Tummy bugs can be a real pain however its possible to manage them easily with homeopathic medicines and a few simple dietary strategies.
With any stomach upset it is important to keep up liquids to reduce symptoms from dehydration. Headaches in particular may indicate that the patient is not drinking enough or is losing too much fluid. Consistently heavy diarrhea and/or vomiting may lead to a dangerous change in a patient’s hydration and can require hospitalization.
The diet needs to be bland and food can be avoided for a couple of days if the patient cannot bear the thought of eating. Bland food can include rice, toast, clear soup or a banana. Avoid spicy or acidic foods until the stomach is settled.
Chronic recurring diarrhea or constipation can be a sign of food allergies or intolerances. An exclusion diet or allergy testing will help identify these foods and removal of the foods from the diet as well as treatment for the gut will minimise symptoms.
When travelling I always take along a heat stable strain of sacchrymdes boulardi which is a prebiotic. It can be very helpful at reducing your symptoms if you do pick up a stomach bug but it can also assist by attaching to bad bugs and helping them move out of your system and in that way reducing the length of the episode.
A similar benefit can be obtained by eating the local fermented food if you are staying in the area for a few weeks.
My homeopathic first aid kit consists of the following medicines and remember when choosing a homeopathic you are looking for at least 2-3 symptoms which are similar to your patient.
First remedy to think of for food poisoning or stomach flu. May not be able to bear the sight, smell or thought of food. Worse at midnight to 2am. Generally chilly and desiring frequent cold drinks. Patient may be very anxious and better for warm applications.
Patient is full of gas with flatulence and belching. Weak digestion and may be satiated after a little food. Can’t stand anything around the waist. Usually worse between 4-8pm.
Colic in children. Abdominal cramping better for warmth and pressure, often quite gassy and better for bending over.
Hangover remedy. Over indulgence in food and alcohol. Constipated or with heartburn made worse by spicy food. Grumpy irritable and workaholic people.
Better for rest or discharges.
Good remedy for Bali Belly with explosive diarrhea. Also for constipation alternating with diarrhea. Worse for acid fruits or milk. Sour smelling vomit.
Most people are exposed to cold and flu germs on a regular basis but more noticeably during change of season and Winter. In this blog I will cover some simple treatments both homeopathic and nutritional you can use at home for cold and flu as well as a little advice on managing fever.
The body has a number of natural defence mechanisms after exposure to germs or allergens. These include a streaming nose or increases in temperature.Fever for example helps to reset the bodies internal temperature to create a climate which doesn’t allow the bugs to multiply as quickly, which then allows your immune system to respond faster.
Fever when it is well managed can assist in dealing quickly with an infection. It is usual with a fever to experience some side effects, such as reduced appetite, muscle aches and pains, headache and tiredness. These effects tend to be more pronounced if the fever rises quickly or is higher than 39.5 C (103.1 F). A normal temperature ranges from 36C to 37.2C.
Management of Fever
Generally speaking when managing a fever its best to follow these tips;
Keep the patient quiet and comfortable. Bed rest (if possible) otherwise minimal activity. Even though the patient may feel warm it is important not to chill them but to keep them dressed appropriately with a light cover.
Keeping the patient at a comfortable temperature by sponging with tepid water where they are very flushed or when you are concerned that the temperature is climbing quickly.
Keep up the fluids in particular water as during fever patients lose a lot of fluid through sweat or just increases in their metabolism.
The patient’s appetite may not be good however light nourishing food such as soup or juice where tolerated will assist in keeping up fluids as well as providing nourishment. It is not really necessary to “starve a fever” as a lot of energy is used up when a patient has a fever.
Refer to a practitioner if the fever is in excess of 39.5C or the patient is very distressed or complains of neck pain.
Always consider immune support in the form of 1-2g of Vitamin C and 25g of zinc a day during the illness. Vitamin C is generally better given in divided doses over the day as what the body doesn’t use it will excrete.
There are also a couple of teas that are useful during cold and flu. A popular option is YEP tea which is Yarrow, Elder and Peppermint and it can help cool the fever by sweating it out a little. Another I use when the cough is protracted is lemon garlic and manuka honey. Basically boil a quartered lemon with 5 cloves of garlic in a covered pot for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve the strained liquid with manuka honey. Ideally I would recommend you use an organic lemon as you really want the limonene from the peel.
Homeopathically there are some excellent options for managing cold and flu and fevers and I have summarised the type of symptoms you would see in a patient who needs this remedy for a few of my favourites below.
First remedy to consider where the onset is very sudden and in particular after exposure to cold dry weather. Person who needs Aconite is usually extremely anxious, fearful and/or restless.
Violent onset of bursting headache in forehead with burning, tingling and numbness in the nose. Worse for warm room, cold, dry weather. Better for lying down or open air.
Sudden onset of intense, bursting head pain with hot, red flushed face. Restless, delirious, desire to escape, may strike or bite. Throbbing in the temples worse for motion of eyes, light, noise, touch, jarring. Better for lying, pressure, bending head back, wrapping up head warmly.
Good remedy for middle ear infection with bright red face and sudden onset of ear pain.
Also good for right sided sore throats which are quite red.
Dry cough which is worse for movement and causes pain in the chest.Constipation with large dry stool.
Pressing or bursting in temples and forehead like a crushing weight worse for motion, stooping, moving eyes. Better for pressure, rest, closing eyes and warmth.
Irritable, thirsty, wants to get back to work.
Tired exhausting flu. Generally dizzy, drowsy, droopy or dull. Thinking is an effort. Chills or dull pain up and down the spine. Wants to sleep or lie down. Little thirst.
May be accompanied by diarrhea.
Sensitive and irritable. Sore throats with a feeling like something is stuck in it, like a splinter. Swollen tonsils and glands often with pus. Sharp pain on swallowing. Discharges smell sour. Worse for drafts and touch. Good to use if you don’t get to the Aconite early enough and it comes on after being out in the cold.
Toxic states or burning or painful sore throats, with bad breath or a metallic taste in the mouth. May have a lot of extra saliva in the mouth.
Temperature sensitivity. Green or yellow discharges.
Well developed colds with yellow or green mucus. Symptoms change constantly and person is easily upset and wants people around them Cough can be dry at night but loose in the morning. Worse for heat. Desires rich and creamy foods.
Christine Pope is based at Elemental Health, St Ives and runs regular workshops to teach people how to use natural medicine for treating common health complaints. Her next workshop is on 22 May from 11.30 to 1.30pm. Check the facebook page for details on how to book in.
Do you need to worry about the effect of medications on your intake of vitamins and minerals from your food? More than likely its worth having the conversation to see if there are any particular concerns that need to be addressed. You may be able to do it via your diet but often the dosage required is easier to get through supplementation.
What do you need to think about when you are on medications in regards to managing side effects? I have compiled a list below of common medications and some suggested nutrients to manage the side effects, however rather than taking everything on the list its always preferable to work with a practitioner to ensure that any interactions are monitored and that you have a workable program.
Statins. A common problem is for people on statins (cholesterol lowering medication) that they start feeling less energetic as the statins deplete the levels of Co Q 10. CoQ10 is important for energy production within the cell. Supplementing an appropriate level of CoQ10 can make a big difference for these people.
The Oral Contraceptive Pill is known for reducing levels of B6 an important B vitamin for hormonal health. Support at around 50mg a day of B6 is usually best sought in the form of a multi-vitamin with a range of B’s.
Metformin which is often given for Diabetes can reduce levels of both B6 and B12. Low B12 may lead to peripheral neuropathy which can cause loss of sensation in the feet or tingling or burning sensations. Again a Multi vitamin with adequate B12 is essential .
Anti-depressants need B vitamins for optimal effect and whilst they may not reduce levels specifically they may be less effective if you are not taking a multi vitamin at the same time.
Antibiotics Antibiotics can disrupt the natural bacteria flora in the digestive system, killing beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum . Use a good quality brand such as Inner Health with at least 1 billion live organisms for effective management.
Hormone Replacement Therapy impacts on folic acid (B9), B6 and B12 as well as magnesium levels.
Natural medicine can be a great option to help manage side effects as well as providing options to drugs when side effects are not well tolerated. Christine Pope is an experienced nutritionist and homeopath based at Elemental Health , St Ives and is available on 8084 0081 for appointments.
There are a lot of people who need to change their diet and go gluten free. Whilst approximately 1% of the population need to go gluten free as a consequence of coeliac disease another 6-8% of the population suffer from non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. Many people who suffer from other auto-immune conditions also find that removing gluten from the diet assists in managing their condition.
The best way to start a gluten free diet is to do it after restocking your pantry and freezer. Look at what you usually eat and then prepare a shopping list to enable you to stock up on alternatives.
Ideal suggestions could include the following;
Replace bread and crackers with suitable gluten free alternatives. Suitable alternatives for bread could include gluten free bread from Country Life, Dovedale, Healthybake, Schars or gluten free bakeries. Choices Bakery at Turramurra has a wide range and Deeks Bakery in Canberra provides online ordering across Australia. Gluten free bread is best served toasted and should be stored in the freezer so you can use it as needed.
There is already a good range of gluten free crackers including rice crackers and corn cakes available in most supermarkets. Just read labels to make sure that there are no other ingredients that are problematic particularly if you have multiple food intolerances.
Breakfast cereals often include gluten so its important to ensure that you have a suitable alternative. Commercial rice bubbles and cornflakes for example can contain gluten so its best to find alternatives such as puffed rice. Making your own muesli is an easy and cost effective option using a range of gluten free puffs and flakes as well as dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
The porridge below is from Brookvale farms and is served with stewed plums and coconut yoghurt. Its tasty and only takes a few minutes to prepare.
Pasta might be a good option for quick meals and there are several gluten free pastas to choose from including Orgran who have an excellent lasagne as well as San Remo. Ideally when cooking gluten free pasta keep stirring it whilst cooking to stop it sticking together. Also make sure that you rinse it well before serving.
Baking is easier with gluten free options at hand such as gluten free plain and self raising flour plus gluten free cornflour. These can often be substituted in baking however generally if you don’t have gluten free flour you are better off using a mix of different gluten free flours to really improve results.
Stock up on a range of rice including basmati and risotto rice so that you have a few different alternatives for meals.
Check the Celiac organisation website for lists of foods which may have some gluten. Often it can be surprising with things such as soy sauce and BBQ sauce containing gluten which doesn’t seem quite unnecessary.
Do you have any other tips for going gluten free easily? Please post them in the comments section below.
Need help deciding if you need to change your diet? Christine Pope is practicing at Elemental Health St Ives and can be contacted for appointments on 8084 0081.
Do you find it difficult to study for an hour? Is it hard for you to concentrate? In many ways our brains are like computers – garbage in garbage out. A diet high in refined carbohydrates, such as bread and pastries, is not ideal for anyone who needs to concentrate.
Many people know that the brain’s preferred fuel is glucose and it uses approximately 120g daily which is about 60% of the body’s glucose in its resting state. This energy is required to make neurotransmitters and also initiate nerve impulses (1). Without adequate fuel we can’t think or function effectively.
On that basis if its optimal to have a constant stream of glucose entering our brain then don’t we need to be eating lots of refined carbohydrates?
Well actually no because whilst these give you a short term bounce in the blood’s glucose levels they do not actually allow for a slower release which actually provides more effective fuel. Ideally what you want is either a slow release carbohydrate which tends to be found in whole foods plus a small quantity of protein. Protein is required to make most neurotransmitters in the body and it forms an ideal combination – we don’t require large amounts and respond better to small serves regularly.
How do you know if your diet is slowing your brain? Common symptoms are things such as feeling hungry or tired within a couple of hours of eating, particularly getting sleepy two to 3 hours after lunch.
Another nutrient that is really important to brain health is DHA – an essential fatty acid found in oily fish . It is critical for brain development but also for the maintenance of the brain. Low levels of DHA contribute to learning difficulties. Good food sources are oily fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, organic meats as well as dark green leafy vegetables.
If you are preparing a student to head off for a day of study at school or University then ideally breakfast needs to include some form of protein containing food in a whole form. Some ideal options could include;
Oat based muesli or porridge. If you can’t tolerate dairy then make the porridge with half a cup of frozen berries per serve added about 1 minute before its finished.
Yoghurt and fruit with LSA mix or chopped nuts.
Traditional fry up of bacon or sausage with vegetables.
Scrambled eggs or tofu
Omelette with left over roast vegetables
Green smoothie with spinach, strawberries, almond or coconut milk or water and a protein powder.
As always nutritionally variety is ideal, so mix it up – have the smoothie when rushed and the omelette or fry up when you have a little more time.
Try these changes for for two weeks and then see what a difference it makes to your study performance.
Christine Pope is a nutritionist based at Elemental Health, St Ives and a director of ATMS. She can be contacted on 02 8084 0081 for appointments.
A trip to the South Island of NZ is a great short holiday but what impressed me on this trip was how well food intolerances were managed. It’s obviously easier with a common language to discuss menus but consistently I saw staff who were across the issues and could advise on alternatives.
One of the good things around the Canterbury region of NZ was that menu’s were often marked gluten free (or dairy free or vegetarian). Even in fairly small towns with two or three cafes there was often at least one cafe with allergens marked.
The first night we landed in Christchurch around 11pm so we were happy to eat breakfast in the hotel restaurant and I was thrilled to see a gluten free vegetarian slice on the menu. I ordered it with a side of bacon and it was very tasty. They also had a water urn with fresh citrus which was such a good idea when you are dehydrated after a flight.
We stayed at the Commodore Hotel near the airport and I can highly recommend this option for travellers. From the shuttle driver who picked us up late at night with a string of helpful instructions to the staff on the front desk who basically insisted on driving us to the car rental the next day and the restaurant staff who went out of their way to organise tea for me at midnight. It was a well run hotel with a great team!
The next day we travelled via a little town called Springfield to Arthur’s Pass where we had booked in at a wilderness lodge for New Year. Trip Advisor had flagged a gluten free cafe there but it had shut for the holidays which was disappointing. The Yello Shack cafe, which sat next to Springfield’s major attraction (a big donut) did offer a range of gluten free treats, including a gluten free caramel slice that was almost as good as my brother’s.
The lodge at Arthur’s Pass was a bit of a treat for our anniversary and provided all our meals for a few days. They catered well to allergens for entree’s and mains but were not quite as comprehensive on desserts. They also had a nice gluten free sourdough the first night with olive oil which I really appreciated. The packed lunch with sandwhiches made with a seeded Vogel loaf were also excellent.
My favourite entree was a Salmon and Potato Fish Cakes which was made with mashed potato and was fresh and flavourful. We also enjoyed fresh venison and other local specialities. Must remember to send them some gluten free muesli slice , quinoa choc chip cookie recipes and a few dessert options to round out their offerings.
From Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge which had included guided walks we repaired to Hanmer Springs to soak our tired limbs. On the drive we stopped at the Red Post Cafe in Culverden which had a sign up inviting you to ask about their gluten free options. We both enjoyed a Smoked Chicken salad with a cranberry style dressing, sweet but tasty.
Hanmer Springs is a popular tourist spot with lots of dining options including our hotel which had quite a formal restaurant. The Braemar Lodge was a recommendation from my youngest sister from her last trip to NZ and its a luxurious spot if you want to indulge. They have very large rooms, spas on the balcony’s and their own Beauty Spa, which was largely priced better than the one at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools. The only downside is its about 3km of dirt road to get there and it really isn’t easy walking distance to the Springs.
The standout meal for us whilst we were there was at Malabar, which is advertised as Asian Fusion. The menu was clearly marked with gluten and dairy free options and when queried staff could easily explain when a dish wasn’t marked gluten free. We started with onion and spinach bhaji which was in a chickpea batter and followed it with caramelised pork belly (gluten containing ingredient was soy sauce) and wok fried fish with some poppadoms. It was all delicious and we would happily have eaten there again.
There were a lot of other options for gluten free dining in Hanmer Springs with options such as salads, nachos and the option of gluten free bread for sandwhiches and our hotel also provided gluten free cookies and gluten free bread at meals which were really appreciated. The major surprise for me was that when I walked into the cafe at the thermal springs they had quite a range of gluten and dairy free items, including a delicious ginger slice which went very well with my cup of green tea.
A day trip to Akaroa, which is a lovely little French town about 100km’s from Christchurch brought us to the Trading Room restaurant with a very reasonably priced seafood platter served with gluten free bread and salad. It included generous quantities of prawns, calamari, two types of fish and the local specialty Green Lipped mussels.
We did a little bit of shopping for picnics and generally found the best gluten free options in the New World Supermarkets. We did try Pak n Save once but never again!!
My advice to people travelling in this region is to do a little bit of research on gluten free options online before you travel however Trip Advisor turned out to be the most useful app giving reviews for local restaurants and I was glad that I taken up Vodafone on their $5 a day NZ plan to access my usual data as Trip Advisor and Google Maps really made the trip a lot easier.
Its the time of year when gyms get very busy as people try to live up to their New Year’s resolutions. Instead of being active for a couple of weeks and forgetting it until next year I have developed a list of 12 changes so that at the end of the year you have made significant improvements in your health. Usually maintaining change requires at least a month so try to really adopt this change for at least a month until it becomes part of the routine.
First up see how many you are doing and then figure out how much you have left and then project out the number of months it will take you. Post that commitment on your facebook page or somewhere will you will be reminded regularly.
Drink enough water – writing this today its 38C and hydration just seems the most important thing to focus on. How much is enough water? Well it depends on your size and activity levels but generally 1.5 to 2 litres a day plus 1 litre for every hour of exercise. So for a small woman it may be more like 1.5 litres plus whatever you need for the exercise you are doing.
Find an activity you enjoy and commit time to it 4-5 times a week. It could be walking the dog, cycling, yoga classes, tennis or spin or a combination of all of the above. Block it out in your diary. Just remember if you are starting an activity start at a beginners level and build up slowly.
Add one cup of leafy green vegetables to your diet daily. It could be spinach with your poached eggs or a salad instead of a sandwhich at lunch or add chopped kale to a curry at dinner. Greens are a great source of essential minerals that many people lack. If you struggle with the taste try looking at the website Simple Green Smoothies for some great recipes.
Declutter – spend a week focussing on each major room and start with three boxes. One box is for garbage, one for recycling and one for stuff which lives somewhere else. Its critical to ensure you fill the third box before putting things back where they belong or you get distracted. Spend 1-2 hours a week on each room and then at the end of the month notice how different it is to be in a clear and productive space. Decluttering can really reduce stress levels.
Manage your stress – By this stage if you are hydrated, exercising regularly and improving your diet you may already have noticed that your stress levels are better. If not its probably time to start identifying what causes stress and whether it is still serving you. It could be a job you no longer enjoy, an employee who is driving you nuts or a friendship which leaves you feeling exhausted. Time for some change. Figure out where the issue is and make a plan to deal with it. If its really overwhelming find someone to talk to – a coach or a counsellor could really help you break those stressful patterns.
Get rid of your allergens – environmental ones may be challenging. If you suffer from reflux, bloating and flatulence, constipation or diarrhoea, chances are something in your diet needs to be removed for a while. The most common suspects are wheat and dairy with up to 70% of adults unable to tolerate lactose (milk sugar) as they age.
Laugh – go to the park and watch how children are constantly chuckling or giggling. When was the last time you enjoyed a good belly laugh? A few years ago I did a laughter yoga class and we laughed for 22 straight minutes – you feel amazing afterwards except the aching stomach muscles.
Health Checks – see your GP for those tests, get your teeth checked and get your moles mapped. Spend a month making sure you are dealing with problems before they become serious.
Swap your snacks for healthier choices. Switch the milk chocolate to good quality dark chocolate, replace the potato chips with activated nuts, the coffee for a herbal tea and the soda for a vegetable juice (perfect for an afternoon boost too).
Train your brain – read a different book every week or try crosswords or sudoku as a way to improve your brain’s health and stay mentally healthy.
Catch up with friends – having a social support network can make all the difference to our health. If you find it difficult to catch up for a meal just try scheduling in a coffee on a weekly basis or a play date with your children.
Time out – plan and take at least two weeks vacation doing something you enjoy. It could be 2 weeks by the beach or 2 weeks hiking in the mountains. It doesn’t have to be expensive and is you can travel out of peak season there are often some great deals available. Most importantly try and disconnect from your work as much as possible to really maximize your down time.
Keep me posted on how you go and let me know what makes a difference for you.
If you are interested in looking at your health holistically I have a range of tools in my clinic which can assess nutrient levels, such as minerals, as well as looking at body parameters such as fat mass, muscle mass and energy quality. I am in practice at St Ives and appointments can be made on 02 8084 0081.
This year was going to be different. I was not going to overcommit. Having taken on a directorship for Australia’s largest natural medicine association, ATMS, I had reduced my teaching commitments to ensure I had enough time for my three roles.
Maybe that’s where I had been kidding myself a little as juggling Head of Nutrition at Nature Care College , clinical practice at Elemental Health and the directorship was possibly a little challenging.
So what brought me to the verge of adrenal exhaustion? Well the unexpected. I took over classes for a pregnant colleague and ended up with piles of marking. I stepped up as Treasurer in my board role and found out in when I did that audit and year end had not been organised by my predecessor and my darling son got glandular fever.
Actually the glandular fever was very stressful as a Mum and practitioner. Thank goodness for a great GP who calmly helped us through diagnosis and monitoring his recovery. There is another blog in how to help someone through glandular fever but that will be coming up next!!
What made a big difference was my support team. The friends and colleagues who noticed where I was at and offered great advice even if I took a while to take it on board.
So in the words of Monty Python ” nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” but perhaps what I need to do is learn to allow a little more space for the unexpected. Fortunately for me the college I was working at was going through re-accreditation and decided it needed more hours , thereby giving me space to gracefully bow out. It also allowed me to allocate more time to the directorship and surprisingly (or not) this reduced my stress levels dramatically. Turns out concentrating on only two things was far less stressful.
So what are you planning for 2016? How are you going to make sure you can focus on doing what you love without burning yourself out?
Christine Pope is a practising homeopath, nutritionist and coach , who is still working on coaching herself on stress management! She is in practice at Elemental Health at St Ives and appointments can be made on 8084 0081. Based on her own significant experience she can assist with all the symptoms of adrenal burnout including low energy, poor motivation and low mood.
Halloween brings up the images of witches with warts so I thought a few wart remedies would be appropriate. Warts can be easily treated with homeopathic remedies and each has its own picture. Common wart remedies include Thuja, Ant Crud, Calc Carb Graphites, Nit-ac and Causticum. Homeopathically the picture is different for each remedy. Some examples includes;
Antimonium crudum (Ant-c.): Hard, smooth warts that often appear in groups. Irritability and a thickly coated white tongue also suggest the need for this remedy. The person may also overeat and have various digestive complaints.
Calcarea carbonica (Calc.): Round, hard, solitary warts. Often useful for endophytic warts that have a horny wall surrounding a central depression. Indicated in people with clammy hands and feet who prefer routine and the familiar rather than change and the unknown.
Causticum (Caust.): Old, large warts on the face (especially the nose), under the fingernails, or warts on fingertips that bleed easily suggest the need for this remedy. The warts also tend to be hard, inflamed, and painful and sit on whitish-yellow, dirty looking skin. People who benefit from this remedy tend fear that something awful will happen and feel intensely sympathetic about the hardship of others.
Graphites (Graph.): Especially in periungual warts or corn-like warts on palms or soles of feet that may be tinged with yellow. Indicated in those who have trouble making a decision and who are prone to keloid scarring.
Nitricum acidum (Nit-ac.): This remedy is indicated in treating large, fissured or gold-yellow warts that itch and sting or bleed upon washing.. This remedy is also indicated for people who are anxious about health and worry about cancer. Often useful for endophytic warts that have a horny wall surrounding a central depression or the more common plantar wart.
Thuja occidentalis (Thuj.): The most common remedy for various kinds of warts. If no other remedy is obviously indicated, consider Thuja. Particularly indicated in isolated, jagged warts that smell or bleed easily or mosaic warts on the sole of the foot. Indicated in those prone to numerous growths or tumors and who worry too much about what people think of them.
In clinic a product called Verucca mix is often quite useful when you can’t decide which remedy to use as it is a combination of a number of the most useful ones.
Christine Pope is a homeopath and nutritionist who practices at Elemental Health St Ives. Appointments can be booked on 02 8084 0081. But for more useful information about treating common health problems follow her blog.
Earlier this year I was working with a tall guy who was close to 100kg on the scales. He could lose 5-6kg and then get stuck. Ideally he needed to be around 86-89 kilos for his height and frame. He could be eating well and exercising a lot but he struggled to loose the extra weight and he was really frustrated with it.
I did an Oligoscan test to look at nutrient minerals and see what his levels were like. Given his overall presentation I was thinking about possibly a slow thyroid and expected to see low levels of zinc, selenium or iodine which are all critical for effective thyroid function. Surprisingly his zinc and selenium levels were all in the normal range but his Iodine was critically low.
Why is Iodine so important? Basically thyroid function is dependent on adequate levels of iodine and tyrosine. The thyroid gland produces two primary hormones – thyroxine (also referred to as T4) and tri-iodothyronine (also referred to as T3). The numbers 3 and 4 refer to the number of atoms of iodine in the hormones. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones and we need about 150 mcg each day.
Iodine is important for the health of all glands but also critical for early growth and development during pregnancy and early childhood. Iodine deficiency in early development can contribute to a 10-15 point drop in IQ’s.
Iodine deficiency is increasingly common in Australia. Good sources of iodine include eggs, fish, seaweed and Celtic Sea Salt, but many people rarely consume fish on a regular basis and will need to rely on supplements to increase levels.
My weight loss client was asked to supplement with iodine at a reasonable level and over the next 4-5 months reduced his weight to 87kg. Generally a weight loss of 0.5-1kg a week is reasonable and sustainable.
Long term supplementation with high amounts of iodine can inhibit thyroid function so it is important to ensure when supplementing that you are carefully monitored and ensure you are receiving adequate but not excessive amounts of iodine. The cautious recommendation is no more than 600 micrograms a day when you are deficient.
Interested in finding out more about your minerals? Follow my blogs or book in for an appointment and have an Oligoscan test done to see what your levels of nutrient minerals are like.
Christine Pope is a Homeopath and Nutritionist based at Elemental Health at St Ives and is contactable on 8084 0081 for appointments.