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My MS caused by methanol

Does anyone think they know what caused their ms? I am fairly certain i have ms (although not had a scan yet) and if I do i think it was likely caused by having a lot of orange juice recently. I read that orange juice consumption of 12 ounces per day increases risk of ms x3. I have now found out processed juices etc contain methanol which I think is a cause of ms. I don’t have a lot of knowledge currently though. I found an interesting list of methanol containing things on a website (as a whole the website could possibly be suspect because it is selling a dvd), here is the list of things containing methanol in order of danger, worst=1 :

  1. Cigarettes.

  2. Diet foods and drinks with aspartame.

  3. Fruit and vegetable products and their juices in bottles, cans, or pouches.

  4. Jellies, jams, and marmalades not made fresh and kept refrigerated.

  5. Black currant and tomato juice products, fresh or processed.

  6. Tomato sauces, unless first simmered at least 3 hours with an open lid.

  7. Smoked food of any kind, particularly fish and meat.

  8. Sugar-free chewing gum.

  9. Slivovitz or schnapps liquors made from rotting fruit.

  10. Overly ripe or near rotting fruits or vegetables

heres the link which goes into more detail:

http://thetruthaboutstuff.com/published/Monte%20Diet.pdf

And here is the website:

http://thetruthaboutstuff.com/

I thought that was intersting, does anyone else have any similar or different suspicions as to what caused their ms?

Goodness!

Difficult to know where to start on this one, not sure if this is a wind-up or genuine question? If it is a real question, then

(1) Firstly, if you haven’t had any scans yet, then try not to jump to conclusions that there is an ’ almost certainty’ that you have MS.

(2) although smoking might increase the risk of MS in some cases, Orange juice, sugar free gum, aspartame, fruit schnapps and marmalade do not cause MS.


If you are in doubt about a subject, I would avoid sites that have names like “the truth about stuff” . Go to specific, credible sites about MS. A website that claims to tell you about ‘stuff’ isnt the right place.

I don’t mean to sound harsh here, but the possibilities you are suggesting sound as though either (a) you might be trying to wind people up, or, if you are serious, (b) the questions you have asked do point to the possibility that you may be having slightly irrational thoughts here, and that you may need to talk this through with a professional.

Don’t believe everything you read, if that list is to believed then I would say 99 percent of Britain would have MSX

Hi AJP,

Apologies for the long post, but I found this interesting.

While fingers can be pointed at one specific chemical in foods, it is difficult to deny or confirm any of them as a specific cause, because:

  • we have made so many changes to our diets with processed foods
  • unless we eat organic, we may be dosing ourselves with pesticides from animal produce like milk
  • we use beauty products that contain persistent organic pollutants (that build up in our bodies over our lifetime)
  • some of us live in areas close to major roads (where it is known that pollution will result in higher levels of cancer)

The document connected increases in levels of diet soda consumption in Italy to an increase in MS, but that obviously ignores all the other changes that have been occurring in our diets and our environment.

I found the following link useful to explain the whole gamut of environmental factors that could be affecting our bodies : http://www.arizonaadvancedmedicine.com/articles/inflammation.html

Aside from eating more healthily now, exercising and keeping clear of antibiotics etc., I think I can’t do much more than that. While one list says that orange juice is bad for you, another says that it contains anti-oxidants which are anti-inflammatory. It’s enough to send you round in circles for a lifetime.

I think for ease of mind, it is better to try to choose a path that makes you feel like you are fighting against whatever it is that is giving you problems. So if this info helps you to make dietary changes that work for you, go with it. Any lifestyle improvements can only be benefical.

Astro

What caused my MS? I do not know what combination of environmental factors/genetic susceptibility/viral triggers/infective agents/sheer bald-headed bad luck it was that caused my MS. But I a pretty darned sure that it wasn’t orange juice.

AJP, the wild and woolly reaches of the Web really can be bad for a person’s health. I think that we would all (me included!) be better for unplugging the damned thing and getting a bit more fresh air.

Alison

AJP,

First, it’s by no means certain you have MS. As you say, you’ve not even had a scan yet.

Second, even if it did turn out you have, please, please don’t beat yourself up about all the things you’ve done that “might” have caused it (according to Dr. Google!)

The NICE guidelines actually say that neuros are meant to tell patients they did NOTHING to cause it. NICE guidelines are purely evidence-based, so if there was ANY credible evidence it was the patient’s “own fault”, in any way, NICE would certainly not be instructing neuros to lie to them it was not!

Of all the things you’ve mentioned, smoking is the only one for which there’s credible evidence it’s a risk factor. But even a risk factor is not the same as a cause. Millions of people smoke, who don’t get MS. Meanwhile, thousands get MS who have never smoked. So it’s far too simplistic to say smoking ever caused anybody’s MS. In susceptible individuals, it may have increased their risk - but that’s about all you can say.

Tina

x

And a P.S!

You have rightly identified that any website that is selling something - or promoting somebody else who does - is suspect in terms of its neutrality. Ethical researchers won’t be asking you to send money for their book or video.

Tina

x

A quick look through the 'net establishes a link between Prof Monte and Dr Henry Mercola.

Monte does in one publication say "The details are published in ‘The Truth about Stuff’, but does not say that he IS ‘The Truth about Stuff’.

It is very easy to take a few genuine facts, and build them into a huge great story about this evil thing that gets put into our food.

I have quoted this before, but here it is again:
One reputable authority says bananas are bad for you - they have too much sugar and will make you fat.
One reputable authority says bananas are good for you - as a valuable source of potassium.
Both statements are true.

A cause of MS?
Now mine started as Transverse Inflammatory Myelitis (TIM) and was changed a few months later. I have the original MRI scans which show the original inflammation in the spine in the T4-T6 region.
Now you could say that TIM caused my MS.
You could say that something caused the TIM.
You could say that TIM was the first manifestation of MS (and it just happened to attack my spine first).
But, the TIM happened after two trips to the US in one year, so:
You could say that America caused my MS.
You could say that Transatlantic flying caused my MS (Bad air in the cabin? Low cabin pressure? Jet fuel waste at Heathrow?).

You could make a lot of wild guesses (and some would be more stupid than others), and the real truth is that no-one knows what causes MS. But, all the time that there is no cause properly identified there will be people who will make money out of MS (and a lot of other conditions where there is known cause.

Geoff

Hello AJP

No one knows what causes MS…I hope you haven’t got it.

All I know is, I have, and if and when a cure is found (I’m not holding my breath) then I’ll be fighting for my place in the queue

Good luck with any tests your having and take care

Thanks very much for all the answers really appreciate the kind tone, and I’m definitely not trying to wind anyone up but I apologise for that impression (also appreciate the blunt honesty), you are not wrong about the irrational thinking- I have been recovering from an eating disorder (adaptedtofamine.com - one of the traits I have whilst under my bodies natural equilibrium weight is an assumed/stuck thought process, so if it is suggested that my symptoms could be ms that can easily vs become assumed/stuck). I am easily duped by websites like that because the ideas can get ‘assumed/stuck’ so to speak. I try my best not to get stuck but to be frank when it is stuck it is stuck… unless i get some rational grounding from the external…

Yeah who knows whether it is ms. The myelin is affected whilst underweight with an ED so there is some natural tingling sensations. However i started to have some different/additional sensations recently. I have had some strange prickly cold nerve tingling which wasn’t occuring during my first 6 months of weight gain and then last week my whole body went shivery/numb (that was whilst drinking milk so that might be the cause), and I’ve noticed I am seeing rainbow auras around lights. What are the chances that’s ms?..

In fact writing and reading this now just shows how I don’t even realise I am being irrational. Genuine apologies for any irrational train of thought (I cringe in hindsight but I can’t help it) I definitely feel more grounded now. I guess my symptoms could be anything really… it is impossible for me to tell personally…

This was actually suprisingly helpful for me to get grounded so I definitely appreciate all your feedback.

All the best x

You are welcome. Please be gentle with yourself, AJP. You have clearly had a rough old time and it is good that you are on the road to recovery. These things take time, so please do not be too hard on yourself while you are on that journey.

Good luck with it all.

Alison

Hi -

Sorry, I am the anon who wrote the original response about irrational thoughts. I am so sorry to have suggested you may have been trying to wind people up, I appologise sincerely for any offense or upset this may have caused.

It is good that you are aware of all the possible causes of your symptoms, including the biological impact of eating disorders, as well as irrational thoughts / stuck thought patterns.

Don’t ever feel like you have to appologise for irrational thoughts. Mental health conditions are just as real and just as challenging as conditions that are perceived as physical, such as MS. It is important to work out what the cause is in your particular case though, as the treatment and support you need will differ massively depending on the underlying cause.

Oftentimes when it is suggested to people that a possible cause of symptoms could be mental health diffiulties / health anxiety / stuck-thoughts or catastrophisation, people get angry . I think that actually says an awful lot about the stigma that is attached to mental health difficulties… that people would rather contemplate the possibility of MS than accept the possibility that they may be experiencing health anxiety ! Which is sad, because health anxiety can be a very difficult condition to live with, and if you are experiencing it, it is made 100 times worse by feelings of shame or guilt. I am so sorry if I have in any way added to that for you.

I read somewhere that over 30% of patients who visit neurologists actually do not have a neurological condition per se (such as MS / Parkinsons etc) , but are in fact experiencing some form of health anxiety. That is why most patients being assessed for MS will be questioned by their neuro about anxiety / depression etc. Apparently about 1 in 5 visits to GP surgeries are made by people with health anxiety. But when the possibility of health anxiety is suggested, it can often be seen as offensive, or dismissive… so many times you hear people say "how dare the doctor tell me its ‘all in my head’… it is real!!’ I wish there was some way of changing the social climate in which we live, so that a diagnosis of mental health problems, anxiety, or health anxiety was not seen in such a way. Mental health difficulties should be no more shameful than physical difficulties such as arthritis or MS. It is just that the treaments / management strategies are different.

But you seem to have such a rational head on your shoulders about all that stuff - it is such a huge and brave thing to be able to acknowledge the possibility of anxiety or irrational thoughts. Unfortunately, as you say - being aware that your thoughts may be irrational doesn’t always mean you are able to easily change them. It is very difficult.

Also, it is important not to assume that because you have a history of irrational thoughts, you should ignore health problems because you are ‘irrational’. Because of course, the fact that you have experienced mental health difficulties in the past does not make you any more or less likely (than the rest of the population) to have additional health conditions - and you absolutely deserve to be assessed / teated for any problems you are having. But also, as you are well aware, it is important to take into consideration the fact that you have previously experienced difficulties with catastrophisation / assumptions / stuck thoughts / irrational thoughts. If you can be as open with your doctors about this as you have been here, I am sure they will be able to help work out what is going on for you. Unfortunately, no one here can give you the reassurance you need and tell you whether or not you have MS… but your doctors will be able to help, and we are always around to listen to you.

Once again, I am so sorry for suggesting you may have been trying to wind people up.

Best wishes

xxxxx

I find that very calming and kind, thank you very much Alison, good luck to you too with your ms and any journeys you have x

Hi (Anon) -

I don’t know where to begin, I appreciate that so much. It is extremely helpful to have all the rational feedback you have given.

I did not feel in any way offended, I admit I did for a moment feel a concoction a bit like shame, but I feel much the opposite after reading your extensively understanding response.

I’ve read that restrictive eating disorders are like anxiety disorders, just as there is a single (stuck) train of thinking, the anxiety seems to similarly stick when it occurs.

I saw a doctor during the week, he suggested blood test then neurologist. Then today I had some more severe symptoms than I previously mentioned, I have looked at http://www.msfocus.org/article-details.aspx?articleID=18 (ms mimics’) and none of them sound like my symptoms and from the NHS website ms seems more likely. My symptoms included more frequent prickly/cold tingling sensations, noticeable muscle weakness and a marginal loss of coordination, numbness and numb temperature, slight burning sensation on the left side of upper back and front right upper side of brain, more vivid and lingering at length rainbow auras, quite severe brain numbing/tightness/fog (actually felt as though I might pass out). They have subsided somewhat but not fully…

Over the last few of days I had been trying to eat similarly to the Terry Wahls diet and nothing seemed to be getting worse. However today I had some crisps and shortly afterwards I had these symptoms so it seems likely the crisps may have kickstarted them somehow…

I felt very hopeless today but now the symptoms seem to have predominantly subsided I feel better. It is comforting to know I can speak to others on a forum like this if it turns out to be ms.

Best wishes back your way. Thanks again,

AJP

X

(in hindsight) Once again the single train of thought/assuming mindset means I started to jump to conclusions. I don’t have the state of thinking (whilst under equilibrium weight) to work out whether there is truth in the assumptions or not. I am still learning to recognise my thought patterns.

Also in hindsight I am restricting calories by eating the Terry Wahls diet as a result of assuming/getting stuck on ms, which is another factor.

x