Hormonal help for men with MS

Multiple sclerosis is misery on a grand scale, affecting everything from how you walk and move to how you think. But there's one weapon men can use to fight back -- a substance so natural, it's already in your body right now.

It's your hormones.

Specifically, the testosterone levels in men-- and new research on 100 men with this disease confirms that higher levels of "manly" hormones can lower your risk of some of the disease's worst symptoms.

The most important one is disability. If you're fighting MS yourself, you probably know all too well how the disease can not only keep you from work, it can also keep you from doing all the things you love.

But as the new study shows, higher testosterone levels in men could  mean a lower risk of overall disability.

So far so good, and the benefits aren't just physical. They're also mental, high testosterone levels in men mean a lower risk of declines in cognitive function over two years.

It's not just testosterone, and it's not just men. It's not even limited to MS -- because hormones often play a key role in all the major autoimmune diseases.

But let's stick to MS today. Along with testosterone, the disease can be triggered or worsened by low levels of thyroid, IGF-1, estrogen, and the stress hormones cortisol and DHEA.

In some cases, supplements can increase your levels of these hormones, but don't take this on as a "do-it-yourself" project. You need to work with a holistic doctor who can test your hormone levels and determine which ones you may need and the best ways to increase those levels.

Also, while hormones are often a piece of the MS puzzle, they're often just that: a piece. In some cases, they play a major role. In others, they can play little to no role at all.

Other suspects in MS include exposure to metals, other toxins as well as chronic infection, stress, and vitamin D deficiency. But I've found that some of the biggest triggers of autoimmune diseases in general and MS in particular are on your plate and in your lunchbox.

They're food allergies, especially sensitivities to the chemicals and preservatives used in processed foods. Eliminate them and stick to a diet of natural whole foods, and your symptoms will likely ease.

The same holistic doctor who can work with you on those hormone tests I mentioned earlier can also test you for food sensitivities and help develop a diet that will put your disease into remission and keep it there.

I'm proud to say I've helped plenty of MS patients here in my clinic. If you're in Southern California, I can help you, too. Contact my office for an appointment.