Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the spinal cord and brain.
It is an autoimmune condition that means your immune system mistakes part of your physical body for a foreign substance and attacks it. MS can cause vision problems, debilitating fatigue, muscle stiffness, and impaired coordination and balance.
Its diagnosis typically occurs between the ages of 20 and 40 years. MS is 2 to three times more common in females than in males. About 10,000 new cases are diagnosed every year in the US, and over 400,000 Americans have the disease. An estimated 2,500,000 people in the world have MS.
On average, most people with the disease live about 7 years less than the general population, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
MS is believed to be an abnormal immune response directed against the central nervous system.
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Certain factors are involved, including:
- gender – MS is 2 to 3 times more common in women than in men;
- obesity – according to research, being obese or overweight, especially during adolescence, is linked with an increased risk of developing the disease;
- race – multiple sclerosis appears more frequently in Caucasians than in groups of other racial origins;
- genes and family history – MS is not an inherited disease, meaning it is not a disease that is passed down from generation to generation. But, there is around 1.5 percent chance of a child developing the disease when their father or mother has it;
- environmental factors – it is more common in people who live further away from the equator. The likely culprit is vitamin D or lack thereof;
- smoking tobacco – smokers and people exposed to second-hand smoke have a 100 percent increased risk to develop the disease;
- other autoimmune diseases – if you have another autoimmune disease, like – type 1 diabetes or thyroid disease, the risk of this disabling disease is slightly higher;
- infections – there is a link between the Epstein-Barr virus (one of 8 known human herpesvirus types in the herpes family) and the development of the disease.
Notes – individuals with MS tend to have their first symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40. MS usually progresses with episodes that last days, weeks, or months.
Common symptoms include:
- problems with bladder or bowel function;
- weakness or numbness in one or more limbs which usually occurs on one side of the body at a time;
- partial or complete loss of vision, generally in one eye at a time, usually with pain during eye movement;
- prolonged double vision;
- slurred speech;
- tingling or pain in parts of the body;
- unsteady gait;
- electric-shock sensations which occur with certain neck movements;
- lack of coordination;
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Doctors diagnose MS by physical exam, looking at the sufferer’s medical history, and tests like – lumbar puncture and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
There is no cure for the disease; however, a combination of speech, physical, and occupational therapies and medicines may help you cope with and relieve your symptoms as well as reduce the progression of MS.
A few drugs have been shown to affect the immune response, therefore, the course of the disease. Some of the drugs are:
Home Remedies & Lifestyle Changes
Recommended home remedies and lifestyle changes for people suffering from the disease are:
- Ayurvedic medicine;
- traditional Chinese medicine;
- replace animal protein as much as possible with plant protein (such as lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, oatmeal, kidney beans);
- decrease protein toward 10% of daily caloric intake;
- mindfulness meditation – once per day for at least 20 minutes;
- light aerobic exercise on a regular basis;
- eliminate milk and milk products (such as cheese, yogurt, milk chocolate, mayonnaise, ice creams);
- take 30 mg of coenzyme Q10 three times per day;
- eat organically grown fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables as much as possible;
- boost your intake of foods high in dietary fiber, such as – flax seeds, chia seeds, broccoli, navy beans, apples, pears, mangoes, or papayas;
- eat turmeric, pineapples, and ginger regularly;
- increase intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids from walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, red kidney beans, and hemp seeds;
- eliminate all foods containing food additives and trans foods such as hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers, cookies, cakes, doughnuts, burritos, fried chicken, onion rings, soft drinks.
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Spiritual Meaning Of Multiple Sclerosis
If you suffer from MS, you may generally be affected by strong suffering and feelings of discouragement in your life. There is something or someone who paralyzes you; therefore, you feel stuck. You no longer live your life briskly. Your life is devoid of tenderness.
Also, you are afraid of being put aside, abandoned. Or you are afraid of falling, both in a literal and figurative sense, and that such a fall could cause your death.
All these fears, which involve a vertical movement and the belief that your life is in danger, can trigger multiple sclerosis.
Healing – I accept to trust my inner mentor, and I recognize in each person his presence, which makes each one of us act as best we can. So I will show more flexibility and understanding. I accept to make sense of my life. I become the master of my life, and I take full responsibility for my feelings.
”I respond to my body’s messages with patience and understanding.”
”I choose to heal for my heart, body, and soul every day.”
”I allow myself to find inner flow and integration and let go of splits and energy blockages.”
”Every part of my body carries out its tasks naturally and easily.”
”Every cell in my body vibrates with energy and health.”
”I am grateful for the healing that is going on in my body.”
Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty Images
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