Welcome! This blog contains research & information on lifestyle, nutrition and health for those with MS, as well as continuing information on the understanding of the endothelium and heart-brain connection. This blog is informative only--all medical decisions should be discussed with your own physicians.

The posts are searchable---simply type in your topic of interest in the search box at the top left.

Almost all of MS research is initiated and funded by pharmaceutical companies. This maintains the EAE mouse model and the auto-immune paradigm of MS, and continues the 20 billion dollar a year MS treatment industry. But as we learn more about slowed blood flow, gray matter atrophy, and environmental links to MS progression and disability--all things the current drugs do not address--we're discovering more about how to help those with MS.

To learn how this journey began, read my first post from August, 2009. Be well! Joan

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Endothelial Health Program

August 26, 2009 at 7:51am

Here is the original program I wrote up for Jeff in 2008 and shared on ThisIsMS.  This was before we'd read Dr. Zamboni's research.  I sent it to Dr. John Cooke at Stanford University. Dr. Cooke's endothelial research and his book, The Cardiovascular Cure, were highly inspirational to me, and I wanted to get his thoughts on MS as a disease of endothelial dysfunction.  It is suggested for healthy vascular living for MS patients.  I knew that there was a connection between Jeff's hypercoagulated blood, high liver enzymes, c-reactive protein, petechiae and inflammation--and thought maybe the program might help others with MS.

There is a shortened version hosted on the CCSVI Alliance site-

For those who want to read more, here's the full paper:

Reversing Endothelial Dysfunction 
By Joan Beal

I am not a doctor. Not even close. I took chemistry in high school, but I didnʼt like my teacher and chatted my way through labs. That was the end of my science career. I majored in music in college, and have spent my adult life pursuing the creative arts. Although math and science were never to be my forté, I do enjoy puzzles. I cannot walk away from an unfinished Sudoku, and much to my husbandʼs frustration, I always shout out “I know who did it!” before the first act of a mystery is completed. I guess Iʼm a “big picture” gal- I like to step back and find the connections between seemingly disparate things. You could also call me a “holistic” person, because I enjoy finding commonalities and patterns. Just like the nine digits in the Sudoku box.

Multiple Sclerosis is not a puzzle I was prepared for. By the time my husband finally went to the doctor, after a month of my pleading and cajoling, he was really sick. He was numb on his left side and his feet were burning. He went in for an MRI and the technician added the contrast dye to his veins. We knew he was in trouble.   When we went to meet with the neurologist, I noticed under the harsh fluorescent lights his skin had a jaundiced pallor. And what were those strange red dots up and down his shins? I hadnʼt seen him in shorts recently...what were those?

His neurologist said that had nothing to do with his illness. He had multiple sclerosis.  It was an autoimmune disease. My husbandʼs t- cells were attacking the myelin on his brain and spine, and he had 20 cerebral lesions to show for it. His blood labs had come back with some irregularities;  he had extremely high liver enzymes, high coagulation numbers and high c-reactive protein,  and once again the neuro said, “But that has nothing to do with his MS.” She recommended a disease modifying treatment- a daily shot called glatiramer acetate or Copaxone,  to retrain his t-cells- She also gave us a list of some nutritional supplements that she said “might help”, and sent us on our way.

I was incredulous. How could my healthy husband one day just wake up with an immune system in attack mode? And why werenʼt things like those spots (Iʼd later learn they were called petechiae) and his liver enzymes and jaundice related to this new illness?

So I went to work deciphering this new code. I read medical journals on line, and the more I read, the more questions I had. Because MS is incurable and no one really knows what causes it, it is open to more theories and less concrete evidence than almost any other disease. And it can be a variable illness, causing disability and paralysis in some, while remaining relatively benign in others. It has been almost two years since my husbandʼs diagnosis, and he is still stable and in remission from his first flare. We thank God everyday for his health and ability to carry on with his life.   Jeff has radically changed his diet, maintains a healthy weight through exercise, and takes supplements. He has also worked on lessening the stress in his life and finding ways to deal with neuropathic pain and fatigue, the nasty reminders of his disease. He is fortunate, and he is determined. But we realize that nothing is guaranteed.

I am not writing about curing MS. I do not believe I have the abilities or knowledge to cure anyone. I am only addressing ways to minimize the affects of disease and to help people feel better and perhaps remain in remission. For now, my husbandʼs MS is not progressing, but I do not know how to stop his MS for good. Right now, it appears that only God can do that. Let me be clear, I am also not about blaming people for becoming sick. There is a genetic component to each of these diseases that no one would ever ask for or bring upon themselves. The reasons why people develop specific diseases goes beyond my limited understanding. But there is hope and relief through lessening the external factors which contribute to disease.

24 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease. These diseases, in which the immune system appears to turn on the self, include diabetes, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. The number of afflicted is growing at an astounding rate. I believe all autoimmune diseases are related. Inflammation, vascular problems, coagulation issues, neuropathic pain and suffering are common to each affliction, although the specific area that is affected is different. In MS, itʼs a breech in the blood brain barrier of the central nervous system. In rheumatoid arthritis, itʼs the joints. If we step back far enough from the names of individual diseases and all the various specialists who treat them, we can begin to see the big picture; and I believe it all begins inside each and every one of us with our blood.