Monday, January 29, 2018

Sick & Can't Shake It? Prevention & Treatment With Intravenous Therapy

By Dr. Beata Skorka, ND

Are you feeling run down or battling this years pesky flu? Whether you took precautionary measures or not, this years cold and flu season has made an impact on the health of Ontarians.   

Every year Health Canada advises the general public to have their flu shot as a prevention against the years most prevalent strain. Unfortunately, this is not a full proof way to protect oneself, especially with this years vaccine being said to only be about 10% effective.

There are other ways to help your body fight infection, and better yet prevent its onset. Alongside daily lifestyle habits such as: maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and proteins, drinking 2L of water a day, keeping active and managing your stress levels, intravenous (IV) therapy is a quick and effective way to prevent and treat the cold and flu.

What Is IV Therapy?


Intravenous therapy is a potent way to get antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids directly to your cells without the interference of any gastrointestinal problems you may have. It’s a way to help replete your body with larger quantities of nutrients then you would be able to take by mouth. This is important for many people, especially those who battle with daily stress on a daily, as they require more nutrients then those not exposed to daily stresses. By providing nutrients directly into the blood stream, we are able to change the bodies ability to prevent and more efficiently fight off infections that are taking place.

Why Is IV Therapy Beneficial For Colds And Flus?


During times of illness, our bodies fight to combat the microbes that are attacking it. How well equipped our bodies are prior to and during will help determine how long the illness lasts and how symptomatic we become. IV therapy becomes an important tool for optimizing our fighting capabilities. Immune boosting antioxidants and minerals such as vitamin C and hydrochloric acid become important in this process. They provide antioxidant support during times of increased oxidative stress such as a cold or flu and increase important white blood cells that work to fight infection. This allows you to quickly and effectively fight an infection. The following are just some of the important nutrients that can be found in an IV bag during treatment:

Antioxidants
  • Glutathione: important antioxidant for the body; anti-viral; protective for the liver and nervous system
  • Vitamin C: anti-viral and anti-bacterial; supports the adrenal glands; deficiency of this nutrient leads to decreased immunity

Minerals

  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCl): causes cytokine release leading to white blood cell stimulation. This  up-regulates the immune system
  • Zinc: required for proper functioning of the immune system, enhances immunity
  • Selenium: required for proper immune function

Vitamins

  • Electrolyte replacements: Calcium & Magnesium
  • Vitamin B5:  indicated for fatigue, stress, low immunity
  • Vitamin B6: indicated for fatigue, low white blood cell count
  • Vitamin B12: indicated for fatigue, herpes zoster, the nervous system

Who Would Benefit From IV Therapy?


  • Cold/Influenza
  • Flu
  • Fatigue
  • Shingles
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Headaches
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue, chronic nutrient deficiency, EBV
  • Specific conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Cancer and others.
  • Detoxification support

     What To Expect?


      Expect to have more energy, see a decrease in cold and flu symptoms,  recover quicker, and boost your immune system to help prevent future attacks.  

Fight this years cold and flu quickly and effectively with IV vitamin therapy.

If you have any further questions, email Dr. Beata Skorka, ND at beatacskorka@gmail.com To learn more or book an appointment, please call NFHC at (905) 940-2727.  


In Ontario, Naturopathic doctors must do additional training and examination prior to administering any IVs.  Dr. Beata Skorka, ND provides IV therapy at NFHC.



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Realistic and Achievable Personal and Family Health Goals for the New Year.


New Year’s resolutions are always set with good intentions but some are harder to implement and sustain than others. Here are some ideas and tips for setting reasonable, achievable and sustainable health goals for 2018 and beyond.

Reasonable, Achievable, Sustainable Health Goals:
Healthy Weight & Exercise
Clean Eating
Sleep


Healthy Weight & Exercise
Perhaps the two areas where most set unreasonable and hence unattainable goals. The dream and desire to get back to that pre-pregnancy or pre-wedding weight or going to the gym at 5am, 4 days per week is admirable but is it doable or even healthy for you? Begin by taking a close look at your personal and your family’s schedule.
Exercise: Based on your schedule, does exercise fit best on Mon/Wed/Fri or Tues/Thur/Sat? Is morning, mid-day or early evening the best time for you (and your schedule)? Aim for 3 days per week at a realistic time of day, keeping in mind that a 5am or “bootcamp” workout may not be the ideal for those suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Healthy Weight: When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady is key and weight loss goals should be realistic and achievable. One or a few of the following strategies may be realistic and achievable for you: Monday to Friday menu planning, not eating past 8pm, avoiding sugar, fasting overnight for 12hrs, Intermittent Fasting.

Monday to Friday Clean Eating
Another achievable and sustainable health resolution is to eat clean, homemade, whole, “non-stressful” foods during the week. Choosing to avoid gluten grains, sugar (including juice and pop), and highly processed and fried foods Monday through Friday can have a tremendously beneficial impact on weight, energy levels, sleep quality, productivity and mood.
Sleep

Adults who are not sleeping at least 7.5 hrs per night are sleep-deprived. Without adequate, restful sleep, optimal health (and weight) is simply not achievable. In order for our brain, nervous system, immune system and detoxification organs to work optimally, the human body requires 5 consecutive 90 min. sleep cycles. This means that for those who need to get up at 6am, bedtime (lights out) should be no later than 10:30pm. While this minimum of 7.5hrs of sleep is required on a daily basis, it may not be achievable or sustainable for everyone based on work or family schedules. If this is the case, consider practicing an earlier bedtime at least 3 days per week (Sun/Tues/Thur) or every other day.

Talk to your ND about which New Year's health resolutions would be best for you for 2018!


Dr. Nadine Cyr N.D. has been working with children, moms and dads for nearly 20 years, helping them set and achieve realistic health goals for optimal health. She believes in setting her patients up for success by creating individualized treatment plans based on moderation and achievability. 
To book an appointment with Dr. Cyr, please call the clinic at 905-940-2727





Monday, January 1, 2018

11 Self-Care Tips for the New Year

By Dr. Leena Athparia, ND

How many of you find yourself motivated to make New Year's resolutions, only to drop them and end up feeling discouraged ? Maybe you want to lose weight, exercise more, eat a healthier diet or have more time for yourself. When you start integrating simpler, more manageable healthy habits into your daily routine that you do consistently, it is much easier than making ambitious goals. The small things that you do for your health add up, allowing you to prevent disease and feel better every day.

There are many self-care routines that you can incorporate this year. These are practices that you can do on your own such as: self-oil massage, dry skin brushing, baths with therapeutic salts or morning stretches. Self-care also means tune-ups with your naturopathic doctor - depending on your state of health, this could mean monthly acupuncture sessions, regular massages or body work to realign yourself. Just like you go to the dentist every 6 months and brush your teeth daily for oral health, self-care is essential for optimal health and prevention of disease. Many people often go to the doctor when they are sick or have pain however, the naturopathic approach helps identify and prevent illness before you feel symptoms, saving you time and money in the long term.

When you take care of yourself, you will naturally be able to take care of the things around you that matter most: kids, family, career etc. Some people feel guilty taking time for themselves; it's not about being selfish, but instead it's about nurturing yourself. When your body, mind, emotions and spirit are in harmony with each other, you will not only feel great, but you will feel fulfilled with your life purpose.

Self-Care Tips

According to Ayurveda, dinacharya is a term used to describe daily routine and self-care practices which restore balance and attune ourselves to the natural fluctuations of nature. Below are a few suggestions for you in the new year and beyond.

1. Start the day with a warm glass of water. Sounds so simple, but how many of us actually do it regularly? This will help flush out accumulated toxins after the night and stimulate the digestive system to cleanse. For some individuals, lemon-water or light herbal teas may be advised.

2. Eliminate. No matter how much good food your eat or quality supplements you take, if you are not emptying your bowels in the morning regularly, you are accumulating waste material. Spending the time in the morning to eliminate is a basic healthy habit. If you struggle with constipation, you should speak with your naturopathic doctor as it is a sign of imbalance.

3. Care for your body. Depending on your constitution and the season, self-oil massage or dry skin-brushing can help nourish and cleanse your skin. For example, if you have a vata constitution, a warm oil self massage prior to showering can promote circulation and be a grounding to start the day. If you have a kapha constitution, dry skin brushing can also help stimulate lymphatic drainage.

4. Exercise and/or meditate. It may initially seem difficult to do, but starting the day consciously with even 5 minutes of meditation will enhance the quality of your day. Kapha body types need more vigorous exercise, while vata types need gentler movement or meditation and pitta types need moderation.

5. Start the day with a nourishing breakfast balanced with enough protein - don't skip it before rushing out the door or replace it with a sweet beverage that will spike your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling depleted. Aim for lunch to be the largest meal of the day, and dinner to be early and lighter for digestive health. Try to learn more about your Ayurvedic constitution so you can make dietary choices more aligned for your body. (Learn more about seminars on this topic here).

6. Hydrate! Seems easier said than done, but it is crucial to have adequate water during the day to keep your skin soft and support cellular detox.  Aim for 7-9 glasses of water per day. Drinking warm or adding lemon, ginger or other herbs can make it more palatable for those who don't like to drink water. There are also many herbal teas in the clinic that are therapeutic. Preparing a warm cup of tea can be very healing in itself, in addition to the therapeutic benefits of the herbs which work gently but effectively.

7. Schedule in appointments for self-care ahead of time rather than waiting until symptoms come up. If you struggle with body pain, regular bodywork can be very effective at preventing issues from worsening. For example if you suffer from tension headaches, monthly acupuncture can keep them at bay. If you have arthritic pain, regular Ayurvedic oil massage can nourish the joints and prevent poor circulation in the winter. These treatments can be done weekly, monthly or at every season transition. Cupping can also be done monthly or every 3 months for maintenance for muscle tension, scar tissue or detox. Speak to your naturopathic doctor on what would be the best maintenance treatment frequency for you depending on your health status.

8. Castor oil packs are very effective for reducing inflammation and detoxifying the liver. If you struggle with digestive complaints, menstrual issues or have a sluggish liver, speak with your naturopathic doctor on how often you can do castor oil packs. Adding this to your daily routine will feel good.

9. Treat yourself to a hot bath with alkaline salts and essential oils. Your skin is the largest organ of elimination, and in winter time we barely sweat. Soaking in a hot tub with ease tight muscles, allowing minerals to nourish your skin and eliminate toxins. If you have skin issues, you may need to soak 3x/week, otherwise a weekly bath can wash away physical and mental emotional residue. 

10. Sleep on time. Most people find themselves in a vicious cycle of struggling to get up and get everything done in the day, and sleeping later than planned. Quantity and quality of sleep are equally important, and can be promoted by simple sleep self-care routine such as: foot baths or massages before bed, screen-free time, meditation or listening to soothing music. If you end your day with a restful sleep, you will find your quality of day will improve, leaving you more time to do the things you love to do.

11. Regular appointments with your Naturopathic Doctor. Remember that the conventional medical system is geared to treat disease and while it can be effective in acute situations, it is not as preventative in nature. The naturopathic approach involves identifying signs of imbalance even before you feel symptoms or before your bloodwork results come out abnormal. Regular wellness checks are an important aspect of self-care and will enable your ND to work with you to identify imbalances early on and guide you on how you can prevent certain disease that you may be susceptible to. For healthy individuals, yearly wellness checks that include a physical exam may be sufficient for health promotion, just like you would for your family doctor. For most people though, appointments every few months may be required just like you would with your dentist or any health care provider.

Try introducing 1-2 of the self-care tips into your day this week until it's established, before introducing another routine. Once healthy routines become healthy habits, it will seem less daunting and easier to do. Remember, when you take care of yourself, you will be able to improve the quality in many aspects of your life, so it pays off. If you are feeling challenged with any of the tips above or want to know what self-care routines are best for you, speak to your naturopathic doctor. Support and guidance can help you stay on track, and keep you inspired to make this year healthier than ever before!

Dr. Leena Athparia is a naturopathic doctor & Ayurvedic practitioner at Naturopathic Foundations with a focus in joint health, pain and chronic disease. If you are healthy and looking into preventing disease or learning more about your constitution, Dr. Athparia can help you. Please call the clinic at 905-940-2727 to book an appointment.