Tag Archives: ASTHMA


Asthma, Metabolic Balance and One Women’s Journey

Case Report: Asthma, Metabolic Balance and One Women’s Journey

This is a synopsis of the journey of a 41 year old, mother of 2, lifetime asthma sufferer who began her Metabolic Balance journey in November 2018.

The purpose of this report is to draw attention to the power of individualized dietary interventions in the presence of chronic, debilitating symptoms. This client presented with very low energy, severe asthma that had her relying on a puffer multiple times per day, recurring chest infections and an inability to lose weight. In just 10 weeks following her individualised Metabolic Balance program this client has regained energy, is no longer tied to her preventer medication and as a result has released over 10% of her body weight. In this synopsis the client will be referred to as ‘P’ for privacy reasons.

Presenting Concerns at initial consultation (November 2018): P has suffered from debilitating asthma since the age of 21. In the last 12 months, possibly as a result of significant stress, her asthma symptoms had become even worst. Without a puffer literally within arm’s reach, P would feel panicked and stressed. Her breathing struggles meant a good night’s sleep was impossible. Her condition added to the physical stress on her body and she felt exhausted all day long, everyday. Her asthma meant she was fearful to exercise too much because she was left so breathless. Despite trying multiple dietary changes, including the elimination of all dairy and gluten at times, her asthma symptoms had not improved in the past. Despite trying lots of different interventions, P had also struggled to maintain a healthy weight range for most of her adult life. P suffered from multiple chest infections a year and some mild bloating as well.

Based on initial, comprehensive blood work and measurements, health conditions and symptoms an individualised Metabolic Balance program was formulated, which P began in early November. In contrast to some of the popular trends that are emerging now P’s plan:

-Did not exclude all dairy! Although no cow’s milk products featured on her personalised program.

-Did not exclude bread! A small amount of non-wheat bread was actually recommended with each meal.

-Did not exclude coffee or tea, although this was to be drunk sans milk and sugar and in sensible quantities (maximum 3 per day)

-Did not exclude white potatoes!

-Did not exclude legumes.

-Did not exclude fruit, with 2 fruits allowed per day with meals (although the types of fruit were individually determined to suit)


-Ensure adequate hydration (individually based on body weight)

-Ensure 3 quality meals were consumed daily featuring protein / carbs as vegetables, fruit and starch / healthy fats

-Not allow snacking. Outside of the 3 nutritious meals, there was nothing else. Does the average, sedentary Aussie really need to graze constantly?

Follow-up and Outcomes:

Just 1 week into the program, all digestive discomfort including bloating had resolved. The biggest struggle was remaining hydrated with adequate water, having not been consistent with water intake in the past.

By 5 weeks into the program, P described her asthma symptoms as noticeable less severe despite some significantly wild, hot, dry weather, which would normally worsen symptoms. At this point, a 10kg total weight loss had also been noted. Hydration levels were good.

At 8 weeks into the program, P reported the program being a part of her routine. Despite Christmas and a family holiday, P had followed the main principles of the plan easily, no longer having issues with cravings and motivated because the way she felt. Easy to hit water intake; feeling like the body needed it and thirsty if she starts to slacken off.

At 10 weeks into the program, P was not experiencing any breathing difficulties at all and had not used any medication to manage asthma for weeks. With the burden of this condition off her shoulders, P was looking to bring in a regular exercise routine. Total weight released at this point was over 14kg, more than 7% of P’s total body weight.

P, for the most part, has felt satisfied on her program, only struggling with hunger sporadically.

P is now at the 11 week mark in her Metabolic Balance journey and has just completed her first week of consistent exercise, with 4 brisk walking sessions accomplished! Unfortunately, her asthma symptoms did return during her exercise sessions. However, she will persevere with these sessions consistently over the next 3 weeks. As her fitness improves, it’s likely the asthma will be less of a problem. Having literally always dreamed of being able to run, stepping the intensity up will be the next step on the journey after this first month of focusing on brisk walking sessions.

This synopsis of P’s journey has been written based on the CARE case report guidelines to ensure the synopsis is as objective as possible. This summary was prepared in consultation with clinical notes taken during consultations. P has read this report in full and confirms it’s accuracy as well as providing consent for it to be published.

The take home points for the reader include:

  • Comprehensive and individualised nutritional prescriptions are a truly powerful solution to chronic and debilitating health conditions
  • Food groups don’t necessarily have to be excluded. Exclusions of any whole foods should be based on an individual’s reaction to them – not on a societal level.
  • When underlying health issues are resolved, the physical body is less stressed and inflamed, and true weight release occurs
  • This was a supported journey and it wasn’t just about food. Long term health changes will only come when someone’s thoughts and feelings around food are also changed. New habits, a new lifestyle and new goals have been created which are only possible as a result of these health improvements.

The next information evening about the Metabolic Balance program is this Thursday the 7th of February, from 6pm here at the clinic. Please phone or email to register your attendance.

Read more about Metabolic Balance here.


Are dairy products good for you?

I’m a dairy lover. I mean, not the nut milk kind, the real kind. I have no problems at all with a reasonable amount of full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese in my diet.

Wow. Some of you are probably going to hit the ‘unfollow’ button now I’ve got that little number off my chest, BUT you know I’m not one for trends. In this post, I want to give you the ‘upside’ on real, animal-based dairy – are dairy products good for you and what might be a better dairy milk alternative. I also want to provide you with some ‘detective skills’ to determine if you can or can not truly tolerate dairy. And then, I want to give you some options you could consider ‘beyond the cow’ if dairy is proving to be problematic for you.

Please, let’s challenge ourselves to keep the conversation around this positive, given its perhaps the most controversial topic in the nutrition world today.

First, some pros for dairy:

  1. It’s a great source of calcium. Over 60% of Australians over the age of 50 have poor bone health. Getting enough calcium will help reduce this epidemic. K2 is another important ingredient for bone health – this is found in butter and cheese. Eat your breakfast on the porch in the sun? Well, you’ve got the whole recipe for beautiful bones thanks to the vitamin D you’ll absorb through your skin. (Note: For those converted nut milk drinkers, buy the best quality nut milk you can afford. Higher quality brands may have up to 300mg of calcium per serve, which is similar to the amount in dairy. The cheap stuff? It’s basically expensive, cloudy water. For more on bone health, see this post)
  2. It’s a source of protein that isn’t meat. This is a plus for the vegetarians out there. When I’m working with vegetarians, I want to minimise exclusions other than meat. A varied diet reduces our chances of nutrient deficiencies. Plus, it’s more interesting. Fancy being a vegetarian who didn’t eat dairy or soy? You’d have to be pretty devoted to legumes! On another note, having some non-meat meals for everyone, vegetarian or not, has health and environmental benefits.
  3. It provides us with options for snacks that are refined sugar-free. This is particularly important for kids who tend to require smaller meals more frequently. Some natural yoghurt sweetened with whole fruit or some full-fat cheese with some vegetable sticks or even some plain crackers is far better than most of the ‘stuff’ out there labelled as ‘snack food.’
  4. Yoghurt, in particular, is a great source of probiotics or good bacteria. Whilst fermented vegetables like kraut have seen a resurgence in recent times, it’s just not everyone’s cup of tea. Yoghurt is an easy, cheap, daily ‘probiotic.’
  5. Umm, it tastes damn delicious!

Now, let’s look at some of the genuine signs and symptoms that you may have an issue with dairy:

  1. You run to the bathroom straight after eating it. Could be lactose. Could simply be an issue with the ‘richness’ of the dairy selected. Maybe try one with a lower fat content before dismissing it altogether? Natural yoghurt, for example, is not as fatty as Greek in general.
  2. You are consistently congested through the sinus area and/or you suffer a lot of hayfever and/or you get headaches on a regular basis that feel like ‘pressure’ in the head and/or you have asthma. Whilst the asthma foundation continually denies the link between asthma or congestion in general with milk, I have seen countless cases where minimising cow’s dairy in the diet provides relief from the before mentioned symptoms.
  3. On the contrary, to point 1 above, you suffer from constipation. Could be casein, another type of protein in dairy.

In relation to the above, please work with a professional to determine if your symptom/s are linked to dairy as all of the above could be a response to something entirely different. It’s always better to get professional help, otherwise you run the risk of basically eliminating everything!

Moving on, maybe you’ve done the detective work and/or seen someone to confirm that dairy is indeed an issue. Maybe, you don’t have to dismiss it altogether? Perhaps, skipping out the cow’s milk products will see an improvement in your health, but before jumping on the nut milk bandwagon, did you ever think about dairy from a goat?

Here are some interesting facts about goat milk products:

  1. A 2010 study revealed that milk from a goat is actually higher in calcium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium than milk from a cow. So, switching to goat’s milk will not compromise your calcium intake, it might actually increase it.
  2. The structure and type of fat from goat milk is very different from cow’s milk. There are more fat globules, but they have a much smaller diameter. This makes it easier to digest. Goat milk also contains a higher proportion of short and medium chain fatty acids than cow’s dairy, as well as more medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fatty acids have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and also aid nutrient absorption. Furthermore, they have proven anti-inflammatory effects particularly in conditions that include irritable bowel disease and atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries).
  3. Specifically, the conjugated linoleic acid in goats milk has anti-allergenic properties.
  4. The form of casein protein in goats milk differs from the form in cow’s milk, making it gentler and easier to digest.
  5. There is more taurine in goat’s dairy. Interestingly, taurine assists with the formation of bile salts, which again help us to digest fat and fat-soluble vitamins. This is another reason why goat milk may be more tolerable.

I could seriously go on and on about reasons to consider goat’s dairy, as I have found this research into other dairy milks really fascinating. Two relatively easy reading research papers discussing the benefits of goats dairy can be found here and here for those of you who are interested. Both also discuss the anti carcinogenic properties of goat milk – wowzer, how cool is that?

In a nutshell, those who may benefit from considering goat’s milk over dairy from a cow include:

  • New Mum’s when weaning bubs off the breast as its more digestible than cow’s milk and closer to human breast milk in its composition.
  • People suffering from irritable bowel (IBS) like symptoms including constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and gas.
  • Those suffering from allergies, hayfever or asthma.
  • Those wanting to improve their cardiovascular health, particularly anyone who is at high risk of stroke due to a high calcium score (i.e. plaque built up in the arteries).
  • Honestly anyone. Even for those of us who do tolerate cow’s dairy, variety provides us with a wider nutrient intake so why not switcharoo from time to time?

It’s common for goat or sheep dairy (a topic for a future post) to come up as a recommended protein for my Metabolic Balancers. It might seem a little strange but, honestly, is getting milk from a goat any weirder than drinking it from a cow? It’s pretty common in European countries, it’s just a bit of a brain twist for us Aussies.

You will find both goat milk and goat yoghurt in your supermarket. Some feta cheeses are made from goat’s milk or a combination of goat and sheep. Many delis and IGAs provide a wide variety of speciality goat’s cheeses and even ALDI has a beautiful goat’s cheese log.

Gotta go. Off to fetch some goat’s milk.