Saturday, July 25, 2015

Discovering and documenting all of your story

What causes ALS is unknown, heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, fungi, or other toxins?  It was very late in medical knowledge that a bacteria was discovered to be responsible for stomach ulcers.  Only earlier this year it was discovered that the brain has a lymphatic system, as this June 1, 2015 article discusses, this new discovery.

The current medical system truly is not designed for ALS.  A 10 minute doctor appointment does absolutely nothing to help, and discovers nothing about possible causes, or what can be treated within the body to improve outcomes.

Being ill informed reduced the opportunity for intervention even further.  Because ALS shows up as a neurological disease, once long and drawn out diagnostics for the disease are carried out, there tends to be absolutely nothing done for the patient other than how to increase comfort as the disease progresses, and the disease progresses with nothing being done to treat what can be treated.

What is not done early is testing for heavy metals, pathogens, liver function, kidney function, and anything to give good base line data.  Nor is good data gathered on medical history as to what may have caused the disease.  Without this data, how do individuals trying to help themselves monitor their progress, or even know what to treat, and with ALS there is good reason to believe that secondary problems speed up the progression of the disease.  It truly isn't even known if these "secondary problems" are in fact the primary problems as they go completely and utterly untreated.

So, in order to fight back and advocate for yourself, and believe me, if you do not advocate for yourself you will get nothing from the current system. Start by developing a detailed medical history.  I love my sister dearly, very dearly, and a year into her disease symptoms I learned several parts to her story that I did not have a clue about even though I have more interest in her well being than any doctor and I used a lot of our common history in knowing things that she has been through to help guide me in how to help her.

In addition to the medical history, you need to have some idea of what can be treated, but being armed with a good medical history early can help.

So, what to consider when putting together your medical history?  Nothing should be left out and here are questions to help guide you, but may not be a complete list in your case.  Get out your word processor and copy the list to help guide you.  Use titles, formatting, etc., to organize your account of your medical history so it is well summarized and easy to read, and add sections that are missing that make sense for your medical history.  Your story is going to get at medical history that is NOT in your medical records, and going over medical records can also help you to remember medical facts that may have seemed insignificant or that you have forgotten.


Long Term History

Spinal or head injuries and diseases
Have you every had injuries to your head or spinal cord?


Brain swelling?


Immune history
What does your antibiotic history look like?


Have you had recurring infections?


List respiratory infections that you know you've been treated for, the symptoms and treatment.  If you know the pathogen, list it.


List kidney or bladder infections, symptoms, treatment and any identified pathogen.


Childhood infections such as mumps, chickpox, etc.


Cold sores?  Other herpes?


Boils?


Fungal infections?


Yeast?


Cold frequency, how often and how bad.



Serious colds or flues?  How often have you had cold or flu that totally wiped you out and for how long?



How often do you get antibiotics for infections?


Other skin rashes?


Brain infections, shingles, etc?


STD?


Other?


Digestive History
Stomach and digestion?


Are you prone to constipation or the runs?


How well has your stomach and bowels worked for you throughout your life?  80-90% of immunity is from the stomach so really consider this history.


Bowel habit and history.


Food poisoning.


What gives you nausea?  How frequent?


Vomiting history.


Ulcers?


Indigestion?


Toxic exposures
What kinds of mold exposures have you had?  Ever found any in walls in your home, or under your carpets?




Do you know of any heavy metal exposures?  What about dental fillings?



Solvent exposures?



Ever felt "poisoned?"



Other toxic exposures.



Kidney function
Bladder infections?


Bladder habits, how frequent is your urine, color?  Any periods with problems?


Swelling?


Liver function
Any liver disease?



Any unusual tests with the liver?



Gallstones?



Hepatic incidents?



Any gallbladder problems?




Metabolism
What is your metabolism generally like?



Ever had issues with parts of your body?



Heart function?
Heart problems?


Cholesterol?  (Satin drugs are known to worsen ALS outcomes.  If you have or suspect ALS, and take satin drugs see your doctor immediately)


Other?


Hormonal systems
Thyroid?



Adrenals?



Estrogen/Testosterone?



Other hormones?



Other health issues
Ear and vertigo or balance?



Joints?



Vision?  Take a vision contrast test.  You can do it for free here, https://www.vcstest.com/.  If it comes back with no problems, great, if it comes back positive, pay for the test and include it in your medical history.  It is a cheap test, but gives you evidence to help you get other treatment.


Insect bites. frequency, and what kind?  ticks, bed bugs, spiders, mosquitoes?  At home or from traveling?



Illness while traveling?


Medications
Medications you've taken.  You may not remember what the medications were, but you should remember the history around them, so, what happened, what do you know about what you took, and how often?


Medications you do not tolerate


Other?


Diet?
Describe your diet.  What does you plate look like at a meal?  Do you eat at home or out?  Do you shop organic?  How much dairy, wheat and nuts are in your diet?  Do you have known food sensitivities?  Seafood, meat, what kind?


Supplements
What kinds of supplements and/or medications do you take?


Vaccination history
What vaccinations did you get as a child?

How often do you get a flu shot?


Animal and insect bite history
Ticks?


Fleas?


Mosquitoes?


Spiders?


Dog or cat?


Other?


ALS history

This part of your history relates to what happened happened in the year or two before you noticed symptoms, and then what symptoms you experienced.  List any and all possibilities of pathogen exposures, (mold, fungi, sewer, food poisoning, insect bites), solvent exposures, exposure to bodies of water, heavy metal exposures, unusual medical tests, illness, feelings of poisoning, digestion problems, liver problems, and the symptoms of your disease, where it started, falls, coordination, etc.



BMAA is a known biotoxin associated with ALS, and the most common known source is cyanobacteria, which is in water bodies, and can bloom in stagnant water, especially with sources of fertilizer run off from the land.  You could have an overall healthy body of water but a pocket that doesn't get enough circulation to control cyanobacteria.  There are a number of pathogens that also keep showing up and it isn't know if they are causal, contribute, or are exploitative once the disease is in motion.  There is pointing at viruses, which can reprogram RNA and there is tons of bad genetic information in ALS brains, believed to come from viruses.  Regardless, treatment to control pathogens can be helpful as infections produce other biotoxins.   I can't stress enough that digestive health, and antibiotic use tell a huge story about immunity and ALS is believed to be an autoimmune disease, so these really need to be well documented.  There is also a lot of information on how cell potentials have changed, and a metal imbalance or heavy metals can play a role in messing with the natural electricity of the body, so it also makes sense looking that these are in proper quantities and treating deficiencies and excesses can also be helpful.  Your history is your power to get treatment for what can be treated.

Medical testing history
Make a list of your medical tests by date.  You want to highlight any abnormal results.

Read More......

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Inflammation and You

In ALS, inflammation comes up over and over in the literature, and it is a significant problem.  It is a problem that you are empowered to take charge of to your benefit to help change the course of this disease in yourself or your loved one.

Do a search on inflammation and lots of information comes up; als.org talks about how "the cascade of inflammation" could be treated with drugs.  "Cascade" sounds pretty serious to me.  The Role of Immune and Inflammatory Mechanisms in ALS explores inflammation and auto-immune responses questioning if they are helpful or harmful.  Inflammation is the body's natural mechanism to deal with problems.  To my way of thinking, if what you put into your body is causing inflammation, it is causing more problems.  ALS is a disease of the body losing the battle to fix the mechanisms that feed the neurons, and inflammation is all over the place where these mechanisms are not working properly.  Help the body to only have inflammation where it is trying to heal, not from what you put into it.

Endotoxins (endo-within) are toxins within the body from bacteria that resides in the body.  They cause inflammation and are being studied for their role in ALS because their levels are elevated ALS patients.  These molecules are involved in something called "leaky gut," which leads down a path to a huge range of problems including the inflammation in the gut, which is related to the poor absorption of nutrients.  So, working on how you fight back to reduce these bad critters helps to reduce the number of problems the body is fight.  Make no mistake, with ALS, the body is in over drive trying to fight back and you can help it.

In ALS there are many heros and Issac Chui is one of them.  As an undergraduate, he saw a link between inflammation and ALS in his early research, and sought out to do research in ALS with an immunologist rather than a neurologist.  He found the body producing white blood cells to try and protect neurons and the role of inflammation in the body's attempt to protect the neurons in the brain and spinal cord.  Part of what was found with his work is that a drug to suppress inflammation actually caused the disease to spread faster, probably interfering with the healing inflammation around the neurons.  His work has taken ALS to be looked at in a new way.

We can help the body help itself by dealing with how we can help with the nutrition absorption issue, which is related to gut inflammation, gut bacteria, and how the liver detoxifies.  We can also help the body by reducing exposure to toxins and excitotoxins, which are brain toxins.  When the brain is injured, as it is with ALS, the blood brain barrier is compromised.  According to Russell Blaylock, excitotoxins are 100 times more damaging then when the blood brain barrier is compromised, so controlling them is critically important.

Oils are a significant source of gut inflammation, as is a grossly out whack omega6/omega3 ratio.  I have written what I've learned about oils and the omega6/omega3 ratio on my blog.  Gut bacteria are probably way out of balance, so help the good critters with probiotics every meal and include prebiotic foods in your diet.  Learn what your body needs to help your liver.  I have also written what I've learned about it on my blog that educates about the Glucothione system.  Learn about excitotoxins, again, I have links to learn about excitotoxicity and I have summarized what to avoid.

Lastly, there are people who are doing much better with this disease than others.  They are slowing it down, halting its progression, and in some cases reversing it.  All of these are preferable to the present course of this disease.  Learn about what they did and follow their lead in what makes sense to you.

This article is advisory for the reasons given.  Everyone should do their own research to verify or refute and make their own decisions about whether they think it is helpful or not.

Read More......

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Getting started on the anti-pathogen approach to ALS

The cluster data from Guam on ALS shows the disease is linked to toxic cyanobacteria.  Mounting other evidence links the disease to viral response.  Additionally, there are links to fungal infections where they don't belong with ALS.  Even Lyme disease has strong links with ALS.

Both the cyanobacteria and Lyme disease play out with the same kind progressive loss of motor function it leaves the question as to whether the high levels of viral and fungal infections found in ALS patients are also producing toxins that follow the same disease pathway.  Additionally, it is known with ALS that the immune system appears to working overtime.

So, given these common links in ALS patients, it makes sense to fight back against this disease with an anti-pathogen approach, help the immune system that is working overtime to fight back.  This is the approach my sister has taken to fighting ALS and in 4 weeks she noticed feeling at the back of her mouth and in 8 weeks she was able to clear food from the top of her mouth with her tongue for the first time in 8 months.

Alternate energy

By the time ALS symptoms show up mitochondria and ATP production is damaged, so the first life extending move is to secure alternate energy through ketosis, which is oil metabolism.  Coconut oil has medium chain triglycerides that are also anti-bacterial making them an idea source of alternate energy that also help to fight pathogens.  Coconut oil sometimes requires time to adjust to consuming it.  Start with just a teaspoon.  If there is intestinal distress, wait until the next day to consume more, other wise have a teaspoon at each meal.  It may only take 2-3 days to work up to 3-6 tablespoons per day, and it may take up to two weeks for the body to adjust.

Coconut oil is also good to rub into skin to help with muscle cramping and spasms and the MCT are also absorbed through the skin.

Reduce inflammation

Processed and refined oils are inflammatory so they need to be avoided.  Processed foods tend to be inflammatory, so they need to be avoided.  Inflammation in the gut is linked to poor nutrient absorption and this is an extremely serious problem with ALS.

Glutamate toxicity

Glutamate is involved in the process that leads to neuron death.  The body releases glutamate as a protective mechanism to keep neurons firing, however, food additives have increase the concentration of glutamate in the blood to the range to 20-50 times of what we evolved with.  The blood brain barrier offers considerable protection in controlling all of this excess glutamate from reaching the brain, however, once the brain is diseased or injured, the blood brain barrier fails to regulate glutamate and over excitation of neurons is believed to be a mechanism in neuron death.  Glutamate and other compounds that over excite neurons to the point of death are called excitotoxins.  With ALS excitotoxins are about 100 times more damaging than when the blood brain barrier was doing its job.  Excitotoxins are found in almost all store bought dressings and salad dressing, HP sauce, barbecue sauce, etc., low fat foods, and most processed foods.  Excitotoxins need to be removed from the diet.

Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal foods and herbs

Ginger is has anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties, but it is also anti-inflammatory, which is extremely good for the digestive track.  ALS patients have huge problems with inflammation in the digestive track, which is related to poor absorption of nutrients.  Have a piece of ginger the size of your thumb twice per day.  It can go into a smoothie, or it can be grated and served with half of a fresh squeezed lemon in water.

Turmeric has anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It can be used as seasoning for vegetables or added to salad dressing or get the actual turmeric root and add some to a smoothie, but first time users be aware that it stains.

Garlic is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and rich in selenium, which is important for liver function.  Garlic can be crushed into homemade salad dressing, with 1 tbs cold pressed olive oil, 1 tbs cold pressed flax seed oil and apple cider vinegar.  Use herbs like parsley and rosemary to further up your food choices with healing properties.  Healing properties are lost with cooking.  It can also be mixed in hummus.

Other foods/herbs with healing properties to choose from:

  • onions
  • cabbage
  • rosemary
  • cilantro (extremely good for liver as well)
  • cloves
  • cinnamon
  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • sage
  • thyme
Usnea is a very powerful herb and is made into a tincture for use.  It has strong anti-microbe and anti-inflammatory properties.  It has precautions for the liver if taken orally.  My sister takes it orally despite the liver concerns.  She was told to take 1 ml 3 times per day but she takes 1/2 ml 2x per day.

Raw honey is anti-bacterial as well, but sugars should be avoided as much as possible.  Never heat the raw honey or the anti-bacterial properties are destroyed.  Use raw honey sparingly if sweetening is needed but try and limit to no more than a tablespoon per day.

Balance Omega 6:3 Ratio

Eliminate all refined oils, soybean, corn, canola, sunflower, safflower and especially cottonseed oil.  Eliminating these oils goes a long way towards balancing your omega 6:3 ratio.  Mixing equal amounts of olive oil with flax seed oil keeps these oils relatively balanced.  Add a supplement of krill oil to up the omega 3 oils and they are balanced.

Supplements


Magnesium is involved in thousands of processes in the body and a deficiency starts to show up with muscle cramping.  The ReMag pico magnesium is absorbed the best.

Probiotics are essential at every meal.  The gut if full of bacteria and you want to constantly encourage and protect the growth of good bacteria in your gut.  The anti-microbe foods and herbs can also reduce the population of good microbes, so they need to be replaced and over crowd the bad microbes.  Fermented foods contain large amounts of probiotics, but you can kill off bad pathogens too fast and they release toxins as they are killed off.  Fermented foods can be added after a couple weeks of taking probiotics.  Fermented foods include things like live culture sourkraut or kefir.

GABA has a calming effect in the brain and foods that are good precursors for GABA include cabbage, raw spinach, kale, parsley, beans, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, and wild salmon.  Eating precursor foods ensures a continuous supply of GABA.

There are many recommendations for vitamins, D3, C, E, B complex.  There is also a very good write up on an approach to ALS that lists the "pile of pills."  These need to be evaluated on an individual basis.

Eat According to the Wahls Protocol

Dr Terry Wahls was fully in a wheel chair for MS and she reversed her MS to become an active person again through the diet she developed by looking at the what the mitochondria need to work properly.  With ALS the mitochondria are very broken, so the diet has the proper nutrition to fix the mitochondria.

Summary

  1. Consume 3-6 tablespoons of coconut oil per day.  Avoid all processed oils.
  2. Remove MSG and hidden forms of MSG.
  3. Have thumb sized piece of ginger 2x per day.
  4. Have 750 mg of turmeric per day.
  5. Have garlic 1-3 cloves of garlic 2x per day.
  6. Take usnea 2x per day (liver precaution)
  7. Avoid sugars and processed foods.
  8. Take 500 mg Krill oil/day
  9. Take 500 mg of Magnesium 2x per day, or 1 tsp 2x day of ReMag
  10. Take probiotics with every meal
  11. GABA 250 mg 2x/day
  12. Take vitamins, 5000 IU vitamin D3
  13. 1000 mg Vitamin C
  14. 1000 mg Vitamin E
  15. Take B vitamins
  16. Watch "Minding your Mitochondria," for an overview of how to eat.

For the next step, in order to get doctors to assist you, you need to work on a complete medical history.

Read More......

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Adaptogens - Stress Reducers

Adaptogens help stress, are immune-stimulating and increase a sense of well-being.  In Russia the study of adaptogens is a field of biomedical research.  Adaptogens for improving immune response are astragalus, echinacea, ashwagandha and milk thistle, which is also good for the liver.

Medicine Hunter describes adaptogens as non-toxic with broad uses for health that reduce stress.  Other adaptogens described are eleuthero, holy basil, maca, panax ginseng, rhodiola rosea and schisandra.

Adaptogens have been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. http://www.drfranklipman.com/adaptogens-natures-miracle-anti-stress-and-fatigue-fighters/

http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Adaptogenic_Herbs.shtml

Ashwagandha has claim to a very wide range of health benefits, including:

  • immunity
  • aphrodisiac
  • adaptogen
  • for insomnia
  • heart health
  • stress reliever
  • regeneration of axons and dendrites of nerve cells
  • anxiety
  • antioxidants
  • anti-inflammatory
  • cancer inhibitation
  • antibacterial and antifungal
  • blood sugar regulation
  • food poisoning protection
  • strength and vigor
  • fight aging
  • heals wounds
  • treats dry skin
  • reduces cortisol
  • stimulates collagen
  • can be used as skin toner
  • fights inflammation of the skin
  • promotes hair health
  • prevents premature greying
  • activates hair follicles
It has been found to be useful for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and things that help those disease are also more likely to be helpful for ALS.

Heating releases more of its healing power so having it as a tea is better than as a smoothie.

Read More......

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Magnesium and Muscles

Throughout my life since 1988 when I had my first incident of kidney disease I have recommended magnesium to anyone complaining of muscle cramps.

What happened to me was I needed a kidney biopsy and for some reason I had a huge lock down of neck muscles that were cramping to the point that they caused me huge pain and would not relax.  My doctor recommended taking Robaxisal.  This was just a few days after my biopsy.  I read the ingredients and I had my concerns about the aspirin, which I knew to be a prostiglandin from university human biology.  That meant that it would prevent platelets from clotting.  I had my concerns, as with a kidney biopsy they rely on your body's ability to clot to stop the bleeding from the biopsy.  I also knew, from human biology, that my kidneys received 20% of my blood flow, so when they told me not to move much in my hospital bed for 24 hours after my biopsy, I diligently obeyed.  So, here's my doctor telling me to take something that can cause bleeding for strong muscle cramping, but he's a doctor so he knows what he's doing, right?

Well, long story shortened, Roboxisal caused me an extra week of huge extra pain from my biopsy and when I specifically asked my doctor about bleeding and Roboxisal and questioned why not the Roboxacet which had acetaminophen instead of aspirin, he immediately said to stop the first and said to take the latter.  At the end of two weeks, still taking the Roboxacet, I still had no relief from the muscles cramps and the doctor was going on to giving me more drugs.

I didn't take more drugs.  Somewhere in this process I remembered my human biology course yet again and I remembered our lab where we tested muscle fibers and saw that without minerals, magnesium being an important one, the muscle fibers remained tight and locked.  With the minerals we could manipulate the muscle tissue and relax it.  I purchased magnesium instead of getting a prescription filled and my muscle cramps felt better in a day or two.  Since then, I have always turned to magnesium for muscle cramps and suggested it to others when they mention cramps, and it is probably where the holistic side of me was born, and also my belief that sometimes we know more than our doctors and that we still need to carefully consider what they tell us to do.

So, with ALS there is muscle cramping and locking up and it is obviously painful.

To learn more about magnesium, I purchased "The Magnesium Miracle" by Carolyn Dean and it is recommended reading for everyone, actually.  Magnesium deficiency is a huge problem population wide, but it is especially a problem with ALS.

According to Dr Dean magnesium has these roles and my comments are in red:

  1. Catalyzing most chemical reactions in the body.
  2. Producing and transporting energy (My read of the ALS literature, this is a problem with ALS and part of what is causing the death of the nerve cells)
  3. Synthesizing protein (Has anyone heard of muscle wasting with ALS?)
  4. Transmitting nerve signals (And what about this problem with ALS?  Anyone having problems controlling their muscles?)
  5. Relaxing muscles (Anyone with ALS have locked muscles?)
Ok, so what can we see here?  Magnesium has a role in so many of the issues with ALS.  Is it a cure?  No idea, but for sure people with ALS are having problems in all of the areas that require magnesium.

Dr Dean lists 14 functions of magnesium:
  1. Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzyme ATP (adenosine triphospate).  With ALS your body has impaired ATP production and this is related to neuron death.  The Wahl's protocol is a diet designed to heal mitochondria.
  2. Magnesium is an important membrane stabilizing agent.  The nerves cells in ALS are not stable.
  3. Magnesium is required for the structural integrity of numerous body proteins.
  4. Magnesium is required for the structural integrity of nucleic acids.
  5. Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzyme guanosine triphosphate (GTP).
  6. Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzyme phospholipase C (PLC).
  7. Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzyme adenylate cyclase.
  8. Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzyme guanylate cyclase.
  9. Magnesium is a required cofactor for the activity of hundreds of enzymes ... estimate 700-800.
  10. Magnesium is a direct regulator of ion channels, most notably of the other key electrolytes, calcium, sodium and potassium.  There is something seriously wrong with channels with ALS.  I don't understand it right now, but that there is a problem is enough for me to take it seriously.
  11. Magnesium is an important intracellular signaling molecule itself.
  12. Magnesium is a modulator of oxidative phosphorylation.
  13. Magnesium is intimately involved in nerve conduction.
  14. Magnesium is intimately involved in muscle function.
She has a list of 56 conditions associated with magnesium deficiency, several of which are problems that ALS patients also have.  She encourages people to get a RBC test and says that usually when people say they are taking it and still have problems, they aren't taking enough.

What she specifically says about magnesium testing is that the magnesium RBC test is more accurate than the serum magnesium test and that you can get these tests from www.RequestATest.com or www.DirectLabs.com if your doctor won't order it for you.  She says you want your range to be between 6.0-6.5 mg/dL which is the higher end of the normal range.  The low end of "normal" is a full 1/3rd lower.

She says to not take magnesium the day of your test.  Repeat, do not take magnesium the day of your test.

If your test results come back with the units mmol/L, multiply by 2.433 to convert to mg/dL.

She says you want to get tested to have a baseline and then get tested every 3-4 months and that it can take up to a year to correct a magnesium deficiency.

You need your doctor to be looking at and helping you to monitor magnesium supplementation.  There are 4 areas that can be a problem with magnesium therapy according to Dr Dean:
  1. Kidney failure.
  2. Myasthenia gravis - hugely serious and potentially a massive problem with ALS, especially if there are already respiratory problems.  What she says, "Intravenous administration could accentuate muscle relaxation and collapse the respiratory muscles." So, work with a doctor.
  3. Excessively slow heart rate.
  4. Bowel obstruction.  
What she says about magnesium supplements is that for the average person oral magnesium, even in high doses, has no side effects except loose stools, which is a mechanism to release excess magnesium.  From my understanding, what you are doing by taking excess magnesium is giving the body a chance to build up its stores of magnesium, and that is a slow process.

And then, because we are considering ALS and what things do to the brain, Dr Blaylock, a neurosurgeon, recommends avoidance of magnesium aspartate because aspartic acid causes unwanted brain stimulation.

Half the magnesium in foods is absorbed, but only about 4% from supplements.  Dr Dean has a whole section devoted to figuring out the kind of magnesium and the dosage, and tables about this.  You can also check out what other ALS patients have done and why, but keep your doctor in the loop with what you are doing, but it might be better to seek out a doctor that is willing to treat you from a whole body holistic approach that helps you to sort out what it is you are putting into your body and what you are removing and why.  But, in terms of magnesium supplementation, Kim Cherry of alswinners.com describes his supplements, including magnesium.  Eric Edney, who survived ALS and died of old age gives his views on magnesium.

No post on magnesium would be complete without sourcing how to get magnesium from food, and your dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and swiss chard are you best choices.  Those choices are also very good for other nutritional problems with ALS, like helping your Glutothione system, which is your body's system for removing toxins.

It is important to understand that magnesium is not associated with lowering ALS risk, but rather, when we look at magnesium's role in the body, many of the problems associated with ALS are also linked to magnesium deficiencies. There are huge absorption issues with ALS, so it also makes sense that the body is struggling to get what it needs.

And, this post would not be complete without including a link to a site named for another one of my heroes, at The Linus Pauling Institute, and the write up on magnesium.

As this post did get into muscle cramps, holistic tips that others have shared on helping muscle cramps also include regular mustard, which has helpful ingredients, and then there is a holistic amish recipe, which also has ingredients with other healing properties.  And then there is rubbing the coconut oil onto muscles.

All articles are a work in progress and are advisory for the reasons given.  Everyone should do their own research to verify or refute and make their own decisions about whether they think it is helpful or not.

Read More......

Friday, April 24, 2015

Oils in Diet

Oils are calorie-dense and as such can rapidly increase the calorie content for any food. So which oils have properties that are helpful and properties that aren't helpful?  And then, what is helpful and what isn't?

Oils that cause inflammation are not helpful.  Inflammation is the body's natural response to help it heal, so what is the body healing from when we consume an oil that causes inflammation?  No idea, but if we are consuming oils that cause inflammation daily we can be putting the body into a chronically inflamed state.  If the gut is inflamed absorption of nutrients is affected and ALS patients have huge, huge, huge nutrient absorption issues.  The body's ability to get rid of toxins through the liver is compromised, and toxic overload in the liver compromises mitochondria function and in ALS there's a problem with the mitochondria.

This article, http://authoritynutrition.com/6-reasons-why-vegetable-oils-are-toxic/, gives 6 reasons to not consume processed seed oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, and safflower oil, and inflammation is one of them.  The six reasons are: 1) unnatural in large amounts, 2) mess up fatty acid composition of the body, 3) inflammation, 4) loaded with trans fat, 5) increased risk of cardivascular disease, 6) associated with other diseases.

The omega 6/omega 3 ratio is also affected by oil choices.  The importance of the omega6/omega 3 ratio, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909, can not be understated.  ALS is an autoimmune disease and a high ratio helps to promote autoimmune diseases.  Inflammation compromises nutrient absorption, and there is inflammation with a high omega 6/omega 3 ratio.  An omega6/omega3 ratio of 2/1 or 3/1 suppresses inflammation.  Dig deeper, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835780/, and you can find that inflammation is also associated with protein catabolism, which is muscle tissue breakdown, another huge problem with ALS.

Coconut oil has a high concentration of medium-chain triglycerides.  With ALS, the mitochondria are not working properly and are not properly delivering energy to the cells, a part of the process that is leading to cell death.  These medium-length triglycerides provide energy that cells can use through the ketosis process.  Coconut oil also has other benefits (http://www.antiaginganswers.net/healthyfats.html):

Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acide. Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the muman or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including Listeria monocytogenes and Heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as Giaradia lambia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid.

Immunity boosting is an added benefit of coconut oil.

Olive oil's omega 6/omega3 ratio is an unfavourable 13:1, but it actually has anti-inflammatory properties because of other components in it. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443487.  You need both kinds of fatty acids, it is just the more 6s you have the more 3s you need to balance them.

Oils to avoid - omega 6:3
  • soybean oil  - 6:1 
  • sunflower oil - no omega 3
  • corn oil - no omega 3
  • canola oil - 2.5:1
  • cottonseed oil - no omega 3
  • safflower oil - no omega 3
Oils to consider
  • coconut oil - no omega 3
  • flaxseed oil - 0.3:1
  • olive oil - 13:1
Walnuts are the highest omega 3 nut, and krill is the best source of omega 3.

All articles are a work in progress and are advisory for the reasons given.  Everyone should do their own research to verify or refute and make their own decisions about whether they think it is helpful or not.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Glutathione System

Glutathione is your body's strongest anti-oxidant.  It is also your strongest detoxification molecule and your protein repair.  It is very import to protect your proteins from oxidative attack.

There are 3 phases to the human detoxification system:

  1. activation
  2. conjugation
  3. transport
Transport has only recently been understood.  These are active transporters that discard the toxin that was changed through the activation and conjugation process.

Glutathione S-transferases have low expression in people with high methylmercury and sensitive to ethylmercury, compromising the ability to remove the toxin metals from the body.

All of your toxin leave the body through the same "door."  So, if your "doors" aren't working properly the body holds onto mercury, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, pcps, etc., and a huge toxin problem.

The biggest reason the transport system breaks down is inflammation, especially in the gut.

Some ways the system breaks:


  • Not enough glutathione (can't make it or don't eat of it)
  • A methylation disfunction
  • Environmental exposures that cause oxidative consumption (use it up faster that you restore it)
  • Environmental inflammation which turns down your synthesis
Genetic disorders can cause increased anemia, cognitive impairment, bladder cancer.  Genetics determine why some people are very debilitated by mercury and some people aren't.

Challenge Tests for measuring body burden for exposure to mercury do not really do that.

Liver is so important, it is worth the time to watch the 3 hours of videos in this post on how to detoxify for mercury.  The pathways to detoxifying are the same for biological toxins.


Food sources of glutathione says:

Milk thistle is an excellent source of the antioxidant compound silymarin. Silyarmin helps to prevent the depletion of glutathione in the liver. Glutathione is necessary for the liver to detoxify harmful substances. If the liver is damaged, glutathione concentrations are substantially reduced. In turn, the liver becomes more susceptible to further damage, making glutathione a vital element in the health of the liver. Cumin also has the ability to increase glutathione tissue levels. Cumin acts as a binding agent, elevating glutamate-cysteine complexes during gene expression.
Processing and cooking fruits and vegetables destroys glutathione.  The best sources are asparagus, potatoes, peppers, carrots, onion, broccoli, avocados, squash, spinach, garlic, tomatoes, grapefruit, apples, oranges, peaches bananas and melon.
Selenium is an important co-factor for the enzyme form of glutathione. Cereals, oats, Brazil nuts, walnuts, legumes, tuna, beef, poultry, cheese, eggs will help promote the production of glutathione.

Alpha lipoic acid, or ALA, promotes the synthesis of glutathione. Foods rich in alpha lipoic acid include: spinach, tomatoes, peas, Brussels sprouts, rice bran and mayonnaise. Eating these foods increases the bioavailability of this important antioxidant.


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Look after your spirit to promote healing

Stress and anxiety redirect the body's focus to the fight for flight response.  This is taking blood flow, and its healing and restorative power, away from mending the body.  It is also releases the stress hormones, which over time are damaging, and even more damaging when the body needs healing.

So, emotional hygiene is important.  Guy winch has a great Ted Talk on looking after your emotional hygiene. This doesn't so much teach you how to look after it, but show how it can affect us.

Then there are a ton resources out there.  The latest one I've seen is Reiki, which I am going to learn about, as it came with a recommendation from a highly trusted friend.  She's always led me to a better path.

Philosopher's notes are audio summaries by Brian Johnson the greatest wellness and success books ever written.  He goes back to Tao something like 1000 years ago, to modern day writers, like Martin Seligman.  The ones you purchase are about 20-25 minute summaries of books, but he also has one hundred 3 minute summaries which can give quick bites of positive living.  I purchase the longer summaries and I haven't purchased any book yet, but the summaries certainly help you to figure out which books you'd like to spend more time with.

And then there is Hay House.  Louise Hay is huge on how to protect your thoughts and improve the quality of your life.  I attended a Hay House conference in Denver about a year ago, after listening to a series in 2014 called "Start the new you."  They put together a complete package on wellness - mind, body, spirit - although not all of it fits everyone's beliefs or comfort zone, so you just take what you need from it.  I really like Kris Carr and I think she is a good one for anyone dealing with disease.  She was diagnosed 10 years ago with a rare stage 4 cancer and she has great advice on how to manage illness positively, and since her cancer didn't have a treatment, food has been her medicine.

And then I'm always looking and just found "The Science of Happiness," which I will be reviewing.


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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Diet Books for ALS

Terry Wahls reversed her MS through diet and she adapted her diet especially for mitochondria, which are implicated all over the place in ALS, so the Wahl's Protocol is a good dietary plan to follow.  The quick and fast start is watch her Ted Talk, "Minding your mitochondria," as she outlines the essentials of her diet plan.

Kim Cherry recommended "The Better Brain book" and if you check out his story, he's done incredibly well in his battle with this disease and seems to have reversed the degree the disease had progressed.

Gut issues keep showing up so "Meals that Heal," give great recipes to help fix gut issues, and "Grain brain" is also going to help fix gut and brain issues.

Familiarize yourself with excitotoxins and eliminate them.  They are doing 100 times more damage to an injured brain than a healthy one.  My previous two posts have information on excitotoxins.  With an injured brain excitotoxins are able to cross the blood brain barrier easier because these body defenses are damaged.




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Viral response problem in ALS - holistic whole body approach

This study, Mount Sinai Researchers establish link between ALS and the body's response to viral infection, is showing a faulty response to a viral infection which they say:


Findings from this new research study indicate that specific genetic alterations make senataxin less capable of moderating the inflammatory response to particular pathogens, which can lead to persistent inflammation and disease progression.
This is fitting with my theory of the disease, which is that it is a pathogen that sets it off.

So, a holistic whole body approach would need to include a diet that does the following:

Heals mitochondria
Detoxifies the liver
Contains foods with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
Reduces inflammation

At the same time, excitotoxins need to be removed from the diet. When the brain is injured it is 100 times more sensitive to excitotoxins, so it is especially important to remove excitotoxins.  Foods with excitotoxins include:
  • Glutamic Acid
  • MSG
  • Anything glutmate (Monopotassium glutamate, magnesium diglutamate, etc)
  • Hydrolyzed anything, (Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, etc)
  • Vegetable protein
  • Textured protein
  • Plant protein
  • Autolyzed anything (Autolyzed plant protein, autolyzed yeast extract, etc)
  • Yeast extract
  • Malt extract
  • Soy Sauce Extract
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Caseinate
  • Carrageenan
  • Aspartame
  • Sodium Cyclamate
  • Nutrasweet
  • Broth
  • Stock
Exceptionally high excitotoxin foods are:
  • gravies, salad dressings (especially diet)
  • soups (Campbell's is the worst)
  • diet foods and drinks
  • liquid amino acid preparations 

Then there are supplements to help.

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Excitotoxicity

This is a great talk about your brain, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTSvlGniHok

This is a great summary of this information.

This 2004 article has advice on defending against excitotoxins, although I seriously question the amino acid suggestion.

At the same time, excitotoxins need to be removed from the diet. When the brain is injured it is 100 times more sensitive to excitotoxins, so it is especially important to remove excitotoxins.  Foods with excitotoxins include:
  • Glutamic Acid
  • MSG
  • Anything glutmate (Monopotassium glutamate, magnesium diglutamate, etc)
  • Hydrolyzed anything, (Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, etc)
  • Vegetable protein
  • Textured protein
  • Plant protein
  • Autolyzed anything (Autolyzed plant protein, autolyzed yeast extract, etc)
  • Yeast extract
  • Malt extract
  • Soy Sauce Extract
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Caseinate
  • Carrageenan
  • Aspartame
  • Sodium Cyclamate
  • Nutrasweet
  • Broth
  • Stock
Exceptionally high excitotoxin foods are:
  • gravies, salad dressings (especially diet)
  • soups (Campbell's is the worst)
  • diet foods and drinks
  • liquid amino acid preparations 

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Neurologists need to read this

The medical profession has not been healers when it comes to ALS.  Indeed, they tell people there is nothing they can do that they are going to die in 2-5 years.

I love this doctor's story and in particular his statement:

Inspired by Mike Sabin and with Bernardo in my mind, I realized it makes no sense to resign ourselves just because we are told nothing can be done. What goes on in our brain is still in the shadow of scientific knowledge. António Damásio and any neuroscience researcher will say the very same thing. Therefore, we do not have to sit idly and accept the prognosis associated with ALS without a fight, regardless of whatever medicine or any other branch of science reports.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

What about this?

What about beta-lactam antibiotics?


Earlier Packard research showed that overexpression of glutamate transporters in mouse models delays onset of symptoms and extends life. More recent Center-assisted studies showed that beta-lactam antibiotics – they boost transporter numbers – also delays disease onset, slows its progression and prolongs life.

Another paper talked about calcium:


"There is a fair amount of evidence that calcium homeostasis is altered in ALS, more speciifically 75% in sALS but not FALS, and that low levels of the calcium binding proteins parvalbumin and calbindin-D28K contribute to selective vulnerability by decreasing the ability of motor neurons to handle an increased calcium load, with cell injury and death as the consequence."

Threonine is good for collagen, elastin and muscle tissue and a study showed upping some amino acids can help with some of the problems.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

What about the winners?

There are people out there that say they have cured, slowed down, and/or reversed some of their ALS.  So, time to have a look.

Kim Cherry tells his story of how he reversed his ALS.  He had/has the bulbar ALS.  This is where he says his first break in the disease came,

Doctor Jared Nielsen specializes in neurological issues, and had really helped a niece’s husband after a severe head injury. Doctor Nielsen determined I had a gluten sensitivity, mercury poisoning, and some issues with fungus. He recommended a protocol that included a gluten free diet, and supplements.  Much of the protocol included in the theories of Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist out of Florida.
He did not immediately notice a benefit, but was noticing improvements roughly 6 weeks later.

I looked at the site further and found a checklist of where to start, http://www.alswinners.com/start-up-check-list.html.

Then there is the supplement list.  Kim Cherry's story is worth following and learning about.

Then there is Eric Edney who developed the simple strategy of where Cherry started:

Step1:  Stop the progression of the disease by eliminating toxins and clearing toxins from the body, and
Step 2: Restore the body through proper nutrition and exercise.

Eric's plan is here.

Cherry feels that he got better results with his program which also included oxygen therapy.  The oxygen therapy is something I am not familiar with.  Cherry believed in the therapy enough to invest $25k in it.  His results are impressive.

I love this guy's story, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh8k32VsxLA

And there there is Steven Shackel and he has been putting together information for years.

And then Dr Craig Oster graduated from hospice in 2008 and he's been rebuilding muscle and strength.  He has an incredible team of advisers on his site.

Others are listed in the healing chronicles.

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