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?
There are four parts to my response.Â
- When you take more than two prescription
medications and/or supplements there is always
the chance of a drug/supplement interaction.Â
- Supplements mayÂ not help people with
Parkinson’s because their digestive systems
doÂ not workÂ properly.Â Â
- An alternative to taking supplements
isÂ to haveÂ aÂ nutritionalÂ IV. This therapy
involves infusingÂ vitamins and mineralsÂ
directly into the blood stream, byÂ passing the
digestive system altogether.
- Pay very close attention to what youÂ eat.
What we put into our bodies has a much moreÂ significantÂ
impact on how we feel than anything else we can do.
Every one’s situation is unique. I may haveÂ a deficiency in
magnesium today. You may have a deficiency in calcium.
The critical issueÂ turns on how you can determine what
your body needs, not what my bodyÂ needs.Â Â
One alternative that works for some people is toÂ ask your
doctor to run a set ofÂ lab testsÂ to determineÂ if any
deficiencies exist.Â You will then have an idea of what foods to
eat and what supplements you should beÂ taking.
The downside of this alternative is that it is very expensive
and the results are only applicable for the present.Â Needs of your
body are always changing,Â so what your body needsÂ today may
shift byÂ tomorrow.Â Our bodies are in a constant flux
A second alternative is toÂ giveÂ yourÂ 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 weÂ age.Â
There areÂ alsoÂ super anti-oxidants foods and
vitaminsÂ thatÂ help the bodyÂ maintainÂ
hormonal balance (e.g.: vitamin B6, B12, folic acid,
amino acids, fish oil, etc.).
I am writingÂ extensively about the benefits of specificÂ
vitamins and minerals for people that have the symptoms
of Parkinson’s in the Parkinsons Recovery Newsletter.
Keep you eyes posted for updates.Â Keep in mind thatÂ
I am not a medical doctor -I am a researcher – and
therefore thus I am not qualified to offer adviceÂ
about what you should or should not take.Â
The downside of aÂ decision to takeÂ supplements that
one expert or another suggestsÂ is this: There may be
adverse reactions with the supplements and the prescription
medications that you are taking.Â ItÂ is not necessarilyÂ a good
idea to pourÂ one supplement after another into your body without
taking into considerationÂ the consequences.Â Â Â
When youÂ takeÂ more than two prescription
medications and/or supplements theÂ possibility
of an adverse interaction always exists.Â Â
I believe that one of the best choices a personÂ can make
who takes more than one prescription medication is to have a
comprehensive nutritional consultation.Â This is what
is doneÂ for everyoneÂ who enrolls in our Jump Start to
Wellness Program. Â OurÂ nutritional consultationsÂ are
done over the phone by Randy Mentzer, a licensed
pharmacist in Washington and aÂ certified clinicalÂ
MyÂ experience is thatÂ people with ParkinsonsÂ often feelÂ lousy
becauseÂ their medications are working against one another.
Randy does a comprehensive review of your medical history
and offersÂ aÂ set of individualized recommendations
that youÂ can take to yourÂ doctor for further review and
I personally do not have any ideaÂ if there are any
contraindications from the medications and supplements
youÂ listed in your question. RandyÂ helps out our clients
withÂ all such questions.Â
Randy tells me thatÂ there is a good chance of problems
if a person takes two prescriptionÂ medications. He also
tells me thatÂ there is a 100% chance of adverse
interactions if youÂ takeÂ fiveÂ or more medications. Be sure to
listen to my interview with him atÂ Jump Start.Â
I believe thatÂ a goodÂ stepÂ to take on theÂ road to recovery
is to request a thorough investigationÂ of anyÂ potential
interactionsÂ that may be coexistent with the medications
and supplements you currently take.Â
Ask aÂ certifiedÂ clinical nutritionist for a full evaluation.Â
They are the health care providersÂ who know about drug
interactions and are in a position to recommend good
alternatives ifÂ problems with interactions are identified.
AnyÂ prescription drug may be perfectly safe and useful when
used alone. But when combined with a second
drug, the same drugÂ can create horrible problems for a person.
RandyÂ often has to do additional research to understand
the implications of combining certain medications together.Â
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 youÂ reducedÂ
doses or switchedÂ medications at the recommendation of
your doctor. Or, perhaps what you are takingÂ now is
not creating anyÂ problems.
You nowÂ decide toÂ bite the bullet andÂ take aÂ group Â
vitamins and supplements that one expertÂ or another
says shouldÂ offerÂ you relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
You spend $300. You take the supplements for a month.Â
To your grave disappointment, there is no improvement.Â
You don’t feel worse but you certainly do not feel any better.
What is happening here?Â Might you just as well haveÂ
poured the $300 down your kitchen sink?Â The answer to
this question mayÂ be yes!Â Â
Supplements often do not help people with
Parkinson’s because their digestive systems
are shut down.
I of course have noÂ idea if digestionÂ is a problem for you.
You do not mention digestion as a problem in your list
of symptoms. I do know that digestionÂ is a problem for many
people as they age and for many people with Parkinson’s.Â
ForÂ example, when we eat wheat,Â the walls
of our intestines gradually becomeÂ crusty with a
cement like paste. NutrientsÂ pass through the
entire digestive trackÂ without being absorbed.Â
They are discharged from the body in tack –
A second step on the road to recovery is thus to take
an assessment of any digestive blockages you might have.Â
Excellent alternatives exist on ways toÂ detox and
clean out your digestive system.
Naturopaths areÂ skilled at being able to help you detox
your digestive system.Â Colon Therapists are trained
toÂ clearÂ outÂ 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 andÂ effectively.Â Â Â Â
Depending on the therapy you choose, it can potentially
take months to get your digestive system back on track.Â
What do you do in the meantime? How do you help yourself
feel better now?Â
An alternative isÂ toÂ by pass theÂ digestive
system altogetherÂ by havingÂ a doctor or
naturopathÂ administerÂ nutritionalÂ IV’s.
This therapy involves the infusion of
vitamins and minerals directly into the
blood stream through an IV.Â
With Nutritional IV’sÂ 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.Â Nutritional IV’sÂ should be done only to jump
start the systems in your body so that you can
begin to feel better quickly.Â The idea is to get your
body back on track so it can do the work it knows how to do
so well: KeepÂ your hormones in balance and your spirits high.Â
Â DoÂ not plan to receiveÂ nutritional IV’s for long.Â They are
simply a way to help youÂ feelÂ better quickly so that
you have the energyÂ neededÂ toÂ heal.Â Â Â Â
There are many experienced and highly qualified doctorsÂ
(MD’s and naturopaths) who administerÂ nutritional IV’s
to patients.Â If you choose this path it is important to find someone
who is certified, experienced and equipped to adminsterÂ
nutritional IV’s in a sterilized environment. We have a link
on our Parkinsons Recovery website to the naturopath we
recommendÂ to people living in Olympia.
What we put into our bodies has a moreÂ significantÂ
impact on how we feel than anything else we can do
My final comment in response to your question is perhaps the most
important.Â 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 drawÂ a large circle on a
flip chart. The circle represents the sum total of everything
youÂ can do for yourselfÂ to feel better (exercise, laughter,
mind challenges, stress and trauma release, etc.).Â Â I then
put a dot inside the circle. TheÂ dot represents theÂ
contribution supplements typically make to helping people
get relief from their symptoms.Â
The far more significant factor is the food we put into out bodies.
Good nutritionÂ consumes a hugeÂ chunkÂ of thisÂ circle.Â
All things considered,Â the best thing youÂ can do for yourselfÂ
to getÂ relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s is toÂ be mindfulÂ
of whatÂ you put into your body.Â
Eat well and I promise that you will feel better soon.Â
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D
Â Â© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery