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Parkinson's Disease Self-management Program
Sources:    Research References/Bibliography
Knowledge to Help Yourself Knowledge gives a person many options for managing Parkinson's disease and they can then personally take charge of the effect this disease is having on their life.
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Product Suggestion

Vitamin C
An antioxidant that may slow the progression of the disease and postpone the need for drug therapy. In a 1979 study of patients with early Parkinson's disease who were given 3,000 mg of Vitamin C and 3,200 IU's of Vitamin E daily, progression of the disease was slowed for up to three years.
Vitamin E
Works along with vitamin C to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease and postpone the need for drug therapy. These antioxidants are free radical scavengers that work to protect the brain from free radical damage. Large amounts of both vitamin C & E are recommended for the disease. These amounts can not be gotten from food sources so must be gotten through supplementation.
B Vitamins
Extremely important in brain function and enzyme activity.
Vitamin B5
Aids in speeding messages from one nerve cell to another.
Vitamin B3
Improves brain circulation. Caution: do not take B3 (niacin) if you have a liver disorder, gout, or high blood pressure.
Vitamin B6
Brain dopamine production depends on adequate supplies of this vitamin. Caution: Do not take this supplement if you are taking a levodopa preparation.

Parkinson's Kit
—$10 Savings—
(complete nutritional coverage of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.)

A powerful antioxidant.
Works with magnesium. Needed for nerve impulse transmission.
Works with calcium. Needed for nerve impulse transmission.

Amino Acids:
Helps to regulate mood. Caution: Do not take this supplement if you take an MAO inhibitor drug.
Alleviates symptoms and works to counter depression. Caution: Do not take this supplement if you are pregnant or nursing; if you take an MAO inhibitor drug; or if you suffer from panic attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, or PKU.
L-Glutamic acid
Improves nerve impulse transmission.

Nutrient Cofactors:
Ginkgo Biloba
Over time improves circulation and delivery of oxygen to improve brain function, minimize leg cramps and tremors, and increase a feeling of well-being.
Coenzyme Q10
Is a powerful antioxidant and also increases oxygenation of cells and is involved in the generation of cellular energy.

  • STRESS RAW FOOD SOURCES IN YOUR DIET: Make sure that three-fourths of your dietary intake comes from raw food sources (seeds, nuts, grains, raw milk for example).

  • Pumpkin is a good source of the amino acid l-phenylalanineINCLUDE FOODS WITH PHENYLALANINE: Since the amino acid L-phenylalanine may help alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease include foods such as almonds, Brazil nuts, fish, pecans, pumpkin, sesame seeds, lima beans, chickpeas, and lentils in your diet.

  • CUT BACK ON PROTEIN INTAKE: Limit your the amount of protein in your diet to seven grams per day. Instead of meat and poultry eat other sources of protein such as barley, tofu, yogurt, beans, lentils, etc. If you are taking levodopa concentrate your protein consumption in the evenings as some of the amino acids in these foods may prevent the levodopa from reaching the brain.

  • MONITOR YOUR B6 IF YOU ARE TAKING LEVODOPA: B6 may interfere with the potency of this drug so if you are on levodopa monitor your intake of B6 foods such as bananas, fish, beef, liver, oatmeal, peanuts, potatoes, and whole grains. Do not take supplemental B6 if you must take levodopa.

  • STRESS CARBOHYDRATES: If you have Parkinson's disease take seven grams of carbohydrates to one gram of protein.

  • BEWARE THE FAVA BEAN: This bean contains dopamine and eating more than 1/2 cup of these beans along with a daily dose of the drug levodopa can cause symptoms of a dopamine overdose. The fava bean is primarily used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.

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Lifestyle Changes

  • EXERCISE: Physical therapy and daily moderate exercise can help maintain normal muscle tone and function. Choose exercises such as walking, jogging, stretching, swimming, etc. that get the muscles moving and the heart pumping.

  • TOXINS: Pesticides, cleaners, and other chemicals routinely used in household cleaning, and in agriculture and lawn care have been linked to Parkinson's disease. Although exposure may be very minimal, even small amounts can cause problems in children, elderly, and people already ill. When these substances are avoided there is a better chance that symptoms will improve.

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Medical Options and Precautions

There is no known cure for Parkinson's disease but the following are commonly used to treat its symptoms.

    The drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease may minimize the symptoms of the disease but they can't stop brain cell degeneration.
  • DRUGS: The drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease may minimize the symptoms of the disease but they can't stop brain cell degeneration. In addition, drugs like levodopa are not effective when used alone and consequently must be used in conjunction with other drugs. All of the drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease come with various side effects, some as serious as liver damage resulting in death. For more information on common drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease and on their various side effects click here.

  • PHYSICAL THERAPY: Physical therapy and exercise can help to improve morale and mobility. Exercises that focus on getting the muscles moving are particularly helpful.

  • SURGERY: In the rare case and usually among younger Parkinson's patients, an operation can be performed to reduce tremor and rigidity.

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