Wellness and Wellbeing

Health is not merely the absence of disease, it is a vibrant state of wellbeing and enjoyment of life.

Nutritional care is now an integral part of the total care you need to consider for your health and longevity. Long term nutrient depletion can adversely affect health and vitality, also possibly contributing to serious degenerative diseases. Every bodily function depends on energy producing chemical reactions in the cells. These reactions depend on vitamins and minerals. Without adequate vitamins and minerals, together with essential proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acids, energy is reduced, vitality diminishes, and illness may occur. Adequate nutritional intake has a large effect on your energy and vitality. In fact, without proper nutrients, the body is unable to continue the biochemical and metabolic processes which produce cellular energy.

Why should you supplement your diet?

Thirty years of research has shown that most chronic diseases in first world nations are nutrition related.’ Statistics reveal that although people are consuming more nutrients per capita than ever, they seem to be receiving less nourishment!

This may be attributed to:

  • soil depletion of over-worked farm lands

  • unhealthy diet

  • poor lifestyle choices

  • pollution

  • stress

Many of us, even those who feel they eat well, do not eat a balanced diet. Almost 40% of the calories we consume come from highly processed convenience foods which are rich in fat and refined sugar. Environmental and lifestyle stresses can sometimes increase the need for essential nutrients to more than can be obtained from the diet.

Multivitamins, Minerals and Herbs

Pollution, dietary habits and lifestyle factors may make it difficult to receive all the nutrients you need from food alone. Therefore, a multiple vitamin / mineral formula should provide a complete supplement, including all the valuable nutrients. An ideal dietary supplement should contain ample amounts of antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin A and minerals in specific ratios.

To compensate for digestive problems, an ideal multivitamin should use the most easily absorbed nutrient forms. Balanced nutrient ratios (often overlooked in multi formulas) are helpful in the absorption of other nutrients. A good multivitamin should also be hypoallergenic (free from common allergens such as yeast, soy, milk, egg, wheat, corn, sugar, starch, salt, preservatives, waxes and artificial colouring).

Supplements to achieve wellness

The concept of a tailored supplementation is not new, many companies in the complementary medicine area have developed evidence based ethical nutritional formulations. A range of products that brings to both men and women the complete solution to natural beauty and longevity, designed to nurture all aspects of inner and outer healing, are available through our centre. They consist of a herbal antioxidant/multivitamin supplement, to protect against the harsh effects of free radicals, an anti-ageing cream for use on the whole body, and a simple to use nutritional minerals to revitalise youthfulness. Together this scientifically proven combination is not unlike ‘the fountain of youth’.



Vitalism



The philosophy of life that underlies naturopathic medicine. Vitalism defines life as an autonomous force which cannot be explained in biological or chemical terms.

Chi; Ki; Prana; Pranayama; Vitalism; Vital Elan

  1. The word ‘prana’ (meaning ‘vital air’, from the root ‘pran’: ‘to breathe’) refers to what is known as the vital energy or vital force or life principle … and has corollaries in other cultures.

  2. The Patanjali Yoga-Sutras lay down an eightfold path consisting of aids to Yoga:

    1. restraint (yama),
    2. observance (niyama),
    3. posture (asana),
    4. regulation of breathing (pranayama),
    5. detachment from the senses (pratyahara),
    6. concentration (dharana),
    7. meditation (dhyana), and
    8. trance (samadhi).

The natural therapeutic approach maintains that the constant effort of the body’s life force is all ways in the direction of self cleansing, self repairing and positive health. The philosophy maintains that even acute disease is a manifestation of the body’s efforts in the direction of self-cure. Disease or downgraded health, may be eliminated only by removing from the system the real cause and by raising the body’s general vitality so that its natural and inherent ability to sustain health is allowed to dominate.

“Vis medicatrix naturae” or “the healing power of nature”. Hippocrates

Fundamental to naturopathy is a profound belief in the ability of the body to heal itself, given the proper opportunities. The goal of the naturopath is to use the least invasive intervention that will have the desired therapeutic effect. This philosophical approach necessitates a broad range of therapeutic skills so that the specific treatment can be advised or can be referred on if out of the individual naturopaths sphere of expertise.

Naturopathic medicine is ‘vitalistic’ in its approach; the body is believed to have an innate intelligence that is always striving for health. Vitalism maintains that the symptoms accompanying disease are not always directly caused by the morbific agent e.g. bacteria, rather they are the result of the body’s intrinsic response or reaction to that agent and the body’s attempt to defend and heal itself. Health is viewed as more than just the absence of disease.

The naturopathic physician can employ a wide variety of different types of therapy in the treatment of an individual including nutrition, botanical medicine, homoeopathy, acupuncture, lifestyle modification and remedial massage therapy.

Treat the cause not the symptom





Hypertension and Vascular Disease



Hypertension is defined as abnormally high blood pressure, normal being 120mmHg/80mmHg with a quantitative relationship between systemic arterial pressure and morbidity, (Sharma and Kortas, 2004). As there is a varying degree of risk to an individual based upon the severity of hypertension, a decisions making classification system the JNC VII, seen  below, has been developed to help determine the aggressiveness of treatment or therapeutic interventions required for an individual (Sharma and Kortas, 2004; Levy et al, 2003).

JNC VII Classification of Blood Pressure for Hypertension.

  • Normal: Systolic lower than 120, diastolic lower than 80

  • Prehypertension: Systolic 120-139, diastolic 80-99

  • Stage 1: Systolic 140-159 or diastolic 90-99

  • Stage 2: Systolic equal to or more than 160 or diastolic equal to or more than 100.

Based on recommendations of the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee of Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VII), the classification of blood pressure (expressed in mm Hg) for adults aged 18 years or older is as follows and are based on the average of 2 or more readings taken at each of 2 or more visits after initial screening. (Sharma and Kortas, 2004.)

I believe this patient could be classified as having Stage1 essential hypertension as his BP is 160/93. Individuals with Stage 1 hypertension characteristically have normal or reduced cardiac output and elevated systemic vascular resistance (Sharma and Kortas, 2004).

Sharma and Kortas, 2004, indicate that this increased vascular resistance is, “due to changes in both the structural and physical properties of resistance arteries, as well as changes in endothelial function and are probably responsible for this abnormal behavior of vasculature. Furthermore, vascular remodeling occurs over the years as hypertension evolves, thereby maintaining increased vascular resistance irrespective of the initial haemodynamic pattern.” It is these features that lead me to suggest that his condition is likely chronic in nature and it needs to be address as a mater of urgency. His pattern of constant leg pain, exasperation upon walking and his discomfort during sleep requiring movement to stimulate circulation in the extremities is also indicative of intermittent claudication resulting from peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD).

Rowe, 2004 describes PAOD as, “Single or multiple arterial stenoses producing impaired hemodynamics at the tissue level in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD). Arterial stenoses lead to alterations in the distal pressures available to affected muscle groups and to blood flow”.

Further, “In patients with PAOD, resting blood flow is similar to that of a healthy person. However, during exercise, blood flow cannot maximally increase in muscle tissue because of proximal arterial stenoses. When the metabolic demands of the muscle exceed blood flow, claudication symptoms ensue. At the same time, a longer recovery period is required for blood flow to return to baseline once exercise is terminated.” This condition is clearly operating in our elderly patient.

Dormandy et al,1999, in their paper on intermittent claudication, do however indicate that only 1% to 3% of claudicants will require major amputation over a 5-year period after diagnosis and this statistic is higher in diabetics (Dormandy et al,1999, p.123). They also indicated that cerebrovascular disease (CVD), coronary artery disease (CAD), and peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) coexist. Hence PAOD and IC should be regarded as a marker for increased risk from fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular event. The risk is higher in the first year after developing IC than in the stable claudicant with mortality being 30% at 5 years, 50% at 10 years, and 70% at 15 year. The risk of a cardiovascular incident is therefore high in this patient based on the assumption that IC is probably present due to his case history.

Atherosclerosis of the peripheral vasculature has been in the forefront of his deterioration which has led to the development of PAOD. Other contributing factors are his excessive smoking , poor diet and lack of exercise which has maintained high circulating LDL cholesterol levels with altered haemodynamics, I would suggest this is polygenic in nature (Isley, 2004).

His recent tightness of chest is a warning signal of developed Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and his case history indicates that he has a number of current risk factors (see Below).

 The risk factors for CHD, adapted from Isley, 2004.1. Age and sex

  • Men aged 45 years or older

  • Women aged 55 years or older

  • Family history CHD (male first-degree relative <55 y, female first-degree relative <65 y)Current cigarette smoking

  • Hypertension - Blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mm Hg or current antihypertensive drug therapy

  • Low HDL-C concentrationLess than 1mm/l, but subtract 1 risk factor if HDL-C concentration is more than 60 mg/dL (This level has been increased from <35 mg/dL compared with the value from the NCEP ATP II.)

A recently published meta-analysis of nearly 1,000,000 people in 61 studies demonstrated that for individuals aged 40-69 years, incremental increases of 20/10 systolic/diastolic blood pressure beginning with values of 115/75 will result in a doubling of cardiovascular risk mortality (Levy et al, 2003).

The study also found that males over 60 years of age, with Stage 2 hypertension ie with a systolic blood pressure ≥160 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure <95 mmHg, had a 2.5-fold risk for cardiovascular disease (P<0.001) over 24 months when compared to those considered to have normal blood pressure (<140/95 mmHg) (Levy et al, 2003). I believe that the patient has significant risk of a cardiovascular incident and would suggest that he arranges an appointment with his GP for immediate referral to a Cardiologist. I would start an immediate treatment targeting the essential hypertension, improved peripheral circulation and cardiac output and started to reduce LDL cholesterol and improve the circulating lipids.

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