What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that can develop at any age. Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects women more than men. The disorder is most commonly diagnosed between ages 20 and 40, but can be seen at any age. MS affects 2.5 million people worldwide and around 400,000 people in the United States.
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an immune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks itself. In the case of MS, the body attacks the myelin, or fat that surrounds and protects the nerves. During an MS attack, inflammation occurs in random areas of the central nervous system in patches called plaques. The destruction of the myelin occurs next. Once these myelin sheaths are attacked and destroyed the delicate communication process between the nerves, brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body are compromised resulting in decreased or complete loss of function. The name, multiple sclerosis, is for many – multiple, and scars – sclerosis.
Causes Of Multiple Sclerosis
MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this nerve covering is damaged, nerve signals slow down or stop.
The nerve damage is caused by Inflammation which occurs when the body’s own immune cells attack the nervous system. This damage can happen anywhere in the brain or spinal cord.
Although no specific cause is known, some possible causes include: infections, mold toxicity, emotional stress, hormonal imbalances, toxic exposure, vitamin D deficiency, food allergies, and immunizations.
People are generally diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 40 although it can exist in many who are currently living with undiagnosed MS. This is because the disease can wax and wane making it very challenging to accurately diagnose. Although the cause is not yet known it is theorized that a viral condition precipitates the onset of MS.
Types of MS
The Four Courses of MS
- Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
- Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS)
- Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS)
- Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS)
Each of these types of MS has different characteristics. RRMS is the most common type of MS and is characterized by acute attacks then full recovery. PPMS has almost complete disability from the beginning with only mild improvements or remissions. SPMS has limited recovery between attacks and continual progression and worsening of symptoms. PRMS shows as complete disability from the onset with acute relapses and no recovery of significance in between attacks.
Symptoms of MS:
- Muscle Weakness
- Impairment of senses
- Speech and visual disturbances
- Bladder and bowel dysfunction
- Cognitive abnormalities
- Sexual dysfunction
Traditional Treatments of MS
Traditional treatments of MS are the use of highly toxic drugs such as steroids. Other commonly used drugs to treat MS are Valium, Klonopin, aspirin, acetaminophen, codeine, Cylert, Symmetrel, and antidepressants.
As with all pharmaceuticals, costs are high, side effects are extreme in some cases, and treatment is for the symptoms and not the actual disease. When it comes to MS, most medications are used to slow the progression of the disease but not cure it. There is currently no cure for MS.
All Natural, Alternative Treatments for MS
Chiropractic Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
Foods for Multiple Sclerosis Diet –
Unprocessed foods – Choose whole, organic, unprocessed foods as often as possible.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil contains large amounts of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) that support the brain and nervous system.
Fresh organic fruits and vegetables – Aim for a variety of colors to provide antioxidants that can help prevent free radical damage.
Omega-3 fats – The EPA/DHA fats found in wild-caught fish can help reduce inflammation.
Cabbage and bean sprouts – Foods high in lecithin may help strengthen the nerves.
Spices – Turmeric and Cinnamon are great anti-inflammatory spices. Turmeric, cinnamon and ginger should be consumed daily along with a CoQ10 supplement at least two to three times per day. In addition take a multi mineral supplement every day.
Healthy fats are key!
Foods to Avoid If for Multiple Sclerosis:
Processed foods – Reduce your exposure to chemicals and toxins by avoiding any foods that are processed.
Gluten – People with MS generally have a gluten-intolerance and gluten can make symptoms worse.
Potential food allergens – I highly recommend you everyone at some point in their life, get their food allergies tested properly. I recommend the Mediator Release Test (MRT) is a simple blood test for food sensitivities. MRT is different from skin prick/scratch tests that test for IgE-mediated food allergies.
Sugar – Lowers the immune response and causes systemic inflammation and premature aging.
Alcohol – Increases inflammation and can create a toxic environment.
Hydrogenated Fats – and partially hydrogenated oils. This includes polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortenings, and deep fried foods.
Top 5 Supplementation for Multiple Sclerosis:
There has been recent speculation that increasing levels of vitamin D if you suffer with MS can be particularly helpful. This is an interesting approach that seems to work by increasing your safe sun exposure. It has been noted that people living in the Northern Hemisphere are much more likely to suffer with MS than those living by or below the equator.
#1 Fish Oil (2,000mg daily) Fish oil can help reduce inflammation and promote better nerve functioning. Recommended Omega 3 ratio: 850 EPA & 650 DHA about a 3/2 ratio.
#2 High potency multi-vitamin Provides basic nutrients needed for immune function.
#3 Digestive enzymes (1-2 capsules with meals) May help with digestion and reduce autoimmune reactions to foods.
#5 Vitamin B12 (1000 mcg daily) Vitamin B12 helps with the formation of nerves.
Essential oils of frankincense and helichrysum support the neurological system and can help ward off or alleviate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Also, basil and cypress oils can improve circulation and muscle tone and can help reduce MS symptoms, so consider combining these oils together for maximum results.
Take 2 drops of frankincense internally 3x a day 3 weeks, then take 1 week off and repeat that cycle.
Rub 2 drops of helichrysum to temples and neck 2x daily. Also, basil oil and cypress oil can improve circulation and muscle tone and can help reduce MS symptoms.