Sinemet – microdosing and using it as a part of recovery from Parkinson’s

I want to talk a little about Sinemet, the main drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Before I go any further, I am not a human doctor, I am not giving medical advice, and I am talking about my experiences and beliefs about this drug. You know the drill – don’t quote me to your doc!

As anyone who has brought an animal to me knows, I am a firm believer in mixing western and holistic medicine. When animals come to me taking a drug, which has improved their symptoms, I do not stop the drug. My first step is to fix the underlying imbalances in the body until their symptoms are better than when they came to me or ideally are completely gone. Only then do I slowly stop or reduce the drug they are on. It is a completely different story if the drug is making them sick, has bad side effects, or their symptoms are worse on the drug.

I know many treating Parkinson’s naturally have made decisions to not take drugs and I highly respect that as long as it is not made from a place of rigidity. For me Sinemet improved my quality of life and I see it as a helpful crutch until my brain is better. I have no side effects from it as long as I am on the right dose. In Chinese medicine a drug with no side effects is actually helping to correct the imbalance and is needed by the body. It is also highly unlikely to cause harm.

Sinemet is the precursor to dopamine, Levodopa, along with Carbidopa, which helps with transport into the brain of the Levodopa, by stopping peripheral metabolism of the drug.

Is Dopamine production the problem with Parkinson’s? I happen to agree with Janice Hadlock, that maybe Parkinson’s is more an issue with the parts of the brain that utility dopamine to help control initiation and inhibition and that these areas stop utilizing dopamine properly. This causes an excess of dopamine in the brain, which feeds back to the dopamenergic neurons and starts shutting them down. I do not agree with her that Sinemet causes irreversible brain damage. I think it can potentially at excessively high doses but not when used correctly.

My naturopath, Dr.Laurie Mischley, who studies how to slow the progression of Parkinson’s, has found that early Sinemet dosing, actually leads to slower progression. Her theory is that if there is not enough dopamine in the brain the receptors start dying and then no amount of dopamine will work. So start early. I also feel like Dr. Laurie’s approach with multiple brain supporting supplements and one or two drugs is very beneficial. It goes along with the idea of using a drug appropriately but fixing the underlying imbalances as the primary goal.

I have found for myself that micro doses of Sinemet work best. This prevents me from having side effects and helps me support my body without damage. It also gives my body a chance to restart any dopamenergic neurons that are dormant because I am not flooding my brain with extra unneeded dopamine. Generally I take ¼-1/2 of a 25/100mg pill every 4-6 hours during the day. Sometimes I don’t need it so I don’t take it. I feel so blessed to have two doctors who support me in doing this and don’t insist that I take the same dose of drug at the same time every day!

I am lucky to be very sensitive and in touch with my body and how things effect it. Usually I know what dose of drug I need by feeling into my body. I also have different cues that tell me if I have too much or two little medication in my system. For me being under or over medicated can be hard to tell apart as one triggers my Parkinson’s symptoms and one triggers my dystonia symptoms. If I kick out my leg from the knee and I am overmedicated my toes will flex involuntarily. Not being able to sit still is another sign. Then I do not need more meds.

If walking feels like I am sludging through molasses or if I am extremely stiff and uncomfortable and stretching doesn’t help then I am usually under medicated.

My drugs work way better when my du channel is open which is the meridian channel which starts at the base of the spine and runs midline up the back, into the neck, over the head, and ends above the lip. I try to open before I medicate. When it’s closed my drugs help a bit but not much.

And one more thing – can we please stop saying Parkinson’s is an incurable and irreversible disease? It is not easily curable or reversible but there are people doing it!

I have so much more I want to say but I’m finding I never publish articles unless I keep them short, so here it is – more later!

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