Multiple sclerosis is a condition that affects the central nervous system. The effects of multiple sclerosis can range from minor physical annoyances to major disabilities. Normally, the nerves in the body are surrounded by a fatty substance known as myelin, it permits the efficient transmission of electrical impulses to the nerve signals. Multiple sclerosis occurs when this protective sheath becomes inflamed and sometimes causes damage to the nerves themselves. The nerves may then make faulty connections with each other or may not even work at all. The following symptoms will occur when the transmission of electrical impulses are interrupted. The first attack is usually mild and may only last a few days, it is then followed by a long period of remission, around a year before the next episode, the symptoms vary and they include:
Bladder or bowel incontinence
Weakness, numbness or stiffness in one or more limbs
Blurred or double vision, or rapid, involuntary eye movement
Sensations of tingling, pins and needles around the limbs or trunk of the body
Tremors or lack of coordination or balance
Usually you are a teenager when the first attack occurs and it may be brief and mild, it usually passes unrecognised and you could be much older when you have your next attack and might last longer than the last. When nerves are inflamed repeatedly, they become scarred (sclerosis) and this happens to quickly to be repaired. The severity of the illness depends on the person and varies accordingly. Some sufferers can lead healthy normal lives, while others live out their lives in wheelchairs. Multiple sclerosis is unpredictable as you cannot tell when it will occur and the symptoms vary.
Multiple sclerosis’s cause still remains a mystery, however it is believed by most researchers that the immune system plays a major role. Others believe it to be an inherited problem. Extreme emotional shock is believed to trigger an immune response which causes multiple sclerosis. A person who eats a high fat diet is more likely to suffer from this disease than others. Environmental factors, are suspected to trigger it as well, some culprits are diesel fumes, lead, chemicals in tap water, pesticides, fumes from domestic gas water heaters, solvents and carbon monoxide pollution.
Yoga exercises and exercise in general is highly recommended, although the exercise should not be too strenuous or done during an attack. Regularly working your muscles in order to keep them from atrophying is advised as well.
Certain foods that can bring on attacks of multiple sclerosis in some sufferers should be avoided, these include:
Milk and other dairy products
Your doctor can advise you on special diets which may help sufferers of multiple sclerosis. Supplements of linoleic acid which is found in sunflower oil and evening primrose oil should also be taken.
When to seek further professional advice
As soon as you or someone you know shows symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis.
There are a wide variety of alternative remedies that may provide some relief from certain symptoms, you should make sure that you get professional advice before using these remedies.
Because the symptoms vary so much it is hard to diagnose and treat multiple sclerosis. Generally medicines are effective only in treating the symptoms of the disease and then only to a limited degree. There have been some treatments that have been found to be helpful to some patients, these include:
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