'I'm perfectly well': Lifestyle change removes all symptoms of MS from man who refused to give up
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George Jelinek was 45-years-old when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis - the same disease his mother succumbed to after a 16-year battle.
Rather than wait for the disease to run its course, Jelinek took action and discovered how to reverse its effects.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Jelinek witnessed his mother's constant pain and complete dependency on others, so when he was diagnosed with the same disease the world seemed to come to a complete stop.
"It was Sunday, April 19, 1999, at about 4pm," he recalled. "In an instant I felt the bottom fall out of my world. I knew exactly how bad MS could get and the news was utterly devastating."
Jelinek, who is a professor of emergency medicine, told She Interested he felt symptoms six days before he was diagnosed. He felt "an unusual sensation in the big toe" of his left food while he was at work.
The next two days led to a strange numbness spreading up his foot and leg. Though there was no pain, he knew something was wrong.
Hoping it was a slipped disc or other back injury, Jelinek saw a neurologist who delivered the unfortunate news.
"My very first thought should have been 'I've got MS.' It's known to run in families, I was the right age and the symptoms were typical. But denial is a wonderful thing," he explained.
"I can recall very clearly the second the penny dropped because it was a massive penny that suddenly fell from the clouds and smashed on the table," Jelinek said of the moment the neurologist gave him the diagnosis. "I'd lived this diagnosis with my mother. Now that diagnosis was mine and I knew exactly where it was going to take me."
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is when the body's immune system attacks cells covering and protecting the fibers of the nervous system, which leads to miscommunication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Problems include numbness, stiffness and the loss of bodily functions.
"I had no idea there was anything you could do about MS and that was certainly clear from the way the neurologist delivered the news," Jelinek explained. "It was, 'Look, buddy, I've got terrible news. You've got this incurable progressive neurological disease and there's nothing you can do about it.'"
Jelinek was momentarily broken - then he read a paper by Roy Swank, a U.S. neurologist who studied the link between MS and nutrition.
"As soon as I read Swank's paper, I found hope," Jelinek recalled. "My energy and passion came back. I started to follow up all these clues in the literature and one thing just led to another."
Jelinek began to meet with others suffering from MS. Together, the group researched every medical study on the disease in an attempt to find a cure.
He left his position at St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne and began researching at the University of Melbourne.
Jelinek decided, "I wasn't really going to change anything much if I didn't contribute to the research in this area," so he founded the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne, which published twelve papers in the last year.
His team combed through studies dating as far back as the 1930s and created a seven step program to beat the disease:
- EXERCISE regularly. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- GET enough sun and vitamin D. Top up with vitamin D supplements and, if possible, up to 15 minutes of sunlight five times a week.
- MEDITATE. Helps to control stress, a trigger for MS relapses.
- PROTECT your family. Relatives are at high risk of contracting MS and following the programme can prevent that.
- MEDICATION. Continue taking drugs prescribed by your doctor.
- CHANGE your life. Make looking after yourself a priority and embrace the programme as 'a great, new way to live well.'
By following the steps over a period of seventeen years, Jelinek reported he has "no symptoms - I'm perfectly well!"
He began to swim and run regularly and claims, "I'm actually fitter and healthier than I have been at any time in my life."
His personal success is explained in his new book "Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis," which is dedicated to his mother, where he writes healing can be accomplished through dietary and lifestyle changes.
The admittedly demanding steps are based on "a rigorous analysis of the best available scientific evidence" but the MS patients around the world who have joined Professor Jelinek's online community aren't complaining.
"It took years for the symptoms to disappear," Jelinek admitted, explaining, "It was gradual, but seven years after diagnosis I realised I no longer had them.
"...It's important for people with MS to know it need not be a relentless, progressive deterioration," Jelinek explained. "And we have found age doesn't matter, nor does it matter how disabled you are - it's possible to stabilise the illness at any stage."
Jelinek explained his motivation to find a cure was: "Not only from seeing Mum's suffering and the way she was forced to end her life, and the realisation I would be in that position, but also thinking about the tens of thousands of people in the same situation.
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"It just doesn't have to be that way. You're future is actually much more in your hands than it is in your doctor's."
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