I have one client with MS at the moment and she swears by Pilates (what I teach) and yoga. I know she is still on meds, but would never tell her she had to eat a certain diet. She knows I am eating primally and have lost weight, but will only share if asked. Her Neurologist got her doing Pilates, so some Neurologists can be good and have a positive effect. I am just so sorry you had to deal with a moron.
There is a TED talk from a doctor that was diagnosed with MS and she espouses the virtues of primal eating for MS. She has basically put herself in remission with the primal diet. I know she eats fats, offal, proteins, colorful veggies and fruits. Her kids also eat this way as well. I also personally know a family where a mother and 2 of her 3 adult kids have MS. The mother and daughter(both have MS) both follow a primal lifestyle and the one son who had MS didn't. The son is no longer with us. If I could remember the name of the doctor who did the TED I would post her name. All I know is that the doc is female and has a rather deep voice. I'm sure if you googled it, you could find it. If not, I will look it up when I get home and post it for you. You need to show this to your doctor ASAP.
I was curious about this as I am a child of a parent who had MS. My father basically followed a primal diet growing up and after he left home, he didn't follow it perfectly. I keep thinking the change in diet could have accerbated his problems.
Here is the TED talks link [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc]TEDxIowaCity - Dr. Terry Wahls - Minding Your Mitochondria - YouTube[/url]
Don't worry, all the sugars he consumed beforehand made him so emotionally unstable. Poor thing.
I do agree that he's likely vegan himself. No responsible Dr would ever recommend vegan diet to anyone, so I suspect there's some vested personal interest.
Especially a neurologist!
Seriously, you would think the biggest fans of good dietary fat (including animal) would be people that focus on brain health all day!
It shocked me too. It sure is a huge readjustment to suddenly be reasonably healthy, when even brushing my teeth didn't count as an everyday essential anymore.
The amount of food my body seems to want these days is an adjustment as well. I still tend to undereat, when my body could probably still use quite a bit more for fixing all the stuff that's still wrong. I definitely notice the difference in my energy levels.
I also am diagnosed with MS. My first symptom (optic neuritis) was about 6 years ago, but I wasn't formally diagnosed until about 2 years ago. I resisted my neurologist's attempts to force me onto one of those terribly toxic ABC drugs for MS and instead chose to go the route of diet. I initially cut out gluten, dairy, and then later legumes (including soy).
After those dietary changes, I continued to have some symptoms, but they were relatively minor. Years later, I followed the Swank diet (but I disagreed with his allowance of crappy wheat products and low-fat dairy, so I did sort of a gluten/dairy/soy free version of Swank, which I later discovered was called 'The Best Bet Diet'. I was still eating HFCS and omega 6 crap oils at that point, though.
I actually think it's impressive that you found one of the few neurologists who has ever even heard of the Swank diet, and suggests it, because I think that many of them are in some way on big pharma's payroll (based on how persistently they push toxic drugs with no long term studies done, and which reduce symptoms in a 1/3 of patients at best while causing a host of even more serious side-effects) and are unwilling to admit that diet could ever play any kind of role in brain/nervous system/immune health.
While I don't agree with some of it, I can understand why your doc would recommend it; it's basically the only diet that has been shown to prevent people with MS from getting worse, and is backed by a 50+ year longevity study, which is unheard of as far as diet studies go. It's really the only diet out there with any kind of research behind it, which is why I decided to follow my version of it.
However, you did quote some pretty heinous lines from this doctor that are just blatantly false (as I'm sure you know already). He is clearly misinformed, and also someone who is not interested in learning, so it's probably not worth your time to try to correct his mistakes in basic human evolution and digestion.
Don't forget something very important; he works for you. You are paying him. If you're not satisfied with his care, you can choose someone else. Or, you can choose to see him only to periodically keep tabs on your lesion situation, and let his nonsense go in one ear and out the other. You have the power in this relationship, and you can choose to listen to his garbage or not. Don't let his power trip become your problem.
Anyway, time to get off my anti-doctor soapbox. When I learned about paleo, that's when the HFCS and crap oils got taken out of the diet. after about 6-8 months of paleo, I slowly started increasing my saturated fat (which I had been REALLY scared about doing, since the Swank Diet is all about low sat fat). I continue to have no relapses or new lesions.
My philosophy on autoimmune disorders, like MS, is that they are the body's attempt to tell us that we need to make some changes, because something we are doing is hurting us. The tricky part is to figure out what needs to change. For me, it was both diet and stress, which coincidentally happen to be two of the main triggers for autoimmune flares. For me, the stress part of the equation involved ending an unhappy, long-term relationship and moving to a more affordable, laid-back city. As important as I know diet is, I actually think that making those serious life changes were even more important, because I was living in a way that was slowly suffocating me, and I think my body was trying to get me to wake up and realize it.
Had I listened to my gastroenterologists, I would have never cured my IBS (which I had for years, and was told was incurable). And had I blindly followed my neurologists, I would be taking toxic immune-suppressing drugs, and probably be intermittently paralyzed.
I read a great analogy of autoimmune disorders somewhere years ago that basically said that autoimmune disorders are like smoke detectors in a house that is on fire. They alert you to the fact that there is something majorly wrong. Your goal should be to put out the fire, not pull the batteries out of the smoke detector because it won't stop beeping. But the medical community doesn't realize this, and they are so focused on pulling out the batteries (i.e. prescribing toxic drugs that suppress the immune system) that they never spend any time thinking about how to put out the fire (i.e. correct the underlying problem that is causing the immune system to attack itself.)
We all have the power to heal ourselves, and it's becoming increasingly more important that we accept this responsibility rather than blindly follow doctors who have demonstrated that they can't cure us.
Sorry you've had such a bad experience, sounds like the neurologist was a pushy vegan himself!!
I see a neuro for migraines and despite my experiences, he insists diet isn't a factor. Incredible, right? So i am quietly improving my health my way :) It's a shame he couldn't take on board what i had to say though, particularly when an unprocessed diet could really help some of his patients.
If you go there again and the topic come up, make sure to bring an extra book on the subject with you. You can go all 'Hey, I just happen to be reading this book I have in my handbag, but I think you need it more. You are responsible for my care and I want you to be educated about my dietary choices before pushing anything on me, or I won't trust you as my doctor because it kind of makes you look line an uneducated ass'. Should work.