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Montana Integrative Medicine :: Bozeman, MT

Age-Related Degeneration (ARD)

Age-related degeneration (ARD) is a term created by Drs. Neustadt and Pieczenik to describe a constellation of symptoms that tend to appear in the elderly. These symptoms may include weakness, fatigue, depression, insomnia, abdominal gas and bloating, diarrhea, brain fog (difficulty processing information) and recurrent infections such as urinary tract infections (UTI) and/or upper respiratory infections (URI). In these people, conventional medical testing usually does not show any abnormalities, and all treatments merely suppress symptoms and do not address the underlying causes. It is well documented that as we age our risk for nutritional deficiencies increases, and the underlying causes for these symptoms include deficiencies in amino acid, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, food allergies and intestinal dysbiosis (overgrowth of bacteria and/or yeast). Biochemical testing can provide the information needed to create a Targeted Nutritional Program™ that can help restore health.

Case 1: Muscle Wasting / Fatigue / Weakness / Muscle Pain / Gas & Bloating / Diarrhea

A 69 year old woman went to see Dr. Neustadt Montana Integrative Medicine complaining of extreme fatigue, weakness, muscle pain, severe gas and bloating each time she ate, and a five year history of loose stools. When she walked less than one block she experienced painful burning in her muscles. At intake she could only walk half a block and ride for one minute on a stationery bicycle. Additionally, she was unable to stand up from a seated position on the floor without assistance. She was losing strength and balance, which put her at a high risk for falling and hip fractures.

She had been evaluated by gastroenterologists, internists, gynecologists and urologists at major medical centers around the country. None of them found any abnormalities. Biochemical testing revealed deficiencies in seven out of ten amino acids, low vitamins and minerals required for mitochondrial function, an intestinal bacterial infection, and multiple food allergies.

Low amino acids

Decreased ability to burn fats to produce energy (functional deficiencies of carnitine and vitamin B2)
Decreased ability to burn sugars (carbohydrates) to produce energy (functional deficiencies in vitamins B1, B3, chromium, lipoic acid, and CoQ10) causing muscle burning
Decreased biotin, a B-vitamin causing brittle nails
Low vitamin B12 and folic acid, risk factors for dementia
Intestinal bacterial infection
Intestinal fungal infection
Food allergies to eggs, egg products, milk, dairy, dairy products and casein


Her treatment consisted of instructions to eliminate all food intolerances, take antibacterial plant extracts for the intestinal infection, high doses of B-complex vitamins with extra vitamin B12, a customized amino acid powder, a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement, and physical therapy. Two months later she could walk pain-free for 20 minutes twice daily and ride for 10 minutes on an exercise bike. She no longer suffered from diarrhea and her gas and bloating had also improved. Additionally, she was able to stand up from a seated position without assistance.

Case 2: Weight loss / Decreased Strength / Gas & Bloating / Post-Nasal Drip

An 81 year old man was complaining of progressive weight loss, which had been occurring for the past ten years, decreased strength, flatulence and post-nasal drip. He had been losing weight for 12 years, had been worked up by numerous physicians without any relief, and had dropped to a low of 139 lbs, which bordered on undernutrition.

Multiple, severe amino acid deficiencies. In such cases the body will break down muscle protein, so repleting amino acids is crucial to correcting this condition.

Low and low-normal essential minerals
Heavy metal toxicity with lead, a risk factor for dementia
Low omega-3 series essential fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and required for cardiovascular health
Decreased ability to use fats to produce energy (functional deficiencies in carnitine and vitamin B2)
Decreased ability to use sugars (carbohydrates) to produce energy (functional deficiencies in lipoic acid, vitamins B1, B3, chromium and CoQ10)
Impaired liver detoxification pathways from toxic exposure
Intestinal bacterial overgrowth, likely causing malabsorption (decreased absorption) of nutrients and nutritional deficiencies
Intestinal fungal overgrowth, likely causing malabsorption (decreased absorption) of nutrients and nutritional deficiencies
Allergies to milk, dairy, dairy products and products containing the protein casein.

He was placed on a Targeted Nutritional Program to correct his nutritional deficiencies, which included a customized amino acid powder and specific blends of vitamins, mineral and fatty acids. His intestinal infections were treated using antibacterial and antifungal agents. He followed a gut restoration protocol to repair any damage to his intestines that the infections may have caused, and he began a series of intravenous chelation treatments under the care of Dr. Neustadt. His post-nasal drip cleared up, his strength increased, and his weight also went up to 149 pounds.