Welcome Rebecca Bau

Welcome back to Rebecca Bau

We are pleased to welcome back Rebecca Bau to our Wholistic Medical Centre team!

Rebecca is an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist and Lohan Qigong practitioner who integrates eastern life philosophies and eastern medicine practices for everyday health and wellbeing.

She brings clinical skills in Acupuncture, Japanese Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Shonishin, Chinese herbal medicine and Lohan Qigong which she has practiced for over 15 years.

Rebecca has been a part of many amazing stories, primarily in women’s health assisting with fertility, pregnancy and labour. However, in practice she treats people of all ages and conditions… Her youngest patient was a 9mth old baby who had digestive upsets unable to gain weight, and the eldest a 97yr old with shoulder pain unable to go for their everyday swim.

To find out more about Rebecca’s experience and her treatment consultations, click here.

An Update On Endometriosis

Severe pain with your period? You might have endometriosis.

 

Endometriosis was first recognised and described 300 years ago. However it has been an under undiagnosed and under researched female inflammatory condition since then until now.

 

Fortunately, a few new areas of research are shedding some light on how naturopaths can best support women with endometriosis to reduce pain levels and improve their fertility.

 

Endometriosis is an extremely painful reproductive condition

 

An Australian government report released in 2019 told us that 1 in 9 women are diagnosed with endometriosis by the age of 40 to 44. Given that statistic, there’s a fair chance at least one of your girlfriends is experiencing endometriosis.

 
 

Furthermore, 1.5% of hospitalisations of women of reproductive age are related to endometriosis. These statistics tell us that this relatively unknown condition is quite widespread. In my clinic I see women from the ages of 16 to 46 who are seeking relief from endometriosis, either because they don’t want to continue to experience pain, or because they are hoping to fall pregnant in the near future.

 

It can take endometriosis sufferers on average 6.5 years to get a diagnosis, which is reliant on a laparoscopic procedure to identify the endometrial tissue.

 

Most women agree that period pain is uncomfortable or even painful. Many women with endometriosis suffer with their pain for a long time without seeking help because our society has normalised period pain. I have previously written a blog to discuss the type of period pain that is normal, and what is considered severe, so please check this out if you’re wondering if you might have endometriosis.

 

Please also keep in mind that pain levels are not always a reliable indicator of the extent of your endometriosis.

 

New research and it’s impact on the way I support women with endometriosis:

 

There is still so much research to be done on endometriosis before we can understand exactly what causes it and why some women get it and others don’t. In the past the focus of naturopathic support has been on pain management and tissue healing, however due to exciting recent studies, our options for working with women with endometriosis have expanded.

 

1. The immune system is involved in endometriosis

 

Supporting a healthy immune system is now our primary aim when trying to improve endometriosis. A 2018 report published in Japan found that endometriosis is likely to be a result of a disorder of the immune system.

 

Some women may have a genetic predisposition to immune dysfunction. However for many, the immune system trigger might be food such as diary or gluten; or bacteria that has translocated from the gut to the pelvis (see more below); or foods containing nickel (see more below), or a diet lacking in the nutrients to support the immune system.

 

The first step is to reduce any foods that may trigger immune activation such as dairy and gluten. Removing dairy from the diet is often a game changer for women with endometriosis, so this is where I often start. Often women are very open to the idea of not eating dairy products because they have long suspected they might be intolerant to them.

 

If there is no positive change after a few months, or if there is Coeliac disease somewhere in the family, I will also recommend the removal of products containing gluten such as bread and pasta.

 

I recommend supporting the immune system with herbal remedies and nutrients such as zinc, NAC, turmeric, berberine and echinacea. I mix up individualised herbal remedies for each client, dependant on the symptoms she has and what we suspect is the underlying driver of her endometriosis.

 

2. High estrogen levels worsen endometriosis

 

Women experience symptoms of high levels of estrogen when they have heavy menstrual bleeding and clotting. The higher the estrogen levels, the more the endometrial tissue will thicken during a menstrual cycle. This will increase the likelihood of heavy, painful periods when you have endometriosis.

 

There are a few ways to improve the high estrogen levels and the decision will depend on the type of symptoms that a woman presents with and the results of any tests that we have done.

 

I may recommend cutting out dairy products; reducing histamine foods; liver and bowel support with diet changes and herbal medicine; supporting gut dysbiosis, Calcium D-glucarate; or supporting progesterone levels with herbal medicine.

 

The early stage of perimenopause is a time when we naturally have less progesterone and relatively higher levels of estrogen. This is a time when endometriosis can flare up and worsen (as well as a host of other symptoms). Perimenopausal women can try natural progesterone support and cutting back on histamine foods.

 

3. Bacterial contamination hypothesis for endometriosis

 

Studies are suggesting that up to 90% of women with endometriosis also have an irritable bowel and regularly experience constipation or diarrhoea or both.

 

Some of these women have been diagnosed with IBS or SIBO, however the symptoms can overlap with endometriosis, making it difficult to distinguish the trigger of the pain. For example, endometrial tissue can often be found in the bowel and rectum, so cyclical bowel pain can be endometriosis and not food intolerances.

 
 

A study published in 2018 found the menstrual blood of women with endometriosis had more E.coli than women without endometriosis and suggested that the bacteria may have translocated from the gut to the pelvis. The study also found that the protective vaginal bacteria Lactobacillus was reduced in women with endometriosis.

 

Healthy gut and vaginal microbiome can be supported with antimicrobial herbal medicines such as berberine, and prebiotic foods. I regularly test for microbial imbalance in my endometriosis clients using a stool test called GI map and then select specific herbal medicines, targeted probiotics, and prebiotic foods as indicated to support the woman’s microbiome and resolve intestinal permeability.

 

When I work with women experiencing endometriosis I prioritise dealing with the IBS or the SIBO and focus on regulating bowels to resolve constipation and other digestive symptoms.

I also work to reduce any bacterial or yeast overgrowth that might trigger the immune system and drive inflammation.

 

The bacterial contamination hypothesis is an exciting new development in the understanding of endometriosis and I am observing the similarities between stool test results of endometriosis with interest.

 

4. Nickel allergies are a risk factor for endometriosis

 

A 2015 study discovered that a nickel allergy is a risk factor for endometriosis. The research was done over a period of 11 years and including around 5000 female participants in South Korea. This study also supports the idea that the immune system is involved in worsening endometriosis.

 
 

Nickel allergy is a common driver of contact dermatitis since nickel is found in jewellery and skin care products. I now ask the women I work with if they have reactions to jewellery and then support them by reduce nickel in their diets and skin care products.

 

Moving forward with endometriosis

 

With the way that our research and clinical experience is expanding, I’m sure that endometriosis will soon be better understood and more talked about than it is now. If you have endometriosis and you are interested in implementing some of the ideas I have suggested in this blog, please get in touch for a consultation or a free discovery session.

 

I would be delighted to be part of your support team.

 

Simone 🙂

 

The Worst Thing About Thrush

The worst thing about thrush is not the compulsive itching, the stinging or the burning pain. From the many women I have talked to with recurrent or chronic thrush I’m confident that the worst thing about thrush is a feeling of isolation, loss of self esteem, and the affect it can have on a woman’s confidence in intimate relationships.

Thrush is an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a yeast that can inhabit the bowel, vagina and mouth. Candida is opportunistic, which means that it grows and thrives when the balance of normal bacteria has been disrupted.

 

Things that disrupt the balance of bacteria in the vagina:

  • antibiotics

  • changes in estrogen throughout the menstrual cycle

  • long term use of medications such as the oral contraceptive pill

  • pregnancy or perimenopause

  • antibacterial or perfumed soaps or bath bombs

  • tight synthetic clothing

  • sex and types of sexual practices

  • diets high in sugar or low in nutrients

  • poor health and a weakened immune system

  • emotional stress

  • hygiene practices

Recurrent or chronic thrush

 

Most of the women I work with present with recurrent or chronic thrush. These women have often had repeated cycles for years and have treated it with anti-fungal medication from the pharmacy. Many have also discovered the anti-candida diet and have tried it with varying levels of success.

 

By the time I meet a woman with chronic thrush it can already have caused a devastating effect on her self esteem and confidence around sex. It is not uncommon for me to meet young women of 19 or 20 who have had thrush for 3 or more years without being able to find the help they need. The emotional stress from recurrent thrush can cause a ripple effect in other areas of their lives and often there is often no-one to talk to about it.

 

I believe that no woman should feel this way and it’s why I love to assist women to conquer thrush once and forever.

A naturopathic approach to thrush:

 

Anti-fungal herbal medicine is a very important step when treating thrush, however it’s often only the tip of the iceberg.

 

My priority when working with thrush is to restore a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria to the vagina. It is normal for Lactobacilli to be the predominant bacterial species in the vagina, so we will initiate steps (including specific probiotics) to restore balance. This process can take time and I usually recommend ongoing support for at least 6 months and sometimes up to 12 months, depending on how long you have been experiencing thrush.

 

We will track the pattern of thrush in your life and identify the likely contributors or triggers. Changes to lifestyle, hygiene and diet can be an essential part of the healing process, depending on your particular pattern or cycle of thrush.

 

I will support optimum estrogen levels throughout your menstrual cycle, which often includes supporting healthy liver and bowel function. We may also discuss stress management and immune system support, depending on your individual circumstances and health picture.

 

I am always very aware that thrush is a condition with emotional and sexual impacts. I love to use Australian bush flower essences as a way to support emotional healing while we improve the everyday symptoms, reduce the itch and restore balance.

 

If you are experiencing the physical and emotional impacts of thrush, then I hope you will work with me.

 

Simone

How do you eat? Is stress causing your bloating?

Many people with bloating or reflux have tried cutting out dairy or gluten, or both. They’ve been avoiding FODMAP foods and they’ve tried to eliminate coffee. By the time I see them they are feeling confused and wondering if food intolerance tests can pin down exactly what could be causing their symptoms.

But what if it’s not the food? Digestive symptoms are not always a direct result of a food intolerance. In fact a common culprit is stress, and I’ll tell you why:

How do you eat?

When I work with people who experience daily bloating or reflux I like to ask them how and when they eat, which is just as important as what they eat.

These are some common answers, can you relate to any of them?

Breakfast:

  • I have a smoothie in the car on my way to work.

  • I just grab a banana on my way to the gym.

  • I don’t have time for breakfast.

  • I eat my toast in the car while I’m dropping the children to daycare.

Lunch:

  • I don’t stop for lunch, I eat at my desk.

  • I don’t have time for lunch so I eat a protein bar to keep me going.

  • I snack on fruit and bliss balls between classes because I don’t get a break for lunch.

  • I’m can’t eat in front of customers, so I take a bite of my sandwich when I go into the back room.

  • I have playground duty at recess and lunch, so I just gobble something when I can.

Snacking:

  • I don’t have time for lunch, so I’m starving and snacking when I get home.

  • I stop at the petrol station to grab some snacks if I’m feeling peckish.

Dinner:

  • I don’t stop for dinner, I just nibble on the food that I’ve prepared for my kids.

  • I eat dinner while catching up with the news on TV.

  • I don’t get a chance to eat dinner until around 8 or 9 o’clock when I’ve put the kids to bed.

What these answers have in common is not gluten or dairy, but the busyness of the day, the stressful lifestyle and the day-by-day overwhelm that is common in our lives. Many people start and end their days in a state of ‘fight or flight’ which can have a direct impact on the way our digestive system can process food.

How to tell if you’re stressed

In my experience, a surprisingly small percentage of people recognise that their lives are stressful. Many people compare themselves to others who are more successful, or have major trauma in their lives, when assessing their own stress levels.

The following signs can be used as a guide to determine how stressful your life is, the more points you can relate to, the more likely your lifestyle is busy and overwhelming.

1. Emotional signs that you’re stressed:

  • feeling unusually irritable, or easily angered

  • feeling defensive and sensitive to criticism

  • feeling low in confidence and self-esteem

2. Psychological signs that you’re stressed:

  • Experiencing ‘brain fog’ is when you can’t concentrate or make simple decisions, your memory is poor, you feel vague, and get distracted easily

  • Your thoughts are racing and you feel constantly worried

  • Feeling like your mood is low and you’re unmotivated

  • Poor sleep, or sleeping but waking unrefreshed

3. Behavioural signs that you’re stressed:

  • You’ve started to rely on alcohol or drugs to help you cope with your lifestyle (recreational drugs, painkillers, reflux medication, sleeping medication)

  • You have no time to relax or enjoy life and would feel guilty if you had free time

  • You’re working too many hours

  • You have withdrawn from your social activities because you don’t have time for them

  • You’re experiencing relationship problems

  • You’re eating on the run

  • You’re multitasking because there aren’t enough hours in the day

4. Digestive signs of stress:

  • indigestion or reflux

  • feeling like food is stuck in your throat, or sitting undigested in your stomach

  • bloating and/or abdominal cramping

  • nausea, lack of appetite

  • constipation, diarrhoea or both

  • feeling tired after eating

Rest and digest

When working with men and women with digestive symptoms I like to recommend that they eat mindfully for a full week to see if their symptoms improve. I find that almost 100% of my clients get some benefit from this advice.

Mindful eating means stopping, relaxing and taking some long deep breaths before eating slowly. I also recommend paying attention to enjoying what you’re eating, the flavour of the food and how many times you chew.

What else could it be?

While stress can cause immediate digestive problems, over the long term stress and poor digestion can lead to more complicated health conditions. I recommend getting advice from your doctor as well as a naturopath. Your digestive symptoms could also be caused by SIBO, histamine intolerance, gut dysbiosis, food intolerances, or something more serious.

If you regularly experience bloating and/or reflux, please take a look at my Digestive Health Reset. If you’re not sure about working with a naturopath, click on ‘free discovery session’ when you book online.

Simone 🙂

Post partum hairloss

POST BABY HAIRLOSS… HOW CAN ACUPUCTURE HELP?

A friend of mine mentioned to me that she had noticed significant hair loss a few months after having her second child & it got me thinking about why this occurs and how acupuncture can help. What I discovered was that hair loss in pregnancy is closely linked to the hormonal changes in pregnancy & that acupuncture can assist with the body transitioning back to normal hair growth rates and give those baby hairs that pop up a boost!..

 

We all know that hormones play a big role in how we feel day-to-day and pregnancy changes & disrupts these hormonal balances. Acupuncture can assist with fine tuning the bodies fine hormonal balances by balancing cortisol levels to relieve stress, regulate adrenal function, and normalize your stress response (doesn’t this sound like what every new mum needs). Acupuncture is considered safe to use in pregnancy, but there is always risk involved with using acupuncture needles, however small. Some people are more sensitive than others but most people find acupuncture gentle. If acupuncture seems like the treatment for you and postpartum hair loss is affecting you,  why not give it a try?

In the meantime… try these tips to help support hair growth postpartum

  1. No harsh styling or wearing tight hair styles that nay break new hair growth.
  2. No harsh combing while hair is wet
  3. Warm oil massage to stimulate hair follicles, adding 5 drops of peppermint & lavender oil to a base oil such as jojoba or almond oil will help stimulate hair follicles (providing you don’t mind the oily residue it may leave on your hair)….

When massaging your scalp, use fingertips only and use both hands applying medium pressure to your scalp, moving in small circles across your scalp.

Try to massage your scalp for at least 5 minutes daily…

Remember, you got this,mamma..

Yintang

Anxiety during pregnancy

Pregnant & overwhelmed?

You are not alone, with an estimated 1 in 5 women reporting anxiety symptoms throughout their pregnancy & anxiety prevalence peaking during third trimester, anxiety is more common than we think. Expecting mother have also had to face many changes and restrictions to their care delivered during Covid-19 and these unique times have added to the prevalence of perinatal anxiety.

Now, one well known therapy that can assist with anxiety and slow down the parasympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and silence those bust thoughts is acupuncture. Acupuncture that is considered safe to use in pregnancy, although there can be risks involved, such as localised redness at the needle insertion point. Most women find acupuncture gentle, although some are more sensitive than others, as the needles used are very fine. But acupuncture and can provide support for perinatal anxiety and permission to stop and rest when life can be overwhelming…

If you want to test & see if this is the right therapy for you try massaging this point directly between your eyebrows for 3 minutes and see if this acupuncture point helps.

Yintang

Hope this helps!  Remember, you got this, mamma.

Healthy Women

12 Habits of Healthy Women

I believe great health is every woman’s birthright. Why is it that some women are glowing with health and vitality, while others are in a daily battle with headaches, bloating, acne, PMS or overeating?

I believe the difference often comes down to the day to day routine. Some women radiate good health because of simple everyday choices based on a deep understanding of what their mind, body and soul need to maintain good health.

From working with women for many years and asking them about their health, these are 12 habits I’ve uncovered:

1. She makes time for herself

What is life all about if it’s not to explore and do the things that you love?

Healthy women know that life is meant to be fun, and they seek out fun and adventure each day, even if it’s in their own backyard, or on the couch reading a favourite novel.

Making time for yourself everyday helps you to feel positive about your life and interact with others in a confident and cheerful manner. Having fun and feeling positive is very good for your health.

2. She educates herself about health

Healthy women understand the importance of regular menstruation, keep a track of their cycles, know which foods can cause PMS and which nutrients can improve periods.

Healthy women stay away from fad diets because they know they’re not sustainable over the long term. Nutrition can be a confusing topic, so it’s important for you to discern what’s advertising and what information is from a reputable source.

Remember that not all foods suit everyone, so it’s always best to seek out information that is specific to you and your health condition. It doesn’t make sense to take health advice from your best friend or from a instagram influencer.

3. She prioritises sleep

Sleep is essential to our wellbeing and healthy women make sure they stick to a regular bedtime and get 7 to 8 hours sleep most nights. When we’re asleep our body is doing essential work in digestion and repair.

Stress causes poor sleep in women of all ages. So many women put off sleep to get more things done in their day. Insomnia lowers quality of life day to day. If you are experiencing insomnia 2 or 3 times per week it’s essential to get to the source of the problem and restore healthy sleep.

Poor sleep can contribute to brain fog, obesity, heart disease, irritability, low mood, mistakes and accidents.

4. She knows that exercise doesn’t have to be painful

Bootcamp anyone? If that’s what you love, then go for it! But you don’t have to push yourself, and strain and sweat to be healthy. Too many women think of exercise as a punishment for enjoying food.

Exercise should be a joyful part of your everyday routine. Walking with friends, dancing, tennis, a gentle cycle around your suburb or nature path are all fun ideas. What is your favourite exercise? Do more of that!

5. She pays attention to her symptoms

Healthy women ask themselves what’s caused their headache before reaching for a painkiller. Often a neck stretch, fresh air, some slow deep breathing, or a glass of water will soothe a headache.

It’s important to know what triggers symptoms in you. Did you notice that you felt bloated after lunch today but yesterday you felt OK? What could be the difference? Is it something you ate, or have you had a stressful morning? Our body sends us messages all the time.

Some common symptoms are headaches, bloating, gas, pain and constipation. Understanding how to interpret those messages can be life changing. Once you start to pay attention to your body, you can start adjusting the way you eat, drink, sleep, move and rest.

6. She knows when to push herself and when to rest

Stress! In a world where we revere people who seem busier and more successful than us, the healthy woman understands balance. She is not fanatical about her work, health or exercise and enjoys time out and treats in moderation.

From working with many women in my clinic I can report that most women have far too much on their plates and their stressful lifestyle is a major contributor to their illness.

Women commonly deny that they are stressed because it’s important for us to believe that we are comfortably juggling everything. Do you feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get through everything on your list? Do you experience brain fog? Do you feel anxious when you’re running late? These are signs that you are doing too much!

Constant stress leads directly to adrenal overload, insomnia, digestive problems, hormonal conditions and autoimmune conditions. When I work with women with any health complaint, I always start with assessing the amount of stressors in their day to day lives.

Balancing your to do list with time for rest is an important step towards good health.

7. She eats fresh, home-cooked food

The healthy woman loves to cook and invests time finding new healthy recipes. Recipes don’t have to be complicated, meals that are simple to prepare can be just as healthy.

Cooking is an important life skill and thankfully also an art that is becoming popular again through cooking shows and celebrity chefs. If you don’t love cooking it might just be that you haven’t learnt how. Cooking is a very satisfying way to use your creativity and put smiles on the faces of your family and friends.

Investing in, or borrowing a great cook book is a good way to begin your knowledge of cooking and healthy eating. There are even flavour thesauruses to explain which flavour combinations work well together.

I don’t have one myself, however many women swear by the Thermomix for quick, easy, healthy midweek meals.

8. She is organised

Eating well is easier when you’re prepared. Healthy women are organised and have a wide range of nutritious foods on hand in the kitchen.

I often hear women say that they don’t have time for breakfast. This really just comes down to being more prepared. Making breakfast takes no time at all if the ingredients are at your finger tips.The healthy woman has her fridge and pantry stocked with ingredients to make muesli, porridge, omelettes or mushrooms on toast for breakfast.

Take away meals are great for those nights that you just don’t feel like cooking, however eating take out for dinner is rarely a nutritious option.

9. She doesn’t snack

Whenever I ask a women who is at a healthy weight what she snacks on, the answer is pretty much always the same: “I don’t snack”. Instead she eats 2 or 3 satisfying meals per day. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the occasional treat, however cutting out snacking for the majority of the week has many benefits for your health.

Snacking leads to health problems such as weight gain, type II diabetes and other conditions related to blood glucose regulation such as PCOS, psoriasis, eczema and acne.

Snacking between meals slows down your digestive system and can cause constipation and a host of digestive symptoms.

10. She has a strong support network

Relationships are important and healthy women prioritise strong relationships with friends and family. It’s the quality of relationships that’s important and not the quantity. Hundreds of likes on a facebook post can’t compare with an hour with a good friend.

Loneliness is a big factor in poor health. Loneliness is a risk factor for many mental health conditions, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and dementia.

If you don’t have many friends, consider joining one or two community based activities such as volunteering, tennis, lawn bowls, business networks, community gardening, P’n’C, or a choir. Meeting people who share common interests is a great first step to making friends and building a support network.

11. She is comfortable in her own skin

A healthy woman embraces her body because she understands that no matter what it looks like on the outside, it’s the vehicle that she uses to get around in every day.

I highly respect the work of Taryn Brumfitt who is behind the Body Image Movement and is bringing the idea of ’embracing yourself’ to the world. Taryn’s message is “your body is not an ornament, it’s the vehicle to your dreams”.

12. She seeks help when she needs it

There’s an old Dutch proverb “sickness comes on horseback but departs on foot”. This is a reminder that it is much easier to fall sick than it is to get well again. Healthy women are all about prevention and that’s why they look after themselves every day.

If something is worrying you, don’t wait for it to become a big problem before you ask for help. It is not normal to have symptoms every day. Your body should feel light and energetic. You should sleep well and wake up with excitement for the day ahead. You should be able to eat a wide range of foods without experiencing digestive symptoms.

It’s essential for all women to seek out a great female doctor who has a good understanding of women’s health. If possible, take the time to find a GP who is willing to work alongside your naturopath and is open to taking a natural approach to your health.

Women’s Wellness Program

When we work together as part of my Women’s Wellness Program, I explain these healthy habits to you in more detail and make them specific and relevant to you. I endeavour to help you enmesh these habits into your day to day life, even if you feel you don’t have the time or money to make changes.

We work on these habits over 14 weeks, while having 5 one on one consultations to look for the root cause of the health challenges you are experiencing. I work with women with a range of digestive conditions, menopause and hormonal conditions and offer a free discovery session for those who want to find out more.

I’d love to see you soon!

Simone 🙂

Hi! I’m Simone Jeffries. I am a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and certified wellness coach.

I welcome men and women to consult with me at my Surry Hills clinic, or online from anywhere in Australia.

The information in this blog is from my Bachelor of Health Science degree, experience from working with women in my clinic, and continuing research.

This blog is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek assistance for any medical concerns.

Could your painful bloating be SIBO?

The pain and discomfort from digestive bloating and gas can really spoil your day. If you have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you might be interested to hear that research is showing us that at least 60% of IBS is actually caused by SIBO.

So what is SIBO?

SIBO is an acronym for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. This is a condition where normal bacteria that usually live in the large intestine can become trapped and cause havoc in the small intestine.

Our food spends roughly 2 hours in the small intestine after leaving the stomach. This is where the nutrients we have eaten are absorbed into the blood stream, sending nourishment to our cells.

Bacteria living in the small intestine snack on our food, producing fermentation and gases that causes bloating. The gas isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s damaging to the microvilli of the small intestines.

Left untreated, SIBO can lead to a host of other symptoms due to malabsorption and inflammation. Complications of SIBO may include histamine intolerance, leaky gut, food intolerances and allergies.

How do I know if I have SIBO?

There are a number of symptoms that can provide clues that you are experiencing SIBO. Bloating approximately 2 hours after eating is the most common symptom, other symptoms may include constipation or diarrhoea (or alternating between), belching or burping after meals, abdominal cramping, flatulence, brain fog, and/or fatigue.

SIBO is diagnosed by a lactulose breath test performed over a 3 hour period. The test measures the gases produced over this time line to determine which parts of the intestines the bacteria are present.

How do naturopaths treat SIBO?

The first step in treatment involves temporary diet restrictions and herbal medicine to reduce symptoms and kill off the bacteria in the small intestines. This usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. Herbal medicines are changed and rotated throughout this time to maximise their effectiveness against the bacteria.

It is important to remember that anything that kills bacteria in the small intestine will also affect the balance of bacteria in the large bowel. It is advisable to work with a qualified herbalist to ensure that the treatment is of short duration and not harmful to the many beneficial bacteria that inhabit the rest of the gut.

It is common for people to experience recurring SIBO. Therefore the next step in the treatment process must be to uncover the reason why the SIBO occurred, addressing this issue so that the SIBO won’t relapse. SIBO can be caused by a number of things including chronic constipation, low levels of stomach acid, antibiotics, medications, or bouts of food poisoning.

Some people can have a sluggish migrating motor complex, which is a system of contractions that keep food moving through the bowel. Lifestyle factors such as stress can play a major role in SIBO, or regular snacking, which switches the migrating motor complex off. Naturopaths will look at all these factors, and many more, to decide on a layered approach to treatment.

When will I feel well?

You may feel well after just one round of treatment, which takes 6 to 8 weeks. After the treatment we want to get you back to eating regular foods as quickly as possible, so you can enjoy pain free eating and benefit from a wide range of nutrients.

For many people it can take another one or two rounds of treatment to feel back to their healthy and energetic best. Some will remain on herbal medicine to assist with digestion and bowel movement until they feel 100%. Please get in touch if you are interested in learning more about SIBO and how a naturopath can help you.

Simone Jeffries

I am a naturopath, herbalist, nutritionist, and certified wellness coach.

I welcome people to consult with me in my clinic at Surry Hills, Sydney. If you’re not in Sydney then I am able to provide online and after hours consultations Australia wide.

This blog contains information from my B. Health Science degree, continuing research, and experience gained from working with men and women in clinic.

This blog is not intended as individual health advice. You should seek assistance for any medical condition. Herbal medicine does not replace medications prescribed by your doctor.

FERTILITY MASSAGE – WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

If you have been trying to conceive you will know how much it takes its toll on you, both emotionally and physically.

You may have been trying naturally to conceive or gone through the channels of IVF. Either way, the longer this cycle of trying goes on, the more your mind can panic emotionally sending you into overwhelm and distress.

When trying to conceive, the physical body and hormones are tested, examined, poked and prodded, your BMI, weight and age is recorded and your physical body is relied on to get you pregnant. However very little is paid to the emotional side of your journey and this can be the biggest key to falling pregnant. The pressure and expectations to conceive can be cripplingly stressful and this is where fertility massage and be of great assistance.

Fertility Massage Therapy

Fertility Massage Therapy is a deep, yet gentle and non-invasive therapy that works by bringing the organs within the abdominal area back into alignment, releasing pressure and strengthening the surrounding muscles and ligaments.

Some of the benefits of fertility massage

  • Fertility Massage Therapy aims to re-position your internal abdominal organs, including the uterus, as the positioning of your uterus helps optimise your chances for fertilisation and implantation.
  • Improves organ function by releasing physical & emotional congestion from the abdomen.
  • Improves circulatory, lymphatic & nervous systems by encouraging more blood flow to reproductive & pelvic organs by resolving any congestion & misalignment to these organs.
  • Helps to tone & strengthen the uterus & surrounding ligaments to optimise fertilisation & implantation.
  • Breaks down scar tissue or adhesions surrounding reproductive, digestive & pelvic organs which improves organ function & health.
  • Helps to subdue parasympathetic nervous system & induce rest & relaxation….which is always welcome.

WHEN TO HAVE FERTILITY MASSAGE

If you are trying to concieve naturally…

….the ideal time to have fertility massage is the end of menses to ovulation. This is commonly from day 7 to day 14 of your cycle.

If you are undergoing fertility assistance…

….with IUI the ideal time for fertility massage is from menses to ovulation & insemination.

…. with IVF then the ideal time for fertility massage is from suppression of your cycle to embryo transfer is recommended, as long as no tenderness is felt.

Our Fertility Massage Therapist

Kyla Mayer is our skilled and experienced fertility massage therapist. Kyla has a special interest in pregnancy & remedial massage, lactation support, pregnancy, women’s health, fertility, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine and you can read more about her here.

To book an appointment with her you can call (02) 9211 3811 or book online here.

We are pleased to introduce you to Simone Jeffries who joined our team at the Wholistic Medical Centre in March 2020.

Simone is a naturopath who has a special interest in digestive disorders and women’s health. Simone combines functional testing, herbal medicine and nutritional recommendations to support improvements in a wide range of health conditions. She is also a certified wellness coach and loves to inspire her clients to be the healthiest version of themselves.

Many women in their 40s and 50s chose Simone as their naturopath because she has focussed on building proficiency in supporting women with menopause and digestive conditions.

As a mother of 3 grown up children, Simone also enjoys working with children and teenagers. She has experience working with common childhood illnesses, ADHD and skin conditions such as acne and eczema.

Simone also loves to educate teenage girls about their menstrual cycle and teach them how to manage PMS, PCOS, anxiety and digestive problems using nutrition and stress management techniques.

As a lifelong herb gardener and foodie, Simone brings her passion for herbs and vegetables into the clinic and loves to inspire people to maintain a healthy balance by understanding how to use food as medicine.

To read more about Simone and the conditions she works with, click here.

We holistically look after mother and baby at WHolistic Medical Centre

After the Birth. What now? Tips to help you through the Golden Month.

The Golden Month after your baby is born

Many women feel exhausted & overwhelmed after the birth of their baby and their recovery is overshadowed by the desire to ‘bounce back’. In modern society women are praised and admired for how quickly they are up and at ‘em and looking great post the birth of their baby. This modern day phenomenon is contrary to many traditional cultures where it is common place for the new mother to do nothing more than rest, feed and bond with her baby. In traditional Chinese medicine this is known as the Golden Month and new mothers are given special care, food and support until they feel recovered. This month is seen as providing valuable health benefits and allowing a new mother to adjust to her new role regardless if this is her first or third child. As every child, pregnancy & childbirth will be different, the needs of every new mother will differ. This is a time to recuperate and it is important to promote a mothers physical & emotional wellbeing. This is an opportunity to address any health needs that the mother may experience in the recovery from childbirth and start the journey to motherhood supported and confident.

What assists a new mother in her recovery in the postpartum period can be simplified in four basic tips:

Rest

Every new mother is told to sleep when your baby sleeps. This is essential for recovery as newborn babies will breastfeed at all different hours and sleep when you don’t think they should. Lie down for a day sleep with your baby as this will not only encourage bonding but will provide you with some valuable rest.

Nutritious food

New mothers need good nutrition. A combination of carbohydrates, protein & good fats to encourage a good milk supply & provide the needed nutritional needs that are amplified while breastfeeding and recovering from childbirth.

Hydration

New mothers need at least 10 -12 glasses of water each day to satisfy their fluid requirements in the postpartum period. This is to promote lactation as well as assist the heart and kidneys to flush all that extra fluid and interstitial fluid that accumulates in the final weeks of the pregnancy.

Reach out to your tribe & accept help

It is so important to create a supportive circle of people. They can assist in providing nutritious meals during this time that can be easily frozen and eaten anytime, especially when cooking cannot be managed. This is essential for your physical and emotional recovery. Reach out to your mothers group & local breastfeeding support groups in your local early childhood centres as this can be a great source of support & connection with other local mothers. Remember you are not alone and don’t hesitate to ask for and access the help you need.

RECIPE FOR NONNA’S CHICKEN SOUP

This brings such memories from watching my grandmother skim the pot of her chicken broth & one that will bring you nourishment, warmth, health & happiness.

 

BRODO DI POLLO – ITALIAN CHICKEN SOUP

For stock and soup:

  • 1 whole chicken

For stock:

  • 2 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 3 celery stalks, rinsed and trimmed with leaves removed, then quartered
  • 1 fennel bulb, stalks removed, then quartered
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved widthways
  • Rind from a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese *
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1 handful continental parsley and stalks
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

For soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/3 cup dried risoni pasta
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (to serve)
  • 1 handful fresh continental parsley (to serve)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (to serve)

STOCK
Place chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Top with cold water till just covered (don’t add too much water or the stock will be weak in flavour). Add remaining stock ingredients and let it slowly come to the boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour, partially covered. While simmering, skim the surface of the liquid once or twice to remove any impurities that rise to the surface. Top with more water if required to keep the chicken just submerged.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool for a few minutes. When it has cooled, discard the skin and bones and shred the meat with a fork. Set aside in a covered container.

Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove the vegetables and aromatics and set aside. Then, wash and dry your stockpot.

SOUP
Heat olive oil in the stock pot over medium high heat, then add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and sauté till the onion is translucent but before the mirepoix browns. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the stock to the pot with the shredded chicken and the risoni. Simmer until the risoni is cooked (about 11 minutes, but follow the timing on the pasta packet).

Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through the cheese and finely chopped parsley then divide between four bowls.

*I keep the rind from finished Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese segments in the freezer for whenever I need to add flavour to simmering soups.

https://chewtown.com/2014/07/brodo-di-pollo/

Many of the WHolistic Medical Centre practitioners use traditional and western herbal medicine

Where are we up to with medicinal cannabis?

 

Is it legal?    

Medical practitioners in Australia can legally prescribe medicinal cannabis through regulated pathways such as the Special Access Scheme Category B and the Authorised Prescriber Scheme. These pathways are typically used by doctors for unapproved medicines.

Dr Vicki Kotsirilos, Victorian GP and Integrative Medicine Practitioner, became Australia’s first authorised GP prescriber of medicinal cannabis in May 2018. She said recently that GPs currently have ‘a large demand’ for knowledge about the use of medicinal cannabis. Dr Kotsirilos says there is a lack of knowledge about the clinical usage of medicinal cannabis which stems from a lack of formal education and upskilling available to GPs.

‘We need regular top-ups of education because the science actually changes every day and there’s new studies that come out all the time,’ she said. ‘Because it is a plant medicine, it’s not part of our curriculum, so all the learning is self-taught.’

 What is it currently prescribed for?

The main medical conditions for which medicinal cannabis is prescribed in Australia to date are:

  • chronic non-cancer pain
  • epilepsy
  • multiple sclerosis
  • palliative care including cancer pain management
  • cancer-related nausea and vomiting.

Is it available at Wholistic Medical Centre?

We are very fortunate that Dr Amy Gajjar, who had already begun upskilling in the use of medicinal cannabis, has been invited to participate in a conference in Montreal, Canada, taking place as this newsletter goes to ‘print’. So, watch this space if you believe that you have a need for medicinal cannabis.

Medical cannabis for period pain? Would you like to have your say?

Development of a clinical trial on medicinal cannabis for primary dysmenorrhoea: Co-Design.’

Researchers from NICM Health Research Institute would like to invite women who suffer from ‘primary dysmenorrhoea’, that is period pain not due to endometriosis or adenomyosis, to participate in an on-line focus group to have your say in how clinical trials should be designed to be relevant and well-structured. Read the participant information at https://nicm.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1615795/Participant_Information_Sheet_MC_and_Period_pain_V2.pdf

Or ask our wonderful Reception Team at the Wholistic Medical Centre for more details.