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Keeping the ALS Discussion Alive

Pamela Anderson challenges the ALS Foundation to stop animal testing.

Pamela Anderson challenges the ALS Foundation to stop animal testing.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the influx of ice bucket water challenges flooding your news feed, as well as the controversy its sparked.

“It’s wasting water”, “It doesn’t even educate people on the condition”, “Why don’t they just donate”, are among the many concerns most critics have of this trendy viral challenge.  I even read that Pamela Anderson refuses to participate because as a Peta Spokeswoman and advocate, she doesn’t want to support a foundation that utilizes animal testing in their research.

For whatever reason you do or don’t support this challenge,  I will share with you my thought process.

Waste of water or contribution?

Waste of water or contribution?

I love the intention of bringing awareness to the general public about lesser known conditions, especially one that is so devastating.  For this, I will accept your challenge.

Yet, you won’t see me splashing water over myself or jumping into a pool or ocean (if you want to see that, just look at my vacation albums.)

Instead, what I will contribute is knowledge and information.

I don’t know about a cure, but I’m all for prevention, management, and treatment options, especially holistic and natural methods because I am a Chiropractor–AND proud of it.

Again, if you’ve read my post on “Why There’s No Such Thing as a Cure,” a cure implies a one-size -fits-all, magical synthetic drug.  So, I’d like to offer my readers awareness in the conventional form of education and mental stimulation.

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  It is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that leads to weakening and wasting of the muscles. Depending upon which neurons are first affected, the disease will manifest differently among individuals, but eventually all four limbs become involved and there may be considerable cramping and stiffness that develops with the partial loss of nervous control over the muscles. According to the ALS association:

  1. Based on U.S. population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. (That’s 15 new cases a day.) It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. According to the ALS CARE Database, 60% of the people with ALS in the Database are men and 93% of patients in the Database are Caucasian.

  2. Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. However, cases of the disease do occur in persons in their twenties and thirties. Generally though, ALS occurs in greater percentages as men and women grow older. ALS is 20% more common in men than in women. However with increasing age, the incidence of ALS is more equal between men and women.

  3. There are several research studies – past and present – investigating possible risk factors that may be associated with ALS.  More work is needed to conclusively determine what genetics and/or environment factors contribute to developing ALS. It is known, however, that military veterans, particularly those deployed during the Gulf War, are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.

  4. Half of all people affected with ALS live at least three or more years after diagnosis. Twenty percent live five years or more; up to ten percent will live more than ten years.

  5. There is some evidence that people with ALS are living longer, at least partially due to clinical management interventions, riluzole and possibly other compounds and drugs under investigation.

So as far as the public is concerned, riluzole (a drug) is the only thing that can treat ALS.  Further investigation on other drugs needs to be done, as drugs is the only answer or “semi-cure”, until they find the exact combination of compounds needed to completely “cure” ALS, right?

Well, if you’ve been following my blog, then you know what I’m about.  Of course there’s other treatments options out there, such as Acupuncture, Edgar Cayce holistic healing remedies, mind-body work, as well as a combination of treatments from multi-disciplinary practices.

Here’s an interview of a gentleman that’s been living with Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Winning over Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Here’s a delightful story of a health care professional that’s overcome ALS. Another Perspective of ALS

Some great literature on how Acupuncture can help treat ALS. Acupuncture Treatment for ALS

And last, but not least, how integrative multi-disciplinary medicine is the medicine of the future. Slow Medicine is the Medicine for the Future.

So, there is my contribution on keeping the discussion alive.

Stay well, think for yourself, ask questions, always do your research and think outside of the box, my friends! #icebucketwaterchallenge #ALS

Yours in Health and Abundance,

Michelle Lim, D.C.


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