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Managing MS Naturally (no pharma)

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    Managing MS Naturally (no pharma)

    Is there anyone here managing their MS naturally? And by this I mean with zero pharmaceuticals. I'm aware of many of the diets out there, Wahl's, Swank, etc. I know others also proclaim supplements alone can be used. But I want to know of any real life, first hand accounts of managing without drugs. Is it possible or a pipe dream?

    Hi Pistachio and welcome to MSWorld.

    Medications to treat this disease are the Disease Modifying Therapies (DMTs) and are recommended. The DMTs may or may not help with symptoms. For symptom management there are "Symptom Management Medications" and may be helpful for some symptoms. Exacerbations (relapse, flare-up, attack) are treated with high dose steroids (some exacerbations do not require steroids.

    So, as you see there are different "Pharmaceuticals" that are used to treat this disease. I am assuming your question is in regards to the DMTs? Or all?

    I was diagnosed with MS long before DMTs came along. To date, after being diagnosed for 36 years I have never used a DMT. I will use symptom management medications when warranted and have used steroids twice.

    I do take vitamins and supplements. In a general sense I feel better on vitamins/supplements than off. However, I have never found any benefit with symptoms or this disease in general.

    I strongly believe in exercise and working with a Physical Therapist when needed.

    If you choose (if diagnosed) to not use a DMT then you are assuming the possibility you may progress or get worse, or you may not. There is no guarantee (this disease is a crapshoot) regardless if a DMT is used or not. An important question to ask yourself -- how will you feel if your MS gets worse? Will you regret your decision, or will you be accepting of your choice and the outcome? If you will have regrets then using a DMT would be a good idea for you. If you are fine with whatever outcome then don't use a DMT.

    Many people use the DMTs along with Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM). The link below gives you information about trating this disease:
    Diagnosed 1984
    “Lightworkers aren’t here to avoid the darkness…they are here to transform the darkness through the illuminating power of love.” Muses from a mystic



      Snoopy gave a great response (glad to see a post from you Snoopy).

      I am not aware of any studies that recommend forgoing a DMT in favor of a natural approach. But there are plenty of studies that support a natural approach in addition to the DMTs.

      There is also a lot of research into how diet affects MS. There is not one recommended diet at this time, just most recommend a healthy eating plan like the Mediterranean diet. That being said, people swear by different "MS diets". Be aware some of them may restrict foods and ultimately lead to some vitamin deficiency. Always important to have these levels monitored and supplement where need be.

      Also at the present time, no way to predict a disease course. To me, as Snoopy said, the question is if you choose to opt out of a DMT and progress, will you be ok with your decision or will you beat yourself up with "what-ifs"? Likewise, if you opt for a DMT, there is a trade-off on risk versus efficacy in some cases. If you opt for a lower efficacy drug and progress, will you feel you made the right choice based on your own risk tolerance at the time? I sometimes struggle with the latter, wondering if I opted into Tysabri earlier, rather than Avonex/Rebif for 5 years, would I not have the symptoms I do now? That being said, I can tell myself I did make the right decision based on where I was in life and what was known about Ty's risks at that time.

      It is a lot to take in, so please keep asking people questions. As you think about next steps, do what you can to eat healthy and exercise, taking care if your body and mind, all the things recommended for a healthy life, MS or not.
      DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri


        Originally posted by pennstater View Post

        Also at the present time, no way to predict a disease course.
        This was going to be my next question. Is there anyway, at all, to know how fast MS might progress in any person? Also, do lesions in certain parts of the brain coincide with specific symptoms? I have queried these questions online but there seems to be a lot of conflicting information. I saw my MRI report. I have lesions in different parts of my brain. Some of them are hypointense - hence, beyond repair, should I understand all the new lingo correctly.

        I've been researching for months (as I waited 88 days for my MRI) but it seems the more I learn the more questions I have.


          Originally posted by Pistachio View Post
          Is there anyway, at all, to know how fast MS might progress in any person?
          Each person experiences MS differently and each course is different. There is no way to know if or when a person may progress. One of the best things to keep in mind is MS is still known as a chronic debilitating disease.

          Also, do lesions in certain parts of the brain coincide with specific symptoms?
          No. Mapping lesions of the brain has never really been very helpful in determining symptoms with brain lesion locations The brain has the ability to re-route around the damaged area creating new pathways. Spinal cord lesions tend to be more symptomatic than brain lesions. Have you had a MRI of the spine?

          (glad to see a post from you Snoopy).
          Thank you, Kathy

          Diagnosed 1984
          “Lightworkers aren’t here to avoid the darkness…they are here to transform the darkness through the illuminating power of love.” Muses from a mystic


            I would have to say it's a pipe dream. Like Snoopy, my symptoms started years before the creation of DMT's, so I've also used various OTC drugs and herbal remedies to deal with specific symptoms. If you're young and newly diagnosed, I would suggest reading up on the DMT's, discussing them with a trusted neurologist, and then making your decision from there. From what I've heard, the right one can help a lot. I understand wanting to stay away from drugs, but I think in your situation it would be a mistake. Think long and hard before turning them down. I've wondered frequently if I'd be on Disability now if DMT's had been an option for me way back when.


              A woman in my community with MS started a support group called healthy lifestyles. She refused a DMD, was working and following a strict diet, doing yoga, seeing a faith healer etc. I worried.

              she finally started Ocrevus. She now looks fabulous and has restored all the function she had lóst. I told her I had been worried about her try to do everything without DMT, She said, “you were right”.

              When you first get it, hit it hard with the strongest Treatment
              you dare do. Please!


                I don't take any DMT's. Dx'ed 18 years ago.

                Exercise and good fuel have been good to me. I can't say that I'm 100% but I'd like to think that I do OK.
                The future depends on what you do today.- Gandhi


                  We're all so different. Symptoms, progression, etc.

                  I'm a big believer, at this point, in alternative strategies. In combination with traditional MS meds. After the lesions are there, the damage is done. Sometimes some alternative doctors claim things can get better but I'd just recommend meds to avoid those losses.
                  ~ Faith
                  MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
                  (now a Mimibug)

                  Symptoms began in JAN02
                  - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
                  - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08

                  - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
                  - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.