Apr. 28th, 2014

mellowtigger: (twitch)
Do you remember last month when I considered self-diagnosing with multiple sclerosis then beginning a diet change regimen to improve my long-term outcome? Well, today I reviewed with a doctor the results of my recent medical tests. She suggested that I begin a diet change to see if it has any effect on my symptoms.

Basically, the neurologists are in the same position now as they were 4 years ago. Electromyogram tests confirm some nerve damage, and it is worse now than 4 years ago, but it is a pattern that is not consistent with multiple sclerosis. By eliminating MS as a possibility, though, and finally accepting that I'm serious about wanting to solve this ongoing problem, they are now considering other options to explain my symptoms. Gluten was the first new suggestion for this something-that-isn't-MS-but-behaves-much-like-MS. This scenario reminds me of my mother's own nerve problem that isn't-Parkinson's-but-behaves-much-like-Parkinson's. She's now gluten-free too, but for digestive reasons.

I already knew that a low-fat diet can drastically improve outcomes for MS patients, but it turns out that gluten sensitivity is also implicated in multiple sclerosis and other muscle-twitch phenomenon. I've been considering a gluten-free and/or paleo diet for years. I now have a medical excuse to try at least the gluten-free regimen. The theory behind the paleo diet seems very sensible to me, but I just haven't found the science articles to back it up. Gluten, on the other hand, has lots of well-established issues. In particular, wheat is not what it used to be in our more distant human history. (If you listen to the fringe news, the story of wheat gets even scarier. So don't accept the scary stories without some kind of verifiable evidence.)

I think I'll go have a "goodbye gluten" deep dish pizza tomorrow while I consider how much of my kitchen stock I have to throw away because of "contaminated" ingredients.  I don't expect this change to be easy, but it seems necessary.

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