• 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

     

  • Aspartate/ Brain - Gut Connection/ Butyrate/ Cancer Prevention/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Exclusion diet/ Fibromyalgia/ Glutamate/ Glutamine/ Health/ Leaky Gut/ Nutrition and Cancer/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Weight, Gut and Sleep Problems?

    Weight, Gut and sleep problems

    Do you have a combination of weight, gut and sleep problems? If you have, you might not know how they are connected and how a new approach to eating could help.

    Your gut and brain are intimately connected as I have discussed  in ‘The Brain -Gut Connection‘. Many neurotransmitters are manufactured in the gut with Probiotic bacteria playing a crucial role. If the balance of bacteria in your gut is not right then levels of neurotransmitters like Tryptophan, Serotonin, and GABA that are produced can cause everything from brain fog and insomnia to ADHD and Epilepsy.

    These good gut bacteria thrive on fibre in the diet, especially non-soluble fibre which is often lacking in today’s highly processed diets. Having the right balance of high fibre, good bacteria and balanced blood sugar go hand in hand and therefore can be very important factors in controlling weight. Eating a diet with plenty of fibre and good fats also slows the digestive system and making you feel full for longer, happier and mentally sharper.

    Another very important substance in the gut that is produced by good probiotic bacteria and fibre is called Butyrate. Read More

  • 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

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Energy/ Health/ Inflammation/ Mineral Depletion/ Nutritional Medicine/ Sizzling Minerals

    ENERGY – How do you get yours?

    ENERGYHow do you get yours? 

    COFFEE       RED BULL     COCA COLA      CHOCOLATE      PASTRIES     CEREALS     SUGAR

    What do all these things do to us? They raise our blood sugar rapidly, causing a spike that triggers the release of insulin to break it down into glucose and to transport it to the cells. Any glucose that can’t be used by the cells is transported to the liver, converted into a form that can be stored – glycogen. When needed this glycogen can be converted back into glucose by Cortisol and transported back into the bloodstream. There is a limit to the amount of glycogen that can be stored in the body and so whatever amount is consumed after that level is reached is converted into Triglycerides for storage in fat cells. High levels of Triglycerides are a major risk factor for heart disease and total body inflammation.

    Unfortunately these foods don’t give us energy for very long, they don’t stop us from feeling hungry for long and they don’t give our bodies the nutrition they really need to function well.

    High sugar, high carbohydrate diets result in insulin resistance and can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

    We lead stressful, busy lives that put more demand on our bodies for continuous quick-fixes of energy and our Pancreas struggles to keep up with the supply of insulin triggering more Cortisol from our Adrenal glands and a permanently elevated blood sugar, and permanently elevated Cortisol. This gives us that high and wired feeling but if continued this can begin to feel ‘normal‘.

    Cortisol has other functions in the body, one of which is to control inflammation so with Stress, inflammation and blood sugar control Cortisol levels continues to rise, damaging our digestion, digestive tract and immune system and leaving us at risk of infections, food allergies, Autoimmune disease and cancer.

    SO HOW SHOULD WE BE FEEDING OUR ENERGY SYSTEM and how can we get our bodies to function well at a fast pace, consistently and without all the collateral damage?

    Let’s look at the energy cells, the mitochondria and check out what they need to work efficiently. They are in cells throughout our bodies and are more prolific where we need the most energy – the brain, the heart, the liver, the muscles. When we demand more energy the mitochondria multiply by dividing and the more we demand the more they replicate. I remember being taught that “Mitochondria work by taking in glucose and oxygen to produce energy in the form of a molecule called ATP ( Adenosine triphosphate) and release carbon dioxide and water in the process”. If it was that simple we could live off the coffee and cakes -no problem.

    a_mitochondria_free_radicals_454_1

    The action of producing ATP creates free radicals. Healthy mitochondria can deal with a certain amount of free radicals by using antioxidants like glutathione and Vitamin C but if there are too many or the mitochondria are not working properly then the free radicals will steal electrons from whatever they come across, creating a cascade of damage. If they damage the DNA of the mitochondria itself then when that cell divides it will produce two damaged versions that will not function properly, or not at all. The more damaged mitochondria we have, the more oxidative stress and the more the ageing process is speeded up. 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.

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Detox Drinks - healthy drinking/ Nutritional Medicine

    Help with Detox Diet – Part 3 Drinks

    When you attempt a Detox or Elimination diet it is important to drink plenty of Drinks that will help your digestion and hydrate you well but this is the area that many people have trouble with. I admit to being a bit of a coffee addict. Not that I drink loads but I value a good cup of real coffee in the morning and very rarely an espresso after a good meal. I don’t consider instant coffee to be acceptable and would always prefer a herbal tea instead. I didn’t want to give up my morning coffee and I tried all kinds of alternatives to cows milk and disliked them all. I then tried just drinking it black and in smaller quantities but it needed to be sweeter for me to enjoy it. During the Detox time I started boiling some dried figs, liquidising them, straining out the seeds and using this to flavour my, small, black, once a day coffee. The lengths we will go to for our addictions! It did have the effect of speeding up the elimination part of the detox, so I justified it that way! Now I just add a small amount of coconut oil so making it taste smoother and a bit like a healthier ‘Bulletproof Coffee’ but no more than 2 a day. It is great for the brain for both quick brain energy and also long-term protection from Dementia and Alzheimer’s. If you can give up coffee for at least the first two weeks of an elimination diet it may prove helpful but some people get severe migraine-like headaches if they give it up suddenly instead of cutting down gradually.

    The rest of the day it was water and herb or spice teas. We were already into a few of these but discovered loads more and the hardest part was deciding which one to have. Peppermint, Fennel, Ginger, Cinnamon, Camomile, Jasmine, Chai, Vanilla Chai, to name but a few. If you can grow a big pot of mint then you can’t beat grabbing a handful of fresh leaves and popping them into a pot of boiling water for 5 mins. – like they do in Morocco and very good for the digestion. I also love coconut water which is great for hydrating in hot weather or after exercise.

    Almond, Hazelnut or Coconut milks are great with cereal, to drink on their own or cook with and also contain calcium.

    A note about water. If you are going to drinking a lot more than you usually do then it needs to be a good quality. Our tap water does not taste great even though it has been through a jug filter. Most bottled water tastes a lot better but if the bottle is plastic then the worry is that you might be taking in even  more harmful chemicals, like BPA  (bis-phenol A) that may cause cancer. Never leave plastic water bottles in the sun or even bright light, never drink take-away coffee through the lid (BPA)! The best option is probably a good quality water filter and store some in a glass bottle or stainless steel container in the fridge or to take out with you.

    When out socialising a soda water with ice and lemon or lime is best. Following the detox we allowed ourselves an occasional red wine but this is where you have to know your own circumstances and reactions and begin to hone your diet to suit you and your health. When we were in Spain a “Tinto Verano” (red wine , ice and soda water) was perfect for hot weather. Just avoid high sugar ( the average soda could have the equivalent of 15 tsp. sugar in it) or high alcohol and low calorie mixers that are loaded with artificial sweeteners. We have tried gluten free beer and it is OK but actually clean, light beers like Corona, Coronita or Peroni can usually be tolerated as they have even less gluten than the ‘gluten free’ ones we have tried, at about 0.05 parts per million. Ales and dark beers have high gluten content. Tequila is also considered to be a clean spirit and good quality rum is also gluten free –  for those occasions when you have to Party 🙂

    N.B. Everything can be toxic (even water) but it is dose dependant.

    Cheers!

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Nutritional Medicine

    SUPER-FOODS for ENERGY and VITALITY

    Superfoods for energy and vitality

    When you have completed the Detox you should feel energised as your body systems are able to function more efficiently but now is the time to add in more Super-foods for energy and vitality that will improve your nutrition and nourish your body. When you omit foods from your diet it is vital that you substitute other foods that provide the same nutrients so that you don’t become deficient.

    Wheat and wholegrain wheat products and cereals usually contain a variety of the B group of vitamins, iron, potassium, iodine and calcium so if you eliminate grains from your diet you need to eat enough of the foods that supply these nutrients and on a daily basis because the Vitamin group of vitamins are water soluble, not stored in the body and depleted by stress. If your gut bacteria levels are good you also manufacture Vitamin B in the body, especially the ones that are capable of repairing DNA and even killing cancer cells, biotin, folic acid and B12. Vitamin B is essential for a healthy nervous system, good mental function and mood, for food digestion, metabolism and energy and for keeping levels of homocysteine low and preventing heart attacks and strokes. Foods that contain good levels of Vitamin B and iron are meats – with more in red meat like grass fed beef, venison, rabbit; organ meat – liver, kidney and heart; eggs; bacon; yeast extract; dried seaweed; sardines; Herring; anchovies; scallops; prawns salmon;skate;mackerel; shiitake mushrooms; sunflower seeds; nuts; brown rice and dark green leafy vegetables like Kale, chard, spinach, Spring greens and cabbage.

    If you omit Dairy foods then it is fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D and Calcium that you will need to replace. Vitamin D is in oily fish; fish roe; eggs; Ghee, added to most margarines and oil based spreads and it is made by the body when exposed to sunlight. Calcium is found in Almond milk and butter; other nut milks and their butters; leafy green vegetables; salmon, sardines, whitebait, prawns; sesame seeds; Poppy seeds; Harricot beans; chick peas; Nori and Kombu seaweed; figs; Herbs; root vegetables and broccoli.

    The easiest way of upping your nutrition is to add a few smoothies a week. My personal favourites are mixtures of almond or coconut milk with fresh fruit, fresh ginger or cinnamon and almond butter. I love some of the ideas for smoothies on Kira Westwick’s Blog and she even converted me to green smoothies by saying that you should make them light and refreshing and not “creamy” and by going for greens that are typically eaten raw like cucumber, celery, herbs and sprouts and add ice to keep them super fresh. In the Winter try adding  plenty of nutritious foods into soups. My favourite is pumpkin and butternut squash with roasted garlic topped with crispy bacon pieces and toasted pumpkin seeds in a little olive oil….yummy!

    I think all of these foods are Super-foods because they supply us with high levels of nutrients and energy. In addition to these you should add Coconut oil and butter, coconut milk, pure coconut yogurt; garlic; ginger; cinnamon, turmeric, olive oil, green tea, spice teas, Spring water, mushrooms, bell peppers, Avocado, lemons and limes, Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, dark cherries, grapes and the occasional glass of red wine with some raw, dark chocolate!

    I feel great just writing all these Super-foods down 😉

  • 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.

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