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Natural Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

elana amsterdam skiing

New Years day 2012 after a 2000 foot vertical climb up Vail Mountain.

I received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2006. Since then, I am often asked, what is your secret? How do you stay healthy?

The below are 5 of my favorite natural remedies. I believe these strategies may be applicable to anyone with an auto-immune disorder. If this protocol is adhered to religiously, some find improvement in as little as 3 months. For others it may take significantly longer.

  1. Fish Oil –This is one of the best anti-inflammatories around. I currently take 7 grams per day –That’s 7,000 milligrams. (That is a very high dose; be sure to check with your doctor if you would like to take this much fish oil.)
  2. Acidophilus –The various Functional Medicine doctors I see encourage me to take large doses of acidophilus. I use a product called Ther-Biotic Complete made by Klaire Labs; it must be refrigerated at all times, even during shipping.
  3. Vitamin D –Many people with illness and auto-immune conditions suffer from abnormally low levels of Vitamin D, therefore, when friends ask, I recommend that they get their blood levels of this vitamin checked immediately and then quarterly thereafter. When I was severely deficient in Vitamin D, I took a mega dose of 5,000 IU per day, until my levels reached the normal range.
  4. Low Dose Naltrexone –Although many of you will argue that a drug is not “natural,” I beg to differ. Using this opioid agonist in micro-doses is not accepted treatment yet for multiple sclerosis and other auto-immune disorders. That’s a shame.
  5. Grain Free Diet –Grains can wreak havoc on a weakened immune system. If I had to give one piece of advice to people with any auto-immune disorder, it would be to go on a diet that is entirely (100%) grain free (and also free of grain-like substances such as quinoa, millet, wild rice, etc). Of course, gluten is the ultimate no-no –in 10 years recommending a gluten free diet to anyone with an auto-immune condition will probably be standard medical protocol.

These natural treatments for multiple sclerosis may not be the answer for everyone. I am not willing to argue about clinical studies to back up the effectiveness of this array of supplements, diet and off label drugs. The information I am sharing is “anecdotal evidence”–for only one person. This is what works for me.

If you’re looking for additional guidance, here are some great Functional Medicine doctors that are open minded to both conventional medical treatment and alternative strategies:

Lastly, I wanted to share this video featuring Terry Wahls, MD that was sent to me by an acupuncturist friend late last fall. In 2003 Dr. Wahls, was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and was so sick she could not even use a regular wheelchair. After removing processed foods, grains and dairy from her diet, she experienced an amazing recovery and is now able to walk, horseback ride and do many other strenuous physical activities.

I wish everyone seeking to improve their health the best of luck. I also want to point out that we are all bio-chemical individuals, so what works for me may not be best for you.

Please, make sure to listen to your own body and trust what it tells you.


posted on March 22, 2012

  1. Linda S.

    Dear Elana,

    I’m sorry to learn that you have multiple sclerosis. However I’m delighted to read about your remedies. I was diagnosed with ms in 2008 and immediately afterwards I started searching for information on how to take care of myself. 5 Months after the diagnosis I started on my gluten- and dairy-free diet. I was also very strict with sugar and saturated fats and noticed improvements after 1 month on the diet. Like you I also started taking fish oil and vitamin D. Until this day (almost 4 years) I haven’t had another excacerbation, although neurologists predicted that I was to expect one appr. every 1.5 years.

    I could go on and on about the positive influence of my lifestyle -I don’t call it a diet anymore- but I won’t. Just want to thank you for sharing this with so many people, it is the most important information anyone can get. For me, being a scientist, it was easy finding literature about all the aspects of diet and disease, but for so many people out there it is just too difficult.

    Thanks again and take care!

    Linda
    (from Amsterdam, simply love your name)

    • Sunday Sommers

      If you don’t already know about Dr. Terry Wahls, you absolutely must! She is an M.D. who suffered an aggressive form of M.S., but kept working from a reclining wheelchair until she realized that she would soon be unable to function outside of a nursing facility. She began researching nutrition at the cellular level, it’s all about “minding you mitochondria” she says. She is now walking and bicycling thanks to a revolution in her diet, and leading a team of researchers for the purpose of making dietary information “standard of practice” care for the medical profession.

      I first heard her being interviewed on NPR several years ago, but she is now all over youtube and TED TAlKS, as well as her own website.

  2. Deb Kinney @ reviveorganizing.com

    Hi Elana,
    Thank you for this post and for the extremely concise video; both are inspiring. I am forwarding your post to my family members who deal with many of the diseases or learning problems mentioned. As ever, I am grateful that you continue to send us such high quality health information.

    All the best,

    Deb

  3. gilbert wilson

    WOW! Now that video was the best food I have heard in a long time.
    Great testimonial! Now to be able to apply some of it to every day life will be the trick. I can see I need lots of improvement and help in my choice of foods. I don’t eat processed meats and stay away from most bread products. We eat fish once a week, usually salmon or trout. If I am ever going to be close to understanding and growing to benefit my brain and body I will need to increase my intake of greens and colours. (In Canada we spell color with a “u”.) Willing to learn more.
    Thanks
    Gill

  4. HomeCookedHealthy @ homecookedhealthy.com

    Elana: Thank you so much for sharing this. There are so many people confronted with a disease every day and not realizing that they may have alternatives to treatment. My husband was diagnosed with a very agressive cancer over a year ago and we felt led to battle this disease with an all natural regiment instead of chemo or radiation. A large part of this was nutrition. We were amazed that within 3 months the cancer had subsided and the tumors started shrinking. Included with this is a gluten-free, sugar-free & organic lifestyle. It has literally saved his life and given us a testimony to how the Lord created our bodies to really heal themselves if we give it a chance and the right tools to do it’s work. Now we get so many emails and phone calls from others on how we did this. This has truly changed our lives and we hope so many others. We have been so blessed to help others along the way and let them know that there is hope.

  5. Raquel of Galilee

    Good for you, Elana! GOOD FOR YOU!
    Loved your triumphant photo. It says it all.

    Pesach Kasher VeSameach,
    Raquel

  6. Thank you Elana.

    31 years ago my mom was diagnosed with MS. It was so new at that time it took 6 months of testing and her being a guinea pig to drugs before they could diagnose it. A different way of eating was not even thought about. She went from being active and happy to using a wheelchair and depressed in 5.5 years. Then she passed while in the hospital, due to complications her body was experiencing because of the disease.

    I currently have a very good friend and confidant that has been battling the disease and more and more ‘chemotherapy’ type drugs are being recommended. Although she is cautious in those choices, this last bout left her not wanting to do it again as most have not helped and she just feels lousy with the treatments. She recently started having conversations about changing things in her life instead. I’m a huge proponent of being grain-free. I believe that it can change your energy, how you feel, and your life, even though I’ve been grain-free for only a few months the difference is wonderful.

    I will send this link to her, nudging her in a direction that I’d like to see her go in. Often times when I suggest to friends that they may be gluten sensitive it goes in one ear and out the other. Worse case scenario is that it doesn’t work for her, but it’s a healthier way of being with your body anyway. I cannot imagine that at least one or two positive things would not come from it.

    I hope that with this information and the fact that she is now more open to accepting new ideas, she will try this for herself. Just being able to walk her dog again would give her so much.

    Thank you for sharing.

  7. Lisa

    Awesome information! Relived to see you know about LDN. A doc I was working with years ago, when trying to get pregnant, said if he was ever dx with MS that would be one of his must haves. It’s a shame it isn’t more widely known.

    • Julie

      When I saw your post in Google Reader, I knew I HAD to pop over and tell you about LDN. So, so glad you already knew! It is a wonder “drug” and I tell everyone I know. Unfortunately, not many people are willing to listen, but I keep it up. Especially to my friends and family.
      You go, girl, cause I NEED you to be healthy and keep all of us supplied with recipes!

  8. Adrienne @ Whole New Mom @ wholenewmom.com

    Thanks for sharing, Elana. There is so much that can be done w/ diet. We have an autistic son (Asperger’s) and I will be posting in a few weeks about what we have done w/ diet in his life.

    I wonder if you know that Ann Romney has MS. She was debilitated from it when her husband was asked to run the Salt Lake City Olympics and ended up, after doing traditional and then alternative therapies, able to walk and run the torch into the city for the opening ceremonies.

    Amazing. I wish others I know w/ MS would heed this advice.

    Blessings.

  9. Thank you for sharing, Elana. I’m glad you found a protocol that works for you. There is actually plenty of scientific evidence to support everything that you’re doing to manage–and even reverse–your condition. Many people in the medical establishment don’t want to acknowledge what cell biologist Bruce Lipton and other researchers have known for decades: that, given the proper environmental stimuli (such as nutrients), DNA can change how it expresses itself. This is why it’s so important, for so many people, to avoid gluten.

    You and your readers may also want to know about Rife Therapy, a non-invasive modality discovered by Royal Rife in the 1930s that uses frequencies to heal. The frequencies can be delivered painlessly by minute amounts of electrical current (via an electrode machine) or an electromagnetic field (via radiant plasma, created when current passes through noble gases inside a glass tube). The frequencies help restore tissue and especially kill/disable microbes. Killing microbes is pertinent to MS because in many people with MS, pathogens are involved: viruses and/or bacterial spirochetes have been discovered in the spinal cord fluids of MS sufferers. Rife therapy truly works, as it devitalizes almost every type of microbe you can imagine. While Rife Therapy is almost unknown in the US, it’s much more widely used in other parts of the world such as Germany.

    You can read more about Rife Therapy on my website, http://www.nenahsylver.com or http://www.rifehandbook.com.

    Other substances that can damage the myelin sheath covering the nerve cells (which is why eating good fats is so important), are toxic metals like mercury, and mold toxins. About one-quarter of the population is unable to excrete the toxins emitted by molds, fungi and mildew. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker at http://www.survivingmold.com has excellent information on this, and also an online test to see if mold toxins are a problem for you.

    Thanks again for so gently providing information that can help people make wiser choices on how to take care of themselves.

    All the best,
    Nenah Sylver, PhD
    http://www.nenahsylver.com
    http://www.rifehandbook.com

  10. I had no idea that you had MS. It’s so wonderful that you’ve been able to manage it through diet and supplements. Kudos to you!

    The more I learn, the more I come to understand how truly powerful the food we eat can be (and how amazing our bodies are).

  11. Francie

    I am successfully healing from a lifetime of not being well, including a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, a rare form of inflammatory arthritis. At 63 I am vibrantly healthy through the use of an integrative approach. I was delighted to see that I do everything you do! I also take natural anti-inflammatories prescribed by an integrative clinician. The proof is in the blood work, my C-reactive protein reading has gone from 83 to 16 and is still dropping.
    I take 3mg of Low Dose Naltrexone daily, it has made a tremendous difference. I am not on any of the dangerous drugs prescribed by rheumatologists to deal with this condition. I highly recommend it as part of a healing regimen and am so glad to see it listed here!
    Thank you for all the good work that you do through your website, and richest blessings to you for continued great health!!

    • Jen

      Can I ask what you do in addition to the LDN? I have RA and my dr prescribed Enbrel and I really do not want to take it. I was on LDN and it didn’t help me that much other than my mood (if that makes sense)? And am currently on a gluten free/dairy free diet but am going to switch to grain free as well. I was even thinking of going raw for awhile….I know there’s a way I just need to figure out what works for me!

      • Laura

        Jen, I have another form of arthritis, related to being HLA B27 positive, and I am currently researching LDN. I am now on a mostly raw, vegan diet that is grain free, and I have found that it makes a huge difference for me. I went raw on the advice of a friend with RA who noticed great results, for what it is worth.

  12. jamie

    I was encouraged to read about your success with MS. MS runs in my family and thought there was no hope until I saw Dr. Wahls video and read your blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Delores Mann (Lynn)

    I notice that you use alot of agave nectar, does it do alright on your MS? I have been reading about the yacon syrup how good it is.I have fibromylgia and alot of foods trigger it off with pain.I have gone gluten free and dairy free and working on sugar free if I can found something that will work.

  14. glutenfreeforgood @ glutenfreeforgood.com/blog

    This is such good information, Elana. Thanks for sharing it. I’ll be passing this along all over the place! =)

    Melissa

  15. Jan Martin

    I have been a patient of Dr. Bethany Hays @ her functional medicine clinic called True North in Falmouth, Maine, for three years, for anyone seeking out functional medicine locations on the eastcoast. I can highly recommend this fully staffed clinic. As a gynecologist, she had previously worked with Christianne Northrup @ Women to Women in Yarmouth, Maine. To find out more, just google True North Falmouth Me.

  16. Thank you for posting this, Elana! I saw this video a couple months ago, and although the worst we are currently dealing with in our family is one child with minor food intolerances, I decided to implement many of these changes in our diet as a simple and healthful precautionary measure. If diet changes can have such a significant effect on healing serious auto-immune diseases, why would I not want to make these changes now and perhaps give my kids a better chance of never having to deal with these diseases in the first place?! I don’t know why more people don’t consider the standard modern diet an absolute health tragedy, when there is an obvious trend of “incurable” and “mysterious” diseases being successfully treated with diet and lifestyle changes. I don’t know how long it’s going to take us to admit that the choices we are making have actual consequences.

  17. Lori

    Thanks Elana for sharing this story. A friend of my mothers suffers from MS and I send the article to her. I agree with what this lady is doing to manage her MS. Thanks for sharing.

    Lori

  18. Sharon

    This is great (not that you have MS, but that you posted this info)! My sister-in-law has MS and I’ve been trying to talk to her about it from a natural perspective. It may be more convincing coming from someone who also suffers from MS.

    I would also like to recommend Nutritional Response Testing to you as a method of treatment. We have been seeing a local practitioner for over 3 years and it is how I found you. We have used it to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but also to heal from pre-diabetic symptoms, hyper-thyroidism, infertility and even day to day illnesses. We go to our nutritionist when we are sick, not a medical doctor.

    I wish you well in your battle against MS and want to say thank you – I highly value your recipes and insight! Even my 7 yr old daughter likes to look up “Elana” recipes to make.

    Sharon Bolling

  19. Stephanie

    I was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago and like you began researching my options and changing my life, in many ways. I only recently went gluten free and have noticed huge changes with my body. For me, stress is a huge factor in how I feel and what is going on with my body. The one thing that I would add to your list above is Stress Management! Walking, meditation, yoga. Find whatever you need to do to reduce and release your stress.

    In some ways MS has made my life better. I know, I know, I never understood when people said that kind of stuff. But, my health is always my focus now. I exercise everyday, I eat healthy food, I manage my stress.

    Thanks for sharing all that you have learned.

  20. MoniCue

    Have you read Terry’s book? It has her story, advice on food as meds and great recipes. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting her at a family camp last summer–getting to know her and her lovely family was a treat in itself…and the extra, unanticipated health info and advice was one of those kismet life moments. (I have chronic pain and apparently fibro…)

  21. ginger

    The video was extremely moving. I don’t have ms but I do have neurological issues that pop up now and then. I am also on a gf diet. I have been investigating the hunter/gatherer diet and the real food diet thru Weston A Price foundation. Your diets are similar except they do eat only raw dairy, sprouted grains, and say that cruciferous vegetables need to be cooked/steamed not eaten raw. I know I need to make changes and am searching for answers. I seem to be finding conflicting info. Have you come upon these issues and if so, what helped you with your understanding?

    • megan

      Its hard with all the conflicting info floating around – you never know who sponsored what studies and if there are conflicts of interest…the best thing you can do is try it for yourself – what do you have to lose? eating “paleo” (or whatever you want to call it) certainly won’t cause MORE damage and just may be the missing piece in your health

  22. Terri

    Truly inspirational, Elana! Thank you so much for sharing!

  23. Melissa

    Elana, I’m so glad you mentioned low dose naltrexone. Not enough people know about it and it is a shame. But now that you mentioned I hope more people will check it out. If someone wants to find out more the can google low dose naltrexone.

  24. Lynnette

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for blogging Functional Medicine to your audience. The reminder is good for all of us.

  25. Carey

    Hi Elana,
    As a Boulder local I was wondering who you see for functional medicine?
    Is it Pierre Brunshwig at Helios? I thought he was a Homeopathic exclusively. Would you recommend some others doctors who practice functional medicine in the area? I’ve been looking and would appreciate any recommendations.
    Thanks so much and be well.

    • Marti

      Dr. Terry Grossman at Frontier Medical is in Golden, CO is local. I am on LDN with them and am completely GF and DF now. I also avoid proteins from legumes and try to do raw. If I stick to it, no MS symptoms. They turned my life around and I am grateful.

  26. Athena

    My sister sent me the link to this post and after reading it, I must say I find it fascinating that there are others who want to go the natural way vs. the medicinal way. The only thing I’d like to add is that curcumin is a supplement I use religiously and has been very effective with my “cog fog”. Here is a link to information regarding curcumin if anyone is interested: http://curcumin-benefits.info/.

  27. louise

    beautiful article and power to you. Keep strong and sharing your wonderful info x

  28. Karen Rogina

    Hi Elena:
    So glad you’ve been able to maintain good health.
    Just recently I was diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism, though I’ve had clinical symptoms most of my life. However the doctors over the years repeatedly said that everything was Ok because my blood work was in the high normal and sometimes normal. I’ve got mild Cerebral Palsy from a hypothalamic infarct that is dime sized. This occurred at birth and has caused chronic health problems my whole life. Mostly an easily overwhelmed immune system, along with other neurological problems such as chronic pain etc. It makes sense as the hypothalamus is the first step in optimal thyroid function.
    I initially went dairy free, then gluten free, then grain free due to ongoing digestive problems. This all happened prior to the hypothyroidism diagnosis. I find since going grain free along with the thyroid supplement that the digestive problems are getting better.
    I’m taking the high dose probiotics, fish oils, Vitamin D already but I’ve never heard of the Low Dose Naltrexone. Thanks for the info. I’ll be seeing my neurologist next week and I’m going to ask her if she would consider trying me on this drug.
    I enjoy your website and all your recipes.
    Keep up the great work.
    Karen

  29. Col

    Dear Elana,
    Thank you so so much for this posting! Personally, I find it extremely encouraging to hear of others living with MS in a healthy and natural way. Gives me much needed information and motivation!
    Wishing you optimal health.
    Col

  30. Karen

    Great post Elana! Something to think about, Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as MS and yes, even the plaque shows up in the images. Lyme is the new ‘great imposterer’. I’d suggest anyone with MS find an Lyme Literate Doctor (www.ILADS.org), ‘contact us’ and write asking about the nearest Lyme Literate Doctor to your location. There are a lot of politics around this so you need a specially trained doctor. My Lyme has also responded well to the dietary measures you’ve embraced though I am not on LDN. You live in an area with a lot of Lyme exposure so just wanted to put that out there. Best of luck as you move forward.

  31. Ali

    My mom had MS for 20 years and I wish she had known these things! This advice could have helped her live a fuller life with far less disability, I am sure. Sharing this will positively impact many, many people who suffer from this disease. Thank you for caring enough to share.

  32. Lynnette

    Elana, more power to you! I was recently diagnosed with ALS, and take the same supplements as you do, including LDN. I had watched the awesome video before; I tried it, but I just cannot eat that much. Still, I plan on adding green drinks when my gardens come in.

    I have also added a different tactic, an energy working detailed in the book, The Healing Code, by Alex Loyd, PhD, ND, and on the web site http://thehealingcodes.com/. Dr. Ben Johnson cured his ALS using the codes. I read a story of MS being cured… I know that I have already seen small changes, by using the codes.

  33. Lynnette

    PS – The Healing Codes heal the underlying negative images, unhealthy beliefs and destructive cellular memories that create disease.

  34. Indigenous cultures refer to “food is medicine.” It’s curious how long it’s taken us to accept this to be true.

    Smoking was advertised as cool. Refined foods were a sign of wealth and prosperity.

    Even now, with friends who clearly have gluten-intolerance and serious health issues because of it, they wave off eating GF saying their doctor told them they need copious amounts of meds (one friend’s actual words) because their health situation (Crohn’s, IB, hives, feeling foggy, MS) is too serious and GF is too expensive.

    So they take the copious amounts of meds and have copious side effects and get sicker and sicker. While eating copious amounts of pasta, bread and other inexpensive food items.

    I agree that in 10 years GF and grain-free will be more commonly “prescribed.” Wish it could happen more quickly!

    • PS – Since I’ve gone GF, my lifelone eczema has disappeared entirely, I am no longer groggy and foggy (which is different than tired and it actually feels good to just be tired!, and the deep pain in my stomach (repeatedly put through upper GI testing only to show time and time again there was no ulcer) after I ate is GONE :)

  35. PS – It also cured my asthma so I no longer need to carry an inhaler, and it reduced my interstitial cystitis (caused by traumatic injury) to the point I no longer need the meds (I as interviewed last fall by the IC magazine and talked about how going GF helped).

  36. Christine

    It’s completely possible to “turn off” auto-immune diseases of all sorts. My personal regime of grain, legume and mammal meat free diet, similar supplementation to Elana, aucpuncture and the use of alpha agonist to promotes the neuro-transmitter Acetocholine by inhibiting it’s breakdown by acetocholinesterase has reversed a number of issues for me including Gluten Ataxia which is often misdiagnosed as MS. I’ve lived with the long-term sequelae of TBI and TSI (traumatic brain and spine injury) and an ill-defined auto-immune condition for decades. I survived cancer without radiation, oral or IV chemo. I won’t be riding horses or trekking mountains but I WALK unassisted. I still practice TCM, nutrition/nauturopathy and chiropractic parttime. Recent labs indicate ALL auto-immune processes including anti-nuclear antibodies are no longer at issue.

    It takes commitment and fortitude. Some may not be up to the task to radically alter their lives. That’s OK as long as they don’t stand in your way if you choose to make the changes. If they don’t support you in your quest, maybe they’re not meant to be in your life long-term and that’s OK too.

  37. Bev

    It`s great that you are taking LDN for your MS. My husband has been on only LDN for 7 years and is doing well – no obvious disease progression.
    It`s a crime that it`s not the first (and only) drug offered to newly diagnosed MS`ers. Those toxic and ineffective injectables are doing nothing other than making the drug companies rich.
    I recently got my husband off gluten and grains and bumped up his Vitamin D.

    It`s great that you are speaking out about using LDN as it`s kind of an “underground” community. I, and many of my friends, have been asking Montel Williams to tell if he`s using it, for years with no response. We need a high profile spokesperson to spread the word. Just breaks my heart to see how many are in wheelchairs and continue to use meds that just don`t work. LDN and a healthy diet are a great way to go until a real cure is found.

  38. Kelli

    Does the fish oil contain vitamin D also? What form of vitamin D do you (did you) take? Is there a book that will convince me that eating grains is bad for a weakened immune system? I have confused myself by reading books like the China Study, Nouishing Traditions, and the like, and would like to know how to eat once and for all.

  39. Sara H.

    Elana,
    I’ve often wanted to ask about your MS therapy because I had a feeling we might be doing some of the same things.

    I was diagnosed with MS over 3 yrs. ago. I also take LDN and have been gluten/dairy free for 3 yrs and paleo for over a year. I have had no excerbations since my first, feel great (much better than before diagnosis and am very optimistic that my good health will continue.

    One thing for fellow MSers to realize, LDN (low dose naltrexone)will sometimes aggravate symptoms for the first 2-3 weeks. I think this happens in some cases and the person panics and goes off it immediately before the symptoms subside. Give it a chance to work. Also, it doesn’t seem to be as sucessful for people that don’t adopt a gluten/dairy free diet.
    I feel younger at 45 than I did at 35!

  40. Hi Elana,
    I didn’t know about this, but I am really amazed at how well you are doing. I will pass this on to a friend who has MS, thanks for all the useful information. xoxo

  41. Kelli

    Can you please write a post on how you eat while traveling? We are currently traveling to churches raising support for the mission field, which includes eating at people’s houses and at food fellowships, and at each one has been big tables of bread, pasta, dessert, and very little vegetables. I would greatly appreciate the help! Thank you for sharing your voyage with us!

  42. Sherri

    Elana – I was also diagnosed with MS in ’06. I was able to continue working as a nurse for about another year before I left on permanent disability. My MS had progressed rapidly. I went from 10 lesions on the brain to more than 60 within nine months (and multiple lesions on the spine). I was having exacerbations every six weeks and solumedrol IV infusions to tame them. At the time, all the neurologist wanted to do was push the mainstream disease-modifying drugs (which I took). I honestly think they contributed to my disability.

    About the time I went out on disability, I started to change my diet. I cut out all gluten and dairy. To my surprise, the migranes I suffered from were caused from the dairy. Not only did changing my diet make me feel better, but it also helped me lose a significant amount of weight. I’ve lost 150 lbs. and I’ve been able to keep the weight off for several years now. In the process of the weight loss, I also cut out refined sugar. I honestly believe the diet has kept me from being in a wheelchair (although I do walk with a cane).

    I finally stopped taking the DMD’s in ’09. That’s the time I started on low-dose naltrexone (LDN). I’m glad to hear you are either taking this or know about the benefits of this off-label medication. Although it hasn’t stopped my disease from progressing, it has improved my mood and quality of life.

    Hang in there! Thank you for sharing your story. :)

  43. We are always on the same wavelength, but I can tell you are one step ahead of me! I just started on the Ther-biotic Complete a month ago and it is the BEST probiotic ever. It helped loads.

    I was taking low dose naltrexone for a little while and it was a wonder medicine. What I loved best was how it helped take my sleep from “ordinary” sleep to restorative sleep. I get enough hours, but they aren’t usually restful. Unfortunately, naltrexone gradually has side effects for me that cause issues. Our dr. considers it the “cure all” potential medicine.

    I also find Vit D (same dose) and Fish Oil (though I use about half that) to be important for daily use.

    Hmm, dying to know more about your regimen now! ~ A

  44. Arlene Hubbard @ hubbardfoundation.org

    Elana,
    My son was diagnosed with MS in 2009, while looking for treatment options I researched various diets and supplements. We, at the Hubbard Foundation where we study the vascular aspect of neurodegenerative disease(especially MS)believe in a gluten/dairy free, modified paleo diet. We are having a conference in San Diego on May 12th and Terry Wahls is one of our key note speakers.
    In addition to diet and supplementation my son had a simple venous angioplasty procedure and had relief of his symptoms. Maintaining his diet keeps him doing well. If you would like more information on what we do please visit http://www.hubbardfoundation.org
    I wish you the best and thank you so much for your fabulous recipes.
    Warm Regards,
    Arlene Hubbard

  45. Leigh

    Very interesting article. My husband was diagnosed with MS in 2001. He took Copaxone for 5 years without trouble or flare-ups and then relapsed and was put on Rebif. While he has not had an exacerbation since being on Rebif, he does deal with a lot of annoying side effects from the drug which cause him to have to take other medications to offset them. Myself and my two daughters have been GF going on two years. I have tried to get him to go completely GF, but he hasn’t been willing, says it’s too hard with his job since he has to go to a lot of lunches/dinners. But he does eat GF at home. I had Alopecia Areata for 15 years that went into remission after going GF, and I’ve only had one minor flare-up since then, which previously I had problems all the time. I’d love for him to go completely GF and see how he does. It can make such a huge difference in your life.

  46. Mary

    What brand of fish oil do you take? Thanks.

  47. Thank you for sharing this! My brilliant Mum has been involved in Low Dose Naltrexone for years now, friends of ours are doing amazing clinical trials. Thanks for helping spread the word~

    A fellow foodie who just LOVES your work!

  48. Nellie

    I was thrilled to see low-dose naltrexone on your list. I started taking LDN 9 months ago, and my Hashimoto’s is now in remission. Thanks for getting the word out about this affordable, no-side-effects treatment.

    • Megan

      That is very comforting to hear! I too have hashi’s and celiac and just began treatment with LDN…since hitting the 2.5 dose, I have been feeling so much better and even forgetting take thyroid medicine from time to time with no ill-effect….I’m hopeful I too will go into remission. Thanks for posting!

    • robyn M

      ohh, i was just going to ask if any with hashi’s or celiac has used LDN! thank you for your words!

  49. Jay

    It’s very true, what works for one person with MS, doesn’t always work for another person with MS. Having a best friend diagnosed with MS in 2004, who is now confined to a wheelchair with secondary progressive, who cannot brush her hair without great effort, who cannot grasp a fork, spoon, or knife without great effort, who cannot eat, without great effort, who cannot swollow without great effort, I can attest, a gluten free diet, an all natural this and that, the extra Vitamin D, the fish oils, the herbal remedies, the oxygen treatments, etc, etc, did nothing to help my friend, and they still do nothing.

    Although Dr. Wahls struggle to overcome her MS is commendable, having to purchase her muliple CDs & books at $20 – $40 a pop, to “learn” about her miracle cure, leaves a bad taste in ones mouth.

    My friend is hoping to be included in a MS bone marrow transplant research study, but her age (mid 50’s) may be against her ever being accepted. Right now it’s wait and see.

    Although diet can & will be helpful to some, MS stem cell transplant, aka, Hematopoietic stem cell transplant, is, as far as my friend, and myself are concerned, the most promising for people with MS.

    Stem cell reseach & transplant is a constant religious/political argument in the US, but it is not elsewhere, and progress is being made.

    The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation & Ms. Lecompte’s experience with stem cell transplant.

    http://stemcellfoundation.ca/blog/2010/05/27/757these-scientists-are-on-to-something/

    My end to MS blog. Chris’s journey from stem cell transplant a year ago, to the present.

    http://my-end-to-ms.blogspot.ca/

  50. Lor

    Elana, I am sorry to learn of your diagnosis.

    If you have not yet researched the potential link between MS and histamine, I highly recommend your consideration of this theory.

    I do not have MS, though a close relative does. I do have several other severe autoimmune illnesses, in addition to numerous food allergies / sensitivities.

    I am a personal fan of LDN, having found it beneficial in the past for lupus-related arthritis. However I am off of LDN at present, having suffered a severe SLE flare affecting my liver & kidneys.

    The grain-free diets I have investigated have been high in Omega-6 oils and legumes, both of which are problematic for me. In fact, legumes are one of my most obvious food offenders. Grain-free diets also tend to be high in egg (one of my “no” foods) and generally quite high in protein, which my kidneys cannot handle in excess.

    I have seen grain-free presentations citing lectins as the factor in grains that cause autoimmune illness … but then going on to present recipes with buckwheat, potato or legumes, all lectin-rich. A lectin – free diet is very difficult to achieve.

    I have wondered whether the statistical improvements in groups on grain-free diet may be somewhat influenced by other dietary cleanup that typically accompanies grain-free: less sugar & less processed food; more omega – 3.

    I do not wish to discourage anyone, only to share my own experience. Each of us has a certain amount of biochemical uniqueness. A grain-free or Paleo diet may be helpful to YOU! And if it is, great!

    My favorite resource for issues related to natural healing is The Townsend Letter, a publication for naturopaths and other alternative healing professionals. It may be available through your local public library; many articles are online.

    Here is a link to a Townsend Letter article on MS and histamine:

    http://www.tldp.com/issue/11_00/ms.htm

    Another good resource is the PubMed research database.

    • Betty

      Lor,

      I do not have MS. I do have auto immune issues.

      Oddly, histamine is a big problem for me. I have to restrict
      foods high in histamine.

      Many people that suffer histamine intolerance have wide and,
      varied symptoms. Some include MS “like” symptoms.

      I guess one man’s medicine is another man’s toxin.

  51. Diane H

    Another alternative therapy helpful to people with MS is “Earthing”. The premise of Earthing is that the earth itself has electrical healing energy that affects the human body. In the past, walking barefoot and sleeping on the ground kept people’s bodies in synch with the earth. Modern lifestyles, including wearing rubber-soled shoes and living in houses above the ground, have insulated and disconnected people from the earth’s energy and it causes inflammation in our bodies that in turn causes disease. By connecting back to this energy, healing can take place. It’s quite fascinating. You may have seen a segment on Earthing on the Dr. Oz show.

    The book is on Amazon.com: “Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?” By clicking on the “Click to look inside” icon you can read quite a bit of the book for free.

    Thank you, Elana. I love your website.

  52. Elana, you are a warrior! and a great inspiration for me. I also think that natural remedies are the best. Unfortunately sometimes is hard to find your way through…
    I’m glad that you have been able to find remedies that work well for you and that you are feeling better.

  53. Cynthia

    Thanks for this post. I too have MS. Isn’t crazy how many people have MS these days? I used to have to explain what MS was but now everyone has a loved one or somebody they know with MS.

    I take LDN and a lot of supplements and try to stay away from wheat and dairy. Yes these things help and I still do them but the miracle for me was getting angioplasty on the veins draining my brain. I looked into http://www.hubbardfoundation.org and found a doctor in Utah to perform the procedure. It has now been 8 months since angioplasty and I am still feeling great. No cog fog. Less fatigue. I can finally feel my hands again. Yeah!

    I think sites like this are amazing because regular people can share information that we just don’t get from most of the doctors out there.
    Thanks Elena!

  54. Lori S.

    Elana, thanks for letting us know about your MS.

    I have an autoimmune disorder called psoriatic arthritis and have been on LDN since 2009. If someone is thinking of asking their doctor for it, go in prepared because undoubtedly your doctor will not understand. I went to the lowdosenaltrexone website and jotted down everything that pertained to me. My doctor fortunately already prescribed it for AI disorders, so it wasn’t too tough, but my sister who goes to the same clinic, saw a different doctor and she refused her!!!. In fact, after reviewing many of the videos on that site, some of the doctors recommend LDN for most anyone (without any problems) as it greatly boosts the immune system.

    Thanks for providing us with a forum, not just about recipes, but about health, it is a blessing indeed!

    Lori

  55. pdw

    I would like to hear more of your thoughts on grain-free diet. I eat completely grain free (yes, including wild rice and millet, which are part of the grain family) but I still eat quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth, which are not grains, but are “grain like”. I have heart people include buckwheat in the list of foods to avoid on a grain-free diet, but not quinoa. Why would you eliminate these foods?

    Due to allergies, I can’t use almond flour in my recipes.

  56. I had no idea you had MS…I found your site months ago and have been following it since. I was diagnosed 16 years ago which launched our adoption era. 11 adoptions later, I have really been focusing on me. Tired of living without energy. My searching had brought me to eating whole and consequently, your website. Also led me to many of the conclusions and was very excited to see your recommendations. Want to stop my avonex shots and gain some energy…Will be looking at some of them in depth tomorrow and cannot wait.
    thanks,
    Holly

  57. Megan

    Thanks for sharing this information – you have a huge following and I know this will help many people!

    I have celiac and hashimotos as of 1.5 years ago…I too do EVERYTHING that you listed. Going Gluten Free was the first step which helped tremendously…now I am about 95% grain free (only on rare occasions will I have a grain gluten free treat) and I eat a paleo diet (pretty much a fat and protein template). I take potent probiotics, eat fermented foods and bone broths pretty much daily, and most recently I was put on LDN. The therapeutic dose of LDN has really started to make a huge difference in how I feel. For the first time, if I accidentily skip a thyroid dose, I dont even notice…I’m hopeful that perhaps I will someday be able to stop thyroid treatment entirely.

    I wish more people knew about LDN – it seems like such a promising drug. The use of LDN for auto-immune disorders is considereda”off label” use…however, for those reading, do not be turned off by this. It was approved by the FDA in high doses (over 50 mg or more) and is pretty much side -effect free. The reason why it has not been FDA approved for low doses (4.5 mg or less)- hence the name LoW Dose Naldextrone (LDN) – is bc no drug company sees value in paying for clinical trials on a drug that has been around forever and would only be needed in small doses…therefore, it’s “off label” and most likly will always be. Many doctors are not aware of it, so go to the website and bring in info yourself. Or ask one of the compounding pharmaceies on the site to list doctors in your area who perscribe it.

    One suggestion that you may be open to: Fermeneted Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil blend – I have see great improvements in my skin since taken and its chock full of vitamins.

    Thanks again for sharing your life and recipes. Your site has added great value and pleasure to my life.

    • robyn M

      hi megan,
      i too have hashimotos and celiac, i am curious as to how you went about getting on LDN? I am about 80% grain free and mostly dairy free as well except for the occasional kerrygold cheese or butter…progression! we’re in a really rural area and i’ve not had a very good time with health care practitioners in the area. it looks like you need a prescription for LDN. any thought you have would be welcomes! thanks

  58. Patty

    Dear Elana, Since having been led to your site, I’ve been a true fan of yours. I love your recipes, your personality, your wonderful enthusiasm, the pics of your boys, and the fact that you have shared your trials with MS with us, your many, many friends. You are such an inspiration to us all. It’s not just that you share your foods with us, but you share yourself! Thank you for everything that you do. We so appreciate your efforts. Bless you. Patty

  59. adriana

    Dear Elana,
    Thank you so much for sharing. My husband to has ms. He is fortunate that it has taken a more benign course. But he is 59 now and sees changes. I have arthu=ritis and have gone GF. Feel 85% better than I have in the last 8 years. Right now I have 1 question. What grains should we not eat? You said quinoa and wild rice. Do you mean brown rice and buckwheat , tapioca etc. I do have 1 of your cook books. But I feel I do need to change my diet more. Have you read the book wheat belly? Please when you have time could you let me know. I want to eat healthier and get my husband on board! Thank you so much. You are an awesome lady. God bless. Adriana

  60. Linda Mazar

    thanks for sharing your story! I have several autoimmune diseases too and going gluten-free/dairy-free has really helped me stay in remission. I want to look into the low dose Naltrexone some more. I had researched it some time ago but when I mentioned it to my gastroenterologist and to my endocrinologist they looked at me like I was insane – of course they think I am insane since I don’t eat gluten and dairy and try to stay low carb. I may have to revisit that idea again.

  61. MaryK

    Thanks for sharing this Elana. I too have MS but you wouldn’t know it to look at me. I have been taking LDN (low dose naltrexone) for about 5 years now. I take Klaire Labs Vital-Plex. I was on Vit D until we discovered my levels were too high. I am gluten free, dairy free (except for raw milk cheese) and low carb and have never felt better. My neurologist told me that many of his MS patients have been tested positive for Celiac.

    I also see an integrative care doctor who has suggested that it is Celiac and NOT MS. Unforturnately, my neurologist doesn’t agree so the MS label lingers on.

    LDN is an alternative choice. I researched it thoroughly before I chose this path. It’s not the treatment of choice for most neurologists, but fortunately mine will prescribe it. It’s so so so much cheaper than the shots. I did those for one year and hated every prick of the needle.

    Again…thanks for sharing.

  62. Natasha

    I’ve been using your site on a daily (sometimes more than daily) basis for a couple of years now as I battle my own autoimmune condition after having my son, but this is my first comment. Seeing this post, I felt I needed to let you know that while I love your food (just finished a batch of your pudding), I love how inspirational you are even more and how you go to the ends of the earth to be here for your family. They are very lucky. Thanks for posting this and reminding all of us struggling with diseases that we’re not alone. You have helped me tremendously in trying to follow the scd diet (with cocoa for a rare treat) while also continuing my love of food!! All the best to you and your family.

  63. Mia

    Thank you for sharing Elena. That’s wonderful to hear you have found some natural strategies that are working for you.

    I know of someone who has MS that uses tumeric.

    Love,

    Mia

  64. Candice

    Have you ever heard of a woman named Diana Driscoll? She is a doctor/patient who has a website http://www.prettyill.com and she has been doing studies with people with MS and some other disorders that seem to overlap. I cannot help but feel that this may be of interest to you. Kind Regards, and many thanks.

  65. Laurel

    I’m curious what you mean by high dose probiotics. How many Therbiotic Complete do you take per day?

  66. Jessica

    My twin sister was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s after a celiac diagnosis. She to has looked to functional medicine to nearly completely heal her thyroid autoimmune disease naturally by doing much of what you have listed. She went grain free (dairy free, sugar free) after being tested for candida. Also, The AutoImmune Epidemic book by Donna Jackson Nakazawa is a great resource. This is so absolutely needed. 1 in 9 women will have an autoimmune diagnosis in their life, and 70% of its diagnosis is from environmental factors. Diet and lifestyle changes are completely in our control. Finding doctors who speak this new medical language is critical. The more we talk about this and share our resources, the quicker people can heal themselves. Here is my sister’s blog. I myself am a functional nutritionist practicing for over 15 years, trying to get the word out :)
    http://healhashimotos.tumblr.com/

  67. danielle @ thinkccsvi.com

    Terry Wahls is speaking at the Hubbard Foundation conference in San Diego this May. This conference covers CCSVI, the vascular theory behind MS. You might want to check out more info on my blog: thinkccsvi.com. I have PPMS and CCSVI treatment not only halted my progression, it took about 90% of my symptoms away. That is why I work to help other people get access to treatment. And, of course, I am very, very supportive and encouraging of a healthy, grain-free diet. Your site is one of the best out there. Your energy for maintaining it, cooking, baking, photographing, and doing all of the things that you do as a mom are a testament to how well you are doing with your MS! Awesome. Please continue to be an inspiration. We need people like you!

  68. Kimberley @ LivingRawGirl.com

    Hi Elana,

    It is wonderful to see yet another person encouraging diet change for treatment of MS. I was diagnosed in 1997 at age 27. The first thing I was told was to cut out all artificial sweeteners. I did that and exercised to prep my body to fight what was coming. I did well for a few years and even had my second child. But life got hectic and I fell back into old ways. I gained weight, began treatment with horrible injections 3x’s weekly. Finally in Summer 2005 I ended up in the hospital on a steroid drip. I decided to change this for good. After months of daily research I began a diet of raw foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc NO gluten). I lost over 80 lbs, went off all meds, and I have been doing well with NO symptoms since then. I am living proof that diet does work to change MS. My family is also much healthier, and happy to have a Mom who can participate actively in their lives. Thank you for spreading the word, and i wish you continued health and healing!

  69. Kim

    Hi Elana

    I just wanted to say thank you for you wonderful recipes and information that you share with us. I have leaky gut syndrome and gluten and dairy intolerances and my homeopath has advised me to go on the Paleo diet. I have been struggling with the limitations on this diet for awhile now and luckily found your website/blog just a week ago.

    You have shown me how to adapt our lifestyle to be healthier without sacrificing good food.

    Thanks again,
    Kim

  70. Dara Casey

    The timing of this information on MS is amazing….am passing it on to a friend in France and my sister in law! A quick note that your information on how you are healing yourself and staying healthy and vibrant AND the video link follow closely with the the program I am on with Dr D’Adamo. (Eat for your blood type – guy) I have followed your recipes and passed them onto many many friends because they have helped me navigate the world of food allergies and intolerances and have kept me half sane as my world of food got smaller and smaller! I have the perfect storm of Lymes disease (missed- diagnosed for approximately 10 years) menopause, poor circulation and low blood sugar. Thankfully I have been gluten, corn, dairy and night shade free for 11 years…and THAT is why I am still walking! Seeming that I have a dog walking business….walking is pretty important to me! PS Lyme disease and MS have many similar symptoms and the diagnosis can often get mixed up.

    ciao and aloha
    Dara

  71. Hi Elana,
    I just wanted to say a quick thank you (so much) for your website. I discovered your site sometime in the last 6 months when I made dramatic changes to my diet just to feel better and be more healthy.

    Recently I found out that I’m actually dealing with an auto-immune disorder (specific disorder tbd) and am also 11 weeks pregnant. So…I’m going grain free & dairy free, and avoiding tomatoes and other foods I have known allergies too. I also struggle to get enough protein in my diet as I am not a huge fan of meat and with pregnancy have I’ve developed several food aversions and haven’t been able to stand so many of the healthiest foods I’ve eaten regularly for the past several months.

    Your site means even more to me now b/c I absolutely need to feed myself and feed myself right. I purchased your book last night through Amazon and am spending every free moment today looking at your recipes and identifying several appealing options.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  72. I’d wish to thank you for sharing this information. I write a blog about the Seignalet diet, which is very similar to the one you’re following (no gluten, no dairy, no refined sugar). Dr. Seignalet treated 33 patients with multiple sclerosis, with an improvement in 97% of them. It’s a pity that doctors are not aware of this information, as it would be harmless to give this diet a chance in many cases that seem doomed to tones of pain and medication. I’m glad to hear that you are feeling ok, keep it that way! Kisses

  73. You strong and beautiful woman, you! You are an inspiration. xoLexie

  74. Martha

    Can you eat Buckwheat as part of a grain free diet since it is technically a fruit? Or would you consider it a grain?

  75. I found this post extremely interesting. My mother has MS and Crohn’s disease. I have Crohn’s disease and Celiac and live in fear of developing MS although I’ve reached 40 without it so I’m feeling more confident. Thank you for sharing what you are doing. I definitely will be asking my GI about some of these things. I already take Vit. D and probiotics but the other stuff I had not heard about. I hope you continue to feel well.

  76. Claudia Franco @ casadeq.com

    Hi Elana,

    I follow your natural treatment suggestions for my diagnosis of Hashimoto’s which is an auto immune disease. I’m a total believer and have been thankful to have found alternative meds and doctors who follow this as well.

    Cheers,
    Claudia

  77. Susan

    Thanks for sharing this Elana. More people need to know there is another option to the mainstream drugs for MS. I’ve been doing it “holistically” now for 2.5 years and my last MRI came up clear and the old lesions I had are shrinking. Thanks for blessing us with your recipes too!

  78. Kristel @ Healthy Frugalista @ HealthyFrugalista.com

    I was very inspired by your story and Dr Wahls story. We need to keep spreading the idea of natural treatments. I shared Dr Whals video in a post entitled The Power of Real Food and linked to your post. I’m happy you are doing well with MS.

  79. Victoria

    Hi Elana,
    I was diagnosed 11 years ago and have reached many of the same conclusions as you have. I stopped taking Rebif 6 years ago & switched to LDN and have been stable (I walk with a cane but have tons of energy & work full time). As of two months ago, I watched the Walhs’ video & have been minding my mitochondria since. In additon to all the nutriceuticals you recommend and the LDN, I also have used a very good Green drink–Greens First–for years and I take a substance call AMBROTOSE, a glyco-nutrient– manufactuted by the Mannatech company (Mannatech.com). I think both have been enormously helpful. I very much apprecitate your website and your paleo recipes. Good luck & continued good health to you.

    Victoria

  80. Dora B

    Thanks Elana for sharing your story!
    I have been on Vit D 3 for a year and a half now at the urging of a friend who has MS. She has worked up to 10,000 IU per day with Omega 3,6,9 from Flax and or fish oils. I talked to my doc about it and got tested after about 3 months on 2,000 IU of D3 plus Omega 3,6,9 from Chia seeds. at that time my D3 measurement was 20 (LOW).
    My Doctor also suggested that I take KRILL oil. Krill oil has EPA and DHA which are “the essential Building Blocks” of the body needed to USE the D3 and Omegas. I was recently re-tested and my D3 levels are now in the “normal” range at 54.
    I met a nurse at the hospital who has MS and has also worked up to 10,000 IU of D3 plus the omegas and the Krill and is working every day with no MS symptoms. I took that as confirmation that I am doing the right thing for my body. Thanks again for sharing your story!
    Dora

  81. Kacer

    Hi, a friend suggested that I come see what you had to say and what you were doing for your MS, as you appeared to be doing many of the things I have been doing and advocating for the last 11 years. Tho she said you were doing things a little bit different and I should take a look.

    I’ve not had much of a look, but like what I see. I’d like to offer a few suggestions for you to check out.

    I have found over the years that some people DO do better on the DHA/EPA (fish oil) versions of the omega 3’s, I have tried that route on several occasions, but find I, myself tend to do MUCH better on the ALA (via flax seed oil) and I’ve had several friends who seem to do better on a combination of the 2, some fish oil, some flax (seed) oil. So you MIGHT want to “test” yourself…. I mean I have basically used myself as a ‘lab rat’ as I would not be ok using actual lab rats…lol. I’d do a month on fish oil, one on just flax, one on a combo… again, several times… at differing times of the year, trying to also avoid “allergy” seasons to avoid a bias that way.

    The only ADDITION I would make to your “regimen” is really, mainly only applicable to newly recovering and/or those who have recently had an MS attack. OCTACOSANOL, it is a straight-chain aliphatic 28-carbon primary fatty alcohol NECESSARY for remyelination, so wanna get rid of myelin lesions? Need this! only sources I’m aware of is: Spinach (1 love it raw, hate cooked) wheat germ (probably not a viable option, given the gluten issue) and the outer coating on sugar cane… which… sounds less than palatable, imo… I get the twin labs octacosanol…8000mcg per capsule (they get from spinach, fwiw).The Myelin Project did research into this….that’s where I gleaned the information over…. 12 years ago.

    The only additional INFO I’d like to share is that MILK contains a substance named: butyrophilin, which, according to researchers can and does (tend) to activate the immune system against myelin in people w/ MS. I still DO milk, but for the first few years I was emphatically milk free (cream and butter thankfully did not contain butyrophilin). As also while not going ‘gluten free’ I ONLY did a LITTLE when my craving for it was too extreme (mainly bratwurst in a bun… I know, bad) but I’m not overly gluten intolerant, but I think is pretty awful for people to consume, so I keep at a minimum. Once my bowels had 2-3 years to recover, I reintroduced the milk…. slowly and cautiously and seem to do ok with it now.

    I take 3.6-7.2 grams of the Flax )seed) Oil/day depending on time of year, and most MSers have most issues (or the worst) in spring and fall seasons, I researched it out and the best explanation was that allergies deplete the body of omega 3’s, and most people’s allergies are more prevalent in the spring and fall seasons… so… as I am allergic to mold… I up my omega 3 intake during allergy season and step it back down the rest of the year.

    The vitamin D I was at 5000IU/day (my doc recommended 2000IU) butthe research I looked at and cross checked seemed to indicate that was barely sufficient for a healthy individual… so I figured toxic not an issue until 40,000+/day doses so I went for the 5k… and at my initial testing (pre supplementation) I was a 12 (medical professionals like to see people at 50ish, they consider 25 critically deficient and I was less than 1/2 of critically deficient. So on the 5000IU/day I was re tested a year AFTER mega doses 10,000IU/day for a week, then 10,000IU 3X a week for 5 more weeks)and tested at the end of the 6 weeks and I was at 46. After a year on 5,000IU/day my levels had dropped to 42. So now I’m taking 10,000 IU/day but will on occasion skip a day or two just to keep my body ‘guessing’ and most reputable sources only see toxicity issues at doses of 40,00IU/day or higher (long term). and if I’m over 80 this July I’ll maybe switch to 10,000IU only once a week, with the remaining days at the 5,000IU.

    I take Octacosanol as it seems needed (if I have ANY ‘flares” aside from fatigue issues).

    I’m also experimenting now with sulphur and while I’ve yet to actually see ANY improvement… It’s been like a week, so…. usually can START seeing minor improvements in as little as a week, and as long as a month tho, initially it took me 6 months to see a difference but now that I’m better (aside from fatigue and some transient pain) 1 week to a month I usually can notice a difference if one is going to occur. But I often give a full 6 months before I decide “good idea/bad idea”.

    Your own body (via the liver) can convert ALA into DHA and EPA here’s how: the enzyme delta-6-desaturnase turns ALA into Stearidonic acid, Stearidonic acid requires sufficient B6, magnesium and Zinc to then turn Stearidonic acid into Eicosatetraenoic acid. The Ddelta-5-desaturase converts Eicosatetraenoic acid into Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)the delta-5-desaturase requires Vitamin C, niacin and zinc, and prefers to convert the omega 3 oils (to the omega 6’s or saturated fats).

    So I watch, but am not fanatical about watching my saturated fat intake. Watch but not THAT much my gluten and milk intake and if it seems needed add a multi B, a cal/mag/zinc and vitamin C supplement boost and take my flax seed oil, my vitamin D and (currently, but unconvinced about) Sulphur suppliment (MSM).

  82. Leslie

    HI Elana. A friend just sent me your protocol and I am doing exactly what you are doing except not as high a dose of probiotics…..and have been doing this protocol for several years now…and I have had the same success you have….I was right here in Boulder Community hospital 3 years ago for a month and it took a month of intense PT for me to learn how to walk again….and when I left the hospital the neurologist insisted I take a “FDA approved” drug…which I did for a month, until I talked to my holistic MD in Hawaii and he suggested I read about LDN, and I stopped the “approved MS drug” immediately and have never looked back.
    I immediately was able to walk etc…and I am headed out for my jog right now….would love to meet you…. Leslie

  83. Amanda

    Do you take 7g of omega 3 or 7g of fish oil?

    • Kacer

      Fish oil IS omega 3s. but only about 1/3 of it is….typically, Sounds to me that she takes 7g/fish oil which would be about 2.5g of omega 3’s maybe a tad more… I seem to recall about 360mg or maybe 380mg in a 1000mg softgel at least the brands I tried

  84. Michele

    I have been following your blog for quite some time and had no idea you have MS. So do I and going gluten free was to help with my MS.

  85. Laura

    Elana, I want to say a huge thank you for this post! I had never heard of low dose naltrexone before, and I began researching it when I saw this. I do not have MS, but I do have a few autoimmune conditions. Anyway, I am now on LDN as well and noticing a big difference. Sincerely, thank you. This post may have changed my life! :)

  86. Kacer

    Just a Q… anyone know of anyone in Ohio who will prescribe ldn (or really 1 or 2 naltraxone pills a month). I’m having some trouble getting overly conservative mds to do so…. it is Ohio after all ;)

  87. Peggy

    So glad to hear you are doing so well. I am almost four months into my celiac diagnosis, and following the principles of the GAPS diet(fairly closely) has been very effective, along with fish oil, probiotics and vitamin D. GAPS shares some principles with Paleo. Body aches and even peripheral neuropathy symptoms have improved.

  88. Raeleen

    Thank you so much for this post! I was diagnosed in 1998 – went on all of the ABC drugs over the period of ten years (ruined the tissue in my legs as a result!), and went off of medication a couple of years ago striving for a healthier balance. From raw to vegan to whole foods to now gluten free (this attempt is by far the hardest). After a recent setback, my current neurologist wants me back on medication (she prefers Tysabri, but I failed the test). However, my general doctor is a heavy leaning naturopath who has been very supportive of the no medication path I’ve been taking. I take a high dose of D (prescription strength 50,000 IU 1x week + a daily 2,000), cod liver oil, and high doses of antioxidents. Interestingly enough, I have never heard of the link for Acidophilus or Naltrexone. I will be visiting my naturopath again very soon and will be bringing up this post to her and talking over the usage of both. Again, thanks so much for for sharing your info!

  89. Judy Dembrow @ Don'thaveonebbiuseemails

    I do not understand what you can eat if you have celiac disease and in addition cut out the grains. I have increasingly been trying to to more vegetarian in my eating habits-which really amount to fish and chicken occasionally but more emphasis is on the grains. What is possible if you eliminate them?

  90. robin in Washington

    Wow! I didn’t know you had MS. I just watched the video and was astounded at the gal’s story. I think I’m going to try and get to know kale after watching this…and making some changes to my diet. thanks!

  91. Thank you for your helpful information. I wanted to share what is also working for me. I am also strictly following a gluten and grain free diet for MS. What has been paramount in my recovery is neural balance acupuncture with Dr. Wally Mui. I moved to Victoria BC to undergo a daily acupuncture program for primary progressive MS. Dr Mui specializes in treating patients with MS. He is one of the most experienced acupuncturists with a PhD in clinical acupuncture for neurological conditions. I believe he has saved my life and kept me out of a wheel chair. I encourage anyone with MS to find an experienced acupuncturist and begin at least weekly treatment. I will note that it can be difficult to find a good acupuncturist. I recommend finding someone who has at least 10 to 20 years of experience with ongoing training and ideally someone who has successfully treated people with MS.
    I share this information as I hope that others with this horrible condition are able to use acupuncture and find relief. You can read more about my treatment for ms on Dr. Mui’s blog at tcmwellness.wordpress.com.

    Best wishes to everyone with MS and their families that are supporting them.

  92. Marcia V. Ormsby, M.D. @ aasurgery.com

    It is unfortunate that you, as stated above, will be unable to answer my ‘comment’/questions – but I will state them anyway, in the hopes that you find relevance to my concerns and make an exception. You will note that I am a doctor, but do not treat MS; my interest lies in my wish to live the most healthy lifestyle possible. I also am very close to someone living with MS, and I often cook for her using your recipes. We have discussed your blog posts, often and we have modified your meal plans slightly to make sense to her and myself.
    This question is directed to the use of Naltrexone. Could you please explain its use in MS and what dose are you taking? Is it readily available OTC? Have I missed something in your rational for treatment; as I just cannot figure where an opioid antagonist (BTW you wrote agonist) fits into the regime of an MS individual. Please, kindly, explain this to me. I am ever so interested and am not, in any way confrontational – I am truly interested! Thank you, Elana and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the good you have done with your valuable information. You have changed lives (as in my own way, I have too)! You are, indeed an extremely special individual!

    • Pat

      Here is an excerpt from the LDN website

      “The apparent mechanism of action of LDN in this disease parallels that in AIDS and other immune-related diseases. A small dose of the drug taken nightly at bedtime doubles or triples the endorphin levels in the body all of the next day restoring levels to normal. Since endorphin levels are low in people with MS, immune function is poorly orchestrated with significant impairment of the normal immune supervisory function of CD4 cells. In the absence of normal orchestration of immune function, some of the immune system cells “forget” their genetically determined ability to distinguish between the body’s 100,000 unique chemical structures (called “self”) and the chemical structures of bacteria, fungi, parasites and cancer cells (called “non-self”). With this loss of immunologic memory, some cells begin to attack some of the body’s unique chemical structures. In the case of people with MS, the tissue attacked by immune cells (particularly macrophages) is primarily the myelin that insulates nerve fibers. These attacks result in scars in the brain and spinal cord called plaques. LDN in such patients works by restoring endorphin levels to normal, thereby allowing the immune system to resume its normal supervision and orchestration.”

  93. Carmen

    Thank You for this information. Tomorrow, I will start me Gluten Free Diet.
    I’ve had MS since 1999, and can no longer work, but I have a 2 and 4 year old boys who need mommy to be as active as posible.

  94. Kristen m.

    Thank you for your inspiring story and “protocol for living healthy with ms”. I follow your same protocol ! I have primary progressive ms and just had my 2nd stem cell treatment at StemGenex!! http://Www.stemgenex.com
    Nutrition and avoiding inflammatory foods is so important in the healing process! I am doing sooooo much better! I am thrilled to have your book and website for a cooking resource!,
    Cheers !
    A mom with MS ….getting healthy and determined to stay active!
    Kristen

  95. Jenifer

    I would like to tell you how delighted I am to find your site. After watching the video it explains so much about why I crave the foods that I do. I have lost 3 immediate family members to MS, 3 terrifyingly different manifestations of the disease. Now I know to follow my body more.

  96. Kathleen Thorsey @ SportiqueBrands.com

    look me up :) Kathleen Thorsey

  97. Whitney

    Amazing. Her story is simply amazing and inspiring. I have not been diagnosed but I believe due to my recent sensations of fire ants biting my toes and involuntary jerking of the neck muscles that I may have MS and it runs in my family. I am going to try this and hope to God it works

  98. Giuliana

    Hi there

    I hope there are some South Africans on here who can advise me what the local treatments would be and where to find them. I am in Johannesburg.

    Many thanks

  99. How can we get this introduced and implemented in our community

    I am not a spammer. How can we introduce and implement this in our communities?

  100. The Healthy Apple @ TheHealthyApple.com

    Elana,
    YOU are amazing. I use ALL of these things that you mentioned above and they have helped me tremendously with my Lyme disease and many other autoimmune issues. Thank you for this post.
    Sending you hugs from NYC.
    xooxox

  101. RM

    My kids have autoimmune brain disease and I have Hashimotos. LDN has been a godsend for us. I was so tired of having to worry about the never ending autoimmune flares and my oldest was developing dysautonomia due to undiagnosed lyme disease.. LDN stop it in it’s tracks within one week! A few months later he CDC tested positive for lyme, and I just know it was thanks to taking LDN. Many people don’t He got very sick after two months on LDN and all the classic lyme symptoms came to the surface. I believe that LDN made his immune system start really fighting the lyme and he was in a big herx. The craziness stopped once we started treating the lyme, and within 3 months his antibody levels dropped from 6 positive lyme bands to just one. He also takes NAC to build glutathione. Now we try to eat a cleaner diet and exercise and thanks to LDN we don’t worry as much. So glad you have given it a try and you are doing well!

  102. Esty @ none

    Elana,

    I was diagnosed at age 31 w/ MS in April 2009. Looking back, I have had symptoms since my early teens.

    This winter it stepped up past the RRMS stage and I didn’t think I’d ever feel like myself again. I could hardly walk and I felt like I was dying. My neurologist wanted to put me on some serious once a month infusions of Tysabri. I’ve had about 3 relapses a year since diagnosis and it nothing seemed to work.

    I started seeing a nutritionist who told me to get of gluten and as much grain as possible. I don’t eat things in boxes anymore. I’m juicing and eating TONS of leafy greens. I take fish oils and vitamin D like you do too! To say it’s given me my life back is an understatement. I’m walking unaided now and much of my numbness is getting better day by day! Thank you for your amazing blog!

  103. Lynne langmaid

    Elena
    You are truly an inspiration
    While I don’t have MS I am gluten free have other health issues. Can u steer me towards Functional drs in Boulder area and Naturopaths. Would appreciate it so much

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