Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheaths surrounding the nerve fibers in the spinal cord, eye and brain. With these myelin sheaths damaged, nerves cannot transmit the impulses necessary for the body to function properly which, in turn, results in a variety of neurological impairments.
Medical science does not understand what causes MS, but attributes it to various factors, such as genetics, environmental insult, or viral infection. Interestingly enough though, no specific virus involved in MS has ever been indentified. Multiple sclerosis is a fairly modern disease, with the first case being recorded in the early 1800′s. Jean Cruveilheir first described the symptoms in Pathological Anatomy of the Human Body (2 vols., 1829-1842).
One test for diagnosing MS is a spinal tap to determine the presence of an abnormal protein in the spinal fluid. The only thing that could result in abnormal proteins in our bodies is a prion, an infectious agent that does not contain RNA or DNA and which changes normal proteins into abnormal proteins, Prions are known to attack the protein structure of neurons. One of the ways a prion enters the body is by ingestion. In other words, it can be traced back to the dinner table; perhaps to the abnormal proteins given to cows in order to have them produce more milk.
It is also interesting to note that multiple sclerosis is more prevalent in people who have spent their childhoods in fairly extreme northern or southern latitudes, and that children who get plenty of sunshine have a lower incidence of multiple sclerosis as adults. Research has shown that, when compared to individuals that do not have multiple sclerosis, multiple sclerosis patients have substantially lower levels of Vitamin D. It is important to note that Vitamin D is a powerful immune modulator.
Conventional medicine uses immunomodulatory therapy in treating multiple sclerosis patients. These treatments are designed to modulate an overactive immune response. Beta-interferon has become the drug of choice in treating MS patients. Interferon tends to slow the progression of the disease, together with reducing the risk of new symptoms. However, the downside is that this drug comes with significant side effects.
In the meantime, research is showing that supplementing with a high dosage of Vitamin D is effective in warding off multiple sclerosis. A study recently published in the American Academy of Neurology Journal Neurology found that high vitamin D levels help to prevent the development of MS at the onset of symptoms. The study, led by Jodie Burton, M. D., followed 49 MS patients for one year. 25 of the patients received a dosage of vitamin D which was increased to 40,000 units daily and then gradually decreased over a year’s period of time. The other patients received no vitamin D supplementation. The group receiving the Vitamin D supplementation experienced a 41% reduction in new MS symptoms, This figure exceeds any results from interferon inoculations which are only from 18 to 38% effective.
Additional supplements that may also be effective in reducing MS symptoms are the following:
*Oleander extract – Oleander extract is known to be a superb immune modulator, with many testimonies as to its effectiveness. Please note that the oleander plant, in itself, is extremely poisonous. It is when oleander is properly made into an extract that it attains its healing properties.
*Alpha lipoic acid – A dosage of 10 to 25 mg recently showed improvement of biochemical markers for multiple sclerosis in a human trial.
*Carnitine has been found effective in reducing fatigue in MS patients.
*NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) is a potent antioxidant that increases the body’s glutathione levels. NAC’s benefits in treating MS patients have been noted by several researchers.
*Fish Oil – Together with taking fish oil supplements, it is recommended to eat fatty fish at least twice a week. These contain high levels of the Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which are known to decrease abnormal proteins produced by individuals with MS.
*COQ10 is an antioxidant that is essential in healthy mitochondrial energy production. Low levels of coenzyme Q10 have been found in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Suggested dosage is 30 mg two or three times a day.
*Bromelain – 40 mg 3 times a day relieves pain and reduces inflammation.
*Calcium and Magnesium – For proper absorption, these two supplements should be taken at a 2:1 calcium to magnesium ratio. Magnesium is another powerful immune modulator that is essential in a number of body functions. People with autoimmune disorders have been found to be deficient in this important mineral.
*Curcumin. A laboratory study has shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, blocks the progression of multiple sclerosis.
*Liver Cleanse – used daily maintains detoxification.
A proper diet is essential in treating people with multiple sclerosis. MS patients have been found to be deficient in many nutrients. Eating a healthy diet will improve health for everyone, but good nutrition is vital to a person suffering from MS. The following guidelines will benefit not only the individual with multiple sclerosis, but the entire family:
*Decrease protein input by eating less animal based foods and substituting them with plant based protein foods such as beans and quinoa.
*Eliminate milk and all milk products. The only exception to this rule would be raw goat’s milk. Areas of the world that rely on consumption of raw goat’s milk have no incidence of multiple sclerosis.
*Eliminate all polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, and all hydrogenated oils,
*Eat as many organically grown fruits and vegetables as possible.
*Include ginger and turmeric in your diet daily.
Exercise has important benefits for people with MS. There is evidence that exercise not only results in a better quality of life, but that it also relieves MS symptoms. However, individuals with multiple sclerosis should use moderation when exercising. Before starting an exercise program, consult with your doctor to determine which types of exercises will be most effective. Regular exercise can improve heart health, physical strength, bladder and bowel function, fatigue, and depression. Swimming and water aerobics are excellent forms of exercise. Yoga helps to improve muscle and neural function.
Lastly, dealing with stress is crucial. Stress has been linked to the onset or flare-ups of this disease. Take steps to eliminate undue stress. If this is not possible, relaxation exercises, visualization, meditation, hypnotherapy, and emotional freedom technique (EFT) are valuable tools in creating positive energy.
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