What are mystery illnesses and how do deal with them?

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If you’re suffering from a mystery illness it can be worthwhile checking the following list to see if a nutritional or functional cause may be at the root of your illness:

  1. Nutrient absorption. You can put all the good food you want into your body but if you aren’t absorbing these nutrients fully it won’t matter. If you suspect your gut bacteria is to blame, try taking probiotics, but remember all probiotics are not created equal. Some get destroyed by stomach acid and others don’t colonize the gut lining. Symprove is one probiotic that seems to have passed both these tests in clinical trials. Also don’t ignore the role of pre-biotics – putting in the good food for the good bacteria to feed on.
  2. Vitamin D deficiency. American surveys have put rates as high as 41%. UK surveys put the the rate of vitamin D deficiency around or above 20%. Either way a huge proportion of the population don’t get enough vitamin D. Symptoms can include confusion, muscle aches and fatigue. Chronic vitamin D deficiency can also be an important factor in cancer and heart disease. Pay special care as we move into Autumn and Winter as in the UK we no longer process vitamin D from sunlight in the winter months.
  3. Vitamin B12 deficiency. This is both dangerous and insidious. B12 deficiency signs include sore red tongue, irritability, depression, clumsiness and distorted vision. Left untreated, over time nerves may be irreversibly damaged causing permanent pain, pins and needles, dementia and loss of coordination.
  4. Mental State. The mind is a powerful tool for both good and bad. If you are trapped in a negative mind state this can manifest in negative physical symptoms.

So what can you do?

couple sitting happily looking at sunsetObviously above all else go to a medical professional to get a professional diagnosis first. Then you may want to consider the following:

  1. Do not become a victim. Research your condition. Google is both a blessing and a curse as there is a great amount of both good and bad information. When looking for health related information try to get information from peer reviewed research and trials. Be wary of any trials with small population sizes. Use this information to guide your interactions with health care professionals.
  2. Get your diet right. Do not over-eat. Eat nutrient rich food. Try to eliminate all processed sugars and processed foods. General rule: the more food you eat not in packets, tins etc the better.
  3. Keep exercising. Even when feeling fatigued try to get some exercise, no matter how small. The endorphins released during exercise boost mood and can reduce perception of pain.
  4. Stay positive. The mind is both a powerful ally and a formidable foe. Try to remain as positive as possible, cultivating an attitude of thanks and gratitude.