Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Multiple Sclerosis Health Center

Select An Article

Do These Treatments Work for MS?

Font Size

Bee stings, cobra venom, and hookworms are things you usually avoid -- unless you have multiple sclerosis. Then, you might be willing to try them to help ease your symptoms. And what if recycling stem cells or going gluten-free could fix your immune system? Would you give it a go?

Let's separate the science from the wishful thinking.

Some lifestyle approaches, such as exercise, have been proven to help with fatigue, depression, memory, and bladder control. Others, such as vitamin Dsupplements, show promise but are still being tested. Acupuncture, a centuries-old form of Chinese medicine, shows mixed results.

Your best bet is to stick to your treatment plan. Don't stop taking your medication. Talk to your doctor about any complementary medicine or alternative treatment you want to try, especially since it may affect how your drugs work. Together, you can decide if it makes sense and won't do more harm than good.

Stem Cell Therapy (HSCT)

The goal behind a hematopoietic stem cell transplant is to reboot your immune system to stop it from attacking your nervous system.

Researchers take special undeveloped cells from the blood or bone marrow of people with MS, then knock out their immune cells with low doses of chemotherapy and radiation. When the saved stem cells get put back into their bodies, they start making new immune cells that hopefully won't go after myelin and brain tissue.

The results are promising: 41 of the people studied for 2 years said their symptoms were greatly improved. After 4 years, more than half of them had no relapses. That was 80% of those in the study.

Larger, controlled studies and clinical trials are now underway.

Gluten-free Diet

In some people, the protein found in wheat can trigger celiac disease. That's also an autoimmune disorder. But research doesn't show a link between it and MS.

Unless you're sensitive to gluten, don't pass on the pasta and bread just yet. There's no science to suggest giving up these kinds of foods will ease your MS symptoms.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

You may have seen this in movies when scuba divers get "the bends." You sit in a small, sealed chamber breathing pure oxygen. Because the pressure inside is up to three times more than normal air pressure outside, you can breathe more into your lungs. This extra oxygen may help your body heal.

It works as a treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning, bubbles in your bloodstream, burns from fire and heat, and wounds from diabetes and radiation. But not for MS. Several studies found no evidence to support its use and little need for more research.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
woman applying lotion
Ideas on how to boost your mood and self-esteem.
woman pondering
Get personalized treatment options.
man with hand over eye
Be on the lookout for these symptoms.
brain scan
worried woman
neural fiber
white blood cells
sunlight in hands
marijuana plant
muscle spasm