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Robin Montesano

Robin Montesano-MS strong since 1992

I have had multiple sclerosis for quite a while. When I was diagnosed in 1992 they started me on Dexamethasone. For the first year, I had tiny little proximal seizures. So I switched to Betaseron. It gave me migraines and severe depression. Every six months, I was having a flare. I stopped taking it before the doctor told me to. I couldn't live with migraines all the time. I waited for Copaxone to come out, and I was on it for 15 years.

During all the medication changes and flairs and relapses, I became really scared and then really proactive. I had read about nutrition helping manage M.S. and started following the Swank Diet. I cut down on pro-inflammatory foods. Took out trans fats, and high fructose corn syrups. I found a researcher in Toronto, who told me to start taking Vitamin D- This was way back before we knew what the levels should be. I also started taking a ton of supplements.

I always laugh that doctors say, eat healthily, and then they leave it up to you to determine what healthy is. There's an onslaught of information on the news every day. So, unless you’re focused, then how do you know what is healthy? I ended up going back to school and getting a master's degree in nutrition in 2003. Now I advocate for the power of nutrition in helping managing M.S. and other autoimmune disorders.

The first piece of advice I’d give to those diagnosed is you have to eat clean and proportionally. The second is to exercise to keep your muscle tone. Do yoga or bike, do anything you’re able to do. Then, manage your stress. Stress increases cortisol and exacerbates MS. The only way to manage stress is through exercise or meditation.

I maintain two Facebook groups. One is an MS page and the other supports eating for immunity. I want others to know how to adjust their lifestyle to alleviate their symptoms, just as I have.

I haven’t taken any DMTs for seven years. I still get MS hugs here and there, and stress still makes my symptoms flare. When I went to my neurologist recently, he told me I basically have benign MS.


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