Hooray for Lance

I love it when grandchildren are able to help out their grandma. Lance helped me with a technical problem today. I couldn’t get my article on progression of symptoms to show up on the front page of my blog, like I envisioned. But he worked his magic. 🙂

BUT… those who have clicked to ‘follow’ my blog, receive my posts in an email… so unless I share the information here, they won’t know to return to the home page. The page title is Transparency

Mht inspirationalv4

BDNF

People understand a broken leg, anything that is persistent or constant. We aren’t so good at understanding or taking the time to understand all the variety of ways to help with a ‘condition’.  I know that as this condition (I don’t like the word “disease” ) progresses, I will have to make some changes, but so will every other human being as they age. Again…I’m blessed! That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it…

This post consists of information regarding BDNF, that I have found in my quest (and extracted and compiled, in an effort to share the fruits of my efforts).

 “BDNF is a brain healthy chemical that can be generated via rigorous cardio. It not only helps dopamine production, but can be neuro-protective and delay disease progression. It stands for Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Listen to your body. If you’re doing an intense 45 minutes every day, a light day here and there may be beneficial to give your body a restorative break “

Improved Cognitive Function Through BDNF

By Joe Cohen, November 9, 2018. What You Need To Know About BDNF

“Researchers now recognize that the brain continues to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.

Neurotrophins are chemicals that help to stimulate and control neurogenesis, BDNF is one of the most active.

In the brain, BDNF is active in the hippocampus, cortex, and forebrain—areas vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking. Hence, BDNF is important for long-term memory.

BDNF has been shown to play a role in neuroplasticity, which allows nerve cells in the brain to compensate for the injury, new situations or changes in the environment.

BDNF helps to support the survival of existing neurons and encourages the growth, regeneration, and creation of new neurons and synapses.

Increasing BDNF can potentially help a number of devastating brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Huntington’s Disease (HD). “

10 Ways to Boost Brain Function with BDNF to see research, go to: https://drjohnday.com/10-ways-to-boost-brain-function-with-bdnf/

“By this point in the article it is pretty clear that for optimal brain and heart function we want more of this substance around.  How can we increase BDNF levels beyond just exercise?  Let me give you 10 scientifically proven ways to raise BDNF levels.

1. Exercise

Exercise is the very best way to boost BDNF levels.  As seen from the studies already discussed in this article, even short bursts of exercise can dramatically raise BDNF.  We must create a lifelong habit of exercise to keep our brains and hearts functioning optimally.

2. Avoid Sugar, Processed Foods, and HFCS

Just as exercise can raise BDNF levels, sugar, processed foods, and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) all do the exact opposite.  Many studies have now shown that rats fed the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is high in sugar, bad fats, and HFCS, have lower levels of BDNF.  These lower levels of BDNF from the Standard American Diet result in rats which are not as smart and have memory difficulties.  Clearly, for optimal brain function we have to eat the right foods to increase BDNF levels.

3. Intermittent Fasting

Interestingly, there is a growing body of data that time restricted feeding, or intermittent fasting, may also increase BDNF.  Intermittent fasting is merely the act of resting our guts periodically which then triggers a cascade of hormonal events in our bodies which boost our body’s repair mechanisms.

Intermittent fasting does not have to be hard.  Studies show that even fasting as short as 12 hours can have a beneficial effect. To fast for 12 hours is really as simple as skipping that pre-bedtime snack and not eating again until breakfast the next day.  To learn more about the role of intermittent fasting please read my article Intermittent Fasting, Weight Loss, and Longevity.

4. Mental Stimulation

Exercising our brains with mental stimulation also increases BDNF.  Like everything else, the old adage “use it or lose it” also applies to the brain.

5. Eat Oily Fish

Recent data have shown that a diet high in omega 3s can improve BDNF levels and boost brain function.  Unfortunately, studies also show that up to 95% of Americans are deficient in the omega 3 fatty acids.

The best studied way to get more omega 3s is to include oily fish in your diet.  My favorite way to do this is with the very affordable wild Alaskan salmon that we buy at Costco. (I get mine at Aldi’s)

While there are certainly non-fish forms of omega 3s, like those found in walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc., these have not been studied as well and may not be as critical as the DHA and EPA forms of omega 3s found in oily fish.

Fish oil supplements can certainly boost omega 3 levels in the body.  However, omega 3s, in the form of fish oil supplements, can easily go rancid, they may increase the risk of prostate cancer, and they may even accelerate heart disease and dementia in the 25% of the American population that carries the ApoE4 gene. Thus, given these concerns with fish oil, I recommend that my patients try to get their omega 3s from real fish sources.

6. Be with Family and Friends

Close nurturing relationships have been shown to boost BDNF.  These are the relationships that come from real friendships or spending time with family members.

7. Get Some Sun

Even something as simple as getting some sun each day can boost BDNF levels.  Look for opportunities to get out of your home or your office building and feel some of the sun’s healing effects each day.  Of course, one always has to be sun smart to avoid skin cancer.

8. Eat More Curry/Turmeric, Red Grapes, and Blueberries

Curcumin, which is found in turmeric and to a lesser extent in curry, has been shown in to increase BDNF and can even prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.  Learn to use these spices with the foods you make to protect your brain.

Do you like red grapes?  If so, you may just be in luck.  Resveratrol, found primarily in red grapes, has also been shown to boost BDNF levels.  If red grapes aren’t your thing then the anthocyanin in blueberries have also been shown to raise BDNF levels. (I take the three kings formula)

9. Do Something to Reduce Stress

Managing stress is key to optimal health.  BDNF is no exception.  People who are under a lot of stress produce less BDNF.  Could this be why people often don’t think as clearly when they are feeling very stressed?

Stress is a part of modern life.  Find something, anything, that you can do each day that helps you to keep life in perspective and allows you to unwind mentally. (…like sauna while reading scriptures)

10. Get At Least 7 Hours of Sleep

As with stress, sleep is critical for health.  As you might expect, BDNF is reduced with sleep deprivation.  If you struggle with getting at least 7 hours of sleep, like me, this study suggests that regular exercise can help to keep BDNF levels up even if your sleep is compromised.”

 

Unique approach

I worry, that the supplements I take are not as effective as they should be, due to poor absorption. [Because ocassionally, things have passed through my body undisolved] And I’ve worried, with the claims on things like probiotics..how do I know? (some say it must be refrigerated.. some individually sealed, some encased in something that wont dissolve till past the stomach)… Additionally, I worry, if I add another product onto my current protocol, how will I know WHICH DESERVES THE CREDIT if I verify improvements (lessening of) symptoms.

I believe I should leave no stone unturned… because Heavenly Father has placed everything on the earth for man… and he has placed really smart people into position, where they may discover the keys to reverse the illnesses that plague mankind.

A dear friend has steered me to a number of plant based products using technology called Advanced BioAbsorption™ Technology (ABT™).

In their literature, it explains: “ABT is a proprietary technology that uses a liposome delivery system which surrounds and protects vital nutrients ensuring they get past the harsh environment of the stomach. Once past the stomach, ABT also has specific Enzymes to maximize the absorption of our unique nutrients.”

“Other products may have great nutrients, however, the greatest nutrients have little effect if your body can’t absorb them. ABT unlocks the full benefits of each nutrient, and gives you the peace of mind that nothing is going to waste!”

SO… I have obtained the product. My plan is to continue to make monthly comparisons of symptoms I experience.. reflecting which have remained constant, which have lessened and which, if any have worsened. At the same time, I will note which supplements I drop.

Stay tuned.

What would you say?

My husband, John, is simply the most awesome #1 support.

When I said I wanted a Rhoades Car, for bicycling. he didn’t flinch. Before our solar assisted vehicle arrived, he had installed a ramp up to the double doors and moved things around so we can use part of his shop for a garage for the Rhoades Car.

I read: “Sauna use has also been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).  BDNF is like fertilizer for our brains.  Indeed, increased BDNF can improve cognitive function and memory.” (Dr John Day)

Mht condition myparkinsonsteam
With the help of my sweetheart…

“Another benefit of infrared sauna… Detoxification of Chemicals and Heavy Metals… The skin is a major detox organ, and sweating through the skin is a critical human detox function, yet most people don’t sweat regularly or enough. The body is very effective at eliminating toxins via the skin (and the liver, and the poo), but the skin side of things only really works if you make your body sweat. But many of us sit in air-conditioned indoor environments all day, and even gyms with temperature control can be a tough place to work up a serious sweat. So in these type of situations, you completely miss out on a major source of toxin elimination: the skin.”

When I read about the benefits of infrared sauna… John didn’t flinch. When our very own infrared sauna arrived, he immediately set to work setting it up out in his shop, although it further cramped his work space. Additionally, he sits in the sauna and reads to me until our allotted time is up.

So… when I read Ben Greenfield said: “People who had four to seven sauna sessions of at least 20 minutes each, had the greatest benefits”, I thought…it would be much more conducive to daily use if we move the sauna inside our home. John came up with the perfect location. BUT… it will require significant effort. He suggested, we could remove the large garden tub from our master bath (since we always opt for the shower, anyway). I love the idea and convenience such a transition will provide.

Be the person

My neice. Tawna, shared this insight [I just inserted the words in brackets to make it include those with a P-diagnosis]:

I got my first pair of glasses in the eighth grade. The eye doctor was shocked that I was functioning and getting good grades with such poor vision. She called it “broad side of the barn” vision; meaning if I was standing in a field I might be able to see the broad side of the barn.

My entire world changed with the introduction of those glasses. I remember the ride home. I was utterly gobsmacked. I kept saying things like, “I can see the individual leaves”.

Getting glasses was a good thing. It was an exciting thing. It was the best and right decision, but it wasn’t without its challenges. I was overwhelmed by the sensory input. At school I kept getting lost between classes, I couldn’t recognize anyone and all of the detail now visible in crowds gave me a headache and triggered anxiety.

I was in a better situation. I knew it was better. Knowing it was better made it easier to stick with glasses while my brain learned the new skill of recognizing people and places by the way they looked.

Before glasses I recognized people by the way they moved and sounded. I found my way around my large Middle School by memorizing distances. I recognized locations by shape, colors and lighting, sounds and smells. I developed a system that worked for me and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it- but no amount of compensating for my poor eyesight made me see clearly.

Those who had always seen clearly, or had been wearing glasses for years, couldn’t understand why I was struggling with my new view of the world. Some shrugged, others laughed, a few made fun. I appreciated the compassion I found in the loving support of my Mother and Grandparents. They didn’t understand exactly what was happening inside my mind as I relearned my world, but they were an endless source of love, sympathy and encouragement.

At times I have been blessed with the opportunity to support another as he or she comes to terms with a new, better, reality. I have loved a child adopted out of trauma. I have befriended those who are new to Christianity. I have supported friends who have faced life-changing truths. I have offered support to a newly married couple struggling to adjust.

As with my new glasses, these good people were relearning their world with new eyes. It is easy to say, “You were abused and now you are loved. Why aren’t you happy?” It is harder to acknowledge that leaving your known world for an unknown world, no matter how much better the new one may be, is frightening and overwhelming and even sorrowful at times.

Be patient with yourself as you move into a better [or altered] version of yourself. Allow yourself to struggle. Give yourself permission to grieve what you’ve left behind. And when you have found your footing, when you are secure in your own better [or altered] version of your world, reach out a hand and help lift another.

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This is good…

Being an eternal optimist, I have always loved the story that is told of an African King who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.

Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!” To which the king replied – “No, this is not good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened.

” And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.” “No,” his friend replied, “This is good!” “What do you mean, ‘This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?” “If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you, and not here with you right now.”

Although my words may not be ‘this is good’… my blog is an attempt to make lemon-aid from the lemons/(diagnosis) served. Although there may be some blogs about coping with Parkinson’s hosted by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, my search did not reveal any. So, I have taken the challenge to share the results of my quest for positive encouraging information. It is my hope, as others diagnosed with Parkinson’s or their caregivers preview the index of previous posts offering insights into diet, recipies, exercise, symptoms, alternative and traditional therapies, stories, uplifting word and humor… they will say… ‘This is Good’

 

elements #5,,,,6,,,,7

This is from Sarah of Invigorated’s post…

Let’s have some fun, shall we ?

These last 3 elements of a Parkinson’s specific exercise program are so, important!

Our brains need exercise, but we’d wither away and die without a community and a few laughs.

Let’s dive into how that plays out and your exercise program: 

Element # 5: Keep it SOCIAL. 

We’re happier and healthier when we’re part of the tribe. We’re also more likely to reach our goals because we feel connected and supported.

Here are a few ways to add face-to-face time to your exercise routine:
Join a Parkinson’s exercise class in your city. Join a walking or running group. Hire a personal trainer or physical therapist to come see you at your home. Ask your friend or neighbor to join your daily walking routine.

Element # 6: Stay ACCOUNTABLE. 

Apathy can be a strong foe … So it’s crucial to have someone checking in on you that you can answer to. Typically I recommend this person isn’t your spouse or partner because things can get tense.

Setting goals can be a powerful motivator as well.

Make them meaningful and share them with your support system!

Element # 7: Have FUN!

If you’re not laughing, singing, dancing, or smiling during a workout, you won’t feel its full effect. The feel-good chemicals you release when you’re enjoying yourself have tremendous power to lower your stress, lessen your anxiety, and boost your immune system.

Plus, life is way too short to take exercise too seriously. If you have fun when you’re working out, your much, MUCH more likely to want to do it again.

For example… Here is a link to a drumming routine… creative and fun.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UytiabLbBhA

 

Not just a fad (element #4)

There’s a reason why Parkinson’s specific exercise programs exist.

It’s not just a fad. Or a scheme.

A brain and body affected by Parkinson’s has some specific needs, which is why Element #4 of the highly effective Parkinson’s exercise program is this: 

Element # 4: SPECIFIC TO YOUR PARKINSON’S SYMPTOMS

Here’s a brief (but not all-inclusive) summary of what to keep in mind.

>> To combat RIGIDITY & LACK OF ARM SWING, you should incorporate exercises that encourage spinal and trunk rotation.

VIDEO: Seated rotational reach with Sarah
>> To combat BRADYKINESIA, You should incorporate exercises that move through big ranges of motion in all directions.

>> To combat POOR POSTURE, You should incorporate exercises that encourage flexibility in your spine, hips, shoulders, neck. V


>> To combat FREEZING & SHUFFLING, You should incorporate exercises that encourage weight shifting and powerful stepping in all directions. 

VIDEO: Kneeling Power Step
Try a few of these exercises this week and observe how they impact your symptoms immediately after.

Exercise is a powerful medicine.

Simply Resume

There is a story taken from an episode where Michael J Fox was at a Thanksgiving celebration and an awkward situation arose as his tremors were interfering with his attempt to serve mashed potatoes onto his plate. The hostess finally quips; “Ok, you can have a personal victory later.. right now, we need to eat.”

We need to always find a reason to laugh, rather than have a pity party. We want to view life with optimism. When we fall off the keto wagon and eat a donut… adopt the Dory philosophy, ‘keep on swimming’ or Simply Resume. Besides, optimists are happier & live longer. 🙂

My goal is to provide encouragement, being a spokes person for life..not for the disease. I found some little gems of wisdom (or council):

  • If you have Parkinson’s don’t let pride keep you from asking for help. If it takes a half hour to button your shirt… allow your caregiver the opportunity to take a minute.
  • If you are the caregiver… Ask before you help.
  • As a caregiver, you might ask, “Do you want to talk about this… or just let you know I’m there for you?”
  • When you’ve asked, “How you are doing?” and your Parkie friend says, “I’ve had a rough couple of days…” that means ‘I’m ready to talk about it… don’t gloss it over.’
  • Own the truth.. depression for Parkinson’s may need medical assist. Find someone you can unload emotions on… other than your spouse. (who doesn’t deserve it)
  • What I find encouraging… is when people share their positive experiences.
  • People who survive have a purpose.
  • (Here are a variety of suggestions) * seek for clarity * define your reality * choose joy * don’t focus on yourself * be loving to others * be a role model * to have the peace … give up the need to understand.
  • But you never know when a lay person (or researcher) might come up with a solution.. so don’t roll over and play dead.
  • Be a spokes person for life. Press forward & do what you can.

Our Trials Represent An Opportunity That Won’t Last. Whatever we face in life that seems like a problem or a trial actually represents an opportunity. In this life, we have the opportunity to praise God, and to worship him, in the face of adversity. This takes an act of will, a decision, a certain amount of discipline.

  • If it continues to progress, as the doctors assure me it will, I will fight the good fight of faith with even more joy in my heart. I will not waste the opportunity to show others how to live, fully alive, no matter what is thrown at us.
  • We often reflect… ‘God never said it would be easy… But it will be worth it.’
  •  
  • It Doesn’t Matter. . My continued illness is not an excuse to abandon my faith, it’s an invitation to embrace it. My light and temporary affliction does not matter. Illness is no excuse to abandon faith, it’s an invitation to embrace it.
  • God uses many instruments for healing, and often the instrument is medical science.
  • Sometimes we ask God for an oak tree, and he gives us an acorn. We must steward the acorn.
  • And sometimes we must simply embrace the mystery and accept that we don’t know everything, but affirm that God is still good.

In the movie “Shawshank Redemption”, Andy Dufresne says to his pal Red as they sit in the prison yard, “It comes down to one simple decision. Either get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Each of us is able, today, to offer God the gift of gratitude. Truly, I refuse to waste my Parkinson’s.

I choose to live.

 

 

Perception 

“There is GOOD IN EVERYTHING, IF ONLY WE LOOK FOR IT.” __Laura Ingalls Wilder
(From Ryan Holiday’s blog)

” Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the classic series Little House, lived this, facing some of the toughest and unwelcoming elements on the planet: harsh and unyielding soil, Indian territory, Kansas prairies, and the humid backwoods of Florida. Not afraid, not jaded — because she saw it all as an adventure. Everywhere was a chance to do something new, to persevere with cheery pioneer spirit whatever fate befell her and her husband. That isn’t to say she saw the world through delusional rose-colored glasses. Instead, she simply chose to see each situation for what it could be — accompanied by hard work and a little upbeat spirit. Others make the opposite choice. Remember: There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.”

SO… before I learned my diagnosis, I was suffering with TMJ. I perceived my jaw was offset, and my teeth didn’t line up. It was painful and painfully slow eating. I solicited help from a Cranial Massage Therapist. It helped short term, but the offset and pain returned. Three adjustments… same result.

At the time, I salivated so profusely, I’d resorted to sleeping with a cloth in my mouth, to wick off the moisture, so my attemting to swallow didn’t keep me from sleeping. Additionally, the corners of my mouth had developed sores.

After receiving the diagnosis, I made an inquiry at a health food store, asking what, if any, recommendations they could make for someone with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. They said Hemp CBD oil. I resisted at first, but went back and made a purchase. Then John & I took our month long roadtrip for our 50th anniversary.

FIRST, I noticed the sores at the corners of my mouth had cleared up… which was doubly impressive, going from a humid climate to dry arrid Utah. I wondered if I took something like coconut oil, I would have the same results?

NEXT, I realized my jaw had realigned, my TMJ pain was gone and I, as a result, was able to eat more quickly. I attributed the change to the CBD oil… but also wondered … perhaps the jaw had relaxed and normalized as a result of the progression of the disease?

ADDITIONALLY, I felt like my sleep was more restful when I used the oil. My primary care doctor told me, his recommendation was to obtain a state card so I could obtain the oil from a licensed facility, where the quality and purity were guaranteed. I followed his recommendation, and have been pleasantly surprised… that the Oil I get now is no more expensive than the oil from the health food store.

The TMJ has not returned… the sores at the corner of my mouth have not returned. And now, my sloth like eating speed is related to how I handle the fork and chew… but not related to pain.

The salivating and droolong have not improved, but from the dentist’s point of view, extra saliva protects my teeth from decay. Hey, we count our blessings as we recognize them.

So… like Laura Ingles Wilder… I try to optimistically view my challenge
as an adventure. Each symptom provides a chance to try something new, to persevere with cheery pioneer spirit whatever fate befalls us. I say ‘us’, because John is such a trooper, ever mindful of my frailities, and ready to accept additional responsibilities.

Already, he prepares my breakfast, while I begin my morning exercise routine. We simply choose to see each situation for what it could be — accompanied by hard work and a little upbeat spirit.