welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, April 8, 2016

alzheimers news-the sooner the better

today would have been my younger brothers 65th birthday
my thoughts are with him and his family today
i think of him every day
hanging on our key rack in our kitchen
is this wrench of his
each day as i reach for my keys
i think of him

today after talking to two people with memory issues
i thought about his onset of memory problems
the sooner the better
is my motto on getting diagnosed
dont be afraid
it wont make it go away

he apparently went to a doctor months before he was diagnosed
he was handed some aricept pills without really getting a good workup
and went back to work
knowing what i know now about the aricept
no wonder he stopped taking it the first month
months later while moving our mom to a long term care facility
i noticed significant problems with his memory and spatial skills

he was evaluated later
got the proper workup
got diagnosed
got on meds ie aricept (donepezil)
quit working

knowing now what i know and what we know in medicine
what difference would that few months made
a lot i think
now a days a big push when diagnosed is to maximize ones
healthy living practices
see below

today he would have qualified for one of the new treatment studies
as do all of my siblings
that i am trying hard to get into
they the new treatments have promise
even if they just slow the disease down
combined with healthy practices
he might have had a few more years with his family
a few more years before the decline worsened

i really feel like aggressively taking care of my health
my supplements i take
the aricept (donepezil)
have slowed things down for myself

i however do realize though
if i have alzheimers
that i am just pushing things further down the road
hopefully for several years

i think its worth especially today to get evaluated
if you have memory issues
find out why
so many of the causes are treatable

its also important if you have a family history of dementia
to be aggressive about these healthy things

hormone issues
eg i had my testosterone level done to be sure it was not part of the problem
it was normal
women may need estrogen and progesterone levels to see if hormone
replacement for a short time is needed

medication side effects

poorly controlled blood pressure cholesterol diabetes

sleep problems such as sleep apnea restless legs etc

anxiety depression excessive stress

lab abnormalities such as low potassium and  low sodium
low b12 low folic acid high homocysteine levels low thyroid
all treatable these lab abnormalities

lack of exercise

now this one is simple
walk 30 minutes a day
no excuse for not doing this one


eat the mediterranean diet or mind diet
i have and maintain my weight at a normal level
yes i eat some red meat like bbq eat whole milk products use butter
have occasional bacon eat eggs

drink moderately like red wine once a day

stay active not only physically but mentally and socially

consider supplements and vitamins based on your diet
and family history and lab values
i added b vitamins and folate and vit b12 and vitamin d3
since my lab studies were abnormal
if they were normal i wouldnt have added them all

do these things cure alzheimers disease

do these things make you live longer

can these things prevent alzheimers disease
some think so
doing these things may reduce alzheimers by 40% in the general
population if done over a lifetime

if done when memory issues began
they may delay the worsening of symptoms like what i have seen in myself
what my older brother noticed after he was diagnosed

so yes
i am a believer in early evaluation
i personally would want to know where i am
i can deal with the future

i want to see that new grandbaby grow up

that in itself is worth doing all this

wouldnt you want the same for yourself
and your family

the sooner the better

what to do if you are having memory issues
go online and take the sage test click this link
take it in ink
dont cheat
take it when completed to your doctor
a good primary care doctor is ok
just be prepared when you go in

take with you a specific list of what your memory issues are

if a loved one has noticed issues
have a significant other like your spouse
complete the 21 question alzheimers quiz click this link
copy it
take with you along with you spouse or significant person
to the doctors appointment

make the appointment only for memory issues and nothing else
be honest when answering questions
warning it is hard to take these tests
almost embarrassing when you cant answer things
i am speaking from experience now
i do this at least once or twice a year

a history and examination should be done looking for those
treatable causes

a memory test like the mmse or moca should be done
sometimes a quicky screening test like the clock drawing test
or mini cog is done
those quicky tests can miss early disease
the moca is more sensitive

labs should be done
i recommend these
cbc chemistry profile glucose tsh for thyroid
vitamin b12 vitamin d3
maybe folic acid and homocysteine-an amino acid that may
be associated with an increased risk for stroke heart attack
and alzheimers disease
if these are abnormal supplements or treatment needs to be taken

if needed a full gold standard neuropyschological test needs to be done
if the mmse or moca is normal this may not need to be done

a depression screen needs to be done

maybe an mri needs to be done based on what the above shows

if no answer is found or treatment is needed
a referral to a neurologist is needed
a referral to a psychiatrists if anxiety depression needs treated
if the primary care doesnt feel comfortable treating these

the sooner the better
you need to do this
if you have memory issues

please dont be afraid

i will talk about some of this at the following presentation

Register for this event today!

the organicgreen doctor

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