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...

Food Intolerance Testing

I was at an event today and a personal trainer was offering food intolerance testing to help ease eczema, joint pain, fatigue, bloating etc and was offering them at quite a hefty price and that got me thinking. I can access food intolerance testing at prices to suit all budgets but once you have the list of foods you are intolerant to, then what?  Would you just cut them out and maybe re introduce them at a later date?  What if you did that and you were still intolerant at the later date? A lot of people cut out a food group when they find they are intolerant to it and do not replace it with anything else.  Maybe later on, they find they are intolerant to something else and cut that out too, and then this happens again and again.  I hear this such a lot in my practice, people find they are becoming intolerant to more and more things, for example, gluten, then dairy, then the lectins in beans and pulses and then nightshade vegetables and on it goes.  In a recent lecture I listened to, the presenter said that people tend to eat around 10 to 20 foods only, if this is the case,then it would be devastating to cut out 4 food groups and then possibly still find that the body reacts to something else.  For me, elimination diets do not work, people get bored, get cravings and make unwise choices when they are at a petrol station and starving hungry.  I wouldn’t want people to get into a state of malnutrition either with problems...

Antibiotics

It’s that time of year when people have coughs and colds, respiratory and ear infections and sometimes antibiotics are a necessary part of recovery. However:  It is becoming more well known that the overuse of antibiotics can lead to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotic therapy.  This may have led to an increase in the rates of infections such as MRSA and C difficile, these illnesses are often seen in healthcare settings. Anti – biotic means against life, this means that as well as killing the bacteria causing an illness, they also have a detrimental effect on the good bacteria in the gut.  In the long term, antibiotics may also suppress the immune system and make repeated infections more likely and then you could get into a cycle of infection and antibiotic therapy.    A good population of good bacteria in the gut is essential for overall health, a well-functioning immune system and less opportunity for systemic fungal infections such as candida to flourish. If you do need to take antibiotics, here are some dietary tips that can help maintain the balance of good bacteria and minimise the stress to the overall wellbeing of your immune system. Avoid:  Sugary and yeasty foods to avoid fermentation in the gut:  for example, aged cheeses, marmite and Bovril, high sugar fruits such as banana and mango, alcohol.  Fermentation in the gut may lead to an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria which can trigger thrush and candida. Try: Berries and cherries, these are lower in sugar, try to eat them in between meals too so that they are not sat on top of a large meal....

What is Nutritional Therapy?

So what is Nutritional Therapy anyway and how does it differ to other forms of nutritional advice out there? The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy define it as ‘the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care’ Nutritional Therapists regard each one of their clients as a unique individual and recommend a personalised nutrition and lifestyle programme rather than a one sized fits all approach. It is important to say here that it is not a substitute for medical advice and a medical consultation must be sought if there are any ‘red flag’ symptoms or ideally before you come for a consultation. So what does that mean in terms of coming to see a Nutritional Therapist? An NT who has undergone the rigorous training that meets the BANT requirements, currently BCNH College of Nutrition and Health (with clinical training); CNELM, Institute for optimum nutrition, College of Naturopathic Medicine, Masters degrees from the Northern College of Acupuncture, University of Worcester and University of West London. These courses are deemed to meet all of the occupational, professional and clinical requirements to be registered as a safe practitioner. A Nutritional Therapist who has trained at one of these Institutes (CNM in my case) will be able to work in a personalised and tailored way by: optimising all of the body’s pathways and processes so that deep healing can begin; can order private laboratory tests not available from your GP to establish what could be the heart of your health issues (only after GP testing has been concluded and you are ‘chemically well’). These...

What’s in a name?

There’s a lot of confusion around nutrition.  There are a lot of titles and a lot of qualifications, some gained after a weekend module tied in with another qualification, some gained purely online and distance learning with no clinical component and some Diplomas, Degrees and Masters Degrees that take a number of years to complete with hundreds of hours observed clinical practice. I have heard of  Registered Nutritional Therapists; Dietitians; Nutritionists, Applied Nutritionists; Nutrition Adviser; Nutrition Coach; Wellness Coach amongst others.  I know the popular press like to slate ‘nutritionists’ for giving dubious unscientific advice whilst publishing articles about the latest ‘superfoods’ in their own pages.  For my part,it could be professional protection because I worked damned hard for my qualification, spending one or two weekends away each month for 3 years,  covering 20 plus modules on nutrition and it application, plus a year of biochemistry plus 200 (plus another 100 refresher) hours in observed clinical settings, taking countless exams and scientifically referenced essays and case studies..   I read recently in the paper about a nutrition coaching course where the only qualification was of an interest in food and healthy lifestyle.  I’m interested in herbs and essential oils but would not use them in my professional work, I am not qualified to do so and certainly do not wish to inflict the potential harm on the general public.  A professional needs to have a thorough understanding of the impact of food, macro and micronutrients, supplements,  their contraindications and interactions, body systems, biological and chemical pathways and much much more.  The qualification I have – The Diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition...