Eat To Beat MG

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 The following information is presented for educational purposes only. EatToBeatMG.com provides the following information to provide an understanding of the potential applications of cannabidiol. We share and create a discussion about possible alternative ways to improve symptoms, health or things to be cautious with. Your experience and thoughts are welcomed.

 

Overview of Myasthenia Gravis

As we all know, Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by a breakdown in communication between nerves and muscles, resulting in weakness and rapid fatigue. The muscle weakness associated with myasthenia gravis increases when one is active, but then improves after periods of rest. The degree of muscle weakness varies greatly between individuals.

Myasthenia gravis causes the immune system to produce antibodies that either block or destroy muscles’ receptor sites for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. With some receptors blocked, the muscles receive fewer signals and subsequently prevent muscles from contracting, resulting in weakness. Sometimes the antibodies, rather than block receptor sites, block the function of a protein called muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase, which is involved in creating the nerve-muscular junction.

Due to muscular weakness and fatigue, myasthenia gravis also commonly causes eyelids to droop and can make it difficult to speak, swallow, chew, and make facial expressions. The neck and breathing muscles can also be affected in some cases.

Anticholinesterase medications are often prescribed and effective at inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is responsible for catalyzes the breakdown of acetylcholine. By inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the amount of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction increases and eventually overcomes the blocked receptors.


Findings: Effects of Cannabis on Myasthenia Gravis

Research suggests that cannabis, like anticholinesterase agents, has the capability of inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme responsible for the degradation of acetylcholine. By inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, acetylcholine has more time to interact with its receptor before its breakdown, or turnover, and can therefore overcome the blocked receptor and cause muscle contractions. 

Multiple cannabinoids have demonstrated effective at increasing acetylcholine levels and slowing acetylcholine turnover. One study found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a major cannabinoid found in cannabis, completely inhibited acetylcholinesterase, thereby raising the levels of the neurotransmitter (Eubanks, et al., 2006). Another study showed that three cannabinoids, including THC, cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN), each caused a significant elevation of acetylcholine in the brain and THC and CBN caused a decrease in acetylcholine turnover (Tripathi, Vocci, Brase & Dewey, 1987). Additional studies have demonstrated THC and CBD’s effectiveness at decreasing acetylcholine turnover rate (Revuelta, Moroni, Cheney & Costa, 1978) (Revuelta, et al., 1980).

Cannabinoids’ long understood pharmacological effects are caused by their activation of cannabinoid receptors. However, the cannabinoid’s effects on enzymes and neurotransmitter transporters appear to be due to a mechanism other than their activation of cannabinoid receptors, but the exact method is yet to be fully understood (Oz, et al., 2014). 

States That Have Approved Medical Marijuana for Myasthenia Gravis

Currently, only the state of Illinois has approved medical marijuana specifically for the treatment of myasthenia gravis. However, in Washington D.C., any condition can be approved for medical marijuana as long as a DC-licensed physician recommends the treatment. In addition, a number of other states will consider allowing medical marijuana to be used for the treatment of myasthenia gravis with the recommendation from a physician. These states include: California (any debilitating illness where the medical use of marijuana has been recommended by a physician), Connecticut (other medical conditions may be approved by the Department of Consumer Protection), Massachusetts (other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician), Nevada (other conditions subject to approval), Oregon (other conditions subject to approval), Rhode Island (other conditions subject to approval), and Washington (any “terminal or debilitating condition”).


Recent Studies on Cannabis’ Effect on Myasthenia Gravis

  • THC shown to completely inhibit acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme responsible for the degradation of acetylcholine.
    A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology. 
    (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17140265)
  • Animal trials show THC, CBN and CBD significantly increases acetylcholine in the brain and THC and CBD decreased acetylcholine turnover.
    Effects of cannabinoids on levels of acetylcholine and choline and on turnover rate of acetylcholine in various regions of the mouse brain.
    (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3620017)

 

References

Eubanks, L. M., Rogers, C. J., Beuscher, A. E., Koob, G. F., Olson, A. J., Dickerson, T. J., & Janda, K. D. (2006). A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 3(6), 773–777.

Myasthenia gravis. (2013, April 23). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myasthenia-gravis/basics/definition/con-20027124.

Myasthenia Gravis Fact Sheet. (2015, July 27). National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/myasthenia_gravis/detail_myasthenia_gravis.htm.

Oz, M., Al Kury, L., Keun-Hang, S.Y., Mahgoub, M., and Galadari, S. (2014, May 15). Cellular approaches to the interaction between cannabinoid receptor ligands and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. European Journal of Pharmacology, 731, 100-5.

Revuelta, A.V., Cheney, D.L., Costa, E., Lander, N., and Mechoulam, R. (1980, August 18). Reduction of hippocampal acetylcholine turnover in rats treated with (-)-delta 8-tetrahydrocannabinol and its 1′,2′-dimethyl-heptyl homolog. Brain Research, 195(2), 445-52.

Revuelta, A.V., Moroni, F., Cheney, D.L., and Costa, E. (1978, September). Effect of cannabinoids on the turnover rate of acetylcholine in rat hippocampus, striatum and cortex. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Achives of Pharmacology, 304(2), 107-10.

Tripathi, H.L., Vocci, F.J., Brase, D.A., and Dewey, W.L. (1987). Effects of cannabinoids on levels of acetylcholine and choline and on turnover rate of acetylcholine in various regions of the mouse brain. Alcohol and Drug Research, 7(5-6), 525-32.

 

Article adapted from medicalmarijuanainc.com

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Instead of viewing your chronic illness as a disease in your body, choose to view it as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself and learn to love yourself through meditation.

In my senior year at college I was involved in a school tradition called “Marathon,” where every freshman was assigned to a senior, and that freshman makes fun of you in a series of theater skits. My freshman’s performance was eye-opening. She whined, “I can’t do this, and I can’t do that. My neck hurts, my back hurts, my shoulders ache.” Everyone in the audience was laughing, but I was hurt and surprised. That’s how my classmates saw me? As a whiner and a complainer—a joke? A hypochondriac? Everyone else’s skit portrayed something truly funny, but I had a real health problem. And I was being laughed at for it.

There’s a reason why chronic illnesses are considered the “invisible diseases” and sometimes perceived as hypochondria: if others actually can’t see the pain you’re in, they think you’re a faker. The truth is, I actually did think of myself as a “sick chick” for a long time, so I bear responsibility for transmitting that message out to the masses. Until we stop defining ourselves as sick, other people will continue to see us that way too.

Instead of viewing your condition as a disease in your body, choose to view it as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself and learn to love yourself. When I discovered the Glow Warrior within, I knew it definitely came directly from the power of the Universe (you can call it God, the One, or Gaia—it all works!). It’s there within you too. You won’t drown, get lost, or lose your way. You will, however, start seeing yourself as bigger than your physical challenges or limitations.

 

Do Nothing—with Purpose

First of all, don’t just sit there. Sit there and get comfortable in the present moment. The first step to truly healing is to fully surrender to where you are in this moment. And to let it be. When you allow yourself to be truly present in your body, your heart will soften and open, and you can begin to use that feeling as your guide. This is how you will begin to heal yourself. Focusing on your breath is what will bring you back to the present at any moment you choose. Your breath is your life force and your anchor, and unfortunately it is something that, for a lot of us, tends to get lost in the shuffle when we are dealing with severe stress in the body. The first place to start getting reconnected to yourself is through your breath.

Focus on breathing in through your nose, lowering your breath all the way down into your tummy, and expanding your ribcage out to the sides. Then slowly exhale out through your mouth. The first time I sat and did nothing but breathe, I thought I was going to scream hard enough to ace the part of the hysterical heroine in the next zombie apocalypse movie. After a few tries I started looking forward to it because doing nothing with purpose really does put you in touch with your higher self, your inner guide, the present moment, and the spiritual forces that are all on your side. It’s called meditating, which is a practice that helps us build and maintain our internal energy and develop patience, forgiveness, and compassion.



If you have a chronic condition or are physically struggling, you have to make a clear intention to sit in the initial discomfort and distractions beginning meditation often brings. There you are, sitting cross-legged, replaying a particularly annoying conversation at work, or thinking about the laundry you need to pick up (or dry cleaning you need to drop off), and all of a sudden you’re not meditating anymore. Eventually, you re-center yourself and let those random thoughts float by, and you do begin to see yourself differently. You begin to feel more loving and more forgiving, less critical of yourself. You get yourself out of the “what ifs” of the future or “coulda shouldas” from the past and get comfortable in the present moment.

Don’t stop even if you feel very uncomfortable and strange in the beginning. Be persistent. Give time and space for your inner voice to make itself heard. That will happen either right in the moment or sometime later during the day. Doing nothing is so powerful it has an amazing residual effect—sort of like taking a time-release capsule of inner peace and wisdom. Some synchronistic event will occur; someone will tell you exactly what you need to hear; you will get a sudden flash of insight. Along with that, you’ll realize you are so much more than your tingling legs, irritable bowel, or migraine headache.

Connecting with my soul has been one of the best things I have ever done for my physical condition and my mind. Finding my soul was like finding my home, and when I found it, everything else started to flow, and my body started to heal.

 

A simple meditative breathing practice to connect to your soul:

Sit still and tall somewhere comfortable; a chair with good back support works well. Close your eyes and begin breathing through your nose. Inhale for a count of two, and exhale gently for a count of four. Keep breathing evenly and smoothly. Set a timer and breathe this way for at least five minutes.

One nice element you can add to this exercise is a mantra. On the inhale say to yourself, “I am,” and on the exhale, say to yourself, “perfectly well.” In doing so, you’re tuning into the idea that you’re not just your physical ailments, and you’re making room for your true self to breathe. Afterward you will notice a positive difference in your mood.

Kicking Sick: Your Go-To Guide to Thriving with Chronic Health Conditions

Adapted from Kicking Sick: Your Go-To Guide to Thriving with Chronic Health Conditions by Amy Kurtz. Copyright © 2017 by Amy Kurtz. To be published by Sounds True in January 2017.

About the Author
Amy Kurtz is a wellness expert, an AADP-certified Holistic Health Coach, and a regular contributor on popular wellness websites such as MindBodyGreen and Yoganonymous. She lives in New York City. For more information, visit amykurtz.com.

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Huperzine A

I have been increasingly interested in the use of Huperzine A. Even though I am still doing very well (given all that MG can bring to ones life) I decided to research, ask questions and find out more about it in general. Have you heard of Huperzine A? If not, read below as I am going to share a bit on what I have found.

 

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a substance purified from a plant called Chinese club moss. Although the makers of huperzine A start with a plant, their product is the result of a lot of laboratory manipulation. It is a highly purified drug, unlike herbs that typically contain hundreds of chemical ingredients. As a result, some people regard huperzine A as a drug, and they argue that it stretches the guidelines of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

Be careful not to confuse huperzine A, which is also called selagine, with similar sounding medications such as selegiline (Eldepryl). Also be careful not to confuse one of the brand names for huperizine A (Cerebra) with the brand names for unrelated prescription drugs such as celecoxib (Celebrex), citalopram (Celexa), and fosphenytoin (Cerebyx).

Huperzine A is used for Alzheimer’s disease, memory and learning enhancement, and age-related memory impairment. It is also used for treating a muscle disease called myasthenia gravis, for increasing alertness and energy, and for protecting against agents that damage the nerves such as nerve gases.

Products that combine huperzine A with certain drugs used for treating Alzheimer’s disease are being studied. These “hybrid” products are of interest because they may be effective at lower doses and, therefore, cause fewer side effects. One hybrid, called huprine X, combines huperzine A with the drug donepezil. Another hybrid being studied contains huperzine A and the drug tacrine.

How does it work?

Huperzine A is thought to be beneficial for problems with memory, loss of mental abilities (dementia), and the muscular disorder myasthenia gravis because it causes an increase in the levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that our nerves use to communicate in the brain, muscles, and other areas.

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After researching various sites on the Huperzine A background, I then decided to ask others with MG

  1. if they had tried it and
  2. if and how it has helped them

I was met with varying responses and conflicting feelings regarding this over the counter drug. Many people cautioned with intensity NOT to take Huperzine A with Mestinon of any form. This is due to the fact that it may create an overwhelming amount of acetylcholine leading to adverse reactions. In addition, trying out and experimenting with any new medication while having MG especially, should always be brought to the attention of your neurologist and discussed. Everyone who is involved with your health should be on the same page. 

Now there were a few people who stated that Huperzine A really did seem to help their MG and they currently take it in place of Mestinon. It was also stated by these individuals that Huperzine A seems to have a longer half-life and stays in the system keeping them stronger for longer periods of time (7-8hrs vs. 3-4 with Mestinon). I will state tho that for me, Mestinon will keeps strong for 5-6 hours depending on how healthy my lifestyle is at the time.

 

A healthy lifestyle will make all the difference

Regardless of the medications or supplements you decide to use, living a healthy lifestyle will enhance the effects and overall quality of your life and existence all the way around. If you’re not living healthy now thats ok! It just means you have somewhere to start – anywhere really :) Personally, I’d recommend starting out with improving your diet, adding meditation to your life and gentle stretching as well. If that feels like too much simply pick one and start there. Do what feels right for you with where you are at in life and in health.

 

With that said, I will write more once I have more to share on Huperzine A. For now I simply am at the place of gathering information on this over the counter drug. Please, If you have had experiences with it good or bad, do share so we can all learn.

 

 

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