Physical, occupational and speech therapies are important to the patient with ALS to make it easier to live their lives. Wheelchairs, foot braces, and other devices that can make it easier to use the telephone and computer are helpful in making the patient as independent as possible.
Certain medications may be prescribed as the disease progresses. These include bacofen to relieve stiffness in limbs and throat; tizanidine as a muscle relaxant; riluzole to reduce the presynaptic release of glutamate; and Hydergine to increase brain levels of SOD and catalase.
A great number of natural supplements may be helpful for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. There are over twenty listed in this article! Careful history and laboratory testing will help guide the choice of which supplements are most important. In addition, there are many products that are formulated with high amounts of antioxidants. A basic protocol might include the following:
Other supplements can of course be added based on the individual patient. SAMe may be more indicated in clients that are emotionally distressed. N Acetyl cysteine is indicated if there is significant mucous congestion. Alpha lipoic acid is particularly useful for detoxification and associated liver disorders. Essential fatty acids may be indicated if the hair, skin and nails are dry and brittle. Extra magnesium is helpful for constipation. A hormone lab test is a simple and effective way to determine which hormones may be useful.
It should also be noted that the protocol will dramatically change depending upon the underlying cause. For instance, chronic viral infections need specific treatment. Chelation therapy may be useful for heavy metal toxicity. Detoxification of toxic chemicals and pesticides is beyond the scope of this article.
Of particular interest should be the type and quantity of carbohydrates in the patients diet. It is not uncommon to find people that eat little else but simple carbohydrates (breads, pasta, donuts, sugar, beer, etc.) Subclinical disorders such as Syndrome X (insulin resistance) should be considered. In these cases a switch to complex carbohydrates and protein can be accomplished with a suitable Green drink and Whey protein powder, along with proper diet counseling.
Despite the dire prediction of the conventional medical establishment, hope still remains for these predictions of a quick demise are based on patients with severe problems that have not tried any nutritional supplements. Simple dietary changes and nutritional supplements can often result in dramatic health improvements when a true nutrient deficiency is the underlying cause.
The supplements that may be beneficial to ALS patients are:
Contact the ALS Association National Office, 21021 Ventura Blvd., Suite 321, Woodland Hills, CA 91364; (818) 340-7500; patient hotline: (800) 782-4747; e-mail, email@example.com. This association is a nonprofit, voluntary, national health organization committed solely to the fight against ALS through research, patient support, information, advocacy, and public awareness.
Contact the Family Caregiver Alliance, 690 Market Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104; (415) 434-3388; Web site http://www.caregiver.org; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Family Caregiver Alliance supports and assists caregivers of brain- impaired adults through education, research, services, and advocacy.
Continue to Part 9 of the ALS Article