Balancing hormones

SaladHow much does stress really affect the body? We all know that it plays its part in depression, heart health and other conditions, but actually it has an enormous effect on our hormones which can affect you in many different ways. Kimberley Gridley, a homeopath, nutritionist, specialises in Natural Hormone Balance for Women, based on functional medicine.

Kimberley sees women of all ages, but not surprisingly many of them have faced high levels of stress. Too much stress exhausts the adrenal glands, which provide the adrenaline for the ‘fight and flight mechanism’. Common issues are weight gain, emotional ups and downs, periods and PMT, menopause and hot flushes, fibroids and endometriosis. Many are struggling with lack of energy and tiredness, as well as Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia.

In addition to saliva and blood tests to check for hormonal imbalance, Kimberley asks patients about their diet. She also runs a diagnostic test called a heart rate variability test (HRV) which indicates how the hormones are coping, how you burn calories, whether you are struggling with stress levels, and what metabolic type you are.

Functional medicine is a personalised approach to healthcare which focuses on why we have disease and getting to the root cause of the problem. Each person is treated as an individual and their particular health issues are addressed. This is in stark contrast to conventional medicine which often treats disease with drugs in a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Once Kimberley has all this information she prescribes homeopathic or herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals, and other supplements such as Omega 3s or probiotics. She also draws up a diet that is suited to your type, but is very likely to consist of a lot of vegetables.

Kimberley practises at the Nelson’s Pharmacy at 87 Duke Street, London W1K 5PQ, 020 7079 1282, www.nelsonspharmacy.com . See Kimberley’s website  where you can get a free copy of Hormone Balancing Eating Plan: The Low GI Companion e-book.

Find out more about functional medicine by watching Dr Mark Hayman on YouTube. 

ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It is estimated that there are up to 240,000 people in the UK with M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).
 
 
 
M.E. is a little understood and complicated illness with a variety of different symptoms that aren’t always recognised by doctors. At its worst it is severely debilitating and can result in someone being bed-ridden for years. So far there is no medical solution and people often find themselves left to their own devices.

Symptoms include:

• Fatigue
• Lethargy
• Feeling generally unwell with sore throat or flu symptoms
• Aching muscles and joints
• Headaches and migraine
• Sleep problems
• Poor concentration
• Bad memory
• Digestive problems
• Dizziness and problems with nervous system
• Sensitivity to bright lights, alcohol, chemicals

Things to try

There are, however, some things that people have found helpful and may be worth investigating because there are instances of people who have got much better after trying them:

Mercury in teeth:

Maura started to have a lot of allergies about six years ago. ‘I was unable to eat so many things that I am now restricted to just 36 foods. I used to get really tired and chemicals gave me a headache or made me sick. I read about the possibility that dental amalgam could make people ill and decided to have my fillings taken out.

‘I had four big ones replaced on one side of my mouth. Two hours after being in the dentist’s chair I started to have a very strange headache and felt nauseous. But that only lasted for the evening and afterwards I felt much better and the chronic fatigue completely went.

‘Gradually I had all 19 fillings replaced, mostly from molars, and now I am much better. I had only been able to work part-time and in the afternoons I used to have a nap. Now I do things in the afternoon and have even started going to college at night. I don’t get such a strong reaction from the foods I am allergic to, and have added one or two of them back into my diet.’

To find out more about Mercury Fillings read: Mouthful of Mercury in Healthy Features

The British Society for Mercury Free Dentistry helpline: 0208 746 1177, www.mercuryfreedentistry.org.uk

Geopathic Stress

Radiation underneath the house can rise upwards and be magnified by metal bedsprings. In many cases of chronic fatigue or M.E. people have been found to be sleeping over underground rivers which cause radiation when they cross.

The best advice is to move the bed rather than buying all kinds of gadgets to send the rays elsewhere.
Some have found that visiting special healers like Seka Nicolic at the Kailash Centre, 020 7722 3939 can improve their M.E. considerably.

Electro-magnetic stress

Few people realise that they are surrounded by electro-magnetic fields all the time in today’s world. Experts like Alf Riggs claim that hairdryers, computers, electronic clocks and toothbrushes and more are affecting our health.

In particular the base stations of DECT cordless phones are said to be radiating more emissions than a mobile phone mast and can seriously affect the health of people near them. So if you sleep with a cordless phone base in the bedroom there is every chance that it is affecting your health and anyone with ME should remove them from the house, not just the bedroom and go back to the analogue cordless phones or the old-fashioned fixed line!

It is important also to make sure you are not sleeping above computers – so switch off everything at night at the mains and try to eliminate those little red buttons which are also wasting plenty of energy!

Nutrition

Anyone with M.E. or CFS would benefit enormously from seeing a nutritional therapist to find out what they are allergic to. Most would recommend having a general detox, giving up wheat and dairy and eating a lot of fresh organic vegetables, brown rice, pulses, seeds and nuts.

There have been connections between Candida (the yeast infection) and M.E. and a nutritional therapist would investigate this and apply an appropriate diet alongside herbal antifungals.

The British Association of Nutritional Therapists (BANT), 08706 061284, www.bant.org.uk
See Therapies/Nutrition

Essential fatty acids

According to Professor Basant K. Puri, Professor and Consultant at Hammersmith Hospital and Imperial College, London, recommends, ‘The daily adult intake of 2,240mg of pure EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid) and 800mg virgin Evening Primrose Oil provides the correct fatty acids to treat the underlying cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.’

He warns, however, ‘Patients should be careful, however, to avoid taking any supplements containing either DHA (another Omega-3 fatty acid) or Vitamin A. Current research is showing that these can be detrimental to one’s health.’

The appropriate supplement is VegEpa, 500mg, £11.95 for 60 capsules – click on Nutricentre’s ad on the left to order

COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES

When someone has a chronic illness it is often a question of trial and error to find out which therapies suit them best so any of the following may be helpful. For more details of each look at Therapies.

• Homeopathy
• Herbal Medicine
• Naturopathy
• Reflexology
• Reiki
• Emotional Freedom Technique

For further information go to: Action for ME, www.afme.org.uk

Cut the drugs bill with complementary therapies

Wouldn’t the government love to cut the £8.2 billion spent every year on drugs? Wouldn’t it be great if doctors offered you some alternatives –  acupuncture  for the pains in your joints (instead of drugs), reflexology for your problems with conceiving (instead of fertility drugs), or chiropractic for your bad back (instead of anti-inflammatories), or hypnotherapy for your anxiety (instead of anti-depressants)?  

Despite the fact that 50 per cent of the British public have tried complementary therapies, there is still a concerted campaign by certain parts of the media and medical establishment to quash them, citing lack of evidence. The public, however, is not so concerned with scientific evidence (provided there are no safety implications, which in the case of gentle therapies there are not) and they just want something that makes them better.

Many people are driven to complementary therapies because there of lack of success with conventional treatments. For example, IBS, cystitis, multiple sclerosis, indigestion, headaches, CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), migraines, eczema, asthma, infertility, back pain, arthritis, anxiety, and so the list goes on, are not always that well resolved with drugs, which tend to suppress symptoms rather than cure them.  However, they normally have to pay for them.

Lots of people choose to try acupuncture, nutrition, reflexology, homeopathy, chiropractic, hypnotherapy, in addition to their conventional treatments, or some prefer the more natural approach.   As the programme The Food Hospital has shown changing your diet can do wonders for your health.  And there are no side-effects, so what can you lose? If you try it and it works you’re better, if it doesn’t you haven’t damaged your immune system or encountered unpleasant side-effects.

A few enlightened practices offer access to therapies, and acupuncture is quite widely available on the NHS. Read our articles: Complementary Therapies on the NHS; NHS provision of complementary therapies: Visionary healthcare.