What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system which can affect both the brain and the spinal cord. It is a chronic condition for which there is no cure. In a person with MS, the immune system attacks the protective coating of the nerves (myelin sheath) and begins to break it down and destroy it, thus, exposing the nerve.
Think of a nerve as an electrical wire with a plastic insulation coating. If the insulation is removed at one spot, the signal through the wire can be slowed down, interrupted or completely short circuited and blocked. This is what happens in a person with MS; messages sent from the brain to other parts of the body through the damaged nerve system can become confused, interrupted or totally lost.
The breakdown of myelin can result in a variety of symptoms that manifest themselves in many different ways. There is no one set of symptoms for a person with MS. Each individual presents their own unique set of symptoms.
There are many people with MS who appear "healthy" as they may not present any visible symptoms and may feel pretty good most of the time. Then there are those who may require complete care because of the loss of muscular, bodily and/or cognitive functions.
There is no limit to the number of symptoms a person may have or the severity of those symptoms. And, a person's symptoms may change...for better or for worse. It is a day to day disease and many people don't know what to expect from one moment to the next; "Will my legs work correctly when I take my next step?"
Some of the most common symptoms of MS are: -Fatigue -Weakness -Walking and gait issues -Numbness or tingling -Muscle Spasticity (a continuous contraction of the muscle making it hard) -Pain -Vision problems -Balance issues -Cognitive issues -Dizziness -Bladder, bowel or sexual problems -Depression -Emotional changes -Speech issues -Tremors
The uncertainty of this disease can be as bad as the symptoms themselves. It is therefore necessary to be in a constant battle against the disease by participating in a daily regimen of exercise as well as eating nutritionally sound so as to keep your body as strong and as healthy as possible no matter what your present condition may be.