Archive for the ‘Dementia & Alzheimers’ Category

Let’s chat dementia!

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Side effects of Statins/Synthetic hormones/ Bisphosphonates / Proton Pump Inhibitors!

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Great article by Dr Christine Northrup about drugs she wouldn’t take.  I pretty much read through this and agree with every word!

Call us on 3348 6098 if you’d like support for side-effects with your medications…

 

In Western Medicine, drugs are created to treat symptoms as opposed to the root cause of the condition. If you only suppress your symptoms, instead of also addressing the cause, your body will often protest by developing so-called “side effects” to medication—or even by developing another dis-ease. This is how our bodies talk to us.

But, there is nothing “side” about these effects—they are the direct result of the drugs.

Many of the most popular drugs being prescribed for millions have significant side effects that just don’t outweigh the risks. There are three four drugs, which are frequently prescribed to women, that fall into this category—and which I personally would not take.

Statins for Heart Health

Statin drugs are prescribed to lower cholesterol. And the myth is that lowering cholesterol is the key to preventing heart disease. But the latest research has shown that things are far more complex than that. The truth is that statins deplete the body’s CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10)—a vital nutrient for producing energy in the cells.Of all the organs, the heart requires the most energy and CoQ10 to function properly. So why take a medication for heart health that depletes a vital nutrient shown to support the heart—as well as every cell in your body?

Low levels of CoQ10 have also been linked to depression and dementia, as well as muscle weakness, fatigue, pain, and nerve damage—all of which are also known side effects of statins.And because your body makes less CoQ10 as you age, taking any medication that lowers CoQ10 is not advisable. Further, fat—and fat in the form of cholesterol—has been vilified as the enemy of a health heart. Actually, sugar is the real culprit, not fat, because sugar causes inflammation. And this inflammation taxes the cardiovascular system and the entire body.

If you want to protect your heart, start by reducing inflammation. This means a healthy diet and supplements that are high in antioxidants. Taking vitamin E has been shown to keep blood platelets slippery (so fewer blood clots) and reduce inflammation.3

Heart health also has an emotional component. If you want to truly heal your heart—or protect it at midlife—you need courage to look closely at any source of emotional pain, and then heal this brokenness with compassion, faith in the Divine, and emotional release. You were meant to have an open heart—to give and receive love, and to live joyfully.

Bisphosphonates for Bone Loss

Your body is constantly renewing itself. Older or damaged cells are eliminated by the body, so that newer, healthier cells can take their place. Your bones go through this cycle, too. If you have decreased bone mass, that means that your body is breaking down bone faster than it is creating new bone.

The most popular treatment for lower bone density is a biphosphonate, such as Actonel, Boniva, or Fosomax. These medications prevent bone breakdown and therefore bone loss. Although this sounds like a good idea, these drugs interfere with the natural cycle of breakdown and restoration.4 The result is older, porous, brittle bone—and brittle bone means an increased likelihood of fractures.5

Bisphosphonates have significant side effects, too, including back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and constipation.6 And some women have suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw—death of bone tissue—a condition that is not treatable7 We’re also seeing atypical fractures of the femur that don’t heal! All because of dense bone that doesn’t remodel and allow in a good blood supply. Many dentists are also seeing an increasing need for root canal surgery because of these drugs.

About 50 percent of women prescribed a biphosphonate will stop treatment because of these side effects.

Even with these side effects, bisphosphonates may offer some benefit for women over 70 who already have osteoporosis. But I want you to protect your bones much earlier than that! And that means promoting bone health naturally.

Be sure to get plenty of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. (Studies suggest that to keep your vitamin D levels in the optimal range requires 5,000 IU/day!)

I also suggest eating an alkaline diet, getting plenty of weight-bearing exercise, and considering bioidentical hormones or plant hormones (phytoestrogens) that have estrogenic effects.

Premarin, Prempro, and All Other Synthetic Hormones

I’ve been talking about bioidentical hormones for nearly three decades. And it still surprises me when women — and doctors — don’t know the difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic ones.

Bioidentical hormones are created to be an exact match in molecular structure to a woman’s body. That is what makes them “bioidentical.”

In contrast, non-bioidentical (synthetic) estrogen, such as the estrogen in Premarin, is bioidentical only if your native food is hay. That’s because it is made from the urine of pregnant horses. Hence the name Pre (pregnant) Mar (mares) in (urine).

Progestin is a synthetic form of progesterone that is derived from bioidentical progesterone. The reason for this is that you can’t patent a bioidentical hormone that naturally occurs in nature. And so—to make progesterone marketable—it was changed into a compound not native to the female human body.

For about two decades, Premarin (just estrogen) and Prempro (Premarin plus Provera, a synthetic form of progesterone) were the gold standard for many doctors. And the one-pill-fits-all-women approach was the only option women were given. Then, in 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative Studies showed that women who supplemented with synthetic estrogen or Progestin had more incidences of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, and blood clots than those who were given a placebo. Once thought to confer heart health and other benefits, women suddenly became wary of these drugs. 9

The best approach for hormone therapy is one that is unique to you. Women can have their levels of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, and other hormones tested. Or simply pay attention to how you feel — which I find is a far more accurate way to assess hormone balance than testing your levels. The results (and how you feel) allow you and your doctor to customize a treatment plan that is right for you.

Start with the lowest dose possible and see how you do.

Better yet, change your diet to a low sugar, organic food approach. Add a natural herbal remedy such as Pueraria mirifica, maca, black cohosh, ground golden flaxseed, or chasteberry. And if that doesn’t work, then try the bioidenticals.

Remember that hormone therapy can take a few trials and errors. It’s a work in progress — just like you are at menopause.

You aren’t destined to wind up on various preventative medications. My mom is in her late 80s and she isn’t on any medication! Neither is my doctor friend Gladys who likes to say “93 and prescription free.” Before you take any medications regularly, make sure you are informed about all the risks and benefits. Does the drug cause nutritional deficiencies? Are you increasing your risk of cancer or heart disease? If so, seek out some alternatives that won’t put your health at risk.

One More Drug I Won’t Take — Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid

It is estimated that over 15 million Americans use proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, to treat heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or peptic ulcers. PPIs, including Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, are often prescribed as a first line of treatment because they reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces.

PPIs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world – and some of the most dangerous because most people have no idea how many vital roles stomach acid plays in our bodies. And the Catch-22 of these drugs is that when you stop taking them, the amount of acid your stomach releases surges, causing your symptoms to worsen.

Here’s why I won’t take PPIs:

  1. Increases Your Risk of Bacterial Overgrowth. Your stomach acid is what keeps harmful bacteria, such as H Pylori and many others, in check.
  2. Impairs Your Ability to Absorb Nutrients. You need stomach acid to absorb nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin B12, from food.
  3. Causes Magnesium Deficiency. With a calcium imbalance, some people experience magnesium deficiency along with leg cramps, and muscle weakness.
  4. Puts You at Risk for Osteoporosis. Some studies show that long-term PPI use can put you at risk for osteoporosis.
  5. Weakens Your Immune System. Your bowel wall contains nearly two-thirds of your body’s immune defenses. You need a healthy bowel with enough acid to keep harmful microorganism and toxins from reaching other organs in your body. If you constantly take PPIs, you are changing the ecology of your gut. This can ultimately affect your immunity, putting you at risk for diseases such as cancer and dementia.

My Tips for Eliminating Heartburn, GERD and Other Acid-related Problems

Making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, and eliminating food triggers, can go a long way towards healing acid-related problems.

Here are my 5 tips:

  1. Try an Elimination diet. Food triggers – such as gluten, corn, soy and others –may be the cause of your discomfort. Try eliminating suspected food triggers, as well as alcohol and caffeine, for 30 days.  Be sure to eliminate all forms of sugar! Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and high-quality protein sources. Also be sure to drink lots of fresh water. Add foods back one at a time to determine if a suspected food is the cause of your problem.
  2. Take a Hydrochloric Acid Supplement. Most acid-related symptoms are caused by too little acid, not too much. Try adding a hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplement. You can get these in health food stores. You can also try digestive enzymes. Look for a ph-balanced full spectrum formula such as Wobenzym. Finally, try adding a good-quality sea salt.
  3. Add a Probiotic. Probiotics can help restore your gut if you have been taking PPIs. Once your gut is restored, it will be able to destroy harmful bacteria, such as H Pylori.
  4. Get Off the Antacids: I also do not recommend long term use of antacids such as TUMS, Mylanta or Pepto–Bismol or H2 receptor blockers, such as Zantac, Pepcid, and Tagamet! If you need to take one, make sure it does not contain aluminium as these can cause constipation, and may reduce phosphate levels, which can result in fatigue and loss of appetite (not to mention that aluminium consumption may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.) Some antacids contain magnesium hydroxide, which can cause diarrhoea. Antacids made from calcium carbonate (like Tums) can cause acid rebound over time and may also contribute to kidney problems.
  5. Listen to Your Gut. Your gut health and your emotions so closely linked. Listen and learn what your gut is trying to tell you. Butterflies or nausea are often your inner wisdom speaking to you. Keep a journal of your symptoms to help you determine what factors may be associated with your symptoms. And remember, while no drug is 100 percent safe, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take one if you need it. But you should continually weigh the risks and benefits.

So, at New Leaf we can help with all this and more!

3348 6098

Biofilm, Infections & Chronic health problems

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

   Ew!!  Let’s talk yucky mucus!   This is a fungal ball – the result of anti-bitoics which allow fungus to grow, and then the body releases mucus to sop up the fungus.  Yuck!

Research is showing that biofilm (a mucus substance that is released to ‘sop up’ bacterial, fungal and viral particles) in the average person – with a normal history of vaccines and anti-biotic use, is holding up to 20 chronic infections in our bodies.  Why?

  • Anti-biotic use:  one dose of anti-biotics can destroy our gut lining, and our bacterial, viral and fungal combination in our gut for up to 7 years IF we haven’t done anything to repair the dose.  Because anti-biotics upset our gut lining, our body makes biofilm to help to soothe it, often containing the bug-particles that we’ve been killing off.  Anti-biotics are anti-bacterial – but they may allow candida, fungus, viruses or cancer cells to get out of hand…
  • Pain killers – yep!  Any medical pain killers are anti-inflammatory by nature (makes sense!) but did you know that the process of killing bad bacteria or viruses or fungus or candida or cancer cells is indeed inflammatory?  In other words, the more pain killers we take, the more chronic infections we can have lurking in our systems.  If you take pain-killers you must be on probiotics to balance your body

 

  • Vaccines – the ‘adjuvants’ in vaccines – the mercury and aluminium – are highly toxic to the gut lining and to our immune cells.  These heavy metals not only make our bodies need to make more biofilm, but they destroy good gut bacteria and good gut viruses and can turn them into nasty disease forming bugs.
  • We have 24,000 genes which will last our lifetime.  We have between 1000-2500 different types of bacteria, viruses, candida, fungal ‘bugs’ living in our bodies all the time (making up trillions of cells – this is our microbiome) – Bugs have a short shelf life – and as THEY replicate, THEY are learning how to live in OUR bodies.  If we’re stressed – they’re learning to live in a stressful environment.  If we’re toxic – they’re learning how to live in a toxic environment.

Where does the biofilm live in our bodies?

  • in our lungs (asthma), throat, sinuses (allergies), brain (it’s linked with dementia, autism, aspergers), heart (it’s linked with heart disease), abdominal cavity (linked to menstrual issues, gut issues and fertility issues), intestines (constipation, IBS, Crohns, diarrhoea), skin (acne, psoriasis, chronic skin issues)

What can we do about biofilm?

  • Kinesiology and Microcurrent helps your body to activate biofilm so that the immune system can recognise it and start dealing with it.
  • There are herbs, supplements and essential oils which help to break down biofilm and release old infections (so that we can deal with them) – favourite supplements at New Leaf are Bactrex, Parex, NasoClear, Herbal Throat Spray and N-acetyl cysteine.
  • Boost the immune system, tone the organs that have been damaged (lungs, gut, brain, throat, intestines), deal with the infections as they are released from deep inside and improve the way the body copes with stress.
  • Chi Nei Tsang and Reflexology can support the body in breaking down biofilm and boosting the immunity.

We can help.  Biofilm is linked to all chronic disease – not to mention kids health.

Ask about our OligoScan, Looking at your blood in real time… and Kinesiology testing.

3348 6098

Mitochondrial Disease

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

New Leaf Notes:

This is a great article about the challenges to do with Mitochondrial Disease.  Unlike the medical profession which looks for a ‘drug’ to correct a cellular imbalance we look at Mitochondrial Disease in the following way:

  • high levels nutrition
  • sensible nutrition based on science and what YOUR body can handle
  • detoxification of cell walls and mitochondria
  • enhancing stem cell production and telomere health
  • dealing with stress and pain symptomatically whilst correcting the underlying causes.
  • doing live blood screenings and bio-impedance screenings to see results / improvement / deterioration so that we can adjust our programme.  Generally inflammation improves, but detoxification can create minor side-effects in the short term

3348 6098

 

Struggle against disease

      By                       Michèle Jedlicka          

  • Andrew and Hilary Fuller frequently face the challenges presented by mitochondrial disease.Andrew and Hilary Fuller frequently face the challenges presented by mitochondrial disease.

This week heralds awareness of two debilitating health issues. Dementia Awareness week began yesterday and World Alzheimer’s Day is on Saturday.

It is also awareness week for a less well-known disease. Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week is a time where mitochondrial disease-related organisations from all around the world join forces to promote our joint cause- to find a cure for mitochondrial disease.

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Local resident Andrew Fuller, 72, was diagnosed with a mild form of MD about four years ago, the specialist pinpointing the cause to be the Statin medication he had been taking for his cholesterol. Blood tests profiled a rising item in the results.

Andrew’s wife Hilary said: “Nobody seemed to know what it was until he had a muscle biopsy and they said, ‘This is what it is you’ve got Mitochondrial disease. Mild mitochondrial myopathy.’

“He wakes every morning being sore; his muscles are sore, his forearms, his forearms, his legs. He says it’s a feeling, while there’s tingling with it…but the other part is that the feeling after you’ve had a cramp… an ache that’s left with you with that. Fatigue is the other thing.” Andrew finds he frequently has to rest after breakfast.

He often finds it painful to stand for any length of time, to walk any distance or climb up into tractor cabs.

“He was always a very mobile man,” said Hilary. “He used to play football until he was 60 … gone-so that part of his life has changed completely.”

Mitochondrial disease is a complex genetic mutation when mitochondria within body cells have a predisposition to fail early. Mitochondria are found in all cells except for red blood cells, and convert fuel from food into pure energy called ATP to power cell nuclei and so promote healthy cell function, be it a brain cell, a muscle cell or a nerve cell.

The Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, established in 2009, explains: “Since the high energy organs require so many mitochondria within their cells, they are usually the first to be affected in mitochondrial disease. These include the brain (using 20 per cent of our total energy), nerves, muscles, eyes, ears, heart, bowels, liver, kidney and pancreas.”

Symptoms range widely including dementia, chronic pain, stroke, abdominal and digestive malfunction, blindness or deafness, seizures, neuro-psychiatric disturbances and fatigue and exhaustion which are most common, to name a few.

There is no cure and few effective treatments. The principal rule is ‘energy balance equation’. As rest is mandatory for the mitochondria to ‘catch up’ with body function, Sunday, September 22 is “Stay in Bed Day’, a global event to support those who have to rest to stay on top of MD.

The AMD Foundation states: “Recent research demonstrates that mitochondrial mutations are present in at least one in 250 people and that at least one in 5000 will develop serious illness.” Many are children.

“The woman who’s the powerhouse behind the information phone help-line, has two children, both of which have got mitochondrial disease,” Hilary said. “And the girl has had a number of strokes as a result of her manifestation of the disease and now has dementia…she’s about 12 or 14.”

Dementia Awareness Week is the national flagship week for Alzheimer Australia’s community awareness activities each year. The theme this year is Brain Health: Making the Connections. This theme gives organisations and individuals an opportunity to get involved in promoting brain-healthy lifestyles, promoting early detection and raising awareness of dementia.

The Australian Department for Health and Ageing defines dementia as “an umbrella term describing a syndrome associated with more than 100 different diseases that are characterised by the impairment of brain functions. Although the type and severity of symptoms and their pattern of development varies with the type of dementia, it is usually of gradual onset, progressive in nature and irreversible.

“In 2011, there was an estimated 298,000 people living with dementia in Australia. Among Australians aged 65 and over, almost 1 in 10 (nine per cent) had dementia. And among those aged 85 and over, 3 in 10 (30 per cent) had dementia.

The term Younger Onset Dementia refers to people aged under 65 who are living with dementia. In 2011 there was an estimated 23,900 Australians living with younger onset dementia.

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“Dementia was the third leading cause of death in 2010, with 9003 deaths recorded across Australia. For people aged 65 and over, dementia was the second leading cause of burden of disease and the leading cause of disability burden.”

Why is Sugar, particularly Fructose, so bad for our Health?

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Sugar is driving every metabolic disorder that is killing humans:  heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, dementia.

In the 70’s when heart disease and diabetes was on the rise, we were told that fat was the villain.  Companies, governments, medical researchers all around the world jumped on this bandwagon and now ‘low fat’ products – muesli bars, yoghurts, milks, drinks, chips – were better for you – with the idea that if a food didn’t have fat in it, it couldn’t make you fat!

However, take the fat out of food and it tastes awful, so they had to replace it with something – sugar!  Eventually sugar became the essential additive.  Foods then became low in fats, high in sugar which is so much worse for our health.

Imagine these ‘health foods’:

  • 98% fat free yoghurt – you might as well is eat lollies or ice-cream!
  • Real egg mayonnaise – the low fat variety – has 6 x the sugar that the regular one has
  • low fat muesli bars – often contain 20-40% sugar
  • The Heart Society actually recommended (in the 80’s) that high fat foods be replaced by:  hard candy, gumdrops, sugar, syrup, honey, jam, jelly, marmalade – in order to ‘control the amount and kind of fat, saturated fatty acids and dietary cholesterol you eat’.  Even now, the tick of approval, seems to have nothing to do with health.

So, in the 70’s and 80’s sugar was recommended, instead of fat, to keep up healthy!

Now that 60-70% of Australia’s population are overweight and obese, it seems that the low-fat diet we’ve been following for 30 years hasn’t worked.  In naturopathic circles we’ve been working against this for decades, however that ‘tick of approval’ from the National Heart Foundation, is what so many people go by for their health.

  • Many cereals such as Cheerios & Milo Cereal have up to 30% sugar – endorsed by the National Heart Foundation
  • The National Heart Foundation claims that the tick is ‘simply to help consumers find healthier options’ – how is 30% sugar a healthier option?
  • In the U.S. there’s been a 7 x increase in sugar consumption in the past 40 years – tomato & barbeque sauces, processed foods, hamburger meats, hamburger buns  – just about anything with a ‘label’ has added sugar, or sugar alternatives such as aspartame, which are equally deadly to our health.

Since the agricultural revolution – when grains became a major part of our diet – our carbohydrate intake has slowly increased – but never more so than in the past 40 years.  This leads to a constantly high insulin levels, which messes with our metabolism, and allows us to lay down fat in our bodies.  In fact, insulin is the main hormone which causes fat deposition in the tissues.

The higher the insulin, the more likely you are to store fat.

Now, if it’s subcutaneous fat, the type that stores just in underneath the skin, that’s not so bad.  Visceral fat, however, is deposited around the gut, intestines, liver and other organs – is incredibly bad for us.  Visceral fat releases ‘pro-inflammatory hormones’ which cause inflammation elsewhere in the body:  causing diabetes and heart disease.  It is possible to be lean, and metabolically unhealthy.  Around 40% of ‘thin/normal weight’ people are metabolically unhealthy with abnormal levels of visceral fat and poor insulin metabolism.

Professor Michael Cowley, an Obesity Expert at Monash University says ‘you might as well eat sugar as many of the health foods’ available today.’

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate made of two molecules:  glucose and fructose.  This bond is cleaved in the gut, before it’s absorbed.  It’s been shown that glucose drives the fat storage just in underneath the skin, whereas fructose deposits fat around the organs, like the liver, causing fatty plaques.  When you have excess fat around the liver, it messes up fat and insulin metabolism and you end up with Insulin Resistance.  This is when the liver doesn’t work effectively, so the pancreas has to release excess insulin.

Insulin Resistance also causes hypertension, changes in the brain that might result in altered brain function, altered cognitive function and even dementia.  It can increase cell proliferation which can cause cancer, it can cause vascular smooth muscle proliferation which can cause heart disease.

Professor Robert Lustig, Paediatric Endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says that Sugar can also accelerate ageing:  if you had your fruit juice this morning, you are ageing 7 times faster!

When you ‘paint’ your BBQ meat with BBQ sauce, it browns the meat.  This ‘browning’ is happening inside your body as well.  It’s known as the ‘browning reaction’ and it causes cellular ageing.  The reason manufacturers add fructose is because is browns better, faster, quicker.  It’s why it’s added to bread (to brown the toast), sauces (to brown the meats) – it browns your insides better too!  If you had a glass of fruit juice this morning, you’re ageing 7 x quicker!

Fructose is mainly found in fruit, that’s why they call it fruit sugar.  Now, you might be thinking ‘how can it be bad for me – it’s fruit!’.  But if you had to have the entire amount of fruit that we would have used to make the juice, you would be so full you couldn’t eat the meal.  Juicing removed the fibrous pulp portion of the fruit – so you can take in a whole lot more calories without feeling as full, and it’s the fibrous pulp which balances the sugar/fructose portion of the fruit!

If you’re going to eat fruit, eat the whole fruit – because it’s the fibre that tames your insulin response to sugar.

Chronically high levels of fructose is not only toxic to your liver, it messes with the hormones that control appetite.  There’s a hormone in your stomach called ghrelin which controls your appetite – it’s the hunger hormone.  When your stomach is empty, the ghrelin goes up, tells your brain it’s time to eat.  Then you eat, and ghrelin levels go down, the hunger goes away.  When you eat sugar, fructose does not get registered by the brain as you having eaten, you stay hungry!

If you need support in finding out what you should (and shouldn’t) be eating – call us on 3348 6098 to make an appointment.  We find that many of our clients have issues with Insulin Resistance, dealing with Fructose, releasing ghrelin and so much more!

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098