I am a 45 year old male who was diagnosed with RRMS in June of 2006 after being in the hospital in December of 2005 with what appeared to be kidney failure at first. My first symptoms appeared in the late 1990s. I saw a GP about one of them and instead of being taken seriously, I was put on a anti-depressant placebo. I chose not to go back and continued to deal with the issue on my own. I gave up cigarettes in September of 2004 and found afterwards that the muscle tone in my legs was very defined. Having no knowledge, I did not recognize this as MS staring me in the face. 2006 for me was a whirlwind of doctor visits between a urologist, neurologist and nephrologist. The neurologist put me on Copaxone in August of 2006. I suffered my first relapse (pain in my legs) in December of 2007 and my second in December of 2008 (MS fatigue). Due to an undocumented side effect of Copaxone I took myself off of it in February of 2009. That side effect was short term memory loss. Sometimes after having a conversation with my wife she would make a reference to it but it was as though it never happened. This could happen even the day after it occurred. Generally after some prodding with parts of the conversation, I was able to hazily recall that it had occurred. I have an excellent memory. My neurologist, when I mentioned this to her, quipped it isn't a known side effect and that it could be the MS instead. Thing is, after stopping the Copaxone, this has never happened again. I will not go so far as to say what I experienced is a definite side effect but I do believe there is a strong correlation. At this point, I started researching alternative methods of handling my MS. I started using an Omega 3/6/9 combo supplement and having recently started using a Curcumin (active biological agent in the Indian spice Tumeric) supplement as well. I have not had a relapse since starting this route and the severity of both the leg pain and MS fatigue have greatly lessened. Other symptoms have not worsened nor improved. The only daily pharmaceutical I use is 20 mg worth of Baclofen for spasticity.
I have researched my particular symptoms and the condition in general as well as how the approach I am using may be affecting my MS and I am of the opinion that inflammation is key. Both the Omega 3/6/9 & Curcumin have strong anti-inflammatory properties. It should be noted that the Interferon Beta type pharmaceuticals (Avonex et al) are believed to work by their anti-inflammatory properties. Nicotine also has anti-inflammatory properties and is probably why the over defined muscle tone in my legs didn't appear until after giving it up. I'm not advocating smoking, of course.
I am not against the pharmaceutical route. It has it's uses but I am very circumspect of the willingness of doctors to prescribe all sorts of things. Since I was diagnosed, doctors have prescribed me Lexapro (anti-depressant), Neurotin (anti-epiletic and based on user and a family members' experience, a nasty cocktail) and high blood pressure medicine (don't remember what, the script was pitched into the doctor's trash on the way out of the office) to name a few. Nothing other than what I can determine will directly relieve a symptom has ever been filled.
This is my story and I'm sticking to it.
I hope everyone is doing as well as you can today.