How to Know if I Have Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Multiple sclerosis usually shows some early signs and symptoms that indicate the possible offset of the disease. However, it is easy to mistake many of the symptoms for other diseases or illnesses. The earlier it is diagnosed the sooner treatment can be provided in order to slow down the amount of nerve damage caused.
In this OneHowTo article we will help answer the question on how to Know if I Have Multiple Sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease characterized by your immune system attacking the outer protective shell of your nerves called myelin. If myelin is destroyed then your nerves will not be able to send signals throughout your body and will impact the correct functioning of your organs and cells.
Early signs of multiple sclerosis
As your body starts attacking your nerve fibers and tissues you may start experiencing some abnormal symptoms. These symptoms include trouble walking, having more frequent numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, pain, feeling tired, having a blurred vision and having difficulty concentrating or focusing.
These symptoms are indications of neurological problems to your Central Nervous System (CNS) possibly caused by an autoimmune disease. The disease is more common in people between the ages of 20 and 50 years old of Caucasian ethnicity; however, MS can occur in younger groups and other ethnic groups.
Causes of multiple sclerosis
There is still to be determined a cause for developing multiple sclerosis; however, research is pointing to the interaction of several factors.
Multiple sclerosis isn’t hereditary but it is argued that people may have a predisposition to develop the disease if it runs in the family's genes. Environmental factors such as low Vitamin D levels or sunlight exposure have been linked to a higher risk; as well as, high levels of smoking. Intestinal permeability and a gluten allergy are currently at the top of autoimmune disease research. It is being studied whether a leaky gut can trigger MS. Infections by certain viruses and bacteria during childhood are also being studied to determine whether long lasting damage is produced.
Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis
There isn’t a single test or technique to diagnose multiple sclerosis. For your doctor to diagnose you with MS there must be identifiable damage to your Central Nervous System (CNS) in at least two different areas of the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord. This damage must be recent and continuous meaning that it is reoccurring month after month. Additionally, all other diagnoses must be ruled out.
Some of the measures applied may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), evoked potentials (EP) and specific blood tests.
Treatment for multiple sclerosis
There isn’t a cure for multiple sclerosis but there are very effective treatments that can slow down the progression and render the autoimmune diseases in a dormant state. Certain drugs such as beta interferon and dimethyl fumarate are being prescribed to patients that have severe nerve damage.
Additionally, many patients have found relief in adding restorative and relaxing practices such as meditation and yoga to their routines; as well as, changing up their diets to include more anti-inflammatory foods. A popular diet among patients is the autoimmune protocol.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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