A wise practitioner once said to me, never take everything a practitioner tells you as being gospel, look into things and question everything!
I am a really optimistic, positive person, which is great, but early on in my healing journey these traits stopped me from seeing the bigger picture. I would see one practitioner and I would believe wholeheartedly that everything they said and asked me to do was ‘the one and only’ answer to my illness. It was sweet I had so much faith looking back. These practitioners have been my teachers and have all played a part in developing my knowledge of health, nutrition and ME/CFS. The time spent with each practitioner was not wasted time, but part of the journey. Once I began questioning more and doing my own research things started to piece together in my mind, and I am still learning new things every week about health and ME/CFS. It is true what they say, you have to be your own doctor (along side the help of a well trained doctor/naturopath of course) no one will ever work as hard to get your health back as YOU!
On top of consulting with practitioners in the flesh I have found some wonderful practitioners, information and resources online. I actually do not know what would be of me without access to the internet, not just for self education purposes but to see others experiencing similar life events and knowing there is support out there.
I thought I would share with you some practitioners, health and educational websites which have helped me immensely in the past couple of years.
Dr Sarah Myhill a well known ME/CFS specialist from the UK has over 20 years experience working with ME/CFS sufferers. She supplies a great free book on diagnosing and treating ME/CFS which I have found really helpful and I am continuously going back to the book for information, which I seem to forget. Yeah the books that big and that thorough! Her website also has lots of great information as well.
Blake Graham is a clinical Nutritionist with a special interest in ME/CFS. He specialises in science-based nutritional, environmental and intergrative medicine for chronic medical conditions. Blakes approach to treating conditions such as ME/CFS is very thorough and this is evident on his website which provides great information on ME/CFS. Check out his ME/CFS information and treatment protocol for ME/CFS here. I refer back to his website reguarly for information, I already follow a very similar intergrative protocol to which he recommends.
Donna Gates is a nutrition consultant, author and lecturer on immune disorders and candidiasis. She is the creator of the Body Ecology Diet, which encompasses the best of medical science, chinese medicine, naturopathy and personal and clinical experience. Donna’s passion for health stemmed from her own struggles with sytemic candidias for many years causing a variety of symptoms. Candidias is involved is almost all immune disorders when the immune system become disregulated and dysfunctional and the gastrointestinal system becomes out balanced by bad bacteria and yeasts. This is also easily done in our modern times with frequent use of antibiotics, the pill, processed foods, alcohol, high sugar and carbohydrate diets and stress all contributing to inner flora imbalance. Her protocol is based around healing the gut and restoring a healthy inner eco system which is crucial for ones health. There is a huge emphasis on probiotic foods on the BOD protocol as well as sugar and starch restriction.
Check out a free podcast with Donna Gates here at the WISH summit for health.
You may be thinking what does candidiasis have to do with ME/CFS. Because of the nature of immune dysfunction in ME/CFS it is not just the immune system regulators (ie TH2, TH1 helper cells) that go out of whack but the very important gut flora which play a crucial role in immunity.
I have Donna Gates books which I love, but her website also provides lots of free information as well. I integrate many of her suggestions into my regime including making my own lacto fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, coconut water and coconut cream kefir, low sugar/starch, alkaline foods.
Overall Donna gates has taught me about the utmost importance of our inner eco systems, our gut flora and its crucial role in immunity.
Sally Fallon and her book Nourishing traditions co written with Mary G. Enig a expert in lipid chemistry is one of my nutrition bibles. Reading this book for the first time gave me one of those aha moments where everything just made sense. It has a strong influence from Weston A Price’s findings, traditional diets and input from nutrition experts worldwide. This book is also a recipe book which I reguarly turn to for recipes for bone broths, lacto fermented foods and general traditional food preparation and recipes. Nourishing Traditions has helped me gain more awareness of the quality of my food choices and how important this is for health.
I check out the the Weston A Price foundation’s website reguarly. It has wonderful articles, reasearch and Q and A’s from doctors about nutrition, diet and health. Here is a detailed article about phytic acid and grain preperation.
Dr Natasha Mcbride is a doctor, neurologist, nutritionist and creator of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS). After many years of working with hundreds of children and adults with neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ ADHD, schizophrenia, dyslexia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other neurological and psychiatric problems she developed GAPS. When Natasha’s own son with born with autism she found her profession had nothing to offer him, this pushed her to undergo further studies to find answers and heal him. Through nutritional medicine, detoxification and supplementation she healed her son’s gut and his autism. Her protocol has been extremely successful in healing neurological disorders as well as immune, physiological disorders worldwide. I was recommended the GAPS diet by a nutritionist, my diet already seemed to fall along the same lines as GAPS but it encouraged me to introduce more bone broths, gelatinous meats, marrow etc to help heal the gut as well as lots of lacto fermented foods which I was already doing. On the GAPS diet certain supplementation is recommended as well an enemas and a chemical free lifestyle and diet.
Living Valley Springs is a top health retreat in Queensland Australia, they release a wonderful newsletter each season. The magazine includes articles by the retreats naturopaths which are always very imformative and thorough. You can view the most recent magazine and all previous ones here and here.
Kora Organics is a blog created by model Miranda Kerr which includes contributions from health practitioners from all over the globe. I love this blog! Some of my favourite contributors are Australian Nutritionist Cyndi O’Meara and Miranda Kerr’s aussie nutritionist Sally Joseph. Sally’s website can be found here and Cyndi’s here. Another favourite of mine is this nutritionist’s blog as well as the blog of Sarah Wilson which is providing some great posts and podcasts on nutrition, auto immunity and yummy recipes.
Dr Mercola is a licensed physician and surgeon from the USA. He has a very strong passion for health and nutrition and believes in supplying reliable information that neither misleads nor manipulates data in the name of profit and other self-serving motives. His site includes comprehensive health information and all the latest research and scientific studies. He speaks the truth and it is so refreshing.
Chris Kresser also known as The Healthy Skeptic is an acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine. After becoming chronically ill himself he discovered, like many others that modern medicine had nothing to offer him and began searching for answers himself. Through this journey of self education he disovered that many of ideas and beliefs that are held in society about health are in fact myths. Another discovery was that there is some crazy conflicts of interest going on between drug companies, doctors and researchers with most studies and prestigious medical journals turning into nothing but sales catalogues for the pharmaceutical industries. I can relate to Chris’s journey and his website has really helped with my own research into my own health issues. His articles and podcasts are fabulous, well reseached and no bull s*#t.
Perfect Health Diet was developed by two scientists Paul Jaminet and Shou-Ching Shih Jaminet. Both suffering from chronic ill health found answers in nutrition and discovered through thorough research and personal trial and error that with the correct diet the body could heal itself. Something we have probably all heard before. But their discoveries are truly unqiue and don’t fit into the standard advice we are given through the media and conventional health professionals. Their diet is backed by heavy science and there is no folklaw or conflicts of interest going on. Their blog provides lots of information and refences to studies. It is worth checking out.
Ray Peat studied a degree in biology specializing in physiology. He is a lecturer for many univeristies and also works as a private nutrition councellor. His website contains detailed, science heavy articles on hormones, nutrition and general health. He speaks frequently about the therapeutic uses of progesterone, pregnenolone, thyroid, and coconut oil.
The Environmental Workers Group’s website provides very important information and independent scientific studies on toxicity levels in foods (ie. pesticides), personal care products, water, electro magnetic radiation etc.
Ok I could go on forever but these were great starting points for me in a general sense. There are of course a few more ME/CFS specialists throughout the world who would be worth mentioning except there is barely any information online. This blog post supplies a great run down of some of these specialists and their protocols. Blake Graham has written an article on a lecture he attended by ME/CFS expert Dr Kenny De Meirleir back in 2007. Some ME/CFS sufferers have success with a FAILSAFE or a FODMAP diet which can be checked out here. The Chronic fatigue Syndrome Treatments site has loads of treatment suggestions but can be a little over whelming and the Phoenix Rising blog and their forums are worth looking at for personal experiences, support and information as well as ProHealth ME/CFS section.
Hope these links can be of some help, challenge you and lead you on a journey of self education. Adios