What are the Causes and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis? Types and Treatment

What are the Causes and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis? Types and Treatment

Some nervous disorders have a cure, but for some others, there is no specific cure. Multiple sclerosis is one prime example. It is one autoimmune disorder that breaks down the protective lining on the nerves and brain cells gradually. Nerve damage leads to a lot of health complications. The symptoms can often be confusing as other nerve disorders and doctors often recommend a number of tests to confirm its existence. After Multiple sclerosis diagnosis, the treatments are offered though none of them can cure the disease. The treatments like diet changes, medications and therapies are aimed at helping the person live minus complications. Not all solutions are advisable for all victims, as it is. Support from family also plays a key role. However, for some victims using aids like walking sticks is a requirement.

Above all, victims of Multiple sclerosis also need to stay emotionally happy. They can seek counselling or find support groups comprising of people with similar conditions. Nerve related ailments can affect men and women from any age groups and treatment options are also numerous. However, there can be some nerve related disorders that are not curable and get worse with time. One such instance is Multiple sclerosis. It is a disorder that impacts CNS and eventually affects the layer safeguarding brain and spinal nerve cells. Deemed as an autoimmune disease, Multiple sclerosis makes the CNS and brain cells deteriorate over time. As a result, the affected person loses cognitive abilities and gradual loss of control in body functions, vision, hearing and muscular control takes place. Sadly, Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis can be tricky at times.

Nuances of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a long term disorder that has no cure and it can affect people in different ways. Some victims have only mild symptoms and they carry on with life without many hurdles. However, in some other affected women and men, the symptoms are severe and they need help even for carrying out mundane chores. The disorder takes place when the immune system in human body attacks myelin, a protective layer on nerve fibers. As this layer starts eroding, nerve damage takes place and brain signals are not able to reach the nerves. If Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis takes place early, the severity can be controlled to an extent.

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

It is not clear what actually leads to formation of Multiple sclerosis. The prevalent theories doing the rounds in clinical circles include vitamin D deficiency and specific viral infections. However, no scientific conclusion has been reached on those theories. It is not contagious in nature.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

The Disorder Has 4 Variants-

  • Secondary- progressive multiple sclerosis
  • Relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis
  • Primary- progressive multiple sclerosis
  • Progressive- relapsing multiple sclerosis

The most widely seen variant is the RRMS or relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

The signs and symptoms of this autoimmune disorder may vary from one affected person to another, as it has often been seen. It actually depends on body parts and organs where the nerves are affected. The major symptoms of the disorder leading to Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis are:

  • Double vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Sexual problems like erectile dysfunction
  • Painful, involuntary muscle contractions
  • Fatigue

Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

Sad as it may sound, proper diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is often difficult. This is owing to the fact its key symptoms are also caused by some other nervous ailments. Usually, veteran neurologists diagnose the disorder, but in some cases, they may consult medical experts of other disciplines for confirmation.

There are no single medical tests that can be used to confirm you are afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Evoked Potential Tests are carried out if you are detected with major symptoms. The major tests done for Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis are:

  • Blood Tests-  Blood tests are done to understand if the symptoms are caused by other related ailments or not.
  • MRI Test-  This is required to analyze damages in brain tissues.
  • Evoked Potentials Test-  This is for measuring electrical activity in the brain.
  • Spinal Taps-  Also known as lumbar punctures, these tests are done to assess fluids in the spinal column.

Before suggesting you to undergo these tests, the neurologist may ask you details about medical history and if anyone in family had this disorder. In most cases, the doctors ask a person to undergo more than one of these tests since no one in particular can be used to confirm.

Treatment Options for People with Multiple Sclerosis

Just because multiple sclerosis is not curable in nature, those testing positive for Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis should not become frustrated. Depending on the type of multiple sclerosis you have and the stage at which it is detected, you may still be able to carry on normal life without much hindrance. However, some victims may require lifelong medication, support and lifestyle changes. The major treatment options for this autoimmune disorder are:

Medications:

There are certain drugs that are used to control the nerve damage and resultant pain and fatigue. The majorly used drugs for this purpose include Beta interferon, Dalfampridine, Teriflunomide, Dimethyl fumarate, Copolymer-1, Mitoxantrone. Doctors can also advise the use of some muscle relaxants to bring down severity of muscle spasms. While the medications cannot be deemed as a cure, they definitely help in slowing down the progression of the ailment and ease the severity of symptoms.

Therapies:

Physiotherapy is often advised for victims who are suffering from an intense form of Multiple Sclerosis. Walking aids and sticks are also used by the affected lot at times for easy movement. If Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis takes place much after the disorder has set in, you may have to use such aids for lifelong.

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes:

You may have to opt for some changes in your diet and lifestyle to cope with this disorder better. As most victims of Multiple Sclerosis tend to be deficient in vitamin D, including foods with vitamin D can be beneficial to fight the symptoms. Avoiding certain foods can also be helpful for those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Foods rich in saturated fat, Trans fat, excess sugar and processed carbohydrates should be avoided by its victims.

Other Points to Keep in Mind

While having medications and therapies after Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis is necessary, these are not enough. The victims of multiple sclerosis also need to stay positive since living with a long term disorder that has no cure can make anyone depressed. So, you may resort to yoga and meditation to keep mind calm and get rid of depression. Another viable method is getting in touch with other people living with the disorder. On the web, you can come across online groups and communities comprising of victims of Multiple Sclerosis and their inputs can be helpful for you. Support from family members and close friends can also be of great use to people allocated with this condition.