Are you struggling with multiple symptoms that seem to relate to thyroid dysfunction?
Did your GP tell you your results are normal?
Are you ready to dig a bit deeper and find out what is really going on?
Many cases of hypothyroid go undiagnosed because standard tests do not identify problems in all cases. If you are still concerned about your thyroid symptoms here’s what you can do:
Symptoms of low thyroid function
Fatigue • Weakness • Weight gain/ difficulty losing weight • Dry hair • Poor skin • Headaches • Anxiety/ panic attacks • Depression • Decreased memory and concentration • Hair loss • Sensitivity to cold • Muscle and joint pain • Constipation • Low libido • Palpitations • Dizziness • Water retention • PMS
GP test results say normal ?
There are two main reason why your results can show as normal with a GP Thyroid test:
1.) The references ranges used are quite broad which means that a more subclinical issue may easily be missed. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and what is ‘normal’ for one person may not be ‘normal’ for the next. In other words the GP is looking for “markers” of disease pathology and so if you are significantly sub-optimal, but not hitting the end point markers of “disease” you will be told your ok.
2) Your GP 2will often only test Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Thyroxine (free T4). However TSH and free T4 will give the clinician an idea of what is happening with central thyroid regulation, however these markers don’t give much indication of peripheral regulation (conversion of free T4 into active (T3) and inactive forms (reverse T3) which happens at a cellular level in target tissues) which is where many problems can occur.
At Greenwich Naturopathy we use health mot screening with food intolerance to gain a birds eye view of the different systems and organs to see where ‘blocks’ in optimal function may be occurring. Key areas we look at include, adrenal function, thyroid function, digestive function, gluten sensitivity, gliadin sensitivity, vitamin, and mineral absorption. For instance, weak adrenals, kingpins in your endocrine system, can “rob” from the thyroid and cause them to become depleted over time. A sensitivity to synthetic forms of minerals including fluorine or bromine can block thyroid function. A sensitivity to gluten and its halogen compound gliadin has also been shown to affect thyroid function.So the health mot screening with food intolerance provides an excellent snapshot of the key areas of strength and weakness in our initial assessment process. Other factors explored on the health mot screening with food intolerance include: heavy metal toxicity, immune imbalance, low levels of nutrient absorption such as selenium and zinc, and leaky gut can also contribute.
If the client also presents with signs of autoimmunity such as psoriasis or alopecia (and depending on the clients budget) , we may also consider a deeper dive with a comprehensive blood test. Markers analysed include TSH, total T4, free T4, free T3, anti TG antibodies and anti TPO antibodies to assess both central and peripheral thyroid function as well as thyroid auto-immunity.
When we talk about yeast overgrowth, we’re often referring to an overgrowth of Candida albicans in the gut. Usually, this yeast co-exists with our gut flora in ratios that are not detrimental to you the host. It is estimated that more than 70% of us have strains of this yeast in our guts. The issues arise when it grows out of control. An overgrowth of yeast such as Candida can cause inflammation in your gut leading to compromised health across a myriad of systems causing a wide range of symptoms.
The six common symptoms of Candida albican overgrowth
What are pathogens and do I need to worry about them?
A pathogen is defined as a bacterium, parasites, or other microorganism that may cause disease. Pathogens including Candida albicans release up to 80 different metabolites, including uric acid, ammonia, and a neurotoxin named acetaldehyde. Pathogens rarely exist in isolation because the toxins they produce create and environment and terrain that are favourable to the proliferation of other pathogens. It is important to identify the chief pathogen and tailor your protocol accordingly.
Candida and headaches, migraines and brain fog
What causes yeast and candida albican overgrowth?
How to get rid of candida albican and other pathogens
Treating Candida is not always easy because it is such an opportunistic pathogen and many of the symptoms of yeast overgrowth also coincide with parasite infections and dysbiosis (an imbalance in gut microbiome with high levels of non-beneficial bacteria present).
What is Candida die-off
When large amounts of fungal and yeast cells are killed of rapidly, candida die-off may occur. The medical term for this is the Herxheimer reaction also referred to as a Herx reaction or healing crisis. The symptoms you experience can be a worsening of the very issues you are aiming to treat. Hence the term healing crisis to describe the process of getting worse before you get better.
The Herx reaction is caused by an immune cascade that challenges the immune response due to the rapid release of endotoxin like products released by the death of harmful microorganisms within the body during antibiotic, antifungal or antifungal treatments.
Certain key factors can exacerbate the severity of a Herx reaction, including and already overwhelmed or ‘stressed’ liver. In fact, an underlying cause of yeast being able to overpopulate the gut is a liver that has become increasingly stressed and unable to clear out the toxic by-products of normal metabolic processes. This can then cause a knock on effect to the gut health and is associated with many of the same symptoms as candida overgrowth. Our method is designed to avoid and reduce the level of Herx reaction our clients experience. For instance, in most cases the liver will also be working at maximum capacity to filter out normal day to day toxins out of the body. Therefore, in our treatment protocols we show you how to avoid die-off symptoms by strengthening the 5 elimination organs first: the gut, the kidneys, the liver, the lungs and the skin,
How to get rid of Candida albican and other pathogens (without die off)
In our clinic, we use a multitude of antifungal compounds, beneficial yeasts, binders, probiotics and, plants, herbs, dietary interventions, and nutrients to deal with yeast, bacteroid, parasites and their unpleasant metabolites
However, for a permanent and immediate solution it is important to address the underlying factors that allowed the yeast or pathogen to take up residence in the first place.
We recommend a gradual process that results in improved energy and wellbeing that makes it easier to want to adhere to the dietary and lifestyle changes that underpin the bespoke natural medicine protocol. The approach we use is not massively restrictive because we focus on strengthening you and your digestion first.
Step 1 Test – we like to use the Health MOT Screening with Food Intolerance because it shows the levels of pathogens but also the systems affected but we also use stool testing if appropriate -details available on request.
Step 2 Improve your diet:
Candida overgrowth is often associated with gut inflammation, intestinal permeability (leaky gut), and chronic digestive problems.
These symptoms can be addressed by a whole food natural diet that is high in fibre, low in refined sugar, and full of anti-inflammatory foods.
Here are some simple rules to get you started:
The most important of these (and sometimes the hardest) is to avoid added refined sugars. To reduce die- off you can do this gradually and by replacing refined sugars such as dextrose and high fructose corn syrup with whole fruit sugars with the fibre rich skin on where possible.
Where possible, you should also avoid inflammatory foods like processed foods, alcohol and caffeine as much as possible. By doing this, you can boost your gut health and speed up your recovery.
Step 3 Pathogen Cleanse
Taking a good probiotic will crowd out the Candida yeast and start to heal your gut. And natural antifungals will help to reverse the Candida overgrowth. Again, knowing the chief king pin pathogen (i.e. bacteria, yeast or parasite) will save time and generate more permanent results.
What is seed cycling?
Seed cycling typically involves eating pumpkin and flax seeds during the first, follicular phase (Days 1-14) of your cycle, when your period starts. You consume a combo of sunflower and sesame seeds and during the second, luteal phase (Days 14-28), or after ovulation.
What does seed cycling do?
When your hormone are balanced, in the first phase of your cycle oestrogen levels should be rising. In your second phase of. your cycle progesterone levels rise (while estrogen levels slowly decline). An imbalance between these hormone levels can contribute to symptoms of hormone imbalance such as painful or irregular periods, PMS, PCOS, fibroids, acne and the menopaus
In theory, by eating specific compounds found in flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds at specific times during the menstrual cycle we can support the body's production of oestrogen and progesterone
That’s because seeds contain a type of fibre called lignans. Eating the lignans found in flax and pumpkin seeds, during the first phases of your cycle, it is thought to boost oestrogen production. Eating sunflower and sesame seeds in the second phase is thought to boost progesterone as your body metabolises another lignin-related compound called enterodiol.
What are the Pro's and Con's of Seed Cycling?
Cons of seed cycling
How can You Simplify Seed Cycling
The easiest way to incorporate seeds into your diet is with breakfast - add to smoothies, oatmeal or nourish bowl. Monday to Friday rotate 1-2 tablespoon of one type of seed including flaxseed, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and chia seed. Other creative ways include pesto with pumpkin and flax seeds and/or seed butters.
Should You try Seed Cycling?
Honestly the short answer is no, it is way to fussy. Should you eat seeds on a daily basis - yes, yes and yes. So if cycling them helps you to maintain the habit then do it. Otherwise I recommend committing to one smoothie per day as a mid morning snack or breakfast to get them incorporated. If your mornings are more rushed make the smoothie, smoothie bowl or warm wholegrain cereal night before. By doing this for breakfast consistently you will find it more likely to stick as a habit
Why do we recommend Maple Syrup?
At GNC we regularly recommend the use of maple syrup in our programmes for two main reasons:
1) Unlike refined cane sugar – which undergoes a long, complex manufacturing process– maple syrup is relatively a much more natural, unrefined product.
2) It's rich in antioxidants that can protect cells from DNA damage and mutation. The medical journal Pharmaceutical Biology has identified up to 24 different antioxidants contained in maple syrup which are also beneficial for reducing free radical damage that can cause inflammation and contribute to the formation of various chronic diseases.
How We Choose Maple Syrup
Make sure it is not "flavoured” maple syrup which is highly refined.
Make sure pure maple syrup is the only ingredient, not refined cane/beet sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
Ideally organic whenever possible, which ensures the trees weren’t treated with any chemicals.
All types of pure maple syrup is either classified as “grade A” or “grade B.”
Both grade A and grade B maple syrups can be good choices, as long as they are pure and free of preservatives, artificial dyes and flavours.
(Research indicates Grade B may be higher in antioxidants than Grade A so slightly more favourable!)
Do you suffer from headaches or migraines?
Maybe you have an intolerance to salicylate phenolics.
An intolerance to salicylate phenolic is indicated in our clients who typically suffer from a wide range of issues including:
What is a salicylate?
Salicylates are chemicals produced naturally by plants as a preservative and as a natural defence against harmful pests and bacteria. They can be found in natural form in certain fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants. Salicylates are also widespread in manufactured products, such as medicines (salicylates are a key ingredient in aspirin), solvents, household cleaning goods and health and beauty products.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Salicylates are thought to over stimulate the central nervous system of people whom they affect. Bringing on emotional extremes of feelings of elation followed by feelings of depression.
Symptoms are therefore varied vary but can include dark rings around the eyes, swelling of the eyes, hands and feet, a rash, hives, nasal congestion, breathing difficulties and asthma-like symptoms. Stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation or nausea are also common symptoms. Behavioural symptoms, more commonly seen in children, can include hyperactivity, aggression and head banging. In adults we see symptoms similar to chronic fatigue. It is rare for someone to suffer anaphylactic shock however this can occur in severe cases.
Are there any tests available?
While there are currently no blood tests available, at GNC we use a US-imported screening method to test for sensitivity.
Can anything help me?
The most effective way to begin to solve the problem of a reaction to salicylate phenolics is to eliminate man made salicylate compounds from your diet and lifestyle. So this includes most chemical laden grooming, hygiene, and domestic cleaning products and all food additives including:
This might sound challenging, especially since salicylates are seemingly everywhere, but if we discover you have an intolerance we will help you every step of the way. We tailor our treatments to suit individual lifestyles, preferences and needs.
Salicylates in Food
Fruit & vegetables: dried apricots, dates, currants, raisins, prunes.
Herbs & spices: aniseed, cayenne, celery powder, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, dill, garam masala, mace, mustard, oregano, paprika, rosemary, sage, tarragon, turmeric, thyme, Worcester sauce.
Beverages: cordials, fruit flavoured drinks, fruit and vegetable juices.
Fruit: apples, berries, citrus fruits, figs, grapes, guava, kiwi, pineapple.
Vegetables: broccoli, chicory, chilli peppers, gherkin, peppers, radish, water chestnut.
Herbs & spices: allspice, basil, bay-leaf, chilli, cloves, ginger, mint, nutmeg, black/white pepper, pickles.
Nuts:almonds, macadamia, peanuts with skins, pistachio, pine nuts.
Beveridges: coffee, tea, Benedictine, Drambuie, port, rum, Tia Maria.
Fruit: apricots, cherries, dates, grapefruit, lychee, all melons, peach, plum.
Vegetables: asparagus, aubergine, avocado, cucumber, tinned/puree tomatoes.
Herbs & spices: cornflour, yeast extracts.
Nuts: Brazil nuts, desiccated coconut, peanut butter, walnuts.
Beverages:beer, cider, coca cola, rosehip tea, sherry, red/white wine
We are very excited to welcome the new buckwheat pancake stall 'Meru Galettes' at Greenwich market. We often talk about the power of buckwheat at GNC and we're glad to see some love for this supreme superfood.
In spite of it's misleading name buckwheat is completely gluten-free and wheat-free, so it's ideal for celiac disease sufferers and people with gluten intolerance. While it's as tasty as any grain it is in fact a seed, rich in mono saturated essential fats (winners for the heart) and boasting more protein than rice, wheat or millet. It is also high in the amino acids lysine (potent antiviral for you cold-sore sufferers) and arginine (a great for alleviating caffeine withdrawal).
With their commitment to providing organic, biodynamic and local produce we can highly recommend the madagascan chocolate and coconut crepe for all you plant based/ vegan/ Paleo/ eco conscious foodies out there.
1. Healing your skin begins on the inside.
The most important step to getting your skin to its natural, glowing best is to find the causes of your symptoms. Figuring out which food intolerances, environmental stressors, chemicals and underlying conditions could be triggering your symptoms is essential. A qualified nutritionist will help you to begin this journey, go deeper and change your skin for life.
You can kick start the process by introducing natural goodies more prominently into your diet, such as:
2. Omega 3
Eczema is an inflammatory condition. These essential fatty acids have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and actually help new skin grow. To be found in fish oil (think fresh salmon), the oils of nuts, and seeds such as flax and rapeseed (remember, blend or grind these to get the best out of them).
Eczema sufferers, particularly children, are generally low in zinc which suggests the deficiency might be part of the problem. Include varied plant-based sources of zinc in your diet such as pulses, grains, nuts, seeds and tofu.
A strong healthy gut as a foundation for overall optimal health cannot be emphasised enough! Inflammation begins there, so preventing it or treating it begins there too.
Get probiotics into your diet either through foods containing them (e.g. sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi) or a good supplement. Evidence even suggests that they help to prevent eczema in the first place.
5. Oolong tea
A partially fermented Chinese tea that studies have found improves eczema. Just three cups of "black dragon tea" a day can relieve symptoms.
The first step really is finding out why your skin is reacting the way it is. Once you know that, everything becomes a lot simpler. Eczema can be a truly stressful, inhibiting condition to be stuck with. But you don’t have to be! Stress-free skin is around the corner. Book a consultation MOT with Jessica today.
You have probably heard some of the innumerate benefits of fasting by now. But perhaps you didn’t know how regular, extended periods of time without food does wonders for the gut itself, and a healthy gut is the foundation of optimal health.
A recent study on animals showed that restricting food for a period of just twelve hours allows the all-important good bacteria in the intestine to grow and thrive. This friendly flora is good news for your skin, your mood and your weight. A regular mini-fast can speed up your metabolism, improve brain function and most amazingly, increase longevity. Yes, the key to a long life is right there in your belly!
While a fast may seem daunting, you can easily work it into your daily routine.
Simply cut the late night snacks and give your body the chance to recuperate for twelve hours every evening, for example from 7pm to 7am. Try this for thirty days and see if you notice a difference.
Following on from her article on the myth of the complete protein we fact-check some other popular statements about meat.
"High protein meat diets are good for you."
False: High protein meat diets contribute to a high turn over of the abrasive and irritating uric acid, which in hight quantities can inflame and damage tissue. The deposits from this acid have been shown to contribute to arthritis in the joints and muscle (myositis). Uric acid is also well-known for its link to gout. Protein is essential but when consumed in the form of meat, it is worth remembering that you are consuming some toxic stuff too.
"High protein meat diets are good for building up muscle."
False: Can you absorb meat protein effectively? With protein in meat, the body has to work hard to break it down into simple amino acids before it can be used. Protein, and all nutrients, act differently in a acid environment to an alkaline environment. In an acidic environment amino acids bind with minerals, metals and fats causing toxic build up in the body. Proteins are highly acidic forming, lowering the PH balance of the body. The body can then leach minerals from bone and muscle to buffer this acidity. So, yes, you can bulk up on high protein meat diets but you are bulking up on toxicity as well. Stacked amino acids are not necessary to normal bodily functions. This means muscle gain put on by high protein diets will be lost during detoxification.
"Undigested flesh can rot for days weeks and years in the intestines"
True: Expensive clinical trials - the gold standard of ‘health’ prescriptions by Big Pharma - on the indigestibility of meat by humans have yet to be deemed financially rewarding enough to warrant a full investigation into this claim – so lets look at the evidence we do have available:
"Eating meat causes body odour."
True: It might sound macabre but then we are talking about flesh… When we consume flesh, it rots within us. Meat flesh can become impacted on the intestinal wall causing the lining to decay along with the meat.
"Eating meat can feed the parasitic kingdom."
True: Viruses, bacteria , flukes and the mother of all parasites - worms - feed on waste from flesh protein digestion. Parasites also have an affinity for weakened and damaged tissue – it is their job to decompose it.
You have probably seen a decomposing dead animal with grey-green flesh. Not to put you off your sausages, but pretty similar, in fact to the colour our meats would look if the meat processor didn’t treat the dead flesh with colour additives like sodium nitrates and nitrites to make it look deceptively pink and more appealing than the sickly grey colour of death… Yep. Morbid.
Because humans can eat like carnivores, we must therefore be carnivores.
False: This doesn’t just pose a moral question, but one of logic: mere behaviour does not equate to suitability or ‘naturalness’. Unlike many other living things we evidently possess the power of imagination, the ability to define ourselves, to make choices. We also possess the distinct ability to wipe out life on earth as we know it.
There are many things we can do as a species like… shooting each other, lobbing hand grenades, tailgating or trolling someone. Well, ‘I can, so why not…’ has never really been a valid reason to do anything.
The power of choice is only as potent as the awareness granted the subject to choose.
Transitioning from a meat to plant based diet can be challenging on an emotional, mental and physical level. Seeking the support of a nutritional therapist is highly advised.
High-protein meat based diets have been promoted by our top health professionals for generations. Huge swathes of populations have depended on these protein guidelines for reliable, evidence-based, health advise. Naturopath Nutritionist, Jessica House, separates fact from fiction as she debunks some of the theories around protein in our diets.
Myths are a staple diet of mankind and have been for centuries, especially those surrounding
food; the formula-milk myth, the bread-fibre myth, the calorie myth... the list goes on.
There are many 'facts' we are told about the nutritional value of our food that because of the authoritative voices spouting them, such as doctors or a newspaper, we see as binding, gospel truth.
The myth I am putting on the table here is the complete protein myth. What exactly is it? It is the idea that meat is the most effective and bountiful source of protein and therefore our bodies need it; that we need to eat meat for optimum health. It is often the first reason of objection to vegetarianism, veganism or a plant-based diet from our meat-eating friends.
The problem with this kind of imperative language is that is effectively removes our power of choice. You have to eat meat, is either the overt message or the subtext that comes with this ubiquitous myth.
It is true that protein is very much essential. The word protein comes from the Greek ‘prōtos’ which means ‘the first one’. Protein is a fundamental structure; an essential part of all living organisms. It is made up of amino acids, the bricks of the structure.
The question is, when building your fundamental structure, do you want use the bricks from an old, already built house - the grouped animo acids from animals? Or, do you want new, simple, easy-to-build bricks - the simple amino acids from plants?
The complete protein theory (or myth) states, paradoxically, that you should use the old bricks from the old house to build a new, strong, clean structure. To drop the metaphor, it is saying that unless we eat food that contain all the 9 essential amino acids in one meal we cannot have the building blocks necessary to create a ‘complete protein’ and we will there become deficient.
You might also have heard that plant protein is ‘incomplete’ compared to meat protein, and that plant foods have to be carefully combined to make a ‘complete’ protein. As far as science goes, this is little more than an urban legend, propagated in 2001 by the American Heart Assocation (AHA). When challenged for its inaccuracy by John A. McDougall, who insisted they back up their assertion with evidence, the AHA could not do so. Thus the myth of a complete protein - attainable only through eating meat - was never scientifically proven. Yet the myth is perpetuated to this day.
Take a look at the numbers for yourself. This information has been publicly available on the USDA for decades and shows common plant based foods with all 9 of the essential amino acids.
Fruits, nuts, vegetables and pulses are much simpler for the body to break down and rich in dynamic energy, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. Tip: the organic variety are likely to enhance and sustain the planet for generations to come and who doesn’t want to be able to point at their tummy and say to their grand children “no animals were harmed in the making of this”?
Here’s to your choice!
Thinking about going meat-free? Seeking the support of a nutritional therapist is highly advised. To receive the latest info, support or to book an appointment with Jessica, click here.
Naturopath Nutritional and Herbal Medic Therapists providing programmes designed to restore health & optimise wellbeing.