Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Food Allergies

Food allergies to certain foods may play a role in the development or exacerbation of MS.

Abundant anecdotal data indicate that many people have achieved either a permanent remission or a significant slowdown in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease progress through diet revision involving the elimination of hypersensitive food.

It would indeed appear that diet revision is a very critical treatment for achieving positive results in the halting or significantly altering the progression of MS. Perhaps the most impressive account of recovery is that of Roger MacDougall (1980) which is described in “My Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis”. Mr. MacDougall went from being near blind and confined to a wheelchair to normal health and activity level (for over 35 years) by faithfully adhering to a low fat, food sensitivity-free diet.  Click on http://www.direct-ms.org/rogermcdougall.html to read more.

Other published “success” stories which used diet revision as the main therapy include those of Rachelle Breslow, Alan Greer, Judy Graham, Bob Lawrence, John Pageler and Bryan Forbes. Recently a number of accounts of recovery have been gathered on a website (www.2cowherd.net/q) by an individual who himself has recovered from chronic progressive MS (wheelchair confined) to a normal, healthy lifestyle through diet revision.

How do food allergies contribute to MS?

A majority of patients who have MS reportedly have a variety of digestive system deficits, including poor digestive enzyme production, poor digestion of fats and proteins, and suboptimal absorption of various nutrients, including vitamin B12.

It is an established scientific fact, that, the gastro-intestinal tract is a significant location for immune function. There are concentrations of immune (i.e. lymphoid) tissues throughout the intestines.

Physicians are increasingly recognizing the importance of the gastrointestinal tract in the development of allergic or autoimmune disease.

Food allergies contribute to MS due to leaky gut syndrome

Leaky gut refers to an increased permeability of the intestinal wall, resulting in the increased passage of substances from the intestines to the bloodstream. In other words, large spaces develop between the cells of the gut wall and bacteria, toxins, and food leak in. The body does not recognize them and activates the immune system to search and destroy. The result is inflammation.

Leaky gut is the state where the protective gut lining looses its integrity. It is less capable of properly selectively screening out those elements that should be screened out, and allowing those elements in that should be let in. So items that should be screened out gain access in. Click here to learn more on the connection between leaky gut syndrome and MS.

Conclusion:

Elimination of prospective food allergies and food sensitivities can result in psoriasis improvement, from a minor to a major degree.

Which foods are the most problematic

The most common foods which result in immune reactions and eventual MS are dairy, cereal grains, eggs, yeast and legumes.

The real focus should be on getting the gluten and casein out of the diet.

There are two main strategies for halting the immune reactions which result in an attack on CNS tissue.

These are

1. Healing the leaky gut to slow down and ideally prevent intact food proteins from entering circulation and

2. Stop eating foods which contain proteins which can potentially mimic self-proteins in the CNS.

Step # 1 Heal your leaky gut

Heal the intestinal permeability and ideally prevent intact food proteins from entering circulation. This is achieved by stopping the eating of foods which contain proteins which can potentially mimic self-proteins in the central nervous system (CNS). Healing the intestine involves identification of the food sensitivities, and then avoiding these foods.

The keys to combating MS are thus halting the activation of the immune system and healing and strengthening various systems including the gut, the brain barrier and the immune system.

Optimize your digestive health

To optimize your digestive health and improve your MS disease symptoms in the process it is recommended that you:

1. Take probiotics

Probiotics may be protective against leaky gut and bowel inflammation.

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Researchers have found that introducing good bacteria into our intestinal tract could hold the key to preventing eczema, rheumatism, asthma and allergies.

Probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum, help restore a balance of friendly bacteria to the body’s digestive tract thus aiding in digestion. The acidophilus repopulates your digestive tract with microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive tract, helps further break down your food, and competes for space and nutrients with harmful microorganisms that may be present, diminishing their numbers.

At least one researcher has reported that some patients who have MS who were treated for yeast infections—and who subsequently had their gut microflora recolonized with friendly probiotic organisms noticed a significant improvement in their  condition.

I would recommend taking a probiotic supplement that contains the live culture called Lactobacillus Acidophilus.

Probiotic’s help to maintain a healthy digestive system by maintaining a balance between the harmful and beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Probiotic’s are especially important in the control of food allergies because of their ability to improve digestion, by helping the intestinal tract control the absorption of food allergens and by changing immune system responses to foods

2. Take digestive enzymes

Given digestion is impaired with MS patients, assisting with the breakdown of foods is essential – both for an increase in absorption of nutrients and to minimize the pain of undigested food passing through the lower parts of the gut

Regularly taking a good quality digestive enzyme product could be one of the most essential parts of maintaining more healthy digestion with MS.

I would especially strongly recommend taking a digestive enzyme supplement such as Omegazyme, produced by Garden of Life, in order to streamline the digestive process.

To stop eating foods which contain proteins which can potentially mimic self-proteins in the CNS it would be highly advisable to:

1. Avoid dairy products

Milk has long been suspected to play a role in the development of MS.

An overwhelming body of research suggests strongly that increased milk consumption is associated with increased risk for ms. Over the past 50 years, a number of studies have been done examining the link between dairy products and ms.

Click here to read more on the connection of dairy and ms.

2. Avoid foods that contain gluten

A growing body of evidence is beginning to show that there is a connection between MS and gluten intolerance.

The theory is that a gluten sensitivity in or associated with autoimmune conditions causes the immune system to be in a continuously overwrought state. Then, when called upon to battle something, it really overreacts and, the outcome is a full-fledged exacerbation of MS symptoms. C lick here to read more on the connection of gluten and ms.

3. Uncover any other potential food allergies

For many MS patients eliminating gluten and dairy will NOT be enough to stop the condition from progressing. There can be MULTIPLE allergies causing multiple sclerosis and I suggest anyone investigate the missing pieces in their elimination diet before surrendering to the disease.

How can you uncover your delayed reaction, hidden food allergies?

Because delayed reaction food allergies do not make themselves apparent immediately and can be caused by multiple foods, they are very difficult to detect without sophisticated laboratory testing. There are many forms of allergy testing available such as computerized cytoxic, applied kinesiology, Vega tests, and others, but each of these tests share the same critical disadvantage… they are frequently unreliable.

The most reliable delayed food allergy test currently available is the IgG ELISA food intolerance kit.

This test is an improved IgG ELISA test for antibodies against 96 different foods reflective of a typical American diet. It replaces the previous Food-Scan food allergy test that required filling a small tube of blood, sending the test to England and a results turnaround time of 4-6 weeks. Now, simply stick your finger and saturate a small pad with a blood sample. Mail it in the provided, stamped envelope and get result within about 1-2 weeks after receipt by the lab.

Click on http://www.allergizer.com/50226711/igg_elisa_food_intolerance_test_kit.php to learn more about the IgG ELISA test.

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2 responses so far

Submitted Comments

  1. Multiple Sclerosison 15 Jan 2011 at 11:41 pm

    A very insightful article. MS patient’s diet proved to be quite important when it comes to slowing down the progression of the disease.

    One thing that should be mentioned: It is very important for all MS patients to have an exercise routine since this will help them keep their muscle fit and prevent disability, as it is also important to change their diet.

    It is well known that some aliments excite the central nervous system and this can worsen some of MS symptoms. It is also recommended to MS patients to keep a food journal in which to write the foods consumed and the way it made them feel.

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