How can I naturally clear up staphylococcal skin infections on my body?

Over the summer one of the best things you can do is to go swim in the ocean or sea and get some natural saltwater onto your skin. Iodine betadine creams from the chemist help clear up bacterial infections.

Tea tree oil diluted is also very good for clearing staph bacterial infections. Hot water to wash all your clothes, towels and bedclothes is best to kill the staph bacteria. Your GP can also prescribe staphylococcal treatments if not healing with the natural alone.

I've had the viral gastroenteritis that is going around.  What is the best thing to drink and take to help me recover?

You could try sipping simple filtered water or mineral water while very unwell and ideally add some electrolytes such as Elite electrolytes. Coconut water is great and Kefir coconut water really helps as do vegetable or chicken broths with sea salt and some sea vegetables. Miso is also good to sip on. Plain simple foods once better. Hope you get well soon!

Are there any natural ways to prevent asthma in young children?

Yes, there is some interesting work being done on the importance of healthy gut bacteria for a child or probiotics.

Too many antibiotics, too much paracetamol as a young child and too sterile an environment can all lead to more of a tendency to allergic asthma.

Funnily enough, a pet dog or playing outside in the dirt and getting grubby can all help a child so they have a strong immune system which doesn’t overreact to environmental allergens.

I have been diagnosed with a possible low thyroid or thyroid autoantibodies or Hashimotos autoimmune thyroid disease on blood tests what does this mean and what do you recommend as a holistic medical doctor?

The thyroid antibodies are a sign your immune system is attacking your own thyroid and causing it to be inflamed so it doesn't function as well. The antibody levels often seem to improve when people go on a gluten-free or low inflammation diet. I recommend you try a gluten-free diet, zinc & selenium mineral supplements & a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables to help calm any inflammation in the thyroid. Your doctor or the integrative medicine clinic can monitor thyroid function & antibodies to see if improving. We can go over nutritional options to improve your thyroid function overall.

What are some of the natural ways to help keep the bowel moving healthily so not so constipated?

Constipation can be helped by keeping plenty of water and healthy oils (olive, avocado, coconut) in the diet, or try adding more vegetables, natural fibre like beetroot, prunes, figs, kiwifruit, Chia seeds, or drinks like Alpine tea and see your doctor if the constipation persists.

What foods contain gluten?

Any foods that are made out of the grains wheat, barley, oats or rye will contain gluten. Gluten is a protein that irritates some gut linings.

Watch out for hidden gluten in places like soy sauce as this often has wheat in it. Sushi sometimes has gluten in it in the preparation. Sauces and gravy are often gluten or flour-based as are soups

My energy is down lately what would you do to help this at your holistic clinic?

I usually go over your history, diet, nutrients, any medications, hormonal changes, adrenals & examine the body for any problems. Some common things we find are low Vitamin D, low iron stores and low B vitamins We also review your diet for protein, and other essential macronutrients and micronutrients such as minerals and other vitamins. There are many nutritional medicine options for improving mood and energy.

I'm having a hard time with my menstrual hormones: headaches, hot flushes, broken sleep, some anxiety & mood changes. I've heard about natural or bio-identical hormones do you prescribe these?

These bio-identical hormones are on prescription through a compounding pharmacy. I do prescriptions for bio-identical hormones (progesterone etc) and offer nutritional medicine options such as specific minerals or nutrients to help women through the menopause and often use them to help in the time leading up to menopause or to help a woman with hormonal problems.

How can I prevent Alzheimers / Dementia?

The key to this is to have a diet rich in anti-oxidants like berries and colourful fruits along with healthy fats like olive oils, Omega 3 oils, butter, avocadoes that feed and repair the brain. Also eat and drink foods that are very rich in natural antioxidants such as fresh fruit and vegetables so your brain doesn’t get damaged from toxins like aluminium, mercury and other toxic substances over the years.

What do you do for a Well Woman or Well Man Check? I hardly go to the doctor and don't really have a GP.

I take a full history of your health so far and do an examination including blood pressure, heart check, skin check as well as any specific blood tests needed from that examination and nutritional review so we can optimize your health and help you improve your health, sleep quality, exercise, diet or continue to stay well. A copy of the notes and results can go to your GP if you want if you have one or otherwise we simply keep a record at the integrative medicine clinic so you can come for a good thorough nutritional & health check or warrant of fitness each year. You should get smears done via your local GP clinic usually.

I've put on weight and am having trouble with sleep & my blood sugar control can you help me?

Yes. It pays to come and do an integrative medicine review as there are often factors we can discover that help explain the changes in your weight & metabolism.  Magnesium is a common deficiency & often supplementation with good quality magnesium helps restore sleep quality or a boost of Vitamin D, chromium & key minerals & nutrients can make a world of difference to your wellbeing as well as a review of any hormonal or other changes in your metabolism.

I have had a loss with my relationship, stress at work, I'm not sleeping well and I am feeling down. Are there any natural options that you can help me with as I don't want to take any anti-depressant or sleeping prescription type medications?

There are many complementary medical options we can go over. At the Auckland Holistic Centre, we look at any underlying physical & nutritional or hormonal or environmental factors that might be contributing to your low mood or poor sleep & energy. Often there is something such as a hormone imbalance, low Vitamin D, or low B vitamin contributing to your low mood & there are nutrients such as calcium and magnesium that can help restore good sleep, energy & mood. We can work in with your GP or naturopath or counsellor to help you look at all the holistic natural options.

What can I do about fatigue from stress?

A good night’s sleep to recover your energy systems helps. There are also some very specific nutrients and herbs to help energy and sleep improve.

Sometimes we need to sleep in between 7 am to 9 am to restore energy or at least get to bed earlier and get regular, adequate rest.

Vitamin C, B, healthy fats and amino acids are all important. Adaptogenic herbs can help like ginseng, Rhodiola, Withania (ashwagandha) and liquorice.

I can help you with an integrated medicine review of lifestyle and nutrients to help with any fatigue aspects of your health.