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6 Ways to Help You Manage Your ALS Symptoms

Those living with ALS experience a vast and varying degree of complications that accompany the disease. Although there have been extensive advancements with remedies, treatments, and devices, resources are limited and complex. Daily living proves difficult in even the simplest tasks. Yet, not everything must be so difficult. Here’s a list of simple and natural ways to help you with your symptoms and overall wellbeing.

  1. Eat a Nutritional Diet – The most important part of a nutritional diet for PALS is to remove toxins and eliminate the risk of damaging motor neurons by free radicals. Remove all sugars and processed foods1. Next you will need to introduce nutrient-dense and whole foods filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Organic foods like free range chicken, grass-fed beef, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables are examples of quality nutritional foods.
  2. Exercise – To help prevent atrophy, improve mobility, and strengthen muscles, non-exhaustive exercise has shown to be beneficial in patients with ALS. Typical exercise regiments should consist of aerobic exercise, breathing exercises, stretching, and light resistance movements. Also, for those in more advanced stages of ALS, caregiver assisted stretching is beneficial to prevent pressure point sores and contractures. Overall, exercise for ALS may slow progression of motor neuron degradation, help patients maintain a high level of function, and improve respiratory capacity3. It is advised to seek a professionally developed program designed by a licensed physical therapist.
  3. Occupational Therapy – This type of therapy provides rehabilitative care for activities required in daily living to patients recuperating from a physical or mental illness. Difficulties that occur for patients with ALS such as bathing, dressing, swallowing, and walking are fundamentally improved through programs of occupational therapy. Assisted devices, tools, and clothing, which can facilitate mobility and daily activities, are easily accessible. Studies show that people with ALS involved in multidisciplinary programs have longer life spans, due to social involvement and better mental health4.
  4. Supplements – A great way to ensure ALS patients are getting the appropriate vitamins, minerals and nutrients is through supplements. Avoiding malnutrition and ensuring an adequate dietary intake is a key factor in preventing atrophy, infection, and a weakened immune system5. Antioxidants and detoxifiers are equally important for preventing damage from oxidation and free radicals. Although there are various supplements that are recommended for patients with ALS, some of the more notable ones are Vitamin E and C, Vitamin B-complex, AAKG, GABA, Ubiquinol, Niacin, Vitamin D, CoQ10, Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc, and fish oil1. These supplements provide several benefits such as: energy production, detoxification, maintaining bone and muscle mass, improving cellular and mitochondrial function, and more1. You can find many of these supplements at simplesanutrition.com.
  5. Emotional Support – The burdens of ALS do not only affect the body, but places a heavy toll on mental and emotional health. The stress of coping with a debilitating disease is difficult to manage. Support from family and caregivers is essential to emotional well-being. For help with managing stress, depression or anxiety it can be very helpful to work with a therapist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, which emphasizes the importance of underlying thoughts in determining how we feel and act6. There are also various support groups and forums where you can speak to others in similar circumstances.
  6. Sleep and Rest – One of the various struggles in managing ALS is constant exhaustion compounded by the inability to get restful sleep. The lack of sleep can cause another layer of complications to add to the already difficult effects of ALS. To prevent this restless cycle, there are some tips to help you secure better sleep. Some of these activities are: being active during the day, aromatherapy, eating foods that increase serotonin and melatonin, taking magnesium, adhering to a sleep schedule, drinking tea, taking a warm bath, exercise, meditation, reading, and taking soothing natural herbs. Other remedies for trouble sleeping due to pain include muscle rubs using lavender and peppermint oils, massage therapy and acupuncture, Epsom salt baths, and foam roller exercises, with the approval of a physical therapist. New remedies such as Hemp-Oil show promise in soothing and calming patients and getting them in a more restful mindset.

This is not an all-encompassing or complex list of suggestions for help with your ALS systems, but rather a simplified and natural way to tweak your daily routine. Make changes and introduce new habits at a rate that is comfortable for you. These tips can be implemented easily and may have significant improvements on living with ALS. Stay strong!

References:

  1. Levy, Jillian. “Lou Gehrig’s Disease (+ 6 Ways to Help Manage ALS Symptoms).” Dr. Axe Food is Medicine, 1 Feb. 2018, https://draxe.com/lou-gehrigs-disease/.
  2. Tedone M.D., V.M., Tedone-Gage, D., & Tedone, C. The Deanna Protocol Hope for ALS and Other Neurological Conditions. Tampa: Paradies/ Inspire, LLC, 2015. Print.
  3. Andrew J Lui, Nancy N Byl. A Systematic Review of the Effect of Moderate Intensity Exercise on Function and Disease Progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. JNPT Vol 33, June 2009 p68-87.
  4. Arbesman, Marian; Sheard, Kendra. “Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy–Related Interventions for People With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.” AJOT, Jan. 2014, https://ajot.aota.org/article.aspx?articleid=1863110/.
  5. Rosenfeld, Jeffrey, and Amy Ellis. “Nutrition and Dietary Supplements in Motor Neuron Disease.” Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America 19.3 (2008): 573–x. PMC. Web. 4 Oct. 2018.
  6. Levy, Jillian. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Benefits & Techniques. Dr. Axe Food is Medicine, 30 Apr. 2018, https://draxe.com/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/.

 

Lyme Disease and ALS – Summer 2017

There is a lot of controversy regarding the connection between Lyme disease and ALS.

To understand the debate, let’s discuss some basics of both diseases as described by the experts.

lymediseaseimage

What is Lyme Disease:

Most people know that you get Lyme Disease from an infected tick, but many people don’t understand or realize the damage caused by Lyme Disease. If left untreated, the disease can lead to severe and life threatening medical issues.

“Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne illness in the United States, is a multi-system illness usually caused by infection with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and the body’s immune response to the infection.[1] The disease is transmitted to humans via tick bites, from infected ticks of the genus Ixodes.”[1]

What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no cure.  Life expectancy following a diagnosis is two to five years.

“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) that are responsible for controlling voluntary muscles (muscle action we are able to control, such as those in the arms, legs, and face). This disease belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases, which are characterized by the gradual degeneration and death of motor neurons.”[2]

How are these two diseases different?

ALS is currently an incurable disease. Lyme disease can be treated when discovered in a timely manner by antibiotics. If left untreated, Lyme disease can result in devastating medical problems and death. Lyme disease is known to mimic many of the symptoms of other diseases causing issues on diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

Because ALS and Lyme disease can exhibit similar symptoms, incidents of misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease as ALS have been reported.  This very recent case reported by NBC highlights a misdiagnosis of ALS when the patient actually had Lyme disease. The patient’s doctor insisted he had ALS, and they accepted the reality of this diagnosis.

“Matt remembered.”He said, “Enough’s enough. The reality is, you have ALS, and you know, you really need to embrace what I am telling you.” Matt’s family was told to help him come to terms with his death.

But inside their home, the Slatner family was doing their own research on Lyme symptoms and everything kept pointing to those tick bites.

“Every single thing is a Lyme symptom,” Stephanie said, remembering the long days and nights of research, three busy kids, and a husband who was slowly fading away. “No one would listen. I mean, they made us both feel like we were crazy.”[3]

Does everyone with ALS have Lyme?

“Lyme disease does not cause ALS, and generally in a diagnostic workup, a neurologist can easily separate ALS from Lyme infections, either clinically or with testing.”[4]

Despite the current belief that Lyme disease does not cause ALS, some studies have shown that many PALS do test positively for Lyme. This has caused a lot of disagreement between physicians and patients citing high statistical evidence of Lyme in many patients with ALS as more than just a coincidence.

Lyme Disease mimics other diseases

ALSLYME

( Image Ref: http://lymediseaseguide.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/lyme-disease-treatment-diagnosis.gif)

Does Lyme cause ALS? 

Many ALS patients have tested positively for Lyme disease, but not all Lyme patients develop ALS.  Currently, there is no definitive proof that Lyme disease causes ALS. Although often mistaken for ALS with similar symptoms, Lyme can be treated with antibiotics and other protocols dependent on the severity and progression. A cure for ALS still has not been found, but the Deanna Protocol has been shown to help with quality of life.

This topic continues to be a source of debate among physicians and PALS, with controversy evident on the internet and social media. If you are bitten by a tick, please seek medical attention immediately.

For more information on Lyme Disease: visit http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/

For more information on ALS: http://www.alsa.org/about-als/ 

[1] Ref: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/330178-overview

[2] Ref: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/amyotrophiclateralsclerosis/detail_ALS.htm

[3] http://m.nbc12.com/nbc12/db/345738/content/i7HSWfXF/gallery

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-als/2014/08/22/70007ef2-2842-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html

Newest Update on Deanna Protocol

A recent article was released in March 2017, that examined an earlier study on the Deanna Protocol (DP).  The newest study concluded:

Targeting energy metabolism with the DP supplement as a metabolic therapy produces a change in the global metabolic profile of ALS mice that support the role of the DP for enhanced mitochondrial energy metabolism and prolongs time to paralysis of ALS C. elegans. (1)

For more information on the original article on please view the original article at:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11306-017-1183-1

If you need information on how the Deanna Protocol can help you please contact us today for details and assistance.

Flu Season & Keeping Healthy

The Flu season impacts a lot of people this time of year. There is always a lot of media about getting sick, so we have compiled some useful resources that could come in handy to stay healthy.

When is Flu Season?

The Flu season runs from October into late spring. The CDC says “the flu season begins when certain key flu indicators (for example, levels of influenza-like illness (ILI), hospitalization and deaths) rise and remain elevated for a number of consecutive weeks. Usually ILI increases first, followed by an increase in hospitalizations, which is then followed by increases in flu-associated deaths.” ¹

What is the difference between a Cold and the Flu?
Both a cold and Flu are respiratory illnesses. Typically, a cold is far less severe in nature and duration. Most of us know all too well that a bad cold and related symptoms will usually last for a few days or a week. Lingering symptoms that persist or worsen can indicate you have the Flu or a secondary concern.  Flu symptoms can make you ill for days to even weeks.

Why is the Flu a big deal?
No one likes to get sick, and getting a nasty cold during cold weather seems bad enough. A Flu can often be far worse in symptoms, downtime, and complications than a typical cold.
For those with chronic illness or disabilities it can be an incredibly dangerous. A recent article and video from CNN tells many “It’s time to get your flu shot.” Those who are young, old, or at risk from the complications that might occur from the Flu on a weaker immune system need to be protected.

Fight the Flu
Fight the Flu

How to protect yourself from the Flu?
One suggested precaution is to get the Flu vaccination / shot. The Flu vaccination this year is “expected to be more effective than last season.” ² It is recommended that not only should high risk people get the shot, but also those who spend time around them. Caretakers and family members also have be cautious as they can be contagious and transmit the Flu.

Why do I need a Flu shot every year?
Many wonder why we need to get another Flu vaccination every year. The reason is simple: the virus changes. A recent article in USA Today states that doctors are anticipating this to be a tough season and a nasty Flu. “Dr. Robin Altman, chief of general pediatrics for Children’s & Women’s Physicians of Westchester, suspects this may be another tough battle with the virus. Altman is urging patients to get vaccinated now, since it takes two weeks for the body to build up immunity. The flu vaccine remains the best protection against the virus.”³

I have ALS should I get the Flu Shot?
Protecting those with ALS from the Flu is very important. The ALS Association wrote a recent article about what you need to know to protect people with ALS from the Flu. Avoiding crowded places or people who are sick with either a cold or Flu is recommended. Some common sense and good hygiene are suggested. Caretakers and family members of those with ALS may want to get vaccinated.  ALS patients should always discuss the benefits and risks of getting vaccinated with their doctor. 4

A Flu for a person with weak swallowing and respiratory processes represents a significant health issue. Additional information on the Flu Virus and protecting your family and yourself this Flu season can also be found on: http://www.earlydetectionplan.org/

SOURCES

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/07/health/flu-shot-vaccine-2015/

[3] http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/10/05/flu-season-underway/73383394/

[4] http://www.alsa.org/news/vision-express/articles/october-2015/flu-season.html

Lyme Disease and ALS

There is a lot of controversy regarding the connection between Lyme disease and ALS.

To understand the debate, let’s discuss some basics of both diseases as described by the experts.

lymediseaseimage

What is Lyme Disease:

Most people know that you get Lyme Disease from an infected tick, but many people don’t understand or realize the damage caused by Lyme Disease. If left untreated, the disease can lead to severe and life threatening medical issues.

“Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne illness in the United States, is a multi-system illness usually caused by infection with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and the body’s immune response to the infection.[1] The disease is transmitted to humans via tick bites, from infected ticks of the genus Ixodes.”[1]

What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no cure.  Life expectancy following a diagnosis is two to five years.

“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) that are responsible for controlling voluntary muscles (muscle action we are able to control, such as those in the arms, legs, and face). This disease belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases, which are characterized by the gradual degeneration and death of motor neurons.”[2]

How are these two diseases different?

ALS is currently an incurable disease. Lyme disease can be treated when discovered in a timely manner by antibiotics. If left untreated, Lyme disease can result in devastating medical problems and death. Lyme disease is known to mimic many of the symptoms of other diseases causing issues on diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

Because ALS and Lyme disease can exhibit similar symptoms, incidents of misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease as ALS have been reported.  This very recent case reported by NBC highlights a misdiagnosis of ALS when the patient actually had Lyme disease. The patient’s doctor insisted he had ALS, and they accepted the reality of this diagnosis.

“Matt remembered.”He said, “Enough’s enough. The reality is, you have ALS, and you know, you really need to embrace what I am telling you.” Matt’s family was told to help him come to terms with his death.

But inside their home, the Slatner family was doing their own research on Lyme symptoms and everything kept pointing to those tick bites.

“Every single thing is a Lyme symptom,” Stephanie said, remembering the long days and nights of research, three busy kids, and a husband who was slowly fading away. “No one would listen. I mean, they made us both feel like we were crazy.”[3]

Does everyone with ALS have Lyme?

“Lyme disease does not cause ALS, and generally in a diagnostic workup, a neurologist can easily separate ALS from Lyme infections, either clinically or with testing.”[4]

Despite the current belief that Lyme disease does not cause ALS, some studies have shown that many PALS do test positively for Lyme. This has caused a lot of disagreement between physicians and patients citing high statistical evidence of Lyme in many patients with ALS as more than just a coincidence.

Lyme Disease mimics other diseases

ALSLYME

( Image Ref: http://lymediseaseguide.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/lyme-disease-treatment-diagnosis.gif)

Does Lyme cause ALS? 

Many ALS patients have tested positively for Lyme disease, but not all Lyme patients develop ALS.  Currently, there is no definitive proof that Lyme disease causes ALS. Although often mistaken for ALS with similar symptoms, Lyme can be treated with antibiotics and other protocols dependent on the severity and progression. A cure for ALS still has not been found, but the Deanna Protocol has been shown to help with quality of life.

This topic continues to be a source of debate among physicians and PALS, with controversy evident on the internet and social media. If you are bitten by a tick, please seek medical attention immediately.

For more information on Lyme Disease: visit http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/

For more information on ALS: http://www.alsa.org/about-als/ 

[1] Ref: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/330178-overview

[2] Ref: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/amyotrophiclateralsclerosis/detail_ALS.htm

[3] http://m.nbc12.com/nbc12/db/345738/content/i7HSWfXF/gallery

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-als/2014/08/22/70007ef2-2842-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html

Finding Financial Assistance for ALS Patients

A diagnosis of ALS is devastating news for patients and their family. Dealing with the extensive costs associated with any chronic illness only adds additional burden and stress. Some care is covered by a patient’s health insurance but some costs are not considered customary or reasonable, or not approved by some carriers. In a recent study called the economic impact of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review by Matthew Gladman, and Lorne Zinman found that “costs associated with ALS were greater than other neurological diseases.”[1] Another abstract indicated that there are few published reports on the cost of ALS care in the United States, but wanted to so examine those costs and identified strategies to assist patients with these expenses. The study: Financial cost of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A case study March 2015 concluded that: Continue reading Finding Financial Assistance for ALS Patients

Preparing for Emergencies When You Have ALS

Emergencies can be frightening and dangerous for anyone. When you have a chronic illness like ALS, natural disasters pose additional risks for those who have limited mobility or are homebound.

Recently, the ALS Association posted a wonderful Emergency Preparedness Checklist for People with ALS. One of the most important things to do is to be proactive in case of emergency. The ALS breaks it down for you suggesting to take the time and work to prepare as you will then feel less vulnerable if and when an emergency arises. These disasters could include natural disasters, home fires, acts of terrorism, or accidental occurrences.
Continue reading Preparing for Emergencies When You Have ALS

Deanna Protocol Multi-Pack Overview

Simplesa offers convenient Deanna Protocol Multi-Packs with our DPS-AM & DPS-PM Blends. The Multi-Packs are a convenient option for ensuring you have everything you need for a 30-day supply. Each Multi-Pack offers the same nutrients, with a liquid and powder focus. Below is an explanation of each Multi-Pack.multi-pack-w-akg-liquid-ampm-powders.jpg
Continue reading Deanna Protocol Multi-Pack Overview

Simplesa – A Simplified Approach

At Simplesa, we make complex nutrition simple. We are consistently looking for ways to formulate products that combine well researched and document nutrients, which target a specific health focus and blend them together for an all-inclusive approach that not only saves our customers money, it also provides optimal nutritional support.
Continue reading Simplesa – A Simplified Approach