What is it?
An autoimmune condition of the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the myelin in the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms are varied, and can include pain, weakness, balance issues, vision difficulties, sensory loss, fatigue, and spasticity. Like many other autoimmune diseases, the course of MS varies for each individual and often includes exacerbations and remissions.
• Autoimmune condition
• Characterized by relapses and remissions
• Diagnosis is based on symptoms and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and may take months to years
• Cause is unknown, but can run in families
• Generally diagnosed in young adulthood, however can occur earlier or later in life
• Some research indicates that viruses play a role in development of MS
• Rarer in locations close to the equator, and more prevalent further from the equator suggesting an association with low levels of sunlight (vitamin D?)
• Incidence is lower in coastal regions with high levels of fresh fish in the diet
• Twice as common in women as men
How do we treat it?
MS is an illness that is often treatable. We begin by assessing your nutritional status and determining a plan that will give you the best dietary guidelines to support your nervous system and overall health. This generally includes high-dose essential fatty acids along with antioxidants, as well as specific dietary guidelines to minimize inflammation. On a deeper level, as we work together we will explore mental and emotional factors that may contribute to your health issues. Perhaps something is paralyzing you from moving forward on a psychological level, or perhaps past life events are unresolved and contributing to your symptoms. In addition to naturopathic care for MS, many of our patients find that adding craniosacral therapy treatments to their routine significantly improves their well-being.