ketogenic diet Multiple sclerosis

What You Need To Know About Multiple Sclerosis

multiple sclerosis

(Nerve Cells Inside The Brain)

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects 2-2.5 million people worldwide annually. Women are two to three times more likely to suffer from MS as compared to men1.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that damages the myelin sheath. The Myelin Sheath is the material that surrounds and protects nerve cells. The myelin may develop lesions which result in a loss of nerve signals2. The loss of nerve signaling disrupts communication between nerves in your brain and your body.

When this happens, people can experience problems with vision, balance, muscle control, thinking and memory problems.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system. The body’s autoimmune system attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). However, with MS the immune system starts attacking the nerves.

Type 1 diabetes, is also considered an autoimmune disease. Very recently, the ketogenic diet has become a popular treatment for type 1 diabetes. It

is also successful as a natural treatment to maintain blood sugar, and minimize insulin dose and low blood sugar events.

Based on current research, there are many unanswered questions regarding what might actually cause multiple sclerosis. New evidence suggests that Multiple Sclerosis may be, at least in part, a  neurodegenerative disease. A neurodegenerative disease is a progressive deterioration or death of nerve cells.

New Targets for Better Health With Multiple Sclerosis

Scientists have made strong ties with the following contributing factors and the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. Oxidation/inflammation, mitochondrial and glucose dysfunction may all contribute to the decline of healthy nerve cells and the progression of MS.

Mitochondria

In almost every cell in your body, you’ll find mitochondria. They are the “powerhouse of the cell”. Mitochondria are primarily responsible for converting oxygen and food into energy. It’s this energy that allows cells to grow, divide and function.

The mitochondria’s relation to MS is due to its role in:

  1. Producing cell signaling molecules for nerves;
  2. Maintaining the myelin sheath surrounding the nerve Axon. Axon is the long thread-like part of a nerve cell where impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells;
  3. Normal function in the grey matter of the brain.

Oxidation/Inflammation

Multiple Sclerosis seems to produce an excess of ROS (reactive oxygen species) causing oxidation and inflammation in the nerve cells.  Reducing ROS and inflammation is a goal for treating Multiple Sclerosis.

Glucose Dysfunction

Less glucose uptake may significantly contribute to Multiple Sclerosis even before clinical signs of nerve damage is present. Researchers believe slow glucose metabolism may be the first step in the degeneration of the axon (the long threadlike part of a nerve cell involved with signaling other cells) and loss of nerve function.

Other Factors

Other Factors include:

  1. Gut Bacteria and its Balance (an increase of the LactobacillaceaeBacteroidaceae and Prevotellaceae families enhanced anti-oxidative pathways 4 );
  2. Cholesterol levels: LDL/HDL ratio and triglycerides have been associated with disease progression3.

Multiple Sclerosis Wrap-up

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that impairs the body’s neurological and immune system. As we gain a better understanding of the factors that contribute to MS and its progression, we can use more effective treatments to improve quality of life.

Next week I will publish, “New and Natural Treatment Options for MS”. Stay Tuned! Like my Facebook Page to receive updates on my latest blog posts.

References

  1. https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/multiple-sclerosis-overview/
  2. https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/What-Causes-MS
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282323583_Ketogenic_diet_and_prolonged_fasting_improve_health-related_quality_of_life_and_lipid_profiles_in_multiple_sclerosis_-A_randomized_controlled_trial [accessed Aug 25 2018].
  4. http://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/intermittent-fasting-may-improve-multiple-sclerosis-symptoms-through-the-gut-microbiome/

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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