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and does not replace individualized diagnosis and care.
Multiple Sclerosis: Alternative theories and treatments 28 May 2004 [Last update 31 March 2012]
Most diseases have more than one potential cause. When damaged, organs and tissues often manifest similar symptoms, regardless of what originally caused their injuries. This multiple cause potential is the norm in medicine, not the exception. For example, in clinical trials, fixing 100% of a test group almost never happens. The substance or protocol being tested may help a test group more than a control group, but it almost never helps everybody.
In alternative medicine, there are several theories on the cause of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), along with corresponding protocols and treatments. While the mercury poisoning/parasites model seems to be the most common, a few other models of the disease fit a smaller percentage of cases. I've tried to complile the top alternative theories on MS, to follow:
1.) The mercury/parasites model
2.) The aspartame poisoning model
3.) The viral model
4.) The decreased blood flow model (CCSVI)
5.) The cholesterol model
1.) The mercury/parasites model
The main theory for the cause of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is mercury poisoning followed by a parasitic invasion of the nervous system, particularly the brain. There are other possible causes, which can be determined through laboratory testing for metals, pathogens, and toxins, but the mercury/parasite model is the most common.
Although many diseases can be treated successfully at home with alternative medicine, MS is one disease where a doctor's care is almost always necessary. First, lab work must be ordered to determine its actual cause (other than the "nobody knows" or "genetic" model still circulating among the allopathic or mainstream medical field). Then, treatment for the most common mercury/parasite model involves chelation therapy to remove the mercury, which can only be prescribed by a doctor, usually a naturopathic doctor (ND) or osteopath (DO). Practitioners such as herbalists can work with an ND or DO to have this chelation prescribed. The drug usually used for mercury chelation is very strong, as is needed for something as serious as MS, and it happens to chelate good metals from the body along with the bad. This is why all mineral levels must be closely monitored for a patient on chelation therapy, and supplements containing the "good" metals (selenium, zinc, magnesium, copper, etc.) are prescribed along with chelation. Often patients must be taken off of the chelation drug for periods of time, to allow the essential trace minerals to regain normal levels. This is something that should be overseen by a professional practitioner.
For the mercury/parasite cases of MS, parasites also need to be eliminated. Sometimes patients prefer to opt for Hulda Clark's zapper because of the speed of eradication. Others use herbs or drugs as prescribed by their doctor. According to the mercury/parasite model of this disease, mercury is a fat soluble metal. Because the brain is composed largely of fat, mercury follows the nerves up to the brain and stays there, happy in its fatty environment. Then, according to Hulda Clark's model of parasitic invasion of the brain, the positive charge of metals in the brain attracts parasites.
Mercury and parasites are considered to be the most common cause of this disease and can be treated, often with a partial or complete reversal of symptoms. There are other causes not related to mercury, for example aspartame poisoning sometimes results in similar symptoms. Obviously, a good diagnosis based on lab tests is needed before any method of treatment can be planned.
"I was struck down by Multiple Sclerosis in 1989 when I was 40 and was bedridden for a number of months. I could not feel my legs. They were just dead weight. My arms and hands were so numb and my coordination so poor that I could not feed myself or dress myself. I had excruciating nerve pain. Suffice it to say that I was in big trouble. I could no longer work."
-Ken Presner, http://zap.intergate.ca/sclerosi.html (quotation 24 May 2004)
One popular and fascinating case was that of a Canadian man who cured himself of MS, not only controlled but actually reversed his symptoms. His name was Ken Presner, and he became a sort of poster boy for the mercury/parasite model. He underwent chelation therapy, dental metal removal, and the usual methods of treatment for this disease, but became most famous when he decided to start experimenting with variations on Hulda Clark's design for a zapper. He eventually developed "The Ultimate Zapper", a zapper "improved with" AC power and other modifications. He also developed another liver cleanse called "The Ultimate Liver Cleanse", which he claims is an improvement on Clark's, helping to eliminate more gallstones. These are offered for sale on his web site. Some criticize him for profiting from his cure, but the fact remains that the man cured his own MS and uses his own zapper. Ken Presner's web site is very interesting, including a description of how he cured himself of supposedly terminal MS and Crohn's Disease, and came to experiment with zapper development. His page can be found here: http://zap.intergate.ca/sclerosi.html
As with most patients who realize that effective cures are being suppressed from mainstream medicine due to profit motives, Presner became disillusioned with the medical establishment. Below is a quote from his speech to the MS society in 1997:
"It's no surprise that you will never hear the MS Society tell anyone to get tested for metal toxicity or mineral and DHEA deficiencies. This only involves simple blood and urine tests. Well, even simple lab testing is a threat to the MS Society. If people find that they are toxic and deficient, and they will, this would expose the Society. So the Society never utters the words "lab testing". They have a mission - to protect themselves and their friends at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and The College of Dental Surgeons whose livelihoods depend on the MS Society helping to perpetuate the lie about the safety of dental mercury. The Dental Industry generates billions of dollars every year in revenue. It cannot afford to have the MS Society oppose mercury. The dominos would start to fall. So, it makes sure the MS Society remains solidly pro-mercury. There is too much at stake here. The Dental Industry is totally corrupt and will do anything to retain its market and its power. And so will their friends at the MS Society."
- From Ken Presner's speech to the MS Society on 15 November 1997 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, http://zap.intergate.ca/speech.html
Although MS and mercury poisoning are two separate diseases, most MS cases include mercury toxicity. Mercury poisoning itself has different symptoms than MS, for example dentists have had higher suicide rates than the general population for decades, because one of the symptoms of mercury poisoning is depression. Depression isn't the same as MS, just another way mercury can affect the body. A good source on mercury poisoning is MercuryPoisoned.com. The woman who started the page, Marie Flowers, is an incredible woman who discovered and treated her own mercury poisoning, then decided to start a web site to help others with mercury problems. Her site includes information on mercury poisoning, such as the vaccine-autism link, shaken baby syndrome, etc.
2.) The aspartame poisoning model
Aspartame is the controversial artificial sweetener used in many diet drinks and foods. Like MSG, aspartame is an excitotoxin -- consuming aspartame will excite nerve and brain cells until they die, as detailed in Dr. Blaylock's book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills.
Aspartame's side effects often become more apparent as a greater volume of the product is consumed, and those side effects can be severe, including brain cancer, birth defects, and death. Neurological symptoms are very common with an excitotoxin like aspartame, and sometimes the symptoms are similar enough to MS for the patient to receive an MS diagnosis. I've read accounts of people with MS-like symptoms reporting improvement or reversal of their "MS" after doing nothing more than quitting their usual aspartame products. Certainly, discontinuing diet foods is a harmless way to see if symptoms improve, or at least stop progressing.
For those who are diabetic or trying to lose weight, there are several other artificial sweeteners that can be used in place of aspartame, including a natural herbal sweetener, stevia. (There are even stevia-sweetened sodas, like Zevia All Natural Soda.)
However, Dr. Batmanghelidj warned dieters in his book Your Body's Many Cries for Water that artificial sweeteners of any kind -- even the "healthy" ones like stevia -- are not good weight loss tools. According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, when the tongue tastes something sweet, it sends a signal to the brain, and the brain then expects the blood sugar level to rise. But when the blood sugar doesn't rise, the brain sends out hunger signals, causing the dieter to eat more and therefore gain weight. In essence, dieters should evaluate artificial sweeteners to see whether they've helped with weight loss goals at all. If not, why continue using them?
3.) The viral model
Some doctors believe that MS is caused by a virus that invades the brain and nervous system. I've read theories that say viruses gather at the base of the brain, and that even a slight injury or trauma will give these viruses an opportunity to invade the nervous system.
As with his theory on autism, Blaylock credits viruses with neurological damage that others attribute to mercury or heavy metal toxicity. This creates some overlap between the viral and mercury/parasites models of the disease. Was the nerve damage caused by viruses, mercury, parasites, or a little of each?
Creating more possible overlap, Hulda Clark wrote that parasites are often virus and bacteria "mills," and that each parasite species has specific organisms that it typically hosts. This raises the question of whether parasites are directly responsible for neurological symptoms attributed to MS, or if parasites simply act as hosts for the responsible organisms.
While this overlap makes determining the cause of the disease a little more complex, it may simplify the treatment protocol. Because the Clark zapper is designed to attack all microorganisms, including parasites and viruses, the mercury/parasite model's protocol could theoretically work on viral cases as well. There are also anti-parasitic and anti-viral herbs, for those hoping to use herbal medicine instead of, or in addition to, the Clark zapper.
4.) The decreased blood flow model
The decreased blood flow model of the disease is fairly recent. An Italian medical professor, Paolo Zamboni, said that he recognized the symptoms of oxygen deprivation, and that's what he saw when he looked at MS patients. He thinks that it comes from clogged veins in the neck, not allowing blood to drain out of or flow into the head properly, and he calls it chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI.
This is where the controversy starts -- the treatment for this is "experimental," and involves surgical widening of blood vessels. There are several press reports of patients who claim that this experimental surgery helped or cured them, and they want their insurance companies to cover their costs, and the costs for other MS patients who want to try the procedure.
Aside from causing billing fights in the world of mainstream medicine, the success of such a treatment again creates overlap between alternative models of multiple sclerosis. That's because EDTA chelation therapy, used to treat the most common mercury/parasites model of the disease, is also known for cleaning up plaque in blood vessels. If chelation is used to treat the mercury/parasites model of the disease, and it works to stop or reverse MS symptoms, would it be due to chelation eliminating heavy metals from the brain, or plaque from the blood vessels?
5.) The cholesterol model
In his book Diet for a New America, John Robbins says that MS "is most common where consumption of animal fats is high, and least common where such consumption is low or nonexistent."
Robbins also cited studies where a majority of MS patients were able to stop the progression of the disease by adopting a low fat diet (pp. 279-82).
More recently, Dermot O'Connor detailed how dietary and lifestyle changes helped reverse his case of MS in his article I beat MS, published in the Irish Independent News.