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Monday, March 31, 2014

Immune Boosters - Whether You Have MS or Not

I'm pretty open about my recent diagnosis of MS. Most people with whom I've talked express their sorrow for me and those who know me wonder why this happened in the first place. My own mother and I discussed this at great length when the diagnosis was made. I felt like my body had betrayed me. For years I had given it healthy foods, plenty of sleep, reduced stress and kept it fit by exercising six days a week.

However, when I now see how quickly I'm getting a handle on things in comparison to some with MS who take years (I'm not kidding) to get their disease under control, I realize my body is more of an ally than a foe in this. I have created an environment for health and therefore, my body is responding by giving me a quicker recovery. I'm not going to say that I'll never have another exacerbation or lesion or problem from MS, but I will say that I'm better able to cope with and heal from the problems that arise because I've fostered a healthy environment for my cells.

When I think about all the people who get MS and suddenly have to make drastic life changes, I'm grateful. I already eat clean and take excellent care of my body. I take it one day at a time and am constantly praising God for blessing me with such a good life, lots of positive support people and loads of great information and tools to help me continually improve my health.

I've now had my second infusion of Tysabri (disease modifying therapy drug) and I'm feeling pretty good. One thing this drug is supposed to do is slow down the destruction of my myelin in my brain. Lesions are given time to heal and no new lesions develop…is what they tell me. Wanna know why? My immune system is suppressed.


Part of making myself as healthy as possible now, so I can combat the MS includes adding more nourishing foods to my already super clean way of life. I haven't had any processed flour or sugar in nearly five years. Now I'm eating almost entirely paleo (no/low grains and absolutely no wheat).   So, here are some of the things I'm doing to help my immune system fight off bugs.
  • drink 12 to 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning
  • daily detox with lemon and peppermint essential oils from doTerra in my water bottle
  • beet detox smoothie every day (Dr. Wahls, who is known for her natural healing methods in reversing her own MS gave me this idea). The recipe I like best are shared in this 30-minute webinar . I've been tweaking the recipe for a while and I'm excited to share it! If you want the recipe, I share it in this post and video.
  • take fish oil, vitamin D and a B-complex mix along with vitamin C and several other vitamins I'll detail in another blog
  • go for a walk every day
  • do yoga 5x a week (or more)
  • practice daily, conscious positive thought
  • breathe
  • go to bed when I'm tired—no matter what!
So, what kinds of immune boosters have you found to work? For more tips and an in-depth talk on how to boost your immune system, check out this post and video

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Invisible Suffering

A month ago, I was struggling with balance and leg weakness. Most people didn't notice, except for when I attempted to wear high heels to church. Wobbles-ville. I felt like I was stumbling around with a leaden left leg.

Often, the symptoms of MS aren't noticeable. If you're wondering what some of these invisible symptoms might be, or what's really going on inside someone with MS, watch this.

In my church, one of my favorite hymns states, "in the quiet heart is hidden, sorrow that the eye can't see." That verse is ever present in my mind when I now look at others who may appear to be well put together. We all have a sad story to tell. Most of us don't show it on our face or even in our body. But, I can assure you, it's there. The beauty of what I've learned is that there is so much to be happy for in life and when you stop to cheer someone else along the way, you also benefit.

Take a look at those around you. Treat them with kindness and consideration whether you believe they have it all together or not.

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