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

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The "Alternative" Connection

January 2, 2010 at 3:37pm

Many, many MS patients have found symptom relief and stabilization by utilizing "alternative" treatments. I thought it might be interesting to go thru these and connect the dots to Dr. Zamboni's findings of impaired endothelial health and venous outflow in MS.

1. Diet- Back in 1948, Dr. Roy Swank came forward with a way to help MS patients using his specialized low fat diet. From Dr. Swank's site:

"60 years ago Dr. Roy Swank discovered that a low-fat diet, very low in saturated fats and polyunsaturated oils, helps MS patients live healthy and productive lives. Also low in red and other fatty meats, high in grains, fruits and vegetables, it is simple to follow and in many cases alleviates chronic symptoms. Some of his very first patients are still ambulatory and leading independent lives thanks to following Dr. Swank's regimen for the last half-century."

Other researchers, such as Dr. Ashton Embry, Dr. George Jelinek and Dr. Terry Wahls encourage MS patients to eat a variety of whole food diets high in antioxidants and vitamins. I won't go through each program, but I believe they all have great merit, and advise MS patients and caregivers to look at each program. Why? Because they promote cardiovascular and endothelial (lining of blood vessels) health.

2. Exercise- many MS patients are able to keep moving-through varieties of vigorous exercise, or swimming, yoga or seated exercise. Most patients find that any motion seems to help symptoms and keep progression at bay. Why? Because exercise promotes cardiovascular and endothelial health.

3. Lifestyle changes- Here are a few that seem to help many MS patients:
a. reducing stress, limiting cortisol release
b. quitting smoking
c. getting more sunshine and Vitamin D
d. finding time for meditation, prayer, quiet reflection
Why? Because each of these changes promotes cardiovascular and endothelial health.

4. Other treatments:
Here are a list of some common alternative treatments and supplements that help MS patients- and links to Dr. Zamboni's findings.
a. prokarin- combines histamine and caffeine. Both are known vasodilators (open the blood vessels)
b. LDN- low dose naltrexone. One of the effects of LDN is angiognesis, the creation of new blood vessels
c. Bee stings- increase histamine in the system, which creates vasodilation (opening of blood vessels)
d. EGCG- green tea extract- chelates iron from brain tissue and is an anti-oxidant
e. HBO- hyperbaric oxygen treatments- increases oxygen delivery to the brain

Some of these alternative treatments make no sense when looked at from the autoimmune paradigm. 

One glaring example is smoking cessation. Smoking is linked to MS progression, yet cigarette smoking hinders immune system functioning. In the autoimmune paradigm, smoking might actually be good for MS patients!

None of these alternative treatments can "cure" MS; but each of them has offered individuals a means to better health and symptom relief. Isn't it funny how quickly most doctors will discount these alternatives, without even questioning WHY they help so many MS patients? 

I believe Dr. Zamboni's discovery of CCSVI provides us with a link to understanding the affect of alternative treatments in MS.
For more info on the Endothelial Health program I put together for my husband:


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