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I hope this URL works outside the UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16086004
Essentially the research shows a genetic link in D deficiency.

Just about every ancestor of mine that I can think of was a moderate eater and an active outdoors sort (farmers, sailors, worked in the tropics, sporty, ...) so that perhaps explains why I'm the only one, far and wide, amongst my relatives where MS seems to have appeared. I'll put that down to my working in IT and heeding the misguided skin cancer warnings from authorities.

But another issue comes to mind, I thought that D uptake tended to be less efficient in older people. At my first exacerbation my blood D was down at ~18nmol/L, after half a year on about 8k IU/day it was over 200nmol/L which sounds like quite efficient uptake (where I'd expected age and the duff D gene to compromise absorbtion).

The research findings also begs the question as to why the genetic link hasn't proven stronger through other research and common sense observation (family curses etc).

I'm keen on the idea that we had latent MS before the first exacerbation triggered. Some sort of lurking condition which would have had ups and downs. We'd have probably been unaware of it in any conscious way, but perhaps it had a subliminal influence too. If the sub-threshold progress of MS did effect us, and this was genetically influenced, then families might have developed traditions/habits which helped minimise the emergence and influence of the condition. Just a whacky hypothesis to explore, and I'll leave it a decade or two for the lab folks to catch up! [My hunch is that as our CNS was put under pre-MS stress, we might experience the effect through mild forms of cog-fog, lack of oomph, limb coordination clumsiness, etc. Although mostly a subconscious force, all the same, there could be significant consequences sometimes, enough to push us into compensating behavior].

In everything, I lean towards the phenotype as our determining force, of which environmental factors are so often the big variable. To my mind the gene bandwagon is more in the pharma and surgery camp - mechanical, deterministic, insensitive, impersonal and so often disenfranchising. My passion, in many spheres, is the latent power of the individual, the hope and promise possible when we try to tune into and even control our own destiny. The possibility of radical change and improvement through the help and encouragement of others. Besides our genes can be seen as the hardwired keys on a piano, how our lives play out depends upon which keys get pressed.

To that end, it sounds as if this adds weight to the argument for any of us who are parents should be encouraged to get the children out of doors and add D to their diet.
I personally am going to have all 3 of my boys D levels monitored and teach them the importance. I feel I was predisposed from the beginning to MS & now they are too. I always felt there is a genetic link & it is sounding more evident that Vit D is a part of it. My grandmother had MS diagnosis in '77 passed in '85 with complete atrophy of the legs, my mother has it, my sis have spells that would not surprise me to be MS related, I also have 2 cousins diagnosed & now me. Try to convince me that MS isn't heredity and I have my family tree to prove otherwise.

Wow Ren, that does sound like a family curse. But now that we know a lot about the processes involved and how to handle them, things have never been better for us to contain this shared devil forever. Is it fair to say that with sun (D), exercise, a veg patch, and an optimistic outlook, etc., your clan future will be transformed. New traditions (preventive measures), laid down in stone.

We don't hear much about pending MS, those that have MS stalking them but haven't been caught yet. For those of us who have MS, things are in some ways simple. We have all the tools and techniques at our disposal with which to battle our condition, and we have the clear motivation (initial horror on) and immediate needs. But for those that have pending MS, they are probably oblivious of it. And even those in families where others around can give warnings, it must be hard to comprehend and accept that preventive measures are so important.

I do wonder how much unnecessary suffering and inconvenience could be avoided if we could pick up on pending MS symptoms (though without just manufacturing hypochondria of course).
Mess Positive wrote: In everything, I lean towards the phenotype as our determining force, of which environmental factors are so often the big variable

It is reassuring that at least there are a lot of people who would agree with you here. People like Prof Jelinek, T. Colin Campbell, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn... and all the people on here and elsewhere who decide to take control of their diseases, not let their diseases take over.

But what does it take, I wonder, to be the type of person who decides, in the first place, to prevent disease, not just take control once the disease has presented itself? Who looks at their children suffering from sinus infections, constipation, food allergies, lack of oomph, attention problems, eczema, etc. and says "This could lead to something bigger" or "This can't just be bad genes" or "This isn't right."? Not many. Each issue is treated individually with its own medication or remedy. And adults do the same for themselves - accepting a list of ailments as the norm.

I wish I could say I'd taken control of my overall health before I had to take control of MS but in that regard I was just like most people I know. I hope I can foster healthy habits in my own child (3 days to go) that he or she will want to embrace for life.
Dx June 2009
OMS December 2010
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