Multiple Sclerosis

The incidence of multiple sclerosis, (MS) is increasing at the rate of 7% a year and nobody knows why. Over 18,000 Australians have MS, three quarters them women. Statistics are similar in other developed countries. Symptoms of MS vary from person to person, but can include tremors, paralysis and memory loss. The body needs to replenish the supply of myelin through a process known as ‘remyelination’. However, over time this process breaks down. A person’s condition degenerates as more myelin is stripped and damaged nerves are unable to transmit messages at all.  This slow neurodegeneration is responsible for the progressive increase in disability in people with MS.  Generally, the disease progresses over many years and leaves the sufferer completely disabled, with no hope of cure.

Researchers have found a link between vitamin D and a gene known to cause multiple sclerosis. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. MS occurs more in countries further away from the equator, which could be related to the amount of sunshine exposure and vitamin D3 production. People living in Tasmania are five times more likely to develop MS than those living in Queensland. "If you're in the northern hemisphere and you're born at the end of the northern hemisphere winter, born in May, you have 20% greater chance of developing MS than if you're born at end of the northern hemisphere summer in November," says Dr Bill Carroll, neurologist from Perth's Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia.

Dr Carroll also says that the discovery between the link between the onset of MS and vitamin D production in the body has implications for other autoimmune conditions like type 1 diabetes inflammatory bowel disease, as these diseases occur in similar areas to MS.

This research leaves us with the simple fact that sunlight is good for us. There is also a lot of research showing that Vitamin D is an important vitamin in cancer prevention. The slip–slop-slap campaign has been an important and successful one, but it doesn’t mean that we should avoid the sun completely. Half an hour or so of exposure to sun each day, before 10am and after 3pm is an important part of staying healthy. Vitamin D is not absorbed through sunscreen, so that sun exposure needs to be taken without wearing sunscreen.

The link between sunlight and improving MS symptoms has been around for many years. Professor George Jelinek was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago says that until then, he was “lily white.” He now sunbathes whenever he can. Dr Jelinek embraces a number of ‘alternative therapies’ to treat his MS. He sticks to a strict diet and meditates every day, because he believes his state of mind affects his health. He is well and truly a member of the medical establishment: Professor of Emergency Medicine at Perth’s Charles Gairdner Hospital. After being diagnosed with MS he combed all the medical literature on the disease, and he believes there’s a great deal of evidence that the alternative therapies he’s using do work. He can’t understand why conventional medicine doesn’t prescribe them. After all, Professor Jelinek has remained well five years after his diagnosis. He has published a book 'Taking Control of Multiple Sclerosis' available from most booksellers.

MS sufferers may also suffer from mineral imbalances, which can affect the nervous system. A hair mineral analysis reveals heavy metal toxicities and mineral deficiencies that are essential for nervous system health.



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