Proteolytic Enzymes

This post will look at proteolytic enzymes and ask what they can do for us.

The last post looked into a newly discovered, high cholesterol level. I didn’t ask for it but have been given a set of numbers to consider (I don’t do enough cardiovascular exercise). I think this is where I might see changes happen rather than dietary approaches. Proteolytic enzymes have the potential to help many different kinds of condition, it’s hard to know where to start!

Now is a good time to revisit a subject from a post written last year that mentions proteolytic enzymes very briefly. I’d just started them  on the recommendation of a practitioner I saw to help keep my body working as best as it could. They get referred to after the post’s last heading and before the photo at the bottom of the page.

Enzymes are amazing things, they seem to be able to do all things for all people (where needed) and they could be handy for most folk?
There are around 3000 different types of  enzymes in existence and those are just the ones that have names!

Have you heard of digestive enzymes to take with food? Proteolytic enzymes are similar things but work differently and best on an empty stomach.

We are born with some to start with as they help our body digest stuff. We make more in the pancreas as we go through life. Cooked food in particular requires more enzymes to digest it as we did a fair amount of evolving mostly before our skills with cooking came along!

If we make our own enzymes why do we need to take extra enzymes?

  • Because we don’t eat enough raw food/Eat too high a proportion of cooked food.
  • Enzymes are at the heart of almost all physiological processes in the body including digesting the food we choose to eat.  Mostly we ate more, raw veg than we do nowadays.
  • We can buy digestive enzymes to boost our own digestion allowing us to eat certain foods we may have been avoiding for the various ‘tummy troubles’ they cause.
  • Digestion starts as we chew, our saliva contains amylase which begins digestion even before we swallow.
  • We use a lot of energy to digest food so any help we can get in this process will give us more energy.

Have you ever had the feeling that a meal, once eaten, seemed to just sit in your belly? To digest the cooked food we eat uses up lots of our own enzymes. Often the processes that are needed for effective digestion work better with a little bit of warmth  but not too much heat as that can destroy them!

super digester

Proteolytic Enzymes are good for us outside of digestion.

  • Sports people use proteolytic enzymes when they have a sports injury that has caused inflammation.
  • people with high cholesterol levels (have tiny fragments of protein and/or fat which can thicken the blood and cause CVD later on).
  • Chronically ill people also have a greater amount of inflammation in their bodies (inflammation as part of the disease state).
  • to aim to look younger  by helping to reduce wear and tear on our bodies.

All these groups of people may take proteolytic enzymes to reduce mess in the body such as swelling from injury.

Enzymes are present in the food we eat. They help us get energy from food. Enzymes digest/dissolve stuff and when they have no food to digest they’re digesting no longer needed stuff in our blood and reducing our sticky blood (which can accumulate) if we’re not as active as we know we should be.

A certain amount of inflammation is good if it’s reducing the amount of movement an injured limb can go through but, after a point it’s damaging.

Enzymes a go go!

We can buy a range of enzymes which are more effective when taken with other types of enzymes. Serrapeptase is considered a good one at the moment (fashion seems to play a part in supplements?) Serrapeptase is collected from caterpillars that make silk and the protein they make is something special. Sometimes I wonder a bit about the type of life farmed silk worms have? Other enzymes available mop up different types of proteins but in a similar way:

I was going to list amylase, bromelain, papain, trypsin and other enzymes that process different carbs, fats or proteins in our food but there are more complete lists out there (that require a simple search) before finding the site that does it better than me!

All of these enzymes and more help our body do a range of things better.

High Cholesterol… Says Who?

High cholesterol… according to what measure?

Don’t leave before you read the last few lines! My lipid profile was checked when I was going in for other blood tests at the doctors. The GP surgery pointed me to a website to read as I had ‘high cholesterol’. My level could be considered borderline high according to some measuring, apparently.

My cholesterol numbers are not at the bottom of the UK’s range, but also not at the top.

It seems there are a number of cholesterol measures to take into account and a number of ways to skin this particular cholesterol cat?

This is a UK page I found (the UK and the US seem to measure things differently).

High cholesterol… Says who? There are SO many opinions to hear. We need to decide who to listen to.

I’ve been to have a look at whether my cholesterol levels are fine or not?

We (the Western ‘developed’ world) started avoiding eggs and saturated fat after listening to flawed research in the 1950s!

What follows is a quote from the guy who got us throwing out the best part of an egg (the yolks) to save our hearts and cardiovascular system. In a 2004 editorial in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, Sylvan Lee Weinberg, former president of the American College of Cardiology and outspoken proponent of the diet-heart hypothesis, said

The low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet… may well have played an unintended role in the current epidemics of obesity, lipid abnormalities, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndromes. This diet can no longer be defended by appeal to the authority of prestigious medical organizations.

one of my favourite meals

I found this site very heartening (excuse the weak pun) in how it neatly debunks the heart health myths we’re peddled, daily.

Even if we eat NO cholesterol our liver makes cholesterol, this is a good thing as we need it to make hormones that are essential for our wellbeing. that FACT is mentioned less on heart healthy websites!

I can’t help but wonder whether our increasing talk of stranger danger is keeping our children from exercising and being able to deal better with whatever we throw into our stomachs?

It’s being proposed that children from the age of 9 ought to have their cholesterol levels regularly checked?

It’s now been established that eating cholesterol has little if no bearing on the fat levels in our blood. Thanks go to Chris Kresser for the link further up.

Continuing to make low fat margarine and low fat other stuff, has created a mighty industry to keep up. You would have thought this would be especially tricky in the face of uncomfortable truth!

Eggs and butter REALLY don’t cause high cholesterol!

I repeat, dietary fat and cholesterol are not our enemy but we have a huge industry interested in keeping us misinformed.


I’ve been using coconut fat in place of butter. It has  an equivalent amount of saturated fat to butter but I have been reading recently that butter is a ‘safe’ dairy food. It doesn’t contain as many of the proteins that other dairy products contain? Our bodies can get confused

Since I was little I’ve not liked the idea or taste of consuming another species’ growth fluid (breast milk from another animal) but apparently, because butter is higher fat there’s little space for the rest of the casein I’ve been avoiding by ditching dairy.

I’ll talk about avoiding dairy in another post, soon. Here is another post where I talk about lots of things that go into how our bodies function.

This nutrition lark and high cholesterol (?) is not straightforward!

I refer again to the link near the top of the page which had a number of myth busting bullet points (Myth No.5).

People who have heart attacks have LOWER cholesterol levels than those who DON’T have heart attacks!

I’ve gathered, if we want to live longer then let’s not be concerned with cholesterol levels? On the other hand, our weight and an out of control insulin response to sugar (and everything that contains it) WILL contribute to heart disease and possibly a shorter life!

Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement mostly doesn’t involve chocolate!

Marginal Gains help us to reach similar actions of an industrial engineering expert writing in Linkedin. He talks about the squeeze on profits from multiple directions in the modern commercial world. Dave Harnett highlights the need for continuous, enterprise-wide improvements to shave spending here and there and protect the company’s bottom line in the process.

Team Sky (the UK cycling team from the 2012 Olympics) refer to the process when aiming to make Marginal Gains wherever possible. Looking at every tiny thing (outfit material and cut, breakfast choices, study of sleeping habits etc) that might shave hundredths of seconds off a competing time for their athletes .

Owners of chronic conditions also need to see the management of their bodies in a similar way to companies or elite sports people wishing to seek continuous improvement and become more competitive.

Continuous Improvement mostly doesn’t involve chocolate!

We may not have the bottom line and shareholders to worry about but we face the hardest manager of all, ourselves. We can choose to focus on aspects of our health… like inflammation or pay no attention to the food we bring into our bodies?

Inflammation is at the heart of many long term conditions. Runaway/unmanaged inflammation contributes to ongoing, long term  damage to cells in the body. It stands to reason if we can minimise its impact on our bodies our bodies might function better for longer?

Bearing in mind that Continuous improvement mostly doesn’t involve chocoloate I’d like to present some lists of anti and pro-inflammatory foods it could be wise for us to do more or less of?
We can experiment on ourselves by take stuff out of our diets for a week or two and observe if it has any beneficial effects on our bodies?


  • Sugar
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Milk
  • Alcohol
  • Soy

These 6 things are the most common foods for provoking an immune response in humans. It’s not an exhaustive list of inflammatory foods (we’re all different for a start).  It may be your body is utterly equipped to deal with these things in which case you’ve spent a week finding out and now you can go back to them without any worries.

Anti-inflammatory substances

  • ‘eat the rainbow’ not a psychedelic instruction from an earlier decade but the suggestion to eat a spectrum of fruit and vegetables in the diet every day.

including herbs, spices and dark green leafy vegetables.

  • Fish and fish oils (flaxseed oil if you’re not keen on fish it’s not as good as fish oil but still better than nothing).
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • Olive oil for salad dressing
  • Berries as part of the rainbow.

Continuous Improvement mostly doesn’t involve chocolate!

All these things are good for a body. We’ve spent a few hundred thousand years evolving whilst eating versions of these foodstuffs.

delightfully created chocolate rabbits unfortunately are proinflammatory being made with milk chocolate (I’d imagine) which contains one of the taxing foods for our bodies that might not work for us?

Life ultimately is about finding our own middle way and not sticking to hard and fast rules. If we get to talk to people when we eat various foodstuffs we can find a benefit from that. Don’t get silly about it but instead, treat your body with the respect it deserves.

legomen talking about continuous improvement to chocolate rabbits.

Pleiotropic… what?

Pleiotropic, this word explains why the posts on this site are a little scattered and not yet bundled into nice easy sections.

It’s not just because my brain hasn’t felt sharp enough to turn on a concise, subject dividing sixpence recently!

Also, life isn’t neat and tidy: Everything is interconnected!

what does pleiotropic mean?

Dr Tom O Bryan defined pleiotropic for his followers a few years back… multi-pronged essentially. Wellness and healing take time – they don’t happen overnight. this makes them unsexy and unlikely to grab any headlines. Can you imagine for example?

Extra, Extra, Read All About It:

“Woman makes her life a little bit better by doing a bit of exercise every day, improving sleeping habits, finding a hobby, connecting with friends and eating real food.”

it’ll barely fit on one line for a start!

This whole site is about going at making life a little bit better. Whether you are a person with diagnosed illness or just knackered the whole time and feel like the sparkle has gone from life you will find a post that could be of use. It’s tricky to find the line between being preachy about what we know deep down will be good for us (decent sleep and relaxation) and providing posts of actual use.

This recent link from an employee at the NIH (US National Institute of Health) touches on why we all have to be our own doctor. The institutions around us on the whole don’t make their best profits from well adjusted, healthy customers. It’s not in the food industry’s interest either to encourage us to skip a meal every now and then.

There are many ways we can get life flowing a little better, only one of which is food. Another life improver is exercise: choosing a type that fits into our lives makes it more likely we’ll keep up that New Year’s resolution that fails every year by around March!

I believe the pages on this site can help to make life a little bit better.

It’s perhaps not a huge claim but one that is achievable and when we achieve one thing then we feel more positive about tackling another thing and another…

Marginal improvements are still improvements!

A series recently aired on the BBC, Doctor in the House illustrated this multi-pronged approach to living a better life by living life a little bit better.

A Venn diagram of seeking wellness


cracking the wellness code?

This post like many of the others on this site will look at alternative ways of avoiding or possibly lessening lingering unwellness. This applies whether you have a chronic condition or not: After we’ve tried adjusting what, when and how much we eat as well as what, when and how much we move (or be still) we can start to try and address other energy sapping intestinal hitchhikers.

These are approaches I’m trying at the moment to help crack the code of monochrome vibrancy, including the presence of candida and other naturally occurring alien invaders!

  • It’s refreshing to see a doctor acknowledge that yeast overgrowth is a problem and not all in the patient’s head.
  • Shingles (one type of virus we carry, usually without problem) might be an issue for you? If you had chicken pox as a youngster it’s with you for life. When we’re feeling fighting fit this is fine as our immune systems keep it under control but if we have a series of stressful events and life just generally is not feeling like it’s under control the virus that keeps itself to itself most of the time can come out to play by travelling along nerves to make sore blisters/lumps on our skin.



If you’re one of our regular readers, you may have noticed a change in the way the site looks?

We’re getting happier with its usability. As the volume of posts increase, some visitors had been finding it hard to navigate once they’d reached us.

Let us know what changes you might like to see and we’ll continue to do what we can to make change happen.



As part of the next installment of my ongoing candida campaign I’ve been taking a biofilm disruptor (between meals) alongside a set of antifungals (with meals) reduced from last autumn.

  • Since reading this page, stumbled into after much searching in frustration at what seemed to be a stall in my chance to get a seat at the wellness table I’ve been taking a disruptor (not dementor). Biofilms are everywhere, apparently: what we brush from our teeth every morning is made up in part from biofilms being created by the bacteria that like living on our teeth.
  • I’ve also started a parasite cleanse consisting of a short course of clove, wormwood and black walnut extracts (read on to find out why).

Yeast (singular or plural? I’m not sure) create Harry Potter style cloaks of  invisibility which leave the yeast impervious to an increasingly inhospitable intestinal tract. It’s one of the reasons antibiotics can sometimes lose their effectiveness (perhaps part of what makes a bug super, too?) After a time, the antifungals including oil of oregano, Uva Ursi, Pau D’Arco, Olive Leaf Extract (amongst others) also stopped working.

My candida reduction protocol started in earnest last August following Christa Orrechio’s suggestions  (mentioned and linked to in another post here) and had been going very well til Christmas.

Things seemed to slide a little as life happened, seasonal celebrations were had and more sugar came into my diet. Shame on me, time to get back on the sugar free wagon, I thought.

Is it blind arrogance to imagine we, as humans are able to gain control of these  opportunistic, hugely successful invaders?

Yeast (in many forms) has been on earth for longer than us and has developed a trick or two to make sure it stays alive. Perhaps we need a certain amount of respect for these immigrants and learn how best to live alongside them?

Whilst facing the yeast shaped beast, we most likely, are also dealing with our addiction to sugar.

I have a handful of skin eruptions on the fingers and thumb of my right hand. It has been suggested to me they could be viral in nature and not, as I’d previously thought: A sign that deeply embedded yeast was on the move in my slowly healing body.


makers mark on a building construction


This life stuff doesn’t seem to have an easily crackable code to me, yet. But whatever the cause I’ve been feeling pretty good in myself. Sometimes it can be best NOT to look for the code but be glad SOMETHING is working (also referred to as not looking a gift horse in the mouth).

A future post will be about PsychoNeuroImmunology. I was recommended Jo Dispenza’s ‘You Are The Placebo’ as a worthwhile read. It is very worthwhile and also a fascinating, inspiring and empowering way to consider an uneven system.

A nutritionist friend is taking a cPNI training at the moment. I’m excited to see what’s to come, her trainer said he saw people with MS leave him without MS!

Candida Overgrowth Part 2 and/or SIBO?

two cups of hot drink on desk

This is the second part of my candida cleanse collection of posts.

What can we do after finding our spit sinks first thing in the morning? (please see the previous post for details on sinking spit here).

I’ve entered into this protocol with a bit more vigour than in the past and am now into my 3rd month of a daily diet of pretty much no sugar, booze, yeast and/or vinegar but lots of fresh veg (mostly greens less starch) and no sweet fruit (green apples and blueberries are ok in moderation). Recently I have reintroduced fermented vegetables (I describe the making of them here).

I checked my spit this morning as I’ve been feeling slowly, slightly a little better in a number of areas.

  • My limbs feel more… reliable,
  • my balance seems more centred (I don’t feel like I might overbalance and fall over as much and
  • my head feels clearer. I appreciate none of those statements sound like gamechanging successes but
  • I no longer crave sugar! That I consider to be a resounding success.
  • I treated myself with a square of 85% dark chocolate and there’s still a quarter of the square left this morning!

I’m still not great at carrying two cups of hot liquid in both hands at once (a few drops spilt but neither cup tipped) these are all tiny signs (to me at least) that things are changing. Grated ginger in one and loose leaf green tea in a yellow submarine in the other are both I believe, polyphenol rich and therefore, desirable?

I have a question mark as there are so many things I don’t myself have proof of and have to take it on trust that various people on the internet aren’t lying to me and as far as I know, I’m not lying here either but like I mention in various other posts, your best bet is to do lots of reading from lots of different places and become your own research and/or researcher.

Anyway, let’s get on to how these happy changes may have come about.

In the previous post I spoke of hugely reducing my sugar intake, stopping booze, vinegar and generally what could be considered as excess starch consumption. It’s not like I was a booze hound or I ate all the cakes every day but even a tiny amount was giving fuel to the yeasts that I felt had grown out of control in me resulting in recurrent UTIs, fatigue and fierce sugar cravings.

Along with those dietary changes I followed the regimen of antifungals as suggested by Christa Orecchio when talking to Sean Croxton (both of whom I believe I mentioned in the previous post. So, I’m hoping to try and get rid of

  • recurring yeast infections
  • remorseless fatigue
  • bloating and gas
  • poor memory
  • brain fog.

At every meal, I have been starving the yeast of its favorite food (by not eating those foods) aswell as, in 4 day rotations, taking two at a time of:

  • pau d’arco
  • olive leaf extract
  • oil of oregano (this one is cruel as the smell reminds me of Italian food!)
  • grapfruit seed extract
  • uva ursi

As well as my

  • Betaine HCL supplements with every meal (the dosing of this supplement deserves its own post – watch this space).

This supplement enhances the amount of stomach acid to help digest a meal. When things are ticking along nicely Hydrochloric acid should be your first line of defense in killing pathogenic bacteria from food but age, a history of disordered eating, antibiotic use, stress and low salt diets can all interfere with our body’s natural ability to produce it. Every morning, before food I take a spoonful of

  • Diatomaceous Earth and
  • Bentonite Clay mixed with water.

The clay has a positive charge which can be lessened when it comes into contact with metal. Luckily the company I bought it from supplied a wooden spoon. The DE (food grade) has really sharp edges that scour out your gut and the clay clings to particles. Essentially the two products together behave like Harvey Keitel in any number of his roles as a ‘cleaner’ in films. Combined they remove the evidence of the bacteria’s presence in your body.

I think this subject could be spread into a third post but for the moment I’m stopping here. My spit was floating and I thought it might be safe to have a glass of wine, it wasn’t. So, I’m back to ensuring my spit doesn’t drown! I’ll keep you informed of changes.

I mention SIBO in the title and honestly have little idea of the difference in action of an opportunistc yeast and a Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth as I haven’t gone as far as sending my stool off to be analysed. I’ll see what I can do on my own for the moment as I understand there is some overlap between having an overgrowth of one organism when compared to another.

Simple strategies for living well

Take a piece of string, measure your height with it and fold it in half, does it fit around your waist?

Waist to height measurement is a pretty good indicator of whether you really need that extra helping of… cake/pie/favourite foodstuff!

A balanced diet is made up (thanks to Paul Chek for this simplification) of food with eyes (protein and fats) and food with no eyes (carbohydrates). Avocados and nuts are exceptions to that rule but generally vegetables growing above ground like leafy greens will be less starchy than vegetables grown below ground: potatoes, sweet potato, beetroot, parsnips and carrots to name a few.

Why does all this matter?

There are a growing number of people that believe the gut is at the heart of most disease. Hippocrates got there first over two thousand years ago but a growing number of people alive today are also questioning the quality of the food we eat nowadays and are looking for simpler/less procesed foods to eat. Stuff that our bodies have evolved to digest over multiple dozens of millennia.

There are many different versions of the ‘Just Eat Real Food‘ sentiment. Eat food, not too much and mostly plants is the simple guideline given by journalist Michael Pollan in his book In Defence of Foods.

Food = Epigenetic information. Which is a new way to think of our morning break fast.

Every piece of food we eat ‘talks to’ the cells in our body. These conversations can shape how our bodies continue to exist in their environment. I think but am not fully read up on the research yet, that what we eat over time can impact how our bodies respond to everything around us. And our decendants!

Epigenetics is a fascinating area of research: A 2nd WW dutch famine had repercussions for the grandchildren of those who lived through it. Our DNA forms the building blocks of who we are but those building blocks can be shaped by the world around us, too.

This nutrition lark seems to be far from straightforward!

I attended an online summit called the Evolution of Medicine at the end of September 2014. In it a number of functional medicine experts and enlightened ‘regular’ doctors were interviewed and issues were identified that needed to and were beginning to change in mainstream medicine.

We have a slew of chronic disease – much of it could be considered to be mediated by the way we live. Type II diabetes is better dealt with by addressing what you eat and how you move now rather than waiting for a profoundly reduced insulin response to turn into heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, wonky eyes (my wording)… the list goes on.

We eat a diet so far removed from what our bodies have been designed to cope with, no wonder they’re ‘slipping up’ and creating disease in us. It’s not just GM foods that could be storing up trouble for us and our children. Food is just one aspect of how we can make our lives a little better.

Small changes to how and how much we move can have surprisingly satisfying results. Getting outside and going for a walk every day is good for the soul as well as our heart and lungs. I’ve been performing my own version of HIIT (high intensity interval training) on my exercise bike. I can’t walk very far and have a wheelchair for events that call for more walking than say, getting round a supermarket with a trolley to hold onto so it’s not often that I can achieve a change in my heart rate.

There are a wide variety of websites I visit and gather what I hope is useful information to me and I assume others including a number of strands of research from around the world. Change in my body (including not getting out of breath so quickly) seems to be happening… slowly but I think getting the heart rate up must get more blood pumping round the body and that includes the brain so, a handful of 30 second bursts on the static bike every other day with the resistance turned up is giving my brain a treat. It also has a happy side effect of warming perpetually cold hands and feet!

To a continually pumping heart the brain is just another extremity (like hands and feet) that the pressure and circulation doesn’t always reach. Gravity works against the brain here, unfortunately.

Always low blood pressure can be as problematic as high BP resulting in fatigue perhaps partly because the brain isn’t getting enough glucose or oxygen to function optimally.

I read this in a fascinating book Why Isn’t My Brain Working by Datis Kharrazian. He has used a similar functional approach to identify strategies to improve an underperforming thyroid.

It’s always a good idea to get an MOT from your gp to check that your body can cope with the changes you’d be asking of it with a new exercise regime. I never used to be much of an exercise person but I was also a smoker as a youngster so i wasn’t really caring what my body may have been trying to tell me!

Small things can make a difference and some simple strategies have got to be worth a go, no?

eat your greens!

green leafy vegWe can science-ize the term ‘eating your greens’ for the 21st century by talking about the beneficial effects of folate on our methylation cycle.

As people with a long term condition we can seem easy prey for all sorts of quackery. This is an article that I believe might chime with our innate penchant for experts. This is another article that mentions the therapeutic use of a substance for a range of chronic conditions. This, on the other hand is an article about a therapy that has fallen from favour since its birth at the beginning of the 20th century. I don’t include mention of this therapy because I advocate its use (it could be great, I haven’t looked into or had experience of it) but rather as an example of how science and medicine (it appears) aren’t ruled by efficacy but fashion, chance and luck.

The author of the science based medicine blog (a laudable fondness, it would be nice if mainstream ms treatments could follow that same model!) doesn’t damn the little known therapy out of hand. He could find no data to say the therapy didn’t work so wonders why it did fall from favour?

My cynical self wonders if its demise coincides with the growing clout of the pharmaceutical industry and it’s love of treating symptoms rather than getting to the root of the problem. But I could just be a bitter old cynic!

Another area of research that in an earlier post I said I’d be getting back to you about looks at the level of homocysteine in us (it’s a naturally occurring substance created as waste products of essential bodily processes involving mitochondria, like making ATP (these little aliens in all our cells are the energy factories). and when our bodies are functioning at their best we are able to process it. This is good as it’s apparently a better indicator for cardiovascular disease in the future (in all its flavours) than any number of HorLDL cholesterol measurements. When we’re functioning optimally our bodies are able to break down and disperse homocysteine as part of the methylation process.

You may be able to tell, this is still quite new to me. From what I’ve gathered from Ben Lynch’s presentation on the MTHFR gene mutation when things aren’t performing optimally the body gets tired and like all of us, when that happens things start to go wrong. It shows in a number of ways including a variety of chronic conditions or cancers.

We can begin to address this by getting in touch with to get our DNA sequenced which, apart from letting us know where our ancestors are likely to have come from can also (after the data is interpreted by a functional medicine practitioner) let us know of some common markers that identify the potential shape of future disease in us. Personal healthcare is getting personaller!

I’ve begun this process as my dad’s family left Ukraine at the end of the 19th century and I’m nosy and would like to find out more. Not just to identify gene mutations or SNPs as I believe they’re called but to get in touch with my ‘roots’. This information can give you percentage likelihoods of getting certain diseases (if you ask your practitioner for that information to be revealed to you).

I figure knowledge is power and if I’m aware of potential problems I can head them off at the pass and reduce the possibility of that potential by how I live my life right now.

 Before I start to think about the results of any of this information coming back to me (the process takes a few months) I plan to eat even more fresh greens. Folate is pretty important at helping our bodies function at their best so, when your mum told you to eat your greens when you were little it seems she was talking some sense and perhaps we should have tucked in and shouldn’t have rolled our eyes so much?

Is feeling a bit better as good as a cure?


I remember when as youngsters who knew no better, we used to wave our inebriation like a badge of honour; happy happy days but not really suitable as a long term strategy!

I think a bit differently about life now and have different priorities.

Whilst I’m with Dylan Thomas on this one and all in favour of not going gently into that good night I don’t like the fight, struggle and battle analogies common with various types of illness. Why would you want to create further imbalance in your body than it obviously already has?

We’re here, let’s get invested into making life as good as it can be. We may as well investigate how we can make life a little better. To use a lottery saying and adapt it to life – We’ve got to be in it to win it.

Receiving a chronic diagnosis changes everything.

It can change everything in a number of ways depending on the choices we make:

We can choose to see the future as an everlasting dance with our own body.

we are after all, hopefully in this for the long haul so conserving energy isn’t the choice of a wimp rather the enightened individual.

Does the dusting need to be done as regularly as before?

Does it matter if the kitchen floor isn’t clean enough to eat off of?

Realising what’s important (and what isn’t important in life) somewhat focuses the mind. Listening to our bodies is something that might make our life a little easier. There’s at least one school of thought that puts unattended issues in your mind and the always interconnected body at the heart of later chronic disease. A recurring fungal infection is a sign that you’r body is not working optimally. Usually we coexist with a variety of parasites living in our body quite happily – it’s a beautifully functioning, symbiotic relationship – they help digest our food, make vitamins, form an immune response to foreign invaders and perform other vital services but if you have recurring bouts of athlete’s foot or UTIs for example, your immune system is not strong enough to be able to keep everything in balance.

If you don’t address this issue it can develop and eventually become something else after years of putting off doing something about it. Possibly an autoimmune disorder?

It’s worth listening to what our often ignored bodies are trying to tell us. People found here can help us sort through the unknowns about our health. They dig a little deeper than our GPs have time to.

In the spirit of paying attention to things to advantage ourselves I was finding out about the 9 circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno. This goes into it in a little more detail. The 8th circle interested me most – fraud (which includes flatterers, sorcerers, seducers and liars). I can think of two professions that could fit the bill but which ones have you come into contact with that would fit right in to your circle of hell? Advertisers, marketeers and certain parts of the contemporary scientific process fit into mine!

My dissatisfaction with the scientific process may be related to the fact that not only has mainstream science not come up with a cure for ms but they also are not aware of things that could make life a little better. In the spirit of focusing on what’s important in life (making life a little better to be up there in the top 10) I am into my 2nd week of a candida cleanse (my eating habits have rarely been exemplary and I took antibiotics last year) I will post details soon. Acknowledging candida is just one part of getting on board with the existence of a microbiome.

Personalised help for MS and other long term conditions?


So, in the post “eat your greens” I mention the process I’ve just begun which involved sending some spit over the Atlantic to have my DNA sequenced by these folk. I had some reservations about finding out something in my genetic code that might be lurking in the future but, knowledge is power. I might be worried about how this data could be used if it fell into the wrong hands but having an ms diagnosis in the here and now has already made me dead to insurance companies. I’m perhaps being pretty naive not making myself aware of the details of unforeseen data splashing horrors but I prefer not to spend time thinking how awful life could be.

So, being an impetuous child I went ahead anyway!

This is lifted from wikipedia‘s explanation of SNPs “Variations in the DNA sequences of humans can affect how humans develop diseases and respond to pathogenschemicalsdrugsvaccines, and other agents. SNPs are also critical for personalized medicine.[5]

For folk interested in family ancestry this sort of data could be a boon for identifying where great, great auntie Val has most ancestors. So many possible starts of stories!

The flipside of this personalisation is that genes don’t represent ‘set in stone’ certainties. A percentage chance is expressed for which conditions your body could be becoming most primed for. Epigenetics is becoming a fascinating topic for speculation and research. It studies how we interact with our environments and how our grandparents did also. I think I’ve mentioned the 2ndWW dutch famine research elsewhere?

Instead with 23and me sequenced data, we have information to act on…stop smoking.. eat more veg… (which is pretty good advice for most people) but supplement specific vitamins and minerals because certain SNiPs are weak in your sequence and can’t do a certain type of processing which might help us get a bit of extra energy for example. I mentioned methylation in another post, it refers to how our bodies allow the process of making energy in all our cells. How we treat our bodies is far more defining than some paperwork as this particular article spells out.

I feel a need to do these things (or perhaps it’s straightforward desire – a coping mechanism if you will?) because no one cares about my health and wellbeing as much as me. Certain medical professionals care about the condition they’ve become ‘experts’ in but only in their specific research area. How a body functions doesn’t seem to concern say, a neurologist. I feel invested enough to look at all sorts of strategies and specialisms to try and get my body working a little better and I don’t have any affiliations that might stop me looking in a range of areas.

This is why I’m interested in the vascular dimension to a number of chronic conditions. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like there’s enough curiosity in science. I believe sometimes healthcare professionals could do with getting a bit of distance from a disease shaped problem to get a chance at seeing the bigger picture in individuals.