Natural Progesterone? Yes, Please!

Peri-menopause has been quite the ride. I’ve written about it before.

Eating right, exercising, and supplementing with lots of great hormone-balancing supplements and herbs has helped with my menopausal symptoms, but one of the most potent solutions has been natural progesterone supplements.

Progesterone has many functions in a woman’s body, but the most well-known and important function in women of childbearing years is to make the endometrial lining thick and enriched to support a developing baby.

You’d think, then, that this hormone wouldn’t be very important or useful in the perimenopausal/post-menopausal woman. But symptoms of low progesterone are far-reaching, and include:

  • weight gain
  • decreased sex drive
  • mood swings, and depression
  • PMS, irregular menstrual cycle, heavy bleeding
  • breast tenderness, fibrocystic breasts
  • gallbladder problems
  • thyroid dysfunction
  • sleep issues
  • decreased mental focus

Sound familiar, ladies?

I started taking natural progesterone by mouth over six months ago, and I have joked with my girlfriends that they are going to have to pry it out of my cold dead hands.

Not only are the “hormonal symptoms” improved, but my mental clarity and focus are SO much better. And sleep? It’s like I’m a teenager again—falling asleep in an instant, with none of the restless, 4:30 AM, why-can’t-I-sleep-I’m-so-tired, nonsense!

Progesterone supplementation can also be done using a cream, but I’ve been taking oral progesterone for a specific reason. With natural progesterone taken by mouth, the dose peaks in 2 hours and then is gone in 24. When you apply it on the skin, the absorption is more gradual and less consistent, and the skin can “store” it causing it to become congested, resulting in too much or too little getting to where it needs to be. The oral use makes for a better choice to deal with issues of sleep quality and focus.

Got more questions about bio-identical hormone restoration therapy? Book a 15-minute complimentary “meet-the-doctor” visit with Dr. Gervais Harry MD.

It’s Naturopathic Medicine Week!

May 14-20th is Naturopathic Medicine Week and we want to shout out to all the thousands of awesome patients we have had the privilege of serving in our 17 years of practice in the Georgian Triangle.

This week is a time when we not only try to promote the strengths of our profession, but we all reconnect with the principles that guide us in the work we do–the principles that make naturopathic medicine so helpful to patients.

What are ND’s all about? We believe:

  • In the healing power of nature. Not just using “natural remedies,” but also connecting to the idea that the body can heal itself, it just needs all the right tools to do so.
  • In getting to the root of the problem. Not all patients have headaches for the same reason.  Some have headaches because of a food intolerance. Others due to a nutrient deficiency, some because of a hormone imbalance. The root cause can be different for different people.
  • In treating the individual. For a naturopath, every case is unique. We like to understand what is happening in each individual patient–as a result we ask lots of questions and often do many blood tests.
  • That prevention is the best medicine. Keeping you healthy is a whole lot easier than treating your disease.
  • That doctors are teachers. ND’s are passionate about giving you, the patient, all the information and insight you need to feel in control of your health and your health care decisions.

What Your Friends and Family Should Know

If you know someone that can benefit from naturopathic medicine, but isn’t quite sure, here are a few useful details.

  • ND’s are not covered by OHIP, but many extended health plans are now covering our services. Why?  Because patients of naturopathic doctors are healthier, use fewer prescription medications, and miss work less often.
  • We offer a complimentary “meet-the-doctor” visit with one of our awesome ND’s–they’ll answer any and all questions at no charge.
  • We’re now direct billing to extended health plans making it even easier for you to connect to your health through naturopathic medicine!

To learn more, or to book your appointment, call 705-444-5331, or visit us at www.stonetreeclinic.com. Happy Naturopathic Medicine Week!

Welcome to StoneTree’s Summer Food Guru!

StoneTree Clinic has a new team member. Welcome Bridget McMaster!

Bridget just finished a 4-year program in Food and Nutrition at Brescia College at the University of Western Ontario. She is joining us this summer to be our resident Food Guru at The Pantry.

Making diet changes is one of the most important things we ask our patients to do but it can also be one of the most difficult. Learning to give up dairy or gluten can feel overwhelming.

The Pantry is meant to help with that transition. It is filled with foods that are gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free, and now Bridget will be there full time this summer making sure that all your questions are answered.

Bridget has dealt with her own health issues and knows first-hand that food really is medicine. She’s a wonderful addition to our team!

Drop by and say hi to Bridget. She’ll be doing demos all summer in The Pantry–you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date with what we’re serving up!

Food as Medicine: Brazil Nuts

We just got some organic brazil nuts in at The Pantry. These guys are little nutritional wonders! Just 2-3 nuts can deliver a therapeutic dose of selenium at 200mcg.

What does selenium do? Lots of great stuff. Check out this list, courtesy of Dr. Axe:

  • Acts as an antioxidant and defends against oxidative stress
  • May help defend against cancer
  • Boosts immunity
  • Improves blood flow and lowers chance of heart disease
  • Regulates thyroid function
  • Increases longevity
  • Helps reduce asthma symptoms
  • Can help boost fertility

Here at StoneTree, we are mainly using brazil nuts to help balance thyroid hormone, and support healthy testosterone levels and sperm quality in our patients of reproductive age.

If 2-3 Brazil nuts are good, then…more must be better, right?

No!

Selenium can cause toxicity over time.

With chronic exposure to too much selenium, you get symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Nail discoloration, brittleness, and loss
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Foul breath odor (often described as “garlic breath”)

So keep it to 2-3 nuts/day–you’ll get all the benefits without taking a pill!