Managing Motor Neurone Disease with Natural Remedies
Motor Neurone Disease comes with a life changing diagnosis, one that requires professional medical care. Research does however suggest that sufferers can ease some symptoms by exploring some natural remedies.
Motor neurone disease is thankfully an uncommon condition, but is one that affects the brain and nerves, and causes weakness, that gets worse over time. Unfortunately those who have been diagnosed with the condition have a shortened life expectancy; however, with appropriate treatments, it can be managed in order to reduce the impact that it has on daily life. It tends to affect people in their 60’s and 70’s; however, it has been known to affect adults of all ages.
Overtime, the cells in the brain and nerves stop working, although the cause is not known. It is not thought to run in families. It is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing any of the early symptoms of motor neurone disease. These might not be obvious at first, and can come on gradually; however early symptoms include; weakness in your ankle or leg, which can mean that you are tripping over more often, or have difficulty climbing stairs; slurred speech, which can sometimes lead to difficulty in swallowing food; a weakened grip, where you might drop things, or find it harder to open jars or do up buttons; muscle cramps and twitches; weight loss, because of muscle loss; and a difficulty in stopping yourself from crying or laughing in inappropriate situations.
Testing for motor neurone disease can be tricky, as the symptoms can also be similar to a number of more likely health complaints, so it is likely that your doctor will want to carry out blood tests, a scan of your brain and spine, tests to measure the electrical activity in muscles and nerves, and a lumbar puncture in order to test the fluid from the spine.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for motor neurone disease; however, there are a number of different natural remedies that can help you to deal with the symptoms, making it easier to live a normal day to day life. Below are just some of the things that you can try:
Eat plenty of calories and healthy fats:
This might seem like contradictory advice, and go against everything we are normally advised, but obesity and high cholesterol could actually have their benefits. Research has shown that those with motor neurone disease actually had a better prognosis if they had a higher BMI, diabetes, or high levels of cholesterol.
It is not known why this is the case, but a calorie rich diet, with a high level of healthy fats might actually help to preserve motor function. Dieting and calorie restriction has been shown to worsen both the symptoms and the life expectancy, so ensure that you are eating plenty of avocado, nuts and seeds, salmon, olive oil and butter.
Magnesium is essential for nerve communication, so it is no wonder that researchers have developed a link between this and motor neuron disease. Research has suggested that people with the disease actually have lower concentrations of magnesium within their bones and ligaments. Although it has been noted that further research has said that whilst it can help to control the symptoms of motor neurone disease, having high levels of magnesium in your body will not reduce your chances of getting it.
It is a really effective and natural treatment of muscle spasms that are associated with it, and it is recommended that you take between 300-600mg of magnesium citrate, magnesium orotate, or magnesium amino acid chelate, but not magnesium oxide. Another great solution is to take a bath with Epsom salts, which are a great way of delivering the magnesium to the muscles directly.
Studies have suggested that there is a link between CoQ10, and a significant decline in patients who are suffering from motor neurone disease.
CoQ10 has two major roles within those who are suffering from motor neurone disease. It is an antioxidant, aimed to protect the mitochondria from oxidative stress, and as an essential co-factor in healthy energy metabolism. Research has shown that those who have been diagnosed with motor neurone disease require an increased need for CoQ10, because of ongoing oxidative damage to the mitochondria that is responsible for the degenerating effects of the disease.
This amino acid, is a key nutrient for cell protection, and is integral for the myelin sheath, which is the protective layer around the motor neurons and other nerve fibres.
Although the evidence is very limited in suggesting that it is an appropriate treatment, it is suggested that the ageing population who have a higher intake of serine have lower instances of motor neurone disease.
This is another vitamin that gives integrity to the myelin sheath of nerve cells. A lack of vitamin B12 causes the nerves to become frayed, which can result in tingling, spasms and cramping; all symptoms that are associated with motor neurone disease.
There are certain things that put you more at risk of having a vitamin B12; such as vegetarians, vegans and those who have poor gastric secretions, which happens with motor neurone disease, so it is important to take a supplement.
Certain herbal therapies:
There is not a lot of research surrounding this area; however, many people believe that some herbal therapies can help in coping with the symptoms that are associated with the disease.
Berberine extract for one was found to reduce neuro-degredation in patients with motor neurone disease. Herbal bitters as well, like Swedish bitters, gentian, dandelion, chamomile, goldenseal, milk thistle, peppermint and apple cider vinegar. These will all help to stimulate the appetite, which as we know is very important in people who are suffering from motor neurone disease.