One result I didn’t understand. “Your CBC is good—have this test every 4 months from now on” I was told by the neurology department.
What does that measure? “Lymphocites.”
Why do I get tested so regularly? Because my medication for MS, tecfidera, which has few side effects, does have this one…the possibility of lowered lymphocites, with bad consequences.
I had never heard of lymphocites
What is interesting to all of us with (even without) MS (http://www.medfriendly.com/lymphocyte.html) is that low lymphocites are associated with MS and a few other diseases. Unnaturally high ones are found with a different set of issues, such as leukemia.
What are these things? Lymphocites make up around 40% of white blood cells. There are two types—T-cells and B-cells. B-cells are what we MSers want to especially think about. We don’t want them to be too low.
What can we do to take charge of our lymphocyte level?
I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THE FOLLOWING:
I asked one nurse and she told me, “Nothing, there is nothing you can do to prevent low lymphocites. Just have the test every quarter.”
THAT IS WRONG.
I don't mean that I don't trust nurses, they have years studying this material that I don't. But that one piece of information was wrong.
If ever we needed a reason to consider diet and lifestyle important in our search for fewer MS symptoms, it is given here, when we are dealing with lymphocites.
There are several things we CAN do. Here are four methods to boost our lymphocites
- Eat enough protein. .36 grams per pound of weight, means a person (I don’t know them) who weighs 120 pounds should eat 43 grams of protein, which is 1.5 oz. of lean meat, fish or dairy.
- AVOID HIGH FAT. This thickens the lymphocites so they aren’t as effective as they should be. Again, lean meat and fish and low fat dairy.
- Drink green tea. This contains catechins, which speed up the response time of lymphocites and also have amino acids which trigger germ fighting components of Tcells.
- WATER. 8-10 glasses a day. One way to make this easier is to substitute fruit juice mixed with water, coconut water or herbal tea.
- NUTRIENTS (Does this sound like diet to you? It does to me.)
- VITAMIN C Found in fresh fruit, also in green leafy veggies and in red pepper
- SELAMUN in seafood, lamb, cottage cheese
- ZINC 10 mg for women, 12 for men—too much is toxic, though that is not likely to happen if you get it through your diet.
- BETA CAROTENE Yes, carrots, but did you also know—sweet potatoes, canteloups, spinach, butternut squash, dried apricots, romaine lettuce?
- LIFESTYLE CHANGES
- EXERCISE 30 minutes 5 times a week. Do it. 10 minute intervals work too.
- WEIGHT. Maintain a good one. Your body mass index (BMI) should be between 18.5 and 24.9. Here is an online calculator for BMI (http://bmicalculator.cc/?gclid=Cj0KEQiAiNi0BRDaobaq3dKJhrwBEiQAyVThzXfvSeBDYTw2cE9NQD9GoKbVy-t_HKS2po9Yi5HOemMaAnfs8P8HAQ).
- REST. Try for 8 hours a night. Again, stress doesn’t help, some diet changes can help (less alcohol and caffeine before bed, not that I am suggesting alcohol for breakfast J).
- DE-STRESS The posts on this blog keep reminding me of the healing power of de-stressing. (Next week, a more scientific look at the biology of stress, information gathered from an herbalist.)
There are two morals to this blog. First, NEVER accept limits to what We can do to help our health. Second, diet matters! (Exercise matters too and so does de-stressing).
We can make a difference in our health, so, as Susanna Wesley said about the gospel—first, believe it, second DO it!