MANAGING STRESS DURING CORONAVIRUS: TIPS FROM A NATUROPATH
Updated: May 16
Earlier this week we hosted a virtual coffee morning with Toni Baker, one of the practicing naturopaths at Balanced Living in Singapore to discuss strategies for maintaining our own wellbeing, as well as those we live with during these difficult times. Whilst we might not have access to our usual wellness practices, and there are a number of new and old stressors that need to be managed, there are still ways in which we can connect with our community and access wisdom, knowledge and enact change. Held as an interactive session, everyone got the chance to ask questions and raise specific topics they wanted covered, here are the key takeaways:
FOOD AS MEDICINE
Eat regular meals to establish a routine so that your digestion will recognize when it’s time to ‘kick in.’
Don’t intermittent fast if you have adrenal or blood sugar issues.
Snack smart: Eat plenty of bone broth, smoothies, soul bowls, homemade banana bread, bliss balls (cut down on the sweetener, most recipes call for too much!)
2 Holy Grail supplements to support stress, energy and sleep: B Complex – 1-2 capsules per day – not past midday as it can cause problems with sleep, Magnesium Glycinate – can be taken 2 x daily morning and night or just in the evening 1 hour before bed.
Quality counts: Cheap, junk supplements are crammed with unhealthy fillers like magnesium stearate and other nasties. Research the purest brands with the least amount of unnecessary additives.
Don't 'over supplement' and self-diagnose, it's best to start slow so you can see if whatever you are taking is actually making a difference. Ideally you'd be on a supplement routine devised by a doctor or naturopath, especially if you are taking medication.
Food Intolerances – since you are better able to manage what you’re eating, now is a good time to do a food elimination diet to see what your body might be sensitive to. Remember intolerance is different to food allergies, and you need to remove them entirely for 3 months then re-introduce – some will stick but others will be fine to slowly introduce back in. If leaky gut is present, many foods will be problematic, and this is best managed with a doctor or nutritionist.
Powder probiotics are good for baby’s gut, but If the baby is healthy and eating well there is no need for too many vitamins.
If the baby/child is picky, add a superfood powder for children and slso support with elderberry or echinacea if showing signs of sickness.
Vitamin C is always good – powder or liposomal is great for absorption.
A full blood test from the doctor to check vitamin and mineral levels like iron, B’s, zinc etc is a good starting point
If you suspect hormonal changes and adrenals are causing a problem, a dried urine Dutch Test is great to see what’s going on.
Any gut issues – look at a GI Map stool test.
Once you have all this, see a functional medicine practitioner to put a plan into place .
THYROID/HASHIMOTOS – QUICK & DIRTY GUIDE
We also had a good chat about thyroid and autoimmune issues which often manifest with a lot of similar symptoms to stress and anxiety like insomnia, weightloss/gain, fatigue, hairloss and more.
Always test full set of hormones and anti-bodies – TSH, T4, T3, Rt3 and Thyroid Antiboides TPO, Tg plus TRAb if Graves suspected.
Also check iron, folate/B12, Vitamin D plus full blood work up.
We need the T4 hormone to convert into T3 to be metabolically active – needs magnesium, selenium, zinc, iodine and Vit D for conversion.
Hashimotos is an auto-immune condition and the most impactful dietary support includes removing dairy, gluten and sugar.
Medicinal mushrooms are a good support as are herbs like Hemidesmus, Rhemannia, Echinacea.
Adrenal hormones also need to be supported – add Withania, Rhodiola, Liquorice and Turmeric.