I am currently on a regimen of Staleevo, Azilect and CoQ10. Are There any Supplements I should Take to Reverse Symptoms?

Question:

I am currently on a regimen of Staleevo, Azilect and CoQ10.
My major problems are balance, muscle weakness (mostly left sided),
worsening manual dexterity and some cognitive deterioration
(including short-term memory problems).

Are there any supplements to add or anything else I should be
doing to help slow progression or reverse symptoms?

Response

There are four parts to my response. 

  • When you take more than two prescription
    medications and/or supplements there is always
    the chance of a drug/supplement interaction. 
  • Supplements may not help people with
    Parkinson’s because their digestive systems
    do not work properly.  
  • An alternative to taking supplements
    is to have a nutritional IV. This therapy
    involves infusing vitamins and minerals 
    directly into the blood stream, by passing the
    digestive system altogether.
  • Pay very close attention to what you eat.
    What we put into our bodies has a much more significant 
    impact on how we feel than anything else we can do.

Every one’s situation is unique. I may have a deficiency in
magnesium today. You may have a deficiency in calcium.
The critical issue turns on how you can determine what
your body needs, not what my body needs.  

One alternative that works for some people is to ask your
doctor to run a set of lab tests to determine if any
deficiencies exist.  You will then have an idea of what foods to
eat and what supplements you should be taking.

The downside of this alternative is that it is very expensive
and the results are only applicable for the present. Needs of your
body are always changing, so what your body needs today may
shift by tomorrow. Our bodies are in a constant flux
of change.

A second alternative is to give your body the
basic vitamins and minerals that it needs to
maintain balance and vitality. It is a good idea
to take a multi-vitamin supplement as we age. 
There are also super anti-oxidants foods and
vitamins that help the body maintain 
hormonal balance (e.g.: vitamin B6, B12, folic acid,
amino acids, fish oil, etc.).

I am writing extensively about the benefits of specific 
vitamins and minerals for people that have the symptoms
of Parkinson’s in the Parkinsons Recovery Newsletter.
Keep you eyes posted for updates. Keep in mind that 
I am not a medical doctor -I am a researcher – and
therefore thus I am not qualified to offer advice 
about what you should or should not take. 

The downside of a decision to take supplements that
one expert or another suggests is this: There may be
adverse reactions with the supplements and the prescription
medications that you are taking. It is not necessarily a good
idea to pour one supplement after another into your body without
taking into consideration the consequences.   

When you take more than two prescription
medications and/or supplements the possibility
of an adverse interaction always exists.  

I believe that one of the best choices a person can make
who takes more than one prescription medication is to have a
comprehensive nutritional consultation. This is what
is done  for everyone who enrolls in our Jump Start to
Wellness Program.
 Our nutritional consultations are
done over the phone by Randy Mentzer, a licensed
pharmacist in Washington and a certified clinical 
nutritionist.  

My experience is that people with Parkinsons often feel lousy
because their medications are working against one another.
Randy does a comprehensive review of your medical history
and offers a set of individualized recommendations
that you can take to your doctor for further review and
discussion.  

I personally do not have any idea if there are any
contraindications from the medications and supplements
you listed in your question. Randy helps out our clients
with all such questions. 

Randy tells me that there is a good chance of problems
if a person takes two prescription medications. He also
tells me that there is a 100% chance of adverse
interactions if you take five or more medications. Be sure to
listen to my interview with him at Jump Start

I believe that a good step to take on the road to recovery
is to request a thorough investigation of any potential
interactions that may be coexistent with the medications
and supplements you currently take. 

Ask a certified clinical nutritionist for a full evaluation. 
They are the health care providers who know about drug
interactions and are in a position to recommend good
alternatives if problems with interactions are identified.

Any prescription drug may be perfectly safe and useful when
used alone. But when combined with a second
drug, the same drug can create horrible problems for a person.
Randy often has to do additional research to understand
the implications of combining certain medications together. 

So, let’s say that you have checked out the medications that
you are currently taking and have resolved any issues and
problems that have been identified. Perhaps you reduced 
doses or switched medications at the recommendation of
your doctor. Or, perhaps what you are taking now is
not creating any problems.

You now decide to bite the bullet and take a group  
vitamins and supplements that one expert or another
says should offer you relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
You spend $300. You take the supplements for a month. 

To your grave disappointment, there is no improvement. 
You don’t feel worse but you certainly do not feel any better.

What is happening here? Might you just as well have 
poured the $300 down your kitchen sink? The answer to
this question may be yes!  

Supplements often do not help people with
Parkinson’s because their digestive systems
are shut down.

I of course have no idea if digestion is a problem for you.
You do not mention digestion as a problem in your list
of symptoms. I do know that digestion is a problem for many
people as they age and for many people with Parkinson’s. 

For example, when we eat wheat, the walls
of our intestines gradually become crusty with a
cement like paste. Nutrients pass through the
entire digestive track without being absorbed. 
They are discharged from the body in tack –
literally.

A second step on the road to recovery is thus to take
an assessment of any digestive blockages you might have. 
Excellent alternatives exist on ways to detox and
clean out your digestive system.

Naturopaths are skilled at being able to help you detox
your digestive system. Colon Therapists are trained
to clear out the debris and pathogens that may have
been residing in your colon since you were 12 (or 20
or 30 or…). There are nationally certified programs that
train people to do a colon cleansing safely and effectively.    

Depending on the therapy you choose, it can potentially
take months to get your digestive system back on track. 
What do you do in the meantime? How do you help yourself
feel better now? 

An alternative is to by pass the digestive
system altogether by having a doctor or
naturopath administer nutritional IV’s.
This therapy involves the infusion of
vitamins and minerals directly into the
blood stream through an IV. 

With Nutritional IV’s you are mainlining the nutrients
directly into the blood stream. The digestive system is
by passed, so it does not matter if it is not working
properly. Nutritional IV’s should be done only to jump
start the systems in your body so that you can
begin to feel better quickly. The idea is to get your
body back on track so it can do the work it knows how to do
so well: Keep your hormones in balance and your spirits high. 

 Do not plan to receive nutritional IV’s for long. They are
simply a way to help you feel better quickly so that
you have the energy needed to heal.    

There are many experienced and highly qualified doctors 
(MD’s and naturopaths) who administer nutritional IV’s
to patients. If you choose this path it is important to find someone
who is certified, experienced and equipped to adminster 
nutritional IV’s in a sterilized environment. We have a link
on our Parkinsons Recovery website to the naturopath we
recommend to people living in Olympia.

What we put into our bodies has a more significant 
impact on how we feel than anything else we can do
for ourselves

My final comment in response to your question is perhaps the most
important. The one single thing you can do to feel better is to
maintain vigilance on what you eat and drink. What we eat
has everything to do with how we feel.

In my workshops I sometimes draw a large circle on a
flip chart. The circle represents the sum total of everything
you can do for yourself to feel better (exercise, laughter,
mind challenges, stress and trauma release, etc.).  I then
put a dot inside the circle. The dot represents the 
contribution supplements typically make to helping people
get relief from their symptoms. 

The far more significant factor is the food we put into out bodies.
Good nutrition consumes a huge chunk of this circle. 
All things considered, the best thing you can do for yourself 
to get relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s is to be mindful 
of what you put into your body. 

Eat well and I promise that you will feel better soon. 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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