What is Multiple Sclerosis - Basic Facts and Information
Are you wondering what is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disease that affects a persons brain and spinal cord. It is an extremely debilitating disease that, if not cared for properly, can lead to a quick decline in one's ability to perform even minor daily functions.
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A note about What is Multiple Sclerosis - Basic Facts and Information
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
About Autoimmune Diseases
Most people know that our bodys immune system is what protects us from attacks from bacteria and diseases. In people with an autoimmune disease, the immune system function changes and the bodys immune system actually becomes the predator, attacking the body and causing damage to organs.
With multiple sclerosis, the bodys immune system attacks both the spinal cord and the brain, causing damage to the central nervous system. When the nerves in the central nervous system become damaged, the result is loss of sensation, balance, muscle control and vision.
How Multiple Sclerosis Attacks the Body
What is multiple sclerosis, how does it attack the body, and what is multiple sclerosis typically associated with?
Nerves in the central nervous system are coated with a substance called myelin. This fatty material helps to insulate the nerves and is also partially responsible for how well nerve impulses are transmitted from the brain to the rest of the body. In people with multiple sclerosis, the myelin coating the nerves is destroyed by their immune system, leaving the nerves exposed.
Scar tissue then forms in a process called demyelination. With this scar tissue now blocking the way for myelin to form, the nerve impulses that were once transmitted smoothly from the brain and spinal cord are now broken. The brain is not able to properly communicate with the rest of the body, which results in the conditions that are most commonly associated with MS, such as loss of vision, balance, etc; such symptoms are what is multiple sclerosis normally characterized by.
Who Gets Multiple Sclerosis?
The next question in discussing what is multiple sclerosis, is who does MS usually hit?
Everyone is susceptible to MS, though it much more likely to occur in females than it is in males. It rarely ever presents itself in the young and it is highly unusual for it to occur prior to adolescence. It is most commonly seen in individuals from the age of 20 to age 50, and the risk of developing MS seems to decline gradually after the age of 50.
Diagnosis of MS
Another important topic in discussing what is multiple sclerosis, is with regard to how the disease is diagnosed.
It is often very difficult for a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis to be made quickly. Many of the symptoms of MS are similar to symptoms of other conditions, which can lead to improper diagnosis. Additionally, because many of the symptoms are so vague and because they can come and go quite rapidly, there are some doctors that do not believe the patient is experiencing any serious symptoms in the first place.
There are some factors that a doctor will consider before performing any tests to accurately diagnose multiple sclerosis. First, you generally must experience more than one episode involving the symptoms of MS and it must last for at least 24 hours. Secondly, many doctors will wait until you have experienced a few of these episodes at least a month apart before ordering additional tests.
Once the doctor has evaluated these factors, he or she may order an MRI to see if there are any lesions that are indicative of demyelination occurring to the central nervous system, and possibly blood work to make a positive diagnosis for the disease.
Do you now have a better idea of what is multiple sclerosis? You can find out more about this ailment by reading the other related MS pages and articles.
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