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Immune System Strengthening

About 12 years ago, I studied to be a Vegan/Vegetarian Nutritional Therapist & although I never did anything with it - I continue to love learning more about health & nutrition.
I did a pre-nursing course at college, but discovered that I was (& still am) incredibly squeamish around blood, lumps, veins & wounds, so I went into social care instead... I did love food & nutrition classes, not just the cookery, but learning about the importance of a balanced diet & how meals should always be colourful to provide maximum nutrients. It's something that has stayed with me & has made me the picky person I am today - I can't bear to see a bland looking meal!

I am fascinated by the foods which can have an impact on our health & wellbeing.
So we have lots of books & the learning never stops, I give advice out to others & in some cases have helped family & friends to recover from various ailments, but when it comes to myself - I've been crap! I read my reference books, I make notes, I know what to do, but it just doesn't always happen...

Graves Disease has been part of my life now for over 6 years, I've hated having to rely on medication to suppress the thyroxine levels in my body, but I'm sure that it's not going to be forever.
I've learnt again this week that my thyroid is functioning normally - which I already knew, because I feel normal!
I will now have to fight to reduce the drug before my thyroid starts to become under active.

Although the medical profession mostly deny any links between Graves Disease, stress & diet - I know that that isn't the case for me. The thing is they don't seem to know why a person gets it, yes it's an iodine overload & can be hereditary, but I think for me it's about the way I've handled & continue to handle stress. The physical job we have, especially in the Summer plays a big part in making me ill. I don't want to quit - we love working for ourselves, but it's about coming up with new ways of coping & possibly cutting down a little more.
I know I have to be stronger, GD causes severe muscle weakness - so I've got to work hard at building myself up again. I'm already feeling good because we're not working much, but Sime's the opposite - he thrives on hard work & when we slow down, he quite often ends up feeling run down.

When I started to go down hill last Summer, I did lots of research again - there isn't much out there from the UK, but I came across a natural endocrine doctor in the USA & have learnt from him about concentrating on strengthening the immune system - which of course, makes a lot of sense... I've also spent several hours reading the Alfred Vogel book: The Nature Doctor, which I bought from a charity shop last year. He was such a knowledgeable man & again, I've picked up lots of useful tips. For over 2 months now, I've been supporting my immune system with extra calcium, vitamins C & D, selenium, omega oil & femented whey (Molkosan). As well as taking bugleweed, motherwort & lemon balm for my thyroid. It takes a huge amount of discipline & a good memory to keep it up on a daily basis, but it's working - my thyroxine levels have dropped quite dramatically in the last 6 weeks & I am feeling stronger - so much more than I can ever remember, so I know from previous experience, it's not just the anti-thyroid drug that's making a difference.


My research has also led me to look at food, we have a mainly vegan diet - though it's been pretty relaxed over the last few years & dairy creeps in here & there, but we've made a decision to quit it altogether & not be tempted to make do. Sime's willpower is amazing & everything we've read lately has made him so determined, which is good - because it makes it easy for me, as I'm the one who gives in. Apparently (so Hugo tells me) people who have/had addictions go from one to another. I'm an ex-smoker, chocoholic & now I've taken up coffee - just 1 cup of black coffee a day, but it's there... 
Anyway, going back to food - I've wanted to see the film Forks Over Knives for ages, but we can't get it over here yet, so I had a look at some of the info on their website & found this: Happy Herbivore & from there I found this blog: Happy Rehab Doc. Both of these have been really inspiring & I've gone on to understand why we shouldn't use oil in our diet, in fact it's been quite a revelation!


My Dad died at 52 in his sleep, he was a serious 40-60 cigs a day man, who drank & liked to party. He wasn't overweight, but his heart stopped working... Last time I saw my Mum, she was very overweight & drunk. Neither of them cared what they ate.
This year I will be 46 & I want to rid myself of this disease & feel confident that I won't end up like my parents.


Being vegan again, eating just organic vegetables, fruit & grains - should get me exactly where I want to be!


  Kay :)


Comments

Kath said…
A very interesting post Kay and how well you know your body and what it needs.
I'm sure you will live a long and happy life with such awareness and determination to eat well, look after yourself and stay healthy.

As an aside, a friend of mine who needed to boost her immune system (following illness) got marvellous results with acupuncture.
Thank you Kath - I did have acupuncture when I was first diagnosed, I refused medication for 2 years & saw a herbalist too, but what I didn't realise then is just how stressful life was - my Nan lived with us for the last years of her life & she had dementia!

Kay :)
Karin said…
Good luck with strengthening your immune system, Kay. It's amazing how our diets can affect us. You've given me a few things to think about on that subject.
Thanks Karin - glad it's been helpful!

Kay :)
Catherine said…
Our health is so important yet how often do we let it slide to the back burner - too often. I'm glad you put it right to the front Kay and I wish you all the best to your health!
xo Catherine
Thanks Catherine - It's easy to dwell on illness & I try not to, being positive & determined helps - which is easy when I can feel myself improve!

Kay :)

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Nettles

Our garden yesterday.
Tall Nettles TALL nettles cover up, as they have done These many springs, the rusty harrow, the plough Long worn out, and the roller made of stone: Only the elm butt tops the nettles now.
This corner of the farmyard I like most: As well as any bloom upon a flower I like the dust on the nettles, never lost Except to prove the sweetness of a shower.
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Every time we venture out to pick nettles, Sime always goes on about this poem!

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Nettles are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus, potass…