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DIET: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT!

In my search for an alternative to cortisone steroids, I came across a whole host of ms Recovery Stories (Dave Q-Natural Recovery) due to dietary changes and nutrition. The first man to fully Recover from advanced ms was Roger McDougal. (Roger McDougals Recovery) His is a truly remarkable story!


I recognise now, to quote Roger McDougal, that 'I AM A BIOLOGICAL PROCESS GONE WRONG', (as is the case with an autoimmune system illness like multiple sclerosis), so as such I have to play by different rules to most other people. You may think well why should I change my diet when other people eat all kinds of unhealthy food and appear to get a way with it? Well I'm afraid the harsh truth is, having an illness like Multiple Sclerosis DOES make us DIFFERENT [FACT], and we can have tantrums about how UNFAIR this is as much as we like, but that is not going to change anything. We are much better to GET OVER IT, and GET ON WITH IT!


I NOW KNOW that, in order to give myself the best CHANCE POSSIBLE, I have to keep my diet 'CLEAN' so as to avoid the food proteins, which I believe could trigger the immune system's attack on the myelin through molecular mimicry. The way I see it is my immune system already has enough to cope with in day to day living without dealing with unhealthy foods or foods I have an intolerance to. Now that sounds like COMMON SENSE to me!


I decided to change my diet for six months and then make an assessment of how much it had benefited me (I have no interest in clinging to false hope!). After six months being no worse with ms I carried on with the dietary changes and have done ever since. To read more about the scientific theory behind how diet could affect ms go to (Ashton Embry's journal & article pages)


So where to begin with making dietary changes? A good starting point may be to have an ELISA PANEL test, a simple blood test which shows up which foods you PERSONALLY show an INTOLERANCE too. My first step, after gathering all the information I could find from the net, was to see a trained Nutrition Consultant Brian Hampton, Dip. IoN (Institute of Optimum Nutrition), Sheffield, England, The Caring Clinic, and together we set out the diet and vitamin programme. I then later had the Elisa Panel blood test (IgG Reaction), carried out by York Nutritional Laboratory. For more information visit (York Nutritional Laboratory).


I have also learnt a lot from a remarkable lady, Betty Iams, who produces a monthly newsletter for people who have ms, called 'Journey to Wellness'. You can visit her web-site at (Betty's House Life After MS) to subscribe to her newsletter or order her inspiring book, 'From MS to Wellness'.Other books I have found particularly helpful and informative are 'Allergies-Disease in Disguise', by Carolee Bateson-Koch DC ND [1], and Spontaneous Healing, by Andrew Weil MD. [2]

FURTHER BOOKMARKS ON THIS PAGE.


MY DIET-Read more about what I do & don't eat!


FATS-Read more about the fats I eat & why?


THE IMPORTANCE OF DIET-Read more about why I believe diet is CRUCIAL to ms.

MY DIET


KEY:

Red=foods I eat (goodies)

Grey=foods I avoid (baddies)


The main changes I made were to cut out all WHEAT, DAIRY, YEAST & PROCESSED SUGAR. (common food allergies) I have also cut out RED MEATS , ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, ALL PROCESSED FOOD (to avoid, ADDITIVES, PRESERVATIVES, & PESTICIDES. I buy ORGANIC food when I can afford it!), and don't add SALT to my food (if I use SALT at all in cooking I use SEA SALT!) I avoid drinks high in CAFFEINE. I've replaced the good old cup of tea/coffee with GREEN TEA and HERBAL TEAS. I drink lots of FILTERED WATER, and FRUIT JUICES (best diluted as better for nutritional absorption!). If I drink alcohol at all I drink the odd glass of WINE because I feel GOOD on it. I steer clear of BEER and SPIRITS because they make me feel bad.

OK SO WHAT DO I EAT?


I eat a lot of SALADS, FISH, and STEAMED VEGETABLES . I also eat RICE, POTATO and CHICKEN (preferably ORGANIC ), and enjoy SPICY FOOD , like (low-fat) CURRIES (I swear by a good curry!). I also eat 100% RYE BREAD, BEANS, SOYA AND NUTS in moderation (a lot will depend on the Elisa Panel test results). I only occasionally eat peanuts, because they are quite fattening, (They are actually part of the bean family.) I also love AVACADO, but again not too much of the stuff because of the (monosaturated) fat content.


I personally did not go gluten-free. I have found that I am ok with the LOW-GLUTEN GRAINS LIKE RYE AND OATS (I actually feel worse by cutting them out of my diet!).


I also eat CORNFLAKES in moderation (beware of their sugar and salt content) and make a MUESLI with MILLET FLAKES, CURRENTS, RAISINS, and lots of SEEDS, like SESAME SEED, LINSEED, SUNFLOWER SEED, PUMPKIN SEED, FLAX SEED. All Good Stuff!!! This with FRUIT JUICE makes a great snack (and stops me snacking on biscuits etc). I also sometimes eat gluten-free FARLEY RUSKS!


I avoid MALT VINEGAR but do use CIDER VINEGAR, which makes a great salad dressing mixed with OLIVE OIL and finely chopped GARLIC . I eat a lot of GARLIC & swear by the stuff!!! Amongst GARLIC'S multitude of beneficial properties, it is a mild NATURAL ANTI-BIOTIC and BOOSTS the IMMUNE SYSTEM. It helps me ward off COLDS and INFECTIONS, and avoid the vicious cycle of taking frequent courses of ANTI-BIOTICS (The Garlic Information Centre). I also take it in the form of ODOURLESS CAPSULES. I find GINGER to be another wonderful tonic, which improves digestion, contains many ENZYMES and ANTIOXIDANTS and also has ANTI-INFLAMMATORY properties.


I must stress to you that I AM NOT AN ANGEL. We are all only human so to manage the diet I have a 'HOORAH' day each week (on Saturday). I can break my diet on this day and treat myself to CRISPS, CHIPS, and some CHOCOLATE (I don't go mad but I really enjoy it!!!). I basically am as good as gold during the week and then save my treats for the weekend.

WHAT FATS DO I EAT & WHY?


The other important change for me was to a LOW-FAT DIET . I don't touch SATURATED FATS , like those in RED MEAT and DAIRY . Obviously therefore FRIED FOODS, and FOODS WITH A high SUGAR content, which are fattening, had to go!


SATURATED FATS (solid at room temperature) are sources of a fatty acid ( arachidonic acid) leading to the production of PROSTAGLANDIN 2 (PG2), which promotes inflammation, suppresses the immune system and stimulates allergic response. [1] Although inflammation is part of the natural healing process (for instance in healing a wound), inflammation running wild, as in an allergic process, is destructive. [1]As ms is an INFLAMMATORY process of the nervous system of UNKNOWN cause, I personally think it is highly likely ALLERGY may play a role for many of us. This maybe explains why people with ms benefit from a reducing their consumption of SATURATED FATS.


UNSATURATED FATS (POLYUNSATURATED or MONOUNSATURATED fats, LIQUID at room temperature) however, contain the ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFA's), LA Linoleic Acid (Omega 6 Family) and LNA Linolenic Acid (Omega 3 Family) [1]. As their name suggests these are parts of our diet as they cannot be manufactured in the body but are essential to life! They lead to the production of the hormone-like substances PROSTOGLANDIN 1 & 3 respectively, which prevent inflammation, enhance the immune system and block allergic responses. Without these EFA's the immune system cannot function well and cells and organs will degenerate, the last think WE WANT IF WE HAVE MS! [1]


EFA deficiency can also be created by chronic ALCOHOL intake, a high intake of REFINED SUGAR , a high intake of SATURATED FAT and HYDROGENATED/ PARTIALLY-HYDROGENATED/DEEP-FRIED FATS, SMOKING , the overuse of ANTIBIOTICS , and the use of CORTISONE STEROIDS!!! [1]Do you need any further convincing to avoid (where possible) any of the above?


This is why we are advised to take EVENING PRIMROSE OIL , which contains GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid), (formed in the body from LA) and which leads to the production of the inflammatory-fighting PG1. We are also advised to take FISH OIL, containing EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) (formed from LNA in the body) and which leads to the production of PG 3 also feeding the anti-inflammatory pathway.[1]


I don't however touch PROCESSED/REFINED OILS , as they contain harmful toxic ny-products. This is because POLYUNSATURATED oils are chemically unstable and react with oxygen when heated to form toxic compounds. Amongst the worst of these are TRANS-FATTY ACIDS (TFA's) that can DAMAGE DNA , and promote cancer, inflammation and the degeneration of nerves[*]. THAT WE DON'T WANT! TFA's are also found in MARGARINES & all PACKAGED and PROCESSED so REMEMBER to steer clear of anything that is labelled "HYDROGENATED" or "PARTIALLY-HYDROGENATED" vegetable oil![1]


I sometimes use UNREFINED SUNFLOWER , SESAME OIL, (good sources of LA) and FLAX OIL ( rich in LNA), but make sure I store them in a COOL and DARK place. What I use mostly, however, is EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL which is predominately MONOSATURATED fat (therefore more stable) and is extracted with gentle pressure rather than heat or solvents! It is shown to be one of the best and safest of fats (other MONOUNSATURATED fats include CANOLA, PEANUT and AVOCADO. Use these in moderation as they are quite fattening). [2]


PLEASE NOTE THAT, AS WITH ANY MAJOR LIFESTYLE CHANGE, YOU MAY EXPERIENCE FEELING WORSE BEFORE YOU BEGIN TO FEEL BETTER AS YOUR BODY DETOXIFIES. YOU MAY EXPERIENCE CRAVINGS (COMMONLY FOR SUGAR, CAFFEINE, YEAST & WHEAT) AND WITH-DRAWL SYMPTOMS. YOUR BODY WILL NEED TIME TO ADJUST TO THE NEW REGIME.

WHY I BELIEVE DIET MAY PLAY A KEY ROLE IN MS


My diet is largely ANTI-CANDIDA based. CANDIDIASIS (Candida Albicans) or 'the yeast syndrome' is a fungal over-growth in the digestive tract. The Candida can cause what is known as 'LEAKY GUT SYNDROME', by damaging the lining of the intestine, and allowing toxins & intact food proteins to enter the blood-stream, setting the stage for ALLERGY and, I believe, auto-immune system reactions.


CANDIDA (as with other yeasts, moulds, and parasites) are known to have an important connection to ALLERGY and keep the immune system in an impoverished state, the last thing we need with a condition such as MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. CANDIDA can be the under-lying problem with recurrent infections, allergies, and many other symptoms and illnesses. It commonly causes FATIGUE, BLOATING, GAS, ALLERGIES, IRRITABILITY, INABILITY TO CONCENTRATE, DEPRESSION and IMMUNE DYSFUNCTION. As many people with ms get these symptoms it seems logical to me to assume CANDIDA is an under-lying problem with ms and therefore tackle it straight away! Once again here I am using LOGIC, and COMMON SENSE.


My diet is similar to that proposed by Ashton Embry, and my reasoning behind making the dietary changes, alongside the above, are that diet appears to be the only environmental factor that correlates well with and explains the epidemiology of ms (where it exists and who gets it).


There is also plenty of ANECDOTAL evidence to support the fact that certain foods affect the onset and progression of ms. Top doctors also cannot fault the scientific theory Ashton proposes as to how this certain food proteins could trigger the immune system's attack on the myelin through molecular mimicry in certain genetically predisposed individuals.


UNTIL IT IS PROVEN THAT DIET DOES NOT PLAY A ROLE IN MS I AM NOT WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK. I may be waiting a long time, as drug companies are not interested in discovering that people can make themselves better! This is why I fully support Ashton Embry's campaign to get funding for proper scientific DIET RESEARCH TRIALS. To find out more about his efforts visit DIRECT-MS -( DIet REsearch into the Cause and Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis), a charity set-up to raise money to fund these much needed proper clinical trials into the role of nutritional factors in MS.


Almost all money is being ploughed into long-term research to find a 'cure' for ms and this concerns me because it doesn't do a lot to help PEOPLE LIVING WITH MS day to day right now. I would like to see a lot more money being used to research therapies such as dietary changes which will help us MANAGE THE CONDITION AND LIVE OUR LIVES! To use Ashton's classic analogy of crocodiles in a swamp, we are being mercilessly attacked by ms-crocodiles, and most of the money is being used to research ways of draining the swamp (a long-term project to save us from the ms-crocodiles!), but in the mean-time we we are still being attacked! What we need are to find ways of warding off the ms-crocodiles (ms therapies) and SURVIVING in the HERE & NOW! I feel therefore that a lot more money needs to be re-directed in to HANDS-ON ms-crocodile-fighting.

I AM NOT A TRAINED NUTRITIONIST. ALL THE ABOVE IS TAKEN FROM BOOKS I HAVE READ AND DESCRIBES THE DIET THAT WAS RECOMMENDED FOR ME PERSONALLY THROUGH ONE TO ONE SESSIONS WITH A TRAINED NUTRITION CONSULTANT. AS EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT I BELIEVE EACH INDIVIDUAL MUST WORK OUT WHAT DIETARY CHANGES WORK FOR THEM. PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT THIS DIET IS SUPPLEMENTED IN ORDER TO OBTAIN OPTIMUM NUTRITION.

Mail: brown.websites@gmail.com?subject=Living with MS - Diet

Please Email me and tell me how dietary change has helped you?

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