Thursday, February 08 2018
BioScan Stress Related Therapy - health MOTs at your fingertips!
There’s no hiding place from Gail Lummis. I’d come to her house to find out more about her health MOT system but hadn’t banked on finding out quite so much!
I’d heard a bit about Gail’s BioScan Stress Related Therapy Wellness System, but hadn’t really appreciated what it was capable of. And boy, is it capable of a lot – you’d think the NHS would be hammering at her door to get its hands on this equipment.
By simply attaching two of my fingers to the system and with the click of a mouse, she was able to tell me that my body was not happy.
It was not happy that I’d eaten so many avocados in the last week (they’d been on offer at the supermarket), my legs were not happy that I’d run 3 miles a day on the treadmill without stretching properly (an ill-thought out new year’s resolution, you see), it was not happy that I’d given up meat a few years ago and was craving protein. Embarrassingly, it was able to pick up the fact that I’d eaten chicken in the past week rather than tell a friend that I didn't eat meat. It was able to detect that I drove a car that took unleaded petrol. It told me that I was allergic to milk and gluten sensitive.
Combined with Gail’s knowledge of nutrition, I overhauled my diet like I have never done before. I’d always thought that I ate fairly carefully, but this showed me the right way to go about it. I have since given up dairy and my lifelong congestion problem disappeared almost overnight.
I’m encouraging my husband and my son to try this out because it has opened my eyes and allowed me to take control of my health in a way that I’d not considered before. This equipment has changed my life and could change thousands of other people’s lives too.
*All views are my own.
Saturday, February 27 2016
Insulin is a major hormone made in the pancreas. It plays many roles in the body, one of which is to determine whether blood sugar (glucose) will be burned or stored as fat. So for anyone who wants to lose weight and avoid diabetes, cutting down on sugar and the foods the body converts to sugar is paramount. Foods that contain sugar or convert to sugar promote excessive insulin secretion, and include such foods as those made with processed grains, and starchy vegetables. By identifying and avoiding those foods, we can control our insulin levels and reach our ideal weight.
How it works
When foods containing sugar or processed carbohydrates are eaten, blood sugar levels become elevated. In the optimally functioning body, the pancreas then secretes a small amount of insulin into the bloodstream, and the sugar and insulin travel to the liver. At that point, the decision is made as to whether the insulin will facilitate the uptake of sugar into the cells where it will be burned off immediately as fuel, or stored as fat.
Anyone who has consumed a lot of processed carbohydrates for a long period of time may have become insulin resistant. If this is the case, cells will not accept any additional sugar and therefore cannot burn it off. When the cells cannot accept any more sugar for energy, this initiates a further release of insulin from the pancreas, leading to even higher insulin levels.
Prolonged high insulin levels lead to weight gain that starts around the mid-section. Women get thickening in the waist, thighs and stomach. Men get pot bellies. The midsection of the body can be thought of as an insulin meter that lets you know how you are doing. Whether you are overweight or not, if you are thickening up in the midsection, your insulin levels are elevated.
Aging increases the tendency to become insulin resistant, especially if we are low on other hormones. Hormone imbalance leads to weight gain as well as to degenerative diseases, the first of which for many people is diabetes. Overproduction of insulin can also lead to plaque in the arteries and spurs the growth and division of cancerous cells. Breast, colon and prostate cancers have been found to grow more rapidly when stimulated by excessive insulin.
High levels of insulin lead to a deficiency of potassium and therefore an inability to process salt. More fluid held in cells means higher blood pressure. Insulin over-stimulates the nervous system, and this increases blood pressure too. With high blood pressure, the amount of blood pumped out by each contraction of the heart is increased, stretching the wall of the arteries and making them stiffer.
The oestrogen connection
It is important for women to know that when oestrogen levels are low, craving for carbohydrates sets in. This is why women notoriously crave sweets, especially baked goods and chocolate. Low oestrogen makes it impossible for women not to crave carbohydrates because oestrogen is one of the hormones necessary for serotonin production. This begins the vicious cycle of consuming sweets, having your insulin levels zoom up, and craving more sugar and more sweets in turn. Falling into this vicious cycle means that you will age faster, since insulin levels are one of the causes of accelerated metabolic aging. This means that the best way to lower your insulin level is to maintain a hormonal balance, eat real foods with real fats, sleep eight hours a night, and get a good bit of exercise on a daily basis.
Both unprocessed and processed carbohydrates should never be eaten alone, but always in conjunction with protein foods and fats. Foods in their raw state do not produce the high level of insulin response that is produced from cooked foods.
Want to balance your insulin levels? Contact me for a Full Health Screening.
Saturday, November 07 2015
Promotion of flu vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies today yet, Dr. Damien Downing, a doctor and medical consultant has publicly stated that governments "do like" epidemics as a chance to impose their will. The London based doctor has been advising patients to increase their vitamin D intake rather than get the flu vaccine. If you have an infection, the truth is you need more vitamin D. In other words, vitamin D acts as a natural antibiotic. It works against every type of microbe (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites). There are many different types of flu and you may not be receiving the appropriate vaccine for the specific strain of virus in any particular year.
Vitamin D is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight. Vitamin D has profound effects on the innate immune system, enabling the body to produce several proteins which trigger cell activity and disable viruses. The amount of vitamin D in most food and nearly all multivitamins is literally inconsequential. The correct daily dose of vitamin D for adults is approximately 5,000 IU/day.
Vitamin D deficiency is common during the winter months, especially in countries far north of the equator. Vitamin D acts as an immune system modulator, preventing excessive production of inflammatory cytokines and increasing white cell activity. Vitamin D also stimulates the production of potent anti-microbial peptides in other white blood cells and in cells lining the respiratory tract, protecting the lungs from infection.
An optimal Vitamin D level is critically important in minimising your cancer risk. A study of menopausal women showed that maintaining Vitamin D levels can cut overall cancer risk by 77%! Breast cancer has been described as a “Vitamin D deficiency syndrome” by Grassroots Health founder Carole Baggerly. She believes 90% of ordinary breast cancer is related to Vitamin D deficiency.
In addition to being a strong cancer preventative, Vitamin D is crucial for pregnant women and their babies, lowering risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, and C-section; 80% of pregnant women have inadequate vitamin D levels, Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphorous, and deficiency can cause softening of bones and poor teeth formation. Vitamin D deficiency is also strongly linked to depression, however that's a whole other newsletter!
The most important factor is having your Vitamin D level tested every 3 months for optimum health. People vary widely in their response to ultraviolet exposure or receive very little in the first place! 20 minutes in the sun, lotion free, is great!
Saturday, October 03 2015
A well balanced diet is key to good health and immunity however, getting kids and teenagers to eat one is a different matter as is finding the time to do so yourself.
The first term of school usually result in germs being passed from student to student and the latest bug striking down individuals one by one! Certainly not ideal when you’re all set for another year of cramming your mind full of facts and figures. However, you can do to protect children (and you!) against the dreaded back-to-school bugs and support their immune systems:
- Vitamin D is the hormone that we produce in response to sunlight. But being British citizens, we all know that sunshine and therefore vitamin D is scarce! Vitamin D is well noted for its contribution to the immune system so supplementing as autumn approaches is a smart idea. Try Nutri’s D3 Lemon Melts, delicious lemon-flavoured melting tablets which provide 2000iu of vitamin D as cholecalciferol.
- Although probiotics aren’t the first thing that spring to mind when you’re thinking about immune support, when you consider that 70% of our immune system lives in the gut then it suddenly seems very relevant to have a well-functioning digestive system! Try Probioplex ND Capsules or powder, a non-dairy probiotic which provide pure strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus andBifidobacterium lactis to support optimal microflora in the small and large intestines.
- Beta glucans have been well researched for triggering immune defences and acting as a biological response modifier. Nutri’s ImmunoBlast combines beta 1-3/1-6 glucan along with vitamins A, C, D and E to ward off the sniffles before you realise you have them.
- Finally, build brain health with Eskimo Omega 3. There is so much research behind the effects of omega 3 fatty acids on the brain, particularly in children. In a Danish trial, children who were supplementing with a pure and stable fish oil, rich in omega-3, showed improvements in memory, concentration and social behaviour at school.
BioScan SRT for a Full Health MOT which identifies stressors affecting your immune system in the body and outlines the correct supplements for each individual. Screenings are suitable for children, teenagers and adults.
Saturday, September 05 2015
Well, it's not what it used to be that's for sure! The wheat we eat today is not the same as our grandparents used to bake their bread, now we have a scientifically engineered food product developed over the last 50 years, which coincidentally parallels the history of chronic disease, depression and obesity promoting weight gain, pre-diabetes, diabetes type II and so many more 'dis-ease' symptoms.
Wheat today (whether white or whole wheat) contains (1) a 'super starch' called amylopectin A that is 'super fattening' and will raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of sugar and hence encourage your body to store "belly fat"; (2) a 'super gluten' that is inflammatory throughout the body.
Striking new research* shows that adverse immune reactions to gluten may result from problems in very different parts of the immune system, which in short means that you can be gluten sensitive without have Coeliac disease (an autoimmune disease; and (3) 'super alkaloid peptides' which are very addictive and makes you crave and therefore eat more. People with anxiety disorders react much more commonly than the general population to alkaloids and such a food reaction can play out over 1-3 days where the person experiences and initial 'high' followed by withdrawal like sensations.
So is the answer to head for the 'Free From' isle and buy 'Gluten Free'? Ideally not!! It may be gluten free but it is still high glycaemic and processed as it mostly contains rice or potato starch and often more sugar. There are many 'alternative' available breads and pastas easily available made from vegetables, buckwheat, flax, quinoa, coconut, almond etc. and a wonderfully company called Artisan do a fantastic mail order - see www.artisanbread-abo.com. Additionally, your natural carbohydrates which have a minimum affect on blood sugar are vegetables, fruits and beans.
* Research link
Divergence of gut permeability & mucosal immune gene expression in two gluten-associated conditions: Coeliac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity
Friday, August 07 2015
Government advisors are now recommending that everyone should supplement with vitamin D to avoid the health complications associated with deficiency.
Both your mind and body are affected by the weather but more importantly they are both affected by what you eat. Most of us feel better in the sun, however may still suffer with low moods or depression if we put the wrong 'fuel in our engines'. You need to eat a well-balanced diet high in nutrients including lean proteins, fruits, vegetable and whole grains. When your body feels healthier, your mind will follow along.
If you regularly feel low or sad, even in summer, stay away from sugars of all sorts – including alcohol and even natural types such as honey. These sugars can get into your bloodstream quicker than complex carbohydrates like whole grains. The quick shock of sugar into the bloodstream can cause a burst of energy, but may be quickly followed by a low of depression as well as fatigue. To lower the 'sugar rush' easily gained by drinking alcohol, have some protein / fat (such as 6 almonds or a cube of feta cheese) prior to drinking alcohol.
Summer is when you should spend as much time outside as is possible and ideally get exposed to more sun and boost your vitamin D. You must make sure you are getting enough as a lack of vitamin D has been linked to depression. Do not use sunscreen every time you go outside or you will block your body’s ability to produce vitamin D - you can go a little pink!
Exercise releases endorphins and can often alter your mood right away if you are feeling down. The more rigorous and energetic exercise is the more the body releases an abundance of endorphins. Even a brisk walk for 20 minutes outside will help you to feel more content as well as getting your body into shape a bit!
Put yourself first! Take more time to do what makes you happy, reduce stress and live in the present, knowing your future is positive!
Saturday, June 27 2015
Low stomach acid, or hypochlorhydria , can cause havoc. Millions of people have very low stomach acid due to poor diet, poor soil quality, and excessive use of antibiotics. Symptoms of hypochlorhydria include acid reflux, bloated belly, chronic flatulence, irregular bowel movements, nutritional deficiencies, and chronic illness.
Does it seem as though your stomach never “goes down” after you eat a meal? If so, your stomach acid may be too low.
Most cases of gastric reflux stem from lack of acid in the stomach. Yes, I know that is exactly opposite of what you have been told, but clinical results prove the point. When you fix the acid reflux problem with acid, it seems to be fixed for good. However, if you pop a handful of antacids like Rennies, you may have to keep taking them for life and the problem exacerbates over time.
The lack of acid appears to affect the closure of the sphincter muscle that keeps the acid from trickling up into the oesophagus (the big tube that food goes down into the stomach). Sadly, then weak acids such as pyruvic acid, lactic acid and others creep up to the oesophagus and cause the classic burning feeling.
Taking antacids causes a decrease of acid in the stomach; however, you must understand that the stomach should be an acid organ! Making an acid organ alkaline may reduce symptoms for a short period of time, but will also promote infection (due to lack of acid sterilising the gut), decrease digestion and absorption (because acid is needed to break down the food) and bloating and flatulence (when there is limited acid, the food begins to ferment and putrefy causing an increase in stomach cramping, gas and bloating). Think of a chemistry lab!!
As we age our body’s production of stomach acid decreases significantly and bizarrely increasing the acidity naturally can be the solution to the classic symptoms of low stomach acid. In addition, numerous health problems that are rarely associated with a decrease in acid product are often changed when the gut function is improved. By increasing the acid in the stomach you will assist in improving the sphincter muscle’s ability to keep acid in the stomach.
Saturday, May 30 2015
Gout was always thought of as a disease of affluence. A sign you had over indulged by eating and drinking too much. In fact, it is a form of arthritis caused by an excess of uric acid, which is itself a by-product of a substance called purine; found in certain foods, including meat, asparagus, anchovies, chicken and mushrooms.
It is caused by an accumulation of uric acid in the blood, urine, and tissues. This excess solidifies in the joints to form sharp, needle-shaped crystals which then jab at the surrounding tissue when the body moves. Inflammation and severe pain may be the first signs of a problem, especially in the big toe where gout is most common. It can also occur in the joints in the middle of the foot, in the ankle or the knee, the thumb, wrist, finger or elbow joints and even, in chronic cases, in the cartilage tissue of the ear.
A fault in the way uric acid is broken down causes both it and urates (uric acid salts) to accumulate in the bloodstream and the joints. This slowly destroys the joints and causes deposits of salt in the skin and the cartilage, especially in the big toe. The number of cases of gout has doubled in the West over the last 30 years and for some people, even a small amount of the wrong food can trigger an attack.
Prescription drugs are used to either increase the excretion of uric acid or slow down the rate at which urates form, but you can also use supplements and foods to help prevent further flare-ups. Cherry juice, for example, lowers uric acid levels; and celery juice, which promotes the flow of urine through the kidneys, can also relieve symptoms - so buying a good juicer will help.
Avoiding the wrong foods, particularly those high in purine can help. These include legumes, liver, mackerel, sardines, shrimp, sweetbreads, asparagus, bran, cauliflower, eel, saltwater fish, meat, spinach, and whole grains. Eat less protein and drink more fluids to help flush excess uric acid from your body. Carrying too much weight will also exacerbate the problem so keep yours in check.
Gout is linked to a high consumption of rich and fatty foods, heavy meats and alcohol. The trouble with heavy meats, for example, is that they are rich in substances called purines, which promote the production of uric acid in the body. Gout sufferers have also been found to be lacking in the digestive enzyme, uricase, which then oxidises the relatively insoluble uric acid into a highly soluble form to prevent it from crystallising.
A good natural remedy is quercetin - a bioflavonoid and anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits the enzyme xanthine oxidase which triggers the production of uric acid. Quercetin is found in red and yellow onions but you would need to eat two onions a day to get a high enough dose - the equivalent of 250mg, three times a day - to prevent or treat gout, so it makes sense to take a supplement.
Friday, May 01 2015
Thousands of students will be sitting important exams over the coming weeks (my son being one of them!), whether it’s GCSE’s, A-levels or University finals. For the majority, this will be an intense and stressful few weeks where they may not eat properly, or totally the wrong foods, while trying to cram as much into their memory as possible.
A rise in the number of people seeking help for exam stress and anxiety has been reported over the last two years by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Prolonged or acute exposure to stress is extremely detrimental to our health and will cause short-term symptoms which may interfere with exam performance, as well as long term complications which have a knock on effect on other areas of our health.
Please don't wait until breaking point or beyond it before seeking help! If your child (or you!) feels like everything is getting on top of them and are nearing the edge it’s important to know there are plenty of natural lifestyle changes and safe nutrients to support whilst maintaining health.
In an ideal world, exam food plan would contain lots of oily fish, eggs, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) and nuts for Omega 3 brain food; Masses of green vegetables (as a juice) and on the plate, whole grains, avocados, bananas, apricots, almonds, cashews, for magnesium, B vitamins and taurine. A new study has found green leafy vegetables fantastic for improving physical and mental energy avoiding problematic fatigue affecting up to 46% of teenagers, and linked to decreased concentration.
Magnesium is necessary for maintaining proper function of muscles and nerves, taurine has a soothing effect on the brain and nervous system and B vitamins support neurological health. Gingko biloba supports blood flow to the brain! There are specific nutritional supplements (containing all of the above) which will support and help students (and parents!) remain confident about the looming exams.
Contact me for advice on safe supplements prior to and during exams - they're working for us! Wishing all students the best of luck!!
Tuesday, March 31 2015
Spring allergies affect a huge percentage of the UK population and airborne pollen is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. An estimated 80% of your immune system is located in your gut so supporting digestive health is essential to supporting your immune system; this being your primary defense system against all disease, including allergies, sinusitis, rhinitis and asthma.
Allergies are your body's reaction to allergens (particles your body considers foreign), a sign that your immune system is working overtime. The first time your body encounters an allergen, your plasma cells release IgE (immunoglobulin E), an antibody specific to that allergen. IgE attaches to the surface of your mast cells. Mast cells are found in great numbers in your surface tissues (i.e. those with close proximity to the external environment, such as in your skin and in the mucous membranes of your nose), where they help mediate inflammatory responses. Mast cells release a number of important chemical mediators, one of which is histamine.
The second time your body encounters a particular allergen, within a few minutes, your mast cells become activated and release histamine which triggers the cascade of symptoms you associate with allergies: sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, hacking cough, itchy eyes, etc. Histamine can cause your airways to constrict, like with asthma, or cause blood vessels to become more permeable, leading to fluid leakage or hives.
Pollen is an extremely common mast cell activator, but other agents can 'trigger' these processes as well. Mould spores, dust, airborne contaminants, pet hair, environmental products and foods can all cause allergic reactions. Mould spores are more common than people realise and produce allergens and may cause an allergic reaction such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash.
Processed food, synthetic food additives and genetically modified ingredients all encourage 'leaky gut' (a whole other subject!) and decimate the beneficial bacteria in your gut, having a negative effect on your immune system. Many medicines such as antibiotics also deplete your beneficial bacteria and therefore lower your immune system. Ideally, avoid processed foods and focus on locally-grown (ideally pesticide free) foods and include fermented foods in your diet to optimise your good bacteria, i.e. Sauerkraut, Kefir, Kombucha, Miso or alternatively think of supplementing with a broad spectrum probiotic.