/Women's Wellness

Coronavirus & Pregnancy: What We Know So Far

By: Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Pregnancy is a time when women are naturally more cautious about their health. Changes in the body during pregnancy can make women more susceptible to viral infections, especially pneumonia; something for which health care workers are usually prepared. COVID-19 is a new virus and the case studies are few. Much of the research or info we have comes from small studies done in the last few months or from research on other viral strains within the same coronavirus family such as SARS and MERS. It is encouraging that pregnant women who develop the new coronavirus and their babies have positive outcomes. The Research So Far The risks associated with COVID-19 in pregnancy seem to be less severe than those reported in SARS and MERS. One study released in March reviewed 23 relevant case studies of COVID-19 in 32 pregnant women (1). Of the 32 women (one set of twins, three ongoing pregnancies): 7 had no symptoms 2 were admitted to Intensive Care 27 had vaginal deliveries 2 had cesarean section 15 delivered pre-term 0 maternal deaths The most notable risk from COVID-19 seems to be preterm birth however, it has been unclear from the studies if this is due to planned cesarean sections recommended as a result of the virus. […]

Women’s Heart Health

By: Dr. Keara Taylor, ND Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among older post- menopausal women.  As women, the risk of cardiovascular disease is 2-3 times higher after menopause (1).  Statically, men are at a higher risk, however, as women age, their level of risk approaches that of men, and the lifetime risk for women may actually be higher because we live longer (2).  The risk of cardiovascular disease in women should not be underestimated, and because there appears to be a link between hormones and cardiovascular disease – we see rates increase significantly after menopause – we can and should be proactive in managing that risk, especially as we age. The average age of menopause in women is approximately 51, and is often accompanied by the immediate symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. However, longer-term issues can also arise, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment. The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) looked at the correlation between a menopausal woman’s experience of vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes with cardiovascular risk factors.  It found that vascular aging, endothelial dysfunction and large artery stiffening seemed to increase in women during the menopausal transition and that women with hot flushes had higher rates of subclinical cardiovascular disease (1). As women enter menopause, treating symptoms with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) may be a good option, and should be discussed with a health care practitioner. While the use of BHRT in menopause is beyond the scope of this article, here are some dietary and lifestyle practices that you can implement right now that have been shown in the literature to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events: […]

The Hormone & Mental Health Connection

By: Dr. Keara Taylor, ND When it comes to addressing and optimizing mental health, it is vitally important to take a holistic approach, which may include looking at and addressing your hormonal health since hormones and mental health are intrinsically linked. As we know, PMS or premenstrual syndrome, is composed of both physical and psychological symptoms, which include low mood, anxiety, mood swings, social withdrawal etc. that occur in the two week period prior to menstrual bleeding and affect daily functioning. PMDD or premenstrual dysmorphic disorder is defined in the DSM-5 and includes severe mood and physical symptoms (1). We see an increase in low mood and anxiety in peri- and post-menopausal women (2). All of this shows us that mood changes can be linked to shifts in hormones, such as a decline in estrogen, and sometimes a rise in progesterone or progestogens, which can then affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA, and dopamine(3). A good way to determine whether hormones are affecting your mood symptoms is to track your symptoms along with your cycle. There are many free apps out there that make this very easy. If you are undergoing a hormonal transition, for example, pregnancy, post -partum, or perimenopause, then it may be worthwhile to work with a health care practitioner who can help you determine whether your hormones are having an effect on your mental health. The importance of a proper diagnosis cannot be stressed enough to ensure that you get the proper care and treatment that you need (4). […]

Harnessing Energy to Achieve Your Goals in 2020

By: Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Energy is the fundamental fuel you need to achieve your goals this year. In addition to discipline, focus, vision and other forces required to realize your goals, adequate amounts of energy are essential are essential for the endurance, focus and positivity needed to reach our goals.  The role energy plays in goal setting is paramount. Have you ever failed at a New Year’s resolution and experienced negative self-talk? ‘Lazy’, ‘Unmotivated’, ‘Unfocused’, ‘Depressed’ are some of the words people hear. Does this sound like you? If it does, ask yourself this important question:  […]

Hormones to Watch with Weight Loss

By Dr. Keara Taylor, ND Weight gain can be the result of a variety of factors. The foods that we consume and the amount that we move our bodies impacts the capacity of our body to burn or store energy.   However, this is only part of the picture! An incredibly important piece of the weight loss puzzle that is often overlooked is hormonal health. There are a few key hormones that are important to get into balance to support your weight loss goals. Here are three key hormones that we want to consider when it comes to weight management, as well as a few tips on how to balance them! […]

5 Tips to MAINTAIN Weight Loss

By Monica Grainger, MSW, RSW   Establish a regular eating schedule. Plan when you are going to eat and what your meals and snacks will be ahead of time. You are less likely to be tempted by unhealthy food.   Know your triggers. Do you tend to eat when you are bored, anxious, or excited? Do you succumb to your cravings? Are you in social situations where you are offered food? Do you think about food, imagine having your favourite dessert? Being able to predict what will trigger overeating or grabbing junk food will help you reduce your exposure to it. […]

Treating PCOS with Traditional Chinese Medicine

By Xianmin Yu, R.Ac, R.TCMP Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health issue among women of childbearing age, with the incidence as high as 10%. It is characterised by hormonal imbalance, and may be accompanied by many other abnormal metabolism. The ovaries may not be able to develop eggs or release eggs regularly. What are the symptoms of PCOS? Most commonly observed clinical symptoms are: Irregular menstrual period, including prolonged or irregular periods, or even stopped periods. Weight problems, including weight gain and very difficult to lose weight. Abnormal hair growth and loss in unwanted areas, including excess facial and body hair which are due to elevated levels of male hormone, and/or hair loss on the head. Acnes on face and chest, sometimes upper back. […]

Detoxification with MORA Bioresonance Therapy

By Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND Many common health concerns can be associated with toxin accumulation within the body.  Our everyday lifestyle exposes us too many types of toxins including pesticides and preservatives in food, air pollution, metals and chemicals in our drinking water and a plethora of toxins are found in our cosmetics and body care products. Toxins must be processed and eliminated, but when our exposure becomes more than what our body can deal with and eliminate we develop symptoms from a build up of toxins. Common health concerns that can be associated with toxicity: […]

Awareness: The Foundation for Happiness & Success

By Alexia Georgousis ND, CPC, Conscious Awareness Coach Emotions are a part of who we are as human beings. They are bundles of energy in motion. The key is to understand emotional energy needs to move through us rather than stay still.  Learning how to feel our emotions, learn from them and let them move through us is an essential life skill. Being emotionally aware is also referred to as waking up or becoming more conscious. More research is also supporting the importance of becoming more consciously aware of our emotions.  According to John Gottman a psychological researcher: “emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships” […]

Sustainable Nutrition Resolutions

By Sonja Smiljanic, BA, NNCP, Holistic Nutritionist As a Nutritionist I often get asked about what people should avoid or restrict in order to feel better. I do think there is an important and necessary place for restriction, but I believe that to implement sustainable change when it comes to nutrition and to feel positive about the changes the lens has to be shifted to what can and should be incorporated, more so than what needs to be restricted. Language plays an integral role in how we think about food, our nutrition goals, and our health in general, and thus I believe it’s important to use positive language as much as possible when talking about our relationship with food. This approach is sustainable, positive, and empowering and supports a sense of trust between a person and their body. I will eat more vegetables Whatever your base line, try and add a little more. Vegetables nurture our bodies so nicely with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and complex carbohydrates that energize us. Whether it’s adding a cup more of frozen veggies to your stir-fry, a handful of spinach to your smoothie in the morning or opting for a salad at lunch time these are little ways to incorporate more vegetables into your personal menu! […]