• Food intolerance/ Health/ Healthy Food/ Immune system - healing/ Mediterranean diet/ Nutritional Medicine/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    The Real Science behind the ‘Clean Eating’ Trend

    Clean Eating

     Recent UK Television programs have been attacking the ‘Healthy Eating’ movement in a rather frenzied and non factual way, more representative of sensationalist newspapers. So I would like to present a sample of their findings with a more comprehensive view of the real science behind Wheat/Gluten Intolerance and Clean Eating, ask some relevant questions and let you make your own mind up.

    Why the epidemic in Chronic ill-health?

    Disorders are too many to mention but include all Autoimmune diseases and some that are not classified as Autoimmune but the list is growing all the time – Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 2 Diabetes, Autism, ADHD, Brain Fog, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, IBS, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Heart Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer’s etc.

    These are the diseases that are crippling our Health Service and ruining people’s lives. Research is usually confined to each speciality and often funded by Drug or food manufacturing companies. There are over 10,000 Scientific studies on food and gut related disorders that could possibly be causative factors. So far the research has definitely proved that our digestive tract, which is a major interface between us and our environment, appears to be suffering from our modern diet, toxins, antibiotics etc. affecting protective bacteria(microbiome) and permeability between gut and blood vessels triggering an immune response. 

    [Researchers find biological explanation for wheat sensitivity.

    by Dr. Richard Nahas

    One of the most common treatable factors that we see affecting our patients with chronic pain is non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).  These folks test negative for celiac disease, but they have health problems that go away when they are on a strict gluten-free diet … and return when they eat gluten, even in trace amounts.  While there has been very limited scientific research to explain this phenomenon, it is very obvious to every single provider who has used it with their patients that NCGS is very real and very important.  I have personally observed improvements in joint pains, muscle aches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, asthma, eczema, thyroid problems, obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, memory, sleep and many autoimmune diseases in patients who have gone gluten-free.

    This study provides evidence that people with NCGS have a leakier gut than those without it.  It comes as no surprise to me, but it should help keep the skeptics quiet for awhile.  I have long believed that true innovation in healthcare has and always will begin with forward-thinking doctors and patients who are willing to try new things and observe the results.  It is unfortunate that it has taken a global juggernaut and a multi-billion dollar industry to stimulate this kind of research.  There are dozens of other important ‘discoveries’ that are being used by integrative practitioners and these need to be validated by good science. Smart researchers should pay more attention to what these doctors are doing, because there are many breakthroughs that are waiting to be made.

    A nice article on the study is here: http://newsroom.cumc.columbia.edu/blog/2016/07/26/columbia-researchers-find-biological-explanation-wheat-sensitivity-2/

    How to heal a leaky gut?  There are many ways.  The short answer is to see an integrative practitioner.

    via Seekers Centre Researchers find a biological explanation]

    Then this is an article from the Scientist that was commissioned to research for a recent BBC Horizon program …….

    [“How clean eating became a dirty word as food gurus distance themselves from the trend that made them famous

    Obesity and other diet-related illnesses are easily the greatest public health problem of our time. But losing weight and keeping it off is incredibly difficult; it is not what we are evolved to do.

    Over the past 20 years, my research at the University of Cambridge’s MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit has focused on the genetics of why some people get fat and some don’t. Science is set up to get to the truth eventually. It does not provide quick answers.

    As a result, there are many desperate people looking for a way out, a silver bullet. Over recent years, a proliferation of, by and large, skinny and attractive food gurus armed with dietary advice that is not based on any serious scientific evidence.

    Much of this new advice goes far beyond healthy eating, and in some instances argues that food can actually make you well. Welcome to the world of “clean eating,” which I have spent the last few months investigating for a BBC documentary, to understand just how scientific these claims really are.

    It became clear that many hundreds of thousands of people are more likely to believe the advice of these food gurus — buying their books and following their social media feeds — than listen to scientists and other experts who are taking an evidence-based approach to nutrition.For healthy-eating devotees, Instagramming everything that passes their lips, the term #clean reigns supreme. Clean eating is not one way of eating, but encompasses many different dietary approaches. In the documentary, we focused on three of the big beasts: giving up gluten, an alkaline diet and a plant-based diet.  via How clean eating became a dirty word as food gurus distance themselves from the trend that made them famous“]

    So I question many of the statements made in this article and subsequent program.

    • “losing weight and keeping it off is incredibly difficult, it is not what we are evolved to do.” From a scientist that studies genetics and obesity I have to assume that he thinks as a race we should all be fat and unhealthy then.
    • “Much of this new advice goes far beyond healthy eating and in some instances argues that food can actually make you well.” Thomas Edison said “the doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” This has been the premise that all Nutritional and Functional Medicine is based on – food can make you well.
    • He has studied Metabolic diseases for 20 years and claims that Science does not provide quick answers and that people would rather follow ‘Clean Eating’ gurus than listen to evidenced-based scientists and other experts.
    • He claims that what is being promoted is not based on any serious scientific evidence so maybe he hasn’t had time to read the 10,000 plus articles on PubMed, peer reviewed medical studies or research nutrition at all.

    What we are seeing now is a massive trend of people taking responsibility for their health and fitness. People realising that the advice to eat low fat and consume processed vegetable oils and fats from mainstream science, Government and most Doctors has been wrong and has actually lead to one of the worst epidemics of chronic disease worldwide.

    Twenty years ago we thought that there was a genetic reason of all chronic disease but now we have mapped our human genome we realise that what we eat can change how those genes react – not the other way round.

    The so called ‘trend’ towards healthier eating and understanding how important Nutrition is to our wellbeing started more than 30 Years ago. For me it started with a book ‘Nutritional Medicine’ by Dr Stephen Davies (Oxford) and Dr Alan Stewart (Guy’s Hospital London) who were members of the British Society for Nutritional Medicine. This book was published in 1987 and it changed my life. I was a nurse at Charing Cross Hospital but always more interested in preventative medicine than mainstream.

    Over the years I was influenced by ‘Gurus’……

    such as Dr. Jeffrey Bland and trained in Nutritional Medicine myself. Now the ‘Gurus’ at the forefront of modern Functional Medicine are able to influence and educate far more people by online Forums and Seminars.

    Dr. David Perlmutter, Dr. Frank Lipman, Dr.Mark Hyman, Dr Josh Axe, Dr. Terry Wahls – who reversed her own MS and is now back teaching, plus all the hundreds of other Doctors and Nutritionists working tirelessly to further the fight against our epidemic of Chronic disease. Dr. Andreas Eenfeld needs special mention for his work in helping the world to understand and reverse Diabetes by going against mainstream views and proving what actually works. Also Dr. Alessio Fasano for his brilliant work as a scientist who is getting to the root of what is going wrong in our gut and microbiome – although they interviewed him on the program they managed to discredit the importance of his work by separating his research on gluten/gliadin and gut damage from how what we eat is fundamental. Two other books ‘Clean Gut’ and ‘Clean Eats’ by Alejundro Junger MD helped me navigate a good elimination diet and get to the bottom of several food intolerances and reverse Autoimmune problems in both me and my son.

    The lovely Ella from ‘Deliciously Ella’ was also on the program explaining how changing her diet had made her well again and sharing her passion for real, fresh food. There are many others doing the same – promoting the fact that fresh food is far healthier than anything produced in factories. Encouraging people to cook instead of buying packaged food or take-aways, surely this is a good thing? Surely this is what is fueling the massive success of people like Ella and Joe Wicks The Body Coach – by the fact that they can show results – evidence based nutrition. Why does anyone want to make programs to put us off doing this? But the program ended by visiting a place in the USA that treats a handful of ill people – who often have terminal cancer and who sometimes die. As with most bad reporting,they have to show an extreme example and pretend that it is linked to their main hypothesis.

    One of my favourite Gurus is Sarah Ballantyne PhD who developed The Autoimmune Protocol that has helped so many people with Autoimmune disease and furthered scientific discovery. Here is an a review showing some of the successes and breakthroughs that are changing the face of medicine.

    [If the stories compiled on our site and from the worldwide community are anything to show, the Autoimmune Protocol has helped a great many people with autoimmune disease live healthier, fuller lives. Many of us discovered this way of eating and jumped in as early adopters, before the research had time to catch up with us. I, for one thing, am happy I did, as I would not be healthy and happy today had I not made that leap! A lot of people get hung up on the fact that for the most part, the medical community does not acknowledge or support this intervention for managing autoimmune disease. Let’s be real though — times are changing (more on that in a minute!).

    Research is one of the missing links to this acceptance, because it starts the conversation about how and why these interventions might be working, and informs doctors on what to recommend to their patients. I am eternally grateful for the work of people like Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, who presented a refined version of the Autoimmune Protocol in her book The Paleo Approach, and Terry Wahls, M.D., who in addition to her book The Wahls Protocol has raised funding and conducted clinical trials using dietary and lifestyle interventions to manage multiple sclerosis. These contributions have begun to ground the Autoimmune Protocol in the scientific landscape, which is essential if we are to get anywhere in getting the medical system to make these important shifts in philosophy.

    A new study on the Autoimmune Protocol and rheumatoid arthritis

    Julianne Taylor, as a part of her Post Grad Dip Sci in Human Nutrition, conducted a qualitative study research project for Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. I’ve been following Julianne and her writing since the beginning of my journey, as she was one of the first people I found online writing about her personal experience using ancestral principles and the elimination diet in order to manage autoimmune disease (her blog was one that helped me decide to personally take on the protocol!). In the study, she interviewed those who had experienced success with rheumatoid arthritis in order to find out more information about management with dietary interventions. For those who are interested in this research, I’m presenting a summary here.

    Aims of the study:

    1. To find out what motivated people to change their diet in the first place.
    2. To discover which challenges they encountered changing and maintaining the diet.
    3. To learn how they managed those challenges.
    4. To find out which foods they consumed and which presented symptoms on reintroduction.

    Julianne found 10 participants from ages 28-60, with a positive RA diagnosis who had been following the Autoimmune Protocol or similar elimination diet for 6 months to 5 years and had reduced their disease symptoms or clinical markers. She interviewed every participant on a variety of topics and presented a summary of her findings.

    Some of the findings I found interesting (although not surprising!):

    • Some of the study participants were encouraged to try the Autoimmune Protocol from alternative healthcare professionals (the system is changing, folks!).
    • Many participants found their conventional doctors to be unsupportive of their nutritional choices, and chose to work with a combination of both natural and conventional practitioners.
    • Those that participated in the study were convinced to try it because of a blend of science as well as anecdotal evidence.
    • One participant found relief on a strict Whole 30 Paleo-style diet and did not take out additional foods, while the rest of the participants did.
    • Both mental and physical preparation were key at making the dietary transition work for those who participated (what do I always say — set yourself up for success!).
    • Everyone who participated in the study shared that there was one important person who supported them in their transition, either emotionally or physically. Many helpers assisted by shopping for and cooking food (this is huge!).
    • 80% of the participants switched overnight, while 20% made gradual changes. Many chose dates to start that were clear from family celebrations or events that would create difficulties.
    • The two biggest challenges for participants were eating away from home and lack of support from friends and family.
    • Adherence to the the diet was very high, over 95% for all but one participant who was at 85% compliance, and avoidance of pain was the primary motivating factor.
    • The dietary changes were difficult to implement, but became easier as time progressed.
    • The main dietary challenges for participants were the time it took to prepare meals, lack of convenience foods, high cost of food, eating out, travel, and lack of understanding.
    • Every participant experienced health improvements besides a reduction in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms — there was weight gain or loss, if the person needed it.

    I found these reintroduction findings particularly interesting:

    • Most participants used a unique reintroduction protocol — some focused on the one in The Paleo Approach, Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, relied on advice from their healthcare providers, or blended that with their intuition to customize an approach.
    • Some participants had been on a standard Paleo diet before trying the elimination diet to successfully pinpoint additional sensitivities.
    • The most common sensitivities found in the group as a whole were wheat, dairy, eggs, and corn.
    • Other sensitivities found in some participants but not others, were rice, nightshade vegetables, rancid and heated seed oils, and soy.
    • Every participant had foods they reacted to in a way that was different from a rheumatoid arthritis flare.

    While this study was not randomized and controlled and leaves a lot of questions unanswered, it offers a fantastic starting place for other researchers developing interest, seeking funding, and conducting more in-depth studies on why these dietary and lifestyle interventions are working for people. We can only hope that as time progresses, there will be more research and discovery that will enable doctors to fine-tune dietary interventions to best manage autoimmune disease.

    If you’d like to learn more about Julianne and read some of her writing, check out her blog Paleo Zone Nutrition. You can contact her directly to request to see the study. She is also publishing a series of blog posts on the topic.

    A clinical trial using the Autoimmune Protocol is underway

    Dr. Gauree Konijeti, M.D., M.P.H., director of the inflammatory bowel disease program division of gastroenterology at Scripps University in San Diego will be running a clinical study titled “Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease” this fall. Dr. Konijeti will be using Angie Alt’s online program SAD to AIP in SIX to study outcomes in patients with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis using the Autoimmune Protocol to manage their autoimmune diseases. We couldn’t be more thrilled about this new study and hope that more collaborative efforts are on the horizon with the medical community!

    via Research Update: New Study on The Autoimmune Protocol and Rheumatoid Arthritis – Autoimmune Paleo]

    Conclusion

    For anyone who is still with me – congratulations – this is much longer than my normal posts!

    •  Far from being unscientific this movement is fuelled from information from highly qualified Doctors and Nutritionists, many of them with personal success stories and disease reversals of their own.
    • It is a movement that has been building for years and recent scientific research has taken it to a different level.
    • There is the added incentive that our healthcare system is not coping with the huge rise in chronic diseases and we know we need a more preventative strategy, incorporating diet and lifestyle.
    • We are in an era of great change, we need to embrace it and keep an open mind.
    •  No longer will we be fobbed off with ‘just eat a balanced diet’ or ‘well, it’s your age’!

    We also need to educate ourselves and be capable of seeing ‘alternative truths’ whenever we come across them. Most of them need ignoring but sometimes they need to be exposed for what they are. Some of our previously trusted sources may no longer be putting a balanced, educated view.

    Please feel free to comment – especially if nutrition and fresh, natural food has changed your health for the better:-)

     

     

     

     

  • Health

    Choosing the HEALTHIEST FATS and OILS

    Nutritional advice

    Everyone is now getting on-board with the latest science that has shown that we should be eating good saturated fats and not eating low-fat.

    Choosing the HEALTHIEST FATS and OILS is much more complex than buying low-fat everything.

    More knowledge and label reading is vital if you want to remain healthy or regain your health after eating low-fat, higher carbs over the years.

    The false information about saturated fats causing obesity, Diabetes and heart disease has cost us dearly on a personal level and also on healthcare costs.

    It has probably  been responsible for the dramatic rise in Dementia and Alzheimer’s due to the brain needing sufficient good fats to function.

    There is now plenty of evidence of the benefit of eating sufficient good saturated fats, plus less sugar and refined carbohydrates on loosing weight, loosing food cravings, losing blood sugar problems and having more physical and mental energy.

    The Pharmaceutical industry think that high Cholesterol and Triglycerides are a reason to prescribe drugs rather than fix the cause by changes to diet.

    If researching this topic on the Internet, please check when articles were written! An unfortunate aspect of the Internet is that articles very rarely get taken down and therefore it is becoming a massive source of misinformation.

    Here is a simple guide to what you should and should not be eating when it comes to FATS and OILS.

    healthiest fats and oils

     The healthiest fats and oils are:-

    • Virgin Coconut Oil
    • Extra Virgin Olive oil
    • Butter or Ghee if you can tolerate dairy proteins.
    • Avocado oil
    • the fat from mainly grass fed, organic animals – beef, lamb, pork, duck, chickens etc.
    • free range, preferably organic eggs
    • Oily fish and seafood
    • Fish Oil and Krill oil from a good source
    • Almonds, Cashews, Brazil nuts and Walnuts, their butters and oils

    All of these unrefined fats and oils can be eaten as they are or heated at LOW heat 130 C or 250 F. Food will take longer to cook at this temperature but it should not burn or stick and it will certainly be healthier. Some ceramic pans cook well at low heat, without adding oil or fat. Saute, bake or grill rather than fry.

    Virgin Coconut Oil, Virgin Olive oil and butter can be used in MID temperature cooking 177-216 C

    Avocado oil or rice bran oil are the safest for WOK or searing at high temperatures 250 C.

    If eating out choose a method of cooking that follows these guidelines because otherwise you will often be exposed to

    Damaging Fats and Oil

    • Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats and Trans fats – considered the worst for your health. They will cause raised Blood Triglycerides and cause the formation of small LDL Cholesterol particles that cause Coronary Heart Disease and Heart Attacks. They also block insulin therefore add to Insulin Intolerance and higher blood sugar.
    • Vegetable Shortening – mostly trans fats
    • Refined oils – as the processes used in refining such as high heat, chemical treatment, bleaching and deodorising remove the healthy elements in the oils and produces more of the damaging elements.
    • PUFA’s  – refined vegetable and seed oils like Corn oil, Peanut oil, soy oil, vegetable oils.

    The dangers of Trans fats on you health are many as they are unnatural fats that confuse the human body and disrupt various metabolic pathways. They are very inflammatory in the body.

    Read More

  • Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Coeliac/ Gluten/ NCGS/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

    Celiac or NCGS is there a difference?

    Celiac or NCGS

    Celiac or NCGS is there a difference? Celiac (Coeliac in UK and Ireland) disease and the connection with wheat has been known about since the 1940’s and with gluten since 1952. Celiac disease is caused in genetically predisposed people by a reaction to a gluten protein called gliadin which can be found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, durum, Kamut and triticale with some people also reacting to oats. Celiac Disease can vary from mild to severe usually showing destruction of the gut lining and is an Autoimmune disease.

    Despite nearly 65 years of knowledge it is poorly diagnosed across all age groups and it is estimated that less than a quarter of people are diagnosed. To confirm diagnosis raised antibodies (IgA) and destruction of the villi in the gut lining have to be demonstrated. Certain populations have a higher incidence, the populations of Ireland and Italy appear to and also people with Downs Syndrome have an increased risk .  Celiac disease is associated with a multitude of other chronic medical conditions, many of which are Autoimmune disorders and also some neurological disorders.

    NCGS – Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity was originally described in the 1980’s and only since 2010 has been included in the spectrum of gluten related disorders. It is also associated with Autoimmune disorders and neurological disorders where no small bowel disease has been discovered.

    It is known that there may be a genetic predisposition but that a trigger such as surgery, infection, pregnancy and emotional stress can trigger symptoms of Celiac disease and NCGS.

    The varied symptoms are common to both and can be:- Read More

  • 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

  • Anaemia/ Autoimmune diseases/ Blood sugar management/ Cancer Prevention/ Energy/ Immune System/ Stress Reduction/ Supplements

    B Vitamins and Autoimmune Disease

    B Vitamins

    There are eight numbered B Vitamins that are all important for cellular metabolism but with more recent findings we know the importance of some B Vitamins and Autoimmune Disease.

    People who suffer from Autoimmune Diseases and/or have genetic mutations that affect the way Vitamin B is used in the body may benefit from supplementing the natural forms of B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (Folate) and B12 (Cobalamin). These three vitamins are critical for for supporting the methyl cycle and DNA and RNA synthesis. B Vitamins are all water soluble and easily lost or destroyed by water, heat processing, roasting and canning. Elevated homocysteine is a proven factor for cardio vascular disease and taking B6, B9 and B12 can lower Homocysteine levels.

    Vitamin B6 as the co-enzyme form Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, P5’P  is used in the metabolism of proteins and fats and is necessary for creating glucose from these foods and is also essential for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and red blood cells. It is necessary for the production of Hydrochloric acid and the absorption of Magnesium and B12. Helps the body metabolise and transport selenium and zinc, is a natural diuretic and alleviates nausea. It is involved in converting 5-HTP into Serotonin and also the calming neurotransmitter GABA.

    Signs of Deficiency are

    • Anaemia not corrected by iron
    • poor sleep
    • kidney stones
    • morning sickness
    • PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome
    • Skin rashes and dry skin
    • Anxiety and nervousness
    • Insulin Resistance
    • muscle spasms and cramps
    • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
    •  Asperger’s and Autism
    • Heart Disease

    Causes of deficiency are Read More

  • 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/ 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.