Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system that is often erratic and disabling. In this condition, an abnormal response of the body’s immune system results in immune cell-mediated attacks against the myelin sheath surrounding nerves. This autoimmune reaction leads to the development of demyelinated neuronal plaques, followed by nervous system dysfunction.
Nerves are part of an important network that allows your brain to communicate with the body. When the communication between the brain and the body is altered, a person will present with delayed reactions, loss of muscle control, poor balance, reduced sensation and vision abnormalities.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between 20 and 50 years old, with at least 2-3 times more women than men being affected.
Symptoms of MS are widely variable, change over time and may include fatigue, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, spasticity, weakness, vision problems, dizziness and vertigo, bowel and bladder dysfunction, pain, cognitive changes, mood swings, irritability, depression, trouble with speech and swallowing, seizures and difficulty breathing. While the primary symptoms are the direct result of damage to the nervous system, secondary symptoms are complications that can arise as a result of primary symptoms. For example, bladder dysfunction can result from frequent urinary tract infections and immobility can lead to loss of muscle tone, weakness, decreased bone density, inefficient breathing and pressure sores.
Most of the symptoms of MS can be managed with physical therapy and traditional medicine. However, conventional medicine does not resolve the root cause of the disease, and thus will not eliminate the underlying pathophysiology.
A Functional Medicine approach to intervention will address all contributing factors to the disease state. This may include treating leaky gut, boosting the immune system with supplements, and reducing exposure to toxins such as mercury, gluten and heavy metals. Effective treatment strategies can help modify or slow the disease course, increase functional capacity, address emotional health and safety and avoid secondary complications.
If you would like to find the source of your illness and reverse your disease, schedule a consultation today.
“MS Symptoms and Diagnosis” National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 2018.