What causes MS? Medical science has not yet determined the underlying cause of multiple sclerosis. Nevertheless, most researchers and health care professionals agree that MS is an autoimmune disease in which aggressive cells of the immune system cross the blood-brain barrier, enter the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid), and attack the fatty sheath that insulates nerve cells (the myelin sheath). Damage to this insulation is what causes the symptoms of MS, but what causes the autoimmunity in the first place remains something of a mystery.
However, many health care professionals believe that a condition called leaky gut syndrome leads to autoimmunity and can thereby be the cause of autoimmune disorders such as food sensitivities, food allergies, asthma, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.
How does this occur?
To answer this question, let us consider what happens when you have leaky gut syndrome.
In this stealth disorder (sometimes called “hyperpermeability”), the lining of the intestine becomes damaged and allows bacteria, undigested food particles, and other material into your blood stream. Since this material is not normally in your blood, your immune system attempts to fight it off as an invader. Some of the proteins that leak through into your blood resemble those that make up the myelin sheaths surrounding your nerve cells, and this causes your immune system to “mistake” your own myelin as a foreign substance. This autoimmunity can then damage your myelin and cause the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
If it is true that autoimmunity induced by LGS can be an underlying cause of MS, we can use that information to provide relief to sufferers. There are natural treatments that will heal the intestinal lining and thereby prevent the material that causes the autoimmunity from entering your blood stream in the first place. You can see where that can help mitigate MS-related difficulties.
Simply making the correct changes in what you eat is the most important of these natural treatments. You can begin with an elimination diet, which will allow you to identify and avoid foods that you are sensitive to. This will give your intestinal lining a chance to become less inflamed and irritated, and hence to heal, which will block the source of the autoimmunity. Over time this can relieve the symptoms of MS.
Unfortunately, many people are naturally vulnerable to developing leaky gut syndrome. Many factors can contribute to its development, such as the consumption of alcohol, taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen, infections with parasites or Candida, and food allergies. If you are a sensitive person, any or all of these can irritate and inflame your intestinal lining and cause it to leak, leading to the symptoms of leaky gut and possibly even Multiple Sclerosis.
Although an elimination diet will help you determine which foods are safe and healthy for you to eat, you can identify full-blown food allergies (which can also cause LGS and further autoimmune problems) with a visit to an allergist, who will likely conduct an ELISA or similar test. Since both leaky gut and MS respond well when you reduce chronic inflammation, eliminating the inflammation associated with food allergies is an excellent tool to add to your feel-better kit.
In short, many believe that leaky gut syndrome causes autoimmunity, which can lead to Multiple Sclerosis. Fortunately, LGS can be healed naturally and responds well to certain dietary changes. This means that if you suffer from MS, you can begin to treat the underlying cause of your disease naturally and with something as simple as judicious changes in what you eat.