I had my initial attack about 8 years before I had my second attack and was diagnosed with MS in 1999. My problems were undiagnosed at the time of my initial attack. My symptoms at the time of my first attack included numbness in my arm that went down my arm from my shoulder to my thumb and forefinger. These problems stuck around for about a month. After that, and for the next 8 years, I was fine and completely symptom free. I also made no changes to my diet or supplement regimen.
However, had I been diagnosed with a CIS MS attack, I feel that I could have prolonged the time to my second attack via my current dietary changes and supplement regimen. For example, I used to eat garlic nearly every day now I rarely touch the stuff. Garlic is known to increase the activity of cytotoxic t-lymphocytes. I also used to consume quite a bit of margarine and other foods with partially hydrogenated oils. I now avoid these all together. Trans fats are known to be proinflammatory. For supplements I now take about 5 grams of omega-3 fish oil per day. I also drink 3-5 cups of strongly brewed green tea every day. In addition, I take vitamin D3, natural vitamin E, vitamin C, r-lipoic acid, turmeric, cod liver oil, and ground flax seed.
I know that I can't go back in time to test my hypothesis, but I try to make the necessary changes that I feel will be effective for me, i.e., nearly all of the above changes had their beginnings with thorough searches of the published literature on PubMed
. While I'm not entirely symptom free, e.g., I have neuropathic pain in my foot nearly every day and my balance isn't that great, I feel that my supplement regimen has been a contributing factor in slowing my progression. Now if I could only sleep and exercise more regularly.
Anyways, I should probably mention that I've been on Avonex for about the last 7 years. This has not been easy especially since I struggled with pretty bad side effects for about the first 1.5 years. Even so, I'm still positive about my choice to go on Avonex vs. the other ABC's which were available at the time knowing that I took the time to make an educated choice. Still, avoiding Avonex all together and having success with supplements and dietary changes would have been preferable. As someone newly diagnosed with MS, you may want to read George Jelinek's book Taking control of multiple sclerosis : natural and medical therapies to prevent its progression