Naturopathic physicians have long held that most of the chronic degenerative diseases of our modern era are diet-related.
The naturopathic physician is highly trained in clinical nutrition and possesses the knowledge of the therapeutic nutritional effects of different foods, vitamins and minerals in the treatment of disease. To this end the physician may choose to test the patient’s blood for genetic factors which determine the type of diet best suited for the patient. Also, allergy testing is often recommended to determine what agent is contributing to the illness.
The higher incidences of Multiple Sclerosis parallel increased rates of cancer, heart disease and arthritis, as well as other chronic degenerative diseases. All of these coincide with the introduction of high fat, high refined sugar and processed food diets which have become the standard diet of most North Americans.
There has been a considerable body of research which bears this out, most notably that of Francis Pottenger, M.D., Weston Price, DDS and Roy Swank, M.D.
One of the cornerstones of treatment for Multiple Sclerosis is dietary. Roy Swank M.D. and his colleagues have shown that diets low in fats cause the illness to go into remission and the symptoms to diminish.
Further, in following patients over a period of 35 years, he has shown that those who follow this diet have lower disease progression rates than those who do not. Most significantly, it has been shown that many patients are able to lead normal lives with just dietary manipulation alone.
The MS patient begins to experience changes in the disease process within 4 to 6 weeks of starting the diet, often sooner. The longer the person continues with the diet the more improvement occurs. Even persons with severe manifestations of the illness receive some benefit.
Inevitably, at some time in the process, the person will go off the dietary recommendations to see if in fact it is really helping, or whether they are just going through a period of remission. In every case symptoms begin to return within a short period of time and will resolve when the patient begins to follow the proper diet again.
The Swank Diet has also been found to be of benefit for other chronic degenerative illnesses as well.