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Sizzling with multiple sclerosis (MS) – what it’s like to beat MS January 9, 2012

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Diet - the right diet for MS, what you need to eat, Testimonials - stories from real people who have beaten MS.
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An ultra healthy living program for MS seems to be working like the fountain of youth for Julie. Now in her mid-40s, Julie looks cuter and cuter by the day. What’s not to like about living ultra healthy?

From time to time it’s fun to check in with our ultra healthy living friends with MS. Julie previously wrote last in January 2011 for The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Beating Multiple Sclerosis. Now a year later it’s fun to check in with her again. Here are her words:

It’s been about a year since I last wrote and I’m happy to report that I continue to go year after year without a relapse or any worsening of symptoms. In fact my symptoms get better and better as the years pass and now are all quite minor.

My main symptoms before I started following an ultra healthy living program for MS were fatigue, foot drop, balance problems, taste problems, tremors of the hands and an overactive bladder. I was also over-anxious and very sensitive to temperature (hot and cold) and I had eyesight problems (double vision). Most of my symptoms were solved by going on George Jelinek’s diet, but I still had foot drop and bladder problems. My eyesight problems cleared up completely in 2010–I no longer need to wear glasses at all. I was diagnosed in September 2004 and I started the diet in 2008. I have now been on it for three and a half years and I have had no relapses since I started, plus my last MRI scan showed no progression at all and no active lesions. I started taking low-dose naltrexone (LDN) a year and a half ago (March 2010) and I really think it has added even more to my recovery. The bladder is no longer as overactive and my foot drop has gone completely. The fatigue was reduced by the diet and reduced further by the LDN.

Over time I have changed what supplements I take. Here’s what I’m taking now:

  • Vitamin E, 400 I.U. per day (recommended by Bob Lawrence, my LDN doctor who says this is the best way to combat CCSVI, rather than surgery!)
  • Cranberry 5,000 mg (to combat bladder problems)
  • Selenium 200 micrograms per day (anti-oxidant and anti-cancer)
  • Magnesium 300 mg (for extra energy)
  • Vitamin D3 5000 I.U. per day
  • Vitamin B12 1000 mcg per day
  • Zinc gluconate 75 mg (also at Bob’s recommendation – this keeps my blood pressure up)
  • Chromium (400 mg) – to regulate my blood sugar levels
  • 4,000mg super strength EPA & DHA omega3 fish oil (this is at Dr. Tom Gilhooly’s recommendation – he’s hot on omega3 requirements for MS patients)

Apart from that I try to stay pretty close to Dr. George Jelinek’s diet, but I still allow myself eggs (as mayonnaise) and chicken. I have increased my seafood intake a lot (I usually have crayfish and rocket sandwiches on brown bread for lunch). Plus also, of course, I take 4.5 mg LDN – this really helps to regulate my immune system – it has really calmed down my overreaction to dairy products. Of course I still avoid milk, cream and cheese like the plague, but on the rare occasion when there is a tiny amount of milk in something, which I don’t know about, I no longer suffer from dire consequences!


That’s the news from Julie and it is great to see her looking and doing so well. Just so others know, I personally still do not take any drugs for MS, not even LDN, and I personally take few supplements. I personally take fish oil, vitamin D3 (about 3,000 I.U. per day but this varies depending upon the results of my last test), calcium 1,000 mg per day, vitamin B12 250 mcg two times a week), vitamin B6 100 mg once a month) and B1 100 mg each day. Vitamin E I get in abundance from raw sunflower seeds, selenium I get from eating nuts, and zinc I get from eating a couple of oysters each day.

I was happy to see Julie report her success with zinc some time back so I looked for a natural source and found oysters. I find that the dizziness I experienced when getting out of chairs quickly disappeared after I started eating a couple of oysters each day.

All in all, ultra healthy living wins new supporters each day. When we see reports from Julie, Jelinek, myself and many others who no longer have relapses, healthy living become more and more attractive!

Please let me know if you find my blog helpful. Please add a comment. What did you like? What would you like added? Thanks! Together we can change the way the world views MS. Please also join the Intelligent Guide to MS page on Facebook. I will use that page to make timely posts on new research and other issues likely to be of interest to others.

Please remember to consult your with doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2012 Rebecca Hoover

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1. m+ve - January 10, 2012

Many thanks for this piece Rebecca. It does bring some thoughts to mind.

You (and most) seem to refer to relapses as the main MS indicator, however there are so many symptoms that wax and wane without a full fledged exacerbation. For those managing a raft of various and variable symptoms, getting some sense of how to optimize their healthy-living lifestyle in natural ways seems the ultimate challenge. Of course we all know how there are few simple cause and effect components that we can observe instantly, our systems generally respond (for better or worse) in slow and subtle ways.

I’m very interested to learn about the many trace substances that both may be deficient in a Jelenik diet, and also those that may help with the MS condition specifically.

Some people seem to be drawn to the medical profession, to drugs, to eating eccentricities and the spiritual. For myself, my experiences with the medical profession have been so consistently dire throughout life that I count that experience as generally unlikely to be beneficial for my MS, and also guaranteed to raise my stress levels significantly. So I go to lengths to avoid any contact. So in reading constantly about findings and insight that relate to MS (especially the more natural and not profit driven ones) I’ve learned to take everything with a pinch of salt. So many times I’ve gone off on a goose chase, only to find that it amounted to an over-reaction or even a mild scam. Hence when I read that I may need vitamin E, zinc, selenium, magnesium or chromium, first I’ll try to glean some insights into why.

On good news stories, I appreciate and try to go along with news that will help lift spirits and will help all-comers get on the right (healthy) track. But there’s a slight downside too, sometimes some of us are having a down patch, and hearing only the bright and breezy “everything’s fixable and coming good” stories can act other than as encouragement.

Overall, I think I’ve followed Jelenik to the letter for 2 years, but I can’t say that my symptoms are better. I hope they are much better than they would have been had I not reformed my ways. And come what may, I will be on this healthy living track forever. To me the exhortations to “see your doctor”, take xyz drug, do yoga, CCSVI, morph my personality so that meditation works for me, and so on, just come over as more repetition of the same depressing negatives. I don’t conceive of health as being defined by what goes in my mouth (though of course I see that eating inappropriately or with deficiencies will have that effect), and I am not the least bit inclined to lean on anyone.

Perhaps I’m just an old case, a bit away from the classic younger woman MS mold. You ask what we’d like to hear from you, well I’d love to hear your reasoning for the trace substances that you mentioned. And I’d like to see a magnum opus matrix table of symptoms/causes/natural-rebalancings (well you asked!). I think the latter could help us get a sense of both just what sort of MS any individual has, and also where any body is off-track, meaning imbalanced in some dimension(s). A pipe-dream maybe.

I’d also like to hear your detailed insights on each of blood flow deficiencies, exercise, meditation, deviations from Jelenik (eggs, meat, fish v flax oils, etc).

I am an avid follower of your output and find it a valuable source of insights and encouragement. That’s not to say that I agree with your every bias … as someone cursed with exceptionally good looks, that nuisance is something that I could do with less of. And as to your sleep addiction, I just put that down as your special schtick. But overall, you are a beacon for health and self help, and your trust in science, evidence and common sense is pure gold in an all to often rancid medical world.

Thanks again R.

Rebecca Hoover - January 11, 2012


I hope your MS is going well. I think it can take three to five years to feel some significant improvements with the Jelinek program. So hang in there — and please let us know in a couple more years how you are doing.

I am not quite sure how the idea of sleep addiction arises. I think sleep is very important for those with MS and the research supports this view. I get about seven and one-half hours of sleep each night, perhaps eight when I have time, and I take a nap in the day when I have time. The research shows that this amount of sleep is healthy for most, not just those with MS.

I do write about sleep occasionally because so many with MS try to skimp on sleep. Sleep is an essential part of any ultra healthy living program.

Perhaps Julie will write a bit on why she takes some of the supplements that she takes. I strive for overall nutrition usually from food — I am not a big fan of supplements. Even so, Julie and her zinc proved to be a helpful tip for me.


2. julie calder - January 15, 2012

I try to eat as healthily as possible, but I am no angel and I cannot abide by the rules as strictly as George and Rebecca – I have to allow myself the occasional treat -usually a fruit muffin or something like that. I really hate taking all these supplements, but I always feel worse if I don’t take them. I have personally researched the value of each one that I take and I stick to them very rigidly, because I know what will happen if I don’t…..the fatigue returns with a vengeance! I also feel very strongly that LDN makes a great difference.
I wish you all the best,

3. Julie Calder - January 18, 2012

Since this was written I have also started taking Co-enzyme Q, alpha-lipoic acid and a Vitamin B complex.

4. julie calder - March 19, 2012

And now I have decided that some supplements should be taken every day, but others I can take only about once a week and I’m still doing fine!
The most important supplements for me are vitamin D3, vitamin B12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. The magnesium was upsetting my stomach so I have dropped that for a while. Everything else I take weekly, except cranberry and Vitamin E which I take every few days. I just vary things depending on how I am feeling.
I hope this makes sense!

5. julie calder - May 2, 2012

Hi folks!
I’m back on the magnesium again because I’m no longer sensitive to it…

6. George Papadopoulos - March 30, 2013

I am 47 ,father of a 6 month old great son and was just diagnozed with MS after 3 months of searching. Look forward to a new healthy start to enjoy my life and family.
Never had any health problems before waking up on Jan 1st 2013 with both hands numb.
Then followed the feet, dizziness and slight loss of balance, stomach ache..vision problems ….2 mri s 2 lumbar punctures….
Thanks for the advise.

Rebecca Hoover - April 9, 2013

George, Sorry to hear about the diagnosis. But, hang in there. Many have found that they can live almost normal lives if they follow an ultra healthy living program. I’ve gone for years without a relapse and the same is true for most I know who are faithful to a low-saturated fat diet with no red meat–just basically fish and whole plant food. Plus the vitamin D3 supplements see to be ultra important. good luck! It probably won’t be nearly as bad you are fearing.

Keep in touch if I can help in anyway.


7. George Papadopoulos - May 14, 2013

Well Julie it s been a while since I was diagnozed with MS and wrote to you. Then a team of neurologists at Attikon university hospital in Greece diagnozed Adem
I just had my third MRI in 4 months preceeded by a second lumbar puncture.
Waiting for the experts to decide…..
One question though how long does a seizure last? My left side has been numb for a long while now …. I wonder what this is…

8. george papas - September 26, 2013

A 4th MRI revelaed the truth:
Another relapse, so now it is definetely MS.
I had the 5 time shape of IV solumendrol followed by 3 weeks of tapering off but now, 5 weeks since the IV infusions the symptoms are still strong with some small improvements… Wonder how long it is going to last….
Diet wise I am on a fat, red meat dairy product free diet as per pof. Jelinek and Dr. Swank and hope look forward for some improvement…

Rebecca Hoover - September 28, 2013

Hi George,

Don’t give up hope. When MS is acting up, a relapse can get slowly worse over two or more months and then slow subside only after six months. What we shoot for then, is reducing these relapses and making them go away with the help of ultra healthy living. Healing up takes a while, however, and often it can take a few years to really get the relapses under control it seems. It’s a good sign that you are getting a bit better but keep in mind that it takes a while for the benefits of ultra healthy living to kick in. Patience, my friend, and good behavior! Hang in there!

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