The Helpful Eight: Tiny's Must-Read Books for Your Health and Wellbeing!
The festive period is fast approaching and no doubt many of you are hoping that Father Christmas will bring you a good book or two! I love reading and over the years there have been a few books that have been pivotal to my health and wellbeing. In this month’s blog, I will share some of them with you in the hope that it will set some of you off on the path to better health. I’m writing it a little early, as many stores will be holding ‘Black Friday’ events later this month and Santa will need some time to get organised for the big day!
For ease of reading, I’ve decided to keep each section very short; however, most of the titles listed are available to buy at major online bookstores where you should be able to read more thorough synopses and reviews. Please note that these books are NOT written especially for interstitial cystitis sufferers, so you may not be able to follow their recommendations to the letter. In my opinion there is still much to be gleaned from them whether you have bladder issues, other chronic health problems, or simply want the best health for yourself and your family!
The Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford
This was the first nutrition book I ever read and was where my passion for the subject really began. It introduced me to the idea of ‘optimum health’ and made me realise that my body needs certain ingredients in order to continually build and repair. It’s delightfully simple to read – neither boring, nor overly scientific – and yet it imparts a wealth of knowledge. It encourages you to look at health, your body, and your role in maintaining good health in a new way, before dealing with various body systems one at a time. It discusses nutritional needs at all stages of life and helps you work out your own optimum diet and supplement programme. There is a brilliant A-Z section of common health issues, and another A-Z section of vitamin and mineral profiles. The book was fascinating to me as a beginner, it’s still fascinating to me now, and I highly recommend it!
Good Gut Healing by Kathryn Marsden
This is a really nice starter book to introduce you to the importance of looking after your digestive tract. I don’t think it goes into sufficient detail regarding how to heal leaky gut, but it’s an unrivalled beginners’ book about how the digestive system works, common ways it can go wrong, and what to do about them. Here are some of the specific conditions it covers:
- Acid Reflux
- Bloating and Gas
- Candida and Thrush
- Constipation and Diarrhoea
- Hiatus Hernia
Kathryn Marsden is funny and down to earth. Her suggestions are realistic and she even has a chapter entitled ‘If You Do Nothing Else’ for those who haven’t the time or inclination to read the whole book! Good GutHealing is a great stepping stone to more advanced books or articles about gut health and I think most people could benefit from reading it. Indirectly, Marsden’s book led me to discover Waterfall D-Mannose. Once I incorporated this into my daily regime, my propensity to urinary tract infections significantly reduced, so I will always be grateful for that! Marsden has herself suffered with trigonitis, which is very similar to interstitial cystitis, and one of her articles is available to read on the Sweet Cures website, should you be interested.
Your Thyroid by Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield
This is the second edition of a book previously entitled The Great Thyroid Scandal and How to Survive It. It is written by a bona fide doctor, who qualified at Guy’s Hospital in 1960 and eventually left the NHS to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid problems.
Thyroid issues can be responsible for all sorts of chronic, is-it-all-in-the-head complaints like mood problems, sleep problems, digestive problems, low libido, fatigue, propensity to infections, and more. Under symptoms of hypothyroidism, Durrant-Peatfield lists ‘poor resistance to infection’ and elaborates by saying, “This applies also to urinary tract infections (UTI), which may be most persistent in the ladies, young and old, who become troubled with persistent and repeated cystitis and/or kidney infections. The bladder becomes irritable and causes unreasonable frequency. In children, enuresis (night wetting) is a common complaint. Any schoolgirl repeatedly troubled in this way should be considered for thyroid under-activity.”
If you have interstitial cystitis and have not had your thyroid checked out, I’d recommend that you get a copy of Your Thyroid and educate yourself a little. I’d also recommend the website Stop the Thyroid Madness (there is a book by the same name should you also wish to buy that), which is an excellent resource, as well as the website Thyroid UK, which offers discounts on comprehensive private thyroid tests. Blood tests offered by the NHS to check thyroid function are very basic and may not be sufficient to rule out thyroid problems.
The Mood Cure by Julia Ross
This is one of the newer additions to my collection. It is not a psychology book, but rather explains how most mood problems are caused by biochemical imbalances that may be corrected with nutritional approaches. Ross advocates using foods and supplements to restore the body’s natural chemical balance, thereby relieving symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, stress and even addictions. She is, however, knowledgeable about pharmaceutical solutions and does not dismiss these out of hand, making it clear that they too have their place. There are sections that allow you to assess your own ‘false moods’ and subsequently address them.
Pelvic pain sufferers may find Chapter 6 of particular interest – it deals with physical pain and emotional oversensitivity. It cites two studies where chronic pain patients were given L-phenylalinine and/or D-phenylalinine with excellent results, which may have interesting implications for interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia and similar conditions. I have incorporated D-phenylalinine into my daily routine as a result of reading this book, and although I can’t say I have noticed any physical effects, I am certainly much less tearful and unstable than I used to be. I have been very impressed with the effect it has had on my mental resilience.
Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks
This is a Law of Attraction book. I first saw it in our local branch of Waterstones when I was in my late teens or early twenties – I was attracted by its front cover and picked it up on a few visits, but thought the content was a bit weird and way out, so dismissed it. Years later I discovered Esther’s recordings on YouTube, really liked them, went to buy her book and realised it was the same one I’d seen all those years before! It’s like I was meant to have the book all along!
Whether or not you believe in the Law of Attraction, there is no disputing that ‘mind over matter’ has a place in life. Many an elite athlete, top business person and overcomer-of-adversity credits their success to techniques such as accentuating the positive, reframing the negative, and believing all along that their desired outcome was inevitable. I used the Law of Attraction heavily in improving my PGAD. I used to take a cool bath each evening and for those few minutes while the physical sensations were numbed, I would focus only on excitement, anticipation of being better, and the way I wanted to feel. As a result of reading the book, I have also made positive journaling a part of my daily life and now meditate more regularly.
The book not only discusses the principles of the Law of Attraction, but includes several activities that you can try out, many of which are concrete things, as opposed to introspective reflections. I’d recommend listening to some of the Abraham Hicks teachings on YouTube first, and if you like them, buy the book.
The Interstitial Cystitis Solution by Nicole and Jesse Cozean
As the title suggest, this is a book aimed at interstitial cystitis patients. The focus is very much on physical therapy, although there are comprehensive discussions about diagnosis, oral treatments, other conventional treatment approaches, dietary approaches and supplements too. I had never really considered physical therapy before and had become rather fearful of any kind of penetration as a result of my own PGAD. This book explains how pelvic tension can lead to pelvic pain in a really clear way and it gave me the confidence to try the EZMagic pelvic wand. (You can read more about my experience with that here.)
Overcoming PMS the Natural Way by Marilyn Glenville
The clue is in the title for this one really! It’s small, easy to read and it’s very helpful! I entered puberty at a very young age and have been at the mercy of my hormones ever since. I’ve never had an easy time with them, but applying the principles of this book definitely helps. Glenville specialises in hormonal issues and has another book for those going through menopause, as well as one about IBS. It was subsequent to reading Glenville’s book that I incorporated vitamin B6 back into my supplement regime (though I will only use the P5P form and I spread my doses out throughout the day – you can read more about that here) and I no longer experience premenstrual depression to the degree that I did when I avoided B6.
Green Pharmacy by Barbara Griggs
I love this book! Best described as a medical history book, it looks at medicine through the ages, all the way from ancient Egypt and Greece to the present day. It is absolutely fascinating and will completely change the way you look at healthcare. It demonstrates that alternative medicine is actually conventional medicine, while conventional medicine is actually the alternative newcomer! It will enthral you, disgust you, make you wince and amaze you. It will make you realise how incredibly clever the natural world is; it will terrify you that so much rich knowledge and heritage has been lost. In some places you will be appalled that modern medicine has so comprehensively side-lined traditional approaches; in others you will be thoroughly grateful to be alive today and not 500 years ago. I think it should be compulsory reading for medical students and I very highly recommend it!
Okay, I hope you will consider trying some of these if you’re not already familiar with them! And if you do, I hope you will find them useful!
Wishing you the best of health,
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