Post Edited (Kimber) : 3/16/2007 9:16:16 PM (GMT-6)
If in fact you are talking about alleviating symptoms with natural remedies, then the title of this thread is misleading. There is no "cure" for MS, natural or otherwise. The drug your mother is on (I'm assuming it's either Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, or Rebif) was never advertised as a "cure" for MS, or even a "cure" for MS symptoms, but instead was designed to reduce the number and intensity of exacerbations. Each exacerbation can lead to significant disability, so anything one can do to slow that down will lead to a better quality of life.
Your mother could only have been on one of the drugs for the last 15 years, as they weren't available before then. Who can say how well off -- or significantly impaired -- she would be now, having had MS for 30 years -- if she hadn't gone on one of the drugs? I've had MS for 24 years now, myself, and am absolutely convinced that the Betaseron I've been injecting for the last 14 years or so has significantly slowed the progression of my disease. I have all the symptoms I've always had...but no more, and not worse. That's a GOOD thing.
If your mother does start ingesting natural remedies, even vitamins, or if she dramatically changes her diet, she needs to tell her doctor, as some of those "remedies" can have adverse effects when mixed with any prescribed medicines she might be on. And you certainly don't want to encourage her to do anything that will boost her immune system -- our immune systems are already in "overdrive", and those things can cause all sorts of problems.
You're asking about food allergies. Has she actually been tested for food allergies, or is she complaining about some foods "not agreeing" with her (more appropriately called a "food sensitivity). There is an increase in food allergies all over society today -- celiac disease (a wheat gluten allergy), allergies to peanut butter, lactose intolerance (inability to digest milk), are some of the more common ones. Any of these can make a person quite ill, and sometimes with various bowel and bladder problems that are common with MS can cause increased problems there. But she should be properly tested to be sure she knows what it is, and how to treat it, because some of the allergies are rather simple to treat, others would take a huge amount of effort to change diet, and if she's just assuming there is a "food allergy" and then goes on one of these fad diets, could worsen her situation.
Hi Akorz -
I'm not dx'd as of yet, but I can tell you that a friend of mine has had MS for over 30 years. She has never taken any medication at all. I can't remember if it was against her dr's wishes or not. She is still driving, although on shopping trips or anything that she is going to be on her feet for a few minutes she does need a wheelchair. She also needs help walking since her gait has gotten so extreme and she is very off balance. But she is one of the most wonderful people I have ever spoken to, her outlook on MS and life is also wonderful. She has residual problems, but has not had an exacerbation in a long time up until last summer, for several days she couldn't get out of bed and couldn't have the lights on, I guess it was really bad. And now that she had to have knee surgery, she's having even more issues. She has never had an MRI and doesn't think that it would matter if she did. She still feels really good. She just takes the normal vitamins, multivitamin and a few supplements (I don't know exactly what those supplements are, but I do know one is echinecia (sp?)). I asked her about if she was concerned about boosting her immune system and she said no, her dr never told her anything about it and she still feels fine. Her Dr is quite elderly and I think she said is very close to retiring and 'old school', so she didn't refer me to him.
Now... if she had been on meds?? Who knows maybe she would be better off now, eventhough she looks and acts fine, she is having alot of difficulty getting around and I don't think she regrets anything in the past that she has done or not done in direct response to treating the MS. It is Remitting/Relapsing though, I would assume that has something to do with it, but who knows?
So in my journey of finding out what I want to do IF I find out it is MS, I've spoken to people on both spectrums, gotten a ton of great advice here and will take the MS specialists advice in consideration also on if I were his daughter/wife ect.. what would you suggest, knowing that you prescribed this medicine for them and watch the progression OR sometimes the horrible side effects of the CRABS. I know I have cognitive damage already, some days are OK, most are not. My family has already gotten into the practice of finishing my sentences since it will take me a while to say what I mean. Just over the couple of years I started with the noticable issues, I've lost alot of confidence in my job, just to talk to people. I would much rather email and that was not like me. I am/was a people person and loved to interact with the people I work with as well as friends, I'm shying away from that right now.
I do not like taking drugs either, I never have, but I know what I've been doing w/o drugs isn't helping me right now. I've searched the Internet for healthful diets and I already eat healthy, live a healthy lifestyle, I also got hooked into some 'miracle juice' from one of those MLM companies and still no help. I hope you do find this somewhat useful and not a rant, because if there is anything I think any of us would like more than not having MS, would be to treat it naturally, I just have not found that yet.