MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. In multiple sclerosis, inflammation of the nervous tissue causes the loss of myelin, a fatty insulator of the nerve fibers that helps conduct the nerve impulse transmissions. This demyelination leaves multiple scarring or sclerosis along the covering of the nerve cells, which causes disruption of the nerve impulse. People with MS may experience symptoms such as blurred vision, muscle weakness and spasticity, difficulty walking, poor coordination, bladder problems, numbness, and fatigue.
Who Does Multiple Sclerosis Affect?
The incidence of multiple sclerosis is increasing. It is believed that 1.1 million people worldwide are affected. Onset of symptoms typically occurs between ages 18 and 35, and most common among Caucasian people of northern Europe origin and in women. MS patients have an initial attack of symptoms followed by partial or complete remission. Children of parents with MS have a 30 to 50% higher rate of incidence.
How Is Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?
There is no single test that detects MS, yet physicians use a neurological examination and take a thorough medical history when suspecting MS. An MRI of the brain can provide an anatomical picture of the lesions and a magnetic resonance spectroscopy can yield information about the biochemistry of the brain. Studies of the patients' cerebrospinal fluid and an antibody called immunoglobulin G also are important for a MS diagnosis.
Why Hair Analysis to Help Assist MS?
In addition to hypothesizing the hereditary origins of multiple sclerosis, a variety of environmental factors is believed to strongly influence the onset and progression of this disease. These factors can include dietary, metabolic, immunological, and hormonal changes. A hair tissue mineral analysis can determine nutritional deficiencies of certain minerals and/or accumulation of toxic heavy metals. These can contribute to a persons' ill health, especially someone with MS. (See hair analysis.)
Also, MS patients consistently show low levels of zinc. Zinc plays an extremely important role in immune function. Copper levels also are altered in MS patients. It is needed for proper energy production, for healthy bones and skin, and—for the MS patient—to ensure the integrity of the myelin sheaths. Establishing a good ratio between zinc and copper is key.
Heavy metal exposure has been linked to symptoms of MS. Lead can promote the synthesis of auto-antibodies that attack the protein of the myelin sheath. Mercury, especially from amalgam dental fillings, has 30% more exacerbating effects on the MS patient. (See mercury poisoning.) It is also important to note that cobalt, boron, and manganese, which are micro elements from the soil, have been present in MS patients.
Natural Treatments and Prognosis
There is no cure for MS patients, but most people with multiple sclerosis have a normal life expectancy. The goals of any therapy are to improve recovery from the attacks, to prevent or lessen the number of relapses, and to halt the disease progression. Incorporating a nutritional protocol program by addressing your personal mineral content and/or metal toxicity found on your hair analysis can only help. Detoxification to remove heavy metals and enhance anti-aging effects also is another alternative means. (See Detoxification Programs.)
If you have any questions or comments about multiple sclerosis, please contact Dr. Akin.