This year alone, 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The number of cases in the US suffering with PD will be close to 1.0 million patients by 2020. This neurological disorder is second in total number of patients only to Alzheimer’s disease. What’s concerning our physicians the most is that the number of cases seems to be increasing. A report from the Mayo Clinic in March 2019, showed that the incidence of PD has increased significantly in the 30 years between 1976 to 2005 (1).
Neurologists serve in the front lines of the fight against PD, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and Alzheimer’s. Their work load is increasing and sadly, the number of qualified neurologists available to take care of us is not keeping up with the increasing number of cases of these diseases.
The reality of Parkinson’s disease is upon us and the trend tells the full story. We can do nothing… or we can begin to take action now. If you fall into the latter group (and we hope that you do) we’ve got some good news.
Patient education and self-help efforts are increasing. New treatments and local support groups are emerging that help disseminate valuable information to help fight PD. Taking responsibility for your health is THE smartest strategy. Expecting that our health care system will be there for us and take care of us during a chronic disease is not a bet one should take. Take responsibility for your PD.
In the event that you’ve been diagnosed or are currently suffering with PD, what do you do now? Here’re some therapies and co-therapies that will help you fight PD.
Make sure that you’re being treated by your Doctor or Neurologist
Step one is to make sure that you get yourself the best professional care you can get. You can find a neurologist near you on WebMD.
L-dopa (Levodopa) Supplementation for PD
This is the go to drug for PD. It helps increase dopamine levels that cause many of the symptoms associated with PD. Although it’s not a cure, it helps keep symptoms under control during the early stages. Remember that L-dopa cannot reduce every PD symptom. Talk to your physician about this therapy.
Nutritional Supplements for Parkinson’s Disease
The Parkinson’s Foundation lists certain Nutritional Supplements, such as anti-oxidants and vitamins, as possible Over the Counter (OTC) and Complementary Therapies (4). These nutritional supplements for Parkinson’s disease show improvements in the reduction of certain symptoms of the disease. Among the more promising natural remedies for PD are:
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): also known as Ubiquinone, seems to play an important role in Mitochondrial health, the power center of our cells. A more concentrated form of Ubiquinone is Ubiquinol. This powerful neural booster is present in the AAKG+ product from Simplesa Nutrition. This supplement is most helpful in reducing tremors and muscle rigidity.
- Vitamins E and C: can fight damage in the brain and neurons caused by free radicals and may even lower the risk of getting PD in the first place. These vitamins are most helpful in reducing damage to your neurons.
- Glutathione: is known as one of the most powerful antioxidants available. A better absorbing form of Glutathione is called Liposomal Glutathione. Few supplements have received the level of positive comments from the scientific community that Glutathione has received. This supplement is most helpful in reducing oxidative damage to your organs and nervous system.
- Vitamin B-12: also known as Methylcobalamine is an important vitamin in nerve and brain health and may have a significant effect in protecting our memory. Vegetarians often have an acute Vitamin B-12 deficiency. Look for sublingual Liposomal B-12 for best absorption. This supplement is most helpful in helping your higher brain functions and in protecting your memory.
- Multi-Vitamin supplements: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has put together a list of recommended nutritional supplements for Parkinson’s for daily use. Most of these vitamins and minerals and in the appropriate dosages for healthy adults are available in Total Health AM. This multi-vitamin and multi-mineral is most helpful in providing the necessary building blocks for a healthy body to help fight disease and repair damage.
Diet and Exercise
We know we keep hearing about it but Diet (Mediterranean Diet) and Exercise keeps the body healthy, your immune system robust and your renal and endocrine (detoxing) systems humming along. Stay with this winning strategy!
Embrace a Spiritual Life
If you’re religious, great! If you’re more of a free spirit, that’s ok too. At the very least spend time on the inside. Meditate, pray, breathe deeply, be mindful and be thankful. These simple co-therapies will help you cope with your PD and with the everyday challenges of life. As someone once said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away…”.
So there you have it. PD will probably change your life but it’s not necessarily a death sentence. If you take responsibility for your PD, the progression will be slower, you will be in control, live a quality life and you will most likely increase the number of moments… that take your breath away.
1. Thelen, Gil. “A Parkinson’s ‘pandemic’ is coming and there aren’t enough doctors to deal with it.”, THE MIAMI HERALD, March 25th, 2019.
2. Parkinson’s Foundation, “New Study Shows 1.2 Million People in the United States Estimated to be Living with Parkinson’s Disease by 2030”, PARKINSON.ORG, July 10th 2018.
3. Mayo Clinic. “Parkinson’s disease”, MAYOCLINIC.ORG.
4. Parkinson’s Foundation, “Over the Counter and Complementary Therapies”, PARKINSON.ORG
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.