Parkinsonís disease is a
progressive neurological (pertaining to the
nervous system) disorder in which certain nerve cells in the basal
ganglia (area of the brain that controls voluntary movement) have
died or stopped working properly. These cells normally produce the
neurotransmitter, dopamine, which enables nerve cells to send
messages to one another and to muscle fibers for proper body
movement. As dopamine becomes in short supply, messages between
nerve cells and muscle fibers get confused, causing a progressive
loss of motor function, tremor and muscular rigidity.
Parkinsonís disease is incurable, but with proper care, exercise,
certain medications and nutrition, Parkinsonís patients can expect
to live reasonably normal and satisfying lives. The disease itself
is not fatal as it does not paralyze any vital organs like the
heart, lungs or liver, but it may definitely cripple the patient to
the extent that he may lead himself to accidents or other life
It usually develops only after an age of 60 and men are more prone
to suffer than women. Surprisingly, some studies have shown that
smokers tend to have less of this problem than non-smokers!!
cause of Parkinsonís in most of the cases is a
mystery though some breakthroughs have been made of
late, in certain cases that include:
Genetic - People with a first degree relative
(such as a parent, child or sibling) with Parkinson's
are more likely to develop the disease. The genetic
causes involve abnormalities of a protein called
alpha-synuclein that accumulates in degenerating
neurons. Another cause is a problem with the systems
in the body that dispose of unwanted proteins.
Side effects of some therapeutic drugs.
Side effects of some self-administered drugs as in the
case of narcotics.
Environmental factors such as carbon monoxide poisoning
or poisoning by the metal manganese as well as
herbicides and pesticides.
Living in a rural area or drinking well water, reduced
estrogen levels, an obsessive personality, severe
emotional trauma or stress and a previous head injury
are also some causes attributed to Parkinson's.
Dopamine-enhancing drugs such as levodopa and carbidopa, Dopamine
Agonists and Anticholinergics (adjuncts to levodopa), Amantadine
(antiviral drug with dopamine properties), MAO-B Inhibitors
(Dopamine is oxidized by the enzyme monoamine oxidase B and MAO-B
inhibitors boost the effects of levodopa as they help to slow the
breakdown of dopamine) and COMT (catechol-O-methyl transferase)
Inhibitors are the major conventional medicines used for treating
Parkinson's beside surgery in acute cases.
therapies such as herbal and homeopathic treatments may be very
helpful for the person with Parkinson's and can help to address a
wide variety of symptoms. Make sure you speak with your doctor
before adding any remedies to your prescription drugs and do not
suddenly stop prescription medication without medical advice from a
doctor or homeopath.
Natural remedies can help to reduce tremors, promote the health of
the brain and nervous system, improve mood and anxiety levels Ė and
also address problems like bladder infections, constipation and
other related ailments. This can all help to reduce the
individual's reliance on multiple prescription drugs.
Ferrum phosphoricum (Ferrum phos. D6) is a
homeopathic biochemic tissue salts which supports the
absorption of iron in the body. The protective myelin
sheath which surrounds all nerve tissue needs iron to
supply this vital nutrient to the nerve cells it
encases. Iron in hemoglobin also helps to keep all body
tissue, including the brain, supplied with oxygen.
Regular use of Ferrum phos. can help to prevent
dizziness, headaches and restlessness and is of great
benefit for those who tend to feel irritable, tense and
Kalium phosphate (Kali. phos. D6) is a
homeopathic brain and nerve tonic par excellence as well
as an amazing nerve nutrient. Used regularly it helps to
calm and uplift the spirit and soothe common nervous
tension and everyday stress. Kali. phos. is the most
widely recommended tissue salt for soothing worry and
Calcium phosphate (D6) is a biochemic tissue salt
that assists the body in its natural function of
creating new cells. Effective blood cell production is
important to ensure good blood circulation. The cells in
our body are continually dying and being replaced every
day. As we grow older, it is important to keep cellular
production happening as fast as cellular deterioration.
Natrium muriaticum (D6) (derived from sodium
chloride) - Water is the medium by which nutrients
and brain chemicals are transported from the blood into
the cells and carried from cell to cell. The function of
this tissue salt is to maintain the body's water balance
by controlling the movement of water in and out of the
cells. This means that brain cellular health is
supported due to effective nutrition, oxygen and
blood supply to each cell in the brain. Natrium
muriaticum naturally and gently flushes the system while
hydrating tissues Ė thereby assisting in the removal of
toxins which may affect brain functioning.
Note: Due to the special manufacturing process of tissue
salts, Nat. mur. should not be confused with salt, and
may be safely used by people requiring low salt diets.
Tarentula (6C) is most effective for
twitchiness of the limbs and jerking of muscles. It
is commonly beneficial to people that are affected by
music, impatience that borders on nervousness, a sense
of urgency, and a feeling of not being able to sit
still. Frequently individuals suiting this remedy find
themselves sick with restlessness that prevents them
from getting rest, which frequently extends the period
of convalescence. Conditions that make the symptoms
worse include cold weather, change of weather, and
noise. Factors that tend to improve symptoms include
massage, music, fresh air, and rest.
Magnesium phosphate (Mag. phos. D6) well-known as
a homeopathic painkiller, Mag. phos. is also of great
benefit to the health of the nerves. It acts as a
natural anti-spasmodic and a nerve and muscle relaxant
and is also frequently recommended for stress headaches.
Mag. phos. (D6) is a salt with an affinity for the
nervous system, and a deficiency can result in cramps
and spasms. It is fast-acting to quickly relieve
muscular twitches, hiccups, cramps, and sharp twinges of
To a limited extent, eating the right kind of foods
definitely helps in managing the patientís life.
Usually, the onus is on the people taking care of the
patient, as to how diet therapy is to be practiced. In
Parkinsonís, some major movements like chewing and
swallowing, become quite slowed. This may result in
less eating and subsequent weight loss. Therefore, a lot
of time has to be allowed to the patients for meals.
Also, small helpings every 2-3 hours should appeal more
to the patient.
Obesity is also a nuisance as it puts even more pressure
on the already limited movement. Therefore, a balance
has to be maintained in the diet so that the patient
gets enough energy with less food and at the same time
doesnít get obese. So, plenty of fresh fruits, green
vegetables and whole grains and limited amount of
unsaturated fats and proteins. Sugars and saturated fats
are best avoided.
To avoid constipation, minimum intake of 1.5-2 liters of
water is very necessary. Fresh juices can be given
whenever the patient is willing to take. Dietary fiber
is equally important, but it should be in the form of
fruits like figs, papaya and pineapple instead of bran,
as they have a natural laxative effect.
If the patient is on a drug that containing levodopa, a
low-protein breakfast and lunch should be served, followed by a high-protein dinner to enhance the action
of levodopa and improve symptoms. Drug should be taken
about 40 minutes before the meals as it is generally
observed that too much protein interferes with the
action of the drug.
Coenzyme Q10, which is supposed to tremendously help the
elderly in their various age related issues, should also
be consumed. Sources of this useful compound include
Soya beans, potatoes, spinach and offal. Ask your doctor
before consuming any of them for the protein content.
Antioxidant rich diet is also considered
important as has been proved by certain studies. Vitamin
C, B1, B2, D, E, riboflavin are
all needed anyway by older people and more so by
Parkinsonís patient (more specifically vitamin C and E).
They assume significant importance in early stages of
Parkinsonís as they have proved to elongate the time
after which the dependency on the drugs becomes
imperative. A diet full of different, seasonal fresh
fruits and vegetables should generally take care of
minor supplies of these nutrients to your body. Whether supplements are enough
or higher doses are required has to be judged by your
Vitamin B6 is also very helpful in improving the
symptoms of Parkinsonís although it should not be mixed
with L-dopa alone as it converts L-dopa to dopamine
outside the brain instead of inside. A combination of
L-dopa and carbidopa in the drug is quite safe. Amino
acid phenylalanine also interacts with L-dopa. So, its
supplements are also to be avoided.
As the patient might lead himself to trouble due to
various reasons cited above, it is best in the interest
of the sufferer and his caretakers not to leave him
alone, especially when he is on the move.
It is important that a person with Parkinson's feels
useful. Allow him or her to handle tasks that will
not cause strain or be too exhausting. Offer to help if
necessary Ė but encourage independence as much as
Stay positive and be patient. People with
Parkinson's often become very depressed or grumpy about
their condition. Try to be as encouraging, upbeat and
optimistic as possible.
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Some aids to daily living, such as railings, non-slip
mats, and special chairs, may also be incorporated if
and when need arises. This will make the person
self-sufficient and relieve him from depression to a
Exercise is important but it has to be gentle, as this
increases the patient's general mobility, balance,
flexibility and wellbeing.
Many Parkinson's patients find yoga
very beneficial Ė especially with an experienced teacher
who takes their condition into account.
The patient should wear clothes that are comfortable
and easy to slip into like sweat pants, dresses or
pants with elastic waistbands. Replace buttons or zips
with Velcro fasteners.
The patient should communicate openly with his
partner about his feelings, how the disease has
affected him and the rest of the family and the impact
it has on his sex life.
Simple physical activities such as walking, gardening,
and swimming can greatly improve one's sense of
well-being but avoid driving because reflexes and
perception are usually impaired during this disease.
As people with Parkinsonís tend to get discouraged by
the continued illness, especially the symptoms related
to the limitations in the movements, a bit of a
professional as well as home counseling, self-help
groups and psychotherapy will definitely help in
improving his attitude towards the disease.