My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 5 … Minimizing Brain Cell Loss

brainYesterday, I had a very enlightening visit with the neurologist. I hadn’t seen him in two years and during that time there has been a progression some of the symptoms I am experiencing. I also had a few questions and this is what I learned:

    1. Parkinson’s falls into two categories depending on the severity of the symptoms: tremor dominate (TD) and non-tremor dominate (NTD). While all symptoms are evident in both types, non-tremor dominate is characterized by loss of strength, mobility and dexterity in in the limbs, loss of balance, a shuffling gait and constriction in the throat. The type I have is NTD and it is more progressive … which I can attest to.
    2. Parkinson’s is progressive simply due to accelerated brain cell loss (particularly in that part of the brain that produces dopamine) for which the medical profession has no clear understanding as to why.
    3. Two other symptoms of PD are sleepiness and heightened nervousness/anxiety, again, both of which I can attest to, particularly the latter. This heightened nervousness/anxiety is due to a deficiency of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) and nor-epinephrine (a hormone). You see, brain cell loss doesn’t just affect dopamine levels, it affects everything. Recently, I have been experiencing severe anxiety it situations where I wouldn’t expect to, and I’m thankful that I now understand why.
    4. Medications do nothing to slow the progression of PD. They only lessen the severity of certain symptoms, but also come with side effects, some of which can be quite severe, like the uncontrolled movements that Michael J Fox experiences.
    5. The outlook for people with PD is grim. Many succumb to pneumonia because of their weakened condition.
    6. There is very little information on the results of treating PD naturally (not surprising) because so few people attempt it and no long-term studies have been commissioned on such an endeavour.

Upon further investigation, I learned that cell death is primarily the result of the degeneration of the mitochondria. The mitochondria is the part of the cell that produces energy. I also learned that the primary causes of premature cell death, especially in the brain, include stress*, poor diet*, alcohol*, narcotics, trauma*, exposure to chemicals, exposure to pesticides, concussions*, brain contusions* and mercury poisoning*, to name a few, I put a * beside the causes that apply to me.

When you think about it, brain cells, like all cells in the body, require oxygen, water, nutrients and alkalinity in order to thrive. This is best achieved by breathing lots of pure, fresh air, drinking lots of pure, fresh water, eating healthy, nutrition-rich foods, maximizing blood flow, reducing exposure to toxins, eliminating stress and maximizing happiness.

This information coupled with my own experience and my aversion to medication (nowhere does it say the cause of any disease is a lack of prescription medication) has strengthened my resolve to continue to tackle this condition naturally. To review my program, it is as follows:

  1. Healthy diet … the goal is to heal the gut, strengthen the immune system and provide nutrients to brain cells.
  2. Body stress relief … monthly … relieve tension in the back in order for nerve impulses to flow freely, which helps minimize symptoms.
  3. Healing unresolved emotional pain … daily … eliminates hidden stress. (I will cover this in greater depth in a future blog)
  4. Living in the moment … reduces stress, increases joy and keeps the attitude positive. Meditation is another good practice. I’m just not a good meditator.
  5. Grounding … whenever I can … reduces inflammation and increases energy.
  6. Exercise … walk daily, plus other activities … increases blood flow to the brain and minimizes symptoms. (more on this in my next blog)
  7. Nutritional supplements … I have to admit, I’m a little unclear as to the ideal supplements to take, but I am currently taking Vit D3, Vit B12 complex, Vit C and Royal Jelly. Vit D3 is really important. I am also planning to take CoQ10 as it is thought to play an important role with the mitochondria.

One very encouraging thing, the neurologist said I am doing quite well given that I have had this condition for seven years!

If you are tackling PD or any other condition naturally, I would love to hear about your experience.

Have an awesomely peaceful day!

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10 comments on “My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 5 … Minimizing Brain Cell Loss

  1. Hi Fred

    you need a good naturopath. I see Teresa Tsui at the Naturopathic college in Toronto – she is quite reasonable and very knowledgeable – she write me prescriptions – but only for supplements and even for what foods to eat – I almost always contact her before my MD and often instead of my MD – she always looks at my bloodwork from MD and makes her own plans for me on how to do better at certain things. She has changed my life in a positive, still work in progress way. I come from a very illness oriented family – all the biggies – cancers in both parents, grandmother with Parkinson’s but if any comfort to you she lived quite well with it and even close to 90 she still got around albeit with a walker sometimes but in her own home. She did have a bad fall and end up in hospital passing on quite quickly from pneumonia which she developed in the hospital so your article on Parkinson’s and the pneumonia connection struck a chord. Also have people in family with diabetes. I have always been healthy and rarely ill but a few years ago I said I can do better and got the ND as one change.

    Who is your neurologist? I am taking Brian to a diff one – he has not seen one in 10 years and did not like his in Newmarket- we are going to see a lady highly recommended in Markham in Sept – been a 9 month wait for an appt.

    I love your list – but really you need an ND who will tell you exactly what supplements to take and when and even will suggest 5 or 6 of the most effective brands. A lot of people dabble in supplements or think they can figure it out – but I was pretty off in what I thought I should take and what I really need to take and feel better as a result and more confident in taking them knowing a specialist in them has said what to take. Also Naturopathic college might have an expert in Parkinson’s – you can google them for main number – they are on Sheppard Avenue.

    Good luck

    DeeAnn

    Date: Sat, 3 Aug 2013 11:31:40 +0000 To: bnpark@hotmail.com

    • Thank you DeeAnn. You’re reading my mind. Actually, I saw an ND 3 years ago. Spent a lot of money, but got nowhere. But it’s the one area where I’m clearly in the dark and would love to find an ND who understands Parkinson’s. Thank you for the Nat, College lead. I know where it is. Very encouraging to know your grandmother lived until 90. That’s inspiring! Cheers…Fred!

  2. Fred,
    Look into PQQ, specifically the role it plays in mitochondrial biogenesis. Combine PQQ with CoQ10. As far as CoQ10 is concerned, explore all types, including idebenone. I think your approach to looking at disease on the cellular level is on target. Repair the cell, repair the dysfunction. Also, consider sunflower lecithin. Lecithin is needed by every cell in the body. EFAs- 20% or more of your brain is made up of essential fatty acids. They also reduce inflammation. It has been said that the body can only begin to heal once inflammation is removed. That being said, look into a hypoallergenic diet to reduce inflammation. By doing this, you are healing the gut. By healing the gut, you are healing the immune system. As a quick aside, salamanders who have had macrophage activity removed could no longer regenerate limbs. I would take a guess that the immune system plays an equally powerful role in our recovery and regeneration process. Lastly, think yourself healed. You become what you think. I hope this is helped and look forward to reading of your recovery. Your pursuit is highly inspirational and shows great strength. Keep it up, man!

    • Thank you so much for the information Adam! I’m taking CoQ10 and Glutamine, and I’ll look into PQQ. My goal with my diet is to do just as you said, heal the gut and heal the immune system, as ell as, alkaline the body and unclog the lymph system, so it’s pretty much a vegan diet! Quite a switch from my roots! Cheers! ::)

  3. I noticed you posted vit.c supplement. I found an amazing source of c. It is called liposomal c. It is c that is liposomal encapsulated and it does not break down in the stomach but goes directly to the small intestines where it is absorbed directly into the blood stream. It will stop a cold in a few short days. One of my grandaughters has chronic respiratory problems at 4 years of age and my daughter gives this lipo c to her at the first sign of problems and she quells the symptoms for weeks with just 2-3 doses. Most vit. c is very poorly absorbed. Chin up..Darrell

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