Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Diet, Genetics and Alzheimers - Can Heredity Be Controlled?

We all know what it's like dealing with someone whose brain is not ticking over well.  The experience  becomes a true and painful reality check when that person is your own mother or father, and you can't help wondering how long before this thing nails you, too.

The whole issue of causation in dementia and Alzheimers has been much on my mind of late.  Including that big million dollar question - are the dementia diseases genetic or dietary in origin?  Is this all down to the genes or does diet have a role to play here?

I've looked at my mother's family - she had an aunt who used to wander off down the street and get lost, a father with gout, a younger sister with rheumatoid arthritis  - and I've thought, "What hope is there for me?"

As I research and read it becomes more and more clear though that while genetics may provide a predisposition towards certain illnesses, diet has the major role to play.  So take courage, caregivers, and prepare to fight back!

There is hope - if you know the causative factors, and are prepared to do whatever it takes to deal with them.  A recent article on Dr Mercola's website confirmed a big question-mark that's been flashing in my brain recently.  Read on!

Dr Mercola has just reported that recent research has been showing an overlap between the psychological and behavioral symptoms of ADHD and those of coeliac disease. On top of that is a new study which found people with ADHD who tested positive for celiac disease improved significantly after following a gluten-free diet for at least six months.

He states:

It may sound strange to you that eating a grain that wreaks havoc on your gut would manifest as symptoms related to your brain, rather than your digestion, but grains are inherently pro-inflammatory and will worsen any condition that has chronic inflammation at its root -- and not just inflammation in your gut, but anywhere in your body. Chronic inflammation in your body can wreak havoc in your brain, and the importance of reducing inflammation when dealing with mental health issues is well known. It is very common for people to experience a wide variety of mental health and emotional improvements upon eliminating gluten from their diet.

Now, if there's one thing dementia, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimers have in common, it's the "inflammatory" factor.   Light begins to dawn ...

More next time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Digestive Difficulties

Digestive difficulties often beset the elderly, so I'm taking the liberty of flagging a post I've just put up on one of my other blogs at Heal Your Food.

I've found a website I didn't know about before with some great information and guidance about the causes and progress of the slowly weakening digestive system that people often fall prey to once they reach middle age.

There is some excellent information on this site, and if you have a problem in the digestive department, I strongly suggest you visit this page, read the info and watch the videos:
Surprising Symptoms of Poor Digestion  by Dr John Douillard.

Knowledge is power!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Would Dr Mercola Cite Wool?

Here's the final conclusion in Dr Mercola's The Mattress That Plays Havoc With Your Hormones article that I referred to in my Heal Your Home post a couple of days ago.  It reads as follows:
You spend from six to nine hours every night with your face in close proximity to your mattress, breathing in these chemicals. Your children spend even longer sleeping, with their faces even closer to the mattress surface. And if your children jump on the bed, or you bounce on your mattress, even more of these toxins can be released into the air. For this reason, look for a chemical-free, organic or 100% wool mattress for your child.

As for the rest of the house, PBDEs are widespread in:

  • Carpets
  • Textiles
  • Polyurethane foam furnishings
  • Motor vehicles

They outgas into your home regularly and are commonly found in household dust, where they can be inhaled. Again, since they are persistent environmental pollutants, PBDEs are also found in various foods, including wild fish and the most "pure" food of all, breast milk.

And, being Dr Mercola, he gives us a REAL solution - "Look for a chemical-free, organic or 100% wool mattress for your child".  And I am going to add to that - any members of your family who are specially at risk, eg your elderly.  Plus make it your aim to get your whole family off sleeping on toxic mattresses as soon as possible.

So you ask, "Why wool?"

And you are probably thinking that living in New Zealand, 'OF COURSE' I would be in favor of wool.  Ha, there's a whole lot more to it than that. Here are a few reasons why Dr Mercola would have chosen wool:

  • Wool is 100% natural (provided no-one's 'improved' it by adding any man-made fibres, chemicals etc);
  • Wool resists fire - wool does not catch fire or burn readily;
  • Wool is the warmest fibre you can have close to you.  I'm a long-term high-country hiker, and I know from experience that the best thing you can have next to your skin in bad weather is 100% wool.  Even if it gets soaking wet in really cold conditions, wool will keep you warm.

Some people with sensitive skins may find wool next to the skin a bit 'scratchy' (usually due to an allergic condition NOT caused by the wool itself), but once it has been properly processed (as in 'chemical-free') and made into a mattress, you won't have the actual wool next to your skin anyway.

Do more than just think about it.

Take Control - and have a great day!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Plastic Hot-Water Jug Meets Its Match

Well, I got my stainless steel hot water jug this morning.  And I've used it to make a number of drinks and to heat water for cooking my dinner.  My usual drink is REALLY weak coffee, and I must say without a doubt the taste is different, and definitely better.  The young man who served me in the appliance store commented that he and his partner bought a jug the same as my new one because they decided they didn't like the plastic taste from the plastic jugs. WOW!  Nice to see young people who don't follow the herd.

I really can't say I was aware of a plastic taste before, but then our tastebuds get used to all sorts of things.  For sure the new taste is altogether milder and nicer.

What's Wrong With Plastic?

One of the reasons for my distrust of plastic when combined with heat and foods goes back to a family experience many years ago.  I was still at university, and my parents happened to be working quite close to each other, so they would meet and have lunch together.  My mother used to take along a flask of hot tea and some cups.

A little while after they started doing this, my father developed a very sore mouth.  It persisted for awhile and they tried a few things to get rid of it, but it wouldn't go away.  Then it dawned on them that the cups they were using at lunchtime were plastic.  My mother threw them out and got some cheap glass cups, and the mouth healed up a treat.

It will be good to see if I can identify any changes in myself as I continue using this jug. Plastic is of course made from petroleum and I've had a problem with petroleum and its fumes for years.  I prefer not to pump the gas myself when I visit a petrol station : it's another of the sensitivity issues arising from the systemic candida.  So who knows, I might have some interesting news to report from this experiment with toxins!

Petrol - A Female Hormone?

While on this topic, it's also worth noting that petroleum and petroleum products in general are estrogen-mimicking.  That is, they act in and on our bodies like the female hormone estrogen - not something desirable for anyone, man, woman or child.  If you doubt me on this, then do read Hormone-Mimics In Plastic Water Bottles Act As Functional Estrogens on "Science Daily".

Just one instance, and you can soon google up some more.

Take Control - and have a great day!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heal Your Home

For anyone taking care of a loved one, information that helps the patient and the carer is always of key importance.  Here's something that you should be aware of.

I got a very interesting email from Dr Mercola this morning that's going to send me out today on a mission I've had in mind for a few months but not yet got down to - searching out a new, non-plastic electric jug for my kitchen.  I don't like the association of heat, plastic and food, and the information that's just come to light has put some urgency on the sneaking feeling I've had for awhile that somehow I need to find an 'old-fashioned' metal electric hot water jug.

Toxins in Mattresses?

The article I'm talking about isn't just about electric jugs - there's a whole lot more to it than that, including your mattress - and your patient's mattress, for that matter.

It has now been estimated that 97% of Americans have significant levels of a toxic chemical group called PBDEs in their blood.   It can alter calcium signalling in the brain which affects learning and memory. It's found in 80% of 12 common household products, mattresses being one of the main ones.

With regard to elderly alzheimers patients, I think this information needs taking on board.  As people age, calcium levels in the blood tend to drop anyway.  With the involvement of calcium in learning, memory, cognition and sleep (not to mention fragile bones), this new information is well worth the carer's attention.  Could some cranky behaviors (as in kids) boil down at least in part to lack of alkalinizing calcium in the blood??

My old mattress suddenly starts to look more appealing!  At least it's not made of polyurethane foam... Go check out The Mattress That Plays Havoc With Your Hormones.  This isn't only for your patient - it's important for anyone with kids, or a pregnancy in  the family.  And ask yourself how often in a day you boil up that plastic jug and then ingest the contents.

Take Control - and have a great day!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Health Care System - A Caveat

My mom was 95 when she died. Thanks to a long-term family interest in alternative health care she was never on any serious medication, and I think that's part of the reason she lived so long.

Pharmaceutical drugs are fine for epidemics and emergency situations. We have much to be grateful for there. But we have lost sight of the fact that the human body was created to operate perfectly efficiently without intervention from the pharmaceutical industry.

Unfortunately, the Health Establishment has become the front man and trialling-ground for companies dedicated to pursuing the mighty $ by furthering the use of artificial chemicals in the bodies and everyday lives of as many human beings as possible.

If you doubt me, just think how many drugs, touted as "tested" and "safe" have been withdrawn and are now the subject of class-action lawsuits.

Be aware of this as you watch over the daily health of your patient. Be aware also, that the administration of one drug inevitably leads to the administration of further drugs to alleviate the side-effects of the first - and the second - and the third.

As a case in point, I strongly recommend you read my post called "Blood Pressure". This is something that concerns many people, especially as they get older. It is also the thin end of the wedge, as you will see if you read about it. I put this post also on my Health News Blog and have had some great feedback from it.

It's very much in your interest, if you don't have the knowledge already, to learn a bit about natural health and why we get sick, and I recommend you start your journey on my Health News Splash Page. Go ahead and read it - it won't ask you to put in your name and email address, still less try to sell you anything, and there's even more interesting stuff inside the site itself: some 'back to basics' information that's been all but forgotten lately.

The reason I'm pointing all this out is that you have a difficult enough road dealing with the vagaries of your patient's mental state and disposition, without being beleaguered by physical health issues as well. These health issues of old age are not unavoidable, they are not necessarily incurable, and you can do a lot to lighten your load if you follow some of the principles of naturally healthy living in caring for your patient.

It's not that hard, or expensive - as you'll see ...

Framed Art Prints and Posters @ Artflakes

Kunstdrucke, Leinwanddrucke, Gallery Prints und Poster von Patricia Howitt

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Carer Help

Because blogs are not that easy to navigate, I've decided to get together my thoughts on advice to help carers - not with issues like available help, legal issues and finances, all of which can be researched on the net. These aspects are state or country specific anyway, so everyone needs to do their own homework.

Having said that, I would recommend getting an enduring power of attorney in place as soon as possible - but that's something you need to talk to your lawyer about. Bear in mind that in my case by the time I felt I could do with it, my mom was past being able to make the legal decision.

In a way, it wasn't all that necessary for me because we already lived togther in the same home, so there was no need to sell real estate. Similarly, there were no investment issues to deal with. But it could be a very different story for you.

I have to say that it's not easy to raise with a loved parent the need for them to hand over to you the managment of their lives and possessions. Some people might find that simple to do - well, bully for them. I'm not ashamed to say that I didn't - one of the main reasons being the cold calculation required to tell someone you love that they are approaching death - because that's what it amounts to.

I shirked doing this, not because I couldn't face the truth myself, but because of the effect it would have on my mother's mindset. And that's not something that everyone may have thoughts of or even care about.

Think yourself lucky if the patient, while still compos mentis, initiates this step themselves. That's something to be grateful for. Otherwise, things can slip considerably before you realize what's going on. The guts of the matter is being aware well in advance of what's about to happen, and that's a rare gift, unless you've seen it all before, or read about it. Thank goodness Alzheimers is much more discussed these days than it was 10 years ago.

What I'm going to be looking at is some of the advice that most helped me in dealing with my mom's journey - some things I wish I'd known earlier, and things that gradually became clearer to me as time passed. 

Because I've always had a strong interest in alternative health care, most of the things I'm going to be talking about are ways to help your patient's health. I'm not a healthcare professional and I don't want to be seen to be advising people on health matters, but I WILL be offering some common-sense thoughts and suggestions to make a difference to YOUR day.

Stay tuned!

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