TELEMEDICINE Thyroid Health Practice with a Functional Medicine Approach

Opening Hours : Monday to Thursday: 9:00-12:00 & 13:00-16:00 Friday: 9:00-12:00
  Contact : Voicemail: +44 1449 833 833 - email: reception@countryhealth.co.uk

All Posts in Category: Supplements

Covid-19

Coronavirus – Protect yourself

This is an unprecedented time, a once in 100-year pandemic. A time for us to be level-headed, open-hearted, and focused on what we can do to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country, and be kind to each other.
Control the host

Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm" by
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM

It is best to act as if you have the infection and act to protect others!

This is also an opportunity to spend time with family, to take care of ourselves, to cook and cherish the people and things we love. The more we can face the threat to our health and to our economy with calm and kindness, the better able we will be to survive and thrive.

“Currently a lot of the care is focused on acute care, not on educating patients, protecting them, supporting them so that they never come to the hospital.” 

Prof. Juliana Chan, director of the Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity

We hope that the following information will help to bridge this gap.

There was eight times reduction in the hospitalization in people who are getting this kind of functional medicine approach. Now, that’s all reported data. It’s not a randomized trial. 

Dr. Patrick Hanaway

  • What is Covid-19?
  • How High is the risk?
  • Treatments
  • Lifestyle & Nutrition
  • Face Masks
  • Supplements
  • Take action
  • Vaccines
  • Post-Covid

COVID-19: The Quintessential Example of a Planetary Lifestyle Disease

Read this fascinating article written by 
Jeffrey Bland, PhD,  known to many as the “father of Functional Medicine”. 

Extensive Physical Distancing


In order to get ill, you need to have the infectious organism AND you have to be receptive. So, the first step is to AVOID CONTACT WITH THE ORGANISM, IN THIS CASE COVID-19. This is best done - and now practised in more and more countries - via Extensive Physical Distancing. 


Engage in real-time communication with loved ones. Those that are both with you in isolation and in your immediate network. Pick up the phone, call your mom, your sister, your cousin, anyone. 

Don’t shake hands. Keep a 6-foot radius from others (unless they are healthy, uninfected people who live in your home). Cancel vacations, business trips. Restaurants, bars, schools, yoga classes, fitness clubs and more are shutting down. Work from home if you can.

Extensive Physical Distancing is the most effective way to reduce the spreading of the virus. 


Self-quarantine means avoiding contact with other people as much as possible by staying at home or in your hotel.


You can still go outside for walks, runs or cycles on your own. But you should not spend time in close contact with other people.

Strengthen your Immune System

Food to support immune system

* SMASH fish: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, Hering

* EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil







Let Food Be Your Medicine! Proper food = proper immunity

Avoid Gluten, Processed Foods, and Sugar. 

  • It has never been a better time to be[come] gluten free: No one food trigger!
  • 300 kcal sugar decreases immune system by 50% for 2 hours!
  • No dairy - makes mucous, one of the 3 top food triggers
It is a great time to check for food sensitivities!

Eat a whole foods, nutrient-dense diet. Our immune system relies on nutrient-dense whole foods to function well. Death from infections in the developing world is often not due to the infection itself but the body’s inability to fight it because of nutrient deficiencies.

“Nutrients play a vital role in the defense against infectious diseases and the regulation of inflammation.

Vitamin D deficiency was shown in 76% of patients and selenium deficiency in 42% of patients with COVID-19.

Among 12 patients with respiratory distress, 11 (91.7%) had one or more nutrient deficiency.”

We can all improve the quality of our diet. This is a great opportunity to cut sugar and starch which suppress the immune system.


Cut out sugar and refined starches. Now has never been a better time for a sugar and junk food detox.  Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingesting. Limiting starch and sugar will help your immune system function better and your overall health improves. 


Ensure adequate protein intake. Protein is critical for immune function and protein malnutrition is a big risk factor for death from infections. Eat approximately 1 gram/kg or about half your body weight in grams of protein a day, Plant-based proteins (legumes, nuts/seeds) are adequate if consumed in enough quantity. Try tofu and tempeh from non-GMO soy for the highest protein concentrations.  


Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric, rosemary) to your meals! Add these to your soups and vegetable dishes, as well as bean dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties. 


Garlic

Source: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)


Garlic is a plant has been used as a flavor, and anti-microbial and anti-diarrheal agent. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a coronavirus. A study from 2016 found that garlic extract had inhibitory effects on IBV. 


Need some inspiration how to use garlic? Check out THIS WEBSITE


Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. Aim for 2 servings of fruits and 8 or more servings of vegetables! A serving is half a cup. 


Eat fermented foods to support your microbiome and immunity. Eat sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, miso, tempeh, unsweetened yogurt, kefir. They also keep well. 


Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids. Consuming adequate fluids supports all your bodies’ functions including the immune system. Make soups and broths (from scratch with fresh vegetables is always best) and have them throughout the week. Drink herbal teas like ginger and turmeric tea. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times. Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful for the immune system. 

Get sufficient sleep!


 We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible! Get in a better rhythm and head to bed earlier. Aim for seven to eight hours a night. Incorporating various relaxation and breathing techniques throughout the day to help with stress and allowing the mind to rest is also very helpful! 

Get regular exercise. Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost the immune system. Avoid overexertion such as training for endurance events when you are feeling run down. This will lower your immune defenses. If you are able to exercise outside in less populated areas, great. If not find workouts and yoga classes online. Try the 7-minute workout (see link above).

Practice meditation and yoga.

The data are clear. Increased levels of stress increase susceptibility to viral infections. In one study volunteers had cold viruses injected into their nasal passages. Only the ones who scored high on the stress questionnaire succumbed. Now is the time to learn meditation, double down on your practice, do yoga, take hot baths, do deep breathing, practice home massage with your loved ones. 

Start a garden

If you live in an area with a lawn or some access to land, grow some of your own food. 

If you haven't got a garden,here is a simple way to make your own one. 

Sauna therapy

Picture: harvia.fi


It has been studied that high temperatures and especially moist heat with water vapor can deactivate viruses effectively. Even at a temperature of 55-70 ° C (moist heat), the virus can be countered within a few minutes and thus there is a loss of infectivity via the destruction of the virus outer layer.


A study from 2016 found that the effect of short-term heat shock, e.g. sauna therapy as a stressful condition,could induce the expression of heat shock proteins that function as molecular chaperones to protect cells against multiple stresses, increasing the survival rate of influenza-infected mice. 


Please note: the strategies above are meant to be combined with any of the other common sense and personalized recommendations you may get from your healthcare providers or local public health authorities,

This article is not intended to provide medical advice and any changes should be done in consultation with your healthcare provider.

We hope that this information helps you to 

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Read More

Functional Approach to Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign oestrogen-sensitive growths made out of smooth muscle cells and connective tissue. They appear during the reproductive years, grow during pregnancy, and regress after the menopause. Sometimes growth spurts can happen in perimenopausal years during anovulatory cycles with irregular oestrogen excess.

Order the ebook from our shop

Find out what uterine fibroids are, other conditions that could present similarly, symptoms of uterine fibroids, which functional tests are useful, conventional vs functional treatment approaches, and which supplements can be helpful

Read More

Your Gut – Your Second Brain

In recent years scientists have discovered that our gut contains a vast amount of bacteria which are called the microbiome. The number of genes in these bacteria is about 3.3 million whilst the human body has around 23.000. The total weight of the microbiome is about three pounds – the same as our brain, which is why it is also called the Second Brain.

One millilitre of colonic contents contains more bacteria than there are humans on this planet.

One of the important functions of the microbiome is to provide immunity (70% of our immune system is located in the gut), and this starts at birth. The birth canal is filled with lactobacilli – which prevent the growth of candida (which causes vaginal thrush). Lactobacilli are the first thing that enters the baby’s mouth during birth.

When mothers have C-sections the child does not get these beneficial lactobacilli. 80% of babies born via c-section are likely to develop asthma versus those born naturally, and they are also more likely to develop diarrhoea in the first year of life, have a tendency to be allergic to cow’s milk and have food intolerances.

Mothers milk also contains lactobacilli. They help to break down lactose, which is the major sugar in milk. The first milk also contains a lot of antibodies for the baby. Later breast milk contains carbohydrates (sugars) and prebiotics which provide food for the microbiome.

People often say they have a “gut feeling” and this is true as the brain is connected to our gut and vice versa.

The gut contains as many nerve cells as the spinal cord. The microbiome affects not only our nerves and immune system, but also our endocrine system. It modulates our emotions, desires and moods. The microbiome also produces neurotransmitters. Imbalances or deficiencies of neurotransmitters are known to cause, among other things, behavioural problems in children and psychiatric problems such as depression.

Environmental chemicals can change the gut microbiome. They can trigger inflammation and metabolic disorders.

Functional medicine is the new way of investigating how your body works and can often provide answers for chronic diseases.

Healthy regards

Dr Oliver Frey, MD MRCGP

Picture: UAB Comprehensive Cancer Centre
Read More

Bedwetting

Babies need to be in nappies as they cannot control their bladder. As they get older and turn into little people their nervous system is moving along nicely and the frequency of bedwetting goes down and eventually stops. 

Bedwetting is one of the most common disorders among children. It occurs in up to 20% of 5 year olds and 10% of 10 year olds, with a spontaneous remission rate of 14% per year. Weekly daytime wetting occurs in 5% of children, most of whom (80%) also wet the bed. Approximately 5% to 10% of all seven-year-olds have enuresis.

The reasons for bedwetting involve the inability to awaken from sleep in response to a full bladder, coupled with excessive nighttime urine production or a decreased functional capacity of the bladder.​

​Children who wet the bed may do so for emotional reasons. They may feel insecure due to the arrival of a new baby, a change of school or because of the parents' marital problems. In these cases, the child needs love and reassurance.

Why do some children have a problem?

There are numerous possible reasons why children - and their families - suffer from bedwetting: 

Enter your text here...

  • Slower central nervous system development
  • Food allergies or intolerances
  • Infections (kidney or bladder)
  • Diabetes
  • Excess water consumption prior to bed
  • Being scared of the dark
  • Laziness
  • Side effects of medication
  • Caffeine (some give this to their kids – and I highly suggest not doing it), e.g in tea, coffee and many fizzy drinks

Vitamin B12, folate and iron levels 

ISRN Urol. 2012;2012:789706

Pak J Med Sci. 2015 Jan-Feb; 31(1): 87–90.Pak J Med Sci. 2015 Jan-Feb; 31(1): 87–90

A study from 2012 found significantly lower mean vitamin B(12) and folate levels in patients who suffered from bed wetting. These findings were confirmed in a study in 2015 which also identified that average blood iron was significantly higher. 

A February 2018 study in the Journal of Pediatric Urology may offer hope for those pursuing non-drug options. 

Based on these results, the authors concluded that supplementation with vitamin D and omega-3 fish oil could help prevent nighttime bedwetting episodes among children seven to 15 year of age:

  • Vitamin D – 1,000 IU minimum but children frequently take up to 2,000 IU daily under the guidance of their physician.
  • Omega 3 – 1,000 mg daily, can be taken as a capsule, gummy or liquid.


Traditional Approach

Parents and children are often given the following advice by doctors  to curb bedwetting:

Bed alarms – alarms have sensors that detect moisture, which wake the child up as they begin having an accident.

Education and reassurance – diet changes, avoidance of caffeinated drinks and also avoidance of fluid before going to bed.  Make sure the child urinates before going to sleep.

Positive reinforcement – encouraging the child after dry nights.

Medications Commonly used include:

Desmopressin – Taken at night with a small sip of water, this medication can be used for children age 6 or older.  Common reactions listed by Epocrates Drug Database include headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, high blood pressure and rarely seizures, respiratory arrest and anaphylactic allergic reactions.

Imipramine – This medication can also be used for those 6 or older.  Epocrates lists a “black box warning” for this medication, stating that it may increase suicide risk in children, adolescents, and young adults with major depression. Additional common reactions listed include drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision to name a few.

Due to the possible side effects of medications, more natural alternatives are desired as first line by most.

​Common strategies to help with bedwetting

  • Shift times for drinking. Increase fluid intake earlier in the day and reduce it later in the day.
  • Schedule bathroom breaks. Get your child on a regular urination schedule (every two to three hours) and right before bedtime.
  • Be encouraging. Make your child feel good about progress by consistently rewarding successes.
  • Eliminate bladder irritants. At night, start by eliminating caffeine (such as chocolate milk and cocoa) and if this doesn’t work, cut citrus juices, artificial flavorings, dyes (especially red) and sweeteners. Many parents don’t realize these can all irritate a child’s bladder.
  • Avoid thirst overload. If schools allow, give your child a water bottle so they can drink steadily all day. This avoids excessive thirst after school.
  • Consider if constipation is a factor. Because the rectum is right behind the bladder, difficulties with constipation can present themselves as a bladder problem, especially at night. This affects about one third of children who wet the bed, though children are unlikely to identify or share information about constipation.
  • Don’t wake children up to urinate. Randomly waking up a child at night and asking him or her to urinate on demand isn’t the answer, either – and will only lead to more sleeplessness and frustration.
  • Don’t resort to punishment. Getting angry at your child doesn’t help him learn. The process doesn’t need to involve conflict.

What can you do to identify the cause of bedwetting in your child?

  • Identify food allergies and remove (gluten and dairy are big)
  • Avoid caffeine and fizzy drinks
  • Limit intake of water and fluids prior to bed
  • Always have them go for a whee right before bed
  • Use a night light 
  • Star board (get a star for each night they don’t wet their bed and a prize at X stars)
  • Taking off their bedsheets self and taking them to the laundry
  • Supplement with Fish oil
  • Give a Multivitamin
  • Give a Probiotic
  • Give a methylated B-complex

A known cause of bedwetting is slower development of the central nervous system + low b12 and low folate contribute to a slowed central nervous system = increased susceptibility to nocturnal enuresis (ie. bedwetting).

If one has low folate and low B12, then their methylation system is going to be less functional.

As their methylation is not up to speed, then the development of the CNS is hindered.

As the CNS development is hindered, so is the nervous system of the bladder which leads to nocturnal enuresis.

Restoring nutrients for CNS development is critical to reducing bedwetting.

The younger the child, the more development they are experiencing. The more development they are experiencing, the more methylation they are utilizing. The more methylation they are utilizing, the more nutrients they require to support methylation.

If the child’s methylation is not supported with nutrients, then bedwetting may show up.

Before you start blindly supplementing your child we would highly recommend to arrange some of the following tests which are all available from CountryHealth:

Which Lab Tests can be useful?

References:

  1. Journal of  Pediatric Urology. 2018 Feb 5. pii: S1477-5131(18)30034-2. doi:10.1016/j.jpurol.2018.01.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Do you want your child to be tested?

We are keen to help you finding the root causes of bedwetting in your child

Why do some kids get dry and others struggle with bedwetting?

Read More

Vitamin D

Human adult physiology requires 3000 to 5000 international units of vitamin D3 per day to maintain baseline metabolic and steady-state dynamics (Heaney et al in 2003).

Vitamin D is more hormone-like in its action and not a true vitamin. It remains stable with heat and oxidation. It is not required in the diet if there is sufficient sunlight to allow the production from provitamin D molecules in the skin. The liver then converts it into the active vitamin D. Boron seems to be important for this process. Also parathyroid hormone will stimulate the kidneys to produce active Vit D3 in kidneys when blood calcium levels are low.

Functions

The primary role of Vitamin D is regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption in the gut, regulation of calcium balance and stimulation of bone cell mineralisation.

Vitamin D seems to be also extremely important in immune function - research is ongoing.

How much Vitamin D do we need?

It is essential to test your Vitamin D levels even if you take a supplement or spend time in the sun. 

Especially in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, you need to keep your Vitamin D levels in the optimal physiological range!

Source: Vasquez A. Vitamin D3 Dosing and Dogma: Mechanistic Explanation for the Relative Failure of the Bolus Depot. Int J Hum Nutr Funct Med 2020;8:5

Sources

Vitamin D from animal foods occur in liver, eggs, fatty fish, butter, and fortified foods. Vegetables are low in vitamin D. Ten minutes of summer sun exposure to the face and hands results in the production of about 400 IU Vit D.

Therapeutic uses

Vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Today both are rare, but most notable in the elderly and in people who don't spend time in sunlight.

People with poor fat absorption may become vitamin D deficient, (e.g. gluten-sensitive enteropathy), as the vitamin is fat soluble.

Studies throughout the year 2020 showed that vitamin D could effectively treat clinical coronavirus infections – but not when delivered in bolus/depot doses.

Safety and toxicity

Vitamin D production through sun exposure does not produce toxicity, as it is closely regulated.

2,000-5,000 IU Vitamin D3 - or more depending upon genetic issues (e.g. Vitamin D receptor SNPs that result in poorly formed cell receptors for vitamin D - see KASHI Bone profile) and other factors like the latitude where you reside (the further away from the equator, the fewer months sun exposure), digestive function is considered to be safe. Vitamin D3 is the preferred form.

Functional medicine considerations

Patients who are seldom exposed to the sun should be evaluated for vitamin D deficiency. Recently research as expanded the important functional interactions of vitamin D tin the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and persistent, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain.

Source: Clinical Nutrition - A functional approach
Picture: wikipedia
Read More

Zinc

Zinc is important to the function of many enzymes and hormones. It is critical to immune function.

Iron, calcium supplements, alcohol, infections, and surgery may alter the absorption of zinc.

Functions

Zinc is a cofactor in a number of enzymatic reactions. It is important for protein and DNA synthesis, wound healing, bone structure, immune function, healthy prostate tissue, and skin oil gland function.

Sources

Oysters are a good source of zinc, but also red meat and other shellfish. Whilst high in whole grains, legumes, and nuts, it is not very absorbable from these sources.

Therapeutic uses

Zinc deficiencies can show as skin changes, hair loss, recurrent infections, and diarrhoea. While severe zinc insufficiencies are rare, simple insufficiencies are common. The may show as sleep disturbances, slow wound healing, acne, psoriasis, dandruff, rheumatoid arthritis, reduced appetite, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Zinc has also shown to be deficient in non-insulin-dependent diabetics.

Zinc may help relieve the common cold.

Safety and toxicity

Zinc supplementation should be kept at 15 mg a day or below for general, chronic consumption. Short-term supplementation may be beneficial, but should be kept below 80 mg per day.

If safe levels are not adhered to, a copper deficiency anaemia may result, because zinc and copper compete for absorption. Too much zinc can result in a depressed immune function.

Toxic effects may include dizziness, vomiting, lethargy, and anaemia.

Functional medicine considerations

Smokers have lower zinc levels, and zinc may help protect against damage to blood vessel walls. If a patient has a history of recurrent infections, skin conditions, slow healing wounds, or disrupted inflammatory response, zinc status should be assessed.

Source: Clinical Nutrition – A functional approach
Picture: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/mar02/k9832-1.jpg
Read More