Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Prostate cancer

Although the conventional prostate cancer treatments of chemotherapy and surgery are well known, there is a more natural and benign approach to the problem.  Hormone imbalances induced by environmental toxins, especially the ‘xeno-oestrogens’, are thought by some authorities to be a major contributor to prostate problems.  Progesterone and prostate problems are linked through the action of oestrongen.  Natural progesterone is a powerful antagonist to these chemical poisons and as such can be viewed as one of the more important prostate cancer treatments.

The symptoms of prostate diseases are:

  • enlargement
  • smaller urethras
  • inflammation
  • increased frequency of urination
  • cellular changes leading to cancer

In many cases these changes can be linked to a rise in oestrogen and di-hydrotestosterone and a drop in testosterone.  The rise in oestrogen also causes fatty tissues to be deposited in men’s breasts and a reduction in facial hair.  High levels of di-hydrotestosterone have been linked to prostate enlargement and cancer.

Progesterone is vital for men’s health as it is for women’s!  Approximately 5 to 15mg of this hormone is made on a continuous daily basis in the testes, which convert it into testosterone and other hormones, including oestrogen.

As progesterone protects men against excessive oestrogen, particularly the xeno-oestrogens and di-hydrotestosterone, some researchers believe that the drop in progesterone levels associated with aging combined with the rise in environmental oestrogen is causing the alarming increasing in these problems.

The lack of progesterone and prostate problems is interrelated and is supported by the fact that the prevention and control of these diseases has been assisted in many cases by the use of supplemental progesterone administered as a skin cream.

There is substantial anecdotal evidence indicating that as little as 20mg/day is sufficient to reduce an enlarged prostate to normal.  Some cases of prostate cancer have also responded to progesterone.  As it is safe, with no toxic side effects, it is being used increasingly often as an alternative to other prostate cancer treatments.

The following nutritional guidelines have proven beneficial in assisting the fight against this disease:

  • Omega 3
  • Zinc
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Anti-oxidants especially: Vitamins E, C, A
  • Selenium

Cortisol

Let’s talk about Cortisol.

We make cortisol in response to stress, but in these busy and hectic times, most of us, typically, run around stressed all the time which means stress hormones are wreaking havoc in our bodies over time and this makes us store fat – especially belly fat! High cortisol is also linked to food addiction (sugar and sugar cravings!) and depression. So, what’s the result of this? We get fat.

To reset our cortisol, one thing we can do is take a break from caffeine. Try slowly weaning yourself off coffeine over three days and notice how your sleep and stress levels improve.

Happy New Year!

I wish all my clients a happy and healthy 2016!

Did you know that: it’s estimated that most people only maintain their New Year’s resolution for about a week to ten days!  I found this shocking, but it’s true!  It is thought that the problem is that people give themselves unrealistic and unachievable goals which they simply can’t keep up.  It’s better to have achievable short term goals that you can stick to, see the difference and then add some more in as you gain in confidence.  Be kind to yourself, and put in place a simple, realistic and achievable dietary plan. This may be cutting back on sugar or coffee or increasing green vegetables or even drinking more water – do it in manageable stages.

I’m a qualified nutritionist – if you want my help to kick start your 2016 health programme, I would love to hear from you!

Vitamin D

I’m so pleased to see that GPs are now advising their patients to have Vitamin D tests – it’s about time! If there is one vitamin of vital need, this is it.

Vitamin D regulates gene expression, has a positive fundamental effect on cell differentiation and growth, with anti-oxidative and autoimmune anti-inflammatory mechanisms. It positively affects the nervous system by stimulating neurotrophic factors, quenching oxidative hyperactivity and regulating autoimmune responses.

It’s made by the action of UVB sunlight as it strikes the cholesterol covering our bare skin. Unfortunately with our habit of washing with soap, all the cholesterol is washed off, leaving none with which to make vitamin D. So no amount of sunshine will help when skin is washed with soap.

For some of the best information on vitamin D have a look at: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
Here is what Dr Cannell, of the Vitamin D Council said:

“During the last decade… ground-breaking laboratory studies have shown that the active hormone form of vitamin D interacts with receptors in more than 30 tissues and organs of the body and influences the action of some 1000 or more genes. By these means Vitamin D controls not only calcium homeostasis but another five physiological systems: the immune system, pancreas beta cells, heart and blood vessels, muscle development and strength, and brain development. In addition vitamin D has direct effects on cell activity. It facilitates cell differentiation and apoptosis, that is, it regulates cell death. Together with calcium it has a profound effect on cellular adhesion and initiation of cancer.”

30-50% of people have a Vitamin D deficiency, particularly those living in climates with little sun, living above 34 degrees north or south of the equator, work indoors, spend little time in the sun and have dark skin. The darker the skin the more sun exposure is required to obtain sufficient. The following list gives an indication of levels of vitamin D found in the blood. The test should be done for 25-hydroxyvitamin D, also called calcidiol:

Sufficient: 50-100ng/ml or 125-250 nmol/L
Hypovitaminosis: <30ng/ml or 75 nmol/L
Deficiency: <25ng/ml or 62 nmol/L

Vitamin D comes in three forms:

* Cholecalciferol or D3 which is formed in the skin, this also comes as a supplement to take.
* Calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is a prehormone made from cholecalciferol by the liver. When testing for vitamin D this, and only this, is what should be tested for.
* Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) is made from calcidiol principally by the kidneys, and is a most potent steroid hormone.

Finally a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, of which, you may know, I’m a supporter.

If you have concerns, please consider having a test done. There is mounting evidence that many (74 at last count), if not all, of our modern diseases, syndromes, symptoms are possibly due to a lack of vitamin D.

Having researched adrenal fatigue for some time now, there is some evidence that this vitamin plays an important part in restoring adrenal health.  Vitamin E absorbs and neutralizes the damaging free radical molecules inside the adrenal glands and elswhere in the body. Vitamin C enhances Vitamin E’s activity inside the cell by regenerating the capacity of vitamin E to isolate the free radicals. So these two vitamins can work hand-in-hand to keep the adrenal healthy.

It does seem, however, that choosing the right Vitamin E supplement is very important. Vitamin E is a ‘tocopherol’. Most Vitamin E supplements sold in health food shops are in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol. This is only a fraction of the complete Vitamin E complex and the majority of companies promote this type of Vitamin E, making it the most available type of Vitamin E being sold.

The Vitamin E necessary for adrenal regeneration is a mixed tocopherols supplement, specifically one high in beta-tocopherols. Studies have shown that too much d-alpha-tocopherol can actually suppress the beta and other tocopherols necessary for adrenal rejuvenation. So taking a mixed tocopherols Vitamin E supplement is crucial to restoring adrenal health.

For more information on Adrenal Fatigue, I recommend: a wonderfully comprehensive book by Dr James L Wilson – ‘Adrenal Fatigue – The 21st Century Stress Syndrome’.

For centuries, the communities in the tropical regions have used virgin coconut oil as a source of food, health and general well being. New research is verifying these traditional beliefs that the coconut palm has many health benefits and that organic virgin coconut oil has the potential to cure many of the ailments which have manifested in our bodies through the highly refined diet of modern society (ie cholesterol levels). In the past coconut oil has received bad press due to its saturated fat content, but research shows that not all saturated fats are the same and that coconut oil is unique in its structural makeup. Coconut oil is not the highest source of saturated medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) of any naturally occurring vegan food source. Further, around 50% of these MCTs are made up of lauric acid – the most important essential fatty acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system.

I am constantly being asked by clients about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), from which many women suffer where cysts on the ovaries cause pain during ovulation, PMS, and excess hair growth on the face, legs and arms.  It’s been known for some time that PCOS is associated with high insulin levels, which stimulate the ovarian production of androgens (male hormones).  In a study of obese and non-obese women with PCOS (Nobumasa et al, 2002), various hormones were measured with interesting results: the average levels of testosterone and androstenedione in obese women were significantly higher than those in non-obese women.  This is yet another indicator that obesity can contribute significantly to hormone imbalance.  PCOS disappears rapidly in most women when they cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from their diet.

Can Progesterone help recovery from PCOS?

PCOS is a condition which is rising alarmingly all over the world.

PCOS is generally considered a syndrome rather than a disease, because it manifests through a group of signs and symptoms that can occur in any combination, rather than having one known cause.

Symptoms vary and include some or all of the following…

  • oligomenorrhoea (absent or infrequent periods) or amenorrhea (no menstrual period).
  • enlarged ovaries (usually 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal).
  • cysts (fluid-filled sacs), giving the classic “string of pearls” appearance to ovaries with many cysts. Cystic ovaries can lead to…
  • chronic pelvic pain – although the exact cause of this pain isn’t known, inflammation is the most likely cause.
  • anovulation (lack of ovulation), which is relatively common as the follicles mature only occasionally, this leads to…
  • low progesterone levels, as it’s only after ovulation that the follicle, now called the corpus luteum, produces progesterone. But low progesterone levels lead to…
  • high levels of luteinising hormone (LH) as the pituitary is trying to stimulate ovulation. High LH suppresses follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) so this leads to arrested follicle growth in the next cycle. But LH also stimulates the thecal cells in the ovary to produce androgens which leads to…
  • high androgens (hyperandrogenism), particularly high testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), leading to excess facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, deepening of the voice, weight problems including obesity and a smaller hip to waist ratio, acne, oily skin, dandruff, suppression of ovarian function, leading to anovulation which leads to…
  • infertility (the inability to get pregnant within six to 12 months of unprotected intercourse, depending on age) and low progesterone levels

Natural treatment

  • Above all have a vitamin D test done, and take a minimum of 5000 IU’s per day, bringing the level in the blood to 50ng/ml (125nmol/L) or above. A lack of vitamin D is found in PCO, with many authorities believing it could be the main contributing factor. A lack also leads to hyperparathyroidism which is often present in PCO. High levels of parathyroid hormone suppresses thyroid activity, leading to a higher than normal TSH level. The year round level of vitamin D should be 50ng/ml (125nmol/L) or higher
  • A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone
  • Use between 150-250mg/day progesterone, this helps stabilise blood sugar and suppresses androgen production. It also helps to correct ovarian malfunction
  • Take the B vitamin inositol, this aids in reversing insulin resistance and stabilizing glucose levels. Studies have shown this restores gonadal function.
  • Take the antioxidant amino acids L-arginine and N-acetyl cysteine, studies have shown these restore gonadal function.
  • The amino acids L-glutamine and L-glycine are very helpful. The brain can use them in place of glucose for energy, so they stop all binging, tiredness, cravings for sugary foods and alcohol. Glutamine also heals the lining of the gut, it boosts the immune system and is the most abundant amino acid in the muscles, so helping with muscle weakness. These two amino acids are also two of the three precursors to glutathione, which apart from vitamin D, is the most important antioxidant the body makes. The third amino precursor is cysteine, which is essential to take.
  • MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride) is another excellent source of energy which is not converted to fat, but can be used directly by the cells for energy, take 5-60ml/day. It’s extracted from coconut oil and comprises 60% caprylic acid, which kills candida, and 40% capric acid.

It could take a while for things to sort themselves out, so have patience. Researchers have found it takes from four to six months for the ovaries to start functioning correctly.

Additional Information

Progesterone

Apply 150-250mg of progesterone per day. The higher dose might be needed.

It should only be used at ovulation, for the last 14 days of the cycle, taking day 1 as the first day of bleeding.

Fibromyalgia

It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects nearly 1 in 20 people across the globe. In England and Wales, there could be up to 1.76 million adults with fibromyalgia.
Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although the condition affects more women than men. In most cases, fibromyalgia occurs between 30 and 60 years of age, but it can develop in people of any age, including children and the elderly.
Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to diagnose because there is no specific test and the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions.
I see a number of clients in my clinic with fibromyalgia and, in my experience, there seems to be a link between this condition and hormone imbalance (ie polycystic ovaries, endometriosis etc) and also a link with depression.
My clinic and the way I practise is multi-faceted, tailoring the treatment to the individual, but I find that Reflexology particularly helps with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. What many people don not realise is that Reflexology is a powerful treatment which works the body from the inside out – working every system and organ of the body to bring about homeostasis (balance) to the body.
Why does it work so well with fibromyalgia? Well this could be for a number of reasons:
Reflexology:
• Promotes the reduction of pain through gate control and stimulation of the production of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) – it therefore reduces pain. Pain reduction following reflexology treatment is documented in 27 studies including research showing impact on individuals of all ages and health states;
• Offers further pain relief by promoting blood flow: studies show that reflexology increases blood flow to the feet, brain, kidneys and intestines;
• Creates relaxation: From the moment the reflexologist’s hands start their work, the relaxation begins as shown in research using EEG brain activity. All together, 24 studies demonstrate reflexology’s relaxation effects;
In common with most complementary therapies, there has only been limited research aimed at validating reflexology – but there have been 100s of studies and a survey of 170 studies showed a positive result for 83% of areas researched.
A Chinese survey of 8,096 case studies noted a 94% effective or significantly effective rate. Significant areas of study include: stress and anxiety, lessening of pain and cancer care as well as general health concerns for individuals of all ages.
Further, a randomised controlled study on MS patients showed significant decreases in intensity and duration of parasthesia and urinary symptoms together with an improvement in spasticity. There was also a borderline improvement in muscle strength. This is even more remarkable as some of the pharmacological agents used are associated with muscle weakness.
Out of all my treatments, I absolutely love Reflexology because I see the power, and the effects, of this amazing treatment the minute my clients get down off the therapy couch!

Fibroids

I seem to get asked about Fibroid treatments quite often and this is where my knowledge and experience with natural progesterone helps with the advice I give.

As a fibroid treatment progesterone’s effectiveness stems from its powerful  counter-estrogenic properties. Hormone imbalances induced by environmental  poisons, especially the ‘xeno-estrogens’, are considered by some authorities to  be a likely cause of fibroids.

Fibroids are benign, usually painless tumours found in the uterus, made of  muscle and connective tissue. The cause is unknown. Starting as microscopic  bodies, they can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger, sometimes filling  the entire uterus.

Pregnancy reduces the risk of new ones forming.  Progesterone suppresses estrogen. The high level of progesterone in pregnancy  is the probable reason pregnancy is protective.

Estrogen stimulates the growth of fibroids. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)  are also implicated in their formation. Estrogen also maintains secretion of  MMPs, so a vicious cycle is started.

Matrix metalloproteinases are enzymes that break down protein. They  play a role in the breakdown of endometrial tissues at the end of the menstrual  cycle. If they are over active, as would be the case with an excess of estrogen  in the body, (estrogen stimulates its production), the result is a pathological  reaction such as inflammation and excessive bleeding in the uterus. A high level  of MMPs can lead to both rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, cirrhosis and  cancer.

Progesterone suppresses matrix metalloproteinases.

From 15 to 20% of reproductive women develop fibroids. But they occur most  frequently in women from the mid thirties on, affecting 30 to 40%. A time when  oestrogen levels are high but progesterone levels are declining. They often  cause heavy, irregular, sometimes painful periods. It is known that after  menopause with the drop in the estrogen level they disappear.

Supplemental progesterone, by suppressing both oestrogen and MMPs, is often  effective at reducing fibroids. If not too large, they are gradually absorbed  back into the body, taking from three to twelve months to do so.

As a fibroid treatment progesterone therapy often helps to prevent the heavy  bleeding and pain if present.

Current medical treatment is a hysterectomy, uterine artery embolisation  (UAE) or laparoscopic myomectomy (LM) to remove them. Anti-inflammatory drugs  are used for the pain and oral contraceptives to control the heavy bleeding.

Some symptoms are… fullness or pressure in the abdomen, pain with periods,  gas, frequent urination, heavy bleeding, often with clots.

Fibroids

I get asked by Fibroid treatments quite often, it seems and this is where my knowledge and experience with natural progesterone helps with the advice I give.

As a fibroid treatment progesterone’s effectiveness stems from its powerful  counter-estrogenic properties. Hormone imbalances induced by environmental  poisons, especially the ‘xeno-estrogens’, are considered by some authorities to  be a likely cause of fibroids.

Fibroids are benign, usually painless tumours found in the uterus, made of  muscle and connective tissue. The cause is unknown. Starting as microscopic  bodies, they can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger, sometimes filling  the entire uterus.

Pregnancy reduces the risk of new ones forming.

Estrogen stimulates the growth of fibroids. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)  are also implicated in their formation. Estrogen also maintains secretion of  MMPs, so a vicious cycle is started.

Progesterone suppresses estrogen. The high level of progesterone in pregnancy  is the probable reason pregnancy is protective.

Matrix metalloproteinases are enzymes that break down protein. They  play a role in the breakdown of endometrial tissues at the end of the menstrual  cycle. If they are over active, as would be the case with an excess of estrogen  in the body, (estrogen stimulates its production), the result is a pathological  reaction such as inflammation and excessive bleeding in the uterus. A high level  of MMPs can lead to both rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, cirrhosis and  cancer.

Progesterone suppresses matrix metalloproteinases.

From 15 to 20% of reproductive women develop fibroids. But they occur most  frequently in women from the mid thirties on, affecting 30 to 40%. A time when  oestrogen levels are high but progesterone levels are declining. They often  cause heavy, irregular, sometimes painful periods. It is known that after  menopause with the drop in the estrogen level they disappear.

Supplemental progesterone, by suppressing both oestrogen and MMPs, is often  effective at reducing fibroids. If not too large, they are gradually absorbed  back into the body, taking from three to twelve months to do so.

As a fibroid treatment progesterone therapy often helps to prevent the heavy  bleeding and pain if present.

Current medical treatment is a hysterectomy, uterine artery embolisation  (UAE) or laparoscopic myomectomy (LM) to remove them. Anti-inflammatory drugs  are used for the pain and oral contraceptives to control the heavy bleeding.

Some symptoms are… fullness or pressure in the abdomen, pain with periods,  gas, frequent urination, heavy bleeding, often with clots.