Multiple sclerosis or MS, it’s an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and may cause disability.
The immune system attacks myelin, the protection that covers the nerve fibers, causing miscommunication between the brain and the rest of the body. MS can lead to permanent damage in the nerves.
MS causes are unknown, but it is considered as an autoimmune disease. In these types of conditions, the immune system attacks its organs and tissues. In MS, the immune system in the body attacks myelin, the protective fatty substance of nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.
Although the reasons for developing the disease are not clear, a combination of factors such as genetics and environment seem to be the causes.
Symptoms can vary from person to person, and depend on where the affected nerve fibers are located. Movement is generally affected, and may present with any of the following symptoms:
Numbness or weak limbs
A sensation of electric shocks
Lack of coordination
Some factors that may increase the risk of developing MS are:
Age. People among the ages of 16 and 55 are more prone to developing it
Gender. Women have the highest risk of developing MS
Vitamin D deficiency and lack of sunlight exposure
Lumbar puncture (fluid is removed from the spine)
Magnetic resonance (MRI)
Tests of evoked potentials (recording of electrical signals)
There’s no cure for MS. The existing treatments focus on the attacks recovering, slowing its progression, and treating the symptoms. In some patients, the symptoms are not severe, and treatment is not required.
For treating the attacks, Corticosteroids and plasma exchange are prescribed.
Depending on the type of MS and the stage, the treatments will vary. The Neurologist treats this disease.
Living with multiple sclerosis
Living with any chronic disease can be difficult, but with the right treatment, it is possible to have a healthy life with multiple sclerosis. For helping alleviate symptoms, the following is recommended:
Get enough rest
Avoid exposing yourself to extreme heat
Cool off with cold compresses
Eat a balanced diet
Reduce stress levels.
When should I visit the Doctor?
If you have any of the symptoms above, you should see your Neurologist to determine if multiple sclerosis screening tests are needed.
When consulting the Neurologist, it is essential to record all the symptoms for how long they have manifested themselves. If you are taking any medication, you should also mention it to the Doctor. Learning more about multiple sclerosis is the first step to control it.
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