Thursday, April 14, 2011

MS and Scotland and me

Because I've already spent the morning writing a wall of text elsewhere, I'll share it with you guys.

I posted this on the Brass & Ivory Multiple Sclerosis blog:

Thanks Lisa,

Yes, I have lost a considerable amount of weight via a low carbohydrate diet. Low carb is also low inflammation so it's helpful with many things, including MS.

I hear you about the diet soda! I drank almost nothing but diet Coke, etc since the age of 18 (once I started college and was away from the protective watch of my parents). No water for me. None at all for several years.

Now I drink almost nothing but water. When I drink diet soda it's sweetened with Splenda or one of the other non-aspartame artificial sweeteners. I've also given up chewing gum (because most of it is sweetened with aspartame). Chewing gum can be a major crutch while losing weight and I overdid that as well.

I'm sure the aspartame is a culprit in my MS flair-ups. After giving up diet soda with aspartame for so long I decided to treat myself with a case of diet root beer one week. I couldn't find diet root beer sweetened with anything else so I bought it anyway.

At the end of that week my MS was flaring so strongly that I was once again thinking I'd need an IV solu-medrol treatment. My doctor was on vacation that week and so I wouldn't be able to get what I needed until she was back.

Since diet root beer seemed to be the only differentiating factor between feeling mostly fine and feeling crippled I poured the remainder down the sink and went back to dranking Diet Rite products (no aspartame).

By the time my doctor returned from vacation I no longer needed the IV solu-med treatment. I'd gone from almost needing a walker and feeling like my life might be coming to its end to feeling strong and relatively healthy. All this in a two-week period.

This clued me in to the fact that maybe my MS wasn't really MS.

I'll always have to experience the residual damage (limping when I walk more than a couple of blocks, my vision will blur when I'm overheated, I have a slight tremor in my hands that never goes away, I'm a little more than clumsy) but all of that is livable and doesn't seem to worsen unless I am in a situation where I'm overheated at length ... or if I consume aspartame for a few days.

Diet soda, diet jello, sugarfree gum. Not worth it when there are a growing number of alternately sweetened products.

All I can suggest is for those who are curious to find out ... give up all aspartame products for a couple of weeks or so and see if you feel any better. Two weeks isn't that long. If aspartame isn't the culprit in someone's particular case I think that would be interesting for them to learn too.

And after that wall of text I have one more thing to add. :) I said that maybe my MS wasn't really MS ... I meant that maybe my MS wasn't caused by the "unknown" but rather maybe it was caused by aspartame poisoning. I have brain lesions on the MRI's, I presented with Uthoff's sign and optic neuritis and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001 and that fact doesn't seem to be one I can erase.


In other news, I spent another evening transferring grandma's family history notes into I know her side of the family all the way back to the Scotsman who first came here.

John Scott (my 5x great grandfather who was born in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland)
Jesse Scott (4x great grandfather)
Noah Scott (3x great grandfather)
Jonathan Scott (2x great grandfather)
Elmer Scott (great grandfather)
Mabel Scott Robbins (grandma)
Tracy (me)

90g sirloin (19.83 protein), 1/8 cup red beans (4 carbs), broccoli (4 carbs)

90g sirloin (19.83 protein), 1/8 cup red beans (4 carbs), broccoli (4 carbs)

90g sirloin (19.83 protein), 1/8 cup red beans (4 carbs), broccoli (4 carbs)

4 slices bacon (10g protein), broccoli (4 carbs)

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