Monday, April 7, 2008

Pathways of Immunity—T1 and T2

In talking to your doctor or during the course of your research, you might have encountered the terms "T1" and "T2" in relation to MS. T cells are lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell made in your thymus gland that is very important to optimal functioning of your immune system. Simply put, T1 cells are pro-inflammatory and T2 are anti-inflammatory. MS is basically a T1 pro-inflammatory condition, as are all autoimmune diseases. Interestingly enough, aging and hormone deficiency also cause us to travel down this T1 path. Studies have shown that replacing deficient hormones can shift you back to T2 dominance and increase anti-inflammatory activity. Testosterone is key in causing this shift, but other important hormones involved are progesterone, estrogen, and Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone, not a vitamin). <>

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Connection Between Multiple Sclerosis and the Endocrine System

We have only to apply common sense to see the connection between hormone levels and MS. There's an obvious relationship between age, hormones, and the progression of MS <>:

•    MS is approximately four times more prevalent in women than in men. Ovaries shut down at menopause and testicles don't, so women lose much more of their hormone levels (and much earlier) than men do.
•    The mean age of onset of MS is 32. Hormone production in the ovaries drops significantly in the mid-30s, closely mimicking the typical time MS starts.
•    The increased levels of sex hormones produced during pregnancy are associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of MS, while symptoms often worsen postpartum, when there's a significant drop in hormone levels.
•    The first clinical symptoms of MS develop after puberty, when hormone issues begin.
•    The disease moves to the "secondary progressive" phase, characterized by chronic, progressively worsening symptoms, in the same general time frame as hormone levels decline. Of MS cases, 50% become progressive within 10 to 15 years, and an additional 40% do within 25 years of onset. MS generally progresses faster in those who experience their first symptoms after age 40. 
•    The symptoms of MS are also well-known symptoms of hormone deficiency. Look at the list and then at the inhabitants of your local retirement home: numbness and tingling; chronic fatigue; bladder and bowel problems; balance problems and decreased coordination; vision abnormalities; cognitive impairment; sleep problems; gastrointestinal reflux; emotional problems; mood swings; depression; sexual dysfunction; muscle stiffness and cramping; and neuralgia. Do you see the similarities? Neither of us has any hormones left.

All this, albeit anecdotal, evidence shows a clear connection between hormones and MS. Fortunately we do not have to go on supposition and detective work alone. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of well-documented studies that support this hypothesis. "The MS Solution" by Kathryn R. Simpson, M.S., looks at these studies and the role that individual hormones play in neurological health.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis and the Hormone Connection

MS research has been focusing on ways to stop and treat the symptoms of damage done by inflammation. But what's been overlooked is that all of our "sex hormones"-- in other words, those that are made in ovaries in women and testicles in men -- as well as hormones made in other glands like the thyroid and adrenals, do a remarkable job of reducing inflammation, along with the demyelination and excess immune activity that inflammation causes.

It's important to say that I do not believe that MS is caused solely by deficient hormones. If this were the case, all women would have MS after menopause. There are clearly many factors involved. Genetics and the environment both play a role. Environmental factors include the chemicals, bacteria, and viruses you're exposed to; the food you eat; the substances you use; exercise, sleep, and stress; and every other aspect of your daily life. All these factors affect your hormone levels and can also permanently compromise your endocrine glands. At the present time, we have only one way to ensure optimal health for the remainder of our lives: Evaluate your endocrine function and replace any hormones that are low or out of balance. <>

The recently released book,
The MS Solution <>, details the science and medical therapies behind this approach.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a confusing disease. It's thought that our variable and distressing symptoms are caused by the loss of myelin, the fatty substance that coats our nerves. This process occurs in the central nervous system and prevents our nerves from conducting impulses as they should. Pockets of scar tissue, which are called plaques or lesions, form in these areas of nerve damage in the brain and spinal cord, thus the name multiple sclerosis or "many scars."

After this, everything gets murky. To begin with, a lot of other conditions can cause these plaques. And the confusion surrounding MS continues, as there's no unanimous agreement as to what causes it. Many speculate that the loss of nerve myelination, called
demyelination, is caused by an autoimmune process in which the body's immune system "attacks" its own healthy tissue by mistake while trying to get rid of some foreign object such as a bacteria or virus. This theory has spurred drug companies to develop the current class of "immune modulating" drugs to treat MS. These medications (
Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif) resemble the natural substance called interferon that your immune system produces in response to disease. It's not completely clear how these medications work, but it's known that they affect the immune system to help fight viral infections and prevent inflammation. (

It may well be that there is some autoimmune element in MS, but because there's no known way to cure an autoimmune disease, let's look at the process that we know causes the demyelination that wreaks so much havoc on our bodies-inflammation. Everyone seems to agree on one thing: MS is widely acknowledged to be an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. When I set out to solve the riddle of my MS, my thinking was that if this inflammatory process could be resolved, then the demyelination would also be resolved and my symptoms would go with it.

Inflammation's involvement in demyelination has been studied extensively and understood well for many years. But for some peculiar reason, this concept has not been followed to its logical conclusion-which is finding out what basic biological events cause inflammation and resolving them. (

Extensive research has shown that loss of key hormones starts the inflammatory cascade of events that can end in neurodegenerative disease. We need to consider that if loss of hormones causes the problem, then maybe replacing these natural substances to treat our symptoms makes a lot of sense. When our levels of estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, thyroid, cortisol, and growth hormone are robust, we have little inflammatory activity in our bodies-no obvious signs such as aches, pains, swollen joints, or allergies. And, not surprisingly, when we add them back, the aches and pains and other symptoms of inflammation disappear.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis are Reversible

Multiple sclerosis has always been a frightening disease with virtually no treatment to resolve symptoms or stop the progression of disability…until now.

The MS Solution is a medical detective story that follows author Kathryn R. Simpson's path from a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and increasing disability, to the complete reversal of all her symptoms. Through extensive research and testing she determined her debilitating symptoms-chronic fatigue, mental confusion, numbness in face and hands, balance issues, vision problems and chronic pain-were caused by the loss of key hormones. She was able to eliminate all of her MS symptoms by replacing these deficient hormones, and she has now been symptom free for four years.

Did you know that these common symptoms of MS are also well known signs of deficient hormones (including thyroid, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone)?

Numbness & Tingling Chronic Fatigue
Balance & Coordination Issues Chronic Pain
Muscle Stiffness & Cramping Vision Problems
Emotional Instability Insomnia
Mood Swings Depression

Ms. Simpson has as a Masters of Science degree and over twenty years experience as an executive in the biotech industry. Her years of endocrine research allowed her to crack the mystery of multiple sclerosis and make the connections that aren't yet being made by the medical community between MS and hormones. The incredible success that Kathryn personally experienced with this therapy as well as the dramatic turnaround of many other patients with MS, and other diseases such as Lupus and fibromyalgia, at the hormone center she founded and in collaboration with doctors specializing in this field, convinced her to write
The MS Solution and dedicate herself to educating others about the effect that deficient hormones can have on the body.