Multiple SclerosisAs yet no one has found a complete and permanent cure for MS, but there are still things that we can do to change the course of the condition. The highest goal of therapy would be to repair current lesions and change the internal physiological processes that creates them in the first place, at this point however the goal of treatment is to put the condition into remission and then hold it there for as long as possible and ideally pretty much permanently.
The Swank Low fat MS DietIn so-called alternative medicine we sometimes use radical diets and with these approaches we achieve radical improvements in the health. There is for example a new (2010 Newcastle University) super low-calorie dietary treatment that reverses Type II diabetes; there’s also the work of Dr Esselstyn and Dean Ornish who have shown that with radical dietary changes they were able to reverse and repair cardiovascular disease in ways that were previously thought to be impossible.
The central or key component of the MS diet is that it is a low in fat, particularly saturated fats. There is good scientific evidence that the strict control of saturated fat in the diet can significantly control the progression of MS.
See http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/Recovery-Program/Diet/ for more about the evidence behind this claim. I think www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org is one of the best sites online for MS. You should also Google swank low fat diet for ms to find more information.
Running very long-term studies in humans is immensely difficult as people move away, randomly die, no longer want to participate in the experiment etc etc. However 15 people were found from the original study that had remained on the low saturated fat MS diet for 50 years, their ages ranged from 72-84. Of the 15 people that maintained the low fat diet 13 were essentially physically normal and walked without difficulty. This is only a small number of people but if these very impressive results are reproducible this makes this the best MS treatment to date.
Many people would find the diet tough, and many participants in the original study dropped out for this reason. In a nutshell the MS low-fat diet is to strictly consume no more than 15-20 g of saturated fat per day. To achieve this would take most people an initial learning and adjustment programme lasting months to a year. My best advice to you is to take a commitment to following this diet for one year; I’ve worked for over 20 years as a nutritional consultant and an observation I’ve made is that almost any new dietary regime feels difficult initially. In the beginning you may not know where to buy the new foods and how to make them tasty etc. but after several weeks to months it becomes the new normal and you work out how to feed yourself on the new diet. After nine months to a year the dietary changes often become permanent and people find that they do not go back to their original diet.
These days you can find excellent low-fat cookbooks to assist you: the original was the The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book by Swank. The other book I would highly recommend is Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Esselstyn, although this book is about using low fat diets for the treatment of heart disease about two thirds of this book is low-fat recipes that work just as well for MS.
People not only do live on these low-fat diets but they thrive on them into their older years free from the ubiquitous progression of cardiovascular disease that debilitates and shortens the lives of so many millions of people, these low-fat diet regimes will also result in a reduced consumption of calories and weight gain :-)
The Low-Fat MS Diet Guidelines:-Saturated fats from all sources should remain less than 15 g per day.
Unsaturated fat should be approximately 20-50 g per day.
No red meat for the first year; after the first year you can consume a maximum of 85 g (3 ounces) red meat per week.
Dairy products must be very low-fat, 1% or less.
Only eat egg whites, not the yolks where all the fat is.
In my practice I recommend people with MS take many supplements including NAC cystine, B-12, vitamin E, selenium and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory effects, along with very high vitamin D, omega-3 fish oils and optional lipoic acid and CoQ 10.
However the star of the show is vitamin D, supplementing this vitamin alone has been shown to reduce MS relapses by 27% (Wingerchuck 2005) (Kimball 2007). To achieve this worthwhile effect you will need to supplement vitamin D3 (not D2) to maintain a level of at least 150nmol/L or 60ng/mL vitamin D (25-hydroxy) in the blood and ideally for MS maintain 200nmol/L or 80ng/mL. You will need to supplement at least 5000-8000 IU per day to achieve and maintain this level and will need blood tests to monitor it. You should have medical supervision to take more than 10,000 UI per day; the only documented case of toxicity from vitamin D involved taking 40,000 UI daily over a prolonged period.
Additional MS Treatments
Dealing with Stress,I use a three-month training programme to teach the autonomic nervous system how to change more quickly and efficiently from a stress response into a deeply relaxed condition, this program takes half an hour a day for three months and permanently changes your abilities to manage stress within your body.
Reducing Sources of Inflammation and Irritation to the Nervous SystemFood allergies and sensitivities provoke unwanted immune responses and inflammation throughout the body which is to be avoided at all costs in MS. In my practice I use the Bicom resonance therapy device to test for and treat food allergies and sensitivities.
The Bicom resonance therapy device is not scientifically validated and to comply with UK trading standards laws I cannot make any scientific claims of efficacy. In this regard it may be considered akin to having acupuncture treatment, in fact it is very similar to electoral acupuncture treatment.
Detoxifying Heavy Metals and Petrochemical PollutantsIt has been suspected in the past that heavy metals such as mercury from dental amalgam and petrochemical pollutants including the pesticide residues used on non-organic food may contribute to damage and demyelination of the nerves. In my practice to detoxify heavy metals and petrochemical pollutants using diet and supplements.
Viral InfectionsPersistent low-grade viral infections may provoke inflammation and irritation to the nerves and in my practice I use the Bicom resonance therapy device to test for and treat this problem.