Emotional Trauma and Multiple Sclerosis - Are They Linked to MS?

Central Nervous System

Stress and emotional trauma

I have always found that stress and trauma to major contributors in the cause of MS.  Case histories have shown that stress can come in many forms such as: 

• Breakdown of a relationship
• living in a stressful environment with a  partner or relative,
• worry and internalised stress
• divorce
• berevement
• moving house
• changing jobs or even redundancy  
• any kind of financial crisis

This is a research study that was conducted and published in 1996

These situations  are all factors that can depress the immune system.  When undergoing periods of stress people with MS seem to cope quite well on the surface, in fact they seem to be the ones that cope better than anyone else , and even takes on everyone else's stress. However, it is when you internalise stress and keep it to yourself (dealing with it in your own way) that could  'tip the balance'. 

Stress is one of the major factors that may preceed the first symptoms of MS.  It can be  2/3 years after the problem that you start experiencing intermittent and blurred or double vision or other symptoms, in my case it was tingling and numbness to the tips of my fingers.

But it is not this alone that causes MS symptoms, other things also come into play. A poor diet, yo-yo dieting or just not eating can depress the immune system even further.

When all of this stress was going on  you may have had a time when your diet was not good – for example;

• not eating because you were stressed or upset,
• dieting and losing a lot of weight too quickly,
• leaving home and having a change of diet
• changing jobs,
• going to university. 

All of these can make us turn to 'comfort eating' and  eating more  processed foods  and therefore upsetting our digestive balance,

Physical trauma

I have always put and emotional stress and physical trauma at the top of the list in the Aetiology of MS. Nutritional deficiencies and gut dysbiosis coming second.

When people first come to the Cornell Centre for an assessment  one of the questions that is asked is if they have ever experienced any accidents, injuries or falls.  At the centre we treat symptoms that have developed as a result of road accidents, surgery ,dental treastment, skiing, horse riding accidents  and contact sport injuries (rugby) These symptoms are usually located in the neck region.

If there is an absence of fracture or  obvious damage, many accident victims are sent home without treatment.  There is evidence, however, that whip lash and similar injuries  can disturb the nerves and blood vessels that supply the thyroid, causing symptoms of a sluggish thyroid.

“According to medical research, head and neck injuries have long been considered a cause of Multiple Sclerosis,” said Dr. Erin Elster, from Colorado.

Upper neck injuries frequently occur during auto or sports accidents causing whiplash or concussion. Injuries also can occur during minor accidents, especially sporting incidents and minor falls. “We need to correct the misconception that neck injuries can only occur in major accidents and traumas,” Elster noted.

Viral infections

There is also another consideration that has to be taken into account,   A medical history of repeated sore throats or a viral attack such as Glandular Fever can prevent the body from breaking down EFA's and depress the immune system.

Mercury toxicity

Have you ever had amalgam dental fillings?  In my case, whilst I was recovering from a broken romance, internalising my stress, not eating (and when I did eat all I wanted was lots of cornflakes, sugar and milk), I had a lot of dental work done because I was going to work abroad and wanted to make sure that my teeth would not give me any problems. 

Little did I realise that this toxic substance may well have been 'the straw that broke the  camels back'.  Because my immune system was as this stage at an all time low, the mercury may have been too much for my already 'overloaded' liver to cope with.  If all of these factors appear together and the body is not absorbing sufficient nutrients then the immune system has a problem recovering and the liver  gets overloaded.

MS remissions - or complete detoxification?

When the liver gets overloaded with toxins and does not have sufficient nutritional backup then it 'offloads' dangerous toxins on to  the rest  of the  body.  (see diagram - pink)

Antioxidants and other nutrients are very important at this time because the body is under stress ('oxidative stress') and starts showing intermittent signs that can cause disruptions in the the nervous system, endocrine system (thyroid and adrenals), cardiovascular system and we begin to experience unexplained , undiagnosed symptoms such as: fatigue,tingling and numbness, blurred and double vision, bladder frequency and urgency.

These symptoms can appear for two years and we eventually take ourselves off to the doctor..  They may be the first symptoms  of a system 'that has malfuntioned' and  may be  confused as MS symptoms.

But if at the time the body is under 'oxidative stress' and the system receives enough antioxidants damage can be minimized and symptoms may be reversed.(see diagram - pink)

If the liver is able to detoxify (because it has been given the correct nutrients) and the body is able to eliminate toxins via the bowel and bladder (see diagram - green) then there may be periods of remission in the early stagesof MS may be due to the liver able to detoxify - the elimination of toxins via the bowel and bladder (relapsing remitting stage of MS?) - see diagram (green)

If the liver has all of the correct vitamins, minerals, enzymes to detoxify, then harmfull toxins are detoxified, stress is taken off the body and our health returns to normal - this is what should happen:

  • does no longer have enough nutrients to detoxify completelyperiods of remission are fewer and symptoms then become more debilitating (progressive MS?) due to the body not being able to detoxify completely.
     
  • quicker than the body can supply we  may then find that our health (or MS symptoms) get worse very quickly because if the liver does not have the essential supply of the correct nutrients it can not detoxify adequately giving unexplained symptoms of MS??

Could it be that an attack of MS is due to the liver not being able to completely detoxify?

Or as what happens in many cases, including myself, In my own case, after being diagnosed I improved my diet, changed my lifestyle and slowed down the progression of MS.  But in order to halt the progression of MS totally you may have to replace the missing nutrients and keep them 'topped up' more than most have to. 

But as the stores of essential nutrients are used up then the liver is under stress.  At this stage (oxidative stress - see diagram - pink) the liver dumps toxins on to other parts of the body to share the load.

All of these can stop the digestive system producing enzymes and stomach acid that break down the food in the diet. Unbroken down foods are then allowed to go through the ‘Leaky Gut’ wall.  The blood brain barrier is breached and the immune system, trying to protect the body from undetected toxins (poisons), then starts attacking itself (thinking it is an invader).

This is then known as an auto-immune system disorder (M.S.)

• The myelin sheath is attacked, destroying patchy areas and leading to scar tissue forming which in turn blocks or slows down nerve signals.  The liver is under stress putting further stress on the immune system which in turn puts stress on the whole endocrine system giving symptoms of : slow thyroid, low adrenal function,  low pancreatic function (blood sugar A diet too high in starch (bread, pasta, biscuits etc)leading to gut dysbiosis
• Stress, worry,  or internalised emotional trauma
• Physical traumas,
• Toxic inorganic metals such as Mercury, 
• Viral or bacterial problems (yeast, candida, glandular fever etc.,)
• Susie Cornell was the first person to recognise that Leaky Gut and MS were linked

All of the above are interlinked.

Essential nutrients may not be getting through to where they are needed due to poor diet, lack of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid), and digestive enzymes.

Stress and trauma can cause the digestive system to decrease the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes.

Stomach acid protects and acts as a barrier stopping bacteria and candida migrating into the small intestine.  If there is low HCL,  Bacteria migrates into the small intestine  causing B12 deficiency ,(as B12 is absorbed in the illieum part of the small intestine).

Unbroken down food particles can then cause leaky gut, allowing large protein molecules to leak through the  gut wall and get into the blood stream (crossing the blood brain barrier) where this then sets off an 'auto-immune response'.

The most important and essential nutrients are now not being absorbed, the liver gets overburdened and essential anti-oxidant nutrients are used up.  Without these , many  body systems can not work properly.    

Stress trauma and the link with MS

THE FOLLOWING STUDY WAS PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE.  DECEMBER 1996 BY SUSIE CORNELL 

STUDY RESULTS                               STUDY  GROUP          CONTROL GROUP

• PHYSICAL TRAUMAS                            70%                                 30%
• EMOTIONAL TRAUMAS                         75%                                25%
• INADEQUATE DIET                                60%                               40%
• THROAT INFECTIONS                           75%                                25%
• VIRAL INFECTIONS                               70%                                30%

The study group consisted of 40 people with multiple sclerosis and 40 people without. Five areas were looked at using questionnaires and interviews.

How stress can cause MS symptoms

When we are under stress we usually find that we do not chew feed, we eat to quickly or just do not eat at all - in my case I ate all the wrong 'comfort' foods, mainly milky drinks and lots of sugary foods, together with long periods of not eating. This can cause interstinal malabsorbtion and gut dysbiosis.

A diet too high in starch, bread, biscuits, sugar can lead to an imbalance in the gut. Stress and trauma , not chewing food thoroughly, eating too quickly and eating whilst stressed can cause the digestive system to decrease the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes.

When we do not produce enough of these important digestive markers then essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids, can not be absorbed and in particular protein is not broken down. 

To break down protein we need the correct balance of stomach acid.  This protects and acts as a barrier  stopping bacteria and candida migrating into the small intestine.  Low stomach acid can also cause malabsorption of vitamin B12 (as B12 is absorbed in the illieum part of the small intestine). B12 is essential for the health of the myelin sheath.

If protein is unbroken down then this can cause large unbroken down protein molecules to leak through the gut wall and to cross the blood brain barrier and enter the bloodstream which then sets off an 'auto-immune response' via 'The Leaky Gut'.

The most important and essential nutrients are now not being absorbed, the liver gets overburdened and essential anti-oxidant nutrients are used up. Without these, many body systems can not work properly. 
  
Research has found that stress, trauma, inadequate diet - All of these or a combination of these have been known to preceed the first symptoms of MS.

IN MS WE MAY BE RECYCLING ALL OUR TOXIC WASTE...... via the leaky gut (or malabsorption) allowing toxic particles to pass through the gut wall. The blood brain barrier is breached and the immune system, trying to protect the body from undetected toxins (poisons), then starts attacking itself (thinking it is an invader). This is then known as an auto-immune system disorder (MS).

The myelin sheath is attacked, destroying patchy areas and leading to scar tissue forming which in turn blocks or slows down nerve signals.

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