Multiple Sclerosis – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Multiple Sclerosis – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Multiple sclerosis is a medical condition, which attacks the nervous system. It is commonly known as MS. In case you are wondering, why does this happen, it is still unclear to tell.

To explain multiple sclerosis, we must know that the central nervous system has a protective covering around it. It is known as “myelin sheath.” It also helps to transmit the nerve messages with accuracy and speed.

Whenever there are some gap areas where myelin sheath is damaged, broken, removed or thin, it is called scar tissue formation. In a complete absence of myelin sheath, the area is called plaque or lesion.

In such a condition where no myelin sheath is here to assist the nerve impulse, the nerve fiber is at a higher risk of getting damaged. It means that the impulses will not be transmitted smoothly. The message from the brain will no longer be sent to the body.

Types of multiple sclerosis

There are four subtypes of multiple sclerosis. These are as following.

  • Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
  • Relapse-remitting MS (RRMS)
  • Primary progressive MS (PPMS)
  • Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS)

The clinically isolated syndrome is a one-time infection, which lasts for maximum one day. Most of the people who get hit by multiple sclerosis suffer from relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis. It may increase its effect and turn out to be worse if not treated.

Primary progressive multiple sclerosis is also common but not as common as relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis. It affects more or less 15% of the people getting affected by multiple sclerosis.Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is the severe form of initial and relapse and remission.

What are the visible signs of multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis shows some symptoms. These symptoms are so variable that they may show differently in different persons. Also, they change week to month or year may be. There are only two things, which everyone feels; fatigue and difficulty in movement.

Almost all people suffering from MS feel tiredness all the times. This fatigue is a lot more severe than the regular tiredness. It may affect your abilities and work in all possible ways.

Difficulty in movement affects fewer people, but still, there are so many victims of it. The reasons for feeling this problem can be any of the following.

  • Numbness
  • Difficult body balancing
  • Muscular pains and weakness
  • Muscle spasticity

Some other signs, which appear indicating the problem of multiple sclerosis, are as follows.

  • Tremor
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Body pains
  • Cognitive issues
  • Bad memory

What are the treatments for multiple sclerosis?

Technically there is no treatment option for multiple sclerosis. But the medication given to the patients is generally of the basic nature. The remedy involves some common trade names. Your doctor would ask about your medical history before prescribing any medicine.

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Can you feel multiple sclerosis at an early level?

The even more confusing thing with multiple sclerosis is that there is no way you can predict it to be hitting you. It can even get developed at once or may take years to show up. But if you know your body well, there are some alarming signs, which can make an early diagnosis.

  • The most common of these is to feel sensations in arms, legs or even on the face. It feels like needles sensation, which sometimes we feel on feet, generally regarded as sleeping of feet.
  • You may feel that your body balances are getting worse. It will be difficult for you to walk and do any physical activity.
  • You can also feel a blurry or weaker vision. The weakness of eyesight is also one indicator of it. Additionally, you may feel pain in eyes.

The strange thing is that these symptoms may not always prolong. It means that one can feel them at one time, lasting for some days or months and it all vanishes. After some time they return and do the same. It can even take years-long gaps.

How to diagnose multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of nerves, and the only way to diagnose is to check through a neurological history analysis. No doctor can practically check for the internal condition, so the whole diagnosis is based on the historical records.

He I ask for your clinical history and some tests to determine the condition. The diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis are as following.

  • MRI
  • Evoked Potentials
  • A spinal tap, or lumbar puncture
  • Blood tests

Is multiple sclerosis a genetic condition?

Not at all. Multiple sclerosis is not hereditary. But it does play some role in getting the disease itself. There are some genes, which increase the risk of getting multiple sclerosis, but it doesn’t mean that they are causing it.

It is still under research that there should be some triggering element, which can initiate the infection.

How to survive with multiple sclerosis?

As there is no treatment of multiple sclerosis, the patients have to live with the condition. Most of the people find ways to ease the symptoms, which are more problematic at times. It’s not that it is impossible to live with it, it only requires special care.

But for a practical disease management of multiple sclerosis, you need to consult a neuro-physician that has a specialization with multiple sclerosis treatments. More than medicines you need expert advice on how to improve the condition.

If the symptoms are causing problems for you, you can always adjust them to diet and necessary lifestyle changes. Exercise is crucial which ensures both mental and physical health. In this regard, the patient is asked to take care of it.

Some other methods to ease the stress are as follows.

  • Yoga
  • Mediation
  • Massages
  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnotherapy

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Is there is a specific diet to follow?

Diet is not as such a problem when it comes to multiple sclerosis. But it can help you to fight against it. For example, the fatigue due to MS can be helped with modifying the immune system with healthy foods.

If you improve your diet overall, it will help to make you feel better. Also, it will reduce the risk of other health problems to hit you for future.

It is better to add the following to your diet.

  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Lean proteins
  • Whole grains
  • Groundnuts
  • Legumes
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Water

You should take control on the intake of following.

  • Saturated and trans fats
  • Red meat
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Processed foods
  • Fizzy drinks

To manage weight, it is better to determine the portion size of each meal. The addition of exercise and other physical activities will help you to maintain a healthy weight. If you are deficient in any nutritional agent, the doctor will give it separately to you.

Future complications of multiple sclerosis

It may look like there is no severe effect of multiple sclerosis. The lesion of MS can grow up at anywhere of the nervous system. You never really know that which part of the body is at risk.

Along with fatigue, patients often develop other issues such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. Also, the patient may feel difficult to move. These effects increase more when you age. It increases the risk of physical injuries.

It has also shown from patient’s historical analysis that the victims of MS are more likely to get chronic muscular and joints disease i.e. arthritis, osteoporosis etc. It is better to start taking MS serious before it shows up all its unhealthy effects.

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The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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