Conditions such as Sjogrens, Hailey Hailey and Ehlers-Danlos are notoriously difficult to treat with conventional medication. By looking at lifestyle factors such as sleep, nutrition, exercise and the possible addition of supplements and LDN, as well as keeping up to date with the global research on these conditions, I have seen an improvement in many patients who have been at ‘the end of their tether’ in trying to keep the symptoms of these conditions at bay.
The sense of community in patients with autoimmune conditions is quite extraordinary, and the sharing of knowledge and experience is paramount in our search for treatment therapies for this group of patients.
My work with autoimmune patients and LDN has enabled me to see symptoms not as single factors which need treated separately, but rather as a set of signs that gradually appear over a period of time because of an underlying problem with our immunity. If we can get to the root cause of these symptoms, addressing gut health, adrenal function, thyroid function, nutrition and lifestyle, we can often improve symptoms and subsequent wellbeing. LDN can help as an initial boost to increase the efficiency of our endogenous endorphins in order to bring vitality and health back into our lives.
My interest in this novel and ever-shifting range of symptoms has come from my work with post-viral Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients and the prescribing of LDN. Many of the presenting symptoms of Long Covid are similar to the ones we see in this group of patients so it made sense to look at the work done in Europe and USA on LDN therapy in Long Covid. My patients are often 30-40 year old high achieving professionals who have suffered extreme fatigue, muscle weakness and brain fog since having Covid, therefore I look at nutrition, lifestyle and adrenal fatigue with them and work together to create a personalised plan to aid in rehabilitation and getting back to the energy levels they are used to.
Many autoimmune patients have thyroid function which is below normal but unfortunately may not always show up in normal NHS blood tests. I believe that we should look at a full thyroid function blood test, measuring levels of TSH, T4, T3 and antibodies to enable us to look at thyroid hormone activation and deactivation at a cellular level. LDN has been shown to modulate the immune system and reduce abnormal production of antibodies, so in some patients, this approach, alongside nutritional changes, seems to help us get the thyroid functioning well again.
I graduated from Strathclyde University with BSc(Hons) Pharmacy degree in 1992 and have worked in hospital and community pharmacy in France, Australia and UK, culminating in running my own pharmacies for two decades in the UK.
Working in a multidisciplinary group, looking at many alternative treatments for Long Covid, and having a special interest in LDN, I have produced a protocol which I believe may help in the treatment of this debilitating condition.
I believe in an integrative, holistic approach to wellbeing and health, and aim to treat ‘dis-ease’ by combining conventional medicine with therapies such as nutrition, supplementation, homeopathy, mind therapy such as meditation and mindfulness, as well as exercise therapy.
My prescribing is done on a case by case basis and this has led me to undertake a Masters Diploma in Integrative Medicine from NCIM, Bristol, UK.
My work supporting patients referred to me by the LDN research trust (ldnresearchtrust.org) has introduced me to many patients with intractable autoimmune diseases. These have been treatment resistant and many patients have had multiple referrals with no positive result. At last, by introducing LDN to their regime, as well as looking at nutrition and blood levels of vitamins and thyroid hormones, we can see an improvement in symptoms in the majority of my patients.
Consultations take place via the telehealth portal as well as in various pharmacies throughout Scotland. To enable us to have a good patient-practitioner relationship, and for me to understand exactly where you are now in your life, and what has led you here, I require you to fill in an intake form that asks about your medical history and lifestyle. This enables us to peel back the layers of events and triggers (such as childhood viruses/medications/food intolerances) that may have caused the core imbalance in health and immunity.
We discuss a lot in our first consultation so it may be useful to note things down as we chat.
- Choose a consultation date and time from the online calendar.
- Fill in initial personal detail form (name/address/dob/ID/any recent medical notes or blood test results/medical practitioner/current medications/brief history of condition).
- A week before your consultation, you will be sent your intake form. Please fill this in as comprehensively as possible so that I have a good idea of where you are at this point in your life, physically and mentally. I will spend time on this before our first consultation to gain knowledge of you and your history.
- Our initial consultation will be one hour.
- I will then create and initiate a plan of treatment for the following six weeks. This will be sent to you within one week of consultation.
- Follow up will usually be at six weeks when we can discuss how treatment plan is going and look at any tests I think may benefit, such as gut microbiome or allergy testing.