Multiple Sclerosis and Paleo – Does It Help?

This is a great, and sort of near to my heart question about multiple sclerosis from a concerned mother.

Hello Neely,

My 37 yr old daughter was just told she has MS.

We are so very concerned. She has some vision loss, neck pain and has been dizzy for years with out any relief from many doctors.

I found the paleo plan on the recommended MS site. It talked about being anti inflammatory for arthritis and MS relapses.

What is your experience with MS patients and this plan? Any info would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Virginia

 

Hi Virginia,

I want to start by saying that I’ve been to doctors twice to get MRIs because they thought I had multiple sclerosis, too. The first time, I was dizzy for 2 years about a decade ago. Then I lost some vision in my left eye for many months. Both times they didn’t find any evidence in my brain for what they’ve dubbed the incurable MS, and neither time did any of those doctors help me with my symptoms. They did absolutely nothing for me, and frankly, they insulted me more than they helped.

They questioned the validity of my symptoms, charged me hundreds of dollars to “verify” that I indeed had vision loss. I remember one time being told, “Wait here,” by a doctor who’d just told me, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you. I’ve never seen this before.” After over an hour in his office alone and very scared, I had to get up and leave without any further contact with the doctor and see myself out. All those experiences with the medical world were frustrating. They made me lose faith in doctors. I hope your daughter’s doctors are not the same.

The only thing that ever helped me – and it has helped a lot – is diet. Going partially blind (it was a flashing in my eye that was obstructing my vision) prompted my journey into healthy eating, actually, which eventually led me to Paleo. Paleo makes me feel better than any other way of eating that I’ve tried. Over time, figuring out what foods my body liked and didn’t like, everything has subsided. I occasionally see flashes of light in my eyes, but I’m fine in general, and I haven’t been dizzy in many years (knock on wood). I, like your daughter, also have neck and other joint issues, but now I know that  if I avoid certain foods, I have way less pain. Beyond food, I recently sought the help of a naturopathic doctor, who actually helped me by putting me on supplements that keep all of these things at bay even further.

I’m definitely not the only person who has had success with neurological symptoms using food as my medicine. Make sure you look up Dr. Terry Wahl’s story on google. She is a doctor who had crippling MS and practically healed herself completely with Paleo. And beyond my own story and Terry Wahl’s story, I’ve consulted with, corresponded with, and heard of many people who’ve had success with their autoimmune disease on Paleo.

After all, autoimmunity starts in the gut. When you eat foods that break down your gut lining (grains, pasteurized dairy, seed oils, etc.), larger food particles start to enter your blood stream. Your immune system doesn’t like that and starts attacking those particles and causing all kinds of weird symptoms in people. Some of those food particles look a lot like the cells of your own body (thyroid, small intestine, other organ cells), so over time your immune system gets really overworked and confused and begins to attack THOSE cells – your own body’s cells. In other words, autoimmunity. So if you remove those offending foods and you heal your gut, your immune system starts to calm down and not react to every little thing, including your own body’s cells.

So. I STRONGLY encourage your daughter to go Paleo and see a naturopath. I hope my story will give her some hope that she’s not doomed to feel worse and worse for the rest of her life. There’s a very good chance that if she makes some changes to her diet, even if they’re slow but sure changes, she will start feeling much better, and begin to live a very full life again.

Kindly,

Neely