Practice “Safe Stress!”

DCIM100GOPROLet’s face it, life is becoming increasingly busy with work, family, social media, and things that go beep all around us. All this stimulation sets off our internal alarm buttons, and gives our physical bodies unnecessary alerts. The messages we receive tell us that it’s hard to stay afloat of all the events and time commitments around us.   It can make you  feel like you are drowning in paper work, or going under with financial burdens. Many feel overwhelmed with commitments or unfinished projects.

STRESS!  Stress!  Stress!

It’s a killer. It’s the NUMBER ONE cause of all illnesses!  I must admit that I didn’t believe it until I felt the effects. Its A sneaky– under the radar– black cloud that just niggles at your adrenal glands until you have nothing more to put out, and find yourself struggling to get out of bed in the morning, or tossing and turning unable to fall asleep at night —Stress_2without popping a pill.  Curiously most of us just don’t recognise that we have this monkey on our back, until we actually do fall apart with some physical signs, such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, allergic skin disorders, back aches, disc diseases, Digestive problems,  Cancer (through lowering your immune vigilance) heart palpitations and fibrillation or Thyroid conditions.

Image by Gdudycha :  The effects of stress on the body.

Stress from too much emotional, physical, or mental stimulation needs to be calmed. Stress causes your adrenals to push out the hormones of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. This can lead to inflammation and wear and tear on your body, it also pushes up your blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to that middle belly fat store and liver diseases.

Some stress is ok, but when we continually burn our adrenals and force them to pump out stress hormones, our bodies go to ground. PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder is a longer term effect.

Nurture and nourish your body and soul. You are here for the long haul, not just for a couple of exams or a University course, a stressful job, parenting a child with autism, or a difficult marriage, or a speeding ticket.  There options and ways to handle your stress levels, even if you cannot completely control your environment/relationship/job.

Here are  top 7 stress busters:

  1. Organize- Clutter control is the key to staying organized. Keep a wastebasket close by and throw away things that you no longer need. Dedicate at least 15 minutes of your time to organizing your study area so you do not have to waste time sorting through rubbles of books and papers when looking for something. Remove and give away excess clothing, pottery, kitchen ware, magazines, newspapers.
  2. Learn how to say “No”- Don’t get over-involved. You don’t have to join every activity, every club, and every community project. You do not have to accept all invitations to socialize with friends. Evaluate your schedule and check your to-do list to see what tasks are important and accomplish them first.
  3. Exercise- Regular exercise releases muscle tension and will rev up your energy. Join a yoga class, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Swim, go for a walk with a friend, or get up and dance in your living room. You don’t need fancy exercise machines to get regular exercise. Any type of exercise is good for your body and mind. Take a break daily to smell the grass, roses and exercise at the same time. DSC_0720
  4. Eat nutritiously- Students, nurses, doctors and busy housewives, executives and police officers are notorious for not eating right. A healthy diet can enhance your body and mental functions. A poor diet can zap you of brainpower. So grab a fruit, a veggie plate, or nutrition bar when you are hungry or have no time to prepare a healthy meal.
  5. Get enough sleep- Students, shift workers, and Medical professionals  are among the most sleep-deprived group of people due to over-commitment. Getting enough sleep will rebuild your energy and will make you feel better.
  6. Herbal Helpers- The gardening principle comes into play when nourishing your body- to last a lifetime, you will need to spend a lifetime looking after your adrenals, “weed out” the stress by removing yourself from stressful situations, and feed them well replenish them with some of the following herbs at periods of stress with these adaptogens: Withania somnifera= Ashwaganda, Rehmannia glutinosa, Rhodiola, American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), Astragalus membranaceus, Bacopa monnieri, Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng).  See a Naturopath for a consultation to tweak your own personal herbal formula.
  7. Essential oils- Good quality oils and aromatherapy massages can help your brain and adrenals recover. The oils must be of a therapeutic non contaminated blend and individualised for the person’s requirements, preferably by seeing a qualified aromatherapist. Some useful blends might include some of the following: Bergamot, Patchouli, Blood Orange, Ylang Ylang, Chamomile, Jasmine, Lavender, Rose, Sandlewood, and Grapefruit essential oils.

And lastly, remember to SMILE!    Life is a present. Open yourself to receiving JOY.

Hug your dog, neighbour’s dog, friends dog…..or get a nice well behaved and friendly dog- they make you smile!

DSC_0561smile pup



That Trying Testing Technical Trap for Thyroid disease!

Hello folks,

There seems to be an epidemic of Hypothyroidism caused by the autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

This is basically where the body turns on itself and starts “eating” its own thyroid.

Very often people have not had adequate testing to diagnose this, as thyroid autoantibodies need to be identified.

Here is a list for you to print off and take to your doctor if you are having any of the following signs:

Unexplained weight gain, lethargy, itchy dry skin, tiredness, puffiness, constipation and other GI signs, cold hands and feet, sluggish in the morning, slow heart rate, faint, feeling weak.


Thyroid Testing

Full Thyroid Testing of:
TSH, FT4 & FT3, TPOAb & TgAb (antibodies)**
RT3 (Reverse T3) This is NOT covered by Medicare. It will be a private cost to yourself. Costs range from $50 – $80 upwards dependant on the lab you use.

Recommended labs for RT3 testing in:
WA = Clinipath
ACT= Capitol

**Please see page 3, it has important Medicare advice for you AND your doctor to enable Medicare to cover the costs of some or all of these tests (excluding RT3)

Blood Testing

FBC (Full blood count)
U & E (Urea & Electrolytes – includes Potassium & Sodium)
Full Fasting Cholesterol
Fasting Glucose
Full Iron Panel (includes: Iron, Transferrin, Saturations & Ferritin)
Full Liver Panel
Full Kidney Panel
AM & PM Cortisol (Saliva testing is more accurate but is NOT covered by Medicare, check for costs involved))
Urinary Iodine testing (NOT covered by Medicare, around $50+, check for costs)
H. Pylori (if required)

Folate/Folic Acid

Vitamin Testing

Vitamin D
Vitamin B1, B6 & B12
Vitamin A, C** & E (not as important but “may” be worthwhile)

**Vitamin C – check with your own state’s lab of preference. In WA through St John’s Pathology, you are required to attend their Head Lab in Subiaco due to the extra requirements of the testing procedure.

Hormonal Testing

E1, E2, E3 & Progesterone (Saliva testing is more accurate, but is NOT covered by Medicare, please check for costs involved)

Autoimmune/Inflammatory Markers Testing (if required due to family history)

Complements C3 & C4

Allergy/Coeliac Testing

IgE (Rast) – includes Animal, Food, House Dust/Mite, Grass & Mould panels (if required)
IgA & IgG Coeliac screen (Negative result “may” not mean you are not Gluten Intolerant/Sensitive)
DQ2/DQ8 Gene Test for Coeliac (if required)

A good website for a “symptom checker” of gluten intolerance can be found at

Additional Information

If you are on any antidepressants, please check with your doctor if you should be monitored with any extra blood testings involving that. Some meds have leaflets which state requirements of monitoring via blood tests but it’s not always the case your doctor does any monitoring.


ALWAYS ask for copies of all your blood tests. Ask your doctor to specifically write “copy to patient” on any and all lab requests. Your doctor’s “normal” result for yourself “may” not always the case. If you need copies of prior tests and your doctor is reluctant to provide them, please contact your lab for instructions on how to obtain your copies. It may mean signing an authority and once ID is provided you can get your copies sent to your home address.

*** Important Medicare Advice

The item number for thyroid function test, comprising of TSH, free T4 and free T3 is 66719.
The TSH test is covered by Medicare, but the free T4 and the free T3 will only be paid by
Medicare if at least one of the following conditions is satisfied (see MBS schedule below).

However if one of the following conditions is NOT satisfied, you can request for private billing.
The laboratory should test the free T4 and/or the free T3 if the tests have been requested on
the referral form by the doctor and it is clear you will be paying for the tests.

If the doctor writes down TFT then the laboratory may only test the TSH and the free T4.

If the doctor writes down TSH, free T4 and free T3 separately on the form then there will be
no confusion and the proper tests will be done.

For more information on item numbers you can check online at under
“Thyroid function tests (comprising the service described in item 66716 and 1 or more
of the following tests – free thyroxine, free T3, for a patient, if at least 1 of the following
conditions is satisfied:
(a) The patient has an abnormal level of TSH;
(b)The tests are performed:
(i) for the purpose of monitoring thyroid disease in the patient; or
(ii) to investigate the sick euthyroid syndrome if the patients is an admitted patient; or
(iii) to investigate dementia or psychiatric illness of the patient; or
(iv) to investigate amenorrhoea or infertility of the patient;
(c) the medical practitioner who requested the tests suspects the patient has pituitary
(d) the patient is on drugs that interfere with thyroid hormone metabolism or function
(item is subject to rule 9)”

This schedule from the MBS was up to date in January 2012

Medicare information provided by