Multiple sclerosis

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s own immune system attacks and causes lesions and plaques to form on the myelin sheath of axons.

These are the outgrowths of the nerve cells through which they communicate.

As the name of the disease multiple sclerosis suggests – sclerotization – plaques or lesions appear in the white brain matter of the brain and spinal cord.

Multiple sclerosis is more common in people of Northern European descent. Women are twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis as men.

Multiple sclerosis affects people between the ages of 20 and 50, with the average age of onset being 34.

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Symptoms vary from person to person, making it difficult to diagnose the disease. In some cases, the patients do not have any symptoms and lesions in the brain are noticed during random nuclear magnetic resonance.

Symptoms are associated with visual, sensory and motor changes. As in some people the symptoms may be quite mild and over the years the myelin degeneration hardly progresses. But in about 30% of cases, the degeneration is so serious that it can completely disable the patient.

The initial symptoms of multiple sclerosis are often associated with the onset of vision problems.

Inflammation of the optic nerve or optic neuritis is the most common symptom of multiple sclerosis, as when moving the eye, the surrounding tissues cause pain.

Multiple sclerosis often affects the cerebellum, the part of the brain that helps maintain the body’s balance and coordination.

As a result, sufferers often have difficulty maintaining balance and performing specific hand activities.

They may drop a glass or other object unexpectedly because they felt a sudden weakness that they could not control.

Symptoms worsen at high temperatures as it reduces axonal conduction.

What causes it?

The development process of multiple sclerosis is complex and not yet fully understood.

The basic theory is that the body’s immune system for some reason starts attacking its own cells and tissues.

In the case of multiple sclerosis, this attack targets the myelin sheath of nerve cells.

Under the influence of this attack, the myelin sheath is gradually destroyed, with lesions or plaques forming in its place.

These areas with “bare” axons suffer from insufficient myelin protection and have difficulty transmitting nerve signals.

The reasons for this extraordinary behavior of the immune system are still under investigation.

A likely combination of genetic predispositions and external factors plays a role in the development of multiple sclerosis.

The genetic aspect is considered in the context of the presence of certain defective genes that may predispose some people to developing the disease.

External factors such as infections, viruses, environmental conditions and lifestyle are also considered possible triggers that can activate the immune system and cause the attack on the myelin sheath.

Lesions or plaques that form in the central nervous system can be seen in different areas of the brain and spinal cord.

Their number, location and size can vary greatly from patient to patient and even change during different stages of the disease.

As a result of the disturbance in the transmission of nerve signals, patients with multiple sclerosis may experience a wide range of symptoms.

These symptoms range from weakness, imbalance, visual disturbances and coordination disturbances to serious problems with motor function, memory and cognitive abilities.

Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

A number of studies have found that people with multiple sclerosis who regularly do aerobic exercise, which increases their heart rate and breathing rate, and eat regularly will improve their quality of life. of life.

The benefits that maintaining this regime will bring you are:

  • You increase or at least maintain your muscle strength;
  • The time during which you feel tired is now less;
  • You feel more energetic;
  • You feel more resilient;
  • You control the release of your bowels and bladder;
  • You are not as depressed;
  • You do not lose bone mass.

Ask your doctor to recommend a physical therapist or nutritionist to help you get started on a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Medications that are prescribed for multiple sclerosis:

  • Corticosteroids – these are useful for the inflammation and immune response that occurs in multiple sclerosis. They help speed up recovery from multiple sclerosis attacks.
  • Immunomodulatory medications – suppress the ability of immune cells to cause inflammation.
  • Immunosuppressants – interfere with immune system function and can limit inflammation.

Alternative Therapy

Usually used as an adjunct to traditional therapy.

Intake of vitamins in the form of food supplements. Although there is not enough data that vitamins in any way affect multiple sclerosis, their intake, as long as it is not excessive, is not contraindicated.

Some nutritional supplements are not recommended, as strengthening the immune system can cause the disease to worsen.

Because among the probable causes of multiple sclerosis is precisely an overactive immune system. The following vitamins are useful:

  • Vitamin D – helps maintain bone density, as some medications for the treatment of the disease decrease bone density and you are very likely to develop osteoporosis. Regular intake of Vitamin D will protect you from this disease.
  • Vitamin A is good for vision, as one of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is vision problems. This vitamin will help people who suffer from Vitamin A deficiency possibly due to Multiple Sclerosis

How to protect yourself from Multiple Sclerosis

Prevention of Multiple Sclerosis multiple sclerosis involves a number of factors that can help reduce the risk of developing this chronic disease of the central nervous system.

Although the exact cause of the disease is still not completely clear, some precautions and healthy habits can be helpful:

  1. Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, physical activity and adequate rest can boost the immune system and keep the body in optimal health state.

  2. Vitamin D: Studies have shown a link between low levels of vitamin D and a higher risk of MS. Maintaining adequate levels of this vitamin through sun exposure, foods, or supplements may have a beneficial effect.

  3. Avoid nicotine and poor quality foods: Nicotine and poor quality foods can have an adverse effect on the immune system and increase the risk of MS.

  4. Stress Management: Chronic stress can have a negative effect on the immune system. Stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation and relaxation can help reduce the risk.

  5. Regular medical check-ups: Regular visits to the doctor and conducting health tests can help in the early detection of any abnormalities in the body.

  6. Genetic Counseling: If there is a family history of MS, counseling with a geneticist may be helpful to better understand your genetic risks.

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