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Flu Season is coming

A Preventative approach for flu including Covid

Flu season starts in October, this is when vaccines are usually administered by the GP to protect you from flu.

During winter, temperatures drop, and evenings get much colder and shorter, and being proactive in minimising colds and flu is important, especially now that Covid has been with us since the beginning of this year.

Winter is a time when our immune system become weaker due to colder weather, darker and shorter days, and the realisation that we must wrap up in warmer clothes.   Our emotional state also becomes low, because of our less exposed to sunlight, which will affect the release of our happy hormones. 

Putting steps in place to support the body during winter is important to make sure we protect and provide good levels of defence against flu.

We are now seeing a rise in Covid once again, during a time when our body also has to deal with flu and cold season. 

Viruses survive better in colder weather. When you sneeze, your spreading the flu, and studies have shown that the virus can be strengthened by cold weather conditions.

The virus’s outer layer, called a lipid membrane, is made up of oils, fats, cholesterol and waxes. Researchers believe that this outer coating allows the flu virus to survive in colder conditions and travels from person to person, which is how the virus spreads. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, that lipid solidified into a gel at temperatures below freezing., but in temperatures above 70oF that lipid gel begins to melt, which is why the virus does not survive in warmer climates. 

Preparing the immune system

Preparing a strategy to protect your body and immunity before the winter months hit us is important, especially now that we are dealing with covid. 

Preventative steps you can take other than wash your hands and sneeze in your tissue, wear your masks, keep your distance is all good advise you should be following as general guidelines, but there are other preventative approaches you could be practicing by putting these into place to minimise the effects of flu and it’s spread to loved ones. 

Vitamin D is something we need due the lack of sunlight we get during winter; most people are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D also offers protections to our immune systems because it reduces viral growth and can reduce upper respiratory infections, especially if you are prone to these types of infections. 

The mineral Zinc has strong antiviral properties against many viruses, it enhances the immune system, decreases viral growth, and reduces symptoms of the virus. This includes covid. 

Vitamin C protects and supports various cellular functions of the immune system and has been used in hospitals to treat covid-19 infections.

Lifestyle changes are also just as important, like lowering stress, minimising mucus forming foods which is not great during flu or covid as these foods weaken the lungs. 

Our supplements are food sourced

The information offered on my blog post, will provide you with a good start to making improvements and supporting your immunity against flu and covid. We have some great vitamins that are well absorbed by the body and good for vegans and vegetarian. They have been carefully created in the UK for Native Nutrients, which is Future Health Managements brand of supplements. As a naturopathic functional medicine practitioner, I take great pride in offering you one of the best and natural supplements on the market.  They are free of wheat gluten, added sugars, colourings including flavourings and preservatives, and are sourced from food. 

I am offering you a 15% discount off your first order and free shipping on orders over £45. 

Click HERE to place your order

If you would like to prepare yourself for the flu season ahead, then please take advantage of my 15-minute free telephone consultation.

Looking forward to helping you further

Christina

October is Cholesterol Awareness Month

October is Cholesterol Awareness Month, a subject that quite a few clients have come to see me about, to find a more natural way of dealing with it.  

What is cholesterol? It is a waxy substance found in your blood. Its job is to help build healthy cells; the issue is that high levels can increase your risk of heart disease, causing fatty deposits in your blood vessels, and if not dealt with, will only grow making it difficult for the blood to flow through the blood vessels, causing blockages and eventually leading to a heart attack or stroke.

What does it do? Cholesterol maintains membrane structural integrity and fluidity, it also helps synthesise steroid hormones and bile acids, to help break down fats by emulsifying them.  

This type of disease can be inherited, although it is often a lifestyle choice of unhealthy food as well as leading an unhealthy lifestyle.

What else does cholesterol do to keep us healthy? Cholesterol works within the cell membrane as a transporter and cell signalling, to encourage the growth of friendly gut bacteria, which have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. 

It also helps as a bulking agent to rid the body of excess cholesterol,  and if you’re having problems with constipation,  it is important to make sure that you are looking to correct this issue as soon as possible, otherwise toxins and excess cholesterol will be reabsorbed into circulation. 

It also helps blood sugar regulation, as this can increase triglyceride production by the liver. If you love sugar, and suffer from cravings, it may be time to start putting in some support to help regulate your blood sugar. 

Cholesterol plays an important part in our everyday functioning, we just need to make sure that we help the body remain healthy, which will help cholesterol levels to stay in check. 

Cholesterol helps your metabolism work efficiently, as an example, cholesterol is essential for the body to produce vitamin D.

We have two types of cholesterol ,the good cholesterol called High-density lipoproteins (HDL) and the bad one called Low-density lipoproteins (LDL). The good one will help remove excess cholesterol out of the cells and the bad one delivers it into our cells. 

Need help managing your cholesterol then connect with me with my free 15 min telephone consultation.

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Support and Cleanse your Liver

Over the last few years, mainstream media has extensively covered the process of cleanses as a way of clearing the body of toxins.

The liver is an organ that really gets taxed to the hills, always working hard to detoxify our bodies. There are times when the liver experiences episodes of toxicity overload, causing imbalances within our bodies and even illness.  It is usually during these episodes when the body communicates with you, virtually shouting out to you via a headache or migraines, or through some sort of painful body ache like joint pain, or even chronic fatigue.

To support the detoxification process, your body needs specific nutrients. If your body is deficient in these nutrients it will hinder the cleansing process. Imagine a dustbin that never gets fully emptied out, the body is similar; if you do not clear your rubbish out, it will end up causing all sorts of nasties. 

It is important to provide targeted support for:

  • Energy production
  • Acid-alkaline balance
  • Antioxidant systems
  • Gut lining and healthy elimination processes

Daily Toxic Exposure 

You would be surprised just how much toxic exposure we encounter daily, either through the environment, skin, or mouth. Each time I get petrol I make sure that I cover my mouth and nose, to try and minimise my exposure to (benzene) petrol fumes. 

The body also creates toxins from waste products produced from metabolic activities, like urea, carbon dioxide and lactic acid. 

What can you do to protect your body?

Like anything, we need to try and minimise toxic exposure, or do what we can to protect our bodies. Simple things you might want to consider doing to minimise toxic build-up:

  • Use water filters
  • Try and eat organic food as much as possible
  • Use natural cosmetics
  • Use natural cleaning products
  • If you can change your mercury fillings to white composite

Supporting the body’s own process of elimination 

It is important to support and give the body what it needs to help the body’s own process of detoxification. 

Dealing with constipation is the first thing you could be looking at correcting. Constipation can accumulate toxins in the colon and cause other issues such as diverticulitis, which are pockets that form in the colon due to backed up poo. You can also get anal fissures, which can cause pain and tears in the anus.  Squatty potty often helps adjust your posture to make the elimination process easier.  If you find that your doing everything possible and your constipation is not improving, it may be worth speaking to a wellness practitioner. 

Changing your diet to include more fibre is something you should also consider if constipation is an issue. If you like saunas, this is a great way to sweat out toxins and support the body’s elimination process. This is particularly good for eliminating things such as arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.

Fibre

Helps eliminate toxins by promoting their removal and decreasing the absorption of some toxins. Include more vegetables in your diet.

Just how much water do you really drink?

Water is one of the most important things the body needs to help it rid itself of toxins. If you do not drink enough water, this could lead to constipation. You may think that by drinking three glasses of water you’ve given the body sufficient hydration, this isn’t the case,  as each person’s constitution is different, some may carry more weight than others, which may mean, that some of us need to increase our water intake. 

Consider minimising meat

If you like eating meat, consider keeping this to white meat, fish (clean of mercury). For example, if you are having chicken, eat the breast while you are undergoing your cleanse, as it is the leaner part of the chicken. 

If you have limited time and want to do a cleanse, I am running a “get the liver cleaned up and functioning at its best in just 14 days” program.

Coronavirus, moving forward & living our lives

Moving Forward

Coronavirus has affected our lives in ways that we would not have expected. This pandemic has brought everything to a holt. More than 15.1 million coronavirus tests have been processed in the UK and we now have social distancing rules in the attempt to stop the spread. We were hit with this pandemic on May 22nd and according to the Department of Health and Social Care the number of confirmed cases in the UK was 330,368 while the total number of deaths were 41,477.

Now we will be coming into winter with colds and flu season, including coronavirus, this is a time when we need to make sure our health is good, and immunity strong. An international collaboration of researchers from Europe and China has shown that temperatures and humidity in the environment has a severe effect on Covid-19 symptoms.

There is an article on PubMed quoting “Knowledge of other viral respiratory diseases suggests that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 could be modulated by seasonally varying environmental factors such as temperature and humidity”. 

I equate this to, having a weak immune system, and you catch something,  your immunity will have to work hard to make sure it deals with this illness, if you’ve not done anything to offer it support, it will not have any reserves to carry on fighting and it will be depleted, this may also affect how well you recover and how long you remain unwell, however, if your immune system is offered support, it is more likely that the body will be better equipped to fight; A bit like anything in life, give it the means and support it needs, to have a fighting chance of doing a better job.

Boosting the immune system

It is the winter months when our immune systems need some extra support against things like colds and flu.

Make sure you get plenty of vitamins A, C, D and E plus selenium to help give your body a fighting chance. At this time of year our vitamin D levels tend to be lower as we are less exposed to sunlight. It therefore makes sense to take a supplement.

I am a great advocate of keeping the gut healthy as this also helps to keep the bugs at bay. The best way to achieve this is to eat fresh – preferably organic – food as much as possible. Nuts and seeds particularly are rich in zinc and immune-boosting nutrients. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Those who did ‘Veganuary’ are probably well ahead with this.

When it is cold, it is tempting to choose ‘comfort foods’ but, unfortunately, these tend to be the ones that are bad for you. Usually they are highly processed. The problem with processed foods is that they contain large amounts of sugar, salt, additives and trans fats. They might satisfy in the short term but do your body no favours in the long term. This is partly because these foods leave you wanting more which creates a vicious circle. So, the more of them you eat, the less healthy you will be. And they are bad for your waistline.

Try and reduce your dairy intake if you can and drink more herbal teas. Ginger and honey, ginger, and chamomile and echinacea are especially good for boosting the immune system.

Sleep well

Also, there is nothing like a good night’s sleep for rejuvenating the body. Eight hours is recommended. To ensure a peaceful slumber, do not eat too late and avoid looking at your phone or computer for at least an hour before retiring.

Remember, your immune system is there to protect you and guard against ill health. Do not make it easy for the germs to attack, look after yourself and eat good nutritious food. Obviously, there is no guarantee that you will avoid getting a cold or other virus but, by taking care, you will give your body better ammunition for fighting off the germs.

There are plenty of immune-boosting supplements available and I always advise choosing ‘food state’ ones as these are based on real foods. If in doubt, speak to a wellness practitioner for help.

As naturopathic nutritionist, I am more than happy to support you in this area. If you would like more information, feel free to email me

Also feel free to share this article with your friends and family on social media and help them to stay healthy.

Free 15 Minute Telephone Consultation

If conventional methods haven’t worked for you, find out how a qualified naturopathic functional medicine practitioner can support you on your journey to improved health and well-being.

flute glass on white surface

Food for Mental Health

Is IBS sabotaging your life

Food for mental health is increasingly considered to be part of a proper balanced diet.

We say, ‘food for thought’ and undoubtedly what we eat affects how we feel and our ability to function.

Often when people feel depressed, food is a form of comfort. Unfortunately, so-called comfort foods are usually the ones that contain high levels of sugar and salt. They tend to be highly processed too.

The problem is that they mess up the neurotransmitters. This is because they produce a temporary rise in serotonin, along with a dopamine rush. It takes the edge off low moods for a short while. Then the cycle starts over because the underlying problem is still there.

Of course, mental illness covers a broad spectrum of conditions. Stress is particularly prevalent in our fast-paced modern life. Some people feel unable to cope in a pressured working environment. Then they eat the wrong things at the wrong time or skip meals altogether. Also, when you feel stressed, your body may struggle to digest food properly. Eating in a calm state, and at regular intervals, helps to maintain blood sugar levels. It also gives you the energy to get through the day.

15.4 million workdays lost

The Health and Safety Executive reports that 15.4 million working days were lost due to stress in 2017/18, up from 12.5 million the previous year. This equates to 57.3 per cent of the 26.8 million working days lost due to ill health.

Managers must do more to reduce the causes of stress and support employees who are struggling to cope. That includes tackling excessive workloads and other issues, such as bullying. Toxic workplaces are bad for staff and productivity.

People tend to suffer in silence. The general stigma around mental health/stress often prevents people saying how they feel. As well as anxiety, depression and mood swings, mental illness can manifest as physical symptoms, such as insomnia, headaches and back pain.

Naturopathy can help to get down to the root cause and help plan a diet that rich in foods for mental health. For example, magnesium deficiency is linked to anxiety and vitamin B complex helps with stress. Probiotics modulate the gut-brain axis to combat symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.

Brain foods

As well as foods, I also consider the effects of anti-inflammatories. Medication like benzodiazepine can be addictive and have side effects, including drowsiness and poor balance. It can affect your coordination. This is not conducive for a working environment, especially as it can also affect memory and cause confusion. A naturopathic solution for anxiety is thiamine (B1) capsules which work very efficiently. If you feel a panic attack coming on, open a capsule and place the powder under your tongue. This helps to control the panic attacks. Another good homeopathic remedy is Aconite, just take 200c at the onset of an attack. A deficiency in vitamin C is associated with nervousness.

The Mediterranean diet is often held up as the ideal for good health as it’s high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, fish and unsaturated fats. A recent study found that this diet helped to reduce depression and the participants were still sustaining the good effects six months later. Eat almonds, salmon, potatoes, broccoli, sardines, sea vegetables, celery, cabbage, asparagus, legumes to offset any deficiencies in potassium, calcium and magnesium.

Eating the right foods for mental health goes a long way to improving well-being. For example, organic nuts and seeds containing natural essential fatty oils tare better for brain function than biscuits and cakes. Avocado and fresh fish are also good brain foods.

Book your free 15 minute telephone consultation

If conventional methods haven't worked for you, find out how a qualified naturopathic functional medicine practitioner can support you on your journey to improved health and well-being.

 

green leaf on cookbook

Healthy eating to keep the doctor away

Top tips for healthy eating to keep the doctor away

It’s Healthy Eating Week and as good a time as any to check your diet.

When you eat good fresh food, including plenty of fruit and vegetables, you are doing your body a favour. A sensible diet helps to keep cholesterol down and your blood sugar levels stable. Also, it reduces the risk of diabetes and cancer.

Health experts regularly warn about the dangers of eating too many processed foods. Of course, we are all aware of the prevalence of obesity. Let’s just look at the figures. The Health Survey for England 2016 estimated that 26.2% of adults are obese. NHS Direct reports that more than 10,000 hospital admissions are related to obesity.

While obesity is generally the result of eating too much unhealthy food, there are other factors. They include genetic influences – if your parents are both overweight. Or it could be a slow metabolism or hormonal imbalances. Stress also plays a part as food can become a coping mechanism.

Salad or apple pie

First, let’s look at the unhealthy foods. Obviously fast foods and takeaways and anything containing high levels of fat and sugar. But a big issue is where people ‘think’ they are eating something that’s healthy. Take this as an example, a salad from a certain fast food outlet has more calories than a piece of apple pie. How can that be? Well, the answer is that all those nourishing vegetables have been coated in dressing loaded with sugar.

And, there are plenty more examples of ‘hidden’ calories. It’s a good idea to check labels for sugar content. Especially those that are low fat. When you remove the fat, which accounts for much of the flavour, you must replace it with something else. Usually more sugar.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean a drastic change, just a few alterations can make all the difference.

Use smaller plates

Most dinner plates are around 12” in diameter. Try using one that is between 7” and 9” instead. You can still fill it, but you will be eating less.

Obviously, you need to be careful about what you put on these smaller plates. So, as mentioned above, you need to include more of our body’s good friends – fruit and vegetables. For example, say you are making a Shepherd’s pie. Simply add more vegetables to the meat.

Other healthier options include more natural salt, such as Himalayan and replacing cream with natural yogurt.

Fish is good for you

As a naturopathic nutritionist I often extol the virtues of oily fish as part of a healthy eating regime. Salmon, tuna and trout are good examples. Try and incorporate them into your diet at least once a week.

I realise there are those who really don’t like fish. If it is a big no, no for you, then I recommend a substitute. Native Elements fish oil, which is mercury-free, is a good option.

Good carbs, bad carbs

The body needs carbs and it’s important to pick the good ones and avoid the bad ones. Or, at least only eat them in moderation.

Good carbs include brown rice, grains and legumes. In other words, foods that still have much of their nutritional value still intact. The bad carbs are the processed ones that have been nutritionally altered, including removal of fibre. These are your typical fruit drinks, white rice, white bread, cakes and pastries. They tend to have an insulin-negative effect on the body.

Satisfying the cravings

From time to time we all get cravings, usually for something sweet. We want to comfort or reward ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with giving in occasionally. However, if cravings occur regularly, chromium is good little helper. It is the main constituent of glucose tolerance. It helps deliver sugar to the cells. I recommend at least 100-200 mcg twice a day, at the times when cravings are strongest.

Don’t forget the exercise

Yes, it makes sense to supplement healthy eating with regular exercise. If you’re not a gym-goer, quite a few of the parks now have exercise equipment. They’re free to use. The bonus is the fresh air, which is great for de-stressing and clearing your head.

So, do yourself a favour and change your eating habits today. Dad’s may want to wait until Monday in case there are treats (no doubt unhealthy) in store for Father’s Day.

Please feel free to share my articles with others. If you would like to discuss further, contact me at hello@futurehealthmanagement.co.uk

Book your free 15 minute telephone consultation

If conventional methods haven’t worked for you, find out how a qualified naturopathic functional medicine practitioner can support you on your journey to improved health and well-being.

Is IBS sabotaging your life

Is IBS sabotaging your life

Constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain – these are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Each one itself is bad enough but two or all of them in combination results in extreme pain and discomfort. Surprisingly, it is possible to suffer from both diarrhoea and constipation.

According to the charity IBS Network, there are 12 million people in the UK with the condition and it affects women more than men. The exact cause is unknown and there is no cure. IBS is usually triggered by certain foods, stress and anxiety.

Of course, given that the unpredictable nature of the condition itself causes anxiety, sufferers are caught in a vicious circle. It can affect people’s performance at work and interfere with their social lives. After all, it’s no fun constantly needing to be near a bathroom.

IBS also affects relationships as partners have to learn to live with and understand a sufferer’s low self-esteem, loss of libido and dark moods.

A recent client was having to work extremely long hours to implement an innovative project. While she did a fantastic job, the pressure triggered her IBS. Her stomach felt like it was in knots and, every meal prompted a visit to the bathroom.

Other clients have told me that GPs have just advised them to change their diets or referred them to a psychiatrist where stress or anxiety is the main trigger of their IBS. According to the NHS website, which confirms the above, the only medication available to doctors is anti-depressants which can help to ease the symptoms.

As I said earlier, there is no cure. However, the naturopathic approach can tackle the root cause and get you from A to B using natural methods. This makes you better equipped to deal with the symptoms so that your body can recover. Naturopathy includes specific nutritional testing to identify what the body needs and, more importantly, what it doesn’t need.

Foods to avoid

Try cutting our dairy foods – cheese, particularly when melted, is hard to digest. Rice milk is a good substitute for cow’s milk, particularly if you suffer from diarrhoea. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, are best avoided. So too are any foods, like beef, containing the amino acid tyramine as this occurs naturally in the body.

I also recommend staying clear of rich, heavy meals and to avoid frying as much as possible. It’s also worth following a gluten-free diet for a month as this help.

Friendly foods

Oats, quinoa, buckwheat or millet are examples of friendly foods for IBS sufferers. In some cases, drinking 20ml of Aloe Vera juice before meals ban be beneficial. Part of the naturopathic approach is providing a diet of friendly foods to follow.

Make sure you chew food thoroughly as this sends signals to the enzymes that support digestion.

Finally, if you would like more information, or you’ve not previously considered – or been aware of – the alternative route, then here is your chance. Feel free to contact me on ……

 

Is work bad for your wellbeing?

Is work bad for your wellbeing?

National Work Life Week (October 7-11) provided the opportunity for employers and employees to focus on wellbeing in the workplace and the importance of work life balance.

The fact that there was such an event highlights the growing concern that the world of work can have a negative effect on health, mentally and physically. In today’s fast-paced world, many employers are expecting their employees to take on higher volumes of work and to stay late to meet deadlines.

When a long-hours culture becomes the norm, it’s hard to break it. Employers assume that their staff will knuckle down to show dedication to getting the job done. At the same time, employees fear that, if they don’t put in the hours, it could harm their career.

Some of my clients have told me that they have been working nearly 18 hours a day, which is one of the reasons they have sought one of my health programmes. Without a proper work life balance, people become stressed, tired and demotivated. So, as we say, prevention is better than the cure.

I’ve mentioned these statistics before but they’re worth repeating. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that 15.4 million working days were lost due to stress in 2017/18, up from 12.5 million the previous year. This equates to 57.3 per cent of the 26.8 million working days lost due to ill health.

Now, as the nights draw in, those who are already feeling depressed are likely to become more withdrawn. The winter months affect our neurotransmitters, we get less vitamin D and an increase in melatonin. This is a mood regulator that reduces energy during darkness to aid sleep. But it also contributed to increased fatigue and even depression.

Look after your employees

While the paycheque is, of course, essential, employees also want their skills to be valued and to feel that what they do matters. That’s why it’s so important that employers recognise people as individuals and support their sense of worth.

By giving priority to wellbeing and work life balance, employers will reap the benefits of having a happier staff who will look forward to coming to work and be prepared to go the extra mile.

Results from a study by Mercer in 2018 bear this out. It collected input from 800 business executives, 1,800 HR leaders and more than 5,000 employees across 21 industries and from 44 countries. The study identified top talent trends. This can be useful for companies that are trying to stay ahead of the game with employee satisfaction. The findings showed that flexible working, health and wellbeing and a sense of purpose were paramount.

First and foremost, employers need to trust their employees. Unfortunately, in some sectors, there’s a belief that working from home is shirking from home. Obviously working from home may not always be suitable, depending on the business. But there’s no reason why people can’t work different hours. Flexible working can and does lead to better productivity.

As well as providing flexibility, employers should be aware of any issues or problems that employees are facing. Perhaps difficulty with a co-worker or being the victim of bullying. Maybe events at home are having an impact. It’s worth considering providing a forum for discussing health and wellbeing and getting to the root cause of what is making an employee distressed.

In the long term, employers benefit from better employee engagement and work quality through improved morale. It helps to retain staff, therefore saving money on retraining replacements. There could also be further savings in temporary cover, recruitment costs and health insurance.

Talk to your employer

Employees, on the other hand, should be prepared to grasp the mettle and talk to their bosses. Tell them about any problems you may be experiencing. They may be more sympathetic than you think.

As a naturopath, I can suggest ways of combating the mental and physical effects of stress. Breathing techniques work wonders in stimulating relaxing and lowering blood pressure.

Try listening to music to boost your mood and, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep. Don’t be tempted to turn to stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine when feeling low – they only make the stress worse.

Natural food supplements, such as vitamin B complex will support the nervous system and boost energy levels.

Given that most of us spend a large chunk of our time at work, better flexibility and balance is good everyone. After all, we only have one life so we need to do everything we can to protect it and stay healthy.

If you would like to find out more about how naturopathy can help, email me at hello@futurehealthmanagement.co.uk

food intolerance

Food intolerance test London

Is your diet making you ill? A food intolerance test in London with Future Health Management will provide the answer 

In the UK, around two million people suffer from some sort of food intolerance or allergy. The good news is that there’s a simple, but smart, non-invasive and painless food intolerance test that can determine what part of your diet is having an adverse effect on your health.

First, let’s look at the symptoms. The most common are bloating, constipation, weight loss, migraines, fat malabsorption and diarrhoea. In severe cases, food intolerance can lead to anaemia and vitamin D deficiency.

The cause of food intolerance is the immune system identifying certain constituents as foreign invaders. It can happen at any stage of your life but, usually, it kicks off if you start to eat more fast food or get into bad habits.

Common food intolerances

Wheat is one of the most common culprits. One of the main reasons is that most of the bread we eat today has far more preservatives, such as:

  • Calcium propionate for a longer shelf life
  • Amylase
  • Chlorine dioxide, which bleaches the flour
  • L-cysteine hydrochloride – E920, used to make the dough more elastic

All the above help to keep the bread soft, white and light. Traditional bread is just made from flour, yeast, salt and water. This is much better for you but doesn’t keep as well.

A key source of intolerance is gluten. This is due to a process called hybridisation of the wheat which adds new proteins. It can cause systemic inflammation and higher rates of celiac disease. Also, we eat far more gluten today than our ancestors did, as wheat is often found in fast food and prepared foods.

Examples of other common causes of intolerances are chocolate, strawberries, dairy products, nuts and food additives, such as nitrates in processed meats.

Food intolerance test

You can keep a food diary to identify which foods are causing a problem. However, this is a lengthy process and requires diligence and patience.

At Future Health Management I use a number of food intolerance tests and biofeedback therapy in London, with full support once the results come in. There are a variety of tests available for identifying intolerances. However, I usually suggest an ALCAT test. It involves taking a blood sample – I realise some people are squeamish about needles – but it does give a good indication of what foods may be making you ill. It takes about 14 days to get the test results which show four sensitivity levels – severe, moderate, mild and acceptable. The programme offers a diet to follow according to a four-day cycle. This rotation helps to optimise your eating habits and to give the body a rest.

Alternatively, there is biofeedback therapy. This is a simple, smart and on-invasive option, in other words, needle-free. The machine has an accuracy rate of 98% and results come within 60-90 minutes. It works by scanning and measuring the body’s organs and tissues for their frequency energy levels and identifies how each food reacts with the digestive system. Once the scan is complete, I can then tailor a nutritional plan to suit.

Banishing the culprits

Ideally, you need to cut out the affected foods from your diet for three to six months and then try reintroducing them one at a time to see if thee are any issues. Finding substitutes can be difficult. The good news is that the food intolerance issue is more widely recognised and stores increasingly gave gluten-free sections.

As a naturopathic nutritionist, I help clients to find the diet that works for them. It might just be simply cutting portion sizes. For example, if fructose is a problem, having half a cup of fruit juice may not affect you quite as severely as having a full cup.

The important thing to remember is, if you are excluding things from your diet, you have to replace them via other avenues. So, if wheat is causing a problem, then it’s important to swap it for another fibre-containing food, such as buckwheat or brown, gluten-free bread. Similarly, with dairy, you need to go for alternatives that will keep up your calcium levels, i.e. almond or coconut milk.

If you would like to find out more about a food intolerance test in London, then please feel free to contact me hello@futurehealthmanagement.co.uk

The cost of work-related stress to business and naturopathy’s role in tackling the root cause

The cost of work-place stress

The cost of work-related stress to business and naturopathy’s role in tackling the root cause

Work-related stress is bad for health and it also has an impact on the bottom line. The costs to the UK economy are an estimated £6.5 billion a year.

As an employer, are you aware of just how many sick days your workers take each year due to stress, anxiety or depression caused by on-the-job pressures? If the absenteeism is prolonged, as well as paying their wages, you may have to fund temporary replacement workers and/or pay overtime to other employees. A study carried out in the US among 18 industries showed that a 10% increase in overtime actually lowers productivity by 2.4%.

Also, if the people filling in have not been trained properly, they could become stressed themselves – it’s a vicious circle. In addition to lost productivity, there’s the personal mental and physical costs.

Companies are responsible for making sure that their staff don’t become ill as a direct result of their employment. Also, stress can be avoided, or at least reduced. As a qualified naturopath I can help businesses to take a preventative approach to workplace stress – no medication required. Instead I offer a series of holistic programmes aimed at strengthening the body naturally, aimed at strengthening the body naturally, with a focus on immunity and mental and physical well-being to lower stress levels.

What is stress?

Firstly, let’s look at stress and its causes. The World Health Organisation defines work-related stress as “the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope”.

It seems that the problem is getting worse. The Health and Safety Executive reported that 26.8 million work days were lost to ill health in Great Britain in 2017/18. Of those 15.4 million days were the result of stress – that’s 57.3%.

There are loads more stats showing the upward trend. For instance, the total number of new or long-standing cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety was 595,000, up from 526,000 in 2016/17. The incidence rate for new cases was 720 per 100,000 workers.

Of course, there may be other factors contributing to stress, such as juggling work and personal lives. But the perception is that more people are burdened by stress today than they were a generation ago.

The top issues caused by undue pressures and demands of the job and which cost companies in lost productivity and absences are:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Mental health problems
  • Heart and respiratory diseases
  • Nutritional problems

Research has shown that individuals who work more than 55 hours a week increase the risk of developing a stroke by a third and have a 13% higher risk of heart disease. Respiratory conditions, such as asthma, may be exacerbated by stress.

Tackling the root cause

As I mentioned earlier, you can root out stress without the aid of pills. While medication might help in the short term, it will not fix the problem. Naturopathy provides a long-term vision that can resolve the underlying issues and help companies to prosper.

I can offer ways of combating the mental and physical effects of stress on their bodies:

  • Breathing techniques to help lower blood pressure and bring down stress
  • Provide natural supportive supplements to cope with the internal stress and start the healing process
  • Give guidance on how to lower stress, including avoiding stimulants such as cigarettes, caffeine and alcohol which can add to the stress burden
  • Recommendations for improving their self-image and finding social support, for example, joining an exercise class

A key part of my approach is looking at the person as a whole, including other issues that could be making the problem worse. They might not be sleeping properly or could have intolerances that are causing irritation and keeping their brain foggy and inducing feelings of lethargy.

These things can be prevented and, by really getting down to the nitty gritty of what is causing the stress and anxiety could really help employees who are struggling. They would certainly be grateful to employers who are prepared to understand what is making them stressed and unhappy and contributing to absenteeism. It will also take the stress away from co-workers.

As an employer, you would benefit from better employee engagement and work quality through improved morale. This, in turn would help you retain staff, therefore saving money on retraining replacements. There could also be further savings in temporary cover, recruitment costs and health insurance.

I’d be happy to chat with you about helping stressed-out employees. Sometimes it can affect your best people. As they say, a healthy workforce is a happy workforce. And a happy workforce will be much more productive and better for the long-term health of your bottom line.

If you would like to find out more about how naturopathy can help, email me at hello@futurehealthmanagement.co.uk