MS, acronym for multiple sclerosis, is a progressive autoimmune disease that leads to inflammation and scarring of nerve sheath fibers at multiple levels in the CNS (brain and spinal cord). This scarring leads to exposure of nerve fibers, which is the primary reason for nerve impulse conduction abnormalities secondary to which all the symptoms of multiple sclerosis present themselves.
Can MS Be Cured Naturally?
Since most of the damage caused to myelin sheath in MS is due inflammation; the first and foremost thing a person can do is modify by their diet. It is important to follow an anti-inflammatory diet that helps to reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body. The anti-inflammatory diet that people can benefit from include the incorporation of fresh green vegetables, avocados, berries, lemon, coconut products, olives, wild salmon, organic poultry, organic eggs, healthy meats from grass-fed beef, vegetable juices, herbal teas, fermented foods, apple cider vinegar and kimchi. Herbs that have anti-inflammatory activity can also be added along with healthy foods, which include garlic, ginger, turmeric, onion, cinnamon, oregano, thyme and rosemary.
Along with diet modification, it is also important to test for food allergies because allergic foods tend to increase the inflammatory response of the body, in addition to increasing the chances of leaky gut and changing the gut microflora. Since, MS can also cause constipation; it is wise to eat foods rich in fiber and nuts. To maintain harmonial gut flora, prebiotics/probiotics can also be taken. There are certain foods that should be avoided in MS. These include processed foods, gluten (has a higher chance of increasing inflammation), sugars, dairy and alcohol. Smoking cessation is also important for MS patients.
Vitamin D supplements should also be added to diet, as MS risk is greater in people who live farther away from equator, it is important to get sun exposure or maximize vitamin D intake through foods or supplements. Omega 3 supplements and foods rich in omega 3 have been known to reduce inflammation.
Stress also plays a vital role in MS disease progression. Increased stress negatively impacts the immune system, thereby, reducing the immunity of a person. Therefore, it is important to engage in activities that reduce stress. These include exercising, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, massage or in other recreational activities that reduce stress that can range from books, to TV, swimming, dancing, cycling or other forms of light games. Exercise not only helps in reducing stress, but also boosts energy and helps in reducing inflammation. Stress also has derogatory effect on sleep cycle and may disturb it, lack of sleep can fatigue body and worsen MS symptoms, therefore, it is important to improve sleep hygiene and maximize rest.
Apart from lifestyle modification in diet and exercise, it is also important to limit exposure to any kind of infection as infections can weaken immune system, which in turn can aggravate MS.
Symptoms For Multiple Sclerosis
The symptoms include pain, fatigue, numbness, tingling, muscle spasms, gait abnormality, cognitive dysfunction, bladder dysfunction, bowel changes, headache, emotional changes, depression, seizures, breathing problems, speech problems, dysphagia, visual changes, itching, tremors, hearing loss, dizziness, and low libido. With time the symptoms progress and take it’s due to course due to demyelination. Although, there is no permanent cure aimed at stopping demyelination, the progression of demyelination can be minimized to some extent. The treatment for multiple sclerosis is aimed at reducing the symptoms and providing symptomatic management.
Risk Factors For Multiple Sclerosis
There are various risk factors that can increase the progression of disease, hence, worsen the symptoms. For proper management, it is important to understand those risk factors. These include low vitamin D levels, blood sugar imbalance (hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia), dysfunction of gut microbes causing leaky gut, increased oxidative stress leading to dysfunction of mitochondria and depletion of glutathione, and upper cervical subluxation. All these risk factors are responsible for decreased immunity of the body that in turn aggravates the progression of multiple sclerosis.
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