Morning sickness tips

Morning sickness in pregnancy is debilitating, but we have some morning sickness tips from Dr Marilyn Glenville, leading nutritionist and author, and Russell Bowman ND BSc (Hons) Dip N.N is a nutritionist at The Nutri Centre.

Apple Cider Vinegar – ‘Apple cider vinegar is pH neutral, so it can help settle the stomach acid which causes nausea. Add 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water first thing in the morning to help keep nausea at bay’ advises Marilyn.

Try Higher Nature’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, £6.50 from Nutri Centre.

Almonds – ‘Almonds are a great source of protein and calcium, both of which can settle your stomach.’ Take Marilyn’s sickness-busting tip and soak 10 almonds (unroasted) over-night, peel off the skins in the morning before eating.

Water – drinking water is essential to compensate for the fluids lost during vomiting. Marilyn suggests you ‘keep a pint of mineral water by your bed with the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt. The lemon juice makes the water more alkaline and this seems to settle the stomach.’

Vitamin B6 – Some experts believe morning sickness is caused by high levels of oestrogen in the system. Marilyn explains ‘oestrogen can build up when the liver isn’t efficiently flushing away the excess. ‘Vitamin B6 can help clear away excess toxins by optimising liver function.’

Try BioCare’s Vitamin B6, a water soluble B vitamin which is yeast free and suitable for vegans. Biocare’s Vitamin B6 is £8.80 for  2 months’ supply and is available from Nutri Centre.

Ginger – Ginger supplements have been proven to ease nausea by helping food to pass more rapidly through the digestive system, as well as reducing the stimulation to the part of the brain that prompts a burst of nausea or vomiting. Russell says ‘Ginger can be helpful in preventing nausea and morning sickness, and research suggests that it can be effective.  It contains many active ingredients including phenols, which can improve gastro-duodenal motility and reduce the sensations that cause nausea. Ginger can affect certain heart and blood medications, so speak to your GP if you are taking these.’

Try Ginger People’s Ginger Chews Original, £1.55 from Nutri Centre, or
BioCare’s Gingerdophilus (Ginger and Probiotic Combination), £20.40 for a months supply from Nutri Centre. This product combines powdered ginger with the benefit of probiotics, which can assist in digestive complaints as well as the nausea associated with morning sickness. 3 capsules provides 900mg of ginger which can be effective for short term use (4-5 days at a time).

Lemon therapy – ‘Lemon juice can help to relieve nausea, even by just inhaling its fragrance. Cut a lemon in half and rub the juice on your hands, then hold your hands to your face and take a deep breath whenever you feel nauseous.’ advises Marilyn.

Homeopathy – Marilyn advises you take the most appropriate remedy (below) in a 30c potency, 4 times a day for 3 days:

Arsenicum – is best if you have a sense of constant nausea, some vomiting and if you feel exhausted or faint.  Try Weleda Arsen alb, 30c x 125, £6.95.

Ipecac – for morning sickness that isn’t relieved by either vomiting or stress.  Try: Weleda Ipecac 6c x 125, £6.45 from Nutri Centre.

Nux vomica – if you feel nauseous, but better if you actually vomit.  Try Nelson’s Nux vom, 30c x 84, £5.45 from the Nutri Centre

Sepia – if you feel constantly nauseous, but a little better if you eat little and often. Try Nelson’s Sepia, 30c x 84, £5.45 from the Nutri Centre.

 

Acupressure – One study showed a 60 per cent improvement in morning sickness in women who used acupressure. The acupressure point for nausea is at the base of your wrist, about 5cm from the crease of your wrist on the inside of your arm. Press on this point for several seconds each time you feel nausea coming on. Alternatively you can buy acupressure bands to do this job for you.

Aromatherapy – Try putting a few drops each of rosewood and lavender essential oils onto a tissue or handkerchief and inhale during the day.

Try Health Aid Rosewood Oil, 10ml, £6.99 and Aqua Oleum Lavender essential oil, 10ml, £4.26  from the Nutri Centre.

Some tips from Russell to avoid morning sickness:

Become a protein grazer – Eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day so your stomach is neither too empty nor too full. Research suggests that high-protein foods are more likely to ease symptoms.
Snack attack – Keep simple snacks such as ginger biscuits or crackers by your bed. When you first wake up, eat a small amount and then rest for a while longer before getting up. Snacking may also help you feel better if you wake up feeling nauseous in the middle of the night.
Take it slowly – Getting up slowly in the morning by sitting on the bed for a few minutes, rather than jumping right up, may also be helpful.
Smell the roses, or not – Try to avoid foods and smells that trigger your nausea. Due to your heightened sense of smell, you may find that certain foods that you enjoyed before you fell pregnant may make you feel queasy now. If so, you could try sticking to more bland smelling or tasting foods for the short term.

Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. She is the author of 10 internationally bestselling books, including the recently re-launched Getting Pregnant Faster and The Natural Health Bible for Women. Marilyn practices in her clinics in Tunbridge Wells (Kent), St John’s Wood (London), Kensington (London) and Rathmines (Dublin). For more information on specific health problems see Dr Glenville’s website www.marilynglenville.com.
Russell Bowman ND BSc (Hons) Dip N.N is a nutritionist at The Nutri Centre. The Nutri Centre is one of the world’s largest suppliers of natural health products, including supplements, herbs, specialist books, health food and beauty. Stores are nationwide and online at www.nutricentre.com.

 

Finding an alternative – menopause

As a modern woman, do you feel that you are forever being pulled in several directions trying to juggle both home and work commitments? More and more is expected of us in terms of what we can achieve and therefore more stress is being put on our adrenal glands. As a result these glands end up being exhausted and unable to supply the additional hormones needed to ease the

effects of dropping levels of both progesterone and oestrogen making menopausal symptoms worse.

Previous generations of women did not have access to the information that we do now and so weren’t aware of the health issues surrounding the menopause.  Women simply ‘got on with it’. Nowadays it is even viewed by some as an illness.

For more helpful advice on the menopause visit avogel.co.uk/health/menopause

Women are initially alerted to the start of menopause by changes in their monthly cycle. Some women experience shorter, heavier cycles, some longer and some a mixture of both. On the other hand, there are women who miss a period and never get another.

The most common and troublesome symptoms of the menopause are hot flushes and night sweats caused by the sudden drop in or lack of levels of oestrogen as the body prepares to stop ovulating. As the menstrual cycle comes to an end, the body becomes increasingly sensitive to extremes of hot and cold. The whole body becomes hot and flushed.

Night sweats can be particularly troublesome as they disrupt sleep and can therefore have a detrimental effect on quality of life. Usually these symptoms do not continue for too long. Avoiding spicy foods, alcohol and nicotine can help reduce these symptoms. Avoiding stressful and emotional situations can also prove helpful.

Fatigue, thinning hair and skin, low mood, vaginal dryness, arthritic-like aches and pains and low libido are all symptoms related to low oestrogen levels. Bear in mind though that these symptoms may be due to other causes and that it can be all too easy to blame them on the menopause if you are over 35 years of age.

Following a healthy diet is one way of reducing the likelihood of certain symptoms arising during the menopause. For example, sufficient iron will protect against fatigue, sufficient magnesium will protect the adrenals and reduce muscle spasm and general aches and pains. Vitamin C and B vitamins are good for the adrenals and help protect against the adverse effects of stress. Vitamin E and essential fatty acids will help protect the skin and prevent drying of tissues.

As your periods dry up, it is very important to be aware of what you are putting into your body. Toxins are expelled from the body via menstrual blood and this is why some women have heavy, unpleasant periods. It’s also important to make sure your bowels are working well. Choose unrefined foods rather than refined, eat more fruit and vegetables. If you are experiencing a lot of hot flushes or sweating, cut back on your intake of caffeine and increase your water intake.

To keep bones intact, try to incorporate some weight-bearing exercise into your routine, avoid acid-forming food and drink and take a magnesium supplement if required. Essential fatty acids are really helpful for keeping the mucous membranes healthy.

What we must bear in mind though is that many of the symptoms reported by
women experiencing the menopause are due to the huge pressures put upon them in their everyday lives or perhaps due to their lack of attention to diet and lifestyle. It’s not always down to hormones and the menopause.

Some women opt to take an oestrogen supplement e.g. HRT to help control the symptoms but please be aware that as soon as the treatment is discontinued the hot flushes will return. Given that this is the case it makes sense to explore the possibility of using a herbal remedy such as sage, one of the finest remedies for hot flushes.

Alison Cullen is a nutritionist at A. Vogel and a Healthy Soul expert. See Expert Panel.

 

More articles on the menopause:

Coping with menopausal symptoms 

Menopause – the change not the end

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Finding an alternative – PMS

Do you feel like throwing things, or storm around the house wondering why everyone is so untidy, or perhaps you just want to cry?  Sometimes you feel like walking out or picking an argument, you might even be a completely different person before a period from who you normally are.  Sue Leach, practising homeopath, provides some helpful advice.

Is this you?

• Tired, feeling dragged down by everything, craving chocolate and everything is a chore. A normally organised person but when pre-menstrual feels harassed and in desperate need of peace and quiet.  Banging doors, stomping around the house and feeling like a martyr.  Benefits from exercise, but is definitely off sex.  Sepia  is the answer.
• Feels tearful and weepy and everything and everyone upsets, hurts and offends you.  If your partner is late home it feels like the end of the world.Pulsatilla  can help.
• Angry, irritable, completely unreasonable, feel there’s never enough time and could even resort to road rage.    When not pre-menstrual ambitious for whole family, go-getting, good at juggling normally, and more laid back.   Nux vomica    is right for these symptoms.
• Someone who feels spiteful and malicious before a period and can feel irrationally jealous, to the point of checking their partner’s phone or emails. Once the period comes they cannot believe they’ve behaved so badly. Lachesis   is great for these symptoms.
• Weepy, loss of confidence, insecure about abilities as a parent, and irritable with the family. Feel so bad that could even consider leaving home. Conversely is very domineering and overbearing.  Lycopodium   fits the bill.
• Yes Chocolate is a homeopathic remedy for someone who craves chocolate, but is also very romantic under normal circumstances.  With PMS feels isolated, unloved and rejected, and nostalgic when hearing a romantic song.  Although they may say ‘Don’t ever leave me,’ they may be the one that leaves!  Feels much better for eating chocolate.  Chocolate is the remedy to take.

Sue says, ‘You can try 30c remedies, but they may not be strong enough, so better still consult a professional homeopath.’

Sue’s herbal tips:

• Agnus castus helps to regulate the cycle and calm it down, easing PMS
• Cramp Bark ‘take as soon as you get menstrual cramps’ every four hours for two days.

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Sepia 30c Nelson’s 84 tablets £5.30
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Nux vomica 30c Nelson’s 84 tablets £5.30
Lachesis 30c Nelson’s 84 tablets £5.30
Lycopodium 30c Nelson’s 84 tablets £5.30
Agnus Castus powdered fruit capsules Bio Health 400mg x 60 capsules £6.75
Cramp Bark Swiss Herbal Remedies 50ml £10.50
Get 5% discount on these products with the promotion code: HSoul1 at www.superfooduk.com

Contact Sue Leach, MA LCPH RSHom at http://www.newforesthomeopathy.co.uk/ or 01590 624020 (Lymington, Hants)
For nutritional advice from Ian Marber go to: PMS can be prevented
And PMS solutions for physical and mental symptoms:

Breast cancer – what can you do?

 As many as 50,000 women get breast cancer in the UK every year.  But more and more are surviving. The figures aren’t great though – about 12,000 die each year.

How do you check your breasts yourself?

  • It’s important to be aware of the normal shape, look and feel so that you can identify changes before and after periods.
  • Check with the flat of your hand for lumps and also examine the armpit and around the collar bone.
  • Note any changes in shape or size of breast or nipple, colouring of the nipple, dimpling, scaliness, dents, skin discolouration, rashes, prominent veins or discharge from the nipple.
  • Or any pain in the breasts or nipples.

Nine out of ten lumps are not breast cancer but it’s better to go to your doctor so you can find out early if it is malignant or not.
 

Some facts about breast cancer:

  • The majority of  women who get breast cancer are  post-menopausal – 81 per cent are over 50.
  • They are more prone to breast cancer particularly if they have a family history of the disease.
  • More and more young women get it and it is the most common cancer in under 35s.
  • Around  350 men get breast cancer each  year as well.
  • Treatments have become more successful and less invasive, with many more women having  lumpectomies nowadays, creating a small scar, rather than losing the whole breast.

Causes of breast cancer

This is the most common form of cancer in the UK and some reports have focused on ‘middle class lifestyle’ – having children later,  either not breast-feeding or cutting down the time span, plus increased drinking of alcohol.  The increase in obesity has also been held responsible.

Breast cancer is linked with exposure to oestrogen, so HRT has to take part of the blame. Researchers have found that taking HRT for over three years increases the risk of breast cancer, and women who take the contraceptive pill for long periods (such as 20 years) non-stop could also be at risk.

Can you prevent it?

Eating healthily, not becoming overweight, avoiding too much alcohol, and exercising regularly reduce your chances of getting all cancers. It is also suggested that you cut your intake of saturated fats (dairy foods, red meats, etc.)   Experts pay little heed to diet but surely eating food that is not laced with chemicals and including plenty of fruit and vegetables in the diet must be helpful.  Put another way, wouldn’t they think that eating junk food all the time might have a detrimental effect to health?

See our article on Organic food is good for you
Many women’s health experts cite the numerous chemicals in our homes and the environment in general as damaging to our health.  Every lotion, potion, spray and cleaning product contains dangerous chemicals, but now there are plenty of eco-friendly options available in the supermarket, and ranges of natural make up and cosmetics too.

Don’t overlook the effects of stress on your health, particularly long-held hurts and resentments.  Read Are You Stressed?

Breast cancer checks

Mammograms are  available to all women of 50 and over every three years. If there are particular circumstances that predispose you to the disease, such as several family members who have had it or if you have other health complications, screening may start earlier.

 

 

Guidance on healthy diet

The Penny Brohn Cancer Care Charity  is one charity I would definitely get in touch with if diagnosed with any kind of cancer. It is the UK’s leading national holistic cancer care charity: 0845 123 23 10,  http://www.pennybrohncancercare.org/    Their approach combines physical, emotional and spiritual support to back up medical treatment including nutritional advice, counselling and complementary therapies.

The Haven is another great charity that offers complementary therapies to women with breast cancer in Leeds, London and Hereford.  No-one suggests that therapies are going to cure a woman of breast cancer, but they can help with the emotional effects and help you to feel calmer and more positive. Find out more about their Breast Cancer Support Centres at www.thehaven.org.uk  For appointments: London 020 7384 0099, Hereford 01432 361 061, Leeds 0113 284 7829

NHS: Some hospitals offer fantastic palliative care with therapies, emotional support and nutritional guidance on offer. The Fountain Centre at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford provides a range of therapies free of charge to cancer patients including aromatherapy, yoga, acupuncture, counselling and herbal medicine.

For more information:

Breast Cancer Care: help, information and individual support: 0808 800 6000, www.breastcancercare.org.uk 
Breakthrough, charity committed to research and education, has established a dedicated breast cancer research centre: 0800 100200,  www.breakthrough.org.uk

*Figures from Cancer Research UK

Mobiles adversely affect sperm

Mobile phones may be the most popular item in a man’s life, but they could prevent him from having children.   The problem is that too many men wear their phones in their jeans pocket, right by their sexual organs and research has shown that this is having an adverse effect on sperm. Women may also be at risk too, but are more likely to carry a phone in their handbags.

Italian scientists reviewed research (published in the Journal of Andrology)  into the effect of mobile (cell) phone radiation on sperm and found evidence of damage to sperm. They found decreased concentration, slower  and damaged sperm.   Sperm is constantly under attack from our environment,  including traffic pollution and everyday chemicals, – chemicals in supermarket packaging are believed to have a detrimental effect too.

Although frequently viewed as a female issue, 26 per cent of infertility cases are due to male infertility. In the last 60 years sperm counts have plummeted to between 50 and 60 million per millilitre, compared with more than 90 million in the 1940s and 50s.   See also Infertility affected by lifestyle?  A  Danish study found that one third of 19 year old males had semen counts of only 20 million per millilitre, below the World Health Organisation recommended minimum and increasing the risk of infertility.

A poster campaign to raise awareness to men is being launched in men’s toilets at motorways, in bars and restaurants. It is run by EM Radiation Research.  It has to be said that mobile phone experts refute the evidence, but that’s to be expected, and  is it too much to ask men to carry their phones elsewhere?

The Research

1. Turkish researchers subjected human sperm in lab dishes to one hour of cell phone EMF radiation. The exposure caused sperm abnormalities, including sperm that had problems attaching to eggs.

2. An American study involving 512 couples found that men from the countryside in Columbia had lower sperm counts – 53 million per millilitre – than those living in three US cities, LA -75m, Minneapolis – 69m and New York – 76m. Columbia’s proximity to intensive agricultural land prompted researchers to believe that the lower levels were due to the use of agricultural chemicals getting into the drinking water. They also found that other factors affecting men’s semen included smoking, recent illness and a history of sexually transmitted disease.

3. Italian research into the effects of traffic pollution on the quality of sperm in young to middle-aged men in Italy showed that 85 men who worked at motorway tollgates had significantly lower sperm movement than a group of men who didn’t work there

4.  A study of 200 taxi drivers in the US found that long hours at the wheel also pushed down the sperm count and the number of normal sperm. Researchers believed that urban driving and air pollution affected hormonal function and that heat generated by prolonged sitting could impair sperm quality.

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