March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath, a fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers of the Central Nervous System (CNS), leading to inflammation and damage. This damage causes a wide range of debilitating symptoms, including vision problems, muscle weakness, balance and coordination problems, cognitive impairment, and fatigue.
There is currently no cure for MS.
All treatment simply seeks to manage symptoms.
According to the National MS Society, “Nearly 1 million people are living with MS in the United States, according to a 2019 prevalence initiative, a four-year study that used millions of health records to get a more accurate count. This number is more than twice the one previously reported in a 1975 national study and subsequent updates.” However, in answer to the question “why are more people being diagnosed with MS,” The National MS Society’s answer is, “The reasons are not clear.” They also say that “Likely contributors include greater awareness of the disease, better access to medical care and improved diagnostic capabilities.” After which they add, “There is no definitive evidence that the rate of MS is generally on the increase.”
Manage Symptoms Without Side Effects
There are many other highly reputable doctors practicing outside of the medical mainstream, like me, who share the view that managing MS symptoms can be done through diet and lifestyle changes without negative side effects. One of these doctors is Dr. John McDougall, M.D., physician, speaker, and best-selling author who teaches the importance of a whole food, low-fat, starch-based diet in order to halt, reverse and heal chronic disease.
Dr. McDougall recently posted a blog about MS Awareness Month in which he talked about the work of Roy Swank, MD, PhD. Dr. Swank is a mentor of Dr. McDougall, and Dr. McDougall continues the work of Dr. Swank in which he conducted research that shows individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) who detect the disease early and adopt a low-fat diet, have a high probability of remaining in the same condition or even seeing an improvement over the next two decades, with a 90% chance of this outcome if attacks have been few and the diet is followed.
Even those who have suffered severe neural damage from MS can slow its progression by following a low-fat diet, which may not cure the disease but can help manage symptoms and prevent further nerve damage without the harmful side effects medication used to treat MS cause.
You can see the results of the study HERE.
Greater Awareness Of Risk Factors Important
I am all for increasing awareness that will help prevent disease. The risk factors for MS are similar to the risk factors for many other diseases. Smoking is a risk factor. Drinking alcohol is a risk factor. Eating fatty foods is a risk factor. Not getting adequate exercise is a risk factor. In other words, the things that cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases of contemporary society also contribute to MS. If you have recently received a diagnosis for MS and are interested in learning how to manage your health and your life with an approach that could help your miraculous human self-healing body with a chance to feel better than you might expect, give my office a call. I am all about awareness for and following what really heals.