In her latest guest blog Chloe discusses the effects of sugar on multiple sclerosis and the work of Dr Terry Wahls...
I’ve had MS for 16 years now and it’s taken all of those 16 years for me to realise the obvious. Sugar is bad for me and my MS.
Okay okay…I’ve actually always known but have turned a very blind eye to it in the past. I mean sugar is delicious! I have a good diet, don’t get me wrong, but who can resist a sugary treat?! Not me.
The problem with sugar is that the effects are instantaneous with me. If I have something sugary I go tingly. End of story. Even having a yoghurt (pumped full of sugar it seems) would leave me with tingles all down the right side of my face. So the signs that sugar was no good for me were there.
It’s only been recently though that I’ve decided to do something about it. There’s been a lot of research done into the harmful effects of sugar and I couldn’t help but take notice.
There are a lot of websites in particular that talk about the effects sugar has on MS, and how one should avoid it. I found the work of Dr Terry Wahls in particular an interesting read, and was fascinated by her book, The Wahls’ Protocol. The protocol is designed to ‘restore health and vitality to those with MS’, and was created by Dr Wahls after conventional medicine had no effect on the progression of her MS. I, and Dr Wahls, are not suggesting that people with MS shun treatment and go with the diet instead, but purely that it’s an alternative for those who have had no result from treatment. Likewise, it’s a healthy and beneficial diet for all those who have chronic autoimmune conditions, whether they are on treatment or not. I’m on Tysabri which fingers crossed seems to be doing good things so far, but had been failed by 3 treatments before.
Dr Wahls found that changing to a super nutrient Paleo diet transformed her MS. She went from being wheelchair bound to riding a bike and I urge you to look at her work. Though I haven’t managed to stick strictly to the Paleo diet myself (no wheat, barley, dairy, eggs, processed food, sugar, and reduced intake of legumes and potatoes is hard to get your head around when you’re trying to man-handle a 2 year old and living in a predominantly vegetarian household!) the emphasis on sugar was what I really found interesting. To hugely summarise, Dr Wahls’ principle is that care needs to be taken to make sure our body is working as efficiently as possible at a very cellular level. Feeding our body a high-sugar and high-starch diet ‘gum up’ your mitochondria (an important part of our cells) meaning they diminish efficiency. Sugars and starches in particular affect your body detrimentally in two ways. Firstly they are high in calories and fill you up, but provide very little nutritional value. Secondly, they encourage the growth of unfavourable yeasts and bacteria in your gut which can lead to a lot of other problems*.
That evidence, coupled with the fact that I knew full well that it was detrimental to my health (with the instant tingles) it was a no-brainer that I had to cut out sugar from my diet. But my goodness me, it was hard. There is sugar in everything. It’s only when you start looking that you realise the hidden sugars that plague us. I had two weeks of complete detox from sugar (including fruit) and now I am very careful with what I eat, trying to eliminate it as much as possible and not eat more than 10g of sugar a day. I’m no angel though…obviously I still have bad days and slip. But at least I’m aware of the bad effect sugar has on my diet. If I eat some and get tingling and a headache then that’s my own fault and I have no-one else to blame.
6 weeks in and I’m amazed at the effect eating a low sugar diet has had though. Not only have the tingles gone, but I’ve had more energy and more stamina. I just feel brighter. I’ll never know whether it is no-sugar that has done this, or whether it’s coincidence and I’m just in a good remission, but I figured that any changes I can make to my lifestyle to help things along are only a good thing. If you’re stuck in a bit of a fatigue rut, I urge you to give a low-sugar diet a go. What have you got to lose?
*All information can be found in Dr Terry Wahls & Eve Adamson’s book The Wahls’ Protocol (2015), published by Avery.
Today we publish one of our ‘Guest Blog’ articles from Janet. If you would like to write an article for our blog please contact email@example.com.
Hi fellow MS-ers,
You will maybe remember me from fighting the Best Bet Diet corner for 11 years and my initial success with CCSVI treatment back in 2010. Well, I’m back and I have found my last piece of the jigsaw – CANDIDA!
PPMS diagnosed 1995, wheelchair since 1999, practically every symptom known to man.
Never taken DMDs, always eaten a healthy diet (organic, a little small-farm-raised meat, ocean fish, masses of fruit). Swank 1995-6, Best Bet Diet 2003-14. Ann Boroch Protocol (ABP) June 2014 – present.
Treated for CCSVI by Ameds, Poland (Oct 2010) and immediately many symptoms vanished but sadly gradually started to return but to nowhere near the level they had been thanks to the Best Bet Diet and other activities.
Walking still eluded me with zero balance and difficulty breathing so 2 years later I returned to Poland and they found both jugulars working fine with a normal blood flow. So it was all down to me to fix it.
Physiotherapy was my first port of call for 6 months. It got me able to get out of a wheelchair with help and shuffle along in parallel bars for a few minutes but I still had no balance and terrible breathing.
I tried a TMJ dental brace which helped a little (better sleep, slight improvement in balance and in breathing). I used a TENS machine, Slendertone belt, Vibroplate and an Electric Mini Walker, had CST (cranio-sacral therapy) for jaw manipulation, polarity and energy therapy, emotional freedom technique, and my own art therapy.
Result: Slightly better muscle tone, emotionally stable, writing returned to normal, nearly bankrupt. I changed my supplements and diet to concentrate on helping blood flow (cayenne, parsley, grape seed extract, gotu kola, ginkgo biloba, magnesium, co-enzyme Q10), IP-6 and milk thistle to remove iron deposits from the brain.
And that was where I had got to when you last saw me in New Pathways.
I was still not able to stand for more than seconds, even supported, my incontinence had returned to every 20 minutes and with food intolerances turning up by the day I started Googling.
I found every one of my MS symptoms in every site I looked at on Candidiasis. I took multiple candida questionnaires and scored off the charts.
MS is incurable and, with PPMS, I was in for a slow decline. Candidiasis however is curable through diet.
It made sense to start a candida diet and at least remove that part of my problem and then see what was left.
I started a Candida detox programme (Ann Boroch) June 2014 and at last I had my answer.
The new diet removed most fruit which had been my downfall – the candida don’t care where their sugar comes from.
I changed all supplements to those recommended for healing the liver, gall-bladder, adrenals, leaky gut, thyroid and digestion and did yet another heavy metal detox.
The symptoms I had by June 2014 when I started the ABP were food intolerances, anaemia, low body temperature, cold feet, constipation, fruit cravings, cysts, abdominal distension, tinnitus, ear itchiness and ear ache, feeling worse with perfumes, fumes, tobacco smoke or dampness, spots in front of eyes, excessive tearing, itchy eyes, athlete’s foot, itchy arches, swollen feet, toes and ankles, vaginitis, general feeling of unwellness, itchy scalp, sores on scalp, low blood sugar, IBS, mitral valve prolapse, coated and cracked tongue, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, numb feet, tingling legs, muscle strength not as good as it should be, toe nail fungus, oddly-shaped toe nails, needle-like pain, arthritic-type pain, tightness in chest, shortness of breath, irritability when hungry, eczema, liver spots, white spots, sore throat, hoarseness, cough, spots on tongue, difficulty urinating, unable to empty completely, zero balance.
The protocol is severe. I suffered 2 months of solid die off (Herxheimer reactions), my symptoms worsened, old symptoms returned, I lost a vast amount of weight that I didn’t have to lose, felt dreadful but had heard this was all part of the cleanse so I plugged on.
At 2 months to the day my energy returned and the ominous dark cloud lifted and every single day since I have experienced improvement, sometimes only small but improvement nonetheless.
In 3 and a half months of eating the new way all that was left was cold feet, a few cysts not completely gone, still not emptying completely and not much feeling in that area. I could swim in a quarter of the time and had bundles of energy, could walk 90 paces with my husband on one side and nothing on the other. I felt more vibrant than I ever had.
By 18 months I started realising what people were talking about when they had UTIs. I don’t know how many years I had been having them as I could never feel anything. Now I can and I have found some brilliant pessaries. You can find one that works for you, but I use PEGASO-CANDINORM-OVULI.
By 22 months on the protocol I felt fantastic, still had cold feet, one foot that was starting to clear the floor correctly and still had a knee that was still bent inwards, could get out of a chair without using my arms, shower alone and standing, walk with assistance and had no other signs of MS.
Now at 23 months on the protocol my feet will warm up with chocolate (100% cacao) or other ingestible items like chilli, foot drop is almost gone, knee is starting to straighten out and will bend, and I can walk 19 paces with 2 sticks on my own so am rather excited.
I estimate that it will take me 4 years to rid myself of Systemic Candidiasis by which time I predict all “MS” symptoms will be gone.
This video shows me walking at 22 months since the ABP and, bearing in mind that I couldn’t even sit up straight before all this and certainly couldn’t transfer unaided, I am confident I still have more to gain.
I followed the book ‘Candida Cure’ by Ann Boroch.
Hope this helps!
May 25 2016