Is it possible to use food to get MS into remission? Yes, it is! Unfortunately, this is a subject neurologist don’t like to talk about. They may tell you to eat a healthy diet. But most won’t tell you people are reversing multiple sclerosis (MS) through diet.
I’m not meaning to talk bad about neurologist but they are only trained to help ease the symptoms. Plus the medications may slow the progression but they don’t reverse the symptoms. For some patients, the symptoms may even get worst.
Unfortunately, that was my case. After years of my neurologist convincing me, I finally started on an interferon drug. I hated it! It caused many side effects and I noticed my attacks were getting stronger and closer.
After a severe attack, I started looking for anything different than medications. Determined to find something else that worked and didn’t make me feel horrible. And, I found it – FOOD.
I couldn’t believe it could be that simple. I told my neurologist but all he had to say was “diets don’t work.” Really? Thank goodness I didn’t listen to him. I did start that diet and started feeling better right away. Fourteen months later I stopped all medications using diet only. I haven’t had an MS attack since and that was over ten years ago!
Triggers To MS
I’ve been extremely lucky and even appreciate life more from having MS. That doesn’t mean I still don’t hate MS because I do! I even had a friend pass away from complications of MS (she wouldn’t try changing her diet). But that doesn’t have to be your course.
It’s known that chronic inflammation causes MS. Since everyone is different you need to figure out what caused your inflammation. It’s usually a combination of things that trigger MS.
Triggers to MS:
→ Diet (processed foods, refined sugar, refined carbs, food allergies, etc.)
→ Infections (Candida, viruses, bacterial overgrowth, and parasites)
→ Environmental Toxins (heavy metals, mold, pesticides, plastics, etc.)
→ Chronic Stress
A Lifestyle Change
First, start by changing your diet. I actually don’t like calling it a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. If you went back to your old eating habits the MS attacks would also return. It’s important to remove all foods that are causing harm to your body.
You may need to have a food allergy test or try an elimination diet. That’s where you remove the suspected food item for one month, then reintroduce it back. Pay attention to your body for any negative reactions. Including stomach pains, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, headaches, or acne. If there is a reaction, don’t eat it again. Read How To Start An Elimination Diet to learn more.
Common Food Triggers
– Peanuts (they are a legume not a nut)
– Shellfish (crab, mussels, shrimp)
Researchers discovered MS patients had more bacteria associated with inflammation. They also had less “good” bacteria associated with anti-inflammatory properties. They’re connecting gut bacteria with more autoimmune diseases. Diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
So what does this mean? Researchers are still working on it. They believe there is a combination of environmental and genetic influences. The National MS Society funded the MS Microbiome Consortium to look at gut bacteria. They are also looking into the possibility of probiotics to stop the progression.
Researchers are also connecting what’s known as a leaky gut to MS. A leaky gut allows undigested food and harmful toxins to pass into the bloodstream. This wreaks havoc throughout the body causing an immune reaction.
There are many different causes to a leaky gut. Including poor diet, chronic stress, toxins, and gut bacteria imbalance. Before your body can begin to heal, you need to fix your leaky gut and add more good bacteria.
Several years ago I went through a period of daily chronic stress. I could feel it in every part of my body especially in my walking, it was a huge setback. I now know that chronic stress is a toxin that needs to get under control.
Stress plays a huge role in MS! It can lead to a diagnosis of MS and it can trigger an attack. Unfortunately, having MS also causes stress so it’s a vicious cycle!
Stress kills your brain cells, affects your ability to think clearly or to remember. Chronic stress elevates cortisol, the stress hormone. This raises blood sugar levels and disrupts the brain to cell communication.
Chronic stress shrinks your brain, stopping the production of new brain cells. Eventually, brain inflammation sets in allowing toxins to cross the blood-brain barrier. As you can see chronic stress is very damaging.
Ways To Calm Stress
- Avoid Sugar – it raises blood sugar levels and creates anxiety
- Deep Breathing Exercises
- Exercise – Yoga or Tai Chi
- Pets – petting your pets have calming effects
- Talking – to friends, family, or therapists, you can even talk to your pets
In June of 2016, I decided to visit a functional medical doctor (FDM). That was my turning point, my old symptoms began to reverse. The biggest one being my heat intolerance. I never imagined sitting outside on a 100° F day without my body shutting down. Now I can!
Functional medicine doesn’t just look at your symptoms. It looks for the root cause of your disease. You may have a yeast overgrowth (Candida), parasites, heavy metal toxins, the list goes on. I highly recommend visiting a functional medical provider (FMP). Use Institute for Functional Medicine’s website to find a local doctor in your area.
What To Expect
When you visit an FMP expect to spend a lot more time with them. Bring as much detailed information as you can. Include personal and family medical history, medications, and when your first symptoms began.
FMPs look into your lifestyle factor, genetics, and chemical reactions in your body. You may need to get some (or many) supplements, blood work, and even your DNA tested. To get my DNA tested I went through 23 and Me, you can read more details about it here: DNA Test For Multiple Sclerosis.
With your individual information, your FMP can come up with the perfect plan to help your body heal.
Researchers are discovering the benefits of vitamin D for MS, it may lessen the frequency and severity of symptoms. Have your vitamin D tested, don’t except a “normal” result from your doctor. Get the actual number, it should be between 60-80. It’s easier to take a liquid form of vitamin D, this way you don’t have to swallow a lot of pills. Take a vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 because they work together.
There have also been many studies on the benefits of omega-s and MS. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids promote a healthy heart, brain function and nerve tissue. These are extremely important for rebuilding your myelin sheath.
You Are Worth It!
This is not cheap but neither are MS medications. When looking for a FDM ask for pricing up front also check with your insurance they may not pay for the FDM or any labwork. I use a local health lab, they do blood work at reasonable rates without going through a doctor or insurance. I use Health Testing Centers, check to see if they may be in your area.
You have to look at the end results. Staying on all these supplements is not forever, visiting your FMP won’t be forever. The most important thing to remember – your health is worth it!
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