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

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Things you can do today to help your health

September 1, 2013

There are many things you can do to improve your health whether or not you are considering venoplasty for CCSVI.  Each of these lifestyle factors has been scientifically shown to help reduce symptoms in people with MS.   These actions can help your whole body and potentially increase cerebral blood flow.  I'm not a doctor- these ideas are based on the endothelial research of Dr. John Cooke of Stanford University and his book,  The Cardiovascular Cure.

People with CCSVI and MS need to consider their cardiovascular systems, and do all they can to help encourage healthy blood flow.  Always discuss any new health programs with your physician.  Here are some tips:

1. Eat a heart healthy diet! Lots of good leafy greens, fruits and veggies.  Stay clear of man made fats and anything the has too many ingredients (like overly processed foods.) Limit fructose corn syrup or transfats.  Many find going gluten free is very helpful.   Eat a good, nutritious whole food diet- like the Best Bet Diet, Dr. Swank's MS Diet, or Dr. Terry Wahls' Diet.

2. Move as much as you are able. Exercise- whether it is a stationary bike, seated exercise, water aerobics or yoga- is good for your circulatory system and will keep blood flowing.  If you have trouble exercising, practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing.  Taking deep breaths into the belly and releasing slowly will help blood flow.

3. Try to limit stress. Cortisol, the hormone released when we stress out, closes down blood vessels (this is called vasoconstriction)  Prayer, deep breathing and meditation can really help.

4. Limit alcohol... only small amounts. A glass of wine opens up blood vessels a bit, but any more than one drink becomes constrictive.

5. Get some sun on your face. Vitamin D and UV rays help the body utilize oxygen and are a vasodilator. If you have no sun in your area, try a sun lamp and take a vitamin D supplement.  Have your D3 levels tested regularly.

6. No smoking. Sorry. Cigarettes are vasoconstrictors- they close up blood vessels and can make stenosis worse. That's why we've seen so much about smoking and MS in the news. Cigarettes actually mute the immune system; you'd think they'd be good for MS, if MS was autoimmune! But cigarettes are linked to MS progression. In the CCSVI paradigm, that's because they inhibit good blood flow.

7. Hydrate.  Drinking adequate amounts of fresh water will keep blood flowing and limit risks from hypovolemia, or low blood volume due to inadequate fluid intake.

8.  Supplements.  Look into adding supplements to your whole food diet.  Vitamin D and omega 3 oils are essential.   EGCG, quercetin, bromelain are all good anti-inflammatories, anti-oxidants and great for blood flow.  Proteolytic enzymes, like serrapeptase and nattokinase, naturally break down fibrin and thin the blood.

9.  Laughter, joy, community, sharing....all of these have been actually proven to encourage better blood flow!  Watching funny movies, spending time with good friends (who really care, are positive and don't stress us out!) actually changes the level of nitric oxide in our bodies.

For more information, and to read the science and research behind all this, check out the Endothelial Health program I put together for my husband  Jeff- link below. 

Lots of these things are common sense and part of an overall healthy lifestyle, but it's always good to understand the science behind it.

hope this helps a bit!

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