Etta James Hospitalized – Complementary Options for Protecting the Health of the Elderly.

Etta James was born in 1938. Her singing spans Blues, Rock&Roll, Gospel and Jazz.  She is well known for her songs  “At Last” and “A Sunday Kind of Love”.  She has won 4 Grammy  Awards over a dozen Blues Music Awards and was inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

The singer has dealt with substance abuse issues on and off since the 1970’s and in 2009 was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

While receiving treatment for over-dependency on pain-killing drugs, a urinary tract infection spread throughout her body causing a condition called sepsis, which is basically the spreading of either the bacteria or the toxins of the bacteria causing the UTI into the blood.  It is also known as blood poisoning or septicemia.

The development of sepsis in James case is not unusual because, the elderly, black people and people taking many different types of powerful prescription drugs are at higher risk for sepsis.

As people age it is often not unusual to see them taking 5, 10 or even more different kinds of drugs (i.e. for blood pressure, for diabetes, for pain, for their hearts, for their cholesterol, the list goes on and on). 

Often times some of the powerfully strong medications, like steroids for example can further compromise immune systems in the elderly that may be suspect to begin with and increase the chances for infections occurring and spreading, as in the case of James.

For example, taking 500 mg per day of magnesium with 500-1000 mg of day of potassium can help to either eliminate or reduce the need for high blood pressure medications.

Incorporating fibers into the diet can help to control blood sugar levels. In addition, supplements like chromium picolinate at 400-1000mcg per day and alpha-lipoic acid can help with insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control as well.

Taking 5000 IU a day of vitamin A, along with 1000 mg per day of Vitamin C can help to prevent the immune system from becoming compromised.

Co-enzyme Q-10 is an energy substrate that the body must have and can help to maintain production of energy, especially in heart muscles.

When the elderly are taking so many synthetic prescription drugs the load on their livers and phase I and Phase II detoxification systems is enormous. The are the systems in the body that prepare chemicals, that in many cases can be toxic for elimination.

In general the Phase I system prepares molecules for elimination by Phase II compounds.  One of the detox compounds of Phase II, is called glucoronic acid and the process by which it eliminates potentially toxic breakdown product of things we eat as well as prescription drugs is called glucoronidation.

An enzyme is our bodies called beta-glucoronidase prevents glucoronnidation from binding with the toxic compounds it its meant to eliminate.  Theis can be of concern especially to the elderly or actually anyone on multiple prescription drugs.

The dietary supplement calcium-d-glucarate blocks the action of the enzyme beta-glucornidase and allows the detoxification via glucornidation to proceed.. This alone can be of significant benefit to the elderly whose liver and other systems may already be compromised.

There is an excellent case to be made for physicians becoming more aware  of the natural medicines that can be used adjunctively with the prescription drugs so that fewer of them can be used and those that are used may either work better, with less side-effects in some cases and less toxicity to protect the immune system and over-all health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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