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A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease comes as a devastating blow. This progressive neurological disorder, characterized by muscle stiffening and rigidity, tremors of the extremities, and impaired gait and movement, affects more than a million people nationwide and, to date, has no known cure.

I want to make it clear that I am not here to offer false hope or miracle cures. I can, however, explain the protocols we use at the Whitaker Wellness Institute to reduce symptoms, improve the quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s, and help slow the progression of disease.

Understanding Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease occurs when neurons in a specific area of the brain die off and stop producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that influences mood and helps regulate movement. This sharp decline in dopamine results in mobility problems, depression, and a host of other complications.

In an attempt to replace dopamine stores, the pharmaceutical companies came up with levodopa (l-dopa), a precursor to dopamine that is converted into this important neurotransmitter. It is typically given along with a drug called carbidopa, which ensures that l-dopa isn’t converted until it reaches its intended destination.

Problem is, l-dopa helps control symptoms but does nothing actually to slow disease progression. Over time, higher and higher doses of this drug must be administered in order for it to be effective. The resulting side effects can include nausea, constipation, jerking movements, paranoia, and hallucinations.

What causes PD?

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. Genetics may play a role, and environmental toxins such as pesticides and herbicides have the potential to increase risk. Repeated head trauma, as is the case with boxing great Muhammad Ali, also can trigger Parkinson’s.

Inflammation and oxidative damage, which often go hand in hand, also are underlying factors. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic discovered that people with allergies are nearly three times more likely to develop PD than their allergy-free counterparts. This is likely because allergies provoke a long-term attack on the immune system that leads to excess inflammation. According to lead researcher Dr. James Bower, “The inflammation produced may release certain chemicals in the brain and inadvertently kill brain cells, as we see in Parkinson’s.”

But whatever the cause, safe, natural approaches to slowing this disease do exist.

IV glutathione works wonders

Because excessive free radicals are a likely culprit in PD, it makes sense that antioxidants could help mop up some of the damage. That’s where glutathione comes in.

People with Parkinson’s often have critically low levels of this potent antioxidant in the dopamine-producing areas of the brain. Restoring levels with intravenous (IV) glutathione can reduce symptoms and retard progression of the disease.

We’ve had amazing success with this therapy at the Whitaker Wellness Institute:

  • Just two days after her first treatment, Georgia noticed a return of sensation and strength in her feet, which improved her balance and mobility. The shaking in her hands subsided and she started sleeping better than she had in years.

  • Hugh came to his first treatment in a wheelchair with a severe tremor in his left arm. When he arrived for his third infusion of glutathione, he walked – albeit a bit unsteadily – into the treatment area. His mental clarity, mood, and energy levels were restored to the point he was able to go back to work.

To locate an alternative physician in your area who may be willing to administer IV glutathione, visit acam.org or call 888-439-6891. If you’d like to make an appointment for treatment at Whitaker Wellness, call 800-488-1500.

Lasting benefits of hyperbaric oxygen

Another treatment that provides enduring benefits is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). When you breathe 100 percent oxygen in a special pressurized chamber, massive amounts of healing oxygen are delivered to the brain, which mobilizes regenerative stem cells.

Gerald was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1998. When he came to see us in 2004, he was exhibiting typical symptoms of the disease: an unsteady shuffle, difficulty speaking clearly, and the characteristic expressionless “Parkinson’s mask” caused by facial rigidity. Gerald was treated with IV glutathione and vitamin C, but according to his wife Phyllis, what helped the most was HBOT.

To find a facility that offers HBOT in your area, contact the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. (Look for the chamber directory under “Resource Library” on the site.) For treatment at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, call 800-488-1500.

Nutrients that benefit PD

While IV glutathione and HBOT are my most powerful recommendations, a number of nutrients also have been shown to be very helpful. A few years ago, researchers from Duke University conducted a 16-month placebo-controlled study of 80 patients with mild Parkinson’s disease. The study subjects taking 1,200 mg of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) daily had dramatic slowing of functional deterioration. CoQ10 is available in health food stores nationwide as well as through several online vitamin retailers.

Another supplement that shows real promise is creatine. Known mostly in body-building circles, creatine helps regenerate stores of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the “fuel” that powers the mitochondria in all of our cells. Research suggests that creatine boosts energy in nerve cells in the brain, offering better protection against damage or destruction. It has also been shown to improve mood in patients with PD. You can find creatine in health food stores or purchase it online.

Carpe diem

As I mentioned earlier, there is no “cure” for Parkinson’s disease. But people with this condition certainly can improve their quality of life if they are willing to think outside the box. Give the treatments above a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose.

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