Extreme Temps and MS

cold weather BABY, It’s Cold Outside!!!!

Can any extreme temperatures cause an MS flare-up? I’m not sure where you’re located, but we’re now in fall but it feels like winter mode for me here in Chicago. That means hat, gloves, scarves, ear muffs, snow pants, boots, you know, anything to beat the extreme cold. “BRRRR, I’m Freezing,” seems to be my go-to words for the past month and will continue until April. For anyone that knows me, Yes, comparisons of Chicago and Antarctica are definitely on my mind!

Were you one of the millions of MS sufferers who were counting down the days for cooler weather?  Me too! Yes, heat and humidity can be very disruptive and cause minor, temporary flare-ups of our MS symptoms during the summer months, but did you know some people also have challenges during the winter months? It’s less common, but still can affect those of us with MS? And here’s another fact, unfortunately some people are affected by both hot and cold. If this is you, I’m sorry that you’re not getting a reprieve.

Many people report worsening of symptoms just as much in the coldest part of winter as they do in the hottest months of summer!  You might be wondering since we can use ice, cold showers, cold compresses or cooling vests to cool down during the summer, why would the cold negatively affect us now, why is this different? The truth is that any drastic changes in temperature either hot or cold can have a negative impact on MS sufferers.

 Things you may experience due to the Cold:

  • Fatigue
  • Spasms
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Balance issues
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Depression

The good news is, just like in summer months, there are things we can do to protect ourselves against the cold.

warm-winter-drinks-alcohol-free-caffine-free-healthy-drink-recipes

Make sure your house is properly insulated, check around doors and windows for any pesky drafts, there are plenty of low-cost ways to seal them.  While you’re in, you can use a heating pad, blankets, extra clothing. Some people find warm showers or baths may relieve some of the stiffness, aches, and pains. (Be careful to not become overheated!) You can also warm up with a nice cup of soup, tea or coffee.

If you have to be out in the elements, try layering clothing to keep heat from escaping, protect your head and use hand or feet warmers. Also be sure to use any walking devices or aides to help you outside when your muscles can become stiff or slow to respond. Just like the summer months, it’s very important to stay hydrated, make sure to continue drinking enough water, people tend to think just because it’s cold outside you can’t become dehydrated. Dehydration can also cause or complicate many of the above symptoms.

As I’ve said before, our minds are extremely powerful and I’d like to say it’s as easy as thinking Warm thoughts of summer to beat the cold, but your best line of defense is to be prepared for the elements, listen to your body, and seek assistance if needed.  You can learn more about MS in All About MS and Resources section to help you on your journey! You can check out my new book “Waking Up From MS, My Journey to Health, Healing and Living Symptom Free. It details my almost 30 year journey living with and beating MS.

 

If you have found this article helpful please share. As always, I look forward to and appreciate your feedback!

To our health!

Kellie

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

You can also listen to my radio show on http://radio.msgsn.com/ – “Live in Hope, Focus on Healing” – every Sunday at 3:30pm, est

Hydrogen Rich Water and Multiple Sclerosis…

Hydrogen Rich Water!

When I was first introduced to Hydrogen-rich Water (HRW) and possible benefits to MS sufferers, I thought it seemed too simple, but I was definitely intrigued and a bit skeptical.  I’ve been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis now for almost 30 years. If you want to learn more about my journey living with and beating MS, check out my MS Story or my new book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom-Free.”  Throughout the years I’ve heard of plenty of things that were supposed to help repair and heal the MS body that simply didn’t live up to the hype.

I believe Hydrogen-rich Water (HRW) is something different. It seems it can benefit everyone, not just MS sufferers, and there’s plenty of scientific research behind it. (For all the other skeptics out there.) When I questioned my holistic Dr’s about HRW they were all utilizing it and have been for many, many years. Also, We know we’re not drinking enough water these days and in many cases, the water we are drinking is toxic due to chemical contaminants and packaging. Dehydration is also so common its symptoms mimic many chronic disease symptoms, so we must be sure to drink the right water and plenty of it.

Hydrogen Rich Water and Multiple Sclerosis

Studies about Multiple Sclerosis and Hydrogen-rich water explored the effects of HRW on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for MS.  The study showed reduced disease severity, central Nervous system infiltration, even demyelination when administered after the onset of the disease. The great thing about Hydrogen Water is that it’s easy to take, inexpensive and crosses the blood-brain barrier.

 

The Wide-Reaching Health Benefits of HRW

When I started to investigate HRW, I found that it’s being used or studied to treat many simple and even chronic conditions such as MS, Cancer, Atopic Dermatitis, Neurodegenerative Diseases – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin resistance, Depression, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Metabolic Syndrome, Dehydration. It also aids in digestion, circulation, mental clarity, stabilizes cholesterol levels, workout/muscle recovery. Hydrogen-rich water can protect our cells, tissues, and mitochondria from oxidative damage. HRW has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-allergy, even anti-cancer effects.

Intracellular hydration is key to our good health.

Hydrogen-rich water can be attained through several sources – I use a product called H2 Fuel. Which electrically charges the water. It’s a portable and easy to use on-the-go system to get my hydrogen water each and every day. Some people use Hydrogen water pills or sticks.

Hydrogen-rich water can help fight inflammation and oxidative stress in our body which is essential for our long-term health and vitality. It’s something you should definitely investigate further and add to your healthy lifestyle.

 

To our health!

 

Kellie Alderton

 

If you want to learn more about healthy living technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

 

*We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You should consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website.

http://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(16)30042-X

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27138092

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5525017/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28751802

Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing and Living Symptom Free!

Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free! Waking Up From MS

It took me five years and thousands of hours to put together my book – “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom-Free,” I wanted it to be a balanced, informative, uplifting story about my almost 30-year journey with MS. From diagnosis at the age of 17 in 1988, going with traditional MS protocols that kept me sick and with no quality of life with the rollercoaster of MS symptoms and treatments, to 2001 when I turned to holistic and alternative therapies to turn my disease around! I believe it saved my life.

I’m symptom-free, healthy and strong. I hope my book can be a stepping stone to others with MS for encouragement, inspiration, and new ideas perhaps you haven’t heard of!

Are you open to new ideas, and even new ways of thinking about your journey with Multiple Sclerosis?

 

To our health!

Kellie Alderton 

 

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

 

 

Air Pollution and Multiple Sclerosis?

Is there a direct link with Air Pollution and Multiple Sclerosis?

 

Can Air Pollution cause MS or cause our flare-ups?Air Pollution

I’ve lived with MS for almost 30 years and as many of my fellow MS sufferers, I’m always looking at ways to lessen exposures to toxins, what can cause exacerbations, or what might be at the root cause of this life changing disease.  One thing I’ve studied for many years is indoor air quality and products that could help me achieve clean air in different environments. Anyone wanting a healthier life must also be mindful of what we breathe. The air outside and indoors is packed with harmful toxins and chemicals that can affect our health, our central nervous system, and especially our MS.

A report from the Journal of Toxicology in 2012,  showed that Air pollution can affect the central nervous system and can damage brain structures or lead to a predisposition to neurological diseases. With air pollution, there is a direct attack on our Central Nervous System and that can start the demyelinating process. As any MS sufferer knows, when the myelin is broken down and stripped away, we have challenges like Multiple Sclerosis. You can investigate all about MS, it’s signs, and symptoms here.

Air pollution should be a major concern for everyone.  There are many industries at fault for polluting the air – think about the companies with big smokestacks pouring polluted air out over the skyline on a daily basis, we see all the cars and trucks on the roads. There’s radon, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), we even have air pollution from chemical pesticides like Roundup – from the ever dangerous Monsanto – being used on a daily basis that is causing many of our air quality issues.

Yes, Outdoor air pollution is a major health concern, but an even bigger concern for us is our indoor air quality.  The EPA estimated that we spend about 90% of our time indoors (think about the kids playing video games, being on the computer, everyone is on their phones, watching more tv – like no other time in history.) Indoor air quality can be up to 5 times more harmful than outdoor air due to mold, mildew, dust mites, off-gassing from paints, carpets, wood floors, granite countertops, furniture made from pressed or particle board,  radon,  air fresheners, candles, laundry detergent, fabric softeners and sheets, household chemicals and cleaning agents, even personal care products.  Homes are built so efficiently now that they trap all the chemicals inside, so there’s no escaping the constant bombardment of these toxins.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) indoor air pollution and air quality are listed as two of the world’s worst toxic pollution problems.  In 2014 air pollution caused the deaths of around 7 million people worldwide. People of all ages living in high pollution areas are at increased risk of different neurological disorders.  Again, Air pollution is known to cause damage to the Central Nervous System by altering the blood-brain barrier and can start the demyelinating process.

The good news is that we can protect ourselves from many forms of Air Pollution: Air Pollution

1 – Get a whole-home air purifier.  I’ve been using an air purifier since 2001. I also use one when I travel, for the car, on airplanes and especially in hotel rooms.

2 – Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner that will prevent the spreading of pollutants each time you vacuum – (which needs to be on a regular basis to also help your air quality.)

2 – Use organic or all natural cleaning products.

3 – Use Low VOC or no VOC paints.

4 – Use organic personal care items like shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, lotion, deodorant.

4 – Buy Air purifying plants – According to NASA – Bamboo Palm, English Ivy, Gerber Daisy, Snake Plant, Chrysanthemum, Ficus, Azalea, Aloe Vera, Philodendron.

5 – Change Heating and Air conditioning filters frequently.

6 – Stop smoking and don’t allow smoking around you or in your home/car.

7 – Stop using aerosol sprays.

8 – Air out clothing received from dry cleaners.    Air Pollution

 

When I started on my journey to beat MS in 2001, I looked at the body as a whole. We must look at what we breathe, what we eat, what we absorb, even how we think. The mind, body, spirit connection to our healing is key. Thre isn’t one specific thing that gave us MS and we must look at a culmination of different ideas and techniques for us to heal.  Air quality if one part of our health that we must understand in order to focus on lessening our toxic load in our air to help our immune system, our central nervous system, and inevitably our MS.

Decide what ways you’re going to start cleaning up your air now so you and your family can breathe easy!

If you’re looking for more holistic and natural ways to beat your MS, you’ll want to check out my book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom-Free.” It details my almost 30-year journey with MS and how I am now healthy, strong and symptom-free!

 

 

To our health!

Kellie Alderton

 

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

 

If you can’t stand the HEAT, get out of the….

HEATIf you can’t stand the HEAT – Get out of the….

Although I’d like to say for us MSers that taking care of any heat issues we have during the summer months is as easy as staying out of the kitchen, that, of course, is not the issue. Many people talk about getting out there in the sun and heat to get happily baked to a crisp during the summer months. Us MSers, however, have a totally different position on the heat! In fact, anyone with Multiple Sclerosis that hears that single word “HEAT” could become anxious due to challenges the HEAT poses to us.

Yes, preparing for the HEAT is serious business!

Truth be told, many of us begin in the winter months preparing for the summer! Yes, you read that correctly, in the dead of winter, we can start preparing for the upcoming summer. We focus on making sure the air conditioner is in tip top shape, window treatments give maximum protection from the elements, we get cooling vests, head protection, travel to cooler climates and anything else we can do to make sure we are staying cool.

How do we deal with MS during the summer months?

I was always mindful of the heat. My MS Story may not be different than yours as heat intolerance was always the one thing that seemed to get me (before I became symptom free). My head use to feel like it was baking…literally from the inside out, I would feel tingling, even some numbness. So I understand first hand why this is one topic that we need to not only prepare for, but share the info so others do not have to suffer!

Things you may experience when you are suffering from Heat Exposure:

1 – Dizziness

2 – Immediate onset of fatigue – (Almost as though somebody burst your energy bubble)

3 – Blurred Vision

4 – Shakiness or Tremors

5 – Numbness and tingling in limbs

6 – Decrease in your cognitive function (You knew you were smarter or more clear headed before you got into that sun, sauna, or hot shower, right?)

An interesting fact about the heat and our Multiple Sclerosis is that yes, it can cause us to have symptoms that either appear or start to get worse during heat exposure. It does not cause any long-term inflammation or lesions which is great news, but we still need to think about ways to stay cool and get over the immediate affects of the heat. And for most people, once they are removed from the heat their body will return to how they felt before going out in the elements.

 

Some “COOL” ways to beat the HEAT:  HEAT

1 – Air conditioning.

2 – Cooling Products – You can Google it, there are dozens to choose from. There are also things you can do – soak a sponge in water, freeze and then put in a freezer bag, this stays cool for a long time and is very inexpensive. Get a cooling towel or cooling wrist bands. Contact the MS Society they have cooling programs in place too.

3 – Get into a cool bath/shower, swimming pool, or if you’re lucky enough to be by a lake or ocean – jump on in.

4 – Misting Fans.

5 – Stay hydrated by drinking cool beverages – obviously water is the best choice. This will go to your core and immediately go to work on lowering your overall temperature.

6 – Keep covered when in the sun. By wearing a hat during the summer (before I was symptom-free) it gave me more time to be outside before the heat would affect me.

7 – Eat foods that are cool – fruits, veggies, salads. Healthy icees made from real food, not stuff packed with sugar (that can also cause fatigue).

8 – If exercising in the summer, workout later in the evening or earlier in the morning – making sure to stay hydrated.

I would like to say it’s as easy as thinking cool thoughts, but the best thing you can do to beat the heat is by staying prepared at all times and really listen to your body! HEAT

Now, I do recommend that we get outside in the sun each morning, if possible, for 10-20 minutes to get the Vitamin D benefits from the sun which is so important to safely and effectively raise or Vitamin D levels in our bodies which is necessary to stop inflammation, build our immunity, fight flare-ups and it can even keep us from having further issues with our MS.

If you’d like to learn ways to deal with your MS in more natural and holistic ways, check out my book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom-Free.” It is a roadmap to all the things I’ve done to become healthy and symptom free on my almost 30-year journey living with MS.

The good news is you can still have an enjoyable summer, even with the HEAT, if you stay prepared!

 

To Our Health!

Kellie Alderton

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, and ways to lessen toxins, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

Massage Therapy For Multiple Sclerosis

 

Massage Therapy Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis

Have you tried massage therapy for dealing with your Multiple Sclerosis?

In my book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey To Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free – I have a chapter focused on “Creating The Best Body.” In that chapter I look at many different therapies to ensure our health and healing. In my almost 30 years of living with MS, I’ve turned to chiropractic care, acupuncture, mediation and mindfulness, exercise, and one of the most enjoyable treatments I’ve used is Massage Therapy. On this journey to heal my body from the devastating affects of MS, I have sought out many alternative and holistic treatments that could repair my body on the cellular level without drugs.  Massage Therapy

The most common types of massage:

  • Swedish Massage – This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you. (I prefer Swedish massage as I find it to be the most relaxing)
  • Deep-tissue massage – This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. I always hated the deep tissue massage, I’m all about relaxation!
  • Sports Massage – This is similar to Swedish massage, but is geared toward people involved in sporting activities. This can be used to help prevent or treat injuries. Many people use it to prepare themselves for sporting events.
  • Shiatsu – This massage technique uses fingers, hands, and elbows. This type of massage is used to stimulate different acupressure points throughout the body, it also helps with the flow of energy. No oil is used so people can remain fully clothed. (loose clothing is best)
  • Reflexology –  This involves applying pressure to the hands, feet or ears to produce changes in areas that are connected to specific body parts and organs. Applying pressure to any of the reflex areas, will remove energy blockages and promote health, and healing in the related body parts and organs.
  • Myofascial Release –  This technique involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue (trigger points) in the body to eliminate pain, loosen muscles, and restore range of motion.
  • Raindrop Technique – The Raindrop is a technique developed by Gary Young, the founder of Young Living Essential Oils, which is an application of highly antimicrobial essential oils directly to the spine with effleurage (finger stroking) techniques to distribute healing energy throughout the body.

PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY

Massage Therapy has many physical benefits. It will boost your immune system, calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, slow respiration, reduce chronic pain, loosen tight muscles, stretch connective tissue, increase red blood cell count, improve muscle tone, speed-up recovery from injury, reduce tension headaches, increase tissue metabolism, decrease muscle deterioration, speed recovery from illness, increase range of motion, speed elimination of metabolic waste, increase blood and lymph circulation, stimulate release of endorphins, reduce swelling, improve posture, and improve skin tone.

MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY

Massage Therapy has many mental and emotional benefits. It will reduce stress, improve sleep quality, improve productivity, induce mental relaxation, improve concentration, reduce anxiety, enhance self-image, provide a sense of well-being and nurture emotional growth. This is something that all MS sufferers must be mindful of as our mental and emotional health goes hand in hand, many times, with our disease activity.  Massage Therapy

I absolutely love Myofascial Release in tandem with a Swedish massage. I recommend getting massage therapy at least twice a month. I noticed benefits from my massage therapy right away. It gave me a sense of calm and peace, but at the same time it’s invigorating since it helps circulation and blood flow throughout the body. Remember, on this journey with MS we must stay focused on healing, repairing, and restoring our bodies. Anything we can do that will lessen inflammation and help build our immune system will have lasting affects.

Massage Therapy gives physical, mental, and emotional benefits. As you see from the list above, you have many different massage therapy options and your massage therapist can help find the one that’s right for you and also help you deal with whatever health challenges that come up due to your MS. Check out my MS Resources page to learn more about important health related information.

I always say, our mind, body and spirits are connected and we must focus on each of those areas to take back our health. We have plenty of tools and resources to help us on our journey. Massage Therapy is one way to get you on the path to health and healing.

 

To Our health!

Kellie Alderton

#wakingupfromms

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture and MS

In my new book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free” I focus on treating the body as a whole and the mind, body, spirit connection to healing. I have a chapter dedicated to “Creating the Best Body” while living with MS. I believe acupuncture is an important part of that process.

The MS Society describes acupuncture as one form of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s based on a theory about body functioning that involves the flow of energy known as qi (“chee”) through fourteen pathways called meridians throughout the body. Acupuncture involves stimulating specific locations on the skin, usually by inserting thin, disposable metallic needles into points along the meridians in the body in order to alter the flow of energy. According to the theories of Chinese medicine, disease results from an imbalance or disruption in the flow of energy between the opposing forces of yin and yang.

I looked into acupuncture while I was receiving chiropractic care, and I learned that acupuncture can stimulate and balance the body and immune system.

Acupuncture is considered an alternative therapy for dealing with MS

AcupunctureNow, I do need to state that all of my MS doctors told me to avoid chiropractic care, acupuncture, and even supplements; they said they would stimulate my immune system. I asked the doctors – How can I ever be healthy if I’m constantly suppressing my immune system, which is the theory behind traditional MS protocols? They had no answer. If I had followed their protocols, I would still be sick, having frequent relapses.

When you look at the human body certain things make sense. Doing everything to repair the immune system is what I started to focus on. I’ve always believed that once your immune system is healthy and functioning properly, it’s healed, and I could be healed too.

According to the National MS Society, many MS sufferers use acupuncture for the relief of pain, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and bowel and bladder symptoms. It can also help regulate our immune system, provide mental clarity, stress release, and improve our overall quality of life.

Some people may notice immediate, positive results from acupuncture while others may notice symptoms or issues worsen a bit after, this means for some people that your body is going into “healing mode” and things may get a bit worse before they get better. I believe it’s important to stay consistent with all treatments and things will most likely subside. Now, I know in my own experience that the times I felt a little pain was when I was having the most health challenges.

The benefits you can receive from acupuncture are amazing, and that is the one thing I turned to in the beginning of my journey to start the process of healing.  I did acupuncture for many years to help my body get into alignment and in sync, and I use it today to keep my body that way. I believe acupuncture helps our mind, body, and spirit through each course of treatment and I believe it was a catalyst in me now living symptom free.

Acupuncture can relieve many of our MS symptoms

In studies, scalp acupuncture was used on MS patients suffering from: stabbing and burning pains, paralysis, dizziness and vertigo. The Southwest Rehabilitation Hospital and National Healthcare Center in Albuquerque, N.M.* did a study that used scalp acupuncture on 16 patients with limb pain. After only one treatment per patient, eight of the 16 patients instantly showed significant improvement (49 percent), six patients showed some improvement (38 percent), and only two patients showed no improvement (13 percent), thus yielding a total efficacy rate of 87 percent.

There are many different ways to use acupuncture to treat MS.  I’ve used acupuncture in my scalp and throughout the body. As I’ve been dealing with my MS now for almost 30 years, I have really focused on many different holistic and alternative therapies to aid in my healing. Just as one thing didn’t give us MS, there won’t be one specific thing that heals us.  My mantra – “A Healthy Immune System equals A Healthy Body.” So we need to do everything possible to help facilitate a healthy, properly functioning immune system. You can check out more information on health and healing under my MS Resources and Links.

Acupuncture

We know acupuncture is an important part of our healing and I believe it is something you should thoroughly investigate.

I would love to hear your own stories about using acupuncture.

To our health!

Kellie Alderton  

 

You can learn all about my MS story and the reason I started this blog.

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

 

 (*http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=31710)

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