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To beat MS, avoid viral and bacterial infections April 25, 2011

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Infections - why and how to avoid them.
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Doing little things to avoid infections is important in beating MS. This includes excellent teeth brushing and flossing. I recommend a power toothbrush.

(Note: As I often do more recently, I have published a copy of this post on the better than great Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis web site. I continue to encourage everyone to to use that site for ideas on healthy living and for up-to-minute information on research.)

Most experts agree that beating multiple sclerosis (MS) requires avoiding inflammation and infections. Why is that? Because MS involves mis-educated t-cells that attack the myelin rather than germs.  That’s why we eat an anti-inflammatory diet and avoid infections.

The research shows that both viral and bacterial infections can cause a worsening of MS symptoms or relapses. One study, for example, suggests that about 50 percent of relapses may be the result of infections. Other studies have shown that MS relapses are more likely to occur with almost any type of infection. For example, one study found relapses were more likely to occur in the presence of upper respiratory infections. Both viral and bacterial infections are culprits — making MS worse.

The culpability of infections makes sense. Since infections trigger production of t-cells, there are more mis-educated t-cells around to attack the myelin when infections occur.

Avoiding infections is important, and another post in my blog includes some suggestions for avoiding infections. In addition, it is wise to pay attention to oral care because poor oral care can result in gum infections. At the suggestion of the staff at the University of Minnesota’s Dental School, I personally added use of a power toothbrush to my own brushing routines a few years ago. I am glad I did. My need for visits for dental cleaning dropped by more than 50 percent and some inflammation in the gums disappeared. In addition, my teeth now look and feel like a million bucks — sizzling, as we say, and drop dead gorgeous.

As so often is the case, what is good for MS is good on the ‘drop dead gorgeous’ front. Viva la healthy living.

P.S. Here’s a great tutorial on Proper Brushing. (Many get a bit lax about brushing correctly so it helps to review information on brushing technique every now and then.) Let’s all help everyone we know who has MS get a power toothbrush. (I use a Sonicare and recommend it.) If we know someone who has MS and who cannot afford a power toothbrush, let’s all give a power toothbrush as a gift and share the gift of health. Each one helping one would go a long, long way!

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 2011 Rebecca Hoover

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