Taming the Beast; My Progress - Multiple Sclerosis
By Janie McDowell, USA
I am a 56-year-old housewife who was diagnosed with MS in January 1985, at the age of 39. My symptoms varied and fluctuated over the years but included hand tremors, balancing problems, trouble walking, legs felt very heavy, knees buckling, frequent falling, leg muscle spasms, loss of appetite, recurring nausea, severe constipation, incontinence--both bladder and bowel, chronic bladder and kidney infections, chronic fatigue, pain in hands, stinging and burning/electric shock sensation in my feet and legs, severe depression, mood swings, temporary partial paralysis in legs, short term memory loss, loss of concentration, confusion, slurred speech, difficulty in making even simple decisions.
My treatments included countless prescription medications, IV steroids (methylprednisolone), chemotherapy (cytoxan), a daily preventative dose of Antibiotics for the urinary tract infections, and anti-nausea medication to enable me to eat something because I could not take my other medications on an empty stomach. For over 9 years I followed medical doctors' advice and only continued to get worse. My neuro had told me that the chemo would make my exacerbations less severe and fewer and farther between. It took me a few years to realize that this was not the case.
We had seen the 60 Minutes report about the dangers of mercury poisoning from mercury Amalgam (silver) dental fillings that aired in December 1990 and the possibility of a link between mercury poisoning and chronic degenerative diseases. We started checking into that possibility and bought a copy of the book "It's All In Your Head" by Dr. Hal Huggins. It sounded pretty far-fetched to us and pretty unbelievable. So we asked my neurologist and dentist about it. They both laughed and told us that it was a scam and said there was nothing to it. Both of them said that Amalgam removal would be a waste of time and money. We asked my neurologist if nutrition would help. He said "It probably wouldn't help, but it wouldn't hurt. So try it if you want to." We continued listening to the doctors for four more years. Then finally my neurologist told me he had done all he could do for me and for me to go home, rest and if I got worse, call him. We were not satisfied with that suggestion! Duncan felt there must be SOMETHING we could do. He began countless hours of research on the Internet checking into alternative medicine.
In April 1994 I went to a chiropractor/nutritionist who started me on juicing fresh organic fruits and vegetables and taking herbal colon cleansers. My nausea cleared up and my appetite began to improve in less than a week. I no longer needed my daily anti-nausea medication. My constipation of six years was gone in less than two weeks. My then-current neurologist had been telling me "Constipation is just part of MS. Learn to live with it and take a laxative of your choice." Well, I learned I didn't have to live with it. When my appetite came back, my strength soon began to improve.
When we asked my nutritionist about amalgams, he immediately said that it would be necessary to get them out in order to totally detoxify my body. This was further reinforced by an organization named DAMS (Defense Against Mercury Syndromes). They published a book Defense Against Mystery Syndromes with many first-hand personal stories about different degenerative diseases that were cured or greatly improved by removal of dental mercury Amalgam fillings.
We searched the web and found an incredible amount of information on amalgams. Since I had 15 fillings, we decided to have them replaced. We weren't sure amalgam removal would work, but I was desperate and felt I had to give it a try. I knew that if I didnít try it, it surely would not work. I had my Amalgams replaced with non-toxic composites in November 1994.
At first I was disappointed and depressed because there was no immediate change, except for the fact that I was able to gradually taper off taking all of my prescription medications in December 1994. I did not notice any bad effects from doing so. Prior to this I had tried to cut down on my medications, but was unable to.
As recommended by Dr. Huggins, after amalgam removal I began EDTA IV chelation treatments to remove the mercury poison that had accumulated in my body over the years. He had explained how mercury vapor is released from the Amalgams as you chew food or gum and drink hot beverages and that it accumulates in your cells, tissues and organs. Not feeling any different after five chelation treatments, we decided not to continue with them. We didn't realize at that time just how significant they could be. In the meantime I kept on juicing and watching my diet.
The change was so slow and gradual that we didn't notice it was happening for a while. Then about 6 or 8 months after amalgam removal we started noticing subtle improvements. Looking back, we realized that my knees had quit buckling. I quit falling and was soon able to walk some without holding on to anything. Then we noticed that the tremors, slurred speech had gone, and short-term memory loss was improving. Prior to amalgam removal I was having bladder infections almost continuously. I've had only one bladder infection in the past 8 years and I was able to cure it without Antibiotics . My immune system was beginning to work again! I used CranActin capsules made from cranberry juice concentrate, which are available at the health food store, and I added lots of cranberries in my juices. I have more energy and no longer need to take daily naps. When I realized what was happening, we both got very excited and happy. With the arrival of new hope for recovery, I lost my Depression and started being happy and smiling again for the first time in years.
In trying to get even better, I began the Gerson Therapy at home in February 1996. This is an intensive nutrition and detoxification treatment for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic degenerative diseases, including MS. It consists of flooding your body with pure nutrition and live enzymes (building blocks to help the body assimilate the nutrients). It recommends drinking up to thirteen 8-oz glasses of fresh organic vegetable and fruit juices hourly each day, and eating organic fruits and vegetables, and detoxifying your body with daily coffee enemas to cleanse the colon of all the years of accumulated toxins.
On this program, you eat only fresh organic fruits and vegetables, nothing from a can, box, or jar. You eat nothing with preservatives , sugar, salt, white flour, or anything that has had insecticide on it. One drinks only purified water - no chlorine or fluoride is allowed. No insecticides are to be used inside the house. When needed, use a fly swatter. As many toxins as possible are to be eliminated, including hair coloring, makeup, hair spray and perfume. The human body has the ability to heal itself if it is detoxified and fed the right nutrients (live enzymes) for fuel. It's a shame that what we were taught as kids to be "good nutrition" really isn't. Also, you should not cook in Teflon-coated or aluminum cookware. Aluminum is to be strictly avoided, including alum, baking powder and deodorants made with aluminum.
Nine months after being on the Gerson Therapy, I began taking more chelation treatments again until I had a total of 26. Since amalgam removal, chelation and change in diet, ALL my symptoms are either GONE or IMPROVED! I continue to improve. In the summer of 1997 I even got my driver's license after not driving for 9 years. I still have problems. My stinging and burning/electric shock sensation in my feet and legs, although more tolerable now, is still with me. However, it doesn't "put me under" like it used to. I still ride my electric scooter around the house, but less than half as much now as I did eight years ago. I can walk farther from my scooter now, but the more I walk the more my legs hurt. The pain is my worst problem now, although it is nothing like it used to be. At its worst now it is far better than it used to be at its best!
Four years before we were ready to listen, a friend of ours had tried to tell us about the dangers of amalgams. It took me that much longer of going downhill and getting worse before Duncan and I gave up on the medical profession and began listening to our friend. He had been through amalgam removal, chelation and the Gerson Therapy himself and had cured his Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
For the past 8 years since trying alternative healing methods I have continued to get better: including shopping for groceries on my own for almost 5 years now; once again balancing the checkbook, which I had to give up for a while due to my cognitive problems; doing light house cleaning; not only being able to type with all ten fingers again, but regaining my 80+ wpm speed.
I am so glad we finally decided to stop listening to my neurologist. I only wish we had done this sooner. I truly believe I would not have gotten as bad as I did and would have recovered 100% by now.
Last summer we learned from an email friend about an excellent book "Amalgam Illness, Diagnosis and Treatment by Andrew Cutler. He explains that EDTA IV chelation does not cross the blood brain barrier and DMSA and Alpha Lipoic Acid are needed to pull mercury out of the brain. So we are trying that now. I highly recommend that you get this book and read it for yourself. Iím not saying that mercury causes MS, but it definitely is an added load on an already weakened immune system.
We are doing other things to get even more improvement:
using a rebounder (mini-trampoline) (see http://www.4optimallife.com/Health-Benefits-of-Rebounding-Exercise.htm
I don't jump, but I do what they refer to as the "health bounce". This gets the lymphatic system moving in order to release toxins. I keep my feet flat on the mat and just bounce about 20-40 bounces. I only last about 30 seconds each time. I know my lymph system needs for me to bounce longer, but I do what I can. Since we weren't sure I could do it at all Dunc bought an inexpensive one at first. My legs get very tired and my pain increases somewhat, but I DO IT!!!! I had done water therapy for a couple of years, which consisted mostly of walking in a swimming pool at a Rehab Center. I was not thrilled about the chlorinated water, but I think it did me some good. That's the first exercise I had been able to do since 1984!
We have been using a shower filter for many years now. It removes chlorine from the water.
I've taken several treatments on the PAP-IMI machine. It's an electrotherapeutic device (see http://www.papimi.com)
that is supposed to help with pain management. I think it has helped some.
We're doing all these things and a few other things. We are getting pretty aggressive at fighting MS. It must be working because I've been feeling good, especially the last month or so. I continue to be able to walk farther and farther! When we go out to eat, I usually walk in provided it's a small restaurant and not too far to walk. It makes my legs hurt and it makes me tired, but I DO IT! I can't say specifically which of these things have helped the most because I'm trying so many different things at once. I think all of them together are doing some good. My pain has gotten less intense; and when it does get intense, it doesn't stay that way as long as it used to. Dunc mentioned the other day that he used to push me in the wheelchair and now heís pushing me OUT of the wheelchair!
Heavy detox and nutrition were the basis for my improvements. Any one of these things that I have done is good, but I believe it takes a combination of a lot of things to get the results that I have gotten. I would not have been able to do it without Duncanís help and support. He has definitely been a godsend to me, and I count him at the top of my list of blessings!
There are some people (my previous neuro being one, whom by the way I have not seen since May 1993!!!) who say that I just had a spontaneous remission, that nothing Iíve done has made any difference. You wonít get me to believe that for a minute! There is nothing spontaneous about my improvements. It has been hard work, but well worth the time, effort and expense. Some people will say that I have no scientific evidence that any of this worked. I personally donít need that. Iím living proof that it works! Also medical insurance does not cover any of these alternatives. Thatís ok. Iíd rather have the improvements than the reimbursements!
Once I became convinced that my progress was greatly due to amalgam removal, I wanted Dunc to get his Amalgams out. At first he didn't want to do that because it was so expensive and besides he "wasn't sick". As I continue to improve, I finally convinced him to get his out before his immune system crashed like mine did. Once he did it, his allergies and hay fever cleared up. No one can say he had a spontaneous remission!
Please forgive me for such a long post. There was a time when I could not complete a sentence without losing my train of thought. Now, as you can see, you canít shut me up!