Susan has been practising Chiropractic for 28 years and has worked in many locations before settling in Dorset. She has been working at Casterbridge Chiropractic Clinic for many years but has now decided to work closer to home.
Susan has a particular interest and experience in Functional Neurology and has attended and qualified to Chiropractic Board Certified level in Neurology. This puts her in an exclusive club of specialising Chiropractors. She is also a contributing author to Chiropractic textbooks.
Susan’s approach looks at the whole nervous system, particularly brain function. The brain controls how we function and interact with our perceived environment. Weaknesses result in patterns of weakness which can eventually manifest in functional problems.
Using standard Neurological tests and Optokinetic (eye movements) evaluation it is possible to identify weaknesses that could easily be overlooked. A program of exercises to strengthen the weak areas is then devised and if the problem is functional, positive changes will occur that help to rebalance the reflexes that control us. You can find out more from Sue by following this link.
We will be updating topics regarding this in due course so if interested please follow us through facebook and we will post links to them there.
After an encouraging 2015 coming on the back of glandular fever the year before I was keen to step it up and start to become competitive. I learnt a lot the year before regarding nutrition, preparation and recovery and was itching to get going again. The problem was I’d been injured from attempting to kite surf since October. A few months of DIY hadn’t helped the recovery and so when I had an MRI of my right knee in Feb I had tough choices to make.
I wanted to revisit Mallorca and go sub 11 but I had a tear in my lateral meniscus, mild bursitis and tendon damage. Not from running I hasten to add. From failing to release from my binding when I wiped out mildly. So come the end of Feb I decided to take a gamble and book Mallorca. I also invested in a new bike to help trim some time of the ride. There could be no excuses then.
Training started slowly, mainly building up the bike which I hadn’t been on for 4 months. Running started slowly too but soon I was doing 50 mile rides without a sore bum and getting off feeling reasonably Ok. The running built up steadily to 7k over 3 weeks but then I stupidly went back to 10k followed a week later with 15k. That irritated the knee and I had to ease off. Rule of thumb 10%-20% a week from base of your normal run. Not 50% each time. Come April I was feeling good and took part in a tough sportive in Pembrokeshire. An upset stomach and back ache from the 7 hour journey to get there put paid to any decent time. I was disappointed but it was good base training. I didn’t feel ready for the first middle distance in May so booked up to the Breacon race again.
BRECON TITAN (Middle Distance)
So in mid June I headed off to Wales again hoping for a better journey. I got there in plenty of time and familiarised myself with the course again. This time for breakfast I had cold porridge (as they don’t do brekkie at 4am) with plenty of low fibre carbs. I had my bike loaded with gels and three water bottles as there aren’t bottle replacements on that race like Ironman. However it is half the cost and just as much fun. So the swim went OK, it was a better field this year, the lake is shallow so the weed was a problem until towards the end I realised it was quicker to pull myself along on it!
The bike started well passing a lot of better swimmers early on, including one who stopped for a pee. All that training ruined by a full or nervous bladder! The big descent was a little slower this year due to bigger profiles on the wheels making the handling a bit dodgy in the crosswind but the flatter sections were a breeze until a lorry coming the other way nearly blew me off the bike. Going back up the hill was much faster as I stayed seated this year. It’s much more efficient and shaved a lot of time. So I arrived back in T2 in a good position. The run this year didn’t start with a cramp as I had trained a little better, but I had forgotten my salt caps so started to tighten up. The only solution was eating some crisps at a fed stop. Here’s a big tip, remember your caps, crisps aren’t easy to breathe. Mild choking over I continued on and nearly got to the end without cramp. It got me on a downhill about two miles out. End result over 37 mins faster than my first year, 6th in my age group. So getting closer to the silverware.
My next race was Swanage Olympic which went well apart from nearly crashing on loose gravel on a dangerous corner (that should have been swept). At T2 I was 4th overall for the first wave of athletes, I was holding my own and eventually overtook the chap in front. Stupidly though I let him pass me on a steep narrow section. I hate steep downhills as they hurt me behind my patellae. If I had kept him behind I would have been able to stay with him till the end. So I assumed I was 4th in my age group and went home disappointed. However I forgot that there were younger ones running with us older folk and I was actually 3rd. So I missed what would have been my first trophy presentations. Dumpkoff!
All of 2016 had been building up though for another shot at Ironman Mallorca. This time I was better prepared with my feeding strategy and had support with nutrition for the run. In hindsight I hadn’t done enough run training again.
The day started with thunder and lightening off to the East in the pre dawn sky. Adding to the nerves was a late announcement allowing us to use wetsuits as the sea had cooled from the day before. This lead to mass stress and lots of haunted looks as people ran around trying to get back to cars to get kit. Not the best preparation but with about 15 minutes to spare I was at the start and ready as I’d ever be.
The swim started in calm waters and I found myself in the usual washing machine wondering why on earth I do this sport. That was soon followed by me repeatedly trying to sight the turning buoy which seemed to be off in infinity somewhere. After an age we were making the first turn and heading back to shore only to do it all again. From there it was off to T1, at this point I was 1 minute down on 2015. Thankfully I had been given a good spot in transition and didn’t have to run the bike too far. The bike leg was a breeze to begin with and I made good time until unexpectedly (and it’s never happened since), the chain came off and jammed in the back brake. Thankfully a support mechanic was passing at the time on a motorbike and assisted me. I then got cramp in my thigh getting back on the bike. He gave my leg a massage, which was very kind and off I went to catch up the 100 people who had gone past!
As the bike leg went on thunder clouds started to build and the main worry by this point was how I would survive slick tyres and carbon rims in heavy rain coming down the mountain. Having had a similarly traumatic experience earlier in the year I was pushing hard to get down from the mountain before the rain came. Thankfully I made it down in the dry. By this time the wind was picking up and heading back to Alcudia where it all started was hard work into the wind. I was very annoyed by some cyclists who were grouping together and draughting. This makes it a lot easier and is illegal. There were no Marshalls in sight which was equally annoying as there should have been penalties aplenty. Anyway as I headed back to T2 the sky was black as ink and riven with flashes of lightening, the second time up the high street to T2 there was hardly anyone in sight and it was all a far cry from a couple of hours earlier. The bike was over 30 mins faster than the year before.
T2 went well, a quick stop for necessities and I was on my way to great encouragement from my wife Karen who was there in the rain trying to give me fluids and gels. I was fully loaded so declined and splashed my way round the first 10k in good time. The run was 4 laps of about 10k plus a little bit. At lap 2 Karen was still there getting wet and I still didn’t take on some fluids and gels. That was a mistake. I soon started slowing my pace and no matter how hard I tried couldn’t get faster. This was partly due to fatigue but also down to lack of nutrition. Lap 3 I took some on board as it was need badly, but also Karen was going to murder me as she was still in the rain and feeling like a spare part. I trundled o and got steadily slower, but importantly I didn’t walk. Last year I had walked at the feed stations as it was the only way to get fluids down. This time I carried mine round and it made a big difference to my time. Eventually I was on my last lap and running faster than those around me. It was still slow though and I had run out of salt caps. When that happens cramp is far away. So with just 2k left out of the 42 I got a twinge of cramp, slowing didn’t help and it grabbed me hard in the hamstrings as usual. Trying to stretch just set of another and I was immobilised. Lots of panting and swearing at my legs later I managed to shuffle along and eventually got back my pace. So finally after what seemed an age the finish line was in sight and I put in one last sprint to overtake a bearded chap ( Karen wanted me to beat the beards) and virtually collapse over the line in 10:53 hours. My marathon time was 4:01 so I was gutted that it wasn’t sub 4 due to the cramp.
I was overcome with emotion and had to have a lie down for 30 mins while I recouperated. That helped me feel better but I had stiffened up significantly in that time. The lessons I learnt this time round. Run more as it gets hard on the run when you pass your normal training distance of 15 and there’s still 27 to go! Take on fluids when you feel you don’t need them on the run. Don’t stop moving when you finish.
“I like a challenge”. That would probably be the best way to explain why I have found myself doing Triathlons. That and the inevitable accusations of being in the grip of a perpetual mid-life crisis!
Triathlon keeps me fit and helps me feel good about myself. It helps me understand the needs of athletes and the training methods to stay faster for longer. To be fair I’ve always liked cycling. Mainly mountain biking really as a kid and young adult. I used to be good at cross country at school, until I hit my late teens then got distracted by the bright lights and excitement of going out.
Following a fairly significant car accident I started swimming to strengthen and rehabilitate my injured neck and upper body. Then I just decided it would be good to tie them all together and do a triathlon. A patient of mine talked me into it and so a motley crew, with me being the youngest, headed off to Mallorca for my first attempt. I had my heart set on sub 2hours 30mins for my first one. I finished in less than 30 mins! Lack of preparation and a complete failure to realise that I was in the company of some serious international athletes lead to me running into the fairly rough sea with the top boys who were all there for some pre season training.
I’m not ashamed to say that I was swamped by what seemed like those scenes of wilderbeast crossing a crocodile infested river. Every time I tried to get a breath I was under again. Add in the espresso coffee, tight suit and rough seas and it rapidly went to disaster. Trying to breath a good part of the salty Mediteranean lead to my first and hopefully last ever panic attack type experience. I simply couldn’t breathe. A brief stop on a kayak followed and then on I went. Only to be offered a rescue from a rib. It was too tempting and I abandoned as I wasn’t going to get my time and all rational thought had gone when I couldn’t breath without coughing due to a mild bronchospasm. Not being allowed back in to get my kit from transition meant I had to stand in my revealing Triathlon suit in the middle of a foreign town. That was enough to make me think more carefully about how to achieve a better result.
So having been told I had a talent by one of our fellow competitors ( before nearly drowning ) I thought I’d have to prove him and me right. The following year, with a little more training I started my Olympic triathlon events with a nice hilly one in the Purbecks at Swanage. I got off to a good start coming out of the water in around 23 minutes. Then I was off on my bike and managed to stay ahead of those following who didn’t have Time Trial bikes. Things were going well and I started the run in a good position. However…I hadn’t done enough running. After climbing the big hill at the Obelisk on Ballard Down and stretching out for the descent, Hamstring number one cramped. It was like being shot! A quick stretch from some passing walkers and I was off again…..for 20 yards, bang the other one went!!! Further stretching, lots of swearing and I was off again, albeit slower. People soon were passing and I couldn’t do a thing about it. The end result 2hours 32 minutes, Dammit!!
A month later I got cramp at the second transition and that was after a fast bike where I lost my chain. I then tripped on my kevlar laces and bashed my knee. Bloodied but undeterred I hobbled round the course and finished in 2 hours 30mins and 11 seconds. Gutted. So next stop Portsmouth, flat course and closed roads helped me complete in 2 hours 27 and a few seconds. Not bad.
Next stop half ironman, however Glandular Fever got me last year and I couldn’t compete at all. So now I have the big year of doing two half ironmans and the full monty in Mallorca, plus Portsmouth where I would like to be at least five minutes faster. Hopefully, if I just follow my own advice that can be done, the question is will I keep coming back for more?
2015 Season Update.
Over the winter I struggled to get up in the mornings for a swim but I did manage to get out on the bike several times for long rides, even on icy roads in January. So the base level was good for my first half-ironman in the Brecon Beacons. I expected a cold swim in a lake but it was a balmy 18 C. The swim went OK except the lake was shallow and two laps meant you got a good mouthful of muddy water! Then onto the bike which was pretty chilly initially. The wind was a bit tough and the large 400m hill towards the end had to be hit hard as thats what I like to do on hills. I overtook a lot of guys but paid for it on the run. My old nemesis cramp got me again with only 12.5 miles out of 13 still to run. So I didn’t do a blistering pace but finished the event in a reasonable position.
A week later it was off to Ironman UK 70.3 in Exmoor. It was bleak weather and blowing a hooly. The swim went well and it was onto the bike. I managed to keep up a good pace for the first lap but slowed a bit on the second. So my pacing was out. The course was tough. Very hilly so as I started the run my legs were already quite tired but I set off at a good pace. Then once again as I started to go downhill my right Hamstring cramped again! It was then the usual story of managing cramp which set off every time I went downhill, and there were a lot of hills! So my target had been sub 6 hours. I was still on for that time until the last lap when my legs just seized. I couldn’t even move for a minute. I managed to gradually nurse the legs back and made it home in 6:02. Disappointing.
So the main problem for me was cramp. I had 3 months before Ironman Mallorca to work out how to stop it. As everyone knows a lack of salt leads to cramp, but how to judge how much to have. Time to bring in some Chiropractic and Nutrition knowledge to banish this demon.
Mallorca Ironman 2015:
Woke up to dry conditions after fitful sleep. Partly due to the awful hotel entertainment keeping me awake. A mistake not to be repeated. The swim was a rolling start so managed to stick with a good pace. No repeat of the previous Mallorca Triathlon this time. I exited the water in 1:06 then remembered to start my Garmin watch! Teething problems again. Transition was relatively smooth and off I went. I was managing to stay ahead of most of the normal bikes but there were some amazing bikes passing which would have helped. Sticking by the rules and not draughting I used my knowledge of the mountain part of the course to good effect but was starting to fatigue towards the end. However this time I was taking the salts on board as well as the home made granola flapjacks. That wasn’t such a good idea. The bag became a big blob of sticky nuts and seeds and eating it slowed me down. I also needed back pockets to keep it in. Not very Aero. So overall an amateurish approach. More lessons learnt. T2 was a slow affair, I didn’t want to forget anything and needed a bit of time. Then it was off on the run in 28 degree heat in the shade. It was hot. I tried to stay in any shade I could find and bouyed on by the support of the crowd who were quite entertaining at times I ran, jogged and then shuffled my way round. There’s a small bridge on the course and by lap 3 and 4 I was walking up and down that. Eventually when you felt you couldn’t take anymore the finish came in sight and I got over the line in 11:40. Not bad and ahead of my target of 12 hours. So I was very pleased and encouraged to keep going.
Core exercises have been the buzz word for well over a decade now and there’s good reason for this. They help to stabilise your lumbar spine and keep you free of back pain.
To find out more on why go the end of of this post. In the meantime here are some to be getting on with in increasing order of difficulty.
1. Using a wobble cushion or gym ball to sit.
This exercise makes you engage your core muscles as you balance on the slightly unstable surface. It is suitable for all ages and abilities if using the cushion.
You can progress to the ball (if you have room for one). Word of warning; small children like to bounce them around.
2. Quadruped Knee lifts.
Go onto all fours keeping your low back in a neutral position (not arched up or down too much, somewhere in between). Then very carefully lift your knees slightly off the floor by tensing your lower stomach muscles as shown below. Hold for anywhere between 5-30secs and repeat. The number of reps is up to you but it is best to work until you feel that the muscles are getting tense and a little tired. Progress this number steadily to your goal.
3. Half Plank:
This is basically a plank which is detailed below, but you can either do it on your knees or against a worktop, desk, sofa or bed. The lower you go the harder it is. You can rest on your elbows or straight arms, it’s up to you. The important thing is that it should not be straining your low back.
4. Dead Bug: Lie on your back with your arms and legs above you like a dried out bug! Have your knees bent. Slowly while tensing your stomach muscles lower an arm and opposite leg. Keep control of your core, make sure you keep hips and pelvis level and do not let the lower back arch more. If you feel you can’t stabilise then stop before that point and work the exercise up to there. Over time you will get better at this and be able to go further. Alternate until you feel you’ve done enough.
5. Full Plank:
Lie face down on the floor and keeping your body in line push up onto either your straight arms or bent elbows. Keep looking down with your chin held into your neck in a neutral position and your neck elongated. You should feel a slight stretch at the back of the neck.
Hold this position for however long you feel comfortable with. You may want to do lots of short holds or go for the endurance one. I would suggest somewhere in between rather than trying to break the world record which at time of writing this, was an incredible 8 hours plus.
5. Plank with alternate leg raises.
As above but this time you lift one of your legs off the floor. Make sure you keep your pelvis and hips level.
6: Plank on a wobbly surface. Such as a wobble cushion / board or gym ball.
These are enough to be getting on with but you can progress to doing standing bodyweight exercises such as squats or weights on a wobbly surface. This is probably only suitable for athletes or show offs.
Imagine trying to bend a barrel… It’s impossible. Now imagine a flexible egg timer. It is inherently weak at it’s narrowest point…easy peasy.
Your spine is like this too. In order to have flexibility at the low back and neck you have a column of bones. The pelvis and rib cage are different and go all the way round. So they are a lot less mobile. Take away the muscles form the abdomen and low back and you will have a floppy but tough structure. Add in the back muscles and hip flexors and these act as guys, similar to those supporting a flag pole. That helps stability but it is still vulnerable to big loads. Imagine now placing that pole in wall of a circular large wrapper that tenses and shortens. Now you have stability and the pole won’t move much even with large loads.
This is effectively what your abdominal muscles do. They spread forces around the body and help the lumbar supporting muscles to move the spine in a controlled way. The stronger the muscles the longer you can support. Weak muscles result in increased movement of the low back joints and the increased chances of developing injuries and subsequent arthritis as the spine lays down bony spurs to stabilise itself.
In August our amazing Olympic team brought home life time best performances and medals galore. The joy and delight on their faces was moving and something you can share to an extent by joining the para-olympic athletes as they inspire even more through their heroism in the face of adversity.
The common theme from the Rio games is one of inspiring the next generation to compete, but what about the current and former generation? Yes that’s us lot, who have probably been mainly sat on the sofa while watching, possibly with a glass of wine and a few crisps and nibbles. Well, we all need a break from the usual bad news don’t we?
But why not participate yourself next time you settle down to watch some sport. You could do a stretching routine or even some floor exercises and feel the burn with those on the screen. I’ve been doing it for F1 for years as it stops me falling asleep, even on the highlights program!
If that seems a little too much there are exercises you could do while barely leaving the sofa. Here are a few to help you.
We all get up and down from chairs regularly through the day. How many of do so with a groan due to back pain? Following this simple back pain exercise will help strengthen your thighs, Buttocks and spine. The end result stable and stronger low back, hips and knees.
After a break from exercise it is easy to get carried away and bite off more than you can chew. If you don’t take a sensible controlled view you will be more likely to get injured. So here are a few steps to consider when you restart……
The Technical Bit:
Anti-Cholesterol drugs such as statins reduce your cholesterol by slowing down the production of cholesterol by the liver. They do this by interfering with the action of a key enzyme, HMG-CoA-Reductase. Cholesterol production is not fully blocked nor is the production of other substances that are derived from the same pathway, such as steroid hormones and vitamin D.
Because cholesterol synthesis is reduced, the liver takes up more cholesterol carrying LDL particles from the blood. The net result is a reduction in circulating LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
Statins also help to stabilise the fatty plaques (fatty deposits or atheroma) within the lining of the arteries. This is why people who are at high risk of heart disease or stroke or who have diabetes, may be prescribed a statin even if they have a normal cholesterol level.
There’s no doubt that a healthy lifestyle helps lower cholesterol. The question is whether it can lower your levels enough – and that depends on how high your levels are and what your doctor has set as your goal.
Eating a heart-healthy diet can lower LDL cholesterol at least 10%. If you lose 5% to 10% of your body weight, you can cut LDL cholesterol 15%, and reduce triglycerides 20%. If you exercise at a moderate intensity — meaning you have enough breath to talk but not sing — for at least 2 ½ hours a week, you can further cut triglycerides 20% to 30%. (Exercise can also increase your HDL, the “good” cholesterol.)
That’s a great start, says Michael Miller, MD, director of the Centre for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Centre. “Lifestyle changes certainly are the cornerstone of cholesterol reduction.”
Of course not. Doctors say the best way to protect your heart is to make healthy lifestyle changes while taking a statin. I say the best way is to make healthy lifestyle changes and avoid the statin unless you are diabetic or have recently had an acute cardiac event.
If you look at the medicine supported websites you’ll see the following:
Like many pharmaceutical drugs, statins can have body wide side effects and may also interact with other medicines you take. potential side effects can include:
Did I just hear that right? 60% of people on statins get no benefit from reduction in heart attacks! I wonder what the figures are for reduction in heart attacks by adopting a healthier lifestyle. When you consider that 9% of people on statins will get adverse effects on every cell in their bodies. This is due to a reduced ability to release energy from the mitochondria (the powerhouses of the cell) due to the reduction of Co-Enzyme Q10. This is well documented to adversely affect muscle, but it can also lead to fatigue of nerves too. However some studies have found that Statins may help improve dementia. These studies however are not high quality and further research is needed. (3)
When I see data like that and patients who are stiff and ache all over I begin to question if this reliance on statins is worth the loss of quality of life for at best a 40% reduction in CV events. I also wonder why time and time again patients who are on statins don’t get advised to take Co-enzyme Q10 when statins adversely affect your ability to produce energy through the inhibition of Co Q10.
Here’s another little known fact. After a year of taking Atorvastatin any increase in HDL (the good fat) is gone and in fact a reduction in the good fat from the starting baseline is often found. It is also noted that the first dose is the most effective, subsequent increases in dose have a much reduced benefit at 6% reduction in LDL as opposed to around 50% for first intial dose.
If your GP recommends that you go on a statin and you have struggled with commonly associated significant stiffness aches and pains; there are alternatives available. Colesevalam is a statin that works more specifically at a “gut level”, so does not produce side affects of muscle and joint pain and stiffness. It can for some however cause constipation and flatulence. So neither is perfect but may be a more favourable solution. It is however much more expensive that a generic statin.
Here’s a viewpoint from a GP;
The important bits: Nice (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has issued guidance that proposes reducing the cardiovascular primary prevention risk threshold – the level of risk at which statins can be prescribed – from 20% to 10%. In other words an increase in prescribing of statins.
In May 2014 a national conference of general practitioners passed a unanimous motion calling for Nice to recommend such changes only on the basis of a full disclosure of trial data. This was followed in June by an unprecedented open letter to Nice (click link to read) from a number of senior doctors and academics expressing four main areas of concern: medicating healthy people; non-disclosed side-effect data; relying on industry-funded statins trials; and conflicts of interest within Nice.
There needs to be more transparency with respect to statins. Eat a diet high in good fats and lower in bad fats. There is plenty of info out there and we will add some suggestions in the near future.
A viewpoint on statin effects – benefits and problems Thomas F Whayne, Jr, MD PhD FICA Int J Angiol. 2008 Winter; 17(4): 178–180.
Coenzyme Q10 and statin-related myopathy. Drug Ther Bull. 2015 May;53(5):54-6. doi: 10.1136/dtb.2015.5.0325.
Statins and cognition: a systematic review and meta-analysis of short- and long-term cognitive effects.Swiger KJ1, Manalac RJ, Blumenthal RS, Blaha MJ, Martin SS. Mayo Clin Proc. 2013 Nov;88(11):1213-21. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2013.07.013. Epub 2013 Oct 1.
Skiing and boarding involves prolonged periods of hip and knee flexion. This involves working the Gluteal muscles, hip adductors, quads and foot muscles hard to help stabilise and control knee and hip flexion. If you want to be able to ski a whole run and keep doing that all day for a week then you’ll need to start these exercises if you haven’t already.
1. Everyone knows the sitting on a wall exercise but to improve function you need to go a step further and squat with 60 degree knee bend and hold this position without a wall. To protect the knee push the knees out a little.
2. A progression of this is the one leg squat. Make sure you bend fully at the hip and not the back. Your bottom should move backwards rather than the knee moving forwards, your spine should stay locked out. It is fine to touch a wall for balance but move on to free standing if possible. By now you will be getting good hip strength and the muscles at the inside of the thigh will be stabilising the knee well.
3.A variation of this is the running man. Simply squat on one leg and move your arms as if running while staying on one foot. So you are doing repeat squats but stabilising with arm movements as if running.
4. If you want to get into the deep powder or power down the pistes then the next exercise is great for training explosive power. Lateral Bounds will give you the bounce you need to transfer your weight all day long. Simply jump forwards and sideways while springing in big steps. Use your swinging arms to stabilise. You’ll need a lot of room for this one so it’s really best done outside or at a gym with a running track.
Start on week one with the static squats, on week 2 add the dynamic squats, then week 3 one leg and finally if fit and strong the bounding in week 4. Do every other day to allow time for recovery. Stretch after the exercises.
18 million people suffer from hayfever in the UK to some extent. For some it can be life changing and for most just annoying. Hayfever is triggered when pollen proteins are recognised by an over-sensitized immune system.
The result is an aggressive response by your immune system to neutralise what it thinks is a mass invasion. Recently scientists in the US reviewed 23 studies involving 1900 people and found that those that ate a probiotic yoghurt a day had a significant reduction in symptoms.
It is now thought that a variety of allergies are triggered by a lack of good bacteria in the gut. Overzealous cleaning and lack of exposure to naturally occurring pathogens in the soil and on our food have lead to a reduction in our gut flora. This news is further evidence that a healthy gut flora of probiotic bacteria can help desensitise your immune system.
A gut that is populated with good bacteria is less inflamed and the endothelium or lining of the gut is healthier. An inflammed gut can lose it’s ability to protect and can become “leaky”. This simply means that larger molecules can cross it’s wall and enter the body than normal. As around 70% of your immune system is sensibly placed where it is needed most i.e. around the gut, it can easily be stimulated to attack larger molecules such as proteins. The result is the body’s policemen get a bit carried away and indiscriminately go on patrol attacking things that are in effect harmless. In severe cases the immune system can start to attack the body itself. Indeed there has been a large body of evidence recently where this association has been noted.
The friendly bacteria also help to breakdown food stuffs that we are unable to deal with. So that can aid digestion and reduce the feeling of bloatedness. A word of caution though, the Yakult, Actimel type handy shots contain a lot of sugar and should be avoided. It is much better to supplement with a broad spectrum or high concentration probiotic. Alternatively live cultures of natural yoghurts should be used. Again beware some have a lot of sugar added. At Back In Form we stock or can order a variety of high quality probiotics as this is such an important contribution to overall health.