PD and Diet
In a previous blog, I had cited a Lancet published study regarding dairy and health which recommended that these foods be part of a healthy diet in order to prevent “cardiovascular disease events.” However, I have recently come across a study (2007) which draws a radically different conclusion, specifically for Parkinson’s Disease patients. This study, which appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology, May, 2007, concludes that there is “accumulating evidence from this and previous prospective studies that supports a positive association between dairy consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease, particularly in men.” A recent Healthline.com entry (they’re a competitor of WebMD) published in September 2018, corroborates this finding and states similarly: “Dairy products have been linked to a risk of developing Parkinson’s … particularly in men.” But, but… but! From the publication, Frontiers in Neurology, September 5, 2014 comes this: “Despite clear-cut associations between milk intake and PD incidence, there is no rational explanation for milk being a risk factor for PD. Based on current knowledge, limiting the consumption of dairy products does not seem to be a reasonable strategy in the prevention of the development and progression of PD.”
So it seems we have diametrically opposite views from several valid sources. What to do? It’s perplexing, but perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised, because I think everyone has heard the expression that medicine is an ‘art and a science.’ It often is inexact and in error. Sometimes it takes time for the ‘true’ facts to emerge. In any case, the following may help guide and inform a discussion of diet for PD, and may prompt some questions to ask your neurologists. Two diet subjects will be briefly addressed: proteins (as relating to levodopa) and constipation, a common complaint in PD.
Levodopa is the main drug used to treat Parkinson’s Disease. (Sinemet is often prescribed; it is the brand name for the combination of levodopa and carbidopa.) It (i.e., levodopa) competes with protein-containing food for absorption into the gut. It is often recommended that PD patients consume the high protein-containing foods (meat, fish etc.) at the end of the day and thus avoid having their meds be, in effect, neutralized by these foods during the daytime.
Constipation, a fairly common problem in PD, can be mitigated by staying hydrated and consuming fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and cereals. No major debates about those guidelines. Healthline.com also recommends turmeric and yellow mustard.
After everything is considered, each PD patient should consult with his/her physician regarding a suitable safe diet. (And apologies for introducing this uncertainty and confusion about dairy products.) Lao Du
Recently my TV, internet and telephone service, all provided by one supplier via coaxial cable, went out. I called the company in Norwalk countless times, only to be greeted by a robot who first informed that our ‘conversation’ would be recorded and then kept asking me to press “number one” if I wanted to talk in English. Finally, when I was able to tell the automaton (in English) that NOTHING (!!) in my house was working – I freely admit that I was screaming – he (she?) just dismissed me and, despite my repeatedly pressing the zero (operator) button, summarily hung up on me. “Thank you for being patient, you are a valued customer,” the android processor had reassured me, “ and then clicked to disconnect in spite of my indignant yelling.
I was out two weeks with the flu. There are tests some physicians use to diagnose the flu but I didn’t take any tests, so how did I know that I actually had the flu and not a common cold?
Well, there is often some uncertainty about the correct diagnosis – flu or cold – and mistakes abound. Confusion is quite common because there are many symptoms between the two illnesses that overlap, and many of these symptoms may not be specific. For example, I had a sore throat and was using a box of tissues a day during the throes of my illness. You can have those with flu or a cold.
But there are differences that should facilitate distinguishing the two entities. I got sick fairly suddenly. That points decidedly to influenza. All at once I was taken down and bedridden – and stayed in bed for almost two weeks straight. During that time my back, neck and other joints were killing me. Plus my muscles were aching. All of those things, based on their intensity, are also the likely signs of a flu. And then consider when this occurred – in flu season, when the virus is lurking and waiting to pounce on some delicious victim (me!)
So I did what Dr. Marcus Welby or Dr. Kildare would have recommended. (These are TV doctors of yore … which probably date me, so I better add a newer one – Dr. Doogie Howser.) They, in their infinite wisdom (I can hear their voices – that’s how sick I was) reminded me to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Which I did, and I stayed away from the club for two weeks so as not to contaminate anyone else. ( I’m such a good boy. Somebody hurry and get me a mirror so that I can kiss it.) Lao Du
The pairing of rubber and sponge in seemingly infinite combinations is a catastrophe. It has ruined ping pong (and created “table tennis”). The result of the unfortunate marriage of these two materials creates a game that is too fast and too tricky. Result: the points are short. Besides that, it (the sponge game) is not suitable for TV. Forget about it being boring, they just can’t do the technical things modern day audiences expect from a sports telecast. For example, no one could possibly be able to detect the deft spins applied to the ball in real time action. Slow motion replay would be required, but that’s well-nigh impossible given that most points are 3 ball exchanges – a serve, a return and a putaway – and play would be resumed in seconds before a replay could even be contemplated. Without TV, there is no real commercial value in table tennis. It will forever be mired with second or third- tier sports (e.g., dazzling curling and the breathtaking Olympic walking).
Ping Pong Parkinson (PPP) held it’s first quarterly 2019 tournament this week. Congratulations to all 10 participants, each of whom has shown remarkable strides in their ping pong skills. The winner was Margie Alley in a close match against the runner-up, Andy Schloat.
I was on board a cruise ship several years ago when they announced that a ping pong tournament would be held. On the day of the event I showed up to sign up, supremely confident (maybe a trifle cocky) that I might have a shot at winning because in my youth I had been the Long Pong Day Camp ping pong champion several years running (‘55-’57). But, to my utter dismay, I noticed that a large group of players who were also entering the tournament had brought their own rackets with them. Jeez, who would do that except very serious, dedicated, committed, passionate … nuts. They frightened me, the whole bunch of them. They had to be good. These were mostly Asians, made the more fearsome by their countries’ ping pong reputations and, in this case, by the look of some fancy ping pong manufacturer logos on their shirts and equipment bags. And by their fat, alarming sponge paddles.
I knew it was a waste of time for me to play against these equipment junkies, these ringers with their sophisticated paraphernalia, but I signed up anyway – only because I’d already bragged to my girl friend at the time that I was the great Long Pond champion (she wanted to know from what century?). And then I couldn’t believe what happened. The cruise director, this imperious guy in charge of the ping pong table (lot of responsibility there) declared that everyone had to use the cruise ship paddles – these cheap molded plastic things that probably cost the Princess Line about 30 cents each – maybe less. And that turned out to be my ticket to success, because these so-called rackets played somewhat like the sandpaper rackets of my youth – they didn’t grab the ball. I ended up beating all the professionals and semi-professionals who could not adjust to the schlocky equipment. (I think they were also using one star balls on this 5 star ship.)
As a result of winning this revered and prestigious tournament, I fully expected to be seated next to the captain that night for dinner– or maybe they would rename the ship in my honor – something like that. But it never happened. They gave me a credit for a glass of wine (which I don’t drink). One glass!
Now, you see! Right there, that’s the trouble with ping pong in a nutshell – no respect. Ping pong will never pay the big bucks. Why? (Hint: the paddles.) Stay tuned for Part II. Same bat station. Lao Du
Here’s a little secret I have that I’m gonna share with you. And it truly is a secret – I never even told this to my ex-wife while we were still talking to each other. And it’s this: I used to go out surreptitiously (who knew what diabolical ideas she had about my clandestine disappearances) and get a real malted at a Dairy Queen nearby. Maybe she thought I was with a frosty blonde? Only wrong by half. I was with a frosted chocolate malt. Yummy. Oooh, I get excited just thinking about it. There! I feel better already for having come clean about this.