There has been disagreement concerning the association between stressful life events and an increased risk for MS exacerbations because of the lack of agreement about what stress really is.

It is well known that when the human body is under stress, an excess amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, is released into the blood stream. When this occurs over the short term and under the correct conditions, it is a good thing. But, if the release of cortisol occurs too often for too long, it is a bad thing; and exacerbations in MS may follow.

As it turns out, your hair keeps a 1-month record of the amount of cortisol released. Now, when you get your hair analyzed for cortisol, your hair will tell you if you’ve been under stress. This will help you figure out what caused the stress and, then, you can do something about it to reduce your chances of having an exacerbation. See references below.

1. Int J Neurosci. 2009;119(3):315-35.
The effects of stressful life events on the course of multiple sclerosis: a review.
Mitsonis CI, et al
2. J Neurol Sci. 2010 Jan 15;288(1-2):42-4.
The effect of war stress on multiple sclerosis exacerbations and radiological disease activity.
Yamout B, et al
3. Ann Neurol. 2008 Aug;64(2):143-8.
Impact of exposure to war stress on exacerbations of multiple sclerosis.
Golan D,et al
4. Mult Scler. 2005 Aug;11(4):477-84.
A review of stress-relapse interactions in multiple sclerosis: important features and stress-mediating and -moderating variables.
Brown RF, et al
5. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Apr 17
High Long-Term Cortisol Levels, Measured in Scalp Hair, Are Associated With a History of Cardiovascular Disease
L. Manenschijn, et al

Dr. Rudy Cartwright
MS Health Coach
PS: Let me hear from you. Get your hair analyzed.


  1. I was diagnosed with ms the year following, first the death of my father in January, then the death of my mother in March, and then the death of my partner in the August. I broke down and took just about the next year to level off when ms came and got me. I have always said those 8 months were the cause of my ms. Perhaps i was right afterall.

    • could not agree more based on my own experience and those of many people I have met who have also been diagnosed MS.( right now I am just looking something up on the web and don’t have time to elaborate…I will do so as soon as I can) I will get back to you.

  2. I downloaded at talk between you and Sue Ann Dickenson and Only received Sue Anns’ portion.
    Can you help me retrieve you talking with SueAnn so I do not need to spend more money and will benefit from the work you do! Thank you so very much! Teresa Fridley MS for 33 yrs. I eat 15 gms of fat or less per day per Dr. Roy L Swank OHSU has done 50 yrs of research on MS. I know I have MS and must keep stress at minimum. Life is stress Good stress and bad stress. Thank you for checking on my down load with you and Sue Ann. Teresa Fridley RN MS for 33 yrs!

  3. I have low blood pressure and I was advised by a hospital nurse to increase my water and salt intake. No way am I going to change my Himalayan rock salt for ordinary table salt from the supermarket. The taste is off. I am dairy and gluten free (mainly) and avoid cabbage, brussels sprouts potatoes and cauliflower. Avocados with a little chilli and lime juice make a great guacamole with goat cheese and rice crackers. A raw fruit smoothie with sunflower seeds, linseed, almonds and pepitas ground up together makes a great breakfast. Dinner consists usually of a stew of a meat (goat, beef, lamb or chicken with? vegies which could be any of turnips, swedes, onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini, green or red capsicum, pineapple, saffron or whatever else captures my eye when I am buying the makings. Even with this diet which is varied with grilled fish and salad from time to time, it seems I am still getting fatigued easily, have mobility issues, heat sensitive and have issues with urgency and frequency of the bladder. I take The Essentials and have been a follower of the information purveyed by Dr Cartwright. I have had a very trying year so far with a bladder infection, chest infection and a whack on the back of the head from a fall. None of this has been very helpful with MS symptoms. I reckon I had a really stressful time for about two months during November and December last year, trying to work and seeing the unethical business practices of my brother’s partners. I am out of that since the end of January yet the symptoms have not really improved. There are time when it seems that my mobility is returning but they are short-lived I can celebrate them for a short time only. I reckon my diet is the main reason I am not a lot worse. I was diagnosed in 1989, with secondary progressive in 2004 and I can still walk a bit and drive. I ride and electric scooter to get around when I would otherwise walk. I still manage to be a frequent part of the worship team in church and sing with a choir. I am learning more and more about me and what it is to be a human being. My life is beautiful. I love it, even though I live on my own.

    • Hey Vernon,
      I’m going to make this short. I am a Nurse and I have RMMSSSSS. (smile)
      #1 Rt Leg went numb when I was 6 years old. (strange feeling)
      #2 We lived At Camp Lejeune , NC -drank contaminated water .
      #3 Had strep throat a lot.
      #4 When I turned 27 both legs felt “cold” difficult to walk. Went to Dr, “Nothing was wrong with me”. .So he said.
      #5 Jan 25th 1997 woke up walking crazy (3 months pregnant) toilet felt ice cold. I looked up at the ceiling and said “God please don’t let this be MS.
      #6 After that incident I told my OBGYN and she said that was nothing.
      #7 Following weekend legs felt cold and my feet were burning.
      #8 after my Baby was born MRI should plaque on brain and spinal cord. I also had a Lumbar puncture performed by a nut. He had no idea what he was doing. I was screaming and praying. This fool was not my primary Dr.
      #9 Went blind for about 1 minute. (that was scary).
      #10 Incontinent of bowel and bladder-Ditropan for this.
      #11 Spasms in my throat and legs -Baclofen and Valium.
      #12 Depression of course because you can’t do the things you are use to doing.
      #13 I was accused of being drunk at a night club and was carried out like a wild animal. I had neck surgery in Oct 2009 and this happened in 2010. (Security Guard lost his license) . I went to the board in Raleigh NC for this.
      #14 I still have problems with my neck , Dr is afraid that I my be paralyzed.
      #15 Both of my parents passed away but prior to my dad’s passing one of my sisters was Power of Attorney for my Dad’s business only.
      #16 Come to find out my sister stole 280k . She got the information from my mom’s purse.
      #17 My so called husband has been having an affair for 23 yrs. I found a letter on the floor. I had asked “God” to revel to me what was he doing. I got my answer.
      #18 Going to loose my house because he hasn’t help me pay any bills for 8 YRS .
      #!9 I use my walker in the house and long trips outside.
      I’m glad you are going to church. See if your area has a local MS Society support group for men.
      I’m sorry you live alone,well that can be good. I have a 15 yr old stays in room and a man that is gone for 19 hrs a day.
      Whatever you do DO NOT INCREASE YOUR SALT INTAKE. Go online and look up salt intake with people with MS.
      I started an MS support group about 3 yrs ago. Take care I wish you the best.

  4. My first flare up happened about a month before I got married.

    My latest and longest lasting one is happening during my divorce. It all started when I started being suscipsous that my wife was having an affair.

    So I beleive that your on to something with the stress idea.

    I can see times in my life that stress was there.
    Causing my MS to be worse.

    Chris Disher

  5. I have been diagnosed with MS since July of 1994. I was a deputy Sheriff, but, had to take a disability retirement in 2003. In my particular case, the stress from being a Law Enforcement officer on the street handling “hot” calls never stressed me out. Even working as a Narcotic Detective serving high risk search warrants didn’t stress me out.

    The stress that got to me then and now is inter familial stress. It seems like have extended periods of that type of stress will inevitably cause an exacerbation for me. My life has changed very much for the better, I have little to no stress at home and have not had an exacerbation in about 2 years.
    Paul Troche

  6. I was diagnosed with MS in 2007 at the age of 58. My work was always stressful but as my father began to suffer from dementia, I assumed the responsibility of handling dads care and financial affairs. As I spoke to dads financial consultant/CPA, I began to feel numbness on the side of my face and neck. By noon the next day I was numb from head to foot. After CAT Scans, MRI’s, X-Rays and finally a Spinal Tap…I was diagnosed with MS.

    Whenever I’m stressed or angry I now feel numbness in my legs and/or neck. Stress is definitely a contributing factor…if not the actual causative factor of MS.

  7. I don’t find this strange at all. I have noticed that when I am dealing with stressful situations I will experience pain throughout my body. This is the same pain that I experienced with my very first exacerbation when I got the diagnosis of MS. I liken this to situations or people literally getting on my nerves.

  8. I always believed stress was the problem with MS but no one believed me. My symptoms started a few months after a very stressful time in my life. I have secondary progressive MS diagnosis 1995. I use a walker, scooter and an electric wheelchair, stairlift inside the house can no longer climb stairs or drive a car, looking into handcontrlos for the car. Been taking Essentials for 7 months, bladder control a little bit better. Starting to follow the Paleo plan. Life is frustrating since I can no longer do alot of the things I enjoyed. Alot of adjustments over the past few years.

  9. I too experienced life altering stress followed b the onset of MS. Slurred speech, going lame, loss of balance, brain fog, tired all pointed to lyme along with spinal tap and typical MS MRI. Turns out I have Lyme disease AND that the MS and Lyme diet that you speak of is the same. I could hardly walk let alone drive. Two years of aggressive lyme meds and no gluten, sugar, limited dairy and no alcohol ….I am 80% normal. Please check out lyme with a lyme literate doctor. If he or she does not know what the CD57 blood test is…he/she is not in the know. GO FOR IT

  10. I was diagnosted 1/2005 and found rebif and the majority of the AMA is a ploy for cash…..I suggest eating organic foods, non inflaming foods like anything made from bleached white flour, rice or potatoes and find an alternative doctor that will prescribe “LDN” low dose naltrexone which, having taken two 1.5 mg capsules before bedtime, gives me major energy with no exacerbations for 4 years now…..shhhhhh the AMA will try to out law what really worx……Saw Montel Williams show with an individual in the audience screaming to use LDN instead of Weed….It definitely worx…..

    • Thanks for that info. I struggle everyday with energy. I have had ms for 12 yrs I’m 39 yrs old and feel like I have the energy level of a 90 yr old

  11. We are often unaware of the stresses in our lives, some of them going back to early childhood; or multiple stressful incidents that have built up over a lifetime. In my case, I discovered through personal growth work that I had been badly beaten by a rageaholic father at the age of four, and that, mentally and emotionally, I had then been “at war” with him for the next 60 years. That is stress. Many of those seeking recovery from chronic illness can benefit from psychotherapy and other emotional healing techniques, as well as spiritual development to help replace negative attitudes with more hopeful ones.

  12. I was diagnosed with MS in Oct. 1989. I would have occasional flare ups until my oldest son joined the Army and was sent to Iraq in 2004-2005. He came home safely, thank the Lord above. During his tour of duty I let bad stress come on me and by the time he came back I could barely walk. I have gone from relapsing remitting to secondary progressive. I am in a power-chair and can no longer walk. Yes, I believe stress does horrible things especialy if you have MS, just don’t do it. Let the stress go, deal with lifes difficulties in another way.

  13. I was a caregiver for my Mom for 4 1/2 years. I was working and trying to take care of her on my own. I started symptoms of MS the year she passed away. The following year I was diagnosed with MS. I was at a high stress level during and after her passing and in having to take care of her affairs. I believe stress definitely brought on the disease.

    • I cared for two dying parents in 2006 and became very ill with pain a year later, went to yale, harvard, finally mayo clinic, diagnosed with ms. Also severe lyme with brain lesions. Doing very well on IVIG infusions, copaxone, LDN, antibiotics, and several prescriptions for exhaustion, brain fog and slower cognitive functioning. Would like to know more about diet for ms and lyme. thanks

      • Hi, Have you tried hyperbaric oxygen? I started it following one of Dr C’s webinairs. It really has helped. I would strongly recommend you give it a go if you can. I also take LDN but nothing else – apart from VitD3. I have PPMS and was diagnosed in December 2007. I am still mobile (with a cane) and can drive. I do work in the mornings, although struggling up two flights of stairs to get to the office, is not a pretty sight…. I do have the usual symptoms but I do also consider myself an MS Recover er. I tend not to deal with Doctors as they I put me in the “can’t do anything for her” box and to be honest, I don’t think that is how I want to be perceived as a person. I follow Dr C, because he truly believes we can all live symptom-free and that it the sort of person I want in my corner… And of course, Sue Ellen, is proof that you can live symptom-free. I follow a restricted diet, ie gluten free, no red meat, minimal diary, etc… and I have now started juicing – I have a 5/6 mixed fruit juice in the morning and a 5/6 veg juice in the evening – all raw fruit/veg. It’s great – especially the natural sugar kick in the morning. I have been doing it for about 3 months and I’m certainly not getting any worse. Good luck to you. x

  14. I do believe stress is a definite part of the start of my MS… I was under the largest amount just before the onset, than I EVER had been before… My life was in a real turmoil and no real end was in sight…
    I have now (after being diagnosed 23 years ago), in remission for 7 years.
    I believe the reason is that, I married the lady in my life, who understands MS and the effect stress has on it. She has helped me to reduce it in my life. We have known each other and have been married for the same amount of time… any coincidence???

  15. This is all very familiar to me. I got my first symptoms of MS when I went through very trying issues in my family (my husband) and also job uncertanties that drove me crazy, I definitively think that the beginning of MS for me was related to all these problems. It started 1986, and I’m still ambulatory. Lately I’ve had terrible bladder infections which have caused a lot of problems with my walking. I’m now having to use catheters every day

  16. STRESS takes many forms; some internalize it and keep quiet, others externalize it and it takes the forms of yelling, abuse or other outward signs. Regardless of the form stress takes its toll on the victim.

  17. I believe it is Emotional Stress which causes MS. My husband has MS and has suffered emotional trauma consistently in life. When he wass 33 and in a very unhappy marriage, he began having symptoms. I believe his body hit tipping point with stress and MS entered his life.

  18. I have always believed that stress is one of the main causes of exacerbations in MS. I have had MS for over 30 years offficialy diagnosed in 1990 when they used an MRI scan. Ms was suspected in 1980 when I experienced numbness in my legs and feet. I was on Betaferon injections for 10 years and when I couldn’t find a place in my body to self-inject that didn’t hurt, I spat the dummy and said no more! I wasn’t a quality if life for me. I have been off medications for 6 years and I feel great. I have been meditating for 30 minutes every day and that really helps my stress levels. I use meditation CD’s from Holosync listening to waves crashing on shore. I take life easy now.

  19. I was dignoesed the year I married a guy with three kids. This was very strange territory for me, as was thirty , and had not been around children? I am sure stress was a major factor in my Dx!

  20. I was diagnosed with MS in 2011 and I’m taking tablets for it, I never thought stress could affect MS I thought it was blood related because My dad has MS as well for 26 years now.

  21. It’s unfortunate that some of our docs don’t believe us about “stress”. WE are the ones with the disease…don’t tell me I’m crazy. I know my body better than anyone else! All 3 of my exacerbations happened during major stressful life events. I have been working with an old friend who is now a researcher at the University of VA and his lab is working on a cure for MS. He has been helping me with my diet. Below is our conversation this past week about things – My questions are interspersed with his questions to me, so it may be difficult to follow as I inserted questions and comments in his email. I don’t have any way to differentiate them here so you know who is talking. You will need to go to the bottom of the page and read our conversation from bottom to top to be able to follow from the beginning to the end.

    From: John .virginia
    To: ‘Sherry Sterling’
    Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 11:17 AM
    Subject: RE: Hi

    Hi Sherry,
    Myelin in the eye – I have not looked specifically at this yet, but what I know is that the eye is one of the most difficult sites to get nutrients into because it has two main barriers to cross, the blood brain barrier, It does cross the BBB, I will attach an article for you. and another cell layerI don’t know about this to get to the eye. There are 3 ingredients in what I will be suggesting that have superior penetration to this compartment – lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, astaxanthin, and krill oil.I have heard of all of them. This is the same problem with getting supplements to penetrate the inner ear for balance issues. I have experience with this because I help a lot of people who are undergoing intensive chemotherapy, and there is considerable overlap in symptoms – inner ear problems, visual problems, peripheral neuropathy, brain fog, intestinal issues. These can all be greatly reduced with the 4 above and L-glutamine. I am getting a little ahead of myself. I know you are eager to get started. First off, like all autoimmune based chronic disease treatment, the first step is always to get the gut under control. For instance you don’t want to take acetyl-L-carnitine yet, because if you take it when the bacteria is out of whack in your intestines, you make a toxin, What does TMAO stand for?TMAO. The same toxin is made if you eat lecithin (egg yolk are high in this), so avoid this for a short time. You mentioned Sauer Kraut – traditionally made fermented vegetable have the world record for highest probiotic count – 10 trillion What does CFU mean? CFU per serving. You only have 100 trillion bacteria in you gut at any one time, so you can see how you can radically change your gut pretty quickly. I am going to eat Sauer Kraut daily. I think Kefir is the easiest way to get huge doses of probiotics (second only to Sauer Kraut), but if you are sensitive to milk I would stay away. The probiotic you bought will be a good start but try to procure real Sauer Kraut or learn to make it yourself. Probiotics are especially helpful if you combine it with a prebiotic I’ve been hearing about this lately. (food for probiotic). There are two options here, FOS (fructo-oligosaccarides) in a powder or pill form, or pistachio nuts I will go this route.(one small handful per day). I would do this for at least 10 days before starting the next phase which includes acetyl-L-Carnitine. That way I have time to get up to date on the literature. Okay, eat a small handful of pistachios as a pre-biotic and take pro-biotics from now on starting today….anything I am missing for now? I will put on my calendar what I started with you and when.

    From: Sherry Sterling []
    Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 9:30 AM
    To: John
    Subject: Re: Hi

    Have a great day!
    From: John>
    To: ‘Sherry Sterling’
    Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:40 PM
    Subject: RE: Hi

    Hi Sherry,
    These are all very informative. The only one that I didn’t predict at all is the sleep. Sleep appears to be very protective in your case.I sleep great and at the drop of a hat. I can sleep anytime and anywhere. As soon as my head hits the pillow I am out. We don’t want to do anything that messes with this. The other one is how long the times between flare-ups – them being so long.Maybe the fact that I was in great shape when diagnosed and have tried to get right back at it after each relapse. I am much weaker, but I keep going. I will read this more carefully, but a few things to note right away – you can definitely rebuild myelin,How about the myelin in the eyes? Is that possible too? I prefer to believe “you” over the eye specialist dude.if not there would be no hope of improving – we would only be talking about slowing progression. I found a really nice new paper that adds substantially to my understanding and so I will work on incorporating this into the strategy (paper attached). Thank you! I am going to print it out and try to understand as much as I can – had stats in grad school, gees, that’s going back.

    I went to the grocery store last night and purchased Acetyl L-Carnitine (is this what you told me for tingling in my feet?) I also got probiotics that have Lactobacilis Plantarum 299v 10 Bullion CFU with Other Ingredients: Potato Starch, Hydroxypropyl Methycellulose, Magnesium Stearate Contains Soy . It is made by Nature Made. If you have any questions, 1-800-276-2878 or . It has no artificial colors or preservatives and has no Yeast or Gluten.

    I forgot to mention that, in the past, I did notice that milk and gluten products like whole wheat pastas and coffee creamer from Turkey Hill would make my stomach bloat so I try to stay away from them.

    That’s it for now…look forward to your next email…talk soon! P.S. I ate Sauer Kraut for lunch yesterday and had a great workout this morning. Maybe I should eat it more often.



    From: Sherry Sterling []
    Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:19 AM
    To: John
    Subject: Re: Hi

    Hi – I copied and enlarged your email to be easier for me to see and then I answered everything in red. I also attached the pictures of my eye that really didn’t hurt except for the novacaine in my eyebrow for the stitches. Also attached is the third, fifth and tenth day of recovery using my Noni Juice…pretty cool. Can I send you a complimentary bottle for your use. What I notice is an overall better feeling with much more energy. I am told it is an adaptogen, so it goes to wherever I need it most. Tell me your thoughts.

    Hi Sherry,
    It was nice speaking with you on Saturday. I will send you the writeup I did for MS when I get home today. Cool, Pop didn’t tell me that you did that. It has been six months or so since I have scowered the literature, so I will try to update the document as well. Thanks!
    I didn’t ask many questions about your MS, but I assume you are in the relapse remitting form of MS?Correct. If so, how long between flareups, how long do they last?Flare-ups have been around five years apart. They last a few months (solumedrol helps) and are usually preceded by a stressful event. For example, before I was diagnosed, I had 13 amalgum fillings and two root canals put into my mouth and that was when the first vision disturbances began. when I would be teaching aerobics. About ten minutes into teaching the class my vision got very blurry and about ten minutes after I was cooled down, this would go away (this was during graduate school)….nobody could tell me what was wrong until I was diagnosed in 1997 (I was also pregnant with Dakota at the time of my diagnosing MRI) On a hunch, do you know if you have any intestinal issues, gut dysbiosis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, celiacs, gluten or casein intolerance?I definitely have intestinal issues…for years I have only had a bowel movement once every seven to ten days. It drives me crazy. Recently I started using MiraLax once every few days so I can go to the bathroom. If so, it is also episodic proceeding or coinciding with flareups?This has been going on for years. When I was a child, I remember having extremely bad stomach aches whenever I had to go to the bathroom. When I’ve asked the doc about this in recent years, he just says, that’s fine, everyone is different. How about heat intolerances? Yeah, this sucks. I love summer and exercising and both things are about intolerable. My vision goes blurry. Last Spring when I had my last attack, (I wasn’t sure I was having an attack yet) my eye doc set up a visit with a specialist who did a laser scan on the back of my eye and told me that the myelin on my optic nerve was gone in both eyes which caused my eyes not to be able to work well with bright light (this is true). I also have difficulty differentiating two colors that are close in color like dark navy blue and black…or red and bright pink. I have a re-check appointment with the same eye specialist (Dr. Klombers in Sinking Springs, PA) in August. He told me that Myelin never grows back, but I am hoping that my Noni Juice helps somewhat to prove him wrong…haha. Have you tried taking probiotics or Kefir or homemade yohgurt? I have used probiotics, but wasn’t sure if they would help and didn’t continue, but I can! If you have tried supplements, have you found ones that work, or make things worse? I sent you my list of supplements and my questions for you this morning unless I sent it to the wrong address…I will copy and attach it to this email at the bottom. The only vitamin I found that I seemed to really notice a difference is “zinc” for memory. Most of the things I take because of Dr. Cartwright that I told you I listen to. He is the brain surgeon I talked about. Any clues you can give me that you think may be helpful, please share. Things like how you do on pain killers, do you think you have higher than normal pain threshold.Funny you should ask. April 1 I fell and did a face-plant on a coffee table (see the attached picture)…I was surprised that it didn’t really hurt at all…only when the doc gave me novacaine in my eyebrow…that hurt! Do you get tired in the late afternoon? I rarely have tiredness issues in the afternoon. I usually get up at 5 to go to the gym (unfortunately can’t do what I used to….weak after my last exasperation). Insomnia?I usually slow down around 8pm or so and when I hit the pillow at 10 I am out for the night. Do you ever take things for sleep? Never and I take 300mg of Effexor before going to bed –supposedly that should keep me awake, but it doesn’t. Was there an event or sickness or illness timed just before you were first diagnosed with MS? My first exacerbation came about a year after Ty left…stressful situation…eyes were a little worse than in the beginning and I became horribly depressed (was prescribed paxil). At some point about five years later, I quit taking the Paxil. The next attack happened. I had to leave a job due to a sales territory change from the entire state of PA (which was stressful in itself) to include the eastern half of PA and also the Bronx and Yonkers of NY – stressed me out bad…I left the job. The divorce was also hot and heavy at this time and I became depressed again. My eyes had become blurry again and I became severely depressed. My attorney found a psychiatrist who put me back on Effexor which I stayed on for about 4.5 years and then thought I was better once again. The most recent exacerbation happened in April of 2012. In the job I was working, they had a data base I had to use that was not able to be enlarged. Over several months, I was having increasing difficulty reading what I had type and I was also getting very depressed…one day I was sitting still on an exit ramp, someone stopped close behind me and the person behind him ran into him going 50+ miles per hour and he hit me! When I got out of the car, I was so weak I could hardly walk and my vision was really bad. I called my ASSHOLE NEUROLOGIST who told me that he doubted that the leg weakness and blurriness in both eyes was as a result of the MS because MS doesn’t usually affect both sides. I used up all of my sick/personal days and ultimately had to quit my job because I couldn’t see to drive. I did get to see the eye specialist (Klombers) before my last day who told me that maybe MS doesn’t USUALLY hit both sides, BUT you have Optic Neuritis in BOTH eyes. At that time, my vision was 20/70. He prescribed oral steroids and it took three months for my vision to come back to 20/50 which is legal to drive, so I have been driving. I see him (Klombers) again in August, as mentioned above. I many ask more as I think of relevant questions. No problem! Please ask me questions as well as you think of them. I will! This is a huge help as I don’t have a job or insurance right now. I am working on it. If you have any clinical trials going on, I would be happy to participate.

    One thing that is bothersome to me is the dizziness I experience if I move too fast, get up from bed, if someone is driving me in a car. I feel as though my brain is floating inside my skull and I get a little motion sick sometimes. That’s about it for now. Talk to you soon. I may have already sent this to you, but forgot to attach the pics. Ignore the first one I sent. Thanks.

    Have a great day!
    From: John>
    To: Sherry Sterling
    Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 12:45 PM
    Subject: Re: Hi

    Hi Sherry,
    It was nice speaking with you on Saturday. I will send you the writeup I did for MS when I get home today. It has been six months or so since I have scowered the literature, so I will try to update the document as well.
    I didn’t ask many questions about your MS, but I assume you are in the relapse remitting form of MS? If so, how long between flareups, how long do they last? On a hunch, do you know if you have any intestinal issues, gut dysbiosis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, celiacs, gluten or casein intolerance? If so, it is also episodic proceeding or coinciding with flareups? How about heat intolerances? Have you tried taking probiotics or Kefir or homemade yohgurt? If you have tried supplements, have you found ones that work, or make things worse? Any clues you can give me that you think may be helpful, please share. Things like how you do on pain killers, do you think you have higher than normal pain threshold. Do you get tired in the late afternoon? Insomnia? Do you ever take things for sleep? Was there an event or sickness or illness timed just before you were first diagnosed with MS? I many ask more as I think of relevant questions. Please ask me questions as well as you think of them. John

    On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 06:11:15 -0700 (PDT)
    Sherry Sterling wrote:
    > JJ – just checking to see if I have the right address to reach you.
    > Have a great day!
    > SHER

    • Please send me your write up. I have lyme and ms, doing well on IVIG infusions, Copaxone, LDN, antibiotics. But vertigo, motion sickness and dizziness bother me. My reading vision is deteriorating but i thought it was just age…now i will see an opthamologist. Thanks.

    • Hello Sherry,
      I am very intrigue with your email and dialogue with John. Can you please copy me when communicating with him. I was diagnose with MS in 2005 but had the symptoms years before being diagnosed. I experience incontinence issues where I wear a bladder control pad. I have problems with balance when walking so I use a cane. Tingling sensations in my right forefinger and thumb. I have drop feet with the right foot as well as my right leg hyperextends. I have changed my diet about 70%. I see a chiropractor every 2 weeks which is good for me. My email address is as I would love to speak to you.

      Thank you

  22. Thank you Dr. Cartwright, for those of us diagnosed with MS for some time, we can see the correlation between the two. With a county gov’t elected position stressful, losing an election with MS, divorce, lost home…I just can’t get it back together. I can’t believe this is being challenged. Each day I hope for a quiet day. My faith in God is all that keeps me going. Having you, Sue Ellen & Scott have been so helpful through all this. You mentioned a scalp hair analysis, I had a hair analysis, I’ll go check the report and see if cortisol was even checked. Very interesting, thank you.

  23. I was diagnosed in 1967. I was 3 yrs old..don’t remember my stress level.
    But I do know through the years, when I had stress, I would definitely
    Have an attack.. I pray to God a cure comes soon!

  24. I had a lot of stress on me when we were building a house in 1997 , and i was working swing shift and i tried to work all the over time to have extra money for the house and in 98 i was dx with ms . i have started going to the jim and working out and it seam to help me more than anything i have ever done . i took Avonex for 7 yrs and i thought i would die before i could get a dr. to take me off .

  25. From the end of 1999 to the begining of 2003 I was in a very bad relationship. I saved enough money and bought a house for me and my young kids in March of 2003. I had been having symptoms of MS and didn’t know what was wrong with me. My symptoms started getting worst. I went to see a Neurologist. It was then that I was diognosed with MS (2007). Trying to pay my mortgage and feeding my children, I guess you could say that this is stressful. I have a difficullt time waking when I am stressed. I am excited because I am getting married. When I think about walking down the isle, I get stressed because I think that I wont be able to walk like I would like to. Wish me luck on my special day. He is the kindest most thoughful man anyone could ever meet. My health may not be at its best, but I am soooooo happy. Life is good in so many other way

    • First off I’d like say I hope your trip down the isle was/is wonderful. I just had to write to becuz our stories are so similar that I had to. I was diagnosed in ’08 after finally deciding to divorce my husband of 20 yrs. It had always been a rocky relationship however the last 5 was horrible. I knew something was wrong ( now I know all the physical issues I was having were symptoms of MS), I told him for yrs there was something wrong, his response was ” you are old”, I was 35-39 at the time. The issues would happen under extremely stressful situations. I was diagnosed when I was dealing with him over our kids and my entire left side went numb for 3 days. But like u I now have a wonderful understanding loving man in my life. I am very happy for u, heck for us both lol. Keep up the orange fight!

  26. I have known for a long time that MS flare-ups occur at stressful times. I was diagnosed in 1991 after a very stressful year with 3 car accidents ( none of which were my fault ) which caused me to be paranoid that someone would do the wrong thing whenever I was out driving. I also suffered with pneumonia that same year, and my parents divorced. Any stressful situations since have caused a flare-up of the MS symptoms. So yes… I would definitely agree that stress can be a cause of exacerbations.

  27. I agree 100% that stress is a the devil and the cause of MS. I, personally, went through a very long stressfull period/years with a memmber of my family. Due to that, I develped tingling and numbness in my right foot which progressed to both feet, legs, arms and face. But the crunch came when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. The surgion said – with the degree of cancer he had – he gives him only 1 year to live. It felt like all the blood in my body – drained out by my feet. THAT WAS IT!!!!! He was diagnosed in July 2007 and in Decmber 2007 my legs and entire body gave way. 7 Years later my husband plays golf once a week and he walks the course. THANKS TO DR CARTWRIGHT – I HAVE MY LIFE BACK and we are both doing fine.

  28. I agree stress is definitely a strong factor in bringing on MS attacks, it may not happen straight away but it always presents itself over time. Can you let me know more about Lyme’s disease
    and how it could be linked or mistaken as MS?

  29. I am convinced stress activates MS. I was hit by a drunk driver causing several broken bones and a court victim statement, returning to intense work stress as sole income earner, working unpaid overtime, and meeting sales quotas. There is only so much your body can handle before something happens. Meditation and acupuncture help along with termination from the job and finding my very understanding and supportive boyfriend.

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