Alternative Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the protective covering of nerve cells (myelin) in the brain and spinal cord, impairing nerve signaling and causing a variety of symptoms.

This is a lifelong condition, but there are a variety of ways people with MS can prevent the disease from progressing, and treat or cope with symptoms.

This article discusses complementary and alternative medicine treatment options for MS.

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Alternative vs. Complementary Therapies

Alternative therapies are treatment options that are used instead of modern medical options, while a complementary therapy is a treatment option used in conjunction with modern medicine. The same treatments can be used as either alternative or complementary therapies.

Alternative Treatments

A number of complementary or alternative therapies can be used to help treat multiple sclerosis, including exercise, diet, acupuncture and other natural treatments.

Exercise

Exercise is recommended for people with MS as it has been shown to improve symptoms and help with mental and physical health. Adapted options are available for people who have physical disabilities.

Exercise may also help change the course of the disease by slowing its progression, but more research is needed.

Physical activity options for people with MS depend on ability and preference, and may include:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Strength training
  • Swimming or water exercise
  • Walking
  • Hobbies that involve movement
  • Stair climbing
  • Gardening, cooking, and household chores
  • Yoga, Pilates, tai chi

Diet

People with MS are advised to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet to help manage symptoms and improve overall health and well-being. Nutrition may play a role in slowing the progression of MS, but more research is needed.

Some nutrition recommendations to help manage MS include:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and legumes (beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts).
  • Limit salt, animal fat, fried foods, and sugar.
  • Focus on lower-calorie foods.
  • Avoid overeating.

Massage

It is unclear if massage therapy improves MS, but there is research to support limited benefits without harm.

Massage may help people with symptoms such as:

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the use of needles inserted into the skin to stimulate different places on the body called “acupoints,” or acupressure points. This treatment may help to reduce symptoms of MS, but there is limited research to show its effectiveness.

Some MS symptoms that acupuncture may improve include:

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana (cannabis) may help reduce specific symptoms caused by MS. It may improve MS symptoms such as:

  • Spasticity: Extreme muscle stiffness or tightness
  • Pain: Reduced pain related to spasticity
  • Bladder challenges: Decreased need to urinate

As with any treatment option, the potential benefits must be considered along with the possible side effects. It is important to work with a healthcare professional when considering cannabis for MS treatment and to seek help if experiencing any side effects, especially and changes in mental health.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis LIfeline at 800-273-8255–or text 988–for support and assistance from a trained

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Wisconsin’s ‘chronic Lyme’ patients embrace alternative treatments, rack up big bills

By Zhen Wang, Wisconsin Watch

 

Crystal Pauley, a former physician assistant, didn’t believe in so-called chronic Lyme disease — until she became sick.

Many health care providers reject chronic Lyme disease as a diagnosis. One 2010 survey found that just six out of 285 primary care doctors surveyed in Connecticut — an epicenter for the tick-borne infection — believed that symptoms of Lyme disease persist after treatment or in the absence of a positive Lyme test.

When Pauley worked for the La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System, she remembered hearing about a friend from high school battling chronic Lyme in Australia. But she had her doubts. “I’m working in the medical field,” she said. “We’ve never learned about that.”

Years later, Pauley has changed her mind. Pauley tested positive for Lyme in 2020. She suffers from unrelenting fatigue, joint pain and brain fog. She walks up stairs sideways because of the unbearable knee pain. Pauley said she has become “pseudo-Lyme literate” because of her own personal journey.

Pauley belongs to a cohort of patients with Lyme-like symptoms but negative test results or patients with positive test results who suffer from lingering symptoms long after treatment. They call it chronic Lyme disease, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labels it as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS). The CDC says there is no known treatment for the condition.

“Their symptoms are always real. They’re experiencing them,” said Dr. Joyce Sanchez, an infectious-disease associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin who treats Lyme patients with persistent symptoms.

“If someone is having physical symptoms and isn’t feeling listened to, then they’ll have mental health repercussions and then that will impact their physical well-being,” she said. “And then it’s a spiral that if you don’t address both components of health, you’re not going to make much progress on either side. And they will continue to feel sick.”

Wisconsin Watch talked with five Wisconsin patients, all women, who have been searching for validation and experimenting with personalized treatments as part of a long and sometimes grueling battle with the illness. The infection comes from tiny ticks primarily found in the northeastern United States, including in Wisconsin — which is a hot spot for Lyme, ranking No. 5 among states for Lyme cases in 2019.

One of the five tested positive for Lyme using a two-step testing recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three others tested positive using a test not recommended by the CDC. The fifth woman was diagnosed as possibly suffering from the disease by a “Lyme-literate” practitioner.

Wide-ranging symptoms

All of the five patients share commonalities. They’ve never noticed the signature “bull’s eye” rash around the tick bite, the hallmark of Lyme disease, which is seen in 70% to 80% of patients. But relentless waves of rheumatologic, cardiac and neurological symptoms have flattened their lives. Some of them were previously fit and healthy.

Pauley, 37, who as a student cranked through medical textbooks, began having trouble remembering

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TikTok Enjoys To Communicate About Gut Overall health, But Can You Belief The Stylish Treatments?

Probiotics

This is a single you’ve almost certainly heard of, and feel of as universally good — every person knows probiotics, or healthy microorganisms, are great for you, suitable? Not so quick. When medical practitioners do in some cases recommend probiotics, they really do not endorse them for all people, in every single circumstance, permanently.

Just like vitamins, they can charge a bundle of income and do unquestionably absolutely nothing for some men and women or in particular conditions.

“Probiotics have been promised to get rid of almost everything,” said Dr. Fola May possibly, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor at UCLA. “From irritable bowel syndrome to constipation to stomach pains, ingestion, to lactose intolerance, I’ve noticed every rationale in the book. Even allergies. But the reality is the details just really don’t aid that they universally help you.”

Probiotics are live microorganisms intended to strengthen overall health by incorporating far more “good” bacteria or yeasts to your teeming microbiome — the trillions of organisms dwelling in your intestine that assist all the things from food items digestion to immune regulation.

The matter is the probiotics market is mainly unregulated and there is no constant evidence of scientific efficacy, according to the American Gastroenterological Association’s tips on probiotics regardless of the increased curiosity and guarantee in probiotics as an efficient way to beneficially alter the gut microbiome.

Might and Staller agreed that whilst taking probiotics possible will not cause you any harm, they frequently do not propose them as a course of action for the reason that they can be highly-priced and there is a lack of conclusive evidence they normally perform. (In basic, scientific studies have had mixed effects and appeared at numerous diverse strains.)

There has been some stronger proof that probiotics can be practical for these with antibiotic-involved diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea, or C. diff (a likely life-threatening germ that causes intense diarrhea and inflammation of the colon), according to Nancee Jaffe, a gastrointestinal dietitian at UCLA. One particular of the most common problems that probiotics are assumed to assist is IBS, while again, the evidence is mixed.

If you’d like to choose one, Jaffe advises seeking it for about two months.

If you have not seen any improvement immediately after that volume of time, you may possibly stop getting them considering that probiotics really don’t usually have the correct strains to be therapeutic and you do not want to be having any unneeded or ineffective complement.

Jaffe also proposed opting for prebiotic and probiotic-wealthy foods each time probable. She said that fermented foodstuff like kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut have been shown to lead to a reduction in inflammatory markers. Kefirs, kombuchas, and yogurts also tumble into that class.

“Our bodies seriously like moderation, so we’re genuinely intended to be carrying out the middle total of most items,” Jaffe claimed. “Just having it in standard portions as section of a nutritious eating plan is the purpose.”

A probiotic experts recommend: Align Probiotic

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Why early COVID treatments like Paxlovid are going unused : Shots

Treatments like monoclonal antibody infusions and antiviral pills can prevent a case of COVID-19 from becoming life-threatening. But many of the available drugs are not being used.

Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images


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Treatments like monoclonal antibody infusions and antiviral pills can prevent a case of COVID-19 from becoming life-threatening. But many of the available drugs are not being used.

Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Even as this winter’s omicron surge recedes, more than 2,000 people in the U.S. still get hospitalized with COVID-19 each day. This population is largely unvaccinated, with medical conditions that increase their risks. Some of these hospitalizations could have been prevented with early COVID treatments, such as pills and monoclonal antibodies, purchased and distributed for free by the government.

But data on COVID treatment utilization, shared with NPR by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, indicates that millions of COVID treatments are sitting on shelves unused.

“We are still in a public health emergency,” said Dr. Derek Eisnor, who leads the government’s distribution of COVID drugs, on a call with national health organizations on March 16. He urged health leaders to try to get the drugs to communities that have a demand for them, rather than let them go to waste.

“There’s an assumption that there’s not enough of [these drugs] around but it does seem when you look at the numbers that there is a lot around — it’s just not being used,” says Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “They clearly are not getting to people at high enough rates to have their maximum impact.”

Currently, the federal government distributes four outpatient COVID treatments that can help stop the progression of COVID infections if taken within five to seven days of symptom onset, and one prevention therapy for immunocompromised people. State health departments and certain providers can order these drugs, and they are now available at pharmacies, infusion centers and health clinics across the country.

But states and health care providers report that less than half of the supply of treatments that they’ve ordered starting October 2021 has been used.

Health experts initially expected the drugs to fly off the shelves. “I thought [utilization] would be much higher,” says Dr. Phyllis Tien, an infectious disease physician at University of California, San Francisco who serves on the NIH COVID-19 treatment guidelines panel. At first, doctors were prioritizing who would get them, she says, to help preserve access for those with the greatest medical need.

The reported utilization rates may underestimate the total doses used; sites are supposed to report daily or weekly usage numbers to the government, but not all do. Still, the rates are used by the government to make decisions on distribution policies, and Tien says they track with what she’s seeing on the ground.

“When a patient comes to us and they’re COVID positive and

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