Our Head of Clinical Nutrition, Marta Anhelush joins Kirsten Chick, Nutritional Therapist and host of IHCAN podcast for a discussion on the epidemic of mental health problems. Aptly named ‘The Pain of Mental Illness’, they explore what this means, discussing limitations of our healthcare system, a lack of education around diet and lifestyle, and the stigma, shame and guilt that surrounds these issues. Marta and Kirsten also discuss the significance of specific diet, lifestyle and methylation support, as well as the importance of finding purpose in life.
Articles by Marta Anhelush
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Articles by Marta Anhelush
The gut and genital tract microflora of females are complex biological ecosystems that are in continuous communication with each other. The bacteria that colonise the vagina evolved through translocation of bacteria from the gut to the vagina, or through mother-to-child transfer during delivery. The vaginal microbiome is composed of over 200 species and is unique to each female, as it differs depending on genes, age, hygiene, dietary habits, ethnicity, and use of lubricants or medications.1,2 The overall health of the vagina depends on several factors, namely a healthy balance of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, good quality connective tissue, and a robust and diverse balance of beneficial bacteria that reside in the genital area which make up the vaginal microbiome.3
The normal vaginal microflora consists of Lactobacillus bacteria that emerge from the gut. This includes L. crispatus, L. gasseri, L.rhamnosus, L. salivarius, and L. plantarum with some Bifidobacterium species. These strains produce lactic acid, which maintains the vaginal pH to be within the required 3.5-4.5. This acidity is essential to prevent opportunistic bacteria from proliferating uncontrollably. Lactobacillus strains also exert a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect, which keeps foreign bacteria at bay. Other commensal anaerobic species with great propensity to becoming pathogens, especially when Lactobacilli are depleted include Gardnerella, Prevotella, Megasphaera, Atopobium, Streptococcus, Mobiluncus, Mycoplasma and Peptoniphilus. When in high levels, these strains may contribute to vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV).4 <
Thyroid disorders affect one in twenty people in the UK – could you be one of them?i
The thyroid gland is small, but mighty. It regulates how quickly our mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the ‘energy currency’ of our body, and in doing so, underpins metabolism and the health of every body system.ii Its key tools are thyroid hormones that communicate with our body cells - thyroxine (T4) which can be converted to the more active triiodothyronine (T3).
If the thyroid functions too slowly, as in hypothyroidism, there is too little fuel to feed the fire and metabolism becomes sluggish. Yet, if the thyroid functions too efficiently, as in hyperthyroidism, there is too much fuel to feed the fire and metabolism starts to work too fast. As hypothyroidism is much more common, this is what we will focus on in this article.
Modern life has created a metabolic ‘energy crisis’. Many people seem to have dysfunctional energy metabolism resulting in persistent fatigue, high stress levels, weight gain and long-term metabolic dysfunction. ‘Unexplained’ fatigue is commonplace, comprising 5-7% of primary care appointments1 and is occurring in younger people too.2 Yet medical practitioners struggle to find solutions and are restricted to looking at a limited range of blood tests to identify obvious culprits such as anaemia. In fact, often the symptoms are sub-clinical and wrapped up in the complexities of energy homeostasis and the wider picture of stress and environmental demand.
Are you are always tired, perhaps also feel the cold, generally overweight with thinning hair, water retention, and have poor skin quality? Have you been told, or suspect, your thyroid blood test (TSH/thyroxine) is out of range?
You might need support for your thyroid gland.