Thursday, March 15, 2012

The MS Mystery

"What you don’t know about multiple sclerosis can hurt you.
Sadly, we all know someone with MS these days.

This week (March 12 – March 18) has been designated “MS week”. It’s time to increase our collective awareness regarding this most debilitating central nervous system disease that appears to be increasing at alarming rates.

The official stats—in my opinion—are grossly “underestimated” with between 250,000 and 350,000 known cases in the US and 200 new cases being diagnosed weekly.

Many insidious factors may be involved in the multiple sclerosis mystery.

Regardless, the bottom line is that—whatever the real cause or causes—the fatty tissue known as the myelin sheath which protects the nerve fibers becomes damaged, broken, or lost—leaving behind scar tissue called sclerosis. Without a protective myelin sheath to cover the nerve fiber, the nerve is not able to transfer electrical impulses to and from the brain creating the classic MS symptoms—tremors, numbness, tingling, spasms, muscle weakness, vertigo, pain, dizziness, and depression.

So what’s behind the MS mystery?

First off, I think you have to consider that there is a major disease-latitude connection. The farther you get from the equator, the greater the incidence of MS—as well as other serious maladies. In fact, here in the Northwest, I live in the “MS belt.” Could this mean a lack of sunshine or vitamin D is a missing piece to the MS puzzle?

Vitamin D researchers have suggested that a blood serum level of 50–80 ng/mL of vitamin D might slash the number of MS patients by nearly 50%. So, getting a vitamin D blood test and retesting every three months until levels reach the 50 ng/mL mark would make good sense. Most individuals have to take at least 2,000–5,000 IU daily of vitamin D with a meal that contains a good amount of healthy fat, because as an oil soluble vitamin, D3 especially needs fat for absorption. And, do try to get as much natural sun as possible—except, of course, between the peak hours of 10 am and 2 pm.

Secondly, look at copper. Many of you are aware of all the research I have done on elevated biounavailable copper levels in the system—fully detailed in my book Why Am I Always So Tired?. Ironically, copper is also a double-edged sword because a low tissue copper level appears to be a contributing factor to multiple sclerosis, according to David Watts, Ph.D. The normal myelination of nerves requires copper. A Tissue Mineral Analysis would be an easy non-invasive first step in assessing whether your copper levels are high or low. Low copper usually corresponds to low estrogen—which may be another consideration. Many of my clients with low copper and a familial history of MS have used Pregnenolone 5 mg to help raise both their progesterone and estrogen levels which has had a positive effect on raising copper. Copper-rich foods can help too—increase nuts and seeds like pecans and sunflower seeds, as well as black tea and dark chocolate.

Next, evaluate your mercury levels. Mercury is a known neurotoxin that has also been linked to MS. (Even if you have had your mercury fillings removed, your tissues may be sequestering hidden mercury which can be identified with a special urine test and DMPS challenge.) Have a biological dentist investigate whether mercury is still a problem in your mouth (sometimes crowns are placed over mercury fillings) and find out whether your crowns are leaking by measuring the voltage. Check out for more information. If you would like a referral to a dentist who is familiar with the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology Patient Protocols, contact

Last but not least, let’s not forget about the electropollution-MS connection. There is fascinating research from Canadian investigator Magda Havas, Ph.D. which suggests that symptoms of an “allergy” to electricity or “dirty electricity”—mimics MS. In Havas’ article: Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Biological Effects of Dirty Electricity with Emphasis on Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis, there are a number of case histories of individuals whose MS symptoms were dramatically lessened with fewer tremors and better balance when special filters were installed in their homes that mitigated the “dirty electricity” form of energy.

Dirty electricity is defined as poor power quality or high frequency transients, harmonics and radio frequencies on electrical wires that are overloaded by all the “electrical” equipment in the house (think computers, fax machines, microwave ovens, and energy efficient or compact fluorescent lights) or coming from the outside via power lines, electrical wires, ground rods, or plumbing.

Simple ways you can protect yourself include getting grounded with the Earthing technology, unplugging electrical appliances when they are not being used, avoiding all electronics in the bedroom, and keeping all digital devices at least six feet away from your head.

As the mystery unfolds, the clues are everywhere.

Perhaps hope, health, and recovery for MS sufferers will be in their near future as we start to connect the dots and reverse this autoimmune nightmare. That’s my fervent wish."

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman