- It becomes more difficult to produce the hormones and enzymes which maintain wellness.
- The body becomes less efficient at mounting an adequate defense against infectious agents.
- Detoxification becomes more and more difficult.
- Digesting and absorbing food becomes less efficient.
All of these factors, and many more, contribute to a progressive loss of functionality and vitality. Some of these issues become recognized as diseases, while others are seen as symptoms. Many times wellness can be maintained by using supplements to restore function.
- Digestion can be aided with digestive enzymes and stomach acid supplements.
- Cognitive dysfunction can often be reversed with pregnenolone and amino acid supplements.
- Seizures in older dogs often respond well to magnesium, vitamin D, and amino acid supplementation.
- Weight loss due to muscle atrophy can be improved by aiding digestion and amino acid/ protein supplements.
- Arthritis can be ameliorated by reducing inflammation in the body and by using herbs such as boswellia and devil’s claw.
- Quality of life for pets with chronic renal failure can be improved with activated vitamin D, vitamins and minerals, and amino acids.
- Older pets that have lost their “get up and go” can be helped by improving mitochondrial function with supplements such as alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, and acetyl-L-carnitine.
These are very common debilitating issues afflicting many older pets. Functional medicine provides a means of identifying causes and a rationale for restoring and maintaining vitality.