4 Fab Tips to Manage Hemochromatosis

hemochromatosis Sep 09, 2020

What is hemochromatosis?

Hemochromatosis describes a condition where iron and ferritin levels are too high in the body. With hemochromatosis, too much iron gets absorbed from the food we eat, which elevates iron to dangerously high levels. Chronic elevation of iron can have severe consequences, which include:

  1. Diabetes.
    • When your iron stores are too high, your body becomes inflamed and stops responding to insulin as effectively.  
  2. Heart problems.
    • Excessive amounts of iron can affect the hearts' ability to circulate blood around the body.
  3. Liver disease
    • Elevated iron stores increase the risk of liver cirrhosis (scarring) and cancer.


What causes hemochromatosis?

Hemochromatosis is a hereditary condition associated with an HFE gene mutation. Put simply, the mutation causes excessive amounts of iron absorption. If you inherit two abnormal genes, you may develop hemochromatosis. However, if you only inherit one abnormal gene, you are unlikely to develop...

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

pcos Sep 08, 2020

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition, affecting around 20% of pre-menopausal women.

PCOS describes an imbalance of sex hormones, particularly of male sex hormones like testosterone. It leads to many cysts forming on the ovaries, that rarely produce fertilisable eggs. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown; however, family history, genetics, hormones, and lifestyle are thought to play a part.  

Although not curable, PCOS can be managed effectively. However, it does require support from a range of health professionals, including dietitians.


Common side effects

There are five significant impacts PCOS can have on your health. These include:

  1. Being at an increased risk of diabetes.
  2. Being infertile or struggling to fall pregnant.
  3. Weight gain.
  4. Having irregular menstrual cycles or having no period.
  5. Having excessive facial hair, body hair or acne.


Diabetes risk

PCOS is regarded as an insulin-resistant condition, affecting 80% of women. Insulin...

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Are you at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency?

vitaminb12 Sep 08, 2020

Do you:

  1. Avoid animal products?
  2. Follow a vegan/strict vegetarian diet?
  3. Have an iron deficiency?
  4. Have an inflammatory bowel condition (like coeliac disease or Crohn’s disease)?
  5. Have a gastric sleeve or bypass?
  6. Have another absorption issue?


If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you might be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Today we will explore the role of vitamin B12, as well as therapeutic pathways to correct an existing deficiency.


What is vitamin B12? And what does it do?

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin found in animal products, like eggs, milk and meat. It is involved in red blood cell production, energy production, the development of memory and nerve insulation.

Our vitamin B12 stores can last for three-six years, meaning they do not run out quickly. Although, following a period of five-ten years adverse symptoms may begin to show. Even though this is a slow process, we still need to be mindful about our...

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The Truth about Artificial Sweeteners

artificialsweeteners Sep 08, 2020

There’s a lot of mixed messaging out there regarding artificial sweeteners, which makes it difficult to sort fact from fiction. Today, we will discuss the evidence behind artificial sweeteners and how they can be used safely. We will also look at more natural alternatives to sweetening food. 

The purpose of artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are generally used as a sugar alternative. Sugar is a significant component of many of the foods we eat and acts as a sweetener, preservative and bulking agent. Generally, it is found in highly processed foods like biscuits, cakes, muesli bars, yoghurts, soft drinks, and juices.

When eaten in excess, these foods can contribute to weight gain and elevated blood glucose levels. Replacing sugar with an artificial sweetener can help to reduce kilojoule intake and support better blood glucose control. This is important to note because sugar-free alternatives are a great tool for weight loss and better management of chronic...

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The Pros and Cons of Alcohol

alcohol Sep 03, 2020

Alcohol is a big part of our culture and is a centrepiece of many social events. Whether it be at a Sunday BBQ, at a wedding or at a bachie sesh with the girls.

More often than not, alcohol is involved. But what impact is this having on our health? Is it major, or are we free to keep on sippin’? Today we’ll go through how alcohol is absorbed, the pros and cons and general recommendations.


Alcohol absorption

Alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and has a high kilojoule content per gram (27kJ/g). Drinking alcohol, including straight spirits, will contribute to your overall energy intake. To absorb alcohol, our bodies need a lot of the essential B vitamin, thiamine. Without enough thiamine, we can have unpleasant complications which are outlined below.

Once absorbed, alcohol is broken down into a product known as acetaldehyde. If alcohol is consumed in excess, acetaldehyde can inflame and scar the liver.


Cons of alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can...

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The Beginner's Guide to Intermittent Fasting

intermittentfasting Sep 03, 2020

Intermittent fasting. The latest buzzword on the health scene. 

Many people are aware that intermittent fasting is a popular diet to lose weight. But, is it all that it’s cracked up to be? Today, we’ll decipher the science to help YOU better understand the mechanisms behind intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting was first established to better manage breast cancer and dementia. Results highlighted favourable outcomes, one of those being weight loss. From here, the intermittent fasting diet was picked up by health gurus and commercialised for all.  

Simply put, intermittent fasting generally leads to a kilojoule restriction. A kilojoule deficit is created, by limiting the period of time you can eat and drink across the day. Inevitably, this results in weight loss. Other benefits to intermittent fasting include:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Lower blood glucose and insulin levels.
  • An improved lipid profile.
  • Less inflammation in the body.
  • ...
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Life without a gallbladder and what this means.

gallbladder gallstones Sep 02, 2020


We don't often think about our gallbladder. But this useful organ has a critical part to play in our body. A healthy gallbladder has three primary responsibilities. Aiding digestion, storing bile and breaking down fat. When we eat a fatty meal, bile squirts into our small intestine. The bile then acts as a detergent, to breakdown the fat and help with nutrient absorption.


When we have too much cholesterol in the gallbladder, issues can arise. Cholesterol stones begin to form, leading to the development of gallstones. Gallstones are painful and generally require surgical intervention, either the removal of the gallstones or the entire gallbladder.



Hold up. I'm confused. Why would losing weight contribute to a rise in cholesterol levels?

When people lose weight, fat stores break down. This leads to an increase in triglycerides and cholesterol and can result in an increased risk of gallstone formation. 

After having weight loss surgery, it's not...

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Constipation Queries

constipation Sep 01, 2020


What can often be an uncomfortable topic is affecting many of us on the daily. In fact, one in seven people report symptoms of constipation.   

Constipation describes an inability to completely empty one’s bowels on a regular basis. It’s important to note that what’s ‘regular’ differs depending on the person. Some people can go three times a day, whereas others can go three times a week. Signs of constipation may include stools that are hard, dry, and smell pellet-shaped, as well as stomach discomfort, fatigue, and nausea. 

What causes constipation?

Soluble fibre acts like a sponge. It will help form the stool by pulling water into the bowel. Insoluble fibre is like a big broom. It helps to push the stool through the bowel and out of the body. Both fibres (particularly soluble fibre) need a lot of water to prevent the stool from drying and getting stuck in the bowel.

Factors mentioned above are not the sole causes of...

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GORD lord, what is reflux?

gerd gord reflux Aug 31, 2020

What is Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease? 

Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) describes a condition involving the burning of the oesophagus. The condition is commonly referred to as ‘heartburn’ or ‘reflux.’ The stomach contains acid, like battery acid, which helps to breakdown food. It is the only part of the body that can tolerate this level of acidity. Pain arises when the stomach acids leak into the oesophagus, which can be quite uncomfortable, even painful! 

What are the common dietary causes of reflux?

  • Spicy meals.
  • High-fat foods or meals e.g. chocolate. Fat requires more acid to break it down. When acid content increases, it can seep into the oesophagus and cause pain.
  • Particular fluids, like tea, coffee, and alcohol.
  • Large meal portions.

What else can cause reflux?

  • The weakening of the oesophageal muscles, caused by ageing.
  • Smoking.
  • A hiatus hernia, whereby the stomach is pushed into the oesophagus.

4 tips for managing reflux.

  1. ...
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Nuts. A Nut-rient Powerhouse.

nuts Aug 21, 2020

Nuts are a nutritious source of fuel for our bodies and can reduce the risk of chronic disease! Each day we generally want to aim for a small handful of nuts.  There are a variety of nuts, which can include:

What makes nuts so healthy?

  • They contain fibre, which helps us feel full.
  • They contain polyphenols (antioxidants), which fight cancer and inflammation in the body.
  • They promote good gut health.
  • They are a reasonable source of protein.
  • They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

What do I need to consider?

  • How many nuts am I consuming?
    • ½ a cup of nuts equates to 2000kJs.
  • Are my nuts salted?
    • Salt can increase your blood pressure.
  • Are my nuts coated in chocolate or yoghurt?
    • Coated nuts increase your energy intake.
  • Are my nuts old?
    • Old nuts can trigger an inflammatory response.

How can I use nuts in cooking?

  • Sprinkle nuts through a salad.
  • Throw nuts through a stir fry.
  • Snack on a small handful of nuts.
  • Mix nuts through porridge.


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