Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

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Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby Schoofness » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:32 pm

Hi everyone. I was diagnosed in January of this year as having MS. I then went out of state to Seattle for a second opinion. I indeed have it. I becames pregnant in November and am due in August. I was told that MS typically goes into remission during pregnancy. I have yet to lose my symptoms and have experienced several dizzy spells, as well as blurry vision, and numbness in feet, up my legs and torso area. Is this normal?
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Re: Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby Anonymoose » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:54 pm

Hi Schoof,

Welcome to TIMS. I'm very sorry to hear about your diagnosis but congrats on the pregnancy!

It isn't unheard of to have an MS flare during pregnancy. I believe the easing of MS symptoms/remission is most strongly associated with the last trimester. I attribute this to high progesterone levels. Is this your first bout of MS symptoms? When did it start? If your flare up started during early pregnancy, your levels weren't yet high enough to protect you. (<--my theory anyway) My flares always take about 2 months to clear up so it might just take you some time to recover. Don't worry that extra damage is happening. In fact, as dumb as it sounds, try not to worry or stress at all. Stress exacerbates MS.

Also, if this is your first pregnancy, you may not know that pregnancy is really hard on your body. Some of the irritations you are experiencing may be pg rather than ms related. I had horrible sciatica during pg...and I didn't have ms at that point. The numb achey legs and feet could feel a bit like ms. How is your blood pressure? Blood pressure issues could account for the blurred vision and dizziness. Don't fall into the trap of attributing your every malady to ms (as many doctors are wont to do). Other things can still cause you problems.

Do you have a plan in place for when the baby is born? You will be at a higher risk for relapse after delivery. If you can, make plans for a LOT of help. You might not physically need it but you will need to avoid stress as much as possible.

Breathe. Relax. Wait it out. It'll be okay. :)
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Re: Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:15 pm

hi schoof, here's my 2c

you might want to consider asking the docs for a zinc test. it is a fundamental nutrient essential to hundreds of body processes..

zinc is low (eg serum values in the low teens in umol/L) in ms patients

the 'normal range' (11.5-18.5 umol/L) is way off (as in both too wide and too low - deficiency has been documented at 13.5 umol/L in research ie "A case of acquired zinc deficiency" (may 2012)

healthy controls have serum levels averaging close to 18.5 umol/L (17.5-19.5 probably is ok)

having all this specific info, it's easy to compare your own situation to a good one.

getting baseline tests is a key step. recommended daily amounts from diet, or related amounts found in prenatal supplements, are not sufficient if your serum levels do not respond.

baby needs lots of zinc! to boost nutrient-dense healthy dietary sources of zinc: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... t&dbid=115

supplementing is safe at 100mg per day of elemental zinc, as a short term measure to address deficiency.

50mg zinc daily is safe as long as there is followup bloodwork. ideally bloodwork involves both serum zinc and serum copper levels.

IMPORTANT: any longer term supplementation of zinc must incorporate copper, to match natural ratios found in foods. for 50mg elemental zinc you need 2-3mg elemental copper. some supplements come pre-blended in the appropriate copper-zinc balance.

serum ferritin is also relevant.

since zinc and iron compete with each other for absorption. you want balanced intakes of both. target serum ferritin level would be 100ug/L.

related research clipped from 2011 discussion
general-discussion-f1/topic18146.html#p178428

note that on average ALL participants in the first study below are deficient by WHO standards.

...zinc levels pregnant and non-pregnant: (on average, all participants were deficient by - healthy control zinc levels should be high teens)

Zinc concentrations in maternal blood during pregnancy and post partum, in cord blood and amniotic fluid.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3439449
"Maternal serum zinc concentration in early and term pregnancy was significantly lower than that of the non-pregnant controls (mean values +/- SEM being 9.8 +/- 0.6, 9.3 +/- 0.2, [DEFICIENT] and 11.5 +/- 0.3 mumol/l, [DEFICIENT OR BORDERLINE DEFICIENT] respectively). Maternal serum zinc concentrations reached the non-pregnant level by one week post partum."

improved zinc status 30 days post partum:

Antepartum/postpartum depressive symptoms and serum zinc and magnesium levels
http://www.if-pan.krakow.pl/pjp/pdf/2006/4_571.pdf
"...the early post-delivery period (3rd day) was characterized by a 24% lower serum zinc concentration than that found on the 30th day after childbirth.
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby Schoofness » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:06 pm

to Anonymoose. This is my fifth pregnancy. I started having symptoms - like loss of control of my bladder in August. The numbness - pins and needles feelings and total loss of my right hand - came in late November. I will plan to have a lot of help. Right now the only thing that is really impairing me is the memory issues and the blurriness. Yes I have low pressure - have had it all my life. I know when to sit down - not to stnad up too fast, etc. My head whooshes now though. It's different. Like my head is still and and then I get like a whoosh feeling go over it - like my head whips across very fast. (Hard to describe).

I was told I have 13 lesions in my brain already. Which seems like a lot. I am 38 and feel like my whole world just collapsed on me! I'm lucky I have a very strong man in my life. Our first son has a heart defect and this second pregnancy with him is going great except for this MS. I was previously married and had my other three children with my first husband. They are 16, 13, and 10. My youngest are 1 and due in August. the divorce was very stressful. Thank you for encouragement. I hate feeling like I have lost my brain - but this hopefully I can contribute a lot to the pregnancy ;-).
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Re: Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby Schoofness » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:13 pm

To Jimmylegs. I have a friend who really wants me to take Zija. I was taking it for a little while - like a week - it seemed to help a lot with my energy levels. The bad part is that I have read several warnings that it can cause miscarriages, so I immediately stopped taking it at that point.

My mother has also been diagnosed with MS - but doesn't really have any of the same symptoms I do, except for not being able to find the right words a lot of times when thinking or talking. She takes a lot of vitamins and has a list of them and all the dosages. she wants me to start taking them too.

I'm at a loss really right now as what to do. My OB said to take Vitamin D and a B supplement, along with my pre-natal vitamin.

I can't start any treatment medications until after the baby is here and I have also stopped breastfeeding.

Thank you for your suggestions.
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Re: Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:18 pm

hmm, wish i could find that one study where zinc levels were depleted in pregnancy despite low level supplementation throughout. will keep searching but in the meantime:

re congenital birth defects
Zinc and copper in pregnancy, correlations to fetal and maternal complications
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1067748

Serum zinc and serum copper concentrations during early pregnancy in 84 consecutive primigravidae were correlated to other haematological factors and were also correlated to complications of labour and/or complications affecting the infant. ...One infant showed a congenital heart defect (ventricular septum defect and preductal coarctation of aorta). Her mother showed the lowest serum zinc concentration recorded in the 13th week, but no other abnormal findings. Compared to women with abnormal labours and/or immature infants, mothers with normal deliveries and normal deliveries and normal infants showed significantly higher serum zinc values (p less than 0.001) and significantly lower serum copper concentrations (p less than 0.025) during early pregnancy. A notably high incidence of complications affecting mothers and infants has been recorded among women with low serum zinc. Similarities to effects of experimental zinc deficiency in animals are striking. If (jl: hah!) a low serum zinc reflects a state of deficiency, and this seems to be the case, zinc deficiency is probably common.

the study above has been previously posted in other TiMS conversations, here:
general-discussion-f1/topic19716.html#p190138
and here:
introductions-f20/topic20540.html#p196248
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:46 pm

hi there, i hadn't seen your post re zija when i submitted that last info

re zija, proprietary blends trouble me. it's important (essential?) to know your daily intake of nutrients. especially the ones that are out of balance in ms. you wouldn't want to take anything that could potentially exacerbate an imbalance...

symptoms are so variable from person to person.. luckily, even though low nutrient levels can manifest in a huge variety of ways, you can still nail them down with blood tests for a few key nutrients. if the docs will play ball, that is :S

i'd be interested in checking out your mum's list of supplements, do you know what source she has gotten them from?

luckily you can do all kinds of good with supplements that can help both you, and your baby. and FYI, from research i've seen to date, zinc enhances absorption of vit d3 and vit b12.

can you link me up to your prenatal supplement info? i'd be interested in checking them out.

here's a link to a discussion i had last year with a pregnant mom of four:
general-discussion-f1/topic19575.html#p189060

if you start reading it, it's a pretty quick story, 2 page mini roller coaster with a happy ending :D
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby lyndacarol » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:56 pm

Welcome to ThisIsMS, Schoofness.

We are a diverse group with many opinions on MS. My own unique hypothesis centers on excess insulin. There are many reasons to have an elevated insulin level – for one, the insulin level in a pregnant woman rises in order to put weight/fat on the fetus. Could it be that your insulin level did not return to normal after the birth of your one-year-old? Or perhaps your pancreas has gone into overproduction with this pregnancy?

I always suggest that people with MS ask their doctor to order a "fasting blood insulin test." (An optimal result will be below 3 UU/ML. My first test result was 12 UU/ML; no test since that time has been below 9.)
My hypothesis: excess insulin (hyperinsulinemia) plays a major role in MS, as developed in my initial post: http://www.thisisms.com/forum/general-discussion-f1/topic1878.html "Insulin – Could This Be the Key?"
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Re: Pregnant and newly diagnosed with MS.

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:40 pm

hi again, elaborating on the insulin aspect and tying back to the low magnesium levels seen during pregnancy (as touched on in one study cited above), here's a little more fleshing out of the scenario:

Magnesium deficiency produces insulin resistance and increased thromboxane synthesis.
http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/21 ... 1024.short
Abstract
"...angiotensin II-induced plasma aldosterone concentration increased after magnesium deficiency. Analysis showed that all subjects studied had a decrease in insulin sensitivity after magnesium deficiency (3.69 +/- 0.6 to 2.75 +/- 0.5 min-1 per microunit per milliliter x 10(-4), p < 0.03). We conclude that dietary-induced magnesium deficiency 1) increases thromboxane urinary concentration and 2) enhances angiotensin-induced aldosterone synthesis. These effects are associated with a decrease in insulin action, suggesting that magnesium deficiency may be a common factor associated with insulin resistance and vascular disease."

details on magnesium-rich foods, target serum levels, etc may be found here: regimens-f22/topic2489.html#p15460
also in response to a separate question on a different thread, i just happened to write up a blurb on magnesium this evening:
regimens-f22/topic2489-495.html#p205386

thought i'd hunt down something else on magnesium levels during pregnancy, just to be sure it's recommended

The effect of oral magnesium substitution on pregnancy-induced leg cramps.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7631676
Abstract
"OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to determine whether women with pregnancy-related leg cramps would benefit from oral magnesium supplementation.
STUDY DESIGN: Seventy-three women with pregnancy-related leg cramps were interviewed about their symptoms in a prospective, double-blind, randomized trial. Initial serum magnesium levels and diurnal magnesium excretion was determined in 50% of the patients. Oral magnesium or placebo was given for 3 weeks, after which new interviews and laboratory analyses were performed.
RESULTS: Serum magnesium levels in these patients were at or below the lower reference limit, as is also often the case in healthy pregnant patients. Oral magnesium substitution decreased leg cramp distress (p < 0.05 compared with the placebo group, p < 0.001 compared with initial complaints), but did not significantly increase serum magnesium levels, excess magnesium being excreted as measured by an increase in urinary magnesium levels (p < 0.002).
CONCLUSION: Oral magnesium supplementation seems to be a valuable therapeutic tool in the treatment of pregnancy-related leg cramps."

the takeaway points being, the mag sulfate (an inorganic form) appears to have been very poorly absorbed, leaving these mothers deficient before and after the study, what little retention there was, was sufficient to alleviate some of the distress from leg cramps.

the other end of the spectrum:
Magnesium Intoxication in a Premature Infant
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/c ... /100.short
"This report of a premature infant with hypermagnesemia indicates that magnesium sulphate therapy for pre-eclampsia may have profound effects on the fetus. In this infant the toxic effects of motor and respiratory paralysis were immediately reversed when the serum magnesium level was lowered during an exchange transfusion.
in short, there can be too much of a good thing. reversible toxicity, fortunately."

based on this toxicity scenario, i had to find out more about how this mag sulfate therapy is delivered..:

Magnesium Sulfate in Eclampsia and Pre-Eclampsia: Pharmacokinetic Principles
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/a ... awler=true
"It is usually given by either the intramuscular or intravenous routes. The intramuscular regimen is most commonly a 4g intravenous loading dose, immediately followed by 10g intramuscularly and then by 5g intramuscularly every 4 hours in alternating buttocks. The intravenous regimen is given as a 4g dose, followed by a maintenance infusion of 1 to 2 g/h by controlled infusion pump."

may i just say, wtf. this is status quo magnesium therapy for pregnant women?! educated dietary source magnesium with soluble, absorbable oral supplementation sounds a crapload safer than THAT
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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