AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (ALS)
I’M MARK, THE PATIENT I’m 71 years old, married for 50 years. We have a beautiful, loving family with the gift of 7 grandchildren. I was given the diagnosis of ALS about 4 years ago, and although I was told it was slow progressing, it was the hardest and most frightening words I had ever heard.
It all started with difficulty turning the key to start the car with my right hand. I used to golf twice weekly and walk a mile on hiking trails twice weekly. I’ve had to reduce this to the point where now I can only walk from the house to the car and to our destination. I’ve reduced my vacation travel, and I use a wheelchair to go to concerts. My upper body and left hand are gradually getting weaker. I can still stand tall, and I can eat and speak well. I have my medical team in Michigan at University of Michigan and in Arizona at Barrows. They are very kind, but all they ask for is research and check my breathing and muscles. They tell me to get my personal life in order, have your loved ones know your wishes, drink 80 oz of water and don’t lose weight.
My daughter started getting other information about ALS and discovered Coco Newton and her practice of Functional Nutrition Therapy. After reading about her passion in helping people with ALS and her amazing work ethics, soon after I was diagnosed we contacted her and set up our first appointment. I had a full gamete of blood testing, to her specifications, and after her review I was put on a daily routine of vitamins and minerals. She also suggested more organic/farm to table foods. She gives us hope and I’m feeling pretty good.
I'M MONA, MARK'S WIFE I don’t physically have ALS, but emotionally it’s with me every breathing moment.
As Mark said, hearing he has ALS was a numbing experience, and that feeling never goes away. We want to live a ‘normal’ life with our family and our friends. We want to be invited to parties and go to restaurants. At first, we all panicked-can we go out to eat, our friends calling asking what can Mark eat (it was truly driving us crazy with their love and concerns). When I shared this with Coco, she told me not to be ‘Food Fearful’. We all relaxed and enjoyed our time together. And it’s not hard to buy Organic food, Farm to Table food, go to Farmer’s Markets, eat at restaurants that promote healthy foods. And when he’s out with his buddies, they help opening his vitamin packets and helping take them. He uses a straw (which we supply ourselves) for drinking, so he doesn’t have to lift the glass. His upper body is being more affected with weakness, but he can still stand tall.
Mark is a great friend to have and all our close friends are remarkable to us. We are so very grateful to benefit from Coco’s knowledge and research. Mark is religiously taking his supplements and staying away from red meats (except maybe once a month at a Steakhouse). He’s not the kind of guy that doesn’t have something he enjoyed for a long time saying yuck I can’t eat this anymore, instead he says-that was really good! This proves how faithful he is at sticking to the therapeutic plan that Coco designed for him to keep him as healthy as possible. Coco is a professional who cares about us and she guides us with such passion, that we are eased from confusion and emotional pain. Amazing how an advocate for healthy eating can give you so much hope, and that’s just what we receive from Coco.
— Mark & Mona Dembs, Ann Arbor, MI
AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (ALS)
“I COULD HAVE DIED if not for Coco Newton’s advanced scientific training and practice in Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy (FMNT). I was referred to her by my physician 7 years ago as a 17-year survivor of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), a neuromotor disease with an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years. I spend most of my day in a wheelchair other than for physical rehabilitation exercises, involving me using my legs to walk a short distance with the support of a Rifton gait trainer. My arms and hands functioning are mostly limited to moving a mouse; I use two fingers to click on the mouse to operate a computer and to slowly type. I am able to eat my food very slowly. I require full- time care for every activity of daily living.
Coco cautioned, with INTEGRITY, that I WAS HER FIRST ALS CASE. Yet, I chose her anyway because of her reputation as a scientifically-oriented clinician, who deeply investigates all aspects of a patient’s lifestyle and biochemistry to uncover root causes.
Coco began with a COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION of my circumstances/history, while exploring the scientific literature on the varied metabolic derangements of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. MY RESULTS have also been enhanced by Coco’s study and consultations with world-renowned clinicians and scientists as well as by her voracious appetite for knowledge from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Coco BRILLIANTLY ANALYZES LAB WORK based upon her knowledge of biochemistry, clinical experience, and intelligent inference. She has evaluated my metabolic status with specialized blood, urine, and stool testing, along with DNA testing. Additionally, she has evaluated my routine lab testing, and found imbalances even when results indicate “within normal limits”, and personalized key action-steps aimed at balancing my metabolic status.
Her approach has always involved EDUCATING me on the science and how she applies this to her dietary and nutritional recommendations for my care.
As a clinical psychologist, I’ve been impressed with COCO’S UNDERSTANDING OF PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS such as the importance of enjoying eating, empathetic strategizing for the complex and challenging issues that can be involved in making dietary and nutritional changes, fears surrounding choking and weight loss, and the importance of having the patient feel respected as an autonomous whole person who is empowered with choices. She has coordinated with my caregivers to plan my menu and recipes.
This process of GETTING RESULTS such as improved cardiovascular functioning, improved energy and strength, improved speech, improved sleep, improved endurance, improved circulation, improved swallowing and esophageal functioning, improved assimilation of nutrients, improved digestion, improved appetite, and weight gain continues to unfold throughout our work together, with modifications in my protocol made over time.
Given the damage to my body consequent to ALS and the extent of rebuilding/restoration needed, the process with Coco over the past 7 years has been complicated by my body’s susceptibility to ups and downs. Furthermore, ALS can bring extraordinary emotional challenges. Nonetheless, despite these serious physical and emotional trials, I am in many ways healthier than I was 7 years ago.
In early 2017, I became frightened as my esophageal functioning deteriorated near to the point when people decide to be intubated for a feeding tube. Gastroenterologist and otolaryngologist specialists were unable to help. It was a hellish nightmare. Coco developed a protocol to eradicate pathogenic bacteria in my gut and treat the tormenting associated symptoms, while giving me compassion and guidance through some of the most frightening months of my life. Coco postulated that the extreme physical and emotional circumstances (including exposure to environmental toxins and antibiotics), created the perfect storm for developing small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO).
My health continues to improve, largely thanks to Coco. My heart is grateful for, and fulfilled by, having the wellness to enjoy productively making a meaningful difference in the world. My website http://healingwithdrcraig.com is testimony to the power of nutrition, spirituality, physical activity, and hope. There is an avid community of persons with ALS that have experienced various levels of reversals from these interventions.
Coco knew little about ALS in 2011. Yet, her passion to achieve scientific and clinical understanding to help myself and other ALS patients has culminated in her authoring a pioneering chapter on ALS in this upcoming textbook: “Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy: Principles & Practices” due to be published by Springer in the 4th quarter of 2019. COCO’S ORIGINAL SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTION will be read by health professionals around the world and WILL SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE THE STANDARD OF CARE FOR ALS.
THANK YOU, COCO, FOR HELPING TO SAVE MY LIFE!”
-- Craig Oster, Ph.D., Haslett, MI 24-Year ALS Survivor/Winner, Advocate, Writer, Scientist & Co-founder of THE HEALERS Campaign http://healingwithdrcraig.com
GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (GERD)
"For six years, I suffered from severe GERD symptoms. During this time I was under the care of top GI specialists who tried to manage my case with large doses of many acid-suppressing medications. Two surgeries had been performed to improve the function of my lower esophageal sphincter. In spite of all the conscientious, conventional treatment I had received, my symptoms persisted. I was fatigued, frustrated and felt helpless. A dear friend and former colleague recommended that I call Coco Newton for another approach to solving my problem. After less than a year, under Coco's care, I am significantly stronger, have more energy, and am almost symptom-free. I have been able to discontinue all of my prescription drugs. Coco has been a blessing, and I highly recommend her!"
-- Elizabeth "Lizzie" Burt, Heart Care Culinary Team, University of Michigan Preventive Cardiology
1987 Hawaii Ironman Triathalon Age Group Champion, Author of High Fit, Low Fat Vegetarian cookbook (1996)
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)
"I am feeling great! No more indigestion, nausea, over-full feeling, or abdominal pain. I am able to drink decaf teas and coffees without the pain or indigestion I was having when I first met with Coco. My weight is stable. I am exercising, doing yoga, and meditating. I am enjoying the foods I eat at ALL of my meals and I am very happy that I can include more variety in my diet. Coco, I don't know how to thank you for helping me with my food intolerances and nutritional needs.”
-- MB, Registered Dietitian, Ann Arbor, MI
DYSBIOSIS, MALABSORPTION, DIGESTION, WEIGHT LOSS
"About five years ago, following surgery, a physician suggested that I visit Coco Newton to help with my recovery. My gut had been severely compromised with antibiotics and painkillers; I was losing weight and strength, and was concerned that I might not make a full recovery. After a careful examination of me and my situation, Coco recommended a plan of attack. She noted that I was lacking some essential elements and bacteria in my gut that helped with digestion. And so armed with a list of good foods and dietary supplements, I started to improve my life, physically and mentally. All antibiotics, painkillers and prescription drugs were eliminated and after several months I started to gain weight and improve my strength and energy level I now feel better than ever, better even than before my operation, and grateful that I had the professional guidance of Coco Newton."
-- JF - Ann Arbor, MI
SEIZURES, MIGRAINES, ECZEMA
"Our treasured little boy's life and health are beyond enriched... Our entire family's quality of life is improved to the extent that I still cannot even begin to put it into words. After our first meeting, After a year and a half, not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for the improvements we have witnessed first hand. One of my kiddos had a constantly growing list of chronic medical issues: tearful regular migraine headaches since the age of 2.5 years; muscle cramping that resulted in ER visits; uncomfortable tingling sensations in hands and feet; severe eczema every winter for months, resulting in bleeding knuckles resistant to multiple & various prescription medications; significant sleep issues -- waking numerous times every night; sensory challenges (never thought we would have been able to go into a movie theater or skating party due to hyper-sensitivity toward lights & sounds); daily bedwetting (that began a couple of years after being potty-trained) through the night; speech impediments beyond the age of 5 years old (preschool teachers and grandma needed translation); and athlete's foot that would not respond to topical ointment suggested by our pediatrician (despite not showering anywhere but home).
We grew to accept these conditions as commonplace and part of our everyday life. We came to Coco after the diagnosis of Absence Seizures/ Epilepsy was added to the list. Our goal was to improve our little boy's underlying health if he was to be on daily medication and at risk for so many "genetic" yet "unrelated" chronic conditions. What we never anticipated was that nutrition could and did not only improve his underlying health, but has successfully managed all of the above mentioned chronic conditions that plagued him. Our son has seen 7 movies at the theater in the past 9 months, sleeps through the night, doesn't wet the bed anymore, is incredibly articulate and needs no translation at all with his speech, and is much less emotional. Our little guy has also been seizure-free without medication, and has had a clean follow-up EEG. In short, every chronic condition our little boy was battling has "healed" to a most spectacular extent or completely. "We'll never go back!" my husband says, and while there are days we think we'd really like to order a pizza or hit a drive thru… I know, even more than him, that he is right--we will never go back!”
-- CB – Canton, MI
FOOD ALLERGIES, THYROID, ADRENAL, MEMORY, EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL, PAIN, DIGESTIVE, TREMORS, ETC
“After many years of great difficulty navigating through my illnesses and fighting for my health, when other healthcare professionals couldn’t offer me more than diagnoses and drugs, I found Coco Newton. My list of health problems included a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease. I had significant hair loss and my fatigue was uncontrollable: I fell asleep at traffic lights and, once, veered off the road. My tongue was swollen, and I felt like I was choking while trying to sleep. The severe pain in my neck and spine was debilitating, my legs were weak and shaky, and I had tremors in my hands. I had itchy skin rashes, my breathing was shallow, and my voice was shaky and slow. I was overweight and I had many digestive problems. I cried often - I was a physical and emotional wreck. I had visited several specialists, but the medications they prescribed weren’t helping me. I thought I was dying.
My concerned MD said to me ‘I’m going to send you to a person who won’t quit thinking about you until she gets to the bottom of what is going on.’ I believe Coco saved my life. She worked tirelessly to determine the root causes of my illnesses, patiently educated me, and collaborated with my doctor regarding her findings and suggestions for treatment. After drastically changing my diet, taking nutritional supplements, going through a detoxification program, and getting rid of my dental amalgam fillings, I have come through with a much better understanding of what my medical issues are. At age 73, I have my health, vitality, happiness, and confidence back!”
-- MW - Farmington Hills, MI
"I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in high school, started medication about 20 years ago, and then ten years ago my fatigue became much worse. I tried compensating by drinking lots of coffee and trying to sleep more. Nothing seemed to help and the fatigue was significantly affecting my physical and mental functioning. A very energetic and positive person by nature, and an avid swimmer, I was now exhausted by exercise, instead of being energized. My primary care physician and endocrinologist ordered a complete battery of blood tests. Their assessment: everything was normal and my thyroid medication was working as it should. I then consulted Coco Newton, who reviewed my lab tests and determined that the testing wasn't thorough enough. She told me to go back to my doctors to have specific additional lab tests done. I did so and the answer was revealed. My endocrinologist changed my medication in response to this new information. I have noticed a difference when I work out and now have lots of energy. I feel like I have my life back! I have made some adjustments in my diet related to the elimination of gluten. Coco is brilliant and I highly recommend her for any nutritional issues. She empowered me to stand up for myself as a patient. She is compassionate and an absolute joy to work with!"
-- NH - San Francisco, CA
"I cannot sing the praises of Coco enough. I’ve visited numerous physicians and naturopaths in the last 13 years, but none have helped as much as she. By simply believing that my debilitating symptoms were not random, and concentrating on a detoxification and allergy diet along with supplements, Coco helped me regain my health and sanity. Coco uses an expanded approach in integrative medicine that truly deals with underlying causes, and has a style of practice that is all her own. I am so very lucky to have stumbled upon her."
-- AS - Ann Arbor, MI
MULTIPLE PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS
"When I first met Coco, little did I know that she would change my life dramatically. I came to Coco with a multitude of physical and emotional problems. From the very beginning, the time-commitment, support and enthusiasm I received from Coco were far superior to that of any health care provider I had previously encountered. Her knowledge of diagnostic and testing procedures, supplements and other remedies is amazingly comprehensive. She is a wonderful listener and has always been tireless and very committed in her efforts to improve my life. Coco is an active member of the holistic community and, as such, has introduced me to a host of professionals in related fields who have provided me with excellent care. Coco has revolutionized my lifestyle and greatly improved both my physical and spiritual health. I always leave her feeling much better than when I arrived!"
-- JJ - Ann Arbor, MI