Uncategorized

Navigating the World of Fats: Understanding the Essentials for Optimal Health and Productivity


In the ever-evolving landscape of nutritional advice, one topic consistently stands out as both crucial and confounding: fats. For many, the mere mention of fats evokes a sense of uncertainty and confusion. And in my opinion, the low fat messaging over the last 70 years has been the most detrimental with respect to a populations health than any other! With conflicting information circulating and hidden dangers lurking, it’s no wonder that deciphering the optimal fat intake can feel like a daunting guessing game.

However, fear not, for clarity is on the horizon. Let’s delve into the essential aspects of fats and their impact on our health and productivity.

Demystifying Dietary Fats:
Dietary fats are often misunderstood, but they play crucial roles in our bodies. Saturated fats, found in foods like butter and red meat, have been vilified in the past, but recent research suggests they may not be as harmful as once thought when consumed in moderation. On the other hand, unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, and oily fish, are celebrated for their heart-healthy benefits. Understanding the differences between these fats can empower you to make informed choices for your diet.

The Omega Advantage:
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential fats that our bodies cannot produce on their own, so we must obtain them through our diet. Omega-3s, found in fatty fish like salmon and flaxseeds, are renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties and benefits for heart health and cognitive function. However, the Western diet tends to be disproportionately high in omega-6s, which can promote inflammation when consumed in excess. Achieving a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is crucial for overall health and well-being.

Unlocking the Power of Omega-9:
While omega-9 fatty acids are not considered essential because our bodies can produce them, they still offer valuable health benefits. Foods rich in omega-9s, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts, have been associated with lower risk factors for heart disease and improved cholesterol levels. Incorporating these sources of healthy fats into your diet can contribute to overall well-being and may even help with weight management.

Fat-Soluble Polyphenols and Their Interaction:
Fat-soluble polyphenols are powerful antioxidants found in certain foods that can enhance the benefits of fats in our diet. For example, studies have shown that the polyphenols in dark chocolate can improve blood flow and reduce inflammation, while those in green tea may help lower cholesterol levels. When consumed alongside omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids, these polyphenols can have synergistic effects, further supporting cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and overall well-being.

Fats for Healthy Aging:
As we age, maintaining a balanced diet becomes increasingly important for overall health and vitality. The right fats play a crucial role in supporting cellular health, preserving cognitive function, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with aging. By prioritizing sources of healthy fats and incorporating them into a well-rounded diet, we can promote healthy aging and enjoy a vibrant and fulfilling life well into our later years.

By understanding the nuances of fats and their interactions with other nutrients, we can make informed dietary choices that support our overall health and productivity. Armed with this knowledge, let’s embark on a journey towards a vibrant and fulfilling life.

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ThriveHer – Your Health Reinvented Foundation Membership now available!

💥 Limited-Time Offer: Elevate Your Health with ThriveHer Foundation Membership with consultations for Just $300 for the year! 🚀

Embark on a transformative health journey with Rochelle’s mission for 2024: to simplify the path to health, hormonal control, and boundless energy. We invite you to join our exclusive ThriveHer community and set the stage for an extraordinary year!

🌿 ThriveHer Exclusive Membership Benefits (To be launched early Jan 2024):

  1. 2024 Health Strategy Consultation: Kickstart your journey with a personalised health strategy consultation before Christmas, planning your steps to the best year ever.
  2. Weekly Check-In Consultations: Direct access to our Naturopaths for personalised weekly check-ins, either by phone or internet, ensuring you stay on the path to thriving health.
  3. ThriveHer Membership Portal: Unlock insider tips, exclusive resources, and premium content designed to boost your overall well-being. Dive into a wealth of information tailored to your health goals, all conveniently housed in our intuitive portal.
  4. Free Challenges and Programmes: Engage in thoughtfully crafted challenges for a fun element on your wellness journey, addressing your specific needs.
  5. Group Coaching: Tailored groups for specific health goals, whether it’s gut health, hormonal control autoimmunity, or finding an accountability buddy. We’ve got you covered.
  6. Specialised Programmes: Explore longer, specialised programmes supporting perimenopause, PCOS, endometriosis, autoimmunity, and more! Our comprehensive programmes address specific health concerns, providing targeted guidance for a transformative health journey.

Ready to Thrive? Secure your Foundation Membership now! 🌟

Act fast! This is a limited offer. Next year, the price will be $97 per month for group coaching only.

1:1 coaching is limited to the first 100 members.

Don’t miss your chance – ThriveHer Foundation Membership lets you be among the first to invest in your well-being!

Thank you for being a valued part of our community. Let’s embark on this exciting journey of improved health and vitality together!

Uncategorized

The True Nature of Withdrawal Bleeding in Oral Contraceptives

The True Nature of Withdrawal Bleeding in Oral Contraceptives

In this post  we will  delve into the intricate history and medical nuances surrounding oral contraceptives, shedding light on the incorporation of placebo pills and their impact on cultural, religious, and reproductive health perspectives.

Unpacking the Sociocultural Role of the Placebo Week

The advent of oral contraceptives in the 1960s was met with societal hesitations, particularly from religious circles. Responding to these concerns, pharmaceutical developers strategically introduced the placebo week, using inert sugar pills. This measure aimed to align the contraceptive pill with cultural expectations and ease moral reservations, especially from religious groups like the Catholic Church.

Understanding the Placebo Week

Positioned typically at the conclusion of a 28-day pill regimen, the placebo week was devised to mimic a natural menstrual cycle. Its primary function was rooted in sociocultural considerations, striving to establish acceptance within religious groups.

Medical Realities and Hormonal Dynamics

Contrary to popular belief, the placebo week and the subsequent withdrawal bleeding are not mandatory for contraceptive efficacy. The active hormonal pills administered in the initial three weeks constitute the primary mechanism for preventing pregnancies. The withdrawal bleed during the placebo week is a hormonal response to the abrupt reduction in hormone levels (how good for the body could that be?!). The biggest take home message here is that IT IS NOT A PERIOD!!

Contemporary Trends: Embracing Continuous Active Pills

Modern formulations of oral contraceptives have departed from the conventional placebo week as strict religious following is less prevalent. Some contemporary iterations offer continuous administration of active pills, eliminating the need for a placebo week. This shift provides users with increased options and flexibility, marking a departure from traditional monthly withdrawal bleeding patterns.

Credit: Moonbox

Understanding the Pill’s Role in Reproductive Health Management

It is crucial to distinguish the role of oral contraceptives in reproductive health. While the pill is highly effective in preventing pregnancies, it does not serve as a treatment for underlying reproductive issues. Instead, it functions as a symptom mitigator, masking these symptoms, perhaps offering some relief without addressing the fundamental causes. In saying this, be aware that in most cases, other symptoms appear as a result of taking the pill.

Conclusion: Informed Decision-Making in Reproductive Health

The advent of the OCP was a life changing leap forward and major medical accomplishment in offering easy to take and highly effective contraception. Of that there is no doubt. However, 

in navigating the intricate history of oral contraceptives, it is essential to emphasise the empowerment derived from knowledge. For individuals contending with reproductive health concerns beyond contraception, consulting healthcare professionals is advisable. This ensures exploration of tailored solutions aligned with individual health requirements.

As we unravel the multifaceted dimensions of oral contraceptives, let us acknowledge the advancements made in reproductive health awareness. Feel free to contribute your insights or queries, as collective knowledge-sharing contributes to a more informed discourse.

Join our Facebook Group Hormone Harmony – Your Life Reinvented

🌐💊 #ReproductiveHealth #ContraceptiveEvolution #InformedDecisionMaking

Menopause, Women's Health

Navigating Weight Loss During Perimenopause and Menopause: A Holistic Approach

As women embark on the transformative phases of perimenopause and menopause, understanding the intricacies of this journey is paramount. Perimenopause, usually starting in the late 30s to early 40s, signifies the transition leading up to menopause. The official declaration of menopause occurs after 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, typically in the late 40s or early 50s. This transition is accompanied by a significant hormonal shift, notably a decline in oestrogen levels.

Understanding Perimenopause and Menopause

Perimenopause introduces hormonal fluctuations, characterized by irregular menstrual cycles and various symptoms. This phase sets the stage for the substantial decline in oestrogen, a key hormone produced by the ovaries. Oestrogen plays a crucial role in influencing metabolism and fat storage mechanisms. The reduction in oestrogen during perimenopause triggers changes in the body’s processing and storage of fat, often leading to weight-related challenges. Metabolism tends to slow down, and fat storage, especially around the abdomen, becomes more prevalent.

Hormonal Impact on Weight and Insulin Sensitivity

The decline in oestrogen levels poses a challenge to insulin sensitivity. Insulin, vital for regulating blood sugar levels and fat storage, faces obstacles in managing glucose effectively. This can contribute to weight gain during perimenopause.

In dispelling common myths surrounding weight management during perimenopause, it’s crucial to challenge misconceptions:

1. Myth 1: Weight Gain is Inevitable:

   Weight gain during perimenopause is not inevitable. A proactive approach to a healthier lifestyle, including mindful eating and regular exercise, can effectively manage and even reverse weight gain.

2. Myth 2: Nothing Can Be Done About It:

   Weight gain during perimenopause is not irreversible. Engaging in a healthy lifestyle yields positive results, showcasing the body’s resilience for adaptation and positive change.

3. Myth 3: Crash Diets Are the Solution:

   Extreme measures like crash diets are not sustainable solutions. Sustainable, long-term strategies are essential for lasting results.

4. Myth 4: Exercise Won’t Make a Difference:

   Regular physical activity is crucial for managing weight during perimenopause. Exercise maintains muscle mass, boosts metabolism, and contributes to effective weight management.

5. Myth 5: All Weight Gain is Fat:

   Recognising that weight gain may involve changes in muscle mass and distribution is essential. A holistic approach to weight management considers these nuanced changes.

Smarter Strategies for Weight Management:

In navigating weight loss during perimenopause, embracing smarter strategies becomes paramount:

1. Nutrient Timing:

   Distribute nutrient intake throughout the day for regulated blood sugar and optimised metabolism. Balanced meals with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs provide sustained energy.

2. Resistance Training:

   Prioritise resistance training to build and maintain muscle mass, countering the natural decline in metabolism.

3. Intermittent Fasting:

   Experiment with intermittent fasting, such as the 16/8 method, to support calorie restriction and enhance insulin sensitivity.

4. Mindful Eating Practices:

   Cultivate mindful eating habits, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues for a healthy relationship with food.

5. Adaptogenic Herbs:

   Incorporate adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and rhodiola to help the body adapt to stress and reduce cortisol levels. (Please consult a healthcare professional when using medicinal herbs)

6. Quality Sleep:

   Prioritise 7-9 hours of quality sleep to support hormonal balance and regulate hunger hormones.

7. Hydration with a Twist:

   Stay hydrated with herbal teas like peppermint or green tea, offering both hydration and potential metabolism-boosting benefits.

8. Mind-Body Practices:

   Integrate mind-body practices such as yoga or tai chi for physical and stress management benefits.

9. Caffeine Awareness:

   Be mindful of caffeine intake, opting for green tea or limiting coffee to 1-2 cups daily to prevent hormonal imbalance.

10. Test, Don’t  Guess:

    Adopt a “test, don’t guess” approach for hormonal control. Omega 6:3 testing and HbA1c testing provide valuable insights into areas requiring attention for overall wellness.

11. Tracking and Adjusting:

    Utilise tracking tools like food diaries or fitness apps to identify patterns and make informed adjustments to your routine.

Mastering weight management during perimenopause involves a comprehensive understanding of the body’s unique needs. These strategies, embracing nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, adaptability, and informed testing, empower women to navigate this transformative journey with confidence and resilience.

Before embarking on your weight loss journey, consider joining our upcoming webinar, “Smashing Perimenopause,” at https://bit.ly/smashingperimenopause or booking a free discovery call for personalized guidance at https://bit.ly/FREENATCHAT. It’s time to take charge of your health and embrace the possibilities of positive transformations during perimenopause and menopause.

Thank you for joining us on this exploration of menopause. If you’re ready to connect with a community of resilient women embracing the journey of hormonal harmony, come join us at Hormone Harmony – Your Life Reinvented. Let’s face menopause together, celebrating increased energy, joy, and a transformed mindset. Click here to join the #MenopauseRevolution! 🌺💪 #HormoneHarmony #LifeReinvented”

Children's Health, General

Nurturing Young Minds: The Benefits of Omega-3 for Children’s Development


In the realm of parenting and nurturing our little ones, we often find ourselves seeking the best ways to ensure their healthy growth and development. While many parents are familiar with the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids for adults, it’s equally important to understand the incredible advantages of Omega-3 supplements for children. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of Omega-3 and how it plays a pivotal role in supporting children’s overall well-being, focusing on their brain development, concentration, behaviour, and more.

Omega-3 for Children’s Brain Development

The journey of childhood is a critical time for brain development, and Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in this process. Research indicates that Omega-3s are essential for children’s normal brain development and function. These fatty acids contribute to improved brain function, especially in terms of learning and memory. Omega-3s also enhance children’s concentration, a key factor for their success in the classroom. By enabling kids to concentrate and excel academically, Omega-3 supplements remove obstacles and contribute to an overall sense of well-being.

Children’s DHA: An Essential for Brain Development

Among the various Omega-3 sources, Children’s DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) stands out for its remarkable impact on brain development. Studies have shown that a daily intake of 400–1,200 mg of DHA can lead to increased activation of the prefrontal cortex. This brain region is responsible for functions like attention, impulse control, and planning, which are crucial for children’s brain development and socialization. The positive effects of DHA extend beyond the individual; they can also influence the relationships and experiences children have daily, providing stability during key developmental stages.

Omega-3 and Children’s Behaviour

As children explore the world and engage with their peers, getting enough Omega-3 in their diet can support their normal growth and development. It helps children thrive, both inside and outside the classroom, by providing additional support for their growing bodies and a stronger immune system. This translates into more energy for play and fewer missed school days. Additionally, Omega-3 supplements contribute to the well-being of a child’s brain and eyes, essential components of their overall development.

Omega-3 for Children’s Concentration

Concentration is a challenge even for adults in our world filled with distractions, making it even more critical for kids. Omega-3 supplements can significantly improve children’s concentration, enhancing their ability to learn and socialise. Better focus leads to a more rewarding learning experience in the classroom.

The Benefits of Vitamin D for Infants

Vitamin D is another essential component of early development for infants. It combats vitamin deficiency and prevents conditions like rickets, which can lead to softening of the bones. Ensuring infants receive the right dosage of vitamin D is crucial, and the CDC recommends daily dosages of 400 IU for infants younger than 12 months and 600 IU for children from 12 months onward. Combining vitamin D with Omega-3 can contribute to both brain development and bone growth, providing children with a strong foundation for a healthy life.

Choosing the Right Children’s Omega-3 Supplement

Selecting the right Omega-3 supplement for children is a decision that should be made carefully. Consider factors such as the brand’s reputation, appropriate children’s vitamin D dosages, and whether the product is child-friendly. Zinzino’s BalanceOil Tutti Frutti is a game-changing option that meets these criteria. It’s molecularly tested for toxins to ensure safety and purity.


CHECK OUT Zinzino’s TUTTI FRUTTI Balance Oil.

A BalanceTest and Vitamin D Test are available to help parents determine age-appropriate target values for Omega-3 and vitamin D levels. This supplement, suitable for toddlers, infants, and older children, provides a kid-tailored taste and dosage, making it a practical choice even for picky eaters.

In a world filled with numerous challenges, Omega-3 supplements, alongside the right amount of vitamin D, provide simple solutions for nurturing the physical and mental well-being of our children. By supporting brain development, concentration, behavior, and overall health, Omega-3 becomes a valuable ally in ensuring our kids grow up strong, focused, and ready to embrace the world.

Remember, always consult with a healthcare professional before introducing any supplements into your child’s diet, and ensure they are appropriate for your child’s specific needs.

You can book a free chat to discuss your child’s wellbeing HERE

Learn more about these products


Uncategorized

It’s Women’s Health Week

“When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.” -Augusten Burroughs


It’s Women’s Health Week, and a reminder for women and girls to check in with their health and daily habits you make to support the body that you live in.

We are a sum of our habits, all the moving pieces that only we can commit to, and no one else. Supporting our health includes moving our body, eating healthy nutritious foods, sleeping enough, and our emotional and mental wellbeing.

Having tools and practices is key.

Support in seeing a regular health practitioner for checkups and testing is too.

Your young daughters, watch you, and you set the tone! Set a good example of self care and health for them to follow into adulthood.


For information about our services and what we offer, please visit
www.rochellewaitenaturopath.com

www.facebook.com/rochellewaitenaturopath

Rochelle has post-graduate degrees in Immunology, Women’s Health Medicine and Reproductive Medicine and is ideally suited to tackle the most difficult of hormonal or autoimmune issues.

Fertility, General, Women's Health

September is PCOS Awareness Month

PCOS is a condition that 5 -10% of women of childbearing age in the Australia have, experiencing chronic symptoms including:- weight gain- hair loss- hair growing in unwanted places (chin, breasts, lower belly, etc.)- depression- irregular or absent periods- acne

PCOS is also responsible for 70% of infertility issues in women who have difficulty ovulating, as well as increased risks for prenatal problems including miscarriage and gestational diabetes in women who do become pregnant with this condition. For a subset of women, there is also an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

After years of working with women with PCOS, I can say there’s really no end to how this condition can impact quality of life, self-esteem, and mental health. But, in my years of working with women with PCOS, I can also say that there’s actually a lot we can do for PCOS; there is healing, there is relief, and, in my experience, there is actual reversal of the root cause.

Some top tips for the control of PCOS

Balancing blood sugar reduces inflammation and reverses the insulin resistance often driving PCOS, leading to reductions in androgens and related symptoms.

Moderate restriction of fast carbohydrates while increasing protein + healthy fats, decreases testosterone, improves insulin sensitivity, and reduces symptoms.🍴

Omega-3-rich fish at least three times a week can reduce insulin resistance + inflammation🍴

2 tbsp. of flaxseed per day to lengthen luteal phase, improve ovulation, and reduce testosterone levels.🍴

Other useful foods
Buckwheat – may be helpful in improving blood sugar balance and reducing insulin resistance.🍴

Sesame seeds – can reduce elevated androgen levels by improving DHEA-S and SHBG (sex-hormone- binding globulin) levels.🍴

Legumes (chick peas, kidney beans, and non-GMO organic soy) are a rich source of inositol

Remember!! this doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach, you can combine these strategies with conventional therapies to create a protocol that feels right to you.

If you would like personalised support for controlling PCOS and gaining control of your life, I can design a program for you filled with diet and lifestyle changes that can help treat your underlying causes.

Fertility, Women's Health

Period Pain is NOT Normal!!

PARENTS!!

Do you have girls suffering from period pain?

If there is one statement that I would like to educate the masses to, it would be that PERIOD PAIN IS NOT NORMAL!!

Girls and women are taught from early on, that symptoms related to their menstrual cycles are to be accepted and suffered through.

NO! NO! NO!

Mistakenly, there is the perception that girls should just tough it out, it may pass as you get older, I’ve even heard this advice being given by some GP’s.

NEVER let anyone, including a Health Professional, tell you that period pain is NORMAL.

Here’s the real deal…Your daughter should not have to miss school due to period pain or associated symptoms.

Your daughter should not have to be curled up in a ball in pain once a month

Your daughter SHOULD NEVER be fainting due to excessive blood loss.

Never just take a wait and see attitude,

Excruciating pain, excessive blood loss, wild fluctuations in mood and all the other terrible associated symptoms could affect your daughter’s future fertility and early intervention is the key to the management of the condition.

Teenagers are NOT too young to suffer from gynaecological conditions including endometriosis and adenomyosis.

I can not underestimate the importance of EARLY INTERVENTION to prevent the irreversible internal damage caused by months and months, years and years of inflammation due to gynaecological conditions.

As a naturopath with specialist training in Reproductive Medicine, and Women’s Health Medicine, I would like to say, if you consult a health professional who dismisses your concerns, please get a second, third or tenth opinion. I work with top gynaecologists, laparoscopic surgeons and reproductive medicine specialists.

STAY TUNED for an upcoming workshop on methods to TAME your PERIOD PAIN!

Fertility, Women's Health

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month and I would like to highlight this condition that affects millions of women worldwide.

One in ten women are diagnosed with endometriosis however a significant portion of women with endometriosis are asymptomatic and do not realise they have it or it has been dismissed by general practitioners or other health care practitioners. This means the statistics regarding women with this condition are massively understated.

Did you know that on average, it takes 7-10 years for a woman to receive a definitive endometriosis diagnosis?

Simple key-hole surgery is required to diagnose this condition (laparoscopy and histology), and despite some of the information out there, scans and blood tests will not provide the answer.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know one of my “things” is the message is that

PERIOD PAIN IS NOT NORMAL!!

Here’s why….. While slight discomfort with a period may be normal, pain (especially bad period pain) is not normal and period pain can be a sign of endometriosis. Whilst the most common symptom of endometriosis is pain, it is also important to be aware that not all women with endometriosis have pain.

Here are some of the common signs of endometriosis :

Period Pain

Pain with intercourse

Ovulation pain

IBS like symptoms

Pain on bowel movement

Bleeding from the bowel

UTI like symptoms (without infection present)

Fatigue

Anxiety and mood disorders

Bloating (can be severe)- also known as endo belly

Musculoskeletal pain

Pelvic and rectal pressure feeling

Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB)

And many others……

So what is Endometriosis?

Essentially, endometriosis is normal tissue growing in abnormal areas. It behaves very much like cancer, but it is not cancerous. Endometriosis has been found in every part of the body and it can cause damage to multiple organs if it is not managed properly. Recent research points to a genetic component of endometriosis such that if your mother or grandmother had it, you may be more likely to as well. A few misconceptions to clear up. It is driven by oestrogen, even in tiny amounts. You don’t have to be oestrogen dominant. It is also not an autoimmune condition.

Over this month I will focus on the facts of Endometriosis, the serious complications of unmanaged endometriosis and why it is imperative that you consult an expert in this condition. Having a specialist qualifications in Reproductive & Women’s Medicine, I work in conjunction with Australia’s top advanced trained excision surgeons and gynaecologist with advanced training in endometriosis. We work in collaboration to treat endometriosis in a holistic and very effective way.

Whilst all this information sounds overwhelming and depressing… there is hope and help! If you have unmanaged endometriosis or have bad period pain, contact me for a chat, so that we can discuss a pathway forward. You can not manage endometriosis by yourself and it is vitally important for your future health that you consult an expert.

Stay tuned for the next instalment,

Rochelle

Autoimmunity, Uncategorized

March is Autoimmunity Awareness Month

Autoimmunity is the result of widespread inflammation which creates an abnormal immune response in which the body starts to attack itself. It often begins when the body is working hard to defend itself against an allergen, infection, toxin or food and it fails to differentiate between this substance and your own body. There are many underlying factors that can predispose someone to develop an autoimmune disease but a diagnosis of an autoimmune condition does not mean you have to resign yourself to debilitating symptoms that get worse and worse over time, or settling for a lifetime of harsh medications.

Here are five strategies I use personally with all of my clients, to address the root causes of their autoimmune disease, restore balance to the immune system, help them off medications (in conjunction with their medical practitioners), become symptom-free, and reverse the progression of their disease.

1. Heal Your Gut

Your gut is your gateway to health. Eighty percent of your immune system resides in your gut and without a healthy gut, it is nearly impossible to have a healthy immune system.

In fact, we now know that having a leaky gut is one of the primary causes, and probably even a prerequisite, for developing an autoimmune disease. If your gut has become leaky it means the tight junctions that usually hold the walls of your intestines together have become loose, allowing undigested food particles, microbes, toxins, and more to escape your gut and enter your bloodstream, causing a huge rise in inflammation that triggers or worsens any autoimmune condition.

The good news is, the cells in your gut turn over very quickly so you can heal your gut within weeks.

Remove the Bad — Remove inflammatory foods, toxins, and stress that damage your gut, as well as gut infections from yeast, parasites, or bacteria

Restore the Good — Replenish enzymes and acids necessary for proper digestion

Reinoculate with Healthy Bacteria — Make sure you have plenty of friendly bacteria to support your immune system

Repair the Gut — Provide the nutrients and amino acids needed to build a healthy gut lining

2. Optimize Your Diet

The foods you eat play a major role in two key components of autoimmune disease — gut health and inflammation. Unfortunately, our modern diets are full of foods that have a negative impact on both.

This includes the usual suspects of processed food and junk food, as well as pseudo health foods such as low-fat and gluten-free packaged foods, which are often loaded with sugar, additives, and preservatives.

But even foods that we typically think of as cornerstones in a healthy diet, such as grains, dairy, legumes, eggs, corn, and soy, can contribute to leaky gut and inflammation. Gluten, in particular, is a primary culprit because it triggers the release of a chemical called zonulin, which signals the walls of your intestines to open up and is highly inflammatory.

Removing these inflammatory foods can dramatically reduce your inflammatory markers and ease, or even eliminate, symptoms of autoimmune disease.

If you’re ready to see the change for yourself, try an elimination diet. Just remove all toxic and inflammatory foods for 30 days. Then, after your body has had a rest from the constant inflammation and your gut has healed, add foods back in one at a time to see which ones contribute to your symptoms and should be left out, and which ones you do fine with.

3. Reduce Your Toxic Burden

It’s no secret that we’re exposed to a huge number of toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Between the pollution in our air, the contaminants in our water, the pesticides in our food, and the cocktail of chemicals in our products, our bodies are barraged by toxins day in and day out.

These toxins aren’t just being washed off or rinsed away, they are absorbed by your body.

We do know that having a higher toxic burden puts you at greater risk of developing an autoimmune disease, and that reducing your toxic burden helps to reverse autoimmune disease.

When it comes to reducing your toxic burden, you have two main goals, prevention and detoxification. You can prevent or minimize toxin exposure by eating organic foods, minimizing your use of plastic, filtering your air and water, and using toxin-free body products. Understandably, we can’t all live in a bubble, so my personal strategy is to keep my home and office as toxin-free as possible so that I have more leeway when I’m out in the world.

The second goal, detoxification, involves supporting your detox pathways by getting plenty of the vitamins and nutrients needed by your liver (where most of your detoxification occurs), staying hydrated, and doing activities to make you sweat, such as exercising or using an infrared sauna.

4. Heal Your Infections

Another key factor that can play a role in autoimmune disease is infections. Research has linked a number of viral and bacterial infections to autoimmune disease, including Epstein-Barr (the virus that causes mono), Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, E. coli, and more.

Blood tests can determine if you have any latent infections that might be contributing to your autoimmune disease. If you have a bacterial infection, you can take antibiotics to get rid of your infection. If you have a viral infection you can lighten your viral load by strengthening your immune system to prevent infectious flare-ups that can worsen autoimmune conditions. This includes avoiding immunosuppressant drugs (which are often prescribed to autoimmune patients), maintaining a healthy gut, and getting plenty of vitamin D and vitamin C.

5. Relieve Your Stress

The last underlying cause you can tackle to reverse your autoimmune disease is one that is very important but can be one of the most challenging. It’s relieving your stress, specifically the chronic stress that most of us have accepted as an everyday occurrence.

Stress has a twofold effect on your immune system.

First, it activates your immune system and produces a wave of inflammation, which makes sense since our immune systems originally evolved to face stressors like attacks, injury, and famine. Then, it suppresses your immune system because your body knows that sustaining a high level of inflammation is dangerous.

The problem with modern-day living is that we generally aren’t experiencing acute stress, flight or fight, like our ancestors. Most of us are on a rollercoaster of constant or chronic stress which is exhausting for you, but also for your immune system!

In fact, your immune system often responds to chronic or escalating stress by triggering or worsening an autoimmune condition.

Whether it’s through meditation, exercise, prayer, art, or any other activity you enjoy, relieving your stress is incredibly helpful in reducing your inflammation and giving your immune system a well-deserved break, so that it can get back on track.

My mission is to honour and support those of you who have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease by providing you with the tools to find a solution to health and a better life.

I hope these tips get you on your way!

Rochelle Waite (BApp Sci (Nuc.Med.), Grad.Dip Immunol. MSc, Adv.DipNat, M.RepMed) is Australia’s only Naturopath with Masters Degrees in Immunology (Autoimmunity, Women’s Health Medicine and Reproductive Medicine.

Rochelle’s special interest lies in difficult fertility cases, where chronic Autoimmune or Women’s Health conditions such as PCOS, Endometriosis or Adenomyosis have prevented a successful pregnancy in the past.