multiple sclerosis

  1. Here’s why you should indulge in a weekly fish feast

    One day you're feeling swell... and the next you're overcome with fatigue, numbness, and pain.

    When you've got multiple sclerosis (MS), it seems like the only certainty is uncertainty.

    You never know when a flare-up will strike!

    And to make matters worse, we don't know exactly what sets off this neurodegenerative disease -- or how to cure it.

    But according to a new study, there's one CONSTANT you can add to your life -- or rather, to your dinner plate -- that puts the brakes on MS.

    And it's a rather tasty one, too.

    I'm talking about FISH.

    In the study, which was recently presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers looked at the dietary habits of about 1,100 people, half of whom had MS or an early hallmark of the disease called "clinically isolated syndrome."

    And something really fascinating emerged about the biggest fish eaters: Those who ate fish at least once a week were 45 percent less likely to develop full-blown MS than those who ate less fish.

    That means that they cut their MS risk nearly in HALF just by enjoying a weekly seafood meal!

    And the same reduction in risk held true for those who ate slightly less fish -- one to three times a month -- but who supplemented with fish oil.

    The theory is that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish (especially fatty fish like salmon and mackerel) -- called DHA and EPA -- have a protective effect that tamps down inflammation.

    You see, even though we don't know what gets the ball rolling on MS, we do know that its symptoms are caused by an immune system that’s gone haywire and started attacking the nervous system as it would an infection.

    And that immune response sets off inflammation that may not quit, wreaking havoc on your nerve cells and saddling you with everything from walking difficulties to brain fog.
    But the omega-3s in fish are such potent anti-inflammatories that they can put out these flames... and put the kibosh on MS in the process. They’ve even been shown to beat back heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease!

    So, why not serve yourself more "fruits of the sea"?

    Fish are delicious baked, steamed, or grilled. Just stay away from fried fish and those breaded sticks and sandwiches.

    Choose wild-caught varieties, which will have higher levels of omega-3s than farmed fish.

    But if you're just not partial to the taste, fish-oil supplements are widely available at health food stores and online.

    And if you're looking to ease the symptoms of MS, studies have shown that vitamin D and the "sleep hormone" melatonin can both tame flare-ups.

  2. Vitamin D eases multiple sclerosis

    Beat MS with the "sunshine" vitamin

    Need something to lift your spirits?

    Take a bit of advice from that old "flower child" anthem... and let the sunshine in!

    You may have never been a hippie... and the dawning of the age of Aquarius may have come and gone decades ago... but there's nothing that can put a pep in your step quite like letting that sun shine on in.

    In fact, ANYTHING that gets you more vitamin D -- a.k.a. the "sunshine vitamin" -- is going to boost your mood.

    But it does more than that, because this hero vitamin can work miracles when it comes to fighting disease -- and the latest research shows how it can help those struggling with multiple sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease that can become tragically disabling.

    Just recently, French and Dutch researchers confirmed that vitamin D can not only decrease relapses in MS patients, but also reduce brain lesions.

    The French researchers found that giving patients a high dose (100,000 IU -- 20 times the recommended dose) of vitamin D every two weeks for nearly two years reducedrelapse rates by 60 percent.

    Dutch researchers, on the other hand, discovered that giving MS patients just 14,000 IU of vitamin D a day for nearly a year reduced their brain lesions by 32 percent, as shown on their MRI brain imaging scans.

    Now, if you were to ask me which one nutrient would make the biggest difference in your life, vitamin D would be among my very top choices. I've written a lot about its powerful effect on everything from cancer and heart disease, to healthy bones, diabetes, and fatigue.

    So, I'm not surprised it has an impact on MS, too -- especially knowing that there's a connection between MS diagnosis and lack of sun exposure!

    I always tell my patients to spend time outdoors whenever the weather permits. That means five to 30 minutes in the sun, at least twice a week, between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    And skip the sunscreen during that time - products with SPF 15 or higher decrease your body's ability to convert UV rays into vitamin D production by 99 percent!

    Keep in mind that your body's ability to make its own vitamin D decreases as you get up there in years, so you need to find more ways of getting that "sunshine."

    You can also find vitamin D in foods like fish (particularly salmon, catfish, and sardines), beef liver, egg yolks, and mushrooms. You may be surprised to find out that dairy actually isn't a very good source of D.

    To be on the safe side, I recommend taking a high-quality supplement of vitamin D -- specifically, vitamin D3, which is the natural version (as opposed to D2, which is synthetic).

    You can find it at your local health food store, pharmacy or online for just pennies a day.

  3. Control multiple sclerosis safely and affordably

    Most doctors treat autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis with what I call "cross-your-fingers" medicine. But that approach can come with dangerous side effects at a pretty high price, without even treating the underlying cause of the disease. Here are some natural alternatives that can help you control your symptoms... and feel better.
  4. Multiple sclerosis symptom onset earlier in darker climes

    The symptoms of multiple sclerosis tend to appear earlier in people who live in climates with less sun exposure, adding to the multitude of reasons why you need to get as much natural sunlight as you can -- even in the winter.
  5. 10 days that can ruin you forever

    If all you get from a 10-day course of antibiotics is a case of the runs, count your lucky stars -- because the side effects of these drugs can be worse than anyone ever thought.
  6. Don't trust new Gardasil 'study'

    You'd have to be on the Merck payroll to believe the company's dangerous HPV vaccine is actually safe. And sure enough, the latest study to make that claim was funded by none other than Merck itself.
  7. Glimmer of hope in MS battle

    If you're battling multiple sclerosis, you know the drill: When the mainstream isn't flat-out ignoring your condition, they're offering dangerous half-treatments that barely work.
  8. The creepy-crawly way to beat MS

    Researchers around the world have been testing parasitic worms as a treatment for multiple sclerosis -- and as crackpot as that may sound, the early word is pretty promising.
  9. Dopey ruling on medical marijuana

    In the latest defense of Big Pharma's best-selling pain meds, the Department of Justice ruled that marijuana has no medical value at all, can't be used safely and has a high potential for abuse even when given under a doctor's supervision.
  10. MS charity makes donation to drug company

    I don't care if it's a cancer fund, a heart association or even a "fun" bike ride for MS, most of these organizations -- the medical ones, anyway -- work so closely with Big Pharma that they're practically drug company divisions.

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