Sunday, December 13, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis Not A Death Penalty

A diagnosis of MS or multiple sclerosis used to be considered a death penalty. Doctors didn’t seem to know much about it, or what to do for it. It got its name from the multiple ‘hard spots’ that occur when the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that insulates electrical signals in the nervous system along the spinal cord and brain. Other than knowing that the body is attacking itself, there wasn’t much information available.

When the body attacks itself in any way it is called an autoimmune disease. In easy terms the immune system has gone haywire and doesn’t know what belongs to the body and what’s a foreign invader, so it attacks everything. Modern science says we need to sedate or kill the immune system so that it can no longer harm the body. Natural medicine looks at the cause of the malfunction.
With MS there seems to be several things going on. They work together to create the perfect storm. If we can interrupt that storm we can reduce the symptoms and the progression of the disease.

One of the common denominators among MS patients is a digestion problem. Whether it is simple gluten intolerance, full blown IBS, or leaky gut syndrome seems to depend on the severity, how long the person has had it, and what their standard diet is like. Leaky gut syndrome is where the intestines become thin, with holes in it.  Food particles can then escape the intestines before being fully broken down into nutrients. These food particles are then foreign invaders to the body, putting the immune system on high alert. If you have ever seen an animal being picked on by a group of animals you quickly realize that the victim begins striking out at everything, friend or foe. This is what the immune system does within the body.

When digestive problems are in play we need to fix those before intense healing will occur. Almost all digestive problems can be solved to eating a completely natural diet. No chemicals. No pesticide residues, no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors. No processed foods of any kind. For some people this means a complete change of diet. It can be hard, but it is worth it to get off your medications and get back on the road to good health.

In your new diet include as many fresh vegetables as possible. Also include some fresh fruits. All produce should be organic. Anything else contains pesticides and fertilizer residues. In addition you want to make sure you are getting large amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids. These can be found in grass fed meats and dairy, nuts, olive oil, flax, and coconut oil. Wheat is one of the biggest culprit in digestive problems, but to be really safe you would want to avoid all grains. As a food group they tend to cause inflammation, which increases the burden on the immune system.

Supplementation means eating foods in a concentrated form. If you need a lot of vitamin C you could eat oranges and bell peppers constantly all day long and miss out on other nutrients, or you could take an all-natural supplement. For vitamin D you could spend time outside naked, or take a natural supplement. For many of us our winter weather is not conducive to spending half an hour or more outside scantily clad.

Magnesium is one of the major deficiencies that trigger MS symptoms.  Our soils are magnesium deficient and food processing removes even more of this mineral. Magnesium supplements come in topical or oral forms. Many people prefer the topical supplements because you can avoid the stomach cramping and diarrhea that occurs if you get too much at one time.

Vitamin D is another one. With so many of us spending our days inside in offices or other buildings instead of outside working the land we just aren’t getting the vitamin D we need. Add to that the use of sunscreen when we are outside and we can be deficient even in the summer. They used to tell us we could get too much Vitamin D, but could not tell us what the toxicity (overload) symptoms were. Now we are finding out there aren’t any, or if there are they are at much higher levels than any of us could maintain even with supplementation.

Other deficiencies with links to MS include vitamins B1, B6, and B12, as well as zinc, folic acid, amino acids, manganese, and selenium. The Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium and Vitamin D seem to be the most important nutrients to begin focusing on.

All prescriptions are toxic. They are chemicals meant to quickly change your body chemistry to get the effect they want. In an emergency, when you need results quickly, there is nothing better. For long term health the side effects can be just as harmful as the issues they are dealing with. This is why many people are seeking alternatives to prescriptions, and those with MS are no exception.

One woman with MS has turned to essential oils as part of her medicine cabinet. She has found that for the muscle spasms common to MS that wintergreen, basil, frankincense, sandalwood, and cayenne oils work well, either together in a blend or separately. She adds her oils to a carrier such as coconut oil and rubs it just where she needs it. This same woman has asthma and has been able to replace her inhaler with essential oils she rubs on her hands then cups her hands over her nose and mouth to breath in the scent. There are many essential oils, and multiple uses for each oil. If you can’t find someone to advise you then invest in a book and do your own research.

Modern medicine has its place. It is when they tell you that what is bothering you cannot be cured and will only get worse that we ought to wonder if there is a better way. Even if you have to combine better habits with medication you will be better off in the long run. Healthy habits will always improve the quality of life, even if they don’t totally cure your particular problem.

More about Multiple Sclerosis