Can a diet, detox & nutritional makeover make the case for total recovery?
From the experience I’ve gained over the last 30 years of research and writing about health and healing, I truly believe that there is an answer to every disease — we simply have to look in the right place. The body is an incredible system with an infinite capacity to heal, provided that we lessen our toxic load and provide the right nourishment and environment for regeneration to occur.
A progressively crippling autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) afflicts about 500,000 people in the U.S. and three million worldwide with rates continuing to rise. It is an inflammatory condition that destroys the myelin, white fatty tissue that insulates the nerves, and prevents the conduction of nerve impulses. While many believe MS is unbeatable, there are inspiring stories of triumph like that of my colleague Ann Boroch, author of Healing Multiple Sclerosis, whose four-year journey of reversing MS taught her firsthand to examine the layers that the body and mind take on to create disease.
I find Ann’s experience and knowledge so compelling that I asked her to share it with all of you here on my blog–here’s what Ann has to say about healing MS and the steps you can take to turn this condition around:
What are the Main Causes of Inflammation Connected to MS and Other Autoimmune Disease?
- Infections (candida/fungus, parasites, bacteria, viruses) & dysbiosis: One of the root causes of MS and autoimmune disease is candida/fungus, parasites, bacteria, and viruses. The most grossly ignored microbe is candida, a single-celled yeast that can multiply and morph into a fungal root form. 80% of your immune system lies in the gastrointestinal tract (GI). Ideally your GI tract should have a ratio of 85% good bacteria to 15% not-so-good bacteria. Everybody has candida, and it serves a purpose in the body, but in an overgrowth state it creates imbalances in the body.
Antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, chemotherapy/radiation, heavy metals, sugar, stress, and alcohol can wipe out good bacteria in the GI tract allowing yeast to multiply. An imbalance of the good-to-bad bacteria is known as dysbiosis. As yeast multiply, the intestinal lining becomes compromised. Eventually the lining becomes more porous (a condition known as “leaky gut”) and undigested food particles, candida/fungus, parasites, etc. can enter the blood stream. The toxic by-products that are produced by yeast/fungus are very destructive and begin to attack organs and tissues, specifically muscles and nerves. The toxins also disrupt cellular communication throughout the body and can cross over the blood brain barrier.
You only need one dose of antibiotics in your lifetime to cause yeast overgrowth. What keeps feeding yeast over time is sugar, which comes in the form of wine, beer, cookies, sodas, ice cream, pasta, breads, milk, cheeses, popcorn, etc. Yeast are not the only microorganisms that feed off of sugar; so do viruses, parasites, and bacteria, all of which can be a factor in MS and autoimmune disease.
- Nutritional deficiency and toxicity: Diets today generally consist of processed and fast food filled with sugars, trans-fats, and white flour, which are devoid of essential micronutrients. In addition, many people are indulging in too much caffeine and alcohol, making our bodies acidic and inflamed. Lastly, our food supply is more contaminated than ever before because it is genetically modified and laden with herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides.
- Stress (psychological and physical): We all have stress but many don’t manage or neutralize it. Stress increases cortisol, an adrenal hormone, which over time will inflame the body. Stress is the number one body breaker and highly associated with MS.
- Environmental toxins and heavy metals: Xenoestrogens (chemicals coming off plastics that mimic estrogen), lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, etc. are storing in our body, particularly in our fats cells wreaking havoc. Because the brain consists of 60% fat, it is a target site for heavy metals to store, which many believe increases the risks of MS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and autism.
- Silver-Mercury (amalgam) dental fillings: Dental fillings made of silver amalgam are 52% mercury, a very poisonous metal. Most of us had fillings during our childhood. Over time, they wear down and may leach mercury into the body and store in fat tissues, particularly in the brain.
- Vaccinations: Vaccines are filled with different components, which can include live and dead viruses, antibiotics, aluminum, MSG, mercury, and formaldehyde. Early childhood vaccinations, Hepatitis B, flu and shingles vaccines can bring forth retroviruses, promote yeast overgrowth, and destroy nerves, muscles, and tissues.
What Steps can I Take to Beat MS?
- Candida diet – Incorporate a candida diet to starve off yeast/fungal overgrowth, parasites, bacteria, and viruses. That diet would consist of removing alcohol, sugars, gluten/refined carbs/corn, and dairy. Just this step alone will make a big impact on improving your health.
- Supplements to rebuild and repair myelin and the central nervous system -Supplements are necessary to turn around an autoimmune disease. If our foods were more nutrient dense and not depleted, you wouldn’t have to take supplements. Some of the more important supplements for healing MS are fish oil, herbal antimicrobials, probiotics, methyl b12, vitamin C, E, B complex, turmeric, gingko, pterostilbene, and CoQ10.
- Quality sleep – Rest is critical for the body to repair and regenerate. Your body makes physiological repairs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and psychological repairs from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Do your best to go to bed by 10 p.m. and sleep 7-8 hours each night.
- Meditate – Meditation is one of the best ways to neutralize stress and heal the body and mind. You can do silent or guided meditation. Being completely engaged in your favorite hobby, such as gardening, would also be considered meditation.
- Exercise – You must move your body to keep circulation optimized and heal. Walking, swimming, and yoga are excellent activities for circulation. If you are not ambulatory, consider doing isometric exercises.
- Clean up your house – It is important to live in a clean environment as possible. Buy non-toxic house cleaning and body care products. Drink and wash your vegetables/fruits in purified water.
- Honor yourself – Those with MS often tend to be perfectionists (being very hard on themselves) and can have suppressed anger and low self worth. Put yourself on the list first, set healthy boundaries, and say “no” more often.
Remember that with MS or any autoimmune disease there is no magic bullet, drug, or herb. It is a combination of factors that over time remove inflammation and infection from the body. Being patient, diligent, and believing you can heal is critical to success. Your body has not lost its intelligence on how to heal itself – you just need to clean up the environment for a long enough period of time!
Ann Boroch is a certified nutritional consultant and naturopath specializing in allergies, autoimmune diseases, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances, hypoglycemia, weight loss, depression/anxiety, and is an expert on the silent epidemic, Candida. She is the author of The Candida Cure: Yeast, Fungus & Your Health and Healing Multiple Sclerosis. You can find out more about her work at annboroch.com.