Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and progressive degenerative disease that damages the nerves of the brain and spinal cord. Here are some things you have to know to get rid of Multiple Sclerosis.
This condition is an auto immune disorder. Your body’s immune system attacks its self, causing damage to the myelin sheath. The myelin is a fatty substance the serves as priotection to your nerves, ensuring that nerve impulses are properly transported throughout your body.
The demyelination results to scarring and hardening of nerve tissues These intermittent damages would then cause a slow or blocked transmission of nerve impulses.
It has been studied that certain conditions may put you at higher risk of getting this illness.
- The Epstein-barr virus has been said to cause Multiple Scelrosis but as to how it does is still not clarified. This is the same virus that can cause infectious mononucleosis.
- A family history of this disease puts you at high risk of having it.
- Countries with temperate climate, like Northern United States, Europe, Southern Canada and Southeastern Australia have a high prevalence rate of cases of Multiple Sclerosis.
- White race that originates from Northern Europe are at risk of MS. Asians and Native Americans are at lowest risk of MS.
- Certain medical conditions, like thyroid diseases and type 1 diabetes may also lead to Multiple Sclerosis.
- Women between the ages of 20 and 40 years are usually the ones who acquires this condition.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis are classified depending on several factors, like severity of symptoms, frequency and the ability of the central nervous system to recover.
- Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis has a steady disease progression with few remissions.
- Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is characterzied by frequent exacerbations and remissions.
- Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis is like Relapsing – Remitting MS but after a while becomes Progressive MS.
- Relapsing-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis yields more damage during exacerbations and remissions.
MS is characterized by periods of exacerbations and remissions. Exacerbations are periods of acute attacks where symptoms are greatly epxerienced while remissions are times when symptoms are lessened or not felt.
- The common early symptoms are usually sensory abnormalities like the following.
- Tingling sensations
- Blurred vision
- lhermitte’s sign which is described as shooting pain in the back.
- Some other symptoms you might have are the following:
- Bladder or bowel dysfunctions
- Cognitive problems, like difficulty concentrating and memory loss.
- Motor abnormalities, like problems in coordination and balance.
- Muscle weakness, which may involve all 4 extremities (quadraparesis), both legs or just one side of the body.
- Muscle spasms
Since Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive disease, the treatments are geared toward making the patient live his life as comfortable as possible.
- Plasmapheresis is done to relieve the severe symptoms of Multiple Scelrosis. This is usually indicated for patients who aren’t responding to steriod therapy. The procedure is like dialysis where the plasma is separated from other blood properties.
- Physical therapy is done to strengthen the muscles.
- Occupational therapy helps a patient perform his activities of daily living.
- Speech therapy may used for those who are experiencing dysarthria (slurred speech) and dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.
- To lessen exacerbations, patients are usually prescribed any of the following drugs.
- Corticosteriods are the most common type of drug given to lessen inflammation that increases in an acute attack. Some cortocosteriods are Prednisolone and Methyprednisolone.
- Interferon beta 1a and Interferon beta 1b slow the progression of the disease. Examples of these medicines are Betaseron, Avonex and Rebif. When taking Interferons, make sure to aovid alcohol as interferons can cause liver damage.
- Glatiramer (Copaxone) is injected subcutaneously. This helps block the attack of the immune system to the myelin sheath.
- Drugs may also be given to treat the specific smptoms of Multiple Scelrosis.
- Muscle relaxants, like Baclofen (Loresal), Benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants may be used to treat muscle weakness, numbness and stiffness.
- For fatigue, a patient may take Amantadine hydrochloride (Symmentrel).
- Benzodiazepines, Clonazapam and Propranolol may be given for patients with problems in balance and equilibrium.
- Fatigue can easily be manged by getting enough rest.
- Exercise will help lessen muscle weakness. It’ll also improve muscle tone and help in balance and coordination.
- Tepid sponge bath will help alleviate increase in body temperature, especially during exacerbations. (Learn how to give a sponge bath)
- Having a well-balanced meal would help keep your immune system healthy.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disabling disease. Though you may not be able to stop the progression of the illness, seeking early treatment and continuing the treatment for a long period of time would greatly help in lessening the symptoms.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of multiple sclerosis.