MS and Supplements

For the last few months, I’ve been extremely lucky.  My MS symptoms were minimal. There were many days where I felt completely normal. But then there was yesterday, when I had 2 seizures, fatigue, and pain… and now there’s today.

MS is kicking my ass right now.

I went to sleep at 10:30 last night, so you would think that waking up at 9:30, I’d be refreshed and ready to take on the day.  Unfortunately, there are many times where MS doesn’t give you that luxury.  I am fatigued, hardcore. I’ve only been awake an hour and I keep thinking about going back to bed. I’m aching all over (and it’s not the good ache from working out) and am doing my absolute best to maintain a positive outlook.

I’m very glad that I learned about identifying ANTs (automatic negative thoughts), because I can clearly see the irrational thinking (and feeling) caused by my physical condition. I have to remind myself of the objective truth: that I will not always feel like this, and I am not fighting a losing battle. Or, to put it in positive terms (which is very important when you’re fighting ANTs), “There will be many days when I feel better than today, and being compassionate to my body and my self when I feel bad is part of fighting well against the awfulness that is MS.”

All of that aside, one good thing has already come from all of this: gratitude for the position that I am in. I am extremely grateful to be on disability right now.  I had been feeling well for so long that I was spending upwards of 3 hours a day applying for jobs. I even had a phone interview and submitted a professional writing sample for a job just last week. Today, however, I can’t imagine being at work. Typing is strenuous. It’s like I can actually feel the individual muscles in my hands as they move. Thinking is slow. I very much feel like I am stuck in the mud. Doing laundry and washing dishes feels impossible, but I’m going to try to do it anyway because I’m stubborn like that.

Would supplements help?

I honestly wonder if supplements would actually help on days when I feel like this, or if MS just steamrollers over everything.

Over the last several days, I have been checking out Examine.com and reading up on supplements. They have over 17,000 studies on supplements that they’ve collated and organized so that you can see what science says each supplement does well and what detriments they cause.

I’ve determined that the following supplements are ideal for folks who have MS: Vitamin D, L-CarnitineFish Oil, Creatine, Magnesium, Curcumin w/ Black Pepper, Kava, and Rhodiola Rosea.

These supplements have been found to have the following relevant effects:

Vitamin D: reduction of risk of falls, of risk of MS in folks who aren’t already affected by it, of MS symptoms (when taken in higher concentrations), and improvement in muscular and neural functionality in the elderly and ill.

L-Carnitine: reduction of fatigue, muscle soreness, perceived exertion, inflammation, and symptoms of MS, and improvement in cognition and attention.

Fish Oil: reduction of inflammation, depression, muscle soreness, anxiety, and cognitive decline, and improvement in memory, subjective well-being, processing accuracy, reaction time, and cerebral blood flow

Creatine: reduction of depression and improvement in strength (power output), subjective well-being, fatigue resistance, cognition (for vegetarians),  alertness, and blood flow.

Magnesium: reduction of migraines and depression, and improvement in sleep quality, muscle oxygenation, and aerobic exercise.

Curcumin w/ Black Pepper: reduction of inflammation, pain, fatigue, and cognitive decline, and improvement in blood flow, intestinal motility, and vascular function.

Kava: reduction of anxiety, depression, and stress, and improvement in subjective well-being, cognition, and sleep quality.

Rhodiola Rosea: reduction of fatigue, depression, stress, perceived exertion, and muscle damage, and improvement in subjective well-being. cognition, and processing accuracy.

I would also list Vitamin B-12 here, but they don’t have a page for it on Examine.com and I am too tired/lazy to read a bunch of scientific studies on it.

Check out info on Vitamin B-12 here.

Great, so where do I get these supplements?

You can purchase any or all of these supplements on Amazon.com.

Vitamin D
L-Carnitine
Fish Oil
Creatine
Magnesium
Curcumin w/ Black Pepper
Kava
Rhodiola Rosea
Vitamin B-12 Liquid

If you’re only going to get a couple,  L-Carnitine & Vitamin D are the only ones with scientific studies that specifically say that they reduce MS symptoms. I can tell you from personal experience that Fish Oil makes a big difference too. I personally like Coromega for its bioavailability and good taste.

5-hour Energy to the rescue!

Okay, it’s taken me 3 hours to write this blog entry. That’s how slow I am today… so I’m going to take 8,333% of my daily recommended dose of B-12 by way of 5-hour Energy and get to doing my chores now. I hope you all are having a good day.

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