Fighting multiple sclerosis

2019-07-03 06:01
Mala Naidoo with her book, A Flaming Challenge.PHOTO: Kavo R Photography

Mala Naidoo with her book, A Flaming Challenge.PHOTO: Kavo R Photography

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WHEN she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and three other chronic autoimmune diseases in 2014, Mala Naidoo was forced to face a bleak future after doctors and various other scientific figures were at a loss, conceding that there was no way she could possibly walk again given the severity of the lesions in her brain. However, five years later, Naidoo is walking, talking and giving out advice to anyone willing to listen, all the while being pill free.

Having lived her life free of any life-threatening diseases and without any scares, Naidoo was shell-shocked in 2014 when all of a sudden she was diagnosed with four incurable diseases all at once.

“I was told that there was a high possibility that I would never be able to walk again.

“The multiple sclerosis had affected my balance centre and I was advised to start using a wheelchair as I would eventually lose function of my lower limbs,”

“Even though I was fortunate enough to be able to try everything medically, the various neurologists that I was treated by could come up with no cure for me,” said Naidoo.

Riddled with severe side effects due to the copious amounts of medication that she had to take, Naidoo found herself virtually bed ridden for six months, experiencing inflammation of her body, searing headaches, electric shocks throughout her body, muscle weakness and terrible nausea to the point where she would stay in the bathroom all day because she felt like vomiting. Naidoo knew that she had to find another way.

“I had been blessed with a fairly healthy body before that period in my life so being in that state affected me in a huge way.

“Apart from battling with the symptoms that come with multiple sclerosis, I was also battling with extreme fatigue and severe depression from the fibromyalgia, until I had enough and decided to find my own cure,” said Naidoo, who is a biomedical research scientist.

Using her knowledge, she went about conducting her own research regarding the battle she faced.

With the help of her husband, who is a pharmacist, and her two sons, who are currently studying in the field of medicine, Naidoo began brainstorming and researching, making notes along the way about what made her feel worse and what made her feel better.

“I was basically my own guinea pig. Using my body as the laboratory, I looked at the days when I felt worse and noted as to what lead to me feeling worse on those days. I began adjusting my diet, thoughts and way of life,” said Naidoo, who said she also incorporated breathing techniques and visualisation of healthier thoughts. “When food and meditation became my medication, wellness filtered into my life.”

Naidoo said that she recalls, when she was in her bed ridden state and attempting to recover, she constantly visualised herself dancing and today she and her husband actively dance together.

“I had to be honest with myself and move forward from there. With the help of my family, I developed a wellness formula which I stand by and have included in my book: A Flaming Challenge, which delves into my experience and how I overcame it along with the method of how to make yourself symptom-free when diagnosed with a chronic condition,” she said.

Naidoo says that the problem when it comes to auto immune diseases is that no one can see what is going on as all the symptoms are being experienced internally, which makes it harder for others to understand the pain one is going through. This is much like depression except you feel intense pain throughout your body when affected by auto immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

“To my knowledge, the first case of multiple sclerosis was discovered 151 years ago and to date there is no definite knowledge on why it occurs or even how to cure it, but here I am — living proof that with understanding, discipline and a change in lifestyle one can become symptom free without the use of medicine,”

“That is why I wrote my book, to chronicle my experience and shed some light on how we need to fix ourselves internally — that is when we will start to see results, be it through correct nutrition, meditation, or positive thoughts. These are all the things we need to incorporate in our lives to ensure we are healthy,” said Naidoo.

Today, after coming from a space where she had all but given up and was at a point where she felt defeated by multiple sclerosis and her three other auto immune diseases, Naidoo is living her life without any medication and she can walk without any complications

“Thousands of people around the world suffer with multiple sclerosis.

“I want to be an ambassador for change to show people that we can manage it and that there is hope to lead a symptom-free life,” said Naidoo.

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