Reader’s Question: A friend has had several treatments from a doctor for her newly-diagnosed multiple sclerosis. Are there any natural cures that might be worth looking into for MS?
Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: Too often, doctors treat autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis by crossing their fingers and hoping for the best. They load patients up on heavy-duty medications that come with dangerous (or even deadly) potential side effects – even though they don’t treat the actual underlying cause of the illness!
I prefer to start by identifying and eliminating triggers to the immune system – but this can be tricky, since our environment is PACKED with so many irritants.
In terms of MS in particular, we know that the factors that have been implicated can be dietary, environmental, and even viral.
For example, eating too many chemical-laden processed foods has been shown to lead to multiple sclerosis (and other severe autoimmune health issues).
So, one good thing that anyone with MS can make is to cut out processed foods. Switch to a naturally anti-inflammatory diet like Paleo, which focuses on fresh meats and produce and eliminates processed foods and added sugars.
There’s also a significant association between exposure to organic solvents and an increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease, so switch to organic paints, pesticides, and cleaning products.
Of exceptional importance for anyone with MS are a basic high-potency multivitamin plus extra vitamin C (1000 mg per day) and vitamin E (400 IU per day). Taking some extra vitamin B12 (along with folic acid) might be a good idea because it’s so important for nerve function.
Other natural options you can get pretty affordably include:
- NAC (N-acetylcysteine), which may protect nerve cells
- zinc and copper, which may help reduce inflammation
- flaxseed oil and borage oil, which are anti-inflammatory and help build strong nerves
- coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which helps provide cellular energy and protect nerves
- magnesium, which will help soothe muscle spasms.
- Siberian ginseng, a herb that can help increase overtaxed energy reserves, and
- ginkgo biloba, which acts as an antioxidant and enhances blood flow to the nerves
The final step – after treating symptoms and eliminating triggers – would be to restore the health of the immune system. I like to use an extract called paeoniflorin, as well as white peony extracts (called peony glucosides), vitamin D3, fish oil, soy isoflavones, colostrum, and probiotics, since a large portion of your immune cells reside in your gut.
While I love sharing my own integrative approaches with my readers, it’s always best to work directly with your own doctor who’s well-versed in holistic medicine.
Have a question for me? Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I may choose it to answer next!Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing