Sunday, October 21, 2018

ME/CFS is not a psychosomatic illness

Source:  Free Icons Library - chittagongit.com



When people get diagnosed with CFS, they are most likely told it is a psychosomatic illness. The meaning of  "psychosomatic", found in various dictionaries online, being:
 ...caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress...
... of mental or emotional origin...

...of or relating to a disorder having physical symptoms but originating from mental or emotional causes...

 
The patient is basically told, it's his or her own fault and most likely a consequence of hectic stressful life and/or internal emotional problems. When he or she changes her life outlook, thinking, job, beliefs, or even house and partner, everything should get better. Yes?

Not quite...

Medical dictionary  meaning of this word is slightly more complicated and we learn, that even asthma, migraine, and peptic ulcer is "psychosomatic"! Therefore more or less related to our emotions and stress, as are most chronic illnesses... Shouldn't we all be sent to a psychotherapist for a correct diagnosis?!

After a long and somehow uneasy decade of self-managing this condition, I have looked at the NHS website with a hope, that there would be something new on offer in terms of  testing, treatment, guidance or a specific support. I haven't found anything new, but their website pointed to ME Association with the article I copy below in full.

You can also check my small "collection" of information on this subject here and the latest outcomes from the same group of scientist are becoming more and more specific in terms of biomarkers (Nagy-Szakal et al. 2018):

Among the top plasma biomarkers differentiating ME/CFS patients from controls were decreased levels of betaine, complex lipids (lysophosphatidylcholine [LPC], phosphatidylcholine [PC]) and sphingomyelin (SM), and increased levels of triglycerides (TG), α-N-phenylacetyl-glutamine, ε-caprolactam and urobilin (Table S2). Set enrichment analysis of the results of logistic regression models revealed that ME/CFS subjects had reduced levels of PCs and dysregulation of the choline-carnitine pathway (Table 2).

I do hope that the mystery of CFS is on a good way to be resolved by mainstream medical science. In the meantime, functional medicine and nutrition has a lot to offer to support overall health if you want to be pro-active and not just wait for "magical pill".

Check out my system of coaching here or,  if you're already able to walk for at least an hour and wish to get outdoors, send me an email to book a Walk&Talk experience.


---------------- here is the article ------------------

W. Ian Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity and the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS at Columbia University, has written the following letter several days before the Fourth Annual Conference on Psychosomatics at Columbia University this weekend. The original letter can be found at this link.

18 October 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) has been committed to ME/CFS research since 2010. We began this research with generous support from the Chronic Fatigue Initiative of the Hutchins Family Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Microbe Discovery Project.
In 2017, the CII was selected to host one of three NIH centers funded for collaborative research into the biology of this disease. The Center for Solutions for ME/CFS (CfS for ME/CFS) includes representatives from #MEAction and Solve ME/CFS as well as clinical and basic scientists drawn from leading academic institutions and clinical sites across the United States.
Our studies of blood, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva and feces, using state-of-the-art methods that include microbial gene sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics, and immunological profiling, confirm that patients with ME/CFS have biological abnormalities that cannot be characterized as psychosomatic.

Committees convened by the National Academies of Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also concluded that ME/CFS is not a psychosomatic disorder.
We are committed to actively investigating the causes of immunological and metabolic abnormalities in ME/CFS. Our hope is that this work will enable insights that lead to treatments.
Sincerely,
W. Ian Lipkin, MD
Director, Center for Infection & Immunity
Director, Center or Solutions for ME/CFS

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Simple Sauerkraut



Kraut, or cabbage, is a traditional food in many parts of the world. Sauerkraut is raw, finely sliced or shredded white or red cabbage, which is then lacto-fermented in salty brine, by wild bacteria and yeasts, naturally present on the cabbage leaves. It is therefore ideal to use organic or home-grown cabbage. The final product is full of good bacteria (probiotics), full of fibre (prebiotics), and a good source of vitamins such as C, B and K. Cabbage is also a good source of glutamine, an amino acid which helps to heal and seal the gut lining. Good amount of sulphur compounds support healthy liver detoxification.  The only people, not to be advised to eat too much of aged and fermented foods such as this cabbage, are those with severe histamine intolerance. For the rest of us it is a quick, tried and well-tested way how to re-establish and re-balance our gut microbiom. If you've never had any, starting to eat sauerkraut after longer period of time, or have digestive issues, do start very very slowly. Literally few shreds or a teaspoon of juice are enough per day for the first week.

You will need 

 

· Small head of healthy cabbage, ideally hard Winter variety

· Natural crystal salt

· One larger glass jar, well washed and sterilised with hot water

· One smaller sterilised jar, which just fits into the large one

· A large bowl


Method 

 

· Remove several outer leaves and the core.

· Slice very thinly using knife, mandolin or shredder.

· Place the first layer (2-3 handfuls) into the bowl, salt the top generously.

· Repeat until all the cabbage is used.

· Cover with clean napkin and leave to stand for about 30 minutes.

· Mix everything and keep pressing with your fists to release the juices.

· Fill the larger jar, keep pressing the cabbage well, do not leave any air pockets!

· Fill the smaller jar with water and push inside, cover with clean cloth or plastic.

· Leave to stand in cooler, dark place.  Not too cold! About 16C, bottom kitchen cabinet if your house is not overheated.

· Check every odd day to make sure all the cabbage is well-covered with brine.

· Ready to eat from day 5 but ideally after 3 weeks, as you will get different strains of bacteria.

· After 3 weeks keep in the fridge.


Photo recipe



Bubbles will appear after few days...



Feel free to experiment with other veggies!


Sunday, August 20, 2017

How to read your genetic test?

How to interpret your genetic test on-line summit



The Interpreting Your Genetics Summit will help you translate your health data to better understand your predisposition for diseases and how to minimize manifestation, expose genetic health traits your children are likely to inherit, determine whether your medications and supplements are right for you, potentially unlock previously unsolved health challenges and more! All reasons not to miss The Interpreting Your Genetics Summit, online and free from August 21-28, 2017!


Please also bear in mind, the genes are only responsible for tiny part of your health and it is up to the environment they exist in, to either express or silence them.
You can get a hint in this video with Bruce Lipton or if  available here.





Thursday, May 4, 2017

How to make better (food) choices



This is not just about food. We have to make tens or hundreds tiny choices daily and only some of them directly relate to our food.

Yet in larger context, the food is the driving force behind the way we live.

What do we listen to when asking internal questions? Is it our logic or knowledge (our mind)? Is it our heart or our emotion (ego?), craving? Is it our experience? Traditions? Or we call our friend? Do we ask questions at all? Or do we just run an automatic pre-recorded “tape” of our life?

My clients are clever and intelligent people and already understand what good food means today. After 3 months of coaching they have even better understanding and motivation. Do they always choose good food? No.

Do I always choose to eat well? No.

Sometimes it’s a choice between ‘eating bad’ or ‘not eating’. The ‘not eating’ part is becoming popular through movement of Paleo and intermittent fasting. The ‘not eating’ part has always been embedded in our culture and is practised to some extent in nations who take fasting periods of year seriously. It takes time to re-learn this ‘not eating’ part… or should I say 'un-learn' the way we eat today? There are several stages to grow through, before fasting becomes easy, natural and won’t cause more harm than good. Please always seek advice from sources you trust.

What makes us to choose wrong food is not completely up to us. Many times we just don’t know what’s inside that meal. If the packaging says "healthy", "natural" or "good for you" it means absolutely nothing! If it has NO packaging, there is a better chance this food is fine. Much like some houses – they have attractive front cover, layer of new paint, or solid entrance gate, but rooms can be uninviting, cold and full of toxic air and mould.

Much too often we end up hungry in places or situations we have no choice. We cannot always carry a suitcase of food with us.  Do not stress if there is no choice.

Frustration can weaken digestion and make it all even worse. Look at the situation as an experiment, if you are really hungry and have no allergies, try again your old fast food. Observe your reactions and feelings of well-being days after.  Do you feel slightly unwell, crampy, forgetful or irritated...? It might be a good sign your body is clean enough to sense what's bad for it! Next time, be better prepared, seek different solutions.

If we do have various choices (as we mostly do), it should be a huge celebration and reason for happiness and feelings of resource abundance. By the way - did you know that feelings of 'resource abundance' is one of the mechanisms to increase gut serotonin, hence the gut motility to prevent constipation?

Embrace the situation when the choice is wide and do the best you can.

Why choose food wrapped up in plastic if we can have it without? Less waste, less estrogenic plasticisers, less wrong kind of bacteria. Why choose drinks in plastic PET bottle if we can filter tap water and add lemon, put it into glass or steel bottle, or even drink directly from the spring. Why choose boxes of industrially made flavoured snacks, if the aisles (or markets) are full of fresh vegetables, fruit, whole nuts, some of it organic and some even local and seasonal. Why to spray our home with toxic “air fresheners” and our bodies with toxic perfumes if we can open window or use few drops of pure essential oils diluted in suitable base, for whatever use we need.

Celebrate your freedom of choice, and uniqueness of your ideal diet and lifestyle.

We all have slightly different needs and we should be proud and free to ask for it. If the people around do not understand yet, we have an opportunity (and calling) to become creative and have our small mission in this world. We can show others a different way of life, be an example, or try to explain, if they care... Or we can learn to ignore the situation or even leave such place if it becomes too detrimental and people are just not ready. This may be very hard decision at first but the good side of any crisis is that it can bring us to those who vibrate on similar frequency. Such move can change our life and make us happier and healthier.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hot Green Salad with Gluten Free Grains



Asparagus & Brussels sprouts hot salad.


Having a savory or salty breakfast - in contrast to a sweet one - can be very helpful strategy in balancing daily blood sugar levels.

In the mornings the body is much more sensitive to sugary and starchy foods than later on in the afternoon or in the evenings. If we eat sweet foods first thing in the morning it is easy to become imbalanced. It may have consequences for the rest of that day and can bring on infamous early-afternoon slump (coffee anyone?), headaches, anger, acne break-outs, sugar cravings, stimulant or alcohol cravings, depression and so on… The only way how to fix this roller coaster is TO RESET the body OVERNIGHT with good sleep and START AGAIN - with a savoury breakfast and NO stimulants such as coffee.

The recipe for my favourite breakfast has developed over time. I tend to have it as my first meal of a day, sometimes as an elevenses or an early lunch.  It can be packed into a food flask and taken out. I like to rotate buckwheat and quinoa, occasionally millet, using various vegetables as available and best quality I find in shops.


INGREDIENTS (1 person):


130g cooked buckwheat groats (or quinoa, millet)

160g green vegetables
favourite choices:
courgette + leek
asparagus + Brussels sprouts
celery+spring onion

You can combine any vegetables but if you have delicate digestion, avoid combining cruciferous (cabbage family such as Brussels, kale) with onion family (leek, spring onion).

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

1 clove of crushed garlic


1/3 tsp of cinnamon

20-40g coconut oil / butter / ghee


For better digestion add some:

Lemon juice
Ginger
Horseradish paste
 

Two portions of veggies is a good start for the day ahead...


METHOD:

GRAINS:  can be prepared beforehand and stored in fridge overnight.

1. Rinse buckwheat and leave it soaking for a while. Discard water.

2. Cover up well with hot water from the kettle (2/3 grain, 1/3 water above the grain).

3. Cook for 8-10 minutes half-covered on low flame. Switch off and keep hot by placing thick towel over the lid.

4. After 30 minutes the buckwheat should have soaked up the leftover water, but still stay firm, not mushy or too dry.

VEGGIES

5. Thinly cut up the chosen veggies. Brussels, onion, leeks and grated garlic is best to leave standing for 5-10 minutes to activate their health-promoting substances.

6. Stir-fry on fat for up to 6 minutes, adding water if needed, and the rest of ingredients.

7. Add cooked buckwheat, mix together.


Celery sticks & Brussels sprouts hot salad. Share or leave half for later (elevenses?).