According to a study by Dr. Kleinewietfeld, an increased salt intake could lead to triggering an autoimmune reaction which could lead to Multiple Sclerosis. The frustrating thing is about Multiple Sclerosis is there is no single cause. MS can be triggered by any number of factors including environment, genetics, diet and location. As researchers narrow in on the possible causes of the disease, MS patients today have more options than ever.
When I was diagnosed with MS in 2005, there were five therapies and they were all self-injecting shots. Seven short years later there are ten treatments and three are pills! This was unimaginable when I was first diagnosed and my wife was learning how to shoot a needle into my leg (I could never bring myself to do it). According to the National MS Society, these are ten FDA approved treatments that are disease modifying. Disease modifying treatments are not cures, but they have been shown to reduce relapses and slow the disease progression.
The question is how does a patient nowadays know which is the right course to take? Even with all these options could something as simple as reducing salt reduce your MS symptoms? You could ask a hundred different people or health practitioners and get a hundred different opinions on how to manage MS.
My experience supports the trial and error approach. For example, my wife Jocelyn read about how a gluten free diet could help with MS. Jocelyn and I made a commitment to a gluten free diet and stuck with it for a year. During that year, I had two relapses and a simple blood test would reveal that I had no allergy to gluten. Even though a gluten free lifestyle didn’t help my MS symptoms, there were positive health side effects. However, gluten free was not for us and we resumed a regular diet. Now we are thinking about reducing salt and eating more oily fish for Omega-3. We’ll see how that goes.
Living with Multiple Sclerosis is a series of trials and errors and sometimes skipping the salt can make all the difference in the world.