Living with ALS

Non-drug therapies are an essential part of the management of ALS. These include lifestyle changes such as eating easy-to-swallow foods, which is advised especially in the early stages of the disease. 

Physiotherapy to tackle pain and mobility and the use of equipment such as braces or a wheelchair can help prolong independence.

Occupational therapists can also provide advice regarding adaptations in the home.

Since the muscles involved in speech are affected, speech therapy can help ALS patients make themselves understood and explore other methods of communication including computerized voice synthesizers.

When breathing becomes more difficult, equipment may be required at night. In the later stages of the disease, a ventilator attached to a breathing tube inserted into the windpipe may be necessary.


Leaky Gut: A concern for ALS?

Leaky gut is a condition of the digestive system in which bacteria and toxins leak out through the walls of the intestines into the bloodstream. When it is working correctly, the lining of the intestines forms a barrier that allows helpful substances to be absorbed in the bloodstream, while blocking harmful substances. 

There are naturally occurring gaps in the wall of the intestines that allow for some intestinal permeability. When these gaps are small, they are called tight junctions and form a barrier that only allows certain substances to pass through. However, when the gut lining in unhealthy, those gaps can become larger, allowing space for unwanted things like partially digested food particles, certain proteins, and toxins to enter the bloodstream. This is called increased intestinal permeability. The passage of harmful substances creates a cycle of inflammation and changes to gut bacteria. This cycle is associated with a number of chronic diseases.

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