A healthy body is the most powerful protection against different diseases and medical conditions. It is not a secret that everyone needs to take care of their holistic wellness to avoid any health problems. A good practice to ensure that you live a healthy lifestyle is by caring for your physical health through proper diet and nutrition, performing physical exercise and taking care of your psychological health through a positive outlook. However, certain medical conditions can be caused by unknown factors. One of these diseases is Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
While the exact cause of this condition is unknown, experts believe that MS is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells and tissues of the body. In the case of Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system attacks the Myelin sheath. This insulating layer of fatty and protein-rich substance covers and protects the nerve fibres responsible for the efficient and quick transmission of electrical impulses in the spinal cord and the brain.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, hormones play a significant role in MS, making women two to three times more susceptible to developing this condition compared to men. It is estimated that there are more than 2.3 million people diagnosed with MS all over the world. In the US, a study by the National MS Society reported that nearly 1 million people are affected by this disease and those over 18 live with MS. In the UK, on the other hand, the Multiple Sclerosis Society UK estimates over 130,000 people are diagnosed with MS in the UK, and that one in every 500 people in the UK is affected by this health condition.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that is hard to diagnose because the number of its symptoms and the multiple ways in which they present can be similar to many other diseases. Furthermore, the diagnosis can be difficult as there are people with unusual symptoms or progressive disease. While there are no specific tests for MS, a complete neurological exam combined with thorough medical history are needed to rule out this disease.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms
Numbness and tingling
The absence of feeling or a pins-and-needles sensation can be one of the primary signs of MS, as this can mean that there are already nerve damages present in the body.
This is a common symptom of MS, which can be seen in 75% to 95% of MS patients and can occur at all stages.
The common vision problem in MS is optic neuritis, where the optic nerve gets inflamed. This usually causes aching pain with eye movement, blurred vision, dim vision or loss of colour vision.
The spasticity symptom varies from mild to severe, which can be painful due to the extremities’ uncontrollable spasms that usually occur on the legs.
Problems with gait or difficulty in walking can be due to several other MS symptoms such as fatigue, limiting the patient’s endurance and coordination and can cause weakness. In addition to this, mobility problems can also be caused by the numbness or spasticity that the patient experiences.
The pain in MS can vary from acute neuropathic or chronic neuropathic pain due to the damaged nerves that fire signals to the body from the brain. The type of pain in MS can be burning, stabbing, squeezing or sharp sensations.
Brain fog or problems with thinking and memory is another common symptom of MS. It is estimated that almost half of all MS patients experience this. This includes having a short attention span, difficulty in planning, decision making, understanding conversations or recalling memories.
While Multiple Sclerosis greatly affects physical health, it also takes a serious toll on mental health. According to studies, clinical depression, which is the severest form of depression, is one of the most common symptoms of MS. It is suggested that this kind of depression is more common in MS patients than those in the general population with other chronic illnesses.
Sexual dysfunction is included in the most common symptoms of MS. This includes decreases in libido, genital sensation and vaginal lubrication. Other sexual symptoms include erectile dysfunction and difficulties with orgasm.
MS affects the normal functioning of the bladder. It often affects MS patients to have a bladder that cannot hold the urine, causing frequent trips to urinate, especially during the night, called nocturia. It also causes frequent urinary tract infections, which may also increase MS symptoms, spasticity and fatigue.
Bowel problems as MS symptoms cause the disruption of brain signals to the digestive system. The disruptions of muscle control in the anus results in problems such as constipation and incontinence.
Due to the impairment of muscle control in the jaw, tongue and throat, many MS patients experience dysphagia or difficulty swallowing and difficulty chewing.
Natural Remedies That Can Help
There are medical treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) like infusion, oral and injectable treatments. Physicians also recommend physical therapy to help ease the symptoms. In addition to this, there are also botanical supplements that many MS patients use as an adjunctive treatment along with prescription drugs, but it is important to take note that speaking with your doctor is certainly necessary before trying any supplements. Here are some natural remedies that might help in MS symptoms management:
Medical marijuana UK could be a potential remedy for some of the typical symptoms experienced by those with MS. The active compounds in cannabis (cannabinoids) have become popular for their potential therapeutic effects, including the management of pain, inflammation, stress and anxiety and sleep regulation. The cannabinoid, CBD, is reportedly used by many MS patients for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid, may help to regulate hunger and reduce nausea.
Also known as the maidenhair tree, this natural remedy is native to China and has been used in medicinal practice since early times. While it is widely popular due to its ability to enhance memory, including brain conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Ginkgo biloba is also said to help manage Multiple Sclerosis (MS) due to its potent anti-inflammatory qualities and its ability to ease fatigue.
Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal medicines worldwide. It is a root of the plant Panax that has long been present in ancient medicinal practices. While there are different kinds of ginseng, most of the forms are said to have beneficial properties that can support general wellness. It is also known to relieve physical and mental fatigue, reduce stress and boost the immune system.