Glenna Cox

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in May 1997, at the age of 38,
though I had mild symptoms since the mid 1980s (my mid twenties). In 1993 I
had my first bout with Optic Neuritis in my right eye, which caused a
blurring of vision and pain, which remitted and then happened in the left
eye and remitted. I also had numbness in my torso. After a few of these
episodes, I knew that I probably had MS, but didn't want to be diagnosed.
Unfortunately, by spring 1997, my symptoms had gotten much worse, including
a reoccurrence of my eye problems, nystagmus in my right eye, a staggering
gait, dizziness and balance problems, numbness in my face and arms, extreme
fatigue and some cognitive problems. These problems, unlike previous
problems, didn't remit. I knew that I needed to get help. I was motivated to
do some of my own "research" to find the treatment approach I wanted to
follow. Because the accepted practices of most neurologists didn't seem to
have much scientific support, I kept searching - and then found the Swank
clinic. Dr. Swank's long term experience treating the disease and theories
made a lot of sense. His studies of patients following his program for more
than 30 years backed up his theories and gave me encouragement that I could
improve. Through MRI, evoked potentials and other tests, Dr. Swank confirmed
that I did have Multiple Sclerosis.

After being diagnosed, I immediately started the Swank diet/stress reduction
and rest program. I make sure I don't exceed the allowable amounts of fat
and make sure I have a daily mid-day rest. I've found the mid-day rest to be
a very important part of the Swank treatment program and a great stress
reduction technique. I work full time, but now avoid work-related stress as
much as possible. Within a month, I experienced a lessening of symptoms,
although Dr. Swank and his staff have informed me that it usually takes
patients 3-5 years to see improvement.

With the encouraging results of the Swank program, I decided to investigate
and pursue other natural approaches, as long as they didn't interfere with
the principles of the Swank program. I identified by pulse test many foods
to which I'm sensitive. I began avoiding them. I found that many MS patients
have B12 deficiencies. I had my B12 level tested and found that it is low. I
am now supplementing it with weekly intramuscular B12 injections. I had
blood nutrient levels tested, and am addressing nutritional deficiencies
that were found by taking nutritional supplements (cod liver oil, evening
primrose oil, flax seed oil, antioxidants and vitamins). After one year,
many of my symptoms had disappeared. Some of them disappeared soon after I
started the Swank low saturated fat diet, avoiding foods to which I'm
sensitive and other measures. I no longer had a staggering gait. My
dizziness and balance problems were much improved. The numbness in my face
and arms was gone. My fatigue was much better. My eye problems have remained
with me, as have (to a lesser degree than before) some of my cognitive
problems. I haven't had any new symptoms since I started the Swank diet (and
I used to have 1-2 new episodes every 6 months). I had my digestive
functions tested and found that I have intestinal dysbiosis and a permeable
intestine. Upon further investigation, I found that many MS patients can't
digest some complex carbohydrates, such as grains. I began to avoid grains
and other carbohydrates that are difficult to digest. I also make sure that
I drink 8 glasses of pure water every day.

Although I still have some problems, I've improved a tremendous amount since
I first saw Dr. Swank in 1997 and am sure that I have followed the correct
treatment approach. When I first went to the Swank clinic, I was sure that
my disease would soon lead me to a wheelchair. Now I run, lift weights and
look forward to a bright future.

I'm very glad that I have followed a "natural" approach - it has worked well
for me. From my experience, I can recommend a low saturated fat diet, mid
day rest and avoiding stress, eight glasses of pure water per day, avoiding
foods to which I'm sensitive and foods that are difficult to digest and
taking supplements as necessary - especially B12 if required (most MS
patients have low B12 levels).

* Disclaimer: I am not a medical Dr. or other professional. The above
represents my experience and should not be taken as advice, etc. Review any
program you desire to pursue with medical Drs.


My MS Treatment "Program"

Click here for detail

Extremely low saturated fat diet (ala Swank)

Avoid sugar, most grains, most dairy, eat VERY LITTLE and ONLY ORGANIC meat
and avoid any foods to which you're sensitive

Make/drink FRESH organic veggie juice and eat lots of organic raw

Drink 8 glasses of water/day (I distill my own with a steam distiller)

I take great comfort from my belief in God.
Mid-day rest (at least 1/2 hour rest lying down)
Get *plenty* of sleep

Avoid stress. At the recommendation of my Dr., I checked out the "Freeze
Frame" stress reduction technique and found it helpful. I also try to reduce
the "non-essential" stress I used to impose upon myself.

I try to strengthen my body as much as possible. I lift weights and run
several times per week. I do small amounts of exercise at a time, so I don't
fatigue myself too much.

I try to spend 30 minutes every sunny day (15 minutes per "side", not much
more or much less) in the sun - without sunscreen. But, since it's hard to
find sun in the Pacific Northwest, I'm not able to do it every day. The sun
helps your body create vitamin D which is very helpful to MS. Also, since I
live in a dreary climate, the exposure to sun whenever I can do it helps
lift my spirits.

I am currently considering replacing my mercury amalgams. Obviously, mercury
is a toxic substance that doesn't belong in your body, which is a good
reason for removing the amalgams. In addition, I recently read an
interesting paper that looks at the issue that mercury such as is in amalgam
fillings can interfere with normal metabolism of B12, which can contribute
to diseases such as MS. I already know that I have intestinal problems that
interfere with my absorption of B12 - perhaps my amalgams also interfere
with B12 metabolism.

Click here for detail

I have weekly intramuscular B12 injections (I, like most MS patients am low
in B12 which itself can cause MS-like symptoms and fatigue)
Make sure that I have Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils (essential fatty acids (I
take flax oil, salmon oil, evening primrose oil and cod liver oil

I also take supplements to strengthen my blood/brain barrier like
proanthodyn and bilberry
I take some general supplements - magnesium, selenium, vitamin E
I take coenzyme Q-10

Books: (click on book image to go to a site to order it)
The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book, Roy Laver Swank, M.D., Ph.D. & Barbara
Brewer Dugan

Hundreds of new recipes for dishes that taste terrific but stick to the diet
rules so important for controlling M.S.--now completely revised to conform
to the latest medical research.

Multiple Sclerosis A Self-Help Guide to its Management, Judy Graham

This comprehensive guide to alternative and self-help care is directed to
those who have MS, and to their families, friends, and helpers. Judy
Graham's personal experiences with MS prompted her to explore various
natural methods of treatment, leading to dramatic and lasting improvement in
her own health. In her book, she has combined this first-hand knowledge with
extensive, ongoing research.

God's Way to Ultimate Health, George Malkmus

Everything you need to know about how to return to God's original plan for
nourishing the human body. Read what the Bible says about diet and how this
biblical wisdom is supported by modern science and hundreds of real-life
testimonials. Many people say this book has saved their lives. There has
never been a book like this put into print.

The Complete MS Body Manual, Susie Cornell

An MS sufferer herself for more than 20 years, Susie holds the ITEC
qualifications in physical therapy, massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and
operates her own training courses in natural therapy.

'We usually get a manual when we buy a car, but we didn't get one when we
were born. I have spent half my lifetime finding ways of helping my body
return to a state of balance and ease. The book is my manual for the state
of imbalance or "disease-ease" known as multiple sclerosis.' This book has
many ideas for massage techniques that can help MS patients.

  MS : Something Can Be Done and You Can Do It : A New Approach to
Understanding and Managing Multiple Sclerosis, Robert W. Soll

A great book that examines the contribution of food sensitivities to MS and
suggests methods for detecting food sensitivities (such as the "pulse test")
Optimal Wellness, Ralph Golan, M.D.

A general book about "Where Mainstream and Alternative Medicine Meet". Has
information about a number of conditions:
The "Ten Common Denominators" of Illness
Alternative Treatment Options for Major Health Problems
A-to-Z Self-Care for More Than 100 Common Ailments


Sites to check out:
Alternative Medicine Drs:
Searchable list of doctors (by city and state) that are into alternative
medicine. I found my Dr. and some others that are supposed to be good from
this area, so it seems to be useful.

Swank Diet:
A low saturated fat diet developed by Dr. Roy Swank who has for more than 30
years advocated a low saturated fat diet and stress reduction. The Swank
program has a 95% reduction in relapse rates (on p. 68 of The MS Diet Book
by Swank and Dugan).

A Neurologist located in Naples, Florida who is very knowledgeable about MS
and its treatment.

Hallelujah Diet:
A diet based on God's foods that we were originally intended to eat (fruits
and vegetables). The Hallelujah Diet was developed by George Markmus. Using
the diet, he cured himself of a softball-sized tumor in his colon. People
with other conditions (such as MS) have also benefited from this diet.

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD):
A diet developed by Elaine Gotschall, which she used to cure her daughter of
colitis. It is developed with the idea that sometimes the intestines are
diseased so that they can't process certain carbohydrates (they can only
process "specific carbohydrates") and eating the wrong carbohydrates can
worsen your intestinal troubles. Eating the correct carbohydrates can allow
the intestines to heal themselves. Since MS seems to be linked to intestinal
problems (at least in my case and that of several others), this seems like a
reasonable avenue to pursue.

Ashton Embry:
A theory about MS and a treatment regime developed by Aston Embry when his
son "got" MS.

Freeze Frame stress reduction technique:
A stress reduction technique that is widely advocated. Since stress seems to
play a large part in MS, stress reduction is very useful. There are many
good stress reduction techniques. I've found this one to be useful.

Return to God web site:
A site that my husband and I developed that contains some interesting
information about God.

* Disclaimer: I am not a medical Dr. or other professional. The above
represents my experience and should not be taken as advice, etc. Review any
program you desire to pursue with medical Drs.


Glenna Cox

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