Naveed

About Naveed

Naveed is a qualified Advanced Herbalist and Nutritionist and he has written several articles about herbal remedies and cures. He has an extensive knowledge of creating herbal combinations based on holistic approach using Western, Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese herbs. Naveed Aslam…. and Google+

Miscarriage and hormone deficiency

Miscarriage can be caused by a number of factors including chromosome abnormalities, infections, immune disorder, anatomical abnormalities of the uterus, systemic illnesses, hormonal imbalance and substance abuse.

 

Effects of hormones on Miscarriage

 

Oestrogen and progesterone are two of the primary female sex hormones. During a normal menstrual cycle, they take turns driving the process of maturing and releasing an egg and preparing the uterus for possible pregnancy. Oestrogen rises in the first half of the cycle, peaks at ovulation and then falls in the second half as progesterone rises. Progesterone is released by the rupturing of the egg follicle during ovulation. Testosterone too is secreted in surges around the time of ovulation.

 

When oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are doing their jobs, they work well together. How much or how little of each hormone is made at any one time relies on a complicated feedback system between the brain specifically the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland which releases LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Stress and diet affect these feedback mechanisms and so directly impact the hormonal balance.

 

At the time of ovulation, progesterone is responsible for an increase in body temperature, which lasts during most of the luteal phase. Low progesterone is a common cause of infertility in women. Progesterone is responsible for creating a proper environment for a fetus and its levels are supposed to increase upon fertilization of the egg. The hormone then supports the pregnancy by increasing tissue development in the uterus where the embryo will attach. If progesterone levels are low in the first several weeks of pregnancy, a miscarriage is likely to occur.

 

By about 8-9 weeks of pregnancy, the placenta usually takes over the production of progesterone.

 

 

Brain-Gut Axis Connection – by Naveed

Brain-gut axis signifies the relationship between events that affect the function of the central nervous system (brain) and the influence these factors ultimately have on the function of the intestines via the specialised enteric nervous system of the intestine.

 

The three key players in the brain-gut axis include gastrointestinal tract (GIT), the central nervous system (CNS) and the enteric nervous system (ENS)

 

During early fetal development both the gut (esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon) and the primary brain start to develop from the same clump of embryonic tissue. When this piece of tissue is divided, one piece grows into the brain or the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the other section becomes the gut or the Enteric Nervous System (ENS).

 

During later stages of fetal development, these two brains then become connected via a massive nerve called the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest of all our cranial nerves and creates a direct connection between the brain and the gut. Because of this direct brain-gut connection, the state of the gut has a profound influence on our psychological well being.

 

In recent years, the link between the nervous system and the digestive system has been recognized. It has been shown that is a constant exchange of chemicals and electrical messages between the two systems and many scientists now often refer to them as one entity ‘the brain-gut axis’. Therefore, what affects the bowel will directly affect the brain and vice versa.

 

The gut’s brain, known as the enteric nervous system (ENS) is located in sheaths of tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. Considered as a single entity, it is packed with neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that zap messages between neurons or support cells like those found in the brain.

 

The means by which one nerve cell communicates with the next is through chemicals called neurotransmitters. An extremely important neurotransmitter for digestive functioning is serotonin (5-HT). It is estimated that up to 95% of the serotonin in the human body is found in the digestive tract. Serotonin is considered to be a vital part of the communication system between the brain and the gut. Serotonin seems to play a part in motility, sensitivity and secretion of fluids. Movement, pain sensitivity and the amount of fluid in the stool are all affected by it.

 

 

Role of Liver in (TCM) Traditional Chinese Medicine – by Naveed

The liver plays an important role in traditional Chinese physiology. Since it is in charge of the smooth flow of ‘qi’ throughout the body, any disruption in its functions usually affects another organ. Stagnation of the flow of liver ‘qi’ frequently disrupts emotional flow producing feelings of frustration or anger. Conversely, these same emotions can lead to a dysfunction in the liver, resulting in an endless loop of cause and effect.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine, liver plays the following important roles:

 

1. The liver stores the blood.

The liver is considered as a storage area for blood when blood is not being used for physical activity. These periods of rest contribute to the body’s restorative processes. During exercise, the blood is released to nourish the tendons and muscles.

This function is also intimately associated with the menstrual cycle; the liver maintains an adequate blood supply and regulates the timing and comfort of menstruation. Any dysfunctions in the menstrual cycle are almost always treated through the regulation of liver blood, qi, or yin.

When liver qi is stagnant (a very common condition), a person experiences irritability, tightness in the chest and in a woman symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. When liver blood is deficient, symptoms such as dry eyes and skin, pallor and lack of menstruation can occur.

 

2. The liver ensures the smooth flow of qi.

The Nei Jing refers to the liver as a general in the army coordinating the movement of the troops. When the liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly.

When the liver’s ability to spread qi smoothly throughout the body is disrupted due to stress or lifestyle choices, the liver qi can becomes either stagnant or hyperactive causing havoc in other organs such as the lungs, stomach, and spleen. Often, stress-related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or indigestion can be successfully treated by working through the ‘smoothing of liver qi’.

 

3. The liver controls the tendons.

As mentioned above, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the muscles and tendons in times of activity. When liver blood is deficient, tightness and inflexibility in the muscles and tendons can occur. If liver qi is stagnant, muscles can go into spasm. Such muscle spasms often occur when a person drinks strong coffee. Coffee, even the decaffeinated variety is regarded as one of the most disruptive substances in relation to the smooth flow of liver qi.

 

4. The liver opens into the eyes.

Although all the organs have some connection to the health of the eyes, the liver is connected to proper eye function. Chronic eye problems can usually be traced to a deficiency of liver yin or blood. It is therefore quite common to resolve eye disorders successfully by treating the liver.

 

5. The liver shows on the nails.

When liver blood is plentiful, it spreads to the farthest areas of the body including the fingernails and toenails. On the other hand, when liver blood is deficient, the nails can appear pale, weak and brittle.

 

 

Liver Function – by Naveed

The liver is the hardest working organ in the human body and performs many functions that are vital to life. It plays an important role in digestion (breaking down of nutrients) and assimilation (building up body tissues). It is the storage site for many essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, copper, B12, vitamins A, D, E and K. Red blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen around the body are also produced in the liver as well as Kupffer cells which help to devour harmful micro-organisms in the blood thus helping fight infection.

 

The liver is also one of the most important organs in the body when it comes to detoxifying or getting rid of foreign substances or toxins especially from the gut. The liver detoxifies harmful substances by a complex series of chemical reactions. The role of these various enzymatic activities in the liver is to convert fat soluble toxins into water soluble substances that can be excreted in the urine or the bile depending on the particular characteristics of the end product. This enzymatic process usually occurs in two steps referred to as phase I and phase II.

 

Phase I Detoxification either directly neutralises a toxin or modifies the toxic chemical to form activated intermediates which are then neutralised by one or more of the several phase II enzyme systems.

 

Phase II Detoxification is also called the conjugation pathway whereby the liver cells add another substance (e.g. cysteine, glycine or a sulphur molecule) to a toxic chemical or drug in order to render it less harmful. This makes the toxin or drug water-soluble so that it can then be excreted from the body via watery fluids such as bile or urine.

 

Disordered Eating and Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are complex, chronic illnesses largely misunderstood and misdiagnosed. The most common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. No one knows exactly what causes an eating disorder, however it can be found among all socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural groups. Eating disorders have numerous physical, psychological and social ramifications from significant weight preoccupation, inappropriate eating behaviour and body image distortion. Many people with eating disorders experience depression, anxiety, substance abuse, childhood abuse and may be at risk of osteoporosis and heart problems.

 

Disordered Eating

Disordered eating is a term used to describe eating habits or patterns that are irregular. Many different types of disordered eating habits exist but for the most part these habits do not add up to a diagnosis of an eating disorder. Excluding whole food groups (for example, all fats or all carbohydrates), eating only specific foods, eating only foods of a specific colour, eating only foods of a specific texture, not eating certain foods together in a sitting and not eating specific foods from the same plate can all be types of disordered eating.

Disordered eating can also be described as changes in eating patterns that occur in relation to a stressful event, an illness, personal appearance or in preparation for athletic competition. Disordered eating also involves people who have no time to eat or plan their meals properly, who often eat fast food or miss meals especially breakfast and who are not aware of their body signals of hunger or fullness.

 

Differences between Eating Disorder and Disordered Eating

  • Eating disorders are chronic and most often even complex illnesses which need concrete treatment and therapies for effective control. Disordered eating on the other hand is not complex enough to be categorised as an illness.
  • Some of the prominent forms of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder and bulimia. All of them are known to have damaging repercussions on health. Disordered eating might not have specific names as such. Some forms of dieting or resorting to diet pills and weight loss supplements can also be considered as forms of disordered eating.
  • Whereas eating disorders are most often persistent conditions which might last through the years if left untreated, disordered eating sprees are considered to be rare phenomenon. They might occur as isolated spells and no prevalent trends can be established for the same.
  • Eating disorder can often be considered responsible for serious repercussions. Alternatively, disordered eating is considerably less harmful leading to some nutritional insufficiencies alone.
  • Disordered eating is mostly atypical while the same cannot be said about eating disorders.
  • Disordered eating can often develop into an eating disorder. The reverse however, is not possible.

 

Several studies in the last decade show that eating disorders and disordered eating behaviours are related to other health risk behaviours including tobacco use, alcohol and drug abuse, delinquency, unprotected sexual activity and suicide attempts.

While disordered eating can lead to weight loss or weight gain and to certain nutritional problems, it rarely requires in depth professional attention. However, it may develop into an eating disorder. If disordered eating becomes sustained, distressing or begins to interfere with everyday activities, then it may require professional evaluation.