Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. It is symptomized by tremor, muscular rigidity and emaciation and used to be a malady of the aged. That’s not so anymore. The disease is afflicting younger and younger victims.

With the recent revelations from actor Michael J. Fox and US Attorney General Janet Reno, we have come to the shocking realization that Parkinson’s is striking young and old alike.

Ten years ago, at the young age of 56, Abe was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He had worked with industrial chemicals for many years and through a combination of ignorance and carelessness, his central nervous system was jeopardized. Eventually the trembling of his hands was diagnosed as Parkinsonism. Abe’s doctor recommended a full regimen of drugs in the hope that it would slow the progression of the disease. The drugs served only to accelerate the trauma of Parkinson’s.

Abe’s family had urged him to try natural medicine first before resorting to the toxic drugs but, like so many others in our society, he grew up in a time when “the doctor knows best.” He followed the advice of his physician. The prescribed drugs created a roller coaster effect. Although the tremors in his hands lessened, his mind was dulled. Sleep became the norm, even at mid-day. Restlessness, along with frustration and depression, resulted in the use of psychotropic drugs. Due to the choices that Abe made 10 years ago he is not able to personally tell you his story.

Chemical Causes of Parkinson’s

Research studies indicate that Parkinson’s actually manifests itself in two different forms. The first is an affliction of the elderly, striking people over the age of 70. The second can affect people as young as 35–an increasingly prevalent form. Careless use of chemicals, drug abuse and toxic elements in our environment are responsible for this alarming increase of Parkinson’s disease among the young.

Because chemical brain damage is a major factor in Parkinson’s, some doctors now recommend that drug therapy be started as late in the symptom pattern as possible. Brain surgery is regarded as a temporary solution for a select few. Allopathic medicine offers a bleak outlook.

There is hope. Natural health practitioners treat Parkinson’s with non-toxic therapies that control the progression of the symptoms better than drugs–and without side-effects. Nutrition plays a very important role. This involves a low protein diet of at least 75 percent whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables with the remaining 25 percent derived from poultry and fish. Fruits and vegetables are consumed raw. Refined sugar and white flour are not allowed under any circumstances. Alcoholic beverages, coffee and processed foods are also forbidden.

Parkinson’s patients are often deficient in vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Vitamin B-complex, vitamin E and vitamin C are especially important and a complete balance of minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, is vital. Selenium and zinc help to increase levels of L-dopa in the brain. Some vitamin and mineral combinations have an absorption rate of only five to 10 percent. To be truly effective, they must be chelated for maximum absorption.

Chelation therapy has proven to be very successful in treating Parkinson’s disease. This treatment is based on the use of strong detoxifying substances administered either orally or intravenously. Oral chelation therapy is accomplished safely at home. Intravenous chelation therapy uses EDTA as the detoxifying agent and must be done under the supervision of a qualified physician. This is relatively safe and is effective in ridding the body of toxins. The therapy is used to flush heavy metal toxins from the body–considered by some researchers to be the root cause of Parkinsonism. Chelation is not available in every province.

Massage and physiotherapy are also very important to keep muscles supple and working smoothly. These therapies help prevent muscle cramps and increase the range of motion. Massage also helps relax the patient and eases the stress and tension of coping with the disabling effects of the disease. Exercise maintains the flexibility and movement that many Parkinson’s patients begin to lose.

Herbal Helps

Without a doubt one of the most effective treatments for the disease is herbal medicine. Herbalists have treated Parkinson’s for many years with much success. Consult a herbal practitioner for guidance. Parkinsonism patients will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the herbal practitioner has an arsenal of botanical remedies to work with that do not have side effects. Macuna pruriens and gingko biloba are two herbs proven effective. An experienced herbalist can formulate individualized herbal combinations to produce remarkable results.

The person recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s should take time to consider all available therapies before embarking on specific treatment. Parkinsonism is not life-threatening in its early stages. The initial treatment modality sets a pattern that determines how the ailment affects the patient in the long term.

The prudent individual recognizes early that he or she should be the final judge of the treatment to follow and exercise his right to consult with either a natural health care practitioner or a medical doctor of his choice. Remember that treatments paid for by private or government sponsored (Medicare) insurance schemes are drug-related, though some doctors sympathetic to non-drug methods may agree to natural therapies if they believe it beneficial to their patients.

Parkinson’s does not have to result in a life sentence of degeneration and debility. Unfortunately, Abe will spend his last days in an institution. But many other Parkinson’s patients are realizing the benefits of an informed, natural and total approach to their affliction.

About the Author

Debbie Stoton is a chartered herbalist and freelance writer living in Winnipeg, MB.