Integrative Approaches for Dealing with Chemo Brain

The frustration that stems from the mental cloudiness experienced by many cancer patients going through chemotherapy is no laughing matter.  And although many may try to make light of it, chemo brain, as it is commonly known, can be a cause of great concern when a decrease in mental sharpness leads to the inability to remember important things, learn new skills or finish tasks.  This negative impact on everyday life can also impart a great emotional hit alongside the practical issues.

It’s Not Just Chemo

Chemo brain to some extent is a misnomer.  In reality mental fog can be experienced by patients who are not going through chemotherapy treatments.  Other noted causes include:

  • The actual diagnosis of cancer can contribute to mental unclarity
  • Medications such as pain killers
  • Radiation treatments
  • Lack of Sleep/Fatigue

  • Poor nutrition
  • Low blood counts
  • The cancer itself
  • Age

Integrative Approaches to Dealing with Chemo Brain

The one positive of this condition is that in most cases it is temporary and can be managed with a few helpful tips.

Get Good Quality Sleep and Enough of It

Lack of enough good quality sleep can be a contributing factor for brain fog.

Here are some tips to encourage a good night sleep:

  1. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine
  2. Turn all electronics off 1 hour before bedtime
  3. Sleep in cool room
  4. Sleep in darkness
  5. If you must have electronics in your room, keep them 2 feet away from your bed

Amp Up Your Nutrition

Incorporating a whole foods diet with key nutrients is an important step in dealing with brain fog. Goods fats need to be included in your daily diet and can be found in foods such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, walnuts and cold water fish like salmon.

Choline and inositol are important nutrients for brain health. Choline can be found in foods such as eggs, beans, flax seeds and pistachios. Foods rich in inositol include beans and cantaloupe.

Vitamins B1 (thiamin) and B12 (cobalamin) are important vitamins to include in your diet.

Food sources of B1 include eggs, salmon, asparagus, kale, cauliflower sunflower seeds, beans, lentils and brown rice.

B12 is readily available in meat and shellfish. If avoiding animal products, supplementing with B12 in the form of methylcobalamin should be considered.

Exercise

Exercise overall has many health benefits.

For brain fog, regular exercise can help to keep stress and anxiety in check and encourage a more restful sleep.

And a few other tips

From a life style perspective incorporating strategies in to your daily routine such as making lists, noting activities in to a calendar, setting reminders and challenging yourself with word puzzles and brain games can be very helpful for improving brain function.

For those who like online challenges, one of my favourite sites for brain games is BrainHQ

 


References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chemo-brain/symptoms-causes/syc-20351060

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/changes-in-mood-or-thinking/chemo-brain.html

Chemotherapy, Radiation, Surgery
Natural Strategies for Preparation
and
Dealing with Side Effects of Cancer Treatments

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Support Your Body’s Detoxification Process

Detoxification is an essential process that our body needs to perform effectively for us to be in good health.

Detoxing rids our body of toxins that accumulate both as a by-product of our natural body processes and from external environmental assaults.

Detoxification improves our ability to absorb nutrients and to eliminate waste.  It also stabilizes and improves our energy.

Our body is designed to detoxify.  That’s why we have 7 channels of elimination; our skin, lungs, kidneys, colon, lymphatic system, liver and blood.

We are bombarded every day with so many toxins that our system can become overwhelmed so it really is a kind gesture to ourselves to lend a hand to the process.

5 Natural Strategies to Support Detoxification

 

Sweat it out!

Sweating helps to move toxins out through our skin and helps to get our blood circulating.  Exercising and saunas are 2 great ways to get that body hot!

Get Good Quality Sleep

Our body doesn’t rest when we go to sleep.  It uses this time to detoxify and repair.  This is our liver’s playtime.  So getting good quality sleep is key for successful detoxification.  Here are some tips for a good night’s repose:

  • sleep in total darkness
  • shut off all electronics
  • sleep in a cool room
  • go to bed at the same time each night
  • get 7-8 hours of sleep each night

Keep Well Hydrated

A river runs through us and it’s made of water.  In a nutshell water carries nutrients to our cells and waste from them.  And water is involved in many of the physiological process carried out each and every day within us.

6-8 glasses of good quality water each day is minimum.  You want to make sure that you flush out those nasty toxins and support your kidneys in the process.

 

Move it!

Exercise supports all channels of elimination in particular it helps to flush out our lungs, get our blood circulating and our lymphatic system moving.  And as just mentioned working up an exercise sweat is a great way to help detox.

Eat a Whole Foods Diet

Avoiding processed foods and eating a whole foods diet is the backbone of successful detoxification. A healthy diet supplies necessary nutrients for our body to carry out the detoxification process.

Here are some powerhouse foods that you can start with:

  • leafy greens
  • cruciferous vegetables
  • onions
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • turmeric
  • blueberries
  • chlorella

Be kind to you!

 

 

 

 

parenting

This Week on The Health Hub…Finding Meaning During the Holidays with Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is a therapist, TV personality, author, columnist, spokesperson, educator and consultant. She is one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts and serves as the resident expert on national outlets such as: The Marilyn Denis Show, HuffingtonPost, Parents Canada and CBC radio. An internationally acclaimed parenting expert, Alyson empowers families by sharing her principles, rules and tools for raising happy and healthy kids. Her style is fast, witty, warm and encouraging. Alyson delivers her deep insights in ways that today’s busy parents can easily understand and apply immediately. Alyson promotes a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offers practical solutions backed by extensive research. Armed with years of research, clinical and field experience, Alyson can provide a new, positive understanding of your current family dynamic with actionable solutions that will give you the hope and confidence needed to transform your family. Alyson is the bestselling author of Breaking The Good Mom Myth and Honey, I Wrecked The Kids and her latest, Ain’t Misbehavin’ which have been translated into Russian, Korean, Bulgarian and Chinese.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels.
Learning Points:
  • How can we cultivate meaningful holidays?
  • How can we reduce holiday stress?
  • Are holiday traditions important?
Social Media


Listen live or catch the podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud!

Every Tuesday from 11am -12pm I host The Health Hub, an interactive, forward thinking talk show on Radio Maria Canada.   Call, tweet or email your questions as together we explore health issues that are relevant to you from new and innovative points of view.


TheHealthHub is now on iTunes!

Subscribe and don’t miss a single episode!


Follow us on Social Media

We are @thehealthhubrmc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook


How To Listen Live

Visit our website and learn how to listen live to our show each week. http://www.radiomaria.ca/how-to-listen

Let us know!


If you have a health topic that you would like us to discuss or are a health care specialist who wants to be a guest on our show let us know!

Here is our email.  We would love to hear from you! thh@radiomaria.ca

 

Try this Yummy Kombucha Cocktail!

Want a delicious holiday drink?

Try this yummy Kombucha cocktail!

Fermented foods boost our immune system, help to strengthen our bones, support weight loss and promote nutrient absorption.

Kombucha is a fermented beverage that has been enjoyed for many, many years.  It is most commonly made with black tea and sugar.  The fermenting is done with a colony of bacteria and yeast called a ‘Scoby’.

As with other fermented foods, Kombucha is high in antioxidants and it packs a punch of health benefits for the gut being rich in probiotics.

Kombucha has been studied for its anti-cancer properties.  The tea polyphenols and antioxidants found in Kombucha were shown in these studies to prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells.

You can learn more about the benefits of fermented foods in my blog ‘5 Reasons to Use Fermented Foods in Your Cancer Fighting Diet”

Fermented foods are not a common staple for many people so the versatility of Kombucha makes it the perfect fermented food to start with.fermented foods

Health up your guests over the holidays and give this recipe a try!

Kombucha Cocktail

Makes 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups Kombucha (either homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice (about 3-4 oranges)
  • 1 cup frozen cherries* (about 16-20 cherries) (raspberries or strawberries can also be used)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or raw honey
  • Dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds and orange wedges for garnish
  • Sparkling or regular white wine (optional)

Directions:

  • Juice the oranges and place in  blender.
  • Add the cherries, the ginger, nutmeg and maple syrup.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a bowl or pitcher. Add the kombucha and stir.
  • Chill for at least an hour.
  • When ready to serve pour into wine glasses. (If you are adding sparkling wine do this now)
  • Add a few dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds (or both) and an orange wedge to each glass.

*Option: make extra kombucha cocktail and use it to make some ice cubes and add one to each glass

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18979556

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221052391200044X

 

 

 

This Week on The Health Hub…Bodybuilding Diet Myths & Optimizing Digestion for Optimal Athletic Performance with Wade Lightheart

Wade Lightheart is a 3-time Canadian All Natural Bodybuilding Champion who competed as a vegetarian, a former Mr. Universe Competitor, host of The Awesome Health podcast and one of the world’s premier authorities on Natural Nutrition and Training Methods. Having majored in Sports Science at the University of New Brunswick, he has authored numerous books on health, nutrition and exercise which have sold in over 80 countries. Wade also serves as an advisor to the American Anti-Cancer Institute and is the Co- Founder and Director of Education at BiOptimizers, a digestive health company. He’s been in the health industry for over 25 years, coached thousands of clients, and is sought out by athletes and high-performance oriented individuals worldwide for his advice on how to optimize their health and fitness levels. BiOptimizers has been featured on many of the biggest podcasts in the industry including Bulletproof by Dave Asprey, Ben Greenfield show, Barbell Shrugged and many, many others. Few alive have traveled farther or crusaded harder on behalf of helping individuals transform their digestive health, wellness and overall lives than Wade Lightheart. After competing in Mr. Universe and his health failing him following a competition victory, Wade began to search for answers. In the process, he learned so much about what makes digestion work, along with other principles that form what he calls the AWESOME health system.


Learning Points:

  • Dispelling diet myths in Bodybuilding
  • How optimizing digestion improves athletic performance
  • How digestive enzymes improve nutrient absorption

Social Media Website: www.Bioptimizers.com   


Listen live or catch the podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud!

Every Tuesday from 11am -12pm I host The Health Hub, an interactive, forward thinking talk show on Radio Maria Canada.   Call, tweet or email your questions as together we explore health issues that are relevant to you from new and innovative points of view.


TheHealthHub is now on iTunes!

Subscribe and don’t miss a single episode!


Follow us on Social Media

We are @thehealthhubrmc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook


How To Listen Live

Visit our website and learn how to listen live to our show each week. http://www.radiomaria.ca/how-to-listen

Let us know!


If you have a health topic that you would like us to discuss or are a health care specialist who wants to be a guest on our show let us know!

Here is our email.  We would love to hear from you! thh@radiomaria.ca