Multiple sclerosis – Cure none; self-healing yes
Spring 2014 True Natural Health Magazine
By Roger French
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive, degenerative disease of the central nervous system and is the most common disease of the central nervous system in young adults in the Western world. Affecting about one per thousand Australians,(1) it is most common in white-skinned people and is almost unheard of in some Asian countries, including Japan, Korea and China. It affects women much more frequently than men.
Because the symptoms of MS are varied and unpredictable and no two sufferers will have the same set of symptoms, the disease can be missed or false diagnoses made in cases that were originally labelled as MS.(2)
The orthodox view is that the cause of MS is unknown and there is no cure.(3) Treatments are available only to ease symptoms and slow the course of the disease. However, as we will see, there are steps that can be taken to prevent MS, and it is possible to achieve some degree of reversal. All these steps are dietary and other lifestyle methods designed to remove the causes and facilitate self-healing.
MS is Nerve Damage
Multiple sclerosis is thought to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system produces antibodies that attack myelin, a fatty substance that insulates nerve fibers. MS is not an inherited disease, but it appears that genetic factors play a role in making some people more susceptible to developing it.(4)
MS involves many areas of inflammation and scarring of the myelin insulation that surrounds nerves in the brain, spinal cord and possibly optic nerve. ‘Sclerosis’ means hardening of tissue, and ‘multiple’ means many, so the name simply refers to the many hardened areas of the nerves.
With the myelin either damaged or completely stripped off the nerves, electrical impulses can leak out of the nerves so that messages are not conveyed properly. MS is thus often debilitating, may affect vision and is sometimes fatal.
Symptoms most often appear between the ages of 20 and 40, but can occur in children.(5)
The demyelination at least partly involves attack by the immune system, which is why MS is known as an auto-immune disease. Once demyelination starts, it may continue until the body’s defences can stop the process or all abnormal myelin is destroyed.(2)
The disease develops slowly and unpredictably. There may be periodic flare-ups, with only a few minor attacks spread over decades, or MS can develop rapidly into a debilitating state. Nevertheless, life expectancy can be normal or almost normal. According to PubMed Health, Sep 25, 2013, most people with MS are active and function at work with little disability.(6)
The disease has a striking geographic distribution, with incidence being almost zero at the Equator and increasing dramatically with latitude in both hemispheres.(7) Incidence is also lower at high altitudes. A consequence of this is that women living in colder, wetter areas are more susceptible than those living in warmer areas.(8)
Early diagnosis of MS is important, as early treatment can prevent or delay the development of disability.(5)
MS exhibits extraordinary variation from individual to individual. Symptoms depend on which areas of the central nervous system are most affected. Early symptoms may include bouts of dizziness, extreme fatigue, blurred or double vision, tingling and/or numbness especially in hands and feet, loss of balance and co-ordination, muscular stiffness, slurred speech, tremors and bowel and bladder dysfunction.(9)
The Causes and Mechanisms of MS
A lot of studies have investigated the causes and mechanisms of MS. The geographical distribution points to vitamin D as an important factor, it’s known that free radical attack is a major factor, saturated fat and alcohol in the Western diet are very significant, as are certain mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Other contributing factors include environmental chemicals, immunisations, infectious diseases and trauma.(10)
The prevalence in white-skinned races was explained by a researcher back in 1975 as being at least partly due to dietary habits.(2) Lack of breastfeeding and excessive consumption of cows’ milk during infancy may be important factors in MS. A lack of essential fatty acids and possibly lack of certain minerals and vitamins during pregnancy and childhood may result in the synthesis of abnormally unstable myelin which then invites attack by the immune system or breaks down naturally or is damaged by viral infection or trauma.
IS MS INHERITED?
In the year 2000, the Depart of Biochemistry of the University of Wisconsin-Madison concluded that inherited genetic risk factors are not sufficient to cause the disease.(11)
Other researchers have noted that free radicals affect gene expression, so it would appear that it is not the genes themselves that are risk factors, but rather damage to them.
As with virtually all diseases, although we don’t inherit the disease itself, we may inherit a greater susceptibility or predisposition to it, which can be activated by lifestyle causative factors.
VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
The striking way in which the incidence of MS increases with distance from the Equator has led researchers to conclude that because ultraviolet (UV) radiation plays an important role in vitamin D synthesis, this could explain both latitude differences in MS prevalence and the low levels of vitamin D in individuals with MS.(12)
A crucial factor is sunlight exposure because it determines the amount of vitamin D produced in the skin.(7) The researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison explain that under low sunlight conditions, insufficient vitamin D3 is produced and, because vitamin D3 inhibits this autoimmune disease, this is a risk for MS.
A mechanism for the role of vitamin D was proposed as follows.(8) Women of menstruation age often have low levels of magnesium, and because magnesium is required for the release of nitric oxide (NO) from the cells, a magnesium deficiency can cause NO to increase in the cells where it reacts with superoxide to form an extremely powerful free radical called peroxinitrite. Since vitamin D is paramount for magnesium absorption, a deficiency of vitamin D would therefore lead to free radical generation and nerve damage. Hence the higher incidence of MS at high latitudes and low altitudes.
Supporting this hypothesis, a 1986 study of young MS patients given dietary supplements containing calcium, magnesium and vitamin D for one to two years found that the number of exacerbations was less than half the number that would normally be expected. This study provides evidence that calcium and magnesium are important for the development, structure and stability of myelin.(13)
Studies have associated deaths from MS with the consumption of animal products and/or saturated fat. As a result, San Diego researchers proposed that whole-food, vegan diets may be effective for preventing and treating MS.(14) Their prediction is consistent with the extreme rarity of this disorder among sub-Saharan black Africans as long as they follow their traditional almost-vegan lifestyles.
Balch and Balch(9) point out that the reason why MS is rare in Asian countries, yet fairly common in the United States and Europe, may be that the high Western consumption of saturated fats, cholesterol and alcohol leads to the production of a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin 2 which promotes inflammation and thereby worsens MS. People in Asian countries typically consume much less fat and their diets are rich in unsaturated essential fatty acids.
Preceding the above conclusions, a 1989 study,(15) which was then in its 36th year, found that patients on a low-fat diet deteriorated more slowly, had lower rates of exacerbations and a lower death rate than those on a normal diet. On the low fat diet, deterioration was slight and the death rate was 31%. For the higher fat intake, disability was serious and the death rate was 80%. The fats that were not eaten were butter, margarines, hydrogenated oils, peanut butter and all shortening. The fats that were eaten were any that were fluid at room temperature. The authors suggested that a cause of MS may be a deficiency of essential fatty acids.
Supporting this suggestion, a study the following year found that omega-3 fatty acids were lower in people with MS than in those who did not have the disease.(16)
It should be noted that dietary fat is not the only source of blood fat. The body also makes fat from starchy foods, refined sugar and alcohol.
SMOKING, COFFEE, ALCOHOL
A 2006 study(17) investigating a possible association between MS and smoking, coffee consumption and alcohol intake found that all three habits have ‘dose-response relationships’ with MS..
Smoking was found to be a significant independent risk factor for MS, more than doubling the risk. Coffee consumption was significantly more frequent in the MS sufferers. In the case of alcohol, there was a significant association between the daily consumption of hard liquor and MS.
MYELIN DAMAGED FROM FREE REDICAL ATTACK
The major degenerative nerve diseases include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis. Although not yet proven, numerous studies strongly suggest that oxygen-derived free radicals are major causes.’
Free radicals are highly reactive and are capable of reacting with all biological compounds including fats, cholesterol, proteins and carbohydrates. Although the body uses free radicals for constructive purposes, excessive production can result in tissue damage. If the damage is great enough and continues for long enough, degenerative diseases, particularly involving the brain and nervous system, can develop.
When inflammation is present, the concentrations of free radicals can increase dramatically and can overwhelm the antioxidant defences which would otherwise protect tissues and nutrients from damage. The result can be cell death which is a major factor in a number of degenerative nerve diseases, including MS.
A study found that free radicals can have a significant role in damaging myelin and in the cause of MS.(18) In fact, free radicals preferentially attack myelin because it contains easily oxidised phospholipids, particularly lecithin [nature’s ‘detergent’ in the bloodstream].(19)
An explanation for why this free radical damage occurs in MS was proposed in the year 2000 as follows.(8)
Women of menstruation age absorb copper more readily so they tend to accumulate more copper than males. Rapidly growing girls have an increased demand for zinc but also have impaired zinc absorption, which is exacerbated by high copper levels. The low zinc levels result in a deficiency of an important enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD), which scavenges (superoxide) radicals.
Further, women of menstruation age often have low levels of magnesium and vitamin B6. Deficiency of these two nutrients increases the build-up of NO within the cells, whereupon damaging peroxynitrite radicals form – as explained above.
If there is accumulation of free iron, molybdenum and/or cadmium, this also increases superoxide production.
Since vitamin D is paramount for magnesium absorption, and because magnesium is so important for preventing the formation of peroxynitrite, the lack of sunlight in the higher latitudes is believed to be the underlying factor that sets off the chain of events leading to higher incidences of MS in these areas.
On the other hand, the antioxidants, selenium and vitamin E, inhibit the oxidation of lipids, and two lipids, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, promote the activity of the SOD enzyme which scavenges the superoxide radical. Therefore these two nutrients aid vitamin D in protecting against MS.
Chemical poisoning of the nervous system by pesticides, industrial chemicals and heavy metals is also likely to contribute to the cause of MS.(9) Some toxic man-made chemicals can damage the myelin sheath, especially in susceptible individuals.
A chemical that is particularly toxic is mercury, which has a particular affinity for DNA (the basic compound in our chromosomes and genes) and inhibits the functions of cells. The main source of mercury exposure is mercury-amalgam dental fillings. It has been found that the levels of mercury in MS sufferers are, on average, seven times higher than in healthy people. Other common sources of mercury include fish and also vaccines in which, prior to 2002, the mercury compound, thimerosal, was commonly included as a preservative.
Also very suspect is the metal, aluminium. Dr Hans Neiper who runs a large MS clinic in Germany, believes that aluminium can damage the myelin sheath. It is present in many deodorants, antacids, soft drinks in aluminium cans, toothpastes and some foods cooked in aluminium saucepans.
STRESS AND PHYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS
Stress can be strongly associated with MS, according to health writer, Ross Horne.(20) Stress can increase blood fat levels and also weakens the thymus gland and therefore the immune system. In a person who already has MS, stress could exacerbate symptoms.
Psychological factors, in the form of unresolved inner conflicts, can also play a part. When conflicts are not talked out, they are turned inwards.(21) Any dispute, conflict or fight is naturally always accompanied by anger, hatred, revengefulness or guilt, which, when bottled up, begin to build up in silence. Negative emotions produce some kind of toxic chemicals in our bodies which eventually can induce the immune system to destroy these foreign chemicals, just as it does microbes.
If these toxic chemicals happen to attach themselves to the myelin sheaths, the immune system can damage these sheaths and initiate multiple sclerosis.
Some individuals may create a bout of MS in order to escape from a ‘clinging’ relationship. Or, for perfectionists, MS may provide an end to the compulsion to be perfect, once again bringing relief.
Prevention of MS
As with almost every illness, it is easier to prevent the disease in the first place rather than wait until it’s established and then attempt to reverse it.
As far back as 1975 it was announced that prevention should commence during pregnancy and childhood, based mainly on dietary measures which ensure a sufficient supply of essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins.(2) Probably the most important preventative factor to begin with is breastfeeding.
BEWARE OF FAT
The widely-observed connection between high fat intake and MS, as mentioned above,(15) points to a high priority for avoiding excessive fat in the diet. While some unsaturated fat is needed to provide essential fatty acids, much of the fat, in the typical Western diet, especially the saturated fat, needs to be avoided. In particular, avoid or at the very least minimise the fat in deep-fried foods, red meat, butter, biscuits, pastries, croissants, margarines, other hydrogenated oils, and over-generous amounts of oils in dressings.
Because all protein-rich foods contain fat (oil = liquid fat), if adequate protein food is consumed, this should provide adequate fat, except perhaps for the addition of omega-3 rich flax oil or chia oil. The protein foods that supply high quality unsaturated fat are – with the exception of fish – all from the plant kingdom, namely, nuts, legumes and seeds (sunflower, sesame, pepitas and linseed).
THE ALL-IMPORTANT VITAMIN D IS EASILY OBTAINED
Because vitamin D deficiency afflicts most MS patients,(11) vitamin D3 is a crucial factor in inhibiting this disease. Even in genetically susceptible individuals, MS may be preventable by ensuring adequate levels of vitamin D3 from an early stage.
Vitamin D3 is made in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight, the length of exposure required being relatively brief. Detailed accounts of how to obtain vitamin D from sunlight safely are given in the Summer 2009/10 issue of Natural Health and Vegetarian Life and the Society’s book, How a Man Lived in Three Centuries, Chapter 13. (Both are available from the Natural Health Society.)
With regard to toxicity, if taking supplements of vitamin D, it is important to have regular blood tests to avoid overdosing and toxicity. Sun-produced vitamin D cannot overdose.
PROTECT WITH ABUNDANT FLAVONOIDS, ZINC, MAGNESIUM AND VITAMIN B6
As mentioned earlier, deficiencies of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6, particularly facilitate free radical damage, therefore adequate intakes must be ensured.
Flavonoids provide powerful protection against free radicals.(22) Their antioxidant activity results from scavenging free radicals and from the chelation of iron or copper, which effectively renders these metals safe, and actually makes them available for their essential nutritional roles.
Flavonoids are abundantly supplied by a large intake of fresh vegetables and fruits. Also noted for their flavonoid content are green tea and, if you partake of alcohol, red wine. Along with anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, two other flavonoids with powerful antioxidant effects are quercetin and silibinin.
Magnesium, which makes chlorophyll green, is abundant in plant foods. Rich sources are nuts, legumes, seeds, buckwheat, whole grains, beetroot greens and spinach. Other green, yellow and red vegetables and fruits contain lower levels of magnesium, but an abundance of these foods will contribute plenty of magnesium.
Zinc is abundant in nuts (especially Brazil nuts), cheddar cheese, legumes, whole grains, eggs, sprouts and spinach.
Vitamin B6 is abundant in nuts, seeds, whole grains, bananas, avocados, egg yolk, capsicum, spinach and raisins.
In short, a balanced diet of unprocessed plant foods will provide a substantial level of these vital nutrients. As a top-up, moderate doses of supplements would usually be beneficial.
MINIMISE FREE REDICAL DAMAGE
As with the many other diseases that largely result from free radical damage – including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neuron disease, atherosclerosis and cancer – it is crucial with MS to minimise the factors that can generate free radicals. Here are the key factors.
- Avoid surplus iron. Never take significant iron supplements unless there is iron deficiency. Beware of the ‘haem’ iron in red meat, which tends to be absorbed whether required or not.
- Minimise aluminium
- Minimise cadmium intake by eating foods grown without superphosphate fertiliser. Seek organically-grown foods.
- Avoid the powerful oxidant, chlorine, by purifying tap water or drinking bottled or rain water.
- Minimise mercury intake by avoiding dental mercury amalgams, problem fish such as tuna, mercury-containing medications and environmental exposure.
- Minimise exposure to pesticides and herbicides. Seek organically-grown foods, grow your own or at least wash commercial fruits and vegetables with a safe ‘organic’ cleanser, such as Tri Nature’s Chamomile cleanser (available from the Natural Health Society).
- Avoid exposure to industrial chemicals, such as solvents.
- Avoid tobacco smoke, a powerful generator of free radicals.
- Minimise exposure to radiation, especially X-rays.
- Also make a major effort to avoid consuming rancid (oxidised) fats and oxidised cholesterol. These need to be watched for in deep-fried foods, packaged biscuits and cakes, pastries, vintage cheese, cured meats, peanut butter, extracted oils, stale shelled nuts and seeds and so on. Rancid fat has a distinctly unpleasant flavour and odour.
PLANT-BASED DIET BEST PREVENTION
In year 2001 two separate researchers summarised preventive diet for MS. A San Diego researcher(14) proposed the best diet to be all-plant whole foods plus supplementation with fish oil and vitamin D.
The other researcher, a contributing editor to Alternative Medicine Review,(3) declared that the time-proven MS diet meticulously keeps saturated fats low and eliminates allergenic foods. Dietary supplementation includes vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and phytonutrients. If gut malabsorption occurs, it needs to be corrected with digestive enzymes and friendly gut bacteria (probiotics). Also, regular exercise should be undertaken in order to maintain muscle tone and balance.
Note that this latter regime would need to be plant-based, because any red meat or chicken would be providing saturated fat. In a vegetarian diet, omega-3 can be supplied by flaxseed oil or by microalgae which produce DHA (as in Udo’s 3-6-9 DHA oil). There needs to be safe, mild exposure to sunshine and/or vitamin D supplements.
The range of nutrients for the prevention of MS, particularly for adolescents between 14 and 16 years of age, was listed by S. Johnson(8) as follows (taken daily):
Magnesium 100 mg; vitamin B6 25 mg; vitamin B2 10mg; zinc 15 mg; vitamin D and vitamin E each 400 IU; selenium 100 micrograms; EPA fatty acids 180 mg; and DHA fatty acids 120 mg.
To Promote Self-Healing for MS
To facilitate self-healing, the first need is to break through the solid belief instilled by Western medicine that MS is ‘incurable’.(21)
When sufferers of MS are told that there is no cure, they are likely to conclude that there is no hope, and MS can become a nightmare with the prospect of ending up in a wheelchair. However, only a small proportion of sufferers become wheelchair-bound.
As we will see later, a number of suffers have partly or fully recovered from MS, demonstrating that reversal is possible.
The first thing to do is to carry out the preventive steps above. If this is not done, the disease can be expected to progress.
In 2014 alternative therapies are being recommended for MS. MedicineNet.com presents a short list of lifestyle approaches as follows:(23)
Positive Attitude – this can reduce stress and help you feel better.
Exercise such as tai chi and yoga can lower stress, help you to be more relaxed, and increase energy, balance, and flexibility. Check with your practitioner before getting started.
Diet is important for people with MS.
Orthodox medicine tends to largely ignore the lifestyle research and relies mainly on pharmaceutical drugs.
DRUG THERAPY HAS SIDE EFFECTS
Patients with MS are treated with medications and rehabilitation, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. In 2013, seven disease-modifying drugs had been approved by the US FDA to treat this disease. These drugs are intended to reduce the frequency and severity of relapses and slow disease progression and disability.(4)
They are beta-interferons, glatiramer acetate, natalizumab, mitoxantrone, fingolimod and teriflunomide.
Drugs are an inferior approach compared to the likely success of lifestyle methods. All drugs have side effects, whereas lifestyle modifications often assist other conditions as well.
PROMOTING SELF-HEALING THROUGH DIET
The all-important question is, can myelin regrow in the damaged myelin areas (the plaques)? The answer was given by the Department of Neurology of the Mayo Clinic, Arizona, USA.(24) The clinic said that repair of myelin does frequently occur, though inefficiently. When new myelin grows, it is thin and is restricted to the periphery of the plaques. In addition, the plaques need to be inactive, that is, not actively expanding. The amount of repair is related to the amount of damage that has occurred. Early in the development of MS, the repair will be more rapid, whereas with longstanding MS, if it does occur, it will be slow.
From these findings of the Mayo Clinic, two things are clear: (a) treatment/healing needs to begin as early as possible, and (b) the causes of the disease need to be removed, first and foremost, so that the plaques become inactive.
The necessarily low fat intake, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, means an intake of approximately 10% of total calories. Studies have shown that this level slows the rate of deterioration of myelin.(15) Fats to be avoided include butter, margarine, other hydrogenated oils, peanut butter and also shortening (as in biscuits, cakes, pastries, croissants, etc.) All oils that are fluid at room temperature are allowed. To achieve this level of the right kind of fat, according to San Diego researchers,(14) the diet needs to be vegan or almost vegan, meaning entirely plant-based or close to it.
Adopt Natural Health Dietary Guidelines for Balance of Nutrients and Antioxidants
Natural Health Dietary Guidelines supply much higher levels of antioxidants and fewer calories than does the typical modern diet. These are presented in detail in the Spring 2009 issue of Natural Health and Vegetarian Life, pages 34 – 39 and in three chapters of How a Man Lived in Three Centuries. (Both are available from the Natural Health Society.)
The basis of these guidelines is that three-quarters of total food intake is fresh, green, yellow, red and purple vegetables and fruits – that is approximately one to one-and-a-half kilograms daily for a person of average size. More for larger-framed people and less for smaller-framed people.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are the only abundant and ideal sources of vitamin C, carotenoids (from which we make vitamin A), flavonoids, other antioxidants and a host of other phytonutrients. They are also critical sources of the alkaline minerals, potassium, magnesium and calcium, as well as many trace minerals.
The dietary guidelines also include small but regular amounts of legumes, nuts and seeds, supplying protein and good levels of vitamin E, zinc and selenium if we include a few Brazil nuts frequently.
The nutrients calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are particularly important as evidenced by a study in which the number of exacerbations was halved when these nutrients were fed to young sufferers.(13) Note that wherever calcium supplements are used, they should be accompanied by magnesium.
There are plenty of supplements that can be taken for MS, an extensive list being given in the American text, Prescription for Nutritional Healing.(9) The main ones from the list are:
- Co-enzyme Q10, 90 mg daily for improved circulation and oxygen supply;
- Flaxseed oil for omega-3 fatty acids;
- Garlic, though not too much;
- Vitamin-B complex for the immune system and nerves;
- Extra vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (for integrity of the myelin sheath) and choline and inositol (to protect myelin);
- Extra vitamin B3, 800 IU daily, to aid calcium and magnesium absorption;
- Calcium and magnesium, chelated form;
- Grapeseed extract, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory;
- Digestive enzyme complex – taken with meals to aid digestion;
- Acidophilus bacteria to enhance digestion and absorption of nutrients;
- Selenium, 150 – 300 micrograms daily – an important antioxidant;
- Carotenoid complex – important antioxidants;
- Vitamin C in large doses plus bioflavonoids;
- Vitamin E, 400 IU daily and increase gradually;
- Multi-mineral complex, preferably colloidal.
OTHER LIFESTYLE ASPECTS
Healing can be enhanced by deep breathing [but not more than about 15 deep breaths at a time to avoid hyperventilation], sunbathing but always wearing a sun hat, and also abstaining from donating blood.(25) Treat chronic infections (in Natural Health, this means the use of cleansing diets) and exercise regularly to maintain muscle tone and balance.(3)
Some Successes with MS
Some years ago I (the writer of this article) met a woman named Lorraine who had been told by doctors two years previously that she could expect to be in a wheelchair within one to two years. Yet, there she was, walking normally and symptom-free except for rare bouts of mild vertigo. Loraine had adopted Natural Health Dietary Guidelines and also undergone short periods on cleansing diets under professional supervision.
CASES REPORTED IN THE HEALTH REVOLUTION
In his book, The Health Revolution, Fourth Edition,(20) Ross Horne writes that he had personally observed some dramatic recoveries from MS.
All three children in one family displayed symptoms ranging from incapacitation of the eldest in a wheelchair to stumbling and loss of coordination with the second child, and slight symptoms in the youngest. The eldest was not expected to live for another year. The family had been on the normal Western diet and endured great stress due to a violent alcoholic father. They moved to the country, the father improved his behaviour and the family adopted a very-low-fat diet. The result was that the two youngest children were free of symptoms in two weeks and the eldest, instead of dying, recovered to the extent of walking without assistance and being able to ride a bicycle.
Ross Horne also described successes achieved by two doctors, R. M. Parker and J. T. Taylor of Amarillo, Texas, which were published in the Journal of Ortho-Molecular Psychiatry 1980:9. Using a modified diet which excluded cereals, dairy products and caffeine, was low in fat and emphasised raw fruits and vegetables, the doctors achieved excellent results with 15 patients out of 20 and slight improvement with the remaining five. Gains were sustained indefinitely except for a few patients who required repeat therapy.
TESTIMONIAL OF A 32-YEAR-OLD
The following is abridged from a letter by Janet B., Gold Coast, Qld.
“I am 32 years old and suffer from ‘incurable’ multiple sclerosis which was diagnosed in July 2001.
“One night I was feeling pain in my left eye and … before long I was unable to see out of that eye.
“After numerous tests, still with no actual diagnosis, I saw an eye surgeon who organised an MRI scan which showed MS in the form of a black spot on my brain. As only one spot was found, I was told that I should not have any more episodes.
“Ten days after I lost the sight in my eye, I woke with pins and needles the length of my left side and wondered if I had had a stroke. A neurologist was shocked by the rapidity of demyelination affecting my left side. It was as if plaques had appeared overnight. I was given a grim outcome, and given a drug intravenously over three days to take away some of the inflammation. It was a combination of cortisone and prednisone in massive doses.
“The side effects were staggering. I couldn’t urinate; I couldn’t stop shaking; I couldn’t have a bowel motion; I couldn’t eat; and I still couldn’t walk or see out of my left eye. I was also hallucinating. I ended up worse than when I started.
“In the end I was on drugs to urinate, drugs to have bowel motions and drugs to ease the pain I sometimes suffered. I was a wreck, a shadow of my former self. I decided that I didn’t want to go onto another drug, Betaferon injections, much to the horror of the doctor.
“I first saw a naturopath in February 2002, by which stage my episodes were happening so furiously and so often that I was ecstatic if I was able to walk or function for just two days in a week. My hand was twisted into its usual knot and my leg wasn’t working at all. The naturopath noted, among other things, that there was a lot of congestion in my digestive system.
“We changed my eating habits, eliminating dairy products, sweets, meat and wheat, and replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, etc. I also took liver detox tablets, vitamin C, B-complex and some other supplements.
“In four to six weeks my episodes decreased, with the longest one lasting two days. I still have only partial feeling in parts of my left arm and leg, but the decrease in episodes is amazing.
“I would rate my general wellbeing when I first saw the naturopath 12 weeks ago at 10%; now I would say it is 200%. I can keep up with my six-year-old again!
“I know I will never be ‘cured’, but easing my symptoms without the use of synthetic drugs, and seeing such great results simply by applying commonsense and eating healthy foods, I simply wish that I had seen the naturopath when I was first diagnosed.”
A TRIATHLETE’S RECOVERY FROM MS
The story of Kristen was published in medicinenet.com in January 2013.(26) In 1998 at age 27, she was a triathlete, mountain biker, skier and medical technician, but was then diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For over five years she attempted to cope with intermittent and debilitating symptoms, then she became pregnant. She made a determination to overcome the MS, and has now been largely free of it for eight years.
Here is an abridged version of her story.
“My worst outcome was losing sight in my left eye. There were two times when I was unable to walk and there was another exacerbation where I was completely paralysed on the left side.
“I was probably a borderline alcoholic. I partied, smoked occasionally and ate whatever was in front of me. I started doing triathlons when I was in my mid-20s, and thought that since I was exercising two hours a day, it did not matter what I put in my body.
“The multiple sclerosis drugs I was prescribed, Avonex, Betaserone and Copaxone, would cause me to have convulsions, vomiting and sweats and I wasn’t getting better. So I switched to an off-label drug, Naltrexone, but when I changed my lifestyle, I eventually got off this as well.
“I started yoga and Reiki when I was diagnosed.
“My diet is mostly organic. We cut out most red meat. We do not eat processed foods. Early last year I cut out gluten. I have a lot of coconut milk and a lot of soy. I do eat dairy, but am very conscious of whether it is organic and whether it has bovine growth hormone.
“I don’t take any medications for MS. I had eight lesions to start with and now have two that showed up on the last scan about five years ago, but they are smaller. I have been symptom free for eight years.
“I met a woman in Denver who said that she had had MS. She cut out gluten and started doing yoga and she does not have MS symptoms anymore.
“My close friends are amazed. Other people say, ‘Maybe you were misdiagnosed’ or ‘Maybe you still have it and don’t know it.’ There are many people in the Denver medical community who say, ‘I just can’t believe it’.”
Ross Horne, in Health and Survival in the 21st Century, sums up with a view that precisely reflects the Natural Health experience with thousands of cases of many different diseases:
“Multiple sclerosis and so on, regardless of whatever ‘high-tech’ names are given them, can all be arrested and in many cases completely reversed once the body’s chemical imbalance has been corrected and homeostasis restored.
“Even if an organ is left with only a fraction of its original capacity, when the causes of toxaemia are avoided, the remaining capacity of the organ may still be sufficient to permit normal bodily functions. The recuperative powers of the body once homeostasis is restored are almost beyond belief.”
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