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Ask a Naturopath

Send your product questions to Dr. Laura Belus, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine!

Meet our Naturopath
Dr. Laura Belus

As a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, I believe that health is attainable at any age. As a young adult, I made the connection between the foods we eat and how we feel. This was a powerful tool in reversing my long history of migraines and skin concerns. I focus on detoxification and hormone balance for weight loss, stress management, and greater energy. I believe in making simple, yet powerful, changes to diet & lifestyle habits that create lasting results. I practice at the Natural Health Clinic of Halton in Oakville.

Licenses & Memberships

  • • College of Naturopaths of Ontario
  • • Ontario Association of Naturopathic Dr
  • • Canadian Association of Naturopathic Dr

How Can I Help?

Dr. Laura is available to help address questions or concerns you may have regarding the use of products sold at Well.ca, and will respond within 2 business days!‡ Examples of topics that you can ask Dr. Laura about include:
  • • Reason(s) to use a specific product or product type
  • • Suitable dosage and intake method for best results
  • • Potential interactions between products
  • • Safety of particular ingredients for certain health conditions
  • • Next best choice if your preferred item is unavailable
  • • Product recommendations within a particular category
  • • Potential side effects of a particular product

†This service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness. You must consult with your professional health care provider before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking, varying the dosage of or ceasing to take any medication.
‡Response times may be longer depending on submission volume.

Got a product question?

Simply fill in the form below to submit a question to Dr. Laura. To ensure quick turnaround, please limit questions to one per day. Thank you!

* mandatory fields.

Your top Q & A

July 2017

Q: Hi Dr. Laura! I’ve heard I should be taking fish oil. Is it really necessary?

A: Fish oils are one of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids (a molecule which our bodies are unable to produce naturally on its own). Omega-3s are powerful anti-inflammatories, improve brain function & skin concerns, plus are essential for heart health. The balance of omega-3 to omega-6 (an inflammatory, but very common fatty acid found in vegetable oils & packaged goods) is what matters most. The more omega-6s we eat, the more we need omega-3s. Most people would benefit from a standard daily dose of omega-3s (approximately 1000mg), but for stronger anti-inflammatory support, doses up to 3000mg or more have been used. Remember: fish oil can easily go rancid- always store it in the fridge and if you buy a liquid version, use it up within a month or two of opening.

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Q: What is the best supplement for hair loss?

A: Hair loss can mean a few things: thinning hair, hair breakage, or alopecia (bald spots of complete hair loss). Each of these concerns have different causes, and of course, different medical & natural treatment options. Some of the most common reasons for hair loss tend to have a hormonal basis. If you’ve just had a baby or entered menopause, your lower estrogen levels may be to blame. For others, low thyroid function or elevated stress can be the culprit. So where do you start? Firstly, starting with a good nutritional foundation is key. Many of my patients are shocked at the improvement in their hair after making a few changes to their diet. This includes enough protein, healthy fats and key nutrients like zinc, iron, B vitamins & vitamin C. Starting the day off with a protein packed smoothie and a quality multivitamin are always a great idea. How long to wait to see results? Hair regrowth cycles vary, but typically waiting at least 3 months is necessary before determining whether or not the treatment is effective. Be patient!

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Q: Hi Dr. Laura, How do I lower my stress levels?

A: Stress today is inevitable (sorry!), but thankfully how we deal with it, isn’t. Stress is a normal response by your body in reaction to a perceived threat, and a whole host of hormones and chemicals are responsible for that short term stressed feeling (increased blood pressure, sweating, etc.). The problem isn’t short-term stress, however, it’s long-term stress. Our bodies are not wired to deal with constant pressures and it negatively affects our mood, weight, & energy (just to name a few). So how do we get this under control? The best approach is two-fold. First, take time to rest and recharge your body. Don’t skimp on sleep, skip meals or push yourself when your body needs a break. Second, our bodies use higher amounts of certain nutrients when it’s under stress. Adding in some extra B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin C are vitally important to support you through stressful periods.

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Q: I’m having trouble sleeping at night-my body is tired but my brain is still wired. Help!

A: You’re not alone. About 1 in 7 Canadians suffer from insomnia, whether it’s difficulty falling or staying asleep. Although the sleep requirements for everyone vary, most research indicates a 7-7.5 hrs per night is best for our health. However, sometimes we feel tired but still can’t fall asleep. Why? Our nervous system is responsible for keeping us in ‘go-go-go’ mode all day long, but when night hits, we can’t seem to shut it down as easily as we would like. This is why a bedtime routine is vital. Gett your body prepared to go to sleep at least one hour beforehand. No screens (including your phone!) and no activities that require a lot of mental stimulation (think studying, reviewing finances, etc.). Also, prepping tomorrow’s to-do list the night before can help to clear out the mind and allow for a more natural ease into sleep. Two of my simple go-to sleep remedies: Epsom salt bath & lavender essential oil on my pillow. Sweet dreams!

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Q: Do I need to cut my carbs to lose weight?

A: Carbohydrates are a necessary source of energy for the body. However, now more than ever, we are considering the type of carbohydrate to be most important. Carbs can be found in donuts, pasta, chickpeas or kale—so needless to say, they aren’t all created equal. When it comes to losing weight, I often recommend switching simple carbohydrates (crackers, breads, potatoes) for more complex, higher-fiber sources (nuts/seeds, green vegetables, berries). This allows the body to feel more satiated and you’re much more likely to stick with the changes in order to reach your goal. Remember, cutting total carbs too low for some (especially women) can negatively affect hormone & thyroid function, so quality over quantity is often best!

September 2017

Q: What can I do to lessen wrist pain (tendonitis) from overuse?

A: Discomfort or pain in the wrist from extended hours on our computers can really get in the way of our daily routines. The good news is, the source of the discomfort is often due to the inflammation and surrounding tight muscles.

Keep in mind, the best course of treatment is two-fold: supplements to improve your symptoms, plus physical therapies (stretching , alternating a hot/cold compress, or resting the arm).

To help the muscles in the area relax and reduce inflammation overall, I often recommend a magnesium glycinate and curcumin product. Both can be taken together, and ideally take the curcumin with food. Starting doses of a high quality curcumin for pain relief begin at 400mg, while magnesium glycinate can have a positive effect with as low as 150mg per day.

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Q: What should I be doing to improve my IBS?

A: Digestive concerns are quite common, especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS.

Firstly, eating slowly and not being rushed is an important first step to 'relaxing' the digestive system for less symptoms. A quality digestive enzyme that also contains betaine HCL, is an important helper in starting the whole digestive process in the stomach and helps to break down protein.

Probiotics, while helpful, can actually make some people worse. Always make sure you have a dairy-free probiotic without 'prebiotics' or 'FOS'  (check the label of the one you are currently using). By avoiding these two things, the body is better able to use the probiotic to lessen bloating and discomfort.

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Q: How much folate (folic acid) do I need during pregnancy?

A: Most research supports the daily use of 800-1000mcg of folate for pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women. I recommend that aiming for at least 800mcg from a supplement, while eating green leafy vegetables is a good balance of the folate required to prevent any neural tube defects in the fetus.

However, not everyone uses regular 'folate' effectively. This is why more professional brands of supplements have been using the 'activated' or 'methylated' form of folate, known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate for better usage in the body.

November 2017