The Story of Alice Ngugi – Overcoming Chronic Conditions at an Advanced Age

Alice Ngugi has been a patient of Akeia since May 2018. We have documented her journey with us for almost a year, and we now want to share it with you. Alice is a 67 year old woman, who suffered from many chronic conditions. For my team and I, this was a complex and interesting case and we feel that it is important to share such cases to inspire more people suffering from chronic conditions to seek the right help and make a change in their lives. Alice suffered from chronic back pains, chronic cough, hypertension (high blood pressure), edema on the feet, and was taking medication for thyroid management. Her conditions greatly affected her everyday life, and resulted in sleep regression.

Patient Testimonial

Alice last visited Dr Nightingale Senaji on 21 March 2019, and this is what she had to say about her journey with us

My daughter introduced me to this clinic, and by the time she did, I had visited many doctors within Kenya and all over the world. While this gave me temporary relief from one condition, it usually resulted in worsening of another. I have been with Akeia for over 10 months now, and it has been the best decision I made for my health. In a short time after starting, I modified my diet and timings as per the doctors advice, and took my supplements religiously. I was soon feeling much better, and decided to continue the treatment. Ten months down the line, I have no back pain, my edema is greatly reduced, blood pressure is well controlled and I have not had a cough for over 3 months. I am also sleeping much better as previously my coughing used to keep me awake. I am now trying to convince my husband who suffers from cardiac conditions and diabetes to come to Akeia.

Alice Ngugi

Doctors Note

As doctors, we strive to understand a patient before recommending any treatment or lifestyle changes. It is also important for the patient to understand that we are working with them on improving their health. Drilling right down to root cause can take some time, and this is usually easier when the patient is receptive of our ideas and advice. In the case of Alice, the biggest challenge was managing all her conditions as once. On her part, she was very understanding when we explained that ours was not an overnight solution. It was also a unique situation – She had a few different conditions, all of which had different root causes.

Treatment and Management

After the initial testing, we determined that in order to help her, we first needed to get her blood pressure under control. This ensures that other secondary organs are not damaged, and reduces risks associated with cardiovascular health, especially due to her advanced age. We realised that her diet included many foods which were high in protein and carbohydrates, and reducing these was the first step in getting her blood pressure under control. Further, we advised on correct meal timings. The above changes, resulted in an immediate improvement in wellbeing, and we started observing lower average blood pressure readings. This also resulted in reduction of edema. We then started tackling the chronic back pains and cough. We kept her interventions to a minimum, and advised continuously on lifestyle changes, and kept up with supplementation. The supplementation was necessary as she was already on many medications by the time she came to us. Over time, we managed to get the back pain and edema under good control, and at this point it was no longer bothering her to the extent that it used to. Due to all the conditions she was battling previously, her immunity was compromised for an extended period of time, resulting in periodic infections of the throat which caused her chronic cough. As her other conditions improved, we saw a good improvement in immunity, and she has not experienced a cough since the beginning of the year.

Parting note

With most patients, the initial hurdle is accepting the lifestyle changes that are necessary to improve any condition. In our experience, over 90% of chronic conditions are directly correlated to their respective lifestyle choices. It is important to understand that making these changes does not diminish your happiness, or level of enjoyment in the long term. In fact, almost all patients who have dedicatedly made lifestyle changes report that they feel much better after a feeling of wellbeing is restored. Supplementation is also key as we need to work to restore the bodys balance by ensuring key vitamins and minerals are within safe levels, and cell function is optimal. Patient stories such as these inspire a lot of people to start making changes to a healthier lives. Many of you have had this experience with us, and we encourage you to share these stories on our facebook page.

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