Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Worked up a rather long reply to a friend who has a parent with some issues, and thought others might appreciate the info. Getting a parent to actually TAKE vitamins or admit anything is wrong might be, well, some kind of karmic irony in action. But maybe you can use the info to get their doctor to evaluate and propose some supplemental nutrition.

  • The excellent Alzheimer’s pages at Healing with Nutrition mention that “Two of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the elderly are folic acid and vitamin B12. These deficiencies lead to motor skill disturbances, confusion, delusion, fatigue, memory loss, numbness, and ringing in the ears. Sounds like dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue, and multiple sclerosis all rolled up into one. The important thing to realize is that there are often no differences between the subtle signs of nutrition deficiency and what we interpret as “old age.””
  • Some doctors’ papers available at an Australian site offer a lot of hope:
    “Not a single one of the scores of middle-aged-to-elderly people who have consulted me since 1981 for memory-loss or early Alzheimer’s dementia – and who stayed on my program – has ever gone on to develop the full-blown Alzheimer’s Disease.”
  • This research paper indicates that “cholinesterase inhibitors, FDA-approved drugs that slow the breakdown of acetylcholine in Alzheimer’s patients, help alleviate dementia symptoms.”
  • Try increasing available acetylcholine via nutritional supplements.
  • Look at other medications the folks are on to find any anticholinergic drugs that may be bringing on dementia-like symptoms; also check the listed side effects and interactions to see if ‘cognitive impairment’ is listed.
  • Consider applying several of the suggested therapies from CERI’s table of anti-Alzheimer’s recommendations, especially DMAE, glutathione, and lots and lots of lethicin and B’s. Note that we forwarded info from CERI’s programs on dealing with Downs Syndrome via nutritional therapy to Mike’s brother when our little niece was born with it. She is mainstreamed and does really well, though she may top out at some point (is only 11 now). Mike’s mom thinks that it’s because little A “only had a mild case”– um, yeah. Trisomy-21, you have it or you don’t, eh? Dunno if their Alzheimer’s stuff is as good, but give it a shot.
  • This MIT research “suggests that a cocktail treatment of omega-3 fatty acids and two other compounds normally present in the blood, could delay the cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s disease” (omega-3’s, uridine, and choline)
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon oil, or deep-sea norweigan fish oil, are both the best omega-3/omega-6 good-ratio supplements out there. Flaxseed oil requires the body to do more conversion (a conversion which cats can’t do, found out about it on a make your own petfood site). Pasture-raised eggs, specifically the yolks, are an excellent source of omega-3; current indoor, factory-farmed eggs and meats are quite lacking in them compared to historical values. Most modern grain-heavy diets provide a ton of omega-6 but without omega-3 in the right ratios you run into trouble. Yes, that’s a very vague statement; go look these up yourself, I’m tired now.
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    I found a holistic cat care page with some advice, but, even though I am not a vet, my advice is different. Why? Because a lot of vets, even holistic ones, still have the ‘treat the symptom’ mentality that doesn’t always think about side effects. Do your own research, including talking to vets.

    Before going into ANY of the holistic vet advice, first I say, GET RID OF YOUR DRY CAT FOOD. NOW. Either switch your cats to canned food or, if your cats hunt or are kittens, get them started on a RAW diet. You will never regret that– they’ll be cheaper to feed and healthier cats! Mine were too old and didn’t wanna do it, but I may try again sometime. 🙂

    I got my kitties off the dry food because of the petfood scare. Now that they are off it, I am blown away by the positive changes, ranging from one cat’s arthritis largely disappearing to the other cat being less skittish. Cats aren’t meant to eat lots of grain. They can if they have to, and even seem to thrive. I always got lots of complements at the vet’s on the condition of my cats, as I fed them Iam’s dry and a can of Fancy Feast daily. I didn’t know how much better they could be doing!

    It is going to be more expensive, yes. But I find that if I read can ingredients and look for sales, it’s not that bad. It probably averages about $1.30/day total to feed the pair of them, an 8 pound and an 11 pound cat. If you can’t do that, I understand– time was I couldn’t either. So do what you can, and supplement with what you can afford. It is still cheaper than the vet bills in the long run, but there was a time we couldn’t afford those, either. I know you love your kitties, so don’t get bummed out if you’re reading this and feel like you can’t do it all!

    So, on to the vet’s advice:

    If, despite your efforts, your cat does develop kidney disease, these strategies may help. Use supplements designed for humans (grind them up or puncture gel capsules) and adjust dosages accordingly.

    1. Antioxidants. Which ones and how much?
    Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) – 50 I.U. per day
    Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate powder tastes less sour than ascorbic acid and is easier to hide in food) – 250 mg twice a day

    I strongly disagree. Vitamin C in excess can cause bleeding, which is the LAST thing you want in major blood filtering organs. The problem with ‘excess’ is that it’s highly individual. Now that I eat a lot of veggies from my garden, I find that if I eat a lot of fruit (like 3 or 4 peaches over the course of a day, I can get a killer nosebleed from it. I’ve had an “Emergen-C” packet set off a giant nosebleed. I never realized that I was overdosing with C until reading that as a side effect– I figured I was just prone to nosebleeds, and was getting off Allegra in case it was that. Nope! As for Vitamin E, kittygrass and good food will do that.

    2. Coenzyme Q-10 – 10 mg once to twice a day.

    Don’t know any reason to contraindicate this, though I’m wary of supplementing cats rather than bettering their quality of food. Despite the plethora of CoQ-10 supplements that are certified as egg-free, egg yolk remains one of the best sources of ubiquinone-10. An occasional raw organic egg yolk is also excellent kitty nutrition. If yours are like mine, they may need you to over-easy it and eat the white, then give them the plate and make them think they’re getting away with something.

    3. Omega-3 fatty acids may help improve kidney function. Be sure to supplement with fish oil, not flax seed oil, since cats can’t convert the linoleic acid in flax seed oil to the final form, arachidonic acid. How much? Pop a hole in a fish-oil capsule and give your cat about 2 drops daily.

    Great advice re: the fish vs flax. But 2 drops from a capsule daily? Much better to share a tin of wild-caught sardines in WATER with your cat once a week, giving the cat the juice and a sardine or two. The organs and tiny bones in the sardines are full of the goodness that kitties are designed for, and they’re good for YOU too.

    4. All nutrients needed to grow kidney tissue are found in kidney tissue, so supplementation with glandular kidney tissue ensures that any nutrients we aren’t supplying to our cats are obtained. How much? 1/4 capsule of desiccated kidney tissue, twice daily.

    Ask the butcher at your local Whole Foods for organic kidney, rather than buying the dessicated kidney pills that many holistic cat care folks recommend. Since the kidney is a filter, who wants factory-farmed poisoned animals supplying kidney, ugh?! They sell the Rocky chicken livers, but may have kidney and hearts from roasting chickens or from whole turkeys. Any of the organic organ meats are *great* for kitties if yours will eat them. Ours eat liver cooked, but won’t eat it raw, silly things.

    5. Acupuncture helps appetite and improves blood flow to the kidneys.

    Could be. I doubt that it would outweigh the trauma of transport, though– the kitty doesn’t know that she is going for a relaxing, painless acupuncture treatment. She knows that the carrier usually means a butt-probe and a shot, possibly other indignities as well. Even worse if the acupuncturist works out of your vet’s office, where the all too familiar smells and sounds will make your kitty long to be home before something happens to her.

    6. B-complex vitamins are lost with the increased urination, vomiting, and diarrhea which often accompany kidney disease. So, a B-complex supplement can help. How much? 1/4 of a B-50 tablet, twice daily. Also, anemia, often seen in early kidney disease, may respond to an increase in B vitamins, but anemia in end-stage kidney disease will not.

    If you’re not already feeding Nutritional Yeast (large flake in bulk bins at many food stores), it’s a good idea, as the B vitamins are critical in kidney health. Also, most cats LOOOOVE it, which can’t be said about pills.

    7. Supplementation with calcium carbonate may help gastrointestinal problems, acidosis, and calcium imbalance. How much? 100mg, twice daily

    No, don’t feed kitty gritty stuff that makes her like her food less. Give her more sardines, with their tiny bones, or make a bonestock for kitty by intensely stewing some chicken bones like you would for soup stock, and feeding her the broth as a treat.

    Dr. Nancy Scanlan has a holistic veterinary practice in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

    And I’m not at all casting aspersions on her abilities as a vet. I do think that many vets don’t fully consider how stressful small changes can be to cats, even ones that are well. Of course your kitty will eventually eat her food if she is hungry, and you will think “oh, she is taking the supplements just fine now!”. But it’s another little layer of stress on top of the illness, and hiding the illness (because that’s what cats DO). Also, the straight supplement path ignores the possiblity for healing synergy from complementary ingredients, such as the extra protein in fish and egg yolk.

    Good luck, and healthy kitties!! [ok to link to this, I’m keeping it public for that specifically; I am screening comments, though, as this may be a contentious topic]

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    Via Farber’s IP list:

    10 Things Your Grocery Store Doesn’t Want You to Know, including:

    1. The shopping carts have cooties.

    According to studies done on shopping carts, more than 60 percent of them are harboring coliform bacteria (the sort more often associated with public toilet seats). “These bacteria may be coming from raw foods or from children who sit in the carts,” says Chuck Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiologist at University of Arizona. “Just think about the fact that a few minutes ago, some kid’s bottom was where you are now putting your broccoli.” According to studies done by Gerba and his colleagues at University of Arizona, shopping carts had more bacteria than other surfaces they tested—even more than escalators, public phones and public bathrooms. To avoid picking up nasty bacteria, Gerba recommends using sanitizing wipes to clean off cart handles and seats, and to wash your hands after you finish shopping.

    Blerg. I’d always thought that the little sanitation-wipe stations that are springing up at grocery stores were to placate the paranoid, not for practical purposes. That’s pretty gross.

    Then again, if you want to culture antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria, the best place to get a swab is on a doctor’s stethoscope, even if it has a fabric ‘safety’ cover. Oh, and if your doctor is wearing a tie, insist that the doctor wash again. Then there are all the patient-care providers (horrifying stats here)

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    Some decent advice here. Some of it I’ve been implementing without codifying it, but it’s nice to see it in one place.

    [Oh, and I know, first I sez, no more LJ, then I posts zillions… gotta get my new wordpress bloggie up, “My Summer Vacation” to hold all this stuff… any day now, yez, reely…]

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    Pretty cool site, doesn’t matter how old (or new!) your kids are.


    Some tips just plain useful, like the folks who observed that even with professional pack-n-move services, a few hundred mile trip is enough to loosen a LOT of those clever little IKEA or Sauder type ‘locking’ assemblies in one’s built-in furniture. Like, enough to cause a big problem, if you don’t check stuff after it’s unloaded and set up, as well as having the movers keep an eye out for loose connectors, bolts, etc on the floor of the truck.

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    Followed a link in my inbox to a rating survey of hospitals, rating them on things like doctor-induced harm, post-op sepsis, patient death, etc. 4th or 5th annual survey of over 5K hospitals in USA.

    If fellow South Bay folks need anything, or have to go to an ER and have choices, go for O’CONNOR HOSPITAL in San Jose. They made it onto the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospitals list in the 4th annual Patient Safety in America survey. There were East Bay hospitals on the list, too.

    However, no Bay Area hospitals are on the HealthGrade nationwide top 50 list. To get on that, a hospital has to have been a Distinguished Hospital in all years of the survey, or be in the top scoring percentile of the hospitals that have been a DH in the previous 4 years of the survey.

    CA hospitals that made the top 50 list:

    Glendale Memorial, Glendale
    Cedars-Sinai, LA
    Good Samaritan, LA
    St Johns, Santa Monica

    Given that there was a 28% reduction in mortality between the top 50 and a standard hospital– not even complications, just straight out “He’s dead, Jim”, I think if our family needs anything major done, we might hop on down to LA, or even Santa Monica.

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