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November is upon us, a month often grey and dreary. It is often a time when those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) begin feeling changes. Indeed, dwindling daylight affects all of us to some extent. This month our contributors focus on aspects of mental health.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND writes about mental health and its determinants including dietary, lifestyle, and psychological factors. A factor all too often overlooked includes sleep. More and more research is demonstrating the impact that sleep exerts on all areas of health, but especially mental health.
Dr. Sarah King, ND covers a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD, a condition characterized by depression in the week or two leading up to menses. This type of depression obviously has strong hormonal associations.
Dr. Anne Hussain, ND shares her insights on some of the common uses of lavender. This aromatic herb possesses a number of therapeutic properties, and has been the subject of quite a number of studies.
Dr. Natalie Mulligan, ND shares her insight on eating disorders. Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat, and Dr. Mulligan shares an overview of naturopathic therapies as well as psychological therapies that may be helpful.
Dr. Krysten DeSouza, ND discusses ways to improve energy levels. Although not the same thing, we often observe a close association between energy and mood. They tend to improve and deteriorate together. Dr. DeSouza discusses common herbs and nutrients that can help give you an extra boost!
Finally, Dr. Alison Chen, ND discusses the role of fish oil with respect to physical performance. Did you know that fish oil decreases exercise induced muscle damage? This is an important factor in recovery and muscle repair. An example of just one factoid shared by Dr. Chen…
Thank you to all of our contributors this month!
The seasons they are a-changing, and here at Naturopathic Currents we are starting to mentally prepare ourselves for the brisker weather. Dare we say, colder weather. Amidst this, we offer a collage of articles, all of which get down to the foundations of naturopathic philosophy: treating the cause and addressing “the terrain.”
Dr. Chris Habib, ND & Dr. Lara Spector, ND address a not-so-uncommon condition called Interstitial Cystitis (IC). It has also been called irritable bowel syndrome of the bladder, and lacks good treatment options within the conventional medical model. Drs Habib and Spector discuss the causes of this condition, and describe some of the naturopathic approaches to treating IC.
Dr. Sarah King, ND discusses the prevention of diabetes of pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, using probiotics and fiber. The role of probiotics in this area may come as a surprise to some, however, this is simply one more example of how the health of the gut truly does impact every other function in the body.
Finally, Dr. Krysten DeSouza, ND addresses the difficult but perennial topic of the day: how to achieve life balance. It is needless to point out the health-undermining nature of the multitasking, role-juggling, anxiety-provoking efforts that most modern people strive to maintain. What can we do about this? Dr. DeSousa shares her strategies…
This month our ND authors offer an eclectic range of naturopathic musings on a variety of topics. May they help you ease your way back into a healthful autumn – and dare I say – winter season.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND shares her insights on the foundational five – the staples of naturopathic prescriptions that almost everyone stands to benefit from. Read about her experience in addressing these commonalities for healthy living.
Dr. Alison Chen, ND discusses the application of mindfulness techniques for performance enhancement. Its not all in your head… but much of it is!
Dr. Ashley Kowalski, ND evaluates common causes of poor digestive function, and explains leading naturopathic approaches for solving these problems. Have you heard about dyspepsia?
Finally, Drs. Maria Shapoval ND and Sarah King ND tackle the women’s health problems of dysmenorrhea (painful periods) and menorrhagia (heavy bleeding) due to uterine fibroids. Did you that ginger, a powerful anti-inflammatory herb, has shown efficacy in reducing the pain of menstrual cramps? A number of herbs may also be helpful in reducing uterine fibroids.
We hope our readers are enjoying the summer thus far. As August kicks into gear, now is the time to get in your hiking, swimming, camping, and a few days of vacation time!
This month our Naturopathic doctor authors bring us a number of timely topics related to wellness, supplements, exercise, mood and energy.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND shares her insights on the mood lifting, antidepressant effects of exercise. Dr. Bjorndal shares the research and the how-to of implementing regular exercise for mood enhancing effects.
Dr. Alison Chen, ND writes about choosing supplements wisely, in particular, she discusses the top eight pitfalls of self-prescribing.
Dr. Melissa Descoteaux, ND evaluates the scientific literature on some of the more common supplements for weight loss, including green tea, capsaicin and ginger.
Dr. Michelle Lo, ND and Melissa Cornish, HHC discuss the applications of meditation for the management of chronic pain. Many have heard of the narcotic medication recalls, but few have considered using this safe and accessible technique for pain.
Finally, Dr. Salna Smith, ND writes about mindful eating practices, and how this leads to improved energy, decreased stress, and better digestion.
With this inspiring reading, we hope you maximize the rest of your summer and achieve your health goals.
For the month of July, we feature articles that can help you live a clean lifestyle, detoxify your body, and avoid toxic foods.
Dr. Jacqueline Zins, ND, demystifies detoxification for us. She discusses supplements as well as lifestyle habits that can help the body to eliminate toxic metabolites more effectively.
Dr. Nadia Rizzo, ND, examines the role of natural medicines in treating male fertility. Certainly, this is also an area where the buildup of toxins can impact normal function. Dr. Rizzo discusses the role of oxidative stress and various natural health products that have been demonstrated to improve male fertility parameters.
Dr. Maria Shapoval, ND, discusses the role of gut health and the microbiota in Parkinson’s disease.
We also feature an article on hives, including chronic hives. Various natural strategies can be of use, including supplements and a traditional Chinese therapy: acupuncture.
Enjoy your summer reading!!
For the month of June, we feature a couple of timely articles about spring cleaning, and cycle tracking, as well as weightier topics including substance abuse, insomnia, and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Drs. Christina Bjorndal, ND and Candace Haarsma, ND share their insights on using safe and effective cleaning products in your home. There is a whole host of chemicals hiding in these products and Drs. Bjorndal and Haarsma do an excellent job of breaking them down for us.
Dr. Sarah King ND discusses the intricacies of cycle charting. For women, our menstrual and hormone cycles can seem confusing and a burden, especially if we don’t understand the underlying biology. Dr. King explains the physiological events that drive women’s cycles, and how to chart them in order to evaluate not only fertility but hormonal health in general.
Dr. Liam LaTouche, ND examines the causes of insomnia, common medications used to manage insomnia, as well as some of the first line naturopathic treatments. Unfortunately sleep medications as a group tend to have unpleasant side effects, so many people prefer to use natural substance such as melatonin, and others, instead.
Dr. Chris Habib, ND tackles the problem of substance abuse. Surprisingly, 1 in 5 people have suffered from alcohol or substance abuse at one time or another. Dr. Habib discusses types of naturopathic injection therapies, herbal treatments, and acupuncture, that may help people deal with addiction and substance abuse.
Finally, Dr. Maria Shapoval, ND discusses ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a chronic neurodegenerative condition, and research into the effectiveness of various acupuncture methods. Thank you to all our authors this month!
We hope you enjoy our issue this month!
This month we offer you a couple of seasonal topics as well as coverage of concerns that “never go out of style” if you’re a naturopath: iron & protein nutritional requirements.
Dr. Erin Balodis, MSc, ND discusses the problem of histamine intolerance. Symptoms can include common allergy symptoms like sneezing and nasal congestion, as well as urticaria or asthma.
Drs. Antoinette Falco ND and Elizabeth Cherevaty, ND discuss the benefits of having a doula assist with labour & delivery. Many naturopathic doctors also offer doula services, offer prenatal care, help to coach mothers through the delivery as well as provide post-partum care.
Dr. Sarah King, ND discusses the science behind determining protein requirements, including during special situations such as pregnancy and aging. Dr. Lara Spector, ND writes about iron deficiency, diagnosing it, and how to ensure you are a) consuming enough iron and b) absorbing it from the digestive system.
Finally, we offer insights into “lumbago,” the medical term for low back pain. Back pain can be caused by many problems, some of which may include specific kinds of arthritis, herniated discs, as well as simply muscle tension. Naturopathic care can help reduce chronic pain.
This month we offer you a thematic smorgasbord of articles, covering topics as diverse as prolotherapy and Parkinson’s, to constipation and sweet almond oil.
Drs. Christina Bjorndal, ND and Michael Mason-Wood, ND explain the benefits of prolotherapy. Prolotherapy involves the injection of substances into the joint capsule, and is used for treatment of torn ligaments, tendons, and such. It is a profound treatment also known as “nonsurgical ligament reconstruction.”
Dr. Maria Shapoval, ND shares her expertise in the area of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Dr. Shapoval discusses the impact of sleep disorders associated with PD. Individuals with PD suffer from frequent waking and fragmented sleep that results in the inability to progress from light into deep sleep.
Dr. Nadia Rizzo, ND discusses the research on the use of coenzyme Q10 for the treatment of female infertility. Coenzyme Q10 is both an antioxidant and a supporter for mitochondrial function within the cell. Coenzyme Q10 is also one of the natural health products often recommended by reproductive endocrinologists at various fertility clinics.
Dr. Alison Chen, ND discusses impediments to healthy digestion, namely constipation. Dr. Chen shares 10 tips on how to avoid this annoying problem. For those not aware, Dr. Chen is also the recently published author of the book “What your poo says about you.”
Finally, Dr. Anne Hussain, ND shares the many uses of sweet almond oil. Also known as Prunus amygdalus, sweet almond oil can be used internally as well as externally in the place of other body care products. It may be a nice alternative to more toxic options.
Welcome to our February issue!
The middle of winter can be a challenging time from the perspective of stress, mood, and motivation. The holidays are long gone and warmer weather seems far away. It’s a struggle to get outside, or even to get out and about driving. It seems all too easy to get worn down and burnt out.
This month at Naturopathic Currents, we turn our focus to a miniature theme on adrenal fatigue and mental health. Dr. Salna Smith, ND writes about adrenal fatigue, a problem for many in our fast paced world. Dr. Smith gives us her insight as to what actually happens in the body during the stages of adrenal fatigue, and some simple approaches to feeding these overworked organs. Carrying the theme, Dr. Tiffany Eberhard, ND discusses research on Kava kava (Piper methysticum), an herb used to treat anxiety. Although it can often be pathological and out of proportion to the trigger, other forms of anxiety may be a signal to our body that something in our life is “not right” and needs addressing, whether it is overwork, relationship problems, a health problem we’ve been ignoring, etc. Dr. Sarah King ND shares her insights on mindfulness, a technique of being present to the moment, including being present to and aware of your moods and how you’re feeling as they are happening. Mindfulness can be helpful for anxiety, depression, and even pain management. Rochelle Fernandes, MSc, ND discusses the use of citicoline, a natural health product, as used for Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, Dr. Tanya Lee, ND writes about acne, a condition that plagues many teens as well as adults. Dr. Lee discusses the role of diet, poor digestive function, as well as hormones in contributing to this condition.
A happy new year to all our readers!
This month at Naturopathic Currents, we feature an article by Dr. Monique Aucoin, ND presenting new information derived from her recent study on the use of fish oil in the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer. Dr. Aucoin is a Research Fellow with the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and her study has been newly published in Integrative Cancer Therapies medical journal.
We also feature discussions of naturopathic medicine and what to expect when initiating treatment with a naturopathic doctor. Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND helps elucidate some common questions people may have about seeing an ND. Dr. Stacey Goldman, ND shares her insights on the impact of time in nature on mental health. Not only does time outside often involve exercise, but stress reduction, and synthesis of the mood- influencing nutrient, vitamin D! Dr. Liam LaTouche, ND adds to this theme on the topic of positivity and how one’s state of mind can influence physical health through a structure called the vagus nerve. Dr. Sarah King, ND discusses naturopathic strategies for managing various kinds of vaginal infections.
Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2017!
As we prepare for the holiday season, we have some topical articles for you enjoyment, and maybe some inspiration to help get you through the holidays in a healthy-as-possible fashion!
This month, Dr. Michelle Lo, ND and Melissa Cornish discuss the health benefits of eating seasonally. Foods that are in season have higher nutrient content (makes sense, doesn’t it?) and may be easier to digest. Dr. Lo provides a list of suggestions for how to implement seasonal eating. Next, Dr. Alison Chen, ND discusses some of the pros and cons of caffeine consumption. Use of caffeine may range from caffeine abuse to therapeutic applications. Dr. Sarah King, ND shares her insights on inflammation. This term gets thrown around a lot, but its important to understand what it actually means, and what some of the most powerful drivers of inflammation really are. Finally, Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND discusses a very important topic in the realm of women’s health: options to the birth control pill (BCP). These days there is finally after decades a growing awareness of, and willingness to discuss more publicly, the harmful effects associated with the BCP. Women are increasingly looking for other options. Dr. Bjorndal discusses some of these options.
Happy holidays to all of our readers and contributors!
This month we are in preparation mode: preparing for the coming winter months certainly, as well as preparing (if you are ahead of the crowd) for the coming holidays.
Our contributors this month cover a range of topics. Dr. Lara Spector, ND writes about a bladder condition called Interstitial Cystitis. While it mimics symptoms of a bladder infection, testing for infection comes back negative. Dr. Spector shares her insights on managing this condition naturally. Dr. Anne Hussain, ND discusses causes and treatment of rosacea, a skin condition often mistaken for acne. Dr. Sarah King, ND writes about the connection between the gut and the HPA- axis, which is the neurological and hormonal pathway that controls our response to stress. Probiotics have been shown to impact the function of the HPA axis, and so are thought to impact mood related conditions such as depression and anxiety. Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND discusses risk factors for dementia, and what you can do to lower your risk. Dr. Michelle Lo, ND and Melissa Cornish take a novel approach and share with us their insights on five things that set naturopathic medicine apart. If you are considering care with a naturopathic doctor, this is highly recommended reading!
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we are reminded of all the gifts we have been given. Family, though certainly challenging at times is undoubtedly the greatest of these. We give thanks also for our talents, creativity, careers, and the many other ways we have been blessed. Practicing gratitude puts our day to day problems in perspective and changes our perception of stressors.
We thank our contributors this month for their efforts. Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND tackles the difficult question of most people’s favourite “innocent” addiction – caffeine! We are bombarded by mixed messages on this question: is coffee really healthy, or not? Dr. Alison Chen, ND writes about some of the lesser known effects of chocolate; often touted as a health food, chocolate may also cause you certain problems. She shares how to evaluate this. Dr. Ashley Kowalski, ND shares her insights on the basics of food sensitivities: what causes them, how to evaluate them, and more. Dr. Sarah King, ND discusses the painful women’s health condition, endometriosis. For anyone who suffers from this condition, it is a challenge and a burden. Dr. King writes thoroughly on its causes and naturopathic management. Finally, Dr. Adrian Nasager, ND writes about the science behind the little known herb, saffron. Did you know that several studies have found it to be effective for depression? Dr. Nasager delves into what we know about this herb.
August is a time to slow down a little, get away, out of the city, and enjoy some R&R. It is appropriate then that many of our articles this month focus on neurological and emotional health. Enjoy some of these selections during some of your precious down time…
Dr. Louise Wilson, ND helps us understand the importance of compassion in the healing and helping professions, as well as how to prevent “compassion fatigue.” Dr. Yashar Khosroshahi ,ND talks to us about some of the reasons why we find change, even healthful change, so difficult. He discusses some of the underlying reasons why we resist change and ways to help overcome these blocks. Drs. Chris Habib, ND and Amber Krogsrud, ND examine the field of psychoneuroimmunology, a study of the way that thoughts and emotions physically affect the body’s biochemistry and function. They delve into ways that gut health probiotics may also affect the brain and emotions in this complex relationship. Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND examines some of the often skipped over adverse effects of the birth control pill; she examines its impact on inducing nutrient deficiencies and ways to offset these. Finally, we discuss some of the complex factors that can impact the course of chronic fatigue syndrome, including hormonal imbalances, immune deficiencies, the role of chronic infection, as well as nutrient deficiencies.
The summer is in full swing, and we hope you are getting and/ or planning some quality relaxation time with family & friends. This is what the summer is for! This month, we have a number of intriguing topics for you, including stress busters, nutritional trends, and skin care.
Dr. Crystal Ceh, ND starts us off with a discussion of a dietary strategy called intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting involves restricting food intake to certain hours of the day, going for periods of time without food, such as overnight. Although there are different variations on this method, Dr. Ceh examines some of the research on this showing improved metabolic parameters as well as better cellular health. Next, Dr. Ashley Kowalski, ND examines natural strategies for better stress management. Let’s face it: in today’s world, everyone feels stretched to their max. Dr. Kowalski looks at ways to help minimize the negative effects of stress on your mind and body. Dr. Lara Spector, ND discusses natural ways to help acne, an often frustrating skin condition that can be caused by hormonal influences, dietary factors, as well as bacteria imbalances. Dr. Nadia Rizzo, ND investigates the problems surrounding commercial olive oils. Olive oil is known for its many health benefits, but how do you know you are getting the real thing? Finally, we discuss the benefits of high intensity interval training. What better time than the good ole’ summertime?
For those of us in southern Ontario, the warm weather finally seems to have arrived. Gardens are in full swing. As we roll into summer, we offer you some tips on the health-promoting practice of gardening (mentally & physically!), as well as our usual selection of diverse articles.
Dr. Ashley Weber, ND starts us off with an examination of the effects of stress in children, and ways to help your kids develop better coping strategies. Dr. Jessa Landmann, ND reviews the use of acupuncture for patients with cancer. Acupuncture has been shown to improve symptoms such as nausea, pain, and insomnia, as well as aiding patients’ general sense of wellbeing. Dr. Gayamali Karunaratna, ND tackles the difficult topic of Crohn’s disease, discussing ways that naturopathic medicine can help, and examining current research on natural therapies for this challenging condition. Dr. Becky Less, ND reviews the uses of coenzyme Q10 among individuals with heart disease. Dr. Lee takes a close look at how to recognize the best form of CoQ10, based on dosage, absorbability, and mechanism of action. Finally, Dr. Philip Rouchotas, ND, MSc shares his insights on the many benefits associated with gardening. Besides the fact that it can provide you with homegrown organics, its pretty cool that this traditional agricultural activity has been shown to improve things ranging from physical strength, agility, and endurance, as well as measures of mental health,
Mother Nature is alive and blooming… For those of us in warmer climes, its time to turn the soil, seed the garden, or start young plants under glass. As it turns out, this month’s writers also turn their attention to new life… we feature articles on delivery, post-partum care, and care of Down Syndrome children.
Dr. Louise Wilson, ND starts us off with a closer examination of the longer-term health effects of birthing methods, C-section versus vaginal delivery. Dr. Wilson discusses the immune modulating effects of inoculation with the mother’s vaginal flora during delivery. For babies delivered by C-section, there is now a method called “vaginal seeding” whereby some of these flora can still be delivered to the infant after delivery. Dr. Melvia Agbeko, ND takes up the topic of post-partum care. Dr. Agbeko explains some of the influences that contribute to “baby blues,” or post-partum depression. Dr. Sejal Parik-Shah, ND discusses best management of Down Syndrome, or trisomy 21. Dr. Parik-Shah discusses some of the body systems known to be affected by Down Syndrome, such as the heart, the thyroid, the musculature, as well as social and cognitive functioning. Dr. Holly Giannatselis, MSc, ND, examines the adrenal roots of a common disorder of female fertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Finally, Dr. Sarah Penney, ND shares her insights on the health benefits of eating organic. What better reason to garden than the privilege of having your own organics?
We hope you enjoy these selections!
The promise of approaching warmer weather, lighter clothing, and time in the sun inspires us one and all to “health up.” We feel inspired to eat cleaner, exercise more regularly, seek to feel more energetic, and lose that 5-10 pounds accumulated over winter’s hibernation. This month’s writer’s help you tune up in a healthy fashion…
Dr. Alison Chen ND discusses the new food pyramid in her article “Are You Eating Enough Veggies?” She explains the health benefits of superfoods, super greens, and sprouts. Incorporating these healthy additions to your routine provides vitamins and antioxidants for your body and helps give your energy a nice boost. Dr. Adrian Nasager ND discusses achieving hormone balance through the use of bioidentical hormones. There are many misconceptions abounding about this therapy, and Dr. Nasager delves into the terminology and the research to tell you the true story behind bioidenticals. Dr. Ashley Kowasaki ND shares her insight in to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and explains how the change in seasons can impact your mood, causing symptoms of depression. She discusses a selection of lifestyle changes and natural therapies that can aid in treating this syndrome. Dr. Becky Lee ND changes gears and discusses mistletoe therapy; this is an emerging natural therapy used in the treatment of cancer and the prevention of recurrence. Pioneered in Germany, its use is gaining more recognition in North America, and its use has been studied in hundreds of peer- reviewed studies. Finally, Dr. Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND discusses the use of natural therapies in achieving hormonal balance during menopause.
In like a lion, out like a lamb… March sets off the beginning of spring, and hopefully more time for all of us to be able to spend outside. The health benefits of being in nature are vast. The importance of regular exercise is well known by most, but the actual extent to which it benefits things from heart disease to even side effects of chemotherapy is unknown to most. In addition, apart from exercise, the benefits of spending time in nature has been shown to exert numerous health benefits.
Dr. Monique Aucoin ND discusses the benefits on both mental and physical health of time spent in nature. Most North Americans spend very little time outside, but the benefits are numerous, from quicker recovery from surgery to improvements in cognitive and emotional wellbeing. Author and Dr. Alison Chen ND discusses simple ways to improve your self confidence through posture. Dr. Chen discusses simple exercises to incorporate into your routine that can help you improve the way you hold your body. Dr. Carolyn Meyer ND discusses the biochemical aspects of aging, and what you can do about them. Dr. Meyer discusses various nutrients and their roles in slowing the effects of aging. Dr. Tehseen Meghji ND discusses naturopathic approaches to addressing vaginal yeast infections, which can become a recurrent problem for many women. Finally, Dr. Chris Habib ND discusses ways that naturopathic medicine can ameliorate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a highly inflammatory type of arthritis.
This month at Naturopathic Currents, we continue our expanded selection of offerings. We feature articles on the benefits of coffee (everyone’s favourite ergogenic aid!), the role of the gut in brain health, oral health, as well as an article on restless leg syndrome.
Dr. Andrea Maxim ND shares with us the current state of the evidence regarding the health benefits of coffee. While we often hear of the harmful effects of coffee such as overstimulation, dehydration, etc, Dr. Maxim turns the tables on this flavorful herb. Dr. Maxim discusses how to make coffee drinking a healthy habit. Dr. Michelle Hagel ND the role of the microbiome in the etiology and manifestations of autism. Could alterations in the microbiome associated with modern life be in part responsible for the dramatic increase in autistic spectrum disorder? Dr. Janna Levanto ND discusses natural strategies for treating gingivitis. Dr. Lara Spector ND discusses the implications of the little recognized condition called small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO. Naturopathic doctors frequently see this condition in practice, and Dr. Spector discusses some of her insights. Finally, we feature an article on restless leg syndrome. Did you know that certain nutrient deficiencies can be the cause of this annoying condition?
The beginning of a new year is filled with excitement and anticipation. We eagerly watch as our work reaches new heights, our families grow, and our experience broadens. At Naturopathic Currents, we will be expanding our offerings to you, with five articles each month.
This month at Naturopathic Currents, we feature articles on obesity, immune function, men’s health, as well as an article on the nutrient inositol. Dr. Andrea Maxim ND shares with us her insights on the treatment of obesity. One quarter of Canadian adults is obese. The health consequences are massive. Dr. Maxim share her approach to thinking about and managing obesity. Dr. Sarah Penney ND discusses immune function and how to protect yourself from the viruses responsible for the common cold. Dr. Lynne Racette ND discusses erectile dysfunction, including common causes and natural approaches to mitigating this. Dr. Gayamali Karunaratna ND discusses naturopathic approaches to gastroesophageal reflux disease. Finally, Dr. Ayesha Qureshi ND examines the uses of a nutrient called inositol in treating polycystic ovary syndrome. Although it is not that well known, inositol is related to the family of B vitamins, and has been shown to help hormones such as insulin to signal more effectively.
To a happy and successful 2016!
The end of the year is upon us already. What a year 2015 has been! At Naturopathic Currents, we are proud to have brought you another volume of diverse but on-point articles relating to your health. Our goal is to be a source of high quality and reliable information on natural medicine.
This month at Naturopathic Currents, our features include Dr. Chris Habib ND and Jennifer Whalley as they discuss the very novel topic of prion disease. Prions are “germs” or pathogens that are composed entirely of protein. They are known to cause degenerative diseases of the brain and nervous system. Dr. Karunaratna ND shares her insights on metabolic syndrome. This is a constellation of risk factors for cardiovascular disease including elevations in cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, and overweight, and is known to affect approximately 20% of Canadians. Natural strategies can help reduce these factors safely and effectively. Dr. Ashley Kowalski ND writes about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), another pervasive and annoying condition affecting digestion. This is a functional abnormality for which the conventional approaches often fall short. Dr. Kowalski ND discusses natural options. Finally, we offer a discussion of eye health.
Happy holidays to you and your families this season!
October is a month of beauty, and one of my favourites as the trees begin to turn, putting on vibrant colours and reminding us that winter is not yet! It is a time to harvest the summer’s yields and prepare for winter. At Naturopathic Currents, we bring you a number of topics to help keep you healthy and resilient as well.
Dr. Maxim, ND, shares her insights on using safe personal care products. She explores the role of xenoestrogens on health conditions such as overweight, infertility, and hormone dependent cancers. This is a difficult area for many to navigate, and we thank her for her work. Dr. Sarah Penney, ND, shares her expertise on hidradenitis suppurativa, a skin condition characterized by the development of boils and abcesses under the skin. As with many skin condition, this can be a significant contributer to problems with self-image. Dr. Habib, MSc, ND discusses the health benefits of green tea, including applications for weight loss and adjunctive cancer care. Finally, Dr. Rouchotas, MSc, ND examines schizophrenia, including how natural treatments may augment the effect of conventional therapies.
We hope you enjoy these selections from our panel of health experts!
It is the height of summer; as we plunge into another heat wave, we watch our gardens thriving. Herbs, tomatoes, and peppers love this heat, throwing out new vines, growth, and fruit. The temperatures of last winter are a distant memory!
This month at Naturopathic Currents we focus on gynecological issues. Dr. Eberhard, ND discusses natural approaches to the management of urinary tract infections. Recurring urinary tract infections and treatment with antibiotics can give rise to resistant organisms and become antibiotic resistant. Minimizing the need for antibiotics through natural strategies can prevent this from happening. Dr. Fernandes, ND shares her insight on the treatment of male infertility. She discusses evidence on the role of nutritional agents and antioxidants in this area. Dr. Kowalski, ND takes a look at natural ways to address uterine fibroids, a surprisingly common problem. It is thought that up to 25% of women may be affected by fibroids! Dietary strategies appear to play an especially important role in this condition. Finally, we feature a discussion on the health effects of the food additive carrageenan. Carrageenan acts as a thickener in foods such as ice cream, milk alternatives, and others, and so is relatively pervasive in a typical North American diet. We discuss the evidence as to its safety in relation to digestive and immune health.
This month at Naturopathic Currents we focus on a few of the lesser-known natural health therapies and topics. In this month’s issue, you will find discussions of topics including the uses of a therapy called whole body cryotherapy (WBC), therapeutic applications of the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, and natural treatment approaches for conditions including alopecia and the herpes simplex virus. These conditions have limited treatment options within the conventional medical model, and many individuals suffering from these seek natural therapies.
Dr. Karunaratna, ND starts off the order with a discussion on alopecia, known more commonly as hair loss. There are several types of alopecia and influences range from nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes such as those associated with peri-menopause or post-partum, as well as, of course, stress. Dr. Karunaratna ND discusses a range of natural strategies to support healthy hair growth. Dr. Kowalski ND brings us her expertise in the treatment of herpes. Unfortunately, herpes outbreaks are typically recurrent, and there are few conventional treatments available. Dr. Kowalski reviews several natural treatments including vitamin C, vitamin B12, and a selection of anti-viral herbs. Dr. Eberhard ND discusses the uses of Withania somnifera, also known as “Indian ginseng.” In addition to being an powerful adaptogen – an herb that enhances the body’s capacity to adapt to stress – Withania benefits other areas such as thyroid function, immune function, and mood. Finally, Dr. Rouchotas MSc, ND discusses the evidence on whole body cryotherapy, a tool that can help boost immune function, reduce pain, and may promote repair of muscle, tendons, and joints.
This month at Naturopathic Currents we continue to bring you an array of high-quality, evidence based articles on natural health topics. In this month’s issue, you will find discussions of topics including the effect of probiotics on immune function, the many uses of niacin or vitamin B3, acupuncture and male infertility, as well as something as common place as headache. Did you know that overuse of analgesic medications can actually contribute to headache? Yet another reason to explore natural options that have a high margin of safety…
Dr. Lee ND starts our line-up with her insights into the role of probiotics in immune function and development. As humans, we are exposed to and inoculated with beneficial bacterial species as early as the birth process, with exposure to species populating the mother’s birth canal. This first exposure and subsequent inoculation is thought to modify risk of a whole variety of health conditions. Dr Smith ND contributes a discussion of fertility; this time with a focus on male infertility and the role of acupuncture in improving this problem. While many people are aware of the use of acupuncture for fertility in general, few are aware of the science that exists on this topic. This is a welcome addition to our publication. Dr Kowalski ND examines what we know about the essential nutrient, vitamin B3, also known as niacin. She reviews signs of deficiency, and discusses ways in which niacin supplementation may be beneficial for chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and skin conditions. Finally, we offer an analysis of natural approaches for the management of headache. With a higher margin of safety than many pharmaceutical approaches, appropriate use of natural options is a no-brainer. Consult a naturopathic doctor to see what may be appropriate for you.
Thank you once again to our panel of health experts!
With the promise of beautiful weather around the corner, gardeners are preparing the ground and getting ready to plant. Here at Naturopathic Currents we help you grow your knowledge in a diverse area of natural health topics.
Dr. Casteels, ND offers a very topical analysis of the health effects of sunlight: effects on the human body’s function including benefits, potential harms, and how to protect yourself from them. The use of sunscreens has been controversial among some, and Dr. Casteels discusses the use of safe sun strategies. Dr. Eberhard reviews the link between gut health, intestinal permeability, and a range of autoimmune conditions. She discusses a variety of natural strategies that can help restore optimal gut health and improve immune function. Dr. Kowalski, ND continues her discussion of women’s health topics. This month, she discusses fibrocystic breast disease, a condition responsive to fluctuating hormone levels. Dr. Kowalski discusses the use of dietary, supplemental, and lifestyle strategies that can improve the course of this condition. Finally, Dr. Rouchotas MSc, ND offers his insights into generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), including the use of some well researched natural health products in treating this condition.
Thank you once again to our panel of health experts, and we hope you enjoy these high quality, evidence based discussions.
April is a busy time in the natural health community… the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) hosts their annual western trade show in Vancouver, while in Ontario the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND) holds their AGM. We are slowly getting the rust out of our wheels, and ramping up for an exciting spring & summer!
This month at Naturopathic Currents we bring you experts who share their knowledge in the areas of oral health, prenatal health, and digestive health. We also feature an article on Garcinia, an herb popularly used to balance blood sugar and curb appetite.
Dr. Tiffany Eberhard, ND examines the role of oral health on the body as a whole. Oral health impacts other body systems including heart health and inflammatory disease. Dr. Eberhard reviews some natural treatments that can help fight bacterial build up and support tooth and gum health. Dr. Ashley Kowalski, ND discusses a condition of pregnancy called pre-eclampsia. This relatively common complication of pregnancy can be prevented through healthy diet and lifestyle. In addition, Dr. Kowalski discusses natural ways of managing this condition. Dr. Sarah Penney, MSc, ND, reviews the evidence on the use of of Garcina cambogia, a herb that has become popular in large part due to endorsements from Dr. Mehmet Oz. Dr. Penney digs into the real science behind this herb. Finally, Dr. Philip Rouchotas, MSc, ND offers us insights in the causes and natural approaches to gastroenteritis, commonly known as “the stomach flu.”
We hope you enjoy these fine contributions from our community of experts!
It’s finally March, and we hope that spring is around the corner… For those of us in central Canada and the Maritimes, it has been a long, hard winter. Spring is a time of preparation and hope. The promise of new life will soon be surrounding us…
This month at Naturopathic Currents we bring you experts who share their knowledge in the areas of men’s health, heart health, and digestive health.
Dr. Tiffany Eberhard, ND shares her knowledge in the treatment of elevated cholesterol, also know as “hypercholesterolemia”. This is a condition that can be very well managed naturally for the majority of individuals. Dr. Liam LaTouche, ND discusses the role of exercise in the prevention of prostate cancer. This commonly diagnosed type of cancer affects both middle aged and older men, and for those at high risk or with a family history of prostate cancer, utilizing strategies to minimize risk is essential. Dr. Andrea Maxim, ND, explores digestive health, and a new approach to the “4R’s”: remove, repair, reintroduce, and reinnoculate. This stategy helps remove offending factors or foods, repair damaged gut health, reintroduce specific foods, and reinnoculate the gut with healthy bacteria. Lastly, we feature an article on the uses of oil of oregano. This popular anti-infective herb has been the subject of early research exploring its anti-inflammatory and possible anti-cancer effects. We extend our sincere gratitude to our contributing experts this month.
Welcome to our February issue! We are well past the excitement of the New Year, and are now instead enjoying longer days, more sunshine, and the promise of spring around the corner…
This month at Naturopathic Currents we bring you experts who share their knowledge in the areas of women’s health, green living, and naturopathic approaches to cancer care.
Dr. Ashley Weber, ND shares her knowledge in the treatment and prevention of gestational diabetes, also known as diabetes of pregnancy. Having diabetes during pregnancy increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, and may increase risk the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome in female babies; thus the importance of proper management. Dr. Sejal Parikh-Shah, ND, et al. join us for a discussion of environmental toxins, their sources of exposure as well as alternative, clean products. Dr. Jessa Landmann, ND discusses the role of stress and stress management within the context of cancer. Not only are stress, anxiety, and depression considerable burdens among those living with a cancer diagnosis, but they may also impact the course of disease. Finally, Dr. Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND, joins us for a discussion of “pyelonephritis,” also known as kidney infection. We extend our sincere gratitude to our contributing experts this month.
Happy New Year to all of our readers! The end and beginning of another calendar year is at hand. This is a time of reflection for us, and we feel immense gratitude for the closure of a healthy and prosperous year. We also thank you our readers for your ongoing support as we continue to bring you cutting edge, evidence based information about natural health topics. We promise to deliver more of the same high quality information in the coming year.
This month at Naturopathic Currents we bring you experts who share their knowledge in the areas of women’s health, ear & neurological health, and meditation, especially timely for the New Year (anyone in need of a new year resolution?). Dr. Ashley Kowalski ND brings us an article on Tinnitus, also known as “ringing in the ears.” Did you know that there are natural ways to help you address this? We also feature another article on Vertigo, also known as dizziness associated with a “spinning” sensation. Vertigo can be a frustrating condition, often with few treatment options conventionally. Dr. Tiffany Eberhard ND joins us for a discussion on Cervical dysplasia. This is a pre-malignant condition associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV); did you know that up to 80% of the adult population is thought to be affected by HPV? Finally, Dr. Joanna Rosenfeld ND discusses the health benefits of meditation. Thank you to our health experts this month!
Happy New Year, and all the best in 2015!
After a gorgeous fall season here in Ontario, the recent change in temperature signals that winter is inevitably on its way. We have put the gardens to bed for the year and taken our fill of the last veggies of the year. It’s a time to look forward to wood fires, sipping warm drinks, and for those so inclined, enjoyment of some outdoor skating or other snowy sports. Although still somewhat far off, we also greet the onslaught of the colder weather with anticipation of Holiday preparations. Perhaps this helps us cope with the more unpleasant side of the winter season!
From a health perspective, our thoughts turn to strategies for supporting immune function, as well as supporting mood as we enter the darker months of the year. Already we have seen many patients coming in suffering from the common cold and bronchitis. The winter season is difficult for patients already suffering from mood disorders, as well as those of us without a definitive condition. There are many natural strategies to help support you through this aspect of the season. We encourage you to see your naturopathic doctor to find out more about effective natural strategies to manage these kinds of seasonal concerns!
Without further ado, we invite you to delve into our November issue!
This month at Naturopathic Currents we bring you a discussion of important health topics, new and old. Dr. Janet McKenzie ND enlightens us on the field of Positive Psychology. This area seeks to understand the relationship between psychological resilience, happiness, and health. Many of us are intuitively aware of a connection between our mental and physical health, but few of us clearly understand the relationship. A number of attributes have been associated with resilience, including identifying themselves as a survivor not a victim, having spirituality, willingness to help others, and the capacity to find positive meaning in trauma. The field of study also examines how to cultivate traits of resilience in people.
In addition this month, we welcome Dr. Berchman Wong ND as he discusses Parkinson’s disease, a chronic neurodegenerative condition, and the role of naturopathic medicine in its treatment. Dr. Nadine Gavin ND discusses primary dysmenorrhea, or painful menses, and the role of diet, lifestyle, and nutritional supplementation in alleviating this condition and related inflammation. Dr. Philip Rouchotas ND examines the role of natural therapies in the management of liver disorders ranging from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Several natural health products such as L-carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc have been shown to help improve liver function.
We thank all of our contributors for sharing their expertise!
This month at Naturopathic Currents we offer a unique perspective on a number of new health topics. The study of “psychoneuroimmunology” has shown us that the molecules and biochemicals produced by specific thoughts and thought patterns exert a powerful influence over your physical bodily health as well, in particular the immune system. This field of study has existed for over 30 years, but we don’t generally hear too much about this connection. In this issue, Dr. Crystal Ceh, ND joins us for a discussion of eczema, an immune-mediated skin condition, and its relationship with stress, as well as natural strategies to combat and heal eczema.
This month we also feature Dr. Michael Long focuses on nutritional requirements for athletes. Dr Long, ND discusses the unique physiological requirements for athletes, how to tailor dietary intake to meet these needs, and the role of safe, natural ergogenic aids. Tal Friedman, ND, with a background in kinesiology, takes on the subject of pain, both acute and chronic. Dr. Friedman discusses the use of top natural agents for pain management, including curcumin, bromelain, Boswellia. Finally, we discuss the continually evolving topic of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Did you know that scientists in this area are beginning to characterize a type of gluten sensitivity called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)” ? This is being correlated with a host of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. In this issue we take a closer look at this emerging area and its diagnosis.
Thank you to all of our contributors for sharing their expertise!
This month at Naturopathic Currents we offer some timely topics. This spring has been a rough one on allergy sufferers; one of our features this month discusses a little natural compound called quercetin, and its role in combating allergy. Quercetin is found in several fruits and vegetables, notably onion skins, and taken as a supplement, seems to have effects on asthma, allergies, as well as areas such as cardiovascular health and inflammation. We thank Erin Balodis MSc, ND for sharing her expertise with us!
This month we also feature Jessa Landmann, ND, who joins us for a fascinating discussion of immune function following pregnancy. Few women are aware of the amazing adaptations their body makes during pregnancy, including down-regulation of immune reactivity and an increase in immune “tolerance” in order to not react against their baby! For some women, achieving immune balance again after pregnancy is challenging, with aggravations of autoimmunity. Dr Landmann focuses on thyroiditis and rheumatoid arthritis in particular. Natural strategies can play an important role in restoring healthy immune function. Dr. Chris Habib, ND elaborates on evidence supporting anti-anxiety effects of specific herbal medicines, including ginkgo, rhodiola, St. John’s wort, and valerian. Dr. Philip Rouchotas, MSc, ND discusses the health effects of the popularized “Paleo diet.” Find out what the science really says about this new trend!
This month at Naturopathic Currents we bring a focus to brain health and men’s health topics.
These are subject areas that tend to be a little neglected as far as natural medicine goes, compared to more popular topics such as women’s health, for instance. We are excited to bring you continued high quality information in these topic areas.
This month we feature Dr. Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND and Dr. Theresa Camozzi ND discussing cognitive impairment in the form of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the growing area of post-concussion syndrome, respectively. The conventional treatment options available to individuals suffering from post-concussion syndrome are quite limited, and this is an area where naturopathic therapies are at the fore. We are also grateful to Dr. Rebecca Lee ND for sharing her insight on male fertility, and the often overlooked impact of diet, lifestyle, and select nutritional supplements for enhancing parameters related to male fertility. Dr. Chris Habib ND provides a discussion on the role of natural strategies with respect to men’s health. He takes a look at conditions that affect men throughout the age spectrum, from depression, erectile dysfunction, and enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy).
We thank all of our contributors for sharing their expertise with us through this forum.
This month at Naturopathic Currents we continue to bring you cutting edge information on your health; this month we offer you a timely seasonal paper on a new treatment for allergies, as well as emerging science on the anticancer effects of a common diabetes medication. Science is constantly evolving, with new therapies emerging, and new applications being discovered for existing treatments. It is well known that, for various reasons, the time delay between the evolution of science and transition into common medical practice can take decades. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are on the cutting edge, and are among the first healthcare providers to incorporate new, emerging therapies, making them available to patients much earlier than would otherwise be possible. In fact, NDs are pioneers in the use of both new therapies featured this month: sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for allergy desensitization, as well as use of the diabetes drug, metformin, in fighting cancer.
Also this month we feature Dr. Fiona McCulloch ND as she tackles the challenging area of thyroid disease. We are grateful to Dr. McCulloch for sharing her wealth of experience in the use of natural therapies to achieve optimal thyroid function. Dr. Tamara Eriksen, ND shares her research on the uses of a simple but little known natural molecule, Glycine. Glycine has a myriad of uses related to mood and brain health. Dr. Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND provides the article on metformin and its role in treating and preventing cancer. Metformin is a medication with an excellent safety profile, and exciting data emerging on the inhibition of cancer cell growth and proliferation. Studies have shown that patients with diabetes taking metformin have dramatically lower rates of cancer compared to their diabetic confreres not taking this medication. Finally, we include an article on the use of sublingual immunotherapy as a method of allergy symptom management and desensitization. While this is a new treatment here in North America, it is well established in Europe, and has a large amount of data supporting its effectiveness for allergy. We thank all of our contributors for sharing their expertise with us through this forum.
This month at Naturopathic Currents we are excited to offer you cutting edge information on your health. This month we take a critical look at the role of environmental contaminants, many of which act as endocrine disrupting chemicals, in women’s health, especially endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and infertility. Only a few years ago, data on this association was very much lacking; however in the last couple years, a wealth of data has emerged, clearly showing that increased body burden of these chemicals may in fact play a role in these conditions. This is important as we think about ways to reduce these kinds of exposures, and ways to enhance the body’s ability to eliminate such persistent chemicals.
Also in this issue, we feature Dr. Preeti Kulkarni ND and an insightful discussion of natural strategies for the treatment and prevention of migraine. Dr. Carolyn Mercer ND joins us for a discussion of infertility related to PCOS. Indeed, fertility is becoming a popular topic among our doctors in this forum. Dr. Mercer discusses the role of basic diet and lifestyle interventions, and in addition, she ventures into the complicated world of hormones, explaining the role of more subtle imbalances in thyroid and adrenal function among this population of women. Dr. Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND provides a detailed look at a little-known agent with applications in mental health. N-acetylcysteine has a growing body of evidence showing potential benefits for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. Dr. Rouchotas has a focus on psychiatry in his clinical practice, and we are grateful for his insights on this topic. We thank all of our contributors for sharing their expertise with us through this forum.
At Naturopathic Currents we are excited to continue delivering you high quality, evidence- based information on health, wellness, and natural medicine. In this issue, you will find some our best material yet! Recently, naturopathic medicine has been in the spotlight in Ontario, with increased media focus on the profession’s transition to new regulations, as naturopathic doctors become a part of the Registered Health Professionals Act (RHPA). Some have questioned the evidence base defining naturopathic practice. In this issue, we are pleased to present some of research evaluating whole-practice naturopathic medicine in a range of contexts including mental health, chronic pain, and prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Also in this issue, we feature Dr. Fiona McCulloch ND as she lucidly explains some of the factors involved in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and considerations for natural treatment approaches. Dr. Erica Nikiforuk ND unravels the latest developments in resveratrol research. This is an intriguing new agent that until now has not had been the subject of much human level studies; however this area has exploded in the last couple years, with potential applications including fertility, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Dr. Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND offers an insightful analysis of categories of healthy fats. We find this to be a common area of confusion, with many people unsure as to the differences and relative importance of omega-3, omega-6, omega-7, omega-9, etc. Dr. Rouchotas takes a look at the evidence and takes apart some common myths around omega fatty acids. We thank our contributors for sharing their expertise with us through this forum.
Welcome to Naturopathic Currents - 2014! As we look forward to the upcoming year, we also look behind to the year that was. We are grateful for a successful year of spreading the word and sharing high quality information on natural medicine with the Canadian public. Our goal for 2014 is to become a primary resource for Canadians in this area. To help us achieve this goal, we have partnered with naturopathic doctors across Canada who are experts in their respective areas.
In this issue, we thank Dr. Janet McKenzie ND for her eye-opening discussion of fibromyalgia syndrome, including a view of its historical context and controversial status as a viable diagnosis. We also feature Dr. Wendy Chiu ND, who explores anticancer, anti-arthritic, and anti-aging properties of turmeric, “the golden spice.” Fitting nicely with these other articles on fibromyalgia and turmeric, Dr. Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND discusses natural options that are available to individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. Finally, we examine the role of vitamin D, optimal vitamin D levels, and the role of supplementation in managing mood disorders, cognitive health, and immune function. We hope that these articles help you overcome the post-holiday let-down and get you feeling well again in mind and body!
Welcome to our new and returning readers! It’s almost the end of the year… our American friends have just celebrated their Thanksgiving, and we in Canada are anticipating the holiday season. Focus shifts this time of year. Conferences and work-related travel slow down, while other activities ramp up. We wish all our readers and contributors a healthy and happy Holiday season. This is an important time to unwind, and spend precious time with family and friends. And as the famous tale, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol reminds us, it is also a time to take stock of the year gone by and re-frame our goals for the year to come. We wish you abundant Holiday cheer!
In this issue, we feature contributions from Dr Landmann, who provides an excellent introduction to cancer, the importance of exercise for both early stage and advanced cancers, and also a discussion for the use of intravenous vitamin C in cancer management. Dr Kempinska provides an excellent summary of diet, lifestyle, and supplemental strategies that will you’re your skin glowing and youthful for years to come.
Our News section features newly released guidelines from the American Heart Association on cholesterol management, including the role of diet and lifestyle. In keeping with this theme, Dr Rouchotas shares his insight on the role of plant sterols in management of cholesterol, as well as for prostate health. Finally, we include a series on the therapeutic applications of green tea beverage and/ or extract. If you are looking for a hot, healthy drink while you sit by the fire, why not try this traditional tea and herb?
Welcome to new and returning readers! We hope that this point in mid-autumn finds you in good health. November is for many a month of preparation. Mental preparation for the arrival of the winter months. Preparations for winter activities such as outdoor skating, or skiing. Preparation for the end of the school term for students. For many, it is also the time to plan and prepare for Holiday celebrations. We are also looking forward to the time of year when we can get the fireplace going and enjoy domestic warmth and leisure. We hope that this issue of Naturopathic Currents provides you with some enjoyable yet challenging reading material for this time of year!
In this issue, we feature contributions from Dr. Chris Habib ND and a team of students from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, discussing the broad spectrum of emerging health benefits associated with probiotics; Dr. Monique Aucoin ND examines the evidence on health benefits of flax. Our very own “Dr. Phil” Rouchotas MSc, ND discusses herbal and nutrient based strategies for the treatment and prevention of degenerative eye disease, with a focus on new evidence emerging on omega-3s and types of carotenoids. We also include a feature introducing our readers to the different types of drug-NHP (natural health product) interactions, discussing an example from various categories. The question of potential interactions between natural therapies and drugs comes up often in our interactions with patients, and is a topic that our readers should be aware of, with at least a cursory appreciation of what may be involved.
October is a beautiful month. Our surroundings are alive with one final splash of color. Away from the cities, the countryside is aglow with reds, yellow, orange, and the deep, earthy color of fields that have been harvested and turned over. It is traditionally also a time of thanksgiving. Not just as in the civic holiday. But a spirit of thanksgiving for all the blessings of the year – traditionally this would entail gratitude for good crops, but in modern times can include a wider spectrum. Thanks for our families, good health, and the ability to continue working towards our future goals. In many professions, the fall can be an overwhelmingly busy time. It is important to step back to realize that despite the stresses and deadlines of day to day life, it is the people in our lives that make this pursuit worthwhile.
This month, we are excited for some returning contributors as well as new ones. In July, Dr Lei Gu ND presented the role of acupuncture in regulating PMS and menstrual disorders; this months she shares with us the role of acupuncture in supporting fertility and perinatal health. We welcome Dr Erica Nikiforuk as she discusses the evolution of what is considered a heart- healthy diet. Finally, Dr Rouchotas, professor of clinical nutrition at CCNM, discusses the role of a lesser known nutrient: choline. Although relatively unknown in the public sphere, choline is considered an essential nutrient with a variety of interesting roles in the body. We also discuss the role of a comprehensive natural approach in managing high blood pressure. Find out more inside…
Welcome to the fall of 2013! For many of us, especially those with children, teachers and university students, September feels like a mini New Year. It’s a new start, a new routine, and many new things to discover and look forward to. However, with all this activity - the beginning of the school year, a new routine for parents, a busier workplace, and the inevitable coming weather changes - the collective stress response is already ramping up in anticipation. Here at Naturopathic Currents, we want to help you stay healthy this fall! One of our feature articles this month addresses some easy things you can do to help bolster your immune system, including offsetting some of the stress-induced effects on the immune system.
Also in this issue, we welcome several new contributors covering some novel topics: Dr Lisa Watson ND discusses the role of the herb passionflower in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and addiction. Dr Fiona McCulloch ND shares with us her expertise pertaining to the role of insulin resistance in female infertility. Dr Melvia Agbeko, resident at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), shares her knowledge of coconut oil and its benefits for weight loss and brain health. Finally, Dr Rouchotas, professor of clinical nutrition at CCNM, discusses the role of natural therapies in the treatment and prevention of diabetes. Did you know that this chronic disease is preventable, even if you are deemed high risk? Find out more inside…
In the blink of an eye, it is August! Unbelievable as that may seem, in the interim much has been going on here at Naturopathic Currents. This summer, both Dr Rouchotas and I have had the privilege of attending the national conferences of both the Canadian and the American naturopathic associations (in acronyms, known as the CAND and the AANP respectively). It was so inspiring to be able to speak with and learn from the leaders and “elders” of the profession, who possess so much knowledge and have truly been pioneers in our field, yet remain humble and genuine as people. It is also happening time in the field of naturopathic medicine! New research – a systematic review –was presented on the effectiveness as well as cost-effectiveness of naturopathic medicine as a system in treating and preventing chronic disease. Naturopathic medicine has so much to offer our society, plagued by chronic disease of many kinds, and it is our hope that in future it can grow to become a more integrated part of the healthcare team!
In this issue of Naturopathic Currents, we welcome several new contributors: Dr. Lei Gu discusses the benefits of acupuncture for a host of women’s health issues; Dr Leung delves into the science on melatonin – did you know, melatonin is not just for sleep? Melatonin has hormone regulating and immunological effects, as well as a role in regulating digestive function. Dr Nguyen discusses the applications for laser therapy for chronic pain. Dr Rouchotas offers an eloquent discussion of the importance of key nutrients during pregnancy, and how this can have a long term effect on the health of the offspring. Finally, we discuss the role of various factors on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
School’s out! With June at our back and July marching on, we are proud to roll out another issue full offascinating but digestible articles to keep summer reading agenda topped up. While you relax, travel, and/ or enjoy some much-needed stay-cation, remember to check in for regular updates on an array of health topics. In this months’ issue, there is truly something for everyone.
Leading up the order is Dr Odette Bulaong ND, with a special focus on polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder. Dr Bulaong sheds light on the impact of dietary and nutritional strategies, and is to be commended for also discussing the mental-emotional component of living with a serious genetic disease. Dr Aoife Earls ND coins the term “GABA therapy” to sum up her approach to the use of several natural agents in the treatment of insomnia. Gout is a commonly considered just a “nuisance” problem, typically not given much therapeutic importance. Did you know, however, that gout is tightly associated with several risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes? Not really so benign… With a focus on men’s health, Dr Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND discusses the important role of natural medicine in the prevention of prostate cancer, as well as how natural medicines can complement and support conventional therapies in the treatment of prostate cancer. Finally, Dr Erin Wiley ND rounds out the line-up with her discussion of the brain on fire. Did you know that inflammation hasa powerful on mood and that natural anti-inflammatory agents can combat this?
We leave you to discover…
Heidi Fritz MA, ND
Welcome to Naturopathic Currents, your online source for professional, unbiased, and evidence-based information on natural health and wellness. As summer rolls in, we invite you to enjoy some leisure time exploring hot topics in natural health! At Naturopathic Currents, our aim is to provide sound, reliable information on the health-promoting effects of natural therapies, as well as unique insights into natural approaches to managing disease. We emphasize the latest scientific evidence interpreted through the lens of credentialed authors (naturopathic doctors). We also keep you updated on the latest events and developments in the world of health and wellness in Canada.
In this issue we feature a variety of conditions and agents. Dr Candice Esposito ND discusses social anxiety disorder, a common but still under-recognized condition. Magnesium is a super-nutrient par excellence, and Dr Michael Long ND regals us with some fascinating facts about this essential mineral: did you know that magnesium is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body involving energy production? Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal and metabolic condition affecting women of reproductive age. There is a surprising amount of research on the impact of diet and select nutritional supplements. Dr Meaghan McCollum ND discusses the causes and impact of leaky gut syndrome on human health. Dr Philip Rouchotas MSc, ND discusses important, new information on vitamin A and beta carotene – I will say no more, but this is a must-read!