I was recently asked a question about Multiple Sclerosis and realized this is a condition that I have not done any reading on. I promised my questioner that I would look into it, so that is why we are here today.
One of the first things that hit me was the name. Multiple means many, so what does sclerosis mean? What is it that there are many of that is causing problems? It turns out that sclerosis simply refers to Ďscarsí. Having many scars doesnít sound all that bad, until you realize where these Ďscarsí are and how they interfere with the bodyís functions.
One of the books put it into an interesting word picture. It is like your immune system unleashed hundreds of tiny mice. These mice, just like the ones in the real world, somehow love the taste of the insulation around our electrical wiring. In our bodies this insulation is called myelin. Just like with electrical wiring when the insulation is removed from our wiring (nerves) they donít work as well as they did before. In the case of the human bodies we are talking not about the nerve endings, but the fibers in the spinal cord and brain that carry the impulses from the nerve endings to the brain, and from the brain to our organs and limbs. When these fibers, or cords, have their shielding removed they can short circuit, or even Ďtouchí another fiber. This is why someone with MS may go to move one part of the body and another one responds. The directions given by the brain are no longer getting through to the intended recipient.
The biggest question is why these mice are get released, and what can we do about it. Blood evidence points in the direction of an auto-immune disorder. Statistical studies show that people who spend their early years in climates where they donít get a lot of sunlight have more tendencies to develop MS than those that spent their early years in sunny climates. Beyond that there hasnít been a lot of hard evidence as to a cause of MS.
Medical treatment centers on immobilizing the immune system and treating the symptoms. Nutritional support leans towards reducing inflammation and increasing antioxidants in the bloodstream.
Other autoimmune disorders have been shown to improve when the immune system is bolstered rather than inhibited. The theory behind this is that of a fighter being overwhelmed in a fight. When help comes the fighter is as likely to lash out at the helper as the enemy, at least until things cool down to where they can tell the difference. Feed your immune system in such a way as to strengthen it for future battles.
One study that was done in Austria used both intravenous and oral enzymes. Not everybody responded well, but the majority of them did. The trick seemed to be catching people at the right time. Those with chronic escalating symptoms seemed to do better than those with intermittent symptoms, but almost all were helped in some way. If your doctor is not familiar with the work of Dr. Neuhofer in Salzburg, Austria you could always try a little study of your own. Some of Dr. Heuhoferís patients even had reversals.
Another area of attack that doctorís take is in reducing inflammation. Your diet can play a role in inflammation. Plants from the nightshade family have been known to increase inflammation in the body. These plants include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers (all but the spice we call black pepper), blueberries and huckleberries. To benefit from removing these nightshades you will need to be diligent with it, but it could pay off well.
Someone has said that antioxidants are ammunition your immune system uses to protect your body. No matter how well you strengthen your immune system if you donít have enough antioxidants your health will continue to decline. It used to be that as long as we ate our recommended fruits and vegetables we could feel comfortable in feeling we had gotten enough antioxidants. That is no longer the case. With new growing methods, harvesting, storage and shipping long distances science has proven that our produce no longer has the antioxidants it used to have.
Supplementation is the key to ensuring your body is not missing this important group of nutrients.
Because of the link found that more people in non sunny climates get MS than those in sunny places there is a new thought that Vitamin D may play a part in this disease. At this point it is still unclear if this hormone has a greater role in prevention or treatment. With all the information in the news lately it is a good idea to increase your Vitamin D levels. Most doctors are willing to do a simple blood test to see if you are deficient. D3 is the most absorbable form of Vitamin D. Our 25 Hydroxy D levels should be between 50-100ng/ml.
Another vitamin that is showing promise is Vitamin B12. This may be in part because of the energy needed to overcome the misfiring synapses. Studies were done using B12 at 1000mcg intravenously because some people have trouble absorbing it through the digestive system in pill form.
MS has been described as a disease that causes hopelessness. This is because there is no clear cut cause or magic pill that will get rid of it. Those that have it know that at best they will stabilize and at worse they will continue to decline. My personal stubbornness says that when I am put in that position I look for things outside the box that may help. I hope today I have poked a few holes in your box so you can see outside and make your own decisions.
Getting rid of the bad things in your body may be even more important than adding more good things. This starts with stopping, stop putting the bad things into your body. Any artificial additives must go. This includes fake fats and fake sugars. Aspartame has been shown to be very harmful in these instances. Look at what you are putting on your body as well as into it. Shampoos, conditioners, anti-perspirants, lotions, makeup, fabric softeners and anything else that touches your skin or lungs can cause your body to absorb their toxins. When our immune systems are running around cleaning them up it is not fighting disease.
Recent studies show that the body uses fats to rebuild and strengthen nerve and brain cells. This includes that myelin sheeth. When we take all the fats out of our diet, or take in the wrong ones we reduce the bodyís capabilities of regeneration. Saturated fats from organic free range animals are actually good for this. They contain a lot of the Omega 3 fatty acids. These heal inflammation. Commercially grown saturated fats contain a lot of Omega 6 fatty acids. These cause inflammation. Coconut oil is a plant based saturated fats. These are unique because they contain medium chain fatty acids. Studies on Alzheimerís patients have shown coconut oil is extremely helpful in regenerating the brain.
The paleo style diet, when focus is put on the organic instead of conventionally grown meats and produce, has been shown to be the healthiest form of eating for someone with MS. It can also help you lose the excess weight and feel better in the process.
Natureís Medicines by Gale Maleskey and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, copyright 1999 by Rodale Inc.
The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B. White MD and Steven Foster, copyright 2000 by Rodale Press
Enzymes the Fountain of Life by D.A Lopez, M.D., R.M Williams, M.D., Ph.D and K. Miehlke, M.D. copyrighted 1994 by the Neville Press Inc.