What I love about Vicky’s story is that she has found a way to treat her MS that works well for her and her body. There is definitely not a one size fits all approach to treating MS. The physical way that our bodies function is so different. What works well for some may not necessarily be the right thing for others. This is why we all need to be listening to what our bodies are telling us and responding accordingly with the right behaviours.
I always tell the people I work with that they need to tailor make the MS diet according to what works for them. Often this is a process of trial and error but eventually you start to see a wonderful recovery regimen beginning to form. The hard work and effort is totally worth it when your body starts responding in positive ways and you know that the healing process is underway!
I hope you enjoy my interview with Vicky.
Tell us a little about yourself, your family and where you live.
I live on the South coast of England in the UK. I moved here to study at University when I was 22. My mum died of pneumonia (because of ms) at the age of 58. I was bought up in a very smoky environment and I started drinking and smoking from an early age. Where I live is beautiful and we’re a very active family. Today I’m a proud homemaker, but once upon a time I was very career driven.
When were you diagnosed with MS and what were your first symptoms?
If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have abused my body so much when I was younger. I worked a lot, slept little and ate and drank terribly. I was diagnosed in 2005, the same year my mum died and in fact the whole year was full of stress – redundancy, buying property abroad, a mountain marathon, a new job, and my body couldn’t take it anymore. I was initially dealing with balance issues and a few weeks later I was paralysed down the left side of my body and in a wheelchair for a couple of weeks.
Over the years my symptoms included, severe fatigue; brain fog; a tingling arm; short and long term memory loss; lack of patience; waxy ears; brittle nails; body odour; lumpy breasts; mood swings; heavy and painful periods and my planning and organisation skills were very slow and laboured. I did have mobility, but I couldn’t walk very far. I was offered drugs immediately, but I turned them down and began researching my options. I found Ashton Embryos Best Bet Diet which I lived by until April this year when I started a programme called ‘Live Disease Free (LDF)’. I now follow a Nutritional Ketogenic Diet, which involves a strict eating plan of low carbs and high protein & high good fats and herbal therapies to kill infection and disease in the gut and body and rebalance the gut microbiome. There’s so much evidence emerging that the gut and the brain are linked.
Have you seen much progression in the time you’ve had MS?
Before the ‘Live Disease Free’ (LDF) programme I was struggling cognitively and suffered from fatigue. My life was built around rest and sleep to have enough energy for living. The disease was also having a negative impact on my family and keeping up physically and mentally with my 5 year old just wasn’t happening and it scared me. I desperately needed to do something about it. The LDF has been amazing and turned my life around. My symptoms are pretty much gone and I’m able to keep up with my son and do his homework wth him. I’m also a much nicer person to be around.
What have you done to keep yourself well with your MS?
I follow a holistic lifestyle. There are 8 areas of health I live by and these fundamental principles are what I’ve worked with since 2005. I’m always making improvements as I learn more and listen to my body. At the moment I’m into pranayama (breathing) and cold showers first thing in the morning. The 8 areas are:
1. Complimentary/Alternative/Holistic Therapies
2. Diet and lifestyle
3. Internal and external toxins
5. Family and personal health history
7. Rest, relaxation & sleep
I’ve learned what I put into my body has a major impact on my health. The Best Bet Diet encouraged me to go gluten, dairy and legume free. (Ashton explains why this is important, but it’s about molecular mimicry). He also lists several supplements to take and I still take vitamin d3 (in the winter), a vitamin b complex, omega 3&6 and cod liver oil (these have to be plant based as supplements are traditionally filled with fillers and not very nice things. Along side that I take lots of natural (and less expensive) foods such as raw garlic, apple cider vinegar, spirulina, chlorella, aloe vera, flaxseed, chia seeds, nuts and seeds, homemade bone broth and sauerkraut which I also make at home. This is the most amazing probiotic, better than any expensive tablet in my opinion. Until recently I was still drinking alcohol and caffeine, but over the years I have stripped out processed food and refined sugars, but now I don’t drink alcohol, caffeine or eat any sugar or high carb foods, such as grains and potatoes.
Recently I had my amalgam fillings removed and I followed it up with a heavy metal detox. I’ve killed the infections in my body using herbal therapies and binding agents to remove the toxins. I do a weekly coffee enema, I skin brush, take regular saunas and magnesium baths and use magnesium oil, I do yoga everyday (as I write this I’m on a weekend yoga retreat), I don’t use nasty products in my house or on my body, I reduce my exposure to Electro Magnetic Fields (no microwave and little time on iPhone/iPad), I’ve checked for mould in my environment, I go to bed early and get 7-8 hours sleep, I have positive people around me, I get as much sunshine as I can, I do reiki on myself, crystal therapy, meditation and I have a regular massage.
Have you ever taken medication?
Only steroids when I was paralysed, since then nothing. I’ve used natural herbal therapies whilst following the LDF programme.
How important is staying active to managing MS?
It’s extremely important, but nearly impossible with ms! I suffered badly with fatigue and any exercise, however light, would wipe me out for a few days or a few hours. The only thing I could do was yoga. I used to do therapeutic and restorative yoga, such as Hatha and Yin most of the time with the occasional stronger Yang or Vinyasa class. I had a dog for several years so I used to walk him for 20 mins every day. He was really good for me as it made me get out and about. Whilst I was still working ms and exercise were so hard to juggle as my energy had to be carefully managed. I had to prioritise everything.
“If you don’t use it you loose it” is a popular mantra of mine. Today my days are very different and I do cardio exercise 3 times a week – swimming, circuits and running (I followed the couch to 5k for 4 months). I still do yoga everyday and the type of yoga varies depending on my mood and energy. I’m taking more Ashtanga classes right now.
What advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with MS?
Listen to your body and your gut instinct. With food, how do you feel after you have a coffee or a takeaway? Or even cauliflower or grains? And if your body hurts anywhere, it is telling you it’s not happy. Are there some minor ailments you have, such as bad breathe, smelly feet, regular colds, dry skin, lumpy breasts, cold sores, ulcers, brittle nails, gas, yeast infections, bloating, memory loss, constipation, brain fog…the list goes on. These are not normal, even if you are getting older or your mum had it! Try and work out the cause of your discomfort and it may be as simple as taking out a food group for a while or for ever! You may need help to find that cause with a practitioner or even a simple blood test with your doctor. (You doctor can test for Vitamin D or magnesium levels for example.)
Most doctors and neurologists do not believe that MS or any autoimmune disease can be controlled or cured by getting your microbiome back in balance. Do you have a leaky gut or Lyme disease or yeast infections or poisons leaching from heavy metals from your amalgam fillings? The medical world rarely link these things to MS. There is so much evidence being shared that the gut and the brain are linked. Do your research, I’m always reading and learning more.
The built up infection has taken decades to grow into what I have today. I’m 8 months into the LDF programme having killed the infections, Lyme disease, removed toxins from my body, cleaned up my environment, reduced my EMF exposure, drawn out the deep infection and I can now live a normal life. I have to be careful and strict and the slightest deviation from my diet brings back old symptoms. I believe my improvements would have taken much longer had I not been gluten, dairy and legume free from the beginning, however, it’s never too late. And finally the power of positive thinking is amazing, never underestimate it.
Stay strong and keep positive people and influences around you. Check out my FB page ‘controlms naturally’ for tips and real life scenarios. Namaste 🙏🏼