Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Lou Gehrig’s Disease is also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a neuromuscular disease which is characterized by progressive muscle weakness, resulting in paralysis.
In the United States, it is more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s, being named after Henry Louis “Lou” Gehrig, an American baseball player who played for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons in the 1920s and 1930s, until his career was cut short after developing ALS.
The disease attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons, which control the movement on voluntary muscles, deteriorate and eventually die. When these motor neurons die, the brain can no longer initiate and control muscle movement because the muscles no longer receive the messages they need to function. As a result, they gradually weaken and deteriorate.
Approximately 14 cases of Lou Gehrig’s are diagnosed each day nationwide, and most of those who develop the disease are between 40 and 70 years of age.
The initial signs of Lou Gehrig’s or ALS can vary but they may include stiffness and increasing muscle weakness, especially in the hands and feet. Speech can eventually be affected, as is swallowing and breathing. The patient’s mind and senses remain unaffected. In around 25 per cent of cases, symptoms are described as bulbar onset, when speech may become slurred, nasal in character or quieter. Other symptoms may include a loss of tongue mobility. Over time, patients experience difficulty moving and/or tight or stiff muscles, as well as exaggerated reflexes, including an overactive gag reflex.
Around 15 to 45 per cent of patients experience pseudobulbar effect, also known as emotional liability, which consists of uncontrollable laughter, crying or smiling. To be diagnosed with ALS, patients must have both upper and lower motor neuron damage that cannot be attributed to other causes.
Where no family history of the disease is present – i.e., in around 95% of cases – there is no known cause for ALS. Potential causes for which there is inconclusive evidence includes head trauma, military service, and participation in contact sports. Many other potential causes, including chemical exposure, electromagnetic field exposure, occupation, physical trauma, and electric shock, have been investigated but without consistent findings.
There is a known hereditary factor in familial ALS (FALS), where the condition is known to run in families. Recently, a genetic abnormality known as a hexanucleotide repeat was found in a region called C9ORF72, which is associated with ALS combined with frontotemporal dementia ALS-FTD, and accounts for some 6% of cases of ALS among white Europeans.The high degree of mutations found in patients that appeared to have “sporadic” disease, i.e. without a family history, suggests that genetics may play a more significant role than previously thought and that environmental exposures may be less relevant.
A defect on chromosome 21 (coding for superoxide dismutase) is associated with approximately 20% of familial cases of ALS, or about 2% of ALS cases overall. This mutation is believed to be autosomal dominant, and has over a hundred different forms of mutation. The most common ALS-causing SOD1 mutation in North American patients is A4V, characterized by an exceptionally rapid progression from onset to death. The most common mutation found in Scandinavian countries, D90A, is more slowly progressive than typical ALS and patients with this form of the disease survive for an average of 11 years.
A healthy diet is especially important if you have ALS. At some point, the disease may affect your ability to swallow food and liquid safely.
Eat More of These:
Aim for five servings a day of colorful fruits and vegetables in order to get the recommended daily amounts of potassium, folate and antioxidants. Make half your grains whole, with foods like brown rice, whole-wheat bread and oatmeal, to provide B vitamins, selenium and fiber. Three daily servings of low-fat dairy products, like milk, cheese and yogurt, give you the calcium and vitamin D your body needs. Consume a variety of lean protein sources, such as beans, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, soy, nuts and seeds, to provide iron, zinc and amino acids. Healthy fats include unsaturated oils like canola, olive and walnut oil.
Eat Less of These:
Reduce your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg. If you are older that 51 years, or have kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. Saturated and trans fats increase your risk for clogged arteries and heart disease. Limit whole milk and fatty meats, and avoid processed foods that list partially hydrogenated oils on the nutrition facts panel. Decrease your intake of added sugars from ingredients like, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup and white sugar. Replace refined grains, such as white bread and pasta, with whole-wheat breads and pastas.
Modified Texture Diet:
ALS affects your swallowing muscles early in the course of the disease. You may need to use thickening agents in order to prevent aspiration of liquid into your lungs. Choose soft foods cut into small pieces that are easy to chew, such as bananas, moist meatballs or scrambled eggs. Avoid foods that have more than one consistency, such as thin soups with chunks of vegetables, or hot cereal with raisins. Instead, blend foods to one consistency using a blender or food processor. Moisten dry foods, like pancakes and biscuits, with syrup, juice, milk, broth or gravy.
You may need a feeding tube if you cannot safely eat enough food to meet your nutrition needs. Placing a feeding tube is a simple procedure if performed early in the disease. The tube will bypass the oral route of intake, allowing you to obtain important nutrients without chewing or swallowing. Commercially prepared, nutritionally complete liquid formulas provide carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. You may continue to eat regular food while you have a feeding tube, although you should maintain consistent follow-up with your doctor, dietitian and speech therapist to ensure safe oral intake.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef. The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey. Check out www.grasslandbeef.com.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals either by providing the extra electron needed to repair the molecule, or by breaking down the free radical molecule to render it harmless. According to the “Cochrane Database” reviewers, the antioxidant vitamins most frequently prescribed by doctors for ALS patients are vitamins C and E, as well as coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10. Although the antioxidant activity of these vitamins has not been proven to benefit ALS patients, vitamin E and CoQ10 have additional properties related to protecting motor neurons from damage that warrants further investigation.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E comes in two forms: tocopherols and tocotrienols. In a study published in the March 2001 issue of “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Motor Neuron Disorders,” researchers supplemented 228 ALS patients with either 500 mg tocopherols or placebo twice daily for one year. While the tocopherols had no effect on survival, they did slow down the disease’s progression. In research published in the December 2004 issue of the “Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences,” scientists reported that tocotrienols can protect motor neurons in the brain from toxic damage.
Coenzyme Q10: In addition to being a powerful free radical scavenger, CoQ10 can reduce cellular membrane damage, DNA damage and lipid peroxidation caused by oxidative stress. This panoply of benefits prompted researchers reporting in the August 2009 issue of the “Annals of Neurology” to test the nutrient for possible drug benefits. For nine months, 110 patients were randomized to receive 1,800 mg of CoQ10, 2,700 mg of CoQ10, or placebo every day. While the researchers concluded that results did not warrant CoQ10’s use for drug therapy, it did slow progression of the disease in both CoQ10 groups.
Calcium and Magnesium help stabilize excess aluminum and mercury found in ALS sufferers. Creatine has been shown to increase strength in people with some neuromuscular disorders.
The following are also recommended:
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications, but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a local practitioner here
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a local practitioner here.
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/recommends/
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters
Immune health NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf
Squeaky Clean (Colonic Irrigation) www.naturalcures.com/squeaky-clean
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com
Healing the body meditation www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFh-Km4AXeE&feature=related
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Nutrient-dense diet and Lou Gehrig’s: www.naturalnews.com/038144_Lou_Gehrigs_disease_nutrition_diet.html
Aspartame and Lou Gehrig’s link: www.naturalnews.com/035555_Russell_Blaylock_interview_excitotoxins.html
Further Information (links and books)
Don’t Buy Too Many Green Bananas Living with ALS: (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) by Delores M. Warner
Conquering Lou Gehrig’s Disease: The ALS Diet by Hannah Yoseph and James B. Yoseph
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – Aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – Organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – Meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – Herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – Reiki, Tai Chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – Aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic practitioner.