Shedding Light on Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex and incurable neurological condition which affects over 2.3 million people worldwide.

A long-term (chronic) disease, MS affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing a variety of unpleasant symptoms that affect balance, vision, and muscle movement.

There are a number of environmental factors that are thought to increase the risk of MS, including cigarette smoking and a vitamin D deficiency.

With the distinct link between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of MS, it is important to do all you can to focus on improving your quality of life and do all you can to take measures to manage risk factors.

Symptoms

MS can cause a variety of symptoms, which affect each person differently. The most common symptoms include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Blurred vision
  • Blindness
  • Mobility and balance problems
  • Muscle weakness and spasticity

It is unlikely that all of the above symptoms will be experienced by any one individual, and most people with MS only suffer from a few of these symptoms.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

There are three types of MS, each with varying periods of flare-ups and remission:

  • Relapsing remitting MS – This involves a flare-up of symptoms, known as relapses, which can last from a few days to a few months. This is followed by periods of remission where symptoms are mild or disappear completely.
  • Secondary progressive MS – This type of MS usually develops around 15 years after somebody experiences relapsing remitting MS. Symptoms gradually worsen over time. Relapses still occur but a full recovery from symptoms doesn’t occur with this type of MS.
  • Primary progressive MS – This is the least common form of MS. Primary progressive MS involves symptoms getting worse over time and there being no periods of remission.

Causes

MS is widely known as an autoimmune condition, where the immune system attacks healthy body tissue.

In the case of MS, the immune system attacks the myelin which covers the body’s nerves, causing multiple sections of the brain and spinal cord to become damaged and affected by hardening (sclerosis). This activity disrupts the nerve signals passing through these areas, causing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an incurable condition, but there are a number of treatment options available which can help manage the condition.

Some treatment options include:

  • Steroids
  • Physiotherapy
  • Antidepressant medication
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Disease-modifying medicines
  • Complementary therapies

Risk Factors and Multiple Sclerosis

Many experts believe that a combination of risk factors can lead to the development of the condition, including:

  • Low sunlight and vitamin D
  • Genetic factors
  • Smoking
  • Viral infection

Low Sunlight and Vitamin D

Some studies have shown a link between lower levels of vitamin D and multiple sclerosis.

Research conducted on the condition around the world has shown an increased likelihood of MS developing in countries further away from the equator.

Those living further from the equator are exposed to less sunlight and therefore their body produces less vitamin D, which could possibly increase the likelihood of developing MS.

Lifestyle Choices and Multiple Sclerosis

With a lack of vitamin D thought to increase the risk of developing MS, research suggests have suggested that supplements may reduce the risk of the condition.

Quality of Life and Vitamin D

When it comes to improving quality of life, there are a number of vitamin D-based products available from Antiaging nutrition, including vitamin D3 5000 IU which can help maintain a healthy lifestyle and may reduce the risk of MS.

Vitamin D provides a host of benefits, including strengthening the immune system to help fight disease and maintaining strong and healthy bones.

Multiple sclerosis is an incurable condition, but with a host of environmental factors thought to be associated with an increased risk of developing the disease, lifestyle changes can be made which could help reduce the risk of developing this condition.

Get in Touch

If you would like to find out more about the array of products available which contain vitamin D, contact Antiaging Nutrition today.

Sources

Multiple Sclerosis Society

NHS Choices – Multiple sclerosis