I can help YOU heal….

To heal complex health problems we must look at everything and this starts with the gut…

This will be a short post!

I deal with chronic and complex health problems almost daily in my clinic. To solve complex health problems such as fatigue, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal issues, modern complex conditions such as Lyme’s disease and post-viral syndromes, auto-immune issues and functional issues that we are told to live with, requires getting to the bottom of everything to the core of what is really going on.

I can help!

THIS is what I am good at, and why is probably a function of a mixture of my nature (wanting to know why in every possible way!), my training (pharmacy, nutritional therapy, and functional medicine training all lead to the desire to get to the core of the issue and treat from there) and my passion (I want you to feel not only better but well in all that this means for you).

The internet and social media is where people turn to for answers and I wont even attempt to try to answer all your questions here about why you are unwell because this is so very complex and so highly individual that to attempt to will miss many factors unique to you.

Google will not diagnose nor treat your problems; you have to let go and start to trust someone who has the science, the knowledge, the wisdom and the passion to want to truly help empower you with the tools to heal. I may, or may not be that person; only you will know this.

So all I can offer really is this:

My word!

That I care and will do everything I know to help you on your journey back to health.

That I am continually studying to ensure that I am up to date on all relevant and important research in all these fields.

That I understand your concerns, anxiety and at times inability to trust that we can do this because I know just how overwhelming it feels when chronic ill-health strikes.

That although what I may ask you to do seems simple and easy it is based on a lot of research, study, and expense on my behalf to ensure that I am doing the very best job possible.

That I want to listen to you; how you describe your journey with your health is of crucial important.

That I am here 100% to support you.

Chronic health issues suck, and happen as a result of many complex and intertwining factors that start as far back as before our birth, to the antibiotics we received as a child, the stress that we suffered at times in our lives, the appendix or tonsils surgery, to that gastritis bug we suffered on holidays or the accident we had, and on and on. Then add to this our lifestyle and diet choices, ongoing stress, our genetic weak sports, where we live and we start to see that things are complex.

My job is to make it simple. You effectively employ me to be your health detective, and then your advisor and guide, and from there hopefully your friend and support system.

Have a think about the following triggers and if you feel that I can help using a combination of the skills that I am fortunate to have (science, medicine, nutrition and herbs, healing and a giant heart) then please do contact me.

Love,

Andrea

 

Endocrine disrupters and health

This is a superb article published in Medscape that I highly recommend reading to educate yourself about some of the facts linking endocrine disrupters and health, and whether this is significant or not, and how to protect yourself.

Endocrine Disruptors: Should We Be Afraid?

Experts Provide Practical Advice to Share With Patients

I do believe there is cause for being a little more vigilant about the food you buy, washing produce, and cleaning up your environment (ie less chemicals in the home and less chemical based toiletries in your bathroom!).

Children, teenagers and pregnant mothers are especially vulnerable.

Read on:

Endocrine Disruptors: Should We Be Afraid?

 

Essential Oils to Heal and Seal the Gut

Here is a lovely article from Jodi of Vibrant Blue Oils on the use of aromatherapy oils to assist the healing of the gut and support optimal function. I highly recommend adding aromatherapy to other approaches that we use in the clinic when treating gastrointestinal issues.

I stock all these oils for clients to use as part of their consultation; so you can see and experience these oils before purchasing for yourself.

Please click here to read

Essential Oils to Heal and Seal the Gut

fibre on a ketogenic diet

excellent article that everyone wanting to heal their guts should read.

optimising nutrition

  • High fibre foods are often high in carbohydrates which can be problematic for people with diabetes or those trying to achieve ketosis.
  • People aiming for a low carbohydrate diet often avoid all carbohydrates, including fibre, however this may not be optimal for gut health or overall nutrition in the long term.
  • This article highlights nutrient dense, low carbohydrate sources of fibre that will have a minimal effect on blood glucose levels while helping to support gut health.

Dr Michael Ruscio

The human gut and the bacteria that inhabit it are still largely a mystery.  However the latest research indicates that it is important.

I recently heard an intriguing information-packed interview with Michael Ruscio on Episode 985 of Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show where he said that:

  • Some people don’t do well with a very low carb approach in the long term;
  • Some studies indicate that a very…

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Dry eyes and cycling

 

Solving ‘eyes burnt out of my head in the wind’ cycling issues.

DRY EYES. I suffer with my eyes; due to an incomplete blink which means that I don’t pull tears across my eye very well they get dry. I wear my glasses a lot but that doesn’t work with training!. Despite specialist contact lenses my eyes were getting burnt out of my head outdoor cycling. My Rudi project just weren’t protecting me and the wind felt like it was hitting me from above and the side of the lense despite them being large on my face. Half way in to a cycle my contact lenses would feel stuck into my eye and no matter how many times I would blink, they just would not get comfortable.

Cycling should be fun, and dry eyes is not fun, nor pleasant. Furthermore dryness on the cornea can lead to damage and eye issues and so should be addressed.

If dry eyes are a problem for you; here are the results of some research.

1. Eye drops.

Hylo Forte/ Hyco San Forte are a thick DROP that is very soothing for the eyes and suitable while wearing lenses. They are in my opinion the best drop out there for dry eyes. They also last longer than the standard 28 days and the dropped bottle can easily be tossed into your pocket.

The Xailin night was highly recommended as a treatment on dry eye forums and I let recommendations override a pharmacist analysis of the ingredients. They are pretty crap to be honest; just paraffin. [ Ingredients White soft paraffin, white mineral oil, lanolin alcohols ]. They left my eyes very sticky the following morning and blurry to a point of distraction. I am not a fan of petroleum-based products so this won’t be getting much use.

The Vita-Pos ointment is a night-time remedy also which helps HEAL the eye due to its vitamin A content. It is better than the Xailin night yet still based on paraffin ingredients (most of the ointments are to be honest); so if i need a heavy duty night time healer then I don’t have many options.

[ ingredients: VitA-POS is a sterile, preservative free, vitamin A eye ointment that also contains liquid paraffin, light liquid paraffin, wool fat and white soft paraffin. It is used for moderate to severe dry eye and mostly recommended for night-time use.]

So this product gets a mention because of the vitamin A, which helps heal the eye; but it will leave you with sticky blurry eyes (not as bad as the Xailin, and I guess it doesn’t matter majorly as you will be asleep; but I wouldn’t put them in the night before a race just in case you wake a bit bleary eyed).

2. Nutrition

Antioxidants, omega 3, plant oils and well a super nutrient dense diet as we work on in the clinic will help protect your eyes from UV radiation and also support moisture, tears and healing. Good nutrition underpins everything when it comes to sport! I also tend to add Vaccinium to herbal preparations for athletes to support antioxidant intake;along with other super nourishing herbs. Vaccinium is especially good for the eyes; but alone, for me it wasn’t sufficient.

3. Wind blocking glasses.

I spent a lot of time researching glasses. There was a good article about this here: http://www.active.com/…/windless-eyewear-the-next-innovatio…

The recommended Rudy project glasses didn’t look any better than what I already have (which I LOVE for running), so I settled on the panoptx range by 7eye. Here are some photos of my Cape glasses.

How did they feel?

To be honest I felt like toad of toad hall with goggles because I am used to only a clear frame in front of my eyes while training.

In  general I am not a fan of anything dark around my eyes and I am quite fussy about this. So this took a little bit of getting used to. BUT… in summary:

  • The brown contrast lens is so clear in Irish skies, like amazingly clear. I decided to try these instead of the grey contrast lens and I wouldn’t go back to the grey unless racing in very bright conditions. The brown give much better clarity.
  • The glasses are comfortable and field of vision ahead on the Tri bars is excellent and looking to the side and over your back is ‘good’.
  • The glasses do block the wind and well, rain, given I got a blasting today.
  • They do not fog up.

So yes they are good, but I  will probably race in the old pair of wrap around sunnies I have risen from the dead that seem to do a better job than the Rudy project in wind and have full clear vision.I just don’t want anything in my way not even a frame when racing; and that’s just me! I will continue to run with the Rudy project sunglasses.

Knowing that I can now train in comfort without harming my eyes is very comforting and makes it more likely that I will enjoy my longer training rides.

Another not discussed option is a helmet with built-in lens/ visor…. i don’t know if this will block all wind as I feel the smallest puff on my eyes coming from all directions around the helmet. I didn’t want to invest in a new helmet. Saying this athletes with the built-in visor LOVE this.

Hope this helps.

Love,

Andrea

PS I purchased from here in the UK. the glasses were good value in my opinion and I do recommend them. They allow you to return them if they do not fit correctly and you are unhappy.

Life Event, Stress and Illness

Life Event, Stress and Illness

Here is a nice little article about just how significant stress can be in our lives and the impact on our health if we do not by choice make changes to bring balance into our lives. It is up to us to be accountable to and responsible for our health; as best we can.

I am here to support your journey from ill to well. 
To read more, click here: Life Event, Stress and Illness

Abstract

The relationship between stress and illness is complex. The susceptibility to stress varies from person to person. Among the factors that influenced the susceptibility to stress are genetic vulnerability, coping style, type of personality and social support. Not all stress has negative effect. Studies have shown that short-term stress boosted the immune system, but chronic stress has a significant effect on the immune system that ultimately manifest an illness. It raises catecholamine and suppressor T cells levels, which suppress the immune system. This suppression, in turn raises the risk of viral infection. Stress also leads to the release of histamine, which can trigger severe broncho-constriction in asthmatics. Stress increases the risk for diabetes mellitus, especially in overweight individuals, since psychological stress alters insulin needs. Stress also alters the acid concentration in the stomach, which can lead to peptic ulcers, stress ulcers or ulcerative colitis. Chronic stress can also lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis), especially if combined with a high-fat diet and sedentary living. The correlation between stressful life events and psychiatric illness is stronger than the correlation with medical or physical illness. The relationship of stress with psychiatric illness is strongest in neuroses, which is followed by depression and schizophrenia. There is no scientific evidence of a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the immune system changes and the development of cancer. However, recent studies found a link between stress, tumour development and suppression of natural killer (NK) cells, which is actively involved in preventing metastasis and destroying small metastases.


The relationship between stress and illness is complex. The susceptibility to stress varies from person to person. An event that causes an illness in a person may not cause illness in other person. Events must interact with a wide variety of background factors to manifest as an illness. Among the factors that influenced the susceptibility to stress are genetic vulnerability, coping style, type of personality and social support. When we are confronted with a problem, we assess the seriousness of the problem and determine whether or not we have the resources necessary to cope with problem. If we believe that the problem is serious and do not have the resources necessary to cope with the problem, we will perceive ourselves as being under stress (2). It is our way of reacting to the situations that makes a difference in our susceptibility to illness and our overall well-being.

Not all stress has negative effect. When the body tolerates stress and uses it to overcome lethargy or enhance performance, the stress is positive, healthy and challenging. Hans Selye (3), one of the pioneers of the modern study of stress, termed this eustress. Stress is positive when it forces us to adapt and thus to increase the strength of our adaptation mechanisms, warns us that we are not coping well and that a lifestyle change is warranted if we are to maintain optimal health. This action-enhancing stress gives the athlete the competitive edge and the public speaker the enthusiasm to project optimally. Stress is negative when it exceeds our ability to cope, fatigues body systems and causes behavioral or physical problems. This harmful stress is called distress. Distress produces overreaction, confusion, poor concentration and performance anxiety and usually results in sub par performance.

……………………………

Illness is a real thing; but never lose hope that the body will not heal; it will when given the correct support and love.

Healing stress and how this impacts the body is often about learning new skills, new lifestyle strategies and new ways to nourish our whole being.

Love,
Andrea

Impact of Childhood Trauma and Stressors in Pain Disorders and Adult Health

This is a recent article from the Townsend Letters that is worth a read:

Impact of Childhood Trauma and Stressors in Pain Disorders and Adult Health

Traumatic experiences and stressors in childhood have historically been overlooked as predisposing factors in the development of various chronic pain disorders and psychiatric conditions, including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome. However, the tide is turning as research is revealing a significant correlation between childhood trauma and adult health. Childhood trauma can cause cumulative damage and foster the biological embedding of adversities (via epigenetics) during developmental stages – both of which have been proposed mechanisms for the development of various adult physical and mental conditions.

click here to read on: Impact of Childhood Trauma and Stressors in Pain Disorders and Adult Health