Dr. Swank had an idea, as he recounts in an interview with Dr. John McDougall, at the ripe young age of 84: “It seems possible to me that this could be a matter of food, because the further north you go the less vegetarian a life is led, and the more people are carnivores, you might say; they spend a lot more time But, eating just eight grams of saturated fat more a day was accompanied by a striking increase in disability, and nearly tripling of the death rate. How about a 50-year follow-up? They were able to track down 15 of the original patients that stuck to the diet, now in their 70s and 80s, with multiple sclerosis for over 50 years, and 13 out of 15 were walking around normal in all respects. They were active and, evidently, unusually youthful-looking.
can be an insidious disease, affecting many parts of the body and gradually causing serious disability. What is it like to live with M.S.? Six men and women speak about their experiences. Do you or does someone you know have multiple sclerosis? • Together for the Ride: Adapting to Multiple Sclerosis Mimi Mosher, 46, Mechanicsville, Va.
Mimi Mosher, a freelance illustrator, has a progressive form of multiple sclerosis. Her disease is very slowly impacting many parts of her body, including her legs, arms and eyes. This is quite different than other forms of the disease, which cause isolated periods of disability with periods of remission. Ms. Mosher’s first symptoms arose in her early 20s, when she began to have difficulty seeing.
But with no other symptoms, her doctors could not determine a diagnosis and Mrs. Mosher assumed that it would just get better. But Ms. Mosher’s symptoms steadily worsened, and her doctors confirmed a diagnosis of M.S. She didn’t tell anyone except her husband about the illness. “I felt like if I kept it to myself, it wasn’t a reality,” she said. As the disease progressed, Ms. Mosher began to have difficulty walking and lifting heavy items, and her eyesight became steadily worse.
She is now legally blind and relies on an electric scooter to get around. Ms. Mosher finds the isolation of M.S. particularly difficult. She is forced to rely on others to get around and navigate the outside world.
“M.S. has touched every aspect of my life,” she said. • Together for the Ride: Caregiving for Life Jonathan Mosher, 47, Mechanicsville, Va. Jonathan Mosher has been a support system for his wife, Mimi, since her diagnosis. He has watched as M.S. has slowly robbed his wife of her sight and the ability to walk.
Mimi has since become the “brains of the house,” according to Mr. Mosher, managing the household finances and paying bills, while he does much of the cooking, cleaning and other physical tasks. Mr. Mosher admits that he never expected he would have to be his wife’s caregiver, but “this new role of giving has hidden treasures that are really satisfying,” he said. • Dating With Disability Ann Marie Johnson, 37, Brooklyn Only 10 percent of patients with multiple sclerosis are African-American or Hispanic.
Ann Marie Johnson, a human services professional, is one of them. Ms. Johnson had her first symptoms in November, 2001. She was having trouble holding a cigarette, so she went home to rest. The next day, Ms. Johnson woke with a tingling sensation throughout her arms, legs and feet. On New Year’s Day, 2002, Ms. Johnson’s doctors told her she had multiple sclerosis. She has lingering effects from that first M.S. episode and finds it difficult to do tasks that require fine motor skills like buttoning a shirt, holding a glass or putting on earrings.
Fortunately, medication has prevented any further attacks. Wanda McCloud, a friend, helps with the once-weekly injection, because Ms. Johnson worries that her lingering hand pain will prevent her from doing it correctly. Ms. Johnson is actively involved in support groups for minorities with M.S. She finds that sharing her positive outlook not only helps others, but helps to keep her relatively mild symptoms in perspective.
• Finding the Right Tools to Do the Job Chuck Holmes, 70, Newport Beach, Calif. About 25 years ago, Chuck Holmes began to have difficulty lifting his foot while running. After a visit to a sports medicine specialist, he was told he had multiple sclerosis. A “dropped foot,” a common symptom of M.S., now makes it difficult for Mr. Holmes to walk.
He uses a combination of exercises and medical devices, including a walker and motorized scooter, to help him maintain his active life.
One of the aides that Mr. Holmes now uses is a new medical device called the NESS L300. The device, which he wears on his leg, uses electrodes to tell the body to raise his toes with each step. Even after 25 years of living with M.S., Mr. Holmes is still trying new ways to manage his symptoms.
He recently began horseback riding classes to help him strengthen his lower body, and he remains upbeat about his prognosis. • A Medical Student Comes to Grips With M.S. Meruka Gupta, 26, Piscataway, N.J. Meruka Gupta, a medical student, found out she had M.S.
at age 18 after suffering her first episode, which caused widespread symptoms that temporarily affected her arms and legs. Ms. Gupta’s aunt also has M.S., so her family was already familiar with the disease.
Ms. Gupta later realized that her symptoms likely began at age 14, after a viral illness. There is some evidence that a virus can induce M.S. in someone predisposed to the disease. It took Ms. Gupta several years to fully understand how M.S. affects the body. She says that she was somewhat in denial about her illness and didn’t think she needed to know much about it.
However, after several more episodes — some of which required extended hospital stays — Ms. Gupta realized that understanding M.S. is key to preventing further problems. Ms. Gupta is certain that she doesn’t want to become a neurologist because M.S. already consumes so much of her life. “It would be too much,” she said. • Learning to Accept Your Diagnosis Katherine Voss, 32, New Orleans, La.
Katherine Voss, who works in public relations, was told she had M.S. a little over a year ago at age 31 during a routine eye exam. An M.R.I. scan and spinal tap that same week confirmed the diagnosis. Ms. Voss started treatment soon after. Ms. Voss has had only one M.S. relapse since beginning treatment. She didn’t take her medication on schedule and suffered from severe leg weakness and trembling.
Ms. Voss has tried to learn all she can about M.S., but only in small chunks. She said that reading about the disability that often comes with M.S. is hard to digest. As such, it took Ms. Voss over a year to tell her family and friends about her condition.
But ever since, Ms. Voss has realized that M.S. has been a positive force in her life. It made her realize how much love and support surrounds her, she said.
best dating with multiple sclerosis doctors - Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Diagnosis: How Doctors Test for MS
Your socks don’t match iStock/PeopleImages Everyone has days where they show up to work wearing one black sock and one blue sock. But if you frequently have a hard time telling colors apart, especially when it used to be easy for you, that is a red flag. Becoming partially blind, color blind, or blind in one eye is one of the primary MS symptoms, says Clifford Segil, DO, a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
“It’s called optic neuritis and it happens because of a loss of insulation around the optic nerves in the brain,” he explains. Here are other . You can drink a pitcher of margaritas and never use the bathroom iStock/Wiktory While this might seem like a handy talent, drinking a lot and yet hardly peeing is not a good thing. This painful symptom, a hallmark of multiple sclerosis, is often one of the first that drives people to see a doctor. Any change in urinary frequency can be a sign of MS, Dr.
Segil says, but most often it’s not being able to urinate for more than 24 hours. On the other hand, check out . You’re covered in bruises from tripping and falling iStock/northlightimages Clumsiness is one of the most overlooked MS symptoms because it’s kind of embarrassing. People may just think they have bad balance but having weakness in one or both of your legs—which often first manifests as tripping, stumbling, unsteadiness, and falling—could be a sign that something is wrong with your motor nerves, Dr.
Segil says. Unexplained bruises are also one of . Your clothing feels funny iStock/LiudmylaSupynska “My patients often say that their body just feels different, on a sensory level, from one part to the next,” Dr. Segil explains. “For example, when they put on their shirt, it feels differently sliding over their chest than it does going over their stomach.” The sensory issues can be hard to explain but he says you’ll know it if you experience them, as they’re a very strange sensation.
Your fingers are tingly but your arm hasn’t fallen asleep iStock/AzmanL We’re all familiar with that prickly pins-and-needles feeling when we stand up after we’ve leaned on an arm or leg for too long, temporarily cutting off blood flow. But if you get numbness, burning, or a tingly sensation in your extremities for no apparent reason, that’s something you need to get checked out.
It can be a sign of many illnesses, MS included. You’re dizzy, no roller coaster required iStock/DElight Constant vertigo (for no apparent reason) is another symptom of multiple sclerosis, Dr. Segil says. The nerve damage from the illness primarily affects your motor, sensory, and coordination abilities, which can lead to feelings of disorientation and dizziness.
Your friends complain about your terrible texts iStock/kupicoo “One of the first things we often see in MS patients is the inability to text, type, use a cellphone or tablet, or do other things that require fine motor control,” Dr. Segil explains, adding that it usually means there is an MS lesion in the back region of the brain. Your coffee cup doesn’t feel hot—even though you just poured it iStock/hoozone Did you really just pick up that hot pan without thinking about it? Why does your coffee taste warm but you can’t feel it through the mug?
The inability to feel temperature changes with your hands is another sign you may have MS-induced nerve damage, Dr. Segil says. You’re a young adult iStock/nensuria One of the most common MS symptoms is simply your age; multiple sclerosis is usually diagnosed in young adulthood, during your 20s or 30s.
While it is certainly possible to get an MS diagnosis earlier or later in life, one of the greatest tragedies of the autoimmune disease is that it often strikes people in their physical prime.
But the earlier MS is caught, the earlier you can start treatment and the better you can protect your nervous system.
You can’t find your fork—and then realize you’re holding it iStock/hillaryfox Who hasn’t “lost” their sunglasses only to have a friend laughingly point out they are on your head?
But if you’re not just having a forgetful moment—if you really can’t feel that you’re holding or touching an object—then you need to see a doctor, stat. Losing feeling in your fingers and hands is a red flag for MS, Dr.
Segil says. You don’t have anything else iStock/monkeybusinessimages “Multiple sclerosis is considered one of the ‘great masqueraders’, along with lupus, because its symptoms are so easily attributed to other causes or illnesses,” Dr.
Segil explains. “Because the symptoms depend entirely on which nerves are affected, no two patients present exactly the same.” This means that MS is often diagnosed only after everything else is ruled out. If you feel poorly and have strange sensory-motor symptoms, it’s important to make sure you’re tested.
To get a definitive diagnosis you’ll need an MRI scan, which can show “lesions” or spots of demyelination, where the disease has eaten away at the protective coating over your nerves in your brain and spine, he says.
× This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information. With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies.
Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to these studies. The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. × This article is based on scientific evidence, written by and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies.
Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased. The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.
6 Multiple Sclerosis Natural Treatments to Manage Symptoms By March 23, 2018 Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. MS affects 2.5 million people worldwide and around 400,000 people in the United States. What are the symptoms of MS and how is it diagnosed? MS symptoms affect each person differently. They can include weakness, numbness, cognitive changes and blurred vision. Currently there is no single test that is used for diagnosing multiple sclerosis, so multiple tests will often need to be performed. Doctors will usually diagnose MS based on a patient’s symptoms, a physical examination and results from magnetic resonance imaging tests (MRI).
() What age does multiple sclerosis start? MS can develop at any age and affects women more often than men. The disorder is most commonly diagnosed between ages 20 and 40, but can be seen in both younger and older people. () Because it’s not entirely known what causes MS, there is no “cure” for the condition. The good news is that there are multiple sclerosis natural treatments that often can cause a great improvement in symptoms, and, when combined with other approaches, might even be able to help reverse the condition.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis? According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. () Multiple sclerosis refers to many (multiple) areas of tissue scarring (sclerosis) and damage. The main type of tissue that is damaged by MS is called myelin, the tissue that wraps around nerves and helps nerve fibers send chemical signals throughout the body.
When myelin is damaged it’s called demyelination. Some of the earliest signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis include changes in sense of touch, loss of strength in one arm or leg, tingling, burning and itching. When myelin is damaged, nerve signals reaching the eyes, brain and spinal cord slow down or stop. As MS worsens with time the brain can sometimes shrinks in size as more myelin and axons are destroyed, leading to decreased cognitive functioning and many other symptoms related to nervous system dysfunction.
Can you be born with multiple sclerosis? Most people who develop MS do so as young adults. It’s not exactly known what causes all cases of MS, but experts believe that one common cause might be exposure to viruses early in life. Examples of two viruses that might trigger MS include herpesvirus and retrovirus. It’s possible to start developing symptoms of MS early in life but not receive a diagnosis until years later when the condition has progressed.
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms & Signs MS symptoms include those that are sensory (resulting in problems with sensations) and related to motor control (muscle movements and coordination). The most common multiple sclerosis symptoms include: () • Vision changes including blurred or double vision.
Some might experience partial blindness, dimmed vision, inability to see straight ahead (central vision loss) and uncoordinated movements of the eyes. Vision changes are due to increased inflammation of the optic nerves leading to the eyes (optic neuritis).
• Cognitive changes and mental impairment, including trouble thinking clearly, , poor judgement and inattention. • Lack of coordination, clumsy movements and loss of balance. • Numbness, tingling, reduced sense of touch. • Sense of shock running down the neck and spinal cord, especially when moving the head/neck.
• Burning, or pain on the skin. • Cramping, spasms and weakness in the arms or legs, tremors, trouble walking, and stiffness. • Mood changes, including mood swings, depression or , inability to control emotions, increasing crying and inappropriate laughing. • Sexual dysfunction, including lack of sensation in the genitals, trouble experiencing pleasure or orgasm, and .
• and vertigo. • Digestive symptoms including , diarrhea/loss of control over bowel movements, and trouble controlling urination. • Slowed, slurred and hesitant speech. • Partial paralyzation and involuntary movements as the condition worsens. • Dementia and mania as the condition worsens. Relapses and Remission in Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms: MS symptoms can vary widely from person to person. It’s common for MS symptoms to come and go, as many people experience alternating periods of remission and relapses (or flare-ups).
This means that it’s common for people with MS to feel relatively healthy for a period of time followed by a period of feeling ill as symptoms worsen. There are several different types of multiple sclerosis that describe the severity of the disease and also the fluctuations between remission and flare-ups.
The reason that remission and flare-ups occur is because the myelin surrounding nerves may be repaired, then damaged again, then repaired again, and so on. Remissions in MS symptoms can last for months or even years. The majority of people with MS — about 80 percent–85 percent — have relapsing-remitting MS.
Relapses of multiple sclerosis symptoms can be debilitating in some cases, but mild in others. Most of the time recovery from MS will only be short-lived and incomplete, as the condition tends to get worse with time.
Some might have only a single ongoing symptom and go months or years without experiencing any others. A flare in symptoms can sometimes only happen one time, go away, and never return. For other people the symptoms are more usually intense and may become worse within weeks or months of them first beginning.
This is called “primary progressive pattern.” When MS remissions and flare-ups alternate it is called “secondary progressive pattern” or “progressive relapsing pattern.” Causes & Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis What does multiple sclerosis do to the body that causes the symptoms described above? As mentioned above, MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells.
Nerves are covered by tissue (myelin) that acts like insulation, much like the coating used to protect electric wires. The covering of nerves is needed to help conduct nerve impulses and therefore many bodily functions, such as muscle coordination and control over emotions. The kind of nerve damage that is associated with MS is caused by factors including autoimmune responses, dysbiotic gut microbiota, and increased inflammation. () In other words, MS is believed to be caused by the body’s own immune cells attacking the nervous system.
This damage can happen anywhere in the brain or spinal cord. Although no specific causes of MS are known, some possible causes include: • Viruses and infections, such as herpesvirus or retrovirus. • Mold toxicity. • Toxic exposure and heavy metal posioning. • Vitamin D deficiency, especially during the early stages of life.
It’s been found that living near the equator/in a tropical climate, where is less common due to more sunlight exposure, lowers someone’s risk for MS substantially.
People living in temperate climates where it is cooler and darker are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D and considered to be at an increased risk for developing MS. () • • Immunizations. • Heredity, or family history of MS and similar conditions. It’s estimated that about 5 percent of people with multiple sclerosis have a sibling who is also affected, and about 15 percent have a close relative with MS.
It’s been found that people with certain genetic markers (human leukocyte antigens) are at an increased risk for MS. • • High levels of emotional stress (this may not be the underlying cause but can trigger symptom flare-ups).
• A poor diet that causes inflammation, poor gut health and nutrient deficiencies. () Other risk factors for multiple sclerosis include: • Being between the ages of 20–40. Of the 400,000 people living in the U.S. that have MS, the majority are believed to be young adults under 40.
• Being a woman. • Smoking cigarettes. • . Some research shows that those with a high body mass index (BMI) before age 20 may be twice as likely to develop MS as those within a normal weight range.
() • Vitamin D deficiency during the first 15 years of life. Some of the most common causes of a flare in MS symptoms include: • Having a fever, the flu, a virus or another illness that stresses the immune system. • Lack of sleep and increased stress. • Overexertion and dehydration. • Spending time in very hot temperatures or situations, such as being in a sauna, experiencing or even taking very hot baths. • Hormonal fluctuations. 6 Multiple Sclerosis Natural Treatments to Help Manage Symptoms Conventional treatments for multiple sclerosis typically include use of corticosteroid drugs that help to suppress the immune system and limit autoimmune reactions.
Steroids are used to stop the body from attacking its own cells and tissue, while other drugs might be used to treat specific symptoms such as weakness, tingling and blurred vision. Recently a number of “disease modifying drugs” have been developed that are given to patients with MS to help lengthen the time of remission periods and to lower the severity of flare-ups.
These drugs don’t work for every person and all types of MS, but can be very helpful for some. Meanwhile, a promising clinical trial led by Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University that explores the potential benefits of for multiple sclerosis is underway as of March 2018. The 110 patients participating either received a drug treatment or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The clinical trial looks promising given that after one year of treatment only one relapse occurred among patients in the stem cell group compared with 39 relapses in the drug treatment.
And, after about three years, the stem cell transplants had a 6 percent failure rate compared with a failure rate of 60 percent in the control (drug treatment) group. The researchers note that stem cell therapy doesn’t work for all cases of MS and it’s not an easy process. First patients must undergo chemotherapy to destroy their “faulty” immune system.
Then that help make blood through a process called are removed from the patient’s bone marrow and reinfused into the patient’s bloodstream. These fresh stem cells, which are not affected by MS, rebuild the patient’s immune system. Despite this challenging process, preliminary results demonstrate that this could be an effective treatment in the future.
(, ) Unfortunately, currently, even with treatment it’s still common for MS to slowly worsen over time, sometimes leaving people disabled and unable to live on their own. However, the good news is that the lifespan of people living with multiple sclerosis is usually unaffected, unless the disorder becomes very severe. Below are examples of multiple sclerosis natural treatments that can also help manage symptoms and improve quality of life: 1.
Nutrient-Dense Diet High in Healthy Fats A 2015 report published in the journal ASN Neuro states: Dietary factors and lifestyle may exacerbate or ameliorate MS symptoms by modulating the inflammatory status of the disease, both in relapsing-remitting MS and in primary-progressive MS.
This is achieved by controlling both the metabolic and inflammatory pathways in the human cell and the composition of commensal gut microbiota. () No specific type of diet has been proven to prevent or cure multiple sclerosis.
But there is some evidence that following a diet that’s high in antioxidants and healthy fats can be one of several basic multiple sclerosis natural treatments that may help with symptom management. Experts believe that high-calorie, highly-processed “Western diets” may be a trigger for MS and other neurological disorders.
MS is more prevalent in Western countries with the highest income (and also the greatest distance from the equator). Western diets are characterized by high amounts of salt, animal fat, factory-farm-raised red meat, sugar-sweetened drinks, fried food and low-fiber foods.
To top it off, most people eating a Western diet are not getting enough physical exercise and potentially lacking sleep and time for relaxation too. A study published in 2018 assessed the association between diet quality and the intake of particular foods with the severity of symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients. Participants in the study completed a dietary questionnaire that estimated the intake of red/processed meats, whole grains, added sugars, fruits, vegetables and legumes to construct a diet quality score based on the reported food groups.
In addition to the food groups, the questionnaire also assessed whether an overall healthy lifestyle (healthy weight, diet, physical activity and smoking abstinence) is associated with symptom severity of MS. Out of the respondents, those with MS whose diet quality scores were in the highest percentile had lower levels of disability and depression. Those with an overall healthy lifestyle had lower chances of reporting severe fatigue, pain, depression or cognitive impairment.
The study concludes that the healthier choices in diet and lifestyle contributed to a lighter burden of disability and symptoms associated with MS. () Fats are essential nutrients for forming and protecting the nerves’ myelin sheath, while antioxidants help to reduce oxidative damage.
Aim to eat a diet that is similar to , which research shows helps to reduce inflammation, protect cognitive health, reduce cardiovascular mortality risk, and improve endothelial functions.
() Foods to include in a healthy multiple sclerosis diet are: • Unprocessed foods — Choose whole, organic, unprocessed foods as often as possible. • Coconut Oil — contains large amounts of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) that support the brain and nervous system. Olive oil is another healthy source of fat that is associated with cognitive health. • Fresh fruits and vegetables — Aim for a variety of colors to provide antioxidants that can help prevent free radical damage and inflammation.
Plant foods that provide sulforaphane (SFN) — an organosulfur compound that has potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities — are some of the best foods for managing MS because they reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, demyelination and autoimmune responses.
() The best sources of sulforaphane are cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, , kale and collards. • Foods high in polyphenols — For example, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, spices, herbs, fruits, wine, fruit juices, tea and coffee.
• Foods high in and — These include plant foods like tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, sweet potatoes, winter squash and grapefruit. • Omega-3 fats — The EPA/DHA fats found in wild-caught fish (and ) can help reduce inflammation. The best include wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout and herring.
• Prebiotics and probiotics — These are “beneficial bacteria” that help to restore or maintain a healthy symbiotic gut microbiota. include fermented dairy products like yogurt or kefir (if dairy is tolerated well), cultured veggies and kombucha.
include raw dandelion greens, raw garlic, raw leeks or onions, raw jicama, raw asparagus and under-ripe bananas. • Complex carbohydrates — Examples include ancient grains that are high in fiber such as millet and sorghum.
Complex carbs may help with the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, helping to control . • Cabbage and bean sprouts — Foods high in lecithin may help strengthen the nerves. Foods to avoid in order to help with MS recovery include: • Processed foods — Reduce your exposure to chemicals and toxins by avoiding any foods that are processed.
Try to eat whole foods (foods that are only one ingredient) and check ingredient labels on packaged foods to avoid additives and chemicals. Avoid foods with lots of saturated fatty acids of animal origin, hydrogenated fatty acids, added sweeteners/artificial sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, lots of added salt, MSG, and cow’s milk. • Gluten — Certain food allergies and sensitivities are known to make MS symptoms worse.
People with MS may be more prone to having a gluten-intolerance. Gluten might make symptoms worse for some people with MS, which is why a is recommended. • Dairy — Just like with gluten, people with MS may have a harder time digesting cow’s milk. A dairy-free diet might be able to help manage symptoms and improve gut health, although it depends on the person. • Potential food allergens — Allergens may make MS symptoms worse by triggering autoimmune reactions, so carefully avoid any foods you might be allergic to.
• Sugar — Too much sugar in the diet may disrupt immune responses and contribute to systemic inflammation and premature aging. • Alcohol — Above moderate levels, alcohol can increase inflammation and can create a toxic bodily environment. 2. Limit Exposure to Viruses & Infections Below are steps you can take to practice good hygiene and prevent catching illnesses from those around you that can trigger a flare-up: • Wash your hands regularly, especially after going to the bathroom.
• Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that can carry bodily fluids. • Regularly wash all fabrics and linens using a natural antibacterial detergent. Wash all dirty clothes containing bodily fluids, towels and bedding, particularly after they come into contact with someone who has an infection. • Clean and disinfect all working surfaces thoroughly and regularly. Frequently disinfect shared items in your home or workplace using natural cleaning products. • Food workers should always wash their hands thoroughly to prevent foodborne illnesses from spreading.
• If you go to a gym or exercise facility, make sure to clean equipment after use and shower once you leave. 3. Exercise & Reduce Stress When considering multiple sclerosis natural treatments, physical exercise is now a very common approach for MS patients as it has been shown to decrease the symptoms of chronic fatigue, help with stress management, improve coordination and prevent or slow the onset of disability. MS patients should practice mild physical exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, light dancing, yoga, or light cycling.
Working with a trainer in a rehabilitation center or program is also encouraged. Some of the ways that exercise benefits MS include upregulating oxidative metabolism and downregulating biosynthetic pathways and inflammation. () It helps to support energy balance, influences quality of life and may stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. In animal studies, exercise has also been shown to stimulate brain mitochondrial activity, to improve neuroplasticity, improve moods and decrease anxiety.
() Exercise is considered part of a “holistic treatment plan,” which includes diet, exercise, therapy, stress management and social support. () Controlling emotional and physical stress is important for reducing relapses and prolonging remission. Some activities that can help with include yoga, deep breathing, meditation, massages, exercise, journaling, reading, support groups and prayer.
4. Prevent or Treat Vitamin D Deficiency It is not exactly clear how vitamin D helps prevent multiple sclerosis, but it is known that deficiency in vitamin D can lower immune function and have an effect on neurological development. Studies have uncovered evidence suggesting that vitamin D deficiency during childhood may be most problematic.
In animal studies it’s been found that there’s a “developmental stage-dependent efficiency of vitamin D to ameliorate neuroinflammation,” pointing to the need to prevent low vitamin D levels during childhood and adolescence. () The best way to make enough vitamin D on your own is to expose your bare skin to sunlight everyday, if possible, for about 15 minutes. If you live in a place where it’s very dark and cold, or during the winter, then you can supplement with vitamin D3 (5,000 IU daily) to help modulate the immune system and support your brain and nervous system.
5. Take Helpful Supplements Below are some supplements that can be used as multiple sclerosis natural treatments to help support the immune system and aid in preventing MS symptoms such as fatigue and weakness: • Fish oil (2,000 milligrams daily) — can help reduce inflammation and promote better nerve functioning. • Probiotics — Helps to restore or maintain a healthy symbiotic gut microbiota that decreases inflammation.
• High potency multi-vitamin — Provides basic nutrients needed for immune function. • Digestive enzymes (1–2 capsules with meals) — May help with digestion and reduce autoimmune reactions to foods. • Vitamin B12 (1,000 micrograms daily) — Vitamin B12 helps with the formation of nerves. • Astaxanthin (2 milligrams, one to two times daily) — A powerful carotenoid antioxidant found in wild-caught salmon that can support the brain and nervous system.
It can be found in certain fish oil supplements, helping to improve its effects. According to research published by the MS Study Group of the TRIP-Graduate School at Goethe-University in Germany, certain “disease modifying nutricals” have also been shown to be helpful for managing multiple sclerosis.
These nutricals include: () • flavonoid extract (especially EGCG, or epigallocatechin-3-gallate), which has the ability to fight oxidative damage and supports metabolic health. • Curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric that has anti-inflammatory benefits and much more. • Mustard oil, which contains free radical-fighting glycosides. • Cannabis, which has analgesic and anti-spastic effects. 6.
Use Essential Oils Essential oils including and helichrysum oil naturally support the neurological system. In animal studies, frankincense has been shown to have many anti-inflammatory properties and to help support regeneration of damaged nerves and functional recovery. (, ) You may want to try frankincense oil as one of your multiple sclerosis natural treatments.
Take 2 drops of frankincense internally three times a day for three weeks, then take one week off and repeat that cycle. You can also rub 2 drops of on your temples and neck two times daily.
Also, basil oil and cypress oil can improve circulation and muscular functions and therefore may help reduce MS symptoms.
Precautions Regarding Treatments for MS Symptoms of MS can be very similar to those caused by other diseases, so it’s important to always get a proper diagnosis from a specialist. Visit a doctor if you notice changes such as unexplained loss of sensation, burning, pain and weakness. Children who are susceptible to MS should be given medical care right away, if possible. If you’re concerned about how having MS will change your dietary or exercise needs, then consult with your doctor.
Key Points About Multiple Sclerosis Natural Treatments • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of nerve signaling.
MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective coating of nerves. • Symptoms of multiple sclerosis include both motor-related symptoms and sensory symptoms, such as weakness, fatigue, blurred vision, digestive issues, mood changes, instability, tingling and numbness. • Currently there is no cure available for MS. But there are multiple sclerosis natural treatments for managing symptoms.
6 Multiple Sclerosis Natural Treatments to Help Manage Symptoms • Eat a nutrient-dense diet. • Exercise and reduce stress. • Support and protect your immune system by practicing good hygiene.
• Prevent or treat vitamin D deficiency. • Take supplements to aid the immune system and help prevent fatigue, including fish oil, probiotics, vitamin B12 and others.
• Try essential oils such as frankincense and helichrysum. Read Next: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • FDA Compliance The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body.
We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition.
Dropping the Mask: Relationships and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)