Sugar [white and brown] and all high glycaemic foods that quickly break down to glucose, such as potatoes, corn  and grain make up a disproportionate part of our diet.  And the problem in the 21st century is that the more of these carbohydrates and processed foods we eat, the faster it interferes with our physiology and compromises our health.

You wouldn’t think it was a problem when you see all the ads for diet drinks, processed foods and sugary snacks. Our culture not only promotes but makes it seem  acceptable to consume sugar and processed foods; we’re brainwashed to think that it is safe.

The truth is that sugar – too much of it – is slow suicide.  Suicide is suicide, whether it is sudden or slow, whether done deliberately or in ignorance.

Did you know

  • Essential B vitamins and minerals [calcium, phosphorus, chromium, magnesium cobalt, zinc and manganese] are depleted to metabolise sugar so there are less available nutrients to feed your skin.
  • Sugar raises insulin levels, which promotes the production of testosterone in women, and inflammation in general, causing acne
  • Sugar and vitamin C compete for a place in white blood cells. This means that the white blood cells of the immune system can be severely compromised. Eating even 100gm glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey or fruit juice, all significantly reduce the ability of

Neutrophils to engulf and destroy bacteria. Since neutrophils constitute 60-70% of your total circulating white blood cells, this can have a big impact on your immune system.

  • Sugar can cause production of free radicals [superoxide, hydroxyl radical]. Free radicals can cause inflammation, pain, and have been found to speed up the ageing process.
  • Sugar/glucose attaches itself to proteins that form ‘Advanced Glycated End Products’ [AGE’s]. The formation of AGE’s is irreversible and they decrease the elasticity of connective tissue. In other words your skin!
  • Sugar has a very similar molecular structure to Vitamin C and displaces it from its’ proper binding sites which means that Vitamin C is not available for Collagen production.
  • Sugar makes your system too acidic; during the refining process, substances such as sulfur dioxide, milk of lime, carbon dioxide, charcoal, and calcium carbonate are used to purify the sugar but which are acidic and toxic for your body. This has a knock on effect to your skin.
  • Sugar interferes with how enzymes function and how hormones are made; if you don’t make enough oestrogen, for example, low oestrogen speeds up the ageing process.
  • The glycaemic load of your diet [how fast your blood sugar and insulin levels rise] can affect your hormones. Hormone imbalances affect skin, in particular acne. Cutting out sugar [to reduce insulin levels] helps to balance hormones. Exercise also helps to improve insulin regulation.

You might think that snack bars would be a healthy alternative!

However anything with fructose/ high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is metabolised by your liver where it it converted into free fatty acids (FFAs) and VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat. These fatty acids accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance can lead to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.

If anyone tries to tell you “sugar is sugar, it’s all the same thing” they are way behind the times.

Stress and your skin

[vc_row el_class=”citsrowcls”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Today we are bombarded with stresses never before experienced in history.

These are just a few of the ‘energy thieves’ we learn to live with:

  • No relaxation or down time
  • Acute and Chronic infections
  • Poor diet and Junk food
  • Recovery from illness
  • Fear, anxiety, depression
  • Emotional stress at work
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Recreational drugs
  • Allopathic medicines
  • Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Pain and Inflammation

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”citsrowas”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Stress, no matter where it comes from, affects us on MANY levels. Stress is coped with by your adrenal glands and depending on the level of stress they have to deal with, the rest of your body will try to compensate and adapt – we’re hard wired to survive!

  • Adrenal exhaustion from too much stress can trigger the following:
  • Allergies
  • Food cravings 
  • Low blood sugar
  • Poor sleep Low immunity
  • Depression Low blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • You wake up tired
  • Coughs and colds that never go ……and much more

One of the first places we see the signs of stress and ageing is in our skin. The accumulated effects of doing all those things we love to do, like getting a sun tan, eating chocolate and ice cream, drinking delicious wine, enjoying a long cool, fizzy drink in the summer can all add up to creating inflammation and free radical damage which is now known to contribute to the ageing process. But there are lots of things we can do to help slow down this ageing process and which will, at the same time, help to make us generally healthier. This has to be good news!

While there’s no magic pill that can make you look 20 years younger, you can help your skin in a number of ways – staying out of the sun, not smoking and eating a healthy diet.

Good skin comes from the inside out, not the outside in!

A good example of how the state of our digestive system can be seen in our skin is when someone has very rosy cheeks or broken capillaries on the nose. You might well think that they have an alcohol problem, but often it’s actually an external sign of low stomach acid production.

As we get older, you’ve probably noticed that your skin can look much more yellow than it used to. Often this is linked to B12 deficiency.

Nutritional deficiencies of zinc, omega-3 fats, and some anti-inflammatory omega-6 fats like evening-primrose oil, promote acne, while supplementing with them can help boost immunity and reduce inflammation and acne. Other skin problems that are often related to nutritional deficiencies:

  • Psoriasis Omega 3 and 6’s, Lecithin, vitamins A,E, Zinc, Silica
  • Eczema Omega 3 and 6’s, Vitamins A,E, B2, B6, Lecithin, Calcium
  • Dry lips Vitamins B2, B6, A, E
  • White spots on nails Zinc or calcium deficiency is common or sometimes it can be low pancreatic enzymes
  • Cracked lips B2 [riboflavin] deficiency and possibly other B vitamins
  • Bleeding gums Supplement with CoQ 10
  • Dry/Split hair Vitamin C deficiency

Looking after your diet impacts your energy, your skin, your hormones, your wellbeing in every way.     It’s worth taking care of yourself at this basic level – You’re worth it!![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

One of the conditions that many women suffer from as they get older, is hair loss, which they get minimal help for from conventional medicine.

The question that women want answered is this:

“Why do women   start losing their hair as they get older, especially in their late 40’s and 50’s?”

There are many causes of hair loss but one of the most common and often undiagnosed causes in this age bracket is a low functioning thyroid. As women age their thyroid function tends to decline and unfortunately the time of peri-menopause and menopause is when women really need good thyroid function.

So you could ask the question “Do peri-menopause and a low thyroid function go hand in hand?” Very often, yes. Low thyroid function is an underlying problem for many women and quite commonly it’s never picked up until she reaches peri-menopause when her energy drops to the floor and she feels she’s literally dragging herself around. The reason your thyroid has this effect on your hair is that every single cell in your body is dependent on having adequate thyroid hormone levels. The thyroid gland produces 2 major hormones, thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) and they are responsible for helping cells to produce energy. Your thyroid produces about 1 teaspoon of thyroid hormone [thyroxine] over a year and that 1 teaspoon must drive the metabolic rate of every single cell in the body.

If there isn’t enough T4 and T3 produced, then a wide range of symptoms can develop: Hair loss, brittle nails, cold hands and feet, constipation, dry skin, high cholesterol, poor memory, puffy eyes, weight gain, are just a few. Some of those symptoms are often attributed to peri-menopause and menopause, so the next question is “how can you tell which symptoms relate to which condition?”

Good question! Unfortunately, hypothyroidism [as it’s known clinically] is frequently undiagnosed. The conventional approach and ‘gold standard’ to diagnosing low thyroid function has been to measure TSH [thyroid stimulating hormone]. If the TSH test comes back raised, a diagnosis of hypothyroidism is made and if it comes back normal with the results within the reference range, then the common assumption is that there is no problem with the thyroid. However, there is now a paradigm shift with this assumption. It’s now thought that TSH is not a sensitive enough test in identifying a hypothyroid condition and that relying solely on TSH tests results in under-diagnosing many women who suffer from hypothyroidism.

A more holistic approach includes looking at

  • More comprehensive blood tests
  • Medical history
  • Basal body temperature
  • Physical examination
  • Comprehensive blood tests would check T4 and T3 levels [this can reveal a problem of converting T4 into T3),
  • A medical history would look at signs and symptoms the person experienced and basal body temperature testing is a system of recording body temperature over a period of time.
  • A physical examination notes things like poor eyebrow growth, especially the outer third; swelling under the eyes; hard skin on the heels; very dry skin and hair loss.

Once you’ve identified that there is a low functioning thyroid, can you reverse the condition?

Conventional treatment relies mainly on using Thyroxine, a synthetic form of thyroxine. Another approach is to use a dessicated glandular thyroid product; Armour is a common one in the UK but requires a prescription by a GP. Another approach is to work with a nutritional therapist and use glandular products that have had thyroid hormones removed but work by supporting your thyroid to produce more T4 and T3. Many people find that homeopathic thyroid support works well. Glandular products are usually derived from porcine thyroid so may not be appropriate for some religious groups, however, there are certainly other options to try.

Once the thyroid is properly supported, all those symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, hard skin on the heels, weight gain can be resolved! It really can turn peoples’ lives around. And as an added benefit, all those symptoms that are often attributed to the menopause – hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, palpitations, and the feeling of a “fuzzy” head – can also be helped.

If you have any of the symptoms listed and they don’t respond to changes in diet, rest, more sleep, less stress etc, it’s a good idea to get a comprehensive thyroid test done which includes testing T4 and T3.

Work with a doctor who is prepared to look at your symptoms from a holistic view point or find a nutritional therapist/naturopath who can arrange for you to have the appropriate lab tests and can suggest glandular products to take.

Correcting your low functioning thyroid can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of life.