Ask The Pharmacist: 4 intriguing solutions for multiple sclerosis and pain
The pain associated with autoimmune diseases is very difficult to treat. Nerve pain is one of the most difficult, tragic types of pain a person can experience and it’s common in multiple sclerosis or MS for short.
MS is still poorly understood, even though there are treatments available. It’s becoming clear that full body (systemic) inflammation is at the root of autoimmune disorders including MS. The body is on fire. Contributory factors might include a food allergen, environmental toxin, The Pill, or pathogen.
Regardless of “how,” the pathology is such that there’s a loss of regulatory T cells and a breakdown of your intestinal barrier leading to more permeability and the leakage of undigested food proteins from casein and gluten. There’s a breakdown in the barriers that surround your brain and spinal cord. Histamine goes up which adds to pain and inflammation.
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In the meantime, here are four natural ways to put the MS fire out:
It’s top of the list because animal studies show how well it reduces nasty pro-inflammatory compounds like IL-17 which is elevated in folks with MS. We also know the painful symptoms of MS occur, in part, from demyelination which causes a failure in the conduction of electrical impulses. This is akin to an electrical cord that gets plugged into the outlet, but the cord is missing the outer wrapping so you can see the wires inside. It hurts when plugged in! Cinnamon helps with pain, and surprisingly it might reduce levels body ammonia too.
2. Balance and eye movement exercises
People with MS who do balance and eye movement exercises might feel more steady on their feet. Participants in a study were given computer-based eye movement and balance tests, as well as at-home balance and visual stability was improved.
3. The Mediterranean diet
Just take me to Greece! The Mediterranean diet is famous for heart health, as well as a reduced incidence of cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. A diet like this provides nutrients and healthy fats which support intestinal health while creating more of that protective myelin. The Mediterranean diet was studied on MS sufferers and the results were very positive.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is useful in modulating and balancing the immune system. Patients with higher vitamin D in the first year of diagnosis had a slower rate of progression. They faired out better long term. In other words, the better the D status, the slower or milder the symptoms for that person. By the end of the 5 year study, the patients with vitamin D levels above 50 had fewer new active brain lesions.
Pretty awesome considering sunshine is free!
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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.