• 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.


    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.





  • Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Health/ Hypothyroidism/ Immune System

    Why I think Hashimoto’s needs a different approach.


    This post is about my recent experience and why I think Hashimoto’s needs a different approach.

    What is Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism

    Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism is an Autoimmune disease where your body gradually destroys your thyroid gland leaving you with multiple symptoms such as

    • Loss of outer eyebrow hair and increased loss of hair on head and body
    • slow heartbeat
    • discomfort in throat
    • muscle aches and cramps
    • weakness
    • arthritis
    • cold intolerance
    • dry skin and hair
    • lethargy / fatigue
    • sleep disturbance
    • brittle nails
    • memory loss/poor concentration
    • weight gain
    • tingling or parasthesia in hands / feet

    Each individual will have any number of these symptoms and they can vary with the level of thyroid deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the right amount of hormone.

    There are other causes of Hypothyroidism such as cancer surgery, radioactive iodine treatment of hyperthyroidism, heavy metal poisoning and more rarely a problem with the Pituitary gland that is not producing enough TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone.

    Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism is by far the most common (90-95%) and that is what I am focusing on today.

    Treatment Options

    Normal medical treatment has always focused on replenishing the body with thyroid hormone – either in the form of a synthetic T4 drug or desiccated thyroid tissue taken from pigs or cows. In the case of a surgically removed thyroid or one that has been destroyed by radiation then this may be the only option.

    With Hashimoto’s I feel it is important to take a Functional Medicine approach to find and treat the root cause which is an Autoimmune reaction and to support the thyroid with the nutrition it needs for optimal function. There is frequently an underlying Adrenal imbalance as well and patients often say that they have had extreme stress previous to symptoms, or ongoing. There may also be a history of Epstein Barr infection or other herpes infections, all of which can affect the immune system long-term.

    It is very important to look at the medical history as the Thyroid may have been under attack for quite some time before multiple symptoms appear and a diagnosis sort. It is also possible that other Autoimmune problems are present, especially Coeliac disease or Gluten intolerance. This could mean that the digestive tract is damaged, already reacting to foreign proteins and not absorbing all the nutrients we need.

    Hashimoto’s is not something that I think you should try and treat yourself and it should be monitored with appropriate blood tests but there are certain actions that you can take yourself that can help balance your system, boost your health and at the same time help your Doctor see the overall picture of the effects of the disease and the treatment.

    If you think you may have Hashimoto’s rather than any other cause of fatigue then the first thing you could do is set up a chart to record your Basal Temperature. This is the temperature that you body falls to at night when you are sleeping. Have a thermometer by your bed and as soon as you wake take your temperature, in your armpit. Make sure that it is right in your armpit and leave it for 2-5 mins to get an accurate reading. If you have low thyroid function then it is likely to be several points lower than the normal range of 36.4C -36.7C . Do this for at least a week so that you have a record to show your doctor and you can also carry on to show any reaction to treatment.

    My own approach

    I have thought for years that my Thyroid was slightly under-active and have not been good with aerobic activity, climbing hills etc. since having Glandular Fever aged 20. I lost my outer eyebrows ages ago. I have been aware of my pulse being slow and irregular (43 -55) for over 10 years but have had ECG’s and told it wasn’t anything to worry about. It wasn’t until a medical showed a TSH of 5.25 and a slightly low FT4 of 11.8 that I thought I should probably do something about it if I was to continue to be healthy.

    It also made me realise that an increasing amount of tingling and parasthesia in my hands was probably more likely to be caused by my Thyroid than by neck arthritis. I felt, maybe wrongly, that if I went to my GP I would just be put on synthetic T4 Thyroid pills and from everyone I have dealt with over the years I knew this was not the cure all that it is often claimed to be.

    My plan was to first optimise my nutrition to see if that had any effect on my symptoms. I started by taking Bio-Selenium 200 as that is know to be essential for Immune and Thyroid function and it is a nutrient that many in the UK are know to be lacking. Ten days later I started a Basal Temperature chart and also recorded my pulse and blood pressure every few days. The first few days my temperature was in the range 34.1-34.4 C which is 2 degrees below normal therefore I decided to add an amino acid L-Tyrosine 500mg as I had read that this could possibly stimulate the available thyroid hormone. I realise that I was experimenting but I  researched and the only side effect was said to be that if you suffered with migraine headaches it may trigger them. I never get headaches since giving up gluten and dairy and therefore thought it was unlikely to affect me.

    Within 2 days my Basal Temperature was up 35.5-36.0 C and I actually felt very warm and my circulation was improved with warm feet – something that is a complete anomaly to me! This was in total contrast to the typical UK weather that had suddenly taken a dip back to cool and wet. That evening I started to get a headache and by the next evening it was continuous and worse – I felt like I had been kicked in the back of the head. Taking painkillers lessened it but then a couple of days later I started to get an uncomfortable feeling in my throat and a tight sensation on swallowing. Now this seemed extreme for a natural protein that is found in chicken, turkey and that I thought I probably was getting sufficient quantities of through my diet and so, listening to what my body was telling me, I stopped taking the L-Tyrosine. During the time I was taking it the tingling in my hands disappeared and I felt more energised and alert but I have since read that if you have autoimmune problems it may be too stimulating and cause more inflammatory reaction. If self medicating – even with nutritional supplements – always do thorough research!

    The tingling in my hands returned, the throat gradually returned to normal and my Temperature remained above 35C.  On to a new plan…

    Ashwaganda, a popular Ayurvedic medicine used for a wide variety of disorders, is something I have used before to treat stress and fatigue. It is an adaptogenic herb with the ability to get the body to regulate itself. It has been proven to work well in regulating the thyroid gland when additional T4 and/or T3 is required or if the rate of metabolism is slow.  Scientists concluded that people with hypothyroidism benefited from Ashwaganda due to it’s ability to raise T4/T3 and its anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant and nerve protecting qualities. It is important to buy good quality herbs therefore I started on 1 capsule twice a day of fresh organic Ashwaganda Root Capsules.

    I also added Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabara) that supports immune function and with ingredients that heal the digestive tract, are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial. From my latest research it does look like there may be a connection to Autoimmune problems stemming from Epstein Barr infection that can stay dormant in the body therefore adding supplements that have anti-viral properties could help.

    So far, so good. I am generally sleeping better and have plenty of energy. The peripheral neuralgia is improving again and a month on my temperature has not fallen below 35C and I haven’t had any palpitations. I will carry on for another month with this plan as well as my usual Low Carb High Good Fat diet, Methyl B Vitamins, Vitamin D and keep eating nuts and seeds for zinc, Liver or pate for Ferritin levels, Lemon Balm (anti-viral) and Green Tea and Resveratrol in the form of Red Wine plus my Sizzling Minerals to make sure I get good magnesium levels and all the other minerals I need to help cellular function.

    I will get a repeat blood test and if I have to take a thyroid hormone then I would definitely prefer to take a natural one that provides all the elements needed and not just artificial T4 – thyroid function is complex. Functional Medicine is about looking for the root cause, assessing all the signs and symptoms and adjusting diet and lifestyle.

    This might sound a lot but it just becomes part of what you do – listen to your body, assess signs and symptoms and tweek as necessary! Those that don’t take time to maintain their health may end up losing time due to ill health!






  • Hypothyroidism/ Immune system - healing/ Inflammation/ Leaky Gut/ Nutritional Medicine/ Paleo Diet/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Paleo Diet Help

    Paleo Diet Help

    Thinking about trying to eat more healthily or changing your diet due to health problems? Then you will find some Paleo Diet help here – focusing on switching foods rather than just eliminating foods.

    A Paleo type diet, The Caveman Diet or Clean eating where you concentrate on natural, unprocessed  foods has been proven to help thousands of people with conditions like these – Joint pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, fatigue, Eczema, Psoriasis, Thyroid imbalance, Diabetes, Sinusitis, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and multiple food intolerance. All of these conditions have been linked to inflammation in the gut and production of a substance called Zonulin, leading to a condition called Leaky Gut, systemic inflammation and Autoimmune Disease. You may not even notice any gut symptoms but removing inflammatory foods and chemical sensitivities can substantially improve your health and prevent the development of Autoimmune disease which is epidemic. This type of dietary change is being used with great success by Functional Medicine Practitioners and Nutritionists and with the addition of supplements, like  L-Glutamine and good Probiotics, it is possible to reverse the condition.

    I will not go into the Paleo diet or the problems with Gluten in detail here as I have covered this in previous Posts and I just want to simplify the idea of switching to more natural foods that will help your digestive system recover and reduce inflammation in your body. 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


    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

  • Autoimmune diseases/ bodykind supplements/ Energy/ Food intolerance/ Hashimotos Disease/ Health/ Hypothyroidism/ Nutritional Medicine

    Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Adults & Children

    B Vitamins

    Vitamin B12 deficiency in Adults & Children can become serious and debilitating if not diagnosed. Many of the signs and symptoms can be similar to other health problems and sometimes health professionals may be looking for diseases rather than nutrient deficiencies.

    Vitamin B12 is also called cobalamin and  cyanocobalamin. It is water soluble and found mainly in foods from animals. It is an essential vitamin and sometimes known as a ‘feel good’ vitamin as, along with other B vitamins it ensures a healthy nervous and energy system. It forms and regenerates red blood cells and is essential for growth and development being necessary to utilize fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It improves concentration, memory and balance and also helps detoxify cyanide from foods and airborne toxins like tobacco smoke.


    • weight loss
    • weakness or fatigue
    • muscular soreness
    • sore, red tongue
    • headaches
    • shortness of breath
    • abdominal bloating
    • Palpitations
    • Anaemia
    • Depression and other Psychological symptoms
    • Problems with memory, understanding and judgement leading to Dementia
    • Neurological symptoms such as ‘pins and needles’ in extremities, Peripheral Neuropathy
    • unexplained Vision or taste impairment


    1. Nutritional – people following a vegan, vegetarian or low protein diet. Low dietary intake over a prolonged time are at risk of deficiency. All of these people should take a Vitamin B Complex supplement that includes B12.
    2. Malabsorption – Lack of a protein produced in the stomach called the ‘Intrinsic Factor’ can mean that B12 cannot be absorbed. This is called Pernicious Anaemia and the treatment is high dose B12 injection. Anyone who has had to have part or all of their stomach removed would be in a similar position.
    3. Digestive – antacid medications interfere with the absorption as stomach acid is necessary for proper absorption so anyone on antacids or PPI drugs, especially during pregnancy should supplement B12. Inflammation and damage to the intestines can cause inability to absorb B12, as in Coeliac disease, Crohn’s etc. Also some other medications, like anticonvulsants,inhibit absorption. People over the age of 60 with other health problems, poor diet and diminished stomach enzymes and acid may also be at risk. B12 deficiency can also occur due to SIBO when there is slower movement of food through the intestines allowing an overgrowth of the wrong bacteria and these bacteria steal the B12 for their own use. Intestinal parasites can also be a cause.
    4. Autoimmune Disease – Pernicious Anaemia is an Autoimmune disorder but other Autoimmune conditions can also be present that will possibly be accompanied by lack of Vitamin B12 – Graves Disease, Hashimoto’s disease, Vitiligo, MS and Addison’s Disease (Adrenocortical Insufficiency) for example.


    Supplements can be in the form of tablets or capsules of Vitamin B12 plus a Vitamin B Complex or sometimes if deficiency is due to insufficient stomach acid then a sub-lingual powder can be just dropped under the tongue and will absorb through the mucous membrane of the mouth.  Supplements of between 50mcg and 2,000mcgs have been reported safe. The outlook once diagnosed and treated is excellent. Probiotics may improve digestion and absorption.

    Dietary sources of Vitamin B12  Read More

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


    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.