Female Frontier: Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis

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FEMALE FRONTIER: Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis

When I was 10 years old, I started losing my balance while ice skating. My arms would go numb for days. Hills and steps became difficult for me. It wasn't until much later in life, in 1989 at age 36, that I received the diagnosis of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis (MS).

After seeing nine other doctors, the tenth was finally able to tell me what was wrong after an MRI test. The MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, takes a picture of the brain, like an X-ray. The damage appears as white spots called plagues or lesions.

My MRI showed hundreds of lesions on the cells in my brain. The doctor said I would not live to age 40. I told him it wasn't up to him: it was up to me and the big guy. I am now 46 years old and a very healthy woman.

Multiple sclerosis affects more women than men and affects 300,000 people in the United States (1 out of 1,000). The most common age to be diagnosed is between 35 and 50, MS causes progressive damage to the nervous system. The fatty sheath covering each nerve cell, called myelin, becomes deteriorated in patches that are scattered randomly throughout the brain and spinal cord. This damage causes the message from the brain to the body to short circuit.

There are many types of multiple sclerosis depending on where the damage is located in the body. Many people with MS have lesions on the spinal cord. Their limbs often go dead but they do not have any physical pain.

There are many theories as to the cause of MS, but as yet no facts. The frustration among physicians is due to the fact that science has yet to identify the cause or causes of MS. This explains why practically all physicians in the United States currently attempt to mask their patients' symptoms of the disorder with powerful drugs.

The problems with drug treatment of MS, however, are the dangerous and frequent side effects they produce. Hundreds of thousands of patients across the United States are virtually frantic over the fact that not only have they been diagnosed as having MS, but that prescribed treatment often consists of powerful drugs -- drugs that rarely help anyone with MS.

The most common diagnosed treatments for MS include the following: steroids. NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and Betaseron. Adverse reactions to these treatments can be depression, anxiety, depersonalization, suicidal tendencies, confusion, headaches, and dizziness.

My MS

The relief that comes with knowing what's wrong is short-lived. Soon, the fact sinks in that one is stuck living with inert arms, hands, legs, and feet. It's human desperation when we think the doctors are going to help us. I knew the day of my diagnosis that the medical profession did not know how to help me. I refused to accept their dire prognosis. I always saw myself walking unaided again. I did not accept. I did not deny. I dealt with the situation.

At the time of my diagnosis, both of my legs were numb from the midthigh down. Each loot felt like it weighed 100 pounds. My arms would fling out with spasms. I had trouble remembering what it was I just did.

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By August of 1991, my weight had fallen to 90 pounds. My normal weight is 125 pounds. I had trouble hearing, speaking, and eating. I no longer drove my car. I would become distressed by the motion of other vehicles. Previously, I had been using forearm crutches to get around. Now, I needed to use a wheelchair. Fatigue was nearly constant. I tried the pharmaceutical drugs for a year and a half but could not tolerate the side effects. In July 1993, after an extended hospital stay, I left the medical profession for good. It was then I started to feel better and my health slowly improved.

My research

The year of 1993 was a year of many changes. I put my health first. I quit working and moved to a single-level house. I now spent my daytime hours studying the body. I learned all I could about the various body cells.

Within our bodies, cells are in constant motion -- constantly repairing and regenerating. Each cell has a life span of up to seven years. It's as if a new copy of ourselves is reborn every seven years but when MS becomes acute, the copy doesn't duplicate itself very well. With MS, the myelin sheaths covering the nerve cells are gradually destroyed. These sheaths are composed of lecithin and depend upon the presence of copper. Geographic areas where MS is high, the climate is cool and, according to studies done in 1988 by the Toxicology Research Center of the University of Saskatchewan, the soil is deficient in copper.

When we develop deficiencies, we develop them as a group, According to The Twelve Tissue Remedies of Schussler, published in 1888, if we determine the deficiency, a cure can be found. A cell can regain its normal state.

After reading more than 50 books about nutrition, I started taking specific supplements which help the body to produce red blood cells, to regenerate cells and repair tissue. I was very determined to learn what my specific deficiencies were and then to correct those deficiencies.

My regimen

My disease became acute when I was 34. A hysterectomy was necessary when I was 31. I believe the mid-life hormone change caused the MS to become acute. In my journal, which I've kept since 1977, I would record how I felt, what the weather was and what was eaten. This helped me separate the MS problems from the menopause problems.

Every day, I would exercise for four hours using specially designed workouts I developed which would work every part of my body. First in the morning was meditation. Then came a voice workout, face exercises, and vision workouts. Late in the morning, 2.5 pound weights were strapped to my ankles and 20 leg exercises learned from a physical therapist were done. At 4 p.m., stretching was done for an hour, followed by an hour of walking. I would practice walking, barefoot, on my front yard.

I take the following supplements six days a week, allowing the body to plateau on the seventh day. This regimen is of my own making.

- Copper -- With my morning meal. I take 9 mg. of copper every day. Copper helps get rid of any arthritic type pain. The recommended daily allowance says 2 mg. of copper is needed daily to ensure good health.

But we with MS have special needs and require much more to achieve good health. Copper increases production of red blood cells. The myelin sheaths damaged with MS depend on the presence of copper. People should not take copper supplements if they are using the IUD, taking birth control pills, or on blood thinners.

- Lecithin -- I take 2400 mg. of lecithin each morning. The protective sheaths surrounding the brain are composed of lecithin, and the muscles and nerve cells also contain this essential fatty substance. Lecithin consists of choline, inositol and PABA. High doses of PABA help lower the white blood cells. Choline is critical for nerve function and inositol aids digestion.

- Magnesium -- I take 1200 mg. with my evening meal. Magnesium helps my balance. Calcium is avoided in order to help the body absorb the magnesium. Magnesium is required for the proper transmission of nerve impulses and also helps to counteract any effects of mercury poisoning.

- Selenium and vitamin E -- Selenium and vitamin E work together to help the production of red blood cells. I take 400 mg. of selenium and 1200 I.U. of vitamin E with my evening meal.

- Phosphorous -- Phosphorous is needed for cellular growth and assists the body in the utilization of vitamins.

I've trusted myself and my judgments above all others, including the medical profession. A record was kept stating my reaction to each supplement. Several minerals were tried that had an adverse effect on me. Learning by trial and error, I compensated for my mineral deficiencies.

Learning that I have a type of MS in which no one ever gets better didn't stop me from proving that I could. Now, I feel good and can walk unaided. I regained my health by thinking positive, exercising every part of the body, supplementing for my mineral deficiencies, and believing in myself.

Measurements & Data Corporation.

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By Yvonne Fischer

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