here is no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to diet and lifestyle, and what works for one individual may not work for another. For this reason it is best to work with a professional trained in nutritional medicine who can provide a tailored approach. Continue Reading
The immune system and Endometriosis:
The immune system has 2 main parts – Innate and Adaptive.
Innate immune cells should be cleaning up the misplaced endometrial cells, but with endometriosis this isn’t happening, allowing lesions (tissue damage) to develop.
Adaptive immune cells are “overactive” in women with endometriosis, creating an inflammatory state.
Regulatory T-cells (part of the adaptive immune system) that regulate the development of autoimmunity and dampen down an overactive immune response are reduced in women with endometriosis. Continue Reading
As I’m writing this, today is national Women’s Day, which somehow seems ironic when we’re so often treated like second class citizens. March is also Endometriosis Awareness month, which is one reason why the subject has been on my mind. This morning I was having a chat with a friend about contraception and it made me really angry that its so normal for women to be prescribed synthetic hormones to mask or interrupt their own hormonal cycles. This may be for birth control, or to “regulate” periods and PMS symptoms, or to “ease” the pain of endometriosis, or to “help” PCOS, or to get rid of acne, etc. And this is often without exploration of the underlying cause of these diseases or symptoms, and without explaining the impact on our bodies of the cessation of our natural hormonal cycle.
It also amazes and frightens me how many women think it is “normal” to have painful periods, heavy bleeding, clots, etc. This is not normal. Yes it is common, and it is often dismissed as “normal”, but it is a sign that our body has underlying problems that need to be addressed. Continue Reading
(Above image features my fave reintro foods – coffee and eggs!)
Before cleaning up my diet (pre-Hashi’s diagnosis back in 2013) I would eat out at least 4 times a week. And that was just dinner. Factor in work lunches and weekend breakfasts and that’s a lot of eating out! Fast forward to when I started AIP, and eating out had to be one of the first things to go. I just couldn’t deal with the stress of explaining to another person what I could eat and couldn’t eat when I was still trying to grips with it myself, and that look in their eye of “urgghhh….another customer with so-called “food allergies”!”. Continue Reading
As a clinical nutritionist it’s my job to help people make dietary changes to improve their health and symptoms. But changing your diet can seem really daunting, particularly if you are doing it to help manage chronic disease. I know, I’ve been there (read about it here)!
I initially made changes to my diet about 6-7 years ago, when I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (read about that here and here), so the tips I’m giving here are what worked for me, plus a few things I learned along the way. Continue Reading
If our blood sugar levels aren’t regulated (a rollercoaster characterised by sugar highs followed by the crash) we can experience symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, anger (the hangries!), sugar cravings, inability to concentrate, dizziness, palpitations, anxiety, “the shakes”, etc. Personally, before my Hashimoto’s diagnosis (and starting AIP) I’d experience these feelings on a regular basis and would “resolve” them by eating a processed carb or a piece of fruit (yay, back on the sugar roller coaster!). However, this wouldn’t actually resolve the issue and unless I ate a balanced meal I’d be experiencing that sugar crash again. I’d even experience panic attacks which, looking back, I think was due in part to poor blood sugar management.