Category Archives: MS and Nutrition

Dr. Wahl , save me from myself!

Part One “The Beginning” (FULL STORY-click here)

I got a head start; lost ten pounds…before MS kicks in. Weight management was important. I could control NOTHING about my MS, but I could control everything about my diet…right?

Part Two “I’m the Picture of Health” (FULL STORY-click here)

Fast forward 20 years, throw in lots of diet and drug research. I became a meditating yogi and I’m the picture of health…right?fruit.tree

Part Three “Damn this Disease” (FULL STORY-click here)

It’s getting worse, I think : / Dr. Wahl to the rescue. She’s a Doctor who also has MS. She looked at myelin on a cellular level to see what chemical compounds it would need to rebuild. Then she examined food items that are available that would give us THOSE chemicals compounds. Well, check out her (click here) Minding Your Mitochondria diet for yourself  and tell me what you think.

Part Four “Could I be at risk for Orthorexia?”  (FULL STORY-click here)

It’s an eating disorder where people obsess over healthy food. I’ve been called lots of things, but never this one. To change the error of my ways and be more GANGSTER I’ve actually eaten some salmon and (drum roll!) Beef liver. Picture me gagging right now!

ALERT! If you’ve been vegan for 15 years or so, be sure you take thisenzyme

before you eat thisliveredI am obviously taking Dr. Wahls diet to heart. I worked myself into a Vegan corner because I deemed it to be the best dietary choice…for me. I’m seriously questioning its health sustainability for me at the moment as my health seems to be in decline. I’ll do what I have to. By any means necessary, even eating liver. I can do it!

ABC News, “Good Morning America” is discussing Orthorexia, video link below.

VIDEO: When Eating Healthy makes you Sick

COMMENTS:

Illness or not, how have you used nutrition to try to control your health? What did/do you depend on?

Have you ever changed back??

What do you think of Dr. Wahls diet?

Have you EVER heard of Orthorexia?

 

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nutrition and ms… again

I re-blogged this article from the blog of a friend. I hope I did it right. Check her blog out, it’s great.

Below is the comment I left on her page. It was after writing my comment that I realized, these were my feeling on MS and Nutrition.

Hmmmm, I’ve been a Vegan for so long I really can’t say WHAT the benefits have been. Weight management has never been a problem, and I think everything is more difficult when we carry extra weight. Well, and I’ve had MS for 20 years and it’s safe to say that its progression has been very slow. But now , do I attribute that to my diet, or the DMD’s I’ve been taking for some 20 years? Or, maybe the fact that I left my career 11 years ago (stress reduction). Or, is the meditation and exercise that I’ve thrown in, off and on over the years? OR is it just the way the disease was gonna play out in my body, no matter what?

In Search of My New Normal

So, here’s an article I recently came across:

Treating MS With Diet: Fact or Fraud?

It discusses the results of the infamous Dr. Swank diet. (If you’re unfamiliar with it, he found that a low-fat, vegetarian diet reduced the progression of MS in a group of his patients.) I’ve read about this again and again since my diagnosis, and given my background, I’ve never been on-board with too extreme a reduction in fat… because when we drop too much fat, most of us lose control and trade in those calories for too many processed carbs. (That was the big problem during the “fat free” craze of the early ’90’s.)

He does mention something in the article about seeing results in those who eat 20 grams of saturated fat (or less) per day… Now, I’m thinking that’s more doable, maybe?

Maybe?

The list says that 1 ounce of cheese contains (on…

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Cure for the big “C”! That would be constipation Dear!

This is not my sexiest post, but it may be one of the most important. I have found the cure for the big “C”! That would be constipation!

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Let me just get to the point. Honestly, I got this from my Uro-gynocologist, but since I’m posting it, I feel like I can take ALL of the credit. So what if she’s a doctor, if she wants to make a REAL difference…she should be a blogger.

In case you didn’t know: Infrequent passage of hard stool or no bowel movement for more than 1 day past your normal movement pattern may mean you are constipation.

Possible Causes:

  1. Lack of or too little exercise throughout the day. (I finally joined the gym again. Rode the stationary bike this morning for 40 minutes. SUCCESS! There’s even a really cool exercise bike that will move your legs, even if you can’t)
  2. Lack of or too little fluid intake. (Ugh! Going to get a glass of water now. This is easier said than done if you are also monitoring your bladder…gotta do it anyway)
  3. Not enough leafy greens, whole grains or fiber in your diet. (I’m a Vegan for goodness sake. If I eat any more grass I’ll be a cow)
  4. A side effect of pelvic muscle or pelvic floor problems in women. (Hubby thinks this means more sex :/ Silly man)
  5. And last but not least, MS can cause constipation for another whole set of neurological reasons. Check out my post from August 1013 AFTER you finish this one.

How do I prevent Constipation?

1. Increase your activity. Now THIS means more sex. (Gym 5 days out of 7)

2. Drink at least 8 glasses of non-caffeine drinks every day. (Ditching the caffeine REALLY helps with insomnia too. I thought a little bit wouldn’t hurt. Think again. Helps with menopausal night sweats as well. Night sweats…not sexy)

3. Increase fiber, fruits, and veggies. Unless you have a condition where you have been told not to eat this type of food.  (That condition must only exist on Mars)

4. Ask your doctor about taking a stool softener or laxative if you have not had a normal bowel movement for more than 1 day past your normal pattern. (Hmmmm, natural is always better for me. EVERY medicine has a side effect. I want my body to retain as much natural balance as possible.)

5. Tell your doctor or health care team if you are having problems with constipation. (Or read my blog for the following AWESOME recipe! You may even decide to share it with your Doc.)

FIBER CUBES Mix together the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of applesauce
  • 1 cup of oat bran or unprocessed wheat bran (Gluten Free)
  • ¾ cup of prune juice

Begin with 1 to 2 tablespoons each evening mixed with 6 to 8 ounces of water or juice. This should help to soften and regulate your bowel movements within 2 weeks. If there is no change, slowly increase serving to 3 to 4 tablespoons.

You should plan on making this part of your daily routine for the rest of your life.

Store in refrigerator or your freezer. One to two tablespoons may be placed in a sectional ice cube tray and thawed as needed.

HAPPY TRAILS

Comments: Try it for 2 weeks and tell me how it works? What remedies have you found to help?

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Constipation

smiley-face-maybe-next-time

Let’s face it, we all have problems going (or not) from time to time, and it’s not especially sexy to talk about, but WTH. In normal people constipation is when, occasionally, the stool does not move through the intestine as it should and/ or, there is not enough water in the colon.   MS patients deal with constipation more than most. If you’re slow like me, you don’t even realize it’s the MS.

As I said, stool must keep moving. In people with MS, like me, lesions may prevent the brain from accurately receiving or transmitting signals that control peristalsis. I remember learning about that (peristalsis) when I taught Anatomy and Physiology. In other words, my colon may not be receiving the signal for involuntary movement that would keep the stool moving through the digestive tract.

Lack of physical activity is also a downer. It’s critical in moving digested food through the digestive system. Things like walking, which seem so simple, actually do more than just get you from one place to another. Many of us are unable to move around and walk much, due to weakness or spasticity.

Other causes could be a diet that does not promote good digestive health. Not enough FIBER! But hell…I’m a Vegan! Maybe there’s not enough water to help all that fiber through. I drink so much water I might as well be a fish. Let’s not forget that the side effect of some medications is constipation! That’s it! That’s it! My anti-depressant, Wellbutrin is the cause! (happy dance here) But wait…the side effect of NOT TAKING my Wellbutrin, is…depression! Ugh, I don’t THINK SO!

Pause here! Insert huge red flag. Remember I’m slow. I used to pee like a lion.  My coworker would come into the 3 stall ladies room, LOL and say,”Estizer, is that YOU?” It was identifiable. Now, I pee like a kitty, you don’t even know I’m there. L I’ve seen a Urologist/Gynecologist and she says, “Your bladder is fine and you have no urinary tract infection” (she also looks 12). How is this? I KNOW my body and something is drastically different. Because of my MS, I’ve discovered that there are time’s I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong, and they can’t SEE it. If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it. I know now to “let it go “and just let my body handle it.

I begin to see a connection here. Things down there are sluggish. It could be that my urinary system is not receiving the signals properly for involuntary movement (I pee like a kitty). If my MS is causing THAT problem, it might also be affecting my digestive system causing chronic constipation. BOY, do I like connecting the dots!

We can’t control which nerve signals in our body will be disrupted, or for how long. We can, however, give our body a head start by maintaining healthy habits all of the time.

Eat LOTS of fruits and vegetables (fiber), drink LOTS of water, and exercise daily.

 

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“We Are In A Dive!” Iron Deficiency Anemia

“We are in a dive!”We’re CRASHING!

And like Denzel…We’re going down!

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron.

Iron helps to make hemoglobin in red blood cells. The hemoglobin then carries oxygen to all of the muscles, tissues and organs in your body. Essentially, without iron, body parts would suffocate (lack of oxygen) and die.
I’ve taken every iron supplement under the sun! They seem to work for a while, but then… we’re in a dive again! WHY?

My mother would say, “That’s easy. It’s because you don’t eat meat. I told you, you need to eat like regular people. You know you NEED a little meat. Everybody knows that’s where it comes from. I bet that’s why you’re always so tired. You ought to eat SOME meat. Come on over, I’ll fix you some liver and onions. “

Mom, you’re right. Eating red meat and organ meat are the most efficient ways to get iron, but I’m vegan so that’s not going to happen. I’ve learned it is possible for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for iron as long as calorie intake is adequate (and mine is not). The key is to eat a varied diet (and I don’t).

I can’t leave out possible absorption issues. Even if I take enough in, my body might not be absorbing enough of it. To help with this, I should have vitamin C with my iron rich food. I’ll keep a bowl of sliced oranges in the refrigerator. Calcium also hinders the absorption of iron; avoid high-calcium foods for a half hour before or after eating iron-rich foods.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-top-vegan-iron-sources.html#ixzz2IaOC5BTr

Another possible cause for women would be heavy menstrual bleeding. Not my issue! (insert Happy Dance here)

And last, but not least, is to have bleeding inside your body. This bleeding may be caused by problems such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or cancer. This bleeding can also happen with regular aspirin use. Bleeding inside the body is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in men and in women after menopause. All I know is, I see no blood and I feel no pain.

To muddy the water; things are more complicated when you have MS. With ANY symptom, MS comes to mind as the first cause.

These are symptoms of iron deficiency that I thought were my MS and ignored:
*easy fatigue and loss of energy *shortness of breath *headache *difficulty concentrating
*dizziness *leg cramps *insomnia

These are the symptoms that didn’t seem like they could be my MS:
* craving for unusual food with no nutritional value (pica): in my case, the chewing of ice (pagophagia)
*cracks at the corner of the mouth (seriously?)
*a”wired” feeling in my legs at the end of the day: strong urge to move the legs, MUST stand, interferes with sleep (restless leg syndrome)

THIS is the symptom that took me to the doctor (eventually):
HEART PALPITATIONS, which I managed to ignored as long as I could. Give away was, falling asleep in my husband’s arms and him feeling what he thought was a cell phone vibrating in my shirt pocket. What shirt…what pocket?
If you don’t have enough hemoglobin-carrying red blood cells, your heart has to work harder to move oxygen-rich blood through your body. This can lead to irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), an enlarged heart, or even heart failure.

Read more on iron deficiency anemia: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ida/signs.html

Now what?
Plan of action: get more iron A.S.A.P. with iron infusions and then…
colonoscopy/endoscopy. We’re looking for blood.

WE’RE GOING IN!

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington

“WE’RE IN A DIVE”

And I’d like to thank Denzel Washington for his cameo appearance in today’s post.

COMMENTS, tell me your thoughts:
Have you ever missed a problem because you “thought” it was something else?
If you are a vegan, how do YOU keep your iron up?
Have you ever been infused? How did that go?

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Filed under MS and Fatigue, MS and Iron Deficiency Anemia, MS and Nutrition