First let’s think about all the reasons you might not want to be bothered by Diet. With a major health problem life is difficult enough without depriving yourself of the pleasure of eating. Food resonates with family, security, comfort, friendship, sharing. If you can’t eat how other’s eat, this becomes another factor of exclusion. Often people offer a treat as an act of generosity in order to give pleasure, how can you refuse that without offending? Children affirm their character by choosing what they want to eat, food becomes a central facet of one’s identity.
Now look at the map of MS incidence. Northern (Protestant?) Europe and North America are particularly afflicted. But the diets in these areas emphasize the“suspect” Neolithic diet of Wheat, Meat and Dairy. Southern Europe is less affected with it’s olive oil, vegetable, fish based diets. But it is especially Japan which gives the good example because their diet is founded on rice, fish, vegetables, and seaweed. Though they have a hard working, “Success Stress” culture, their diet protects them.
So I am going to propose what I'll call the "Paleo-Macrobiotic" Diet which contains the essentials of a program I followed with great success in the 1980's.
Give yourself a deadline. And monitor your progress, and your setbacks. It may take time.
When I healed the first time beginning February 1984 it took me a year to recover lost function. I began to experience the pins and needles, numbness and pain of the early onset, but at the same time everything began to work again. This confirms a central observation in natural healing, one passes through the same symptoms in reverse of the original illness. But it took a good year for real results. So this time (January 2012) I decided to give myself a year. Then I thought I would make it 18 months, that is to say only one summer and the other months spring, fall and winter. So I’ll go at least as far as June 2013.
Now, depending on the results, I may well continue. But by giving yourself a time frame, it doesn’t feel like such an ordeal. It’s like being confined for a period of time, then afterwards you’ll be free. This past January I didn’t expect any “results” for at least a year, but after 2 months the muscles on the outside of my right leg began to cramp which meant that the nerves were working again. I can bend my knee while on my back by working the side of the thigh. Will there be any more improvement? I don’t know. My dream is that I retrieve more function in my right hand which will allow me to work the arm.
I had been constipated since birth and know this is a trait inherited from my mother’s father (see Chapter One on Pages) In 1984 before I de-toxed I had the most repulsive smelly flatulence imaginable. My gut must have been really rotten. By September 1984 after 6 months on the diet I developed diahrrea. My Kinesiologist was delighted, saying this was a sign of detoxification. And then (with the help of my Chinese acupuncturist-herbalist) my intestines began to function normally for the first time in my life. About 5 months later my nervous system regained lost function. Question? Does MS cause the Constipation problem or does the C problem cause MS?
Expect to go through detoxification akin to withdrawal from a drug. It seems so unfair. There are those who are addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine, heroin and I’m addicted to WHEAT and COFFEE. The first time I withdrew from these very ordinary substances, I went through a bit of hell the first 2 or 3 days. Apparently it takes at least 5 days to free yourself from food intolerances. (These aren’t the same as blood tested “allergies.”) I can’t imagine going through a real drug withdrawal.
Those whose MS onset is fairly recent, who are young, can expect real recovery UNLESS they have a serious structural stenosis. (Even so whatever the situation, it’s worth a try.)
Make it easy. (In the late 1960’s I tried a Macrobiotic diet, but the recipes in the book I was using were unnecessarily complicated so I stopped.) When dieting butter looked like a repulsive yellow greasy blob.
So here is a basic diet. Some may have individual intolerances or allergies I can’t account for in a general diet. Consulting a Kinesiologist Naturopath might be a good idea.
Combine the essentials of Dr. Wahls’ diet found on You Tube at TEDxIowa City- Minding your Mitochondria, (now apparently called the PALEO DIET) and the Japanese Macrobiotic diet found on Wikipedia . (Copy below).
Varied Vegetables, some raw, some cooked. (Those with weak stomachs may need to lightly steam the vegetables.)
Supplement the vegetables with raw freshly extracted vegetable juice using greens as well as “colours” like carrots or beets. Try variety. I drink 1 to 2 cups a day (‘up to 12 cups a week.) Buy a powerful juicer, the more powerful it is the easier the extraction. (I’m using a Phillips purchased in France). One caution. Those subject to diarrhea may not be able to tolerate 2 cups a day. Adjust as needed.
Grains without Glutens: Rice: Buckwheat: Millet: Corn are OK for me. (When I healed in the 80’s there were no genetically modified crops. I don’t know if they would make a difference now.)
Buy Gluten free bread. Rice or Corn cakes: Japanese rice Mochi cakes are excellent, pop in the oven they puff up to become hot and chewy,delicious. Try with almond butter.
For protein emphasize wild Fish: Raw fish in Sushi is excellent (avoid raw Salmon) but cooked fish is better than meat because the latter has saturated fat. One animal protein a day. I know the vegans won’t like this, but I can’t survive without one serving a day and I have an intolerance for soybeans.
Farm raised poultry and eggs. If you eat red meat always eat a raw vegetable with it.
Avoid or greatly limit saturated Fat (found in red meats, butter etc.) No Pork , too fat. Also avoid nitrites in treated meats such as sausages, bacon. Avoid chemical food additives and processed food in general. No aspartame.
Organ meat once a week.
Seeds and Nuts. Walnuts are an outstanding source of Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. Almond nut butter, nut butters in general. (I am forbidden peanut butter)
Some fruit, but not too much. Papaya once a week is excellent for digestion. I was told to avoid Avocados. I Don’t know why.
Cook with Olive Oil (not butter). (Avoid Safflower Oil) Sunflower Oil is OK..
No Lactose. Yoghourt is OK, because it is without lactose. From an intolerance point of view I am allowed Brie cheese and Camembert, but not too much because of the fat. Some nutritionists forbid dairy altogether, but I think some yoghourt and non lactose milk for tea is fine.
I was supposed to eat 12 meals a day in one cup increments. I admit I don’t do that now. There
is probably a good reason to be nourished regularly all day long.
Lots of fresh water.
And of course no coffee, no alcohol (My brain must lack the myelin insulation because wine penetrates directly into the nervous system from the blood. On the other hand so does the veggie juice – for the better.) I do drink tea.
For sweets try dried fruit, or fruit in general, bananas.
To correct Dr. Wahls' PALEO DIET I would reduce the red meat intake to no more than once a week and once a week organ food. Always eat a raw vegetable when you eat the meat. Fish is the best protein, and barnyard raised chicken. I would add non gluten grains, nuts and seeds, beans and the veggie juice to her suggested diet.
Now we get to the tricky part. Dr. Wahls doesn’t say how and when she stopped taking the MS medication and how she got off of it, what effects the withdrawal had. She gives no advice or warning as far as I can tell. She probably does not have a vein stenosis. Her blood reflux, or poor blood/brain circulation, must have been due to stress compressed veins which were relaxed by the non toxic diet, and then her brain healed thanks to the nourishment of this diet. ALSO, in addition to diet she stimulates fluid circulation through the spine/brain by using an EMS - Electronic Muscle Stimulation device on her lower back.
Here I need to explain the basic principles of Muscle Testing which were derived from Chinese Medicine theory and practice. I received a diploma as an Acupressure Massage Therapist in 1987 from the Berkeley Acupressure Institute, and though I only practiced on myself, family and friends. I know what I’m writing about. (I also took several workshops from Dr. Jimmy Scott on his “Health Kinesiology” therapy.)
The foundation course is based on Chiropractor John F. Thie’s book Touch For Health, (Copyright 1973) a course anyone can take. It is founded on the American do-it-yourself principle and intended to train people to help themselves and their loved ones.
There are 12 Organ Meridians and 2 supplementary meridians (Central and Governing.) Each Meridian corresponds to one or several muscles. For instance, the main thigh Quadriceps muscle corresponds to the Small Intestines Meridian. When the Meridian is “balanced”, the muscle is strong. When the Meridian is “blocked or unbalanced”, the muscle is weak. This can be demonstrated, you can learn to do it yourself. One can strengthen the Meridian by deep massage of Neurolymphatic points, or by holding specific acupuncture points, all shown in the book. (One can also brush the meridian from it’s source point to its ending point.) In the course, to teach muscle testing, a meridan is chosen and strengthened and then a corresponding muscle is tested for strength. Then the Meridan is weakened and one tests the corresponding muscle which indeed loses strength. (The only meridian which should never be weakened is the heart meridian.) At first you are taught to strengthen all the meridians, testing corresponding muscles to confirm they are “balanced”,and only after all the meridians have been strengthened can it be said that the person has been “balanced”.
Stress of any kind can throw a meridian out of balance, which explains why stress can actually weaken the muscles and the body in general. Therefore consider that in MS loss of muscle strength can occur for 2 major reasons. 1) damage to the nervous system and 2) “unbalanced”acupuncture meridians. Diet that “balances”the meridians can go a long way to strengthen the muscular system which can well precede healing in the nervous system.
I resumed the “paleo-macrobiotic”, veggie juice, gluten free diet around January 17, 2012. Mid March the muscles on the outside of my right leg began to cramp up and “work”. I could pull the leg up in physical therapy without simply using the Quadricep thigh muscle. I was surprised that after only 2 months of detox diet part of the dormant nervous system began to work. (The first time around in 1984-85 it took a year for “dead” nerves to work.)
It doesn’t really make sense that the myelin sheath would heal in such a short time. Then late March I developed a bladder infection which weakened me and eventually I took antibiotics to treat it. As usual this threw my Acupuncture meridians out of balance, my bladder didn’t empty well, my legs were clumsy. Were the nerves affected, or simply the meridians which control the muscles? Also the recent improvement in the leg disappeared. Once off the antibiotics, my legs and balance strengthened and 2 days later the muscles outside the leg reaching into the buttocks began cramping again and appeared to be working. Are these the nerves? My own impression is that the“blocked” blood flow has resumed to nourish the brain. Maybe the problem isn’t simply a question of periodic blood refluxes but insufficient blood flow into the brain (of course this corresponds to my theory that the circulatory system is “stunted” or insufficient in MS). According to Kinesiology, when the body’s energy circulation is “unbalanced”, blockages can occur everywhere, not just the muscles. Perhaps by removing substances my body cannot tolerate,the energy system re-establishes itself, and the blood can nourish the brain correctly. We shall see. I am surprised at such a rapid response to diet change. I wonder how far it will take me?
A Kinesiologist shortens the process of meridian balancing by working on points around the navel to test how all the meridians are functioning and then “balances” only those in need of it. Then begins a process of ”ask the body” what issue needs to be addressed using the arm alone for muscle testing. If the answer is yes, the arm muscle is strong, if no, the muscle is
weak. That is how food intolerances are determined as well as the individualized diet.
So now we return to the problem of medication. I spoke with one MS patient who said the only thing that stopped raging MS attacks for her was Copaxone. In fact Copaxone may be the least toxic of MS médications. Jeff Beal continues to take Copaxone even though the Angioplasty procedure he underwent at Stanford in 2009 - stents inserted - remains effective in opening the venous blood flow. His wife Joan, who oversees his care, writes an excellent blog titled "Multiple Sclerosis: The Vascular Connection". She writes "Until we understand more, please be careful with serious immune cell sequestering MS drugs (like Tysabri, Gilenya, Tecfidera) or immune ablating chemotherapies (like Campath and Lemtrada.) Do everthing you can do to live your best vascularly, endothelially, heart-healthy life."
I believe that some day there should be MS drug de-tox centers like there are today for alcohol and drug addictions. I believe the first healing step for MS patients is to de-toxify. And then to nourish the body and brain correctly. A “balanced” meridian system will strengthen the muscles, proper blood flow to the brain will nourish the nervous system. And if there are real structural problems, chiropractors (back) or angiologues (veins) can correct them. But we aren’t there yet.
The following Japanese macrobiotic diet was copied from Wikipedia.
"Well chewed whole cereal grains, especially brown rice: 40-60%
Beans and legumes: 5-10%
Miso soup: 5%
Sea vegetables: 5%
Traditionally or naturally processed foods: 5-10%
Fish and seafood, seeds and nuts, seed and nut butters, seasonings, sweeteners, fruits and beverages may be enjoyed occasionally, 2-3 times per week. Other naturally raised animal products may be included if needed during dietary transition or according to individual needs."