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4 Simple ways to improve your GUT health

If you’ve been experiencing digestive problems such as increased bloating, sensitivity to certain foods, gas, or cramps, chances are your gut is in need of a bit of care. With bad gut health also linked to autoimmune disease, mental health problems like anxiety and depression, as well as food allergies, good gut health should be prioritized as a key part of your overall health.

Here are easy and simple 4 steps to take to work towards a healthier gut!

Increase plant-based fibre intake

We all know fibre is good for us, as its predominant function is aiding in regulating bowel movements, ensuring everything moves smoothly through our digestive system. However, that’s not the only function of fibre—some fibre sources are also prebiotics. This means that they feed the good bacteria in our gut. Foods high in inulin, a form of soluble dietary fibre naturally found in garlic, onions, lentils and oats, should be a vital part of your diet, though there’s a gentle balance to be struck with amounts. While eating sufficient fibre is important, it’s also important not to eat too much fibre, as it can result in loose stools and diarrhea.

Take probiotics and eat probiotic-rich food

Probiotics are important for gut health. It helps to create a protective lining in the intestines, as well as shields it against pathogenic factors, such as salmonella and E.coli. It’s also proven to increase antibodies and lead to a stronger immune system.

Reduce refined-sugar intake

Refined sugar has a detrimental side-effect in many situations, but here’s one other reason you should remove it from your diet if you haven’t already. Refined sugars have been linked to Candida, as the sugar stimulates the growth of bad bacteria and fungus, that eats away at your gut lining. Too much fructose has also been found to have an inflammatory effect on the gut lining, leading to chronic illnesses like leaky gut, SIBO, and Crohn’s disease.

Manage your stress

Ever heard of the brain-gut connection? Turns out our gut is actually sensitive to emotion, meaning that what we feel can actually be “felt” in our gut—this is why we can feel butterflies in our stomach! The connection goes both ways so a person’s gut distress could be the cause or the product of stress or mental health problems. Excess anxiety has also been linked to reducing the diversity of bacteria in the gut, as well as harming the good bacteria. Exercise, meditation, and aromatherapy are great ways to reduce and manage stress.

It’s important to note while these are all steps to aid in better gut health, remember to make gradual lifestyle changes in order to make them sustainable and to not shock your system.

Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre

PCOS Awareness Month – 2017

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women. It affects 6-10% of reproductive aged women. It often develops around puberty it can persist for years. A classic case of PCOS presents with obesity, acne or facial hair growth, polycystic ovaries (cysts on the ovaries), elevated levels of androgens including testosterone and absent or irregular menstrual cycles; however, many women with PCOS have only a few of these symptoms.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

To make a diagnosis, your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms and perform tests to rule out other possible conditions. Your doctor will perform a physical and pelvic examination to look for signs of PCOS.

Blood tests to measure sex hormone levels are typically ordered, as well as:

  • thyroid function tests to determine how much of the thyroid hormone your body produces
  • fasting glucose tests to measure your blood sugar levels
  • lipid level tests to assess the amount of cholesterol in your blood

A vaginal ultrasound allows your gynecologist to create real-time images of your reproductive organs.

How is PCOS treated?

PCOS is a complex condition, and the road to resolving the hormonal imbalances that cause it are not the same for every woman. Practitioners, and women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, both agree that there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach that balances hormones best.

The treatment will vary from woman to woman, depending on specific symptoms.

  • Advice to follow a healthy diet.A healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended for all women with PCOS, particularly those who are overweight. This can help to regulate your menstrual cycle and lower your blood glucose levels.
  • Anti-androgens drugs that reduce male hormone levels. These can help stop excess hair growth and reduce acne. Diabetes medications may also be prescribed to lower blood glucose and testosterone levels.

Support Your Body Using Alternative/Complimentary Treatments

Some women with PCOS find relief from symptoms when turning to complimentary practices like chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy and herbalism. These can help relieve stress and restore proper “energy” to the body, likely by lowering stress hormones and improving a sense of well-being.

While it might seem complicated, fortunately the best options for moving forward for women with different types of polycystic ovarian syndrome is a holistic approach when doctor   focusing on all aspects of health: mainly eating a balanced diet, maintaining an appropriate body weight, and eliminating as much physical and psychological stress as possible.

There are many natural herbs, nutrients and supplements recommended to help women with PCOS. The goal of herbal medicine might include: reducing circulating androgens, optimizing ovarian function, and supporting optimal endocrine function.

Nutritional therapies can help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, reduce circulating androgens, improve ovarian function, improve fertility, reduce risk of heart disease, and support liver detoxification of estrogens.

Whole body detox program with colon hydrotherapy, restoration of friendly intestinal flora improved diet, activity and weight loss is focused on underlying causes of metabolic syndrome to improve cell’s insulin sensitivity, normalize acid-alkaline balance, replenish the body with vital nutrients, and decrease the amounts of toxins, yeast and parasites

Depending on your specific symptoms an individualized treatment plan can be tailored to your specific health needs.

Dr. Eset Dzeygova

Specialist Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre

Lazy & me….no way!!

With the hot summer days coming along exercising outdoors can be challenging. The consistent climate changes from warm to hot & humid can be quite overpowering. Any activity outdoors seems quite difficult and most of us end up cooling ourselves indoors, ultimately slowing down our fitness routines. On other days how often do we do the basic activities like walking to the nearby supermarket or talking a quick jog around the nearby park in the evening? ‘It’s too hot outside’ seems to be the most common reason, for people not to stay physically active.
A recent study conducted by scientists at the US-Stanford University calculated the number of individuals that are routinely active or are below average, and compared the numbers across different countries across the globe. The data analyzed was 68 million days’ worth of minute-by-minute data from 700,000 smartphones which recorded the number of steps taken by users with the help of accelerometers, and apprehended that residents in the UAE scored below average, calculating the number of steps taken daily. The average number of steps taken by UAE residents are 4516 as opposed to the global average of 4961, as cited in the international science journal Nature. UK scored an average of 5444 as opposed to Brazil which scored 4289, placing the Gulf just before Brazil on the charts. Hong Kong recorded on the higher end scoring 6880 and Indonesia sat at the bottom of the charts with an average of 3513.
With regards to the study, the average number of steps taken in a country was not as important as ‘activity inequality’, which was linked to obesity. This activity inequality is the gap between the fittest and the laziest people, just as the gap between the rich and the poor noted as ‘wealth inequality’. Hence, the bigger the activity inequality, the higher the rates of obesity.
So UAE being on the lower side of an active country, we have seen higher cases of morbid obesity and diabetes. Figures from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) revealed that, in 2015, 19.3%, almost one in five people, of the UAE population between the ages of 20 and 79 have type 2 diabetes. This is an extremely worrying number, and corrective steps have to be taken to combat the rising obesity and diabetes epidemic.
But, it is never too late to create a healthier version of yourself. You don’t need to force yourself in the heat or enroll into an expensive gym membership. There are so many ways you can keep fit this summer. The key is to aim for a wholesome nutritious diet, exercise/fitness routine and relaxation regiments, which overall provides with a holistic well-being. According to American college of Sports Medicine and the American heart association, a daily exercise routine helps keep multiple health risk factors on the down low. Namely, blood pressure levels, heart diseases, stroke, cancer, dementia and other chronic diseases.
Let’s take a look at the hottest trends in exercise regimes this summer.
HIIT also known as High Intensity Interval Training, is a great 30 mins fat burning activity that usually involves short bursts of activities and short periods of rest or recovery times.
Body Weight Training; also known as no- equipment training, has minimalistic equipment’s and back-to-basic exercise routines. This is even affordable and quite possible to follow at home.
Group training; is great way to get some company and motivation along the road to fitness. They are fun, challenging and dynamic routines that keep you wanting for more.
But, do keep in mind to change your workout routines once in a while as it can place you in a tough plateau to break. Aside from that, it can hinder your results and make your workouts tedious. Other than plateau, you can also prevent overuse injuries when body goes through a similar motion repeatedly. This is also known as ‘repetitive strain injury’. It imperative to have variety in your routines. You can change the frequencies, the intensity levels, the type of exercises and the duration.
Along with exercise, tracking your movements and progress also heightens the motivation to keep fit. Tons of mobile apps and fitness tracking devices have made their way to the market. These apps and wearable are one great if you enjoy the technology upgrades and like to keep a track of your progress for yourself. 2017 is known to be the era where fitness wearable have or will become a part of most individual’s fitness schedules.
Accompanied by exercise, with the summer heat we must also remember to keep ourselves hydrated. Drinking water during your summer activities will assure a healthy, balanced body and mind. It keeps your metabolism functioning at peak levels and also contributes to maintenance of normal physical functions, cognitive functions and thermoregulation. Look at some tips on how to stay hydrated.
Tips to stay Hydrated:
– Don’t wait to get thirsty.
– If you exercise or get out in the sun often, you need more water.
– Always keep a bottle handy or at eye level, even at meetings in conference rooms.
– Drinking water should become an involuntary action. Drink throughout the day so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
– Eat water-based foods that have more than 90% water content like, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, etc.
– Sip on beverages like green tea, herbal teas instead of coffee. The high doses of caffeine leads to dehydration. The green teas however provides the body with powerful antioxidants and nutrients that help improve fat loss, brain function, blood sugar levels, cancer fighting properties and more.
– Stay away from sugar beverages. Instead have coconut water which is another great natural drink to enjoy and re-hydrate your system. It provides the body the much needed electrolytes and contains a host of vitamins and minerals.
– Check your urine. If it’s dark make sure to re-hydrate yourself.

 

Zenia Menon

Nutritionist & Dietitian, Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre