This unpleasant state can be caused by many different factors including too much or too little hydrochloric acid production in the stomach. Excessive stomach acid or a hiatus hernia usually causes heartburn. Insufficient hydrochloric acid or digestive enzyme deficiency usually causes a feeling of indigestion and reduced well-being after a meal. A bacterial imbalance or fungal infection in the gut can also result in these symptoms, plus bloating after a meal, because undesirable organisms multiply on feeding. Nutrition consultants can test these possibilities and identify the cause. The following advice is, however, a good starting point.
When the immune system is run down, infections occur. Many nutrients and phytonutrients help to enhance immune function. These include vitamin C, all antioxidants, and the plants echinacea, cat’s claw and aloe vera. There are also many natural infection fighters including probiotics (for bacterial infection), caprylic acid (for fungal infection), elderberry extract (for viral infection) and grapefruit seed extract for all three. Read Chapters 19 and 28 to find out which remedies are most helpful, depending on the infection. Below is a general infection-fighting programme.
This unfortunate condition is more common in women than in men, although in 30 per cent of couples that have difficulty conceiving the problem is due to the man. Vitamins E and B6, selenium and zinc are important for both sexes, and vitamin C is important for men. Also important are essential fatty acids. There are, however, many causes other than nutritional deficiency, perhaps the most common being hormonal imbalances, particularly in women. These can be checked by a nutrition consultant or your doctor, from saliva samples taken at intervals over a month.
Many health problems, including all those ending in ‘itis’, are inflammatory. This means that a part of the body such as a muscle or joint, the gut or respiratory tract, is inflamed. This is a sign that the body is reacting, or over-reacting, to something. A tendency to over-react can arise if a person is deficient in essential fats and their supportive nutrients, vitamins B3 and B6, biotin, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is also needed to make cortisol, the body’s anti-inflammatory hormone. Boswellic acid, found in the plant frankincense, is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that is available in the form of a cream for inflamed joints and muscles. L-glutamine helps to calm gut inflammation. Antioxidant nutrients are also intimately involved in inflammatory responses. However, there is little point in calming down an inflammation if the source of irritation remains. This may be a food allergy or an irritating substance such as alcohol.
This term is used to describe intermittent diarrhoea or constipation, urgency to defecate, abdominal pain or indigestion. There are many possible contributory causes to one or more of these symptoms. They include food allergy, gut inflammation, over-excitation of the gut muscles, stress, infection and toxic overload. It is therefore best to see a nutrition consultant who can determine which factors are relevant. Essential fats and the amino acid glutamine calm gut inflammation, antioxidants help the body to detoxify and the right mineral balance helps the muscles of the gut to work properly.