At this time of year doctors medical rooms and indeed my clinic fill up with people looking to combat the symptoms of cold and flu. Sore throats, blocked sinuses and general flu like symptoms become more and more prevalent as the temperature outside drops.
Each individual that comes to see me in clinic has their own symptoms that make their cold or flu both similar and different to another’s, so each of them leave with a selection of remedies that best ‘fit’ the ailments they are presenting with.
Let’s take a look at some of the people I’ve seen this week and how I’ve been able to help them.
Jess brought her young daughter to see me early on in the week, she already has some Homeopathic remedies at home and when she noticed her daughter had started to drop in energy, she gave her some Aconite, Chamomilla and Belladonna a classic combination of remedies given at the first signs of colds/flu. Her daughters symptoms had progressed however and she now had a very snotty nose and was clingy and needing her mum’s attention. Her symptoms were generally much worse when she was indoors, where her nose would block up, but going outside improved the symptoms and her mood lifted slightly. These are typical symptoms of the remedy Pulsatilla, which I gave her Mum to add to the remedy mix she was already giving her daughter 4 times a day.
Jean contacted me for her ‘usual mix’ of remedies on Tuesday. Jean had previously had a nasty reaction to the flu vaccine and has sought an alternative from me for the last 4 years. Each year Jean collects a combination of remedies from me, which she takes twice a week for the winter season. This selection of remedies and herbal support, containing well known remedies such as Echinacea and less well known ones such as Ferrum Phos which boost the immune system and the respiratory system making the likelihood of catching a cold or the flu much less likely.
A very run down Daniel visited me on Thursday with a persistent cough and what we refer to as a post nasal drip! He felt really grotty, with aching muscles, poor sleep from coughing as soon as he lay down and a lack of appetite as his throat was sore and he couldn’t really taste anything because of the post nasal drip. Daniel’s symptoms were typical of many peoples at this time of year and he required a combination of remedies to help move his symptoms along and to start to feel better. I made up a combination of remedies for him, which included Hepar Sulph for his cough and phlegm and a combination called CCA, which helps to support the respiratory system and general chesty symptoms. The combination also included Gelsemium, which has the remedy picture we associate with the aching feeling Daniel spoke of and some herbal tinctures to support his immune system.
Getting lots of fluids inside you at this time of year is also important to help stave off winter bugs.
I recommend warm water with a slice of lemon and fresh ginger, with perhaps some organic raw honey and a few drops of Echinacea tincture, drunk regularly throughout the day. This mix helps keep fluid intake up and gives the body tools to keep the bugs at bay and supports the immune system to work at its optimum.
A good quality multivitamin aimed at supporting the immune system is worth considering. I particularly like Immunovite for its belts and braces approach to supporting the whole immune system. Many of my patients stock up on my own Immune Support at this time of year. A blend of Homeopathic remedies and herbs known to support the body’s defence system.
As always, if you’d like some support with the winter bugs that are looming or would like to arrange an appointment with me, just use the contact me form.
We are frequently told and encouraged to ensure we get the
nutrients and vitamins we eat from the foods we eat, but with so many packaged
and processed foods on the supermarket shelves, many of us rely on easy access meals
and snacks to fit in with our busy lives and lack of time to prepare meals from
The nutrients in these processed foods are often lacking or
impossible for our bodies to breakdown and absorb. In addition to this, our stressful and busy
lives also deplete our bodies of vital nutrients.
So, with many of us reaching for supplements to help boost our vitamin and mineral intake, which are the main ones we need to ensure we are consuming daily?
Immune Support and antioxidant
We all know vitamin C supports the immune system and many of
us reach for a vitamin C supplement when we feel a cold coming on, but this vitamin
is also an antioxidant, which means it hoovers up toxic chemicals in the body
called free radicals. Our bodies produce
these toxins naturally, so we are always in need of vitamin C to support our
For bone and brain health
Here in not so sunny Britain, we struggle to absorb enough
vitamin D from the sun, our main source of this vitamin, so it’s vital we look
to ingest this vitamin in a supplement. Our
bodies need vitamin D to help fight bugs, strengthen bones and teeth and it’s
also needed to help with healthy brain function. Ideally, we need to take this vitamin in the
evening, as if we take it in the morning, our bodies won’t look to produce it
naturally from the sunshine.
Vitamin B Complex
For a whole host of things!
This group of vitamins work as a group to help energise,
stabilise blood sugar levels, support metabolism and detoxify the body. If you’re stressed and tired your body will be
using these vitamins at quite a pace, so it’s important to keep levels high. Vegans often lack B12, one of the six B
vitamins, so it’s worth taking this complex if you don’t consume animal products.
The great healer
As well as being a good antioxidant for the body, Zinc also
helps white blood cells fight infection and heal the body when there are any
cuts or bruises. So, if you take a long
time to heal, it may be worth upping your daily dose of Zinc. Low levels of Zinc can also lead to poor
blood sugar control.
Stress, stress and more stress
Magnesium is the main supplement to help us relax muscles, which
results in our ability to relax our bodies and minds. When we are stressed, our bodies lose more
magnesium as it is excreted in our urine, causing a vicious cycle – our magnesium
levels go down – we feel more stressed – we lose more magnesium in our urine.
Bear in mind that the heart, blood vessels and organs such as the uterus are
all muscles, so a lack of magnesium can lead to high blood pressure and painful
periods if the blood vessels are unable to relax. Magnesium can also improve sleep, so taking a
supplement in the evening or having a magnesium salt bath will help aid sleep
and improve the mineral levels.
Is it OK to just pick up a cheap supplement in the supermarket?
In a word, no!
If you study the label of the cheaper supplements found in supermarkets and some high street stores, you will see that the amount of actual vitamin and mineral in the pills is minimal, most of the ingredients are fillers and chemicals. I always suggest to people that they buy the best vitamin supplement they can afford, to ensure they are taking the recommended daily allowance for each vitamin, rather than just taking a tablet which is mainly chalk! You won’t need to take the supplement, for ever, so it’s worth investing in your health now, rather than trying to treat a health issue later.
I’ve been amazed by how early people’s hay fever symptoms have started this year, but perhaps with the lack of winter and the resulting early blossoming of many trees and flowers, that’s a bit naïve of me!
The expectation is that this year, we will see pollen levels many times higher than has been recorded for decades. Not good news if every spring you expect to be affected by these pesky pollens for 3, 4 or 6 months of the year.
Thankfully,there are a few things you can do to help support your body and lessen the symptoms affecting your eyes, nose and throat.
Just three things can help to alleviate your symptoms, a few vitamins supplements, changes to what you eat and keeping a few Homeopathic remedies or a tincture to hand.
First, consider removing or reducing Histamine forming foods in your diet:
Histamine is produced by the body as a local immune response, and very often we hear of people being given an anti-histamine to reduce the reaction to an allergic response.
Histamine in its natural form is found throughout the body, such as the brain where it plays a role in the sleep wake process and in the stomach. It is this second area of the body that we can look to support by adjusting our diets to remove Histamine forming foods, thereby lessening the allergic response by allowing your body to focus on removing the allergens from pollen rather than the histamine foods in your stomach.
So, if you look to remove the following foods from your diet, you may notice an improvement in your symptoms:
Alcohol, particularly red wine and champagne. But also white wine and beer.
Smoked and processed meats such as salami, ham and bacon
Certain vegetables: tomato, spinach, avocado,mushrooms and canned vegetables as well as commercially prepared salads
Red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, Soy sauce, Mustard, Ketchup
Bread and confectionery made with yeast
Peanuts, cashews, walnuts
Chocolate/cocoa, Coffee, black tea
Ok, so maybe giving up wine for 6 months isn’t likely, what supplements can you add to your daily diet to help…
Wholefood Cherryrich in vitamins and minerals, in particular vitamin C important for supporting the immune and respiratory system.
Selenium once available from soil, where it is now mostly depleted, Selenium treats inflammation in the body and improves respiratory conditions such as asthma
Vitamin B12 as well as boosting energy levels and mood, B12 also helps to balance the hormone levels in the body, which can be affected by increased histamine.
Vitamin D3 is another vitamin which supports the body’s immune response which can be compromised by allergies.
And finally some remedies…..
Nat Mur the symptoms of this remedy are of watery discharges from the eyes and nose with lots of sneezing. There may also be a loss of smell and a tickly cough.
Arsenicum, a remedy for symptoms that are burning, usually the eyes and the skin around the nose. Symptoms often leave the person feeling restless and exhausted.
Euphrasia also has burning, prickly eyes, with lots of sneezing. People generally feel worse indoors
Nux Vomica sufferers are very light sensitive, they have blocked noses and itchy inner ears. This is also a good remedy for migraine type headaches.
My most asked for remedy is my hay fever tincture, which combines a number of remedies and herbs that are known to support the respiratory system and reduce hay fever symptoms, drop me an email if you’d like to learn more.
It is thought that more than 300 million women have used the contraceptive pill and that around 100 million women are currently taking it, this may be to control a variety of hormonal issues, not just for birth control.
But how is this hormonal drug affecting our bodies and minds?
The contraceptive pill contains synthetic hormones which
mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body.
This alters the hormonal balance in the body and induces a biochemical
state which temporarily makes you infertile.
The synthetic hormones role is to stop ovulation and make the uterus
unreceptive to the implantation of an embryo.
Our bodies naturally produce hormones as part of the function of the endocrine system, which is made up of various glands in the body. These glands work together to regulate mood, growth, tissue function, metabolism and development. They are also responsible for sexual function and the reproductive process. As you can imagine, the health of our endocrine system is paramount in our bodies ability to function optimally!
Many women note side effects from taking the contraceptive pill:
Weight gain or loss
Reduced or increased acne
Higher blood pressure
Decreased bone density
These side effects may be enough to deter some women from taking the pill, but for others the side effects may not be extreme enough to warrant stopping the prescribed medication, but they should still be seen as a side effect or a sign that your body is trying to adjust to the imbalance from the synthetic hormone. In some cases, the side effect can be extreme and a second drug is prescribed to counteract the original side effects. Quite often this is as a result of the pill making women feel depressed, leading to a prescription for anti-depressants being prescribed.
These physical and emotional symptoms are noticeable to most women who are in tune to their bodies, but what is also worth considering is the nutritional deficiencies caused by taking the pill. It is not so well known that the pill affects the mineral, vitamin and fatty acid levels in the body. This balance of minerals etc is vital for good health and normal body functions in our bodies. Alas, many women either currently on the pill or who have previously taken the pill for a number of years are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals.
Some signs of deficiency may be obvious, such as vitamin B1,
which when reduced can lead to fatigue, weakness, insomnia, oversensitivity to
noise, muscle aches, loss of appetite, sugar cravings and circulation
issues. If vitamin B6 is deficient
symptoms will include nausea, feeling easily stressed, anxiety, depression,
skin eruptions and lethargy.
Minerals such as magnesium are also affected, which can cause symptoms of premenstrual cramps, anxiety, insomnia and craving for sugar and chocolate. The pill will also affect the bodies stores of potassium, zinc and selenium, all of which result in additional physical and emotional symptoms.
The contraceptive pill is prescribed for a number of hormonal problems
Doctors prescribe the contraceptive pill for various hormonal problems – polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, acne, period problems, anaemia. All these symptoms are signs that the hormonal system is already out of balance, and many women find that when they stop taking the contraceptive pill, the symptoms then return as the pill has not dealt with the underlying imbalance. In addition to this, the liver and kidneys are put under additional stress to process and eliminate the toxins of drugs in the body. Another organ of elimination is the skin, so many women will experience skin breakouts and acne after they stop taking the contraceptive pill. This is particularly the case if the liver is under strain as when this organ is struggling to process toxins through the natural channels (bowels and kidneys) toxins are released through the skin.
Symptoms are messages and signs that your body isn’t happy
Acne may indicate that your colon, lymph and liver need support and cleansing. It may be as a result of intolerances to food, that your life is stressful or that your thyroid and adrenals are fatigued. Acne is also a sign of the presence of yeast infections such as candida. Long term use of the pill often leads to candida overgrowth, which amongst other things, affects the quality of the cervical mucus.
How can I help support my body?
It is essential to replace the nutrients the pill depletes your body of, either in your diet or by including a supplement in your daily routine.
Fish, poultry, whole grains, potatoes
Folic acid: Dark green leafy veg, dried beans
Riboflavin: meat, poultry, fish, green veg,
grains and cereals
Vitamin A: Green veg, yellow veg and yellow
Iron: Red meat, poultry, fish, cereal products,
dried beans, green veg, prunes
Zinc: Seafood, nuts, whole grains
What supplements should I consider taking?
Eating a balanced diet would be the first choice for accessing the essential vitamins and minerals, but sometimes we need additional support from good quality supplements, my preferred range is from Cytoplan, a UK based company which uses mainly organic and vegan products.
The following products are helpful for supporting hormonal
A multi vitamin: A good all-rounder vitamin will contain all the major vitamins and minerals we require on a daily basis.
Vitamin B Complex: B vitamins are important for the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the body. They are also important for energy production, digestion and hormone imbalances.
Omega 3 oils: founds in oily fish and flaxseeds or as a supplement, these oils are helpful for dry skin, fatigue, depression and lack of motivation. They are also helpful for blood sugar imbalances and weight problems.
Evening Primrose oil: helpful for breast tenderness, dry skin and vaginal dryness.
What can Homeopathy do to help?
The aim of Homeopathy is to address the reason behind why
you became ill in the first place, finding the right remedy to create an
improvement in your health. This may be
with just remedies or with the additional support of herbs, supplements or
small changes to diet. Each person is
seen as an individual, so the remedies and support offered varies for each
Let me know if you’d
like to learn more about how homeopathy could help you.
Virginia Satir, a famous family therapist, once said:
“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
There are moments in time when no present in the world could boost the sense of belonging, of being accepted and appreciated for what you are. Hugs are designed for that, as they are simple and pure manifestations of empathy.
So what’s the science behind it?
Hugs improve levels of oxytocin, promoting feelings of contentment, reducing anxiety and stress,
allowing you to restore your emotional balance. Oxytocin also helps by lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels
(cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart
A hug is one of the easiest ways to show appreciation and acknowledgment of another person.
Think about it, how many times have you just felt better from a good hug?!
Affection also helps
in the reduction of stress which prevents many diseases. The University
of Miami School of Medicine has carried out more than 100 studies into touch
and found evidence of significant positive effects, including faster growth in
premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered
glucose levels in children with diabetes, and improved immune systems in people
Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the solar plexus chakra which stimulates the thymus gland, regulating the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
With almost 70% of
communication being nonverbal, the interpretation of body language can be based
on a single gesture and hugging is an excellent method of expressing yourself
nonverbally to another human being or animal.
Hugs stimulate the brain
to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Low dopamine levels play a
role in the neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s as well as mood
disorders such as depression. Dopamine is responsible for giving us that
feel-good feeling, and it’s also responsible for self-motivation!
Hugging releases endorphins and serotonin into the blood vessels. When released, these improve feelings of pleasure and negate pain and sadness. They also decrease the chances of getting heart problems, help fight excess weight and prolong life.
Even the cuddling of pets has a soothing effect that reduces the stress levels. Anyone with a pet will know this already!
Hugging for an extended time lifts our serotonin levels, lifting our mood and creating feelings of happiness.
But as we became more and more confined in our in our own lives, with stress for jobs, worries and social norms, we also got uneasy to ask or to offer hugs, despite their health enhancing effects.
So don’t hold back, give a someone a hug today, it’s good for their health and yours
Sleep issues are one of the many reasons people come and see me for help and support. Alongside remedies and herbs, there are a number of self-help options available to you…….
Spend time in natural light
Your body has a
natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm which tells your body
when it is day time and when it is night time, this “clock” is triggered mostly
One of the first
things I look at with people is their own rhythm of sleep, what time they go to
bed and what time they wake up, to ascertain how their own sleep cycle
Sunlight and natural daylight help to keep this rhythm healthy. Stress and anxiety of any kind, keeping the body in a state of ‘fight or flight’ has the opposite effect! Using remedies and herbs to help address the stress and support the adrenal glands, people are more able to maintain a regular sleep pattern
Avoid blue light at night
Exposure to natural
light during the day is beneficial, but night time light exposure, particularly
to that from computer and phone screens has the opposite effect!
Again, due to the impact on your circadian rhythm … when we are exposed to blue light at night it triggers our brain into thinking it is still day time, and completely disturbs your sleep hormones. Avoiding screen use and not having your phone in the bedroom at night will greatly reduce the amount of blue light your body is exposed to.
Reduce your caffeine intake
An obvious one.
When consumed late in the day, coffee stimulates your nervous system and may
stop your body from naturally relaxing at night.
A recent study found that consuming caffeine even up to six hours before bed significantly worsened sleep quality! Even decaf drinks still contain some caffeine, so consider stopping drinking them after midday. Many people’s energy levels drop mid-afternoon, which is when they reach for a pick me up. I often suggest people try coca complex for a natural caffeine free, mood enhancing alternative. I also suggest the Neal’s Yard supplement Beauty Sleep, a combination of vitamins and herbs to support the skin and nervous system to aid sleep and improve your skin!
Develop a Routine
The body loves routine! By setting your alarm for the same time each day, and going to sleep around the same time each evening, your body will be more likely to find its own routine for the sleep/wake cycle.
One study found that bedroom temperature affected sleep quality more than external noise! Having a warm bath before bed helps many people, but make sure you don’t use the buddle bath labelled ‘invigorating’ instead consider a relaxing buddle bath or some beauty sleep butter and a relaxing aromatherapy roller ball to place on your wrists. A pillow spray with lavender works well for some too. My daughter swears by the Goodnight Pillow Spray from Neal’s Yard!
Avoid eating late at night
Eating late at night can disrupt your body’s ability to have a restful sleep and eating a high carb meal 4 hours before bed helps aid a great night sleep … now carbs may not be the answer for everyone, but consider cutting out heavy foods more than 4 hours before bed, to allow your digestive system to have a break.
These are just a few suggestions, do get in touch if you’d like some more support or advice on any remedies or products which may help
Even if you don’t say this often, there are definitely
periods of our lives when we all feel exhausted. I’ve certainly had stretches of time where I
feel as if I’m running on the hamster wheel, not getting anywhere with what I
have to do, but feeling exhausted as a result.
In fact it’s thought that 80% of us will undergo adrenal fatigue multiple
times in our lives.
Feeling tired and exhausted seems to be a natural state of everyday
life for many of us nowadays, and as a result we reach for stimulants such as
caffeine and sugar to keep us going. But
these quick fix pick me ups actually make the matter much worse.
The primary gland in the body to cause fatigue are the
adrenal glands and the biggest thing to impact them is stress. We’ve all heard of the term ‘fight or flight’
and stress of any kind can put our body’s into this state for long periods of
time, leading to what we refer to as adrenal burnout.
Stress comes in many forms, both physical and emotional and many of us are used to having a low level of stress in our lives and may feel we thrive on it. In addition to this, different stages of our lives, such as pregnancy and child birth and the menopause, put additional strain on our adrenals as they are required to work harder during these times. This may mean our usual levels of stress become overwhelming and we need additional support.
Let’s look at some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:
You crash in the early part of the day, or
throughout the day.
You feel tired all day, but more alert at home
in the evening. This happens when your
adrenal glands hold on to energy reserves in case an emergency arises.
You’re exhausted but can’t sleep. The body needs adrenal hormones to help with
sleep, so a lack of these will cause sleep issues.
You feel tired even after a night’s sleep. Again this is because of the adrenal
hormones needed to aid sleep.
You are continually sweaty. This is a result of the entire endocrine
system being under stress and having to work harder to compensate for the
You feel thirsty all the time and cave
salt. Cortisol affects the electrolytes
in your blood and results in nervous system problems.
Blurry vision or difficulty focusing. Again this is down to a flood of cortisol,
which dehydrates the body. You may also
find dark circles around the eyes, which is an adrenal sign.
Craving stimulants. This is usually a sign of
needing a quick energy boost for the lack of adrenal hormones. Alas the crash afterwards forces the adrenals
to over perform and then become exhausted, which over time makes the issue
Many of us can recognise a number of these symptoms as present in our lives. So how do we go about avoiding this and boost our adrenals, so that they perform at their optimum for us?
How to avoid fatigue:
The most obvious but possibly hardest is to
avoid long term stress and extreme stress as this sets up the over production
Avoid artificial stimulants such as caffeine,
energy drinks and drugs that give you an artificial boost.
Strong negative emotions are another strain on
the adrenals. Fear, anxiety, anger,
grief. Anything that makes you feel bad emotionally. Positive emotions will give you a boost!
Eating 3 times a day will cause your blood sugar to drop and this forces
the body to use hormones such as cortisol to keep it ticking over. This puts strain on the adrenals and little
time to recover. Snacking every couple of hours on foods such as apples, dates,
avocados will help keep blood sugar levels stable.
Avoid eating too much meat. The fat in meat will put a strain on your
pancreas and liver, eventually creating insulin resistance. This is turn makes it difficult for your body
to maintain stable glucose levels, which your adrenal glands then need to
regulate by creating additional hormones to compensate.
Supplements and herbal support:
You could take an all-round adrenal support supplement, which contains a range of vitamins and herbs to optimise the glands function. Or if you prefer, you can take individual supplements as noted below:
Ginseng: More suited to men, but women may take it. Will balance the adrenals, increase stamina, energy and libido. Helps to protect the adrenal glands from overreacting to stress.
Borage: Anti-inflammatory properties, supports adrenal cortex. Helps revive and renew adrenal glands particularly after steroid treatment.
Discorea: Excellent for restoring the endocrine system. Anti-inflammatory and blood purifier.
Passiflora: quietens the nervous system, aids sleep in those who are stressed and overwrought.
Skullcap: a wonderful herb for anxiety and nervous tension.
Liquorice: can support underactive adrenal glands and boosts the entire endocrine system. Seen as a natural steroid. Will balance the levels of cortisol and cortisone. Can be taken as a tea.
Vitamin C: Lowers inflammation in the body and soothes the adrenal glands.
Chromium: Helps balance insulin levels and improves the strength of the adrenal glands, thyroid gland and the pancreas.
Selenium helps to normalise the immune system, thyroid function and protects the body against stress.
Ashwagandha: helps balance the production of testosterone and cortisol. A great supplement for use during the menopause.
Astragalus: strengthens the immune and endocrine systems
Lemon Balm: replenishes the nervous system and helps regulate the production of insulin
Rhodiola: optimizes adrenal function.
My two essences Calm and Energise contain a combination of many of the above herbs and are worth considering as an easily accessible support. Have a browse through my shop page for more information on them.
Of course, there are many homeopathic remedies which can be considered too!
Menopause is a natural process, which occurs with age as a woman’s body adapts to the changes that result from ovarian decline. The Pituitary gland, found in the brain, attempts to stimulate the ovaries back into function, which in turn results in the symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flushes. At this time, the adrenal glands are expected to take over the role of the declining ovaries, so if they are exhausted or compromised in any way the process becomes harder work for the hormonal system to process and adapt to. Likewise, if the liver is overburdened with toxicity from diet and lifestyle choices, it is unable to assist in the detoxing of the body and processing of hormones.
The onset of menopause usually occurs between the ages of 50 and 55 and is a gradual cessation of menstruation. Peri-menopause, seen as the transitional period before menopause, can occur anytime between 2 and 20 years before menopause. During this time, women usually see irregularity of their menstrual cycle caused by fluctuations in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Scientists believe that the peri-menopausal stage is occurring earlier and earlier due to the number of hormone-like chemicals in today’s environment, which disrupt a woman’s natural cycle.
When patients come to see me for support, I generally offer a combination of Homeopathic remedies, herbal and nutritional supplements, which together alleviate symptoms and support this transition stage.
Diet and lifestyle are important factors for this time of transition. The hormonal changes within the body can put additional stress on women’s body’s, so it’s the ideal time to make yourself a priority.
So how can you help your body through this time of transition?
Adding Calcium and Magnesium to your diet will help alleviate anxiety and protect bone health.
Vitamins B & E can reduce hot flushes and improve circulation, Vitamin B also helps with feelings of stress and anxiety, often felt by menopausal women. I’ve mentioned in other blogs how the adrenal glands are affected by the menopause, so I always recommend my clients consider a good quality adrenal support supplement to help combat anxiety and exhaustion.
Essential Fatty Acids also alleviate hot flushes and act as a diuretic for those who experience fluid retention.
By avoiding foods which stimulate the adrenal glands, which are already under additional demand you will help to lessen symptoms such as hot flushes. For example, caffeinated drinks and alcohol stimulate the adrenals and also over stimulate the nervous system.
Most health food shops also stock a good range of herbal tinctures, such as Hypericum, Agnus Castus and Black Cohosh, all of which help to rebalance the hormonal symptom and relieve symptoms. I’ve had great success supporting women with Homeobotanicals, which combine all of these herbs (and a few more!) to alleviate some of the symptoms experienced at this time.
If supplements are your preference, Evening Primrose Oil is a good source of Omega 6 and fatty acids. Ashwagandha is a well known Ayurverdic herb which supports the symptoms of menopause.
If sleep becomes a problem, I recommend Neals Yard Goodnight Pillow Mist to help calm and relax the body into sleep. They also offer a combination of aromatherapy oils to help bring balance to the female hormonal system.
There are so many ways for us, as women to support our bodies, with around 30 different symptoms now considered to be associated with the menopause, no two women are likely to experience the same.
There’s so much more information I could share with you, drop me a line if you’d like some advice and support.
You’re a busy, efficient person, juggling a daily ‘to do’ list, racing everywhere at 100mph trying to achieve as much as you can every day.
You do so much for everyone around you, the kids, colleagues at work, your friends and partner, the neighbour, the dog the cat. You get the picture!
You are Superhuman! Super-efficient, never complaining, it’s GREAT to be able to do so much.
But you are EXHAUSTED and STRESSED. You’re definitely not FINE!!
Yes, you do perhaps rely too heavily on coffee and sugar to get you through the day. So the weight gain is probably easily sorted by reducing your intake of sweets and cookies, and if you just knocked a few things off your ‘to do’ list, you would probably be less forgetful as you’d have less to remember!
Let’s just check that you’re not TOO stressed. Let’s take a look at your adrenal glands and see if you’re showing signs of adrenal fatigue.
Most of us are so used to having some form of ongoing stress in our lives, that we actually aren’t aware of it.
Our body’s adapt to keep us going and hormones such as Cortisol are produced by the body to ‘keep us going’ Cortisol is also the hormone that gives us that ‘spare tyre’ around our midriff. Its role is to balance blood sugar and regulate inflammation in our cells and muscles, so an imbalance of this not only causes us to crave stimulants, and gain weight, but can also result in muscle pain and other inflammatory processes.
The adrenals produce hormones that affect energy, blood chemistry and are involved in the ‘fight or flight’ process that kicks in when we are in danger or stressed. For many of us, who have been in a chronic state of stress for any period of time, could find that we have been in a state of ‘fight or flight’ for months or even years.
So what happens when our adrenals respond to stress?
Our heart rate speeds up, which raises blood sugar levels and blood pressure. This would be fine if it was a short term thing because we were being chased by a tiger, it’s not a good thing if it’s minute after minute, day after day.
The ‘dangers‘ of today, meeting deadlines, juggling chores, being in the right place at the right time are all dangers that don’t go away like the tiger perhaps would.
Being in this state of constant ‘fear’ sends our adrenals into overdrive and our hormones go into melt down, often leading to adrenal fatigue or burn out.
The thing is, the adrenal glands are just one of the glands in the body, which all work together and help balance each other out. So yes, you guessed it, when one gland is out, they are all out and the entire hormonal system becomes unbalanced.
So although you think you’re OK and can deal with the stressed state you’re in, it may be that your chronic state of stress is actually the reason why your thyroid gland isn’t functioning properly, or your menstrual cycle has gone haywire or why you are constantly suffering with colds and stomach bugs.
How many of these symptoms can you recognise in yourself?
Constant tiredness, even trying to get out of bed is an effort.
Low blood pressure.
Low metabolism and/or low thyroid.
Low immune system and catching coughs, colds and ‘flu.
Irregular periods with sore/lumpy breasts. Also lack of ovulation and difficulty falling pregnant.
Allergies and/or asthma.
Trouble handling stress and coping with life.
It’s important to see you Doctor if you’re worried about your health, but what can you do to help yourself?
Sugar and refined carbs because they send your blood sugar, energy and moods on a rollercoaster.
Processed foods, anything with additives in, which puts a stress on the body to break down and process.
WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF
Try to manage your stress. Get into the habit of asking for help!
Get enough rest and sleep. ‘Me time’ is important too.
Eat nutritionally rich foods. Plenty of fruit and veg, good fats – yes some fats are good for you! good quality protein, complex carbs. And try to drink more water!
Take the best quality multivitamin and mineral complex you can afford. Buying the cheapest in the shop is a false economy. I particularly like those from Cytoplan, a UK based company offering high quality vitamins at an affordable price.
Magnesium levels are often low in us all nowadays, which can add to muscle soreness and fatigue, consider adding some bath salts to your bath to improve your levels. I like Neal’s Yard bath salts with added Arnica to soothe sore muscles, you can have a browse of their lovely products via this website.
If you’d like some more help and advice on how to tackle your stress levels, drop me a line today!
Luke came to see me with his mum, having been diagnosed with high functioning autism some years previously. Luke was in mainstream primary school, but high levels of anxiety and occasional outbursts of anger meant he was often removed from the classroom and his friends. His anxiety and anger were helped by coping mechanisms, employed both at home and in the school environment, but his Mum wondered if there was anything else that could be tried holistically to help alleviate the level of anxiety Luke felt on a regular basis and enable him to spend more time in the classroom with his peers.
Luke had previously used Rescue Remedy, a combination of flower remedies, which have well documented success in alleviating a persons stress and anxiety and based on this, Luke’s mum wanted to explore how Homeopathy could perhaps help.
At the first appointment, I spent some time allowing Luke to settle and feel comfortable with both me and the environment, speaking mainly with his mum about his presenting symptoms and his medical history. Slowly, as Luke became confident in the appointment he began to answer questions for himself and engage in the appointment, and with me. Together we talked about the situations that increased Luke’s anxieties and how these showed as physical symptoms i.e. hitting out at family members and breaking things. Luke felt he benefited from taking the Rescue Remedy and liked being able to have something he could personally take responsibility for.
How else could I help?
Between us we looked at how Luke’s diet could be improved, by removing processed foods and including as much fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. making sure Luke’s nutritional needs were covered was important as often autistic spectrum children are lacking in vital nutrients. Luke’s sleep was also an area for concern and I suggested his mum included a daily spoonful of Apothecherry, (http://platinumeurope.azurewebsites.net/wisehealth/product/2110e) a tart cherry tincture, which has been found to balance the natural levels of melatonin in the body and improve mood and sleep, thus helping to regulate a natural rhythm for sleep.
Homeopathically, Luke was given a remedy that helps to balance the bowel. Energetically the digestive system is seen as the ‘second brain’ and finding balance and improving friendly bacteria is known to have a positive effect on emotional symptoms. Wheat grass is also known to be beneficial in balancing the gut, but understandably Luke wasn’t too keen on taking anything that tasted like cut grass in the first instance!
As Luke liked to have remedies that he had control of taking when he was feeling anxious, I also gave him a bottle of a combination of remedies known to calm the nervous system. This he was able to take as and when he felt his anxieties rising.
A month later Luke and his mum returned for a follow up appointment. Both Luke and his mum felt he had improved significantly in the previous month and his mum said the school reported a noticeable improvement in Luke’s ability to control his anxiety in the classroom environment. Although there had been some instances whereby Luke had struggled with his anxiety, the benefits of taking the remedies were clear. The prescription was repeated at this point and once again Luke and his mum were asked to come back in a month.
The next appointment arrived and again Luke and his mum noted improvements in Luke’s behaviour and his ability to manage his anxieties both at home and at school. He was better able to communicate his concerns without the physical outbursts and was able to engage with me more than previously when discussing how he was feeling. Once again, school had communicated to Luke’s parents that they felt he was a ‘different child’ and was able to spend more time engaging in his education than before.
Luke hasn’t needed to come for an appointment for the last 3 months. His mum continues to contact me with occasional updates, but his behaviour has remained manageable and Luke himself feels able to communicate his anxieties more freely than before.
If you’d like more information on how I was able to support Luke and his family, or have any questions about how I may be able to help you or a family member, do get in touch.
Candida and other yeast infections are on the rise and more and more I am seeing patients suffering with symptoms which can be linked to a yeast infection, such as candida. Most people assume that symptoms such as a white coating to the tongue, intolerance’s to some food groups such as bread, and reoccurring infections are typical signs of an infection, when in fact the list of possible symptoms pointing towards a yeast infection is much longer. Digestive disorders and increased allergies, mood swings, rashes and loss of energy are all typical to a candida infection, but so are sleep problems, depression, fluid retention and muscle pain.
How Homeopathy can help:
Sarah came to see me recently with symptoms of the typical white coated tongue, ‘brain fog’ and an eczema type rash on her arms and legs. Her energy levels were low, despite being a relatively fit and active person, she also had problems with her sleep and a constant dull headache.
The white coated tongue had made her question whether or not she could perhaps have a yeast infection and having tried unsuccessfully to improve it with changes to her diet and the inclusion of probiotics daily, she then sought my help.
At the first appointment, I used my bioresonance machine to confirm that she was suffering from a yeast overgrowth and from there prescribed some homeopathic remedies to take daily and a supplement – Caprylic Acid, a fatty acid which assists in the maintenance of normal gut flora and helps to address intestinal bacteria and yeast infections. Sarah was then asked to return in 3 weeks for a follow up appointment.
Three weeks later:
At the follow up appointment, Sarah was pleased to report that her skin rash and headache had gone, and the white coating on her tongue had disappeared, leaving it a healthy pink colour. She had been able to visit the gym regularly and felt generally fit and well. A second session with the bioresonance machine confirmed that Sarah’s body was no longer prioritising a yeast infection as an issue and the only real ‘complaint’ she had was that she was a little dehydrated. Something we agreed was most likely due to the hot weather and her increase in the number of times she was now able to get to the gym!
Changing your diet to exclude yeast containing foods, sugars and processed foods will allow you to improve your gut flora and your ‘friendly’ bacteria will help to keep a candida overgrowth under control. However if you’d like more support and advice on how to improve your symptoms, do get in touch.
would your response to that question be?
Is your daily medication, which you take to reduce your blood pressure,
stop your menopausal symptoms, reduce your asthma symptoms, whatever the
medication is for, could it be undermining your healthy diet, by depleting your
body of the vitamins and minerals it needs.
The answer is yes!
of whether they are prescription drugs or over the counter medication, without
hesitation, they will be stripping the body of what it requires on a daily
basis to maintain a level of health and wellbeing.
So, now not only do we need to think about eating enough fruit and veg every day, we also need to think about what shortfalls there may be as a result of medication. Enough already!
Let’s look at a few examples of this
Antibiotics are widely taken across the world and it is commonly known as a medication which depletes the body of beneficial gut flora, the friendly bacteria in our guts. In addition to this, antibiotics will also steal from our body’s stores of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Blood pressure medication will remove a large number of vitamins and minerals from the body. Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, potassium, melatonin and zinc.
How about HRT and other hormonal medications? These will deplete the body of beneficial gut flora, magnesium, zinc, vitamins C and B.
A simple pain relief pill, taken for a headache perhaps, will deplete the bodies’ stores of vitamin C, Folic acid and iron.
Regardless of what the medication is for, the effects will be a shortfall of essential nutrients.
But what does this mean to our general health? The symptoms of these shortfalls in vitamins and minerals are varied.
Vitamin C, which we all think to take when we need to boost our immune system, is responsible for the integrity of connective tissue in the body. A lack of the vitamin will result in frequent infections, lack of energy, bleeding gums, slow wound healing and poor skin.
Vitamin D, helps to support bone health. A shortfall will lead to muscle cramps, arthritic pains, tooth decay, hair loss, excessive sweating and a lack of energy.
A lack of Zinc in the diet will cause infertility issues, poor sense of taste and smell, skin issues, frequent infections, poor appetite and depression. A sure sign that you have a Zinc deficiency are white marks on your nails.
The big one, which the majority of us are short on regardless of what medication we take, is magnesium. Magnesium is a natural tranquiliser, soothing and cooling the nervous system and brain. A lack of this mineral causes muscle weakness and pain, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure and an irregular heart beat. It can also lead to constipation as it is a natural laxative.
Can I just nip to the shops and buy a cheap multivitamin?
When clients come to see me for nutritional advice, I always suggest they buy the most expensive vitamins they can afford (such as those made by Cytoplan). It’s the one area that I advise not trying to scrimp and save on. Vitamins from the supermarket may seem good value, because they are inexpensive, but this is because they are full of cheap fillers such as corn starch and chalk, which in themselves cause problems in the body.
Our bodies are literally under attack every day. From the environments we live in, our stressful and busy schedules, the pesticides used for foods and the chemicals added to foods and water. It would be a tall order to try and remove all of these from our diets and eat clean, organic foods, avoid medications and pollutants every day for the rest of our lives. However, making a few small conscious changes to your everyday life will have long term benefits for our body’s various organs and our quality of life.