Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects those cells within the brain that are responsible for producing dopamine, a chemical necessary for the transmission of neural information to and from the motor centers of the brain and body. When these cells become damaged, or stop producing dopamine, people begin to experience a loss of muscle control. Symptoms of Parkinson’s typically begin to reveal themselves in people over the age of 50, however incidences of early onset Parkinson’s do seem to be on the rise. There is currently no known cure for Parkinson’s, and while research into the disease continues, conventional medicine can only hope to alleviate the most severe symptoms in patients diagnosed with the disease. For many Parkinson’s patients these treatments include a regimen of prescription medications that are often accompanied by unwanted side effects, and inevitable drug dependency. In extreme case, some Parkinson’s patients will be subjected to invasive surgeries in an attempt to alleviate their symptoms. Consequently, many people diagnosed with Parkinson’s are searching for alternative, all natural, treatments for their condition.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
The underlying causes of Parkinson’s remain unclear, although recent research seems to indicate a link between environmental toxins, such as pesticides and insecticides, with increasing incidences of the disease. The most common symptoms of the disease are tremors in the hands, arms, legs and face, as well as muscle rigidity, difficulty swallowing, impaired speech and difficulty walking and maintaining balance. The debilitating nature of Parkinson’s can also lead to depression, trouble sleeping and sudden emotional changes.
Lifestyle Changes for Parkinson’s Patients
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, people suffering with the disease can take steps to strengthen their body and alleviate the chronic symptoms. One of the first, and most important, steps is to adopt a healthy diet. Much of the toxins people encounter on a regular basis are found in the highly processed foods they eat. By transitioning to a wholly vegetarian diet, with an emphasis on organically grown fruits and vegetables that have not been exposed to harmful chemical pesticides, Parkinson’s patients can help to strengthen their immune systems while giving their body the energy it needs to repair and replace damaged cells. While it has long been believed that brain cells cannot be replaced when they die, new research is showing that this is not true. But for the brain to repair or replenish damaged cells it requires good nutrition.
Regular exercise is also a vital component of treating Parkinson’s symptoms. Understandably, exercise can be difficult for some Parkinson’s patients, but even a light routine can help to strengthen the muscles and increase the body’s store of energy. Exercise as physical therapy helps people with Parkinson’s to more effectively deal with the loss of muscle control associated with the disease.
Nutritional Supplements for Parkinson’s
Two nutritional supplements have been shown to be of value to people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is a naturally occurring compound that is responsible for producing the energy needed to repair and maintain the cells of the human body. It also helps to neutralize dangerous toxins within the body before they can harm healthy cells. CoQ10 is found in a number foods but can also be taken as a CoQ10 oral supplement.
Parkinson’s patients should also consider adding Omega-3 to their nutritional plan. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to the overall health of the brain, as well as the heart and cardiovascular system. Recent studies have shown that Omega-3 helps to protect damaged cells in the brain, and in some cases helps to revive them. These studies also indicated that Omega-3s have the potential to counteract a wayward protein that is caused by a gene mutation common to Parkinson’s patients.
Faith and Parkinson’s
People diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease face many challenges, both physically and spiritually. Because of the debilitating nature of the disease it easy to forget what one’s purpose is. But by meditating on the spoken and written word of God, and learning to listen to His voice spoken into one’s heart, Parkinson’s patients can achieve calm in the midst of the storm that will help them cope with the often painful symptoms of their disease. Through prayer and fasting from the standard American diet and lifestyle those suffering with Parkinson’s will empowered by the Spirit to fight both the symptoms of their disease, and the disease itself.