MS notes: Dec 05 to Jan 10: learning along the way

I’ve been compiling info over the past 4 years. (this is a short version)
Here’s some stuff I know and believe, that may be helpful to someone:

Why I think I have MS:
Born into an industrialized northern country (ms mainly exists in these regions)
European genetics (italy/spain)
Processed and preserved foods
• Sanitary environments
• low levels of vitamin D (typical in people with MS)
Other genetic factors (not sure what they are though)
Prolonged stress (this I believe is the biggest factor and also triggers MS activity)
food allergies (undetected over many years is stressful on the body)
I had a skin disorder that went undiagnosed from 13 years old to 38 years old (an allergy that went away when I changed to an MS diet. This skin disorder may have stopped vit D from entering my body provided by natural sunlight. Plus I was embarressed and often covered my arms and legs with clothing. Just a guess though)

–  mental stress: work, relationship etc.

I lost my job, went into debt, sold my house, my father died, marriage fell apart, became a dad, all in the same year (that’s way too much  stuff!!)


Neurologists:
They prescribe the medicine and will monitor your condition for signs of disease progression.
6 month routine check-ups.  MRIs every 6 months, or every 1 or 2 years. MRIs are used to monitor the health of your central nervous system. (looking for lesions)
If there is progression they will suggest changing the medicine. (there’s not much else to do)
They will describe what MS is but can’t say why you have it for sure.
They most likely will not discuss dietary factors

Medicine:
The medicines are proven to work. Rebif, Copaxon, Avonex and Tisabri
The side effects of these can be difficult. I struggle with fatique and despression.
If you tell the doctor that you have side effects from your MS medicine they will prescribe medicine to counteract those side effects, but these meds will have their own side-effects too.
If you have an MS episode they will put you on anabolic steroids for 10 days to bring down the inflammation in the central nervous system. ( I had this only once in the very beginning)
• a pill is being developed to replace the injection method. (coming on the market)

Diet:
A  vegetarian diet is recommended in MS self -help books (I eat chicken, turkey and some fish too)
I dropped from 160 to 140 lbs after I changed my diet. The overall idea is to eat foods that calm, not stress your nervous system, and avoid proteins that mimic the myelin sheath insulating the nerves.

There is a strong connect between:
• legumes and MS (I avoid legumes)
• gluten (I avoid bread and eat mostly rice and corn products)
• Animal fat and MS (I don’t eat red meat or pork)
• fatty foods (avoid fried foods, butter, etc)

• no alcohol (no benefit to health and can harm liver along with the drugs)
• no caffeine (stimulates the nervous system and flushes nutrients)
• no nicotine (obvious)

• food allergy blood test: very useful and very surprising

Family/Friends:
Everybody needs to get behind you and believe in your lifestyle change as much as you do.
If you do change your diet, it’s very easy to be tempted by food other people bring into the house.
Also, when traveling, it’s very hard to be on a specialized diet.
I bring my own food sometimes
important: learning how to communicate with your family and co-workers in a calm and stress-free way (so you don’t internalize stressfull issues) (yoga and/or counseling helps with this) (I had some counseling too in the beginning_I could use some more)

Vitamins/Suppliments:
separate blog coming up

Yoga!!:
Can’t say enough here. I became a yoga instructor.
Yoga keeps you calm, strong, and builds confidence. Teaches you how to breath and manage stress. Many other benefits.

Books:
Lots out there. I bought a few but none seem to be that great.

“Yoga as medicine” is the best one so far and has a section on MS. (barnes and noble)

Advertisements

About MY MS and Yoga Life

yoga instructor, artist. diagnosed with MS in 2005
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s