Finally, Attention Switches To Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

A surge of new MS treatments have been for the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. A new drug that targets CD20-positive B cells may change that.

Therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) has been on a roll. Since 2009, a steady stream of more effective medications has been introduced for the autoimmune disease that attacks the myelin sheaths of nerve cells. The FDA approved the latest agent, daclizumab (Zinbryta) in May. The medication, marketed by Biogen and AbbVie, has many of the same characteristics as other recent therapies for MS. Daclizumab is a monoclonal antibody requiring less frequent dosing (monthly). It targets a unique set of immunological cells that cause the disease. And like other recently approved therapies, it’s superior to traditional “disease-modifying agents” in achieving the current MS treatment goal of “no evidence of disease activity,” or NEDA for short.

But here’s the thing: While daclizumab and its ilk can greatly improve the quality of life for MS patients, all of these new drugs are approved for only one form of the disease.

The blood–brain barrier

MS comes in several varieties. Most new patients are diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which is characterized by flare-ups of inflammation that produce brain lesions and vision, bladder, and muscle coordination problems.

A relatively small minority of between 10% and 15% of newly diagnosed MS patients are diagnosed with a different form of the disease called primary progressive multiple sclerosis. It’s a silent thief of vitality that produces slow and steady neurodegeneration affecting motor skills and cognition, absent the acute exacerbations that occur with the relapsing-remitting MS. Over time as many as 80% of relapsing-remitting patients transition to secondary progressive MS, which also brings relentless neurodegeneration.

There are currently no FDA-approved medications for primary progressive MS, which is the more challenging variant of the disease. And there is only an old standby, mitoxantrone, approved for secondary progressive MS.

This skewed MS drug development reflects both the complex nature of the disease and an understanding of its pathology that is still incomplete.

The pathogenic pathways of relapsing and progressive MS seem to be quite different. The relapsing form of MS occurs when immune system cells and other factors, which normally protect the body from infections and cancers, go rogue. They manage to leave the bloodstream and cross the blood–brain barrier to attack the protective myelin covering of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

In contrast, in progressive disease the flow of these immune cells from the circulation into the brain is less prominent. Instead, there is compartmentalization of T and B cells and aberrant cytokines that activate microglia, T and B cells in the central nervous system. In progressive MS, there’s also more degeneration and loss of neural cells and nerve fibers that cause permanent disability.

The treatment of progressive MS is complicated by the fact that the blood–brain barrier, a kind of biological moat that defends the central nervous system from all manner of pathogens, also keeps medications at bay, so they can’t enter the central nervous system. Researchers face the problem of not having a good animal model for the disease.

Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD“In the majority of patients we have a growing understanding that MS is mediated by T and B cells; both coordinate the attack on the nervous system,” says Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD, of Rutgers University.

The absence of treatments for primary progressive MS may be about to change with a new monoclonal antibody rushing through FDA approval. In February, the FDA granted breakthrough status to ocrelizumab, which is being developed by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. In a Phase 3 trial called ORATORIO, ocrelizumab was studied in 732 patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. The drug was administered intravenously, as two infusions of 300 mg given two weeks apart every six months. At the end of the study period, ocrelizumab significantly reduced disability progression sustained for at least 12 weeks by 24% compared with placebo as measured by the expanded disability status scale. The scale is based on physical and neurological exams of vision, coordination, limb movement, strength, thinking abilities, bowel and bladder control, sensation, and walking ability.

Ocrelizumab has also been tested in two Phase 3 trials for relapsing MS. Those results show that it was superior to interferon beta-1a, reducing the annualized relapse rate by nearly 50% over a two-year treatment period. So ocrelizumab may be effective as a treatment for both forms of MS, and Roche has said it will apply for the dual indications. The breakthrough status, however, applies only to primary progressive MS.

Targeting B cells

Researchers involved in ocrelizumab’s clinical trials say we may now have our foot in the door with primary progressive MS. Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD, says that ocrelizumab has helped researchers cross an important threshold in MS drug development by identifying and targeting a new subset of MS-causing immune cells. Dhib-Jalbut is a professor and chair of the neurology departments at both of the Rutgers medical schools, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the New Jersey Medical School, and past president of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis. Relapsing and progressive MS are thought to be caused by T and B cells that attack the central nervous system. The prevailing wisdom is that aberrant versions of these cells and the signaling molecules that they produce breach the blood–brain barrier and attack the protective myelin sheath around nerve fibers as well as the nerve fibers themselves. An MS attack or relapse results in brain cell inflammation that shows up as lesions on MRI scans. There is an alternative theory that an abnormality in the central nervous system itself causes demyelination and neurodegeneration and that inflammation is just a byproduct.

For many years the research and drug development focused primarily on T cells, says Dhib-Jalbut. The drugs that work in relapsing MS either kill those T cells or sequester them in the body and prevent them from getting into the brain. Daclizumab, for example, targets CD25, a component of the interleukin-2 receptor on T cells that promotes their growth.

“But in the majority of patients we have a growing understanding that MS is mediated by T and B cells; both coordinate the attack on the nervous system,” says Dhib-Jalbut. And some agents do target both types of cells, including natalizumab (Tysabri), alemtuzumab (Lemtrada), and fingolimod (Gilenya).

Ocrelizumab is novel and achieved its breakthrough designation because it selectively binds to and depletes CD20-positive B cells. Results from preclinical studies show that while ocrelizumab binds to the CD20 proteins expressed on aberrant B cells, it does not latch onto stem cells or plasma cells, and therefore important functions of the immune system may be preserved.

Dhib-Jalbut explains how ocrelizumab’s focus on CD20-positive B cells makes it the potential first in class agent for progressive MS. He says that the meninges, the protective brain covering, is rich in B cells that may contribute to progressive MS by passing through the blood–brain barrier when they’re aberrant. By homing in on CD20-positive B cells, ocrelizumab is able to knock them out and other aberrant B cells circulating in the bloodstream, explains Dhib-Jalbut.

This recent crop of MS drugs is an important step forward for MS patients but work remains. MS has many potential causes. It is known to occur more frequently in areas that are farther from the equator, and epidemiologists have found that vitamin D levels, which decrease with lack of exposure to sunlight, are deficient in MS patients.

As far as medications are concerned, researchers say that we need a wider set of therapies, drugs that protect the nervous system from attack and others that repair damage once it has happened.

Gray matter atrophies in primary progressive multiple sclerosis.


19 Things Only People With Celiac Disease Will Understand

1. Seeing “Gluten Free but not safe for Celiacs.”

Yeah Dominos, I’m talking about you.

2. Friends offering you foods with gluten.

“You can eat potato bread right? Cause it’s made with potatoes!”

3. Feeling excited when your favorite restaurant now has a gluten free menu…

19 Things Only People With Celiac Disease Will Understand
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4. …but even though your waiter acted like they knew all about cross-contamination…

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5. …you end up getting gluten-ed.

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6. Becoming a really amazing chef.

Or at least trying to.

7. Finding that perfect gluten free recipe or product.

Gluten Free Deep Fried Oreo?! Say what!

8. Having to be that person who refuses to share.

Do you realize how much this food costs?!

9. Paying tons of money for tiny pieces of bread with giant holes in them.

Paying tons of money for tiny pieces of bread with giant holes in them.

10. Having to explain exactly why you can’t eat gluten.

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“I mean like it’s not an allergy, or an intolerance, it’s like a disease. No, you can’t catch it from me.”

11. Hearing all the “miraculous” stories of the fad dieters who lost weight on the gluten free diet.

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12. Knowing more about your gut than you ever thought you would.

Do you even know what villi are?

13. And yet people feel the need to tell you that Celiac isn’t real.

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14. Dealing with roommates and family members that just don’t get it.

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Get your hands off of my toaster. NOW.

15. The achy, hungry pain in your stomach when you forgot to pack your gluten free lunch

16. Hating everything when a food commercial comes on.

Look at these fluffy fluffy pancakes. You know you want someeeee.

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17. But then remembering all the naturally gluten free foods that are a million times healthier.

18. “I would die before I gave up (insert gluten item here). You’re so strong!”

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19. Despite everything, finding an amazing and supportive Celiac community.

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Alone, having Celiac can be pretty hard, but together we can get through it!

The mother who struggles to cuddle her children because rare condition means her joints ‘pop out’ up to five times a day (and she’s even dislocated her shoulder changing a nappy)


  • Emily Comber has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – collagen in her body is weak
  • She is in constant pain and her joints dislocate very easily
  • Was diagnosed when she was pregnant because she was in so much pain she was bedbound for three weeks and her baby had to be delivered early
  • She says her family and para-dressage keep her sane through the pain

A mother has been left devastated by a rare condition that leaves her barely able to cuddle her children.

Emily Comber, 31, suffers from a rare syndrome that causes her constant pain and makes her joints ‘pop out’ up to five times a day.

It means she can barely pick up her one-year-old son Reuben and has even dislocated her shoulder changing a nappy.

Emily Comber (pictured with her husband, James) has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which means the collagen in her body is weak so her joints dislocate easily and she is in constant pain

Emily Comber (pictured with her husband, James) has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which means the collagen in her body is weak so her joints dislocate easily and she is in constant pain

Mrs Comber suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – a genetic condition which means the collagen in her body is too weak to hold her limbs in place.

The mother-of-two from Bude, Cornwall, said: ‘My ribs have popped out when I’ve been picking Reuben up out of his cot and I’ve even dislocated my wrist and thumb when changing his nappy.

‘My ribs go multiple times a day – it can be something small that sets them off like just shutting a car door.

‘It leaves me in so much pain, it’s like popping the lid on a jar, but now I’ve learned to deal with it better. It was much worse when I was younger and they didn’t know what was happening.

‘On my worst days it hurts just to breathe.’

Mrs Comber suffers from type three Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which means she suffers from joint hypermobility and has long arms and legs.

Mrs Comber's joints 'pop out' up to five times a day and she has dislocated her shoulder, wrist and thumb changing her son's nappy. She is pictured with her children, Ruben, one, and Finlay, three

Mrs Comber’s joints ‘pop out’ up to five times a day and she has dislocated her shoulder, wrist and thumb changing her son’s nappy. She is pictured with her children, Ruben, one, and Finlay, three

She has suffered from the condition since she was a child, but it is notoriously difficult to diagnose.

It was only when she became pregnant with her first child, Finlay, now three, that she was diagnosed.

Mrs Comber said: ‘I was in agony. I couldn’t walk. I got referred to a specialist and they were sure I had it as soon as I entered the office.

‘The situation was so bad I was bedbound for three weeks and they only rolled me once every 24 hours, but otherwise couldn’t move me until after the C-section.

‘I gave birth eight weeks early. They just had to get the baby out of me.’

Mrs Comber was diagnosed when she was pregnant with her first child, Finlay. During the pregnancy she was in so much pain she considered not having any more children but eventually decided to have Ruben (pictured)

She added: ‘It’s a 50 per cent chance of passing it on to your children. We won’t know for sure until they get older, but Finlay is already showing symptoms.

‘It does worry me. I feel guilty. If either of them have got it then it’s come from me.’

Mrs Comber and her husband James, a builder, thought long and hard before having their second child after the strain it put on Mrs Comber’s body first time around.

She said: ‘It did put us off having another child, but we planned everything the second time. We had a lot of special help.

‘We had Reuben four weeks early as a planned thing. We both knew what was happening at every stage of the pregnancy.’

Mrs Comber said: 'It leaves me in so much pain, it's like popping the lid on a jar, but now I've learned to deal with it better. It was much worse when I was younger and they didn't know what was happening'

Mrs Comber said: ‘It leaves me in so much pain, it’s like popping the lid on a jar, but now I’ve learned to deal with it better. It was much worse when I was younger and they didn’t know what was happening’

But since Reuben has been born the condition has presented itself in different ways and even picking the baby up out of his bed can leave her in agony.

She now has a carer who helps her for 14 hours a week.

She has also taken up dressage for people with disabilities and managed to walk down the aisle without her crutches.

She said: ‘Originally I wanted to go away and get married somewhere where no-one could see us, but it was actually really nice.

‘I had to lean on my dad to get down the aisle and we sat for a lot of the service.

Mrs Comber was so ill when she was pregnant with Finlay that she was bedbound for three weeks and he had to be delivered eight weeks early

Mrs Comber was so ill when she was pregnant with Finlay that she was bedbound for three weeks and he had to be delivered eight weeks early. He is pictured shortly after his birth

‘James carried me for a lot of the day, but we were on the beach in the middle of a heat wave so it just looked normal.

‘It took me a week to recover. I’ve taken up para-dressage riding and it really helps. Along with my family it helps keep me sane. I think I would otherwise lose the plot with the high levels of pain.’

British actress Cherylee Housten, who plays Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street, also suffers from EDS and is the ambassador for the charity Ehlers-Danlos Support UK.

Lara Bloom, manager of the charity, said: ‘The condition affects the connective tissue in the body. It can cause problems with joints and internal organs.

‘The vascular form of the disease can also shorten life expectancy.’


Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of inherited conditions that affect collagen proteins in the body causing them to be weak.

Typical features are stretchy skin, loose joints and fragile body tissues.

Collagen is a building block that strengthens and supports various body tissues – it is found in tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, bone, blood vessels and the spine.

EDS is caused by alterations in certain genes – these can be passed from parents to their children.

The condition affects at least one person in every 5,000 in the UK.

There are various different forms of EDS. All share some common features, such as loose joints, abnormal skin and fragile body tissues, but each form of EDS has unique characteristics too.

The most severe form is Vascular EDS which causes the organs and blood vessels to be at risk of rupturing – this can be fatal.

The life expectancy for people with Vascular EDS is in the 40s.



My story: a single mom with autism raising a child on the spectrum

Written by photographer Rebekah McClelland, a mom on the autism spectrum with two sons. 

My boys and I think differently. We speak differently. We do things differently. I am a divorced single momma. I am also Aspie (have Aspergers). My oldest, who is 10, has been diagnosed as high functioning on the autism spectrum. My youngest, who is 5, has not been diagnosed but his pediatrician has been suggesting that I take him to be tested. It’s on the “to do” list. Not at the top, not even in the top 10, but we will do it.

What’s on the top of the “To do” list, you ask? I have been avidly searching for the place where we belong. You see, I am aware that we do things differently. I make my boys very aware of the same and have instilled a strong sense of PRIDE about it. We love the beauty that it brings and we try our hardest to embrace even the struggles.

Ah, the struggles.

We are very sensitive. That’s how I describe it most of the time when meeting someone new. We are extremely sensitive to world in many, many ways. Our sensory issues can make every day life hard sometimes: What a typical person perceives as an annoyance can feel like an assault to us. Noises, lights, sounds, smells…

All can be tough. We’ve learned to adapt. Learned to watch for things that could pose a problem when entering a new situation. Learned to speak up when we need something and take time out to regroup when necessary. Learned to get good food, proper sleep, and plenty of fresh air and exercise to keep our senses more balanced.

We are sensitive to the people around us. We are not cold hearted like people sometimes perceive us to be. We are quite the opposite. We are SO aware and feel so much that at times we find it necessary to shut down for survival. We soak up emotions and vibes until we feel like we may burst. We’ve learned to adapt. We only keep people that we trust (and love us quirks and all) around. We socialize but not anywhere near as much as typical people do. After socializing? We nurse a “social hangover” and need quiet time in our comfort zone to mentally regenerate.

We are also sensitive to thoughts and possibilities. When presented with a new idea or situation our minds branch off in what feels like a million directions on the “what ifs”. This is a blessing when it comes to making things happen but can be a curse when it causes anxiety. We’ve learned to adapt. We keep a self awareness that overanalyzing is something we do and often times we remind each other to stop and “zoom out” from the tiny detail we are hyper focused on.

Our adapting has all been working well enough. I am running a successful business, we have a lovely home, the boys are thriving and happy. But somewhere underneath lies a feeling of not quite belonging. Recent events in our life have amplified the “not belonging” feeling and mixed in a “bit lost” feeling. Left me wondering WHERE we belong. I am now looking now for a new place for us: a new city, new home, new school. It’s overwhelming for all of us both because the change has come suddenly and because, while we like change, we prefer it to be on our terms.

Something has happened though while on this search.

I have discovered where we belong.

It’s here where we are.

It’s also that new place where we will be.

It’s everywhere.

We belong where WE want to be. Within reason of course.

It will always require some adapting from us. It will always require some change in the surroundings. Some physical. Some mental.

But ultimately?

It IS where we belong.


Budget Low Carb $25 Seven Day, Three Meals Daily Dollar Tree Menu for One

Pretend you’re broke, or maybe you are. Maybe you paid all your bills this week and you’re left with $50. All you have in your fridge is some butter or a saved jar of bacon fat, a few packets of leftover soy sauce from the Chinese restaurant, and some salt and pepper. Do you run out and grab a few pounds of rice and beans and some Ramen or do you do your best to make yourself up a menu that fits your low carb lifestyle? My hope for you is that you pick the latter choice. I also hope this blog entry helps inspire you to see that low cost low carbing is possible.

That being said, this is a menu for one. It will make three meals a day for a week, based on the idea that you eat half for dinner and save the other half for lunch the next day. The recipes could be doubled, or they could be shared as just dinners with a second person. Personally, I found, as I cooked and ate the food, that it was more than I needed to satisfy my hunger. In fact, I bought and set aside particular items to have as snacks, and didn’t eat them. You also need access to a dollar tree that sells cooler/frozen foods, the bigger the selection, the  better. These are items that are sold in the Dollar Tree stores around Birmingham, and they sell similar items in other places.

Before I start, I want to say a couple of things.

I picked Dollar Tree for a few reasons. Out of curiosity, because there are some cool, LC items you can get there, and because sometimes when you’re broke, you don’t have the gas money for going to three or four stores to buy the sale items there. That’s how broke I’ve been.

This is not a Paleo menu, it is not an organic menu, and it is not a gourmet menu. There may even be some gluten in there somewhere. There are processed meats. Nothing is fresh. It’s a menu designed to get someone through a week on a $25 budget. If you need certain things, like coffee, creamer, and sweetener, you can find those at the Dollar Tree, but the creamer won’t be sugar free. They do sell half n half, which isn’t ideal because of the milk, but doesn’t have sugar. So, if you have to have those things, throw in three extra bucks.

The recipes are simple, easy to cook, and taste good.
Snacks are pork rinds, sunflower seeds, olives, pickles, and string cheese.
You could make all of these on Sunday if you wanted, and then package them for the week.

Some of them will make leftovers, not a huge amount, but I actually ate this exact food for a week and I didn’t go hungry. I didn’t even need snacks most days. It all depends on your appetite. There will also be some items that you have left in your pantry to roll over into your next week’s menu.


I don’t mind foraging some, so just for funsies, I went outside and cut a handful of those wild onions that grow everywhere to add to some of the recipes for bulk and for some mild, onion flavor. I like them, and they were free. However! Unless you know for certain that you have onions, don’t try this at home.

Please do your own nutritional counts.


My grocery purchases were these:

One bag of pork rinds
Two bags of frozen veggie mix
One bag of frozen peppers and onions
One bag of frozen spinach
One package of frozen tilapia filets
One chub of frozen breakfast sausage
One two pack of frozen chicken legs
Two 3 oz packages of shredded mozzarella (Make sure it’s real cheese, not the fake stuff)
One 3 oz package of shredded cheddar (again, real)
One three pack of string cheese
3 half dozen cartons of eggs

A bottle of real mayonnaise
A package of walnuts
A jar of pickles
A can of mackerel
A can of tuna
A bag of shelled sunflower seeds
A jar of Rinaldi pizza sauce (read your labels! Rinaldi does not have added sugar.)
A shaker of parmesan (get the smaller one, the big can is “cheese product”)
A can of black olives
A package of pepperoni slices


Breakfast first.
You want your breakfast sausage, a six pack of eggs, and a cup of the frozen pepper mix.
Brown the sausage and scramble the eggs with the peppers, the stir it all together and keep it in a bowl. Dip some out each morning and heat it up for breakfast. Easy.



Next up: Tuna salad

Take your tuna, add 3 Tablespoons of mayo, add some cut up pickles, the package of walnuts, and salt and pepper. Boil two eggs.


Cook about two cups of the veggie mix you picked (these are variable, depending on your selection) I used the California blend because it was the only broccoli/cauli combo they had, then I picked out the carrots. Put half the tuna, one egg, and half the veggies for dinner, and pack the other half for tomorrow.


Spinach Florentine


Preheat oven to 400.
Thaw the whole package of spinach, put it in a mixing bowl with about 1/4 cup of mayo and 1/4 cup of parmesan, plus some salt and pepper. Put it in a small baking dish and crack four eggs on top. Salt and pepper the eggs, put in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. You could shorten the baking time to 10-12 minutes if you wished for a runny yolk, but I like my eggs yolks firm. Serve half per meal for two separate meals. I had some sunflower seeds for a snack.



Stir Fry


There will probably be two small tilapia fillets in the package of fish. Cook them in a skillet and set them aside. If you have some bacon fat or a little butter, add that and some salt and pepper and dump half the bag of stir fry mix, minus about a half cup, into the pan and cook it till the veggies are soft and no longer frozen. Split it between two dishes, add a string cheese for a little extra protein and fat, and enjoy.


Pizza cups
This was, by far, my favorite, and it made three meals worth of food.



Preheat oven to 350
Take the pepperoni (notice that I bought the large, sandwich sized, slices. This is important.) and put one in each well of a twelve cup muffin tin. Add a Tablespoon or so of the Rinaldi pizza sauce to the top of each one. If there were extra pepperonis, chop them up and add a few to each up. Slice a few olives and add to each cup, I added some wild onions, you could get that bag of frozen pepper mix and add a few bits of chopped pepper and onion from it here. Put a little parmesan on them and top with the shredded mozzarella and bake for 15 or so minutes till they look right. And by right, I mean like this. Make a cup of your frozen veggies to eat with them.


Fish croquettes


Open the fish and drain the liquid. I don’t bother with picking out the bones.
Empty the fish into a big bowl. Add the bag of shredded cheddar (the dollar tree bags are 3-4 ounce sized), add two eggs, about 1/3 cup of mayo, crush enough pork rinds finely to equal half a cup of crumbs, salt and pepper to taste, and I included about half a cup of wild onions. Mix it all together and shape the mix into three or four patties and cook them in a skillet till they have a nice crust on one side, then flip and do the same on the other side. I used a little bacon grease with these.

When these were finished, I tossed a cup of frozen veggies into the skillet and cooked them in the leftover fat. Remember to divide your meal into two dishes.


Peppers and eggs

This recipe is as simple as it sounds. You heat and cook the peppers in your skillet, then break the eggs in and scramble them together. I learned this from a youtube show about depression era cooking.

Chicken soup


Take the two pack of chicken legs and put them in a medium pot first thing in the morning. Cover them with water and boil for maybe an hour, take them out, take the meat off the bones and refrigerate it, beak the bones in half and put them back in the water and simmer them all day on low with the lid on. It won’t be an extremely rich chicken broth, but it will make a nice enough soup broth. After 3-4 hours, strain it to get any bone pieces out, add the chicken back in, add about 1/3 cup of that pizza sauce for some flavor, then add about 2-3 cups of whatever vegetables you have left from the frozen veggies you’ve been eating on all week. Season with salt and pepper, and you have enough soup to last a couple more meals.


By now, you may still have a few leftovers, like olives, pickles, mayo, frozen peppers, parmesan, pizza sauce, and sunflower seeds. You can roll these over into a few other items for the next week, and then you can buy a few other things, like garlic powder, a little bottle of cooking oil, etc.

120 Zero Carb Foods List + 4 Day Zero Carb Meal plan + Tips for Going Zero Carb + Weight Loss Program

Imagine a zero carb world where nervous counting doesn’t exist. If you’re starting low carb, speeding up ketosis or in Atkins Induction, no carb foods will set you free.

  • Tips for going zero carb
  • How to read no carb food labels
  • Real life zero carb food experience and 6 week food log
  • Printable list of no carb foods
  • 4 Day no carb meal plan

The list of low carb foods is HUGE. Zero carb foods are more limited, especially in the fruit and veggie area. But there are still over 100 choices for rich satisfying meals.

no carb food list mushroom cap

Finding foods with zero carbs isn’t hard. Use our zero carb and (almost) zero carb food lists, read package labels carefully and be pleasantly surprised at all the options.

Using the No Carb Foods List

Technically speaking, fats are the only foods that are completely zero carb. Even meats and seafood have trace amounts.

The foods on this list have very minor amounts of net carbs – fractions of a gram. These foods are so close to zero, most low carbers consider them ‘no carb foods.’

The “almost” zero carb foods are a bit higher, but a single serving from the list is still under 1 net carb.

The only warning: Track your servings. Trace amounts of carbs add up.

Tips for Going Zero Carb

You’ve decided to go low – really low. These three easy tips simplify starting a zero carb diet.

1. Give yourself a few days to prepare.

Check your fridge and cabinets, move any higher carb foods to the side, and fill the space with your favorite no carb foods.

Plan a zero carb grocery trip and stock up!

2. Focus on what you ARE allowed to eat.

Zero carb foods are savory and delicious. You won’t feel like you’re depriving yourself.

3. Have fun. Try new things.

If you are eating foods with no carbs, you are cooking more often. Having some fun with your food is a good way to build positive associations.

Chef-Pro Silicone Gloves

Tired of bulky oven mitts? Chef-Pro’s silicone oven gloves are ultra-convenient for grilling, BBQ, cooking and baking. Insulated & waterproof.

Chef-Pro Silicone Gloves for no carb foods

Real Life Zero Carb Food Log

What’s it really like to go zero carb? Rebecca Latham of Low Carb Better Health went zero carb, keeping food logs for six weeks:

Rebecca-zero-carb-foods    I am eating meat, a small amount of dairy, some healthy fats and I am drinking water only.

I have also been eating Fat Bombs, which contain almond butter, cocoa power and Stevia.

I am carefully tracking what I am eating. Here is what I have learned so far about how my blood sugar reacts to food.

No Carb Food Labels

Many food labels list foods as having zero carbs. Labeling laws allow food companies to print “zero grams” on the label if the food has less than one gram of carbs.

Sugar substitutes, cheeses, eggs and spices are common examples of this situation. If you’re being extra cautious, count them as .5 net carbs per serving.

List of No Carb Foods

There are zero carb foods in almost every food group, so it’s easy to enjoy a variety of foods when going no carb.

Below are foods that have zero carbs based on the National Nutrient Database published by the US Department of Agriculture.

Zero Carb Meat

High in protein and vitamins, most natural meats have zero carbs.

Packaged, cured and processed meats (sausage, hot dogs, deli meat, bacon, etc.) have some carbs due to added flavoring, preservatives or starchy binders.

Be sure to check the labels.

These natural meats have no carbs:

  • Beef
  • Veal
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Fowl (turkey, chicken, duck, goose, hen, quail)
  • Organ Meats (brains, tongue, liver, heart, kidneys)
  • Game Meats (venison, bison, ostrich, caribou, elk)
  • Exotic Meats (such as ostrich and emu)

Zero Carb Seafood

Fresh (unprocessed) seafood is zero carb:

  • Cod
  • Flounder
  • Sole
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Sardine
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Catfish
  • Bass
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Squid
  • Oysters
  • Mussels
  • Clams

Zero Carb Dairy

  • Butter
  • Whipped Cream (check each label)
  • Heavy Cream (check each label)

It’s possible to find zero carb cheese, particularly hard cheese. Most cheese is low carb, ranging from 0 to .5 net carbs per ounce (complete list below).

Zero Carb Seasoning

Flavoring zero carb foods makes them much more palatable.

There are over 60 low carb spices to choose from – and eight of them speed up fat loss.

  • Salt and Pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Most Hot Sauces
  • Pre-mixed Seasonings (check the label)
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Dill weed
  • Chives

Zero Carb Oils and Fats

The following fats and oils have zero carbs:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Fish oil
  • Animal Fats (including lard)
  • Butter (particularly grass-fed)

Less healthy, yet zero carb oils:

  • Mayonnaise (check each label)
  • Vegetable Shortening
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil

Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is high in Medium Chain Triglycerides, or (MCT) fatty acids. These fats are metabolized differently. Coconut oil is used immediately for energy – not stored.

Organic Coconut Oil

Carrington farms organic coconut oil is gluten free, non-GMO, free of hydrogenated and trans fats, Kosher and zero carb.

High Performance MCT Oil

Left Coast’s pure MCT oil blend is easier to absorb and digest. MCT converts into energy faster than other oils, ignites your body’s metabolic rate and helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol.

MCT oil is an easy way to increase your healthy fats. Add to salads, smoothies or Bulletproof coffee for immediate, all day energy.

bulletproof coffee best MCT Oil

Triple filtered, pharmaceutical grade, BPA-free container, USA-made, identical quality to the ‘Bulletproof’ brand.

Zero Carb Binders

Dry Gelatin and Pork Rinds

Unflavored, powdered gelatin is a high protein, zero carb food. Gelatin strengthens hair and nails, helps skin stay elastic and helps with sleep.

Low carb guru, Dana Carpender has excellent ideas for adding gelatin:

Dana Carpender zero carb foods    “I intend to start adding gelatin to things, too. In particular, I plan to mix gelatin into ground meat dishes, from burgers to meat loaves to chili.

Why not? It’s flavorless. I’m betting in the burgers and meat loaves it holds moisture, and acts as a binder.

I’ve also started adding pork rind crumbs to a lot of ground meat recipes, not only for flavor, but for the gelatin.”

– from Hold The Toast “Gelatin Blowing My Mind”)

Use zero carb gelatin as a binder for ground meat, or add to lemonade for a filling, protein boost.

Zero Carb Beverages

These beverages are zero carb:

  • Water
  • Sparkling Water
  • Club Soda
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Diet Soda (watch the artificial sweetener)

Zero Carb Sweeteners

Companies advertise aspartame, sucralose, saccharine and stevia as no carb sugar substitutes. However – the powder and granular ones usually contain trace amounts of carbohydrate fillers.

It only takes a little to go a long way. Use a sprinkle.

Note: Artificial sweeteners can affect insulin the same way sugar does, so watch your progress, use sparingly and with caution.

Liquid Sucralose Sweetener

EZ-Sweetz liquid sweetener is made of sucralose and has no bitter aftertaste. Zero carb, zero calories, zero impact.

EzSweetz Soul Bread sucralose

Liquid De-Bittered Stevia

EZ-Sweetz’s de-bittered stevia blend has no unpleasant aftertaste. This blend has none of the characteristic bitterness of typical stevia sweeteners.

EZ-Sweetz Liquid De-Bittered Stevia

Zero Carb Alcohol

Use alcohol with caution. Your body burns alcohol before it burns fat for fuel. When you have metabolized all the alcohol, your body will return to burning fat.

Alcohol knocks some low carbers out of ketosis for several days after drinking alcohol. Everyone is different, so watch your progress and adjust if necessary.

  • Gin
  • Rum (unflavored)
  • Vodka (unflavored)
  • Whiskey
  • Tequila
  • Scotch

zero carb food greens cheese seeds

(Almost) Zero Carb Foods

This list of almost zero carb foods really expands your options without compromising your plan.

A single serving of these foods contains less than 1 net carb. Measure carefully and spread your extra carbs throughout the day.

Almost Zero Carb Fruits and Veggies

Many of the leafy green vegetables (spinach, lettuce, celery, kale, turnip greens) are great choices for going zero carb.

Although commonly thought of as vegetables, avocados are fruit, almost zero carb and a source of healthy fat.

Raspberries are high in fiber and are great to sprinkle over a salad or top with whipped cream.

Almost Zero Carb Fruits and Veggies:

Serving size: 1/2 cup

  • Spinach .2
  • Parsley .4
  • Avocado .5
  • Radish .5
  • Lettuce .25
  • Bok Choy .7
  • Celery .8

Serving size: 1/4 cup

  • Mushrooms .5
  • Garlic (1/2 clove) .5
  • Pokeberry Shoots .5
  • Cabbage .5
  • Asparagus (3 pieces) .6
  • Coconut .5
  • Yellow Squash .7
  • Raspberries .7
  • Cauliflower .7
  • Broccoli .8
  • Cucumber .9

Almost Zero Carb Dairy

Eggs are so versatile: fried, scrambled, omelets, quiche, boiled, deviled and of course – egg salad.

  • Eggs .2 to .7 (check the carton)

Eggs are almost zero carb, ranging from .2 to 1 net carb per egg. Organic, free-range, cage-free, etc. eggs have larger yolks, making them lower in carbs. Be sure to check each carton.

Almost Zero Carb Cheese

Most natural, unprocessed cheeses (no added flavors or ingredients) are 0 to 1 net carb per serving. Hard cheeses will be the lowest; softer, creamy cheeses will be the highest.

The following cheeses and net carb amounts are from FatSecret, Popular Cheeses. When in doubt, check each label.

Almost Zero Carb Cheeses:

Serving size: 1 oz = 1″ cube = 1/4 cup grated (approx.)

  • Asiago .9
  • Blue .6
  • Brie .1
  • Camembert .1
  • Cheddar .3
  • Colby .7
  • Edam .4
  • Fontina .4
  • Goats .6
  • Gouda .6
  • Gruyère .1
  • Havarti .7
  • Mexican Blend Cheese .5
  • Monterey .1
  • Mozzarella .6
  • Muenster .3
  • Neufchatel .1 to .8
  • Parmesan .9
  • Provolone .6
  • Ricotta .8

* This list goes on and on… Be adventurous and try something new!

Printable No Carb Foods List

list of foods with no carbs

(Select image to view, print or save. Opens in a new window.)

4 Day No Carb Meal Plan

Would You Try This Weed-Infused Gum For Chronic Pain?

A new medicine is on the way. Studies are being performed for a fantastic new multiple sclerosis treatment made by AXIM Biotechnology. The company expects both the FDA and European Medicines Agency to approve the drug and allow its availability by 2017. What is this miracle? Why, weed-infused gum, of course.

Weed-infused gum?

1 marijuana gum for chronic pain playing Would You Try This Weed Infused Gum For Chronic Pain?
Photo credit

The company cites the unique properties of the gum, allowing equal parts CBD and THC to be absorbed directly in the mouth. According to Dr. George E. Anastassoy, MD, DDS, MBA, chief executive officer of AXIM Biotechnology, by bypassing the liver, MedChewRx gives:

Precise, controlled release mechanism to the oral mucosal capillary circulation.

More acceptable treatment

2 marijuana gum for chronic pain stick Would You Try This Weed Infused Gum For Chronic Pain?
Photo credit

The gum contains 5mg of CBD and 5mg of THC, both of which deliver potent therapeutic capabilities. Professor John Zajicek notes that by chewing, rather than inhaling or ingesting, fewer side effects are reported, and the medicine displays a lack of the “peak” associated with more traditional cannabis medicine.

Professor Zajicek runs the trials for AXIM testing the gum against the pain and spasticity of MS. He also states that chewing gum is more socially acceptable than smoking or ingestion.

Benefits of chewing by itself

3 marijuana gum for chronic pain canchew Would You Try This Weed Infused Gum For Chronic Pain?
Photo credit

According to the company, the act of chewing delivers benefits of its own, compounded by the cannabinoids. Chewing itself provides “neuroprotective and neurostimulatory benefits” on the mind. Chewing relieves stress, stimulates the cardiovascular system, and helps with loss of cognition due to aging.

The benefits they ascribe to the act of chewing are all benefits of cannabis itself on a greater scale. But by attributing them to mastication, they gain more validity. Why? Because everyday people who don’t understand cannabis simply can’t wrap their head around the fact that it is a unique medicine with many benefits.

A reality check

4 marijuana gum for chronic pain medicalmarijuanainc Would You Try This Weed Infused Gum For Chronic Pain?
Photo credit

Apparently, AXIM owns the patent on chewing gum as a delivery method for cannabinoids and already have one CBD-only product, Canchew gum, marketed as a dietary supplement and sold everywhere CBD products can sit on shelves. AXIM also started trials for a patent-pending CBG topical for exzema and psoriasis. In addition, there are even oral care and cosmetics in their arsenal.

Medical Marijuana, Inc. owns about 46% of AXIM and plans on many more cannabis-related products. They are the Swiss Army knife of cannabis companies, with their hands in everything from international markets to security services. If only it were so simple for the little guys.

AXIM versus GW

5 marijuana gum for chronic pain gw pharmaceuticals Would You Try This Weed Infused Gum For Chronic Pain?
Photo credit

Another big medical company hopping on the cannabis bandwagon is GW Pharmaceuticals. Their spraySativex already has approval in 27 countries, though notably not the US. GW’s other flagship, Epidiolex, is fast working its way through FDA approval.

The two differ in their approach to cannabis. GW cultivates its own plants, in order to control genetics and make quality medicine. In contrast, AXIM sources its herb from a deal with the Dutch government, which gives it a significant discount on bulk purchase.

Yet AXIM benefits from the headway made by GW, in that there exists an established “evidence of safety” for the medicine derived from natural cannabis. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the evidence may be good enough for huge companies, but not good enough for the plant itself, according to the FDA and DEA.

Could Big Pharma cannabis be the future? Or will the plant be freed for us all? Tell us what you see in the future on social media or in the comments below.

Scientists Move Closer to Understanding Schizophrenia’s Cause

Scientists reported on Wednesday that they had taken a significant step toward understanding the cause of schizophrenia, in a landmark study that provides the first rigorously tested insight into the biology behind any common psychiatric disorder.

More than two million Americans have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, which is characterized by delusional thinking and hallucinations. The drugs available to treat it blunt some of its symptoms but do not touch the underlying cause.

The finding, published in the journal Nature, will not lead to new treatments soon, experts said, nor to widely available testing for individual risk. But the results provide researchers with their first biological handle on an ancient disorder whose cause has confounded modern science for generations. The finding also helps explain some other mysteries, including why the disorder often begins in adolescence or young adulthood.

“They did a phenomenal job,” said David B. Goldstein, a professor ofgenetics at Columbia University who has been critical of previous large-scale projects focused on the genetics of psychiatric disorders. “This paper gives us a foothold, something we can work on, and that’s what we’ve been looking for now, for a long, long time.”

The researchers pieced together the steps by which genes can increase a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia. That risk, they found, is tied to a natural process called synaptic pruning, in which the brain sheds weak or redundant connections between neurons as it matures. During adolescenceand early adulthood, this activity takes place primarily in the section of the brain where thinking and planning skills are centered, known as the prefrontal cortex. People who carry genes that accelerate or intensify that pruning are at higher risk of developing schizophrenia than those who do not, the new study suggests.

Some researchers had suspected that the pruning must somehow go awry in people with schizophrenia, because previous studies showed that their prefrontal areas tended to have a diminished number of neural connections, compared with those of unaffected people. The new paper not only strongly supports that this is the case, but also describes how the pruning probably goes wrong and why, and identifies the genes responsible: People with schizophrenia have a gene variant that apparently facilitates aggressive “tagging” of connections for pruning, in effect accelerating the process.


Steven McCarroll, an associate professor of genetics at Harvard, and Beth Stevens, an assistant professor of neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard. The results of their study have provided researchers with their first biological handle on schizophrenia. CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times

Some scientists warned that the history of biological psychiatry stands as a caution against premature optimism. “This work is extremely persuasive,” said Dr. Samuel Barondes, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, “but any step forward is not only rare and unusual, it’s just one step in a journey of a thousand miles” to improved treatments.

The study, by scientists from Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Broad Institute, a research center allied with Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provides a showcase of biomedical investigation at its highest level. The research team began by focusing on a location on the human genome, the MHC, which was most strongly associated with schizophrenia in previous genetic studies. On a bar graph — called a Manhattan plot because it looks like a cluster of skyscrapers — the MHC looms highest.

“The MHC is the Freedom Tower” of the Manhattan plot, said Eric S. Lander, the director of the Broad Institute. “The question was, what’s in there?”

The area is a notoriously dark warren in the genome known to contain genes that facilitate the body’s immune response, for example, by flagging invading bacteria to be destroyed. That property had given rise to speculation that schizophrenia might be a kind of autoimmune condition, in which the body attacked its own cells.

But the research team, led by Steven McCarroll, an associate professor of genetics at Harvard, and by Aswin Sekar, one of his graduate students, found something different. Using advanced statistical methods, the team found that the MHC locus contained four common variants of a gene called C4, and that those variants produced two kinds of proteins, C4-A and C4-B.

The team analyzed the genomes of more than 64,000 people and found that people with schizophrenia were more likely to have the overactive forms of C4-A than control subjects. “C4-A seemed to be the gene driving risk for schizophrenia,” Dr. McCarroll said, “but we had to be sure.”


Lives Restored

A series profiling people who are functioning normally despite severe mental illness and have chosen to speak out about their struggles.


The researchers turned to Beth Stevens, an assistant professor of neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard, who was an author of a 2007 study showing that the products of MHC genes were involved in synaptic pruning in normal developing brains. But how important was this C4 protein, exactly? Very important, it turned out: Mice bred without the genes that produce C4 showed clear signs that their synaptic pruning had gone awry, Dr. Stevens’s lab found.

Taken together, Dr. Stevens said in an interview, “the evidence strongly suggested that too much C4-A leads to inappropriate pruning during this critical phase of development.”

In particular, the authors concluded, too much C4-A could mean too much pruning — which would explain not only the thinner prefrontal layers in schizophrenia, but also the reason that the disorder most often shows itself in people’s teenage years or early twenties. “The finding connects all these dots, all these disconnected observations about schizophrenia, and makes them make sense,” Dr. McCarroll said.

Carrying a gene variant that facilitates aggressive pruning is hardly enough to cause schizophrenia; far too many other factors are at work. Having such a variant, Dr. McCarroll estimates, would increase a person’s risk by about 25 percent over the 1 percent base rate of schizophrenia — that is, to 1.25 percent. That is not nearly enough to justify testing in the general population, even if further research confirms the new findings and clarifies the roles of other associated genes.

Yet the equation changes when it comes to young people who are at very high risk of developing the disorder, because they are showing early signs — a sudden slippage in mental acuity and memory, or even internal “voices” that seem oddly real. This ominous period may last a year or more, and often does not lead to full-blown schizophrenia. The researchers hope that the at-risk genetic profile, once it has been fleshed out more completely, will lead to the discovery of biomarkers that could help clarify a prognosis in these people.

Developing a drug to slow or modulate pruning poses another kind of challenge. If the new study shows anything, it is that synaptic pruning is a delicate, exquisitely timed process, and that it is still poorly understood. The team does not yet know, for example, why C4-A leads to a different rate or kind of pruning than C4-B. Any medication that tampered with that system would be a risky proposition, the authors and outside experts agreed.

“We’re all very excited and proud of this work,” Dr. Lander said. “But I’m not ready to call it a victory until we have something that can help patients.”

LOW CARB BROCCOLI SALAD(No Sugar No artificial sweetner) And Best weight loss program

This low carb broccoli salad is truly divine. I brought this to a potluck at my apartment complex and it was a huge hit. Most broccoli salad recipes call for sugar in the dressing, but I decided to go for savory. Which makes it low carb friendly and better for you and me.

My favorite part about this recipe is that the dressing uses mayonnaise as a base. You’re probably wonder why and it’s because most mayonnaise has a whopping 0 carbs but pack a tasty punch without over consuming the other flavors. The different flavors in this recipe each bring their own unique component that take this recipe from OK to delicious.

Most broccoli recipes suggest to serve immediately, which you could, but refrigerating it for at least an hour gives the flavors ample time to combine. A great part of this broccoli salad is that it makes a good base for any customizing you’d like to make like adding in ham, sunflower kernels, or cashews.

The BEST Broccoli Salad - tasty, simple, and perfect for picnics or as a quick side. It's also low carb, not that you could tell by the taste!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Andres Regalado
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 8
  • 6 cups broccoli
  • ⅓ small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red vinegar
  • 8 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, bacon, onion, and almonds.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper, in a small bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and stir until evenly coat.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready to serve.
Serving size: 1 serving (Total recipe makes 8 servings)
Protein 5.94g, Cals 287, Fat 26.73g, Carbs 4.83g, Fiber 2.12g — NET CARBS: 2.70g

10 Things I Wish People Knew About Living With Celiac Disease

Imagine growing up constantly feeling sick and not knowing why. Feeling queasy every morning and not knowing why. Having a foggy head and complete inability to focus and not knowing why. Being told you have 20/20 vision but blurry eyes and not knowing why. Going from being “too skinny” to “too large” too quickly and not knowing why. Having to miss school and being mocked for it but not knowing why. Being told “you’re faking it” or “that isn’t happening” and not knowing why. Having teachers tell you they don’t believe you because there’s no diagnosis and not knowing why.

Why? Why was this this first 18 years of my life? Why did I have so many seemingly unconnected symptoms? Why did it take so long to diagnose?

Because of I have celiac disease, that’s why.

What is celiac? According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for longterm health complications.”

There are about 300 known symptoms of celiac disease, making it incredibly difficult to diagnose. I was misdiagnosed as anemic and having chronic fatigue and lactose intolerance.

Once the diagnosis came in, I felt a wave of relief. “Eating gluten-free can’t be that hard,” I thought. While it’s not actually that difficult, there were some life changes I hadn’t expected. There are a lot of misconceptions about celiac disease and gluten-free eating. And there are a few things I wish people knew…

1. A lot of people think it’s their place to comment and ask presumptive questions. It isn’t.

“Is it like celiac or is it, like, a fad thing?” “Are you just trying to lose weight?” “That’s such a stupid fad.” Eating gluten-free is not a choice for me. And while you may think you’re being funny, it’s really none of your business why I have to do this.

2. No, I can’t just “eat a little.” It will end really poorly.

3. Yes, cross-contamination really will make me sick.

4. I actually hate talking about it. Especially with restaurant staff. But I have to, or I’ll get sick.

5. If I do somehow get “glutened,” I can’t put thoughts together, I have no appetite, I feel queasy all the time, my muscles feel weak and all my brain and body want me to do is sleep.

But everyone’s symptoms vary, so you may have no idea someone you know got glutened, or they may throw up all over you.

6. When I’m “glutened,” it can take months for me to recover. I have to change my diet, sleeping habits and active lifestyle to try to get back to normal as fast as possible.

7. Jokes and off-hand comments put me on the defensive and make me feel like I have to justify this really hard part of my life to you.

8. Celiac can ultimately cause malnutrition, which can ultimately cause death. So it’s really not a funny thing to joke about.

9. Basically, celiac is actually a serious autoimmune disorder. And I want people to know that.

10. But it’s one small part of my life. It doesn’t define me. And I’m so much more than my disease.