Thursday, August 5, 2010

MS, it's effects and symptoms

Here is a little that is known about what goes on with Multiple Sclerosis:

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, which predominantly affects young adults (this fact changes from caucasian women to young adults). During the inflammation, the myelin (sheath around the nerve cells) gets stripped from the axons in a process known as demyelination. When the myelin sheath is damaged, the transmission of nerve impulses is slowed, stopped or it can jump across into other demyelinated axons. Additionally, the inflammation can also damage the underlying axonal membrane. This membrane is a sophisticated structure that enables the nerve transmission to travel along the nerve. The lost myelin can be replaced with scar tissue. This scarification is how Multiple Sclerosis got its name: Multiple - many and Sclerosis - scar forming. Scar tissue can block the formation of new myelin and once axons have become scarified they do not fully regain their former function.

Conventional medicine aims at management of exacerbations of the inflammatory process by the use of drugs like steroids, interferon etc which only act by suppressing the symptoms of inflammation. It does not address the root cause of the inflammatory process nor does it help in remyelination.

Multiple sclerosis symptoms can cause a wide range of problems. Some problems occur often, and some are seldom seen. Each person’s MS is unique and each person’s MS can progress differently. Basically, MS can progress in two ways. The first is through a flare-up, which is sometimes called a relapse, attack or exacerbation. The second is silent progression. This means that MS is advancing even when there are no symptoms. Either progression means that damage is done to the central nervous system over time. This is why it is so important to begin multiple sclerosis treatment as soon as possible.

Some multiple sclerosis symptoms are seen more often early in the course of disease, while others show up later as the disease progresses.

Below is a list of the most common symptoms of MS. Keep in mind that no two people have the same experience with MS. Your symptoms may be very different from the symptoms of another person. Make sure you speak to your healthcare provider if one or more of your symptoms act up. You could be having a flare-up.

Being aware of your symptoms will help you talk to your healthcare provider about which treatment is right for you.

Common multiple sclerosis symptoms are discussed below:
Changes in vision
Loss of muscle strength in arms and legs
Change in sense of touch
Bladder/bowel problems
Sexual dysfunction
Balance/coordination problems
Changes in cognitive function
Mood changes

I started with all of these syptoms and a few more. Now, I only have loss of muscle strength in my right leg, some fatigue and some changes in cognitive functions.
The mood changes I have observed are, well related to me being anal retentive. But since it is a symptom of MS, let us blame it on that.

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