FIVE I, MINUTES WITH …
Victoria O’Sullivan, naturopath, talks about improving our health.
What are some of the less obvious signs of poor health?
There are several less obvious signs of poor health, and a lot of us deal with these signs in our everyday lives, thinking that they are nothing, such as persistent niggling symptoms that don’t seem to go away, including ongoing bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain, sinusitis or hay fever. A low immune system that seems to have you catching one thing after another, recurring headaches, and insomnia are also all signs of poor health.
Constant exhaustion is usually another symptom that your body is not running at optimum levels. What’s one simple thing everyone can do to improve their health? Minimise the amount of sugar you consume. When we eat sugar, the body releases insulin into the bloodstream, and insulin is a fat-storing hormone, which contributes to weight gain (particularly around the middle) if your body doesn’t use the energy.
Weight gain around the middle increases the fat around our vital organs, placing us in a higher risk category for metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and heart disease. Over consuming sugar can also create a yeast overgrowth in our digestive systems, causing symptoms such as thrush, bloating, headaches, and constipation.
Why do you think food intolerances are becoming so prevalent?
Our digestive system can be the root cause of many food allergies and sensitivities. The problem is undigested food particles passing through the intestinal wall, which is known as “leakygut syndrome.” If our immune system doesn’t recognise the foreign substances or antigens, it will treat them as a threat, and the next time we eat the same food, it will cause an allergic reaction.
By eating healthily and chewing our food properly, we can have a healthy digestive system. When we are too stressed or our body’s reaction to stress goes on for too long, our immune system can lose track of what’s good and what’s bad. Such things as pollens, animals, foods, and medications start to become foreign, which can trigger an allergic response.