I see a lot of patients coming in with fatigue and digestive issues, but no clue that they could be linked. Not every person with fatigue and digestive issues has underlying SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), but this is something I am constantly screening patients for and trying to educate my patients on!
Many people are aware of the role of the thyroid, adrenals, blood sugar and poor sleep on fatigue. However, I find very few patients have heard of SIBO or are aware of its role in chronic fatigue. Especially in the chronic fatigue syndrome population, this condition has often wreaked havoc on their system for many years before symptoms are diagnosed.
WHAT IS SIBO?
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition where there is an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the small intestine. We call this imbalance of good and bad bacteria "dysbiosis”. This overgrowth of “bad” pathogenic bacteria that can cause inflammation in the small intestine with a host of other symptoms.
Non-digestive symptoms of SIBO may include:
Many patients ask what key symptoms I look for when investigating whether or not they may have SIBO. These are the key symptoms I look for in my patients:
1. Bloating to the point of looking "9 months pregnant"
2. Diarrhea, constipation or both (IBS-like symptoms)
3. I just can't figure out which foods are triggering my digestive issues!
4. I have had stubborn acne or rosacea for years, and it never goes away
5. I have itchy skin or hives
6. Brain fog, like I'm "living in a cloud"
TESTING & DIAGNOSIS:
We can test for SIBO using a test called the “lactulose/glucose breath test”. This test requires patients to drink a sugar-like formula and then measures the “gas” produced by the body via a breath test. I will run this test with patients who really want to get to the bottom of their fatigue and digestive issues — this is the best way to diagnose SIBO.
If you have fatigue and chronic digestive or skin issues, you may have underlying SIBO. Until this dysbiosis is addressed as part of the SIBO diagnosis, these symptoms will only continue. I always love talking with people about SIBO, so if you are worried this could be you let's have a chat about it! I offer free consults to anyone wanting to learn more about how naturopathic medicine can help them.
My passion is to help people get to a place where they feel like they are “thriving” in their life. So let's talk about ways we can get you there together!
With the fall weather and impending snow coming many patients will remark that they feel the cold “in their bones”. This is a phrase patients use to share with me that they feel an increase in their arthritic symptoms. There are a few different types of arthritis but often people are referring to osteoarthritis in these cases, this is the regular age related type of arthritis that many people associate with “wear and tear”.
Arthritis by definition is a slow but progressive disease affecting one or more joints in the human body. Arthritis is an active process in which the joint is unable to repair itself as quickly as it is being broken down. And although the “wear and tear” concept fits well with our ideas of aging, arthritic processes are actually more complex than this. Mechanical factors such as heavy lifting and sports are only one factor. Genetics seem to be a strong factor in the development of hip or hand osteoarthritis. Metabolic factors are another contributor, which are determined by the overall functioning of a person’s cells and inflammation within the body. These inflammatory factors are modified by the presence of chronic disease such as heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes just to name a few. This is all to say that arthritic symptoms may present themselves due to a cumulative exposure to the many risk factors and not just the movement you put through the joint. Therefore, arthritic symptoms are typically best managed through a holistic, lifestyle approach.
There are many treatment approaches to arthritic pain but one of the strongest recommendations within the guidelines includes exercise therapy. Many patients with osteoarthritis tend to avoid activity as they worry that it will worsen the “wear and tear” of a joint, but as discussed above arthritis is an active process and actually responds favourably to exercise. Weight loss is another strong recommendation within the literature for managing pain and improving joint function. Co management of other chronic illnesses and working to improve the overall health of your body and metabolic processes will also help in reducing your symptoms.
Practitioners such as chiropractors and osteopaths are able to prescribe exercise to assist with your symptoms while consults with the naturopath may provide support for your overall well being to reduce symptoms. Using a team approach, Dalhousie Health & Wellness strives to manage arthritic changes through a holistic, lifestyle based approach.
So What is our Autonomic Nervous System and Why is it Important? Our Autonomic Nervous System controls all of our everyday functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, digestion as well as other processes. It relies on a series of intricate pathways where signals are sent to and from our body to our spinal cord and then to our brain. Sometimes these signals can get blocked for a variety of reasons, such as tight muscles which the nerves run through, compression in our spine due to disk problems, degeneration of our vertebrae, etc. Long standing imbalances within the nervous system can lead to symptoms within the body. As Osteopathic Manual Practitioners we use a wide variety of techniques to improve the physiological functions in the body and to aim to restore homeostasis which has been altered by ‘somatic dysfunction’ of the tissues. Osteopathic Manual Therapy has been shown to have an effect on the Autonomic Nervous System and in turn its physiological processes according to Rechberger et al in his 2019 research paper, that assessed 23 published studies on it. It did state that even more research was required but with the data available was able to draw a positive conclusion.
A lot of women ask, or wonder, “how soon can I get a massage after I give birth?“
A postpartum massage is a massage that occurs within the first 12 weeks after you've given birth.
Now, if you've had a C-section, or a complicated delivery, check with your doctor first, as some massage techniques may not be right for your specific recovery.
Some of the benefits of a postpartum massage include:
-reduced swelling. Massage can help encourage draining and circulation of excess fluid
-improved milk production. Researchers have found massage can help increase circulation and the necessary hormones to make this happen
-reduce anxiety and depression, massage can help to decrease stress which leads to these feelings or emotions
-better sleep, massage can help to encourage a deeper, restful sleep
Some new moms will find laying on their stomach to still be difficult, for some it will feel totally fine. Some will want to talk through the massage, some will crave quite. It really is up to you and your comfort level, so let us know, and we will make sure that you are comfortable and able to relax.
So, the good news is, you can start massage therapy as soon as you feel ready!
And whenever you are, call 289-668-5433 to book your postnatal massage appointment with Suzanne Hamm, RMT (with a special interest in prenatal and postnatal massage therapy).
We look forward to seeing you at Dalhousie Health & Wellness and helping in your postpartum recovery.
Lots of people get pain around the shoulder and one thing that we need to decipher is whether it is ‘true’ shoulder pain or if the pain is coming from else where and being felt in the shoulder?!
The most common ailment giving pain in the shoulder is irritation of the small joints in the neck. The small joints of the neck/cervical spine are called the ‘Facet Joints’ and we name/number them as they descend through the neck C1 to C7, when these joints become irritated then can give a sensation of pain in different areas as you can see from the image. The joints even though small are very pain sensitive and this is what can trick the body into feeling the pain around the shoulder and shoulder blade.
So how do we differentiate the origin of the pain?
Well here at the clinic we take a detailed case history and finding the answers to some questions begins to give us an idea and then we perform a some tests on and around the shoulder and the neck, and we can see which one reproduces symptoms.
So what next?
After figuring out where the pain is coming from we can produce a treatment plan to work improve the functioning of the ‘facet joints’ and in turn reduce the shoulder pain!
When clients share their issues, by far, the most common problem for them is their anxiety and they say it just like that…”MY anxiety”. These two words speak volumes. They own the problem as something that is as much a part of themselves as their right hand. The difficulty with this kind of attachment is the subconscious identification that takes root. Anxiety and anxiousness have been accepted and reinforced as a central part of their identity. Unfortunately, this is the beginning of a long co-dependent relationship between an individual and an emotion. To be sure, one would call it dysfunctional.
But what if we could heal the relationship. What if we could befriend the beast? Like many difficult emotions, anxiety is uncomfortable and stressful. Why on earth would I want to befriend it? Well maybe the first step to releasing anxiety from the body is to bring it up in the light of awareness. Most often, we internally look at it out of the corner of our eyes, making sure it’s still there, and then averting our gaze elsewhere, seeking distraction and unhealthy habits. It is time to sit and invite the beast for tea. Eye to eye and with an open heart.
Choosing a safe space, an experienced healer, and committing to the process are all the prerequisites necessary to dive into the journey of healing anxiety. Working with energy medicine and mindfulness training will help shift the body and mind into a parasympathetic state, also known as ‘rest and digest’. This is definitely the missing link when looking at individuals who succeed with anxiety release vs those who struggle to feel free from the emotion. Allowing the body to feel safe, grounded and calm is like laying the foundations for a successful and committed journey. Often, in the beginning of our work together, clients prefer to book a combined session of reiki (or EFT) and mindfulness training for this very reason. The energy shift that takes place is exactly what is necessary to feel inspired and committed to the journey of emotional freedom.
At this point, we are able to befriend the beast. Anxiety becomes much smaller in our mind and our compassionate energy can see this difficult emotion with both warmth and forgiveness. We ,in essence, become stronger in our heart energy as the fear is minimized. This is a recipe for success freedom and empowerment.
Are you ready to befriend the beast? Are you ready to shift gears energetically and find both peace and a sense of empowerment? If so, you may find the world of energy medicine and mindfulness coaching a great opportunity. You can book an Energy Shift by calling Dalhousie Health and Wellness at 289 668-5433.
Dr. Katie Pepper, Chiropractor with a special interest in paediatric care
Recently, we at Dalhousie Health & Wellness have been receiving lots of requests for baby and child chiropractic visits. Dr. Katie has a special interest in the care of infants and children, with experience in paediatric birth and sport injuries and a focus in paediatric concussion management. Some of our most recent requests for paediatric visits include: torticollis, tongue tie, sports injuries, and wellness. Although it may seem unusual these are all conditions we can assist with! We work closely with a network of midwives, paediatricians and paediatric dentists to ensure the best possible care for your little ones.
We use a number of different techniques which are either adapted or completely unique to paediatric care. These techniques are gentler and less intense than those we may use for adult patients. For babies we use gentle pressure- about the amount you would use to check ripe fruit. Most babies can be treated while still on their parent’s lap or chest, some are even happy to lay in a specialized pillow for treatment. Older children may benefit from the use of drop pieces or a gentle adjusting instrument called an Activator.
Chiropractic care is a safe and gentle way to address your infant or child’s injuries or as a preventative wellness practice. Dalhousie Health & Wellness chiropractors are ready to help your baby or child with their specific needs!
Dr. Noelle DeVos, Naturopath- Special Interests in Mental Health, Hormones and Chronic Pain & Fatigue
DR. NOELLE DEVOS, ND, BScFN
Dr. Noelle (ND) is a licensed naturopathic doctor at Dalhousie Health & Wellness. She is dedicated to providing you with excellent care and natural solutions for vibrant health and a thriving mind. Noelle treats a wide variety of health conditions and takes a personalized, functional approach to treatment. She looks at the “bigger picture” of health and helps patients create an internal environment for physical healing and mental wellness. She believes a healthy mind facilitates physical healing and wants to help her patients thrive in life – mentally, emotionally and physically.
Noelle integrates standard medical diagnostics with evidence-based naturopathic therapies to provide patients with excellent care. She enjoys collaborating with other health care professionals and strives to work with your family doctor to ensure patients have the best care possible. She has a huge heart for her patients and wants to help you start your journey towards becoming your true vibrant self.
Dr. Noelle (ND) is licensed with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO). She has also successfully completed the Ontario Prescribing and Therapeutics Examination which allows her to prescribe certain restricted drugs and herbs including injectable B12, desiccated thyroid gland and bio-identical hormones.
Dr. Noelle’s (ND) Background
Noelle was raised by Dutch parents outside of London, Ontario. Noelle grew up in the country helping her parents both in the pig barn and in the vegetable fields. She joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve in high school and worked in communications for 7 years. Through her work in the Naval Reserves, she participated in mentoring aboriginal students looking to join the Canadian Forces, assisting with search-and-rescue operations off the coast of BC, and training new recruits in ship-board communications. Growing up, Noelle really had a heart for people and knew she wanted to become a doctor already as a child.
Noelle obtained an Honours Specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics from Western University in order to learn more about healthy eating. She then studied at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine for 4 years in North York, Ontario and completed over 3,000 hours of in-class training and 1,200 hours in clinical training in Naturopathic Medicine. At the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC) in Toronto, Noelle was 1 of 7 interns privileged to receive additional specialized training on the “Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (MyalgicEncephalopathy)” Specialty Shift.
Noelle has received additional education in Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard University as well as advanced training in homeopathy at The International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy in India. Noelle has interned at the Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic (BNTC) in the William Osler Brampton Civic Hospital, where she saw many patients including patients with mental health concerns. Through her time seeing patients, she has discovered her passion for treating patients with chronic pain, chronic fatigue and mental health concerns.
Dr. Noelle (ND) has many interests which she has cultivated over the years. She loves to garden and grow her own fresh, great-tasting vegetables in the summers. Her love for food goes beyond simply growing it though, she also loves to cook delicious, healthy recipes for her family and friends. She likes to stay active by playing on a recreational volleyball team, swimming at the YMCA and going for walks
on trails in the local areas. In her off time, she enjoys learning about biological, sustainable agriculture from her parents on their vegetable farm outside of Ingersoll.
Noelle is a naturopathic doctor dedicated to providing patients with excellent care and natural solutions for vibrant health and a thriving mind.
Noelle offers evidence-based naturopathic treatments which takes into account your unique biochemistry and complete health picture. During your visits, Noelle will teach you how to build a foundation for health and provide you with more targeted naturopathic solutions so you can stop surviving and start thriving in life!
Take advantage of Dr. Noelle DeVos’ free 15-min consults! Call Dalhousie Health & Wellness to book your complimentary consult.
For those who are new to pregnancy/prenatal massage, you might have questions about how it all works, what is safe or unsafe? So today we are going to look at massage positioning. Whether you're in the first trimester, or well into the third, how you lay, or are positioned on the massage table matters.
In the first trimester nothing has really changed in terms of how you receive a massage. However, some women can have their nausea increase when lying in certain positions, so make sure to tell your therapist if you are uncomfortable and need to move or change positions.
Once you're into the second and third trimesters there are techniques a therapist can use to make you more comfortable as your body changes.
Side-lying massage is exactly how it sounds. You lay on your side, and the therapist will position pillows under your head, between your legs to support your knees, and a pillow for you to hug so your arms are supported. It is the safest, most posturally neutral, and comfortable position for massage. From here you therapist is able to massage you comfortably and safely, and still able to perform full body treatments.
Cozy, relaxed, comfy. Isn't that how we like our massages?
Come and give it a try at Dalhousie Health & Wellness
Do you experience: sciatica? pinched nerves? arthritis in your spine? cramping? or fatigue with walking? you may be talking about spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is an arthritic spinal condition which most often affects the low back, but can occur in any part of your spine. Although, it can happen in younger persons, patients with stenosis are typically aged 60 or older.
Our patients most frequently report: hand or leg numbness/tingling, weakness or fatigue with walking, relief of symptoms when bent forward (we call this shopping cart sign) and leg, calf or buttocks pain. Usually these symptoms are brought on by walking or prolonged standing.
Your chiropractor can assist you by performing a history and physical exam to determine the cause of these symptoms as several conditions, such as peripheral vascular disease and disc herniations, can masquerade as stenosis.
Treatment may include: exercise therapy, acupuncture, adjustments/mobilizations, soft tissue therapy, ergonomic advice and lifestyle changes. We determine how well your treatment is working by your walking/standing ability, quality of life and pain levels.
Although stenosis cannot be cured, the team at Dalhousie Health & Wellness can greatly improve your symptoms and help you get back to the things you love.