Saturday, January 4, 2014

How Do You Treat Multiple Sclerosis?

Imagine struggling through each day, while your freedom is slowly being taken away with each passing moment. That is what multiple sclerosis does to its victims. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that damages the myelin sheath, which is an insulating layer of the nervous and brain tissues. With the myelin sheath damaged, the body cannot properly transfer signals or perform its usual functions, which results in a number of complications. While this disease is not terminal, patients generally have a shorter life expectancy as compared their healthy counterparts. 

Causes of MS

The cause of MS is largely unknown, which makes it such a difficult disease to treat. Some scientists attribute it to genetic factors, because relatives of those with MS have a greater chance of contracting the disease. In addition, scientists believe that environment also plays a role. If your family originates from northern Europe, you are unfortunately at greater risk of contracting MS.

Symptoms of MS

Multiple sclerosis has unpredictable symptoms that vary in intensity. While some patients only experience blurred vision, loss of balance, numbness and fatigue, severe cases cause the following symptoms:

Loss of vision: About 10% of MS patients will end up becoming permanently blind

Paralysis: Prolonged suffering might cause arm or leg paralysis

Cognitive problems: About 50% of people with multiple sclerosis will develop some kind of hindrance to their cognitive function. This can include shortened attention span, difficulty staying organized, trouble remembering things and language problems

Bladder problems: About 7 in 10 affected persons have bladder problems. This can include strong urges to urinate, urinating frequently, inability to hold urine or trouble emptying the bladder fully

Sexual difficulties: These include erection problems in men and vaginal dryness in women

Muscle spasms: They usually affect the arms and legs. You might experience strong, painful muscles or mild stiffness

Treatment of MS

Unfortunately, MS has no effective cure. Most multiple sclerosis treatment guidelines offered by medical experts mainly focus on strategies to manage symptoms, reduce attacks and prevent the disease from progressing. Some patients have very mild symptoms such that they do not require treatment. 

Strategies to Treat Symptoms of MS

1. Physical Therapy
An experienced occupational or physical therapist can teach you some strengthening or stretching exercises and show you how to use devices that can help you perform your daily tasks easily.

2. Muscle Relaxants
Muscle relaxants such as tizanidine (Zanaflex} and baclofen (Lioresal) are some of the best multiple sclerosis pain treatment options that you can ever rely on. They work by improving muscle spasticity.

Lioresal may increase weakness in the legs and cause side effects such as excessive sweating and weight gain. Zanaflex may cause a dry mouth or drowsiness.

3. Dalfampridine (Ampyra)
This oral medication can improve walking speed in some MS patients. 

4. Super Soya Lecithin
Super soya lecithin is one of the most reliable multiple sclerosis natural treatment and lupus treatment options available in the market today. It plays an important role in improving the nervous system. It prevents nerve degeneration (axonal demylination), boosts concentration and memory, helps the proper functioning of neurons and improves the ability to learn and maintain general body balance. 

Strategies to Prevent MS Relapses

1. Beta Interferon Injections
These injections not only help regulate your immune system, but also decrease the frequency, severity and lengths of the attacks.

2. Intravenous Steroids
Taken orally or intravenously, intravenous steroids such as Decadron and Solu-Medron can help reduce the frequency and severity of your attacks. Not everyone who has MS experiences side effects from these steroids, but most common are rapid heartbeat, flushing of the face, stomach irritation, mood changes and nausea.

3. Plasmapheresis (Plasma Exchange)
This procedure involves the removal of some blood from your body and mechanical separation of your plasma, the liquid part of your blood, from the blood cells. Your physician then mixes the blood cells with a special replacement solution and returns the blood to your body. 

4. Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Developing and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits such as doing regular exercises, resting when tired, eating healthy foods and having enough sleep can help you cope with the stress and fatigue caused by MS.

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