Sunday, 30 November 2014

Curing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & My Modern Doctors Rant

I thought i would do a blog post on my thoughts about the way current doctors treat most individuals with health problems such as CFS(Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)/ME(myalgic encephalomyelitis).

If doctors actually properly evaluated these patients health, i feel they would find a number of factors which contribute to these individuals health problems, however the problem is most modern doctors don't care to check for these causative factors.  This is why so many individuals are going down the route of going to intregrative nutritionists and alternative practitioners with there health problems, because western medicine is severely limited in its ability to effectively treat many of these conditions such as CFS.

Many doctors rely far too heavily on basic blood work as an indicator of a patients health, which as we know isn't always reliable.  This brings me to the fact that blood serum testing for many nutrients is also very inaccurate and only really shows what is currently circulating in the blood, rather than showing true intracellular levels.

As such many individuals with severe deficiencies in nutrients such as magnesium or zinc often go undiagnosed.  Take Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME for example, studies show that zinc is a common deficiency in individuals with CFS and that levels directly correlate to the level of immune dysfunction and the severity of the condition. 

Its not surprising considering how critical zinc is for health, including proper function of the immune system.  However most doctors won't even bother checking an individuals serum zinc levels, let alone red blood cell zinc.

Another common deficiency which scientific studies find to be common in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome is the mineral magnesium.  Magnesium is again another vital nutrient, heavily involved in the production of ATP, so again its not surprising that severe deficiencies can cause low energy and vitality.  Blood serum magnesium is again not a reliable indicator of true intracellular levels, red blood cell has been shown to be much more accurate.

This is why western medicine will never find a "cure" for conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, because there are so many different factors which can cause CFS and these type of health problems, which tend to come with a myriad of generic symptoms.

Some common factors include sub-optimal adrenal gland function and hpa-axis dysregulation, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, thyroid disorders, nutrient deficiencies and anemia, methylation disorders, gut flora imbalances and opportunistic infections such as candida overgrowth, heavy metal toxicity, genetic bio-chemical defects such as kryptopyrrole disorder(pyroluria), viral infections, increased intestinal permeability(leaky gut syndrome) and so on.

However as someone who has been through CFS and has endured the whole rigamrole with western doctors and the incompetence of most general practitioners, i can bet than they don't test for any or most of the above.  These are not insignificant factors as the studies show.  Its very easy to get frustrated with the incompetence and lack of knowledge that most general practitioners provide.

In fact depending on how old school and out-dated your doctor is, you might even be told your health problems are just all "in your head" and that all you need is anti-depressant medication.  This isn't an uncommon way to be treated for individuals with "hard to treat" health problems such as CFS/ME, fibromyaglia, multiple sclerosis and other auto-immune disorders.

However as i began to do more tests i found that i did have many of the under-lying factors such as adrenal insufficiency/low cortisol, heavy metal toxicity, leaky gut syndrome and pyroluria, which is a common genetic defect that is thought to effect up to 10% of the population and again goes heavily under-diagnosed.  

The truth is, if you have any of the above factors contributing to your health problems, then you will likely not achieve better health or a full cure until they are addressed.  Which brings me to the fact that many individuals with CFS and these type of health problems never get well, which is a sad reality.  In fact western medicine claims there is no cure for conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, but i don't agree in the slightest.

There is no cure with what modern medicine is currently offering individuals with these type of health problems, ill fully agree with that.  However the reason there is no cure is because these doctors are not going to the effort to diagnose and detect what root factors are contributing to an individuals CFS, unless of course its a fairly common factor such as iron deficiency and anemia, which will show up on general blood work.  Anything slightly more "out of the ordinary" and you will be looking to do your own diagnostic work im afraid, unless of course you have a good doctor, which are in the rarity i feel.

Anti-depressant medications such as the SSRI's are the most common treatment recommended to those with CFS/ME and in my opinion they are a very shoddy patch up job at best.  These anti-depressant medications come with serious side effects and simply don't work for many individuals because the root causes are still not addressed. 

So whilst you may be experiencing less anxiety and are more numb as a result of the citalopram or prozac, the secondary metabolic health problems still remain and as such you never truly achieve wellness, the issues that remain can range from digestive problems to endocrine disorders.  I call these anti-depressant medications "patch-up" jobs because that's all that they are for most and in many causes the wrong type of patch up for there health problems.  These anti-depressants also come with the risk of serious side effects, which include the possibility of developing permanent sexual dysfunction as in the case of the SSRI medications.

Anyone suffering these type of health problems such as CFS should research into Dr Lawrence Wilson and his nutritional balancing information, hes has many great lifestyle and diet tips which can really help these type of health conditions.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Adrenal Fatigue & The 80/10/10 Diet

Many individuals become interested in the 80/10/10 diet and raw veganism in an attempt to help overcome adrenal fatigue or burnout.

There are alot of exaggerated and even fabricated testimonials when it comes to the 80/10/10 diet.  Many individuals are finding that strict vegan diets such as 80/10/10 don't live up to the hype, are potentially dangerous and alot of people actually find it makes there adrenal fatigue issues worse in the long term.

Strict Vegan Diets & Nutrient Deficiencies

A strict raw vegan diet is actually one of the worst things you can do if you have adrenal fatigue, one of the main reasons for this is because strict vegan diets are lacking in a number of nutrients to support the adrenal glands.  Where to begin with the typical nutrients that are low or missing, when following a strict raw vegan 80/10/10 diet.  Some include zinc, b-complex vitamins and vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, certain conditionally essential amino acids that are often depleted such as taurine or carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and so on.

Strict vegan diets also typically contain no cholesterol, which can be problematic for individuals with adrenal insufficiency.  Cholesterol is a vital pre-cursor to the synthesis of adrenal gland hormones such as cortisol and steroid sex hormones such as testosterone for example.

A common dietary bio-chemical imbalance which occurs following strict vegan diets is copper and zinc imbalances.  Copper and zinc imbalances are a common root factor behind many individuals chronic fatigue, anxiety and other health problems, put it simply copper imbalances can wreck your mental, emotional and physical health.

Strict vegan diets tend to be very rich in copper, whilst being low in zinc by comparison.  Zinc is a very important mineral for proper function of the adrenal glands and immune system, so following diets low in zinc such 80/10/10 isn't recommended.  A typical 80/10/10 diet removes or limits many of the good dietary sources there are for zinc such as animal foods, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses for example. 

High Sugar, Low Protein, Low Fat Diets & Blood Sugar Disturbances

Another big problem with diets such as 80/10/10 is the amount of sugar and carbohydrates are not tolerated well by those with sub-optimal adrenal gland function.  Individuals with hpa-axis dysregulation and adrenal insufficiency often have low blood sugar, hypoglycemia and other blood sugar disturbances, in large part caused by low cortisol levels.  Most with adrenal fatigue will find that without a small amount of protein at meals, they will have trouble balancing their blood sugar levels.  The large amounts of simple sugars may temporarily increase energy by stimulating the adrenal glands, however like all stimulants, it comes at the expense of robbing the bodies true energy reserves.

The 80/10/10 diet consists of 80% percent carbohydrates and most, if not all of these are from simple sugars such as fructose.  As explained above this level of glycemic load and often the lack of protein to balance blood sugar at meals, makes this a very problematic diet for those with adrenal fatigue.

Many raw vegans mis-represent the research from the likes of T Colin Campbell and other vegan nutritionists, who recommend high carbohydrate and low fat diets.  However these diets are based around cooked COMPLEX carbohydrates and often contain higher protein and mineral foods such as beans, pulses and even grains.  Complex carbohydrates break down much slower than simple sugars and as such don't tend to effect the blood sugar so adversely.  However im not a fan of high or extremely low carbohydrate diets anyway, especially for those with adrenal insufficiency.  We all know the documented health problems that are associated with excessive sugar intake and the common vegan nutrient deficiencies that scientific research has shown, so i wouldn't recommend these diets either and i don't believe there healthy.

The 80/10/10 diet consists of 10% protein, which is too low for an individual with adrenal fatigue.  As discussed above those who have problems regulating their blood sugar levels, often find they benefit from consuming a small amount of protein rich foods at meals.  Balancing blood sugar levels is a major component of any successful adrenal fatigue recovery program.  The high sugar intake and lack of blood sugar balance that comes with eating 80/10/10 is not only very stressful to the body, it just further disrupts the hpa(hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal)-axis.

80/10/10 is also a low fat diet and only derives 10% of its calories from fat.  Low fat diets are a disaster for those with adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalances.  Fats are vital for proper adrenal gland function and hormone synthesis, which is why many vegans find that their libido disappears or that they encounter sexual dysfunction or irregular menstrual cycle, although these issues also typically involve zinc deficiency.  Studies show that vegan diets are often deficient in fatty acids such as DHA, which are very important for health.

Low Sodium & Excess Potassium

Another potential issue with diets such as 80/10/10 and many other raw vegan diets is that they are excessively rich in potassium, whilst being very low in sodium by comparison.  This again is very problematic for individuals with low adrenal gland function, who typically have problems retaining sodium due to lowered levels of an adrenal hormone known as aldosterone.  As such individuals with adrenal fatigue often find that many of there symptoms such as orthostatic hypotension(dizziness upon standing) worsen when consuming potassium rich foods such as banana's and many other fruits.

Many raw vegans eliminate salt completely from their diet, but don't obtain enough sodium elsewhere.  As discussed above individuals with adrenal fatigue typically have an increased need for sodium, not a reduced need like someone with sodium induced high blood pressure would for example.  The excessive amount of potassium has a diuretic effect, which naturally displaces sodium and further lowers levels/increases the need.  This might be healthy for a normal individual, however not for someone with adrenal fatigue who will typically have problems retaining sodium as it is.

Doug Graham On Adrenal Fatigue

The author and creator of the 80/10/10 is an individual called Doug Graham.  Doug has proven to me on several occasions over the years that he doesn't understand the physiological changes that occur in individuals with sub-optimal adrenal gland function and hpa-axis dysregulation.

As such many of his dietary and health recommendations are in my opinion potentially very dangerous and contraindicated for those with adrenal insufficiency.  Another of his potentially dangerous recommendations is long term water fasts for treating individuals with adrenal insufficiency.  Long water fasts are extremely stressful for healthy individuals, let alone someone in a disordered state such as adrenal insufficiency, who often have problems as it is regulating blood sugar, electrolytes/fluid balance and typically have problems tolerating stress.  Ive already discussed the dangers of water fasting for individuals with adrenal insufficiency in the past, which can be found here - Water Fasting Dangers For Adrenal Fatigue

All in all, the 80/10/10 checks the list for every problematic dietary factor relating to the health of the adrenal glands such as high sugar, low sodium, nutrient deficiencies, low protein, low fat and no cholesterol.

Always consult a professional before making any significant dietary or lifestyle changes.

I will be writing more posts soon for informational purposes, on diets that help to support the adrenal glands. Here is an older post on specific foods, which have an affinity for nourishing and supporting the adrenal glands. - Herbs & Foods For Nourishing The Adrenal Glands

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Best Prescription For Adrenal Gland Health: Don't Worry, Be Happy

I think nutritional balancing expert Dr Lawrence Wilson said i best, when he stated that the best prescription for adrenal gland health is "Don't worry, he happy".

As someone who suffered over 2 decades with severe bed-ridden adrenal fatigue, i can more than relate to how stressful and debilitating this condition can be.

It is very easy to become morbidly pre-occupied with trying to find the magic supplement that will cure your adrenal fatigue or the best diet and so on.  The whole time stressing and burning yourself out even more in the process.

Like i say it can be very easy to become pre-occupied over the slightest little things when you have adrenal fatigue, all the time forgetting that to get better one needs to reduce stress and calm the mind as much as possible.

Some good techniques for shutting off the sympathetic "fight or flight" nervous system include mind-body techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises.  Sympathetic dominance i.e being stuck in a fight or flight stress response constantly is a huge characteristic of those with adrenal fatigue or the more correct term which would be (hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal)-axis dysregulation or dysfunction.

Find ways to reduce negative thoughts, fears and other worrying thoughts, which keep the body in a stressed "fight or flight" state.  As such Dr Wilsons advice of just not worrying and be happy, has alot of ground and is one of the best outlook's on life, especially for someone prone to worry, stress, nervous and adrenal exhaustion.

Even if it means temporarily faking positive thoughts and feelings, it helps to break the bad habits.  Negativity is a habit, but so is positivity, by re-wiring out thoughts and outlooks, we can significantly improve our well-being as a result.  To heal the body must be in a para-sympathetic rested state, happiness is one of the factors which activates the para-sympathetic branch of the nervous system.  This is the state where the body heals, recovers, is deeply anabolic, when detoxification, digestion and elimination systems are in function.

Nervine herbs such as oatstraw, skullcap, passionflower, valerian, blue verain and gotu kola, can be helpful to calm the mind, reduce anxiety and aid balance of the nervous system.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

What makes people turn to a Vegan diet ?

Other than the obvious animal welfare aspect, there are many bio-chemical reasons why an individual naturally gravitates towards a vegetarian or vegan diet.

One of these bio-chemical factors is copper/zinc imbalances, which is a common reason why many individuals start eating a low protein strict vegan diet.

These type of individuals find that they have become intolerant to digesting protein rich animal foods such as meat and typically suffer from symptoms such as nausea, indigestion, feeling heavy, bloating and feelings of malaise after eating these foods.

The most common factor for such poor digestion of protein rich animal foods is hypochlorhydria or low stomach acid.  Another issue can be a lack of digestive enzyme release, which is another cause of poor digestion of protein rich foods.  Both factors can contribute to the poor digestion of protein.  It is our stomach acid, which keeps opportunistic pathogens such as candida and bad bacterias in check.  Not only that but without sufficient levels of stomach acid we cannot sufficiently break down protein and many other nutrients such as minerals, which are also acid dependent for absorption.

How does this all relate to copper and zinc balance you are probably asking.  Well firstly the production of stomach acid is highly dependent on sufficient levels of zinc and other nutrients such as B vitamins.  Zinc is critical for protein synthesis and release of protein digestive enzymes such as pepsin.  Many digestive problems can be traced to zinc deficiency.

Zinc deficiency and copper toxicity also cause poor appetite and even morning nausea, which can make zinc rich foods such as meat, seem unappetizing.  Many of these individuals tend to gravitate towards sugar rich foods in the absence of protein, which is obviously a potential factor for metabolic health problems.

Anorexia and eating disorders have also been linked to severe zinc deficiency and again alot of these problems occur due to copper/zinc imbalances.  There is research to suggest zinc deficiency plays a role in anorexia and im not surprised.  As levels of copper build up in the body, it can wreck havoc with an individuals mental, emotional and physical well-being.

A combination of digestive problems and disordered thoughts towards food effects many individuals and is a common reason why many start experimenting with vegan and raw vegan diets.  As the copper/zinc imbalance worsens, many individuals become unable to even digest foods moderately rich in zinc such as nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and even grains, as such they gravitate towards raw vegan, low protein, low fat, fruit based diets temporarily and remove even more food groups from their diet.  Diets such as Doug Grahams raw vegan 80/10/10 are terrible for health and come at the risk of developing many serious nutritional deficiencies.

The problem here isn't animal foods and avoiding them is actually counter-productive to rectifying this imbalance, as meat is the best dietary source of the zinc.  Getting adequate amounts of dietary zinc is critical to keep copper levels balanced in the body.  The ideal balance of zinc to copper is thought to be 8:1 in zincs favor.  Strict plant based vegan diets are significantly richer in copper and low in zinc by comparison.

This was one of the main reasons why i naturally gravitated towards experimenting with a vegan diet because my digestion had become so poor, i had low stomach acid, candida overgrowth, gut flora imbalances and dysbiosis due to the putrefaction of food.  Initially you will feel better on a strict low protein plant based diet, but long term these type of diets just worsen copper imbalances by providing low levels of zinc.

There are some tips to support digestion, one of my favorite methods is with the use of digestive bitter herbs.  Digestive bitter herbs are a traditional and time honored remedy for preventing indigestion, cleansing the liver and supporting the overall digestive process. 

When digestive bitter herbs come in contact with the back of the tongue, the stimulate the bitter receptors, which in turn stimulates the vagus nerve, this signals the digestive system to release stomach acid, pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile, all of which aid the digestive process.  As such bitter herbs are the perfect remedy for individuals with sluggish digestion, low stomach acid, lack of digestive enzyme and bile insufficiency.

Many individuals like to supplement with Betaine HCL, which is another popular remedy for those with low stomach acid.  However i feel bitter herbs are not only safer, as they simply stimulate the release of these digestive juices, rather than substituting for them in the case of digestive enzyme supplements or betaine HCL.  With long term, daily use many find they become reliant on betaine HCL, as such if one does use this supplement it is probably best cycled.

Raw apple cider vinegar along with meals is another alternative remedy for those with low stomach acid and can be very helpful.  Kombucha is a fermented drink that can be consumed along with meals to aid digestion.  Kombucha is naturally acidic and a rich source of beneficial bacteria, all of which help to support digestion and gut health.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Detoxing Copper & Other Toxic Heavy Metals

This is a topic that i have wanted to do a post on for a while now, which is detoxing from copper and other toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium for example.

Im not going to really talk much about methods of detoxing toxic metals in this article, but how to cope and reduce the symptoms which occur during detoxification and as heavy metals are released into the blood.

As someone who went through what id describe as hell during copper/toxic metal detoxification, i have picked up many tips that can help ease the burden and lessen the "healing crisis" symptoms.

Many individuals like myself have a genetic defect known as kryptopyrrole disorder or pyroluria as its becoming commonly known.  This is a stress based disorder that causes severe deficiencies of nutrients such as zinc, vitamin B6, manganese and other secondary nutrient deficiencies such as magnesium and chromium.  Simply put severe deficiencies of these nutrients wrecks havoc on an individuals mental, emotional and physical well-being.

The proposed treatment for this conditions is restoring and replacing these nutrients such as zinc and vitamin B6, in easily absorb-able form.  As levels of these nutrients begin to build up in the body, they antagonize other metals which have been substituted in there place such as mercury or more specifically copper in zinc's case.  Zinc and copper share an intricate balance, low levels of zinc allow copper to build up in the body.  Again as someone who spent the majority of their life in a copper toxic state, it is a horrible way to live.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite tips to reduce the detoxification symptoms from toxic heavy metals.

As heavy metals are released into the blood stream they can cause a wide variety of horrible symptoms such as intense anxiety, panic attacks, lowered adrenal function and hypoglycemia as a result.  Personally myself as i begin to detox from copper i felt like i was going to die, i was so shakey, panicky, over-stimulated but burned out on my last nerves, literally sitting rocking in the dark i was that bad.

"Mop Up" The Toxic Metals

One of the best tools to "mop" up these toxic heavy metals during an acute detoxification crisis is with the use of natural chelators such as Pectasol-C(Modified Citrus Pectin), Alginates from brown seaweeds or even organic chlorella.  All of these helps to bind to toxic metals to safely aid there detoxification.  What i like about these natural chelators such as Pectasol-C is that not only are they safe and effective, studies show that they don't lower the level of beneficial minerals such as magnesium, calcium or selenium, in the way many other synthetic chelator drugs do.

So yeah any of the above are particularly effective for binding to the toxic metals and reducing the symptoms during an acute "detox" crisis.  For me Pectasol-C was the difference between feeling like i was going to die and feeling slightly better.  Pectasol-C is also a perfect pre-treatment for lowering the body burden of toxic metals, before treatment such as restoring nutrients like zinc and vitamin B6 is started.

Support The Liver 

The liver is one of the main detoxification systems for the removal of many toxic heavy metals. 

Many individuals with heavy metal toxicity suffer from bile insufficiency or sluggish bile flow, this can impair removal of toxic metals.  Individuals with sluggish liver function should take detoxification of toxic metals very slowly to avoid overburdening their liver and detoxification system.

There are many natural methods to increase bile flow production, my favorite is with the use of digestive bitter herbs.  Bitter herbs are a time tested, traditional remedy for supporting digestion and cleansing the liver.  Supporting the liver and bile flow during the detox process is one of the best ways to minimize symptoms.

TMG(Tri-Methyl-Glycine) is an amazing supplement for supporting the liver and aiding the detoxification of toxic heavy metals.  TMG supplies methyl-donors, which support a process in the body known as methylation.  Methylation is involved in the breakdown of heavy metals and other toxins, not to mention many other processes in the body such as lowering homo-cysteine, synthesis of neurotransmitters, hormones, balancing the autonomic nervous system and much more.

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are perfect to include liberally in the diet during the detox process. Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli help to support the livers detoxification system.

Support The Gut Flora

The gut bacteria are another method in which toxic metals are removed from the body.  Unfortunately many individuals with heavy metal toxicity, copper/zinc imbalances and long term stress have gut flora imbalances and a lack of healthy gut flora bacteria.

Probiotics and fermented foods can be very helpful for helping to repopulate the gut flora.  One of my favorite probiotic/prebiotic formulas is a supplement called Prescript-Assist® - Soil Based Probiotic, which is one of the few probiotics which are not only shelf-stable but have double blind-placebo controlled studies proving its effectiveness.

Prebiotic fibers are probably even more important than probiotics as they are what provide food for the healthy gut bacteria.  You can only repopulate so many strains of beneficial bacteria with probiotics and fermented foods, so it makes sense to feed these bacteria their preferred food, which is indigestible prebiotic fibers.

Good sources of prebiotics include garlic and onion, both which also provide sulfur that supports the removal of toxic metals and aids the detoxification process.


Reflexology is a brilliant tool for lowering detoxification symptoms, reducing stress and anxiety, whilst helping to balance the body.  Reflexology involves massaging the soles of the feet, which traditional chinese medicine believes many points on the sole to correlate to other organs and systems of the body.

Reflexology is an inexpensive, powerful tool that can be performed at home for nothing.  One of the best things i have done for my health and is easily done for 10 minutes in the morning and before bed.

Don't worry if you can't find a reflexology practitioner, you can perform self-reflexology at home.  Whilst it may not be as powerful as visiting a qualified reflexology practitioner, it is better than nothing and personally ive found it to be a very powerful tool for health.

Nervine & Adaptogenic Herbs 

Nervines are herbs which help to support, calm and nourish the nervous system.  Nervine herbs are very good to have on hand during the detoxification experience, and they help to soothe the nerves, reduce anxiety and calm the body.  These nervine herbs are perfect for supporting the nervous system during what i would describe as a very stressful and anxiety provoking experience.

Examples of nervine herbs include oatstraw(avena sativa), skullcap, passionflower, vervain, hops, gotu kola and valerian. 

Proper detoxification can only take place in a parasympathetic rested state, if the body is stuck in a sympathetic "flight or flight" arousal state then detoxification is impaired, as is digestion and many other processes of elimination in the body.

Copper toxicity is actually a common underlying bio-chemical factor in those who are stuck in a sympathetic "fight or flight" state, which is a common autonomic imbalance.  These individuals typically over-use and have excessive activity of their sympathetic nervous system, whilst having under-activity of the parasympathetic branch, which is known as the "rest or digest" system.

Healthy balance of the autonomic nervous system is vital for overall well-being, vitality and like i say detoxification.  Some other great tools for activating the para-sympathetic nervous system and aiding the detox process include mind-body techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and bio-feedback.

Adaptogens or adpatogenic herbs are botanicals, which help to increase the bodies resistance to stress.  Adaptogens help to normalize the body, support the adrenal glands, balance the HPA-axis and endocrine hormones.  Increasing the bodies resistance to stress and pampering the adrenal glands is not a bad idea during the detoxification process.

Examples of adaptogenic herbs include schizandra berry, licorice root, ashwagandha root, siberian ginseng, korean red ginseng, suma root, maca root and many others.

Coffee Enema's & Near Infrared Sauna

Coffee enema's are great for cleansing the liver and colon, which as discussed are two of the main elimination methods for toxic heavy metals.  Coffee enema's can greatly speed up the detoxification process.

If you have a near infrared sauna then this is another very powerful detoxification method that helps to remove toxic metals and other toxins.  Near infrared sauna takes the burden off of the liver and kidneys, by allowing many of these toxins to be eliminated via the skin and by sweating.

As always its best to seek the guidance of a qualified practitioner, when dealing with serious health problems such as heavy metal toxicity.