Articles, Living with MS

Living with Multiple Sclerosis For 20 Years – Opening my Vault of MS Stories

This September 2021 is my 20 year MS-iversary and I’ve decided to open my vault of personal stories and share what life has been like for the past 20 years living with this illness – stories I’ve never told publicly before!

Some of the things I’ll be talking about in this video series:

  • how I was diagnosed with MS
  • tests I was given to diagnose MS
  • multiple sclerosis medications I’ve been on
  • being relapse-free for 10 years
  • how I eat to manage MS
  • funny, sad, embarrassing MS moments
  • different MS symptoms I’ve had

If you’re interested in this type of content, please subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of these videos!

Living with MS

The Effect of Gut Bacteria on MS

Studies have shown that the bacteria in our gut play a very important role when it comes to the development and progression of autoimmune conditions.

Researchers have discovered that MS patients have a distinct microbiome compared to their healthy peers. One specific study divided RRMS patients into groups that separated those with active disease and those in remission.  They found there was less diverse gut bacteria in the patients in active relapse compared to those who stay in remission for longer periods of time.

One cause of this gut bacteria imbalance is caused by an overgrowth of candida, a type of bacteria that lives throughout different regions of the body. Even though it’s natural to have a certain level of these types of bacterial colonies in the body, problems arise when the levels grow to unhealthy levels.

Not all gut bacteria are created equal!

Some of the good bacteria in the gut help to digest food, some manufacture specific vitamins, and other strains of bacteria even help protect the lining of the digestive tract. When there is an imbalance, too many strains of certain types of bacteria outnumber the beneficial strains. This can cause digestive problems and is an irritant to the cells that line the digestive tract. When left untreated, any irritation in the digestive tract can lead to inflammation and something called leaky gut syndrome, which can be linked to autoimmune reactions.

Anything that irritates or stresses the digestive system can lead to systemic, wide-spread inflammation. By controlling inflammation in the digestive tract, we can begin the process of bringing balance back into the body and potentially stop the immune system from misfiring.

To learn more about the different underlying causes of candida and how balance gut bacteria, visit the second module of my free online program: A Holistic Approach to Living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Specific Gut Bacteria May Drive Progression of Multiple Sclerosis, Study Finds
Gut Microbes Could Help Trigger Multiple Sclerosis
Gut germs play role in multiple sclerosis, studies show.





Articles, Living with MS

Are You Getting Enough Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids?

Every living cell in the body requires essential fatty acids (EFAs). They are found in high concentrations in the brain, aid in the transmission of nerve impulses, control blood clotting and are essential for rebuilding and producing new cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats found naturally in a wide variety of nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, seaweed and fish. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart disease, inflammation, certain types of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and macular degeneration. Omega-3 fatty acids are also critical for proper brain development and neurological function.  They are classified as “essential” because they are not made in the body and must come from the diet.

There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids. Two crucial ones, EPA and DHA are primarily found in cold water fish. Plants sources like flax, chia, hemp, and green leafy vegetables are primarily alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and are not in their bioactive form. The body must convert these short-chain ALA omega-3 fatty acids into EPA and DHA. This conversion is dependent on numerous key nutrients in a long sequence of complex, enzymatic reactions. Therefore, it’s important to avoid deficiencies by having a well-balanced diet in order for the conversion to take an anti-inflammatory prostaglandin pathway. For more detailed information regarding Omega-3 convervion pathways into EPA and DHA, visit this post.

The Benefits and Functions of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

• Research shows strong evidence that EPA and DHA can help lower triglycerides and blood pressure and that they play an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
• Studies have found omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduce joint pain and stiffness.
• DHA is important for visual and neurological development in infants.
• Some studies show that EPA and DHA can improve cognitive function and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
• Essential fatty acids are required for the production of neurotransmitters.
• Essential fatty acids are the building blocks of hormones and are linked to menopause, PMS and other nervous and endocrine system imbalances.

 Symptoms of Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency

• Impaired learning or poor memory
• Rough, dry, flaky skin
• Dry, brittle hair
• Weak or dry looking nails
• Dandruff
• Dry eyes
• Irregular menstrual periods
• Mood swings
• Depression

Sources of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

• Flax seeds • Hemp seeds • Chia seeds • Walnuts • Macadamia nuts • Sunflower seeds • Pecans • Avocados • Wheatgrass • Spinach • Kale • Broccoli • Seaweed • Algae • Nori • Spirulina • Wild caught, cold water fish •

Cooking and Storing

Heat destroys EFAs and results in the formation of dangerous free radicals, which can promote inflammation. Therefore, when consuming omega-3 rich nuts and seeds, it’s best to eat them raw and store in sealed containers in the refrigerator or other cool, dark places that are out of direct sunlight.

Flax, hemp, olive, pumpkin and other omega-3 rich oils should never be heated or used for cooking. Instead, use coconut oil which is more heat stable due to its chemical structure, making it less vulnerable to oxidation and free radical formation.


* Those taking blood thinners and anticoagulant medications are warned to supplement with omega-3’s using caution, as they may cause the blood to thin and lead to excess bleeding.