This is a video interview conducted by Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND with Barbara James who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disorder, of unknown origin, which is the most common of nerve disorders affecting people of all ages.
The main feature of the disease is the progressive disappearance of the myelin sheath which is the white protective layer that acts as insulation around nerves.
The brain and spinal cord are affected as well as the rest of the body. The immune system begins to attack the body’s own cells that protect the nerves.
Whilst there may be genetic variation, it is not necessarily an inherited disorder.
Onset symptoms include muscle pain and twitching, lack of coordination, numbness, paralysis, walking difficulties, vision loss, tiredness, chest and bladder infections, exhaustion, inability to swallow and speech problems.
Whilst it may not be life threatening the disease can shorten life expectancy by five to 10 years and the deterioration and scarring of the myelin sheath is progressive and ongoing.
Barbara (aged 68 at the time of this interview) was diagnosed in her early 50s whilst working as a school teacher and put on an interferon-type medication that she took for four years as weekly self-injections.
She talks about how the medication made her worse in that she felt terrible every time she had an injection as if she had severe flu-like symptoms.
Eventually she told her neurologist that she was not going to take the medication any more as it was severely reducing the quality of other life.
As she came off the medication her daughter had just gone vegan so she decided to give it a try.
She noticed an immediate difference.
The daily intermittent tiredness and exhaustion she had experienced disappeared and she gained more energy. Now in her late 60s she has experienced no progression the disease at all.
When asked whether she believed that switching to a purely plant-based diet made a difference for her, she categorically said that it did and was convinced it had stopped the progression of the disease.
Diseases like MS lead to high levels of inflammation in the nerve cells, brain and and spinal cord which is typical of autoimmune diseases, regardless of their cause.
People who eat animal-based products experience higher levels of inflammation, as can be seen in other autoimmune diseases, cardio vascular disease, gut dysbiosis, arthritis, cancer and even mood and psychiatric disorders.
Both high levels of saturated fats from animal-sourced foods and foreign animal DNA cause the immune system to mount an inflammatory defensive attack.
Moving to a purely wholefood plant-based diet reduces neurological and systemic inflammation, thereby reducing, stopping and even reversing disease that has inflammation as a major symptom or that is due to inflammation.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe is the Director of the Australian Health and Education Centre, a practising naturopath and medical nutritionist in Sydney, Australia. She offers in-clinic consultations or you can consult her by video from anywhere in the world except the USA and Canada.