What Works for Me


ITEM WW104, posted 10-13-07

Wondering about beneficial effects of Omega 3

I had paralytic polio when I was a little girl (in the early sixties). I am still only in my forties but for a few years I have been developing weakness in my leg muscles and more recently my arms and around my back. I had never heard of PPS until a couple of days ago. I now know that that is what is wrong with me.

However, a few months ago, I was experiencing terrible pain in all my joints of my right leg. Not knowing what it was, I just felt instinctively that it was something lacking in my brain. Not sure why I thought that. I knew that my muscles and joint movement were dependent upon nerves working properly in my brain and because I was getting so tired all the time, I surmised that maybe my nerves in my brain were tired and simply needed waking up to get the neuron things firing properly. So, I decided to start taking Omega 3. After about six or seven days, I noticed a vast improvement in my right leg. I was thrilled to bits. I continued taking the Omega 3 for another few weeks -- but then I stopped taking them about two weeks ago. Then a few days ago, my other leg has started having the same problems that my right leg was having and the weakness in my arms and back have returned.

I'm not suggesting for one moment that Omega 3 is some sort of miracle cure – but I sort of sense that we need to encourage new nerves to grow, then maybe Omega 3 could be one of those helpers. I also realize that this could simply be coincidence (because the weakness comes and goes for some people) and that maybe I was just taking the Omega 3 at the right time, thereby giving me the impression that it was the Omega 3 that was helping. But something is telling me that Omega 3 could help play a part.

I know that the Eskimo's staple diet is rich in Omega 3 and because of that they have no heart conditions and so on. Do the Eskimos suffer from PPS? Karen, ann.havard@ntlworld.com

ITEM WW103, posted 11-05
What Works: Results and Implications of Post-Polio Clinic Survey: The Post-Polio Clinic of Stanley Yarnell, MD at Saint Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco surveyed polio survivors who had been evaluated at their facility. One of the questions was what things polio survivors thought helped them to feel better. Read more ...

I am a physician who has developed post-polio syndrome (PPS) in the past few years. Under the advice of a very bright colleague, a professor of neurology, I have been taking Coenzyme Q10 in high doses with some benefit. At least, I can categorically state that my PPS is "quiescent" for now, when it is usually considered a progressive condition. I would encourage PPS sufferers to consider taking Coenzyme Q10 in an attempt to improve muscle function, under medical guidance. After some research into its mechanism of action, the most likely explanation for the benefit seems to be a powerful anti-oxidant effect of Q10 on mitochondria of cells. The question remains whether the effect is on the mitochondria or neurones or the muscle cells themselves! Hopefully further research will be done to resolve this issue and which, in turn, will lead to better therapies for PPS. 
Bala Pillai, MD, Laurel, New York, posted 11-05

Response: See "My Experience with Human Growth Hormone (hgh)" in Fall 2004 issue of Post-Polio Health.

Wellness from the inside out ... I have found that the most important thing I need to do is to listen to my body. Some days I am wiser about this than others. If I wake up and feel that I have a lot of energy and little fatigue or pain, I sometimes overdo; that, I have learned, is a mistake. Why? Because that night or the next day I am down for the count, meaning, in more pain than normal, extremely fatigued and with little or no energy. The key seems to be moderation even on "good days" and resting in between. Prayer and Bible study on a daily basis are also very crucial to my wellness. That is what gives me the wisdom, strength and courage to fight and not give in to feeling sorry for myself, feeling angry at the loss of my former life and profession. It is easy to become depressed, especially in the winter when it is often difficult to get out as much as I would like to. I also have learned to stay in contact with friends with similar circumstances, if not polio's late effects, then another chronic illness. We pray for one another and support one another. Just knowing that there is always someone who cares and is willing to listen or share how they are feeling is a positive influence. I know that attitude is everything. Being positive is best and also having a good sense of humor, especially about my disabilities and memory loss. God is so good to me. I hope you will share your feelings, also.
Mary K., Illinois, posted 5-18-04

I am not sure how many polio survivors, especially men, are aware of the relationship between post-polio and osteoporosis. This connection has been brought to my attention when a colleague of mine, also suffering from post-polio, fell and broke his femur. The major cause was osteoporosis. Following his suggestion, I had a bone density scan, and sure enough my density level is at 85% of the norm, despite the fact that my daily diet includes health portions of yogurt, cheese and milk. Nonetheless it is obviously not enough. I have now added the intake of 1500 mg of Calcium and 400 mg vitamin D.
Zeke H., California, posted 9-04

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