Autoimmune Disease

Multiple Sclerosis Explained

multiple sclerosis - a complex network of cells and wiring (nerves).

What is it and How it Can Be Treated Naturally?

For those who own Apple iPhones, Androids or any other type of technical equipment, they will have seen an electrical cord, power charger or computer wire. Without wiring, none of these items would be able to function properly or be provided the battery power needed for energy. The wiring within any technological device is extremely complex, with each strand serving a different purpose. Covering these wires is a long tube-like piece of plastic to protect the wires from damage, however if used too often or too aggressively, this plastic can slowly dissolve revealing the wires underneath and making them vulnerable. Once they become vulnerable, they become susceptible to damage, thus needing immediate replacement. (Apple iPhone users should especially understand this feeling).

Interestingly, our body contains similar functions within the nervous system. A healthy nervous system is composed of a complex network of cells and “wiring” called nerves that are responsible for submitting messages back-and-forth between the brain and the rest of the body. These nerves are protected by myelin sheaths which, according to WebMd, are “sleeves of fatty tissue that protects nerve cells¹.” Similar to the tube-like plastic that protects technological wiring, myelin sheaths wrap around the fibers of a nerve cell to protect them. However, the immune system can accidentally mistake the myelin as a foreign antibody and attack it, thus causing damage to the nerve fiber and leading to a chronic autoimmune disease called Multiple Sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) occurs when an abnormal immune system attacks the myelin sheath and causes damage to the nerves. As a result, this impairment affects the way that the brain and spinal cord gives and receives messages by slowing down or blocking the signals between them and the body. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), more than 2.3 million people have a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in the United States². Symptoms of the condition are progressive and can vary from person-to-person. Some early signs of the disease include:

  • vision problems
  • numbness and tingling
  • involuntary spasms
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

The condition is chronic and incurable, however it can be managed with proper diagnosis and treatment.

There are four types of MS:

Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS): Usually referred to as the first episode of neurological symptoms that lasts about 24 hours. It is caused by inflammation and demyelination, which takes place when the myelin in the central nervous system becomes damaged due to the attacks from the immune system.

Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS): This type of MS is characterized as increasing neurological symptoms (or relapses) followed by periods of remission. Additionally, certain cases may cause permanent and worsening symptoms. The NMSS estimates that about 85% of those with MS are initially diagnosed with this type of condition³.

Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS): Those diagnosed with RRMS will eventually experience a transition into SPMS that causes a gradual worsening of symptoms. MRI activity will reveal evidence of disability accumulation regardless if the patient experiences relapses.

Primary Progressive MS (PPMS): This is diagnosed if symptoms slowly worsen after the first neurological episode. The NMSS estimates that about 15% of patients with MS eventually develop PPMS4.

What Causes MS?

The condition itself is caused by an autoimmune reaction, however the source of what lead to the autoimmunity is unknown by many researchers. It is highly speculated that certain factors such as nutritional deficiencies (i.e. Vitamin D), genetics, environmental triggers, and bacterial infections all play a significant role in autoimmunity, which then induces an attack towards healthy cells within the system. This attack can affect any area in the body including the thyroid, the joints, the gut, and many others. In the case of MS, the individual’s nervous system becomes a victim to the immune system, with antibodies being released to kill off the myelin sheaths, thus causing nerve damage. Fortunately, new myelin can regenerate if the condition goes into remission, however if chronic inflammation is present, this can lead to long-lasting neurological impairment and scarred tissues. Other factors that have been linked to MS are chronic stress and leaky gut syndrome.

Treating MS at LifeWorks Wellness Center

Diagnosis and treatment of MS varies depending on the patient’s symptoms and the practitioner’s methods. Initially, most medical practices will order bloodwork, MRI’s and the Spinal Tap (a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is drawn from the spinal canal and sent to a laboratory for analysis). From there, many conventional doctors normally place MS patients on medications that involve a series of injections, oral medications such as corticosteroids that are used to reduce nerve inflammation, and plasma exchange (blood cells are separated from blood plasma and mixed with a protein solution called albumin before returning to the patient’s body). While these methods will assist one in managing their symptoms, it does not address the root cause of the disease, which means that the condition is bound to return.

At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we provide alternative natural therapies for patients to treat their symptoms. Depending on the patient’s case, our treatment methods can combine detoxification therapies with a regular autoimmune treatment plan. First, the patient will be required to undergo a series of testing to measure for heavy metal toxicity, allergies, leaky gut and other inflammatory markers. From there, a LifeWorks practitioner will establish a treatment program that will involve a series of autoimmune injections, intravenous therapies, ozone therapies, peptides, supplement regimens and dietary changes.

Do You Suffer From MS?

MS is an extremely debilitating disease for both the patient and their family members. If the disease remains untreated, it can lead to incredibly severe complications including mobility issues, cognitive impairment, depression, forms of arthritis, and in extreme cases, paralysis.  To ensure that a patient continues to have a high quality of life, it’s important that they seek treatment immediately.

If you or someone that you know is currently suffering from MS or other autoimmune conditions, please call to schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners at 727-466-6789.

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About Dr. Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego. He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine. In 1992, Dr. Minkoff’s attended a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Bland, widely considered the father of functional medicine, during which he had a eureka moment, and began pursuing the alternative health field with a vengeance, studying under the most accomplished thought leaders on natural & integrative healing. In 1997 Dr. Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic to help friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into LifeWorks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States.