Is the quality of energy supply crucial to the effects of Parkinsons and related heart failure.?

Following on from the finding that the ability of your brain to harness energy could explain age related mental decline? there is similar evidence that problems with energy provision could be a factor in  Parkinson’s disease and heart failure.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis investigating mouse and fruit fly hearts, found that

a protein known as mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) is the long-sought missing link in the chain of events that control mitochondrial quality.

I’m most interested in their explanation of the effects of poor mitochondrial quality

Heart muscle cells and neurons in the brain have huge numbers of mitochondria that must be tightly monitored. If bad mitochondria are allowed to build up, not only do they stop making fuel, they begin consuming it and produce molecules that damage the cell

This finding implies that the effects of Parkinson are tied to problems of energy handling. The process of getting energy from one place to another fails or is disrupted. That appears to be crucial in Parkinsons and critical to heart failure.

Put in these terms I hope it makes more sense. Throughout the body our cells rely on energy to function properly and do their part in keeping us alive and healthy. So a failure in the energy cycle which is the production, transport and use of energy will inevitably cause problems.

We see the same effects at a different scale in society. When we run out of energy whether it’s petrol for your car or electricity for your house. There are always wider effects and damage to deal with. Freezers defrosting, cars not moving, engines being damaged. Why would the body be any different.?

The stress of life: a modern complaint?



In The stress of life: a modern complaint? the Lancet takes a look at the implications of over work and over worry.

The report notes that

Late 19th-century doctors and their patients also believed that stress could generate or exacerbate physical illness. Clinicians sometimes explained the development of cancer, diabetes, and thyroid disease, or the appearance and severity of influenza, in terms of the debilitating effects of over-work and over-worry.

going on to say

The emotional stresses and strains of bereavement, domestic difficulties, financial problems, and the pace of life were all regarded as plausible triggers of pathology. In 1872, an article in The Times suggested that rising death rates from heart disease were the “unavoidable result of the great mental strain and hurried excitement” generated by steam and electricity, over-crowded communities, and the relentless and exhausting struggle for existence.

Contemporary belief in the capacity for stress to produce both mental and physical disease was so strong, according to the prominent Cambridge physician T Clifford Allbutt (1836—1925), that many people regarded the 19th century as “a century of stress”.

I’ve previously asked  the question Do we cause irreparable harm when we push ourselves too far? trying to do too much too soon and not pacing ourselves properly

In this article they make a similar point

In the 1970s, the left-wing American writer Alvin Toffler argued that post-war populations were suffering from “future shock”, a state caused by “the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time”.

The final thought is quite balanced

past populations were no less stressed by warfare, epidemic disease, unemployment, and poverty than their modern counterparts are. Since at least the mid-19th century, narratives of distress have been bound together not only by mutual understandings and shared experiences of stress, but also by the apocalyptic fear that stress is the inevitable result of the psychological pressures generated by the unfettered growth of industrial and technological capitalism.

If I have sparked your interest then checkout The stress of life: a modern complaint?

90:10 The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress

For another angle checkout this video from DocMikeEvans which I include because it gives you a nice story. Stress has provided the pressure on which us humans have evolved so the answer is generally to find ways to manage it or even thrive on it. I think you will enjoy the way DocMike explains this paradox.

Dealing with stomach pains from dehydration

A problem with eating certain types of foods is pain in my stomach during or particularly after intense exercise or any other time I get dehydrated. It is a key reason why eating while or before moving can be bad for you

Fibre and dehydration causes pain

I’ve noticed it most when I eat a bran, high fibre, type breakfast and played tennis at lunch. I found it often hurt afterwards and my explanation is that the stomach doesn’t get much blood while playing tennis yet it is still digesting the meal.

I play tennis pretty intensely so my body is in conflict between supplying blood for movement and blood for digestion. In this situation of intense movement my body needs all the water it can get so  my digestive system removes the water from my breakfast for my muscles to use. This reduces the water content of my meal while it is still travelling through my body. With lots of fibre in my meal this can cause problems and pain.

Fibre needs water

The point of bran and fibre rich foods is that they don’t get digested by the body. That’s why they clean your system because they act like a brush. Pushing things along your digestive system instead of letting them hang around. The firmness fibre provides is important but is also the source of pain when you are dehydrated.

Fibre needs a lot of water to make your digested meal a thick soup so that the fibre can do its work without irritating your digestive system. When water is removed it starts to become thicker, possibly chunky. These thicker chunks can irritate the digestive system and become quite painful. That’s the basic reason why healthy foods can hurt your stomach and cause pain. Most of us don’t realise just how much liquid must accompany the fibre.

Drink water to relieve pain

The good news is that once I learnt this I rarely have this problem. If I know I will get dehydrated during the day then I plan my meals accordingly. If I do get pains that I’ve just described then the fix is water as quickly as possible. Since the pains come from dehydration then replacing water becomes an obvious solution.

It doesn’t matter too much what the water is e.g.

  • coffee
  • tea
  • fizzy drink
  • plain water
  • hot/cold

It just matters that you have some and have as much as you feel you need. You learn how much you need over time so it’s best to drink too much than too little. You’ll pee more more be in less pain.

A quick fix

It’s quite surprising how quickly this can fix the problem. Sometimes within a minute but always within 5-10 minutes I’m fine. It’s uncomfortable, sometimes very painful so it’s very comforting to know I have an easy fix available.

Now you can can understand now why I make sure I have water available whenever I can. 🙂

Everyday activities

Tomorrow I will explain how this knowledge helps me enjoy everyday activities more.

Finding a good online physiotherapist

On quest I have had over the years is to find online physiotherapy centres. You would think that there is someone who is doing for physiotherapy what essential tennis and other sites do for tennis. You email photos and videos. and get analysis either from experts or a community.

Seems like a no brainer in this day and age doesn’t it. Well that hasn’t been my experience. So I thought I should share the problem and see if anyone can solve it for me.

What I am looking for is a site

  • with high quality information on a wide range of sporting injuries and treatments. 
  • Preferably with video instruction as well
  • a facility to ask specific questions for a small fee and upload details like photos and videos for analysis
  • designed to improve my knowledge of my own body. Not hiding the details but slowly building my understanding of myself.
  • helping me fit the way I live with the way I move

It’s a specific set of requirements and nothing has really fit the bill so far. So if you have a recommendation then please post a comment.

Research so far

I had a quick search a while back and found these results but haven’t had the time to follow them up. I share mainly to show market as I saw it. I would like to know if anyone has experience with any of these sites and companies and what they thought of them. With the tennis sites I’ve had very good experiences over time because they made it easy to gain this experience without much expense or effort from me. I don’t see this approach in online physio world. You must pay first before you find out. That puts me off. 
The details I’ve recorded vary according to what I found on the site. I was searching for advice about my ankle injury. I can see I learnt something from these sites. Hopefully they do what I ask it just wasn’t obvious. If this helps you and you can enlighten me further thats great.

Physios-online: ankle sprain

  • £100 initial consultation. 
  • Then an app. 
  • An Australian company.


  • A large proportion of injuries do not need hands-on physio treatment. 
  • £28, 
  • clunky web site. 
  • UK based. 
  • Not sure if there’s an app. 

Ankle exercises

For the inclusive package of £28, you receive a personalised injury self management programme comprising exercises and expert advice from your chosen physio.

Included in this price is a follow up assessment, which you can choose to take at any time within 3 months folllowing the initial assessment.

Physio Directory:

  • Searchable List of practitioners.

Physio Bob

  • Physio forum. Topics include; patient Q&A,
  • Useful place for research and questions.

Physio Adviser

aska physio