Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system attacks its own soft tissue, known as myelin sheath, the outer covering of the spinal cord and the never endings.
This attack creates areas where the nerves are exposed, which makes it difficult for the nerves to send and receive appropriate messages to the control center of the brain. This disruption of electrical impulses causes the symptoms to occur.
The cause for this disorder is unknown, although emotional stress, environment, infections and genes seem to be common.
How is it Diagnosed
The doctor will get a complete medical history on you. He will then ask about your family medical history.
The doctor will order a series of tests. Some of them include; blood work, MRI, X ray, CT scan, Lumbar puncture, and probably a neurological exam.
The different imagery will be examined for things like lesions, abnormalities, changes in the brain matter, and dimensional changes in the spinal cord and brain stem.
In addition, he will look for signs of atrophy, muscle wasting, and shrinkage. The doctor will take a small amount of fluid from your spinal column. He will then run tests on this liquid substance, to determine white blood cells and antibody amounts.
The doctor may choose different types of tests during the neurological exam. He might do an EEG to determine how well your body’s sending and receiving nerve impulses.
The doctor could stimulate the brain with the use of pictures and sound, while recording how your body responds to the stimuli.
The physician will check your five senses; taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. He will check facial feelings, and movement. Including how well you can move your eyes, your head and tongue.
The doctor will check for swallowing issues. He will see how well the rest of your body responds to stimuli, your reflexes and muscle strength.
The 10 Most Common Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
MS causes disruption of nerve impulses to the brain. These abnormal signals cause the vast array of symptoms. These symptoms can last for a small amount of time, or for months.
Occasional symptoms will be brief, but will reoccur during a relapse. I’ve listed the most common MS symptoms below.
1- People with MS will often have difficulty with their hearing, speech, swallowing and vision. The optic nerve becoming inflamed, this irritation can cause a person to have blurred, or double vision.
A person might have pain when they look over to one side or when they look up. Usually the vision problems will decrease when the inflammation is less severe.
2- A person with MS might have difficulty with their bladder and bowels. They could have incontinence, overactive bladder, frequent urination, diarrhea or constipation.
3- A person with MS may have difficulty with sexual arousal. This is thought to be caused by the lesions, medicines and other emotional issues that they are experiencing.
4- A person with MS might have anxiety and depression. They might have a shorter attention spam, have difficulty remembering things and have poor organizational skills.
5- Sometimes a person with MS will have a condition known as pseudobulbar affect. This causes a person to either laugh, or cry uncontrollably for no apparent reason.
6- Fatigue and weakness are seen in over 80% of people with MS. This is thought to be caused by the destruction of the nerves in the spinal column.
The fatigue generally comes on quickly, but only last a couple of weeks. The weakness begins in the legs and is thought to be the result of the inflammation.
7- Often times a person with MS will have tingling and numbness in their arms, fingers, legs and face. Sometimes this tingling turns into muscle spasms, or painful twitches in the arms and legs.
Occasionally these spasms lead to chronic pain. The pain is generally in the extremities and back, but can appear anywhere on the body.
8- Trigeminal neuralgia is a sharp stabbing pain that occurs on one side of the face, usually on the cheek.
This pain is generally brief in duration, but can occur throughout the day. The slightest touch can trigger the pain.
9- Sometimes a person will feel like their muscles are tight and stiff. Occasionally, a person with MS might have a burning pain usually in the legs, but can happen anywhere in the body. This consistent pain usually happens at night and increases when touched.
10- MS could cause seizure activity and difficulty breathing.
Some doctor’s use medicines known as autoimmune suppressants. They slow down the progression, and relapses.
Since they slow down the immune system, your chances of infection are slightly increased. Some of the IV medicines included Extavia, copaxone, Avonex, Novantrone.
The possible side effects are; warmth, redness,itching at the injection site. People may have aches, fatigue, fever, chills. These general goes away within the first couple of months
There are oral immune suppressant drugs like; Aubagio, Gilenya, Tecfidera and Tysabri. People should use extreme caution when taking them, because they have shown to cause heart damage, liver damage, and birth defects. The last three has been linked to a rare but serious brain disorder Known as PML.
Novantrone is a chemotherapy drug that suppresses the immune system, that’s sometimes used with MS. it should be used cautiously because it can cause heart damage and leukemia.
Plasma Exchange is sometimes performed. The lab technician will remove your blood, separated its Components and then replace the liquid substance known as plasma back into your body.
For the other MS symptoms, the doctor might prescribe medicines like muscle relaxant, sedatives, antidepressants and pain medicines.
Foods to Avoid
You should limit your foods that increase inflammation they are sugar, flour, yeast, additives and preservatives.Processed foods and foods high in saturated and Trans fats also increase swelling.
So you should be careful eating processed foods and using regular cooking oils. Lastly, stay away from central nervous system stimulates.