Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common diseases that affect the central nervous system. Impacting more than 2.3 million people around the world, multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition that affects muscle control, balance, vision, and basic bodily functions. Multiple sclerosis means “many scars,” and this term relates to the areas on the brain or spinal cord when myelin, which covers nerves and tissues, is damaged.
About World Multiple Sclerosis Day
World MS Day intends to bring global awareness via campaigning, events, and personal stories about living with the condition. Due to the fact that there is no cure for the condition, World MS Day activities and events aim to fundraise to support scientific research for a potential cure or treatment options. As with most conditions, funding is necessary for research and education.
MS and Natural Remedies
More and more people with MS have explored natural and alternative remedies to help relieve MS symptoms. Some people experiment with herbs, vitamins, and supplements, while others explore dietary changes to help improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, there is no clinical evidence that suggests that these supplements or dietary changes are better than current treatment options for MS. That being said, many anecdotal reports claim that the following remedies can reduce symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
A Quick Note: Before sinking your life savings into new alternative remedies, consult with your doctor to ensure that it is safe for you to try them. Caution is always necessary because a supplement, herb, or dietary change can possibly result in complications.
Discuss Vitamin D With Your Doctor
Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D in people with MS can lead to increased disability. Additionally, low blood levels of vitamin D increase a person’s risk of developing MS. According to Vijayshree Yadav, MD, associate professor of neurology and MS researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, vitamin D is more important than any other supplement, especially for people with MS. She regularly assesses vitamin D levels in the blood of the MS patients and recommends a high-range supplement. Vitamin D supplementation is generally safe, but consult your doctor if you have concerns.
Consider Melatonin Supplementation
Many people use melatonin as a supplement to establish a healthier sleep cycle. It is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. One theory suggests that MS is linked to pineal gland dysfunction and below average levels of melatonin. This can disrupt the immune system, so some health experts propose that melatonin supplementation may protect MS relapses.
Made from the leaves of the ginkgo tree, ginkgo biloba helps to improve brain function and memory. To this day, no clinical studies have proven ginkgo biloba’s effectiveness on treating memory in people with MS. While it may not be beneficial for memory, one study found that it was beneficial for fatigue. The study examined two groups of people with MS. One group took 240 milligrams of ginkgo biloba per day over a four-week period, while the other group took a placebo. The group that took the ginkgo biloba reported reduced fatigue symptoms.
There is limited evidence to support these treatments for MS. The best thing that you can do is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet that provides the body with essential nutrients. Additionally, be careful about taking supplements because some can be harmful when taken in excess. Finally, discuss treatment options with your doctor before experimenting with alternative treatments for MS.