Deactivating an old threat
Q: Do you know of any nutritional supplements that might be of value for a person with post-polio syndrome?
Dr. Wright: For those readers who may not have heard of this illness, post-polio syndrome occurs in people who once had the virus, and it is characterized by fatigue, slowly progressive muscle weakness, and muscle and joint pain.
So far, there hasn’t been any research done on specific nutritional supplements for post-polio syndrome.
But one theory about post-polio syndrome is that the polio virus is still present in the body and that it has been re-activated. If this is the case, then selenium would likely be of use, since it appears to inhibit the replication of polio. You can safely take up to 400 micrograms a day. In this instance taking several grams of vitamin C each day along with the selenium would also be helpful.
However, another theory of post-polio syndrome is that it’s a further deterioration of neurons that were damaged by the original polio infection. If this is the case, selenium and vitamin C may not be of much help.
I’m sorry I can’t give you a better, more concrete answer. Given the lack of research, there are only theoretical possibilities to work with, but they’re ones that are certainly worth a try.
Your very best bet would be to work with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in natural medicine who will be able to help you with vitamin C, selenium, and other potential therapies. To locate one near you, contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine at (800) 532-3688 or visit www.acam.org.