Alternative Medicine

In my last post, I commented on control issues. Knowing that over 90% of MS patients use some form of complementary alternative medicine, in 2005 I bought Dr. Allen C. Bowling’s 2001 book Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis. Over the years I’ve consulted that book whenever I had a thought of trying one of the many unconventional therapies listed there while still taking my prescribed medicine.

Unlike conventional, doctor-approved courses of action, almost all the therapies had not been put through clinical trials at that time thereby not having any scientific basis on whether they worked or not. So, basically, I chose the ones that would not harm me or make things worse.

Here’s what I found over the eight years: yoga for me always calms me down, listening to music does as well, aromatherapy, too, meditation when I make time for it. I’m getting more serious about exercise and am working with a physical therapist now.

The biggest change came about lately after my recent flare-up. I decided to really watch what I eat. I’ve drastically lowered my bread content. Carbs convert to sugar which, I found by tracking it with a food journal, my body doesn’t like. No more cookies, chips etc. I’m eating more protein as that gives me a little more energy. I use stevia instead of sugar. I figure if it’s good for diabetics, it can’t harm  me.

I had mentioned to the doctor how tired I become in the afternoons. He recommended a small cup of coffee. Before this for years I had switched to decaf beverages. Now, I pour 1/4 cup caffeinated coffee, add some milk and a small amount (1/8 teaspoon or so) stevia, microwave it for 30 seconds or so. I’ve really found this perks me up.

Vitamins: 2000 Vit D, 500 calcium, 250 magnesium, a chewable cranberry tab (to ward off urinary tract infections-the juice variety contains lots of sugar). I’m questioning multi vitamins because of the biotin and selenium they contain so I’ve stopped until I can find out more about this and their relationship to MS.

Anything that says it will boost your immune system (Vit C, echinacea) I avoid because the last thing MS people with their over-active immune systems is taking something that will boost it some more!

I’m still tweaking the diet and I have to say I am feeling better. I’ve also just ordered Bowling’s second 2012 edition. There will be more up to date information in there about vitamins, supplements, etc.

MS does require we pay attention to our bodies to find out what works for us. What my plan of action is may not be what works for you. I’d be interested in hearing about other alternative medicines that work for you.

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