All change at the Wellbeing Lab!

So it’s been a few weeks of massive change and upheaval here at the Wellbeing Lab.  It’s been bloomin hard work and sometimes I wonder what the heck I’m doing but I have to keep my eye on the bigger goal.  I have been happily perched up in Cumbria for most of my life but have periods where I want to travel and learn more about other people and places and this is one of those periods. We (hubby, big lurcher and I) have given up our home, most of our belongings and put what we need (not want) into the back of a van and set off for hopefully sunnier climes.  The van isn’t ready yet as we don’t have the cooker and heating sorted yet and it hasn’t been decorated inside yet but these are jobs to do over the summer.  Pictures to follow when we are fully hippyfied!  To enable us to get used to the idea of living in a small space together without killing each other, get the van fully operational and to revamp my business to fully online, we are spending 6 months in Cornwall before moving across the Channel to Europe in around October time. In this 6 months, I have a lot to do in terms of The Wellbeing Lab.  I will write in more details about the changes in later posts but to sum it up there will be:     Online Courses:  These will be in modular form that people can take one at a time and work through as many as they need to in order to achieve...

The factors driving fatigue and fibromyalgia

Fatigue and Fibromyalgia can arise from physical, emotional, environmental, lifestyle, dietary and iatrogenic (medically induced) causes.  The key to resolution is unravelling the reasons, there are generally more than one so a full holistic approach is needed. When I see a client, I take a full case history including childhood, previous antibiotic use, exposure to toxins, stressful events, dietary history, body system function and anything else that could be a contributor. From my past and current clients, there are a myriad of causes and these need to be worked through.  A 60 to 90 minutes first appointment is generally a fact finding one and small initial changes are put in place whilst further testing is carried out.  Most people cannot manage more than 3 changes at a time, any more can be a fall at the first hurdle.  I have only had one client take everything on board and be in a really good place within a short space of time. The main things I see: Susceptible people with predisposing factors: Standard western diet. Chronic lack of sleep Type A personality – driven, caring, plate spinning multi taskers. The Pill and HRT, female hormones are complex and finely tuned Allergies Poor mitochondrial function Poor thyroid function Gut issues Toxicity – metals, pesticides, chemicals. Stressful events or lifestyle.  A stressful event is often the trigger for the onset of the fatigue or fibromyalgia. Infection – viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic.  I often see candida. Prescription drugs – statins, antibiotics, anti-depressants, Silicone from breast implants. Physical triggers – unremitting noise, infrasound from wind turbines. Emotional triggers Wifi and smart meters   This...

HOW MUCH WATER DO I NEED TO DRINK IN ONE DAY

There are a lot of differing opinions in how many glasses of water people need to drink in one day: Just having a quick look online,, I have seen recommendations for 8 glasses of water per day; 2 to 3 litres per day and half your body weight in fluid ounces of water per day.  The confusion is heightened by knowing what constitutes ‘water’:  does this include tea and coffee, fizzy drinks, herbal teas and fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water. Here are three tips that should help cut through the confusion:      1) Understand what good levels of hydration do for the body Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue:  Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. Promotes Weight Loss: Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories! Flushes Out Toxins: Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections). Improves Skin Complexion: Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around! Maintains Regularity:  Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation. Boosts Immune System:  A regular water drinker is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks. Natural Headache Remedy: ...

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING THYROID SUPPLEMENTS?

Should you self-prescribe supplements if you are technically not hypothyroid enough for your doctor to be concerned? Doc, I feel old, cold and tired!!  The amount of times I’ve had this conversation with my doctor!  Thyroid issues are rampant in my family, mum, sisters, nieces….and all of the time I have been ‘chemically well’.  Is this something you can relate to? If you go to your doctor with what appears to be suboptimal thyroid symptoms:  consistently lowered body temperature, gaining weight with no increase in foods or decrease in activity, inability to lose weight, fatigue, poor memory and concentration and many more, your doctor may recommend you take a TSH test and if you’re lucky, a screen for auto immune antibodies.  The TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone –  is part of a feedback loop mechanism between the hypothalamus gland in your brain – the pituitary gland – and the thyroid gland.  Each gland releases its own hormones and feeds down the loop and the thyroid responds by producing, or ceasing production of thyroid hormones of T4 and T3.  In effect, TSH is like a messenger which knocks on the door of the thyroid, if your thyroid is struggling, it will knock louder, if it is overproducing, it will knock much lighter. Doctors appear to be very reliant on the TSH as a guide to hypothyroidism with current UK guidelines showing treatment may start if TSH is over 10.  From a naturopathic point of view, optimal levels are set much lower at around 2 to 2.5 .  Given the wide variance between these levels, people are told their levels are...

PYROLURIA

If you’ve never heard of the condition, pyroluria, you’re not alone.  Chances are your doctor hasn’t heard of it either, or isn’t too interested in it, even if he or she does know anything about it.  Why?  Because, like leaky gut and adrenal exhaustion, it is a condition more understood by holistic practitioners, functional medicine doctors and naturopaths. What is it? Pyroluria is a genetic metabolic condition long recognized by the field of orthomolecular medicine and orthomolecular psychiatry.  As many as 50% of those with autism, 40% of alcoholics, 70% of schizophrenics, 70% of persons with depression and 30% of persons struggling with ADD may have pyroluria underlying these conditions and make them very difficult to reach with traditional and even holistic therapies.  –But pyroluria isn’t limited to these populations.  As much as 10% of the population may have this metabolic condition and not know it…but may have lifelong symptoms associated with it that tend to worsen with age…and stress. What are the symptoms? In general, the symptoms of pyroluria have a mysteriously intractable quality to them and may lead to lifelong issues with severe inner tension, ongoing anxiety, poor stress tolerance (with added stress of any kind making the symptoms worse), digestive issues and difficulty digesting protein, frequent colds and infections, joint pain or stiffness, acne, eczema or psoriasis, mood swings and reactivity, poor short term memory, and a tendency in many to lean towards being a loner…among many other potential symptoms. I’ve also included a questionnaire outlining many of the most common symptoms reported you can use to help you determine whether it is worth additional testing...

What makes me different?

  You get your diagnosis of fatigue or fibromyalgia, and then what?  You might be given a prescription for pain relief or anti depressants and told that your condition is for life and sent on your way.  Did your healthcare provider tell you why you have your debilitating and painful condition?   Did they tell you what the root cause might be?  Did they tell you how you can take steps to help yourself?  If they did, you are very lucky.  Normally, GP time is very scarce, you may wait weeks for an appointment and have approximately 7 minutes of their time.  They have often had very little training in lifestyle and nutrition and often work from a ‘calming symptoms with medication’ approach rather than a whole body integrated way. This is what makes me different.  I trained for 3 years in nutritional therapy and then one more year completing my specialist practitioner training with the Chrysalis Effect programme.  I have an in depth understanding to what can contribute to fatigue or fibromyalgia, know that there is always a root cause to ill health and support the body’s systems to help it to regain its balance, your body wants to be well! No matter how many people I meet with fatigue or fibromyalgia, their root cause and life challenges are all different.  There is no one pill for your ill sadly.  I spend time before our appointment looking at your comprehensive systems analysis form and get an idea of where the root cause might be.  At the first appointment, I spend up to 90 minutes with you, finding out...

Weight gain – a hormonal perspective

I hear from my clients so much that they are eating healthily but the weight is either at a plateau or is not coming off at all.  They swear they are eating the foods recommended in their protocols and taking a good amount of exercise but, zilch, nada, nothing is happening.  Now some people who adhere to the calories in calories out equation might think that the client is sneaking in more calories than they are letting on but I trust my clients when they tell me they are doing their best.  So what else could be going on? Many obstacles have nothing to do with what you eat or how much you exercise. Instead, they involve things like nutritional imbalances, chronic inflammation, metabolic challenges, leaky gut, changes in your microbiome, environmental toxins and your genes. One huge but often-overlooked reason for weight-loss resistance involves hormonal imbalances. The main hormone that causes weight gain, inflammation and chronic disease is excess insulin.  Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). At the same time, insulin isn’t the only player; other hormones also affect your weight and health. Three big disruptors are: thyroid, cortisol and sex hormones. Thyroid: Research shows hypothyroidism, or low-thyroid function, affects one in five women and one in ten men. Unfortunately, in over half of these cases, this condition isn’t diagnosed.   There are many things that can affect the health of the thyroid: A...

All change!

  I posted to Facebook recently stating that changes will be afoot at Pam Joy Nutrition from the beginning of July so here is a taster of what is to come. I’m going to be making a few changes to the way I work over the coming months.  In order to support more people to deal with their chronic illnesses, I have to streamline the way I work and become more responsive in my approach.  I am already committed to working via Skype with clients with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia alongside the Chrysalis Effect online support programme and am also a registered practitioner with Natural Health Worldwide and want to build on this. As well as my regular face to face work in Cumbria, I will be offering consultations on an online basis, it does not matter where you live, whether its Carlisle or Conwy, Plumpton or Portsmouth, you can access my expert knowledge on chronic fatigue, ME, fibromyalgia and chronic illnesses.  All that is necessary is that you have access to a computer and a Skype account and have had all of the necessary consultations with your healthcare provider.  If you are too unwell or fatigued to leave the house, or live away from Cumbria, this is for you. The second change I will be making is working on a care package basis.  At the moment, I offer initial and follow up appointments separately and will be combining these into different levels of support packages, ranging from a one off appointment, for example to interpret test results, to ongoing support over a few months or more for chronic...

Who am I and what do I do?

I trained for 3 years at the College of Naturopathic Medicine and had 300 observed clinical hours to ensure I am safe and competent.  This was a very rigorous course with one years in depth biochemistry, one year looking at food in microscopic depth, macro and micro nutrients,different diet types etc and one year covering the use of nutrition in prevention and in disease states.  Everything I submitted had to be scientifically researched and proven so have worked really hard to complete the course.    Since qualification, I have undertaken further study with the Chrysalis Effect and have qualified as one of their specialist practitioners in Chronic Fatigue,ME and Fibromyalgia. With my combined training, I have successfully supported a range of common and chronic health conditions. Autoimmune:  inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis. Low energy/fatigue:  Chronic fatigue, tired all the time, ME Mood and Cognition:  brain fog, anxiety, depression, restless leg syndrome Skin: Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema Pain conditions:  Joint Pain, Polymyalgia, Fibromyalgia Metabolic and lifestyle conditions:  Type 2 diabetes, pre diabetes, High blood pressure,high cholesterol, thyroid (hypo and hyperthyroid) and adrenal health Gut health:  Irritable bowel syndrome, low stomach acid, liver and gallbladder issues, reflux, parasites, dysbiosis The main people who seek my help may have: Chronic illness:  they may have a number of chronic illnesses, prediabetes,high cholesterol and blood pressure and low thyroid; they may still be struggling with symptoms or with the side effects of their prescribed medication. Unexplained symptoms:  they may have had all the tests at their doctors but have all come back as normal, they are ‘technically’ well but don’t feel...