Welcome to Drug Free MSBy Carol Sin
This website is for those waiting to be diagnosed, recently diagnosed or living with Multiple Sclerosis. The traditional route of drugs may seem like the next logical step but I want you to know there are options. There are people living without symptoms and without drugs. I chose the drug free path, controlling the disease primarily by nutrition and by giving my body the necessary tools to recover, repair, and rebuild. Please remember, the lifestyle changes I am proposing can be done alone or while on medication. It's worth trying because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The changes are simple. Understand the disease, control your diet, take your vitamins and reduce stress. MS is different for everyone but the general plan is the same. I have documented "My plan" which is a culmination of advice, research, lab results and common sense. It was frustrating at first but my health quickly returned and everyone took note. MS is no longer my focus. I want to live a long, happy and healthy life.
This website is for anyone who wants to live healthier. Whether or not you have MS or know someone with MS, an autoimmune disease, low energy, sleep issues, stomach issues, etc. these changes can improve your health. What I'm suggesting is nothing new or high tech. It's simply getting back to the basics.
This website is a place for me to document what I've learned about my MS, share all the glorious new things I've discovered and empower others with MS.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system attacks the central nervous system. During these attacks the myelin sheath, which covers the nerves and allows for proper transmission of the electrical impulse, is destroyed resulting in disrupted communication between your brain and the rest of your body. This miscommunication causes the neurological symptoms that define Multiple Sclerosis. (It's like an exposed wire in need of electrical tape!) Symptoms can include vision impairment, partial paralysis, numbness, and extreme fatigue just to name a few. It can also result in scar tissue (lesions) that remain after the swelling in the brain and spine has healed. These lesions are usually only visible by an MRI with contrast. No one knows what causes MS but we believe very strongly that it begins with diet.
The Drug Free MS approach is focused on eliminating foreign food proteins from your body which is causing your immune system to attack itself. By omitting foods containing specifically gluten and casein (dairy) from your diet, the body will stop attacking. Once the attack stops, symptoms will subside and over time, your body will rebuild. Sounds simple? Not quite. Actually, it can be pretty complicated until you understand what you're looking for.
Please note: I am not a doctor. This is the approach I have chosen to take. My hope is that you will find the same success with this treatment as I have. We do not suggest you cease any medication without consulting your physician first!
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in foods processed from wheat, barley, rye and oats. It's what gives bread its shape and texture. Simply think of gluten as what holds stuff together, that's why the word "gluten" literally translates to "glue". Beware, gluten is not just in bread products, it's in cereal, pasta, sauces, condiments and even non-food items. (see Hidden Gluten page)
What are the other names for Gluten??
Wheat, whole meal, whole-wheat, wheat meal flour, wheat bran, barley, rye, rye flour, semolina, oats To find a complete listing of gluten-free and gluten-containing food, refer to www.celiac.com.
What is Casein ??
Casein is the protein found in all dairy products. A food in itself but also used as a binding agent. Casein IS dairy. That means NO milk, NO cheese, NO butter and question anything creamy. What are other names for Casein ??
Butter, Caseinate, Cheese, Cream, Lactose, Milk, Whey
BEWARE of foods labeled "non-dairy" as they may still contain casein. A great example is "non-dairy" creamer. If you read the ingredients, it clearly lists casein.
We spend hours reading labels and have found that if a company is truly Gluten or Dairy Free, they will gladly print it on the label. I just wish it was in a standard color and format. Even if the ingredients seem gluten and dairy free, check for a statement about the facility. You'd be surprised how many Gluten and Dairy Free foods are packaged in a facility that processes wheat and milk!
Beware of Cross Contamination!
"Gluten and casein cross contamination is a legitimate concern. Some manufacturers produce food on machinery that is also used to make many different products. The rinsing process on manufacturing lines may well vary between different companies. There are some companies that are not concerned with rinsing their lines but most companies are committed about thorough rinsing. Some manufacturing companies sterilize and clean machinery between each item, using much higher water temperatures than water used in most households. Some of these manufacturing companies insist there is more chance of contamination in a consumer's kitchen due to improper washing of counter tops, plates and utensils or pots and pans" *
This is the crux of my Multiple Sclerosis treatment. In this website, you will find information on what led to my diagnosis and the inspiration from a dear friend that led me to this path. There are recipes, restaurants, and a food shopping list that will hopefully make your experience a little easier. I will update this site as often as I can but in the meantime, please check out our twitter and facebook pages for recent updates.
* excerpt from "The GFCF Diet intervention - Autism"