Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
By Alex Strande, ND, Ph.D.
Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive, degenerative disease of the central nervous system and it is the major degenerative disease of young adults in the western world. MS, just like ALS, Parkinsons and other degenerations affecting the central nervous system have an autoimmune base to it. Affecting about one per thousand, MS is most common in caucasians and it affects women much more frequently than men. The diagnosis of MS is an elaborate process, but is frequently made without a firm basis. Consequently, a false diagnosis is made in about 20 to 30% of cases that were originally labeled as MS.
MS involves many areas of inflammation and scarring of the electrical insulation that surrounds nerves in the brain, spinal cord and possibly optic nerve. This insulation consists of sheaths of a substance called myelin. Sclerosis means hardening of tissue, and multiple means many (nerve areas). With the myelin damaged or completely stripped off the nerves, electrical impulses can leak out of the nerves so that messages are not conveyed properly. MS is thus often debilitating, may affect vision and is sometimes fatal. Once demyelination starts, it may continue to the end unless autoimmune attacks are stopped and reversed. Thymus-derived cells (T-cells) cross the blood-brain barrier and attack the myelin in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. Early diagnosis of MS is important, as early appropriate naturopathic approach can easily eliminate the disease. Years or months of delays and drug treatments and other useless approaches only ensure harder job for a naturopath.
Symptoms may differ but early symptoms include bouts of dizziness, extreme fatigue, blurred or double vision, tingling/numbness, loss of balance and co-ordination, muscular stiffness, slurred speech, tremors, bowel and bladder dysfunction and lots of emotional problems. The following may be factors in triggering and/or maintaining of MS: lack of vitamin D, environmental chemicals, immunizations, infectious diseases, trauma, lack of breast feeding and excessive consumption of cow’s milk during infancy and lack of essential fatty acids, certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy and childhood. These may result in the synthesis of abnormally unstable myelin which then attracts an attack by the immune system or breaks down naturally due to viral infections or physical or emotional trauma. Of these last factors, the immune reaction is probably the most important. MS is often said to be inherited but there is more and more evidence that this is not the most important factor. Recent studies correlate the risk for MS mortality with the consumption of animal products and saturated fat. A vegan diet would be a beneficial addition to a herbal and amino acid approach that works best .
Stress can be strongly associated with MS. Stress can increase blood fat and cholesterol levels and it also weakens the thymus gland and therefore the body’s immune system. Stress will exacerbate symptoms. Psychological factors, in the form of unresolved inner conflicts, can also play a part. Love will help, anger will make it worse. Inability to let go and sometimes falling in love with a disease are also factors I have seen in my clinic over the years and these are not helpful. Reiki would be a useful tool in such cases.
Relief can be achieved by supplementation of Mg, Zn, B6, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, E, Selenium, C, digestive enzymes and so on. A lot of other therapies may also be helpful. These will however not bring a resolution to the problems. Specific liquid extracts of herbs and amino acid neurotransmission, administered under a watchful eye of a trained naturopathic doctor, can typically deliver results that dazzle the sufferer and his/her family and friends. Although bee venom may not deliver healing on its own accord, as addition to high doses of herbs and aminos, it can be a powerful bullet towards the disease.
MS can be arrested and in many cases completely reversed once the body’s chemical imbalance has been corrected and homeostasis restored. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself once the appropriate encouragement to heal is administered. That is what Naturopathic care is about.
Alex Strande, ND, Ph.D. is a naturopath and a microbiologist. His office is in Irvine, California. He can be contacted for questions and appointments on (949) 553-1882.
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