Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a blood disorder that causes a drop in the number of healthy blood cells. This typically results in weakness, frequent infections and/or bleeding problems.
These symptoms can happen quickly or over a period of time.
Another name for this condition is ‘myelodysplasia’, where ‘myelo’ means ‘bone marrow’ (the soft material in the middle of bones) and ‘dysplasia’ means ‘abnormal growth’.
Who is affected?
MDS can affect people of any age but is most common in people aged 65-70 years. Only one in five people with MDS are younger than 50.
Some people with MDS go on to develop acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), which is cancer of the white blood cells. This is known as ‘transformation’.
According to Cancer Research UK, the risk varies from five in every 100 cases (5%) to 65 out of every 100 cases (65%), depending on the type of MDS you have.
Ask your licensed health practitioner about your risk of developing MDS.
What happens in MDS?
Normally, bone marrow produces red blood cells to carry oxygen around your body and white blood cells to help fight infection, as well as platelets to help your blood to clot
In MDS, your bone marrow does not make enough healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and/or platelets. Instead, it makes abnormal cells that are not fully developed.
As the condition develops, your bone marrow becomes full of the abnormal blood cells, which spill out into your bloodstream.
Your blood then becomes full of the abnormal blood cells that don’t function properly, rather than healthy blood cells. It is this low level of normal blood cells that is responsible for symptoms.
Symptoms will depend on the type of MDS you have – for example, some people just have a problem with their red blood cells and have symptoms of anaemia, while others may lack all types of healthy blood cell.
Also, the MDS can either be indolent (slow developing) or aggressive (rapid developing).
The main types of myelodysplasia are:
- refractory anaemia – just the red blood cells are affected
- refractory cytopenia – the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are affected
- refractory anaemia with excess blasts (RAEB) – the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are affected, and there’s a higher risk of developing acute leukaemia
‘Refractory’ means the condition doesn’t respond to treatment that doctors would normally use for low blood cell counts.
What are the symptoms?
For most people, symptoms are mild at first and slowly get worse. You may initially experience:
weakness, tiredness and occasional breathlessness, because of your low numbers of red blood cells
frequent infections, because of your low numbers of white blood cells
bruising and easy bleeding (such as nosebleeds) because of your low numbers of platelets
However, some people with MDS don’t have any symptoms, and their condition is picked up after blood tests for something else.
In most cases, the cause is not known – this is called primary MDS.
However, it is known that exposure to the chemical benzene – used in the rubber industry, and found in petrol – increases the risk of developing MDS.
Rarely, MDS is caused by chemotherapy treatment for cancer. This is known as secondary MDS, or treatment-related MDS.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurized and homogenized dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef. www.grasslandbeef.com The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
Avoid all foods that are high in unhealthy saturated and trans-fats, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated fats and oils, margarine, and shortening. Eliminate refined white flour, which is found in the majority of foods found on a typical grocery store shelf, including bread, bagels, crackers, cakes, cookies, and other baked good, pasta. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, simple carbohydrates, sugars and sugar products, foods that are overly spicy, and all processed and commercial “junk” food. Stay clear of all inorganic pasteurized milk and dairy products, including yogurt and cheese; best to eat only raw, organic dairy products.
Empower yourself, and choose a diet emphasizing organic whole foods, including plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, oats, whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Include a variety of preferably soaked, nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Minimize your intake of red meat; though be sure to consume adequate amounts of organic, free-range poultry, bison and wild-caught fish. Eat generous quantities of both raw and lightly steamed organic vegetables and large fresh salads daily. Preferably, cook with virgin coconut butter/oil and use extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil and hemp seed oil as condiments on veggies and as the base for your daily salad dressing. Throughout the day, drink plenty of pure, filtered water, and avoid drinking—as well as bathing, and showering in—unfiltered tap water, as tap water contains heavy metals and pesticide residues that can settle in high concentrations in the body.
The raw food diet is a food plan that can be of great benefit if you suffer from breast cancer. Using the guidelines outlined above as a base camp for a clean and healthy diet, one can then transition into a raw food diet as desired. Raw food generates rapid results because of its ability to thoroughly detoxify and liberate your body’s previously untapped energy.
The diet mainly consists of raw fruits, vegetables, and soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds, supplemented with daily consumption of fresh green juices made from a variety of vegetables such as celery, romaine lettuce, spinach, carrot, kale, parsley, and an ever rotating seasonal selection of other organic veggies. Raw foodists enjoy salads, dehydrated flax crackers, seed and nut patés, blended soups, smoothies, and marinated veggies, often mixed with soaked sea vegetables. Since little to no cooked food is consumed, the raw diet has the advantage of instantly eliminating many common allergens. No cooked wheat or wheat by-products are consumed, and generally dairy is omitted, though some might choose to eat moderate quantities of raw goat or sheep milk products, often in the form of a fermented food, such as homemade raw kefir or yogurt.
Dr. Gabriel Cousins, at the Tree of Life Center, endorses the raw food plan as the ultimate healing diet, and offers 100% raw food meals at his healing retreat in Patagonia, Arizona. More times than not the raw food diet presents itself as an incredible tool that can be used to quickly transition from a serious health challenge into a healing process, ultimately resulting in greater health and well-being.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications, but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Miller’s Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.