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Posts tagged: naturopathic

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

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

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