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Health & Ailments (A-Z)
This condition is most prevalent among teenagers, and the hormonal changes that take place at this age are certainly at the root of many skin problems. These changes cause the sebaceous glands to produce too much sebum and keratin, which blocks up the skin pores and makes them more likely to get infected. A diet high in saturated fat or fried food also makes pores more likely to get blocked. Vitamin A deficiency produces skin congestion through over-keratinisation of skin cells. Vitamin A and zinc deficiency leads to lowered ability to fight infection, as does lack of beneficial bacteria (through over-use of antibiotics). Optimum nutrition helps by balancing hormones as well as reducing the risk of infection. The most important nutrients are vitamins A, B complex (especially B6), C and E, zinc, niacin for skin flushing, and vitamin E for wound healing. Good diet and cleanliness are essential. Be careful of supplements with added iodine, which can make acne worse.
Diet advice Follow an optimum diet and drink plenty of water. Sulphur-rich foods such as eggs, onions and garlic are also helpful. Avoid sugar, cigarettes, fried and high-fat foods. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (high water content foods).
Acne rosacea is a rather mysterious but quite common condition which usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50. Acne-like eruptions of red spots appear on the face, and particularly the cheeks. The cheeks then become very red as the capillaries there fill with blood.
To strengthen fragile capillaries, make sure you’re taking in plenty of bioflavonoids: eat lots of red and purple fruits and vegetables, especially berries, and take a 1 gram vitamin C supplement containing at least 250mg of bioflavonoids or an equivalent amount of berry extracts. Inadequate digestive enzymes and possibly low stomach acid (hydrochloric acid, or HCl) have also been linked to acne rosacea, as has a lack of the fat-digesting enzyme lipase. Many sufferers find supplementing these enzymes with their main meals helps. See Supplements in Resources. As the condition has been linked to B vitamin deficiency, take a high-strength B complex or multivitamin. Acne rosacea has also been reported as an associated symptom in pernicious anaemia, that is B12 deficiency. It’s also a good idea to avoid too many alcoholic or hot drinks and spicy foods, as these can all aggravate the condition. And as alcohol-based skincare products can do the same, choose the purest, simplest facial creams you can find.
Acne rosacea may also be associated with a leaky gut and food allergyand sometimes responds favorably to MSM supplementation. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a non-toxic, natural component of the plants and animals we eat and is also normally found in breast milk. This magic molecule contains a highly usable form of sulphur, the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and part of the chemical makeup of over 150 compounds (all the proteins, as well as sulphur-containing amino acids, antibodies, collagen, skin, nails, insulin, growth hormone and the most potent antioxidant, the enzyme glutathione). Vegans and people on a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet probably don’t get enough MSM. Antibiotic overuse may also contribute to sulphur deficiency by killing off the intestinal bacteria needed to produce essential sulphur-containing amino acids.
You might also want to try transdermal vitamin A and C, for example Environ’s AVST and C Boost.
Particularly prevalent among histadelic (high-histamine) people (see page 000), alcoholism may in part be a way of coping with the excess energy that such individuals produce. B vitamins, especially B1, B2, B3 and B6, are destroyed by alcohol, which primarily affects the liver and nervous system. Vitamins A and C help protect the liver. Glutamine heals the gut and reduces cravings. A very alkaline diet reduces the craving for alcohol. Tyrosine and adaptogens help to prevent emotional and physicals lows after stopping. Emotional problems almost always underlie alcoholism, and these, as well as the addiction – which usually also exists for sugar, must be solved.
Diet advice Follow the recommended diet and eat plenty of whole grains, beans and lentils. Drink plenty of water. Often, sugar addiction is substituted for alcohol, which is just another form of sugar, so sugar and stimulants are also best avoided. Eat frequent meals containing some protein foods such as nuts, seeds, fish, chicken, eggs or milk produce.
‘Allergy’ is a word that often invokes connotations beyond its original meaning. An allergy is an intolerance to a particular substance. We have an intolerance to coffee, for example, if large amounts produce symptoms. Some people have more pronounced symptoms, even to simple foods like wheat or milk. Since an allergy is like an addiction, it is often the foods that one is most ‘addicted’ to that are suspect. If you feel that you might have allergies but do not know what they are, it is best to see a nutrition consultant or an allergy specialist who can test you and solve any underlying digestive imbalances that provoke allergies. Optimum nutrition will greatly reduce or clear up allergic reactions in most cases. Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium help to reduce the severity of allergic reactions. L-glutamine heals the gut and supports the immune system, reducing allergic potential.
Diet advice Follow a general healthy diet. Avoid suspect foods, dairy products and grains (the most common allergens), especially wheat. After two months you may be able to reintroduce suspect foods every fourth day without having a reaction. Eventually you may be able to tolerate your allergens in small amounts on a daily basis.
ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA
Like many degenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s stems primarily from not looking after your diet and lifestyle. The actual damage in the brain is caused by inflammation linked to too many oxidants, blood sugar problems, raised cortisol, high homocysteine and exposure to toxic metals. These include aluminium, copper and mercury. Trace amounts of mercury can cause the type of damage to nerves that is characteristic of Alzheimer’s. If you are experiencing significant decline in mental function, and have a mouth full of amalgam fillings, I’d recommend you seriously consider having them replaced. One of the best predictors of dementia and Alzheimer’s risk is your blood level of homocysteine. If it’s high, supplementing large amounts of B6 (100mg), B12 (100mcg) and folic acid (800mcg) helps lower it.
Anaemia can be caused by iron, B12 or folic acid deficiency. A blood test can determine if you have such deficiencies. Iron is needed in the body to make haemoglobin – a key part of blood responsible for the delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to your tissues, brain, muscles and organs. If you’re low in iron you can’t make enough red blood cells, hence your pale appearance, and with fewer red blood cells, your brain and body don’t get the levels of oxygen and other nutrients they need. If you’re low in folic acid or B12 the haemoglobin is misshapen and doesn’t work properly. The result? Tiredness.
Two simple tests of your iron status involve your eyelids and fingernails. Look in the area under your lower eyelids – it should be a rich pink/red colour, not pale; press on the end of your fingernail, turning the bed white – it should come back to red quickly when you release it, not stay pale.
ANGINA AND ATHEROSCLEROSIS
Atherosclerosis is a narrowing of the arteries due to fatty deposits. When the condition becomes more pronounced, blood pressure begins to increase. If a pronounced block occurs in the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen, then angina, experienced as chest pain on exertion, may result. Optimum nutrition is the primary method for preventing both of these conditions. Antioxidant nutrients help prevent the cellular damage that may underlie these problems. Vitamin C and lysine help to reverse atherosclerosis. Vitamin B3 (niacin) raises HDL, the cholesterol remover. Fish oils, rich in EPA and DHA, thin the blood and reduce cholesterol.
There are two major forms of arthritis and many different causes for both. Osteoarthritis, more common in the elderly, describes a condition in which the cartilage in the joints wears away, inducing pain and stiffness mainly in weight-bearing joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the whole body, not just certain joints. Antioxidant nutrients, essential fats and herbs such as boswellia, curcumin and certain hop extracts reduce inflammation. B vitamins and vitamin C support the endocrine system, which controls calcium balance. Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and boron support bone health. Glucosamine and MSM help to build healthy joints.