Why Does Everything Have to be Treated With Drugs?


Today, in my Google news under Multiple Sclerosis, are the following headings.

• Potential new multiple sclerosis treatment
• Anti-inflammatory drug ‘can heal multiple sclerosis lesions’
• Novel anti-inflammatory drug allegedly helps treat multiple sclerosis

Why, oh why, isn’t there research focusing on what causes the inflammation and how to treat the cause vs. how to reduce the inflammation… with drugs?

Oh wait, I know why, because the researchers aren’t funded by anyone who wants to know the answer.

Apparently, there isn’t any money to be made with logic.

This is actually another reason why I decided to treat my MS naturally. I do not want to support Big Pharma. Did you know they invent conditions in order to sell their drugs?

I highly recommend reading How to brand a disease—and sell a cure. It’s a fantastic eye opener, as well as a disturbing look at the underbelly of the health industry.

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Why I Decided to Treat My Multiple Sclerosis Naturally


When my husband and I began to suspect I might have multiple sclerosis, we spent a lot of time trying to learn how this could have happened. What variables in my body combined to make MS possible for me? Kinda like an equation, y’know? (X + Y) – (A x B) / Z = MS

This line of questioning led us to approach our “investigation” from the perspective of autoimmunity, not MS. I could have an autoimmune disease named multiple sclerosis. We learned that I could manage my autoimmune disease, of which there are many, by changing the way I eat. I wouldn’t have to stab myself and inject my body with manmade concoctions… isn’t that what I have been doing with processed foods anyhow? Plus, the side effects were much better than any of those caused by the pharmaceuticals! (I’ve lost 15 pounds this year) We already had The Paleo Diet book, so I began reading it and it made a lot of sense to me. The premise being that our bodies have not evolved as fast as our food supply has changed – we just can’t process these processed foods and are making ourselves sick with what we eat.

At my spinal tap appointment, the neuro gave us 3 different binders on 3 different drug options. I knew then that if the test results were positive, I would pursue a natural treatment. As we left, with 3 binders stacked in my arms, I knew I wouldn’t be opening any of them.

Since then, I have read The Anti-Inflammation Diet & Recipe Book (Black), The MS Diet Book (Swank), and Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (Jelinek). I also watched the 7-part series on YouTube, The Paleo Diet and Multiple Sclerosis. It’s a recording of Dr. Loren Cordain, the author of the The Paleo Diet, giving a presentation sponsored by Direct-MS.

In the past 8 months since my diagnosis, I’ve gone back and forth trying to decide which diet to follow. The best I felt was when I was caffeine/dairy/gluten free for a few weeks. It really truly was the best I’ve felt in years… and I was just diagnosed this year. I should have stuck with that, but reading Swank’s book convinced me I could do gluten. Then Jelinek’s book arrived, and his advocacy for no meat at all made me throw my hands up in the air! If I combined all these diet recommendations, all I could eat were fruits and vegetables.

Thankfully, this weekend I came across an article by Dr. Mark Hyman* which led me to his website and the “7 Keys to UltraWellness.” Based on what I read there, I returned full circle to what I had learned about The Paleo Diet. And you know what was really fascinating? The bit about our mitochondria and energy (Lesson 6). Now I totally want to order Minding my Mitochondria by Terry Wahls!

As my early research about MS led me to autoimmunity, so has my research on how to naturally treat my MS. It’s really a new way of thinking about how we take care of ourselves… PREVENTION by way of putting good things into our bodies. Doesn’t it make perfect sense?

This website explains it all so very well. Much better than I ever could. You can start by choosing one of the Lessons that interests you, and once on the site, can explore even further.

7 Keys to UltraWellness

•    Introduction: My Philosophy of UltraWellness
•    Lesson 1: Environmental Inputs
•    Lesson 2: Inflammation and Immune Balance
•    Lesson 3: Hormones and Neurotransmitters
•    Lesson 4: Gut & Digestive Health
•    Lesson 5: Detoxification
•    Lesson 6: Energy, Mitochondria & Oxidative Stress
•    Lesson 7: The Mind/Body and Body/Mind Effect

* Please know that performing a Google search for Dr. Hyman will return results where he is referenced as a “quack.” These are primarily in reference to either his view on mercury and its relation to autism or the fact that he is selling products. Please also understand that he is an advocate for “functional medicine,” a very serious threat to conventional medicine and Big Pharma. There will most certainly be opposition to new approaches! Also know that he does sell products on his website. Don’t buy them! Read the information on the site and determine what makes sense to you and what you can apply to your own personal health plan.

Fitness Boosts Brain Power in Multiple Sclerosis Patients


Multiple Sclerosis  - 75KM Niagara Bike Ride

Image by seannalexander via Flickr

I came across an article on Caring.com that succinctly explains why I ought to be moving a whole lot more than I am now. Have a look.

Fitness Boosts Brain Power in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Improved cognitive function

I could use some of that!

Less deterioration of brain white matter

I’ll take some of that too!!

What the heck am I waiting for?

For Spring?

Ugh, what a lame excuse. Even before I was diagnosed, I knew I should be exercising.

So… how to incorporate exercise in bad weather?

Well, there are 10 flights of stairs in the building at work. That’s a start… but not all 10 of them on the first try!! Oh goodness me, no! I’ll start with 5 and see how that goes.

A perfect time to do it is around 3:00, when the afternoon slump hits. Once I make this a regular activity, maybe after a week or two, I’ll probably be motivated to look into other activities.

You just gotta start somewhere!

Can’t vs. Don’t


I’m working on the way I perceive the food choices I need to make on a daily basis. It truly is an exercise in mental fortitude. I’m discovering how much my emotions come in to play when I’m presented with making a decision about what or what not to eat.

I have also discovered that it’s much easier to make good choices when I’m feeling great and energized. Whereas when fatigue has set in hard, or I’m PMSing and feeling crappy anyway, it’s much easier to make bad choices.

I recently came across a fantastic post over at Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, Foods to Enjoy, which has encouraged me to switch my thinking about food choices from “I can’t eat that.” to “I don’t eat that.” What a difference one word can make!

It is important to just say, I don’t eat this anymore and be done with it, rather than tormenting yourself with what you are ‘missing out on’.

And boy, have I been tormenting myself!

I need to plan ahead so that I’m prepared for the times when I’m emotionally down and tempted to lift my spirits with food I DON’T eat anymore. Food is my medicine. I’m taking a dose each and every time I eat. If my dose is bad, it’s going to hurt… and it does. It’s probably like missing a daily/weekly shot, if I had chosen that type of treatment.

Various fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains; ...

Image via Wikipedia

So… planning ahead… what does that look like?

Predetermined options to combat cravings.

I may have to research this a bit. What could I replace for a fast food burger craving? Something salty, perhaps.

Don’t get caught with your pants down.

Always have the right food choices available, else I am at risk of taking a bad dose. We have gotten in the habit of making sure there are always veggies & chicken in the freezer, so I’ve almost got this one covered. I think we just need to get into a good habit of buying more, bulk style, so my pantry doesn’t get caught with its pants down. So instead of one bag of veggies, buy two.

Food prep.

Life is just fantabulous when I take the time to do this. And really, it doesn’t take that much time. An example would be to chop up a cup of walnuts to put on my salads for lunch at work. Easy peasy, right? I just have to be diligent about setting aside the time to do this (well, not just chopping walnuts!). Sundays seem to be an ideal day. And if Sunday is taken up by something else, I still need to set aside the time.

Meal planning.

Ugh.

It seems easy. It seems productive.

Ugh.

I would definitely need help from the husband and kids to make this work.

Plan for eating out.

For restaurants, look up their menu online. If they don’t have one, call and ask about their gluten/dairy free options. If they don’t have any, suggest some restaurants that do. If there aren’t any, move.

For eating at other people’s houses, politely inquire as to what will be served. If you don’t eat any of it, make your own dish and bring it to share. It’s an opportunity to share how good healthy eating can taste!

This is something I’ve been doing and it’s worth it. I made gluten/dairy free pumpkin bars that were a hit at a birthday celebration this past weekend. I was so proud of myself!

To sum up.

  • Practice trading out the word can’t for don’t: I don’t eat ice cream! (and I haven’t for some time now)
  • Plan, prepare, anticipate, look ahead…
  • Have fun with trying new things!

Oh, and I just received my Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis book today! I am looking forward to reading it!