Whole Medicine Blog

Our blog covers the latest in holistic medicine with free expert advice from the Whole Medicine team

Each month we cover topics many Whole Medicine patients want to know more about including sleep, hypertension, stress management, gut biome and more.

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Do you think it might be your hormones?

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 1 August 2018
Do you think it might be your hormones?

Hormones are really very important to the health of everything organ and system in the human body. So what are they and what do they do?  Hormones are quite simply chemical messengers, that transfer information from place to place, think "Australia Post".

Hormones are responsible for regulating our sleep, our sexual functions, our reproductive cycles, our sugars, our fats and our energy systems. Some examples include insulin, thyroid hormone, oestrogen and melatonin.

We even have hormones that regulate our blood pressure, our kidney function, our mineral levels, our inflammation levels and our emotions.

So how do we know if hormones are an issue?

Because hormones are designed to communicate certain unique messages, when they don't function well, the patterns of symptoms are similar. Ie when your hormones are out of balance, the symptoms you feel during the pre-menstrual times, ie irritability, sore breasts, fluid retention, chocolate cravings, headaches etc are akin to deficiencies in progesterone and possibly excesses in oestrogen.   Another example is the thyroid gland, which produces hormones that regulate how much energy we have for our metabolism. If you are suffering from constipation, fatigue, dry skin, poor sleep, easy weight gain and lowered mood, this may indicate an issue with your thyroid gland.

So how do I know?

Discuss the patterns of your symptoms with your GP, certain tests, either blood, urine or saliva can indicate if you have an issue.

So what can be done?

The good news is that hormones usually get upset due to poor lifestyle choices, like too much sugar, alcohol, caffeine, stress, lack of sleep, and also in the presence of abnormal nutrient levels. They may also be out of balance in the case, where your immune system and inflammation levels are too high, which can also upset the balance.

If you would like to find out more, or feel like you need to spend some time exploring whether your hormones may be at play in your current health issues.  Why not book an appointment to see one of the integrative Whole Medicine GP's and take the next step towards a holistic approach to your well-being.

Posted in: Women's Health Chronic Illness Health and Well Being Family GP  

Whole Medicine - What is an integrative GP?

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 25 July 2018
Whole Medicine - What is an integrative GP?
Integrative medicine is a philosophy of health that focuses on the individual patient and combines conventional western medicine with evidence-based natural medicine and therapies within the current mainstream system.

An Integrative GP reaffirms the significant relationship between the doctor and the patient. It is a complete emphasis on the whole person. Integrative medicine isn't alternative medicine as it is informed by the latest scientific evidence, and it makes use of all available and researched therapeutic interventions, other regulated health care professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and well-being.

It takes into account the physical, psychological, social, emotional, environmental and spiritual wellbeing of the person with the aim of using the safest and evidence-based treatments available for optimal long term health.

To find out more or to book an appointment contact our friendly team at Whole Medicine on 03 5986 4229.

Posted in: Women's Health Preventative Medicine Men's Health Children's Health Chronic Illness Health and Well Being Family GP  

Integrative approach to local health care

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 20 July 2018
Integrative approach to local health care

This article will appear in the Mornington Peninsula Magazine August 2018 Addition.

Whole Medicine Article in Mornington Peninsula Magazine

Mornington Peninsula residents now have access to one of the country's most modern medical clinics Whole Medicine. The medical practice was relaunched earlier this year after being founded as Peninsula Holistic General Practice in 2009. Founder and principal GP Dr Michelle Woolhouse says: "Whole Medicine takes an integrative approach to health care. This means using a combination of general practice with evidence-based holistic principles to help men, women and children be well."

Dr Woolhouse obtained her medical degree from Monash University in 1996 and is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. She is also a fellow of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and has post-graduate training in hypnotherapy, acupuncture and mind-body medicine.

Whole Medicine provides a range of family GP services, preventative medicine, skin health treatments, community health talks, mind and body retreats and more. Dr Woolhouse explains. "Our health philosophy is to address the whole spectrum of a person's life, including emotional, physical, mental and environmental factors. We are passionate about helping local families and businesses take a holistic and comprehensive approach to health."

Professor Avni Sali AM, director of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine, says: "This is modern medicine. It is not just about trying to treat a person's cancer, ulcer or asthma; we are looking at the whole person." The team of highly qualified GPs who have additional expertise in evidence-based natural medicine offer patients longer, interactive consultations and work with them to help uncover their best self. The clinic includes modern rooms, an in-house dispensary, onsite minor surgery and skin care facilities and easy access to specialists, hospitals, procedures and investigations if required.

To book an appointment at Whole Medicine call 03 5986 4229.

Posted in: Women's Health Preventative Medicine Men's Health Children's Health Skin Health Chronic Illness Health and Well Being Family GP  

When health becomes an unhealthy obsession

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 19 July 2018
When health becomes an unhealthy obsession

This article will appear in the Mornington Peninsula Magazine August 2018 Addition.

Whole Medicine Article in Mornington Peninsula Magazine

Over the past 15 years the internet-based positive health movement has:

  • Inspired us to review our dietary habits in a fast food-loving culture;
  • Encouraged us to slow down in a pace-obsessed world; and,
  • Emphasised the importance of lifestyle when it comes to our health and well-being.

But what about when health becomes an obsession, when all we think about is being optimally healthy, when we feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed if we can't find a healthy option to eat, or our established healthy habits are blocked for a reason we can't control? This is what we call health anxiety.

Signs of health anxiety
Do you:

  • Worry about your health constantly?
  • Feel concerned that your doctor or medical tests may have missed something?
  • Request medical tests for things the doctor doesn't believe you have?
  • Need any relevant tests to be repeated more frequently than recommended?
  • Constantly look at health-related information on the internet or in books and magazines?
  • Avoid anything to do with serious illness, such as medical TV programs, movies and visiting loved ones in hospital?
  • Frequently check your body for signs of illness, such as lumps, tingling or pain?

Health anxiety means that you are stressed about your health and are not receiving any comfort from the healthy things you are doing in your life. You feel afraid of getting an illness in the future and feel out of control with regards to preventing it.

It is common to be concerned about our health, but when it starts detrimentally affecting our mental and physical health then addressing this as an independent factor can be a very important part of the treatment program.

Managing anxiety is an essential part of most people's long-term health journeys. If you feel you would benefit from learning more about managing it and how the anxiety biochemistry may be part of the condition you are trying to treat, call 03 5986 4229 to make an appointment and speak to your GP about learning the best way to manage your health.

Posted in: Women's Health Men's Health Health and Well Being Family GP  

Looking for a new approach to weight management?

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 30 June 2018
Looking for a new approach to weight management?

Need a kick start for your metabolism?

Over 2/3 of Australians are either obese or overweight, this is an increase of over 500 fold in the last 50 years. Our changing lifestyle, our changing food habits and our changing gut biome all play a role in this weight gain epidemic.

So is there anything you can do?

Managing a healthy weight can be a challenge for many people, most of those have tried many fad diets, some have even gone as far as using medications and surgery to assist their bodies in holding the ideal body weight.

But as much as there is no magic pill, there are some safe, healthy ways to adapt and change your lifestyle and habits to support a healthy weight.

Diet aside, are some people more prone to weight gain than others?

Well new research does suggest some people with different gut biomes are more likely to absorb more sugar and fat from the same foods, ie if 2 people eat a roast spud, one will absorb more starch than the other, therefore gaining more energy density from the food they eat.

Another reason why people put on weight more easily, is due to increase insulin resistance. When we become more resistant to the insulin in our bodies, our glucose levels gets more dysregulated. This means the body is confused about how to use the glucose from the foods we have eaten. This leads to increase stress on the body and makes the body turn the sugar to fat more easily.

The latest research

There are several aspects of diet research which are showing a lot of promise. The low carb diet is a very good way to go, as it is associated with a better long term weight loss after 6 months than a low fat diet. Fasting has been an ancient technique used across the world for a whole variety of health reasons, and some recent research has suggested that it may improve longevity, decrease insulin levels and reduce cancer inflammatory markers. A high plant based diet, is recommended for gut biome health as it is super high in nutrition and in fibre.

The other interesting aspect of diet and long term health is the research around mindful eating. What this means mean is increasing our internal ability to become more mindful helps us with better food choices, better satiety and better self esteem. It can also help us make better lifestyle choices like exercise, hobbies and seeking healthy relationships.

One of the most researched diets on the planet is the Mediterranean diet, which is a varied diet rich in plant based foods, fibre, legumes which is eaten mindfully and full of super foods. It is associated with less depression, better cardiovascular health, better cognition and better longevity.

Which one if right for me?

The general consensus for long term sustainable weight management is to find a diet and lifestyle plan that suits you emotionally, mentally, socially and culturally. We often hold so much emotion to our food choices, so a good discussion with a educated GP can be a vital stepping point to start setting some goals and kick starting your new health journey.

So if you are interested in getting a more whole person approach to weight loss, call Whole Medicine for further information on 03 5986 4229.

Posted in: Women's Health Men's Health Health and Well Being Family GP  
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