Multiple Sclerosis

what is it?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, autoimmune, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system and can, to varying degrees, interfere with the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Since identification, MS has been the subject of intense, worldwide research but still its cause and cure remain elusive. MS comes from the joining of two Greek words, ‘sclerosis’ which is a Greek word meaning “hardened tissue or scars” and ‘multiple’ meaning many, this is a very good literal translation of what happens during this disease. The disease is commonly diagnosed in people aged between 20 – 40 years of age, and commonly follows a slow progression of disability.

There are generally 4 different ways to classify MS

Relapsing Remitting MS -In this form of MS there is unpredictable relapses (exacerbations, attacks) during which new symptoms appear or existing symptoms become more severe. This can last for varying periods (days or months) and there is partial or total remission (recovery). The disease may be inactive for months or years.

Secondary Progressive MS – For some individuals who initially have relapsing-remitting MS, there is the development of progressive disability later in the course of the disease often with superimposed relapses.

Primary Progressive MS – This form of MS is characterised by a lack of distinct attacks, but with slow onset and steadily worsening symptoms. There is an accumulation of deficits and disability, which may level off at some point or continue over months and years.

Relapsing Progressive MS – This form of MS is characterised by a gradual progression of disability from the onset of the disease and is accompanied by one of more relapses.

The following diagram shows the changes to the nerve cells that happen in Multiple Sclerosis.

Natural Ways to Support Those Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis

Diet

Diet, often overlooked and thought in the past to have no effect on the disease, has now been proven to play an integral role in not only slowing the progression of the disease but also in improving many of the symptoms of MS, including fatigue, mobility and cognitive impairment. I am a qualified Whals & Prolon practitioner and integrate and tailor dietary changes into patient’s lifestyles to suit their individual needs. Those who are vegan, vegetarian or have specific dietary allergies can adopt these dietary changes.

Stress Reduction & Mindfulness

Stress reduction and incorporating meditation and mindfulness techniques has been proven to be integral in reducing the long-term side effects of chronic stress. Meditation and mindfulness techniques improve memory and cognition and help patients better cope and integrate navigating chronic disease. Long-term practices have been shown to improve neuroplasticity as well as memory and cognitive abilities.

Nutritional and Herbal Medicine

Individual diagnostic testing is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of an individuals nutritional deficiencies and requirements. One size does not fit all when it comes to treating chronic neurodegenerative diseases. That is why I find it imperative to determine what your body needs to support it in returning to health and vitality. I then use this information to individually tailor a treatment plan to best support your body. This might be a combination of herbal medicines and nutritional supplementation, if warranted. I only use practitioner only products that have been scientifically validated and tested.

Exercise

Exercise has a huge role to play in keeping those diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases healthy and mobile for as long as possible. An intervention often overlooked by natural health care practitioners, I know first hand the importance of staying active and keeping the deep core muscles of our bodies strong. I can advise on basic ways that you can integrate some movement and exercise at home as well as refer you to many experts in the field that I work with. As they say move it or lose it.

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

  • Blurred vision from optic neuritis or diplopia (double vision) due to internuclear ophthalmoplegia
  • Motor weakness presenting as fatigue, gait disturbances, loss of dexterity, or hyper-reflexia
  • Sensory disturbances such as paresthesia (tingling) or hypoesthesia (numbness)
  • Loss of proprioception and muscle coordination (ataxia)
  • Pain 
  • Lhermitte’s sign (painful, lightning-like sensations down the back elicited by flexion of the neck),
  • Dysesthesia (pain from normal stimuli such as touch), or tonic seizures
  • Vertigo (dizziness) that appears suddenly and is severe
  • Intention tremor and spasticity
  • Heat sensitivity (Uhthoff’s phenomena), in which symptoms worsen after exposure to heat
  • Urinary bladder dysfunction (e.g., frequency, urgency, incontinence, retention)
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Cognitive impairment (e.g. memory loss, problem-solving difficulties)
  • Depression or inappropriate jocularity

How Would I Get Multiple Sclerosis?

The short answer is that science is yet to definitively answer that question. There are many factors that may increase your risks of getting MS, these may include:

  • First-degree relatives with MS
  • Head trauma in adolescence increases the risk of developing MS by 22%
  • Lyme disease and its co infections can cause many of the symptoms of MS and may cause de-myelination of the central nervous system
  • Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Dairy allergy
  • Gluten allergy
  • B12 deficiency can mimic many of the symptoms of MS
  • Specific gene mutations in the methylation and detoxification pathways may make you more prone to the disease
  • Prolonged Stress
  • Exposure to the EBV virus (Glandular Fever)
  • Exposure to the herpes virus
  • MS is more common in cooler climates: the patterns of MS that occur around the world reveal that the further a population is from the equator, the higher is the incidence of MS within that population
  • Possession of immune response genes (e.g., HLA-DR2)
  • It affects more women than men, in a ratio of about 3:1
  • Caucasians are affected more than any other racial group

The following diagram is my theory of how MS may develop in an individual

Potential Risk Factors and Triggers for the Onset of Multiple Sclerosis

Pathology Testing

After we take a detailed history we will discuss specific diagnostic testing that will help us to determine the driver(s) of the disease specific to you. Some of these tests may include the following:

 

  • Vitamin D levels
  • Lyme Disease and co infection PCR testing
  • CD 57 count – determines the immune load from bacterial infections
  • Red Cell B12 & Folate Levels
  • Red Blood Cell Magnesium Levels – a common deficiency in MS and causes muscle spasms and cramping
  • Cortisol Levels – To test for pathological levels of stress
  • Saliva Hormone Testing
  • Genetic Testing
  • MTHFR Gene Mutations
  • Candida Antibody Testing
  • hsCRP – This is a marker of inflammation
  • ESR – Another marker of inflammation levels
  • Food Sensitivity Testing
  • Live Blood Analysis
  • Essential Fatty Acid Membrane profile
  • Coeliac Disease Testing
  • Hair Mineral Analysis – check for Mercury levels
  • Homocysteine levels – indicates poor methylation and folate deficiencies
  • Cytokine panel – this test looks at inflammation in the body and probable causes and treatments to reduce inflammation
  • Nutrival Testing
  • White Cell Count

 MS Treatment

How Can Fiona Help Me If I Have MS?

I take a thorough and holistic case history to access and treat the following factors that may attribute to the onset of MS:

 

  • Stress and Stress management
  • Reducing systemic inflammation
  • Bacterial infections such as Lyme disease and co-infection treatment
  • Vitamin D levels and Vitamin D receptor site imbalances
  • Support and balance of the immune system
  • Support of healthy essential fatty acid metabolism
  • Health promoting diet specific in the treatment of MS
  • Reduction of oxidative damage if present
  • Reduce latent viral load if present
  • Improve and restore a healthy microbiome
  • Reduce food antigens in the diet
  • Treat sinus infections if present
  • Support healthy mitochondrial function 
  • Address specific nutritional deficiencies that may be present
  • Improve cerebral blood flow
  • Address heavy metal toxicity if present

We will then discuss your options for treatment and support. I can tailor programs for those taking disease modifying medications, or those just wanting to try a natural alternative. What ever you decide personally decide to do with your treatment I will support you. 

Treatment is likely to include a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes, exercise, meditation and mindfulness, nutritional and herbal medicine and counseling and kinesiology.

We work as a team to make sure that every aspect of your wellbeing is supported in a journey that promotes health and vitality.

Multiple Sclerosis does not have to be as scary as your neurologist may have you believe.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by even making the simplest of changes. So call now to make an appointment, Phone:(03) 8418 1445.

I am a certified Whals Protocol health practitioner, a holistic and scientifically researched program to help those diagnosed with MS find and treat the cause and drivers of the disease.

Modern medicine has neglected some of the simplest and most proven ways to manage MS and provide adequate Multiple Sclerosis treatments.  MS treatment may include dietary changes, addressing specific nutritional deficiencies and stress management. There are now a growing number of studies suggesting that natural medicine is far more effective and safe in the early management of Multiple Sclerosis.

I work with you to find the driving factor(s) that contributed to the onset of the MS disease and then we work together to implement a plan that reduces these driving factors to slow and even halt the progression of the disease.

Here is what one of my clients with Multiple Sclerosis had to say:

“It all happened very quickly, I was sitting having dinner when my arm simply dropped to my side like it was completely paralyzed, it didn’t have feeling in it for a little while. I went to hospital and they did CT scans and examined me, and I was referred onto a neurologist. From there I was firmly in the medical system, and I went to have a MRI of the brain and quickly after that they confirmed that it was MS. As these diagnosis go, you feel angry, sad and at a loss of where to turn. The medical system wanted me to have a lumbar puncture to see if I had lesions on my spine as well, I felt uncomfortable and unsure about this procedure.

We decided to take a break in the sun overseas and then revisit the process when I came back. This was a great decision as my clarity of thought had returned and I felt that I had other options to pursue. Speaking to a friend, she mentioned Fiona Chin a naturopath specializing in MS, having being diagnosed herself, I felt that here was a person that will understand the feelings you go through and maybe have some insight in my way forward.

From there I learn that a lumbar puncture was not necessary, but that I could have an MRI of the spine, which is so much less invasive and dangerous, and this I did. The medical field still has a lot to offer and Fiona encourages all her patients to seek all manner of opinion and treatment, so you feel comfortable discussing all options with her and she is supportive of everything that you decide.

Since, being treated by Fiona, I feel that I am healthier than ever, I have more energy (not having really thought about it, over many years my fatigue and energy levels were extremely low and I often felt unable to participate in things).

The diet that she has recommended has changed my way of life, but I also feel that MS diagnosis was the impetus for me to change so many things in my life, so that I now feel much more in touch with the everyday, the joys, the pain, fun with the kids and husband, and that it has enriched how I live rather than been in any way a negative.

I can only encourage all people diagnosed with MS to seek out Fiona for a consultation, she offers so much more in explanation and provides you with a more firm way forward than any have done in the purely medical field. I feel secure now that I will be healthy and fit to raise my children, travel the world, work in my business and enjoy life even more fully, with MS as part of my life rather than a sufferer of it.”

Mary Green

Eltham Vic

Suggested Reading:

The Angel and the Assassin – Donna Jackson Nakazawa

The Whals Protocol – Dr. Terry Whals

Grain Brain – David Perlmutter

The Brain’s Way of Healing – Norman Doidge M.D