I don’t understand what Hypothyroidism is and how it can effect my body?
So many people, both men and women (and sometimes even children!), never feel their best, always feeling tired and lethargic. This could very well be down to having a poor performing thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland has a very important job and is located in your neck. Its job is to set the speed of your metabolism and your body's temperature, so no small task! If your temperature is low and your metabolism runs slowly, then your thyroid may be under-functioning. The thyroid also affects many other areas in the body, including your hormones, digestion, and the nervous system.
There are a number of reasons why your thyroid may be not working at its best.
Number one that affects most people in this day and age, is having a highly stressful job or related to simply juggling the amount of things that we have to do in our busy lifestyles. Stress, in any form, can decrease thyroid function due to an increase in the levels of our main stress hormone, cortisol. Normally, once the stress is over, cortisol levels return to a healthy amount; but when stress continues, the stress response becomes out of balance, affecting thyroid function as well as other hormones, digestion, immune function and the nervous system. We are here to help you balance your body and to prevent your thyroid from not working effectively and preventing you having a hypothyroid diagnosis.
I love baking but don’t wish to use refined sugar, what can I use instead?
We use sugar in baking for not only the sweetness but also it gives us the lovely crumbly texture in cakes. The alternative for adding sweetness could be to use fruit and vegetables. Carrot, sweet potatoes or fruits such as bananas and dates (which also give you fibre) can be used. I tend to use almonds with flour which gives the cake the right texture. You can use sugar alternatives like maple syrup or agave but remember these are also sugars in different disguise!
I’ve just turned vegan and I’m a 52 year old male and want to make sure I’m having enough protein in my diet, can you help me?
So I would consider soybean such as tofu and edamame as it offers all the essential amino acids you would require. Other sources would be lentils which are also a good source of low GI carbohydrate and other beans such as chickpeas. You can also consider spirulina which is an algae that has many other benefits too and can be added to any meal in powder form. The important thing is to have a wide variety so you can be certain you are eating all the essential amino acids!
What are the benefits and pitfalls for taking HRT during the menopause?
So many women ask us this question, and really it is down to you to decide. There are studies that show that there is an increased risk of Alzheimers among those who took HRT systematically.
David Reynolds, chief scientific officer of Alzheimer's Research UK, said that although the study “suggests that women who received some forms of hormone therapy were slightly more likely to be diagnosed” with Alzheimers, it “doesn't show that hormone therapy is responsible for this increased risk”.
“We would urge patients not to be alarmed by this research - as the researchers state, any risk is extremely low - and if they are currently taking HRT, to continue doing so as prescribed by their doctor”, Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, added.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used to relieve the symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and lack of libido by replacing the hormones that are at a lower level.
Treatments can take the form of gels, patches or - most commonly - tablets.
HRT therapy works by boosting declining hormones and levelling out the peaks and troughs to relieve the symptoms of menopause and protect against longer-term health risks, such as osteoporosis and heart disease, which can rise significantly in women after the age of 50.
There are natural methods of support you can look to take like increasing : EFA’s. Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B are just a few of the key nutrients needed to be increased during this time. Limit alcohol and continue to exercise are also some important lifestyle factors that we can incorporate into our daily routine. We can help you by writing a nutritional programme to ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients and making the right lifestyle choices to support you during the pre and post menopause.
I don’t understand how to read food labels as they are all so different? Help!
Food labels depending on the brand and supermarket are presented to you in many different ways. They can be done by portions or by total amounts or by saying per 30grams or 100grams.
It’s important to understand how to read labels and that is why we dedicate some time to this during our workshops. You are what you eat, so make sure your understand what it is that you are eating.
Vitamin D, should I worry if I go to Spain once a year?
Basically if you live in the UK then you will not get enough Vitamin D3 from the sun. If you go to Spain once a year you will then apply sun creams that block Vitamin D3 from entering your body.
We strongly recommend that you and your family take a good clean source of Vitamin D3 on a regular basis. We can help you choose a good source for a supplement.
What is BMI and how important is it?
So firstly what is BMI? It measures your body height and weight to work out if your total body mass and if you are currently at a healthy weight. This can can be used as a good indicator with other body measurements for a guideline of your general health. However, this doesn’t take into account where your fat sits, for example, we know that fat held around the waist can have other health risks such as heart disease and diabetes. So the BMI used alongside other measurements such as waist, age, sex and lifestyle can be a better measure of complete health.
I’m a 48 year old male and I’m worried about stress at work, what can I do to help myself?
So firstly, we need to understand that when we are stressed we produce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The over production of these can cause health problems like High Blood Pressure and Blood Glucose which put us at risk of other diseases. To prevent this we need to be able to manage stress. If you are struggling with stress at work, the first thing to do would be to speak to someone to express your concerns such as a manager of HR. Other things that can be effective are a good healthy diet and exercise, even a walk around the block everyday can make a difference. You should also try and get good quality sleep with a good sleep routine.
I’m a 38 year old women and trying to get pregnant any nutritional tips for me?
There are many different factors to review for fertility. Egg health, blood flow and proper oxygenation of your blood, hormonal balance (for example balancing your oestrogen), regulation of your periods and to relieve stress are but a few. It’s important to work through your daily nutrients and lifestyle to optimise good health at this time and give your body the best chance of fertility. We would also look at your partner’s nutrition and lifestyle as well as this also plays a key part in this process of optimisation.