I Am Going Into Hospital For A Planned Admission And I Want To Make Sure I Get My Medication On Time How Can I Do This
Many hospitals will allow you to take your medication yourself during your stay. You can check this before you are admitted. Some hospitals dont allow patients to take their own medication and it has to be given to you by the ward nurse. If this is the case in the hospital you are going to make sure they know that you need your medication at times which are specific to you and your condition. Your Parkinsons nurse could help you arrange this.
When you go into hospital for a planned operation, you will often have a meeting to discuss your needs, known as a pre-operation assessment. This is a good time to tell medical staff that you need your medication at specific times and that you cant miss a dose.
How I Treated My Own Brain Deterioration
Everything I did to restore my own brain health I learned from a natural health practitioner called Jodi Knapp.
I discovered Jodi on a local health forum some years ago. She works with people using natural approaches to reverse illnesses which were caused by natural causes.
Which is, in fact, almost every illness known to man.
Her philosophy is simple: disease always has a cause.
If I have pain, a deterioration or some painful or deadly affliction there are reasons why I have it.
It doesnt just happen.
Understand those reasons and we have ways of reversing whats gone wrong.
Jodis incredible success rate at treating allegedly untreatable illness comes from her starting at the illnesses first causes.
Those causes are always natural causes. She tackles them and changes lives.
A Quick Introduction To Parkinsons Drugs
Symptoms appear when dopamine levels a chemical messenger in your brain become too low in the part of the brain responsible for controlling movement.
This is because dopamine producing brain cells have been damaged or lost.
As dopamine levels in your brain fall, movement slows down and becomes harder to coordinate leading to symptoms like slowness, stiffness and tremor.
Most drug treatments for Parkinsons aim restore dopamine levels by:
- increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain
- acting as a substitute for dopamine by stimulating the parts of the brain where dopamine works, or
- blocking the action of other factors that break down dopamine
There are many things to consider when deciding to start taking medication, so in this blog we take a look at five of the most commonly discussed issues on the Parkinsons UK forum and look at the emerging research evidence.
Why Jodis Method Works
Remember: standard drug remedies tackle the disease further along the chain at the point where theres a dopamine shortage.
Doctors simply dont address the reason that dopamine is in short supply in the first place.
She addresses the specific reasons why cells in the substantia nigra are dying off.
Then she addresses low dopamine itself.
Then she undoes the symptoms of the illness the part of the disease that you and I experience.
Jodi Knapp cant teach her methods face-to-face to everyone who needs them. So she created a written version of her approach. Its called The Parkinsons Protocol.
And its The Parkinsons Protocol that changed not only my present life it changed my future life too.
We Have Choices About How This Condition Plays Out
In fact, medical scientists have proved that many people with a genetic disposition to this never get it.
While others with no genetic disposition at all still get full-on Parkinsons that ravages their mental health quickly and remorselessly.
Its not genetics. Its a basic illness with recognized causes.
Remember: the substantia nigra produces dopamine. Its the loss of substantia nigra nerve cells that leads to the loss of dopamine.
And that loss of dopamine leads to Parkinsons Disease.
So the big question is:
Why on earth is the substantia nigra losing those dopamine-producing cells in the first place?
I was shocked to discover that we already know why were losing those priceless, life-giving substantia nigra cells.
Yet still do almost nothing about it
Why Do We Get This Illness
Parkinsons Disease is a degenerative brain illness.
Why does our brain health start to degenerate?
It degenerates due to a loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra.
These nerve cells in the substantia nigra manufacture a neurotransmitter called dopamine. But as the nerve cells die off less dopamine is created.
We need dopamine.
The loss of dopamine leads to the loss of body control and leads to a whole cascade of other physical and mental symptoms that combine to steadily ruin a persons life.
Theres a simple, well-understood trail from good health to Parkinsons:
Nerve cells dying off in the substantia nigra > reduced dopamine production > Parkinsons Disease
However, almost all modern-day medical treatments start at step 2 reduced dopamine. Were trying to increase dopamine.
Which sounds sensible at first. But the problem is that were tackling a disease that has already started.
And were not addressing it at the point of its underlying cause.
Its like being in a sinking boat and constantly bailing out the water instead of fixing the leak.
We can bail for so long. And then we sink.
The reason why most people eventually get so ill with this condition is because almost no treatments tackle step 1 the dying of the substantia nigra cells.
Yet doesnt it make sense to address the initial cause of this dreadful condition?
Of course it does.
Ive learnt a lot about this disease..
Dopamine Replenishment Remains The Key To Symptomatic Treatment
Parkinson disease has long been synonymous with cerebral dopamine depletion, and dopamine replenishment remains the fundamental substrate for medical treatment. Both motor and nonmotor symptoms reflect loss of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system, and these symptoms often respond dramatically to dopamine restoration. However, it is now well-recognized that PD involves much more than loss of dopamine. Other neurotransmitter systems are not only affected late in PD but also early, preceding PD motor symptoms. Early symptoms such as rapid eye movement sleep behavior, olfactory loss, anxiety, or dysautonomia may develop 20 or more years before recognizable PD. The temporal course of PD, spanning decades, has been formalized in the Braak staging scheme.
Although PD is now understood to be much more than a dopamine deficiency state, most of the therapeutic gains are achieved through restoring brain dopamine neurotransmission. Understanding how best to accomplish this is key to managing PD.
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Alternative Treatments For Parkinson’s Disease
Alternative therapy may also be used to treat Parkinson’s disease. The most touted in recent years has been the effect of Vitamin E on reversing the progression of the disease although, this effect is still being debated by the scientific community.
Relaxation and guided imagery have also been suggested to help with stress, depression, and anxiety. Medical studies have shown that relaxation and guided imagery may help slow the progression of symptoms as well as quicken healing time after surgeries or injuries.
There Is Such Thing As Too Late
Remember, this program works in three ways:
We must do point 1 arresting the degeneration of brain cells quickly. Typically, at the point that symptoms are noticed some 80% of the substantia nigras cells have already been lost.
80% is a very big number.
The quicker we get to work to save the other 20% the better. As yet that degeneration cannot be reversed.
So get to work on it today. Preserve existing healthy brain cells and make your recovery that much more certain.
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Side Effects And Problems With Dopamine Agonists
Common side effects of dopamine agonists include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hallucinations or delusions and confusion
- Existing dyskinesias becoming more troublesome initially
If you are taking Cabergoline , Pergolide or Bromocriptine your neurologist or GP will have to arrange a chest CT scan or ultrasound of your heart yearly as over time these medications may effect heart or lung tissue.
This precaution does not apply to the other dopamine agonists available in Australia.
Want More Practical Articles Like This
Much more can be found in our Every Victory Counts® manual. Its packed with up-to-date information about everything Parkinsons, plus an expanded worksheets and resources section to help you put what youve learned into action. Request your free copy of the Every Victory Counts manual by clicking the button below.
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What Would Happen If I Try To Manage Without Medication For Some Time
Any change to your medication regime must be discussed with your doctor so that you understand how this might affect you.
Parkinsons medication should never be stopped abruptly as this can be dangerous. If both you and your doctor agree to stop any medication, it will be necessary to do so by very gradually reducing the medication dose.
If you agree to do so, it would be useful if you kept a diary to monitor how this was affecting your symptoms. This can help to highlight any changes in symptom pattern, or in your emotions or behaviour that may be related to medication.
Writing down your own individual experiences on a day-to-day basis can also help you to talk about any changes in your symptoms and your feelings with your doctor. This can be very useful, particularly as appointments are often too short for doctors to ask lots of questions, and your visit may be on a day when your symptoms do not follow their general pattern.
See also Keeping a diary.
How To Take Action
Recently, many of the US states with laws allowing insurers and PBMs to use step therapy have incorporated patient protections to ensure the process is used safely and appropriately. Some state laws ensure that patients can be exempted from step therapy requirements when medically appropriate, while other states limit the amount of time that insurance companies or PBMs can wait before approving or denying an exemption request.
If you live in the US, explore whether your state has a policy in place to establish rules and limits for step therapy. If your state doesnt have this kind of policy, make your voice heard and contact your elected officials. Urge their support for responsible step therapy practices that put patients first.
This post was written by the Davis Phinney Foundation.
This post has been sponsored by Adamas.
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Impulsive And Compulsive Behaviours
People who experience impulsive and compulsive behaviours cant resist the temptation to carry out an activity often one that gives immediate reward or pleasure.
Behaviours may involve gambling, becoming a shopaholic, binge eating or focusing on sexual feelings and thoughts. This can have a huge impact on peoples lives including family and friends.
Not everyone who takes Parkinsons medication will experience impulsive and compulsive behaviours, so these side effects should not put you off taking your medication to control your symptoms.
If you have a history of behaving impulsively you should mention this to your GP, specialist or Parkinsons nurse.
Asking your specialist to make changes to your medication regime or adjusting the doses that you take is the easiest way to control impulsive and compulsive behaviours. So, if you or the person you care for is experiencing this side effect, tell your healthcare professional as soon as possible before it creates large problems.
If you are not able to get through to your healthcare professional straight away, you can call our Parkinsons UK helpline on 0808 800 0303.
We have advice that can help you manage impulsive and compulsive behaviours as well as information on what behaviour to look out for.
The Disease Doesnt Stand A Chance
Because this is an illness that can be tackled on so many fronts doing what I did meant my overall health actually got better over time.
The three steps I described provide health benefits that overwhelm the downside of the disease.
You deteriorate 1 part because of the illness but improve 3 parts because of these new, powerful daily habits.
More than anything, what I learned is that Parkinsons is not the terrifying, life-destroying diagnosis that so many of us believe it to be.
I was able to choose what this illness did to me. And I chose for it to do nothing to me.
Eat Plenty Of Protein But Not With Levodopa Medications
If youre taking a levodopa medication, your doctor may tell you to avoid protein when taking your meds. Both animal and plant protein can interfere with the absorption of levodopa medications.
But you should still eat plenty of protein. Just be strategic with the timing. Dont take levodopa medications with meals, Dr. Gostkowski says. Its best to take it on an empty stomach either 30 minutes before your meal or an hour after eating.
If you get nauseous from the medication, eat a small amount of starchy food with it, such as crackers. Make sure whatever you eat with your medicine doesnt have protein. Its a misunderstanding that people with Parkinsons should avoid protein, Dr. Gostkowski says. You definitely need protein in your diet. Just dont eat it when youre taking your levodopa medication.
What Will Happen If I Forget To Take My Medication
It is important to discuss with your doctor what would happen if you do forget to take your medication so that you are prepared, and understand what action you should take.
If you forget to take your medication you may notice that your symptoms become worse, often known as wearing-off, as the effects of the medication literally wear off. Symptoms may then either re-emerge or worsen before the next dose of medication is due. This tends to begin to happen over a period of time as Parkinsons progresses and when it occurs, the control of both motor and non-motor symptoms fluctuates. This phenomenon is very individual and there is no standard time frame for when this may occur or what symptoms you might experience.
The range of wearing-off symptoms is very broad so any changes in your usual pattern should be discussed with your doctor as he or she may be able to adjust your medication regime to help control these symptoms better.
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Carbidopa/levodopa: Most Efficacious And A Good First Choice
The advent of carbidopa/levodopa nearly 4 decades ago was associated with substantially increased longevity, documented in multiple studies of PD cohorts, and presumably due to mobilizing akinetic patients. This drug remains the most efficacious treatment. Although new PD drugs are sometimes advocated for initial treatment, they are much more expensive and, for seniors with PD, have few advantages over carbidopa/levodopa.
The oral dopamine agonists pramipexole and ropinirole are the primary alternatives to carbidopa/levodopa as initial treatment. They are efficacious but substantially less so than levodopa., Moreover, they have troublesome adverse effects, including sedation/sleep attacks and pathological behaviors, plus an approximately 3-fold risk of hallucinations, compared to carbidopa/levodopa., Uncommonly, PD patients sometimes experience massive lower limb edema provoked by agonists., The primary argument for starting therapy with these agonists is to reduce dyskinesia and motor fluctuation risks in early PD . However, during the early years of PD in seniors, dyskinesias and motor fluctuations are not very frequent and usually are unimportant problems.- Of course, the opposite is true in very young people with PD disease onset before age 40 years is nearly always associated with at least some dyskinesias by 5 years of levodopa treatment. However, PD onset before age 40 years is extremely uncommon.
How Long Does It Take For Parkinsons Disease To Progress
It is quite common for any individual suffering from Parkinsons disease to wonder about the unfolding of the condition. If you belong to the group that in search for the answers related to the progression of Parkinsons disease, then you will try to learn about the symptoms that you can acquire with the condition, when they start, and the changes the disease brings in the body.
The questions are basic, but Parkinsons disease is not. Like other illnesses, Parkinsons disease does not have a specific path of progression. Due to this, it is difficult to state or pin down the exact time or the path of the progression.
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Side Effects And Problems With Levodopa
In the early days of taking levodopa, you may feel sickness or nausea. In most people this will pass as your body adjusts to the medication.
Overtime as Parkinsons progresses the levodopa dose will need to be adjusted. Many people will become more aware that symptoms sometimes return between doses of medication. This is called wearing off and is a sign your dose needs to be adjusted.
As levodopa is absorbed through the gut, constipation or other stomach problems may impact on uptake of the medication. In some people who have had Parkinsons for sometime extra involuntary movements can occur. Your neurologist will be able to help adjust medications to minimise dyskinesia.
Other side effects may include:
Side effects of levodopa can sometimes be improved by changing your dose, the form of the drug or how often you take it. If this doesnt work, other types of drug may be combined with levodopa.
Speak to your GP or specialist about the right treatment for you.
Why Does Step Therapy Exist
Many insurers and Pharmacy Benefits Managers use step therapy to save on prescription drug costs. They require people to try lower-cost medications in order to lower healthcare costs. And because many US states dont regulate step therapy, insurance companies can sometimes implement these processes without proving that the alternative treatments are safe or in the best interests of patients.
Returning to our OFF and dyskinesia example: If a person with Parkinsons who is living with both conditions is required to take a tier-one, immediate-release amantadine medication, it may or may not help relieve these symptoms which it is not approved to treat. However, even if the immediate-release amantadine medication is not working, the person with Parkinsons must wait for the required fail first time period to pass. This means they are continuing to livewith disruptive symptoms that could be managed right away with the step-up medication.
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