|Food sensitivity: Before I had the IgG
food sensitivity blood tests from Immuno Laboratories, Inc., I tried the "pulse test" to identify food sensitivities. You take a
baseline pulse reading before a meal and then take your pulse at intervals after your meal
(I think it was 15, 30 and 60 minutes). If your pulse goes up more than a certain number
of points (I think it was 5) then you're probably sensitive to something you ate. I got
the info about the pulse test and food sensitivities/MS from a book "MS: Something
can be done and you can do it", which is by (I think) Robert Soll, MD. I got it from
our local library. You have to be fairly diligent to narrow down what you're
sensitive/"allergic" to using the pulse test, but I found that I had another
symptom that made it easier to identify allergens - my feet get cold when I eat something
that I'm sensitive to. I understand that's a fairly common reaction. The pulse test can be
very accurate, if you're diligent. I've heard that some say it's the most accurate way of
determining food sensitivities.
I found that the blood test's results agreed with my pulse test, except that I think I
identified more foods with my pulse test because I did my pulse test before I started an
all-organic diet. I think I might be sensitive to pesticides, and ingesting fruits/veggies
on which pesticides are used raises my pulse and gives me cold feet. It would also give me
an upset stomach.
I also tried another approach to find food allergies... My first try was going to a
conventional MD allergist to get a conventional (skin scratch) allergy test, which wasn't
very helpful... I tested as allergic to almost everything (I had a lot of swelling on my
arms where they scratched me and introduced the foods they were testing) and I actually
became ill (my husband said I turned GREEN) during the test. I felt that approach wasn't
very helpful, so I went on to the other approaches. Also, I should add that I've never
been allergic to ANYTHING before in my LIFE, so I found the results of all of these tests
to be quite a surprise. Interestingly, after I've modified my diet and avoided many of the
foods I'm "allergic" to, my feet (which have been cold most of my life - ask my
husband!) are now generally warm, but they turn cold immediately if I eat anything to
which I'm sensitive.
Once I identified food allergens, I avoided some of them (and still do - mainly the ones
the blood test identified as +3's and some +2's). I avoided the others (+1's) for several
months. Then I gradually reintroduced them and have tried to rotate my diet so I'm not
eating the same thing every day. I believe that eating anything too often can cause you to
become "allergic"/sensitive to it. I could likely reintroduce the +2 and +3
foods and eat them successfully as long as I continued to rotate my diet. My food
sensitivity tests showed that I was also sensitive to some MS "bad boys" like
wheat and cows milk. Because those things and sugar are typically bad for MS patients, I
will likely always avoid them. I've read about the SCD diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet),
and their theory that intestines that are damaged can't digest some complex carbohydrates
(like wheat, other grains and milk), which rings true for MS also (although the diet
focuses on people with colitis, Crohn's, etc.).
interesting to note that these food sensitivities could have been due to problems in my
intestines (such as intestinal
permeability a.k.a. "leaky gut"), and healing the intestinal problem might
solve the food sensitivities. Initially, I believe that you have to address both problems
together, because once you get the food sensitivities, they irritate the intestines and
cause more intestinal permeability, which can cause more food sensitivities, etc.
Tests of Digestion: My Dr. highly
recommends the CDSA and Intestinal Permeability tests from Great Smokies Laboratories. It
turns out that many MS patients have trouble with their intestines (which results in among
other things, B12 deficiency - which seems to cause my fatigue - usually when I'm fatigued
I need a B12 shot and once I get one I'm fine). From the results of my CDSA and Intestinal
Permeability tests I, apparently like many MS patients, have problems with my intestines
(intestinal dysbiosis and a permeable intestine). An interesting article about MS and
intestinal troubles is at Dr. David Perlmutter's web site at:
The CDSA is described further at:
An example of the report you get is at:
A FAQ about the test is at:
Intestinal Permeability: The test I had to determine whether I had a permeable
intestine (a.k.a. "leaky gut") was from the GSDL (Great Smokies Diagnostic
Laboratory) and was called the "Intestinal Permeability" test. They talk about
it at http://www.gsdl.com/assessments/ip/appguide/
An example of the report you get is at
A FAQ about the test is at:
The test involves you consuming two kinds of sugars that GSDL provides (lactulose and
mannitol). You give a urine sample about 6 hrs after you drink the sugars. It shows the
amount of sugars which have passed through to your urine. Mannitol is readily absorbed and serves as a marker of
transcellular uptake. Lactulose is only slightly absorbed and serves as a marker for
mucosal integrity. Low levels of mannitol and lactulose indicate malabsorption. Elevated levels of
lactulose and mannitol are indicative of general increased permeability and "leaky
gut" phenomena (increased pore size in the gut mucosa).
Leo Galland has a good site about the leaky gut syndrome at http://www.healthy.net/library/articles/galland/Leakygut.htm
I also tried a drug, Cromolyn Sodium (which is referenced at the GSDL site) to
desensitize my stomach/intestines and to prevent allergic reactions to food/ the
"leaky gut" syndrome. Although it works for others, it didn't work for me. So I
have had to avoid some foods and had to build up to eating others.
But, even though the Cromolyn Sodium didn't work, my diet has! I am SO MUCH better than I
was when I started this "program". I've gone from barely
being able to walk down the hall (and needing the aide of the wall) to running a mile
several times per week and lifting weights. I credit my diet largely with this
improvement. I do some additional things - exercise is a biggie (which I had to gradually
get in to, because I initially didn't have the strength/stamina to do it). I still have a
couple of "residual symptoms", but I'm MUCH improved since I started paying
attention to my diet.
Another item that I tried to solve my "leaky gut" problem was to take
L-Glutamine (which supposedly rebuilds the intestinal lining). Taking L-Glutamine made my
feet cold (a sign of an allergic reaction for me), so I stopped taking it. I'm now
exploring Gamma Orzanol as an alternate way of addressing my "leaky gut".
Stomach Acid: Another item which I investigated regarding my digestion is that many
MS patients (and those with the kinds of results I had on my intestinal tests) are lacking
in hydrochloric acid (stomach acid). There is a test to ascertain your stomach acid levels
in which you swallow a capsule attached to a string that you hold, then (after some amount
of time) pull out the capsule's contents which are attached to the string, send it to a
lab and get a reading of the stomach acid absorbed by the capsule's contents (which I
believe is cotton). An alternate way, which I did under an MD's direction, is to take
Betaine HCL capsules, starting with (I think) 1 capsule, 1 time/day. You're supposed to
gradually increase the number of capsules and frequency and stop as soon as you start
getting heartburn and back off until you don't any more. The heartburn means you're
exceeding your appropriate level of HCL. I got heartburn after 1 capsule, which meant that
my HCL level was adequate before I tried to supplement.
Essential Fatty Acid levels: I had
heard that many MS patients were low in essential fatty acids, so I'd been supplementing
them (through evening primrose oil, fish oil and cod liver oil) before I had the test of
fatty acids from MetaMatrix. My essential fatty acids were STILL low (even though I'd been
supplementing them), but probably not as bad as they would otherwise have been.
Antioxidants/B12: I had a blood test from Spectracel
Laboratories, Inc. for FIA Comprehensive Profile and SPECTROX Total Antioxidant Function.
The FIA test showed me to be very low in B12, a key factor for me. Because of the results
of this test, I now have weekly intramuscular B12 injections, which solve my previous
fatigue problem. The tests from SpectraCell Laboratories is slightly different than most
tests for B12 level that are normally done, because they test for lymphocyte levels, which
are the most accurate levels for vitamin B12.
The SPECTROX Total Antioxidant Function test from Spectracel Laboratories showed me to be
very deficient in a number of antioxidants. I took supplements for a while (L-Glutamine,
L-Asparganine, N-Acetyl Cystine, L-Serine) but have since tapered off them. I have not
been re-tested, but since I'm doing so much better, I think that my antioxidant levels
have likely improved.
Mercury Amalgams: In the last year, I
had my mercury amalgams replaced. I'm hoping that removing the amalgams and
"detoxing" will provide me with further benefits. Obviously, mercury is a toxic
substance that doesn't belong in your body, which is a good reason for removing the
amalgams. In addition, I recently read an interesting paper
that looks at the issue that mercury such as is in amalgam fillings can interfere with
normal metabolism of B12, which can contribute to diseases such as MS. I already know that
I have intestinal problems that interfere with my absorption of B12 - perhaps my amalgams
also interfered with B12 metabolism and my B12 status will improve.
I've also seen some information about Candida and mercury. From the articles I saw, it
sounds as if mercury is related to ALL KINDS of problems that humans can get. Another
reason for replacing the amalgams.
When I was considering whether I should have my amalgams replaced, I wandered across a web
site that called attention to the fact that when your amalgams are removed, the dentist
has to dispose of them as hazardous waste. Also, before it is placed, mercury amalgam must
be treated as hazardous material. But somehow, once it is placed in your mouth, it's safe.
That seems unlikely.
There are a number of steps that must be considered when replacing mercury amalgams. Also,
there are a number of methods you can use to "detox" from mercury. There are
several web sites that have information about amalgam removal. The one which I got via the
mscured mail list is at: http://home.sol.no/~dusan/dental/index.html
Some interesting facts I found while I was researching amalgam removal:
- If you are taking B12 when you are exposed to mercury (especially during
amalgam removal), you will likely make methyl mercury, which is a dangerous form. Because
of this, I didn't have my weekly B12 shot when I was having my amalgams replaced.
- Vitamin C is a good supplement for detoxifying, however, I read that
Vitamin C makes dental anesthetics less effective. Therefore, I didn't take Vitamin C
before I had my amalgams replaced.
- A side note, my Dr. advised me to tell my dentist NOT to use adrenaline
in the novocaine (which they usually do use), because it can aggravate MS symptoms. My
dentist had no problem with not using the adrenaline - not using it just makes the
novocaine not last as long (wear off more quickly).
I understand that there are some tests you can take to determine the
amount of mercury you have in your body. One is a hair analysis. For another, they inject
you with something that has a chelating-type effect. After a bit, they take a urine sample
to see how much mercury you've excreted. I did not have any of these tests. My Dr. also
also suggested having a blood test for compatibility of dental materials to be used, but I
decided not to do that.
My Dr. suggested I take chlorella to detox from my amalgams.
I took it before my amalgam removal and am continuing to take it. My Dr. didn't tell me
how long I should take Chlorella. I got the idea that it was intended that I would take it
"forever" and especially around the period where I was getting my amalgams
replaced. I think it's a good supplement to take and I'll probably continue to take it. I
noticed on the label that it has lots of naturally occurring vitamins (including B12). My
Dr. recommended Nature's
Balance or Beacon Chlorella. I'm taking 3 grams per day, but took a bit more before my
amalgam removal (about 4 grams - my Dr. recommended about 6 grams at a time during that
period). 6 grams amounts to about 20 capsules. That just seemed like too much to me, so 4
grams was the most I did at a time before amalgam removal. Also, I understand that some
people can't tolerate the 3 grams of Chlorella to start with because they have too much
mercury in their systems and if too much mercury is mobilized, you can get nausea,
heartburn, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms and headache. I started with about 1 gram per day
and worked up so I could have slowed down if I had noticed any symptoms (which I didn't).
I was a bit scared of the potential reactions if larger amounts of mercury were
"released", that's why I took fewer than 20 capsules at a time.
Updated status: After taking Chlorella supplements (3 grams per day) for a little over a
month, I began having irrational fears and difficulty sleeping. I thought it might be due
to taking too much Chlorella (and mobilizing too much mercury), so I temporarily stopped
taking Chlorella and improved tremendously. I finally read the paper my Dr. gave me
about how to take Chlorella in support (before and after) of amalgam removal. In the
instructions, he mentioned that once a month, you should stop taking Chlorella for a week,
so you don't mobilize too much mercury (which can make you sick). Since it had been a
little over a month since I started Chlorella, and stopping it improved my symptoms, that
must have been my problem.
Neural Therapy: My Dr. suggested that a
while after I have had my mercury amalgams removed (to give me a chance to
"detox"), I may want to try Neural Therapy to help get my right eye to function
properly and to help the sensation of dizziness I get when I tilt my head back. Neural
Therapy (NT) is a treatment system for chronic pain and illness using injection of local
anesthetics into autonomic ganglia, peripheral nerves, scars, glands, and trigger points.
It is believed to act through normalizing the function of the nervous system. Click
here to go to a web site that discusses neural therapy.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: I'm also
considering having Hyperbaric Oxygen
Therapy after I've "detoxed" from my amalgam removal, to improve the
function of my right eye and to reduce the dizziness I get when I change head positions.
Patients receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy enter a 1-person clear acrylic chamber
where they breathe 100% oxygen delivered to the chamber under increased atmospheric
pressure. This increases tissue oxygen levels. Increasing tissue oxygen levels produces
several important long term therapeutic benefits including enhanced growth of new blood
vessels, increased ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria and remove toxins,
increase growth of fibroblasts (cells involved in wound healing), and enhanced metabolic
activity of previously marginally functioning cells including brain neurons. HBOT for MS
is discussed further at http://www.ms-selfhelp.org/.
I also found out that you can buy your own hyperbaric chamber, see http://www.oxyrife.com/hyperbaric.htm
* Disclaimer: I am not a medical Dr. or other professional. The
above represents my experience and should not be taken as advice, etc. Review any program
you desire to pursue with medical Drs.