Saturday, July 16, 2011

Immune Health

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My neurologist keeps telling me that the worst thing I can do as someone with MS is take measures that boost my immune system.  I used to be serious about natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, zinc, blueberries, pomegranate, Acai berries and the list goes on.  For a while I wondered if I overstimulated my immune system and caused it to backfire on me by attacking my Central Nervous System but I don't really believe that is the case.  I have read information that supports my docs theory about our immune system being the main culprit regarding MS and it's not such a good idea to enhance it.  Especially since the main goal of MS therapy is to suppress the immune system.  On the other hand, I recently read an article in a newsletter for people with MS that states the opposite.  
"Despite the damage the confused immune system may be causing to healthy tissue, it is important for it to still function as the body's system of defense against infectious diseases and cancers.  A well-balanced diet of low-fat foods that are high in fiber and antioxidants has been shown to have beneficial effects on the immune system."  Shared Solutions--Healthy Eating To Boost Your Immune System
My take away from both points is this:  Even though my immune system is attacking me, I still need to take measures to protect myself from free radicals and carcinogens while I am on treatment.  Healthy foods such as avocados, nuts, olive oil, salmon, brown rice and brans can help me to maintain total-body health.  My hope is that while the treatment calms my immune system, diet can address the parts of my body like cells, tissues and other systems that still need defense, while hopefully avoiding the attack on my Central Nervous System.

At the end of the day I know I need to take care of myself and educate myself on a regular basis when it comes to the balancing act of trying to keep MS in check.