I was diagnosed with MS last year after a MRI and spinal tap, though my first symptoms began about 6 years ago. About 1 year after my first symptom, I cut out gluten and dairy, but my diet still contained high amounts of omega 6 crap oils, legumes, and I was often stressed. I continued to have minor symptoms somewhat infrequently; I attributed my mild symptoms to cutting out gluten and dairy.
After my arm went numb 2 years ago, I adopted a variety of diet/supplement changes. First on the list was the Swank diet- the longevity studies were impressive, and since I couldn't find any other information about diet and MS, I was willing to try it. I kept VERY STRICTLY to the 15 g/less saturated fat guidelines. No symptoms while on this diet, but I was eating lots of processed sugar, which I knew wasn't healthy. I then adapted the Best Bet diet, which also had the 15g cap on saturated fat but also eliminated gluten, dairy, AND legumes. Still no symptoms. Always trying to improve upon things, I eventually went totally paleo - no grains at all, cut out the sugar, kept to the low sat fat limit.
Inthe past few months I've been raising my saturated fats - I was really nervous to do this, because I'd been asymptomatic for almost 2 years, and I was worried that disregarding the saturated fat limit might screw everything up. I started slowly - a spoonful of coconut oil a few times per week, some slightly fattier meats...I now have some days where I eat 3-4 whole eggs, bacon, ground beef, liver, kale sauteed in palm oil, cocnut oil in my smoothie (alternated with low fat/higher carb days), and still no symptoms. I am not and have never been on any of the ABC MS meds, much to the dismay of my neurologist, who is a major pillpusher. My followup MRI revealed NO NEW LESIONS in the past year.
I have also been taking cod liver oil, vitamin D (5,000 IUday), and now am experimenting with some other supplements - Pregnenolone, Carnitine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine. I have some other issues that are either separate or possibbly related to the MS (IBS, chronic fatigue) that I'm trying to work on now. I also have been working on improving a likely leaky gut, which is theorized to be a key player in most/all autoimmune disorders.
If you'd like more detailed info on any of the things I've mentioned, feel free to send me a private message - I could easily turn this post into a novel if I don't cut myself off here!
Well done, BestBetter, you sound like you are doing everything possible for your MS. I would say your chronic fatigue is definitely related to MS, it is one of the most common symptoms. Just keep a close eye on your saturated fats and if you feel an increase in your fatigue you may need to cut them back again. But you sound like you are very in tune with your body and listen to it carefully, so you will know what is best for you.
Last edited by Grizz; 08-29-2013 at 10:56 AM.
My sister in law has MS. She controls it with diet. She is not primal or paleo but...
Gluten free-mainly only eats quinoa and rice
Only organic meat-raise pigs and chickens and my FIL raises beef for them
No night shades or allums
Only organic fruits and veggies (I know she can't have cranberries and possibly tropical fruit?)
Organic nuts and seeds (she might have some restrictions here, I have only seen her with cashews and almonds)
It is a very limited diet!
Dr. McDougall Speaks Out
MS Drugs Are Criminally Expensive Failures
Association Between Use of Interferon Beta and Progression of Disability in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by Afsaneh Shirani, published in the July 18, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that, “Among patients with relapsing-remitting MS, administration of interferon beta was not associated with a reduction in progression of disability.” The investigators conclude, “The ultimate goal of treatment for MS is to prevent or delay long-term disability. Our findings bring into question the routine use of interferon beta drugs to achieve this goal in MS.”
(80% of MS is the relapsing-remitting variety. The progressive variety (20%) shows even fewer benefits from MS medications.)
Comment: Since January 15, 2009, I have been conducting a study, along with the neurology department of Oregon Health & Science University (the medical school in Portland), of the effects of the McDougall Diet on people with multiple sclerosis (MS). We have finished enrollment as of March 2012. Analysis of the data will continue throughout this year and scientific reports will follow. The study protocol requires participants to remain on their MS medications; the most common class used is called “interferon” (referred to as “interferon beta” and “beta interferon”). I have told study participants that I believe that these medications are unjustified because of their lack of benefits, side effects, and costs. I have also reminded them that study protocol requires that they continue all MS-related medications for the duration of our investigation (one year).
MS lesions occur in the brain and spinal column when the body attacks itself (an autoimmune disease). Interferon is believed to act by suppressing the inflammation that follows the attacks. Interferon beta is sold under the trade names Avonex, Rebif, Betaseron, Betaferon, and Extavia. It is given by intramuscular injection at intervals as frequently as every other day, by the patient. The cost of the medication alone is $36,000 annually. The most commonly reported side effects are inflammation at injection site, flu-like symptoms, damage to the liver and blood, depression, and seizures. If patients were honestly informed, few would agree to take interferon. And if the costs came out of their own pockets, rather than being paid for by insurances companies, no patient would waste their money on MS medications because they don’t prevent long-term disability or won’t prolong the length of their life.
Pharmaceutical companies have funded almost all previously published studies on drug treatments. Financial bias considered; results all of this investigation still shows only minimal benefits. However, this current study from the Journal of the American Medical Association appears to be free of conflicts of interest and is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This lack of influence from drug money is important for the honest interpretation of these results. And the authors say it clearly: the drugs don’t work.
Other medications commonly used for MS are Copaxone and Tysabri, with costs exceeding $42,000 annually for the drug alone. The long-term benefits from these two medications have not been established to be any better than those found with interferon. Thus, there are no good alternatives for people with MS, save one: diet.
I believe, based on nearly a half century of work by Roy Swank, MD, former head of the neurology department of Oregon Health & Science University, that the McDougall Diet will stop this devastating disease in the vast majority of patients. Hopefully, our current clinical research will confirm my belief. Regardless, the McDougall Diet costs nothing to implement, has no adverse side effects, causes loss of excess body fat, and solves multiple health problems. Every patient diagnosed with MS should be told by his or her neurologist to follow our healthy diet, but this advice is rarely, if ever, given. As part of their “faith-based medicine,” physicians believe only in the benefits of drugs, regardless of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
McDougall Newsletter: July 2012 - Favorite Five from Recent Medical Journals
Thanks for posting this valuable information. I've sent your message on to a neighbor suffering with MS, and I've added your story to my testimonial on line file to help people around the world:
Originally Posted by PrimalPumpkin