Dr Charles Forsyth

Integrated Medicine

 
 


INFLUENZA, WINTER COLD & COUGH PREVENTION


The season of colds, coughs and influenza is here. We have a homeopathic influenza preparation available for those who would rather not have the conventional immunisation. It is prepared from the current year's conventional influenza vaccine (available each October) + most of those from previous years dating back to 1970 + some other common winter viruses.  We also have a preparation for the prevention of winter respiratory tract infections.  This is appropriate if you are particularly susceptible to winter respiratory infections, eg. colds, sinusitis, middle ear infections, sore throats, laryngitis or chest infections. This can be ordered separately or combined with the influenza prevention. Both are very safe, appear to be effective, and can be combined with conventional immunisations or drugs if necessary. 


Click here for more information.





VITAMIN D


In the UK and similar latitudes vitamin D deficiency is almost the norm in the winter months. It is well established that a whole-body sunlight exposure barely sufficient to trigger tanning (eg. an hour in mediterranean sunshine) is equivalent to the consumption of 10,000 iu of Vitamin D! Compare this to the US RDA for adults under 50, which now stands at 200 iu!  It is now generally recommended that most of us take 1000 iu of Vitamin D3 daily throughout the winter months, but most of us would be far better off taking around 4000 iu daily.  Doses up to 10,000 iu daily are considered safe, contrary to what is still in the textbooks.  Now that the cost of testing vitamin D levels has fallen (about £40), I have been testing a large proportion of my patients - and almost always find levels below the reference range ( 75 - 200 nmol/l or 30 - 80 ug/l.  If you have any of the conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency (as listed below) you should aim for a blood level above 125 nmol/l - and to achieve this you usually need to take between 3000 & 5000 iu daily.


It has long been known that vitamin D deficiency causes rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults).  Research in the last few years has shown that it also contributes to the following:


  1. Impaired immune function, leading to increased susceptibility to:

  2. Infections

  3. Allergies

  4. Autoimmune diseases: SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis

  5. Cancer - breast, prostate, colon, multiple myeloma, ovarian, some brain tumours

  6. Depression, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

  7. Vascular diseases:

  8. Ischaemic heart disease & atherosclerosis (heart attacks, angina, strokes, etc.)

  9. High blood pressure (hypertension)

  10. High cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia)

  11. Diabetes, thyroid and other other hormonal diseases

  12. Poor muscle strength

  13. Reduced absorption of magnesium, iron and zinc


  14. Given further research vitamin D deficiency will no doubt be found to contribute to yet other health problems.


  15. For more information, see my page: Vitamin D and the website: Vitamin D Council

 

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