Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dr Pepper-holic

I don't know how many people out there remember the old Dr Pepper commercials. The ones where they promoted drinking a Dr Pepper at 10,2 and 4. I sure do. My grandfather lived off of Dr Pepper and would religiously drink one at least 3-4 times a day. My wife also has this love of Dr Pepper, and can become quite cranky when she doesn't have one. Quite a few years back, she quit drinking any "cokes" and went through the whole sugar and caffeine withdrawals. Those were not fun days, but she felt so much better after it was all out of her system. Now, she will drink one and then wonder why she can't go to sleep at bedtime.

Cokes have a very real affect on my wife's MS. If she gets back in the habit of drinking them, I notice a change in her mood and a growing problem with insomnia. And when she quits them again, my daughter and I both notice the changes in her personality. This is one of those things that she really struggles with. The 23 flavors of Dr Pepper seem to call her by name and every once in a while I find one stashed somewhere that she was drinking or find one placed at the back of the fridge out of sight. She knows that she shouldn't be drinking them, and I give her fits when she does give in and has one. It has kinda become a game between us over the past few years, but we both know that cokes can cause real issues with MS.

Regular sodas have so much sugar in them that they can't be ignored when a person is trying to improve their health. Diet sodas are even worse. We know of a MS patient in Texas that was stuck in a wheelchair before he quit drinking diet sodas. He had been wheelchair bound for years and then started a diet and supplement regimen and was playing golf within a year. If I remember right he was even featured on Good Morning America. It was pretty incredible to see the transformation. One thing they found out was he had been drinking diet sodas continually throughout the day. The doctors felt like the artificial sweetener was the cause of many of his MS issues. The strength slowly started returning to his limbs and he began to slowly exercise and work his muscles until he was finally able to live a regular life.

I have seen too many cases like this to ignore them. I joke with my wife that the Dr Peppers are what's causing everything, but we both know they are just a piece of the overall puzzle. We know for a fact that she has less insomnia, better emotional control and is in a better overall mood when she is not drinking sodas. Even knowing those things, I know they are one of her weaknesses and she tries to enjoy them in moderation. I would almost bet that today she will have a Dr Pepper and that those 23 flavors will be calling out to her to drink more.

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