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Please feel free to contact me at:

Rebecca10012002 at yahoo dot com

Your suggestions, ideas and questions are all of interest to me. Best wishes in beating MS.

Comments»

1. Cathie - December 20, 2008

I love your blog. I have bookmarked it and put a link to it on my own website. My site is about my weight loss, but, it is also about my MS and the changes I have made in my life because of it.

I was diagnosed with MS in 1999 and my GP did a blood test, just a couple of weeks ago to check my Vit D levels and they are very low, despite the fact I live in Australia and I am outdoors at least 8 hours a week (I deliver junk mail, so I do heaps of walking in the sunshine)…..

I am now on Vit D3 tabs and I have recently become a vegetarian too…….

Again, thanks for your wonderful website. I am loving it.

Kind regards, Cathie

2. Adriana - January 13, 2009

I just read several past blogs and am so thankful for your hopeful outlook and good advice. I was dignosed with a clinically isolated syndrome (one episode of MS) a few months ago and am trying to break decades of poor diet habits to follow the Swank Diet. One thing which makes it easier is that I absolutely feel younger and better now that I’m eating right. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

Rebecca Hoover - January 14, 2009

Hi Adriana,

Thanks for the neat comment! It always feels great to know my blog is helping others. We all should have a lot of hope (if we behave ourselves by eating right, etc.)!

Best wishes. Stay in touch. I’ll be anxious to find out how you are doing.

And, isn’t it great how the fish oil and great diet makes the skin silky smooth and makes one even look younger?! Woooooohooooooooooooo!!!

Rebecca

3. Shane O'Brien - March 2, 2009

I had my first attack in 1977 but was not diagnosed. I was diagnosed after a severe attack in1982 which left me paralised from the waist down and suffering all of the most typical symptoms I.E. severe incontinence urinary and fecally, extreme anxiety, severe depression and fatigue, also a constant burning buzzing hard to discribe pain in my sacrum area. after fighting it mentally at the same time physically I.E. A very healthy diet and regular exercise, focusing on the lower limbs or portion but keeping my entire body strong. It has taken many years of determination but now I can run and am pretty fit, although still suffer all of the other symptoms but they too have improved. Of course over many years I have also learned to manage the symptoms better. Recently I had another MRI and discovered that the mylon sheath had regrown considerably in places. I also read a brochure which discribes in some sufferers the relapsing symptoms are actually at the same time regrowing the mylon sheath. Do you know of any one else this has happened to ?

Rebecca Hoover - March 2, 2009

Thanks for sharing information on the extent to which diet and exercise seem to have helped you. And, yes, I have heard of the myelin regrowing — this is quite common actually. Many individuals have lesions that heal and disappear. In some cases, all of the lesions will heal but, usually, this is not the case. Usually, the number of lesions just decreases.

I think that why this healing of lesions happens is what we want to discover. I personally think that the healthy diet, exercise and other steps included on my list of things to do work together to help decrease lesion activity–and studies tend to support this notion. Definitive studies are still needed. Also, studies show that some of the drugs for MS do help decrease the number of lesions or lesion volume for some patients.

In any event, congratulations to you for being smart and making life style improvements! You’re a real pioneer–leading the way for others.

4. rhonda - November 8, 2009

this site is such a god send for me thankyou so much xx no one understands that i get worse if im to warm n stress and walking n lights n tomuch going on visualy and OMG i could go on n on

5. Julie Calder - November 24, 2009

Let’s hear it for Vitamin B12!!
I had a very busy week last week, and I ran out of my usual Vitamin-B12 tablets (1000 micrograms per day). I thought I’d be OK, but after 4-5 days of managing without, I started to get very tired, and my left leg started hurting. I think it was foot drop because I kept tripping over things. Normally this has happened with my right leg, but diet and exercise, as suggested by this site (and by George Jelinek) had helped to clear this up. I got very worried and asked my husband to go and fetch some Vitamin B-12.Once I started taking it again, after a few days the symptoms went away. There has been a lot in the news recently about Vitamin D and I know how important it is to take this. However, this is just a little reminder that we need to take Vitamin B-12 too!

6. Rebecca Hoover - November 24, 2009

I agree! Vitamin B12 is important. We have a post on Vitamin B12 for this very reason. I hope everyone reads the post, has his/her Vitamin B12 level tested and keeps his/her Vitamin B12 at the high end of the normal range.

I personally require very little Vitamin B12 in the way of supplements. For me, an inexpensive tablet with 250 micrograms (250 mcg) once or twice a week is sufficient. When I did not take this inexpensive supplement, however, I did develop a Vitamin B12 deficiency–and a neurologist reminded me that Vitamin B12 deficiencies can cause MS-like symptoms. The supplements are inexpensive too. For me, the cost of Vitamin B12 is only about $5 USD per year.

Thanks, Julie, for reminding us of this important supplement!

7. Heidi Reid - December 2, 2009

Hello Rebecca, I was initially diagnosed with a ‘stroke’ in Aug. 2008, which involved temporary paralysis of my right hand and lower arm. That November, after seeing a 3rd neuro, the diagnosis was changed to post-viral inflammation of the brain or MS. I have had bouts of legs tingling, extreme fatigue and depression on and off since. I have been following Prof. George Jelinek’s diet to the letter, and have been exercising, though not regularly enough it seems! I have severe sleep disturbance, and have just read on your site about exercising more if this is a problem, so I will try your advice. I wanted to thank you so much for being a beacon of hope to people like me. I have given up work because of the fatigue and being at home alone is not good for depression! Your website is a real pick-me-up – thank you for going to the trouble of setting it up.
Warmest regards, Heidi Reid, Mt Barker, South Australia

8. alex dzigurski - January 1, 2010

Rebecca,
Happy New Year!
I love your site and adhere to it’s lifestyle. I’ve had MS since 2002.
I went the conventional route (avonex) and lost. Foot drop in Oct. of 2005. Started the Swank diet in 2006 and have been stable ever since.

I know if I started immediately, I would not have foot drop. Anything I can do at this point to improve my right leg? I am using a cane and Walk-Aide. Any exercises or thoughts. I am 41 and feel great otherwise.

Thank you, Alex, CA

Rebecca Hoover - January 2, 2010

Alex,

I am so glad you are feeling better! Congratulations on having the patience and willpower to follow an MS diet!

Here’s my ideas on the foot drop:

1. Jelinek suggests we taken about 6 grams of Omega-3s from fish oil each day (about 18 grams of fish oil). This is too much for me but I do get 4 grams of Omega-3s from fish and I think that helps. (In total I take 8 grams of fish oil in capsules and then eating a serving of sardines or salmon everyday–that’s how I get my 4 grams of Omega-3s from fish everyday.)
2. Make sure you are eating things like raw sunflower seeds, walnuts, etc. Remember Swank said that those who eat more heatlhy oils continue improving for many, many years.
3. How about Vitamin D3? Are you taking enough? I take about 4,000 to 5,000 IU of D3 each day. Julie who tells her story on this site was able to get rid of her foot drop after upping her D3 dose.
4. Finally, you might want to check out Dr. Wahls’ slide show. She has some ideas you might not have thought about. There is a link to it in the recommended links section.

Please remember I am not a doctor and so this is not medical advice. I just know what has worked for me and what the research suggests will work. Also, you doctor can really help you by testing your vitamin D level to ensure it is at the high end of the normal range, for example. You might want to reread my post of Vitamin D3.

All the best! I am so glad you are into a healthy lifestyle! I think it makes all of the difference in the world and keeps you looking cute too! Please keep me posted on the foot drop. I’m hoping one of the suggestions above (mostly likely more D3) will help.

Rebecca

alex dzigurski - January 2, 2010

Rebecca,

Thank you so much for your response. What do you suggest
to get enough D3 supplementation (5000iu)? What vitamin companies or brands?

Thanks and I will check the links.

Alex

Rebecca Hoover - October 9, 2010

Alex,

I have one more idea for you. It helps to strengthen the foot when foot drop is involved. I do an exercise three times a week for the feet and ankles. Here’s how:

1. Stand on one foot, holding on to something to maintain balance.
2. Raise to the ball of the foot on the floor.
3. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower heel to the floor.
4. Repeat up to 25 times. (Work up to 25 times)

Repeat this set of exercise for the other foot too.

I find these exercises really help.

9. Lee - March 20, 2010

Rebecca,
Wish I had taken Omega 3 epa/dha 24 years ago whilst going through a divorce and working as a firefighter/emt. I just wanted to get down to a one a day vitamin and @1000mg of epa/dha..I was “supposedely” diagnosed with r/r ms about 3 months ago. Will be seekig a second opinion this April at the VA in Baltimore,MD. I have seen enough scary stuff in my life both as an army combat arms medic and the above mentioned career. I am on copaxone and swear this crap is doing me no good (body smells of medicine). Will be upping my fish oil epa/dha to at least 5000mg/day,b-12 to at least 500mcg/day and vit d to 5000i.u./day.My primary care doc and neuro,both non VA,do not agree,but hey,i’m the one who has to live or die this way.MS SUCKS!

Rebecca Hoover - March 21, 2010

Lee,

Best wishes on starting to get better. Lots of us have had great luck following the ultra healthy living steps described on this site. Eating right, sleeping enough, etc., make all the difference in the world. The docs can be helpful too especially in things such as monitoring Vitamin D level to ensure it is at the high end of the normal range. Also, it is best to be patient with the docs. Many of them are not as current on the research as desirable because they are so busy with day-to-day work. That is why I bring little research summaries to my doctors appointments with me at times. Needless to say, we are much more interested in the latest information than our doctors are. Like you say, it is our bodies!

Try not to be too afraid. As you can see from my site, doing the basics rocks! Many with MS never become disabled.

Rebecca

10. Tracy Cooke - July 31, 2010

hello am vegetarian is swank diet still ok with no meat what supplements should I take

Rebecca Hoover - July 31, 2010

Tracy,

I do not recommend a vegetarian diet for those with MS. I think the best diet is whole plant based plus fish. I eat either sardines or red salmon everyday. I think fish contains many nutrients that are important to our health.

Swank says one can be a vegetarian and follow his diet but in that case you must take vitamin B12 supplements. Also, I think it is important to take fish oil supplements because omega-3s from vegetable sources do not absorb well and cannot be fully used by the body.

I’m sorry, but I do think you will not do well if you do not eat fish and take fish oil supplements. I do not know of any vegetarians with MS who are really doing all that well.

Good luck! I think that even with SPMS, most can make big improvements in health once they start eating right, etc.

Rebecca

11. Jennifer - August 18, 2010

Why is drinking nonfat organic milk bad according to the Overcoming MS website? I don’t understand that reasoning when MSers often have osteoporosis.

My the way I take Omega-3’s and eat sardines and salmon 2 or 3 times a week.

Jennifer

Rebecca Hoover - August 18, 2010

Hi Jennifer,

You have a good question about why the Overcoming MS site suggests milk may be bad for those of us with MS when so many with MS have osteoporosis. Jelinek’s site includes some information on some research that suggests that a protein in milk could be triggering MS activity. This is rather theoretical and has not been proven, however. Still, why take a chance with milk? You can just take calcium supplements combined with vitamin D3 for osteoporosis. (The research suggesting calcium supplements may cause heart attacks is only for calcium without vitamin D3). Most calcium supplements do include D3 and one should be sure to take only these.

Good for you on the salmon and sardines. I eat these everyday and also take fish oil. They make a big difference on the appearance and softness of the skin, don’t you think? It’s terrific really. I think they make as look as great on the inside as they make us look on the outside. Viva la healthy eating! Too bad we didn’t know all of this stuff before, huh?

12. Jennifer - August 18, 2010

Also, why is a little meat bad for you? I usually eat chicken or fish but eat red meat (lean) occasionally.

Rebecca Hoover - August 18, 2010

It’s interesting that the research I’ve seen shows that those who eat whole plant foods and fish live the longest. That’s why we stick with these ultra healthy foods. Red meat, on the other hand, contributes to all kinds of problems: inflammation, various cancers, and heart disease in addition to probably making MS worse. Chicken is less problematic than red meat but is not as healthy as the oily fishes containing omega-3 fatty acids. The same is true for dairy products — the oily fishes seem to contribute more to longevity and health than do dairy products. Your sardines and salmon are great foods.

13. Jennifer - August 18, 2010

I don’t drink milk for the calcium or Vitamin D. I’ve read studies that say milk is good for burning fat and losing weight. Drinking a glass of milk after exercising helps to burn more fat. Vegetarian diets aren’t always that healthy so I won’t be following one now but I will be eating a low fat diet.

If milk really did trigger MS symptoms then more people would have it. Have you looked at studies that show MS suffers live in Northern climates where there isn’t enough sunshine year round…such as North America? There is another theory that MS is triggered by insufficient levels of Vitamin D in the body. And I found a study that said if you didn’t get enough Vitamin D through sunshine before the age of 15 you are susceptible to getting MS, Another study showed that MS patients were helped when given high doses of Vitamin D.

Also, I don’t have MS because of the food I ate. I don’t eat junk food or fried food. I’m over weight due to hypothyroidism. Now that my thyroid levels are optimized I am losing weight. In addition, I’m a very active person and I love to exercise!

Jennifer

ACE - April 3, 2014

WI is “Americas DairyLand”. There are a lot of people with MS. They even have a tax break for people with MS. Look at butrophylin. A protein found in cows milk. The National Academy of Science has known it causes an animal model of MS, for decades. I won’t touch any of it. The milk protein ratios in cows is made for calves not people. I drank a lot of it until…

14. Rebecca Hoover - August 19, 2010

Jennifer,

Medical professor Roy L. Swank, MD, a neurologist specializing in MS, also thought that drinking milk was okay. Others in the medical profession do not agree.

Keep in mind that a milk protein could be helping cause MS without affecting everyone. Look at smoking — many smoke but do not get cancer. Even so, smoking helps cause cancer and it is wise to avoid smoking. Milk may work the same way — it may help cause MS with leading to MS in all.

In any event, I agree with you on a vegetarian diet. I do not think it is the healthiest diet either. That is why I eat both whole plant foods and fish.

All the best! Be well.

Rebecca

15. lauren - August 19, 2010

Rebecca,

I love this website. Thank you so much for telling me about it.
I just wanted to know how much Omega 3 capsules do you take??
Do you also take flax seed oil? I think i read it must be cold-pressed and you should only buy it if it is refrigerated, not off the shelf…is that correct???

Thanks!!!

16. Jennifer - August 21, 2010

I know this comment wasn’t addressed to me but I take 4 capsules of Omega 3’s mainly to lower my triglycerides. I use ground flax seeds. I stir in 2 tbls of flax seeds into dishes. It adds a nutty flavor and is also another form of Omega 3.

Jen

17. Rebecca Hoover - August 21, 2010

Lauren,

I take about 14 grams of fish oil everyday. I get some of that from the fish I eat and the remainder from fish oil capsules. I keep the capsules in the freezer because they are easier to swallow that way. Professor George Jelinek, M.D., thinks we should take about 20 grams of fish oil everyday. I find that is too much for me but I am small — ony 5’1″.

Also I do not take flax seed oil. I found research showing that this oil does not readily convert to the Omega-3s we need especially as we get over the age of 20 or so. Also, I found research showing that flaxseed that does not prevent cholesterol problems in the blood as well as fish oil does. That is the second reason I do not use flax seed oil.

I hope this information helps.

Be well,

Rebecca

18. Stephanie - August 27, 2010

Hi Rebecca,

I have a question about vitamin D. I have been supplementing with 4000 IU of vitamin D daily. My vitamin D level is now at 97 ng/ml and my doctor is rather concerned. I am planning to stop the vitamin D to allow my levels to drop to 60 ng/ml or so. Do you have any ideas how long it takes for the levels to drop? I am happy I was able to raise my levels (they started at 29) and I don’t want to be crazy and drop them that low again. I am rather small and weigh about 104 if that helps.

Thanks for the input.

Stephanie

19. Rebecca Hoover - October 9, 2010

Stephanie,

I am sorry I did not respond before but I did not notice your comment.

I do not know how long it will take your Vitamin D level to drop. I would guess about three months because of the amount of time I know it takes to increase the level of vitamin D. Please let us know when you find out.

Vitamin D3 is important but it takes a while to figure out how much each of us should take. It gets complicated because different individuals need different amounts.

I need about 4,000 IU per day to stay at the high end of the normal range and I am 5’1″.

Good luck! Please keep us posted.

20. Stephanie - October 17, 2010

Hi Rebecca,

I stopped all vitamin D for one month and restared the supplementation with 2000 IU per day. I will have my blood tested at the end of this month and will let you know. This is quite a balancing act as I am finding out!

Thanks,

Stephanie

Stephanie - January 13, 2011

Hi Rebecca,

My vitamin D level dropped to 60.2, so I am keeping my supplementation to about 2000 IU per day. I don’t know why I responded so vigorously to the D, but it might be because I took it at the same time as my fish oil.

I still take 10 grams a day of extremely potent
purified fish oil for 6000 mg/day of omega 3. I have been following the program for nearly a year and have been quite happy with the results! I also started eating crimini mushrooms daily, usually with a glass of low sodium V-8 juice and topped with capers. It is actually a very refreshing snack! My husband has seen me do it and joins in.

Thanks for all of your help. You are an inspiration.

21. Rebecca Hoover - October 18, 2010

Stephanie,

Indeed it is tricky. It is a good idea to have those Vitamin D tests once every three months for a few years so one can figure out just how much is needed. The fact that everyone seems to be a little different does not make figuring out the right dosages all that easy.

I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you about how long it takes to drop back down to the high end of the normal range.

Rebecca

22. Gina - December 5, 2010

Rebecca,
I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it is to find such an encouraging site on MS. I was recently diagnosed in October and since then, I have been so down in the dumps. I worry about what my future holds, but after reading your site, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me..thank you!!! I ordered Dr Swank’s book and I am excited to read it. The one thing that I have noticed is that there are a TON of MS diets out there and it is SO confusing to know which one is the best to follow. There is a man that has taken over Dr Swank’s work and he is conducting research on the diet. I believe his name is Dr. McDougall. The one thing is that this Dr. McDougall has made many modifications to the original Swank diet. His diet is basically fat free vegan. I am also hearing a ton about how patients with MS should avoid gluten and dairy. What is your personal take on all of this? I am at the point where I don’t know what to eat anymore and I can’t afford to lose any weight as I am very lean already! I have been vegetarian for years but I do take fish oil supplements…do you think that is alright?? How did you decide which diet to follow seeing that there are SO many different ones out that and each one seems to eliminate something new. Thank you!

Rebecca Hoover - December 6, 2010

Gina,

Thanks for your nice comments. I have conducted an extensive view of the research relating to diet and MS and I follow the recommendations of Dr. George Jelinek almost completely. I do disagree with him, however, on the use flaxseed oil instead of fish oil. I think fish oil is needed.

I think it would be a mistake to follow McDougall’s diet especially now that a more recent study has shown that actually eating salmon protected against demyelination and encouraged growth of new myelin in mice. I think we need to follow a diet that includes whole plant food and oily fish.

Good luck and try not to be too afraid. An MS diagnosis is enough to scare most but, as it turns out, MS is not so bad for most after all. You do need to behave, however. We don’t get to cheat (at least not too much).

Rebecca

23. Elaine Schofield - December 8, 2010

G’day Rebecca,
I found your site from another site and have posted 3 messages re my research and findings on
kensmsrecovery.com/2010/06/16/sites-worth-seeing/comment-page-1
Hope it helps someone
Elaine

24. Hansi - December 16, 2010

Hi Rebecca,

First if all, congratulations on this website and marvelous job you do for people with MS. My husband was diagnosed with MS three weeks ago. I was sad for him and his neurologist didn’t suggest any diet. First day, I spent many hours searching online and was fortunate to get in touch with somebody who went to Prof Jelinek’s retreat and she recommended the diet. So we started the diet very next day. Gave up meat, dairy, saturated fat. We are of Asian background so rice is our staple food. Do you think it’s fine with MS. As well as wholgrain bread. I bought dr Swanks book and also Dr Jelinek’s.

My husband is the only doctor in this rural town and has been working a lot. However, now gets ample rest, does exercise (40mins a day). I’m his only positive energy. Every night I read him 1 positive story about someone who has got MS..

Thank to positive stories, including yours, we can remain positive because those real stories….

I would like to get in touch with via email. Your email in here doesn’t seem work. Can you put it again..

May God bless you with good health

Hansi

Rebecca Hoover - December 16, 2010

Hansi,

Thanks for your many nice comments. You’ll be happy to know I think rice is great. In fact, I eat parboiled rice myself twice a day. I used to eat brown rice but I found it had too much fiber for me — there are limits on the amount of fiber one person can handle after all. I am sure your husband knows full well the results of too much fiber! LOL

I personally do not eat gluten because it gives me cramps. Gluten did not cause problems for me when I was younger and so I ate it for many years. Now, all of a sudden, it started bothering me. In general, I think we are best off following Jelinek’s dietary recommendations and then avoiding any food that makes us ill in anyway.

And yes, I have checked my email address on here. Please try it again if you wish to reach a personal email box for me.

Best wishes to you and your husband. I am glad you found Jelinek’s web site because he has together the best source of information on MS in the world. Please tell your husband to try not to be too frightened. Usually, MS does not turn out badly at all if one takes care of oneself.

Rebecca

25. mike johnson - April 13, 2011

Hi Rebecca

Firstly what an insperation and as a guy in my 40’s i just like to say you look fabulous.

Anyway i read your diet info over at ‘ThisIsMs’ forum as i have a similar disease called CIDP and so i’m going to give this diet a try as it’s really bummed me out an former athlete to be battling paralyses in my feet.

Thanks again and best wishes !!

Mike Johnson

26. Maree Larter - June 11, 2011

Hi Rebecca,
my name is Maree and I follow the diet. I went off the track for awhile but am strictly following it again now and forever. I have had another relapse, usually every 2 years. I expect that if I remain true to the recovery programme they
will get less and less. My question is did you ever consider any drugs,
I do not want to have any more, I have already tried interferon and wasnt
well on it. I only ask because Prof Jelenik was on Copaxone. Do you know
how long he was on it. Its hard to make the decision when you have a relapse.
I have to visit my nuero in a couple of weeks and I know he will try and push
me to use something. Am I being silly not wanting to go on drugs, after all the
Prof went on it?
Regards Maree

Rebecca Hoover - June 11, 2011

Maree,

Thanks for your comment. It is important to be faithful to as MS diet. As Dr. Swank said, when you cheat on the diet, you don’t even realize you are getting worse until all of a sudden you have a relapse or a bunch of new symptoms that are difficult to defeat. He also said that it gets more and more difficult to recover from diet lapses. I guess this is why those I know who do not follow an MS diet faithfully don’t do all that well.

As to drugs, I know many, many people who do not take drugs and they do very well with MS. In fact, those I know who have recovered the best from some nasty MS relapses and symptoms do not use any MS drugs at all. In contrast, those I know who take the drugs are hobbling around, unable to work and are generally miserable. This could be a coincidence but frankly, it seems to me that drugs make some with MS worse. The research shows this to be the case. The research shows the interferons make about 1/3 of those who take them worse.

I don’t know how long Jelinek took Copaxone but he did eventually stop all MS drugs while I never took any MS. So, no, I don’t think you are silly to want to avoid drugs. Lots of folks are doing very well without these drugs so if you think you can make it without them, I think that can be a good choice.

Rebecca

27. Maree Larter - June 12, 2011

Thanks Rebecca for your fast reply. It helps to talk to someone outside
your family or close friends because they naturally want you to take
whatever you can to stay well and havnt read about the drugs or the
side effects. I am determined to follow all Prof Jeleniks recommendations
and have started meditating more, this was the hardest thing
to made routine. Thanks again, stay well.
Maree

28. marguerite guarisco - September 6, 2011

just came across your blog and i found it quite useful, thanks.

i have had MS 30 years, breast cancer 6, and 3 separate bouts of lyme disease.

i am disabled – have not been able to work in 17 years. i wish i had known then what we know now about MS.

oh well.

am looking into CCSVI – anyone out there know anyone who has had ‘liberation procedure?’

marguerite

Rebecca Hoover - September 17, 2011

Marguerite,

Thanks for your email. I am sorry that you have not been able to work for such a long time. (Then again, most hate their jobs anyway!!!!) I personally enjoy some of the people I work with but I could do without a lot of the work.

As to CCSVI, I have not seen this work for others. It seems to be working as a placebo. We do not have any real research, however. I am guessing that the research when it happens will show CCSVI procedures just have a placebo effect. On the other hand, we know that vitamin D3 supplements and improved diets work and there is research to back that up. Because of this, I think that most would be wise to save the money required for CCSVI procedures and buy healthy food and D3 when needed.

29. Stephanie Grady - September 17, 2011

Hi Rebecca,

I have been doing extremely well on the diet/ plan for almost a year and a half. I am also on Copaxone so I’m sure my results are additive. My question is regarding the dreaded menopause symptoms I am now experiencing. Is Remifemin safe for those with MS? I have checked drug interactions and possible liver complications (unsubstantiated according to pub med). Do you have any opinions regarding this issue? My liver function is fine (know this since I’m on lipitor to boot!). The diet has really helped but not solved my cholesterol issues.

Anyway, thanks for your opinion. I will be on to my neurologist next! I just think their approach is so different that it is nice to have a more wholistic approach.

Thanks,

Stephanie

Rebecca Hoover - September 17, 2011

Dear Stephanie,

Thanks for writing. Remifemin is a supplement and, in general, I do not recommend supplements because they can cause various side effects. In the case of Remifemin, it contains black cohosh which, according to research, does not cause liver damage although some thought this might be true in the past. It is interesting that black cohosh does have an opiate effect so you and others probably like it just because it improves your mood. Lots of mood enhancing drugs do come from nature so this mood elevation may be why you like the supplement. The research suggests that other than this mood effect, black cohosh seems to be working about like a placebo for relief of menopause symptoms. You can see the following like for more information on black cohosh. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2915573/?tool=pmcentrez Your doc will be mighty impressed at how much you know about Remifemin if you read this article.

I have been through menopause myself and I found the common sense things worked best: avoid getting hot, eat cool rather than hot food if it is warm and wear only 100% natural fabrics. The natural fabrics are key: only cotton, silk, and wool are best. Even sheets should be ONLY 100% cotton. If you strictly avoid any synthetics, even 1% polyester or lycra for example, you will be much more comfortable. The synthetic fabrics do not breathe and add to the hot flash problem. I strictly avoid any synthetic fabrics except for a nylon jacket because I think they are bad for the environment anyway (they take thousands of years to biodegrade).

Good luck!

30. Stephanie Grady - September 17, 2011

Thanks Rebecca. As always you are right on target!

31. Ines - February 8, 2012

Hello, and thank you for your blog! I am reading it for the first time today, and i love the diversity of the articles and the help and beautiful stories that you offer. I am a physiology student in France, originally from Macedonia. My high school teacher has been diagnosed with MS and she asked me if i could make a Facebook page in macedonian, where I would publish diverse information and explanation for this disease, because there is not any webpage that offers information for this disease in macedonian; and a lot of people need support and help and would love to read new information about this disease and inspiring life stories. I wanted to know if it is possible that I translate some of your articles in macedonian and publish them on facebook alongside the link to your blog from where i found the article. Thank you for your understanding. Sincerelly, Ines

Rebecca Hoover - February 9, 2012

Ines,

Thank you for your comment and for your interest in translating important information about MS so this information can help your individuals with MS and their families and friends. I am sure that many individuals will very much appreciate what you plan to do. Please do free free to use some of the material I have written on my WordPress IntelligentGuidetoMS blog if you indicate that the material is from me but is translated and if you include links to my site.

Your teacher must be a wonderful person to have a good relationship with someone as dedicated as you.

Rebecca

32. Steve M Bishop - April 2, 2012

Hello Rebecca,

I really enjoyed reading your blog and what has worked for you. I have been a bit discouraged due to a lack of seeing any positive results to this point. I was just diagnosed July 2010 with PPMS, but the worse symptoms are right leg weakness, toruble with balance and a little drop foot right foot. We, ( my wife Tammy and I ) have Dr. Swanks book and several others who all seemed to of managed their MS Symptoms through diet and suppliments. I am on a very strict diet and taking many of the suppliments you mention . We are members of the MS Health University and using a lot of their suggestions, Dr Rudy Cartwright, do not know if your fmailiar with them?? I wondered if you ever take phone calls, on my dime of course?? Just would like to talk with you and get some input if that would be OK.

I thank you and look forward to hearing from you.

God Bless, Steve M Bishop

Rebecca Hoover - April 9, 2012

Hi,

Thanks for your comment. I sent you a private email and hope you received it. Please let me know if you did.

33. Jade - July 5, 2012

Dear Rebecca

Thank you for your wonderful and extremely helpful blog. I am currrently undergoing Neuro acupuncture, used in the most advanced hospitals in China to treat MS and other neurological conditions successfully, along with the diet srrategies you discuss. I encourage you to visit my blog to read more about Neuro acupuncture. There are a few places providing it in the US and I am going to Dr. Wally Mui in Victoria, BC Canada. This treatment approach is natural and I have witnessed myself how it is reversing my nerve damage symptoms. Like you, I want to spread the word so that people do not have to suffer from this debilitating condition.

34. Heidi - October 1, 2012

Any thoughts on the suitability of almond and/or rice milk within the swank or jetliner diets?

Rebecca Hoover - October 1, 2012

Heidi,

Thanks for your comment. I think both almond and rice milk can be fine but one needs to pay attention to the ingredients involved. A lot of rice has become contaminated with arsenic these days so you’ll want to check your source carefully before you have too much rice. Also, of course, you’ll want to ensure you count the saturated fat you get from these milks and avoid transfats. There is so much junk in food these days that we need to read labels carefully. I’ve just given up milk because it is too complicated. I just eat almonds rather than having almond milk, for example.

In any event, good luck! It sounds like you are doing a great job and are really serious about eating ultra healthy. That’s great! Congratulations for being so smart!

Rebecca

35. steve mcmanus - February 14, 2013

Hiya Rebecca. I have read lots of your posts with great interest, Jellineck too! Its very positive having ppl telling you that you cna be well. the neuros and the MS nurses dont take that route at all!

I’m not surprised by the revelation that we are more likely to have heart disease/attacks etc as i have long held the belief that MS is a caridovascular disease of the brain, this appears to be part of the CCSVI discovery.

I have been considering the possiblity of fasting to perform the positive body reset that has been found to be the case for many people without MS. It seems that our bodies were designed to go through periods of famine as they reset to preserve us for better times and we dont get the benefits this can bring to health because we have constant regular food supplies in many parts of the world now.
In particular, I wanted to do this to see if it adressed my high bad-good cholestrol ratio; even though both figures taken together are low at below 4. However, my hdl figure is abnormally low at .75 and this worries me as i suffer frequent palpatations.

I note however that you do not recommend fasting for pwms though and i wondered if you believe that i would not derive the benefits oithers have been shown to achieve or if you feel such a course of action could impoact directly on the MS; or indeed if you think both are relevant to some degree?

I should say i have been diagnosed since 2008 and i havent had a identifiable relapse since mid 2008. I’ve been on the diet since then too, supplement and take LDN. I have symptoms though as I’m 48 and i really could have been diagnosed as a child so I’m carrying a lot of collateral damage really; although mostly able bodied.

I would be grateful for your considered opinion?

Regards

Steve McManus

Rebecca Hoover - February 14, 2013

Hi Steve,

Instead of fasting, which can create a lot of problems, why not try doing the natural things that can lower LDL and raise HDL. Exercise, eating almonds, avoiding sugar and sweets, etc., can all help with the LDL/HDL ratio. Congratulations on avoiding relapses. Be sure to take enough D3 as that helps too!

Rebecca

36. Sue - March 14, 2013

Rebecca, I sent you an email yesterday as I was having difficulty posting a comment here. Great site. Please keep up the super work!

37. sue - March 16, 2013

Hi Rebecca,

I really liked your new video on the FaceBook page! Very inspirational indeed.

https://www.facebook.com/TheIntelligentGuidetoBeatingMultipleSclerosis?ref=ts

Also, I find it so exciting and inspirational that you never took any medications and yet are doing so well through years of ultra healthy living; you mentioned on FaceBook that the Mayo Clinic doesn’t advocate medications for all cases and I was just wondering if you could provide some more information about this.

Thanks and have a super weekend,

Sue

Rebecca Hoover - March 16, 2013

Hi Sue,

I did count grams of saturated fats for many years using the information at: http://www.nutritiondata.com. Now I know about how much different foods contain and am I always under the limit so I no longer bother counting. I suggest everyone count in the beginning.

Rebecca

Rebecca Hoover - March 16, 2013

Hi Sue,

You can find one thing by Mayo Clinic by googling “Mayo Clinic multiple sclerosis treatments drugs”. Also, if you google “Mayo Clinic, multiple sclerosis, wait and see”, you will find much more information.

Rebecca

38. sue - March 16, 2013

Also, regarding ultra healthy cooking/eating, it must be second nature to you now. Nonetheless, do you keep count (ie. guesstimate or measure the fats) much like a diabetic does of whatever you eat? Or do you more or less wing it by just following the plant-based, seafood and low saturated fat and figure that just eating this way until you are full is enough to keep the unsaturated fats at an acceptable level? Thanks!

39. Michelle Klug - September 15, 2013

Im in desperate need of help and would live to know how to start a diet for ms and hiw to know what you can and cant have. My mom and I both have bs and I just want us to feel better

Rebecca Hoover - September 15, 2013

Hi,

In addition to diet, you need to ensure you get enough D3, exercise to the extent you can, etc. For the best “Recovery” program, see http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/

40. Veronica - October 28, 2013

Hi Rebecca, I just emailed you on your yahoo account. My name is Veronica. Sorry for the long novel I sent your way.
Thanks so much for this website and your posts on OMS. They have really helped me these last six months of my life… when everything changed… Blessings!

Rebecca Hoover - October 29, 2013

Hi again Veronica,

I just sent you an email in response to yours. Hang in there! Being newly diagnosed is scarier than it should be. Don’t forget that the MS societies tend to like to focus on the really bad cases (that helps them raise funds) and, of course, the drug companies do about the same. One of the things we have to do is change this gloomy picture of MS. As I pointed out recently on my Facebook page, the prestigious prestigious Mayo Clinic reported that many with MS never develop progressive MS and that, by age 75, 38% of those with relapsing/remitting MS have not developed progressive MS. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22736750. (The 38% is lower than it can be because most with MS don’t behave as well as they should when it comes to lifestyle choices.) Realistically many with MS who follow an ultra healthy life style make it into their 80’s and still do well. That’s right! There are a lot worse diseases than MS!

41. ACE - July 12, 2014

Rebecca,

I feel so validated by finding your site. I didn’t need much validation to find whatever worked for me since I was in my 20’s in the mid 70’s. I didn’t want to take a similar path to what my mother was taking. I.E. let Western Med Doctors dictate to her the limited poor knowledge that they accepted about M.S. Her non-actions prevented me from ever wanting to be an MD and spend a career knowing what people wouldn’t do. I took a nerd route instead. Much more satisfying.

I expect you could guess how difficult it is to hold myself back to writing more to you. I stumbled around to find similar information to yours. I will pour over yours since I believe yours is better about many things. I never looked for people to believe what I was saying, except maybe scientists. It was too hard. It seemed many people did not want me to be right or at least think what I was doing would really work.

Please get back to me. I appreciate so much what you have done and are doing.!
Regards, Andy

Rebecca Hoover - July 12, 2014

Andy,

I’m glad you found my blog. Back in the ’70’s, about the only person really advocating for lifestyle changes for those with MS was Dr. Roy Swank, a professor of neurology at a medical school in Oregon. Believe me, you were way ahead of the game when you started looking for lifestyle factors for MS.

Rebecca

42. ACE - July 14, 2014

I was reading Linus Pauling’s books, starting yoga with an ex-neighbor of mine who studied with B.K..S. Iyengar, Psyco-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltx, a book on self-actualization, and reading a lot of reality philosophy, meditation. Pretty strange stuff for a 20 year old boys with no clue. When I started college I was hooked taking nutrition and many classes recommended and not recommended to graduate finally with an independent major. A lot of lucky choices thinking with my health and thinking what I had was idiopathic. Now I know it was MS. A lot of taking care of myself not really positive there was anything wrong. Now that I know better I was having little signs my whole life.


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