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It’s common that my patients consult me for nutritional advice who have had a blood test to check for low thyroid function by their GP. They have asked the GP for this test as they feel constantly tired, lethargic after a full nights sleep and gaining weight accompanied by difficulty in losing it.

However, so often the blood test results come back “within normal ranges” and they are faced with still feeling unwell and tired with no help or solution.

Natural health professionals have lots to offer these “walking wounded”, as they are not quite ill enough to get a diagnosis from the orthodox medical profession but still feel unwell and desperately in need of help.

Because we view our patients as a whole and not a just specific symptom we have a superior chance at helping the root cause of the problem through diet, supplements and lifestyle changes. In the case of thyroid issues there are definite patterns as to what happens leading up to initial symptoms. I commonly see stress as a major factor and I will explain why. I also see one of those stresses commonly as having a new baby or having children!

As with most health problems, thyroid issues are multi-factorial which means it can have many causes. It is my job as the naturopath (using the Avatar device to help) to reveal where your major area of concern is and then we can target that first. The interesting thing is that it might NOT be your thyroid directly. Here are some of the “other” factors that might be involved:

Adrenal glands - The stress glands. When over-worked they suppress the thyroid
Gut - 25% of thyroid hormone is activated in the gut! Gut problems suppress the thyroid
Oestrogen inhibits the thyroid hormone, so hormone imbalances suppress the thyroid
Liver - The liver is responsible for hormone production and detoxification so a congested liver suppresses thyroid function.

Any of these sound like you? So your thyroid might not be directly the problem, it is responding negatively to a problem else where in your body. By giving direct help to the thyroid you are just offering symptom relief that is actually masking the real issue.

For example, hormones used to help the thyroid may mask the stress on the adrenal glands which is the original underlying issue. You might feel somewhat better but you are just patching a symptom and may never fully get better as you aren’t addressing the adrenal problem.

The problem with a Thyroid blood test and why you may still have a thyroid problem even if it's normal

Let me start by explaining the problem with most thyroid blood tests and why they may NOT be showing your thyroid problem up.

Firstly, the range of what is normal may not suit you as an individual. Your personal "normal range" might have been on the higher end of normal levels and as issues have arisen, it has significantly dropped but is still within the GP's normal range. So you have felt a big drop, high to low, but you are still classed as normal on the GP blood test so no help can be given according to them.

Secondly, all of your organs that secrete hormones will do so as best they can to keep blood levels normal. This means that if your thyroid hormone levels drop in the blood, the thyroid will pump out more thyroid hormone to keep it at the same level in the blood.

That makes sense doesn't it?

This next bit is the VITAL part in understanding why you are tired but your thyroid test is normal:

The blood test measures your thyroid levels (and they are fine), but they haven't measured the amount of effort that your thyroid has put in to keep you blood levels good.

So what happens if for some reason, maybe a particularly stressful time in your life, has mean't that your thyroid has had to work really hard, everyday pumping out extra thyroid hormone to keep your blood levels normal and to keep you going?

For example you may have just had a baby, or second or third and you are tired looking after them, but you HAVE to keep going and looking after the family. In my experience mothers tend to really neglect themselves at this time in life by eating really poorly and fuelling with caffeine.

So what will happen in this scenario and others like it? Your thyroid will become increasingly tired but it is still doing the job good enough to keep your blood levels normal. Now you have chronic tiredness so the GP takes a blood test and the results are 'fine'. Behind the scenes you now have an absolutely exhausted thyroid from all the extra work it has had to do.

Picture this analogy as an example.

A woman sets off running at 10 mph and she has to maintain that speed. Ordinarily as she gets tired she sits down, recovers and then off she goes again at 10 mph. But this time she isn’t allowed to sit down and rest, she has to keep going at the same pace.

Now picture some stress coming into the equation, maybe a dog is chasing her!

She now has to run at 12 mph to keep ahead of the dog. The dog then runs off and it’s okay to slow down, but only back to 10 mph! She must run at this pace as it’s her normal “daily life” pace.

We have a speed camera and after a few miles we check her speed and she is still at 10 mph, all is fine.

This equates to a normal thyroid blood test. After 50 miles we check the woman speed again, and yep the speeds all good still at 10 miles per hour.

But lets have a closer look at the woman, she's exhausted, frazzled, sweating, tired and looks thoroughly ill! Due to all the demands of a mum, she continues to power on to keep up the 10 mph speed.

This represents the "normal" thyroid blood test from the GP that shows all is fine even though you feel tired and ill.

Now let's go another 50 miles down the line.

We speed check the runner and she's dropped to 5 mph, a blood test here shows a problem and you get classified as under active or hypothyroid. But you are a long way down the line, you have been feeling ill for ages with no help. Now that you are really ill you can get some help.

But what you might understand from this is that you could have been helping yourself long before that point. Now you are just picking up the pieces rather than working with some health that is still there. You should have listened to the warning signs your body was giving you. Actually, you did listen- you felt ill, tired and over weight but no help was offered!

I hope this has helped with your understanding of thyroid problems. I have found that my Avatar health scan is able to detect "tired" thyroids before they crash and burn and we can put in place nutritional foods plans (blood sugar balancing) and supplements to help recovery. Read on for more information on the Avatar scan.

Let’s look at a list of under active thyroid symptoms:

Hypothyroid symptoms (underactive thyroid)
◦ Dry hair or hair loss
◦ Milky discharge from breasts
◦ Brittle nails
◦ Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
◦ Puffy eyes and face
◦ Stiffness
◦ Coarse skin
◦ Shortness of breath on mild exertion
◦ Low blood pressure
◦ Carpal tunnel system
◦ Exaggerated menopause symptoms or PMS
◦ Increased cholesterol and other blood fats
◦ Loss of outside 1/3 of eyebrow
◦ Infertility
◦ Autoimmune disease (rheumatoid, Lupus, Crohns etc)
◦ Lumps in breast
◦ Redness in face with exercise
◦ Tendonitis / tennis elbow
◦ Lack of energy in evening
◦ Diabetes
◦ Stroke
◦ Constipation
◦ Achey joints and pains
◦ Hoarse voice
◦ Dry skin
◦ Slow heart beat
◦ Weight gain of more than 5 lbs
◦ Dry eyes / mouth
◦ Slow speech and movement
◦ Decrease in memory
◦ Headaches & migraine
◦ Yellow skin in palms
◦ Cold hands and feet
◦ Depression / anxiety
◦ Slow thinking
◦ Reliance on coffee or other stimulants
◦ Gum problems
◦ Raynaud's syndrome (blue and painful fingers when cold)
◦ Low endurance
◦ Throat clearing
◦ Alopecia (hair loss)
◦ Blocked arteries
◦ Heavy periods
◦ Sweating less
◦ Muscle cramps
◦ Hearing worse
◦ Cold intolerance
◦ Feeling fatigued
◦ Baggy eyelids
◦ Sleep apnea
◦ Problems swallowing
◦ Uterine fibroids
◦ Scalloped tongue
◦ Yeast infections
◦ Swelling hands / feet
◦ Miscarriages
◦ Low sex drive
◦ Anaemia
◦ Tongue biting
◦ Thick tongue
◦ Cracking skin on heels
◦ Premature graying of hair
◦ Polymyalgia

How does a thyroid problem start? In my opinion and from what I see in my clinic the most common reason a thyroid problem starts is from an adrenal problem. The adrenals are another organ in the body and they produce two hormones amongst others called adrenalin and cortisol.

So let me keep it simple. The adrenals are very active in times of STRESS.

The stress hormone cortisol actually inhibits the action of the thyroid and suppresses it. So high stress equals low thyroid and tiredness.

Another hormone that has a similar action and inhibits the thyroid is oestrogen, the main female hormone that very often gets out of balance.

Have a look at the symptoms of stressed / burnt out adrenal glands and high oestrogen.

Oestrogen dominance (excess)
◦ Attention deficit disorder
◦ Breast cancer risk
◦ Calcium deposits
◦ Craving of sweets
◦ Dry eyes
◦ Fat gain, especially hips, thighs and back of arms
◦ Fluid retention
◦ Headaches
◦ Inability to lose weight
◦ Increased sensitivity to sight, sound, emotions
◦ Insomnia
◦ Migraines
◦ Panic Attacks
◦ Prostate cancer/enlargement
◦ Weight gain
◦ Insulin resistance / diabetes type 2
◦ Allergies, rashes, sinus congestion
◦ Breast tenderness
◦ Cervical dysplasia
◦ Decreased sex drive
◦ Early menstruation
◦ Fatigue
◦ Gallbladder disease
◦ Heavy periods
◦ Increased blood clotting
◦ Infertility
◦ Large breasts
◦ Mood swings
◦ Excessive vaginal bleeding
◦ Sluggish metabolism
◦ Yeast infections
◦ Hypoglycemia
◦ Anxirty and depression
◦ Auroimmune disorders such as lupus, Hashimotos thyroiditis, Sjogrens
◦ Cold hands / feet
◦ Depression
◦ Endometrial cancer
◦ Fibrocystic breasts
◦ Good skin
◦ Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar, shaky if haven't eaten)
◦ Increased HDL (blood fats)
◦ Irritability
◦ Loss of scalp hair
◦ Palpitations
◦ Water retention, bloating
◦ PMS
◦ Symptoms of low thyroid with normal thyroid on test

Physical symptom tip:

  • Low thyroid people tend to gain weight on their hips

  • Stressed adrenal people tend to gain weight on their abdomen

  • Imbalanced hormone women tend to gain weight on their boobs and bum

Adrenal stress (the organs that give you energy and produce the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol)
◦ Infertility
◦ Allergies or asthma that started as an adult
◦ Joint pain
◦ Frequent infections
◦ Chronic fatigue
◦ Fibromyalgia
◦ Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar episodes)
◦ Cravings for sweets
◦ Shakiness relieved by eating
◦ Dizziness
◦ Moodiness
◦ A lot of stress in your life before your symptoms began
◦ Low blood pressure
◦ Dizziness upon first standing
◦ Food cravings or sensitivities
◦ Post partum depression
◦ Depression
◦ PMS
◦ Poor perspiration
◦ Poor concentration
◦ Irritability

How will supplements help my thyroid?

One of the thyroid hormones is called “T4”. This is the one that your GP will measure. Believe it or not, T4 is the LESS active hormone, unfortunately, so it isn’t the best one to measure here! T4 might look good on a blood test but the active thyroid hormone is actually T3.

T4 (not very active) ———-> T3 (very active)

Another reason that your blood test might be okay but you feel rubbish is because T4 gets converted into T3 which activates it. Therefore, if you have poor conversion of T4 into T3 then your T4 might look good on a blood test but you could still have low T3 which makes you feel sluggish. Here’s what interesting though, the conversion needs the mineral SELENIUM. So if you are deficient in selenium you will have poor conversion to the active T3 and will feel tired.

Taking a selenium supplement will improve this and you might feel better. Remember this is only one part of the puzzle, don’t go out and just buy selenium! By the way selenium is found in Brazil nuts, so you could eat 4 or 5 brazil per day for a natural source.

T4 ——-> T3 requires SELENIUM

So what can be done at The Perrymount to help you?

When using natural medicine or “Functional Medicine” you are viewed as a whole person, not just a thyroid gland! I personally use a device called the Avatar to help me find which organ(s) we need to support and which supplements will best suit you. As you have already learned it might be the thyroid, adrenals, liver, or bowel.

The supplements used to help you could be vitamins and minerals to correct deficiencies, amino acids to supply your body the ingredients to heal itself, or herbs that are known to support specific organ function.

On top of this, we have food choices and eating plans to use along with other lifestyle changes such as exercise or relaxation advice.

You can read more on the Avatar and another device I use called the VedaPulse.

If anything in this article sounds like you and you are interested in help then give us a call on 01444 410944

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I am often speaking to my patients about their pharmaceutical medications as it is part of my case history taking and it is essential for me as an osteopath and naturopath to know what these drugs do, how they do it, and also if they could potentially have some interaction to treatment I give. In reality it is very rare to have an interaction between medications and osteopathy.

I want to share with you my thoughts on pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements and also give you a really fantastic table of all the nutrient deficiencies that are KNOWN to happen from taking pharmaceutical medications. You would NOT have been told about these I am sure!

Pharmaceutical medications are powerful. They force the body to do what they are designed to do, however, very often they come with side effects that can be severe. They are SYMPTOM based, not CAUSE based. They most often work by blocking some action in the body. For example, a statin blocks the production of cholesterol.

Unfortunately, statins also block the production of CoEnzyme Q10. This is where many of the side effects of statins originate from, the blocking of CoEnzyme Q10. The fact that statins block this nutrient is absolutely 100% known.

If you are on a statin have you been told to take CoQ10?

I very much doubt it, no patient I have ever seen has been. The well known side effects of statins are muscle aches and pains, tiredness / fatigue and memory loss.

Because medications are so strong and work so well it is possible to overdose on them. Obviously we want medications to work when we are in hospital and in desperate need of them! They essentially FORCE the body to do what they want it to do or what the doctor wants to do. They give your body no choice. They are man-made chemical substances that the body doesn’t completely recognise - another reason why they have side effects.

The difference with high quality nutritional supplements is that the body recognises them and has control over what it does with them. It is very unlikely you can overdose on a supplement. Vitamin C is a nice example. A normal Vitamin C capsule is 500 mg. You could take 20 of these safely and the worst side effect you would probably get is visiting the loo in a rush.

Nutritional supplements combined with a naturopathic diet usually assist the body in bringing it back into balance, or homeostasis. So you pour more good stuff into the body, the more these nutrients help to regulate the necessary chemical processes to function properly. The good news is, if you over do it your body simply says “I don’t need all of that" and it gets rid of it.

A really nice example of this is with acid reflux. The medications for this are antacids which BLOCK the production of acid. They help the symptom of acid pain in the throat. But what happens is you now have lower acid in the stomach to digest food so you get side effects. These include food allergies as you aren’t digesting the food correctly now. Also, because your digestive acid is blocked you don’t extract and absorb the vitamins & minerals out your food. You also won't kill off baddies in food so well, like bacteria, viruses or candida, which leaves your gut more prone to infections.

The naturopathic view point is totally opposite!

I would give a patient digestive enzymes to take with meals to HELP and WORK WITH the patients body to digest their food better. With better digestion the food doesn’t churn away for ages in the stomach and reflux back up causing the acid burn. This absolutely 100% works! It is one of the most common problems I see and patients are over the moon to not have the reflux and not need medication. Click here to download an infograph of pharmaceutical medication types and the vitamin & minerals deficiencies that are associated with taking them. This is an amazing chart to have and to share with anyone you know that takes medication as it could really help them.

Many of the side effects of medications could be simply down to deficiencies in these nutrients that can be eased by taking a multi vitamin and mineral.

Some of the medications are known to deplete Vitamin D3 levels. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to nearly every disease of the modern world, including multiple sclerosis, auto-immune disease and even cancer!

I wouldn’t recommend to only take a specific nutrient that is listed, I would recommend you take a multi vitamin and mineral as a catch all for all the other nutrients too. It would also be better value.

In the clinic I use supplements from a fantastic & reputable company called Nutri, you can call them on 0800 212 742. It’s possible to buy direct from them or we have stock at The Perrymount. I can highly recommend the following that I have mentioned in this post:

Nutri Mens 1 a day multi - 1 a day
Nutri Women’s 1 a day multi - 1 a day
Co Enzyme Q10 100mg - 1 a day
“Similase” enzymes to help with acid reflux - 2 with each meal
Cytoplan CoQ10 Multi - AVAILABLE NOW IN THE CLINIC

If you have more issues that you would like help with then I highly recommend you book in to see me for a full nutritional consultation using my Avatar health scanner. You can read more about that here.

Visit www.theperrymount.com for more information. Call 01444 410944 to book an appointment, or to book online click HERE

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Christian Bates at The Perrymount uses a fantastic health screening device which can help pin-point the correct nutrition to balance out these hormone imbalances. To learn more about an Avatar screening click HERE.

The lists below show all the signs & symptoms of different hormone imbalances. You will see there are a lot and they do overlap (somewhat). This is because all the hormones have a knock-on effect on to other hormones. It would be very unusual to have only one imbalance as the others jump in to compensate. These symptoms are a collection from many sources and text books collated by Dr Julia Hunter MD, so a big 'thank you' to her.

Feel free to print this page off and circle them to see how well you are doing. Look for a collection of symptoms to give a clue to your imbalance.

Oestrogen Deficiency
◦ Hot flashes
◦ Night sweats
◦ Vaginal dryness
◦ Mood swings (mostly irritability and depression)
◦ Mental fuzziness
◦ Vaginal and/or bladder infections Incontinence; recurrent urinary tract infections
◦ Vaginal wall thinning
◦ Decreased sexual response
◦ Vision changes
◦ Trouble expressing thoughts
◦ Memory loss
◦ Low HDL
◦ Decreased menstrual bleeding
◦ Decreased fullness in breast
◦ Wrinkling of skinLosing track of thoughts

Oestrogen Dominance (excess)
◦ Attention deficit disorder
◦ Breast cancer risk
◦ Calcium deposits
◦ Craving of sweets
◦ Dry eyes
◦ Fat gain, especially hips, thighs and back of arms
◦ Fluid retention
◦ Headaches
◦ Inability to lose weight
◦ Increased sensitivity to sight, sound, emotions
◦ Insomnia
◦ Migraines
◦ Panic Attacks
◦ Prostate cancer/enlargement
◦ Weight gain
◦ Insulin resistance / diabetes type 2
◦ Allergies, rashes, sinus congestion
◦ Breast tenderness
◦ Cervical dysplasia
◦ Decreased sex drive
◦ Early menstruation
◦ Fatigue
◦ Gallbladder disease
◦ Heavy periods
◦ Increased blood clotting
◦ Infertility
◦ Large breasts
◦ Mood swings
◦ Excessive vaginal bleeding
◦ Sluggish metabolism
◦ Yeast infections
◦ Hypoglycemia
◦ Anxirty and depression
◦ Auroimmune disorders such as lupus, Hashimotos thyroiditis, Sjogrens
◦ Cold hands / feet
◦ Depression
◦ Endometrial cancer
◦ Fibrocystic breasts
◦ Good skin
◦ Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar, shaky if haven't eaten)
◦ Increased HDL (blood fats)
◦ Irritability
◦ Loss of scalp hair
◦ Palpitations
◦ Water retention, bloating
◦ PMS
◦ Symptoms of low thyroid with normal thyroid on test

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
◦ Dry hair or hair loss
◦ Milky discharge from breasts
◦ Brittle nails
◦ Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
◦ Puffy eyes and face
◦ Stiffness
◦ Coarse skin
◦ Shortness of breath on mild exertion
◦ Low blood pressure
◦ Carpal tunnel system
◦ Exaggerated menopause symptoms or PMS
◦ Increased cholesterol and other blood fats
◦ Loss of outside 1/3 of eyebrow
◦ Infertility
◦ Autoimmune disease (rheumatoid, Lupus, Crohns etc)
◦ Lumps in breast
◦ Redness in face with exercise
◦ Tendonitis / tennis elbow
◦ Lack of energy in evening
◦ Diabetes
◦ Stroke
◦ Constipation
◦ Achey joints and pains
◦ Hoarse voice
◦ Dry skin
◦ Slow heart beat
◦ Weight gain of more than 5 lobs
◦ Dry eyes / mouth
◦ Slow speech and movement
◦ Decrease in memory
◦ Headaches & migraine
◦ Yellow skin in palms
◦ Cold hands and feet
◦ Depression / anxiety
◦ Slow thinking
◦ Reliance on coffee or other stimulants
◦ Gum problems
◦ Raynaud's syndrome (blue and painful fingers when cold)
◦ Low endurance
◦ Throat clearing
◦ Alopecia (hair loss)
◦ Blocked arteries
◦ Heavy periods
◦ Sweating less
◦ Muscle cramps
◦ Hearing worse
◦ Cold intolerance
◦ Feeling fatigued
◦ Baggy eyelids
◦ Sleep apnea
◦ Problems swallowing
◦ Uterine fibroids
◦ Scalloped tongue
◦ Yeast infections
◦ Swelling hands / feet
◦ Miscarriages
◦ Low sex drive
◦ Anaemia
◦ Tongue biting
◦ Thick tongue
◦ Cracking skin on heels
◦ Premature graying of hair
◦ Polymyalgia

Low Adrenals (the organs that give you energy and produce the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol)
◦ Infertility
◦ Allergies or asthma that started as an adult
◦ Joint pain
◦ Frequent infections
◦ Chronic fatigue
◦ Fibromyalgia
◦ Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar episodes)
◦ Cravings for sweets
◦ Shakiness relieved by eating
◦ Dizziness
◦ Moodiness
◦ A lot of stress in your life before your symptoms began
◦ Low blood pressure
◦ Dizziness upon first standing
◦ Food cravings or sensitivities
◦ Post partum depression
◦ Depression
◦ PMS
◦ Poor perspiration
◦ Poor concentration
◦ Irritability

Low Testosterone (main male hormone but also in women)
◦ Decreased sexual drive
◦ Decreased sensitivity to sexual stimulation in the nipples
◦ Osteoporosis
◦ Decrease in stiffness of erections
◦ Complacency
◦ Crying spells
◦ Poor stamina
◦ Night sweats
◦ Diminished vital energy and sense of well-being
◦ Overall decreased arousability & capacity for orgasm
◦ Depression
◦ Difficulty maintaining erections
◦ Loss of initiative
◦ Poor muscle tone
◦ High cholesterol
◦ Poor memory
◦ Decreased sensitivity to sexual stimulation of the clitoris
◦ Thinning and loss of pubic hair
◦ Decreased morning erections (2 or less)
◦ Mental fatigue
◦ Decreased interest in hobbies
◦ Inability to grow muscle
◦ Increased breast tissue in males
◦ Decreased sexual thoughts

Progesterone Deficiency
◦ Abdominal bloating or swelling
◦ Axiety
◦ Avoidance of social activities
◦ Bleeding gums
◦ Clumsiness
◦ Constipation
◦ Craving sweet foods
◦ Decreased productivity
◦ Dull abdominal pain
◦ Fatigue
◦ Finger swelling
◦ General aches and pains
◦ Hives and rashes
◦ Light sensitivity
◦ Joint pains
◦ Mood swings
◦ Nausea
◦ Poor coordination
◦ Post natal depression
◦ Runny nose
◦ Sore throat
◦ Tearfulness
◦ Tremors
◦ Acne
◦ Appetite decrease / increase
◦ Backache
◦ Breast swelling / tenderness
◦ Confusion
◦ Cramps
◦ Crying spells
◦ Decreased sex drive
◦ Dizziness
◦ Eye pain
◦ Food sensitivity
◦ Fear of going out
◦ Headaches
◦ Hot flashes
◦ Noise sensitivity
◦ Insomnia
◦ Leg cramps
◦ Mouth sores
◦ Palpitations
◦ Restlessness
◦ Seizures
◦ Spots in front of eyes
◦ Visual changes
◦ Angry outbursts
◦ Asthmatic attacks
◦ Bladder irritation
◦ Bruising
◦ Conjuctivitis
◦ Craving salty foods
◦ Decreased hearing
◦ Depression
◦ Drowsiness
◦ Facial swelling
◦ Fear of losing control
◦ Forgetfulness
◦ Herpes (cold sores)
◦ Increased alcohol consumption
◦ Irritability
◦ Leg swelling
◦ Muscle aches and tenderness
◦ Panic attacks
◦ Poor memory
◦ Ringing in ears
◦ Sinusitis
◦ Suspicousness
◦ Tingling in hands and feet
◦ Vomiting

Visit www.theperrymount.com for more information. Call 01444 410944 to book an appointment, or to book online click HERE

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Raymond Rife discovered 100 years ago that different vibrational frequencies were able to specifically destroy diseased cells. This is a great video that illustrates the technology alongside other videos and biology slides, however, it doesn’t credit Raymond Rife as the actual inventor.

Visit www.theperrymount.com for more information. Call 01444 410944 to book an appointment, or to book online click HERE

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Christian uses the Avatar instrument to investigate heavy metal toxicity, such as with mercury, and then finds remedies and supplements that are known to help remove this toxicity from the body, such as cilantro and chlorella.

This video shows a nerve under a microscope. The interesting part happens at approx 2 minutes when mercury is dropped next to the nerve. It is frightening to see the nerve degenerate and die!


Have you ever seen a smoking tooth?


Visit www.theperrymount.com for more information. Call 01444 410944 to book an appointment, or to book online click HERE

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Low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia, is the opposite of the better known diabetes where the sugar in the blood remains too high. I would say that low blood sugar is fast becoming one of the most common problems I am seeing in the clinic at The Perrymount. The symptoms are so wide ranging, from feeling vaguely unwell, to shaking, dizziness, weakness, anxiety and general fatigue and tiredness, see symptom list below.

The clue to whether the symptoms are a blood sugar issue are that they may be related to meals. If you have these symptoms it might be that you notice they present themselves if you have gone too long without food. Many people realise this is the case and so will snack to keep their blood sugar up. However, this can be the start of a downward spinal if the snacks are sugar loaded like chocolate bars or a stimulant like coffee. These give you a quick feel good "up" but the high sugar content will raise the blood levels too high, making you feel temporarily better, until your body over compensates and “crashes” you into low blood sugar. Now you will feel like eating sugar once more and so on goes the yo yo of up and down sugar levels.

Insulin and the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin are intricately involved in this sugar balancing act. When you have low blood sugar and your cells are desperate to get the fuel they need to survive your body will produce adrenalin and cortisol in an emergency to make sure your cells do get fuel. The stress hormones will cause you to start burning fat and protein instead, this is detrimental, firstly your cells don’t work as well using these as fuel, secondly the protein will can come from your muscle tissue and internal organs, like your gut.

  • Symptoms of low blood sugar and high stress hormones:
  • Abnormal cravings for sweets, binge eating
  • Afternoon headaches
  • Allergies
  • Tendency to asthma, hay fever, skin rash, etc.
  • Awaken after a few hours of sleep and have a hard time falling back to sleep
  • Bad dreams
  • “Butterflies in your stomach” or cramps
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Need caffeine to get or keep you going
  • Chronic fatigue or nervous exhaustion, Sleepy or drowsy
  • Depression
  • Dizziness, giddiness, weakness or light-headedness
  • Fatigue, shakiness relieved by eating
  • Fearfulness or worry
  • Hand tremor
  • Heart palpitations when meals are missed or delayed
  • Highly emotional
  • Irritability before meals
  • Poor memory or ability to concentrate

The two most common causes I see for this "reactive hypoglycaemia" are eating the wrong foods at either meal times or snack times or both. It can also be caused by stressed or under-functioning adrenal or thyroid glands. The adrenal glands produce the hormones for the fight or flight response, cortisol and adrenaline, basically they produce them when we are under stress. If we are under long term stress then the adrenals can tire or fatigue and not produce enough of these hormones, producing the main symptom of tiredness. The adrenals can also be responsible for hypoglycaemia as already explained. So stress causes low blood sugar and also low blood sugar causes stress. Eating correctly to balance blood sugar is a great way to help ease stress. Probably more fundamental to health problems is the consumption of wrong foods, and those that make our blood sugar rise quickly and then fall quickly are the culprits. The worst for this will be sugars in snacks like chocolate, cakes, sweets etc. When it comes to main meals the foods that are most commonly eaten are unfortunately also causing blood sugar highs followed by lows, these are the high carbohydrate foods such as bread and pasta. I should also point out that some vegetables can cause these blood sugar fluctuations, they are the tubers or underground, starchy vegetables, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Many fruits are also high sugar foods. If you think you do have blood sugar problems you will really need to be careful of all of these foods and judge just how much you can have of them before getting symptoms of low blood sugar between meals. In general blood sugar will be balanced by snacking on a combination of carbohydrate, protein and fat. We still do need carbohydrate and sugar, they are a vital fuel for our cells, but we want to balance the amounts, making sure we don't cause large fluctuations with excess consumption.

If you have eaten a correctly proportioned meal for your Biotype and more importantly for your individual metabolism by refining how much carbohydrate, protein and fat on your plate then you may not need to snack between meals. However, eating healthy snacks may initially help you balance your appetite, assist with weight loss and fluid retention and it can also help lower excess stress hormones and level insulin.

Overeating can also cause these sugar fluctuations just because of the amount of food the body is having to deal with. For example you might be eating a low glycaemic food but have eaten a lot of it, this will still raise you blood sugar. In this case the snacks may help you eat less at the main meals knowing that only in a couple of hours you will be having a snack.

This is a brief insight into a very common problem. Fortunately, with diet changes and support to the adrenals I have had fantastic results with patients who have really been suffering with reactive hypoglycaemia and under functioning adrenals and thyroid.

Visit www.theperrymount.com for more information. Call 01444 410944 to book an appointment, or to book online click HERE

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Introduction

Detox is such a buzz word so you are probably wondering why the title says don’t do it. Actually I do believe detoxing is beneficial but rather in a more prepared and gentle way, which is what I mean by the term “drain”. This can be particularly important when dealing with candida infection.

Drain indicates that the body is able to do the detoxifying successfully with the minimum of side effects or “healing crisis” in naturopathic terms or “die off” reaction in candida terms. If the detoxification or die off is too rapid then common symptoms that occur could be headache, sweating, skin rashes or diarrhoea. If a person is in good health with high vital energy then these sort of symptoms are natural and are a positive sign that the elimination routes of the body are working. For example, if you have a bacteria in your intestines from food poisoning you WANT to have diahorrea to get it out your system, this is your body working perfectly normally. If you are sweating from an illness then your body in its wisdom is recruiting your skin as an eliminatory organ to assist the intestines, liver and kidney’s. However, if you are not in such good health then experiencing these symptoms could be very uncomfortable if they get out of control. Controlling this is what I would like to write about.

What is Drainage?

What I mean by drainage is the ability of the organs of elimination (those that do the detoxification for us) to work efficiently. This means that the toxins that are in us get out of us, this occurs mainly through the urine and faeces. The organs of elimination include the lymphatic system, bowels and intestines, kidneys, liver, gallbladder and skin. in fact every cell must be able to handle its own detoxification but for this discussion I will talk in terms of organs. When all these organs are working correctly good drainage is in place, the body is able to take that internal toxin, be it a bacteria, virus, chemical, hormone, parasite, fungus or candida and successfully get rid of. Where things can go wrong is if someone puts themselves on a detox without proper drainage in place. This means that if a supplement is used to attack the toxin, such as wormwood to kill parasites or Caprylic acid to kill candida but the organs of elimination cannot cope with the end results then you will get the healing crisis or strong die-off reaction.

Wouldn’t it be nice to not have these die off symptoms or at least to minimise them? This is where adequate drainage comes into play and a more structured approach to detoxification can be employed. Drainage can be achieved with specific supplements and remedies and it can also be improved through diet and lifestyle. The natural drainage channels of the body are the organs of elimination mentioned above, ideally all of these need to be in satisfactory working order before any strong detoxification of candida is attempted. So for example if the candidiasis patient, before trying to kill the candida off, takes other remedies to cleanse all the organs of elimination then the candida, once it has been killed can be processed and excreted successfully with reduced “die off” reactions.

Let’s look at an example of what might go wrong if candida detoxing is attempted without proper drainage in place. The patient takes the supplement to kill the candida, but in this case the the liver is below par, congested and not doing its detoxifying job correctly. As the candida is successfully killed off it travels to the liver to be further processed so it can be safely excreted, but as the liver isn’t working properly the candida is blocked at this point. Now the side effects of detoxification are experienced, the die off is too quick for the liver to keep on top of it.

Let’s go a stage further, perhaps the kidneys aren’t functioning correctly due to poor lifestyle choices, now the liver and kidneys are holding the toxins in. How about a step further? The toxins and waste from the bowel can’t get through the liver fast enough and starts to back up into the bowel and lymphatic system. This brings us to a fairly drastic conclusion, is it possible that by trying to kill off candida from the gut, without all the other organs being supported, the candida has unwittingly been moved around the body aggravating the condition, all because the proper drainage channels were not opened before hand? I think this is a very common scenario. Patients who have candida infection have usually done a lot of research and many have tried a lot of candida killing products and done months on the anti-candida diet. Why is it that so many still have the infection? I think one of the reasons is that the body wasn’t prepared properly to eliminate or drain the candida die off correctly.

What to do?

How do you stop this situation happening? The following actually applies to recovery from virtually any illness. You firstly need to get all the organs functioning correctly, restore the cellular communication between them, open the channels of elimination and get them draining properly. This needs to be done before any strong detoxification is attempted. In the example above it means the candida can be killed and then easily moved from bowel to lymph to liver to kidney to successful excretion.

Opening the organs of elimination can be done in a number of ways. Firstly, improve the diet by decreasing detrimental junk foods and by increasing nutrient dense foods. Also eat the correct proportions of protein, fat and carbohydrate suited to your metabolic type. Some types do better closer to a vegetarian diet, others will benefit from protein at each meal. In my clinic I use an online Metabolic Typing questionnaire to accurately predict this. Exclude foods that you know you react to, the most common being wheat, dairy and sugar, but the best way to find out is by using a diet diary. Down one side of a piece of paper write everything you eat and drink and then next to it write how you feel throughout the day. Pay particular attention to how you feel about two hours after a meal. You may even decide to take a food allergy test and exclude the foods highlighted from this. Again, in my clinic I have a method for doing this using an electro- dermal screening instrument called the Avatar.  Also drink enough water, this will of course help all the organs and indeed every cell function more efficiently. To assist the liver decrease your toxic load, stop taking in chemicals from foods by eating organic and stop other chemicals that you may be absorbing such as aluminum from deodorants, fluoride in toothpaste, alcohol and smoking. To assist the lymphatic circulation use dry skin brushing, take alternate hot and cold showers each day or use Epsom salt baths. These suggestions just scratch the surface but each one will address improving your drainage so detoxing is more efficient.

Supplements

For some candida sufferers this approach may not be enough and this is really where supplements come into play. In reality, due to the toxic nature of modern life that can’t be avoided and the decrease in nutrition in our food, virtually all people will require some extra support this way. I personally use remedies that have been specifically designed to assist lymphatic drainage at different levels according to the principles of homotoxicolgy, a branch of homeopathy. I also use supplements directed at bowel cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing and general support throughout the body. Once these have been used in conjunction with general lifestyle improvements the body will most likely start detoxing of its own accord and it will do it effectively with the elimination channels all open. If the problem is at a deeper level and remedies have to be introduced to address bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals, candida or other toxins then again the body can excrete them appropriately. After all who would want to chase candida out the bowel only for it to back-up in the liver?

It is extremely useful to have a method of assessing just how well a patient’s system is working. I personally use an EAV (Electro-acupuncture according to Voll) device called the Avatar. This instrument is able to assess the electrical conductivity of the acupuncture system in such a way that it can demonstrate the health of the organs and guide me to the one that is in a weakened state, potentially preventing the effective elimination of candida. These organs can then be specifically targeted and supported with supplements, remedies and spagyric herb. The Avatar also gives a more accurate way of deciding which supplements and remedies will be most effective for the individual patients. For example, I have seven different remedies that drain the lymphatic system and can test for which one is most suited to the patient at the time they consult me.

For more information on the Avatar, please click HERE

Visit www.theperrymount.com for more information. Call 01444 410944 to book an appointment, or to book online click HERE

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If you are in agony with low back pain you might like to carefully try some of the advice below.
However, if pain persists, we would highly recommend you call us on 01444 410944 and book in for an immediate appointment with one of our osteopaths.


1. Find a position of ease, whether that is laying on either side, knees up in foetal posistion, on back, or even face down propped on a pillow.

  1. Use a heat pack or pad for 5-10 minutes to get the muscles to relax, and clear waste products out of the area due to the chronic muscle contraction. (Just enough to cause light skin sweat/dampness). You may have been advised a cold pack, this is fine. Do the cold pack as told or hot and cold if advised. Try the hot or cold and see which one benefits you most. Everyone is different. Hot relaxes more whereas cold is more anti-inflammatory when used briefly.

IMPORTANT: Cold packs only go on for 5 - 10 minutes MAXIMUM. They cool the area and work when you take them OFF. DO NOT LEAVE ON FOR A LONG TIME.

  1. As the easing takes place, roll onto you back, with feet flat on floor, approx 12 inches from your bottom. GENTLY perform pelvic tilting ONLY within a range of motion that does not cause pain (Gently rolling pelvis so your low spine moves closer to the floor, but does not completely touch, then rolling the pelvis forward, allowing your lower spine to arch, but not going into a full extension).

Move within the boundaries of safety! Perform up to 15 repetitions, increasing range of motion if you feel okay, but don't over do it. The goal is to get the muscles to relax and release the “phobia”. You may increase abdominal muscle tension slowly as you would turn up the volume on a stereo: 25%, 35%, 45%, etc. up to a max contraction of 50% or so, as needed.

ALL movements MUST be done BELOW the threshold of pain, and the SLOW and CONTROLLED activation is just as important.

Another position that is often found to be relaxing in times of acute pain is having your lower legs up on the sofa whilst you lay on your back on the floor. You can also put your legs up on a fitball if you have one. In the case that perhaps a disc is causing the pain the exercise has been proven to be helpful.

1) Lay on your front with hands on floor near your shoulders, like a press up position.
2) Press yourself up half way, leaving your hips on the ground. This is an extension movement. Hold for 30 seconds then return to the ground. Rest for 5 seconds.
3) Repeat this but press up slightly higher and hold again. Return to the floor. Go back to number 1 and repeat 3 times.

If this exercise aggravates you then stop, it probably means you have joint inflammation and in fact the opposite exercise will be more useful, which is knee hugs.


Download our 7 Secrets to Eliminate Back Pain eBook HERE

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Supraspinatus tendonitis, also called painful arc syndrome, is an inflammation of the supraspinatus muscle that is found in the shoulder region. The ‘rotator cuff’ muscles are four small muscles found in the shoulder joint. These muscles aid in the movement and stability of the shoulder, though their tendons hold the head of the humerus in position within the joint capsule. One of these tendons – the supraspinatus, impinges on the bone that forms the tip of the shoulder (acromion) as it passes between the head of the humerus and the acromion. The supraspinatus muscles are helpful in the abduction of the arm, which is moving it away from the side of your body up to your head. Found between the supraspinatus tendon and the acromion is a fluid-filled sac known as subacromial bursa which reduces friction between the two structures.

When this sub acromial bursa becomes inflamed, (a condition known as subacromial bursitis), there tend to be friction. This results to wear and tear of the supraspinatus tendons and a subsequent supraspinatus tendonitis. This condition is usually seen among people of age 25-60 and it is the most common inflammatory condition that occurs in the shoulder. 5% of cases involve both shoulders.

Symptoms of supraspinatus tendonitis

Shoulder pain that is severe enough to prevent shoulder movement. Shoulder pain that could be bilateral and result in a subsequent neck pain. Stiffness of the shoulder joint which is often more severe in the early hours of the day. Weakness or not being able to move the joint Feeling a grating or cracking sensation on moving the joint especially during examination of the shoulder Redness, heat and swelling around the joint which are signs of inflammation. Causes/risk factors for supraspinatus tendonitis

Occupation: sportsmen and women or people that do a lot of overhead work are more at risk of wear and tear of the supraspinatus tendon.

Congenital: persons with abnormal shape of the acromion or abnormally tight subacromial space caused by a thickened ligament may be more at risk of developing supraspinatus tendinitis.

Old age: older individuals are prone to having supraspinatus tendonitis. This factor results from gradual degeneration with wear and tear, inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, and a fall on the shoulder at old age.

Trauma: fall on the shoulder can expose somebody to developing this condition.

Inflammatory diseases: disorders like rheumatoid arthritis increase one’s vulnerability to supraspinatus tendinitis.

Diagnosis of supraspinatus tendonitis

History of the symptoms (pain), e.g. when first noticed, how frequent is the pain, the nature of the pain, what worsens or relieves it, are all taken.

Physical examination also is crucial. Physical examination is done to rule out direct trauma to the shoulder.

X-ray of the shoulder is carried out to confirm calcification of the tendons or deformity in the anatomy of the acromion.

Prognosis of supraspinatus tendinitis

Up to 70% of the people diagnosed with supraspinatus tendonitis will experience relief and may even mobilize the joint themselves within 1-3weeks of physiotherapy and steroid injection treatment. Surgical interventions are needed for people who have complete tears of the tendons while a long-standing injury and impingement in the long term may result in osteoarthritis.

Treatment of supraspinatus tendinitis

Rest is emphasized at the early stage of the condition. This resolves the inflammation. Analgesics like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs e.g. Naprosyn will help with the inflammation. Corticosteroid injection directly into the supraspinatus tendon or the subacromial bursa under local anaesthesia contributes to reducing pain. Calcification of the tendon may require a surgical removal of the calcium crystals or injection of steroid into the joint for pain management. Arthroscopic acromioplasty: This is a surgical procedure done to reshape the acromion or divide the coracoacromial ligament. This is achieved with the aid of a tiny camera inserted into the shoulder joint through a small surgical opening under anaesthesia. This prevents further episodes. Rotator cuff tendons repair: this is a surgical procedure to repair the rotator tendons.

Other therapies include:
Cryotherapy
Electrical stimulation
Acupuncture
Massage
Range of Motion Exercises
Patient's teaching

Visit www.theperrymount.com for more information. Call 01444 410944 to book an appointment, or to book online click HERE

References

Supraspinatus Tendonitis: Background, Epidemiology ... (n.d.). Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/93095-overview Supraspinatus Tendonitis Treatment & Management: Acute Phase ... (n.d.). Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/93095-treatment Supraspinatus Tendonitis Causes and Treatments - EnkiVillage. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.enkivillage.com/supraspinatus-tendonitis.html Supraspinatus tendonitis - Physiopedia, universal access to ... (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.physio-pedia.com/Supraspinatus_tendonitis

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Sciatica is a medical term used to describe the pain, numbness, tingling sensation or weakness felt in the lower extremities that emanate from the lumbar area (lower back) as a result of the irritation of the sciatic nerve. This discomfort felt from sciatica is often referred to as sciatic nerve pain. The sciatic nerve – the largest nerve in the human body, originates from nerve roots in the lumber area of the spinal cord, passes down through the gluteal muscles of the buttocks to supply the lower limbs with nerve endings. This is why sciatic nerve pains are typically felt behind the thigh and radiates down below the knees.

Causes of sciatica

There are six major causes of sciatica that are mostly lower back problems;

  • Lumbar herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc diseases
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Symptoms of sciatica

  1. Pain that is felt constantly on one side of the buttocks or legs. Sciatica is hardly felt on both sides
  2. Sharp pains that occurs behind the lower extremities rather than dull pain
  3. Pain in the lower back that is not as severe as leg pain when experienced
  4. Pain that emanates from the lower back, or buttocks and runs through the course of the sciatic nerve down to the back of the thigh and continues to the leg and foot
  5. Tingling sensations, numbness and weakness down the legs
  6. Severe pains in the legs that may prevent one from standing or walking
  7. Pains in the foot or toe depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected
  8. Pain is minimal when a patient is lying down or taking a walk but becomes severe when patient is standing or sitting.

Diagnosis of sciatica

The following steps are taken to diagnose sciatic nerve pain;

Case history taking: Taking a history about the symptoms, the pain; type of pain, its severity, when it was first noticed, how frequent the pain comes, what relieves or worsens it, etc.

Physical examination: the doctor physically examines the patient’s body especially the back paying attention to the spine for alignment, deformities, swellings, discolouration of the skin area etc.

Laboratory investigations: Spine X-rays, CT scan, MRI, electromyogram are all used to ascertain the exact cause of sciatica.

Basic treatment of sciatica

There are two broad categories of sciatic nerve pain treatment. They include;

  1. Non-surgical treatment and
  2. Surgical treatment

Non-surgical treatment

This is done to relieve whatever symptoms that are from irritated or compressed nerve roots. A lot of these techniques are available, but a combination of two or more of these strategies usually comes out more efficient.

  • Osteopathy, see more detailed description below
  • Heat or cold therapy: in the acute phase, cold compress is applied within 20-30 minutes of incidence. This suits the nerves and muscles in the region and prevents inflammation. Hot application is done much later to encourage venous drainage, which further reduces inflammation and pain eventually.
  • Pain medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and diclofenac and oral steroids might be prescribed by your GP.
  • Epidural steroid injections: direct steroid injections are administered into the sciatic nerve area that is experiencing the pain. These are usually used after a specialist consultation

Surgical Management

This involves surgical procedures to correct the underlying cause. The two main surgeries primarily considered are:

  • Microdiscectomy
  • Lumbar laminectomy

Prevention of sciatica

To some extent, sciatic nerve pain can be prevented by refraining from some activities that could expose one to having lower back traumatic injuries. Also exercises like yoga, pilates or Foundation Training that we have at The Perrymount Clinic can go a long way to preventing degenerative or arthritic lower back conditions that could have resulted into sciatica.


How osteopathy can help sciatica

Many people with sciatica seek help from osteopathy. They have usually seen their GP and have strong painkillers, muscle relaxants and may well have had X-rays or an MRI. The MRI is necessary to see if there is a disc bulge causing the sciatica. It is worth noting that many, many people will have a disc bulge that is causing no problems at all. If you haven’t seen your GP you can still visit an osteopath, we are trained to know whether to refer you to your GP for further tests. At The Perrymount we actually have access to very quick appointments for private MRI’s, often the next day.

Our osteopath’s at The Perrymount Clinic won’t just look at you as a “disc bulge”! We will look at you as a whole person to treat you for symptom relief but also to see why the underlying sciatica happened in the first place. This could be do to tight muscles, imbalanced muscles, poor posture or a host of other issues.

Interestingly, the mid back and neck if hunched over, like many of us suffer today, puts huge strain on the low back in the direction that can cause and aggravate sciatica caused by a prolapsed disc. This means treatment should be focused around these areas, not just the low back painful area.

We will also make sure you have a personalised program of exercise and lifestyle changes to help you maintain a health back. We have found fantastic results using the Foundation Training our Osteopath & Functional Movement specialist, Jacqui Black, offers.

Nutritional advice can even be offered to help decrease inflammation and look at other issues that are related to weakened abdominals and low back muscles and ligaments. More is written on this in our back pain e-book you can download here.

Visit www.theperrymount.com for more information. Call 01444 410944 to book an appointment, or to book online click HERE

References

Sciatica Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Exercise - WebMD. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/sciatica-symptoms Sciatica | Sciatic Nerve Pain | Causes, Diagnosis, and ... (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/sciatica-topic-overview Sciatica: Get Facts on Treatment and Symptoms. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/sciatica/article.htm Sciatica Nerve: Get Tips for Pain Relief - eMedicineHealth. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sciatica/article_em.htm

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