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Calcium Pyrruvate
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Love49ers posted:
I was told that Calcium Pyruvate food suplement slows down affects of Alzheimer. Did you hear anything to confirm or deny this? I appreciate the feedbak.
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cjh1203 responded:
I haven't answered you because I don't know anything about Calcium Pyruvate, but I don't want you to feel ignored. I googled it, and found nothing from the mainstream medical community.

Here's a short WebMD article about the supplement, but it doesn't mention its use for Alzheimer's. It seems to be used mainly for weight loss.

An article I read on a holistic medicine site said that Calcium Pyruvate may slow the absorption of aluminum (I found that claim on only one site) and prevent Alzheimer's. The connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's was discounted many years ago, though.

I'm sorry I can't tell you anything very helpful. It doesn't seem to have any bad side effects, so maybe you could talk to the patient's doctor about trying it for a while to see if it helps.

Carol
 
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Love49ers replied to cjh1203's response:
Carol,
Thanks a lot for your reply. It is consistent with what I was able to gather about Calcium Pyruvate. Are you aware of any other alternate substances that slow development of AD? I've heard about vitamins B-12 and E as well as high concntration of extract of green tea. I appreciate your feedback.
Alex
 
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cjh1203 replied to Love49ers's response:
I had also heard that B-12 might be helpful, as well as Vitamin D, but have since read that they only help if the patient is deficient in those vitamins. (My uncle was found to be deficient in Vitamin D, and taking D supplements made a dramatic difference in his Alzheimer's symptoms, but only for a few weeks, unfortunately.)

I just found this great WebMD article that lists quite a few natural remedies, with information about how effective they are against Alzheimer's symptoms. I had never seen this before, and it's really interesting.

Hope you fin it helpful.

Carol
 
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2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
Love49ers and Carol,

My husband became deficient in B12 and became enemic. We found that the Metaformin (diabetic med) depletes B-12 in the system. The Neurologist said that you can't take too much B-12. Also, he is low in D vitamins. One doctor recommended he take 5000 units a day. I had read on Web MD that it is dangerous to take over 2000 units a day. I asked another doctor who takes care of his Alz. and he said that taking high doses of D can make kidney stones. He said not to take more than 1000. Hubby already is showing some kidney problems through a test and if the test is low again, he will have to go off Metaformin.

He also cannot be out in the sun very long because of the Metaformin. I heartly recommend an interaction chart on meds and vitamins.

A Community Health Nurse ran an interaction chart on the meds and vitamins that Hubby is taking. It was really good to know. He had a pain medication changed because of this report.''Kathy
 
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cjh1203 replied to 2010guardian's response:
Hi Kathy. That's interesting about Metformin depleting B-12 -- I take Metformin, so I'll need to ask my doctor about it.

I'm really sorry that your husband is showing signs of kidney problems. Nothing is easy or straightforward, is it? It sounds like you're getting lots of conflicting information and some frustrating side effects and interactions. It was smart of you to ask for advice from the community health nurse.

How is your husband doing otherwise?

Carol
 
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2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
Hi, Carol,

My husband's blood sugar dropped to 58 this morning. He doesn't always tell me. I was getting his breakfast and he came in and peeled an orange. Afterwards he told me about the blood sugar being low.

He slept a lot yesterday and his legs were weak. He was complaining of pain in his low back. He has something wrong with 2 discs or vertabrae (I can't remember exactly what it is now.) also he a a bone spur pressing against a nerve. He refuses surgery. The MD taking care of his Alz. said he is a high risk for surgery. he also has high blood pressure and it would take longer to heal because of his age (74) and diabetes. The heart doctor said that it isn't that big of a risk because the surgeon wouldn't be going in very far.
He goes to a Chiroprator who relieves the pain through manipulations. I think he would be better off to have the surgery, but I know the anesthetic is dangerous also, and I wonder if the anesthetic would mess up his Alz.
I don't think he will ever agree to surgery. Thanks for caring.
Kathy
 
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cjh1203 replied to 2010guardian's response:
Hi Kathy-

It seems like everyone who has Alzheimer's has other medical problems, too, and it makes everything so much more difficult and complicated, especially when you get conflicting advice from doctors.

The surgery question is a tough one, I know, but I think you're right to wonder about the anesthesia. I don't know how common it is for Alzheimer's to get worse after anesthesia, but it did happen to the mother of someone who used to post here. Even in people without any dementia, anesthesia can cause dementia-like symptoms sometimes, although it's usually temporary.

I hope the chiropractor can keep your husband's back pain under control. I started having back pain after a hip replacement and went to a chiropractor for a while -- I had gone to chiropractors for various problems for years. It didn't really help this time, though, and the surgeon recommended massage, which made a huge difference. I don't know if that would help your husband, but maybe it would be worth a try.

Do you get any breaks from taking care of your husband? Is he still able to be left alone sometimes? You had said that there are times when he seems like his old self, and I hope that's still the case.

Carol
 
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2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
Hi Carol,

Thanks for verifying my concerns about anesthesia. This makes me feel better about the decision of surgery.

Yes, massage is great! I find that most of my back problems start with muscle spasms. Today I had pain in my shoulder and neck that just kept getting worse. I took a muscle relaxer and 2 asprin and most of my pain went away. I keep telling myself that I'm going to get a massage, but I keep putting it off.
My hair dresser is also a massage therapist. When I'm having my hair done, all I have to say is that I have a headache or my neck hurts and she starts massaging at no extra cost. I do give her a big tip though.
I've tried to get my husband to go to her, but he won't. Also, her Spa is on the 2nd floor of a Gym. He can't go up stairs.

Yes, my husband can stay alone. I don't know what I'd do if he couldn't, because I think he'll be a hard one to allow someone to sit with him. I also help take care of transportation for my 5 grandchildren when needed or take them to the doctor. Lately,the viruses have sent me to the doctor with them a few times. Also, after school, I pick up the 18 yr old 4 days a week. Today because of my dental appt. at 1:00, going to the store and picking up 2 children, I didn't get home until 4:00. I call my husband from each location to let him know where I am and what I'm doing. Otherwise he is worrying about me.

Mornings are my greatest concern. I don't commit myself to do anything for anyone until I know my husband is okay. He comes first. He's slow about coming around, and we go out to lunch, then in the afternoon, he is doing fairly well. He enjoys watching westerns and taking naps in his chair.

I help him to get dressed in the morning and at bedtime, I pull the covers back and assist him with getting in bed (he has a bed rail that makes it difficult to get in bed) and giving his eye drops--always double checking to see that he has his meds. He still choses to take showers. The times that he isn't aware of his body oder, he is very cooperative if I tell him he needs to wash or take a shower. Last Saturday he said he would take his shower at night, so he wouldn't make me late for church. That makes me feel good that he's really trying to help me.

Thanks for caring.

Kathy
 
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2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
Hi Carol,
I wrote a long reply yesterday, but somehow it didn't get posted. I'll make this short.

Yes, I get breaks from taking care of my husband. I stay with him in the mornings, then after lunch he is better and I can leave him for a while. That may be from 1 to 3 hours at a time, but I keep calling him to let him know where I am and what I'm doing. I help with transportation for our 18 yr old grandson after school. Then when any of the 5 need to go to the doctor and parents are working, I take them. They've kept me pretty busy lately with viruses.

His main complaint today is the pain in his low back. He's okay as long as he's sitting, but when he gets up, he is in pain.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks
Kathy
 
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cjh1203 replied to 2010guardian's response:
Hi Kathy-

I did see your long post from a few days ago. I'm glad your husband is able to be by himself for a while, as long as he knows where you are. It's good that he still has some independence, and that it enables you to get some time for yourself. It's really nice, too, that you're able to go out to lunch together. My aunt and uncle did that every single day until the week before my uncle's fatal stroke.

It sounds like you're busy all the time! How great, though, that you're able to get a massage when you need it. I know how important hair appointments are, too -- I always feel like a new person for a while after getting my hair cut and colored.

You and your husband seem to have worked out a routine that works pretty well for both of you -- although I guess you have to have a fair amount of flexibility with five grandchildren to help with.

How are your husband's spirits? And yours?

Take care.

Carol
 
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2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
Dear Carol,

It means so much to me to have you to talk with. My children are already burdened with their family problems and when I tell them things that make me weary, he seems I'm complaining or looking for sympathy. That is really not the case.

My husbands spirits are pretty low in the forenoon. That is why it is so important to get out to lunch and he can talk to his men friends. Otherwise, he will just sit and watch TV. One evening he surprised me and wanted to go out to dinner. Even though I'm driving, he seemed very alert and always pays for the dinner. Only one time he had a problem when he should have given a $20 bill, he gave a $1 bill and it took him a while to figure out what the cashier wanted. I felt like he was taking me out for the evening. That hasn't happened for a long time even though we eat out a lot.

My spirits are usually high except in the evening. When he goes to bed I retreat to the computer, email, games, etc. until I can't stand it any more. Then I take my sleeping pill and sit in front of the TV until I can't stay awake. It isn't unusualy for me to be up until 1:30 to 2: am. Then I'm up at 8 or 9 am. If I weren't so busy, I would get depressed, I'm sure. I do have sleep apnea and have a machine, so I think that is why I have to be sooo tired before going to bed.

I am depressed when i find that he has wet the bed. He will go several nights without wetting the bed, then he will wet sometimes 1 to 3 nights straight. Tonight I was so tired and had to strip the bed. So, keeping positive I started saying: "My Lord is my Strength and my Redeemer." Keeping focused helps. and that is where my strength comes from.
Thanks for asking.

Kathy
 
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cjh1203 replied to 2010guardian's response:
Hi Kathy-

I can understand that your children have a lot on their plates, but it's too bad that you don't feel you can talk with them about the effects of caring for your husband. You need to be able to talk about those things with people who are close to you. Do you think they have any idea of what life is like for the two of you now?

It's so nice that you and your husband can still have a date night! It must make your husband feel good to think that he's taking you out for a nice evening. When you go out, are you able to find plenty of things to talk about, or is it getting more difficult to carry on a conversation?

I suppose you're running non-stop during the day, and it all catches up with you once you're by yourself at night. I have sleep apnea, too, and use a CPAP machine, and I know what you mean about having to be really tired before going to sleep. If I try to put on my mask before I'm really sleepy, it just drives me crazy and I can't get comfortable and then it's just that much harder to get to sleep.

Have you talked to your husband's doctor about the bed-wetting? Is it possible that he has a UTI? Would he wear Depends at night? Or could you possibly put a waterproof pad on top of the sheet where he sleeps, and put some sort of absorbent pad on top of that? Maybe if you go to a medical supply store, they would have something like that -- I know that they have a lot of incontinence supplies.

The challenges never stop, I know. You seem to have such a good attitude about it all, and I admire you for that.

Carol
 
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2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
Hi Carol,
Thanks for responding. I've been taking care of my 8 yr. old grandaughter for the last 3 days. She had a stomach virus.

My oldest is my daughter, 52, and she is a medical assistant, so she has a lot of medical knowledge. It's really different when it all comes home and isn't someone else. She does give me suggestions, most of which I have already done. I can talk to her easier than the 2 boys. It really seems to stress my older son who lives about 175 miles away and is always too busy to come for a weekend visit. He does come for Christmas. I know he is concerned and calls to see how Dad is. He is a law officer, so I know he's under a lot of stress. I think the youngest son, 43, is mostly in denial. If I need him, he'll be right here. He and daughter live within 10 minutes away.

I'm not sure that anyone can really know the type of life that an Alz. patient and caregiver go through unless they are experiencing it themselves. There are so many little things that go on throughout the day.

When we feel like going out to dinner, then we do have good conversations. I think we have more good conversations when we are eating or riding around. Other than that, he focuses on the TV. I love our conversations when we're watching basketball or football with our favorite teams. I always have a lot of questions and he explains the games and rules to me. I marvel at his memory at that time.

About 4 months ago a friend recommended a urologist. So he has been checked for UTI. He had a sonogram of his bladder and found that it wasn't emptying. Dr. gave him pills which immediately worked. Now he's back to the way he was before the pills. The Dr. said he thought some of it was the Alzheimers. He's had 3 wet nights; The last to nights have been dry. Yes, I do have 2 pads that fit across the bed plus a special mattress cover. This way I always have a clean one ready. I've been putting it under the sheet. 2 nights ago, I tried putting it on top of the sheet and when he turned or moved, it wrinkled. He weighs 233 and is 5'7". About 1:30 a.m. we were remaking the bed.

I don't have the nerve at this point to ask him about the depends. However, yesterday while at the store I took a close look at the ones made like undershorts. Also the pads to wear within his shorts. I'm glad that he 'wants' to take showers. Once in a while he won't want to, so I tell him he needs to wash with soap and washcloth. He cooperates very well.

'challenges never stop'.....you are right. I've been having some trouble with double vision, usually at church, seeing 2 preachers, and on TV. It only lasts a few seconds. A week ago when I was driving, it happened. The on-coming traffic was doubled plus everything else on my left side. I thought it was my stigmatism since I didn't have my glasses on. I could see my lane and 2 black lines just fine and everything on my right was okay. I closed my left eye for a few seconds, then I put my hand up as if to shade my left eye, blocking out the traffic on my left side. This was just a matter of seconds. I didn't say anything to anyone until it happened the next day also. It was so scarry. I saw the eye doctor and it is being corrected with glasses. He said, "sometimes when we get older, the alignment in the brain goes weak." What a shock! Glasses are the only help. I'm dealing with it. A friend took me to order glasses. My son-in-law is helping with the driving. It will take 2 weeks to get my glasses. This makes me so insecure!
Thanks for caring,
Kathy

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