Thursday, December 6, 2007

Herbal Cures and Remedies for Multiple Sclerosis

Although not recognized in standard allopathic medicine, the use of herbal supplements can be very useful in treating Multiple Sclerosis.

Fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. In addition to treating inflammation caused by multiple sclerosis, fish oil also may have the ability to assist in myelin repair. It is often recommended by alternative medicine practitioners that people with multiple sclerosis take between 3 and 9 grams of fish oil daily, for optimal myelin repair.

Some studies have shown that soya lecithin combined with fish oil may further help myelin repair itself after an MS attack.

It has been shown that the body needs adequate calcium intake in order to optimize its ability to transmit electrical signals. In addition, some studies have shown that high intake of vitamin D may slow the progression of multiple sclerosis. Therefore, it is recommended that people with MS take a combination of calcium and vitamin D daily.

Magnesium and calcium work together to assist electrical signals traveling in the body. Taken before bed, magnesium is also very helpful in treating restless legs syndrome, or spasticity at night. People with MS can take up to 1500 mg of magnesium per day. Too much magnesium can cause loose stools or other bowel problems.

Many people with multiple sclerosis suffer from severe fatigue. A good B-complex sublingual liquid can help treat this. Be sure the preparation you choose has a high concentration of vitamin B-12.

For depression associated with multiple sclerosis, many people use St. John's Wort.

Sometimes, multiple sclerosis can make you feel as if you're thinking slower than normal or that your brain is in a fog. Ginseng and/or Ginko Biloba may help treat this.

Of course, speak to your doctor or alternative medicine practitioner before starting this or any other supplement regimen. Some vitamins, minerals, or supplements may interact with standard multiple sclerosis treatments.

General Tips to Multiple Sclerosis

For people with multiple sclerosis, it is very important not to let themselves get overheated. When the body overheats, there is usually an increase of symptoms. Medically, this is called a pseudo exacerbation. Typically this causes mild or occasional symptoms to get worse. The most common MS symptoms effected are dizziness, speech difficulties, loss of balance, fatigue, and clarity of thinking. However, it is important to remember that any symptom the person has experienced can be effected.

Cooling vests can be purchased for minimal cost. Some of these vests are designed to be soaked in cool water and put in the freezer, others have inserts that you keep in the freezer until needed, much like ice packs used for keeping lunches cool. For those on a limited income, the National MS Society can sometimes help with purchase.

Wearing a large bath sheet around your neck will do the same thing. Just keep the bath sheet or towel in the freezer until you need it.

Whenever possible, stay out of the direct sun and away from hot, stuffy places. During summer, ask a friend or family member to run errands for you. You might consider hiring a local teenager to do these for you, as well. If you must go out in the heat, drink plenty of water, wear a wide brimmed hat to keep the direct sun off, and always seek shade. Wear a cooling vest or cold towel around your neck. For outdoor activities, invest in a personal, handheld fan, they spray cool water on you and can help lower body temperature.

Listen to your body. If you find yourself feeling unwell, feeling unusually tired, or having an increase in symptoms, stop what you are doing and go cool off. Find an air-conditioned store, or just sit in your car with the air running until you feel better.