Jun 1, 2011

B Vitamin, Thyroid, and Free Drug Sample Angle

You won't believe what happened next. Dotty laughed for the first time in two years. She started smiling for the first time in two years. My heart soared...
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Mom Didn't Laugh for Two Years
and it was Killing Me
Earlier today, I was talking to a good friend of mine about Dotty, Alzheimer's, and how things are going.

At one point he asks me, you have an angles? This means more or less, what did I come up with that gives us an edge on the medical system. He figured I Looked Beyond the Obvious and made the system work for us.

Here goes.

About five years ago I was reading up on vitamin B. With a focus on B 12. Now there isn't much research in the area of dementia and Alzheimer's, but there is a little that says taking vitamin B 12, B 6, and folic acid slows down brain shrinkage. There is a small study indicating that older people, with mild memory problems, experienced less brain shrinkage and scored higher on cognitive tests after taking all three for two years.

Good enough for me.

There is a large body of evidence indicating that taking Bs will protect you against heart disease, depression, stroke, loss of vision, and lung cancer. Good enough for me.

As you age, meaning go over 50, it gets harder and harder for your body to retain B vitamins. This has to do with factors like digestion. So, you really have to eat all the right foods to get enough B into your system. Or, your brain might suffer above average brain shrinkage.

So anyway, I go to see Doc Chiriboga and I ask if Dotty can get a B 12 shot every month. He says okay, but we will need to monitor the blood test. By the way, the band from high to low on the B blood test is wider than the grand canyon. We never had a problem and Dotty gets a blood test every three months.

Next set of articles I read discussed how hypothyroidism can present with dementia like symptoms. I ask the Doc for a good thyroid test. Dotty gets the tests, results come back in, and Doc says, "test looks suspicious". This means Dotty does not have hypothyroidism, but, its close. He decides to give Dotty the smallest dose of the medication and monitor her thyroid closely.

You won't believe what happened next. Dotty laughed for the first time in two years. She started smiling for the first time in two years. My heart soared. Get that thyroid checked and remember to ask, "does it look suspicious. By the way, we never had a problem for the medication.

Okay this brings us up to the free drug sample angle.

I didn't get this idea at first. But then one day it dawned on me. Here is the deal, for five years we have been going to the doctor once a month. We get the B 12 shot. Does the shot help? Well, I think it does.

When I look at it from this angle I am certain it helps. Every time we go to the doctor I ask for drug samples. Right now the one I want most is Namenda. Let me put it to you this way, we stayed out of the doughnut hole for the last several years thanks to drug samples.

The angle. Ask every doctor you see for drug samples. Ask even if you go every week. I ask every time. Don't be shy. They are there to be given to patients. You don't ask, I will. Who wins?

Finally, I am not a fan of taking supplements to get the necessary B vitamins, antioxidants etc.

You can get B 12 from whole grains, fruit juices, and cereal. B 6 from tuna, chicken, bananas, and potatoes.

If you want to learn more about vitamin B use the search box on the right hand side of this page. Put this letter in the box - B - and you will off to the races. Try this word -- thyroid.

We have 2,800 articles on the Alzheimer's Reading Room, try the search box. It is all here, so start searching.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,680 articles with more than 512,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room