Is Gut Bacteria Causing Your MS? Researchers are closer than ever to what causes multiple sclerosis (MS). Many studies are pointing towards the gut bacteria and MS having a strong connection.
There are different triggers to MS and everyone’s symptoms are different. There are even different types of MS so it’s hard to predict which course the disease will take. One similar thing researchers discovered is the type of bacteria in MS patients guts.
A 2016 study shows certain bacteria are higher in MS patients. They also collected breath samples showing MS patients had higher levels of methane.
Another study found MS patients had four times more Acinetobacter and Akkermansia bacteria. People without MS also had four times more of the Parabacteroides bacteria.
So what does this mean? Besides long words that are hard to pronounce. The first two (higher levels) are microbes that trigger inflammation. The third bacteria (lower levels) is anti-inflammatory.
Next, they took the first two bacteria and put it into samples of healthy blood. The microbes increased the T cells which help suppress immune responses. It also decreased the regulatory cells that help prevent autoimmune diseases.
The Acinetobacter has molecules that mimic the myelin stealth. Researchers believe this bacteria may trigger the immune system to attack the myelin. This leads the researchers to take the gut microbes from MS patients and insert it into mice. It caused them to develop a mouse version of MS.
What does this mean?
A current study is looking into the connection between genetics and environment. It’s known as the International Multiple Sclerosis Microbiome Study (iMSMS). The knowledge gained from this study will eventually lead to new treatments for MS. Such as probiotics and/or fecal transplants.
It’s known that the further away a person lives from the equator the higher the risks for MS. Which points to vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, deficiency. Recent studies point to a possibility of vitamin D to myelin repair.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone and not a vitamin. It’s processed by the liver then moves onto the kidneys. Vitamin D supports strong bones, healthy heart, and blood vessels. Studies have connected a direct link between MS and vitamin deficiency.
Triggers to MS
There are many different triggers to MS, including viruses, heavy metals, or stress. And, why do women get MS 3-4 times more than men? Is there a sex hormone involved?
These are more questions researchers are working on. In the meantime, you can take steps now to stop the progression of MS. The more triggers you can remove the better your body will be able to heal.
Triggers to MS:
→ Diet (processed foods, refined sugar, refined carbs, food allergies, etc.)
→ Infections (Candida, viruses, bacteria, and parasites)
→ Environmental Toxins (heavy metals, mold, pesticides, plastics, etc.)
→ Chronic Stress
Stop eating a diet that causes inflammation. Remove all processed foods and refined sugar. No more junk food or pizza delivery. Clean out your pantry and keep your home processed food free. Remove any foods that cause an allergic reaction or sensitivity.
Foods to Remove:
Food Additives and Preservatives
Refined Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
Instead, eat an anti-inflammatory diet like the Paleo diet. Include lots of vegetables at every meal. Learn to cook delicious meals at home. This not just a diet it’s a new lifestyle change for the better.
Foods to include:
- Vegetables – dark leafy greens, cruciferous, and colored
- Wild-caught fish
- Pasture-raised poultry
- Grass-fed meats – including organ meats
- Spices and herbs
Besides bacteria overgrowth, there could also be another infection. There could be a yeast overgrowth (Candida) or Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). According to the National MS Society:
“More than a dozen viruses and bacteria are being investigated as possible triggers to MS.”
– National MS Society
The trigger could even be from parasites including roundworms or tapeworms. Don’t think you can’t get parasites. They could come from that pork you ate recently or from the bottom of your foot.
You can even get parasites from your loving pet. If you suspect parasites, talk to your functional medicine practitioner.
Environmental toxins are hard to avoid since they are everywhere. Toxins such as dental amalgams, additives in food, GMOs, and mold wreak havoc on your body.
Heavy metals are toxic like lead, mercury, and aluminum. They cause weakness, brain fog, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and neurological disorders.
It’s used in our food, cookware, body care products, and water. It’s even in some medical procedures like dental fillings, radiation, or vaccines. Even the contrast in the MRI’s use “rare paramagnetic metal” according to NCBI.
Remove as many environmental toxins as possible. Use plastics that are BPA-free, cookware that is glass, stainless steel, or cast iron. Buy a water filter and air filter for your home.
To learn more read:
Removing Environmental Toxins
Chronic stress can cause an MS flare or make symptoms worse. Many people who were going through a stressful event were then diagnosed with MS
Years of daily chronic stress is what caused my MS to get worst. As the years went on my walking kept getting worst. Mentally, I thought I was handling the emotional stress but my body was disagreeing.
Once I left that stressful situation, I could literally feel the relief leaving my body. Unfortunately, it left me more disabled than ever before.
No matter what kind of stress you are going through you need to learn how to manage it. This even includes toxic people who are causing you extreme stress.
- Deep breathing
- Exercise (yoga, tai chi)
- Listen to music
- Pets (they’re good listeners too)
- Sleep, get 8-9 hours
- Soak in a tub
- Talk to someone
If someone in your family has MS the odds of you getting it is higher but it doesn’t mean you’ll get it. Even one identical twin can get MS and the other one doesn’t. MS isn’t hereditary but the odds of a person getting MS could still lie within their genes.
I could never understand why I was the only one in my family to get MS. That was until a few years ago when I had my DNA tested. There it was in my genetic code, a 3x higher risk of multiple sclerosis.
The gene HLA-DRB1*1501 variant is the strongest risk factor for developing MS. And as you can see in the image above, I have that gene. Researchers believe MS develops due to genes and an environmental trigger.
Genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger
It’s not possible to change your genes but you aren’t destined to any health risks either. Living a healthy lifestyle and removing toxins can reduce disease risks.
If you would like to read about my DNA experience read:
DNA Test for Multiple Sclerosis
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