Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the myelin sheath, a fatty protective coating around nerve cells, is destroyed by the body's own defence system. The disease presents a wide variety of symptoms, which range in severity and can come and go. MS symptoms include weakness of an arm or leg, unexplained tingling or funny sensations in various places in the body, double vision, loss of vision, problems with speech or walking, increased urinary frequency, incontinence, and memory impairment.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
MS has a presentation with a wide variety of symptoms. There are four known forms of the MS. The most common form is relapsing-remitting, where the attacks are sporadic and separated by periods of limited or complete recovery. Benign multiple sclerosis consists of one or two mild episodes but exhibit little to no disability. Secondary-progressive is initiated by relapses and periods of remission, but will become steadily worse. The worst one of the four is progressive multiple sclerosis which is debilitating from the onset.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
MS presents with various symptoms including: weakness in the extremities, unexplained sensation such as tingling in different parts of the body, double or loss vision, problems with mobility, problems with speech, incontinence, increased urinary frequency, and difficulty with memory, paralysis, tremors, urinary abnormalities, and depression.
How Multiple Sclerosis is Diagnosed
The test to diagnose for MS consists of a neurological function test, which test things such as eye movement, sensation, and vision. The destruction of myelin can be seen by an MRI scan of the spine and brain. Examination of the cerebrospinal fluid (fluid surrounding brain and spinal cord) can also aid in the diagnosis as well. MS currently affects more than 2,500,000 people around the world. Women are twice as likely to get it as men, and usually strikes between the ages of 20 and 40.
Theories behind Cause of Multiple Sclerosis
The cause of MS appears to be an autoimmune attack, in other words, the body mistakes the myelin sheath for a foreign invader and attacks it as such. What triggers this attack is a hot topic amongst biomedical researchers. Another theory is that MS may be caused by virus like organism since MS often appears in clusters. Since MS runs high in families and there are signature genetic markers have found in all those afflicted with MS, there may be a genetic predisposition. There is a correlation between environment and temperature. In regards to the environment, the cases of MS decrease in the countries that are closer to the equator. The disease is less common in tropical areas than in North America and Europe. It also has been noticed that temperature extreme also trigger MS symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis Possible Treatments
Currently there is no known cure or universally recognized allopathic treatment for MS. There are a few treatments that can help relieve and prevent MS recurrences. Immune suppressive drugs are used to prevent relapses in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and are given multiple times a week. The cancer drug Mitoxantrone is also used to treat both secondary progressive and relapsing-remitting types of multiple sclerosis. Intravenous corticosteroids has been shown help relieve the symptoms and duration of relapses. There are other medications that are given to relieve specific symptoms such as bladder dysfunction, depression, muscle spasticity, and seizure. Aspirin also has been shown to be effective with symptom management.
Dr. Swank’s Low Fat Diet
MS symptoms have been found to be managed effectively when cutting down on a high fat diet. This finding was done by Roy L. Swank, MD, PhD, a professor of neurology at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. Dr. Swank wrote a book entitled, The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book, which boasted impressive results when using a low-fat elimination diet to treat MS. Dr. Swank’s researched this phenomenon by recruiting more than 150 people with MS to his study. One group was given a diet low in saturated in fat while a similar group that served as a control ate an unrestricted diet. After two decades, those on the low saturated fat diet had fewer deaths, less MS flare ups, and less disability as compared to the control group.
Gamma-lineolic acid (GLA) is a compound thought to be useful in treating MS. Andrew Weil, M.D. author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine, speaks highly of GLA as an effective anti-inflammatory for treating autoimmune disorders such as MS. Dr. Weil recommends taking 500 milligrams of blackcurrant oil twice a day. Dr. Weil says that improvements can be seen in as little as eight weeks. GLA is also found in blackcurrant, evening primrose oil (EPO) and borage, black currant is the cheapest of the three.
Oligomeric pryocyanidins (OPCs) can be found in blueberries. Though its biochemistry may be complicated, promising results have shown that OPCs helps prevent the degradation of certain tissues, including the myelin sheath surrounding the nerve fibers. OPCs also can help relieve MS symptoms as it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity.
Various enzymes in pineapple, namely pancreatin and bromelain, have exhibited anti-inflammatory qualities as well as break up protein molecules. These enzymes also decrease the levels of circulating immune complexes, which activate the immune system to attack itself, are a hallmark of several autoimmune diseases like MS.
Magnesium was recommended by a British biochemist that was afflicted with MS when he wrote a letter to the British medical journal, Lancet. The biochemist claimed that supplemental magnesium by itself was much better than any other supplemental vitamin and mineral. Magnesium can be found in such food sources as purslane, poppy seeds, black-eyed beans, and spinach.
Urtication and Bee Sting treatment
This practice involves taking VW Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and covering it with small, thin hair-like stingers and applying it to exposed skin. Though there will be a stinging feeling, the treatment provides microinjections of different beneficial chemicals, such as histamine. The comparable alternative to this is to get stung by bees. Urtication is much safer since bee stings have serious allergic reactions that have lead to death, while there are records of serious allergic reaction to urtication.
Exercise helps those afflicted with MS by improving mobility, muscle strength, and mood.
Physical, Speech, Occupational Therapy
Physical, speech, occupational therapy can help with mobility and muscle strength. Speech therapy will help with slurred speech. Occupational therapy helps with everyday functioning.
Massage can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve social functioning
Music therapy was shown to reduce symptoms and anxiety and depression significantly and boost self-esteem. The study was a clinical trial which had 20 patients was published in a 2004 Journal of Music Therapy.
Magnets have been shown to heal damaged nerve tissue and muscle. The magnets are either worn or placed on a bed.
Anyone afflicted with MS should work with a biological dentist to remove toxic fillings since toxic vapors from mercury amalgam fillings can cause a number of debilitating symptoms outside of the mouth, even damages to the CNS.
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