Sensory Symptoms And Ms
Changes in sensations such as numbness, pins and needles and tingling are common MS symptoms, related to damage to nerve covering in certain areas. These sensations can occur anywhere on the body such as the arms, legs and face. They can be mild or could interfere with your ability to use the affected part of your body, such as difficulty in writing with a pen.
The new onset of sensory symptoms may be associated with a relapse and should be reported to your MS healthcare team.
Take Care During Exercise
Exercise can offer both physical and emotional rewards to people living with MS, but its important to choose activities that work for you rather than against you.
Swimming or water aerobics in a pool with a low water temperature are two options that work well for people prone to heat intolerance.
Avoiding outdoor exercise during the hottest parts of the day, taking frequent breaks, and taking advantage of air-conditioned gyms are also smart ideas that can help you stay fit in a safe way.
Emrich says she likes to place a fan in front of her exercise bike to help her stay cool. She also wears lightweight, breathable clothing.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis ;is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that can affect the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It can result in a range of symptoms and functional impairments.
MS symptoms are varied and unpredictable, depending on which part of the central nervous system is affected, and to what degree. It is important to remember that some people may not have many symptoms at all. Symptoms may last for a short time or only occur during the short period of a relapse, depending on the affected areas and the degree of inflammation present.
Symptoms can be a combination of changes in:
The symptoms of MS can be both visible and invisible to others. They can also be unpredictable and vary from person to person and from time to time. Symptoms can also interact with each other and other co-occurring conditions or diagnoses.
The key goals in managing MS are to:
- minimise relapses
- slow down brain atrophy at all stages of the disease
- restore function
- minimise the impact of symptoms on your day-to-day life.
See your doctor or specialist MS healthcare team for investigation and diagnosis of any new symptoms, as some symptoms can be caused by other illnesses or may be indicative of a relapse.
Watch this MS Australia animation about the invisible symptoms of MS.
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What Is The Link Between Multiple Sclerosis And Stress
A number of published papers have shown that stress affects RRMS. Here are a few:
- At UCLA, studies showed stress can precipitate MS relapses and worsening disability through a variety of mechanisms including excessive inflammatory response and worsening degeneration. The immune system balance of Th1 versus Th2 cytokines is intimately involved in the development of relapses in people with MS.
- In Switzerland, researchers studied 14 healthy medical students to see whether a psychologically stressful event could modify Th1 cytokines levels. The students showed a significant increase of an inflammatory cytokine starting the next day; this cytokine has been shown to be elevated in MS relapses.
- In Pittsburgh, a study by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh followed 50 women with MS to see how major life events affected their MS disease activity. Nearly half of all major life events were followed within six weeks by a relapse.
- US researchers have studied the development of new MRI lesions in 36 people with MS and correlated these with stressful life events. After major life stresses, people were roughly 1.6 times more likely to develop a new lesion in the next eight weeks. This study also noted that those with coping mechanisms could reduce this risk.;
- In 2006, the same research group summarized the effects of stress on MS:
How Can I Deal With Stress
Nobody can say what will be stressful for another person, and people have individual ways of dealing with stressful situations.;
It might not be possible to remove all of the sources of stress in your life, but it may be possible to manage your own stress by changing the way you think about it, or reducing some of the stressful elements. There are techniques you can learn to help you cope better with stress and develop healthier habits of thinking. These may take time to have an effect.
There are three stages in stress management:
- Recognise the effect stress is having on your health.
- Identify what is causing you stress.
- Take action to remove or reduce the cause of stress.
Ideas to help you deal with stress:
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How I Reversed Multiple Sclerosis
My four-year tumultuous journey of curing multiple sclerosis started with getting back on the anti-candida diet. I eliminated dairy, sugar, alcohol, gluten and corn. I also took an antifungal drug for two years, and then switched to an herbal formula. I relied heavily on the book Multiple Sclerosis, by Judy Graham, which gave me direction and guidance about supplementation. I learned about the benefits of supplementing with anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric and ginger.;
To remove toxins from my body, I had 15 silver amalgam fillings taken out. I went through this without any pain relief to avoid an immune response attack.
I worked on my physical and emotional health, pushing through this near-death illness, and I coped with buried emotional traumas, and even survived a suicide attempt.
What Does Sugar Consumption Have To Do With Multiple Sclerosis
Eating too much sugar on a regular basis increases your chance of having yeast overgrowth, or candida overgrowth. In fact, the over-consumption of sugar is the leading cause of candida overgrowth and candida overgrowth can lead to smaller symptoms like bloating and fatigue, but it can also lead to much more serious conditions, including cancer and multiple sclerosis!
New Hope For Treatment Options
Some of those drugs work by suppressing the immune system, which may slow down MS and decrease relapses, but may also put patients at risk for infections and other illnesses, Dr. Scherz says. Depending on the drug, even after discontinuing the medication, it can take months for the immune system to bounce back.
Autoimmune Disease And Stress: Is There A Link
- By Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
A new study has raised the possibility that stress may cause autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, because it found a higher incidence of autoimmune diseases among people who were previously diagnosed with stress-related disorders.
I have patients who heard about this research and are saying, “I knew it!”
But before we accept a potential link between stress and autoimmune disease, lets look at some details of the study and consider how we define the terms “autoimmune disease,” “stress,” and “stress-related disorder.”
What Are The Main Risk Factors For Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis results when your immune system attacks the cells of the brain and spinal cord. It is an autoimmune disease, a condition in which the bodys immune system is misdirected and attacks its own cells.
- Age: MS can occur at any age, but the most common age group is 15 to 60 years.
- Sex: MS is more common in women than in men.
- Genes: Although MS is not hereditary, you are more likely to get MS if you have a family history of MS.
The factors listed above often act interdependently to cause MS rather acting in isolation. For example, female individuals with a family history of MS are more likely to get MS compared with those females who have no family history of MS.
Smoking Secondhand Smoke And Ms Risk
Several studies in recent years have identified a higher risk of becoming diagnosed with MS among smokers, which has been estimated to be double that of nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke is also strongly associated with MS.
This link appears to be related to several factors, including smoke-induced alterations of the immune system. Smoking and secondhand smoke change the immune system in more than one way. They may:
- Interfere with your immunity, making you more prone to infections
- Increase the risk of becoming sick after exposure to Epstein-Barr virus , a common virus that may contribute to MS
- Predispose you to produce autoantibodies, which are immune cells that mistakenly attack your own body
So far, research suggests that smoking does not appear to be an independent risk factor for MS. This means that it probably causes changes in your body to induce MS if you are already at risk, rather than singlehandedly causing MS.
If you or your child is at risk of MS, then avoidance of smoking and secondhand smoke may help prevent the disease.
You or your child may be at risk of MS if:
Treatments For Multiple Sclerosis
There’s currently no cure for MS, but a number of treatments can help control the condition.
The treatment you need will depend on the specific symptoms and difficulties you have.
It may include:
- treating relapses with short courses of steroid medicine to speed up recovery
- specific treatments for individual MS symptoms
- treatment to reduce the number of relapses using medicines called disease-modifying therapies
Disease-modifying therapies may also help to slow or reduce the overall worsening of disability in people with a type of MS called relapsing remitting MS, and in those with a type called secondary progressive MS who have relapses.
Unfortunately, there’s currently no treatment that can slow the progress of a type of MS called primary progressive MS, or secondary progressive MS in the absence of relapses.
Many therapies aiming to treat progressive MS are currently being researched.
How Smoking Can Impact Ms Treatment
Not only does smoking increase your risk of developing MS and alter your disease course, but it also interferes with the effects of the medications used for the treatment of MS.
For example, smoking is associated with worsening disease when using Tysabri , a potent disease-modifying treatment for MS. Researchers have found that smokers produce antibodies that fight the medication, making it less effective.
Avonex, Rebif, and Plegridyall brands of interferon beta-1a are commonly used treatments for MS. Smokers with MS have an increased risk of making antibodies to IFN-1a, potentially making it less effective.
What To Do After A Flare
You can recover fully after a relapse, but it might take weeks or months to get over all your symptoms. If you had a lot of nerve damage, some symptoms might not fully go away.
You may need extra help to get back to your normal life. A rehab program can put you back on track. Your rehab team will help you with:
Who Diagnoses Multiple Sclerosis
Many conditions could cause similar neurological symptoms. Getting an accurate diagnosis is sometimes difficult. Some people see multiple providers over years before receiving a diagnosis. While the search can be frustrating, its important to keep looking for answers. Identifying and treating MS as soon as possible can help slow the diseases progression.
If your primary care provider suspects you may have MS, you will need to see a neurologist. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in treating conditions that affect the nervous system, which includes your brain and spinal cord.
Can Stress Make Ms Symptoms Worse
Learn what research says about the connection between stress, MS, and overall health.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system, where the immune system attacks myelin, a delicate later of tissue that covers and protects nerve tissue. MS can cause a wide variety of neurological changes and impairments, impacting the way a person moves, thinks, feels, and what they are capable of doing day by day.
Stress is often a part of the discussion about MS. Patient education materials often discuss ways to reduce stress. A number of studies have made the claim that stress can trigger MS relapses or worsen disease progression, but the relationship between stress and MS is unclear and not fully understood. Here, we look at what is known about the connection, and why reducing stress is important to your health and wellbeing.
What the research says Much research has looked at the impact that stress might have on MS. Some studies have looked at the role stressful life events can play in the onset of MS. Others have looked at whether stress can trigger flare-ups or relapses. Others have looked at the impact that mindfulness and stress management have on disease progression. There are a number of challenges researchers face in producing consistent results. MS is unpredictable and affects everyone differently. A wide range of people have MS, people with different backgrounds, personalities, coping mechanisms. And stress can be difficult to quantify and measure.
Motor Symptoms And Ms
Difficulty with walking or a change in walking style can be one of the first MS symptoms noticeable to others, for example beginning to stumble or trip.
Nerve demyelination can cause damage to the nerves that direct the affected muscles, causing incoordination. In some people, balance may also be affected, if special areas of the brain are demyelinated, and can lead to feeling off-balanced and leaning to one side, or difficulties in perception of where the body is in space .
Balance and walking problems vary considerably from one person with MS to another and may include:
- tripping, stumbling or falling
- unsteadiness when walking or turning
- needing support from walls, furniture or other people
- a heavy feeling in the legs when stepping forward
- leg weakness when weight bearing
- difficulty placing the foot squarely on the ground
- taking slower, shorter steps
- loss of confidence when walking.
Spasticity is a symptom of MS that causes your muscles to feel stiff, heavy and difficult to move. A spasm is a sudden stiffening of a muscle which may cause a limb to kick out or jerk towards your body and can also cause pain.
Not all motor problems are caused by MS, so it is important to seek professional advice. A health professional, such as a neurologist, an MS nurse, GP or physiotherapist can work with you to determine the cause of your walking and balance problems and advise on management.
We Know Ms & Stress Dont Mix
This article should be no surprise to those who know even a little bit about multiple sclerosis. There have been numerous studies done confirming that stress is a problem for those with the disease.;There have even been some studies trying to pinpoint it as a cause of MS.;I could link a lot more studies, but again, I feel like this is all pretty well-known stuff thats been covered before.;Im here more to talk about how its affected me.;Like everything I write, I hope it explains what it can be like to have MS. If this article can help you explain it to others by sharing it with them, or if it even just makes you feel like someone else understands, then Ill be happy. As always, I hope for some good discussion in the comments as well!
Pay Attention To Your Body
Whether you’re exercising or simply doing chores around the house, it’s important to pay close attention to the signs your body gives you when you have MS. If you’re getting uncomfortably warm or feeling dizzy, faint, or excessively sweaty, take a break and give yourself some time to cool down before you start again.
If you become overheated and cant get to a cool place on your own, ask for help, especially if you know that your temporary symptoms affect your mobility.
If you know that you become a danger to yourself because youre having trouble walking, its really important to watch out for your safety and get someplace where you can cool off, Emrich says. If you need help, ask for assistance.
The Brain And Spinal Cord: Where Symptoms Typically Start
Lesions in the brain may affect cognitive abilities. Some people with MS have trouble with memory, attention and concentration, multitasking and decision-making, says Dr. Scherz. The changes are usually mild at the beginning, but can be frustrating as time goes by.
MS may also cause emotional changes, such as decreased tolerance for stress and worsening anxiety and depression, either due to nerve fiber damage or simply the burden of dealing with the disease.
Vision changes are often one of the first MS symptoms. It’s common that MS starts with an attack in the optic nerve, which sends visual information from the eye to the brain, Dr. Scherz says. This happens because the optic nerve is close to the brain, and the myelin in the eye and brain is similar, she explains. People may experience blurred vision, double vision, eye pain or loss of color vision.
Difficulty articulating words or swallowing and slurred speech may occur if theres damage to the area that controls the mouth and throat. MS may lead to a loss of sensation in whatever area of the body corresponds with the damaged area of the brain or spinal cord, Dr. Scherz says. This can cause numbness or a tingling sensationfor instance, in the fingers or toes. The feeling usually comes and goes, and can be mild or severe.
The Usual Caveats About Observational Studies
Its important to emphasize that a study of this type cannot conclude that stress-related disorders actually cause autoimmune disease. There could be other explanations for the findings. For example, it is often impossible to identify a precise date that an autoimmune disease or a stress-related disorder began. So, despite the researchers requirement that the autoimmune disease be diagnosed well after the stress-related disorder, its possible that the autoimmune condition was already present before the stress-related disorder was diagnosed. If that was the case, the stress-related disorder could not have caused the autoimmune disease.
In addition, its possible that something other than the stress-related disorder was to blame for the higher rate of autoimmune disease. For example, people who have been through severely stressful circumstances may be more likely to smoke, and smoking has been linked to an increased risk of certain autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
One more point: this study appears to have included type 2 diabetes among the 41 autoimmune diseases it considered. Although this is the most common type of diabetes , it is not considered an autoimmune disease. Different results might have been noted if stricter definitions of autoimmune disease had been applied.