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  • Link between Autism & Food Intolerance

    According to new research, autism could be triggered by food allergies or intolerances.
    A study of almost 200,000 children found those with autism were more than two and a half times as likely to suffer food allergies.  As yet the research cannot confirm which comes first, the allergy or ASD.
    26.89 percent of children with ASD had skin allergies, whilst only 9.84 percent of those who were not autistic.  18.73 percent of children with ASD suffered respiratory allergies whilst 12.08 percent of children without.
    According to the National Autistic Society more than one in 100 people are on the autistic spectrum.  It is thought possible causes are genetic, viral or metabolic with triggers including German measles.
    Autism has been suspected of being linked to allergies and intolerances for more than 20 years.  A study found a large proportion of autistic children, particularly those with late onset autism, responded well to a wheat and dairy free diet.
    This is also our experience in our clinics.   Making dietary changes can be a huge benefit  along with correcting any nutritional deficiencies that are common. Supplements using good quality vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids often prove beneficial.

  • The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest

    If you wanted to get a “heretical” viewpoint on current treatments for cancer, check this series from the US. The public awareness has reached a tipping point and seems to be forcing Medicine to face some unpalatable truths.

    Personally I believe we can be very positive about the changes doctors are having to make on their approach to disease because this awareness has started gaining momentum in our medical schools; doctors have at last started recognising the futility of treating the body with chemical agents, which, at substantial cost, offer no “curative” effect.

    View video: The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest - Episode 1

  • Wet Wipes Could Be Associated With Allergies

    The Science Daily reports on the findings of a dermatologist who highlights that the preservative in many pre-moistened wet wipes is linked to a dramatic rise in allergic reactions. 

    A chemical referred to as MI (methylisothiazolinone) is commonly used in many water-based products such as liquid soaps, hair shampoo, sunscreen, laundry products and cleaners as well as pre-moistened personal hygiene products and baby wipes.

    The reaction can be red, raised, itchy skin.  Commonly areas affected by the allergic reaction are hands and fingers, from handling the wipes and babies bottoms, faces and hands from using the wipes.

    It is thought that using the wet wipes could be creating a breach in the skin’s natural protective barrier which makes it more sensitive to unusual chemicals. If the wet wipe soap residues are not rinsed off, babies could possibly absorb allergy-causing chemicals.  This is particularly true for children who already have a genetic disposition for developing allergies that are like with conditions like eczema. 

    We live in a world surrounded by chemicals, under the kitchen sink, in our bathrooms as well as in stores where chemicals are used in furniture, floorings, cosmetics, etc.  The more we can avoid using such products but instead use chemical free commodities the better for our health and those who may share our homes.

    For those with difficult to manage chemical allergies treatments such as desensitisation are available.

  • Coping With Dust Mite Allergy

    Out comes the sun and we want to fling open the windows, having been cooped up at home for so many months.

    For those, who suffer with hay fever, that is not possible because with the pollen and rape seed the sneezing begins so they keep their windows shut.

    However, for others being indoors any time of the year they suffer with itchy eyes, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose – this could be because of dust mite allergy.

    Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed on house dust and moisture in the air. They are one of the most common indoor allergens and can make life at home a misery. Here are some tips to help cope.

    • Clean your home at least once a week, the more the better.
    • Use a damp duster. A dry duster just moves the dust around, a damp cloth, particularly an E-cloth will help to catch the dust and the mites. Sprinkle with water would be sufficient. Be careful with sprays, the chemicals can often be an irritant to people with allergies.
    • A vacuum with a HEPA filter is ideal and make sure you change the filters regularly.
    • If you suffer while cleaning, wearing a mask or gloves can help or, ideally, get someone else to do the cleaning for you.
    • Wash your bedding every week. Dust mites can live and die in your bedding, this can aggravate your allergies. Wash bedding in hot water and the heat of tumble drying also helps in killing the mites.
    • Allergy proof covers for bedding, preferably zippable, helps keep dust mites off your bed.

    Our clinics treat dust mite and other inhalant allergies with desensitisation. See our website page.

  • Urban Pollution Caused By Everyday Products

    A report in The Guardian (16.02.18) talked about the growing source of urban pollution from household chemical products, perfumes, paints, formaldehyde and insecticides.

    The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from household cleaners, personal hygiene products, paints and glues researchers have found significantly affects the air pollution as many of these products come from refined petroleum.

    The compounds are an important contributor to air pollution because when they waft into the atmosphere they react with other chemicals to produce harmful ozones. This type of pollution is unregulated, unlike emissions from vehicles.

    This is all about bottles and containers in our under sink kitchen cupboard and bathroom cabinet. The research paper shows that domestic use of VOCs is beginning to dominate, displacing the traditional sources from vehicles and industry.

    We see and treat in our clinics many patients who are suffering from the long term effects of being unable to tolerate any chemicals and this has life-changing consequences. Imagine being unable to go into a supermarket or department store because you cannot tolerate the smells of perfumes, washing powders or formaldehyde. Or being unable to go to family or friends homes because they store chemicals or use deodorants. Many people have become housebound because of their severe reaction to everyday chemicals we take for granted.

  • ADHD or Food Intolerance

    I recommend you to read an interesting article written by Dr. Russell Blaylock, an American neurosurgeon, author and lecturer.

    Dr Blaylock describes the case of a child with disruptive behaviour in school whose mother was told the child should be prescribed Ritalin if he was to continue at school.

    The child was tested for food intolerances with positive results. Once the foods were removed from his diet his behaviour changed completely and he was able to return to school. Please read: ADHD or Food Intolerance

  • Eating Ourselves to Death and Others to Life

    Joe Leech, a young dietician in Australia, was feeling frustrated that he was answering so many questions about how to lose weight, what was the best diet, how to deal with irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, Type 2 diabetes when many of these problems were due to eating too many calories or too much of a food that were causing intolerances. In addition, despite his advice, obesity was an ever-growing problem.

    He equally was aware of the contrast that in Uganda and other developing counties, many people do not have enough to eat, the resources to educate their children or to pay for basic health care.

    Joe discovered Hunger Project, which he believes is a step towards a solution for both the Western world and developing world.

    Take a look at his short video explaining the great concept. Hunger Project Video.

    Let’s all put our food consumption into perspective, as we reach for the biscuit tin remember those who maybe don’t even have one nutritious meal a day.

  • Brilliant Wi-Fi Experiment Kills Cress

    Five danish students set up a biology experiment that is so brilliant that it has attracted international attention amongst biologists and radiation experts.

    The experiment came about because the students identified that they were experiencing difficulty concentrating in school and sleeping if they had their phone next to their heads.

    The simple experiment was to place 400 cress seeds in twelve trays. Place six trays in two rooms at the same temperature, with the same amount of water and sunlight over 12 days. The only difference was that one room was exposed to two Wi-Fi routers which broadcast the same type of radiation as a mobile phone.

    Take a look at the startling results below!

    The results as far as the girls are concerned, apart from receiving many accolades from professors and scientists, is that they sleep with their phones far away from their beds and the computer is switched off!

  • Link between Aluminium & Autism?

    A recent published study led by Professor Christopher Exley at Keele University examined brain samples from patients with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who had died and compared them to samples from individuals without an ASD diagnosis. They measured how much aluminium was in the samples and used fluorescence techniques to identify where the aluminium was in the samples. Professor Exley is quoted as saying that he was surprised at the “extraordinarily high” levels of aluminium in the ASD affected samples.

    On the microscopy studies they were able to see lymph and blood cells carrying aluminium from the rest of the body to the brain. The conclusion was that aluminium is implicated in the aetiology of ASD.

    You can read the paper here: Aluminium & Autism and watch an interview with Professor Exley here: YouTube Interview

    Environmental and Functional Medicine practitioners have maintained for some years now that there is a link between toxins, including heavy metals such as aluminium, and the development of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

    There is known to be genetic susceptibility to ASD which is likened to loading a gun but it is environmental factors such as metal and chemical toxicity, food sensitivities, gut infections (dysbiosis) and nutritional deficiencies which “pull the trigger” for its development. One or more of these factors may be implicated in the development of ASD.

    These are all environmental issues which we deal with in a variety of conditions including ASD.

  • High Energy Drinks Affect Behaviour

    An article in The Guardian last week reported that Waitrose are the first UK supermarket to ban the sale of high energy drinks to under 16’s because of the high level of sugar and caffeine they contain and the effect this is having on the behaviour of children.

    The teaching union NASUWT last month called for a ban on the sale of these drinks to under-16s. They were referred to as “legal highs” that helped to fuel bad behaviour in schools.The family of a 25 year old who committed suicide late last year, are convinced that his intake, over 15 cans a day of high energy drinks increased his anxiety and contributed to his death.

    The Food Standards Agency says these drinks contain levels of caffeine in a small 250mg can similar to three cans of cola.

    Katherine Jenner, campaign director at Action on Sugar, was delighted to see Waitrose take this stand, she said “Energy drinks are completely inappropriate for children to consume and form no part of a healthy, balanced diet, and should be banned for under-16s across the board.”

    The huge intake of sugar is linked to obesity, various types of cancer, type 2 diabetes as well as rotting children’s teeth. From April 2018 companies that produce sugar-sweetened drinks will have to pay a soft drinks tax in an effort to tackle the nation's obesity problem.

    In addition, sugary drinks will be removed from NHS canteens, shops and vending machines during 2018. Almost two thirds of NHS trusts have signed a voluntary scheme to reduce sales of sugary drinks to 10 per cent or less of sold beverages. Some NHS Trusts have already introduced their own ban on sugary drinks.

    Chief Executive of NHS England has said "It's important the NHS practices what it preaches on healthy food and drink. We want 2018 to be the year when the tasty, affordable and easy option for patients, staff and visitors is the healthy option."

    Let’s hope other supermarkets and hospitals will follow suit very soon.

  • Rock Star's Journey with Crohn's Disease

    On the 28th November 2017, there was a documentary, On Tour with Crohn’s Disease, on Radio One Newsbeat about the challenges of living with Crohn’s.  It followed Mark Holley, musician with the rock band Black Foxxes who was diagnosed with Crohn’s seven years ago.

    According to the NHS, in England the number of 15 to 29 year olds diagnosed has increased from 9,256 in 2007 to 29,624 in 2016. Age 29 is the most common age for being diagnosed with Crohn’s.

    Mark speaks openly about the struggles of trying to record, be on stage and cope with this disease for which he has been told there is no cure.  He talks about his anxiety and depression. Their lastest album is entitled "I'm Not Well".  You can listen to his story here: Crohn's Journey.

    In contrast, a patient treated by Dr Econs some 25 years ago, recently wrote to us, completely out of the blue, saying this:

    This email is for Dr A Econs. about 25 years ago, my husband came to you with Crohns disease, you  helped him immensely and he is still doing fine, thanks to a good diet and lifestyle, I am in the process of writing a book showing his journey and how the diet has helped, completely non medical. I would just like to ask permission to use your name as the doctor who started it all off and helped him to have 25 years free of too much pain, I would of course send you a copy if and when I finish it before I tried to get it printed, for your approval, many thanks for everything even after all these years.

  • Dying To Sleep

    Professor Matthew Walker, a leading expert, originally from Liverpool and now director of the Centre of Human Sleep Science in California, revealed in an interview with the Guardian, that a lack of sleep in killing us.

    TV, computer screens, electric lights and poor work-life balance are some of the causes of sleep deprivation, defined as seven hours a night.  This has been linked to serious health issues such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and mental health issues.

    He recommends a non-negotiable eight hours sleep every night.

    Please read this enlightening article Sleep.

  • Proton Pump Inhibitors!

    British Medical Journall article 4th November 2017 states Increased risk of cancer from PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors) used for reflux.

    The journal Gut published research which indicates an increased risk for cancer of 2.44 times, associated with PPI’s for reflux, which was not found in the use of H2 antagonists, such as Ranitidine.

    I wonder if some of these findings have also been affected by the fact that any long term “suppressed” inflammation caused by the immune system, is in itself a risk factor for cancer?

  • Sinus Infection Treatment

    A comment in the BMJ 4 November 2017 advised to avoid antibiotics for sinus infections. NICE new guidelines recommend oral decongestants and paracetamol for acute sinusitis and avoid antibiotics.

    Tell this to a patient who has been unable to breathe and has been suffering with facial pain for a couple of weeks!!

    I am not recommending antibiotics to patients with sinusitis, we are all too familiar with the problems with overuse of antibiotics. However, we often manage to prevent upper respiratory inflammation, using the positive effects of dietary changes, methods of desensitisation and sometimes, anti-fungals if moulds are suspected.

    Prevention and treating the cause is always preferable to being reactive and giving symptom relief.

  • Allergy Growth & Allergy Causes

    Two fascinating articles written by about allergies, that I think you will appreciate reading.

    The first speaks of research that indicates that 45% of adults with food allergies develop them in adulthood. Nearly Half of Adults with Food Allergies Develop Them as Adults

    The second shows there are studies indicating that the causes of allergies involve a complex interplay between genetics and our environment. Hopefully this research and finding will lead to treatment of food allergies and even prevention. Genome Study Provides More Clarity on Genetic Causes of Food Allergy

    If you need help with your allergies of intolerances please do contact us.

  • Scleroderma and Antibiotics

    We sporadically get enquiries if we treat scleroderma. We do. Whilst I have to admit that the condition is challenging both to the patient and the clinician, if it is an "immune" problem, it must be the result of a reactivity. Unsurprisingly, some people who are prepared to radically change their diet, to deal with any toxic load or infectious agents, seem to do well, in spite of expectations. I expect that the use of antibiotics such as minocycline (or clindamycin) will become more widespread in the near future. The outcomes are too good to ignore, they have the support of clinical work and tolerance is not bad either.

    For a flavour of the debate between the "sceptics" and some who have been treated using the antibiotic protocol ("AP"), read this article published in 2010: More Stuff That Doesn't Work For Scleroderma.

  • Scanning the journals is my favourite section in BMJ. This time the tone is "humble", as Medicine is coming around, slowly, to accept that previous guidelines established on so-called "evidence" were, once more, flawed. The topic is on fats.

    a) eating fats is related to lower total mortality and does not affect cardio-vascular disease! As I have been telling my clients for years, it is those carbs that are doing the damage - sugars especially. The message is: we can abandon the "saturated fat-cardiovascular disease" hypothesis with some certainty.

    b) High fruit, vegetable and legume intake was associated with lower risk of non-cardiovascular and total mortality! A diet high in veggies, fish, oils and seeds and low in sugars serves as an extra health insurance, without the premiums. Ignore it to your peril.....

    Lancet: 10.1016/S0140-6736

    c) It is no longer necessary to monitor blood cholesterol and lipids of those on statins as it makes no difference to decision making. We can guess what is coming next: The pointless nature of lowering the lipids with statins. 

    JAMA 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.3954

  • Lady Gaga’s "Til It Happens to You"

    Lady Gaga’s hit track Til it Happens to You, although not written about her recent revelation on social media that she has Fibromyalgia (FMS), could aptly describe her experience of living with it.

    The condition is giving her such “severe physical pain that it has impacted her ability to perform” so she has had to cancel her European tour due to begin next week.

    FMS is a chronic condition that causes pain and swelling in points all over the body. It is hard to diagnose and treat and many people with the condition find it difficult to get doctors to take their symptoms seriously as there is nothing to see, only for the patient to feel - constant widespread pain. Along with the pain comes extreme tiredness, muscles aches, poor sleep and concentration.

    FMS is typically suffered by people in the 30-50 age group. As there is no definitive test, it is hard to estimate how many people really suffer with the condition but it is thought to possibly be 5 million. In an attempt to raise awareness about this life changing illness, Lady Gaga has just released a documentary called Gaga: Five Foot Two.

    Although there is no conventional medical treatment for the condition, the experience of some medical professionals has been that there is a noticeable link between diet, infectious agents and toxic load with fibromyalgia. As with CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) this immune system problem can be helped by adjusting ones diet and lifestyle. We often see an improvement (or reversal) of the condition with regular use of intravenous infusions of nutrients and/or some methods of immunotherapy.

  • Life Saving Allergy Puppy

    We have guide dogs, hearing dogs and now allergy dogs. We are all too aware how life-changing guide dogs and hearing dogs can be for their owners giving them their freedom and independence.

    Six year old boy, Mason, who has suffered thousands of allergic reactions, even anaphlayatic reactions that have been life threatening, is about to have his own ‘guardian’ in the shape of a Golden Retriever called Storm.

    Storm is being trained to detect changes in Mason that are a sign he is about to have an allergic reaction and to warn Mason and others around him. Mason is allergic to dogs, so it took 18 months to up build his immunity to the breed first.

    How wonderful it will be if Storm can give Mason the opportunity to go to friends birthday parties and outings as any other little boy. Let's hope this is just the beginning of dogs that can help many serious allergy sufferers.

    Read article on The Scotsman: The life-saving dog who will be little boy’s best friend

  • Peanut Allergy Breakthrough

    An allergy to peanuts is recognised as one of the most severe food allergies due to its prevalence, persistency and potential severity of allergic reaction which can result in anaphylaxis. The principle treatment at the moment is the use of an Epipen injection which must be carried at all times.

    However, Australian researchers have carried out a small clinical trial which has seen positive results in 82% of the children on the trial who had received the immunotherapy treatment had become tolerant to peanuts.

    At Allergy Medical UK we are aware of how effective immunotherapy is in ‘re-educating’ the immune system so we are really excited about this treatment and hope it will be widely available very soon.

    Read the Guardian article: Peanut allergy cured in majority of children in immunotherapy trial

  • A number of British allergy specialists were recently asked to share their views on allergy, its management and any optional measures to prevent it.

    Their views have been published in the magazine of Champneys, a group of health resorts well known for promoting healthy living.

    It is quite clear that, whilst a number of safe and effective methods of prevention of allergies exists, only a fraction of doctors in the UK know of them, recommend them or use them.

    Read Champneys article: Alternative treatments for those with allergies

  • Can Diet Help Alzheimer's?

    Surprise, surprise! Mediterranean diet may be reducing risk of Alzheimer's.

    I must have seen at least 10 studies in the last two years that extol the virtues of eating lots of salads, vegetables, olive oil and fish, excluding most other common foods in order to reduce the risk of dementia or improve mental faculties, when Alzheimer's has been diagnosed.

    In a way this is not as extraordinary as it sounds: similar diets have been proven effective in reversing several so-called "auto-immune" diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease. In clinics like ours, such diets have been used because they are known to help people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, cardio-vascular disease, hypertension, depression - do I need to go on, you get the gist? Doctors using similar diets over the last four decades, have often been called "quacks" by their learned colleagues.

    The burning question is, "how much does it take for the medical profession to wake up and start using these methods which are simple, patient-enpowering, reduce doctors' workload and NHS costs?".

    The well known 20th Century philosopher Carl Poppa observed: "True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge but the persistent denial of facts"!

    Read article on Fortune: Could the Mediterranean Diet Help Fight Dementia? Here's What We

  • B Vitamins Fight Pollution

    In 2015 the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) estimated that diesel "particulates" are directly and indirectly responsible for an average of 52,000 deaths per annum in Britain, mainly associated with severe asthma, cardio-vascular disease and cancer. For people understanding the role of nutrition in human health, it will not come as a surprise to hear that another group of essential nutrients such as the vitamin B's have a protective effect against changes in the immune system and free radical damage, which are known to initiate serious, life threatening health problems.

    View B vitamins may have 'protective effect' against air pollution article on BBC Health News.

    In our clinics we have been using these, combined with other important nutrients as intravenous drips to increase the body resistance to a range of such agents, when a person's life is threatened. High potency vitamin C, vitamin B12, zinc and glutathione are also used for their anti-oxidant and detoxification properties.

  • Asthma Awareness

    I couldn’t help but be touched by the recent item on the BBC news about the death four years ago of Lisa Dennis at the age of 10 years.

    Lisa died following an asthma attack. Although she had an inhaler for an allergy, her parents were not aware she was an asthmatic. According to her family the word “asthma” was never mentioned.

    Dr Satish Rao of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, who looks after difficult asthma cases, says “one of the biggest frustrations for us is the complacency among healthcare professionals about asthma in children and young people. We have tried to convince professionals that asthma is a serious illness.” Dr Rao believes many deaths could be prevented by better information about when to seek medical help.

    Asthma UK’s clinic lead, Dr Andy Whittamore, says there is a lot of concern by both parents and children to use the steroid medication properly as steroids have had bad press.

    How much better it would be if the cause of the asthma was diagnosed and treated, rather than just symptom control with medication.

    The aim of our clinics is to identify the cause which for asthma could be inhalant allergies, i.e. dust, house dust mites, pets or moulds; or it could be dietary. Some patients find that their symptoms get worse after eating certain foods or additives.

    We recommend skin prick tests or blood tests to identify the culprits if inhalant allergies are suspected. If this is the case they can be treated with desensitisation if avoidance is not possible. If foods is the cause, dietary changes can we made or, if impractical, desensitisation can also be used.

  • Cupcakes are not all good!

    Cupcakes have become extremely popular, thanks to Mary Berry to a large extent.  As delicious as they may be, one in particular has caused a rise in a food allergies.  

    The red velvet cupcake contains cochineal as its food colourant.  Cochineal is an insect, mainly found in South America and Mexico, that produces carmine acid to deter its predators.  This acid can be extracted from the body and eggs of the insect and when mixed with aluminium or calcium salts makes the carmine dye or cochineal.  This is used primarily as a food colourant and in lipsticks.

    As Dr Isabel Skypala, consultant allergy dietician at the Royal Brompton Hospital explains, our diets have changed according to the different foods we are exposed to.  This has meant that there food allergies now seen have also changed and also increased.

    Read article on The Telegraph: Red velvet cupcakes are fuelling rise in allergies