16 March 2009

MS and my diet

There is a LOT of information floating around the internet on miracle diet cures – and amazing detoxification methods that will supposedly ‘cure’ multiple sclerosis.

While it may be somewhat exciting and offer some much needed hope for people that live with this disease – I have to be honest and say that some of the things these people are touting are really quite scary and offers a very false sense of hope and expectation. I can assure you that if any one of the people actually had a true and viable cure for this disease – it would have a whole lot more attention than an occasional blip on an internet search engine! Additionally, they would be shouting their findings from the mountain top – eager to share it with everyone they could find – and not charge $29.95 for the ‘e-book’!

Quite honestly (if you can’t tell already) most of these people completely disgust me.

Of all the things I have found after many years of searching the internet for more information on treatment options, I will tell you whole heartedly that I have found one that offers information as treatment and doesn’t tout it as a cure. This would be the information from the Swank MS Foundation.

Dr. Swank began studying the connection between multiple sclerosis and diet in the late 1940’s. He travelled the world studying the various locations and cultures and consumption habits in multiple countries – comparing areas with high concentration of MS patients with areas with a much lower MS rate. In 1950 he, along with his team, established a low-fat diet – the first of its kind. Of his 250 MS patients, 150 of them chose to follow the diet and began recording their eating habits every day.

50 years later Dr. Swank was still in contact with 14 of these 150 patients… they report that two were unable to walk, but the remaining 12 were ambulant – able to walk, care for themselves with 10 of them still leading very active and normal lives! Their ages varied from 72 to 82 years.

I don’t know about you, but as a MS patient – not only do I find that completely amazing – but I also find it abundantly inspiring!

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from this:

Our experience has shown us that patients on low-fat-diet treatment usually recover and that their recovery slowly improves during the entire period of 35-50 years or longer as long as they follow diet and rest.”

(With two kids, a job, and school, the rest part is a bit hard for me!)

The other one is this:

In 2001 “I also was visited by a man from California, who was in the intial group as well. He also had a very demanding career as a civil engineer and worked until full retirement age. He has been on the diet for 47 years and at 71 still walks 18 holes of golf and walks four-plus miles a day in cool weather.

Isn’t that incredible?!?!?!?! Even my neurologist has said that the relapsing remitting MS will turn into a more progressive form after about 10 years or so - - -but here – Dr. Swank has been treating patients for well over 50 years – and they have improved!

Dr. Swank doesn’t tout this diet as a cure but as a treatment – nor does he require you spend the money to purchase the book to receive the information on the diet. All the information and dietary guidelines are available to anyone – free of charge – on the internet! (There is a book that can be purchased to supplement the data and research on the website, but it isn’t required to get the gist of the diet.) There is a great community bulletin board full of very helpful and wonderful people that will answer questions not only regarding the diet / but about MS in general as well.

I have been working on changing my dietary habits to follow this plan. (The hardest part for me is the first year requires no red meat – but after the first year it is allows in small servings.)
I’ll update on it from time to time – but you can check out more information on the Swank MS Diet by using the link on the side of the page under quick links to learn more yourself on this amazing plan.

**All information regarding the Swank MS Diet and Dr. Swank should be attributed to and referenced to the web page: SWANK MS FOUNDATION - About Dr. Swank on the internet at: http://swankmsdiet.org/About%20Dr%20Swank.