MS is a condition which affects the central nervous system.
What to look for
The first attack is
generally mild, lasts only a few days, and is followed by a long period of remission
perhaps years before the next episode. Symptoms vary considerably. They include:
weakness, stiffness, or
numbness in one or more limbs.
sensations of tingling,
pins and needles around the limbs or the trunk of the body
tremors or a lack of
balance or coordination.
blurred or double vision,
or rapid, involuntary eye movement.
bladder or bowel
The effects of this disease
can range from relatively minor physical annoyances to major disabilities.
In normal cases, the nerves
in the body are surrounded by a fatty substance called myelin, which permits the efficient
transmission of electrical impulses the nerve signals. Multiple sclerosis, or MS, occurs
when this protective sheath becomes inflamed sometimes causing damage to the nerves
themselves. The nerves may make faulty connections with each other or not work at all. The
above symptoms will occur when the transmission of electrical impulses is interrupted.
You may be a teenager when
you have the first attack and it may be brief and mild - it may pass unrecognised. You
could be much older when you have the next attack and it could last longer.
When the nerves are
inflamed repeatedly, they become scarred (sclerosis) and this occurs too quickly to be
repaired. How severe the illness is depends on the individual, and varies from person to
person. Some can lead normal healthy lives, while others are confined to wheelchairs.
Multiple sclerosis is
unpredictable in its on-again, off-again designs and its array of symptoms.
The cause of MS still
remains a mystery however, most researchers think the immune system plays a major role. As
well as this other researchers believe the disease is an inherited problem. Some say that
an extreme emotional shock can trigger an immune response causing MS.
People who eat high fat
diets also tend to get this disease more than others.
Some researchers suspect
environmental factors. The list of possible culprits includes lead, pesticides, diesel
fumes, chemicals in tap water, solvents, fumes from domestic gas water heaters, and carbon
It is hard to diagnose and
to treat MS as the symptoms vary so much.
In general, medicines are
effective only in treating the symptoms of MS, and then only to a limited degree.
treatments have been helpful in patients -
Avoidance of gluten
There are many alternative
therapies available which may provide some relief from some symptoms, however always make
sure that you get Professional advice.
Avoid certain foods that
can bring on attacks in some MS sufferers: Milk and dairy products, caffeine, yeast,
tomato sauce, vinegar, wine, and corn can also prove problematic.
See your Doctor and ask
about special diets which may help MS sufferers (Swank Diet).
When to seek further