When my medications turned off immediately for no apparent reason, I was befuddled and beyond worried. Not long ago a good friend experienced the same perplexing event with no medical forewarning. I saw an increase in balance issues, a reduction in drug benefit, and it took a longer time for to receive any benefit from my Parkinson’s disease medications.
It is a topic that I have seen no discussion on and yet to hear any doctor or patient bring to light. That most elusive of topics is the inclusion of antibiotics and the whirlwind of turmoil that can come with it.
Antibiotics disrupt the balance of our stomachs and the important enzymes for healthy digestion. They wipe out both the good and bad stuff in your gut, thus causing problems with the stability of your medications. As we all know, without absorption through the blood-brain barrier Levodopa and other medications lose their potency and overall efficacy.
So, the next time your physician wants to talk about putting you on an antibiotic for a toothache, infection, or anything that crops up, discuss with your doctor what the potential side-effects might do to your Parkinson’s disease drugs and know what you may be facing. The antibiotics may be needed, just be prepared and consider a good probiotic to replace those digestive juices.
I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This is personal opinion and my events. Discuss this with your doctor before you make any changes. Share your stories with me and my readers, if you like. I will share your stories.
Animals have healing properties all of their own. Look deep into these amazing and loving eyes and you can sense the intense power. She makes me laugh and smile and can frustrate me to no end. That’s my dog!
I have strategies to counteract Parkinson’s disease, but like most of us, I falter and forget to use them. I am exploring a 10 minute a day mind and body exercise program to see if just adding this short time can improve my day. This test is in addition to my normal daily routine to see what kind of added benefit these 10 one -minute a piece exercises might show:
Minute 1: Take A Body Assessment–Sit quietly with your eyes gently shut in a quiet place and just listen to your body. Survey how each and every joint and muscle feels from head to toe. Telling your body to release any pain, stress, tension, or anxiety. Focus completely on letting go of what does not belong in your body.
Minute 2: Breath–Starting with 3 deep cleansing breaths, slowly breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, focus on your breath only. For the entire minute breath deeply and smoothly just paying attention to keeping your inhales and exhales close in length.
Minute 3: Stretch–Take this minute to elongate your legs and arms while lying on your back. Feel the muscles in your shoulders and back let go and ease into the floor.
Minute 4 and 5: Foot Flex–Our feet take a beating with little reward. Offer your feet a treat with a quick massage of your pressure points and toes. Using your thumbs slide up and down the foot as you search for pockets of sensitive or aching places needing attention. You may find a minute per foot just isn’t enough.
Minute 6 and 7: Toe Tug- Take a minute per foot to massage, stretch, and pull your toes to feel the release. Bend and rub your toes to get the blood going and sense the difference from the start of the minute.
Minute 8 and 9–Finger Press—Take a minute per hand and rub and massage the joints all along your fingers. Gently stretch and elongate your fingers. Do several flex and bends with your fingers to get the blood flowing. Using your opposite hand, seek out any pressure points that might be sore and gently rub them out.
Minute 10: Meditate- Take this 1 minute for yourself and think of nothing but decompressing. Once again, lie on your back in relaxation with your eyes gently closed and sense what you have created for your whole being.
All this, in just 10 minutes!
There is no question that Parkinson’s disease can be a tremendous struggle, filled with changes and developments. My theory is that when we ‘wage war, go to battle, or fight’, we highlight stress, violence, and turmoil. I don’t often quote film, but as Patrick Swayze says in the classic, Roadhouse, (okay it isn’t really a classic but it makes a point), ‘No one ever wins a fight.’ Avoiding and reducing stress are key to keeping your Parkinson’s symptoms at bay. By avoiding and reducing known stress-related triggers, finding coping methods, like exercise, meditation, and yoga will assist in retaining your energy and flexibility.
Try considering your illness, be it Parkinson’s disease or any other disease, as a roadblock or obstacle to work around or to work with. Maybe if we visualize our illnesses in a less threatening state and see them more as “something that we can work with and not against”, our bodies may not have to exert so much towards the fight and can devote more energy to getting better. Just something to chew on.
Back To School
A phrase or term in the English language that makes young people shudder and hide when heard. To parents it means a return to normalcy and yet it means more carpooling, drop-offs, early mornings, and late nights.
We are all constantly back to school. Once we stop educating ourselves, we limit our potential. Always be back to school!
Nutrition, health, and news to come from World Parkinson Congress (WPC) and the Brian Grant Foundation (BGF)
Nutrition in general is a vital component to our daily health and to someone with Parkinson’s, diet is even more crucial. Staying hydrated and eating the right fruits and vegetables will keep your digestion active to help avoid constipation. The better your gut is working, the more likely you are going to get top efficacy from your medications.
Eating local from Virginia farmer’s markets in spring and summer is a treat and is my healthiest alternative since I don’t grow my own food. When buying fruits and veggies that are shipped far distances it is easy to forget that produce that travels miles loses some of the nutritional potency as opposed to that of a local provider. Winter and fall is a bit more of challenge for me to eat local.
I noticed a tremor in my left foot at age 17 that only showed up sporadically. At age 23, and after about 9 or so different doctors, I finally got my diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease. It has been over 30 years since my first noticeable symptom and not far from 30 years from my diagnosis date. I truly believe that eating low on the food chain and eating vegetarian has helped me remain on a low dose of medicine.
If it is true that we are what we eat, and I do, then we need a greater awareness and more consideration for the fuel we load into our bodies. Food and food science has changed our diets dramatically with additives, emulsifiers, and sweeteners. I am careful to eat organic whenever possible. I eat healthy but there are times when my craving for a cookie or chip takes over and I have to submit to the urge. Overall, I stay aware of what I am eating and how it may interact with my medication. I am very protein sensitive and my medication can fluctuate tremendously when it comes to dairy, nuts, eggs, and soy.
Trying to find a product without high fructose corn sweetener, wheat, or citric acid, in a large conventional grocery store is more of a challenge these days. Understanding your food now requires knowing a little more chemistry than when I was a boy. Good nutrition is achievable but like most important health decisions a healthy diet takes preparation, planning, and forethought.
Eating healthy isn’t always the cheapest of ways to eat, so compromise and alternatives have to suffice at times. It is so important to read those labels and know what is in your food to make the best choice.
On a personal level, I have little doubt that my being a long-term vegetarian has been of benefit in my digestion and pill absorption as well. Eating lower on the food chain and eliminating meat products helped me maintain my weight, improve my energy level, clear my skin, and feel clearer of mind to boot.
As the 2016 World Parkinson Congress (WPC) nears its arrival to Portland, Oregon, also the home of the Brian Grant Foundation, I am excited to hint about a program that will soon be released. The Power Through Project (PTP) is something new and an event for everyone to take part in. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements. See you in Portland!
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A little over a month ago, a very inspirational and motivating teacher and fellow Parkinsonian from the Midwest, Dora Leonard, introduced me to a song that she and her son, Jeremy Leonard, collaborated on together. The song, I Will Choose, came from a poem written by Mrs. Leonard, put to music created by Jeremy, and sung beautifully by a local singer in her church, Shawn Christopher, who helped her bring the song to life. She is generously donating all sales to Team Fox.
After hearing the song for the first time, I was moved and my wife was brought to tears. That’s what music is supposed to do.
I Will Choose is an uplifting anthem of hope and dedication to staying strong and positive whether you face Parkinson’s disease, another illness, or any obstacle that may crop up.
If you seek a piece of music for a boost of motivation look up I Will Choose by Jeremy Leonard (feat. Shawn Christopher) on iTunes.
No matter what you want to call it, patterns, cycles, or habits, I believe that we are capable of achieving the change that we are seeking. When we are too inflexible for change or correction we begin to lose that part of ourselves that brings us to our higher self.
Focus can be good but when we tunnel-vision too much in our mind, we lose perspective and the importance of what is going on all around us. There is too much to miss if you focus solely on yourself. We must know our place and not be so focused on ourselves or others but to maintain a healthy balance of our connection with the world around us.