Multiple Sclerosis- natural, alternative and complementary treatments for MS – Part One.


Menopause- the change of life

One of the features of this blog is to look at conventional and alternative /natural treatments for different medical conditions.  For this blog we will focus on natural treatments for multiple sclerosis.  It is interesting to note that People with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) are often very receptive to non-traditional treatments.

It is worth mentioning that there are a number of treatments we won’t be covering, such as being stung by bees, because we can’t account for its veracity.  Asl this is the first of a two partpost  we won’t  cover everything so if you do have any ideas you wish us to mention in the next blog it would be great if you could mention them in the comments box below.

a)      Exercise is of course a biggie.  The key issue is “low impact” exercise so Yoga, Tai Chi and swimming all come highly recommended.  We covered yoga for PwMS in a previous blog which you may find of interest http://patienttalk.org/?p=571.

b)      Acupuncture.  This ancient Chinese system of medicine has been found by some people with multiple sclerosis to help with bladder control and spasticity.  Some useful information and very relevant links can be found at the National Multiple Sclerosis Societies’ web site http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/treatments/complementary–alternative-medicine/acupuncture/index.aspx

c)       Massage.  While not in and of itself a disease modifier it certain helps with stress and depression which are side effects of multiple sclerosis.

d)      Evening primrose oil.  Some studies have suggested that it may help with some of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

e)      Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO).  Simply put this means that the patient breaths pure oxygen.  Some studies have suggested there are signs of improvement while many say it has no effect.

The more eagled eyed among our readers will note that we have not covered a diet at all in this post.  This is because we plan to review various diets in a set of future blogs.

The next stage is really over to you.  It would be great if you have tried any of these therapies we could have your feedback on how they worked.  You may wish to think in terms of some of the following questions:-

1)      How long have you had multiple sclerosis and what were/are your main symptoms?

2)      What treatments have you tried?  In particular which complementary treatments have you used?

3)      How effective were those non-traditional treatments?

4)      Would you recommend any treatments to others to help with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

 

Please use the comments box below to add your thoughts and suggestions.

Many thanks in advance.


36 comments
NativeAtlantaGirl
NativeAtlantaGirl

I have chosen not to take medications - choosing to handle/heal more naturally. I have been surprised at how much I have improved without meds. It is not an instant fix, but I have been a lot more aware of my symptoms.

I have had mixed results with acupuncture - factor being the practioner. The last one I saw wanted to push a lot of "custom blended herbs" that were pre-packaged like salad dressing at a fast food restaurant.

The biggest help for me has been the AIP diet (Read the Paleo Mom's book or blog - Sarah Ballantyne) I was skeptical, but after 3wks my chronic insomnia and joint pain completely disappeared. I dropped 70# over 16 months without effort. I still have major fatigue, balance issues and cognitive issues, but it is progress.

I eat only organic/grassfed/pasture raised meat/poultry/fish/eggs. I eat primarily organic fruits/veggies - always organic wirh dirty dozen. Lots of healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil and nuts. No grains or dairy. I may or may not have a cup of organic coffee daily. No processed foods. Never been a drinker, but maybe 2 glasses of wine a month. I admit that I thought I could never be content eating this way, but I don't feel deprived at all. I have not cheated once. I used to make the substitutes like paleo pancakes or flat breads - but nowadays, I just prefer more simple foods - maybe it is laziness. My palate has changed - I cannot tolerate sweet stuff as much. I had some really ripe pineapple about 6 months in and it was just too sweet. Ditto with a tsp of local honey for allergy purposes - I had to go to a very dark honey and even then, it was just hard to take. Food isn't a controlling obsession for me.

And, for the folks who say it is too expensive - my food budget has not changed - it ranges from $250-300 a month. I get organic fruits/veggies/meats/eggs at local farmers mkts for what I would pay for regular at the grocery store. When you cut out sodas, sports drinks, Starbucks, dairy, frozen pizzas, etc - it adds up.

I take a fair amount of supplements - I read up on each one and then added it individually to my existing regime to decide if it works... I take turmeric, fish oil, spirulina, vitamin D, magnesium oil, multi-vitamin, maca, chia, hemp seeds and I just started with D-ribose which is supposed to help with fatigue (takes a month to "work" so jury still out).

I am now exercising regularly - 4-5x a week - I can push thru the workout, but still, after almost 4 months, I am exhausted afterwards. I have curled up in the backseat kf my car on several occasions.

nahomon
nahomon

A physical therapist once told me that with ms you can not over do it with exercise. The average person's muscles although sore will bounce back the next day. With the person that has ms you are dealing with the nerves so if you over do it the nerves don't bounce back so whatever you have overdone you are borrowing from the next day. Exercise is very good for you but you have to figure out when to quit.

NativeAtlantaGirl
NativeAtlantaGirl

I have been testing out my endurance - does not matter if I do 20mins of light walking or 2 hours of intense cardio - I can do it, I just hit a brick wall after I stop. Fortunately, since eating according to AIP, I have had zero joint pain - even with workouts, my issue is awful fatigue. I am at about 75% energy in the am, but by 3pm, I am worn out.

I am "training" right now for a bucket list trip of a lifetime involving 3 weeks of hiking/backpacking in Colorado and Utah, followed by a self-supported boating trip through the Grand Canyon for 17 days... At least conditioning-wise, I am in pretty good shape - I listen to my body - I can hike at my own pace and have "zero days" planned in. In the Canyon, I have a posse of great young bucks who "get" my limitations and we are planning accordingly... it has been a life dream and I want to make the most of the oppty while I am able to.

MichaelWright4
MichaelWright4


Plasmapheresis is my current accidental treatment. Combined with bicycle riding, lots of Florida sunshine, and Zippfizz( b12 infused energy powder found at walmart, 60,000 times your recommeded daily but because it's taken orally it needs to be that high). Vegan diet.

PraussieAnnie
PraussieAnnie

I don't have the discipline to follow a diet.  My ex mother in law was bedridden for 10 years with MS.  She started taking Cat's Claw and Shark Cartilage.  After two years she has been able to walk and drive!  I also take that and haven't had any new lesions in years.  I also take Evening Primrose, Viitamin D 5,000, Calcium, and Gingko Biloba.  Despite of all of this I have terrible brain fog and low energy/chronic fatigue.  Since I haven't had any new lesions the Neurologist won't put me on meds.  I feel that I am risking my health by not taking meds.  

nahomon
nahomon

Dump the meds and throw the gluten out and your energy will soon return. I had such fatique that I slept 15 hours a day and after getting rid of the gluten I got my energy back.

RosiLaraLara
RosiLaraLara

BUENO YO TENGO 49 AÑOS Y 13 CON ESCLEROSIS MULTIPLE RR

-EL NADAR HAY VECES, Q SI PUEDO POR LO DE LA RESPIRACION Y FATIGA

-LA ACUPUNTURA ES LO Q ME MANTIENE

-LA VIT,B12 ME AYUDA A AMINORAR MIS DOLORES

-LA VIT. D3 SI A CONTRIBUIDO A Q NO HAYA MAS LESIONES

-EL INTERFERON BETA 1A ME SHIZO MUCHO DAÑO, Y AUNQ LO DUDEN A MI CORAZON

nahomon
nahomon

Good for you Kim!  Do you take B-12 for myelin repair?


PraussieAnnie
PraussieAnnie

@nahomon  B-12 helps myelin repair?  Where can I find more information on this please.  

nahomon
nahomon

@PraussieAnnie @nahomonI visited Dr David Perlmutter of Perlmutter Heath Center.  He is a neurologist in Naples, FL. (He is also on the board of Dr Oz show and a brilliant doc).  He gave me B-12 injections or Methylcobalamin to do twice weekly however that became a bit pricey.  After doing injections for about a year I then started using B12 drops under the tongue (also methylcobalamin) that I received from a Naturopath. I just found the same brand on Amazon however and it is Pure encapsulations. Dr Perlmutter also has a website and a very good book out there called Grain Brain.  Good luck to you.  I wish you well.

AnnieVelez
AnnieVelez

Thank you very much @nahomon I will look into this.

VictoriaHrudka
VictoriaHrudka

@nahomon @PraussieAnnie  I wish I could see a neurologist like that here in Wisconsin...Seen a DR in Illinous  but he is a 3hr drive away and in mid 70's and do not know how long he will continue to practice ... What do you do then, looking for someone who see's this B-12 treatment good for MS .. OK so far but  ???? is it

nahomon
nahomon

@VictoriaHrudka @nahomon @PraussieAnnie 

All B vitamins are good for you.  Recommended reading Dr Terry Wahls book Protocol and vitamins from Calton nutrition called Nutreince. Avoid processed foods and other toxins to allow you cells to heal. I have been stable without ms drugs on the Wahls Protocol. No worsening of symptoms since beginning diet about 3 yrs ago. Processed foods and all the sugars,chemicals and fake foods are so bad for you also watch out for what you put on your skin. Look up products on Environment Working Group website. Best of health to you.

KimArringtonAshby
KimArringtonAshby

I use Evening Primrose Oil, Myelin Sheath Support, Vitamin D, chiropractic, massage and Rife's Beam Ray Light machine with great success. I take no drugs or shots 

and never have.

GloriaReneShirleySmith
GloriaReneShirleySmith

Hi I've had MS for thirteen years. I have RRMS not sure what PwMS is. One thing I've done is chiropractic. Going to the chiropractor releases stresses helps the nerves move through the spine

sunshine1813
sunshine1813

I suffer from a lot of back and leg pain and currently take baclofen, neurontin, oxycodone, lyrica and use lidocaine patches none of which work. Does anyone have any other recommendations?? I'm also looking for a new ms specialist because I'm really wanting to see if another Dr has any other ideas on to treat me. I'm just tired of being groggy and run down from all the meds

nahomon
nahomon

@sunshine1813 

I personally feel much more energy after removing gluten from my diet. As the energy returns add some exercise even if you are in a chair. I still use crutches to walk but feel so much better!

ianmacintosh10
ianmacintosh10

Istarted using the magnesphere.t really helped with the stiffness in my legs. Ian

BethGG
BethGG

I have Primary Progressive MS that was not diagnosed until I was 50, about 4 years ago, after a long and winding journey through many medical specialties.  I was having back and leg pain and was have problems walking.  I started getting deep tissue massage 6 years ago at the recommendation of my Chiropractor.  It helped tremendously.  It improved my walking and reduced the pain.  I highly recommend it for muscle related issues.

DarekBaksik
DarekBaksik

I want to try the stinging of bees, on myself. How do I do this. Where do I sign? I am so ready to. E-mail me at darek.baksikcomcast.net

JeanMcTaggart
JeanMcTaggart

I am 53, was diagnosed in July of this year.  I had a 2nd attack when I returned from vacation.  I had 6 steroid treatments each hospital stay.  Other than that I have not taken any medication as I am too concerned about side effects.  I swim almost everyday and walk.  I have homeopathic tissue salts for the muscle spasm.  I have had Tibetan massage, stick therapy (which stopped my body shaking), USA naturopath vitamins and supplements along with hair testing which was a real eye opener.  I switched to Dr. Wahl's Paleo diet as she has helped herself out of a wheelchair.  I meditate atleast 2x a day.  I stopped refined sugar, dairy, caffeine, grains, alcohol.  Recommend Healing MS by Ann Boroch !!!!!! I am doing very well.  I wish you all the very

marshapennartz
marshapennartz

I've had RRMS for 26 years. I didn't need treatments at all until 2005. I began falling and started using Copaxone...which not knowing was having terrible reactions...urinary tract infections and Sinus Infections. I now do water therapy 5 days a week. It really seems to help with my balance and energy. I also take 1200 Evening primrose Oil and LDN (low  dose Naltrexone). I will not ever do shots again. When I first started with the shots I had only a few lesions(4). When I stopped 2 years later I had (40) lots more!!! I did not react well. I also try to follow THE MS RECOVERY DIET I think it works if you can stick to it!! I have problems cheating....candy lover!!

nahomon
nahomon

@marshapennartz I no longer use meds either.  I recommend also reading Dr David Perlmutter's book Grain Brain and Ann Borough's healing ms.  She says sugar craving is caused by candida (which I also had).  I used to do low fat but realized that was just grains and sugar. I now do no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, add in good fats and no meds!  No more brain fog and more energy.  The water walking sounds awesome! 

RosiLaraLara
RosiLaraLara

POR LO MENOS A MI SI ME ESTA RESULTANDO Y CREO Q BASTANTE BIEN,,YA Q LLEVO 11 AÑOSCON ACUPUNTURA  CON DESCARGAS ELECTRICAS  ASI COMO HIPERTERMIA Y MELATONINA,,,CREANME, DE COMO EMPEZE, Q FUE SIN MOVERME ,MENOS CAMINAR,,ME ARRASTRABA HOY POR HOY,,HAGO UNA VIDA SEMI NORMAL,,MANEJO,HAGO SUPER,PLANCHO,HAGO DE COMER,,LAVO,TIENDO ROPA,,ETC; Y LA EXPLICACION ES Q LA ACUPUNTURA LIBERA ENERGIA Y DESINFLAMA NERVIOS PROVOCANDO LA MIELINIZACION,,,

Roxannestanbridge
Roxannestanbridge

I have tried the oxygen therapy, massage and exercise as well as reflexology but not primrose oil or acupuncture. I have to say they all calm me and the reflexology is the best for relaxing me but nothing has improved my distorted vision.

nahomon
nahomon

@Roxannestanbridge I am on a Paleo diet (no gluten, no dairy, no sugar) I got off my diet while on vacation last summer and ended up with double vision.  Got right back on my diet and it cleared up within two weeks.  Acupuncture works well for pain.  Don't forget omega 3 fish oil.  We get lots of omega 6 in our diets for most of us.  I think the oxygen therapy along with diet and maintaining calmness is great!  Be well!

AmandaLyne
AmandaLyne

Our research hows that carefully selected Borage Oil which is high in bio-avaible GLA (NB: to be bio-available it needs to have at least 40% of the GLA on the middle position (sn-2) of the triglyceride) can,  if taken at high daily dose, help manage symptoms of MS. Our research shows being located on the sn-2 position "protects" the GLA in the digestive process so that it can get into the body to deliver effect. Evening Primrose does not have this feature, nor does standard Borage Oil; high quality, carefully selected oil does. It's really important for sufferers of MS to understand that it's the mix of quantity, quality and long term use that makes it worth taking.        

DreamMakerCQ
DreamMakerCQ

I was dx in 2008 but she figures I've had it for years & years.  Prior to that I was treated for years by my Chiro for Fibro with acupuncture...which was helping but not completely.  I am now on Copaxone shots which have worked but I also take a great many supplements...too many to list. Some of the main are...10-20K IU of vit D/ day (less when I'm in the summer sun), 50mc of Zinc daily...and my neuro just suggested additional magnesium * and valerian...which I have yet to buy.  

*If you take a magnesium supplement, you also need to pay attention to your ratios of calcium, vitamin K2 and vitamin D, as these nutrients work together synergistically....do your own due diligence but check out dolomite


ShannonHerberg
ShannonHerberg

I thought water exercising helped, since I had foot surgery December 30, 2010. I haven't been able to run since, and sometimes I can't lift my foot at all. I used to be able to lift a good amount with my legs, and now I can't even lift my foot sometimes.

cindee1987
cindee1987

I was dx in 97 with MS after my fourth relapse over a 3year period. I was given Avonex and have remained on since then (with a few breaks). Symptom free basically. I do exercise (run) and try to eat fairly clean. Always interested in what others are doing and updates on research and meds.

pastryrocks
pastryrocks

Have had RRMS for 8-10 years now but was only diagnosed just over two years ago. Was told that I would have 2-3 good months and 2-3 bad months by a Nero who spoke with 4 or 6 other Nero’s about my MRI. Was then sent to a Nero who specialty is with MS, and he had the lumbar test done, and then gave me a list of drugs to research and then to choose which one to begin with, the CRAB drugs. After doing the research I choose none, what I found was at best a 33-35% chance that one could work. And then tons of money and some side effects that could actually be worse than the disease. No thanks.

Have been under the care of a Naturopathic Doctor on and off since the mid 80’s. To treat my RRMS done a boat load of acupuncture, I found it to be very beneficial, done many different things under the care of the Naturopathic Doctor to help clean out my body and to lower the level of inflammation. Even have done Intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy with a great deal of other goodies, including glutathione at the end.

Since my big first attack, having every MS symptom except eye issues, which lasted for almost 3 months, I have had only a few minor attacks since then, the worst lasted about a month, had some eye issues with that attack, but nothing, not even close to the severity of the first attack. Lost use of one arm, walked with a cane, bathroom issues, freezing cold in 30˚c weather, bear hung in which I thought I would not be able to breath, and much more…

About 6-8 months after I was diagnosed, I had to find a Doctor to prescribe me Low-dose naltrexone (LDN), my MS specialist would not prescribe LDN. I take this nightly on an empty stomach, and believe the LDN has been helpful. Of course not positive about the LDN, but am positive about the how beneficial both the acupuncture, IV hydrogen peroxide therapy and the other things I do under the care of the Naturopathic Doctor.

And then of course I have radically altered my diet, cut out fake fats, cut out inflammatory foods, and try to eat clean as I can afford or acquire, almost Paleo. Lost 30 pounds so far, and feel better now than I have in the last ten years or so.

There has been many naysayers about my Naturopathic Doctors treatment and the money I spend, I have a family member who is a RN, and then many others who care about me either express deep concern about my treatment or right out like the RN laugh at me. And then all the malarkey on the internet about what is called ‘alternative’ medicine. My prospective is rather simple, empirical evidence will always win over those who have something to gain from my disease. Best of luck BigPharma and the CMA/AMA Doctors, I have little use for you.

marshapennartz
marshapennartz

@pastryrocks I also use Naltrexone and a homeopathic Doctor. He just retired so I have to find a new one. The magnesium really helps with my muscle cramps in my calves when I wake up. I take 2 400mg twice a day. I use Bee Pollen which is high in B vitamins. I take b complex and b12. I use silver biotics every day to wart off infections. If I start getting sick(sore throat sneezing) I start taking it 3 times a day and 5000 mg of Vitamin C and 3 caps of elderberry every 3 hours. Works like magic!!

nahomon
nahomon

@pastryrocks I totally agree with what you are doing.  I do Paleo diet, no meds but supplements and physical therapy and although I walk with crutches I have had no relapses since.  I was on low fat but realized that was mostly grains and sugar.  I have since added in good fat such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc and I eat mostly 70% vegetables and 30% lean protein from chicken, fish and small amts of grass fed beef and venison. I like your thinking...continue what you are doing.  Be well!