Dopamines Role In The Brain And Body
Dopamine is the reward neurotransmitter that helps us feel motivated to do things like get outside, cook healthy meals, and exercise. It also helps us coordinate movement. When people with Parkinsons dont have enough dopamine, they can get symptoms like depression, apathy, fatigue, tremor, and poor balance. They can even experience freezinga phenomenon in Parkinsons disease where people feel stuck or unable to move.
Its not hard to imagine how the symptom list above would make it difficultif not impossibleto go out for a run, take medications consistently, or want to go to the grocery store to look for ingredients for a new plant-based recipe . These symptoms can even make it hard to take supplements or eat healthy foods since a lack of dopamine can cause difficulties with swallowing. For that reason, we need to make sure dopamine levels are optimized first before we try other natural treatment options in PD.
Dopaminergic drugs and in particular Levodopa , are the closest things to our own bodys dopamine that we can make in a lab. They work. Ive seen people with Parkinsons who couldnt stand up, take a step, or smile become completely transformed within hours of taking their first dose of Levodopa. In my opinion and the opinions of most neurologists, PD specialists, and PD patients, dopaminergic drugs are effective medications. They just have to be taken the right way and with the right nutrients to make them work for you.
Joel & The Wellness Team
Hey! Joel here A graduate of Herbalism & Naturopathic Medicine School. My team and I are passionate about finding ways to improve our lives on a daily basis and truly believe in natural alternatives of doing so before seeking traditional medications. However, always consult with your Doctor/Physician first before taking any actions regarding your health. Stay Safe and Healthy!
Parkinsons New Treatment :
Luckily, there are many natural alternative solutions which can help ease the symptoms of Parkinsons Disease. This is why we decided to look into the 3 best natural herbs and supplements which help treating Parkinsons Disease , listed from least to most effective.
Turmeric: The Super-Spice
Lately, this golden spice, widely used in curry and other oriental dishes, turned into a favorite amongst scientists and health enthusiasts. New health benefits of turmeric are discovered with every new research: its a natural remedy for infections, it contains antioxidants, it even seems to help with treating cancer! The component in turmeric which helps with all the above is curcumin, and as experts from Michigan State University recently found, it also helps with easing Parkinsons Disease. It does that by preventing proteins which lead to Parkinsons Disease from becoming aggressive.
How to Use Turmeric for PD:
If youd like to try using turmeric as a natural remedy for Parkinsons, just add some to your cooking.
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Dietary Changes For Parkinsons Disease Management
In general, a diet that is adequate in vitamins, minerals, low-glycemic fiber, complete proteins, and water is more beneficial for PD and other neurodegenerative diseases than one that is high in inflammatory oils, processed sugars, and excess calories. This is because protecting nerve fibers and cell membranes is critical for keeping folks with PD healthy, and to do this we have to:
- Provide our cells with what they need to work correctly
- Reduce the food ingredients that cause cellular damage via inflammation, toxicity, and impaired cell signaling .
Plant foods and moderate amounts of animal protein are the most beneficial foods for people with Parkinsons to eat because they accomplish both of these goals.
Some people use diets like the Mediterranean diet, DASH diet, Wahls diet, Whole 30 diet, or other specific diets as a shorthand way of describing the diet outlined above. In general, though, a whole foods diet that includes many fruits and vegetables is the best for someone with PD.
One fascinating study, in particular, has established that the following foods seem to be associated with a dose-dependent decrease in PD symptoms long-term. .
- Fresh vegetables
The same study suggested that sodas, canned foods, and fried foods, as well as processed sources of dairy, seem to be linked with faster rates of Parkinsons progression long-term.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
DO NOT try to treat Parkinson disease with alternative therapies alone. Used with conventional medications, complementary and alternative therapies may help provide some relief of symptoms and slow progression of the disease. Some CAM therapies may interfere with certain medications, so work with your physician to find the safest, most effective CAM therapies for you.
Foods Containing Nutrients That People May Be Deficient In
Some research suggests that people with Parkinsons often have certain nutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies in iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.
The above study points out that some of these deficiencies may be associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, which are key factors in Parkinsons.
Therefore, people with Parkinsons may wish to consume more of the following foods.
Foods containing iron
The following foods are good sources of iron:
- certain fortified foods
Mucuna : The Levodopa For The Poor
In Africa and the Caribbean, I have seen Parkinsons disease patients in a very deteriorated state, who are not treated with levodopa because they are unable to afford Sinemet, Madopar, or Stalevo. Neither they nor their governments can bear this expense. Ironically in their countries, levodopa is everywhere Mucuna grows spontaneously and spreads so fast that they even have to pull up it so it does not invade other crops.
The plant contains a large amount of levodopa, a treasure trove for those patients in the third world. Ailing inhabitants need this levodopa to live better and longer. It is outrageously unfair. A recent study offered an option: the use of Mucuna levodopa is very accessible in countries that cannot afford Sinemet, Madopar, or Stalevo.
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Zandopa And A Cocktail With Mucuna
The previously mentioned Zandopa brand from Zandu Laboratories, which owns the patent for Mucuna powder product known as HP-200, was used in important clinical trials and has been marketed for several years. Som C. Pruthi has patented a combination from the Ayurveda tradition that mainly contains Mucuna , together with Piper longum and Zingiber officinale . He described a woman diagnosed with Parkinsons disease at age 51 that did not tolerate conventional medicines. She took Pruthis combination of Mucuna for 12 years. In this long period, it was found that progression of the disease was very slow and side effects were not detected.
Myth #2 There Is No Benefit In Taking Supplements
Fact: Exaggerated claims notwithstanding, scientific evidence indicates that some supplements can play a role in supporting overall health. Good examples are calcium and vitamin D, which have been shown to help keep bones strong and healthy. That said, many of the claims about Parkinsons-specific supplements require more rigorous research.
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How Does This Package Work
Symptoms And Warning Signs
Symptoms of Parkinsons fall into two major categories: those related to motor functions, and those related to changes in someones mood. The four most common signs and symptoms of Parkinsons disease include:
- Trembling: This usually presents itself in the arms, jaw, legs and face.
- Rigidity: Most patients experience stiffness of the bodys core as well as their arms and legs.
- Bradykinesia: This is the term for slowness of movement. Some patients pause or freeze when moving without being able to start again, and others begin to shuffle when trying to walk.
- Postural instability : This results in loss of strength, loss of balance and problems with moving muscles or coordinating body parts.
Other symptoms that can also occur, which often impact someones moods and other behaviors, include:
- Sexual dysfunction
Medications For Parkinsons Disease
After youve received a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, your doctor will develop a treatment plan based on the diseases progression at the time you were diagnosed. Current pharmaceutical treatments include:
- Levodopa is a primary treatment for movement, tremors, and stiffness. Levodopa helps nerve cells make dopamine. This medication is also taken with carbidopa so that levodopa can reach the brain and stop or reduce side effects from the drug, such as vomiting, nausea, and low blood pressure.
- Dopamine agonists mimic dopamine in the brain but are not as effective as levodopa in controlling symptoms like muscle movement and rigidity.
- Catechol O-methyltransferase inhibitors block an enzyme that breaks down dopamine. They are taken with levodopa and slow the bodys ability to get rid of levodopa.
- MAO B inhibitors block monoamine oxidase B , a brain enzyme that breaks down dopamine. This allows dopamine to have longer-lasting effects.
- Anticholinergics aid in reducing tremors and muscle stiffness.
- Amantadine was first developed as an antiviral agent and can reduce involuntary movements caused by levodopa.
- Istradefylline is an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist. It is used for people taking carbidopa and levodopa but who experience off symptoms.
These drugs can have a variety of side effects. Be sure to discuss your medications with your doctor so you understand how and when to take them, what side effects may occur, and when to report any concerning side effects.
Principles Of Supplementation In Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is not a condition you should manage yourself at home. You must take the help of a medical practitioner and seek appropriate treatment.
Supplementation falls under complementary and alternative therapies, which means that it is to be used along with or after trying medical treatment. Consult with your doctor before using any supplement regimen.
Supplementation in Parkinsons disease relies on 4 pillars:
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Clinical Studies Regarding Vitamin E In Pd
The DATATOP experiment is a multicentre-controlled clinical trial to investigate the long-term efficacy of treatment with deprenyl and/or copherol and to explore whether it is possible to extend the time before the application of levodopa treatment. At 28 US and Canadian sites, 800 eligible patients with untreated early-stage PD were enrolled in DATATOP and randomized to four groups: deprenyl 10mg/d, copherol 2000IU/d, placebo-controlled, and deprenyl 10mg/d and copherol 2000IU/d. Deprenyl can delay the development of functional disorders, delay the application of levodopa, and improve motor symptoms, but vitamin E is disappointing . Similarly, another two population-based studies also did not find the association between vitamin E intake and risk of PD .
However, a large community-based study showed that high intake of dietary vitamin E may reduce the occurrence of PD . Another pilot trail suggests that long-term treatment with vitamin E may delay the use of levodopa in patients with PD . Further research is needed to verify these results.
Parkinsons Disease Natural Treatment & Remedies In 5 Steps
Parkinsons disease is a degenerative illness of the nervous system that results in loss of intentional movement and impaired motor functioning. Parkinsons disease symptoms affects smooth, natural movements of the body, and can make it hard to perform everyday tasks like speaking properly, walking, swallowing and sleeping.
With Parkinsons, the area of the brain that controls muscular movements receives less dopamine than usual. Dopamine is an important chemical necessary for not only coordinating proper body movements, but also things like learning, increasing motivation and regulating moods. This is one reason why depression and other mood changes often affect those with Parkinsons.
What causes Parkinsons, and is it curable? There is no specific known cause, but some aggravating factors include exposure to certain chemicals and toxic water, plus inflammation of the brain. While there is no cure for Parkinsons , there are medications available to boost dopamine in the brain and help manage symptoms.
A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan also found a possible way to stop the progression of Parkinsons. Researchers created caffeine-based chemical compounds which also contained nicotine, metformin and aminoindan that prevented the misfolding of alpha-synuclein, a protein necessary for dopamine regulation.
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Why Are There No Frequent Major Problems
Mucuna is not a placebo but, rather, has important effects. However anyone can buy it without a prescription, and most are taking it without medical supervision. These patients are not sufficiently familiar with the properties of Mucuna they do not know the side effects or complications that may arise they do not take into account the interactions with other medications or the differences between individuals.
While this scenario suggests a public health issue, it fortunately does not usually cause serious problems. Why? I think that one reason is the safety of the components of Mucuna , which has been used for millennia in thousands or hundreds of thousands of patients in India without significant harmful effects. Another issue is that the products are sold often in small doses as a dietary supplement. That is not, however, always the case: there are some preparations with excessive doses especially when combined with carbidopa , dopamine agonists, or other antiparkinsonian drugs. It is necessary to use extreme caution.
Clinical Studies Regarding Vitamin D In Pd
Substantial epidemiological and clinical studies suggest that vitamin D has a positive effect on PD. In a cohort study, over 7000 Finnish’s serum samples were collected for measuring the 25-hydroxy vitamin D level, and meanwhile, the occurrence of PD was instigated over a 30-year follow-up period. The results showed that individuals with higher serum vitamin D concentrations had a lower risk of PD . Evatt et al. also noted consistent findings .
As mentioned above, vitamin D3 can be endogenously synthesized upon sunlight exposure in the skin. In a large case-control study of Danish men, involving 3819 PD patients and 19,282 controls, the scholars proposed that men working outdoors have a lower risk of PD . Another nationwide ecologic study in France also suggests that vitamin D levels are negatively correlated with the risk of PD, but this result needs taking ages into account . Wang et al. not only demonstrated a positive correlation between serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D and sunlight exposure but also noted that lower serum levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D and sunlight exposure can increase the risk of PD .
Furthermore, PD patients with lower 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels may exhibit more severe symptoms compared with normal controls . Unsurprisingly, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that vitamin D3 supplementation significantly prevented the deterioration of PD .
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How To Use Optimize Parkinsons Disease Medications With Nutrition
There are a number of ways to optimize your response to oral medications for Parkinsons disease. One of the first is to make sure that youre digesting and absorbing those medications adequately. For PD medications, in particular, there are several nutritional considerations you must factor in when designing a medication plan that works for you.
Antioxidants: Vitamin C And E Mediterranean Diet
Since there is evidence relating oxidative damage of nerve cells to PD, some researchers are studying antioxidants:
- A 2002 study focused on the potential antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 , which is believed to play an important role in mitochondria health. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of a cell. Some scientists think that abnormalities of mitochondrial function may play a role in PD.
In 2011, a large clinical trial studying the potential benefits of CoQ10 on reducing the progression of early PD was stopped because a mid-study analysis suggested that there was no improvement in the people taking CoQ10 in comparison to those receiving treatment. Researchers decided that continuing the study would have shown an extremely low likelihood of CoQ10 showing any benefit in delaying the progression of early PD.
Scientists have also examined Vitamin E, Vitamin C and health foods to evaluate oxidative properties. Vitamin E can fight damage in the brain caused by free radicals and has been suggested to lower the risk of PD. However, researchers conducted an extensive and thorough study more than 10 years ago and failed to find any evidence that Vitamin E slows the progression of PD or manages symptoms. Since Vitamin E has few side effects, many people with PD continue to take it in high doses of 400 IU or more.
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