Try it to know. Open your mind to try.
Quick…watch it it’s free now!!! – The last of the series on autoimmune disease and how to overcome it. I am already touched to hear from people in similar situations. Episode 8:
And if you missed the rest, they are all free online again this weekend!!! Click here to watch ALL OF THEM!
Episode 1 is a general introduction but episodes are being uploaded and removed daily. Today’s is on gut health PLEASE watch it, you may know lots already but I feel this is a great resource to summarize the important bits. Episode 2 (today’s) is about how digestive issues are a warning sign for auto-immune disease. If you suffer from digestive issues this is for you:
Most chronic degenerative illnesses have been associated with an overgrowth of Candida – from arthritis and digestive illness to cancer, neurological diseases, ME, MS and Fibromyalgia.
Candida Albicans and the trouble it causes are a result of abnormal gut flora. It is able to grow out of control because of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria but have no effect on Candida. After taking antibiotics, Candida is left to thrive and get out of control in the body. It also thrives on processed carbohydrates and sugar. At the bottom of this page you will find a link to the anti-Candida Diet.
Candida like other opportunistic bacteria can push apart intestinal cells due to their spiral shape, breaking down the integrity of the gut wall; causing leaky gut syndrome. They attach themselves to the wall, inserting themselves in a root-like fashion, making it leaky. This means that substances that should not cross the intestinal wall are able to. This is how we develop food allergies – part digested, or undigested bits of food cross the gut wall into the blood. They are then recognised as invaders and attacked by the immune system. Allergies often disappear when a leaky gut is healed.
Not only do Candida and other opportunists cause a leaky gut, they also breach the gut wall themselves and get into the lymph and blood, going on to cause trouble in other organs in the body. The first place that they cause problems though is the digestive system. The toxins made by candida reduce the stomach’s ability to produce acid needed for digestion.
so abnormal gut flora soon leads to illnesses of the digestive system. There is a link between different strands of Clostrida, which like Candida is unaffected by antibiotics; and serious inflammation of the digestive system. Other strands of this bad bacteria are linked to serious digestive illnesses such as Chron’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Other, sulphur-reducing bacteria have been linked to autism because it has been shown that 95% of children suffering from autism have a severe deficiency in sulphates.
Yeasts such as candida take over the glucose and carbohydrates and digest them through alcoholic fermentation, which is not how they should be digested. As alcohol and its by-products have quite a small molecular weight, they can cross all of the body’s barriers, getting into the blood rapidly. The resulting chronic presence of alcohol from eating many carbohydrates and sugars is very damaging. It impairs digestion by damaging the gut lining which leads to malabsorption, causing multiple nutritional deficiencies, damage to the liver and immune system, brain and nerve damage as well as a lot of other damage, for more detail, read Natacha Campbell’s book.
Opportunistic flora produces harmful toxic by-products. Again these by-products are not toxic when the flora producing them are balanced by the presence of good flora. When the gut wall is not healthy, the toxic by-products cross it and get into the bloodstream, causing trouble. Neurotoxins for example can cross the gut wall and effect the nervous system. The mixture of toxins emanating from the gut can be quite individual and this according to Dr Natasha Campbell is why GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) patients conditions and symptoms are so varied. A well-known example of these by products is histamine, also produced by some of the cells in our bodies. Well, certain opportunistic flora also produce it as a by-product of their metabolism. In the absence of good flora this opportunistic bacteria is left to take over and too much histamine is produced. Because histamine has many roles in the body, all of these go wrong because there is too much of it. Then we experience symptoms of the following: addictions, allergies, autism, constant low blood pressure, over production of body fluids, emotional instability and hormonal changes such as PMS (due to malfunctioning of the hypothalamus) as well as problems sleeping.
The fact that abnormal flora can cause emotional instability does not surprise me. I find that I and all of the people I have met with MS without any exceptions; are over sensitive. It is something I have often wondered about. I myself am working hard on not being so, but it is difficult, and with each new MS patient I meet, I am confronted with the same problem of over-sensitivity.
When candida consumes carbohydrates, alcohol is produced. A very toxic by-product of alcohol is acetaldehyde. The latter can alter proteins, stopping them from doing their jobs correctly. The presence of these changed proteins has been linked to autoimmune reactions because the antibodies created to attack these changed proteins also damage other normal proteins in the body with similar structures. The most common antibody found against the body’s own tissues is the one which attacks myelin. Damaged myelin=multiple sclerosis. The yeast overgrowth in children with autism and dyspraxia causing acetaldehyde explains the relationship which exists between the neurological picture of these illnesses and MS.
Acetaldehyde like phytates bind to proteins making nutrients we need useless in the body because they are unable to do their job because acetaldehyde is taking up their place, attaching itself to proteins. Vitamin B6 is one of the nutrients rendered useless. B6 is essential for the production of neurotransmitters, it is involved in the metabolism of fatty acids and has many other jobs too. It does not matter how much vitamin B6 is in the diet, it cannot be used in the correct way and so the patient becomes deficient in it. This happens to many essential nutrients in the body and they become useless to us. The same thing happens to GAPS patients in the thyroid. It is producing lots of hormones, but acetaldehyde (and other toxins) is taking up their work space. So the person develops thyroid deficiency symptoms such as depression, fatigue, lethargy, poor immunity, poor temperature control, weight gain, etc. The only way to fix this is by fixing the leaky gut. The first step to this is the Anti-Candida Diet.
Food is not only important for boosting your immune system and sending your MS into remission, it also has a great impact on your mood. Since having started my MS diet I have been in an exceptionally good mood most of the time. A big part of this is because I am really doing all I can to work against my illness, which is very fulfilling in itself. I recently discovered that another reason however was to do with the particular foods I was eating and their relation to mood balance in the brain. In fact, a diet recommended by nutritionists to pull oneself out of depression, is very similar to my own. Here I will outline the mental advantages of eating as I do:
Not only are saturated fats extremely harmful to us (especially those of us with MS) physically, they have also been shown to reduce intelligence and to lower our mood.
Omega 3, one of the EFAs (essential Fatty Acids) essential to people with MS found in fish and linseed also makes us happy! Not only do EFAs prevent the short-circuiting in the brain which takes place during MS, (the myelin sheath is made out of Phospholipid and EFAs (DHA or arachidonic acids) and these combine to stop those short-circuits) they also greatly improve your mood. It has been proven that there is a lower rate of depression in areas where a lot of fish is eaten, as well as a lower rate of MS of course. Among Inuits a case of MS is unknown for example.
The EPA and DHA found in oily fish and flaxseed (linseed), hemp and walnut oils is what makes up half of the fat in brain-cell membranes. Because DHA builds receptor sites and improves reception; it also improves your mood – if you have a higher level of DHA you are also likely to have higher levels of serotonin and acetylcholine. You will get enough of both EPA and DHA which are equally important and work in unison, if you eat oily fish three times a week.
The best sources are oily fish and shell-fish rich in docosahexaenoic acid (essential nutrient for the brain) like herring, mackerel, kippers, tuna, whitebait, lobster, sardines, mussels, sprats, squid, prawns and shrimp. Salmon, trout, haddock, flounder and cod are also fine. Herring, mackerel tuna and salmon will also significantly improve your mood, and your concentration span.
If you don’t like fish you can take fish oil supplements and follow the vegetarian guidelines: Vegetarians should aim at having 1 tbsp of flaxseed (linseed) and a tsp of its oil once a day. They can also try Spirulina which is a great source of Omega3 and Omega6.
Diets and drugs that lower cholesterol cause a deficiency in omega3, encouraging demyelination and leading to depression.
Phosphatidyl serine found in organ meats is extremely important for the liver, immune system, nerves and brain. It provides the building materials needed for neuronal membranes as well as neurotransmitter receptor sites. It also improves memory, mood, concentration, learning and one’s ability to cope with stress. Vegetarians can take supplements of Evening Primrose oil instead.
Protein – almost all neurotransmitters are made of it. It also influences your mood. The quality of proteins depends on its amino acid balance. You only really need eight of these as the body makes the rest itself. Click here for a list of the best proteins.
Amino Acids make serotonin, a happy neurotransmitter which makes us happy. To ensure you are getting enough it is essential to chew your food really well. Another way of ensuring your body’s absorption of amino acids is to use a quality blender such as vitamix to get amino acids out of all the food you eat, including vegetables.
Choline is essential for the building of nerve cells and the receptor sites for neurotransmitters. A deficiency in this nutrient is the most common cause of memory decline. In order to make acetylcholine – the memory neurotransmitter, your body also needs vitamin B5, B1, B12 and C. If the body is deficient in choline it will use it to make acetylcholine instead of for building nerve cells. Choline also improves concentration and can make you more alert as well as clear-minded– something very useful to people with MS who often have problems concentrating due to mental fatigue.
Choline can be foundinfish, especially in sardines, eggs, liver, soya beans, peanuts, other nuts (be careful not to eat too many because they are high in saturated fats). It can also be found in the supplement lecithin.
DMAE found in large doses in sardines and anchovies works like Choline to make acetylcholine even quicker than the latter because of the speed at which it crosses into the brain from the blood. It also reduces anxiety and improves mood significantly. It also improves attention span and regularises brain-wave patterns. Too much can cause insomnia. Vegetarians can take supplements of 100-300mg in the morning/at midday.
Carbohydrates most break down into glucose during digestion and so turn into the best fuel for our cells; the brain uses a lot of this glucose. A low-carb diets have been shown to cause low moods. The best carbohydrates are those which release a steady amount of sugar slowly into the bloodstream. To make the release of glucose into the blood slower, combine with protein. The best carbohydrates to go for are whole, unrefined grains, all vegetables and some fruit; click here for a list of the best slow-release carbohydrates.
So you see, eating well is not only good for your physical health, helping to stabilise your MS, but also for your mood. Eating well will keep you healthy and happy, so why not start now?!