Tag Archives: Autoimmune Diseases

Multiple Sclerosis by the Numbers

100_0572     Worldwide the number of people that have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis is somewhere between 2.3 million and 2.5 million. In the United States there are roughly 450,000 to 600,000 individuals that have been diagnosed with MS which mathematically works out to 1 in 4 or 25% of all patients world wide. And that number is quite simply staggering when you consider that there are 7.5 billion, give or take a few million, people now living in this world. Which if my math is correct means that about 3 out of every ten thousand people will be diagnosed with MS worldwide. In the US that number works out to roughly about 2 out of every thousand. I admit these are very rough numbers but there close enough to show that the incidence of MS in the United States is much more prevalent then anywhere else on the planet.

     Let’s look at this in a different and even more startling way. If we take the number of US diagnosis’ and divide that into the total number of people afflicted with MS worldwide we find that 1 in 4 or 25% of all people with Multiple Sclerosis live in the United States which definitely begs the question, why? Especially when you consider that we have roughly 5%, or one 20th, of the total world population, again I ask, why?

     When I worked through these numbers I did only the Multiple Sclerosis numbers that are easily found on the internet and I didn’t look into all other autoimmune disorders as a whole but I wonder if I did would they show a similar distribution of autoimmune disease in the US as compared to the combined world population?

     If my math is even close to being correct it strongly suggests that there is some kind of environmental trigger that is far more prevalent here in the United States then anywhere else in the world that’s the only thing that makes any sense. And in my opinion with this information it should not be all that difficult to determine what that environmental trigger really is which would answer a whole lot of questions about this, and perhaps other, disorders of these kinds and what kick starts these disease processes into over drive.

     What do you think? Make some noise whenever and where ever you can. I strongly suspect that we, who have these autoimmune diseases, are the canaries in the mine and are just the first people to succumb to an ever, and increasingly more polluted, and sick planet!

Bill Walker


MS and My Retinal Detachment

     100_0548 I have Multiple Sclerosis and I have also had some pretty serious issues with my right eye lately which, surprisingly enough, have absolutely nothing to do with each other. First, over this last summer, I had a detached Vitreous which was terrifying in that I had floaters and all kinds of visual distortions that ultimately my body was able to correct on its own. And then a few weeks ago in early November I started to have what I thought was another round of the same detachment so I paid little attention to it until I started to lose about 60 to 70% of my vision in my right eye which sent me back to the eye doctor. And in this case it was a very good thing that I did as a Detached Retina I learned is a whole lot worse, seeing as it will eventually lead to going blind in that eye, if not corrected quickly.

     A scant 24 hours after my diagnosis I found myself going into the first of a two day procedure where they inject a gas bubble straight into your eye to push the retina back into place, which sounds gross, but isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as you might think. On the second day I was taken into the laser room where they shot a laser beam straight into my right eye to reattach, or weld would be more like it, the retina back into its proper location. As the Ophthalmologist worked on my eye he started to tell me just how lucky I was to have this happen now as opposed to ten years ago when this procedure was just in the very early phase of being developed. In other words, I probably would have lost the use of my right eye ten years ago and for many people once this occurs in one eye the likely hood of it happening in the other eye jumps significantly which is why I have to go back in two weeks to have the laser part of this procedure done again on a few weak spots in my left eye.

     And this procedure actually had a profoundly positive effect on my overall out look when it comes to also having MS, I started to consider just how fast science is moving and discovering new ways of treating and curing many health problems. If you’ve been reading all of the studies that are currently being done on MS and a wide variety of other Autoimmune disorders, as well as all diseases really, you start to think that it really is possible that we all may once again be able to hike up a mountain side or ride a one hundred mile marathon bike race without all of the ravages of these awful diseases holding us back.

     Don’t get me wrong, I certainly didn’t enjoy my Detached Retina experience by any means, but it did help me to find my faith in a medical system that I have quite often been critical of in the recent past. We will find a cure to Multiple Sclerosis in the near future, of that I’m absolutely certain. My Holiday wish for all of us is to see, and experience life once again to its fullest, without any adverse effects from this degenerative malady that we call Multiple Sclerosis!


Happy Holidays to all with hopes for 2015 being the year that we can truly see the beginning of the end of this disease. And, who knows, perhaps the cure has already been discovered and is just a clinical trial or two away from becoming a reality!


Bill Walker

MS-A Cold-Zinc-A Difficult Choice


How do spiders do that? Those two trees are at least ten feet apart.

     Recently I woke up with all the tell tale signs of an emerging cold, you know, the scratchy throat, the slightly more then usual MS weakness and tightness in my muscles a little sniff here a little sniff their with a sneeze or two thrown in for good measure. And it’s in these very early moments of an oncoming cold virus where I have to make a very difficult health choice. If I hit a cold hard as soon as I notice it coming on with mega doses of zinc I can almost always knock down both the severity of the cold as well as the duration of having to put up with this pesky little health annoyance by about half as much. And it would seem that the answer would be simple enough to deduce, but it’s not.

     For all of the benefits that I get from using zinc to combat a cold I also have to accept a sudden flair in all of my MS symptoms after about the third day of using the zinc. And if I don’t stop completely after the fourth day I risk having a full blown MS attack that could last for days or even weeks. And this is knowledge that I have acquired over almost sixteen years of having both colds and Multiple Sclerosis so I know for a fact that this is how my body reacts to zinc.

     And in fact, while were on the subject, this is pretty much the same choice I have to make when deciding whether or not to get a flu shot or not each year. I really don’t know what they put in the flu vaccine, though I’ve heard they use mercury as a preservative, but whatever is in it I seem to always have a reaction that in many cases is even worse then having the flu itself.

     And when you consider that recent studies have shown high levels of iron deposits in MS patient’s brain lesions after they have passed away I just have to wonder if heavy metals are something that people who suffer from MS, or perhaps any autoimmune disorder, just can’t tolerate to much of in their systems.

     However, these are not the only triggers when it comes to me personally and many of these other vitamins have nothing to do with metal in any way, or at least as far as I know. I cannot tolerate vitamin B12, same thing as above my symptoms go nuts after just a few days of trying to take it, however what’s strange is that, no other B vitamin seems to affect me like this. Vitamin E also seems to adversely affect my MS along with Cod Liver Oil, though Omega 3 fish oils don’t bother me at all.

     And one final note here about iodine, I recently read that salt, or sodium, may play a part in triggering Multiple Sclerosis. And I can truly believe this as well, if the salt has iodine added to it which most of the time it does, as at some point years ago I tried taking iodine supplements, for some reason that I can’t remember anymore, and with in two days I stopped as my MS began to rebel violently to the addition of this nutrient in its more concentrated form.

     Well that’s some of the things that affect me. I would be very interested in knowing what triggers other people with MS, or any autoimmune disease, have noticed in their lives? Who knows, maybe we can figure this thing out on our own!


By Bill Walker

MS and Environmental Mercury Poisoning

    100_0362 Researchers have contemplated for years that Multiple Sclerosis may have an environmental component to it. Whether or not it’s the main trigger or just one of many factors that happens to fall in just the right order to disrupt the immune system is what scientists are currently trying to determine in an effort to eventually be able to break the chain of this devastating disease.

     One thing that has gotten quite a bit of scrutiny is our body’s reaction to heavy metals in our environment with mercury being at the top of that list. The reason for that is simple; the symptoms of mercury poisoning are very similar to those of Multiple Sclerosis. And mercury is, and is becoming, ever more prevalent in our ecosystem. It’s in our water, our soil, and even in the air we breathe each and everyday. It’s becoming an environmental disaster as it combines with other compounds in the ocean as it increasingly builds up in the fish and the plants that we eat everyday. And the vast majority of this newly released mercury is being caused by one factor, the burning of coal for our vast energy needs.

     There are still some people who do not believe that coal is having a global effect on our weather patterns. But no matter how you view the climate exposure to the burning of coal, the end result does mean, pouring vast amounts of mercury and other heavy metals into the air where it finds its way into everything else that it comes into contact with. And if you are a person with MS this cannot be considered, by any means whatsoever, a good thing.

     I realize that we just can’t produce the energy that our country needs without burning some kind of fossil fuels but we have vast reserves of natural gas and still a healthy supply of oil that can be used until other alternatives can be developed and employed. But we have to learn to live without the worst of these environmental polluters, and that’s coal.

     The DVD’s in the picture above are about coal, its use, and its extraction, if you’re interested in seeing them. You can find most of them at any local library or they can order them if you ask. And if you have MS, or any autoimmune disease, this is as much about your personal health as it is about the planets!

Bill Walker