Today I would like to share with you the amazing story of Hayley Zavattiero, who has joined our practitioner team as a consulting Naturopath in the Mammoth Health Naturopathy Clinic.
Hayley shares her time, knowledge and passion for Natural Health with our patients in the Mammoth Clinic alongside her Remedy Rooms Clinic in Melbourne.
Hayley’s focus and interest lies in the area of anxiety and the impact that anxiety, stress and depression have on our brain landscape, our gut and our immunity.
As I chat to Hayley about the ubiquitous nature of anxiety and the overwhelming impact on both mental and physical health, Hayley shares with me her simple approach to healing…
‘My first aim with patients is to focus on the fundamentals and getting back to basics. I believe the simplest things in life sustain health… drinking enough water, eating whole foods, having social communities around you and having a positive mindset and outlook on life.
I believe that people should be treated as individuals with individualised health care treatment rather than viewed as their diagnosed condition.
I work with my patients to create an achievable diet and together with herbal and nutritional medicines implement desirable lifestyle changes to rebalance and restore physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.’
We all Experience Stress
Hayley goes on to explain that we all experience stress… ‘it’s normal and in short & controlled experiences, stress is natural and is even beneficial for our development’
However, when there is a repetitive and chronic response to stress such as what happens in those with anxiety, this is when our body begins to react in a negative way altering our hormones, our neurotransmitters, our autonomic nervous system and our behaviour.
The sustained stress response starts off with elevations in stress hormones, with the major being cortisol. Higher and longer circulating cortisol results in a “pause” in other hormones that compromise digestion, reproduction, immunity and sleep, just to name a few.
It a common finding that those who live and work in ‘stressful’ environments have a higher risk of being affected by negative health conditions.
Hayley explains the most common experience of anxiety is when you in find yourself feeling overly worried about events out of your control for example, incidences or expectations at work, in school, your performance in sport or being in a social setting.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
The signs of anxiety are different for everyone but it is certainly influenced by our level of resilience which is built and shaped by our upbringing, our genetics, our mindset, our diet, and our lifestyle choices.
Given that, there are many common and shared signs and symptoms of anxiety that you may relate to…
- Nervousness and Restlessness
- Feelings of being powerless
- Fatigue and Poor concentration
- Muscle tension
- Poor sleep
•Increased heart rate, hyperventilation
- Feelings of impending danger
Hayley further explains that Generalised Anxiety disorder is usually experienced before the progression into major depressive disorder, in which both conditions share similar biological behaviours. For this reason, early treatment of anxiety in important in managing both conditions, as in treatment studies, over 50% of patients will have anxiety and depression simultaneously.
Hayley’s particular area of interest is the impact anxiety has on our nervous system, our gut and our immunity…
Anxiety and our Nervous system
Chronic stress, like anxiety, has the ability to cause structural changes in the brain. Prolonged stress and anxiety cause reduction in size and changes in brain chemistry altering cognition, memory, learning and behaviour. Sleep with also be affected as well as daily motivation and mindset.
Anxiety and our Immunity
Its common knowledge that repetitive and ongoing stress impairs the body’s ability to resolve infection. Stress hormones, released during anxiety, interact with our immune cells influencing the activity of our immune system often resulting in reoccurring illness.
The suppression of our immune ‘army’ not only increases our chance of infection from the outside world but reduces our ability to detect and eradicate internal abnormalities such as tumour cells.
Common immune symptoms include low grade fever, reoccurring viral, fungal or bacterial infections (colds, vaginal thrush, slow wound healing) hypersensitivity and fatigue.
Anxiety and our Gut
The gut-brain connection, the chicken or the egg?
It’s well known that there is a bi-directional link between our brain (our mood) and our digestive system. Anxiety will affect this system by lowering digestive capacity thus lowering nutrient absorption, reduce protective mucous production and change intestinal movement.
There has been incredible research done in recent years linking certain microbiota strains in our gut and their impact on our mood and emotional wellbeing and therefore gut health is integral to mental and emotional health.
How can a Naturopath help with Anxiety?
Naturopaths will spend the time with you to delve into the origin of you stress and anxiety.
Exploring family history, genetics, diet, lifestyle, resilience and coping mechanisms as well as nutrient deficiencies and neurotransmitter imbalances, Naturopaths have a range of herbal medicines and nutritionals to manage the stress hormones, gut microbiome and support the body’s natural mechanisms to restore and rebalance to optimal wellbeing.
Get Professional Advice, Treatment and Results with Hayley Zavattiero
If you need some Practitioner help with your stress, lowered mood & anxiety, it is the time to book a professional consultation with Hayley. By working on your individual health needs, our Practitioner team experience great success in addressing underlying causes and achieving optimal health and vitality for our patients.
Hayley Consults from the Mammoth Health Clinic Mondays and Fridays. Book your Consultation Now
Because it’s Not A Rehearsal
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