Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Longevity and Nutrition

"She keeps to herself, a lot." She sleeps all day long.She won't bathe and her memory is getting worse." And the medical doctor said, this is all that can be done for her! How are we supposed to sit back and watch our loved one suffer, dwindling away as a shell of the human she used to be?" These are all questions I have heard from friends, family members, co-workers etc., over the years regarding the elderly.  It is almost as if an unwritten, invisible expiration date has been placed on a body part, or hidden in some undisclosed location, and there doesn't appear to be anything that can be done about it. People get old, they break down, they isolate, they forget, they lose bowel and bladder control and they die.

"NOT TRUE!!!!!  DON'T BELIEVE IT!!!"  That is what I say. As baby boomers advance into the elder years, they are going to bring education, intelligence and dignity into the once known invisible aging population,  and it is going to start with the wellness revolution of nutrition, bodywork, positive thinking, mental focus and fitness.  It will not include limitations of having someone in a white coat writing a prescription of  "drugs and surgery only."  It will be with the pro-active due diligence of exploring holistic and natural ways of embracing healthy lifestyle choices to preserve the benefits of longevity.

So, let's start with the above observations above in paragraph one. Let's say all of the above observations are true, leaving  the question of: "What can be done about giving our loved one's opportunities to embrace a better quality of life?" Having a good doctor is a good idea. But having a doctor educated on nutrition and wellness in the aging populations can sometimes be hard to find.( And I am not professing to flush the prescribed medications down the toilet, either. But to find a doctor who not only understands drug interactions, but who understands nutrition, the implications of environmental toxins, food sensitivities and drug induced malnutrition.)

 In the above example, the symptoms were analyzed, and then more drugs were prescribed by her physician, along with a corn syrup/sugar laden drink touted by a dietition on TV as being the best drink for aging populations!  So,(according to her lab studies on record), the doctor treating the family member never looked further into why the sugar levels had been elevated for 5 years, and prescribed more of this drink which was laden with more sugar to help with her malnutrition.  And when the D3 levels had fallen to dangerously low levels while under the care of her traditional M.D., ( which shocked this family member's new holistic internist when he reviewed her medical records), her behavior was blamed on dementia.( Here is a quote from a study on D3 from the United Kingdom: “We expected to find an association between low Vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but the results were surprising—we actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated,” said study author David J. Llewellyn, PhD, of the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom.)

 When Folic Acid was low and was not being metabolized efficiently by her system, (possibly for years), her new holistically oriented internist caught it, and she is now receiving proper supplementation which has helped her greatly, and the levels are now being monitored to normal levels by lab studies.  There was a cascading effect of malnutrition giving horrific results and a traditional medical doctor who never thoroughly checked her blood, stool, urine and hair for drug induced nutritional deficits, and environmental toxins that could have been contributing to her memory loss, but kept treating her symptoms over and over with drugs. Drugs with side effects leading to more symptoms leading to more tests, more diagnoses and more prescriptions!   Her traditional doctor did nothing wrong according to medical practice standards because many MD's, (excluding the holistically oriented ones), appear to have a limited education in nutrition.  From what I have seen as a caregiver of a family member with dementia, other than maybe testing for D3 deficiencies, the traditional medical doctors do not appear to run the same level of tests for  nutrient deficiencies on a general scale as the holistic medical doctors do.

 This woman was given a diagnosis of Alzheimers by her original internist , but when her new holistically oriented internist ordered new labs,  he diagnosed her with Type III Diabetes also known as Vascular Dementia, and said that the only doctor to diagnose Alzheimer's needed to be a  neurological specialist. It wasn't until this woman's blood was checked, her hair was checked and her urine and stool were checked for nutritional status that she was able to get help, which turned around her behavior and lifestyle habits giving her a better quality of life. Her cardiologist cut her heart medication in half. The change with a thorough medical/ nutritional evaluation and specific monitoring has been amazing!

Today, this woman with dementia still has moments of forgetting.  But with very careful monitoring by her holistically oriented family physician, regular lab work every few months, daily supplementation, ingestion of a nutritional longevity products that recently beat out the "Heart Healthy Diet," by 50% (See longevity products at: www.caregiversgetfit.isagenix.com), exercise, meditation, chiropractic, massage, social interaction, and positive validation therapy by her caregivers, she is living a comfortable life.

Has she been cured? No. But her activities of daily living have greatly improved. She no longer craves sugar, sleeps through the night 95% of the time and is energetic. She makes her own bed, gets dressed everyday rather than staying in her pajamas, likes to take baths, puts make-up on without prompting, does her own nails, folds laundry, is doing word scrambles again, writes daily in her diary, exercises on an exercise bike, goes for walks daily, goes to a drumming circle, sings in a choir and remembers things from a day before. Will she ever be completely cured of dementia? Who knows? But her quality of life has improved.  She is not a shell. She is a human, and deserves the best quality of life available.

As caregivers, we need to do our homework by checking drug side effects, staying diligent with doctors, writing down questions before office visits, and having our elderly checked for malnutrition. Recent Pubmed studies from the National Institutes of Health indicate that drug induced malnutrition among those suffering from dementia can oftentimes be left unchecked in nursing homes.

  Because malnutrition can lead to serious diseases including dementia, and even death, it is a very serious issue. Researching the benefits of probiotics, cellular cleansing, CoQ10, fish oil supplementation, and glutathione rich, un-denatured whey protein is a good start in understanding ways to help your loved one to embrace a higher quality of life!. Virgin coconut oil, with medium chained triglycerides, also has lasting benefits for overall health and longevity.  (See: www.caregiversgetfit.isagenix.com for more info. on nutritional longevity products for active seniors and the elderly.)

Researching ways to provide good nutrition as a caregiver is important, along with finding the right doctor. Traditional medical doctors are not nutritionists, and are not accustomed to checking the blood, urine, stool, nutritional habits and hair on every patient in one routine medical work-up. Finding a holistically oriented doctor with a background in nutrition who goes the extra mile to get specific lab work done for healthy aging can prevent malnutrition and can possibly save someone's life. 

Copyright 2014 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey

The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.


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