Naturopathy

How can a Naturopath help me?

People choose to see naturopaths for a variety of health concerns, ranging from the treatment of fatigue and stress, support in conventional infertility and IVF programs, to the management of serious and debilitating autoimmune conditions.

Like many of our patients, this may be you, and Melbourne Naturopath and Acupuncturist Dr Miranda Myles can help:

  • You just don’t feel quite right. Your blood tests are completely normal and you have been told there is nothing wrong with you
  • You want to feel better; you know you can, but you don’t know how
  • You would simply like to review your general health, diet, and lifestyle and improve your health….naturally
  • You may be suffering serious health conditions and would like support and management whilst you are undergoing medical treatments

Miranda will work with your existing healthcare team, in an integrated approach to ensure optimal health results for you and your family.

What conditions benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine can help just about any condition! Naturopathic medicine is an integrated approach to medicine that combines evidence-based medicine with practical and achievable common sense goals aimed at increasing your vitality and achieving optimum health.

Melbourne Naturopath and Acupuncturist Dr Miranda Myles takes an holistic approach in assessing patients health conditions in order to identify the underlying cause of conditions.

liquid herbs in different glass bottles
  • Menstrual issues: 
PMS, irregular and painful menses, endometriosis, adenomyosis, polycystic ovaries/PCOS, amenorrhea (no periods), menopause
  • Preconception Health and Fertility: Fertility issues (both male and female), support IVF treatments and guide you through preconception, pregnancy and post-natal care
  • Children and infant health
: Recurrent colds/flu, sinus problems, ear infections, colic, constipation, allergies, eczema, sleeping difficulties, fussy eaters, growth and development, autism, ADD/ADHD, behavioural problems
  • Men’s Health: Prostate problems, libido issues, low/poor sperm quality/count, sexual dysfunction, andropause and mental health issues
  • Immune System difficulties
: Recurrent colds/flu, allergies, hayfever, sinusitis, glandular fever, automimmune conditions
  • Digestive issues: 
Constipation/diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, food intolerances, heartburn/reflux, indigestion, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, and gastritis
  • Skin conditions
: Acne, eczema/dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections, and rashes
  • Stress, anxiety, nervous tension and depression
  • Sleeping problems
  • Hormonal issues
  • Fatigue and energy
Naturopathic Medicine encompasses therapies and techniques including:
  • Nutritional Medicine
  • Dietary Advice
  • Western Herbal Medicine
  • Homoeopathy
  • Functional Medicine Testing (read more)
  • Genetic Profiling (read more)

FUNCTIONAL MEDICAL TESTS

Functional medical tests are different from standard blood tests as conducted by a GP. They are utilised to investigate your functional, biochemical, nutritional, metabolic or hormonal status.

The results provide essential information to assist the practitioner in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients seeking an holistic approach to health.

Generally, the tests are designed for the convenience of patients to collect specimens in the privacy of their own homes. A selection of the tests do require blood sampling and thus a visit to a pathology lab which will be specified during your consultation with your health practitioner at Carlton Natural Health.

Functional medical tests can provide a method for early intervention management and monitoring of ongoing treatment efficacy.

They can be utilised to:

  • Determine your baseline health as part of an holistic approach prior to commencing treatment. At Carlton Natural Health, your health care practitioner will discuss this with you.
  • Eliminate guesswork
  • To inspire you to take care of your health
  • To monitor the efficacy of treatment and your individual progress in your journey to optimal health.
  • To help establish the underlying cause of your health imbalances or disease especially associated with unresolved, chronic symptoms and/or conditions.

Correct gastrointestinal function is critical to your ability to digest, absorb and metabolise nutrients properly, and adequately eliminate wastes, essential components to your everyday health. This non-invasive test is conducted in the privacy of your own home. It assesses your microbial flora status, ability to absorb protein, carbohydrates, fats and nutrients, and the presence of pathogenic bacteria, opportunistic parasites and yeast infestation.

It is invaluable information for both you and your practitioner regarding the function of your gastrointestinal system and the role it plays in acute and chronic disease states.

This test is utilised to investigate the underlying causes of symptoms that may be indicators of poor digestive health, such as:

  • Constipation, diarrhea and IBS
  • Flatulence, bloating, reflux, gastritis & abdominal discomfort
  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Fatigue and energy fluctuations
  • Immune disorders including autoimmune conditions
  • Hormone imbalances

This test is different from the Liver Function Test (LFT- blood test) conducted by your GP. It offers additional/alternate information that may be used in conjunction with your LFT, or may be completely independent. It is neither better, nor worse, just different.

The liver has two different phases in detoxification that protect the body from a wide variety of potentially toxic compounds. Poor liver detoxification may result in excess free radical production, which may ultimately be harmful to your overall health and well-being.

This test challenges the capacity and efficacy of both Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification with low doses of Caffeine, Aspirin and Paracetamol. Saliva and urine specimens, collected at timed intervals, are then analysed for metabolites of the three compounds to determine the efficiency of the liver in their conversion and clearance from the body.

The results provide accurate identification of your detoxification profile and assist your practitioner in treatment. It provides invaluable information for the management of:

  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • “Leaky gut”, dysbiosis and malabsorption syndromes
  • Hormonal imbalances

Hair Mineral Analysis is a non-invasive, analytical test that assays the mineral composition of hair. In preventative health care, HMA is an invaluable screening tool that can detect imbalances, deficiencies or excesses of essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, zinc, and selenium. It also identifies the presence of toxic metals including mercury, aluminium, lead, cadmium and arsenic.

Minerals are the catalytic ‘spark plugs’ essential for growth, healing, vitality and wellbeing. Many health conditions are aggravated by mineral imbalances and toxic metal excesses, including:

  • Fertility issues
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Fatigue
  • Adrenal exhaustion
  • Poor metabolism and difficulty losing weight
  • Food sensitivities
  • Migraines
  • Learning difficulties and hyperactivity in children
  • Cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure

Why test hair?

A standard blood/urine test does detect blood/urine mineral levels, however this information is not accurately representative of the body’s tissue mineral status, the important detail. The Hair Mineral Analysis detects mineral imbalances or toxic metal excesses that may be affecting you health. At Carlton Natural Health, our practitioners are able to highlight the areas of concern and prescribe appropriate dietary, nutritional and lifestyle modifications to improve your health and wellbeing.

What is the difference between food allergy and food sensitivity?

Many people live with symptoms of adverse food reactions for years without ever suspecting the involvement foods, which trigger those reactions. More often than not, food reactions are seldom life threatening, however pose a constant source of discomfort and physical and emotional distress in chronic conditions and diseases.

It can be difficult to differentiate between allergy and sensitivity, as symptoms may be similar.

 Symptoms of food sensitivity can include:

  • headache, migraine
  • diarrhea, bloating, IBS, abdominal cramps
  • mood swings, depression, nervousness, tremor
  • behavioural problems in children
  • breathing problems – asthma-like symptoms
  • skin conditions
  • allergy-like reactions

The symptoms of food allergy can be life threatening. Common symptoms include:

  • itching, burning and swelling around the mouth
  • runny nose
  • skin rash (eczema)
  • hives (urticaria – skin becomes red and raised)
  • diarrhoea, abdominal cramps
  • breathing difficulties, including wheezing and asthma
  • vomiting, nausea
  • anaphylaxis- swelling of the throat/tongue, difficulty breathing, dizziness or collapse

Food sensitivities are most commonly due to digestive enzyme deficiency, dysbiosis (leaky gut) and poor intestinal permeability, which basically means compromised digestive function.

In food sensitivity, it can be difficult to identify the specific food responsible for the reaction. The reason for this is two fold. Firstly, symptoms caused by food sensitivity / intolerance can be immediate; however more commonly they may take between 12 to 36 hours to develop. Most people can’t remember what they ate for breakfast this morning; let alone their entire food intake 3 days ago!

Secondly, food sensitivity reactions are usually related to the amount of the food consumed. They may not occur until a certain amount (threshold level) of the food is eaten, but this amount varies for each person.

Food allergies are caused by overreaction of the body’s immune system to a protein. Symptoms caused by food allergy develop very soon after consuming the food (immediately in the case of anaphylaxis) and are independent of amount of food consumed. Food allergies are usually IgE-mediated and can be measured in most instances in blood by detection of specific antibodies.

Food Sensitivity Testing screens blood samples for IgG & IgA antibodies to a panel of foods, up to 96 different foods. The most common food sensitivities occur with cow’s milk, eggs, beans, nuts and grains.

Thyroid hormones are essential in regulating metabolism in adults, and growth and development during pregnancy and infancy. It is essential to conduct a complete thyroid hormone profile to truly assess the availability of the thyroid hormones to the tissues and an individual’s metabolic rate.

This is a non-invasive test that accurately measures thyroid hormone levels including TSH, T3 and T4. This is different from a standard medical blood test that normally only tests TSH. If TSH is “in range” no further testing is conducted, and yet T3 and T4 may not be at optimal levels.

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism and sub-clinical hyopthyroidism) is one of the most common hormonal disorders, seen in conjunction with changes in oestrogen and progesterone in peri-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Thyroid hormones are essential in regulating metabolism in adults, and growth and development during pregnancy and infancy. It is essential to conduct a complete thyroid hormone profile to truly assess the availability of the thyroid hormones to the tissues and an individual’s metabolic rate.

This is a non-invasive test that accurately measures thyroid hormone levels including TSH, T3 and T4. This is different from a standard medical blood test that normally only tests TSH. If TSH is “in range” no further testing is conducted, and yet T3 and T4 may not be at optimal levels.

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism and sub-clinical hyopthyroidism) is one of the most common hormonal disorders, seen in conjunction with changes in oestrogen and progesterone in peri-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Symptoms of hypothyroid include:

  • dry and coarse skin and hair
  • hair loss
  • weakness and lethargy
  • constipation
  • unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • heavy and irregular periods
  • depression and mood disorders

Symptoms of overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis) include:

  • fast metabolic rate
  • rapid heart beat
  • nervousness and palpitations
  • weight loss despite increased appetite
  • frequent bowel movements.

TSH, T3 and T4

Normally, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland stimulates the production of inactive T4 (thyroxine) and active T3 (triiodothyronine) from the thyroid. T4 is converted to T3 in the liver, requiring selenium and zinc.

Reverse T3 (rT3)

T3 is the most active (and some might argue the most important) thyroid hormone, 83% of which is produced from the conversion from T4. Reverse T3 (rT3) is different; it is an inactive form of T3 that is produced in the body particularly during periods of stress.

An increased production of rT3 may also be seen in:

  • Stress
  • Fasting and starvation
  • Illness
  • Liver disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

This is an invaluable test as rT3 may be elevated whilst T3 is normal, and indicates poor thyroid function.

Thyroid Antibodies

Thyroid antibodies may be tested additionally to investigate the presence of autoimmune thyroid conditions Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism) and Graves disease (autoimmune hyperthyroidism).

Urinary Iodine

Approximately 70% of the bodies iodine is in the thyroid gland, thus iodine is intimately connected with thyroid function. The major hormone secreted by the thyroid is inactive T4 (thyroxine), containing four iodine atoms. The removal of one iodine atom converts T4 to active T3 (triiodothyronine). This occurs mainly in the liver and other tissues where T3 acts, such as the brain.

Other actions of iodine include the formation and integrity of normal breast tissue, foetal brain development and function, and anti-microbial effects.

Thus, this is an essential test in helping to determine optimal thyroid function. Furthermore, it is essential to establish appropriate iodine levels prior to pregnancy due to its role in the developing foetus.

  • dry and coarse skin and hair
  • hair loss
  • weakness and lethargy
  • constipation
  • unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • heavy and irregular periods
  • depression and mood disorders

Symptoms of overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis) include:

  • fast metabolic rate
  • rapid heart beat
  • nervousness and palpitations
  • weight loss despite increased appetite
  • frequent bowel movements.

TSH, T3 and T4

Normally, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland stimulates the production of inactive T4 (thyroxine) and active T3 (triiodothyronine) from the thyroid. T4 is converted to T3 in the liver, requiring selenium and zinc.

Reverse T3 (rT3)

T3 is the most active (and some might argue the most important) thyroid hormone, 83% of which is produced from the conversion from T4. Reverse T3 (rT3) is different; it is an inactive form of T3 that is produced in the body particularly during periods of stress.

An increased production of rT3 may also be seen in:

  • Stress
  • Fasting and starvation
  • Illness
  • Liver disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

This is an invaluable test as rT3 may be elevated whilst T3 is normal, and indicates poor thyroid function.

Thyroid Antibodies

Thyroid antibodies may be tested additionally to investigate the presence of autoimmune thyroid conditions Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism) and Graves disease (autoimmune hyperthyroidism).

Urinary Iodine

Approximately 70% of the bodies iodine is in the thyroid gland, thus iodine is intimately connected with thyroid function. The major hormone secreted by the thyroid is inactive T4 (thyroxine), containing four iodine atoms. The removal of one iodine atom converts T4 to active T3 (triiodothyronine). This occurs mainly in the liver and other tissues where T3 acts, such as the brain.

Other actions of iodine include the formation and integrity of normal breast tissue, foetal brain development and function, and anti-microbial effects.

Thus, this is an essential test in helping to determine optimal thyroid function. Furthermore, it is essential to establish appropriate iodine levels prior to pregnancy due to its role in the developing foetus.

The Baseline Hormone Profile provides valuable information on hormonal status and the potential impact on physical and emotional health. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance may include:

  • PMS and menstrual disorders including irregular periods, amenorrhea (not periods), dysmenorrhea (period pain), menoorhagia (heavy bleeding), PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, breast lumps and cancer
  • Menopausal symptoms including night sweats / hot flushes
  • Fertility issues
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Disturbed sleep pattern
  • Loss of libido
  • Andropause
  • Prostate problems

Salivary Hormone testing is unique in that it helps identify the hormonal imbalances which may be causing chronic health problems. Results obtained from the test make it possible to individualise treatments to establish optimal and appropriate hormonal balance.

The Baseline Hormone Profile is a non-invasive test which requires the collection of one saliva specimen, from which multiple hormones are tested.

Hormones Tested include:

Males:                                                

  • Testosterone (TT)
  • Oestradiol (E2)
  • DHEA-S
  • Cortisol

 Females:

  • Oestrone (E1)
  • Oestradiol (E2)
  • Oestriol (E3)
  • Progesterone (P4)
  • Testosterone (TT)
  • DHEA – S

This is a salivary hormone test that assesses stress hormones Cortisol and DHEA-S, across the course of a day. Adrenal function is important to determine in patients presenting with:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Poor immune function.

Altered levels of Cortisol and DHEA-S are indicative of acute and/or chronic mental and/or physical stress. Prolonged stress causes increased secretion of Cortisol and can eventually lead to hypertrophy of the adrenal cortex, adrenal exhaustion and immune suppression.

DHEA-S is the main androgen in both men and women and its levels decline with age. Reduced levels of DHEA-S may result in fatigue, poor immune function, weight gain, increased ageing, memory loss.

What is MTHFR?

Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme required to adequately metabolise homocysteine; mutations of this can cause high blood levels of homocysteine and may interfere with the bodies ability to adequately utilise folate.

Why test MTHFR?

High homocysteine levels in the blood are recognised as a risk factor for:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Venous thrombosis and stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes and
  • Obesity

High homocysteine and low folate in the blood have been associated with:

  • Neural tube defects
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Stillbirths
  • Depression and other mood disorders

The major cause of high homocysteine levels is folate deficiency. Other factors include insufficient vitamin B12 and genetic mutations in the MTHFR gene.

At Carlton Natural Health, we can arrange blood tests to measure different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and trace minerals, providing valuable information on the body’s nutritional and biochemical status.

Substances Tested

A combination of any or all of the following nutrients can be tested:

  • Minerals – Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Selenium, Zinc
  • Fluoride
  • Vitamins – B1, B6, B12, D and folate
  • Coenzyme Q10

EFAs are necessary for growth, development, reproduction, skin and hair conditions and wound healing. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) lower cholesterol levels and play a vital role in the regulation of inflammatory conditions.

Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly deficient in the diet and may play a significant role in:

  • maternal health and neurological function in developing infants
  • lowering cholesterol and heart disease
  • psoriasis, eczema, dry, scaly skin, poor wound healing
  • asthma
  • depression and mood disorders
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children
  • non-insulin dependant diabetes mellitus
  • reducing the severity of arthritis symptoms

To confirm EFAs deficiency, we can request a biochemical assay of either red blood cell, plasma and/or phospholipid fatty acids.

Plasma fatty acids are considered to reflect short-term dietary changes, whereas red blood cells can provide a longer term view of fatty acid status. Recent data have shown that plasma phospholipids can provide a long-term view of dietary intake.

Genetic Profiling – Genetics loads the gun; our lifestyle pulls the trigger

Our genes do not necessarily tell us whether or not we are going to develop a specific disease; our genes tell us our susceptibility for developing that disease. Our genes for example can tell us our risk of developing cardiovascular disease, our ability to cope with stress, how well we detoxify, our inflammatory risk or our nutritional status.

We inherit our genes that provide a blueprint, an insight into potential underlying health conditions. Our genes are susceptible to environmental factors that modify the risk of developing a disease. These factors include cigarette smoke and air pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, sun exposure, bacterial infection, chronic nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, lifestyle habits and toxic exposure. The vast majority of genetic polymorphisms only have the potential to cause health problems if we are exposed to the wrong “mix” of harmful agents over time.

Genetic profiling is a genetic diagnostic testing that focuses on individual risk profiles, in combination with traditional risk factors and familial medical history. This helps to explain why individuals are affected differently by the same environmental factors. The knowledge of genetic factors makes preventive medicine easier. Genetic profiling helps Miranda to determine a suitable treatment plan tailored to your individual genetic needs.

Why Genetic Profiling?
  • It allows your practitioner to design a specific nutritional program specifically for you
  • It will enable specific preventative health strategies to be designed your long term health and well-being
  • Your inflammatory response will be evaluated to reduce your risk of various diseases
  • Find out how well your body detoxifies environmental toxins and reduce your toxic burden
  • It will help you understand the efficiency of your hormonal metabolism
  • Learn about your stress responses and how well you deal with stress. Learn to manage mental and environmental stressors in your life
  • It assesses your genes involved in anti-ageing process