MS: Why more women than men?

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MS: Why more women than men?

Postby vesta » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:59 am

Female MS
While working on the second chapter of my personal history, I've come to realize I need to change my theory relating to the incidence of MS among females which is at least twice that of males. On the site A to Z of MS it is noted that before puberty and after menopause, the male/female ratio of incidence in MS is one to one. That is to say there is no difference. Also, pregnant women, especially the last 3 months of pregnancy, are less likely to have MS problems.
How does this fit my own experience?
Though the only evident symptom of MS was great fatigue at the time, a French neurologist 30 years later stated that the disease began for me when I was 18. This implies that childhood stress in some way "deformed" my vascular system. (Remember, Dr. Zamboni and colleagues observed that MS patients had abnormalities in the veins in the back and neck.) Food intolerances, especially to wheat, could account for some of the stress. (There are 3 reasons for wheat intolerance; celiac disease, wheat allergies, or gluten insensitivity.) However, this is not specific to girls. Rather, from puberty age 12 I experienced terrible, monthly menstrual cramps. This alone could explain the higher incidence of female MS since the cramps occur monthly and seize up the entire body, including neck, back, and shoulders.

Between age 18 and the breakdown at age 32 all my major health problems were gynecological in origin. They caused stress, their treatment led to toxicity. The drugs "poisoned" my intestines, by age 32 I had the most rotten flatulence imaginable. From age 18 frequent bladder infections required antibiotic treatment. The female anatomy favors cystitus subsequent to intercourse, many women are subject to this problem. So right off we have trauma in the pelvic region as well as stress through toxicity. From age 18 I took birth control pills which in general sickened me. One brand caused nausea and weight gain. Another seemed to increase my blood pressure and one evening I thought my head would explode. I vowed that if I survived the night I would never take another birth control pill. And I didn't.
I developed endometriosis, a gynecological condition leading to intense pain and cramping. I was given DES stilboestrol, an endocrine disrupter, known to lead to breast cancer and liver failure. Then I was given Danazol, a modified testosterone, which can lead to ovarian cancer and liver problems.
When I detoxified and changed my diet at age 35, not only did the MS disappear, but the endometriosis disappeared as well. (So did the foul intestinal flatulence.) My gynecologist didn't want to believe this was possible. He is wrong. The origin of endometriosis is unknown (ditto MS), but think of the body absorbing foods (wheat) or medications (antibiotics) which it finds toxic. It fights to evict the poison but can't. It fights its own tissue where the toxins are imbedded, leading to all kinds of bizarre manifestations. (I won't describe the endometriosis, it's too disagreeable.)
So if more women than men develop MS it could well be because they have gynecological issues which both stress and poison the body.

An epidemiological questionnaire should ask 1) if the woman experienced menstrual cramps, starting when and with what severity 2) cystitus following intrcourse, treatment and frequency 3) birth control pills 4) endometriosis 5) any other gynecological disorder requiring hormone modifying treatment. Gynecologists could expand on this.

So I think I need to back-track on the personality factor in female MS and simply consider the gynecological problems which cause stress and require treatment leading to toxicity.

UPDATE: I mention birth control pills as leading eventually to toxicity. They may be less toxic now than when I took them. But while taking them now MS symptoms may actually DECREASE. Why? Because they stop monthly menstrual cramps. And it is the cramping itself which I believe causes the blood reflux and the relapses.
For more info: MS Cure Enigmas.net
Last edited by vesta on Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:47 pm

i think it's because women lose more nutrients to menstruation and childbearing. menstrual symptoms are indicators of magnesium depletion, for one thing. i was visiting a friend yesterday and she was commenting that when she has a stressful month she has way worse pms. i said, of course you do, the stress drains your magnesium, and you end up crabby and crampy as a result. oh! she said. i should have a 'natural calm' then! (yep, she has the right stuff in the house, was my roomie for a year, and should really know better ;) )
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby cheerleader » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:35 pm

Jimmy's got a great point with magnesium depletion. Hormones are also being studied. Another factor that may play into this is chronic venous disease (CVD). Here are some parallels.

The vast majority of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) sufferers are women (by approximately 10 to 1). Vein problems also tend to appear at an earlier age in women than in men. [Boccalon].

http://www.predex.net/chronic.php

What's equally interesting about this theory, is that chronic venous disease appears to affect those who live further from the equator, in western societies (like MS)
The prevalence and incidence of CVD vary among different populations. Varicose veins is predominantly a condition encountered in Western societies, and its incidence increases with age (Evans et al. 1994). Venous disorders of the lower extremity are rare in African or Australian aboriginal populations, where their incidence range from 0 to 5% (Stanhope 1975; Richardson & Dixon 1977). The results of several clinical and questionnaire studies suggest that varicosities are less common in non-Caucasian and underdeveloped countries than in Caucasian westernized societies, where the prevalence of lower-limb venous disease is high, as shown in Table 1 (Callam 1994). According to a recent article reviewing all papers on the epidemiological prevalence (1966-1999) of venous disease, increase with age is linear, suggesting a constant incidence and a cumulative prevalence (Adhikari et al. 2000).

http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn9514267230/ ... 34853.html

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dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:50 pm

agreed. and re the venous angle, i think this is where zinc comes in. lower average serum zinc in women compared to men to start with. zinc is depleted through use of oral contraceptives. major zinc losses from childbearing. iron loss from menstruation, and the body needs iron to retain zinc and vice versa, in spite of the fact that they compete with each other. poor zinc status to start with is exacerbated by poor dietary customs, eg cultural consumption of gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc. the loss of zinc results in poorer b12 and d3 status, some nasty feedback loops in play. i'll be back to link up the past posts re venous insufficiency and zinc status.
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby cheerleader » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:00 pm

Vesta--your connection with female hormones certainly makes sense in how chronic venous disease might be a factor in MS--the venous endothelium (lining of blood vessels) is affected by hormones.
Hormones are a factor, as well, causing weakness of the vein wall and valves. Hormonal changes occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Taking estrogen or progesterone supplement or birth control pills can cause women to develop vein disease.

Pregnancy not only boasts increased hormone levels, but there is also an increase in blood volume which can enlarge the veins. The enlarged uterus also puts pressure on the veins, therefore, the veins engorge with blood and dilate. This will weaken the vein and damage the vein valves.

Advancing age is also noted to be a factor in vein disease. Indeed, vein problems correlate significantly with increased age, with a significant number of people having vein disease by the time they are sixty years old.

http://www.vascularhealthctr.com/Vein%20Problems.htm
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:07 pm

2009 post, pulling various posts linking zinc status and vascular health / venous insufficiency into one place:

chronic-cerebrospinal-venous-insufficiency-ccsvi-f40/topic6488-660.html#p56463
(links to four relevant studies on zinc and membrane/vascular health, also references a fifth study which connects venous ulcer/pressure sores, ms, and zinc status - that fifth one is particular to women with ms)
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:09 pm

on zinc, magnesium, and hormones... starting with growth hormones:
Role of insulin-like growth factor-1 and growth hormone in growth inhibition induced by magnesium and zinc deficiencies
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/di ... aid=871212
Nutritional deficiencies of magnesium or zinc lead to a progressive and often marked growth retardation. We have evaluated the effect of Mg and Zn deficiency on growth, serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (s-IGF-1), growth hormone (s-GH) and insulin (s-insulin) in young rats. In 3-week-old rats maintained on Mg-deficient fodder for 12 d the weight gain was reduced by about 34%, compared with pair-fed controls. This was accompanied by a 44% reduction in s-IGF-1, while s-insulin showed no decrease. After 3 weeks on Mg-deficient fodder, growth had ceased while serum Mg (s-Mg) and s-IGF-1 were reduced by 76 and 60% respectively. Following repletion with Mg, s-Mg was completely normalized in 1 week, and s-IGF-1 reached control level after 2 weeks. Growth rate increased, but the rats had failed to catch up fully in weight after 3.5 weeks. Absolute and relative pair-feeding were compared during a Mg repletion experiment. Absolute pair-fed animals were given the same absolute amount of fodder as the Mg-deficient rats had consumed the day before. Relative pair-fed animals were given the same amount of fodder, on a body-weight basis, consumed in the Mg-deficient group the day before. In a repletion experiment the two methods did not differ significantly from each other with respect to body-weight, muscle weight, tibia length and s-IGF-1, although there was a tendency towards higher levels in the relative pair-fed group. The peak in s-GH after growth hormone-releasing factor 40 (GRF 40) was 336 (se 63) μg/l in 5-week-old rats that had been Mg depleted for 14 d, whereas age-matched control animals showed a peak of 363 (se 54) μg/l (not significant).

In 3-week-old rats maintained on Zn-deficient fodder for 14 d weight gain was reduced by 83% compared with pair-fed controls. Serum Zn (s-Zn) and s-IGF-1 were reduced by 80 and 69% respectively, while s-insulin was reduced by 66%. The Zn-deficient animals showed a more pronounced growth inhibition than that seen during Mg deficiency and after 17 d on Zn-deficient fodder s-IGF-1 was reduced by 83%. Following repletion with Zn, s-Zn was normalized and s-IGF-1 had increased by 194% (P <0.05) after 3 d. s-IGF-1, however, was not normalized until after 2.5 weeks of repletion. Growth rate increased but the catch-up in weight was not complete during 6 weeks. The maximum increase in s-GH after GRF 40 was 774 (se 61) μg/l in control animals ν. 657 (se 90) μg/l in 6-week-old rats that had been Zn-depleted for 12 d (not significant). In conclusion, both Mg and Zn deficiency lead to growth inhibition that is accompanied by reduced circulating s-IGF-1, but unchanged s-GH response. Zn deficiency, but not Mg deficiency, caused a reduction in s-insulin. The reduction in s-IGF-1 could not be attributed to reduced energy intake, but seems to be a specific effect of nutritional deficiency of Mg or Zn. It is suggested that the growth retardation seen during these deficiency states may be mediated through reduced s-IGF-1 production.
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:11 pm

Taking estrogen or progesterone supplement or birth control pills can cause women to develop vein disease.


that would be, at very least in part, from the zinc depletion they cause, from the research i've seen.
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:14 pm

zinc supplements increase sex hormones, even in the chronically ill...

Impact of oral zinc therapy on the level of sex hormones in male patients on hemodialysis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20446777
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Sexual dysfunction in chronic renal failure patients undergoing hemodialysis is common. It is demonstrated that the zinc level is significantly lower in the hemodialysis patients.
OBJECTIVE: In this clinical trial, we investigate the effect of zinc supplement therapy on the serum levels of sexual hormones in hemodialysis male patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We carried out a clinical trial study including 100 of our male patients with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis. Testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, and zinc plasma level were measured in all of the patients. The patients received zinc supplement (zinc sulfate, 250 mg/day) for 6 weeks, and sex hormones and zinc plasma level were checked again.
RESULTS: Serum level of FSH and prolactin did not have any significant changes before and after intervention, but serum level of testosterone, LH, and zinc increased significantly.
DISCUSSION: These results suggest that although zinc administration did not have a definite effect on hemodialysis patients with sexual dysfunction, it can cause increase in the serum level of sex hormones which may improve the sexual function of the patients in some aspects.
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:16 pm

zinc, thymic hormones, and the immune system...

Zinc deficiency, depressed thymic hormones, and T lymphocyte dysfunction in patients with hypogammaglobulinemiahttp://www.science ... 2981902270
Zinc deficient humans and animals have depressed thymic mass and increased susceptibility to infection. In the present studies, we investigated the relationship between cellular immunity, thymic hormones, and serum zinc levels in 19 patients with common varied immunodeficiency. Five (26%) had serum zinc levels 2 SD below normal and 11 (58%) had abnormally low lymphocyte proliferation to at least one mitogen. A significant statistical correlation between zinc levels and lymphocyte proliferation to phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin A was identified. Forty-two percent had abnormally low levels of facteur thymique serique and 74% had low levels of thymopoietin, although no statistical relationship between the levels of these hormones, zinc levels, or lymphocyte proliferation could be identified. Three patients with the most profound zinc deficiency had substantial increases in thymic hormones after zinc repletion, and two had complete resolution of intractable diarrhea. A therapeutic potential of zinc for certain patients with hypogammaglobulinemia is suggested.
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby orion98665 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:16 pm

jimmylegs wrote:
Taking estrogen or progesterone supplement or birth control pills can cause women to develop vein disease.


that would be, at very least in part, from the zinc depletion they cause, from the research i've seen.


Jimmy, wife has been on birth control pills for 22 years. Her zinc has never been checked.
Yet there is some research on the benefits of b/c

Estrogen May Affect MS Risk

In the study, which appears in the Archives of Neurology, researchers looked at whether use of birth control pills or pregnancy in the last three years was associated with the risk of MS in a group of more than 106 women in Great Britain who were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis from 1993 to 2000.

Researchers compared the women with MS to more than 1,000 similar women without MS and found the risk of multiple sclerosis was 40% lower among women taking birth control pills compared with nonusers.

The study also showed that the risk of MS was slightly lower during pregnancy but nearly three times higher in the six months following pregnancy.

Researchers say the results suggest that high levels of estrogen -- such as during birth-control use and during pregnancy -- may delay or prevent multiple sclerosis.

The findings are also in line with previous studies in animals that have shown birth control pills, which contain estrogen, delayed the start of and eased the symptoms of MS.


http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/ ... er-ms-risk
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:37 pm

a ha! this will be interesting to unravel. re your wife, i'd be very interested to see results of a zinc test. or both copper and zinc. if it ever makes it onto your lady's agenda of course! :)

i found one study where zinc was not affected, but copper was elevated. the impact on the copper zinc ratio is similar, whether you up the copper or reduce the zinc. a good copper zinc balance is critical to optimal health.

here's something interesting

Oral contraceptives and reproductive factors in multiple sclerosis incidence
http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/art ... 10-7824(93)90088-O/abstract
Data from the Oxford. FPA prospective study show that oral contraceptive use and pregnancy have no discernible effect on the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Women of parity 0–2 developed MS twice as often as women of parity 3 or more but the difference did not reach statistical significance. Smoking may be a risk factor for developing MS. A nested case-control analysis did not identify any associations between MS onset and preceding illnesses.

i love that, 'twice as often', but it's not statistically significant. i need to see the math! that point on smoking is interesting, that definitely should show an effect on zinc status. wish i could get full text so i could see what parity 0-2 was.. :S
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:46 pm

2003 paper: new assessment using old data

Suggested lower cutoffs of serum zinc concentrations for assessing zinc status: reanalysis of the second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data (1976–1980)http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/4/756.full
For the second phase of analysis, all other relevant variables derived from the survey were reviewed to identify factors known or suspected to affect serum zinc concentration, independent of the zinc status of the subjects (ie, present or recent pregnancy or lactation; use of oral contraceptives, steroids, or other hormones; low serum albumin concentration; elevated or low white blood cell counts; diabetes; diarrhea; anemia; and cigarette smoking)... characteristics found to be associated with serum zinc concentration ... were as follows: low serum albumin (< 3.5 g/dL); high white blood cell count (> 11.5 × 109/L); current pregnancy or lactation (females aged 14–42 y only); current use of oral contraceptives (females aged ≥ 13 y)...

interesting graph showing moms using up zinc while they build their babies:

Figure 5 Median serum zinc concentration by month of pregnancy...
http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/4/756/F5.expansion.html
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby orion98665 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:31 pm

jimmylegs wrote:a ha! this will be interesting to unravel. re your wife, i'd be very interested to see results of a zinc test. or both copper and zinc. if it ever makes it onto your lady's agenda of course! :)



"Will do Jimmy!" This thread will be continued. Just a couple of questions.

1) If b/c increases risk of venous disease, could this be one reason why the ratio of ms in women to
men be so much higher like 3:1..?

2) If b/c regulates estrogen levels, can b/c help reduce relapse rate..?

3) Would quieting b/c possibly increase risk of a relapse...?

Bob
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Re: MS: Why more women than men?

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:42 pm

i have to get a closer look at the study you posted, re reduced risk of ms when using oral contraceptives.

to answer your questions,
1) yes i think that could be part of it, and i have strong suspicions re the b/c-zinc depletion-venous illness pathway.
2) i have to look at this more closely, because i know uric acid is low in relapse and higher in remission, and that uric acid is positively correlated with zinc status. i also know that nutrition controls hormone levels so i'd have to do a fair whack more reading to really answer. i suspect if this is true that b/c is at best a crutch for a system that is operating suboptimally due to nutrient depletion.
3) i think that's impossible for me to say, mostly because i don't actually buy the idea that birth control reduces risk yet. if i find it's true, i'd lay bets i'd find some non-pharma nutritional explanation that would make it completely safe to quit birth control as long as you had the right balance in your system.

now. assuming i as an ms patient have some species of venous disease, it can't be attributed to b/c because i haven't been near a birth control pill in twenty years. i am however, on the record as having had a definite zinc deficiency, now corrected. whew! :)
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