Neurological Conditions Commonly Supported
I can work to support you achieving the foundations for optimal brain performance; these include having a stable blood sugar, restful sleep and adequate exercise. An overarching approach to treatment for all neurological conditions includes optimizing your diet depending on your specific nutritional needs, and decreasing inflammation. I also emphasize an integrative approach in my practice and understand the importance of having many health care practitioners on your team.
Cognitive Decline: Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias
Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative dementias result in substantial cognitive decline that ultimately impacts activities of daily living due to progressive and irreversible brain changes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, however there are many other forms (e.g., vascular dementia, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s). Depression in late-life may also be mistaken for dementia, given the overlap in cognitive symptoms. For Alzheimer’s, age remains the greatest risk factor, with prevalence rates escalating to 1 in 3 for individuals over age 85.
Although the cause is unknown, the disease progression is slow, resulting in lots of opportunity for lifestyle interventions. Naturopathic medicine focuses on reducing lifestyle risk factors to prevent the onset of cognitive decline. These include, inactivity, inadequate nutrition, reduced social opportunities and smoking. In combination with conventional treatment options, complementary and alternative treatment can help by focusing on prevention.
Some well-researched nutrients I often utilize to support brain function include, but are not limited to, probiotics, CoQ10, fish oils, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and phosphatidylcholine. These will utilized on a case by case basis and would be tailored your individual needs.
I can help you choose the right supplements and nutrients to optimize your brain’s health.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Naturopathic support will be focused on decreasing the inflammation in the brain and the body as a whole. To help improve energy levels, efforts will be directed at the brain's mitochondria, also known as the cell’s energy powerhouses. A wide variety of nutrition and herbal supports are available during the recovery process, as well as many years post-brain injury. For example, there is a large body of research surrounding the importance of implementing a high fat, ketogenic diet to help heal up the neuroinflammation occurring post brain injury. Whether you have a history of having a traumatic brain injury, or have recently had one, there are many Naturopathic treatment options available.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
I take a holistic approach to treatment, understanding the importance of supporting both the mind and body to provide care to patients with MS who are both and off medication. The goal is to slow progression, minimize relapses and maximize remission. Emphasis is placed on using interventions that are being actively researched and showing benefit. A neurological screening exam will be conducted on a first visit, where I evaluate the progression of disease and get a baseline of functioning prior to beginning any Naturopathic treatments. Comprehensive blood work is a part of the treatment process. This often includes generalized blood testing completed through Life labs and depending on your symptoms, some specialized testing. Treatment encompasses dietary improvements, exercise recommendations, nutrient supplementation and ensuring your digestive system is functioning optimally. Dietary protocols, such as the Wahl’s Protocol, Paleo Autoimmune or Food Sensitivity Testing are potentially utilized, depending on your individual needs. Nutrient supplementation is recommended on a case-by-case basis if dietary sources are inadequate.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
My goal is to allow you to live a fulfilling and active life alongside your Parkinson’s diagnosis. According to Statistics Canada, there are approximately 100,000 individuals in Canada living with PD and with an expansion of interest in complementary and alternative treatment options, Naturopathic Doctors are perfectly positioned to provide supportive care. A neurological screening exam will be conducted on a first visit, where I evaluate the progression of disease and get a baseline of functioning prior to beginning any Naturopathic treatments. Comprehensive blood work is also performed, some of which can be done through Life labs. Some examples of the support I provide patients diagnosed with PD include, managing the co-occurring weight loss, constipation, low blood pressure and low mood (e.g., depression). Treatment always encompasses nutritional guidance to help ensure there is weight maintenance and a daily bowel movement. Special consideration is always taken for patients who are on Parkinson’s medications that are best taken away from certain foods, for example protein.
Some of the neurodevelopmental conditions I treat include, but are not limited to, ADHD, Autism and Sensory processing disorder. Supportive treatment will include evaluating if there has been any exposure to environmental toxins, as well as exploring any potential nutritional deficiencies, including B Vitamins, Iron, Thyroid Functioning and Vitamin D. By correcting these biochemical imbalances, there is often symptom improvement. If necessary, some of the additional testing that is often done includes comprehensive blood work through Life labs, toxicity levels, heavy metal testing, organic acid test and food sensitivity testing.
For more information on how Naturopathic medicine can help, call to book a complimentary 15-minute meet and greet session with Dr. Stephanie!