May 31, 2024

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease in which the immune system breaks down the myelin sheath protecting nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord. This process is called demyelination of the nerve cells and leads to difficulties for nerve cells to communicate with each other and for the brain to communicate with other parts of the body. 

MS patients can have very different experiences depending on the location of the damage to nerve fibres. Common symptoms may include muscle weakness, numbness and tingling, lack of coordination, visual changes, fatigue, and brain fog, among others. Such symptoms can lead to troubles just engaging in typical daily life activities.

Our Experience

Our experience has shown that when treating the whole picture, we see an enormous difference in the lives and symptoms of MS patients. Specifically, we regularly see improvements in energy, walking and running, balance, and peripheral sensory issues like numbness and tingling.

Following the quickly developing research, we have recognized the importance of:

– dietary and nutritional support

– digestive and microbiome health

– and the impact of chronic “stealth” infections, for example Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) 

This article will touch on each of these, as well as the usefulness of Intravenous Ozone Therapy in the treatment of MS. 

Support the brain and body with the right types of nutrients.

An essential first step is to create a solid foundation of health by ensuring the availability of nutrients both through a rich and diverse diet and the appropriate individual nutrients. This way we ensure a well-nourished brain and an optimally functioning immune system. 

A variety of important dietary measures are recommended with a focus on eating a vegetable-rich diet. The mix of fibre and phytonutrients from vegetables provides a variety of important benefits including improving the quality and diversity of our digestive microbiome and resuscitation of our mitochondria – the energy producing organelles within our cells. 

A second important dietary measure is the inclusion of a variety of healthy fats from olive oil, avocado, and fish.

Certain basic nutrients are important as well, including anti-inflammatory omega-3 oils and vitamin D. In the case of Vitamin D, we will often begin with a blood test to measure levels and determine the appropriate dosage of Vitamin D supplementation.

Vitamin B12 is another important nutrient. First, cells of the nervous system require a lot of B12 as it plays an important role in neurotransmitter production. But less widely known is the fact that Vitamin B12 acts as a regulator of the immune system, meaning it can reduce the autoimmune demyelination of the neurons. Vitamin B12 is poorly absorbed however, even in the best of circumstances. Administration via intramuscular injection is by far a superior approach compared to oral supplementation.

Digestive Health

An assessment of the digestive system looks at three areas. 

First, a thorough assessment of the function of the digestive tract – bowel habits, levels of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and bile from the liver and gall bladder. Additionally, we are looking for signs and symptoms that are suggestive of a poorly functioning digestive system, including common symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, burping, loose stools, or constipation.

Next, we are interested in the state of the microbiome. This is an enormous area of intense research in MS and more broadly, in autoimmune disease. Studies comparing the microbiome of MS patients with those of healthy controls have show depletions and enrichments of certain types of bacteria, suggesting certain types of bacteria might be associated with either the initiation of disease or its progression. [1,2, 3]

Finally, we look at the integrity of the digestive membrane and whether it is doing its job properly. Specifically, we are looking for a hyperpermeable intestinal barrier, also known as a “leaky gut”.  The “leaky gut” is one mechanism through which the immune system can become dysregulated. Restoring the barrier function is important in successful treatment. [4, 5]

Certain types of tests to assess the microbiome are available. Depending on whether digestive symptoms are present (or not), your Naturopathic Doctor may choose to utilize a variety of tests. This may include a stool test to determine a baseline for imbalances in the microbiome. A Lactulose Breath Test (LBT) may be valuable as well, particularly in the context of a potential Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). 

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and other Stealth Infections

An association between viral activity and MS has been suspected for decades. Recently research has demonstrated that EBV is indeed implicated as a causative factor in MS, and it’s possible that other viruses can have a similar effect. [6,7]

EBV activity is commonly elevated as measured by various antibodies (both IgG and IgM) for the virus. These assess the response of B-Cells and their antibodies. We include this test in our assessment panel, and also include specialized testing for T-Cell activity against EBV (including both Latent and Lytic activity). Often we will find positives on both, but sometimes just one of the two. 

When running these test panels, we test other viruses and bacteria as well, including: 

– other herpes viruses (CMV, HSV1/2, HHV6/7/8), which all have an affinity for the nervous system

– Borellia (the tick-borne organism responsible for Lyme disease)

– Babesia, Bartonella, and other tick-borne infections. 

Though their relationship to MS is less clearly established, we often treat these as well to “clear” the system from potentially inflammatory and associated conditions. The symptomatology of these chronic infections can mimic that of MS, and their presence should be assessed, and ruled-out or treated if present.

Additionally, the role of heavy metals and a whole slew of other common toxic chemicals can be involved. 

Treatment and the Role of Intravenous Ozone Therapy in MS

At Vive Health, our goal in MS is to stop the progression and restore function as best as possible. In our experience, improvements in function, energy, and cognition are common, when treating the condition wholistically. 

Intravenous ozone therapy has played a big role in the positive responses we have seen in our patients, and its use has been well researched in the treatment of MS, [8,9,10,11,12]

In general, IV ozone therapy has many useful properties, all of which will positively influence the pathophysiology and progression of MS:

– Immune regulation

– Anti-viral activity

– Reduction in inflammation

– Improved oxygen delivery and oxygen utilization in the mitochondria

– Increased production of energy

– Reduction in oxidative stress

Taken together, these attributes can make a substantial impact in the progression of MS and a patient’s quality of life.

The Gap between Research Data and Clinical Care for MS Patients

Research into MS has progressed a long way, though there is still much to learn. At Vive Health, our approach for MS acknowledges and investigates the concepts above – necessary nutrients, the microbiome, viral infections, and intravenous ozone therapy, among others that may also play a contributing role. 

To stop demyelination, one must assess, understand, and treat the underlying reasons why the immune system is dysregulated and why demyelination is taking place.

To book a consult with our doctors to begin your integrative treatment journey through MS or any other condition, give our receptionists a call today. 

References:

  1. Gut microbiome of Multiple Sclerosis patients and paired household controls reveal associations with disease risk and course. PMID: 36113426. (2022)
  2. Alterations of the human gut microbiome in multiple sclerosis. PMID: 27352007. (2016)
  3. The role of the “gut microbiota-mitochondria” crosstalk in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. PMID: 38741740. (2024)
  4. Psychological Stress, Intestinal Barrier Dysfunctions, and Autoimmune Disorders: An Overview. PMID: 32983091. (2020)
  5. Gut Microbiota, Leaky Gut, and Autoimmune Diseases. PMID: 35833129. (2022)
  6. Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis. PMID: 35931816. (2023)
  7. Epstein-Berr Virus and Multiple Sclerosis. PMID 33391262. (2020)
  8. Ozone autohemotherapy induces long-term metabolic changes in multiple sclerosis patients. PMID: 25280029. (2014)
  9. Changes in Th17 cells frequency and function after ozone therapy used to treat multiple sclerosis patients. PMID: 32862036. (2020)
  10. The effects of oxygen-ozone therapy on regulatory T-Cell responses in multiple sclerosis patients. PMID: 33724614. (2021)
  11. Cerebrovascular pattern improved by ozone autohemotherapy: an entropy-based study on multiple sclerosis patients. PMID: 27734309. (2017)
  12. Medical ozone promotes Nrf2 phosphorylation reducing oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokines in multiple sclerosis patients. PMID 28623000. (2017)

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