Natural Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis | A Functional Medicine Approach

If you’re here looking for natural treatment for multiple sclerosis you are my kind of people! Those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis are typically told there is no known cause, and there is not much you can do besides taking medication and staying out of the heat. I’m here to tell you that there is much more that can be done to naturally treat MS!

Natural Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis – Defined

The first step in treating anything naturally is to understand the problem. At it’s core multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition. This means that the body is attacking itself. Other examples of autoimmune conditions are rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is a big clue for understanding how to go after MS from a functional medicine perspective. All autoimmune conditions have some common elements.

Every autoimmune condition is triggered by something.1 All autoimmune conditions have a genetic component that, combined with the trigger, causes the disease. For example, many autoimmune conditions are triggered by viral infections, but most people who contract these infections never get an autoimmune disease. Only those who have certain genetic types are at risk for developing an autoimmune condition from these triggers. To take this a step further, one trigger can cause, say, rheumatoid arthritis in one person, but multiple sclerosis in another, depending on the genetic differences.

The common categories of triggers of most autoimmune conditions are infections, intestinal disorders, food sensitivities and toxins. So natural treatment for multiple sclerosis starts by looking for these triggers.

Before going further, there are two conditions that are frequently misdiagnosed as MS, because that have many of the same signs and symptoms. Lyme and mold toxicity share a similar clinical picture as MS. These are not autoimmune conditions and have very different treatments. Please read my articles on Lyme and mold to see if this might be your situation.

 Natural Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis – Intestinal Problems

There are two basic ways the intestinal tract is involved in MS (and all autoimmune conditions).

The first is the intestinal tract can harbor bugs that can trigger MS. Clostridium perfringens is a bacteria that can infect the intestinal tract and has strong evidence linking it to MS2.

The second way the intestinal tract can trigger MS is when it’s damaged and “leaks” molecules into the bloodstream that do not belong there.3 This damage can be caused by infections, a bad diet and even stress. The constant flow of foreign, toxic material into the bloodstream triggers the immune system of those with certain genetics and MS is born.

Obviously, what needs to be done here is to see if these problems exist, and then fix what needs to be fixed. Tests like a stool analysis, organic acids, leaky gut, blood tests are all needed here.  Treatments vary from supplements that kill bugs, to probiotics, to nutrition to heal the gut.

 Natural Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis – Food Sensitivities

Gluten is bad news for MS.4 5 6 I can’t think of another single protein that is scientifically linked to more health problems than gluten.

Dairy has also been connected to MS7.

When it comes to any autoimmune disease, testing for food sensitivities and limiting the diet to “safe” foods is foundational to treating MS from a natural, functional medicine perspective. Foods can make the immune system do some very harmful things, and finding the foods that affect you negatively can make an enormous difference in your health.

Natural Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis – Mercury

Dental amalgams (“silver” fillings), large ocean fish and vaccines are the common sources of mercury today. Mercury is an evil, nasty neurotoxin that is very hard on the brain and nerve cells and has plenty of evidence connecting it to MS.8 9 10

Check out this amazing video on how mercury affects nerve cells.

The deal with mercury is like many of the other things I’ve written about. The people who get really sick from mercury have a genetic weaknesses making them much more susceptible to its toxic effects.

Treatment here is addition by subtraction. Get the mercury out of your body! Do you have silver amalgam fillings? Have them safely removed by a dentist trained in doing so. Don’t eat a lot of large ocean fish like tuna and swordfish. Check out this infographic on fish and mercury.

Testing for mercury toxicity is important because some people just can’t get rid of mercury very well. These people need special therapy to get the mercury out of their body.

Natural Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis – Mold

In addition to mold toxicity being misdiagnosed as MS, mold toxicity can also trigger MS.11 Mold can be sneaky. My practice is in the dry southwest, and I routinely screen my patients for mold because it is not uncommon, even here. For genetically susceptible people, it doesn’t take much mold to make them sick.

Thankfully, there is good testing for mold. If mold is found it must be taken seriously. Mold must be removed from the living/working environments and mold toxins must be detoxed from the patient.

Natural Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis – Infections

As I mentioned earlier, infections can trigger MS. Viruses like Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)12 13and human herpes virus (HSV)14 15 have a strong connection with MS.

Bacterial infections like Mycoplasma pneumoniae16, Chlamydia pneumoniae17 and Staphylococcus aureus18 have also been found to trigger MS.

Again the treatment here is to first see if any of these infection are present, then treat accordingly.

Natural Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis – Management

Another huge topic I need to address here is the conventional treatments for MS. Many of these are harmful to the body, and in the long run will not only make MS worse but likely cause even more problems. All the drugs that are freely prescribed have really harmful effects. In the vast majority of problems associated with MS, there are natural treatments that are effective and actually healthy for the body.

For example, steroids like prednisone, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin, and antibiotics all damage the intestinal tract and can cause a leaky gut….which can trigger MS. Sometime these drugs are necessary, but often there are healthy ways of achieving the same outcome that the drugs produce.

If reducing inflammation is needed, which steroids and NSAIDS are often prescribed for, there are many excellent healthy alternatives that effectively reduce inflammation. Turmeric, fish oils, bromelain, boswellia, cayenne, cinnamon, clove, sage, rosemary and even food like strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapes and pomegranates all have excellent anti-inflammatory effects.

If you have MS, and have not had any of these things looked into, I would love to help you. I welcome your questions and comments and personally reply to each one.

Show 18 Footnotes

  1. http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(17)30833-4
  2. http://mbio.asm.org/content/6/3/e02513-14.full
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856434/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19758171
  5. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0404.2004.00303.x/full
  6. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673696905401
  7. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/1067488
  8. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0048969794903271
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christopher_Dugmore/publication/12779088_Multiple_sclerosis_dental_caries_and_fillings_A_case-control_study/links/54d0a3990cf20323c2181bc1/Multiple-sclerosis-dental-caries-and-fillings-A-case-control-study.pdf
  10. http://www.chiro.org/research/ABSTRACTS/Cerebrospinal_Fluid_Protein.pdf
  11. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0361923010000560
  12. http://jem.rupress.org/content/204/12/2899?papetoc=
  13. http://www.neurology.org/content/67/11/2063.short
  14. http://www.pnas.org/content/92/16/7440.short
  15. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.10425/full
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1535858/
  17. http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Abstract/2003/03000/Infection_with_Chlamydia_pneumoniae_and_Risk_of.6.aspx
  18. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1352458510391343

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