Women's Health

The team at Tree of Life Nutrition are specialists in women’s health nutrition, treating and managing a range of conditions. Desi Carlos has been the resident womens health dietitian at renowned clinic, Eve Health in Brisbane since 2015. Desi has a wealth of experience to offer women when it comes to utilising diet to enhance the vitality of our reproductive system.

Ladies, it’s time to reclaim your health from the inside out!

When it comes to women’s health issues, a lot of what’s going on probably feels out of your control. You can’t see your issues, but they certainly have an impact on your entire life. From the debilitating pain of endometriosis to the emotional rollercoaster of infertility and the hormonal changes of PCOS or menopause and subsequent unwanted weight changes (include thyroid disorders). It sometimes feels pretty difficult to be a woman!

But you know what? The sum of your health is more than just those ‘parts.’ You are a whole person, and your entire system can help to nurture and support your reproductive health. And everything is connected. It really is.

What is empowering is when we realise that the epicentre of our health is our digestive system. What we eat can impact the health of our entire body. From brain health to skin, and of course, our reproductive system. So, let’s eat for women’s health! And it’s something you can control. Which when you’re struggling with this stuff, always feels so much better, doesn’t it?

Desi is an experienced womens health dietitian. She is dedicated to helping women just like you, working with your specialists to support you and give you every chance to move through your issues.

womens health dietitian endometriosis

Endometriosis and Adenomyosis

Endometriosis can be a debilitating condition, which occurs when the cells similar to those which line your uterus, grow outside it – commonly in the pelvic area. Whilst adenomyosis involves the endometrium breaking into the muscular wall of the uterus. Both endometriosis and adenomyosis can cause varying degrees of pain from mild to intensely painful. While there is no cure, diet and nutrition therapy can help to manage pain, increase overall nutrition, and gut health and reduce inflammation.

Womens Health Dietitian Desi Carlos has developed a unique protocol for adenomyosis and endometriosis pain management. Using nutrition therapy and anti-inflammatory protocols, she works in conjunction with your gynaecologist to help manage pain. She can also integrate this with specialist psychologists for pain management, as well as pelvic floor specialist physiotherapists on a physical level.

Importantly, she can also help you manage irritable bowel symptoms which often accompany these conditions. She works to support the underlying causes of IBS with endometriosis or adenomyosis, which may be poor gut microbiome health, food intolerances and/or sensitivities and also food irritants. Desi is passionate about improving your quality of life, by improving gut health, reducing inflammation and assisting with pain management.

Desi has presented on nutrition for endometriosis sufferers with QENDO (Endometriosis Association (Qld) Inc) and presented at Eve Health on Nutrition and its effect on Pain Management of Endometriosis.

womens health dietitian for polycystic ovarian syndrome

PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition which is quite common, impacting about 1 in 5 women. It can produce a range of symptoms, including:

  • Irregular periods
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Fertility issues
  • Excess facial or body hair
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Mood changes
  • As well as increasing your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

What causes it?

The thing is the precise cause of PCOS is unknown. Experts do know that there can be a strong genetic link. They also know that insulin resistance can be present in many cases (around 85%). Insulin is the hormone which controls the amount of sugar in your blood. If resistance occurs, glucose can’t easily enter your cells, building up in the blood. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. The prevalence of insulin resistance with PCOS increases with excess weight. We also know that improving your diet can play a really important role in treating PCOS.

Diet and PCOS

As a women health dietitian, Desi has a wealth of experience in helping women with PCOS symptoms. The protocol she implements centres around some important aspects of diet. She seeks to reduce your insulin resistance by utilising an anti-inflammatory diet which is low GI with modified carbohydrates. Where appropriate, she also addresses excess weight which can be related to PCOS and exacerbate symptoms. As well as working with endocrinologists to improve overall PCOS management.

womens health dietitian for fertility

Fertility

If you are struggling to conceive, it can feel like a very disempowering time. At the mercy of your cycle, it can feel like what you long for is suddenly at odds with nature. You are not alone. In Australia, about 1 in 9 couples experience fertility problems. While diet may not be a magic bullet, studies show that a healthier diet can have a positive effect on your fertility. Desi Carlos is a women’s health dietitian who works directly with the fertility team at Eve Health. She is passionate about supporting you at this time with a diet protocol focused on creating the optimal environment for fertility.

Primarily, Desi will focus on:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Addressing nutrient deficiencies
  • Addressing macronutrients – adequate portions of carbs, fats and protein
  • Balancing the diet with Mediterranean Diet principles to increase fertility for both woman and male.
  • Healthy weight
  • A balanced diet high in fibre and optimal nutrients for fertility
  • Reduced Sugar and saturated fats
  • Increasing gut microbiome diversity and overall gut health
  • Encouraging a healthier lifestyle
  • Reducing chemicals in foods
More on fertility nutrition
pregnancy and lactation

Pregnancy and Lactation

Pregnancy nutrition

Congratulations on your pregnancy! We all know, that nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy pregnancy, so let’s give you and baby every possible opportunity to thrive. If you would like additional nutritional advice during your pregnancy, we are here to help. You may have additional dietary needs to consider, such as an allergy or intolerance or managing a health condition or issue. Or perhaps you have had bariatric surgery? Or you may just be conscious of needing to optimise your macro and micronutrients at this time. Desi and the team at Tree of Life can devise a great strategy for the health of you and baby.

Management of gestational diabetes

A wonderful, uncomplicated pregnancy is the goal for every mother, but sometimes complications do arise, such as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes impacts your body’s ability to maintain healthy glucose levels in your blood.

The good news is, we can use diet to help control your blood sugar. In many cases, your blood sugar range will return to normal after your baby is born. So, in the meantime, how do we optimise your nutrition, and reduce your risk of further complications?

Desi can support you to manage your gestational diabetes with a plan for healthy eating and physical activity. Sounds simple, but these changes are crucial to lower your blood sugar levels and reduce the likelihood you may need insulin injections. Desi is highly experienced in diabetes management and can offer you an enjoyable family-friendly eating plan which you can maintain after the baby is born too!

Lactation

Need help to optimise your milk supply? Or want to breastfeed while managing your own dietary needs or a special condition? Perhaps your breastfed baby is experiencing symptoms which point to a food allergy or intolerance?

Desi is an experienced lactation dietitian who can help in all three cases.

Breastfeeding looks so easy, but getting that supply right, especially in the early days can be challenging. Desi works through your nutrition to help baby thrive, whatever your concern. As a mother herself, Desi understands this time, and how important it is to feel confident and supported in your nutrition – and your choices!

More on optimal nutrition for pregnancy
menopause

Menopause

Reaching mid-life can be an empowering time in a woman’s life, where you finally know who you are, and what you want from life. However, you are also reaching or have ended your cycle of reproduction, and this aspect can be challenging – mentally and physically. As a dietitian of this age herself, Desi understands these challenges and the first-hand benefits of attention to diet.

Menopause is a term which is often largely used to explain a general ending of your cycle, but also includes the stages before (perimenopause) and after (post-menopause). Perimenopause begins with hormonal changes which result in irregular periods and can be up to four years before your actual last period (menopause). There is a range of symptoms which can accompany menopause, including:

  • Hot flushes
  • Slow decline in sex drive
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Sore breasts
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness

As you progress through menopause, you may notice these symptoms begin to exacerbate. Following your last period, post-menopausal symptoms can continue up to 10 years afterwards. For some women, symptoms are significantly impacting their relationships, work performance or general quality of life.

How can diet play a role in easing menopausal symptoms?

What you eat can have a positive outcome on symptoms, What you eat can have a positive outcome on symptoms, and there are a number of foods you can also avoid to reduce symptoms of menopause.

To get the most benefit from these food changes though, it is always important to ensure your nutrient uptake is supported by good gut health. With every protocol Desi recommends, gut health and gut repair are at the centre. Improving your digestive health can also be a factor in improving menopause symptoms as well as helping to reduce cravings for the foods you don’t need.

thrush

Recurring vaginal thrush

A sensitive subject – but a common problem for so many women is recurring candida or vaginal thrush infections.

Thrush is caused by the overgrowth of yeast-like fungi called Candida albicans. This lives normally in our gastrointestinal area as well as on our skin, mouth and vagina. When it is overpowering our system, it is known as candidiasis.

While not the only cause, your diet can make you more susceptible to thrush. Diets high in sugar, processed foods, and refined carbs can ‘feed’ the yeast.

Desi can help refine your diet, and support your system in order to prevent vulnerability to thrush.  She can also address any possible underlying causes for recurrent thrush, including high blood sugar or diabetes, obesity and poor gut health.

The gut microbiome can become out of balance due to long-term use of antibiotics or other drugs, stress and poor diet. When your gut health is not where it should be, it creates the optimal breeding ground for candida. Desi is a gut health specialist and offers a specialised Gut Repair Program, which can be incredibly helpful for women who experience thrush often.

A diet for women’s health which is delicious, inclusive, and sustainable

Desi’s dietary protocol is also about helping you and your family to sustain a healthy and vital life for the long term. This is not about restricting your enjoyment of food and life or setting you apart from everyone else. She is an understanding womens health dietitian who is passionate about introducing healthy foods which are also delicious to eat and suitable for everyone to enjoy.

Make a time to talk through your needs with Desi

Book a consultation