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.

 

 

Why you should start Dry Body Brushing now!

dry brushing

Dry Body Brushing has many health benefits.

While living with Multiple Sclerosis, it’s important to have a daily focus on lessening inflammation in our bodies. I highly recommend becoming your best health advocate and learn everything possible about your MS. Understand the need to thoroughly investigate many different avenues for your own healing. In my own journey of living with MS I’ve found many different alternative and holistic therapies that aided in my health and healing. My mantra is: “A Healthy Immune System equals A Healthy Body” and dry brushing is a way to help your immune system.

Dry Brushing is AMAZING! I started dry brushing a few years ago while investigating ways to lessen inflammation in my body. It is one of the things I thoroughly enjoy doing, it’s simple and easy to do and you will notice results right away. The big joke in our family is that I say once we’re done dry brushing all of the cells in our body are singing! Ha! Ha! I know that’s a little corny, but it’s true! You will feel invigorated and definitely energized. It’s a great way to start the day.

Dry Brushing Benefits:

  • Stimulates lymphatic system
  • Eliminates toxins and bacteria
  • Exfoliates skin
  • Unclogs pores
  • Relieves Stress
  • Increases circulation
  • Younger looking skin
  • Improves digestion and kidney function
  • Reduces cellulite
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Invigorates and energizes
  • Strengthens Immune System

Choosing a Brush:

I am tall so I prefer to use a long handle brush so I can easily reach my back. You may prefer the smaller, hand-held brushes, for some it’s easier to control.  It’s best to use a brush with bristles made of natural materials that should be stiff but pliable.

How to Dry Brush:

  • I recommend dry brushing daily, in the morning, since this will definitely energize you! (Jump in the tub or shower – to keep the sloughed off skin cells contained). I also noticed, even more, benefit doing it before my workout.
  • Never shower before dry brushing, make sure your skin is completely dry.
  • Always begin with upward movements towards the heart which is best for your lymphatic system and for circulation. Begin brushing at the soles of the feet, next to the ankles, calves, legs, stomach, arms, (be careful around breast tissue) continue up to the neck and then focus on the back. Always avoid the face and any areas that may be sensitive or have skin irritations.
  • Work in small, gentle, circular motions (always going up towards the heart) – brush firmly, but don’t scrape or scrub your skin.
  • Follow it up with a shower and you can even use a natural moisturizing oil or coconut oil (avoid baby oil).

I hope you can add Dry Brushing to your healthy lifestyle. You can also learn more tips and techniques about how I beat MS and now live symptom free in my new book – “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free.” I hope it can be a stepping stone of new ideas for you on your own MS journey.

 

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.

 

Extreme Temperatures and M.S.

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

It’s very interesting and ironic. As I sit here today finishing this article, I started to feel my fingertips and nose getting colder! So I walked to my closet and put on my husbands big Flannel hoping that would help. Well, no luck, turns out the heat is out!!! Waiting right now on the repairman and thinking how funny life can be as it looks like I’ll be taking my own advice today for staying warm!

Can any extreme temperatures cause an MS flare-up? I’m not sure where you’re located, but we’re now in full winter mode in Chicago. That means hat, gloves, scarves, ear muffs, snow pants, boots, you know, anything to beat the extreme cold. “BRRRR” seems to be my go-to word for the past few months and 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?

Some people do 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 if 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 an impact on us.

Things you may experience due to the Cold:      

  • Fatigue
  • Spasms
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Numbness and tingling

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 to help you on your journey! Enjoy!

 

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.

 

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