Transverse myelitis is a neurological disorder that stems from inflammation across a segment of the spinal cord. The inflammation can damage or destroy myelin, the fatty substance that insulates nerve cell fibers. The location of the inflammation determines which parts of the body will be affected by the nerve damage. For example, nerves in the mid-back control signals to the hips and legs.
Transverse myelitis typically affects younger people. Peak incidence is among those between the ages of 10 and 19 and 30 and 39. The cause is unknown but may be a viral infection, an abnormal immune system reaction or insufficient blood flow through the blood vessels located in the spinal cord. The disorder can also develop as a complication of measles, syphilis, Lyme disease, and vaccinations for chickenpox and rabies.
About one third of all patients recover fully; another third may be left with some deficiencies in their walking gait, urinary urgency or incontinence and some sensory loss. Unfortunately, the other third do not improve at all. Treatment focuses on maintaining body functions via physical therapy, occupational and vocational therapy. Conventional medicine treats the earliest stages of the disorder with corticosteroids in an effort to reduce the inflammation.
Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a nontoxic medicinal and culinary) mushroom believed to stimulate nerve growth. It may prove useful in your case. While there are no studies affirming that this approach works, Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti® (a company that makes and sells mushroom-based medicinals) tells me that he has received testimonials from people suffering from nerve damage and neuropathy who report improvements in muscle functions with use of extracts of Lion's Mane. I see no problem using the mushroom while you are breastfeeding.
Andrew Weil, M.D.