Transverse Myelitis supplements, vitamins, herbs, natural treatment by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
April 12 2016


Transverse myelitis is a neurologic syndrome caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. It is an uncommon condition. Conservative estimates of incidence per year vary from 1 to 5 per million population. The term myelitis is a nonspecific term for inflammation of the spinal cord; transverse refers to involvement across one level of the spinal cord. It occurs in both adults and children. You may also hear the term myelopathy, which is a more general term for any disorder of the spinal cord.


Transverse myelitis treatment questions

Q. Can Passion Rx or any of the sex enhancing products help a man that is diagnosed with transverse myelitis 6 yrs. ago. He was paralyzed from the waist down but with in a few months able to walk. He has some bladder and bowel control problems (which I just ordered pumpkin seed product for the over active bladder). He is 53 now. He can not achieve an erection but still has complete desire and is very frustrated. If this product is of no use then is there one? Transverse myelitis is damage in the spinal cord that caused his immune system to attack his nerve sheaths. So, there is permanent damage. He suffers lots of nerve pain in one of his legs and both feet. Of course the exact nature of TM is all theory. We have not tried Viagra because he doesn't like drugs due to not wanting side affects. He does take Vicodin for pain which also helps for him to have better control with his bladder since one side affect is bladder retention. He doesn't want to take them but what else is there? Thank you and please let me know if this product or any other could help my husband and I to have our sex life back.
   A. We don't recommend many of the sex herbs to those with transverse myelitis since the herbs provide a lot of energy and if someone has limited physical activity, restlessness and insomnia could occur.


Q. I am a 60 year old male. I was afflicted with transverse myelitis in 2006. The onset happened in a period of 2 hours. It hit me at T-10 and my doctors thought it would complete with virtually no chance of recovery. Through my dedication and hard work I am able to walk (albeit very slowly) on a walker about 400 feet and it Takes about 45 minutes. In light of the original prognosis my rehab has been very good.  At this time I am incontinent, I have to disimpact myself to move my bowels, I cannot get an erection and of course I have virtually no ability to walk. Do you think stem cell enhancers would help or any other suggestions? This is no life and I will try anything. Please please help me.
   A. We doubt stem cell enhancers will help with transverse myelitis.


Q.  I have transverse myelitis and noticed in a description of spirulina that it's not advisable to take this supplement if you have an autoimmune disease. Does this condition fall into that category?
   A. Transverse myelitis is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. I have no idea if spirulina would help, not influence, or hurt this condition.


Q. Do you have any information about treating transverse myelitis with natural supplements or herbs?
   A. I am not aware of natural supplements for this condition but I am keeping my eyes and ears open for such research.


My husband is 58 years old now and has been suffering from Transverse Myelitis of T4 level since November 2004. His general body muscles are quite strong and good . There was loss of muscle at the time of onset of TM but for last 3 years there has been no change except in eyelids drooping. His levels of Acetylcholine Receptor Abs have been wavering. The first time the levels went up to 110 nmol/l in May 2005 then came down to16 nmol/l in June 2005. Now it is 28 nmol/l tested on blood sample of 2009 May. He has symptoms like Myasthenia Gravis in the fact that his eyelids droop (but only when he is tired) and he has difficulty in swallowing dry foods- he needs a liquid to help them go down. The doctors did not confirm it as VEP in both eyes was normal. My questions, What increases Acetylcholine in the blood? Would creatine help his eyelid muscles from not drooping? What could help the clonus at his waste? What herbal medicines could reduce his his spasticity? Are ashwagandha, shilajeet, ginseng bad for him? Medications he takes are: Oxybutynin Chloride 5mg and Roliten (Tolterodine Tartarate) 2mg - for over active bladder/ sphincter control, Tizanidine Hydrochloride 8 mg /day - for spasticity. Supplements: Methylcobalamin 1500mcg sublingually daily. Omega 3 & 6 supplement 1000 /day and Cod Liver Oil 900 mg/day in 3 doses. Hoping to receive a quick reply from you and any other suggestions would be welcome too.
    Taking choline supplements could increase acetylcholine levels but this does not mean that this supplement is useful for this condition. I am not aware of human studies using natural herbs and treatment for this condition. It is difficult to predict interactions of medications and supplements.


I've been diagnosed with transverse myelitis. I took solu medrol for 5 days. i could walk (with difficulty) and work before the treatment. my condition worsened after treatment and now I'm out of work and on disability. are there any natural/alternative treatments out there i could take instead of drugs or medicine?


I just wanted to let you know that taking niacin makes a considerable improvement with my allodynia (nerve pain resulting from light touch, clothing, bedding, etc.) symptoms. I started with 500 mg for high cholesterol, and noticed when I got the flush my symptoms and pain diminished considerably. Then I noticed that when my body was no longer flushing from that dosage it did not help. I increased the dosage by 100 mg each time the flushing stopped until I reached 1000 mg. I stopped flushing and it no longer helped. I did not take any more for a week or two, and then started in again with 250 mg. I have been flushing every day for the last couple of weeks, without fail, and it really does help a lot.


JAMA Neurol. 2013 Nov. Longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis with and without aquaporin 4 antibodies. Aquaporin 4 antibody (AQP4-Ab)-negative patients with longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) behave differently from those with AQP4-Ab. Aquaporin 4 antibody-negative neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is rare when good assays are used.


Infect Dis (Lond). 2015. Cytomegalovirus-associated transverse myelitis: a review of nine well-documented cases. Cytomegalovirus-associated transverse myelitis is a rare disease. We found 12 cases in the medical literature, 8 of which met our criteria for being well documented.