Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Can a Healthy Diet Fight MS?

Tuesday, 23 Nov 2010 09:00 AM


Question: I just read your article on neuropathy in my latest NewsMax Health e-mail newsletter. I noticed you said that treating multiple sclerosis does not reverse the neuropathy, because the myelin sheath that causes a "short-circuit" in the minute electrical impulses conducted by the nerve fibers is destroyed. But can the "symptoms" of MS be removed by nutrition?

Dr. Hibberd's Response:

I know a nurse who had MS. Once she started on food supplements, her symptoms reversed, but if she did not keep up the regime her symptoms returned. So, it did not cure the MS, but kept it under control. Have you had any similar experiences?

Multiple Sclerosis affects 350,000 people in the United States. 90 percent of cases are diagnosed under the age of 55, with a 2-3 times greater incidence in women. There is an increased incidence in those who live their first 15 years in northern areas (1 in 2,000) versus those in tropical climates (1 in 10,000). There is also an increased incidence in cigarette smokers.
Genetic studies confirm a genetic lead in less than 50 percent of cases, but gene disorders in the region of chromosome 6 and recently discovered (July 29 2007) gene variants of chromosome 5 associated with altered function of Interleukin-7 receptor alpha: IL-7R, are now associated with increased risk for this disorder.

There have been major advances in treatment over the past 10 years. With MS, the insulation (called a myelin sheath) of the nerves is destroyed, allowing a short circuit of electrical signals, and disarray of a previously well-functioning nervous system. To date, evidence seems to support an immunologic attack preceded by some stimulus, presumed to be viral and/or environmental.

Once the damage occurs, we have little effective medication for healing. We recommend a good diet with appropriate supplementation along with effective treatment to arrest the immunologic attack on the myelin sheath.
We are still studying ways to enhance the body's ability to heal and even regenerate nervous tissue, but I have no doubt that our diet has a very important role in this, as well as with all other healing processes in our bodies.
MS is a disease subject to remissions and exacerbations that may progress rapidly over months or slowly over decades. I do believe that a well-rounded diet, and judicious exercise associated with medical control of underlying medical conditions bode well for success in its treatment.


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A well-rounded diet and judicious exercise associated with medical control of MS bode well for success in its treatment.
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