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:
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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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References https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/health_medicine/multiple_sclerosis/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8017868 https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/multiple-sclerosis-information-page
Sunday 11th of April 2021
There are two important risk factors for MS and other auto-immune disorders that also should be mentioned. Complex childhood trauma, and brain injury are very pertinent risk factors for some. My personal take on these particular two, is based on commonalities. In both, the body, at least initially, is unable to control the event or sequeli. Powerlessness is not a tolerable condition to the body. When fight or flight become useless amenities, other powerful body functions may come into play. There is another commonality in the two risk factors; cellular damage. Cellular damage, whether direct, or as a result of the profound stress manifesting its presence physically. My point is that a damaged cell will release some or all of its contents into the circulatory system. This will initiate an immune response when the cellular debris contacts other healthy tissues. Specifically, extra-cellular Adenosine Triphosphate, an important cellular energy producer, has been noted to elicit cytokines, and other cytotoxic agents that elicit immune up regulation. I believe it is possible that the immune system is not only capable of remembering and creating anti-bodies for virus' and bacteria, but also violence that is long lasting, without hope of reconciliation. I recognize my far reaching speculation when questioning, hypothetically, whether the immune system "remembers", or creates an antibody to battle attacks in the future (not necessarily abuse or brain injury), that share similarities. It may be a question of what aspect of the body was injured, not necessarily by physical force, but also by stress induced physical response, when trauma (physical/psychologic) initially occurred. Regardless of the notion above, I was drawn here by the spiritual nature of the discussion. In MS, I believe some individuals have more time (though it was not requested), more questions about the importance and nature of life, and some may wonder, "what in the heck did I do to bring this crap storm into my life?". It is, I propose, another powerful body function coming into play. A person faces yet, at least on some level, another hopeless situation, repeatedly. The person they depend on to help them, that person does not understand the etiology of the problem or how to "cure" it. The person is shown, I believe more times that necessary, images of the destruction occuring in the body. It is easy to see these images may elicit a great deal of fear. The pharmacologic means used for controlling this sometimes devastating disorder may be perceived, by more than a few, as quite dangerous. Other trifles include dependence on some medications, brain fog, and the clerk a the grocery store believing you are drunk because you can not make change, little jewels everywhere. I believe in the course of trying to understand "why" MS from a spiritual standpoint, a person may see there were and are many things that have come to them that they neither asked for nor wanted. These things were given. What to do with, and how to respond to these terrible gifts, is a possible path where hopelessness has less impact, because it is accepted and not faced as a threat. Therefore (hypothetically), the immune system is less likely to be tripped, because recognition of similar conditions do not occur. Please understand, this is an idea, not an answer. Multiple Sclerosis attacking you is not your fault, I am not suggesting you should have to respond in anyway but the way you and your provider have determined is best for you.