Natural Treatments for Parkinson’s?

Natural-Treatments-for-Parkinsons-Disease

Tragedies are unfortunate, but they often result in relevant and  important topics like male depression or Natural Treatments for Parkinson’s and become part of the global discussion.

Robin Williams’ unfortunate death has sparked a lot of news regarding Parkinson’s disease. In Parkinson’s disease (PD), cells in the mid-brain slowly degenerate causing a drop in the brain chemical dopamine. Low dopamine causes the classic signs and symptoms of PD: a resting tremor, generalized slow movement of arms and legs, balance problems, and a mask-like/expressionless face.

Many aren’t familiar with the non-physical effects of PD, however, like memory loss, sleep problems, fatigue, constipation, depression and anxiety. I can’t imagine how hard it is to deal with the impact of a new diagnosis of PD. There is no cure for PD, but there continue to be emerging treatments. Medications focus on increasing dopamine or mimicking the effect of dopamine. In addition to support groups, physical and speech therapy, here are some evidence-based natural treatments for Parkinson’s:

Cinnamon:
A study in mice found this common food spice may reverse the changes that occur. Cinnamon has also been linked with treating other health conditions like high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. It’s interesting to note that there is a link with type 2 diabetes and PD development. As we know, type 2 diabetes results mainly from poor diet and exercise, so here’s more evidence to focus on healthy habits. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/4/842.full

SIBO treatment:
There’s a high prevalence of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) in PD, and a link with gastrointestinal symptoms and motor function. In SIBO, bacterial overgrowth interferes with digestion and absorption of nutrients. I’d suggest getting tested for SIBO, which is an easy breath test.

Pesticides:
Pesticides are unfortunately ubiquitous, and can be found in our food supply, and used in parks and in pest control inside buildings and homes. Neurotoxins like pesticides have been shown to cause disruptions to the neurological system, including your brain. Yet another reason to eat organic as much as possible.

Coffee:
A coffee a day? In PD, it didn’t help with fatigue, but a study in the American Academy of Neurology showed benefit in controlling movement.

Glutathione:
Glutathione is key antioxidant in our body that helps counter oxidative/free-radical damage in the brain. In PD, one of the earliest changes is glutathione levels are reduced in the brain cells containing dopamine. Some studies have shown that giving IV glutathione can help improve symptoms. Glutathione is hard to get in pill form because it’s hard to get it pass the blood brain barrier.

Vitamin D:
Everyone should get their Vitamin D levels checked. Vitamin D acts more like a hormone than a vitamin because of it’s ever increasing benefits that continue to emerge. A study showed that early intervention with vitamin D may delay or prevent the onset of cognitive impairment and depression in PD.

Fish oil:

Omega-3 fatty acids like in fish oil are not just for a healthy heart. A study showed a diet rich in omega-3s may protect the brain against PD. Fish oil also contains some vitamin D.

These are just a few samples of natural remedies to prevent PD or even treat it. There’s no cure for PD, but there are more and more treatment to slow the progression in addition to medication. So if you or a loved one starts showing signs of PD, be sure to talk to your health care provider as soon as possible.

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About Dr. Michael Corsilles

Michael began practicing naturopathic medicine in 2003 after receiving his medical training at Bastyr University, an internationally recognized leader in natural medicine. Naturopathic medicine is a distinct profession of primary health care, emphasizing promotion of optimal health through the use of nutrients, herbs, physical medicine, and homeopathy. Michael recognized the need to integrate naturopathic medicine with conventional medicine so obtained a Physician Assistant certification from the University of Washington. There is an increasing demand for integrated healthcare, and as a naturopathic physician and a physician assistant, Michael can merge both types of medicine to provide a well-rounded plan of care to my patients. Michael chose medicine as a career because he truly enjoy interacting with people and sharing life experiences. A visit to your health care provider should not only be about treating disease, but also about promoting a healthy lifestyle. Michael trys to foster a mutually respectful relationship with each patient to promote a team approach to medicine.

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