Natural Considerations in Management of Parkinson’s Disease

A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis can be overwhelming, as treatment options aimed at symptom management can seem limiting. Parkinson’s disease affects an area of the brain, the substantia nigra, which produces a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine helps the body with movement and coordination and when dopamine production in the brain is reduced, symptoms of shaking, tremors, and difficulty with walking, depression and cognitive impairment can occur.

The cause of Parkinson’s disease has yet to be determined. However, there have been links made inferring that genetics, environmental toxic exposure and history of head trauma can increase ones risk of development of Parkinson’s.

Traditional medications that are used to slow the progression of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s are limited to a maximum dose that can be used. Unfortunately, even when maximum dosages are reached symptoms of Parkinson’s can still progress.

This is a great place where natural medicine can assist in reducing symptoms in addition to reducing doses of medications needed. The following are natural treatment therapies to be considered in addition to traditional Parkinson’s treatments.

Environmental Factors

Several pesticides and herbicides, chemicals used to kill insects and weeds, have been shown to destroy dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Avoidance of exposure to lawn chemical sprays and insecticides can reduce the risk of developing and help to reduce further symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Finding eco-friendly ways to de-bug and prevent weeds in your yard are the best ways to avoid additional toxic exposure. Chickens and other livestock can help to reduce tics and other insects in the yard. White vinegar and natural soaps can be used as weed killer’s verses commercial chemical products.

Diet

Protein consumption has been related to reduction in the effectiveness of medications used for Parkinson’s symptom management. Limiting protein intake during daytime hours and reserving protein intake for later in the evening could help could assist in a reduction of tremors associated with Parkinson’s. Protein restriction needs to be done with caution as deficiency could result if not managed correctly. Ensuring adequate intake via a health professional is essential.

Detoxification

When it comes to detoxification, the process of clearing toxic chemicals in the body, there are several nutrients and vitamins that play a role. Detoxification occurs in several organs but is the primary role of the liver. The liver clears things from the body that can potentially create damage and dysfunction. In Parkinson’s disease, protecting the cells of the brain, particularly the dopamine producing cells, is very important.

Coenzyme Q10, (CoQ10) is a nutrient needed to feed the powerhouses of each cell, called the mitochondria. Mitochondria act like a cells battery, providing the energy for it to function. The cells of the substantia nigra, the area of the brain where dopamine is produced and most affected in Parkinson’s disease need adequate CoQ10 to function. Feeding this battery system not only assists in the general health but helps to improve the production of dopamine therefore reducing Parkinson’s symptoms.

B vitamins act as cofactors in the production of dopamine. Cofactors are nutrients needed to produce a particular substance. B vitamins also assist in liver detoxification. B-vitamin levels in the body can be tested to ensure adequate absorption and can be supplement in higher amounts to aid in treatment.

Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that helps to reduce destruction of the cells in the substantia nigra. Glutathione acts like a magnet, attracting toxic waste in the body. Glutathione production in the body requires other nutrients like sulfur. Sulfur content is highest in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower. Eating a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables assists in glutathione production.

Stress Management

A calm and relaxed mind has been shown to help improve dopamine levels. It has also been inferred that deep restorative sleep can improve dopamine production, thereby reducing Parkinson’s symptoms. Managing stress and maintaining adequate sleep is needed for general health and is essential in Parkinson’s disease management.

Parkinson’s Disease can become quite devastating in advanced stages, making early detection and treatment interventions essential. Nutritional therapies in addition to medication treatments may be the key to slowing the progression of this condition. Exploring all options available for Parkinson’s management may just be the key to preventing and reducing further symptoms.

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