Posts Tagged ‘immune system’
When you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you find out who your real friends are. Some people pull away; others come much closer. I’ve had both types of friends. When I was first diagnosed I don’t know how I could have made it without my dear friend Jess. She took me to doctor’s appointments; she picked up the slack in our relationship without my saying anything.
Sometimes she would listen while I tried to make sense of what was happening to me, and at other times she sat quietly and I felt comfort in the silence. There were times when I actually fell asleep in the middle of a sentence, and she let me doze off and then reminded me of what I was talking about when I woke up a few minutes later. I couldn’t have asked any more from her.
Other people avoided me because they didn’t know how to deal with me. They were suddenly unavailable, and they didn’t return phone calls. I felt like a leper, at a time when I really needed to be around other people.
Michael had the same experience, especially with his friends in politics. Because of his outward symptoms, he became politically embarrassing—would people think he was drunk or using drugs? Was he simply strange? Michael learned just how shallow some of those people were, and it was a difficult time for him. Read the rest of this entry »
Life is stressful for everyone, particularly those of us with PD. Just as your body can’t tell the difference between real and imagined stress, your body can’t tell whether the relaxation response was triggered by a change in circumstances or a change in your attitude. This can work to your advantage because you can learn to promote relaxation and reverse the stress response by using various mind-body techniques.
Studies have shown that people who are well-trained in mind-body techniques can voluntarily lower their blood pressure and heart rate, alter their brain-wave activity, reduce blood-sugar levels, and ease muscle tension. With practice, you, too, can put mind over illness and use stress-reduction techniques to help control your Parkinson’s symptoms.
You can learn more about each approach by checking books out of the local library or contacting a community center or health clinic to inquire whether classes are offered in your area. Read the rest of this entry »
The role of omega-3 fatty acids in enhancing youth is basically twofold. First, several studies have shown that high intakes of omega-3 fatty acids seem to decrease the incidence of heart disease.
This was first described in 1978, when John Dyerberg published a paper demonstrating that the fish that Eskimos consumed were very high in omega-3 fatty acids.
He had begun this study because it was very puzzling that Eskimos had much lower rates of certain types of heart disease than people in the continental United States, despite the fact that their diets consisted almost exclusively of meat and fish.
Since then, several papers have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids decrease heart disease—but the question remains as to just how they do it. Several studies have shown they do it by blocking the synthesis of a special enzyme called thromboxane A2 (TAX). One of the jobs of TAX is to cause the small cells in our blood known as platelets to clump together whenever we cut ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »