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TOP 10 TIPS FOR BEATING COLDS AND FLU THIS WINTER. AND WHY HAVING MILD FORMS OF FLU AND COLDS IS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU!

By Dr. C Groenewald
M.TECH HOM (UJ)

It is that time of the year again, the congested, stuffy, coughy, miserable season. Colds and flu is miserable, but it is so important to building a strong immune system. When you are exposed to a virus, your body responds by forming antibodies to that specific virus (antibody- antigen reaction). So next time when you are exposed to the same virus, your body has the necessary ammunition to nip it in the butt.

A healthy individual with a strong immune system, should be able to beat a cold in 3-7 days, and flu within 5-14 days. This is so often not the case, and I often see patients who have been suffering for more than 3 months. THREE months??? Why does this happen?

•    Low immunity or immune compromised individuals
•    Repeated use of antibiotics
•    Use of corticosteroids
•    Adrenal burnout with consequent low immune function
•    Lack of sleep
•    Poor diet
•    Leaky gut syndrome
•    Vitamin and mineral deficiency
•    Previous infections
•    Low thyroid function
•    Lack of exercise

What is the difference between a Cold vs Flu?

Common signs and symptoms of the FLU include:
•    KEY: Flu develops rapidly, feels like you have been hit by a bus.
•    Fever over 100 F (38 C)
•    Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
•    Chills and sweats
•    Headache
•    Dry cough
•    Fatigue and weakness
•    Nasal congestion

The common COLD is a viral infection (more than a 100 viruses can cause the common cold) of your upper respiratory tract — your nose and throat.
Symptoms include:
•    KEY: cold usually develops more slowly, fever is not common.
•    Runny nose,
•    Sore throat,
•    Watery eyes,
•    Sneezing and congestion
•    Possible mild cough due to post nasal drip.
•    Feeling like you ill, but not that ill to not perform normal duties

So how are you going to beat it this year? This does not mean you will not get sick, remember, you want to get a mild form of the cold and flu, to build up your immune system. It is normal and important to get a cold and flu at least 4 times per year…what is NOT normal is to be sick for weeks on end, with secondary bacterial infections and often 3 courses of antibiotics later, still feel like death warmed up. So let us help you get you dose as mildly as possible, so we can have you up and running again in no time.

TOP TEN TIPS FOR BEATING COLDS AND FLU

1.    VITAMIN C
Your first line of defence. There is amazing and exciting research demonstrating the effects of high doses Vitamin C in enhancing the immune function, and reducing the severity of colds and flu by up to 25%.
2.    Ecchinatia
This herbal tincture has both immune boosting, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
3.    Aconite 1 M
A homeopathic ‘prophylactic’ preparation, to be taken 1x per week during high risk season. At the first sign of colds and flu, you can stop a cold in its tracts, by giving Aconite 2 hourly.
4.    Multivitamin 
Especially Vitamin A, C and E, zinc and selenium. These vitamins are essential in maintaining a healthy immune system. Also enquire with your homeopath regarding Vitamin B12 and B complex immune boosting injections during the flu season.
5.    Diet 
No surprises here. A healthy balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, omega rich foods and foods rich in pre and probiotics, is the way to health this winter. Consider making freshly pressed carrot, ginger and apple juice to drink each morning, as this will have amazing immune boosting effects. Soups prepared with homemade bone broth, which does wonders for a healthy gut, and as we know, a healthy gut equals a healthy immune system.  Stay away from foods that can destroy the gut lining, 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. Foods like sugar, wheat and dairy, often have adverse effects on the integrity of the gut lining, so try and steer clear.
6.    Exercise
High intensity exercise is bad! Low intensity exercise is good. Why? High intensity exercise produced high volumes of cortisol secretion, which supresses immune function. So try doing light – moderate intensity training, yoga, Pilates and weight training, to keep you strong and healthy.
7.    Relaxation
As mentioned above. High levels of cortisol, supresses your immune system. Increased cortisol production from your adrenal glands, is as a result of increased levels of stress. Cortisol forms part of the ‘fight and flight’ cascade, and although it can do wonders for our safety short term, long term exposure to high levels of cortisol, can have detrimental health effects. So chill. Meditate. Yoga. Sound therapy. Take a much-needed holiday. Long walks with a loved one. Whatever it takes to manage your stress. There are also numerous herbs that your homeopath can prescribe, that can help nourish your adrenal glands and balance your cortisol.
8.    Sleep
6-8 hours of good quality sleep is crucial for a normal functioning immune system.
9.    Drinking enough water
250ml of water per 10kg of body weight, to support the digestive and renal systems.
10.    Immune boosters
Ask your homeopath about immune boosting biopuncture injections. This is especially useful for individuals who are prone severe colds and flu during winter.

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FLU CORNER – HOME REMEDY KIT

FLU CORNER – HOME REMEDY KIT

April is the time of the year when some countries turn their clocks backwards one or two hours to save daylight. While in South Africa the African gladiolus throws a magnificent display of tall orange flowers, the snow in the northern hemisphere is melting, releasing its locked up water, causing floods…

Why?

Because of the changing of the season!  That is why now is a good time to visit the Naturopathic Health Care Centre. We have a flu corner here providing in all your needs.

Look what is to be found in this basket:

1. Natura Influenzinum 2013-2014 (now available)

Influenzinum is an oral, homeopathically prepared flu shot alternative and a natural treatment option.  It is updated every year and made in accordance with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia. It is diluted and potentised in the lab and rendered entirely safe and non-toxic. Influenzinum has been used for decades around the world and is praised for its effectiveness without the risks of vaccine side-effects.

2. Natura Pentagen

Pentagen contains a uniquely prepared herbal extract that is made from the roots of Pelargonium sidoides. Scientific research has proven that this South African medicinal plant has remarkable antibacterial properties and that it assists in regulating the immune system.

Clinical studies have also shown that it shortens the duration and reduces the severity of colds and other upper respiratory tract infections. Pentagen also contains key homoeopathic ingredients like Hydrastis canadensis and Kalium bichromium that have traditionally been used to relieve the unpleasant symptoms associated with colds.

For best results, take Pentagen at the first signs of a cold. It should be taken for at least 5 days, and it is recommended that it be taken for 2- 3 days after symptoms have abated to prevent recurrence.

3. Natura Gripless C is a favourite because it tastes nice, it has a soothing effect on the throat and the Ascorbic acid (Vit. C) helps to prevent the spread of infection.

Gripless C acts to prevent acute conditions from progressing and has an anti-inflammatory action that assists in relief of fever and body pain associated with influenza.  It is prescribes for  rattling bronchial mucus with difficult expectoration, burning sensation in the lungs, perspiration and fatigue.  It contains Atropa belladonna that has an anti-inflammatory action on mucous membranes to relieve symptoms of colds and influenza and Bryonia alba acts on mucous membranes to relieve dryness and tough mucus and to treat hoarseness, cough and body pain

4.  Dr. Reckeweg BIO 88 for  viral infections and  87  for bacterial infections

Dr Reckeweg & Co  is an old team player in the field of homoeopathy in South Africa.  We keep their Tegor range for bacterial & Viral infections in our flu basket .

5. Homoeopathic Injectables

There are a wide range of homoeopathic injectables available, from immune boosting to full blown flu-treatment as well as all the other pesters like sinusitis, bronchitis, otitis, asthma, etc.

6. Vit B Comp and B12 injections 

Vitamin B complex injections is prescribed by many doctors and used by many individuals for an immediate boost in energy. These injections are most useful for fatigue caused by nerve damage, diabetes, sciatica, tinnitus, influenza, effects of stress, chronic disease, B12 deficiency and a number of other conditions.

7. Vitamin supplements

What is a flu basket without the basic vitamins and minerals? There are a lot to say for Vitamin C and many other supplements but for this article I want to draw your attention to our STAR product: BRAINCHILD.

BrainChild Multi-vitamin and minerals are vital for all stages of physical and mental development and can assist in preventing health problems. BrainChild chewable multivitamin & mineral tablets for children is a tasty, raspberry flavored, chewable supplement that provides the nutrients your child needs for growing up strong and healthy.  It contains Vit A & C, antioxidants that help protect your body from free radical damage and contribute to normal functioning of the immune system. Zinc supports the immune system to help fight infections.

BrainChild Fish Oil burstlets contains omega 3, derived from coldwater fish (like mackerel, tuna, salmon and sardines), flax seeds, canola oils and soybeans.

BrainChild Combo Pack is availbale at the Naturopathic Health Care Centre

I wish you a happy healthy autumn and I am looking forward to welcome you at the Centre.

Cozy Regards

Sister Alida

To order your Flu Home Kit, please email us on office@nahcc.co.za.

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Posted in Studio.Homoeopathy, Studio.Lean

Top 5 Foods For a Healthy Gut

Hover over imgae for description.

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Posted in Studio News, Studio.Homoeopathy

Treatment of Middle ear infection (Otitis Media)?

Treatment of Middle ear infection (Otitis Media)?

Is antibiotics effective in the treatment of middle ear infection ?

(By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald M.Tech Hom (UJ), Studio.Homoeopathy)

 

Otitis Media is most commonly caused by either a viral or bacterial infection of the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum). The infection may result from a cold or flu, which causes swelling and congestion of the eustachian tubes (the narrow tube that connects the middle ear to the throat). The swelling and congestion in the eustachian tube causes the accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum and it is the infection of this fluid, which causes the symptoms of middle ear infection.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Ear pain, especially when lying down
  • Tugging or pulling at an ear
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Crying more than usual
  • Acting more irritable than usual
  • Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

Treatment:

Until recently, antibiotics was the most commonly prescribed treatment for middle ear infection in children. However, the efficacy of antibiotics in the treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) is being questioned, with more and more evidence suggesting that antibiotics is in fact, of little value.

In an article published in Paediatric and Preinatal Drug Therapy (Vol.4 , Issue 2, 2000), Dr. Damoiseaux (GP) concluded, children between 6-24 months should be managed by watchful waiting, as antibiotics seems to have little effect on the symptoms at this stage. Furthermore he stressed the importance of symptomatic treatment in relieving the child’s discomfort.

Another article in The British Journal of General Practice (Br J Gen Prac. 1998) compared antibiotic treatment with non-antibiotic treatment in acute otitis media in children aged under two years using a systematic literature review and a quantitative analysis with an assessment of the methodological quality of published trials. Their conclusion was that the high prescription of antibiotics in children under two years of age in the treatment of middle ear infection is not sufficiently supported by evidence from published trials.

Symptomatic treatment of AOM (middle ear infection):

Homeopathy plays a great role in the symptomatic treatment of AOM.  A Remedy is chosen based on matching the child’s symptom picture to the remedy symptom pictures, some common middle ear infection remedies include:

  1. Aconite: Rapid onset of attack, high fever, sharp pains with bright red ears
  2. Belladonna:  Sudden onset of violent pain and high fever, inflamed right ear, worse 3pm.
  3. Chamomilla: Otitis during teething. Ears red and hot, violent pain which makes the child irritable, child wants to be held.
  4. Ferrum phos: First stage, before exudation, throbbing pain, membrane red and bulging.
  5. Pulsatilla: Otitis with every cold. Copious thick, yellow-green discharge.
  6. Silica: Chronic discharge from repeated infection.

Treatment is further aimed at building up the immune system to allow the body to heal itself. Also of vital importance is treating the gut, often previous antibiotics leaves the gut devoid of the good bacteria, which in itself can cause inflammation and poor immune function.

Conclusion:

There is a time and a place for antibiotic treatment in AOM in infants and babies up to two years of age, especially in infants less than 6 months, or high risk cases, however, 6months- 2years, watchful waiting and symptomatic treatment is the most commonly accepted treatment plan. Children older than two years, there seems to be very little evidence to support treating AOM with antibiotics in children older than 2 years of age. Homeopathy offers an alternative especially for symptomatic treatment of AOM.

 

References:

Damoiseaux, R. (2000), Antibiotics for Acute Otitis Media in Infancy: Based on fears or facts? Peadiatric and Prerinatal Drug therapy, Vol 4, Is 2, pp 58-60

Damoiseaux, R., van Balen, F., Hoes, A., de Melker, R. (1998), Antibiotic treatment of Acute Otitis Media in children under two years of age: Evidence Based? The Brittish Journal of General Practice, 48(437), pp 1861-1864

Mayo Clinic (2014), Ear infection (middle ear). Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ear-infections/basics/treatment/con-20014260

Middle Ear Infection

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Posted in Studio.Homoeopathy, Studio.Lean

Stress and weight gain in females

Cortisol, the stress hormone that promotes the accumulation of abdominal fat.

 

Cortisol is a major glucocorticoid hormone in humans. It is secreted from the adrenal glands, situated on top of the kidneys, and is regulated by the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to stress. Cortisone affects several systems in the body, including metabolic, central nervous system (CNS), immune system and iron transport.

Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism i.egluconeogenesis (process by which the level of glucose in the blood stream is increased), to supply the body with ‘fast’ energy during periods of stress. High levels of cortisol during a stress response may initially curb your appetite, however, long term stress and the effects on insulin causes increased appetite. Furthermore, cortisol curbs responses that are not essential to the fight and flight response, altering the immune system response and supressing the metabolism and the reproductive system. Long term exposure to elevated levels of cortisol translates into:

  • Weight gain (specifically abdominal fat)
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Insulin resistance
  • Increased appetite
  • Supressed immune system and repetitive colds and flu
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with memory and concentration

 

Fat deposition around the waist is termed visceral adipose tissue or abdominal fat. This type of fat (adipose) cell is distinctly different form the fat cells in the rest of our bodies (subcutaneous fat). Visceral adipose tissue functions as an endocrine gland, secreting hormones that have an effect on our insulin metabolism as well as good cholesterol (HDL) vs. bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. A combination of insulin resistance, high LDL and low HDL, together with increased abdominal width, is termed metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is directly related to cardiovascular health, and a predictor for cardiovascular accidents as well as stroke.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it.htm

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=53304

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037?footprints=mine

http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/fall-2010/the-physiology-of-stress-cortisol-and-the-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis#.UyBS__mSxAA

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Posted in Studio News, Studio.Homoeopathy

THE ADHD DIET

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Disorder is a collection of traits that reflects a child’s natural neurological nature. These traits may be positive or negative and include the following:

·         spontaneity,
·         creativity,
·         selective attention,
·         distractibility,
·         impulsivity and sometimes
·         hyperactivity.

Most children can display these symptoms some of the time, what differentiates these children from those suffering with ADHD, is that ADHD children display these symptoms MOST of the time. Their behaviour is irrespective of who they are with, or what they are doing. A child that is described as having attention deficit at school, but functions normally when they are removed from a particular circumstance, is most likely NOT suffering from ADHD.

Disorders that may look like ADHD:
It is very important to acknowledge that various disorders could display symptoms that looks like those displayed in ADHD. Children are often misdiagnosed as having ADHD, while the actual disease process goes undiagnosed. Some of these disorders that might mimic ADHD include:

  • Mood disorders
  • Seizure disorders
  • Learning disability
  • Lead poisoning
  • Thyroid abnormalities
  • Sleep disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Visual impairment
  • Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Substance abuse
  • Medication side effects

ADHD is a clinical diagnosis, which means that all other possible diagnoses should be eliminated before one can diagnose a child with ADHD. If a child is exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, each possible cause of these symptoms should be investigated.

How do I know if my child suffers from ADHD?
A complete assessment involves:

  • clinical interview;
  • medical tests;
  • checklists;
  • observations;
  • a social history;
  • and objective measurements;

Assessment involves not only determining if a child has ADHD, but also determining the type of ADHD, the likely causes and measures the amount of the symptoms.

Diagnosis  isbased on a series of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms outlined in DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition-Text Revision). To be diagnosed with ADHD, the symptoms must have lasted for at least six months, and be severe enough to disrupt school life and other aspects of the individuals life.

Symptoms of ADHD 
According to the DSM-IV-TR, we categorise symptoms into Inattention and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity.

Inattention Symptom:

  • Not paying attention to detail
  • Making careless Mistakes
  • Failing to pay attention and keep on task
  • Not listening
  • Being unable to follow or understand instructions
  • Avoid tasks that involve effort
  • Being distracted or forgetful
  • Losing things that are needed to complete tasks

Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Symptoms

  • Fidgety
  • Squirming
  • Getting up often when seated
  • Running or climbing at inappropriate times
  • Having trouble playing quietly
  • Talking excessively or out of turn
  • Interrupting
Subtypes of ADHD 
Dr. Daniel Amen, MD, a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who serves as medical director of Amen Clinics in the USA, describes 6 subtypes of ADHD, based on the clinical symptoms as well as SPECT imaging. .Shortly after he began brain SPECT imaging work in 1991, Dr. Amen realized that ADHD was not a single or simple disorder, and it is important to understand that to really know what ADHD is. Just as there are many different causes of chest pain, he noticed there were different brain SPECT patterns in his ADHD patients. Over the next several years, he described 6 different types of ADHD, based on a combination of symptoms and brain scans, that responded differently to different treatments.

“One treatment does not fit everyone.” — Dr. Amen

The 6 subtypes based on symptoms and SPECT imagery include:

·         Syb-Type 1: Classic ADHD- “Tigger”

SYMPTOMS: 
Primary ADHD symptoms plus hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsivity

COMMON SPECT FINDINGS: 
Low prefrontal cortex activity while the person is concentrating

·         Subtype 2: Inattentive “pooh”

SYMPTOMS:

Primary ADHD symptoms plus low energy and motivation, spacey, and internally preoccupied. Type 2 is diagnosed later in life, if at all. It is more common in girls. These are quiet people, often labelled as “lazy,” “unmotivated,” and “not that smart.”

COMMON SPECT FINDINGS:  
Low prefrontal cortex  activity while the person is concentrating . Low cerebellar activity.

·         Subtype 3: Over-focussed “Rabbit/Piglet”

SYMPTOMS:

Primary ADD symptoms plus cognitive inflexibility, trouble shifting attention,

stuck on negative thoughts or behaviours, worrying, holding grudges, argumentative, oppositional, and a need for sameness. Often seen in families with addiction problems or obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

COMMON SPECT FINDINGS:
High anterior cingulate activity.Low prefrontal cortex activity while the person is concentrating

·         Subtype 4: Temporal Lobe ADHD, “Tazmanian Devil”

SYMPTOMS:
Primary ADD symptoms plus a “short fuse,” difficulty distinguishing helpful corrections from insults, periods of anxiety, headaches or abdominal pain, history of head injury, family history of anger management problems, dark thoughts, memory problems, and difficulty reading. Often seen in families with learning disabilities or anger management problems.

COMMON SPECT FINDINGS: 
Low temporal lobe activity. Low pre-frontal cortex activity

while the person is concentrating.

·         Subtype 5: Limbic ADHD “Eeyore”

SYMPTOMS:
Primary ADD symptoms plus chronic mild sadness, negativity, low energy, low self-esteem, irritability, social isolation, and poor appetite and sleep patterns. Stimulants, by themselves, usually cause problems with rebound or cause depressive symptoms.

COMMON SPECT FINDINGS:
High deep limbic activity.Low prefrontal cortex activity at rest

and while the person is concentrating.

·         Subtype 6: Basal Ganglia ADHD “Ring of fire”

SYMPTOMS:
Primary ADD symptoms plus extreme moodiness, anger outbursts, oppositional behavior, inflexibility, rapid-fire thinking, excessive talking, and high sensitivity to sounds and lights. “Ring of Fire” refers to the intense ring of over activity that Dr. Amen has observed in the brains of affected people. Note: this type of ADHD is often worsened by stimulants.

COMMON SPECT FINDINGS: 
Noticeable overall increased activity across the cortex. Low pre-frontal cortex activity (less common)

Treatment options
There is no cure for ADHD. Many professionals agree that medication should be used as a last resort. Most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD include

  • Ritalin
  • Adderal
  • Concerta
  • Metadate
  • Dexedrine
  • Strattera
  • Wellbutrin
  • Catapres
  • Tofranil

A Holistic approach to treatment includes various modalities,  including:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavioural Modification
  • Counselling
  • Play therapy
  • Exercises
  • Support groups
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic Treatment
  • Homoeopathic treatment
  • Nutrition
  • Supplementations

It is of cardinal importance to tailor a treatment option based on the child’s specific needs. To use medication as an example, to give a CNS depressant to a already depressed “eeyore” type constitution would surely only aggravate matters. Nutrition wise, to feed an already hyperactive type child “Tigger”, a stimulant rich food would surely exacerbate already hyperactive symptoms.

Nutrition and Supplementation
Nutrition is KEY. Most hyperactive children would surely have to remodel their diet to exclude stimulants, while specific supplementation can further aid in bringing about calm.  A diet tailored to each specific child’s needs is fundamental in the treatment of ADHD, furthermore, the correct supplementation can correct certain hormonal/chemical deficits, which will aid in alleviating most unwanted symptoms of ADHD.

Below is my ‘quick guide’ to the do’s and don’ts of Nutrition when we look at ameliorating hyperactivity:
Foods most likely to cause problems:

  1. 75% Salicylates
  2. 60-70% Preservatives
  3. 55% Colorants
  4. 40% Amines
  5. 40% Antioxidants- synthetic: synthetic antioxidants e.g. TBHQ (319), BHA (320),BHT (321)
  6. 40% Flavour enhancers
  7. 10% Diary
  8. 1% Gluten

You will notice, sugar is not even mentioned in this list. This is because common believes that sugar causes hyperactivity, is now replaced by theories that hyperactivity is more closely associated with the additives and preservatives usually accompanied by the sugars children eat, than the actual sugar itself. This however does NOT mean sugar is not causing other problems such as gut dysbiosis, which is often related to food allergies. Cultivating the gut with the necessary good bacteria, will allow for healthy gut symbiosis, which is often affected in children with ADHD. Furthermore, food allergies and ADHD are closely related, children suffering from attention deficit are 7x more likely to suffer from food allergies than the general population.

Article by Dr.Chantell Groenewald
Registered Homoeopath
Special interest in food allergies and ADHD

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