For those of us approaching 50 or beyond, it been a big shock to see news of the sudden deaths of Senator Kimberley Kitching and Shane Warne from heart attacks.
The sad thing is their deaths were likely to be so preventable. The medical profession, specifically cardiologists are highly skilled and proficient at detecting and correcting heart disease but they need to get it early enough.
In my opinion, as a naturopath I believe it is important that once you reach your 40’s that’s the time to join the ranks of the “worried well”. This does not mean embracing hypochondria or orthorexia or living the life of a saint rather a practical increased sense of awareness about your health.
This may include no longer eating like a 25 year old that plays football 3 times per week. Your body changes, no longer can your body handle lots of pizza, ice cream, burgers, chips and other junk foods. These junk foods are obvious culprits for contributing to poor health and it can be physically noticeable that you don’t feel the best after eating them.
As the body ages, rates of alcohol intake and certain foods that are supposedly healthy can play a role in diseases and conditions that can “bubble below the surface”. Checking in with a Naturopath is really helpful as we can highlight foods and their portions that are most beneficial for health and indicate which should be avoided or limited. Knowledge is power.
Establish a connection with a good GP so you are seeing the same one every year or every second year for various checks whether it be blood tests or screening for prostate, bowel or breast cancer or heart disease. Getting onto things early is a great motivator for cleaning up your act and also greatly increasing the likelihood of a good outcome.
I often hear especially amongst men, that when they get the news about a high cholesterol and or high blood pressure result they are told to change their lifestyle. This can be such a struggle so this is where seeing a naturopath for a period of time is really helpful.
An individualised diet plan can be set as not everyone likes the same food or has the same budget. The plan can be detailed to the point where it will guide what you can have for breakfast etc.
Regular weigh ins and body scans increase the chances of success. When someone is being monitored and has to be accountable it is easier to stay on track. Seeing good results on the body scans also makes it a positive experience as you are seeing the benefits. It can also highlight the reality where you might be off track. Clients are often staggered how much certain foods and beverages impact body composition. It’s a terrific learning tool.
As believed in the case of Kimberley Kitching, stress has an enormous impact on health.
Chronic stress is like a poison to the body. Naturopaths always take stress levels into consideration and will assess this during the consultation by asking lots of questions which can reveal symptoms caused by high levels of stress and may use a questionnaire and possibly suggest a testing method that assess cortisol and neurotransmitter levels.
A wide variety of herbs and other remedies are available that may calm the nervous system, improve sleep, elevate mood etc. Naturopaths also have the time to listen which is beneficial and healing.
There is a great deal of research into the role of various nutrients such as Vitamin D, selenium, essential fatty acids and herbs which provide evidence of their ability to support the cardiovascular system and immune system. Naturopaths keep up to date with the latest studies so that appropriate remedies can be safely prescribed when required.
the loss to two great Australian's in 2022 has most definitely emphasised the need for those of us in our mid 40’s and onwards to enjoy life but also be mindful of our health by keeping on track and regular check ups.
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