How Do I Treat MGUS?
Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance, more commonly known as MGUS, is a disorder of the blood. It involves cells called plasma cells which are white blood cells that secrete abnormal antibodies. If you have been diagnosed with MGUS, chances are the treatment prescribed by your doctor is a “Watch and Wait” strategy.
Is There a Better Way?
Yes! The “Watch and Wait” strategy can be very worrying and frustrating for patients - living with the knowledge that the patient has this condition and waiting for it to worsen before something is actively done about it. While MGUS is largely considered a benign condition, a number of studies have shown that patients with MGUS are at increased risk of high bone turnover and fractures even before progression to myeloma.
At MGUS therapy, our treatment involves early intervention with non-toxic therapies (such as diet and supplements) which may provide benefit to MGUS patients, regardless of their risk of progression, and particularly to those with a higher risk of progression.
Step 1 – Assessing the Disease
The first step for an MGUS patient involves a review of the markers of disease progression, a review of some of the markers of immune function and assessment of their inflammatory status. A number of studies have shown that inflammation may be a driver of disease. C-reactive protein (CRP), a liver protein which is produced in response to inflammation, is one of the most common indicators used to detect inflammation in the body. CRP is usually used to predict an individual’s risk for cardiovascular disease, but can be used more generally to indicate inflammation and disease risk. Once all this is understood, a personalised plan of action can be developed.
Step 2 – Diet
Diet plays a significant role in a person’s quality of life and the impact this has on those suffering from MGUS is increased. There are a number of different dietary factors that can cause or contribute to inflammation. Patients of MGUS therapy will have a thorough review of their diet made to ensure foods that are anti-inflammatory, immune enhancing and have proven anti-cancer activities are included.
Some examples of these types of food include:
Omega-3 fatty acids, including those found in fatty fish like EPA and DHA, have anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are usually consumed in lower quantities than omega-6 fatty acids in the Western diet, which contributes to inflammation.
The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet has many different variations, but in general includes generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, deep-sea fish, and fermented dairy. Olive oil and wine are also consumed in moderate amounts. The Mediterranean diet has become one of the most studied diets for its ability to reduce all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and may also be an effective way to reduce inflammation. There are many other foods that may be recommended during a consultation with MGUS therapy.
Step 3 – Supplements
Diet is a great start but a boost via supplement recommendations can have a big impact on quality of life and on some markers of disease progression. Curcumin is the supplement we most recommend at MGUS therapy as numerous studies have shown it may have a beneficial impact on the progression of the disease in some patients with MGUS (check out these case studies for more evidence!). Maintaining stable disease is also a positive outcome in many patients.
How much curcumin to take, and what particular brand, is also important to consider when formulating an action plan against MGUS.
Beyond curcumin – other supplements may be recommended such as fish oil and probiotics.
Once these steps are completed, an action plan will be implemented with monitoring as needed. This will give the MGUS patient peace of mind that they are putting their best foot forward rather than just “watching and waiting”.
If you have been diagnosed with MGUS you can book a consultation with Terry to start actively fighting the disease.