Dr. Laura: GUT Circadian Rhythm

Insomnia, pain, fatigue, stress? How do you get to the root cause of your health problems?




Do you have sleep issues? Hormone issues? Or just feel out of balance?


Learn How Gut Microbes

Affect Your Circadian Rhythm

Join Dr. Laura M. Brown ND, Wednesday June 13, 2018 and  you will learn how circadian rhythms of gut microbes ultimately intertwine with our own circadian rhythms, which regulate our sleep/wake cycles, hormone release, and metabolism.

Comprehensive Stool Analysis 

Dr. Laura is a registered Naturopathic Doctor with a functional Medicine approach. Dr. Laura gets to the root cause of your health issue and stimulates the natural mechanisms of healing. Her individualized protocols are designed with time-proven remedies and the latest scientific research. Her inviting nature will meet you where you are, and inspire you toward a more healthful, purpose-filled life.

Dr. Laura: Acupuncture- More than pain relief

Acupuncture releases natural pain killers, promotes blood flow, stimulates hormonal balance, relaxes tight muscles, calms anxiety, lifts depression, and promotes digestion.

This ancient Chinese therapy effects every major system of the body, including the cardiac, gastrointestinal, circulatory, cerebral, genitourinary, endocrine and immune systems.

Traditional Chinese medicine

Get to the point…

Some people explain acupuncture in terms of energy and meridians. While this is not wrong, it would be equally right to explain that the energy is based on nerve conduction and proper firing of the nervous system.

Each acupuncture point is a small area about 1cm in diameter. They are where groups of nerves meet below a small opening in the facia. Needling these points, electronically stimulating or even applying vibrational therapy or direct pressure activates the points. This will help dissipate energy that has built up or, alternatively, stimulate the flow of energy to the area.

Did you catch that? Needles are only one way to stimulate the point. If you don’t like needles and wish to try a needle free way of stimulating the points, there are alternatives.


1. Relieves pain.

2. Reduces inflammation.

3. Brings balance in the body.


What’s in it for me?

Acupuncture is a drug free way to address:

  • TMJ/ jaw clenching
  • sciatica
  • blood pressure
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • inflammation
  • joint pain
  • acute injuries
  • frozen shoulder
  • PMS
  • bursitis
  • arthritis
  • fatigue
  • common cold
  • headache
  • sinusitis
  • insomnia
  • muscle tension
  • PCOS
  • tinnitus
  • ulcerative colitis
  • vertigo
  • weak immune system
  • fertility

Usually relief is found after the first 30 minute treatment. It typically takes 4-8 treatments to restore balance and heal the body. Sessions can be daily, biweekly, weekly. For maintenance, once a month.

Under Ontario regulation, Naturopathic Doctors are able to perform acupuncture. If claiming under your benefit plan, it will be considered as “naturopathic services”.

From the heart and desk of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

Function of Fibre

 Fibre is a form of carbohydrate found in plants. It plays a major role in softening and bulking the stool, promoting regular elimination of waste.  Fibre feeds and balances the micro biome in our gastrointestinal tract.  A diet high in fibre leads to better blood sugar regular, sustained energy and wellbeing.

Good Fibrations

Okay, Forty Three Eighty Fitness fans, this week’s focus in on fibre. Now I don’t really focus on carbohydrates per se, as you noticed in the 6 Daily Diet Tips you all have now. Most people do better on setting their eyes on good fibre. Why the Beach Boys’ song Good Vibrations  comes to mind just now, makes me laugh. What if we had a song called  Good Fibrations?  What would we sing about then? Yes, fibre can make you sing, but not always the way you’d like. So, if you are used to take out food and a lot of white carbs (sugar, bread, crackers, chips etc.,) don’t go wild on adding the fibre all at once. Increase a little day by day. Otherwise, if you are not rushing out  your fitness class before you are done, your friends may be wishing you did! Build your fibre intake up slowly so the micro biome has time to adjust. This will minimize gas and bloating. Read on to learn why fibre is so fabulous.

Benefits of Fibre

naturopathic services in guelph

  • Softens the stool
  • Bulks the stool
  • Traps and prevent re-circulation and promote removal cholesterol from the body
  • Helps regulate blood sugar as they slow the release of sugars (carbohydrates) into the blood stream
  • Feeds the microflora in your gastrointestinal tract
  • Balances the variety of microflora in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Help with weight management

How much?

While most North Americans get less than 5g of fibre a day, the actual recommended amount is up t0 35 g per day. Increase slowly so your micro biome can adjust. Good fibres promote good bacteria, so a slow increase will naturally help promote a healthy gut flora.

GOAL= 35g per day


2 Types of Carbohydrates

At a high level, carbohydrates can be separated into two basic groups based how easily and quickly they are digested. A motto I use in clinic with my patients is:

Slow carbs, not no carbs.”

  1. Simple carbohydrates: starch, simple sugars, and fructans. Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down and absorbed in the small intestine.
  2. Complex carbohydrates: cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, pectin and beta-glucans. Complex carbohydrates are resistant to digestion in the small intestine and once moved further down into the digestive tract into the large intestine will be fermentation by the bacteria located there.

7 Types of Fibre

  • hemicellulose
  • cellulose
  • lignins
  • oligosaccharides
  • pectins
  • gums
  • glucans

Where do you find these fibres?

Hemicellulose -An insoluble fibre found in whole grains. Increases bowel regularity and excretion of cholesterol.Includes:  arabinoxylan, glucans, galantines, xylans, mannans, and pontosans.

Cellulose: an insoluble fibre found in fruits, legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Feeds the micro biome (gut flora) and byproduct is short chain fatty acids.

Lignins- an insoluble fibre found in root vegetables and berry seeds like flax and sesame. Helps feed and balance the natural micro biome.

Pectin is a soluble fibre found in apples, citrus fruits, legumes and nuts. Byproducts include butyrate and other short chain fatty acids. Helps balance the micro biome. Helps heal the gut and may have an effect on cholesterol.

Gums are thickening agents like xanthan, guar, Arabic, acacia, agar-agar, glucomannan and coboxymethyl cellulose. It creates short chain fatty acids in the gastrointestinal tract and promotes a healthy micro biome.

Glucans – Soluble fibre found in oats, barley and rye. Produces short chain fatty acids, stimulates healthy micro biome, reduces LDL cholesterol. Also soluble fibre found in mushrooms like reishi, shiitake, chug, maitake, and cremini. Byproducts include butyrate and other short chain fatty acids. Helps balance the micro biome. Medicinal mushrooms additionally help fight cancer, are antiviral, immuno-modulatory and help reduce inflammation.

Oligo(poly)saccharides: found in root vegetables, onions, garlic, asparagus, banana, chicory artichoke, lentils, beans and peas.  Studies show very helpful in helping you feel fuller longer and reduces intestinal inflammation. Note: FODMAPS (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols) These short-chain carbohydrates are not well absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and can be easily fermented by gut bacteria producing pain, gas and bloating.

How can fibre help me loose weight?

Studies show that “increasing dietary fiber significantly reduces the risk of gaining weight and fat in women, independent of several potential confounders, including physical activity, and dietary fat intake.”

  1. As soluble fibre is fermented in the large intestine it produces hormones that tell our brain we are full.  (glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY))
  2. Dietary fibre has the ability to significantly decrease energy intake
  3. Dietary fibre takes energy to digest and therefore reduces the over all sum of caloric intake- digestive energy = energy provided.
Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of Dietary Fiber and Its Components on Metabolic Health. Nutrients. 2010;2(12):1266-1289. doi:10.3390/nu2121266
Tucker LA, Thomas KS. Increasing Total Fiber Intake reduces Risk of Weight and Fat Gains in Women. J Nutr. 2009 Mar;139(3):576-81. doi: 10.3945/jn.108.096685. Epub 2009 Jan 21.


Dr. Laura on the Migraine-Constipation Link

Serotonin, constipation and migraine headaches may be linked.

What is going on?

It seems that there is a reduced output of serotonin. There are serotonin receptors in the gastrointestinal tract and the brain.

It appears to be due to a genetic change in serotonin production 5-HT2A – 1438 AA genotype (p=0.0005).

How will I know if this could be me?

Patient with this genetic susceptibility tend to have:

  • frequent bouts of constipation,
  • experience headaches only on one side of their head
  • suffer more frequently from extreme light sensitivity.

So what can be done ?

 Possible trials of supervised supplementation of serotonin botanical medicines or supplements that are safely prescribed may be helpful. Ask Dr. Laura M.Brown ND if this treatment is right for you.



Uluduz D, Cakmak S, Ozge A, Ucbilek E, Sezgin O, Soylemez F, Temel G, Kanik A. A Link between Migraine, Tension Type Headache and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Clinical and Genetic Indicators (P4.120). Neurology April 5, 2016 vol. 86 no. 16 Supplement P4.120


Free Meal!

Well, free of gluten and perhaps more…

When Gluten Free Is Not Enough

Are you or someone you know sensitive to gluten and have cut it out and still have issues with pain, headaches, bran fog, joint pain, diarrhea, constipation, or general fatigue?

Not so nice…

Gluten is known to cross react with cow’s milk, milk chocolate, milk butyrophilin, whey protein, casein, yeast, oats, corn, millet, instant coffee and rice. That means if you eat any of these foods, even if you are gluten free, your body could be reacting to those foods as well.

Gut Permeability

If you have a gluten related disorder or Celiac disease and you have cut out gluten but not worked on healing the gastrointestinal lining, then you may have what is called “Leaky Gut”. There are steps to take to heal the lining and restore the natural mucosa. Sometimes once you heal the leaky gut, you are able to tolerate some of the foods to which you grew sensitive. If you are Celiac or gluten sensitive, gluten free will always be a part of your lifestyle.

Food Sensitivity Testing

Food Sensitivity testing is a great way to find out the resistance your body has to different foods. It provides the means for a guided elimination diet. Or you can simply cut out the potential offenders and re-introduce them one at a time and see how you feel.


Move forward with your health.

Dr. Laura M. Brown ND is trained and certified to help those with gluten related disorders, Celiac disease and the related testing, diagnosis, lifestyle design, education and nutritional support.



A. Vojdani and I. Tarash, “Cross-Reaction between Gliadin and Different Food and Tissue Antigens,” Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, pp. 20-32. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.41005.

Dig into Digestion

First it must be absorbed

How does the body breaks down food?

What helps the nutrients become available?

What does it mean if you experience, pain, bloat, gas, constipation or diarrhea?


Dig into Digestion with Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND and get the facts on optimizing your health by paying attention to the signs and symptoms provided by your gastrointestinal tract.

Free Class! Register here

Goodness Me!

Wednesday, Oct 19th.




picture source: archivecnx.org


Is Your Pooh Normal?

What does the state of your stool say about your health?

Our bodies are ultimately a manufacturing facility… food, nutrients absorbed and waste out. What our stool (medical term for pooh) tells us about the state of our bodies can be very informative. Take the Bristol Stool Chart, shown below, for example. The seven types of stool can tell us a lot about what’s going on. Lovely you say? Well, it can speak volumes to a naturopathic doctor on what to do to help you uhm.. move on… so to speak.


Get the SCOOP on your POOP!

If you are mostly a Type 3 or 4, way to go! You are likely getting enough water, fibre, eating a balanced diet and have a strong microflora (good bacteria in the gut). You likely have no underlying factors of disease affecting your intestinal tract.

Type 5? Likely need to pay attention to the right kinds of fibre, maybe some dietary tweaks, a proper probiotic and adequate fluid intake.

If you are Type 1 – 2 OR 6 – 7, then we need to get you more water and the right kinds of fibre and look for any neurological upset, food sensitivities, or medication side effects. Also to be considered are things like thyroid function, diabetes, calcium levels, dietary habits, supplement dosages, Celiac disease, bowel obstruction, endometriosis or even possibly cancer. Stress, depression and anxiety can also be a factor in alternating constipation and diarrhea.

As a naturopathic doctor we look to the root cause of the issue, remove anything that may get in the way of healing, and then look to what needs to be changed or added in order to restore the natural balance of the body, mind and spirit.

Dr. Laura M Brown, ND will find gentle ways to stimulate your healing within and restore your natural equilibrium.

Call now for an appointment at 519.826.7973



How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medical therapy that has been in practice for over 2000 years. It treats imbalances in the body, mind & spirit and is very effective at reducing pain. So much so, there are doctors in China that use acupuncture as their sole form of pain block for things as critical as open heart surgery!

At Forward Health, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND is licensed to provide acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Any ache or pain may be relieved by acupuncture, but so too are things like hot flushes, constipation, diarrhea, PMS, stress, anxiety, depression, urinary flow challenges, swelling, fibromyalgia, headache, insomnia, infertility and more.

Transforming Energy


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back to the Zhou Dynasty (700-1000 BC). The balance of Yin and Yang and the flow of Qi are very distinctive concepts in Chinese Medicine.

Energy is never lost or created, it is only changed from one form to another. In Chinese medicine, the solid matter is Yin and Yang the energetic or wave of motion.

Qi is the motive force behind all physiological processes.

Acupuncture helps move blood and Qi. If there is stagnation, there is congealment of blood. If there is too much energy flow, there is rising of Qi. The body, soul and spirit are in constant flux and it is the harmonious flow of energy from one form to another that makes us feel in sync.

Acupuncture helps you feel like yourself again.

The Five Elements are how the rhythm of our health cycles with the environmental impacts and aging process. Five elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. There are seasons, organs, body parts, senses and times that relate to each element.  Acupuncture accesses the channels of the body that relate to organs, nerves and brain centres.

Your symptoms and your pulse, tongue and disposition will help Dr. Laura formulate the best combination of points to relieve your pain, stress or fatigue. Typically it will take 6 weekly 30min session to re-align your being, however you can feel relief from the first appointment. Pain relief in sciatica, for example can last up to 5 days after a single treatment.

Stainless steel, single use needles are used in specific points on the body. Sometimes infra  red heat or electrostimulation is applied to the points to help intensify the healing process.

Acupuncture is increasingly recognized by mainstream medical professionals. Here is a short 1 minute video that WebMD put together for your interest.

From the heart and mind of your local naturopathic doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

Traditional Chinese medicine