ketogenic diet Multiple sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis Natural Treatment

multiple sclerosis natural treatment

Novel Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

Emerging evidence links Multiple Sclerosis to manageable lifestyle factors and not just an autoimmune disease. In my previous blog, “What You Need To Know About Multiple Sclerosis,” I explain how glucose dysfunction, oxidation/inflammation, gut health, and cholesterol are involved in the progression of MS. What seems most promising is the ketogenic diet helps to correct each of these issues. Therefore, it can help to protect against the progression of Multiple Sclerosis.

There are natural treatments available that can help improve the quality of life for people living with multiple sclerosis. A ketogenic diet along with fasting and nutritional supplements seem to be effective treatments for Multiple Sclerosis.

 

A Ketogenic Diet & Fasting[1] Are Natural Treatments For Multiple Sclerosis

Because of the association with blood sugar, inflammation, gut health and cholesterol, what you eat should take priority as a natural treatment for multiple sclerosis.

A ketogenic diet is optimal for any medical condition involving blood sugar. This is because your body triggers an unhealthy blood sugar response when eating carbohydrates and sugar.  Simply avoiding these foods will help avoid unhealthy glucose spikes and inflammation. While eating nutrients from protein, fats, and non-starchy vegetables will help fuel the nerves via fat, not glucose.

The ketogenic diet is currently recognized as a valuable remedy with blood sugar conditions and neurological diseases such as epilepsy[2]. It has also been shown to help reduce inflammation (via ROS  and uncoupling proteins) and increase energy in the nerve cell suffering from lower glucose uptake [3].

In fact, a ketogenic diet has been shown to contribute to increases in the antioxidant (glutathione) and anti-inflammatory activity (from cytokines).

 

Intermittent fasting (IF)

Intermittent fasting may also be helpful as part of a therapeutic diet and play a part in being a natural treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.

Recent studies conducted by  Dr. Laura Piccio from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, support how fasting plays a positive role with MS.

IF reduces inflammation and regulaties hormonal and immune responses[1] via:

1.      fewer unhealthy axons in the spinal cord,

2.      reduced inflammation-producing cells,

3.      increases in immune support in the gut,*

*specifically, intermittent fasting enriched the Lactobacillaceae, Bacteroidaceae, and Prevotellaceae gut bacteria and enhanced anti-oxidative metabolic pathways. The study details are below.

A 15-week pilot study of was conducted comparing 8 MS patients who ate their usual Western-style diet for 15 days and 8 MS patients who followed an alternate day fasting regimen.

Intermittent fasting in MS patients induced an abundance of the four main types of gut bacteria that seem to be typically lower in patients with MS.

The researchers conclude that the normal balance of gut bacteria may be protective and reduce MS symptoms. For this reason “IF may be another multiple sclerosis natural treatment”.

4.      decreased serum levels of leptin,

5.      protection of the body’s autoimmunity (increases in adiponectin, corticosterone, and b-hydroxybutyrate).

 

A Personal Triumph Over Multiple Sclerosis

Dr. Terry Wahls, a clinical professor at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, WAS  a  typical Multiple Sclerosis patient.

She was bound to a wheelchair and was using chemotherapy to help slow down her advancing MS symptoms. Dr. Wahls used her knowledge of functional medicine combined with a ketogenic diet (KD) to cure herself of the disease. She now bikes for eighteen miles in a single day[4].

Her book entitled, “The Wahl Protocol” describes how she uses lifestyle as a natural treatment for MS.

Supplements Are Multiple Sclerosis Natural Treatments

Like diet, supplements can also improve symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Some of these multiple sclerosis natural treatment supplements are:

Vitamin D

Results of two research studies show that Vitamin D reduces the tendency of lapses in MS and decreases inflammation. In another study, the rate of MS attacks was lowered to 27% when given Vitamin D. This suggests that Vitamin D may be a cost-effective additional natural  treatment for MS [5].

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Clinical studies and patient experience seem to support the use of Omega-3 fatty acids as long-term nutritional therapy that reduces the risk of MS by 44%. Omega-3 FAs offer a neuroprotective shield in the aging process and thus can help reduce inflammation related to MS [6].

You can also increase omega-3 intake by eating these foods: flaxseed, fish and fish oils.

Selenium and Vitamin E

People suffering from MS usually have very low levels of glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that can lessen the progression of symptoms for MS patients.

Research conducted in Denmark focused on increasing levels of glutathione in MS patients with a combination of 2,000 mcg of selenium, 2g Vitamin C, and 480mg Vitamin E once daily for 5 weeks.  Glutathione levels significantly increased by five times[5].

N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

Another multiple sclerosis natural treatment that increases your body’s levels of glutathione is N-acetylcysteine (NAC) . NAC can help reduce inflammation caused by MS[5].

Lipoic Acid

Lipoic Acid is known as a powerful antioxidant. Currently, lipoic acid is being studied to determine if it can actually change the behavior of immune cells. Researchers believe lipoic acid may help prevent attacking cells from damaging the myelin in the nerve cells [7].

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a main energy source for muscle contraction. You will find CoQ10 in organ meats, grains and oily fishes like salmon. CoQ10 as a multiple sclerosis natural treatment can help improve fatigue and depression[8].

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is a herbal supplement that may improve mental function. Physicians frequently prescribe this herbal supplement to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease to improve the way their brain works. It may work the same way for MS patients with the same results[9].

Curcumin

Curcumin, is found in the Indian spice turmeric. It is a well-known for its effects to lower inflammation. Lowering inflammation can help reduce the severity and the duration of attacks  in MS[5].

Biotin

Biotin, is a B complex vitamin that supports nerve cell metabolism. You’ll find biotin in these foods: nuts, egg yolks, liver, brewer’s yeast, Swiss chard. However, it may be impossible to get the amount you need just be eating food. You may need to use a biotin supplement for the body to generate more myelin[10].

Multiple Sclerosis Natural Treatment Wrap Up

Multiple Sclerosis Natural Treatments are available. They are safe and likely more effective than current therapies. A ketogenic diet and IF seem to work directly with the body to help protect against cell damage and the inflammation associated with MS.  Supplements work to enhance the ability of what you eat to help improve your quality of life as you live with MS.

 

 

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.

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