Demyelinating Disease (onset of multiple sclerosis)
Demyelination patches found in the brain are seen in many patients nowadays either an accidental finding on MRI or symptomatic patients doing this test to rule out!
Demyelinating disorders are any conditions that damage myelin. When this happens, scar tissue forms in its place. Brain signals can’t move across scar tissue as quickly, Therefore nerves don’t work as well as they should.
Common symptoms of demyelinating diseases are:
- Vision loss
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Bladder changes
Let’s try to understand the underlying causes of demyelination in men and women:
1. Food Intolerances
Gluten, dairy is a huge problem these days because wheat has been hybridized, modified and wheat and wheat products are there practically in everything we eat!
Similarly, dairy these days is highly adulterated has many hormones, contaminants into it due to malpractices!
These two can wreak havoc on our gut and lead to leaky gut. Once the gut is leaky, large food particles can get into the bloodstream and confuse our immune system. When the proteins in our food resemble the proteins that makeup myelin, the immune system can get confused and attack the myelin coating of the nerves. This process is called molecular mimicry and can occur with inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy, and others that some may be intolerant to. It is due to the damage to the endothelial lining of the intestines.
2. Leaky Gut
Gut has a normal permeability to very small molecules. Many things including, gluten, dairy, infections, medications, Pesticides, heavy metals, and stress can damage the gut, allowing toxins, microbes and undigested food particles – among other things – directly into the bloodstream. Leaky gut is the gateway for these infections, toxins, and foods to begin to cause chronic systemic inflammation that leads to autoimmunity. Leaky gut can cause decreased absorption of certain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc, copper, Magnesium, Silicon etc…
3. Heavy metal toxicity
Mercury, Aluminum, Cadmium, are heavy metals that are capable of altering or damaging the cells of various bodily tissues. When cells are damaged, your immune system can mistake them as foreign invaders and begin attacking its own organs. Studies show that individuals with higher mercury exposures have an increased risk of getting all kind of autoimmune diseases.
4. Fungal Infections
It’s been observed in my clinic, many patients suffering from fungal infections over a period of time, develop the autoimmune diseases. Its been found that they are actually living or working in environments that have toxic mold. Toxic molds produce mycotoxins, these can be highly toxic to genetically susceptible people.
5. Bacterial and Viral Infections
Scientists working on MS research have identified a close association of infections from bacteria, viruses, and other toxins were likely to blame for the development of demyelination. While they have not been able to identify one single culprit, they have found strong correlations between a number of bacteria and viruses. The bacteria strains commonly found in patients with Demyelinating diseases such as MS include Borrelia burgdorferi, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Clostridium perfringens. Similarly, the toxins released by C. perfringens and Staphylcoccus aureus also appear to play a role in triggering the onset of MS. The viruses commonly associated with MS include the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the human herpesvirus (HSV).
Functional medicine approach to demyelinating diseases:
1. Remove gluten, dairy, packed preserved food, artificial food colors and toxins, pesticides from the diet:
It is recommended that all of my patients remove gluten from their diets because it’s a highly inflammatory food.
I also highly recommend overnight soaking of all legumes ( before pressure cooking) and throwing water and wash carefully. Also completely avoiding nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, potato, peppers etc. is strongly recommended, These foods contain proteins known as lectins, which act as a natural pesticide for crops and can wreak havoc on the lining of the gut. Changing your diet is the first step in getting well.
2. Heal the gut
We at freedom age have a 4R approach to healing the gut and gut healing supplements.
3. Check your heavy metal load (Oligoscan & Urine/Blood for heavy metals)
We are exposed to heavy metals in a number of different ways: amalgams, fish consumption, vaccines, preservatives and pollution in the environment. It is recommended to determine if mercury, cadmium, lead, Barium Arsenic are high. If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease, read my article on detoxification to learn how to reduce your exposure to these environmental toxins.
4. Check Candida and urine Mycotoxins
Common environmental mold testing does not test for mycotoxins. The mycotoxins are what seem to wreak havoc on the gut and immune system. Freedom age follows a protocol using IV Detox with Glutathione and NAC, oral gut cleansing supplements and anti-fungal medication wherever needed.
5. Find and treat infections
Test for HSV and EBV. Monolaurin from coconut oil can be very effective treatment for both HSV and EBV. Lysine and a lysine-rich diet is effective at treating HSV infections. You can also ask your doctor to test for M. pneumoniae, C. pneumoniae, and C. perfringens. Antibiotics may be necessary to properly clear the infection from your system.
6. Support the immune system
Supplements like vitamin D, B vitamins, omega-3 fish oils, IV glutathione, IV Ozone are strong immune modulators, we do chelation wherever required with EDTA. Vitamin D has been shown to help regulate the immune system. Glutathione and Ozone are the most powerful antioxidant in the body which can help reduce inflammation and improve detoxification in the body.
Dr. Kalpana Shekhawat M.D.
Functional Medicine Specialist