• Adrenal Fatigue/ Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Energy/ Fibromyalgia/ Hashimotos Disease/ Immune system - healing/ Inflammation/ LCHF diet/ Magnesium/ Mediterranean diet/ Mineral Depletion/ Paleo Diet

    Nurturing your Mitochondria to help all Chronic Disease….

    Nurturing your Mitochondria

    Mitochondria are the ‘power houses’ of our cells. They use the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat to produce energy. ‘We are what we eat’ and what we eat has changed dramatically in my lifetime. Chronic disease is now the scourge of the developed World, it is challenging our Health and Social Services to the limits. It is limiting our quality of life but I believe that by nurturing our Mitochondria we can help prevent or even reverse chronic disease.

    I am going to be controversial here and say that I believe the the way that we live, eat and drink is damaging our Mitochondria and disrupting normal bodily functions and natural healing. I do not believe that our bodies start attacking themselves – we are designed to self heal if given the right conditions but our mitochondria can become overwhelmed with toxins, bacteria, viruses, stress and at the same time not have the basic nutritional ingredients they need to provide enough energy to function correctly or repair. Diseases like Scurvy (lack of vitamin C) and Beriberi (lack of Vitamin B1) are easily cured by addressing those individual nutrients but Mitochondrial disease/dysfunction is affected by many nutrient imbalances that affect many different cells and systems.

    These mitochondrial dysfunctions maybe at the heart(no pun intended) of most ‘Auto-immune’ disease. Weakened mitochondria are passed from Mother to child and therefore chronic disease is exacerbated with each generation unless action is taken to restore good, balanced nutrition and lessen the toxins in our environment. There are approximately 200 diseases confirmed or with strong scientific evidence for auto-immune origins. (reference Sarah Ballantyne PhD) If you have one you are known to be much more likely to get another – ever thought why?

    Damaged Mitochondria trigger an immune response much like an infection, this can induce inflammation that if untreated can further damage Mitochondria. This vicious cycle continually worsens Mitochondrial and immune function, which promotes the occurrence of chronic conditions and severe disease.

    Chronic Mitochondrial Disease

    Take Reiter’s Disease, not often referred to these days but I was aware of it because of my Ophthalmic nursing -this is an Auto-immune disease that presents as a reactive arthritis, inflammation of the eye, inflammation of the urethra and also the skin. It is thought to have a genetic predisposition (HLA-B27) and may also be connected to infection in the gut. My son had all of these plus lichen planus, a skin rash that also affects mucous membranes and Erythema nodosum, painful nodules that appear under the skin – usually on the shins. I mention this because it is one of the few cases where a pattern of inflammation affecting various sites in the body was linked to a possible infection in the gut and and also a genetic disposition. This is frequently now said of many other ‘Autoimmune’ conditions but they are not usually linked by a name or described as a syndrome.

    Look at some of the labels given to Chronic diseases that are frequently linked or progress to other parts of the body.

    CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME * FIBROMYALGIA * LUPUS * HYPOTHYROIDISM/HASHIMOTOS * GRAVES DISEASE/ HYPERTHYROIDISM * DEPRESSION/ANXIETY * INSOMNIA * HEART DISEASE/ARRYTHMIAS * DIABETES * SKIN PROBLEMS * NEUROPATHY * DEMENTIA/ALZHEIMER’S

    What if these are all problems with Mitochondrial dysfunctions that have developed due to inherited weakness and the trigger that is infection/stress/poor nutrition/toxins that have pushed our mitochondria beyond normal recovery levels resulting mainly in inflammation and failure of systems. This is chronic mitochondrial disease.

    Acute Mitochondrial disease

    There are some diseases that present as acute and the patient quickly goes into organ failure. As an illustration lets look at a Marathon runner where even a young healthy person can induce this – training takes weeks/months and the body gradually adjusts to the extra demands but on the actual race day less is within the control of the runner. The stress levels will be much higher, maybe the day is too hot or too cold, maybe only water is drunk rather than isotonic fluids and the runner pushes themselves beyond their physical limit. I remember the photos of David Wyeth at the end of the London 2017 Marathon when another competitor virtually carried him across the line and he has said since that he regrets putting himself at risk. He was lucky, several athletes have died during or following Marathons or Triathlons and the cause is often said to be ‘not known’, ‘possibly dehydration’, ‘heat stoke’ or heart attack but what we are seeing is the mitochondria cannot supply the necessary energy demanded, cellular energy is acutely stressed and the muscles, heart and brain demand the most so collapse is imminent. In this situation, or any acute mitochondrial situation, what can be administered is nicknamed a Banana bag or rally pack that is a bag of I/V fluids containing vitamins and minerals. Typically this is a litre of normal saline with

    • Thiamine B1 100mgs,
    • Folic acid 1 mg
    • multivitamin ampule (mainly other B vitamins and Vit C)
    • Magnesium sulphate 3g

    The Magnesium helps stop spasm and cramps and is essential for Mitochondrial function. It is known that many of us are Magnesium deficient due to modern diet already so any extra stress put on the body can deplete it rapidly.

    If you are considering entering a Marathon or similar event then I would suggest taking supplements that support your mitochondrial energy and boost ATP.

    Essential nutrients for healthy Mitochondrial function.

    • Oxygen
    • B Vitamins (needed daily because water soluble and not stored)
    • Thiamine B1 is especially important, nicknamed the spark plug to energy, but often ignored!
    • Minerals – including Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Sulphur and iron
    • N-Acetyl Cysteine
    • N-Acetyl Carnitine
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • Co-Enzyme Q10
    • Vitamin C
    • D-Ribose (used by the body to synthesise and support the energy pool- essential to cellular metabolism.

    Vegetarians and Vegans frequently do not get enough CoQ10, L-Carnitine or B12 plus other B vitamins because our primary source is meat.

    It is possible to nurture our Mitochondria by eating a nutrient rich diet, low in processed foods, low in toxins and inflammatory foods like sugar and processed grains. Our modern diet has drastically increased input of processed and natural carbohydrates and reduced our Omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats and natural saturated fats while increasing substantially the Omega-6 and trans-fats in cooking oils, processed foods and margarines. Oxidised Omega-6 oils (trans-fats) are known to damage DNA.

    A healthy ratio Omega-6 – Omega-3 is considered to be 1:1 – 4:1 but in a diet full of processed food, Take-outs and fried foods this can easily go to 30:1 Healthy fats for Omega-3 are oily fish, seafood and flaxseeds and then Omega-9 fats in olives, olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, walnuts and macadamia nuts that all have anti-inflammatory properties. Some Omega-6 fatty acids are also beneficial – CLA come from grass-fed meat and dairy and GLA comes from green vegetables or supplements like Evening Primrose oil or Borage oil. The conversion of Fatty acids to anti-inflammatory Prostaglandins in the body is dependant on Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamins B complex and C.

    Diet choices

    There are so many promoted diets out there that everyone gets confused (including Nutritionists).  The basic aim is, as above, to reduce inflammation by reducing Carbohydrates and especially sugar while increasing healthy high quality fats.  The Mediterranean Diet has always been considered a good starting point and certainly it contains far more good fats, fish and shell fish, and more nuts, fruit and salad than most other diets.  They tend to use the whole animal and cook on the bone more than we do, they drink more coffee, wine and use garlic a lot – all things I love! They also get plenty of Vitamin D from the sun and plenty of social interaction in a more relaxed lifestyle than many places.

    The Paleo and Paleo AIP Diets definitely convey many benefits to Mitochondrial health but I still developed new Hypothyroid symptoms while on it and certainly going too low on carbs can predispose you to this plus low B Vitamins from not eating cereals/grains.  I would advise people to supplement with certain Vitamins and avoid gravitating towards too many processed ‘gluten-free’ foods if you are avoiding gluten and dairy on any diet.

    After 6 months of intensive research and a lot of ‘Bio-hacking’ myself I came up with a diet and supplement regime that has improved most signs and symptoms and feelings of well-being. As I didn’t especially want to ‘name’ yet another new diet or join the ever expanding choice of new diet books (although royalties from a book would have been nice!) I searched for comprehensive research already out there that would support what I have found works.

    First there is The Mito Food Plan from the Institute of Functional Medicine – this is available free online and is a full guide with explanations that are easy to follow.

    Secondly, I had a Eureka moment when I discovered The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet Phd and Shou-Ching Jaminet Phd who back it up with plenty of research and good personal testimonies. It is a low to moderate carb(20%), high healthy fats (65%) and moderate protein (15%) diet. It is available as a book with all the scientific back up or the basic principles are available free online with a fantastic ‘Apple Plate’ graphic detailing what to eat and what to avoid – print it out and pin to your fridge or kitchen cupboard! I love the fact that it includes dark chocolate(full of Magnesium), coffee, nuts and wine, in moderation. Be open to varying the portions slightly – I personally feel I need more protein – and sometimes chocolate 🙂

    Supplements to nurture mitochondria

    I started with (a) Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 100mg a day

    (b) BioCare  Methyl B Complex

    (c) CoQ10 100mg

    Vitamin D3 plus Vitamin K2 (to prevent calcium deposits)

    Food state Selenium

    Krill oil with EPA and DHA 500mg

    then I found

    BioCare Mitoguard  which contains a daily dose = (2 capsules) of

    Thiamine (B1) 100mg, Riboflavin(B2) 60mg, Niacin(B3)100mg, D-Ribose 1000mg, N-Acetyl Carnitine 200mg,         N-Acetyl Cysteine 100mg, Alpha Lipoic Acid 100mg, CoQ10 100mg, Korean Ginseng extract 40mg.

    so this replaced a, b and c above therefore not too many pills to take!

    I also bought some D-Ribose powder that I add to coconut milk yogurt most mornings and my energy both physical and mental has improved 10 fold.

    Summary

    My ‘Bio-hacking’ has resulted in 3 weeks on a Cruise where I actually lost 2lb despite eating plenty and drinking wine with my meal each night. My energy, mental clarity and general well-being has greatly improved. My resting pulse still drops below 45 and my blood pressure is low but my morning temperature has recovered from a dire 34C to a constant 36C – so a good indication of increased metabolism (Mitochondria) and my Peripheral Neuropathy has disappeared. The only symptoms to have not improved are pulse and Heart Arrhythmia and therefore I have an appointment with a Functional Medicine Doctor  to discuss starting on Natural Desiccated Thyroid treatment. Having been Hypothyroid for several years I know I should have sought treatment earlier but I at least know that I have optimised my thyroid production and Mitochondrial health – which I will continue to do. Hopefully other people will follow this regime to boost their Mitochondria and prevent or reverse chronic disease – whatever it’s origin.

    Taking responsibility for your own health is always a good step forward and I would love to hear from anyone in my comments section.

    I will update my progress in future posts.

    bodykind - supplements, beauty and wellbeing

     

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Autoimmune diseases/ Blood sugar management/ Exclusion diet/ Health/ hormones/ Hyperthyroidism/ Hypothyroidism

    Thyroid disruption and modern diet/lifestyle influence

    Thyroid Hormones

    A while ago I wrote an article about why I thought we needed to look at the treatment of low Thyroid  (Hypothyroidism and especially Hashimoto’s) in a more holistic way. Today I would like to discuss why we have an Hypothyroid epidemic that is also treated inadequately by mainstream medicine. Modern Lifestyle has created the perfect storm – stress, low fat, high carb diet and disrupted Thyroid/hormones. Nutrition and lifestyle changes can have a great effect, as I have proved by my own, so read on to find out…..

    The Functional Medicine approach of  an understanding of the root cause and lifestyle choices can lead to better outcomes with or without hormone replacement.

    I remember being taught that the Pituitary was the conductor of the endocrine orchestra… many years ago but analogies often stick in the mind. This basically illustrates that all the hormones in the body when healthy, work together  in a balanced and synchronised way and if one instrument was to play the wrong notes then the whole production would be discordant.

    Now let’s look one of the most common chronic problems – FATIGUE. Not just feeling tired because you have been over-working, over-exercising or ill but a chronic fatigue that means you never really have much energy, you might even wake up feeling tired and you mostly feel lack-lustre with no get-up-and-go and no incentive to do anything. You go to the Doctor and after some blood tests you are told you have low Thyroid function and they may suggest that you need to take Thyroxine – for the rest of your life.

    The Thyroid Gland

    The Thyroid Gland in your neck, controlled by a hormone from the Pituitary called TSH, produces hormones T3 and T4 that regulate your metabolism and that doesn’t just mean how many calories you burn and whether or not you put on weight – it means that the thyroid hormones regulate the way every cell in the body functions. Just to list some of the functions that are affected:

    • Heart Rate
    • Breathing
    • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Body Temperature
    • Muscle Strength
    • Menstrual Cycles
    • Blood sugar
    • Cholesterol levels

    Therefore when the Thyroid Gland is producing either too many hormones or too few the symptoms in the body can be very diverse and affect the quality of life.  Sometimes this prevents someone going to their Doctor because they feel they will be perceived as a hypochondriac and they are not sure how to describe the feeling they have “not being quite in control” or “out of sync” – which is exactly what, in fact is happening with imbalance in the whole endocrine system.

    Let’s revisit that Orchestra….. one musician is playing off key, so what are the choices? Remove them, replace them or find out why and try to correct the problem. Exactly the same in medicine. The Doctor might remove the Thyroid Gland (either by surgery or with Radiation), or the most common scenario is to replace the missing hormones with just artificial T4 (which frequently turns out to be an inferior player!) or, as in the Functional Medicine approach, investigate why it is out of balance and try to correct the problem.This can be complicated and time consuming because you have to look at all the hormone systems and how they regulate each other. It could cost a lot of time and money and a specialist to interpret all the results and we are really only just beginning to understand how things work on a cellular level.

    NB. frequently Hypothyroidism is preceded by a period of Hyperthyroid type symptoms. Hyperactivity, anxiety, poor sleep and stress because the body is pumping out lots of TSH from the Pituitary to try to get the Thyroid to work harder. If, at this stage you are treated aggressively for Hyperthyroidism then you will end up in an even worse situation, possibly even without a Thyroid Gland.

    The Nutritional Approach

    I like to take a different approach. I start with what we know –

    • Thyroid imbalance sometimes has an Autoimmune cause with anti-bodies present in the blood. Ask your Doctor to do this test.
    • There is often a history of chronic stress, sugar/caffeine cravings with resulting high Cortisol. Thyroid hormones help eliminate excess Cortisol but if the hormone Pregnenolone is low the body will be using too much thyroid hormone and the body may be struggling to produce more. See the OAT axis mentioned in the Medical advice section.
    • or a history of years of yo-yo low fat dieting, metabolic syndrome or Diabetes.
    • there may be a history of hormonal disruption, menstruation problems, fertility problems, Birth control hormones or HRT, oestrogen dominance symptoms. Oestogen can prevent the conversion of T4 to its active form of T3 in the body. All connected in the OAT axis.
    • look for clusters of symptoms – there are over 300 connected to Thyroid dysfunction but it is important to see beyond the symptoms and be aware of underlying nutritional deficiencies.
    • A Leaky Gut or poor gut microbiome may have caused or added to the problem – especially if thyroid antibodies have been found.
    • Coeliac Disease or a Gluten or Lactose intolerance could have caused nutritional deficiencies
    • or there may be deficiencies due to a restricted diet. Selenium, zinc and iodine are essential for the production and utilisation of Thyroid hormones.
    • There may be an underlying infection. Epstein Barr Virus has been implicated recently and this could also account for some of the more advanced symptoms such as tingling of the hands and feet, itchy skin, irregular heart rhythm and nodules in the Thyroid gland. There may be a history of infection such as Glandular Fever or ‘Mono’, Herpes virus, Shingles etc. These are viruses that can lay dormant for years but activating the immune system and it is believed that the percentage of people now carrying these viruses is extremely high.

    What can we do to correct the imbalances.

    1. Start with your diet. A Paleo Approach diet that includes plenty of leafy vegetables, Berries, healthy fats and enough quality (organic if possible) protein. Eliminate gluten, Dairy and Soy plus any other food you appear to react to. Good substitutes for Dairy exist in Coconut milk/yogurt products or Almond Milk but initially it is best to avoid all processed Gluten Free products to reduce inflammation as much as possible. Change to using Celtic Sea Salt as this contains iodine which is essential for Thyroid hormone production. Ordinary table salt is just sodium chloride, chemicals and some added iodine whereas Celtic Sea salt is natural, sun dried salt and has other important minerals including magnesium, manganese iron and zinc. Selenium is another mineral that is required by the thyroid and is often deficient in the soil and diet in many countries so it is well worth adding about 200mcg a day. Selenium works well with adequate levels of Vitamin D3 and therefore it is best to get levels checked and to take 4,000 – 5,000 iu per day during the winter.
    2. Reduce sugar in all its forms and do not use artificial sweeteners. It is very important to balance your blood sugar therefore make sure you have protein and healthy fat at each meal – this is NOT a calorie controlled diet, if you eat enough of the healthy proteins and fats you will not feel hungry but you will still lose weight because your body will adapt to burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Restricting Calories can lead to even more stress on the Adrenals and make losing weight harder. It can take a little while to adapt to this ‘keto’ diet and initially you may get some symptoms of detox which is because lots of toxins are stored in body fat and when you start to burn that fat you will start to eliminate those toxins. Drink plenty of water or coconut water (unsweetened) and add 2-3g of vitamin C if you get constipated. Warm Epson Salts baths may help as well so that all the detox pathways – skin, kidneys and bowels are working well. The liver will also have to work hard at first so be kind to it – start the day with warm water and fresh lemon juice and avoid alcohol until you are feeling much better.
    3. Healing the gut and reducing inflammation are very important and I have many articles (and an e-book) on how this is achieved and supplements that can speed the progress so I won’t cover it again here.
    4. Reduce Stress – examine your lifestyle/commitments and work out ways to reduce the stress. Yoga or Pilates can work wonders if practised at least every other day and there are some brilliant, free video courses on YouTube. this is my favourite teacher Yoga with Adriene

      She has a brilliant one for neck and shoulder relief and this is where so many of us hold our stress and tension.

    5. After 2-4 weeks I would suggest trying some adaptogenic herbs – these help to balance your hormones, can help with relaxation and sleep. They have been used for hundreds of years in Ayurvedic Medicine but research which sound best for you and whether they are safe to take with any pre-existing condition, pregnancy or breast feeding. Ashwaganda and/or Licorice root are good but try one at a time to see if they suit you.
    6. Then we can add some foods and supplements that can help reduce your viral load – if that is possibly a problem for you. I would start by gradually increasing the coconut oil/cream in your diet. Use Virgin Coconut oil in cooking or as a spread with nut butter and maybe add some MCT oil to your coffee in the morning. if you add too much too quickly you will give yourself stomach cramps and possibly diarrhoea. The beneficial fat in coconut oil is Lauric Acid which can be converted to the active ingredient Monolaurin in the body or for a stronger effect you can buy Monolaurin as a dietary supplement. Other supplements that can kill EBV are Lemon Balm, L-Lysine an amino acid, Olive leaf, Black seed oil or Scutellaria (the herb Skullcap). These may be natural remedies but they are strong and it is important to follow the dosing advice if self treating.

    My Personal experience…

    If you suspect that your Thyroid is not performing as it should you could take your morning temperature before you get out of bed.(This is called your Basal body temperature and will likely be low if you have low Thyroid function.) My worst symptoms were hair loss, tingling of hands and feet and poor sleep.

    • My Basal Temperature was about 34.2C when I first took it in July of 2017. My pulse 48 and irregular (sinus Bradycardia)and my blood pressure always low. Normal basal temperature would be 36.1 – 37C & a normal pulse is about 60 -72 beats per minute.
    • I started taking Selenium at this time because as I was already following a healthy Paleo diet, gluten, soy and dairy free,eating organic veg and taking additional minerals this was one mineral I knew I could be short of living in the UK.
    • I started taking Methyl B complex vitamins as they are better absorbed.
    • After just 2 weeks my Basal temperature had already risen to between 35C – 36C
    • I then tried adding a Tyrosine capsule a day but this gave me a headache and a discomfort in my throat – it is not recommended that people with auto-immune Thyroid (Hashimotos Hypothyroid) use this as it can trigger a bigger immune response. I stopped this on day 7 but noticed that my metabolism was up, I was actually feeling warm and the tingling in my hands and feet was much better.
    • After a few days I started taking Ashwaganda. This according to Ayurvedic medicine is best taken with milk (coconut or almond for me)and honey prior to bed.
    • I then thought I would try a protocol that would reduce any EBV activity. I have a strong history of Shingles x 3 with the first severe infection when I was 12 and a severe Glandular Fever aged 18 that left me with post viral fatigue for several months. I vary what I take to give maximum effect. L-Lysine first and I actually got herpes pain over the area of my back that had been affected and just a couple of blisters appeared! I then tried Black seed oil for 3 weeks and I started to feel much better. Everything improved except my sleep which was erratic – having some great nights followed by a few of not being able to get to sleep until 3 or 4 am.

    Now, January 2018, my Basal Temperature is 36.1C and my pulse 60 and regular. My blood pressure has remained similar 120/60. I bought Thyroid Healing by The Medical Medium because although not a medical man he has a great knowledge of healing with diet. I added freeze dried wild blueberries, celery, apple and papaya to my diet. Previously I had concentrated on raspberries, blueberries and strawberries but in the Winter in the UK these are imported and not tasty whereas freeze dried wild blueberries are more nutritious and there is no waste.

    What next for me? 

    Continue on my improved diet, continue to take supplements as needed. This year I am going to keep up my Yoga practice, spend more time in Nature and have the whole of February Free of social media if you want to join me #freefromFeb is the hashtag! Just need to improve my sleep so will give my brain a detox.

    Conclusion

    In six months I have managed to improve my Thyroid function to near normal limits and avoided prescription medication. I have no symptoms of parasthesia in my hands or feet and they are actually warmer than they have been in years! My sleep is still not right so I have just started taking Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese Skullcap) following an excellent webinar from Metabolic Healing on Thyroid management. This herb has many therapeutic benefits and references can be found here

    and even more science here 

    Described as the most powerful antioxidant owing to its 5 compounds and strong anti-inflammatory actions, ease of crossing the blood-brain-barrier and it has neuroprotective properties.

    It should not be taken by people on statins, diabetes medication or anticoagulants. It is not recommended for anyone with oestrogen sensitive conditions and  there is insufficient evidence to say if it is safe in pregnancy or breastfeeding.

    Medical Advice

    I am not giving medical advice here and in the first instance you should always see a doctor to get blood tests and rule out any other disease or problem. I did this and I would encourage everyone to do the same but the reality in the UK and in mainstream medicine generally seems to be that you normally only get tested for TSH and T4 and that the ‘normal’ range for these appears to be too high in relation to what is actually being observed as signs and symptoms. You could ask that your adrenal function and oestrogen and progesterone are tested as well as the Thyroid anti-bodies test. Peri-menopause can give many of the same signs and symptoms or a Hysterectomy may have prompted problems.

    Doctors not trained in Functional Medicine do not usually look at the OAT Axis for imbalance between the Ovarian-Adrenal-Thyroid hormones and at how a low fat, high sugar /carbohydrate diet and chronic stress can impact the body. This is what the information above is able to address.

    Most of us would rather avoid surgery, radiation treatment or a lifetime of taking prescription medicines, either natural or artificial hormones. If you can get the help of a Functional Medicine Practitioner then great or an Ayurvedic practitioner but whatever you do you will need to document your symptoms and take responsibility for your health. We live in an age where chronic conditions – that cannot be cured with a prescription- are increasing at an alarming rate but it has been proved that nutrition and lifestyle can give you your quality of life back.

     

     

     

     

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Arthritis/ Autoimmune diseases/ Blood sugar management/ Cancer./ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Detox Drinks - healthy drinking/ Energy/ Health/ Hyperthyroidism/ Hypothyroidism/ Mineral Depletion/ Nutritional Medicine/ Sizzling Minerals

    Optimum Health and Energy

    Minerals

    Do you exercise, eat a healthy diet and spend a lot on daily supplements but still feel there is something missing? Would you love to have Optimum health and energy? Wake refreshed? Have better digestion and more stable blood sugar? Plus Sports enthusiasts can improve performance, Prolong Endurance, increase stamina and have rapid recovery.

    Do you suffer from chronic health problems, stress, poor sleep, low blood sugar, Type II Diabetes, bloating, IBS or other digestive problems, allergies and intolerances, poor focus or memory, pains in muscles, legs or joints? Then that something that is missing is almost certainly Minerals. You need about 60 different minerals a day for the proper function of your

    • Immune System
    • Enzyme functions
    • Balancing of body pH
    • Cellular Health – mitochondrial health, oxygenation and energy

    Linus Pauling stated “you can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency” and yet the estimate is that we are only taking in 20-25 now even on a good diet with at least 5 a day fruit and vegetables. Nutritionists and Doctors seem to frequently ignore the importance of minerals and yet we have an epidemic of immune system problems and allergies in all ages, but especially children.

    A post on Magnesium Deficiency went viral and the media seems to concentrate on Calcium and the problems with calcium tablets but what about the 58+ other minerals? We need 7 Macro-minerals for bone, muscle, heart and brain function and fluid balance – Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride and Sulphur All Trace minerals are incorporated into enzymes or hormones required in body processes. So here are just a few minerals and what they are necessary for. Read More

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Cancer./ Energy/ Environmental/ Health/ Hyperthyroidism/ Hypothyroidism/ Mineral Depletion/ Nutrition and Cancer/ Sizzling Minerals

    Interesting Iodine

    iodine deficiency

    Iodine deficiency is a global health concern. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 2 billion people may be iodine deficient with about 50 million of them suffering from deficiency disorders which can range from low energy, cognitive decline, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction to cardiovascular disease, fibrocystic breast disease and a variety of cancers, especially breast and stomach cancer. Research has linked Iodine deficiency with ADHD and Autism with rates rising dramatically over the last two decades. According to research in the USA Iodine levels have dropped by more than half since the 1970’s. Under production of the hormone thyroxine causes weakened neural connections in the brain/nervous system. Iodine is therefore especially necessary for pregnant women and the development of their babies.

    From about the 1920’s onwards many people were suffering the effects of iodine deficiency, sometimes developing a visible swelling at the front of the neck called a Goiter in adults and preventable mental retardation in children due to low levels of iodine in the soil and diet. Governments recognised the problem and decided to add iodine to table salt as a way of increasing iodine levels in the diet. Most salts do not contain enough iodine to rectify the problem and processed foods don’t have to contain iodised salt therefore coupled with the reduction in salt intake over the last 20 years we now have millions suffering deficiency disorders.

    Iodine and the amino acid tyrosine make up thyroid hormones that control metabolism, body temperature, heart rate and glucose and fat levels in the blood. Selenium, Zinc and iron are also co-factors for enzymes that contribute to healthy tissue in the body.

    Too much thyroid hormone results in hyperthyroidism – a high metabolic rate, rapid heart beat and often palpitations, feeling warmer than normal and excessive sweating. In extreme cases it can lead to muscle weakness and weight loss. Too little thyroid hormone results in hypothyroidism – with the opposite symptoms, slow heart rate, feeling cold, constipation, weight gain, dry skin and hair, muscle aches and weakness, depression and fatigue. Energy levels are affected via the thyroid adrenal axis  and so adrenal support is often needed as well as thyroid support.

    It is often confusing that Iodine deficiency can lead to both low thyroid function and hyperthyroidism but fortunately all iodine deficiency disorders and related health issues can be prevented and treated with adequate intake of Iodine. Anyone who has been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease or Graves disease should work with their doctor to assess and correct their Iodine levels.

    These actions, generally promoted as being healthy, can also reduce your available Iodine –

    1. decreasing your salt intake
    2. using salt that has little or no Iodine
    3. being on a vegetarian or vegan diet puts you in an at risk group because plants contain lower iodine than animal and dairy products. It is hard to get even the minimum daily 150 mcg without eating seafood, eggs or dairy but eating small amounts of seaweed would easily correct this imbalance.
    4. sweating profusely while exercising means iodine can be lost in substantial amounts and that also applies to those that work in hot, humid environments.

    How much Iodine do we need? Read More

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ ME

    Managing time & energy for stress reduction

    We are all suffering from information overload and what I call crap communications overload – addicted to the technology that is at our fingertips 24/7. It is zapping our energy and filling our brains with a lot of information that we don’t actually need. I love my iPad and would struggle to live without it but it should just be a tool and not a time consuming habit. We are feeding our need to feel connected and loved while damaging our real relationships and interactions with real life. You may not think that your technology is causing you stress but it might be a problem for those around you and that will have an impact personally. The You Tube video “I FORGOT MY PHONE” went viral for good reason.

    How many times a day do you check your emails?

    Do you dread seeing how many you have each day, with the number just going up and up?

    Do you wonder where all the time goes?

    Do you make loads of ‘to do’ lists?

    Do you feel ‘wired’, unable to switch your brain off, unable to get a decent nights sleep?

    Take action

    • Don’t use devices after 9pm as the light emitted from devices alters levels of melatonin and can be detrimental to a good nights sleep.
    • Don’t have alerts turned on unless you are expecting something really important.
    • Turn off notifications for other social media -you really don’t need 20 emails telling you other people have also wished a friend Happy Birthday! – or a text telling you that someone you have never heard of is following you on Twitter!
    • Prioritise time for the most value you will get from it, either personally or in business terms.
    • Make a list of what you would like to achieve the next day.
    • Give yourself time to wake-up; wash;exercise/meditate each morning and eat a nourishing low sugar, protein breakfast before you reach for your phone/ipad etc.

    FB, twitter, Pinterest, Games or just randomly searching the web are low value things to do that can have a damaging effect on your productivity and energy.

    NB. Reading my blog obviously doesn’t come into that category! I am coaching you to nurture yourself  and achieve good results!

    Check out this free video for more info on how to double your productivity and a productivity pyramid exercise you can print.

    Wake Up!

     

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Arthritis/ Autoimmune diseases/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Nutritional Medicine

    Latest Health Books

    A review of three of the latest health books to help you regain your health and energy.

    The first is “The adrenal reset diet” by Dr Alan Christianson and explains an easy way to reset you adrenals by cycling carbohydrates and protein. It is thoroughly tested and this is how Dr Christianson and his family live and eat on a normal basis. If you are suffering from a chronic disease and lack energy then this book will certainly be of interest to you. Please let me know how you get on.

    The second book is by Dr Frank Lipman “The New Health Rules” and I love the title of this one. Health information is changing rapidly, sugar is the bad guy, not all fats, how we need daily sunlight, how to prevent Alzheimer’s and much more information that helps us realise the important facts despite all the contradictory information that we are given.

    The third book is “The Autoimmune Solution” by Dr Amy Myers. Out as Kindle version on 27th January 2015 and hardback 26th February 2015 it can be pre-ordered now. Dr. Myers, who had an autoimmune disease herself, ran The Autoimmune Seminar last year and interviewed many of the foremost doctors and nutritionists spreading the knowledge around the world. For anyone that missed the seminar or found themselves unable to take in all the information, this book will be the perfect reference guide to help you take control of your condition or prevent it developing.

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Fibromyalgia/ Hashimotos Disease/ Hypothyroidism/ ME/ Nutritional Medicine

    HYPOTHYROIDISM vs ADRENAL FATIGUE

    Thyroid Hormones

    Tired or exhausted most of the time? Let’s look at the some of differences between Hypothyroidism (low functioning Thyroid Gland) and Adrenal Fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue symptoms can resemble low Thyroid function and can also suppress Thyroid function through the complex HPA Axis (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis). Therefore people with Fatigue can show symptoms of low Thyroid function (Hypothyroidism) but the main difference is that in Adrenal Fatigue the Circadian Rhythms (physical, mental and behavioural changes that roughly follow a 24 hour cycle responding mainly to light and darkness) are disrupted with energy crashes during the day and disturbed sleep patterns and it is extremely important to treat the underlying imbalances to the HPA Axis before treating the low thyroid activity.

    Both share symptoms such as low energy, cold hands, low body temperature and sluggish digestion. There is a strong link between the Thyroid and the Adrenal glands – both glands are involved in energy production – and this link is usually referred to as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-thyroid axis.

    For more in depth information go to Adrenal Fatigue Focus.

    The advice is to address the Adrenal fatigue with Stress reduction, Blood Sugar control and healing Gut dysfunction (see previous post) while also ensuring that the Thyroid has optimal nutrition, which is:-

    • Tyrosine – made in the body from good quality proteins (approx 30g a day) and sufficient Vitamin B6. Tyrosine supports neurotransmitters in the brain and is a precursor to Thyroxine and pituitary and Adrenal gland hormones. Lack of tyrosine causes low body temperature and low blood pressure. Good sources in the diet are meat, dairy products, eggs, almonds, avocados and bananas. Do not take tyrosine as a supplement if you suffer from migraine, are on MAOIs antidepressants or are pregnant.
    • Selenium – a trace mineral essential to all bodily functions. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the bodies supply. Low levels can contribute to autoimmune problems such as psoriasis and Thyroid disease. the following foods provide selenium: brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, fish(tuna, sardines, salmon etc.) Shellfish, meat, eggs, mushrooms, grains (wheatgerm, barley, brown rice and oats) and onions.
    • Zinc – a very important trace element. Can be found in mushrooms, meat, offal, nuts, seeds, oysters, eggs and wholegrain products.(organic where possible)
    • Iodine – found in fish and seafood, seaweed products, fresh pineapple, Celtic sea salt and Spirulina. It is possible to absorb it through the skin therefore if you paint a two inch square on your inner thigh every couple of days until there is still an amount remaining after 48 hours then stop for a while. Lugol’s iodine is also a preparation that can be taken by mouth when added to water. For more information visit Regenerative Nutrition. If you are already taking Thyroxine then you may need to get your levels tested more often and have the dose adjusted.
    • Reduce toxic overload, heavy metal toxicity and follow the Detox Diet detailed in other Millenniumhealth Posts.
  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Fibromyalgia/ ME/ Nutritional Medicine

    ADRENAL FATIGUE – the road to recovery.

    Fatigue

    Adrenal fatigue – how to diagnose and get on the road to recovery. Adrenal fatigue is now more usually recognised as a dysfunction of the HPA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis) because of the complex influences and feedback between these three endocrine glands. The Hypothalamus sends messages from the brain to the Adrenal glands, the Pituitary gland and other organs and is responsible for energy levels, body temperature and Circadian Rhythms. The Pituitary Gland is a pea sized gland that produces hormones essential for growth, fluid balance and reproduction. The Adrenal glands sit just above each kidney and produce steroid hormones such as Cortisol, DHEA and sex hormones plus stress hormones like adrenaline and dopamine.

    Anyone who has been ill for a long time, suffered prolonged levels of high stress, has an autoimmune disease or diseases (having one predisposes you to getting others) or has Chronic fatigue syndrome always has a degree of Adrenal Fatigue and HPA Dysfunction. The Adrenal Glands make our natural anti-inflammatory, Cortisol, so when they are under-performing the body is likely to be suffering from severe inflammation and potentially degenerative disease,as well as poor blood sugar control and stress control. NB. If you have already been prescribed NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for your joint pain or inflammation then please read all this information and decrease the drug use asap. These drugs and the gastric protector drugs that are given with them, have many unwanted and even dangerous side effects especially to the digestive lining. They can also affect your absorption of vital nutrients and so lead to more disruption of body symptoms. It is always much better to treat the source of the problems and not just treat the symptoms.

    The symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue will vary with the degree of malfunction of these glands and also may involve some dysfunction of the Thyroid gland as well. (more on that later). You may have some symptoms but still be able to function on a daily basis or have extreme, bed ridden, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    Symptoms:-

    • low Blood pressure and frequently Postural Hypo-tension – where blood pressure falls on standing up.
    • decreased tolerance to cold
    • Cold hands and feet – often turning white with bluish nail bases.
    • shakiness
    • dizzy spells, feeling faint
    • increased allergies
    • general feeling of exhaustion
    • weakness of ligaments and muscle fatigue
    • low mood/depression/mood swings
    • cravings for salty or sweet food
    • problems controlling blood sugar
    • lower immunity to infections
    • poor sleep quality
    • over-active brain late evening or at night
    • Adrenaline up/ sex hormones down – irritability, depression, anxiety and menstrual problems in women.
    • sensitivity to loud noises
    • palpitations
    • thin, easily broken nails, sometimes with vertical ridges

    If you have a good few of these symptoms and you go to your General Practitioner they may test you and tell you that you don’t have Cushing’s syndrome or Addison’s disease and so therefore there isn’t anything wrong. Most of us know when there is and you can do plenty to fix it either by yourself or with the help of a Functional Medicine Doctor or Nutritionist. It may be possible to obtain an ASI (saliva test) that will be an indicator of the degree of Adrenal exhaustion but saliva tests only tests for free cortisol which is about 3-5% and the amount within the tissues could high and therefore urine tests can be much more accurate. It is important to treat all aspects of this complex system

    • by stress reduction
    • blood sugar regulation
    • Gut dysfunction
    • nutritional supplementation.

    Treatment

    It is essential to get enough Vitamin C on a daily basis as a water soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body or made in the human body (but is in other animals). You need a good source of vitamin C that is easily absorbed and that comes with Bioflavinoids and you have to take a supplement of 2-3,000 mgs to reach a therapeutic dose and cannot initially rely on diet alone. Some people can tolerate the more acidic versions but others may need the buffered versions (sodium ascorbate) and the most neutral for acidity is Sodium Citrate. With some acidic Vitamin C you can reach a intolerance level where you get loose bowel movements and then you have to reduce the dose to your own tolerance level.

    Licorice Root an adaptogenic herb that increases the level of circulating cortisol by reducing its breakdown. We are dealing with people who generally have Low Blood pressure with Adrenal Fatigue so in this case it is OK to take the normal Licorice Root. If you have other underlying health problems that cause you to have High Blood pressure then you need to take the Deglycyrrhized (DGL) type which does not raise blood pressure. It is a good idea to monitor your blood pressure while taking Licorice Root, especially lying and standing B/P so that you can vary the dose according to your results. When your blood pressure is consistently at about 120/90 then you can reduce the dose and monitor the effect. If you have an infection or a relapse in your condition it is often wise to increase the dose for a period of time to help your body cope.

    Celtic Ocean sea salt and drinking enough water will help normalise Blood pressure and provide essential minerals for good glandular function. Or Sizzling Minerals from Simply Naturals that are 75 Plant based minerals.

    Vitamin B Complex 50 mgs which has already been included in supplements recommended but especially B5 (Pantothenic Acid) as a deficiency results in adrenal atrophy. This vitamin is also found in cauliflower, broccoli, salmon, liver and sweet potatoes that are encouraged on the detox diet. Latest research shows that people with certain genetic make-up or problems utilising artificial vitamins may be better taking natural, plant source B Vitamins.

    Probiotics are extremely beneficial for improving gut function and boosting the Immune System. I recommend a six day course of Elixa Probiotic that is much stronger and with more beneficial strains than other makes.

    Zinc and Magnesium may also be needed in doses higher than can be obtained in your diet. Magnesium is well absorbed through a spray onto the skin which is a good way to take it if you hate swallowing too many pills or are having trouble sleeping and it will act as a relaxant prior to bed.

    Some Siberian Ginseng or even Panax Ginseng(which is considered stronger) may help some people as these are adaptogenic herbs but they may not suit everyone and I would not introduce them until you have established the other treatments for a while and are showing improvement. Equally I wouldn’t recommend Ashwaganda or Rhodiola or Astragalus for people who have autoimmune disease because they are very stimulating to the immune system as a whole.

    Rest and relaxation are vital to lowering stress levels, reducing inflammation and improving Adrenal Function. Try some guided Meditation tapes or Apps and find one that suits you. Gentle yoga, Tai Chi or stretching or having a massage could be beneficial. Avoid bright lights or electronic devices in the evening to promote the hormones that aid sleep. Spending time with pets or in Nature and getting some sun exposure is extremely beneficial. Avoid anything that causes anxiety or stress like watching the News, taking on other peoples problems etc. and aim for extreme self care and calm.

    Controlling your blood sugar by eating frequently and including some protein with each meal plus eating more vegetables and less processed carbohydrates and less fruit and sugar is essential for helping your relaxation and sleep. Cortisol is one of the ways our bodies control blood sugar. When blood sugar drops because cortisol can no longer maintain it effectively the Adrenals produce more adrenaline which also activates the nervous system that makes us alert. Waking at regular times in the night (typically about 4am!) is frequently a sign of these rises in adrenaline. This should stabilise with the detox diet and supplements listed above and can be helped by eating some protein before bed and just a couple of Brazil nuts or a piece of cold meat might help.

    Also see the Post on The Thymus gland and the immune system where Licorice root and similar nutrients also help.

    Click here to visit bodykind

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Arthritis/ Autoimmune diseases/ Exclusion diet/ Inflammation/ Integrated Medicine/ Leaky Gut/ Nutritional Medicine/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Autoimmune disease epidemic

    The Truth About Cancer

    We are in the midst of an Autoimmune disease epidemic. Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Thyroid disease, Lupus, Gout, Autism, ADHD, some forms of cancer and hundreds of others either confirmed as Autoimmune or highly suspected to be. The numbers of people affected now exceeds the number of people with both heart disease and Cancer combined, which is more than 50 million in the USA alone! If you are worried about your health and want to start helping yourself or your family right now then start discovering proven ways you can change your diet, feel better and end the pain and life limiting effects of chronic disease.

    It was because my Mother had Rheumatoid arthritis that I became interested in and started studying Nutrition, about 35 years ago. We always felt that there was a strong relationship with the food she ate and the progression of her disease but try as I might I was unable to get her to change her diet. I felt that milk and wheat were the possible foods causing her trouble but she would not give up milk because she felt she needed it for her bones and nothing would change her mind – she would drink at least a pint a day. She did try to go wheat free but only lasted 3 days and said that she felt ill, weak, had a constant headache and low mood – all things I now know to be withdrawal symptoms from the narcotic effects of wheat itself. The progression of her disease was relentless and in addition to the painful and disabling joint changes she developed Sjogren’s Syndrome(an auto-immune condition where the body’s immune system attacks glands that secrete fluid, such as the tears and salivary glands), heart failure and adrenal failure.

    Over the last few years my focus has been more on the cancer epidemic but then my son became ill and it took me a while but eventually we managed to come up with a diagnosis of Reiter’s Syndrome – another autoimmune disease that causes a reactive arthritis plus other symptoms of inflammation. As with my mother, Autoimmunity often involves more than one reaction in the body and he also has Celiac, Eczema, Sjogren’s syndrome(dry eyes) and Lichen Planus a non infectious skin condition.

    So I have come full circle and am back investigating autoimmune diseases again and everything else that now appears to be connected to inflammation that starts in the gut.

    Over the last few years an amazing amount of progress has been made in this field – almost all of it in America. The Americans have had Naturopathic Doctors or Medical Doctors who have taken up Functional Medicine, where Doctors look for the cause and don’t just treat the symptoms and so it has been possible for those with a more Holistic view of health to discover the total body connections more easily than those who have a more ‘body systems’ approach and an early entry into specialisation.

    I have recently completed The Detox Summit on-line and have learnt so much. My son had been dairy free for awhile but was still not as well as we would like and following the Summit we both went on a months detox diet.

    The results were quick and dramatic.

    Within the month my son lost 3lbs, had more energy, no painful joints, no more stomach pains or bowel problems and his eczema cleared up completely.

    I lost 5lbs, became free of aches and pains, more flexible and could touch my toes or the floor with ease,  no more pains in back or ankles or swelling of hands and ankles, sinus problems and mucous in throat at night disappeared, anxiety and palpitations ended, stomach bloating and pains vanished and bowel movements became normal.

    There was also an effect of mental clarity and better dream recall that I think we both felt. We then continued with a natural, fresh diet leaving out processed foods and gradually reintroduced some foods and watched for reactions. We took supplements to help heal the gut and to rebuild a good Microbiome of beneficial bacteria in the gut. More Posts will follow to help you do the same.

    • Remove foods that are causing inflammation and activating your immune system
    • Remove any hidden infection or parasites
    • Restore gut integrity and healthy microbiome
    • Re-introduce foods and improve diet and nutritional intake

    Sign up to receive free help and advice directly to your inbox and ask me questions on any specific problems.

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Cancer./ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Immune system - healing/ Integrated Medicine/ Supplements

    The Thymus gland and the Immune System

    The Thymus gland is situated under the breastbone at the top of the chest, just below the Thyroid Gland. It is the major gland of our immune system, responsible for many functions, including the production of T Lymphocytes – a type of white blood cell responsible for cell mediated immunity rather than antibody controlled immunity. Cell mediated immunity is extremely important in forming resistance to infection by mold-like bacteria, yeasts, fungi, parasites and viruses (including Epstein -Barr and Herpes Simplex). It is also critical in protecting us from the development of cancer and allergies.

    The Thymus gland also releases several hormones which regulate many immune functions and low levels of these are associated with depressed immunity and increased susceptibility to infection. Thymic hormones are frequently very low in the elderly, AIDS patients and cancer patients ( especially those who have undergone Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy) and high stress levels deplete them more.

    There are three main areas where you can do things to improve your Thymus function and boost your immunity.

    1. Prevent  Thymus damage and involution (shrinkage). The Thymus is extremely susceptible to free radical and oxidative damage caused by radiation, infection, stress, exposure to high levels of pollution or chemotherapy drugs and chronic illness. Anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, glutathione, zinc and beta-carotene, anti-oxidant herbs like Astragalus and certain mushroom extracts can all help to prevent Thymus damage and enhance cell mediated immunity.
    2. There are many nutrients that are important in the production, secretion and function of thymic hormones. Deficiencies of any one of these nutrients can result in decreased thymic hormone function and impaired immune function. Zinc is particularly effective in restoring depressed immunity and low levels of zinc usually cause a lack of sense of smell and taste. Vitamin B6 and vitamin C are also critical nutrients and because they are water soluble and not stored in the body it is vital to maintain a sufficient daily intake.
    3. Stimulation of Thymus gland activity can be by high quality thymus extracts, either by capsule supplements or by a series of injections depending on condition of the immune system. I have seen someone who had a depressed white blood cell count of 2,500-3000 for 2 years following Radiotherapy and chemotherapy (the normal range is 4,000-10,000) rise to 5,300 after one course of Thymus injections and rising to 9,400 three months later. For more information click Thymus-Therapy The immune enhancing effects of thymus extract have been can be useful in treating the following conditions:
    • Lowered resistance or susceptiblity to infection.
    • Degenerative conditions of the spine and joints, including Rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Autoimmune diseases – RA, ulcerative colitis, Chrohn’s disease etc.
    • Metabolic disturbances such as Diabetes and gout.
    • Diseases of the heart and circulation.
    • Chronic inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract, the liver, the gallbladder, the kidneys or the prostate gland.
    • Thymus peptides can also be used as a supplementary measure in the treatment of cancer (pre- and post- operative treatment and for reduction of side effects during and after Radiation and chemotherapy)
    • Also as a prophylatic measure against precancerous conditions in people who have a hereditary predispoition to cancer.

    Other herbs which positively effect the thymus gland include liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and European mistletoe (Viscum Album). The most well known, often taken to prevent colds, is Echinacea angustiflolia but this should be taken with care by people who have an autoimmune disease.

    If you wish to supplement with Thymus Enzyme Capsules (dirived from calf thymus) then a quality product is very important and there are many on the market. I have used products from a company called Enzymatic Therapy and they have 2 products – Thymulus and Thymuplex.