BEATRICE LEVINSON
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What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to stimuli, such as viruses, bacteria, damaged cells or tissues, injuries, cuts, or any other external or internal irritant. Signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, and swelling. Inflammation is a normal, protective process of the immune system to eliminate the source of irritation as quickly as possible, thus initiating a repair and healing process. Acute inflammation results in an increase in white blood cells, the body’s initial response to a stimulus. Chronic inflammation is characterised by tissue destruction and, at the same time, by repair of the tissue injured by the inflammatory process. It leads to a long-term decrease in white blood cells.

What are the sources of chronic inflammation?

Food intolerances/sensitivities (gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, etc). Any food that is not digested properly (sugars, starches, alcohol, carbohydrates or proteins) will create inflammation. Also, chronic stress, or acute intense stress, chronic infections (bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites, etc.), chemicals (heavy metals, drugs, pesticides, dioxins, phthalates, benzoates, parabens, dyes, etc.) as well as overexposure to electromagnetic fiels

How does inflammation occurs? 

All of the above potential sources of inflammation can irritate the protective barriers of organs: intestines, lungs, mucous membranes, skin or blood-brain. The intestinal protective barrier becomes porous and toxins pass from the intestine into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the toxins attach to proteins that are destined to go to tissues such as joints, muscles, organs, glands, etc. …. and eventually disrupt the function of these organs or tissues. The toxins are then attacked by the immune system (white blood cells), which leads to symptoms such as allergies, itchy skin, pain, and autoimmune symptoms, thus inflammation. A protein called NF-kB controls inflammation; this protein can become chronically elevated, even if the source of inflammation has disappeared. This is due to a mechanism that amplifies the effects of NF-kB unless an active NF-kB inhibitor is taken. Natural inhibitors of NF-kB are Resveratrol and turmeric used in combination. Together they are able to modulate inflammation like non-steroidal painkillers! (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Paracetamol).

Chronic Inflammation can lead to:

– Obesity

– Depression

– Infertility

– Insulin resistance and diabetes

– Cardiovascular diseases (dyslipidemia, stroke, thrombosis, hypertension)

– Osteoporosis & arthritis

– Atherosclerosis

– Asthma

– Sleep apnea

– Chronic pain

– Migraines

– Muscle atrophy and sarcopenia

– Porous bowel syndrome

– Autoimmune diseases

– Cancer

– Immune system dysregulation

– Multiple reactions to chemicals

– Impaired liver function (by suppression of cytochrome P450)

What to do to reduce/stop inflammation?

It is important to identify and eliminate as much as possible, the possible causes creating chronic inflammation. It is necessary to repair the intestinal permeability with a diet such as Paleo, AIP, GAPS, or WAPF. For this, one can use natural anti-inflammatories contained in fish oils and fish liver oil associated with Turmeric and Resveratrol in combination.

  1. The Paleo Diet

Based on the principle that man, from its origin, fed on hunting, fishing, and gathering. He did not consume cereals, dairy products, sugars, legumes, alcohol, or processed food. The meat of wild animals is naturally balanced in Omega 3-6-9. Meat from pasture raised animals is rich in Omega 3. The paleo diet is accompanied by a regular exercise program. It aims at overall good health and certainly helps reduce inflammation.

2. The AIP Diet: Self-Inflammatory Protocol

This is a diet that eliminates all potentially inflammatory foods. It is derived from the paleo diet but is more restrictive. It aims to repair the porous intestine, the source of all autoimmune diseases. We will therefore eliminate: all cereals, legumes, dairy products, refined sugars, sweeteners, processed foods, industrial vegetable oils, but also eggs, oilseeds, nightshades, coffee, chocolate, chewing gums, and thickeners.

3. The WAPF diet:

Weston A. Price Foundation: Aims to educate on TRUE, unadulterated nutrition. Based on the work of Dr. Weston Price, an American dentist who studied the traditional diet of indigenous people from all continents. All foods are consumed, but they must be of healthy origin (raised in the open air, without antibiotics, hormones or pesticides, etc.) and must be prepared correctly to facilitate their digestion. Particularity: the soaking of cereals, legumes and oleaginous for a better digestion, and/or their fermentation (ex: sourdough bread).

4. GAPS diet:

Gut and Psychology Syndrome : This concept was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD. GAPS establishes the connection between the intestines and the rest of the body. The particularities of the GAPS diet: broth, fermented foods, animal fats, and organ meats in order to restore the intestinal flora.

Conclusion:

Inflammation a totally natural process. It is an important message that the body is “attacked” or irritated by something. It is necessary to find the causes (which are multiple). There is no point in taking anti-inflammatories (drugs or natural) over the long term, which only mask the source(s) of the problem. To do this, we must do the following tests: blood analysis (CRP, fasting glucose, sedimentation rate, homocysteine, fibrinogen), food intolerances, heavy metals, chronic infections, dental problems, and skeletal problems (bad posture, scoliosis) etc. in order to understand the normal and natural reactions of the body. 

Yours in health, 

Beatrice Levinson 

Naturopath & GAPS practitioner 

Cardiovascular diseases are the second leading cause of deaths in the US. Moreover, it is 1/3 of deaths in women, and more than 1⁄4 of deaths in men. We face 130 000 strokes and 120 000 heart attacks per year. The main causes of these diseases are hypertension, diabetes, excess weight, smoking, stress, and oxidation, which accelerate the process of arteriosclerosis.

In my opinion, there are several causes to this epidemic, of which are numerous amount of dietary mistakes / misunderstanding.

The first thing to be blamed is cholesterol, but is this true or is this a myth?

Food rich in cholesterol (eggs, butter, cheese, red meat, organ meats) have been banned for over 60 years, yet despite a strong reduction in their consumption, cardiovascular diseases have continued to increase! This doesn’t seem logical!!!

In fact, cholesterol is an absolute essential element to many functions of the body:

–  Cholesterol is essential to protect the fluidity and permeability of cell membranes, so that they can remain waterproof. If they were not waterproof, we would simply be like a puddle of water, as our cells couldn’t hold together.

–  Cholesterol allows cells to communicate with each other.

–  Cholesterol participates to scars repair process.

–  It is a precursor of vitamin D.

–  It is a precursor of steroid hormones: sex hormones (progesterone, estrogens, testosterone), but also to adrenal hormones (cortisol, DHEA, aldosterone).

–  Cholesterol contributes to bile salts production, which is absolutely necessary to digest fats.

–  20% of the myelin sheet (white substance of the spinal cord and brain) is made of cholesterol, and 25% of the total cholesterol is used by the brain: memory, mood, and cognition.

–  Cholesterol is also a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory element, and more.

So, why is cholesterol described as such a villain ?

Well, this all started with an American nutritionist named Ancel Keys, who carried out a study after World War II, called «The 7 countries study. » In this study he highlighted a correlation between high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular accidents. These results led him to propose the « lipid hypothesis », that cholesterol is a major risk factor, responsible for high cardiovascular mortality. However, several years later, other biologists noticed that Ancel Keys’ study suffered from several comparison bias. For example, Ancel Keys voluntarily removed a few countries form the original chosen countries, that didn’t fit his statistics. One of these countries was France, where the majority of people ate lots of cheese, cream and butter….!!!

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Following Ancel Keys’ study, clinical trials were conducted on US veterans placed on cholesterol-lowering diets, but these attempts did not have a significant impact on their mortality, so the “lipid hypothesis” was not validated.

In 1954, French researcher Jean Cottet realised that farm workers intoxicated by the pesticide they were spreading in the fields, had plummeting cholesterol levels. A chemist friend of his (Michael Oliver) synthesized a drug derived from this pesticide, called Clofibrate. The test of this molecule on rats, and then on patients confirmed its lowering cholesterol effect.

The World Health Organization carried out a clinical trial on 15,000 Europeans to evaluate the effect of Clofibrate on the prevention of heart attacks, but the trial had to be stopped prematurely, as the group taking Clofibrate had a higher prevalence of heart attacks than the group taking placebo.

Despite these non-conclusive studies, the entire world started to believe on the lipid theory, and see cholesterol rich foods as the villains for most cardiovascular diseases. These believes were due to several reasons / manipulations from:

– The food industry that saw a big opportunity to banish animal fats, and to replace them with vegetable fats (oils, margarine) production, which is way more profitable.

– The medical industry saw a big opportunity to sell anti-cholesterol medication.

And the low fat, high carbs craze began! American abandoned their traditional high fat diet (eggs, bacon, butter, meat, animal fats) for a so-called « healthier diet » of high cereals / high fiber, and low fat diet. This marked the beginning of the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

The myth of saturated fats!

Saturated fats (butter, ghee, goose fat, duck, lard, coconut oil, fatty meats, fatty fish, eggs, etc.) are the most stable fats when cooked, which means that they don’t oxidize as much as unsaturated fats. They should be eaten regularly. They are necessary for the proper functioning of the brain, the immune system, steroid hormones (adrenal and gonads) and cell repair. They increase the feeling of satiety and help you to lose weight.page2image12567296

“A study of 600,000 people published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in early 2014 found no significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease.”page2image12582656

The myth of salt!page2image12573248

You should know that sea or Himalayan salt is necessary and excellent for health. Indeed, the adrenals need it to manage stress, the stomach needs it to produce hydrochloric acid, and the nervous system needs salt for the neurons conduction.

« A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Hypertension concluded that there was no evidence between salt reduction in hypertensive patients, or people with normal blood pressure and their risk of heart attack, stroke, or death ».

« The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that people ingesting less salt had a higher risk of dying from a heart attack ».page3image12555136

Indeed, we are told that we consume too much salt, but according to the Salt Institute people consumed far more salt until the early 20th century, because salt was used to preserve food.

Are alcohol and sugar contributors to cardiovascular diseases? YES!

Sugar has devastating effects on the blood vessels. It thickens the blood and makes it sticky, which reduces oxygenation to the tissues, and thus reduces the supply of nutrients to the organs. Also, alcohol, and all forms of sugars (including carbohydrates) have to be watched like a hawk! This includes glucose and high fructose corn syrups which are found in many foods…

Are processed fats contributors to cardiovascular diseases? YES!

This is the main cause of cardiovascular disease, they flourished after the Second War in the form of margarine. They completely distort the molecular shape of cells, and create chronic inflammation. We know them as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

“32 studies, involving a total of 530,000 participants, examined the association between fatty acid consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease. The analysis confirms that consumption of TRANS fatty acids, is indeed associated with risk of coronary heart disease, but not for participants consuming saturated fatty acids. “

The most important cause of cardiovascular diseases is Inflammation!

Cardiovascular disease is caused by a chronic inflammatory process! The inflammatory process starts with an injury to the blood vessel created either by viruses, parasites, free radicals, bacteria, allergens, hydrogenated oils, sugars, tobacco, alcohol, or even intense stress. The injured cells invite white blood cells to come to the site, in order to destroy and clean the invaders present in the arteries. When the vessel is cleaned, the inflammatory process stops, leaving the cells to repair themselves. This is a normal process. In atherosclerosis, this inflammatory process never stops (as long as the invaders are not eliminated), so the wound never heals, and a deposit called plaque develops on the wound.

Arterial plaques are composed primarily of calcium, fibrous repair tissue, enlarged white blood cells filled with debris, unsaturated fats (74%), and damaged and oxidized saturated fats. These plaques are comparable to an accumulation of pus under an infected wound. Eventually the crust of the plaque breaks off, and all these deposits float in the arteries like lava in a volcano. The blood clots cause thrombosis, block blood flow in the arteries which results in either a heart attack or a stroke.

How to prevent cardiovascular diseases?

– First of all, the inflammatory process must be reduced. This means to eliminate all hydrogenated fats, sugars, corn syrup, processed foods, allergenic foods (soy, dairy, gluten, alcohol, etc.).
– Reduce exposure to chemicals: cosmetics, household products, chlorine, fluoride, drugs that are absolutely not necessary, and heavy metals.

– Reduce / manage stress.-  Stop smoking and stop taking drugs.

–  A low-sugar diet is preferred.

–  We will also treat the underlying infections (dental, virus, bacteria, candida).

–  If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome, you need to concentrate on repairing the intestinal wall and rebalancing the intestinal flora.

–  Rebalance hormones (sexual and adrenal).

–  Eat saturated fats: YES, you read correctly: butter, cream, goose, duck, pork) and eggs, meat, fatty fish.

–  And don’t forget to exercise regularly and sunbathe!

Finally, the consumption of saturated animal fats and cholesterol levels have nothing to do with cardiovascular disease. It is the inflammatory process due to the above- mentioned reasons, that are the underlying causes.

Yours in health,
Beatrice Levinson Naturopath & Certified GAPS Practitioner www.beatrice-levinson-gaps.com

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a very common condition when the stomach contents come back up into the oesophagus. Quite often it is due to the failure of the sphincter muscle that closes up this part of the digestive tract. 

There could be a temporary GERD, which doesn’t lead to complication, but when GERD becomes frequent and lasts, the acidity of the gastric liquid irritates the mucous membrane of the oesophagus and can be responsible for an inflammation called esophagitis. This is a very frequent symptom in adults as well as in babies.

What are the symptoms? 

There are many symptoms such as burning, acid regurgitation, hiccups, belching, or epigastric pain, chronic cough, chronic laryngitis, hoarseness, asthma, or even dental erosion. 

What are the causes? 

In natural medicine, we can identify several types of causes: 

The very first cause is a lack of enzymes, or en a lack of gastrin (depending of the thyroid), which doesn’t allow the correct emptying of the stomach. 

Other possible causes are a lack of acidity of the stomach. In fact the stomach normal pH is between 1.5 and 3.0, on a scale of 0-14, so it stays very acidic, and needs to stay acidic in order to brake down proteins and kill eventual bugs. 

Another common cause is food intolerance, which causes indigestion and let the food stagnates in the stomach, which induces fermentation (gas and bloating) . 

Of course consuming excess amount of sugar, and eating too much in quantity can also contribute to acid reflux. 

A mechanical cause could be a hiatal hernia, which is a bump in the stomach. This will makes the food and stomach content come up, especially when lying down. 

Then there could be a bacterial such as Helicobacter Pylori, or a fungal infection  such as candida which can paralyse the sphincter muscles.

Lastly, heavy metals, other pollutants, and medication can all contribute to acid reflux. 

What are the consequences?

The main consequences are bloating, constipation, food intolerance, anaemia, lack of nutritional absorption, intestinal dysbiosis, fatigue, etc. but also gastritis, ulcers, or even certain types of digestive cancers

What are Natural Remedies ? 

First of all, you have to eliminate the causes, which can include stress, and start drinking broths. Broth is a Real « medication » for the entire digestive system, including stomach. 

If you have a gastritis/ulcer, we need to calm inflammation with plants such as liquorice, marshmallow, chamomile, or slippery elm. 

If you have burning attacks, use sodium bicarbonate and it will stop burning immediately! 

It is very important to REST : if possible start fasting, either intermittent fasting or longer fasting. 

If you lack acidity: use apple cider vinegar, lacto-fermented vegetable juice, sea salt, Quinton, or Betaine HCL 

If you lack pancreatic enzymes, then add digestive enzymes and /or fresh vegetable juice. 

To accelerate the emptying of the stomach content, use peppermint, fennel, ginger, star anise and gentian. 

For improving liver function, use milk thistle, dandelion, black radish, rosemary, or artichoke.

For the small intestine: broths!, or L-glutamine. 

And finally, for the colon, broths, probiotics, lacto-fermented vegetables, eventually probiotics. 

This is it !!! 

Chronic GERD can be stopped, eradicated, and avoided, by following these simple steps. Of course, you should always consult your health care practitioner to investigate further. 

Yours in health, 

Béatrice Levinson, Naturopath and CGP

www.beatrice-levinson-gaps.com 

Definitions: 

  • Arthritis: is an acute or chronic inflammation of the joints, due to either infectious agents (bacteria, viruses) or autoimmune process such as rheumatoid arthritis. They manifest with symptoms like pain, redness, swelling, heat, and possibly a reduced mobility.
  • Rheumatism: is a non-specific term for any problem affecting the joints and connective tissue (tendons, muscles, cartilage).
  • Osteoarthritis: is a degradation of the cartilages without infection or particular inflammation. It is the most frequent joint disease that see more and more in younger people (40-50 years old) even though the degeneration process can start much earlier than that. 

– Osteoporosis: is a decrease in bone mass, witch can increase the risk of fracture.

These diseases are prevalent in industrialised countries. They are diseases of degeneration and inflammation. Why do these diseases occur? Are they due to ageing? Can they be avoided? Are they reversible? This is what we will see in this article.

The allopathic medicine view:

These diseases are due to age, being overweight, and wear and tear of the bones, muscle and cartilage tissue (i.e., ageing). The solutions offered are: weight loss, resting, hormone replacement, calcium supplementation, bone loss reducing drugs (bi-phosphonates); painkillers, local or general anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy. However, the real root causes of these diseases are never addressed.

The functional medicine view:

The causes and mechanisms are the same for all of these diseases, even if the manifestations are different :

  • Poor digestion/degradation of food:

Any food that is not digested properly (sugars, starches, alcohol, or carbohydrates, or protein) will create inflammation.

  • The lack of micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes) in modern foods.
  • The lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
  • The lack of diversity of the intestinal flora.
  • Chronic stress affects digestion, absorption of nutrients, and causes an excess of cortisol, which irritates the tissues.
  • Chronic infections (bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites, etc.) disrupt the intestinal flora, and contribute to leaky gut syndrome.
  • Chemicals (heavy metals, drugs, pesticides, dioxins, phthalates, benzoates, parabens, dyes, etc.) affect digestion, flora, and overload organs and tissues.
  • Lack of movement, lack of circulation, and exposure to electromagnetic waves also work against tissue regeneration.

All these root causes create a situation of inflammation either acute or chronic, will irritate the protective barriers of the body: intestines, lungs, mucous membranes, skin, or blood-brain barrier, and will make them ineffective to our protection. The absorbed toxins then pass through these barriers which are no longer protective, and will be deposited on certain tissues, such as bones, muscles, ligaments and cartilage. But also onto the organs, glands, brain, etc. and will affect their proper functioning. The toxins are then attacked by the immune system (white blood cells, macrophages, lymphocytes, T-cells, etc.). But unfortunately, the immune system attacks at the same time the tissues where the toxins are deposited, which leads to symptoms such as inflammation with pain, heat, redness, and swelling.

What can be done?

First, is prevention:  We need to work on the digestive system, choosing quality foods, and improving the efficiency of digestion/assimilation. Second, test foods and eliminate for a period of time those to which you react. Reduce as much as possible the exposure to toxins, and anything that can overload the body, and exercise regularly: walking, swimming, cycling… but also weight training 3 times a week: the pressure exerted by the muscles on the bones, stimulates the production of osteoblasts (new bone cells).

Also, eat foods that are rich in nutrients and easy to digest like broths, soups and stews. Meat and fish cooked in broths, bring proteins (amino acids) and collagen, to repair tissues. Eat organic vegetable and fresh fruit juices, lacto-fermented vegetables, lacto-fermented dairy products if they are well tolerated. And finally, consume animal and vegetable fats that are rich in Omega 3 and organ meats for vitamins B12, B6, B9, vitamins A, D, E, K.

Avoid toxic foods, which are full of calories without nutrients, such as prepared or canned food, with preservatives, colouring agents, flavour enhancers, added vitamins, emulsifiers, etc. But above all, SUGAR in all its forms: sweeteners, starchy foods: white bread, pasta, rice, couscous, toast, cakes, cookies, made with white flour, and devoid of nutrients. Avoid also, stimulants such as coffee, tea and chocolate. Avoid dairy products sold in supermarkets that are pasteurised, defatted, homogenised, or sweetened, as they become poisons just like hydrogenated vegetable oils. Finally, avoid soy, which contributes to excess estrogens.

There are natural treatments:

An adult replaces its entire skeleton every 7-10 years. Children every 2-3 years. Everything in the body can be regenerated, even bones which are living tissue. We can start by cleansing the body of heavy metals and remineralising with Quinton. Bones are made up of a structure (like a framework) and minerals (the walls). It is necessary to act on both.

For the structure: collagen found in broths and proteins, vitamins and minerals: cod liver oil (vitamins A, D, E, and K): 1 teaspoon per day.

For minerals: organic fruits and vegetables + Quinton plasma: 1 to 4 ampoules per day.

We can also use essential fatty acids that are not only derived from plants (avocado, hemp, flaxseed oils), but also from animal fats (butter, cream, cheese, duck or goose fat), plus olive oil and coconut oil. Also rebalance hormones: excess estrogens, insulin and cortisol contribute to bone loss. Progesterone, DHEA and testosterone (in men) contribute to the production of bone tissue. Check proper functioning of the parathyroids, which manage calcium absorption and activate vitamin D. Check if hyperthyroidism contributes to bone loss.

The inflammatory process can be stopped with turmeric (800 mg per day) + Resveratrol (400 mg per day), which block NF-kB, an inflammatory protein. If cod liver oil is not enough, then add vitamin D: 2000 IU per day.

Conclusion:

Arthritis, rheumatism, muscle, ligament and bone pain, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are not normal diseases due to ageing, but they are degenerative diseases that are preventable! 

The causes are: dietary mistakes, ingestion of denatured and chemical products, exposure to heavy metals and other pollutants, infections, and stress, trauma, or tissues damage. 

If we eat quality food, if we digest well, if we eliminate well, if we avoid chemicals (ingested, breathed in, or put on the skin), if we avoid exposure to heavy metals, if we take unnecessary medication, if we respect our sleep patterns, if we oxygenate ourselves regularly… we should not suffer from these diseases! 

The body has an EXTRAORDINARY capacity of regeneration, which we do not believe in enough… But I can tell you: we can always improve our health.

Yours in health, 

Béatrice Levinson, Naturopath and Certified GAPS practitioner. 

beatricelevinson@gmail.com 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a dysfunction of the colon. Even if not a threatening disease, it is responsible for significant discomfort.

Symptoms include pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, or both. 

Although no cause has been identified at this time, several bowel dysfunctions are observed:

– An abnormality of intestinal motor skills.

– A disorder of intestinal sensitivity.

– An intestinal inflammation associated with abnormalities of the intestinal bacterial flora.

From Western medicine stand point, the origin of the syndrome is still poorly known. Several factors are evoked: stress, hormonal imbalances, the aftermath of an acute infection of the intestines. and finally, lactose or gluten intolerance.

In the majority of cases, no precise cause can explain the irritable bowel syndrome.

However, in functional medicine, we can identify distinct causes behind these symptoms and treat them.

What are the causes of irritable bowel syndrome?

1. Bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasitic infections.

The flora in good health is rich in bacteria, yeasts, parasites, and viruses that are potentially pathogenic (it is estimated that there are about 3000 pathogens in a healthy individual), but these pathogens are “under the control” of other bacteria, yeasts, parasites, and viruses that are beneficial. The environment remains in balance.

On the other hand, the flora can become unbalanced and dominated by one or more species (virus, bacteria, yeast, protozoa, or parasites), and then contribute to irritable bowel syndrome.

For example: an infection with H. Pylori in the stomach can contribute to ulcers.

2. Stomach acid imbalance, either by:

– Lack of acidity (stomach pH between 1.5 and 3.0)

– Too much acidity: very rare, but can lead to an ulcer or gastritis.

– Bacterial infection with H. Pylori.

  • Hiatal hernia

Remedies to repair the mucous membrane of the stomach include:

– L-glutamine 2000-3000 mg per day

– marshmallow root

– meat stock or bone broth: 3-4 cups per day

  • Raw fresh cabbage juice: 1-2 glasses per day.
  • Plenty of rest, and possibly fasting for a few days.

3. Small intestinal imbalance due to: 

– SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

– Candidiasis in the small intestine or SIFO (Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth)

– Inflammation of the small intestine due to food intolerances.

Remedies for SIBO or SIFO include: 

– Fasting 

– Cinnamon oil in capsules

  • Berberine, artemisia, olive leaves, caprylic acid, and Pau d’Arco tea.
  • grapefruit seed extract.
  • Eat a diet low in carbohydrates and sugars (which generally feed pathogenic bacteria and candidiasis) such as GAPS or Paleo.
  • Consume meat broth
  • If food intolerance: eliminate reactive foods until improvement, then reintroduce very slowly.
  • If pancreatic enzymes are lacking, supplement with enzymes such a Digestzyme (Designs For Health): 1-2 capsules with each meal. 
  • Then, we need to replenish the gut flora with probiotics: either with lacto-fermented foods, such as milk kefir, fruit kefir; Kombucha home-made yoghurt or fermented vegetables.

4-  Imbalances in the colon :

Due to candidiasis, bacteria, or parasites. 

Remedies for the colon:

– Often the same remedies as for the small intestine.

– Avoid sugar which feeds pathogenic flora, especially candidiasis and

parasites.

– Avoid or reduce starchy foods that turn into sugar and also feed the pathogenic flora.

– Activated vegetable charcoal to absorb excess gas.

  • Green clay cleans up pathogenic bacteria. 
  • Enema: with either / or German chamomile, garlic, coffee.

5. Medications: 

Antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, proton pump inhibitors, and even the pill… all can contribute to the development of irritable bowel syndrome.

6. Heavy metals and other pollutants:

  • Mercury leads to candida development
  • Glyphosate
  • Fungicides, insecticides of all kinds
  • chemical fertilisers… 
  • all of these disrupt the microbial flora of humans, animals, and soil.

7. Stress, adrenals, emotions :

It is proven that stress directly affects the quality of the intestinal flora.

For example, a group of young soldiers who were put into very stressful situation for a few days, saw their intestinal flora change very rapidly. 

So, there are many causes to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and we need to search and treat all of them, one by one. If we find the causes, we find the cure! 

If you would like to explore the causes of your irritable bowel syndrome, please e-mail me or check my website: 

beatricelevinson@gmail.com 

www.beatrice-levinson-gaps.com 

Yours in health, 

Béatrice 

I. What are the causes of fatigue and stress?

  1. Family situations:

Marriages, finances, children, childhood traumas, work, etc. These situations have a definite effect not only psychically but physically, especially on the adrenal glands.

  1. Lack of exercise:

(“The Instinct to Heal: Curing Stress, Anxiety and Depression Without Drugs and Talk Therapy” by David Servan-Schreiber)A study comparing Zoloft and exercise: after 4 months, the results were exactly the same for the group taking Zoloft and the group that exercised. But after one year, 1/3 of the patients treated with Zoloft were again depressed, while 92% of the patients who exercised kept their mood stable. Exercise acts on the physical and also on the mental, by boosting the production of endorphins.

  1. Inappropriate diet:

To have energy, you must eat well: proteins, saturated fats, broths, lacto-fermented vegetables, offal, vegetables and fruits; organic and/or free-range foods. Avoid: sugar, alcohol, caffeine, refined products, hydrogenated oils, etc. and above all adapt the diet to the particular needs and digestive capacities of each individual.

  1. Chronic digestive fatigue:

Someone who digests poorly will inevitably feel tired, because the digestive process uses a lot of energy. It is therefore necessary to improve all the digestive stages: chewing, sufficiently acid stomach, B.V., liver, small intestine, colon. Eliminate food intolerances and clean up infections.

  1. EMC:

Electromagnetic fields: constant exposure creates chronic fatigue, contributes to porous bowel syndrome, and disrupts the immune system.

  1. Blood sugar imbalances:

The more sugar levels fluctuate, the more it strains the pancreas and adrenals. To stabilize blood sugar levels, eat at regular times; avoid sugar; eat protein and fat at every meal.

  1. Anemias:

Numerous and often misidentified, not only due to iron deficiencies, but also B vitamin deficiencies and porous bowel syndrome.

  1. Lack of sleep:

The body needs a minimum number of hours of sleep to regenerate. This number of hours varies from person to person. It is important to go to bed and get up at approximately the same time. It is also important to go to sleep before midnight to follow the natural rhythm of the cortisol/adrenal glands.

  1. Pollution:

From air, water, food, from pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, heavy metals, drugs, stimulants, painkillers, antidepressants, hydrogenated oils, dyes, preservatives… A study conducted in 2004 in the United States by the CDC: 2500 people tested for 210 chemicals. On average 86 chemicals were found, including :

  • Organochlorine insecticides (DDT, chlordane, banned for many years): affects the reproductive system; carcinogenic.
  • Furans: derived from plastics: toxic for the endocrine system.
  • Dioxins: PVC derivatives: cancer and reproductive system.
  • Phthalates: derived from plastics, used in cosmetics; toxic for the nervous system and can cause birth defects.
  • Volatile substances found in gasoline, varnishes, glues: poisonous for the nervous system and carcinogenic.
  • Metals: lead: low IQ; mercury: developmental delays; arsenic: affects behavior; cadmium: carcinogenic.

These 86 chemicals have been found in the brain, nervous system, endocrine glands, lungs, liver, bloodstream, stomach, intestines, kidneys, and skin.

  1. Drugs:

They all have side effects. E.g.: statins create fatigue in the brain and muscles; antidepressants put a kind of “lid” on the emotions and create fatigue; anti-tensives slow down the whole system.

  1. Chronic Infections:
  • Lyme disease is now an epidemic, caused by laborrelia, and often also babesia. It is difficult to be tested properly. It requires specialized laboratories. Ex: Barla laboratory in Nice.
  • Viruses: herpes, EBV, CMV, hepatitis, etc. are very often the cause of chronic fatigue.
  • Bacteria: H. pylori, e. coli, clostridia, are underlying infections (cold infections): affect teeth, bladder, intestines, stomach and are very common.
  • Yeasts: candida albicans or other yeasts are sources of fatigue, and chronic digestive problems.
    SIBO : Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
  1. Mitochondria :

Cells that produce energy; they can no longer function properly if they are polluted (toxic, heavy metals) or if they lack minerals, enzymes, and vitamins.

  1. Vitamines et déficiences minérales :

Le corps a besoin de vitamines et minéraux pour fonctionner au mieux. Les minéraux sont essentiels pour que les cellules communiquent entre elles. Je recommande le plasma de Quinton. Les vitamines sont des cofacteurs retrouvés dans chaque fonction cellulaire. Je recommande l’huile de foie de morue.

  1. Les surrénales :

2 petites glandes au dessus des reins. Elles gèrent le stress ; contrôlent les réactions « fight or flight ». Secrètent des hormones : épinéphrine, norépinephrine, aldostérone,cortisol, et ACTH. Contrôlent l’eau dans le corps, et le taux de sucre sanguin. Contrôlent l’inflammation du corps et le système immunitaire. La medecine allopathique ne reconnaît pas la fatigue surrénalienne saufen cas de maladie d’Addison (hypo) ou syndrome de Cushing (hyper). Probablement 90% de la population souffre de fatigue surrénalienne, maisne le sait pas. Il faut les tester correctement.

  • Symptômes : Fatigue, maux de dos, tension artérielle basse, fatigue cardiaque, gaz et ballonnements, douleurs abdominales, manque d’appétit, nausées, anorexie, vomissements, constipation alternée avec diarrhée, perte de poids, respiration superficielle, étourdissements, asthénie, somnolence, insomnie, perte de mémoire, humeurs instables, anémie, hypoglycémie, métabolisme ralenti, envie de sel.
  • Plus les surrénales sont affaiblies, moins on supporte la caféine.
  • Tester avec le test de Ragland et la salive.

  1. Hypo-thyroidism: a great cause of fatigue!

Yellowish skin, rough, brittle nails with white patches, cold extremities, hair loss, poor perspiration, joints that crack and lack flexibility; fat deposits around the hips and abdomen, feeling of cold, constipation, fatigue, drowsiness, melancholy, asthenia, headaches; slowed metabolism, weight gain… What to do? Be tested properly, and find the causes: porous intestine, food intolerances, cold infections, heavy metals, adrenal problems; unbalanced hormones, etc.

II / What to do?

  1. Eat REAL food: pasture-raised animals; organic fruits and vegetables; eat protein and animal fats to maintain blood sugar and repair adrenals. VERY IMPORTANT!
  2. Exercise to your level, and definitely do not push.3. Sleep, and rest to restore the adrenal glands and nervous system.
  3. Manage stress: Meditation, yoga, tai chi, relaxation and deep breathing.6. Remove possible sources of stress in life!!!7. Test properly: intolerances, blood tests for infections, saliva tests for adrenals and hormones; stool test for digestion, etc.
  4. Once a proper diet is in place, then specific supplements for adrenals, thyroid, digestive system, etc. can be added.
  1. What are autoimmune diseases?

Wikipedia definition:

“Autoimmune diseases are due to hyperactivity of the immune system against substances or tissues that are normally present in the body. Their cause is not yet well understood… Most autoimmune diseases are probably the result of multiple causes, such as a genetic predisposition stimulated by an infection, combined with the presence of a chemical substance or food.”

  • About 200 autoimmune diseases are known, but new ones are discovered every year. Most patients go undiagnosed and the diseases continue to progress. Conventional treatments consist of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs. The imbalance of the Th1 / Th2 immune system leads to tissue destruction. Examples: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, Addison’s disease, Alopecia aerata, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diabetes type 1, interstitial cystitis, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, ankylosing spondylitis, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, vitiligo, etc.

Symptoms common to autoimmune diseases:

Chronic fatigue, anemia, allergies, asthma, digestive problems, muscle and joint pain, insomnia, toxicity, skin problems, headaches, migraines, hormonal problems, chronic nutritional deficiencies, unstable moods…

  1. Causes of autoimmune diseases
  • Intestinal permeability
  • Food intolerance
  • Chronic infections: bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses, protozoa, etc.
  • Exposure to toxic products: pesticides, chemical fertilizers (glyphosate-Monsanto), plastics, exogenous hormones, polluted air, soil, and water, chemicals in cosmetics and household hygiene products, exhaust fumes, deodorant, etc.
  • Heavy metals: mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium…
  • Overexposure to electromagnetic waves
  • Depletion of glutathione due to all these aggressions = intestinal permeability and intestinal inflammation = vicious circle.
  1. Link between autoimmune diseases and digestion

All autoimmune diseases originate in the intestines. The intestinal wall is damaged due to a disturbed and/or missing intestinal flora. The enterocytes, cells living on the villi of the intestinal wall, degenerate and the intestinal wall becomes porous = porous intestine syndrome. Poorly digested proteins pass through the wall of the small intestine into the blood. Toxins from poorly digested proteins (gluteomorphins, casomorphins, alcohol, acetaldehyde), but also from chemicals, pathogens pass through the intestinal wall into the blood. Once in the blood, these molecules attach themselves to specific proteins (proteins going to the thyroid, to the brain, to the joints, etc). The body then sends out antibodies to attack the foreign molecules, but the antibodies attack the protein to which the foreign molecules are attached at the same time (thyroid, brain, joints, etc). The antibodies while trying to destroy the foreign molecules destroy at the same time the proteins of the thyroid, the brain, or the joints… This process unbalances the immune system and autoimmunity sets in. The toxins constantly floating in the blood create a general toxicity of the body, the emunctories are overloaded, the ground becomes acidified.

  1. Causes of intestinal flora imbalances
  • Antibiotics.
  • Non-breastfed babies. At the time of weaning, babies put on formula, or pasteurized milk, or soy milk, or babies who are introduced to flour before the age of 2 years… will all have a disturbed intestinal flora.
  • Medications (including the contraceptive pill) contribute to the disruption of the intestinal flora.
  • Prolonged stress
  • A denatured diet
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Infections: salmonella, typhoid, Lyme, herpes…
  • Chronic diseases
  • Aging
  • Chemicals: dental products, exposure to chemicals…
  1. Foods to eat:

Homemade broths of vegetables, meats, bones, and fish.
Soups made with these broths.
Bone marrow, cartilage, natural gelatin.
All quality meats and fish (ideally cooked in broth).
All non-starchy vegetables that do not irritate you (very individual).
All ripe fruits (or cooked in compote) and soaked dried fruits.
Raw honey
Fermented foods: sauerkraut, lacto-fermented vegetables, fermented fish (Gravelax), fermented beet juice…
Saturated fats: goose, duck, lard, butter, clarified butter, coconut oil and palm oil.

  1. Complementary strategies:
  • Vitamin D intake to regulate the Th1 / Th2 balance.
  • Support of Glutathione recycling with: cordyceps, centella asiatica, syllibummarianum, N-Acetyl-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, L-glutamine, selenium.
  • Reduction of the vicious circle of inflammation with curcumin and resveratrol.
  • Probiotics to rebalance the intestinal flora.
  • Reduction of chronic infections (candida, parasites, bacteria…)
  • Detoxification protocol for heavy metals.
  1. Definitions:

Detoxification: Detoxification is a mechanism that will deactivate and eliminate waste products present in the body’s molecules. These wastes can be inherent to the body or come from outside; they are then called “xenobiotics”.

Toxins: “A toxin is a substance that is toxic to living organisms. Toxins are poisons produced by the body. Toxins can cause disease. A toxin is a waste product of the organism that would have a pathogenic power if accumulated”.

  1. The organs of detoxification:

The function of elimination is an essential function of the human body, since it allows the evacuation out of our organism of a set of useless or even dangerous substances. These substances, which are absorbed (food / respiratory exchanges) or produced (metabolism) by the body, must then be eliminated. The skin, the lungs, the kidneys, the liver and the intestines are the 5 main organs of elimination of these “toxins”.

The liver: the liver is a very complex “chemical factory” through which almost all the blood flow from the intestines passes. It has an enormous daily workload! The liver is not a filter, but a transformer. It neutralizes toxins and toxics, thanks to its phase I and phase II detoxification functions, and transforms them into waste that can then be eliminated by the emunctories.

The intestines: Everything we swallow passes through the digestive system, and is eliminated by the colon. If the colon does not eliminate properly, the toxins stagnate and are reabsorbed by the hemorrhoidal veins and the lymphatic system. These two circulation systems will then redistribute the toxins to the liver. The elimination function is an essential function of the human body, since it allows the evacuation of a set of useless and even dangerous substances from our body. These substances, which are absorbed (food / respiratory exchanges) or produced (metabolism) by the body, must then be eliminated. The skin, the lungs, the kidneys, the liver and the intestines are the 5 main organs of elimination of these “toxins”.

The lungs: also have the capacity to eliminate certain toxins that arrive in the blood. They are excreted in the form of gas. If these toxins are not eliminated properly, they can block the respiratory functions, and create for example asthma attacks.

The skin: Toxins can be eliminated through the skin and manifest themselves as pimples, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, etc. In naturopathy, anything that comes out through the skin is a sign of liver and intestinal deficiencies.

Kidneys / Bladder: Metabolic waste from the body is eventually eliminated through the renal system. The kidneys filter waste through the renal glomeruli, which are then eliminated through the urine.

  1. What to do to help the body?

The body has a natural ability to detoxify itself, but sometimes it is good to help it by different means:

The most radical and effective way is fasting. Fasting has always been practiced by humans and animals, and it is a good idea to fast from time to time in order to put the digestive system at rest. If there is nothing to digest, the body can concentrate on other things, which is why many people regain energy at the beginning of the fast. You can do a water fast or a dry fast (24-72 hours max). You can do a fast with vegetable broth. Or with meat broth. You can do a mono diet: eat only one food; ex: grape cure, or zucchini, or only chicken or rice. You can do a detox with vegetable or fruit juice. (see www.regenere.org). The more radical you are (fasting with water or vegetable broths), the more effective the effect will be.

  1. How long can you fast?
  • 24 hours to 40 days…
  • 3 to 5 days in a row 4 times a year.
  • You can fast alone at home.
  1. What to do during the fast?
  • Rest as much as possible!
  • Take care of yourself: take time to read, sleep, meditate.
  • Practice relaxation, sophrology, yoga, Tai-Chi
  • Walk and breathe – sunbathe.
  • Practice conscious breathing.
  • Take baths with Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, sodium bicarbonate, or vinegar.
  • Drink detoxifying herbal teas: thyme, rosemary, dandelion, etc.
  1. How does fasting feel?

Sometimes nothing at all. Sometimes a lot; it all depends on one’s ability to detoxify.

  • Headaches are very common; fatigue, feeling of having the flu; cravings; pimples and even boils, abscesses; old pains that resurface; constipation or diarrhea. The longer the fasting lasts, the more the detoxification effects are amplified. This is where it is better to be accompanied. Some will be bedridden throughout the day.

“The biochemical elements contained in coffee administered rectally stimulate the action of the liver, release toxic bile, open the bile ducts and stimulate the enzymatic system known as “Glutathione S-Transferase” (GST). The activity of this system, which allows the elimination of free radicals, is increased by 650 to 700%. No other product or medicine can compete with coffee on this point.

Vegetarian, vegan and raw food diets are very fashionable in France. Why are they so popular? What are their advantages and disadvantages? Are they suitable for everyone?

What is vegetarianism?

The vegetarian diet is made up of plant foods: vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, cereals, tubers, algae, and animal by-products: milk, eggs and honey. All animal products are excluded: meat, fish and their derivatives, such as cold cuts.

1 – BENEFITS

No longer contribute to the animal mistreatment of industrial meat production: Animals raised in deplorable conditions: According to a survey by 60 million consumers, less than 5% of pigs are raised in conditions adequate to their natural needs. They are castrated and their tails are cut off. Sows are forced to conceive, carry, and deliver continuously until they are exhausted. They cannot move or lie down. 80% of the chickens do not live in the open air. They are confined to 25 chickens per square meter. According to INRA, they spend most of their lives lying down, injured and die of suffocation. They have skin lesions. Cows produce twice as much milk as 50 years ago. 3.6 million cows are raised in France. 7% are in a zero grazing system (which is low, but increasing). Many suffer from leg injuries and limping. They suffer from mastitis and have difficulty walking. The calves are separated from their mothers and the group from day one; they are not allowed to eat on pasture because “grass and exercise” turns their flesh pink. They are raised on a floor with holes in it so that they can quickly evacuate their excrement. Rabbits are kept in small cages on wire mesh floors without straw; they cannot hop like their free-range counterparts. Half of the dairy goats (1.2 million in France) do not have access to pasture either; they are considered as milk machines in intensive farms. Farmers remove their horns to save space. It is impossible for all these species to express their natural behavior. It is urgent to become aware that for a real respect of animal welfare, “it is a whole system that must be reviewed” writes 60 millions de consommateurs in a press release.

This also makes it possible to avoid the hormones, antibiotics and drugs given to animals in agro-industrial breeding. These drugs are found in meat, eggs and dairy products and affect our health negatively. Generally vegetarians are more health conscious, and therefore choose better quality foods (organic or local products). Some people say that they are disgusted with meat from a young age; they are often of blood type A or AB. The vegetarian diet can be useful to help the body detoxify itself. The fiber, minerals and vitamins rich in fruits and vegetables will help the body cleanse itself.

2 – DISADVANTAGES :

The majority of vegetarians I see in my clientele are NOT necessarily choosing quality food. They simply choose not to eat animals in general for ethical reasons. They often lack the intake of animal proteins to repair and regenerate themselves. Most vegetarians eat far too many grains, which are not properly prepared for digestion: soaking, sprouting, fermentation, leavening. Many vegetarians eat soy as a protein substitute. Soy is very difficult to digest and is estrogenic. Many vegetarians eat too many sugars to compensate for the lack of protein.  John Harvey Kellogg is the founder of Kellogg’s (cereals), an American, a 7th day Adventist. He believed that eating meat contributed to sexual excitement. One of his missions was to promote anaphrodisiac foods (cereals). He advocated abstinence and temperance. He had a great influence on the vegetarian movement in the 1920s, and introduced the idea of breakfast cereals for children…

What is veganism or the vegan diet?

It is a diet that consists only of plant foods: vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, grains, tubers, seaweed, etc. There are absolutely no animal products. There are absolutely no animal products and no animal derivatives (no eggs, no dairy products, no honey).

1 – ADVANTAGES :

It is a cleansing diet; almost like fasting. It helps to lose weight and detoxify. Fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals, vitamins and fiber (if they are organic). Good idea in relation to animal abuse. Could be useful in case of degenerative diseases like cancer. Dr. Max Gerson has treated cancer patients with a vegan diet. He added other therapies such as coffee enemas, fruit and vegetable juices, potassium and iodine supplements, numerous dietary supplements, and raw liver juice! An advocate of the vegan diet: Dr. Colin Campbell, an American biochemist has written a book based on a Chinese study. The study is based on 6,000 people over 20 years in rural China.

Here are the author’s conclusions:

  • Health is not a matter of medicine, but of nutrition. Right!
  • We need much less protein than what is recommended. (48gr. Protein/day would be sufficient) Disagree!
  • Animal proteins are more likely to contribute to the development of cancer than vegetable proteins. Disagree!
  • It is better to obtain protein from legumes (soy, beans, lentils), nuts and seeds. Disagree!

2 – DISADVANTAGES :

Plant proteins are harder to digest – they are rarely prepared properly. They need to be soaked or sprouted to make them easier to digest. In the long run, this diet leads to very significant deficiencies, due to a lack of proteins essential for cell repair. Vegans often eat too much grain and sugar, which leads to insulin resistance and diabetes. The brain suffers greatly from a lack of fat. Vitamin B12 deficiency has serious negative effects on the body, including the central and peripheral nervous systems. Vegans lose their ability to digest animal protein over time. Premature aging. Often experienced as a religion = sectarianism.

What is the raw food diet?

It is about eating all raw foods. There are vegan raw foods, vegetarian raw foods, and all raw foods including meat, milk and fish. Aajonus Vonderplanitz promoted the raw food movement in the United States. He cured himself of stomach cancer. In France, it was Guy Claude Burger who promoted this diet in the 80’s by calling it instinctotherapy. The idea is to listen to the body’s instincts for food. We smell and look at the food before eating it.

1 – ADVANTAGES :

Raw foods have undeniable qualities: they are rich in enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, fiber and minerals. Eating by instinct is interesting because the body KNOWS what it needs, but it is important not to be “parasitized” by thoughts!

2 – DISADVANTAGES :

Raw food can be very difficult to digest for some if not consumed in juice, and will irritate the lining of the intestines if it is already inflamed. According to Chinese medicine, we also need cooked food. Living in cold places, I believe that the body needs hot cooked food.

CONCLUSION:

I am neither for nor against vegetarianism, veganism or crudivorism. I think it is possible to be a vegetarian and stay healthy if quality animal sub proteins (like eggs and dairy products) are consumed daily AND digested properly. However, one should not develop intolerances if these foods are eaten too often. On the condition that these proteins come from animals raised in good conditions: preferably in pasture, eating good quality and appropriate food; raised in small quantities; without antibiotics, pellets, and other unsuitable artificial food. Humans are omnivorous: they can eat anything! Teeth show it: molars for chewing; incisors for cutting; canines for shredding. Humans are also able to adapt to survive. Following one of these diets is sure to have positive effects, especially if people were eating poorly before starting one of these diets. Cutting out processed foods, sugars, hydrogenated fats, and moving towards organic, pasture-raised meats can only be beneficial to everyone! Follow Dr. Weston Price’s principles in general, and do a specific diet if necessary and appropriate. The questions to ask are: Which diet to adopt for which situations? How long to follow it? What are the reasons for adopting a certain diet? Diets should not be practiced like a religion. Eating should remain a pleasure. I believe that we can follow a certain type of diet for certain pathologies for a certain period of time, and change later.

Ex: Gerson or ketogenic diet for cancer.
Ex: low FODMAP diet for SIBO.
Ex: GAPS diet for autism.

Definition:

“Insomnia is the decrease in usual sleep duration and/or impairment of sleep quality with repercussion on energy level the next day. “

Three mechanisms are important in understanding sleep:

  1. The circadian rhythm: It is approximately 24 hours long.

Some people are morning people (40%) and others evening people (30%). This is essentially genetic. Our circadian rhythm depends on light/dark exposure + other cues such as food, exercise, and temperature fluctuations. This is why blind people do not completely lose their circadian rhythm. The body clock that regulates the circadian rhythm is called the suprachiasmatic nucleus; it is composed of 20,000 neurons. (The brain has about 100 billion neurons). The suprachiasmatic nucleus communicates signals to the brain through melatonin which is secreted by the pineal gland. Melatonin sends messages to the brain after nightfall saying “it’s dark; go to sleep”. Once asleep, melatonin decreases.

  1. Adenosine: the longer you stay awake, the more it increases, inducing the increasingly urgent desire to sleep, after 12 to 16 hours without sleep.

Caffeine blocks adenosine by occupying the adenosine receptors in the brain. Also, caffeine is broken down by an enzyme in the liver; some people will feel the effects of morning caffeine most of the day, and if they drink another cup of coffee after lunch, they won’t have time to get all the caffeine out of their system to fall asleep easily at night. Here is the effect of caffeine on a spider web compared to LSD, marijuana and speed; NASA experiment in 1980.

  1. Sleep cycles: REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) – in total a 90 minute cycle, which includes 4 phases: NREM 1; NREM 2; NREM 3; NREM 4; REM.

Early night: NREM predominates and serves to “clean” the brain. In contrast, at the end of the night: REM predominates, accompanied by dreams, and muscle paralysis.

Are you getting enough sleep?
If you wake up in the morning feeling like you could still be asleep by 10 or 11 o’clock, you are not getting enough sleep. If you need caffeine to function before noon, you are sleep deprived. If you can wake up without an alarm clock, then you’ve had enough sleep. We need 8 or 9 hours of sleep. Many people neglect this need and create chronic fatigue.

The causes of insomnia:

  1. The brain :
    Sleep depends on the proper balance of neurotransmitters made from proteins: Serotonin is a precursor to melatonin. GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric acid): calming effects, letting go, anti-anxiety. GABA is manufactured from glutamic acid. Glycine is also a calming neurotransmitter of the brain. Dopamine is made from tyrosine and phenylalanine, it is the precursor of adrenaline and noradrenaline which have stimulating effects on the brain. Caffeine, stress, exercise promote the secretion of dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline, so they are not recommended at night.
  2. Excitants:
    Caffeine; sugar; sports, electromagnetic waves; exposure to blue lights (screens, TV). Also, even morning coffee can affect your sleep at night.
  3. Sleep Apnea:
    This is often under-diagnosed.
  4. Adrenals: secrete cortisol, DHEA, adrenaline, noradrenaline.
    Cortisol is inversely proportional to melatonin: it rises in the morning and falls throughout the day. The adrenals can be tested with saliva by measuring cortisol. Most sleep disorders are due to an imbalance of the adrenals, but are not recognized. The only 2 recognized diseases are Addison’s disease (hypo) and Cushing’s syndrome (excess). Probably 90% of the population suffers from an adrenal imbalance but does not know it. The adrenals are affected by stress, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, sugar, stimulants of any kind, emotions, and any internal stress (pollution, heavy metals, poor digestion, etc.). Fatigued adrenals are manifested by: low blood pressure, craving for salty foods, disturbed sleep.
  5. Hormone imbalance:
    Sex hormones and adrenal hormones have the same origin, pregnenolone, which is derived from cholesterol. When sex hormones are out of balance, they affect the adrenals and vice versa.
  6. Thyroid: The thyroid regulates all the body’s rhythms, so it has a role to play in the circadian rhythm.
    Iodine deficiency contributes to insomnia; so does hyperthyroidism.
  7. Dys-glycemia: an unstable sugar level contributes to insomnia; often due to the excess consumption of sugar, which creates “roller coasters”.
    If blood sugar levels are too low at night, the body goes on alert and wakes up. Alcohol: “puts the prefrontal cortex to sleep” (disinhibits) at first; then fragments sleep, so it is not restorative. It reduces REM sleep (dreams). So much so that dreams come during the day, creating “delirium tremens” in alcoholics.
  8. Poor digestion: a heavy digestion disturbs the quality of sleep.
  9. Artificial light blocks the secretion of melatonin after the sun goes down, and delays sleep.
    Blue light (LED) (screens, tablets, phones), prevent twice the secretion of melatonin.
    Experiment: 2 hours of reading on a tablet before sleeping reduces melatonin by 50% compared to reading a book; delays melatonin secretion until early morning, decreases REM phases; and decreases energy of people during the day.

Sleep hygiene:

  • Respect circadian rhythms, and if possible your own nature (morning or evening).
  • Respect the “sleep trains” every 90 minutes.
  • Sleep in the dark.
  • Sleep without TV, computer, tablet or phone.
  • Sleep in an airy room, with little heat (18-19°); to fall asleep, the body needs to be 1 degree lower than normal.
  • Be sure not to feel cold at bedtime.
  • Sleep without cats, dogs, or other animals that make noise at night.
  • If necessary, wear earplugs (sensitivity to noise, snoring).
  • Go to bed and get up at approximately the same time.
  • Have a good quality mattress.
  • Eliminate mold in the bedroom.
  • Eliminate potential allergens (feathers, dust mites, etc.)

What is the purpose of sleeping?
Sleeping is used for memorization; concentration, increases creativity. By sleeping, our body triggers a cleansing of toxins from the brain thanks to the glymphatic system, it will also regulate appetite and weight as well as the immune system. Also, sleep reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and regulates mood.

Remedies:

  • Practice sleep hygiene
  • Regulate adrenal and thyroid function
  • Regulate digestive problems
  • Rebalance hormones
  • Avoid dysglycemia
  • Walk in the fresh air.
  • Food supplement : ” Sleep 30 Melatonin ” from Diet Horizon : 1 to 3 capsules at bedtime.