What’s the price you pay?

It seems there is an idea starting to circulate that it would be a good idea to treat depression with anti inflammatory drugs.

The logic apparently, according to the article in The Daily Telegraph, is that an overactive immune system causes inflammation which causes “feelings of hopelessness, unhappiness and fatigue”.

I haven’t seen the study and I don’t know what drugs were used to treat the inflammation, but I’d like to ask the question, why is the inflammation there in the first place.

When the body is under threat, our immune systems do not trigger inflammation just in case we are going to be injured.  We need to get  away from the danger!!  When we are under threat, we are hardwired with the fight/flight/freeze stress response which is to produce cortisol.  The feelings of “hopelessness, unhappiness and fatigue” , as well as depression, insulin resistance, IBS are all symptoms of high levels of cortisol.

It doesn’t matter whether you are running away from sabre toothed tigers, living with the boss from the hell or arguing with a parking attendant, the result is the same; the body produces cortisol.

Under stress, it is not your immune system that kicks in but your adrenals. High levels of cortisol cause inflammation. What is more, cortisol remains in the body for 26 hours unless you can find a way of reducing it.  And how many people think about lowering their stress levels? Most people get accustomed to living with stress and dismiss it with “I can handle this”.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO, CFO, MD, PA or the person who cleans the windows, stress affects everyone, no-one is immune.

So where does stress come from during the day? Take your pick –  junk food for breakfast or no breakfast, stressful journey to work, the boss from hell or the staff that don’t do what you tell them; lunch on the run; 6 cups of coffee to keep your energy up; snacks of chocolate or biscuits [to keep your energy up]; a nightmare journey home; your partner/lover/husband/wife who wants your time; your children who want your time; TV dinners; the DIY job that needs doing; sitting in front of your computer; scrolling through your emails or Facebook till midnight; not enough sleep…………..

Cortisol changes how your brain works and how you think and react; it recognises cortisol as a response to fear or danger so your brain takes action and shuts down.   You function on autopilot.

Inflammation is driven by high levels of cortisol.  So before going down the drug route for inflammation or depression, do a saliva cortisol test and find out for yourself what’s going on in your body. The good news is that your brain and your body can heal, renew, repair and regenerate if you bring your cortisol levels down.

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]