U-OK Optimal Health Center

Dr. Elena Koles, MD

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Multiple Sclerosis

 

Multiple Sclerosis is a slowly progressing disease of the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves. The term multiple sclerosis (MS) comes from the multiple areas of scarring (sclerosis) that represent many patches of demyelination in the nervous system. Communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. Its effects can range from relatively benign in most cases to somewhat disabling to devastating. It is an unpredictable disease and its symptoms may mysteriously occur and then disappear.

The pathogenesis of MS remains unknown. Although inflammation, demyelination and axonal injury are all involved, the primary pathogenic process is not clear. On-the-job exposure to organic solvent, heavy metals and toxins may increase one's risk of developing MS. There are numerous testimonials supporting the replacement of the common dental mercury (amalgam) filling in MS patients with drastic improvement in their health status.

Infection with a bacteria known as C. pneumoniae may increase the risk of developing MS. Recently, a new microbe, named Nanobacteria, has come under suspicion as a trigger for MS, as well as other illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and kidney stones.

Viruses have long been studied for their relationship to MS. Recent research in Norway proposed a trigger connection between exposure to a virus such as Epstein-Barr at a critical age - between thirteen and twenty - and the development of the disease. Immunization with the synthetic hepatitis B vaccine may also be associated with an increased risk of developing MS. The measles virus has also been implicated.

Lately, MS has come to be considered an autoimmune disease, that is, a disease in which the body does not recognize its own cells and produces antibodies against them. In MS, tests reveal the specific antibodies attacking the myelin cover of the nerve fibers.

Some researchers have found a connection between MS and allergies. Studies made at NY University Medical Center noticed that the changes in the nervous system of patients with MS resembled the changes caused by allergies and elimination of all allergens helps to reduce MS attacks.

Those with multiple sclerosis should avoid excessive body heat elevation such as sauna, whirlpool, sun bathing or spending time outdoors in high heat.

Treatment

Corticosteroids such as prednisone taken by mouth or methylprednisolone given intravenously for short periods to relieve acute symptoms have been the main form of therapy for decades. Treatment with high-dose steroids for MS and other disorders may impair long-term memory, according to a report in the medical journal Neurology. The good news is that mental functioning usually returns to normal a few days after stopping the drug.

Injectable beta-interferon, a relatively new MS treatment, reduces the frequency of relapses. Other promising treatments still under investigation include other interferons, oral myelin, and glatiramer to help keep the body from attacking its own myelin. The benefits of plasmapheresis and IV gamma globulins haven't been established, and these treatments aren't practical for long-term therapy.Treatment with Marinol, a synthetic cannabinoid chemical, can reduce the pain often experienced by people with MS.

A clinical trial has shown that injections of colchicine (an anti-inflammatory compound extracted from the herb meadow saffron) can be effective in relieving symptoms and in promoting general stamina. Oral colchicine can also be used. While there are side effects, including gastrointestinal symptoms, they can usually be managed by altering the dose. As existing drugs for MS can be quite toxic, the use of colchicine is a promising alternative and patients should be able to take it safely throughout their lives.

Considering that MS could be an inflammotory disease provoked by bacteria and viruses, we offer special treatment for nanobacteria and postvaccination syndrome.

Some doctors also believe that MS can be benefited by anti-candida treatment. We advocate the anti-candida treatment and offer the protocol including the anti-Candida diet, Nystatin and natural antifungal remedies, anti-allergy shots, and homeopathic remedies. Although it is controversial in MS, in situations where all else has failed and the patient is in the early stages of the disease, trial therapy may be warranted.

In case of chemical and heavy metal toxicity, treatment of chemical sencitivity and chelation may be helpful.

Biomedical treatment

It is difficult to know with any certainty which supplements, in what dosages, and in what combinations would be helpful for a certain patient with MS. It is possible that someone's condition may get worse by stopping their existing medicines and using natural supplements exclusively. It is also possible that certain natural supplements may lead to a reduction of their medication dosages. Therefore, physician control and supervision is necessary if you decide to follow a natural treatment.

When asked about the role of nutrition in MS, most conventional medical doctors claim there is no benefit from diet changes. I disagree. There does also seem to be evidence that diet plays a part. There is a high correlation between a high animal-fat diet and development of the disease. Elimination of hydrogenated fats (margarines and spreads) may also give a great relief to the MS patient.

Researchers have also reported that symptoms improve when food intolerances (allergies) are eliminated. In my experience, the most common hidden food allergies appear to be grains, especially wheat and corn, milk, yeast and soy. Many patients benefit by following Gluten free/Casein free diet. Testing and treatment of these allergies may unlock the door to recovery for many MS sufferers. Genetically modified (GM) food could also be a trigger.

Supplements which are very effective in both prevention and treatment of MS include cod liver oil (omega-3), flaxseed and evening primrose oil, borage and black currant oils, amino acids (N-acetylcysteine, glutathione, phosphatidylcholine, etc), minerals (zinc, selenium, manganese, magnesium) and B-vitamin complex, especially inositol, B1, folinic acid and B12 (methylcobalamin). The latter should be taken as a sublingual tablets for enhanced absorption or given in injections.

The above mentioned oils are anti-inflammatory fatty acids that also help build strong nerves. The proper zinc/copper combination is important to improve levels of a major antioxidant, superoxide dismutase. Dosage should be adjusted with their blood levels.

Alpha Lipoic acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant and has been helpful in a mouse study and recently showed biochemical marker improvement in a human trial. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). (Lipoic acid in multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. Multiple Sclerosis. 2005 Apr;11(2):159-65.)

DHEA has been used successfully in the treatment of many autoimmune disorders including MS, Lupus and fibromyalgia. DHEA regulates the immune system and maintains the metabolic and structural integrity of the nervous system.

Manganese, especially given with B vitamins, may enhance nerve impulses and alleviate muscle weakness. Magnesium will help soothe the muscle spasms often associated with MS.

Vitamin E and other antioxidants (vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, pycnogenol, etc.) are also beneficial. Coenzyme Q10 is a catalyst in providing cellular energy and it's also a strong nerve protector.

Dosages depend on the severity of the illness and the patient's tolerance for these supplements.

Herbs

The Chinese use an herbal supplement called Bushen Gusui to enhance healing. Ordinarily, its use has been for treatment of kidney disorders. It is available in a pill form.
In clinical study it was effective at improving symptoms and signs of MS patients and reducing recurrence frequency in 88.37% of the patients. Bushen Gusui could obviously inhibit inflammatory reaction of the brain and spinal cord as well as demyelination, and simultaneously inhibit the activity of serum IL-2, IL-6, TNF in comparing with model group. (Clinical and experimental study on multiple sclerosis with bushen gusui tablet, Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2001 Jan;21(1):10-4).

Curcumin and Turmeric are also showing promise for MS symptoms. Did you know that in India and China, where people enjoy a spicy diet and consume a lot of Curcumin, there is a lower rate of Multiple Sclerosis? Maybe it's time to spice up your life!

Ginkgo biloba and Siberian ginseng have shown intriguing preliminary evidence of efficacy. Garlic is also a potentially useful remedy for MS patients.

Enjoy yoga

Subjects with MS participating in either a 6-month yoga class or exercise class showed significant improvement in measures of fatigue compared to a waiting-list control group (Neurology. 2004 Jun 8;62(11):2058-64.)

Specific reflexology treatment was of benefit in alleviating motor; sensory and urinary symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients (Multiple Sclerosis. 2003 Aug;9(4):356-61.)

Recently, European and American doctors have reported successful results with the use of ozone therapy.

So, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons to adopt a more positive, hopeful attitude in dealing with this serious disease.