Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis
Professor George Jelinek
An academic physician, who has multiple sclerosis, writes this excellent text, which is a most compelling read. It is essential reading for anyone with MS, as well as their family and friends who can support them with lifestyle changes that will help to minimize the effects of the condition. A wonderful companion volume to Dr. Swank’s book, it brings the research information up to date.
The first section is covers his personal interaction with the disease as first his mother contracts MS and then he finds that he also has the condition. His struggle to get control of the condition brings the reader step by step through his battle, and will strike a chord with everyone who has MS or has a family member or friend with it. Chapter 3 gives a clear account of MS and is particularly valuable reading for anyone recently diagnosed.
The middle part of the book of the book is an up to date review and evaluation of the research and current state of treatment. It starts with dietary fats and explains how the omega-3s (fish and flax seed oils) damp down the autoimmune reaction while the omega-6 fats (vegetable polyunsaturates such as corn and safflower) tend to promote the activation of the system. Chapter 6 gives a thorough review of Dr. Swanks work. Vitamin supplements are fully discussed. Lifestyle changes to a healthy pattern are recommended and the effects of stress, depression and emotional state are discussed. Adequate exercise is beneficial – one is reminded of the old advice that what is good for the heart, is good for the brain. Next the various drug therapies are examined with positive indications for short-term steroid use for relapses and glatiramer for reducing relapse frequency. Intravenous Ig from plasma is also indicated to have some benefits. The final chapter in this middle section is devoted to problem of pain and fatigue.
The final section of the book describes Professor Jelinek’s recommendations for a path to recovery. This is a very positive work, full of good advice from an author who is both an M.D. and a patient with MS.
• Diet and lifestyle change empower MS patients to help them control the disease,
• MS combines both autoimmune and a degenerative disease factors in those with a susceptible genetic profile,
• Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids damp down inflammatory immune system response and combat degenerative changes.
• Omega-6 enhance inflammatory immune system response whilst combating degenerative changes,
• Oleic acid (olive oil) is immune system neutral but helps combat degenerative changes,
• Multivitamins tablets should be avoided,
• B12 tablets are a ‘good’ supplement, especially for those whose diet is vegan and/or are 50+,
• Vitamin D is essential and doses as high as 5,000IU are advisable in winter and can be lower in summer if there is sufficient sun exposure,
• Exercise is good,
• The avoidance of stress and adequate rest to minimize fatigue are important,
• Short term steroid use can help recovery from relapses,
• Intravenous immunoglobulins can reduce the frequency of relapses significantly,
• Glatiramer is preferred over interferons for relapse rate reduction,
• Currently diet and lifestyle change combined with sun exposure and adequate vitamin D are most effective in combatting MS.
A must read, especially for those of us with Dr. Swank’s book already on our shelf.
Title: “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis”
‘An evidence-based Guide to Recovery’
Author: Professor George Jelinek
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2010
ISBN 978 1 74237 179 5