Although mainstream medicine takes the position that they don’t know what causes multiple sclerosis, also referred to as MS, those of us in the natural health field feel otherwise. Many people like this visitor are looking for alternatives, so we answer the following question:
Dear Cynthia, I’m sorry for my English. I am French of Quebec Canada. I’m looking for years for natural methods for multiple sclerosis. Please advise. Thank you. ~ Jean-Francois
Like most health conditions, what causes multiple sclerosis is not usually the result of one factor alone. There are typically many different facets that contribute to a condition, illness or disease and requires a long-term and comprehensive approach that address each of these issues.
For those of you who are unaware, multiple sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and damage to tissues in the central nervous system. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks itself. In this condition, the targeted area of attack are the tissues known as myelin sheath. Myelin sheath is a fatty material that surrounds and protects the nerve pathways in our brain and spinal cord. This ultimately leads to deterioration of the nerves themselves and interferes in your brains ability to communicate with the rest of the body.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis may range in severity anywhere from mild and uncomfortable to the complete inability to walk, write, talk or see and anything in between. They may include the following:
- Profound fatigue
- Cognitive and Memory problems
- Lack of coordination and balance
- Visual disturbance – blurring, double vision, complete or partial loss of vision usually experienced in one eye at a time and accompanied by pain in the eye.
- Unusual sensations – electro-shock, pins and needles, prickling, numbness, tingling
- Muscle weakness or numbness in one or more of the limbs, typically occurring on one side of the body at a time.
What we have here is a condition that affects the immune system and the nervous system. Like most health conditions, many of us in the natural health field believe that the bottom line for what causes multiple sclerosis usually boils down to dietary factors and environmental toxins.
The following factors have been found to play a major role in multiple sclerosis. I encourage you to read this page and be sure to visit each of the links in blue to get more in depth information on each of these aspects.
Hidden Food Sensitivity
A lot of the foods we eat today are not genetically compatible with our body’s biochemistry and result in inflammation in the body. This inflammation can trigger an autoimmune response. Some of the most common foods to be problematic for those with MS include sugar, eggs, dairy, yeast, grains and legumes.
Many people with MS have been able to significantly reduce their symptoms of multiple sclerosis and decrease inflammation and flares by identifying their hidden food sensitivities and adjusting their diet accordingly.
Regardless of which health condition you live with, the diet that our ancestors ate is believed to be the healthiest and most compatible diet for our bodies, not the junk food diet of today that is filled with sugar, white flour and other nutritionally lacking garbage. The diet that we are most genetically adapted to eat is the Paleolithic diet, which consists of unprocessed and organic meat, fish, eggs, low-starch vegetables, and a small amount of low-sugar fruits, nuts and seeds
Eating a diet that is lower in saturated fat, removing sugar, caffeine, white flour and other refined foods, additives and preservatives and rich in vegetables has been helpful for many.
Candida albicans is a yeast that can overtake the body, release a variety of toxins and result in many debilitating symptoms that are very similar to MS. When we have an invader in the body, the bodies natural response is for the immune system to attack it. It is believed in the case of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, that the immune system may be attempting to fight Candida, but ends up attacking itself in the process.
Many symptoms of multiple sclerosis can be eliminated by following a Candida diet, using probiotics and antifungals, in addition to the other issues mentioned on this page.
Heavy Metal Toxicity & Other Environmental Toxins
The accumulation of heavy metals in the body, with special emphasis on mercury is believed to be one of the major factors for what causes multiple sclerosis, as well as many other health conditions such as autism, depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, neurotransmitter malfunctioning, kidney disease, thyroid disease and many more. Mercury is a neurotoxin that damages the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system and is found most commonly in silver amalgam dental fillings and vaccines, but also in fish, cfl light bulbs, air pollution, pesticides, fabric softener, tattoos to name only a few.
Other common chemicals found in fabric softener, laundry detergent, household cleaning supplies, pesticides, herbicides, perfume, cologne, floor wax, shampoo, body soap, food additives, dish soap, etc., also contain environmental toxins that damage the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system.
For multiple sclerosis, as well as any other health condition, it is crucial to eliminate these toxins from your life as much as possible and take steps to try and detox what has already accumulated in the body.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers whose function is to relay information from one nerve cell, or neuron, to another. They are essentially the communication system within the brain and how the brain communicates with the body and are crucial for proper functioning of not only the nervous system, but all organ systems.
Poor diet, excessive stress, environmental toxins and sometimes genetics are often responsible for causing neurotransmitter imbalances or deficiencies, which results in a variety of undesirable symptoms and conditions like fatigue, depression, anxiety, addiction, memory and cognitive functioning, concentration problems, muscle problems and many more.
People with multiple sclerosis have been found to have a variety of abnormalities in their neurotransmitters, including increased levels of noradrenaline, glutamate, aspartate, glutamine, glycine and asparagine. There also seems to be a correlation between these imbalances and the severity of their neurological symptoms and progression of the disease.
It’s hard for us to say whether it is neurotransmitter imbalances that contribute to MS or vice versa, but either way, it would be prudent to provide neurotransmitter support.
Nutritional deficiencies are related to not only what causes multiple sclerosis, but pretty much any health condition that exists. We are a nutrient deficient society and this results in deterioration of the mind and body and malfunctioning of the organ systems.
A variety of supplements have been found to be beneficial for multiple sclerosis, including: alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin d3, essential fatty acids, lecithin, vitamin B12, Vitamin e and glutathione. A supplement called Resveratrol has also been very successful for some people.
However, identifying your nutritional deficiencies is important to know exactly which nutrients your body needs.
As with many health conditions, people with Multiple Sclerosis have an impaired detoxification system, so understanding how toxins impact your body and learning how to detox your body efficiently is a crucial part of the recovery path.
To sum things up, it’s important to keep in mind as you investigate each of these issues that we are all unique biochemically and even though we may share a common diagnosis, sometimes the road to improvement or recovery may be slightly different depending on our own personal circumstance. One person may have all the issues mentioned above as a contributing factor in their multiple sclerosis, while another person may have only two or three. Some symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be alleviated by removing hidden food sensitivities, while other symptoms may be alleviated with a nutritional supplement or detoxification.
Although, we may not be able to say with 100% certainty that the issues we’ve discussed are really what causes multiple sclerosis, we know for sure that those afflicted who address these issues find significant improvements in their health and some have even completely reversed the process and achieved total recovery.