I have many new food allergies, which I never had before being diagnosed with MS in 2007. I seem to be more sensitive to all sorts of things, including fabric softener, certain soaps, as well as shellfish,peanuts, milk, dairy, red meat, etc. I asked my Neurologist, and he says it is not related to MS, but I was wondering if anyone else experienced this?
I am sorry you suffer from MS, so does my Loving Mother... I have self educated myself on this most "Delicate" condition".
DIETARY FACTORS, MS PATHOGENESIS AND MS TYPES
MS is mainly the result of both the activation of T-cells against CNS protein and damage to the BBB (blood-brain barrier) which leads to infiltration of immune cells into the CNS(central nervous system9 tissue and subsequent demyelinization. There are two main components of diet which appear to be responsible for the activation of T-cells and BBB damage.
The first and perhaps most critical component is food antigens. Gell and Coombs (1975) described four classes of hypersensitivity which is defined as "an increased state of reactivity that involves a detrimental immune response" (Elgert, 1996). Each of these types of hypersensitivity causes tissue damage through various types of immune reactions (Elgert, 1996). Type I(activation of basophils and mast cells), III (activation of basophils and mast cells) and (Type IV reaction) by both molecular mimicry of CNS self proteins by food proteins outside the CNS and by exposure of autoreactive T-cells to previously sequestered CNS proteins following passage of immune elements through a damaged blood-brain barrier.
Type I is the classic immediate, hypersensitivity immune reactions which involve the increased production of IgE antibodies upon introduction of an offending food. This is what is termed a food allergy and the reader is referred to Lichtenstein (1993) for a comprehensive review of the immune response of allergens. Note that only this specific reaction is termed allergy and all other reactions are referred to as hypersensitivities. In brief, an allergen in the blood, through a complex series of immune responses, stimulates mast cells and basophils (specific types of immune cells) to secrete various chemicals and hormones such as histamine, leukotrienes and tumor necrosis factor. It is well established that the chemicals secreted by the activated basophils and mast cells can cause a significant increase in the permeability of capillaries (Lichtenstein, 1993). As stated by Rozniecki et al. (1995), "mast cells ... can participate in the regulation of blood- brain permeability". Thus, food allergens are potentially capable of causing significant, localized, increased permeabilities in the BBB. Activated mast cells may also play a significant role in demyelinization (Johnson et al., 1988; Kruger et al., 1990). Kruger and Nyland (1995) summarize these concepts: "multiple sclerosis arises due to the effect of the various mediators (histamine and protease) released from the perivascular mast cells after stimulation by some diet factor". Also of significant importance is that IgG4 antibodies can also activate mast cells and basophils (Shakib et al., 1986; Elgert, 1996). The role of IgG4 in pathogenic immune reactions has been shown by Gerrard el al. (1976) and Rafei et al. (1989). Rafei et al. (1989) found that only 29% of those with food allergies (as demonstrated by food challenges) had positive IgE skin tests whereas 91% tested positive for IgG4 and IgE. Furthermore one patient who demonstrated a delayed response to peanuts had undetectable IgE but markedly elevated antipeanut IgG4. As recently shown by Bengtsson et al. (1996), non-IgE immune reactions occur in adults due to the ingestion of common foods such as eggs, milk and wheat. IgG4 may well be involved in such reactions.
Type III hypersensitivity involves the production of immune complexes which are formed by the combining of antigens and antibodies. This type of hypersensitivity is likely responsible for many non-IgE reactions. It has been established that these circulating immune complexes can have a pathogenic effect mainly by deposition in blood vessel walls (Cochrane and Koffler, 1973). This causes inflammation of the vessel walls and greatly increased permeability. Immune complexes can also result in the activation of another part of the immune system, complement (plasma proteins), which results in further damage (Elgert, 1996). Thus the increased production of antibodies (mainly IgA, IgG, IgE and IgM), due to the introduction of various food proteins into the circulatory system, can readily result in immune complex formation, deposition in the vascular system of the CNS, activation of complement and a resultant damage to the BBB.
Type IV hypersensitivity refers to cell-mediated reactions and results in the activation of T-cells which then induce an array of damaging immune reactions. These reactions, like Type III reactions, are delayed and often occur days after the offending foods are ingested. The mechanisms by which food antigens induce Type IV reactions are currently poorly understood although such occurrences (e.g. celiac disease in which cereal grain proteins cause cell-mediated reactions) are undoubted. As mentioned earlier, one possible mechanism for foods to induce an activation of T-cells against parts of the CNS is through molecular mimicry. Food proteins which escape into the circulatory system are processed by macrophages which then present peptides (protein fragments) derived from the food protein to T-cells. The molecular sequencing in these peptides may be close enough to the sequencing of self-antigens in the CNS (molecular mimicry) to induce T-cell activation against parts of the CNS. For example it was recently shown that cereal proteins share amino acid homologies with human joint tissue (procollagen) and that T-cells from the joints of arthritic patients were activated by these cereal proteins. Thus molecular mimicry by cereal proteins can result in arthritis (Ostenstad et al., 1995). It is readily conceivable that various proteins found in dairy and grains as well as other foods (e.g. legumes, yeast, eggs) have similar amino acid sequencing as proteins in the CNS.
In summary it is clear that, from a theoretical point of view, hypersensitivity reactions to foods can result in significant damage to and increased permeability of the BBB and can also result in T-cell activation against the CNS. As discussed earlier, such damage to the BBB and activation of T-cells initiates a cascade of immune reactions to happen in the CNS which results in chronic inflammation, demyelination and a diagnosis of MS.
Dietary factors as the main cause of MS also provides a reasonable explanation for the different types of MS. For any individual the ingestion of specific kinds and amounts of sensitive, which potentially affect the BBB and activate T-cells, will vary significantly with time but can have a daily effect. This fact, in concert with random infections by common viruses and bacteria which also affect the BBB and activate T-cells, results in an ongoing disease process but a randomness in the severity of disease activity and the effectiveness of suppressor reactions. This would result in relapsing-remitting character for MS.
As the BBB continues to degrade through time, by the daily irritation by dietary factors and by gradual aging processes (weakening of suppressor reactions), a point is often reached when ongoing disease activity maintains a relatively high level and RRMS transforms into secondary progressive MS.
Primary progressive MS is likely a reflection of an individual's extreme hypersensitivity to various substances combined with high exposure and a relatively easy path for the antigens to reach the circulatory system. In such a case almost continuous BBB failure and T-cell activation might be expected such that suppressor recations cannot modulate the disease process. Thus MS would progress with no periods of relief.
Although it would appear as if dietary factors do provide a reasonable explanation for the great variation in presentation and progression of MS. .
I forgot to mention the following, the most common foods which result in immune reactions and eventual MS are dairy, cereal grains, eggs, yeast and legumes. These are all foods which have been introduced into the human diet relatively recently and are genetically difficult to tolerate for some .
Regarding the other allergies you are undergoing I do not know what might be causing them, seek for a second opinion and also the possibility of seeing a Dermatologist...
I DO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS , I BELIEVE NO ONE DOES... AND THE ONES WHO THINK THEY DO ARE THE BIGGEST FOOLS ON THIS PLANET.
I AM NOT A DOCTOR/ (SPECIALIST) NEUROLOGIST AND DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BE OR COMPARE MYSELF IN ANYWAY WITH ONE... I AM JUST A CARING INDIVIDUAL.
I HOPE I HAVE CLARIFIED SOMEHOW YOUR QUESTION.
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