Hi Snowfire, I'm one of the "blood-letting" people
I was pre-MS in my last pregnancy in 1999, my iron levels were pretty high, at the top of the range in my third trimester, even though i didn't take iron supplements. It was not a good pregnancy, and my baby was induced 2 weeks early, only weighing 4lb, normal length but incredibly skinny. They had no idea what went wrong, as in my first pregnancy my baby weighed 9lb. During that last pregnancy one of my legs would give way unexpectedly and i didn't feel right. I had massive hemoraging after that birth and felt really well for a long while afterwards. Lots of energy.
By 2007 my iron levels had built back up to over the normal range, and in early 2008 I got my first lesion and lost use of my right hand, and I had fatigue ++. Neuro said it was probably MS, as my sister has been diagnosed 20 yrs ago. Wait and see stuff. I was so fatigued I couldn't even work most of the time. I noticed that during menstruation the fatigue abated a lot as did the daytime sleeping. I had monthly MS!?!?
Towards Dec2009 it got a lot worse and I was fatigued and sleeping every day.
So early this year, thought i had better go back to the Doctor as i was going downhill and I had a huge blood test, and my fatigue and daytime sleeping just disappeared for 4 days. Doctors didn't believe me, so I became a blood donor. 6 months and two phlebs later the fatigue has gone. I feel light and pretty energetic, I reckon I have about 95% of my hand use back, and no more "hand goes numb in the shower" symptom.
I still need to sleep during the daytime occassionally, but it's gone from 100% in Dec 2009 down to 25% now, I'm hoping I can get that down to 0% with a few more blood donations. I am getting some bouts of nerve pain in my extremeties and lower back, but nothing I can't live with.
I hated giving up my life to the "Sleep Monster"!
I went back to the Neuro last week. He now says "You do not have MS".
PS: My sister with the MS DX, also has high iron levels over the normal range, but has no way to lower these, other than diet, because of rules restricting people with MS from donating blood (the quickest way to achieve this by far). She has cut down on meat over the last few years and is improving slowly. Her main symptom is also fatigue and daytime sleeping.
The ideas I have on why all this happened, differ a bit from the theory of iron deposition in the brain, as the effects on me from blood taking were immediate. Immediate relief from symptoms, such as seems to be happeneing in CCSVI. Iron just wouldn't diminish in the brain this quickly, so other effect must be at play.
But then I apparently don't have MS, now that my iron levels are down!
Neuro wasn't saying that in 2008.
All food for thought.