What About Kale?

After my diagnosis I like most of the MS population was put on a Disease Modifying Drug. My drug? Copaxone. It was good for a few months and then it wasn’t.  

Post diagnosis, like most people, I researched. I mean, I felt like I was back in school with the amount of researching I did. But this time it was different…I was researching for my life.

Why do I have to take these drugs? It’s a progressive disease. Why can’t I just pour coconut oil over this and prat it gets better. What about Kale?

Well after a few  months of being on the drugs and feeling like total crap I got desperate. I took all the research that I had done and decided that was it! I stopped the injections, bought the oils overhauled my kitchen and threw away everything that wasn’t “healthy”

Processed food? Gotta go.

Diary? Adios

Pork? See ya

There is currently a study that is being done at New York’s Mount Siani Hospital by Dr Iliana Katz Sand, where they are looking at how food might be the medicine to combat MS. This  new study uses the microbiome (a bacteria that lives in the digestive tract) and diet. Mostly they are trying to see if it is possible to reprogram the immune system to inadvertently slow down the immune systems attack on it self.

You might be thinking, well what about the meds? I hear you! I’m back on mine – not by choice. However it doesn’t hurt to put the facts out there. About 70% of the immune system is made up from the gut . So it only makes sense that what we feed it will have a direct impact on how we feel right?

So what are they eating? They are all following a strict Mediterranean style diet. Basically trading in the processed food, dairy and meat for fruits, veggies and whole grains.Why these foods? They are thought to be anti-inflammatory.

I’m not sure why this is such a new concept – the gut and how it affects the entire body, but it is, and the research and studies that are being produced are pretty incredible. The phrase you are what you eat is not just a saying any more folks!

For more information on this study and Dr. Katz Sand press here

I Should Write This Down…..

Brain fog, it’s one of the many amazing symptoms of MS, and it affects nearly all of those with this neurological disorder.

While there are great apps and strategies out there to help you with your memory, when the fog rolls in, it’s no picnic, pun intended. For those of you not familiar with Brain Fog, it can be described as an episode of mental confusion that comes without warning. It can be hard to focus, to recall memories and can cause a decrease in accuracy. [1]

I remember being at work and trying to explain a new procedure to a colleague. In the middle of explaining this new concept (that I came up with, mind you) I completely blanked out. It was as if I had the entire plan written on a white board and someone came and erased it right before I got to tell it! After about 5 15 minutes of trying to calm down and recollect my thoughts, I was able to tell them most of the plan,  but ultimately had to reschedule time with them to go over it again.

That fifteen minutes consisted of me breathing deeply and trying my hardest not to focus on what I was just talking about, or the lack thereof. Thankfully, the person I was meeting with was super understanding.

When MS is involved the cause of Brain Fog is said to be due to the loss of myelin sheath around the nerves. Without this protective layer the brain has difficulty with transporting memories to storage areas of the brain, or retrieving form storage areas. [2]

When MS is not a factor the following can be blamed

Stress

Menopause

Lack of Sleep

Poor Nutrition

Diabetes

Nutritional Deficiencies

Medications

MS or not, either way I think that we can all agree that it sucks! So what can we do? I’ll tell you!

These are my top five tips for dealing with the fog…

  1. Take a break– most times if it comes on strong and fast you might be overwhelmed and get a little out of sorts- step away, stare at a wall, take a walk, whatever just stop trying to make yourself remember. Because news flash- you probably wont.
  2. Tell your Dr. – I admit it I’m not the best at telling my doctor like, anything. I’m the absolute worst. But when I do remember to tell him what’s going on he gives me a solution. Go figure!
  3. Exercise – Get physical. I don’t know what it is (probably Science) but whenever I work out, even if it’s for 20-30 min I feel better and the fog doesn’t come as much.
  4. Talk it Out- I remember when I was going through a lot of changes, the fog being one of them. I mean- I can be a little ditzy some times, we all can. But, when the fog came the first few times around I was like, um…so this is horrible. This needs to stop. I have shit to do! Mostly, I was just embarrassed. Finally, I talked to someone I trusted, who doesn’t even have MS, and just talking about it made me feel better. Like it somehow made it not such a big deal. So… talk it out!
  5. Mind games – Its like exercise for you brain. Seriously guys, keeping your mind sharp is the biggest way to help with this. So whether it is reading, using the an app like Luminosity, or doing crosswords, the more you can use your brain the better.

For more information on Brain Fog, check out the links below:

WebMD

Livinglikeyou

Health line

[1] http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com/common-brain-fogfatigue-causes

[2] https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/blog/2016/09/06/feeling-your-way-through-ms-brain-fog/