There is so much information out there that it can be overwhelming, especially to people with little or no medical knowledge. This Video is a Doctor explaining, in a very succinct way, what you can do to prevent and treat the virus.
If you want to be able to make Informed Consent about the Covid-19 Vaccine you need Doctor’s advice from reliable sources and not just MSM Doctor’s from The World Doctors Alliance and from U.K. Medical Freedom Alliance share their expertise.
Watched this video for information Worried about Covid-19? How can you help yourself?
Watch the video link below to hear Doctors views from around the World.
We can all agree that 2020 has not been an easy year. Initially we were all scared, and rightly so! This virus was not known to us and we were told that none of us had any immunity to it. Within a short time we realised that it didn’t react like the flu, it was much more dangerous to older people than young, fatter people rather than thin and people with darker skin. Obviously any chronic health problems could put you at higher risk, especially respiratory or/and heart problems and diabetes. We have all been told this repeatedly and been given lots of advice with various patronising slogans along the way. At present it is Hands/Face/Space – least I think it is, it has changed many times and will likely do so again soon.
None of this has given confidence or been self empowering so I want to give you various gems of information that have been researched and tested as having beneficial effect on our immune systems and even quite specific effect against viruses.
This is not to replace the advice of your Doctor. If you are ill and start to feel worse after a few days, or have trouble breathing then definitely call for help. The suggestions given here might prevent you getting to that stage even if you do come into contact with or get Covid- 19.
All the advice to stay healthy normally should be reinforced.
Get outside in nature as much as possible – fresh air is important.
Keep connected to friends and relatives as much as possible. We all need connection and where connection to people is difficult, pets become more important and can be very beneficial.
Get plenty of sleep and relaxation.
Laugh! So important. Watch less of the News or stressful programs and search out comedy and music.
Now my obsession! EAT REAL FOOD.
Nothing helps your health more than eating nutritious food. We are what we eat. Focus on fresh, organic if possible, vegetables and Fish and meat and go easy on cakes, biscuits and high sugar foods.
Sugar is not needed by our bodies and contains no nutrients. We cannot deny that it tastes good and we can get addicted but when you feel the need for something sweet you can make healthier choices – fresh fruit, dried fruit like raisins, apricots, Dates ( my favourite treat is dark chocolate in a date), honey, maple syrup, banana etc. The use of cinnamon with sweet treats can lessen the effect on your blood sugar so is good to add to cooking and baking. Sugar is better managed in the body when eaten with protein/fat so apple and cheese, nuts and raisins are good choices.
Very colourful fruit and vegetables are high in antioxidants that protect our bodies cells. Berries are especially good – blueberries, raspberries, black currants, blackberries, strawberries. Apples, although not especially colourful have protective properties, hence the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away).
Often overlooked herbs and spices have many protective properties and can substantially improve our diet. Thyme is anti-viral, garlic, ginger, Turmeric, black pepper, chilli, coriander, parsley, basil and rosemary all important to include in your diet.
So paying attention to improving your diet is the foundation of improving your health and immune system but there are supplements that can have a much more specific effect against viruses and may protect us from getting infected when exposed.
I would suggest taking Vitamin D3 (preferably with K2) as several studies have shown that patients that became seriously ill all had very low levels of Vitamin D. If you are an outdoors person who gets lots of sun then 4,000 iu a day should be sufficient, if not then I would start at 10,000 iu a day, especially if in the northern hemisphere and going into winter.
Zinc is mineral that we all need and can be quickly used up when battling illness therefore people with chronic disease are often low in zinc and this can manifest as loss of sense of smell and taste. Eat plenty of nuts or take a supplement.
Another precaution you can take is to make sure you are not anaemic. Anaemia is much more common in women. The signs and symptoms are fatigue, loss of energy, shortness of breath on exercise, pale lips and gums, pale skin and nail beds but these symptoms don’t occur until you are quite short on iron. If you are concerned get a blood test. Eat some liver and plenty of dark greens and make sure you have some vitamin C as well, which helps absorption of iron. Vitamin C is in fresh citrus fruit, berries, kiwi fruits etc. If you are anaemic and get Covid-19 you would have trouble getting enough oxygen to the cells more than someone who was not.
There are some precautions that I have always used when flying or on long train journeys. Tea tree cream is active against many bacteria and viruses and a very small amount put just inside your nose is a first line of defence. In the same way zinc lozenges to such can protect the throat and also strengthen immune system. Hand sanitiser is important and the best non toxic one is Natrasan. This contains hypochlorous and is ph balanced, doesn’t contain alcohol so doesn’t dry and damage your natural skin protection.
If you feel you may/have been exposed to a virus then there are two natural oils that might help protect you, Oil of Oregano and Black Seed oil. For many years I have taken Oil of Oregano when exposed to colds and flu but in recent times I have found Black Seed oil to be highly effective. Both oils can be taken in capsule form as they have a very strong taste that not everyone can tolerate.
Amazing Black Seed Oil.
Black Seed oil comes from the seeds of the flower Nigella sativa and has been used for hundreds of years. One of the key ingredients is Thymoquinine which has the ability to modulate or inhibit high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines – and probably everyone has heard that one of the major problems with Covid-19 is that very ill patients can be made critical by a Cytokine Storm – where the body over-reacts and these cytokines cause a lot of damage to tissues of the body. As well as this action Black Seed oil has anti-oxidant, analgesic and antihistamine properties and is also protects nerves, kidney function and circulation. A dose of 500mgs twice a day for up to 4 weeks has been proven safe for adults. Half that dose for children and the oil can be rubbed into the soles of the feet rather than swallowed.
I put this to the test a couple of weeks ago when a Granddaughter came for a sleepover with a severe head cold and chesty cough. I gave her one capsule each of the two days and my son and I took a weeks course. Despite me even sleeping in the same room and lots of cuddles – we didn’t catch it.
So I hope this helps, it is always good to feel empowered by extra knowledge and take some responsibility for your own health.
Although I have written this mainly as preventative advice all the above would help anyone who has had Covid-19 and is having trouble recovering. Many people suffer with fatigue and lasting symptoms that could be helped by these measures.
Hopefully, in many Countries, we are actually past the main Pandemic and the increasing numbers of ‘cases’ are due to the normal Cyclical nature of virus infections, many more tests being carried out and also a high percentage of false positive results. If you would like to know more about this then take a look at this YouTube video. Link
OMEGA-3 fatty acids play a vital role in our health. They are essential, hence the term EFA = Essential Fatty Acid and the body does not produce them, we must get them from food or supplements.
We need three basic types of fatty acids and these need to be balanced in the body for good health. These are Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 but over the last 40+ years our diet, much higher in Omega-6 due to increased consumption of highly processed vegetable oils and processed foods in the developed world, has changed and this balance has been lost.
Omega-3 fatty acids comprise of:
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) comes from plants and is found in foods like flax seeds, chia and walnuts and these are very beneficial to the health of hair and nails. The body can convert ALA to the other forms but inefficiently at about 15%.
EPA ( epicosapentaeoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which are found in fish, fish oils and krill oils but are originally synthesised by micro-algae not by the fish. When fish consume phytoplankton that consumed micro-algae they accumulate Omega-3 in their tissues. Human Breast milk contains all 3 Omega-3 fatty acids.
The benefits of Omega-3 are anti-inflammatory; they are important for all cell membranes, energy, mood, Cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune and endocrine health. DHA is particularly high in brain tissue, the Retina of the eye and in sperm.
Omega-6 when deficient causes impaired growth, hormone disturbances and immune system abnormalities but when in excess causes inflammation and cancer. The ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is generally advised to be approximately 2:1 to 4:1 but in the Western Diet the Omega-6 ratio has risen to approximately 20:1 and we know from studies that this has lead to an increase in Cardiovascular Disease, arthritis and cancer.
The best sources of Omega-3’s
FISH: Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Anchovies, Oysters, Sardines, Tuna and trout.
VEGETARIAN sources of Omega-3’s: Algae (high in EPA & DHA), Algae oil supplements, walnuts, flaxseeds, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Spinach and Parsley.
If you do not eat fish 2-3 times a week you are unlikely to get enough Omega-3’s and therefore a Fish oil supplement or an Omega-3 Supplement from Algae would be beneficial.
A typical Fish oil supplement of 1,000mgs contains approximately 180mgs EPA and 120mgs DHA but it can vary a lot. it also has to be screened and any heavy metal toxins removed.
Krill oil contains higher bioavailabilty than fish oil but there are questions over whether the fishing for Krill is damaging to the ocean ecosystem.
Algae on the other hand, can be cultivated in pure water and contains more DHA than standard fish oil. It is suitable for Vegetarians, people with fish allergies and does not damage the environment.
National Institutes of Health Omega-3 fatty acids
Brain, eyes/Retina – PubMed ncbi-nlm-nih.gov
Omega-3’s and depression – ncbi-nlm-nih.gov
Omega-3’s can reduce levels of Triglycerides – nih.gov
Omega-3’s may help relieve symptoms of RA – nih.gov
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Making the most of seasonal, local vegetables I made this fresh Broad Bean Hummus. It may even be appreciated by people who don’t normally like Broad Beans as the tough outer layer is removed. I adapted this recipe to include even more healthy ingredients – including wild garlic leaves, lemon balm and mint leaves.
Tin of Chickpeas
1-2 cloves of garlic or a big handful of wild garlic leaves
Sea salt and black pepper plus chilli if liked
Boil the Broad Beans for 3-7 mins depending on size. If you are using wild garlic leaves you can add them into the pan for 2-3 mins of cooking time. Drain and cool quickly with cold water and ice cubes as this keeps the colour nice and bright.
Remove the outer layers by pinching and popping the inner Bean out.
Put beans, drained chickpeas, garlic, lemon balm and mint if using, tahini, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp Olive oil into blender – adding more oil if needed and blend until smoothe.
Season to taste and when happy with the flavour, chill or freeze.
This lovely as a dip, or spread on crispy crackers, pittas or toast.
I also would suggest that it is similar to Guacamole and yet much cheaper to make. It would be lovely on top of homemade burgers, as in one of my previous posts for health fast food.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
At this busy time of year there is nothing better than a bowl of warming Winter Soup. Here is a recipe for one of my favourites. It is a healthy mix of vegetables that increase circulation, boost the Thyroid and help the body to detox – like a bowl of sunshine!
CARROT, APPLE & GINGER SOUP
4-5 carrots peeled and chopped
1-3 apples cored and chopped
thumb sized piece of raw ginger, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
Add all to a large pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil and simmer for 5 mins. Add at least a pint of hot chicken stock and simmer for 10 mins. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Blitz and serve. I like it with gluten free seeded toast. 🤗
For more ideas check out my other posts
Nutritious Comfort Food for Winter
Lunchtime Low Carb High Healthy Fats Treat
and Fabulous Easy Salads
Quick and easy nutritious comfort food for Winter that is also cheap!
Even in Winter I like to eat salad and this one is super tasty and gives plenty of healthy fats and nutrients to boost immune system.
SARDINE HOT SQUASH SALAD
- crunchy lettuce plus fresh herb leaves
- mini tomatoes
- optional celery or fennel
- tinned sardines in olive oil
- roasted squash or pumpkin still hot and scooped out with ice- cream scoop just before serving
- sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
- dress with Virgin Olive oil or avocado oil
I love mushrooms for boosting the immune system so here is a lovely supper treat
Make the filling by frying these chopped ingredients
- red pepper
- Pancetta or streaky bacon
- plus the chopped stems from the large flat mushrooms
Fill the mushrooms. top with torn Basil leaves and soft cheese or a coconut cream cheese alternative. Bake in oven 200C for about 15-20 mins. You can also pierce some extra tomatoes and roast them in the same pan.
I love these served with some cooked Romanesco – if you have never tried it give it a go. It is similar to cauliflower but with a firmer texture and more nutty flavour. My son, who has never liked cauliflower, loves this.
Slow- Cooker Hot Pot
A Winter Staple that makes life easy. I just add cheap cuts of meat (preferably on the bone) and whatever vegetables I have plus some good organic stock and leave it to cook for at least 4 hours. Normally one pot full will last us for two days – so I get to have a day off from cooking 🙂
This one was lamb shank with carrots, parsnip, courgette and potatoes plus Rosemary and Bay leaves.
Get creative and add spices, herbs, or fruit – apricots with lamb and Moroccan spice or chicken with preserved lemons…..my favourites!
Would you love a fresh, tasty and super-quick supper? Then here is my quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza that you can be eating quicker than a Take-Away! Approx. 20 minutes!
One gluten free Wrap per person
Onion – chopped
Red Pepper – small slices
Mushrooms – sliced
Herbs – such as oregano, Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence
Fresh tomato – sliced or chopped tinned tomato drained well
Vegan Cheeses both creamy and original solid (I used ‘violife’)
any quick cook protein – smokey bacon, pepperoni, ham, prawns, tinned tuna etc.
Fresh Basil leaves if available
Pre-heat Oven to 200C or preheat grill to 190C.
Lightly grease an oven tray or grill pan. Place the wraps in position. They only take a few minutes to cook therefore put the onion, pepper and mushrooms into a pan with a little oil and cook until soft – approx 5 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs and season, then spread evenly onto wraps.
Top with the creamy vegan cheese – this gives a good richness and texture similar to mozzarella.
Then top with tomatoes, chosen protein, grated vegan cheese and torn Basil.
Cook for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melting and protein cooked through. I personally don’t mind if the tomatoes are only lightly cooked as it as another texture to the meal. If you like them more cooked than in the photo then slice them very thinly or use well-drained tinned ones or Passata but you don’t want to burn the base.
Serve with a side salad or coleslaw.