What Is Multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is regarded as a potentially disabling disease, associated with the brain as well as the spinal cord that is part of the Central Nervous System. In Multiple Sclerosis, an individual’s immune system attacks his/her own protective sheath (myelin) through which the nerve fibers are covered, that result in a communication disturbance between the brain and the rest of the body. The particular disease causes nerve deterioration, and as a result, they can be permanently damaged. The particular disease develops weakness, numbness, tingling, and blurred vision. Many people face various problems with Multiple Sclerosis, such as muscle stiffness, urinary problems, and thinking problems. The appropriate treatment can relieve Multiple Sclerosis and its associated symptoms as well as delay this disease progression.
What Are The Symptoms Of Multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that has a range of unpredictable symptoms. Some Multiple Sclerosis patients experience numbness and fatigue. Severe Multiple Sclerosis can cause vision loss, paralysis, and diminished brain function. Some of the common Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are described as follows:
Vision Problems: It is one of the most common signs of Multiple Sclerosis. The optic nerve can be affected by the inflammation and as a result, central vision can be disrupted. It causes double vision, blurred vision, or loss of vision. An individual may not notice the visual problem at once, as the clear vision can deteriorate at a slower rate.
Tingling and Numbness: The nerves, associated with the brain and spinal cord, are affected by Multiple Sclerosis. Brain and spinal cord work as body’s message center. So, for Multiple Sclerosis, they can send conflicting signals all over the body. Sometimes, they send no signal and it results in numbness. Numbness and tingling sensation are considered as the most common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Generally, numbness can be associated with various parts of the body, such as arms, face, fingers, and legs.
Pain and Spasms: Multiple Sclerosis is also associated with chronic pain as well as involuntary muscle spasms. One individual can experience muscle stiffness along with painful and uncontrollable jerking movements associated with the extremities. The most commonly affected area is the legs, sometimes back pain can also happen.
Fatigue and Weakness: People can be affected by an unexplained weakness and fatigue in the initial stages of Multiple Sclerosis. When nerves are deteriorated in the spinal column, chronic fatigue occurs. Fatigue generally occurs suddenly and can last for several weeks before the improvement. At first, the legs are affected by the weakness.
Balance Problems and Dizziness: Dizziness and problems associated with balance and coordination can reduce an individual’s (with Multiple Sclerosis) mobility. People can also experience dizziness and lightheaded or vertigo (as their surroundings are spinning).
Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction: Multiple Sclerosis can also develop a dysfunction of the bladder. It can result in strong urges to urinate, frequent urination or inability of holding urine. Rarely, Multiple Sclerosis sufferers can experience diarrhea, constipation, or loss of bowel control.
Sexual Dysfunction: Sexual arousal can develop among the Multiple Sclerosis sufferers as the Central Nervous System is affected by Multiple Sclerosis.
Cognitive Problems: Most of the Multiple Sclerosis sufferers experience some kind of problems associated with their cognitive function. These can include:
- Shortened attention span, memory problems
- Difficulty in staying organized, language problems
- Depression along with other emotional problems can also occur among the Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.
- In a nutshell, Multiple Sclerosis can be associated with the following signs and symptoms:
- Weakness or numbness in one or more limbs.
- Partial or complete vision loss, pain during the eye movement.
- Pain or tingling in the body parts.
- Electric-shock sensations during the neck movements.
- Slurred speech
- Fatigue and dizziness.
- Lack of coordination and tremor.
- Problems with bladder and bowel functions.
- Hearing loss
- Breathing problems
- Trouble swallowing
- Uncontrollable shaking
What Are The Causes Of Multiple sclerosis?
The various causes of Multiple Sclerosis are as follows:
- Immunologic: Multiple Sclerosis is regarded as an immune-mediated disease. The malfunctions associated with the immune system are responsible for Multiple Sclerosis. The immune system attacks the Central Nervous System (CNS). As per the research, it is almost confirmed that the immune system directly attacks the myelin sheath, but it is not known what promotes the immune system to do this attack.
- Genetic: Several genes may be responsible for developing Multiple Sclerosis. If one individual’s close relative (such as parent or sibling) is associated with this disease, then the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis is higher in that individual.
- Environmental: Environment can play a vital role in developing Multiple Sclerosis. It is seen that the people, who are living farthest from the equator, are associated with higher risk of Multiple Sclerosis than the other geographic area. Vitamin-D is essential for the immune system’s functions. People, who are living near the equator, get more sunlight and thus their bodies can produce more Vitamin-D. Since, Multiple Sclerosis is regarded as an immune-mediated disease, sunlight exposure, and Vitamin-D may be associated with it.
- Infections: According to researchers, viruses and bacteria may develop Multiple Sclerosis in an individual’s body. Viruses can cause inflammation and as a result, myelin breakdown (called demyelination) can happen. So, a virus can possibly trigger Multiple Sclerosis.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Multiple sclerosis?
- Don’t take a pain-killer every time you have pain. Try light exercises, yoga etc. first.
- About half of the patients of MS get depression too. Please consult a psychiatrist on regular basis.
- For better control of bladder and deal with the problem of urinary incontinence, do Kegel exercises.
- Try speech therapy to handle speech problems that might occur with muscle stiffness.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Multiple sclerosis?
- Extreme weathers like heat or cold can aggravate MS, hence avoid extreme temperatures.
- Don’t try to speak fast if you have a speech problem.
- If you find chewing hard, try eating hard products.
What Are The Best Foods For Multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis suffers can take the following foods as per the Doctor’s recommendation:
Foods rich in Vitamin-D: People, who are deficient in Vitamin-D, are associated with the higher risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis. Vitamin-D can be obtained from a sufficient amount of sunlight exposure. The Vitamin-D rich foods are fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon, egg yolks, orange juice, cereals, soy milk etc. Vitamin-D can help to slow down or prevent the disease progression.
Lean Meats: Extremely low-fat diet can prevent the disease progression in some cases. So, the moderate amount of organic chicken, lean cuts of meats, or turkey can be consumed.
Whole Grains: Multiple Sclerosis patients can experience lesser fatigue symptoms by consuming whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc. The refined flours, as well as processed cakes, should be avoided. Whole grains are rich in fiber and so they help in maintaining stable blood sugars, healthy bowel habits etc that are helpful for the Multiple Sclerosis patients.
Fresh Fruits: Constipation is a common problem of the Multiple Sclerosis sufferers. In order to combat this problem, the bright-colored fruits such as mango, tangerines, pineapple etc can be consumed. They help to increase in fiber in order to enhance motility as well as ease and prevent constipation. Whole foods such as fruit are helpful in order to stabilize blood sugar as well as reduce fatigue.
Vegetables: Green Leafy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage, are rich in fiber. They are very helpful in constipation as well as maintain blood sugar. Vegetables help in maintaining a healthy weight as well as prevent other diseases (such as heart disease and diabetes.) So, Multiple Sclerosis patients can consume a low fat and high fiber diet such as green leafy vegetables.
Fatty Fish: Fish rich in Omega-3’s (such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout) can prevent inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.
Plant-based oils: Plant based oils such as olive, flaxseed, or hemp oil should be chosen rather than saturated fats like shortening or butter. Plant-based oils are rich in healthy unsaturated fats that are very helpful in lowering cholesterol as well as reducing inflammation.
Turmeric, Avocado, and Ginger: Multiple Sclerosis is associated with inflammation. So, foods that help to prevent inflammation can ease the Multiple Sclerosis associated symptoms as well as may prevent its progression. The examples of such foods are turmeric and avocado that can fight inflammation. Ginger extract is associated with strong anti-neuroinflammatory properties.
What Are The Worst Foods For Multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis suffers should not take the following foods as per the Doctor’s recommendation:
- Saturated Fats: Multiple Sclerosis sufferers should avoid the foods that are high in saturated fats as well as trans fats. These foods are tropical oils, such as palm kernel, coconut, and palm oil as well as cakes, cookies, pies (especially with frosting), crackers, margarine, doughnuts, microwave popcorn etc.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is regarded as a depressant of the Central Nervous System. Alcohol intake can worsen the neurologic symptoms (lack of coordination and imbalance) among the Multiple Sclerosis patients. Alcohol can develop an additive effect when they are combined with some of the Multiple Sclerosis prescribed medications.
- Sugar: Multiple Sclerosis patients should avoid foods that are rich in simple sugars (such as junk foods) as they can develop fatigue in the Multiple Sclerosis patients. These patients can also experience the loss of mobility due to weight gain.
- Refined Grains: Multiple Sclerosis patients should avoid refined grains such as white rice, white bread, potatoes and other foods associated with refined grains. These foods can enhance the blood sugar level, diabetes, and risk of obesity.
- Salt: High salt intake is related to exacerbation associated with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. So, the amount of salt should be limited while seasoning the foods. In order to maintain the taste, some alternative spices, such as black pepper can be used in seasoning. All types of canned products that are rich in sodium should be avoided.
- Caffeine: Multiple Sclerosis patients are frequently associated with urinary bladder issues. In order to manage the bladder related issues, as well as prevent irritation, caffeine should be avoided. Such types of foods are protein bars, decaf coffee, non-cola sodas, candy bars, hot chocolate, and fancy water.
- Full Fat Dairy: Foods rich in saturated and animal fat should be avoided. Instead of that low-fat dairy products should be chosen in order to maintain a low-fat diet.Such kinds of foods are full-fat milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.
What Are The Medicines For Multiple sclerosis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Multiple sclerosis?
Yoga can be very helpful in Multiple Sclerosis.