“Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food “could not be truer for me. After Avonex, Copaxone, and Tysabri made me feel sick, fatigued and brought about a whole host of new and unusual symptoms, I decided to give them the boot. As I began to detox, I felt better but not great. My body craved a substitute, some form of healing for the wreckage that was going on internally.
While on prescription meds I had been skeptical of the natural healing books I read. I was curious enough to read them but I was still bought into the idea that Multiple Sclerosis was so scary there was no way a bunch of herbs was the answer. Once off the meds, I thought “what do I have to lose?” And so my journey of healing with nutrition began.
The MS Recovery Diet (by Ann D. Sawyer and Judith E. Bachrach) resonated most deeply with me. And I liked that it was a book written by two women with MS who have stopped their symptoms and have actually begun to heal because of the diet. No gluten, no dairy, no eggs, no legumes, no yeast, no sugar. I was apprehensive. If this works does it mean that I will HAVE to follow this diet? I was eating A LOT of sugar before my diagnosis. A regular cookie monster I was.
I INSTANTLY FELT BETTER. I still have nagging pain but for the most part, I forget I have MS. I am quickly reminded with the slightest bit of sugar or a spoonful of beans, so I just avoid them. My fear surrounding having to follow a strict diet has been replaced with what we’ll call “experiential education.” Having strayed from it enough times to verify that yes, indeed these foods are making me sick, the motivation comes from wanting to feel good, not a compulsion to deprive myself.
Having switched to vegetarianism with my diagnosis three years ago, believing that to be the healthiest move at the time, I have had to incorporate animal protein back into my diet. Again, I instantly felt better.
My journey is far from over and the results far from conclusive. I am now working with a holistic doctor at the Marino Center for Integrative Health in Cambridge, MA. I went on a diet to cut out all common allergens and inflammatory foods. 40 days and no pain improvement. No real noticeable affects at all. Next was a diet to test if I am fructose malabsorbent. Seriously, just cutting out celery made a huge difference for me. I love this diet but it does not contain all the answers. As I test food item by food item now, I am starting to see that my body reacts to everything. In that autoimmune “all is an enemy” kind of way. Nuts and potatoes cause a mild reaction, apples and millet wreak havoc.
In a month or so I see results of a Candida test, another theory behind MS sufferers. If it is found to be positive, I will reread Healing Multiple Sclerosis (Ann Boroch.) A book that sounded too good to be true my first time around but makes sense just as much as any other cure floating around out there.
I’m curious to hear- what have your journeys with food been? What have you discovered about the relationship between food and your health?
Peace and blessings to you on your journey,
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