The article below was printed in the Townsend Letter in May 2005. It is reprinted here with permission of the author
In this letter I hope to convey the course of my illness and response over the last year. I make four recommendations that I think reflect a basic protocol anyone with the diagnosis of MS can take. There will be individual differences, of course, as MS is a complicated syndrome that is not likely to have a single cause. First, by starting the protocol outlined by Dr. Frederich Klenner one will likely stop the progression and initiate recovery. Second, appropriate dietary changes are also needed and alone can have a profound effect in individual cases. Third, the support and expertise of a progressive physician who looks for the causes of symptoms rather than applying a cookbook approach to treating a diagnostic label (which is the case with MS) is vitally important. Lastly, procuring the services of an excellent classical homeopath can be invaluable to correct the underlying state that allowed the causes to take root thereby resulting in symptoms. The statements made in this letter are my opinion only. They are, however, an opinion based on experience. Here is my story:
I am a clinical psychologist, licensed acupuncturist and classical homeopath. I ate well, took good care of my health and used homeopathy for my personal healthcare. Over the course of many years my homeopaths, among the best in the world, treated me for a few minor complaints. I would have never believed that a devastating chronic illness would come my way. In early 2003 I noticed a slight change in the vision of my right eye; it was dim and blurred. I suspected a change in reading glasses would do the trick but my ophthalmologist was concerned. I was evaluated fully by her, a retina specialist and neuropthalmologist. Nothing was found and I felt otherwise well. Ten months later, on December 5, 2003, I got out of bed and noticed my right leg was numb from the buttocks to the foot. Over the next several days I experienced a low-grade fever, hot tingling on the chest and extremities along with several other disturbing symptoms. At that early stage I contacted a naturopath from Texas, Dr. Steven Hines, who successfully treated my father for an aggressive prostate cancer at Hope Clinic International, in Mexico just across the border from Del Rio, Texas (my father was only given 3-5 years to live by his diagnosing physician but is now in good health over seven years later!).
During those early days, I knew enough that my fears of multiple sclerosis were high. Dr. Hines suggested several tests, most prominent was heavy metal testing. I was tested several days later by a local practitioner of alternative medicine, Jack Young, MD, PhD. He found high levels of mercury following a DMPS urine toxic metals test. He instituted treatment that seemed to help for short periods of time but my decline continued during that first month. My energy dropped and other symptoms worsened. My conventional physician ordered a MRI of the brain that was normal and I was subsequently referred to a neurologist. The MRI of the spine and visual evoked potential that he ordered showed damage and the diagnosis of MS was given on January 8, 2004. By that time I was so weak and fatigued that I could barely walk from the bedroom to the kitchen without the need for rest. My appetite decreased and I was in a state of despair. On that dark day of the diagnosis, I decided to head straight to Texas in order to begin treatment. To that end, my parents started driving their motor home from Florida and, three days later, my wife Linda and I flew to San Antonio where we were met by them and continued the journey to Del Rio. During the trip I was so debilitated that I required a wheelchair in each airport and vomited twice when I tried to put a small amount of food or fluid in my stomach. I spent the next six weeks in Del Rio crossing the border into Mexico to receive treatment and was surprised to see improvement after only one day. During the first week I seemed to improve daily.
Dr. Hines explained that MS is a label placed on a particular set of symptoms. MS does not cause these symptoms but the diagnosis is made because of them. Those symptoms have a cause and what he believed was that my symptoms were caused by mercury toxicity and the damage mercury does to the digestive, immune and endocrine systems. Later, on reviewing a list of various mercury toxicity symptoms, I came to realize that each and every one of my symptoms was included on that list (even transient minor one such as itching of the scalp). Dr. Hines added that our goal was to remove the mercury (something that must be done slowly), regulate (not suppress or stimulate) the immune system, fix the damage done to the digestive system, repair the adrenal glands and endocrine system, and allow for the repair of the nerves. Nerves, he said, can re-myelinate. It was later that I realized that the term MS means to the conventional neurologist that “you have nerve damage and we don’t know why but we can give you immune suppressing drugs that may or may not slow the disease progress but the situation is going to get worse no matter what we do.” It is no wonder that this diagnosis comes with such an ominous aura. Personally, I think that a more appropriate term would be idiopathic demyelination. It plainly calls it for what it is, nerve damage with an unknown cause. Unknown, that is, unless one finds a progressive physician who is willing to look for the causes and use effective, not merely accepted treatments. Additionally, I consulted with a homeopath and initiated treatment with LM potencies. Again, there was a definite shift for the better in my health once I started the homeopathic remedy, especially in my emotional state.
When I left Del Rio at the end of February I was better but far from well. At that time I would estimate my recovery at 65-70%. I continued to improve once I returned home, albeit slowly. Still, I believed recovery would happen. My home program was working but not quickly enough. I kept looking for answers; fearful that my recovery would reach a plateau or that I would worsen if the progress stopped. As I had been familiar with the TLfDP, I decided to search back issues for other therapies that could be of benefit. I saw several things of interest but nothing seemed right for me until I read the story of Dale Humpherys1. I decided to call Dale who was willing to fully answer my questions. He was convinced that of thiamine and liver extract injections with a high protein diet and specific oral supplements was right for anyone with this diagnosis. I kept the information in mind, thinking that I probably would not need it as I was, after all, progressing.
By August, I continued to have good days and bad but was generally functioning at about 85% of my former self. I had been on a rather strict diet that eliminated all foods to which I tested sensitive. That eventually led me to incorporate some of the recommendations made on the website www.direct-ms.org. I strongly suggest anyone with this diagnosis consider these recommendations. They are based on important understandings of various factors (e.g. food sensitivities, vitamin D and fish oil deficiencies, etc.) of those with these symptoms and have proven to be highly effective for some. The developers of this site have provided a real service. On the website they mention an individual diagnosed with MS in 1953, Roger MacDougall. Roger used only dietary means as no other treatments were available at that time. That stopped the progression of his symptoms immediately. Four years later he began to improve and was symptom free after eight years. He doggedly stuck with a plan purely based on his reasoning and remained symptom free and well for the remaining forty years of his life. For more detail you can read his booklet, My Fight Against MultipleSclerosis2. His approach, the diet suggested on the website mentioned above, and the diet suggested by others, including Dr. Klenner, are essentially modified anti-fungal diets. I wondered, could there be a connection between fungal infections and MS symptoms? It had been suspected by Dr. Hines that I might have a Candida or fungal infection but the tests were negative. I read some information on fungal toxins in a book by Doug Kaufmann and David Holland, MD, The Fungus Link, volume 23. Research was cited that points to a possible connection between fungal/yeast infections and neurological symptoms. I decided to start the diet and natural anti-fungals to see what, if any, changes would occur.
Along the way my journey had significant spiritual ramifications that have enriched my life beyond measure. I had always enjoyed my spiritual studies and read a variety of books from a variety of traditions. Even though I had always believed that the great truths could be found in one’s tradition of origin, I had not looked deeply into my own tradition (Christianity) since my teen years. It was Linda who first read The Purpose Driven Life4 by Rick Warren and recommended it to me during my first month of illness. It was a source of great comfort, particularly the first chapter. While attending Hope Clinic, I spent several hours talking with Marco Rivera, an ordained minister who helped me immensely and in ways that I don't think he even knows. During this time, Linda found a local church in Florida with a healing service and ministry. She also nudged me into a Bible study group, Bible Study Fellowship International. Since my return from Mexico our church and the healing ministry have taken on greater and greater importance in my life, and my spiritual studies now have a direction and depth that were never before present. The sophisticated skill of one particular “prayer minister” proved instrumental in helping me heal wounds and develop a positive outlook regarding my battle. The effect has been profound. In many ways, my illness has become a blessing. I have learned much, not just about the nature of disease, but my psychological/emotional state and spiritual standing.
Later in August, with the specter of an approaching hurricane, I decided to give myself the best opportunity to be as functional as possible in case of trouble during the storm. I started Dr. Klenner’s protocol at 200 mgs of thiamine daily and instituted the rest of his recommendations. However, after a few weeks I felt no appreciable difference from the injections and they were discontinued, as was the anti-fungal diet. After a third hurricane visited (three in two months!), I decided to give the injections another try following an adverse reaction to a dietary indiscretion. Again, I started at 200 mgs of thiamine daily and re-instituted the Candida diet. I reasoned that if Kaufmann and Holland were right, that those with MS symptoms may have a fungal/Candida infection, and that many indeed benefit from the Klenner protocol of thiamine injections, there must be a connection between the two. It was about two weeks later that I found a possible explanation in a book by Sherry A. Rogers, MD, No More Heartburn5. In it she stated that certain species of Candida produce the enzyme thiaminase that effectively breaks down thiamine before it can be utilized. By injecting thiamine insufficient quantities one can compensate for thiaminase and, as Dr. Klenner6suggested, the cells can function normally, and the body will recover and repair.
However, my practitioners believed that the primary cause of my symptoms was mercury. It seemed reasonable to assume that there must be a relationship between this heavy metal and thiamine as well. In short, there appears to beat least three issues involved: 1) mercury oxidizes thiamine to thiochrome7 thereby negating it’s value, 2) the symptoms of thiamine deficiency and mercury toxicity are very similar (a thiamine deficiency alone can cause symptoms and, therefore, may potentiate mercury toxicity symptoms), and 3)thiamine contains a sulphur group and has been found in at least one clinical study to remove lead, cadmium, nickel, arsenic and mercury from body tissues8. Thus, the mercury toxic individual has at least one pathway of detoxification removed as a result of thiamine being disabled. When thiamine is given is sufficient quantities, heavy metal detoxification may occur without the patient knowing it. That said, I believe that medical assistance for mercury detoxification is necessary and thiamine injections alone may not suffice. Still, Dr. Klenner categorically stated that with his protocol MS can be CURED. Part of the reason may be that this protocol negates some of the adverse effects of mycotoxins and mercury.
After a week with no observable results on 200 mgs of thiamine, I contacted Dale and asked how long I should stay at this level. He told me that I would likely need more and suggested I increase to 400 mgs of thiamine daily. I noticed a difference after only one injection. I have now been on the higher amount for three months and my energy has improved significantly. Also, many symptoms have reduced and my functioning is now in the 90-95% range. I continue to remove mercury using DMSA and NDF from BioRay, Inc. Levels are greater than 75% reduced as measured in August and compared with an April test. Moreover, adrenal and hormone levels have improved dramatically since August. Digestion has improved and neurological symptoms are nearly gone. I returned to the practice of homeopathy early this year (I worked part-time since March 2004 as a consulting psychologist).
In this last year I have experienced incredible love and support from friends and family, especially my beloved wife Linda. I am also blessed to have several dedicated practitioners who seek to understand their patients deeply, look for the causes of their symptoms and provide effective treatments as opposed to "party-line" or cookbook medical care. In that regard, Dr. Hines has gone above and beyond in his efforts to assist me. I am, and will always be, grateful.
In retrospect, it now seems apparent that my symptoms are, as Drs. Hines and Young believe, primarily the result of mercury toxicity. There were two obvious sources; diet and, more critically, the improper removal of multiple dental amalgam fillings several years earlier. Mercury caused damage to multiple systems and resulted in adrenal dysfunction. It also affected my immune and digestive systems and possibly allowed for a systemic fungal infection to occur. Secondary to these problems is an inability to utilize B-vitamins, especially thiamine. By addressing all issues simultaneously, the process of healing is taking place at a reassuring rate.
As for recommendations for those with the diagnosis of MS, I have four: 1)start on the Klenner protocol as soon as possible, 2) follow Dr. Klenner’s diet suggestions and consider initiating an anti-fungal diet or incorporate the recommendations at www.direct-ms.org, 3) find an alternative/natural physician or one who specializes in environmental medicine who can help uncover and treat causes or contributors to MS symptoms (e.g. mercury toxicity, Lyme Disease, Candida/fungal infection, Vitamin D deficiency, etc.) and 4) obtain the services of an excellent classical homeopath. Additionally, one should consider the spiritual and psychological aspects of their illness. It may prove life enriching.
Whether you are a practitioner or patient, there is hope and help if you look and work hard enough. Yes, there are sacrifices, especially in terms of dietary restrictions (at least for awhile) but the rewards in the return to health are well worth it. You may not believe me, as I am early in my recovery, but you can believe Dale Humpherys who has lived in a fully recovered state for almost thirty years. We owe him our gratitude for making Dr. Klenner's work known.
Finally, I would be very interested in communicating with others who have been treated for MS symptoms with a high degree of success (meaning symptom free or almost symptom free for many years without relapse) using these or other treatment methods. Of course, I would also be happy to provide further information to those who wish it.
Jeffrey L. Prickett, Psy.D., A.P.P.O.
Winter Park, Florida 32790
1 Humpherys, D: Multiple Sclerosis Treated with Injectable Vitamin B1 and Liver Extract. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, February/March 2000:199/200: 58-60.
2 MacDougall, R: My Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis
3 Kaufmann, D: The Fungus Link, volume 2, MediaTrition, 2003.
4 Warren, R: The Purpose Driven Life, Zondervan, 2002.
5 Rogers, S: No More Heartburn, Kensington Books, 2000.
6 Klenner, F: Response of Peripheral and Central Nervous System Pathology to Mega-Doses of the Vitamin B complex and other Metabolites, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, June/July 2000: 203/204.
7 Krohn, J, et al: The Whole Way to Natural Detoxification, Hartley & Marks,1996.
8 Lonsdale, D, et al: Treatment of autism spectrum children with thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide: A pilot study. Neuroendocrinology Letters2002; 23:303-308.