WHAT IS POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME? - MARCH 2017 - VOLUME 8, ISSUE 12

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

 

The topic this month is polycystic ovary syndrome or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It is the most common cause of infertility and affects many premenopausal women. However, it can be successfully managed with lifestyle changes and certain supplements.

 
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.

clinic

Volume 8, Issue 12

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

 

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What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS is a common endocrine system disorder, involving a hormonal imbalance, among women of childbearing age. In the U.S. it is estimated 5-10% of women in this age group are affected. However, it is also estimated that less than half are properly diagnosed. Canada is probably not much different in this respect. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, although it tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component.

 

mother and daughterNormally the ovaries produce a small amount of male sex hormones - androgens - but with PCOS, they produce too many androgens in relation to female hormones, causing an imbalance.

 

Symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods. This is the most common indication. Menstrual cycles may be longer than 35 days, with fewer than 8 cycles per year; or they may be more frequent than usual, e.g. 21 days or less; there may be either heavy or scant bleeding. Some women stop having periods.
  • Trouble conceiving or infertility
  • Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
  • Insulin resistance, which may be more a cause of PCOS than an effect, since elevated insulin levels act to raise androgen levels. Hyperinsulinemia (elevated insulin levels) is seen in 50 to 70% of cases of PCOS. While it is more common in women who are obese, it can also occur in women who are a normal weight.
  • Acne on the face, chest and upper back
  • Hirsutism (excessive hair growth, including places women don't usually grow hair, e.g. face, abdomen, back).
  • Male pattern baldness, thinning hair
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in mood
  • Low sex drive

Not all symptoms are necessarily present, and the severity may vary over time and from one woman to another. Most women with PCOS develop symptoms from adolescence to their 30s.

 

The term 'polycystic' means that a woman's ovaries have multiple small cysts. However, some women who have multiple small ovarian cysts have no symptoms of PCOS, and some women who are diagnosed with PCOS don't show any evidence of ovarian cysts on ultrasound.

 

Complications: Treating PCOS promptly can prevent a number of serious health risks (especially important if obesity is a factor). These include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the 'good' cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of signs and symptoms that indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus)

 

Natural solutions for PCOS symptoms

A healthy diet and regular exercise are very important ways to control PCOS symptoms. Both are obviously also related to the issue of obesity which occurs in many women with PCOS.

 

1. Eat a nutrient-dense diet.

 

vegetablesFocus on nourishment as the goal. Include foods that are anti-inflammatory, such as:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • grass-fed/pasture-raised meat
  • wild fish (e.g. salmon)
  • nuts and seeds (chia, flax hemp, almonds, walnuts)
  • unrefined oils/fats (coconut oil, olive oil and avocado)

Avoid:

  • too much alcohol or caffeine
  • most sources of sugar and sweeteners, plus refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pasta not made from whole grains
  • packaged and processed foods (almost always full of artificial ingredients, preservatives, sugars, sodium
  • hydrogenated and refined vegetable oils (soybean, canola, safflower, sunflower and corn) which are highly inflammatory
  • common sensitivities, such as dairy products and gluten

 

2. Get appropriate, regular exercise.

 

Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. Moderate exercise is best. Walking is one great way to exercise - it can be done every day (either outdoors or inside), and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes. Yoga is an excellent choice. Another option is high intensity interval training - intense exercise for short periods of time. Focus on getting enough activity to help with insulin sensitivity and burning excess fat.

 

3. Reduce stress (physical and psychological).

 

Stress can have a major impact on the endocrine system and hormone production. There are many ways to combat stress, and different choices work for different people.

  • Meditation is really effective, and it doesn't mean hours of trying to emulate a Tibetan monk! There are many prerecorded meditations and smartphone apps available to suit different tastes.
  • Yoga (see section 2)
  • Journalling
  • Taking time for yourself, pampering yourself
  • Chatting with a friend you trust
  • Spending time in nature (perhaps when the weather is a little warmer)

 

4. Get enough sleep.

 

Sleep deprivation can have the same adverse hormonal health effects as a poor diet and too little physical activity. Unfortunately, research shows that sleep disturbances are twice as common in women with PCOS as those without sleep. I recommend that you do your best to get between 7 and 9 hours of good quality sleep per night.


Some tips to improve your sleep:

  • No TV in the bedroom
  • Don't use your computer, tablet or smartphone within 2 hours of going to bed
  • Be sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and cool
  • Don't exercise late in the evening
  • Eat at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening

 

Experiment with these tips to see what works best for you. If you suspect you might have PCOS, please book an appointment with me. I have extensive experience in successfully treating PCOS.

 

Supplements

Super Omega 3There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

 

  • Berberine
  • GTF Chromium
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Psyllium Hulls Combination
  • Super Omega-3
  • Wild Yam & Chaste Tree

 

References:

  1. Axe J. No. 1 cause of infertility? Polycystic ovarian syndrome. draxe.com/polycystic-ovarian-syndrome/ Accessed March 7, 2017.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/basics/definition/con-20028841 Accessed March 7, 2017.
  3. Polycystic ovary syndrome. womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html Accessed March 7, 2017.
  4. Wahlgren K. 7 things you need to know about polycystic ovary syndrome. prevention.com/health/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-polycystic-ovary-syndrome Accessed March 7, 2017.
  5. Dunaif A. Insulin resistance and the polycystic ovary syndrome: Mechanism and implications for pathogenisis. Endocrine Reviews 1997;18(6):774-800.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Ramila created a nutritional plan for me. She also taught me how to balance out my nutritional needs, and what kinds of food eat and to avoid. I started seeing major differences in my body and overall health in just 3 weeks. I had more energy, my headaches were fewer to none and my feet and joints didn’t hurt as much. I stuck to the heath plan and went from a size 15 to now a size 9. I have lost 40 lbs.

- RG

When health begins, dis-ease ends.

 

HOW CAN RESVERATROL IMPROVE OUR HEALTH? - JANUARY 2017 - VOLUME 8, ISSUE 10

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

 

Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable, safe and healthy holiday, and that you're making great progress with your new year's resolutions!

 

February is just around the corner and, of course, Valentine's Day, which is very much related to heart health. In recent years, there has been a lot of publicity concerning the heart health effects of resveratrol, a compound found mainly in grapes and red wine, as well as in raspberries, plums, grape tomatoes, acai berries, pomegranates, cocoa and peanuts. I thought it would be interesting to look at the available evidence that resveratrol is heart-healthy.

 
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.

clinic

Volume 8, Issue 10

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

 

Like us on Facebook

How Can Resveratrol Improve Our Health?

What is resveratrol? It is a polyphenol, which is a type of antioxidant, found in grape skins (but not in grape seeds), and particularly in red grape skins (as well as other foods listed above in the introduction).

 

Can resveratrol benefit your cardiovascular health?


There has been interest in resveratrol's role in heart health ever since a meta-analysis found a significant risk reduction associated with drinking 1-2 glasses of wine daily.

 

Researchers believe that chronic inflammation may be at the root of heart disease. Inflammation can cause blood clotting; the clots can then block the blood flow to your heart leading to heart disease and possibly a heart attack. Resveratrol is believed to reduce inflammation, leading to increased heart health. Resveratrol may also help to lower LDL ("bad" cholesterol). Note that it might interact with blood thinners like Coumadin, as well as medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, and increase the chance of bleeding.

 

It is believed that resveratrol enables the walls of blood vessels to relax; this tends to be impaired in people with chronic heart disease, and resveratrol may reverse or reduce this impairment.

 

Since type 2 diabetes is closely related to cardiovascular health, it's worth mentioning that resveratrol appears to help reduce insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

 

Thus it appears that resveratrol is effective at protecting the heart and blood flow, and may be an insulin sensitizer.

 

There is interest in the effect of resveratrol on exercise, and, of course, fitness is related to heart health. A comprehensive review of the literature concluded it is clear resveratrol has positive effects on muscle function and antioxidant activity, as well as carbohydrate metabolism and bone metabolism. Therefore, it is definitely correlated with exercise; it will be interesting to follow further research on this topic.

 

Resveratrol appears to increase the activity of mitochondria, which produce energy within cells; this could potentially extend the cells' lives. This may explain resveratrol's popularity as an anti-aging compound. It also appears to stimulate cellular proteins known as sirtuins; this is believed to promote longer cell life.

One Powerful Juice: ZAMBROZA

Nature’s Sunshine's Zambroza is a combination of 14 of the most healthful fruits and extracts gathered from around the world. Zambroza’s ingredients are rich in bioflavonoids, polyphenols and antioxidants. Zambroza has been independently tested by New Brunswick Laboratories to deliver a high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value. Among Zambroza’s key ingredients is mangosteen, which contains the greatest known supply of highly-researched, polyphenolic compounds called xanthones. Other ingredients of note are acai berry, pomegranate, wolfberry (goji berry), raspberry, grape skin and seed extract, sea buckthorn and many more. You can purchase Zambroza at our online store.

 

Research shows these ingredients may support:

  • ZambrozaAnti-aging
  • Heart health
  • Memory and motor skills
  • Diabetes
  • Colds, flu and sore throat
  • Normalization of menstruation
  • Normal blood pressure
  • Eyesight
  • Improved immune system
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems
  • Urinary tract concerns
  • Pain relief

What's the relevance of resveratrol to Valentine's Day?

We all know that chocolate is an important feature of Valentine's Day.

 

You've probably also heard that chocolate contains beneficial flavonols. However, you might not know that resveratrol is one of them, and that chocolate (cocoa) contains significant levels of resveratrol (although not quite as much as red wine).

 

So, chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is a tasty alternative (or addition) to red wine as a source of resveratrol. Enjoy!

Supplements

There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Zambroza
  • Arginine Plus with Mixed Berry
  • CHOLESTER REG II
  • SUPER TRIO

For additional information, email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Visit our website where you can see back issues of this newsletter, information about services and our clinic, and order products.

 

References:

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

“Ramila’s promise that I would be well has proven true. With all my heart, I thank her and Megs for their dedication to their healing arts and to their clients, and for their knowledge and loving service."

- Jennifer B.

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When health begins, dis-ease ends.

 

Winterizing Yourself - December 2012 - Volume 4 Issue 7

With the holiday season here, and winter starting, it’s time to make sure we’re winterizing ourselves to stay healthy over the next few months. I’ve put together a number of tips both to help you through the holiday season and the rest of the winter. Enjoy!
Read More

Physical Activity - September 2012 - Volume 4 Issue 5

Two years ago (August 2010) our newsletter was on the topic of anti-aging strategies. New information is becoming available all the time, so I thought an update would be a good idea. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer and that you find this information interesting and helpful. Aging affects our bodies and our minds to a certain extent, but it’s becoming more and more evident that our minds, i.e. how we think, can strongly affect how our bodies and minds actually age. Pessimistic beliefs about aging generate negative health outcomes whereas positive beliefs result in positive health outcomes. Of course, we also need a healthy diet, adequate sleep, physical and mental activity, and social engagement to age well. A recent British survey finds that people now consider middle age starts at 55 (as opposed to much earlier in previous surveys) and lasts until almost age 70. However, almost 20% thought middle age only began at age 60, and 20% said that middle age is a state of mind, not something that begins at a certain age.
Read More

Spring Cleaning - April 2012 - Volume 4 Issue 1

With spring comes spring cleaning – for most of us this is a time of year to clean our homes, reorganize our wardrobes and make a fresh start as the weather gets warmer, and the days, longer. But my focus this month is on cleaning ourselves. Just as spring cleaning means more than a quick vacuum and dusting around the house, our spring body cleaning should be more than a long, hot bath. We should cleanse ourselves both externally and internally.
Read More

Cardiovascular - February 2012 - Volume 3 Issue 10

Best wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day! I think February is an appropriate month for an update on heart health. Two years ago (see Newsletter, February 2010) I reviewed several risk factors for heart disease and also discussed how you can minimize or reduce your risk of heart disease. This month I’ll provide recent updates regarding heart disease and stroke.
Read More

Adrenal - December 2011 - Volume 3 Issue 9

This is always a busy time of year, and we often feel as if we’re running on empty, or as if adrenaline is the only thing that’s keeping us going. I thought it would be an appropriate time to give you some information on the adrenal glands – they are arguably the most important glands in the body. They play a vital role, which has been described as producing chemicals that maintain life, nothing less.1 Your adrenal glands regulate your disposition, your efficiency, and even your personality. Whether they regulate well and help you, or poorly and harm you depends largely on what you eat. Therefore, you can help the adrenal glands function well by eating an appropriate diet.2 Of course, good strategies for managing stress are also very helpful.
Read More

Depression - Nov 2011 - Volume 3 Issue 8

As the days grow shorter, and winter approaches, some of us tend to feel less cheerful than we do during the summer. Seasonal affective disorder, with the very fitting acronym of SAD, becomes more prevalent at this time of year. I’m going to describe some aspects of depression, and explain how you can tell if depression is a concern for you, as well as offer a number of strategies to combat tendencies toward depression. If you think you suffer from major depression, please call me for an appointment (613.829.0427) or seek other appropriate professional help.
Read More

Osteoporosis - June 2011 - Volume 3 Issue 3

We don’t usually give much thought to our bones – at least as long as they don’t give us any trouble. But it’s a good idea to know how to keep them in good shape so they will continue to function well as we get older. Healthy bones depend on us for a healthy lifestyle so they won’t develop osteoporosis.
Read More

Diabetes - April 2011 - Volume 3 Issue 1

You have probably heard mention of the current ‘obesity epidemic’ that Canada and other countries are experiencing, followed closely by the ‘diabetes epidemic’. In this context, we are talking about type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, although the second term is not entirely accurate since type 2 diabetes can become insulin dependent. The focus of this newsletter is type 2 diabetes (not type 1 diabetes, see below) because there is so much we can do to prevent it, and because it is the most common type.
Read More

Sleep - December 2010 - Volume 2 Issue 9

Are you getting enough sleep? At this time of year, it may be unlikely – the holiday season is the busiest time of year for many of us. But we need to understand how important enough, good quality sleep is to our health, and to minimize sleep deficits as much as possible.
Read More

Dementia - September 2010 - Volume 2 Issue 6

The front page of the Globe and Mail on September 16, 2010 announced, “Dementia: Confronting the crisis - Every five minutes, another Canadian faces life robbed of memories, skills, relationships and independence.” “More senior citizens are in Canada’s future, and more of them will be living longer. Dementia will loom increasingly large. Already there are 100,000 new cases each year, and rising. An estimated 1.1 million Canadians will suffer from dementia in 2038, up from 480,000 now. The direct costs of caring for them today are $8-billion a year; between now and 2038, the total spent directly on care will be $92-billion. The loss of an individual’s ability to contribute to herself, her family and society is, on a community-wide scale, impossible to calculate.” (Globe and Mail, September 18, 2010) Most of us have been taught that how well we function mentally is a characteristic that we’re born with and that we can’t do much about. Happily that’s far from true! There is just as much we can do to improve and protect our cognitive functioning as there is to prevent something like heart disease. In fact, many steps we can take to prevent heart disease will also prevent a decline in mental functioning as we age.
Read More

Cancer Prevention - July 2010 - Volume 2 Issue 4

Cancer. It’s the diagnosis no one wants, and everyone fears. But often cancer can be prevented. In the past 30 years, millions of dollars have been raised for research with the ultimate aim of curing cancer. During the summer we have different marathons and fundraisers. However, we have not made much progress and are still far away from curing the many different types of cancer. Therefore, it is time to take a closer look at what we may do for our health, and how we can be active and prevent cancer. The adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is nowhere truer than with cancer. At least 50% of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living.
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Weight - January 2010 - Volume 1 Issue 10

Happy New Year! We tend to start the year with good intentions and resolutions. Often our resolutions include losing a few pounds that may have crept on over the holidays or the past year, despite our best intentions. What I want to talk about this month is weight management.
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Making Healthy Choices - December 2009 - Volume 1 Issue 9

With the holiday season fast approaching this is a time of year that we are all busier than usual. In spite of the good times, we need to take care to stay rested, calm and well nourished, but not over-nourished with all the temptations that are everywhere! I have put together some practical tips for beating the most common ill effects of the holidays. I hope you find them helpful.
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