How I kicked bladder infections and UTIs naturally!

Since I was a teen up until quite recently, I suffered with constant bladder infections and UTIs.  To the point that I had to have investigative surgery (a cystoscopy under general anesthesia) to shed light on why they were so frequent.  They found I had interstitial cystitis where the inside walls of my bladder had become so red and inflamed from constant infections that I was suffering stabbing pain, serious discomfort while urinating, and sexual intercourse ignited pain that lasted for several days.

I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant called nortriptyline to treat the interstitial cystitis, but the bladder infections and UTIs still continued.  I also suffered some serious health complications from the medication, like black outs.  I finally came off the tablets in preference of some marked changes in my diet and life and natural tools to rebalance the bacteria in my gut and bladder.

How did I get to that point?

I learnt through my experience with Eden that we live in symbiosis with the bacteria that inhabit the Gastro-Intestinal tracts in our bodies.  There are more of these bacteria than cells in our body.  It is an extremely fine balance of friendly bacteria and unfriendly bacteria/fungi/yeast/parasites. If we allow the latter to overgrow we activate the immune system and impair barrier function, which can lead to chronic diseases.

The problems we suffered with Eden and moreover, how nobody seemed to know how to help us or what was wrong for a good while, made me go away do significant research and learned a lot.  For Eden her intestinal permeability led to many symptoms outside of her GI tract, like thrush and other skin rashes, headaches, congestion, abdominal pain, extreme bloating, constipation and diarrhea, that all led to disruption of her sleep and restlessness,  and ultimately…. a bladder infection.  This got me thinking!  I was already suspicious that my gut was out of balance, based on other problems I had suffered in the past. I had many predisposing factors that would prevent my body from working optimally and create an imbalance – early and frequent exposure to antibiotics as a child and teen, chronic use of chemical birth control, which dries out mucosal tissue from tip to tail, creating a breeding ground for bad bacteria; A LOT of stress, disordered eating (a diagnosed eating disorder as a teen). Then, because of how Eden was born with such an imbalance of her own I considered, if I recreated my own gut bacteria balance by removing the undesirable organisms and restoring the desirable bacteria, while I worked through this process with Eden would my bladder problems reduce?

The result was YES!

The first thing I did was identify all the things in our lives that were increasing our toxic load, (heavy metals such as chemicals, mercury, pesticides, and herbicides) and attempt to reduce them, in order to restore immune function (our bacteria are an integral part of our immune system, helping it to distinguish between ‘friend and foe’).

I hadn’t realised until I started reading labels how many toxic ingredients there are in the things that we use every day – soap, toothpaste, creams, lotions, washing detergents, air fresheners, candles.  Not to mention in the food we eat!  I began to opt for organic food and began to cut chemical products out one by one and replace them with things I made myself, using essential oils.

Then I attacked the food intolerances I suspected Eden had head on!  Eden and I did a full elimination diet to identify problem foods and then we removed them.

I also made other dietary changes.  I began eating some fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut to help re-colonize my bodywith helpful bacteria. We cut out refined sugar completely because it feeds the bad bacteria and we cut down on grains that are high in carbohydrates, so break down into sugar and also feed yeast and bad bacteria growth.

As I realised the bacterial imbalance was not only in my gut, but in my bladder, I started taking D-mannose (500mg 4x daily) to prevent bacterial buildup in my bladder directly.

I used a course of Oregano Essential Oil (5 drops 3x daily in 250ml water for 3 days) because it is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

I then started on quality Probiotics.  I visited Nicola John’s Pharmacy in Glen Innes, Auckland, upon the advice of my awesome midwife with Jade and talked to her about how I could increase the good bacteria in my bladder and gut and reduce the growth of the infection-causing bacteria.

And I took Cranberry tablets (400-500mg 2x daily) to prevent bacteria from sticking to my bladder walls.

Vitamin C (1,000mg 3x daily) was also introduced to make my wee more acidic, so that the growth of E.coli was inhibited, my immune function enhanced.  Eden’s bladder infection was identified as caused by E.coli, so this was important for both of us.

In making these changes I have changed my life.  And I thank Eden for that, for leading me to a better way.  Although what we went through with her was awful and horrific for everyone it has opened my eyes to so many different things that were impacting my own health and as a family we are now so much healthier!

If you are suffering with frequent bladder infections and UTIs I obviously advise seeing a doctor as I am not one of those!  However, investigate some of the things that helped me and if you think they might be able to help you, give them a try because living with the pain and discomfort of frequent infections is awful and as I found can be seriously damaging to your bladder.

To get hold of quality Oregano Essential Oil that you can take internally, visit my doTERRA retail store and feel free to contact me with any questions!

Much Love x x

 

How Essential Oils Can Boost Your Weight Loss

Today I am chugging away on my Slim & Sassy essential oil blend after food cravings got the better of me yesterday!  It made me wonder if people actually know how helpful essential oils are when it comes to a weight loss/fitness journey, so I thought I’d share some facts!

As you may or may not know, I coach TERRAfit challenges.  I also take part in them when I have my own personal goals to meet.  At the moment I am training towards my next muay thai fight.  My essential oils and doTERRA products are a big part of why/how I succeed. Now I am back into my muay thai training they are making a big difference there too.

Essential oils are a catalyst that can help you reach your goals faster and boost the effectiveness of your efforts.

A key reason for this is digestion.

Digestion is paramount to your health and maintaining a healthy weight. A healthy digestive system allows the proper nutrient absorption needed for overall health. The blend that I am drinking today, Slim & Sassy contains Grapefruit Peel, Lemon Peel, Peppermint Plant, Ginger Root, and Cinnamon Bark essential oils that help promote digestive health, but also healthy metabolism, help manage hunger cravings, calm your stomach and lift your mood!  Slim & Sassy is also a diuretic, stimulant, and is calorie free.

Maintaining healthy insulin and sugar levels is imperative to weight management. Eating healthy, nutritionally dense foods along with using essential oils like cinnamon and grapefruit will increase your chances of maintaining healthy weight loss.

Another thing that I know influences my eating and weight patterns are hormones!  I am in the process of writing a whole blog about essential oils and hormonal balance, but for now let it be said, essential oils can be amazing for healthy hormonal balance!

Hormones assist just about every function in the body. Hormonal imbalances dramatically affect weight management. Essential oils are uniquely intelligent and work with hormones for cellular communication.

Check out this video and blog from Dr Axe about his top 3 essential oils to balance hormones naturally.

The other essential oils that I generally use with my Slim & Sassy are Lemon, Wild Orange and Frankincense.  These detoxify and boost energy levels significantly and the citrus oils and frankincense in particular support healthy adrenal function as well, which is really important for me, as I am currently battling adrenal fatigue. Basil, coriander and geranium are also helpful for adrenal health.

It has been suggested that a major reason we hold onto weight is because of toxicity. Many of the doTERRA products I sell are aimed helping us reduce our “toxic load”.  We encounter toxins daily and the organs that help to filter toxins are overloaded. Toxins accumulate in our fat cells and until we can eliminate the toxins the fat cells are there to stay, so use your lemon oil every day for a period of time, along with clean eating and exercise to detoxify.  You will also get gloriously soft skin.

Next, circulation is important to increasing tone and shedding excess fat.   Essential oils that help with circulation are cypress, basil, rosemary, cinnamon, peppermint, lemongrass and frankincense. You can apply the oils before, during and after workouts.

The final two areas in which essential oils can be really helpful are respiratory function and endurance.  Your muscles need oxygen to repair themselves after exercise.  They will repair faster with essential oils.  Blends like Breathe improve your respiratory function and peppermint oil is being studied with athletes for its effectiveness at increasing endurance levels, with positive results. I have a fellow kickboxer trialing peppermint essential oil at the moment, so watch this space for her feedback!

If you want a one-to-one chat about how essential oils might be able to support your weight loss and/or fitness, drop me an email to nzessentialmum@gmail.com.  I can also share more info about the TERRAfit challenges!  You can buy essential oils and the Slim & Sassy Product Line at my retail shop.  Click here.

slim & sassy range

Much Love until next time x x

Essential Mum

 

Warming Winter Wellness Recipes!

My daughter has woken up with a hacking cough this morning and that coupled with the darker skies of today and yesterday is an urgent reminder that winter is on its way!

Did you know that you can use your essential oils for their health benefits in food?

doTERRA’s essential oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which means they have undergone rigorous in-house and third-party testing to ensure they are free of fillers, synthetic ingredients and harmful contaminants and can be therefore ingested, if stated on the product label. Examples are ginger, oregano and rosemary and coincidentally, these are great oils for body-strengthening as we come into Fall and then Winter and are also useful when it comes to healing from common winter illnesses.

Make sure that you print out these 3 warming, nourishing and health-boosting soups and add them to your winter recipe book!  You can stock up on the essential oils that you need here

Borsch picBorsch ingredients

Borsch instructions

Moroccan beef tagine

costa rican black bean soup

Enjoy!

Much Love x x

TERRAfit v Weight Watchers

So, I posted on my personal Facebook page today the hash tag ‪#‎dontgetthatwithweightwatchers about the TERRAfit programme I am following and about to start coaching on Monday.  I was referring to the amazing HIIT workouts that you can incorporate as part of your plan.  I was singing their praises because they are making such a big difference to me.  This was met with the hash tag response #onesnotbetterthananother by a friend who is having great success with weight watchers coupled with her pre-pregnancy exercise routine, so I began to question “is it” and here is what I found…

ww v Terrafit

Conclusion

TERRAfit is certainly cheaper than Weight Watchers and you get more bang for your buck I think.  The points system is also very motivating.  You are working every day to hit 100 points (for cash incentives as well as reaching your body transformation goals), rather than eat within a budget.  You are being rewarded for making good choices.  I also think having the healthy food list, which encourages you to eat clean, whole foods is much better for making long-term sustainable changes than the “no food is off limits” ethic, which ultimately means you don’t get into the habit of finding alternatives to the foods that are ultimately bad for you.  I am not saying you will never treat yourself again, but after 12 weeks of alternatives new habits are formed and you may not want these foods again, which is ultimately better for you and will mean you keep your weight off!  Finally the exercise in the TERRAfit programme is a major advantage over Weight Watchers.  The workouts are structured in a way that they will transform your body and your fitness.  Unless you are committed to a good Strength, Conditioning and Cardio programme already, in my opinion, general exercise isn’t going to make such a big difference.

The disadvantage is that there is no face to face, but the online communication adequately makes up for this in my opinion.  Communication is a huge part of the TERRAfit programme.  Your coach communicates with you every day online, not just as part of a group, but directly if you have concerns or they can see your points are down.  They motivate you to do well and help you when you are struggling.

My friend very rightly also said, each to their own!  So read the comparison and make your own mind up 🙂  I welcome your thoughts!  Or if you want to know more about TERRAfit click here

Much Love

Clare x x