Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Interesting MS-Related Links

Today, I've been researching about half the day on MS-related information. Some of the links I've received from Harvard researcher / privacy advocate / radio show host Dr. Katherine Albrecht.

It's easy to get overwhelmed with information on the internet, but I thought the articles were worth sharing.

Basic information about MS (in laymen's terms)http://www.mamashealth.com/Multiple_sclerosis.asp

More Good, General Information about MS

Why women are more likely than men to get multiple sclerosis
Source - Genes & Immunity online 27th January 2005

Interesting Comparison between MS and Parkinson's http://local.google.com/answers/threadview?id=550092

Vitamin D For MS patients
Taking vitamin D supplements may positively influence the immune systems of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to researchers.
(you have to enter your e-mail address to read the full article)

Study finds Nicotinamide (Niacin), a form of vitamin B3 may help with multiple sclerosis
Source - Journal of Neuroscience 20th September 2006

Oral contraceptives reduce multiple sclerosis risk
Source - Archives of Neurology September 2005

Some interesting connections - things I've read and learned today:

  • The number of cases of MS is nearly zero near the equator and increases with latitude in both hemispheres. The increased sunlight near the equator allows the body to produce more vitamin D, and may theoretically reduce the incidence of MS.
  • The current recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 400 micrograms (units) per day
  • More people in Canada have significantly higher number of MS cases in the world.
  • I've heard people with MS have a higher incidence rate of Osteoperosis. Osteoporosis is caused by lack of calcium; and I've learned Vitamin D helps with Calcium absorbption. Read about almonds - supposedly they help with both Osteoperosis and MS:

Some {random} things to document about me:

  • I did not like milk as a child and avoided drinking it. Food did not come easily to my parents since we lived in Cuba, a communist country. My nutrition probably could have been better when I was a child.
  • When I was 7 years old, I had several metal fillings in my mouth (I still have them today).
  • When I was 21/22, I took photography classes in college... on a few instances, I put my hand in the developer chemicals instead of using tongs.
    In photography class, we used a strong chemical called Rodinol to develop film. We used a pippette to measure the Rodinol and I remember the chemical touched my mouth a few times. (A pippette is a glass straw-like/eye-dropper-type instrument and you suck the chemical up and measure the liquid. Chemists use this).
  • When I was 22, I had my first bladder incident. Looking back now, I see these were the first signs of the MS condition brewing.
  • When I was approximately 25, for 2.5 years (from 1995-1998, my first job out of college) the office building I worked at was right next to an electric power plant.
  • When I was 28, I got diagnosed with Psoriasis. Psoriasis is an auto-immune skin disorder where the skin reproduces itself every 14 days (normal skin cell reproduction is about every 28 days). So, there are white silvery patches of skin that get reproduced on top of each other. I have a mild case in comparison. It does affect my scalp.
  • Approximately when I was 32, I noticed my sense of smell wasn't working as strong as it used to. I did not go to the doctor, but I was concerned. The smell of freshly popped popcorn just did not hit me until others mentioned it first.
  • Also when I was 32, I also noticed I did not sweat as much as I once did. I did not excercise that much during this period in my life, but I would not sweat on the walks to and from my car, during the hot Houston summers. Once upon a time, I used to sweat heavily when I excercised at the gym (back in my Gold's Gyn days when I was around 21). I see know that not sweating can't be good, since my body was not releasing toxins. To this day, I do not sweat as I should.
  • I've never taken oral contraceptives.
  • I've been known to have a sweet tooth throughout my life.

My intuition tells me MS is not necessarily caused by one thing (genetic versus environmental facors). From what I've read, it seems to be a combination of factors.

That said, I don't know that we should rely on only one source to "fix" it all. We should take our injection medecines to maintain the good myelin, but in my opinion, we need to nourish our bodies with good things, in order to strengthem our body, so our immune system can fight and heal itself. And, we need to learn and learn more about nutrition.

Some things I've implemented in an effort to fight MS and its progress:

  • Eat simple foods that your body can break down easily...
  • Eat foods with no chemicals so your body can focus on healing itself, and that way your body isn't always busy spinning its wheels breaking down the chemicals in the food.
  • No red meat
    (interesting when you read the above article Why women are more likely than men to get multiple sclerosis)
  • Avoid foods that have been injected with hormones (such as chickens)
  • Avoid dairy foods that aren't organic - I've learned that the chemicals which the animals injest sticks to the fat of the animal. So, cheese is almost all fat and any chemicals will stick to the fat... Same with meat - the more fat, the more chemicals most likely present.
    (The chemicals in the animals can exist for various reasons - in some cases they've been injected with hormones or in other cases the animal has simply eaten corn or grass grown with pesticides.
  • My next step is to try to not eat dairy at all (even organic). I did a search on google for "benefits of no dairy" and a video link came up titled "Video Healh Tip #3" but it did not work. The link said "a tip to briefly explain the benefits of no dairy, no MS drugs, and acupuncture." I'm curious about this and if anyone has that tip or link, I'd love to see it:
  • Avoid Trans Fats
  • Avoid foods that have partially hydrogenated oil (these are Trans Fats) - oil in its natural state is liquid. They "hydrogenate" it to make it solid and give a good texture in crackers, pastries, etc. You can read about more specifics as to why partially hydrogenated oild are bad:
  • Avoid foods that have "Corn Syrup"
    I'm not familiar with this vitamin/herb combo, but it's interesting that I googled "Multiple Sclerosis and Sugar" and a link came up:
  • When buying organic foods such as granola bars, make sure they don't list "organic corn syrup" - corn syrup is bad whether organic or not.
  • When buying organic foods such as crackers, make sure the ingredients are simple so your body can break down the foods.
  • Avoid bread - bread has yeast, and too much yeast yields candida - a bacteria that your body has to work hard at fighting off. Read more about candida:
  • Eat raw vegetables and fruits - most veggies have more vitamins when raw. Usually, cooking the veggies cooks away most of the vitamins, in which case, you're just eating veggies for fiber and not for vitamins. Here's an interesting link about organic versus non-organic produce:
  • Drink lots of water - our brains needs water! The rule I've heard is to drink half your body weight in ounces. Example, if someone weighs 200 lbs. they should drink 100 oz. of water. I strive for the 8 glasses per day (64 oz. total). Here's a book that talks about the importance of water:
  • Massage Reflexology. I have access to a wonderful massage therapist named Patricia; she is like a healer. She knows so much about not only massage but about nutrition and more. I've seen her once sometimes twice a week, as money allows. I haven't seen her in about 3 weeks, but will like to soon.
  • Acupuncture. I have NOT tried this yet, but am VERY interested. I won't do this unless I know of a good acupuncturist. Read about acupunture and MS:

Many of us Americans live our daily lives busy, and we eat prepared foods, which contain chemicals and preservatives and practically no vitamins. Doing this day after day can take a toll on our bodies. In my case, I always tried to eat healthy (in the past, I almost exclusively defined "healthy" as "low-fat"), but I always knew my nutrition could be better...

While studying graphic design in college, I took several nutrition courses and at one point I wanted to get a minor in Nutrition. So, point being, I've always believed in nutrition. But it wasn't until I was diagnosed with MS that I'm now focused on nourishing my body with only the healthy food it needs (I skip all the splurge-type foods). I'm relying on God, nutrients and vitamins to fight MS. I'm also thankful to have the daily injection therapy too.

I will add more information soon.

God bless.