The MSplus Foundationincluding calcium and magnesium.
Important Nutrients in MS Management
Dr. Michelle Leary-Chang was the guest speaker for a MS/Cancer conference call that focused on patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and nutrition, including vitamin D. She is studying family medicine at Eastside Integrated Primary Care in Bellevue, WA, and works part-time as a research associate at the Institute of Functional Medicine. The following are highlights from her talk.
I have MS. What should I do?
1. Choose an eating plan that is nutrient dense and anti-inflammatory. The Mediterranean diet is the best researched and most practical for most individuals wanting to improve their diet.
2. Talk to your doctor about making sure you are sufficiently complete in Vitamin D.
3. Assess your need to fix your gut. Common leaky gut symptoms often match up with the clinical syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Make sure you have bowel movements daily.
4. Get some form of physical activity daily, if possible. This can be seated exercise, standing with a balance support, or high-level activity.
5. Consider talking to an integrative health care provider about ways to support your health goals.
6. If you decide to buy supplements on your own, select high quality brands. Brands matter.
The following are factors patients with MS should consider in regard to their health.
Why MS and inflammation matters
· When our cells become educated in our lymphoid tissue, which includes the lymph nodes and gut associated lymphoid tissue in our digestive tract, sometimes the immune system gets mis-educated about what tissue of our body is our own, and what tissue is a threat.
· An immunomodulator is a therapeutic, an example being vitamin D, which can help the immune system make better, more educated choices about what cells are our own (and thus should not be attacked) and what cells are true invaders or threats.
· It is not the same as an immunosuppressant, which reduces the immune system reactivity to a specific agent, which can have a role in the treatment of MS and other autoimmune diseases.
Your environment is not only your home and physical environment, although this does play a role.
Nutrient density compares the amount of nutrients in food (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) to the calorie content in food.
Vitamin D work as an Immune Modulator. Essentially Vitamin D helps to tell immune cells that are associated with proinflammatory reactions to make better educated decisions about who it should go after. It also tells the T cells responsible for educating our immune system about our own self-proteins to make sure the immune cells don’t attack them, according to Dr. Leary-Chang. An ideal level of Vitamin D3 translates to a level of minimum of 40ng/mL.
Foods high in Vitamin D
Magnesium in MS
Potential therapeutic roles of magnesium for people with MS include:
Foods high in magnesium
How do you know if you are deficient in calcium? Unfortunately, it is not simple. While calcium can be measured in the blood, it is intentionally maintained at a very precise level in the blood and uses bone calcium to maintain that careful balance
Foods high in calcium
Dr. Leary-Chang’s recommendation for persons without osteoporosis is no more than 600 mg daily of supplemental calcium unless you and your doctor have discussed other reasons for higher. Get a DEXA (bone mineral density) scan.
Dr. Michelle Leary-Chang stated that patients with chronic immune reactions or recurrent myelin repair processes might increase the demand for vitamin B12.
Foods high in Vitamin B12
Guidelines for selecting supplements
Dr. Michelle Leary-Chang is a graduate of Bastyr University's Naturopathic Medical Doctoral Program. In fall 2016, she participated in the MS Society's advanced mentorship program, allow for 160 hours of advanced post-doctoral training in northwest MS centers with MS trained neurologists. She is studying family medicine at Eastside Integrated Primary Care in Bellevue, WA, and works part-time as a research associate at the Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Leary-Chang has a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology and prior to attending medical school was the wellness director of a cardiovascular and medical rehabilitation center in Maple Valley, WA. She is passionate about integrative care for MS patients and hopes to specialize in working with MS in the future, following her family medicine training.
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