The Migraine-Food Intolerance Connection

This piece of research came across the desks of one of the ND’s here at StoneTree that supports what we have all seen time and time again with our patients: food intolerances and migraines are related.

We’ve written about food intolerances many times before. When we eat foods that we are intolerant to, our immune systems see these foods as foes, not friends. The normal response to a foe by the immune system is to create inflammation in an effort to get rid of the threat.

This works very well when the threat is a virus or bacteria. It works less well when the threat is a food you eat every day. The threat is never eliminated–it just keeps showing up on your plate, day after day, and your body keeps fighting the fight.

Over time, the result is an accumulation of low-grade inflammation that can cause symptoms throughout the entire body. One of those places is the vasculature of the brain. Result: migraines.

Testing for food intolerance is an easy blood test. If you are suspect that foods are causing a problem for you, this time of year is a great time to do intolerance testing. Most extended health benefit plans will cover this lab test if done through your naturopathic doctor. (Curious about what a test looks like? You can find a sample here.)

 To learn more about food intolerance and other lab tests, book online, or call the clinic at 705-444-5331.

From Endometriosis to Concussion: What We Learned Last Weekend

Last weekend the StoneTree Clinic team got to enjoy the 2017 annual convention of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors–right here at Blue Mountain Resorts.

It was such a treat to show off the Collingwood area to our ND colleagues. With our amazing community and beautiful natural attractions, they all agreed: we live in one of the BEST places in Ontario to be healthy!

All the StoneTree Clinic docs attended, and here are some of the things we learned:

  • Dr. Candice: Endometriosis in shift workers is 50% higher than in non-shift workers, and correcting imbalances in circadian rhythms with natural remedies can really make a difference.
  • Dr. Maggie: After an awesome lecture on “traumatic brain injury” by Dr. Paul Hrkal ND, Dr. Maggie is excited about the research supporting consumption of omega 3 fats in the prevention AND treatment of concussion and brain injury.
  • Dr. Shelby: Learned about a simple test to determine if a person is being exposed to mold–thanks to the amazing Dr. Neil McKinney ND, one of our naturopathic elders who has been practicing and teaching for over 30 years.
  • Dr. Kendra: Learned from one of the world’s leading experts on probiotics, Dr. Nigel Plummer Ph.D., that patients will have much better outcomes (by having fewer side-effects) when they take probiotics with and after antibiotics.
  • Dr. Tara: Throughout the 2 days, Dr. Tara was reminded about the importance of daily, preventative supplementation. Everyone (including Dr. Tara) should take daily probiotics, fish oils, and vitamin D (at a minimum) to support optimal health.

Our docs are involved in continuing education throughout the year–if you have questions about the latest research, tools, and treatments, contact us anytime!

World Diabetes Day: What’s Your Sugar Status?

World Diabetes Day started in 1991 and has been celebrated on November 14th every year since. It was initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in response to the rapid rise of diabetes incidence around the world.

This year, World Diabetes Day focuses on Women with Diabetes, and for good reason:

  • There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes. This is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.
  • Two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age.
  • Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally.
  • 1 in 7 births is affected by gestational diabetes.
  • 2% of live births to women in 2015 had some form of hyperglycemia in pregnancy.
  • Approximately half of women with a history of gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within five to ten years after delivery.
  • Half of all cases of hyperglycemia in pregnancy occur in women under the age of 30.

These are some sobering statistics, and they don’t begin to cover it all. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage, kidney failure, and blindness. If you have diabetes, your risk of developing heart disease is twice that of the rest of the population, and you’re more susceptible to depression and infections.

Diabetes is dangerous. But it’s also a largely treatable and more importantly preventable disease. In fact, according to the IDF, more than 70% of type 2 diabetes could be prevented through the healthy lifestyle.

Where do you begin? Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, and naturally, food and movement are key.

Eat right. Eat foods that nature makes, mostly plants, not too much. It really is as simple as that. If a food package is making a health claim, be suspicious. The foods sitting in the veggie aisle with no claims and no packaging are where your diet should be focused.

Start with these 10 recipes that will save your life!

Exercise regularly. You don’t need to be a marathon runner to get the diabetes prevention benefit of exercise. Walk every day for 30 minutes. It’s all you need to do to make an enormous difference.

Test your blood sugar. Find out if your blood sugar is a problem before it’s a problem–testing your blood sugar regularly can give you an idea if your body is heading down the diabetes track.

Blood sugar tests look at the following:

  • Fasting blood sugar. This is the test we are all very familiar with. We fast overnight and get our blood taken first thing in the morning. Any value over 6.0 mmol/L should get your attention that you may be heading down the wrong track.
  • Hemoglobin A1c. This test measures how much sugar is attached to the red blood cells. The more that is attached, the more likely you are not getting the sugar out of your blood fast enough. Because the lifespan of the RBC’s is around 3 months, this test gives us an idea of what your AVERAGE blood sugar has been over a 3 month period. Values over 6% are a sign that things are not going well.
  • Two-hour post-prandial blood glucose. This test measures how well your body deals with sugar within 2 hours of eating it. If your blood sugar is over 7.8 mmol/L 2 hours after eating the sugar, you could be heading down the wrong track.

Interested in learning about your blood sugar levels? Tests are inexpensive, and we can take your blood sample right here in the clinic! Book online, or call 705-444-5331 for more information.

Cancer Care Comes to StoneTree

For several years, we’ve been looking for an experienced naturopathic doctor whose sole job at StoneTree would be to work with patients with a cancer diagnosis.

We found him!

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Ehab Mohammed, ND to the StoneTree Clinic family. Dr. Ehab is a licensed naturopathic doctor, board certified from the College of Naturopaths in Ontario.

What’s really exciting for us, however, is Dr. Ehab’s long oncology history as a medical doctor in Egypt, where he obtained his medical degree, a master’s in ocology, and a medical doctorate in radiation oncology. Dr. Ehab practiced oncology for over 20 years, published 33 scientific research articles in recognized medical journals.

After graduating from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), Dr. Ehab spent a year on the adjunctive cancer care clinic shift where he managed patients under different types of conventional cancer care (chemotherapy, radiation, palliative care and surgery) with naturopathic supportive care.

If you know someone that needs support, our approach to cancer care strives to:
  • Decrease the side-effects of conventional cancer treatments
  • Support the patient’s immune system to avoid additional illness
  • Increase the effectiveness of conventional treatments
  • Improve overall health in an attempt to prevent the spread or recurrence of cancer
  • Help patients navigate the stress, information overload, and difficult choices created by a cancer diagnosis

StoneTree also offers alternative care for those patients who have exhausted all their conventional choices and are seeking new treatment options.

This is very exciting for us. Cancer touches lives every single day here in the Georgian Bay area, and this is something our patients need. We’re fortunate to be able to bring Dr. Ehab’s decades of cancer experience here to StoneTree!

Dr. Ehab will be starting at StoneTree Clinic, Thursday, November 16, 2017.  For more information, book an appointment, or contact the clinic at 705-444-5331.