A Diagnosis Will Define the Rest of Your Life.

You have the symptoms commonly associated with Multiple Sclerosis and your doctor has made the diagnosis. Maybe you’ve been told you have Relapsing-Remitting, Secondary-Progressive, Progressive-Relapsing, Fulminate, or even Benign MS. Regardless of the names or initials added to your medical record, you now HAVE an official medical diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

On the one hand, this is a good thing. It helps categorize you and your symptoms into a standardized system of medical nomenclature that includes prognosis and probable treatment options.

At the same time, the assignment of a medical diagnosis can also take many things “off the table”. Once the diagnosis is made, the inevitable happens and you’re labeled as a person with a disease for which there is no cause and no cure. Right off the bat, it can stop the search for any underlying causes for your symptoms. The best that can be done in the current system is to use drugs to lessen symptoms and put somewhat of a hold on the progression of the disease.

Hold on!

Numerous external forces can affect the nervous system and cause symptoms that are commonly associated with MS. The most common “missed diagnosis” is Lyme disease – an infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an insect that’s infected with a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. The key point is that Lyme disease is a bacterial infection and it is curable by antibiotic treatment. Eliminate the infection and the symptoms subside

Wouldn’t it be a shame to finish off your life with an incurable disease, Multiple Sclerosis, when you might have an infection that can be cured?

Anyone with a diagnosis of MS should seriously investigate the possibility that they have been infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. WebMD.com offers good information about Lyme disease.

What else can interrupt or imbalance the nervous system, resulting in MS symptoms? Poison. While it is unlikely that someone is intentionally administering neurotoxic (poisonous to nerves or nerve cells) substances to you, you may be ingesting them unknowingly. In an ironic twist, a common artificial sweetener – aspartame – can break down into free amino acids, including phenylalanine, which is toxic for some people. Even more of a concern is that under strongly acidic conditions (stomach acid), aspartame may generate methanol.

Methanol (sometimes called wood alcohol) is highly toxic to humans. Ingesting just a couple of teaspoonfuls can cause permanent blindness. It destroys the optic nerve. A single ounce is potentially fatal. I could go into detail on all of the toxic possibilities of methanol, but these two alone should give you the sense that it’s not a substance you want in your body. Yet, it is generated every time you consume something that is sweetened with aspartame. Tiny doses with each can of soda or each “diet cookie”. Yes, you think you’re doing something healthy by not consuming sugar. Sadly, in this case, the alternative to sugar is potentially poisoning you, bite by bite.

This is not to suggest you don’t actually have MS, but there’s a chance your diagnosis could be wrong (maybe a good chance). Lyme disease can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Methanol poisoning can be prevented.

In both situations, your life can be dramatically better than it would be with chronic MS.

The lesson from this discussion is that our modern ways of being healthy might actually make us less healthy and shorten our lives. The benefits of a clear diagnosis are many, but the chance of a missed diagnosis exists and nobody should blindly accept the first one that’s offered. Most chronic illnesses have similar symptoms. In a perfect world, doctors would be able to focus on the specific diagnosis and prescribe the best treatment. Clearly, we still don’t live in a perfect world.