If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.


Postby WOWISACOOLWORD » Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:12 am

Hi I'm Jake and this is my first day here.
Anyone follow the Swank Diet? I have lived on meat for protein all my life for weightlifting & wrestling. I'm not sure I could follow it.
Any opinions are welcome.
PS Here in my intro if you wish to read it:

Hello my name is Jake. I am in my 30s and I have MS. I am taking rebif.
I was diagnosed two weeks before my wedding. I told my wife to leave me but she wouldn't so we were married and I am so happy with my life with her. We have a 7 month old son Steven Andrew who gives me strength and love.
I was in sales all my life but I went back to school to be a middle school teacher because I wanted something more honorable. I have been a teacher for about 4 years now and I love it. The kids give me energy and drive as I work to make a difference in their lives and shape them as human beings.
I am in the closet with this disease. No one I work with knows or suspects it at all. I am a very athletic guy so they would be shocked. I just needed time for people not to know. I needed to be treated fairly and not have assumptions made about me. This year, I was nominated for two teaching awards and I won one of them (Teacher of the Year). I also got my tenure.
I exercise, lift weights, swim, and go mountain biking with my buddies. My friends keep me strong and active. I was an athlete all my life and my body remains strong and well defined. I know I am fortunate.
My fears are that I will become weak and not able to work or provide for my new family. I fear that when I tell my work about my illness that my students will fear that they will "catch" MS from me. I fear the people I work for will think of me differently than they did because of the MS. I fear that I will not be able to be the active father I always dreamed I'd be to my son.
I sometimes feel very isolated and alone. I get a bit down in the summer months because I am away from my students. So I continue to train with my friends. We have lifted together since high school.
I wish for a cure but there seems to be a lot of money in treatment not a cure so I am not very positive about that.
Well, that is me. I thank you for reading this. I am a very open guy so no question or comment can really offend me.


Postby Melody » Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:53 am

Jake go down to the section that says diet on the forums page. There is quite a few different approaches there. I had hubby tested for all allergies and intolerances as well as gluten then we took it from there. The swank likely helps those that are intolerant to the foods he has eliminated but would not benefit someone who isn't the same. Hubby is intolerant to corn(all foods in the corn family) all foods in the Soya family, all foods in the squash family,all foods in the treenut family, all foods in the pea family(legumes) but not beans(odd to say the least)all foods in the ground nut family and as you will see Swank allows most of those. So hubby would be shit out of luck on that diet. We go low saturated fats.no processed foods(well as best as we can) no aspartame, no caffeine, low carbonation but he draws the line when it comes to dropping beer :lol: Fresh ground flax seed at 3 TBS per day as well as 2 TBS of turmeric(anti inflammatory) loads of fresh veggies, cold water fish(high omega 3) seafood all types pretty much, Chicken breast (no lunch meats)lots of distilled water(bought a distiller $300.00 Sears) Also big into probiotics as well as so much more. We are so lucky as we have the internet at out finger tips so the info is there you just need to sort through it. Also he takes vitamins nothing high dose other than 2000 D3 as he was prescribed that. He is on copaxone as well as lipitor 40mg dose. 80mg is to high for our liking due to liver problems associated with it. We chose copaxone as it was synthetic and the interferon's scared us(tad chicken we are). One of our fears. We all have fears by the way and as long as you face them head on you will do well. We have pretty much put together a plan that we can live with that does not affect our lives over much. Hubby is doing very well right now and other than the optic neuritis all his other symptoms are gone right now. The optic neuritis (right eye)happened while he was grappling in 1998 at which time he over heated. It remained with him all this time but just the last week he has noticed he can make out figures on TV something he could not do. His spell last summer(Aug 17 2004) where he went numb down the left side as well as burning pain from his back through to his chest stayed until about 1 month ago and we are pretty sure it had something to do with the turmeric and or ground flax as he had just started on Copaxone on July 4 2005. He was put on lipitor Aug 18 2004. He was diagnosed finally in Jan 2005. Also keep a journal or you will never remember all these damn dates. It comes in handy as I just flip through it. We work as a team and we have no plans of going down with this disease. This site is great just try to read past the desperation as a clear head is what is needed here. You don't want to inflict more harm than good by jumping on just any regime. Choose your battles wisely as this will likely be a lengthy process but the rewards for patience will be less stress. Get lots of rest and don't sweat the small stuff. Hubby is a roofing contactor by the way and prior to this was a Martial Arts instructor. He is still putting in his full 100% we just use time management so he has time for a nap. Hubby is 41 years old RRMS. All just an opinion by the way you do what is right for you. We do have a few people in our support group on REBIF doing very well. It was our second choice if copaxone didn't workout. :lol: :lol:

Forgot: No smoking it is a toxin :wink:
Last edited by Melody on Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mrhodes40 » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:13 am

Hello Wow is a cool word! Welcome
I have had MS for about 20 years daignosed since '93. Last year I started to use a cane outside of the house. I could still jog over a mile at 6 years after diagnosis. I use copaxone since it came out and soon am going to use antibiotics. I was not impressed with the Swank approach, and agree with Melody about allergies. Swank talks about his numbers in a way that overstates the value of the approach in my mind. He actually has data on only a small amount of people, and a number were lost to follow up. This skews results and makes the whole thing suspect from a scientific angle.

I do not doubt that some people do better on it, but as Melody stated, it may be just those for whom the specific sensitivities were targeted.

You are sitting well healthwise! The cures will come from other companies that do not have a piece of the pie already, Many smallish companies are creating new approaches even now, and a large grant was juts given for promise 2010. So, be heartened up. You'll make it
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Postby bluejay » Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:36 pm

Hi, Jake, and welcome from another newbie! This looks to be a really good board.

You'll find a variety of strong opinions on diet and MS, and since not much is really proven to be of benefit in that area, it all comes down to doing some research yourself and making an educated guess. Swank, Best Bet Diet, food allergies, etc...it's possible to make a good case for them or to debunk them. What's important is to do whatever makes you feel better and seems to slow the disease down for you, even if it's only placebo effect. Providing, of course, that you don't opt for anything that's proven to be harmful.

That's my take on it, anyway.

The Swank diet is really pretty much in line with mainstream dietary guidelines, and not difficult to follow. Meat is permitted--just not red meat during the first year. So your protein sources wouldn't be too restricted. The biggest thing is reducing saturated fat intake (some sources say to go even lower than Swank's 10%), and that's not at all out of line with USDA recommendations. Swank permits a higher level of "good" fats than I'm comfortable with on the basis of my research, so I stick to the lower end of his spectrum. He also doesn't distinguish between monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, but that info came along after he wrote his book. (I don't do Swank myself; I prefer George Jelinek, M.D.'s program myself, but it's close to Swank.)

We PWMS are our own guinea pigs, even when it comes to the standard meds. Nothing to do but try what seems promising, and stick with what works (or at least doesn't cause unacceptable side effects). In general, I like being on the cutting edge of things...but not this time. I wish there was a really good, thoroughly proven treatment out there; and a cure would be really nice!

If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. ~William Blake
It starts with doors...I'd watch out for doors if I were you. ~Neil Gaiman
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