Health, environmental toxicity, the microbiome, and auto-immune disorders

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Since the mapping of the genome, and the development of functional medicine, much research has been done on the relationship between gut health and other health problems. Unfortunately, much of the medical profession has been very slow on the uptake of these developments, so we as individuals have to take responsibility for our own health by reading, researching and educating ourselves. It’s fair to say that the term ‘Functional Medicine’ have recently become buzz words within the medical profession, and it remains to be seen how much of it will translate into medical practice. We do know that the pharmaceutical companies have an invested interest in selling their drugs, and they can only do that if we are in poor health.

We now know how important the gut microbiome is, and how much it affects our overall health, including brain health. In functional medicine terms the gut is known as the second brain, so we should be looking at problems within the gut when there is an issue with our brain.

Unfortunately, most of us have a compromised gut microbiome. It has been acknowledged that just one course of antibiotics is enough to adversely affect the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, and thus causing a degree of dysbiosis.

Once dysbiosis has set in, we develop candida overgrowth and leaky gut. The barrier between the gut wall and the blood stream is only one cell thick, therefore, when there is gut dysbiosis, the toxicity from the gut easily passes into the blood stream. This affects us in so many ways, some people feeling more ill than others.

Another important and serious problem affecting the gut is that of chemical toxicity. We live in such a toxic world.

A significant and serious aspect of toxicity is that of chemicals that we either inhale or ingest. One in particular is glyphosate (Round-up). Quite often wheat is sprayed with glyphosate just before being harvested.

Glyphosate is a harmful chemical. One characteristic of glyphosate is that it is inimical to glycine. Glycine is an amino-acid which is vital for the production of collagen. Collagen is a vital protein for healthy bone and cartilage, nails, hair, muscles and tendons, skin elasticity and a lot more. So, glyphosate replaces glycine in the body, so now one does not have enough glycine to produce collagen. So people develop arthritis for example; they go to the Dr who prescribes pain killers and anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s), and another drug to help deal with the side-effects of NSAID’s. Later on they may be offered steroids, and eventually an operation to replace the joint. There is nothing else on offer, unless your GP has a special interest in functional medicine.

So, coming off wheat is a good way to start your road of recovery towards better health. There is considerable amount of evidence that gluten is responsible for a variety of auto-immune disorders. The gluten in modern wheat is undigestible (unlike it’s pre-historic sibling), so gluten deposits itself in the pockets of the large bowel as mucous, together with heavy metals, harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and quite often candida too.

Once you have done a comprehensive bowel cleanse, rebalanced the gut microbiome and have adjusted your diet to maintain good gut health, it’s ok to go back to eating wheat – but not the modern variety. Doves Farm is now producing organic spelt and einkorn wheat flour – the prehistoric type of wheat which is good for our health.

Wheat/gluten free breakfast
This is delicious and nutritious. You need 1 cup of organic quinoa (I use the multicoloured one), half cup of organic amaranth seeds, half cup of organic toasted buckwheat, and 1/4 cup of hemp seeds. Add double the amount in water, and boil until the water has dried, then leave covered up for a few minutes to finish cooking.

In a bowl add a quantity of this mixture, then add some raisins, tiger nuts (soaked overnight and cut in half), dates cut in pieces, and other nuts such as walnuts or almonds, and seeds like pumpkin seeds. I like chia seeds too, oat bran
Add a banana cut in pieces and some fresh fruit – blueberries or other berries. Add some milk and enjoy. I personally use Almond milk. This breakfast keeps me going until about 2.00 pm. If you need to rebuild your microbiome, then add a dessert spoon of prebiotic powder to the mixture, to enable the gut to increase the amount of good bacteria. Ask me for details of a good and inexpensive prebiotic powder.
I make enough for 3 or 4 days, and save the rest in a glass jar in the fridge.

Organic oats (without wheat added) are also very good and filling. Again you can add some tiger nuts, raisins, nuts, seeds, fruit, etc.

Eggs are an excellent way of starting the day as well, and they are a healthy food that can be eaten every day. Please ignore the medical advice that eggs affect cholesterol levels – this is incorrect.

I have come to believe that any advice given by health care professionals needs to be taken with a great pinch of salt (if not skepticism). Either it is incorrect – lacking in research evidence, or the research itself can not be trusted.

In 2015, the editor-in-chief of the Lancet, Dr Richard Horton, acknowledged that a good half of all medical research informing clinical practice was either fake or altered, and the problem has been like that for 20 years. So, which half are we going to believe as being genuine?

Phillip Day, the health journalist (www.credence.com) wrote in his book ‘Health Wars’ that the drugs and food industry have a vested interest in keeping us all ill, because that is the only way that they continue making loads of money. So, why should they lobby the government, health agencies and medical/nursing schools in giving the public good, healthy, relevant and research based guidelines and advice, that would help keep us healthy and balanced?

So, it’s up to us to do our own research, ask questions, ask for the medical research evidence and look at that research ourselves. Dr Asseem Malhotra recently gave a 2 hours presentation to the European Parliament on several aspects of medicine including the poor research behind the Statins, and heart disease. It is well worth watching. You will find it on YouTube. Hardly surprising that since then he has been shunned by many of his colleagues. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that doctors and other health care professionals go into their professions with good intentions, wanting to do good and alleviate suffering. Sadly, they get sucked into an outdated reductionist medical system, that appears to be manipulated by people with other agendas. And those people seem to have a lot of power at government level, as well as health care agencies and university medical education. Doctors and nurses receive very little education in nutrition, life-style and mental well-being. I feel sorry for medical professionals who probably feel trapped in this outdated system of care, feeling powerless to do anything about it.

© Compiled by Grace DaSilva-Hill, MSc, RHom, LCPH, MLCH, MARH
Professional Homeopath, and Retired Nursing Lecturer

July 2019 (updated November 2019).

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