Thyme has been popular for centuries, and it has been commonly used to treat various ailments, from flu to epileptic seizures.
During the middle ages, people mixed thyme with lavender in equal amounts and sprinkled on the floors of churches to get rid of any unwanted odors. Moreover, it has also been used to heal wounds and prevent infections, and it was applied crushed on the affected areas.
Its volatile essential oils are high in antiviral, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal properties.
Its regular use will lower the viral load in the body, so it is excellent in the case of lupus, tinnitus, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, vertigo, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and rheumatoid arthritis. All you need to do to treat these conditions is to drink thyme tea every morning.
Thyme is high in vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, and calcium, all of which are extremely beneficial for proper red blood cell formation, blood pressure regulation, and distribution of antioxidants in the body. It is also abundant in folic acid, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, and C.
It also contains various bioflavonoids and volatile oils, including thymol, an essential oil with potent antioxidant properties.
Furthermore, it has powerful cancer preventive properties, as it is rich in terpenoids such as rosmarinic and ursolic acids. Studies have shown that the regular intake of thyme raises the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in the kidney, brain, and heart cell membranes.
The essential oils in thyme have strong expectorant and bronchial antispasmodic properties and are thus excellent in the treatment and prevention of:
Dr Su Metcalfe is sitting quietly reading through some documents in the lobby of the Judge Business School when I arrive for our interview. It would be easy to walk right past her and not know you were in the presence of a woman who could be on the verge of curing multiple sclerosis.
MS, an auto-immune condition which affects 2.3 million people around the world, attacks cells in the brain and the spinal cord, causing an array of physical and mental side effects including blindness and muscle weakness. At the moment there’s no cure, but Su and her company, LIFNano, hope to change that.
Patients volunteer for pioneering treatment by Cambridge scientist on verge of curing multiple sclerosis
“Some people get progressive MS, so go straight to the severe form of the disease, but the majority have a relapsing or remitting version,” she says.
“It can start from the age of 30, and there’s no cure, so all you can do is suppress the immune response, but the drugs that do that have side effects, and you can’t repair the brain. The cost of those drugs is very high, and in the UK there are a lot of people who don’t get treated at all.”
But now a solution could be in sight thanks to Su, who has married one of the body’s cleverest functions with some cutting-edge technology. The natural side of the equation is provided by a stem cell particle called a LIF.
Su was working at the university’s department of surgery when she made her big breakthrough: “I was looking to see what controls the immune response and stops it auto-attacking us,” she explains.
“I discovered a small binary switch, controlled by a LIF, which regulates inside the immune cell itself. LIF is able to control the cell to ensure it doesn’t attack your own body but then releases the attack when needed.
“That LIF, in addition to regulating and protecting us against attack, also plays a major role in keeping the brain and spinal cord healthy. In fact it plays a major role in tissue repair generally, turning on stem cells that are naturally occurring in the body, making it a natural regenerative medicine, but also plays a big part in repairing the brain when it’s been damaged.
“So I thought, this is fantastic. We can treat auto-immune disease, and we’ve got something to treat MS, which attacks both the brain and the spinal cord. So you have a double whammy that can stop and reverse the auto-immunity, and also repair the damage caused in the brain.”
Presumably Su, who has been in Cambridge since she was an undergraduate but retains a soft accent from her native Yorkshire, was dancing a jig of delight around her lab at this point, but she soon hit a snag; the LIF could only survive outside the cell for 20 minutes before being broken down by the body, meaning there was not enough time to deploy it in a therapy. And this is where the technology, in the form of nano-particles, comes in.
“They are made from the same material as soluble stitches, so they’re compatible with the body and they slowly dissolve,” says Su.
“We load the cargo of the LIF into those particles, which become the delivery device that slowly dissolve and deliver the LIF over five days. The nano-particle itself is a protective environment, and the enzymes that break it down can’t access it. You can also decorate the surface of the particles with antibodies, so it becomes a homing device that can target specific parts of the brain, for example. So you get the right dose, in the right place, and at the right time.”
The particles themselves were developed at Yale University, which is listed as co-inventor with Su on the IP. But LIFNano has the worldwide licence to deploy them, and Su believes we are on the verge of a step-change in medicine.
She says: “Nano-medicine is a new era, and big pharma has already entered this space to deliver drugs while trying to avoid the side effects. The quantum leap is to actually go into biologics and tap into the natural pathways of the body.
“We’re not using any drugs, we’re simply switching on the body’s own systems of self-tolerance and repair. There aren’t any side effects because all we’re doing is tipping the balance. Auto-immunity happens when that balance has gone awry slightly, and we simply reset that. Once you’ve done that, it becomes self-sustaining and you don’t have to keep giving therapy, because the body has its balance back.”
LIFNano has already attracted two major funding awards, from drug firm Merck and the Government’s Innovate UK agency. Su herself is something of a novice when it comes to business, but has recruited cannily in the form of chairman Florian Kemmerich and ceo Oliver Jarry, both experienced operators in the pharma sector. With the support of the Judge, the company hopes to attract more investment, with the aim of starting clinical trials in 2020.
“The 2020 date is ambitious, but with the funding we’ve got and the funding we’re hoping to raise, it should be possible,” says Su.
“We’ve got everything we need in place to make the nano-particles in a clinically compliant manner, it’s just a case of flicking the switch when we have the money. We’re looking at VCs and big pharma, because they have a strong interest in this area. We’re doing all our pre-clinical work concurrently while bringing in the major funds the company needs to go forward in its own right.”
Immune cells have been a big part of Su’s career, and as we talk, her passion for her subject is obvious. “I wanted to understand something that was so simple on one level but also so complex,” she says.
“The immune cell is the only single cell in the body that is its own unity, so it functions alone. It’s probably one of the most powerful cells in the body because it can kill you, and if you haven’t got it you die because you haven’t got it.”
And MS may just be the start for LIFNano.
“MS is our key driver at the moment, but it’s going to be leading through to other major auto-immune disease areas,” Su adds.
“Psoriasis is high up on our list, and diabetes is another. Downstream there are all the dementias, because a LIF is a major health factor for the brain. So if we can get it into the brain we can start protecting against dementia.”
In second grade I would kick my feet under my desk. This wasn’t a light paddle kind of kick, but wildly kicking the desk up with my feet, causing a commotion and a lot of noise. It would completely disrupt the class and I would get yelled at. I would have to stay in for recess because of something out of my control. I remember my regular ed teachers putting heavy books on my lap to try to get me to stop, but I had so much energy my legs would just kick. There was also a time they put tape on my legs (I could easily break the tape) that would lightly tug on my clothing as I started to kick, trying to act as a reminder. But still, my feet swung.
As much as I tried to stop, the second my mind lost focus (which as a child with severe ADHD was literally every three minutes) my legs would start going again. My special ed teacher found a solution, a piece of fabric I could play with in my hands, and suddenly my legs stopped kicking. Over the years I’ve tried different things to get the relief, and I have found nothing more helpful than my fidget cube.
Students with disabilities need these cubes and spinners, but non-disabled students have now taken these objects and are treating them like toys instead of what they were actually invented for: therapy. Kids with anxiety, autism, sensory processing issues, ADHD, and many other cognitive and even physical disabilities really benefit from these tools. While they might be fun for some, they actually serve a purpose to many. They’re now being banned in schools because students who don’t need these objects are misusing them.
Please talk to your kids/friends/family about disabilities, and how some students/fellow employees may get items or services they do not get. Many kids in elementary school are angered by this, but if these kids are informed of the reason for these differences, they are more likely to accept them and help create a better environment for students of all abilities. The fidget “toy” is a great place to start a conversation about ability and disability.
I don’t mind when non-disabled people use fidget tools, but please talk to your kids, siblings, and peers about the importance of them. Teach them to use them appropriately so those who need them don’t have to suffer the consequences from those who use them for fun. For you, they may be a toy, but for me, they are essential in my everyday life.
Douglas Hostetter was a conscientious objector to war who found himself faced with the dilemma of having to fulfill his military obligation during the Vietnam War in 1966. As a conscientious objector to war, Douglas refused to carry or use a weapon or participate in any of the violence of war. Instead, he opted to serve by teaching English to Vietnamese children. He also opted to live outside the heavily guarded walls of the American camps. He lived in a bungalow completely exposed to enemy forces. He had no gate, walls or weapons to defend himself. He insisted on fulfilling his service in a non-violent manner and was able to dedicate himself to providing quality education to surrounding Vietnamese villages on his terms.
Being tagged a conscientious person, on the surface, seems to like it would be a pretty good way to be classified. But the truth is that those who truly commit to living a life of conscientiousness subject themselves to a lifetime of sacrifice and to the possibilities of being ostracized and misunderstood.
A Conscientious Life Is a Fulfilled Life—but Not Necessarily a Happy One
Many personality psychologists believe that there are five basic dimensions that comprise a person’s personality. Experts call them the “Big 5”. These are a set of five broad personality traits and include: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.
Conscientiousness as defined by Psychology Today is:
“…a fundamental personality trait that influences whether people set and keep long-range goals, deliberate over choices or behave impulsively, and take seriously obligations to others.”
Conscientiousness is the character trait of being deliberate, careful, meticulous and vigilant. The presence of conscientiousness is the fundamental personality trait and determinant that influences people to set and systematically chase goals. It is what makes people keep their word, fulfill their obligations and remain steadfast and loyal in the face of opposition.
In other words, it is the ability to live intentionally.
The Conscientious Mind Is a Strong Mind
How do you know if you are conscientious or not? A person with low levels of conscientiousness can be described as easily distracted, unfocused, unmotivated, spontaneous and is often called “flighty” and “all over the place.” If you find yourself constantly failing to achieve your personal goals or quitting projects midway through—you may need to work to live a more conscientious fashion.
The absence of conscientiousness is a key contributor to the absence of success. Becoming more conscientious requires an organized and industrious mind.
Organization and living an orderly life is a predictor in whether or not you achieve what it is you want in life. Having things neat, tidy and well organized keeps your mind neat, tidy, organized and focused. Establishing routines and sticking to them as much as possible is a great way to bring order to your life.
When working to become more organized, be careful not to over do it. Placing routine and order as a top priority leads to perfectionism, anxiety and other counterproductive attitudes. Put yourself on a schedule and get organized—but don’t go overboard.
Industriousness is associated with tenacity and grit. It is the passion and perseverance needed to achieve long-term goals. Industrious people are often described as achievement/goal-oriented, disciplined, efficient, purposeful, and competent. They are productive, not busy. They chase their goals and live life intentionally and methodically work hard to achieve their destiny.
Equipping with the Conscientious Mind
Conscientious people have several common habits that are worth studying. Here are five lessons we can learn from the masters of conscientiousness:
1. Think Deeper Before You Act
The conscientious mind always evaluates the pros and cons of a situation and considers the consequences of their actions. They exercise impulse control and work to act versus merely reacting. They count the cost before they undertake an endeavor and give their word.
Before launching a business, a conscientious person will do extensive amounts of research and ensure they have the appropriate capital and resources in place before they dive in and begin. They understand the market space, their brand, their customers and know the type of people they need to hire in order to be successful. Their business succeeds and thrives because of preparation, planning and diligence; not luck.
2. Commit to Promises
Because the conscientious think before they act, they are able to commit to things they know they can deliver. They provide exactly what they promise. They consider the cost before they make a promise and then dogmatically work to do what they say they are going to do.
If you promise your best friend you are going to help them move on a specific weekend, that is precisely what you should do. But before you commit to helping your friend, you should first ensure that you are available for the date and duration of time they need you. You should add it to your calendar and consider that date, time and task non-negotiable. You should show up when you said you would, work hard and fully deliver on that promise.
3. Don’t Rely on Mental Notes
Taking mental notes is great and we all do it. But there is one major problem with using your mental notes to recall information—you won’t remember it. Conscientious people write things down. They add dates to their calendar. They are schedulers and note takers. They intentionally make jotting notes a part of their routine and standard operating procedure. Read more about why Human Brains Aren’t Designed To Remember Things.
4. Take Breaks and Carry On
Take rest, regroup and restart. But don’t ever quit. Quitting is not an option. Remember, in order to be successful you need drive, determination and a stubborn will. You have to have fight, grit and a scrappy attitude to be who you truly can be.4
If you have watched The Hacksaw Ridge, you would have heard of Desmond T. Doss. He epitomizes the type of fight, tenacity and strength of will the truly conscientious have. Desmond was a combat medic serving in WWII and his heroic actions, driven by his value system, led him to perform acts of heroism during the Battle of Okinawa. He became the first ever conscientious objector in US history to win the medal of honor. And he did it without ever firing a shot.
5. Take Responsibility for Problems
A conscientious person is not a coward nor a victim. They take responsibility for their part in failures and don’t run from problems. They stand flat-footed and stare issues in the eye. And then they devise a plan and attack. They are brave, tough and resourceful. They seek out solutions to their problems and refuse to “sweep things under the rug” and blame others.
Say if you have a report due at work and you realize it’s going to be late because you don’t have the necessary input from your colleagues. You apologize to your boss and give him a new time that the report will be due while taking full responsibility for not getting the input on time. You work with your colleagues to expeditiously get the input you need, and do whatever you have to do to ensure that you deliver on your promise and meet the new deadline.
A Conscientious Life Is Not Easy, but Is Worth It
Conscientiousness is an act of one’s will. It is intentional and requires purposeful actions, an organized mind and an industrious attitude.
By internalizing and embracing the five key habits of conscientious people, you set yourself up to be a reliable, productive and wildly successful best version of yourself
Love me as a whole.
I will give you my soul.
When we get into a small fight,
The fear that you will leave me feels right.
When you say something I don’t like,
I want to say, “Take a hike.”
Baby, please stay.
Accept my fear.
Please, don’t shed a tear.
Dear future lover,
If you make even the smallest mistake,
My heart may break.
I may try to push you away once more.
But please, understand what I am doing it for.
Give me some space.
When I forgive you, I will race,
Race right into your loving caress.
My next episode is our best guess.
Together we can beat my borderline.
Working as a team,
We’ll be just fine.
Dear future lover,
Some days, I may forget what I believe in.
My values may temporarily stray.
But soon, I will awake.
My identity can never permanently break.
I will cherish the love we share.
I will breathe it in like the air.
Dear future lover,
Like my identity, my emotions can flip.
It may not take much for me to tip.
One second, I will be in a state of bliss.
The next second, I may look at you and hiss.
You might not know the cause.
Simply understand that emotional struggle is one of my flaws.
Know that it is not you.
It is everything that I have been through.
Loving me may be rough.
Remember to let the love I give you be enough.
Dear future lover,
Be honest with me,
Just the way you should be.
I trust you with all of my being.
This scares me so much I feel like fleeing.
I may try so hard to keep you that I wind up losing you.
Instead, please work with me to resolve the anxious things I do.
Be clear and firm.
In time, I will learn.
I will learn that anxiety is not my friend.
Not if I want to be with you until the end.
Dear future lover,
Love me as a whole.
I give you my heart and soul.
I trust you with all of my being.
This scares me so much I feel like fleeing.
I will try to push you away.
Baby, please stay.
I cherish the love we share.
I breathe it in like the air.
“What can I do?” We heard this a lot in the first few days after our son Will was born and — surprise! — he has Down syndrome. People brought food, diapers, helped entertain our older son, my mother-in-law organized my entire kitchen (and trust me, I’ve considered faking an illness to get her to do it again), people came to sit and talk and hold the baby. He’s super cuddly, can’t blame them. Our local Down syndrome support organization, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida, hosts an annual “step up” walk, and that’s a great way to help: Donate $20. Walk with us. Wear the shirt. Friends and family and co-workers stepped up and helped us raise tens of thousands of dollars to help families like ours living with Down syndrome. It really helped us get through the early days, weeks and years when we didn’t know what the future would hold. Not that we do now, but we do have our feet under us.
So now my son is 5. He’s awesome. Will is going to kindergarten, and he charms everyone in his path. He’s learning to read and write. He loves “Blue’s Clues” and “Star Wars.” He’s done modeling work for Target, Legoland, Disney, Nemours and the Legal Aid Society of Central Florida. He’s quite the ambassador for the 21st chromosome. And people still, occasionally, ask, “What can I do?” And now I have an answer:
What I want people to do is to help shut down people who use the R-word or any of its iterations in the pejorative. It doesn’t take a lawyer, it doesn’t take a hero, it just takes each and every one of us to say, “Hey, that’s not cool.”
I spend a lot of time on Facebook. That’s an understatement. I love politics and can’t get enough of my daily fix in this election year; Facebook and its newsfeed are my lifeline. So, occasionally, I run across a meme someone has reposted with a totally unnecessary “retard” thrown in, or worse, and I always comment. That’s not cool. It isn’t OK. I have a son with Down syndrome and that’s offensive to people with intellectual disabilities and those who love them. I’ve gotten less confrontational and more polite about it, but still firm. Don’t argue with me about it. Don’t say “I didn’t mean Will!” Don’t tell me I’m too sensitive and please, do not invoke the first amendment because in addition to being a ferocious warrior mom, I also happen to be a lawyer, and if you’re arguing that this is a first amendment issue, you clearly are not. Don’t tell me you call your own kid with an intellectual disability a “retard,” that doesn’t make it OK. That makes you a jerk. Do not try to explain the etymology or semantics to me. Just stop.
And that’s where we come to you. “What can I do?” Speak up. Don’t let it go on your watch. If you know my son, if you love my son, say something. A simple “that’s not cool” works wonders. “Please stop using that word.” It’s hard, I know, because people tend to double down on it and turn it around on you like you’re the problem. You aren’t. I will come to your defense, but it means a lot to me and my family if someone else, someone who may not have a child with Down syndrome, someone who might not be a lawyer, speaks up first. We’d like to rely on our allies sometime.
If you know us and you have a voice and a forum, please speak up. If you don’t, if you let it go, your silence speaks volumes.
Hey everyone! I wanted to share with you this great book I’m reading called, “Kick the Weight with Keto – How to Lose Weight and Feel Great on a Paleo Ketogenic Diet.” It’s a book by a woman, Kim Knoch, who was eating everything right on Paleo alone but still wasn’t losing weight. After discovering that it wasn’t because of a lack of willpower, laziness, or anything else, she prescribed herself a low-carb ketogenic diet. Kim began treating her disability to lose weight by using a ketogenic diet cure.
Kim has dropped from 260lbs to 220lbs!!! She describes this way of eating as a “lifestyle”…kind of how Paleo is to me! I love that she is open about her continual transformation saying, “I didn’t want to wait until I’m “perfect” to share this method, since I am for the time in my life having success!” Before Keto, Kim had come to grips with the fact that she was meant to be obese…but not anymore!
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Kick the Weight with Keto uses “nutritional ketosis” to tell your brain to use ketones for fuel instead of glucose. Ketones break down fatty acids, either from fat in your diet, or from your own body fat stores. When you lower your carbohydrate intake enough your body starts breaking down fat for fuel! Which, obviously, is a great thing! When you are eating loads of carbs, your body uses glucose to burn fuel and doesn’t tap into fat stores causing weight loss. Kicking yourself into ketosis requires diligence and a deep desire to see your health (and weight) improve.
IS KICK THE WEIGHT WITH KETO FOR ME?
DO YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT? HAS YOUR WEIGHT LOSS STALLED WITH EATING PALEO OR PRIMAL ALONE? DO YOU SUFFER FROM METABOLIC ISSUES (THYROID, ADRENAL FATIGUE, PCOS) OR BLOOD SUGAR ISSUES? ARE YOU A HEALTHY WEIGHT BUT WOULD LIKE MORE MENTAL CLARITY? THEN KICK THE WEIGHT WITH KETO IS FOR YOU!
Nutritional ketosis has worked for so many different types of people. If you are pregnant/breastfeeding or have type 1 diabetes, then you should avoid a Ketogenic diet.
What’s the Diet Like?
The Keto diet is somewhat similar to eating Paleo or Primal(with the inclusion of high quality dairy) and uses a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb guideline. Kim gives you a suggestions of what to eat and what to avoid to help kick your body into nutritional ketosis. In the book you will find 2 weeks of suggested meal plans and LOTS of recipes. In fact, half the book is recipes!!!
After reading Kim’s book and educating myself more on nutritional ketosis, I am going to be adding it into my nutritional regime. I have, personally, lost over 60lbs eating Paleo, but my weightloss has stalled. I’ve been ok with that because I am comfortable with myself, however, I, clearly, have around 15-20 more lbs to lose. I’m pretty sure Kick the Weight with Keto will do the trick! Won’t you join with me?
Here’s a few awesome recipes and a peak inside the book:
1lb of ground beef
1/2 cup of tomato paste or low sugar ketchup
1 TB onion flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup crushed up pork rinds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with hands or in a food processor.
Form into a loaf shape and put in a baking pan.
Bake for 45-60 minutes.
A few other great recipes from her book that I love:
The Creative Arts Emmys aired Saturday night on FXX, and for fans of “Born This Way,” the award show did not disappoint.
“Born This Way” was nominated for six Emmys and took home two: Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program and Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program.
The show also marked the first time in history that people with Down syndrome presented at an awards show. Cast members Rachel Osterbach and John Tucker gave out awards in three categories.
Speaking to The Mighty, Rachel Osterbach’s parents, Gary and Laurie Osterback, said, “Born This Way” gives hope and inspiration to parents who have children with Down syndrome. “It encourages inclusion by showing that individuals with Down syndrome have hopes and dreams similar to the ‘typical’ population.”
Rachel, excited about her night, added:
It was a dream come true for me because I got to be a presenter at the Emmys! I love being on the red carpet; I love to pose on the red carpet. I got to meet Derek Hough, one of the greatest moments of my life — I even danced with him! I was so excited that we won two Emmys! I wasn’t upset that we didn’t win for best show, because we won it last year, and it is better to be positive than negative.
“It’s so cool I got to do the Emmys two times, and so special. I love it so much,” Sean McElwee said.
Hiromi Ashmore, Elena’s mother, said “Born This Way” shows how every life is important, adding that the show has “given an opportunity to Elena and I to grow together, especially for Elena to identify herself and gain her confidence.”
It was overwhelming not only to be nominated for the Emmy but also be able to receive an award. That doesn’t happen in everyday’s life to anybody. So nice to meet celebrities and also they recognized us and gave us such positive comments. That made me proud of myself and everybody around me. It was awesome seeing John and Rachel were the presenters for the first time in Emmy’s history that people with Down Syndrome were chosen.
And in John Tucker style, the “Born This Way” star said, “It never hurts to say please, thank you and I’m sorry.”
“Born This Way” has been renewed for a fourth season on A&E.
Low-fat diets could raise the risk of early death by almost one quarter, a major study has found.
The Lancet study of 135,000 adults found those who cut back on fats had far shorter lives than those enjoying plenty of butter, cheese and meats.
Researchers said the study was at odds with repeated health advice to cut down on fats.
Those doing so tended to eat far too much stodgy food like bread, pasta and rice, the experts said, while missing out on vital nutrients.
Participants eating the highest levels of carbohydrates – particularly refined sugars found in fizzy drinks and processed meals – faced a 28 per cent higher risk of early death.
The NHS cautions against having too much saturated fat, on the grounds it raises cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
But the latest research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, in Barcelona found those with low intake of saturated fat raised chances of early death by 13 per cent compared to those eating plenty.
And consuming high levels of all fats cut mortality by up to 23 per cent.
The Canadian study tracked eating patterns and death rates across 18 countries.
Researcher Dr Andrew Mente, from McMaster University, said: “Our data suggests that low fat diets put populations at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
“Loosening the restriction on total fat and saturated fat and imposing limits on carbohydrates when high to reduce intake to moderate levels would be optimal.”
He said getting the balance of fats and carbohydrates right was about achieving a “sweet spot” which was best for health – meaning around 35 per cent of calories should come from fats.
Although this is in line with NHS guidance, health officials still warn Brits to cut down on their saturated fat consumption to protect their heart.
Guidance states men should eat no more than 30g daily and women 20g.
Saturated fat is typically found in animal products such as butter, cheese and red meat.
And last year Public Health England suggested increasing the proportion of starchy carbohydrates in the diet.
Lead researcher Dr Mahshid Dehghan, said: “A high carbohydrate diet – greater than 60 per cent of energy – is associated with higher risk of mortality.
“Higher intake of fats, including saturated fats, are associated with lower risk of mortality.”
But diet had little impact on heart death risk, suggesting it had a greater impact on other killers such as cancer, dementia, and respiratory disease.
Consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said it was time “for a complete U-turn” in Britain’s approach to diet, and demonisation of fat.
“The sooner we do that the sooner we reverse the epidemic in obesity and diabetes and the sooner start improving health.”
Professor Jeremy Pearson, of the British Heart Foundation said health officials should re-examine dietary advice, to ensure the public was getting the best message.
“This study suggests we should perhaps pay more attention to the amount of carbohydrate in our diet than we have in the past and we may need to revise the guidelines,” he said.
“What I don’t think people should do is get excited and think ‘I can eat as much saturated fat as I like’”.
Oxford Professor Susan Jebb, the government’s former obesity tsar, said the findings supported UK guidance.
She said: “This is a thumbs-up for UK recommendations which advise up to 35 per cent of energy from fat and an average of 50 per cent of energy from carbohydrate – of which only 5 per cent should be sugar.”
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England said a high fat diet could lead to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease.
“We recommend a balanced diet based on starchy carbohydrates, while reducing total fat intake and swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats,” she said.
Three years ago, my doctor said the F-word… that’s right, fibromyalgia. I ignored her. But for the last year I have been in constant pain and I find it really hard to focus on anything other than finding pain relief or finding a new treatment that might actually make a difference.
I haven’t really been writing about the pain. Everyone in my life knows that I have neck pain and headaches. Some people think it’s my back that hurts.
Even though we have all had pain and sore body parts, the fact is that anyone who hasn’t experienced non-stop widespread pain for weeks or months or years really has no idea what this experience has been like.
I have felt that writing about it would end up being a whiny piece of writing about boo hoo, poor me, I hurt. Or that the intention behind writing it would be to seek sympathy. I also worry that I don’t know how to fully explain my experience in a short and concise way. I worried that it would get boring and repetitive and too long to read.
I now think it is something that I need to do. I think I need to write about the physical pain and its emotional toll.
I thought the easiest way to explain my experience would be to go through a typical 24 hours in a day in the life of me.
It’s 9 p.m. and I’m laying on the couch with my fingers pressing into my neck and the base of my skull, trying to recreate what relieving treatment I have received. Trying to relieve some of the throbbing in my neck and sharp pounding in my head. I’ve somehow convinced myself that I have to stay up until 10. When 10 finally comes, I climb the stairs, get ready for bed, and collapse into what I’m hoping will be the most comfortable place in the house. It takes me several minutes and several attempts to reposition myself. Does my neck feel straight and aligned with my spine? If I move slightly to the right will the stabbing pain in my thigh stop? If I roll over will that relieve some of the pain on that hip?
Thanks to the magic of sedatives, I fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately, part of my illness is over-activity in my brain. Hello neurons, can you stop firing now please? I don’t reach a state of deep sleep, which is where rest and repair happens. Instead, I drift in and out of a light sleep, never getting adequate rest. I wake up several times and reposition my body trying to find the least painful position.
Eventually, by about 4 or 5 in the morning, my body has been in bed too long. The pressure of my own body against the mattress is causing pain that I can no longer tolerate. So I get up, go to the bathroom, stretch a bit, and go back to bed for a few hours. My alarm goes off and I hit snooze. And often sleep past the time I had planned to get up. By 8 a.m. I normally can’t be laying down anymore. The pain has built up and my body is screaming at me.
But I know that up will be better. So I pull myself out of bed to begin my day. Every step towards the shower is painful because my body feels like it was beaten with a sledge hammer the day before.
By the time I get to the kitchen, most of the stiffness is gone. My head is often less painful. And I’m left with that general yucky blech feeling you get when you have the flu. As I am getting ready for work, my body is yelling at me to pay attention to it. I have sharp aches in many different places.
The drive to work has its own challenges. The sharp stabbing in my right thigh makes gas and break hurt. And checking my blind spots before I turn means sending searing pain through my neck into my shoulders.
When I finally get to work, climb out of the car, and walk into the building, I’m already exhausted and it’s only 8:30 in the morning.
The work day is a battle between doing what I need to do work-wise and doing what I need to do for my mind and body.
Throughout the day I take pauses to stretch, to rest, to do deep breathing, to meditate, to hydrate, to find a position that is both reasonable for working and for not making my pain level worse.
I have to remember to be conscious of the position of my body and tension in my muscles at all times. My head has to be sitting in line with my spine and facing forward. I can’t look up, down, or to the sides for any extended time period or I will suffer greatly later. I have an easel at my desk so that I can write while not bending over.
By lunch time, the ringing in my ears has gotten louder than comfortable. It feels like there is an earthquake behind my eyes. I still feel like I have the flu. My whole body aches. I’m having muscle spasms in different places. And suddenly it feels like there is too much stimuli. I want it dark and quiet.
Suddenly my jaw is aching and I realize I stopped paying attention and I was clenching my teeth trying to ignore the rest of my body. My eyes are burning and itchy again, but now they are watering, too. And I can’t think of what it was I was supposed to be doing. All morning I had been forgetting words or misusing words, mostly because my brain was too busy processing pain signals and being in a constant state of stress response.
Lunch is now over and it’s time to get back to work. Despite having “slept” for 10 hours the night before, I am overcome with a sudden and extreme fatigue attack. My body just shuts down. My eyelids want to close. I yawn and yawn and I’m convinced that I can’t make it to the end of the day.
If I do manage to find a way to lay down in a dark corner for 15 minutes, my body decides it doesn’t want to cooperate with a rest after all. My legs start to feel weird … At first it feels like some thing is crawling around inside my legs. Up and down from feet to thighs. But then that thing, which I have named the Kremlars, seems to wake up all its friends and the kremlars start racing around inside my legs, wriggling and wiggling and causing so much pain and discomfort that I have to stand up and walk around to try to make the kremlars go back to sleep.
It’s now the end of the work day and I endure the soreness that driving causes and go home. Now it’s time to “do all the things.” Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, playing with the kitten, answering texts from people I’m convinced think I’m ignoring them, marking student work, lesson planning, choir practice, drawing, writing, relaxing… And doing all these things while feeling all of that pain I have already said I experience.
It’s 9 p.m. again. And I’m curled up on the couch with a heating pad, a shiatsu machine, chamomile tea, my “blankie,” my TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine, crying and trying to make a list of the things that I am grateful for: love, friendship, sunshine, art, music, laughter, mojitos, that my kitten sleeps on me, cantaloupe, apples, babies laughing, hugs, really cold water, words, and so much more.
Despite the aches and pains, despite my memory going wonky, despite my “good days” where the pain is there but tolerable… I think the hardest thing to deal with is not being able to live my life the way I want to. Not being able to do all the things I did before without planning in rest and recovery time. Not being able to do it all in one day. Not being able to go out with friends whenever I want to. Letting people down when I said I would do something. Knowing that this is lifelong. That I have to make big changes to my approach to life. And worrying constantly that I come across as an irresponsible, unreliable, lazy flake who doesn’t follow through with commitments.
That’s a typical day for me. I want to end this piece with something positive and inspiring. I want to be the person who people say “she did that in spite of…” but it’s not like that. I don’t have anything positive to say about fibromyalgia. All I can do is take care of myself and try to enjoy the small moments like a Sunday morning with a hot cuppa tea.