What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple Sclerosis is characterized by demyelination, breakdown of the blood brain barrier, inflammation and episodic attacks.
Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease that is considered to be autoimmune. Impulses are normally transmitted along neural pathways from our brain to our spinal cord and then these messages are sent to our muscles resulting in movement. These neuropath ways are coated with a myelin sheath that allows these electrical impulses to be conducted at a high speed. In MS, these myelin sheaths become damaged forming plaques (demyelination) that disrupt the communication between nerve cells. These lesions occur in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord (CNS) and in the optic nerve (CNII).
Breakdown of the Blood Brain Barrier
The blood brain barrier normally allows in oxygen and nutrients to feed the brain and restricts invaders such as viruses. MS patients have an abnormal blood brain barrier, which would allow toxins, viruses, bacteria and immune cells to get into the cerebral spinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord.
In MS, a type of T cell (lymphocyte) is able to cross the blood brain barrier and release chemicals in an immune reaction that attacks the myelin and causes inflammation. Inflammatory cells have been found surrounding these plaques. We believe that viral infection or toxins trigger this immune response.
Patients have an acute attack that may include various symptoms depending on the area of destruction of the myelin sheath. These symptoms may include weakness, numbness, tingling, incoordination, tremors, unsteadiness of gait, double vision, nystagmus, visual disturbance, pain, bladder dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, impaired memory and concentration, fatigue, and impaired sensation. These symptoms may then disappear for a few days, weeks, months or years before neurological symptoms appear again. There is no prediction as to when the next attack will occur. Certain conditions may trigger an exacerbation such as an infection, trauma or pregnancy. Between these episodes, the body is sometimes able to repair itself and partial remyelination can occur resulting in remission and improvement in symptoms. These remylenated nerves conduct more slowly and are sensitive to heat. Symptoms can reappear with a hot bath, exercise or on a hot, humid day.
Symptoms for multiple sclerosis aggravate as the disease progresses.
Early disease may show:
- Loss of balance
- Weakness in one or more limbs
- Blurred or double vision
Later on, as the disease progresses, other symptoms may include:
- Muscle spasms
- Sensitivity to heat
- Changes in thinking or perception
- Sexual disturbances
The most common symptoms include:
- Fatigue mostly in the afternoon, sleepiness, drowsiness
- Heat sensitivity
- Muscle spasticity affecting the legs and arms
- Vision problem
- Numbness. Burning, pins and needles
- Speech problems
- Swallowing difficulties
- Gait disturbance (a deviation from normal walking)
- Impaired memory and concentration
- Dizziness and vertigo
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
There are several types of multiple sclerosis:
Relapsing-Remitting MS – 80% of MS usually begins like this. Attacks are followed by periods of recovery, before another attack occurs.
Secondary Progressive – People with relapsing-remitting MS develop this form of MS. There is partial recovery in between attacks and eventually a steady deterioration of symptoms occurs replacing the episodic attacks.
Primary Progressive – 15% of the cases. There is no relapse and remission but instead a gradual deterioration occurs at the onset of the disease.
Who is at risk for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
MS is mostly found in young and middle age women in Northern climates.
Women are affected twice as often as men. Initial symptoms begin between ages 20-40. If MS does occur in children or the elderly, it is usually a more severe form. The further one lives from the equator, the higher the incidence of MS. It is a rare disease in the tropics and more prevalent in Northern US, Canada, Great Britain and central Europe. MS is most common among Caucasians of Northern European descent. The general risk of developing MS is 1 in 750 people, but if a first degree relative has MS, the risk will increase to 1 in 40. People living in the areas with an increased prevalence of MS tend to consume more animal fats and dairy. Japan, showing a lower incidence of MS, has a diet high in seafood, soy and seeds containing an abundance of Omega-3’s. Some other risk factors showing a strong correlation to MS, include vitamin D deficiency, Epstein-Barr virus and cigarette smoking.
The diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis is confirmed with lab tests, imaging studies and nerve function tests.
A diagnosis of MS requires evidence of two or more lesions involving different regions of the central white matter, occurring at different times. Plaques are best visualized by an MRI of the brain. MRI will show continuing destructive activity even though the patient may not be aware of new symptoms.
Spinal fluid sampling shows mild leukocytosis (elevated count of white blood cells), slightly increased protein and 90% of the cases will have changes in IgG proteins.
Evoked Potential Test
This nerve function test measures the time it takes for a nerve to respond to stimuli. It also measures the size of the response. Many different parts of the body are tested. This is done by placing electrodes on the head and recording brain wave responses. This test shows abnormalities in both diagnosed and suspected MS patients.
Conventional Treatment Approaches
Conventional treatments have numerous side effects and are poorly tolerated. It is limited to various pharmaceutical interventions.
Beta-Interferon – reduces the frequency of exacerbations but it produces flu-like symptoms and it is costly.
Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone) – costly subcutaneous injections are given daily to prevent relapses. It simulates the amino acid composition of myelin. Side effects may include redness at injection site and transient symptoms of flushing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, palpitation and anxiety after injection.
Natalizumab/Tysabri – is a monoclonal antibody (immune modulator). Decreases inflammation by blocking T and B cell receptors so that they can’t enter the brain and spinal cord. This reduces the relapse rate. Given as an IV once a week.
Steroid meds – can hasten recovery from acute relapses. IV methylprednisone-1 g daily for 3-5 days, followed by high doses of prednisone will be given daily for 1 week and then tapered down over the next 1-2 weeks. Long-term treatment with steroids has not been found to be beneficial and have many undesirable side effects.
Mitoxantrone – is a chemotoxic agent that slows disease progression, decreasing relapses. It suppresses white blood cells so that they don’t attack myelin, reducing the scarring that causes symptoms.
Hyaluronidase – this is highly elevated in patients with MS. This is an upcoming promising therapy that will block the brain enzyme. It has shown to promote remyelenation in mice.
Our Alternative Treatment Approaches
In contrast to conventional treatment, alternative treatment approaches for multiple sclerosis (MS) offer safe and efficient management of MS with detoxification, lifestyle changes, nutrition and herbal supplements. Our treatment approach includes detoxification from heavy metals and chemicals, herbicides and pesticides, dietary changes, exercise and mental-emotional therapies.
- It is important to remove all mercury fillings by a dentist trained in proper and safe removal as promoted by Hal Huggins. Root canals should also been treated to eliminate a focus of infection. A systemic heavy metal treatment will include a natural herbal treatment with NDF and if tolerated oral chelation with DMSA. (Read article: Toxic Mouth)
- Hulda Clark believes that MS is caused by fluke parasites reaching the brain and spinal cord where they multiply. Meat, family pets, and kissing infected family members are all potential sources of fluke infection. Also a high exposure to the solvents Toluene and Xylene in paint and thinners and even some carbonated beverages, allow the flukes to multiply in the brain.
- Viral and bacterial infections can worsen the symptoms of MS and trigger exacerbations. It is important to keep a strong immune system to prevent this from happening.
- Research is finding that many MS patients are also afflicted with Candida. Candida is a fungal overgrowth that can be found in the gut, vagina or mouth. A Candida cleanse is recommended to prevent further deterioration in health and to allow the body to heal itself.
- Research has shown that a vegetarian diet has positive effects on the immune system and supports healthy organ function.
- Raw food testimonials and our experience shows that raw food is associated with progress and reversal of some symptoms.
- Raw foods help reduce the stickiness of platelets that would otherwise clump together and damage the blood-brain barrier.
- Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride that is converted to ketones in the liver and then sent via the blood directly to the brain for an alternative fuel source. Coconut oil has shown much promise for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS patients. It is also of benefit for candida infection.
- Avoid inflammatory oils of Omega-6 (linoleic acid) – soy, canola, corn oils which are highly oxidative and contain trans fats that damage cell membranes.
- Avoid hydrogenated oils, shortenings and margarine.
- Eliminate foods that cause an immune reaction because almost half of the patients diagnosed with MS have fat malabsorption.
- Avoid animal products except for small, wild ocean fish.
- Eliminate aspartame from diet since it rapidly metabolizes into a potent neurotoxin.
Support the connective tissue – 3-4g Omega-3’s daily to increase transmission of serotonin and dopamine and to inhibit neuronal damage.
Vitamin D3 – 2000-4000 IU daily for a minimum of three months.
Detoxify the neuronal pathways – Intravenous (IV) Glutathione (GSH), B1 (Benfotiamine) 150mg/day is helpful for smooth transmission, NAC 800-1200 mg/day, A-L Carnitine 1.2-3g/day for energy and neurotransmission signaling, ribose 2-4g/day of powder for energy.
Low dose Naltrexone and ALA (alpha lipoic acid) – Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist and if taken at night it will block the opioid receptors for a few hours. It increases the body’s natural production of opiodes-metenkephalin and endorphins. This will increase immune functioning. The dosing of Naltrexone is usually 3-4.5 mg.
Dr. Frederick Robert Klenner of North Carolina reversed MS using IV therapy. His protocol contained B complex for nerve cell health, Vitamin B1, B3, C, E, magnesium, calcium and zinc. IV therapy can provide large quantities of nutrients that would be needed for an existing pathology.
Swimming in cool water increases tolerance by cooling the body during exercise.
Resistance training has been found to increase walking ability and endurance in patients with MS. It can increase energy levels, control spasticity, improve mood and help improve muscles that control bowel and bladder.
Conductive education training teaches how to find new routes between the brain and the muscles. It takes a whole person approach as it considers how the patient feels about movement, their reasons for movement and why the movement is so difficult. It teaches how to get control of your movements, how to initiate movement and if there are other movements that you can still access.
Managing stress – stress worsens MS symptoms and can also trigger an exacerbation. Read about stress management.
Now is the Time to Mind Your Body & Mend Your Mind
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